"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."--Groucho Marx

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Leaf Can Be.....

Salas, L. P. (2012). A leaf can be.... Minneapolis, MN: Lerner.

Beautiful Verse Detailing the Life of a Leaf

A Leaf Can Be…. is a beautiful story of the many things that leaves do in the world.  The pictures are beautiful and the information presented in such a way that allows for learning and discussion.  The verses are restful and informative. The text is too difficult for beginning readers, but the ideas beneficial for K-2 learning.  It could also be used in classes to supplement science lessons on trees or the environment by including beautiful poetry and illustrations. 

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Awesome New Pre-Teen Series

S.A.V.E. Squad Book 1: Dog Daze by Lauraine Snelling and Kathleen Wright

Snelling, L., & Wright, K. (2012). S.A.V.E. squad book 1: Dog daze.
     Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour.

Anita Jesper was an orphan in the Ukraine until she is adopted by ‘Mom,’ an attorney, into the Jesper family.  Anita is afraid; afraid that is she makes a mistake, she will be sent back, afraid that she will make mistakes speaking in English, afraid that the other girls will make fun of her, especially Melissa who already takes every opportunity to ridicule her.  Then Anita wins a poster contest putting her on a committee to create a fund raising event.  The group made up of girls who have trouble working as a group, until they witness a woman tossing a wiggling bag into the lake.  Each girl uses her strength to save the basset hound, and the group goes on to not only plan and produce an incredible fund raising event, but to save litters of basset hounds from the clutches of unethical handlers, at the same time developing their strengths and creating deep friendships.

Great story, well developed characters, with enough diversity that every girl can find herself in one of them.  Faith plays a large roll in the story, as the characters grow and learn about the world and strong relationships.  I recommend this for any pre-teen girl that seeks acceptance, adventure, and fun.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

It's a Big World, Little Pig! by Kristi Yamaguchi

Great for Inspiration

Poppy, the little pig is a talented skater that makes it to the World Games after much hard work.  The games are far away, and Poppy is scared, but her friends and family are encourage her and give her great advice.  When she arrives at the games in France, she learns that it is fun to make friends and competitors from all over the world want to make friends, too.  She has a wonderful time meeting people and sharing with them.

Kristi Yamaguchi relies on her experiences as an international competitor to relate the fear and excitement of venturing out into the unknown.  The words are very encouraging and motivating for the young people as they attempt new experiences.  The illustrations put the story over the top, including the precious pictures of Poppy in her competition outfits and a parade of other animal competitors all set in France.  Very cute story and one parents can share with children to encourage them in new experiences. Librarians could use this read aloud to stimulate discussions of fear of new experiences such as the fist day of school, etc. 

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

I'm Not Tired Yet! by Marianne Richmond

Great for Read A-loud to the Sleepless

Ralphie Mix at the age of six is up to tricks when he tries to keep from going to sleep. Much of the story is in rhyme, while Ralphie's mother tries a series of different solutions from fish kisses to caterpillar tickles. Finally, after tricking his mother with inferences to problems at school, Ralphie finally falls asleep.  The illustrations are fun, colorful and simple.  A fun read aloud book for parents to share with their children, especially those who have trouble falling asleep.  It would also work well as a read aloud for a young class, followed by acting out the different activities, and brainstorming for more.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

Redwood Bend: A Virgin River Novel by Robyn Carr

Carr, R. (2012). Redwood Bend: A Virgin River novel. Buffalo, NY: Harlequin.

Love is Just Around the Bend

Katie Malone moved across the country to escape the criminals that burned down the hardware store she and her brother inherited from their parents.  Now with the resolution of that problem, Katie and her twin five-year-old sons move back across the country to live near her brother.  Driving up into the mountains, Katie has a flat.  Motorcyclists traveling the same road, stop to help.  After one of the men catch Katie's eye, she is taken by surprise when they pull into the same town where her brother lives, sparking the beginning of a temporary or not relationship.

Redwood Bend is Robyn Carr's second novel in her Vrigin River series, but it works as a stand alone novel as well. Carr's descriptions of the scenery and the interesting characters add to the novel, raising it to an above average romance. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it for any woman looking for a fun diversion.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com

Friday, February 3, 2012

Supernatural Devices (A Steampunk Scarlett Novel: Bool 1)

Gow, K. (2011). Supernatural devices (A Steampunk Scarlett novel: Book1). The

Scarlett, the daughter of world traveling archeologists, sees more that most and is open to new ideas and oddities.  When family friend contacts Scarlett to return home from another boring trip, Scarlett is thrilled.  Her parents agree because they know and love Holmes’s, so she moves quickly to get home.  A thief steels Scarlett’s satchel from the steps of Holmes’s house kicking off a series of events that stretch even Scarlett’s mind and put her in danger.  Scarlett discovers that she has a lot to learn and discern from those around her, but then since she sees figures from the spirit world, perhaps she should not be too surprised.

This book is a fun read, and Gow's story line moves rapidly holding your interest hostage with the twists and turns.  Although the men in Scarlett's life imply that they would like to be intimate with her, Scarlett only kisses them. This is my first foray into the steampunk genre, and I was completely surprised at how much I enjoyed Gow’s book.  I would recommend this book to teens, or anyone, who enjoy vampires, mysteries, or love stories because Supernatural Devices is all that.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com