Thursday, March 26, 2009

Review: The lightning thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson has always had a tough time at school, but he wasn't expecting his math teacher to turn into a demon and attack him during the field trip - nor that his favorite teacher would toss him a sword to fight with. What Percy discovers is that he is the son of a Greek god and is, as a result, a hero like Hercules. But whose son is he, and will he survive his terrifying quest to retrieve an invaluable weapon?

The Lightning Thief is exciting, funny (I laughed out loud a number of times) and full of interesting characters. It's a great twist on Greek mythology and how it fits into modern life with oodles of adventure and humour. I've not spoken to anyone who read the first one and didn't want to read more.

Luckily, this is the first in a series and the sequels include The sea of monsters and The Titan's curse, both of which are also available at the PRES library. The battle of the labyrinth and yet-to-be-published The last Olympian will be arriving soon.

4 stars out of 5 for The Lightning Thief.

Visit the Percy Jackson website.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My top 10 picture books

School Library Journal blog A Fuse #8 Production is hosting a Top 100 Picture Books Poll. Folks submit a list of their top 10 picture books by the end of March and then Fuse tabulates them and comes up with a list. The final list should be great!

So, since I like making lists, my top 10 picture books are as follows:

1. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey - I have loved this book since I was a child. Sal and a baby bear mixing up their mothers is gentle and speaks to the caution of adults and innocent bravery of children. Lovely.
2. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg - stunning illustrations and captivating story. I especially adore the illustration of the lion.
3. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs - a wordless masterpiece.
4. Lost & Found by Oliver Jeffers - I picked it up and read it in a bookstore about 2 years ago and I still can't walk past it without reading it.
5. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems - a cautionary tale indeed!
6. Red is best by Cathy Stinson - also a much-loved book from childhood.
7. Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard - I have a weakness for hilarious picture books, and this one is a hoot with innovative and vibrant illustrations.
8. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch - I was torn between this and Munsch's Millicent and the wind. The princess wins due to her stubbornness and can-do mentality.
9. Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt - a testament to the rewards of risk and adventure.
10. No! That's wrong! by Zhaohua Ji (my review) - how can I possibly resist a rabbit with underpants on its head? Turns out I can't.

I will link to the final list when it comes out. Can't wait!

Monday, March 02, 2009