Monday, December 16, 2013

Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas!

Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas
By: Victoria Kann
Reviewed By: Mrs. Duvauchelle's 2nd Grade Class

The Christmas season is upon us. And Pinkalicious is here to put a little more pink into our holidays! Our favorite lover of pink has the perfect idea for her tree, but will it happen? 

Kids Book Korner has been a fan of this vivacious character since she arrived in bookstores. We love how she thinks and strives to make her dreams come true. We know we're always in for a reading treat whenever we pick up a Pinkalicious book. Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas was no exception. She thinks outside of the box and wants to put her own touch on her Christmas. Yet, her family isn't as quick to jump on her bandwagon. So, in order to get the pink Christmas tree she longs for, she has to convince each member. 

While Pinkalicious is enjoyed by kids and adults alike, we wondered what the readers have to say about her latest adventures. So, we gave a copy to the @nd grade class of Mrs. Duvauchelle to see what they thought. 

Albert loves the idea of Pinkalicous giving Santa a pink coat! (We think that would be fun, too!)
Joshua enjoyed the Mother making a snow angel and all the pink. 
Anneleise was surprised to see the pink Christmas tree! (So were we!)
Kathy felt the book was a fantastic story and was impressed with the idea of Santa in a pink suit.
Alyssa liked how the story made her laugh! She thought it was a fun winter story for kids.
Caralynn was a fan of the post cards and stickers! She felt the book was Pinkatastic!!

While the book was more of a hit with the girls than boys, understandably, they all had one thing they especially loved! The pink tree nearly blew Santa's boots off was a huge hit with the entire class! 

Thank you, Mrs. Duvauchelle's 2nd graders! You did a great job for us, once again!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Kids Book Korner Group Read: Ivy + Bean

It's no secret that we at Kids Book Korner love to read. Sometimes, reading is more fun when you do it with others. That's why, we've started our Group Reads. Our latest choice introduces us to two fun little girls. Some books are better when shared. Find out why we think Ivy + Bean is one of them.

Ivy + Bean (Book #1)
By: Annie Barrows
113 Pages

Ivy & Bean may live across from each other, but they were never friends. Now that they are, adventures are to be had. First up, put a spell on Bean's sister, Nancy, so she'll have to dance forever. Can they do it?

Our group consisted of: Rose, Jen, Alyssa (7), & her Dad. 

None of us has ever read an Ivy + Bean book, so when Alyssa was given this book as a present, we decided we should all get in on the fun. Since it was the first book in the series, it was the perfect place to start. We got to meet Ivy and Bean at the same time they did. 

We all loved the book. It was full of kid fun to be enjoyed. We all had scenes that we enjoyed, so we thought we'd share them with you.

  • when the worm falls into Nancy's mouth
  • Ivy pretends she's going to throw up
  • Nancy falls into the mud pit
  • Bean paints Ivy's face
All of us loved the Ivy and Bean characters the best from the book. Our 7 year old reader, Alyssa, liked that Ivy loved books and had read hair. She enjoyed all the gross out things the two girls did. She wasn't a fan of bossy Nancy. Rose felt the main characters were very relateable and that Ivy was mysterious, at first. I felt Ivy and Bean were a great team who complimented each other well. I felt most kids would see themselves in one of them, or both.

An Adult Perspective
The adults in our group read loved how the girls used their imaginations. They weren't sitting on a computer, or watching TV. They were making up what they didn't know. The book was interesting and fun to read. As a parent to a young child, I was concerned about the whole witch and potions aspect of the book. My daughter is sensitive and easily spooked by things like this. However, none of it was dark or taken too far. It was light and done with fun. 

A Child's Perspective
Alyssa, our 7 year old reader, loved all the exploring Ivy and Bean did. She felt she could relate to all of the characters, including bossy Nancy. She saw a little of herself in each of them. She looks forward to reading more adventures with Ivy and Bean.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Alyssa Recommends.....

Today's Reader Recommends is done by 7 year old Alyssa! This 2nd grader wanted to share with you a book she recently read and loved. 

