O’Connor, Jane. 2017. Fancy Nancy: JoJo and daddy bake a cake. HarperCollins. 32pp. $16.99 ISBN 978-0062378019. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.
In this story, JoJo bakes a birthday cake with her dad. JoJo and her daddy mixed the ingredients and made a big mess. Jojo’s daddy wants to know who the cake is for, but no one will tell him because it is a surprise. It turns out the cake is for daddy! I love to bake with my mom and daddy. I have my own apron, too, but sometimes I make a mess! (AEH)
Kirby, Jessi. 2017. The secret history of us. HarperCollins (HarperTeen). 288pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-229946-8.
This book is about a girl named Olivia who gets in a car accident with her boyfriend, Matt. They are sent flying into the bay. While Olivia is knocked out and drowning, her boyfriend yells for help. That is when a mysterious boy, Walker, comes into view. They part ways after he saves her and Olivia makes it her mission to thank him. After the accident, she doesn’t remember the past four years of her life. So she doesn’t remember why she is no longer friends with Jules, who her boyfriend even is, or that she was with Walker before the accident. One of my favorite characters in the book is Walker because he seems mysterious and helps Olivia find herself throughout the story. My other favorite character is Olivia because she is mentally strong and curious. This book is inspiring, suspenseful, and you will likely feel a series of emotions, from betrayal to hope, while reading. I also recommend this book because the way the story was presented was beautiful. You feel as if you are reading something that actually happened because it is packed with excellent details. (SB)
Stanton, Matt. 2017. Funny kid for president. HarperCollins. 240pp. $12.99. ISBN 978-0-06-257291-2. Illustrated by Matt Stanton.
This book includes language I am not allowed to use, such as “stupid” and “idiots,” and has funny characters, like Mrs. Sniggles. She looks silly and says funny things, like when she refers to kids as cubs “sipping tea from a flamingo cup.” The story is a combination of Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It seems like a diary because there are a lot of illustrations like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the teacher at the beginning is similar to Principal Krupp from Captain Underpants because he is very angry. (AR)
Berenstain, Mike. 2017.
The Berenstain bears’ big machines. HarperCollins. 32pp. $3.99. ISBN 978-0-06235039-8.
This book has cool illustrations of big machines and labels that identify them. The story also shows machines used for different tasks like drilling, farming, and building. This book is very informative and fun to read. It is also cool how the characters are shown different machines. (CR)
Fleming, Candace and Rohmann, Eric. 2017. Bulldozer helps out. Simon and Schuster (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books). 40pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-1-48145894-8.
This book has neat machines that are used on a construction site. The big machines have names that identify what they are used for. The machines all have jobs to do and you learn that even the smallest jobs are important and each person has a skill they are good at. It is also cool when the bulldozer finds kittens. (CR)
Root, Andrew. 2017. Hamsters don’t fight fires. HarperCollins. 40pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-245294-8. Illustrated by Jessica Olien.
This book is funny because it shows even though you may be small, you can do big things. No job is too small or unimportant. It is also cool because the hamster helps get the bird. (CR)
Blabey, Aaron. 2014. Pig the pug. Scholastic (Scholastic Press). 32pp. $14.99. ISBN 978-1-338-11245-0.
This book is so funny and teaches a lesson about not being selfish. The illustrations are great, especially the cover. My favorite part is when the pug changes his mind about sharing. My brother’s favorite part is when the pug is in a body cast. (CR)
Song, Mika. 2017. Tea with Oliver. HarperCollins. 40pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-242948-3. Illustrated by Mika Song.
A lovely book with quaint illustrations tells the story of Oliver the cat and Philbert the mouse. A simple story of friendship sought is a theme loved by children everywhere who long for one true friend to share “a cup of tea” with. Song has you on the edge of your seat wondering if Philbert will ever get his invitation to friendship to the one person that ought to be his arch enemy – a cat! When Oliver, the cat’s friends, and relatives drop in, he expects to find a friend among his own kind that will share a few quiet moments of friendship but much to his dismay he finds chaos and destruction instead. As is often true in life, once he gives up on his quest for a friend, he finds an unlikely one that has been trying to get his attention all along. A warm inviting book that grants us a happy ending of true, simple friendship. (ML)
Lombardi, Kristine A. 2017. Mr. Biddles. HarperCollins. 32pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-244114-0.
