Tag Archives: animals

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits, by Michael Beil

28 Sep

I knew I had to read this book.

Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits

When I read about the book, I learned that there is a talking cat, and I feel like my cats at home would love to talk to me! I also knew the book took place on a train from New York City to Chicago, and I thought that would be cool. I had no idea I would have so many personal connections to this book, though!

In the first few pages, the book mentions Albany, which is where I live. That’s kind of cool, right? It’s not often you can read books that mention your hometown. However, Albany is the capital of our state, so I wasn’t that surprised. I was surprised, however, when Ashtabula, Ohio came up as the main character’s hometown. When I was younger, my grandfather had a farm very near Ashtabula. I spent 2-3 weeks there every summer for almost 15 years when I was growing up! I was so excited to have that personal connection, but it got even better!

Another major character is on her way to Conneaut Lake Park. Conneaut is the actual town my grandfather’s farm was in – and it’s a REALLY small town! Every summer, my grandfather took all his workers to Conneaut Lake Park. I was there many times myself. It is a really small amusement park, and it’s very old. There is a roller coaster there called The Blue Streak, like the title. I was never old enough to go on it, though. 🙂 I did, however, ride a roller coaster called the Wild Mouse. I hated it! It was so scary because the cars seemed like they would shoot off the edges of turns instead of going around a curve smoothly. I love roller coasters now, though.

One of my favorite things when reading books is an unexpected personal connection. It makes me feel like the book was written just for me – like the author and I have really important things in common. Being surprised by a book in that way doesn’t happen very often, so I feel lucky when it does. Has that ever happened to you? Let us know in a comment!

I’ll keep you posted about Lantern Sam! On top of the personal connections, it’s a very intriguing mystery!



30 Jun

I explored two new picture books this weekend, and they both surprised me!

WhenI first looked at Brother Hugo and the Bear, by Katy Beebe I thought it might be boring. It’s about a monk who needs to rewrite a book because a bear ate part of it. I was really surprised to learn all about how books were made in the 1100’s. They had to do all the ink-making and writing by hand! The illustrations were beautiful, and the style was different from other picture books. This would be a great book snack for students who are interested in the how books were made in the past.

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The second book that surprised me this weekend is Three Bears in a Boat, by David Soman. I wasn’t sure what kind of a book I was going to be reading, but I absolutely loved it. The artwork is so beautiful, and they experience wonderful adventures! I can’t wait to share this tasty  book snack with all my Loudonville friends!

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Neversink, by Barry Wolverton

17 Jul

Do you know what kind of animal this is?

I certainly hope you didn’t say that it is a PENGUIN because it is a PUFFIN! 🙂

The hero of Neversink is a puffin named Lockley. If you are thinking that this puffin doesn’t look very heroic, you’d be correct. Most puffins in Neversink are quiet, go-with-the-flow type birds, even when they are threatened by the owls from a neighboring island. Lockley, though, is different. He even wants to soar, and his two best friends are a walrus and a hummingbird!

Can Lockley save the puffins’ home? Can he protect his wife, Lucy, and their egg? Can he be the hero Neversink needs?

This is the perfect summer read because it takes place near the Arctic Circle, where it’s very cold. If you are looking for a frosty, snowy treat, this is the perfect Book Snack for YOU!

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

23 May

If you love animals, this is the book for you. But beware – there’s a good chance you need at least a few tissues.

The One and Only Ivan

Ivan is a silverback – a gorilla. He has lived in the Big Top Mall for 9,876 days in his very small domain (he doesn’t like to call it a cage). He is surrounded by other animals, but hasn’t had any contact with any other gorillas since he was a baby. It’s not a good life, but there’s no way out… is there?

The coolest (and saddest) thing about this story is that it is based on a real gorilla named Ivan. He’s still alive in a zoo in Atlanta, Georgia!

Check it out here! And while you’re there, you can find out about the author, too.

This book is a tasty snack for banana lovers in fourth grade and up! 🙂