In the Stacks

Posted: Sunday, June 09, 2002

Kick off your summer with some good reading! Here are a few more of the great children's books on the shelves at the public libraries.

"Duck on a Bike," by David Shannon. When the Boy at Duck's house leaves his bike outside, Duck decides to give it a try. He wobbles a bit at first, but rides around saying hello to all the other animals. Then a herd of kids on bikes comes by. Bikes for everyone! Shannon's pictures are laugh-out-loud delightful. (picture book)

"We Both Read" book series. Sit down with your beginning reader for some reading time together. Each book in this series takes two readers; they alternate pages of standard font and sentences for good readers with pages of larger font and easier sentences for beginning readers. We own several titles in this series; look for "The Three Little Pigs," "The Tales of Peter Rabbit," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "The Frog Prince" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." (primary readers)

"The Last Snake in Ireland," by Sheila MacGill-Callahan. What pushed St. Patrick over the edge and caused him to expel all the snakes in Ireland? Why, he caught them tormenting his dog! This tall tale, with hilarious pictures and a surprise ending, begs to be read aloud. (picture book)

"Sharkabet," by Ray Troll. Fantastic creatures of the deep swim through this alphabet book for older kids. Troll's pictures are, as always, incredibly detailed, and the range of sharks is amazing. Some are still swimming (the cookie cutter shark) and some are extinct (the helicoprion), some use their tails to stun their prey (the thresher shark), and other march in scissors-first (the scissor-toothed shark). (non-fiction picture book)

"Lunch at the Zoo," by Joyce Altman. Feeding animals at the zoo is much more complicated than you'd think. For one thing, it often isn't possible to get some of the foods some animals eat (finding lemmings for arctic foxes is difficult, for instance). Animal nutritionists work to find out what nutrients the animal needs and then find ways to get those nutrients into the animal. Fascinating reading! (non-fiction)

"Batman: the Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight," by Scott Beatty. For fans and wanna-be fans of the comic book series, this is a wonderful resource. Starting out with Batman's birth and early training, moving through his weapons, allies, and enemies, and wrapping up with a timeline of Batman's career, this beautifully illustrated book (with original artwork from the DC comic) even comes with an index. What more could you want? (non-fiction)

"So, You Wanna Be a Comic Book Artist?" by Philip Amara. Whether your inspiration is Batman or the Power Puff Girls, take a look at this how-to book to get yourself started. While not as advanced as "Manga Mania," this is a great beginners' book, combining basic cartooning terminology with tips to get you started (and keep you going). Includes interviews with established comic book artists and teens who are just starting out. (non-fiction)

"The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents," by Terry Pratchett. The king of Monty-Pythonesque comedy has written his first book for kids. Set in Pratchett's Discworld, it is a spoof on a lot of things, most notably "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and all the cute talking animal books you've ever read. Though this is aimed at kids ages 11 and up, a Pratchett fan of any age will be laughing out loud. (chapter book)

"Lucy the Giant," by Sherri Smith. Lucy is the tallest 15-year old in Sitka. She lives with her alcoholic father and has a miserable time taking care of her dad when he's passed out and staying out of his way when he isn't. When Lucy's dog dies, her life hits bottom and she leaves Sitka for Kodiak, passing herself off as an adult and getting a job on a crabbing boat. What she learns by being Barbara for a while helps her change her life. (chapter book for young adults)

Next week I'll be writing about some of the new large print titles the public libraries have gotten.

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalogue. The "In the Stacks" column is now archived! Go to the Juneau Public Libraries' Web site and look for "In the Stacks."

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