Mr. Biddles is the story of an inventor cat who makes a sudden acquaintance and partner in a lobster from Maine. The story emphasizes the loneliness of the inventor who finds both a friend and helper in Hobson the lobster who cannot stay long for he is homesick. Mr. Biddles invents a side car that can transport him to his home in Maine and afterward returns home lonely. However, in time Hobson returns via jetpack to live with Mr. Biddles. The inventor’s office is meticulous in details and very busy. It will be for children old enough to appreciate the details. The rest of the pages are illustrated in a simple but cute manner and the basic storyline about loneliness and friendship are worthy subjects. Both characters believe they are happy in their status quo situations but Mr. Biddles finds the loneliness too much to bear and Hobson sees that he can leave his familiar surroundings to adopt a new environment. In some ways, the story lacks clarity. We don’t know why the lobster ended up at Mr. Biddles' house in the first place. The amount of text is geared for small children but the idioms used and the detail of artwork is for older children so the book seems fragmented. (ML)
Hamburg, Jennifer. 2017. Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo. Scholastic (Scholastic Press). 30pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-88015-2.
Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo is worthy of a good review. The rhyme proceeds like “The house that Jack built” but Billy’s house of Goo is a house he desperately needs to escape. As the old adage goes, “no good deed goes unpunished,” so all his rescuers are soon imbued in Goo. The book is great fun. It has all the basic heroes: knights, cowboys, and others who ply their powers without success only to have an insignificant creature succeed where the mighty failed. I love it when the underdog wins! Questions throughout the book will bring about the child’s interaction with the story. Bits of humor are scattered throughout for all ages and the book itself can be enjoyed by someone as young as two for they understand Goo, as well as ‘Oh Poo’ along with other concepts. Love the book and the zany illustrations! (ML)
Martin, Bill Jr. & Michael Sampson. 2017. Spunky little monkey. Scholastic Inc. (Scholastic Press). 30pp. $17.99. ISBN 9780545776431. Illustrated by Brian Won.
Spunky Little Monkey is a cross between the song “Hokey Pokey” and “no more monkeys jumping on the bed.” Therefore it will have in its favor a familiarity already with some of its audience. The illustration is a celebration of color and fun with a memorable little monkey who is prescribed some good eating and exercise. Part of the book is rhyme which all children enjoy and the rest sing words or phrases repeated which the child will soon learn as you read the book again and again. And I believe this book will be called upon over and over by my 2 year old for its child-like simplicity, its splash of color, and for the clapping stomping and shaking it will induce. You may read it the first time sitting down but they may be standing and stomping the next times as you read. (ML)
Murray, Diana. 2017. Grimelda and the spooktacular pet show. HarperCollins. 38pp. $16.99.ISBN 978-0-06-226449-7. Illustrated by Heather Ross.
Grimelda and the Spooktacular Pet Show is a clever rhyming book. If you are averse to witches, this will not be the book for you. However, all of these witches are young and pretty rather than spooky. Grimelda learns about a local pet show in Cobweb town where the most spooktactular pet will win a prize. Unfortunately, she has learned of the show with only one day to prepare. She is able to locate her pet cat in her messy room but not her spell book. Because the cat is far too adorable to win the prize, she sets out to find a pet that will impress the judges with its fearsomeness (underestimating her own adorable cat). Like all who try to last minute shop for that perfect something – she comes up short. Nonetheless, she manages to find her spell book. She rushes to the show without time to try out a spell and smudges the page needed to make her cat spooktacular. The spell is a flop and the cat, instead, becomes more adorable. It’s safe to say that the cat’s real self is revealed that day; get the book to see how an adorable cat could possibly win the spooktacular prize! (ML)
Ged, Adamson. 2017. Shark dog. HarperCollins. 30pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-2457134.
Shark Dog imagines what it would be like to have a pet that was a cross between a shark and a dog. A famous explorer and his daughter discover this unusual cross and make it the little girl’s pet. This makes for interesting adventures on land and sea as the shark-dog overwhelms neighboring pets. The nature of the two animals are humorously blended and make you smile from page to page as poor shark dog just doesn’t seem to fit in, though he has the best of friends with the explorer’s daughter. Shark dog gets home sick and the explorer takes him back to where they found him but when the little girl says goodbye, shark dog decides he would rather be owned by his friend than be free. (ML)
Reynolds, Peter H. 2017. Happy dreamer. Scholastic Inc. (Scholastic Press). 36pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-545-86501-2.
