Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summer Reading egg


Kevin Henkes is a favorite author/illustrator for a reason. His 50th book is more of his signature style. A blue, a pink, and a yellow egg hatch, but one egg is "waiting." The little birds from the other eggs come and "listen" to the last egg. Then they "peck-peck-peck" (repeat about 20 times). And when the green egg cracks open, "surprise!" The birds fly away, startled, and the newly hatched baby is sad and alone. Will they come back?

This would be a great book to pair with a story like "The Ugly Duckling" and talk about expectations and how authors can surprise us by having something unexpected happen. It would also be good for talking about making friends, accepting others despite their differences, etc. The way that many of the pages are broken into panels would make it perfect for introducing how to read comics and graphic novels; how one moves from panel to panel and where to start on the page could be easily demonstrated.

Summer Reading 2017 Hug This Book


In a rhythm reminiscent of Green Eggs and Ham, the author reels off all the things you can do with a book. Everything from "You can read this book to a hippo," to "You can kiss and hug and smell this book" is suggested. The ink and paper illustrations are digitally colored and show scenes that look like they are drawn on a chalkboard or cityscapes with faces peeking out of windows. Young readers are liable to laugh out loud at scenes of two kids in the same sweater, or someone asleep under a tented book. My favorite is the final page that suggests, "You can start at the beginning and read it to a friend!"

Friday, June 23, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 You May Already Be a Winner


Olivia is a character that is full of life, which is a funny thing since she begins her story with, "One day I sunk to the bottom of the pool and died." It turns out that she did not die, but she does have very vivid daydreams. The daydreams are a way to escape from the unpleasant parts of her life, things like having to stay home from school and watch Berk, cleaning the trailer and fixing dinner because her mom comes home too tired to do it, or writing emails to her father that are never answered. Olivia, her mother, and her sister Berkeley live in Sunny Pines, "a trailer park attached to a KOA." Olivia becomes determined to offer Berk something better, so she enters online contests, as many as she can find. The sweepstakes entries are another coping mechanism to deal with missing her father, the loss of her best friend, having to stay home from school, and all the other negative circumstances in her life.

Along with Olivia, we see her neighbors and learn their stories, too. We also meet her eccentric friend, Bart. Can he really be an agent for the FBI doing surveillance in Sunny Pines? That is only one question we try to find the answer to as the story unfolds. We also wonder if her father is really off helping the rangers in Bryce Canyon and when child & family services will intervene in their lives. Sixth graders can't just stop coming to school without local agencies getting involved. And we wonder, just as Olivia does, what will happen when their situation is discovered.

The setting and characters are full of realistic details, and we can recognize how easily a family could wind up in the same condition as Olivia's. We laugh at her daydreams of heroically fighting fires or receiving the kiss of life from the life guard, but we also understand that we are laughing to keep from crying over her life. This is a strong piece of realistic fiction that showcases a memorable character. Fans of See You in the Cosmos might enjoy Olivia's tale.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Max and Bird


Rejoice - Max is back! This time Max has a new friend, Bird. They have a problem, because Max is a kitten and kittens chase and eat birds. Max thinks this sounds like a good plan, but Bird points out that "friends don't eat each other up!" This prompts Max to think things over. After some thought, they agree to help each other, because that is what friends do. I love the way Max and Bird head to the library when they have a question. Bird tells Max, "Libraries know everything." The scenes of the friends looking at the shelves and reading together in a cozy armchair surrounded by books will make you want to rush to the nearest library and collect a stack of your own reading material.

As I've mentioned before, the illustrations of Max in his books are wonderful. So much personality is packed into such a tiny body that it nearly bursts off the page. Bird with his little wings on his feathery hips lectures Max on being a friend and we can feel the force of his argument. The images of both friends flapping their arms/wings as hard as they can, eyes squeezed tight in concentration and a result of "Zilch" will have everyone laughing. But my favorite would have to be the two friends curled up asleep together and both dreaming of flying - Bird winging across the sky with Max right beside him in a superhero cape.

If you are looking for friendship stories (unlikely friends), stories of learning a new skill, or stories of perseverance, then you need a copy of Max and Bird. Of course, all those of us who are already fans of Max need one, too. Highly recommended.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Summer Reading 2017 Castle in the Stars

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869- Book 1 (Castle in the Stars, #1)

A motherless boy. An accidental journey. An isolated king with a hobby others don't understand. All of these elements have played a part in other stories, but they combine to form the basis of Castle in the Stars

Seraphin's mother, Claire, was determined to uncover the secret of aether. She went aloft in a balloon an incredible 11,000 meters into the atmosphere, but never returned. Now a year has passed, and her logbook has been found by none other than King Ludwig of Bavaria, who is also interested in the possibilities of aether. Before they even reach Bavaria Seraphin and his father realize there is some sort of plot going on. As the story unfolds the reader learns that someone plans to sabotage the king, his experiments, or both. 

