Sunday, January 31, 2016

Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A Spratt illustrated by Phil Gosier

Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt and illustrated by Phil Gosier is the kind of book I would have loved to read when I was young.  I could just see myself reading this book in my backyard on a hot summers day.  I always loved a good mystery. 

What I love about this book is that the author R. A Spratt does not talk down to her audience. There is an understanding that the reader knows certain things about the world around them.  The writing is fast paced which is great for children who live in a fast paced world.  We learn about Friday quickly and succinctly so that we are able to get right into the crux of the story which is solving mysteries.  Friday Barnes, Girl Detective reminds me of Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective which is probably intentional.  I am hoping boys won't be turned off because it is about a girl detective.  Sadly that is still an issue in today's world. Hopefully this book will help with that situation.  I would not hesitate to give it to a boy because I know they will enjoy it. 

My first inclination is that this would be a great book for a child like I was, a voracious reader who loves to read mysteries. That being said I also think it perfect for the reluctant reader, boy or girl, who needs to expand their universe.  As I said it is a fast paced book that will not lead to boredom.  The mysteries are fun and while a bit outlandish they are great for the imagination.  For me this is what reading is all about.  Stories that make us dream about what is possible and helps foster creativity.  

I can't wait to see what other adventures Friday Barnes will encounter....

Friday, January 15, 2016

Happy New Year! (a bit late)

Happy 2016!  This promises to be a big year for children's books.  I had all good intentions of writing a blog post earlier but so many things got in the way.  First there was the holidays and then I got a wicked cold.  It seems that while I might like a warmer winter it doesn't like me.  Plus and more importantly I finally got the list of books I need to read for the 2nd round of Poetry judging for Cybils.   I am on my last book...such good reads. I wish I could talk about them now but I need to wait.  I promise to write about all of  them when my duties are over.  It's going to be hard to pick just one book to win.

Congratulations too to this years Newbery and Caldecott winners.  How exciting that a picture book has won the Newbery.  I also love the fact that it received a Caldecott Honor.  I have always felt that picture book writers don't get enough love.  Words are just as important as pictures and they should both be celebrated!

I am also loving the fact that I gave the book Waiting by Kevin Henkes (one of this years Caldecott Honor books)  to my great nephew Benjamin for Christmas.  I know he will love it when he gets a bit older....right now he is busy saying "hi" and "baby" when we video chat.

One of the books I've read that is not a requirement  was the new Kwame Alexander poetry novel Booked that is coming out in a few months.  I don't usually recommend books that have not been published yet but thought I would make an exception.  I read it because I was told there was a mention of my sister Ann's book All the Broken Pieces in it.  I am glad I did.  I can see why he won the Newbery award....he is a wonderful writer who really understands how kids act and react. It is sure to do well when it is finally published.  I can't wait.

So Happy New Year and Happy Reading----until the next time---hopefully sooner rather than later.