Monday, December 11, 2017

A Winter Wonderland of Reading

Winter has definitely set in.  The temperatures have dropped and kids are eagerly anticipating the first snowfall.  This week I'm sharing some of my favorite picture books for the winter season . . . .

Snowball Fight! by Jimmy Fallon
On a snow day off from school, a young boy cannot wait to have a snowball fight.


Winter Woes by Marty Kelley
Rhyming lament of a young worrywart who wants to go outside and play in the snow but fears what could happen if he does, from slipping on steps to freezing his brain.


Grandmother Winter by Phyllis Root
When Grandmother Winter shakes out her feather quilt, birds, bats, bears, and other creatures prepare themselves for the cold.


A Little Bit of Winter by Paul Stewart
Rabbit tries to save a little bit of winter for his friend Hedgehog, who sleeps all winter and wants to know what he is missing.

When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan
Rhyming text asks what happens to different animals and plants "when winter comes and the cold wind blows".


More Winter Books --
Axle Annie by Robin Pulver
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
Before Morning by Joyce Sidman
Blizzard by John Rocco
The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
First Snow by Peter McCarty
A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws! by Kim Norman
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
The Little Match Girl by Jerry Pinkney
Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant
Lucia and the Light by Phyllis Root
No Two Alike by Keith Baker
On a Wintry Morning by Dori Chacona
The Reader by Amy Hest
Samson in the Snow by Philip T. Stead
Snow Happy! by Patricia Hubbell
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds
The Snowflake Sisters by J. Patrick Lewis
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Straight to the Pole by Kevin O'Malley
The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins
Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Richard B. Smith
White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt


Check these and more winter books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 29, 2017.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Henry "Monty" Montague is heading out on his Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend Percy.  It's meant to be one last hurrah for Monty and Percy before he settles down to estate management with his father.  However, his father is using it to punish Monty for being a little too interested in boys.  So Monty sets out for Paris with Percy, his sister and their leader.  But Monty can't seem to keep out of trouble.  He gets caught naked at Versailles, steals a locked box, is chased by an angry baron, set on by highwaymen, poisoned, and attacked by pirates -- all while bringing everything he knew about life and love into question.



I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy romance, adventure, or historical fiction as it combines all three genres seamlessly together.  The main character of Monty goes on a literal and emotional journey throughout the book as he discovers what love means to him.  He also learns what is most important to him.  The author also includes several notes at the end of the book on the grand tour, politics of the time, epilepsy, and queer culture through history.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Gobble Up a Good Book!

It is officially the holiday season -- a time when we enjoy feasts of food.  But how about enjoying a feast of food stories?  Here are a few of my favorite books featuring stories about food . . .

Mouse Noses on Toast by Daren King
Paul Mouse gathers a group of mouse activists to uncover the mystery behind the delicacy known as "Mouse noses on toast" which is served in a fancy human restaurant.

Pish Posh by Ellen Potter
Eleven-year-old Clara Frankofile sits in her parents' elegant New York City restaurant, Pish Posh, and passes judgement on each customer as a Somebody or a Nobody, but her all-seeing eyes fail to observe the mysterious events occurring right under her nose.

Cosmoe's Weiner Getaway by Max Brallier
Meet Cosmoe, the Earth-Boy. He’s captain of the Neon Weiner, the finest flying food truck in the galaxy. Along with his bud, Big Humphree, he spends his days cruising the cosmos and staying crazy busy

Benny Bensky and the Perogy Palace by Mary Brosky
Benny Bensky, a dog, investigates the mystery of why the Perogy Palace restaurant is losing cutomers.


More Food Stories --
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
I Am Not Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos
Lab Coat Girl in My Triple-Decker Hero by Margie Palatini
Madame Pamplemousse and Her Incredible Edibles by Rupert Kingfisher
Mallory Makes a Difference by Laurie Friedman
The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories by Alexander McCall Smith
The Pizza Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle by David Elliott


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 13, 2017.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Stories from the Forest

This week, I am sharing picture books featuring a forest setting . . .

Animals in the Outhouse by Anja Frohlich
A new forest ranger, eager to prove himself, installs an outhouse for animals so that the forest will be tidier but although the animals enter, one after another, and claim success, none can figure out a way to actually make use of the unnatural device.

Tidy by Emily Gravett
Pete the badger likes everything to be neat and tidy at all times, but what starts as the collecting of one fallen leaf escalates quickly and ends with the complete destruction of the forest. 

This Is Moose by Richard T. Morris
Director Billy Waddler is trying to film a documentary about moose, but the moose in question has no intention of spending his life in the woods and his animal friends, who have dreams of their own, help him prove his point.

