Sunday, August 30, 2009

Andy Griffiths. TREASURE FEVER

Do you like silly funny? Do you like Jim Carrey? (and by Jim Carrey I mean Dumb & Dumber Jim Carrey, not so much The Cable Guy Jim Carrey). Do you like it when people resemble their names? For example: Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Chalkboard, Fiona McBrain, Gretel Armstrong and Grant Gadget? If so, then you will adore TREASURE FEVER.
It all begins when Henry gets sent to the principal’s office at Northwest Southeast Central School. During the conversation about what Henry did wrong, Principal Greenbeard tells Henry a story about how he played pirates when he was a boy at the school. He and his friends buried a treasure and it was found and stolen by a rival pirates. To this day, the principal has yet to find the treasure. Of course, this gets Henry and his friends on the hunt for buried treasure on the school grounds. (who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt!)
This is one in a series called SCHOOLING AROUND by Andy Griffiths. He also is known for his THE DAY MY BUTT WENT PSYCHO series, as well as several other goofy books. These are silly fun books. They’re great for reluctant readers as well as kids who just want a fun read! (your Captain Underpants readers will love these books!)

Check out the author’s website here. I'm real curious about his new one coming out next year called THE VERY BAD BOOK: click on the book for more...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Heather Brewer. TENTH GRADE BLEEDS

Vlad is beginning tenth grade at Bathory High. He’s enjoyed having Otis at home for a while, especially after the attack the previous year by the slayer. He’s felt safe and learned even more about is unique talents as a vampire. But Otis must leave once again. When Otis leaves, Vlad is left with several reasons to feel unsettled about the new school year. First of all, he’s having torturous nightmares about D’Ablo, who he knows is still after him. His best friend Henry is acting weird around him like he doesn’t want to be his friend anymore. And to make matters worse, Vlad’s hunger is increasing to an insatiable level. He worries about his will power around people. This may be his most challenging year yet.

This was another great book in the chronicles of Vladimir Tod. We learn more about Vlad’s status as the Pravus. We learn more about D’Able and Vlad’s father. There are a few surprises, plenty of action and that witty humor we’ve gotten used to from Heather Brewer.
I loved it & anxiously await the next one!

Don't forget to check out the author's awesome website here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Dan Gutman. MRS. DOLE IS OUT OF CONTROL

This is the first in a new series by Dan Gutman. It continues the adventures of the kids at Ella Mentry School from the MY WEIRD SCHOOL SERIES. In this book they graduate from 2nd grade into third. Normally you don’t graduate from second grade, but the new PTA president is the mom of one of the kids and she makes a huge deal about it (hence the title) and goes completely overboard.
I love this series! It’s totally relatable to kids. Like this:

Mrs. Dole says “Remember your first day of Kindergarten? My little baby Ryan was so scared to go to school that he peed in his pants. I remember it like it was yesterday.”
“You peed in your pants yesterday?” I asked Ryan.

It’s hysterical! There are many other quirky, funny parts that I won’t divulge here, so you can discover them for yourself. These are great for boys! Although girls will also enjoy them.
This series has 5 more books in it, some haven’t been published yet.

Dan Gutman has a great site to find out more about this series and all his other great books.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lauren Child. UTTERLY ME, CLARICE BEAN

Wow. I could kick myself for not reading Clarice Bean sooner! I remember seeing Lauren Child's illustrations. And I had read CHARLIE & LOLA, but I think I never got to read Clarice because I was more focused on middle grade books. Well, she is now my absolute favorite book character for young readers. I would have been obsessed as a child (and truthfully, I am a little now as an adult). Plus I love the artwork so much, I want to post all of it here, but I’ll just post a few & send you to Lauren Child’s website for the rest. This is one of those examples where without the illustrations you truly lose the entire mood, theme, and essence of Clarice Bean and her world. I think the creative placement of the text on the page is helpful too. Also, I’d like to point out that Clarice comes in picture book format as well as chapter books. I love them both.

So, about the book. This one is called Utterly Me. A trophy is stolen at school. The bad boy is blamed, since he usually does everything anyway. But Clarice doesn’t think he stole it. So, she emulates her favorite book character Ruby Redfort, secret agent, to solve the mystery.
Clarice is an imaginative, funny daydreamer. I enjoyed spending time with her and look forward to her other chapter books.

A few adorable picture books that I loved!



More on Clarice Bean & her awesome creator, Lauren Child.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lenore Look. ALVIN HO: ALLERGIC TO GIRLS, SCHOOL, AND OTHER SCARY THINGS

Alvin Ho is entering second grade with a PDK (a personal disaster kit). He’s afraid of everything, except explosions. He loves explosions. Before he started school, he was a superhero – Firecracker Man. (and he still dons the Firecracker Man hat from time to time). But even though he is a superhero, he is very scared of school. He never says a word at school. This makes it difficult to make friends, which he wants to do badly. So he ends up sitting with the only student who understands him: A girl named Flea. He’s disappointed, yet surprised by the book that she’s complied which turns out to be a dictionary of all of his facial expressions. Plus, the fact that she wears an eye patch makes sort of like a pirate. Maybe she will turn out to be OK after all.

Alvin is a refreshingly original character with a wild imagination. He's adorable! I enjoyed going on all of his journeys. I laughed out loud many times. Plus, the story is enriched with the most spectacular illustrations by Leuyen Pham. The facial expressions have uncanny resemblances to some of my favorite Dr. Suess characters.
Highly Recommended!