Happy Dreamer explores the world of imagination. The author writes of his own experiences daydreaming. The dreamer’s mind is well represented; it depicts the struggle that many adults face of keeping their mind focused on the present rather than wandering to far-away places. It is a good reminder that children needs this outlet in a world fraught with troubles, insecurities and disappointments. The dreams depicted are sometimes loud and sometimes quiet but always lifting the spirit to realms of possibility. A truly uplifting tale that celebrates the beauty and complexity of the childhood mind. (ML)
Mellom, Robin. 2017. Hannah sparkles. HarperCollins. 30pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-232233-3. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.
Hannah Sparkles is a book about friendship. It explores the childhood realization that the world is more complex than we imagined; there are people who are very different from us. Hannah has a bubbly personalities and celebrate everything in life. She has loving parents that dote upon her. When a little girl, Sunny, moves in next door, Hannah is ecstatic and can’t wait to meet her. She rides over to meet her, imagining someone that is just like her who enjoys all the fun things that she loves doing. As she makes suggestions of things to do together, she finds out that Sunny doesn’t seem to appreciate any of the same things. She goes home discouraged and her mother gently tells her that perhaps Sunny enjoys different things. Hannah learns how to be a friend by focusing on the things that Sunny enjoys. This book teaches us not to be self-centered and instead be compassionate toward others. (ML)
Grandits, John. 2017. Seven rules you absolutely must not break if you want to survive the cafeteria. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Clarion Books). 30pp. $16.99. ISBN 9 780544 699519. Illustrated by Michael Allen Austin.
Kyle is about to eat at the cafeteria for the first time and is advised as to seven rules he must not break. The book is a delightful spoof on advice both bad and good that is offered without prompting. Anyone that has spent time in a school cafeteria will sympathize with Kyle’s first visit. Kyle has his mind on insects while Ginny tells him about the cafeteria. The illustrations convey Kyle’s active imagination; characters such as the bully, the server, the cashier, and the lunchroom monitor are delightfully and skillfully illustrated as insects throughout the book. After finding a table at which to sit, Kyle delivers some interesting but inappropriate facts about insects to the table. Best of all, he has the last laugh on Ginny on the ride home in the bus. A fun book that young and old will relate to. (ML)
Gerber, Carole. 2017. A Band of Babies. HarperCollins. 29pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-168955-0. Illustrated by Jane Dyer.
A Band of Babies is a visual treat. The use of colored pencil creates an impressionistic look. When Baby Ben comes to town, he shakes up the status quo. Ben is one of those born leaders who have ideas that everyone else follows. Baby Ben marches to a different drum and soon carries all the babies to a local grocery store where the fun ensues. Children will love the rhyme and the mischievous fun that takes place in the grocer’s aisles. Best of all, they use up all their baby energy and end in a peaceful sleep. The book is a lovely tale of imagination. (ML)
Bond, Michael. 2017. Paddington’s Prize Picture. HarperCollins. 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-243077-9. Illustrated by R.W. Alley.
Our delightful bear Paddington is back in an “I Can Read” book. This is an interesting story introducing the fact that sometimes paintings have been painted over and the original is hidden beneath. This gives Paddington an idea that starts as disaster but ends in triumph. The colors used in this reader on art are brilliant – children will love them. The story is simple and fun for all ages. I highly recommend this reader as both an introduction to reading as well as an introduction to a famous bear whose older books will soon be read as well. (ML)
Mayer, Mercer. 2017. Just an adventure at sea. HarperCollins. 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-243141-7. Illustrated by Gina Maru.
In Just An Adventure At Sea, Little Critter’s dad buys a boat with dreams of lovely days on the high seas catching lots of prize fish, however, life is rarely that simple. Little Critter gets to name the boat and off they go on high adventures. But true to life, there are some bumps along the road. The troubles begin with forgetting to put in the drain plug; the boat sinks initially. Stinky bait, fish not biting, and tangled lines all play a part, as well. However, the reader ends in high adventure with some large ocean critters before heading for land. Simple text and large illustration will be enjoyed by young readers. (ML)
Yoon, Salina. 2017. My kite is stuck and other stories. Bloomsbury Publishing (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books). 62pp. $9.99. ISBN 978-1-61963-887-7. Illustrated by Salina Yoon and Collen Andrews.
