Reviews for month


Rambler Steals Home
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Higgins, Carter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
August 07, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Once the reader figures out that a rambler is a person who travels from place to place and an RV, this story will be more clear. Derby, her younger brother Triple and their father Garland travel the country in their RV home with an old concession stand trailer hooked on the back called the Grill. It’s able to set up quickly and sell the food of the season wherever they might be. Garland’s motto is “Food, family, and fun.” with the refrain “Aren’t we lucky?” to live the life they do, but Derby isn’t always so sure of this. In winter its Wisconsin’s Christmas tree business and summer it’s a small country town in Virginia where the Ridge Creek Rockskippers play minor league ball. Derby yearns for the traditions and connections she’s made here, but this summer things have changed. Her favorite mother substitute June has a broken heart of her own, her best bud Marcus has a new job, the annoying Betsy actually seems to be likable, and there are mysteries to solve and fix. This first time author has a way with creating a distinct setting, memorable language, and a caring, curious big-hearted character who makes it her aim to bring joy back to June’s life. This should appeal to thoughtful girls who like rich characters.
Dallas
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Moussavi, Sam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
August 14, 2017
Averill, Linda
Bobby Dupree was the backup quarterback for his high school team. He was second string and felt that was where he belonged. When the stating quarterback was injured the expectations of the coach, team, high school and town rested on Bobby and they expected a winning season. In the past he had avoided the team parties but now he was expected to attend and they included drugs, alcohol and sex. When one team member was forcing his will on a girl who had said "no" Bobby had to make a decision. He chose to inform the coach and administration, this alienated much of the team. As a result his fantastic season came to an end when his team no longer protected him on the field; he was injured and the coach removed him leaving him with the choice of staying on the team or leaving it.
Forget Me Not
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Terry, Ellie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 16, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Other fiction books about Tourette Syndrome do not seem to exist for the intermediate-middle school age group, so thankfully Ellie Terry, in her first novel, created Callie Snow, who shares the tics and compulsions that dog her. Callie’s mom’s latest breakup leads them to her tenth new town, where Callie hopes to finally find a friend. In this Utah town, Callie meets the boy Jinsong, a fellow 7th grader, student body president, and apartment complex neighbor, who actually enjoys her differences. While the other students, especially Beatriz, relentlessly tease her when her tics come forth (repeating words, froggy voice, weird facial expressions), Jinsong cringes, but can’t bring himself to help her even when she falls and injures herself. He is torn by what his friends will think, but ultimately his caring for Callie wins out. Her anxiety about her mom moving once again to follow a man comes true, but satisfactory resolutions with Jinsong and Beatriz give Callie hope for her future. This is an important book told in chapters with free verse and some rhyme by Callie intermixed with prose by Jinsong. Well worth reading, a good story with memorable language and heart that should open people’s eyes to people’s differences.
Timmy Failure : The Cat Stole My Pants
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pastis, Stephan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The sixth book in the Timmy Failure is just as odd and funny as the others. This time the world’s greatest detective, Timmy Failure, is in Key West, but he is very clear that he is not on vacation and not on a honeymoon with his mom and Doorman Dave. His former business partner, Total the polar bear, has gone to Cuba to find political asylum, but writes occasionally with odd requests. Timmy is left alone with his unpaid intern, Emilio Empanada, to fight crime and discover pirate treasure in Key West. A simple and often funny illustration on almost every page and short chapters make this an appealing book for reluctant readers.
Bronze And Sunflower
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Wenxuan, Cao
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a beautifully written story of a poor family who are working hard to survive in rural China. Bronze is a young very observant mute boy who rides his water buffalo, works hard, and loves his family. Sunflower used to live a much different life across the river at the Cadre School, but she is left an orphan after her father dies in an accident. Bronze’s family is very poor but they take Sunflower in as one of their own. Everyone in the family works together to overcome problems and find joy. It is translated from Mandarin Chinese and gives a different perspective on rural China, but also celebrates universal human truths.
