Friday, June 19, 2009

Emma-Jean Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis

In this second book about Emma-Jean and her friends, spring fever is in the air. The spring dance is quickly approaching and the girls are asking the boys this time!

At first Colleen and friends decide to bypass the dance for a sleepover, but as the dance nears the girls change their minds and so begins the drama of asking a boy to the dance!

When Colleen receives a note from a secret admirer, she is so excited and wonders who it is! She asks Emma-Jean to find out who the guy is.

Emma-Jean even gets a touch of spring fever and considers asking a boy to the dance!

What I Thought:

Another great story about Emma-Jean and the 7th graders at William Gladstone Middle School. We all know that Emma-jean is not the normal 7th grader, and it's fun to watch her deal with emotions that most girls her age experience--a first crush!!

Emma-Jean's home life is about to change too as her mother and tenant/friend take their relationship to the next level.

Give this book to fans of the first book and middle school girls. While it is not necessary to have read the first book before picking this one up, it would certainly help as the reader would have already met the characters and understand the few references to the first book.


Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Emma-Jean Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis

This is the story of Emma-Jean, a seventh grader at William Gladstone Middle School. Emma-Jean enjoys observing her classmates as seventh graders can sometimes be odd creatures.

When Colleen, Emma-Jean's classmate and friend, is found crying hopelessly in the girls room, Emma-Jean is not sure how to react. As Colleen explains what is wrong Emma-Jean gets the impression that she needs to do something.

So Emma-Jean takes care of the problem by writing (forging) a simple letter. When this (seems) to work out wonderfully she tries to help other people on the manner.

Will Emma-Jean's plan work problem will it backfire?

What I thought:
What an interesting story! Emma-Jean is such an odd character, definitely not your typical 7th grader. She is very smart and observant of her classmates who she thinks of as kind of odd. She is very secure in herself and tries to help her classmates in the best way she knows how.

Colleen also shares much of the story as she is upset that her best friend invited someone else to go skiing with her family. Colleen is your typical 7th grader, emotional, happy with many friends. When readers compares the two as their friendship grows, they will me able to see the differences the two personalities.

Overall, a very enjoyable book that I think most middle school/Jr. High girls will enjoy.


Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Emma-Jean Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis.

Stay tuned to read my review of Emma-Jean Falls in Love coming soon!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Wackiest Wildest Weirdest Animals in the World by Jack Hanna

"Jungle" Jack Hanna shares a number of wacky animals in this book. Each animal is given it's own individual page with a large picture accompanied by several smaller pictures, a short written description of the animal, a box of "quick facts" including a physical description of the animal, where they live and what they eat, and another blurb of information from Jack, ranging from his experience with the animal or an especially odd fact.

What I thought:
I think kids will clamor after this very kid friendly book! Jack Hanna does a great job presenting each animal and giving wacky facts on each one, no matter if it's an animal kids may be familiar with (such as a lion or great white shark) or one that they may not be as familiar with (such as a naked mole rat or a sloth).

The pictures are excellent and the presentation of the material is very friendly for leisurely browsing or reading for information. This book does have a slight religious undertone as Hannah mentions God's animals or His sense of humor.

Book includes a glossary of terms in the back and a DVD of bloopers from Hanna's TV Show, Jack Hanna's Into the Wild. The pages are incredibly sturdy, a definite plus when giving the book to small children!

Give this book to anyone who loves to read about animals (and what kid doesn't like to read about animals?). You take a peek too, it's an enjoyable book for all.

Highly recommended.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: The Wackiest Wildest Weirdest Animals in the World by Jack Hanna.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Bits

So my email and blog reader is just stock full of some interesting tidbits, and I thought I would share!

1. Check out this article from School Library Journal where they interviewed some librarians about what kids are reading this summer for fun. I see some books kids I know are reading and some that I need to order for my library!

2. MO WILLEMS IS RELEASING A POP-UP BOOK! I am beyond pumped. Check out Mo's blog to see what he has to say and a short video. Now the real decision, do I pre-order or wait to see if I can score a signed copy from Books of Wonder later in the year?

I'm working on a couple of books, but so far its been a lazy summer.

And I'm okay with that.

Reviews coming as I finish!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton

Alice is eight years old and 4" taller than everyone in her class. She is the only girl that has to stand in the back row during the class picture.

She feels self-conscious but her parents reassure her that she is perfectly normal. "'Four extra inches to love,' her mother says."

One night Alice overhears a conversation and has a dream and went to the place where the tall people lived. There she met basketball players, models and other tall people who helped her see that being tall really isn't so bad, but really great!

What I Thought:
A fun book for people who may be dealing with feeling a little bit different. Alice begins feeling uncomfortable with her height, but in the end learns to embrace and love her tallness!

The pictures are fun and interesting to look at, and enhance the story nicely.

This book is a rather long picture book, but reads quickly and is quite enjoyable!


Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Calvin is your normal Hawaiian fourth-grader, except that trouble always seems to find him! The story begins the day before school starts when Calvin accidentally rides a kiteboard he is watching for someone and gets all banged up.

His mom is always saying she wishes he was more "responsible." Calvin tries so hard, especially since he is the "man" of the house, but sometimes it's just hard.

Then his mom tells him that a friend's teenage daughter is moving to Hawaii to stay with them for a while. And Calvin has to move from his room to the storage closet so that she can have her own room.

School starts, and Calvin is excited about his teacher: Mr. Purdy and his "boot camp." (He's a former Army guy.) But trouble even seems to find him there! (His centipede on the loose in the classroom, he is in a food fight, he has to avoid the school bully when he dumps juice all over his new shirt, and lots more!)

What I Thought:
Super book. It's really fun and Calvin is a very likable character who is just your run-of the mill boy who just seems to get caught in the wrong time.

I really enjoyed the Hawaiian setting! Hubs and I visited Hawaii in 2007, so I love anything dealing with that. It was neat to read about living there; about going to school and some of the different foods they eat and just life in general.

This book does deal with bullies as Calvin is bullied by an older kid in his school. It is interesting to see how he deals with the problem.

I can't wait to check out the other books in this new series, and book two Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix is set to release in Sept. '09. I've already got it on order for my library!

This is another great book to hand kids who enjoy the Junie B. Jones books, Roscoe Riley, or other solid book about good kids who find themselves in interesting situations.

Highly Recommended.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers.

Summer Reading Lists

In this month's School Library Journal, they ran an article reporting on what many different authors are reading this summer. It's pretty interesting! You can read that article here.

After checking out these authors' list, I thought about what I wanted to read this summer! Here is my list...

*Handle with Care by Jodi Piccoult
*The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
*Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury
*The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
*Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
*The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
*Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

There's no doubt that I'll add more as we get new books in at the library that I will just have to read. So we'll just have to see what else is in store!

What is on your list? Is there a book that you've read lately that I just have to read? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Top 100 Picture Book Poll of 2009

School Library Journal conducted a poll this year asking readers to pick their favorite picture books. The results have been tallied and released!

Check out the Top 100 Picture Books from the 2009 Poll!

How many have you read? I've read 82, and will be looking to read the others very soon!

I was thrilled to see some of my favorite books on this list, and up at the top of the list!