Friday, December 3, 2010

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Elementary Edition (K-3)

The Desperate Dog Writes Again 
by Eileen Christelow


Emma e-mails "Ask Queenie," an advice column for dogs, when her owner George begins spending too much time with a new girlfriend.

Why you'll love it:
  • Emma's misinterpretation of events and her attempts to oust her owner's new girlfriend from their lives—by stealing cookies and e-mailing an advice column for dogs, among other things—are hilarious. Equally entertaining are comments from an also-exasperated cat, the canine columnist's responses, and the girlfriend's dog's enthusiastic friendliness.
  • Eileen Christelow's energetic comic-book-style artwork effectively illustrates Emma's unflagging approach to her chosen task.
  • Children may identify with Emma's feelings of jealousy and her concern that a new family member will take her place in George's life.

Doggy Slippers
by Jorge Lujan
Genre: Poetry


A collection of poems about pets inspired by children who sent the author humorous anecdotes about their pets.

Why you'll love it:
  • An unusual approach to the subject matter: children contributed to the book by sending Jorge Luj├ín ideas over the Internet.
  • The artwork has a childlike aspect that mirrors the poems. Isol incorporates scribbles and colors that often stray outside her drawn lines. A muted palette also contributes to the unique and memorable illustrations.
  • The clever, accessible poems offer moving descriptions of everyday interactions between children and their pets. For example, “Life is good. / Kitty makes it better / when things go wrong.”

Hamster Magic
by Lynne Jonell


When the Willows move into a new house, Celia, the youngest of four children, traps an enchanted hamster, who reluctantly agrees to grant the children one wish in exchange for his freedom.

Why you'll love it:
  • Lynne Jonell interweaves magical (animals that can talk and grant wishes) and realistic elements into an entertaining story.
  • Celia is amusing and convincing as a large-dog-sized hamster. Though she can still speak, she otherwise acts as a rodent would, with a sudden affinity for gnawing on wood, eating nonstop, and running wildly in circles. “You don't know how it feels!” she tells her siblings. “I’m a hamster! I was born to run!”
  • Younger siblings especially may relate to Celia’s feelings about being tired of being the baby of the family and being ignored just because she’s the smallest.
  • Perfect for readers who have recently graduated to chapter books. The satisfying ending leaves room for a sequel.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Amanda, these sound great. I like the first one a lot.

Veens said...

The covers are so cute, I bet the books are good as well!

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