Archive for Humor

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

Written by Chris Kurtz
Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Buy on Amazon

Flora the pig is descended from a long and reputable line of porcine adventurers/philosophers. Just goes to show that dogs, smart and loyal as they are, are not the only non-human species with human-like thoughts and desires.

Flora, like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, feels that there is more to life than searching for food. When Luna the cat comes by Flora is awestruck. Here is a creature who has seen the world beyond the confines of the pen. Flora badgers her for stories, and translates the stories into games she teaches her siblings.

Circumstances conspire to set Flora off on a grand adventure. The title reveals where Flora and her ‘team’ are headed — the South Pole! This book is a wonderful read aloud, a chapter at a time. It can lead to discussions about the South Pole and life in that remote frozen land, and talks about the adventures and misadventures of the famous explorers who journeyed to the Antarctic.

Flora is equal parts adventurer and philosopher. “Why aren’t farm pigs in control of their lives?” she asks Luna, her friend and mentor-cat. She is willing to learn, to ask questions. “Is that some kind of special blanket?” she asks, when she sees the men spread a square of canvas on the snowfield.

Things become as bad as they possibly can. Intrepid Flora rounds up her ‘team’- Sophia the cat, who had explained that cats are solitary creatures and do not work in teams; Oscar the lead sled dog; and Aleric the human, to effect an incredible rescue. “The Captain’s Gratitude” says the lettering on the special crate that the captain has ordered for her. The last illustration shows Flora facing the wind — “and all her adventures to come.”

Jennifer Black Reinhardt’s black and white line drawings add just the right note of whimsy. A great addition to any reading list.

Additional Resources:
Author Bio:
Illustrator Bio:

  • South Pole PigTitle: The Adventures of a South Pole Pig
  • Author: Chris Kurtz
  • Illustrator: Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Hardback: 278 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-547-63455-5
  • Genre: Fiction/Novels
  • Lexile Score: 760

Just Grace and the Double Surprise

Written and Illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Buy on Amazon

Just Grace and the Double Surprise is a joy to read for the third grade reader. It has many illustrations and the paragraphs are broken up on the page so the third grade reader will not get bored reading about the fun that Grace and her friend Mimi experience.
The best part of the book and throughout the story is that Grace and her friend Mimi talk about real feelings and emotions that third grade students feel. The author does a wonderful job of making the story real. She clearly gives descriptions of words that are new to the third grade reader, words like empathy and the difference between a surprise and a mystery. The text is written at the third grade level of comprehension yet would be enjoyed by those students a grade older who were at this reading level. » Read more

Gooney Bird is So Absurd

Written by Lois Lowery
Illustrated by Middy Thomas

Buy on Amazon

Gooney Bird is the “new” girl at Watertower Elementary school, but by January, Mrs. Pigeon’s second grade is mostly used to her unique ways. She still surprises them occasionally, like when the kids realize that her “brain-warming hat” is really a pair of frilly bottom underpants even though it seems made for her two ponytails. is ready for Mrs. Pigeon’s newest challenge: poetry. They have lively discussions about what poetry is and isn’t, even how many different kinds of poems there are. Their favorite part is when Mrs. Pigeon brings in poems written by her mother, a woman they call Mrs. X. And Mrs. X seems to have poems that demonstrate every type. They know Mrs. X is old and in a nursing home, but one day Mrs. Pigeon is absent because Mrs. X died. They were about to do poems in different voices so what do they do now? They make their own poem, in voices, as a tribute to Mrs. X. » Read more

Bubble Trouble

Written by Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Buy on Amazon

What would you do if someone you loved was trapped in a free-flying bubble? Answering that question in response to reading Bubble Trouble sparks’ any student’s imagination!

This book – especially the Big Book edition – is a beloved read-aloud; Margarety Mahy’s laborious development of this rhythmic, alliterative book has paid off in dividends. An instant classic, this book twists the tongue and challenges readers’ fluency skills as they read aloud phrases like, “At the shops, a busy rabble, met to gossip and to gabble, started gibbering and goggling as the bubble bobbled by.”
» Read more

