Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Visit to the Sesame Street Library by Deborah Hautzig

A Visit to the Sesame Street Library by Deborah Hautzig - 32 pages

Big bird visits the bookstore, but doesn't have enough money to buy all the books he wants.  The owner suggests he check out the library because the books are "free to check out."  When he arrives, Big Bird stumbles into story time and finds his friend, Grover.  They soon visit many places within the library, as Grover provides a tour, before looking for the book Big Bird wanted.  When they couldn't find the book, they asked the librarian for help.  Will they find it?

While Sesame Street is an ongoing show, the illustrations in this book are clearly dated.  They look like they belong in the 1980s.  Plus, Grove shows Big Bird records and cassettes to check out and demonstrates their use.  Still, it shows the basics of a library and its functions.

Our Library by Eve Bunting

Our Library by Eve Bunting - 32 pages

In this books, the animal children are told the library will have to shut down.  They checked out and read book to make the needed repairs only to discover that the owners want the land the back.  What are they to do?  They read more and hope to find a way to keep the library.  Will they succeed?

I thought the story was cute and taught the important of libraries to literacy and learning.  The illustration were adorable and I loved the hidden ladybugs on most pages.

The Library by Sarah Stewart

The Library by Sarah Stewart - 36 pages

Elizabeth Brown learned to read early and loved it.  When she went off to college, she took a steamer trunk full of books with her and opened a lending library in her room.  She even preferred a book to a date or being out with friends.  After graduating, she settled down as a tutor and spent her money on more books.  Soon she had a houseful of books and read while running errands.  when she had nowhere left to store books, you'll be surprised at what she did.

I liked this story and saw quite a few parallels to my own life, but I'll never have as many books as she!

Little Witch Learns to Read by Deborah Hautzig

Little Witch Learns to Read by Deborah Hautzig - 46 pages

In this easy reader, Little Witch loved learning to read.  Soon thereafter, her teacher took the class to the library and she takes a book home to read.  Her family doesn't like her idea, so the next book she brings home she used a spell to keep it hidden.  However, her family finds it anyway but will opinions change when Little Witch reads the book to them?

Simple story that also teaches the importance of reading and not to lie to adults.  Would be nice to read around Halloween.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

Raising Steam: A Discworld Novel by Terry Pratchett --- 365 pages

The 40th --- believe it or not, the 40th! --- book by Terry Pratchett, the acclaimed British author of some of the funniest fantasy ever written, much of it set on his own creation of the Discworld, an alternate reality universe that operates according to a set of magical principles that mirror the absurdity of our own.

Raising Steam is the third book to focus on the career of ultimate con man Moist von Lipwig, who has been persuaded to put his talents to better use by Lord Vetinari, the Patrician who rules Ankh-Morpork with a velvet-gloved steel touch. Moist is allowed to live under an indefinitely suspended sentence of death so long as he carries out the tasks assigned him by the Patrician. So far these have included reforming the defunct Post Office and rescuing the new clacks service in Going Postal, and reorganizing the Royal Bank and restoring the Royal Mint in Making Money.

Now in Raising Steam Moist is put in charge of shepherding a game-changing technological advance without unraveling the entire social fabric of the Discworld in the process. Dick Simnel has invented steam locomotion, and the world will not be the same again. As if that's not enough, the uber-conseervative elements among the dwarves are stirring up trouble for the Low King, who has championed change and interspecies cooperation.

In the midst of all the fun, Pratchett has tucked in some pithy observations on the inevitability of change, and the pros and cons of embracing technology's mixed blessings. Pratchett is an author who provides a very big payoff for your willing suspension of disbelief. Raising Steam, as Dick Simnel would say, is gradely!

Click HERE to read a review of Raising Steam in the Washington Post.   

Click HERE to visit Terry Pratchett's web site and read about Raising Steam.

Sam's First Library Card by Gail Herman

Sam's First Library Card by Gail Herman - 29 pages

Sam gets visits the library to get his first library card.  While there, he checks out multiple books to take home and read.  However, when they become due, Sam doesn't return three.  What will happen?

The book followed the basic idea of a visit to the library, nothing spectacular added.  The illustrations were comical and I think kids will enjoy them.

Tithe by Holly Black

Tithe by Holly Black  331 pages

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces the sixteen-year-old back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms -- a struggle that could very well mean her death.