The book is done in gorgeous watercolor illustrations with the feel of a Jules Verne adventure. The setting is obviously our world in 1869, but an alternate history with a bit of steampunk vibe. The characters are easy to distinguish by their appearance and their personalities. Seraphin is a fair-haired young boy, idealistic, and still devoted to his mother. His father is a balding, austere engineer who is a strict taskmaster. And the individuals they meet in Bavaria are either loyal to the king or plotting against him, but it takes time to figure out whose side everyone is on.

The action is full of dangerous balloon ascents, explosions, chases, near escapes, and humorous accidents. And the ending will leave everyone eagerly waiting the next volume to see what happens next. 

If you enjoy steampunk, alternate history, or adventures like the writings of Jules Verne, then you need to pick up a copy of Castle in the Stars. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Goodnight, Lab: A Scientific Parody


Chris Ferrie, author of the Baby University series, now takes on a classic. Goodnight Moon gets an update with a scientific twist. A young female scientist is in the lab surrounded by items like a thermometer, a laser, and a portrait of Einstein. Slowly, more items are named and then as we reach the halfway point of the book, we begin to tell all the objects "goodnight." Like the original, the setting has green walls and a red floor, but there are no bears or chairs, n mittens or kittens. Instead of a lady whispering "hush," we have a grumpy old professor shouting "publish." The book follows the pattern of Goodnight Moon in its wording. It also limits the objects to what would be found in a lab, just as the original included objects from a child's bedroom or nursery. That is why we see things like tanks of liquid nitrogen or lab coats in the illustrations.

With the current awareness of the need for more diverse characters in books, having a young African American female as the protagonist is a welcome sight. From the perspective of STEM teachers, it is also great to see someone from such underrepresented groups happily working in a science lab. No attention is drawn to the gender or racial/ethnic background of the character, but the visual representation in that setting speaks loud and clear to those of us looking for such things.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Summer Reading 2017 From Ant to Eagle


This book is an excellent work of realistic fiction. It portrays the relationship between siblings very well, capturing the push and pull of having a brother to play with, yet also wanting time to hang out with friends of one's own. Calvin, the older brother, is eleven and bored over summer break. His younger brother Sammy is only six and can't do many of the things Calvin can. But Calvin has created a game with challenges that he makes up and Sammy has to complete to gain a level. Sammy started at Ant level, but wants to attain Eagle just like Calvin. Even with such entertainment available, it's understandable that when Calvin makes friends with a new girl from church, he wants to have fun without Sammy around all the time. When the family realizes Sammy is very ill, then Calvin begins to feel guilty over ignoring him all summer when he wasn't busy sending him on missions like spraying a bees nest to earn another level. And Cal's friend Aleta has her own guilty feelings to deal with over something from her family's past.

The characters really come to life in this story - the older brother annoyed by a younger tag-along; the new girl who captures the boy's attention; the younger brother with a case of hero worship for his sibling; the parents stressed by their child's illness. Readers can easily picture people they know in similar situations. Who hasn't hear siblings whine, "Do I have to play with him?" And many readers have probably has the experience of meeting a new kid at school, or in the neighborhood and being intrigued by the novelty of making a new friend. The saddest part is that some readers may also have firsthand knowledge of being in the hospital with a family member who is undergoing extensive tests. The portrayal of how each person within Calvin's family deals with the stress of the medical situation is heartrendingly real and may cause some tears among readers.

Recommended for middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction centered around family and friendship, and who don't mind some sadness and scenes that will bring out intense emotions. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dover Books Summer Reading Giveaway Tour


    Timeless Stories, Everyday Value, Summer Reading with Dover!
    Everyone can be a winner with special code WHCP, because Dover Books is offering 25% off until September 1, 2017. Plus, you can enter to win this awesome summer reading prize pack . . .
    One (1) grand prize winner receives:

    • Hardcover, 20th Anniversary Editions of the Dinotopia series
      • Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time
      • Dinotopia, The World Beneath
      • Dinotopia, First Flight
    • A hardcover copy of The Girl in the White Hat
    • A paperback copy of Too Many Mittens
    • A paperback copy of The Golden Basket
    • A paperback copy of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
    • A hardcover copy of Sam and Emma
    • A paperback copy of I Need a New Butt

Two (2) winners receive:
  • A hardcover copy of The Girl in the White Hat
  • A paperback copy of Too Many Mittens
  • A paperback copy of The Golden Basket
  • A paperback copy of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
  • A hardcover copy of Sam and Emma
  • A paperback copy of I Need a New Butt
Giveaway begins June 1, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 30, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.

