Friday, February 28, 2014

Books for Tween Girls

While I have normally steered away from YA (Young Adult) books in the past, lately I have been toying with them a bit.  Kids seem to be drawn to these more mature titles, especially with the advent of The Twilight Series and The Hunger Games and parents are feeling more restless about these books.  They wonder if the messages and images are too mature for the elementary school crowd.

Therefore, I have decided to put my big toe in the water and start getting a better handle on these titles.  I am finding that much of a parent's willingness to have their kids read these books has to do with their comfort level around sex, violence and foul language.  However, I would argue that while these are the points of discomfort for parents, the real issue is that these books often times deal with emotional issues which may be out of the realm of a child's experience level, so they are not able to enjoy and understand the book in the way the author intended.

I will continue to look for those crossover books that challenge a child while still maintaining some appropriateness for their age level.  However, please don't think your child has to read up to become a proficient reader.  So many of the books that are written to their level are fun and engaging and they foster a sense of solid accomplishment.  In the end it is about their loving to read, not their mastering a more complex text.  That will come if they love books .... I promise.  No really, I do.

The book I am profiling today was published almost ten years ago, but it is a gem.  Thankfully I believe that kids will be completely caught up in the story and parents will appreciate the message.

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Title:       Uglies

Author:   Scott Westerfeld

Target:    Grades 6 and up

Series:     Yes

What this book is about: 
Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen.  This is when all children get the operation that turns their normal, genetically given looks into the perfect body and face type that science considers the most desirable.  Until then they are relegated to being Uglies.  However, when Tally’s friend isn’t sure she wants the operation and runs away, Tally learns that her society is not as perfect as it first appears.  Tally is faced with a difficult choice.  The authorities tell her she must find her friend and turn her in, or remain ugly forever.

Why I love this book: 
This book was published before dystopian literature became all the rage and yet it feels fresh and current.  While many of the books in this genre feel like versions of the same story, this one actually seemed to be based on social commentary.  It questions how we view beauty in a society and whether beauty is biological or social, or maybe a little of both.

I like my female characters with a little spunk, and thankfully Tally has a rebel streak in her that makes her feel more daring and adventurous.  Despite her desire to be a Pretty, she isn’t a one dimensional character and is driven by her strengths.  There is both an abundance of action and thought provoking ideas in this book.

Who this book is for: 
While there is a romance, it is quite innocent and the violence is minimal.  This book is quite appropriate for the middle school crowd.

Final thoughts: 
What really makes someone pretty and is it the same for everyone?  Read the book and then decide.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Uglies (The Uglies)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book to Read After Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Thursday is when I profile a great graphic novel or nonfiction book.  The book I chose today isn't exactly a graphic novel, but it is close enough.  Let's call it an illustrated novel or a story with pictures.  As the lines keep blurring so too do my descriptions!

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Title:       Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic

Author:   Mark Tatulli

Target:    Grades 2-6

Series:     This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
Desmond loves scary things, well I should say creating scary things.  He is a special effects prodigy, who started out innocently enough frightening his family.  But when he starts creating his masterpieces at school, trouble follows.  The head of discipline at his middle school decides it is time to get Desmond transferred, and Desmond has three chances to change his monster scaring ways.  Is a total transformation possible?

Why I love this book:
There are several laugh out loud moments in this book and it is a fun story about being true to yourself.  The illustrations are well done and add a lot.  I liked Desmond from the start and there is something to be said for following your passion.

Who this book is for: 
This is a great “next read” for kids who love Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Big Nate.  They will very much enjoy the story and the reading experience is similar.

Final thoughts:
Cute start to a new series.  Mark Tatulli is another cartoonist who had made the leap into kids lit with an interesting new character.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic  A portion of each purchase goes back to this blog at no cost to you.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wonderful International Picture Book

Today I am going international on you.  Yes, the author of this book is a graphic designer from Japan and his artwork is striking and absolutely delightful.  This is a lovely, straightforward story that provides humor and visuals that will impress.

