Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Magician's Elephant

Is there anything better than a Kate DiCamillo novel???? Nope, I don't think so! SO when I started The Magician's Elephant, I knew I was in for a treat. She just does not disappoint! Once again, a tender story of a little boy who loses his parents and is left with an elderly militaristic man to raise him. Little Peter is convinced his small sister, whom he was asked to care for by his mother before she died, is still alive. When he visits the fortune teller, she confirms to him that his sister is indeed alive and that the elephant will lead him to her. Peter is encouraged and discouraged - he wants to find his sister, but there is certainly no elephant! That is the greatness - an elephant appears magically in his town and the journey begins. I love the way this tender story weaves itself together - each character plays a part in bringing you to the end - the grand culmination of love and family. Yoko Tanaka is a superb illustrator and weaves her spell again with the beautiful illustrations that lend to the mysterious quality in this story. Marvelous!! Visit the WEBSITE too - it is wonderful! And the scuttlebutt is that 20th Century Fox is soon to begin a movie based on the book - I'll take it!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Tom Davis stands out to me as an author - he challenged me greatly with Fields of the Fatherless and now, with his fiction debut, Scared, I am challenged again. Scared is the story of a reporter sent to Africa to capture photos of the AIDS crisis. He travels thinking it is just another job, but what he finds when he gets there changes his life forever. It is not an easy read - your heart breaks for these children trapped in a country that is torn by AIDS and poverty. If you are touched and want to help visit ScaredtheBook or Hope Chest make a difference.

Scared - A Novel on the Edge of the World from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Pick Me Up

DK Publishers sent me these new books that makes me want to say, "DK's done it again!"

Pick Me Up is a book that will make kids (and adults) want to pick it up!!! It reminds me of "almanac information" but the format is fun and easy to read! TONS of information in here - more than one can catch in one reading FOR SURE! This is a book that kids will check out over and over to find something new! What a fun read!

Open Me Up is a human body/anatomy book that is just "WOW" - it is detailed and intricate and yet will capture kids of all ages. DK is famous for their wonderful illustrations and this book is no exception!

How to be a Genius: Your Brain and How to Train It will be one that I will have a hard time keeping in the library! It is a book that is packed with puzzles, games and optical illusions - all to help kids think creatively and sharpen their minds. Another great title!

Lastly, Children's Book of Art - also by DK - this is an amazing introduction to the world's most amazing paintings and sculptures. Not only does it feature the works, but it gives important background information like - what technique they used in their work, different styles of art, and other art galleries all in one book! I am SO wishing I had this one last summer for our Summer Reading Program, but I'll take it now and pass it all around!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Wonders Inside the Human Body

Silver Dolphin Books sent me a copy of The Wonders Inside The Human Body - another great book published by this company. This book makes the study of anatomy quite interesting - the see-through layers create a depth and excitement to this book. It is stunning and will be a hit with students and teachers alike. Another bonus? It is a large book so the drawings are intricate and so interesting - what a fun read.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Spotlight - Ancient Egypt Explorer

I was sent a copy of Spotlight: Ancient Egypt Explorer by Silver Dolphin Books and wanted to share it with you!! This is such a fun idea for learning history! You need a flashlight - be ready!! You shine your flashlight throughout the pages and you discover things hidden in Ancient Egypt in ancient tombs! I love the whole concept! Pages have wheels to turn as well that allow you to see different objects in the pictures. Even with the wheels, I think this will hold up well in our library - and I can't wait to put it out!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Sounds of the Wild - Safari

I was sent a copy of Sounds of the Wild - Safari by Maruice Pledger by Media Masters Publicity and immediately was hooked! What a beautiful book of Safari animals - a giant pop up book with sounds! This might not be one that will be on our library shelves, but it is SO worth owning!!! The pop ups are amazing - there are WONDERFUL explanation pages that give you the names of the animals (great for teachers!!) - and the noises make you feel like you are there! LOVED IT!

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