Friday, December 28, 2012

VELCOME by Kevin O'Malley

Lexile     370          Pages     36          Ages 6-9
 AR Quiz No. 36598 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 2.8 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

This is a book of scary stories . . . . sort of.  There is the coffin that follows Freddie home, the Viper, mysterious rapping, and some VERY SCARY PICTURES (wink-wink.)   They build up to a highly suspenseful point and then you turn the page and each one has a "punny" (sorry!) ending. : )

Reading Velcome aloud is the best fun!  The narrator is a Peter Lorre-esque character sitting in his reading chair wearing a very suave robe complete with ascot, and a book open on his lap.  Reading the scary part of each story in a Vincent Price style, throwing in a Transylvanian accent will help build the suspense as well as upping the fun factor.  Children who are starting to get the idea of jokes, especially puns, will laugh right out loud but the younger crowd may not always make the connections.

While I'm always up for a good pun, the funniest part of the book for me was the narrator's dog who keeps popping up on a page, holding up a sign berating the intelligence of the story and warning readers that for their own good they should "just stop reading . . . . now!" His expressions are great, showing just how exasperated he is.  In the end he is storming out the front door with a sign declaring, "I'm outta this nut hut!" : )

As a really fun read, Kevin O'Malley's Velcome is right at the top of the list.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Velcome can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here
and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year from
Miss Laurie 
and the entire staff of
The Lake County Public Library

These and other holiday offerings are available at
and at any branch of
The Lake County Public Library

Monday, December 10, 2012

DO YOU STILL LOVE ME? by Charlotte Middleton

Lexile     Not Rated          Pages     32          Ages     4 - 6
 AR Quiz No. 70832 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 2.3 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

Dudley is a happy dog. He gets up early, plays hide and seek, and chases the neighbor's cat, Jenna. Best of all, he snuggles with his best friend, Anna.  One day Anna brings home a new friend - a chameleon named Pequito. Pequito seems to be better at everything - he gets up earlier, and he's REALLY good at hiding.   What's worse, he has taken Dudley's snuggle place on Anna's lap.  Dudley is forlorn, thinking Anna doesn't love him anymore and he goes to his bed to take a nap.  When he wakes up, Pequito is gone and Dudley is glad.  But Pequito is gone for a long time and Dudley starts to worry. He goes to see if he can find him and . . . . OH NO!  Jenna has already found Pequito and is about to make him her afternoon snack!  Dudley barks his loudest bark and saves Pequito. From then on, Dudley is Pequito's and Anna's hero as he takes on the job of being the little chameleon's protector, something he is really good at!

Dudley's feelings of being replaced will be familiar to any child who has a younger sibling or has had a new child move into the neighborhood and take up with "their" friend.  Happily, the story will also help them understand that parents and friendships don't have to be exclusive and that everyone in the group adds their own brand of special to the mix.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Do You Still Love Me? can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here  and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

WEIRD! by Erin Frankel, illustrated by Paula Heaphy

Lexile     540          Pages     48          Ages     5 - 9

Luisa is being bullied at school by Sam, a girl in her class.  No matter what Luisa does, or says, or wears, Sam tells her she's weird.  At first, Luisa believes her and each time Sam tells her she's weird she stops doing whatever it is that Sam is making fun of.  Pretty soon Luisa doesn't feel like herself at all but doesn't know what to do about it.  Finally, she talks to her mother who tells her that she is perfect just the way she is. Luisa thinks about it and decides she is going to ignore Sam and see what happens.  To her surprise, all of her friends are happy to have the old Luisa back - they saw what was happening but didn't know any more than Luisa what to do about it.  Luisa discovers that the more she ignores Sam, the less Sam picks on her.

Weird! is the first book of a trilogy about bullying, a problem that seems to be growing in our schools today.  Children who have been subjected to a bully will quickly identify with Luisa, recognizing her hurt and confusion.  Luisa's story should help them see there is a solution and that the issue is not theirs in the first place - that the bully is the one with the problem.  The story should also help other children understand just how devastating bullying can be, and that they should be friendly with everyone and treat them with respect. 

Weird! should be a must-read for elementary grades and if it is an indication of how good the trilogy is, Dare! (number two), and Tough! (number three) should be added to your shelf as well.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Weird! can be checked out at any Lake County Public Library, or click here   and with your library card number and PIN you can place a hold for easy pickup at your favorite branch.

Dare! explores bullying from the bystander's point of view. It is on order and can be placed on hold by clicking here:

Tough! is the viewpoint of the bully. You can place your hold here: