Reviews for month


Cheyenne
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Rice, Earle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
see review for Comanche in We Were Here First: The Native Americans series. Grades 3-7 Lexile 1090
Comanche
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Roberts, Russell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
Part of the We Were Here First: the Native Americans series, these are beautifully laid out books. The combination of art and photos is striking and powerfully done. The age appropriate text presents perspectives balanced in perspective, but factual. Each book in the series has a different author, so each book in the series had a slightly different focus, but well written. Each book also has excellent source notes, 10 fascinating facts, a further reading list including additional reads and works consulted, and internet sites specific to the tribe/group in each book. This would be an excellent addition to a library. Grades 3-8
Cherokee
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Roberts, Russell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
See review under Comanche, one of the other titles in this series, We Were Here First: The Native Americans.
Lenape
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Democker, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
Part of the We Were Here First: the Native Americans series, these are beautifully laid out books. The combination of art and photos is striking and powerfully done. The age appropriate text presents perspectives balanced in perspective more skillfully in some of the titles than in others. Each book in the series has a different author, so each book in the series had a slightly different focus, but well written. Each book also has excellent source notes, 10 fascinating facts, a further reading list including additional reads and works consulted, and internet sites specific to the tribe/group in each book. from SLJ, "Here are detailed books on various Native American tribes and their traditions, gender roles, pastimes, foods, shelters, and more. The works are full of drama and action, with a colorful and organized design. However, the series has faults. For example, Comanche opens from the perspective of the white Parker family and uses the kidnapping of Cynthia Parker as a narrative thread, failing to provide an alternative to harmful stereotypes. " Grades 3-7 Lexile 1040
Energia
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Clifford, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
This Spanish language book is part of the Exploremos la ciencia series. All in Spanish;the same book and series are available in English. The text is visually appealing with photos, charts and graphs on page with text, nicely laid out with good white space. It also includes a glossary, index, more sources in good library binding. Topics included are: Explores Energy, How We Use It, Different Types And Forms, Conservation And Transformation Of Energy, Renewable Vs. Non-Renewable, And Energy Conservation. Grades 4-8 Lexile 1240 AR 6.1
Biodiversidad
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mooney, Carla
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
Grades 4-8 Lexile 910. -->See review of La Energia, part of the same series Exploremos la ciencia. English title: Biodiversity; Let's Explore Science.
The Case of the Tiger on the Toilet
Excite Kids Press [Excite Kids Press]
JACOBS, BRIAN C.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
See review of Enigma Squad #2 The Case of the Bike in the Birdcage in the same series.
World At War
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Wendel, S E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Book #1 Expedition. Seemingly high interest, but easier science fiction for the upper elementary and middle school with relatively large font and much white space. It appeals to a young, young adult audience with bullies especially boys toward girls.crowd. The glossy, gray covers will not attract the intended audience nor the librarians who serve them.
Others
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Wendel, S E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Book #1 Expedition. Seemingly high interest, but easier science fiction for the upper elementary and middle school with relatively large font and much white space. It appeals to a young, young adult audience with bullies especially boys toward girls.crowd. The glossy, gray covers will not attract the intended audience nor the librarians who serve them.
Clayton Stone, Facing Off
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Jones, Ena
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
13-year-old Clayton Stone appears in his second book as a junior secret agent. This time our energetic lacrosse player is enrolled in an exclusive private school with orders to keep an eye on the President's son. He's been acting different. Maybe he'd confide in a peer? Trying to protect someone while being undercover as the boy's classmate is particularly challenging. Clayton also gets involved in the school's politics which seem to be airing a lot of dirty laundry, has to deal with a girl who knows his true identity, and finds in the end that perhaps his focus should have been placed elsewhere. There's a lot of play-by-play lacrosse here, as well as mystery, suspense, teen social ploys, and possible death and destruction. This is a fun series. The covers, unfortunately, are not very attractive.
Still A Gorilla!
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Norman, Kim
Geran, Chad
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 03, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Willy is a baby gorilla at the zoo, but wouldn't it be cool to be something else? If he acts like another animal will he become that animal? Willy's various attempts all end with a question to the reader about their effectiveness. Children will happily respond. Nope, he's still a gorilla. The writing is crisp as are the delightful large format digital illustrations that pop from the page and are big enough for sharing. The repeating, and semi-rhyming, chant of "still a gorilla" is one that rolls neatly off the tongue and will delight young beginning readers. The ultimate moral of being happy with who you are is one everyone can enjoy. This is a fun book with an eye-catching cover that should find a ready audience.
Crash! The Cat
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mcphail, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 03, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Never was a cat more aptly named than Crash. The two little girls who care for him see Crash get into everything--dolls, cake, paint. His antics in no way diminish their love for him, however. This is a very simple book with easy-to-read text. Soft pastel watercolor and ink illustrations accompany the story of this rambunctious feline. The first few incidents offer the chance for prediction, but the book's ending loses that anticipatory pleasure as a mouse is saved and all ends well. Young children will enjoy this book, but it is rather slight.
Whose Shoes? : A Shoe For Every Job
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Swinburne, Stephen R
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published as a picture book in 2010, this board book features bright photographs depicting all types of shoes with different purposes and wearers. It starts off with a circle of colorfully clogged feet, stating that most people wear shoes, but some don’t (showing a circle of many colors of bare feet and toe nails). The next pages illustrate boots for cold outside and flip-flops for heat. The heart of the book begins with eight different feet with different shoes, asking what each shoe's job might be. Then individual photos with a specific shoe ask, “Whose shoes?” followed on the next page with the full person in view i.e. ballet shoe and a ballerina or muddy boots in hay with a farmer Others include a firefighter, National Guard soldier, soccer player, construction worker, postal worker, chef (may be difficult to discern) and clown. Both males and females and different races are included. This is a pleasant offering/guessing game that can lead to discussing which shoes the child hopes to wear one day.
Drive
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Clement, Nathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This board book version of a 2008 picture book makes it more accessible for the toddler set. A young child quietly describes what her/his father, a truck driver does from his departure before the child awakens to his arrival back home at night. Pleasant, rich illustrations depict each of the actions (driving down the highway, stopping for lunch, refueling) with clean sleek lines, and the sky as it changes through the day is especially beautiful. The tractor first tows a box trailer and later a tank trailer. Each illustration’s perspective is compelling and matches the very simple text of three to five words per double page spread. Children interested in big rigs may especially enjoy this revamped offering.
Super Rawr!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Doodler, Todd H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
The cover’s bright red title on the bold yellow background with a padded superhero dinosaur will attract the young crowd. Though they might not understand career day in a classroom since this seems for the preschool set, the simple sentences should be clear. Super Rawr explains what it takes to be a superhero—be strong, fast, good at hiding, able to fly and jump tall buildings in addition to trying his best. After the presentation his skills are called for on the playground. Each illustration humorously and accurately depicts the short sentence/talent. At the end of the day being a superhero can be exhausting, and he enjoys being himself, a dinosaur. But maybe he’ll be an astronaut with Space Rawr to the rescue. Adults may even enjoy sharing this bright, bold, positive offering.
Let's Go Outside
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Spitzer, Katja
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This very simple little book for little hands has stylized art dominated by autumnal shades, but covers items a girl sees outside throughout the seasons. Each double page spread has one outdoor object or aspect of nature labeled in clear green letters. These include a pool, leaves, insects (including a spider), cherries (hanging like earrings?), the neighbour’s cat (The only indication that this is British.), a swing, gardening, clothes line, pumpkin, and hedgehog. Without saying so it seems to move from the flowers of spring to the snowman of winter. The final page provides one picture, a synopsis of this movement through the seasons. Others in this same format include How Many Legs? and At the Beach by the same author.
How Many Legs?
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Spitzer, Katja
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
The title of this very simple little book for little hands is a bit misleading.. It’s subtitle is A Counting Book, which it is, but nowhere in the text are the title words. The closest this comes is with the number 8 depicting 8 legs though no question accompanies this. The first half of the book shows a number (from 1-10) opposite a depiction of that number of items i.e. 7 opposite 7 turrets (This is a British production.) The second half of the book asks a question i.e. “How many squawking birds?” opposite an unlabeled number of birds. These also progress from 1-10, but will require an adult or older child to check the reader’s answer. The stylized art is again dominated by autumnal shades. Others in this format include At the Beach and Let’s Go Outside by same author.
Rebirth
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Wendel, S E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Book #1 Expedition. Seemingly high interest, but easier science fiction for the upper elementary and middle school with relatively large font and much white space. It appeals to a young, young adult audience with bullies especially boys toward girls.crowd. The glossy, gray covers will not attract the intended audience nor the librarians who serve them.
Too Much Action
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 5 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists. See review of Book 1 The Four Racketeers. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
Payment In Kind
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 4 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists. See review of Book 1 The Four Racketeers. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
Checkmate
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 6 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists. See review of Book 1 The Four Racketeers. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
Bullseye
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 3 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists. See review of Book 1 The Four Racketeers. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
Up The Stakes
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 2 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists. See review of Book 1 The Four Racketeers. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
No A Norman : La Historia De Un Pececito Dorado
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bennett, Kelly
JONES, NOAH Z.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is the Spanish language version of the popular "Not Norman: a goldfish story." A boy wants a "real" pet, not a goldfish. The illustrations reinforce the storyline of Norman wanting a more interesting pet, until he realizes Norman is perfect for him. This is a good purchase for ELL students or beginning Spanish language speakers. 460 lexile.
Timmy Failure : The Book You're Not Supposed To Have
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pastis, Stephan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is another in a series of Timmy Failure stories. More text, than graphic novel, this story is again about the misadventures of Timmy. This series continues to be popular in the school library setting, along with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", and "Big Nate."
Groundhog's Runaway Shadow
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Biedrzycki, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Let's face it--Phil, the groundhog, is in a bit of a rut. His shadow, however, lives a much more interesting life, and that brings Phil quite a bit of joy. However, when his shadow embarrasses him Phil has had enough. The shadow decides this is his chance to live out his own dreams, and packs up and travels the world. Without the shadow Phil's life is dull indeed. He finally breaks out of his routine to try and track his former partner down. It turns out they make a perfect pair. This is a fun little story that purports to tell the groundhog's story from an entirely different point of view. I'm not sure if that's true, but the hilarious digital illustrations are big and bright, bold and expressive. This would lead to a fun extension activity taking a picture of each child in a pose and having them draw their shadow doing something different, then writing about it. That would make a great classroom book and be a good fit for units on light and shadow.
On The Wing
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Elliott, David
Stadtlander, Becca
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Feathered words soar in short poems about different types of birds, each exquisite in its execution. Combine that with Becca Stadtlander's evocative and realistic gouache illustrations and you have a treasure of a book. Readers can dive into the poems, then shake the word droplets off their wings as they soar with the ideas expressed therein. Truly exceptional.
Big Bob, Little Bob
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Howe, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When Big Bob moved into the neighborhood Little Bob hoped to find a friend. However, they have little in common. Big Bob likes sports and trucks. Little Bob likes reading, and dolls, and has been known to wear a dress now and then. When a girl moves into the neighborhood she pokes fun at Little Bob. To his surprise Big Bob sticks up for him. The girl's a bit of a tomboy and they decide that they can be different, but still be friends. Laura Ellen Anderson's quirky illustrations are colorful and filled with fun details. James Howe's text encourages diversity and being both accepting and nurturing of the how people are, without requiring them to change to fit society's mold.
Bears In The Snow
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Parenteau, Shirley
Mckean, Dave
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Our sweet and fluffy pastel bearlets are back again, with Big Brown Bear to provide large supervision. This time it is snowing. Oh the joy! But the sled will only carry two at a time. Sharing is hard, and waiting is harder. Can they ALL fit on the sled? No, to attempt it results in disaster. Fortunately their very large friend comes up with a creative solution, and hot chocolate for all in the end. This is a gentle, loving story that beginning readers will be able to master, and that small children will enjoy for its warmth and fun.
I Love My Robot
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Church, Caroline Jayne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this homage to imagination, in board book format, a toddler plays with his toy robot. Together they have adventures in outer space and on earth. The rhyming text is mostly a vehicle to walk young children through the book's wheel, sparkles, mirror, and flaps. Still, the very young adore this type of interaction with their literature. The book is quite short, making it easy to read it..."AGAIN!"
You Can Do It, Stinky Face!
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Mccourt, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This warm and imaginative story is now out in a board book format. A child expresses worries that are boundless and a little silly. Still, to each troublesome scenario the mother offers supportive encouragement. "You can do it, Stinky Face!" the child ends up with a joyful bedtime and all is well. Soft pastel illustrations show flights of fancy, centered by the warmth of a mother's love. This would be a good lap book, and preschoolers will giggle at "Stinky Face."
Four Racketeers
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Greenwald, Owen B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 04, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Book 1 in The Big Bet series, hi/low for middle school on up begins with high schooler Jason and his crew of con artists being held at gunpoint. The rest of the book is then flashbacks to how they got to this point. Under the guise of a high school club, The Club for Perfect Cleanliness (CPC), the three members meet to plan scams with Kira, the tech brain, driver, and brawn; Z, the fall guy who seems to conveniently know everyone; and the self-professed, full of himself leader Jason. A fourth Addie, is recruited when they see her thieving and stealth in action. She also becomes Jason’s crush. The over-the-top plot has Jason enacting a scheme to rig a high stakes (We’re talking a million dollars.) poker game by impersonating an out-of-town tech CEO, but in the process knock out (literally) his two contacts in NYC and hold them hostage after getting the CEO arrested at the airport. There are lots of holes in the plot, but if someone can stick with the fast pace and ignore these, they might enjoy the ride. Some coarse language. Gr. 7+
Asking Questions About How Hollywood Movies Get Made
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Fields, Jan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Lights! Camera! Action! This title from the Asking Questions About Media series provides a lot of general information about the movie-making process, which should appeal to students toying with the idea of working in the film industry or those who simply want to know more about this popular medium. The author manages to make the text interesting and accessible, which isn't always the case with non-fiction aimed at intermediate readers. The book is divided into five chapters that cover how movies got started, the process of getting a film green-lit, social and political messages that influence movies, challenges and changes faced by the industry, and the various ways filmmakers appeal to their audience. There is also a glossary, index, list of resources for further reading, and some thought-provoking questions that connect the content of the title to the reader's life. All in all, a well-written and interesting title that will be enjoyed by budding actors, directors, and screenwriters.
My Two Homes
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
My Two Dads
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
My Grandparents
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
My Two Moms
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
My Mom And Dad
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
My Military Mom
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Harrington, Claudia
Persico, Zoe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Each title in the My Family series follows the same format - Lenny, the class photographer, spends an afternoon with whichever classmate is Student of the Week. Lenny documents the time he spends with the boy or girl, asking them questions about how they get home, which family member helps out with homework, who takes care of dinner, and who reads them a bedtime story. The students and caregivers are a diverse bunch, and the author manages to weave cultural information into the narrative without being didactic. Common gender norms are also challenged in subtle ways. For example, one girl's grandmother used to be an astronaut and teaches her grandchildren all about the solar system and another boy's father takes care of the laundry because the mother dyed everyone's underwear pink the one time she attempted the chore. The dialogue doesn't always feel authentic and the constant "click!" of Lenny's camera may grate on some readers' nerves, but all in all this series shines a light on diverse families in a refreshing way that will appeal to many young readers.
Digger Y Daisy Van Al Medico
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Young, Judy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Digger needs to go to the doctor, but he's afraid he'll have to have a shot. Daisy reassures him, and goes along for the visit. At each new procedure she goes first, showing him that it's all right and urging him to be brave. Digger ends up being fine, but it's Daisy who needs the shot! "Be brave," Digger urges her, giving her back the advice she's been giving him all day long. All the characters are dogs, drawn in wide, swishy lines, with a lot of humor. This book tells the story entirely in Spanish, and would be good for young Spanish readers.
Digger Et Daisy Vont Au Docteur
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Young, Judy
Sullivan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Digger needs to go to the doctor, but he's afraid he'll have to have a shot. Daisy reassures him, and goes along for the visit. At each new procedure she goes first, showing him that it's all right and urging him to be brave. Digger ends up being fine, but it's Daisy who needs the shot! "Be brave," Digger urges her, giving her back the advice she's been giving him all day long. All the characters are dogs, drawn in wide, swishy lines, with a lot of humor. This book tells the story entirely in French, and would be good for young French readers.
Meet A Baby Cow
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Silverman, Buffy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bright, crisp photographs, many with labels, accompany clear and brief text as the author introduces young readers to baby cows. Readers learn the gestation period of a cow, as well as landmarks in a baby cow's growth. Basic cow anatomy is explained, as is cow behavior. Yes, this is a brief overview, but adorable photos of calves really do augment the informative text. This would be a good book to share with primary students before that field trip to farm or fair.
Fairy Friend
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Fliess, Sue
Keane, Claire
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A light lilting rhyming text tells how to build a fairy home and invite fairies into your yard. Each page contains 2 to 4 lines of the poem, and are accompanied by pastel watercolor and Photoshop illustrations by Claire Keane. Text and illustrations evoke the feel of books from the 1950's or 60's in palette and execution. This is a sweet book, as insubstantial as a fairy's wing.
Queen On Wednesday
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Swiatkowska, Gabi
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is an award-winning illustrator, so her venture into writing should be great, right? Wrong. On Wednesday Thelma is bored so she decides to become a queen. On Thursday she made the announcement. On Friday she had to choose the royal pets...and so on. By Monday she's decided it's all a lot of work so the next Wednesday she finds herself bored again. This is an imaginative book with quirky illustrations with a rather random "Monty Python" feel to them. The illustrations are fun and interesting, but ultimately cannot save this slight book.
Mine!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Heap, Sue
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
MINE! What a lovely word. It denotes possession, of course, and doesn't exactly promote sharing. Amy has several things that are hers, hers, hers. When the twins come to visit, however, they want to play with her things. NO!!! And what about Baby Joey? NO!!! Or maybe "yes" is a better answer. Amy learns to share and all ends well. This is a very simple book with illustrations that are big enough for sharing. It would be perfect for reading to very small acquisitive children who are just learning to open their world to other people.
Noodlehead Nightmares
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Arnold, Tedd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This graphic novel is based on the traditional noodle head stories. But the author and illustrator give it a modern twist in the format and having the "noodleheads" be macaroni noodles, both named "Mac." The book is divided into three chapters and draws on stories from a variety of cultures around the world. Students and teachers who enjoy the Amelia Bedelia books, will want to add this to their reading list and collection.
Archie Snufflekins Oliver Valentine Cupcake Tiberius Cat
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Harnett, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Archie is the neighborhood cat that everyone on the block knows by a different name. He puts up with all the personalities until there is just too much attention. Then he finds Mrs. Murray's house where "life is not very busy at all." He settles in to a more quiet life, but is missed by the rest of the neighbors. There they find Archie (Snufflekins, Oliver....) and discover friendships that now include a lonely old woman. This story is similar to "Six-Dinner Sid" but has a softer message of people coming together to help one another. The neighborhood is diverse with a film diva, Sikh family, fisherman, painter, young and old. This one grows on the reader.
