Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant (E READER 2 RYLANT)

It is so nice to see Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby. I had not seen them for years, and it is all my fault. They have been enjoying their calm, sweet day-to-day lives for decades now, and they are just the same as they have ever been. When my wife brought home Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard, I realizputtered what I have been missing.

I think Mr. Putter and I are becoming more alike every year. He loves gardening and seeing friends and knows that there is nothing better than sitting in a comfortable chair with a cat in your lap. Tabby is such a sweet and tolerant cat. Our cat Caramel would never agree to go to story time at the library and let children pet her, but Tabby is remarkable. She even likes books about dogs!

It is Mrs. Teaberry’s dog Zeke who causes a bit of trouble at the library, but it all turned out well. You should read about it in Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page.

Review submitted by Rick

Note: This book was also a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book for the most distinguished beginning reader in 2015.

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The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak (E NOVAK)

I have seen lots of books with no pictures, but they are not aimed at young readers. So The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak is unusual.

You could easily write an easy book for kids with no pictures and have it be nothing special. Maybe it could be a little story, such as how dust settles under furniture or whibookch trees lose their leaves first in the autumn. Maybe it could be instructive, telling how to tie shoe laces or how to sharpen pencils. Maybe a book listing all of your cousins and their favorite colors would be interesting. Of course, all of these books would be better with some pictures.

The idea behind The Book with No Pictures is that it has to be read aloud (every word) by one person to another person. You might assume that would be an adult to a child. That would be fun. It might also be fun to listen to a child read it to another child.

The first time you read it should be aloud to someone else without having any idea what will be on the next page. This is the way to maximize dramatic tension.

There are some colored parts and larger than normal words. I do not want to say too much and give anything humorous away. Try it.

Review submitted by Rick

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Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox (E COX)

Floating in the Avon River through the center of beautiful Christchurch, New Zealand, is not typical elephant seal behavior. Elephant seals usually prefer beaches by the ocean farther from humans. There are exceptions. While traveling in New Zealand years ago, author Lynne Cox heard an unusual story about a lone female seal who made Christchurch’s lazy river her home and won the love sealof its citizens by her refusal live anywhere else. With illustrations by Brian Floca, Cox now tells the story in her children’s picture book Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas.

The people of Christchurch named the seal Elizabeth because they thought her regal in demeanor, like their queen. Not everyone, however, agreed that the Avon River was a good place for an elephant seal, especially a seal who would climb out and take naps in a busy street. For the safety of all, well-meaning officials resolved to remove her from the city, but Elizabeth refused to relocate. Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas is a charming story that is even more touching to those who know of the city’s recent earthquakes. Floca’s watercolor illustrations depict a happy time, including in the background buildings that have since been destroyed. The book has a happy ending, and I wish the same for the city.

Review submitted by Rick
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Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells (E WELLS)

I am about to take a flight on an airplane. It is good that I have read Yoko Finds Her Way by Rosemary Wells. Yoko teaches readers young and old how to watch for directional signs that help them get to the airport, through check-in and cuyokostoms, and to the gate for their flights. With good signs, it might be easy to navigate through the big airport, but Yoko goes through one wrong door. Getting back to her mother is a little adventure.

We have been reading Rosemary Wells books in our house since my daughter was little. Our daughter has graduated from college and is living her own life in another state now, but my wife Bonnie and I still like to bring home the author’s brightly illustrated books. I particularly enjoy the oriental touches in Yoko Finds Her Way.

It is also good to know that there will be food at the airport.

Review submitted by Rick

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Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (J SLOAN)

Willow is highly gifted twelve year old. She has three major obsessions: plants, medical counting by 7sconditions, and the number 7. Willow is faced with a terrible tragedy. With help from her friend Mai and Mai’s family and counselor Dell Duke, she is able to tackle and face her challenges. Willow is adorable, intelligent, clever, and sensitive; I wanted to keep reading to know how she would cope with all the issues she was confronting. Counting by 7s is a delightful tale of transformation, friends, family and a celebration of life.

(Recommended for ages 10 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O’Connell (J 599.67 OCO)

Elephants continue to surprise us. In her field studies in Namibia, Caitlin O’Connell noticed that when elephants warily stop to assess the safety of situations, a matriarch holds a front foot bent so that the front toes firmly contact the earth. She had seen similar behavior in insect studies and recognized it as hearing vibrations through feet. In her book for young readers, The Elephant Scientistelephant, she recounts further observations and field experiments that she and a team of naturalists conducted to verify and understand her observation.

I particularly liked the section of the book showing O’Connell and others building and inhabiting a scaffold-like four-story observation station close to a water hole that attracts elephants, giraffe, and zebras. And an occasional lion, of course. Wrapped in boma cloth, the electrified perimeter fencing kept the team safe from the wildlife and let them observe elephant behaviors without disturbing the elephants. The station had sleeping tents, a dining tent, an outhouse, and a loft for watching wildlife. The boy in me that always longed for a tree house thinks it would be really cool to live and work in an observation tower in Namibia.

As a title in the Scientists in the Field series from Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, The Elephant Scientist, which was a Robert F. Siebert Honor Book, is filled with photos of the wildlife and the scientists at work. The chapters are concise and fairly quick reading, and the authors include a glossary and references in the back of the book. The Elephant Scientist is an attractive book for elephant lovers of any age.

Review submitted by Rick

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Smile by Raina Telgemeier (J COMICS TELGEMEIER)

Raina is in midsmiledle school and her dentist has told her she needs braces. Getting braces starts off as a simple process and quickly it gets complex and Raina has to deal with the pain and many frustrations. She wants be noticed and look pretty, but the braces do not help her with this issue at all. Facing all these challenges help her learn new things about herself and her friends.
(Recommended for ages 9 and up)

Review submitted by Uma

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