Coming Soon

Billy Tibbles and his boisterous family are at it again! "Why must I always be the one who remembers everything?" said Dad. The journey to Gran and Grandad's seems endless when Dad keeps having to drive back home for the rest of the family to collect things that they have left behind...

Coming Soon

Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders...

Coming Soon

Set in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United States, The Malacca Conspiracy is a bone-chilling tale of terrorism on the high seas, of political assassination and nuclear brinkmanship...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bear with Me

Posted by Life Explorer at 10:16 PM 2 comments
Description:
Everything in Owen's world is just peachy-till his parents bring home a bear named Gary-without even asking! Gary changes everything: he takes up way too much space and makes a mess of all of Owen's toys. Gary means well, though, and eventually Owen starts to see that there are some good things about having a bear in the family.

Because Gary is such an unusual addition to the family, this story will appeal to kids getting used to any kind of new family member, be it a baby, grandparent, pet, or even sharing with a friend. Refreshing humor, expressive illustrations, and characters full of personality make this warm, funny debut a book that will be treasured.




written by Max Kornell
ISBN:9780399252570

Comments:
"I had a mom and a dad and my own set of blocks," a redheaded boy reflects at the outset of Kornell's first picture book. "I had everything I needed." And then... no, it's not a new sibling that upsets the apple cart; it's a huge bear named Gary, who, according to the narrator's parents, makes the family "complete." But this is a displacement story with a twist: while Gary does cause all kinds of trouble (requiring constant parental attention, snoring, leaving caps off markers), the bear isn't a blithe or oblivious usurper; in fact, from his sad-sack eyes and hesitant posture, he looks seriously out of place. Could it be that Gary needs a friend? Portraying vulnerability without making one's characters look like whiners or wusses is no easy task, but Kornell succeeds. With a sadly matter-of-fact text and pictures composed of cutout images on painted backgrounds, he sets a sweetly plaintive mood that makes even the expected happy ending ("Maybe surprises are not so bad") quietly gratifying. It's not a flashy debut, but it's a promising one. from publisher weekly~

Firefighter Frank Board Book Edition

Posted by Life Explorer at 6:01 AM 1 comments
Description:
Bright pictures of a firefighter and his big red truck make this board book perfect for the very youngest. In twelve eye-catching spreads, Frank shows scenes from his day, from cleaning the truck to putting out a fire. With lots to look at, this book is sure to be a favorite of every truck-loving tot.






written by Monica Wellington
ISBN:9780525423737

Comments:
Bright pictures of a firefighter and his big red truck make this board book perfect for the very youngest. In twelve eye-catching spreads, Frank shows scenes from his day, from cleaning the truck to putting out a fire. With lots to look at, this book is sure to be a favorite of every truck-loving tot.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Caught

Posted by Life Explorer at 1:46 AM 0 comments
Description:
Seventeen-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

Wendy Tynes is a reporter on a mission: to bring down sexual predators via elaborate—and nationally televised—sting operations. Wendy and her team have shamed dozens of men by the time she encounters her latest target. Dan Mercer is a social worker known as a friend to troubled teens, but his story soon becomes more complicated than Wendy could have imagined.

Caught tells the story of a missing girl, the predator who may have taken her, and the reporter who suddenly realizes she can’t trust her own instincts about this story—or the motives of the people around her.





written by Harlan Coben
ISBN: 9780525951636

Comments:
Harlan Coben is one of my favorite authors. His incredible plots keep me turning the pages late into the night. CAUGHT is a thriller about the fragility of innocence and the hope of forgiveness.

The novel revolves around Wendy Tynes, a widowed TV reporter with a high school senior son named Charlie. She's known for one of those shows where they trap child predators into coming to a house expecting to see a child but instead are greeted by television cameras and police. When she catches social worker Dan Mercer coming to the house, evidence builds that points to Dan's guilt. But of course, this is a Coben novel, and nothing is as it seems.

Across town, Haley McWaid is disappears from her suburban home. Her parents have no idea where the high school senior could be. Is her disappearance related to Dan or something else all together. And what do Dan Mercer's ex-roommates at Princeton have to do with everything. Wendy begins investigating Dan's friends and discovers even more secrets beneath the surface of the illusion of everyday life.