Me First! : Prefixes Lead The Way
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Pulver, Robin
Reed, Lynn Rowe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Pulver has written other books, also illustrated by Lyn Rowe Reed, that play with parts of speech ("Punctuation Takes a Vacation"; "Nouns and Verbs Have a Field Day"). This one introduces small little clay creatures who are prefixes and tell the story along with teacher Mr. Wright (dressed as Abraham Lincoln). Students will recognize common prefixes: un, re, non, pre, etc. But the story and end papers present many less common prefixes making it suitable for upper elementary grades. Illustrations are in mixed media: clay, photograph, paint. Pages are especially glossy and heavy so there might be some problem with regular trade binding.
Metropolis
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Tardif, Benoit
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
All ages
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Metropolis is a beautifully designed picture book of large cities of the world. It has a simple two-page spread graphic format of key sights in each city. (Sydney Australia-Sydney Harbor Bridge, kookaburra, Opera House, city hall, Sydney Tower, surfing at Bondi Beach, Woolloomooloo Bay, etc.) End papers show maps of the world and identifies the cities, including South American cities; African, Asian as well. I am not sure who the reader is, but I could see this being used in upper grades for students to create logos or informational graphic art.
Ballerina Gets Ready
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kent, Allegra
Stock, Catherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
The author, Allegra Kent, is a former ballerina who danced many roles created for her by George Balanchine. She has written several other books, all related to dance. This picture book depicts a day in the life of a prima ballerina, from when she wakes, makes her way to the theater for classes, rests, practices, costume fittings, and finally an evening performance. Illustrations are watercolor with pen and ink. People in the illustrations are lively, busily making their way along the New York streets, restaurants, and practice rooms. There are dancers of color on several of the pages. This would be a companion to "To Dance: A Ballerinas Graphic Novel."
Run For Your Life! : Predators And Prey On The African Savan
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Schaefer, Lola M
Meisel, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This picture book with two-page spread, show how the animals of the savannah are predator and prey. In the muted brown tones of the grassland, each page has one sentence describing the chase- "...leopards spring, and impalas bound;" Jackals pounce and giraffes lope." All animals become prey when they find themselves running into a pride of lions. Then it is time for all to flee. The last page presents more information on how animals use camouflage and speed to pursue or avoid. It lists the speed of each of the animals in the book. Classified as nonfiction: Dewey Decimal 591.7. Could also be used for word choice in writing activities.
Bernese Mountain Dogs
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Morey, Allan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is in a series, titled "Big Dogs" by Capstone, Pebble Plus which includes Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards. It has excellent photos, taking up half of a two-page spread. Includes, table of contents, bold print, glossary, index, read more, internet sites, and critical thinking questions tied to Common Core. Text is intended for beginning readers however it doesn't seem to engage the reader as much as the photo and layout. Other titles in series may be better.
Where Did All The Dinos Go?
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Benton, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Where did all the dinosaurs go? Are they really extinct or have some of them just managed to blend in with modern life? That's the question this book addresses. The book has a paper-over-board cover that won't last nearly as long as the board book pages. That's too bad because the simple rhyming text and the amusing, bright, cartoon illustrations of dinos in disguise, will delight toddlers and beginning readers alike and doubtless lead to the book's early demise. Ah well.
Lawnmageddon : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Tobin, Paul
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Let's face it--video games are not generally known for the depth of their plots. That means you've got quite a task turning one into a graphic novel series. Nevertheless the attempt has now been made. This is the third and final book in this particular trilogy in which two kids--Nate and Patrice--are training the plants to be more human. The Zomboss tries to do the same with the zombies. After an indecisive contest in book #2 it is time for the epic battle, which pretty much takes up this entire book. Who will win, and how? This was originally published by Black Horse Comics. The artwork is excellent, but the plot, while humorous, is very thin. And you need all three books to get the whole story. Sigh.
Wobbly Wheels
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are Latino twins growing up in a loving bilingual household. In this entry in the series their parents decide to teach them how to ride two-wheeler bikes. Luckily there are handy leaf piles nearby for the inevitable crashes. this is a warm and loving family story with very short chapters, plenty of illustrations, and Spanish words spattered throughout. A Spanish/English dictionary at the end lets non bilingual students in on what the words mean. It's nice to have a positive series in which my Latino primary students can see themselves.
Grown Sweet Home : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Tobin, Paul
Chan, Ron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Let's face it--video games are not generally known for the depth of their plots. That means you've got quite a task turning one into a graphic novel series. Nevertheless the attempt has now been made. This is book two of the series in which two kids--Nate and Patrice--are training the plants to be more human. That means teaching them how to order pizza, watch TV, and respond to rewards. Naturally the Zomboss tries to do the same with the zombies, but he doesn't get it quite right and his attempt is a dismal failure. When both groups are brought out into the real world to test their newly-learned skills a contest is held to see which group is more successful. It all ends at 5:00, of course, because that's the end of the workday. But clearly they are preparing for an epic battle in the third book in the series. This was originally published by Black Horse Comics. The artwork is excellent, but the plot, while humorous, is very thin. And you need all three books to get the whole story. Sigh.
Puckster's Christmas Hockey Tournament
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Findley, Kelly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Pucker is the center for an all-animal Canada hockey team. In this series of paperback picture books he and his team have various hockey adventures. In this entry in the series they are off to play a tournament over Christmas. Of course they want to win the gold, but they also want to have their families there for the holiday. A massive snowstorm seems to make that wish an impossibility. However, there's one guy who can get anywhere on Christmas and the fat man in the red coat saves the day. These are simple stories with other small themes mixed in. I'm sure they're more popular north of the border, but here they would not find much in the way of readership.
Hansel And Gretel And The Haunted Hut
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Blevins, Wiley
Cox, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is an entry in the "Scary Stories Retold" series. Some of the basic elements of the original fairy tale are here--a brother and sister, a father, an evil stepmother, a witch. However, in this version of the tale six black crows steal the bread crumbs and use them to lead the children to their potential doom. Once inside the cottage Hansel is trapped in the cage. Gretel manages to release him and the witch ends up in a boiling pot of soup. They soon discover that the witch is actually a ghost and their escape was meaningless. Neither child is seen again. Vivid illustrations accompany the spooky text. The story, however, lacks depth and ends badly. The first makes its use for compare and contrast by teachers difficult. the second makes it hard to recommend for young children.
Homes In Many Cultures
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Adamson, Heather
Chan, Irene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
I love the Pebble Plus books by Capstone. Each page gives an example of a different type of home with map inset to show where it is in the world. Good sized, excellent binding, clear full page photos and single sentence facts on the adjoining page. Book has Table of Contents, captions, glossary, read more, internet sites, and index.
I Feel Fall Weather
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Schuh, Mari
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This nonfiction book is in a series titled "Observing Fall" and has such informational text features as table of contents, bold print, photos, captions, glossary and index. Some of the titles lend themselves to Pre-K curriculum, but are well suited to ELL populations. Lexile is 130, but it has no Reading County nor Accelerated Reading test. Other titles include: "I Eat Apples in Fall," "I Notice Animals in Fall," "I See Leaves in Fall," "I Pick Fall Pumpkins," and "I Watch Fall Harvests."
10 Fascinating Facts About Chewing Gum
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Cohn, Jessica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 07, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a Rookie Star book, but because of a 640 lexile and the packed content, it is intended for a higher reader. "10 Fascinating Facts About Chewing Gum" is loaded with facts and information about chewing gum. Photographs are bright and colorful; includes informational text features Table of Contents, captions, bold print, charts, charts, maps, timeline, glossary and index. This would be a companion to "Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum" by Meghan McCarthy.
Anne Frank : A Life In Hiding
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Mara, Wil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 07, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
I have found that not all the Rookie series is consistently good. This book is and I would add to my library collection. Lexile level is 630, it includes standard text features. Good photographs with accompanying quality text. Graphic timeline is effective. Other books in series include: Pope Francis, Barack Obama, Serena Williams, and Oprah Winfrey.
Dino-Racing
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Wheeler, Lisa
Gott, Barry
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Student love these Dino-sports books! Rhyming text introduces dinosaurs in NASCAR setting-arena racing, drag car, and off-road rallies, . Illustrations are bright and glowing. Lexile at 440 and has a Reading Counts test.
Jp And The Giant Octopus : Feeling Afraid
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Crespo, Ana
Sirotich, Erica
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
J.P. is scared. His father is taking him and his dog through the car wash where they are attacked by a vicious octopus. Well, maybe it wasn't a real octopus, but it was scary. There were weird sounds and strange bumpings. What's a kid to do? J.P. takes out his shark mask and remembers he is brave and all ends well. Bold illustrations accompany this bit of bibliotherapy. It's part of the "My Emotions and Me" series and includes a note for parents and teachers about helping kids face and overcome their fears. The story is not extraordinary, but fear is something most children face, and this is a way to introduce the topic.
Little Blue Truck's Halloween
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Schertle, Alice
Mcelmurry, Jill
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Little Blue Truck is back in a Halloween adventure. Who's that driving? Toad? Along the way they meet a lot of friends, each in a costume. Lift the flap to see who it is (although children will easily guess. Who has the final costume? Why, Little Blue Truck, of course. This is a sweet fun story in a larger board book format, with a paper-over-board cover that won't last. Still, fond memories of Little Blue Truck will.
Grassland Biome
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
One of the six-book Abdo Kids Biomes series, this 24-page large format book focuses on grasslands. Crisp color photographs surge across the gutter and face a few sentences of solid informative text. Young readers learn about both tropical and temperate grasslands. A little information is given about plants and animals on the grasslands. A glossary, index, and website link are included. This is big enough for sharing with a class, and would be a useful addition to biome studies in the primary grades.
The Playground Problem
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Rippin, Sally
Spartels, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this very simple chapter book Jack has a problem. His bestest friend, Billie, is absent from school. He uses the opportunity to befriend the new kid, Alex. It turns out that Alex has some interesting interests. When Billie returns, however, what is Jack to do? Billie is his bestest friend, but Alex is pretty cool, too, and he needs friends in a new place. It turns out the solution isn't hard at all. This is a nice slice-of-life story that addresses a common problem. The paperback book is formatted like any other, but upon opening it you find large print and plenty of black and white illustrations. This is a great choice for reluctant readers, without handing them a "baby" book.
Help! My Brother's A Zombie
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Graves, Annie
Mcelhinney, Glenn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In "The Nightmare Club" kids must tell a scary story at the sleepover. But it has to be a REALLY scary story. In this short chapter book the story-teller is Jack. He tells about his brother's slow descent into zombie-hood. The story is told in a matter-of-fact manner, which makes it even creepier. Black and white illustrations accompany the text. This is a very quick read, but looks more substantial. It would be a great choice for reluctant older readers.
Future Shock
Albert Whitman Teen [Albert Whitman Teen]
Briggs, Elizabeth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Elena Martinez has dreams, but no way to finance them. As a foster kid she's about to age out of the system and then where will she be? When she is approached by the Aether Corporation and told that 24 hours of work will earn her the money she needs to ensure her future she accepts, but not without some doubts. Soon she meets the other teens who are part of this adventure. Most, like her, are expendable. Perhaps that's where she should have started worrying more. They are told they will be sent into the future and must use their skills to bring back knowledge that the company can use. The experiment goes wrong, somehow, and they discover in the future that all but one of them was died soon after returning to their own time. Does it have anything to do with "future shock" a condition that has affected other time-travelers? Now they must do their best to change their present so that each of them can have a future. This is a taut, interesting approach to time-travel with a compelling plot and attractive cover. With sci-fi, teen angst, a little romance, and deadly danger this is sure to be a hit with the YA crowd.
The Animals of Europe
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of Europe and some of the animals that live there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of Europe showing country borders, but only Russia is named. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and some short interesting additional facts. The book selects from a wide variety of animals from wolves to cuckoos to adders. It includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not truly representative of such a broad region. It really would not serve as a good resource for report-writing, despite the extensive text features. Still, it does give young readers a taste, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
P.s. I Like You
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
West, Kasie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 08, 2016
Dame, Anne
Lily is bored during chemistry class and writes down lyrics from her favorite band on the desk. The next day someone has added the next line! They start exchanging notes which eventually become more like letters. Both people start opening up more and more to the other person, but they are both still anonymous - for now. Great read-alike for Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti fans. Savvy readers will quickly figure out who the pen-pal is.
The Animals of Australia
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Nicole K.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the quirky continent of Australia and a few of the animals that reside there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of Australia. showing 6 regions. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and occasional interesting additional facts. The book selects from a wide variety of animals--fish, mammals, birds, insects, etc. It includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but only gives a taste of the region's fauna. However, that seems to be the point.
The Animals of South America
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Leavitt, Amie Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of South America and a few of the many animals that live there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of South America showing the different countries found on the continent. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and a short interesting additional fact. There are representative mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, with an emphasis on the mammals. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not truly representative of such a broad region. Still, it does give young readers a taste, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
The Animals of North America
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Leavitt, Amie Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of North America and a few of the animals found there. The continent is very briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of North America. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and a short interesting additional fact. The few animals introduced include mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and crabs from a variety of biomes. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not truly representative of such a broad region. Still, it does give young readers a taste, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
The Animals of Africa
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of Africa a few of the animals that live there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of Africa showing country borders, but not names. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and a short interesting additional fact. Animals include zebras, camels, lions, hippos, giraffes and other savannah animals as well as some primates, several birds, a few reptiles and insects, and even a fish. It includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not truly representative of such a broad region. Still, it does give young readers a taste of the region's diversity, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
The Animals of Antarctica
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of Antarctica and 16 animals that live there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of Antarctica. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and short interesting additional facts. The book selects from a wide variety of animals--fish, mammals, birds, etc. It includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not expansive. Still, it does give young readers a taste, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
The Animals of Asia
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Nicole K.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Continent of Creatures" series, this well-bound, beautifully formatted 24-page book focuses on a quick overview of the continent of Asia and 17 animals that live there. The continent is briefly introduced, with a map of the world and a larger map of Asia showing 6 regions. This is followed by information about the highlighted animals with crisp color photographs, a paragraph of information, and a short interesting additional fact. The book selects from a wide variety of animals--fish, mammals, birds, insects, etc. It includes a bibliography, glossary, website list, and index. It's beautiful, but not truly representative of such a broad region. Still, it does give young readers a taste, and that seems to be the purpose of the series.
Baby Loves Quarks!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Spiro, Ruth
Chan, Irene
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Part of the Baby Loves Science board books, this title introduces the very littlest child to quarks by starting with the analogy of a baby building a tower out of blocks. The connection is made to nature building things also, but instead of blocks, it’s with quarks depicted as little round colored faces with U or D on their foreheads plus arms. Three of these sticking together make a proton or neutron, and these together make a nucleus. Then add electrons to make an atom, and more of these make a molecule with water and methane labeled. Everything including babies are made from atoms or molecules. Scientists like to smash the nucleus to break it down, which brings it back to the tower analogy as babies do love to smash down their towers. Surprisingly this is a good introduction to the topic that will familiarize a child with scientific terms at a very young age and may even get across the concepts. Bright colorful illustrations and sound effects add to this positive presentation.
Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Spiro, Ruth
Hill, Jen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Another title in the Baby Loves Science series this board book is not as strong as Quarks! by the same duo. A boy or a girl with a pilot’s hat and goggles on greets a bird that has wings. A diagram depicts air moving both atop her curved wing and flatly below the bottom. Then as she flaps her wings she lifts into the air. This is then connected to an airplane flying with engines instead of flapping wings. Outer space is out of bounds for both a bird or airplane as one needs a rocket with a big engine. As the bird in astronaut mode is shooting into outer space in a rocket the words, “Fuel + oxygen + heat = gas” are above the Vroom! This is not as cohesive or clear as Quarks, but may be enjoyed by the youngest crowd and their engineering parents as the colorful illustrations are attractive.
Don't Wake Up The Tiger
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Teckentrup, Britta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Shiny red, green, yellow and blue balloons and a large tiger dominate most pages of this predictable picture book. Stork, Fox, Mouse, Frog and Tortoise try not to wake Tiger, who is in their way, as they are carrying balloons to some unknown destination. Frog uses his balloon to float over Tiger. Fox almost doesn’t make it in the same way due to his weight, but the animals’ blowing works. The reader is asked to assist by petting Tiger’s nose, petting her tummy or singing a lullaby as each animal has difficulties making the crossing. Stork looks successful until its beak pops the balloon and startles Tiger wide awake on a great double page spread. But now that Tiger is awake, it’s time for her surprise birthday party. The shiny balloons invite touching, and the cute tiger and expressions in the digital illustrations will be enjoyed by all. The very young will also take pleasure engaging in the requests for participation.
Origami Toys & Games
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Butler, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 09, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a good book for the more experienced origami folder and is a part of a series which included Origami Animal, Practical Origami, and Origami Vehicles. Table of Contents, good layout of instruction, Glossary, and Further Reading. Good binding and size.
Fiona's Little Lie
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Wells, Rosemary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Fiona volunteers to be the the birthday elf for her friend Felix. She has a note to bring cupcakes the next day, but it flutters away to the ground and out of her brain as well. The next day she fabricates a variety of excuses (alligator thieves) until teacher Miss B gently helps her tell the truth. Fiona's mama comes to the rescue with cupcakes and the fallen note. All is well. Students will enjoy more Rosemary Well's animals and teachers will find it helpful for the fabricators in their classroom.
On Our Way To Oyster Bay : Mother Jones And Her March For Ch
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Kulling, Monica
Sala, Felicita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 09, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
There have been several excellent picture book biographies about Theodore Roosevelt recently (Rappaport's "To Dare Mighty Things," Kerley's "What To Do About Alice," Rosenstalk's "The Camping Trip That Changed America"). This is the story of President Roosevelt and Mother Jones, a child labor activist who marched from Kensington Pennsylvania to Roosevelt's private home in Oyster Bay, New York to demand changes in labor laws. Fictional characters have merged with the real Mother Jones who were turned away from the home on July 7, 1903 without a meeting. Kirkus did not give a good review, but this could be used to show that there are "shadings" of our leaders that are more complex. Children today are surprised to imagine a life of 10 hour work days and no schooling, and hard times.
Drum Of Destiny
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Stevenson, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 09, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Though the cover looks like a Dear America book, this is a stand alone stand out for Revolutionary War historical fiction for the intermediate reader. Twelve-year-old Gabriel was orphaned two years ago after his loving parents who had educated him well fell victim to the pox. A wealthy, but miserly man with 10 children had taken him in, but given him little except a roof over his head. When they disagree over the Lorings' Loyalist beliefs vs. Gabriel’s, who can’t support the King, Gabriel leaves the home and happens to discover a drum in the river, which sets him on a course to join a militia in Boston as a drummer boy. Along the Post Road he has many adventures including experiences with helpful souls; mean and violent Loyalists; and two near drownings. Each episode will enlighten the reader as to the times and Gabriel’s strong character. When he saves the life of a captain tumbling down river while he’s off the path seeking a legendary hidden treasure, Gabriel’s own life is saved by none other than the man he’s to ask for General Nathaniel Greene and General George Washington. Despite the unbelievability of this coincidence, it's refreshingly well written with a very satisfactory ending and serving of purchase. Gr. 4-7
Super Simple Zoo Critter Crafts : Fun And Easy Animal Crafts
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Bosch, Sammy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Craft books are always fun, and animals show up in a lot of lesson plans. Why not put the two together and provide some fun extension art activities? Or you could just make these at home for fun. Maybe you could use them for a crafting birthday party? This is a sturdy 32-page book that has a little information about zoos and contains 7 art projects, from elephant to fox. Each includes a materials list, then step by step instructions with photographs. These are not crafts for the beginner, nor do they use items you would typically find around the house. Some preparation would be needed. Still, for the crafty kid this could be a lot of fun. A great birthday gift would be to give a child the book, along with all the craft supplies needed to create the animals featured here.
