Friday, July 26, 2013

Monarch Round-Up Part Three

Two months ago I started my quest to read all 20 of the Monarch Books.  The Monarch Award is a children's choice award here in Illinois for readers in grades K-3.  So it's mostly picture books and some beginning chapter books.  Which means I have no excuse for taking so long to read them.

For the full 2014 Monarch Award List, click here.

For Parts One and Two of this round-up, click here and here.

Now for part three!

Contestant Number Eleven:  One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo.  Elliot, our polite and well dressed friend, finds a kindred spirit at the aquarium and brings him home to stay.

My review:  This quirky take on "like father like son" will leave readers laughing.

Odds:  5-1
Contestant Number Twelve:  Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming.  What do you get the girl who has everything?  A cake and a story are a good bet.

My review:  This is a sweet tale with a folklore twist and will be great for classroom read-a-louds and reenactment.

Odds:  8-1
Contestant Number Thirteen:  Perfect Square by Michael Hall.  This square was happy being perfect until he saw all that he could be.

My review:  While this will make a great jumping off point for an art project, there is just not enough story to carry this to the winner's circle.

Odds:  15-1
Contestant Number Fourteen:  Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw.  Two boys learn that their lives are very similar despite their differences.

My review:  This is the type of multicultural lesson book that teachers and librarians adore, and while children will like it, it's not memorable or funny enough for the win.

Odds:  15-1
Contestant Number Fifteen:  Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet.  Learn how marionette maker Tony Sarg went from small puppets to giant balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

My review:  A great book to show that history is not just dry facts, complete with vibrant illustrations and factual footnotes.  It's bright, fun, and true.  It has a chance.

Odds:  8-1

Only five more Monarchs to go!  But one of those is still checked out so I am patiently waiting for my hold to come in.  (It's like waiting for my prince to come, but without so much singing)  With any luck, I'll be back with the final five and my top picks next week.  Then it's a long wait until March 2014 to hear the winners.

Happy Reading!

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