Sunday, July 17, 2016

We've moved

One Great Book is no longer on Blog Spot

We can officially be found at

You can still use this site to access my past blogs, but all my new books are at my official address.  In a few weeks all my old posts will have moved over so update your bookmarks.  You don't want to miss any of the great  books I am about to profile because ... they're good!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Delightful Early Chapter Book

I had a chance to look at one of Cornilia Funke's early chapter books recently.  I love her middle grade fiction, so it was nice to see what she is doing for the younger crowd.

This book reminded me of something I would have read as a child, but thankfully it never fell into the trap of feeling old fashioned.  However, that said, it is probably not a book I would pick for kids who like lots of action or their humor on the more explicit side.  It is a quieter funny book, so kids who appreciate that will be drawn to this story.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single any early chapter books with pirates, pigs and buried treasure.  Ahoy me mateys!

Title: The Pirate Pig

Author: Cornelia Funke

Target: Grades 1-3

Series: Funke has a series of early chapter books but each story is independent.

What this book is about: 
Stout Sam and Pip live on Butterfly island where they run a transport service.  They are very content with their lives.  One day they come upon a pig, to whom they immediately become attached.  It turns out she is Pirate Pig that can sniff out treasure on the high seas.  Sam and Pip have no need of treasure but they love their pig.  When Barracuda Bill, the meanest and greediest pirate around, hears of this pig, he steals it and takes it off to his ship.  Now Sam and Pip will have to stage a rescue to get their beloved friend back.

Why I love this book:  
This book was delightful.  I picked it up because I like Cornelia Funke and I was not disappointed.  Sam and Pip are true of heart and they value their friend more than any treasure he can sniff out for them.  A lovely message that never got sappy in the least.  I am not a fan of sappy.

The illustrations kept this book lively and added to the humor of the story.  The book is full of suspense, but it never gets scary.  There is plenty of innocent excitement and laughs which could have felt dated, but thankfully never did.

Who this book is for: 
This book is lovely for independent readers who still need larger text and pictures.  It is a quieter type of funny, so kids who are drawn to that will enjoy this story.

Final thoughts: 
The translation from German was well done.  Sometimes books can feel a little off, but this one was spot on!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Pirate Pig.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Funny Early Chapter Book

I love to find great early reader chapter books.  Kids are getting excited about their new skill and when they can practice on stories that entertain and delight, it just leaves them with a wonderful impression about books.  That always puts a smile on my face.

The book I am profiling today is both fun and funny.  As a graphic novel, it doesn't intimidate new readers because they aren't overwhelmed by text and they have illustrations to help them decipher more difficult words.  Oh, I wish they were all this good.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss a single story that reads like a comedy act and keeps your kids coming back for more.

Title: Haggis and Tank Unleashed: All Paws on Deck

Author: Jessica Young

Target: Grade 1-4

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
In this graphic novel, the inventive dog Tank gets a very bored dog Haggis to embark on an imaginative pirate adventure across the high seas.  They get seasick, look for buried treasure and even encounter a sea serpent before they are returned home to their full bowls of dog food!

Why I love this book:
  • The author uses plenty of homonyms like “sale” and “sail” or “aye”, “I” and “eye” in amusing ways to keep kids thoroughly entertained and laughing.  Some of the passages read like the old Abbot and Costello bit “Who’s on First”.  
  • The graphics are delightful.  Full color panels and with plenty of action make the pages very inviting.  However, the illustrator is from one of my favorite graphic novel series Bird and Squirrel, so I am not surprised.
  • With humor, word play and fun characters this book is delightful and engaging for early chapter book readers.  Parents won’t even mind joining in.

Who this book is for: 
Great for kids who are ready for chapter books.  The plentiful illustrations and text bubbles make challenging vocabulary more accessible.

Final thoughts: 
Love this new series!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Haggis and Tank Unleashed.  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Books for Soccer Crazed Girls

If you have a soccer crazed girl, as I do, I wanted to share some books that I have recently enjoyed with my daughter.  To purchase any of the books simply click on the picture which will take you to Amazon.  A portion of each purchase will go back to this blog at no cost to you.

