Bulldog Library

The Good Neighbors: Kin

YA F Black    •    Fantasy/Mystery

good neighbors

Rue’s mother left three weeks ago.  No one knows where she is or if she is coming back.  No one knows if she is even still alive.

Rue’s father has been arrested for murder.

Rue is now alone.

Can Rue find her mother?  Can she absolve her father?

The Good Neighbors: Kin is a dark fantasy presented in the form of a beautifully drawn graphic novel.  Holly Black, co-author of the wildly popular Spiderwick Chronicles, has created a rich fantasy world that weaves together the myth and lore of traditional folk tales with a suspenseful and intriguing mystery.  If you are looking for a good mystery, a dark fantasy, or a great graphic novel, than The Good Neighbors is a book you have to try.

Interest Level: grades 8 & up •  Lexile: GN310L  •  AR: 2.7

Black, H. (2009).  The Good Neighbors: Kin. Ted Naifeh (Illustrator).  New York, NY: Graphix.

Leave a comment »

Dog vs. Cat

JE Gall    •    Humor

Cat vs Dog

Cat and Dog are adopted on the same day.  When they are brought to their new home, they learn they must share a room together!  But Cat and Dog have nothing in common.  Cat detests Dog’s untidy habits, and Dog is utterly baffled by Cat’s weird ways.  Can these two ever learn to live together?

Dog vs. Cat is a very funny picture book.  In this brief story, Chris Gall has created a book with a lot of personality. While the odd couple premise of this book is a well worn theme, the well used premise does not diminish the reader’s enjoyment.  Dog vs. Cat is simply a fun book to read.

The illustrations are bright and expressive.  Not only do they bring this wonderful short story to life, but they expand the story and offer humorous moments to augment the humor in the text.  They are filled with little jokes and visual details that invite the reader to linger and explore the lovely illustrations before moving on to the next page.

This is a book that readers will want to read and enjoy at least twice.

Interest Level: grades 2-4  •  Lexile: AD480L  •  AR: 2.6

Gall, C. (2014). Dog vs. Cat. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Company.

Leave a comment »

Magic Pickle

JF Morse    •    Sci-Fi/Superhero    •    Graphic Novel

Jacket.aspxFifty years ago, in the heart of the Cold War, a mad scientist accidentally irradiated the pickle from his lunch.  To the scientists shock the pickle comes to life.  Seeking to capitalize on his amazing new discovery, the scientist attempts to repeat the happy accident by irradiating more produce.  Sadly, no other produce is as good, just, or morally upright as the pickle.  The other produce soon turn rotten and begin living wicked lives of crime.  Now it is up to the pickle to find and stop the wicked gang of rotten produce.

Magic Pickle is a crazy spoof on the superhero genre that is both action packed and full of outrageous humor.  It is a fun graphic novel that will leave you wanting more.  Thankfully, the author has provided a five more Magic Pickle adventures to delight young readers longing for more heroic pickles and rotten produce!

Interest Level: grades 3-5  • Lexile: GN401L  •  AR: 2.6

ALA Core Collection of Graphic Novels

Morse, S. (2008). Magic Pickle. New York, NY: Graphix.

Leave a comment »

Rotten School: The Great Smelling Bee

JF Stine    •    AR Reading Level: 2.8    •    AR Points: 1.0    •    Quiz #88861


Bernie Bridges lives at Rotten School.  He and his friends love nothing better than a good prank.  Too bad their dorm mother, Mrs. Heinie, and headmaster, Mr. Upchuck, don’t have the same great sense of humor, or any discernable sense of humor at all!  Mrs. Heinie and Mr. Upchuck just want to enforce the school rules.

One morning, a large package arrives for Bernie.  His parents have sent him a parrot named Lippie who says all kinds of really cool rude things, and a bulldog named Gassy whose sole talent is to produce a horribly noxious odor (that means he farts really stinky farts!) Bernie is thrilled!  The only problem is that pets aren’t allowed at Rotten School.  If Mr. Upchuck finds out about Lippie and Gassie, Bernie will be expelled!  How in the world is Bernie going to hid Lippie and Gassie from the prying eyes of Mrs. Heinie?

When readers think of R.L. Stine, they likely think of scary books, like Goosebumps.  However The Great Smelling Bee, the second book in R.L. Stine’s Rotten School series, is not at all scary.  It’s gross.  Really, really GROSS!  This book is filled with fart jokes and toilet humor.  Readers who think that passing gas is the highest form of comedy will be rolling on the floor laughing at the humor in this book!

The gross-out story is accompanied by over-the-top caricatures.  These illustrations include globs of  gooey parrot poop and noxious clouds of toxic dog farts.  They are as off-beat as the story and provide a perfect complement to the text of the book.

Genre: Comedy  •  Interest Level: grades 4-5

Stine, R. L. (2005). Rotten School: the great smelling bee. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Leave a comment »