January is National Puzzle Month, and the 29th is National Puzzle Day! If you would like a great book to help you celebrate before the month is out, try this visual feast, published by National Geographic Kids. It features a variety of photo puzzles: optical illusions, hidden pictures, “Spot the Difference” (on two-page spreads), and more! It’s full of fun facts about nature, including how animals use camouflage for safety, how humans use vision and the brain in concert to understand the world around them, and how our perceptions can be fooled by visual tricks. There
“Every time a human walks out of a room, something with more feet walks in.” While this might not be comforting to most people, it is a fact of life in this fantastical Victorian world, created by the award-winning author Richard Peck, where human events are often mirrored in, or perhaps mirror, what happens in the mouse kingdom.
This is a fab(ulous) and funny book about John, Paul, George and Ringo—four lads from Liverpool, England who together, achieved worldwide fame and admiration as the Beatles, rock music band extraordinaire.
Charlie Bumpers is sure he’s doomed! It’s bad enough he’s the middle kid between a smart-aleck brother and a (sometimes) pesky little sister. But he’s starting his 4th grade year with all-white back-to-school shoes, he and his best friend Tommy are in separate classes for the first time ever, and—worst of all—he’s stuck with Teacher of the Year Mrs. Burke, the strictest in the whole school! She’s the same teacher that Charlie accidentally beaned with a shoe the year before—and she hasn’t forgotten!
What’s a “wordle?” According to creators Rosenthal and Bloch, wordles are “groups of words that sound exactly the same but mean different things,” such as “I scream,” and “ice cream”; “Heroes,” and “He rows.” This setup is followed by a baker’s dozen of wordles. One of my favorites is a fellow shouting, while being chased by two deer with big antlers, “I scream! Two bucks!” followed by an ice cream vendor selling “Ice cream, two bucks!” Other favorites include characters from fairy tales, and a little plug for Rosenthal’s book
Meet the most adorable sloths in Costa Rica's Sloth Sanctuary! The photographs are stunning and the humorously presented information about sloths will keep the reader’s attention.Meet the cutest baby sloths and some of their older companions.Learn about all their goofy personalities and silly antics.Also learn how the sanctuary he
Are you looking for a fun gift idea? Something new for “Where’s Waldo” fans? Or just a way to keep the kiddos busy while they wait for Christmas? Then bring a little “Christmas Chaos” into your life! It’s one of several books in the “Seek It Out” series by Picture Window Books, a division of Capstone Press. The book features 14 scenes, laid out in two-page spreads, which feature a different winter holiday experience: the center of a busy shopping mall, Santa’s workshop, ski slope, skating rink, a gingerbread village, a Kwanzaa celebration, among others
November has been designated National Native American Heritage Month. Even if it weren’t, I would still sing the praises of this wonderful book and its sequels. The Birchbark House introduces the reader to Omakayas (“Little Frog”), a young Ojibwa girl living on what is now known as Madeline Island, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior in the 1840’s.
This story is about a boy named Linc, who becomes a spy because his look-alike was a missing agent from a top secret operation team named “Pandora”. Lincoln Baker, a 12-year-old, is one of those kids who means well but is constantly in trouble. On a field trip to a chicken farm, Linc feels bad for the chickens all cooped up so he decides to let them loose. Now the school wants to expel him, the farmer wants to sue his family for damages, and his best friend puts his picture with bird poop on his head on YouTube. This is how he is noticed
No tricks, just treats! There are many great books with Halloween stories and poems, and many are currently on display at the library. One of my favorites is Alison McGhee’s Only a Witch Can Fly. The author uses a beautiful old form of poetry with a mesmerizing rhythm, to relate the feelings of a young girl who longs to fly on a chilly but enchanted Halloween night, even if it means leaving the warmth of home, familiar things, and doubts and fears behind.
In this second book of time travelers, we find our Hystorians, Dak. Sera, and Riq traveling to 885 A.D. to fix the break in history. They land in Paris during the 9th century where thousands of Viking warriors are trying to capture the city. Their old enemies the SQ are also there and they are helping the Vikings. The time travelers need to find the Hystorian and fix the break before it’s too late.
From brats on the grill and festival fare to fresh farm market fruits and veggies, food is an essential part of summer fun in Wisconsin. Savor the flavors with this feast of fun facts, history and recipes by local food expert Allen and local history writer Malone.
This story follows where The Shifterended. In Blue Fire, our heroine, 15-year-old Nya, begins with the same goal that she had in The Shifter – to keep the people she loves safe. Unfortunately, because of her unique ability to shift pain from one person to another, this is tougher than it sounds. Tali, Nya’s sister, and the other takers are hiding in Geveg from the evil invading Duke of Baser. He is hunting for Nya and the taker
Just in time for summer, Cheesie Mack and his best friend Georgie are back. If you haven’t read Cheesie Mack is Not a Genius or Anything, you should, but it doesn’t have to stop you from reading this book because Cheesie fills you in on all the important details right at the beginning.
I love Jan Thomas’ silly, charming books with her bold, colorful comic-style illustrations, from Rhyming Dust Bunnies to Is Everyone Ready for Fun?Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy is her latest to date, and in my opinion, another hit. The cowboy of the title is actually not so brave; in his attempts to settle his cows down for the night, he interrupts his own lullaby with startled exclamations about what he imagines is lurking in the dark. The cows calm and reassure him--until, that is, something really IS in the shadows!
A very engaging and scary fantasy mystery that takes the heroine on a whirlwind trip into another world called Scotopia. If you liked Coraline or Alice in Wonderland you will certainly enjoy this fantasy.
