Book Review

Illustrated Norse Myths Retold by Alex Frith and Louie Stowell

Illustrated Norse Myths book cover: a small sea vessel is being attacked by a lrage green sea serpent"Before the world existed, there was only a place of fire, a place of ice and a great gap between them. There was no earth and no sky, no people or living creatures of any kind."

Giants, gods and dragons roam the world in this collection of Norse Myths that were told by the Vikings many, many years ago. Vibrant, powerful illustrations bring the stories of Thor, Loki and Asgard to life. Adventure, long journeys, epic battles and curses are woven throughout each of the myths in this book, just waiting for you to pick it up and come along for the ride!

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Bridget, Kids World

It's Potty Time by Tracey Corderoy

Its potty time! book cover: a brown bear wearing an orange striped t-shirt sits on a red toliet and a small stuffed blue rabbit sits on a smaller yellow toliet. Both have underwear down by their ankles"You're a big bear now and big bears use potties!"

Baby Bear is a little reluctant when Mommy Bear says it's time to learn how to use the potty. Maybe his new pair of train underwear with help him get over his fear?

For little ones who are ready to be potty trained, they will enjoy reading about Baby Bear using the potty and just might be ready to tackle it on their own!

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Bridget, Kids World

When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson

When Lunch Fights back book cover: close up image of a creature's face"In nature, good defenses can mean the difference between surviving a predator's attack and becoming its lunch."

Meet the Hagfish, the Hoopoe and other amazing creatures from around the world who have very special ways of defending themselves from predators. Loaded with full color photographs and scientific studies, Lunch Fights Back is a wonderful nonfiction addition to any animal lover's collection. An unexpected addition is the detailed list of books, websites and videos for more information about these fascinating animals. Perfect for fourth grade and up.

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Jennifer, Kids World

Monsters Vs. Kittens by Dani Jones

Monster vs Kittens book cover: an orange sits tabby faces the viewer, Behind the kitten is a green monster with horns and black hair whose fangs are showing in a smile as its yellow eyes look at the tabby"This is a monster. This is a kitten."

Let's compare the cute and cuddly kittens, with the big and smelly monsters. One is big, the other small. One clean, one messy. Could the monsters and kittens possibly have something in common? The answer may surprise you...

This short and sweet story about differences and friendship is hard to pass up. Delightfully lively illustrations capture your imagination and bring monsters and kittens to life. Toddlers especially will enjoy the dramatic and colorful pictures, highlighted by the bold and easy-to-read text.

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Naomi, Kids World

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865 : the Day John Wilkes Booth killed President Lincoln by Don Brown

He has shot the president book cover: resembles a front page newspaper headline. Pencil and watercoloring of lincoln looking over his shoulder towards a man coming through the opening in the curtains“Millions viewed the dead president at funeral stops or stood vigils for a glimpse of the slowly moving train that carried him home.  By the time Lincoln reached Springfield, one in four of all Americans had paid their respects.”

Did you know that Booth had several accomplices?  That there were supposed to be three simultaneous murders but two didn’t happen?  Brown conveys more facts and details in this transitional chapter book than most other history books written for kids.  It covers the full sequence of events beginning with the radical Confederates’ hard feelings at the end of the Civil War through Booth’s dramatic manhunt and capture.

Readers in grades 3 – 6 will enjoy learning more about this important historic event through Brown’s accessible text and effective illustrations, whether they are young history buffs or older reluctant readers.  Warning: this telling depicts violence (hatred, the shooting, a stabbing).  If you like Brown’s style as much as I do, check out his other books as well!

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Mary Jo, Kids World

If Kids Ruled the World by Linda Bailey

If Kids Ruled the World book cover: cover art features kids running a pirate ship, in the air is a kid with a jetpack and a child with fairy wings"If kids ruled the world, all the sidewalks would be trampolines..."

Ask yourself, what would it be like if kids ruled the world instead of adults? Find out for yourself in this silly adventure! This fanciful story takes you into a world where kids have the final say in everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Pillow fights all night, eating cake instead of vegetables, going to school where the only class is recess...and that's just the start.

