Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

I’m not much on realistic fiction typically.  Living through upper elementary and middle school was hard enough the first time, right?!  For some odd, quirky reason though, the realistic graphic genre has totally grabbed me.  I get knots in my stomach every time a character hits an awkward spot and am cheering them on when they have a victory.  The graphic format is just more powerful for me.

Real Life by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham is one of the best in this genre, by far.  This should come as no surprise.  This is the duo who has already blown us away with The Princess in Black series.

This new title though is one that unlike their fantasy series for early readers, lands us in the very real, very challenging topics of friendship, growing up, and finding your “tribe”.  The friends who get you and have your back no matter what.  Anyone who spends time with children knows friendship brings some of the highest highs and lowest lows.  This book delves deeper into that from the child’s perspective.  The anxiety, the fear of rejection and confusion surrounding why, the joy and peace of acceptance.

The story is actually a memoir written about Hale’s own childhood, revisiting the ups and downs of friendship, family, and change.  As I read it, it brought back all the memories of the tumultuous nature of childhood friendships from my own childhood and the immense joy felt when you have acceptance and compassion.

The relationship between Wendy and Shannon is one I feel a lot of readers will connect too.  Between family dynamics and mental health issues, these two characters are pushed apart but in the end, come to see that they actually have an ally in each other and are family, regardless of past hurts.

This graphic novel is beautifully done and fans of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, and Smile by Raina Telgemeier are going to eat this one up!

If You Loved… Warriors (Read-Alike series)

New Books @ MPL

This awesome array of new-book-ey goodness will be arriving at MPL soon!  Come check these titles out!

I am Not a Chair by Ross Burach

Could there be anything worse for Giraffe? Maybe being sat on by a skunk or smooshed by two hapless hippos, or worst of all—cornered by a hungry lion? No one seems to notice that Giraffe is not standing around just to be sat upon. Will he be able to find his voice and make his friends realize who he really is?

The Day I Ran Away by Holly Niner

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm.

Duck, Duck, Dinosaur: Noise At Night by Kallie George

Feather, Flap, and Spike are spending their first night in their very own nest. They tell stories and snuggle up to get a good night’s sleep, until . . . GRRORE! What’s that scary-sounding noise?

How to Find a Friend by Marie S. Costa

Two creatures …too busy …to notice each other! Finding a friend can sometimes be a hit-and-miss affair! When Rabbit moves into his new burrow and Squirrel moves into her new treehouse, they would both love to BUMP into a friend. But will that ever happen or will they keep on MISSING each other? With all the appeal of those ‘it’s behind you’ moments from pantomime, you can join Squirrel and Rabbit on their comedy CRASH course in how to find a friend!

Good Night My Darling Baby by ALyssa Satin Capucilli (board book)

In this lovely bedtime story, animals tuck in their babies, sing a song, and give a kiss good night, ending with parents tucking in their child for a sweet sleep.

I’m Grumpy by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (board book)

A grumpy cloud upsets his friend Sunny and must make amends. A sweet, funny, and simple introduction to the impact that emotions can have on those around you.

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

Displaying his distinctive voice and images, Reynolds celebrates the joys and challenges of being a creative spirit.

Flora and the Chicks by Molly Idle (board book)

Idle brings her balletic heroine Flora to a younger audience in this nearly wordless board book that finds the girl struggling to keep up with a nestful of hatching chickens.

Brobarians by Lindsey Ward

Two brothers, two great warriors—two brobarians!—engage in an epic backyard battle, until the “magic that ruled all” (aka mother) calls them in.

Is Your Smile Like a Crocodile’s?

Get ready for fun as you compare your toddlers smile to the toothy grin of a crocodile.

Bird, Balloon, Bear by Il Sung Na

Bird’s new in the forest, and as much as he’d like to befriend Bear, he never quite gets up the courage to say hello.

Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Having failed in the hospitality business due to a rude and surly bear (Hotel Bruce, 2016), mice Rupert, Nibbs, and Thistle decide to go into publishing.

Carrot and Pea: An Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood

Colin is tall. He’s orange. He’s a carrot! He’s nothing like Lee, a round green pea. He can’t do any of the things Lee and his pea pals can do. How can Colin and Lee ever be friends? A charming celebration of embracing differences and standing out in a crowd.

Amazing Animals: A Spin & Spot Book by Liza Charlesworth

 Be on the lookout for polar bears in the Arctic, elephants in the savannah, chickens on the farm, and more exciting creatures of all shapes and all sizes. Can you spot all 64 animals?

Bear Likes Jam by Ciara Gavin

When Bear discovers jam for the time, he can’t think of anything else. Mama Duck tells him that growing bears need to eat their vegetables first . . . but Bear can’t stand the strange green things on his plate. He only wants jam! It’s not until Bear notices the little ducks around him eating ALL of their food, that it finally clicks: Bear can have his dinner and his jam.

Audiobook Round Up

If you haven’t tried an audiobook lately, you should give one a listen.  We carry books on CD which are great for car rides, but we also have Playaways, an MP3 format that comes with its own player!  These are great for anywhere and very discreet!

Why do we love audiobooks?  They are the best of both worlds! Not only do you get to read an awesome story but you get an entertaining performance to go with it.  You would be surprised at how many well-known actors and actresses have lent their talent (and voices) to bring an audiobook to life!  Here are a few of our current favorites!  Have a book you would love to read, but aren’t sure if it is available as an audiobook?  Just ask us at the children’s desk!  We are happy to help find it!

 

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

This story follows seven girls at a Victorian boarding school as they try to cover up the untimely death of their headmistress.  Perfect blend of humor, mystery, and historical fiction.  The narrator for this book does an excellent job of bringing out the distinct personality Berry gave each character which makes the book that much more entertaining!

 

 

 

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire61PWdqIeBGL._SL300_

Set in 1905 Czarist Russia, Elena’s family has been torn apart.  Her father is dead, her mother is dying, and her brothers have just been taken into the Tsar’s army.  Then a train shows up with a young noble girl named Ekaterina.  Both girls’ lives take an adventurous turn that includes mistaken identity and an appearance from the witch, Baba Yaga.  Because the narrator is amazing, every bit of Maguire’s humor and wit is brought to life in a way that anyone of any age will get and enjoy!

 

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A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd 

Felicity Pickle and her mother are new to Midnight Gulch, TN.  The town was once magic, according to legend, and Felicity and her friend Jonah are bound and determined to bring it back.  The narrator’s voice fits these characters perfectly, pulling the listener into this tale of friendship, family, and a little magic.

 

Happy Listening!

Bunnies!!!

bunnies

 

My favorite new book of 2015 to read aloud is Bunnies!!! By Kevan Atteberry.  An adorable monster says hello to a tree, the clouds and then there are Bunnies! The bunnies are frightened by monster’s enthusiasm and hop away.  Reading this book to preschoolers is a hoot as they can recognize the energy of the monster and cry out “Bunnies!!!” at the proper time.

Sarah

Sarah