Friday, December 7, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares For Christmas

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares For Christmas
By: Melanie Watt
Ages 3+
Scaredy Squirrel is back and he's just in time for Christmas. With his help, your Christmas is sure to be a fun one.
Christmas is known for being a hectic time of year, but don't worry! Scaredy is on the case. He's so thoughtful as to give you a list of things you'll need- though recommends gathering them in August. (Sorry for the late notice)
When it comes to decorating for Christmas, get your football helmet ready (to protect from falling decorations, of course.). For those who love to use a red and green color theme, worry not. Scaredy has provided you with a list of things in these colors to avoid. He also suggests using solar powered lights.
Christmas is the perfect season for sweets. When setting your table, Scaredy says you should position the sweets clockwise on the table and in alphabetical order. Scaredy even includes instructions on how to build a Scaredy gingerbread house.
Scaredy Squirrel Prepares For Christmas is your go-to Christmas guide. With this book in your hands, you can't go wrong. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Kid In Chief

Kid In Chief
By: Paul Maguire
80 Pages
Age Range 8+
Bobby Barton's 3rd grade class visits Washington D.C. on a field trip. While viewing the Constitution, Bobby discovers something no one ever knew: a fold in page 3 that says anyone can challenge the President to a game of checkers. Winner gets to be President.
Bobby makes a discovery that makes history. Not only does he challenge the President to Checkers, but he wins. Immediately he becomes the new President and turns the country upside down. He makes laws that put the children in paradise: 3 day weekends, free admission at the movies, all candy & toy stores are open 24/7- and everything is half the price they were.
Kid In Chief is a cute read. Paul Maguire does a great job at putting a 3rd grader's perspective on everything. Kids will enjoy this jaunt in politics.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Red Blazer Girls: The Secret Cellar

The Red Blazer Girls: The Secret Cellar
By: Michael D. Beil
288 Pages
Ages: 10+
...When Sophie finds a secret message in the antique fountain pen she bought for her father, the girls are on a case. Soon, they're at the home of the pen's original owner, a secretive man who kept to himself. His house is full of puzzles, all of which protect a hidden treasure, and the Blazers will do anything to get to the bottom of things. Throw in an ill-tempered bookstore owner with a motive, a missing will, a walking stick that doubles as a key, a school Christmas play, and a rat named Humphrey, and it all adds up to another thrilling adventure for the Red Blazer Girls.
Mystery readers- you will enjoy this one! It's the latest installment in The Red Blazer Girls series. Sophie is searching for a Christmas gift for her Dad. While browsing in an antique shop, she finds the perfect gift: an antique fountain pen. After winning the pen at an auction, she takes it apart to clean it when she makes a discovery: a rolled up paper. Not just any old piece of paper, but a short poem with 12 rectangular holes underneath. Sophie knows what it is, you find the right page of a book and place the paper on it. Through the holes, a message will b e revealed. This starts the girls on their latest adventure.
Not knowing this book was part of a series when I started it, I quickly figured this out. Having read the previous books will be a big advantage since numerous references are made to them. Still, this was a fun adventure to go on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Judy Moody And The Bad Luck Charm

Judy Moody And The Bad Luck Charm
By: Megan McDonald
157 Pages
Ages: 6-9

The lucky penny in Judy Moody’s pocket sure does seem to be working. She can’t stop winning — at bowling, spelling, the unbeatable Prize Claw, everything! For sure and absolute positive, she’ll ride that wave of good fortune all the way to Washington, D.C. Watch out, District of Cool, here comes Judy Moody, the luckiest kid ever, until . . . oh, no! Her lucky penny just did a belly flop into a porcelain bowl of yucky, blucky UNluck. Has the coin’s magic gone kerflooey? Are some people, like Jessica Finch or Stink, destined to have all the luck, while she, Judy Moody, gets stuck with a yard full of three-not-four leaf clovers, a squealing potbellied pig in an elevator, and a squashed penny with cooties?

At the skating rink with her Grandma, Judy gets a penny imprinted with a four-leaf clover and a horshoe. And just like that, she has a lucky penny! Judy is convinced it's her lucky penny that allows her to win The Claw game- three times! She's convinvec it's behind her finding $10.00. But, everything changes when her lucky penny accidently fall in the toilet.

