Saturday, August 30, 2014

Big Bad Baby by Bruce Hale

Title: Big Bad Baby
Author: Bruce Hale
Illustrator:  Steve Breen
Category: Picture Book
Interest Level:  Ages 2-5
Reviewer: Lynn

Every parent knows that babies are sweet, warm and cuddly - right?  But even the sweetest of babies has bad days and that is what happens to "Big Bad Baby."  In fact, Big Bad Baby gets so cranky that ordinary mischief is not enough.  He invades the town doing all kinds of "bad baby" things until Mom comes to the rescue.  This picture book is so much fun with its large illustrations.  Children and parents alike will be entertained by the antics of Big Bad Baby.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Title: Flare
Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Genevieve Cote
Category: Beginner Reader
Pages: 33
Reading Level: 6-8
Interest Level: Ages 4 and up
Series: Part of Tiny Tails stories
Reviewer: Kim

I blogged before on another Tiny Tails story called Spark about a dragon so I was super excited to see this new book come out about Flare the phoenix!
Flare is a phoenix who is strong and tough and who does not cry.  He is very proud of the fact he does not cry.  The sun, wind and cloud try to tell Flare that crying is ok and can make you feel better but Flare is convinced that he will never cry.
In the end it isn't feeling what tears are or hearing what crying sounds like but the empathy he feels for another that leads him to finally cry.


Title: Heidi
Author: Johanna Spyri
Illustrator: June Goldsborough
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 252
Reading Level: 9-12
Interest Level: 9-12
Series: Yes
Reviewer: Kim

 Our staff book club this month read a favorite childhood book so I decided to read Heidi, one of my favorites again.   As I was looking into this book I found that it was a series and was continued on by the author's translator.  I have not read the additional books but I plan to now!
This book just makes me feel good.  It is about a little girl who is left by her aunt to live in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather who is a bitter man who lives in seclusion on the mountain. Heidi soon wins his affection as well as Peter the goat herder and his blind grandmother.  After getting settled in and loving her life on the mountain with the beautiful scenery, fresh air, goat milk, cheese and bread she is once again sent away by her aunt.  She is sent to Frankfurt to live as a companion to a little girl in a wheelchair named Clara. In the city, Heidi does not seem to fit in.  Clara loves Heidi because she is so different but as time goes on Heidi gets ill from homesickness.  She finally goes back to her beloved mountain and her grandfather. I love the characters in this book but I mostly love Heidi and her wonderful spirit!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece

Title:  Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece
Author:  Patricia Polacco
Illustrator: Patricia Polacco
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Reading Level:
Series: No
Reviewer: Clarice

Anyone who has read my blogs throughout the years may remember that I LOVE books by Patricia Polacco.  Many of her books are based on her life or family and always have some sort of message embedded in the story.  This book did not disappoint! Not only is it a wonderful story about school life, but it teaches us all about overcoming our fears, especially the fear of the unknown which many are now experiencing as their school year begins.    It is another story of Patricia's school experience.  When the book starts we are told that Patricia loves reading and even writing until she is asked to read one of her essays in class.  This is when she is faced with her fear of public speaking.  She is so frightened to talk in front of a group that she cannot even utter a sound and ends up sitting back down.  In an attempt to get her more comfortable with public speaking, her teacher introduces her to the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne.  Although Patricia is somewhat surprised that Mr. T., her teacher, thinks she would be a good candidate for the drama club, she quickly finds her niche painting scenery.  While she is painting and listening to the others practice their lines, Patricia memorizes the lines of each character!  Shortly before Opening Night, the student who has the lead suddenly moves.  They are in dire need of a person to take her place.  Could Patricia really overcome her stage fright and take over the lead?  Read on and find out.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mister Max the Book of Lost Things

Title: Mister Max The Book of Lost Things
Author: Cynthia Voigt
Illustrator: Iacopo Bruno
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 367
Reading Level: Ages 9-13
Series: No
Reviewer: Sandy

In this Victorian comic mystery, Max Starling is a twelve year old boy who is left alone after his parents mysteriously disappear. He has to figure out how to make some money while he searches for his parents. It turns out Max has a talent for finding things. His parents are theatrical people and Max uses various costumes and becomes a master of disguise which makes for some fun situations. If you are looking for a non violent mystery with lots of quirky characters, this is the book for you. It was our Family Book Club choice for August as well as our One Book One Kirkwood book.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Emma's Journey

Title: Emma's Journey
Author: Claire Frossard
Category: Picture Book
Reading Level: K-2
Series: Yes
Reviewer: Chelsea

Emma's Journey is a charming story about a little bird who lives in New York City. Emma spends her days in Central Park eating ice cream, making worm jam, and hanging out with her friend Duckyduck. After Duckyduck leaves home, Emma finds herself bored, and longing for her own adventure. When her Uncle Bob tells her they have family in Paris, she soon decides to "leave the nest" and make her way to the city of lights. Not having ventured outside of Central Park, Emma discovers the fast pace of the city can be a bit overwhelming. On her way, Emma sees the sites of New York, which are shown throughout the book in real pictures with the illustrated animals of Emma's world interposed. Being taken around the city with Emma makes you feel as though you're there too.

To see how Emma's adventure turns out you can check out this book, along with the equally adorable sequel Emma in Paris. You'll be sure to enjoy exploring these two great cities with one fun loving bird.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

I Can Do It

Title:  I Can Do It!
Author: Tracey Corderoy
Illustrator:  Caroline Pedler
Category:  Picture Book
Pages: 18
Reading Level: Ages 5-6
Interest Level: Ages 3-5
Series: No

Reviewer: Clarice

Baby Bear is a toddler bear who wants to do everything himself.  After many tries and with much determination he learns to work the button on his new backpack.  This is very important as he wants to carry his books back to the library - all by himself.  At the library he wants to get a book off a top shelf - all by himself. Come check out this book to find out how successful he is in all his attempts, and what happens when he really does need some help. Another interesting feature of this book is the texture of his backpack.  Young readers will enjoy searching for the 'feely' part of the backpack whenever it appears on the pages.