In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and http://www.unleashingreaders.com for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I feel lucky, I snuck in a very quick visit to school to see my son in a performance and was able to visit the library for a minute and pick up a few books that came in with a special book order… total book nerd excitement on my part. Yes, I’m still on bed rest, so I’m enjoying books… quite a bit!
Special Featured Book:
Flora and Ulysses – The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo – Fantasy, 3rd grade and up – “Holy bagumba!” Have you ever had an illustration instantly make you tear up? I have had them numerous times through the years but, wow. This book had one that sent me for a whalloping tearjerker moment. Love the cynical Flora and the devoted Ulysses characters in addition to Kate DiCamillo’s special characters she introduced throughout the book. Just loved how the story developed, how poetry was embraced in the book, and how creativity and love presided over all. Highly recommended the newest treasure by Kate DiCamillo, I couldn’t let myself finish this book for three days, just wanted to embrace every moment of this special book. Goodreads Summary: “Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry—and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K.G. Campbell.”
I just loved watching this interview with Kate DiCamillo, couldn’t resist including it as well:
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes – 3rd grade and up, Multicultural – Fascinating to read this interpretation of how Ganesha came to write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. I thought the adaptation was special, humorous, and appropriate for introducing culture and beliefs to others. This is part of the Panda Book Award program, thrilled to finally have the book to add to the library. Goodreads Summary: “The bold, bright colors of India leap right off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling (with a twist) of how Ganesha came to help write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata. Ganesha is just like any other kid, except that he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, and his friend Mr. Mouse, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and offbeat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive rendition of a classic tale.” http://youtu.be/C_8LUidBatA
Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, art by Ed Young – Preschool and up – Another Panda Book Award book. I just love the opportunity to read another beautiful book illustrated by Ed Young. My son and I enjoyed the simple cute story about a little ninja at bedtime. Goodreads Summary: “Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal…and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?
With spare text and lush illustrations, Nighttime Ninja is a fun, adventure-filled story about the power of play and imagination.”
How to Win Friends and Influence Creatures by Deborah Zemke – All Ages- This book would be a terrific study for a class that is discussing how to make friends, treat others with kindness, and how to be thoughtful about their actions. Plus it is quite humorous! Goodreads Summary: “A few simple tricks will carry you far in the social world, and the menagerie in this book will help you to master them, from the proper way to converse (don’t open your mouth just to hear yourself roar) to good manners while bathing (don’t hog the mud bath!).” My little guy is starting to share book reviews when he completes reading a book he likes and wants to talk about it. So, you can see a glimpse at the inside of this one:
Non-Fiction – Poetry
The Superheroes Employment Agency by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones – 3rd grade and up – My son and I chuckled through this poetry book. Randomly created superheroes with some weird characteristics like being able to persuade people to do things or The Hulk’s cousin the Bulk who flood a room with his tears or a clairvoyant who is frustrated with being able to read minds but not get ideas into others’ minds… Another Panda Book Award book! Goodreads Summary: “From Blunder Woman and Muffy the Vampire Sprayer to Stuporman and The Bulk, meet the members of the Superheroes Employment Agency—lovable misfits with oddball powers who make up for their lack of fame with an eagerness to please and a can-do attitude. These humorous, kid-friendly poems are sure to entertain while introducing readers to poetry in a fun, lighthearted, and accessible way.”
Allegiant by Veronica Roth – Finale! I love the completion of a series!! Science Fiction – High School – Great conclusion. I know many will be upset by certain choices that Veronica Roth made with this book but I decided to trust that this was the best way she could tell the story. It was interesting to read this book since I wasn’t as fond of the second book in the trilogy as I was the first… sometimes it is like that with a series for me… I appreciated how often some characters made stupid choices or knew others were being fools and there’s no joking around, simply point out mistakes and move on to a solution. Goodreads Summary: “One choice will define you. What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.”
