Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!

by Wendelin Van Draanen
212 pages

Book Jacket Summary
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

My Thoughts
I loved the alternating points of view that this book expertly executes, with Juli and Bryce telling their own story and how they are growing up. This is a perfect book for tweens and teens because it is such a moving story about growing up from the viewpoints of two different people who witness the same things.

Juli first met Bryce when he moved next door and feel in love with his beautiful blue eyes but Bryce only felt intimidated by Juli's exorbitant personality. As they grow up, Juli matures into a caring person who can see the good in everything and enjoys raising her chickens. Bryce takes a bit longer to mature into a boy with character and able to see past the superficial. It was so nice to have a love story that had both sides to the story. Conversations slightly change or have entirely different meaning in alternate chapters.

This is great for tweens and teens who are looking for a cleaner romance and a coming of age story for both a boy and girl. I borrowed the movie from a friend and hope it lives up to the book! It will be interesting to see it set in the 1950's.
Book Pairings
The City of Ember (The Ember Series, #1) by Jeanne DuPrau
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman

Blue Chicken
by Deborah Freedman
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
In this deceptively simple picture book, author-illustrator Deborah Freedman has created an irresistible character that springs to life and wreaks havoc in a farmyard with a pot of blue paint. The innocent chicken just wants to help, but things get worse and worse-and bluer and bluer--the more she tries. Playing with colors and perspective, and using minimal text, this richly layered story reveals new things to see and laugh about with each reading.

My Thoughts
Why do picture books have to be so adorable? I like the ones that make me smile and close them with a satisfied sigh. This one falls in that category. It uses color and perspective to tell a story of a barnyard picture that comes o life. When a chicken accidentally spills blue paint over her barnyard picture all the animals and scenery become covered in blue. She has to run from the angry mob but discovers that water will wash them all clean.
This book is chalk full of color and laughs as animals get covered in blue, the cat is especially bothered. Very cute addition to any library. I actually suggested this one to my mom during her holiday shopping for a three-year-old.
Book Pairings
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
Farmyard Beat by Linda Craig
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Sunday, December 25, 2011

I See a Kitty in the Sky by Yasmine Surovec

Here is the link to the free e-book on ISSUU.
I was not contacted by Yasmine to show you this, this is all me! I love her web comic and even got the Cat vs. Human book for Christmas. Review should be showing up soon!

Where Do You Call Home?

Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope your day is wonderful and you get everything you asked Santa for this Christmas day. Here is a cute video that shows how the library helps children. Now go drink some warm apple cider and enjoy your day with family and friends!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?

This is a very interesting look at the best thing you should do for your health. I really like the way this is put together and the artist is very talented! Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Be Quiet, Mike! by Leslie Patricelli

Be Quiet, Mike!
by Leslie Patricelli
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
Digga-digga-digga-digga, zat, zoom, crash! Leslie Patricelli’s lovable (but noisy!) new character finds an ingenious way to create a sound all his own.
Even before he was born, Mike started drumming. Kick! Thump! Pow! Wherever he goes, his rhythms sing: swis, thak, go his books; bang, clank, goes the trash can; tap, tap, go his pencils; and "BE QUIET, MIKE!" yells everyone around him. But one day Mike sees a drum set in a store window-- and puts his hands-on talents to work in a most impressive way. W ith the bold graphic style and clever details her readers love, Leslie Patricelli strikes a cymbal for active, high-energy little monkeys everywhere.

My Quick Thoughts
Be Quiet, Mike! is a book about a little monkey who cannot stop making a beat. A rattle, table, or pencil can help him make the noises that resonate within him. However, those around him constantly yell "be quiet, Mike!" He think he is not destined to hear the music when he see someone playing the drums. Mike is determined to build his own drum set and finally finds a way to compose his music! The pictures are simplistic but conveys Mike need for music. Told in rhyme and great for any family with a rambunctious little monkey of their own.  

Book Pairing
Farm Yard Beat by Lindsey Craig

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Fury of the Phoenix
by Cindy Pon
359 pages
Public Library

Book Jacket Summary
The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling.
Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home—with just the moon as her guide—overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board.
The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Zhong Ye—the powerful sorcerer whom Ai Ling believed she had vanquished in the Palace of Fragrant Dreams—is trapped in Hell, neither alive nor dead. Can he reach from beyond the grave to reunite with Silver Phoenix and destroy Chen Yong? And destroy whatever chance Ai Ling has at happiness, at love?
In this sequel to the acclaimed novel Silver Phoenix, four lives are woven together and four destinies become one, now and forever.