My Kite is Stuck and Other Stories is a collection of three stories for very young children. The first describes a child who has lost something in the branches of a tree. He throws things into the tree in an attempt to knock his lost item free. Predictably, he loses many of the other items as well into the tree. A quaint tale and experience that many may relate to. The second is about making friends with bugs. By personifying insects, the story points out the frailties of human nature. The third story depicts a lemonade stand in which readers learn cooperation, hard work, and the importance of remembering details. Brightly colored pictures throughout will draw the readers in to these fun stories. (ML
Lehrhaupt, Adam. 2017. Chicken in school. HarperCollins. 32pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-236413-5. Illustrated by Shahar Kober.
Chicken in School is a fun filled adventure about a chicken named Zoey who decides to hold school for the barnyard. Each of the animals are interested in different aspects of school. The pig likes snack time, of course. Zoey introduces each subject to reveal its meaning and purpose, the real goal of learning. Math almost gets a bad rap until the cows save the day. There are lots of fun nuances throughout the book. The animals are expressive and the illustrations are lovely. Children will enjoy this barnyard adventure into learning. (ML)
Brown, Jeff & Lori Haskins Houran. 2017. Flat Stanley and the missing pumpkins. HarperCollins. 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-236598-9. Illustrated by Macky Pamintuan.
Flat Stanley is useful around the farm despite being only an inch thick. He is able to fold himself into different shapes. In one instance, Flat Stanley acts as a convenient ramp to load and unload things from the truck. Flat Stanley also is engaged to detective work with a surprise ending. This is a good book for developing readers; adventure, suspense, and inventive thought define this Flat Stanley book. Nice text for these developing readers and realistic drawings throughout. (ML)
Hoff, Syd. 2017. Danny and the dinosaur schools days. HarperCollins. 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-228162-3. Illustrated by John Nez.
Syd Hoff’s lovable boy and his dinosaur are back for more adventures in a beginning level reader. The dinosaur follows Danny to school and is welcomed by the school teacher though the classroom is small. He comes in handy helping the children to learn numbers by measuring his large size. There is an evolutionary bias in the text concerning origins that not all will agree with. It would have a broader audience without it. He becomes the subject of art class and teaches the children how to do the ‘dinosaur stomp.’ He passes on cafeteria food for some fresh leaves but he is the favorite during recess. For who wouldn’t love to slide down the back of a dinosaur! He secures a permanent invite to be at school anytime. (ML)
Bolger, Kevin. 2017. See Fred run. HarperCollins. 32pp. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-06-228602-4. Illustrated by Ben Hodson.
See Fred Run teaches 50+ sight words. But it can only teach those words if the child is interested in reading the book again and again. I can’t imagine this book as a favorite. The two main characters are neither human nor animal so there is no point of reference for children to understand the two blobs on the page. There is no story to draw you in – just a series of unrelated events. The humor is in the fact that the narrator can make the characters do whatever he wants against their will; he humiliates them for fun. I’m not sure there is redeeming value here. (ML)
Schwartz, Alvin. 2017. In a dark, dark room and other scary stories. HarperCollins. 54pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-264338-4. Illustrated by Victor Rivas.
In a Dark, Dark Room and other Scary Stories is certainly what it advertises. There are gruesome pictures and scary stories. I would not recommend it for children that are fearful or have nightmares; this would simply compound their fears. This “I Can Read” book is for developing readers of a young age. The genre, however, is more suitable for much older children who can process the dark humor without being ill affected. It is written well and as one interested in the etymology of words and stories, I enjoyed the post script explaining where these tales came from. (ML)
Ehrlich, Nikki. 2017. Twindergarten. HarperCollins. 30pp. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-06-256423-8. Illustrated by Zoey Abbott.
Twindergarten is an authentic story born out of the author’s experience. Dax and Zoe are inseparable twins; they do everything together. But tomorrow they will be separated in different kindergarten classrooms. Dax is very worried and Zoe comforts him that night. But when they get to school, it’s Zoe who has second thoughts and a funny feeling in her stomach. She manages to make it to recess where she is reunited again with Dax who slips a secret into her pocket. You will have to read the book to find out what the secret is. The book has delightful illustrations and a storyline to encourage children who might experience a similar separation from a close sibling one day. (ML)
Yaccarino, Dan. 2017. Morris mole. HarperCollins. 32pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-241107-5.
