Wednesday, February 18, 2009

But Without the Polar Bear.

When the Library Lights Go Out, by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. This is one of those Toy Story the-dolls-are-alive-when-you're-gone! plots, which I never liked as a kid. The big thing I didn't like about this story was that this was not the first time the characters had become sentient or conscious-- they had existing relationships among them--but it's like they'd never been out of their box before-- they were clueless about the layout of the library. I also didn't like how many of the adjectives were given tacked-on nonsense words the way people commonly do when they are talking to kids: "noisy-boisy," "icky-sticky," etc. There's no need for that. The Island-below-the-Star, by James Rumford. The water-color pictures are very well done, and go especially well with this story. The narrative is composed of short sentences, which makes each one stand out more. It is a little bit long, so it may be better for an older picture-book audience, and there is historical information in the back that older children may find interesting. I Stink!, by Kate and Jim McMullan. This book is made for those kids who are fascinated by big machines. There are a few technical terms for a few of the the dump truck parts, but that's probably not a big problem-- when my nephew was little, he so love trains he knew all the intricate engine parts. There are lots of written-in sound effects (??--"wide" in think, long font, "roar" in huge type, etc.), and the art matches up really well. I think the truck always looks a little mad, but it's not a big deal. Flight 29 Down: Static, by Walter Sorrells. Oh, yeah, a book based on TV show! That'll get kids reading! ok, skepticism off. I've not seen the show, since we haven't had TV for years, but the book reads like a teen version of Lost, only (so far) without the black smoke and evil scientists' lairs. I saw (the first?) 8 on the shelf, so I grabbed them all up. So far, it reads very much like Korman's Island trio. The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean. I loved this book! I can totally identify with the main character. She was very well done, and she felt so real! She never said or did anything that made me think, "yeah, like that would ever happen;" everything was in character. The Oates character reminded me of another Lawrence I love, the one in Novik's dragon books. I loved adventure stories growing up and still adore the good ones. This would be a good one to use if you're trying to get boys to open up to girl-character books, I think. lovelovelove!

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

I'll have to take a look at White Darkness. I like McCaughrean, but haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of this.