Jasmine Toguchi is eight and she is SICK of having her big sister, Sophie, get to do everything first. As her family gathers together in Los Angeles to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Jasmine comes up with a plan: she’ll be the first girl in her family to pound the mochi rice into the powder that makes delicious mochi balls. Usually it’s the men and boys who do it, so Jasmine has a lot of persuading to do- also, she has to get very strong, very fast. For those who like a delicious funny treat of a story, Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen, is a sweet surprise. Readalikes: Clementine, Piper Reed, Ramona Quimby. –E.S.
A heartwarming and charming debut novel about family, friends, and finding your voice all wrapped up in a warm tortilla.
ALSC Notable Book 2017. Hoping to retrieve her kite, a girl reaches into sleeping Bear’s cave just as he rolls over, inadvertently crushing it beneath him. “Horrible Bear!” she shrieks and then stomps home to scribble, kick, and (accidentally) rip the ear off her stuffed bunny. Meanwhile, Bear is indignant over being so rudely awakened, and he is bent on revenge. He practices barging and making a ruckus, eventually stomping down the mountain to the girl’s house. When the two meet, however, the girl (who now realizes accidents just happen) immediately apologizes, draining all the horrible out of Bear. He becomes Sweet Bear, dedicated to patching up toys and friendships. The creators of Wolfie the Bunny (2015) explore the common childhood experiences of accidents and misunderstandings with sensitivity and humor. A perfectly over-the-top look at tantrums, friendship, and forgiveness that is sure to resonate with preschoolers and parents alike.
Geisel Honor Book 2017. Otto the robot builds and spaceship in this funny and poignant story which is the latest title in the award-winning “Adventures of Otto” series. Since landing on Earth, Otto has made many friends, but what Otto wants most is to visit his family. Will Otto’s spaceship take him up, up, up so he can go, go, go? But with an “uh-oh” Otto goes “down, down, down”. When he looks up from the wreckage of his spaceship to see his jubilant friends, he realizes he’s looking at his home and his found family. Milgrim combines very few words arranged in easy-to-decode patterns with a balance of laugh-out-loud slapstick and honest emotion.
Geisel Honor Book 2017. The turbulent relationship between a yellow dog and a gray mouse unfolds through a snappy alphabetical series of words and phrases by New Yorker cartoonist, Mike Twohy. An alphabetical romp tells what happens when Dog accidentally rolls his ball into sleeping Mouse’s house. Dog is irritated about the missing ball and winds up chasing Mouse out of his den and all through the house. This clever romp carries beginning readers on an epic chase using common and decodable words and strong illustrative cues to move the action forward. In the vein of Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, and other classic cartoons, “Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!” is a hilarious alphabet caper.
Geisel Honor Book 2017. As owl is going to sleep, he is repeatedly interrupted by a “squeak”. He’ll never get to sleep unless he can figure out what’s going on! Determined to find its source, Owl tears apart his house from cupboard to floorboard to roof. But while he’s busy tearing his house apart, he doesn’t notice one tiny, squeaky, mouse-shaped detail…Will Owl ever get a good night’s sleep? Greg Pizzoli is the author-illustrator of the 2013 Geisel Award winner “The Watermelon Seed”.
Nimona is an impulsive shapeshifter with a penchant for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain seeking vengeance. The two are about to shake things up when they prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his pals at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone believes they are.