Super Narwhal And Jelly Jolt
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Clanton, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Narwhal is back with his best friend Jelly and this time he decides to become Super Narwhal. Jelly joins the fun and becomes Jelly Jolt and together they get superhero costumes and look for super powers and of course eat waffles. Narwhal’s super positive personality and his ability to help other comes through when he helps a sea star become a real star and turns Crab into a super hero so he won’t tease others. This is a simple and silly graphic novel that focuses on the power of friendship and imagination.
Year Of The Garden
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Cheng, Andrea
Barton, Patrice
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
In this prequel to The Year of the Book, Anna and Laura meet when they both move into new homes over the summer. They get along right away and Laura helps Anna clear a plot of land in her backyard to start a garden. Anna is inspired after reading The Secret Garden and Mrs. Shepherd gives her seeds and advice. After being friends for a while, it becomes clear that Laura is not very interested in gardening and would rather play soccer or help animals. Their families are also different in some ways from Anna’s favorite Chinese foods to Laura’s more chaotic family. The two girls drift apart until a wild baby bunny brings them together and fortifies their friendship which endures despite differences in personality and culture. Soft illustrations are sprinkled throughout the book adding to the warmth and reality of the story.
Boys Dancing : From School Gym To Theater Stage
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ancona, George
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This book is a great addition to the performing arts section of the library because it celebrates boys and the energy and joy of dancing with others. Four boys join their schools’ dance teams and train and rehearse dances inspired by books. They all perform at the National Dance Institute of New Mexico in the end. Photographs of the boys dancing with others on every page are explained by a few sentences of text. Many types of training and performances are covered from choreographed fights to practicing faces to practicing with partners and getting costumes fitted. This is an inspiring book for students interested in theatre and dance.
Wolf Island
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Mcallister, Ian
Read, Nicholas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The daily life of a lone male wolf is explained as he moves to a new island and hunts for food. Getting each type of food has a new challenge like digging for clams or targeting old or sick deer, but there is plenty of food. A lone female wolf comes to the island and together they start a family and work together to find food. This is narrative nonfiction focused on a single wild animal and his place in the Great Bear Rainforest. The photographs on every page are stunning and support the text. The reader gets a sense of the natural environment where the wolf lives, but there is no map or other details explaining that the Great Bear Rainforest is located on the coast of British Colombia. There are no chapters, so this book would be more challenging for a student to use for research, but it gives insight into nature of a specific area.
Shell, Beak, Tusk : Shared Traits And The Wonders Of Adaptat
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Heos, Bridget
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Specific animal adaptations including spines, shells, wings, bills, black and white camouflage, and tusks are explained in terms of survival. Each two-page spread features and an adaptation explained with one large interesting photo and one paragraph of text for each animal. There is also a paragraph comparing the two animals with the adaptation. There is an introduction page and a final page about “twin traits” or similar traits in very different animals. There is an index and extensive resource list at the end. This is a quality nonfiction book that is good for browsing as well as research on animal adaptations.
How Can We Reduce Manufacturing Pollution?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Hustad, Douglas
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The problems and possible solutions for manufacturing pollution are clearly explained for intermediate grade students. The first chapter introduces the idea of pollution created by manufacturing and the types of pollution. The next three chapters each describe the causes, effects, and solutions for air, water, and soil pollution from manufacturing. The final chapter covers ideas for people to do to reduce manufacturing pollution such as recycling and buying products not packaged in plastic and foam. The paragraphs of text are clear and most chapters have subtitles. A captioned photographs or diagram on every page makes the book more appealing and solidly supports the text. A glossary, list of resources, and short index are included. It is part of the What Can We Do About Pollution? series with each book about a different type of pollution. This book would be a great resource for a unit on pollution and also accessible for student research.
