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Showing posts from March, 2015

Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins (Author) and Molly Idle (Illustrator)

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Rodeo Red and her hound dog Rusty are happier than two buttons on a new shirt 'til Side Swiping Slim shows up. Red's sure anyone who hollers that much'll be hauled to the edge of town and told to skedaddle, but her parents are smitten. When Slim sets his eye on Rusty, Red'd better figure out a way to save her best friend in all the world. Can she bargain with a varmint?
This beautiful book presents a brief snapshot of life for Rodeo Red. Red is a cowgirl. She spends time with her hound dog, Rusty. The narrative uses some good ol’ colloquial cowboy dialect, which keeps the story light and fun. Rodeo’s lovin’ life, until a new varmint shows up in the house (a baby), and the attention that Red used to enjoy, is no longer exclusively hers. Red’s exaggerated language makes for hilarious juxtaposition throughout the book, bringing out lots of laughs and humorous moments of disconnect between word and image.
And speaking of image, it’s impossible to read this book without falli…

[GUEST POST] More Happy Than Not - Adam Silvera

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Today's post comes from the delightfully talented Keith Reynolds. Keith lives in Vancouver, BC, and has kindly taken the opportunity to review this book since I cannot. Follow him on Twitter (@slothra)! So without further ado, I give you Keith's review of More Happy Than Not.
The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough.Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talk…

Serendipity 2015 - A Conference in Review

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Dear Readers:

I want to take a moment to move away from book reviews and tell you about a little something that happened this last weekend in Vancouver. As the sun rose over the horizon on the morning of Saturday, March 7th, literature enthusiasts began to converge on the Swing Space Building at UBC for the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable's annual Serendipity event. The them this year? Edgy, Eerie, Exceptional.


This year's Serendipity saw the participation of a dream team of authors, illustrators, and industry professionals, each with a very unique perspective on the children's and YA literature world. Attendees were treated to an incredible variety of topics and a LOT of food for thought. There were gasps, laughs, expletives, and talk of how old one must be before one is able to stop wearing underpants (I don't know that a consensus was ever reached.)

Andrew Smith expanded on the links between coding, poetry, and the role of art in education. He talked abo…

Jackaby - William Ritter

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Sherlock Holmes meets a world of the supernatural with this stunning novel by William Ritter. Jackaby centres on a young girl who has moved away from her family and moved to the United States in search of work and adventure, and she finds both within days of coming ashore. Answering an ad for an investigative assistant, Abigail Rook meets Mr. R. F. Jackaby, and her perception of the world around her is irrevocably changed. Shortly after meeting Mr. Jackaby, Abigail tags along on a visit to an apartment in which a murder has taken place. The body, though, seems to be lacking a lot of blood. With very few clues to help them out, Abigail and Jackaby begin to unravel a most nefarious mystery which just might bring them closer to their own demise than they might like.

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat i…

Ninja Bunny - Jennifer Gray Olson

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How to be a SUPER AWESOME NINJA:
Rule #1. You must always work alone.
Rule #2. You must be super sneaky, especially in the most dangerous of situations.
Rule #3. A super awesome ninja must: possess incredible strength, achieve invisibility, master the skill of climbing, gain the ability to fly….

Cute, action-packed, and a great story about friendship, Jennifer Gray Olson's Ninja Bunny will find a good range of readers, from young to old. The colours and illustration style are bold and will capture the interest of young audiences, especially those with a keen eye. Much of the charm of Ninja Bunny comes from the disconnect between text and image, often leading to moments of humor and examinations of strength, size, and perspective.
I like this book a lot, and found myself having a great time reading it multiple times in one day. While Ninja Bunny wants to be on his own and desires to be stealthy and unique, he slowly realizes the effects of this isolation and the ways in which team work …