Morris Mole is the story of a little mole that is ignored by his big brothers. They pay no attention to his ideas. Against all odds, he digs up rather than down when food became scarce and he discovers an amazing world of beauty above. New smells, sounds, tastes, and acquaintances greet him above. He runs into a fox who is about to dispose of him until an enemy of the fox draws near. The fox repents of his evil ways and helps the Morris to find great stores of food to take back to his family. Morris saves the day in an ingenious way because he’s always ready to help. He very humbly and quietly rescues his family from hunger. I love it when the underdog wins the day! There are good lessons here about the importance of divergent thinking. (ML)
Meriano, Anna. 2018. Love sugar magic: a dash of trouble. HarperCollins (Walden Pond Press). 320pp. $16.99 ISBN 978-0062498465.
I think this book is amazingly fabulous. The story gives somes Spanish vocabulary while also entertaining young minds. I love the concept of the young women learning her family secret and navigating her way through her “magical” tween years while making mistakes and trying to fix them with awesome help from her sisters. This book is a great pleasure to read and enjoy! (MTH)
Wilson, Amy. 2017. The lost frost girl. HarperCollins (Katherine Teqen Books). 320pp. $16.99 ISBN 978-0062671486.
This book is about a girl named Owl, who has magical frost powers that make her very special. She lives alone with her mom, who tells her magical tales about her father. Later she discovers the stories were true, and her father is really Jack Frost. She sets out to find him and his mystical friends, but upon finding him, she realizes he is not the best father. Jack's mystical friends try to make his winter disappear and Owl has to fight to restore Jack's winter domain. This story is very heartfelt and touching. I really enjoyed reading it for nothing more than pure entertainment. (MTH)
Stein, Garth. 2017. Enzo and the Fourth of July races. HarperCollins. 40pp. $17.99 ISBN 978-0- 06-238059- 3. Illustrated by R.W. Alley.
In this book, Enzo the Dog told the story. I liked this story so much because I like fluffy dogs, race cars, go-carts, and racing. I’m not so sure that girls are good at driving, but in this book Zoe won the go-cart race. My mom is a pretty slow driver, so I don’t think she would win a race. One time she raced in a dragon boat race and didn’t win. We read this book over and over. I liked just sitting and looking at the pictures. (MLJ)
Philip, Simon. 2016. I don’t know what to call my cat. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books for Young Readers ). 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0- 544-97143-1. Illustrated by Ella Bailey.
This book was silly because it has lots of cats and a gorilla! I didn’t really like the name she ended up naming her cat, Tricky. I would have named him Hardy, because his hat looks like Laurel and Hardy’s. I liked this book because I really like cats. My family used to have a cat named Kittibo and I miss him so much. He is in cat heaven now. (MLJ)
Kugler, Tina. 2017. Snail and worm again. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books for Young Readers ). 32pp. $16.99 ISBN 978-0- 544-79249-4.
This book was very funny. The snail finds a penny and thinks it’s his reflection. His friend the worm tells him the truth – he has no beard or ears! In the end, the worm helps the snail feel better about himself because he thinks his shell is not very beautiful. Worm helps snail do everything but ride a bike! That is sad because I really like riding bikes, but worm does not have any legs. (MLJ)
Boyle, Keri Claiborne. 2017. Teddy the dog: be your own dog. HarperCollins. 32pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0- 06-238284-9. Illustrated by Jonathan Sneider.
I don’t think you need to be in a show to prove you are good or good-looking, but it would be fun to win a trophy. I liked the part of the book where Teddy rode in the bus with all the cats. That would be like me riding in a bus with all girls – yuck! I am glad Teddy didn’t become a show dog; it’s more fun to just to play and get dirty. (MLJ)
Barnett, Marc. 2017. I love you like a pig. HarperCollins (Balzer + Bray). 40pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-234583-9. Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli.
This is a silly book about a pig. It told different ways of how we love each other. I would like to have a pet pig one day. I would swim in the swimming pool with it! The words were really big in this book and that made it easy for me to read. I wish I could type in some pictures so you could see what they look like. My favorite page of this book was the fossil page. If I had a funny fossil head like that, I would put it on my head and scare Daddy with it! (MLJ)
Dudás, Gergely. 2017. Bear’s merry book of hidden things. HarperCollins. 32pp. $14.99 ISBN 978-0-06-257078-9.
