New Titles Offer Seasonal Fun from Frost to Frolics
Skippyjon Jones: Snow What
By Judy Schacner
Best for: Ages 3-7
Skippyjon Jones, the Siamese cat that thinks he is a chihuahua, is back in a wonderful wintery tale. When his sisters listen to Snow White, Skippyjon bounces off his bed and into his closet for an adventure. Los Chimichangos challenges him to journey through the snowy forest to wake up the frozen princess with a kiss. Does he do it? Schacner does a wonderful job imparting personality and life into the text with wordplay in two languages. This is a wonderful addition to the Skippyjon Jones series. And like the rest, it really should be read aloud.
What’s good: The rhyming text flows well and adds to the fun of reading it out loud.
What’s bad: The occasional Spanish can trip up beginning readers. Take your time.
Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories
By Dr. Seuss
Best for: Ages 4-8
Dr. Seuss may have passed, but his presence is still strong in the world of children’s literature. His newest book Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories brings together stories that were published in Redbook in the early 1950s. Now, children get to read them as fully fleshed out picture books. Readers will find comfort in the familiar characters and Seussian story structure. It’s difficult not to smile when reading a Dr. Seuss book. Even if these tales are not his best, they are still better than a majority of the new children’s literature today. The title story is going to be a favorite of kids everywhere. You can’t help but laugh when the nasty little kwuggerbug gets what is coming to him. Enjoy this book for read aloud times, for bedtime or whenever you have a moment to read.
What’s good: Dr. Seuss. Need I say more?
What’s bad: Not enough space given to “The Hoobub and the Grinch.”
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy
By Kate Hattemer
Best for: Ages 12-17
What do you get when you cross reality TV, Ezra Pound and a high school for the arts? A very funny and slightly edgy story about a group of somewhat nerdy friends taking on “the man” and taking back their school from the unreality of Hollywood. The Vigilante Poets has mystery, romance and subterfuge with a big ribbon of humor running through all of it. With a poem, Ethan, Luke, Jackson, Elizabeth and a heroic gerbil named Bacconaise stage a protest against the reality show being filmed at their school. Sounds odd, but it’s seriously entertaining. Once you get through the first few chapters, you won’t want to put it down.
What’s good: Great use of language and strong development of realistic characters.
What’s bad: Our heroes resort to breaking and entering.