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Books I Read this Week:
MageFable by Heimdall Thunderhammer
Recommended for grades 5-7
An epic adventure around a mouse mage named Clove as she searches for the necessary elementals needed to bring down villain Sinvicious. Clove has help from other small creatures, all with their own large personalities. Hunting Clove and her friends are an army of rats that are out for blood. The illustrations are sweet at times, and rather gruesome at other times. Let it be noted that there are some bloody battle scenes that younger readers drawn to the colorful cover might not be ready for.
I work with the author of this book and was happy to be given a copy for review (I even got a cute bookmark to go with it, complete with tassel!).
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
Recommended for grades 6+
I went into this story not having read Hattie Big Sky. So here's what a Hattie newbie has to say:
I LOVE Hattie! She is bold and hardworking, smart and thoughtful. I love historical fiction, and Larson has done her research here, as she assures us in her author's note! Larson's writing is so rich, she created characters and scenes I could vividly imagine. I wasn't done with Hattie by the end of the book, truth be told, I'm kind of missing her!
And I must mention that the cover is a perfect match for Hattie's new city outfit in the story. Not only do I appreciate a detail like that (you know how many covers are not that related to the story), but I also love that ensemble!
The Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Walden Pond Press, 2013
Recommended for grades 3-6
I have to admit, I was pretty doubtful about a book featuring detective platypuses...could he pull it off, I wondered. My answer: Yes! Not only is the book funny, but it is thoughtful and intriguing The story doesn't drag for a moment, and the characters are continually being developed throughout the story. I'm excited to add this title to my classroom library, and I foresee a lot of interest in this series.
My only beef, and I can't keep it to myself, are some inconsistencies between the text and the pictures. But what really gets me here is the fact that the author and illustrator are one in the same... **I read and reviewed an ARC, these inconstancies may not exist in the published version**
Some of my noticings:
Shawn Freeman is described as being lanky, but this character is far from that in my opinion, perhaps confusing young readers on the meaning of the word.
A character at the police station is said to be drinking coffee in the text, a soda is shown in the illustration.
Joey is said to be wearing a cap in the text during a football game, no cap in the illustration.
There were other minor things, but the story was good enough for me to not be turned off by these slight errors.
This week I also enjoyed some of Carrie's picture book recommendations at There's a Book for That, and I am pleased to say they were all a hit with the kids and myself!