My mom and I read this book together and I really liked it! Sometimes it took us a while to find the hidden item in the picture. My favorite page of this book is the very first page. The hardest page to find things was the penguin page where we were looking for hot cocoa. I never could find the drum in all the cakes because they all looked like drums to me. This is a book I could look at for hours. It is fun! (MLJ)
London, Lucy. 2018. A peaceful garden. HarperCollins. 40pp. $17.99 ISBN 978-0062297471. Illustrated by Christa Pierce.
This book teaches you how to plant a garden. My favorite thing about this book is when they watered the plants because I like to water my mom’s plants. If plants to do not get watered enough, they die. When my brother waters the plants, he waters everybody, just like the book talks about! I liked the pictures of the two friend kitty cats, they are cute. (MLJ)
Stewart, Melissa & Steve Brusatte. 2017. Pinocchio rex and other tyrannosaurs. HarperCollins. 37pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-249093-3. Illustrated by Julius Csotonyi.
This is a very cool and fun book! My brother and I loved looking at the pictures of dinosaurs and seeing how big they were. We were surprised that a lot of the dinosaurs were as small as people. Only the T-Rex was giant! I am not sure about the part where the asteroid hits the earth causing dinosaurs to be destroyed. Everything lives shorter after the flood, I think that is why reptiles are smaller now. (MLJ)
Gutman, Dan. 2017. My weird school fast facts: explorers, presidents and toilets. HarperCollins. 192pp. $16.99 ISBN 978-0-06-230624-1. Illustrated by Jim Paillot.
The main character in this book is Arlo and he loves toilets. His friend, Andrea, knows a lot about history, although the history of toilets grosses her out. My favorite part of the book is when they talk about injuries related to toilets in history. Andrea also taught us was that Benjamin Franklin cried when he signed the Declaration of Independence; “Was he sad or were they really cutting onions in the next room?” There were good pictures in this book, but the best part was that it was written like a play, which made it very easy to read. I have one more Fast Facts book and am looking forward to reading it, too! (NAJ)
Shotz, Jennifer Li. 2017. HERO: hurricane rescue. HarperCollins. 192pp. $17.99 ISBN 978-0-06-256044-5.
Hero is a dog who can track down lost people and animals. In this book, they need Hero’s help searching for missing people after a hurricane and a flood. My favorite part of the book was when they got lost in the woods, because they met a crocodile and saved their friend there. I thought this book was exciting because it included lost and found people, hurricanes, and a broken leg. However, there were no pictures so that made it a little harder to read. (NAJ)
Bond, Michael. 1968. Paddington goes to town. HarperCollins. 176pp. $9.99 ISBN 978-0- 06-231228-0. Illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.
Until my family saw the movie at the theatre four years ago, I had never heard of Paddington and did not realize this book was written in the 60s! Even though it is old, this is a pretty good book and much better than I thought it would be. Paddington goes on many adventures, including working for a restaurant for a day He did not do very well, but he was happily rewarded with an ice cream sundae. Paddington also goes to town to go see Christmas lights. It was funny when he thought the traffic light was part of the light show! On this adventure, the Bird family heard a person playing the spoons, and this started a whole fiasco with coins. They even got chased by the cops! This book was pretty easy to read, I give it four stars! (NAJ)
Quiñones, John. 2015. What would you do? Disney (Kingswell). 160pp. $15.99. ISBN 978-1-48-472620-4.
This book was about a man who has a television show. On his show he has actors that act out different situations and see how people will react to them. He tries to see if people will step in and help out, or do the right thing. This book has a lot of good ideas of ways to do the right thing such as stepping in to help someone who has been beat up and left on the sidewalk. Some people walked right by, but others were the Good Samaritan and stopped everything to help! I see why this show was a hit, because it is interesting to see how people act. Sometimes people got creative, like when the babysitter at the park was on her phone and not watching the child. People put notes in the child’s backpack to hopefully get the message home to the parents. My mom went through all these different scenarios with me to see how I would react. In every situation, I tried to help. This book teaches you how to not be prejudice and mean. I learned there are two types of people who help others: a person who has been through hard times and feels compassion and a person who has seen their parents help others and has courage. This was definitely an adult book. Mom read the book and then read parts to me. She said there were things in there I was too young to understand or have explained to me. (NAJ)
Johnson, Terry Lynn. 2018. Survivor diaries: avalanche! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books for Young Readers). 104pp. $9.99. ISBN 978-0544-97039-7. Illustrated by Jani Orban.
