Book review: Freckleface Strawberry and the Really Big Voice, by Julianne Moore, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Moore, Julianne.  Freckleface Strawberry and the Really Big Voice. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. (Freckleface Strawberry series) Doubleday Random House, 2016.  $16.99. ISBN 978-0-385-39203-7. 32 pgs. Grades: Kindergarten-Early Elementary. P7/Q6

moore-freckleface-strawberry-and-the-really-big-voiceAnother story in the Freckleface Strawberry series.  This one focuses on her best friend Windy Pants Patrick and his very loud voice.  There is a time to use your outside voice and your inside voice.  All the characters except Windy Pants figures this out.  The story is entertaining and the way the font changes to express when the kids are using a loud or quiet voice helps the story along.  I would see for a beginner reader it could be hard to follow as the words are sporadically placed on the pages. The illustrations show a diverse group of kids on each page though which is nice.

November 2016 review by Helyn Layton.

Book review: Milk Goes to School, by Terry Border

Border, Terry.  Milk Goes To School. Philomel Books/Penguin Random House, 2016.  $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-17619-7. 30 pgs. Ages 3-7. P7/Q7

border-milk-goes-to-schoolThis is a story of trying to fit in and make friends in a clever way using puns and familiar foods.  All the characters are real food such as a cupcake, waffle, an egg, chicken nuggets, and the main character is a small carton of milk who her father says is the “Crème de la crème”.  Milk keeps saying the wrong things that make her classmates upset.  She doesn’t mean to.  She truly has good intentions, and by the end of the book all the misunderstandings get cleared up. All the photos are done with digital art work using three-dimensional objects.  This is a story that young readers will enjoy and find funny.  Some of the puns may go over their heads, but will be amusing to adults reading to their young ones.

November 2016 review by Helyn Layton.

Book review: Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, by Gene Barretta

Barretta, Gene.  Lincoln and Kennedy:  A Pair to Compare. Henry Holt and Company,  2016. $17.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9945-4. 40 pgs. Glossary. Elementary Age. P6/Q8

barretta-lincoln-and-kennedyThis is a very well written book comparing and contrasting two of the greatest presidents in history.  The language is clearly written and easy to understand with illustrations that visually get the author’s point across.  The book tells how Lincoln and Kennedy were different, yet also shows how their vision was similar.  There are a lot of interesting facts and coincidences about these two presidents.  At the back of the book there are more additional facts about Lincoln and Kennedy with some fun trivia and a glossary. How amazing that two totally different people who lived and served a hundred years apart who grew up so differently were so similar in many ways.

November 2016 review by Helyn Layton.

Book review: Richard Scarry’s Busytown Treasury

Richard Scarry’s Busytown Treasury. Random House,  2016.  $12.99.  ISBN 978-0-553-53899-1.   174 pgs.  Bonus Activity Pages. Ages Toddler-Elementary. P9/Q10

scarry-busytown-treasuryThis is a compilation of six well-known stories from Richard Scarry’s Busy World stories.  It is divided into bedtime stories, manners, A Day at the fire station, police station, airport, and doctor’s office.  You see the famous bananamobile, hear about Sergeant Murphy saving the day and many of the other beloved characters in Busytown. A fun bonus is an additional 12 pages of activities. Included are games, crafts with instructions, and even a recipe.

November 2016 review by Helyn Layton.

[Editor’s note: According to the publisher description, this Busytown Treasury includes six previously published titles: “Bedtime Stories, The Please and Thank You Book, A Day at the Fire Station, A Day at the Police Station, A Day at the Airport, Nicky Goes to the Doctor plus a bonus section full of fun activities.”  These previously published works combine titles not only by Richard Scarry but also by Huck Scarry (and the Richard Scarry Corporation).]

Book review: The Fletcher Family Takes Rock Island, by Dana Alison Levy

Levy, Dana Alison. The Fletcher Family Takes Rock Island. (Family Fletcher series, #2) Delacorte Press, 2016. $16.99.  ISBN   978-0-553-52130-6. 259 pgs.  Editor’s Notes.  Ages 10-13. P7/Q8

levy-family-fletcher-takes-rock-islandThis book has humor, nostalgia, diversity, life lessons, and even a mystery to solve. The Fletcher family includes 2 dads, 4 adopted boys, 2 cats, and 1 dog.  They head off to their vacation home at Rock Island where everything that was familiar and routine has suddenly changed.  A main point is that the lighthouse next to their house that they would play in is all fenced up.  Why is it fenced up?  Who is the new owner? The humor of how the family adapts to the changes in their summer vacation spot is entertaining.  Life lessons are learned dealing with how to except change, trying new things, living in a diverse family and realizing there is prejudice in the world and also conquering fears.  There’s even a villain in the plot that the Fletcher boys expose by the end of the story.

November 2016 review by Helyn Layton.

Book review: Fugitives, by Alexander Gordon Smith

Smith, Alexander Gordon. Fugitives. (Escape from Furnace, #4). Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-374-32484-1. 277 p. Gr. 6 – 12. P6Q8

smith-fugitivesThis is the fourth book in a series.  In this book Alex, Zee, and Simon escaped from a high security prison named Furnace. Alex is the main character.  He has super human powers.  In the book Alex is on a mission to find out the deepest secrets about the man who built the prison and invented nectar.  Workers in the prison inject prisoners with nectar.  The nectar is not something you want in your system because it gives you  super human powers, but can have serious side effects.  Being locked up in the Furnace has damaged Alex forever.  The reviewer found it to be a bit graphic.

September 2016 review by student: S. L.


Book review: Come Juneteenth, by Ann Rinaldi

Rinaldi, Ann. Come Juneteenth. Harcourt, 2007. $17.00. ISBN 978-0-15-205947-7. 233 p. Gr. 5 – 7. P6Q7

rinaldi-come-juneteenthLuli lives with her Mom, Pa, brother, and a girl named Sis Goose.  Sis Goose is a great friend to Luli.  Sis Goose is told she is still a slave two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  Luli’s family keeps it a secret from her as does the rest of Texas keep the news from their slave population.  One day soldiers arrive and tell Sis Goose she is free and this almost tears apart their family.

The reviewer didn’t find this a very interesting book because of the lack of action.  She also didn’t like the inclusion of some foul language.

September 2016 review by student: A. P.