Tuesday, October 25, 2016

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN ROBOTS by Louise Simonson & Jimena Sanchez. Minnesota: Stone Arch Books, 2015 40p. ISBN 978-1434296528 pbk. $5.95  Gr. 3-6   JUV Graphic
This amazing update on Snow White is part of the “Far Out Fairy Tales” series of graphic novels based on traditional fairy tales which have, over time, been adapted into movies and retold through various authors and illustrators.  However, making “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” into a graphic novel and replacing the dwarves with robots who mine jewels on a distant planet is a first!  The alliance between Snow White and her protectors is similar to the original story, as is the rivalry between Snow White and the queen, who wants to eliminate anyone who is qualified to take over her powerful position.  The most significant difference between the old and new fairy tale, besides taking place in outer space, is that Snow White’s primary asset of beauty has been replaced by her intelligence and bravery.  She knows electronics and how to navigate a spaceship through the galaxy.   Modern readers (especially girls) will identify with a strong character who relies on brain power in this futuristic adventure!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

LOVE & GELATO by Jenna Evans Welch. New York: Simon Pulse, 2016. 389p.  ISBN978-14814-35=2542 hc. $17.99      Gr. 7-10    YA FIC

Lina's still in shock from her mother's death by way of incurable, inoperable cancer,  Her mom's dying wish is that Lina travel to Italy to live with her father for the summer.  A father she never knew existed.  Her mother also sends a journal containing information about the year she spent in Italy sixteen years ago.  Besides reading the journal and trying to unravel the mysteries found on its pages, Lina is being introduced to the many flavors of gelato and meeting new friends from the she'll attend in the fall (if she stays).  Two of those new friends are very handsome and both interested in her.  Will she repeat the mistakes of her mother's past - or learn to make better choices as she finds out more about herself too?
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES: I Almost Died, Again by Alison DeCamp.  New York: Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 279p. ISBN 978-038539048-4 hc. $16.99    Gr. 3-6   JUV

The adventures continue as Stanley moves back to St. Ignace after living in a logging camp near Manistique on the north shore of Lake Michigan.  He's still trying to get rich quick to save his hardworking mother from having to marry the horrible, but wealthy, Mr. Crutchley.  He's still afraid of his very mean grandmother and his cousin Geri.  However, Geri has pleurisy and is the inspiration for various "cure-all" concoctions that Stanley hopes will bring Geri back to health and make him rich in the process.  Meanwhile, Stanley is earning money by taking care of seven year-old Cuddy who's a straight man next to Stanley's outrageous ideas and habit of saying what's on his mind without realizing he's talking out loud.  On top of his usual troubles, Stanley meets his father face to face and is drawn to him like a moth to the flame, even though he's a notorious character with a mean streak. This story is fast paced and entertaining.  DeCamp has made it visually interesting by adding vintage postcards, photographs, and ads from newspapers and catalogs, all from the 1890's.  This Michigan author has found a treasure in Stanley, who made his debut in MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES: 99% True (2015).
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

BOO! HAIKU by Deanna Caswell. Illus. by Bob Shea.  New York: Abrams Appleseed, 2016. 32p.  ISBN 978-141972118-2 hc.$12.95    PreS - Gr. 2      E PIC

Readers will recognize the familiar pattern of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?" as the Halloween related object introduces the next object with "a spooky haiku just for you."   A skeleton, spider, jack-o-lantern, and seven more items appear as you turn the page from each descriptive haiku in extra large lettering.  This book is interactive, making it perfect for reading aloud to one child or a group of children.  Bob Shea's illustrations provide stark contrast between the object and its background, making it easy to recognize each Halloween item at a range of reading distances.  If you like this book, try using poetry to learn about animals with GUESS WHO HAIKU, created by the same writing team.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI