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Staff Picks 4 Kids

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

syndetics-lcI love Emily Gravett’s newest book, Monkey and Me, just as much as I did Wolves and Orange Pear Apple Bear, because the little girl and all the animals seem to bounce right off the page.  “Monkey and me, monkey and me, monkey and me, we went to see…”  What animal could it be?  Look at the pictures and see if you can you guess!

Book read by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on September 7, 2008 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

syndetics-lcFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg is considered a classic by many and is also a Newbery award winner from the 1960’s.  I’d heard it was a story about two kids who run away from home in an unusual way.  I was intrigued.  So I picked it up and found out that the story is just as clever and cute as I’d hoped, and the characters are realistic and lovable.  Claudia Kincaid, a 12-year-old straight-A perfectionist, does not want to pull off that “old-fashioned kind of running away… in the heat of anger with a knapsack on [your] back,” so instead she arranges to run towards something.  So she recruits her brother, Jamie, mostly because he has money saved up, and they go to a large, comfortable, beautiful place- the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Between keeping their residency a secret and trying to solve the mystery of a controversial statue, the two have plenty to keep them busy.  This book kept me guessing ‘til the end!

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Librarian

Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack

syndetics-lcGather ‘round the front porch for the sights, sounds, and tastes of a summer evening in the South, with “whippoorwills, lightning bugs, homemade peach ice cream,” and a “porch lie” or two. The amusing tellers and tales told in Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters by Patricia McKissack are cleverly larger-than-life, with the right amount of mystery to keep you wondering just who you should believe.  The charming (or is it scheming?) Pete Bruce flatters a baker out of a coconut cream pie and a pint of milk.  Mingo Cass may or may not have a 100-dollar bill in his pocket.  And Mr. Cake Norris wakes up dead one day–again.  These and other tricksters, slicksters, and outlaws seem to be winking, or maybe poking fun, at us foolish readers.  But, as wise Aunt Gran slyly told Frank and Jesse James, some folk believe these stories, some don’t.  You decide for yourself.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Program Coordinator

By MPPL on February 11, 2008 Categories: For Grades 4-6, Funny, Picks by Erin E., Short Stories

Courage of the Blue Boy by Robert Neubecker

syndetics-lcDo you like the color blue?  I do, even if it isn’t my favorite color, which is green.  There’s plenty of blue in the picture book Courage of the Blue Boy by Robert Neubecker.  Blue is a blue boy who lives in a blue land where everything is blue.  He imagines there must be more out there, and sets off to find all the colors of the world.  He finds a yellow land, a purple village, and a red town, but he keeps thinking there must be more.  Finally he finds a multi-colored city and moves right in.  He happily takes in all of the wonderful colors until one day he notices something strange.  There is no blue in the city!  Blue becomes scared of the city and locks himself up in his room.  Feeling safe (and bored) inside his room, Blue comes up with an idea that will change himself and the city.

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By MPPL on December 14, 2007 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books

Whatever by William Bee

syndetics-lc“Billy can be very difficult to please.”  Well, that’s an understatement.  In the picture book, Whatever, by William Bee, all that ever comes out of Billy’s mouth is, “Whatever.”  Billy’s dad spends the length of the book trying to get some sort of reaction out of Billy.  He shows him something very tall, and something very small.  He shows him the world’s smokiest train and the world’s curliest trumpet, and even flies with Billy to the edge of outer space.  “Whatever,” Billy keeps saying.  Then, Billy’s dad tries to scare him with the world’s hungriest tiger and, well… I won’t give away the ending.  But even if you think you can guess what happens, I’m sure the ending will still make you smile.  I love this book!  I also have to wonder if William Bee got his inspiration from Maurice Sendak’s Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue.  I read Pierre a few months ago, after a friend of mine recalled reading it when he was young.  I’d never heard of it, but was interested because of the author.  Published in 1962, the library’s copy isn’t so pretty anymore, but the story hasn’t lost its charm.  For everything Pierre’s parents try to do to please him, all he will say is, “I don’t care!”  And just like Billy, Pierre has a little encounter with a lion.  Both of these books are great for a chuckle.
Submitted by Erin E., Youth Programming Coodinator


By MPPL on September 10, 2007 Categories: Picks by Erin E., Picture Books