Jasmine the Present Fairy
(Rainbow Magic, The Party Fairy Series #7)
By: Daisy Meadows
80 Pages
Age Range: 6-9

It's party time! A big bash for King Oberon and Queen Titania is underway in Fairyland. The Party Fairies keep everything running smoothly, until Jack Frost's goblins steal their magic party bags. Now parties everywhere aren't festive --- they're a flop!

Jasmine the Present Fairy is in trouble. The goblins are after her magic party bag! Can Rachel and Kirsty get things all wrapped up in time for the block party?
Find the magic party bag in each book and save celebrations everywhere!

Jasmine is one of the Party Fairies. She's come to help her human friends, Rachel & Kirsty, with their block party. However, Jack Frost wants Jasmine's party bag. Sending his little goblins (cranky ones, not scary ones) to steal it, the fairies now have get it back. Will they get it and ruin the party?

As a fan of fairies, Alyssa likes this series. She especially liked the part when humans, Rachel and Kirsty, got to see their fairy friends. She also liked reading about how the fairies got everything ready for the party. ("They really know how to decorate!") However, she didn't like how Jack Frost's goblins were trying to steal Jasmine's party bag. ("That's just not nice.")

In this book, you mainly spend time with Jasmine. According to Alyssa, she's very sweet and fun. She feels that Jasmine is a "fantastic fairy friend". She's looking forward to reading the other books in the Party Fairy series. In fact, she will be starting the book about Jasmine's friend Cherry, Cherry the Cake Fairy, tonight. 

Alyssa recommends this series to anyone who loves to read about fairies. She's sure you will enjoy your visits in Fairyland. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Classroom Review- Apples Galore

Fall has arrived!! Cooler weather is upon us, Halloween is right around the corner, and Fancy Nancy's class is going apple picking! 

Apples Galore!
By: Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy, and her classmates, are taking the fun and learning on the road! In this adventure, the class goes apple picking. Nancy is determined to find her Dad's favorite apple, a Gala apple! However, Lionel, is determined to spend the field trip playing practical jokes. When Lionel tells one too many lies, will anyone believe him when he tells the truth?

While Kids Book Korner is a big fan of Fancy Nancy, we decided to turn over the review to Mrs. Duvauchelle's 2nd grade class. After all, who better to tell you about Nancy's newest adventure than them?!

On a scale of 1-4 stars, the class gave it an overwhelming 4 stars!!! They loved learning new words, and that the book included French words. While they loved the vocabulary Nancy uses, Lionel's lying didn't escape their attention. They knew he shouldn't have been tricking everyone and was glad he learned his lesson. 

Here's some of the comments the class had to say about Apples Galore!

Olivia- "... inspired by Fancy Nancy" (us, too!)
Scarlett- "Nancy helped him even though you knew he was moody" (so nice of her!)
Anneliese-"I really liked it because there was a lot of commotion, big words, & it was very funny"
                    (so true!!)
Michael- "It teaches us a lesson to not lie." (very important lesson!)
Jake K.- "I learned that new words are fun to use in stories. I like to learn new words." (we do, too!)

There you have it! Apples Galore is a 4 star winner with this bunch! One is never too young to learn fancy and new words! Thank you for your opinions, kids! We will be passing them on to Miss Fancy Nancy, herself! 

Mrs. Noodlekugel and Four Blind Mice

Mrs. Noodlekugel And Four Blind Mice
By: Daniel Pinkwater
90 Pages
Ages: 5-9 yrs

The ever lovable Mrs. Noodlekugel is back! Mr. Fuzzface, her cat, and the four mice from her first book join her in this newest adventure. This time, the mice take center stage.

While having tea, Mrs. Noodlekugel notices the mice spilling their cups. There is only one thing to do about this. Why, strap them onto her hat, coax Mr. Fuzzface into a cat carrier, and go into the city so the mice can get glasses. However, nothing is just your regular trip with Mrs. Noodlekugel. No, while riding on the bus, you get to find out how Mrs. Noodlekugel and Mr. Fuzzface met. I'll give you a hint: it involves trains and a gold medal. 

Mrs. Noodlekugel and four blind mice also reunites one of the characters with a long lost family member. 

