Posted in Book Review

Aru Shah and the Song of Death

By Roshani Chokshi

Book Source: Target

Book Status: Available

This is the second book of the Aru Shah series and there will be more! There are two Pandava missing! Here are my reasons why kids will want to read this

1. They introduce two new characters one is named Brynne and is really cool, Brynne is the Pandava of the wind god.

2. The other character is named Aiden and is the reincarnation of…. THEIR WIFE😄

3. They meet a crab who tries to eat them but Aru, Mini, Bryyne and Aiden bet him by asking why he doesn’t sing, so they win.

4. Aru gets framed for stealing the bow and arrow of the god of love.

5. They meet all kinds of gods from the goddess of the night, to the god of love to the god of the sea to the goddess of wine.

Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Emma Lazell

Author website/social media: Instagram and twitter: @emmallazell Website:
www.emmalazell.co.uk1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?
Absolutely! I loved quite a mixture of books at 9. I remember reading and loving all the *Horrid Henrys*, especially *Horrid Henry’s Nits*, that really made me giggle. Enid Blyton books, I loved *Mallory Towers* and *The Secret Seven*. And of course Roald Dahl, I adored *The BFG*.
2. What is a book that made an impact on you?
Certainly Judith Kerr’s *The Tiger Who Came to Tea*, I think this impact is very evident in *Big Cat*. Also Michael Rosen’s *Quick let’s get out of here* poetry book. A book full of absolutely hilarious poems that I can remember my headteacher at primary school reading aloud in a whole school
assembly and having us all in stitches.
3. You are both the writer and illustrator, is that hard?
I always answer that I am an illustrator first, and then a writer. Although I’d love to have a go the other way round, and write some longer fiction. With Big Cat, the illustrations and characters certainly came first, and then the words came very naturally afterwards. When I attempt to write the story first, with picture books, it almost always ends up completely changing once I begin working on the relationship between the words and the pictures and the characters.
4. What author or book have read recently that impacted you?
At the beginning of the year I read the *Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children* series by Ransom Riggs. I read them all really quickly, I got hooked. I hadn’t read an adventure story in a while, and this one was
addictive.
5. Is there a new or lesser known author or illustrator you think kids
should be aware of?
I met so many amazing illustrators and authors while doing the MA in
Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art last year. Lots of
them have really exciting things coming soon. I’m really excited for Natalie Labarre’s *Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of* coming soon with Nosy Crow. It’s a highly illustrated, action packed, non fiction book which looks like its going to be equal parts exciting, gross, and hilarious. (My favourite book ingredients!)
6. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author or
illustrator?
Go for it! You can find inspiration in anything, so always carry a notebook
or sketchbook and draw draw draw or write write write. Nobody else needs to
see your early ideas, so they can be as whacky as you like, just get them
down. You never know what you will come up with when you are flicking back
through those strange ideas you doodled down once.
7. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about
that?
I get to meet my readers at schools visits and book festivals and bookshop events and it’s great! When I read *Big Cat* I love seeing how exasperated children become at Grandma when she still hasn’t figured out why her ‘cat’ doesn’t quite fit in.
8. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?
OO, this is a hard question. Perhaps I’d like to be *The Hungry Catepillar* because he gets to spend his time eating, or even better, *Willy Wonka* in *Charlie and the Chocolate Factory*. Running a chocolate factory sounds like even more fun than drawing cats for a living.
6. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author or
illustrator?
Go for it! You can find inspiration in anything, so always carry a notebook
or sketchbook and draw draw draw or write write write. Nobody else needs to
see your early ideas, so they can be as whacky as you like, just get them
down. You never know what you will come up with when you are flicking back
through those strange ideas you doodled down once.
7. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about
that?
I get to meet my readers at schools visits and book festivals and bookshop events and it’s great! When I read *Big Cat* I love seeing how exasperated children become at Grandma when she still hasn’t figured out why her ‘cat’ doesn’t quite fit in.
8. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?
OO, this is a hard question. Perhaps I’d like to be *The Hungry Catepillar* because he gets to spend his time eating, or even better, *Willy Wonka* in *Charlie and the Chocolate Factory*. Running a chocolate factory sounds like even more fun than drawing cats for a living.
Posted in Book Review

Shred Girls: Lindsay’s Joyride

By Molly Hurford

Illustrations by Violet Lemay

Book Source: my library

Book Status: Available

1. Uh I can’t wait for book 2 or 3 or how ever many there are going to be

2. This is the story of a girl doing something you don’t hear about girls doing often – BMX. There is even a boy in the book who complains about the girls

3. The dog’s name is Penguin. Doh, why didn’t I think about that with my cats

4. The first few chapters are a little slow but if you get through them, you can’t put the book down. It is like learning to ride BMX – a little hard work and you get something awesome

5. It does have some middle school social drama but different than other books. She is intentionally doing her own thing and thinks people don’t like her. But really she is the one keeping them away.

