BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Mara Rockliff

 

mara

 

Title: Chick Chak Shabbat
Author: Mara Rockliff
Illustrator: Kyrsten Brooker
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Every Saturday at the apartment building, a delicious smell crept from 5-A. One Saturday, however, something wasn’t right.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I like culturally challenging books and this is certainly one. There are many nationalities living in that apartment building but every Saturday they gather together in 5-A to celebrate fun, friendships, and Shabbat. But what will those neighbors do one Saturday when the delicious smells stop drifting up from apartment 5-A? I found this story of friendship very endearing but was slightly put off by how the illustrations were done. All in all, worth taking the time to read it.

 

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 4 out of 5…think about it.

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: John Rocco

blizzard

 

 

Title:  Blizzard
Author/Illustrator:  John Rocco
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

One winter day started to snow,
and it did
                 not
                          stop.
At first it as fun.
But four days later, the snowplows
still hadn’t come,
cabin fever as setting in,
and rations were running low.
Someone had to take action.
Will one intrepid boy be able to triumph over a fearsome BLIZZARD?

Why you should read it: 

Author/Illustrator John Rocco has masterfully created a world of snow and ice where one kid can become the neighborhood hero. Detailed artwork takes young readers on a delightful adventure to the local grocery store when a much younger John uses his imagination as an Arctic survivalist to brave the elements as the family’s hot cocoa supply runs low. Does he have what it takes to save his family and the neighborhood from going hungry during the BLIZZARD?

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 or leave it.

 2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

 1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Marcia Vaughan

abbie

 

Title: Abbie Against The Storm
Author: Marcia Vaughan
Illustrator: Bill Farnsworth
Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing
Ages: 7-9

 

Synopsis:

 

Abbie Burgess helps her father care for a lighthouse on a small island off the coast of Maine. When Abbie’s mother becomes ill, her father must sail to the mainland to find food and medicine. Seventeen-year-old Abbie will be left alone to care for the lighthouse that guides so many ships to safety.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I have always been fascinated with lighthouses and now that I’m beginning to write creative nonfiction stories, this story about a real life lighthouse keeper caught my interest. Award winning author Marcia Vaughan creates a powerful visual tale of life as a lighthouse keeper during the 19th century. Readers will wonder how Abbie will be able to keep her family safe after the biggest storm of the century comes between her and the only thing saving the ships at sea from crashing on the rocks below her home.
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 or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Aaron Reynolds

carrots

 

Title: Creepy Carrots
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrators: Peter Brown 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

 

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots.
And he can take
the fattest, crispiest
carrots from
Crackenhopper Field
anytime he wants.
That is, until they
start following
him home…

Why you should read it:

I’d heard a lot about this cute veggie tale before, but this was the first chance I had to read it. Author Aaron Reynolds writes a story that reminds me a little bit of when I was a child and was told to beware the “boogeyman” coming after me. That possibility kept me awake at night just like I imagine the thought of creepy carrots was keeping poor Jasper awake. I thought the surprise ending was cute and I love Peter Brown’s clever illustrations. Definitely a great addition to any home library.
Like-o-meter Rating: 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 or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Andy Andrews

henry

 

Title: Henry Hodges Needs A Friend
Author: Andy Andrews
Illustrator: Colleen Madden
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Ages: 4-8

Synopsis:

 

“Henry Hodges was one
Of the loneliest boys.
No friends lived near him;
He didn’t like toys.

There was never a soul
For young Henry to meet.
His house was the last
On a long dead-end street.”

Why you should read it:

 

This book really struck a chord with me. I was one of those kids on the school playground wishing I had a friend. I was very shy and it wasn’t easy for me to reach out to someone new. Henry’s parents realize their son is lonely so they decide to help him find a special one-of-a-kind friend. Just the thought sends poor Henry into a frenzy wondering what kind of friend he will get. Will it be a joke-telling beaver? A flying hamster? A goldfish with antlers?

It’s hard making new friends no matter whether you are the new kid in school, a little bit shy, just learning to play well with others or somewhere in between. Rich illustrations by Colleen Madden depict the struggle young Henry feels being all alone as well as the clever imagination of a child wondering what type of new friend is out there waiting for him. New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews engages his readers with a wonderful rhyming story about the challenges of finding friends that will connect with the little bit lonely child in all of us.

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 or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Jake G Panda

dodo

 

Title: The Case of the Cursed Dodo
Author: Jake G Panda
Publisher: Woolly Family Studios
Ages: Young Adult, Adult

 

Synopsis:

If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve found it. The name’s Jake G. Panda, and trouble seems to follow me wherever I go. I work in the protection racket at a flophouse for endangered critters called the Last Resort. I’m the hotel snoop. The resident fuzz. It’s my job to keep these guests safe and outta harm’s way. This is the first of my many misadventures. A wild and woolly mystery involving a lost suitcase, a green bird, and a bunch of double-crossing animals. I’m calling it The Case of the Cursed Dodo.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Author Jake G Panda had me from the first chapter. With wit and charm, Mr. Panda dances across the pages of his book like the starlets of the silver screen. I found his clever analogy of the old time detective hot on the trail of his latest case to weave a story about endangered animals of the desert quite entertaining.

While I understand his take on presenting sections of this story from the lens of a movie camera, this was the only part of the book I don’t particularly care for and could have done without. I personally don’t think the storyline needs it.

But what little price to pay for such a delightful read. This is the first in hopefully many installments of the ENDANGERED FILES series and I’m sure readers of this first book will wonder what will Mr. Panda uncover next? The author has also recently released the audio version of this great tale as well so you can get your dodo fix any way you want it!
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 4 out of 5…think about it.

 

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Sarah E Ladd

willowgrove

 

Title: A Lady at Willowgrove Hall
Author: Sarah E Ladd
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc
Ages: Young Adult, Adult

Synopsis:

Cecily Faire carries the shame of her past wherever she treads, knowing one slip of the tongue could expose her disgrace.

Nathaniel Stanton has a secret of his own…one that has haunted him for years and tied him to his father’s position as steward of Willowgrove Hall.

When the secrets swirling within Willowgrove Hall come to light, Cecily and Nathaniel must confront a painful choice. Will they continue running from the past or will they stand together and fight for a future without the suffocating weight of secrets long kept?

 

Why you should read it:

 

When I was a teenager I loved reading romance novels. One of my favorite authors was the prolific Barbara Cartland. It fascinated me that one person could write so many novellas (sometimes working on three or four at the same time) all dedicated to the fair damsel and the strong knight who comes to her rescue.

As I started reading A LADY AT WILLOWGROVE HALL I wondered if it was going to be along the same lines as all those romance stories of my youth. I was pleasantly surprised to discover Ms. Ladd’s novel was even better than I hoped for.

Cecily is a character many people can relate to as they see her struggle to come to terms with her past so that she might have a future free from secrets. She’s stronger than she first realized and helps one resident of Willowgrove Hall find peace with their past as well.

I found myself quickly turning the pages, eager to see if Cecily would be wooed by Nathaniel’s easy manner, if Nathaniel would ever get the opportunity to begin a life free from the responsibilities of being the steward of Willowgrove Hall, or would these two tortured souls find peace in each other arms? To the romantics among us, A LADY AT WILLGROVE HALL is well worth a read.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 4 out of 5…think about it.

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!