Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 23, 2015

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while; stay healthy!!! Here are some interesting new books for you.

just a duckJust a Duck? by Carin Bramsen

“Carin Bramsen’s beloved Hey, Duck! characters return in this humorous and heartwarming picture book about friendship. Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?”                  [JPB BRAMSEN]

finding serendipityFinding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

“When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.”         [J BANKS]

vikingworldVikingworld: The Age of Seafarers and Sagas by Robert MacLeod

“Set sail on a voyage of discovery! For 300 years, the Vikings spread terror across Europe, and this lavish volume brings the notorious Norsemen to axe-wielding life. Through awe-inspiring CGI scenes, intricate illustrations, maps, and a timeline,Vikingworld animates everything from seafaring and sagas, to raiding and religion, to feasting and fun. It’s sure to stir the imagination of every would-be warrior.”               [J948.022 MACLEOD]

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If you want to know what our clerks do – ‘check it out’!

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An exercise in writing to a prompt…

So, Would you buy such a book as this?

Bruce Haase

Bruce Haase


prompt: “A Beginning & An End”

write a “grabber first and last paragraph”

to make someone buy your book…

by Bruce Haase

an exercise in literary fiction  Feb 2015

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 —first page—

Silently, with power and unending will, October’s first high-tide swept into the harbor. It nourished the life clinging to the pilings and seawalls. The incoming tide brought with it change, hope and possibilities. Close to a hundred fishing boat lifted and creaked, they groaned themselves awake, they had the townspeople, indeed the town itself, to nourish. 

          Across the small apartment the small alarm clock chirped and blinked 3:10am. Hilly’s eyes opened slowly, she would pull herself up, to prepare for her 4am shift at the dockside diner. Ten hour shifts, six days a week, she would supply humor and coffee, hope and encouragement, omelets and sympathy, whatever was required. Hilly had to rise, for like the tide, she had the town to nourish.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

—last page—

The dusk and the drizzle surrounded Hilly as she walked home, her sadness over the loss held her head down and shoulders weakened. She hoped a hot bath, soft music and the tropical candle scent would dull her pain. 3:10 am will be here again, she will have to be ready and strong.

The last tide change of October slowly crept away to join the great sea. It swept away the detritus of life and death from the harbor, as it must. As it must prepare for a new cycle, another day,  a new month, with new hopes and possibilities. It’s the way of the sea, and the land, and all of their lives. Everything changes, nothing changes.

In her hot bath, Hilly wept…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~(300 words)    first draft     Feb 8, 2015

Write Your Story @ the Union City Library

 Join our senior library member Bruce Haaseeiffel_tower_blue
and write your memoir. Bruce is life long reader, he
now writes memoire-based, creative non-fiction.
These are informal meetings ,
to support each other and organize your thoughts
for writing. Sharing is optional.
Meetings take place
The Third Tuesday of the month
January 20, February 17,
and March 17
1 p.m. — 3 p.m.
Please bring pen & paper
For more information contact Bruce Hasse

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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 9, 2015

betty goes bananasBetty Goes Bananas by Steve Anthony

“Meet Betty, a gorilla. She wants to eat a banana, but . . . try as she might, she can’t open it! Poor Betty—she just can’t cope, and her frustration quickly becomes a great BIG tantrum. She cries and sniffles, kicks and screams. Luckily, Mr. Toucan is at hand to peel the banana – but Betty wants to do it herself!  Can she calm herself enough to finally eat the banana? And what will happen when Betty spots another banana?”                          [JPB ANTHONY]

lenore finds a friendLenore Finds a Friend by Jon Katz

“Poor Lenore! None of the other animals at Bedlam Farm welcome her. Even Rose the border collie is too busy to play. But Lenore refuses to give up, and when she licks a grumpy ram named Brutus—right on the nose!—an unexpected friendship begins.”  A non-fiction My Reader.                  [JE 636.73097 KATZ]

love from paddingtonLove From Paddington by Michael Bond

“A brand-new novel from Michael Bond, celebrating Paddington’s many adventures!

“Told through Paddington’s letters to his aunt Lucy back in Peru, this new novel offers Paddington’s own special view on some of his most famous tales. Filled with Paddington’s signature charm and with black-and-white illustrations throughout, this paper-over-board keepsake is a celebration of this beloved character.”                          [J BOND, M]

cold as iceCold as Ice by Sarah Mlynowski

“The magical sixth installment in the bestselling series Whatever After!

“Brrrrrrrr. This fairy tale is FREEZING!

“Even though my brother and I had decided to stay away from the magic mirror, our puppy had other plans — he bounded right in. What choice did we have but to go in after him?

“When we land in a winter wonderland, we realize we must be in the story of The Snow Queen. And this fairy tale is nothing like the movie. This Snow Queen is super-mean, and she turns our dog into an ice sculpture!