This book is about a brother and sister, Ryan and Ashley, who have a very interesting trip. They decide to go snow skiing and an avalanche causes them to go off a mountain. Thankfully, they were well trained and able to dig a snow cave to keep themselves dry and warm. My favorite part is when a grizzly bear appeared, and then they saw a wolverine. The grizzly bear charged at the wolverine and Ryan and Ashley were right in the middle of it! This book has really good pictures. I think this is a good book because it was exciting and easy to read. At the end, there are tips on how to survive an avalanche and what to do if you see a bear! (NAJ)
Frazier, Sundee T. 2016. Cleo Edison Oliver: Playground Millionaire. Scholastic Inc. (Arthur A. Levine Books) 224pp. $6.99 ISBN 978-0-545-82236-7.
This is a fun book about a girl named Cleopatra Edison Oliver. Cleo is always selling things. She started out selling avocados and then decided to pull teeth. She got the idea when her brother had a loose tooth. Things were going well for a while, until she accidently knocked her friend Lexi’s loose tooth out fighting on the playground. She got in trouble for that one! She got suspended and decided to sell dog-breath cookies that help dogs’ breath smell better. Her friend Caylee got fed up with this and asked her why she only wanted to make money. Cleo snuck over to Caylee’s house and apologized to make things right. She learns making money is not the secret to true happiness. I enjoyed reading this book because it is easy to read. I think girls might like it a little bit more. This book taught me that friendship is more important than making money! (NAJ)
Turnbull, Victoria. 2017. Pandora. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Clarion Books). 32pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-5449433-7.
While I did not enjoy the story when Pandora had no friends, I liked it when she used her time to help the bird. The drawings in this book were really cute and the colors matched my feelings while I read. I want to read this story again because I was always excited to see what would happen next. (LEU)
Arnold, Marsha Diane. 2016. Waiting for snow. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH Books for Young Readers). 32pp. $14.99. ISBN 9780544416871. Illustrated by Renata Liwska.
Rabbit, Vole, Possum, Hedgehog, and Badger are the silly characters in this story. Badger had a hard time waiting for snow, but at the end, he did it! Badger and his friends tried lots of silly tricks like dancing and beating on pots to make the snow come, but they finally just had to sit and wait. They waited and waited and waited until the snow came, and I liked that they all stayed together. Then the there was snow, which was my favorite part of the story and may be yours as well. (LEU)
Manley, Curtis. 2016. The summer Nick taught his cats to read. Simon & Schuster (Paula Wiseman Books). 32pp. $17.99 ISBN 978-1-48143569-7. Illustrated by Kate Berube.
This book is funny and makes me feel like I should teach my siblings to read, too. My favorite part is when Nick found his cat Stevenson's pirate pictures, so he and his other cat, Verne, made a book for Stevenson. It was also funny when Nick woke up his cats from their nap because they made silly faces. The illustrations are really cute and other kids will like this book because it is about friendship with animals. (LEU)
McMullan, Kate. 2017. Mama’s kisses. Penguin Random House LLC (Dial Books for Young Readers). 40pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-52542832-9. Illustrated by Tao Nyeu.
Mama’s Kisses is very sweet! The mothers in this story remind me of my mom. She sings to me and my siblings, and she rocks and tickles us, too. It was really funny when the moms had to look for their babies, because they were right under their noses the whole time! Kids would really like this book, but I think our mommies would like it the most. (LEU)
Britt, Chris. 2016. The most perfect snowman. Balzer & Brag (Harper Collins). 29pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06237704-3.
In The Most Perfect Snowman there were snowmen that had everything they needed. But Drift had nothing, and it made me feel sad. Some kids gave Drift their stuff. One day Drift lost two things in a storm, then he gave the rest a cute little bunny that was cold and hungry. So Drift had nothing again, but he was the most perfect snowman because he was a good friend. That was my favorite part! (LEU)
Duvall, John. 2016. The Great Spruce. Putnam & Sons (Penguin Group USA). 30pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-39916084-4. Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon.
