Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Excellent life advice: Eat the Cake!

Eat the Cake, by MH Clark/Illustrated by Jana Glatt, (Feb. 2020, Compendium), $16.95, ISBN: 978-1946873842

Ages 4-7

It’s time to celebrate? Celebrate what, you ask? Who needs a reason? Eat the Cake is all about picking a special day – it can be a birthday, a graduation, a special occasion, or just waking up and deciding this is YOUR day – and celebrating! Great things are coming your way, so relax, enjoy, and eat the cake!

This rhyming, upbeat story is all about embracing positivity; a new mindset; creativity, and being bold and brave. Brightly colored figures parade up, down, and all around the pages, throwing confetti, playing instruments, and celebrating the reader. The bright, happy colors pop off the bright white of the pages, really grabbing the reader’s attention and creative a fun, festive atmosphere. The story is a celebration of the reader/audience, encouraging them to “be so bright that the stars, watching all that you do, / look right down from the sky and start wishing on you”. How fantastic is that to read?

Play some upbeat music, give kids egg shakers, and let them celebrate themselves after reading Eat the Cake at storytime. Don’t limit the fun to the little ones, either: this works nicely with Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go! for a graduation reading at any age. Give this to a retiring colleague or family member to remind them to enjoy life and all they have ahead of them, or someone achieving a major milestone, or someone who just needs a pick-me-up. Eat the Cake is just too much fun.

MH Clark is also the author of Tiger Days, a great book about emotions, and Tiny Perfect Things, a lovely book about those small and perfect moments in our day.

 

Posted in Early Reader, Fiction, geek culture, Science Fiction, Toddler

Star Wars Epic Yarns: Train your youngest readers in the ways of The Force.

Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope (ISBN: 978-1-4521-3393-5), The Empire Strikes Back (ISBN: 978-1-4521-3499-4), Return of the Jedi (ISBN: 978-1-4521-3500-7), by Jack & Holman Wang (2015, Chronicle Books), $9.95

9781452133935_350Recommended for all ages

I love Star Wars, and am crazy about all the concept books coming out so I can get my toddler on board early. He’s already got Star Wars 123 and Star Wars ABC, and next on the list will be these three adorable board books that teach exciting new words and introduce all readers to the greatest trilogy in the galaxy.

Each book covers a movie in the original Star Wars trilogy, using words kids will be familiar with (“princess”, “boy”, “heroes”) with new words that can only enhance a youngling’s vocabulary (“Force”, “droids”, “lightsaber”). The books are sturdy and can are ready to be held by little hands over and over again.9781452135007_350

Let’s just talk about the amazing work that the Wangs have put into these books. Created with figures made of needle-felted yarn and set against movie-esque backdrops, these pictures are gorgeous. This is a tremendous level of artistry that leaves me shaking my head in wonder. Kids are going to love these child-friendly faces and words, and there are many, many cuddly storytimes ahead with these books in hand.

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Look at the work that went into this series, courtesy of StarWars.com, and check out this behind-the-scenes video. And then, go get your copies!

 

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Intermediate, Science Fiction

The Glorkian Warrior returns, and he’s eating adventure pie!

glorkianThe Glorkian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie, by James Kochalka (March 2015, :01First Second), $12.99, ISBN: 9781626720213

Recommended for ages 5+

The Glorkian Warrior is back! When we last encountered him, he was on a quest to deliver a pizza; this time, he’s at odds with his rival, Buster Glark. As usual, Warrior’s trusty backpack is the brains of the operation, and the Warrior’s buddy, Gonk, is along for the ride.

The Glorkian Warrior Eats Adventure Pie is even more surreal and random than The Glorkian Warrior Orders a Pizza. Kids are going to love it – it’s just goofy, cartoony fun with a lot of moments where you’re giggling and can’t really explain why. There are space snakes, genius elbows, a lovable, brain-sucking alien, and some pretty hilarious fart-related humor. There’s even a bonus comic after the story ends.

Steer some of your reluctant readers and your younger readers toward the Glorkian Warrior books. The cartoony art will catch their attention, and the silly storytelling and goofy characters will appeal to everyone’s sense of humor.

Posted in Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Tween Reads

Disney Fairies – The Secret of the Wings graphic novel – A WhatchaReading Review!

secretofthewingsDisney Fairies: Secret of the Wings, by Manuela Razzi/illus. by Antonello Dalena (Papercutz, July 2014). ISBN: 9781597077309

Recommended for ages 6-12

Oh come on, I’m not the spoiler-y type. But I will say that Papercutz’s adaptation of the Disney Fairies’ 2012 feature film, Secret of the Wings, is adorable. And I’m not even a Disney Fairies type of girl.

Read the rest of my review over at WhatchaReading! If you want a copy of the Secret of the Wings DVD to go with your graphic novel, you can pick it up at Amazon.com. You can also pre-order the graphic novel on Amazon.com.

 

Posted in Animal Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Tween Reads

The Stratford Zoo brings Shakespeare to younger readers!

Stratford ZooThe Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth, by Ian Lendler/illus. by Zack Giallongo (:01 First Second, Sept. 2014). $12.99, ISBN: 9781596439153

Recommended for ages 8-12

The Stratford Zoo looks your ordinary, everyday zoo – until the Zoo closes for business and the animals gather for some downtime. This particular evening, the Midnight Revue is putting on a play – Shakespeare’s Macbeth – with the lion, naturally, playing the part of the Dane King. What follows is an wildly funny graphic novel that offers younger readers the chance to enjoy the story of Macbeth, where Macbeth must eat the king, and where blood is replaced by ketchup (you can’t eat a king – or a host of people that stand in your way to the throne – without some kind of condiment, right?).

