Archive for January, 2008

book review

My Cat Copies Me by Yoon-duck Kwon

Cover Image

This gentle story of friendship and discovery details the adventures of a young girl and her cat.  The story starts simply, as the girl and the pet who copies her every move make tunnels out of newspapers, hide in closets, smell flowers, and prick their ears to listen for mommy’s arrival.  The joyful Asian-inspired illustrations almost glow, and the happy facial expressions on the two best friends give a happy-go-lucky feel to the first part of the story.  The second part of the story takes on a different feel as the girl decides to copy her cat instead, and “climb high and see things far away”, as well as stretch her mind and body and be brave in the dark.  The illustrations change too, keeping their luminosity but becoming more aggresive in nature, as the girl and cat are no longer small and dainty, but become the biggest objects on each page.   Kids will love the sense of adventure they find in this beautifully illustrated book.  (Lane Library info)

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web review

www.picasa.com

Have you become a shutterbug, snapping picture after digital picture of your life?  Then you will want to check out www.picasa.com.  This google product allows a photographer to organize, share, and even edit their work, all for free (you just need a simple software download).   In picasa, you can easily organize your photos into folders, rename files and even create albums that you can use to make slideshows or movies and then email to family and friends.   Picasa will automatically resize your photos for emails as well.   You can even put your photo albums on the web to share, and as a bonus, its easy to upload your pictures to your picasa albums.  Finally, forget expensive photo editing software, picasa offers basic fixes and more so that you can create that masterpiece.  Picasa goes beyond removing redeye (although you can do that too), to offering anything from fixing color and contrast to adding sepia tones and text to fixing the angle of your shot.  And it’s all done with sliders and easy one clicks.  And it’s all free.  Be sure to give Picasa a try!

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award winners announced today

The Caldecott award winners were announced today.  The Caldecott medal is given each year to the illustrator of the “most distinguished American picture book for children”.   (Click here for more information on the Caldecott award.)   This year’s winner is The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Lane Library info) by Brian Selznick, an amazing book that defies classification.   The illustrations tell the story in this book as much as the text, and older readers will love to decipher the clues found in the luscious black and white drawings interspersed throughout the novel-sized work.   This mysterious and shadow-filled adventure of a young orphan boy hiding in the walls of a train station and trying to fix an automaton will captivate your older child, especially if that child is a graphic novel reader. 

Honor awards were given to Henry’s Freedom Box (Lane Library info) , First the Egg (Lane Library info), The Wall (Lane Library info), and Knuffle Bunny Too (Lane Library info).  Be sure to check out these award winning titles!

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book review

When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor, illustrations by Nick Sharrat

Cover Image

Who knew that monsters have so many choices to make in the course of their lives?  What, you haven’t heard about the life of a faraway-in-the-forest or an under-the-bed monster?  This monsters-choose-their-own adventure book describes the life of a monster, from dancing the boogie-woogie (“that’s that”, so not a good choice) to eating the principal (you’ll have to read the book and see).   The monster is more silly than frightening, and he even remembers to say sorry when he walks through a wall, so even the youngest of readers will enjoy his adventures.  Bright colors and multiple fonts give this book a modern and immediate feel, and are made even more striking by being set on a black background.   The pure silliness of this story and its monster hero will have kids requesting this book over and over.  (Lane Library info)

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