Monday, May 18, 2015

Hoot Owl Master of Disguise

School Library Journal January 1, 2015

K-Gr 2-Hoot Owl explains that he is hungry and proud of his creative disguises employed to capture prey. He assembles a carrot costume in pursuit of rabbit and becomes an ornamental birdbath to nab a pigeon. He is totally unsuccessful until he dons waiter's attire and devours..a pizza! The owl's braggadocio and camouflage amuse throughout. Jullien's spreads feature primary colors and mostly black backgrounds that feature playfully rounded cartoon characters. Use this read-aloud for levity during a study of nocturnal animals or when discussing different ways to approach a problem.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred)

Booklist May 1, 2015 (Online)
Preschool-Kindergarten. Everybody sleeps. It’s a common bedtime-book premise. In this send-up, there’s an exception to the rule: Fred. Don’t let his nighttime routine of bathing and toothbrushing fool you. His toy boat (SS Insomnia) grows large! Fred packs for his adventures in the snoozy jungle, where he jumps; and on the dozy farm, where he shouts, blowing the barn apart. No one can sleep when Fred is around. The art tells its own cumulative tale. An exhausted character from each setting carries over into the next (many of them foreshadowed by the toys in Fred’s room). They appear against backdrops of white space, allowing youngsters to pore over their expressive faces as well as other details in the art. What tuckers out Fred? The rhyming verse introduces a poetry book “so boring / children soon are prone and snoring.” With Fred finally asleep, the tale concludes with a warning: “Close book softly or Fred will wake up . . .,” prompting screams. A bedtime story sure to inspire dreams of imaginative antics.

Circus Mirandus

School Library Journal April 1, 2015
Gr 4-6-Fifth-grader Micah Tuttle has been living with his Grandpa Ephraim since his parents died when he was very young. The two are close; Grandpa Ephraim teaches Micah how to tie complicated knots and tells him fanciful tales about the magical Circus Mirandus and its many performers, including a powerful illusionist called the Lightbender. When Grandpa Ephraim becomes gravely ill, his sister, the strict and dour Aunt Gertrudis, comes to take care of the household. She severely limits Micah's time with his sick grandfather, and the boy is distraught at the idea of losing the only important person in his life. In a stolen moment, Grandpa Ephraim surprises Micah by revealing that the Circus Mirandus is real, and that the Lightbender promised him a miracle when he was a child. The protagonist begins to hope that his grandfather will get well. The Circus Mirandus arrives in town on the wind, and Micah, with the help of his classmate Jenny Mendoza, seeks out the Lightbender and tries to retrieve the miracle that Grandpa Ephraim has requested. During a whirlwind adventure in the Circus, Micah learns about his family and discovers that the miracle that Grandpa Ephraim asked for might not be the one that Micah had in mind. Circus Mirandus is not a simple story, but readers will be rewarded for delving into its intricacies. VERDICT This gripping fantasy tale will have readers hooked from the opening scene to the breathtaking-and unexpected-conclusion.-Sarah Reid, Broome County Public Library, Binghamton, NY © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.