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Bali is a wonderful place and first-time visitors on their own should feel at ease. The beaches along Canggu have unappealing grey volcanic sand, while the few resorts are difficult to access because there are no beachside roads. Try: Mahamaya Resort or Seri Resort. There are hikes, snorkelling, villages and mangroves, and secluded beaches like Sunset Beach and Dream Beach. The best place to organise yoga is at Ubud, while horse riding can be arranged at Gili Trawangan 10 minutes by boat from Gili Meno and at places north of Seminyak.

We plan to stay for some days in Ubud, some days in Seminyak, one night in Gili Trawangan, and one or two nights in Jimbaran. Also, is there anything else to see in or around Bedugul? Also, we are both vegetarians. So should we opt for the sunset dinner at the Jimbaran beachfront restaurant? I believe the place is known more for seafood. While Gili Trawangan and the other two Gili islands are understandably popular, it may not be worth going there for just one night.

Perhaps, come back to Bali another time and spend some quality time exploring all three of the glorious Gilis. With 10 days, maybe base yourself somewhere in the countryside for landscapes, natural attractions, and culture, such as Ubud, and somewhere by the beach for relaxation, sunsets, and shopping, such as Seminyak. Ubud is also a perfect location for a full daytrip to Bedugul more properly known as Candikuning.

As well as the delightful lakeside Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple best before 10am and after 4pm to avoid tourist crowds , Candikuning boasts the appealing Botanical Gardens; a vibrant produce and souvenir market; and the recreation area known as Bedugul, built for, and almost entirely used by, Indonesian tourists. Late afternoon the white sands of Seminyak are strewn with beanbags on which you can relish the sunset with a cocktail and, later, enjoy live music.

Instead, eat, drink, and revel in the glorious sunsets at Seminyak. We are in the early process of planning a trip to Bali for Christmas, New Years, and the first week of January. Any advice? Is the period around Christmas and New Years a good time to visit Bali? We like visiting places that are busy and festive, will Bali have a fun and lively atmosphere during the holidays? The single busiest tourist period on Bali is between late December and early January.

This is the height of the Australian school holidays, when some businesses and offices down under close for days and families flock to the island. It is also when Europeans fly to Bali for that short period. In fact, you are urged to book your hotels in those areas for that period now.

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To avoid the crowds and high prices, however, try staying at low key resort regions to the east and north like Candidasa, Padangbai, Lovina, and Amed. Popular events in Bali, such as traditional ceremonies and religious festivals, are almost always based on the lunar calendar e. And, sadly, the two major Balinese festivals of Galungan and Kuningan fall in February and September in For most tourists this period is about surf, sea, sunsets, and shopping, and for almost all Balinese who are not Christians it is just another time to work hard and earn money.

Other than a few token strands of tinsel in a souvenir shop or a plastic tree in the reception of a resort, there will be very few signs of Christmas anywhere across the island. We are a family of 3 trying to plan a trip to Bali. The big question for us is deciding between July or August for a visit. Is one month better for weather, crowds, or events? Thanks much. The dry season in Bali is between April and October, so July and August are ideal times to visit with regards to the weather: every day will be hot and sunny with almost no rain.

Events on Bali are often based on the lunar calendar i. However, July and August are very busy times in Bali. The Australian school holidays are staggered across the states from 2 to 24 July, when Aussie families flock to the island to escape the winter down under. August is also very busy as Europeans come to Bali to seek their little slice of paradise. And, of course, beaches and tourist sights are crowded. If you must travel at this time, make sure you book your hotels as far in advance as possible. Lovina, on the north coast with an unappealing beach but a lovely village vibe; Candidasa, without much of a beach but good-value hotels and an ideal base to explore the east coast; or Padangbai, a lovely village with charming beaches and also a perfect base for the east coast.

Looking to go to Indonesia for days. I would love to spend at least one week on the beach, if not more. I am also interested in having access to day trips. It would be two adults and two teens. I would love clean, white sandy beaches with crystal blue water. If possible, we would prefer to be close to restaurants. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you very much for any information you would provide. Bali is compact, so much of the island can be explored on daytrips from one place. Never drive yourself as the traffic and roads can be very difficult. An ideal base from which to take daytrips around the island is the central town of Ubud, which has many attractions itself, such as art museums, rice-field walks and temples. But each beach resort area on Bali offers different things to different people, so it does pay to think about what suits you best.

Even, perhaps consider basing yourself in different areas during the days? When should we come, September or August? Is there any difference between these two months for crowds, weather, or number of hours of sun? The dry season in Bali is between April and October, although the wet season seems to start later these days. So, there is no difference between August and September with regards to the weather: it should be mostly hot, dry, and sunny every day in the beach resort areas.

