"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two great new books: Interrupting Chicken & Spork!



Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein stars a little girl chicken, who, as you can guess, is so enthusiastic about the bedtime stories her papa reads her that she can't help chiming in when she shouldn't. No sooner does he launch into a familiar fairytale when chicken butts in with some advice for the characters, leaving them puzzled but enlightened. This fun story winds down to a sweet and pleasing ending.

Stein's illustrations, made of "watercolor, water-soluble crayon, china marker, pen, opaque, white ink and tea," are intentionally childlike. They are bright with color and convey movement and excitement, matching chicken's bubbly personality.


Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault's Spork is a very cute book about the son of a fork and a spoon (not even from the same set! The scandal!) trying to fit in in the world of flatware. Sometimes he tries to be more like a spoon, sometimes he attempts to be fork-like, but neither of those moves are right for him. He is one of a kind, and doesn't know his purpose until...

Arsenault has made Spork so darn cute with his little round head, tiny tines, and rosy cheeks! His tableware neighbors are equally whimsical and charming, and the scene where Spork tries to imagine other unique kitchen utensils is funny, but touching. The artwork is subtly shaded in neutrals with the smallest touches of color, putting the focus on the characters' expressiveness.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Elephants! Family Storytime

Fun elephant titles:

My Elephant My Elephant by Petr Horacek


Sleepover at Gramma's House Sleepover at Gramma's House by Barbara Joose, Illus by Jan Jutte


The Mightiest (Picture Puffin) The Mightiest (Picture Puffin) by Keiko Kasza




Beautiful Bananas Beautiful Bananas by Elizabeth Laird, Illus. by Liz Pichon


Tacky in Trouble (Tacky the Penguin) Tacky in Trouble (Tacky the Penguin) by Helen Lester, Illus. by Lynn Munsinger


Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe


We Are in a Book! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems


And our music for tonight:

One elephant/child invites others!



"One elephant went out to play,


Upon a spider's web one day,

He / she had such enormous fun,

That he called for another elephant to come.

Two elephants went out to play... etc

(until there are no more children/elephants, then)

Five elephants went out to play,

Upon a spider's web one day,

They had such enormous fun,

But the web it broke and they all fell down."

(Everyone then falls to the floor).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recent Best Fiction for Young Adults from ALA


You probably know that every year the American Library Association's YALSA (Young Adult Services) group puts out a list of Best Fiction for Young Adults. I checked out the nominees through August, and here are the titles I've read or would like to read. Book summaries are by YALSA.

Titles in red are ones that I've read. :)

Split Avasthi, Swati. Split.


Jace, 16, fights back against his abusive father and is thrown out of the house. He finds his older brother which begins a journey toward healing for both brothers.

White Cat (Curse Workers, Book 1) Black, Holly. White Cat.


 Cassel comes from a family of curse workers and begins to suspect his brothers have cursed him to use him as a tool in their quest for power.

The Gardener Bodeen, S. A. The Gardener.

Mason stumbles upon a scientific experiment to create people who can live without food or water and is determined to rescue a beautiful girl from the project.

Plain Kate Bow, Erin. Plain Kate.  

After her father’s death, Plain Kate has nothing except her carving tools and her cat, Taggle. Alone, she is vulnerable to witches and to those who suspect she is one.

Fat Cat Brande, Robin. Fat Cat.

Aiming to take home top prize at the science fair and maybe lose some weight in the process, Cat plans to examine life as a cave girl. Her subject: herself.

Very LeFreak Cohn, Rachel. Very Le Freak.

Very Le Freak is a party girl, gadget geek, and totally self-absorbed. When sent to rehab to overcome her destructive behaviors, she begins to realize who she really is.

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay.


Katniss becomes the symbol for the rebellion against the capitol and although she is focused on assassinating the president, is still tangled in her feelings for two boys.


Accomplice Corrigan, Eireann. Accomplice.

Chloe’s fake abduction was only meant to bring her and Finn the kind of attention that would get them into good colleges, but things start to go horribly wrong.

Reckless Funke, Cornelia. Reckless.


Jacob Reckless knows the fantasy world behind the mirror, but his brother doesn't and now he is turning to stone and Jacob must help.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Green, John & Levithan, David. Will Grayson, Will Grayson.


When two very different teenage guys named Will Grayson meet by chance in Chicago, their worlds collide.

Illyria Hand, Elizabeth. Illyria.


Rogan and Maddy have always been in love, and when the two are cast in Twelfth Night, magic will fly and destinies will change.

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials Hemphill, Stephanie. Wicked Girls.


The Salem witch trials of 1692 are explored from the perspective of three young women.

The Enemy Higson, Charlie. Enemy.


All adults have become diseased, flesh-eating, children-hunting monsters. In London, kids fight adults while scouring a landscape full of unspeakable threats for supplies. But are adults the only enemy?

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend Horner, Emily. A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend.


In the aftermath of her best friend Julia’s death, Cass sets off on a bike trip across the country and brings to life Julia’s musical, Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.

Finnikin of the Rock Marchetta, Melina. Finnikin of the Rock.


Finnikin and his fellow exiles from Lumatere wish to return to their cursed homeland. Finnikin must go on an epic journey with a mute novice named Evanjalin to return home.

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Death-Defying Pepper Roux.


When Pepper Roux was born his aunt had a vision from Saint Constance that the boy would die on his fourteenth birthday, but Pepper Roux has other ideas.

A Small Free Kiss in the Dark Millard, Glenda. A Small Free Kiss in the Dark.


Runaway Skip struggles to survive during a sudden war, living in an abandoned amusement park with an older homeless man, a young orphan, a teenage ballerina, and a newborn.

Before I Fall Oliver, Lauren. Before I Fall.


Sam’s seemingly perfect life has ended in a terrible crash. But, it turns out she has to relive the last day of her life seven times to get it right.

Epitaph Road Patneaude, David. Epitaph Road.


Thirty years after a mysterious plague killed most of the world’s male population, three teens uncover the secret that could destroy the utopian society created by the women left behind.

Sisters Red Pearce, Jackson. Sisters Red.



Scarlett lives to hunt Fenris, werewolves. Her sister Rosie, hunts, but dreams of something more. Rosie falls in love with their best friend Silas, testing the bond between the sisters.

By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead Peters, Julie Anne. By the Time You Read This I’ll be Dead.


Determined to get her death right this time, Daelyn Rice logs onto a website for “completers” and starts the countdown of the last 23 days of her life.

The Prince of Mist Ruiz Zaf√≥n, Carlos. The Prince of Mist.


Roland, Max, and Alicia battle the mysterious Prince of Mist - a diabolical character who has returned from the sea to collect on a debt from the past.

The Grimm Legacy Shulman, Polly. The Grimm Legacy.


Elizabeth gets a job in a strange lending library that has everything, including the working original items from the Grimm's fairytales, but things are going missing.

Thief Eyes Simner, Janni Lee. Thief Eyes.

On a trip to Iceland to discover what happened to her mother Haley runs away and disappears. She and new friend Ari are caught in the spell of an ancient curse.

Toads and Diamonds Tomlinson, Heather. Toads and Diamonds.



In a Perrault fairy tale reset to fascinating pre-British India, impoverished stepsisters encounter a goddess whose gifts bless, or curse. Diribani returns speaking jewels and flowers; Tana, toads and snakes.

Adios, Nirvana Wesselhoeft, Conrad. Adios, Nirvana.


Jonathan lost his twin to an accident and his will to move on. His friends, and the man he is ghostwriting WWII memoirs for will not let him slide.