Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Playing Possum

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Playing Possum (Clarion Books, 2020) by Jennifer Black Reinhardt is such an adorable picture book.

I love it from the first page:

Alfred was born a possum.
And when a possum feels nervous,
it freezes and plays dead.

This was unfortunate for Alfred.
He was a very nervous possum.

Don’t you have immediate sympathy for poor Alfred? You can imagine all the places he doesn’t do well. Making friends is “too terrifying to contemplate.” But then he meets someone who is also scared. Together they…

Nope, not telling. You have to read it yourself.

Author/Illustrator Jennifer Black Reinhardt‘s delightful illustrations finish off this lovely story. You can read about the other books she’s done here and checkout more of her artwork here.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

The Unteachables

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

The Unteachables (Balzer & Bray, 2019) by Gordon Korman is an inspiring upper middle grade novel with big splashes of humor.

Unusually (for a middle grade) it’s told from multiple points of view, including adults. We get a look at the misfits and delinquents who are isolated from the rest of the student body and put in one class together. These are the kids no one knows what to do with. And this year, their teacher is burned out and only hanging in ’til retirement. But something unexpected happens.

Meet Kiana who doesn’t belong, Mr. Kermit who’s sure it is a conspiracy, Parker with his provisional driver’s license, Aldo who definitely has anger issues, Elaine rhymes with pain, and more. Here’s a book trailer.

Don’t miss this book!

Author Gordon Korman has written over 95 books! Click here to his main book page and then choose what category you’d like to see more of his books.

You can “meet” Gordon here as he talks about how he got started and his most recent novel Restart.

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Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Super Manny Stands Up!

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Super Manny Stands Up! (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017) written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin is a book to cheer for. It’s cute and has a great message that doesn’t hit the reader over the head.

Manny wears all colors of capes and fights and wins many battles. At school he can only wear his invisible cape. His imaginary experiences help him be brave at school when it is needed.

I’m only sad I didn’t discover this book earlier. But there is a sequel now: Super Manny Cleans Up.

Read the award-winning author’s humorous bio here and check out her many books here. She’s one busy lady!

Check out the illustrator’s art here. Learn an interesting piece of trivia in her bio. She too has many books out–you can check them out here.

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Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Claudia & Moth

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Claudia & Moth (Viking, 2017) by Jennifer Hansen Rolli is a deceptively simple picture book.

Claudia loves butterflies. She wants to take them home. Her dad gives her a paintbox and now she gets to take butterflies home in her pictures. But then winter comes…

I don’t want to spoil the story ending by telling you more. But I love when Claudia sees the beauty of Moth.

You can read about the author/illustrator in this article and see her books here.

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Posted in PB, So Many Good Books

Federico and the Wolf

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri is a recognizable old tale with several new twists.

First, is the setting and main characters. It’s modern times in a Spanish speaking village, with a boy (niño) and his grandfather (Abuelo) and the wolf (lobo). That means we have all the lovely Spanish that a reader can get by context. And some language is shown in pictures.

Then, the story is written in rhyme. And it has a surprise ending. Federico saves Abuelo, but the story isn’t as violent as the original–no axes.

This is a fun retelling that makes me smile.

Author Rebecca J. Gomez is the author of a number of picture books. See them here on the left side of the main page of her website. Learn more about Rebecca here and check out her links to posts to help other writers here.

Illustrator Elisa Chavarri is originally from Lima, Peru–read more about her here and you’ll also see a bunch of titles she’s illustrated. Check out a number of her illustrations here. I love the cheerfulness and humor of her illustrations in this book.

Bonus: Pronunciation guide and definitions of Spanish words used are in the back of the book. Plus there’s a recipe for pico. Yum.

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