Books for children - Jan. 27


"The Amazing Potato" by Milton Meltzer, HarperCollins, black and white photos and illustrations, 117 pages

Read aloud: age 8, 9 and older

Read yourself: age 9, 10 and older

Practically everybody eats potatoes, but that wasn't always true. While the Inca and their predecessors enjoyed the benefits of the potato for thousands of years, the rest of the world knew nothing of this invaluable food source until 1530, when a scouting party of Spaniards came across Inca homes that were well-stocked with the odd-looking vegetable.

From high in the Andes Mountains, readers can follow the lowly spud on its journey to stardom.


Library: Slater Library, 26 Main St., Jewett City

Library Director: Meg Valentine

Children's Librarian: Ann Grzelak

Choices this week: "Mr. Lincoln's Way" by Patricia Polacco; "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda Williams; "The Day the Babies Crawled Away" by Peggy Rathmann


"Gingersnap" by Patricia Reilly Giff, Wendy Lamb Books, 2013, 147 pages, $15.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 8 and older

Read yourself: age 9 to 12

World War II has finally brought Jayna (nicknamed Gingersnap) and her older brother Rob back together as their small family of two, but it is the war that ultimately takes Rob away from Jayna when his training ends and he is called for active duty. Before he leaves, Rob tells Jayna about a small recipe book he found that might help answer some of Jayna's questions about what their mom and dad were like. Unfortunately most of the book is in French except for an inscription in English noting an address in Brooklyn, a bakery, and something about a grandmother.

When Rob goes missing in action, Jayna is devastated. She can't bear to lose Rob who is the only family she has. So Jayna sets off to Brooklyn to find what might be a grandmother she didn't know existed. Guided by a friendly ghostly girl, what Jayna discovers is far from what she had imagined.

"The Tooth Mouse" by Susan Hood, illustrated by Janice Nadeau, Kids can Press, 2012, 32 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 and older

Read yourself: age 7 and 8

A small mouse named Sophie learns that the old Tooth Mouse is retiring and plans to hold a contest to name her successor. The successor will be the mouse who successfully completes three difficult and sometimes dangerous tasks, which will prove that the new Tooth Mouse is brave, honest and wise.

Many mice gather to compete, including little Sophie. And while many think Sophie is far too little to participate and certainly too small to succeed, Sophie's determination and wisdom surprise everyone.

Charming from start to finish, this story about losing baby teeth is loads of fun.


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