Today I highly recommend Kashmira Sheth’s Nina Soni, Master of the Garden.
Indian children will see their own families reflected in Nina’s family, will read words they hear at home in Hindi, and be reminded of Indian food and snacks they often eat at their own tables. Other kids will learn of these interesting words and foods, thus learning more about their Indian friends. But this book is so much more than educational; it is a “darned good read” because the characters matter to the reader, and the plot has its twists and turns.
If nothing else, Nina is a problem solver. She doesn’t let chard-eating, wild rabbits do her in, nor does she give up when mosquitoes “eat her up.”She is a list-maker, a new-word lover, and loyal friend. She is creative and ingenious, but is willing to ask for help from her friends or parents when it is needed.
Her little sister, Kavita, is a scene-stealer with her innocent-wise comments and her singy-songs that make more sense than at first glance.
Planting and tending a garden or at least a few plants is an experience all children should have, and “Master”makes this experience attractive and doable for your child or grandchild. Where planting and growing are impossible, children can read this book and experience the fun vicariously.
The girl in this book is a habitual liar, not because she uses lying to get out of trouble (she sometimes does), but because what she can make up is a lot more interesting than the truth. Everyone in her class knows she lies, and often the old childhood chant is aimed at her. Pretty soon no one believes her even when she is telling the truth, and sure enough something spectacular really does happen to her, and no one believes her with the exception of one classmate.
It all works our in the end, but how she and all the characters in the story get there makes for a really fun, sometimes funny tale. I recommend this one for ages 7-12.
A hardback copy of Twice Upon a Time by Irwin Shapiro (and illustrated by Adrienne Adams) showed up in my Little Free Library this morning. I checked my search box because the title sounded familiar, and sure enough one Sunday Evening Post listed it as a book I had just finished. That said, I never reviewed it, so here goes:
Twice Upon a Time is the tale of a “writer of stories,” Rambling Richard, who wandered all over the world. All he carried with him were an ink pot and a bundle of paper. He wanders into the walled city of Gib Gib, ruled by King Big WigThe Great. The king had a peculiarity–he wanted two of everything, and everything in his kingdom had to be bigger and better than anywhere else. However, the king was not happy. Richard was able to help the king change his attitude and attain happiness, but you will have to read the book to find out how!
Today’s recommendation is from a very special series starring Alex, a special girl, who thinks about things like telling the truth, forgiveness, prayer, friendship, unselfishness, and obedience. In each book in the series, she faces another facet of her Christian teachings.
Alex has always had trouble making friends with the “popular girls. “They just don’t seem to like her, and what’s worse, they make fun of her. Her dad’s boss’s daughter is one of these girls, and when Mr. Anderson invited his employee, her dad, and his family to his lake cottage, what promised to be a fun vacation almost turned into a disaster. Alex’s dad encourages her to turn to the fruits of the Spirit, but for a while Alex finds only the pits!
This book should appeal to 7-12 year olds, but it includes something for everyone in Alex’s older sister, younger brother, and understanding parents.
This picture book is not only visually very appealing, it has a timely message for even the youngest readers/read-tos.
Boy meets Bot. Boy takes Bot home. Bot runs down. Boy takes Bot to Bot’s home. Boy is exhausted, run-down. This could have a very sad ending, but a friendly scientist and the boy’s parents save the day, and Boy and Bot play together, happily ever after!
Just like Saturday mornings (from 6:30-9:30 a.m.) when TV programming was reserved for kids’ cartoons, Saturday mornings on PWR are reserved for recommendations for kids’ books.
Today’s read is Rachel Renee Russell’s series “The Misadventures of Max Crumbly.” Russell is the author of the well known “The Dork Diaries,” and is a very popular author with 5th through 8th graders in the U.S. and in other countries. The book I read is book three of the series, but the author kindly gives us in a sparse two sentences what happened in the first two books, so it works as a stand alone.
