Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Intermediate

Books for Intermediate Readers – a new Stink!, Monsters, and friendship

Stink: Hamlet & Cheese, by Megan McDonald/Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds,
(March 2018, Candlewick), $14.99, ISBN: 9780763691639
Recommended for readers 7-10

Judy Moody’s brother is back with his 11th adventure – and he’s going to Shakespeare camp! Stink and his friend Sophie head to camp for spring break, where they’ll learn to sword fight and yell silly curses, like “fat guts” and “stewed prune”. The only problem? Riley Rottenberger is at Shakespeare camp, too, and she’s determined to land a kiss on Stink! Stink does his best to avoid Riley while getting ready to act in the camp’s production of the Scottish play… yes, the Play That Shall Not Be Named (psst… it’s MacBeth). This latest story is loaded with black and white illustrations, callout boxes of Shakespeare insults and fun facts, and a good story for Stink and Judy Moody fans.  For readers who want to learn a little more about Shakespeare, a copy of Where’s Will? Find Shakespeare Hidden in His Plays (Kane Miller, 2016) combines Shakespeare with Where’s Waldo; the Stratford Zoo graphic novel series depicts zoo animals putting on Shakespearean plays with loads of backstage hilarity.

 

Cody and the Heart of a Champion, by Tricia Springstubb/Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler,
(Apr. 2018, Candlewick), $14.99, ISBN: 9780763679217
Recommended for readers 7-10

Cody’s fourth adventure has her dealing with life’s changes. Her friendship with Pearl is changing, especially now that she’s playing soccer and “in” with the “in crowd”, and she’s not sure why her friend Spencer is acting so weird. His mom is having a baby, and he’s become more quiet and withdrawn. Cody joins the soccer team, to try and stay close with Pearl, but the resident mean girl doesn’t make things easy. She’s determined to stay upbeat and try to roll with the changes, but when so much is changing all at once, it’s really hard. Readers will understand and empathize with Cody and how hard it is when everything seems to hit at once: friendships shift, seasons change, and families expand. There are black and white illustrations throughout and the upbeat tone of the book should help kids as they deal with their own transitions.

 

Simone: Even More Monstrous! (Simone, Vol. 2), by Rémy Simard,
(Apr. 2018, OwlKids), $16.95, ISBN: 9781771473002
Recommended for readers 6-10

This graphic novel is loaded with brief, one-page comics about Simone, a little blond girl, who travels into a world of monsters. If anyone remembers The Munsters (totally dating myself here), the running joke was that cousin Marilyn, the pretty blonde, was the “poor girl” for being so unattractive in The Munsters’ society; that joke holds here. Cute, little Simone is the monster in the monsters’ world, but they seem to enjoy her company, nonetheless. The graphic novel is loaded with independent stories, all one page, with a punchline at the end. They’re downright silly, sometimes surreal, and will get laughs out of readers. The first volume, Simone: The Best Monster Ever!, released last year.

 

Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

Cuddle-worthy books for Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmothers, godmothers, and caregivers! I’ve come up with a short list of cuddle-worthy books to snuggle and read with your little ones.

 

Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz Baby is cranky and tired! Mom knows the way to soothe baby: with kisses! Ten little kisses on teeny, tiny toes, nine laughing kisses on busy, wriggly feet… leading all the way to the last sleepy kiss on baby’s head. Kiss along with this one and watch your little ones giggle and squirm, especially when you throw a tickle or two in for good measure.

Mama Mama, by Jean Marzollo/Illustrated by Laura Regan “Mama, Mama/Play with  me/Carry me/So I can see”.  One of the sweetest, beautifully illustrated baby books I’ve ever read, Mama Mama pairs animal babies and their loving mothers. This has been one of my favorites since my eldest was a baby; I can still feel my chin on his cheek as I’d read it to him.

Mummy’s Always Right, by Joe Mulvey Never let it be said that we don’t have a sense of humor in my home. I backed this Kickstarter last year and my youngest and I still read it all the time. A little mummy named Gaws (get it? Gauze!) plays with his monster friends while his Mummy provides rhyming advice about hygiene, nutrition, and safety always reminding her little lovey that Mummy’s always right. There are lots of laughs to be had here, especially when meeting some of Gaws’ friends: the cranky Frankenmine, the tentacular Cthu-Lou, and the ghostly Ghoulia. There’s nothing scary about this book – Sesame Street has monsters that are cute; so does Joe Mulvey.

Someday, by Alison McGhee/Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds It’s every mother’s dream for her little ones to live their life to the fullest; to have everything good come to them, to grow, explore, and live. I’m not going to promise you that you’ll finish this book dry-eyed, but you will hug your sweetie a bit longer than usual. The child in the story is female, but you can easily talk to your sons about their milestones they will reach, with you cheering them on every step of the way.

Mamasaurus, by Stephen Lomp Babysaurus and Mamasaurus are eating tender leaves in the jungle one day, when whoops! He slips off her back and finds himself alone. Similar to PD Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother, Babysaurus meets other dinosaurs on his search for Mamasaurus: Does she run fast? Does she have a long horn, or have wings? No, but she knows how to find her Babysaurus, and she’s the best Mamasaurus in the whole jungle. This is my little guy’s and my favorite cuddle book; it’s perfect for reading and snuggle time.

Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody, by Michael Rex Margaret Wise Brown’s Runaway Bunny is (deservedly) on so many lists, I thought I’d give a little love to the equally sweet and very funny Runaway Mummy. A little monster tries on different monster personas to get away from Mummy, but just like the Bunny’s mother in Runaway Bunny, Mummy is never too far behind, even when he transforms into the unthinkable: A BOY. This book gets as much love during a Mother’s Day storytime as it does during a Halloween storytime; give it a shot.