Prizes provided by Dover Books.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Girl in the White Hat
Written by W. T. Cummings 

Publisher's Synopsis: While Grandmother's asleep, Annabelle creeps out of her room and up the stairs to the dark and mysterious attic. Among the jumble of curious items packed away in the gloom is a big white hat with a floppy brim. Annabelle can't resist trying it on and thinks, "If I were a bird and this hat were my wings, I could fly. I wish I could fly!" And she does! New hardcover edition.

About the Author: W. T. Cummings (1933–2009) wrote and illustrated four remarkable picture books, of which The Girl in the White Hat was the first. A painter of note, he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University in 1962. Lauded by The New York Times as one of the ten best children's books of 1959, this now-rare volume is available in a lovely new hardcover edition, ready to charm a new generation of readers and imaginative hat-wearers.

Too Many Mittens
By Louis Slobodkin and Florence Slobodkin

Publisher's Synopsis: A beautifully illustrated single-volume edition of three classic children's tales: A wintertime tale of lost and found, Too Many Mittens finds the twins Ned and Donny in Grandma's care while Mother and Father are off on a trip. Word gets around when Donny loses a mitten, and soon everyone — teacher, postman, milkman, grocer — is finding lost mittens and delivering them to the twins' house, until Grandma has a great idea. In A Good Place to Hide, Susan wants to get away from her persistent brothers, who are determined to show her the spider they've trapped in a jar. But everywhere she goes, from the tool shed to Rover's doghouse, someone finds her — until she finds a secret place where she finally can be alone. Everyone knows that mermaids have long golden hair and sweet singing voices — except when they don't! In The Little Mermaid Who Could Not Sing, red-haired Cynthia can swim and ride seahorses but she cannot sing a note. Cynthia's terribly discouraged until she discovers that she has a hidden talent of her very own.

About Louis Slobodkin and Florence Slobodkin: At the age of 15, Louis Slobodkin (1903–75) entered the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, where he studied drawing, composition, and sculpture. In the course of his six-year studies, he won more than 20 medals and was awarded the Louis Tiffany Fellowship. Slobodkin illustrated nearly 90 books, 50 of which he wrote, and in 1944 he received the Caldecott Medal for his illustrations for James Thurber's Many Moons
Poet and author of children's books Florence Slobodkin (1905–94) collaborated with her husband on five books, including the classic Too Many Mittens.

The Golden Basket

Publisher's Synopsis: On a cobblestoned street in the ancient city of Bruges, a hotel with a golden basket on its roof admits a trio of weary travelers: a father and two little girls, Celeste and Melisande. The next morning, the sisters awake to the thrill of discovering a new country and meeting new friends, including Jan, the innkeeper's son, and Monsieur Carnewal, the hardworking, warmhearted maître d'hôtel. The girls discover a world of imaginative fun within the hotel itself as well as in the picturesque city of medieval buildings and towers, where graceful swans swim in the canals and a lamplighter makes his daily rounds. Inspired by a trip to Belgium, author Ludwig Bemelmans drew upon his youthful experiences at his family's Austrian inn to perfectly recapture the setting of an Old World hotel. A brief cameo by a mischievous French schoolgirl — the first appearance of the author's iconic character, Madeline—offers a hint of the joys to come.

About Ludwig Bemelmans: The recipient of both the Caldecott and Newbery awards, Ludwig Bemelmans (1898–1962) is best remembered as the creator of the Madeline books. He grew up in Austria, emigrated to America in his youth, and became a U.S. citizen after serving in World War I. In addition to dozens of books for adults as well as children, Bemelmans wrote movie scripts and was an internationally renowned gourmet.

Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings
By Edward McLachlan

Publisher's Synopsis: Simon enters the Land of Chalk Drawings, where his doodles spring to colorful life and join him in adventures that challenge his wits as well as his imagination. This exclusive collection comprises all four of author Edward McLachlan's Chalk stories, which served as the inspiration for the popular PBS and Nickelodeon animated shorts. In the Land of Chalk Drawings: An unfinished stick figure asks to be completed and introduces Simon to a host of other drawings that need his attention. Simon and the Chalk Drawing Army: Some soldiers have invaded the Land of Chalk Drawings and are making everyone drill to the point of exhaustion. With quick thinking, Simon finds a way to keep the soldiers busy, and the other drawings get a treat. Simon and the Moon Rocket: Simon flies to the moon, where he's forced to solve a mountain of sums. How can he finish them all and get away? Simon and the Dinosaur: All the children and animals have disappeared from the Land of Chalk Drawings ― they've been eaten by a dinosaur! Simon must rescue them and help the hungry dinosaur, too.
About Edward McLachlan: Hailed as "the cartoonist's cartoonist," Edward McLachlan has contributed cartoons to Punch, Private Eye, the London Evening Standard, New Statesman, Playboy, and many other periodicals. He has also worked for several book publishers, has drawn advertisements, and has designed and written more than 300 commercial advertising films for clients including Renault and Alka-Seltzer.
Sam and Emma
By Donald Nelsen and Edward Gorey

Publisher's Synopsis: A kind hound and a critical cat venture beyond their garden gate for a look at how other animals live in this winsome tale, which is charmingly illustrated by Edward Gorey. Emma the cat scorns the lunch offered by a trio of friendly beavers and laughs in the faces of a pair of porcupines, much to Sam the dog's consternation. Along come a couple of raccoons. Emma allows that they resemble cats, so they're not ugly, but decries their nocturnal habits. "Not even a dog would live like that," she declares — and now she's insulted long-suffering Sam, too. She didn't mean him, of course. Sam offers his feline friend a more balanced perspective and a gently irresistible appeal for tolerance, bringing this thought-provoking fable of friendship to a warm conclusion. Hardcover edition.

About Donald Nelsen and Edward Gorey: Indiana native Donald Nelsen has lived and worked in New York City for more than 50 years. In 1959 he was awarded a Fulbright grant to study painting in Paris, and upon his return to the United States he joined a design studio and began creating textile and wallpaper designs as well as painted wood carvings of everyday objects. Several of his oil paintings are on display at the Brooklyn Historical Society.
American author and artist Edward Gorey (1925–2000) combined whimsy and dark humor in such illustrated books as The Doubtful Guest, The Gashlycrumb Tinies, and four Amphigorey anthologies. His distinctive style, featuring characters in Victorian dress in surrealistic settings, achieved wide recognition with his opening-sequence animation for the PBS Mystery! series.

I Need a New Butt
By Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird

Publisher's Synopsis: A young boy suddenly notices a big problem — his butt has a huge crack! So he sets off to find a new one. Will he choose an armor-plated butt? A rocket butt? A robot butt? Find out in this quirky tale of a tail, which features hilarious rhymes and delightful illustrations. Children and parents will love this book — no ifs, ands, or butts about it! "I can assure you right now that your kids will love this book. They will giggle, they will laugh, and they will want this book to be read over and over again because it is just plain silly and funny … the perfect kid-combo." — Storywraps

About Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird: Dawn McMillan writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and storybooks for children. She is also the author of Woolly Wally and Holy Socks. She lives in Waiomu, New Zealand.
Ross Kinnaird has illustrated such children's books as 50 Body Questions and the animated poem "Smaller," winner of the People's Choice Award at the World Parkinson's Congress. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Dover Books (please use this tracking link when linking to Dover Books)


The Children's Book Review
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
A Dream Within A Dream
Word Spelunking
icefairy's Treasure Chest
To Read, or Not To Read
The Fairview Review
Lille Punkin'
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

The Fairview Review is promoting this giveaway in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Dover Books.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library


Book lovers of the world, unite! Eddie is a bug on a mission. He leaves the safety of his family's crack in the classroom wall and heads down the long, echoing hallway of Ferny Creek to reach the library. Why? Because his beloved Aunt Min went to the library and hasn't returned. But when he reaches her, he finds out there is an even bigger problem - the library is in danger. So what can one tiny bug do to prevent the library from being converted into a computerized testing center? Using everything he's learned from books he has read or that Aunt Min has told him about, Eddie comes up with a plan. He will leave a message for the "squishers" (humans). Min has an idea of what to say, "Those children are hungry for stories - I've seen that day after day! - and what are you thinking, robbing them of stories and giving them tests instead." Eddie agrees with the sentiment, but thinks of a more concise way to state it. If he can only get the squishers to pay attention, the library just might have a chance. 

