LibraryPoint Blog

07/22/2015 - 4:44pm
Axe Cop by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle

Axe Cop: the name says it all. One day a cop found a magical axe and used it to fight crime. Around the same time, five-year-old Malachai Nicolle teamed up with his professional artist brother Ethan to write a comic book. Ethan took Malachai's words—which usually involve explosions, aliens, and secret attacks—and gave them a visual flourish. And thus Axe Cop was born.

Contained in these pages is a frenzy of unchecked childhood imagination that has been given infinite space to roam free. Malachai invents adventures involving machine gun-toting dinosaurs on the Moon and magic babies with unicorn horns. Axe Cop's adventures are narrated in a plain-spoken manner which adds to their appeal. Axe Cop always says exactly what he is thinking.

07/22/2015 - 4:44pm
Monty Python's Flying Circus

When I hear the name Terry Gilliam, the first thing that I see is a gigantic pink foot...crushing everything in its path.

That is because Gilliam was the animator for Monty Python's Flying Circus, the absurdist British comedy troupe of the 1970's that has influenced everyone from Neil Gaiman to the Simpsons. The lone American of the group did surreal collages combining Renaissance paintings, nature sketches, and meat grinders to make a strange world.

When Python's reign ended, Gilliam did not stop his creating. Instead, he launched himself from the animation desk to the director's chair where things became curiouser and curiouser.

07/22/2015 - 4:43pm
Nursery Rhyme Comics

Nursery Rhyme Comics is an all-star line-up of cartoonists and illustrators who use their artistic chops to put fun spins on all sorts of old rhymes and songs. Fifty rhymes adapted by fifty cartoonists. Woo-hoo! I'd like to take a moment to point some choice selections.

07/21/2015 - 10:31am
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

There was never any doubt that Claire Roth was an exceptionally gifted painter. But in The Art Forger, by B. A. Shapiro, her troubles begin when she creates a piece for her boyfriend Isaac, a famous but blocked artist. He gratefully submits the work as his own for a prestigious MoMA commission. The painting becomes an instant sensation, and overnight Isaac is the new darling of the art world. He unceremoniously dumps Claire but continues to reap the benefits associated with her work.

07/16/2013 - 3:02am
River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

What better way to start my summer reading than by immersing myself in The River of No Return, a fantasy/romance/adventure/mystery in which Time is a river where humans can move up and down its path to the future and the past. The author, Bee Ridgway—a historian at Bryn Mawr, has meticulously researched the Regency Period. It is a love story and a time-travel adventure with well-developed characters, but part of the fun of reading this novel is in its unique historical details of the Regency period.

07/16/2013 - 3:02am
Books for the Early Elementary Set

The mid-2000s were kind to my extended family when within a 12-month period, two nieces and a nephew joined it.  This year, they will all reach that extremely enjoyable early elementary age.  Their sense of humor is growing strong, their curiosity runs rampant, they’re fun to talk with and I enjoy hearing their newly formed perspectives and opinions!  Two of those children turn 7 this week and I can’t wait for them to see their birthday presents--books of course. 

Non-fiction books coincide with this group's avid curiosity!  My niece has such an avid interest in the weather that the first thing she did when she got home from school was check the forecast on her mom’s old phone.   She’s going to love the DK (Dorling Kindersley) Eye Wonder book called “Weather.”  When the DK books were first published they seemed too busy, but children loved them and I have learned over the years to appreciate them as well.  Heavy with photographs accompanied by small amounts of text, these books are a great and very accessible way to enjoy non-fiction!  She can scan the table of contents for subjects of interest or just flip through, reading about any picture that captures her attention.  Mine was caught by a photo of some funny looking water bubbles.  Did you know that raindrops aren’t tear-shaped, but instead “ actually look more like squashed buns?” 

07/22/2015 - 4:43pm
Fitz by Mick Cochrane

Fitzgerald does not usually do rash things. He is not as cavalier as his friend Caleb. He is unable to share his feelings with that cute girl Nora, who likes his band. But he did just buy a gun and is holding his father, a man whom he has never met before, hostage. So much for not doing rash things.

Fitz is Mick Cochrane's new young adult novel. The title character, named after F. Scott Fitzgerald, is in desperate need of some father-son quality time. He tracks his dad down like a super sleuth, wanting all sorts of answers. How did his parents meet? Why did he leave? Is he sorry for abandoning his son?

07/12/2013 - 2:08pm

There is no higher praise for a book than an award from its target audience.  Each school year, seventh and eighth grade students from thirteen area middle schools, read from among twenty recently published young adult books and vote on those they feel merit a Café Book Top Teen Pick award.  Chosen titles are displayed at local libraries where they fly off the shelf even before summer fun officially begins.  

12/07/2013 - 12:45pm
The Best iPhone & iPad Original Games

A few months back I wrote a blog post, The Best Cross-Platform Mobile Games, detailing the best of mobile games for both Android smartphones and tablets as well as the iPhone and iPad. In that post I noted that there are many excellent games that are, for the most part, exclusive to the iPhone and iPad. It was the iPhone, after all, that demonstrated just how much potential mobile games have and practically every mobile game studio publishes first to Apple devices before even considering Android, if they ever make it to Android at all. These are, in my book, among the best such mobile games.

07/11/2013 - 3:03am
The King’s Equal by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Vladimir Vagin

The old king was beloved, but he had died, leaving in his place a handsome, intelligent and rich son. That was the good part.  The bad part—in addition to those sterling qualities, Raphael was a grasping, cold-hearted, and vain young man. He was angry, too. Before his father died, he gave him a blessing that seemed more like a curse. Raphael could make all the horrible laws he wanted to, but he could not wear the crown until he found a girl to marry him who was The King’s Equal—as rich, good-looking, and intelligent as he is, and Raphael wanted that crown.

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