This book is as adorable and fun as Mrs. Noodlekugel was. From the characters and their personalities, to the adventures they all share. The writing is easy to understand. The chapters are short and to the point. Readers are in for a treat. At the beginning reader stage, readers can enjoy this book on their own, or it can be part of a story time. Perfect fit either way!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Icing On The Cake

The Cupcake Club: Icing on the Cake
By: Sheryl & Carrie Berk
Pages: 115
Ages: 9-12

Jenna has a full plate: a 5th grader, cupcake business & club, plenty of friends. Suddenly, her life is about to change. Jenna isn't happy about all the new changes, either. See what takes her, and the rest of the club, to Las Vegas, what connection they have to an Elvis impersonator, and why the club would be baking pupcakes.

Jenna's life may not be perfect, but she's happy the way it is. So when her Mom announces she's now engaged to her boyfriend, Leo, Jenna is less than thrilled. The impending nuptials may have many supporters, but Jenna isn't one of them. Still, Jenna goes along with it when her Mom asks Peace, Love, and Cupcakes to bake them a tower of cupcakes for the wedding- in a month and across the country.

The girls find themselves baking the night away in the kitchen of the fancy Venice Hotel- but not just for Jenna's Mom. Upon their arrival, they meet an Elvis Impersonator with quite a problem. His 100th show is that night and he can't find anyone who can bake a cake big enough for his 250 person audience. Nor can he find someone who can make it a peanut butter and banana cake. Thankfully the girls come to his rescue.

As if all that isn't enough, Jenna falls in love. Her school Community Friends project takes her to Rescue Rover, a dog shelter. Promptly, Jenna meets a puppy she names Dulce. 

The Mother-Daughter writing team of this series brings you another fun adventure to read. I loved seeing what fun things the girls would be doing in this book. It will find a home on my bookshelf. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rifka Takes A Bow

Rifka Takes A Bow
By: Betty Rosenberg Perlov
36 Pages

Rifka introduces you to the world of Yiddish Theater. With her parents being actors in it, she's able to give you a backstage tour of it all. From the trip the family takes to the theater, to the backstage happenings while everyone is getting ready for the show to start. With Rifka as your guide, you get to see a world you may not otherwise get to see.

Follow Rifka as she and her Dad go under the stage and look at the many props stored there. And no tour of a theater would be complete without an impromptu performance. That's exactly what happens when Rifka  moves from her chair by the stage. She follows the stairs and ends up right in the performance. When an audience member wants her to say something, Rifka makes a prediction for her future.

This book was such a cute read. I loved the story and the illustrations. Rifka Takes A Bow allows it's readers to learn about a world beyond theirs. After the story, Perlov gives a brief history of Yiddish Theater and includes pictures. A fun read!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares For Halloween

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares For Halloween
Melanie Watt
64 Pages
Age Range: 4-8

Our favorite lovable, overly cautious squirrel is back and he's helping you get ready for Halloween! With his help. you are guaranteed to have a safe and fun time. We must warn you, though. Those with sticky fingers, claws, or tentacles may not hold this guide. (As per Scaredy's instructions.) Also, you cannot take this book through walls, on brooms, or by a dragon. (Again, per Scaredy's instructions.) 

Within the pages of Scaredy's handy guide, you will be given tips that should prove invaluable. For instance, turning your blender on will, in fact, scare off ghosts and goblins. Also, when it comes time for your trick-or-treating, avoid any untamed lawns. It's just better that way. Halloween can be a practical, but fun, holiday. Turn on your washing machine. This gives you a great sound effect, but you also can do a load of laundry at the same time. 

Costumes are an important part of Halloween. Scaredy provides you with helpful tips! Such as- start thinking of your options in June. To avoid the Halloween night chills, he suggests layering several costumes over each other. Scaredy even tells you how to make do-it-yourself costumes. All you need is 8 vacuum hoses and 4 ping pong balls to make your own spider costume!

This book is a great Story Time read! Kids of all elementary ages will love the silly things Scaredy comes up with. Pictures illustrate everything, and they are fun to look at. While this book is longer than previous books, I don't think it'll be hard for independent readers to enjoy. This book is broken up into 8 chapters, but they aren't very long.