Judy wants to win the 3rd grade spelling bee so she Washington, D.C. Sadly, she loses and bids farewell to visiting the city. Or does she? When the winner Jessica asks Judy to watch her pet pig while she's at the spelling bee, Judy finds herself going to Washingfun D.C. (District of Cool) after all.

This book was a fun read. Judy Moody is a beloved character for good reason. Judy is a fun person to travel anywhere with.

Judy Moody's Mini Mysteries & Other Sneaky Stuff For Super Sleuths

Judy Moody's Mini-Mysteries & Other Sneaky Stuff For Super Sleuths
By: Megan McDonald
126 Pages
Ages: 6-9

Judy Moody is back and this time around she's helping readers discover their inner detective. Complete with tips on drawing suspect pictures, making your own detective kit, and other detective info, this book will help kids solve their own mysteries.

Among all the tips and games there are 6 little mysteries. You get to find a missing penguin, a lost pencil, uncover a fake artifact claim, among others. Judy loves Nancy Drew and in one story, she meets a fellow fan.

Judy Moody fans will love this book. Young readers who enjoy a mystery will also love this Judy Moody installment. This was my first Judy Moody book to read, but it won't be my last. I look forward to my daughters discovering the world of Judy Moody!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Hocus Pocus Hotel

The Hocus Pocus Hotel
By: Michael Dahl
204 Pages
Ages: 8-11

Tyler Yu is the school bully whose victims are alerted to their doom by a note. When Charlie Hitchcock receives a note, he fears the worse. Turns out, Tyler needs Charlie's help. Tyler lives in The Abracadabra, a hotel built by a retired magician to house other retired magicians. Now, strange things are happening and Tyler needs to get answers.

One of the tenants, Mr. Madagascar has gone missing. On top of being missing, he's stopped paying his rent. It's Tyler's job at the hotel to collect the rent. (If he doesn't get the rent, he doesn't get paid and he has his eyes on a dirt bike.) With Charlie's help, they are able to solve the mystery of the missing guest. Then, they get to tackle the hotel's ghost and the numerous items that have gone missing from the hotel. From a shower curtain, to missing bowling pins, and missing spoons. In one night, all these items mysteriously disappeared. And does it have anything to do with The Voice that's been heard?

This book is a sheer delight to read. I loved every minute of it. The whole premise of the hotel is genius! The different magical characteristics the hotel's builder put in was fun to read about. You have illusion mirrors hidden in walls and secret panels stashed there, too.

The Hocus Pocus Hotel introduces you to a cast of former magicians and an elevator operator who is not what he seems to be. I couldn't put this book down. It was so fun to read. Michael Dahl has created an amazing book. I was very excited when I learned there will be another Hocus Pocus book coming out next year. This is a series I will be buying every book of.

Rating: Buy It

Katie Woo Rules the School
By: Fran Manushkin
96 Pages
Ages: 4-8

Katie Woo Rules the School is a book for young readers that are ready for a beginning chapter book. Fran Manushkin has created a character that is believable right down to Katie sometimes making a wrong decision. Each chapter has Katie facing an experience any early reader may face from being bullied to taking something that is not hers. There are very good lessons to be learned from Katie's experiences. The character is enhanced by Tammie Lyon's clever illustrations. I loved the expressions on each character's face. There was no doubt as to how they were feeling.

   As a former, teacher I would recommend this book. I feel it makes the transition to reading chapter books an enjoyable experience. After reading Katie Woo Rules the School I think the reader will want to read other books in the Katie Woo series. Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sandra Boynton Books

Do you want a truly great book series for toddler and preschool age? Look no further than Sandra Boynton! These books are interactive, with silly songs, rhyming words, and great illustrations. As Jen said, in a Sandra Boynton book, kids aren't just being read to, they are part of the story. Here are some of the best from this amazing author.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nancy Drew #9: The Sign of the Twisted Candles by Carolyn Keene

