Sunday, November 28, 2010

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

It's bedtime, and Little Chicken is looking forward to his bedtime story!  Papa reminds Little Chicken not to interrupt his story...but will he remember?  It's hard for a little chicken when one gets involved in the story!

What I Thought:
TOO CUTE!  I tend to have the bad habit of finishing other people's sentences, so this book hit right at home plate for me!

As Papa is telling the stories...classic childrens' stories like Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and the like.  But then Papa gets frustrated as Little Chicken interrupts each story and finally requests that Little Chicken tell HIM a story!  (Which is quite entertaining!)

This is a super fun book, and I think will be a great read-aloud.  And an even better reader's theater story!

(Edited to add...) This book is a 2011 Caldecott Honor book.


Want to see more?  Check it out at Amazon: Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers

Does a goldfish have an exciting life?  You would be surprised in this memoir of the daily life of a goldfish!

What I Thought:
Who would have thought that the memoirs of a goldfish could be so entertaining!  I do believe this is one of my favorite picture books of 2010.  This book is so entertaining, and quite funny with wonderful illustrations to accompany the text.

Don't miss this's a gem!

Very highly recommended!

Want to see more?  Check it out on Amazon: Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, illustrated by Tim Bowers.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bobby the Brave (Sometimes) by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

In this second installment of books about young Bobby Ellis-Chan.  Bobby is a fourth grader with a working mom, a stay at home dad/former professional football star, a little sister who is obsessed with princesses, and an older sister who is the starting quarterback for her high school team.  Bobby is feeling a little un-special these days.

When he overhears part of conversation between his dad and older sister, he feels even worse.  Could his father really think they aren't alike at all?  Especially since he is not great at football, and really doesn't care for the sport anyway.  Bobby would much rather be learning tricks on his skateboard.

Bobby is excited to land the part of Sandy the dog in his class performance of the musical "Annie."  But when an asthma attack interrupts the performance and his dad rushes to the rescue, Bobby is even more embarrassed.  Will Bobby be brave and tell his dad how he feels?

What I Thought
Oh, I love Bobby!  In his first book, Bobby takes on the girls, and in this book he takes on himself!  I love how Bobby feels kind of unappreciated and unsure of himself throughout this book, only to find out he isn't the only one that feels unsure. 

I also really appreciate about this book is the strong family unit with the stay at home dad.  With this becoming more common, I am glad to see some children's literature with this family dynamic.

Bobby suffers from asthma attacks, and this book includes a great explanation on what asthma is and how it feels like to have an attack.

A fantastic story, and I'm looking forward to the next book about Bobby!

Highly Recommended.

Want to see more?  Check it out on Amazon: Bobby the Brave (Sometimes) by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat.

Reviewed from a library copy.

(You can check out my review of the first book about Bobby, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) here.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney

In the fifth installment of Greg Heffley's, journal...Greg encounters that middle school rite of passage we all look back at with a grimace and a smile...PUBERTY.

That's right, this year during Health class the boys are separated from the girls for part of the class where they are lectured about hygiene, and later in the year they are given the task to take care of an egg "baby" overnight.  (Which is almost successful for our pal Greg.) 

In true Diary of a Wimpy Kid fashion, Greg manages to find himself in a few situations that he finds super embarrassing, and experiences some new his first lock-in!

On top of that, Greg is lectured about being responsible at home and when his mom decides to take some college classes, those responsibilities are piled on even more.

Why can't things just stay the same?

Greg comes to realize that growing's the ugly truth. 

What I Thought: 
Oh, Greg.  How I find you absolutely adorable. 

And all BOY. 

Being a girl, but growing up with a brother, I have an appreciation of these books because I SEE middle school boys in this book.  They will LOVE it!

And though I imagine a good bit of this book is lost on me (though I LOVE it), there are millions of kids out there that will gobble this book up.  And rightly so. 

Very highly recommended.  I'm ready for book six, because I just can't get enough!

Want to see more?  Check it out on Amazon: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney.

Reviewed from a library copy.

See my other Diary of a Wimpy Kid reviews here:

Dog Days

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin

When Oogy was four months young, he was used as bait for a fight dog.  The outcome of that horrid event is evident on the cover of this book...a good portion of Oogy's face was ripped off including his left ear.  By a miracle, Oogy was found by police and taken to the Ardmore Animal Hospital where in a number of events, equally as miraculous, he ended up with the Levin family.

One would think that Oogy would be a damaged dog with lots of anger and resentment towards humans.  Just the opposite!  Oogy has nothing but love and adoration of not only his family, but every person he encounters.

Levin shares story after story of not how his family provided refuge for Oogy, but how Oogy provides so much love for his family.

What I Thought:
When I saw this book on the new shelf at my library, I couldn't bear to pass it up.  Oogy's sweet face was so intriguing and within the first pages I was entranced by his spirit.

This is a story of survival, acceptance, inspiration and unconditional love.   It will make you angry to hear about what Oogy was put through at such a young age.  You'll laugh at his antics.  You'll fall in love with his spirit, and with the Levin family! 

This is a dog I'd love to meet!

Dog lover or'll love this book! 


Want to see more?  Check it out on Amazon: Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love by Larry Levin.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff

This is the story of an American writer living in New York and a used bookstore in England.   What started out as business transaction as Helen Hanff was looking for antique books in good condition blossomed over twenty years into a fantastic friendship.

What I Thought:
First, the story behind how I came to read this book.  While having a blast at the Southern Festival of Books with my dad, he ran into an old friend and they started chatting.  He is an avid book lover and enjoys sharing his passion with others, including mailing boxes of books to various small libraries across the country who most likely have very limited budgets.  When he found out I was a librarian, he insisted that I must read this book.  Not only insist...he mailed me a copy along with a sealed envelope  instructions that I couldn't open until I finished the book.  The envelope contained a very nice letter and a recording of a Helen Hanff NPR tribute in 1997.   Many thanks to my new book friend for this wonderful book!

So, the book.  Honestly...this is a book that probably would have never picked up on my own.  Which would have been a shame, because it is a wonderful memoir!  The book is letters that are written between Helen and her friends regarding the bookstore.   It's fun to see the formality of the first letters, then as the years go by the mood lightens and the correspondence grows to more friends of whom she has never met!

If you've never read this book, it's a quick read that is simply delightful!  I encourage you to pick it up and give it a read.

Very highly recommended.

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff.

Reviewed from a personal copy.