“To get home we’ll have to:
– Defrost our furry friend
– Ride a very chatty reindeer
– Learn to ice-skate
– Escape from a band of robbers

“And if we’re not careful . . . we could end up frozen ourselves!”                              [J MLYNOWSKI]


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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for February 2, 2015

sandwich swapThe Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan with Kelly DiPucchio and Tricia Tusa

“Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus but what’s that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?”        [JPB RANIA]

this or that 2This or That? 2: More Wacky Choices to Reveal the Hidden You by J. R. Mortimer

“Would you rather walk on hot coals or swim in the Arctic Ocean? Learn to fly a helicopter or learn to perform open-heart surgery? Be frozen and then thawed out in the future at the age you are now or live forever? Welcome to the book of choices, where every answer brings you one step closer to discovering your hidden self. Want to find out your ideal career? The country that best suits your idea of the good life? The species of your inner animal? Through in-depth exploration and analysis of the inner workings of your mind, we’ll peel you back layer by layer and you won’t even realize it. Psychologist, comedian, and youth motivational speaker Dr. Matt Bellace dissects your answers and reveals things you didn’t even know we were assessing in this hysterically fun quiz book. So stop wasting your time trying to discover the true you–let us do it for you!”     [J155.2 MORTIMER]

everything girls ultimate sleepover bookThe Everything Girls Ultimate Sleepover Party Book: 100+ Ideas for Sleepover Games, Goodies, Makeovers, and More! by Laura McIntyre

“It’s time to party!

“The slumber party of your dreams is waiting for you! The Everything Girls Ultimate Sleepover Party Book is packed with ideas for throwing the most amazing sleepover party ever! From invitations to games to goodie bags–you’ll find all you need for the ultimate slumber party. You can plan a simple pajama party or go all-out with a theme party, like:

  • Glow in the dark
  • Sugar rush
  • Spa party
  • Rock star diva
  • And more!

“Inside, you’ll find tons of ideas for colorful decorations, yummy foods and snacks, and nonstop activities for your totally unique and show-stopping celebration. This all-in-one guide has all you need to plan the epic party you and your friends will never forget!”                 [J793.21 McINTYRE]

titanicTitanic by Sean Callery

TITANIC encourages children to think for themselves about what caused this great disaster, and how it could have been averted. It presents evidence that allows readers to determine who the heroes and who the villains of the tragedy were. The book introduces all the key players–the owners, the builders, the crew, and the passengers–and tackles the controversies at the center of the drama. Unique, specially commissioned artwork explores the ship, deck by deck. And moving eyewitness accounts from survivors help the reader understand their plight in the countdown to disaster.”                     [J910.9163 CALLERY]


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Feeling Smart : Why Our Emotions are More Rational Than We Think

feeling smartWhich is smarter your head or your gut? It’s a familiar refrain: you’re getting too emotional. Try and think rationally. But is it always good advice?

In this surprising book, Eyal Winter asks a simple question: why do we have emotions? If they lead to such bad decisions, why hasn’t evolution long since made emotions irrelevant? The answer is that, even though they may not behave in a purely logical manner, our emotions frequently lead us to better, safer, more optimal outcomes.

In fact, as Winter discovers, there is often logic in emotion, and emotion in logic. For instance, many mutually beneficial commitmentssuch as marriage, or being a member of a teamare only possible when underscored by emotion rather than deliberate thought. The difference between pleasurable music and bad noise is mathematically precise; yet it is also something we feel at an instinctive level. And even though people are usually overconfidenthow can weall be above average?we often benefit from our arrogance.

Please join us for series of talks on the family’s emotional wellbeing by Esmael Darman (MS in Clinical and Counseling Psychology).

 The program is in Farsi/Dari Language.

Saturdays: January 24, and February 7 & 21 Time: 3p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Union City Library


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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for January 26, 2015

bow wows nightmare neighborsBow-Wow’s Nightmare Neighbors by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague

“Bow-Wow, an expressive dog, tangles with some unruly neighbors in this wordless, spooky Halloween picture book. A follow-up to the award-winning Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug.

“As Bow-Wow naps, his neighbors creep in and steal his cozy green bed. When the expressive pup tries to get it back, colorful chaos ensues as the house next door might not be exactly what he thought. ”

“This is a mysterious and perfectly-crafted little book, full of surprises and profundities and infused throughout with an uncanny sensitivity to the current state of canine-feline relations.” —Dan Clowes

“Bow-Wow is like Bee-Bop; you can read it quick or spend your time with it. Either way, it swings.” —Mo Willems                                        [JPB NEWGARDEN]

witch at the windowThe Witch at the Window by Ruth Chew

“Why did a witch appear at Nick’s window?

“Could it have something to do with a mysterious tree in Prospect Park? Ever since Nick and Marjorie discovered it, strange things have been happening. First, they find an odd spoon with no owner. Then a spooky bird follows them home—and talks to them! It must be the witch’s magic!

“But where has she vanished to? And what is she looking for?” Originally published in 1976.              [J CHEW]

big book of minecraftThe Big Book of Minecraft

“A guide to Minecraft covers everything from an overview of the game to advanced mining, farming, and architecture, including the most recent training, tools, and techniques, how to beat the game, and other building and sandbox games.

“Brought to you by the authors and editors that created the Minecrafter and Minecrafter 2.0 Advanced guide books, The Big Book of Minecraft features more of everything—more mods, more mining, more mobs, and more Minecraft! Up to date for the 2014 holiday season, The Big Book of Minecraft is packed with the most recent training, tools, and techniques to help readers get more out of their favorite sandbox game.”           [J794.8 BIG]

monsters unchainedMonsters Unchained! Over 1,000 Drop-Dead Funny Jokes, Riddles, and Poems About Scary, Slimy, Slithery, Slobbery, Spooky Creatures for Kids and Groan Ups by Richard Lederer

“From the Abominable Snowman to zombies, Monsters Unchained! is the funniest monster book you’ll find.

“This collection contains more than 1,000 puns, riddles, narratives, poems, arranged in an alphabetical parade of more than 20 classical monsters, each accompanied by creepy and kooky illustrations. ”             [J811.5402 LEDERER]

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