Monthly Archives: February 2014

I’m a Frog!

by Mo Willems
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

Fans of Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series will not be disappointed by the latest installment. Piggie is back, being her irrepressibly creative and free-spirited self, and Gerald the elephant overcomes his stodgy, inside-the-box thinking to a hilarious conclusion. My coworkers and I nabbed this one as it came into the library on hold for a patron and quickly passed it around. In true Mo Willems style, my favorite part was the aside to adults. 100% Willems, 100% brilliant. It’s always hard to know if he’ll be able to top himself, but it’s safe to say this is my favorite Elephant and Piggie yet!

Aikido

by Ruth Bjorklund

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

A friend of mine recently started practicing Aikido, so I wanted a sense of what it was all about. This is a great introductory book and is part of a series on different martial arts, so one could theoretically compare and contrast them. I learned a lot about Aikido, including background information on the founder, and all the information was presented clearly. There are plenty of extra resources at the back, including websites.

Dicey’s Song

by Cynthia Voigt
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I really liked Dicey and the journey that she goes on to learn how to open up to people. I wasn’t overly clear on what exactly the conflict, or main point of the story, was until near the end when her life starts to change and resolve, but I enjoyed spending time with her and her family and getting to know them so I didn’t care a whole lot. I’m not sure how I missed that this was book 2 in a three-book series, but it stands alone well enough. Dicey and her siblings have made it on their own from Massachusetts down to Maryland and their grandmother’s home, hoping to be taken in even though until they arrive on her doorstep, Gram has no idea they even exist. The process of learning what has become of their mother, and their adjustment to their new life, takes the entire book and I found myself growing right along with Dicey and company (even Gram). I also loved Dicey’s friendships with Jeff and especially Mina, the only other girl in Dicey’s class as smart as she is. Dicey is white and Mina is black and, with this novel written in 1982, it had me thinking a lot about what it was like to be in school at that time. Dicey’s friendship with her is as plausible and unremarkable as if it were written today.

Far Far Away

by Tom McNeal

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

My “Adults Who Read Kids’ Books” book club loved this one. Jeremy can already talk to the ghost of Jacob Grimm (yup, that Jacob Grimm). Then things get even weirder in his already-weird small town – kids are disappearing, a girl seems to be inexplicably in love with him, and then Jeremy’s life turns into a real Grimm fairy tale that it seems even the ghost of Jacob Grimm can’t help him out of. The story starts out benignly enough but then strange things happen that all come together in the end. I will say that it has a happy ending, and though you have to go to some pretty dark places with Jeremy to get there, it’s totally worth it.