My Thoughts
Fury of the Phoenix starts up a few months after Silver Phoenix with Ai Ling trying to sneak aboard a ship that Chen Yong is taking to Jiang Doa. Chen is trying to find his biological father and Ai Ling has had dreams of something terrible happening to him on hos travels. That is what I like about Ai Ling, she always acts rather than let things just happen to her/ She goes forward to stop the bad guys herself! A very proactive character that awesome!
We also get to explore the past of Silver Phoenix's villain, Zhong Ye. I kinda wish that his past was left a little more hidden because I usually like a little mystery to my big bads but it was till a good addition to the Ai Ling/Chen Yong story. The romantic subplot was also so good because Ai Ling and Chen Yong are so stubborn and pig headed. Half the time you just want them too hurry up and get together! Especially when they share a cabon on their voyage to Jiang Doa. Everyone thinks they are brother and sister but we know different! There is also dramatic tension because Chen Yong thinks that Ai Ling might have been in love with his brother Li Rong. So much tension!
I do wish the cover was more like Silver Phoenix, with an Asian girl on the cover. This cover is ambiguous to the characters. I know publishers think that it will appeal to more people if they hide the identity but I think it would actual appeal to more people! There is a need for YA books about non-white characters, especially in fantasy. I am so excited that authors like Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo are stepping up to fill the void. Kudos to them!  
However, this is a great sequel to an awesome first book. I cannot wait for more books by Cindy Pon!  

Book Pairings
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WoW: Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Someone Else's Life
by Kaite Dale
Release Date: Feb. 2, 2012

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

Another great sounding realistic fiction.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick
526 pages

Website Summary
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together...in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
This 526-page book is told in both words and pictures. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things. Each picture (there are nearly three hundred pages of pictures!) takes up an entire double page spread, and the story moves forward because you turn the pages to see the next moment unfold in front of you.

My Thoughts
This is a book that I have been meaning to read for a long time and with the movie out I knew it better be sooner rather than later. Selznick captures the imagination with this impossibly thick book. The combination of pictures and story is one of the most unique ways to make a story that I have ever seen. I love seeing Hugo running through the inter-workings of the train station and the narration joining to form a complex story.
It turns out Brian Selznick is related to two of the famous movie Selznick's (watch a lot of black and white movies and their name pops up a lot). The correlation of early years of cinema is explored in Hugo. I wonder how much of it was inspired by his connection to his family... Research time! I love books that make you think and want to find out more about them.
I would highly recommend this one to tweens and anyone else who is interested in the movie or the early days of cinema. Automatons have been a been a great jumping off point for other books, Steampunk uses them a lot.
I cannot stress enough the beauty of the illustrations throughout the book. Even if you don't read it, look for it in the book store or local library and flip through it!

Book Pairings
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rescuing Rover by Raymond Bial

Rescuing Rover: Saving America's Dogs  
by Raymond Bial
80 pages

Book Jacket Summary
Nearly 75 million dogs live with American families, where many sleep in our beds, walk us to school, and eat our unwanted broccoli. However, millions of dogs are born in America each year without a place to live. Most of these animals find themselves in shelters, and many, if they are not adopted, are put to sleep. Raymond Bial takes readers into the genesis of the dog overpopulation problem, covering puppy mills, pet stores, and backyard breeders, and then he profiles a local animal shelter, sharing with readers the ins and outs of daily life there. Who runs animal shelters? Who plays with the pets? How long do they stay? And how can you adopt one?

My Thoughts
A great look into the different ways dogs can be adopted through agencies, such as: the SPCA, the Humane Society, and rescue groups. This book does speak about neglect and puppy mills with photos that may be disturbing for younger children. However if they have seen the "Arms of the Angels" SPCA commericals they can probably handle this book (although that commerical always makes me tear up). I would highly recommend reading this one with a child before adopting a dog. This way children will be more informed about the responsibilities and items needed to take care of dogs.
I adopted my puppy, Sully, from the Humane Society and would recommend going this route. You can also use Petfinder.com to search for dogs in your area and search for specific breeds or by age. However, this is a large responsibility and never give a dog as a present for someone else.

