This pop-up looks at seven different creatures who are considered builders. It shows what they build, how they build them, to what purpose, etc. Then there’s the way the author manages to bring them all together to help build a sense of community, inter-connectivity.
Bird & Diz pays tribute to two bebop legends- sax player Charlie “Bird” Parker and trumpeter John “Dizzy” Gillespie- and how they riffed off one another to create a new form of music. The illustrations are reminiscent of Chris Raschka’s “messy style. The book folds out accordion style to reveal a double sided panoramic image.
Um, yeah, I’m definitely not the target audience for this one. The writing was not that strong. Some of the chapters seemed to end in media res with no follow up. I guess kids might enjoy the humor and the premise.
Fans of fantasy (Which at this day and age means if you like Harry Potter) will find this an enjoyable read- especially if readers like riddles. The world and characters are not as complex but I like the take on Norse mythology featuring Huginn and Muninn.
This adult graphic novel is what the current movie starring Colin Firth is based on. It’s about a troubled teen taken in by his uncle to learn super agent spy skills. Meanwhile, celebrities are being kidnapped and it’s up to them to uncover and stop a very diabolical plot. Flashy and funny at the same time.
Good old Pike. Slumber Party is your standard YA thriller genre that I still say was in its peak in the late 80’s through mid 90’s. A group of friends have a ski weekend but mysterious fire-related incidents keep happening that recalls an accident from their past. What I love(d) about Pike’s books were that they seemed edgy at the time.
There’s something about rereading books. You pick up the clues that the writer has planted. You also appreciate the structure of the story more.
If not completely new in terms of its lessons in being kind to oneself and others, I do feel this is an important book one should read. And to get the most of it, one should reread and apply the steps to one’s own life.
I’m holding a Book Drive through this site if anyone is interested. Click here for more information.
[***] Beautiful illustrations of what a home is and means to everyone. I enjoyed the touch of whimsy in this picture book.
[***] A super cute book about an owl who is ostracized for being different, namely for loving poetry. Great for compassion and poetry units. I appreciated that the verses recited in the picture book were identified at the end.
[**] Cute story about friendship. If the actual story is not as strong, the illustrations are too adorable to pass up.
This is a fun beginning chapter book with easy-to-read text and illustrations on every page. Even though Zack if from the future, travels in outer space, and interacts with aliens, his situations are very relatable which is another one of its appealing factors.
Theo and his uncle, whom he barely knows, move to Destiny, Florida at the tail end of the school year in 1974. It’s not easy for either of them but a surprise friendship with a girl who loves baseball as much as he does and clandestine opportunities to play piano makes Theo thinks this could be home. Conflict arises when the uncle thinks they should move elsewhere. Atypical characters with plenty of heart and humor make this a delightful read.
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to like the characters.
I just couldn’t.
I read this as part of my (Multnomah County Library) Everybody Reads challenge. I’ve never disliked a title they had chosen before until now. What makes me sad is how disappointing this book was! The only part I liked was all the Portland references.
I have nothing against books that depict life for what it is (both good and bad, wonderful and horrible) but books need to do more than that- provide some new insight or something.
But, because of my surprisingly strong dislike of it, I can’t wait to hear what others think!
Readings & Literary Events
-An Evening of Shakespeare- I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on Shakespeare. I don’t think I’ll even be able to hold a conversation about him. I know of him and of his works. The only play I’ve really seen of his were two different productions of Hamlet.
But I decided to attend this event which was part lecture and part screening of Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS. And it was fun to be a in room full of Shakespeare fans and hearing their thoughts and stories. One of the presenters even said, “Shakespeare saved my life (when I was thirteen.)”
I came away with a new appreciation of Shakespeare and theater in general.
Music has always been a part of Melba’s life ever since she was young. And she wasn’t going to let her size limit her dreams. Little Melba and her big trombone would eventually make music all over the world. This fantastic picture book biography captures her story with perfect accompanying illustrations.
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This week, I posted:
-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday- Read my reviews for:
-Celebrate This Week- This week, I’m celebrating teachers. Read my review for:
I got a kick seeing Pickles the fire cat as a friend of Jenny’s so I ended up reading this picture book in addition to Jenny and the Cat Club. Also divided into shorter stories but for the “I Can Read” audience, it’s amusing to see the animals interacting with their human friends- they don’t talk to one another in the same language but understand what the other is saying regardless.
Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie looking for longer tales will delight in the antics of these two friends who despite their differences are there for one another.
A hilarious book about siblings! A wolf cub is adopted into a bunny family. While Dot’s parents find him oh-so-adorable, she’s sure he’s going to eat them all once he gets bigger!
This board book is rather dark but super funny. A wolf gets himself ready to eat the reader!
A cheese wheel is mistaken for the moon in this hilarious tale about a squirrel and his friends trying to get it back up where it belongs. The illustrations are superb!
A cute story about an unlikely friendship. I’m glad it wasn’t another one of those books where a creature befriends a bird only to mysteriously lose him or her during wintertime and then is surprised when it comes back in the spring.
This was a book I’d only heard about since working at the bookstore. It’s been super popular which is surprising considering it is a much older title. This collection of stories features mild-mannered feline Jenny Linsky and her friends. Perfect for young readers and read-alouds.
A creative look at African American roles in the shaping of our country told through a fictional character’s perspective. Basing it on historical events and personal family accounts, the narrative comes alive. And, each of the oil painting illustrations are visual masterpieces. Amazing!
This has been a breakout hit at our store. A grandmother and her grandson highly recommended it to me.
This is a great choice for reluctant readers. It has adventure and a good mix of text and illustrations. I love telling the parents that there are educational factors as well since each book takes place in a different country. In the beginning of each book, there are mission files- information about the countries and the spy gadgets being used. Also fun is when you flip the pages, there’s a running Jack Stalwart on the bottom right corner!
I had been meaning to read The Financial Lives of the Poets ever since I’d seen Jess Walter read from it a few years ago. In fact, even back then, I wanted to listen to the audio book since he’d be narrating it.
I just love the plot: A middle-aged man starts a poetry financial website after losing his job and ends up hanging out with trouble-making teenaged drug users. Walter’s writing style reminds me of Sherman Alexie’s- deftly mixing the drama and the humor.
Aside from not like the main character all that much because of his poor choices, I guess I could see how he’d find himself in the predicaments he’s created for himself.
What’s great about this picture book that recently won the Stonewall Book Award is neither the text in verse that flows smoothly or the the illustrations full of details and color, but the back matter that talks about the significance of each page. Additional tips on how to talk to kids of various ages about this subject are also included.
This was surprisingly good. The text manages to tell Mahalia Jackson’s story in a lively way. The warm illustrations perfectly complements the words. Nina Nolan did her first reading of this picture book at our store. I wish her all the best of luck and hope that more people will read this inspiring tale!
A disgusting yet delightful discovery, Elise Gravel’s Disgusting Critters series introduces beginning readers to facts regarding certain familiar creatures. The humor and illustrations will appeal to kids and will want them to read more. Addicting for adults as well!