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Recommended Reads

 

February 2015

Great Books for Kids 2014 - Recommended and reviewed by the Hudson Library Youth Services Staff [PDF]
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Camping Trip

 

Freedom’s School by Lesa Cline-Ransome (jE)

“We went to sleep slaves and woke up free,” Lizzie’s mother tells her on the day freedom came. Though Lizzie and her brother Paul had worked beside their parents in the fields, the real work was about to begin when they started attending the special school built for the children of freed slaves. This story about their first taste of real learning is beautifully illustrated by the author’s husband James E. Ransome. It’s a wonderful book to foster youngsters’ curiosity about history and equality.

   

Camping Trip

Home by Carson Ellis (jE) 

What is home to you? A house, or an apartment, or a tree? In this beautifully illustrated story, Ellis explores homes of all shapes and sizes in a variety of situations. There are people homes, animal homes, nursery rhyme homes and out-of-this-world homes. The watercolor illustrations are finely detailed and include a few little surprises, like seahorse-riding knights, as well as an ‘I Spy’ of sorts: a winged visitor who appears on every two-page spread. It’s a simple concept that is sure to invite discussion about the many possibilities of home.

   

Over and Under the Snowe

First Snow by Peter McCarty (jE)

When Pedro arrives at his cousins’ home in the north, he doesn’t think he will like snow at all. “It is cold. And I don’t like cold,” he says. It snows all night long and the whole neighborhood goes out to play in it. Pedro doesn’t want to make snow angels – “too cold” - and he doesn’t like catching snowflakes on his tongue – “it tastes cold.” Then they all go sledding and he is talked into going down the big hill. He has a tremendously thumpy, bumpy ride and lands in a snow drift, which he decides is great fun, in spite of the cold. McCarty’s illustrations are as charming as always and this story will warm the hearts of young ones who love a snow day.

   
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Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Tween)

Sixth-grader Ally Nickerson can't read. She can see the words on the page, but they dance around and don't make any sense to her. Ashamed, she acts disruptive in class in order to hide the real issue of her dyslexia. Even though she's actually good at things like math and art, the other kids call her stupid and slow. So when a new teacher arrives and wants to help Ally, she is reluctant to come around and finally realize that maybe she isn't as hopeless as she thinks. Overall, this is an uplifting story about a girl who thinks that just because her mind works differently, she isn't as smart or as normal as the other kids in class. It would be a great read for any child who has ever felt like they are alone in their differences too.

  

   
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Creature Features by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page (j571.31 Je)

Have you ever wondered why a giraffe’s tongue is purple? Or why a giant panda has black around their eyes? Or even why a blobfish looks like it does? Steve Jenkins and Robin Page ask 25 unusual animals to explain their strange features in this informative and interesting book. Jenkins’ always bright and detailed illustrations coupled with a plethora of amazing facts will have kids of all ages fascinated with the animal kingdom. A chart at the end of the book with a list of each of the 25 animals along with their size relative to humans and what they eat is a nice bonus.

   
   

iF…:A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith, ill. By Steve Adams (j500 Sm)

A lot of the scientific concepts in our world are too big or too old for us to wrap our minds around! So David Smith decided to scale them down and compare them to everyday objects. For instance, what if the Milky Way galaxy was the size of a dinner plate? Or what if the 3.5 billion years of life on Earth were reduced to one hour? Smith covers the universe, animals, humans and everything in between. Readers may find that while some of the facts laid out on the pages are expected, there will be much more that’s surprising! Chock full of information, science fans will find that this book requires repeat viewings. A guide with extension activities for parent and teachers make this a great educational read for the home or the classroom.

   

Star Wars The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi (J)

            Star Wars The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight is a beautiful introduction to the series for children who may be just a little too young to watch the movies. Tony DiTerlizzi seamlessly blends the original three movies into one story, and cuts out some of the gory details without taking away from the story. There are quotes in bold taken directly from the movie, though sadly, the quote “That's no moon; it's a space station” was left out. The illustrations in the book are a little different than what fans may be used to seeing on the screen, but they could be the sole reason to crack the spine. Ralph McQuarrie gave beautiful illustrations in vivid colors from cover to cover. He worked closely with Lucas on concept art, and has recreated a lot of it for this publication. The language is kept simple, but it flows easily. The plot adheres strictly to the original story arch, and focuses on Luke's perspective. This is a great choice for parents to read with their kids. The book could easily be split into three bedtime stories or read as one large story for older children.