           Another exciting mystery begins for the attractive young detective when her friends Bess and George ask her to investigate a rumor that their wealthy great-granduncle, Asa Sidney, is virtually a prisoner in his own mansion. But solving the mystery and befriending Carol Wipple, the sixteen-year-old foster daughter of the caretakers of the old mansion,  nearly costs Nancy the friendship of Bess and George. It takes all of Nancy's sleuthing ability as well as diplomacy to save it.
      At the same time, Nancy braves one danger after another to bring to justice the swindlers who are stealing Asa Sidney's fortune. With only the sign of the twisted candles to guide her, Nancy uncovers hidden treasure and an amazing letter that ends a family feud and brings unexpected happiness to Carol.

    I re-read this old favorite from childhood mainly to answer the question: is it as good now as it was then? As a kid, I read every single Nancy Drew book that the library had. Sleuthing and spying (because of reading Harriet the Spy by Ellen Fitzgerald) were two of my favorite past-times. I have to say, reading Nancy Drew as an adult is not quite the same. The mysteries that I couldn't figure out as a kid were completely transparent as an adult. That being said, there is still value in this book series for kids. Being the english nerd that I am, I love that there are so many great vocabulary words in this series. It's good for kids to read books that were written over 50 years ago, because it will expand their vocabulary. 

Rating: Buy or check them out from the library

By Rose

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Madhatten Mystery

Madhatten Mystery
By: John J. Bonk
304 Pages
Ages: 8-12

While Lexi & Ken McGill's father is on his honeymoon, they are sent to a New York summer camp. While there, they'll be staying with their Aunt Roz, an actress. Neither Lexi or Kevin have much hope of fun this summer, but that all changes when they arrive at Grand Central Station.
It is in Grand Central's Whispering Gallery that Lexi overhears 2 men talking about what they are going to do with the jewels. Lexi later reads in the paper that Cleopatra's jewels have vanished!

If you like mysteries and adventure, you will like this book!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Missing Golden Ticket And Other Splendiferous Secrets

Attention all Roald Dahl fans!! Attention all Charlie And The Chocolate Factory fans!!! Have I got a book for you!!

Ever wonder what it was like to write the timeless classic Charlie And The Chocolate Factory? Ever got curious as to how it might have been if it had a different ending? What if there were more kids who got the golden tickets?

Well, wonder no more. This book gives you a little behind-the-scenes look at how the beloved book came to be. Not only that, but you also get to know more about the genius writer who created numerous books the world has loved for generations.

I encourage any fans of the incredibly talented Roald Dahl to pick this book up. Readers who fell in love with Charlie And The Chocolate Factory will get to revisit this wondrous world again, if only briefly.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kylie Jean Dancing Queen

Kylie Jean Dancing Queen
By: Marci Peschke
102 Pages
Ages: 6-8

Kylie Jean's dream is to become a beauty queen. But when her cousin Lucy's dance studio puts on the ballet Swan Lake, Kylie dreams of being the Swan Queen. Can she do it?

Fans of the Kylie Jean series will enjoy this new installment. She's back with her family and ready to take on the ballet world.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls

The Unbearable book Club For Unsinkable Girls
By: Julie Schumacher
238 Pages
Adrianne, CeeCee, Jill, & Wallis are spending their summer in a book club thought up by their moms. The only thing these 4 girls have in common is that they don't want to be there. While reading 5 books from their AP English Class the girls will get to know one another much better.
Julie Schumacher is riding the wave of successful Mother/Daughter Book club books that have been coming out lately. However, I am sorry to say, this one isn't as good as the others. While it was a fun read, there really isn't much to separate it from the previous books that have already come out. This book does go further in the drama department than the others I've read, but that may not be a good thing.

CeeCee is the popular girl who loses out on going to Paris over the summer because she drove her parents car- without a license or permission. She's also the one who influences Adrienne into a summer she'll never forget. Adrienne is the girl trying to recover from a bad knee injury that cost her a white water rafting trip with her best friend. Jill is the smart girl who has a summer job and her whole life already mapped out. Wallis is the unknown factor- and I mean that in more ways than the obvious.

