where a children's librarian delivers the goods

Monthly Archives: February 2013

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A highly silly series that will get even the most reluctant reader turning the pages.

A.J., (a 2nd grade boy who doesn’t like school) and his arch-enemy Andrea (who loves school and everything else A.J. hates) attend Ella Mentry School, where all the grownups are just plain weird.  In the first book, Miss Daisy is Crazy!, they end up with a teacher who doesn’t even know how to do math, read or write!  Or can she?…just the same the class ends up having to teach her how to do everything.

Adults will appreciate how the book illustrates that respecting kids and balancing learning with fun can produce positive results.  I should mention a caution to those not fond of exposing kids to name calling (ie. “dumbhead”) and mildly rude humor: “Maybe you’ll finally get kicked out of school,” said Andrea. “Your face should get kicked out of school,” I told her.  Funny stuff, but some parents may not be thrilled with their kids parroting it…

Titles like 
Mr. Klutz is Nuts!, 
Mrs. Roopy is Loopy!, and 
Ms. Hannah is Bananas!, will keep kids coming back for more.

Follow A.J. through 3rd grade with the My Weird School Daze series and 4th grade with My Weirder School.


Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 5.57.31 PMTreehorn is definitely shrinking.  His mother fails to notice as she’s more concerned with her cake deflating.  His father, teacher, bus driver, and principal all give the matter little thought or notice, only admonishing him to, “sit up straight!”  Poor Treehorn is left to sort out the mystery himself.  An alarmingly funny story.


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“This is Doug.  He’s a robot. Each morning his parents plug him in to fill him up with lots and lots of facts.  They love their little robot and want him to be the smartest robot ever.”

The download unravels when Doug’s eye is caught by a real live pigeon just outside the window.  A robot rebellion ensues as he unplugs, straps on his power pack, and zooms off to explore.  A great reminder that sometimes the best way to learn about the world is to go out and be in it.


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More conversation than narrative, this charming book poses all manner of questions worth pondering.  Would you rather…tickle a monkey or dance with goats?  The more harrowing questions, like Would you rather be… swallowed by a fish or sat on by a rhinoceros? are tempered by Burningham’s wonderfully silly drawings.


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And how!




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