Reviews for month


Next To You : A Book Of Adorableness
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Houran, Lori Haskins
Hanson, Sydney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 02, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Cute fuzzy critters are the picture book’s stock-in-trade, but in “Next to You,” Lori Houran ups the ante. Over and over, her subtly witty text insists that the child listener is far more adorable than the animals she describes -- but the descriptions are near-parodies of cute-animal listicle memes that bombard the Internet. Not just a squirrel, but one “eating a doughnut with its tiny hands.” And compared to a child? “Meh. Just OK.” It’s the over-the-top, gushing compliments that keeps this book just as warm and fuzzy as its animals, while providing grins for the adults along for the ride. Sydney Hanson’s big-headed creatures with stupendously large teardrop-shaped eyes perfectly match the text; her soft-shaded pastels look like they dropped out of a vintage Little Golden Book, albeit with the same irony-shaded knowingness as the text. An cleverer-than-most pick for reading to the very young.
Cricket Song
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Hunter, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 02, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
As a child begins to slumber, he hears the sound of crickets outside his window, which are in turn joined by frogs, then heard by birds who hide from a fox, which is watched by a rabbit. In Anne Hunter’s soothing bedtime story, this chain of connection in the natural world stretches down to the coast, and is then carried across the sea by birds and whales until it comes to a stop at the shores of an unnamed Pacific Island, where a little girl is readying herself for bed. Stretched across the bottom of each page spread is an illustration of both coastlines, showing the progression of the sun across the ocean as the story moves forward. Sleep happens at different times on different continents, the story gently reminds us, but we aren’t as far apart from one another as we think. Each page is engulfed with gentle illustrations of animals readying for night; Hunter’s watercolor-and-ink paintings are vibrant with the interplay of light and shadow, allowing readers to catch the shine of a poorwill’s feathers beneath a bush, or the sharp outline of a fox’s nose against a radiant sunset. This would make an excellent companion to other this-leads-to-that bedtime stories such as Susan Marie Swanson’s “The House in the Night.”
Nameless City
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Hicks, Faith Erin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 03, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
The Nameless City is a vaguely Asian city that has been invaded over and over. The original people are suffer under a repeating wave of invaders, but they know they will continue to make this their home. Rat, a native, befriends Kaidu, and outsider and they form a strong friendship despite their differences. I received rave reviews from intermediate an intermediate reader which were repeated in other student review mediums. Illustrations are very well done, exciting action on each page. Some adult reviewers took exception of the inconsistencies in the ancient city elements. But this is a story of action, bravery, loyalty, and friendship. Students would want more than one copy in my library. Second book in series is already available.
You Wouldn't Want To Be Tutankhamen!
Franklin Watts (Slp) [Franklin Watts (Slp)]
Stewart, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 04, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Readers love the "You Wouldn't Want to be.." books. Most are biographies like this one, and don't exactly give the most important information about a person. But the cartoon drawing and humor keep these in demand. Other Egypt books in the series are "Pyramid Building," "Cleopatra," and "Egyptian Mummy," and "You Wouldn't Want To Be Cursed by King Tut" so this is not a must have. Binding will last forever.
Rock The Boat
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Brouwer, Sigmund
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
17-year-old Webb is living on a houseboat in Nashville. His grandfather's bequest set him up with a producer to see if his musical talents as a singer/songwriter could bring him success. Now, however, Webb is down to his last few dollars, and the producer is ripping off his material and accusing him of theft just to get him out of town. How does a kid without friends or family fight against something like that? Luckily Webb has made a new friend, and that friend is going to make all the difference. This is another terrific entry in the Orca "Limelights" series. The characters are well-defined, the plot is fast-paced and interesting. You buy into the situation and root for Webb's success. I love the Orca books. They're perfect for secondary and appeal to passionate readers and reluctant readers alike. The book is also completely clean, making it a good choice for literature set studies. Go Orca!
Ibtihaj Muhammad : Olympic Fencer
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ibtihaj Muhammad: Olympic Fencer is a biography, which is part of Abdo Olympic Biographies series. Other titles include: Simone Biles, Usain Bolt, Laurie Hernandez, Katie Ledecky, and Michael Phelps. Ibtijah is recognized as being the first American woman to wear a hijab and it describes the importance of her religion in her daily life, her education, and the sport of fencing. The book lists her World Cup and Olympic victories which include individual and team medals. One page shows a photo of Muslim girls playing basketball, inspired by Ibtihaj’s love of sports. Includes T/C, maps, captions, bold print, glossary, and index. Text is substantial and would give the reader ample information for report writing or just to know more current Olympic athletes with diverse backgrounds. Grades 3-8
Origami Zoo Animals : Easy & Fun Paper-Folding Projects
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
George, Anna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
See review of "Origami Pets": Super Simple Origami series
Origami Pets : Easy & Fun Paper-Folding Projects
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
George, Anna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Origami Pets is in the Abdo Super Simple Origami series, which includes birds, dinosaurs, farm animals, insects, and zoo animals. Has intro, directions for basic and special folds, symbols used in instructions, materials and tips. Animals include a bunny, cat, goldfish, puppy, frog, and turtle. Format is clear, instructions are simple and easy to understand, and animals are unique and whimsical. Has T/C, bold print, photos of each step, and glossary. This would be a just-right start that won’t overwhelm students or adults.
Noah Webster's Fighting Words
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Maurer, Tracy Nelson
Catusanu, Mircea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a picture book biography about the life (and stubbornness) of Noah Webster. The author recounts Webster’s life as a child in early America. He “fought” the British in the American Revolution with letters, speeches and newspaper articles. Americans, he believed, should learn American history, read American authors, and use American words. His writings included anthologies of American literature, vocabulary, American spelling, and “An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). Although not the same illustrator, is similar to Melissa Sweet's picture books biographies (William Carlos Williams, Roget, and Some Writer!: E.B. White. Using muted colors, illustrations are a combination of cartoon (not cartoonish), pen and ink, and photo collage. Includes author’s note, illustrator’s note, timeline and primary sources(!).
It's St. Patrick's Day!
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Sebra, Richard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Bumba Books is an emergent reader series from Lerner. Series are bundled into “Community Helpers,” “Ocean Animals,” “Sports,” “Machines that Go,” Pets,”, “Season Fun,” and “Holidays.” “It’s St. Patrick’s Day” is one is a series, including, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Cinco de Mayo, Diwali, Easter, Halloween, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, Famadan and Eid Al-Fitri, Thanksgiving, and Valentine’s Day. Photos are bright, colorful with ethnically diverse children celebrating the holiday. They show celebrations in Ireland, Chicago, New York, and Japan (?!) and describe the symbols and food of the holiday. This has very basic information and I have found it useful to explain holidays celebrated in the U.S. that were once religious, but have morphed into secular, cultural holidays—and for students and their families to learn about holidays celebrated in our culturally rich community.
Russian Blue Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Russian Blue Cats – see Ragdoll Cats review (Abdo Kids: Cats)
Ragdoll Cats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ragdoll Cats is one in a series of books, which include American Shorthair, Bengal, Himalayan, Sphynx, and Russian Blue cats. Format and size is the same as Military Vehicles: photos that cover 2-page spread, one sentence on each page, bold print, T/C, glossary, index, and Abdo Kids code for more online information. Excellent selection of photos. Other series by other publishers provide more information
Military Wheeled Vehicles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Military Wheeled Vehicles – see Military tracked Vehicles review (Abdo Kids: Military Aircraft & Vehicles.
Military Tracked Vehicles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Abdo Kids has this “Military Aircraft & Vehicles” series, which is similar in format to PebbleGo books (Military Machines) and other publishers. Large photos that spill over onto a double page spread, the photos are clean and basic; boys will be devouring them. Each double page has a bold print heading with ONE sentence. Series has T/C, glossary, index, and Abdo Kids code to find out more online. Both Abdo and PebbleGo series (510 lexile) are worthy purchases but PG has more substance/text (650 lexile). Both priced at $20.00 with durable library binding.
Statue Of Liberty
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
The Statue of Liberty – see The White House review (Abdo Kids: U.S. Landmarks)
White House
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 05, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
The White House is one in a series of Abdo Kids books, which include The Statue of Liberty, United States Capitol, Mount Rushmore, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial. Same format as Military Vehicles (see reviews): photos that cover 2-page spread, ONE sentence, bold print, T/C, glossary, index, and Abdo Kids code for more online information. This series could be used effectively to start lessons on important U.S. symbols and landmarks. Other series by other publishers provide more information.
Edge Of The Light
Viking Juvenile [Viking Juvenile]
George, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 07, 2017
Dame, Anne
Set on Whidbey Island, this is a fun read for mystery fans, especially those in the Puget Sound region who will be able to identify closely with the setting. Book 4 in the series continues to follow teen friends who encounter many challenges and issues including: drug use, lesbian relationships, Alzheimer's disease, and more. There is a lot of back story given in this book, but readers will enjoy it more if they have read the other books in the series first. Due to content/issues, steer towards more mature readers.
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish : Any Fin Is Possible
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
O'hara, Mo
Jagucki, Marek
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
Book 4 in the series but stands alone just fine. This book contains two stories. The first is an Egyptian adventure based at the local museum; the second is at a multi-school sporting event. Both tales contain humor, an element of mystery, and illustrations in the style of "Wimpy Kid". A good read for those who are looking for something fun and funny. A bit young for middle school (but could work for struggling/reluctant readers), steer more towards 3rd/4th grade.
Flip The Bird
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Brunner, Kym
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Don't let the title throw you. Mercer's father runs a bird rehabilitation facility, and is a falconer. Mercer is finally getting the chance to apprentice under his father. He's already helping with the other birds which, when possible, are released after rehabilitation. Being a falconer has long been his dream. When he gets his first bird he names it Flip. Typical teenager. Then he falls for a really cute girl who belongs to HALT--an animal rights organization that, while sometimes helpful, is often overly aggressive in pursuit of its goals. Parental opposition abounds. Are the teens Romeo and Juliet? Did Romeo have a snotty muscle-bound older brother who has a trigger temper and cheats on his girlfriend? Did Romeo have a younger sister who loved to tattle? Did Juliet have parents who broke the law in pursuit of their "higher good?" The issues raised are quite valid, while at the same time showing teens in all their messiness as they try to figure out what they really believe. The title will lure in teens, and the story should capture them.
Caroline's Comets : A True Story
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mccully, Emily Arnold
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Caroline Herschel's brother, William was an astronomer, which probably saved her from an unhappy life. Having endured sicknesses as a child, that stunted her growth and pock-marked her face, Caroline wasn't likely to become a wife and mother. However, working for her brother she became a famed astronomer too which, in the 1700's was quite an accomplishment. Her work still influences astronomers today. McCully brings the character to life, adding primary source quotes, and compelling illustrations. End matter includes a timeline, bibliography, and further information. This is a delightful, compelling story that merits reading, telling, and promoting. It would make a great addition to Women's History Month.
Dc Super Friends : Girl Power!
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This large board book has female super heroes, and a few guys helping, catching a jewel thief. Each page features one woman--Catwoman, Batgirl, Hawkgirl, Supergirl, Wonderwoman, and Poison Ivy. Flaps show other heroes and villains. There's really no plot here, but youngsters sill appreciate the bright, bold, cartoon illustrations, even if they all have unusually big feet.
Ants Rule : The Long And Short Of It
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Barner, Bob
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Beautiful bright collage illustrations, using paper from around the world, are the highlight of this bug measuring book. The ants have a plan, but they need measurements. However, what unit of measure should they use? they don't have inches and feet, after all, so they decide to use an ant. The caterpillar is four ants long, the bee is two...and so it goes. Charts, graphs, and comparisons follow. But what are the ants building? This is a nice introduction to measuring that kindergarteners and their teachers will enjoy.
Peeper And Zeep
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gudeon, Adam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Peeper, a bird, and Zeep, an alien, have both crashed and are lost. Together, can they solve their problems and get home again? Frog tries to help, but with little success. Fortunately their parents find them. Simple ink and digital illustrations accompany the easy-reader text. This an adequate easy reader. Unfortunately they eliminated the end and front papers. The title page is, literally, the first page of the book. And the last page of the story is on the inside of the back cover. This is problematic for library use. Stitching is good, but the glossy paper over board cover won't last.
Pip Sits
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Morgan, Mary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Pip is a young porcupine who receives an unusual surprise when a mother duck asks him to mind her nest. What's that sound? Oh no! Now Pip is surrounded by adorable ducklings who think Pip is their mother! How will their real mother win them back? Pip is sad when they leave, but his own mother provides comfort. This is a gently sweet easy reader with soft, warm pastel illustrations. The whole book feels like a warm hug.
Billboard Express
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Brouwer, Sigmund
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 09, 2017
Dame, Anne
Although this is technically a sequel to "Rock the Boat", it stands on it's own just fine. Elle loves music and desperately wants to be a singer/songwriter. She is living in Nashville and working hard to make the dream come true despite many challenges along the way. A good hi-lo read, especially for those with an interest in music and the music industry.
Taz's Recipe
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Tullson, Diane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 09, 2017
Dame, Anne
Taz is in a food science class - even though everything she makes turns into a disaster of some sort or another. For some of her classmates, this class and a competition within it, are a ticket to a brighter future and Taz is standing in the way of their success. She needs to find a way to step up her game and get through this in a way that will positively help her team. A hi-lo read for fans of The Cooking Channel, Iron Chef, Food Network, etc.
Falling Into The Dragon's Mouth
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Thompson, Holly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 09, 2017
Dame, Anne
This novel in verse tells the story of 6th grader, Jason Parker. He is an American boy living in Japan with his family. He struggles to fit in, deals with bullying, takes care of his sister, and is learning aikido. A good read for those who have ever had a hard time fitting in with their peer group. Also of interest for those who want to learn more about Japan and Japanese culture, especially in a small fishing village.
Tucker Digs Easter!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcguirk, Leslie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Tucker is a puppy who loves loves loves to dig. He's a master at it. In fact, he's so good the Easter Bunny recruits him to help hide eggs. Of course it does mean he has to wear a disguise. Unfortunately Tucker is too good, and his skills must come into play again to help the children find the missing eggs. For his hard work Tucker gets his own Easter basket filled with doggy treats. Crisp illustrations in bright kid-friendly colors fill the pages of this sturdy board book that would be a happy sharing story with parent and child.
Zoom In On The Statue Of Liberty
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This 24-page entry in the "Zoom in on American Symbols" series introduces young readers to the Statue of Liberty. The book begins with a list of "Word to Know" and provides clear information about the statue's origins. There's a little about the construction of the statue, its location, and how its pedestal was funded. Ellis Island is mentioned. More time is spent on the statue's symbolism, and the final stanza of Emma Lazarus's poem is included. An extension activity, as well as a short bibliography, website list, and index, are included. There are photographs, Unfortunately what this book needs is more close-up pictures of the statue itself. This is a nice introduction, but if you're going to "zoom in" please do so photographically as well.
Maurice Sendak : King Of The Wild Things
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Shepherd, Jodie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Maurice Sendak, although best known as a children's author, had a long and varied career. This 32-page, small format Rookie Biography gives young readers an introduction to the man. They learn of his birth, family, and heritage. There's information about his childhood, and family. It was clear from a young age that Maurice was an artist and the book follows him from decorating store windows to becoming a book author and illustrator. His love of dogs, and interest in opera are examined. There's also information about where he got some of his story ideas. The facts are clearly, if briefly, presented, and accompanied by plenty of photographs. (What? No mention of the recently-retired scenery he created for Seattle's "Nutcracker?") All standard text features apply. This is a short but interesting introduction to a favorite author.
Monster Jokes
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Laffin, Ima
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
OK, there are some retreads here, and some groaners. However, joke books are always popular and this one is sturdily bound, has fun digital illustrations, and averages four jokes per double-page spread through its 32 pages, which is a nice ratio. Besides, you're talking monsters here--a popular topic! This is kid humor. Adults will roll their eyes. Kids, however, will be happily sharing the jokes with their friends. (Oh, and these are really riddles, more than jokes.)
Dogs
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Young artists will enjoy this "First Drawings" series from Abdo. Each well-bound 32-page book begins with an overview of needed supplies, shapes, colors, and different shading methods. In this book readers then learn how to draw five different types of dogs from wiener dog to happy dog. The author starts off with basic shapes, moving to an outline, then adding details and color. This is just the beginning, however, as readers are encouraged to see the shapes in dogs around them and continue drawing. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Drawing books are always popular and this provides some solid step-by-step directions building, then expanding on, basic skills. It would be a useful addition to any elementary school library.
Cats
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Young artists will enjoy this "First Drawings" series from Abdo. Each well-bound 32-page book begins with an overview of needed supplies, shapes, colors, and different shading methods. In this book readers then learn how to draw five different cats from goofy to curious, starting with basic shapes, moving to an outline, then adding details and color. This is just the beginning, however, as readers are encouraged to see the shapes in cats around them and continue drawing. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Drawing books are always popular and this provides some solid step-by-step directions building, then expanding on, basic skills. It would be a useful addition to any elementary school library.
Plants
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Rivera, Andrea
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Zoom in on Our Renewable Earth" series, this 24-page book has an attractive cover and is filled with crisp, beautiful photographs. The format is interesting, each short unit examining an aspect of plants through a different lens--science, technology, engineering, art, math, and key stats. Lamentably this results in a book that lacks a clear focus. It's just a few random facts about plants thrown together and forced to fit a particular template. The book is beautifully designed, but lacks coherent content.
