I learned about Mouse Guard from my student teaching experience in an elementary school library. The Mouse Guard books were popular there because he hI learned about Mouse Guard from my student teaching experience in an elementary school library. The Mouse Guard books were popular there because he had done a school visit there the year before. When I finally sat down with one of the books, I could easily see why. Had Mouse Guard existed when I was in sixth grade, I would have devoured it as I did when I was introduced to the Redwall books that year by my school librarian. In Mouse Guard, there are mice battling against their natural elements, larger predators and betrayal. The young must learn from the old and the old rely upon the young.
In this volume, members of the Mouse Guard struggle through the snow to bring back much needed supplies of food and medicine to Lockhaven. Three bands were set out. They need to hurry as one of their own lies near death back in Lockhaven. From one of the cities on their route, Kenzie, Saxon, Lieam, Sadie and Celanawe are able to receive two precious bottles of elixir.
A snowy collapse splits this band of Mouse Guard. Lieam, the youngest, and Celanwe remain above ground. They are to continue on with the medicine while the other three are to dare the underground tunnel they fell into. Both groups face adversity. An owl attacks the spot where Celanwe and Lieam shelter from the snow while Saxon antagonizes hundreds of bats.
David Petersen's created a rich world depicted in vibrant art that conveys the emotions of his tiny heroes and predatory villains. On his blog, you can discover the detailed model dummies he makes of the settings depicted in his comics. There are also links to two Mouse Guard shorts created as part of Free Comic Book Day: http://graphicly.com/archaia-comics/m... ...more
Mad Scientist was my first read in the Babymouse series. Babymouse's frequent daydreams were amusing. Her inattention causes problems, including a famMad Scientist was my first read in the Babymouse series. Babymouse's frequent daydreams were amusing. Her inattention causes problems, including a familial accident. I enjoyed the moments where her dad read to her. As a librarian, I loved her excitement at a wrapped book. I also well understood her frustration at hearing her dad's excitement about the science fair when she wanted to hear the end of the fairy tale he'd been reading.
Having recently read Squish I enjoyed the tie-ins between the two books. In Mad Scientist, Baybmouse ends up doing a science fair project on amoeba. To study them she scoops up a jar of pond water from Squish's pond, so he ends up on her microscope slide. I had fun with this implausible friendship between a mouse and an amoeba. ...more
This is the entertaining third installment of the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series of elementary mystery graphic novels featuring Detective PanThis is the entertaining third installment of the Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye series of elementary mystery graphic novels featuring Detective Pants the guinea big and sidekick Hamisher the hamster. The story takes place inside Mr. Venezi's pet shop where Mr. Venezi is advertising for additional help. Worried what additional help could cause in the shop, Pants and Hamisher create labels for all the different cages in the shop. Seeing the pet shop in order, Mr. Venezi takes down help wanted sign.
Confused by the animals hiding in the shop, Mr. Venezi calls around for where to get more animals. Shoes end up delivered to the shop as well as a crate with what Hamisher is terrified to believe are bearded snakes. These new creatures are actually a pair of ferrets, who are seemingly too busy to talk to Pants.
Trouble begins when the cage labels get changed overnight so the animal names are now words that do not make sense (The snake is labeled milkshake and later handshake). Hyped up on too much caffeine in an effort to change his sleeping habits, Hamisher at first believes the ferrets are behind everything. Pants isn't so sure and questions everyone.
I loved the ingenious ways pet equipment is used throughout this story. A leash and hamster wheel become a harness that Pants can use to investigate difficult places. A hamster ball is used as a jail when Hamisher becomes convinced he is the one responsible for the label changing. Mr. Venezi's absent-minded and unexpected ways to solve problems also amuse. The tryouts for a new assistant for Detective Pants made me laugh out loud.
Hamisher's fascination with mysteries adds a comedic layer to the story because he's convinced Pants has to have some sort of catchphrase. After discarding a number of ideas, Hamisher settles on "A Ferret's a Foot." In Hamisher's chatter about books comes the quote "Every good book has dragons" and he's planning on styling himself as a dragon sidekick in a book about Detective Pants.
At the back of the book is a section called Hamisher explains which includes factual information about ferrets as well as some exaggeration on Hamisher's part. He also has a short dictionary of detective words....more
King is renamed Buddy by the family that takes him out of the pound. While the dog is glad to be out of that place, he's not pleased about this adoptiKing is renamed Buddy by the family that takes him out of the pound. While the dog is glad to be out of that place, he's not pleased about this adoption. First, the whole thing is backwards from his point of view. The dog is supposed to pick the family and not the other way around. Second, he already has a family. Mom is serving overseas. Kayla and Dad went to visit Grandma and then never came back. Buddy spent time at a kennel and then an uncle's before landing in the pound where the new mom and her son Connor found him.
