YUMMY: EIGHT FAVORITE FAIRY TALES-
by LUCY COUSINS (Candlewick, 2009)
Lucy Cousins, author of the Maisy books, brings her wonderful illustrations to some of our favorite childhood stories. She presents, in their original forms, eight stories that all children should know; Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Enormous Turnip, Henny Penny (although she changes some of the names in this one from the way I learned it), Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, and The Musicians of Bremen. There is no sugar-coating or softening of the stories here – some of the animals do get eaten! But her illustrations with their trademark bright colors and heavy black lines make this a great book for any age child.
2ND – 4TH
SAVING THE BAGHDAD ZOO
byKELLY HALL & MAJOR WILLIAM SUMNER (Greenwillow, 2010)
When the Gulf War began, the Baghdad Zoo had many exotic animals in its cages. Saddam Hussein’s sons also kept animals in zoos at their homes. But after the War began, many of those animals were left to die and many are believed to have been stolen either for food or to sell on the black market. Army Captain William Sumner, an archeologist, was assigned to help the Baghdad Museum archive its priceless relics. But his mission grew beyond anything he expected when his commander sent him to look at a local zoo. There he found animals in terrible conditions, without food or water. With the help of Army veterinarians, other experts from around the world, and some of the people who used to be responsible for the animals, many of the animals were treated, brought back to health, and given a new place to live. But feeding all these animals in a war zone was not an easy task. Sometimes the soldiers even fed them their own MREs (meals ready to eat). There was one fatal accident in which a soldier made the mistake of thinking that a tiger laying down would like to be petted. In this book, you can read about Lumpy the camel, Saedia, the brown bear, Bell, the pelican, Xena and Brutus, the lions, and the sad story of Malooh, the tiger. This is a fascinating story about just one of the many good things that Americans have done to help the people of Baghdad.
by JASON SHIGA (Amulet Books, 2010)
“This is not your ordinary comic.” This is ‘choose your own adventure’ on steroids! The author mapped out the story using a series of seven increasingly complicated flow charts. Then a computer algorithm was written to figure out how it could be formed into a book. In the resulting book, you get to choose which way your character moves on almost every page by following the thin tubes from frame to frame and to other pages. The tubes loop onto tabs on other pages which you turn to and continue to follow the same color tube until another choice is presented. (Be sure to read the directions in the front.) How does going for ice cream turn into testing the Professor’s time machine or his memory transfer machine or the Killitron? With the possibility of thousands of story lines, I really can’t tell you what this book is about, but the author does state that most paths will end in DOOM and DIASTER! And only one leads to happiness and success. You choose.
by NAOMI RICH (Viking, 2009)
How far would you be willing to go and how much pain and fear of uncertainty would you be willing to endure if you were forced to do something that terrifies you and you felt you had to get away? What if the alternative turns out to be worse? Alis is a 14 year old girl who has only known the quiet, strict confines of the religious community where she lives with her loving parents. For some unfathomable reason, she learns that a marriage has been arranged for her to their community’s pastor who is more than twice her age. She is a strong willed girl and her protests are ignored so she decides to run away to an unknown “city” that has a reputation for being a dangerous place for a young girl alone. The novel takes us on her journey where she finds her brother who ran away from the Community 7 years earlier. She becomes frightened through her ordeals of trying to live the kind of life he leads and decides to return home and face her fate. This fast moving story has many surprising twists and turns and will leave you suspended until the conclusion.