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Staff Picks 4 Kids

William Marshal, Medieval England’s Greatest Knight by Myra Weatherly

William Marshal, Medieval England's Greatest Knight  William Marshal, Medieval England’s Greatest Knight by Myra Weatherly tells Marshal’s incredible life story, beginning when he was sentenced to be hanged at age 5.  His father, who was rebelling against the king, had given William as a hostage to guarantee a truce.  William’s father then broke the truce anyway—luckily the king couldn’t bring himself to execute the boy.  William went on to become the greatest knight of his time.  He served four kings, was the only knight to ever unhorse Richard the Lionhearted in a joust, and later was with that same King Richard when he visited Sherwood Forest (and, legend has it, met with Robin Hood).  He was the bodyguard of Eleanor of Aquitaine and eventually became Regent of England, when he was assigned to protect the new child king and rule in his place until the child grew older.  This true biography is an action-packed adventure story as incredible as any fantasy novel—if you like knights and castles, don’t miss this amazing book!



By MPPL on December 20, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction

My Hippo Has the Hiccups and Other Poems I Totally Made Up by Kenn Nesbitt

My Hippo Has the HiccupsMy Hippo Has the Hiccups and Other Poems I Totally Made Up by Kenn Nesbitt.  This new poetry book is filled with funny poems that you will enjoy like, My Dog Likes to Disco and My Elephant is Missing! It also includes a DVD with the author reading many of the poems and a web address for more fun activities.

Book reviewed by Barb M., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant


By MPPL on May 26, 2010 Categories: Funny, Non-fiction, Picks by Barb M.

Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries From Perilous Places by Donna M. Jackson

Extreme scientist Hurricane Hunter, Cave Woman and Skywalker, three things that seem to have nothing in common, or do they? Steve Sillet, “Skywalker,” scales Redwood trees, Paul Faherty, “Hurricane Hunter,” tracks dangerous storms across the country, and Hazel Barton, “Cave Woman,” is mining microbes while crawling through treacherous caves. These three people do all have one thing in common.  They’re EXTREME scientists.  In this new book you’ll find about all the daring things these scientists do in order to make important discoveries about trees, microbiology, and weather.  To get in on these exciting adventures in science come check out Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature’s Mysteries from Perilous Places today!


By MPPL on April 5, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction

Just the Right Size: Why Big Animals Are Big and Little Animals Are Little by Nicola Davies

Just the Right SizeJust the Right Size by Nicola Davies explains why super-strong giants like King Kong can’t exist using simple math and science in real life.  If you can do multiplication, you can understand this book!  From tiny single cell animals to giant whales and dinosaurs—all are explained using one simple rule. This is part of why ants are stronger for their size than gorillas, and if a giant spider (like in Lord of the Rings) existed, its weight would snap off all it’s legs!  If you like learning about how the world works, this is a really cool book.


By MPPL on February 15, 2010 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction

1001 Monster Things to Spot by Gillian Doherty

1001 Monster Things to Spot If you made your way through the I Spy books then Usborne’s Spot 1001 series is another great set of search and find books! 1001 Monster Things to Spot is a good one to start with. First you need to track down some bedroom monsters–like five pocket trolls and seven slumber busters.  If that doesn’t stump you then move onto find the hopadoos and boingy beast in the monster park! So if you’re up for a monstrous challenge grab this 1001 Things to Spot book today!


By MPPL on January 25, 2010 Categories: Non-fiction

Go, Go America by Dan Yaccarino

Go, Go America Jump in the Farley family station wagon for a road trip across the 50 states, as ridiculous but true tidbits about America’s wild customs and silly facts are revealed.  Did you know, for example, that it is illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole in Atlanta, Georgia?  Or that West Virginia hosts an annual Roadkill Cook-off?  Yuck!  Learn about the best and strangest of the U.S.A., like how hamburgers and ice cream cones were invented and which state is famous for having some of the oldest graveyards, in Go, Go America by Dan Yaccarino.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator


By MPPL on December 15, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Race Cars Up Close by Andra Serlin Abramson

Race Cars Up Close Love race cars? Ever wanted to see one in person? Well, Race Cars Up Close by Andra Serlin Abramson is the next best thing! In this picture and information filled book there are huge foldouts of every part of a race car from the engine to dash board to the pit crew. A lot of the photos are the actual size of the car part too! So if you’re a die hard racing fan than this is the book for you!

By MPPL on October 12, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction

Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka

Knucklehead Jon Scieszka has written a lot of great books for kids like “The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales” and the Time Warp Trio books. Now he has written a great book called Knucklehead about how he grew up in Michigan with his 5 brothers—that’s right 6 boys in his family, 7 if you count the dad and 8 if you count the cat.  This book will make you understand how Jon Scieszka got so funny. You will read about how his brother tried to sell him his own shirt.  And you’ll find out exactly what you should not do when your teacher asks “What’s so funny, Mr. Sciescka—would you like to share with the class?”  You’ll see tons of great photos and read about dirt clod wars at construction sites, exploring sewers, blowing up model planes, made-up swear words, and much, much more.  It’s lucky that Jon and all his brothers survived their childhood.  Lucky for us because now we get to read his hilarious books!


By MPPL on August 25, 2009 Categories: Funny, Non-fiction

Spooky Cemeteries by Dinah Williams

Spooky Cemeteries I read Spooky Cemeteries by Dinah Williams aloud with my family and friends on Halloween night.  While not exactly great for storytelling, this book includes chilling facts and creepy pictures from cemeteries around the world, and two of them are right here in the Chicago area!  What really spooked me was what happened to the “last American vampire,” and what the job of a “bone-picker” was– yuck!

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on July 13, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.

Where is the Cake? by T.T. Khing

syndetics-lcI’m hungry! Now where did that silly cake go to? Where Is the Cake? by T.T. Khing is a simple, wordless look-and-find adventure book even preschoolers will enjoy. Hey older kids, there’s so much going on behind the scenes of the cake adventure to discover, you’ll be flipping back to see what you missed! By the way, when you find that cake could you let me know? I’m still hungry…

By MPPL on April 13, 2009 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Non-fiction, Picture Books