My only downside to this book is the price. I think $17.95 is a lot to ask for a picture book. Even one that is longer than your average picture book length. Hopefully, your library will have it. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Goddess Girls: Athena the Brain

Athen has always been above average. She's never quite fit in at Triton Junior High, but who would've guessed that Athena is actually a goddess? Principal Zeus's daughter, to be exact. When she's summoned to Mount Olympus Academy, Athena thinks she might actually fit in for the first time in her life. But in some ways, school on Mount Olympus is not that different from down on Earth, and Athena is going to have to deal with the baddest mean girl in history- Medusa!
Authors Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams put a modern spin on classic myths with the Goddess Girls series. Follow the ins and outs of divine social life at Mount Olympus Academy, where the most privileged godboys and goddessgirls in the Greek pantheon hone their mythical skills.
This is a good start to a series that I'm really excited about. It provides a fun way for kids to learn about Greek myths, and puts it on their level. I love that it's pretty much all these gods a goddesses in junior high, and junior high in Ancient Greece was about the same as it is now. There are nice girls and mean girls, popular guys who know all the girls like them (in this case, Poseidon), and embarrassing situations for the main character. How would you feel if the whole school found out that your mother was a fly? I think we can all relate to the circumstances of the story. 

I really liked how the authors chose to write the character of Athena. I think she is a good role model for young girls, and she makes good choices throughout the book. This book might just get some of those girls who aren't interested in the Percy Jackson series into Greek myths as well.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Amelia Bedelia series

Jen and I read these with her two daughters, ages 3 and 7, the other night. They were a bit too long to hold the 3 year old's interest, but they had the rest of us in stitches.

Imagine Amelia Bedelia in your homeroom! Everyone's favorite zany lady finds herself teacher for the day- and what a day it turns out to be!

This was my favorite Amelia Bedelia as a child. There is some outdated terminology in it, so I had to stop reading at some parts so Jen and I could explain some of the words to the kids. I think for beginning readers some of the newer Amelia Bedelia books might be better. This is a classic, though.

When Amelia Bedelia went to the station to meet the conductor, Mrs. Rogers did not expect her to bring back a man who worked for the railroad. The concert could not start until the orchestra leader arrived- which he finally did, no thanks to Amelia Bedelia. 
But neither the conductor nor the school orchestra was prepared for Amelia Bedelia's contribution to the musical event. The master of literal interpretation, Amelia Bedelia is just as happy with a flat bee as with a B flat. And if you want a wind instrument- well, what blows more wind than an electric fan? 
Amelia Bedelia is as funny as she has ever been in this musical extravaganza. Do you wonder what she plays in the orchestra? She plays havoc!

Wow, this one was pretty crazy! By the end of the book, she had really gotten under the conductor's skin. (And I don't mean the train conductor!) Kids will like this one.  Ages 5 and up.

She's back! Amelia Bedelia,  America's favorite housekeeper, has returned. Armed with a driver's license, Amelia Bedelia hits the road! 
Amelia Bedelia listens to what people say. She believes they know what they are talking about. If someone tells her to watch out for a fork in the road- well, she's heard of needles in haystacks, so why not a fork in the road? Readers will find her exploits hilarious.

I think this was the funniest one yet! The part about the fork in the road had us all cracking up. And Mr.  Rogers learned his lesson- never go driving with Amelia Bedelia!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift: The Platinum Edition
By: Liv Spencer

Summer has arrived and with it the opportunity to learn more about people you admire. My two girls have become fans of the ever popular Taylor Swift, so I took this chance to learn more about the object of their affection. After all, this Mommy would like to know about the singer/songwriter behind the car ride concerts. 

In Liv Spencer's book, you get TONS of pictures. You get tons of surface information. Liv walks you through how Taylor Swift became the household name she now is. You'll learn how Taylor dealt with her share of naysayers and bullies. Taylor Swift will show you how a young girl with a dream took a well-known American song and turned it into a career.

