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Book Reviews

No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-Aloud Book Ever
Raj Haldar
Find in Catalog

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

Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo
E.S. Redmond
Find in Catalog

5 Stars

The poor animals at the zoo are sick and feeling blue! What has happened to them? It all began when a sniffling girl named Felicity Floo visited the zoo one day. She didn’t wipe her runny nose with a tissue, so her fingers became sticky with green and “gloopy goo.” Without washing her hands, she then petted and touched all the animals—from the emu, llamas, and red kangaroo, to the pink cockatoos, the rare jabiru, and the startled zebra. Will the zoo animals recover from all their sniffles and blues? Find out and read this cautionary tale with its important message!

-Amity
Posted 1/13/2021

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere
Elise Gravel
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3 Stars

A kooky girl finds a strange creature in her garbage can and sets out to learn about it using science. This is the plot of the offbeat chapter book Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere. There is a lot to admire in Olga, a budding scientist, animal lover, and user of the library. Author Elise Gravel uses the form of an observation notebook to great effect. Her two-toned illustrations present the scientific method in a comprehensible way. Overall, Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere is a fun read that is especially appealing to children ages 6-11.

-Brian
Posted 1/13/2021

The Miracle of the First Poinsettia: A Mexican Christmas Story
Joanne Oppenheim
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4.5 Stars

It is “la Noche Buena,” Christmas Eve, a most joyous and festive time of celebration for many people—especially a young girl named Juanita. In this colorful retelling of a beloved Mexican folktale, Juanita is sad since she has nothing splendid to give the Christ child on Christmas Eve during Midnight Mass. When the night arrives, she carries a bundle of green weeds in her arms down the aisle of the church…and it is then that the weeds magically transform into the most beautiful red starflowers. Juanita then realizes she does have the most splendid and PERFECT gift to give. The author weaves Spanish words and phrases throughout the story, which is richly illustrated with many colors. The end of the book includes a glossary of Spanish vocabulary for reference purposes and a traditional Mexican Christmas carol with lyrics and music for the reader to enjoy.

-Amity
Posted 1/13/2021

Fart Quest
Aaron Reynolds
Find in Catalog

3 Stars

As its flatulent title suggests, Fart Quest is a humorous adventure book geared to children ages 9-12. Narrated by 12-year-old apprentice Bartok (nicknamed Fart), the book’s culturally diverse characters strive to become heroes in their quest to find a Golden Llama and obtain its magical fart. Over the course of several memorable exploits, Fart and his two apprentice companions, Moxie and Pan, encounter mythical creatures such as goblins, ogres, and giants. Cam Kendell’s frequent illustrations are cartoony and match the lighthearted tone of the book very well. Despite the silly humor, Fart Quest illustrates wonderful lessons in friendship, teamwork, and acceptance.

-Brian
Posted 1/13/2021

Pugtato Finds a Thing
Sophie Corrigan
Find in Catalog

4 Stars

Pugtato is digging in his garden one day when he finds a mysterious, shiny object. Certain he isn’t clever enough to figure out what it is on his own, he asks his “spuddies” what they think it is. Each of his friends has a different answer, and none of them seem to be correct. Will anyone figure out what it is?

Pugtato Finds a Thing is a cute story of friendship and believing in yourself. The rhyming text, paired with charming illustrations of creative vegetable and animal hybrids, is sure to delight young readers.

-Amity
Posted 1/13/2021

The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank
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3.5 Stars

A historic and iconic piece, The Diary of a Young Girl is a first-hand telling of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl, and her experience living in hiding with her family during WWII. Through her own words, we are told not only about her experience in hiding but her relationship with her family, the other families staying with them, and her dreams for life after the war. It is a captivating story about the tragedy of war and the thoughts and hopes of a young girl who remained optimistic despite her devastating circumstances.

-Pola
Posted 8/17/2020

Cinco de Mayo
Emma Carlson Berne
Find in Catalog

4 Stars

Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for the 5th of May. On this day back in 1862, a significant battle was fought between the Mexican and French soldiers. In honor of this day and event, it is celebrated on May 5th every year by its people through dancing, music, food, and drink unique to Mexico’s culture.

This “fiesta-filled” songbook highlighting Mexico’s celebration of this essential battle with France is one in the Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme series. Each book in the series begins with a brief narrative introduction that explains the holiday’s importance. The majority of the book consists of rhythmic, rhyming, and repetitive text that describes the holiday’s traditions. This hardcover book comes with CD and online music access. Diwali is another book in the Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme series written by Allan Morey.

-Heidi
Posted 8/17/2020

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.
Suzanne
Favorite Genres:
Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Young Adult Literature
Suzanne’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!