Ivy and Bean Make the Rules

Written by Annie Barrow

Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Buy on Amazon

Hooray for Ivy and Bean!  The latest book in the series has Bean feeling left out as her sister Nancy goes to camp.  At Girl Power 4-ever, she gets to do so many cool things.  Bean has to sit at home.  Mom tells her she can go to the park by herself, if that helps.  It doesn’t.  But when Ivy comes over, Bean sees that they can make their own camp, a better camp, because they can do anything they want.  Ivy’s mom got new curtains so they use the old ones to make a tent (with the help of duct tape).  They make up a great name: Camp Flaming Arrow.  They set about doing camp things – like crafts.  A friendship bracelet craft turns into an escape trick as the strings get wrapped around both arms of both girls.  They have so much fun that some kids visiting their grandmother join them.  The nature study has them searching for the dangerous Komodo dragon which attracts another boy who is bored of soccer camp.  At the end of the week, Bean had way more fun than Nancy.
» Read more

The Royal Treasure Measure

Written by Trudy Harris
Illustrated by Ivica Stevanovic

Buy on Amazon

King Balbazar’s kingdom has made a mess of measuring. Curtains are too long, robes are too short, and no one knows how to solve the problem. So King Balbazar decides to hold a contest to create the official unit of measurement for the kingdom. The question is, who will measure up to the task?

The books includes narrative as well as dialogue. The narrative is written in four sentence poetry style with rhyming which will engage young children. Readers will enjoy this quirky story and find it very funny that the people in the kingdom use everything from sausages to spoons as a way to measure things. The Royal Treasure Measure is perfect for a read aloud with young children, especially when learning about poetry. This book contains easy-to-understand rhyming sentences.
» Read more

A Topps League Story: Book Four: The 823rd Hit

Written by Kurtis Scaletta
Illustrated by Eric Wright

Buy on Amazon

Teddy “Bear” Larrabee, a slugger on the Pine City Porcupines, gets his 823rd base hit on his birthday, August 23—and it’s a home run! The Bear is a big believer in the power of numbers, so he asks Pines batboy Chad to retrieve the ball from the stands. There’s only one problem: the crabby fan in the ballpark who caught it. Chad really wants to keep the Bear happy and slugging, so he’s just got to figure out what the fan would be willing to trade for that 823rd ball.

The 823rd Hit is a book in a Topps League Story series. The book features the adventures, and misadventures, of the Pine City Porcupines and their two batboys: Chad, an avid baseball fan with a huge baseball card collection, and Dylan, who doesn’t know a thing about the sport. The fictional series has a unique twist: Chad solves problems by using information from Topps cards of real figures from modern baseball history.
» Read more

Waga’s Big Scare

Written and illustrated by Samuel Hiti

Buy on Amazon

This scary monster is not for the faint of heart!  Waga may be small, but he has the biggest scare. Right now, however, Waga is sad.  He has lost his scare and can’t remember where he left it.  Time is running out.  If he does not find his scare by morning, he will disappear forever.  So he starts looking: at the monster parade, in the creepy woods, in a dark, dank cave, even the graveyard.  Suddenly, he remembers, but the sun is almost up.  He jumps into a drain pipe, squeezes through the plumbing, and comes up the kitchen sink.  He goes through the dining room, down the hallway, into the bedroom and under the bed.  Because he left his scare – under your bed!
» Read more

Madam and Nun and 1001: What is a Palindrome?

Written by Brian Gable

Illustrated by Brian Gable

Buy on Amazon

This clever book not only demonstrates what a palindrome is, it does so with a rhyming text.A palindrome is “a word, phrase, sentence or number that is the same when read forward or backward.” The words are obvious and easy to spot, but the phrases can be quite tricky and always intriguing. For instance, “test set” does not seem to fit the pattern but, once it is broken down, the pattern becomes clear. The puzzle becomes an obsession and has readers looking for palindromes everywhere.
» Read more

Vampire School: Stage Fright

Written by Peter Bently
Illustrated by Chris Harrison

Buy on Amazon

The kids from St. Orlok’s Elementary, a vampire school, return with more monster mayhem. This time, they’re preparing for the big phantomime of Snow Fright and the Seven Dwarfs. After bat lessons with the three S’s (swooping, swerving, and skulking), the vampire children prepare for their performance. Their teacher also explains the three C’s for hiding (columns, curtains, and corners) and the three D’s (dark, damp, and dingy). Gnashful is the angry dwarf. The others are Gappy, Snappy, Flappy, Creepy, Chompy, and Shock. Lucy is typecast as the Wicked Queen. When Bella loses her voice, Lee volunteers to let her lip synch to his voice. Bella and Lee are subsequently cast in the upcoming production of The Sound of Screaming, in which there are seven children and a nanny. It will be produced by local impresario Harker Winegum.
» Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »