Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Book Bag, Books for Ages 5 to 8 (November/December 2008)

We read a lot of books for this audience in November. The majority of them were books for kids learning to read. Rather than repeat those titles here, here is a post with a list of reviewed titles. At the bottom of the post there are links to individual reviews (ours and others). At the end of this post you'll find links to seasonal selections from Just One More Book.

Click the book's title to read our review. Click the cover to connect with a bookseller. The Reading Tub uses its earnings from purchases to donate books to at-risk readers and keep the website subscription-free.

Mrs. Claus Explains It All written by Elsbeth Claus, illustrated by David Wenzel. Mrs. C. has read lots of those letters to Santa, so she thought she could answer some of your questions. "This book offers history, humor, and advice appropriate for the season. Mrs. Claus' answers are well thought out, with direct answers and recommendations. The illustrations are well done, offering never-before-seen images of the North Pole and humor, too." (Sourcebooks, 2008). UPDATED TO CORRECT PUBLISHER.

One Voice, Please; Favorite Read-aloud Stories written by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Russell Ayoto. In this collection of 60 stories, you'll find some familiar tales, but plenty of new ones, as well. " In reading these stories, it is easy to see that the author understands that kids find fables and zany stories interesting and amusing. He gives them an opportunity to laugh and learn." (Candlewick Press, 2008)

Hooray for Fly Guy! written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold. When one of the players on Buzz' football team gets hurt, Fly Guy gets called off the bench. Can a fly really help the Go-Getters win the game? This is the newest title in the Fly Guy series of easy readers. "The Fly Guy books are fun, creative stories. They are simply told but still have plenty of action and a clever twist. There is enough word play to entertain parents, even through multiple readings." (Cartwheel Books, 2008) Reading level: .2

A Penguin Story written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis. Edna is a penguin who is convinced that there is more to the world than black, white, and blue. So she heads off in search of something more. "This is a well-illustrated, well told story. On the surface this looks like a book about finding other colors, but it is much more. It's about curiosity and exploring your world. I hope there is a sequel." (HarperCollins, 2008) Reading level 1.2

I Met a Moose in Maine One Day written by Ed Shankman, illustrated by Dave O'Neill. A young boy meets a moose in his home in Maine. Together, they have fun exploring local sights and tastes. Along the way, they become great friends. This rhyming picture book takes kids on a tour of Maine. "Our son absolutely loved this book. It was fun, funny and full of illustrations to explore. He loved it when the moose put on sunglasses and started dancing. This is a super-fun story." (Commonwealth Editions, 2008)

If you haven't visited JOMB lately, then you're missing out on some great reviews. Andrea and Mark have started adding video to some of their reviews ... just awesome. Check out the video review of Snow by Cynthia Rylant.

The Snow Show — with Chef Kelvin written and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher. "Hoopla, bloopers and the rantings of temperamental talent turn a lesson in the science of snow into a boisterous blast of behind-the-scenes TV-making lunacy — who knew deposition, sublimation, sectored plates and radiating dendrites could be so much fun?" (Harcourt, 2008)

Treasure for Lunch written by Shenaaz Nanji, illustrated by Yvonne Cathcart. "Bhajias, samosas and imaginative snowy play are front and centre in this appetizing tale of friendship, acceptance and the perceived risk of being seen as different." (Second Story Press, 2000)

Wenceslas written by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Christian Birmingham. "Richly retold with storytelling flair and depicted by enveloping impressionist artwork, the traditional carol gains depth and suspense in this inspiring demonstration of benevolence and backbone." (Random House, 2005)


  1. Thanks for stopping by, Terry! I hope you enjoyed the toffee. Speaking of Ms. McCaughrean, I loved The White Darkness - one of my favorite books in recent years. She is a wonderful author.

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