Friday, December 18, 2015

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena


When CJ leaves church with his nana, they board a city bus.  CJ complains about the journey.  He doesn't like that it is raining or that he has to ride the bus.  With every complaint, Nana has a reason why he should be grateful.  Rain helps the trees grow.  On the bus, old Mr. Dennis does magic tricks for CJ.   At the end, we find out the reason CJ and his nana are on the bus.   They are volunteering at the soup kitchen.  But the end isn't the only positive message in this book.  Kindness, wonderment, & gratitude fill each page of this wonderful picture book.  CJ wonders "how his nana always found beautiful where he never even thought to look."  I'm glad I thought to look at this book and see the beauty in the world around me.  This should be required reading for all humanity.  

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Milo Speck: Accidental Agent by Linda Urban

Image result for milo speck

When Milo finds a mystery sock in the laundry, he goes to investigate the dryer to see if he can find its mate.  But the dryer is a magical portal to a land of ogres.  Milo is immediately in danger of being a tea time snack, but uses his Chicken Dance skills to entertain a large and finicky ogre baby in order to escape that fate.  More close encounters ensue as Milo searches for a way home.  Along the way Milo discovers that his parents are magical secret agents and he might need to rescue his father and his boss from being squashed by ogres on national ogre tv.  This is a delightful tale reminiscent of Roald Dahl with a wonderful mix of fantasy, humor, and heart.  A must read!

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