Fossils
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Oxlade, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The many aspects of fossils from how they are formed to fossil fuels are introduced at a basic level. There are nine chapter of two to four pages with sections of one or two paragraphs. Each two-page spread has a captioned photograph and a fact box with occasional diagrams. The result is makes the information somewhat choppy without much detail. For example, the subsection on oil and gas is one four-sentence paragraph and a basic diagram of an oil well. There is an activity at the end about how to make a model fossil using plaster of Paris. A glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of the Rock On! series.
Duct Tape Costumes
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Bernhardt, Carolyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Learn how to make costumes and accessories using duct tape is an interesting addition to a library’s craft collection. It starts with a few pages about safety and the stickiness of duct tape, then the rest of the book is mostly how to make nine projects. The projects are mostly accessories including a crown, animal ears, alien antennae, wings, and superhero cape. Each project is explained on two pages with a photograph of the finished project, list of materials, and step-by-step instructions with a few supporting photographs. A glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of the Create with Duct Tape series. Near Halloween this book may inspire students to make their own duct tape accessories and costumes as long as they have the money to buy the necessary supplies.
Snail & Worm Again
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Kugler, Tina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a book of three stories about two friends and one friend is a snail and the other is a worm. It is very reminiscent of George and Martha books with short chapter conveying a simple message about friendship with simple words and pictures. Worm and Snail are always supportive and honest and the result is humorous. The illustrations are a combination of acrylic on pastel paper, collage, and digital media. It is the sequel to Snail & Worm. It is sure to be a hit with students transitioning to easy chapter books.
Snow
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Rivera, Andrea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a beginning science book about snow that touches on several topics without going into detail. The chapters are titled Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math and each are two or four pages long with a few sentences over an uncaptioned photograph that supports the text. The Paradise Ranger Station at Mount Rainier is featured in the Key Stats page at the end with the fact that it is one of the snowiest places with up to 83 feet of snow a year and a photograph. A five-word glossary, monitored link resource page, and short index are included. It is part of the In the Sky series.
Boston Terriers
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Leaf, Christina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a research book for the beginning reader or just for students who like cute animals. There are three chapters of four to eight pages with a large detailed uncaptioned photo and one or two sentences of text. There is very basic information about baby skunks, food, and how their mother cares for them and how they learn to fight which might be enough for research. It is a Blastoff Reader Level One in the Super Cute! series.
Baby Skunks
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a research book for the beginning reader or just for students who like cute animals. There are three chapters of four to eight pages with a large detailed uncaptioned photo and one or two sentences of text. There is very basic information about baby skunks, food, and how their mother cares for them and how they learn to fight which might be enough for research. It is a Blastoff Reader Level One in the Super Cute! series.
Manatees
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Pettiford, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 16, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a great book to learn basic information about manatees for fun or for a project. There are four chapters covering physical features, habitat, speed and predators, food, and calves. On every page there is a supporting photo, map, or diagram to go with the simple text. A glossary, basic resource list, and index are included. It is a Level 3 Blastoff Reader in the Ocean Life Up Close series. The appealing format and photographs along with clear information make this a quality nonfiction book.
Deadly Predators
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Spilsbury, Louise and Richard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
The hunting methods of then animals, from boa constrictor to the great white shark and the vampire bat are each described on a two-page spread with an illustration, a "Fast Fact" and a "Did you know?" box. Some of the illustrations how how the prey is killed or swallowed whole. A table of contents, glossary and index are included. A "To Learn More" page lists three books about predators and directions on how to search the factsurfer.com website for the topic.
Simmering Inferno
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Crawford, Brian
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
August 20, 2017
Averill, Linda
Based on events that happened in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 the story details how Jozef, at age 21 and just out of teacher training met in secret with the Jewish Council. Living in a ghetto in central Poland, he defies the Nazis by continuing to teach the children. This brings him to the attention of the underground resistance and he is recruited. They smuggle in weapons and kerosene. When the last doctor living with the ghetto is killed by the Nazis Jozef realizes that there is a plan to remove the Jews, that the transport trains are only a part of the plan. He becomes a part of the resistance movement. During the uprising he is captured and sent to a prisoner of war camp. Jozef loses much more than his freedom. The harsh living conditions of the ghetto, lack of basic like food and heat, and violent acts of war, like bodies left to rot in the streets, are described.