Perfect Pinatas
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are twins from a Latino family. Their birthday is coming up and they are on the search for their perfect pinatas. It's a hard work, visiting store after store, but at last their pinatas--a dinosaur and an elephant--are found! Now there's another problem. They love their pinatas too much. While they long for the shower of candy and gifts, the thought of beating their beloved pinatas to pieces is horrifying. Luckily, Grandma founds a solution that save the pinatas and the birthday party. This is a warm, friendly story that includes bright color illustrations, very short chapters, and a nice smattering of Spanish words. The series is perfect for those just barely making the transition out of easy readers into chapter books. The Carlos and Carmen books are also an excellent way to add diversity to your collection.
Honey Girl : The Hawaiian Monk Seal
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Harvey, Jeanne Walker
Bersani, Shennen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hawaiian monk seals are endangered, so each is precious. That makes this story of Honey Girl particularly touching. Honey Girl was an Hawaiian monk seal injured by fishing equipment. Near death, she was nursed back to health and eventually returned to the wild. This was particularly important because she had established herself as a good mother. But would she be able to have more pups after the accident? The answer will make readers smile. This is a sweet, true storyby Jeanne Walker Harvey with warm realistic illustrations by Shennen Bersani. Maps, as well as additional information about monk seals, conservation, and rehabilitation are included. This is excellent narrative nonfiction that would also make a good read-aloud.
My Home In The Rainforest
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Lewis, J Patrick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What are some of the animals found in the rain forest? This Rookie Poetry "Animal Homes" book takes 24 pages in a small format to introduce six rain forest animals with crisp color photographs facing a short poem by J. Patrick Lewis. The appendix includes a few additional facts as well as a glossary, index, and website link. Each poem is well-written and provides a little information and a nice evocative feel. This is a good way to add a literary element to habitat studies.
Totally Wacky Roadside Attractions
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Chanko, Pamela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Traveling down the road you never know what you might see. This small format 32-page "Rookie Amazing America" book shows young readers 12+ weird roadside attractions, as well as several ways in which water towers have been embellished for fun. Crisp photographs accompany a paragraph or two of text providing a little information about each novelty. A map shows their general location. The book includes a short glossary, index, and website link. The subject is interesting, which is the problem. While this is a fun browsing book it leaves the reader wanting more, much more. They'll have to go to the website links for that, however.
Pet Show Problem
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Meza, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Carlos and Carmen are twins from a Latino family. There's going to be a pet show, but their attempts to train their cat to do tricks are doomed to failure. Fortunately these are imaginative children and they come up with their own unique pet show, to which they invite their family. This is a warm, friendly story that includes bright color illustrations, very short chapters, and a nice smattering of Spanish words. The series is perfect for those just barely making the transition out of easy readers into chapter books. The Carlos and Carmen books are also an excellent way to add diversity to your collection.
Hocus Focus
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Sturm, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Great silliness abounds as "Adventures in Cartooning" creators return with another story. What happens when the knight is stuck peeling vegetables when he really wants to be learning magic? Well, when the wizard's away the knight will play. Unfortunately his attempt at a spell goes bad. (No surprise there.) Soon they are all in mortal danger! Will turnips help? This is an absurd graphic novel story will a lot of nonsense, great artwork, and just enough grossness to haul in those pre-adolescent boys. Is there great literary value here? No, but the book is sure to be popular. Don't forget to look at the end papers that add to the humor, and provide a few drawing tips.
No Place Like Space : Kindness
KANE PRESS [KANE PRESS]
Harkrader, Lisa
Warrick, Jessica
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Spork crash-landed on the playground and is now a 3rd-grader learning all that an alien needs to know about earthlings. In this 5th book in the series the school is planning a fair. Spork is busy gathering wisdom, especially about the concept of kindness. Can the students give him good examples that will make him understand? This series includes black and white illustrations, short chapters, and simple concepts, with activities at the end. It is designed for transitional readers. Better books exist in that category, but this is acceptable fare if you need more.
Groundhog Day From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Poor Hubie is under the gun. He has to be the anchorman for his classroom news show on Groundhog Day. He has nightmares about groundhogs. He can't figure out why the holiday is a big deal. He's nervous about his moment in front of the camera. The things he's doing to ease that nervousness are not helping at all, although he does learn a little something about the holiday, and so will young readers. This is another silly visit to the Black Lagoon with Jared Lee's black and white kid-friendly illustrations and Mike Taler's short chapters, simple text, and returning characters. These books are always a hit with transitional readers.
Reading Challenge From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The kids from the black Lagoon are back. This time they are engaged in a reading challenge. Who can read the most books--the boys or the girls? there are five boys and two girls, but the girls aren't worried. They don't need to be. the boys get distracted by video games and sports. The girls are pulling ahead! What to do, what to do? Luckily the librarian shows the boys a secret shelf where there are all these Black Lagoon books. Soon they are reading up a storm. Who will win the lunch with the author...the guy who writes those Black Lagoon books? OK, this title is a little self-serving, but it's right on a par with the series. Jared Lee's detailed and humorously labeled illustrations combine with short cvhapters and lightweight characters to make this a good choice for transitional readers. Fans will enjoy it.
Camp So-And-So
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Mccoy, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 11, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is not your ordinary summer camp; in fact, it's really not a camp at all. The book is narrated by an at-first unknown character and the entire story (all 413 pages of it) is told in Acts, as if it were a play. Five cabins' worth of teenaged girls show up for the first day of camp. Immediately, events go awry: One of the counselors dies, one of the cabins has a hedge completely encircle and cover it and the occupants are trapped, one cabin is sent on a quest, one competes in the All-Camp Sport & Follies to their detriment, and the last cabin finds their soulmates and the key to what's wrong with this place. If you can dive into this tale of friends made and lost, girls falling in love, bloody fights, horse kelpies, dead bodies, accidents, freakish greedy and stupid people, monsters with spider heads, and girls who get turned into ravens, you might like this odd, but likeable story. I did.
Fork
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous, and largely factual, look at the invention of the fork. Young readers learn about eating with hands, then the invention of the kitchen tool called the harpago. It's gradual evolution to a two-tined fork that received a mixed reception, then to our modern forks, is examined. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound, with funny comments. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction, leaning towards fact. This isn't an in-depth treatise, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a funny look at an invention that we commonly use. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but are there young readers out there who care about the origins of the fork?
Arf
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Quinn, Spencer
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 12, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Arf is a sequel to the Bowser and Birdie's first novel "Woof." As sequels go, this sequel is better than "Woof" with a plot with more twists and turns. Birdie has lost her police officer dad in an on the job incident but she is still her dad's words and curiosity enable her to solve crimes. This book starts out with a mysterious robbery where nothing is taken. When a similar robbery occurs across town but a necklace has been stolen, Birdie and Bowser work hard to discover what has happened. As they dig deeper into why someone would take nothing from there house, a new found friend is found dead. Police are suspecting suicide but Birdie and Bowser know there is more going on. A past unsolved case, her father's death and the robbery all create a great detective mystery. Bowser adds humor as well as insights into who may be involved. He has his suspects.
Glasses
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous, and largely factual, look at the invention of glasses. From looking through jewels and water to nailed spectacles, lorgnettes, monocles, pince-nez and modern glasses, this book briefly shows the evolution of thinking when it comes to vision care. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound with funny comments. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction, leaning towards fact. This isn't an in-depth treatise, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a funny look at an invention that we commonly use. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but will they attract young readers?
One Proud Penny
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Siegel, Randy
Bloch, Serge
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
One proud penny tells of his many adventures as he has bounced across the United States since 1983. He's been used in many transactions, stuck in coin jars, lost in the sewer, and trapped under a stamp machine. Not everything he's done has been fun, but he's done his job. He tells readers a little about himself, but this is more about what he does than what he is. That is, except for the two-page spread at the end that gives readers a nice history of the penny and information about its various permutations. The book includes a short bibliography. Simple pen and digital illustrations throw an actual picture of a personified penny into the mix as readers follow it on his various activities. This is an adequate book. I just wish more of the facts contained at the end had been integrated into the text. As it is, the story is quite slight.
Germs : Fact And Fiction, Friends And Foes
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Cline-Ransome, Lesa
Ransome, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Think about the poor, misunderstood germs. People are always trying to get rid of them. Nobody says: "YAY! Germs! C'mon in!" It's a hard life. In this delightful picture book young readers get to hear it all from the germ's perspective. They've been around forever, and are great travelers. They go by a bunch of names, too. They spent many years as a powerful unseen dynasty, until the invention of the microscope. Their secrets revealed, war broke out and entire portions of the germ family died a horrible death. It was a tragedy, despite the number of human lives saved. The book talks about both good germs and bad ones, and the best ways to avoid dangerous germs. Hand-washing is especially emphasized. James Ransome has used watercolor, ink, and mixed-media to create the illustrations that explode across the pages while Lesa Cline-Ransome wields the pen in this enjoyable collaboration. This is a fun way to learn important facts. The book would perfectly pair up with "Sick Simon" for a great fiction/nonfiction story time.
Toilet
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous, and largely factual, look at the invention of the toilet. From shared Roman toilets, to chamber pots, and commodes this briefly follows the evolution of hygiene to the invention of the flush toilet and running water. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound with funny comments. In this book there are also a fair amount of cartoon bare bums. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction, leaning heavily towards fact, with enough imagination to leave you wondering. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but will they attract young readers?
Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Taylor, Sean
Hindley, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's embarrassing to be a "purse dog". I mean, the other dogs are rolling in the grass with laughter whenever they hear your owner call you by pet names. It's also embarrassing wearing a ribbon and eating cute little heart-shaped treats. What kind of life is that for a dog? Choochie Pooh goes to the dog park expecting trouble and tail-drooping embarrassment. However, he meets up with other great dogs and they have a lot of fun. They can't know his horrible secret. In the end the long-suffering dogs share an understanding. This is a funny book told squarely from the dog's point of view. The large, humorous pencil, paint, and digital illustrations add to the fun and are big enough for sharing. Hand this to a teacher who is looking for an example of "voice."
Otis The Owl
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Holland, Mary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is life like as a baby barred owl? The artist uses the text as narration for crisp photographs that follow a baby wild owl and his sister from egg to first perch outside the nest. The photographs fill the pages, crossing the gutter while facing text that provides basic facts as well as a narrative of the owl's life story. Like other books in the series, additional information is provided in a four-page appendix, including information about owl pellets, and owl anatomy. This is a direct piece of narrative nonfiction that would be a good read-aloud in classes studying owls.
Switzerland
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Seavey, Lura Rogers
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 12, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Switzerland is part of the Enchantment of the World series. The book begins with focus on a unique museum in Ballenberg which reflects much of Switzerland's past. Switzerland is in the middle of Europe which is affected by its mountainous terrain. Information includes more about the plant and animal life, how the country was formed, history, government and its industry . As with any country, the Swiss people have influenced their culture, religious practices, literature and sports. The layout includes many photographs, maps, and sidebars which support and enhance the text. The book includes a timeline, fast facts, additional resources and index. A good resource for students wanting to know more about Switzerland.
Cici : A Fairy's Tale : 3 : A Perfect View
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Doerrfeld, Cori
Page, Tyler & Cori Doerrfeld
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Cici comes from a happy extended Latino family. On her tenth birthday, however, she discovers that her family is far from normal. She's a fairy, like her grandmother, and the rest of her family is also unusual. Outsiders can't see it, but Cici can, and she's trying to come to terms with her magic and her normal life. In this, the third book in the graphic novel series, Cici is off on a camping trip with her dad, sister, and best friend. She has everything laid out for the perfect trip. Unfortunately her plans go awry and her determination to create the perfect trip results in her missing out on the fun parts. She's also unhappy to encounter a forest sprite who seems to be causing her trouble. Can she learn to be spontaneous and enjoy the trip? This is another fun entry in the series with bright, detailed illustrations and a solid plot. The fact that it adds a little diversity to the library doesn't hurt, either!
10 Fascinating Facts About Dinosaurs
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Grack, Rachel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Rookie Star Fact Finder" series, this sturdy small-format 32-page book contains an eclectic mix of dinosaur facts. The ten facts highlight ten different dinosaurs. Each two-page spread includes an action illustration, one interesting extended fact about the dinosaur, and a nice Dino File that includes pronunciation, diet, and size, as well as a scale outline showing the dinosaur next to a person, which is a kid-friendly way to illustrate size. Some photographs of fossils are also included. The book is chock full of text features including an activity, a timeline, a table of contents, a glossary, an index, and a website link. This is a fun quick look at dinosaurs that contains solid information. It's sure to be a hit with young dino fans. .
Women In Physical Science
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mangor, Jodie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 13, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
Do you find the physical world fascinating? Have you considered how many women have contributed to our understanding of the universe? “Woman in Physical Science” is an essential introduction to women in science and some of the most fascinating principles and discoveries in science to date! Highlighting women’s scientific work and discoveries, we look at some of the most interesting findings in the fields of physics, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, particle science, crystallography and geology. Readers are given fascinating peeks (supported by images and diagrams) of mind boggling discoveries such as: dark matter, Higgs boson, the superconductor supercollider experiments, the ability to slow down the speed by which light travel and volcanoes on Jupiter! Our understanding of these discoveries are forever changed because of the significant work and leadership of scientists who are also women! A must have title.
Red Prince
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Roscoe, Charlie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
"The Red Prince" is the first book for author Charlie Roscoe. Illustrated by Tom Clohosy Cole, creator and illustrator of “Wall” published for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Mr. Clohosy's spectacular images create a dark desperate tone, heightening the sense of drama and peril as the kingdom of Avala is overthrown while the King and Queen are away. Backgrounds in blue and purple deepen the desperation of the protagonist's night time escape. Contrasted by bright golden illustrated tones of his pursuers flashlight beams, torches and headlights piercing the darkness, add to the readers sense of urgency for the poor prince, desperate to find warmth, safety, and shelter. The image of the prince, in his red pajamas, the very image the evil captors use to search for him. But alas, the truly kind and beloved prince’s red pajamas become a cloak of invisibility as throngs of Avalaians don red, attempting to camouflage and secure the heir apparent from the evil invaders, outwitting the invaders not once but multiple times! Due to the love and loyalty of his people, the young prince and the kingdom are finally secure. A beautifully illustrated yet simple and dramatic story of courage and friendship.
Pen
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous, and largely factual, look at the invention of the pen. Young readers learn about reeds, papyrus, quills, metal pens, the invention of the ballpoint pen, then disposable Bic pens and felt-tipped pens. . it's interesting to see the gradual evolution. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound, with funny comments. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction, leaning towards fact. This isn't an in-depth treatise, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a quick and funny look at an invention that we commonly use. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but do young readers care how the pen was invented?
French Fries
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous, and largely factual, look at the invention of French fries. This goes from frying rounds of potatoes in grease, to the invention of the French fry cutter and the various ways in which the treats were sold and eaten. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound, with funny comments. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction, providing some interesting facts but leaving the reader wondering if they're all true. Good nonfiction shouldn't send you off to do research to see if it was correct. This is, however, a funny look at a popular food. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but is there an audience?
Pizza
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Fejto, Raphael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Little Inventions" series this brightly-bound book takes a humorous look at the invention of the pizza. Young readers learn simple and popular pancakes, then the advent of the tomato. Was the tomato poisonous? it took a brave baker to put the two together and try it out. Ah, but when was cheese added? The book shows a gradual evolution of an idea. Simple, bright, humorous illustrations abound, with funny comments. This French import treads that line between fiction and nonfiction. This isn't an in-depth treatise, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a funny look at a popular food. Each 32-page book in the series ends with a memory game testing what readers have learned. These are humorous and fact-based, but is there an audience?
Armored Ankylosaurus
Big & Small [Big & Small]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This large-format 32-page book is an interesting mix. The title implies it's all about the ankylosaurus, but that is not the case. Five dinosaurs and one flying reptile are highlighted here, each given two to four-page spreads. (A few other dinosaurs are mentioned along the way and some facts are given about them as well.) Big illustrations speculate about color and pattern as various dinosaurs attack one another. Young readers learn about predators and prey as well as escape and attack tactics. Each highlighted animal includes a pronunciation guide as well as a quick facts box showing the dinosaur skeleton, its comparison to a human in size, measurements, habitat, and where and when it lived, as well as the group to which it belonged. Two pages show fossils, and the end papers provide further information. Two big problems--the title is not at all descriptive of the content. Also, the section on the ankylosaurus describes it defending itself with its tail club. Unfortunately, that tail club illustration is lost in the gutter, leaving the reader wondering. This is an interesting book on a fun topic. It's hard to understand why these mistakes occurred.
People Who Help : A Kids' Guide To Community Heroes
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Kreisman, Rachelle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 13, 2017
Korf, Clarence
People Who Help is part of the Start Smart Community series. The book covers an overview of community life and focuses on jobs which help our communities. They include chapters on police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, dentists, hygienists, trash collectors and crossing guards. Each chapter also includes side bars with fun facts, unusual facts, jokes and activities to try. The photographs are clear and support the text as well as the fun illustrations scattered throughout the book. The book includes a glossary, quiz, additional reading material, web sites and an index. Other books in the series include Places We Go, Being a Good Citizen and Things We Do.
