Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monarch Round-Up Part Four

I am down to the final five contestants for the Monarch Award.  For more Monarch fun, see parts one, two, and three, and see the full list here.  I'll be back tomorrow with my top five picks.  Then, it's a long wait until the award announcement in March and we'll see just how right (or terribly wrong) I am.

Monarch Round-Up Part Four!

Contestant Number Sixteen:  The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin. A former rescue dog is called to save some chicks that have been taken hostage by the inside dog, but there is more to this crime than meets the eye.

My thoughts:  It's a hard boiled (ha!) mystery for the younger crowd, but it runs a little long for the youngest Monarch voters.

Odds:  20-1
Contestant Number Seventeen:  Chicken Big by Keith Graves.  A giant chick is born to some very confused chickens and proves himself quite helpful.

My thoughts:  This funny story is not only great for read-a-louds but it can also be easily adapted for a simple reader's theatre and retellings.  Great for the classroom.

Odds:  8-1
Contestant Number Eighteen:  Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by John Katz.  All the dogs on the farm appear to have a job to do, except Lenore, but her's just might be the most important job of all.

My thoughts:  Loved it.  My parents have a border collie named Susie and she's wonderful.  Dog lovers will adore this book.  But kids will likely just think it's okay.

Odds:  10-1
Contestant Number Nineteen:  The Camping Trip that Changed America by Barbara Rosenstock.  The fictionalized story of the creation of our national parks and the friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist, John Muir.

My thoughts:  It's a nice book with good facts and a tight plot, but it's not going to stand out against the rest of the field.  This is a teacher book that made the list to give a lesson.

Odds:  20-1
Contestant Number Twenty:  Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider.  A picky boy gets some very interesting lessons in eating your food.

My thoughts:  This Geisel winner hits the right note.  It's accessible for solo reading, it's funny, and it can lead to further stories from the child.  Have your reader say why they should eat lima beans, or pot roast, or liver (shudder!).

Odds:  5-1 (I love it for a strong finish!)

And that's how you finish a children's book award list!  I have such a feeling of accomplishment right now.  Come back tomorrow for my official predictions.

Happy Reading!

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