Little Blue Chair
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Fagan, Cary
Kloepper, Madeline
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 23, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Have you ever looked at a piece of furniture and wondered who used it before you? What will happen to it when you’re done using it? Perhaps, like the chair in this book, it will become a bird feeder or a plant stand or even the seat on an elephant who gives rides to children. Reminiscent of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, this is a sweet and quiet story of a little blue chair that is beloved by many as it travels the world from one owner to another. As expected, it ends up in the hands of the boy who originally owned it, but now he is a grown up with a child of his own. Ink and pencil illustrations in muted tones complement the text perfectly and invite readers to linger on each page to take in tiny details. Little Blue Chair will be appreciated as both a class read aloud and a one-on-one or independent read. It could easily lead into a variety of extension activities about recycling, the value of objects, and the movement of goods.
Foretelling Of Georgie Spider
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kwaymullina, Ambelin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 7+ Ashala Wolf and the tribe have dealt somewhat successfully with the disappearance of Ember Crow into Gull City. Ashala has returned from her run with wolf pack with a gifted dog companion and a dream that reassures her that Ember is alright. But Georgie spider has been dreaming and she see the end of the world. There is hope, Georgie knows that Ashala can prevent it; but it’s complicated and her friends’ decisions at critical moments will help or prevent Ashala from doing what she had to do, whatever that is. That’s not clear either; in one dreaming Georgie sees Ashala die. Several sub-plots, a complex story line, Kwaymullina draws inspiration from the people, lands, and history of her native Australia to deliver a powerful saga about respect for others and the earth. The writing and the structure of the books have gotten increasingly better. Buy this and finish out the set. It won’t be a hard sell.
Ruby Redfort Pick Your Poison
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Child, Lauren
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Grades 5-10 Brilliant 13-year-old Ruby Redfort, Spectrum’s youngest field agent takes on poisonous snakes and poisonous rumors in Twinford, babysitting (not her favorite but provides a good cover story), the geometry of a tesseract (a 4-dimensional cube), learns a new code based on the sweet, sour, bitter, salt profile of the tongue and Akido, a form of martial arts. The latter because things are more dangerous than ever and she has to learn to better protect herself. This is the penultimate book in the series and the characters have evolved as has the vaguely Southern California town in the ‘70’s. It’s refreshing that the technology is based in radio transmission and telephones and Ruby makes good use of both of them. . Her adventures are akin to the agents’ in the ‘60s TV spy series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and just as fun.
Endure
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Larson, Sara B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L920 H/L Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard eventually becoming Prince Damian’s body guard and lover/fiancé. The kingdom of Antion is under siege, and their friend Rylan is a prisoner of the enemy. Worse, Alexa remains at the mercy of Dansiian Rafe, who controls her mind and can force Alexa to kill or harm Damian at any moment. Despite this, Alexa is determined to rescue Rylan, leading her far from Damian and deep into enemy territory. Where she finds something deadlier than she could have ever imagined: an army of black sorcerers and a horrifying plot to destroy the world as they know it. Can she free herself, protect Damian, and save the land and bring peace? It helps to have read the other books for world building and character connections. Make a grittier cover featuring a scarred, dull shield and battle worn swords and you’ll be able to sell it to boys and girls alike.