Liv Spencer's book gives you a brief peek at the world Taylor created as she tore conquered one obstacle after another. You won't get an in-depth story of the famous Taylor Swift. Her much talked about love life is only mentioned in track listings. Still, this book is a great starting off point in learning about a strong, determined woman who didn't compromise herself to achieve her dream.

I have respected Taylor for not being what the industry wanted. She made a name for herself by standing out and giving pieces of herself through her music. She isn't a gimmick who lip-syncs to music while dancing up a storm in barely there costumes. She's a wholesome person who sets a great example for the kids looking up to her. She shows how you can achieve what you want in life through hard work and strong ethics.  

Personally, I loved reading about all the songs on Taylor's albums. Each album is broken down by track. Along with it is the story of how the song came to be, the inspiration behind it, and other fun information. I always love how creativity comes to people. 

Enjoy getting to know about Miss Taylor Swift!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

OMG (Oh My Godmother): The Glitter Trap

OMG (Oh My Godmother: The Glitter Trap
By: Barbara Brauner & James Iver Mattson
240 Pages

Lacey Unger-Ware isn't the most popular 12 year old at her school. But life is about the change for her. While delivering food for her parents' restaurant, Lacey accidentally makes off with the Fairy Godmother assigned to make Paige Harrington's dream come true. How could this happen? Let's just say glitter should be used with caution.

Promptly returning the Fairy Godmother to Paige would be the sensible thing to do. But sensible gets a new definition after Lacey's cat eats the fairy. Now with a sprained shoulder, the Godmother is unable to fulfill her duty. This spells out dire consequences for everyone: Paige's dream won't come true; Lacey will spend her whole life with none of her dreams coming true; and the Fairy Godmother will get demoted- possibly to a dryer fairy! There's only one thing to do: Have Lacey take the Fairy Godmother's place and act as Paige's Godmother. Hilarity ensues as Lacey learns how to be a Fairy Godmother. Note: Use a wand with caution! 

Readers will enjoy this story. Funny scenes are throughout the whole book. You've got mass pigeons flying overhead- doing what they do on poor Lacey. You've got World War Pea in the kitchen- the blue wears off at midnight. And you have an overwhelming task to be accomplished in 8 days. What could possibly go wrong? The Chapters aren't very long and they have pictures throughout. Fairy Tale fans will love this spin on the beloved Fairy Godmother.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

MIssy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe Picture

Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe: Picture Day
By: Susan Nees
Ages: 5-7

Attention all beginner readers!! I have a fun new character to introduce to you. Please meet, Melissa Abigail Rose- but, please call her Missy. She is little girl who loves all the things fun and dressy, and super duper. Take her school picture day, for example. This is a BIG event in little Missy's life, and she's been looking forward to it all week. Visions of different outfits are dancing through her head. However, her Mom has a different plan.

The normal outgoing, energetic Missy doesn't go to school that day. But the grumpy, brooding Missy goes.  Gone is her overflowing excitement for picture day. Gone are her outfits. She has no plans to talk to anyone. But while she isn't talking to anyone, she'll chat with quiet classmate, Oscar. In fact, she talks to him so much they get in trouble while waiting in line to take their pictures. Being separated from the class gives Oscar the chance to think of a genious idea for he and Missy to do for their pictures. Missy goes from mad to ecstatic! 

This book was cute! It has tons of pictures on each page. Missy is a character young children can enjoy- especially girls who love dress up. I had a great time meeting Missy and reading about her picture day adventure. I know there are 2 other books already set to come out in this series, and I look forward to reading them. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car

Alright adventure seekers of all ages! Fasten your seat belts and get ready for the ride of your life! Guess who's back....

 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car
By: Ian Fleming
Ages: 9+

She's back and taking you places you've never been before! Join the Potts family as they restore Chitty back to her old glory. With her in charge, never fret when your favorite beach picnic spot is full. Instead of sharing your lunch at an overly crowded beach, Chitty takes you to an island in the middle of the English Channel! However, just mind the tides and don't stay too long.