Crow
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Varley, Dax
Franco, Paula
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This book is book #4 in the "Demon Slayer" series about a teen named Max who is determined to slay the demons and find his mother again. In this book a crow plays a role in locating his mother, but there is more here than meets the eye. Is the crow friend or foe, and is there a greater reason why red-heads are going missing? Each book in the series contains a short adventure, like a single chapter from a longer book. Chapters are short and vocabulary is simple, but the plot is glory enough for middle-schoolers, thus meeting the needs of high-interest, low-vocabulary readers. There's not much here, and you need the whole series to get a coherent story, but there is an audience for this.
Zoo
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Colby, Jennifer
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is a zoo and who works there? These questions are answered in a very broad and general way in this entry in the "21st Century Junior Library." Its 24 pages include crisp color photographs and clear explanatory text. Readers learn what a zoo is, some of the animals you might find there and their needs, and the people who both help the animals and provide the services that make a zoo work. The book includes an index, glossary, and bibliography. It is a clear and cogent overview of the topic.
Octopus
Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library [Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library]
De La Bedoyere, Camilla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 24-page is a cool and interesting introduction to octopuses. Crisp color photographs, cool fact circles, and fascinating text give young readers insight into what octopuses are, as well as their life cycle, diet, and many varieties. The book also includes a glossary and index. This is a nice quick look at a fascinating animal, and should entice readers to want to know more.
Spidey : 6
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thompson, Robbie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Poor Spidey. Sure he's got super Spider-Man skills, but they are no use at all when it comes to girls. He needs some advice. When he takes on a villain and is mistaken, by Ironman, for a villain himself, Spidey is up a creek. Can he catch the bad guy, prove his innocence, and maybe get some dating advice along the way? This is a fun, lightweight romp in the Marvel world with bright, detailed, graphics, and plenty of action. It's sure to zip off the shelves.
Lebron James
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gitlin, Marty
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Basketball's Greatest Stars" series, this 32 page book focuses on LeBron James. Young readers learn about his childhood, and the people who influenced his entry into sports. His career with the Cavs, the Heat, and then the Cavs again is reported, with plenty of game action commentary. Photographs, captions, fast facts, and standard text features apply. There's even a timeline. The book takes readers up to the Cav's NBA championship in 2016. Basketball fans will find this a compelling and interesting read.
What Shoes Would You Choose?
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Chanko, Pamela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This bright and funny board book features colorful photographs showing a child in a particular situation--at the beach, dancing, riding a horse, etc.--with three choices of footwear. What shoes would you choose? Turn to the past double-page spread to see which shoes were the best choice for each situation. This is toddler humor, with lots of things to point out, and possible silliness to consider. It would be a great book to provide interaction between parent and child.
Mike Trout
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Mike Trout is part of the Baseball's Greatest Stars series. The chronicles his early life, his baseball prospects and becoming a major league superstar. Many pages contain full page and larger photographs of Mike Trout at play as a representative of the United States baseball team and for the Los Angeles Angels. Each page contains 2 short paragraphs of his accomplishments with additional text boxes and fast facts. As with any sports biography, this book has a limited time for use and circulation. The book includes a timeline, glossary and index.
Get To Know Norman Rockwell
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Taylor, Charlotte
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
A biography of Norman Rockwell, considered America's Artist, is complete with his early life, education and career in being an artist for magazines and other periodicals. His paintings were loved by many Americans because they were a reflection of the daily life in America at the time. One of his paintings, the Four Freedoms, was inspired by a speech of President Franklin Roosevelt and became such a success it helped generate millions of dollars for the war effort. The book includes a small sampling of his most famous paintings and Art Smarts sections which provide details about how created some of his work. Additional features include timeline, glossary, additional resources and index. Other titles in the Famous Artists series include Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Willem de Konning and Georgia O'Keefe.
Double Down
Switch Press/capstone Press [Switch Press/capstone Press]
Bond, Gwenda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
Book 2 in the series - mostly stands alone, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had actually read the first one before tackling this one. Lois Lane is a high school student at a new school where she is very involved with the school newspaper. She has friends and a job she loves; things are good - until her friend Maddy's twin sister mysteriously collapses in a dangerous part of town. Strong female characters. Could be a good read-alike for those who like the young James Bond series.
Gang Tackle
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Howling, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
Jamal lives for football; so do most of his friends. When their school's budget cuts mean they won't get to play this year, they are heart-broken. Then a donor steps up with the necessary funds and equipment, but also with a catch: he gets to be the coach for the team. The problem is, he's a horrible coach, not to mention a racist, discriminating bully. Jamal and his friends are in a big quandary. A good hi-lo for football fans. Not the best writing but the problem and the characters will engage a true sports fan. They will love to hate the horrible coach.
Shatterproof
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Shipley, Jocelyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
Apparently Nate looks a lot like a celebrity and he and his friend decide to capitalize on this while at the mall one day. They quickly set up a scam to make some money by promising to get girls onto the set of the celebrity's show as extras. Nate is reluctant, but wants the money for a new skateboard, so he goes along with it. However, while they are at the mall scamming girls, Nate meets a girl who is different and he really likes her. He starts to think twice about his decisions, but his friend is blackmailing him to stay and make more money. A good hi-lo book, although it has a bit of a MESSAGE, but I think students will look past that to see what Nate will do to get out of this predicament.
Trapped Behind Nazi Lines : The Story Of The U.s. Army Air F
Encounter/capstone Press [Encounter/capstone Press]
Braun, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
During WWII, a squadron of medical personnel from the US army got stranded behind enemy lines. Much research and use of primary source materials make this a well-documented tale, but my understanding is that enough of what happens is filled in by the author that it is considered to be fiction. Lots of suspense, action, and drama. Students who are interested in survival tales (such as Hatchet) will enjoy this book. I felt like some of the characters were not as well developed as others, but that makes sense knowing the limitations the author was working with in an effort to keep everything as authentic as possible.
Summer To Die
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lowry, Lois
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
I read this book many years ago and thought it was a really good book back then. It has now been re-issued, 40 years after it's original publication date. I think I like it even more now than I did then. It was Lowry's first novel, which makes it even more amazing in my opinion. It is the story of two sisters, Meg and Molly. Their family moves out to the country for the summer so that their dad can work on his book undisturbed. Meg has always been jealous of older sister Molly, but a neighbor helps her see that she has her own unique qualities and that she is just as special and just as beloved as Molly. Sadly, Molly gets sick and is diagnosed with leukemia and the whole family struggles to deal with this. A good read-alike for Fault in Our Stars - or for those students who like sad books.
Some Kind Of Courage
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Gemeinhart, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
Set in 1890, Washington state. Joseph has had a hard time recently. His mom and younger sister got sick and died. Then his dad died, too and he had to live with this old man named Mr. Grissom. Grissom was less than thrilled with the arrangement; Joseph wasn't real happy either. But the last straw came when Grissom sold Joseph's horse, Sarah, without permission. Joseph was both heart-broken and furious and he vowed to go get Sarah back as she was the only thing of his own that he had left. He knew he would face dangerous people and situations but he didn't care. He wanted his horse back! Great characters and setting. I especially love the Chinese boy that Joseph meets along the way. He never speaks a single word in English during the whole story! Excellent read for those in Washington State, who will recognize many of the places mentioned in the book, even though it is set in the 1890's. Also a great story for horse lovers; they will completely identify with Joseph's drive to get Sarah back. Action/adventure fans will also enjoy this tale of danger and excitement.
Worst Breakfast
Black Sheep [Black Sheep]
Mieville, China
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
I love China Miéville, but was disappointed with this picture book. Maybe I just like his novels. This is the tale of two sisters recounting the worst breakfast they ever had. Things start out mundane, like burnt toast but quickly devolve into lists of things like vegemite, barm cakes, forcemeat, and muktuk - things that many students/young readers will not even be able to identify. Illustrations are kind of cubist-modern, colors felt a bit drab. They did not enhance the text for me. However, the sisters are not white!! They are super cute brown girls. <3
Into The Outlands
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Christie, Robert
Lang, Deborah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
I love the illustrations in this graphic novel in that they are vivid, colorful, and fun, but it was very difficult for me to discern the differences between characters of the same type/race. Also, there were so many it was hard to keep track of them and their names regardless of what type/race they were. The story-line also felt similarly confusing to me in regards to details while not in the overall plot. I think students will be attracted to it because of the graphics and hopefully that will be enough to engage them fully with the text.
Beat The Wheat! : Easy And Delecious Wheat-Free Recipes For
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Della Casa, Luca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
Having been gluten free for about 2 years, I appreciate that they are making cookbooks that address this need, especially for kids. The recipes in this 32 page cookbook range from pancakes to mac-and-cheese; two things that are especially difficult to find GF, unless you make them yourself. Each two page spread also includes a chef's tip for substitutions/additions that can be made to the recipe or hints for storage. Illustrations are colorful. Directions are easy to follow. Other allergens are also noted. At the back there is a glossary, a list of several other print resources, and a website with other links. All of these things make this an attractive cookbook for young people, especially elementary school ages. With that said, it is also very simple to find GF recipes online these days, but sometimes it is just nice to have it in print format.
River Traffic
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Martin, Martha Brack
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
Tom is having trouble in school. Plus, he and his dad are struggling financially to keep their marina afloat (pun intended). One day a big, expensive yacht pulls in. This could really turn things around for them. And it doesn't hurt that there is a really cute girl on the yacht as well. However, there's some mysterious - and likely illegal - things happening on the Detroit river. Tom and Kat set out to investigate but things quickly turn dangerous. The writing was mediocre; I never fully engaged with any of the characters - although I could relate to the setting as I grew up in Michigan. I think students will pick it up for the cover and description. Hopefully there will be something to engage them more than it did for me.
Bungee Jump
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Withers, Pam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
Chris is really interested in engineering - especially in the project to build a bungee jump on his land between their property and a nearby island. However, there are some mysterious things going on that may interfere with the plans. There are rumors that the island is haunted, plus there have been some mishaps on the bridge. It's possible that the bungee jump won't be completed ,but his family really needs the income that it would bring in. It feels like it is set in the Pacific Northwest, but I can't find any specific references. A serviceable hi-lo story.
Across The Floor
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Deen, Natasha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 16, 2017
Dame, Anne
Luc is furious when his football coach orders him to take a dance class in order to stay on the football team. Luc is already busy with school and helping with his family's landscaping business. But he wants to make football a career, so he signs up for a class. At first he struggles and is shocked to realize how difficult it is and how much his body hurts afterwards - but then, he starts to like it! I liked how well-rounded his life and family were depicted. That doesn't usually happen in hi-lo books because of lack of space, but this is well-done.
Star Wars : Showdown On The Smuggler's Moon : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Aaron, Jason
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 16, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Who doesn’t want to have an adventure in a galaxy far, far away? All the ol’ gang is here: Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, R2D2 and C3PO, as they escape one danger-filled adventure after another, especially avoiding the sinister grasp of Darth Vader. The plots of these graphic novels (taking place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, for the initiated) are brief, snappy, and action-filled, fully reminiscent of the old Saturday adventure serials George Lucas wanted the original Star Wars films to emulate. There are enough laser shoot-outs, lightsaber duels, snappy one-liners and spaceship chases to keep any young fans happy and reaching for the popcorn, and while the baddies are menacing, the violence is kept at just the right not-too-threatening level for the elementary school set. Older fans will enjoy seeing how the authors rework the original material to create clever new storylines that still fit neatly into the world of the films. The artwork is stylish, capturing the essence of the live-action cast members without descending into caricature, and using a fine variety of perspectives and page-layouts to keep the action brisk. If you’re looking for something to sate the demand for all things Star Wars, this is a great bet.
Star Wars : Showdown On The Smuggler's Moon : 6
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Aaron, Jason
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 16, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Who doesn’t want to have an adventure in a galaxy far, far away? All the ol’ gang is here: Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, R2D2 and C3PO, as they escape one danger-filled adventure after another, especially avoiding the sinister grasp of Darth Vader. The plots of these graphic novels (taking place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, for the initiated) are brief, snappy, and action-filled, fully reminiscent of the old Saturday adventure serials George Lucas wanted the original Star Wars films to emulate. There are enough laser shoot-outs, lightsaber duels, snappy one-liners and spaceship chases to keep any young fans happy and reaching for the popcorn, and while the baddies are menacing, the violence is kept at just the right not-too-threatening level for the elementary school set. Older fans will enjoy seeing how the authors rework the original material to create clever new storylines that still fit neatly into the world of the films. The artwork is stylish, capturing the essence of the live-action cast members without descending into caricature, and using a fine variety of perspectives and page-layouts to keep the action brisk. If you’re looking for something to sate the demand for all things Star Wars, this is a great bet.
Outbreak
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
London, C Alexander
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Boy, those Cahill kids can't catch a break. Now a government agency has asked them to step in. A member of the family, Sinead, has stolen a virus. Why? What is the plan? It is far more nefarious that everyone believes, having nothing to do with world domination and everything to do with greed. When the virus, which literally makes people dance themselves to death while infecting others with their head-banging sweat, is released in Cuba, Amy, Dan, and company swing into action. Of course this will involve a hidden base in the Bermuda Triangle, and an evil corporate villain. Can they survive? At this point it would almost be a blessing if they didn't. These books are quick, high action reads, but the series goes on and on and on and on.... Fans will be pleased, but this isn't going to garner any new readers.
Amazing Universe
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kukla, Lauren
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Exploring Our Universe" series this 32-page book introduces readers to a very big subject--the universe. The Big Bag Theory, black holes, black energy, black matter, event horizons, the possible end of the universe, and scientists who study such things are all introduced. Photographs and illustrations accompany and clarify the well-written text. This is an informative, interesting addition to the astronomy section and includes an index, glossary, and appendix materials.
Avengers Vs. Ultron : 6
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Ultron the ultimate robot is on the loose and has his own plans for the human race. Part of it is draining the life from The Wasp and inserting it into a female robot. Can the Avengers possibly win against a super machine, even using magic and Thor's mighty hammer? Crisp, high energy illustrations make this graphic novel series pop. Readers will love the Marvel action heroes. HOWEVER, this is another one of those stupid series where it takes multiple short books (6) to tell the whole story. They want you to spend over $100 just to get the set, which is invalidated the minute a student loses a book in the series. They do not stand alone. On principle I don't recommend its purchase because it encourages this type of budget-busting publishing.
Avengers Vs. Ultron : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Someone (not naming names) has stupidly created the ultimate robot. Their heart might have been in the right place, however Ultron is heartless and has his own plans for the human race. Ant Man's lost his memory or his mind. Can the Avengers possibly win against a super machine, even using magic and Thor's mighty hammer? Crisp, high energy illustrations make this graphic novel series pop. Readers will love the Marvel action heroes. HOWEVER, this is another one of those stupid series where it takes multiple short books to actually tell the whole story. They want you to spend over $100 just to get the set, which is invalidated the minute a student loses a book in the series. They do not stand alone. On principle I don't recommend its purchase because it encourages this type of budget-busting publishing.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Venezia, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I'll admit it--I always enjoy a Mike Venezia book. He manages to combine humor and interesting facts, with his blithe text and comic illustrations, into something that will appeal to almost any child. This is an update on his previous book on Beethoven, with additional material stuffed in every crevice, from end paper to end paper. Young readers learn about Beethoven's youth, family life, career and, in a carefully curated for young readers way, some of his health challenges. The is a great overview, leaving readers with a solid basic knowledge of the famous composer. If you have the older version you don't need to upgrade. If, however, you don't, it would be smart to buy this.
Asteroids, Comets, And Meteoroids
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kukla, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Exploring Our Universe" series this 32-page bookteaches readers the difference between meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids. It also provides solid information on asteroids and comets. Photographs and illustrations accompany and clarify the well-written text. This is an informative, interesting addition to the astronomy section and includes an index, glossary, and appendix materials.
Explore With Francisco Vazquez De Coronado
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Cooke, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Coronado joined his friend Mendoza in New Spain searching for gold and silver and attempting to make his fortune. Traveling with as many as 400 other Spaniards, nearly 2000 Native Americans, and 1200 horses, Coronado chased the stories of cities of gold for over 4000 miles, as far north as now day Kansas, the Grand Canyon, parts of Texas and the Southwest. Snippets of information are contained in haphazardly placed text boxes interspersed with historical drawings, maps, and modern photographs and detail his failures to find gold and difficulties including death of the expedition members. On return to Mexico he was a broken man and was tried for his torture and maltreatment of Native peoples. Each chapter title is followed by a brief summary of the content with torn paper headlines announcing each smaller box's topic. Quotes, journal prompts, timeline, glossary, index, and recommended reading and websites are included. While not a standard biography, the entertaining format should appeal to reluctant readers containing basic information with a pizazz. Pair with a standard biography if explorers are studied.
Explore With Stanley And Livingstone
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Most adults may only know David Stanley’s famous words spoken when locating the missing explorer, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” and that they explored the “dark continent” of Africa in the mid-1800s. This gossip magazine meets non-fiction formatted Travel With the Great Explorers series book provides just enough information to remedy that as well as introduce their role in the beginnings of European Colonialism. Cover illustrations show Stanley and Livingstone meeting with an Arab slave trader and photographs of Victoria Falls, a village alongside a water hole, and a ferocious male lion all sensationally captioned. Two page chapters contain a summary with torn paper text boxes containing snippets of information and interspersed with historical drawings, maps, and photographs. The book’s flow is choppy as the narrative alternates information about each explorer but not necessarily in chronological sequence. Traditional African names are given to places, but readers would benefit with more correlation to contemporary place names as well as inset maps identifying the places. Quotes, journal prompts, timeline, glossary, index, and recommended reading and websites are included. Pair with standard biography.
