Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush

The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, by S. Jones Rogan (2007), is a fabulous book.

Penhaligon Brush is a fox. He was abandoned by his parents, who went to find a better world, when he was young, so he stayed with a family of badgers. His favorite was his badger brother, Bancroft (the badger shown on the cover).

Penhaligon journeys from Ramble-on-the-Water to the town of Porthleven to meet his brother, but when he gets there he finds that the whole city has been over-run by a ferret army. It is up to him to defeat the spoiled nephew of Lady Furball Feline, to get back Furball Manor, who is leading the ferrets...

This book is both entertaining, has a lot of detail, and something I can't put my finger on, without opening the book....I loved it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

This Side of Magic, Keyholders Volume 1

This Side of Magic is a book about two ordinary kids, named Penny and Luke, who have a neighbor named Mr. Leery. Mr. Leery is a Keyholder, a regular human who defends the real world from the magical world. He is the last remaining Keyholder, and he takes Penny and Luke to be his apprentices. Mr. Leery has a cat named Mo, who is his "link." A link is a magical being bonded to a human by spirit and a bracelet with a crystal (in this case, it's purple amethyst). So Penny and Luke become the new Keyholders, but there's another new keyholder, Natalie...this part comes at the end of the book.

This is the book is about the beginning of an adventure that will take willpower, determination, and magical beings to keep the balance of the two worlds. I like this book because of the fast paced plot, with not much "blah blah blah,"said this person and "blah blah blah" said the other person. I would recommend it to an eight year who isn't ready for Harry Potter.

The next book, The Other Side of Magic, is next on my reading list.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Prince of Irleand and the Three Magic Stallions

Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions by Bryce Milligan, illustrated by Preston McDaniels.

This book is about an Irish prince whose mother dies and time passes and the king, his father, marries another woman who bears the king two more sons. Wanting her sons to claim the throne, the queen puts a geis (pronounced gaysh, meaning a kind of magic spell or curse) on him. The geis is that he
"sleep two nights under the same roof nor eat two meals from the same fire until you have brought [the queen] the three magic stallions that the young giant Sean O'Donal keeps at the edge of the western world."

But before he goes, he puts a geis on her...

Can he fulfill his task, and foil the wicked queen?

I liked this book very much because it is a different kind of fairy tale--it's Irish and that makes a nice change. I liked the illustrations a lot.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nini Here and There

Nini here and there by Anita Lobel (2007) is a very touching book.

It is about a cat whose owners are moving to a new home. She gets zipped up in a black bag, and then falls asleep in it. There she dreams that she is in a hot air balloon, a boat, and a few other things.

When she wakes up, she gets unzipped and let out of the bag. At her new home, there is a field with butterflies, a white dog, and more nice things.

It's a bit like the last book I reviewed, about dreaming and the power of the mind to take you places.

The very last sentence is the most touching of all. But I'm not going to tell you what it is, so you gotta read the book!

Here's a link to it on Amazon:Nini Here and There

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Willy the Dreamer

Willy the Dreamer, written and illustrated by Anthony Browne is a very elegant book. It is a about a chimpanzee named Willy (but I don't really think he really is a chimpanzee. Browne has another book about Willy and at the very end of that book there is actually a picture of a chimpanzee mask, and a person walking away, so Willy could be anyone of us, disguised).

In this book, Willy dreams he's a movie star, or a singer, or a sumo wrestler, a ballet dancer, a painter and more. The pictures are funny, in part because of the bananas hidden in them, and in part because of jokes like making the hammerhead shark's head look like a real hammer, and the famous writer part is a chimpanzee/banana Alice in Wonderland.

This is one of my all-time favorites. It has this deep something...I can't put it into words.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Julius, the Baby of the World

Julius, the Baby of the World, by Kevin Henkes, is about two opinions that do not meet. A little bit about Kevin Henkes--Kevin Henkes and his award winning books are famous throughout the United States. He's written many books about mice, like Chester's Way, and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? NO! Different author). I, and all my second grade classmates, had to write a book based on Chester's Way. Know what mine is called? Victor's Way! Now, on with the story.

Julius, the Baby of the World, is about Lily, her baby brother, and her parents. The parents think that Julius is the "baby of the world." Lily thinks the opposite. It takes a party for Julius where a cousin insults her brother (using the same words Lily had been using) to drive Lily to loving Julius. Because after all, he is her brother.

I recommend this book for ages four through seven, and the children's lucky parents. It is funny, smart, and sweet

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Diary of a Worm.

