Book Review: Camp Rex by Molly Idle

51PPTDnsRiL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Calling all outdoorsmen and women! Camp Rex is the perfect camping book for you and your dinosaur friends. You’ll get good advice on where to set up camp, how to make a fire, and fun games you can play in the wilderness. Just make sure you don’t run afoul of the animals already living in the forest! Molly Idle returns with an adorable sequel to the tea party hit Tea Rex. Just like its predecessor, Camp Rex features absolutely beautiful art composition and gorgeous pastel colors. Almost every page in this book could be a painting on your wall!

Camp Rex by Molly Idle; Walker & Company; 16.99; 3-6 years old

Book Review: Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams

9781423635284_p0_v1_s260x420“Edgar, finish your vegetables!”

“Nevermore!” quoth the tiniest little raven you’ll ever see.  The literature-themed board book series BabyLit gets an even more adorable addition with this Edgar Allen Poe-inspired picture book.  Edgar struggles through dinner, clean-up time, bath time, and bedtime stories, until his mama finally assures him that no matter what, she will love him “evermore”.  Will you ever find a cuter introduction to important American literature? I think you know the answer to that…

Edgar Gets Ready for Bed by Jennifer Adams; Gibbs Smith Publishers; 16.99; 3-6 years old.

Book Review: The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell

The Mermaid and the ShoeAll of Triton’s mermaid daughters have special skills and interests, except for Minnow, who just seems to get in the way.  Minnow asks too many questions, like “Why don’t crabs have fins?” and “Where do bubbles go?” But when Minnow finds a mysterious object, that tireless curiosity leads her on a journey to discover what it’s for, and maybe even to discover what it is that makes Minnow unique.

I love that where most mermaid books are aimed at pre-teens or teenagers, this sweet, beautifully illustrated story is for the younger set.  It’s also nicely reminiscent of The Little Mermaid, without any of more “grown-up” aspects of the original story.  Its simplicity, innocence, and fairy-tale feel make The Mermaid and the Shoe really stand out from the mermaid crowd.

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell; Kids Can Press; 16.95; 3-6 years old

Book Review: Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! by Bob Shea

dont-play-with-your-food-by_bob_sheaRARR!!  Buddy the monster has his eye on some bunnies!  But how can he eat them when they’re about to make delicious cupcakes?  Or go swimming?  Or go to the fair?  Every day Buddy promises to eat them tomorrow.  But Buddy may have forgotten the rule… you don’t play with your food!  Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! is fun and colorful and hilarious in the way only Bob Shea can be.  The headline implies that there will be more of these books, and I for one can’t wait!

– Emily

Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food! by Bob Shea; Hyperion Books; 16.99; 3-6 years old

The Children Who Loved Books by Peter Carnavas

the-children-who-loved-books-coverIt goes without saying that this book grabbed my attention—just look at it! Peter Carnavas’ latest is an adorable little tale of two children who, as suggested by the title, love books. Their tiny house is full of them. Their family doesn’t have much, but with so many stacks of stories, it doesn’t seem to matter!

But one day the house can hold no more. Sadly, the little family decides they must get rid of their books. When all the piles are cleared, their house is emptier and lonelier than they could have imagined.

Later, though, a book falls out of young Lucy’s backpack. The family gathers around to read together, and once again they are smitten with the power of stories. They run out to their local bookstore (indie bookseller thumbs up!) and restock. Soon their home is full of joy and love and piles and piles of beautiful books! Hooray (for books)!

Read on, readers!

Miss Megan

The Children Who Loved Books by Peter CarnavasKane/Miller; 11.99; Ages 2-6

Ducklings: Classic, New and Multicultural

First published in 1941, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, is still a charming story. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard decide to settle in Boston’s Public Garden, but find a more suitable nesting site up the Charles River. When the ducklings are old enough Mrs. Mallard and her children must find their way safely back to the pond in the Public Garden. The warm pencil illustrations make it a great book to snuggle up to before bedtime, when you’re in the mood for a longer story.

If you’re in the mood for a true story that is reminiscent of Make Way for Ducklings, check out Lucky Ducklings by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Mama Duck and her ducklings, Pippin, Bippin, Tippin, Dippin and Little Joe take an excursion to town. When they slip into a storm grate, the local fire department and other town members come to their rescue.  The beautiful illustrations alone make this picture book memorable, but Moore’s text also makes for a great read-a-loud. And how can you not love Little Joe?

In The Ugly Duckling, Rachel Isadora transplants Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story to the African continent. This ugly duckling lives in a world of howler monkeys, elephants, hot desert sun and winter ice. A kind farmer helps the duckling survive the winter, and by spring he has grown into a beautiful black swan. Isadora’s vibrant collage illustrations are stunning, and give this much-loved tale fresh energy and an exotic feel.