However, August can be a very busy time on Bali as many Europeans arrive for their annual holidays. In some areas, hotel prices will increase and bookings are recommended, and tourist sights can seem very crowded. If possible, come to Bali in September to avoid the crowds and higher prices, and before the Australian school holidays start in early October. We plan to spend 1 week in Nusa Dua and 1 week in Ubud. Does the weather vary much from one area to the next? But Bali is not monsoonal like India, where the rains last weeks and floods are frequent; nor is Bali cyclonic, like the Philippines, where storms and cyclones often cause damage, injury and death.

Bali is small enough that most places on the island are affected by the same weather patterns. Ubud is a little cooler especially at night and less humid than beach regions like Nusa Dua, but the humidity along the coast can be countered by sea breezes. And rain often falls in short bursts and in the late afternoon and overnight.

So, from about 15 December to 25 January hotel prices can double and bookings in advance is essential. Having a hard time figuring out where and when to surf on Bali. Looks like some great spots but they peak at different times of the year? When and where should we go? Overall, the best time to visit for all tourists is the dry season April to September , which is, happily, also the best time for surfing.

Más libros de Matt Chisholm

Almost all surf is along the southern coasts and affected by the Indian Ocean, so the best months to surf are generally the same. Many people surf in Kuta or Legian, where the waves are milder, the beaches are within walking distance of hundreds of hotels, and plenty of places offer lessons, as well as board rentals and repairs. But the more adventurous and experienced flock to spots along the southern Bukit Peninsula, such as Padang-Padang and Ulu Watu, or to Medewi along the south-western coast.

To reach these places you will need your own transport or hire a taxi, but they all offer accommodation from which you can walk to the beach. Another place that offers surf, as well as other appealing attractions, is Nusa Lembongan island, with villages and mangroves to explore — but waves are m off-shore and accessible by chartered boat.

If price is not important, where the boat leaves and departs might be: a boat from Padangbai will mean less boat time, but involves two hours one-way in a minibus from Kuta. The best way to compare and book online is to check out this website. By the way, Gili T will be very busy in August — most hotels will be full so book far ahead and prices will double. We will be in Bali from 14 February till 17 February.

‎The Storm Family 4: One Notch to Death on Apple Books

We prefer calm and clean beaches, need your recommendations. At the same time , I would like to buy some wholesales silver jewelry to see in my country as most of the time I will get it in Bangkok. Can you suggest any town or particular area I can shop for that. Thanks Dave! Nusa Dua will have the calmest cleanest beaches. For buying silver, look in Seminyak and Sanur — lots of silver shops, they should be able to help. Is there any preference between the two? Just looking for good beach weather and cheap hotel rates.

And, keeping in mind that Bradley previously authored nonfiction on bugs, Infestation also provides an opportunity to connect kids with science and the natural world. This book is a must-add for both school media centers and public libraries. Highly recommended for ages 8 and up. Contains: references to domestic violence and violence. Review by The Monster Librarian. Robert Arthur becomes a victim of redistricting, stuck with having to go to the new school, Lovecraft Middle School, where he is separated from all his friends and familiar faces with the exception of Glen Torkells, a bully form his old school.

Robert soon finds that not everything is normal at Lovecraft Middle School, where rats swarm through the hallway and the library is an amazing place that houses it own secrets. Even the teachers are strange; the mysterious Professor Garfield Goyle is like no other teacher Robert has run into before. Charles Gilman has written an engaging book for young readers. The plot moves along at a decent pace, leaving enough questions that the reader will be enticed to turn to the next page looking for answers. The illustrations are a great complement to the story, and help visualize what is happening.

While the writings of H. P Lovecraft are definitely not for children, Charles Gilman has written an entertaining and very kid friendly book that is age appropriate in form and content. Review by the Monster Librarian. Please note that this review contains spoilers from the first book of the Scary School series. Monsters on the March is the 2nd book of the Scary School series and takes place shortly after the first book. Having been over a year since I read the first book in this series, I was excited to visit Scary School again.

I wasn't sure if this book would hold up to the fun adventures Derek took us through with the first book, but he didn't disappoint. The students are very excited about this, but the trip becomes a bit more dangerous than expected, especially for Charles Nukid, who gets lost from the group and ends up having the Monster King's daughter, Princess Zogette, fall in love with him. You'd think having a Princess fall in love with you is a wonderful thing, right?

