Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For Grades 2-4

Noodleheads See the Future by Tedd Arnold

Noodleheads See the Future book coverWhen you ask someone to give you a hand, you don’t mean for them to cut their hand off and give it you, right? What about when someone tells you to listen up? Does that mean that you tilt your head so that your ear is listening to the sky? No, these are just sayings people use, but for Mac and Mac, Noodlehead brothers, they take these sayings literally. After all, there is nothing in their noodle heads. So, when their mom talks about dreaming of a garden, they decide they are going to make it happen. This way they can get cake too. How do they know that? Can they see the future or is it because their mom always makes cake for them when they help her. Now, they just have to figure out how to make a garden.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Famous Fails! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps & How a Mess can Lead to Success by Crispin Boyer

Famous Fails! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps & How a Mess can Lead to Success by Crispin Boyer book coverA book filled with quirky failures and famous flops, this one takes on peculiar tragedies and hilarious calamities in areas like science, technology, food, entertainment and more. Do you know where the world’s tallest empty building is? And just why is this building mysteriously removed from some photographs? Don’t you want  to know about smelly movies, mysterious islands, chocolate French fries, and fortune cookies for dogs? And anyway, how does a dog get away with impersonating a lion….at a zoo? However, not all mistakes are disappointing. How did somebody come up with discoveries like microwave popcorn? Do you know how Noah McVicker invented Playdough? What’s the hype about the cursed baseball team and a goat? (They made a comeback, didn’t they?)

There is a “Lesson Learned” on almost every other page, and at times, a spark of encouragement spurts, “It could have been worse!” There’s also a game challenging the reader to find different mistakes that are purposely embedded in this book! Are you up for the challenge? Find out that some mistakes, mishaps and messes can turn out for the best. Remember, not all setbacks turn out to be failures!

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Annable Graham

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable book coverPeter and Ernesto are sloths that love looking at the sky from the top of their tree. Peter thinks there is nothing better than their tree and sky, but Ernesto wants to see more sky from all over the world. He decides to leave the tree and see the sky from the ocean, desert, forest, and more. When Ernesto leaves though, Peter is worried about his friend. He could get eaten by a bear! Should he try to find him? However, that means he would need to leave the tree and travel across scary bridges and dangerous ponds. With whales, monkeys, and parrots around to help, hopefully these 2 friends will find each other again in this fun graphic novel.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik

Princess Pulverizer Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik book coverPrincess Serena isn’t afraid of anything or anyone. She is the bravest girl in all of Empiria (and possible the world). She swings from the rafters, smashes into tables, and accidentally breaks things. Since she is neither calm nor peaceful, Serena decides she needs a different name. The princess decides she should be called Princess Pulverizer. When she decides she would rather go to knight school, her father, King Alexander, tells her she must go on a quest. Knights need to be kind and selfless, and these have never been her strengths. In order to receive permission to attend knight school, she must perform eight good deeds. On her journey, she gets into some difficult situations and meets some new friends. This is a good series for someone who enjoys fantasy and is starting to read chapter books.

Book reviewed by Katharin D., Youth Outreach Liaison

Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors

Wedgie & Gizmo book coverGizmo is a diabolical evil genius. He is also a guinea pig and the pet of Elliot. However, Gizmo calls him his faithful servant. Wedgie is the energetic corgi dog that belongs to Jasmine, Jackson, and their Mom. He also believes that he is a super hero and wears a cape around that Jasmine put on him. When Elliot’s dad marries Jasmine and Jackson’s mom, everyone must now live together. Wedgie loves having more humans to protect, but Gizmo would rather not have to live in Jasmine’s Barbie playhouse or with an arch nemesis like Wedgie. This funny chapter book is written in the same style as Jedi Academy and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but instead of humans’ point of view, it is told from Wedgie and Gizmo’s.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

Did your mom ever tell you that you couldn’t have a pet?  For me, it was a puppy.  No matter how many times I asked, the answer was always no.  Author Ann Hodgman decided that when she grew up, she would have as many pets as she wanted.  She would be the kind of mom that always said yes to pets.   At the time she wrote The House of a Million Pets, she had owned, rescued, or looked after cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, fish, prairie dogs, pygmy mice, rats, a sugar glider, a snapping turtle, a bat, a frog, an owl, ducklings, moths, and all kinds of birds.  By reading this book, you will learn all sorts of useful facts such as sugar glider pee smells like Froot Loops, prairie dogs like to eat grapes, ducklings do not make good indoor pets, and a bathtub makes a good pond for a snapping turtle.  And most importantly, you should be able to convince your mom to get you a puppy because at least you aren’t asking for a wallaby like Ann Hodgman, the crazy pet lady.  This book is a must-read for animal lovers everywhere!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

If My Moon Was Your Sun by Andreas Steinhöfel 

Cover image for If my moon was your sunThis book is about a kidnapping, but not the kind you might be imagining. You see, Max’s grandfather lives in a nursing home for people who have “lost their marbles,” as grandfather says. Grandfather hasn’t lost all his marbles, but he forgets things and people sometimes (we know this is dementia, but Max doesn’t). That’s why Max has to break grandfather out of the nursing home and take him to a place he’ll never forget. It isn’t Max’s fault that Miss Schneider sneaks out along with them and decides to follow them. Max knows this is his chance to help his grandfather, his favorite person, remember. Of course, now the police and caregivers and Max’s mom are out looking for them! This short book includes pictures and an audiobook with music to accompany the story. It was translated from German, and is a sweet, amusing story about family and a mini-adventure.

Book reviewed by Claire B., Youth Outreach Librarian

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Cover image for FrindleNick Allen has mastered the art of making school a more entertaining place to be, whether that involves transforming his classroom into a tropical island, or making sure there is no homework assigned by asking his trademarked, thought-provoking, time-wasting questions.  When asking one of these questions in Mrs. Granger’s 5th grade language arts class, he finds himself instead assigned a report about words and their origins!  He later devises a plan to create a word of his own: frindle.  Soon everyone is using Nick’s new word, despite fierce opposition by Mrs. Granger.  Who will win the war of the words?

 

Zoey & Sassafras: Dragon & Marshmallows by Asia Citro

Cover image for Dragons and marshmallowsZoey discovers a secret when her mom leaves on a work trip. She can see magical animals! So can her mom, who helps sick magical animals in the barn behind their house. Since her mom is away, Zoey steps in to help when a baby dragon shows up at the barn. Zoey uses the scientific method and runs an experiment to figure out what the dragon likes to eat, which includes marshmallows. This is the first in a new beginner chapter book series that combines science and mystery.

 

Absolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret by Sally Warner

Cover image for Absolutely Alfie and the furry purry secretAbsolutely Alfie and the Furry Purry Secret by Sally Warner is the first book about Alfie, who is the younger sister to EllRay Jakes, which is another series for young chapter book readers. Alfie is a little nervous about starting 2nd grade, and not looking forward to her forced playdates with a neighbor girl, Hanni, who she has heard can be a bit bossy. The girls actually have fun together. Then Hanni’s family gets a bunch of kittens and they’re just giving them away! For free! Alfie can’t resist, even though there’s a family rule: no pets allowed. That’s because Alfie is allergic. But Alfie thinks the rule is wrong and she just knows she can handle taking care of a kitten on her own. She just has to keep it a secret. What could possibly go wrong?

Book reviewed by Erin E., Youth Services Programming Coordinator