Friday, April 30, 2010

Penny & Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting

Penny & Rio move to a new home! Eager to check out her new back yard, Penny discovers an Owl and a cat talking to each other. Rio, who is completely content lying on the porch and enjoying the sun, tells her to stop being so curious and ignore the "meeting" she claims the two animals are having. Penny is just sure the animals are up to something. She makes a hide out and spies on their meeting, uncovering a plot to break into the neighbors' house. Fearful that her house will be next she decides to foil the plan! When the neighbors dog Fifi doesn't believe Penny she takes matters into her own hands! She is not able to do so alone however, and Rio is enlisted to help! This cute, funny story is a tale of team work and co-operation to help a friend, only the friend is not who you think it is! Children of all ages will love this story of two sister dogs and their adventure next door!

This book was magnetizing, after I got through the first chapter. The story picked up and started to draw me into the book during the second chapter. It made me wonder what was really taking place in the animals' scheme. The animals' grouping together in a meeting was entertaining. I wondered at what most dogs and other animals think about during their day. Are they interested in the happening just like Penny and Rio? Penny & Rio is a wonderful, interesting read for any reader ages 8 - 12.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Busy Bees at Work and Play By M. Maitland DeLand

Busy Bees at Work and Play is an adorable story about a mama bee and her daughter. Her little girl, like most children addresses the question of “Why do you have to go to work? “ Bambina Bee wants her mommy to stay home and play with her! Mama bee quickly explains to Bambina bee that , “throughout the day, there is time for work and play.” She takes her Bambina on a tour around town and shows her how each bee working helps the community. Bambina Learns about the many different jobs the bees have and what they do throughout the day. At the end of the day, everyone takes time to play!

This book is an attention grabber! My daughter remembered the name of the book five hours after I told her the title. I had not yet read the book to her, just showed her the cover and read the title when it arrived in the mail. She said “It’s the great, great, great! I learned you have to work and play. Work comes first. I liked the farmer bee best.” Not only was my daughter full of questions and comments on this book, she was interested and inquisitive. My husband noticed that she was searching through the book and asked what she was looking for. She replied, “The authors name!” This made me very happy that she is learning books have stories, but also authors that create the stories. This book is adorable, and informative in a fun way. The illustrations are beautiful and vibrant. It reminded me of the Bee movie. I would recommend this book for children 2-6 years of age. It will be a delightful addition to your child’s library.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The book about Tony Chestnut. By Laurie Monopoli

Tony Chestnut and his sister Eileen move to a new house and start the first day at their new school. Tony is happy at the thought of making new friends, but Eileen is still sad because she had to say goodbye to her best friends. At Recess all the kids are playing except for Eileen who sits lonely on the playground bench crying. Seeing his sister cry makes Tony sad so he decides to cheer her up. He tries begging her to stop but it does not work. He tries acting like a circus clown and making silly faces but those don’t work either! Eileen just cries harder. Tony decides he must be brave, so he stands up tall, takes a deep breath and starts to sing so loud the whole playground can hear him! As he sings Eileen cheers up and everyone joins in on the fun moves that go along with Tony’s song.

This book is an exciting, colorful, and interactive edition to your children’s library. My daughters absolutely enjoyed it and so did I. The book comes with a CD, so you can follow along to the music after reading Tony’s wonderfully illustrated story! The story itself is an endearing and wholesome story about a kind brother trying to make his sister happy. My daughter asked to take the book to preschool for show and tell so I let her. Her teacher was very happy to read it to the class and they all enjoyed the book and dance tremendously. The moves are very simple and even my two year old can follow along!

I would recommend this book to anyone with children ages 0 -8 years. Of course, if you’re a big kid at heart, you will enjoy it too!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Pig in the Rumble Seat and other short stories

This collection of 23 short stories and poem collection was a refreshing read. The stories are a mix of real life tales of the past, works of fiction and works of science fiction along with a collection of poems. The stories range from fantasy science fiction to real life science history, with stories from the great depression era and historical family memories.

The author has many different writing styles. Each story was unique in its own way, and while I didn’t always enjoy each story, I knew the next story would be a fresh start and a different tone.

Edward Hujsak did a wonderful job with his writings. The publication is what you would expect from the title, an intriguing collection of short stories. The cover art of this collection of stories will grab your attention and lure you into the contents. A Pig in the Rumble Seat was one of my favorite stories along with San Diego’s Missile, Killing a Rooster and The Still.

I learned a lot of history by reading this book. I felt I was given an insight into the past, a revelation of time and how things have changed. I loved reading this because I grew up in southern New Hampshire and have spent many years in the same area as the author. It was very interesting to compare his memories with mine and how things have grown and changed over the course of years, but managed to somewhat stay the same. It made me miss home and long to go back.

I enjoyed this book for many reasons. I learned things I did not know about in regards to science and missiles. I was amazed at the intelligence of the author, and enjoyed hearing his accounts first hand. The stories were all very different, but many of them were funny, insightful and useful. I felt I received a bit of American history through the readings, along with personal history and generational history. This collection of stories will stay with you. There is something in this book for everyone. I enjoyed reading it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ferdinand Uses the Potty by Jay Tucker

Ferdinand wakes up wet and confused and does not understand! Was there a leak in the plumbing or the roof? Was it raining inside?? Soon Ferdinand realizes that there was not a leak, but that he had wet the bed. The book continues into a cute story with a fresh approach to the subject of bed wetting after potty training. This book has a fun interactive approach to teaching kids one of the easiest ways to not have accidents at night.

This book is not for younger children who are learning to use the potty. The title is somewhat misleading. I originally chose this book because I thought it would help my two year old with potty training. She would not even sit to read the book. There is a lack of pictures on many pages and the wording is geared towards older children. The book did not address the concepts of how to use the potty, why to use the potty or what the toilet is for. It is geared towards children who already understand those concepts.
Ferdinand uses the potty is an adorable, colorful book for older children who are already potty trained. It approaches the problem of bed wetting and some of the fears of using the potty. For example, Ferdinand is able to stop wetting the bed as often because he is uses the potty more frequently during the day. Ferdinand has a fear of the sound the toilet makes but learns that it is not scary and it helps him stay dry at night. My four year old daughter who is potty trained like the book and asked questions about Ferdinand, but she has been potty trained for almost 2 years now.

I recommend this book to parents whose children can use the potty, but may have some apprehensiveness still. It is a cute, easy to read book that helps parents and children connect during a difficult process that can be confusing and frustrating at times.