Buddy's determined to figure out what happened to his first family. Kayla loved solving mysteries and made Buddy help her, so he's making lists of what he knows and doesn't know. He thinks he has a real chance of solving it when it turns out the new family lives in the same neighborhood that Kayla's family did. Buddy can't pass up the chance to scope out his old yard when he's out on his first walk with Connor. Buddy's investigation gets put aside when Connor vanishes. Buddy puts himself on the case of the lost boy, but he's being roadblocked by scents that disappear in the middle of the street and humans that can't understand what he's trying to tell them.
This mystery will appeal most to those readers just entering chapter books. It is an eager, sort of bumbling mystery in that Buddy is not a super observant detective. He needs the help of others, including a cat, to solve the case. In a read aloud setting, children will have fun with some of Buddy's repeated mannerisms, such as his love of every kind of food or how he has to spell out pound rather than using the word. This would be a good book to put in the hands of children who cannot get enough animal stories. Many will be able to relate to Connor's problems with his parents' recent split....more
Mr. Duck's schedule is precisely organized, quiet, & confined to one place. A pig cannonballs into Mr. Duck's pond, disturbing the tranquility. AsMr. Duck's schedule is precisely organized, quiet, & confined to one place. A pig cannonballs into Mr. Duck's pond, disturbing the tranquility. As Mr. Duck struggles to express the depths of his distress to the pig, more animals loudly intrude upon his pond. When the other animals finally understand what Mr. Duck's snapping is all about, Duck discovers quiet isn't what he wants every hour of every day in his pond. Mr. Duck relaxes the rules and allows some chaos into his life (and some friends too).
Children could have fun pointing out the animals that come and sneak a glance at Mr. Duck's quiet pond.
Mr. Duck and Scaredy Squirrel have much in common. I would love to have kids draw up their precise schedule and match it up with that of Mr. Duck and Scaredy Squirrel....more
On the cover, an energetic cub wrapped in a red scarf leaps down into the waiting arms of whiskery Old Bear. Every morning begins with these two sittiOn the cover, an energetic cub wrapped in a red scarf leaps down into the waiting arms of whiskery Old Bear. Every morning begins with these two sitting down with porridge and Old Bear admonishing the cub to eat it all up. Party way through the story, the cub takes on the role of telling Old Bear what he should be doing to stay well. Old Bear is sent to bed, given tea and read to until he falls fast asleep.
In a story time, kids would have great fun carrying out Old Bear and cub's arguments. This would be a great story for kids who might have to help care for older relatives or for kids tired of hearing advice. This little bedtime story could work as a prelude to discussions of animal families or as an introduction to a health lesson. ...more
Doreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired sDoreen Cronin, author of Diary of a Spider, breaks into chapter books with the fast-paced, funny The Trouble with Chickens. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog now living out in the country with his trainer who finds retirement less than restful when a chicken named Millicent drags him into a case. Two of her chicks are missing, and Millicent is insistent J.J. find them even if the mother chicken doesn't have a clue what a dog charges for work (A hint is that chicken feed won't buy a canine).
J.J.'s point of view hints at gritty noir. He gives the chickens nicknames that are less than stellar (Moosh, Sugar and Dirt) while tracking down scents. Rain fouls up the investigation for a time until a note from the kidnapper arrives.
This is a fun, light-hearted problem solving where some problem solving turns the villain's game backwards. Kevin Cornell's illustrations are a great complement to the story. A few parts of the book are told by house dog Vince the Funnel, which shows the case is more complicated than J.J. imagines.
Of the chickens, Sugar has the most personality. She's willing to rush into things, is smart, and has a few secrets up her wing. Millicent aka Moosh also has a fairly strong personality. For me, it is Sugar and J.J. who really make this story click.
I'm curious to see what will happen in the next J. J. book....more
Cadet 3X-245 lives at the Donut Station. His job? Monitoring the universe. The book begins much as a tv-show might. First there's an overview of Topo'Cadet 3X-245 lives at the Donut Station. His job? Monitoring the universe. The book begins much as a tv-show might. First there's an overview of Topo's duties as a cadet and his goal of becoming a space commander. The different bots and tools inside the space station are introduced. Action kicks in when Topo awakes to find everything frozen. Only Tinny Bot can help Topo.
Computron announces that the sun has turned off and assigns Topo four tasks. Topo must fly to the last planet, find the keeper of the Galactic Flame, haul fire to the sun and light the core. Simple.
The Guardian of the Galactic Flame sets a task before Topo before the mole can stop the galaxy from turning blue with ice. The action based cartoon style drawings will appear to kids who enjoy comics. I like the use of fonts throughout for both the robotic and computerized characters, and the scenery signs. In some ways this book reminds me of Indiana Jones.