Staff Selections Kids

Mary

The Dream Stealer
Sid Fleischman, illus. by Peter Sis

Though Susana’s best friend has moved to far-off Guadalajara, she still visits her in her dreams each night, until the Dream Stealer comes and takes her best dream away.  Sid Fleischman tells the story of plucky Susana’s quest to the magical castle to reclaim her dream, using a folkloric voice full of the character of the storyteller.  Susana travels between real and fantasy worlds without distinguishing a difference, a charm found in traditions of magical realism.  Peter Sis’s iconical illustration style suits this story perfectly, lending this little book the character of a classic folktale.  Now in paperback.

Tim

The Cabinet of Earths
Anne Nesbet

Maya's family has left California and moved to Paris -- her father has been offered a job there, and it seems like a good place for Maya's mother to regain her strength after her cancer treatments.  But Maya feels lonely and miserable, and tired of everyone being charmed by her five-year-old brother, James.  However, there is something amiss in the City of Lights:  Maya's cousin and French tutor seems slightly blurry and hard to see, a man with violet eyes is following Maya and James, and children have gone missing in the neighborhood for years.  A dark mystery involving alchemy and science, The Cabinet of Earths is a thrilling read as Maya, and her new friend Valko, try to make sense of the series of bizarre events and save little James before it's too late!  This truly original novel is filled with suspense, a terrific climax, and one smart, resourceful heroine.  Enjoy!

Victoria

The Cottage in the Woods
Katherine Coville

Ursula, a young she-bear, has come to the Vaughn estate (“cottage” is a misnomer) to be Teddy’s governess. Ursula, Teddy and the animals living in the Enchanted Forest have the same abilities and lifestyle as humans and live in harmony with most. Tension is growing, however, between the Enchanted animals and a small faction of humans who wish to limit their freedoms. A plucky, smart and willful teacher, Ursula is determined to successfully nurture Teddy’s intellect, despite his conniving, self-centered, jealous nurse and ominous, mysterious unknowns lurking in and around the Vaughn mansion. Strange footsteps in the dark hallways, fleeting glances of blonde curls, a threatening ne'er do well out for money lurking on the path from town… Extraordinary language, fully-developed characters, a fantastic setting, and an exciting, unpredictable plot offering danger, politics, true love, justice and comeuppance make for an engaging page-turner. The spellbinding audio version, read aloud magnificently, is sure to please the whole family as the book comes magically to life.

Barb

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop
Kevin O'Malley

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop by Kevin O’Malley is a perfect picture book gift for punsters of all ages. It is based on the Bremen Town Musicians tale, but the main character is a hen who has seen the writing on the wall,; Fry-day is coming on her farm. She flies the coop to pursue her dream of being a comedi-hen. On the road she meets a dog, a cat and a cow, who all have similar tales of woe, and tag along.  All ends well when the jokesters trick the robbers who are returning to the abandoned farmhouse and vamoose.   A new comedy club is the result called Cow-Dog Kit–Hen and stand-up shows bring in animals from far and wide. (One of hens jokes: Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road? He didn’t have the guts.)  (You see what I mean????The hen will crack you up.)
Kevin’ O’Malley’s Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share is worth seeing as well.