The English language is bizarre. A might be for apple, but it's also for aisle and aeons. Why does the word "gnat" start with a G but the word "knot" doesn't start with an N? It doesn't always make sense, but don't let these rule-breaking silent letters defeat you!This whimsical, funky book from Raj Haldar (aka rapper Lushlife) turns the traditional idea of an alphabet book on its head, poking fun at the most mischievous words in the English language and demonstrating how to pronounce them. Fun and informative for word nerds of all ages!
David Wiesner presents a near-wordless account of the most suspenseful, nerve-wracking few seconds in a baseball game.
The few seconds after the ball leaves the bat can be infinitely long. For this eager young outfielder, there's plenty of time to envision the increasingly fantastic and funny situations that might interfere with making the catch. Summoning determination and courage, he overcomes the imaginary obstacles and turns them into a springboard for success.
Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. Bert and Betty's friends think he's lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!
But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector.
Then there's Basher Malone - big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn't like Angelino. And it looks like he's out to get him.
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school. Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule--but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her--even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
Almost every child considers at one point what would happen if they went outside and dug a giant hole, and dreams about the amazing things that they might find. Gold? Fossils? A passage to China? Most kids try they give up quickly and seldom get father than a few inches (I know I never did!), but what would happen if you didn’t give up and just kept digging (and digging...and digging)?
Sam, Dave, and their faithful dog set out to find something spectacular when they start digging a hole in the yard, and they are absolutely determined to do so. As they dig deeper and deeper, getting more and more covered in dirt, young children will enjoy spotting the spectacular items that lie just outside their shovels’ reach.
In this beautifully simple yet hilariously silly book written by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen’s pictures tell most of the joke, so keep your eyes on the pictures! This book was a Caldecott Honour book in 2015, and it’s easy to see why.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole has only a few sentences on each page, so it’s perfect as a quick pre-bedtime read, as long as your giggles don’t keep you up!
Winter is here, so bundle up and get ready for a trip to the North Pole with Lyra, a strong-willed orphan from Oxford and Pantalaimon, her shape-shifting daemon!
The Golden Compass is the first book in one of my favourite young adult series -Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials. If you loved Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or any other of the major fantasy series I couldn't recommend this book more highly.
Although at first the setting seems somewhat familiar—the furnishings, the college setting—Lyra’s world is not the same as our own. The existence of Pantalaimon, Lyra’s daemon, quickly makes this clear. In Lyra's world every person on earth has a daemon, a magical animal companion that serves as best friend, confidante, and conscience all rolled into one.
The first book in a trilogy (Pullman just released the first book in companion series The Book of Dust), The Golden Compass tells the story of Lyra, a fierce, stubborn, and completely charming heroine who travels north to research a mysterious substance she knows only as "Dust" and to attempt to rescue her best friend Roger.
In this multilayered story, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons Lyra's long, arduous journey is only made possible by her ability to make friends and talk her way into things wherever she goes.
On her way to the north she manages to secure the help of Gyptians (her world's version of Gypsies), witches, a hot-air balloon pilot and, most impressive at all, an exiled bear king.
Pullman created well thought out and memorable characters that stayed with me long after I finished the series. Stubbornness aside, I think that Lyra is a character that all children can admire. She pushes herself very hard to reach her full potential, is fiercely loyal, and learns from her mistakes.
Strong readers and fantasy fans will love The Golden Compass!
The holiday season is upon us! In the library, that means I get to bring out my absolutely favourite Hannukah book, Hershel and the Hannukah Goblins, by Eric Kimmel.
The basic premise in the story is that the village synagogue is haunted by- you guessed it- Hanukkah goblins, which our man Herschel must dispel using his wits and intelligence.
Hershel and the Hannukah goblins is the entertaining, engaging, and informative folktale-like story of how Hershel of Ostropol, arriving at a small village on the Eve of Hanukkah, uses his wiles, courage and perseverance to rid the village of the nasty goblins that have been stopping Hanukkah celebrations. Eric Kimmel's story and Tricia Schart Hyman's illustrations are absolutely wonderful, and have just the right amount of scary elements to excite kids without frightening them off.
I read this book many times as a child, and I remember admiring Herschel for all of his clever tricks, and the way he managed to defeat all of the goblins using only his clever tricks.
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is a Caldecott Honor Book featuring rich and vibrant colours, and what kids seem to love most is the illustrations - and how each goblin is scarier and more powerful than the last. With each passing night, the illustrations grow darker, the goblins grow scarier, and Hershel must use all of his wits to outsmart them.
I really love how this story features a clever protagonist who must use his head to defeat darkness, making this a compelling story for children of all ages. I have read this story to 1st graders, and I have read it to 6th graders, and each group is equally engaged.
This book has vocabulary words in Hebrew that are related to Hanukkah such as “gimel”, “shin”, and “shammes”. The book also goes through some basic traditional elements of Hanukkah including lighting the eight candles and using a menorah. The book does a nice job integrating traditional religious themes with the silliness of goblins and hauntings. The informational last page of the book talks about the history of the holiday, traditional ways to celebrate, and food and games associated with Hanukkah.
Happy holidays from me, and all of your friends and the Montreal West Children’s Library!