If you like funny books and are up for a good prank or two, then have I got the book for you, The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and John Jory. In it, Miles Murphy assumes he will be the school prankster when he moves to Yawnee Valley, “the cow capital of the United States, this side of the Mississippi, excluding a couple of towns that cheat.” Unfortunately, his new school already has a resident prankster. An epic prank war ensues to prove just who can pull the best prank and trick their principle, teachers, and classmates. My favorite prank involves cows, but don’t worry you don’t have to like cows to enjoy the hilarity of it all.
Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Librarian
The Library has many picture books about counting, but Let’s Count Goats is the only one to feature an airport goat, three pilot goats wearing goggles, and a fireman goat! This playful rhyming book is silly and colorful, with pictures done by Jan Thomas, author of the also-funny books Rhyming Dust Bunnies and Can You Make a Scary Face. Not only can you practice counting with this book, but you can also try to guess which goats could be real and which ones could not. A soccer goat? What about a mountain goat? Check out this book—you’ll want to read it a number of times!
Book reviewed by Dana F., Assistant Head of Youth Services
Brownie and Apollo are dogs that love their home and the people that take care of them. The people know when to feed them, let them out of the house to do their business, and play with them. However, that changes one day when their people don’t come back and they start to get really hungry. In fact, it looks like there are no people around at all. Something has happened. Feeling really hungry and wanting to go outside, they decide to make the journey to see if they can find their people and food. On the way, they meet a police dog, a rat, and gasp, a cat along with others. They also find a grocery store with food, but still no people. Where have they gone? What will Brownie and Apollo do, especially since their group isn’t the only group of animals’ hungry and wanting food?
Book reviewed by Laura B. Youth Technology Librarian
Ten year old Christa loves her family’s cabin in Wisconsin but because of hard times, her family is going to sell it, leaving her without her favorite summer place! Fortunately, she and her friend, Adam, have wonderful imaginations and learn some stories about Al Capone and his stash of cash which is possibly hidden right under their noses. This book is about her search for this fortune and her quest to save the family summer home.
Trying to solve this mystery proves to be more dangerous than they could have ever imagined and her friends and loved ones are at risk.
I recommend this book for 4th-5th grade fans of mystery and adventure that enjoy a touch of humor, friendship and family sprinkled in.
Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison
Arnie is a pet “doughnut dog.” His owner, Mr. Bing, was hoping to eat him for breakfast, but when Arnie started talking he knew he had to come up with something else to do with his doughnut. He’s exactly the kind of pet you might like to have: he tells jokes, does impressions, and most people think he’s adorable. In this book, Arnie tries to figure out why Mr. Bing keeps rolling gutter balls in his championship bowling match. Together with his friends, a pizza slice, the karaoke lady, and some bowling balls and pins, Arnie will discover if someone is trying to sabotage the game. Along the way there will be songs, dancing, and lucky pink sprinkles galore! If you are a new chapter book reader, and love laughs and silliness, pick up The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut:Bowling Alley Bandit.
Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian
Inspector Flytrap is a venus flytrap (that’s a plant that eats insects) on a skateboard, who solves mysteries with the help of his sidekick, Nina the Goat. They only take “Big Deal” mysteries, like the case of a mysterious blob on a famous painting or a single giant stinky shoe! This book has mysteries that need to be solved, but also a lot of funny parts like Nina eating everything in sight or the mysteries too small for Inspector Flytrap to take. The first in the Inspector Flytrap series is a fun and quick read, especially for someone just starting to read chapter books. You might also like it if you’ve read other books by Tom Angleberger (like Origami Yoda) or Cece Bell (like El Deafo). The second in the series is already out, so there’s a lot to enjoy!
Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian
This is not a book about Superman, Spiderman, or the Hulk. This is a book about how YOU can be a superhero. What do superheroes need? Well, there are chapters about choosing a superhero name, discovering your superpower, finding a sidekick, dressing like a superhero, and more. Each section is sprinkled with hilarious comic panels, as well as fun facts and anecdotes about famous superheroes, from Thor to the Incredibles. You may particularly enjoy the “Superpower Activity” sections that instruct how to create costumes and props, hone your super skills, or perform a “Sidekick Test” on your friends. There is even a chart to help you pick your superhero name.
Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator
Introducing Dory, better known as Rascal. This six year old has an imagination like no other and it can drive her older brother and sister crazy. Luke and Violet think Dory acts like a baby and won’t play with her. To get her to shape up, they tell her a story about a pretend Mrs. Gobble Gracker coming to take her away unless she stops acting like a baby. However, their plan only kicks Dory’s imagination into overdrive. Dory’s hilarious antics to escape capture by Mrs. Gobble Gracker include banana peels, a sleeping dart, one very special soup, and pretending to be a puppy, even at the doctor’s office. Will Dory find a way to win her siblings attention in the end? Black and white drawings really bring Dory’s imagination to life in this excellent choice for new chapter book readers or family read-a-louds.
Book reviewed by Keary B., Youth Collection Specialist Librarian
This book is adorable. Duncan goes to get his crayons out at school one day and finds a stack of letters. Each one is written by a different color crayon. Each has his reasons for needing a break. Red feels over used because of holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Gray doesn’t like to have to be used for such big animals like elephants and hippos. Black doesn’t like being use for outlining things while the other colors are used to fill in. Of course there is drama as well. Yellow and Orange crayons are arguing about who should be the color of the sun and are no longer speaking to each other. I love how Duncan makes all the crayons happy in the end.
To those that enjoy a book with lots of action and reptiles: this book is for you! Wahoo is a normal middle-schooler living in Florida with his parents. What’s not normal about him is that his dad is a professional animal wrangler, and they have Alice, an alligator, living in their backyard. Once his dad suffers a freak accident, Wahoo needs to assist his dad with wrangling animals for the filming of a survival reality show. It turns out the reality show star, Derek, is a self-absorbed jerk and is incredibly difficult to work with. Things get even more hairy once Derek goes missing in the swampy Everglades. It’s up to Wahoo and his dad to locate the reality star in the wilderness, but a gun-toting man makes a dramatic entrance and makes the stakes suddenly much higher.
Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Programming Assistant