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Kern County Library Staff Suggests...: April Recommendations for Kids

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Recommendations for Kids


Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka - Just like the title says this book is packed with trucks in a world of action and humor. All the characters are trucks where playing is work and working is playing, and getting dirty or being loud is perfectly all right. Wonderful illustrations and rhythmic text make this an accessible book for boys and girls alike!

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann - Here is a great tale of four kittens that have never experienced snow. Three kittens are unsure but one is excited and wants to share its excitement with the others. This title has great charm; it is an especially good choice for children who approach the unknown with fear rather than pleasure.

Little Eagle by Chen Jiang Hong - This wonderful tale from ancient China tells the story of a young boy who is interested in martial arts and is taken in by a Kung Fu Master. The resulting tale contains lessons everyone should learn about power and responsibility. Illustrated with fantastic watercolors in a traditional Chinese style that really brings the story to life and can take readers young and old off to another place and time.

Deep and Dark and Dangerous: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn - Thirteen-year-old Ali is looking forward to spending the summer vacationing in Maine with her Aunt Dulcie and her four-year-old cousin Emma. She plans on learning more about an old photo she found in the attic of her home, especially since the picture is torn and a person is missing from it. However, after arriving at the family's lakeside cottage, Ali meets Sissy, a mysterious and manipulative girl that influences Ali into defiant and dangerous behavior. Who is this girl and what does she want with Ali? What does she have to do with the photograph? This book fits the bill for a spine tingly tale guaranteed to send chills down the spines of readers.

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson - Henry York, 12, is sent to live with relatives when his parents are kidnapped while biking in South America. One night, while sleeping in the attic (his new bedroom), Henry is startled by a noise in the wall above him but shakes it off as an unfamiliar noise in a strange house he isn't used to yet. During the next night however, Henry wakes up with pieces of plaster in his hair and notices two knobs have broken through the wall and one of them is slowly turning. Henry starts scraping off the plaster on the wall and soon discovers ninety-nine cupboards of various shapes and sizes. But these aren't your average cupboards– oh no, these cupboards are gateways to other worlds and Henry soon realizes the important role he plays when his sister becomes trapped in one. 100 Cupboards is the first book in a projected trilogy and will surely be a hit among those who crave fantasy and adventure.

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley M. M. Blume - Ten-year-old Franny Hansen is a piano prodigy living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota– a "one of everything" type of town: one store, one church, one stoplight. It's 1953 and not much happens in Rusty Nail, but Franny and her best friend Sandy somehow always manage to think of something to keep them busy. Most of the time, they enjoy pestering Nancy, the spoiled brat of Rusty Nail who also happens to play the piano. When Franny outplays Nancy at a school assembly, she begins to realize how talented she really is. And then a mysterious Russian woman, Olga Malenkov, moves into town. When Franny learns that Olga plays the piano magnificently, she decides that it is Olga who will nurture her talent. Will Olga teach piano to Franny? Or is she the "Commie" who moved into town to change their way of life? Set against small-town America during the 1950s, Lesley M. M. Blume deftly uses history and humor to spin an enjoyable story of hilarity and hope through the eyes of a ten-year-old piano prodigy.


Encyclopedia Horrifica by Joshua Gee - Ghosts, vampires, zombies, and phantom ferrets haunt the pages of this museum of fantastic beings, the real and the unexplained.

Extreme Balloon Tying: More than 40 Over-the-Top Projects by Shar Levine & Michael Ouchi - Levine and Ouchi explain how to create improbable sculptures entirely from balloons. From the simple Roll and Lock to a Human Skeleton, supply lists and easy to follow directions suitable for all ages. Check out the giant dragon (p. 63) made entirely from balloons for the International Balloon Arts Convention.

Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku by Ellie Crowe - Duke grew up in Honolulu learning to surf and swim at Waikiki Beach. Olympic champion, Hollywood actor, Hawaiian folk hero, and sheriff of Honolulu for over 30 years, this remarkable athlete made surfing the international sport it is today.


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