Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Fantasies

 


2014 Award
Big Bad Bubble
(by Adam Rubin/ illus Daniel Salmieri, Clarion $16.99 Score:)


It's good fun to be more knowledgeable than the big scary monsters in a story and these monsters maybe big, but they are anything than scary! In fact, you could call them the scardy-cat monsters of La-la land. What is it they worry about? Mostly it's bubbles that they fear and the exaggerated claims of the harm they might cause. This is all because one of them was once hit by a bubble gum bubble that hit him in the face. Spoiler alert: In the end the monsters overcome their fear of bubble, but if it’s not bubbles, there's always something new to worry about--isn't there? This storybook reminded the reviewer of the 24-hour news cycle spin. A fun way to introduce kids to the idea of not believing everything you hear. 4-8

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Journey
(by Aaron Becker, Candlewick $15.99 Score:)

Remember little Harold with his Purple Crayon? Flash forward to a somewhat older girl with a magical red crayon in her lonely room. When her parents are too busy to give her the time of day, she draws her way out of her confining home and into a world where quick thinking and her magic crayon transport her on a wondrous journey that goes far beyond the imaginary world of Harold's. A wordless page-turning adventure that children can tell in their own words or silently to themselves. A keeper!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
The Land of Neverbelieve
(by Norman Messenger, Candlewick $17.99 Score:)

Take off on a journey to an island that is totally fantastical. But you must be quick, as the island of Neverbelieve can rise up and walk away. Illustrated in soft watercolors, Messenger gives the reader a tour of his imagined island with crowded pages of strange trees, houses, creatures, and people (with cloven feet) that inhabit this unbelievable place. Many pages have gates that open to reveal still more sightings and short exclamations. Trees formed of ropes, bricks, chocolate, to name but a few, are sure to inspire creative kids to draw their own Neverbelieve worlds. A fun journey to share--with so much to see. Kids are sure to return to this one again and again. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
(by John Boyne, ills. Oliver Jeffers, Knopf $19.99 Score:)

Born into a family of ordinary people, who liked being that way, young Barnaby Brocket came into the world anything but ordinary. Within moments of his birth he could float. In fact, he could not help floating. Unable to stop, as his parents felt he could if he tried, he is rejected at age eight and cast off into the vast blue sky over Sydney. In a journey that takes him round the word, Barnaby survives a series of adventures and discovers he is not unique in failing to fit his parent's expectations. By the time the story comes full circle Barnaby makes another discovery about himself and being "normal." Though many of the scenes are amusing, this is a bittersweet story with a very moralistic message. Marked for 8-12, one has to wonder if readers of 10-12 will stay with a book about an 8 year old and if younger readers of 8-9 will stay with or get the point of this rather long fantasy. That said, the opening pages are pure silk!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Otto the Book Bear
(by Katie Cleminson, Disney $16.99 Score:)

One day, Otto Bear, who lives in a book, discovers that he and his book have been abandoned when his children leave. Poor Otto is left to roam the city and he is most unhappy until he finds a big building lit up with a golden glow. He climbs the steps and discovers a world of other book bears and books that are enjoyed by many, many children in the public library.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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The Fantastic 5 & 10 Cent Store
(by J. Patrick Lewis and Valorie Fisher, Schwartz & Wade/Random $17.99 Score:)

Reading a rebus in rhyme adds an extra bit of fun to putting the pictures into words. It's hard to know if any children of today know what is meant by a 5 & 10 cent store. But somehow this just doesn't capture what such stores were like. It is more of a fantasy shop with the cards and pots and kettles having races. That said, kids will probably enjoy figuring out the rebus images and enjoy it as the nonsense verse it turns out to be. It does not evoke for this reader the bygone days of long aisles and amazing varieties of merchandise from curlers to candy, toys and tools, ribbons and threads, makeup and jewelry—to name but a few.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Captain Sky Blue
(by Richard Egielski, Scholastic $17.99 Score:)

On Christmas morning Jack received a gift of his best toy ever, Captain Sky Blue, a pilot and a small plane. But when Captain Sky Blue takes off and the plane is hit with a bolt of lightening, the adventure has just begun. In a fast paced fantasy with deliciously captivating illustrations, Captain Sky Blue overcomes all odds and surfaces at last in none other than Santa's workshop. But all is not right in the world just yet. A harrowing trip with Santa brings the story full circle to a happy ending--a nice holiday storybook. They say 3 & up. We'd say more like old fours and up. Early grade children might like to make up further adventures for this pair.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Boy In the Garden
(by Allen Say, Houghton Mifflin $17.99 Score:)

Mama read Jiro a story about a magical crane that he remembered one day while visiting with his Papa at Mr. Ozo's house. Fooled by a statue of a crane in the garden Jiro is hurt when his father laughs at his foolishness. That is when he runs away and comes upon a small house where the story his Mama told him almost comes to life. A charming fantasy with glorious art, as always. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Dark Night
(by Dorothee de Monfreid, Random House $14.99 Score:)

This little fantasy adventure comes under the heading of safe-scare, allowing a small boy to conquer his fears and triumph with a little help from another small creature. It all begins when Felix is walking home through the dark woods and he is frightened by a terrible noise. Feliz hides inside a hollowed out tree as a succession of wild animals appear. Magically he finds a door in the tree and behind that door a small rabbit with a big plan. This is a whimsical story in which the little guys win with just enough excitement to make it fun. 4 -7.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes
(by Kate DiCamillo/ illus. by Chris van Dusen, Candlewick $12.99 Score:)

Series books often run out of steam, but this pig is still flying high! Mercy Watson, a pig who loves butter and especially buttered toast causes quite a stir when she smells buttered popcorn at the drive-in movie! This one is a zany comedy with the whole town in hot pursuit of the ‘porcine wonder’ at the Bijou. For kids who have graduated to easy chapter books, this is a good choice, but take a look at the pink Caddy with tail fins and the beehive hair dos. It’s a time capsule with tongue in cheek humor. 6-8

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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