The Book Bag, Books for Ages 0 to 4, January/February 2008

We’ve been very busy reading these past two months. If you search January 2008 or February 2008 you can see all of the titles we’ve reviewed. You’ll need to search the site, not the catalog.

For our Book Bag feature, we’ve selected some of our favorites, separated by age group. We had very few books for the infant/toddler audience.

I Wonder … by Harriet Fishel Life would certainly be different if our favorite numbers from 1 to 5 went away. What would our hands and feet look like? Is a triangle still a triangle without three sides? And what about life on the farm. Where would we get blankets if not for sheep’s wool? how would we grow without milk? These are the questions … but what are the answers. This rhyming picture book explores the what ifs of life without the “basics.” (American Literary Press, 2007)

The Book Bag, Podcast Reviews

We’ve got a special pocket in the Book Bag for Just One More Book!

Three times a week you can listen to podcasts of the books Mark and Andrea are reading with their girls. They’ve also got great interviews, like this one with Henry Winkler, who talks about dyslexia.

Here are some of recent favorites recommended by Just One More Book!

Books for Kids ages 0 to 3

There Were Monkeys in my Kitchen! by Sheree Fitch, illustrated by Marc Mongeau. “Concentrated comedy, chaos, and commotion explode from every detail-packed image and fervent verse of this frenzied celebration of syllables and silliness.” (Doubleday Canada, 1992)

Spotty & Eddie Learn to Compromise by Lisa M. Chalifoux, illustrated by Heather Castles. “What could be more giggle-inducing than recognizing our own human foibles in a pair of sweet and spunky turtles? With its slapstick, smiles and airy, upbeat illustrations, this simple story helps us laugh at the silliness of squabbles and invites us to find a better way. “(Trafford Publishing, 2008)

Books for Kids ages 4 to 12

Lace, Lore and Laughter: Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair by Deborah Blumenthal, illustrated by Mary GrandPre. “Warmth, humour and fond remembrance waft through this beautifully worded and evocatively illustrated exploration of a young girl’s family tree — and the traits, trinkets and togetherness that sustain it.” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2007)

The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Beth Krommes. “Soothing speculation, striking details and spellbinding scratchboard art present a gripping account of The Karluk’s last icy voyage and the strength and resourcefulness that beat all odds.”

The Book Bag, Books for Ages 9 to 12, January/February 2008

This edition of the Book Bag has several titles from our Reading Ahead collection that lived up to expectation.

Child Out of Place: A Story of New England by Patricia Q. Wall. In 1802, Matty Warren became a freed slave. Now she is telling her story to her children and grandchildren. She wants them to understand that while they were technicall free, American society was not ready to treat former slaves as equals. In fact, everyday life for black people, free or slave, was very dangerous. “[This is] top drawer. The author knows how to craft a unique and charming story and keep her reader’s attention.”

Destiny, Valor, and a Lizard Named Louie by Michael Ambrosio. This story for pre-teens has a great plot and impressive illustrations. The reader is treated to an exciting story, meets some interesting characters, and is presented with some challenging issues. “It is an excellent reading resource tool that enables the teacher/parent to help the reader develop vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.” (Lionex Publishing, 2003)

Hungry; a Novel by Alethea Eason. The Jones family of Prattsville, California, is a little different. Tey are alien agents sent to prepare for an invasion and attack earth. But Deborah Jones, a sixth grader, doesn’t remember much about her home planet. Except for the tentacles on her head, she relates better to humans. This is a humorous look at life that middle-grade readers will relate to. (HarperCollins, 2007)

Just Call Me Joe Joe by Alicia Jean Elster. Joe Joe Rawlings is ten years old. He has a dilemma: his best friend is starting to hang out more with kids who get in trouble. When he goes to the neighborhood store, the shopkeeper accuses Joe Joe of being part of the gang who trashed his store just minutes before he arrived. He is devastated and very angry. He takes his book about the Negro Baseball League and Cool Papa Bell and decides to read to calm down. The story helps Joe Joe understand his situation and find the courage to stand up for himself. This is the first book in a series about urban life and the choices kids are faced with these days. (Judson Press)

Workboats by Jan Adkins. The weather report suggested that it would be a rough day on Buzzard’s Bay; too dangerous for small boats. Skip Warr went down to the floating dock to check the moorings of the small craft. He took the Yard Boat and headed to the Narrows Café for breakfast. He noticed that Peter Farrel’s boat was missing. Even though his car was in the parking lot, no one had seen Peter. Skip grew concerned and contacted the Coast Guard, fishermen, etc. to search for Peter Farrel. Has something happened to him? Is he safe? The weather is getting worse! Our Teen STAR Reviewer at Be The Star You Are! loved this book. (Wooden Boat Publications, 2004)