Book review: Sticks and Stones, by Nicole C. Kear, illustrated by Tracy Dockray

Kear, Nicole C. Sticks and Stones. Illustrated by Tracy Dockray. (The Fix-It Friends series) Imprint, 2017. $5.99. ISBN 9781250085863. 144 pages. Ages 6-9. Book 2 in the Fix-It Friends series. P7 Q7

Veronica helps her friend, Noah, who is being bothered by another student. This book focuses on how to deal with being teased. It includes a tool box with detailed steps on how to handle being teased. Like the first book in the series, The fix-it friends have no fear, this book also includes resources for parents and children. The Fix-It Friends have not fear is a chapter book in the series Fix-it Friends. The author is planning to have six books total in the series. The third book is estimated to be released in September 2017, and books four to six will be released until 2018. The books can be pre-ordered. Each book in the series focuses on an issue children may be dealing with and each book can stand alone.

Verdict: I recommend this book for libraries, classrooms and personal libraries. This book is especially helpful for children who are being teased. As a family advocate, this is a book I will keep in my personal library. I look forward to the other books in the series.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.


Book review: Have No Fear!, by Nicole C. Kear, illustrated by Tracy Dockray

Kear, Nicole C. Have No Fear. Illustrated by Tracy Dockray.(The Fix-It Friends series)  Imprint, 2017. $5.99. ISBN 9781250085849. 144 pages. Ages 6-9. Book 1 in the Fix-It Friends series. P7 Q7

Veronica wants to help her friend Maya with her fear of bugs. As Veronica is helping Maya, she realizes that she needs to allow others to help her as well. The book includes a worry tool box that gives children step by step instructions on how to deal with worry. It also shares what worry feels like. At the end of the book, there are resources which include book lists for children, parents and websites for parents who have children who are struggling with anxiety. It also includes a website address for Fix-It Friend’s games and activities. The website has different topics children can click on to find ways to cope with varies issues. The Fix-It Friends have no fear is a chapter book in the series Fix-it Friends. Even though it is in a series, it can also stand alone.

Verdict: I recommend this book for all libraries and for parents whose children deal with anxiety. As a family advocate, I will be adding this book to my personal library and recommending it to several families.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.



Book review: A Mysterious Egg, by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Mike Boldt

McAnulty, Stacy. A Mysterious Egg. (The Dino Files series, #1) Illustrated by Mike Boldt. Random House, 2017. $4.99. ISBN 9781524701505. 128 pages. Ages 7-10. In the Dino Files series. P7 Q7

The Dino Files follows Frank as his paleontologist grandmother finds a fossil dinosaur egg. The fossil is found on a neighbor’s property and there is a dispute to who owns the fossil. When Frank and his cat, Saurus, hatch the egg, the fun starts.  The facts surrounding fossils are accurate. The story shows how friendships can develop and the importance of compromise. This book includes a glossary and a sneak preview for the next book in the Dino Files series. The illustrations are pencil drawings and add to the text.

Verdict: I recommend this book for libraries. Children who are interested in fossils will enjoy this book.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Fergus and Zeke, by Kate Messner, illustrated by Heather Ross

Messner, Kate. Fergus and Zeke.  Illustrated by Heather Ross. Candlewick Press, 2017. $14.99. ISBN 9780763678463. 56 pages. Ages 5-8. P7 Q7

Fergus is the classroom pet who follows all the rules of the class. When the class goes on a field trip, Fergus realizes that he will have to stay at school. He devises a plan to go on the field trip and along his adventure, he meets a new friend, Zeke. Fergus and Zeke has four chapters and includes a table of contents. The illustrations are colorful and action packed and will help keep children’s attention and add to the text. Through the mice’s experience at the museum, children will see how friendships develop. The book is realistic in what the mouse experiences in a regular day at school. This is the first book in a new series. The book is set up for a sequel.

Verdict: I recommend this book for young children’s libraries. It is action packed, realistic, colorful and fun. Children will relate to the book and be interested in finding out what new adventures Fergus and Zeke will have.

June 2017 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ, by Claudia Mills, pictures by Rob Shepperson

Mills, Claudia. Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ. Pictures by Rob Shepperson. (Franklin School Friends, book 4) Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-374-30221-4. 130 pages. Ages 7-12. P6Q7

Excitement about the upcoming spelling bee keeps the pages turning in this book. Simon Ellis, who just happens to be good at many things, is also a very good at speller. Simon’s competitiveness is examined as he learns that sometimes the best approach is to take a chance and let others shine.

Verdict: This is a sweet story that explores what it takes to be a champ. I recommend this series for early independent readers.

May 2017 review by Penny McDermott.

Book review: Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale, by Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver Latsch

Funke, Cornelia. Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale. Trans. By Oliver Latsch. Random House, 2017. $9.99. 83p. ISBN 978-1-5247-0101-7. Ages 7-10. P9Q9

Colorful illustrations help make this chapter book about wealthy “two-legs” determined to capture a pair of “merpups” a fun read that goes from the comfort of two friends enjoying a day to the danger of being stolen from their peaceful home in sunken shipwrecks. Funke has created both memorable monstrous humans, Mr. and Mrs. Snorkel who need a mermaid to complete their collection of every sea creature in the world and their marvelous metal invention that allows them to travel deep under the ocean surface. The merpups, Lilly and Fin, are typical children, adventurous and disobedient in their desire to explore the world beyond the parents’ definition of boundaries. The greatest twist in the plot is the merpups’ friendship with the giant kraken, a mythical giant sea monster that solves their problem. The award-winning German author is well known for her series Inkheart, but my favorite of her books is The Thief Lord. Lilly and Fin was first published in 2004 in Germany.

Verdict: The plot is straightforward and enjoyable, well-translated, and illustrations add to the humor. Funke has added quirky activities at the end, including patterns for knitting the merpups and kraken, a dice game to play with Lilly and Fin, and a search for tiny treasure chests in each of the book’s large illustrations. The size of the book is also appealing for smaller hands.

May/June 2017 review by Nel Ward.

Book review: Dark Shadows: Yes, Another Misadventure, by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

Cronin, Doreen. Dark Shadows: Yes, Another Misadventure. Illustrated by Stephen Gilpin ; cover by Kevin Cornell. (Chicken Squad Adventures series, #4) Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 2017. $12.99. ISBN 9781481450492. 115 Pages. Ages 6-12. P7  Q7.

Four chickens nicknamed Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie go on a vacation to visiting a farm full of chicken cousins which are all named starting with the letter B.  Sugar goes back to get jelly beans and meets a mysterious big bird called Buger. Then Poppy’s shoe goes missing and they are on the hunt to find the missing jellybeans and shoe. Illustrations engage the reader throughout the book.

Verdict: It is a great early reader chapter book with fun chicken humor.  It is silly and makes you laugh.

June 2017 review by Deborah Gwynn.