Monday, June 21, 2010
Written and illustrated by Keith Baker. New York: Beach Lane Books, 2010.
Peas are not my preferred vegetable of choice. I’ve never liked them, even as a child. But, I always give peas a chance. And the peas in this book are my favorite! They are different than the average pea – “we are peas – alphabet peas! We work and play in the ABCs.” These peas have fun jobs and hobbies, and they want you to learn all about them, while also brushing up on your ABC skills. They are acrobats, campers, explorers, listeners, and they are unique! You will have fun learning all the different words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. The illustrations are really cute, and the pastel colors lend a soft, cozy feel to each page. Children will have fun exploring the pages and seeing the peas in action. If you are looking for a great alphabet book, or just a cute read, check this out!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
By Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mike Cavallaro. New York & London: First Second, 2010.
Aliera Carstairs is an awesome fencer. She rules the sport, but in high school, she is a nobody. She doesn't belong to any of the cliques, and doesn't have any friends. She spends the majority of her time at fencing practice, and spends her Saturdays at her Aunt Hannah's house doing role-playing games with her cousin Caroline. That all changes one day when new student Avery Castle begins to pay attention to Aliera. They become lab partners in Biology, and all of a sudden, Aliera is noticed...by a boy, no less! When Avery asks her out, Aliera is excited and also completely freaked out. She's never been on a date before! On top of that, her mother had just gotten her a new fencing foil with a mysterious jewel attached to its hilt and she had to bring it along on their date, because she will be coming straight from fencing practice. All of a sudden, mysterious and strange creatures try to steal the foil. What is going on? Will Aliera be able to keep her foil safe and will her date be completely ruined?
I flew through this book! I was completely engrossed by Aliera, and I loved the aspect of fencing as a plot focus. I will admit, there are some parts that are a little choppy, but the overall story prevails, so be patient. The ending is very abrupt, but I checked Jane Yolen's website, and there is a sequel planned, so hopefully everything will be answered! The graphics are awesome - the black and grey drawings are so expressive, and when the colored panels emerge, they are so vibrant and just pop off the page. Anyone who wants an interesting, fast read, should check this out!