Explore With Marquette And Jolliet
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Gossip magazine meets nonfiction in Crabtree's Travel with the Great Explorers series. Cover photos of the two explorers, a beaver, a river, and birch bark canoe are followed by two-page chapters providing snippets of information in haphazardly placed text boxes interspersed with historical drawings, maps, and modern photographs. Each chapter title is followed by a brief summary of the content with torn paper headlines announcing each smaller box's topic. Marquette and Jolliet left New France in 1674 to search for the “big river” and if lucky a route to Asia. Mapping the Mississippi, meetings with Native tribes along the way and detailed notes on the flora and fauna are highlighted. Quotes, journal prompts, timeline, glossary, index, and recommended reading and websites are included. While not a standard biography, the entertaining format should appeal to reluctant readers containing basic information with a pizazz. Pair with a standard biography if explorers are studied.
Explore With Hernando De Soto
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Gossip magazine meets nonfiction in Crabtree's Travel with the Great Explorers series. Hernando de Soto, an impoverished Spaniard, set sail for Panama in the early 1500’s, becoming a powerful conquistador, and leading expeditions into what is now the southeastern United States. His men were the first Europeans to cross the Mississippi River and explored a vast territory including now days Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Eastern Texas and Florida. Like so many other Spanish explorers of that time, they encountered many Native American tribes asking for their help, but in return brought death and destruction. Snippets of information are contained in haphazardly placed text boxes interspersed with historical drawings, maps, and modern photographs. Quotes, journal prompts, timeline, glossary, index, and recommended reading and websites are included. While not a standard biography, the entertaining format should appeal to reluctant readers containing basic information with a pizazz. Pair with a standard biography if explorers are studied.
Usain Bolt
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Olympic Biographies" series, this large format 24-page book features big photographs that extend across the gutter of double-page spreads and face a few lines of simple text that introduces young readers to this extraordinary Jamaican track star. Young readers learn a bit about his youth, but the focus of this book is his track career with special emphasis on his final Olympics appearance in 2016. The book includes a page of additional facts as well as a glossary, website link, and index. The text is slight, but it is a great beginning biography for the youngest readers.
Simone Biles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Rio Olympics are over and now it's time for kid biographies of the winners. This 24 page oversized Abdo Kids "Olympic Biography" focuses on gymnast Simon Biles. Big photographs fill the right-hand page, spilling over into part of the left page, which contains some simple text. Young readers learn where and when Simon was born, and about her early introduction to the sport. Her career is briefly presented with plenty of action photographs and a special emphasis on the 2016 Olympics. The book includes a facts page, glossary, and index. This is by no means extensive, but it will provide young fans with a nice introduction to this talented gymnast.
Michael Phelps : Olympic Swimmer
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Olympics are over. Time for books about the champs! This entry in the "Big Buddy Olympic Biograpies" series focuses on swimmer Michael Phelps. Each full-page photograph faces a page of simple text providing information about Michael and his career. Readers learn about his family, early career, and the different Olympics in which he participated. His medals are highlighted. Since he is now retired this volume should not age as fast as others in the series. the book includes a glossary, website link, and index. This is an easy, attractive biography that would fit well on elementary library shelves.
What Noise Do I Make?
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Mclachlan, Brian
Lee, Jacqui
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Hey, we've all got plenty of books on the shelves that deal with common animal noises such as you might find in a verse of "Old McDonald." This book takes it a step farther. What about a snake, a dolphin, a walrus, a giraffe or other more exotic animals? Big bold illustrations with stark colorful backgrounds introduce the animal. Turn the page for the sound. This would be a hoot for a read-aloud, and a lot of fun for story time as audiences predict what the sound might be; There's no plot here, but that's hardly the point. This is a step out of our comfort zone that young readers (and listeners) should enjoy.
Read, Recite, And Write Cinquains
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Macken, Joann Early
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
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. Adelaide Crapsey established the five-line Cinquain form with three guiding tips: “Use clear, concrete language; Use few describing words; do not use rhymes.” Sound, animal, dream, story, and rhythmic cinquains are described with step-by-step instructions for writing in that style. This is a superb teaching book and series, including a variety of pointers and exercises to guide young poets as they learn the concise structure, and effective ways to write this and other poetical forms. Highly recommended as a resource and inspiration for shaping a poetry unit.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/ghostbusters : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Burnham, Erik
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Most students love, love, love graphic novels. I also have a big contingent who are TMNT fans. Now they've combined Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Ghostbusters in this crossover series. A teleportation device ends up sending our guys to a ghost-plagued New York where the Ghostbusters need the extra muscle. The graphics are vivid, although sometimes a little dark which loses some detail (which I suspect is the point.) the plot is your basic "demon breaking through to take over the world using minions" device. You'd think this would be a winner. However, the story has been broken up into multiple short expensive volumes. None can stand on their own and the entire series will be invalidated the first time a student loses a book. I resent these budget-busting money-grabbing series and cannot recommend their purchase despite their obvious kid-appeal.
Russell Westbrook
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Hall, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp play-by-play action text shows just why Russell Westbrook is, as the series title implies, one of "Basketball's Greatest Stars." This book is sure to be a fan favorite as it features lost of action photos of the young star, as well as clear and informative information about his childhood, introduction to the sport, and successes on the court. While books of this sort become quickly outdated, this does take the reader up to 2016, so it has a little shelf life in it. Basketball fans will snap this off the shelf.
How To Build Cars
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Storey, Rita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Technology in Motion" series, this 32 page large format paperback book is a great choice for STEM collections. Cars are cool. This book introduces the topic, then provides 8 projects that help the reader create different types of cars that really move. A supplies list is included for each. Step-by-step instructions follow, with plenty of warning to get adult help (which will be needed). Frankly, these projects are not for the faint of heart. Most are complex and many use objects not usually found around the house. Younger students could only accomplish these projects with constant adult supervision. On the other hand, the final projects are cool and teach important concepts. The book includes a timeline of automotive milestones, an index, glossary, and bibliography. Get it prebound and expect it to circulate.
Grave Images
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Goebel, Jenny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 19, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
With a balance of spookiness, supernatural forces, and a bit of beginning romance, Jenny Goebel’s debut novel will appeal to tween readers wanting horror with a happy ending. Bernie’s Mama is consumed by grief after the death of her two month old son Thomas, her father’s attention is focused on running the family business, Alpine Monuments, and her grandmother Mimi sees it her mission to bring love and comfort to those who need it. But Bernie has been feeling overlooked and unappreciated when a gaunt and sinister stranger arrives. After showing her Dad a magnificent hand engraved portrait, the stranger is allowed to stay in their unoccupied carriage house and help with special orders. But Bernie senses not all is right when she discovers Mr. Stein’s elaborately engraved portraits of people before they unexpectedly died. Michael, the Sheriff’s son, whose crush on Bernie led him to following her around, stumbles onto this secret, the two join forces to uncover the mystery. Tension builds until a graveyard scene almost ends in another tragedy but loose ends are tied and readers will feel satisfied.
Fortune Falls
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Goebel, Jenny
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Stepping on cracks, Friday the 13th, black cats, breaking mirrors, and a myriad of other superstitious actions can be fatal in the town of Fortune Falls. Sadie, still officially Undetermined, is clearly an unlucky in a town where superstitions and good luck control a person’s future. Bullied by those whose luck is apparent and separated from her best friend, Cooper, already determined a Lucky and With her twelfth birthday and the official Luck Test fast approaching Sadie needs to find some luck quickly. If Sadie doesn’t pass the test, she’ll be sent to Bane’s School for Luckless Adolescents, a boarding school, and kept separate from Lucky and Undetermined friends and family for the rest of her life. Sadie tackles this seemingly impossible task with the help from her best friend, Cooper, a Lucky, a never-give-up plucky determination, and some clever application of the laws of the town. Entertaining and fast moving, this is a fantasy-lite book that should appeal to a wide range of readers.
The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming
ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ATHENEUM BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Coats, J. Anderson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 19, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
In 1860’s post Civil War, 11-year-old Jane sails with her young step-mother and young half brother on the Mercer expedition from NYC around Cape Horn to Seattle. Mercer’s pamphlet has many promises, but his business acumen is questionable. Jane hopes for a new life from the drudgery she’s had since her father died in the war causing her step-mother to work in the mills and Jane to take care of her brother and household. Mrs. D.’s sharp tongue and many expectations for Jane do not include her dream of an education. Jane’s reflections follow this journey as she tries to broaden her mind, make friends, and find a real home. She’s successful on all counts, but not as she’d envisioned. She makes friends among the independent young women on the Mercer voyage and in the disappointing timber mill town of Seattle, where all the men are expecting wives. Mrs. D. doesn’t find the banker and proper home she’d expected, but quickly marries a man, who though not physically attractive, welcomes her and her children into his secluded cabin home on Lake Washington. This may have more appeal to teachers and girls living in the Pacific Northwest, but fans of Boston Jane or My Only May Amelia, will enjoy this thoughtful, spunky girl’s drive.
Princess Tales Around The World : Once Upon A Time In Rhyme
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Maccarone, Grace
De Marcken, Gail
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Ten classic fairy tales from different countries have been delightfully retold in rhyme by Grace Maccarone in this story collection. Each is accompanied by lush illustrations by Gail de Marcken, where hidden characters and objects can be found. This is a book for perusing, reading, and re-reading. Here readers will find "Rapunzel,", "The Golden Goose," "The Little Mermaid" with a happy ending, "The Firebird," "Scheherazade," "Princess Moonlight," "The Princess on the Glass Hill" (shortened too much), "The Loathsome Dragon," "Toads and Diamonds" (again a little too short for a complete understanding of the plot, and "Six Swans." Yes, the brevity of their retellings sometimes takes away the deeper nuances of the stories, but as quick introductions these more than serve their purpose. Besides, they're just the right length for teachers to use in a classroom for compare and contrast.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/ghostbusters : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Burnham, Erik
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Most students love, love, love graphic novels. I also have a big contingent who are TMNT fans. Now they've combined Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Ghostbusters in this crossover series. A teleportation device ends up sending our guys to a ghost-plagued New York where the Ghostbusters need the extra muscle. The graphics are vivid, although sometimes a little dark which loses some detail (which I suspect is the point.) the plot is your basic "demon breaking through to take over the world using minions" device. In this, volume 3 in the series, Casey is a minion. You'd think this would be a winner and it's sure to have its fans. However, the story has been broken up into multiple short expensive volumes. None can stand on their own and the entire series will be invalidated the first time a student loses a book. I resent these budget-busting money-grabbing series and cannot recommend their purchase despite their obvious kid-appeal.
How To Build Aircraft
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Storey, Rita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Technology in Motion" series, this 32 page large format paperback book is a great choice for STEM collections. Airplanes are always popular. his book first introduces the topic and defines airplanes, then provides 8 projects that help the reader create different types of aircraft from balloons to paper gliders to rubber band planes. This is a step above a paper airplane book, providing information Bernoulli's Principle and other aviation theories, then applying them. Each project includes a supplies list followed by step-by-step instructions with illustrations. These can get pretty complex and include advice on dealing with glitches. There's enough here to intrigue elementary and middle-school students. The book includes a timeline of aviation milestones, an index, glossary, and bibliography. Get it prebound and expect it to circulate.
How To Build Robots
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Derrington, Louise
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Technology in Motion" series, this 32 page large format paperback book is a great choice for STEM collections. Hey, who doesn't love robots? This book first introduces the topic and defines robots, then provides 8 projects that help the reader create robots or robot-like constructions. From a basic robot hand, to an actual (simple) moving robot, these projects are cool. A supplies list is included for each. Step-by-step instructions follow, with plenty of warning to get adult help. Frankly, these projects are not for the faint of heart. Most are complex and use objects not usually found around the house. (And if you destroy your parent's electronic toothbrush without their knowledge prepare for retribution!) Although the projects seem aimed at a young audience, their complexity is more appropriate for middle schoolers who will think this is totally cool. The book includes a timeline of robots milestones, an index, glossary, and bibliography. Get it prebound and expect it to circulate.
Flying Creepy Crawlers
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Turner, Matt
Calle, Santiago
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is an eclectic collection of facts about various insects, with a little information about hummingbirds. (Remember, I said it was eclectic.) Crisp close-up photography of insects, accompanied by cartoon-like conversations every couple of pages, provide readers with some interesting and, sometimes, eye-opening information. There's information about flying and wings, different types of bees, insect athletes, and clever camouflage. Insect record breakers are examined and other odd insect facts abound. This is in no way all-inclusive, but instead highlights interesting facts, making it a good browsing book. Information about highlighted insects includes class, lifespan, size, and a comparison silhouette with a human hand, or a paperclip. The book is fascinating, and includes tons of standard text features. It's not your typical nonfiction, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Understanding Similes
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Crabtree’s four-book Figuratively Speaking series features: Metaphors, Similes, Personification, and Sayings. Each of the colorful 32-page books explains the differences between figurative and literal language and a four-step process to learn to understand and use the figurative language. Robert Burns’, “O my [Love’s] like a red, red rose,” and Mary’s lamb with its ”fleece as white as snow,” illustrate similes, defined as comparisons between two unlike things using “like” or “as,” and are employed to better describe characters and their feelings as well as add color to writings. Nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and poetry model using similes in different formats and guide students in composing their own writings. Graphic Organizers including: a word wheel, word web, sensory chart, sequential list, and a T-chart, guide students in translating their ideas from statements and literal language to use in songs, letters, poems and narrative forms. A final reminder to share with friends and edit is followed by a glossary, index, recommending books and websites. This is a superb series to teach and use in a Writer’s Workshop, but I am not sure that many students will check it out.
Understanding Sayings
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 19, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
What do “spilling the beans,” “opening a can of worms,” and “where there’s smoke there’s fire,” have in common? They are all figurative language known as idioms, adages, and proverbs and are used in writings as diverse as fairy-tales, myths, proverbs, and stories. Sayings provide visual images that provide indirect insight and wisdom. While not used in serious writings, various sayings are a playful use of language and are found in all cultures. Students are encouraged to use these in creative ways or create their own stories and sayings. A final reminder to share with friends and edit is followed by a glossary, index, recommending books and websites. This would be a useful book to supplement a figurative language unit and is guaranteed to rate a high fun factor!
Tight And Loose
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "All About Opposites" series, this sturdy 24-page book explores tight and loose. Tight and loose things are contrasted, with bold, crisp photographs and short, equally crisp text. My one big complaint is that tight and loose are used throughout the book except when referring to shoes where they are "tight" or "big". This is a break in the pattern that I found jarring. Otherwise this is a clear, beautifully presented book. I'm just not sure how often it would be used, hence the lower rating.
Day And Night
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "All About Opposites" series, this sturdy 24-page book explores night and day. Contrasting activities are shown and explained. A few exceptions are mentioned. Each page is filled with a big photograph, and a line or two of simple, bold text explaining the contrast and how the two opposites complement one another. This is a clear, beautifully done book. I'm just not sure how often it would be used, hence the lower rating.
Pablo In The Snow
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Sloat, Teri
Bonnet, Rosaline
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is that white stuff falling outside? Clouds? Pablo is a lamb who has never seen snow before. His family wants to sleep, but Pablo is excited. He ventures out to learn more about this strange stuff and what it's for. He joins with other animals and each time gets a new idea of snow's uses. However, when the day ends Pablo finds himself lost in a snowy night. How will he find his way home? Lucky he has a loving family. Big, soft watercolor and ink illustrations suit the gently amusing text perfectly. This is a lovely book about a special day in the snow.
Shaun The Sheep : Flock To The Seaside
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Howard, Martin
Janes, Andy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Tales from the Mossy Bottom Farm series are early chapter books for your fluent readers. Shaun the Sheep and Bitzer, the Farmer's dog, are in constant action as the flock heads out to the seaside to participate in The Great Piddlington-On-Sea Annual Farm Extravaganza. Bitzer wants to desperately win the sheep herding competition over his rival Top Dog. Bitzer will have to overcome the flock running away to the beach and the circus and returning tired right before they have to take the field. A good series for your Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Grommit fans. The book has a few activities at the back which include how to draw and how to juggle.
Shaun The Sheep : On The Ball
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Howard, Martin
Janes, Andy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Tales from the Mossy Bottom Farm series are early chapter books for your fluent readers. Shaun the Sheep and Bitzer, the Farmer's dog, are in constant action as Bitzer gets bored with a bone and starts to create a new game. The game was a lot like baseball but with a major twist with Rule 1 being that the rules could be changed at any time. The game gets crazier and crazier has the sheep play. The pigs want some of the action and challenge the pigs in a head to head competition. The pigs take Rule 1 seriously and change the game dramatically. A fun romp as the animals play. A good series for your Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Grommit fans. The book has a few activities at the back which include how to draw and a template in how to create your own game.
Sleight Of Hand
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Deen, Natasha
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
March 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Javvan screwed up, but that doesn't mean he's a screw-up. He stole a car...but there's more to the story. Now this good kid who made one mistake (albeit a big one) is on probation and desperate for work. His Indian parents are disappointed. His father hasn't spoken to him in months. His little brother, a wanna-be magician, is supportive, but what can he do? What Javvan needs is a job that will help him meet his probation requirements. Unfortunately he falls into a dangerous situation where he may have to break the law to stay out of jail. He's the fall guy. Who can he trust? A little magical sleight of hand, and a caring cop make all the difference. This is another fabulous novella from Orca. The characters are believable, the plot is crisp, and the writing is excellent. Yet it is a surprisingly quick read. I love these books and have yet to be disappointed in one.