Kennedys
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Burling, Alexis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex. 1230/Gr. 6-9 Explores how the Kennedy family got their start in politics, including how forebears influenced recent presidents and their families who assumed the same or similar government positions, shaping politics thereafter their impact from the White House as well as other state and national government. Details how the Kennedy legacy continues to impact politics. It includes the drama of family and daily life, political scandals, criticisms, and maneuvers. Each subject is explored in a clear, objective, and engaging way. Each volume includes archival photos, a family tree, and appended "fun facts." A good intro to US political history. Other books in the series are The Bushes, The Clintons, and The Roosevelts. Reading list, timeline, bib, glossary, index.
Mahatma Gandhi And India's Independence
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Malaspina, Ann
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
AD/AD+ History is said to repeat itself—but perhaps not once students get hold of this series. Each book focuses on a consequential leader during a critical period in time, exploring the political, economic, and social impact of that person's influence, and how today's society has been shaped by these events. Uses excepts from primary source documents presenting multiple perspectives, extensive source notes provide vetted links to additional research, thorough chronology of events provides readers with a complete context for the period. Through first-person accounts, informational text, and photos, students will learn the key details of Gandhi’s life, the sociopolitical climate of India, and how Gandhi’s tactic of non-violent protest,-relatively unheard of in the early twentieth century- helped free India from British rule. B/W and full color photos, Further Information, glossary, index, primary sources, sidebars, timelines, web sites, chapter notes
Once, In A Town Called Moth
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kent, Trilby
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 7+ Anelli is not your typical teenager. She grew up in a tiny Mennonite colony in Bolivia, and her mother fled the colony when Ana was a young girl. Now Ana and her father have also fled to Toronto, and Ana doesn't know why. She only knows that something was amiss in their tight-knit community. The focus on emotional relationships in both settings reveals universal truths about human nature. In the colony, everyone knew each other and greeted each other with affectionate nicknames. Kindness is also found in much larger Toronto, as two white neighborhood teens shepherd Ana through her grade nine year. Conversely, both settings also have sinister sides. Understanding her mother’s disappearance requires facing the abuse and potential lawlessness that exists within Colony Felicidad, while Toronto’s dangers are evident in Ana’s musings about an unsolved Toronto kidnapping and her private navigation of potentially inappropriate attentions from her French teacher. The single event on the family is powerful and reveals the rippling effects of consequences including grappling with one’s religious beliefs.
Heart Of The Storm
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Buckley, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 7+ For three months, Lyric Walker has been trapped in the hunting grounds, the Alpha city at the bottom of the ocean. But Lyric Walker, Brooklyn girl, is not going down without a fight. She makes an unlikely psychic alliance with her jailor, a Rusalka named Husk. Husk reveals the truth about what actually resides in the Great Abyss. The Great Abyss is not some Alpha god but belongs to an unknown clan of monsters, ones who think in a hive mentality and believe anyone who cannot hear their voice is broken and must be destroyed. And Lyric has just woken them. She needs to escape and the only way to do that is to kill the queen. Then she needs to return to Coney Island to warn her friends, and family. Husk and the Rusalka will follow her if she wins. If she wins the fight, will she be in time? Will Fathom be alive? Will he still love her? Not time to ponder, it’s time to fight. The action and suspense are unrelenting in this last book. Enough loose ends are tied up to provide a satisfactory ending and there are even a few surprises.
Girl Last Seen
Albert Whitman Teen [Albert Whitman Teen]
Anastasiu, Heather
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex 920 H/L, 8+ The songs that Kadence wrote and sang with her best friend Lauren DeSanto made them online sensations. But when Lauren lost her voice Kady couldn’t wait to go solo. Then the big fight ensured that they weren’t speaking to each other. As Kady’s star rose, Lauren kept writing songs. Then Kady went missing. It’s inconvenient that it happened the day after they were seen talking together at the coffee house where Lauren works. The only person who believes that she’s innocent is Jude Williams, once and outcast, now a hunky young man. And he has reasons of his own for getting back at Kacy. Still, he’s her only ally. As they work through the twists and turns the readers have to ask, are they really looking for the truth? Is one of them trying to cover up a crime? Lots of twists and turns in this well-crafted mystery with a surprise ending. Interesting take on mean girls and teen friendships.