This book has everything a reader and library lover could want. There are wonderful references to other books and Eddie often finds inspiration from his favorite characters. The tradition of reading within his family is a wonderful example for youngsters; they can see how the habit was passed from his grandfather, to Aunt Min, to Eddie, and then on to his younger brother Alfie. Having a "tiny hero" that can live within the school and come out when the students go home allows readers to see the school setting from a completely different perspective. And they can also see that size doesn't matter because "A writer's a writer, no matter how small," as Aunt Min says.

Highly recommended for middle grades and up. Perfect for a read-aloud. The "Bugliography" in the back is great for readers whose interest is piqued by all the references to other stories.

I read an advance copy supplied by the publisher for review purposes.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Cheer Up, Ben Franklin!


Wonderful basic intro to characters of the American Revolution. Poor Ben has no friends available to fly kites with him. They are all busy doing iconic activities - sewing a flag, rallying troops, etc. But when he reaches Independence Hall, he finally finds all his friends and an activity they can all do together. Each two-page spread features a different historical figure, including: Betsy Ross, Sam Adams, Paul Revere, Abigail Adams, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton.  Within Independence Hall we also see Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock. There are brief biographies of all the characters as well as a timeline of major events from 1773-1801 in the back of the book.

The illustrations show iconic features of the characters - Ross with her sewing, Franklin's receding white hairline, Washington's uniform, and Revere with his lantern and horse. Between the images and the brief text for each spread, the book is a quick and easy read - perfect to introduce the historical period, or read just for fun.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Robots and Repeats (Secret Coders, #4)


Dr, One-Zero has gained control of the school and made a terrible change. He has cut all existing class periods in half and used the extra time in the day to require all students to take a chemistry course. The problem is that he has them doing the same experiment over and over - creating Green Pop! With Principal Dean at the hospital under observation, the kids decide it is time to use Mr. Bee's most powerful tool - the Turtle of Light to find a location marked on One-Zero's secret map and try to take him down for good. With everyone but Hopper's parents siding with Dr. One-Zero that the kids should not be allowed to spend time together, how will they pull off their big plan and save the school, the town, and Hopper's dad?

For kids who are interested in computers, robotics, and solving puzzles - this series is wonderful. It explains how each program works, then asks readers to think through what program is needed to solve the next problem. In this fourth book of the series, Mr. Bee shows them how to nest one repeat inside another within a program.

To try out your own coding skills, you may want to visit

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Summer Reading 2017 Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector


Rudy (a dog), is the narrator of this volume in the Science Comics series. He tells us that he is a "canardly" - you can 'ardly tell what breed. While at the local dog park, Rudy chases his favorite ball into the past. He explains to readers how dogs evolved from wild predators to tame companions and protectors (and also looks for his lost ball). His explanation covers topics like Linnaeus, Mendel, Darwin, Punnett squares, DNA, nature and nurture, the gene pool, and pretty much anything else that affects the adaptation of a species over time. Rudy gives examples of how a dog's senses work; the difference in what colors they can see compared to human eyesight, the way they can detect odors that are only 1 or 2 parts per trillion, or how far their hearing range extends. Breeds, dog shows, pedigrees, vocal communication and body language are all a part of Rudy's explanations. One fun fact he shares is that dogs and humans are two species that both continue to play even after they reach adult age.

This series follows in the tradition of the Magic School Bus and the Max Axiom books by sharing science concepts through a graphic format. In this case, the comic style illustrations display the different time periods Rudy visits as he traces the evolution of dogs, and readers can also see his determination to retrieve his ball. There are plenty of facts, and also helpful features such as a glossary, a list of books for further reading. One last appearance by Rudy is similar to the bonus scenes that show up during a movie's end credits. He urges readers to consider pet adoption and find a companion to take into their home. This book is an excellent introduction to the history of domesticated dogs, and offers enough basic facts to give readers a good place to start researching the topic more deeply on their own.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 The World's Greatest Detective


Toby Montrose is no stranger to trouble; it has dogged him since he was eight years old - and he's eleven now. So he can recognize trouble trying to slip under the door or hovering in the corners, and the bills marked past due and last notice that are arriving in his uncle's mail are sure signs of its presence. Since his parents were lost while boating, Toby has moved from one relative's care to another, and if Uncle Gabriel can't keep him, then it will be the city orphanage next. When a detective contest with a $10,000 prize is announced, Toby knows that winning it could get rid of trouble for good.

