Friday, October 19, 2012

Peck, Richard. (2006). Here lies the librarian. New York: Dial.

Peewee idolizes Jake, a big brother whose dreams of auto mechanic glory are fueled by the hard road coming to link their Indiana town and futures with the twentieth century. And motoring down the road comes Irene Ridpath, a young librarian with plans to astonish them all and turn Peewee's life upside down.

Besides being a book involving librarians as characters, this quirky book was a fun read. I especially enjoyed the historical tidbits strewn throughout the book about librarian school, the beginning of the automobile industry, and then the end where car racing was weaved into the main characters life. I had a third grade student tell me he enjoyed reading this book due to the "car parts". It is definitely a book that has something for everyone.

Stevens, Janet and Susan Stevens Crummel. (1999). Shoe Town. New York: Harcourt.

Little mama mouse dreams of a hot bath and a long nap. Her babies have grown up and moved away from their snug shoe-home. Mama imagines settling into a quiet life, until Tortoise, Hare, and other storybook strangers turn up in search of a home. Soon Mama has a busy life—and lots of new friends—in glorious Shoe Town.

With characters from other stories and a twist on "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe", this book would be another great introduction and comparison to classic nursery rhymes and stories. I enjoyed reading it and having the unexpected ending. Students could even continue this story as a writing activity with other characters from other stories wanting to live in Shoe Town and drawing what shoes they live in.

Crummel, Susan Stevens. (2000). New York: Harcourt.

Jack Rabbit says it's a great day to make tumbleweed stew, but who wants to eat that? With a bit of ingenuity, Jack soon has everyone from Armadillo to Vulture adding something to his delectable stew.

This is a Texas (or prairie) twist on the classic Stone Soup. I enjoyed it and think that many students in Texas will enjoy it as well since they will be familiar with all of the characters.  Tumbleweed Stew would be a good introduction to comparing classic stories that aren't set in familiar places or involve familiar characters.