Super Scary Ghosts
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Peterson, Megan Cooley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Super Scary Stuff" series, this sturdy 24-page book presents the topic of ghosts. Creepy photographs and illustrations, most with a dark blue tone, dominate the pages . A skull provides additional facts. Words are defined in glossary boxes on the relevant pages. A few classic ghosts are briefly mentioned from Al Capone to the Flying Dutchman. The writing works to add to the tension. A glossary, bibliography, web link and index finish things off. There's just enough "scary" here to intrigue young ghost-hunters without sending them screaming for their mothers. Ghosts are always a popular topic and this book will circulate well.
Alligator's Smile : And Other Poems
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Yolen, Jane
Stemple, Jason
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is a clever book of poetry about alligators. Crisp color photographs fill pages and are accompanied by cleverly-written poems and a fact box that gives additional information about that particular aspect of the alligator's life. You wouldn't think you could do a whole poetry book on alligators, but Yolen is a master of the writing art and this is a wonderful blend of poetry, non-fiction, and cool photographs. GLAD teachers will find it invaluable. Any other teacher will enjoy sharing the poems with a class. Children will just think the whole thing is cool. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and additional facts. This would be a terrific book to add to your poetry section...or your reptile section.
Crushing Coin
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Dahl, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Tales from the Batcave" short chapter book Batman and Robin are facing Two-Face, but two robberies are taking place across town from each other. They split up. This was the evil plan, of course. Two-Face has a villainous friend and the two of them capture the dynamic duo and tie them to a coin. They start it spinning. When it stops one will end up under its massive weight, crushed. How will our heroes get out of this one? This is an easy-to-read chapter book with short chapters and lots of colorful super-hero illustrations. It's the perfect eye-candy for reluctant readers.
Pinkie Pie & Applejack
Spotlight [Spotlight]
De Campi, Alex
Mebberson, Amy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Pinkie Pie and Applejack get caught up in a cookie contest, though only Pinkie Pie intended to enter. Applejack has been mistaken for another contestant whose jealousy drives him to sabotage the contest. Both our heroes team up to help another contestant, Toffee Truffle, but the judges are fickle, and the spurned contestant is nasty. What will happen? Well, it's sure to be wild and comical, with these two around. The story is fun, but slight. The biggest problem with this graphic novel is the illustrations. Pastel ponies fade into the pastel backgrounds and fail to stand out. It can be a little eye-straining. This is odd because another book in the series had clear, crisp artwork. Judge each individually, rather than as a set.
Twilight Sparkle & Shining Armor
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Anderson, Rob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Twilight is off to visit her big brother, Shining Armor. However, he is caught up in the affairs of the kingdom. It seems he has no time for her at all. That leaves her to deal with the rumors of the crystal monster inhabiting his castle. It is making noises, and stealing books. All run in fear, but Twilight sets out to solve the mystery. Her brother soon joins her. They have to pass through many monster traps before the truth is revealed, and it is not what they were expecting. This is actually a fun graphic novel with a solid plot and vivid, colorful, clear artwork. For some reason I've been getting a lot of requests for "My Little Pony" books from my students. This would fit the bill.
Futbol Me Hace Feliz
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Boelts, Maribeth
Castillo, Lauren
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 10, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Sierra loves soccer and plays every Saturday. But the only thing she doesn't like about soccer is that her aunt cannot watch or cheer her on because they live too far away from the play field, outside of their "barrio." Sierra asks, and the coach is able to have one of the game near their home. Illustrations show Sierra taking the bus to a nicer part of town, sharing a bedroom with her aunt, and living in an apartment in a shabbier part of her town. I am not sure if this would be appealing to a wider range of readers. Lexile level is posted at 1050, which is high, so not for beginning readers.
Collecting Data
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Flatt, Lizann
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 10, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is in a series called "Get Graphing" which includes Picture Graphs, Bar Graphs, and Line Graphs. This book could be used as low as Kindergarten and on through 6th grade. It has excellent photos, clipart children of diverse ethnicity, inset charts, and captions. Includes Table of Contents, Glossary, Index, and problems to work (with answers in the back). It's greatest attraction is photos showing diversity in our student population. The front cover is a girl in a al-almira headscarf.
Winter's Coming : A Story Of Seasonal Change
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Thornhill, Jan
Bisaillon, Josee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Winter's coming and Lily, a young snowshoe hare, notes all the changes around her. She has never experienced winter before, and isn't sure what everyone is talking about. Who is winter? Birds are flying south, animals are storing food or preparing to hibernate. Trees are changing. All unknown to Lily she is changing as well. As the story progresses readers can see her coat turning whiter and whiter until she blends in with the first snowfall. The illustrations lean heavily to the brown side of the palette, and while all the other animals are beautifully drawn there are a few pages where the hare seems to lack definition. Two pages of Animal and Environment Facts are included. This is a little wordy for a read-aloud to primary children just learning about the seasons, but might work for a story time if you included lots of audience interaction.
Dinosaurs Don't Have Bedtimes!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knapman, Timothy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A rambunctious little boy or, as he prefers to be known, dinosaur, is testing the boundaries with his mother. Dinnertime? Dinosaurs don't have dinner time. It turns out they don't take bath, brush their teeth, or go to bed either. A patient mother still walks her son through all these necessary routines, as his imagination (shown in the illustrations) reinforces the dinosaur concept. In the end it turns out that sometimes dinosaurs do go to sleep. Sometimes. Nikki Dyson's bright and joyous illustrations drift between reality and dinosaur times with effortless delight. This would be a good bedtime read-aloud to any young dinosaur.
Becoming A Frog
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the large-format Abdo Kids "Changing Animals" series, this 24 page book walks young readers from egg to pollywog to frog. Wide double-page spreads feature crisp photographs that cross the gutter and meet several simple sentences of informative text. Step-by-step readers see, and read, about a frog's life cycle. This is not only excellent for units on frogs but would be useful for life cycle and sequence units as well. The book includes additional facts, a glossary, index, and a website link. This is solid easy nonfiction that would be a popular book for both students and teachers.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Unpleasant Penguins Fro
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
YAY! Ricky Ricotta is back with his mighty robot facing danger from another planet yet again. In this case a belligerent penguin from Pluto is upset about Pluto's loss of planethood and comes to Earth to wreak havoc with his penguin robots and two loopy sidekicks. (Think Moe with Larry and Curly.) Ricky and the robot are on the job, however, but will it be enough? Those robots are kicking the Might Robot's keister! Lucky Lucy and her dinosaurs are there to save the day. This book comes complete with fabulous bright graphic illustrations by Dan Santat and the always popular flip-o-rama pages which wear the book out faster than you can say "LOOK OUT HERE COMES PETULENT PENGUINS!" Buy this BTSB and buy multiple copies.
Origami Animals
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Butler, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Origami books are always popular and this will be no exception. Origami animals of all kinds are here--insects, birds, fish, and more. The author begins with an introduction to the art of origami, and some of the basic folds and symbols used in origami books. Each project begins with a paragraph or two of introduction that goes beyond origami itself and often includes information about the animal in question, or ways in which the origami project can be used when completed. Clear instructions along with detailed black and white illustrations walk paper-folders through each project, step-by-step. A photograph of a finished product is also there. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is not origami for the neophyte or the faint of heart, however. There are some pretty complex designs here, many using more than one sheet of paper. Those who have already mastered the basics, however, will find this a nice way to stretch their talents.
Origami Vehicles
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Butler, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Origami books are always popular and this will be no exception. Origami vehicles of all kinds are here--boats, cars and, most especially planes. The author begins with an introduction to the art of origami, and some of the basic folds and symbols used in origami books. Each project begins with a paragraph or two of introduction that goes beyond origami itself and often includes information about the physics of the project. Clear instructions, along with detailed black and white illustrations walk young paper-folders through each project, step-by-step. A photograph of a finished product is also included. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is not origami for the neophyte or the faint of heart, however. There are some pretty complex designs here, many using more than one sheet of paper. Those who have already mastered the basics, however, will find this a nice way to stretch their talents.
Potato Harvester
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Bell, Samantha
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
How are potatoes harvested? Well, first you have to know that potatoes grow underground. To harvest them you need a harvester pulled by a tractor. Potatoes travel over chains where the soil falls off. Conveyors move the potatoes to a truck. Step-by-step this book shows young readers what a potato harvest looks like. Photographs fill one page while clear and informative text fills the facing page. This would be a good addition to the farming section in your library.
Urgency Emergency! : Baaad Sheep
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Archer, Dosh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no--City Hospital is busy! Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, but what's that coming in by ambulance? Three sick sheep? They have tummy trouble. It probably has to do with them stealing Old MacDonald's soda and chugging it down. Then there was that tractor joyride... What can possibly relieve their gassy stress? The infamous pink medicine does the trick. The soda came in from the top, and the gas exits quite noisily from the bottom. Another medical emergency solved! This is a remarkably silly series with lots of humor and great watercolor and ink illustrations with sneaky little funny details. With just a touch of "naughty" it's sure to intrigue young readers who will want to read the rest of the series.
It's Halloween!
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Sebra, Richard
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
With its bright orange cover featuring a jack-o-lantern this book invites readers in to learn more about the holiday. Crisp photographs accompany bold-fonted text that provides some basic information. Each photograph faces a page of simple text with a sentence or two, and sometimes a thought question. There's a picture glossary and unnecessary index and bibliography. This is really very very basic, but would serve as an introduction to the holiday and it does provide a nice easy-reader nonfiction option.
Time For (Earth) School, Dewey Dew
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Staub, Leslie
Mack, Jeff
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Dewey Dew is an alien off for his first day at human school on Earth. He's worried--hugle glop, hugle glop. His mother reassures him. Still his new shoes pinch his offs and his pants come up over his urdle. And this is a really new experience--everyone looks different to him, and he looks different to them. He dorfled a little at the thought, but still went inside. Will he fit in? A friend makes all the difference in the world...or any world! This is a sweet and funny first-day-of-school book with creative and fun illustrations by Jeff Mack. Pull this out for your kinders next September for a great start to a new school year.
Tarantula Vs. Scorpion
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pallotta, Jerry
Bolster, Rob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Kids love the "who Would Win?" series. In this paperback book our two adversaries are a scorpion and a tarantula. First young readers must learn how they stack up against each other. Anatomy, weapons, relatives, diet and more are all briefly covered with clear illustrations and crisp photographs. Life cycles and odd facts are included. Then the battle is joined. Who will be victorious? This entire series is well-written and very kid-friendly. The battle concept draws in readers that wouldn't normally pick up a regular animal book, and the books are filled with solid information. Get the whole series, but get them prebound.
Ninja! : Attack Of The Clan
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Chung, Arree
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Maxwell is a young ninja looking for action. Mom, however, is busy. So is Dad. Even his little sister seems uninterested. He employs his ninja skills of stealth and meditation, but it seems his efforts are to no avail. Wait...where is his family? NINJA ATTACK! This is a joyful romp that combines the ever popular theme of ninjas in a loving family setting. The delightful graphic-novel style illustrations fill the pages with action and color. This would be a fun book for all our young ninja fans.
Monkey With A Tool Belt And The Maniac Muffins
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Monroe, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Our Maker Space Monkey is back with his tool belt and he'll need it to solve a problem. Clark the elephant has been making enormous pancakes that are very dense, for a party. The kitchen is a mess, but Chico helps out, using his many tools. He then gets to work on his own recipe while Clark starts on the blueberry muffins. An overabundance of baking powder, however, soon leads to disaster. The muffins explode from the oven and go out to ravage the town. What can stop them? Chico quickly gets to work. Maybe those pancakes can have another purpose! He saves the day AND creates a taste sensation. This is another silly story showing ingenuity in action. the quirky illustrations are filled with fun details and suit the text perfectly. This will please fans of the series.
Cool Outdoor Activities : Great Things To Do In The Great Ou
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Time to get outside and play. Let's avoid cabin fever and enjoy the great outdoors! This book gives instructions for 7 outdoor activities from a backyard Twist-It game to making a miniature kite. Each activity includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions, as well as photographs. An index and glossary are included. This might be a fun choice for families seeking outdoor activities or for PTAs looking for field day ideas.
Jane Goodall : Activista Y Experta En Chimpances
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this large format Abdo Kids "Biografias: Personas que han hecho historia" book young readers get a quick peek at the life of animal activist Jane Goodall. Crisp photographs curve over the gutter across double-page spreads and face a sentence or more of informational text. In this series the text is, naturally, in Spanish. The book includes a timeline, glossary, index, and website link. If you want easy nonfiction for your Spanish-language collection this would be a good addition.
Zombies
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Magic, Myth, and Mystery" series, this 32-page book with the compellingly creepy cover has the ever-popular topic of zombies. Granted, the first page points out that zombies aren't real, but the rest of the book gives them full non-fiction treatment (mostly). Zombies are introduced. Diseases that cause zombie-like symptoms are presented. Readers learn about different types of zombies, their attributes, and their diet. Zombie weaknesses are examined and an entire page is devoted to survival tips. There's a history of zombies, and some real-world connections. Standard text features apply. OK, the line gets a little blurry between fiction and non-fiction here, but that's exactly what students looking for "something scary" want in a book. This is sure to fly off the shelves...or stagger, groaning "brains...BRAINS!"
Temple Grandin : Pioneer For Animal Rights And Autism Awaren
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Barghoorn, Linda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Temple Grandin is a fascinating woman, and this 32-page book gives children a quick overview of her life and contributions. Temple was born in 1947, when autism was just barely becoming diagnosed. At the time doctors didn't hold out much hope for children with autism, but Temple's mother refused to limit her daughter, and Temple refused to limit herself. She's faced hardship and prejudice, but her unique way of looking at the world has made her a valuable spokesperson for those with autism, and an advocate for animal rights. This book gives readers some basic information about autism and the autism spectrum. Then Temple's life is briefly presented. The underlying theme is understanding and acceptance. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, index, and writing prompts. It would make a good read-aloud and lead to classroom discussion about how differences can make us strong.
Sleeping Beauty, Magic Master : A Graphic Novel
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Peters, Stephanie True
Lopez, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Want a completely different take on a fairy tale? Try the "Far Out Fairy Tales" series. This graphic novel tackles Sleeping Beauty...or it would be better termed that Sleeping Beauty does all the tackling. This Sleeping Beauty is raised by the good fairy after everyone in the castle is cursed with sleep. She, too, will fall to the curse when she turns 13. However, she has been given the gift of magic, and she's got some major ninja sword skills as well. If she can just locate all the ingredients she can banish the spell and save everyone, including herself. Of course the Bad Fairy does all she can to thwart her. This is a fun, slightly snarky story with bold, high action illustrations and a cover that will attract just about any reader. The book includes a glossary, visual questions, and some compare and contrast with the original story. if the rest of the series is as good you'll want them all.
Hotel Strange : 1 : Wake Up, Spring
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Ferrier, Katherine
Ferrier, Katherine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is an odd, quirky French import, apparently the first in a picture-book sized graphic novel series. The denizens of Hotel Strange are happily snoozing away, knowing that the hotel doesn't open until March 21st. Imagine their surprise when a knock awakens them. The day has arrived, but Spring has not! What has happened? Why is everything snowy? Marietta and Kiki gather up Celestin and Mr. Leclair and set off to find Mr. Spring. Perhaps his brother, Mr. Winter, will know where he is? Along the way they face deadly cartoon danger, and also have some fun before the seasons are put right again. The illustrations are fun, and there's a different sort of humor here. It's very French. The book is visually appealing, but the story may not appeal as much to American children. On the other hand, who knows? The format certainly makes it very accessible.
Torneo De Trabalenguas = The Tongue Twister Tournament
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Kanellos, Nicolas
Vega, Anne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Tongue-twisters are always fun, and this bilingual Spanish/English book features a tongue-twister competition. Each competitor brings their best tongue-twister, but who will win? The text is presented in both Spanish and English and the tongue-twisters vary--some are Spanish ones that include an English translation, and some are the other way around. The idea is clever. However, the text is uninspired, there really isn't a plot here beyond presenting tongue-twisters, and the illustrations are a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes the light comes from one direction, sometimes from another. Sometimes the shadow is unusual, sometimes not. This book is a bit of a hodge-podge, but there isn't much out there with Spanish tongue-twisters so it may be worth adding to your collection for the cultural diversity it offers.
Orphan Trains : Taking The Rails To A New Life
Encounter/capstone Press [Encounter/capstone Press]
Langston-George, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 12, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
An interesting topic—the orphan trains—has been covered in other formats and is here presented at a level accessible to intermediate students. This is decent nonfiction with all of the desired qualities—table of contents, photos with informative captions, a timeline, source notes, and detailed bibliography and index. The first three-quarters of the book includes recounts of individual children who ultimately road the orphan trains after being put in orphanages or the Newsboys Lodging plus several key advocate—the founders of the Children’s Aid Society and New York Foundling Hospital and an agent who accompanied children on the trains. The chapters are short, but would have been better to include the outcome for each child with his/her original chapter rather than doing that at the end of the book. It’s too hard to remember who is whom and thus having to go back and forth between beginning and ending chapters. Another annoyance was the insertion of repeated pieces of text as a stylistic tool especially in some unnatural places. The brown cover fits the times, but will not attract child readers. Both positive and negative experiences are included. Gr.3-6
Suspended Castle : A Philemon Adventure
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Fred
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Philemon is back for another weird and imaginative adventure. He had previously rescued Mr. Bartholomew from his life on A, but now Mr. Bartholomew wants to return to his former existence. Is there another way back? Of course Philemon's grouchy dad has an option, but Philemon ends up getting caught and sent back with Mr. Bartholomew...but not to A. Instead they end up on the dot of the I. In attempting to travel to their destination they are forced into a rowing crew on a whale-galley, captured by a pelican-whaler, and rescue/destroy a flying castle. Just a typical day in the life of Philemon. This is a wacky graphic novel series that requires a complete suspension of disbelief and a wide stretching of the mind into new and completely bizarre directions. Not everyone will like it, but its quirky sense of humor will definitely find a rabid audience.
Body Snatchers : Flies, Wasps, And Other Creepy Crawly Zombi
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Axelrod-Contrada, Joan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Sure, kids love zombies, but are there REAL zombies in the world? Yes, there are. There are flies, wasps, and other critters that literally take over the bodies of other creatures before eventually consuming them, as part of their life cycle. Disgusting? Yes. Fascinating? Of course! This book introduces young readers to twelve parasitoids whose life's work is to zombify other creatures, leading to their host's doom, and their own continuance. Nice graphics, cool fonts, great organization, and fast-paced writing will keep young readers engaged. And is it gross? Of COURSE! This will be passed from student to student, all of whom will find it both disgusting and enthralling.