Sadly, one of the detectives is murdered before the contest even begins. And that isn't even the worst problem Toby has. There is a house full of suspects, each with a good reason for wanting the man dead. Toby is only his uncle's assistant, and hasn't ever solved any cases on his own. His uncle isn't there for the contest and the only person willing to work with Toby is Ivy, the unusual daughter of the family hosting the event. And things just keep going wrong. Will Toby ever banish trouble for good?

Full of humor, twists and turns in the plot, a lovable dog named Percival, eccentric characters, and sympathetic protagonist, is an entertaining romp that feels like a junior version of an Agatha Christie story. Highly recommended for middle grades and up.

I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 The Dragon Riders

Flynn and Paddy, our brave dragon tamers, return for their third adventure. As their pet dragon, Elton John, grows up, the boys work on keeping him a secret from their mother and trying to figure out what he likes to eat. One day, Elton scoops up the boys and Coco and flies off with them to a dragon gathering. The problem is - only dragons are allowed, and the others don't like Elton's human family. What follows is a daring bit of aerial acrobatics and cleverness that saves the day and leaves the boys cheering.

James Russell's jaunty rhyming text swoops us up and carries us into the story. Parents and teachers will be pleased to see words such as excursion, promptly, gnashed, and plunged. Young readers will be expanding their vocabularies while they delight in the story. The last lines of the story mention "distant roaring" and we can see out the bedroom window that a dragon that (not Elton), is flying across the sky. Could these be hints of what lies in store for Flynn and Paddy? We will have to wait and see.

Link Choi's illustrations bring the story to vibrant life. Full color artwork captures moments such as Paddy's sooty face after the dragon turns the spinach sandwiches to ash, or both boys shoving against the door of the shed, trying to hide the dragon from their mother. There are also pencil sketches showing Coco glaring at his empty bowl after his dog food is eaten by the dragon, or the various expression on their faces as Elton John carries them off into the sky. My favorite scene is the boys and Coco grinning on Elton's back after he outwits and out-flies the other dragons.

But beyond all that, there is even more. Using the AR Reads app, readers of all ages may explore the world of Flynn and Paddy's island in interactive 3D. The large map found in the endpapers of the book comes alive with motion and sound. The giggles of the boys, the whoosh of the dragon's flames, the roaring of a waterfall, all drift out of the scene. And we can see the dragon swoop in and out of view, the boys running down the mountain from the cave, or the flickering on the Ridge of Rising Flames. There is a video demonstration available at

Young readers will love having a new dragon story to read and re-read. This third adventure leaves us wondering what the boys, Coco, and Elton John will do next.

Highly recommended for ages 4+. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Summer Reading 2017 The Dragon Tamers


Flynn and Paddy, our two intrepid dragon hunters, are back. This time they become bored and decide to explore the attic. When they find a map of their island that shows a dragon hatchery, or course they must go and find it. As often happens to brave explorers, adventure ensues. The dragons hatch just as the boys and their faithful dog Coco arrive. In what looks like a reenactment of Jurassic World, the dragonets chase the boys back down the slope. One little hatchling imprints on the boys and follows them home, where they have to figure out how to raise a dragon.

James Russell's jaunty rhyming text swoops us up and carries us into the story. Parents and teachers will be pleased to see words such as horde, jolt, din, and amiss. Young readers will be expanding their vocabularies while they delight in the story. And most of them will probably agree that "The only cure for boredom (as all smart children know) is, of course, to go somewhere you're not allowed to go."

Link Choi's illustrations bring the story to vibrant life. Full color artwork captures moments such as Paddy laughing at Flynn's singed sandwich, or the way the boys gape at the hatching dragons with their mouths hanging open in shock. There are also pencil sketches showing Paddy in his pajamas making sandwiches for their expedition, or the sly grins the boys give each other as their mother scolds them for being late to dinner. My favorite scene is the dragon licking the Flynn's face while Coco sniffs at its long tail.

But beyond all that, there is even more. Using the AR Reads app, readers of all ages may explore the world of Flynn and Paddy's island in interactive 3D. The large map found in the endpapers of the book comes alive with motion and sound. The giggles of the boys, the whoosh of the dragon's flames, the roaring of a waterfall, all drift out of the scene. And we can see the dragon swoop in and out of view, the boys running down the mountain from the cave, or the flickering on the Ridge of Rising Flames. There is a video demonstration available at

Young readers will love having a new dragon story to read and re-read. This is only the second adventure starring these brave brothers builds on the first and leads easily into the next. After all, once you have hunted dragon and tamed one, you must progress to riding. Right?

Highly recommended for ages 4+. I read an e-book provided by the publishers through edelweiss.