This book is targeted for 12 years and older, but it deals with some issues a 12 year may, or may not, be ready for. While CeeCee gets Adrienne to spread her wings a little, she also gets her drunk and kisses her. Wallis is believed to be a girl, but it's brought into question towards the end of the book. Her home life is unknown and the subject of great theory. By the time the book ends, you never really know what the story is. Adrienne is the fatherless child who is starting to struggle with that and have questions. None of her questions are asked and you never find out what the deal was with her Dad. You are told he was a one-night stand and that Adrienne's Mom didn't even know his last name.

Overall, the book was a good read but I had a hard time not getting all the answers to the many questions the story raises. I felt The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls wasn't nearly as good as Heather Vogel Frederick's The Mother-Daughter Book Club series.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facing The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Facing The Hunchback of Notre Dame
By: L.L. Samson
141 pages
Ages: 9-12
An attic once used by a scientist becomes the place where literature and real life can interact.
Qusaimodo is brought out of his book and into modern day time. How does he adjust? Can he even get back to his story?
14 year old twins Ophelia and Linus Easterday have been sent to live with their Aunt Portia and Uncle Augustus- who happen to be twins, as well. The twins' Aunt and Uncle live in a townhouse that also holds their rare bookstore. Oddly, the building once belonged to Cato Grubbs, but he mysteriously disappeared one day.
While getting to know their new environment, the twins both stumble upon an abandoned attic. Closer inspection shows it was the previous tenant's old scientist lab. However, this is no ordinary lab holding ordinary lab equipment. Ophelia finds this out when she's reading in the attic one night and strange things start to happen.
At exactly 11:11pm on the 11th day of the 11th month, the room begins to vibrate. A circle that was painted on the floor by Cato Grubbs begins to glow and white sparks start to fly up. When everything stops, Quasimodo, himself, is there in the middle of the circle.He's come right out of the book Ophelia had been reading.
The twins read from a book they find called Imaginary Realms and discover they have their literary guest for the next 60 hours. But that's not all they have. Soon enough they discover that Cato isn't the dead former tenant everyone thinks he is. He and Frollo, also from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, have come to retrieve Quasimodo- though for very different purposes. Now the twins are in a race to keep Quasimodo safe and return him to his story and they get help from a Priest and a boy from the school next door.
This book was a fun read. I enjoyed how L.L. Samson brought a well-known character to life. She made the thoroughly misunderstood outcast into someone of wisdom and knowledge. I loved reading how the two worlds melded. She has created a series to be read by many and introduce the classics to a new generation.

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Don't Believe It, Archie

I Don't Believe It, Archie
By: Andrew Norriss
128 Pages
Ages: 7-10

Life is anything but predictable and boring for Archie. You never know what will happen. However, you do know that if you hadn't seen it with your own eyes, you wouldn't have believed it.

Every day it's something new. From a piano delivery going wrong, to being mistaken for a kidnapped boy who looks just like him, to getting his hands glued to the library door handles. The possibilities are endless.

Now you get to spend a week with Archie. On Monday you'll see the craziness that involves a piano, a little girl stuck in a car, and tons of stones. On Tuesday you will see a misunderstanding involving Archie and a dog take one bizarre turn after another. Wednesday will have an innocent trip to the library end up with a protest involving superglue. On Thursday, a case of mistaken identity will occur. Friday will show you how a toy rescue involves a real lion and a real leopard. On Saturday will interrupt a real robbery when he tries to watch a staged robbery. When Sunday arrives, while it pails in comparison to the other days, chaos arrives no less.

If you like to laugh and giggle while you read a book, then this is the book for you. I Don't Believe It, Archie was fun from cover to cover. Children will love seeing all the crazy things that find Archie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Star Wars Jedi: Volume 1 The Dark Side

Okay all you Star Wars fans. A new graphic novel has hit the bookstores and Kids Korner has enlisted our resident Star Wars reviewer to tell you what you should know about it. We present to you...

