Monday, November 30, 2015

ASK ME by Bernard Waber. Illustrated by Suzy Lee.  Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Hourcourt, 2015.  32p. ISBN 978-0547723944 hc. $16.99   PreK-Gr. 2   E PIC

Told in soft Fall and sunset colors, ASK ME is a beautiful story told in dialogue solely between father and daughter.  She shares her thoughts and feelings with her father in an effortless way, and the reader can feel his unconditional love through his patient responses.  The nostalgic feel for the simple message of taking the time to listen to his child will not be lost on the audience of those reading this book.  It will truly motivate readers and listeners alike to want to share a walk like the one described in this children's book.
Emily Cummings, Children's Specialist, Dickinson County Library

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brown.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. 96p. ISBN: 
978-0544157774 hc. $18.99.  Gr. 6-12   JUV NF

Don Brown is known for his graphic novels that use illustration to bring
emotion to his stories of disaster, while pointing out the cause of each event.
They are informational and dramatic, taking readers right into the geographic 
location of each story. This book was surprising in its illustrative detail of 
New Orleans before the storm, and the devastation that Hurricane Katrina 
left behind.  Brown makes readers feel like they were there with hurricane 
survivors who were suffering and crying for help.  Readers share the outrage 
about how long it took for help to arrive, and the buses that should have been 
there to transport people, and the empty trains that left the city.  So many more 
could have been saved if government officials had made preparations for 
everyone to leave the city, whether they had money or not.  This book is 
recommended for young adults as some the illustrations of looting and dead 
bodies are not suitable for younger children.  If you want to read more books by
Mary Koshorek, Librarian Assistant, Spies Public Library, Menominee, MI

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ORBITING JUPITER by Gary D. Schmidt.  New York:  Clarion Books , 2015. 192p.
ISBN 978 0544462229 hc. $17.99.  Gr. 7-12   JUV FIC

          Joseph Brooks is tough and unpredictable - the stereotypical bad boy - who is only fourteen years old.  He's been raised by an abusive father, and a year ago, he fathered a child of his own with another 13-year old.  All of this unconventional activity lands him in foster care with Jack Hurd and his parents.  Jack is a little younger than Joseph and narrates the story for readers.  Good parenting by the Hurds, along with several teachers who recognize Joseph's intellect, gradually loosen up Joseph and allow him to reveal his whole story which includes a yearning to see his daughter named Jupiter.  Jack can count the number of times Joseph has smiled during his stay and, as he relaxes into his nurturing surroundings, they begin to add up faster.  The future is looking good for Joseph until his father shows up and tries to use him and Jupiter for financial gain.
          Readers won't predict the plotline twists toward the end of the book because Schmidt is a masterful storyteller.  While most of his stories pack an emotional punch, this one was quite suspenseful and made my heart stop a couple of times.  After digesting the impact of ORBITING JUPITER, readers may want to pick up some of Schmidt's earlier award-winning books, such as LIZZIE BRIGHT AND THE BUCKMASTER BOY (2004), THE WEDNESDAY WARS (2007),  and it's sequel OKAY FOR NOW (2011).
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WINTER BEES & OTHER POEMS OF THE COLD by Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Rick Allen. HoughtonMifflin Harcourt:  2014. 32p. ISBN 978-0547-906508 hc. $17.99   Gr. 3-6    E PIC

WINTER BEES & OTHER POEMS OF THE COLD by Joyce Sidman is a collection of winter poems featuring the plant and animal wildlife found in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Some of the animals featured are:  chickadee, wolf, raven, moose, beaver, honey bee, and garter snake.  Each memorable nature poem is accompanied by an informational paragraph about the featured animal on the facing page.  Sidman teamed up with illustrator, Rick Allen, for Winter Bees.  The illustrations are composed of linoleum block printing that was digitally scanned and layered to join old and new art methods into eye-catching and anatomically correct nature spreads.  Sidman has written several books of poetry with a nature theme, earning Newbery Honors for DARK EMPORER AND OTHER POEMS OF THE NIGHT (2011), Caldecott Honors for RED SINGS FROM THE TREETOPS with illustrator Pamela Zagarenski  (2010), and Caldecott Honors for SONG OF THE WATER BOATMAN with illustrator Beckie Prange (2006).
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

IMAGINE A WORLD by Rob Gonsalves.  New York:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. 48p. ISBN: 978-1-4814-4973-1
17  hc. $17.99.
   Gr. Pre-3      Easy Picture Book

Wow this book is simply amazing! I loved absolutely everything about it and did not want it to come to an end. Rob Gonsalves is awesome. From the very first page when I read the words I imagined what the picture would be, then looked and my breath was taken away. A picture of leaves transforms into butterflies! This is a must have - must read book. I can not say enough or convey how truly touching and awe inspiring this masterpiece is. The recommended grade level is Pre-3, but personally I think this is a book for all ages young and old! Go back and read it again more slowly to absorb the wonderful feelings words and illustration.. Do your self a favor and pick this book up and enjoy. Mary Koshorek, Librarian Assistant, Spies Public Library, Menominee, MI