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Title:       The Tiny King

Author:   Taro Miura

Target:    Preschool - Kindergarten

What this book is about: 
A tiny king lives in a kingdom full of riches, but everything is too big for him - his bed, his bath and even his castle.  One day he meets a big princess who agrees to be his queen and they start a family.  Suddenly everything is the right size as he has a family to share it with.

Why I love this book:
First off the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous.  They are bold, colorful and deceiving in their simplicity.  Offset by a black background when the king is alone and vibrant colors when he gets a family, simply adds to the charm of the book.

I love that the message about riches alone not leading to a full life is simple and not preachy in the slightest.  The best part of this book is the humor present throughout.  My daughter and I giggled our way through it and it wasn’t until further reflection that I thought about the greater message the author was able to convey.

Who this book is for:
This is a fun book for all kids.

Final thoughts:
Don’t miss the humor on the front cover.  Tucked into the lower left size is the phrase, “This is the actual size of the Tiny King.”

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Tiny King  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

An Early Reader That Gets Kids Laughing

Well the books were debated, the gauntlet laid down and the votes tallied in the Cybils Early Reader Awards, where I was a finalist judge (in case you missed those posts.)  While Urgency Emergency emerged as the victor of our highest honor we were actually spoiled with a wealth of riches in a pool of finalists.  Today I wanted to share a little more of one of my favorite early readers which may not have won the prize, but will certainly be a winner as far as kids are concerned.

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Title:       Joe and Sparky Go to School

Author:   Jamie Michalak

Target:    Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series:     Yes

What this book is about: 
Joe the giraffe and his sidekick Sparky the turtle reside in a cageless zoo.  After accidentally stowing away on a field trip bus which has toured the park, Joe and Sparky find themselves as students at the local school.  When they eat the peas they are supposed to count and gasp at the pond that disappears in the bathroom (ok, it's a flushing toilet), they discover school may not be the place for them … but they will always be good friends.

Why I love this book: 
There are some serious giggle inducing moments in this latest adventure of Joe and Sparky.  The story and humor in this book are 100% kid friendly.  It has some Amelia Bedelia moments, like when the teacher tells them to paint something they love and Joe literally paints Sparky.  Kids will appreciate that.

Who this book is for: 
This is an early chapter book with a few sentences and graphics on every page.  The story has enough substance for four distinct chapters which each revolve around a specific adventure during their day.  Every kid I have given this book to has loved it and laughed.  How can you resist that?

Final thoughts: 
This is a fun, clever book for kids starting chapter books.  Joe and Sparky is long enough to give kids a solid feeling of accomplishment without making them feel overwhelmed.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Joe and Sparky Go to School  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Monday, February 24, 2014

What to Read If Your Child Loved Maze Runner

James Dashner is very well know for his Maze Runner series, which I highly recommend.  In his new venture, he is moving away from dystopian fantasy, and heading into the virtual world.   This is a trend which is picking up steam, so expect more of these computer game focused books in the future.

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Title:       The Eye of Minds

Author:   James Dashner

Target:    Grade 6 and up

Series:     This is the first book in a planned trilogy

What this book is about:
Michael spends almost all his free time in the virtual world of Lifeblood Deep.  He is hooked up to sensors that allow players to experience the full range of physical sensations.   However, when people start getting killed in real life through the game, one player is to blame, but no one can find him.  Michael and his friends are some of the best hackers around, and the government wants to use them to track down this dangerous gamer.  Michael and his friends will have to go off the grid, and that is where the lines between real life and the game start getting blurred.

Why I love this book:
I really enjoyed Dashner’s other series, Maze Runner so I was looking forward to this book.  While it didn’t get off to quite the start that Maze Runner did, by the second half of the book I was completely hooked.  I would say that the story really gets going when Michael and his friends start their search for Kaine, the evil gamer.  

