Cozy Up with a Good Book
By Raul Colon
Best for: Ages 4-8
Talk about taking a picture walk! Colon puts the message of the power of art in the hands of children all over and encourages them to use their imaginations. No words. That’s right—Colon uses no words to inspire.
When a boy enters the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he is awed by Picasso’s Three Musicians and Matisse’s Icarus. As he stands slack-jawed in the museum, the figures burst from the canvas and take the boy on a magical tour of city landmarks. When the boy returns home that night, the art stays with him in his mind, inspiring him to create his own masterpieces. Children will love taking an adventure with the art.
What’s good: Inspiring art for all ages.
What’s bad: Would love to see this story branch out beyond New York.
Not So Normal Norbert
By James Patterson and Joey Green
Illustrated by Hatem Aly
Best for: Ages 8-14
This futuristic tale is set in a world where conformity is the law of the land. Middle school students wear plain gray jumpsuits and say a daily pledge of loyalty to the Loving Leader. Those who do not conform, those deemed different by the “truth police,” are sent to other planets to live in camps for dangerous people. Seem Orwellian? In concept, this story is a bit Orwellian, but it incorporates humor, quirky characters and wisecracks to keep it light and fast-paced.
What’s good: This is likely Norbert’s first adventure in an expected series.
What’s bad: Plays into the stereotype of the disgruntled teen.
Clem Hetherington and the Ironwood Race
By Jen Breach
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Best for: Ages 10-14
What happens when you combine Young Indiana Jones with Speed Racer and the Star Wars universe? You get a young female archeologist with an android brother in a deadly race across the desert surrounded by space aliens. The adventure is fast-paced and entertaining, and the illustrations and narrative keep readers glued to each frame. This is a good addition to the growing graphic novel library for teens and preteens.
What’s good: Sure to interest even reluctant readers.
What’s bad: Not enough explanation of why aliens are on what appears to be Earth.
These seem short, so if room can place web throw,
Books make great gifts!