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Crafternoons

Crafternoons Monday, September 13 • 3:45-4:45 pm • Ages 7 and up Online via prerecorded YouTube video A program for crafty kids! Make a fun project [...] Continue…

Preschool Storytime

Wednesdays • 10 am • Ages 3-5 without adult September*15-October 13; October 27-November 24; December 8-15 This is a lively program of imaginative stories and musical fun. [...] Continue…

Toddler Time

Mondays OR Thursdays • 9:30-10 am • Walkers up to age 3 with adult September*13-October 14; October 25-November 22; December 6-16 Stories, musical activities, rhyming games, and playtime for children [...] Continue…

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Book Reviews

Dragon Spear
Jessica Day George
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3 Stars

 

Creel, her brother, and now fiancé Prince Luka set off on vacation to visit the faraway islands her dragon friends call home, and everything is wonderful until other dragons kidnap Queen Velika. Now, they must find her and the dragons that took her and get her home before she lays her eggs. What do these dragons want? Will Luka and Creel ever be able to get married? The finale of this medieval fantasy trilogy is once again filled with enough action, danger, and romance to entertain readers and wrap up the series with a satisfying ending for all.

 

-Cristi

Posted 7/26/2021

Princess Academy
Shannon Hale
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3 Stars

Miri, a young teen who lives in a small village in the mountains, has always felt she was never good enough since she was too small and weak to help the others work in the quarry. She wonders if her chance to prove herself has finally come when it’s declared all girls in her village will attend a princess academy, which will select a bride for the prince. Now girls who have grown up together must compete to be at the top of the class to win the first dance with the prince at the ball – and potentially his heart. This book is a fun fantasy novel similar in tone to the Dragon Slippers series by Jessica Day George.    

-Cristi

Posted 7/26/2021

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone
Shannon Hale
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3 Stars
The sequel to Princess Academy finds Miri and her friends traveling to the big city for the first time to help prepare Britta for her royal wedding. She’s also allowed to attend a prestigious school while she’s there, introducing her to not only new friends but new ways of thinking. Unfortunately, some of the new ideas from the city include starting a revolution and overthrowing the royal family, especially her best friend, Britta. Miri finds herself torn not only between whose side she’s on but whether or not she should return to her home in the mountains when all is said and done. This action-filled book follows Miri as she figures whether this big new world outside her village is all it’s cracked up to be.
-Cristi
Posted 6/29/2021
Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters
Shannon Hale
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3 Stars
The third book in this series finds Miri going from student to teacher as she is sent off to make her own princess academy for three royal family relatives to prevent a war. It isn’t until she arrives at their house in a swampland that she realizes this will not be as easy as she had hoped, especially since the three sisters are more interested in hunting and fishing than in becoming princesses. The more time she spends in this strange land, the more she learns that there may be a secret reason why the king and queen sent her there. Now, she must solve this mystery, survive the strange townsfolk, and prepare these stubborn sisters for royalty as quickly as she can if she ever hopes to finally return home to her beloved village in the mountains.
-Cristi
Posted 6/29/2021
Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine
Dusti Bowling
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4 Stars

Aven Green is a spunky third grader who was born without arms. She doesn’t let her disability limit her activities, though. When her teacher’s lunch goes missing and her great-grandmother’s dog disappears, Aven attempts to solve these two mysteries. The diverse cast of characters in this book includes Aven’s adoptive parents and accepting friends. Humorous and refreshing, Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine is an early chapter book that sets the stage for what is sure to be an exciting series.

-Brian
Posted 6/14/2021

 

Caps for Sale
Esphyr Slobodkina
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4 Stars

There are few picture books that are as beloved as Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. A peddler, who balances a pile of caps on top of his head, takes a nap in the country. While asleep, a band of mischievous monkeys steal his caps. Drama ensues as he tries to get his caps back. On the surface, this is a simple tale, but the repetitions and patterns are perfect for early readers. The peddler’s frustrated anger and tantrums are hilarious and relatable. The memorable illustrations help younger kids follow the story. Caps for Sale is a classic and a perfect read-aloud that is sure to engage and delight.

-Brian
Posted 5/20/2021

Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
Art Spiegelman
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5 Stars

An amazing illustrated novel worth getting invested in that shows the accounts of Art Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, and his life right before, during, and after World War II. When we first meet author/ illustrator Art Spiegelman, he is attempting to write a book about his father and his experiences with the war. What makes this book interesting is that it jumps back and forth between the present when Art struggles to interview his father and his father’s memories of the war. This book is a reminder of how horrible the war was and how it has affected the lives and relationships of Jewish people years after the war. Not necessarily a comic for the faint of heart or children but a definite must-read for those interested in World War II or history.

-Cristi
Posted 5/13/2021

Maus II : A Survivor's Tale : And Here My Troubles Began
Art Spiegelman
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5 Stars

This graphic novel is the thought-provoking conclusion to Art Spiegelman’s journey to retell how his father survived World War II and Auschwitz. Art still struggles with his father and his extreme antics as he tries to write the book. The more he learns about Auschwitz, the more we see how the war has impacted Art even though he was born just after. We see Art deal with the ongoing guilt of having an easier life than his family, who experienced the Holocaust, as well as how he’s not living up to his father’s expectations. The book is summarized as not only the “ultimate survivor’s tale” but also the story of children who must survive the survivors, and I honestly can’t describe it better than that.

-Cristi
Posted 5/13/2021

Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite
Nick Bromley
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5 Stars

Have you ever started to read a tale, only to have an uninvited character enter your book and cause a major interruption to the story? It happened to me when reading this very book! I should have guessed something was wrong when Hans Christian Anderson’s name on the title page was scribbled out—clue number one!  As the book tells the Ugly Duckling fairy tale, a green and scaly creature enters the pages and causes destruction. It destroys the illustrations, letters, words, and pages of this “tale of a journey.” Find out who this creature is and help remove it in this adventurous must-read with bite!

-Heidi
Posted 5/10/2021

Attack of the Underwear Dragon
Scott Rothman
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4 Stars

Do knights really cry? Yes, they do! Read this tale, and you will see why!

Cole dreams of being an assistant to Sir Percival, his favorite knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. He writes a letter to Sir Percival and learns of sharpening swords, spears, battle-axes, pencils, and bandaging Sir Percival’s boo-boos after his battles. But when the ferocious and feared underwear dragon destroys the kingdom, who you think survives the fight against the beast? It’s quite a tale, indeed!

-Heidi
Posted 5/10/2021

Ivy + Bean: What's the Big Idea?
Annie Barrows
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3 Stars

The seventh book in the popular Ivy + Bean series, What’s the Big Idea? finds the mischievous but likable girls preparing for the second grade Science Fair. The theme of the fair is global warming, and the two girls have a difficult time coming up with an idea for their project. After several humorous failed attempts to bring their imaginative ideas to life, they land on a simple but effective idea that I found to be moving. As with the other Ivy + Bean books, What’s the Big Idea? celebrates friendship, independent play, and creative problem-solving. This early chapter book is ideal for children ages 6 through 10.

-Brian
Posted 4/21/2021

 

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

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.
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.

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!