Trials
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Kade, Stacey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
August 23, 2017
Datisman, Eve
After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started-under Dr. Jacobs's cruel control. Now she must participate in the upcoming trials: a deadly competition pitting her against other alien hybrids, each representing a rival corporation. But Ariane is no one's weapon, and she is prepared to die if it means taking down those involved in Project Paper Doll. They destroyed all that she holds dear, including Zane Bradshaw, the one person she trusted and cared for the most and was forced to leave behind - wounded, alone. As her plan takes shape, Ariane will need now more than ever to depend on the other side of her heritage-the cold, calculating instincts born from her alien DNA. With Zane gone, she has nothing left to lose. (Publisher’s note) the sci-fi genetics in this series is pretty solid, even the idea of alien DNA, Ariane and the other Paper Dolls are well characterized and the suspense building will appeal to all action fans. Get the series
Unicorn Crossing
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Simpson, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 26, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
Charming graphic panels depicting the irrepressible Phoebe and her audacious arrogant self absorbed but fun and loving unicorn, Marigold H. Nostrils. As we all know everything is better when a unicorn is involved. Jealousy and arrogance are presented tongue and cheek; how can you not be jealous of a unicorn? No hard feelings but they ARE more beautiful, charming (albeit conceited) and gifted (ahem magic!). As this title is a compilation of weekly cartoons there is no overarching narrative other than Marigold the unicorn is a reliably vain and sarcastic creature and Phoebe is her devoted friend and accomplice in the zinging repartee. As it is a weekly cartoon there is an absence of plot but kids love the illustrations and dialog.
Search For The Lightning Dragon
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
West, Tracey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 26, 2017
Gallagher, Donna
Dragon Masters #7 is a fantasy adventure sure to predictably engage our emerging fantasy adventure readers. A new baby dragon is born! A lightning dragon who is confused by her new powers and in desperate need of a dragon master. Thankfully, the dragon stones reveal the new dragon master, Carlos. Five dragon masters and their magical creatures must rescue the terrified reptilian baby dragon AND locate and convince Carlos he has the power to soothe the baby dragon and embrace his destiny. Previously introduced characters, predictable plot lines, familiar setting and well rendered illustrations on every page support understanding of text and storyline for emerging readers. This reader was on the edge of my seat desperately willing Carlos to rescue his little dragon hatchling!
Princess Cora And The Crocodile
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Schlitz, Laura Amy
Floca, Brian
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
When “perfect as a snowflake” Princess Cora rebels against her royal regimen of studying how to run a kingdom, jumping rope to stay fit, and taking baths, she pens a letter to her fairy godmother begging for help. In true fairytale style help comes in an unlikely form; a scaly green crocodile with bright pink bow cheerfully announcing that he has come to rescue her from her “awful parents and mean nanny.” Schlitz’s droll wit and Floca’s charming ink, watercolor and gouache illustrations are a page-turning combo as Princess Cora and the personality- charged but nameless crocodile debate how he will help. Princess Cora decides she wants a day off and crocodile wearing Princess Cora’s pink frilly dress and a brown mop for hair follows her routines. Comical antics ensue as alternating chapters contrast Princess Cora’s adventures climbing trees and building forts with crocodile’s table-turning actions as chaos reigns in the castle. Name-calling, ankle biting, enforced bathing are delightfully depicted in exaggerated whimsy. Charming, witty, and thoroughly entertaining, this book belongs in every elementary library.