Star Wars Jedi: Volume 1 The Dark Side
120 Pages
Ages: Teen & Up

Star Wars: Jedi is a graphic novel (compilation of comic books) that takes place in the Star Wars time line before Episode 1. In Jedi, we follow Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan learner, Xanatos, who are paired with another Jedi master and another padawan. The group must travel to Xanatos' home world of Telos IV where a political assassination must be investigated. Once there, the group is attacked and ambushed, all the while Xanatos must face his biggest trial: choosing between his birth family and his Jedi family.
Jedi is fast-paced, illustrated well, and informative for background knowledge of the characters. It gives more detailed information about the life lessons and struggles between Qui-Gon and the padawan he had before Obi-Wan Kenobi, Xanatos, whom we first really see in the second book in the young adult series Jedi Apprentice. The plot is well thought out, the character interaction is good, and you get to see a younger Mace Windu, with hair! The writing leaves the ending open for future volumes, which, if you are like me, you always want more Star Wars. Anyone interested in Star Wars graphic novels should take a look at collecting this at book stores.

Mrs. Noodlekugel

Mrs. Noodlekugel
By: Daniel Pinkwater
72 Pages
Ages: 5-10

What sort of person lives in a small cottage surrounded by tall buildings? What kinds of wondrous things happen there? Find out when you read Mrs. Noodlekugel.

Nick and Maxine live in a tall apartment building. All around them are tall buildings. So imagine their surprise when they notice a small house in the backyard of their building. Curiosity gets the better of them and they go investigate.

As they walk through the gate of the house, they see normal things. There's the birdbath, statues, flowers... and a skinny black cat that talks. Not only does Mr. Fuzzface talk, but he bakes and plays the piano, as well.

Now, if that doesn't surprise you, just wait until you attend one of her tea parties. Among the guests will be you, Mr. Fuzzface, Mrs. Noodlekugel, and 4 farsighted mice. And be come prepared for anything but a normal baking time when she invites you to bake gingerbread mice cookies.

Mrs. Noodlekugel is such a fun, charming read. The way the ordinary becomes the extraordinary will capture readers of all ages. I loved meeting her and spending an afternoon with her. I hope this is the first of a new series, because I would lover to have further adventures with Mrs. Noodlekugel.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
By: Frank Cottrell Boyce
214 Pages
Ages: 9-12
The Tooting children are on Summer Vacation and Dad has just lost his job due to his fingers being too big. When Dad's "home improvements" don't work out well, Mom Tooting beings home an old 1966 camper van that is literally falling apart. The idea is to get it up and running, then travel the world in it.
When Dad and Jem take the car for a spin, they realize a little fixing is in need before the world travels can begin. A visit to the auto parts place leads to a discovery that changes everything. Dad finds an old, big engine in a tree. It still works, so the new discovery is put into the camper van. Soon the family is en route to Paris, among other places.
Wacky adventures await the Tootings at each destination. The family discovers that they aren't driving the car, but the car is driving them. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang lands them on top of the Eiffel Tower, in front of the Sphinx, and even plunges them underwater. The question is: what is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang up to?
Kids will enjoy the cute adventures. A little bit of history is thrown in at each destination, so it's a fun way to learn about famous places. It was a cute book.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Isabella: Girl On The Go

Isabella: Girl On The Go

By: Jennifer Fosberry

32 Pages

Ages: 4-8

RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2012

Isabella's Daddy has a list of jobs to be done around the backyard. She can't help him because she is busy with her numerous own jobs. Astronomer, painter, and other careers keep Isabella on her toes. Going all over the world with such jobs helps her decide where her favorite place to be is.

I loved this book. I plan to buy this book for my own daughters. Isabella has such a wonderful imagination and she was a joy to read. I look forward to reading more about this charming character in the future.

Rating: Buy It!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Scaredy Squirrel

Scaredy Squirrel
By: Melanie Watt
42 Pages
Ages: 4-8

Scaredy Squirrel has never left his tree. No, he's too afraid of what the unknown could have in store. So in his tree, Scaredy is content to stay. But, should he encounter a green martian, a shark, poison ivy, a killer bee, or germs, Scaredy always has a firm hold of his emergency kit. However, one day, a bee flies into his tree. In his shock, Scaredy drops his trusty safety kit. But, when Scaredy jumps after his kit, he learns he can fly.

