Okay, so I know this is not, like, high literature or anything, but I actually LOVED this audiobook and I think it's just about perfect for what it is...moreOkay, so I know this is not, like, high literature or anything, but I actually LOVED this audiobook and I think it's just about perfect for what it is. Teresa has been booktalking this one and I am so excited to add it to my booktalking repertoire, too.
So, when Abby's dumb little brother Jonah knocks on this weird, old mirror in the basement of their new home, Abby & Jonah are transported to a fairy tale world and find themselves wrapped up in the story of Snow White. Only, before they figure that out, they manage to totally screw up Snow White's story by saving her from eating the witch's poison apple. Now that Snow didn't eat the apple, she's not unconscious and the prince can't come and wake her up and she'll never live happily ever after! So Abby & Jonah have to figure out how to set Snow White's story to rights... and they have to figure out how to get home. Along the way, they face the evil witch (Evil Evelyn), crocodiles, and more dwarves than you can shake a stick at.
This is a light, funny fairy tale retelling, completely befitting of the series name "Whatever After". Kids looking for a spunky, funny heroine full of heart need to look no further than Abby. This is a great one for fans of fairy tale retellings and I think the reading/content level is just right for 3rd-5th grade. I'd recommend it to fans of E.D. Baker's fairy tale retellings, maybe a little younger Ella Enchanted crowd.
The audiobook recording was pretty much perfect. Narrator Emily Eidem gives life to the voice of Abby, making it lively and dramatic and very fitting to the character. Eidem impressively manages to yell and exclaim without being overly loud or annoying. She's perky without being overly so, without being nasal or annoying.
I heartily enjoyed this and I will heartily enjoy booktalking it to all kinds of third and fourth graders this year. :D(less)
I enjoy listening to the Dear America series and this one is no exception. It's an interesting choice to tell the story of the Japanese internment thr...moreI enjoy listening to the Dear America series and this one is no exception. It's an interesting choice to tell the story of the Japanese internment through the eyes of a white minister's daughter. Piper does get close to the internees as her father ministers to them and they move to a town where one of the camps is located, so Piper experiences it in a way. Piper and her father also experience their own share of prejudice - people won't rent to them since they are helping the Japanese Americans.
All in all, just fine, and it helped end the listening slump I was on. ;) (less)
Another appealing early chapter title with three different animal stories: dogs trained to locate stranded dolphins, a monkey trained as a helper for...moreAnother appealing early chapter title with three different animal stories: dogs trained to locate stranded dolphins, a monkey trained as a helper for people with disabilities, and rats trained to locate land mines. This is a great series for animal lovers and the writing is just right for new chapter book readers.
Sidebar: I did cry in the break room about the Capuchin monkey Kasey who went to MONKEY COLLEGE* to learn how to become a helper for people with disabilities. Then, when he started working with a college kid who became a quadriplegic after a car accident, Kasey actually started challenging the kid to reach farther for objects and HELPED HIM REGAIN SOME OF HIS MOVEMENT. THIS WAS NOT SOMETHING THE MONKEY WAS TRAINED TO DO. HE DID IT ON HIS OWN. <3333333
The feels. (I don't think this would make kids cry, though. I am just a softie.)
This graphic novel collects three completely unrelated stories about Halloween. A young girl dressed up as a witch accidentally switches brooms with a...moreThis graphic novel collects three completely unrelated stories about Halloween. A young girl dressed up as a witch accidentally switches brooms with a real witch and accompanies her on her errands, two obnoxious boys grapple with a tentacle monster in their bathtub, and a posse of tween girls dressed up as vampires scare the pants off the kids in their neighborhood before meeting a posse of actual tween vampires. I guess the stories are a little related since they all deal with kids unexpectedly running into real monsters on Halloween night? But I wanted them to be more connected, some reason that they were here together. As separate stories, each felt pretty flat and short.
But hey, kids love graphic novels and kids love Halloween (most kids, anyway). (less)
I read this book as a kid and just reread on audio. This whimsical story of a musical cricket has a lot of heart and humor. I enjoyed the audio narrat...moreI read this book as a kid and just reread on audio. This whimsical story of a musical cricket has a lot of heart and humor. I enjoyed the audio narration - narrator Tony Shaloub reads at a great clip, faster than many narrators I've listened to recently, but I liked that. He does voices for all the characters. One issue I had with the audio recording was the violin music at every chapter break - it's a nice touch, but the pieces were just a few seconds too long for me. I wish they had been simplified. However, for young children listening who may not be familiar with violin sounds, this might give them a chance to hear how Chester cricket might have sounded. (less)
We've recently discovered this series and ordered a bunch of them for my library. This book is a collection of four true stories about animal friendsh...moreWe've recently discovered this series and ordered a bunch of them for my library. This book is a collection of four true stories about animal friendships, including Koko the gorilla and her kittens, and a rescued greyhound who befriends a fawn named Bramble.
The controlled vocabulary makes this a good choice for kids practicing chapter books. The stories will definitely appeal to animal lovers and they'll be clamoring for more! This title would make a great ladder for Peg Kehret's book ANIMALS WELCOME, another story about a love of animals and animal rescue. (less)
Not my cup of tea and I didn't finish it, BUT I would sell it as Harry Potter meets Warriors. Aldwin is a mangy alley cat who sneaks into a shop selli...moreNot my cup of tea and I didn't finish it, BUT I would sell it as Harry Potter meets Warriors. Aldwin is a mangy alley cat who sneaks into a shop selling animal companions to escape a mad fishmonger who's chasing him. Aldwin ends up getting chosen as a boy wizard's familiar and, even though he knows he doesn't actually have magical powers, Aldwin goes along with it because who's going to turn down free meals? At the wizard school, Aldwin meets fellow familiars, a blue jay and a tree frog, and then they have to save the world.
It just wasn't my thing (and right now audiobooks REALLY have to be fun/interesting for me to devote time to them), but bigger fans of animal fantasy and kids who devour all things fantasy will like it. It circs well at my library. (less)
Add this one to your diverse shelves, especially fans of romance stories with some intrigue thrown in!
College student Koroby Roy's dreams are about to...moreAdd this one to your diverse shelves, especially fans of romance stories with some intrigue thrown in!
College student Koroby Roy's dreams are about to come true. She's about to marry the handsome and kind Rajat, a man whose family she adores, a man who will finally give her the family she's always wanted. Her parents died when she was very young and although she loves the grandparents who raised her, she's always wondered what her mother is like. But just before the wedding, Koroby's beloved grandfather dies and old secrets come to light. It turns out that her father did not die when Koroby was a baby and she decides to set out to find him in America, risking the future she thought she wanted to uncover a past she knows nothing about.
I've long been a fan of Chitra Divakaruni's stories of love and family, longing and responsibility. I enjoyed this one, as well. I loved all the details of life in India as the Roy family prepares for Koroby's wedding and the joining of two very different families. I also enjoyed the complicated love story between Koroby and Rajat and Koroby's debates with herself over whether she's doing the right thing by traveling half a world a way to find out the truth. Although Koroby has been manipulated for much of her life, she's a strong, independent woman.
I listened to the audio recording and I really enjoyed narrator Sneha Mathan's command of accents and voices. There is quite a cast of characters represented and I appreciated her subtle voicing, which helped tell characters apart. One problem with the audio recording is that there is not enough of a gap between sections written in the first person and sections written in the third person. The text changes back and forth often and without that gap, it would take me a few seconds of listening to realize that it had switched. A bit more of a gap between those sections would have helped immensely. (less)