Book Review

Don't Let the Penguin Drive the Batmobile by Jacob Lambert

MAD presents Don't Let the Penguin Drive the Batmobile book cover: illustration of the batman villain, Penguin“I WANT TO DRIVE THE BATMOBILE!!!”
 
The arch villain Penguin really wants to drive the Batmobile, but the readers of this book have been entrusted by the Caped Crusader himself to make sure that doesn’t happen. Special pop-ins of various characters (good guys and villains alike) from the Batman universe encourage the reader to stand firm.
 
Like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, this MAD parody invites readers to interact with the book’s text by going off script and shouting “No!” at the pages. In particular, young superhero fans and Pigeon fans ranging from 2 years old to early elementary schoolers will find a lot here to enjoy especially if their adult reader puts some “whine” into Penguin’s pleading. Go ahead, grab a reading partner, and remember, Batman is counting on you to not let Penguin drive the Batmobile.
 
 
Celeste, World

Chasma Knights by Boya Sun and Kate Reed Petty

Chasma Knights book cover: illustrated“What do you want with all these toys? After all…everyone in the whole Chasma knows Neon Knights can’t catalyze.”
 
Beryl is a Neon Knight living on Chasma Ring 7, and it’s not easy being one. Looked down on being different for not having the same abilities as the other Knights in the Chasma, Beryl tries to keep to herself and occupy her time in her secret workshop. One day her path crosses with Coro, an Oxygen Knight who just happens to be one of the strongest of the Knights in the Chasma. Together with imagination and invention, both their worlds will change.
 
Lots of lessons to be learned here. From friendship, persistence, recycling, and being true to yourself, Chasma Knights is a quick but impactful read for Grades 1-3. Gentle but insightful, Beryl is a good role model for all readers, especially for young girls interested in STEM activities.
 
 
Naomi, Kids World

Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages

Out of Left Field Book Cover: Illusration of a girl on a picther's mound"Girls in this family don't go down without a fight."

Katy Gordon loves one thing more than anything in the whole wide world...baseball. A chance encounter with a Little League scout lands her a spot on a team but all too soon her dreams come crashing down around her when she is kicked off of the team for being a girl. With grit and determination Katy embarks on a long road to prove to Little League that girls can play baseball too. It's 1957, space exploration is starting, the civil rights movement is growing, with all of this change shouldn't Little League let girls play baseball?

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Tiffany, Kids World

All That Trash by Meghan McCarthy

All that trash book cover: features an illustration of a large pile of garbage"Wherever this stuff goes, it's going to be somebody else's problem."

1987, the year of trash, specifically New York's trash. New York's landfills were at their limit, so Lowell Harrelson, the owner of the National Waste Contractors in Alabama offered a solution. 3,186 tons of trash was loaded on to the Mobro 4000 barge and tugged all the way to North Carolina. North Carolina wanted nothing to do with the massive amount of garbage so there the barge lingered, going in circles in the Gulf of Mexico. But no one wanted the trash! What were they to do with it all? Burry it and build an island? Contaminate the ocean? This non-fiction picture book nicely summarizes an unique event in the 80s. It can be a fun independent read for those in 2nd-4th grade who are interested in historical events, or even used as a tale of caution and bring to attention how much trash humans produce.

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Gilly, Kids World

The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

The sun is Kind of a Big Deal book cover: illustration of a sun on a red carpet with various planets cheering behind a rope in the background“That’s why [ the sun’s ] been employee of the month for 4.5 billion years and counting.”

It can be hard to explain things that we don’t interact with everyday especially things that happen all the time without us noticing. That bright ball in the sky is Earth’s best friend and does so much to help us. Nick Seluk makes concepts like the changing of seasons, how large our solar system is, and the water cycle accessible for younger readers in K-2nd. This book relates such large concepts to everyday activities and objects with cartoonish visuals that younger readers will be able to relate too.

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Anna, Kids World

Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex

Are You Scared Darth Vader? book cover; image of darth vader standing in a darken forest“I do not get scared. No one has the power to frighten Lord Vader.”
 
Who or what is Darth Vader afraid of? Vampires? Witches? Ghosts? No! He’s not afraid of anything! Hmm..or is he??
In this delightful book with multimedia illustrations, the narrator tries to scare Darth Vader, by any means necessary. 
Recommended for Star Wars and/or Halloween fans from kindergarten through early elementary grades. 
 
 
Victoria, Kids World

The Alien Next Door by A.I. Newton

The Alien Next Door book cover: illustrated: a boy peering through an open window at a 2nd boy sitting on a cahir reading. There are tentacles turning the boy's book pages."Just because someone is different doesn't mean they're weird," Roxie pointed out.

Harris can see all the signs that everyone else misses. The new kid writes with his mind, exercises by balancing on one finger, and eats food without chewing. Clearly, Zeke is an alien. Now he has to try and prove it before the alien ends up coming over to play video games!

The Alien Next Door is an ongoing series about three different points of view on the topic of being, well, different. Zeke is the new kid who travels a lot and tries to fit in. Harris is the skeptic and untrusting of someone so new and strange. And Roxy is the voice of reason in the middle, happy to be friends with both of them. This book is great for 2nd-3rd grade readers; however, they may require an adult’s help sounding out the ‘alien language’ on some pages. An overall charming and enjoyable read.

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Naomi, Kids World

Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

Bob book cover: illustration of a girl at night under a tree shining a light on some sort of creature"You're back. Took you long enough,"

What if you discovered an imaginary friend from your childhood whom you had completely forgotten about? Livy, now ten, visits her grandmother again after five years. She doesn’t remember much until she finds a small green creature in the closet, right where she had left him (so he tells her). Bob can't remember where he came from. Livy had promised to help him find his way back home and he has been waiting for her all this time. Can she help Bob? Can she remember her way forward?

This slim chapter book is sweet and silly both. Livy and Bob tell their story in alternating chapters, as they reunite and their friendship deepens. Readers who like magic and childhood nostalgia will enjoy this quick read.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

Please, No More Nuts! By: Johnathan Fenske

Two squirrels with extended bellies surrounded by partially eaten nuts on the grass"I used to love nuts. I ADORED them."

There are so many nuts, what are the squirrels to do? Try and pawn them off on you! These silly squirrels have had enough nuts and now are trying to get rid of all the nuts in every possible way, putting them in stew, making a shake, giving them as gifts, and many more creative ways.  

This is a rhyming Reader that works as a quiet read for young children who have already started to read.

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Gilly , Kids World

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths By Graham Annable

Peter & Ernesto book cover: illustrated image of the top leafy portion of a tree with 2 sloth heads sticking out"We’re content. There’s no need to move much when you’re content. But I’m not content. So I’ve been traveling."

Peter and Ernesto are best friends. They are also sloths. They both love to look up and find pictures in the sky. But when Ernesto leaves on a grand adventure to see more sky, Peter is at a loss. He loves his home. And it’s dangerous not up in the trees. Right? Soon, Peter follows in Ernesto’s footsteps as he tries to find his best friend. In turn, he too learns to become brave and to see the world.

The big panels and simple words with clear, cute pictures are perfect for elementary grade readers who would like to branch into graphic novels.

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Victoria, Kids World

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