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Book Reviews

Hate That Cat
Sharon Creech
See in Catalog

3.5 Stars

In the follow-up to Love That Dog, Jack is a year older and still exploring poetry with his understanding literature teacher, Miss Stretchberry. As he begins to heal from the loss of his beloved dog Star, he finds himself fascinated with cats- first with the mean one who attacks him at the bus stop and then with the kitten he finds under his Christmas tree. Will this new pet help Jack learn to explore and express his feelings and allow his poetry to blossom? Or will he continue to suppress them along with the other hard parts of his life? Hate That Cat is a worthy sequel that effectively captures the personal and artistic growth of its protagonist while paying homage to master poets of the past. Unfortunately, it never quite recaptures the magic or novelty of its predecessor.

-Christina

Camp Rex
Molly Idle
See in Catalog

5 Stars

Who doesn’t enjoy some fresh s’mores made over a campfire? Join Cordelia, her younger brother, and their dinosaur friends for a camping adventure in Camp Rex! Fans of author/illustrator Molly Idle’s other books in the series- Tea Rex and Sea Rex- will adore the familiar format and style as well as the whimsical illustrations. As always, along with a funny and charming story, we get some real, useful tips (that the dinosaurs may or may not ignore).

-Christina

Giraffe Problems
Jory John
See in Catalog

4 Stars

From the duo behind Penguin Problems comes a picture book about Edward, a giraffe who feels insecure about his neck. Comparing his long neck with other animals, the self-conscious giraffe attempts to dress and hide his body. Finally, a turtle named Cyrus comes along to show Edward that a long neck offers plenty of benefits. I recommend this book for its beautiful illustrations of animals, but it is also relevant in teaching young readers about positive body images.

-Jawahir

Little Bird's Bad Word
Jacob Grant
See in Catalog

4 Stars

Uh-oh. After accidentally dropping his wiggly breakfast worm, Papa Bird blurts out a naughty word that Little Bird has never heard before. Excited to share his new vocabulary with friends, Little Bird repeats it to anyone who crosses his path. But instead of appreciation, he is met with shock, disgust, annoyance, and even fear. How will Little Bird make things better? This colorful picture book gently teaches an important lesson about swearing and the power of words, especially “sorry.” While adults will find it hilarious, children might not fully understand or appreciate the humor. However, it could be a useful tool for teaching children that have been in Little Bird’s situation before.

-Christina

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover
Markus Motum
See in Catalog

5 Stars

3-2-1-LIFTOFF! Prepare to travel all the way to Mars with Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover. This engaging non-fiction book tracks Curiosity’s life from her earliest design stage to her journey to Mars, where she still roams, gathering photographs and other information to send back to Earth. The story is told from Curiosity’s perspective, which gives it a personal touch and makes for a truly inspirational read. The retro illustrations are stylish and manage to make a space-traveling piece of scientific equipment adorable, much like Disney’s Wall-E.

-Christina

Wallpaper
Thao Lam
See in Catalog

4.5 Stars

A family moves into a new house, and the little girl gets the room with peeling wallpaper. In between the layers of wallpaper, she discovers an unusual creature that chases her from sheet to sheet. This picture book without words carries an important message about checking our fears and reaching out to others regardless of their appearance. The illustrations are fun and abstract, and accurately carry through emotions such as fear and hesitancy. Recommended for early readers

-Jawahir

Magic Tree House Survival Guide
Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce
See in Catalog

4 Stars

Jack and Annie share a variety of survival tips that they have learned during their many adventures. This fascinating guide will provide you with the skills to survive such situations as being lost in the wilderness, encountering wild animals, and living through natural disasters. If that isn’t enough, the last chapter treats readers to survival tips for some rather unusual but interesting circumstances. Young readers who love undertaking adventure and uncertainty will especially enjoy reading this companion book to the Magic Tree House series.

-Juli K.

Pasando Páginas
Sonia Sotomayor
See in Catalog

5 Stars

Sonia Sotomayor became the first Hispanic-American woman to be a judge on the Supreme Court in 2009. She was born in New York, but visited her family’s homeland of Puerto Rico as a young girl. The beautiful and creative illustrations show how books influenced her throughout her life, and helped her to pursue her dreams.

 

Sonia Sotomayor se convirtió en la primera mujer latina servir como juez en el Tribunal Supremo de los Estados Unidos en 2009. Nació en Nueva York, pero visitaba su territorio de origen, Puerto Rico, cuando era niña. Estas pinturas hermosas y creativas nos muestran cómo los libros la influyeron por toda su vida, y la ayudaban darse cuenta de sus sueños.

-Laura

After the Fall
Dan Santat
See in Catalog

5 Stars

After the Fall is an inspiring addition to one of the most enduring of nursery rhymes. In a creative and clever twist, the author takes us into the trials and challenges that Humpty Dumpty experiences AFTER his infamous fall from the wall. Learn how Humpty Dumpty works through his fear of falling, and ultimately turns his longstanding undignified image around.

-Juli K.

Apple Pie 4th of July
Janet S. Wong
See in Catalog

4 Stars

Order up! Your Chinese food is ready! Isn’t that what everyone eats on the 4th of July? A young Asian-American girl is frustrated as her parents cook Chinese food all day at their store and no one is ordering it. This heart-warming book brings together two cultures through the love of food.

-Laura

A Lion is a Lion
Polly Dunbar
See in Catalog

4 Stars

A Lion is a Lion is a goofy, issue-oriented book about truth and boundaries. The story, like the illustrations, is charming and fanciful—as well as engaging and easy-to-understand, with minimal text for young readers.

If you enjoyed Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!, The Heart and the Bottle, or Dragons Love Tacos, you might like this book.

-Julie P.

Readers Advisory Staff

Looking for something new for your child to read? Are you a teacher looking for something to read to your children The Villa Park Public Library has a fantastic Readers Advisory staff that is happy to recommend all sorts of genres and titles. Whether you’re looking for new authors similar to old favorites, or you’re ready for something completely new, our staff is here to help. They organize fun programs like Toddler story and song time to help make reading a more social experience. These folks know their stuff!

Looking for a Recommendation?

If you’re looking for a recommendation you can contact one of the readers advisory staff.

heidi gHeidi
Favorite Genres:
Historical Non-Fiction, Fairy TalesHeidi’s bookshelf on Goodreads
jean j_finalJean
Favorite Genres:
Books about animals that lose their hats, MysteriesJean’s bookshelf on Goodreads
juliepJulie P.
Favorite genres:
Fantasy, Science FictionJulie’s bookshelf on Goodreads
Nancy
Favorite Genres:
Literary Fiction, Regional American HistoryNancy’s bookshelf on Goodreads
Christina
Favorite Genres:
Mysteries, Science FictionChristina’s bookshelf on Goodreads
Juli K.
Favorite Genres:
Historical Non-Fiction and MysteriesJuli’s bookshelf on Goodreads
Laura
Favorite Genres:
Fantasy and MysteryLaura’s bookshelf on Goodreads
Jawahir
Favorite Genres:

Historical Non-Fiction, Women’s LiteratureJawahir’s bookshelf on Goodreads