Animalium
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Broom, Jenny
Scott, Katie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
November 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Enter the Animalium, a museum in very large format book form that will introduce you to the biodiversity of our planet. It begins with Darwin's Tree of Life showing all species of animal life and how they are related. Then each gallery introduces a specific branch of that tree, some of the animals on that branch, and a habitat in which they might commonly be found. Invertebrates, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, and Mammals are all given their own section. What qualities they have in common are explained, and specific examples are illustrated and more closely examined. Beautifully designed and illustrated plates with an Audubon-esque style, accompany the clear and informative text. This is a museum to be wandered through and explored, examined and enjoyed. It's extraordinary in its beauty and solid information. I know most of us are getting rid of our reference sections, but that's where this book belongs for in-library use and enjoyment.
Fire Truck Named Red
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
De Seve, Randall
Staake, Bob
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 13, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
A young boy named Rowan wants the shiny new fire truck that he sees in the store window. Instead – his grandfather, Papa, gives him the fire truck that he had as a boy. It is rusty and needs a lot of fixing up. While working on repairs, Papa shares stories about playing with Red when he was a boy from rescuing a cat, washing elephants, to putting out a fire at the library. Red now has fresh paint, wheels that spin, hose sprays, ladder that goes way up. He’ll never be new but they can be a great team. Wonderful tale for children about the toys of their parents or grandparents. Good discussion starter about another generation’s toys. Reinforced binding. Reviewed in SLJ and starred review in Publishers Weekly.
Barbie Developer : Ruth Handler
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Slater, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 14, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The Toy Trailblazers series combines a biography of a successful inventor of a toy with the history of the toy itself. Ruth, the daughter of Polish immigrants, and her husband Elliot were successful entrepreneurs prior to founding Mattel Creations, a toy manufacturing company. The Handlers had a knack for seeing a need and creating a product with mass appeal. Only baby dolls were available for girls and Ruth wanted dolls for older girls to imagine and dream about their future. Modeled after a German doll, Lilli, Handler, created Barbie and Ken, named after her own children. Author Lee Slater traces Barbie’s metamorphosis from the 1959 movie star inspired origins through today’s 120 career choices. While updates and accessories are highlighted, the book avoids mentioning the controversy over body image and Barbie’s unnatural proportions as well as recent introduction of fuller-figured dolls and a much larger selection of diverse hair, skin and facial characteristics. Lesser known is Ruth’s invention of amore comfortable silicone breast prosthesis after her own cancer surgery. Later sold to a medical products company, they are still available for purchase. Fun facts, historical photographs, timeline, detailed glossary, index.
Decorated Horses
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw
Brett, Jeannie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Horses have been loved for centuries, and have played many important roles in society. For many of these they have been dressed or decorated. This book examines warfare and hunting, performance and competition, and ceremony and celebration providing examples throughout history of horses and their tack. Each example includes a beautifully-illustrated page facing solid text explaining the picture and the role that horses played at the time. This is quite fascinating and beautiful. the inclusion of a bibliography, website list, and index make this a nice source for report-writing. Nevertheless one must ask how useful the book would be in a standard elementary collection. Ah well--it's gorgeous. What more do you need?
How To Live Like A Stone-Age Hunter
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Ganeri, Anita
Epelbaum, Mariano
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
What was life like back in the Stone Age? Cartoon illustrations and clear and often humorous text give readers some basic understanding of the time period, and how to survive then. You can learn how to make a fire, build a shelter from mammoth bones, make cave art, trap a mammoth and more. The writing is breezy but very informative and fun to read. This is solid nonfiction in a kid-friendly format and it includes an index and glossary.
Rain Forest Ecosystems
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ecosystems of the world" series this Core Library book gives a solid overview of rain forest ecosystems in just 48 pages. Crisp photographs, clear text, and interesting fact boxes combine to introduce readers to temperate and tropical rain forests, and the flora and fauna that might be found there. The concerns about rain forest loss are addressed and a clear explanation is given on the importance of a balanced food web. There are opportunities to stop and examine concepts more closely, and some primary sources are presented. A glossary, bibliography, and index are included. This is solid, well-organized nonfiction that merits a place in any library.
Seeing Through Walls : Superman And The Science Of Sight
Dc Super Heroes/capstone Press [Dc Super Heroes/capstone Press]
Biskup, Agnieszka
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Superman is known for his super vision. This Superman Science series uses his abilities as springboards to examine nonfiction abilities--in this case, sight. The book provides information about light, the spectrum, the parts of the human eye, lenses, and more. Sight as it pertains to animals is also examined, then heat vision and x-ray vision are shown in real-world applications. There's even information about new technology to enhance sight. New words are defined on the page on which they appear, but the book also includes a glossary, bibliography, index, and website link. The bright cartoon illustration on the cover will draw in readers who, hopefully, will stick around and learn something.
Wild Piano : A Philemon Adventure
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Fred
Mcneil, Carla Speed
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Reading a Philemon graphic novel is like falling down the rabbit hole. Philemon is always ending up in a mysterious place that is actually part of the spelling on a globe. In this book he's trying to rescue his friend, but ends up on the N, not the A. For the crime of bouncing on the grass he is sent to trial and sentenced to face the wild piano. If he can pay a chord before being trampled by the beastly instrument he will go free. This is a series of misadventures with only the slenderest of threads holding them together. It's like living inside a Monty Python sketch as the levels of the absurd rise around your neck. Its quirky sense of humor may not appeal to everyone, but it does have a certain whimsical quality that keeps readers coming back for another adventure.
You Just Wait : a Poetry Friday Power Book
Pomelo Books [Pomelo Books]
Vardell, Sylvia & Janet Wong
Topform84
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Books like Sharon Creech's "Love That dog" have reawakened an interest in poetry in my intermediate students. This book is just the thing to encourage more poetry in that age group. It takes 12 poems from the Poetry Friday Anthology and uses them as anchors for each PowerPack segment. The book loosely tells a slight story about a Latina girl and members of her family, and her quest to earn a spot on the soccer team. Each PowerPack segment begins and ends with an activity then has an ouside poem, a response poem, and a mentor text poem. Along the way readers are introduced to different types of poetry, and encouraged to produce their own. Indeed, the book is designed to be interactive, and to be written in. That makes its place in a library problematic. Still, when teachers are doing poetry units they would find this a valuable resource, and the end notes are particularly teacher-oriented. Add it to your professional collection and talk it up.
Learning About Rocks
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Schuh, Mari
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is one of the good/great Pebble Plus book. The two-page spread has one or more sentences to accompany excellent examples of rocks and rock formations. Text compliments the excellent photos. It describes the three types of rocks and how they are always changing. Includes table of contents, bold print, photos, glossary, index and more.
Hard As Nails In Ancient Egypt
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Turner, Tracey
Lenman, Jamie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Want a quick and dirty overview of the major characters in ancient Egyptian history? Well, this is a great place to start. Cartoon illustrations and breezy humorous writing do not detract from the solid facts that fill this 64 page paperback book. Readers learn about major pharaohs, Cleopatra, the land of Egypt, the pyramids, and the Nile--all this with a quirky touch that makes you smile. The book includes a glossary, timeline, bibliography, and index, making it a resource for report-writing. This is perfect for students who want the facts, but not clothed in dry decaying linen.
Get Into Minecraft
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kovacs, Vic
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
November 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is the book my students have been asking me for--a solid introduction to Minecraft. Bright graphics and photographs draw readers in as they get a brief overview of the game's history. Then they dive into the game itself. The book explains Survival Mode vs. Creative Mode. It tells you what to expect in each. Tools, crafting, neighbors, mobs are all briefly explained. The guide talks about getting the basics before setting out for further exploration in Survival Mode. This is designed for the novice, and provides solid information. It even gives you step-by-step instructions for building a sword! There's an index, bibliography, glossary and, most important, a website list that will help direct new users as they begin the adventure. Buy the book. Buy many copies. Buy it prebound. Expect the book to be stolen. Buy more copies.
Chicago Bears
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Zappa, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 15, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the Chicago Bears. One of the first teams to play in the NFL, the Bears have a long and interesting history. We learn that the name come from the fact that they played at the baseball Cubs, Wrigley Field, and Bears are connected to Cubs. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches and players, stadium, fans, and game highlights (including one Super Bowl win). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (through 2007), quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
New York Giants
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Zappa, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 15, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the New York Giants. The Giants, named after the baseball Giants have been a team for more than 85 years. They play their games in East Rutherford, New Jersey, just outside of New York City in the same stadium as the New York Jets. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches and players, stadium, fans, and game highlights (including four Super Bowl wins). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (through 2012), quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
Homemade Together Christmas
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 16, 2016
Shirts, Brooke
While admiring a collection of handmade Christmas ornaments, Luca's family decides to have a "homemade Christmas," and everyone will make a gift to share with the family. Younger brother Luca is stumped for ideas, and so approaches each family member for ideas, writing down suggestions in a notebook. As expected, none of these ideas pan out, but the remnants of each attempt come together at the end to create a sweet gift on its own -- a big jar filled with notebook pages full of ideas for fun things the family can enjoy together. Cocca-Leffler's watercolor illustrations depicts the family as a group of sweet-faced, round-headed piggies, gracefully balancing on tiny hoofed feet as they bustle around their household. In a nice barrier-breaking touch, Luca's father sews a quilt as his gift for the family, which they all gather under as they watch the sunrise on the porch on Christmas morning.
Police Cars
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 16, 2016
Kline, Karen
Every angle of a police car is captured in the photos in this simple concept book from the My Community, Vehicles series. Police officers of both genders are represented in the photos as well. Big, bold font and only two sentences per spread make this book easy to share with very young kids. One spread explains that police cars are equipped with cameras and computers, and the accompanying photo shows an officer using the computer in the car. Let’s hope the car is not in motion! A table of contents, two-word illustrated glossary, index, and publisher’s online code will introduce young readers to these concepts too. Other titles in the series and also reviewed at this site include Mail Truck, Garbage Trucks, Fire Trucks, Ambulances, and School Buses. The preschool teacher at my school says this series is perfect for their unit on transportation and vehicles.
Mail Trucks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 16, 2016
Kline, Karen
Every exterior angle and even an interior shot of a mail truck is captured in the photos in this simple concept book from the My Community, Vehicles series. Female mail carriers and people of color are represented in the photos as well. A child is shown peering into a mailbox on the first spread, and the accompanying text explains how “Mara” waits for the mail carried by a mail truck. The book goes on to describe the colors and logos painted on the mail truck and how mail is organized and trucks don’t run on Sundays. Big, bold font and only one or two sentences per spread make this book easy to share with very young kids. A table of contents, three-word illustrated glossary, index, and publisher’s online code will introduce young readers to these concepts too. Other titles in the series and also reviewed at this site include Ambulances, Garbage Trucks, Fire Trucks, Police Cars, and School Buses.
Garbage Trucks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 16, 2016
Kline, Karen
Every angle of a garbage truck is captured in the photos in this simple concept book from the My Community, Vehicles series. A girl takes the garbage out, and a woman drives the truck to pick up the garbage. Big, bold font and only one or two sentences per spread make this book easy to share with very young kids. Readers will see how different trucks load from the front, back, and side, and they will see and how they dump and unload too. A table of contents, three-word illustrated glossary, index, and publisher’s online code will introduce young readers to these concepts too. Other titles in the series and also reviewed at this site include Mail Truck, Ambulances, Fire Trucks, Police Cars, and School Buses.
Fire Trucks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 16, 2016
Kline, Karen
Every exterior angle of a fire truck is captured in the photos in this simple concept book from the My Community, Vehicles series. Big, bold font and only one or two sentences per spread make this book easy to share with very young kids. One spread describes how firmen use ladders and climb up high, and it is accompanied by a dramatic photo of a worker at the top of a fire truck ladder. Another spread contains the glossary term “bucket” and explains how firemen in a bucket put out a fire, and a considerable fire is depicted on the facing photo page along with one masked and one unmasked fireman in an extension bucket. It would have been even better if the author had written more about firemen’s use of masks and a close-up photo had been included, as children need to know not to be afraid of firemen simply because of the mask and its unusual sounds. A table of contents, two-word illustrated glossary, index, and publisher’s online code will introduce young readers to these concepts too. Other titles in the series and also reviewed at this site include Mail Truck, Garbage Trucks, Police Cars, and School Buses.
That's Not Fair! : Getting To Know Your Rights And Freedoms
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Mclaughlin, Danielle S
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
What do you do if things go wrong? In Mayor Moe's city the City Council makes new laws. However, there are unexpected consequences. Each tale from this colorful and diverse city (think cartoon colorful and diverse) illustrates an important right in action. Young readers learn about Freedom of Religion; the Right to Privacy; The Right to Life, Liberty, and Security; Freedom of the Press; the Right to Peacefully Assemble; and the Right to Equal Treatment. The book consists of 6 short stories, the unexpected consequences of the City Council's decisions, and what they had to do to make it right. I have a teacher doing a unit on rights, and this is the perfect book. Read one story right up to the new law, then have students discuss possible ramifications. Read the end of the story to see how things were resolved and what rights were impacted. It would be great for classroom use and would lead to some interesting insights for students.
Gaming
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Terry, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
November 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Kids are always interested in top 10 lists, and they love gaming. Put the two together in a large format paperback book of nearly 100 pages, add lots of fabulous eye-catching graphics and photographs, and you have a book that will be pored over by game enthusiasts. The book is divided into 5 zones, each with multiple top ten lists. The zones include "The Biggest Games", "Genre Toppers", "Characters and Worlds", "Ultimate Platform" and "Beyond the Game" which considers game-based movies, conventions, and television shows. The book is like a visual explosion, packed with information and sure to attract a curious crowd. It won't last long in this format, but on the other hand it will soon be outdated. So about the time it falls apart (or gets stolen) you'll need to replace it anyway.
My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Nuhfer, Heather
Mebberson, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 16, 2016
Kline, Karen
Everypony but Rarity is afflicted by nightmares, and there must be some connection. After a slumber party with even more nightmares, Rarity goes missing. In this graphic novel the ponies are sure they have seen some of this “icky stuff” before, and Twilight decides to send a message to Princess Luna the protector of dreams. When sisters Princess Luna AND Princess Celestia show up, the ponies are really disturbed and anxious to get Rarity back to safety. Princess Luna explains that Rarity has been taken by “evil, dark forces” to the nightmare dreamscape. The ponies are shocked to hear that this could happen. After all, Luna was freed and her curse was broken! Seems the dark forces get a second chance if they can harness enough strength. If the ponies can channel their elements of harmony, though, they will be able to overcome the evil forces and rescue Rarity. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and libraries will want to have volumes 5-8 to satisfy readers with the full story. The rugged cover and reinforced binding will help this popular series withstand the use it will get from fans of the television series. Book "5" is the beginning of this four book series based on the popular television program.
Daniela
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Franco, Paula
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Kianna, Daniella, Gabriela, and Carly are cabin mates in their first summer as Pony Girls at Storm Cliff Stables. The foursome star in their own books but all contain some variant on a friendship difficulty, infraction of a camp rule, and a personal struggle. Dani has traveled from Costa Rica to go to camp with her California cousin, Gabriela, and hopes to be best friends. But they antagonize each other and spend their time being jealous of each other’s skills. When Aunt Jane loses her precious ring, everyone pulls together and Dani’s skill in holding her breath allows her to search underwater and ultimately find the ring. The four books conclude with all loose ends tied up, a lesson learned and a happy camper eagerly anticipating the following year. Large font, double-spaced text and plentiful black and white pencil like drawings scattered through the book, support the intended audience of transitional readers. Horses and girls, friendships and camp are easy sells in the primary grades and while not great literature will spend time off the shelves.
Kianna
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Franco, Paula
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Kianna, Daniella, Gabriela, and Carly are cabin mates in their first summer as Pony Girls at Storm Cliff Stables. The foursome star in their own books but all contain some variant on a friendship difficulty, infraction of a camp rule, and a personal struggle. Kianna eagerly waits her 8th birthday in two days, but feels forgotten when she receives only a postcard as her cabin mates all receive stuffed envelopes and package. When the camp talent show is announced, Kianna misses her harmonica but realizes that she can perform with the hula-hoops. But when her friends seem to be avoiding her and her birthday forgotten, Kianna in tears wants to skip the talent show and go home. The four books conclude with all loose ends tied up, a lesson learned and a happy camper eagerly anticipating the following year. Large font, double-spaced text and plentiful black and white pencil like drawings scattered through the book, support the intended audience of transitional readers. Horses and girls, friendships and camp are easy sells in the primary grades and while not great literature, will spend time off the shelves.
Doom At Grant's Tomb
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Wells, Marcia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
When the NYPD receives a dummy bomb with a flashing time and note saying “Eddie will know what this means,” Eddie Red with his photographic memory and drawing talents are called upon, although with extra security. As usual though, Detective Bovano and his new bodyguard, Paula, want Eddie’s talents without divulging any information. When Detective Bovano shows up as a substitute teacher at school, Eddie enlists computer whiz and best friend Jonah to hack Bovano’s computer and learns that 5 more bombs with the same message have been found at important monuments around the city. With a recent diamond heist and photograph of a retired Irish IRA operative and Lars Heinrich, the notorious art thief, the NYPD is on high alert. What are the links between the bombs, photograph, and diamond hoist? Racing against time, Eddie accepts and starts a texting exchange with the Fox, and is prompted to solve the twisted clues. After a kidnapping and life and death defusing of a bomb, Eddie is left with a mystery. Who is the mysterious Fox and when will she or he next appear. Recommend to fans moving on from Cam Jansen or Blue Balliet’s art mysteries.
Bunjitsu Bunny's Best Move
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Himmelman, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Isabel, the best martial bunny in her class, imparts life lessons in 13 short fable-like stories as she confronts a variety of challenges and foes with her Bunjitsu training. When faced with a Mountain Goat guarding a bridge on her hike, Isabel butts heads three times before remembering the lesson to not let the enemy choose how you fight, and leapfrogs over him. In a different lesson, the four bunnies instructed to weed the garden by their teacher, believe that what he really wants is for them to practice their Bunjitsu moves while weeding. When they show their teacher how much they learned and Isabel asks, “But isn’t that why you wanted us to weed the garden,” their teacher simply replies sometimes the garden just needs weeding. Red, black and white sketch drawings are found on each page and the short sentences, double spaced text, and large font support newly independent readers. Read the stories as discussion starters or just to impart a good message with a humorous twist.
Knit-Knotters
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hay, Sam
Tran, Turine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Stella’s resistance to getting glasses disappears when sparkly magic enables her to see Trixie, a night sprite that has been visiting and tying knots in her hair. These mischievous sprites have been coerced into tying the knots to increase business for a new hair salon in town. Trying to avoid a drastic haircut, Stella makes a bargain with the sprites that if they will tie the knots in her dolls hair, she will make each a bracelet. Uninspiring gray and white digital illustrations break up the large font text written for readers transitioning from Easy Readers into longer chapter books. While the plot is thin and only loosely holds together, fairy-like creatures are a powerful draw for many younger girls and as this is written at a lower level than many of the other fairy series, it has a niche audience. The brightly colored cover featuring a red heart with dainty sprites tying knots from slender strings hanging off will attract readers and one can hope they will not be too disappointed.
Read, Recite, And Write Haiku
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Macken, Joann Early
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Each book in Crabtree’s Read, Recite, and Write series focuses on a different style of poetry explaining its historical roots, basic forms, key attributes and then walks writers through the steps of writing and revising poems in that style. Haiku, short poem or poems, are best know for their 5 – 7 – 5 sound patterns and their reference to nature and present moment. JoAnn Early Macken dissects the creation of a Haiku, showing how to reduce the number of words, honing in on an eloquent image to express the feelings. Chapters walk readers through crafting five different haikus based on sound, change, weather, asking a question, and directly addressing something or someone. This is a superb teaching book and series, including a variety of pointers and exercises to guide young poets as they learn the brevity and imagery in Haiku and other poetical forms. Highly recommended as a resource and inspiration for shaping a poetry unit.
