Juvenile Pile: Monsters, Magic, and Shoes

Christopher on Swing

I continue to reserve books from the library after reading about them on other children’s book blogs. While Christopher does his assigned reading in the afternoons, we still read at night. And while I primarily read to him, he sometimes decides to read an extra picture book to me. Here are some of the books we’ve been reading lately.

Independent Reads

It's Shoe Time! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! #4) by Bryan Collier

It’s Shoe Time! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! #4) by Bryan Collier

When I heard about this new Elephant and Piggie-like book I couldn’t resist getting it even though it’s well below Christopher’s reading level. He read it first with Jim and then to me the next time. It’s full of puns, which he completely understood and appreciated. It’s a rather silly little tale, but we enjoyed it well enough.

3 Stars

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) by Ben Clanton

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) by Ben Clanton

Christopher breezed through this short chapter book in one night. He read it from his bed, while I sat on the love seat in his room, so I didn’t catch everything. He tends to get quieter when he’s reading even though he’s normally a super loud talker. Does anyone else’s child do this? Anyway, he really enjoyed this book and kept looking over to see if I’d gotten the jokes. We’ll definitely be getting the next book in the series.

4 Stars

Read Alouds

How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green

How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green

This book was kind of strange. It’s not so much a story as a manual on the care of ghosts. I guess it was meant to help kids get over a fear of ghosts, which luckily Christopher doesn’t have. (He’s afraid of plenty of other things.) We were both left rather puzzled at the end of this book. Sadlt, it just wasn’t for us.

2 Stars

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

This book is super cute. A monster named Leonardo can’t scare anyone, so he finds the most scaredy kid in the world, and they become friends. Christopher moved out of his bed to the couch for this book, so he could see the pictures. We both enjoyed it.

4 Stars

Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems

Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems

We read this book immediately after Leonardo, the Terrible Monster. It’s a sequel written many years later. It was a little bizarre and not as good as the original. It has new characters, and the story just wasn’t as sweet. We didn’t hate it, but we didn’t love it, ya know?

3 Stars

The Magic Misfits (Magic Misfits #1) by Neil Patrick Harris

The Magic Misfits (Magic Misfits #1) by Neil Patrick Harris

I love Neil Patrick Harris, so when I learned about this book, I knew I had to read it to Christopher ASAP. It took us about three weeks to get through it because I don’t put him to bed every night. I read about 2-3 chapters each night with always a quick recap of where we’d left off because Christopher fell asleep while I was reading on several nights.

In this story Carter runs away from his bad uncle. He knows some magic tricks from his dad and uncle, but he doesn’t want to use them to lie and cheat people like his uncle does. (His parents are dead.) He kind of stumbles upon a group of friends and a real awesome magician, and the kids have to save the day basically. I loved the friendship story. I loved that I wasn’t quite sure whether the magic in the story was illusion or actual magic. I loved that Leila (one of the new friends) has two dads.

Christopher and I both loved this book, and we can’t wait for the next book to be published. We did not take advantage of the magic trick instructions throughout the book because we were reading it at bedtime, but we did find all the hidden messages. And I loved the conversational tone and the side comments to the reader throughout this book. The writing was great. It had a little bit of a Series of Unfortunately Events type feel.

I highly recommend it.

4 Stars

What has your family been reading?

 

Photo Credit: Michael Nagy

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