I Am a Backhoe

I Am a Backhoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines

A perfect book for toddlers who love trucks, this book invitingly combines imaginative play and real trucks.  The little boy plays pretending to be a backhoe, a bulldozer, a roller, a flatbed truck, and more.  As he plays, he describes what he is doing and then the reader gets to guess what kind of truck he is pretending to be.  Printed on thick paper with bright, clear illustrations, this book is a welcome addition to even the most crowded of truck shelves.

Written in simple rhymes that have a gentle rhythm, children will enjoy guessing what truck the boy is pretending to be.  The digital art is simple and welcoming as well, especially for the youngest children who will quickly be able to “read” this book to themselves.  Done in rich and deep colors, the illustrations will work well with a group, thanks to the clarity of the illustrations. 

Ideal for toddler story time or for sharing one-on-one, this book is sure to find an audience in your library.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from library copy.

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Released April 2010.

Will Grayson is gay, depressed and only has one friend, Maura.  She’s more a friend of convenience with their snarkiness holding their friendship together.  Will heads out to Chicago to meet a boy he’s fallen for online, only to find out that Maura has been pretending to be that boy online.  This puts him on a path to meet another boy.  The other Will Grayson is straight.  He has lived most of his life in the large shadow of his gay best friend, Tiny.  Now he has started to like a girl, Jane, that goes to school with them.  Meanwhile Tiny is working on his very fabulous and very gay musical that is all about his life and prominently features Will as a main character.  Though both boys are different, there are similarities.  They both want to avoid feeling things too deeply, but their lives change after meeting one another.

These two great authors have created an incredible novel that is the best work of their of their careers.  Each author writes alternating chapters in the voice of their Will Grayson.  Green writes the straight Will Grayson with his trademark intelligence and humor.  Levithan writes the gay Will Grayson with equal humor that has a snap and darkness to it.  The two combined really make for a novel that readers will never want to end.  Add to this the genius that is the character of Tiny, a huge boy with an even bigger heart who lives life to the fullest.  He forms the hub of the novel, the voice of the musical, and the applause for both Will Graysons in all their differences and similarities. 

I love finding books that are savvy, smart, silly, funny, intelligent, irreverent, and honest.  This is one of those books.  Put it in the hands of teens, let them see themselves in it because we are all of us there in this book.  Gay and straight, we are there, and we can hear the truth and love being spoken in this novel.

Highly recommended, this is the best novel of the year so far.  Brilliantly written, gorgeously complex characters, and humor.  What more could you want? 

Reviewed from Advanced Reader Copy from publisher.

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