Thursday, June 17, 2010

June is Busting Out All Over

....with great books!

Biblioburro: A True Story From Colombia

The incredible and inspiring story of Luis Soriano and his faithful donkeys, Alfa and Beto, is now available in picture book form. As a fan of My Librarian is a Camel and Down Cut Shin Creek, I'm definitely looking forward to this story! While you're waiting for our copies, check out this New York Times profile from 2008.

City Dog, Country Frog

What is this? Rumor has it that this is a sweet (yet funny) tearjerker from Mo Willems. I'm a big fan of Willems, but he tends toward the funny and zany. Really excited about this one. This marks his first book as author-only, rather than author-illustrator.

(The final Knuffle Bunny, out this fall, is also supposed to be a tearjerker!)

Emily's Fortune

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is no stranger to tearjerkers herself, but Emily's Fortune seems to be more on the rollicking adventures side of things. Children's books about Western Expansion are sometimes filled with lots of color and hijinks, and I'm confident that Naylor will definitely bring it.

Face to Face With Manatees

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Face to Face books by National Geographic are *awesome.* This is their latest. I have two requests for National Geographic: please do Face to Face books on pandas and zebras!

Get Real: What Kind of World Are You Buying?

My undergraduate major was in Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences from Louisiana State University; along with classes on family life, human development, and sociology, I also took classes on consumer issues and advocacy, which peaked my interest in consumer issues. Teens have enormous influential buying power, and advertisers and companies have been aware of this for years. I'm thinking that this is in the same vein as Chew On This and the young reader's version of The Omnivore's Dilemma; this will definitely go on my to-be-read list!

Heart to Heart

As someone who was a huge Lurlene McDaniel fan when I was a preteen, I'm amazed that she hasn't run out of life-threatening illness and conditions to write about. Her latest involves a heart transplant (and has received positive reviews). When I fall into a reading rut and nothing interests me, there are a few authors that I can rely on to get me through a reading drought: Ann Martin's The Babysitters Club books (not her later critically acclaimed and Newbery Honor winning books; I love them, but I need Kristy, Claudia, Mary Ann, and Stacey to pull me through), Sydney Taylor's All of a Kind Family books, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Lurlene McDaniel's Dawn Rochelle books. In fact, I recently reread the Dawn Rochelle books; it's weird to say that reading about teens facing cancer is enjoyable, but it's definitely engrossing reading (it's not like Children's Hospital, which is a fascinating read even though some of the medical information and statistics are out of date or Ways to Live Forever, which I don't anticipate reading again).

House of Dolls

Children's books about dolls and toys creep me out. Seriously. And Francesca Lia Block can definitely bring the.....well, *not* creepy, but....unusual storyline. House of Dolls, apparently, isn't of this variety. Interesting.

How Animals Work

DK fans, have you had enough? Of course not. I've admitted that DK books can overwhelm me at times, but I definitely have plans for this one when it comes in. Serious animal fans will definitely devour this one.

Little Pink Pup

As a late night talk show host would say, "Didja hear about this? True story!" A dachshund adopts a (porcine) runt of the litter and mothers it along with her own pups. FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD. This sounds like something Dick King-Smith would make up. Don't believe me? Check out proud author Johanna Kerby's site here. Pink is the pig and Tink is the dachshund (an amazing dog). Be sure to compare the "then and now" pictures.

Love Bites: The Unofficial Saga of Twilight

Are we Twilight-ed out yet? We shall see. Eclipse is out in theaters on June 30th, so this will be a great tie-in.

Magic Below Stairs

An orphan. Wizards. And set in England? Hold your horses. Kirkus Reviews gave this an excellent review ("lovely and lively"), and they would have definitely crushed any mediocre Harry Potter wanna-be (they're a little cranky sometimes and less forgiving of children's literature than some other review journals). This isn't one of them.

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink

The mighty Jane Yolen returns (along with her very talented daughter, Heidi Yolen Stemple) with an antidote to the perfect pink princess stories that have flooded the market.

The Other Half of My Heart

I'm eagerly anticipating this story about two biracial sisters (with different skin tones)competing in a black preteen beauty contest.

Pop: The Invention of Bubble Gum

Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish. How many pieces do you wish? Kids love bubble gum, so this should be a popular nonfiction title.

The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt

A thirteen-year-old decides to change her personality to match her name; sounds cute (and I'm sure there are lessons that are learned at the story's conclusion).

Shooting Kabul

Deborah Ellis's Breadwinner trilogy is extraordinary, but the stories eventually progress to YA. As Afghanistan is still very much in the news, books about this turbulent country will definitely be needed.

Sir Charlie: The Funniest Man in the World

I am insanely impatient to read this. Sid Fleischman did an amazing job writing his Houdini and Mark Twain biographies; I cannot wait to see how he handles a more controversial subject. I know that his political issues are definitely addressed, but I'm very interested in how Fleischman handles Chaplin's personal issues. I'll find out soon enough!

Sisters Red

I can't *quite* figure out what this is, but it looks like shades of Little Red Riding Hood and werewolves. So, sounds pretty awesome?

Sorta Like a Rock Star

The annotation in the catalog is a little misleading (we don't write the annotations), because the ending is apparently a feel-good one, with School Library Journal noting that it's "the answer to all those angst-ridden and painfully grim novels in the shortcut lingo of short attention-span theater." All right, then. Sounds good to me.


Oh, this shall make for fun reference questions. I can't wait to hear how this title is requested. Apparently, it's "spaceheads." Fabulous. It should be hugely popular; it's by Jon Scieszka ("chess-ka") and involves a fifth grader who thinks two classmates are aliens. Excellent.

The Suburb Beyond the Stars

Not having read this, I'm not sure how to describe it (read the catalog annotation). M.T. Anderson is a unique author, so this should definitely be an unusual reading experience!

The Village Garage

Let's face it: some of the "throughout the seasons" books are not the most exciting or appealing books. This looks like a great addition; workers at the village garage take care of their customers' cars throughout the season.

Volcano! The Icelandic Eruption of 2010 and Other Hot, Smoky, Fierce, and Fiery Mountains

As this is a National Geographic children's book, I'm confident that this will be chock-full of incredible pictures and child-friendly text.


A zombie book for kids! Very cool. We have YA zombie books, but they're really not suitable for the younger readers. This looks cute (click on "more information" for a summary) and funny, but with zombies. And that's okay.

That should keep everyone busy, right?

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