Pro-book and -library quotes on the endpapers and multiple punny book titles in the illustrations add an extra touch of fun.

RETURN OF THE LIBRARY DRAGON

What could cause the Library Dragon to return (The Library Dragon, 1994)?

Miss Lotty, librarian at Sunrise Elementary School, was once a scaly, book-protecting, fire-breathing dragon, but years ago student Molly Brickmeyer helped melt the scales away by proving children can be trusted with books. Now, Miss Lotty is ready to retire. Though the kids will miss her, she’s sure her successor will carry on her library traditions. Unfortunately, when she arrives for her last day before retirement…Mr. Mike Krochip has replaced all her books with computers and e-readers. The kids profess their love of traditional books until they see the bells and whistles on the e-readers, triggering the return of the Library Dragon, who chomps through every piece of technology she sees until a young redhead saves the day (and the library) again. Deedy and White re-team to bring the Library Dragon into the 21st century. As an entertaining read that broaches the subject of technology’s place in the school media center, this deserves a place alongside its predecessor despite the fact that the resolution of the central conflict is about as realistic as a dragon in the library. White’s brightly colored, squashed and squiggly full-bleed illustrations match the tale for good goofiness.

Pro-book and -library quotes on the endpapers and multiple punny book titles in the illustrations add an extra touch of fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56145-621-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the...

STINK AND THE MIDNIGHT ZOMBIE WALK

From the Stink series

An all-zombie-all-the-time zombiefest, featuring a bunch of grade-school kids, including protagonist Stink and his happy comrades.

This story covers the few days preceding the much-anticipated Midnight Zombie Walk, when Stink and company will take to the streets in the time-honored stiff-armed, stiff-legged fashion. McDonald signals her intent on page one: “Stink and Webster were playing Attack of the Knitting Needle Zombies when Fred Zombie’s eye fell off and rolled across the floor.” The farce is as broad as the Atlantic, with enough spookiness just below the surface to provide the all-important shivers. Accompanied by Reynolds’ drawings—dozens of scene-setting gems with good, creepy living dead—McDonald shapes chapters around zombie motifs: making zombie costumes, eating zombie fare at school, reading zombie books each other to reach the one-million-minutes-of-reading challenge. When the zombie walk happens, it delivers solid zombie awfulness. McDonald’s feel-good tone is deeply encouraging for readers to get up and do this for themselves because it looks like so much darned fun, while the sub-message—that reading grows “strong hearts and minds,” as well as teeth and bones—is enough of a vital interest to the story line to be taken at face value.

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5692-8

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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RAIN SCHOOL

It takes a village to make a school. In Chad, big brothers and sisters lead the way for younger children on the first day of school. Little Thomas is full of questions. When he and the other children arrive, there are no classrooms and no desks. But the teacher's there, holding a trowel. "We will build our school," she declares. Everyone sets to work, making mud bricks that dry in the sun and a roof out of grass and saplings. Thomas loves his lessons; every day he learns something new. At the end of the school year, the minds of the students "are fat with knowledge." And just in time: The rainy season arrives and makes short work of the schoolhouse. Come September, they'll start all over. Rumford's illustrations make great use of color, dark brown skin and bright shirts, shorts and dresses against golden backgrounds, the hues applied in smudgy layers that infuse each scene with warmth—until the gray rains arrive. It's a nifty social-studies lesson tucked into a warm tale of community. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-24307-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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