Violet The Velvet Rabbit
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Jones, Janey Louise
Poh, Jennie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
“Twinkle, sparkle, dazzle, swish, tending animals as they wish.” Four Superfairies, protectors of the Peaseblossom Woods animals, have superpowers; healing kisses, super eyesight, bright light and strong webs to use as they rescue the animals from dangerous adventures. In Violet’s story the young animals were playing in the snowy woods while searching for presents to thank the Superfairies. Back in the Cherry Blossom Tree the Superfairies were sitting around a cheery fire cozily knitting warm hats and scarves for the animals when the alarm bell rang. Armed with their superpowers, the Superfairies hopped in their fairycopter, consulted the strawberry computer and set off. Locating Violet the Velvet Rabbit dangling from a snowy ledge over a yawning valley, they used teamwork to rescue her and transport them back home for a Winter Feast. With plenty of sparkles, fairy dazzle, the colorful and quaint illustrations found on almost every page depict a tiny world and will delight your fairy and princess readers. The six-book series includes a glossary, discussion and writing prompts, a brief history of fairy lore, and a quiz to identify which Superfairy the reader is most like. Saccharine sweet but I’m sure will be checked out often.
Sydney & Simon : Go Green!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Reynolds, Paul A
Reynolds, Peter H.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Garrard, Thom
During Sydney’s aquarium field trip, she meets a sea turtle who is recovering after having eaten plastic waste. This encounter inspires her to track the trash that her family generates and to research the waste produced by her school. In order to raise awareness about the importance of reducing and recycling waste, their class sculpts a giant turtle out of recycled materials, and Sydney and her twin Simon record an original song that gets airplay and inspires green behaviors throughout the community. Colorful watercolor and ink illustrations in Peter Reynolds’ trademark style occupy about half of the book. His twin brother Paul’s text clearly reveals the twins’ thinking process as they tackle this problem, while incorporating lots of scientific information about garbage into the storyline. A two-page glossary defines significant words. A postscript from the creators explains the value they place on STEAM, how they try to live green, and encourages readers to take action. With so much important information and inspiration included, this is a worthwhile addition to any library’s early chapter book section.
Spectacular Selection Of Sea Critters : Concrete Poems
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Franco, Betsy
Wertz, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Garrard, Thom
This collection includes twenty-nine concrete poems about fish, other sea life, and human interaction with the ocean environment, each of which is presented in a single page (with two exceptions). The hand-lettered text cleverly matches the subject in many of the poems, occupying such places as the spines on a spiny pufferfish or the wavy ring of tentacles on an anemone. The contrast of warm oranges, yellows, and reds on lots of dark blue backgrounds is vibrant and striking. Although the visual is often more important than the verbal in concrete poems, some interesting facts, like the reason that clownfish hang out in anemones, as well as some thought-provoking comments, such as the idea that the important role of cleaner fish guarantees their survival, have been incorporated. A variety of poetic forms are employed, including haiku, cinquain, limerick, acrostic, and others. Readers will enjoy the playfulness of these poems and may be inspired to create concrete poems of their own.
Darkstalker
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sutherland, Tui T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
An animus dragon can work magic, but at what cost? As each spell is cast, is a tiny bit of his soul lost? In this prequel to the "Dragonets of Destiny" series, readers meet Seawing, Fathom, and IceWing and DarkWing hybrid, Darkstalker. Each is an animus. Each has a female dragon he loves. Each has a possible future of joy and fulfillment. Fathom has lost much, and seen the ruin that animus magic can cause. He has vowed to never use his abilities again. Darkstalker, on the other hand, thinks his animus magic is the key to getting all he desires. He even thinks he has found a way to avoid the cost. Clearsight loves him, but her seer powers show her possible futures that can either be filled with incredible joy, or horrific terror. Darkstalker's choices will determine the future for her and so many others. This is another well-thought-out dragon story with compelling characters and interesting moral dilemmas that make the story far from superficial. It also provides valuable background for other books that take place in this dragon world. Fans will love it.
The Space Needle
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Building on a Dream" series, this sturdy 32-page book introduces young readers to Seattle's iconic Space Needle. Here is found information about its conception, construction, and changes that have taken place over the years, all with extensive endnotes. What celebrities have been there? What movies has it appeared in? What was its role in the Seattle World's Fair? These and more questions are answered in this informative and interesting book which includes plenty of photographs and illustrations, as well as a glossary and index.
Super-Smelly Moldy Blob
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stadelmann, Amy Marie
Manuzak, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Two twins, Beatrix and Olive, one magical and the other normal, compete against each other in the annual science fair. Olive investigates and grows mold while her best friend Eddie tests his singing on the growth of a sweet pea plant. Beatrix, though, always uses her magic and this year creates a magical cloud inside a dome. When the twins fight for a display table their projects collide, break and combine to generate a rapidly growing slime mold that quickly moves through the school engulfing whatever gets in its way. Can the twins work together to stop the mold and save the school? And who will win the contest this year. The fast moving plot, full color cartoon-like illustrations, and alternating text and speech bubbles are designed for newly independent readers in this Scholastic Branches book. The mix of illustrations and text are similar to Mercy Watson but unfortunately don’t exhibit depth or much charm. Still there is a large audience of young readers that will be drawn to a colorful series that includes a bit of magic in a realistic setting.
Carly
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Franco, Paula
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 17, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Kianna, Daniella, Gabriela, and Carly are cabin mates in their first summer as Pony Girls at Storm Cliff Stables. The foursome star in their own books but all contain some variant on a friendship difficulty, infraction of a camp rule, and a personal struggle. Carly desperately wants to ride Sapphire, as well as prove to her parents that she is responsible enough to have a pet. But finding a garter snake, Carly names it Gertie and keeps it against camp rules. But when Gertie goes missing and an older camper Bree is bitten, Carly must confess to Aunt Jane. The four books conclude with all loose ends tied up, a lesson learned and a happy camper eagerly anticipating the following year. Large font, double-spaced text and plentiful black and white pencil like drawings scattered through the book, support the intended audience of transitional readers. Horses and girls, friendships and camp are easy sells in the primary grades and while not great literature will spend time off the shelves.
Hockey Sweater
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Carrier, Roch
Cohen, Sheldon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
November 18, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the nostalgic Canadian picture book, "The Hockey Sweater." Grab a bag of Tim Horton's TimBits and join in this celebration of a young boy's love of hockey. "When the referee blew his whistle the two teams would rush at the puck: were were five Maurice Richards against five other Maurice Richards, throwing themselves on the puck. We were ten players all wearing the uniform of the Montreal Canadiens, all with the same enthusiasm. We all wore the famous number 9 on our backs. How could we forget that!" And how could he forgive his mother when she ordered him a new hockey sweater from Eaton's...and HORRORS! It was a Toronto Maple Leaf jersey! A must have in my book. What a joy to have the DVD included in what is a timeless bit of delightful Canadiana. -Craig Seasholes, Dearborn Park International
Drag Teen
Push [Push]
Self, Jeffery
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 18, 2016
Dame, Anne
JT is a senior in high school in small town Clearwater, Florida. Dressing up in drag makes him feel really good about himself. That's a good thing because usually he is very insecure. However, the one time he went out in drag was at a school talent show and he was booed off the stage. Now, as he is trying to figure out how to get out of Clearwater and into college with no money, his boyfriend Seth discovers a drag teen pageant in New York City that will give the winner a full ride scholarship to college. Thus begins an adventure full of mishap and self-discovery. I booktalked this to my middle school book club and already have 3 students asking to read it. It is a book with a message and the message is pretty obvious, but the story is engaging regardless. A bit of romance, a little bit of teen drug and alcohol use, as well as humor and introspection. For my own rating, I would probably have given it an AD+, but it is an important addition to an LGBTQ+ collection and I think students will embrace it as well, so I gave it an R rating overall.
Job Wanted
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Bateman, Teresa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 18, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Poor ole’ Dog, paw sore and hungry he wanders onto a farm looking for a job. The farmer isn’t a fan, being of the opinion that eating is the only thing a dog does, contributing nothing, unlike cows, horses and chickens. Undaunted, Dog asks if the farmer has a job for a cow . . . “Well, sure, but you’re not a cow, the farmer replies.” “We’ll see about that” comes Dog’s answer, “I’ll start tomorrow”. In the morning the farmer is surprised that all of the cows are in the stalls ready and waiting, making the milking go faster. But, still the farmer reminds him – he is not a cow. “Disappointed but not discouraged” dog tries again, as a horse but, again hears, “You’re still not a cow, and you’re not a horse. . . .disappointed but not discouraged” dog tries again to convince the farmer to keep him, this time as a chicken. This is a delightful story of grit, determination and perseverance that student will love. The soft watercolor and pencil illustrations show early morning work on the farm with a palette of yellows, greens and browns with golden overtones of sunrise add a gentle dimension to the story of a determined homeless dog to find his place. This will appeal to young readers and makes a good read aloud.
Have You Seen My Trumpet?
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Di Giacomo, Kris
Di Giacomo, Kris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 18, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Michael Escoffier loves creating books with word play, and here plays on words-within-words in a quick read aloud that will delight young readers. Teaming again with Kris DiGiacomo's humorous illustrations, a girl's seaside search is posed to animal companions on two page spreads, "Who is playing frisBEE?/Who is blowing the dandeLION?/ Who is being selFISH?/ Who has seen my trumPET?" Other searches follow, each with clever animal names fairly jumping out of their hiding places...but the trumpet isn't found until a fine elephantine finale. As someone who appreciates puns and double-entendre, I am as tickled by this third Word-Play trillogy installment as I was by Escoffier's brilliant "Take Away the A" and "Where's the Baboon?" Recommended, because humor helps us all.
Katie's Spooky Sleepover
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Manushkin, Fran
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 18, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Capstone's Katie Woo is a delightful character that brings stories of friendship to newly independent readers. In a series now reaching 32 titles, Katie and her 3 friends have a sleep over, full of fun, food and a little too-scary ghost storytelling just before bed. Not to worry, Katie and chums all get through it with the help of a lucky kimono and end their adventure gobbling down 'ghostie' looking pancakes in the morning." Katie Woo's a great addition to K-1 collections for ready readers.
Ghosts in Hotels
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Owings, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oooooh, creepy. Part of the "Ghost Stories" series, this sturdy 24-page book explores supposedly haunted hotels. Maps show the location of the hotels, while eerie photographs accompany the slight text explaining the legend leading to the ghost stories. Readers learn about Colorado's Stanley Hotel and the RMS Queen Mary. (Told you it was slight.) Are they really ghosts, or are there other explanations? it's up to the reader to decide. There's a glossary, index, and bibliography. Truly, there's not much here. However, this is an ever-popular subject and the book is sure to find a ready audience.
The Best Project
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Rippin, Sally
Fukuoka, Aki
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Billie B. Brown" series, this lightweight paperback book features short easy chapters, large print, and occasional black and white illustrations. In this entry in the series Billie creates a tower for a class project. However, disaster strikes. Will she be able to find a way to solve her last-minute problem? This is a simple story, providing a nice pathway for children leaving picture books and entering the chapter book realm.
You Wouldn't Want To Live Without Bees!
Franklin Watts (Slp) [Franklin Watts (Slp)]
Woolf, Alex
ANTRAM, DAVID
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bees are essential and this book tells young readers why. With humorous cartoon illustrations, fun graphics, and plenty of interesting fact boxes this is a kid-friendly introduction to this industrious insect. Each double-page spread asks and answers a basic question such as "What is a Bee?" "What are the Parts of a Bee?" "What is Life Like in the Hive?" As they scoot through the 36 pages readers will learn about types of bees, their various jobs, making honey, dangers bees face and more. the book includes a timeline, index, and glossary. Even the end papers provide valuable information. This would be a fun addition to your insect shelves.
Hyper To The Max
Lorimer (Lerner) [Lorimer (Lerner)]
Nicodemo, L M
Graham, Ross
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 19, 2016
Burton, Paula
This series is promoted by the publishing company as a great read for those who are dyslexic. The font is large, with even larger comments placed among the text which might be a good fit for those who have difficulties reading. Max has a problem; today is a school day and he wakes up feeling all fidgety. Fortunately Max knows what to do on days like that; keep busy in his head so that his body is not “as jumpy as popcorn in a microwave”. He does this by playing a game of rhyming all day. At breakfast he encounters his grandpa but to avoid any confrontation he eats twice at fast with two spoons! Unfortunately for Max the first person he runs into on his way to school is “the biggest pest. EVER”; Many Beth. It is not easy to keep on rhyming, especially with her knowing that something is going on and wants to make him trip. Other titles in the series are Big game jitters, Flu shot fidgets, Frantic friend countdown. This would be a great book for beginner readers with a ratio of 50:50 text to illustrations, short chapters and a likable main character.
We Found A Hat
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Klassen, Jon
Pham, Leuyen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 19, 2016
Burton, Paula
The third and final installment in the Hat trilogy (I want my hat back and This is not my hat) by well known illustrator Jon Klassen (Sam and Dave dig a hole and Extra Yarn). He is also the author of this book and like the previous books it would appeal to beginning readers or the picture book crowd with simple repetition of text and illustrations. Unlike the previous books in the trilogy, the topic is a very generous one; animals are not eaten or stealing hats. Two turtles found a hat in the middle of the desert. It looks good on both of them when they try it on but neither one of them wants to take it if the other turtle cannot have it. They walk away. The hat is still in sight and keeps one of the turtles very much thinking about it. He thinks he might want to take it when he makes sure the other turtle is sleeping. He asks to make sure and the other turtle answers he is dreaming they both have hats and the both look good in them. They don’t need the real thing. A great book to read aloud with the other two or even by itself.
Children Of Icarus
Switch Press/capstone Press [Switch Press/capstone Press]
Smith, Caighlan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 19, 2016
Doran, Kelly
YA dystopia. In Greek-mythology-flavored Daedalum, everyone is taught that the children picked for annual tribute as Icarii find their way through the labyrinth to the land of the angels. The nameless protagonist discovers differently when she becomes an Icarius: first she sees her best friend Clara ripped apart in front of her, then she learns from other survivors that the maze is filled with lethal monsters and that there is no exit. Living first with the other survivors, then with the mysterious woman known as the Executioner, she slowly learns more about the maze and how to survive in it. The story pulls no punches; multiple children die horribly, all the survivors are traumatized and dealing (or failing to deal) with it in dysfunctional ways. There are flashes of a larger story, especially with the Executioner, but for the most part the passive protagonist spends most of the book being carried along by events. The writing is good and sucks you into the story, but I'd prefer a main character who acts rather than being acted upon.
Stand-In
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Bloom, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 19, 2016
Burton, Paula
Chapter one is Brooks at prom with a girl he met 3 hours earlier. Strange but this is Brooks senior year. Brooks is a smart, but does not excel as a senior working to get out of his home town. His goal: Columbia university. He believes an ivy league school will help him succeed in live unlike his current situation. His mom left him many years ago. His dad is a slob, shows little interest in his son, smokes a lot of pot, and does not use his Harvard degree. Brooks' life changes dramatically when he overhears a conversation of one of the popular guys at school mentioning his cousin needs a date for homecoming, brooks jumps in and offers he will take her. He receives a very generous tip, word gets around that Brooks is available for all senior. It becomes a job, and gives him a glimpse of the world he would like to belong to. The longer he is a stand-in the more his character changes into a shallow guy. The book briefly mentions that those who have money have more chances; buy a date for their daughter, acquire the best tutors to help with SAT’s, and even create loopholes to create a better SAT score. First novelist Bloom, creates an easy romance read with a male protagonist including sexual situations, language and drug use.
Return
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Johnson, Varian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Spirit Animals series ended, but now we have the "Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts" series, continuing the story of our heroes and their spirit animals. This is book #3. Parasites are being used to turn friends into enemies, and steal the spirit animals of others. The world is turned upside down and nowhere is safe. Our four heroes are separated, some finding both unexpected friendship and terrible danger in a fortress, and others seeking the Evertree to heal its illness and stop the parasites. Each faces danger. This series is not a happy one with major victories. Instead, the well-drawn characters fight for every inch, and lose loved ones along the way. Prepare for surprising loss, and plan on waiting anxiously for book #4.
Pirate Alphabet : The Abcs Of Piracy!
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Butzer, Anna
Jevons, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
You'll never guess why pirates wore eye patches! This is an entertaining and informative ABC book about pirates that will appeal to lots of different types of readers. The illustrations are giggle-inducing and each word's explanation is only a few sentences, making this a quick read aloud and easily accessible to independent readers. A glossary, index, and list of further resources is included in the back, which is a nice, but unnecessary, addition.
Walt Disney
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Haldy, Emma E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
This first person narrative tells a simple story of Walt Disney’s life. A black-and-white photo or color photo on each facing page matches the text on the opposite page. Colorful illustrations of the artist appear on some of the spreads and is almost identical to the art on the cover. Readers learn about the icon of animation’s early life, passion for cartooning, and first successes in film. The simplistic text, large font, and engaging topic will capture young readers’ attention. Minimalistic table of contents, glossary, timeline, and index introduce these concept to the target audience, though adding little research quality to this self-proclaimed “itty-bitty” biography. The reinforced binding is underserved by the paper over cardboard cover that will not stand up to the topic’s popularity. Buy this book if your collection needs a beginning reader on this particular famous person, but there are better competing series that fulfill the need for some of the additional fifteen titles including Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, Amelia Earhart and others.
Go To Sleep, Monty!
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Geyer, Kim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
Max is excited to “graduate” from his Snuffly Poo to a real puppy and gets to go the farm and pick his favorite. Max knows it will be a big job taking care of his new puppy, Monty, but he’s sticks with it. At the end of a busy first day working on sitting, fetching, and getting muddy Max shows Monty to his very own bed much to Monty’s dismay. This 11.5” x 9.75” book makes good use of the large space with its colorful artwork, visual details, and lovely use of light and dark -- perfect for large group sharing. As puppy howls to be released from his isolated nighttime situation, Monty sympathizes and tries to comfort the pup. After relenting and letting Monty come to his room, Max still can’t seem to get Monty to sleep and finally gives him his old Snuffly Poo cuddle toy. Max sits down in Monty’s bed to think up some more strategies for getting the dog to sleep, when (you guessed it!) the boy and dog end up asleep in the dog bed. Pair this book with Toni Yuly’s Cat Nap and Jessica Shyba’s Bathtime with Theo & Beau for a winning pet-themed story time.
Bathtime With Theo And Beau
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Shyba, Jessica
Hansen, Clint
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
Toddler and puppy taking a bath together? What’s not to love? This photo-story began as a popular blog of a mother sharing photos of her children and their new doggie. Most photos bleed across the double page spread, and one spread is a series of thumbnails showing a succession of bathtime progress. Getting in, soaping up, bath toys, and toweling off are covered with modestly placed bubbles and towels. The text is super simple and keeps the pages turning. The “awww” factor is impressive, and parents trying to talk their families out of having a pet should stay clear of this book! Dust jacket art is repeated on the book cover, and the inside dust jacket is a poster of thumbnails from the book with title and author splash that could be used to publicize the book. Simple-sewn binding might not last long with the target audience, though.
