Rating: 5 out of 5 beans.
Category: Picture book.
This is a magical end-of-summer book for the child who admits to being a wee bit scared to begin the new school year. Stian Hole's writing is wise and funny while still managing to exude a poetic quality. The pages are filled with gorgeous, unique collages. In fact, the images seem to float off the pages! This book is definitely a back-to-school must read.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Beans
Category: Picture Book
The illustrations in this book are phenomenal! Super Guinea Pig to the Rescue is a sweet story about the importance of friendship as well as a cautionary tale about the hazards of getting sucked into the world of television. The writing is not superb, but the illustrations are so wonderful that they make this book an engaging experience none the less. Might be a good teacher read for Turn Off Your TV Week.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 Beans.
Category: Picture Book
This is a wonderful multicultural book that depicts the friendship of two young Afghan girls in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The girls develop a friendship as they learn to share a single pair of sandals given to them by a refugee relief worker. Through their friendship we are given glimpses into the daily life and struggles of living as a child in a refugee camp. This lovely book is a rare find... a children's book that gives a voice to a child's refugee experience. It will surely expand any child's worldview!
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
5 out of 5 beans.
This mesmerizing book will make your heart stop. This compelling story of a hound dog, a cat and her kittens, a snake, and an outcast swamp hunter presents an intense struggle between love and hate. This is a book of extremes. You will ache for Ranger, the hound dog, as he suffers tremendously and yearn for the demise of his hateful owner, Garface. But, not all characters in this book are that black and white. My sympathy grew for the lonely, bitter water moccasin who was filled with hate and regret. Kathi Appelt's beautiful language will lift you into a sensory wonderland where words liquefy in mid-air. Her use of repetition and imagery is nothing short of poetic genius. Though this book may be considered dark by some, it's nothing any sophisticated kid can't handle.
Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1) by Suzanne Collins
Rating: 4 out of 5 beans.
This is a fantastical book about two latch-key siblings, an eleven year old boy, Gregor, and his two year old sister, Boots, who accidentally slip through a portal and plunge into a vast underworld. This strange land is inhabited by humans as well as giant cockroaches, bats, spiders, and rats that each present their own challenges. Gregor soon discovers he must reluctantly participate in an Underland war in order to solve his personal quest to find his missing father. Gregor comes off as a likable multi-dimensional character as he contends with internal struggles, strengths and weaknesses. This is an action-packed,fast-paced,creative adventure that will intrigue those who like to read fantasy series, but crave more complex characters and themes in them.
Ever wanted to peruse The Sunday Times when waiting in line for breakfast at the superb Helser's Cafe? Now you can! Starting tomorrow, The New York Times will be on sale at Green Bean Books every Sunday!