For Soccer-Crazy Girls Only by Erin Downing

My daughter took this book straight to her room when I brought it home.  It really covers everything from warm ups to nutrition, practice to great players and even hairstyles.  I thought it was extremely motivating for her.  It had her thinking about strategies and even gave her the incentive to practice more at home.  The layout makes it a fun, easy read and it is a must have if your daughter dreams of being on the National Team one day!

The U.S. Women's Soccer Team Road to Glory: American Heroes by Noah Davis and Rick Leddy 

This book is a wonderful look at women's soccer, from the team's origin, to it's record breaking victory at the last World Cup. Girls will learn about the women who came before them who built the team and the program, and they will find out more about their favorite players.  I do wish the book read a little more like a story than a history lesson, but it is a fair account of both the victories and the setbacks the women encountered.  Girls will have a renewed appreciation for how far the women have come after reading this book.

Saving the Team (The Kicks) by Alex Morgan 

Despite the fact that these books are a little young for my daughter now, she still devours every one.  They are written by Alex Morgan and profile a team of soccer girls.  Having been on a team for so long, my daughter can relate to so many of the stories and relishes how the girls handle the interactions.  She has also taken some good soccer pointers from the stories - an added bonus.

Breakaway: Beyond the Goal by Alex Morgan

My daughter read this one in one day.  She is a huge fan of Alex Morgan so this book was right up her alley.  A biography of her career in soccer, it is full of inspiration and advice for girls.  While my daughter really enjoyed the book, she did wish that Alex had bigger challenges to overcome.  She felt that Alex, while an incredibly hard working and dedicated soccer player, also had a bit of a charmed life.


Friday, July 1, 2016

A Picture Book to Stop Summer Boredom

I usually use Friday to bring out a book I have profiled in the past that is still fun and relevant for your kids.  But this week I had so many picture books in the pipeline, that I decided to devote Friday to another picture book that I absolutely adored.

The author/illustrator Jonathan Fenske has popped up on my radar twice with his early readers when I was a judge for the Cybils.  His work, in my opinion, just keeps getting better and better.  If you are in the market for an early reader please check out his sentimental Love Is in the Air and his wickedly funny A Pig, a Fox, and a Box which I had too much fun reading with a group of First Graders recently!

Don't forget to follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and by email for great picture books.  I want to remind you that no child was bored in the reading of this story.

Title: Barnacle Is Bored

Author: Jonathan Fenske

Target: Preschool - Grade 2

What this book is about: 
Barnacle lives under the pier and he is bored with a capital B!  How much fun can you have when the tide just comes in and out and the sun just goes up and down? I mean wouldn’t it be better to be a fish who can hang with the other sea creatures, frolicking the day away?  Well, Barnacle feels that way too until the fish gets eaten! You better believe Barnacle is no longer bored and perhaps even relieved with his lot in life!

Why I love this book:
  • I love the illustrations in this book!  The color, the simplicity and the expressions are all so compelling.  My favorite page is after the fish gets eaten and Barnacle suddenly realizes that perhaps things aren’t as bad as he thought they were. No words, just a priceless look from Barnacle that says it all.
  • The message in this book is timely.  We are bombarded with images that life for others is so much better than our own.  What a lovely way to remind kids that every person has his/her challenges, despite how things may initially appear.
  • This author just keeps getting better and better.  I have judged two of his early readers for the Cybils awards and his latest effort, A Pig, a Fox, and a Box was brilliantly funny.  This picture  book just shows his growth as he refines his messages into crisp, humorous and compelling narratives for kids.

Who this book is for: 
Kids who like their funny with a little irony and sarcasm will certainly love this book.  Adults will be willing to endure repeat readings with ease.

Final thoughts: 
I can’t wait to see this author’s next creation!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Barnacle Is Bored.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Caldecott Contender

I have a dismal track record of picking Caldecott winners, the Oscars for Picture Books.  Now the Newbery is a different story, but the Caldecott just shows me no mercy.  So while I will tell you that the book I am profiling today should probably be on the Caldecott short list, don't hold your breath.  My track record speaks for itself.

However, if you want a book that absolutely touched me in both a sentimental and a humorous way, then this is the one.  If those judges don't at least give it serious consideration, well that's on them.  Although now that picture books are winning Newbery awards, perhaps this one has a better shot  at some hardware than I thought.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss my own personal picks for award winners.  I have included an interview on the Daily Show with the author which I absolutely loved!

