Oh Crumps!

Oh, Crumps! by Lee Bock, illustrated by Morgan Midgett

Farmer Felandro is so very tired.  He has a lot to do tomorrow: milk the cows, fix the fence, mow the hay and climb the silo.  And morning comes so early.  As he is falling asleep, he hears the goats Maahing outside.  Oh crumps!  So he puts on his boots and heads out to put them in their pen.  Back in bed, he goes through his list of chores for tomorrow mixing his words up, and then hears the dogs barking.  On go the boots, out to the barn, gets the dogs settled, back in bed, list of chores, and another animals makes noise outside.  This happens again and again, until finally it is dawn and the day has begun.

This book has a very nice mix of humor and traditional feel.  Bock has created a story with a natural rhythm that will have young listeners feeling immediately at home.  Yet he also has created a very nice running gag as the farmer mixes up the words on his list of chores, leading to him thinking about fixing the cow and milking the fence!  Midgett’s illustrations merrily follow these words, so that we can see the farmer sitting with a bucket milking the spotted fence.  Her art will project well to a group of students with its thick lines and deep colors.

Highly recommended as an addition to farming story times or as a great bedtime choice, this book comes in both English and bilingual (English/Spanish) version.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from ARC received from publisher.

Imogene’s Last Stand

Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Imogene lives in a tiny town in New Hampshire called Liddleville.  She loves history more than anything else, so begins to tidy up the town’s historical society.  Once it is all clean, she waits eagerly for crowds to come and tour.  But no one comes except for one workman who puts a sign in the front yard saying that the house will be torn down.  The mayor wants progress and new, not old history.  How in the world will Imogene be able to save history from the stomp of progress?  Perhaps with a little help from George Washington himself.

Imogene is a wonderful character who quotes historical figures whenever she feels strongly.  She is plucky, sensible and strong-willed, just what I’d love any child to be.  Even better, Imogene has a point of view and isn’t afraid to make a stand to the adults around her.  She is a true heroine.  Fleming’s writing is wry and funny, peppered with historical quotes.  Carpenter’s art done in pen and ink and digital media, has just the right feel: a mix of traditional and modern that Imogene would approve of.

A strong young heroine combined with a focus on the importance of history, makes this a must-have book.  A definite winner of a title, this book is appropriate for ages 5-9.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.

Also reviewed by 100 Scope Notes.

More Movie News


All from the great movie blog /Film.

An incredible voice cast has been announced for the 3D animated movie of Guardians of Ga’Hoole.  Voices include Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving and David Wenham.  The film is based on the first three books of the series.  It will be released in September 2010.

You can check out the new trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief at the official site.  It will be released on February 12, 2010.

Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce a big screen version of Michael Scott’s series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  The film rights had been purchased by Mark Burnett before the books were even published, but that deal seems to have lapsed.

The Cycler series of teen novels has been picked up for filming by Angryfilms.  The author of the series, Lauren McLaughlin has adapted the first book, Cycler, into a screenplay which will be the basis of the film.

Kirkus Best Children’s Books

Kirkus has put out their latest supplement: The Best Children’s Books of 2009.

For me, the supplement was like revisiting old friends.  There are so many great titles in this collection that it makes me want to rush out and read the ones I missed because they are in such good company.

Here are handful of the bright spots on the list from my perspective:

The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Zero Is the Leaves on the Tree by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Shino Arihara

My People by Langston Hughes, photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr.

The Doll Shop Downstairs by Yona Zeldis McDonough, illustrated by Heather Majone


All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead


Any of your own favorites that made the list?

National Book Award

Phillip Hoose has won the 2009 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for his book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.  At the National Book Award website, you can see the other winners and an interview with Phillip Hoose.

There were 251 books nominated for the award in the Young People category.  The five finalists were great choices and so is the winner.  Congratulations to all!