Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lower Elementary: Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst; illustrated by Lane Smith

Pure fun from start to finish, this slim chapter book features a spoiled little girl, an unflappable brontosaurus and a narrator who is as salty as you please. Top that with retro illustrations, a peppy little rhyme that begs to be chanted repeatedly, trademark Lane Smith exploding typeface and three different endings, each more satisfying than the last. Set aside a half hour and grab a glass of water: once you start reading this one aloud, your kids will not let you stop.

Target Age: Grades 1-4

This review originally published in The Kutztown Book Review.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Toddler Read Aloud: Let's Count Goats by Mem Fox

Let's Count Goats by Mem Fox; illustrated by Jan Thomas

Pure silliness. The rhyme and rhythm are perfect. Silly goats, in silly situations, doing silly things, begging to be counted. The words come tripping from your tongue and the bold illustrations are even sillier than the words: one spread features little goat bi-plane pilots, eating their airplanes as they fly them. This makes a charming read aloud that children will want to hear (and look at) again and again and again.
Target age: 2-4.

Sandra Boynton's Moo Baa La La La

New in the Library: Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale; illustrated by Nathan Hale

Preceding Disney's Tangled by two years, this twist on the classic fairy tale is chock-full of girl-power fun. Set in the wild west, Rapunzel's Revenge is an easy to read tale in graphic novel format. Sent to the tower for being just a little too curious, Rapunzel is a girl with a mission. Using her braids as weapons, Rapunzel escapes from the tower and sets out to free her real mother from enslavement in Mother Gothel's dusty mining town. She joins up with a ne'er do well thief named Jack who is toting a magic goose. Along the way to Mother Gothel's villa, the two encounter a number of exciting challenges, and are ultimately aided in their quest by other citizens frustrated by Mother Gothel's hold over the land. The excellent illustrations add to the swashbuckling adventure, as Jack and Rapunzel grow closer with every daring escape. Great fun for romantics and adventure seekers alike!
Target Age: 9-14