Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New books for kids: Reversible poems, rat-finks, and Missile Mouse

There's lots of new kids books this month, and whole worlds to explore. Graphic novels, fairies, mysteries ... and even poems that you can read two ways! Look for these here on BookBag using the WorldCatalog and Amazon search boxes ....

Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse, by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Josée Masse (Dutton Children's Books) Illustrated Poetry. "Who says it's true -- down is the only view?" Who, indeed? In this clever book, each poem can be read two ways: from the top line down and from the bottom line up. The poems, inspired by familiar folk tales and fairy tales, take on different meanings when read in reverse but still make sense. Some of them give the villain's point of view in a funny way, and others (such as the Snow White-themed poem "Mirror Mirror") are more on the dark and creepy side. Word-lovers and puzzle fans will want to make up their own "reversos" after reading Mirror Mirror.

Nikki & Deja: The Newsy News Newsletter, by Karen English; illustrated by Laura Freeman (Clarion Books) Realistic Fiction. When best friends and next-door-neighbors Nikki and Deja decide to create their own "newsy news" newsletter--one that reports all the really interesting stuff that's happening in their neighborhood and school--it seems like a great idea. But pretty soon, they run out of things to report, and their creative solution to the lack of news gets them into trouble. If you like fun, easy-to-read stories about friends and their everyday ups and downs, you'll love this 3rd book in the Nikki and Deja series, and you might also want to check out the first two books, Nikki and Deja and Birthday Blues.

Ratfink, by Marcia Thornton Jones; illustrated by C.B. Decker (Dutton Children's Books) Realistic Fiction. Logan wants to have a good fifth-grade year, but it's almost as if he has a special talent for getting into trouble. And this year, it seems that Emily, the new girl at school, is intent on getting him into even more trouble than usual. On top of that, Logan's grandfather, who has become forgetful and does some strange and embarrassing things, has moved in with his family. Logan is convinced that "fifth-graders are mean," and he doesn't want them catching Grandpa doing something bizarre. Looks like it's going to be a tough year. This hilarious and heartbreaking story about friends, enemies, and family rings true.

The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz; illustrated by Angela Barrett (Candlewick Press) Fantasy. Tiny Flora, about the size of an acorn, is a night fairy who's still getting used to her wings. When she is attacked by a hungry bat, Flora's wings are destroyed, and she falls into the beautiful garden of a giantess. She decides to make a new home for herself in the cherry tree that grows there--and to become a day fairy to avoid bats ("I hate, hate, hate bats") in the future. But the world is much different in the daytime, and Flora soon learns that she'll have to make friends with the other garden-dwelling creatures in order to survive. This beautifully illustrated book is perfect for readers who like both the magical world of fairies and exciting outdoor adventures.

The Mysterious Howling, by Maryrose Wood; illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray) Fiction. Fifteen-year-old Penelope Lumley has a whopper of a first job: she's been hired to be the governess for three orphaned siblings who were, evidently, raised by wolves. Penelope isn't sure she can civilize the children in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball, but that may not turn out to be her biggest concern...for mysteries abound at Ashton Place, from the real origin of the Incorrigible children to the reason why Old Timothy the coachman is always lurking around to whether there is someone living behind the staircase wall. Readers who enjoy droll humor, melodrama, and deep, dark secrets will love this 1st book of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and be eager for more.

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher, by Jake Parker (Graphix) Graphic Novel. Tough-talking, no-nonsense Missile Mouse is an agent for the Galactic Security Agency, and he's on a mission to rescue a scientist who's been kidnapped by the Rogue Imperium of Planets (or RIP). The scientist, Ulrich, has information that the RIP needs in order to build a doomsday weapon with the power to destroy the entire universe, and the RIP has an evil plan to extract it directly from Ulrich's brain...but foiling evil plans is Missile Mouse's specialty. With lots of rock-'em, sock-'em action, alien monsters, double agents, and a spectacular finish, this comic-book adventure is a thrilling read.

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