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Kids' Books April 2014
"Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes."
 ~ Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), American poet
New and Recently Released!
Dare the Wind: The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud - by Tracey Fern; illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/18/2014
Share Dare the Wind%3a The Record-Breaking Voyage of Eleanor Prentiss and the Flying Cloud ISBN-13: 9780374316990
ISBN-10: 0374316996
Biography. At a young age, Eleanor "Ellen" Prentiss learned sailing and navigation from her father, leading her to become a ship's navigator in the 1800s, when such a job was unthinkable for a woman. Ellen gained fame in 1851 when she navigated the treacherous maiden voyage of The Flying Cloud -- thanks to her quick thinking and bravery (at one point she even tied herself to the ship's rail!), the ship made record time in its journey around Cape Horn. This exciting, precisely illustrated true story portrays the danger and beauty of the ocean so vividly that you can practically taste the salty air.
Lord and Lady Bunny -- Almost Royalty! - by Polly Horvath; illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share Lord and Lady Bunny -- Almost Royalty! ISBN-13: 9780307980663
ISBN-10: 0307980669
Humorous Fantasy. Inspired by a mysterious box of Pop Tarts and a surprising inheritance from an English relative, sensible Madeleine and her hippie parents embark on a cruise to Great Britain. On board, Madeleine runs into her old friends Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who've given up detective work to pursue a new goal: installing Mrs. Bunny as Queen of England. Overflowing with sharp satire, whimsical illustrations, and "more lunacy than you can shake a carrot at" (The Horn Book), this wonderfully absurd sequel will be best appreciated by fans of the previous book, Mr. and Mrs. Bunny -- Detectives Extraordinaire!
Half a Chance - by Cynthia Lord
Publisher: Scholastic
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Half a Chance ISBN-13: 9780545035330
ISBN-10: 0545035333
Fiction. After her family moves from the city to a lakeside cottage, Lucy decides to photograph her summer activities -- which include befriending her neighbor, Nate, and bird-watching with his ailing grandmother, Lilah -- so that she can enter a photography contest and impress her father, an often-absent wildlife photographer. But as the deadline approaches, Lucy realizes that she can't submit her best picture (a portrait of Lilah which makes her increasing illness painfully clear) without hurting her new friends. Thoughtful readers interested in thorny real-life issues will enjoy the relatable characters and sensitive tone of Half a Chance.
Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done - by Stephan Pastis
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Timmy Failure%3a Now Look What You ISBN-13: 9780763660512
ISBN-10: 0763660515
Comic Mystery. In their 2nd outing, self-proclaimed genius detective Timmy Failure and his crime-solving partner, Total the giant polar bear, are determined to locate a stolen globe in order to win a school contest. Though Timmy believes his success is inevitable, readers will snort with laughter at his ridiculous overconfidence as he bungles the case, makes gleefully awful puns, and assumes that his secret admirer is trying to kill him. If you love the wry humor and expressive cartoon art of Lincoln Pierce's Big Nate books or Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid series, you should definitely check out Timmy Failure.
What the Moon Said - by Gayle Rosengren
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/20/2014
Share What the Moon Said ISBN-13: 9780399163524
ISBN-10: 0399163522
Historical Fiction. Esther's family is starting over, and she's resolved to make an adventure out of it. It's 1930, and the Depression has forced the family to move into a run-down, drafty old farm house without electricity or an indoor bathroom. Yet Esther tries to make the best of it, hoping that if she can help out enough to keep the farm running, she'll earn the affection of her distant, superstitious mother. Young readers who enjoy experiencing history through the eyes of ordinary people will savor this quiet, old-fashioned slice of life. For a second helping, try Every Day After by Laura Golden.
Focus on: Poetry
April is National Poetry Month in the U.S. -- celebrate with one of these attention-grabbing, kid-friendly collections of poems.
Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo - by Nancy Bo Flood; photographs by Jan Sonnenmair
Publisher: WordSong
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/2013
Share Cowboy Up! Ride the Navajo Rodeo ISBN-13: 9781590788936
ISBN-10: 1590788931
Illustrated Poetry. Ladies and gents, welcome to the wild and woolly world of the Navajo rodeo! An announcer's voice draws you in to this fascinating collection of poems depicting the events of a rodeo in the Navajo nation, some of which are indeed woolly -- the youngest competitors ride sheep.  Interspersed with descriptive text, the free verse poems conjure up the lightning speed and in-the-moment feel of calf-roping, barrel racing, and riding the big Brahma bull. Stunning action photos of both people and animals add drama to this "top-notch introduction to a unique event" (School Library Journal).
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms - by Paul B. Janeczko; illustrated by Chris Raschka
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/30/2005
Share A Kick in the Head%3a An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms ISBN-13: 9780763606626
ISBN-10: 0763606626
Illustrated Poetry. If poetry is supposed to be about expressing yourself, why does it have so many rules? According to author Paul Janeczko, the rules "make poetry -- like sports -- more fun." Not just a collection of brilliant poems from such diverse authors as William Shakespeare, Gary Soto, and Ogden Nash, A Kick in the Head is also a useful guide to 29 different poetic forms. From couplets to ballads to haiku, each form is accompanied by a definition, an example, and an eye-catching collage illustration, making this volume perfect for readers who want a poetry book that's equal parts information and inspiration.
Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) - by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Istvan Banyai
Publisher: Clarion Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/15/2007
Share Tap Dancing on the Roof%3a Sijo (Poems) ISBN-13: 9780618234837
ISBN-10: 0618234837
Illustrated Poetry. Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park is best known for her novels, but in this slim yet compelling book she uses a much shorter format: sijo, a traditional Korean form of poetry. In English, sijo has a distinctive three-to-six-line structure, with the final line providing humor, wordplay, or an unexpected twist. You'd think such a structure would be limiting, but Park's poems invite you to experiment with language, look at situations from unusual angles, and maybe even surprise yourself. Quirky illustrations in a subdued retro palette add visual interest while allowing the joyful simplicity of the poems to shine.
Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems - by Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Carin Berger
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/26/2013
Share Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems ISBN-13: 9780062014658
ISBN-10: 006201465X
Illustrated Poetry. In this beguiling collection from popular poet Jack Prelutsky, animals are combined with objects or attitudes to create outrageous new species, such as the shining Stardines, untidy Slobsters, splashy Fountain Lions, and wordy Bardvarks (who "think they're poets, and persist in writing rhyme.") The mix-and-match style of Carin Berger's cut-paper artwork is perfect for these wonderfully weird creatures, rendering each with such depth and creativity that readers feel compelled to linger on each page. Those who fall under the spell of this author-illustrator pairing should be sure to pick up their earlier book, Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant.
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse - by Marilyn Singer; illustrated by Josée Masse
Publisher: Dutton Children's Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/04/2010
Share Mirror Mirror%3a A Book of Reversible Verse ISBN-13: 9780525479017
ISBN-10: 0525479015
Illustrated Poetry. "Who says it's true -- down is the only view?" Who, indeed? In this clever book, each poem can be read two ways: from the top line down and from the bottom line up. The poems, inspired by familiar folk tales and fairy tales, take on different meanings when read in reverse but still make sense. Some of them give the villain's point of view in a funny way, and others (such as the Snow White-themed poem "Mirror Mirror") are more on the dark and creepy side. Word-lovers and puzzle fans will want to make up their own "reversos" after reading Mirror Mirror.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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