Archive for August 4, 2017

Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth

Written by Bill Harley
Illustrated by Adam Gustavson

Charlie is doing his best to get through fourth grade without any major embarrassments, but that’s easier said than done. Everyone is looking forward to career week and wondering if the parents doing presentations will bring them things – like the parent who’s a baker bringing in cookies. Charlie never asked his parents to present because they have boring jobs. When someone suggests Charlie’s dad is a math genius, the tale of Charlie’s dad quickly turns into super-math prowess. By the time everyone knows his dad might come, he has a private jet and will give new calculators to everyone in the school. Charlie is unable to quash the rumors, and he still hasn’t asked his dad. Meanwhile, he’s managed to become the class messenger (aka, Master Messenger), but he can’t resist running in the hallways. Naturally, that creates another disaster (aka, a disastrophe). Then his dad loses his job. How can any of this turn out okay?

Lively black and white ink drawings accompany many pages and help the reader know the characters.

This and the other books in this series are great for kids to learn that they are not alone in their feelings as they navigate all the coming of age issues. Everything that seems important at the time will likely seem silly in the end.

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  • Charlie BumpersTitle: Charlie Bumpers vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
  • Author: Bill Harley
  • Illustrator: Adam Gustavson
  • Published: Peachtree Publishers, September 1, 2017
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Format: Hardcover, 184 pages
  • Grade Level: 2 to 5
  • Genre: Fiction, Chapter book
  • ISBN: 978-1-56145-940-7

Long- Armed Ludy and the First Women’s Olympics

Written by Jean L.S. Patrick
Illustrated by Adam Gustovson

            Hey, Olympics, here I come! These might have been the thoughts of a tall, skinny, long-armed college girl in 1922. But only after her school and classmates raised enough money for her to travel to the First Women’s Olympics in Paris, France.

           Lucile Godbold was taller than a girl was supposed to be with long arms and a skinny body. This story starts out wondering how she got so tall. Exactly as a young child would wonder. Did her brothers pull on her arms and legs to stretch her out?

            Exquisite humor is sprinkled throughout this stunningly accurate biography. Even the numbers on all the contestants’ shirts are accurate! Teachers, librarians and parents reading aloud will chuckle and grin while explaining nuances to the younger set.

            The vivacious voice and authentic articulation brings the story to life, as well as the realistic gauche illustrations. Teachers and parents can use the illustrations to compare past with current uniforms, sports, transportation, and women’s inclusion in sports.

            If you can only afford one new nonfiction picture book this year, make sure it is this one.

  • Long-Armed LudyTitle:  Long- Armed Ludy
  • Author:  Jean L.S. Patrick
  • Illustrator:  Adam Gustovson
  • Publisher:  Charlesbridge, 2017
  • Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
  • Format:  Hardcover, 32 pages
  • ISBN:  978-15809560
  • Genre: Nonfiction picture book
  • Grade level: 1 to 4
  • Extras: Back matter on the First Women’s Olympics as well as on Lucile Godbold.