October 9, 2016

It has been such an incredibly busy start to the school year that it feels like I’ve blinked and we’re already at Columbus Day weekend.  How can this be?

The first book I’m excited to share with you is illustrated by Tim Miller, the illustrator of one of my favorite picture books of the year: Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book).  This new release is a “hybrid” book – a chapter book with pictures throughout.  It is sure to be a hit so I secured us three copies. And the best part is it is the first in the series!


Hamster-saurus Rex, (2016)

words by Tom O’Donnell, pictures by Tim Miller

Goodreads summary: BEWARE: Rampaging Mutant Dino-Hamster! Fans of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish and The Terrible Two will be scrambling to get their hands on this hilarious classroom comedy.

When a mysterious growling hamster appears at the back of his class, Sam knows just what to call him: Hamstersaurus Rex. Sam tries to protect Hammie from an overzealous Hamster Monitor, and from the meanest bully in the history of Horace Hotwater Middle School. The bully isn’t afraid of some weird little class pet. But maybe he should be. Hamstersaurus Rex is no ordinary hamster.

Watch the Hamster-saurus Rex book trailer.

Learn more about illustrator Tim Miller (have I mentioned how much I love Snappsy the Alligator)? 🙂

This next book is a 2017 RICBA nominee. For those of you who love action, adventure, and historical fiction, this may be the book for you.


Into the Killing Seas, (2015)

by Michael P. Spradlin

Goodreads summary: When the ship goes down, the sharks come out….

Stranded in the war torn Pacific, Patrick and his younger brother Teddy are finally homeward-bound. They’ve stowed away on one of the US Navy’s finest ships, and now they just need to stay hidden. But Japanese torpedoes rip their dream apart.

And the sinking ship isn’t the worst of it. Patrick and Teddy can handle hunger and dehydration as they float in the water and wait to be rescued. If they’re smart, they can even deal with the madness that seems to plague their fellow survivors. No, the real danger circles beneath the surface. And it has teeth….

Based on the true events of the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis, author Michael P. Spradlin tells a harrowing story of World War II.

Watch the Into the Killing Seas book trailer.

I’ve been pulling all of our spooky books to display for Halloween this month and came across a book series I LOVED at your age.  Sometimes we forget about the good ones waiting patiently on the shelf for us so I’d like to highlight it this week.  If you enjoy this one, you can read all 7 books in the series!


Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery, (1979)

by Deborah and James Howe, pictures by Alan Daniel

Goodreads summary:  Before it’s too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household — a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits…and fangs!

Watch this spooky Bunnicula book trailer.

I really enjoyed Kate Milford’s Greenglass House (I swear you cannot read it without getting hungry with all the delicious foods and hot drinks being served). So I was excited to see a new Kate Milford book come out this past August. If you are not afraid of a thick book (this one is a whopping 384 pages) you are in luck.


The Left-Handed Fate, (2016)

by Kate Milford

Goodreads summary: Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine. They’re not exactlysure what this machine does, but they have it on good authority that it will stop the war that’s raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte’s France. Despite being followed by mysterious men dressed all in black, they’re well on their way to finding everything they need when their ship, the famous Left-Handed Fate, is taken by the Americans.

And not just any Americans. The Fate (and with it, Lucy and Max) are put under the command of Oliver Dexter, who’s only just turned twelve.

But Lucy and Max aren’t the only ones trying to put the engine together, and if the pieces fall into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous. Oliver is faced with a choice: help Lucy and Max and become a traitor to his country? Or follow orders and risk endangering that same country and many others at the same time–not to mention his friends?

Read what Kate Milford has to say about writing The Left-Handed Fate.

In the spirit of the holiday, I’d like to highlight a book about Christopher Columbus. Who doesn’t like to laugh while they learn? Although we don’t currently have a copy in our library, I will be ordering it. In the meantime, we can place holds through the RICAT network of libraries.


You Wouldn’t Want to Sail with Christopher Columbus!: Unchartered Waters You’d Rather Not Cross, (2014)

by Fiona Macdonald and David Salariya, pictures by David Antram

Goodreads summary: – High interest topic for children of all ages.
– Draws in even the most reluctant reader with a lighthearted tone and hilarious illustrations.
– Includes glossary and index.
National Social Studies Education Standards: Grades K-4
II. Time, Continuity, and Change
– Accounts of past events, people, places, and situations contribute to our understanding of the past
I. Culture
– People, societies, and cultures address needs and concerns in ways that are both similar and different

Featured Author/Illustrator of the Week


Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg is a three-time Caldecott award and honor recipient who has had his picture books made into motion pictures. He is also the founder of the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors at Lincoln School in Providence. You can meet him on Saturday, October 15th. He will be speaking about his craft and signing books at the festival.  We will be raffling off free admission tickets the week before the event. Click on his name to learn more about him.

Check out the line-up of authors and illustrators you can meet.



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