February 2011

These are the books the Children's Area staff reviewed in February 2011. Click on the "check the catalog" link to see if the book is available. If it isn't, ask a librarian to put it on hold for you.

Scroll past these book reviews to see an archive of all of the previous book reviews.

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We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes

Have you ever captured a wild animal and kept it as a pet--perhaps a lizard, or a turtle, or even a snake? This story, written from the point of view of a snake that is being held captive by a young boy, will give you an inside look at what your pets are thinking. Crusher, as she is named by the boy, finds her captor to be absolutely revolting, and she is confused by all her discoveries of the human world. Her goal--ESCAPE!!--and she will do anything to get back to her desert home, even if it means playing the role of good pet to win over the trust of her captor. This Georgia Childrens Book Award nominee has it all--adventure, excitement, humor, and friendship.

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Geronimo Stilton: The Temple of the Ruby of Fire

The Temple of the Ruby Fire is part of an ever-expanding series of books written by Geronimo Stilton, who runs the Rodents Gazette on Mouse Island. It's a good book for children who are just getting started in chapter books. The chapters are very short, about 2 to 3 pages, and the story begins right away without any detailed character development (which could be a problem for older readers). Stilton does a great job of combining both an exciting story that moves quickly with interesting information about the Amazon and the Yanomami tribes who live there. Most of the book is written in a normal font, but unusual fonts are on every page and can cause problems for children who may already have a reading difficulty.

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Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Bunnicula is a baby rabbit that was found by the Monroe family while they were at the theater to watch a Dracula film. Chester the cat and Harold the dog find the rabbit odd, and they determine that Bunnicula is a vampire bunny who drains the juice out of vegetables. Chester is convinced that Bunnicula is a danger to the family and tries everything to stop the rabbit: paralyzing him with garlic, steak-ing him, and even starving him. Harold however thinks Chester has gone too far, and chaos ensues as he tries to help Bunnicula avoid Chesters traps. This is a fun chapter book for children who want to explore mysteries or child appropriate vampire books.

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When Sheep Cannot Sleep: The Counting Book

Sheep is wide awake, and it is nighttime. He doesn't feel like sleeping at all! He goes for a walk and meets some interesting nocturnal friends and even some weird UFOs. Eventually he finds a house that happens to have some nice food and a bubble bath and some pajamas... Will he ever get to sleep? This fun book will amuse both young children and adults with the sheep's strange adventures and the silly illustrations. Children can also count all of the things the sheep encounters as he wanders through the night.

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Found

Thirteen year old Jonah was adopted into a loving family. He has a younger sister and a new friend named Chip. Chip and Jonah receive two unmarked letters which turn their comfortable worlds upside down. Chip finds out that he is also adopted and he is determined to find out about his birth parents. With the help of Jonah's younger sister Katherine, Jonah uncovers a list from the FBI that has his name, Chip's name, and the names of 34 other adopted kids in the area on it. As the children begin to make contact with all the kids on the list, they find out that all of them have also received the mysterious unmarked letters. It appears that their adoption may be part of a conspiracy which leads the children from FBI cover-ups to visitors from the future.

Found is the first book in the series called "The Missing." In Found, the children learn the truth about their adoptions and find themselves on the path to many other adventures in distant places and times.

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