Monday, February 28, 2011

The Making of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, an inspired winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal, has absorbed middle grade readers since its initial release.

Many kids love the idea of reading a 511 page book, albeit one filled with pages of marvelous illustrations that enhance and extend the writing. The story of a young orphan living in the Paris train station in the 1930s and a mysterious toymaker engages reader page by brilliant page.

Take a look at Mr. Selznick's video about the making of Hugo Cabret.

And if that only whets your appetite for more information about this enchanting book, check out the post on Watch, Connect, Read for other videos and links about Hugo Cabret , including more from the author.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Suggestions from Real Kids!

Roark, one of our all-time favorite library patrons, is back with some great suggestions for middle grade readers and above.

Roark is a 5th grader at Jamestown Elementary School and an excellent reader. He often reads well above grade level as some of his choices reflect, so the content of a few of his recommendations may not be suitable for all readers his age. This is often an issue for advanced young readers--finding that balance between reading ability and appropriate content. We are careful about what books we suggest, and always encourage parents to be aware of what their children are reading.

So let's get to Roark's books, comments, and ratings (5 stars is tops), starting with some choices for younger readers:

*** The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future by Dav Pilkey is a good book that's not hard to read.

**** The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger is also a good choice. It's pretty easy and has cool instructions to make a Yoda.

**** Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer grabbed 4 out of 5 stars, and Roark didn't need to add any comments to this one--he recommends the entire series

*** The Seventh Level by Jody Feldman gets 3 out of 5 stars, despite being a little confusing and having more than one plot.

*** Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson is very confusing at first, but you will be rewarded if you make it through that part (though we have some issues with the whole idea of evil librarians trying to take over the world!) And if you like this book, there are three more in the Alcatraz series so far.

Here are suggestions for more advanced and older readers. These books are from out teen collection:

***** Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks rates Roark's maximum 5 stars, though he says it might frighten some 5th graders. If you like Evil Genius, then you'll want to look for Genius Squad and The Genius War.

*** Spray by Harry Edge is a good mystery that drags a bit at times.

***** I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore is definitely scary for younger readers, according to Roark. It's also quite long, has more than one plot which makes it a bit confusing, and does have some adult themes. But it earned 5 stars anyway!

If you have a young reader who would like to share their favorite books, please let us know!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Chapter Books!

We recently recommended some books about love for preschoolers, just in time for Valentine's Day. Today we want to direct you to books for elementary-age children.

Cam Jansen and the Valentine Baby Mystery by David A. Adler is a fun read for 2nd-4th graders. This special mystery even has memory games and Cam Jansen trivia.

The Malted Falcon by Bruce Hale is another hilarious mystery for 3rd-4th graders from the tattered casebook of Chet Gecko, 4th grade detective at Emerson Elementary School.

In Super-Secret Valentine by Abby Klein, first-grader
Freddy is afraid he will get laughed at for making a card for his friend Jessie and will delight newly independent readers.

For Geronimo Stilton fans, check out Geronimo's Valentine to see what that romantic mouse is up to. Kids ages 8 and up seem to adore this series.

We have more suggestions for Valentine's Day books for elementary school kids at What's Next booklists, our homegrown resource for book suggestions for readers of all ages--from babies to high schoolers!

Storytime Break

The week of February 14 there will be no storytimes because the Library will be working hard to bring you our exciting new catalog and account system.

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
When storytime's canceled,
We miss YOU!

All Arlington Public Library locations will be closed Monday, February 21 for Presidents' Day. All of us at Arlington Public Library wish you the happiest Valentine's Day and look forward to seeing you at storytime after February 21.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Love is in the Air!

With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, we thought we'd recommend some picture books about love. These are appropriate for children ages 3-6. Please be sure to ask us for more suggestions when you come to the library.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague answers that very import question.
The I Love You Book by Todd Parr celebrates unconditional love.
Old Bear and His Cub by by Olivier Dunrea explores the love between an old bear caring for his cub, but with an unexpected twist!
Henry in Love by by Peter McCarty. Who knew the power of a blueberry muffin?
My Mommy Hung the Moon: A Love Story by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Lauri Cornell celebrates the unconditional love between a mother and child.
Guess How Much I love You All Year Round by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram takes you through the year with Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare.

If you're looking for some fun activities, check out Reading Rockets and your child can learn how to make a pocket heart Valentine, write poems, and much more!

As always, we'd be happy to know what books about love your children love--please leave a comment!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Awesome Book of Thanks

You can read An Awesome Book (all about dreaming) and An Awesome Book of Thanks (all about being thankful) by Dallas Clayton for free. Just scroll across the bottom of the page and enjoy!