But what if said Princess looks like a toad? If so, you have the same reaction that most of the students at Scary School have. Some of them might be a bit scary, so be prepared! There are other fun things to read and do on the Scary School website www. You definitely don't want to miss out on that fun! So, get your thinking cap on and head out to Scary School for another fun adventure. In order to find out if Charles Nukid is able to rid himself of Princess Zogette or end up marrying her, be sure to read Derek the Ghost's second book about Scary School.

I recommend this fun little read to everyone! Horrible Hauntings is a unique transmedia approach to providing an interactive reading experience that uses a technology called augmented reality. The book itself is a gorgeously illustrated and designed hardcover nonfiction title, with a double page spread devoted to each of 10 different ghosts or hauntings.

One page contains text, with an introductory paragraph in larger print, two to four more detailed paragraphs about the ghost, and photographs of related objects placed strategically on the page. The size of the type for the more detailed paragraphs was a little small for my eyes to focus on, but this is a book for year olds, and they probably have sharper eyes. The opposite page is a gorgeous, full page illustration. The illustration does, however, look a little empty. This is where the augmented reality technology comes in. You can download an app for the book for your smartphone or tablet as long as it has a camera and when the app is active, you run the camera over the illustration and the ghost appears, in some cases leaping straight off the page at you!

Quite possibly the creepiest one of these is the last page, devoted to the urban legend Bloody Mary, who appears in the mirror when you chant her name. If you move the camera she moves too. The problem with the way this book is set up is first, that it requires an app for iPad or smartphone to take advantage of to fully experience the illustrations. Although the text appears on a well-designed page and is informative and interesting, it was almost completely neglected in favor of the ghosts.

If you're looking for a unique gift for, say, All Hallow's Read, though, this is a great choice. Reviewed by: Kirsten Kowalewski. Witches Handbook by Monica Carretero. The framing story is that a witchy aunt invites her niece and nephew to her house to share the secrets of The Witches Handbook , which will disappear when the last witch dies naturally, their aunt is the last witch. Even a well-disguised witch can be identified by this heartlessness.

The bright, cartoonish illustrations of outlandishly dressed witches work against the words being taken seriously. The illustrations are toned down a bit and the text and illustrations are a better match. The short biographies are followed by pages devoted to brooms, potions, witches and animals, and Halloween. At the very end are some puzzles and games. The illustrations seem more appropriate for younger children.

Available: Paperback and library binding. The pictures in each book are taken from larger spreads that are part of the original I Spy books, which are oversized books with themed, detailed two-page photographic spreads, and more complex language and riddles to master to find the hidden pictures. In contrast, these readers are paperbacks that can easily be held in the hands of a small child. Instead of having the photographic image spread across two pages, with the riddle at the bottom, as in the original books, here one page has the riddle and the other has the photograph a child must seek to find the hidden objects.

This is useful, because sometimes the vocabulary isn't as controlled as you would expect for a beginning reader.

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Most readers starting out won't make the connection between the words and the image but they know what a skeleton looks like, so they are still able to solve the riddle. Occasionally, the item isn't one that kids would readily identify-- try explaining what a golfer's tee is. In that case just finding the head doesn't solve the riddle. I was able to work through these with my kindergartener who has just started school and she was satisfied that she had solved the riddles and mastered enough of the words to be able to say she had read it herself she did a pretty good job-- I was impressed.

I think it's safe to say that very beginning readers will engage with the book and feel successful as readers, with a little guidance. For my very bright first grader the actual reading of text was a snap, but he still enjoyed solving the riddles. I expect that over the next six months he'll easily transition over to independent reading of the oversized I Spy books we check them out frequently, but he has needed guidance with the complexity of vocabulary and detailed searching until this point.

I would say that these books are simple enough to offer very beginning readers a feeling of mastery that will encourage them to try other books, and engaging enough to capture the attention of more advanced first grade readers. So if you're looking for non-scary books with a Halloween theme for beginning readers, I highly recommend these note on availability: these may be available directly through Scholastic via their book order or book fair programs.

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel. Random House Children's, ISBN: For lovers of the short and scary tale, though, and for the bored reluctant reader, this is a fantastic choice. Monies raised from the sale of the book benefit First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing books to lower-income families, making it a doubly great choice for promoting literacy. Highly recommended for school and public libraries, and for readers of any age who love scary stories.

Contains: references to murder and cannibalism, kidnapping, suggestions of dismemberment. Ripley Publishers, the experts on the bizarre and strange, have presented another brilliant installment to whet our curiosity. This latest title chronicles the strangest stories from all over the world. Sporting a holographic, eye-catching cover, the book entices with full-color photographs as well as lists and fun facts. Those who love Trivial Pursuit or are just curious to take a peek into the world of the bizarre will not be able to put this book down.