A delight for young children and parents alike to share in reading aloud, "If The Kids Ruled the World" is also a wonderful reminder to grown-ups of the fun and fantasy of what it's like to be a kid. This picture book will spark your imagination, and encourage you to let it run wild.

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Naomi, Kids World

Recipe by Angela Petrella and Michaelanne Petrella

Recipe Book Cover: a long-haired brunette appears to be laying on the ground with a spatula in her hand. Some type of food is clutched in her other hand. What appears to be marshmallows is all over the ground. A gray dog wearing a pink helmet smiles down at her.“Recipe is served! No refunds.”

Have you ever had a recipe go all wrong?  These sister/authors have and they decided to find the humor in a bad situation.

Turn the pages and laugh as gap-toothed Kristen decides to be “IN CHARGE” of the kitchen.  Her mother agrees to follow orders and the craziness begins.  This girl’s grocery list includes twenty bags of marshmallows, four hundred hot dogs and a “squirt duck”.  Oh, and a new puppy.  The mom comes through, the dog is blue, the squirt duck is put to use as kitchen safety equipment and the resulting “goop” is ultimately chopped up with a baseball bat.  We are left with a question; do the raccoons eat it or not?

I recommend this silly story for kids and adults, ages six to sixty.  If you enjoy wacky, “random” stories, you will get a kick out of this one.  The artwork is pretty inane as well.  Warning to parents: the recipe in the back of the book involves chocolate and a clothes dryer.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns book cover: young girl holding a lantern in from behind the image of a golden building"Red is the rug Dad kneels on to pray, facing toward Mecca five times a day."

This picture book's simple rhyming text introduces the reader to world color as it draws examples from the rich traditions of the Muslim faith. Each color is showcased in illustrations which fill a double page spread, making this book perfect to share with a large group if desired.

Younger readers (and listeners) may wish to concentration on the beautiful color examples. However, the book's glossary includes pronunciation tips and further defines the highlighted object or tradition, which allows this book to serve well as a basic introduction to the Muslim faith for older students.

For educators looking for an multi-cultural book for young elementary students, this picture book is definitely worth a look. For families looking for a gentle introduction to color, this picture book offers something different than the usual examples while keeping the colors in the illustrations simple and easy to spot.

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Celeste, Kids World

The Ghosts Go Haunting by Helen Ketteman

The Ghosts Go Haunting book cover: five cartoon ghosts seen on the stairs of a building not shown, however the sign on the grass reads M.T. Tombs Elementary"The Ghosts go haunting one by one. Boo! Boo!"

All your favorite spooky creatures are seeking out some "Halloween fun" in this holiday picture book.

Those familiar with the tune, "The Ants Go Marching," may catch themselves singing along instead of reading. The grins on the creatures' faces keep them friendly and funny as they run amok through the school and frighten the school staff.

The book's large pictures and the school setting make this a perfect classroom read for teachers' seeking a new Halloween treat. But, whether shared by a group or read individually, there will be giggles and chuckles all around as the librarian is "chased up a tree" and the "principal leaps from his chair and runs."

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Celeste, Kids World

Hilda and the Black Hound by Luke Pearson

Hilda and the Black Hound book cover: graphic novel cover featuring a girl with blue hair, large eyes, and a mouth open as if screaming or gasping. A white furry animal in next to her and both are above images of buildings. The black shadow behind them resembles a large black dog."I already knew that you're the kindest, bravest, most selfless little girl it's possible to be."

This graphic novel tells Hilda’s fantastic story through speech bubbles and moody panel images. Her “real” and imagined experiences blend and overlap as we follow blue-haired Hilda on her quest.  She and her dog, Twig, want to find and protect the misunderstood house elf, Tontu.  A wild, giant wolfhound is roaming through Trolberg and Hilda is influenced by the fear pervading her town.

But outsider Tontu leads Hilda through the hidden world, which humans don’t see.  Hilda then solves the wolf mystery and saves the day.  Hilda’s personality and actions reminds us what kind of a person to be in a bad situation.

Part of the Hildafolk series, this book is recommended for readers age 8 – 99 who wish there really were little folk living inside their walls.

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Mary Jo, Kids World

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