Student Reviews (December Supplement)

Reviews are sorted alphabetically by author’s last name.

Blacker, Terence. In jail Ms. Wiz? (2010). Marshall Cavendish (Cavendish Children’s Books). [email protected], (914-332-8888). 64pp. $12.99. ISBN 978-0-7614-5556-1. Illustrated by Tony Ross.

This book is an exciting story that follows Ms. Wiz and her journey to jail. This book will be great for readers who love cats because the plot involves Ms. Wiz and her effort to save one of her student’s cats. This book is entertaining from cover to cover, and was full of exciting moments that will catch the interest of 2nd and 3rd grade students. (MLSH)

Devillers, Julia. Liberty Porter, first daughter. (2009). Simon and Schuster. [email protected], (800-223-2336). 166pp. $5.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-9127-4. Illustrated by Paige Pooler.

Liberty Porter is a nine year old girl whose father is about to become president. Liberty experiences many new and interesting things about living in the White House, and having her dad as president. Liberty’s adventure is a sweet and light hearted story. Young girls will love going along with Liberty on her big adventure in the White House! (MLSH)

Fredericks, Anthony D. Around one log: Chipmunks, spiders, and creepy insiders. (2011). Dawn Publications. orders@dawnpub,com, (800-545-7474). 29pp. $8.95 ISBN 978-1-58469-138-9. Illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio.

This fun, rhyming book provides readers with great facts and pictures of chipmunks, spiders, and creepy bugs. A tree begins to decay in the rain and over time, bugs and animals start to make home around the old log. Each page gives a large illustration of the animal or critter living in or around the log, along with a short poem describing what the animal does in its home. This book will interest most young children, particularly those who like bugs. (TDH)

Gherman, Beverly. Sparky: The life and art of Charles Schulz. (2010). Chronicle Books, LLC. [email protected], (800-759-0190). 119pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8118-6790-0.

This is an interesting and comical book about Schulz and how he wrote Peanuts, and how he came up with each of the different characters. Each page has an original Peanuts comic strip along with text that is part of the story. There are also photographs of Schulz and other illustrations he did that were not part of the Peanuts comics. This book would appeal to middle school aged children. (TDH)

Gifford, Clive. The book of bad things: A sinister guide to history’s dark side. (2010). Macmillan Publishing (Kingfisher). [email protected], (646-307-5151). 29pp. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-7534-6464-9. Illustrated by Phillip Chidlow.

Many of the bad events that have happened throughout history are included in this tale. Many of the topics address death and killing, which may not be appropriate for younger readers. However, the spreads are interesting because they have many different side flaps with hidden information. Stories are told in short segments, and include many tidbits of interesting trivia as well. The intriguing illustrations resemble pages out of old books. (TDH)

Hibbert, Clare, and Simon Holland. Robots. (2010). Macmillan Publishing (Kingfisher). [email protected], (646-307-5151). 8pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-7534-6427-4. Illustrated by Amy Parker.

This wonderfully illustrated pop up book will interest people who love robots! Each page is a different scene illustrating a place where robots exist. Though the book itself is only a few pages long with few words, there is a pocket on the side of the book that holds paper robots that children can build. There is also an operator manual found in the book that includes additional facts about various kinds of robots. This book will entertain those who like books with hands on activities. (TDH)

Jordan, Devin. The dragon’s pearl. (2009). Simon and Schuster. [email protected], (800-223-2336). 341pp. $8.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-6411-7.

This adventure book tells the tale of Marco Polo, a sixteen-year-old boy setting out on a mission to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Marco Polo’s character is very adventurous and courageous, making the story very exciting. This book would be a good read for 6th or 7th grade level, as it is a longer chapter book. (TDH)

Lowry, Lois. Bless this mouse. (2011). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children). [email protected], (800-597-6127). 152 pp. $15.99. ISBN 978-0-54-39009-3. Illustrated by Eric Rohmann.

This story is told from the perspective of mice who live in a church. The mice must save themselves from danger several times, and these situations may frighten young readers. Children who are animal lovers will enjoy this book, but even those who do not like mice will also appreciate the exciting adventures. The author did an excellent job of describing the characters in this book; however, more illustrations could have been included. In the pictures that are included, the illustrator could have done a more effective job of identifying which character was which. (MLSH).

Malnor, Carol L., and Sally F. Fuller. The Blues go extreme birding. (2011). Dawn Publications. [email protected], (800-545-7475). 31pp. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-58496-134-1. Illustrated by Louise Schroeder.

The Blues explore birds from extreme locations. A narrative of their story is included on one side of the page and trivia, a checklist, and scientific information about the specific bird are located on the other side. The illustrations are charming, and speech bubbles are included that allow the characters to help tell the story. Both the illustrations and scientific information will appeal to a wide age range of children. (TDH)

Primavera, Elise. Louise the big cheese. (2011). Simon and Schuster (Paula Wiseman Books). [email protected], (800-223-2336). 35pp. $6.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-2066-3. Illustrated by Diane Goode.

Louise is a young girl who dreams of growing up to become a star. She longs for the limelight, red carpet, and most of all to be the “Big Cheese”. When Louise’s school announces that they will be performing the play Cinderella, she feels that this will be her moment to make it big. Young girls who have the same aspirations as Louise will enjoy this book and its fun illustrations. A quiz is also included to see if one has what it takes to be on Broadway. (MLSH, SE)

Reynolds, Peter H. and Sharon Emerson. Zebrafish. (2010). Simon and Schuster (Atheneum). [email protected], (800-223-2336). 120pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-1-419-9525-8. Illustrated by Renee Kurilla.

Vita, a young singer with purple hair, wishes to start her own band. She holds tryouts and selects band mates who are not great musicians, but are talented in other ways. The group of friends grows close as they help one of their band members get through a difficult time. The book is formatted similarly to a comic book, but is rather difficult to read, which may distract some readers. (MLSH)

Seibold, J. Otto. Other goose. (2010). Chronicle Books. [email protected], (800-759-0190). 77pp. $19.99. ISBN 978-0-8118-6882-2.

In this silly children’s book, the author has modified Mother Goose poems and made them more silly and funny. The abundant illustrations are odd and quirky, and seem to be influenced by modern art styles. (TDH)

Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath: curse of the were-weiner. (2010). Penguin Group (USA), Inc. (Dial). [email protected], (212-366-2000). 204pp. $12.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3469-2.

Dragonbreath is a mysterious tale of friendship and problem-solving. Students try to fix a problem within their school. Young readers will enjoy the characters, which are animals that have been personified to act like people. The comic-book like illustrations are nicely done and complement the story well. There is an evil character in the book young elementary readers may find frightening. (MLSH)

Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little house on the prairie. (2010). Harper Collins Publishers (Collins). [email protected], (212-207-700). 335pp. $16.99. ISBN 978-0-06-195827-4 (1935). Illustrated by Garth Williams.

Laura is a young girl who lives on the prairie who enjoys exploring the wilderness around her. She goes on many adventures and meets her new neighbors and even Indians. Girls who enjoy the outdoors would enjoy this book. The author uses great detail to describe the story. (MLSH)