Readers will also recognize familiar friends in tattooed ladies, mummies, and various creepy crawlies. Each chapter is showcased with photographs and illustrations that accompany the feature story Also included are bulleted entries of other tales and quips related to the chapter. There is no doubt something for everyone, young and older readers alike; this is a book that could lead to some very interesting dinner-time conversations! Here Mr. Meyer highlights his favorite acquisitions of the year and also the strangest items he has purchased in It is evident from the list alone that the Ripley staff has some of the best jobs on the planet.

Highly recommended for school libraries. Contains: some mildly graphic descriptions and illustrations. Available: New paperback and Kindle ebook. Seven year old Olivia has just moved from the city to a big house in the country with her father, Steve, a professional writer.

Armed with this information, lonely Olivia seeks out the monster, a big, furry, and somewhat crabby creature named Burrufu, who secretly writes books. Burrufu grows larger when people react to him with fear, so he stays hidden, but Olivia is a true friend, and in one of the most wonderful parts of the book, she figures out a way for him to go outside without being seen.

Corral speaks directly and frankly to the child reader in describing not just Olivia and Burrufu but also the adults- Steve and his agent, Mark. Unfortunately, the book suffers from a flaw difficult to overcome. The main character, Olivia, is seven years old, but the language and references will go over the heads of the average third grader.

Adults will appreciate this aspect of the writing, as it adds a fair amount of personality, but the target audience is going to miss out and may not comprehend parts of the story because of this. Still, My Monster Burrufu is a charming read that never condescends to its child readers, and a parent might be able to convince an upper elementary kid "too cool" for a read-aloud with Mom or Dad, that they can enjoy the story together.

The Island of the Skog by Steven Kellogg. The Island of the Skog is not a new book: it was published in , the year I was born. It has always had a special place in my heart, though. Steven Kellogg is one of my favorite illustrators and has been since I was a child. Of all his many books, this is the tale that I love the most. The book begins with a band of terrified mice resolving to flee the cats and dogs persecuting them by sailing away from the city in search of a land where they can be free. Afraid that the Skog might attack them, the mice fire their cannons to scare the Skog away.

When they come ashore, they are frightened to find the giant footprints of a monster and resolve to trap it and get rid of it. The Skog, when we finally see it, is a gigantic, menacing creature with sharp claws, hidden in shadowy draperies. Most of the time Kellogg draws with incredible detail- it can be almost overwhelming. He also frequently uses muted colors, which make the tiny black lines that score the page and establish the details stand out. Not so with the Skog. Almost as startling is what happens next, and to find that out, go read it yourself. The Island of the Skog does have some advanced vocabulary and, for younger readers, the motivations of the characters may require explanations.

Highly recommended for kindergarteners and up. Contains: mild violence. Beware the Snallygaster by Patrick Boyton. A cute little story about an Appalachian cryptid named the Snallygaster, Beware the Snallygaster is quick-paced and filled with mystery. Holly and Peter are two intrepid fifth graders determined to find out whether the Snallygaster is real or not, for the sake of their reputations and grades.

But how do you catch a mythical monster that might be dead? While some of story vocabulary might above the reading level for the ages Amazon lists it for , Beware the Snallygaster is a fun and very modern Halloween-themed story, good for before-bed reading or for parents who love cryptids and want to share that with their kids. Recommended for public collections. Contains: alcohol including moonshine which is essential to the legend , references to violence and gore.

Review by Michele Lee. Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane. Rather than recounting the activities of the ducks, frogs, and other adorable creatures in the original version, Jane has moaning mummies, cackling witches, and rattling skeletons. Manning does a marvelous job of creating spooky settings, from washed out haunted forests to bilious green swamps. Her monsters are adorably disturbing, and in spite of sharp teeth and occasionally crazed expressions, they smile a lot, are a playful bunch, like any little monsters on Halloween.

Kids who scare easily might not make it past the first few pages, which suggest a darker tone, but what starts out seeming creepy ends up being a lot of fun! Little Goblins Ten provides some great opportunities for interactivity when reading aloud. Kids can have a lot of fun howling with the werewolves, breathing fire with dragons, and swooping like bats. Contains: spooky images.

The first Stoker Legacy book starts off with seventh grader Hannah mixing up a potion while trying to follow the directions left behind by her missing grandfather. She has no idea what has happened to him, but is looking to the instructions he has left her to summon up others to help her. He also told her that he was a descendant of a long line of monster hunters. After completing her attempt at casting a spell over her potion, she waits….