Flashlight by Liz Boyd
In this story without words, a boy explores the woods after dark with a flashlight.

Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
When a small boy named Eddie goes searching for his lost teddy in the dark woods, he comes across a gigantic bear with a similar problem.


More Books--
Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf
Antler, Bear, Canoe: A Northwoods Alphabet Year by Betsy Bowen
Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson
Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater
Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson
Big, Bad Bunny by Franny Billingsley
The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland
Come Back, Moon by David Kherdian
Counting on Woods: A Poem by George Ella Lyon
Crickwing by Janell Cannon
Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack
The Forest by Claire A. NIvola
Hunters of the Great Forest by Dennis Nolan
I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! by Jill Esbaum
It's the Bear! by Jez Alborough
Let's Go Home, Little Bear by Martin Waddell
Lost Found by Marsha Diane Arnold
Oh So Brave Dragon by David Kirk
One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler
Peek-A-Book Bunny by Holly Surplice
Redwoods by Jason Chen
Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck
Where Once There Was a Wood by Denise Fleming
The Wild Boy by Mordecai Gerstein
The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman
The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore


Check out these and more forest books on display at the Arnold Branch through December 15, 2017.

Monday, November 13, 2017

When Humans Are Scarier Than Monsters

We are frequently asked for recommendations of horror books for teens -- books with monsters.  However, I often find books with human monsters much  more terrifying.  Here are some recommendations for teens of books with terrifying human monsters . . . .

(Warning - These Books May be Disturbing to Read)

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
The story follows a girl called "Alice" who has been kidnapped by a pedophile named Ray. This book takes place five years after "Alice's" abduction.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Minutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives.

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.


More Books --
After the Woods by Kim Savage
Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G. Thompson
Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
Bitter End by  Jennifer Brown
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick
Desert Angel by Charlie Price
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
The Killer's Cousin by Nancy Werlin
The Missing Girl by Norma Fox Mazer
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalstier
The Pain Eater by Beth Goobie
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
The Special Ones by Em Bailey
Tenderness: A Novel by Robert Cormier


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through December 1, 2017.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase #3)

Magnus Chase has gone on two epic quests since first dying and finding out he is the son of Frey, Norse god of summer and health.  Now it's time for one final quest to stop Loki from starting Ragnarok -- the end of the world.

Magnus must set sail with his friends to Jotunheim to brave the giants and the Ship of the Dead with its zombie sailors.  He also must find a way to defeat Loki and return him to his prison so the world is safe once again.


This is the final book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgaard trilogy.  It's been a great series and this is a wonderful end to it.  It was great to see how all the various characters come together in the final book.  (It was also wonderful to have a cameo appearance by Percy Jackson and Annabelle.)  This is a must read for all Rick Riordan fans.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Zombies, Werewolves, and Vampires -- Oh My!

Children love scary stories -- just look at the popularity of the Goosebumps series.  Here are some of my favorite monster books for kids . . . .

Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things by Guy Bass
Young Dinkin Dings, who is afraid of literally everything, is certain that his new next-door neighbors are flesh-eating alien space zombies.

ParaNorman by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Misunderstood eleven-year-old Norman Babcock must take on witches, zombies, and the school bully to save his town from a witch that cursed his town.

Vampire Island by Adele Griffin
Siblings Maddy, Lexie, and Hudson Livingstone, who are vampire-fruit bat hybrids, struggle to adjust to living as humans in New York City while maintaining their individual vampire strengths.

Mosnterland by James Crowley
Chased into the woods by neighborhood bullies who are after his Halloween candy, fifth grader Charlie Cooper quickly gets lost and finds his way into Vampyreishtat--or Monsterland, an uncharted land where werewolves, mummies, and vampires live freely--and with the help of the Monster of all Monsters, Charlie hopes he will find his cousin Billy who disappeared a year ago.

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paulo Bacigalupi
While practicing for their next baseball game, thirteen-year-old friends Rabi, Miguel, and Joe discover that the nefarious activities of the Delbe, Iowa, meatpacking plant have caused cows to turn into zombies.


More Monster Books --
100% Wolf by Jayne Lyons
The City of Ink Drinkers by Eric Sanvoisin
Case File 13: Zombie Kid by J. Scott Savage
Dr. Critchlore's School for Minions by Sheila Grau
Literally Disturbed: Tales to Keep You Up at Night by Ben H. Winters
My Zombie Hamster by Havelock McCreely
Notes from a Hairy-Not-Scary Werewolf by Tim Collins
Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire by Tim Collins
The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth
A Taste for Red by Lewis Harris
Vampire State Building by Elizabeth Levy
The Wavering Werewolf by David Lubar


Check these books out on display at the Arnold Branch through November 24, 2017.