This is the third book I have read in the last couple weeks that explores the concept of virtual worlds and I find the trend fascinating.  Without a doubt this book was the most action packed and it provided the best twist at the end, but I also quite enjoyed Bubble World, which looked at the social and emotional life of kids in virtual games.

While this book was the start of a trilogy and left me with many unanswered questions, it actually did have an ending that didn’t leave me hanging, which I appreciated.  I hate books that leave you at the tip of the precipice.  

Who this book is for:
I have listed it for grade 6 and up because of some of the violence.  This book is for computer loving kids who like their stories with lots of action.  I have yet to find a sixth grade boy who has not devoured this story.

Final thoughts:
I am still not completely clear on the title of the book … but perhaps all will be explained in time!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Eye of Minds (The Mortality Doctrine)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Cybils Winners Are Here!

I am so thrilled to announce that winners of the Cybils have been selected!  For those of you not familiar with the Cybils, they are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards.  The goal of the award is to select books that combine high literary merit and kid appeal.  These books are fun and good for ya!

I was fortunate enough to be one of the finalist judges for Early Readers and Early Chapter Books, so we got to pick two winners.  How about that for lucky?  And without further ado, the winners are:

Early Reader Winner

It’s a busy day at City Hospital where Doctor Glenda, and Nurse Percy have their hands filled assisting a little girl in a red coat who had lost her grandmother.  The excitement of the day only increases when Pengamedics wheel in a choking wolf.  Can Nurse Percy put aside his fears of wolves in order to assist Doctor Glenda? And what is that thing or is it a someone stuck in the wolf’s throat? With dogged determination, Doctor Glenda and her team work to save the choking wolf and rescue whoever is stuck.   

Dosh Archer brings a new twist to a classic favorite in Urgency Emergency! Big Bad Wolf.  With laugh out loud text, Archer delivers up a fast paced adventure that will delight both beginning readers and the adults who read alongside them. Though the text is accessible to developing readers, children will discover some new connections with multiple read throughs with this book.  In the end, Archer provides children with an opportunity to celebrate alongside Doctor Glenda and her team for a job well done.

Early Chapter Book Winner

Liam Finn and his sister just moved into the old Cropsey house. Their father has transplanted his family from Hopeville to Upstate New York. Liam and Kelley are both opposed to the move, but since the death of their mother eighteen months earlier the family is struggling to survive. Upon moving into the house, Liam begins to hear strange noises and even receives a threatening message in a mirror.  When Kelley’s friend, Mitali, comes for a visit and summons “Bloody Mary”, the tale quickly escalates to a spine-tingling conclusion.

Preller takes an urban myth and creates an enjoyable little tale of horror that will appeal to the lower grade students. Bruno’s illustrations insert an appropriate amount of creepiness that adds to the ambiance of the tale.  Younger readers will appreciate this scary tale without the graphic and gory details of older horror reads.  This little page turner could become a camp fire classic!

Please visit the Cybils website to see the winners in all 11 categories, which include Book Apps, Graphic Novels and Middle Grade Fiction.  No matter who you are searching for, this site will have a thoughtful recommendation that will appeal to kids.

I also want to share the websites of the other judges in this process.  Many are bloggers I respect and have enjoyed following.  Perhaps you will find another favorite in this group of lovely ladies (and one dapper gentleman.)

Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes
Sara Brown, Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms
Alyson Beecher, Kid Lit Frenzy
Nicole Barnes, Daydream Reader

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Baby-Sitters Club is a Graphic Novel

Graphic novel Thursday is in full swing this week.  Today I am looking at a remake of a classic from my childhood ... The Babysitter's Club.  Scholastic hired the very talented Raina Telgemeier, author of Smile, to adapt these books into a graphic novel format.  She has been able to modernize these stories, without loosing the heart of the series.  I just hope they get her to do more than four!

