A review of The Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale

Welcome to the most 'deliciously exotic, delightfully luxurious, and ravishingly beautiful resort on earth.'At the end of the nineteenth century, people from all over the world travel to Ronan Rackham's resort and zoo to experience the jungle. Marvin, one of Ronan's sons, helps at the zoo and is often overlooked because he doesn't say much due to his stuttering.  When Marvin is with the animals though, he can speak with ease.  After a successful hunt for a man-eating jaguar, his more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 15, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

What are seven young ladies to do when the headmistress and her brother abruptly falls over dead during dinner? They don't want to go back to their homes and there may be a killer amongst them. The solution: bury the corpses in the garden and dress up one of the students as their headmistress. The mystery thickens as the young ladies, each with her own unique characteristic,  tries to keep up this farce and deal with meddling neighbors, a lovestruck admiral, long-lost relatives, and more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 27, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Revolution by Deborah Wiles

The town of Greenwood, Mississippi, is being invaded. Young college students from the North are coming to help register voters. This story is told from two different viewpoints, Sunny, a twelve year-old white girl, and Raymond, a black boy from Baptist Town. Their paths intertwine as their families and communities take on the challenges of understanding and implementing civil rights.The audiobook version is superbly done with a full cast of actors, laden with commercials, reporter interviews, more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 20, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

John and Marta are surprised when they find a young boy sleeping on their porch. A note in his pocket states that Jacob is a good boy and they--whoever left him there--will come back for him. As days turn to weeks, John and Marta witness and encourage Jacob's creativity and musical genius, despite his muteness. This is a sweet story about making a hard decision between doing the right thing and keeping something you want so very much. The impact of this little boy affects the way John and Marta more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 14, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon

Penguin finds a new friend, Pinecone, far from home and lovingly cares for him. They become great friends but Pinecone must go back home to the forest. As time passes, Penguin wonders if his dear friend has grown as big and strong as he has. He returns to the forest and finds that Pinecone is no longer a pinecone, but they pick up right where they left off. The illustrations and details depict the fun and warmth of being with a friend. This story is a great reminder for young kids and adults more

Reviewed by Jody on
November 29, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Ghoulish Song by William Alexander

Kaile’s shadow separates from her while playing a bone flute gifted to her by a traveling goblin. Superstition says that once a person loses their shadow, they are really dead. So to everyone in her city, even her family, Kaile is now a ghoul. Kaile and her shadow, Shade, seek out to find the origin of the flute and to prove to everyone she is still alive. Their adventures lead to a music audition, saving the city from an impending danger, and a ghoul made of thousands of drowned bones. Even more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 31, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of Masterwork of a Painting Elephant by Michelle Cuevas

Birch, a former circus elephant, has been raising Pigeon Jones since he was abandoned by his parents. While the two live a happy life together, they both want more -- Pigeon to know about his parents and Birch to gain fame as an artist and find his lost love. Beautiful storytelling combines the wisdom of Pooh, experiences of The Little Prince, and the lessons of Aesop all  into one. This one's not just for children. more

Reviewed by Jody on
February 22, 2013 | 0 comments
A review of A Home for Bird by Philip Stead

The story begins on the copyright page as an overstuffed moving truck bumps along the road. Vernon the toad meets a silent Bird. Vernon and friends quickly deduce that Bird is homesick, and Vernon makes it a mission to find Bird's home. Through land, water and air, they venture to homes of all sorts, until one morning Vernon finally hears Bird 'speak.' The colorful watercolors exude the warmth and richness of what having good friends in life should feel like. Those who take the time to more

Reviewed by Jody on
November 9, 2012 | 0 comments
A review of Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig

The farm animals are unable to go to sleep ‘cause they got that beat! This story provides a fun way to introduce rhythm. This lyrical book allows interaction and would not only be a great read-aloud, but also as a call-and-response story. You will be peeping, purring and howling like never before. Beware though, you may get carried away, and the short, simple phrases will get stuck in your head. Marc Brown, the creator of Arthur, star of picture books and the PBS show, creates more

Reviewed by Jody on
December 2, 2011 | 0 comments
A review of Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

A whimsical, redemptive story about how good manners can make all the difference. Lulu, a spoiled only child, wants a pet brontosaurus for her birthday. She screeches and flails to no avail when her parents adamantly say, “No.” Lulu packs a suitcase and runs off into the big forest to find her pet. She encounters and even brawls with bigger, scary animals, but she proves to be tougher and meaner. That is, until she meets the brontosaurus and finds herself unable to go back home. The short more

Reviewed by Jody on
May 4, 2011 | 0 comments