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Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

Heart and the Bottle The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers is the perfect example of a moving picture book that adults will love as much kids.  A young girl enjoys exploring new things, dreaming about the world, and spending time with her grandfather, until one day when she finds “an empty chair.”  She becomes very sad, so she puts her heart in a bottle to protect it.  As time passes, she can’t remember how to get her heart back out of the bottle.  This incredibly beautiful story works on so many levels.  I could read it over and over again.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on August 10, 2010 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

The Missing: Book 1, Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Found I rarely read past the first book in a series, so it says a lot that I can’t wait to read book 2 of “The Missing” series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Book 1, Found, is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller.  It begins when 13-year-old Jonah gets a letter in the mail with just six words: “YOU ARE ONE OF THE MISSING.”  The plot thickens as Jonah, his friend Chip, and his sister Katherine gather clues about disappearing airplanes, stolen babies, and the FBI.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

 

By MPPL on January 5, 2010 Categories: Mystery & Suspense, Picks by Erin E., Science 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.

Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane Auch

Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey's Cautionary Tale The illustrations are what make the picture book Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey’s Cautionary Tale so adorable and hilarious.  The characters are hens sculpted out of clay with cloth dresses.  One day a turkey named Lance wanders into Beauty’s shop, The Chic Hen, and he very rudely informs Beauty and her friends that none of them are invited to the “special feast” that he is going to.  When Beauty finds out that Lance IS the feast, the hens band together to help him.

Book reviewed by Erin E. Youth Services Programming Coordinator

 

By MPPL on October 26, 2009 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman

Katie Loves the Kittens In Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman, Katie the dog gets so excited when her owner Sara Ann brings home three little kittens, that she starts bouncing around and howling. She just can’t help herself because she loves the kittens so much! Only the kittens are scared of her and she has to learn how control herself so she can be their friend. This adorable book really gets inside a dog’s head. I can imagine any well-intentioned dog having these
same problems.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on September 8, 2009 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

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.

On the Road by Lucy Nolan

On the Road This beginning chapter book is full of hilarious adventures—on the beach, in the woods, and at the veterinarian—all from the perspective of a dog who thinks her name is “Down Girl.”  In On the Road by Lucy Nolan, Down Girl loves her master (who she calls “Rruff”) and she’s always trying so hard to be a good dog.  But why isn’t Rruff happy when he finds the little surprise Down Girl leaves in his beach bag?  Hint: it didn’t smell good!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on July 1, 2009 Categories: For Grades 2-4, Funny, Picks by Erin E.

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick

syndetics-lcRecently I started reading about the legendary magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini, and I think he’s fascinating.  The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick is about a boy who wants to be just like Houdini.  Victor attempts to perform tricks like escaping from a locked trunk and walking through a wall.  Then by a VERY lucky coincidence, Victor actually gets to meet Houdini!  What happens next might show Victor just what he’s been looking for his whole life– the keys to performing Houdini’s magic.  If you’re a fan of Hugo Cabret, definitely check this one out! 

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on April 21, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Historical Fiction, Picks by Erin E.

The Facttracker by Jason Carter Eaton

syndetics-lcDid you ever tell a lie and then have to tell another lie to cover that one up?  And then another and another until your lies were just spinning out of control?  Well, what happens in The Facttracker by Jason Carter Eaton is kind of like that.  Someone called the Just Small Enough Boy accidentally blows up the factory that produces all of the facts, the Facttracker’s twin brother steals the seed of truth, the mayor runs around in his underwear, and the Facttracker eats nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches.  Well… three of those four things are true!  If you’re still not convinced to read this book, consider this– how could a book that begins with a chapter called, “Everyone Loves a Good Explosion,” not be entertaining? 

Book read by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on February 23, 2009 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Erin E.

Marley: A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan

syndetics-lcComing soon to a theater near you is Marley and Me, the story of a very challenging but lovable dog.  The children’s version of the book, Marley: A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan, is a sweet and funny tale that I would recommend to anyone who loves dogs.  What I would not recommend, is reading this book while you’re eating… there’s a lot of talk about dog poop!

Book read by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

 

By MPPL on December 8, 2008 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Non-fiction, Picks by Erin E.