Author Interview | Publisher News | Youth HITS | Book Reviews | Weed & Feed

Reviews for the Youth Librarian and School Media Specialist

Builder  Mouse
by Sofia Eldarova

Edgar mouse aspires to be an architect and loves building structures out of anything he finds, which his best friend, Toby, always admires. Edgar’s structures can be made out of apple cores, watermelon rinds, a bit of cheese or leftover beans, and as soon as they are built Toby takes care of each one; making the pyramid, tower, and arch, delicious snacks! Well, Edgar has had enough and leaves for the city to build for those who will really appreciate his creations. The restaurant and museum mice do applaud his accomplishments, which then leads to their digestive tracts as they devour them! Edgar realizes how much he misses his friend and heads home to find a gift of building blocks just for him, that, thankfully, Toby finds unappetizing. This is Eldarova’s debut picture book and with her use of vivid bursts of color and charming mouse characters it will undoubtedly appeal to preschool and primary age children. Obviously, this title will connect fantastically with the makerspace programs so popular in libraries and schools, making this a must for all libraries. Recommended for ages 4 to7.

—Jeanne Martin, M.Ed., Collection Development

Mother Bruce
by Ryan T. Higgins

In this newest take on mistaken imprinting, grumpy bear Bruce is rather upset when his attempt to make hard-boiled goose eggs drizzled with honey-salmon sauce flops due to the eggs hatching before he can get his oven lit. The four goslings decide Bruce must be their mother and refuse to leave, ever. With plenty of grown-up humor (Bruce asks Mrs. Goose if the eggs are free-range organic, there is an image of Bruce wearing all four in a carrier at once, the goslings move from annoying babies to stubborn teenagers to boring adults), there are also plenty of jokes for the actual intended audience of children. This is especially true in the last spread in which a turtle imprints on one of the geese. With full bleed images and spot art, even some graphic panel pages, this one is highly recommend for ages 5 to 8.

—Tracy Gallagher, MLIS, Collection Development

Spidermania: Friends on the Web
by Alexandra Siy with photos by Dennis Kunkel

As they did in Bug Shots (Holiday House, 2011), Siy and Kunkel partner to create an illuminating tribute comprised of text and stunning visuals. This time, the ode is specifically to spiders. Siy defines the arachnid class in general and then spiders in detail. She touches on the properties of silk that make it of great use by both spiders (for lining burrows, alerting the spider to the presence of prey, etc.) and humans (in medicine and inventions). She also expounds on their fangs, venom, eyes, and natural history. The authors then consider ten species of spiders and their notable characteristics. Kunkels’ electron micrographs are colored for ease of identification and explanation, and the degree of magnification is cited. Siy concludes with a message that spiders really are our friends. Sure, there are venomous ones out there, but she reassures readers that if they learn to identify the dangerous ones in their region, there’s really little reason to be fearful. She encourages readers to “friend” a spider and observe a very interesting creature. Back matter includes eye pattern diagrams, spider identification tips, the spider’s place in animalia taxonomy, glossary, index, and “web” sites! Recommended for ages 8 to 11.

—Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development

The Red Shoes and Other Tales
by Metaphrog

Three dark tales make up this collection, two by Hans Christian Andersen as well as an original story, “The Glass Case.” In “The Red Shoes,” doll-like Karen becomes obsessed with dancing, and, in particular, with a pair of beautiful red shoes that her aunt buys her. The shoes are bewitched by a creepy shoe shiner and, upon wearing them, Karen is compelled to ceaselessly dance. In the end, she gets her feet chopped off; while not gruesome, this may be disturbing for some readers. “The Little Match Girl” is afraid to go home after she can’t sell her matches. As she sits dying in the snow, she sees visions of comfort, including her dead grandmother who takes her away, as she strikes the last of the matches. Drawn in shades of sepia, this one is quite sad. “The Glass Case,” however, is just spooky; the tale of a boy who becomes obsessed with, and talks to, a doll at a museum, eventually becoming a doll himself. This anthology reads like Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, only for a younger audience. I recommend it for ages to 8 to 11.