That’s Mine!

thatsmineWe’ve mentioned Candace Fleming’s book Oh No! recently, and for those of you who enjoyed it, I highly recommend That’s Mine! I love this brand-new picture book by Michael Van Zeveren. In That’s Mine! a frog discovers a mysterious egg, which he claims as his own, despite the protests of the other animals. The snappy dialogue and animal sounds make this book perfect for read-alouds.  Little ones will enjoy guessing whom the egg belongs to and what’s inside. Its bright colors and humorous twist at the end are sure to please even the youngest reader.

-Erin

That’s Mine! by Michael Van Zeveren; Gecko Press; $17.95

Kids’ Next List: Autumn 2012

Every season IndieBound puts out “Kids’ Next” a newsletter featuring recommendations from Indie booksellers around the country. We’re invited to write reviews throughout the year for books that we get a chance to read in advance (a perk of being a bookseller) and occasionally, reviews from our staff are featured!

In the Autumn 2012 edition of Kids’ Next, three reviews from Hooray for Books! staff made it in. Check out our recommendations:

In the section for ages 4-8, Amanda said this about Bear Has a Story to Tell:

“The Caldecott-winning team who created A Sick Day for Amos McGee is back with another utterly charming story. The quiet-yet-strong demeanor of a bear wanting to tell his friends a story is subtly sweet, and the selfless acts of help he gives those friends in their preparation for winter instead of telling them his story is lesson for all of us. The soft and detailed illustrations give soul to the animals. Just lovely!”

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead and illustrator Erin E. Stead; $16.99; Roaring Brook Press; Ages 4+

In the section for kids ages 9-12, Ellen talked about the latest Adam Gidwitz book, In A Glass Grimmly:

“This is a bloody marvelous, wonderfully horrible companion to Gidwitz’s award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm. In this Mother Goose-meets-the-Brothers Grimm version of ‘Jack and Jill,’ the two children will meet a talking frog – he’s a good guy – and lots of murderous giants, twisted mermaids, gruesome goblins, and other scary bad guys. But that’s okay, because what’s the point of going on a life-or-death quest if it’s easy-peasy?? A must-read for middle-graders!”

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz; $16.99; Dutton Juvenile; Ages 9+

Finally, in the section for teen readers, Megan raves about Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick:

“Bick’s follow-up to Ashes is another heart-pounding, frantic, action-packed adventure for those who can’t get enough of the zombie-apocolypse. As protagonist Alex fights to survive in a world gone seriously haywire, she begins to piece together just how dangerous her situation is. These are not the walking dead we know from television and film; they are cognizant beings, fueled as much by shrewd instinct as by animalistic blood lust. Bick keeps her complicated plot moving with plenty of twists and turns, creating a cringe-inducing, fascinating, and utterly entertaining read.”

Shadows: The Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick; $17.99; Egmont USA; Ages 14+

We love IndieBound and can’t wait to see what makes it into the future issues of IndieNext and Kids’ Next. We have plenty of copies of this season’s newsletter, as well as back issues, at the store for your taking!

Not a Valentine story

Bear has a secret admirer. Not the kind that sends unsigned notes, but the kind that leaves him yummy treats every morning. When Bear wakes up, he finds a carrot on the rock outside his cave, and on each succeeding day, he finds more: first two carrots, then three, then a bunch, and even a flower. Bear busies himself in finding stuff to give back to his new friend, singing “I wonder who it is.” Each night he tries to wait to see who is coming by, but as hard as he tries, Bear always falls asleep. Until one night when he hears someone singing back. Could it be that he has found his new friend?

This book is another extra-special story from Daniel Pinkwater. We’ve loved his others books about bears in the past; this book is no different. Though the title is Bear in Love, don’t confuse it with yet another Valentine’s Day story. I think that the story is a sweet friendship story as well. It’s great for teaching a child to share with others, and it’s also a good story if a child is worried about having a friend that is different than he or she.

Bear in Love, by Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand; Candlewick Press; hardcover; $15.99; ages 3-6

Happy Reading,

Maryam

Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds

Marisol is in charge of painting the sky for the class mural, but she can’t find the color blue! She isn’t sure how to create the perfect sky without the perfect blue color and is worried she won’t be able to make a beautiful mural.
 
When she sees has the opportunity to watch the sky change from day to night — while riding home on the bus and then sitting on her front porch — Marisol realizes that the sky doesn’t HAVE to be blue. It can be whatever she wants it to be, while still becoming something absolutely beautiful.
Peter Reynolds is one of my absolute favorite authors. Sky Color is going to inspire kids AND adults, making for an awesome picture book. Just because we’ve been taught that the sky is blue doesn’t mean it has to be blue all the time. Sometimes it’s purple, pink, orange, grey…lots of colors. Marisol will help everyone realize that you don’t need the color blue to make a sky…be creative!
I also love the other books in Reynolds’ Creatrilogy series: The Dot and Ish. They also will help to spark a great sense of creativity in any child. Love them!
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds; $14.00; Candlewick; Ages 3+
Enjoy!
Amanda