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Book Reviews

Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird
Bethany Hegedus
Find in Catalog

3 Stars

Alabama Spitfire is a short story describing Nelle Harper Lee’s life as she grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, and eventually moved to New York to write her famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. This book introduces the reader to some of the author’s friends and family members and illustrates aspects of her childhood that inspired her to stand up for what’s right and write her stories. This book is a cute, fun, and simple summary of what was going on in Lee’s life before, during, and after writing To Kill a Mockingbird and becoming a famous author.

-Cristi
Posted 4/13/2021

Badger and the Big Adventure
Suzanne Chiew
Find in Catalog

5 Stars

Can Badger help a little wounded bird in need? Out in the forest, friends Badger, Hedgehog, and Rabbit come across three birds—and the youngest has hurt her wing. Badger offers the birds his home to stay in over the winter months, and in that time very close bond grows between them. When the time comes for the birds to fly off and find their flock, how will they catch up? Badger gently tells wounded bird, “Don’t worry ……every problem has a solution!” Through an initial idea, a sketch, a plan, and some hard work through measuring, sawing and gluing all day long, they build a flying machine. Will it be fast enough to reach the other birds in the flock? Will Badger ever see his special friends if they fly off with their feathered flock?

Find out in this colorful story of friendship, courage, and happy reunions–definitely worth reading, indeed!

-Heidi
Posted 3/16/2021

Primer
Jennifer Muro & Thomas Krajewski
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2 Stars

This illustrated novel introduces Ashley (A.K.A Primer), a sassy new hero with artistic abilities who always has a quip ready. After the young street artist moves into her new foster family’s home, she discovers paints hidden away that she thinks are a surprise for her 13th birthday. She quickly learns that this is no ordinary paint, and each color gives her a unique super ability. Perhaps these weird canisters of paint are her chance to become more than just the daughter of a criminal? The art style is charming and, as someone who has not read a lot of comics growing up, I would say this is a quick and easy read for those who want to try out the genre.

-Cristi
Posted 3/16/2021

The Chicken Who Couldn't
Jan Thomas
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4 Stars

Oh no, Chicken has fallen out of the farmer’s truck! Frantic and panicking, Chicken repeats again and again, “I can’t do it”. Will chicken ever get back to the farm while avoiding the hungry fox? With the help of some other caring animals he comes across along the way, he just might do it!

This colorful, crazy-fun story is all about believing in one’s self and overcoming obstacles. If you enjoy this book by author/illustrator Jan Thomas, check out two of her other wonderful books: Rhyming Dust Bunnies and Can You Make a Scary Face?

-Heidi
Posted 3/16/2021

The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Jane Cabrera
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4 Stars

This is another most enjoyable and colorful rhyme and sing-along book from author/ illustrator Jane Cabrera. In this beloved nursery rhyme, Bear—along with his other forest friends owl, hare, fox, and wolf—venture out, “over the mountain to see what they could see” before settling in for the night! Truly, this is a joyful classic to read while singing along over and over again.

Jane Cabrera has many other picture books of favorite nursery rhymes and songs you may enjoy as well, including: Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush.

-Heidi
Posted 3/16/2021

Snow Friends
Margery Cuyler
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4 Stars

Oscar the dog is quite excited about going outside to play in the freshly fallen snow. He sprints outside before his boy Matt realizes he is gone on a winter wonderland adventure. When Oscar comes across another dog, they make snow “dog” angels, ice skate, and even build an igloo! But what happens when Matt ventures out to find his beloved pet? Find out in this enjoyable escapade on a most adventurous and snowy winter day!

-Heidi
Posted 3/16/2021

Dory and the Real True Friend
Abby Hanlon
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4 Stars

The second of five titles in the Dory Fantasmagory series, The Real True Friend, finds the inventive heroine making a school friend. Because Dory has imaginary friends, her family believes that this friend, Rosabelle, isn’t real. Like Dory, Rosabelle has an active imagination, and the two soon embark on fantastic adventures. Despite its whimsical tone, the story and characters in this early chapter book are realistic. Abby Hanlon’s hilarious writing and cartoon illustrations are perfect for children grades 1-3.

 

-Brian
Posted 3/12/2021

No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever
Raj Haldar
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4 Stars

No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever is a hilarious look at the English language. The book provides fun examples of homophones, homonyms, and difficult punctuation. Its format consists of parallel sentences that sound alike but have different meanings. A cartoony illustration accompanies each sentence. As a lover of language, I relished the absurd examples. Although a picture book, young children may find new vocabulary and wordplay confusing. Thus, I would recommend No Reading Allowed for kids ages 8 and older as well as for educational settings.

-Brian
Posted 1/13/2021

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.

Amity
Favorite genres:
Horror, Graphic Novels, Young Adult Literature, and Books about unusual animal friendships.
Amity’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
Brian
Favorite genres:
Classic Literature, Film, and Philosophy
Brian’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
Cristi
Favorite genres:
Comics and Young Adult Literature.
Cristi’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
heidi gHeidi
Favorite Genres:
Historical Non-Fiction, Picture Books, and Fairy Tales.
Heidi’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
jean j_finalJean
Favorite Genres:
Books about animals that lose their hats and Mysteries.
Jean’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
Nancy
Favorite Genres:
Literary Fiction and Regional American History.
Nancy’s bookshelf on Goodreads.
Whitney
Favorite Genres:
Memoir, Poetry, Classics, and Picture Books
Whitney’s bookshelf on Goodreads.

Picture Book Cover Quiz!

Can you identify the books based on their covers? Click on the pictures to see how many you get correct!

J/Y Novel Cover Quiz!

We know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but can you GUESS the book from its cover? Click on the covers to find out if you guessed correctly!