The mix of suspenseful moments and funny quips make this book extremely balanced and show that the author knows how to pull together a good tale. This would make a great addition to all library collections and would especially do a great job of filling in an empty spot on any Halloween displays of books.

Perhaps she missed Season Two, where they were both sociopathic monsters. Even the vampires in Twilight are hardly harmless. The age group the book is intended for seems up in the air. These books are aimed at upper elementary school kids. My local library apparently has this problem too. As a nonfiction introduction to vampires, though, it is a disappointment.

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  • Stargazer, When Aunt Zsofia takes them on a trip to Chinatown on the edge of a saltwater bog, they never suspected they'd end up facing down monsters, ghosts and gun-wielding bad guys. The bog holds many secrets, the most interesting of which is a young girl named Mei who claims to be hiding from the people who killed her parents. In their quest to help Mei the ZomBuddies will have to face down toxic bog water, mutated monsters and treacherous adults. Secret of Haunted Bog is a fast-paced, fun tale. Similar in feel to the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys or Bobbsey Twins , or even the more modern incarnation of Scooby-Doo, it pits three courageous, stubborn kids against mysteries, supernatural and not.

    Engaging and exciting, Monster Moon makes for great in-class or before bed reading. Definitely recommended for preteen collections. Contains: Some gross out moments. Reviewed by: Michele Lee. Scary School by Derek the Ghost. Scary School is the first book in a new series written by a ghost. Yes, a ghost. Derek the Ghost tells us the ins and outs of the school as well as introduces us to many of the students and teachers at the school.

    Both humans and monsters alike attend Scary School, which is taught by all sorts of monsters for teachers. For instance, Mrs. Fangs is one of the favorite teachers at school and she happens to be a vampire. The punishments at Scary School can be quite severe, even going as far as eating the students! Luckily they have Nurse Hairymoles around to revive said students… maybe not quite to their original self, but in a way that they can still attend school.

    How would you like to attend a school with monsters for teachers? Maybe after reading this first book by Derek the Ghost you will answer differently. There are a variation of monsters included that normally would scare little kids, but the way Derek the Ghost has written this novel the scares will be mild, if existing at all. Tweens should find it interesting reading the day-to-day adventures at a school so different than their own and some may even wish that they could attend Scary School themselves. Once finished with the book, there are additional fun prizes on the Scary School website www.

    This last chapter appears to be a lead-in to the next book in the series, so be sure not to miss it. As stated, this book is aimed at tweens, however, many adults will find this a fun read as well. Or, better yet, this would make a great bedtime story for parents to read to their children. Midnight Howl by Clare Hutton. Marisol, age 12, is a vegetarian Texas city girl who moves to a rural Montana ranch with her mom for a few months while their house is being rewired.

    The ranch is owned by Marisol's mom's best friend, husband and twin children. Montana is very different from the life she knows, with mountains, wide spaces and active night life—maybe even including werewolves. Midnight Howl is part of Scholastic's Poison Apple series of scary books for kids.

    These dark-themed books feature vampires, werewolves and ghosts. They appeal to kids who have grown up in a Buffy and Twilight -loving culture and want monster stories of their own to read. Midnight Howl is a tight book. It doesn't stray much from the werewolf mystery theme, which limits character development, especially in secondary characters.

    But the setting is fun and ultra-modern. Unlike the old Scooby-Doo cartoons there really are monsters prowling the pages instead of just men in masks. Highly recommended for children's collections because of the demand of paranormal, spooky books for kids, Midnight Howl , and the Poison Apple series, are fun reads. Contains: spooky scenes. It was reminiscent of the scary books I used to read as a kid, but neither the writing nor the story was dated in any way. Just a few pages in, and I wished I was curled up in a window seat, storm brewing for added effect, all alone in a creepy old house.

    Charlie and Marty get off to a bumpy start with an incident involving tarantulas, but soon they are on the same page, exploring all of the haunted sites Crooked Hills has to offer. Along the way they pick up crack slingshot shooter Lisa Summers. Her skills with the slingshot save Charlie and Marty more times than they would like, but they admit she is handy to have around.

    What with taking on the Crewes Brothers two brothers who give bullies a bad name , and tangling with the mysterious, the boys can use all of the help they can get…if they want to survive. Contains: mild violence and supernatural elements. Reviewed by: Brandi Blankenship. We have a second look review of Crooked Hill from Rhonda Wilson:. Charlie is more than a little upset about the unexpected trip his mom has sprung on him and his brother, Alex.

