Archive for September, 2010

Famous First Lines

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Can you guess what children’s book this first line came from?  Give it a try!

“Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live.”

Did you guess?  Check here for the answer.

Friends of the Library Book Sale

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Just a reminder that the Friends of the Library Book Sale is this weekend!  Check here for more information.


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

I have finally read Betsy-Tacy by Maude Hart Lovelace!  What a charming book of friendship that is set years ago when pennies bought chocolate men, piano boxes became play houses, and people left calling cards.  I can’t wait to continue the series!  This would make a wonderful read-aloud!

Book Chapter Titles

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Can you guess the book based on its chapter titles?  Give it a try!  What book has chapters with the titles:

* The Never Land

* The Sea Devil

* Captain Pembridge

* Peter Ventures Aft

* Molly’s Story

* The Lagoon

* Into the Jungle

* Mister Grin

* Ammm’s Message

* Too Quick for a Cloud; Too Big for a Bird

* The Golden Box

Did you guess?  Check here for the answer.

Alvin Ho

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things  tells the humorous tale of a second grader with a lot of fears, family, and friendships to deal with.   Here are some reviews.  If you like this title, don’t forget to check out Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters!

Booklist Reviews
In the chapter-book universe of Judy Moody and Junie B. Jones it’s hard to know what’s more surprising about Alvin Ho: his Y chromosome, or his Chinese American heritage. In this book, Look, who has made a career of portraying Chinese American family life in picture books and chapter books, focuses less on cultural commonalities than on the idiosyncracies of Alvin’s family (a dad fond of Shakespearean insults, a grandfather who sews), filling in the Chinese American backdrop exclusively through a small amount of Cantonese vocabulary and some food references. The book’s lighthearted treatment of Alvin’s unusual problem (mutism that kicks in only at school) doesn’t seem entirely apt. Still, many children will sympathize with fearful Alvin, who hates his therapist and marvels at his descent from “farmer-warriors who haven’t had a scaredy bone in their bodies since 714 AD.” They’ll also hope that the book’s concluding, unexpected friendship will reap psychological benefits in a sequel. Pham’s thickly brushed artwork matches the quirky characterizations stroke for stroke. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews

Horn Book Magazine Reviews
Fearful second-grader Alvin Ho has never, not once, said a single word in school. His voice works at home, in the car, on the school bus. “But as soon as I get to school…I am as silent as a side of beef.” Like the author’s Ruby Lu chapter books (Ruby Lu, Brave and True; Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything, rev. 5/06), this one acknowledges kids’ troubles while lightening them in a funny yet respectful way. For instance, Alvin plays cards with the psychotherapist he sees for his anxiety. When he realizes she’s letting him win, he says his first words to her — swear words he’s learned from his dad. But they’re Shakespearean swear words (“Sit thee on a spit, then eat my sneakers, thou droning beef-witted nut hook”), so she’s impressed. There’s no miracle cure for Alvin’s missing voice, and the book nicely focuses more on his need for friends. At the end, he’s still afraid of school, scary movies, etc., but he’s made a friend — and it’s (yikes!) a girl. Generously illustrated short chapters include laugh-out-loud descriptions of Alvin’s attempt to grow taller (his siblings leave him hanging from a tree branch where he remains forgotten until his mother spots his empty seat at dinner), his fateful decision to bring his dad’s beloved childhood Johnny Astro toy for show-and-tell, and his brief membership in a not-so-tough neighborhood gang. Readers will hope Alvin has enough fears to fill yet another small but hugely amusing chapter book. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews
Bright, energetic Alvin Ho is about to enter the second grade. The middle child in his close family, he idolizes his devoted, patient dad. He’s a big superhero fan and he loves all things that explode. His enthusiasm, however, doesn’t carry over to school—he’s so petrified while there that he can’t utter a single word: “But as soon as I get to school…I am as silent as a side of beef,” he explains. In the vignettes that make up this exuberantly funny slice of Alvin’s life, Look portrays the world as it would be viewed through the eyes of a wildly creative but undeniably neurotic kid. In his hometown of Concord, Mass., Alvin searches for friends, meets with a psychotherapist (who he supposes must be a “very smart crazy person” based on her job title) and gets himself into a variety of jams. A witty glossary and Pham’s simple yet expressive line drawings perfectly complement this appealing story about the refreshingly original, endearing Alvin. (Fiction. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Staff Favorites

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Here are some more staff favorites!  Check on the title to find these books in the Wheaton Public Library collection.


  Don’t Laugh, Joe!


  The Police Cloud

  Big Wolf & Little Wolf


  Millie Waits for the Mail


Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Whenever Fall comes around, all I want to do is cook, bake, and read!  Here are some children’s cookbook titles that have a literary theme.  In parentheses, find the books that inspired the cookbooks.  And for a whole bunch of other cookbooks found in the Children’s Department, click here.  Happy Reading and Cooking!


Addy’s Cookbook (American Girl Collection)                        


Kirsten’s Cookbook  (American Girl Collection)


The Boxcar Children Cookbook (The Boxcar Children


Molly’s Cookbook (American Girl Collection)

                                                                                                       Fairy Tale Feasts (Fairy Tales)                                                                


Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes (Roald Dahl’s collection)


Felicity’s Cookbook (American Girl Collection)                                                                   


Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes (Roald Dahl’s Collection)


Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook (Dr. Seuss’ Collection)                                            


Samantha’s Cookbook (American Girl Collection)

Book Sale

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Check out the Info@WPL blog post Bag up your books!  and the library’s homepage for information on the Friends of the Library Book Sale that is coming up!