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Recommended Reads

 

April 2015

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

 

Glamorous Garbage by Barbara Johansen (jE)

In a time where media is pushing more expensive name brand and cutting edge gadgets, it is nice to see Barbara Johansen celebrate recycling and reusing in her picture book Glamorous Garbage. In Johansen's eco chic tale, a young and eclectic girl named Bobbie is an ardent collector. Her room is filled with an assortment of nicknacks that she holds dear. The problem is; her collections becomes hazardous. In an attempt to surprise her cousin and best friend Joanie, Bobbie bonks her head on a shelf full of items. Bobbie also loses one of Joanie's favorite toys in her cluttered bedroom. Bobbie's mother gives her two weeks to clean up and de-clutter, so Bobbie decides to revamp her room. She looks to garage sales and unwanted items that are about to be tossed to use for own creative purposes. The book is filled with colorful, and the story flows smoothly. It is also bound to inspire any future interior decorator. 

   

Camping Trip

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall (jE)

This is the story about a crayon named Red who isn’t very good at being red. He tries everything from mixing with other colors to taping up his insides, but nothing seems to make Red red. Then one day he meets a new friend who sees Red for what he really is…blue! This is a sweet story with an important message about being true to yourself and following your own path, no matter what. While the overall tone of the story is kept light, there’s a surprising amount of depth and heart to be found. All of the crayons are labelled with their colors - a nice touch which creates an opportunity for readers to share vocabulary.
   

Over and Under the Snowe

The Baby Swap by Jan Ormerod (jE)

In this delightful story, a jealous big sister learns to love her little brother even though he drools, a lot! Caroline Crocodile is not thrilled with having a baby brother and is jealous of all the attention he is getting from Mama Crocodile because all she EVER talks about is how gorgeous he is. Caroline does not agree, so on an outing one day with Mama she takes her brother to the Baby Shop to swap him for a new model. Hilarity ensues when Caroline tries different animal babies, but they have their problems, too. It turns out, that the best sibling for Caroline is her own yellow eyed, sharp-clawed, drooling baby brother and taking care of him gets Mama Crocodile’s attention and someday her little brother will be just as beautiful as Caroline!
   
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Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (jE)

Their clothes are gray…their food is plain. They read blank paper instead of books. Meet the Dullards, who thrive on being boring. Watching an unplugged television or the paint drying on the walls mesmerizes them. When Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud discover playing (Yikes!), Mr. and Mrs. Dullard panic and want to move them to a new home. However, what awaits at their new home may be the least boring of all! 

  

   
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28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. (323.1 Sm)

This non-fiction book by award winning Author, Charles R. Smith Jr., and illustrator, Shane W. Evans, explores historic events in Black history. The illustrations and text, which is often in rhyme, follow 28 chronological moments that shaped and changed the Black experience. Influential Supreme Court cases that transformed Black Americans’ rights are discussed and illustrated. These cases include the Dred Scott decision in 1857 to Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. Not to be forgotten, record setting athletes such as the likes of Jessie Owens to Jackie Robinson and to Hank Arnold motivate readers through their victorious events. Inspirational and political figures include Martin Luther King Jr. to Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. The written words and illustrations make for a powerful read on Black history and the complex history of the United States of America. 
   
   

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.