    They are off to visit their aunt in Crooked Hills for six weeks. In order to cheer him up, his mom gives him a new book on some of the haunted aspects of the town. One of the first nights there, Charlie spots a strange dog outside of his window. After telling Marty about his find the following day, they decide to sneak out of the house that night to investigate. Their exploration turns out to be a bit more than either of them bargained for, and Charlie finds his summer vacation is suddenly a lot more exciting. Luckily, though, his mom has picked an interesting town for them to spend the summer.

    Whether fending off bullies, hunting a mysterious dog, or dealing with an evil witch, there is never a dull moment for Charlie. One part mystery and two parts horror, Cullen Bunn has created a suspenseful novel that keeps the reader turning pages from start to finish. Highly recommended to anyone! This Totally Bites!

    Emma-Rose Paley is dark-haired, navy-eyed, pale-skinned and just saw her great-aunt turn into a bat. Now, on top of the upcoming school Halloween Dance which her friend Gabby has pushed her to help plan , and her parents working hard on a major gala for the museum, Emma-Rose wonders if she could be a vampire too.

    Emma-Rose faces realistic kid-sized problems, some of which are even scarier than possibly being a vampire. While this book does have the potential to be a little too scary for sensitive kids my daughter insisted on sleeping with a bulb of garlic on her table after we read the scene where Aunt Margo turns into a bat it doesn't touch on any truly uncomfortable situations for kids or parents. For kids who are trying to edge in on their parents' love of urban fantasy or paranormal romance, or who just love Buffy reruns, this is book, part of the Poison Apple series, is perfect.

    The desperate drama teacher, Mr. Monster and Me is the first book in a series about Gabby and Dwight, which, while it will appeal to younger children mine kidnapped them for almost a year are clearly aimed at struggling readers. The reading level is 1. Marsh does a nice job of making it easy for readers to keep track of the limited number of characters by introducing them on the first page with clear visuals of each provided by the illustrator.

    I wish this had either been explored further or tied up. That said, Monster and Me may not be the perfect choice for reluctant readers who CAN read but choose not to read school-assigned texts. A lot of these kids may already be reading much more complex graphic stories with complicated sequencing and vocabulary outside of school. But for the upper elementary reader who is reading well below grade level, this is an excellent choice. Seuss, and hopes that some day a young child will be reading his book at the local library.

    I believe Beaulieu will have his wish come true many times over. Some of the rhymes will have kids giggling madly; others will be enjoyed by certain kinds of adults, making it a good choice for parents and children to read together. The illustrations complement the rhymes beautifully. Len Peralta does a fantastic job of adding the visuals to the rhymes, and children should be able to get the meaning of the rhymes without knowing all the words. However the book might be a good starting point to have children look up the words, which include a number of scientific terms. In many ways some enterprising teacher might even use the book as a starting off point to get kids interested in using the dictionary or some science topics.

    Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children is highly recommended for public libraries and school libraries. Cody Mack is used to getting into trouble. First, this meeting is lasting much longer than most. The man, Dr. Farley, runs a special school for naughty kids. His parents quite readily sign the forms, and Cody leaves with Dr. Farley that afternoon. The teachers are all monsters: vampires, werewolves, and mummies. On his first day at Splurch Academy, Cody is thrown into the dungeon, where he is surrounded by rats. He soon learns of Dr. Farley will be famous! Unfortunately, Farley has met his match with Cody!

    Told in short chapters broken up by comic panels, this book would be the perfect addition to any library. The short chapters keep the attention of young readers and aid in the pacing of the book. The comic illustations are quite humorous, really adding detail to the story. In the second book in the Splurch Academy series, Cody's nemesis, Dr. Farley, has been banished from the school. However, that doesn't stop odd events taking place at Splurch Academy. Horrible bugs are crawling the halls of the Academy.

    Farley is no longer around, so who is behind these horrible creatures? At a school full of monsters as teachers, Cody doesn't know who he should trust. His parents don't believe him, so he must once again try hard to survive his "term" at Splurch Academy! As the second book in the series, the reader learns more about the mysterious Dr.

    Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R. While technically aimed at the young adult age group, most of these short stories are quite tame and could be read by middle-graders. Some of my personal favorites include Jennifer Allison's The Perfects. In this tale, Hannah and her family have recently moved, and it isn't long before she's asked by a neighbor to babysit.

    She's seen the two children and a baby playing outside. However, when she shows up to babysit, she finds there is no baby, and the children are obsessed with watching gory television shows about surgeries. When she hears a baby crying, she discovers, too late, what the family was having for dinner.

