Summer Booknotes from Our Staff: Children’s Books

Noah Barleywater Runs Away
by John Boyne
illus. by Oliver Jeffers (David Fickling)

Sometimes it’s necessary to run away from home in order to experience adventure and to avoid dealing with some unpleasantness. So, eight-year-old Noah Barleywater takes off for that great beyond without even having eaten breakfast. John Boyne’s previous book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, is an astounding story about a friendship across the fence of a concentration camp, and while Noah Barleywater Runs Away reads like a light-hearted, whimsical fable about talking animals and magical trees, it is a story that imparts the truth: that sometimes things are more than what they seem. –Leighanne

Earth to Clunk
by Pam Smallcomb
illus. by Joe Berger (Dial)

A boy is assigned a pen pal at school, only this pen pal is an alien named Clunk from the planet Quazar. The boy doesn’t want a pen pal so he sends Clunk pretty much everything he hates: smelly socks, spoiled food, even his bossy big sister. Clunk sends back odd things as well, and soon an unexpected friendship is formed. What will happen when Clunk comes to visit for a sleepover? Find out in this fantastically fun tale, which shows how sometimes the greatest things come in strange packages. –David

Wow! Ocean!
by Robert Neubecker (Hyperion)

Robert Neubecker continues his delightful Wow! series, following Wow! City!, and Wow! School!, with Wow! Ocean! No need to don your diving gear to learn about sea life, just follow the adventures of Izzy and her family as they travel from mountain to sea. Playful illustrations guide us through tide pools, deep sea dives, and sunken treasure. Cleverly embedded within the drawings are the names of shells, fishes, dolphins, and much more. Both adults and children will be enchanted by Neubecker’s artful presentation, and a little learning might just sneak in. –Seth

Booknotes, the newsletter of The Elliott Bay Book Company, is written entirely by bookstore staff. It represents a sampling of recently published books that we have enjoyed reading. We appreciate every opportunity to assist in finding books to meet your interests.