Library Books Enjoyed, 11/21/13

Halloween may be over, but that only means that my kids discuss in depth what they are going to be next year while they continue to eat their way through the candy. Here are some books we checked out in the Halloween aftermath:

Dracula and Frankenstein Are FriendsDracula and Frankenstein Are Friends by Katherine Tegen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I marked this as “scary” because it’s so spooky/Halloween themed, but it’s not really scary. It also wasn’t my favorite story ever, but the target audience felt differently. I think I just didn’t like it so much because I didn’t like Dracula in here…he was definitely not a very good friend for most of the book (yes, that’s part of the point of the story–he somewhat learns his lesson–but I think I was hoping for something like a Halloween version of Frog and Toad).

However, my offspring, still fresh in the triumph of successful trick-or-treating (and still with the candy to show for it), loved it and required that we keep it for two weeks from the library. I will grant that the pictures were quite fun, with all sorts of details that appeal to kids who like to pore over their picture books. So it was a howling success with the majority of readers in this house…but I’m still the one who hands out stars.

Bats at the LibraryBats at the Library by Brian Lies

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We got this while the Halloween display was still up, but while it could certainly be worked into a Halloween theme, it really wasn’t meant to be a Halloween book. It was, however, a really fun book about what might happen if bats visited the library. I know we’ve read Bats at the Ballgame by the same author, but I think I enjoyed this one even more…and I certainly enjoyed it more than many other “in the library” themed picture books I feel like I’ve come across recently.

This last one seems to fit in with the “not-quite-Halloween” theme, but it’s one I just read myself, rather than sharing with the kids:
Battle BunnyBattle Bunny by Jon Scieszka

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I should preface this review by saying that I’m a pacifist, so this wasn’t going to be one I’d share with my kids right off, anyway. And, for now, I’m not sharing it with my kids.

I got a review from a (librarian) friend about this one, so I immediately put it on hold at the library. It was funny, and I think it was well-done, just not my cup of tea. Aside from the sweet bunny being transformed into an evil megalomaniac, what drove me nuts was that I had to read under the “changes” to see what the initial story was (the whole premise being that a kid transforms a book called “Birthday Bunny” into a much more exciting and dangerous story).

I actually don’t think I want to share this with my kids now as much for the fact that they won’t quite “get” it (only my oldest is starting to read and write, and I don’t think even he will quite get all the “editing” going on unless I read both versions to him, too) as for the content. Ok, and let’s be honest, I don’t want to give my 2 and 3 year olds ANY precedent for altering books with writing implements–our books need all the protection they can get. Anyway, I’m not quite sure what the target audience for this book is–it needs to be kids who can read and do some writing, but still enjoy a picture book. I’d be interested to hear from other librarians or parents who have some kids to share this with!

View all my reviews

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