Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nonfiction: Never Smile at a Monkey

You probably know that you shouldn't swim with sharks, or tease a lion, or stick your head in an alligator's mouth. But did you know that many smaller animals can also be deadly - especially if you do exactly the wrong thing?
This fact filled picture book tells kids all about some of the animals that you might not know are dangerous. From kicking Cassowaries to electrified caterpillars, kids will be amazed at the inventive (and deadly!) self defence mechanisms that animals have evolved.
This is a great general interest book about animals, and would be suitable for kids in grades 3-5. With its high interest subject matter and brief, simple text, reluctant readers would find this an appealing read.
Grades 3-5
Click here to check out the Port Moody public library's catalogue!

Easy Reader: The Big Fat Cow that Goes Kapow

Author Andy Griffiths is a master of writing books for boys. His wildly popular chapter books for tweens include "The Day My Butt Went Psycho", and the newer "Schooling Around" series. In this easy reader (for kids in grades k-3) he tries his hand at books for new readers.
True to form, this title is absolutely full of slapstick humour, including exploding cows, a Rock'n'Roll mole named Noel, and boys falling out of 100 decker beds. The silliness and whimsical rhymes are great for kids who like Dr. Seuss.

The text is large and clear, and the black and white pictures give lots of support to learning readers. This book is perfect for reluctant readers, and kids who love lots of humour. Get ready for hysterical giggling!
Easy Reader
Grades k-3
Click here to check out the Port Moody Public Library's catalogue!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fantasy: Dragonbreath

Danny Dragonbreath has big dreams: he wants to be a fearsome pirate, and sail the seven seas! He's got a long way to go, though, since he still can't breathe fire, and spends his time fending off the bullies who want to pick on him for his miniscule stature.
Realizing he knows absolutely nothing about the ocean (which is something Pirates should all be familiar with!) Danny decides to visit his cousin Edward, a sea serpent who lives in the Saragasso sea.
Along with his friend Wendell, Danny gets up close and personal with exploding sea cucumbers, sharks, and hostile mermen. They do manage to learn some neat ocean facts before they come across a giant squid and have to fight for their lives. Will Danny manage to save Wendell from an untimely, tentacle death? More importantly, will he ever get his report finished?
This hilarious story is written as a half graphic novel, half text book. The comic style black, green and white pictures add lots of appeal for boys and reluctant readers.
Fantasy (humour)
Ages 7-10
Click here to check out the Port Moody Public Library's catalogue!

Graphic Novel: Lunch Lady and the league of librarians

Lunch Lady is a superhero under her apron, and she's an expert at sniffing out crimes wherever they may hide! She's sure that there's something fishy happening in the library, because the normally friendly school librarians have become cold and secretive.
With the help of the Breakfast Bunch (5 feisty grade schoolers), Lunch Lady discovers that the librarians are aiming for nothing more than WORLD DOMINATION! And their terrible plan is to start by DESTROYING ALL VIDEO GAMES! These are truly evil, evil librarians.
Lunch Lady to the rescue! With the help of some taco night vision goggles and some truly appalling puns, Lunch Lady saves the day. Librarians will be especially fond of this title, because there's lots and lots of inside jokes that may whiz right over the heads of kids; but the funny art and likeable characters will be a sure hit with all.
Graphic Novel
Ages 8-10
Click here to check out the Port Moody Public LIbrary's website!

Science Fiction: The Sky Inside

It's rare to find well written science fiction books for kids or younger teens. Somehow, this genre is largely ignored by children's authors, which is a shame!
The Sky Inside, by Clare Dunkle, is an appealing new read for kids that are interested in futuristic novels. Martin is one of the older kids in suburb HM1. Like everyone else, his parents scrimped and saved up enough credits to qualify for a child; Martin was shipped out to them on the train, like all the other babies. They could barely afford to get his sister, Cassie, because she was one of the new super babies: genetically engineered to be the smartest, cutest, nicest kids ever.
Everything is perpetually stable and sunny under the blue dome of their suburb. They all gather in front of their TV every morning to vote on the president's latest intiative (for example, what colour his drapes should be) and then they all head off to jobs, or school. But Martin can't believe that that's all there is: it feels like there should be something more. Something bigger than his suburb. He starts poking around, and discovers some truly disturbing things about his so-called idyllic home.
When an outsider from the government arrives to take the superbabies away, Martin is torn. He wants Cassie to have a great education, and it's true that she's obviously not getting as much teaching as she needs from the ordinary people in HM1, but can he trust the government to take care of his beloved sister?
When Martin uncovers the government's horrible plan, there's only one way to save Cassie: break out of the Dome, and brave the wasteland that lies outside.
Science Fiction
Ages 10-13
Click here to check out the Port Moody Public Library's catalogue!