Showing posts from September, 2013

Elephant and Piggie written and illustrated by Mo Willems, RL 1

In honor of the publication of the 20th book in the Elephant & Piggie series which debuted in 2007, I have updated this review from 11/09. Books are shown in order of publication. I definitely miss my days as a bookseller when I had the pleasure of reading these out loud over and over, to everyone from toddlers to visiting classes of sixth graders! **Update: 22 book series** Ok. I'll be honest. I am jealous of  Mo Willems '   talent. And sense of humor. And his illustration skills. I tell you that now to preface anything negative I may blurt out at any point during this review. He has a HUGE following of devoted parents and children and, while I don't always share their level of devotion, I do get it and I do think that it is deserved. I jumped on board the Mo Willems bus when  Knuffle Bunny:  A Cautionary Tale  came out in 2004, the year my youngest son was born, and we loved (and love) that book to bits. I cheered when it won the Caldecott Hono

The Three-Ring Rascals Series, #1 : The Show Must Go On, by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise, 168 pp, RL 3

Three-Ring Rascals is the new series from  Kate and Sarah Klise , authors of the brilliant 43 Cemetery Road Series of graphic epistolary novels that my nine-year-old (and I) adore. This new series from the Klise sisters is equally fantastic as well as being a debut title for the new Algonquin Young Readers imprint (check out my review of Amy Herrick's The Time Fetch for all the details about this exciting new publisher of quality kid's books)! The first book in the series,   Three-Ring Rascals : The Show Must Go On! , has all the great characters, kooky plot lines and wonderful illustrations found in  43 Cemetery Road Series , but a different, more traditional story-telling format. I was worried that this (and what looked like more words - my son is still at the age where some books have too many words) might deter my son, but he jumped right into this new series and read almost non-stop. The illustrations on every page supplement the text (and there are some of

43 Old Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You, written by Kate Klise and illustrated by Sarah Klise, 147pp, RL 3

I've had my eye on  Kate and Sarah Klise's 43 Cemetery Road  series for years now. In fact, I started writing this review almost three years ago. It took summer vacation and a reading challenge (ie: bribery scheme) and my youngest being just the right age to enjoy these fantastic books for me to sit down and finish writing this review. Happily, in the intervening years, the Klise sisters have written three more books in the series with book 6, Greetings from the Graveyard , due out in April of 2014 and the first four books in the series are available in paperback! The  43 Cemetery Road  are truly a unique treat. They are a great step up from chapter books like The Magic Tree House and Junie B Jones , and infinitely more creative and fun. While the titles and setting for this series are spooky and potentially creepy, the Klises aptly describe these books as a "giggly" ghost stories and they go above and beyond packing them to the brim with humor, starting with

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, 128 p, RL 3

Fortunately, the Milk is the newest kid's book from Neil Gaiman with illustrations by  Skottie Young , popular American comic book artist who has worked with various Marvel comic characters and illustrated the graphic novel adaptations of L Frank Baum's OZ books.  Fortunately, the Milk  is an absolute delight to read, perfect for bedtime and a really brilliant gift for any little person you know. In fact, reminds me very much of a starter version of Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's fantastic Far-Flung Adventures trilogy (see below). I have to confess, having only read Gaiman's kid's books and not his adult titles, and knowing a bit about his work for adults, I am used to his stories being a bit on the dark side, as with  Coraline and The Graveyard Book .  I was pleasantly surprised by the lighthearted absurdity that he brings to  Fortunately, the Milk , which is a little bit like a kid's version of Douglas Adam's   The Hitchhiker's G