Red and Lulu

The best way to start the New Year is in the company of great books. Readers of all ages know that — and so does Newsbee. He’s bursting with pride to share reviews with Missourian readers this month. Here’s hoping the following reviews will inspire other students to jump on the Book Buzz bandwagon. Page On!

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“Red and Lulu,” By Matt Tavares

Reviewed by Mrs. Schwartz’s first-grade class, Immanuel Lutheran School.

“This story is about two cardinals named Red and Lulu. Their tree was taken away. Red tried to find Lulu. The tree was moved to New York, and it became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Red heard the people singing; he followed the singing and found Lulu.

“We liked this book because the birds found their favorite spot at the end. We recommend this book to people who like books about cardinals and Christmas. Anyone who likes to read would like this book.”

Reviewed by Abby Weidmayer, third grade, Immanuel Lutheran School.

“This book was about two cardinals, Red and Lulu. They lived in an evergreen tree in the country. But in winter, a big truck came and chopped down the tree with Lulu still in one of its branches. Red saw the truck on the highway and tried to keep up with it.

“The truck was going way too fast for Red, so he flew around the city when he heard voices. He looked around and saw the tree. It was a big Christmas tree. Red flew around and saw Lulu. They listened to their favorite song. When winter was over, people came and took the tree. The cardinals decided to stay in the city.

“I really like this book. I would recommend it to fantasy book lovers and readers who like a good story. I also like the pictures.”

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“Big Machines, the Story of Virginia Lee Burton,” by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Reviewed by Jack Stroup, fourth grade, Crosspoint Christian School

“In the book, ‘Big Machines,’ Jinnee draws with her magical wand for her kids, Michael and Aris. The characters in the book are machines, Choo Choo, Mary Anne the steam shovel, Katy the snowplow.

“This is a picture book and biography. Jinnee is really Virginia Lee Burton. I think this is a good book because it’s about an author honoring another author. This is a fun story about kids and machines, while telling a story about a real family.”

Reviewed by Ava Cobb, fourth grade, Crosspoint Christian School.

“Virginia Lee Burton (Jinnee) is creative. She draws big machines for her children, Michael and Aris, and tells them stories. Each machine has a big job to do in the town of Folly Cove. “

“I recomnend this book to little boys who like big machines, but her stories are not just for boys. She tells one about a little pink house. The book also includes fun facts and photos about the main character, real author Virginia Lee Burton. My favorite part is when Jinnee draws Maybelle because I would love to ride a cable car someday.”

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“The Wonderling,” By Mira Bartók

Reviewed by Newsbee

Adventures abound for the wonderling — the unlikely hero of “The Wonderling: Songcatcher,” by Mira Bartók. This fantasy series is long on creativity, featuring a vulnerable creature that “looked like a young fox but stood upright like a child.”

The wonderling is an orphan among other “groundlings” enslaved by sinister Miss Carbunkle at her Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. To Carbunkle and her henchman, the wonderling is simply “Number 13.”

For those incarcerated at Carbunkle’s, every day is cruel treatment and meager rations that leave the inhabitants hopeless. Carbunkle detests music and stresses the “Golden Rule of Silence.” Her pet is a churlish cane that possesses ancient magic.

The wonderling longs to find his parents. When a friendship develops between him and a brave bird, a plan to escape materializes, and they act, putting their lives in danger.

There’s much to relish about “The Wonderling,” a rousing, Dickensian tale peppered with steampunk. Spot illustrations by Bartók add to the book’s appeal.