Sea Otter Heroes : The Predators That Saved An Ecosystem
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Newman, Patricia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I love nonfiction showing scientists at work and this is a terrific example. Biologist Brent Hughes had a question--why was the sea grass so healthy in Elkhorn Slough, when that section of water received a lot of fertilizer runoff? It didn't make sense, but he had a theory--it had to do with the apex predator, otters. He had a hypothesis, now he had to design experiments to prove or disprove it. The book follows his reasoning as he tracks otters, crabs, sea hares, and sea grass and how they all interact. He discovered a trophic cascade. His results led to other ideas and so it goes. Along the way readers learn a lot about the scientific method, sea otters, the ecology of a slough, and the inquisitive mind that leads to new discoveries. This is fascinating to read and is accompanied by crisp and well-captioned photographs that enhance the text. the book includes a glossary, bibliography, index, and extensive source notes. This merits a place in any secondary school library. (The reading level is a little high for elementary.)
Blackberry Juice
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Cassidy, Sara
Flook, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
When the family moves to a rundown farm Cyrus finds it comes with a resident donkey. After hearing the donkey's history from quirky neighbors, he learns to care for the animal. His brother, Rudy, finds a thesaurus in the attic and his new vocabulary keeps readers informed and amused with definitions. The way the author plays with words, provides information about donkeys and the seashore and keeps the story moving should keep the readers involved.
Batcat And The Seven Squirrels
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Walters, Eric
Charko, Kasia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
Nathan discovers a baby squirrel clinging to the screen door. He and his parents decide it may be an orphan. They check nearby trees and find a nest with 6 more babies and no parent. Nathan takes care of the seven babies and soon has the help of the neighborhood stray tomcat that each family member has slyly been feeding. This story is based on an event is the author's life and he is able to provide much information about squirrels and their care. Black and white illustrations complement the story and help move it along.
Aim
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Hostetter, Joyce Moyer
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
Third in a series, this pre-WWII coming-of-age story details Junior's stuggles to find his aim in life. His anger at the death of his alcoholic father, his unbearable grandfather, and trials at school have him making some poor choices. These choices cause him even more problems, but with fatherly guidance from a neighbor, a second chance from a teacher, and wise words from his own mother Junior finally learns about shame, respect and being a man.
Cinnamon Moon
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Hilmo, Tess
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
This historical fiction story gives an overview of two fires that devastated two towns on Oct. 8, 1871. When 12-year-old Ailis and her 11-year-old brother are orphaned by the Peshtego fire an acquaintance of their father offers to bring them to Chicago, also a fire-stricken town, to his boarding house. There Ailis shares a closet, fitted as a bedroom, with 6-year-old Nettie who is also an orphan. Ailis is not allowed to attend school; she and her brother are kept busy at the boarding house under the strict watch of a woman who hates the Irish. The devise a plan to find work and eventually move out. When Nettie disappears Ailis and her brother search all over Chicago for her. This story give insight into the working and living conditions of the time.
Sticker Girl
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Tashjian, Janet
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
Shy but smart Martina, a Latina girl, spends her time playing with stickers. Her family is concerned about her lack of friends. When her father arrives home from a trip with a gift for her, a page of stickers, she discovers that they are magic and come alive when taken from the page. The pink unicorn, sleepy fairy, and talking cupcake force her into situations where she is out of her comfort zone, has to socialize and host a party. The cupcake can imitate her voice causing her some problems but she gains friends. The black and white illustrations add to the story with sound-effect words and a delightful portrayal of the stickers and characters.
Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Sayre, April Pulley
Jenkins, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Lovely textured collage illustrations by Steven Jenkins accompany delightfully spare, yet informative, rhyming text by April Pulley Sayre to get to the heart of what a squirrel is. Reaching, jumping, sleeping--the high use of action verbs captures the frenetic energy typical of squirrels. An appendix provides more information about homes, behavior, habitat, anatomy, and diet. This is one of those wonderful nonfiction books that can be read to a very young audience for basic information, but then provides the information an older audience desires. Add it to your collection. It's a winner.
Boardwalk
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Coleman, Reed Farrel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Gulliver Dowd is less worried about being called a "little person" instead of a dwarf than he is about figuring out who killed his sister. He's a P.I. and has sought answers about his sister's death for some time. Now a friend has been gunned down on the boardwalk and it all appears to be connected. Soon others are dead. Is Gulliver next? What about his girlfriend? The answers are there, but what will they cost? This is a gritty novella in the "Rapid Reads" Orca series. It's a quick, but satisfying read with well-developed characters and a fast-paced plot.
Asia
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Oachs, Emily Rose
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Discover the Continents" series, this Blastoff Reader (Level 3) introduces young readers to the continent of Asia. In 24 pages it provides a quick overview including map. There is also information about land and climate, natural resources, plants and animals, and some of the people of cultures. As the book itself points out, this is an enormous continent much variety. This book provides only a taste. It includes some fast facts, a glossary, an index, a bibliography, and a website link.
Busy Builders : all about construction vehicles
Cartwheel Books [Scholastic, Inc.]
Hearn, Sam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This board book will be the perfect choice for very young big machine enthusiasts. Rhyming text and colorful illustrations take readers to a construction site where all the machines are at work. Pages vary in size, getting larger with the machines they illustrate, and also making it easier to turn the pages. And what are they building? Why, a school, of course! All the animal characters in the book are there for the ribbon-cutting. Add it to your board book collection.
Thanksgiving
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Grack, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Bright photographs accompany simple text to provide young readers with a basic overview of the Thanksgiving holiday. The history of the holiday as well as some traditions are examined. A recipe for Indian pudding is included as well as a glossary, index, bibliography, and website link. The 24 page book doesn't allow for in-depth information, but this is a short, informative book that would be a handy quick way for children to learn some of the basics.
Star-Lord : Knowhere To Run
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wyatt, Chris
Schoening, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 21, 2017
Korf, Clarence
A Geronimo Stilton style superhero book which will appeal to Marvel fans. Knowhere to Run takes readers on an action adventure as Star-Lord helps the Guardians of the Galaxy to discover the alien intruder on their alien skull space base. Skrulls are known to be shape shifters and can change their form to anything or anyone they want to be. Since anyone could be a Skrull, everyone is a suspect. The book includes many comic style graphics which enhance and tell part of the story. The text includes the use of varying fonts in both size and color. Not necessarily your best piece of literature but will be attractive to reluctant older readers.
Survive an Avalanche
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Perish, Patrick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
We live in avalanche country and knowing safety rules to help in survival is a valuable skill. This 24 page book is part of the "Survival Zone" series and begins with a vignette of two children caught in an avalanche. Both survived, but now the reader is primed to learn how to do the same. The author clearly explains how avalanche conditions are formed and provides an avalanche danger chart. Avalanche safety gear, being with others, and awareness are highlighted. But, if you are caught in an avalanche despite safety precautions what do you do? The author provides some basics for both victim and rescuer. This is a short book, but the information it contains is valuable and its very brevity makes it easier to remember. Standard text features apply as well as photographs and explanatory illustrations. This is a solid addition that merits a place in any area where children might encounter avalanches.
It's A Chimpanzee!
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Kenan, Tessa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of a Bumba Books series on jungle animals, this 24 page book features crisp full-page photographs facing a page of simple yet informative text. Young readers learn some basics about what a chimpanzee is, its behavior, diet, and intelligence. Labeled pictures show the parts of a chimp and there's a picture glossary and a short index. This is solid easy nonfiction that will be a popular choice for younger children who want something "real."
I Love Lemonade
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sommerset, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In the previous book, a turkey was tricked into eating a sheep's poo. Now he is out for revenge--a "drink" best served cold. Can he get the sheep to drink the yellow liquid that he claims is lemonade? Quirky Turkey is no match for the clever ovine. In this irreverent book that entirely consists of conversation, young readers can quickly figure out what is going on and will giggle in glee at the horrific trick that is being pulled. The illustrations are sparse but expressive. This is kid humor at its best. Why the AD rating? It's a one-joke book with lots of humor but little to no literary value. That's not saying it won't be popular, however.
This Is My Library
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp color photographs face a sentence or two of simple text in this well-bound 24-page introduction to libraries. Young readers learn about library resources, different types of libraries, library cards, events, and personnel. it's a very quick overview with little depth, but it would be handy for kindergarten classes learning about community helpers.
How Does It Protect Itself? : Animal Defenses
Big & Small [Big & Small]
Oh, Hyeon-Gyeong
Choi, Cheol-Min
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in Korea, this is a quick and kid-friendly introduction to the various ways animals protect themselves. Illustrations of a child and various animals romp through the pages showing how camouflage, mimicry, odor, speed, and other defense mechanisms protect different types of animals. While the cover is not particularly attractive, this is a nice overview and exactly the sort of book I was recently looking for, and unable to find. it's nice to see so many ways animals protect themselves put into one book in a format that makes it accessible to young children.
Super Happy Party Bears Party Collection #1
Imprint (Mps) [Imprint (Mps)]
Colleen, Marcie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Great silliness abounds in these two books from the "Super-Happy Party Bears" series, that have been combined into one. Grumpy Woods has residents that are just as the name implies--grumpy. They are stodgy, stuck-in-their-ways, rule-bound, and unchanging. That makes their neighbors--the Super-Happy Party Bears--particularly annoying. In the first story there is an unexpected water shortage, which is initially blamed on the bears. Beavers, however, are the real problem. Can the happy-go-lucky bears in their mindless exuberance solve the problem? Of course, but not without further annoying the neighbors. In the second book a woodpecker has moved into the neighborhood. The bears like his rhythm and use it to enhance their music. The grumpy animals don't like the noise. The woodpecker tries doing positive things in the community which don't really work out, despite his good intentions. Happy bears still party. Everything ends well, but the happy stay happy and the grumpy stay grumpy. Some things never change. These are bright, funny books with colorful computer illustrations, and short chapters. Yes, they circulate.
Capybaras
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 22, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
An introductory nonfiction book with our youngest students in mind. The full color images of the oddly charming capybaras are clear, simple, and varied. All typical animal report information covered: introduction, body, habitat, food, and life cycle. The capybara, weighing in at 120 pounds! I could not help but wonder if they were edible (maybe taste like chicken?). Perhaps a page on threats or predators needed! Complete with all the typical nonfiction text features: a table of contents, bold section headings, simple single sentence text supported by clear picture reflecting text content, quick stats in back, glossary, index and more info on booklinks page at end of book.
Mother Teresa
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Strand, Jennifer
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 22, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
An introductory biography with our youngest students in mind. Complete with all the typical nonfiction text features: a table of contents, bold section headings, simple single sentence text supported by clear picture reflecting text content, quick stats in back, simple timeline, glossary, index and more info page. The images of Mother Teresa are clear, simple, and varied as her many works and legacy of one of the world’s greatest humanitarian’s is portrayed.
Ever The Hunted
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Summerill, Erin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 23, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Seventeen year old Britta has always been an outcast, since her deceased mother was from the forbidden country of Shaerdan, while her father is the bounty hunter for the king of Malam. After her father is murdered, Britta is arrested for poaching, but offered a deal: help the king’s men track down her father’s killer in exchange for her freedom. The accused murderer is Cohen, her father’s apprentice, whom she has been in love with for years. When on the trail, Cohen finds Britta and convinces her of his innocence, and together they hunt down the real killer while still being chased by the king’s men. Summerill doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the fantasy genre; the discovery halfway through that Britta has inborn magical powers shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, and the reveal of the real killer will leave mystery readers feeling cold. The real attraction here is Britta’s voice, both tough and vulnerable, and her burgeoning romance with swoon-worthy Cohen. An extra twist at the end feels tacked-on but leaves the book open for a sequel.
Paul & Antoinette
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Kerascoet
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 23, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Paul and Antoinette are little piggies, siblings, and complete opposites: while Paul is a methodical neatnik, Antoinette is the exuberant sort who likes messes and keeps snails in her pockets. This may be a familiar setup for a picture book, but what’s different here is how it treats our characters kindly and fully. Paul’s tidy habits aren’t caused by a lack of imagination (he likes to pretend he’s a pirate while scrubbing the floor) and Antoinette’s enthusiasm doesn’t mean she is uncaring about Paul’s feelings. Best of all is how the characters work together to get along: when Antoinette suggests splashing in puddles, Paul joins in the game by seeing how many puddles he can leap over without getting wet. Antoinette gets impatient listening to Paul talk about wildflower species, but makes him “her famous Everything Tart” at the end of the day. The kids get annoyed with each other (Paul can barely stand the “beard” of spiderwebs Antionette makes for him) but ultimately come together in affection. A great sibling story, translated from the French.
Eagle In The Snow
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Morpurgo, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 23, 2017
Tucker, Merrilyn
When Barney and his mother have to leave WWII London following the bombing of their town, they board a train and encounter an elderly gentleman. The train itself is then a bombing target for the Germans. In order to calm Barney, who is frantic, the gentleman tells them a story about a British soldier, Billy, who had the chance to shoot Adolf Hitler during a WWI battle, but didn't. Billy, of course, did not know what Hitler would become. However, Billy spent the rest of his life plagued by the thought that he could have saved the world from this monster. This book has kept me thinking. I have never read a premise like this. What is even more interesting, is that Eagle in the Snow is based on a true story. There is a twist at the end that readers will not see coming (and that was not part of the actual events). At only 133 pages, 5th grade and up boys will pick this one up to read.
Follow Your Heart
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 24, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Let's get it out right up front--this is fluff. It is a novelization of two episodes of Disney's "Girl Meets World" which includes improbable situations, shallow characters, and unrealistic relationships and comic twists. Both Riley and Maya are heading to 7th grade and boy, are some of the boys cute there! When the students are taken off their Smartphones they are forced to actually interact face-to-face. Hilarity and deeply meaningful relationships immediately follow--and I do mean immediately. (Not to mention a stereotypical shushing librarian. And, honestly, you don't take a book off the shelf and blow dust off the cover. Off the top of the book maybe, but there won't be any dust on the cover. Just sayin'.) Also, little Auggie seems to be growing up too. Is everyone doing this just a little fast? No, this isn't great literature, but fans of the series will enjoy this puff piece, and the color photographs at the center of the book.
Racial Profiling : Everyday Inequality
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Behnke, Alison Marie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 1320 – Kirkus*, SLJ* In the United States, racial profiling affects thousands of Americans every day. The author assumes the reader has no previous knowledge and traces the history of racial prejudice and racial profiling using personal experiences and quotes; case studies; charts and graphs; archival and color photos; and engaging, accessible text documented by extensive source notes. Includes definitions, historic roots, legalities, and documented examples of diverse subconscious and institutionalized prejudices found in law enforcement, education, hiring, home buying, transportation, social media - all aspects of life. The coverage is current to 2016 and includes the Black Lives Matter movement and the water crisis in Flint, MI. Excellent an in-depth analysis of the inequalities that people of color experience at different levels of U.S. society. Highly readable. Includes and activism guide, “What you can do,” glossary, source notes, and index.
Splinter
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Dawn, Sasha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 630, Hi/Lo – Debut novel Sami’s mother walked out 10 years ago. He father was a suspect in the disappearance. Sami has always believed that he is innocent even though folks in town are still curious. Sami is haunted each year when a postcard arrives with a cryptic “11/7” printed on it; the date her mother was supposed to return. In the intervening time, Sami has gained a step-mother and a sister who feel like family. Then one day, the long-closed case of Trina Jordan, another vanished woman, is reopened. Why is this important? Both Jordan and her mother had once been married to Sami’s father and Sami didn’t know. Questions, reveals, evidence, tension, a possible love interest, and stacks of family secrets to be revealed. Edge of the seat thriller, with good characterization.
Strange Fruit : Billie Holiday And The Power Of A Protest So
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Golio, Gary
Riley-Webb, Charlotte
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 870, Kirkus*, PW* Gr-3+ Lynchings are a tough choice for a song let alone for a picture book biography directed toward upper elementary and middle schoolers. Golio crafts a straightforward story of racism in the US using Billie Holiday and what would become her signature for social justice. The text is heavy and lengthy but balanced by the stylized abstraction of the composition and the bold, swirling, sweeping colors of Charlotte Riley-Webb’s acrylic paintings which convey depth of feeling. They are provocative as they follow the challenges of Holiday in the racially charged 1920’s-‘50’s where African-Americans could perform for white audiences in but couldn’t patronize the establishments with them as equals. When Jewish songwriter Abel Meeropol wrote “Strange Fruit,” about the lynching of blacks, for Billie to perform, his rendition of it failed to move her. However, when she made it her own, she stunned audiences with her performance. This picture book emphasizes that the arts not only entertain, but are powerful change agents.
De-Extinction : The Science Of Bringing Lost Species Back To
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Hirsch, Rebecca E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 1140 Before 1901flocks of passenger pigeons filled the skies and hunters shot at them for food wiping them out. The last fully authenticated record of a wild passenger pigeon was near Oakford, Illinois, on March 12, 1901. Martha, the last in captivity, died in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. Today climate change, industrial pollution, deforestation and other human activities have put many thousands of other species at risk. Once they’re gone we can’t bring them back -- or can we? Techniques such as cloning indicated that with the use of ancient DNA and frozen cells we may indeed be able to reverse extinction. Some scientists want to bring back recently extinct species; some are working on hybrid animals, and others want to bring back woolly mammoth. If we bring back mammoth, what will be their impact on existing species? How will climate change affect them? Then there is the influence of moral and ethical concerns and potential conflicts involving politics and funding. Color photos illustrate some of the species in question and depict scientific work already in progress. Includes “What you can do to help?” source notes, glossary, selected bib., further information, index. Timely. Great for STEM/STEAM discussion and science ref.
Smash! : Exploring The Mysteries Of The Universe With The La
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Latta, Sara
Weigel, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
LEX 670 Gr7+ What is the universe made of? How do we know? In this informational graphic novel, Latta and illustrator Jeff Weigel, have cousins Sophie and Nick take a tour that leads from the smallest particles to the big band and then on to all of the parts of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The topic and the explanation are of it is dense as expected but Latta keeps the book from getting bogged down by offering clear, concise explanations that will appeal to those whose minds are already tickled by the mysteries of physics. Nick and Sophie are a bit young for the YA rating, but the metaphysical twists in the action as they meet famous scientists Peter Higgs (Higgs boson) Albert Einstein, and play cosmic pool to start the Big Bang, outweigh the incongruity. Clear look at the Collider and its parts with explanations of particle physics, still un-solved mysteries are appended. Short bios, glossary, suggestions for further reading. Big tech at its biggest; weird science at its weirdest.
Marriage Equality : Obergefell V. Hodges
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Porterfield, Jason
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
GR 8-12 This groundbreaking case, with much pressure from suing parties across the country and a great amount of controversy, granted the “dignity of marriage” to same-sex couples throughout the US.. Readers will find out all about the background of the case, how it made it to the Supreme Court, and why the court decided for same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Artemis : Wild Goddess Of The Hunt
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
O'connor, George
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
5+ O’Connor offers a graphic novel portrait of the Wild Goddess of the Hunt as probably the last of the Olympians you’d want to cross. Born without labor pains (unlike her twin brother, Apollo, at whose birth she assisted) she is portrayed as formidable, quick-witted, occasionally cruel, yet always deeply devoted to the natural world and intensely protective of women and girls. The images are dynamic, using different perspectives to create drama and suspense. Blonde, blue-eyed Artemis is illustrated with cool tones, befitting her characterization. O’Connor has done his homework and uses several sources for his storytelling. The back notes tell the reader why he has made the choices. One semi-nude scene, Artemis from the back, artfully done and essential to the story of Actaeon spying her bathing after hunting her through the woods. In a minute she turns him into a stag to be torn apart by his own hunting dogs. Many characters from other volumes in the series appear, and notes in the back matter cross-reference other installments where readers can find those stories. His artwork is cinematic and an enthusiastic vehicle for the tales, with plenty of action and an expressive, strong deity at its center.
Establishing The Rights Of The Accused : Miranda V. Arizona
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
GR 8-12 The Miranda v. Arizona decision was instrumental in making sure that people accused of a crime are aware of all their rights and have equal access to counsel, even if they can not afford it. The Miranda rights, which are read to apprehended suspects, are one of the things people point to when they talk about American rights and freedoms. Readers will find out, in rich detail, how this now basic right came to pass. Also included are questions to consider, primary source documents, chronology of the case, chapter notes, for further reading, index.
Revenge Of The Evil Librarian
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knudsen, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 24, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 730 Hi/Lo Gr. 7-12 Cynthia Rothschild is ready for the best summer ever, drama camp where she’ll get to design sets and be with her heartthrob boyfriend Ryan for six luscious weeks before her senior year. No more Mr. Gabriel, he’s absolutely trapped back in Hell. There’s no real reason to tell Ryan about the three times the demoness who helped cage him can call her back. It’ll be long after summer when they are at college, and it might not happen at all, right? Enter complication stage left: Ryan’s best female friend from camp appears to want more than friendship; Peter Franco, who is a really talented playwright, just happens to be a minor demon who loves musical theater. He feeds off emotional turmoil and is tethered to Cyn; oh, yeah, Mr. Gabriel back stronger than ever. Summer Stock was never supposed to be the battle ground for good and evil. There’s a recap of the first book that could probably be a bit shorter, but there is plenty of supernatural action, not much reference to ethnic diversity but if campy is what you are looking for, cast as you like in your head. There is still room for the demoness to call on Cyn again but there is enough resolution that it isn’t necessary.
Hitler's Last Days
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
O'reilly, Bill
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 24, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Subtitled The Death of the Nazi Regime and the World’s Most Notorious Dictator, this is a pretty straightforward account of the last months of Adolf Hitler’s life. The book begins with a map legend, note to readers, a list of key players in WWII with their titles and photos. The starting point for the text is October 21, 1944, with Adolf Hitler at his hideout in East Prussia, 190 days before he commits suicide April 20, 1945, with new wife Eva Braun. This follows the progression of events between these dates to see the last battles of the European contest focusing on the The Battle of the Bulge and Bastogne, Belgium. US maneuvers, especially those of General Patton are highlighted. Also included are Otto Frank’s family, concentration camp information, and General Eisenhower’s choice to let the Russians take Berlin. Many photographs depict these events and the last 75 pages conclude with the Battle of Berlin and afterward summarizing the key players’s lives plus many short chapters ending with a timeline, recommended reading, 2 pages of sources and bibliography plus thorough index. This would work for a middle school or high school library that needs accessible information on the end of World War II in Europe. Gr. 7-12
Witherwood Reform School
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Skye, Obert
Thompson, Keith
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 24, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Their father was only trying to frighten Tobias and Charlotte, after their latest prank went awry. However, when he dumped them up on that strange mesa at the gates of Witherwood Reform School, he never returned. Now they are virtual prisoners and strange things are going on. There's a boy who thinks they are imaginary. Strange and dangerous creatures roam the grounds. The chocolate pudding is affecting them, and mind control is a real issue. What is going on, and can they escape? This is the first book in the series and leaves readers initially hopeful, then dragged down into the depths of despair again as it sets up for the second book.
Pandas On The Eastside
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Prendergast, Gabrielle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 24, 2017
Averill, Linda
Set in Vancouver, B.C. during the Vietnam conflict era, the story gives a view of the Eastside which could be considered a slum area, its residents which include a 15-year-old prostitute, an alcoholic living on the streets, a teacher whose brother has just died in the war, and her friend-a black American living in Canada to avoid the draft. In 1972 the Chinese government decided to give two giant pandas to the U.S. This story tells what could have happened if a disagreement had occurred between the two governments. Journey Song, a 10-year-old finds that the pandas have been secured in a warehouse near her home. She is concerned about the pandas and determined to help them. Her determination brings the community together to help the animals.
Charlie Bumpers Vs. The Puny Pirates
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Harley, Bill
Gustavson, Adam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 24, 2017
Averill, Linda
Charlie, a 4th grader, and his two friends, Hector and Tommy, play on the Pirates soccer team. The coach has the team, most of whom are beginners, focus on fundamentals. Charlie, Tommy and Hector can play soccer and are convinced they could score if they were all on offense at the same time. That doesn't seem to be in the coach's plans and the team consistently loses. The team has to sell chocolate bars, so the three friends team up, for that but they eat some they can't pay for and Charlie loses the fundraising money. That's not all of Charlie's troubles, his family drives him crazy, especially an older brother who shoots video of everything that could possible embarrass Charlie. This is the fifth in a series.
Marvin And The Moths
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Holm, Matthew
Follett, Jonathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 24, 2017
Averill, Linda
When a science experiment goes amiss Marvin is forced to share his attic bedroom space with three giant moths that have many of his human characteristics. As the town's animal population, including a beloved elephant, is decimated by the evil Elephant Vampire the moths prepare for battle. The Vampire appears at the school Harvest Dance where Marvin and his two (sometimes) friends battle the creature with help from the moths. This story reflects on relationships. It also implies that big business isn't always what it appears to be. Full of middle school humor including torn underwear, middle school meanness, and cliques this story will appeal to budding scientists.
Best & Buzzworthy 2017 : World Records, Trending Topics, And
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 25, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Who did the longest-ever music video? Who has the most downloads? What's the largest free-standing building? What TV star makes the most? What state grows the most rice? If you like random information with bright color photographs, cool graphics, and occasional graphs and tables (and an index) this is the browsing book for you. It's as up-to-date as it can be, and includes information modern tech-kids will enjoy.
Last Days Of The Dinosaurs
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Rake, Matthew
Minister, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
Set in the form of a field guide this book focuses on dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period (145-66 mya). Each chapter features a topic and introduces 2-3 dinosaurs. Introductory chapters deal with the last days of the dinosaurs and the evolution timeline. Other topics include “Battle on the Bank,” “Hunting in Packs,” “Big dinosaurs,” “Asteroid Attack,” and others. Every chapter has a Did You Know Box. Maps, the timeline, and information help. Eight dinosaurs are featured at the end with additional information. An index cross-reference pages to guide students to specific words or dinosaurs. Illustrations, timeline, and other text features help the reader. Adapting to the field guide format takes effort in comprehension. Students will love browsing this book and learning the miscellaneous facts that go with the pictures. This is more useful for the varied information rather than specific research. There are 4 other titles in the series covering different time periods.
Fantastic Ferris Wheel : The Story Of Inventor George Ferris
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Kraft, Betsy Harvey
Salerno, Steven
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
Ferris wheels are popular rides at many fairs, etc. Probably the most impressive of these was the first one designed and built by George Ferris for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. This book is the story of George Ferris and his huge Ferris wheel. It was 264 feet high and had 36 cars that held 69 riders each. It survived a violent wind storm with 115 mile per hour winds on August 9, 1893. Passengers on the Ferris Wheel when the winds hit came down safely. George needed 100,000 parts to build this huge structure with the help of engineers and other workers who worked through the cold Chicago winter. The sketches and diagrams illustrating this book reflect the time it was built. George designed it himself and never varied from his original design. His work inspired other later structures. Additional biographical information and a list of sources complete this fascinating book.
What Do You Find In A Tide Pool?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
Set in the form of a field guide this book focuses on dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period (145-66 mya). Each chapter features a topic and introduces 2-3 dinosaurs. Introductory chapters deal with the last days of the dinosaurs and the evolution timeline. Other topics include “Battle on the Bank,” “Hunting in Packs,” “Big dinosaurs,” “Asteroid Attack,” and others. Every chapter has a Did You Know Box. Maps, the timeline, and information help. Eight dinosaurs are featured at the end with additional information. An index cross-reference pages to guide students to specific words or dinosaurs. Illustrations, timeline, and other text features help the reader. Adapting to the field guide format takes effort in comprehension. Students will love browsing this book and learning the miscellaneous facts that go with the pictures. This is more useful for the varied information rather than specific research. There are 4 other titles in the series covering different time periods.
When Green Becomes Tomatoes : Poems For All Seasons
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Fogliano, Julie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
I read this book on March 20 -- the date that this book of poems begins. Simplistic poems that reflect several dates chronologically through the year reflect the seasons and months. The book begins and ends with the same date and poem. There is no punctuation or capital letters in any of the poems. Some are 2-3 lines and some shorter. march 22 just like a tiny, blue hello a crocus blooming in the snow Julie Morstad uses simple illustrations to reflect the feeling of the words and the seasons in soft colors through the eyes of a child. A beautiful book with delightful poems. This would be useful for teaching seasons and expression of thoughts in poetry. It could be used throughout the year. It reflects the self-expression of childhood and an intimacy with nature. A delightful, beautiful creation.
Chase, Wiggle, Chomp : Teaching Verbs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Owings, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
This introduction to verbs starts with a definition of a verb as a word that shows action. Each double page shows a picture and 2 to 3 sentences about the picture. Verbs are shown in bold face type. The seven sentences are interesting and descriptive. “Tasha walks her dog, Rio. Rio chases a squirrel! He pulls Tasha behind him. The verbs are interesting, ranging from be and run to transform and chomping. Photographs are clear and utilize children for connection. The author has a degree in English and creative writing.
Pet Food Tester
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 25, 2017
Elders, Ann
This title from the Odd Jobs series discusses the role of a dog food tester—a person who tastes dog and cat food to determine its quality, appeal, smell, and flavor. Dog owners, like myself, have a wide variety of pet foods to choose for our pets. The foods meet a variety of health and nutrition needs and come in everything from kibble, canned foods, raw diet, and other forms. One interesting fact is that the Spam was the originator of the concept for canned food for animals. Photographs help one to visualize the process showing and naming some of the people who work in the field. Each chapter begins with questions. The writing itself is written to be read easily but simple sentences read in a choppy manner. One useful chart is “Know the Lingo” which provides information on the labelling and words related to these foods. At the end there is a “Did You Know”, “Consider This” activities, a brief resource list, glossary, and lingo.
Two Friends : Susan B. Anthony And Frederick Douglass
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Robbins, Dean
Qualls, Sean & Selina Alko
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 26, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
A perfect book for reading with young students during February and March, "Two Friends" imagines the conversation between Fredrick Douglass went to tea with Susan B. Anthony in Rochester NY. Champions in the twin struggles for equal rights and suffrage for African Americans and for women respectively, this picture book explains both political causes as a parallel quest for "The right to live free. The right to vote./Some people had rights, while others had none./ Why shouldn't s/he have them, too?" Dean Robbins spare text and illustrations by the duo of Sean Qualls and Selina Alko's illustrations combine flowing script with expressive painting to unify themes common to both. Highly recommended for K-2nd.
Moccasin Goalie
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Brownridge, William Roy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 27, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
This is a re-issue of a lovely bit of Canadiana, a recollection of a childhood spent playing hockey "a long time ago...on the prairies in a small town called Willow." Back in the 1940's, "Cold weather meant ice, and ice meant hockey." The author describes how "I had a crippled leg and foot" and being unable to skate. But he could play in mukluks, so he played goalie in those warm leather boots. When a real team forms in the small town the kids are thrilled. Their coach, however, excludes a girl, a smaller boy, and the author as a "moccasin goalie" and forces them watch, crestfallen, while friends competed in real jerseys, on a real hockey team. But as fate would have it, an injury to the team's goal forces the coach to invite the narrator, his stomach is filled with butterflies bur his heart is 100% in the game. A terrific picture book story of overcoming adversity and a delicious taste of the Great Frozen North. Like "The Hockey Sweater" the Moccasin Goalie should be in all "Canadian culture studies" units.
Lucy
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cecil, Randy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 27, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Lucy is a story about a lost dog just trying to stay alive, a girl and her father who is a juggler who cannot perform in front of people. Lucy has a daily routine to find food where she will take anything that is edible. One of her stops is at Eleanor's house where she drops a bit of food to her each day. The story gives each character's perspective as it moves through four acts sharing Lucy's struggles to stay alive, Eleanor's attempts to help a little white dog and Eleanor's father, Sam, practicing his juggling and failing when he goes in front of an audience until all their lives collide one night. Simple black and white illustrations add details to the text. A great story for learning about story strands and how they can all connect together. This book is a cross between a picture book and an early chapter book with over a hundred pages. The particular copy reviewed is considered a hardback but is a very soft and bendable.
Hideout
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Key, Watt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 27, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Alabama Moon author Watt Key has another suspenseful novel set in the south, this time in the bayous of Mississippi. Twelve-year-old Sam, the son of the local police chief, has been the new kid in the small town and now blames his friendship with Grover, a so-called loser, as the reason he and Grover were beat up at school by bullies that landed them both in the hospital. Embarrassed and traumatized by this, Sam makes summer vacation his time to distance himself from Grover and try to prove himself brave by tracking down a missing body in the forbidden bayous with his new boat. He ends up making lots of bad decisions and lies a lot to his trusting parents especially when he finds a fellow 12-year-old hiding out at a forbidden, run-down camp in the swamps. They become friends as Sam brings provisions for this naive boy who claims to be waiting for his thug of an older brother and recently released con of a father. Sam gets in over his head once the brother and his friends turn up and he learns of their marijuana growing and robberies. Adventure abounds with tension throughout as a relatively good kid makes a lot of bad choices in trying to help out a new friend. Middle school boys should clamor for this title.
Shimmer
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Weston, Paula
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Suddenly, Gaby remembers everything. For a year she believed she was a backpacker chilling out in Pandanus Beach. Working at the library. Getting over the accident that killed her twin brother. Then Rafa came to find her and Gaby discovered her true identity as Gabe: one of the Rephaim. Over a hundred years old. Half angel, half human, all demon-smiting badass and hopelessly attracted to the infuriating Rafa. Now she knows who faked her memories, and how - and why it's all hurtling towards a massive showdown between the forces of heaven and hell. She also remembers why she’s spent the last ten years wanting to seriously damage Rafa. If you have the others you’ll have students asking for these
Critical Perspectives On Terrorism
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Feinstein, Stephen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Terrorism is a form of violence with the main intent of frightening people from pursuing their everyday lives and one of today’s most controversial issues. Despite calls to ignore a fear of terrorism lest “the terrorists win,” many Westerners are justifiably scared about what seems like the increased presence of terrorism in their world. This text examines viewpoints in a pro/con format about the roots of terrorism and its role in different areas around the globe. Experts, journalists, and politicians, both with mainstream and alternative perspectives, all weigh in on this important topic in order to help students reach their own conclusions about the role of terrorism in our world today. This format objectively exposes readers to a wide variety of views on a controversial topic to promote critical thinking about and analysis of topics that directly affect their lives and the larger society around them. Large dense print on white pages may put off some readers, however the guiding questions will help keep them on track. Information is current to 2016. Includes glossary, bib., chapter notes, index. Must have for contemporary problems.
