Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hail to the Chief

President's Day has come and gone but don't worry. If you are not getting your political fix with all the primaries and debates I have the book for you. And if you just want your kids to know more about American independence this is the right book is right for you.

“Those Rebels, John & Tom”

By Barbara Kerley
Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
For Ages 6 - 10
Think the The Odd Couple and mix in the American struggle for independence and you'll end up with something like “Those Rebels, John & Tom.” Rated 4.5 (Historical, American Independence, Humor)

The early days of American independence are brought to life through a comparison of contrasting lives and personalities. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very different. From their political beliefs to their outward appearances. But these two heroes and, eventually presidents, had two things in common. Both abhorred King George and both believed the colonies needed to unite and declare independence. Adams used his quick wit and keen public speaking skills to gain favor and support at the Continental Congress. Jefferson used quick wit and a sharp quill to pen an “expression, in terms plain and firm, of American Independence.” Together they formed a friendship and forged the beginnings of a new country.

An excellent portrait of American strength, formed from the very thing that makes this country so great -- our differences. “Those Rebels, John & Tom” is a little long, but the humor and lively illustrations will keep readers interested until the end.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to School

I have been doing a lot of thinking about schools recently. My oldest child moves into middle school next year, so we have to decide which middle school it will be. Luckily we have that opportunity. needless to say, everywhere I go school themed stuff seems to jump out at me. The book store is no exeption.

“Skippyjon Jones: Class Action”

By Judy Schachner
For Ages 4 - 8
Skippyjon Jones heads to school for a grand adventure in learning and imagination. Rated 4 (school, imagination, bullying)
Fans of Skippyjon Jones will jump for joy as the little Chihuahua returns for an eventful day at school. He wants nothing more than to attend school, but Skippyjon’s mom explains that it’s not a place for cats. School is where dogs go to be trained. Will that stop Skippyjon? If you know Skippyjon Jones, then you know he will find a way to attend school.
The Skippyjon Jones books are each a celebration of childhood imagination. This one is no different. Skippyjon enters his closet and enrolls at Barker Academy as his alter ego Skipito Friskito, a smart little Chihuahua. The action is erratic and entertaining. Skipito mingles with poodles and beagles. He learns a little French and howls in music class. He even has a spin in a teacup with the schoolyard bully.

The text jumps back and forth between verse and prose with a liberal sprinkling of Spanish words thrown in. It can be confusing, but kids will be too wrapped up in the fun to care. As always, these books are fun to read aloud, especially if you can manage different voices. The book also comes with a bonus CD including a reading by Judy Schachner.