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:

rabbit.jpg

 

Title: Rabbit’s Wish for Snow

Author: Tchin

Illustrator: Carolyn Ewing

Publisher: Scholastic

Ages: 7 to 9

 

Synopsis:

 

“Long ago,
rabbits were not
as they are today.
Rabbits had long bushy tails
and long straight arms
and long straight legs.”

 

Why should you read it:

 

I’m currently studying picture books written for the educational market. Tchin’s tale about one little rabbit’s wish for wintery fun in the snow appealed to me for a couple of different reasons. First, it is a retelling of a Native American legend. Since I’m part Cherokee, I find myself quite often drawn to the books from this culture. Native American storytellers have a way of making the unknown seem magical…mystical…but at the same time real to the reader. In reading this story, I can certainly imagine the way Rabbit must have looked before his snowy adventure and young readers will surely believe this is one explanation as to why rabbits are the way they are today.

The other reason why I enjoyed this story is because of Ms. Ewing’s delightful illustrations. Rabbit comes to life on the pages of the lifelike artwork. From the first flowers of Spring to the snowdrifts of Winter, I enjoyed studying how this illustrator blended colors and shading to create Rabbit’s world. If you like reading stories generated by different cultures or just legends in general, RABBIT’S WISH FOR SNOW would be a nice addition to any home library.
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: Jane Yolen

unicorns

 

Title: A Plague of Unicorns

Author: Jane Yolen

Illustrators: Jody Langley, John Rowe, Tom McGrath, Matthew Van Zomeren

Publisher: Zonderkidz

Ages: 9-11

 

Synopsis:

 

Monks, unicorns, and a duke’s son come together in an epic battle over delicious apples. James, who is almost nine years old, has more questions than his family can handle so he is shipped off to the local Abby. Abbot Aelian has more unicorns in his golden apple orchards that he would like, and needs help to save the Abby from ruin. Will the Abby fall or will a local hero come to save the day?

 

Why you should read it:

 

Jane Yolen has been called the Hans Christian Anderson by Newsweek or the Aesop of the Twentieth Century by the New York Times. After I read this book I could understand why. It’s not so much that Ms. Yolen tells a great story appealing to readers young and old. More the way she weaves an enchanting web of sights and sounds to draw her readers back in time to a simpler place where unicorns still exist. It’s this suspension of disbelief which allows me to entertain the possibility unicorns are real and heroes can come in all shapes and sizes.

 
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!