Cat Nap
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Yuly, Toni
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
Nap time shenanigans begin when Kitten won’t settle down for her noontime nap. The bigger cat is drowsy, though, and agrees to a game of hide-and-seek with ulterior motives -- hiding for a nap! Too bad, Kitten finds Cat no matter where he hides. Atop the bookcases? Found! Under the bed? Found! Yuly’s art takes center stage in this playful book. The characters’ facial expressions, the occasional bold colors that pop against the simplistic backdrops and uncluttered design of each unique spread -- all come together for a visual treat. A wee mouse observes the antics and will be a certain device for revisiting the pages a second or third time. The vocabulary and limited text is pleasingly simple and will provide beginning readers with likely success. Fans of Yuly’s first two books, Early Bird and Night Owl won’t be disappointed!
Smart And Spineless : Exploring Invertebrate Intelligence
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Downer, Ann
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
What is an invertebrate? Well, it includes more than 90% of animal life on the planet. What is a brain? Maybe not exactly what you visualize. What is intelligence and how do you assess it? Ah, now there's the interesting question. This book explores the question of invertebrate intelligence looking specifically at studies involving worms, jumping spiders, octopuses, bees, wasps, ants, mantis shrimps, box jellyfish, and slime molds. It explores the difference between instinct and intelligence and offers some fascinating insights into animal behavior that is both unexpected and enlightening. Are we being a bit pompous in considering ourselves the only intelligent life on the planet? could be, especially since we're the ones who get to define "intelligence." The book is well-researched and interesting. The author offers multiple examples and invites the reader to use this information to make his own judgement. Extensive index, bibliography, glossary, and source notes make this a great resource for report=writing. This merits a place on secondary library shelves.
My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic : 7
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Nuhfer, Heather
Mebberson, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
See vol. 5 & 6 reviews in this database for the beginning reviews of this graphic novel series. The rescue of Rarity continues, and the ponies try to break Rarity’s nightmare curse by telling her stories of her past. The curse is powerful, though, and Queen (fake) Rarity of dreamscape sends her friends to the dungeon and even Twilight starts to question the power of friendship. Meanwhile, Spike is determined to come back from his nightmare and save Rarity. When the two reunite, evil fake Rarity tries to charm Spike into forgetting their past and asks him to become her king. Will Spike fall for the proposal? Volume 8 will be in high demand after readers make it to this point. Libraries should be sure to purchase Volumes 5-8 or none at all.
My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic : 6
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Nuhfer, Heather
Mebberson, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
See vol. 5 review in this database for the beginning of this graphic novel series. The ponies and Princess Luna take off to dreamscape to rescue Rarity. Along the way the ponies personal fears start to take over, meanwhile Rarity is being cajoled by the dark forces to consider helping them. Readers will relate to the self-confidence issues that the ponies face, and it’s the recurring theme of trusting oneself and the power of friendship that makes this series so popular. Again, this volume ends without resolution and readers will demand to get volume 7 to find out if the secret that Princess Luna alludes to is going take over Rarity. Libraries and others will need to buy vol. 5-8 or none at all.
My Little Pony : Friendship Is Magic : 8
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Nuhfer, Heather
Mebberson, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 20, 2016
Kline, Karen
See vol. 5, 6, & 8 reviews in this database for the beginning of this graphic novel series. Spike finds the ponies in the dreamscape dungeon but he’s lost the key along the way. No matter! The ponies are stronger when they’re all together, and Pinky Pie saves the day with a dance move that recovers the key. Now on to saving Rarity and Princess Luna, but not before convincing some of the evil ones that they’d be better off fighting for friendship! Evil fake Rarity tries to convince Luna that her fears and bitterness will keep her from being loved by the ponies. But Princess Celestia and the gang are undeterred by Luna’s betrayal and insist that everypony deserves a second, or even a third, chance. Evil Rarity is still rampaging, though, and hangs on to the dark dreamscape until the ponies convince her that she will always be remembered for her kindness and generosity and that she’s “irreplaceable to (her) truest friends.” The ponies end know that nightmares are only conjured up by one’s own fears, and Princess Luna promises to return for a visit to Ponyville as soon as she drops off the moon creatures that have now embraced friendship over evil.
Stowaway In A Sleigh
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Mader, C Roger
Pak, Kenard
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 21, 2016
Burton, Paula
An adorable Christmas picture book that reminded me a little of The polar express with its detailed pastel illustrations. Slipper the cat meets Mr. Furry boots, Santa, and slips into his bag to go on an adventure that only Santa can provide. When she meets Mrs, Furry boots the saying is even mentioned; The cat is out of the bag.She would like to go bag home and Santa gets the hint and makes a very special delivery. Humor, few words and imagination of the reader make this not only a good book to read one on one but also for a group who love cats and Santa.
I Am Josephine : (And I Am A Living Thing)
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Thornhill, Jan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 21, 2016
Burton, Paula
The reader follows Josephine, a curious and spirited girl who exclaims what she is. She is a human being, a mammal, an animal, and a living thing. Josephine informs who else is in these groups like her family and asks the reader how many different other human beings, mammals, animals, and living things you see on the following spread. Although illustrations are used, this picture book would fit better in the nonfiction section for a very young audience learning about the differences and uniqueness of our world although we use the same word to describe a group.
Mango & Bambang : The Not-A-Pig
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Faber, Polly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 25, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
I don't think there could be a more precious book on the planet. Mango Allsorts stumbles across a lost and bewildered tapir (not a pig) who is hiding beneath a crosswalk which looks suspiciously like his own markings. Mango convinces Bambang the tapir to follow her home and there begins the lovely companionship between a girl and her tapir. No one, least of all Mango's hard-working father, finds it odd that a tapir is living in an apartment in the middle of the big city. Bambang goes swimming in the pool (with bathing cap, of course), goes out for ice cream, takes walks, wears hats, sings, gets captured, yet manages to come through it all feeling loved, accepted, and supported by his girl, Mango. I will use this as a read aloud to my second classes because of the underlying themes of love, empathy, and loyalty (plus the darling illustrations).
Kingdom Of Ash And Briars
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
West, Hannah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 25, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
What started off as a slow read picked up pace about halfway through the story and then I couldn't put the book down! The story of Bristal, the elicromancer, was fascinating. Who knew that a character could become a soldier, a courtesan, an animal, an old crone, and herself all in a day's work? I especially liked the soldier, Tom, because he was a symbol of the powerful feminine side of Bristal. All of the references to fairy tales were fun to see pop up, but West's own original story is what caught my imagination the most. I would love to read more about elicromancers, if there are more stories to share!
Spy Called James : The True Story Of James Lafayette, Revolu
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Rockwell, Anne
Cooper, Floyd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 25, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In non-fiction picture book format, Rockwell tells the little documented true story of an African American slave who was allowed to serve for General Lafayette as a spy during the Revolutionary War. According to the text James was instrumental in helping gain an American victory at Yorktown in 1781. As a double agent he volunteered to assistant Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold, who paid him little heed. With the information he overhead or saw, he then shared this with Lafayette and returned misinformation to the British. Because he was a spy and not a soldier James initially did not receive his freedom as assumed. It took several petitions including a letter of commendation from Lafayette to secure that status. As a freeman he bought property and even owned slaves. A very detailed Author’s Note follows the story plus Further Reading and a painting of James and the man whose name he took. End sheets include the Declaration of Independence and Lafayette’s handwritten letter. The illustrations vary from quite stunning to rather hazy due to the style of oil and erasure. The large portraits prove a strength. This would need to be used by teachers rather than picked up by students.
Razzle Dazzle Unicorn : Another Phoebe And Her Unicorn Adven
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Simpson, Dana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 25, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
#4 in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure series, this graphic novel will be sure to please fans of this duo. Once again Phoebe, the weird girl, and her self-absorbed unicorn continue their friendship during Thanksgiving, Christmas and on into summer camp. There they meet back up with their unusual friends Sue and Ringo the Lake Monster. As ever the book is full of jokes, quick wit, and friendship. The colorful strips are eye-catching and quick reading. Simpson concludes this title with the creative process, showing how she works from idea stage for her editor to the full blown drawings starting with text placement, rough sketches and then ink before her colorist finishes them. Page 181 includes a glossary of terms and their page numbers.
Inn Between
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Cohen, Marina
Watts, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 26, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is a deliciously creepy book whose author keeps readers guessing until almost the last page and then, "Aha!" and all becomes clear. Here is how the story goes: Kara and her family are moving across the country to settle in California. Quinn, sad because her best friend is moving away, is invited along on the trip. When the family is driving in Nevada, they stop at a diner only to be greeted by Not-Norm and where nothing on the menu is actually being served. Their next stop is the Inn Between and that's where the twists in the story start to take off. This story reminds me of the song, "Hotel California," and also of the movie, "The Others." I am sure this is going to be popular with those students in grades 4-6 who love "really, really scary books." Although definitely in the horror genre, this story is also filled with love, friendship, family ties, and emotional highs and lows. It's overall a well-rounded book.
Gary
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rudge, Leila
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 26, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Gary is similar to all of the other racing pigeons, except he can’t fly and wears an identifiable blue and white stocking cap. Instead he keeps a scrapbook recording all of the others’ adventures. One day he inadvertently falls from his perch along with his scrapbook into the basket that carries the others to their races. When the rest have been dispersed into the city, Gary has to find his way home, which he does once he discovers familiar reference points in his precious scrapbook. He plots his course and successfully returns to the loft with his own adventure story. This is a sweet and somewhat simple story, with a wonderful title for the only named character. The mixed media drawings are detailed with lots to read and decipher regarding modes of transportation such as a subway map and pass. Binding needs reinforcing as the stitches are quite long.
Call Me Athena : Greek Goddess Of Wisdom
Goosebottom Books Llc [Goosebottom Books Llc]
Bridges, Shirin Yim
Bridges, Shirin Yim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 26, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Treasury of Glorious Goddesses" series, this very readable book is told in the first person from Athena's point of view. She comments on her birth and her trials in fitting in on Mount Olympus. Working with mortals also has its downsides as is evidenced by her experiences with Arachne and Paris. Still, even a goddess can find a balance in her life, and that's Athena's goal. Writing is enjoyable, bringing the characters to life and yet maintaining a breezy quality. Along the way readers will pick up quite a bit of Greek mythology, and even a touch of Roman mythology. Fans of Rick Riordan might enjoy this series.
Wolves Of Currumpaw
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Grill, William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
As beautiful as it is problematic, William Grill's uniquely illustrated "The Wolves of Currumpaw" is retelling of Ernest Thompson Seton's 1989 short story of the the wolf hunt that changed Seton's life and led to the formation of wildlife conservation and the Boy Scouts of America. First the story, then the art. Ranchers in northern New Mexico were vexed by predations by a small band of wolves. Where others had failed, British naturalist and wolf-hunter Seton was called in to exterminate the pack's leader, an alpha male, Lobo. Seton succeeded only after considerable attention the the intelligence and social cohesion of the wolves, and afterwards a change of heart that led him on a path to conservation. William Grill's evocative grey, brown and ocher pencil illustrations are reminiscent of Navajo blanket designs as well as hastily sketched field illustrations of western explorers. Several pages are filled with 2x2 glimpses of the sequence of the story while the art on other pages fill two page spreads with bold strokes and action. I love the look and feel of this over-sized picture book; but share Debbie Reese's concern for the deeply jarring "dying days of the old west" images of native peoples on pages 5-6.
Grow! Raise! Catch! : How We Get Our Food
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rotner, Shelley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Bright photographs of smiling people growing, raising and catching the foods we eat are surrounded by universally cute and children enjoying the fruits of their labors. "We can thank our farmers and fishermen for our food. They grow the vegetables, grains and fruits, they raise the animals and catch the fish that we eat." Shelly Rotner's sharp photograph and simple text provide something of an illustrated tribute while decidedly skipping mention or images of large scale, industrial farming that provides a large percentage of the foods we eat. Useful for preK to 1st grade overviews of food and where it comes from, the book succeeds because of its photographs and appreciative outlook.
North American Black Bears
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Lake, G G
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 27, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Did you know that black bears can have brown fur or that the cubs are born blind? This title from Capstone's Woodland Wildlife series contains tons of facts about North American black bears, as well as all of the typical nonfiction features, like a table of contents, index, glossary, and resource list for further learning. Each chapter (there are four) is 2-3 pages long and the text on each page is only 2-3 sentences long, making this very accessible for young readers. Close-up photographs of bears engaged in a variety of activities abound, which will undoubtedly make some children squeal with delight at the all the cuteness.
Construction
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sutton, Sally
Lovelock, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 27, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Dig a hole - thud! Build the frame - bang! Lay the pipes - scritch! Spread the paint - glop! This delightful book uses rhyming text and onomatopoeia to bring the process of constructing a building to life for young readers. Not just any building, though; it's a library! This brightly illustrated story makes for an entertaining read aloud, as well as a satisfying independent read. It also subtly challenges gender stereotypes by including female crew members on every page. A wholly enjoyable title that should make its way into the hands of many different readers.
Saving Wonder
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Knight, Mary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is the kind of story that will stay with the reader a long, long time. Curley lives with his grandfather, PawPaw, up in the coal mining country of Appalachian Kentucky. That's where his family has always lived and worked, and that is where Curley intends to stay the rest of his life. Pawpaw became Curley's guardian when Curley's father, mother, and sibling died as direct and indirect consequences of coal mining. Pawpaw teaches Curley a new word every week; that word serves as vocabulary-building and as a lesson for the week, too. Curely has had a crush on Jules forever. But, when the new coal mining boss's son comes to their school, Jules's attentions turn to him. Curley gets mad and even madder when he finds out that the new coal mining boss plans to blow the top off of "Curley and Pawpaw's" mountain in order to expose the coal vein underneath. Will Curley have to alter his dreams of his future or will his future still be there waiting for him? He knows nothing will happen unless he uses his words to speak up, and so he does.
Bunny Vs. Monkey : 1
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Smart, Jamie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Bunny just wants a quiet day in the woods. Monkey just wants total domination...but somehow things always backfire on him. Enlisting the help from Skunk's evil-genius-inventions Monkey tries time and again to gain the upper hand, but fails through some silly malfunction or unexpected consequence. In the end only slapstick humor rules as the woodland animals take sides and bumble through episode after episode in these cheeky comics from Englishman Jamie Smart. This is funny, waste-of-time, wonderful full color comics reminiscent of Spy vs Spy humor of Mad magazine. Highly recommended for all elementary library graphic collections.
Zap! : Nikola Tesla Takes Charge
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kulling, Monica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Told with a simple story line and illustrated by Bill Slavin (who also contributes to two of Kulling's 8 other Great Idea Series titles) this is a clear if shockingly brief biography of Nikola Tesla, inventor and electrical pioneer. Arriving in American with four cents and a letter of introduction to Thomas Edison, Tesla's brilliant grasp of the simple power of alternating current quickly made him a rival of Edison. The Tesla coil's demonstration of the power and safety of AC, his electrification of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and the building of a hydroelectric plant at the base of Niagara Falls are included as highlights to Tesla's career in America. It's good that students know something of the namesake for the electric car company now revolutionizing automobile manufacturing in the US, and along with "Electrical Wizard: How Nikola Tesla Lit Up the World" elementary libraries will be all set to spark interest in researching this fascinating STEM pioneer.
Ada Twist, Scientist
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Beaty, Andrea
Roberts, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Ada Marie Twist is a young scientist Whose questions include how, when and why? She's the third in the series of STEM themed characters Who will charm story-time, if you'll try. Ada watches, wonders and persists in questioning far beyond the norm and in the process forces her family and classmates to take a more open and scientific approach to life. While not ever solving the question that drives this story, "What's that smell?" it doesn't really matter; Andrea Beaty's rhyming text and David Roberts' charming illustrations share Ada's inquisitive exploration of possible explanations with a delight that readers will enjoy time and again.
Look Up!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Jin-Ho, Jung
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Kindness and compassion all depend on being able to see things from another's point of view. Jung Jin-Ho has drawn a lovely, tall and thin book that gently accomplishes this with almost wordless eloquence. A girl in a wheelchair sits on her porch, looking down at the tops of heads of passers-by on the street below. "Look up!" she implores, but no one seems to notice. Then a small boy does look up, and realizing the girl's limited perspective (she only sees the tops of people's heads), he cleverly lays down on the pavement below so the girl can get a good look at him. Another person sees the boy's odd position, then realizes his purpose and joins him until a whole group of people are laid out, delighting the girl and reader alike. A wonderful addition to social-emotional discussions at all ages.
Watch Out For Flying Kids! : How Two Circuses, Two Countrie
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Levinson, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
This chronicle of collaboration between two young circus groups shows how commonalities can aspire to bridge conflicts and build community. Combining their interests in gymnastics, acrobatics, and juggling students from inner-city and suburban St. Louis joined in a series of exchanges with Arab and Jewish circus troupers from Galilee. We cheer for both groups as they develop skill and teamwork, then reach out to peers half a world away. Coming together in a series of summer exchanges, troupers from both sides learn they can share despite language and cultural barriers, and perform admirably as circus ambassadors in both the US and Israel. Inspiring as the exchange may have been, the book is too long on details and falls short of its laudable ambitions. Author Cynthia Levinson does well to focus on the ways that social circus (or circus arts with a social mission) affects nine of the athlete/performers. Photographs and individual profiles help us know a bit of the attraction the circus holds for each, despite differences in background and life's trajectories. Given pressing issues in both societies, its a pity that the hopes and hard work of the athletes, coaches and author can do little more than one small drop in the bucket.
Barnacle Is Bored
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Fenske, Jonathan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 27, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Barnacle is bored. The tide comes in. The tide goes out. The oft repeated refrain "I am bored." is a familiar complaint by the preK-K audience for whom this book is written. Kids will likely agree with the barnacle that the life of a free-swimming fish would be much better. Attached to the underside of a pier and going nowhere, the barnacle envies the "polka-dotted show-off" little fish (sort of a green "Dory") as it frolics with flounders, sails with sword fish and plays with plankton. But in a tasty plot twist, it is a eel that points out why the life of a solidly cemented barnacle may be preferable. Youngsters will delight in the concluding twist with barnacle securely announcing "I am not bored," while the frolicking fishy takes up the plaintive refrain, "I am BORED" from the belly of a well fed eel.
Walk This World At Christmastime
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Powell, Debbie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 28, 2016
Shirts, Brooke
Books about how Christmas is observed in different cultures are frequently requested during the holiday season; Debbie Powell's lift-the-flap is a nice addition to this sub-genre. Each page spread is dedicated to a group of countries that share common customs (for example, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia). Each spread contains a pair of rhymed couplets that hint at what countries are described; flaps open to reveal specific holiday customs. However, some pages lump together cultures that otherwise have little in common (one spread groups Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, and India) and some flaps show customs that aren't particular to Christmas. Hanging paper star lanterns may be found in Kerala, India, but it's a bit of a stretch to consider it a Christmas tradition. Powell's colorful, block-print art features faceless silhouette figures and stenciled patterns, giving the book a fresh, modern folk-art feel. Tiny vignettes of people singing, walking through markets, and recreating the Nativity are fun for children to explore, although it makes the book less useful as a group read-aloud. A few of the flaps are marked with numbers from 1-25, so the book can also be used as an Advent calendar -- another international holiday tradition.