So much love!

Book Pairings
Fleabag by Helen Stephens
Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle by Brian Dennis
Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stitches by David Small

by David Small
329 pages
YA/Adult Crossover

Book Jacket Summary
One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die.

In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children’s illustrator and author, re-creates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama where David—a highly anxious yet supremely talented child—all too often became the unwitting object of his parents’ buried frustration and rage.

Believing that they were trying to do their best, David’s parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician, who vented his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son’s respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David’s cancer. Elizabeth, David’s mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden.

Depicting this coming-of-age story with dazzling, kaleidoscopic images that turn nightmare into fairy tale, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child to cancer patient, to the troubled teen whose risky decision to run away from home at sixteen—with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist—will resonate as the ultimate survival statement.

A silent movie masquerading as a book, Stitches renders a broken world suddenly seamless and beautiful again. Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award (Young Adult); finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards (Best Writer/Artist: Nonfiction; Best Reality-Based Work).

My Thoughts
In this autobiographical memoir, David Small bares his childhood to us in all its dysfunctional glory. David Small has to deal with the family who does not know how to communicate with each other and often takes their rage out on him. His childhood is filled with imaginations of escaping to a world that he sees in books and cartoons. When he is older he is wheeled in for surgery for a removal of a cyst that ends up removing half his vocal cords and he looses his voice along with his identity. He later learns that it was a cancer that was removed from his neck and was never told. Small struggles through his early years but finds a way not to tread the path his mother and his grandmother paved. This is a powerful and moving book that will leave you thinking. 
Stitches is definitely a book more suited for older teens and adults who can grasp the emotional intensity that occurs throughout the book. I know there were time when I had to put the book down and digest what just happened. The emotional withdrawn mother, whose silence dictated the house and a grandmother whose abuse must of shaped that silence. Silence is a major theme in Small's illustrious and wording through out the book. There are many scenes where there is no dialogue and Small is running around a hospital as a small boy. It is a very traumatic scene where he sees an embryo and mistakes it for a little man that haunts his nightmares for years. 
The book has a creepy and even scary feel to it at times. I think Small was showing how scared he was at the time with the cancer, his mother, and the craziness that might run through his family. The mother is drawn with a perpetual scowl and furrowed brow that is menacing. She is a menacing figure throughout his life and he has to come to terms that his mother may have never loved him. This could potentially be a difficult for many people but it is one that should be in every library. It deals with so many issues that teens and adults struggle with and may help them find a way out of the hell that their childhood situations lead them.  

Book Pairings
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott

Between Here and Forever
by Elizabeth Scott
256 pages
**Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided to me by the author, and I received no compensation in exchange for my honest review.**

Book Jacket Summary
Abby accepted that she can't measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.
Until the accident.
Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby's life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her. She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she'd never seen. Abby is about to find out that truth isn't always what you think it is, and that life holds more than she ever thought it could...

My Thoughts
I received this book in the mail and there was not a note or anything that said why it was sent to me. I think it was a goodreads win but I cannot be sure, all I know is that the author was the sender and that I am going to give an honest review.
I have not read an Elizebeth Scott book before and I found this one to be very honest approach on a girl who feels less valued than her evervesent older sister. Abby has always felt that she is second best to her sister. She is now struggling with all the different attention she is receiving as Tess lies in a coma. Abby starts to learn about Tess and how she may not be as perfect as she seems. Her sister's former friend Claire has become Abby's one person she can talk to honestly. Claire may be holding back secrets of her own though. She meets Eli at the hospital and learning to love again after a difficult love affair may be just what she needs. 
I really need to go back and read the rest of Elizabeth Scott's books. If all her characters are as real as Abby, Claire, and Eli then I know I have some great reading ahead of me.

This book brought up many tough subjects, Abby dealing with the fact that Tess may never wake up, Eli dealing with his OCD, Claire dealing with being a teenage mother, and Abby finding out that Tess is a lesbian. I would highly recommend this one to teens that are looking for books with realistic situations.