Diary of a Worm. by Doreen Cronin, with pictures by Harry Bliss (2003), is an all time classic!
It will always be loved by kids and their lucky parents. It is written in the first person--in the words of an intelligent worm child--and it describes things that happen to him in his daily life as a worm. He plays with his friend, Spider, he describes some of the dangers of worm life, like hopscotch, and he goes to school. Once he forgot to bring his lunch, so he ate his homework! His teacher told him to write "I will not eat my homework" ten times, but when he was finished he ate that too.

You will never look at worms in the same way after reading this book. Worms are good for the earth, and worms (at least in this book) are funny!

In my book rating system, this rates an A+ ! I recommend this book for ages 3 to 8. There are two sequels--Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly (but not Diary of a Wimpy Kid! That's another story...)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Luke on the Loose

Luke On The Loose
by Harry Bliss (a Toon Book, 2009)

This book is extraordinarily funny! It's about a boy called Luke who chases pigeons all the way New York into Brooklyn and up onto the top of a water tower! As he chases the pigeons, he scares people to heck, and almost kills himself in the street . His dad organizes a search, and the fire brigade find him asleep on top of the water tower, and return him to his parents.

This is a Toon Book, which is graphic easy reader--a comic book book for readers five to seven, but I enjoyed it at age eight.

Monday, February 2, 2009

City, by David Macaulay

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction
by David Macaulay (1974) is the story of how an imaginary Roman city goes from just a few tents to a metropolis with marvels of engineering like an aqueduct and a bridge 60 feet over a river. His trusty drawings build a picture in your mind as you watch the city growing.

I especially liked the description of the building of the forum, the heart of the city, because that was cool. There are fascinating details, like how Roman sidewalks were built, and how to build a good aqueduct. Fact--aqueducts were built about fifty feet off the ground, to keep the water from being poisoned or stolen.

This a bit hard for the average third grader to read to himself, and is more for fourth graders and up. But younger kids can enjoy having it read out loud to them, and studying the pictures. Definitely! You have to study the pictures to get what he's saying, and the pictures are awesome.

For more great non-fiction, visit the Non Fiction Monday posts at Picture Book of the Day.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Poptropica rivals some of the other computer games that I play. It's surely one of the top five. This game is both interesting and challenging, and has no combat. In Poptropica, there are islands and on each island is a quest. On each quest, you have to face a challenge and earn something when you complete it. But your quest is never done, because new islands always come! You get to make your own character. Also you can remember your character by clicking the save button in the lower right hand corner of the screen.

Coming soon: Mythology!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Chicken of the Family

The Chicken of the Family
by Mary Amato illustrated by Delphine Durand (2008)

Imagine you're a kid with two older, annoying sisters who tease you all the time. And then one day they tell you you are a chicken. And you believe them. That's what this book is about.

Henrietta, the youngest sister, is shocked when Kim and Clare, her two sisters, tell her she is a chicken. She isn't sure she believes them. But they put an egg in her bed, and feathers by her bedside, and say all these things that aren't quite true about her, and she ends up believing them. So she goes to the farm next door, where there is a hen house garden, and she plays tag and follow-the-leader with the chickens. Her sisters say she has to come home, that she's not a chicken, and that they are going to get into trouble. But Henrietta likes being a chicken, playing with her new friends in peace....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The King Who Rained

The King Who Rained is about the trickiness of the English language, and that's why I like it. This book is both fun and a tiny bit educational, especially for young children. It is about a girl whose parents tell her things that she misunderstands, like "there was a king who rained for forty years." Of course, they meant "reigned" but the girl thought "rained." That's just one example--if you want more, read the book! The illustrations are really funny. They show what the girl thinks, not what is really being said.

This is a good book for kids five and up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mythbusters-- the best tv series!

Mythbusters is very eductional and has a lot of booms, bangs, and laughs. It is brought to you and me by the Discovery Channel, which also has other good shows. On the show, the Mythbusters "put myths to the test." My favorite is their baseball myth episode. If you happen to be a fan of Mythbusters, let me know!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper!!!!!

Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper (Bk. 1)
by Kazu Kibuishi (2008)

This is a graphic novel for kids ages 7 and up. It's the first of a series of books where two kids, Emily and her brother Navin go into a mysterious world where they meet their mother's grandfather and a pink bunny named Miskit and his robot friends. They have to rescue their mother from a tentacled creature and face an evil wizard. The amulet is helpful charm belonging to Emily which helps her overcome obstacles in the other world in which kids find themselves. Emily almost fell under the power of the dark wizard, but she was able to fight it off because of the amulet.

The drawings are excellent--I really liked all the detail in them.

I took this book this book to school, and I lent it to two of my friends, but I never got it my mother got another copy for me. And now my little brother wants his own copy!

I'm looking forward to the next book--I just read on the author's blog that it's on its way!