Monthly Archives: October 2017

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match
by Monica Brown, illustrated by Sara Palacios
Children’s Book Press, 2011

This is the most fun, most genuine story about a bilingual girl dealing with her quirky likes I’ve ever read.

She has brown skin, like her cousin Tato, but she has hair ‘the color of fire’.  She doesn’t match. Her peanut butter and jelly burritos don’t match. Even her drawings don’t match. One day she decides to match, but wearing only one color results in the most boring day ever.  Fortunately, her teacher writes her a note affirming Marisol is simply marvelous. Loving her mis-matched self again, she searches the dog pound for a puppy perfect for her—mis-matched! Lovely story and moving illustrations.

Read reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall!
by Anne Sibley O-Brien, illustrated by Susan Gal
Abrams Appleseed, 2016

Fall is the time of great changes: from returning to school, to birds migrating south, to leaves turning colors.  Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! uses these magnificent, contrasting changes to immerse the reader in fall.  The illustrator uses rich, vivid, splashy colors to expand each scene’s story beyond the words given.  Fall is almost like magic, the changes are so big, hence the author uses magic words to introduce each new transformation.  To be sure each young reader is engaged, the transformed scenes hide behind a flap calling to be turned.

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The Pomegranate Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pomegranate Witch
by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Chronicle Books, 2017

This haunting tale of the Pomegranate Witch will be appreciated by adults as well as titillating for children.  Written in ‘dense’ rhyme, each word contributes to the story’s ambiance and action.

On the edge of town stood the spooky pomegranate tree where kids scared themselves with made-up tales, daring each other to grab the trees treasure.  Finally, five brave adventurers take on the task. Surprising them, the Pomegranate Witch challenges them to a duel, the next day, at noon.  While their second plan of attack, plan B, is in progress, their youngest member sneaks in a back gate and steals a treasure.  They won!  Then Kindly Lady, whose sister is the witch, or so she says…, invites them over for Halloween cheer.  The perfect tale for a late night scare.

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Lily’s Cat Mask

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lily’s Cat Mask
by Julie Fortenberry
Viking, 2017

While shopping for new clothes one day, Lily spotted a cat mask.  Amazingly, her dad bought it for her.  She loved it so much she wore it out the store.  And she wore it everywhere, even to the doctor’s.  But one day she couldn’t find the mask.  Her dad gave her a bunny costume to wear, and it was fun for a while.  Fortunately, she found her cat mask.  She wore it when she met her new teacher, but once school started, she couldn’t wear it in class anymore.  But one day everyone could wear a costume, and that’s when Lily met her soul mate.

The story gives a few nods to quiet children and how they cope with new situations.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pug and Pig Trick-or-Treat
by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Joyce Wan
Beach Lane Books, 2017

Pug and Pig, the best of friends, try on their Halloween costumes. Pig loves hers and can’t wait for Halloween to come.  Pug hates his, it’s too tight and no one can see him.  He claims he doesn’t care about Halloween.  But he does care about Pig.  When Halloween arrives, he finds a costume that suits him and he shares Halloween with Pig.

A true story of friendship, compromise, and being there for your friend, no matter what.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

The Monstructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monstructor
by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Melissa Goodman
Clear Fork Publishing, 2017

A silly story of monsters who are so un-monster-like, the school brings in a professional “Monstructor” to teach them monsterly ways. She teaches them to boo, to hiss and be messy.  She teaches them to roar, float to the ceiling and splash paint until at last they get it! With chaos, disruptions and dripping in messes, the monsters learn to be monsters.  Written in not-so-perfect rhyme, for how un-monster-like would perfect rhyme be? Readers will delight with outrageous monsters and their disaster messes, perfect for LOL Halloween fun.

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The Too-Scary Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Too-Scary Story
by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2017

Walter and Grace get Dad to tell a scary story.  Grace, the oldest, wants a real scary one, for she has a magic wand to protect her.  Walter wants a scary story, but not too scary.  They enter a forest which is dark.   “The spookiest, creepiest kind of dark!” says Grace.  “Too scary!” says Walter.  But then fireflies appear and Walter cheers. And so Dad balances scary with not too scary.  A fun, scary story where Graces uses her magic to save the day!

Dark and scary illustrations balance out the safe ones as Grace and Walter imagine a walk through the forest making the story the perfect scary story.

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The Memory Box, A Book about Grief

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Memory Box, A Book about Grief
by Joanna Rowland, illustrated by Thea Baker
Sparkhouse Family, 2017

A book to help a child coping with a death. Inspired when the author’s family was coping with two separate deaths.

The story opens with a child losing a balloon, then smoothly transitions into a how that compares with losing a person. It addresses, “Does love die?” as well as the fear many have that they’ll forget the person who died. Thinking of activities once shared, the story seamlessly moves into creating a memory box. As she recalls old dreams and as she does those things she and the person gone had once dreamed of doing, she creates new memories that she shares with the loved one.  The book ends gently with, “You’ll always be with me…” and “… I’ll never forget.”

Illustrations show child activities and friends and family gatherings to comfort the reader.

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Zoo Scientists to the Rescue

Zoo Scientists to the Rescue
by Patricia Newman, photographs by Annie Crawley
Millbrook Press, 2018

Written in kid-friendly terms, this book provides a fascinating, in-depth look at how zoo scientists are helping orangutans, black-footed ferrets and black rhinos, three animals on the Critically Endangered list.

Meredith Bastian studied orangutans in the field for several years, observing behaviors from the moment they woke, until they laid down to sleep. Her data has helped orangutans in both the wild and in zoos. She later worked at the Philadelphia Zo to integrate conservation into its operation.

Jeff Baughman helps manage the revival of the almost extinct black-footed ferret. In 1981 130 ferrets were discovered and Jeff is instrumental in expanding the population and returning it to the wild.

Rachel Santymire studied black rhinos in Africa to learn how to help them in zoos and in the field.  Rachel specializes in studying ‘poop’, which provides invaluable information about their lives.

The book also provides zoo history, conservation, and career information about zoo scientists.  The photos are outstanding and draw in both young and adult readers.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.