Posts

Showing posts from December, 2017

CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS: The Legend of Old Befana/The Night Before Christmas/A Charlie Brown Christmas/The Little Reindeer

Image
THE LEGEND OF OLD BEFANA An Italian Christmas story  retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-4814-7763-5 Ages 6-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

In this beloved classic picture book, Tomie dePaola retells and illustrates an Italian Christmas folk tale, breathing warmth and humanity into the character of the lonely Old Befana and her endless search for the Christ Child.

Every morning and every afternoon, Old Befana sweeps with her broom. “Cranky old lady,” the children say. “She is always sweeping!” Sweep, sweep, sweep.

But when a brilliant star glows in the eastern sky one night, and Old Befana encounters the glorious procession of three kings on their way to Bethlehem, her little world will never be the same.

REVIEW

Interestingly, I heard a different version of this story shortly before I picked up this picture book.  Naturally, the two versions differed a bit, but the theme…

CYBILS SENIOR HIGH NONFICTION: Alice Paul and the Fight for Women's Rights by Deborah Kops

Image
ALICE PAUL AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS by Deborah Kops Calkins Creek, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-62979-323-8 Source: purchased Age 14 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Here is the story of leader Alice Paul, from the women's suffrage movement—the long struggle for votes for women—to the “second wave,” when women demanded full equality with men. Paul made a significant impact on both. She reignited the sleepy suffrage moment with dramatic demonstrations and provocative banners. After women won the right to vote in 1920, Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which would make all the laws that discriminated against women unconstitutional. Passage of the ERA became the rallying cry of a new movement of young women in the 1960s and ’70s. Paul saw another chance to advance women’s rights when the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 began moving through Congress. She set in motion the “sex amendment,” which remains a crucial legal tool for helping wo…

CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS: Santa Calls/The Steadfast Tin Soldier/The Christmas Fairy/Pick a Pine Tree

Image
SANTA CALLS By William Joyce Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1993 (reprint) Ages 4 and up Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Art Atchinson Aimesworth -- inventor, crime fighter, and allaround whiz kid-journeys north with his sister, Esther, and his pal, Spaulding, by special invitation from Santa himself. But why did Santa call? Now available in a new hardcover edition, this truly Joyce-ian crusade features villains and swashbuckling adventure, concluding with a most spectacular and touching Christmas celebration.

A holiday extravaganza like no other, by the creator of Rolie Polie Olie, Snowie Rolie, Sleepy Time Olie, Dinosaur Bob and His Adventures wirh the Family Lazardo, and George Shrinks.

REVIEW

One thing I always enjoy about William Joyce's books is the creativity that shines through, especially in the illustrations.  Here is a Santa story, similar in tone to the beloved The Polar Express, and yet the North Pole is quite diffe…

CYBILS JUNIOR HIGH NONFICTION NOMINATION: The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found by Martin W. Sandler

Image
THE WHYDAH A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked & Found by Martin W. Sandler Candlewick Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8033-6 Ages 12 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The exciting true story of the captaincy, wreck, and discovery of the Whydah the only pirate ship ever found and the incredible mysteries it revealed.

The 1650s to the 1730s marked the golden age of piracy, when fearsome pirates like Blackbeard ruled the waves, seeking not only treasure but also large and fast ships to carry it. The Whydah was just such a ship, built to ply the Triangular Trade route, which it did until one of the greediest pirates of all, Black Sam Bellamy, commandeered it. Filling the ship to capacity with treasure, Bellamy hoped to retire with his bounty but in 1717 the ship sank in a storm off Cape Cod. For more than two hundred years, the wreck of the Whydah (and the riches that went down with it) eluded treasure seekers, until the ship was finally found i…

CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS: A Christmas for Bear/Red & Lulu/Elf in the House

Image
A CHRISTMAS FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton Candlewick Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-7636-4923-4 Ages 5-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Bear's minimalist holiday celebration has an eager Mouse feeling a bit anxious in this humorous and heartwarming story about the unlikely, lovable pair.

One frosty night, Bear hears a tap, tap, tapping on his front door. "Merry Christmas!" cries Mouse. Mouse is there for a Christmas party, and Bear has never had one before, but he's certain that pickles (preferably from France) must be an essential component, along with the reading of a long and difficult poem. The problem is, whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats, Mouse has vanished -- only to be found, small and gray and guilty-eyed, scurrying under the bed or rifling through the closet. Will there be even a tiny present involved? "Hogwash!" scolds Bear. Get ready for h…

MMGM: The World's Greatest Adventure Machine & The Afterlife Academy by Frank Cole

Image
My school was lucky enough to have Frank Cole come speak to us a couple of weeks ago.  He turned out to be a very entertaining presenter.  His stories were hilarious and his advice about becoming an author, fabulous. So I am happy to be able to highlight a couple of his books.


THE WORLD'S GREATEST ADVENTURE MACHINE by Frank L. Cole Delecorte Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-399-55282-3 Middle grade adventure Ages 9-12 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

An adventure novel about four lucky kids and a mysterious, but thrilling ride for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Jurassic Park!

CastleCorp and the famous Castleton brothers are unveiling the World's Greatest Adventure Machine! The roller coaster is an experience like no other, and four lucky kids have won the chance to be the first to ride it.

There's Trevor, whose latest stunt got him in trouble at school again. There's Devin, whose father is pushing him to be the next Int…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

Image
SPIRIT HUNTERS by Ellen Oh Harper, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-06-243008-3 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative (fantasy/horror) All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

We Need Diverse Books founder Ellen Oh returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery series about Harper Raine, the new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. A riveting ghost story and captivating adventure, this tale will have you guessing at every turn!

Harper doesn’t trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family’s new house is haunted. Harper isn’t sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house,…