Magan’s Children’s Book Reviews

Magan’s August Children’s Book Reviews

The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau

                Nothing exciting ever happens in the Hill of Dust, a small village in Mexico set in the 1950s. Eleven-year-old Teo has lost his sister and his mother is almost gone. One day, a group of gypsies arrive, bringing an extraordinary girl named Esma, who calls herself the Queen of Lighting. Esma’s grandmother, the Mistress of Destiny, tells them that they are to become lifelong friends. Teo and Esma work together to overcome the impossible and fulfill their fortune of becoming friends for life. The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau is a vibrant story that ignores racial backgrounds and encourages young readers to realize that nothing is impossible. This audiobook would be suitable for young middle-level readers.

Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin by Stan Sakai

                The Civil War has barely ended and the Shogun has gotten a hold on power in 17th century Japan. There is one master less samurai named Miyamoto Usagi, a.k.a. Usagi Yojimbo who wanders the land. Usagi Yojimbo: The Ronin by cartoonist Stan Sakai is the first book in a series of graphic novels of a samurai’s many adventures during a time of political uneasiness.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas

                A young boy begins an exciting adventure, and discovers many different colorful animals. By the end, he finds he has a parade of animals trailing behind him! I Went Walking by Sue Williams is a charming poem for toddlers that teaches colors, animals, and simple vocabulary. The story also includes lovely watercolor pictures by Julie Vivas.

The Truth and Myths about Sea Monsters by L.A. Peacock

                Did you know that some prehistoric whales looked like crocodiles? And the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest ocean! These are some truths about sea monsters, and you’ll also discover some myths about sea monsters such as giant squids attacking submarines in the nonfiction book The Truth and Myths About Sea Monsters by L.A. Peacock.

Check them out!

  • The Lightning Queen

    By Laura Resau

    I Went Walking

    By Sue Williams and Julie Vivas

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    Magan’s April Children’s Book Reviews

    Magan’s April Children’s Book Reviews

    I Want a Monster! By Elsie Gravel

                    All of Winnie’s friends have pet monsters. So she convinces Papa to take here to the Monsterium to adopt baby a monster. They end up adopting a baby Oogly-Wump named Gus. Gus grows up ad matures. But he seems too calm and even a little bit boring. What’s the matter with Gus? I Want a Monster! By Elsie Gravel is an adorable book about a girl and her pet monster.

    Bloom by Doreen Cronin and David Small

                    Bloom is an unusual fairy. She is a mud fairy who lives in a glass kingdom. Her footsteps were heavy and she tracked mud everywhere. A king and a queen ruled over this kingdom. There was an ordinary girl named Genevieve who cared for the queens’ exquisite crustal sugar spoon. The townsfolk don’t’ like Bloom’s mud, so she leaves. Years later, the glass kingdom is falling apart, and there is only one fairy that can save it. Bloom by Doreen Cronin and David Small is a fairy-tale-like book about an adorable little mud fairy that all children are bound to love.

    Forest of Wonders by Linda Sue Park

                    Raffa Santana is a young gifted apothecary who lives near the Forest of Wonders. He comes upon an injured bat and makes a remedy from a rare crimson vine from deep in the forest. The remedy does much more that cure it; it turns into a very unique bat. Raffa does experiments that require him to travel to the forbidden city of Gilden. But he discovers many things that make him wonder whether groundbreaking botanical inventions are worth giving up protecting the Forest of Wonders. Forest of Wonders by Linda Sue Park is a very engaging book that is part of a promising trilogy.

    Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell

                    Stella Montgomery lives in the Hotel Majestic in the small town of Withering-by-Sea. But one night Stella witnesses a crime and soon enough Professor Stark and his thugs are after her. With the help of a girl named Gert, Stella sets out to outwit Professor Stark and rescue his mistreated assistant. Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell is an exhilarating book full of adventure that older children are sure to clamor for.

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    Magan’s Top Ten Childrens’ Books of 2015

    Top 10 Childrens’ Books of 2015

    Magan Stuhr

    Hello! My name is Magan Stuhr and I am in 7th grade. I have been the childrens’ book reviewer here at APL since last summer. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, and playing volleyball.  After a lot of reading, here is my list of top 10 childrens’ books of 2015.

    #10: Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant; Illus. by Arthur Howard

    Mr. Putter likes to read books with Tabby. When he sees a poster for story time with your pet, he immediately signs up, so he and Tabby prepare the book they are to read to the children. I have loved Cynthia Rylant’s books for a long time, and am excited to see another new book by her!

    #9: McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger; Illus. by John Hendrix

    McToad’s favorite day of the week is Thursday. Why? Because he mows Tiny Island! There’s only one problem: It will take every single type of transportation to get him there. I enjoyed this book because McToad shows persistence, which I think is a key character trait. It is also interesting to see a simple task involving a complicated background.

    #8: The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle

    Step right up to the nonsense show! With funny characters and silly rhymes, this book is sure to make you scratch your head in confusion. Here is another Eric Carl book which, as usual, is truly magnificent with his collage-style illustrations.

    #7: Waiting by Kevin Henkes

    The five patient toys were always there, waiting. There was the owl with spots, the pig with the umbrella, the bear with the kite, the dog with the sled, and the rabbit. Then a mysterious cat comes. What is the cat’s secret? I enjoyed reading Waiting because I loved the soft illustrations. I am attracted to this book because the stuffed animals again show a key character trait- patience.

    #6: Sharing the Bread by Pat Zietlow Miller; Illus. by Jill McElmurry

    The family’s getting ready for Thanksgiving! There’s so much to be done! Baste the turkey, bake the pie, make the placemats, and so much more! This book has cute illustrations, which I will always cherish, and also rhymes! I have always loved simple poetry.

    #5: Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook by Anne Vittur Kennedy

    Do you know how to be a farm dog? If not, then do not worry, as Ragweed the farm dog will show you the dos and don’ts of being a farm dog. If you’re going to learn you might as well learn from the best. Ragweed as a character is very adorable; his excited personality is quirky and fun. It is funny and cute the way Ragweed describes the life of a farm dog.

    #4: The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt; Illus. by Oliver Jeffers

    One day, Duncan receives a bunch of postcards. As he reads over them, he sees that they are from his lost and forgotten crayons. He goes and picks them all up, but they’ve changed so much they don’t fit in his crayon box anymore. I love how the illustrations in this book showed the crayons all performing different activities, all while waiting for Duncan to come pick them up. The story plot is also very unique, partly from the view of a crayon. Drew Daywalt draws such a colorful story full of liveliness for young readers to enjoy.

    #3: We Forgot Brock! By Carter Goodrich

    Phillip has an imaginary friend named Brock. They go everywhere together. But when they go to the Big Fair, they get separated. Phillip looks everywhere for Brock, but has no luck. Where could he be? The illustrations in this book are quite unique as the imaginary friends and the real people are all drawn in different styles. It is heartwarming how much they care for each other as friends; as they look for each other for hours no matter what the circumstances.

    #2: Max the Brave by Ed Vere

    Max is a very, very brave kitten. He would chase a mouse ay day. So, he sets off on his quest to chase a mouse. There’s just one little problem. He doesn’t know what a mouse looks like. In this book, the illustrations may be simple, but they are also adorable. Here, Max shows a key character trait- bravery.

    #1: Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger

    Max and Marla are true Olympians. They never give up and are very persistent. They will overcome any problem they face. No matter how long it takes… Max and Marla are very dedicated to riding their sled, and show another trait- persistence.

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