Skip to main content

Lights, Camera, Middle School! Babymouse: Tales from the Locker, Book 1 by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm, 208pp, RL 4

After twenty books, Babymouse is growing up! Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm are aging up their cupcake loving, heart t-shirt wearing, bent-whiskered mouse along with the graphic novel format for a new series, Tales from the Locker. The first book in the series, Lights, Camera, Middle School! is a mix of traditional and graphic novel, but Babymouse, despite a cool wardrobe change, is still a mouse with a big imagination who wants to do big things. And, she is still a mouse who makes mistakes, faces defeat and still comes out on top with humor.

Babymouse begins middle school worried about the usual things like being able to open and close her locker, making new friends and navigating the cafeteria at lunch. And, she doesn't want to fit in anymore. Now Babymouse wants to stand out. Illustrations on almost every page, as well as occasional comics panels - all in black and white, the pink is gone - continue to bring Babymouse's exuberance and imagination to life while remaining be highly readable.
In Lights, Camera, Middle School! Babymouse decides that the best way to become famous is to join the Film Club! Babymouse is inspired by Ms. Octavia, the film club adviser, used to work in Hollywood as a screenwriter. She heads home to do research and watch movies, deciding that the epic is her favorite genre because is has elements of all the genres - romance, comedy, drama and adventure. And, they always have elephants. When Babymouse is able to get the members of the club to agree on a genre for their student made film, Ms. Octavia tells her, "Since you were so successful in bringing everyone to consensus, it only makes sense for you to be the director." 
If you know Babymouse, you probably have a good idea of what ensues. Babymouse knocks out a script that has several (international) location changes and charges up her WHIZ BANG™(think iPhone) in preparation to start filming. The chaos and drama begins with the accidental deletion of the first day's filming and peaks with a flooding of the bathroom at Babymouse's house, resulting in $500.00 of repairs. Throughout this, Babymouse learns to work with difficult people, how to work as a team and she picks up some great cinematic skills. In fact, the Holms even include a glossary of important film terms in the backmatter.

If Lights, Camera, Middle School is any indication, Tales from the Locker is going to be every bit as superb (and popular), if not better, than the series that preceded it, especially knowing the other works by Jennifer L. Holm. 

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…