The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck – Animal Fiction, 4th grade and up – I really enjoyed this book about a little mouse on a subtle quest to resolve his unknown name. It was lovely, quick to read, and entertaining. I enjoyed Secrets at Sea and hoped to read about the characters again as I thought that The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail was a partner book. Although the book is in the same time period and is also about mice, it has a very different style. Goodreads Summary: “Newbery Award-winning author Richard Peck is at his very best in this fast-paced mystery adventure. Fans of The Tale of Desperaux, A Little Princess, and Stuart Little will all be captivated by this memorable story of a lovable orphan mouse on an amazing quest. The smallest mouse in London’s Royal Mews is such a little mystery that he hasn’t even a name. And who were his parents? His Aunt Marigold, Head Needlemouse, sews him a uniform and sends him off to be educated at the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. There he’s called “Mouse Minor” (though it’s not quite a name), and he doesn’t make a success of school. Soon he’s running for his life, looking high and low through the grand precincts of Buckingham Palace to find out who he is and who he might become. Queen Victoria ought to be able to help him, if she can communicate with mice. She is all-seeing, after all, and her powers are unexplainable. But from her, Mouse Minor learns only that you do not get all your answers from the first asking. And so his voyage of self-discovery takes him onward, to strange and wonderful places.”
Pish Posh by Ellen Potter – Mystery, 4th grade and up – Interesting book I randomly came across, it has sat on my to-be-read shelf for way too long… I adore books by Ellen Potter and was quite excited to find one I hadn’t read. Great little mystery that reminded me of Patrick Carman’s Floors book series. Interesting settings created from a restaurant that only accepts the most elite clients who are then judged by a young girl who triumphantly tosses them out when deemed “out”. The young girl, Clara, stumbles on a complicated mystery. I enjoyed the creative apartment complex description with Clara having a floor of her own with different rooms full of entertainment whether there is a wave pool and in another room a roller coaster. *Please note, it took a long while for me to actually even like the main character, so I’m curious to see how students will enjoy this book. Goodreads Summary: “Ultra-snobby Clara Frankofile has everything an eleven-year-old girl could want. She’s fabulously wealthy, she lives alone in a penthouse apartment with its own roller coaster, and all of New York City is afraid of her! Each night at the Pish Posh restaurant, she watches the glittery movie actresses and princesses, and decides who is important enough to stay and who she will kick to the sidewalk in disgrace. But Clara’s world is turned upside down when she discovers that a peculiar mystery is happening in the restaurant, right under her upturned nose.With the help of a whip-smart twelve year- old jewel thief, Clara embarks on a wildly dangerous mission through the streets of New York to solve a 200-hundred-year-old secret.”
The Great Escape by Megan Rix – Historical Fiction/ Animal Fiction, 4th grade and up – Well. I was thrilled and lost in this book immediately. Enjoyed reading various storylines all occurring at the beginning of the Second World War. I loved following two dogs and one cat escaping being killed and going on quite the long journey that passed them by several key experiences at the beginning of the war. I loved reading The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford as a child and especially loved watching the movie Homeward Bound as well. Goodreads Summary: “The Great Escape follows three pets, Buster, a lively Jack Russell, Tiger, a feisty Tom cat and Rose, a faithful Collie as they set of on the adventure of their lives across a country preparing for war. Robert and Lucy Edwards love their pets more than anything; but the threat of the Second World War forces them to flee to Devon – leaving their animals behind. And as the air raid sirens sound over London, the frightened animals are sent to be put down. Buster, Tiger and Rose make a daring escape but with danger at every turn, can the trio make it across the country as it prepares for battle – and cheat death for the second time?” For those who haven’t experienced the movie Homeward Bound, I couldn’t resist including a book trailer of it… one of my favorite actors voices a part, can you tell which one?
The Victory Dogs by Megan Rix – Historical Fiction/Animal Fiction, 4th grade and up – Immediately picked up this book as soon as I finished The Great Escape. Brilliant connected book, not a sequel. Beautiful story about a family dealing with bombing of their community, rescue dogs, and families being split due to the Second World War. Beautiful little story about a pregnant dog fleeing in fright after a bombing and having two puppies in an underground station. Beautiful development of two dogs that were the hope of many people, especially once their identities were revealed. So glad to discover Megan Rix’s stories! Publisher Summary: “At the start of the Second World War two puppies, Bark and Howl, are lost in the maze of tunnels of the London Underground. With the help of Sheba, an elderly one-eared cat, they learn how to survive in the darkness. But as bombs begin to fall over London, Bark and Howl are separated. As the attacks reign down, the two frightened puppies must use their expert knowledge of the tunnels to lead hundreds of trapped Londoners to safety. But with danger at every turn will Bark and Howl ever find each other – and survive the terrible Blitz?”
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.