King Of Kazoo
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Feuti, Norm
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Here's a safe, silly full comic perfect for elementary schools. The King of Kazoo is a foolishly self-centered monarch who thinks "kingly thoughts" about his eventual legacy...while appropriating all the insight and inventions of his daughter Princess Bing and Royal Mechanic Torq. Luck for the King of Kazoo both busy with their own magic and scientific interests, she discovering a secret tunnel beneath yonder mountain, and he devising a Yonkless carriage (aka automobile) that can take them to the mountain to discover the source of recent tremors and mining of redstones. There beneath the mountain they discover the Old (and disgruntled) Alchemist who has plans to take over the world. Clever Princess Bing and Torq foil the plot and danger to thee kingdom averted. And in a wise reversal of character, in the end King Kazoo properly credits his daughter and mechanic and the book ends in joyful triumph. Nothing deep here, but fun nonetheless for fans of Bone and BabyMouse.
Growing Up Pedro : How The Martinez Brothers Made It From Th
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
OK baseball fans, it's time to honor the dreams and accomplishments of 3-time Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez and his big brother Ramon. The brothers grew up in the Dominican Republic, a country noted for providing baseball players of outstanding skill, sharpened their skills throwing stones at mangoes, so that by their teens both are signed to play in the Major Leagues, Ramon with the LA Dodgers and later Pedro initially joins the same team, then is traded to Montreal, Boston and the NY Mets, ending an 18 year career in Philadelphia as one of the greatest pitchers ever. A beautifully illustrated tribute to the great American national pastime and the remarkable trajectories of these two talented Dominicans.
Arrow To Alaska : A Pacific Northwest Adventure
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Viano, Hannah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Viano's attractive papercut illustrations give this story of a Seattle boy's journey on a fishing boat to his grandfather's floating home in SE Alaska a timeless look and appeal. Starting from the Ballard locks aboard his aunt's salmon tender the 6 year old Arrow gets to experience an adventure landlubbers only dream of. Arriving at Grandpa's floating home, he's surprised to find his return trip is aboard a float plane that rapidly retraces the journey on the Inside Passage to land on Lake Union. A recipe for cast-iron skillet brownies closes out this tasty regional adventure closes with adventurous Arrow wondering, "Do they let children into Antarctica?"
Families
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rotner, Shelley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Bright colorful photographs of happy families of all sorts helps update elementary collections in this large format picture book with simple text. "There are all kinds of families./ Some families are big and have cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even great-grandparents./Some are small.Sometimes the people in a family look alike./ Sometimes they don't./Some families have children born to them./ Some Adopt., etc" Books like this provide "mirrors and windows" to varieties of family structures helps everyone speak of a larger, more inclusive norm. Highly recommended.
Mighty Military Robots
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Stark, William N
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 28, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Robots have been enlisted in the military. Assigning them to do repairs, collect information, move supplies, and find bombs makes humans safer. This title from Capstone’s Military Machines On Duty series briefly profiles seven robots, most of which are semi-autonomous and perform specific tasks at the hands of their teleoperators. Each spread has a paragraph of text in a large font on the left and a full-page color photograph on the right. One or more text boxes with each picture provide additional facts or vocabulary words. Repeating all of the defined words in the glossary seems a waste of a page, as does the inclusion of an index in such a short book. At least the list of additional resources and the requisite Common Core thinking questions all fit on one page. This book will clearly appeal to students interested in technology and the military, but with only 600 words and 9 pictures it won’t hold their attention for long.
Digby O'day In The Fast Lane
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hughes, Shirley
Vulliamy, Clara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Digby O’Day and Percy are best friends (and anthropomorphized dogs). There is nothing they like better than a drive through the country, but Digby’s car often breaks down. When they enter a cross-country car race they really want to win because Digby’s rude neighbor, Lou Ella, is sure she will win the prize. The race is full of twists turns and excitement. Lou Ella is far ahead but her rudeness gets her in trouble whereas Digby’s friendly nature gives them access to a short cut. The end of the race is close, but Digby and Percy are able to pull off a win. With pictures on every page and not too much text this should be a popular transitional chapterbook though the some words such as trams and motoring might be unfamiliar to American readers.
Enemy Above : A Novel Of World War Ii
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Spradlin, Michael P
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
A World War II historical fiction. Young Anton, his grandmother (bubbe) seek refuge in secret underground caves that are (known only to locals) when the Nazis invade the Ukraine. Forced to emerge from the cave only at night to find water and food for their survival. Hunted by a Nazi commander whose mission it is to capture or kill as many Jews as possible. This grim dark tale is a disturbing fictionalization of the holocaust like the “Priest’s Grotto”. Many of the Jewish people hiding in the caves sabotage and resist Nazi domination, some escape, some are captured, some witness disturbing genocide. Action packed, there is little character development. Understandable Anton struggles with issues of faith and loss while longing for his missing father. Definitely for older mature readers as there is graphic violence.
Christmas For Greta And Gracie
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Ismail, Yasmeen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Shirts, Brooke
Sisters Grace and Gertie have complementary, if opposite, temperaments: Big sister Greta is "chitty-chatty," while little Gracie is "quiet," but "that was just fine, because Greta loved talking to Gracie, and Gracie loved listening." During the approach of Christmas, however, Greta's personality begins to overshadow her sister, and Gracie finds herself overruled on decisions regarding pictures of Santa or ribbon color. On Christmas Eve, Gracie she uses her small stature and quiet nature to creep downstairs and help Santa Claus eat cookies and place presents under the tree. The next morning, Greta is so surprised by her sister's adventure that, for once, she is without words. Yasmeen Ismail's sweet story is reminiscent of sibling stories like Rosemary Wells' "Max and Ruby." Her watercolor bunnies have a simple, childlike quality with rumpled edges and colorful splotches for clothes. Greta's long-winded speeches are given huge balloons of speech bubbles, crowding Gracie's little yellow words into the corners of the pages. Even though the sisters have different personalities, it's obvious that they care for each other; Gracie doesn't resent her sister's bossiness; she patiently waits for her turn to shine.
Mighty Odds
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Ignatow, Amy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Cookie is the only African American girl in her school; she's also the most popular and has some mean girl, I'll hurt you before you hurt me stuff going. Getting in trouble on a field trip lands Cookie on a return bus with the unpopular kids, pudgy Nick, Frashad, who has been a target of Cookie's bullying, and the enigmatic Martina. After a catastrophic bus accident the four are unhurt but have developed mysterious superpowers. So has the teacher who was also on the bus, but his superpowers tend toward destruction and blowing things up. How can the four middle schoolers overcome their difference and work together? Ignatow's narrative is punctuated with her signature comic panels and illustrations, it's very kid-friendly and readable. I did feel uncomfortable about Cookie's bullying of Farshad and labeling him a terrorist. There are few people of color in their rural town and it felt odd to have them pitted against each other. Nick's best friend Jay has a crush on Cookie but his continual reference to her skin color in his compliments is creepy. See the School Library Journal review for a more detailed look at this one.
Writing Intriguing Informational Pieces
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Hook, Sue
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
The 54 pages of this book are packed with solid advice on writing interesting informational pieces. Tips for picking and narrowing a topic, researching, note- taking, and taking time to carefully organize your ideas, fill the first half of the book. The second half focuses on writing and revising. Sidebars with advice from writers add interest. There is also plenty of practical advice on how to avoid plagiarism, cite sources and the importance of strong introductions and conclusions. The book finishes with end matter including, source notes, a glossary index and a robust list of additional resources. This is a fine discussion on the topic, my only question is the audience – the book is perhaps more likely to be picked up and used as a resource by a teacher than a student.
Boy With 17 Senses
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Grau, Sheila
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Jaq's life is full of trouble - the neighbors pick on his family and have plans to take over their property; Jaq and his mom are on the verge of starvation. This humorous version of Jack and the Beanstalk takes place on planet Yipsmix where,words, emotions, and numbers have color and personality. Jaq's version of going to the land of the Beanstalk takes him to Earth, where he spars with Giants and must rescue a fellow Yipsmixian in trouble. There are charming illustrations by Adam Rex, and the fun of placing a familiar story in a new world. My favorite parts were the anthropological asides comparing customs across various worlds. Quite delightful.
I Am Pan!
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Gerstein, Mordicai
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
The Greek god Pan is the star of this graphic picture book by Mordecai Gerstein. The reader is told the tale of Pan’s birth and presentation and young life living in Olympus with the other Greek gods. Then his life in Arcadia and his invention of the feeling panic are shared. Readers learn Pan’s part in the defeat of the monster Typhus, the music contest between Pan’s pipes and Apollo’s lyre, and his role in the Greek victory in the battle of marathon. Finally, Pan tells of his falling in love with Echo, and starting a family. The ending hints to the possibility of a “Percy Jackson” style modern day meeting with the god- or at least the feeling of panic that is his signature. Gerstein’s art is a perfect match to the exuberant, fun loving, but panic-inducing god. Readers should enjoy this romp with a lesser-known Greek god.
Movie Version
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Wunsch, Emma
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Amelia's nickname is Meals, especially appropriate since her parents run a restaurant and food is the heart of togetherness in their busy family. Meals loves being sandwiched between popular older brother Toby and their much younger twin brothers, but during Toby's senior year his whimsical, risk-taking personality devolves into reclusiveness and addiction. Meals and Toby have a strong bond and never rat on each other, so Meals makes excuse after excuse, refusing to admit that Toby's problems are serious and that he need professional help for what is eventually diagnosed as schizophrenia. Meals is also preoccupied by her budding romance and sexual experimentation with first boyfriend Epstein and sorting out her own friendships. Although pop culture references may date this quickly, Meals' desire to have the "movie version" of her life instead of messy reality will ring true with readers.
Winter's Bullet
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Osborne, William
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Tygo is forced by the Nazis to plunder the property of his fellow Dutch citizens using his lock-picking skills. While on a job, Tygo meets Willa, who is in hiding but who may know how to find a priceless diamond that Tygo's handler is seeking. Tygo is a target of the Dutch Resistance who see him as a collaborator, but when the resistance captures Willa and lures Tygo into an ambush, Tygo discovers that his sister is still alive and is a resistance leader, not dead at a concentration camp as he has always feared. Students who don't know much about the war may not recognize this as an alternative history. Tygo end up trying to keep Hitler from escaping to South America under the protection of Eva Peron, who wants the diamond as payment for her help. There's lots of adventure and suspense, but characters are thin and not very likable.
Sheriffs Of Savage Wells
Shadow Mountain [Shadow Mountain]
Eden, Sarah M
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Paisley has been acting as the sheriff of Savage Wells and hopes to get the job, but when legendary lawman Cade shows up to apply, Paisley's already slim chances disappear. Although they have a spirited contest, Cade gets the nod from the town council and Paisley must piece together a living by waitressing, and cleaning while caring for her father who is slipping away into dementia. Cade can see Paisley's abilities that would make her a good sheriff and their flirtation turns to solid affection on his part though Paisley's insecurities keep getting in the way of a happy ending. One of my 8th graders always wanted books she described as, "Romance, no sex," and this book would have been perfect for her. Very light and fluffy, no multicultural characters.
Frontier Grit : The Unlikely True Stories Of Daring Pioneer
Shadow Mountain [Shadow Mountain]
Monson, Marianne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
There you are with your collective biography checklist. Interesting characters? Check, A variety of cultural and socio-economic perspectives respectfully presented? As far as I could tell. Short, punchy chapters? Yep. Attractive visuals and book design? At least an okay. Other positives - I liked the author's perspective on the concept of a frontier as geographical, cultural, even theological construct. The variety of women profiled was breathtaking, from a suffragette in Oregon to a polygamous wife in Utah. It was helpful to see these women's struggles firmly in the context of their time,with the acknowledgement that some of their choices would be offensive today but were firmly in the mainstream of cultural expectations even as other actions made them stand out. The author concludes each section with a brief, personal reflection on the way the woman's story made her reflect on her own life. At first it seemed like an intrusion of the author's voice and although it continued to jar me through the whole book, I did find it a bit of a spur to personal reflection. It would have been more effective if the author directly challenged readers to connect the material to their own lives.
Hilda And The Midnight Giant
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Pearson, Luke
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Hilda, the girl living with her mother in the far north of Scandinavia, is back in another charming graphic novel. In this book and her mother are tormented by mini-sprites. At the same time Hilda sees a giant in the distance. When she signs a document from a sprite Hilda is able to see the tiny creatures and finds that her house is sitting in the middle of a town of them. No wonder they are angry their houses keep getting crushed. While searching for a solution Hilda learns the story of the giant who is searching for his long lost love. Eventually, Hilda signs a treaty with the king so they can live in mutual peace, but it becomes a moot point when the giants accidentally crush Hilda’s house- just like she and her mother had unwittingly done to the pixies. Fans of the other Hilda books should like this one as well.
Some Writer! : The Story Of E.b. White
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Sweet, Melissa
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Fans of E. B. White’s three children’s books should enjoy this book about the author by Melissa Sweet. In approachable chapters lavishly illustrated in Sweet’s distinctive mixed media collage the basics of White’s life are outlined. There is a strong focus on how his three beloved and distinctive children’s novels came to be. Scattered through out are wonderful quotations from White’s writing that the support and complement the ideas of each chapter. The longer chapter book format allows an in-depth look at the author, but the wonderful illustrations filled with details and ephemera beg the reader to slow down and enjoy the writing and the illustrations. Included are an afterwards by the author, the grand daughter of White, a detailed timeline, and extensive source notes. This is a masterpiece of book design- well researched, carefully written and wonderfully illustrated.
Wolf-Birds
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Dawson, Willow
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In poetic text, the mutualism of ravens and wolves is explored in this realistic animal fiction tale. In a long snowy winter both the ravens and the wolves are in search of food. However, it is not an easy search. A wolf is killed by a well-aimed bison kick, and the ravens fruitlessly dig for underground food caches. When they hear each other, the two species form a bond for a hunt- the ravens fly until they find a wounded deer and call to the wolves that track it and kill it. Both the wolves and the ravens then share the food. The death of the deer is acknowledged, “one animal’s life helps many others live.” Beautiful illustrations full of movement and muted color compliment the text well.
Seven Dead Pirates
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bailey, Linda
Shiell, Mike
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
When Lewis’ grandfather dies, his family moves into his rambling mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Lewis also receives a special bequest of a ship in a bottle. Soon, however, Lewis realizes that the ship in the bottle was only to lure him to claim the tower room as his own and meet the seven dead pirates that haunt it. Lewis, timid and often picked on by peers, doesn’t want anything to do with the ghosts and moves out of the room pronto. Slowly, though, he picks up his courage and begins to get to know the ghosts. The ghosts want to move back to their ship that has recently been installed in the town’s maritime museum and they need Lewis to help them. Lewis decides that Halloween is the best day for the move and helps the ghosts, however, things don’t go well. The book ends with a hugely satisfying pirate ghost battle with Lewis stepping up in heroic ways to make sure his ghosts can once again sail the seas. If a reader is looking for a light and funny ghost story this is a good bet.
Artificial Intelligence
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Hulick, Kathryn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
This highly interesting title covers Computer Champions (humans vs. computer), US military robots, driverless cars, deep learning, facial recognition, Siri and a multitude of other technology breakthroughs on an introductory level. Thrilling new discoveries in science and technology are announced almost daily. One of the "Cutting-Edge Science and Technology" series that keeps upper middle readers at the forefront of new research. Artificial Intelligence covers a wide variety of topics in the emerging field of machine learning. Students would find the chapter on video games highly appealing. High-impact photos and explanatory graphics and charts bring scientific concepts to life. Glossary, selected bibliography, websites, could be expanded for better topic support. Excellent source notes, and index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.
Energy From Water : Hydroelectric, Tidal, And Wave Power
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dickmann, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
For centuries, falling water has been used in parts of the world to create energy to run grinding stones at mills and irrigation systems for crops. Hydroelectricity a clean form of energy, is being expanded to help us build a more sustainable future as well as other forms of water-based energy. Ocean wave and tidal energy are being harnessed and used to help create electricity. It would be beneficial to include more diagrams on alternate hydro energy like a wave energy diagram, and a tidal energy diagram. The pros and cons of the different types of hydro energy are outlined as well as a small “what you can do,” section. Beautiful images support text and give portray global perspective on hydro power all over the world including “Small Solutions” hydroelectric power plants! Glossary, index and “learning more” section.
Burning Out : Energy From Fossil Fuels
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dickmann, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Excellent middle grade title describing various types of fossil fuels; coal, natural gas, fracking for natural gas, oil, and electricity from fossil fuels. Also covered, the origins of fossil fuels, particularly the limitations of relying on fossil fuels as a limited resource. The risks fossil fuel use poses to our environment such as: global climate change, plastics, and health hazards due to pollution. These risks originate from both the consumption and a production standpoint. Statistics used are very easy to understand, either in written description or chart form. There are no statistics or information about population growth and the impact on consumption. There is a short chapter on alternative energies and personal actions we can take to reduce consumption. The information and accompanying pictures are factual and balanced making this a good addition to libraries of any kind.
Scar : A Revolutionary War Tale
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Mann, J Albert
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Told in a series of scenes and flashbacks spaced mainly over three days in late July 1779, this is an imagined story of Noah, a teenager who becomes involved with the Battle of Minisink. When Joseph Brandt, a Mohawk Warrior fighting for the British, burns his family’s farmhouse to the ground, Noah joins the local militia despite having a crippled foot and against his mother’s wishes. The novel is based on the actual events the tale of the ill-fated battle in which colonists were cut off and most eventually killed. The character Noah is well expressed as his story is told including the compassionate care he gives to a dying young Mohawk warrior even while nursing his own musket wound. An endnote goes into more detail about the little known battle and the inspiration for the novel.
Adapting To Climate Change
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Lanser, Amanda
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
As indispensable informational text explaining climate change. The title takes a global perspective, explaining other nations approach to dealing with climate change as well as highly impactful peripheral issue like ocean acidification, drought, sea level rise, glacial melt, and extreme weather; all significant threats to global well being currently and by 2100. Last chapter outlines some research and solutions that could be globally impactful and significant such as: cutting energy consumption, emissions that are carbon neutral, carbon dioxide removal, alternative energies, and solar radiation management. Excellent layout. Table of Contents headed by thought provoking questions. Interesting pictures support the text. Text boxes with additional essential information. Diagram, table and maps support text. Includes a timeline, a glossary, and up-to-date source notes. Author is not a scientist, content consultant Ankur Desai, Associate Professor Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Science Of A Nuclear Plant Explosion
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Marquardt, Meg
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Describes using pictures, diagrams and narrative how nuclear power plants work. From the source of energy, to the splitting of Uranium-235 (fission) as a controlled chain reaction that heats water to make steam to turn the turbines, concluding with the waste product water released by the cooling tanks. Describes what happens in a nuclear meltdown and uses Fukushima as the model. Discusses in detail in Chapter 5 “Why use Nuclear Power” when accidents can be so catastrophic. Particularly when the half like of radioactive element is 24,000 years! Index, glossary, further reading, list of top 5 nuclear disasters, no source notes. Author is a scientist but no father information regarding her degree.