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Title:             The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day

Author:        Ann M. Martin

Adapted by: Raina Telgemeier

Target:          Grades 3-6

Series:           Yes

What this book is about: 
In this particular installment, the girls in the Baby-Sitter Club get into a huge fight.  Mary Anne is left to figure out how to make new friends, deal with her overprotective father and solve a babysitting crisis.  Can the girls make up and can the club survive if they don’t?  I hate to give it away, but it all works out.  Why leave you hanging?  It just seemed cruel.

Why I love this book: 
I remember this series from when I was young.  Teaming up with the very talented Raina Telgemeier, the author of Smile, was a brilliant stroke by Scholastic.  She is able to modernize and update these treasured stories from our youth so that our daughters actually want to read them.

Raina’s illustrations are always spot on and they bring so much to the stories.  These are a fun read even twenty years later.

Who this book is for: 
Girls who realistic fiction will enjoy these.  I think most girls will still warm to these close knit friends.

Final thoughts: 
These are cute graphic novels that breath a renewed life into the series.  Could Sweet Valley High be next?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves The Day (BSC Graphix)  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

President's Day Picture Books for Kids

With President's Day right around the corner it is time to bring out books about Presidents #3 and #16.  Ok, don't look down ... can you tell me which they were?  If you guessed Adams and Jackson you are soooo wrong, try again.  Yes, of course, it was Jefferson and Lincoln.

Now why have I picked these two out of the forty four possible candidates?  Well the extraordinarily talented Maira Kalman has chosen to write children's books about these two and where Kalman goes, I too shall follow.  What can I say?  I like talent.

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Title:       Thomas Jefferson:Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

Author:   Maira Kalman

Target:    Grades 1-4

What this book is about: 
This book is filled with tidbits and big bits about the man who was our third president.  Kalman shares with us his interest in everything, his writings (yes there is that big one,) accomplishments as President, and his estate, Monticello.  She does not shy away from his use of slaves or his relationship with Sally Hemings, but they are all deftly handled as part of the whole man - “Optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous.”

Why I love this book: 
Well I have to come clean.  I am a devotee of Kalman, I think her artwork is brilliant.  I am also an alumni of the University of Virginia, founded by none other than Thomas Jefferson, so this book was going to interest me no matter what.

Kalman writes her children’s books much like her adult fare.  It is simple and straightforward with a liberal use of commentary that shows her sense of humor.  She is also careful in her word choices as she challenges kids and adults to understand the importance of certain words to her understanding of the subject matter.

Who this book is for:
This book is a little much for the youngest of kids.  There is just too much content here to keep their attention.  Older children will be able to keep up with the story and have a better understanding of the man.

Final thoughts: 
I do wonder why Jefferson never included President as part of his epitaph.  Could it be that he considered so many other things as more important accomplishments?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:         Looking at Lincoln
Author:     Maira Kalman
Target:      Kindergarten and up
What this book is about:
A young girl goes on a journey to find out more about Abraham Lincoln.  Along the way she discovers he likes vanilla cake and tall hats where he can put his notes.  She also learns about his beliefs in freedom, his encounters with Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglas, and the terrible cost of war.  Finally she learns that “a great man is never really gone.”
Why I love it:
Ok, the end of this picture book made me cry, but in a wonderful way, and if you have ever been to the Lincoln Memorial and been awed by that statue, yo
u too will tear up  I am afraid.  If you have ever read my blog you will know that I am a devotee of Maira Kalman and this book is another beautiful work by her.  It interweaves whimsy with history and poignancy in a way that no other book on the subject has done.
Who this book is for:
All children will find something to like in this book, and it doesn’t feel like a history lesson, although it is.
Final thoughts:
There is a reason that there are 16,000 books written about Lincoln.  He is a man worth knowing about.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Looking at LincolnA portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Award Winning Early Reader

Today I get to profile the latest Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) award winner!  This prize is awarded, along with the Newbery and Caldecott, for the most distinguished American book for early readers.  While not as well known, it is a wonderful resource for some great books for budding readers.

