Staff Picks 4 Kids

Staff Picks 4 Kids Blog

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist/ ¡Esquivel! Una Artista del Sonido de la Era Espacial by Susan Wood, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist Book CoverJuan García Esquivel grew up in Mexico loving music. He started finding work as a musician when he was just 14 years old, playing piano on a radio station. Later, he made music for a comedy show on the radio, and it was there that he started to experiment with music and sound, making drums sound like a lumbering giant, clarinets like a dog, and having singers make sounds, not words. His music was different from what most people had heard before, sounding like something from outer space. This is a non-fiction story with fantastic illustrations, about a person you might not have heard of before. It’s also fun to listen to his music at the same time. Someone also made silly videos to go along with some of his music, which you can find on the book’s website: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

Juan García Esquivel creció en México amando a la música. Empezó trabajando con música cuando solo tenía catorce años, tocando piano para una estación del radio. Después, hizo música para un programa de comedia en el radio. Allí es donde empezó a experimentar con música y sonido, haciendo que los tambores suenan como un hombre torpe, clarinetes como un perro, y tener cantantes haciendo sonidos en vez de palabras. Su música era diferente de lo que personas habían escuchado antes, que suena como algo de espacio. Este es un cuento de no-ficción con ilustraciones fantásticas, sobre un personaje que tal vez no conoces. Es divertido escuchar a la música a la misma vez. Alguien hizo videos chistosos que acompañan a su música, que puedes encontrar en la página del web del libro: http://esquivelbook.com/video.html .

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: KIT J 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J. or J SPANISH 780.92 ESQUIVEL, J.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly by Rebecca K.S. Ansari

The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly Book CoverCharlie O’Reilly’s younger brother Liam does things to bother Charlie just like many other younger brothers. One year for his birthday, Charlie wishes that his brother Liam would disappear. When he wakes up the next morning, Charlie realizes that his wish came true, and he is the only person who remembers Liam exists. Charlie’s best friend Ana is the only person who believes Liam ever existed even though she doesn’t remember him either. The two friends are willing to do anything, including some things that seem impossible, to bring Liam back. With many twists and turns along the way, this novel is great for 4th-6th graders who like fantasy, adventure, and mystery.

Book reviewed by Katie D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood

Lifeboat 12 book coverWhen Ken first hears the news that his parents are sending him to Canada, he thinks this is his stepmother’s way of finally getting rid of him. But once the bombs start to fall on his London home, and his family has to the spend their nights in the stinky, crowded bomb shelter, Canada doesn’t seem so bad. He is one of 90 children aboard the luxury ship. For the first time since the war started, he can eat as much as he wants, and there is a whole room full of brand-new toys to play with. At first, the children must wear their life vests at all times even when they sleep, but on the fifth day, the captain announces that they are out of danger. That same night, Ken is woken up by an explosion. The ship has been torpedoed!

What happens next is a miraculous story of survival spent aboard a crowded lifeboat with only 8 days of water, no shelter, and no compass for direction. Based on true events and real people, this novel in verse is a must read. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

Saraí and the Meaning of Awesome/Saraí y el significado de lo genial by Saraí Gonzalez and Monica Brown

Sarai and The Meaning of Awesome Book CoverEvery morning, Saraí sees “you’re awesome” above her bed. Her life is pretty awesome: she has a business selling cupcakes, she knows how to dance, and her family and best friend live close enough to visit all the time. One day, her grandparents announce that they have to move. Saraí doesn’t know what to do…if they move really far away, it will be hard to see them. Their house is important to her, so she decides to save it. Can she do it, with help from her sisters and cousin/best friend? If you like realistic stories and beginning chapter books, try this one. It was written by Monica Brown, and Saraí, a girl who became famous through a music video of the Columbian group, Bomba Estéreo. Now she’s an activist that encourages kids to be true to themselves.

Cada mañana, Saraí ve “eres genial” arriba de su cama. Su vida es bastante genial: tiene su negocio de magdalenas, sabe bailar, y su familia y mejor amiga viven cerca para muchas visitas. Un día, sus abuelos anuncian que tienen que mudar. Saraí no sabe qué hacer… si mudan muy lejos, sería difícil de verles. Su casa es importante para ella, así que Saraí decide salvarla. ¿Puede lograrlo, con la ayuda de sus hermanas y prima/mejor amiga? Si te gustan cuentos realísticos y libros de capítulos cortos, intenta este. Fue escrito por Monica Brown, y Saraí, una niña que se hizo famoso en un video musical del grupo colombiano, Bomba Estéreo. Ahora es activista que motiva a los niños y niñas a ser fiel a uno mismo.

There are English and Spanish copies of this book. The call numbers are: JF GONZALEZ, S. or JF SPANISH GONZALEZ, S.

 

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Collection of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amanda Lucidon

Reach Higher: An Inspiring Photo Collection of First Lady Michelle Obama Book CoverThis book is a beautiful and inspiring photo collection that takes you on a tour of how the Obama’s lived in the White House and Michelle Obama’s role as the First Lady. Even though the first Lady is not an elected position, the First Lady often serves as a host and spokesperson for the administration and can become an advocate to causes.

Michele Obama’s dignity, grace, and warmth made her the perfect role model to represent our country. Whether you choose to read this book or just enjoy the photos it is a feel good experience.

Book reviewed by Marsha D., Youth Services Assistant