—Jenny McCluskey, MSIS, Collection Development

My Diary from the Edge of the World
by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Anderson's latest is a bit off the wall, in the best way possible--Gracie Lockwood and her family inhabit a similar world in which corporate America exists, but so do witches (like her grandma), ghosts, and Greek gods and monsters, among other things. The novel opens with a death Cloud coming to claim Gracie's sick younger brother and the family decides to make a run for it in a Winnebago.  They're trying to find the way to a place only Gracie's father believes exists--The Extraordinary World--where the whole of the American continent is settled and people swim in the ocean without being drowned by mermaids.  Despite the fantastical environment in which dragons migrate south for winter and sasquatches were instrumental in winning the Civil War, young readers will recognize themselves in Gracie.  She's full of all manner of human foibles like selfishness, insensitivity and mischief but she's also extremely loving and oddly mindful of her faults.  In short, she's a winning combination of a narrator who guides readers through her marvelous and dangerous world...with us cheering her on and hoping the family will make it to ours.  Highly recommended fantasy for ages 9 to 12.

—Jill M. Barton, MLIS, Collection Development


Batman Day is September 26th!!!

Celebrate Batman Day at your library with all sorts of interesting new and classic titles!


This novelty board book is shaped like the Caped Crusader himself. It includes moveable arms and can stand up.

Batman Shapes 10X10 and 6X6
Available in two sizes, this concept book uses Batman to teach circles, squares, and rectangles.

Batman Classic: 5-Minute Batman Stories
Twelve short stories make for easy reading.

Batman Classic: The Penguin's Arctic Adventure
Businessmen are going missing and the Penguin opens an exotic animals garden. Will Batman and Robin find the link?

Batman: An Origin Story Library Binding and Paperback
How did Bruce Wayne become Batman? Let John Sazaklis give his version of the story.

Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight
Ralph Cosentino offers an effective introduction to the Dark Knight in this hardcover picture book illustrated with bright pictures reminiscent of comic strips.

Batman’s Dark Secret
Previously a Hello Reader from Scholastic, this new edition has a larger trim size which allows for Jon J. Muth’s illustrations to shine.

Batman's Hero Files (DC Super Friends) Library Binding and Paperback
From Step Into Reading, this Level 2 title introduces fans to all of the DC Super Friends.

Batman Classic: Winter Wasteland
A level 2 Reader in the I Can Read line, Batman has to battle Mr. Freeze and the Ice Pack with help from Wonder Woman and the Flash.

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Batman's Missions Hardcover and Paperback
Learn how Batman and Robin fight crime in this Level 3 Reader from Dk Readers.

Batman Origami: Amazing Folding Projects Featuring the Dark Knight
Learn how to fold origami models of characters, objects, and symbols related to Batman.

Batman: The World of the Dark Knight
Read about the background of Dark Knight's story.

Batman: Arkham Universe: The Ultimate Visual Guide
Get the details of storylines, characters, locations, weapons, gadgets, and equipment of the Batman Arkham video game.

Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga Vol. 1
The first in a three-volume manga series from the 1960s, starring the Dark Knight.

Batman Black and White: Volume 1
The first in this Eisner award-winning collection of the detective’s hard-boiled adventures from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and Jim Lee.

The Killing Joke
Alan Moore’s infamous story of Joker’s takedown of Batgirl is presented in this re-colored 20th anniversary deluxe edition.

The Long Halloween
Batman races to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next monthly victim in this classic by Jeph Loeb.

Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee’s critically-acclaimed, bestselling tale where Batman teams up with Catwoman to discover the mysterious mastermind, Hush, before it’s too late.

The Dark Knight Returns
The detective comes out of retirement in Frank Miller’s classic tale.

Batman, Volume 7: Endgame
Can the Joker turn the Justice League and destroy Batman once and for all? Check out the latest volume in the New 52 series.


Youth Team

Privacy Policy Contact Us

┬ęCopyright 2015 Ingram Content Group. All Rights Reserved.

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Pintrest