The illustrations in this book are only superseded by the text on the humor scale. It is a fast, zany read with a plot that makes the reader laugh out loud and chuckle like a crazy person. Whenever Max thinks “MY LIFE IS OVER,” which he thinks frequently during the novel, something comes along and makes everything all right.
Max’s message to his readers is simple. “…just remember, if Erin and I can become superheroes and make the world a better place…
SO CAN YOU!
Just hang in there! and KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER!
This morning’s recommendations are aimed at girls, specifically twelve-and- thirteen-year-olds.
K.L. Going wrote a moving novel, Pieces of Why, in 2015, but it is timely today with its universal narrative and message. Tia’s dad is in prison; she has been told why, but during the story, she finds out her mother has lied to her. Many family mysteries come clear as she digs to find answers, knowing she won’t like what she finds. Only her singing talent saves her from bearing an unbearable burden and eventually heals the rift between her mother and her. It is a moving, empathetic story of a young girl’s difficult life.
The Summer Before Boys by Nora Raleigh Baskin is the story of two best friends and how, as so often is the case, a boy comes between them. Julia andEliza are related in a convoluted way, so they tell people they are cousins. More importantly, they are best friends. While Julia’s mother is deployed to Afghanistan, Julia is sent to live with Eliza and her family at Mohawk, a summer hotel and retreat. This is the perfect situation for the girls until a note from Michael, the groomsman at the stable’s son sends Julia a note asking her to meet him at the Lily Pond one evening after dinner. Julia’s preoccupation with Michael is something she attempts to keep hidden from Eliza, but doing this ends in estrangement and a near tragedy. This one will have you holding your breath with fear and anticipation as you read.
These books are ones I read for my younger blogging friends whom I follow with interest and provide me with entertaining and engaging reading from their blogs as well as teach me about technology by thinking “If they can do it, so can I!” This post is dedicated to them.
Just like television programming back in the 50s and 60s, this blog reserves Saturday mornings for kids. Today, I wish to feature a series that has been around since I was a kid–The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series.
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is described in the book as being, “very small and has a hump on her back… When children ask her about the hump, she says’ Oh, that’s a big lump of magic.’ ” “The children are all very envious of the hump because, besides being magic, it is such a convenient fastening place for wings.” The children of the town are her friends, and she leads them on many adventures throughout the series.
For example, Mrs.Piggle Wiggle’s Farm deals with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s attempt to straighten out Fetlock Harroway, the town’s spoiled child and bully, who rules the roost at his house. Finally, he gets so bad that he is sent to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s to be “cured of faults,” something Mrs. Piggle Wiggle has done for many boys and girls in her town. The results are hilarious.
Betty McDonald, the author, writes in a captivating, gentle style that will have kids and those who read to them chuckling together.
You don’t have to be a cat lover to love this book, but it helps. Nick has two cats, Verne and Stevenson. Verne takes to reading right away, loves being read to and reading himself. Stevenson, on the other hand, is a “reluctant reader,” enjoying nothing that involves reading. Nick discovers a hidden talent Stevenson has, however, which turns the reading lessons upside down.
This is a delightful picture book, one I bought for my great grand niece.
Today’s recommendations are books I have read recently. One I read as a Cybil’s first round reader, but had checked it out from the library, both I found at the Clearance section of Half Price Books.
All Shook Up comes with the premise of, What would you do if when sent for a long-term visit to your Dad in another state, you found he’d been earning a living as an Elvis Impersonator? That’s the exact situation Josh finds himself in, and what’s worse, his dad is taking a “gig” at Josh’s new school! Such events call for extreme measures, and Josh takes them. The secondary characters, besides Josh and his Dad are as delightful as typical teen Josh and his befuddled and befuddling dad. It will have you laughing out loud as you experience Josh’s teenage angst and his dad’s clumsy attempts to reconnect with his son.
The Year of the Book explores the year and the world of Anna, an Asian-American fourth-grader, who finds it easier to make friends with books than girls her own age. A surprise ending is the final treat in a multi-dimensional novel dealing with friendship, finding oneself, and learning to appreciate family and others.