This book was adorable. I think young kids will love Scaredy and enjoy his story of bravery. I loved this pictures, as they brought the cute story to a whole new level. Scaredy Squirrel is a great way to show children the fun that awaits them when they try something new.

Scaredy Squirrel is the first of several books about this adorable little guy. I look forward to reading more of the adventures he has.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stealing Magic: A 68 Room Adventure

Stealing Magic: A 68 Room Adventure

By: Marianne Malone

243 Pages

Ages: 8-12


Ruthie and Jack thought that their adventures in the Thorne Rooms were over . . . until miniatures from the rooms start to disappear. Is it the work of the art thief who's on the loose in Chicago? Or has someone else discovered the secret of the Thorne Rooms' magic? --

The Art Institute Museum in Chicago has had it's share of excitement, and there's more to come. Ruthie and Jack are the children a box of artist Edmund Bell's work. They also found the magic that allows them to shrink and wander the miniature rooms of the Art Institute. When pieces of the rooms begin to disappear and affect the rooms magic, they go in search of answers. What they find is one adventure after another and walks through history.

In the Paris Room, they meet Louise and her family. Being Jewish, they are beginning to feel the rumblings of of Pre-World War II in 1937. Knowing the fate that lies in the years to come, Ruthie and Jack race against time to get the family out of Paris. Do they succeed?

The pair meet Phoebe in the Charleston room. It's Pre-Civil War time, and Phoebe is a slave. Can they do anything for her?

While doing what they can for Louise and Phoebe, the pair also have to find out who is stealing things from the different rooms. Will it be someone they know? Can they return what's been stolen and restore the magic?

This is an absolutely delightful read. Your imagination will have a blast as you read one page after another. Marianne Malone takes you on one adventure after another while making you feel like you're right there among the characters. She turns history into a backdrop and pulls you in before you even know what's hit you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Oddfellow's Orphange

Oddfellow's Orphanage

By: Emily Winfield Martin

144 Pages

Ages 7-10

What do an onion-headed boy, a child-sized hedgehog, and a tattooed girl have in common? They are all orphans at Oddfellow's Orphanage! Author/illustrator Emily Martin has fleshed out the world of Oddfellow's with an episodic story that follows a new orphan, Delia, as she discovers the delights of her new home. From classes in Cryptozoology and Fairy Tale Studies to trips to the circus, from Annual Hair Cutting Day to a sea monster-sighting field trip, things at Oddfellows are anything but ordinary...

I loved this book so much. This is a charming read that will have you smiling long after you finish the book. I enjoyed all the adventures. From the bear family to how everyone forms a family, it was a great book. I loved reading how they celebrated Christmas, how they went to the circus. Imaginations come to life within these pages.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Christmas Village

The Christmas Village

By: Melissa Ann Goodwin

189 Pages

Ages 12+


Ever seen a replica Christmas Village and wondered what life would be like to live in it? Well, wish no more. The Christmas Village brings that fantasy to life.

Jamie Reynolds is a 12 year old who has a lot on his plate. His Dad left after losing a lot of other peoples' money, and his best friend has told him they can't be friends anymore. All he wants is to escape to a place where no one knows what's happened. Jamie is convinced that escape is life inside his Grandmother's replica Christmas Village.

One night, the village comes to life. Trying to save a little girl who has fallen into the pond, Jamie is sucked into the Christmas Village. Embraced as a hero for saving Kelly Pennysworth's life, he is loved by everyone. Everyone but Jim Gordon, that is. Jim is the former Canterbury resident who is no longer welcome back. After overhearing a conversation, Jamie learns he mistreated his wife. Another overheard conversation has Jamie listening to Jim threatening to harm his baby, Emilie.

As Christmas Eve grows closer, Jamie feels the urgency of wanting to go home. However, before he can return, Jamie is forced to perform another act of heroism. Can he do it and still make it home? Will he ever get home?

I loved every minute of this book. It was a sheer joy to read from the first page to the last. The Christmas Village is one of those books that would appeal to children and adults, alike. Melissa Ann Goodwin does a phenomenal job of turning fantasy to life.