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January 27, 2012

Myron Uhlberg’s A Storm Called Katrina is a tear-jerker.  The art is really good too.  I’m worried it won’t go out much, but it should.  It depicts the events of the hurricane and its effects on the residents of New Orleans with just enough horror to linger in your mind, maybe forever.  After the story, more information is provided.

Ava’s Poppy by Marcus Pfister feels like it’s missing its last page.  Otherwise, it’s the cute story of a girl and her flower.

Carl at the Dog Show by Alexandra Day is kind of cute, but it’s missing something.  I usually like Carl, so I don’t know what’s going on here.  There aren’t many words in the story, and I found it difficult to follow along–maybe because I’m not in the mood, or maybe because it’s sometimes unclear what’s going on.  Also, who leaves a baby alone at a dog show?  Weird.

Ah, the crap that is the new Strawberry Shortcake.  In The Valentine’s Day Mix-Up by Amy Ackelsberg, we find again that boys are doing all the non-girly work–like delivering mail–and there are only like 10 people in the entire city.  The crux of the problem is that Strawberry Shortcake hasn’t gotten any Valentines.  When she finally receives a big one signed by all her friends, she’s happy again.  No, I’m not going to talk about acquiring blah blah blah.  What I don’t understand is WHY they gave her a big one, or why she doesn’t get any from other “city” residents, or why they even have a party TO MAKE VALENTINES FOR ONE ANOTHER.  Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose?  And yet there they are, with the names of their friends clear on top of their piles.

Oh okay.

I am not a good person to review My Friend with Autism by Beverly Bishop.  I wish I could send a copy to my friend Kibbles to review.  I’m finding the information for parents at the end easier for me than the story itself.  I don’t like that the child doesn’t have a name, and something about the way it says “Sometimes I tell my friend to ____” makes me feel like the book is accidentally suggesting to peers, especially those prone to being assertive, to be in a position of being “in charge.”  I don’t know.  It didn’t sit quite right though, but I’ve got SUCH an outsider’s perspective on this.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and Tish Rabe’s Spring into Summer!/Fall into Winter! are cute and informative.  Not sure it’s necessary to do the flip-the-book thing for the second half, since it reads like one big story, but hey, whatever.  Rhyming issues?  You bet, but again, whatever.  I find the whole semi-realistic Seuss thing to be off, but…say it with me: whatever.


Some of these books, I feel like I’ve already reviewed…

I could’ve sworn I’ve mentioned Christine McDonnell’s Goyangi Means Cat and Herve Tullet’s Press Here before.  They’re my favorites from 2011!  Press Here is so interactive and adorable, and Goyangi Means Cat is a tear-jerker about an adopted girl’s first few days in America.

Read It, Don’t Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr is my go-to for outreach story-times.  It covers the basic rules of library books very well.

My Name is not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry is another favorite.  Isabella wants to be called by all different names, but some clever children will pick up on who she’s pretending to be before you get to the explanations at the end.  Great choice for Women’s History Month.

Kiss! Kiss! Yuck! Yuck! by Kyle Mewburn went over well at storytime.  I think we can all relate to having that one relative who can’t stop being affectionate to us.

I put all the books in order by stars and I’m seeing sooo many good ones!  Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children by Lisa Wheeler is a good one for your morbid kid (and so many of them are, or go through a phase of it).  Mike Twohy’s Poindexter Makes a Friend is a sweet story of two shy kids finding each other in the library (bonus points!).  In King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, three boys are using their imaginations to play away the day, but what happens when night comes?  Finally, Philip C. Stead’s A Sick Day for Amos McGee is so charming you won’t believe it was published in 2010, and deserves every award it got.

Okay, that’s enough for me.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll give myself a break from all this kids’ stuff and actually try to plow through a big chunk of the adult backlog.


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