November 26, 2009
by Jacqueline Jules
illustrated by Kathryn Mitter
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m not a huge duck fan but as someone who is having Italian roast beef for Thanksgiving, I had to check this out.
In school, the focus on Thanksgiving seems to be the turkey — the teacher even calls it “Turkey Day.” What will people think, worries Tuyet, if they find out her family is having duck instead? It worries her so much that she gathers up her money to try to buy a turkey at the grocery store.
This mission fails but Tuyet still has a great holiday, playing with her cousins and enjoying dinner with her extended family. That said, she ends up crying at school as she tells her teacher that they didn’t have turkey like everyone else. One-by-one her classmates speak out and she discovers that many of them had something different too — tofu turkey, enchiladas, lamb and even roast beef.
No matter how your family celebrates, this is a book that can help young readers see what the holiday is really about. It can also act to support a child whose background may be different from how they perceive mainstream US culture. You can even get a preview by checking out the book trailer on the author’s web site.
November 19, 2009
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (AR 5.2)
by Jeff Kinney
Dog Days is the fourth book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
the book start out when Greg is on his summer vacation. He is an “indoor” person but his parents are forcing him to spend more time outside — ugh!
My favorite part of the book is when he is going to the mall so that his parents can get him a “make up gift” because his Uncle’s dog ate his birthday cake and then puked it up candles and all. At the mall, they go to the pet store and Mom gives him and his two brothers each a five dollar bill. Roderick, his older brother, had his eye on a snake but had to rethink that because it cost too much. Greg gets an angel fish and Roderick gets a fish too. Bad news for Greg! According to Greg, Roderick picked this fish out because it was aggressive.
I think this book will be good for people who are dealing with some problems during their summer vacation because Greg goes through a lot of funny problems. I also think this book will be good for people who like dogs a bit.
These books are really, really funny. They’d make really good Christmas presents, especially book 2 which includes Christmas.
–Guest Reviewer (10 years old), son of SueBE
November 11, 2009
Peeping and Sleeping (AR 2 .2 )
by Fran Manushkin
illustrated by Jennifer Plecas
I pulled this out when my niece spent the night — finding a good story for a 6 year old and a 10 year old can be tricky so I decided to go with an old favorite.
Barry is trying to go to bed (why did all the parents just snicker?) when he is distracted by a noise outside. What could be peeping out there in the dark? When he asks, Dad gets their slippers and takes him out to find the answer. They head across the yard and down to the pond where he discovers dozens and dozens of tiny frogs.
As Barry and Dad hop back to the house frog-style, Barry loses his slipper. It is only after he is in bed that he realizes the slipper he carried back holds a surprise.
This is a sweet gentle story with some nice surprises. Young readers will have fun trying to guess what on earth is making that noise.
Pleca’s pastels on heavy paper make for an earthy illustrations perfect for a night-time story.
An excellent bed time choice, share it tonight with the youngster in your life.
November 5, 2009
Neil Armstrong is My Uncle & Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me (AR 4 .1 ) by Nan Marino
Roaring Brook Press
Tamara Ann Simpson doesn’t know why no one else can see it. Muscle Man McGinty is a liar and a braggart. The last straw comes when he challenged every single kid on Ramble Street to a kickball game. Kickball is serious stuff and Tamara is sure that, at last, Muscle Man will get what he deserves.
In the summer of 1969, everyone is focused on two things. The upcoming moon walk and the war in Vietnam. These events seem distant to Tamara as she tries to get by without her best friend, Kebsie. A foster child, Kebsie moved away while Tamara was out of town. Tamara takes her frustration out on Muscle Man, the next foster kid to hit the neighborhood.
Laugh out loud funny lines alternate with tear jerker moments as the realities of imperfect families and the fragility of life come home to Ramble Street.
Tamara Ann may not always be likable but she is 100% realistic. The reader too will wonder why every other thing Muscle Man says is a lie and why the adults seem so tolerant. All will be revealed.
An excellent choice for a kid who may be having problems dealing with not so nice feelings and situations.