Book Pairings
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WoW: Book of Wonders

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Book of Wonders
by Jasmine Richards
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Magic, Djinn, Ogres, and Sorcerers. Thirteen-year-old Zardi loves to hear stories about fantastical beings, long banned from the kingdom of Arribitha. But anyone caught whispering of their powers will feel the rage of the sultan—a terrifying usurper who, even with his eyes closed, can see all.

When her own beloved sister is captured by the evil ruler, Zardi knows that she must go to any lengths to rescue her. Along with her best friend, Ridhan—a silver-haired, violet-eyed boy of mysterious origins—and an unlikely crew of sailors led by the infamous Captain Sinbad, Zardi ventures forth into strange and wondrous territory with a seemingly impossible mission: to bring magic back to Arribitha and defeat the sultan once and for all. 
This one looks like so much fun! I am a big fan of sea voyages, mysterious lands, and evil rulers! This book has all of this and more. Cannot wait for January!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Missing on Supersition Mountain by Elise Broach

Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens!

Missing on Supersition Mountain
by Elise Broach
262 pages
Upper Elementary

Book Jacket Summary
It’s summer and the three Barker brothers—Simon, Henry, and Jack—just moved from Illinois to Arizona. Their parents have warned them repeatedly not to explore Superstition Mountain, which is near their home. But when their cat Josie goes missing, they see no other choice. There’s something unusually creepy about the mountain and after the boys find three human skulls, they grow determined to uncover the mystery. Have people really gone missing over the years, and could there be someone or some thing lurking in the woods? Together with their new neighbor Delilah, the Barker boys are dead-set on cracking the case even if it means putting themselves in harm’s way.

My Thoughts
Simon, Henry, and Jack have moved to Superstition, Arizona with their parents. They quickly meet Delilah Dunworthy and set upon an adventure on Superstition Mountain. This looks to be the start of a fun mystery/adventure series with hidden treasure and ruthless villains. I really liked Henry because he was just the right amount of cautious and brave (when needed). He worries about his actions but is often goaded by his younger and older brothers. It is hard being stuck in the middle with brothers who have strong personalities.
I am looking forward for more books because there seems to be a lot that Broach can draw from in history. Many of the historical things the boys find are drawn from real life mysteries. I also liked Henry's vocabulary because he is always trying out new words. The librarian in the book seems to be "shifty" and it could be fun to see an evil librarian, although real life librarians would be much more helpful.
This is a buy for anyone who needs a boy based adventure book.

Book Pairings
The Red Blazer Girls: The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil
Sidekicks by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Shakespeare Secret by Elise Broach

Monday, December 12, 2011

Orani: My Father's Village by Claire A. Nivola

Orani: My Father's Village
by Claire A. Nivola
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
As a child, Claire Nivola loved summers in Orani, the village where her father grew up and where her many aunts, uncles, and 50 cousins still lived. She ran freely through the town's cobbled streets with packs of cousins, who quizzed her about America while she took in all teh simple joys and pleasures of daily life in a village where surprises met them at every turn.
In this sensuous homage of prose and pictures, Nivola invites readers to share in her experience of Orani, a village where surprises met them at every turn and luxuries were unheard of, but life was rich, lived close to the earth.
My Quick Thoughts
This is a beautiful look back at a small villiage in Italy that Claire Nivola visited as a child. Her father immigrated to America but would often visit with his family. It describes the community life and customs of the people in Orani. It is a deeply personal story about life, death, and everything inbetween. It is never heavy handed and Nivola keeps the story on a more possitive note. For every death there is new life. The writing evokes emotion and nostagia. You miss the days when children could go out and explore an island with out adults wondering if they will be coming back. Her memories are beautiful and the book captures the beauty of the past.
 The pictures are nostalgic with a more muted color scheme but colors do pop with reds. It has a very 1940's look to the illustartiuons. I love the introspective look into the past. I would recommend this book to eveyone. There is something there for children and adults.

Book Pairings
All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino
Coming to America: A Muslim Family's Story

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Boy Wonders by Calef Brown

Boy Wonders
by Calef Brown
Picture Book

Book Summary
Have you ever wondered, pondered, quizzically thought?
Have questions and queries made you distraught?
If you have the need to inquire,
Then you might require
A book such as this.
(It’s not to be missed)
Pull up a chair, throw your hand in the air
He’ll answer your questions
…and answer with flare!
For all those "why why why" kid out there, Calef Brown has a few questions of his own: Is water scared of waterfalls? Are clam bakes good for bake sales? Are phones annoyed when no one calls? Do jealous clouds steal each other's thunder? Each question is wackier than the last and is sure to drum up some good laughs…there’s no question about that!

My Quick Thoughts
If you are looking for a book on word play, you have come to the right book. The story is set in rhyme, so we get pages set with:
Are phones annoyed if no one calls?
Do ants, when anxious climb the walls?
The pictures are strange and surreal. It is not really my cup of tea but young boys will get a kick out of it. The tongue twisters and funny questions will make kids giggle and probably most adults. The pictures are simplistic and a bit child like. However, it feels more like an adult drawing like a child rather than a more realistic child's drawing. This does not detract to much because the children will enjoy the witty word play and tongue twisters. I would recommend this one to kids and maybe encourage them to check out Shel Silverstein's books of poetry if they enjoy this one. There are more funny rhymes and word play in his poems as well.

Book Pairings
Interrupting Chicken
Every Thing On It
Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness from Calef Brown

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match by Monica Brown

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match / Marisol McDonald no combina
by Monica Brown
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary 
My name is Marisol McDonald, and I don’t match. At least, that’s what everyone tells me.
Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don’t even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess—she’ll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.
Unfortunately, they don’t always make sense to everyone else. Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just be one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.
A mestiza Peruvian American of European, Jewish, and Amerindian heritage, renowned author Monica Brown wrote this lively story to bring her own experience of being mismatched to life. Her buoyant prose is perfectly matched by Sara Palacios’ engaging acrylic illustrations.

My Thoughts
The inside cover caught me eye when I first opened this book. It is filled with drawing that Marisol might do and remind me of the pictures my cousin would draw. This is a bilingual book with parellel English and Spainish translations. It is a great book about expressing oneself and finding your own personality. Marisol likes to mismatch her clothes and food. Who wouldn't want a PB&J burrito. I also like that Marisol is multiracial. Her hair is read and does not match the rest of her but that is okay because Marisol is herself and no one else! The author based part of that on herself and her own multiracial family. This is a great picture book for all because it celebrates being unique despite peer pressure.

Book Pairings
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan
I Love Saturdays Y Domingos by Alma Flor Ada

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Giant Book Tent

Now You Can Sleep Inside a Giant Book

I'm glad someone turned something as boring and utilitarian as camping tents into something beautiful like FieldCandy's Fully Booked tent, which is designed to look like an open book.
Four people can comfortably sleep in this 11.65 by 5.57 by 4.6 feet tent. $869.

Found what I want for Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets by Kathleen Krull

Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets
by Kathleen Krull
Picture Book

Book Jacket Summary
Sesame Street and The Muppet Show introduced Jim Henson's Muppets to the world, making Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch, and Big Bird household names. But even as a child in rural Mississippi, listening to the radio and putting on comedy shows for his family, Jim recognized the power of laughter to bring people together. On Sesame Street, Jim's Muppets transformed children's television by making learning fun for kids everywhere. A visionary, Jim always believed that puppets could reach a wider audience. In 1976, he proved it, drawing millions of family viewers to The Muppet Show. With his feature film The Dark Crystal and his Star Wars characters—including Yoda—Jim continued to push the boundaries of what was possible in puppetry until his death in 1990 at the age of 53.

My Thoughts
This is an interesting picture book describing the life and accomplishments of Jim Henson. The book starts with a quote: When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. Well Jim, I think you succeeded. Henson was brave enough to follow his dream and even went to college to get a Home Economics degree. He was one of six men in a class of 500 women.
I love the muppet movies and I am excited about the new one coming out. This will be a great tool to tell the life of the who made Kermit and Miss Piggy such a success. I remember sitting and watching Muppet Babies when I was little. That was my introduction to the muppets and then Sesame Street. Hard to believe it has such an impact on our lives.
What is your favorite muppet movie? Mine is The Great Muppet Caper.

Book Pairings
The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg 
Lost Boy: The Story of the Man Who Created Peter Pan by Jane Yolen
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