BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Adam Stower

 

Troll

 

Title: Troll & the Oliver
Author/Illustrator: Adam Stower
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Every day when Oliver goes out, Troll tries to eat him. But catching Oliver is very tricky—he’s fast, sneaky, and just too clever! It is only when it looks like Troll has given up and Oliver celebrates victory that—CHOMP!—he gets eaten, and it turns out that Olivers don’t taste very nice after all.

 

Why you should read it:

 

It was the clever book design that first caught my eye. With a partial peekaboo cut-away cover, I was immediately drawn into wanting to find out who this cute little kid was and why a Troll seemed to be after him. The whimsically silly story reminded me somewhat of the old Road Runner cartoons where poor Wile E Coyote endeavors to catch a pesky road runner for a midday meal. Kids will also like the surprise ending after Troll discovers an Oliver might not be as tasty as he once thought! Author/illustrator Adam Stower’s lovely illustrations will delight young readers. A great addition to any home library.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEW: Kevin Henkes

 

wait

 

Title: Waiting
Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisherr: Green Willow Books
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Look at the owl
and the pig
and the bear
and the puppy
and the rabbit
What do you think they’re waiting for?
A visitor?
A surprise?

 

Why you should read it:

 

I‘m drawn to picture books with simply drawn illustrations showcasing a deeply thought out story line. This masterfully written story by author/illustrator Kevin Henkes reminds me of THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein; one of my favorite picture books of all time.

I can’t help but be drawn to the facial expressions of everyone waiting on the window sill for different things. I was even touched by the artwork when I read, “Once a visitor arrived from far away. He stayed for awhile, then he left and never returned.”

This beautiful book helps teach patience to those of us destined to have to wait. And for young and old alike, THIS lovely book was definitely worth the wait!

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Peter Carnavas

 

jessica

 

Title: Jessica’s Box
Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Publisher: Kane Miller
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

The first day of school can be scary. New teachers. New routines. Jessica wonders if she will meet any new friends and brings a mysterious box to school just to make sure she does. Everyone begins to wonder just what’s inside?

 

Why you should read it:

 

This delightful picture book comes from down under, but every child around the world can deal with the same first-day jitters.

I like how Jessica is encouraged by her family to solve her problem on her own. Author/Illustrator Peter Carnavas’ wonderful drawings take the reader on a journey through Jessica’s school adventure as she tries and tries to make some new friends. It’s only when she believes she’s destined to be alone that a special friendship comes along.

The fact Jessica has a disability will help children realize everyone needs a friend, no matter their situation. This author hides a valuable lesson inside an adorable story. A good addition to any home library.

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Elise Parsley

 

alligator

 

Title: If You Ever Want To Bring An Alligator To School, DON’T!
Author/Illustrator: Elise Parsley
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Inc
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

An alligator for show-and-tell sounds like tons of fun. What could possibly go wrong?

Magnolia is a one-of-a-kind girl who wants to share something at show-and-tell that really stands out from the crowd. But what if her teacher is right? What if alligators really are nothing but trouble?

 

Why you should read it:

 

What a fun concept and such beautiful digital artwork! Every child (and their parents) can relate to the age old question of what to bring to show-and-tell. But how many people can say they brought a chomping, romping, stomping alligator to school?

Author/Illustrator Elise Parsley infuses humor and originality into a potentially hum drum topic and the result is a whimsicaladventure into the world of young elementary children during what should have been a typical school day. While I was quite entertained by the storyline and liked how Magnolia solved her ‘gator problem, it was the illustrations that I kept returning to.

Stunning colors and vivid detail kept calling me back and once I read the story, I returned for a much longer study of this illustrator’s ability to draw me into Magnolia’s world with her engaging drawings. Definitely a winner in my book and a great addition to any home library!

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Lauren Tarshis

 

nazi

 

Title: I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Publisher: Scholastic
Ages: 7-11

Synopsis:

 

In a Polish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister, Zena, struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis. With barely enough food to survive, the siblings make a daring escape from Nazi soldiers into the nearby forest.

Max and Zena are brought to a safe camp by Jewish resistance fighters. But soon, bombs are falling all around them. Can Max and Zena survive the fallout of the Nazi invasion?

 

Why I think you should read it:

 

I’m currently doing research for book three of my early reader historical fiction series so of course my latest to-read titles are going to be along those same lines.

I like the “I Survived” series. These gripping stories are well written and include an imaginary cast of characters who seem so real that I’m speeding through pages just to see if they do indeed survive!

Max is a protective big brother who can’t understand all the senseless hate coming from people he once thought were his friends. He begins to lose hope things will ever get better while trying his best to protect his younger sister from the realities of a country torn apart by war.

With both parents gone, Zena has only Max to look after her. Life in a Nazi ghetto can easily destroy hope in a person but brave Zena still manages to see hope in every day things like a robin flying by.

Readers interested in learning more about natural and historical events will enjoy the I Survived series!

Like-o-meter Rating scale **: 5 out of 5…grab it!**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Irma Joubert

 

train.jpg

 

Title: The Girl From The Train
Authors: Irma Joubert
Publisher: Harper Collins Christian Publishing
Ages: Adult

Synopsis:

 

Six-year-old Gretl Schmidt is on a train bound for Auschwitz. Jakób Kowalski is planting a bomb on the tracks. Gretl escapes the train only to find herself lost in a country that hates her Jewish ancestry. Hurt and alone, Jakob discovers her and guilt prompts him to help her. For the next three years the two form a bond over the secrets they hide from his family.

Eventually Gretl is sent to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families—so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.
Saying goodbye to the only friend she has, Gretl is fearful they will never see each other again. But the events they have both survived have laid a foundation of love that even being separated by politics, religion, language, and years can’t undo.

Why I think you should read it:

 

From the very first moment when I’m falling from the train with Gretl and trying to defend myself against the cuts and bruises of rolling down the hillside, I was on a literary journey like no other. Gretl’s fears were my own as I wondered how she would survive hiding from the German search dogs or even find shelter in a country who despised her Jewish heritage?

Ms. Joubert is a magical storyteller who weaves gripping suspense with heart wrenching emotion into a story based on true events about a little orphan fighting to survive the effects of the Nazi war effort. Little Gretl can’t even relax her guard when she finds herself adopted by Protestant parents because one slip of her tongue could reveal her past and seal her doom. I was on the edge of my seat until the very last page. An absolute MUST read!

Like-o-meter Rating scale **:  5 out of 5…grab it!

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS:Robert J Skead with Robert A Skead

Stead.png

 

 

Title: Submarines, Secrets & A Daring Rescue
Authors: Robert J Skead with Robert A Skead
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Ages: 9-11

Synopsis:

 
Fifteen-year-old twins, Ambrose and John Clark, find themselves in the service of the newly formed United States of America when they help transport much-needed gunpowder to the patriots. That is, until they have to attempt a prison break to rescue one of their old brothers. It’s hard being a kid when everyone around you are at war.

Why maybe you should read it:

This father/son writing team does a fine job of taking historical facts and weaving a tale of daring feats to capture the adventurous spirits of readers young and old. When I read the Skeads’ first book in this series titled PIRATES, REDCOATS & SPIES, I was immediately drawn into the world of Ambrose and John Clark’s challenge to make a difference during the birth of a new nation. This next book takes readers on another journey as the twins are put in charge of the American Turtle, the world’s first submersible used in combat. With rich literary story telling and accompanying illustrations, the latest book in this Revolutionary War series is sure to be a great addition to any library.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!