“Line up every kind of plant and animal on Earth…and one of every four will be a beetle.” So begins the Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins, a treasure trove of fascinating facts about beetles the world over, including information about body structure, life cycles, communication, defenses, and other beetle behaviors.
Imagine being in charge of a jackalope with razor-sharp antlers and being pursued by government agents. Professor Twitchett abandons his animal science experiment in Jeremy’s room and disappears. Where can he hide “Jack”? Not the clothes hamper. Jack shreds clothes, including Jeremy’s underwear. What do you feed a killer bunny? Well, Jack loves whiskey, so Jeremy robs minibars to keep him placated.
Amy and Dan Cahill, with their friends, Atticus and Jake Rosenbloom, are on the run from Interpol. They have no choice but to fulfill every demand of Vesper One or else one of the hostages will die. They are ordered to steal the world’s largest diamond from one of Berlin’s famous museums. If they do not succeed, what will become of them or the hostages?
“Why do it?” I asked myself. “Just months ago, you reviewed a book about a dog with a second chance at a happy life (Saving Audie by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent), so why do another so soon?” “I can’t help it!” was my reply. “I’ve fallen in love, and people in love can do foolish things. So there!”
On August 28, 1963, almost 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his powerful and iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. The “Dream” portion of the stirring speech provides the narrative for this picture book, illustrated with inspired and inspiring paintings by Caldecott Honor Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson. Nelson includes portraits of Dr.
We’re in the midst of a white winter wonderland in Wisconsin. But for those who long for something green, you’ll find it, in all its many shades, in this lovely picture book. Author/artist Seeger combines simple rhyming text, lush paint-on-canvas illustrations and with cleverly positioned cut out accents, inviting readers to explore and enjoy the presence (and sometimes absence) of green in nature and in everyday objects.
The state legislature has declared 12/12/12 “Aaron Rodgers Day” in Wisconsin, in honor of the Green Bay Packers star quarterback with the uniform number 12. Young readers can celebrate the success of this remarkable athlete with two books added to the library’s collections this past year.
Logan suspects that missing pet dogs are being dognapped by invading aliens and forms the Intergalactic Canine Rescue Unit with his friends. He communicates with a female alien who speaks for the big Boss alien, is kidnapped himself, and through quick thinking and clever negotiating, Logan becomes a hero. Dognappers is a fast read appealing to middle-graders with its gross humor, surprising adventures with aliens and mysteries.
Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan. He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies. In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team. Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.
May Elizabeth Bitterly lives on the Kansas frontier with her family. May wants to study and become a teacher, but her father needs her to earn some money for the familiy by living and working on the neighboring Oblinger homestead, but just until Christmas. Mr. Oblinger has made a rustic sod house for his new young bride, who is not use to the roughness of life on the frontier. May cooks, washes and offers Mrs. Oblinger lessons of life on the frontier. Mrs. Oblinger does not return May’s kindness.
The cover photo of the chocolate brown pit bull puppy with soulful amber eyes drew me to this book. Saving Audie is a straighforward but heartwarming true account of this dog, one of many rescued from almost certain death in an illegal dogfighting organization co-owned by NFL player Michael Vick. Kept for many months in shelters as evidence against the wrongdoers, with only numbers instead of names, the dogs faced an uncertain future. While many people thought the dogs were dangerous and damaged
In this sequel to Liar, Liar by Gary Paulsen, fourteen year old Kevin is broke from having to forfeit his allowance because of his earlier habit of lying. He now schemes to get rich fast by any idea that pops into his head such as starting a poker club, “borrowing” a golf cart that is in the repair shop to do nightly snack runs to college students, convincing his sister to charge her friends for beauty services, cleaning garages for pay and throwing the contents illegally into a company dumpster.
Newbery medalist (for A Year Down Yonder) Richard Peck pens an exciting, humorous mouse adventure - - a nonstop entertaining run of mice at sea, sailing with their people, the Cranstons, to England in search of a husband for daughter, Olive Cranston. Helena, the eldest mouse sister, and her family fear discovery, the perils of open water, and the menace of the ship’s cat. Helena narrates the story from mouse perspective (“. . . We mice dream of nothing but cheese and time running out.” p.
This first book in the new Ghost Buddy series by authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver will capture readers with its genuine, good guy, but clumsy, protagonist Billy Broccoli. Moving into a new house, Billy finds teenage ghost Hoove in his room and learns to accept him and his suggestions. Hoove is determined to help Billy gain confidence and become cool. When Billy is totally embarrassed by the school bully, Hoove conspires with Billy to get even, yet Billy manages to maintain his ethics while coming out ahead.
Tony Sarg (1880 – 1942) was the master puppeteer who invented the first huge animal puppets that floated in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. This is the story of a creative little boy who wondered at how things moved and worked, and who grew up to become the puppeteer of Macy’s parade.
Illustrator Ed Young, winner of the Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, tells the unique story of his childhood in wartime China through award-winning author Libby Koponen. Young’s father, Baba, an engineer, devises a way of protecting his wife and five children and numerous other relatives and friends by constructing a bomb-proof house that becomes a playground for the children complete with a swimming pool.
What young boy wouldn’t want a dog? Rufus, a fifth grader, argues persistently to justify his need for a dog. His dad stubbornly lists the many reasons why dogs are forbidden in their house: “They infest the house with blood-sucking fleas” and “They drag dead animals into the house” (p. 3). In an attempt to compromise, Mom brings home a guinea pig. “Fido” turns out to be no ordinary guinea pig. In fact, she does everything a dog would do! She plays Frisbee, obeys commands, licks faces and fetches sticks.