The Great Spruce tree in this story made a sad and lonely kid feel happy, but then some men tried to cut it down. Alec was very brave to stand right in front of the chainsaw to save the tree! He was smart, too, when he had the idea to move the tree with its roots instead of cutting it down. I didn’t know you could do that with a big tree! I learned something new about trees while reading this book, and I thought it was really cool that it was about a real story. Alec is a good person, and I think we should all try to be like him. (LEU)
Cotterill, Samantha. 2017. No more bows. Harper (Harper Collins). 38 pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06240870-9.
This book was cute, but it wasn’t my favorite. The dog’s owner made him wear lots and lots of bows, but he did not like them. He was very stubborn about wearing them, which reminded me of my little sister when she doesn’t want to wear something. He finally agreed to wear a bow that looked more boyish. I would have liked the story more if the dog was not so grumpy. (LEU)
Kwan, James. 2917. How it feels to be a boat. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 33pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-54471533-2.
How it Feels to be a Boat is a sweet story. It shows us that we need to be kind to each other or bad things could happen. In the story, when everyone starts to fight the boat crashes. They all work together to fix the boat so it can sail again, but it is still a little broken. The pictures in this book are cute and really help tell the story. After reading the book, I copied the picture of the boat, but I added my own characters. I think others should read this book because it teaches us. (LEU)
Murray, Diana. 2016. Grimelda the very messy witch. Katherine Tegen Books (Harper Collins). 31 pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06226448-0. Illustrated by Heather Ross.
My mom read this story to me and my siblings around Halloween, and we all liked it and laughed a lot. It’s not scary, just silly. I like Grimelda the witch because she is so silly not to keep her house clean. She is trying to find pickle root to use as an ingredient, and it cracked me up to think about pickles having roots! The pictures of her messy house and silly animals were by far my favorite part. I think this would be a good story for kids of all ages. (LEU)
Aronson, Deborah. Dragons from mars. Harper (HarperCollins). 27pp. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06236850-8. Illustrated by Colin Jack.
This is one of my new favorite books. I like it because the two dragons are mine and my brother’s favorite colors, so it makes me think they’re like us because they are always doing silly and crazy things together. They accidentally wreck the human’s house while playing games, but then they work together to fix it up and become friends with the humans. Then they invite other dragons from Mars to come to earth to make friends, too. I think kids should read this book because it teaches them how to make friends and be friendly. (LEU)
Atteberry, Kevan. 2016. Puddles!!!. Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins). 30pp. $14.99. ISBN 789-0-06230784-2.
This book does not have many words, so it would be good for someone that cannot read very well yet. It is about a thunderstorm coming, and the drawings tell the story more than the words. I did not like it when all the characters became really afraid of the lightning and thunder and stayed scared for a long time. It made me feel sad for them. In the end, the sun comes out and they are okay. The pictures are cute, but I wish there had been more of a story. (LEU)
Gutman, Dan. 2017. My weird school fast facts: space, humans, and farts. HarperCollins. 192pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-230627-2. Illustrated by Jim Paillot.
This book is funny and informative. It is organized very well, so it is simple to turn to a section and read some fun and sometimes funny facts about animals, famous scientists, gross stuff in science, and many other topics. It has a science joke section as well. It is easy to read and understand. We even learned that our stomachs growl because our stomach juices are churning and getting ready for food. Some other facts we learned teach us about burping and sweating. It is fun to learn why our bodies do those things. (BR)
John, Jory. The Bad Seed. 2017. HarperCollins. 32pp. $17.99 ISBN 97800062467768. Illustrated by Pete Oswald.
I read The Bad Seed. I really liked this book because it was funny. It was about a seed who lived in a city of seeds. The seed was very, very bad. He made a big decision that he was going to become good. He still didn’t change. He talked during movies and skipped in lines and he always showed up late. In the end, he became a good seed. I understand how he feels because sometimes I don’t listen and I want to do better. I would recommend this book to any reader. (BMH)
Walker, Landry Q. 2016. Star wars the force awakens: tales from a galaxy far, far away. Disney (Disney Lucas Film Press). 352pp. $12.99. ISBN 978-148474142-2. Designed by Jason P. Wojtowicz.
The author does a great job of making this story seem like a real Star Wars movie. Would recommend this book to all Star Wars fans. My favorite part is the droid battle in the first chapter because all of the different varieties of droids make the story exciting. The illustrations are top notch and I hope to see some of these characters in future Star Wars movies. (AR)