Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Look for Me By Moonlight

WP-CC Note: This is one of my most favorite books of all time. In fact, as a teenager, this is was the first book that I started reading one night and stayed up into the wee hours to finish. I couldn't put it down!

Hahn, Mary Downing. 1995. Look for Me By Moonlight. NY: Clarion Books/A Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN: 978035698433.

When her mother and stepfather were moving to Italy, sixteen-year-old Cynda rebelled and she went to stay with her father and his new family at their bed-and-breakfast inn on the frigid winter coast of Maine. While adjusting to the family dynamics of her father, who she rarely saw before then, his second wife, Susan, who is now pregnant and stepbrother Todd, Cynda struggles to find her place in the family as she realizes that her father has truly moved on since the divorce years ago. On top of that, there is possibility of the inn being haunted by a young girl who was murdered, drained of blood, and thrown into the ocean right near the inn during the 1930s. Though, after starting her home studies, making friends with Will, an artistic teen who is a friend of the family, and having fun moments with Todd, things take a twist when a very mysterious stranger named Vincent who has all the good looks and sophisticated characteristics arrives on their doorstep. Cynda takes an immediate attraction to him as does he. Little does she know that Vincent has a long history that is as old as the inn and its legends and just as frightening. Soon Cynda finds her need for love and attention has become dangerous and had spread to family, and has to fight to save her and her family and friends' lives from Vincents dark powers. Masterly weaving in Alfred Noyes' poem "The Highwayman," Hahn has created a suspenseful story involving murders, ghosts, and a vampire with wonderfully developed characters and storyline. A perfect read for middle schoolers who are into mystery, horror and the ever popular vampires.

*Read more vampire books like: Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde and The Silver Kiss by Annette Klause.
*For older readers try The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chasing Vermeer - Audiobook

Balliett, Blue. 2004. Chasing Vermeer. Read by Ellen Reilly. NY: Random House Audio Publishing Group. Compact Disc - Unabridged, 5 CDs. ISBN: 9780307206732.

When a mysterious person claims that some of the paintings claimed to be created by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer are, in fact, not from his brush, then ultimately steals the painting A Lady Writing to make his point, two sixth-graders, Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee are on the case. Mystery and intrigue is around every corner as Calder and Petra become friends and begin to find a connection between their free-spirited schoolteacher, a used bookstore owner, an old woman, and even Calder’s friend Tommy. Putting together the history and art of a famed 17th century painter, a book about unusual phenomena, use of pentominoes, and codes, Balliett’s first novel successfully captures the excitement of a crime solving with a smart and detectives that remind readers of K.L. Konigsburg’s classic From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Reader Ellen Reilly does a good job at presenting each character with a different voice. Though at times Calder's voice, at times, comes across as a nasal and ignorant, the latter of which this main character is not, and, she pronounces Petra's name differently through out. However, as you get wrapped up in Balliet story of mystery, puzzles, and intrigue, you will begin to gloss over these minor faults. A great fun, mysterious and exciting choice to for those who want to read-a-long with the book or to listen on its own.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recommended Storytime Books

I've started doing storytimes again! So, as I am delving into the world of awesome pictures perfect for the programs I thought I share some of my favorites!

Note: In parentheses I have the initials for which storytime I've used the book for as well as for storytimes that I think they would be good for.
B - Baby Storytime
T - Toddler Storytime
P - Preschool Storytime
  • All Aboard the Dinotrain written by Deb Lund and illus. by Howard Fine (P)
  • Bark, George written and illus. by Jules Pfieffer (B, T, P)
  • Bear Wants More written by Karma Wilson and illus. by Jane Chapman (T, P)
  • Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson and illus. by Jane Chapman
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See written by Bill Martin Jr. and illus. by Eric Carle (B, T, P)
  • Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illus. by Lois Ehlert (B, T, P)
  • Clip-Clop written by Nicola Smee (B, T, P)
  • Cows in the Kitchen written by June Crebbin and illus. by Katharine McEwen (B, T, P)
  • Duck on a Bike written and illus. by David Shannon (P)
  • Falling for Rapunzel written by Leah Wilcox and illus. by Lydia Monks (P)
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed written and illus. by Eileen Christelow (T)
  • Fran's Flower written by Lisa Bruce and illus. by Rosalind Beardshaw (P)
  • Good Night Gorilla written and illus. by Peggy Rathmann (T, P)
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? written by Jane Yolen and illus. by Mark Teague (P)
  • It Looked Like Spilt Milk written and illus. by Charles G. Shaw (T, P)
  • Jump, Frog, Jump! written by Robert Kalan and illus. by Byron Barton (T, P)
  • Mouse Paint written and illus by Ellen Stoll Walsh (B, T)
  • Mouse was Mad written by Linda Urban and illus. by Henry Cole (T, P)
  • Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! written by Candace Fleming and illus. by G. Brian Karas (P)
  • One Duck Stuck written by Phyllis Root and illus. by Jane Chapman (P)
  • Pete's A Pizza written and illus. by William Steig (P)
  • Planting a Rainbow written and illus. by Lois Ehlert (T)
  • Rain written and illus. by Manya Stojic (T, P)
  • The Seals on the Bus written by Lenny Hort and illus. by G. Brian Karas (T, P)
  • Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day written by Jamie Lee Curtis and illus. by Laura Cornell (P)
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar written and illus. by Eric Carle (T, P)
  • The Very Busy Spider written and illus. by Eric Carle (T, P)

These are just of the few titles! I'll be planning another page that will have a more organized bibliography. Stay tuned!