Kids Books

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Meet Minette and Tama


If you're a cat lover then I'm sure you'll enjoy these 2 new picture books that we have just received at the King Library: Minette's Feast by Susanna Reich and I am Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Henrichs.

 

Book Cover: Minette's FeastIn Minette's Feast we are introduced to "Minette Mimosa McWilliams Child who was perhaps the luckiest cat in all of Paris." You see Minette belonged to Julia Child and her husband Paul Child who both believed that "a house without a cat is like life without sunshine!" As we follow Julia Child as she begins her cooking career, Minette is always there; perhaps taking a nibble of a new recipe, or feasting on the meat still clinging to a bone, or perfecting her hunting skills by chasing "a Brussels sprout tied to a string." Minette truly was a lucky cat! The illustrations are charming, done in pencil and water colors and the book is a wonderful introduction to that most famous chef, Julia Child.

 

Book Cover: I Am Tama, Lucky CatI Am Tama, Lucky Cat: A Japanese Legend by Wendy Henrichs. Ceramic cats with one upraised paw are said to bring good luck and prosperity. In her book, Wendy Heinrichs lets Tama tell the traditional story of the cat's origin. Tama, a homeless Japanese bobtail, is taken in by a very poor monk who feeds her, loves her and takes good care of her. Both feel very fortunate to have each other and Tama always tries to repay his kindness in small ways. One day during a raging storm a wealthy samurai comes by their home and Tama manages to save his life by raising her right paw to him. The samurai repays Tama and her master by making their temple his "family's place of honor". At the end the old monk says to Tama, "you truly are a lucky cat, for you brought good fortune to us all." This is a beautiful retelling of the legend with wonderful watercolor illustrations. Give it a read.



Freddy the Pig


The Freddy the Pig series of children's novels by Walter R. Brooks was one of the first reasons I got hooked on reading. They were first published between 1927 and 1958, but it was in the '80s that I tore through all 26 books in the primary grades. As an animal lover, I was delighted by the adventures and personalities of Freddy, Jinx the cat, Charles the rooster, Mrs. Wiggins the cow and so many more. Simon the rat is one of the great all-time villains if you ask me. Incidentally, Walter R. Brooks also created Mr. Ed the horse of TV fame.
 

I'm not alone in my adoration of Freddy. The Friends of Freddy was founded in 1984. They hold biennial conventions, publish a quarterly newsletter, and work to ensure the Freddy books will be available for generations to come. SJPL is great place to start delving into the world of Freddy and his friends (and in fact was for me when I was a kid!).



More Bedtime Stories!


Here are two more new titles for bedtime: My Dad is Big and Strong, But . . . : a Bed Time Story by Coralie Saudo and Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere.  Both are charming with a funny twist at the end.  You have to check them out.  Because they are both brand new to San Jose Public Libraries, you will find them on our new picture book display pyramids.

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Alligators all Around


Cover of Alligators All AroundHave you laughed sufficiently  today?  If you require more levity, hasten to open Alligators all Around by Maurice Sendak.  The late author/illustrator was undoubtedly a comic genius.  The strenuous life of Sendak’s alligators includes being quite quarrelsome, shockingly spoiled, very vain and yackety-yacking, among other pursuits.  So much to envy about these truly evolved and singularly astute reptiles!  Alligators make good amigos!



Posted by janeeseg on Aug 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 |
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Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine


Cover of Mockingbird

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is about Caitlyn, a girl who has been identified as having Asperger's Syndrome.  Caitlyn's condition seems to be somewhat more severe and closer to moderate autism, however. 

 

Identified as odd by her peers, Caitlyn's problems escalate upon the death of her brother.  Caitlyn's brother had been acting as a behavioral aide for her and helped her to analyze different social situations.  Social situations that may seem clear-cut to others are a maze for Caitlyn.

 

Caitlyn is mystified by how she "should be" experiencing the tragedy and by how her father is coping with the death.  Meanwhile, the general community is coming to terms with the tragedy in relation to her brother's death.  How can everybody find peace?  How can Caitlyn find her own peace?  Read this National Book Award winner to find out!



Audio Appreciation Month: Recommendations for Children


August is Audio Appreciation Month! Celebrate this event by checking out various audio book and music titles at your library! Here are a few recommendations for children.
* indicates Series

 

Books on CD

The library has audio book versions of many popular titles shown below in audio compact disc format.

 

Children's Audio Books

 

 Cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter* by J.K. Rowling

One of the most popular fantasy series about a young wizard named Harry Potter. Harry attends the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and makes new friends, learns new magic spells and goes on a quest to defeat the dark wizard Lord Voldemort.  

 

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

 

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart

Nicholas Benedict, an orphan afflicted with physical ailments and narcolepsy, is sent to a new orphanage where he encounters depraved bullies, difficult circumstances, and a mystery that could change his life forever.

