Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Wanna Rock!

American Idol ends tomorrow tonight and, I believe, that marks the end of the reality music competition shows for this season. Don't worry. Don't fret. I found a book that will bring the music to your house.

"So You Want to Be a Rock Star"
By Audrey Vernick
Illustrated by Kirstie Edmund
For Ages 4 - 10
Think rock 'n' roll camp in a book and you'll find the melody in no time. Rated 4.5 (rock 'n' roll, how to, music)
Are you ready to rock? Are your children inspired to bounce, sing and dance around the house by the pop stars from Disney and Nickelodeon? Then your budding rock stars will love this rollicking "how to" guide for air guitar, rock 'n' roll sneering and dressing for stardom. Definitely not for bedtime, Vernick's text encourages readers to get up strike a pose, singly loudly and prepare for a lot of fans. And anyone who has a TV show and a "you-ride"at an amusement park had better learn how to sign their autograph.
Edmund's highly graphic and retro illustrations complement the rambunctious text with a playful style that brings out the colorful qualities of rock 'n' roll. Parents and children can really let loose and have a good time with this refreshing tale... again and again.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sweet Treat for Light Summer Reading

I have been reading a ton of books over the past month. Now I have to begin posting the reviews. That's always the difficult part. Deciding what to say and how to say it can be tricky when you want to say something good. But it's arduous when you feel you have to say something negative. Sometimes I get those feelings before I even read a book. This was one of those times.

"Confectionately Yours: Save the Cupcake!"
By Lisa Papademetriou
For Ages 9 - 13
If you have read "Finally" or "13 Gifts" by Wendy Mass, you'll enjoy the "Confectionately Yours" series by Lisa Papademetriou. Add a little celebrity chef into the mix and you'll get a zesty look at the life of a young teen girl. Rated 4.5 (cupcakes, friendship, divorce)
     I didn't know what to think when I picked this book up. It looked cute. Quite possibly the perfect book for a young teen girly-girl. Then I began reading and discovered a surprisingly layered story stuffed in the pages of this relatively short paperback book. Hayley is a young teen dealing with a divorce, a new house and a best friend that seems to be drifting away. Hayley, her sister and her mother move in with her grandmother until they can get back on their feet. In the meantime they help out around the grandmother's proper English tea room. Hayley has a knack for baking sumptuous cupcakes and sells her creations at her mother's shop. 
     Papademetriou crams a great deal of conflict into the very fast read. There's old friends who drift apart, new friends who come together, protests against the school board, a flourishing business, dad's girlfriend and your basic early teenage relationships. The dialogue is excellent and the pacing superb. Once you begin this sweet tale you never want to put it down. It doesn't hurt that Hayley's cupcake recipes are scattered throughout the book. I can't wait to try a few out.
     The fight to save bake sales at school is front an center in this story with several of the subplots sprouting from the actions surrounding the fight for sweet treats. Personally, though, my favorite part of "Save the Cupcake!" was the relationship between Hayley and her grandmother. 
     As a series I can only hope the rest of the "Confectionately Yours" books are as tasty to read as this one. .