    Heather Brewer's Shadow Children deals with the ever-popular and familiar fear of the dark. Dax is convinced that his younger brother, Jon, is exaggerating when he begs to sleep with a light on, insisting that the shadows will get him in the dark. Dax doesn't believe Jon until he sees Jon being pulled into the closet by the shadows. Fear is highly recommended attention to any library collection. Reluctant readers may gravitate toward R. Nocturne by L. Wizards of the Coast, Availability: New and used. Flannery Lane is a 15 year old girl who possesses the power of great magic, not that her over-protective Uncle Anatole will allow her to use it, though he is a powerful wizard himself!

    That is, until her uncle is suddenly incapacitated by a curse. Now Flan finds that she is the only one who can perform the magic necessary to ward off the vampire suspected of break-ins and the disappearances of young girls in Wicker Street. After all, what else could be responsible, given that a gorgeous new-to-town vampire hunter has implored her to create a powerful talisman to guard against the undead? Flan must hope that she can defeat the vampire before she becomes its next victim.

    Limited only by a few sentence fragments and slight predictability, Nocturne is a highly engrossing, satisfying, and quick read. Harkrader does an excellent job of giving the fantasy world of the novel life and depth and presents us with characters that fit well in that world, but that we, as readers, can fully identify with. Particularly satisfying is the strong female protagonist who is not afraid to speak out against the stereotype of the clumsy, faint-hearted heroine. Recommended for readers aged and for public library YA horror collections. Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger , illustrated by Andre Brecha.

    Razorbill, Available: New. When Stanley, unaware that Zombiekins has awakened, brings it to school, chaos ensues as it escapes and starts infecting the students. Stanley and his best friend Miranda race sort of to survive the onslaught and transform the zombies back into students. Zombiekins looks like the kind of book fans of the Captain Underpants books would love. Stanley is regularly victimized by the school bully, with even his best friend totally indifferent to his situation. Stanley is also shown as clueless and slow, especially compared to Miranda.

    Even his attempt at heroism is a failed joke. Upper elementary kids might go for the overall cutesy-creepy feel of the story, which is effectively reinforced by the illustrations, but the story comes across as very mean-spirited, and upper elementary kids get enough of that from their peers. Zombie loving adults, though, will find a lot to enjoy. Adult zombie lovers, though, may want to check this out! Contains: violence, bullying, destruction of property. Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon.

    Dial, Ursula Vernon has a winning recipe with her Dragonbreath series. Fast-paced, fantastical adventures combined with situations the average kid can relate to, a comic book style, and a dose of humor are a perfect match to beginning independent readers, reluctant readers, and five year old boys. Big Eddy, the komodo dragon who terrorizes the school, singles Danny out at lunch, and his teacher, Mr.

    In the first book, Dragonbreath , Danny flunks his assignment on the ocean, but his teacher gives him a second chance- one more night to get it right. Of the three volumes, this is my favorite. Volume two, Attack of the Ninja Frogs , introduces Suki, a Japanese exchange student who is constantly getting ambushed by ninja frogs. Danny, a huge fan of ninja movies, takes her on the bus to visit his grandfather in mythological Japan, where they discover that Suki is the reincarnated queen of the ninjas. Chaos, involving ninjas, samurai, and a volcano, ensues. In volume three, Curse of the Were-wiener , I cheered the return of the vicious potato salad.

    All the students except Danny, who brought his lunch, start growing hair between their scales and acting strange I was a little lost on this one. Since when are hot dogs hairy? Unfortunately, in this case, Danny does not have a mythological relative he can go to for help. Wendell, bitten by a were-wiener, clearly needs help, fast. The hunt for a solution includes risky searches of the school kitchen, a nighttime adventure in the sewers, rats, and a battle with the alpha-wurst.

    Of the three books, Curse of the Were-wiener is the scariest and freakiest- rats in the school cafeteria are much more of a possibility than ninja frogs from mythological Japan. However, Vernon approaches the story with creativity and humor and uses color effectively to communicate the menace of the were-wieners, with their red eyes. Readers of the first two books expecting more of the same should probably know that Curse of the Were-weiner has a slightly darker flavor.

    After all, once you get past the covers and the sensationalistic name, this is, in fact, a reference book, one with the power to fascinate just about anyone, complete with a table of contents, detailed index, and compelling color illustrations. Facts about food, art, and science, world records, the supernatural, and weird weather abound in this book. As tempting as Enter If You Dare! Anyone who doubts the intelligence or reading ability of those who read the book, though, had better think twice. Designed to draw kids in and respectful of their ability to soak up information, Enter if You Dare is a great tool and a fun book that all kinds of kids will enjoy.

