Archive for May, 2009

A BRAND-NEW DAY WITH MOUSE AND MOLE by Wo Yee (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)

brand new dayThird in the series, this is already in some library collections. Mole’s day is off to a bad start when he discovers all of his clothes have moth holes.  His friend Mouse takes him shopping where he finds pants and a new shirt. They then go fishing, only to end up in the water when the line gets caught on an old tire.  They have so much fun playing in the pond that  Mole rigs up a tire swing for Mouse and  Mouse sews patches from her old clothes to cover the holes in Mole’s old clothes. Words and sentences are a little complex.  Would beginning readers recognize “pendulum”, “Abracadabra”, “cashier” or even know what “groovy” means? Still, the four simple stories reflect the warm friendship between Mouse and Mole.  Where easy readers are needed, this is a worthwhile addition.

Early reader, Recommended- Diane McCrink (Yonkers Grinton I Will branch)

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May 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

SUMMER WONDERS by Bob Raczka and illustrated by Judy Stead (Albert Whitman & Co. 2009)

summer-wondersIn under fifty words, Raczka and Stead have captured the shimmering magic of summer  –  on beaches, in pools, in backyards, and on picnics. From youngest to oldest, everyone finds something to love about summer. Gardens, sunshine, star-gazing, and dripping ice cream cones convey the leisure and lushness of hot, carefree days. The words are well chosen and the illustrations show everyone finding a special activity that can be best done in summer. The last page has a recipe for mini ice pops that can be simply made in an ice cube tray. Hurray for summer!

Picture Book, Recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)

May 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

MARS AND THE SEARCH FOR LIFE by Elaine Scott (Clarion Books 2009)

marsThe cutting edge of science in today’s world is seen in the tremendous breakthroughs in biology, pharmaceuticals, cloning, armaments, and more. It is clearly evident, as well, in space and planetary exploration. Scott begins her study of Mars with H. G. Well’s 1898 classic science fiction story, The War of the Worlds. More than 100 years later, our explorations on Mars are equal to any fictional tale. Today’s scientists search for signs of Martian microbial life and water. They believe that Mars was once habitable, had once had water, and had once been able to support life. They cannot, however, explain what happened to the water and whether the same thing could happen on Earth.

J Nonfiction, Recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)

May 18, 2009 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

TROPICAL SECRETS: HOLOCAUST REFUGEES IN CUBA by Margarita Engle

tropicalDaniel and his family live through Kristallnacht, the night in 1938 when Nazis rampaged through Berlin and smashed Jewish store windows. That night, Daniel sees his grandfather murdered by the Nazis. Only one ticket to escape is available. Only Daniel will board the ship to take him out of Germany while his musician parents remain behind. The ship first tries to land in Canada, then the United States, but it is refused entry. Finally, Daniel arrives in Cuba where he starts a new life not knowing anyone and not speaking the language. Engle alternates the voices of Daniel, David, an old Jewish refugee who is the first to help Daniel, Paloma, a Cuban girl who loves birds and people, and finally, Paloma’s father, a man who has made himself rich by demanding money from refugees. Told in free verse, each person talks about his inner struggles in this sunny land and his hopes for a better future. This is a fictionalized account of events that happened between 1938 and 1942 in Cuba. Despite Goebbel’s best efforts, from 1938 – 1939, Cuba granted asylum to 65,000 escaping Jews. The plight of the fleeing Jews is the main feature of this book, and there is little mention of the horrors of the camps. The characters are well-drawn and Cuban culture is prominently displayed.

May 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

THE THREE LITTLE GATORS by Helen Ketteman and illiustrated by Will Terry

three little gatorsThree little gators lived so cozy with their mama in an east Texas swamp. But mama said it was time for them to leave and build their own homes. Beware, she said, of the Big-Bottomed Boar who liked nothing better that succulent little gators. Well, the most industrious gator didn’t mind hard work and built his house of rocks. His less industrious brothers used sticks and sand. Guess what? Big-Bottomed Boar soon cured the lazy ones who found refuge in the rock house. The semi-tropical locale in this retelling of the Three Little Pigs is full of southern charm. The full page illustrations are lively and add to the zippy story. This is a welcome addition for young story times.

Picture Book.  Recommended- Lillian Hecker (PELHAM)

May 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

BRING ME SOME APPLES AND I’LL MAKE YOU A PIE : A STORY ABOUT EDNA LEWIS by Robbin Gourley

bring-me-some-applesGreat cooks will tell you to boil the water, run out to the field, pick the corn, and then rush back to plop the ears into the pot; from field to fire with little time delayed. That’s the way to savor the freshest, tastiest corn on the cob. Edna Lewis knew this. She learned this as a child growing up in Freetown, Virginia. Her grandfather and two other emancipated slaves founded and farmed this community.

The first notes of the whippoorwill in early spring told her that the strawberries were ripe for picking. When the first frost arrived, she and her siblings gathered pecans and walnuts. Edna and her hardworking family picked and potted and canned and baked all kinds of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and greens. She took her early training seriously and became a well-known chef and author of several cookbooks that celebrated fresh produce for healthy eating. This colorful book captures the seasonal harvests and the joy of good eating. Recipes, food related rhymes and an afterward about Edna Lewis completes this picture book biography.

J Picture Book Biography Recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)

May 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm Leave a comment

HARRY HUNGRY by Steve Salerno

hungry-harryBaby Harry, whose stomach constantly growls, gobbles up Mama’s snack, only to cry “More!”  After eating blueberries, and alphabet cereal, he devours the entire fridge and continues to eat the flowerbed, garden hose and mailbox. The silliness continues as Harry devours the car, the neighbor’s house and the school.  Not yet done, he continues his binge, eating the highway, mountain, and taking a chunk out of the sky until, finally, he burps, and falls asleep. Harry’s parents put him gently to bed and he wakes up ready for breakfast.  Harry’s insatiable and absurd appetite should delight readers and listeners, adults as well as children. The depiction of infant Harry, with his oval shaped head and wide-open mouth, clad only in a diaper, adds to the humor. Sure to be a hit in story time.

JP  Recommended.  Diane McCrink (Yonkers Will)

May 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

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