Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just for fun: some new books

Yuck, it must be getting near the start of a school year -- everybody's got a new reading list, and summer's not even over yet. Well, here are some new books that are probably going to be worth reading. Even if they're not on a teacher's list, they look good enough to read on your own.

Younger Readers

Becker, Bonny. A Visitor for Bear. Illus. by Kady MacDonald Denton. Candlewick. Bear’s forest home sets the stage for a visit from the persistent and irritating mouse who insists the two will become friends.

Bee, Wlliam. Beware of the Frog. Illus. by the author. Candlewick. Living alone in the forest, Old Mrs. Collywobbles needs protection from the Greedy Goblin, the Smelly Troll, and the Giant Hungry Ogre. Her pet frog jumps out of folklore to come to her rescue and give Mrs. Collywobbles more than she anticipated.

Davis, Eleanor. Stinky. Illus. by the author. RAW Junior/TOON Books. Stinky, the swamp monster, is at first determined to rid his beloved “muddy, slimy, smelly swamp” of Nick, only to realize that this dreaded “kid” is not the appallingly clean intruder he supposes him to be. (2009 Geisel Honor Book)

Dorros, Arthur. Papá and Me. Illus. by Rudy Gutierrez. Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins. The story of a father and son who spend a special day together in the city—singing, cooking, going to the park and the beach, riding the bus, and telling stories, culminated by a visit with Papá’s parents. (2009 Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Grant, Judyann Ackerman. Chicken Said, “Cluck!” Illus. by Sue Truesdell. HarperCollins. Earl and Pearl shoo Chicken away as they work on their pumpkin patch, but as the story comes full circle, it’s Chicken who does the shooing and saves the day. (2009 Geisel Honor Book)

Middle Readers

Appelt, Kathi. The Underneath. Illus. by David Small. Atheneum. A man, a loyal hound, an abandoned cat and a vengeful lamia sing of love, loss, loneliness and hope. (2009 Newbery Honor Book)

Broach, Elise. Masterpiece. Illus. by Kelly Murphy. Holt/Christy Ottaviano. An artistic beetle with a yen for adventure and a lonely 11-year-old boy team up to catch the thief who has stolen a priceless painting from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Dowd, Siobhan. The London Eye Mystery. Random/David Fickling. In a race against time, twelve-year-old Ted, with his sister Kat, uses his special skills and perceptions to discover how their cousin Salim disappeared while riding the London Eye, the world’s tallest observation wheel.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book. Illus. by Dave McKean
. HarperCollins. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens. A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, Gaiman’s tale is told in magical, haunting prose. (2009 Newbery Medal Book)

González, Lucía. The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos. Illus. by Lulu Delacre. Children’s Book Press. The story of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian hired by the New York Public Library, who introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood’s first Three Kings’ Day fiesta. (2009 Belpré Author Honor Book and Illustrator Honor Book)

Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka. Illus. by author. Viking/Penguin. Growing up in a household with five brothers during the 1950’s and 1960’s by the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, illustrated with pictures from the period.

Schulman, Janet. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City. Illus. by Meilo So. Alfred A. Knopf. The story of Pale Male, a male hawk who nests atop a Fifth Avenue apartment building in New York City and sparks a battle for his habitat among residents and conservationists.

And here's one more book,just because ... (because no one said you can't read books just for fun!)

An Octopus Followed Me Home
Written by Dan Yaccarino

A little girl arrives at her house with an octopus that followed her home, but when she asks her daddy if she can keep him, he reminds her of the other pets he has let her keep. That would be the crocodile, seals, giraffe, grizzly bear, penguins, mountain goats, rabbits, and elephants that are already cluttering up their home. (Review written by Brian Frank on August 4, 2009)

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