Tuesday, January 25, 2022

OH MY GODS! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick. Illus by Juliana Moon. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. 202p.  ISBN 978-035829951-6 hc. $24.99     Gr. 4-8     J Graphic

Karen is a typical teen from New Jersey who likes to play video games with friends.  When her mom gets a new job that requires her to be out of town for some months, Karen is shipped off to live with her father on Mt. Olympus in Greece.  As she gets to know her dad and enrolls in school there, Karen finally catches on that she's in the company of mythological gods and goddesses.  Her father reveals that she is a demigod and her powers will emerge, but doesn't elaborate on what they might be.  Meanwhile, Karen and her new friends investigate the mystery of a classmate turned to stone in the library.  They find more stone bodies in the barn belonging to Medusa and her sisters, all homeschooled in order to isolate them from the public, and try to find a way to neutralize Medusa's gaze.  As things normalize around Mt. Olympus, readers are visually guided down dark corridors in the school building which lead to a locked door - and the next adventure in the series.  Don't miss Karen's handwritten notes at the back of the book that keep track of the gods and their powers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

TEN BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Molly Beth Griffin. Illus. by Maribel Lechuga.  Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2021. 32p. ISBN 978-1580899369 hc. $16.99     Gr. K-3     E PIC

Readers will have to guess why Lily and her Gram are traveling an entire night and day to get to the farmhouse in Iowa.  Lily is obviously sad to be moving there, but Gram tells her to pass the time by looking for ten beautiful things along the way.  Together they find the sunrise, a river, a flock of birds, clouds, and a thunderstorm, to name a few.  By the time they reach Gram's farmhouse, all the beauty of nature seemed to fill up the hollow places that Lily felt at the beginning of the trip.  Her attitude changed during the journey, allowing her to make a new life with Gram.  Full-page spreads emphasize the beauty of nature, no matter where you live.  What an inspiration for young readers who may have already started a new life in a new location.  Discussion possibilities are endless.Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

FORTY WINKS: A Bedtime Adventure by Kelly DiPucchio. Illus. by Lita Judge.  New York: Abrams Books, 2021.  32p.  ISBn978-141974552-2 hc. $17.99     PreS - K     E PIC

Mr. and Mrs. Wink and their 38 children give readers an up-close look at their industrial sized bedtime routine.  With everyone's help, the young mice are bathed, clothed, and read to before being tucked into bed.  The rhyming text is clever and includes a rhythmic role call of all the mice children.  It's a hilarious scene with 38 moving parts!  The watercolor and pencil illustrations build a world of fantasy that lets readers imagine a mouse house with enough beds for everyone.  Pure fun!
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

 ALLERGIC by Hegan Wagner Lloyd.  Art by Michelle Mee Nutter.  New York: Scholastic Graphix, 2021.  237p.  ISBN 978-133856891-2 hc. $24.99      Gr. 4-6     JUV Graphic

How would you feel if your body broke out in a rash whenever you were around animals, or ate eggs, or picked flowers or washed with certain soaps?  After a visit to the pet store to adopt a puppy, Maggie found out that she was allergic to all animals with fur or feathers.  This bad news was compounded by moving to a new school and the addition of a new baby in the family.  Maggie was not happy.  Things turned around for her when Claire moved in next door and a new friendship blossomed.  Their relationship endured a family of mice and Claire's new dog, but Maggie pulled through with a new understanding of her pesky brothers and open lines of communication with her parents.  Anyone who has ever been 10 years old will relate to this timely story.  The graphic novel format by Nutter is clear and easy to follow.Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI