The More the Merrier by David Martin

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Bear starts a dance party that lets all the animals show off their dance moves and even if you don’t move like your friends it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same beat! Fun story with simple pictures and light rhyming, a great read aloud on a rainy day to get your little one to dance like a bear, wiggle like a snake, or stomp like a moose.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E MARTIN)

Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Love Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)


The book starts with Edgar Smith dying of old age in prison. Then it backtracks to 1957 when he murders a young girl and is convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair.

He starts appealing to the courts, successfully delaying his execution, while gaining the attention of the conservative TV host of Firing Line, William F. Buckley. Buckley is convinced that he is innocent and helps Smith obtain a book editor to publish his account of what Smith says really happened.

The book bogs down in the middle, with endless correspondence with Buckley, court dates, and an unlikely romantic relationship with the book editor.

Ultimately he gets out and Buckley celebrates with him in NYC, but then things go downhill for Smith again, culminating with a kidnapping and attempted murder.

I did not like this book – it dragged, and since the author reveals the conclusion at the start of the book it did not build any momentum. I was just happy to be done with it. I do not recommend it.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Animal Crossing: Deserted Island Diary by Kokonasu Rumba

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

You won’t need to have played Animal Crossing New Horizons to enjoy Deserted Island Diary. These quick, quirky stories perfectly encapsulate the hijinks of playing games with friends and encountering goofy characters.

As an Animal Crossing fan, most of the humor in this book lands. The art is pretty adorable too. If you like cute, quick, funny stories, Deserted Island Diary is a good one to pick up.

Located in Children’s Manga (J MANGA ANIMAL #1)


What’s in Your Pockets? by Heather Montgomery

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

What’s in your Pocket is a collection of snap shots of different scientists when they were just children collecting things that interested them and reminds us that what children collect can grow into a life long love of science and change how we think about peanuts, caterpillars, bones, snails, or even life above the tree tops. I think everyone needs this reminder that curious kids lead to amazing discoveries and we all need to empty our pockets before we do laundry!

Located in Children’s Nonfiction (J 508.092 MON)

Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Becca would like to be very good at something, but she just can’t seem to find the thing for her. Then a piglet enters her life, and she is sure that saving this little piglet will be the thing for her! The problem is, the pig, whom she names Saucy, is just not cut out to be a house pet. How can she be good at something she might have to give up?

Fans of Mercy Watson who are looking for a longer tale would enjoy this one very much. Saucy gets into all kinds of mischief while still being beloved by the family. I also liked how Becca is trying to understand her place in her family, her school, and life in general. A delightful story.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC KADOHATA)

Beyond the Clouds by Nicke

Reviewed by Jess H (Library Staff)

Theo dreams of going on adventures like the ones from his favorite books, but that dream seems distant and unattainable. Until he finds Mia, an angel girl who’s lost a wing and her memories. Together, they’ll find a way to make Mia fly again and return her home.

Beyond the Clouds is a fantastical tale filled to the brim with beautiful artwork and a touching story of friendship. The world building is the best part about this story. Nicke does an excellent job of introducing characters, mysteries, and plot that propels the story forward at an engaging, quick pace.

This is a series I’d recommend to anyone.

Located in Teen Manga (TEEN MANGA NICKE)

In a Jar by Deborah Marcero

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

Most people can collect memories with cameras and reminders in jars like stones from a hike or a photo of a sunset but Lewellyn has a special way of collecting memories in jars and shares them with his friend Evelyn. Find out what Llewellyn and Evelyn collect and what memories they share both near and far.

Located in Children’s Picture Books (E MARCERO)

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan

Reviewed by Andrea Bisordi (Library Staff)

Ana Dakkar thinks that she’s about to endure the equivalent of finals at her small private school named Harding-Pencroft, but things don’t turn out the way she or anyone else expects them to. Now she must take charge of the expedition and lean into her heritage in ways she doesn’t expect. A solid cohort of friends and enemies draws you into this nautical adventure.

I have enjoyed the pacing of Rick Riordan’s other novels, and while this one is slightly more sedate, the new discoveries and plot twists kept me engaged. I am also a big fan of his humor – I mean, everybody puts their enemies in pink ducky water wings, right? If you like adventure, fun characters, and dolphins named Socrates, this is the book for you.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC RIORDAN)

Mina by Matthew Forsythe

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

It has been a while since I’ve discovered a picture book so hilarious and heartwarming that I am compelled to read it aloud, unsolicited, to all of my friends, family, and co-workers. Well, I’ve been carrying Mina around for the past week, reading it out loud to everyone, and laughing every single time.

Mina tells the story of the titular bookish mouse who is extremely content with her cozy life until her father brings home a surprise that changes everything. Despite the simplified shapes of the characters, Matthew Forsythe is a master at conveying thoughts and feelings in each facial expression.

As a fan of his previous picture book, Pokko and the Drum, I had an idea of the lush, earthy art style and zany story I was probably getting into, but I did not know that the pacing would be so perfect, the page-turns so dramatic, and the characters quite so brave and loveable.

I brought my copy back today for you to check out but, now that I think of it, I haven’t had a chance to read it to the mailman yet…

Available through the Bridges Library System

Madly Marvelous: The Costumes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel by Donna Zakowska

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

I checked out this oversized book thinking I would flip through the pictures and take in the details of the gorgeous clothes from Amazon’s brilliant comedy, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. However, to my surprise, I ended up reading every single riveting word of it.

I found it fascinating to see Donna Zakowska’s process and point of view for creating each look. It opened my eyes to the nuanced story she’s telling with color throughout the series, the external representation of each character’s mental landscape, and the impressive attention to detail paid to countless extras.

The concise text is balanced nicely with glossy images of initial sketches, fabric swatches, cast fittings, and final shots of the clothing onscreen. If you’ve enjoyed watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, this is a must-read. (Oh, but make sure you’ve watched through the end of season 3 first as there are many spoilers throughout.)

Available through the Bridges Library System

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