Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George, 225 pages.
@ SPL:  J FIC Georg
Castle Glower was a most unusual castle and was, in fact, alive. It had a mind of its own, too. No one ever knew what it would do next.
Every Tuesday brought evidence of this truth. New rooms, closets and turrets would appear in the castle, or old rooms would disappear – or both.  Sometimes new passageways, stairways, wings or even towers appeared or disappeared.

It was fortunate that the Castle Glower approved of its inhabitants, the king and his family, because the castle often caused unwelcome occupants or visitors to become helplessly lost by suddenly growing new passageways which could lead them anywhere – or nowhere at all. Such visitors, frustrated beyond endurance by hours or days of wandering, would flee immediately when finally released by the castle. 
Eleven-year-old Princess Celie loved living in the huge castle and never tired of exploring and mapping the ever-changing twists and turns of her home.

Celie’s knowledge of the castle and its secret passageways proved to be invaluable when the king and queen, on a two-week visit to another city, were ambushed and were missing for a long time. The castle, Princess Celie, her brother and her sister worked together successfully to defend the realm and its people from the sinister Prince Khelsh, who was plotting to imprison the royal family and add their kingdom to his own.

Readers will have lots of fun with this intriguing, fast-paced fantasy novel by Jessica Day George.

** Recommended for ages 8 to 11 years.

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Green, 32 pages.
@ SPL:  JP Green

One day the peace and calm of the Seabreezy Library were shattered when Big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor, stormed through the door. “Whar be the treasure? X marks this spot! We’ll dig up the loot an’ steal all that ye’ve got!”

Readers trembled and hid behind bookshelves. Only Library Lou had the bravery to reprimand the noisy pirate, and only when he spoke in a quieter, more polite voice did she allow him to stay in the library.

Then she agreed to help him find the library treasure.

Her first request for the smelly pirate was that he return home to take a bath and change his stinky clothes. He did.
The following day, Library Lou began to teach Pirate Pete the “code” necessary to find the treasure. She taught him the letters of the alphabet and how to form words with those letters. She taught him how to sound out words and how to read them.

Pirate Pete practiced faithfully every evening. He read Dr. Seuss’s books, the Frog and Toad books, and Treasure Island. He read about the sea, dinosaurs, insects, Mars and electric guitars – and he found that he enjoyed reading so much that he almost forgot about the treasure … almost!

One evening, Pirate Pete suddenly realized what the library’s “treasure” really was, and he realized that Library Lou had already helped him to find it.

The very next day, Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor, went to the library to thank Library Lou … and to borrow some more treasure! 
This entertaining story of a spunky librarian and a rowdy pirate is told in rhyming text and illustrated with colourful, expressive art.

** Recommended for ages 4 to 7 years. 

This review appears in The Stratford Gazette on August 8, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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