The story is just plain fun, with bits and pieces of Shakespeare thrown in for good effect. The play is presented, with an intermission when the zookeeper walks her rounds. There’s audience commentary and heckling. There are panels and splash pages, and the colors are bright and engaging. I loved this book, and can’t wait to get it on my shelves. It’s a great addition to any graphic novel collection, and for children’s service librarians like myself, a great way to expand our graphic novel sections. Using Shakespeare’s story, and including quotes and scenarios is perfect for teachers looking for a way to incorporate some fun into their Common Core ELA lesson plans.

I can’t wait to see what the Zoo manages for their next performance – but I’ll let you read to the end to find that one out.

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Humor, Tween Reads

Tao, the Little Samurai: Fun Comics for Kids!

tao little samuraiTao, the Little Samurai, #1: Pranks and Attacks!, by Laurent Richard/Illustrated by Nicolas Ryser. Lerner Publishing Group/Graphic Universe (2014), $6.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9781467720953

Recommended for ages 8-12

Tao the Little Samurai is a very cute series by writer Laurent Richard and illustrator Nicolas Ryser. Pranks and Attacks is the first book in the series, which follows the daily adventures of Tao, a little boy in training to be a samurai – but he’s constantly late to school, tries to avoid his chores, and would rather play a samurai video game than train most of the time!

The book features 1-2 page story strips, which is a good way to keep younger readers interested without overwhelming them with a big story. They can read about Tao’s adventures in short bites, put it down to do homework (or watch TV and play video games), and come back to it at their leisure. The stories are sequential – this is a graphic novel – and there are recurring characters, which will give the readers a comfortable sense of familiarity. The stories are also fun – Tao is a regular kid. He’s in trouble for being late, he wants to play with his friends rather than do schoolwork, and he has grand visions for himself – he even writes, on a hall of successful students, “This Space Reserved For Tao”.

The art has a manga influence – think manga for younger audiences, like Hamtaro – with exaggerated facial expressions, particularly the eyes, and movement. The colors are bright and eye-catching. This is light reading, which is great for summer reading, especially for over-tested, stressed out kids. Tao: The Little Samurai is out in paperback now, and is part of a series, including the adventures, Ninjas and Knockouts! and Clowns and Dragons!

Posted in Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Humor, Science Fiction, Tween Reads

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl – A WhatchaReading Review!

Great sagas come to an end – maybe. But we’ll get to that. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl, I urge you to get to a library, a bookstore, or a friend with an enviable graphic novel collection and check her out, because she is fantastic. I first met her when Chuck, our editor monkey, handed me a copy of the first book and said, “You have to read this. It’s all you.” And it was. I quickly read Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and was delighted when a review copy of Return of Zita the Spacegirl showed up on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago.

Check out my review on WhatchaReading!

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Posted in Graphic Novels, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Guest Post from WhatchaReading: Preview! NFL RUSH ZONE: GUARDIANS OF THE CORE SUPER BOWL™ EDITION TPB

 

 

 

From Chuck at WhatchaReading:

 

I haven’t read NFL Rush Zone yet, the series on Nicktoons looks great and I’ve come to expect nothing less than excellence from our pals over at Action Lab. Maybe it’s time to give this one a try?

NFL rush zone

 

Read more and get order details at WhatchaReading!

Posted in Graphic Novels

Guest Post from Chuck at WhatchaReading: Delilah Dirk and The Turkish Lieutenant – A Formidable Heroine in a Swashbuckling Adventure!

I am a big fan of graphic novels and comic books, and firmly believe they have a place in literacy and the classroom. My friend Chuck has a great comics and comic culture blog over at WhatchaReading, where you can also find my comic book reviews.  I realized the other day that we write up a lot of “all-ages” books – books that appeal to younger audiences, rather than teens and adults, as most titles tend to these days, and I’d like to bring some of those reviews to my readers here at MomReadIt. So you’ll be seeing more guest posts, and I’d love some feedback – so speak up!

And now, Chuck’s review for Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant:

We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing a few books from :01 (First Second) and I’ve got to admit that this book has sat on my to review pile for a while. I started reading it months ago, finished it quickly and thought it was wonderful. Somehow the review never got started. How about we rectify that oversight immediately.

When I started the book this was literally all I had to go on; From author Tony Cliff: “Delilah Dirk is the heroine of a series of adventure comics set during the early 19th century. Each story is completely self-contained, and they’re suitable for readers of all ages!”

Read the rest over at WhatchaReading.com!

 

Posted in Graphic Novels

Guest Post: Chuck from WhatchaReading Talks Zoötrope

Today, my good friend Chuck posted about reading Zoötrope by Andrea Tsurumi, which looks at a troupe of talking animals getting ready for a big performance.  I loved Chuck’s review, so I had to share!

I’m not usually the one around here who talks children’s lit, that falls on the ever capable shoulders of Rosemary , but while looking over the ComiXology Submit Releases from last week this book caught my eye…

With decidedly surreal and moody artwork, and a somehow both soothing and frenetic pace, Zoötrope tells the story of a theater company on the night of a big performance. The troupe is populated by talking animals and the performance is anything but smooth sailing.

Read the rest of his review over at WhatchaReading, then go check out the story!

Zoötrope01