Title: Thunder Boy Jr.

Author: Sherman Alexie

Target: Preschool - Grade 3

What this book is about: 
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad.  His dad is Big Thunder and he is Little Thunder.  But Little Thunder has a secret ….. he hates his name!  He attempts to come up with new names that represent the things that he has accomplished in his life such a touching the nose of a wild orca or climbing mountains.  But he has no idea how to broach the subject with his dad.  As luck would have it, his dad comes up with a new name for Little Thunder that is more than perfect, proving this father/son duo will “light up the sky.”

Why I love this book:
  • I was a child of the ’60/‘70s in California with a name that represented my Norwegian heritage.  It was a name that NO ONE had heard of, I felt I had no connection to and I hated it.  But you don’t have to be named Freya or Little Thunder to come to the conclusion that there are times growing up that you will hate your name or the responsibly of a family name.  Alexie Sherman has taped into this universal truth and given kids a voice when they are fed up with the poor decisions their parents have saddled them with.  (For the record I now love my name, although still few people have heard of it.)
  • I love the imagery in this book.  As Little Thunder tries to come up with new names, his accomplishments, wishes and personality are revealed with humor and a sense of delight.
  • When his dad comes up with a new name for Little Thunder my favorite line in the book is revealed “My dad read my heart!”  I know, I know, I hate touchy feely stuff but what a gift when someone can read your heart!  Love it!
  • This book is funny.  While touching and sentimental, this book never loses its sense of humor and that is what nailed it as a must read for me.

Who this book is for: 
Great for all kids.  Wonderful way to show Native Americans in a contemporary light.

Final thoughts: 
I have not touched on the illustrations by YuYi Morales.  I was not initially drawn to them, but after reading the book several times, I couldn’t imagine a more vibrant and expressive artist to make this story come to life.  She is constantly playing with perspective, shape and color and her work is striking.  These illustrations definitely grew on me.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Thunder Boy Jr.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fabulous Picture Book for Kids

Let us not forget the picture book this summer!  My "big kids" still pull picture books down from the shelf to peruse and frankly, I think they get the humor on a whole new level now.

I just love it when I find a picture book that makes me giggle and that I am willing to read numerous times.  Today I have just such a book!

Now for your summer reading tip!  Get all the kids involved.  Why not have the older kids read to the younger ones?  Or you can share the duties in the story, giving your older kids the pages or parts they feel the confident presenting.  Your older kids will feel responsible, they get to practice their reading and they strengthen that sibling bond ... that is until the next disagreement!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or by email so that you don't miss any picture books that you are willing to read until the cows come home! Yep, that's quite a few times.

Title: We Forgot Brock!

Author: Carter Goodrick

Target: Preschool - Grade 1

What this book is about: 
Phillip has a best friend Brock.  Oddly enough, no one else seems to be able to see Brock.  When the family goes to the Big Fair, Phillip falls asleep after a long day and Brock does not come home with them … he is lost!  While Phillip is searching frantically for Brock, Brock has met up with a lovely girl Anne and her “best friend” Princess Sparkle Dust.  They keep him company until Phillip and Brock are reunited and the whole gang become the best of friends.

Why I love this book:
  • Ok, I have had this aversion to the firestorm of books about imaginary friends.  Seems like they are cropping up at a pace equivalent to whack a mole!  So I had little hope for this story, until I read it!  Kids do not need to have an imaginary friend to appreciate the humor and silliness of this book, which is present in spades.
  • The artwork is ideal.  Imaginary friends are drawn as childish versions of illustrations, but their expressions are perfect.  That the author has chosen to represent Brock as a full out pirate/gearhead with a pencil thin mustache is just hysterical.
  • The fact that Phillip is incredulous that his parents can’t see Brock is just perfect.   How those adults can’t see the obvious is beyond me.
Who this book is for: 
Great for kids who like The Adventures of Beekle or frankly any child who likes to laugh.  No imaginary friend required.

Final thoughts: 
Loved this book.  It is a real gem.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: We Forgot Brock!  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.