The award has been dominated in the past by Mo Willems and his Elephant and Piggie books, but his books are so darn clever, he really deserves every award.  This year his latest Elephant and Piggie won an honor but not the big prize.  That went to a first time author and it is always fun to see new up and comers in this category.  Hope this is not the last we see of Greg Pizzoli.

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Title:       The Watermelon Seed

Author:   Greg Pizzoli

Target:    Preschool - Grade 1

Theodore Geisel Award Winner

What this book is about: 
This book is about a fear that every child has had at least once in their lives - what happens if you swallow a watermelon seed?  Well crocodile is no different from any young kid.   Will a plant grow in his stomach?  Will vines come out of his ears?  Will he be the stuff of fruit salads?  With one well timed burp the seed is expelled along with his fears, but will he be able to resist the delicious fruit that comes with such risks?  Me thinks not!

Why I love this book:
Clever, clever story on something every child has considered at least once.  The bold and retro feel of the green and pink illustrations just jump off the page as their simplicity mirrors the true simplicity of this very frightful issue.

I have to admit that I always considered this a picture book, but it just won the award for the most distinguished early reader.  So I guess you can consider this a crossover story that works as both a read aloud and as a read to yourself.  Even better, get the older one to read it to their younger sibling!  Two for the price of one.

Who this book is for: 
If children are going to read this on their own they have to be comfortable with multi syllable words.  If you are reading it to a child, I think most kids will really get a kick out of this story.

Final thoughts: 
Will seedless watermelon make this book irrelevant?  Perhaps he should have used a lemon.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Watermelon Seed  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Book All Kids Can Enjoy

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I would share a fun book that focuses on matters of the heart.  But don't worry, you know I wouldn't throw anything too sappy at you.  In this fun story, kids are trying to figure out the whole dating thing, and how to avoid a visit from the Heartbreak Messenger, a person hired by their significant other to break up with them.

Don't forget to follow One Great Book on Twitter for all the updates on books that encourage kids to wait a little while before they start dating.  Now isn't that something you want to encourage?

Title:       The Heartbreak Messenger

Author:   Alexander Vance

Target:    Grade 5-7

Series:     No

What this book is about:
Quentin is in seventh grade and isn’t even thinking about a girlfriend.  But when his friend’s high school brother needs to break up with a girl, Quentin offers to do it for him, for a fee of course.  The next thing Quentin knows he is in high demand and he has become the Heartbreak Messenger.  It proves to be a dangerous business but he has a talent for it and his family needs the money so he keeps it up.  But he finds over time he isn’t feeling so good about himself anymore.

Why I love this book:
This was a nice story.  Quentin is a good kid and I really liked the relationship he had with his mom.  I think the message of the book is solid - that in a good relationship there must be trust and understanding.  I also liked that he struggled with his feelings for one of his female best friends and in the end decides that he is a little too young to date yet.

Of course the humor in the book lies with his breakup jobs.  Comforting a tougher than nails football player, searching the garbage filled sewer for a high school ring that was flung there in anger and delivering the message to the wrong Susan, who knew there were two at the same address, all add to the fun.

Who this book is for:
Nice book for sixth and seventh graders who are beginning to navigate the whole dating scene.  This book works for both boys and girls

Final thoughts:
Please don’t shoot the messenger!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Heartbreak Messenger  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Great Historical Fiction for Kids

For retro Friday I am sharing a book that won a Newbery Honor in 2011.  It isn't one I hear about that often, and that is a shame.  Margi Preus is a brilliant author and the way she makes history personal for kids will draw them into her stories immediately.

My middle son, who is somewhat of a particular reader (ok ... picky, I was trying to be nice) was hooked on this story by the second chapter and didn't put it down until he was done.  Do you really need more convincing than that?

