Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Chimp's Big Day by Lisa Schroeder

Little Chimp's Big DayLittle Chimp's Big Day by Lisa Schroeder

I initially passed on this book on the new book cart because I don't like monkeys that much, but a coworker said that it's really cute, and...she was right!

This story is told in a rhyming format and is about a little chimp who falls to the jungle floor when the branch he's sitting on snaps. He's left to his own devices in the jungle for the first time--he sees a bunch of neat things and sees other jungle animals...but he still misses his mom.

Sure enough, his mother finds him at the end of the story and all is well.

The pictures are really cute! This would make a good storytime book.

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In One Ear Out the Other by Michael Dahl

In One Ear, Out the Other (Monster Street)In One Ear, Out the Other by Michael Dahl

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I had high hopes for this book, but I didn't like it at all. The strange pictures are what drew me to it, but they couldn't make up for the lack of story.

The story is about a monster named Bud that never pays attention to anything and ends up feeling the results of it. This would make sense if the story told it that way, but this is the turning point in it: he says, "I have to keep these words in my head, and I know the perfect way to do it...I will use my socks!"

What? Okay...

And it continues: "Not only did Bud fix his listening problem, but he always knew where to find his socks."


A coworker and I couldn't figure out what his socks had to do with him finally listening to what's going on around him. It looks like he sticks his socks in his ear. How will that help him listen better? Is the author being ironic? Who knows? But I do know that I won't be reading this one again.

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Pick a Pup by Marsha Chall

Pick a PupPick a Pup by Marsha Chall

This book was on the new book cart and a coworker noticed it and had me read it. It's cute; it's about a boy who is going to adopt a dog but is worried about how he'll pick the right dog for him. His grandma, though, assures him that he'll know the right dog when he sees it.

On the way to the place where they'll adopt a dog, the boy pays close attention to all of the dogs they pass.

Sure enough, when they see of the the dogs up for adoption, a dog chooses the boy--problem solved! A happy ending.

This book would make a cute storycards story--or maybe even a prop story.

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Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian

Memoirs of a GoldfishMemoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I came across this on our 'new books' cart and it caught my eye. It's cute! It's about a goldfish who does his thing in a fishbowl (describing his days in a journal/diary format), but then his bowl gets more and more crowded--stuff, other fish, and other creatures are added to it and he isn't happy. But before he knows it, he's taken out of the bowl and put into a tiny bowl.

While there, he realizes that he misses how crowded his bowl was and starts to wonder about how everyone/everything is doing. Luckily, he finds himself scooped up again and placed in a new, big place--with everyone and everything he left behind! A happy ending...and he meets a new girl fish, too!

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Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

CosmicCosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Liam is a totally normal guy; he likes stuff like computer games, video games, and amusement parks. The only thing is that he is really tall—taller than the kids in his class…even taller than most adults. In fact, most people think he is an adult, which can have its advantages (like getting to –almost— test drive a new car).

When Liam wins a contest to test a ride at a new amusement park, his dad thinks it’s a scam and refuses to follow up on it. Thinking about how people always mistake him for an adult, he pretends to be his dad while his friend Florida pretends to be his daughter so that they can redeem the prize. The plan works perfectly, only Liam and Florida get way more than they bargained for on this exclusive new ride.

I enjoyed this book very much and was disappointed when it was over. Liam is such a likable character—I wish I knew someone like him when I was that age! Those who enjoyed this book might also enjoy The Tapestry series (Neff).

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Savvy by Ingrid Law

SavvySavvy by Ingrid Law

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought that I should read this book, seeing as it's on the 2010 Rebecca Caudill list and students really seem to like it AND the sequel (_Scumble_) came out not that long I finally got around to it. And I was disappointed!

The writing (in my opinion) just isn't that good. For example (I listened to this story, so maybe I noticed this more because of hearing it) the author uses more similes and metaphors in the first few pages of the book than one should have in the entire book. I swore to myself that if I heard one more 'something something WAS LIKE something something', the cd was coming out of the player and I would be done with it. Luckily I suppose, the similes and metaphors became more spaced out so I was able to deal with them as they came.

I also found the story to be inconsistent. I often found myself wondering, 'well, if this is like this, then why did this happen then? Wouldn't this happen instead?'

Finally, I just didn't find the characters all that likable. They're fine, but I didn't really get attached to any of them. And, just to be petty, I hated the fact that all the kids in the family are named something weird: the main character is Mibbs, and her brothers are Fish, Rocket, and [something I forget] and her sister is Gypsy. Even the other kids in the story are named Bobby (a girl) and Will Jr. Ugh! All of this just made me dislike the book more.

I'm glad I know more about what the book is about now, but I will not be reading anything else by this author.

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

The Ring of Solomon (Bartimaeus #4)The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bartimaeus is a djinni—one of the most powerful spirits that exist. His home is The Other Place, but, being a spirit, he is able to be summoned by any magician and made to be his/her slave until he is dismissed and freed.

Bartimaeus suddenly finds himself summoned to 950 B.C.E. by a cruel man who commands him to complete tasks that are WAY below his intelligence (such as chasing off bandits outside Jerusalem) until he his freed…only to be immediately summoned by a young girl named Asmira. She commands him to attack King Solomon and steal his magical ring, as this ring will protect Asmira’s queen and homeland. Although this task is better than chasing bandits, Bartimaeus still doesn’t like it because it will surely end with the death of them both!

This book is a prequel to The Bartimaeus Trilogy. Readers don’t need to be familiar with the trilogy to enjoy the story, as it stands firmly on its own. Bartimaeus is a hilarious, cheeky character that is sure to bring smirks to readers’ faces. Those who enjoy this book (and series) might also enjoy Stroud’s other book Heroes of the Valley (2009).

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