A Book Blog Farewell

In consultation with the primary staff reviewers, we have decided to discontinue the InfoSoup reading blogs. Since 2008, InfoSoup users and staff have posted over 3000 reviews to Books to Hoot About!, the book blog, & Books R Us. It has been a fun ride, but now seems the right time to bring the blogs to an end.

We would like to thank all the users who participated in our reading challenge in 2013 and 2014, all the kids and teens who posted summer library program reviews, and the InfoSoup library staff who gave their time and shared their insight.

We will keep the reviews up for the rest of the year and, relaunch the site in in the new year with more of a focus on booklists and other resources for readers.

Thanks, and happy reading!

Polar Bears

Author: Thyra Heder

The Bear Report is a wonderful picture book about a young girl who has to do a report on Polar Bears. Sophie thinks Polar Bears are boring...until one an named Olafur appears in her living room and carries her off to his home in the Artic. There Sophie and Olafur tour the sights of Olafur's home and have some adventures along the way. It is Sophie, using skills Olafur taught her earlier in the day that gets them out of danger so they can enjoy the northern lights before Sophie returns to her home. This story does an excellent job of portraying life for Polar Bears and will instill a sense of wonder and fascination in young children.

Author: Merrie-Ellen Wilcox

This new book about bees is written by a woman who is a bee keeper in British Columbia, Canada. The book has an appealing layout with pictures on every page and little sectioned off areas labled "Bee Fact" and "All Abuzz". Elementary school aged children will find the book easy to read and follow and the "Bee Facts" are very interesting. The book has the history of bees, life in the hive, how bees help us eat and live and the danger bees are facing now. This is a good book to get young people interested in the plight of our bees.

Author: K.A. Holt

Twelve year-old Timothy has been placed under house arrest for stealing a credit card and making almost $1500 in charges on it. The items bought aren't what you would expect a kid in poverty, without quite enough food and shoes that don't fit, to buy. Timothy has purchased medication for his infant brother who needs constant care. As part of his rehabilitation, Timothy writes a journal (in verse) that is this book detailing the struggles of a boy, his single mother, and a part-time nurse in caring for a medically needy child. How much help is enough and how much is too much?

Author: Todd Parr

What a find! This wonderful book explains in very plain terms what it is like to suffer a loss. Cleverly, this can mean death or separation. And it ends on the upswing of how we recover. Yay!


Title: The Turnip
Author: Jan Brett

This is another clever picture book from Jan Brett. As usual, there are two stories going on at the same time and her use of panels to foreshadow things to come is here as well. Animals of the forest are trying very hard to get a turnip, a very big turnip, out of the ground as winter is setting in. A little quick thinking and lots of luck results in an unlikely hero to save the day. How the dilemma is really solved will be obvious for young children and they will be so proud of themselves for figuring it out.

Author: Harriet Muncaster

A little girl who is a "witch's cat" (mom is a witch) goes shopping for Halloween costumes and cannot find the right one. She gives up until a cool solution presents itself!

Another Fun Story

Author: Christian Trimmer

This book is very cute and fun to read.  It is about a dog named Simon who just received a new bed and he just couldn't wait to take his first, glorious nap in his new bed.  So, he grabs his bone and heads to his new bed, but WHAT?  The cat, Miss Adora Belle, is laying ON HIS NEW BED!  So, he thinks of every way possible to get her off his bed.  But, she won't budge.  Finally, he notices that she has moved over to give him some room.  So, they end up on the bed together to both take a glorious nap.  Very cute subtle story about sharing.  The kids loved it.  In fact, one of them checked it out that day and now it is her favorite book, according to her mother. 

Great Story Time Book

Author: Eve Bunting

This book has wonderful illustrations that are very colorful and eye-catching.  But, what I really loved about reading this book for story time is that there are only a few words per page and usually they are words that repeat, such as "Hurry! Hurry",  "Ready? Ready?", "Quick! Quick!", etc.  It is the perfect opportunity to have the children "echo" you.  Also, using these words helps to build up the excitement, which again you can engage the children by saying, What are they going to do?  Why are they all hurrying? What do you think will happen next? etc.  I read this book yesterday for story time and it was a blast!  The kids were very into it and really wanted to know WHY WERE THEY HURRYING?  Of course at the end, we find out it is a baby chicken that has just hatched out of its egg.  Very sweet.  I loved it as much as the kids did. Highly recommend!

Night Animals

Author: Gianna Marino

The night animals are all afriad, but of what?  If you are afraid of the dark this story lets you know you are not the only one.  It is a  great  read aloud..

Out of the Woods

Author: Rebecca Bond

Out of the Wood is a true story of an unforgetable event in the life of boy in Gowganda, Ontario.  This remarkable thing happened in a lumber camp in 1914 when a fire threatened his life. It is a truly amazing story.