Once you're picnic afternoon is done, you won't believe what Chitty has in store for you next! 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car is a cute, fun read. It's perfect for bedtime reading. Going on all the adventures will be a wonderful addition to any family story time. I had so much fun exploring the cave and having a picnic on a remote island. Ian Fleming is known for his 007 writing, but he's great at children's works, too!

The Cupcake Club: Winner Bakes All

The Cupcake Club: Winner Bakes All
By: Sheryl Berk & Carrie Berk
118 Pages
Ages: 9-12

The third book in The Cupcake Club series has Saddie Harris, Kylie Carson, Jenna Medina, & Lexi Poole facing a challenge like no other: can they win a baking contest?

With business drying up a little, the girls are looking for a way to bring in money. Enter the contest Battle of the Bakers. With the grand prize being $5,000, the Cupcake Club is aiming to win. What they didn't count on was going against seasoned professionals. Nor would they expect the surprise guest judge to be a recent disgruntled client. Can they pull it off and win?

While the club battles professionals  Saddie is fearing her parents are heading for a divorce. Money has been tight, and the stress has her parents fighting a lot more. Is Saddie worried about nothing, or is she fated to be the newest addition to the divorced family statistics at her school?

This book is the 3rd in the series, and the first one I ever read. Having said that, it doesn't affect the story line at all. The authors give you all the information you need, so you don't go through the book feeling like you're missing key details. Had it not been for a couple of instances in the book, you wouldn't know it's the middle of a series. 

I found the book to be cute and charming. I enjoyed meeting each of the girls. Mrs. Lila Vanderwall was a character written to be dis likable  and she is. I was mad when she refused to pay the girls for baking a ton of cupcakes at the last minute for her. Yes, they made a mistake with the decoration, but they fixed it. 

This is a series I would love to read more of. I'll definitely be seeing if my library has the first two books in the series. Very cute and enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Odette's Secrets

Odette's Secrets
By: Maryann Macdonald
204 Pages
Ages: 10-14

Odette is a young girl when World War 2 breaks out. Odette's Secrets lets you see what life for her was like. From the very beginning of it when movie news reels featuring Hitler would receive cheers to posters showing up all over Paris. Maryann does a phenomenal job of telling Odette's story in a way young readers will understand and connect with. 

Through the book you get not only the war's affects on Paris, but how it affects the children. History comes alive in a way children can comprehend. Odette's Father goes to fight for France, but is quickly captured by German soldiers. Her Mother also goes to work for France, but in a more secretive way, by helping other children in trouble find places to hide. 

You travel with Odette as she is sent to live in the country- along with numerous other children, unbeknownst to her at the time. There she is kept safe, but must learn to take on an entirely different identity: that of a Christian, instead of a Jewish girl. You get to see what life was like for her- the good and the bad.

Odette's Secrets takes you through the entire length of the war. The whole time you feel as though you are there with her. You are with her as she leaves a dangerous Paris and you are there when she returns to it after the war is over. You embrace the beloved reunions and the heartbreaking losses of those Odette knew. Mostly, you are there as Odette tries to make sense of all that has happened to her and the world. Is she Jewish? Is she Christian? Can she be both? 

This book is a great learning tool about World War 2, but it will, no doubt, start conversations about all aspects of that time. While the devastating aspects of what Jewish people endured are glossed over, they are mentioned. Odette's story is largely true, which Maryann MacDonald tells you about in an author's note she includes in the book. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra

Hocus Pocus Hotel: The Return of Abracadabra
By: Michael Dahl

Welcome back to The Hocus Pocus Hotel! This visit will find you searching for a boy who appears to have vanished during a magic trick. But did he really disappear or is it really just smoke and mirrors? You also get a front row seat to a battle over the hotel. Mr. Abracadabra is the owner, but if he can't tell how a fellow magician did a trick he'll become the former owner of the historic hotel.

Once again Michael Dahl delivers a truly magical story. Not only do you get to visit ones you met through The Hocus Pocus Hotel, but you get to interact with some of them a little more. All the magic and magic trick reveals that you loved from the first book are in this one, as well.

I loved reading The Return of Abracadabra. I didn't want to stop once I started. The illustrations were great, the chapters were the perfect size for young readers. The story was captivating and interesting for children and adults alike.