Random Body Parts : Gross Anatomy Riddles In Verse
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Bulion, Leslie
Lowery, Mike
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
November 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Cleverly crafted riddles presented in 20 poems, each using a different poetry style, tickles the mind and maybe teaches the reader something about human anatomy. Useful poems to pique students curiosity. Each is illustrated by Mike Lowery's humorous drawings as well as photos of the actual organs along with factual text box describing the physiology involved. Extensive end notes on the poetry forms, a glossary and a few links for further information make this slim volume a useful addition to poetry and human biology collections.
Scorpion Vs. Centipede : Duel To The Death
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Taylor, Kimberly Feltes
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Bark scorpions and giant centipedes, two species of nocturnal arthropods found in the Arizona desert, often fight protracted battles to the death when they cross paths. Which one wins? This title from Edge Books’ Bug Wars series explains each insect’s attributes in the areas of size, speed and agility, weapons, defenses, and attack style, and rates for each on a scale of 1-5. The second part of the book gives a dramatic description of a made-up but realistic battle between the bugs, building the tension as first one bug and then the other gains the upper hand. Once final victory is achieved, the process of one consuming the other for dinner is explained in gruesome detail. Pages with several paragraphs of text alternate with excellent close-up photos of the insects. Fittingly, text boxes contain additional facts that are fierce, rather than fun. Words and their definitions appear on the page where they are initially used. A glossary, resource list, and index are also included. As readers learn about the insects’ characteristics, they will naturally make predictions about who will win the simulated duel to the death, and the final battle will keep them engaged as each bug uses its advantages against its opponent’s weaknesses.
Vampire Bats After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 29, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Did you know that the only mammal that can fly is the bat? Did you also know that the only one that dines exclusively on blood is the vampire bat? Having used special senses to locate a warm-blooded animal, a vampire bat will land nearby, crawl onto the animal, use its very sharp teeth to make a cut without being detected (!), and then lap up blood until it is sated. Readers will learn about physical features, range, habitat, eating, echolocation, babies, and predators in a paragraph or two per page. Visual interest is heightened by the use of white text on a black background, which fits the theme of Enslow’s Animals of the Night series, as well as by the text bubbles that provide fun facts. A truly outstanding feature of this book is the selection of incredible close-up and action photographs that cover all or most of every other page. The feeding pictures in particular are gruesomely fascinating. Placing the glossary at the beginning will help readers to better understand the text. A list of tips for staying safe around vampire bats should help allay the concerns of any readers whose apprehension level has been raised, while those who were drawn to the smell of blood will end up learning a lot.
World In A Second
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Martins, Isabel Minhos
Carvalho, Bernardo P.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In one second so much happens around the world. Through striking illustrations and short descriptive phrases one second is described in 23 locations around the globe. The illustrations and situations are interesting and sometimes intriguing and use varied perspectives and settings. At the end is a world map that shows the location and order of each of the scenes chosen- some of which are clear through the illustrations or text, but many of which are vague and universal. Thoughtful readers will have much to notice and enjoy in this concept book translated from Portuguese.
Almost A Full Moon
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Workman, Hawksley
Eckwall, Jensine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Enchanting illustrations by Jensine Eckwall illustrate the lyrics of song by Canadian songwriter Hawksley Workman. Set in a Northern wilderness a grandmother and grandson make a big pot of soup and wait for friends to come to share it. A multicultural and magical assortment shows up filling the small cabin. The friends share the soup and an evening of song and dance before heading home. The last scene is of the boy sleeping as his grandmother reads her book in a chair next to his bed. This is a lovely book about the warmth of community and friends. The lyrics sometimes make the reading slightly awkward, but the song is available on YouTube to share. The pictures invite the reader to come back and look again at the book. Just who is the wild red haired girl who brings a wolf to the party?
Return
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Becker, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In this conclusion to the wordless Journey trilogy the girl tries to get the attention of her father, but when she fails she returns through the red door to the magical land seen in the other books. There she reunites with the wizard, boy, and purple bird from the previous books. When her father finds she is gone he also ventures through the red door and becomes a character in the adventure. This time the soldiers have returned in search of the magical crayons. They have an invention that sucks the colors away and in doing so capture both the wizard and the boy. The girl and her father manage to escape with just one crayon and stumble across cave drawings which tell the story arc of the entire trilogy including how they can free the colors once again and catch the soldier who is stealing them. They do what is shown: trapping the soldier, releasing the colors from the invention and freeing their friends. The last spread shows a door back to their home- this time in the father’s studio. Readers willing to slow down, notice details and create a storyline in their minds will be very satisfied with the ending of this trilogy.
Half A Man
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Morpurgo, Michael
O'callaghan, Gemma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
In this short novella, Michael recounts his relationship with his grandfather who came back from World War II with terrible burns and most of his fingers missing. The two are close though his grandfather is often brusque and withdrawn. However, he appreciates that Michael, unlike most of the world, does not look away from his face. Over the years Michael often spends his summers with his grandfather on the Isle of Scilly. Finally, when Michael is a teenager his grandfather tells his the story of the torpedo that hit the ship he was on during the war and events after that changed his life forever. Through disfigurement and estrangement from his family his grandfather begins to think of himself as half a man. When his grandfather dies he asks that Michael bring his grandmother and mother together to bury him at sea. This is a thoughtful book to give to history and war buffs to help capture the personal sacrifices of war.
Donkeys
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Hasselius, Michelle M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Excellent photos and approachable text make this a strong introduction to donkeys for new readers. Facts include physical features, life needs, information about their young, and various jobs they perform for farmers. Like all Pebble Plus books this has a glossary, additional resources and access to the facthound website and index. If you are looking for a book on donkeys for young readers this could be an excellent choice.
Polka Dots For Poppy
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Schwartz, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Four sisters are excited about a back to school shopping trip. Each one has very definite ideas of what she wants: a princess dress, a purple dress, a cowboy vest and polka dots. The three oldest girls are able to find just what they want and natter on about their perfect out fits. Unfortunately, there are no polka dots to be found, and Poppy the youngest sister sadly, but stoically listens to her sisters’ excitement about their outfits. When Poppy falls asleep though her sisters come to the rescue creating a perfect polka dot outfit from Poppy’s white shorts, play dress and white sandals and their waterproof markers. Everyone is happy the next morning as they try out their new clothes as they play school- especially Poppy. This is a sweet tale of siblings working together to solve a problem for their little sister.
Time Of The Fireflies
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Little, Kimberley Griffi
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Larissa is startled when an old unattached phone in her parents’ antique store rings and when she picks it up a girl tells her to “Find the Fireflies. Trust the fireflies.” When she does find the fireflies they transport her across the Louisiana bayou to the island where her mother grew up and also back in time to 1912. There she is able to watch her great great grandmother as a child commit an act that brings tragedy for generations to come in the family. Larissa travels through various times and scenes in her family’s history and when her mother goes missing, she realizes that it is up to her to break the curse that has haunted the family. Plenty of action and mystery along with a bit of horror should make this a popular read though the large cast of characters across time can be a bit confusing.
Cecil's Pride : The True Story Of A Lion King
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hatkoff, Craig
Stapelkamp, Brent
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 30, 2016
Korf, Clarence
We all know the sad story of Cecil the Lion's death and the international uproar it caused. This book tells more of the story about Cecil and his pride. Cecil was one of the most studied lions in the Hwange National Park which saw his rise to power, his demise and his return to power with the son of a rival lion. One of the biggest concerns when Cecil was killed was what would happen to his pride and whether the young cubs would survive. To the researchers surprise an unlikely lion stepped up to the call of not only protecting his pride but also Cecil's. The story of Cecil is in the past but as stories like Cecil's occur it is important to have resources which tell how life can come out of tragedy. The text is complimented with full page pictures of Cecil and his pride. The book also includes brief additional social facts about lions, the global impact of Cecil's death, information on Hwange National Park and the research on Cecil's life.
Race Car Count
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai
Slack, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Thick paper pages with bright colors for 10 race cars to count. Rhyming story starts with Red light, Yellow light, Green light - Go! to be followed by each numbered car introduced. Hard to tell if the beginning of the book is the start of the race or getting to the starting line for the beginning of the race at the end of the book. Listeners didn't see to be concerned with this but enjoyed the book. Last page is titled, "Meet the Race Cars!" with number of car with " name, loves, collects" for each car.
Bedtime Monsters
CLARION [CLARION]
Schneider, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Arnold is playing before bedtime as a monster who is stomping Fifth Avenue in New York and then has a snack by biting off heads of the lions, tigers, and elephants. His mom reads three stories and turns out the light. One by one, monsters join Arnold in bed because they are scared. When the "grozny buzzler" joins them, he explains how awful the Arnold monster is by telling about what Arnold did in New York. But Arnold declares that he's an Arnold and the monsters quickly disappear. Finally, he can get some sleep! Good for discussing facing fears - especially at bedtime. Illustrations add to the story line.
Young Jerry Ford : Athlete And Citizen
William B Eerdmans Publishing Co [William B Eerdmans Publishing Co]
Booraem, Hendrik
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Biography of Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) in his early years as the reader looks at the beginning life of the future President of the United States. A swimmer, member of the Episcopal Church, Eagle rank Boy Scout who was part of the Eagle Scout Honor Guard, football and basketball player. He kept his eye on the ball with football his ticket to the University of Michigan and a law degree. Lots of photos from the 1920s and '30s. Shows the 38th President in a new light. Interesting background for the outlook and ideals that came with him to the White House. Review copy in paperback. Index.
Three Little Fish And The Big Bad Shark : A Board Book
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Geist, Ken
Gorton, Julia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published as a picture book in 2007, this new board book in smaller format features the aquatic version of The Three Little Pigs. Following the same structure, repetition and rhyme style, the three fish go off into the sea to make their own homes. Jim creates a seaweed home, which is quickly demolished by the big bad shark; Tim’s sand house fares no better, but sister Kim’s home in an old wooden ship stymies the shark, who loses his teeth trying to munch, crunch and smash the boat. As expected they all live happily ever after. If little ones can sit for this much text, they most likely won’t know the original tale that it’s based on, but will enjoy the shiny, bright seemingly digitally created illustrations and the catchy text. Adults will enjoy the word play as well.
Touch And Feel Farm
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This Touch and Feel book for little hands contains 12 things found on a farm and their sounds—piglet, tractor, lamb, goose, chick, kid, duckling, puppy, barn, calf, rooster, and foal. The single photos of these items sit amid illustrated settings with mostly bright, white backgrounds, a clear label for the item at the bottom of the page, and its two-part sound i.e. chug chug. The “feel” part of this title is on the minimal side, so not its strength. If a child doesn’t have a book with animal babies and their sounds this would fit the bill.
Touch And Feel Baby Animals
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This Touch and Feel book for little hands contains 12 baby animals and their sounds--chimpanzee (ooh ooh), puppies (woof woof), fawn (clip clop), rabbit kitten (thump thump), tiger cub (roar roar), hamster pup (nibble nibble), owlet (hoot hoot), kittens (meow meow), panda cub (crunch crunch), penguin chick (cheep cheep), polar bear cub (grr grr), and guinea pig pup (squeak squeak). Thus some are sounds that come out of their mouths and others are noises their movement makes. The single photos of these items sit amid illustrated settings with mostly bright white backgrounds, a clear label for the item at the bottom of the page, and it’s two-part sound. The “feel” part of this title is on the minimal side as some just have shiny parts or sparkles, so not its strength. If a child doesn’t have a book with animal babies and their sounds this could fit the bill with this decent price.
Peppa Pig And The Vegetable Garden
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Peppa and George are helping Grandpa Pig in his vegetable garden in the fall as an apple falls on Grandpa's head. While waiting for the seed Peppa planted to grow, George discovers a snail and the kids play snails, then Peppa as a butterfly, and George as a worm when Grandpa shows them how. Peppa also joins in the wiggle line. A bird starts eating the carrot seeds that Grandpa is planting, so they make a scarecrow. But the birds are hungry so a bird feeder is put in a tree. Mummy Pig falls into the huge blackberry bush while picking berries for a pie. For lunch are vegetables but George doesn't like salad until Grandpa creates a "Dino-saw" plate for him. Might be great to share with future gardeners. Because of the coloring poster on the inside of the dust jacket, this book would make a wonderful gift for a Peppa Pig fan.
Olivia Loves Owl
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Mcphail, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
On this board book’s end sheet the text begins, “Olivia Loves Owl. Owl loves Olivia.” It continues with this same structure of sentences throughout comparing the 2 friends i.e. “Owl has feathers. Olivia has a sweater.” Despite their differences they seem to be always together during this fall day as Olivia jumps in leaves, picks apples and reads herself to sleep. The illustrations of Owl and its expressions are the best part of McPhail’s seemingly durable offering. Because of the simplicity this can be used with the very young as intended as one of McPhail’s four season books in the same pattern with different main characters. Olivia is a girl with a tint of brown in her skin and dark hair.
Rocketry : Investigate The Science And Technology Of Rockets
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Mooney, Carla
Denham, Caitlin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Starting with a Timeline of history of Rocketry, this paperback book launches in chapters about the development of rocketry; basic rocket science: Newton's laws of motion; rocket design and construction; taking off: launch!; rockets in flight; coming back to Earth: rocket recovery systems; and rockets at work. Glossary (6 pages), resources, and index. Included on most pages are purple boxes with Words to Know. Cartoon style drawings for the illustrations. Useful but not a must have. Build It YOURSELF Series with 25 projects.
Planes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
From the Transportation series including books about boats, cars, spaceships, trains, and trucks, is a basic book about airplanes. Pre-1st graders will enjoy hearing about planes in a simple text and colorful pictures. Library binding, Index, 5 word glossary, and a page with three "More Facts." Good addition to the Easy Non-fiction.
How High Is High? : Science Projects With Height And Depth
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Gardner, Robert
Labaff, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Useful book that explains the metric ruler and yard stick and how they can be used. Safety first rules to always follow are listed at the beginning of the book. Starts with an easy measuring activity - How tall are you? Includes "What You Need" box lists. Continues on to include projects for depth for older, advanced students and ideas for Science Fair projects. Great ideas to explore and use for a science fair project. Practice and conduct experiments, keep records and draw conclusions. Copy is Library binding. Includes glossary (Words to Know), Further Reading, Answers to questions found in the projects, Index.
Coming Home
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Ruth, Greg
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
A boy waits anxiously at an airfield for a troop to arrive home on a plane. When the crowd is released to greet the soldiers he works through the crowd noticing the happy reunions around him. He can’t find who he is looking for right away and becomes anxious until through the crowd he spies his mom. The last picture is of them in a big hug with the words “I missed you so much.” With few words and amazing illustrations this small moment of reunion is a perfect discussion starter for Veteran’s Day, of the armed forces, or even just having a parent who is away for long periods of time. The kindergarten teachers who borrowed this book were very enthusiastic.
Hacia Un Mundo Verde
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Armentrout, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Spanish edition in library binding. Has 13 chapters plus Glossary and Index. Explains all types of energy including solar, natural gas, petrolium, coal, propane gas, nuclear energy, hydroelectric, wind power, geothermal, and bioenergy. Reduce, reuse, recycle examples given with Information boxes in each chapter. Colorful pictures. Useful for Spanish speakers. Also available in e-book and paperback.
Anything But Ordinary Addie : The True Story Of Adelaide Her
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rockliff, Mara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Addie Herrmann was born in 1853. In Victorian England she pushed the limits of respectability becoming a dancer, and then part of a trick bicycling act. On her way to America Addie met a dashing French magician named Alexander Herrmann. They fell for each other and Addie was the one to propose marriage shocking many, but not Herrmann. Through out their marriage they worked as a team impressing audiences around the world and building their show with other entertainers. Addie was her husbands assistant but also had other roles such as being shot out of a cannon. When her husband died of a heart attack Addie was heartbroken, but realized that to support their fellow entertainers the show must go on. She stepped into the role of magician and lured audiences in by attempting the incredibly dangerous bullet-catching trick. She did the trick perfectly and went on to run the show for another 30 years. Readers will enjoy learning about this indomitable who lived life on her own terms. Included is an additional page of information about Herrmann, a photo of her, and an interesting essay on researching the entertainer who had slipped from general knowledge. Herman is an excellent example of following ones passion.
Glow : Animals With Their Own Night-Lights
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Beck, W H
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Amazing photographs of bioluminescent creatures and plants against black backgrounds will draw in readers. The clear text will help them understand what bioluminescence is and the possible reasons that these creatures glow. Each page feature one idea clearly labeled, a photograph of an example creature, and below that a paragraph explaining how the creature uses bioluminescence. This would be a good mentor text for a clear, engaging informational writing and using examples to explain ideas. Additional information is available at the end of the book on the creatures presented and which parts of their bodies glow, a short discussion on the difficulties of photographing in low light, often underwater places, and a bibliography.
Everyday Origami : A Foldable Fashion Guide
Savvy/capstone Press [Savvy/capstone Press]
Song, Sok
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Origami hits the fashion runway in this fun new series from Capstone. In this entry origami (or fashion) aficionados may choose between various skirts, pants and tops all folded from single sheets of origami paper. In addition to the folding directions each project includes a description of the actual piece of clothing and couple of fashion hints for when or what to wear with it. Though these are certainly not for beginners, the directions are clearly described and illustrated and should be able to be tackled by those with some folding experience. The author, Sok Song, is well known in both the origami and fashion worlds. This series should find a small but loyal following for years to come.
Ada's Ideas : The Story Of Ada Lovelace, The World's First C
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Robinson, Fiona
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 30, 2016
Wittmann, Paula
Ada Lovelace, was a herald of computer programming. Ada’s mother, left her husband the philandering Lord Byron, and in response encouraged mathematical thinking discouraged imagination in her daughter’s upbringing. A three-year illness gave Ada plenty of time to immerse her mind in the study of mathematics. When seventeen, she entered society, which expanded her world both socially and intellectually. She met the inventor, Charles Babbage who recognized her mathematical genius and invited her to work on a “difference machine” a steam powered calculator. Later he asked her to create an algorithm to run his “analytical machine” a precursor of computers (it was never produced.) Lovelace was able to create the complex algorithm but also to envision the power that computational machines would have in the future far beyond math applications. Lovelace was able to juggle this work with her marriage to Lord William Keane and the birth of three children. She died at 36. Her work and notes have influenced many programmers. Whimsical drawn, painted and cut paper illustrations capture the creativity of Lovelace’s mind well.
Hooray For Hoppy!
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Hopgood, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Hoppy the Bunny is looking for Spring but the first two times he awakes and pokes his head out, winter is still going strong. Then on the third try, Hoppy discovers that Spring has arrived. He uses his five senses to explore. After the story the reader explores the senses with questions such as "What can you hear?" for hearing and the question of "What does Hoppy hear?" to connect readers with the story. Toddler story time in the spring will find this book a treasure. Reinforced binding.
Ten Of The Best Witch And Sorcerer Stories
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 30, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Simple retelling in two pages for each of ten stories about witches and sorcerers. Included are Circe (Greek), Medea (Greek), Baba Yaga (Russian), Mother Hulda (German), Witch's cat (German), wizard (Scandinavia), Hansel and Gretel (German), and two stories about Aladdin (Far East). Glossary and Index. Pictures take up about 1/3 of space for each retelling. Included in the "Ten of the Best Myths, Legends, & Folk stories" series which introduces heroes and villains from different cultures around the world. Copy review was paperback. Good introduction to the topic in literature.