 

Cover of 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones

 

39 Clues* by Various Authors

A series of intriguing adventure stories written by today's popular authors such as Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis and more. These audio books will engage readers by combining card collecting, reading and online gaming.

 

 

Digital Audio Books

Besides compact disc, you can also download audio books to your digital audio player, including your iPod, smartphone, or home computer via OverDrive Digital Library or OneClickdigital. Using your digital audio player, you can transition or navigate to other chapters of the book without having to change discs. Here are a few recommended digital audio book titles:

 

Children's Digital Audio Books

 

Cover of Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis ComplexArtemis Fowl* by Eoin Colfer

A popular fantasy and action series about a young master criminal named Artemis Fowl. Artemis gradually develops his moral character as he works with the fairies to help defeat enemies and save the world.

 

The Mysterious Benedict Society

 

The Mysterious Benedict Society* by Trenton Lee Stewart

Reynie Muldoon, an orphaned child with special abilities joins an elite team of four talented children and they become the Mysterious Benedict Society. They soon go on an adventurous journey of espionage to defeat a villain who plans to take over the world.

 

Copver of Percy Jackson and the Olympian: The Lightning Thief

 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians* by Rick Riordan

A young boy named Percy Jackson discovers that the legendary Greek Gods still exists and goes on an adventurous quest to prevent a devastating war between the gods. 

 

 

 

Music

In addition to audio books, the library also has a substantial collection of new music CDs and downloadable new eAudio and eMusic for all ages! Please see a librarian at your library for more details.



True (...Sort of) by Katherine Hannigan


 

Cover of True (...Sort of)

True (...Sort of) (AR 6.0, Level 3.4) by Katherine Hannigan, the author of Ida B, is about an unconventional character who doesn't know why she seems to get everyone angry.  Misunderstood, everyone keeps putting Delly down.  Finally, she decides that she will act out!

 

Brud is a terrible basketball player.  The problem is that he loves basketball!  How can he ever become good at the sport that he loves?

 

Then Ferris moves to town.  Delly befriends her because she does not speak; Ferris does not criticize her.  Brud befriends her because Ferris is an amazing basketball player and teacher.

 

If you are a person who doesn't quite fit in at school, you may find a friend in True (...Sort of) Though Ferris has her issues, she accepts her two new friends when no one else will help them.  And what is friendship if not for acceptance?  Enjoy this great book!



Donald Sobol, Author of Encyclopedia Brown Series Passes Away


Cover of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy DetectiveDonald Sobol, the author of the Encyclopedia Brown series died on July 11th.  He was 87 years old. 

 

Encyclopedia Brown has been a staple for 2nd and 3rd grade readers for decades.  Each book features several short mysteries which remain unsolved until you check the back of the book for the answer.  I've always considered these books great for reluctant readers and for budding mystery fans. 

 

His last book, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme is scheduled to be published and next year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first Encyclopedia Brown book. 

 

Thanks for the mysteries!

 

Cover of Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the CaseCover of Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries Volume 1Cover of Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them AllCover of Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Dead Eagles



2011 Newberry Award Winner: Moon Over Manifest


Moon OVer Manifest coverMoon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, is the story of a young twelve year old, Abilene, who is sent to live with her father's friend in Manifest, a small lazy town in Kansas.  She feels abandoned by the father she loves and is at loss for why he would do this.  She only knows that her father had changed after her sickness, when she had an accident and her leg became infected.  So, now, alone, in Manifest, the town where her father considers home, Abilene is trying to sort our her father's past and his identity and her own destiny.  Through the course of a summer, she discovers Manifest's history, her father's history, and her own place in Manifest's destiny.

 

A Newberry Award Winner for 2011, Moon Over Manifest is, in my opinion, a simply wonderful book, but I would not recommend it for everyone, because its narrative is sophisticated and complex with three threads which the author skillfully weaves to reveal a narrative which is a colorful depiction of life in small town Kansas.  This book is a book for a good reader, probably a girl, and for someone around 6th or 7th grade because the main character is young, but the scope of the story is big and the narrative complex. 



New Baby Picture Books


I often receive requests for picture books to introduce children to a new baby on the information desk, and oftentimes, I am hard pressed to name a few good titles.  Here are two that I have run across, which I like: Mail Harry to the Moon and There's Going to Be a BabyMail Harry to the Moon by Robie H Harris is funny and wacky, and I'm sure more than enough young ones may identify with the main character, who is fed up with his or her little baby brother.  There's Going to be a Baby, written by John Burningham, a renown author, is touching and sweet.  The story recounts the story of a young child anticipating the birth of his sibling.  I love both, but they are so different.

Picture of title coverPicture of the title cover