Amy Says Read This

Seriously, you should totally read this.


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Carter Finally Get It by Brent Crawford

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Crawford, B. (2009). Carter finally gets it. New York: Hyperion. ISBN: 9781423112471

Annotation: Will Carter is finally starting high school, and he’s determined to be the coolest, strongest, awesome-est dude there, if he can manage to pay attention during football practice and if all the girls in school don’t end up hating him.

Reaction: This book is HILARIOUS. I’m honestly not sure when the last time I laughed so much during a book was. Now, look, Carter is a pretty typical (I assume) fourteen year old boy. He thinks mostly about sex and how he can get a girl to do it with him. I think at his core, he’s a good kid, but he’s still got a lot of growing up to do before he becomes Not a Jerk. But you know what? This book made me think a lot about my own high school experience, and I think it would strike a familiar chord with readers who are currently in high school. Plus, I really enjoyed the peak into the psyche of an adolescent male.

Carter brings humor to all his antics, and I was sitting in the back room at work hoping no one walked back there while I was reading it because I was laughing like a crazy person. One of my friends said that she hopes he does a lot of growing up in the sequels and adjusts his expectations and opinions of women, and I agree that it would be great to see that character growth, as well as give male readers a good example of a regular dude who values and respects women.

This was a fun, quick read and would be great for any young man in high school.

Author’s Website

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Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Nyeu, T. (2012). Squid and Octopus: Friends for always. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780803735651

Annotation: Squid and Octopus are best friends, as shown in the four mini stories collected in this book.

Reaction: Oh my good gosh, this book is so cute. Plus it’s got knitting AND cephalopods?! WIN. Squid and Octopus have a great friendship and would be a wonderful example for little kids. Even though they don’t always get along or agree with each other, Squid and Octopus are always there for each other. Each story is self contained and ends with a reaffirmation of their strong friendship.

The art in this is adorable. Nyeu uses a fairly simple color palette, using mostly greens, blues, yellows and oranges, making the art feel welcoming and soothing, while also being reminiscent of actually being under the ocean. Her animals are all friendly and totally adorable, even her toothy sharks.

I love this book and would love to read it with some small children.

Media Used: Silkscreened using water-based ink and a colored pencil

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Night Knight by Owen Davey

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Davey, O. (2011). Night knight. Somerville, MA: Templar Books. ISBN: 9780763658380

Annotation: A young knight takes the reader on his adventurous journey toward bedtime.

Reaction: I picked this book up as a possibility for my preschool storytime (pretty much why I pick up an picture books these days), but I kept it because of the beautiful illustrations. As my husband said, it’s just about a boy getting ready for bed, but I love the fantastic journey he has to take to get there. I love the palette of red, yellow and orange that Davey uses in this book. It puts me in mind of sunset and getting ready for bed (which is probably the point). I also love the way Davey incorporates bits of the knight’s house into the world of his quest, tethering the real to the imagined. This book is simple and beautiful and delightful and magical. This would make a fantastic bedtime book for anyone’s little knights, boy or girl.

Media Used: Digital media

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I Loathe You by David Slonim

Image from Goodreads.com

Image from Goodreads.com

Slonim, D. (2012). I loathe you. New York: Aladdin. ISBN: 9781442422445

Annotation: Just how much does Big Monster loathe Little Monster? More than every gross thing and in all possible nasty ways, it turns out.

Reaction: I originally picked this book out for my preschool storytime. I think preschoolers would totally love it…if they got the joke. I think this book would be wonderful one on one or with a small group, where you could explain it a little, but I just don’t think I can do that with my 15 kids. The rhyming text is delightful, full of yucky, nasty gross imagery and accompanying images. I love the colorful illustrations, and Slonim’s depictions of all the ways Big Monster loves Little Monster. It’s a super cute twist to the all the usual “how much do I love you” books. It’s sentimental and affectionate without being overly sappy.

Media Used: Acrylic with charcoal

Author’s Website