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Title:       Heart of a Samurai

Author:   Margi Preus

Target:    Grades 4-8

Series:     No

Newbery Honor Book

What this book is about:
Inspired by a true story, this book is about Manjiro, a fourteen year old fisherman from Japan.  He and his compatriots are stranded on a desert island after a storm.  The problem is that the year is 1841 and Japan is closed off from all contact with the rest of the world.  When an American whaling ship saves them, they are confronted with people and customs of which they have no knowledge.  Manjiro eagerly tries to learn this new culture, but even with all the new opportunities, he longs for his home.

Why I love this book:
Margi Preus writes wonderful historical fiction.  She manages to take a place and time which captures our attention and craft a story that is compelling in it’s setting.  By bringing this story to America she is able to show kids that even during the gold rush, Japan was a country completely isolated.  She even teaches kids about whaling!

I also love that her stories, while fiction, are based on real people and events.  The idea that most of what is shared in the story actually happened makes it even more compelling.  In the back of the book she shares information on the actual Manjiro and lets the reader know where she took liberties.  This story had both myself and my sons hooked from the very start.

Who this book is for:
Kids who like adventure stories will love this.  I also have to recommend her other book,  Shadow on the Mountain which my family devoured.

Final thoughts:
I really can’t wait for her next book.  Once again it is set in Norway - but I'm not biased, oh no.  I mean a book about the land of my forefathers is no reason for me to jump for joy - no not me.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Heart of a Samurai  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Great Non Fiction Book for Kids

Ok, here I go again with a nonfiction book on Thursday and a picture book at that.  Is there no end to the crazy smattering of titles I am willing to put out there?  Well, no, not if they are this good.

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Title:       That’s A Possibility!

Author:   Burce Goldstone

Target:    Grades 1-4

What this book is about: 
As the cover says, this is a book about what might happen.  This introduces kids to the math topic of probability.  The book is set in a question and answer format with colorful and visually appealing photographs.  It covers topics such as certainty, likelihood, impossibility and odds.  It asks kids what types of animals could possibly hatch from a set of eggs or even the greatest possibility of certain numbers when two dice are rolled.  Vegas, here they come!

Why I love this book:
My daughter is not a math kid, but she still got completely caught up in the questions.  Because the book is fun to look at and interactive, it engaged her immediately.  The layout makes the questions easy to understand and we had a wonderful time going through it together - something I do not often say about me, my daughter and math.

Who this book is for:
This book will be engaging for most kids.  Nice way to make math fun.  I would, however, recommend reading this book with your child.

Final thoughts:
Is it probable that your child will enjoy this book?  Oh that’s an easy one … yes!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: That's a Possibility!: A Book About What Might Happen  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Best Valentine's Day Picture Books

Valentine's Day is coming.  Oh joy - what love.  Being that I am not a fan of the particularly mushy books written for children, this holiday is always a bit of a challenge for me book wise.  Sentimental done well is never easy, but I hope these books will show you how a sweet moment, tied in with some smart humor can make a winning combination.  These are the books I will be reading with my kids.

Oh, and a nice way to remind your kids how sweet books can be is to include one along with the candy on Valentine's Day.  They need somewhere to put their chocolate fingerprints so you can remember how young they once were.

Don't forget to Like One Great Book on Facebook and Twitter for none of the heart wrenching, tear inducing, cute little kitten books that will induce a gag reflex.  Yep, I really don't like those books.

Title:       Love Monster

Author:   Rachel Bright

Target:    Preschool - Grade 1

What this book is about: 
What do you do if you a monster in a world full of cute kittens, puppies and bunnies?  Why find someone to love you just the way you are of course.  What do you do if you look high and low (and even in the middle) and still don’t find someone?  Why keep looking of course.  What do you do if you have been looking and looking and have lost your oomph?  Why sometimes love comes when you least expect it.

Why I love this book:
The tone of this book is just delightful.  Monster’s tenacity and goggly eyes are just irresistible.  I also love the message that the best things come when you are not always looking for them - they can surprise you.

