Monday, May 24, 2010

New books for kids: Dogs, hidden boys and one crazy summer

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and that means summer vacation is coming soon! More time to read just for fun ... and just for laughs. Here are some books for younger readers that are sometimes goofy, sometimes beautiful, and always exciting. Look for these on BookBag's World Catalog and Amazon links, and get ready for summer!

Calvin Coconut: Dog Heaven, by Graham Salisbury; illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers (Wendy Lamb Books) Realistic Fiction. When Calvin's teacher assigns the class a paper on the topic "What I Want So Badly I Can Taste It," Calvin isn't sure what to write. But after thinking about it, he realizes that he really, really wants a dog. Can he write a paper that's persuasive enough to convince his mom? Like the first two books in the Calvin Coconut series, this 3rd volume is filled with details about life in Hawaii (Calvin's home) and is a fun, feel-good read.

The Very Little Princess, by Marion Dane Bauer; illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles (Random House) Fiction. Ten-year-old Zoey and her mother have always been "a family of two." Then, one morning Zoey's mom tells her that they're going to visit Zoey's grandmother, whom Zoey has never met. When Zoey finds a beautiful doll at her grandmother's house and the doll suddenly comes to life, Zoey thinks it's a dream come true...until the doll, who believes that she is a princess, begins ordering Zoey around. If you enjoy this story, which has a bit of magic to it but is also about real-life family problems, you might also like Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur.

Mokie & Bik, by Wendy Orr; illustrations by Jonathan Bean (Henry Holt) Fiction. Fraternal twins Mokie (who's bigger) and Bik (who's faster) live on a houseboat with their artist mother and their nanny, Ruby, the only one besides the twins who understands their special language. Mokie and Bik's father is off at sea and their mother is often "arting," and when Ruby isn't paying close attention, the two of them get into all kinds of scrapes and adventures. If you enjoy this boisterous romp of a story, be sure to check out its sequel, Mokie & Bik Go to Sea.

The Hidden Boy, by Jon Berkeley (Katherine Tegen Books) Fantasy. Even though no one in Bea Flint's family remembers buying a raffle ticket, the Flints have won a "Blue Moon Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure Holiday." Departing in a vehicle called a "busmarine" via a local car wash, the Flints are in for an adventure, all right: before they even reach their destination--the very strange land of Bell Hoot--Bea's younger brother Theo disappears. Readers who enjoy bizarre, whimsical imaginary worlds, fast-paced stories, kooky characters, and strong girl heroes will zip through this 1st volume of the Bell Hoot Fables series and be eager for more.

I Barfed on Mrs. Kenly, by Jessica Harper; illustrated by Jon Berkeley (G.P. Putnam's Sons) Realistic Fiction. Poor Cleo; she ate WAY too many pancakes for breakfast on the morning of her friend's swim party, and she gets car-sick in the van on the way there. How can she possibly face her friends or have fun at the party? If you liked the humor and everyday mishaps in the first two books of this easy-to-read series, Uh-Oh, Cleo and Underpants on My Head, you'll love I Barfed on Mrs. Kenly -- and fans of Judy Moody or Sara Pennypacker's Clementine books will like Cleo, too.

One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad) Historical Fiction. It's 1968, and 11-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, are traveling from their home in Brooklyn, New York to Oakland, California for the summer. Despite the objections of Big Ma, their grandmother, the girls' Papa believes it's time that the sisters get to know their mother, Cecile--who left them all behind just after Fern was born. Delphine and her sisters are nervous and excited, but when they arrive, it's clear that Cecile didn't really want them to come. Much more interested in her poetry than her daughters, Cecile sends the girls to day camp ... and it turns out to be one crazy summer indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment