Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mish-mash in brief…

I’ve been playing catch-up with the ‘new’ book cart, filled with newly catalogued books, waiting to move into processing and then onto shelves in the Doucette Library. Lots of picture books to read through. I know, I know --it’s a tough life but someone has to do it.

Here are few picture book highlights:

CookieBot!: a Harry and Horsie adventure by Katie Van Camp and Lincoln Agnew (823 V276C PIC BK)
What does a young boy do when he can’t reach the cookie jar? Build a robot that can do the reaching for him, of course. But what happens when the CookieBot runs amok down 5th Avenue in New York City? Why, Horsie comes to the rescue and everyone lives happily ever after. Sort of reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes. Love the retro-inspired illustrations with a muted, limited colour palette. Grades K-2.

Except if by Jim Averbeck (823 Av35E PIC BK)
A circular story that plays with our expectations (and those of the illustrated characters). When is a baby bird not a baby bird? When it turns out the ‘hatchling’ emerging from the egg is actually a snake who will slither along the ground unless, of course, it turns out to be a baby lizard who will use legs to walk. And on it goes. Very playful. Grades K-2.

Octopus soup by Mercer Mayer (823 M452O2 PIC BK)
Wordless slap-stick fun as a young octopus leaves home coping with one misadventure after another and trying to stay out of the cooking pot. Colourful panels fill each page with silly action. Grades K-2.

The outback by Annaliese Porter and Browyn Bancroft (811 PorO PIC BK)
The author was eleven years-old when she wrote this poem about the Austrialian desert and how this  vast landscape, seemingly devoid of life, is in reality filled with life and colour. The illustrations are stylized and reminscient of Austrialian Aborginal art, creating a strong feel for the landscape. Grades 3-7.

Ten birds by Cybele Young (513.211 YoT 2011 PIC BK)
More than just a counting book, it also speaks to ingenuity and what it means to be ‘labeled’. All the birds labeled as ‘Remarkable’, ‘Brilliant’, ‘Quite Advance’, etc. devise some kind of mechanism that allows them to cross a river. But it’s the bird called ‘Needs Improvement’ who simply walks across the bridge that was there the whole time. Clever. Terrific illustrations.

Tigress by Helen Cowcher (823 C8387T PIC BK)
Not a recent publication but new to the Doucette Library, this book addresses the compromises that must be made between human needs and those of a mother tiger and her cubs, in India. Beautiful, bold illustrations with warm colours. Grades 1-4.

Won Ton: a cat tale told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw (811 WarW 2011 PIC BK)
Using a Japanese poetic form, based on haiku, senryu focuses on “the foibles of human nature—or in this case, cat nature” Won Ton is a shelter cat lucky enough to be adopted by a boy and his family. Settling in has its trials and tribulations but all works out in the end. Grades 2-6.

And, here are a few novels I’ve enjoyed this month:

Foiled by Jane Yolen (823 Y78F7 FIC)
The first in a series of graphic novels that introduces us to Aliera, a 10th grader who is somewhat marginalized at school but a star fencer outside of school. When a good looking new guy shows up at school all the girls including Aliera,develop a major crush on him. It’s while waiting for him to show up for a date that Aliera discovers that she has special powers connected to her ‘weapon’ (a fencing foil), that she can see all sorts of mythical creatures including fairies and trolls. She is the ‘Defender’ of the world. Can’t wait for part two. Grades 6-10.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
This is the final installment in this steampunk trilogy that continues to follow Alek and Dylan in an alternate reality on Earth during World War I. Lots of action and plot lines to keep you guessing. Grades 7 and up.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Similar in style to his Newbery winner, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, we are drawn into two storylines, alternating between a written narrative for Ben’s story (in the 1970s) and wordless, full page illustrations for Rose’s (in 1923). Both are interesting stories that keep you wondering how they’ll resolve and eventually connect. Beautifully produced (but really hefty) book. Grades 4-8.


shelf-employed said...

Great choices. I loved Octopus Soup and Wonderstruck; and now I just have to read Ten Birds! It sounds wonderfully clever.

Template Design | Elque 2007