Some New Favorite Books
During this snowy 2018, I’ve been curled up with my coffee and reading a LOT of books. As usual, I’ve been searching for new books (or books which are new to me) to share with you. Here are some of my favorites that I’m excited to tell you about!
New Favorite Picture Books
I learned about this book on one of my favorite book blogs, What to Read to Your Kids. I’m always excited when I see it in my Inbox! I’m sure you’d really enjoy it to!
This is a truly magical book that you will definitely need to add to your collection, I’m sure. We’ve all yearned for our little ones to walk away from their video games and to go explore the outdoors. This little person (we’re not told if it’s a girl or a boy, which I love) is forced by his mother to do just that. At first, he doesn’t see any of the magic, but once he drops his video game in the lake, his eyes are opened to the mystical secrets of the forest. The lyrical and descriptive language is amazing, such as “Sunbeams fell down through a giant strainer and blinded me.”, but it is the accompanying illustrations that add the true wonder to the story. I recommend that you read it several times, (which shouldn’t be a problem since I’m sure it will become a family favorite!) so that you can truly notice all of the tiny details on every page. I loved how the little person’s legs became tree trunks when he felt like he was a small tree, how the martians jumped out of his video game, his view of the upside down world and the pure glee we see on his face when he discovered each little forest surprise. And please take an extra look at the mushroom page! But most of all, I love his conclusion “why hadn’t I done these things before today?” I hope you’ll love this book, as much as I do!
Accident by Andrea Tsurumi
I also learned about this book on What to Read to Your Kids. Many thanks to The Book Mommy for her great reviews!
We’ve all had lots of accidents. I know I certainly have! The story begins when Lola, the armadillo, spills orange juice on the living room chair, declares “I’ve ruined everything!” and decides that the only solution is to hide in the library until she’s grown up. But oh, no, on her way she runs right into a friend who has accidentally broken a swing, and quickly joins Lola in the race to the shelter of the library. That is until they encounter ANOTHER friend who has accidentally clipped the water hose when he’s trimming the hedge! This parade continues as it and adds friend after friend as they rush to get to the security of the library.
I loved the illustrations which included almost every imaginable animal involved in almost every imaginable calamity. The vocabulary was so much fun and that, along with the accidents which are shown on every page offer many opportunities for lively discussions with your little ones. With so much happening on every page, you’ll discover new surprises every time you read this delightful story. But what I liked most was the ending. A little bird follows Lola on her journey to the library and once Lola slows down simply says one word, “Accident.” The astonishment and relief on Lola’s face and the faces of all of her friends is very clear, as bird explains, “and now we make it better.”
We all need the reassurance that accidents are just that – accidents – and that they do happen. This book illustrates the lesson that is so important for all of us to learn. The lesson that tells us once an accident occurs, we need to kindly take care of the results of the accident, whether it be with an apology, with cleaning up the mess or by solving the problem we created, as well as graciously accepting our friend’s “I’m sorry.” after an accident occurs. What an important lesson for all of us to remember, both young and old!
This is definitely a book to add to your family library, as well as a book that should be in every elementary and public library. It’s a five star, for sure!
New Favorite middle Grade Books
Hilde Cracks the Case: Hero Dog by Hilde Lysiak with Matthew Lysiak; Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vrietnoff
Thank you to @kidlitexchange for sharing a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.
Hilde is a serious real-life reporter who is ten years old and writes her own actual newspaper, Orange Street News. She, along with a little bit of help from her reporter dad, is the author of this fun series! The stories are fictional, but are inspired by true stories that she has covered in her newspaper. Hilde has included a glossary of the terms she uses as she investigates her story, such as confession, confirm and deadline, which will be especially helpful to beginning mystery readers.
This is the first book in a new early chapter book series, from the Branches division (#scholasticbranches) of @scholastic. Hero Dog is a puzzling mystery with lots of clues that prompt the reader to really analyze the evidence that Hilde discovers! It has easy to read font and illustrations on every page, which makes it a fun and enticing book to read. I especially liked that it stressed the importance of a reporter always answering the “who, what, when, where, why, how” questions in order to investigate a story. Hilde demonstrated the importance of this practice all through Hero Dog, when she paused and filled in the answers to these questions in her notebook. Learning the importance of this strategy will help your kids, as they strive to solve their own neighborhood mysteries.
I highly recommend this book for grades 1-3, and possibly for older reluctant readers who are looking for a fun book. Hero Dog will definitely keep mystery lovers engaged to the very last page! The series should become part of every elementary library collection.
Smart Cookie By Elly Swartz
Frankie is a 6th grader with a best friend, Elliott, a dad, a gram, a beagle and a hedgehog who lives in her family’s B&B in Vermont. She and her dad are terrified of thunder and lightning, because her mom died while driving home one night during a storm. So since that time when Frankie was four years old, she, her dad and her gram have been living in and running the B&B. She and her gram are in charge of making the fresh cookies everyday that are a trademark of the inn, as well as doing other chores around the inn. Her dad maintains the building and grounds and does the cooking.
Frankie has decided it’s time to change that. She thinks her dad works far too hard and he needs to find a new wife, not to mention a new mom for her. And although family rule #10 is no secrets, Frankie has several; one being she has signed her dad up on a dating site!
I loved Frankie. I loved her courage, her resourcefulness, her spunk, her kindness and her creativity. I admired her very special relationship with her grandmother and the other senior center members. I admired her loyalty to her gram, as well as her understanding, when she discovered the secrets about Gram’s new love, and her hoarding issues. I ached for Frankie as she missed her mom, as she struggled to understand why her best friend deserted her and as she longed to be part of a family of three. I appreciated Frankie’s close friendship with Elliott and although they disagreed on things, they were extremely loyal and kind to one another and were an excellent team when it came to solving mysteries and problems.
This is a book that should be added to all elementary libraries and will soon become a favorite with grades 3-6. It would also be a good choice for those younger students who are ready for and requesting a middle grade book, because the subject matter is completely appropriate. I highly recommend Smart Cookie!
What are some new favorites that you have discovered during the past month or two? I hope you’ll share them with all of us in the comments section!