Saturday, February 26, 2011

Big Bouffant by Kate Bosford

This book begs to be read aloud! Annabelle is a girl who wants to be an individual and not look like all the other girls with their ponytails and braids. After seeing a picture of her grandma with a bouffant she decides that's what she needs. After not succeeding in making one herself her mom agrees to help. Reminiscent of Munsch's Stephanie's Ponytail in story this one will also connect with young girls and inspire them to be be creative. The pictures are adorable. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Carolrhoda Books via Negalley. Big Bouffant will be published April 2011.
To see a book trailer on you-tube click here.
Big Bouffant (Carolrhoda Picture Books)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Unicorn's Tale by R. L. LaFevers

The Unicorn's Tale is Book 4 in the series Nathaniel Fludd : Beastologist.  Nate and his aunt Phil are summoned to the Broceliande Forest in France to check up on a unicorn that has been acting strange.  While Nate would rather search for information about his missing parents, he and Aunt Phil head to the forest to examine the unicorn.  Unfortunetly Obediah Fludd, another relative follows them there and threatens to harm the unicorn.  He claims to have information about Nate's parents.  In exhange for the parents and the unicorn's safety Obediah wants the Book of Beasts.  Will Aunt Phil and Nate trade the book for the unicorn's safety?  Are Nate's parents alive?  What is wrong with the unicorn anyway?  You'll have to read the book to find out!

Readers are quickly caught up in the events of the previous books so reading them prior to this one is not necessary.  However, they may just want to read the first three books after this one and will certainly await the next installement as I do.  The book is infused with fantasy and mystery while being funny at the same time.  The adventurous aunt, the various beasts and creatures and an era before cell phones and the internet make this a fun read for young readers. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Netgalley. The Unicorn's Tale will be published in April, 2011 and I recommend it for students in grades 2-6.
The Unicorn's Tale (Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist, Book 4) (Nathanial Fludd, Beastologist)

The Secret of Rover by Rachel Wildavsky

The Secret of Rover
     Katie and David are twins and live with their parents in a suburb of Washington, D.C.  After struggling for many years financially their parents (and uncle) invent Rover for the U.S. government and since then things have been much better.  Their parents are now off to Katkajan to adopt a baby girl while Katie and David stay behind with the newly hired nanny.  However, it turns out that Katkajan is in a political mess, the nanny is not a nanny and the parents and baby sister have been kidnapped.  Katie and David realize only their reclusive uncle can help them and so they venture on their own to Vermont to find him.
     This in an exiting adventure though the pacing is a little slow. It's a page turner nonetheless.  Katie and David, like most siblings argue and bicker a lot but they work well together.  Bouncing ideas off each other or just winging it they manage to reach their uncle on a remote mountain in Vermont.  Uncle Alex is a great character.  (I'd love to hear his story, but I digress). But can he help them?  Can they save their parents and bring them and their new baby sister home?  And what is Rover anyway?  You'll have to read this book to find the answers.
     Recommended for readers who enjoyed Stormbreaker (Alex Rider series),  Mission Unstoppable (Genius Files series), (for my review click here) or who enjoy adventure and mysteries with a little sci-fi thrown in.  Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Amulet Books via Netgalley.  The Secret of Rover will be published March 1, 2011.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Play Ball, Jackie! by Stephen Krensky

Play Ball, Jackie! (Single Titles)
One of the first illustrations in this fabulous book is of Jackie Robinson sitting in the locker room tying his shoes.  We can only imagine what was going on in his head that day.   As the story unfolds we learn that Matty's dad got two tickets to the 1947 Dodger opening game from a co-worker who doesn't want to attend the game.  The co-worker does not want to see a black man play baseball.  The dad takes Matty out of school early and they see history being made.  The dad quietly explains why Jackie is having a hard time as a black man in baseball but there is hope in his words. We also see the baseball game going on, the fan's reactions in the stands and the history of black people in baseball.

The illustrations are lustrous and Jackie seems larger than life perhaps giving us a clue as to the enormity of this first of many days in the big leagues.  While the illustrations totally grab you in the story flows smoothly from history to converstation to baseball.  Included at the end are some real photos of Jackie, an author's note well worth reading, and suggestions for further reading.  This is a wonderful book for baseball fans of all ages and belongs in everyone's library. Read as an ebook arc courtesy of Lerner Publishing Group via Netgalley and will be available March 1, 2011.