6. The author is a real cyclist and outdoor writer. She seems pretty cool.

Posted in Book Review

Penny n’ Pals

By Jenny Brunstein

Illustrations by Kirsten Winkelbauer

Book Source: provided in exchange for a review

Book Status: available

1. This is the story of a pet adoption. A boy adopts a puppy and it is really funny

2. It is very realistic with some parts that are a little exaggerated. Like when the puppy threw up on the boy

3. Kids like having pets. This is a good book for kids getting a new pet.

4. This is a good book for new readers. It is short and easy to read.

5. The illustrations are so cute. It makes you want to have a puppy (except I can’t because Lil Bro is very allergic to dogs).

6. And for no reason except he is super cute, here is a photo of our newest kitty. He is Lil Bro’s best bud and still very tiny.

Now we have three cats!

Posted in Book Review

The Bridge Home

By Padma Venkatraman

Book Source: purchased

Book Status: Available

My reasons why kids should read this book.

1. This was a hard book to read. They don’t say when the story takes place but Mom says it could be now. She said there are kids who live like this now. This story shows how other kids live now.

2. There strong girl characters. Both the main character and her sister. The sister is even most likely a special needs kid and guess what – she is still a valuable member of the team.

3. They create their own family that is loving and caring. Their parents don’t treat them well so they run away. They meet two boys who become their brothers.

4. The title can mean so many different things. There is the actual “Bridge Home” but it could also mean finding their home.

5. The story is sad and hard. As the author states in her note, it is based on real stories. It helps kids see life could be worse. Maybe it will even inspire them to want to do something for others.

Posted in Book Review

The Library of Ever

By Zeno Alexander

Book Source: my awesome library

Book Status: available

Today is my last day of 4th grade and this book is the best for today.

Here are the reasons kids should read this book.

1. This book is about a library and the main character becoming a librarian.

2. She becomes cool things like Official Court Librarian Of The kingdom Of Starpoint Seventeen and (gasp) THE HONARARY QUEEN OF THE PENGUINS!!! (Ohmygosh I’m so jealous I’m mad!!)

3. She nearly goes into space with a tardigrade ( a water bear otherwise known as).

4. She arrested like a superhero.

5. It shows how librarians need to do a lot of work, so the should be appreciated.

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Meet the authors

Lorena Alvarez

Website: lorenaalvarez.com
1. When you were my age (9), did you like to read?

Yes, I loved to read when I was your age! My favorite books were those about nature, I was really interested in understanding how our planet and the universe works. I think I still am. I did like the books teacher assigned us at school, but I used to browse into my parents’ bookshelf too.

2. What is a book that made an impact on you?

I should mention that the first book that got fixated in my memory was Gnomes written by Wil Huygen and illustrated by Rien Poortvliet. I still remember how fascinated I was looking at the illustrations of the gnomes living and working in trees and taking care of the forest. It was really clever how the stories combined fantasy and actual facts about plants and animals from those places. I still look at that book from time to time, it reminds me why I love to draw.

3. Is it hard to come up with book and illustration ideas?

I think that you need a lot of patience, because when you’re writing something you are opening yourself to a new experience and it takes time and discipline to make sense of it. When I started to write my own stories I would get upset because I couldn’t came up with a complete idea right away, I had to understand that it was possible to start from small things, an image, a memory and build my storytelling from there. It also takes patience to understand that sometimes your stories won’t be as good or interesting you want them to be, I still learning to deal with that!

4. What author or book have read recently that impacted you?

I have two authors in mind. One is Molly Mendoza with Skip, a beautiful comic book that is not only a feast for the eyes but also has a fabulous story, I really admire her work. Another author is Emil Ferris, her debut comic My Favorite Thing is Monsters really made me think about how much you can experiment with drawing and writing in comic books.

5. Is there a new or lesser known author or illustrator you think kids should be aware of?

There’s a lot of Colombian authors and illustrators I’d love to be known everywhere! I admire a lot the work of Paula Ortiz, Henry González, Paola Escobar and Catalina Vasquez, they are all remarkable illustrators and story tellers.

6. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an illustrator?

These are things that I’ve learned so far:

Trust your gut and be disciplined.

Be open to try new things.

Share your ideas with people who also likes to draw.

Even if you choose another profession, don’t stop drawing.

7. How do you make your illustrations- by hand, on the computer or ??

I always start with a pencil sketch, I really like to draw with blue and red pencils. Then I scan them and color them on Procreate or Photoshop. Sometimes when I’m working for an exhibition I use acrylics or watercolors. Most of my work is digitial, but I really enjoy working with traditional media.

8. If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

that’s a good question! I would choose Mommy? by Maurice Sendak, is not only one of the funniest books I’ve ever seen and I love how horror movie icons are portrayed in such a warm way, besides it is a pop up book, so you feel like you have a lot to explore in each page.