The Book Bag, Books for Ages 5 to 8 (May/June 2008)

It has been a very busy two months, and we’ve got lots of books in this target audience. As you can see, we modified our format to include book cover images. Click on the title to read our review; click on the cover to visit the bookseller page.

Archibald’s Swiss Cheese Mountain by Sylvia Lieberman, illustrated by Jeremy Wendell. Archibald has great facial expressions. When you combine a cute mouse, bright colors, and big fonts, kids are sure to follow! This was a find at Book Expo America. (Seven Locks Pres, 2008)

Cinder Rabbit by Lynn E. Hazen, illustrated by Elyse Pastel. Zoe should be thrilled; she just got the lead part in Cinder Rabbit, her class play. At the end, when they all live “hoppily ever after” the belle of the bunny ball needs to lead the cast in the bunny hop. But Zoe can’t hop! A bunny that can’t hop? What will she do? “It’s so nice to read an early reader that doesn’t SOUND like an early reader. The author offers a great plot, plenty of rabbit humor, and a cute twist (hint: it has to do with the shoes).” This is perfect for early readers of all stripes, from emerging to reluctant readers. Visit and you’ll find some great activities: activity pages, coloring pages, and author podcasts with activity ideas. (Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2008)

Gideon’s Dream by Ken Dychtwald, PHD, et al., illustrated by Dave Zaboski. For a grub, every day is the same: eat leaves. Then one day, Gideon got the ride of his life: the leaf he was eating fell to the ground. He fell in love with the sensation of flying and left his friends in search of another chance to fly. “There are lots of caterpillar-to-butterfly stories, and this one is definitely on the short-list of must reads. The story approaches the transformation from a completely different angle, and the illustrator captures the fun of it very well.”(HarperCollins Publishers, 2008)

Hermit Crab’s Home by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Bob Dacey and Debra Bandelin. This is a picture book describing the life cycle and habitat of a young hermit crab. We shared this book with Ms. Carneal’s class at Menchville High School. Although for younger readers, it was a big hit. “This book has awesome ‘watercolor’ pictures and great facts…It should be in all beach rentals for kids to read.” (Soundprints, an imprint of Trudy Corporation, 2007)

Sort it Out! by Barbara Mariconda, illustrated by Sherry Rogers. Packy Rat has been busy today. His wagon is filled with treasures. His mother doesn’t see it that way. She just sees clutter. So she tasks Packy with the job of sorting his things and putting them away. “Kids will jump into this story of helping Packy sort and categorize; anticipate the rhyming words, and explore the other elements of the story.” (Sylvan Dell Publishing, 2008)

Too Many Toys written and illustrated by David Shannon. Spencer’s toys are everywhere. From one end of the house to the other and on every floor. Finally, mom has had enough and it’s time to sort through those piles. It takes a lot of negotiating, and in the end, Spencer finds the most perfect, must have toy! This is a book we got at Book Expo America; it’s not due out until October 2008 … but we’re betting it will be a hit. (Blue Sky Press, an Imprint of Scholastic, 2008)

Before we jump in, CONGRATULATIONS! To Just One More Book. They were recently featured on “Sounds Like Canada”, one of Canada Broadcasting Corporation’s two flagship coast-to-coast morning shows. Way to go! Take a listen.

Contagious Creativity: Willow by Denise Brennan-Wilson and Rosemarie Brennan, illustrated by Cyd Moore. Seething stringency and constant condemnation prove no match for good-natured self worth in this uplifting story of creativity, individuality and respect. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Loving Living: Some Helpful tips for a Better World and a Happier Life by Rebecca Doughty, illustrated b y Rebecca Doughty. Life is sweet and short and moves so fast, sometimes we need a cheeky little book like this to remind us to stop to live and love our lives.