Sunday, March 30, 2014

CODE BUSTERS CLUB 2 by Penny Warner.  New York:  Egmont, 2012.  195p.  978-1-60684-163-1;  hc.,  $15.99.    Gr.2-3    JF
Mystery fans will enjoy the interactive elements in this new series. Solving the mystery with codes, and puzzles will keep readers eagerly turning the pages as Cody and her friends try to break the codes and puzzles that they hope will lead them to find the answers to an old mystery on the creepy, infamous Alcatraz Island prison while on a class trip. Librarians can happily suggest this series to youngsters looking for new mysteries.
Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library

Friday, March 28, 2014

THE GHOST IN THE GLASS HOUSE by Carey Wallace. New York: Clarion Books, 2013. 229 p. 0978-0-544-02291-1; $16.99.   Juvenile Fiction

The Ghost in The Glass House is a 1920's coming of age story about Clare, a young girl who travels the world with her mother after the death of her father. Her grieving mother, unable to return to their home, ventures to one exotic place after another while Clare dreams of returning home. She learns to read people and anticipate their reactions and responses to the point of knowing what will happen next. Until they land in a seaside summer home on the coast where they are joined by friends for the summer. Clare finds a mysterious glass house on the property of their summer house and resolves to find out why it is locked and off limits. When she gains entry she finds and befriends a ghost boy and falls in love. She finds comfort and safety from her friends visiting for the summer and their cruel pranks in the glass house. They as well are dealing with teenage growing pains and irresponsible parents on vacation.  I found the text a bit wordy at times and the ending left too many questions. I hope there is a sequel coming ......
Charlotte Dugas, retired Munising School Public Library Director

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'M A FROG by Mo Willems (2013)
When Piggie pretends to be a frog, she has to explain to her friend, Gerald the elephant, what pretending is and why its fun to act like you're someone else.  Herald is very literal and takes some convincing, but finally decides he can also pretend.  He lets out a "Mooooooo" that takes over the whole page.  Young readers love Elephant & Piggie books because the vocabulary, along with the conversation, is basic and repetitive and always clever.  Willems also authored A BIG GUY TOOK MY BALL! (another Elephant & Piggie book) in 2013.
Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library

Saturday, March 22, 2014

LIVES OF PRESIDENTS: FAME, SHAME AND WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THOUGHT by Kathleen Krull. Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. Harcourt Children's Books: New York, 2011. 104p.
ISBN: 978-0-547-49809-6 hb. $21.00.  

Krull highlights the private lives and unique habits of the presidents and their wives, featuring every executive officer from George Washington to Bill Clinton.  Most presidents have a brief overview of 2-3 pages for each of their terms, but some presidents rate only a paragraph.  The illustrator includes realistic cartoon drawings of Presidents and First Ladies -  or women who acted as First Lady.  Readers get more than the political picture of presidential lives. 
Joanne Weber, Volunteer, Munising School Public Library

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SHOWTIME by Sheryl Berk. Illustrated by Mark Donna. Dance Divas series. Bloomsbury, New York: 2013 151p. ISBN: 978-1-61963-182-3 hb. $15.99.  Gr. 2-4  Juv.

From what I can tell, this book is probably pretty accurate with how things are for young girls hrough their teens in the dance world.  The moms, the friends, the not so friendly girls and the dance instructor all come alive in "Showtime!"  I will be recommending this book to all little dancers that come through our doors at our library.  They are sure to enjoy the friendships between the girls.  They might even hold their breath a few times like I did cause you want your favorite to win.  This is sure to be the start of a new series that will have all it's readers waiting for the next in the series to come
Mary @ Spies Public Library

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

AUNTIE LO’S GREAT SOYBEAN PICNIC by Ginnie Lo.  Illus. Beth Lo.  NY:  Lee & Low Books Inc., 2012.  32p.  978-1-60060-442-3; hc., $18.95.    Gr.K-3    EP
During a yearly family reunion when two families are on an outing in the farm country near Chicago, Auntie Yang sees what appears to be a soybean field. Delighted, Yang asks the farmer if she can pick some of the beans and leaves with a bag of soybean plants. When the group return home Auntie relates how important soybeans are as food in China as well as telling the children the lore about the bean. After making several traditional soybean dishes, the families enjoy them at a soybean picnic. The picnic becomes a yearly event, growing larger every ensuing year. At the time the story takes place soybeans were unknown as people food in America; the bean was used as feed for cows and pigs. Based on the author’s experiences with her family and the real Auntie Yang’s soybean picnics, this story gives readers a glimpse into Chinese culture and the admirable closeness of family.
Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

YOUNG FRANK ARCHITECT by Frank Viva. The Museum of Modern Art:  New York, 2013. 40p. ISBN: 978-0-87070-893-0 hb. $16.95   PreS-Gr. 2    J Easy Pic

The cover of Young Frank Architect caught my eye immediately.  The illustrations throughout the book are done in a eye appealing, simple way.  The story is about young Frank wanting to be an architect just like his grandpa old Frank.  Young Frank uses whatever he can find to make a chair, a building and even a city.  Grandpa thinks that maybe his grandson might not be suited to be an
architect.  So he takes young Frank to the museum.  When they get there it is old Frank that sees that another architect named Frank started off by making a wiggly chair, a twisted tower and even a whole city.  The story should be read with an adult if you ask me so that they can explain that the author is subtly referring to the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry.
Mary, @ Spies Public Library

Thursday, March 6, 2014

HERE THERE BE MONSTERS: The Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid by H.P. Newquist.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 73 p. 978-0-547-07678-2; hb., $18 Grade 5- adult

Excellent coverage of historical legends of the Kraken (now called the giant squid) from ancient to contemporary times. Amply illustrated with ancient maps, woodcuts and contemporary photos, this book grabs one's attention. If there is any doubt about the existence of the squid, the photos of the 26 foot long recent catch stretched out on stainless steel will remove all doubt and possibly result in nightmares for the squeamish. Knife-life hooks coming out of the suckers and teeth-like blades on the
tongue, not to mention the 13" diameter eyeball, are sure to intrigue, gross-out and entertain, children and adults alike. The anatomy of the squid is very interesting is sure to keep the interest of those who delve beyond the illustrations to read the science. There is still a great deal to learn about these elusive mysterious creatures. Well-written for children and adults alike.
Susie Rohrbough, Accordionist and Librarian at large

Monday, March 3, 2014

UNBROKEN: A Ruined Novel by Paula Morris. New York:  Point/Scholastic Press., 2013.  291p.  978-0-545-41641-2;  hc.,  $17.99.    Gr.6 & up   YAF
Morris follows her successful first book in the Ruined series, Dark Soul, with satisfying second entry. New Yorker, Rebecca, returns to New Orleans with her father and best friend Ling. On her last visit to New Orleans, she narrowly escaped a harrowing death in an old cemetery. A century old mystery involving a locket, ghosts who speak to Rebecca, her growing attraction to handsome Anton are a recipe that will attract and temporarily satiate teen readers who have an appetite for mysteries and the supernatural, until the next installment in the series.
Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library