Note to Readers

I have not received any compensation for writing this post other than a free digital or print copy of the book. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Peppa Pig and the Vegetable Garden

Release Date - February 2014

Peppa Pig
Candlewick Press

Book Review by Bob Walch

If your child can’t get enough of Peppa Pig and her buddies on TV, this picture book will probably be a big hit with the youngster. Peppa and her little brother, George, help Grandpa Pig out in the garden. Not only will they learn about nurturing seeds so they become healthy plants but Peppa and George will also discover there are some pretty interesting creatures out in the garden.

Snails, butterflies and birds all call Grandapa Pig’s garden home. The snails and birds also like to nibble on seeds and young plants so there’s work to be done protecting the veggies.

After harvesting some blackberries and some fresh veggies, Mummy Pig and Grandma Pig make lunch. Unfortunately, George  isn’t really into eating salad until Grandpa creates a “Dino-saw” plate. George loves this looks of this special veggie dish and digs in.

The art work in this picture book isn’t all that interesting but young readers don’t seem to mind. The storyline is taken from the TV series so isn’t that original but, if your child loves Peppa, these are minor concerns.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

Release Date - May 2014

Barney Saltzberg

Book Review by Bob Walch

Everyone has had one of those nights when it is totally impossible to fall asleep. The little panda in this cute picture book experiences this problem. Try as he might, Chengdu just can’t find the right position or get comfortable so he can’t fall asleep.

He turns and tosses. He rolls back and forth. The panda even tries different limbs in the bamboo grove to sleep on but nothing works. Finally Chengdu does find just the right spot, but the second he is ready to settle down along comes Yuan, Chengdu’s brother, and guess what? Right! He can’t find a comfortable spot to settle down and sleep in either!

This book features a number of foldout pages and would be a good bedtime story to share with any little ones in your household who just can’t seem to get to sleep.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar

Release Date - April 22, 2014

David Lubar
A Starscape Book

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Wipeout of the Wireless Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales is the seventh collection of creepy tales for middle readers. Each story is just scary enough for that age group (8 to 12) without being nightmare-inducing. Many of the stories also pack in a good dose of humor, making them ideal for advancing readers.

There are 33 stories in all. While all were good, there were a handful that really stood out with me, so I'm going to focus on them.

After the Apocalypse finds a birthday boy facing a zombie invasion on his birthday. Is his family going to survive the occasion? That story had me laughing, because as a parent I really got it.

The next story to really stick with me was one about bullies - Fabrication. I can think of a few people from my past that I would have loved to do this to!

On a more current note, Walnuts was a hit. My daughter's freshman class faced something like this. Unlike this story, where things take a definite turn, he admitted half a year later that he made the whole thing up, and students who had gotten detentions or suspensions for saying he was faking never did receive apologies. Therefore, I tended to sympathize with the character doing the narration.

Matters of Fax is perhaps most memorable of all because I've often said it would be awesome if a fax machine could do that.

Over all, I cannot