I thought I would accomplish even more reading this week, but several different things kept me busy with other things, like workmen at my house fixing my air-conditioning! It's repaired, but took a long time! I did finish Capture The Flag and loved it, therefore now must find Hide and Seek. The list of "must-reads" grows!
Capture The Flag – by Kate Messner
It’s not easy to review a mystery. I don’t want to give away too much, but I do want to tell about the excitement that this story holds throughout, and every bit of the fun, and danger, takes place in an airport over a little more than a day. Kate Messner lets us, the readers, in on a main part of the mystery at almost the beginning, connecting the three main characters who were previously strangers to each other, with the words, silver jaguar. And later, the term become the Silver Jaguar Society.
It is terrific the way Messner introduces Anna, Henry and José as children stuck at the airport, soon to be grounded by a blizzard, then immediately re-connecting them in an event the night before at the Smithsonian that showed off the newly restored Star Spangled Banner. Each has a connection to the flag through relatives. Anna’s father is a Senator, José’s mother was one of those who worked with the flag on its restoration, and Henry’s aunt is an art lover. There soon arrives a packed-up orchestra, Sounds for a Small Planet, that played at the reception, and in that group is a little boy, Sinan. With English as his second language, Sinan begins to pepper his sketchbook with small pen and ink sketches, doing his best to figure out numerous idioms that are so difficult for new English language learners. It becomes an important light relief part of the story, yet adds to the finish later.
Thus begins quite an adventure, in those long airport hallways, but mostly in the areas that sound like every child’s dream adventure, the baggage routing area, filling up with bags because of the storm delays. The kids show courage when most needed, and one at a time, have their time to shine. There are scary villains, but the kids think together and win out in the end. Can’t say more, only that Hide And Seek is now out, the second book about the three young detectives.
This Moose Belongs To Me – written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Can anything wild really belong to us? That is the question and/or theme in this picturebook by Oliver Jeffers. The story begins with Wilfred and his moose, who claims to have a moose, Marcel, for whom he creates a number of rules of how to be a good pet. They are rules like number 4, “not making too much noise while Wilfred plays his record collection,” or number 7, “maintaining a certain proximity to home.” Unfortunately, Marcel the moose doesn’t pay much attention to rules, but does what moose usually do, wanders about, especially toward trees, to munch and meander. When Wilfred gets lost, and then Wilfred and Marcel run into an old woman who shouts, “Rodrigo, you’re back!”, the story becomes interesting. You’ll need to find and read this story to discover the resolution. Much fun with a lesson to learn! Jeffers interesting illustrations of cut-out paintings, occasional full-color backgrounds and speech bubbles create a wonder to see!
The Rain Stomper - written by Addie Boswell and illustrated by Eric Velasquez
It’s so appropriate that the author of this “rainy” book lives in Portland, because here in Colorado, although the occasional rain-stomping day does happen, we would never want to stomp it away. It’s Parade Day in this story, and twirler Jazmin is ready to march in a parade, only to open her front door to find “slap, clatter, clatter, slap!” Rain pouring down in buckets. She returns inside, but then in a burst of defiance, begins to stomp her feet and “kick the rain down the steps” of her apartment house. It’s an exuberant story, with full color rainy pages, showing Jazmin and then other children insisting through their actions that the rain must go away!
Joone - written and illustrated by Emily Kate Moon
This is the sweetest story of a little girl and her grandpa, who live together in a yurt, and do the simple things, like playing games and gathering rocks for a turtle, Dr. Chin, so he can climb stairs. Joone is five, and a delight, as are the watercolor illustrations. The story takes the reader through a day with Joone, finding her at the end going to bed, reading a story to Grandpa, and if he’s good, she reads him two!
Next! I am grateful that I received an advance copy of The Real Boy by Anne Ursu and am loving it, sneaking in a few pages every chance I can! Soon-Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, and I have a great stack of picture books waiting, mostly from all of your recommendations!