Posts from the ‘fiction’ Category

METEOR MICK

Arnold and Louis. Reach for the Stars

Written by Harvey Storm

 

This is my second time reading a book in this series for children ages three through five. Mick the Meteor has been falling through space for a long time. He falls asleep but wakes up just before hitting the Earth. Arnold, the Moose, and Louis, the Goose, are relaxing in their home in the forest at the edge of the swamp when they hear a crash and see smoke. Mick has landed in the swamp. When Arnold and Louis arrive at the swamp they find smoke coming from a small stone covered with precious stones lying in the mud.

Arnold and Louis are surprised when the stone begins to talk. Mick informs them that he really wants to go home. Arnold and Louis attempt to construct a catapult to launch Mick into space. They try unsuccessfully one hundred different ways. Miss Gorilla tells them that they need a rocket to reach outer space. They work together as a team until a successful rocket launch is achieved.

Appealing illustrations and vivid colors along with nice graphics make this series a good choice for preschoolers. Fun characters and moral lessons motivate the young reader.

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WINTER’S TALE

Snowdrops: Adventure Three (Book # 3 in the Adventures of Katie and Alex series)

Written by Julia Gousseva

Ten-year-old Alex and his nine-year-old sister are staying with their Aunt Karina while their parents are working in Russia. Karina frequently reads the children Russian folktales. But she does more than read those tales, the children have discovered a fireplace that leads to a magic portal through which they become a part of that story.

One day the children are on the porch when the summer weather suddenly turns stormy. Within a matter of minutes, snowdrops are swirling. Alex, Katie and their Aunt Karina retreat to the warmth of the house. Karina reads them a folktale about a girl named Masha who lives with her wicked stepmother, Darya.  This stepmother ordered Masha to go into the forest and pick snowdrops even though it was still winter. Alex, Katie, and Karina rush into the forest to save Masha and they proceed to have an adventure in which they meet Father Frost and move through all the seasons of the year. The children learn about the seasons and meet the Twelve Months of the Year.

Will the children and their aunt be able to rescue Masha and prevent Darya from abusing her further?

This is a chapter book that combines elements of fantasy with a Russian folktale and a travel adventure. There are no illustrations. I would recommend this book as a good choice for readers in third through fifth grade, but readers of any age who enjoy multicultural folktales will probably enjoy it.

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FRUSTRATED?

THE CHICK WHO COULD NOT KICK

Written by Tim Zak

 

This is an exciting day at the chicken coop. soccer tryouts are about to begin. Chuck desperately wants to make the team. He tries his best but his legs are shorter than the rest of the chicks. Chuck refuses to give up, even though everyone else is laughing at him. Chuck comes up with a plan that just might provide a solution to his problem and help the team.

This is a simple book with two lines of rhyming text on each page. Some of the rhymes come off as forced. Recommended for toddlers and preschoolers, particularly children who love soccer.

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MAN’S BEST SUPER SLEUTH

Hide and Panic Stations (Super Sleuth Sam Book 1)

Written by Monty J. McClaine

This is the first book in a nine-part series. The author uses the introduction to present the characters of the series. Jack is a mischievous six-year-old. His father likes to tinker in the garage with his Corvette, his mother is a devoted stay at home mom, his sister, Molly has just begun to crawl. Sam, the basset hound is always on red alert protecting the family and serving as Jack’s constant companion. But Sam is no ordinary dog, he has magical powers passed down to him from his ancestors. When Sam recites his chant, he develops super speed and the detective skills of a Sherlock Holmes.

One day Jack and Sam are playing hide and seek. Jack pushes the envelope by finding a hiding place in which no one discovers him. While Jack is comfortably ensconced reading his dad’s comic and enjoying a snack, the rest of the family is in panic mode. Readers will enjoy how Sam employs his super speed and detective smarts to solve the mystery of Sam’s disappearance. Sam’s parents are about to call the police. Will Sam be able to solve the mystery? Perhaps young readers will be able to help.

This book is a fun chapter book for beginning and middle-grade readers. It presents a typical family with some atypical characteristics, some humor, and a mystery for readers to ponder. Recommended especially for third to fifth graders. The length of approximately one hundred pages makes it a good choice for reluctant readers as well.

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HELLO AND GOODBYE

Maya and Filippo Show Hawaii

Written by Alina Rutkowski

 

Maya and Filippo live with their parents on a cruise ship named Fun Princess. The author provides clues for their next destination and invites young readers to guess. She describes the islands of Hawaii and talks about the language, customs, and culture. As the children arrive at Waikiki beach, readers learn about the ukulele, the flower lei, the hula dance, and the meaning of the word aloha. It does not simply mean hello and goodbye but describes the philosophy and way of living in Hawaii. The family spends a day at the beach before heading back to their cabin on the ship. Before ending their day, the children will have the opportunity to attend classes onboard to learn more about the hula dance and play the ukulele.

This book is colorfully illustrated in a cartoon-like format. Young would-be travelers will enjoy taking an armchair vacation with Maya and Filippo. I would especially recommend this book for children ages three through six.

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COW CONNUDRUM

MEOW SAID THE COW

WRITTEN BY SARAH MAZOR

ILLUSTRATED BY ABIRA DAS

This is the second book in the Auntie Lily bedtime silly story collection. I liked it even more than the first. The lead character is a silly cow who tries to imitate other animals like a cat, hen, donkey, cheetah, monkey, snake and frog, to name just a few. In the process, children learn the characteristics of many animals. Rhymes are crisp and sharp, and the alliteration allows the sounds to roll off the tongue when reading aloud. Adults will enjoy this one as much as the children who are listening.

Illustrations are vivid and expressive, allowing even the youngest child to clearly get the message. This book is a perfect choice for an older sibling reading to a younger brother or sister. Perhaps my favorite part is the riddle section at the end that asks the child to answer ten riddles. After reading the book a few times, many readers will be able to create their own riddles. This series is a clever, creative, interactive approach to learning. Highly recommended as a bedtime story or read aloud for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary school age children.

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THE RIGHT DECISION

The Doll Dilemma (Kids’ Court Book 1)

Written by Caron Pescatore

When Jenny accuses her twin brother, Jimmy of breaking the head off of her favorite doll, Jimmy swears that he is innocent. But Jimmy has a history of breaking his sister’s toys. Jimmy’s friend Luanna tries to intercede. Luanna’s parents are a lawyer and a judge and she has spent lots of time at work with them. So Luanna suggests that the local kids get together and have a trial to prove Jimmy’s guilt or innocence. They set up the court in Luanna’s basement. The group chooses a bailiff, investigators, attorneys, and witnesses. Because they don’t have enough children to set up a jury, they decide on a bench trial.

Readers are guided through the whole legal process. They learn about legal terminology and procedure. There is also an element of mystery that sharp detectives use to resolve Jimmy’s guilt or innocence. The dialogue moves along well and is authentic for the age group. Middle-grade readers who enjoy humor, detective stories, strong characters, and legal procedures will find something to learn and enjoy.

Highly recommended for readers in the middle-grades or anyone who enjoys a fun, fast read.

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