Thursday, December 2, 2010

Everything Else: Cybils Nominations V to the END!

Last review collection! Then I'll have all the longer reviews I've been promising...and maybe a final list of my favorites. NOT what's going to be on shortlists or anything like that - my personal favorites. Which doesn't mean everybody is going to like them, or even that they fit the Cybils criteria, just that they're MY favorites. Yes, I like lists.

  • Village Garage by G. Brian Karas. The guys at the village garage deal with emergencies, weather problems, street repair, and more through each season of the year. I live in a fairly small town - about 8,000 - but our city garage doesn't operate that way. The guys appear to be living there in shifts, like at a firehouse. Just out of curiosity, I looked up the author and discovered he lives in Rhinebeck, NY, which is even small than my town, around 4,000. So I wonder if that's how their garage operates there? It's a nice story of community life and lots of cool trucks! Borrowed from the library.
  • Walden then and now: an alphabetical tour of Henry Thoreau's pond by Michael McCurdy. The title pretty much describes the contents of the book. Each letter has a block of text talking about something Thoreau experienced and then how it's changed in the present day. Might be used in a classroom, and the writing flows smoothly, but no child appeal. At all. I've yet to meet a child who liked wood cuts for one thing. Review copy received from Charlesbridge.
  • What does happy look like? by Joseph and Silvana Crum. This book attempts to help young children and those dealing with autism to define and recognize feelings. Various feelings such as happy, sad, and angry are defined by situations, colors, and experiences. The book ends with a few simple activities. Might be useful in a therapy or classroom situation. The quality of the illustrations is uneven and this isn't a book that will have general appeal. Review copy provided by Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
  • What if? by Laura Seeger. Seeger's rich, swirling illustrations offer a variety of possibilities using only a ball, a beach, and some seals. It's a rather puzzling story and kids will want to read and reread it carefully to figure out what's happening. Borrowed from the library.
  • What in the world should I be by Debra Jones. Poorly written and badly illustrated. Not recommended. PDF provided by Guardian Angel Publishing.
  • Who said coo? by Deborah Ruddell. Lulu just wants a good night's sleep...but her annoying friends keep making noises! Will yelling at them help? Or is there a better solution? This lilting little story with gentle acrylic swashes of color, will be a sure hit at storytimes with the younger crowd who will enjoy making the various sounds and giggling over the naughty birds' faces. Recommended. Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.
  • Wolfley-O's by Sallie Lowenstein. A socially inept and bullied boy discovers a magic cereal that allows him to change himself and his environment. Offers some wish fulfillment to bullied kids whose parents and teachers can't or won't help, but otherwise too text-heavy for a picturebook and an incoherent plot. There's some interesting phrasing in the writing, I think this author has promise with a little more experience and a good editor. Review copy provided by Lion Stone Books.
  • Year of the tiger: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin. Bland, flat story and overly caricatured illustrations. Not recommended. PDF provided by Immedium.
  • Your daddy was just like you by Kelly Bennett. A nice plot idea - a grandmother tells her grandson all the ways his dad was like him when he was a little boy - but I was thrown off by the grandmother looking like the grandson's mother. I was very confused by this. Maybe that's just me though and if you have better eyesight than I do, you'll probably enjoy this sweet story. Borrowed from the library.
  • Zelda and Ivy: The Big Picture by Laura Kvasnosky. I think this really should have gone into easy readers, although it's a hard call. On the one hand, it's in easy reader format, has chapters, and longer text broken up by illustrations. However, there are Zelda and Ivy picturebooks and this particular one does have some harder vocabulary than a normal easy reader. I'd call it an intermediate easy reader. Some fun stories of friendship and adventures. Recommended - for your easy reader sections. Review copy provided by Candlewick.
Woooo!!! I'm done! Ok, not technically done. Yes, I still have...*counts* 29 books waiting for longer reviews. Not counting the 6 ebooks from one publisher that I plan to do a special post on. And then there's 7 books that came in late which still need to be added to the trickles list. Plus a couple ebooks that were just uploaded. and the 21 books I haven't found or received yet.
Let me bask for just a few minutes, pleeease?

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