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review 2019-03-21 18:32
‘Scary Stories for Young Foxes’ deserves to be an instant children’s animal book classic; a middle-grade novel draws inspiration from Poe and Lovecraft, and has a lot of heart
Scary Stories for Young Foxes - Christian McKay Heidicker,Junyi Wu

Life as a young fox is scary, with so much to learn about the dangers out there in the woods. Little foxes learn about these dangers from their mama, a masterful storyteller, or the hard way, by facing the world.

This beautifully-written and illustrated middle-grade book invites the reader to step inside the minds of little foxes, and embark on an adventure, full of the real-life challenges that they often face:

Nasty humans, vicious woodland creatures like the Golgathursh and badgers, and dangerous territorial foxes. And especially the harsh Winter.

This is a tale within a tale, and just like scary stories told around a campfire, it has elements of horror and delight. Not only is it precautionary for fox kits, like foxes Mia and Uly, readers will recognize the themes of friendship, family, bravery, and the drive to push ahead when life is difficult.

 

Author Christian McKay Heidicker has a way with words too, and through his writing he has conveyed a very vivid picture of woodland life, describing objects as a fox would see them, and creating new words for things that wouldn’t make sense to them. He also doesn’t shy away from the brutality of nature, from the cycle of life and death, and the struggle for survival against the most difficult of odds. The young foxes in his story face hunters, painful separation from family members, and gruesome injuries and death. Heidicker draws inspiration from classic authors Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft, and weaves in a very well-known children’s book author into this very book; young readers who love a scary story will enjoy this, but it’s not for those who are easily upset by animals getting hurt or struggle with the harshness of nature.

 

The most wonderful part in my reading this (aside from enjoying the adventure and the amazing artwork by Junyi Wu) was how it reminded me of discovering books about animals in my childhood, such as ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ ‘The Wind in The Willows,’ and ‘Watership Down.’ I enjoyed these with my dad, and they fueled my love and compassion for animals. I expect many readers who will enjoy this book will be or are animal-lovers too, as Heidicker has embodied the curious and mischievous nature of foxes so well in this book, and it’s really hard not to love them because of it. This deserves to be a children’s animal classic!

 

**Thank so much to the editor, Christian Trimmer of Henry Holt Books, for my early copy and the chance to read and review this book.

 

Release date: 8.20.19

 

 

 

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text 2019-03-05 07:05
Snakes and Ladders Progress Update: Roll #3
My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell,Nigel Davenport

My last book pick didn't fit the square prompt, so I only rolled a single die this time and got a four which takes me to square #21. I'll be listening to Gerald Durrell's "My Family and Other Animals" which is set in Greece and fulfills the "Set in Europe" prompt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Progress to Date:

 

 

1. Author is a woman / start: Their Lost Daughters by Joy Ellis

 

      Roll #1 - Two Dice Roll:  3 + 3 = 6

      Timestamp: 2019-02-24 21:59:09 UTC (working on the screen shot thing) 

 

7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D: The Mysterious Affair At

    Styles by Agatha Christie 

 

      Roll #2 - Two Dice Roll:  5 + 5 = 10

      Timestamp: 2019-02-26 07:26:51 UTC

 

17. Genre - horror: The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters (skipping horror)

 

      Roll #3

   

 

 21. Set in Europe: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

 

 

  

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review 2019-02-16 02:30
Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows
Dragons and Marshmallows - Asia Citro,Marion Lindsay

Audience: Grades 1-5

Format: Hardcover - Library Copy

 

 

"What is it, Sassafras?" I crouched down and ruffled my cat's fluffy fur.

- first sentence

 

 

This book is a fabulous early chapter book. Zoey and her cat Sassafras both love bugs and science and when Zoey discovers that her mom secretly takes care of magical creatures, she is eager to help. Zoey, a budding scientist, wears her thinking goggles on her head when she needs to concentrate. And when she finds a baby dragon, she uses the scientific method to determine how to help him.

 

So, not only is this book fun, but it also explains the scientific method (including a glossary at the end). It is much more meaningful than I thought it would be. With a strong female lead who happens to be African American, and all the science thrown in, it goes above and beyond what you expect from an early chapter book. The entire series is a must-have for any elementary library collection.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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review 2019-02-04 02:16
The One and Only Ivan
The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan is a great a book for older students it dives into issues that they need to be aware of. This would be a great book to incorporate shared reading and discuss the vocabulary throughout the book. Another great activity would be using an anchor chart that displays each place Ivan lived, students will write down on sticky notes details about each location. 

 

Lexile 570L

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review 2019-02-04 00:36
Stellaluna - Janell Cannon

I remember reading this back when I was in elementary school. This book is a charming story about a bat that was raised by a family of birds. I like how easily the Mama Bird took in Stellaluna and raised her as her own. This book would be great for a lesson about bats. 

 

Lexile: AD550

 

Reading Level: Pre K- 3rd grade

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