I guarantee the plot will keep you turning the pages. The twists are fast and furious. Coben throws in a few characters from other novels that are always fun. Wendy Tynes as the lead isn't a great character like some of the leads in THE INNOCENT or NO SECOND CHANCE, but Coben is still at the top of his game. The novel ends powerfully, making me wonder how I would act in a similar situation and making all readers wondering if they would have the strength to forgive after so much tragedy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Strange Case of the Missing Sheep

Posted by Life Explorer at 8:06 AM 0 comments
Description:
1, 2, 3 . . . hey, where'd all the sheep go??

In a place called Happy Valley, there live ten sheep. Every night, the ten sheep are counted into their beds by one Super Sheep Dog named Doug. But one day, the sheep are missing! Who could have stolen them? Might it be Wolf, who lives in the Dark Forest? And for what nefarious purpose? Does he want to knit them into a blanket? Bake them into a pie? Or maybe he wants to . . . count them?

With kooky, creative illustrations and an unexpected ending that will get kids giggling, this is a lively story about the fun of counting .. . and a bedtime surprise.






written by Mircea Catusanu
ISBN:9780670011315

Comments:
Mircea Catusanu's THE STRANGE CASE OF THE MISSING SHEEP is inspired by true events and tells of ten sheep last seen entering a mysterious dark woods. Doug, the Super Sheep Dog, is on the case in this fun mystery for ages 3 and up that blends in basic counting.

Very odd story. The illustrations are fun, but the various labels and assorted miscellaneous text are distracting. It's a short story and fun to read aloud, if you don't get too sidetracked. Otherwise, it's a good book to look at the pictures and point out the things you see.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Maisy at the Farm

Posted by Life Explorer at 8:51 AM 0 comments
Description:
Kids will flip for this Maisy novelty book! Now reissued in its original size, with a bold new design.

From their tactile matte-and-gloss covers to the brief guidelines for parents on the back, these lift-the-flap, pull-the-tab favorites now have a whole new look -- and are sure to have instant appeal for both Maisy fans and grown-ups who love them.





Written by Lucy Cousins
ISBN:9780763640965

Comment:
I am now raising my fourth Maisy fan, and I do consider myself rather an expert on the little white mouse. This is by far our favourite Maisy book – and we do have a few! Three boys all adored her, so how could Ella do anything different? This is a ‘flap n tab’ book, and is just very very sweet. We meet all the animals on the farm, but for once the tabs don’t just reveal a new animal – they have Maisy’s tractor chugging (and convincingly scaring a bird into the air out of the corn), the bottle-fed lamb drinking it’s milk, Maisy clearing the pigpen with a shovel (yes, really!) and our personal favourite, giving the excitable geese a drink. Sadly, Ella has just loved our copy a little too much, and it is much the worse for it – this is definitely one that will have to be replaced.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mister Seahorse

Posted by Life Explorer at 8:32 PM 0 comments
Description:
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse's belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies. Now Eric Carle's heart-warming New York Times bestseller is finally available in a board book edition, complete with the clear "peek-a-boo" pages that made the original such a hit. Brimming with bright, colorful sea life, this new board book will be irresistible to young children everywhere.




Written by Eric Carle
ISBN:9780399254901

My comment:
Despite the negative commentary from some reviewers, I say the real truth comes in the "true raters"--the children!! My 2+ yr old daughter was given this book as a gift (that she picked out in the bookstore). She absolutely loves it, and in the month that we've had it, we've read it nearly 50 times at her request. She loves the colors and the transparency overlays, and definitely points out the "daddy" seahorse (as well as the "mommy") every time we read it together. Her favorite page is the last one as Mr. Seahorse releases his babies with love and points out that it's time for the little ones to be on their own. She simply adores this book!

Given the commentary of many of the reviewers on the father fish "babysitting" the baby fish....If you do look to nature, many animals (and many male animals) do abandon their offspring...so I saw the book more as personifying family in nature rather than making a sexist commentary on fatherhood, patriarchal society, or gender roles in parenting.

Likewise, with older children, it could be a great springboard for discussions on responsibility and caring. I plan to use it in this manner in my 3rd grade class this year. It's at this point a person could discuss the phrasing, and talk about the parental role--moms and dads both babysit at times while the other does an errand...and "babysit" is a term children understand.

Perhaps at times, we can get so caught up in being politically correct, that we miss the forest through the trees, or miss a great book on an over-exaggerated technicality that's taken too seriously.
 

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