Mad Miss Mimic
Razorbill [Razorbill]
Henstra, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Debut novel. It’s 1870’s London, Leonora Somerville, 17, is being prepared for be presented to the Ton, again. She’s beautiful, has a large inheritance but she stutters so badly that she can only speak if she imitates other people’s voices, which she does flawlessly. It’s eerie and witchy and so she’s called Mad Miss Mimic. She lives with her sister and her physician husband whose practice among the city’s very poor seems to be philanthropical, but London is in the grip of opium fever and Dr. Dewhurst is right in the middle of it along with his business partner Francis Thornfax who just happens to have asked for Leo’s hand and doesn’t seem to mind the stutter. The Black Glove is setting off explosions across the city, Dewhust’s orphans are dying of overdoses, and Leo is curious and concerned. Throw in her attraction to Tom Rampling, who works for Dewhurst and Thornfax and you have a good suspenseful, historical novel about finding one’s voice under pressure. Includes bibliographical references “London, 1872.”
Marie Antoinette, Phantom Queen
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Rodolphe
Goetzinger, Annie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
BkList*, Grpahic novel narrative non-fiction. In 1930s Paris, Maud de Brunhoe is a young widow and painter on the brink of success pursued by her step-son Remy (only 2 years younger than she) for her money. After a painting trip to the Petit Trianon at Versailles she is haunted by bad dreams. Later at party one of her friends suggests a séance; there she discovers that she has a psychic gift and that Marie Antoinette has been trying to communicate with her. The ghost story is based on a 1901 account by two English women who wrote an account of their encounter with her. Maud and the ghost soon become confidantes of a sort. Maud is seen around Paris talking to herself and Remy wants to take advantage of that to gain control of his father’s estate. Maud is tasked with helping the Queen to a peaceful eternal rest. Rodolph’s plot includes true history of Marie Antoinette’s life, final days, and death. Goetzinger is in fine form showcasing the fashions and interiors of eighteenth-century Versailles and 1930s Paris, full of characters drawn in her elegantly modeled style. The story is thin and readers want more. What elevates it is Goetzinger’s artwork
Mccarthyism And The Communist Scare In United States History
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Zeinert, Karen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
GR 5+ R.L. 7.2 Follows the rise and fall of McCarthyism and anti-Communist hysteria in the United States from its roots in the straining of American-Soviet relations after the Bolshevik Revolution and how it led to the "witch hunt" atmosphere of the Cold War. Zeinert details the fearful climate of the post-World War II years and how those like McCarthy took advantage to sustain an anti-Communist movement, smearing the reputations of many innocent Americans. The author also examines how the age of McCarthyism finally came to an end as the perceived threat of communism faded when the Soviet Union declined. . Republication and retitle of 1998 series with additional information, Includes maps, timeline, chapter notes, further reading, and index. Serviceable and concise analysis of this period . Compare to books about Salem Witch trials. Timely because of current comparisons being made to the Trump Administration.
Salem Witchcraft Trials In United States History
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Fremon, David K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 5+ R..L 8.4 The Salem witchcraft trials occurred during a controversial period in colonial America in which mass hysteria led to a series of outrageous trials resulting in the conviction and execution of twenty people for practicing witchcraft, and the imprisonment of one hundred fifty other accused witches. Highlighting key people and events, Fremon explains the unique circumstances that existed in colonial Massachusetts and Salem Village at the time of the trials as he considers many possible reasons why the witchcraft trials were held. Republication and retitle of 1999 series with additional information, Includes maps, timeline, chapter notes, further reading, and index. Serviceable and concise analysis of this period in Colonial history good comparison to McCarthyism.
Story Of Slavery And Abolition In United States History
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Altman, Linda Jacobs
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 5+ R.L 7.4 Prior to the end of the Civil War in 1865, many considered slavery vital to the economy of the United States, especially in the South. Most people in the North, though, came to reject slavery for moral or political reasons. Influential Northerners spearheaded the abolition movement. The book explores how abolitionists used words, money, violence, or simply courage, to fight to free the slaves. Tracing the history of slavery from its origins in America through its legal end with the Thirteenth Amendment, Altman shows how abolitionists—and slaves themselves—helped make the Civil War a fight not only to preserve the Union, but to make the nation free. Republication and retitle of 1999 series with additional information, Includes maps, timeline, chapter notes, further reading, and index. Serviceable and timely with the emphasis on the Black Lives Matter movement.
History Of Fashion
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
G. 7+ Lex 1070 In fashion, one minute you are on trend, the next you’re outdated. How did fashion begin? When did we become so obsessed with the keeping up with the latest trends? This title examines fashion's roots in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the ways and styles in which it has expanded and changed, and how it has grown into such an integral part of Western culture. Lots of color and b/w photos to illustrate and support text. Current to 2015 so global fashion, sustainable fashion, fashion for a cause, high tech style, and non-traditional models. Special text features include Art Spotlights, infographics, and fact bubbles. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes, index and an author note. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Writing within the series is a bit uneven, purchase titles individually to meet collection needs.
History Of Television
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Eboch, M M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 7 + Lex 740 1010 The average American consumes more television that any other form of media. When did the first television sets appear in homes? And, what make some shows cultural events, leaving thousands of viewers buzzing? Cultures are constantly changing and so are the ways in which we express ourselves. This title examines television's origin in the United States, the ways different networks and shows have shaped history, and how it has grown to capture the nation's attention. Current to 2015 so streaming and global media are covered. Lots of color and b/w photos to illustrate and support text. Special text features include Art Spotlights, infographics, and fact bubbles. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes, index and an author note. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Writing within the series is a bit uneven, purchase titles individually to meet collection needs
History Of Music
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Moore, Shannon Baker
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
G. 7+ Lex 1020 Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Why do people make music? What makes a song a hit? This title examines Cultures are constantly changing and so are the ways in which we express ourselves. Western music's original European roots, the ways and styles in which it expanded, and how it has grown into such an integral part of Western culture. Lots of color and b/w photos to illustrate and support text. Special text features include Art Spotlights, infographics, and fact bubbles. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes, index and an author note. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Writing within the series is a bit uneven, purchase titles individually to meet collection needs.
History Of Dance
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bailey, Diane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
G. 7+ Lex 740 1110 When in doubt, dance it out. Why do people dance? What sparks a dance craze. Cultures are constantly changing and so are the ways in which we express ourselves. This title examines Western dance's original European roots, the ways and styles in which it has expanded and changed, and how it has grown into such an integral part of Western culture. Current to 2015. Lots of color and b/w photos to illustrate and support text. Special text features include Art Spotlights, infographics, and fact bubbles. Back matter includes a timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes, index and an author note. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. Writing within the series is a bit uneven, purchase titles individually to meet collection needs
Kid Beowulf And The Song Of Roland
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Fajardo, Alexis E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr.5+ How I wish a graphic novel format of the Song of Roland had been around when I was a kid. Twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel discover in their second adventure! Banished from their homeland, the brothers seek refuge with their Uncle Holger in far-off France, but by the time they arrive, the kingdom is in shambles: King Charlemagne is ailing; his knights have been exiled; and France’s hero, Roland, needs a kick in the pants. It’s up to Beowulf and Grendel to unite the country before it’s taken over by an invading Saracen horde! This is the newest iteration of The Illustrated Classics comics with elephants, roller coasters and modern water towers to snappy dialog. This is a treat for all scholars and classical readers alike.
Final Cut
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Gurevich, Margaret
Hagel, Brooke
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 27, 2017
Averill, Linda
Chloe, a senior in high school, is preparing her portfolio for a variety of art schools and colleges scattered across the country. This and her collaboration with former rival Nina, cause a strain in her relationship with her best friend, Alex. Chloe designs prom gowns for her classmates and for Alex. The fashion designs are featured throughout the short, easy to read story.
Jolley-Rogers And The Cave Of Doom
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Duddle, Jonny
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 27, 2017
Averill, Linda
Three witches cast a spell to bring a pirate ship to their beach. The Jolley-Roger family was ensnared by the spell but son, Jim Lad, managed to send his faithful dog, Bones, off with a message. It reached his best friend Matilda who raced to save the family. When she was was captured, she tried to befriend the sea-hags and made a deal with them. They decided to keep her anyway; she had to cook and clean then was locked in a closet. She and Jim Lad devised a plan to escape and then had to figure out how to break the spell on his family.
Infinity Year Of Avalon James
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Middleton, Dana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 27, 2017
Averill, Linda
Avalon and Atticus are best friends who believe that when they turn ten it will be their "Infinity Year" have some new superpower. Avalon hopes hers will help her deal with having a father in prison, a mean, sharp-tongued girl, and being a champion speller. Atticus balances Avalon's impulsiveness but when they are placed in separate classes and have a misunderstanding Atticus withdraws. The bully and her minions are in Avalon's class and when she loses her temper it leads to some serious consequences impacting her attendance at the regional spelling bee.
Alive
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Baker, Chandler
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 740 Hi/Lo Stella Cross’s heart doesn’t work anymore, time is running out. Miraculously she gets a new heart with that change she’s determined to embrace and do all the things that she came close to losing. There is a down side to her new life, nightmares, hallucinations, and the feeling that her heart is being ripped out of her body every day at 5:08 PM. When Stella meets Levi Zin and is drawn to him like a magnet. The book is set in a Seattle prep school and the local music scene is a major player in Stella and Levi’s deepening relationship. Although she harbors some resentment for her baby sister, Elsie, whom she has dubbed “the replacement child,” when she sees Levi repeatedly dunk her underwater in the hot tub, Stella begins to question her attachment to him. Her previous best friends, waiting for her to see what they’ve seen, come to her aid. There’s a nod to Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw in the building of tension through seemingly ordinary events with plenty of blood for the horror fans. Baker’s vivid narrative engages readers in the world of transplants, the full experience of receiving a part of another being, and, through Stella, exposes heightened sensibilities far beyond the vital physical transition. Scary.
Glenn Gould : a life off tempo
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Sandrine, Revel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
March 27, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Glenn Gould was an eccentric Canadian pianist, a child genius who became a worldwide superstar of classical music known for his interpretations of Bach. This graphic novel biography seeks to understand and to share the person behind the unconventional persona. He remains as famous for his eccentricities—his humming while playing; his custom-made (by his father), low-slung, squeaky, collapsible bench; his virtual marriage to a Steinway that he carted with him on tour until its traumatizing accidental destruction; his renunciation of public performance at 31; his insistence on suffocatingly overheating home, car, and recording studio; his bundling up for winter regardless of the actual season; his hypochondria and pill-popping as for his work. Gould was a great favorite of the radio community and loved communication technology because it allowed him to be close to people without really being with them. The watercolor story is structured as a series of flashbacks and dream-like sequences that show him as a child who didn’t relate well to others, walking under the overcast skies that he loved, performing, and in the coma from the stroke that killed him. Classical music lovers, biography lovers and art lovers will greatly enjoy.
Marcel
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Akaltun, Eda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
A delightful story told from the point of view of a French bulldog named Marcel who lives in Manhattan. He adores everything about downtown - time spent at the doggy day spa, bagel treats, live music - and is none too thrilled when his human drags him to midtown to jog in Central Park because they always seem to run into a gentleman who distracts Marcel's owner from her doggy duties. It is clear to readers early on, if not Marcel, that his owner is in love with this man and Marcel's life is about to change. Marcel lists all the things he dislikes about spending time uptown with this new man, which includes some potty humor. Then something happens that makes this adorable pooch decide life with another person in the apartment might not be too bad. Young readers will adore the collage illustrations and say "ooh la la" to life with Marcel. The ending implies a sequel set in Paris. Ooh la la, indeed!
Plants In Spring
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
York, M J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 28, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Part of The Child's World Welcome, Spring! series, Plants in Spring is a joyful celebration of all the changes and growth that occur during this season. The author manages to create excitement around changes in weather, animals, plants, and trees in a mere 2-3 sentences per page, and the bright full-page photographs opposite the text elevate the content. The book also has instructions in the back for a spring-themed craft, along with a glossary, index, and list of further resources. This would be a strong read aloud for pre-K and Kindergarten classes and could lead to further discussions about students' own experiences in spring. This is the only title from Welcome, Spring! that I read, but I did review a title in the Welcome, Fall! series that was poorly written, which makes me think there's inconsistency among titles.
Weather In Fall
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gleisner, Jenna Lee
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 28, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
With only one to two sentences per page, this is an extremely simplified version of Fall that doesn't reflect how diverse the season is across the United States. The book contains three chapters - Cool Weather, Fall Changes and Warmer Clothes - along with instructions for making a wind spinner craft, a glossary, an index, and a section of further resources. The text lacks style and when read out loud does not grab listeners' attention. The bold photographs, some of which spill over onto the opposite page, are pleasing to look at and could spark further discussion among young readers. Overall, an unimpressive book on a lovely season.
Maxi The Little Taxi
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Upton, Elizabeth
Cole, Henry
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 28, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Children enjoyed the personified tale of Maxi the little taxi starting his first day at work. Shiny and bright, he zipped and zoomed around, splashing in all the puddles he finds. Sticky fingers leave their reminders behind of food consumed. Even a pigeon leaves her mark. Soon, people do not want to ride in him until a boy and his mother get in and take him to a car wash before going on to their destination. Maxi is afraid at first but soon enjoys himself. He returns to Mr. Buddy at the Taxi service and tells about his day. Rhyming story that moves along with wonderful illustrations. Watch out Uber! Here comes Maxi, the driverless taxi. Review copy in Reinforced binding.
Arctic White
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Smith, Danna
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Lacking in any cultural or geographic accuracy, this is a pretty book but not recommended addition to any library concerned with accurate depictions of native Alaskan peoples or landscapes. Watercolor paintings hope to catch some of the magic of a while world in winter, but drawings of igloos and kayaks, dogsleds and parkas doesn't do more than nod at the setting or people it depicts.
The Friendly Postman : the art of Van Gogh
Big & Small [Big & Small]
Kim, Yu-ri
Lim, Jeong-yeon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Based on Vincent Van Gogh's 1889 "Portrait of Joseph Roulin" depicting a bearded postal worker; both author and artists paint a picture of what may have transpired at Van Gogh's Yellow House in Arles, France. The life of the depressed and unappreciated painter is brightened by almost daily visits by the postman delivering letters from Theo (Van Gogh's brother) whose encouragement and funds sustained him. While townspeople speculate on the strange newcomer in town, the high-wheeled bicycling postman has a curious respect and compassion. When he finds Van Gogh covered in (sunflower)yellow paint, he takes him to his home and comforts him in his sadness. The next time he visits, Van Gogh is gone, leaving a note of thanks with the portrait that bears the postman's name. Illustrations are clearly inspired by the impressionistic beauty of this master painter. End notes on other paintings by Van Gogh add context in this "Stories of Art" series (of 11 books) from Lerner's Big and Small Press.
Why Am I Here?
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Orbeck-Nilssen, Constanc
Maudet, Matthieu
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
A spare, gently illustrated fundamentally existential picture book translated from Norwegian, that begins with a question not uncommon for people at one time or another in their lives, "I wonder why I am here, in this exact place." Alone on a rock in the sea, with a small boat tethered we join a young child who wonders, "What if were somewhere else-somewhere completely different from here?" to begin a journey considering what it would be like living in distant lands, or homeless is a large city, or fleeing war and faced with "what if the war never ended? Where would I go then?" With the narrating child we consider the plight of refugees wondering if they'll be welcomed on distant shores, or of children who has to work deep inside a mountain. Kindly, the book concludes that maybe here, that "...this is where I should be. Isn't that just the way it is?...Why am I e and not someone else? And why am I here? Maybe that's how it is-I am my own house. And I will be home wherever I am." Likely a useful conversation starter when conditions allow children time for deep reflection and safe expression of wonder.
When The Sun Shines On Antarctica : And Other Poems About Th
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Latham, Irene
Wadham, Anna
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
March 28, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Poetry, art, and science combine in this collection of poems about the flora, fauna, and land of Antarctica. Each two-page spread contains a beautiful painting of the poem’s subject with sufficient detail to match the poem. One poem about an animal or plant is printed in a high contrast white font along the left border and a mauve colored box with detailed factual information is superimposed in the bottom right corner. “Iceberg brighten as the sky peels. . . itself of darkness and stretches awake.” Facts describe the summer as one long day from when the “sun rises in October to when it sets in March.” Each poem features only one topic and the collection includes poems about several penguin species, seals, birds, and whales along with krill, flora, midges, and ice features. The free-verse poetry is written in groups of only a few lines with most lines having fewer than five words per line. Back material includes an excellent glossary, further reading in books and websites. This is a beautiful book to add to any poetry collection and one to recommend to any class studying the polar regions.
Hope For Winter : The True Story Of A Remarkable Dolphin Fri
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Yates, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The remarkable picture book story of the bottlenose dolphin Winter’s rescue and subsequent fitting with a prosthetic tail was told in the book, Winter’s Tail, and the acclaimed movie, Dolphin Tale. Fans of those will be delighted with the continuation of Winter’s story as she meets and develops an older sister-like relationship with another rescued dolphin, Hope. The story of Hope’s rescue and dramatic road to health is told in this beautifully photographed story; the 12th children’s book about remarkable animal friendship by the authors. Her arrival also bridged the illness and death of Winter’s longtime companion, Panama, giving both the companionship needed to live in captivity. Plentiful full-page photographs face a moderate amount of large, widely spaced text and a smaller inset photograph of critical moments in Hope’s rescue and training. Back material includes an excellent description of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, bulleted list of similarities between Winter and Hope, and an extensive list of dolphin facts.
