Book review: If You Were the Moon, by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim

Salas, Laura Purdie. If You Were the Moon. Illus. Jaime Kim. Millbrook Press, 2017. unp. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1-4677-8009-4. Gr. 1+. P8 Q9

A young girl, going to sleep looks at the moon and says, “I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you.” The moon answers the young girl with rhyming text, explaining all the jobs it does. Corner brackets on each page include facts about the moon. The vivid, rich illustrations, done in acrylic paints and then enhanced with digital techniques, will appeal to all who read this book.

Verdict: WOW!!!!! If you are planning a unit on the moon this book could be used as an introdution.

January 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.

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Book review: The 12 Sleighs of Christmas, by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Jake Parker

Rinker, Sherri Duskey. The 12 Sleighs of Christmas. Illustrated by Jake Parker. Chronicle Books, 2017. Unp. $16.99. ISBN: 978-1-4521-4514-3. Gr. 1+. P9 Q8

What a quandary the elves have at Christmas time when they find Santa’s sleigh in need of repair. This situation leads to the elves building and developing new sleighs for Santa. Children will laugh at the comical illustrations of the different and complicated sleighs. In the end, Santa chooses the original repaired sleigh. The rhyming text adds to the appeal of the book.

Verdict: This book will appeal to elementary age students any time of the year. The book would also be a great addition to holiday collection.

January 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.

Book review: Nerdy Birdy Tweets, by Aaron Reynolds, pictures by Matt Davies

Reynolds, Aaron. Nerdy Birdy Tweets. Pictures by Matt Davies. Roaring Book Press, 2017. unp. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1-62672-128-9. Gr. 1+. P8 Q9

Every day at school, I see students on so many different devices, chrome books, IPads and phones. They walk down the halls texting and playing games. Nerdy Bird loves his electronic devices and his friend Vulture does not like them at all. These two VERY different friends have their friendship tested when a flock of birds enters the picture. These birds love their devices too, thus the problem: Vulture feels left out. The illustrations by Matt Davies are quirky, fun and appealing as the two friends learn about friendship.

Verdict: The story teaches the reader that we must respect the differences in each other. We do not have to be a cool bird–it is okay to be different bird.

January 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.

Book review: The Queen of the Frogs, by Davide Cali, translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann, illustrations by Marco Somà

Cali, Davide. The Queen of the Frogs. Translated from Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann.  Illustrations by Marco Somà. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2017. unp. $15.40. ISBN: 978-0-8028-5481-0. Gr. 1+. P8 Q9

This modern fable, which comes from Portugal, is a delightful story of a young frog who becomes queen, after finding a crown in the local pond. The other frogs bow down to her and are soon doing her biding, a situation that they soon find tiring. The illustrations are earthy tones and are very detailed of the pond life and its inhabitants.

Verdict: I would use this book to introduce fable writing to elementary and middle school age children.

January 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.

Book review: The Crims: Crime Runs in the Family, by Kate Davies

Davies, Kate. The Crims: Crime Runs in the Family. Harper Collins, 2017. $16.99, ISBN 9780062494092. 291 pages.  Ages 8-12.  P8 Q7.

The Crims are a family of criminals, but they have not mastered their art and get caught.  Imogen (the twelve year old girl) doesn’t want to be a part of a crime family, so she escapes to boarding school. However, when her family is accused of a crime that she believes they did not commit, she comes back to solve it. The characters are relatable in a weird way and the relationships between the characters are interesting. It is neat to have references to pop culture and the hidden comedy with a play on words.  In the end, you find out who committed the crime, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Verdict: I recommend this for upper elementary because of the humor once you get into the book. It is an enjoyable and fun read.

January 2018 review by BG (student).

Book review: Charlie Numb3rs and the Man in the Moon, by Ben and Tonya Mezrich

Mezrich, Ben and Tonya. Charlie Numb3rs and the Man in the Moon. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. $16.99. ISBN 9781481448475. 199 pages.  Ages 8-12. P8 Q8.

Although this is a sequel to Bringing Down the Mouse, it is not necessary to have read the earlier book to enjoy this adventure with Charlie.  Anastasia, supposedly from NASA, needs Charlie and his Whiz Kids friends to help find stolen moon rocks.  The kids go undercover to the Smithsonian entering a paper plane making contest, spy, sneak around an astronaut’s home, and solve the mystery.  The book has some very outrageous events, but is an adventure that children will be able to visualize and picture like a movie.

Verdict: This is a  well written, engaging adventure.  It discusses the forces of flight and may motivate a reader to experiment with making paper airplanes to see if they could actually fly the distances in the contest.

January 2018 review by Deborah Gwynn.

Book review: A Song for Snow, by Lita Judge

Judge, Lita. A Song for Snow. (Hoot and Peep) Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017. $17.99. ISBN 9781101994511. Unpaged.  Ages 4-10. P8 Q8

A little owl named Peep is excited about seeing her first snow.  Her older brother Hoot tries to describe snow, but Peep can’t wait so she tries to find it.  Finally, the snow silently comes.  The young owls create a song for snow.  The watercolor illustrations are colorful and engaging.  Different fonts are used for onomatopoeia and the owls’ song. The end pages have snowflakes. Sequel to Hoot and Peep.

Verdict: I recommend this lovely story for libraries and to read aloud for little ones to enjoy on a cold and snowy day.

January 2018 review by Deborah Gwynn.

[Editor’s note: Following Lita Judge’s Hoot and Peep, the young owls wait for the winter snow.  Hoot, the older brother, remembers snow, but younger sister Peep has never seen it and waits impatiently.  Soft illustrations show the cute little owls against the backdrop of Paris streets and skylines.  Young children will enjoy searching out the small mouse in the pictures.  Though the story is simple, Peet’s search for the song of snow makes this an excellent bedtime story book for a winter night.]