The Bookbag, Books for Ages 4 to 8, March/April 2007

This is our second list of 2007. As usual, the Bookbag is filled with some of our favorites from the last two months. This edition is being published a little bit early … to coincide with National Turn Off TV week (23 to 27 April). These are some books that are P-E-R-F-E-C-T for sharing out loud!

Freckles and the Great Beach Rescue by Ellen Bryant Lloyd. Freckles (a puppy) has just arrived at the beach and is looking for a friend to play with. Pinch (a sand crab) has been left behind because he is afraid of the water. They become fast friends, enjoying many days at the beach. Then one day, some baby turtles are trapped in a net by the ocean’s edge. Can Pinch and Freckls help them? “Every preschooler can relate to this story. It has all the things that are part of their world: puppies, friendship, helping others, the beach.” (Butterfly Creations, 2005)

Grandpa for Sale by Dotti Enderle and Vicki Sansum. While Lizzy is minding her grandfather’s antique store, Mrs. Bradley Larchmont the Third and her dog Giselle come to visit. Mrs. Larchmont quickly spies some treasures she wants … including Grandpa, who is taking a nap! How much is he worth, do you think? Read it and find out. “This is another fabulous story from Dotti Enderle. Her creativity is ‘priceless.’ ” (Flashlight Press, 2007)

The Marvel Superhero Fact Book by Randy Meredith. Need to know how Dr. Robert Bruce Banner became the Incredible Hulk? Learn about Storm’s arch enemies. This compact book gives you the low-down on Marvel superheroes the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Storm, The Incredible Hulk, and Wolverine … and the evil forces that challenge them. “Our child has been poring over these for weeks. The flip-up pages add to the interest.” (Brighter Child Interactive, LLC, 2006)

Noises at Night by Beth Raisner Glass and Susan Lubner. When it’s dark in your room, those night-time noises can be pretty scary. Not for our young narrator … he takes us on the adventure of the creaking mattress and the dripping faucet! “This book is so creative. It turns those fear-of-the-dark sounds into mini-adventures that will send your child off to sleep with happy dreams.” (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2005)

Ruthie Bon Bair; Do Not Go To Bed with Wringing Wet Hair by Susan Lubner. Ruthie doesn’t like drying her thick, curly hair. And one morning she wakes up with mushrooms growing in it…then ferns…then moss. The doctor, the nurse, the hairdresser, too, no one has any idea what they should do. Then Ruthie has an idea. Will it work? This is a story with a humorous twist on grooming. “This is a story we will be reading A LOT. If you read it enough, maybe just maybe, your child will want to blow-dry their hair.” (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006)

A NEW FEATURE IN THE BOOKBAG!

Thanks to the magic of SEO, Just One More Book found the Tub and jumped in. Just One More Book is a website offering podcasts about great books to share with kids. From here on out, we will have a link to one of JOMB’s favorite books. This month it’s (drum roll, please)

The Magic of Facing Ourselves: Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers by Lee Edward Fodi (Brown Books Publishing Group, 2005)

Be sure to stop by, listen, and let Andrea and Mark know how much you appreciate their insight! And tell them that you floated over from the Tub.

The Bookbag, Books for ages 8 to 12, March/April 2007

Without further ado, here are some of our favorites for Tweeners.

Extreme Monsters Series. The Extreme Team is a group of teen monsters who are into Extreme Sports. Their interest in competition is matched by a strong sense of fair play. Each of the volumes in this series offers adventure and life lessons teens will enjoy. You’ll also find puzzles and related activities to engage the reader, too. “These stories have all the action and vocabulary that pre-teens and teens will love. It is the type of book that can inspire reluctant readers or remedial readers to give reading another chance.” Here are the titles.

#1 The Blue Moon Effect
#2 What’s With Wulf
#3 Meet Mr. Hydeous

Frederick Douglass: Young Defender of Human Rights by Elisabeth P. Myers. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1818. Determined to be a free man, he took advantage of every opportunity to develop the skills necessary to be free. He learned to read and write, caulk ships, become an educator, public speaker, and journalist and newspaper editor. He dedicated his life to banishing slavery in the United States. He was one of the most distinguished leaders of the anti-slavery crusade in the nineteenth century. This is a biographical history for independent readers. “Like all of the other books in this series, the story, illustrations, writing, editing, and topics are all geared to the 8-12 year old. One cannot find a more wholesome and informative biographical series.” (Patria Press, 2007)

Myth of the Summer Moon by Steve Reed and Aaron Reed. “In the Summer of 1936, the days were full of farm chores for the Christofis girls and their neighbors the Brownings. Still, there was plenty of time to grow friendships. One night, when three local boys got drunk and launched a brutal attack on Jimmy Browning and Helena Christofis, the depth of their faith and understanding of friendship were truly tested. Modern social circumstances and Greek legend are woven into a story for teens about generosity, sacrifice, courage, and prejudice. “This was a page turner of the first order. As I was reading, I kept peeking ahead to see what happened next. The author crafted a wonderful story. Although there are strong Christian undertones, the book weaves a story that all teens can enjoy, as the characters and their circumstances are somewhat universal.” (Baker Tritten Press, 2006)

Penelope and Priscilla and the City of the Banished by Jennifer Troulis. Summer is finally here and the twins are ready for some fun. While Priscilla is eager to learn more about their magical powers; Penelope would rather be shopping. But life is about change, and the Twins learn that they are destined to make a positive change for their community. But they need to do it together. “This series is growing into a page turner. This second book has the character depth and suspense that keep you wanting more.” (Twin Monkeys Press, 2007)

SOMETHING NEW FOR THE BOOKBAG …

Just in case you don’t read about books for ages 4 to 8, we want to introduce you to Just One More Book. JOMB is a website offering podcasts about great books to share with kids. From here on out, we will have a link to one of JOMB’s favorite books in every bookbag. This month it’s (drum roll, please) …

Soul Force and Spice Cake: The Call to Shakabaz by Amy Wachspress (Woza Books, 2007)

Be sure to stop by, listen, and let Andrea and Mark know how much you appreciate their insight! And tell them that you just came from the Tub.

Just One More Book

Have you heard? Just One More Book is a resource to help you find and share great books with children. JOMB posts podcasts (which you can stream to your computer or download to your iPod) three times each week.
From the Just One More Book website:

“Each episode is an informal discussion of one of our family’s favourite children’s books, an interview with an author, illustrator or other kidlit enthusiast, a literacy related discussion or an audio review submitted by a JOMB listener.”

We are happy to add Just One More Book to our Special Places list. Andrea and Mark think like we do: connect kids with great books, share them together, and create some fabulous memories.

Stop by, listen to what they have to say, and find a great book! You can even search for books by category.