Crossing Niagara : The Death-Defying Tightrope Adventures Of
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Bruno, Iacopo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Jean François Gravelet, known as the Great Blondin, captivated the imagination of crowds with his daring feats, crossing Niagara Falls multiple times on a three-inch tightrope while performing astounding tricks. On June 30, 1859 spectators streamed on trains, carriages and steamships to travel and watch what became the first of dozens of successful crossings, each with more complex showmanship than before. A full-page foldout shows Blondin crossing while performing tricks on stilts, pushing a wheelbarrow, and sitting on a chair amongst just a few. Watercolor, pencil and gouache illustrations aptly capture the extreme expressions on spectators, as well as the immensity of the falls and the slight haze in the air caused by the water droplets. After 2 years Blondin moved on to other exploits, eventually retiring at the age of 72 without ever having been injured. This is a fascinating look at a little known man with a big dream and a stash of bravado and courage. Beware the foldout though, as it is sure to be creased after the first use. Back material includes an Author’s Note and Selected Bibliography.
Hot Rod Hamster Meets His Match!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lord, Cynthia
Anderson, Derek
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 28, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Hot Rod Hamster and his friends set off for the Water Kingdom on a hot and sunny day. A day of fun brings unexpected challenges as first another hamster, Holly, claims the shark float, followed by two large dogs insulting and challenging them to a race to the bottom. Readers are asked to make choices of popsicles, floats, and race tubes along with the hamsters. Short sentences, brightly colored cartoon-like illustrations and speech bubbles add to the appeal of Hot Rod Hamster Early Readers and they fly off my shelves.
Row, Row, Row Your Boat : Sing Along With Me!
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 28, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The classic children’s song is now available in a board book format along with a free downloadable app. The book itself is interactive and so can be used with or with out the app’s musical accompaniment. In the Sing Along with Me! series by Nosy Crow, this title/song includes four verses of the beloved song. The cover has a cat, bunny and dog rowing a boat, with a smart circle indicating how to make the boat rock back and forth. Each verse has a different moveable part i.e. pull the boat in and out, push a hiding mouse or pair of polar bears up and down. The favorite will be, “If you see a crocodile, Don't forget to SCREAM!” accompanied by the crocodile’s sharp toothed mouth moving up and down. Be careful not to get tiny fingers bitten! Digital colorful, cute animals act as humans and engage the very young reader. Though not many verses, this is a very sturdy book with manipulative parts that should hold up for awhile. Others in this series include Old MacDonald Had a Farm, The Wheels on the Bus, and now Twinkle, Twinkle, Litte Star. Intended for ages 2-5, but can easily go younger.
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star : Sing Along With Me!
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 28, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The classic children’s song is now available in a board book format along with a free downloadable app. The book itself is interactive and so can be used with or with out the app’s musical accompaniment. In the Sing Along with Me! series by Nosy Crow, this title/song includes four verses of the beloved song. The cover has two owls whose eyes move from closed to open looking up at the star that appears in the sky when the tab is pushed. Each verse has a different moveable part i.e. pull the window shades up and down to see the star come out, push the tab to make the star soar across the sky, push the circle sheet to see animals, plane and stars move through the sky, and end with the owls sleeping among the stars. Digital colorful, cute animals act as humans and engage the very young reader. Though not many verses, this is a very sturdy book with manipulative parts that should hold up for awhile. Due to the shortness of each verse, the music works best without the manipulative parts as it goes too fast. Others in this series include Old MacDonald Had a Farm, The Wheels on the Bus, and now Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Intended for ages 2-5, but can easily go younger.
Rabbit Magic
CLARION [CLARION]
Mclaren, Meg
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 28, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Rabbit Magic is about a famous magician to selecting the right rabbit assistant. When he finds his assistant, Houdini, he also finds a team player who is an encouragement to all his other rabbit assistants. At one show this confident assistant needs to address a crisis during the show and finds his new calling as a talented magician. Houdini enjoys his new stardom until he realizes that someone else needs to be in the spotlight and he hatches a plan with his rabbit team. The simple illustrations enhance the story by adding and supporting story text. The comical rabbit team with a variety of personalities makes the story fun and encouraging. A great story to use for discussing positive behaviors in the classroom.
Hot And Cold
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The All About Opposites series from Enslow Publishing is a great way to introduce the concept of opposites to young readers. Each title, of which there are six, starts off with a table of contents that includes three words to know accompanied by small photos and then jumps into several sets of pages that illustrate pairs of opposites. The single-sentence text is super-imposed onto a full-page color photograph, which is generally a close up image of an object or person. There is a decent variety of pairs (clothes, animals, buildings, people, trees) that children will connect with, as well as some things that may be new to primary age students, like meerkats and canoes, both of which are in the "Wide and Narrow" book. Resources for further learning and an index are included in the back. These are quick read alouds that will hold children's attention and get them thinking about opposites in their everyday lives, and they would easily act as a bridge into activities in the classroom or library. Perfect for collections that see a lot of use by primary teachers.
Wide And Narrow
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The All About Opposites series from Enslow Publishing is a great way to introduce the concept of opposites to young readers. Each title, of which there are six, starts off with a table of contents that includes three words to know accompanied by small photos and then jumps into several sets of pages that illustrate pairs of opposites. The single-sentence text is super-imposed onto a full-page color photograph, which is generally a close up image of an object or person. There is a decent variety of pairs (clothes, animals, buildings, people, trees) that children will connect with, as well as some things that may be new to primary age students, like meerkats and canoes, both of which are in the "Wide and Narrow" book. Resources for further learning and an index are included in the back. These are quick read alouds that will hold children's attention and get them thinking about opposites in their everyday lives, and they would easily act as a bridge into activities in the classroom or library. Perfect for collections that see a lot of use by primary teachers.
Old And Young
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The All About Opposites series from Enslow Publishing is a great way to introduce the concept of opposites to young readers. Each title, of which there are six, starts off with a table of contents that includes three words to know accompanied by small photos and then jumps into several sets of pages that illustrate pairs of opposites. The single-sentence text is super-imposed onto a full-page color photograph, which is generally a close up image of an object or person. There is a decent variety of pairs (clothes, animals, buildings, people, trees) that children will connect with, as well as some things that may be new to primary age students, like meerkats and canoes, both of which are in the "Wide and Narrow" book. Resources for further learning and an index are included in the back. These are quick read alouds that will hold children's attention and get them thinking about opposites in their everyday lives, and they would easily act as a bridge into activities in the classroom or library. Perfect for collections that see a lot of use by primary teachers.
Tall And Short
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Hughes, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
March 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The All About Opposites series from Enslow Publishing is a great way to introduce the concept of opposites to young readers. Each title, of which there are six, starts off with a table of contents that includes three words to know accompanied by small photos and then jumps into several sets of pages that illustrate pairs of opposites. The single-sentence text is super-imposed onto a full-page color photograph, which is generally a close up image of an object or person. There is a decent variety of pairs (clothes, animals, buildings, people, trees) that children will connect with, as well as some things that may be new to primary age students, like meerkats and canoes, both of which are in the "Wide and Narrow" book. Resources for further learning and an index are included in the back. These are quick read alouds that will hold children's attention and get them thinking about opposites in their everyday lives, and they would easily act as a bridge into activities in the classroom or library. Perfect for collections that see a lot of use by primary teachers.
Marine Biome
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
While oceans are clearly identified as a marine biome, the second, coral reefs, and third, estuaries (where rivers meet oceans) are not labeled as such. The text just continues, leaving the reader to make the assumption that these are the 2nd and 3rd marine biomes. Focus is on animals and plants in two page spreads with text on even numbers pages with pictures on the right third of the page continuing onto the odd numbered pages. Book is also available in Spanish. Table of contents; page of two "Things you might see" in each marine biome; Index; Glossary; abdokids.com website with abdo kids code to provide additional learning. Library binding.
Animal Hospital : Rescuing Urban Wildlife
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Coey, Julia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 29, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Toronto Wildlife Centre began caring for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife in 1992. This is the story of how wild life rehabilitation has helped over 5,000 animals a year. Shows the Centre and how they care for animals in the most stimulating ways; tells how a trick was used to get six merganser ducklings to start eating; how animals are rescued and much more. Gives tips on how to protect and support urban wildlife and what to do if they find a hurt animal. Tells about international efforts that encourage conservation and awareness. Gorgeous color photographs. Table of contents; resources list, and index. Reviewed in SLJ and Booklist. Wonderful resource to have on hand in case an animal is found that needs care.
Twist Of Fate
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Friedman, Laurie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
March 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair" this is book #7 and April's life continues to be filled with challenges. When her grandmother tells the family she has cancer, and is not going to fight it, everyone has their own reaction. Gaga is determined to live life to the fullest, which means taking the whole family on a skiing trip in Utah, with match neon green outfits. Naturally there is the push and pull of family ties and clashes. Sophie is clearly upset, but won't tell April why. Other teens in the family are following their own agendas...or that cute girl. Will they be able to resolve differences and unite as a family to face difficult times? This is at times light and funny, and at other times filled with teen angst. It's the perfect middle school series.
Happy Easter, Pout-Pout Fish
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Hanna, Dan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 29, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This thinly paged board book continues the episodes of Pout-Pout Fish, only this time he’s disguised as a bunny-looking fish leading an Easter egg hunt in the ocean. Pout-Pout Fish fans won’t mind this very short, slim offering as the always colorful, detailed illustrations make up for the short rhyming text. Readers should look for unusual bunnies and eggs in the seaweed, in the wreck, in the reef and finally in a tall stand of grasses as a surprise for their leader. The jolly hats, “baskets” and costumes befit the holiday in 12 short pages.
Bunny Bus
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Paquette, Ammi-Joan
Withrow, Lesley Breen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 29, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The cover features a cute white bus with bunny ears, eyes, nose and mouth leading into a rhyming tale of student animals enthusiastically getting aboard this Bunny Bus. As it hops it comes to a stop each time more creatures pile on, that is until it is full to bursting and finally a boom! Then there is a “Full stop. No more hop. Oh no, Bunny Bus!" The riders come to the rescue by giving their bus an overhaul and share the load. They end up in an Easter parade led by the bus. The ending is a bit confusing and a little weak (How do they share the load? Should they be riding on top of the bus?), but the very young readers won’t really care. They’ll like the busy, colorful, lively illustrations and love the end sheets full of vibrant Easter eggs.
Winter's Child
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Mcallister, Angela
Baker-Smith, Grahame
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 29, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Tom enjoys the activities and aspects of winter and wishes that it would go on forever. He meets and plays with a mysterious boy who is Winter's Child. But everything is frozen and the family is running out of food and fuel for the fire which is affecting his frail grandmother. Like a classic fairytale, the best turn of the story is for Winter's Child to return to his father which allows spring to come. He promises to return. Illustrations give the feeling of the winter cold. So, cuddle up with a warm blanket and read this great story.
Weird Butterflies & Moths
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Orenstein, Ronald
Marent, Thomas
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 29, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Incredible photographs of butterflies and moths enhance the facts about these related insects. The book starts out with an overview about basic facts of these weird and wonderful insects as well as a paragraph about how kids can support butterflies and moths through gardens and creating way stations for monarch butterflies. Over 45 butterflies and moths are covered throughout the book. Captions included on each page provide additional facts about specific species and add additional facts which covers many aspects of lives. With a huge variety of shapes, sizes and designs, explanations are provided as to the possibility for the function of each. Every part of the life cycle is covered with more pages focused on adults and caterpillars. A good resource for your butterfly/moth lover.
Snap It! : Snapchat Projects For The Real World
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Bernhardt, Carolyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 29, 2017
Korf, Clarence
If you wanted to have some tips on what to do on Snapchat, this is not the book for you. It is a book which provides readers a brief overview about Snapchat, its founders and how it all began but quickly moves into a craft book. One page includes important safety tips on how to use social media but the rest of the book is a craft book on how to make real life Snapchat projects which will not disappear after 10 seconds from initial viewing. These crafts will be around as long as the creator desires to keep them. The crafts includes real-life lenses, photo painting, story streamer, geofilter frames, mini avatar magnets, group gallery and fast forward and rewind flip-books. This is a reversing how to use technology guide book but it could be a great learning tool in targeting a classroom task for displaying student learning in a creative way. Other books in the series include Film It! (YouTube), Pin It! (Pinterest), Post It! (Facebook), Share It! (Instagram) and Tweet It! (Twitter). The book includes and glossary and index. This books subject matter is targeted to middle school and high school but the design and style however feels like it addresses a younger audience.
Ramadan
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
March 29, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Ramadan is a short chapter book on the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The book begins with an explanation of the differences in the solar and lunar calendar. Since a large part of the world uses a solar calendar, Ramadan happens during different parts of the year. It reviews the beginning of Islam giving a brief history of the prophet Mohammad and how the Quran was written. A chapter focuses on prayer which includes the time of day, their direction in praying and the places of prayer. The fasting during Ramadan is also included with the nightly celebrations and meals Muslims have together. The last chapter focuses on the Festival of Eid which celebrates the end of Ramadan. Clear photographs with captions compliment the text well. The book is part of The Story of Our Holidays series which includes Cinco De Mayo, Chinese New Year, Groundhog Day, Juneteenth, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents' Day. The book also has a Ramadan recipe, craft, glossary, index and learn more section with other book and website resources.
Pirate's Perfect Pet
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ferry, Beth
Myers, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Captain Crave is brave and discovers he is missing a couple of important items to be the Perfect Pirate Captain. He realizes he doesn't have a pet and and a peg leg but he realizes a peg leg would come. He goes ashore to find his pet and in struggles because they are either too big, too clingy, too stubborn, too muddy and so much more. It isn't until he goes into a pet store he ends up finding a pet which is just right for him. The illustrations are fun, whimsical and engage readers into the story. What kid doesn't like a pirate story which involve a variety of animals.
Paperboy
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Pilkey, Dav
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
March 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
This book is a reprint which was first published in 1996. A boy wakes up early in the morning to deliver papers to his community and then returning back to bed. Since this type of delivery is disappearing there are fewer children who are able to connect with the concept of paper delivery. The simple illustrations take on the peaceful setting of a boy and his dog as they prepare and deliver the papers. A good book to discuss jobs which children have done in the past.
Survival Guide To Bullying : Written By A Teen
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mayrock, Aija
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
March 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Teen, Aija, was bullied. It destroyed her self-esteem and made her life miserable. Because of that experience she has written this book to give advice to others who might be facing the same problem. The chapters focus on the reasons for bullying, the fear it can cause, ways to avoid bad situations, the need to regain your self-esteem and be happy with who you are, and how to seek help. Each chapter ends with a poem expressing the pain bullying can cause. Readers learn of the author's own experiences, and are told some coping strategies. At times the book seems a tad self-centered as the author almost seems to revel in the horror of the situation. However, the chatty tone and friendly advice will make this a very approachable way to deal with a tough subject. I just wish she had begun with the idea of seeking help. Nobody has to face bullying alone. Knowing this gives the bullied individual more confidence.
Harry Miller's Run
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Almond, David
Rubbino, Salvatore
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
March 30, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This unusual offering by a well-respected author is very British with much northeastern dialect (close to Scottish) thrown in. As such I question who the readers will be. 11-year-old Liam is very eager to start practicing with his best friend for the junior version of the Great North Run in northeast England, but his mam has him accompany her to their elderly neighbor’s house. Harry Miller is ancient and finally moving into a nursing home, and Liam’s mam is helping with last details. On this day they find proof of Harry’s run from Newcastle to South Shields and the sea on a summer day when he was eleven. He’s never told this whole story before, but Liam is spellbound listening to the tale accompanied by photos documenting this 13-mile run by a boy and his friends who never gave up. Helped along the way by kind strangers, they hadn’t intended such an achievement. Harry’s positive can do attitude is heartwarming and inspirational for Liam and the readers. Heavily illustrated throughout this intergenerational 60-page short story will be a hard sell in the US where readers will struggle with the language even though it’s a message worth reading.
Train Man
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Zimmerman, Andrea
Clemesha, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This sturdy new board book version of a 2012 picture book features a young boy playing with a train set imagining his young self as a future steam train man. He loves everything train, and takes the reader through his envisioned journey driving a big engine pulling cars up the highest bridge, through a tunnel and to the top of a snowy mountain pass. He’ll take tickets, say, “All aboard”, blow the whistle, and even include his very young brother in some of his duties. The brightly colored acrylic illustrations prove attractive and will pull in the intended little boys. Others by this same duo also out as board books include Digger Man and Fire Engine Man.
All About Me
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
March 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Intended for ages 18 months and up this this thin board book in Children’s Press series Words Are Fun attractively presents clear color photos with word labels. The right side tabs use photos to depict a part of the topic for each double page spread that include— My Body, My Face, My Room, Toys, My Park, and My Birthday. Each double page spread then has one question such as, “Which part of your body is used for smelling?” or directive i.e. “Point to all the animals.” The final pages are a photo collage of the items without their labels, now asking the child how many they can remember. The bright white background and bright colors instantly attract the young child and can be used over and over again as their interest allows.
Bird & Squirrel On Fire
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Burks, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
March 31, 2017
Dame, Anne
This is the 4th book in a fabulous graphic novel series. Bird and Squirrel are very unlikely friends, who have had many dangerous adventures together around the world. They are finally returning home and Squirrel can't wait to just clean his house and stay safe for a while. However, something scary has moved into the neighborhood, plus a beaver has dammed up the water supply. Also coming into the picture is a new character: Red! A fun read for students of a wide variety of ages: 2nd grade up to 10th. Appealing to this adult as well.