    Contains: mentions of decapitation, cannibalism, and the supernatural, and disturbing images. Aldwyns Academy by Nathan Meyer. Aldwyns Academy is a school of magic, an academy that every young aspiring wizard wishes to go to. Well, all of them except for Dorian. He wants to be a great warrior like his father, but his mother, a powerful sorceress in service to the king, wants him to follow in her footsteps and has pulled a lot of strings to make sure that happens.

    The only one who seems to have any faith in him is Caleb, an unlikely half-orc wizard in training who has no other friends. Together, these mismatched heroes will discover why dire wolves, bugbears and ghosts are invading the school grounds and threatening the academy. Aldwyns Academy takes off running and continues the high-adventure marathon from the first page to the last.

    Plot Overview

    The author also does a fine job of presenting a moral lesson in the form of Caleb, the half-orc child. Children who love fantasy stories are sure to like this one. Reviewed by: Bret Jordan. Zombies falls into this trap. The book presents images of video games such as Left for Dead and Dead Rising, and shows the covers of George Romero movies, which are rated R.

    In short, images are shown of products that are not appropriate for kids, and given the reading level, it could easily end up in very young hands. While Xtreme Monsters: Zombies has plenty of colorful and gross imagery that kids might enjoy, librarians will want to be aware of its content, and elementary school media specialists might want to pass on this one. Penguin Group, ISBN Meet Olive, an 11 year old girl new to the neighborhood whose family has just moved into a mansion with quite a past.

    When Olive dons them, she learns there is far more to the strange, dark paintings that seem permanently affixed to the walls than she thought — she can actually step inside and enter the paintings. In one painting, Olive meets Morton, who, along with three guardian cats, helps her discover the true nature of the sinister Aldous McMartin and his granddaughter Annabelle.

    Olive inadvertently releases Annabelle from her painting, and now Annabelle is intent on bringing Mr. McMartin back to life so he can reclaim his mansion at the expense of Olive and her family. Beautifully detailed illustrations are interspersed throughout the story, adding to the highly descriptive narrative. Reviewed by Kelly Fann. Penguin Young Readers Group, Benjamin Franklinstein Lives by Matthew McElligott and Larry Taxbury intertwines history and science to create a very light-hearted tale about Benjamin Franklin reappearing in the 21st century and his subsequent friendship with his neighbor, Victor Godwin.

    Ben believes his Custodian has woken him to do the work of the Modern Order of the Prometheus, but there is no Custodian in sight, only Victor, a young scientist in the making. Lively dialogue, humorous situations, and fantastic illustrations create an entertaining read in Benjamin Franklinstein Lives. A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! Each page gives one of the rules and the page then folds out to show a devious little boy in process of breaking the rules, to the dismay of the visiting vampire. All is well at the end as both child and vampire appear in a surprise popup, having a good old time!

    The art is clever and the mischievous little boy tormenting the vampire by breaking every rule is sure to get giggles out of children as they appreciate the sight gags. After building a smaller boat, he rows around the island but nearly perishes when swept away by a powerful current. Reaching shore, he hears his parrot calling his name and is thankful for being saved once again.

    He spends several years in peace. Terrified, he arms himself and remains on the lookout for cannibals. He also builds an underground cellar in which to herd his goats at night and devises a way to cook underground. One evening he hears gunshots, and the next day he is able to see a ship wrecked on his coast. It is empty when he arrives on the scene to investigate. Crusoe once again thanks Providence for having been saved. Soon afterward, Crusoe discovers that the shore has been strewn with human carnage, apparently the remains of a cannibal feast.

    The Winter Family

    He is alarmed and continues to be vigilant. Later Crusoe catches sight of thirty cannibals heading for shore with their victims. One of the victims is killed. Crusoe protects him, killing one of the pursuers and injuring the other, whom the victim finally kills. Well-armed, Crusoe defeats most of the cannibals onshore. The victim vows total submission to Crusoe in gratitude for his liberation. Crusoe names him Friday, to commemorate the day on which his life was saved, and takes him as his servant. Finding Friday cheerful and intelligent, Crusoe teaches him some English words and some elementary Christian concepts.

    Friday, in turn, explains that the cannibals are divided into distinct nations and that they only eat their enemies. Friday also informs Crusoe that the cannibals saved the men from the shipwreck Crusoe witnessed earlier, and that those men, Spaniards, are living nearby. Friday expresses a longing to return to his people, and Crusoe is upset at the prospect of losing Friday. Crusoe then entertains the idea of making contact with the Spaniards, and Friday admits that he would rather die than lose Crusoe. Before they have a chance to leave, they are surprised by the arrival of twenty-one cannibals in canoes.

    The cannibals are holding three victims, one of whom is in European dress. Friday and Crusoe kill most of the cannibals and release the European, a Spaniard.