Monday, April 23, 2018

ReFoReMo 2018 Day 21 Book Reviews

AFTER THE FALL by Dan Santat 

Have you ever wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after he fell off the wall? Well, wonder no more. Unsurprisingly, not all the parts went back together in the proper manner, leaving a few bumps and cracks. Understandably, Humpty Dumpty developed a fear of heights. Was he able to overcome his fear? You'll have to read the book to find out.

BUG IN A VACUUM by Melanie Watt

When a bug flies into a house, through an open door, it gets sucked into a vacuum. Determining that he is there for good, the bug goes through all five stages of grief - denial, bargaining, anger, despair and acceptance. After he has accepted his fate, that he will be stuck in the vacuum for the rest of his life, something happens. Will the bug be stuck forever, or will there be a way out?

Author Melanie Watt has taken a silly situation and turned it into a lesson about acceptance, making the story suspenseful and humorous at the same time.

DEAR SUBSTITUTE by Liz Garton Scanlon

I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but when I do, I will update this review list.

MADDI'S FRIDGE by Lois Brandt

Sofia's fridge is filled with lots of good things to eat - eggs and tortillas and cheese and jam and salsa and tofu. But, her friend Maddi's fridge is almost empty. Sofia feels bad that Maddi has so little to eat. Sofia wants to help her friend, but Maddi doesn't want Sofia to tell anybody about the lack of food. Can Sofia figure out a way to help her friend?

This is a great story that illustrates a very real need in this country. So many people have so little to eat and there are ways that people can help. The last page in the book is titled "Let's Help Friends Who Have Empty Refrigerators." The author lists six ideas for ways kids can help make sure everyone has food to eat. There is also a webpage address given when kids (and adults) can go to find out more about hunger organizations.


Monster wants to run for office. He wants to be president. But, monster can't seem to drum up any enthusiasm for his pet policies: First, he wants to extend the seasons. But potential voters don't really care about that. Then, he wants to make sure that every person has dessert for dinner. Potential voters don't really care about that, either. Monster is about to give up when he finds something else to campaign on. The local library is going to close. Monster campaigns on the idea that the library needs to remain open because education is so important. Will Monster be able to convince the voters to vote for him?

The illustrations are great, but the story is written in rhyme. The rhyme scheme seems just a bit off. I think the story would have been stronger if it hadn't been written in rhyme. However, it's a great story and a good lesson in civics. 

NEW SHOES by Susan Lynn Meyer

Ella Mae is used to getting hand-me-down shoes when her shoes wear out or she outgrows them. But, this time, there are no other shoes for her to wear. So, she and her mother head to Mr. Johnson's shoe store to buy a new pair. Ella Mae is excited until she finds out what it's like for a black girl to buy shoes in a store. Even though she was there first, she has to wait until the white customers are served first. Then, she is not even allowed to try on the shoes to make sure they fit.

Ella Mae is so disheartened by the whole incident that she decides to do something about it. She and her friend, Charlotte, go around the neighborhood collecting old shoes. They spend hours and hours cleaning them and making them as good as new. Then, they have a shoe sale where anyone in the neighborhood can come in buy shoes and be treated like real people. They are even allow to try on the shoes first.

This is a touching story, set in the South when segregation was running rampant. It makes the reader feel, to a certain extent, what it must have been like for a young black girl in that situation in that time in history.

SOPHIE'S SQUASH by Pat Zietlow Miller

When Sophie goes to the farmers' market, her parents let her pick out a squash. They expect to cook it, but Sophie wants to keep it. She names it Bernice and treats it like a little baby. But, when Bernice starts to change, how will Sophie handle it?

On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents' gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes.... What's a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble? 

THE DAY I BECAME A BIRD by Ingrid Chabbert Guridi

On his first day of school, a young boy falls in love with a girl named Sylvia. He thinks she's incredible, and he can't take his eyes off of her, but she doesn't even notice him. The boy is very sad about that until he discovers that Sylvia loves birds. So, the boy dresses up as a bird just to get Sylvia's attention. Of course, he is teased mercilessly for doing this, but will it be worth it in the end?

This is a short but touching story on the topic of love, when sometimes you just have to "follow your heart and spread your wings" and hope for the best.


The town of Strictville is suddenly overrun with puppies, hundreds of cute, adorable puppies. The townspeople have never seen puppies before and don't know what to do with them. And, the town is very "strict" when it comes to anything being cute or cuddly - that's downright criminal.

The townspeople want to get rid of the puppies. So, they throw sticks at them. Of course, the puppies love that and just bring the sticks back. Then the people try chasing the puppies. Of course, the puppies love that and join in the chase. And, let's face it, the puppies are soooooooooooo cute and sooooooooooo adorable.

What are the people to do? Will one little boy be able to save the day?


Pink is a raindrop that is having trouble falling from her cloud. She has to change her way of thinking and start believing in herself in order to do what she needs to do. The narrative includes lots of information about the water cycle and is a great introduction to the topic. There are extra hands-on activities at the end of the book, as well as a glossary, and both author and illustrator bios.


Goat thinks he's doing okay until Unicorn moves in. Everything Goat can do, Unicorn can do better. But Unicorn discovers there are some things that Goat can do that he, Unicorn, can't do. Can the two manage to become friends?


I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but when I do, I will update this review list.


When the bunny family adopts a baby, they adopt a baby wolf and not a baby bunny. The parents are head over heels in love with their new baby, but little Dot is not too sure. She is always warning them of the dangers of having a wolf in the house. But, as Dot spends more time with her baby brother, she realizes he might not be so bad after all. When his life is in danger, will Dot be able to save the day?

This is a great take on the age-old subject of sibling rivalry.

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