Syndicate content

Welcome to Books to Hoot About! the children's book review blog from InfoSoup librarians and users!

adventure

bookcover
Author: Cynthia Lord

In this fun book, hamster shows his adventurous spirit at the fair! When he gets the chance to do something extra special, he earns a load of fair tickets that he shares with everyone in line at the food stand! Sweet.

bookcover
Author: Jan Thornhill

This book follows, Sammy, a young Wilson's warbler from the Arctic Circle to Panama during migration season. The reader learns about the extensive distance and all the things that can happen along the way. Beautifully illustrated, this book is full of detailed information, but NOT in an overwhelming way.

bookcover
Author: Chris Colfer

When twins, Alex and Conner, discover the magical powers of a fairy tale book their Grandmother leaves them, they are transported into the kingdoms of a not-so-happy fairy tale land.  In order to get home they must collect various items to complete the Wishing Spell.  This is a great middle school  book, especially for those who are familiar with the classic fairy tale characters.....but always be looking for the "twist in the tale!"

bookcover
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch

It was fun to go back to this book after reading the second series so that I could fill in a few gaps. I would recommend that you read them in order, if you can! This book was really great. We see how Cass and Max Ernest's friendship developed and also what things both of them are afraid of. We also get a glimpse at their families and how they fit into them. Again, the author had a fabulous sense of humor in the book. I can see why this series is a hit!

bookcover
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch

I saw this come through the library and I was absolutely intrigued by the title. Then the chapters are numbered BACKWARDS like a countdown to doom. I loved that! I enjoyed the tenuous friendship between the two main characters, Max Ernest and Cass, and how they were thwarting the evil of Dr. L. and Miss Mauvais. I was almost done with the book when I realized I was reading a sequel so then I had to go back to the first book! Also, there five in this series. I have lots of reading to do. I love the humor exhibited by the author!

bookcover
Author: James Dashner

I found this to be a fun an entertaining way to approach history.  Things aren't they way they should be and our band of time travelers are on a mission to correct history and set it on its natural course.

bookcover
Author: Matthew Skelton

We read this book aloud as a family a few weeks ago. We chose it because we had listened to Endymion Spring, another book by Matthew Skelton, a few years ago on audio. I prefer Endymion Spring because it is more complex and because of it’s historical roots and being set in the library in Oxford. Cirrus Flux is a good book, though. It is the story of the orphan, Cirrus Flux, an orphan in 19th century London, whose father left him a mysterious artifact that a bunch of adults all seem to want. Oh, yeah, and he gets to ride in a hot air balloon that is powered by a bird whose wings set on fire. There’s cool stuff like that in the book. Overall, a good book. A-

bookcover
Author: Eleanor Cameron

This book, written in 1954, was a fun read for our family.  I read it outloud to my kids ages 6, 8 and 9 and we all truly enjoyed it.  When I finished a chapter they wanted me to keep going and a few times we stayed up past our bedtime to read a little more.  Previous to reading this book I had read an amazon review that said this book was science fiction so I thought I wouldn't like it, but if this is what science fiction is I do like it!  It tells the story of two boys who build a space shuttle and take it to an unknown planet to help the 'beings' that live there.  The story kept us captive and I truly enjoyed the way the words flowed.  It made for a great read aloud.  This book is number one in the series of 5.  I liked Eleanor Cameron's style and might try some more of her books for my kids.   

bookcover
Author: Colette Bezio

** please note!! Colette Bezio is a librarian at the Muehl Public Library in Seymour, WI.

Congratulations to Colette Bezio on her debut fantasy for chapter book readers! If you love fairy tales (and who doesn’t love a good fairy tale?) , you will love this book.  Replete with a castle and a moat, spells and witches, royalty and servants, power struggles and wizardy, this story provides more than  lovely drawn magical settings.

 This tale also gives us tension and a quickly moving and changing plot with a cliffhanger at the end of several of the chapters! Colette is a master of set up and plot devices. If something is mysterious, you can be assured that it will be cleared up later in the yarn.

Miggin and Druzilla are two girls who are similar in that they have no families. They are moved into Castle Crabapple and are being “rated” by the king and queen to see which one is suited to become the princess of the castle and thus inherit the kingdom. At first this competition is not clear to the girls as they are too busy getting on each other’s nerves and trying to share a bedroom! However, over time they come to realize that they are players in a “Conspiracy of Fate” and that they actually are beginning to “influence” one another. Eventually a friendship blossoms and that friendship emerges into a strong one of sisterhood.

This book is highly entertaining in that it is infused with humor and word play. Colette assembles some of our modern phrases into the dialogue and text and challenges us with new vocabulary for a rollicking and edifying ride. Even her spells are catchy and imaginative. I am very much looking forward to book two in this series!

bookcover
Author: Adam Jay Epstein

I actually liked this book better than the first one. This book really picks up speed and it shows the talents of the co-authors. (It is so cool that Adam and Andrew are able to write jointly--how do they do that?) I was really impressed with the vocabulary in this book. It was very rich and challenges the reader to think deeply.

The focus in this book was the familiars: Aldwyn (the cat), Skylar (the bluejay) and Gilbert (the frog). They are separated from their loyals (Jack, Dalton and Marianne) for most of the book and I missed them. However, there are a couple of additional characters who were fun: Scribius, the enchanted Quill, who travels with Skylar and Shady, the shadow pup, who follows Gilbert.

There is a very intricate poem that the familiars follow (it contains several clues) to get to their destination and find the Snow Leopard Crown before the next full moon. If not, it could mean the destruction of their land called Vastia by the "Dead Army". The poem was also referred to as a nursery rhyme and I really liked this because in times past nursery rhymes "covered" for messages or had allusions to reality. This book is greatly set up for book three!