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I call wibs

April 24, 2012

Well, only if the books are any good.

Fiction!

The Family Tree by David McPhail is a sweet story about how a tree lasts for generations and, when progress comes, those who have lived in and loved the tree protect it.  There’s really not much to say about this one.  It’s as simple as it is sweet.  Actually, there is something to say about it.   It’s always odd to me when something starts out realistic and then isn’t, and that happens with this book.  You may enjoy that, you may not.  I’m on the fence, but I know it’s a good story.

Lucy Rescued by Harriet Ziefert is adorable.  It’s all about how a girl adopts a dog and helps the dog adjust by learning what the dogs needs.  Barroux is awesome once again with puppy art.  I’m going to try this one for story time.  I’m never going to get to spring-themed books with all these awesome new books coming in.

The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!  is the latest Mo Willems.  Do I love it?  OF COURSE I LOVE IT.

Easy Readers!

Gus Makes a Gift by Frank Remkiewicz is a “pre-level 1” Easy Reader from Scholastic.  It’s pretty cute.  I know I can be hard on Easy Readers, but I feel like–hey, you can use very few words and still tell a story, okay?  This one does that, and well too.

Big Machines by Karen Wallace, a level one Easy Reader, cleverly introduces all of the “big machines” in question by showing them working on a project: knocking down an old building and putting in a park.  Sentences are simple but never boring.

I’m usually the first person to dislike a Curious George book (I don’t know why; I’ve never liked him), but Home Run by Erica Zappy is a good one.  It’s a level one Easy Reader about counting, using the complicated game of baseball.  We don’t think of baseball being complicated (some of us think of it as boring), but for those who have no introduction?  Totally is.  The book does a good job of explaining both numbers and baseball, and of keeping me interested the whole time, which is difficult for numbers, baseball, AND Curious George.

Mac and Cheese and the Perfect Plan by Sarah Weeks is grating like Curious George is usually grating.  Mac and Cheese are cats–who drink milk, by the way, and can’t we get rid of that in books, since cats can get pretty sick from lactose?–and one sings rhyming, irritating songs, and the other is just irritated/ing.  Parents will get sick of this one quick.

Fairies! A True Story is a really good level 3 reader by Shirley Raye Remond with so-so art by Red Hansen.  It’s the history of fairies, with types of fairies in different lands, a possible origin of fairies, and the story of Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths (NOW I get that episode of Torchwood–but it was still bad).  Definitely a good one for kids who are, like I was, into the history of supernatural things rather than just wanting to read the same deadly-dull Barbie fairy story over and over again.

Trains! by Susan E. Goodman and Michael J. Doolittle is really interesting.  I mean, it covers the history of trains, the possible future of trains, the parts of trains–it even gets a Harry Potter mention in there.  This level-3 reader is going right into my pile for our train party.

Apparently, we got Solar System by Gregory Vogt a while ago, but someone wanted to check it out and it just got back to me.  IT’S MISSING PLUTO.  Yeah, I know.  I can’t help it.  It’s how I was raised.  But it’s very informative and the pictures are crisp and clear.

Non-fiction:

Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature by Jim Arnosky is one of those books that’s just so full of words that I’m wondering if it’s supposed to be here in the children’s section (rather than the J section).  I twitched when I read Crinkleroot’s description of how to release a fish.  (WHAT IS THE POOOOOINT?)  A lot of it is informative, but it’s a LOT of info at once.  I guess I’m going to say I only suggest it for the oldest kids in my section.

ARGH.  Stupid National Poetry Month.  I don’t like poetry, and–again, vegan–so I’m doubly the worst audience for unBEElievables by Douglas Florian.  I liked the informational paragraphs on the pages.

Moving on.

The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock is a solid book that imagines what the four days the two men spend in the wilderness could have been like.  There are many facts in the book too, especially the backgrounds of the men and what Roosevelt did afterward to protect the environment.

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