The one problem I have with the book is that monster is just too darn cute.  Rachel Bright wants us to believe that he can’t find love in a world of adorable fuzzy animals, but monster is pretty charming if you ask me.

Who this book is for:
My daughter and I had a fun, giggly time with this story.  I think most kids will like it, and while sentimental in parts, it is not too mushy for boys.

Final thoughts:
I am loving the back of the book which is literally the back of the monster - get it!

To Purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Love Monster  A portion of each purchase will go back to this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever

Author:    Brenda A. Ferber

Target:     Preschool - Grade 3

What this book is about:
Leon has a very big crush on Zoe Maloney.  When he tries to make her a Valentine proclaiming his love, that Valentine runs away - aghast that Leon would tell Zoe that he loves her!  Our Valentine thinks it is mushy, gross and just plain YUCKY!  As Leon chases his Valentine down the road, our renegade heart is chanting “Love is yucky.  Stinky too.  It will turn your brain to goo!”  After several fun encounters during the chase, Leon runs into Zoe.  Will love prevail?

Why I love this book:
This is such an entertaining book for kids who on the one hand like the idea of love on Valentine’s Day, but on the other hand are completely embarrassed and disgusted by it.  It is funny, right on point, and of course the ending doesn’t disappoint.  

I dare kids not to laugh, and get completely caught up in the fabulous illustrations by Tedd Arnold.  They are bold, colorful and perfectly expressive.

Who this book is for:
Great for all kids and it would make a great read aloud for Valentines Day!

Final thoughts:
”Love is yummy,  Love’s divine.  Won’t you be my Valentine?”

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Title:       Plant a Kiss

Author:   Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Target:    Preschool - Kindergarten

What this book is about:
Little Miss plants a kiss - sunshine, water, greet, repeat!  From that kiss grows something lovely.  Others don’t want her to share for fear it’s far too rare and it will go bare.  But Little Miss is not afraid and when all the blooms from the plant are distributed, she finds that it has grown far beyond her expectations!

Why I love this book:
Ok, this is my one sappy book for the year.  Generally I am not fond of the sentimental titles but this one was cute enough to recommend.  The glitter on each page is a magical touch and it is such a sweet message that love shared grows bigger.

Who this book is for:
For any parent/child who enjoys a winsome, endearing story.

Final thoughts:
This book is short and sparkly!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Plant a Kiss  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bean Dog and Nugget is a Funny Early Reader

Here I go again, giving you a graphic novel for an early reader.  But this one is sooooo funny, you wouldn't want to miss it .... would you?  This is a critical time to get kids excited about books and have them think of themselves as readers.  Why not give them a book where the chuckles abound!

Don't forget to Like One Great Book on Facebook or Twitter for all the early readers that will have your kids guffawing with delight.

Title:       Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball

Author:   Charise Mericle Harper

Target:     Kindergarten - Grade 3

Series:     Yes

What this book is about: 
Bean Dog and Nugget are friends  Bean Dog is having a little trouble sharing a ball, but when he finally decides to throw it to Nugget, it lands in an evil bush.  The two have to figure out how to get it out and they are not always on the same page, But really the fun of a friend is figuring it out together!

Why I love this book: 
Ok, I am going to start with the problems in this book, but fear not and keep reading.  The pictures in this story are a little too simplistic and the action sequences are a little slow, but the dialogue is priceless.  The camaraderie between these two friends is a little like a sarcastic Elephant and Piggie.  They bicker, they negotiate, they come together - just like our kids, only funnier.  

Who this book is for:
It is a graphic novel, so it goes without saying (but here I am saying it) that there are pictures on every page.  Vocabulary is not difficult so early readers should feel confident.  

Final thoughts: 
There are parts of this book that make me laugh no matter how many times I read through this story.  The whole sequence of “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” is just genius.

To Purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Bean Dog and Nugget: The Ball  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.