What Is A Thunderstorm?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
After a brief description of weather, clouds, and seasons, the stormy weather conditions necessary for the formation of thunderstorms, thunder, lightning, and hail are described. Glossary words include conductors, meteorologists, power lines, and predict. Uninspiring photographs of lightening, frightened children, hail, and subsequent flooding leave out critical visual diagrams or illustrations of the movement of air masses in thunderstorm formation. Excellent tips for indoor and outdoor safety are included as well as post storm dangers. What do you think question boxes stand out on each two-page spread,. Recommended books, websites, glossary, and index included. The overall format is attractive and provides examples of subtitles, a non-fiction feature my teachers often request but the generalized information could be spiced up by some brief true accounts of an experience of people being struck by lightning and surviving and other thunderstorm stories. Reviewed copy was a paperback classroom leveled reader.
Absolutely One Thing
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Child, Lauren
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Charlie and Lola, the brother sister duo that charms and delights young children, return to confuse readers with their own brand of math. Mom tells Charlie and Lola they can each choose one thing at the store. But nothing is simple when Lola is present as she loses her left shoe, is distracted by counting the polka dots on her dress, ladybugs on the path, and various birds on the way. The numbers increase until leaves and rain means billions, trillions and even “squillions” of items. At the store Lola selects 12 stickers but pastes them on the pavement, tree, shoes and Marv’s dog. Large red numbers illustrate the subtraction problem ending in zero. Bright red endpapers count from 1 – 300 with a variety of white fonts that I imagine will attract many a reader to count along. As typical in the other Charlie and Lola books, the bold and oversized illustrations function well in large group settings but with the added complexity of counting and word play this would be suitable for one on one reading as well. Sure to be popular with younger students.
What Is A Blizzard?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Snow days! Every child’s favorite winter treat and this past year we’ve had more than usual in WA State. The cover photo of an Emergency Road Closed sign backed by a typical blizzard scene with snowy road and only shadows of trees sets the scene for the more extreme weather portrayed within. A panel of the four pictures showing the different seasons accompanies basic information on weather, seasonal patterns, precipitation and a diagram shows snow formation. Hail, snowstorm, whiteouts, frostbite, and snowdrifts are described in context and defined in the glossary. Recommended books, websites, glossary, and index included. The overall format is attractive and provides examples of subtitles, a non-fiction feature my teachers often request but the generalized information could be spiced up by some brief true accounts of an experience in a blizzard. Pair with books on the Schoolchildren’s Blizzard of 1888. Reviewed copy was a paperback classroom leveled reader.
What Is A Flood?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Flooding from rivers rising, hurricanes dumping large quantities of water in a short time period, and high tides hitting during large storms all have the potential to cause major destruction. Fascinating to students, extreme weather is a popular topic to research in science units but equally appealing for general reading and checkout. Basic information about the water cycle around the world provides the foundation for more specific details on causes and types of flooding. Prolonged rain, sudden torrential rains, impermeable surfaces, rapid snowmelt, and dams and levees breaking are discussed as common causes. Well-labeled photographs illustrate flash flooding, storm caused flooding, flooding in cities and flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Advice for preparation, during and after a flood is provided as well as directions for making a model demonstrating flooding. Recommended books, websites, glossary, and index included. The overall format is attractive and provides examples of subtitles, a non-fiction feature my teachers often request but the generalized information could be spiced up by some brief true accounts of an experience of flooding. Reviewed copy was a paperback classroom leveled reader
What Is A Tornado?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Tornadoes are defined as “a huge spinning tower of wind that stretches from a storm cloud down to the ground.” Basic weather information leads to descriptions of how tornadoes form, vary in strength, and their level of destruction. A map shows “Tornado Alley” up the central part of our country and readers are queried as to why they think this is such a magnet for tornadoes. A diagram shows how a tornado forms and two others capture one in action. Other photographs highlight the storm trackers and meteorologists that track their formation predicting their path and others the destruction that follows. Tornado watches and warnings are explained as well as where to go for safety whether inside or forced to take cover outside. Excellent tips for safety after a tornado passes and a short quiz conclude the book. Recommended books, websites, glossary, and index included. The overall format is attractive and provides examples of subtitles, a non-fiction feature my teachers often request but the generalized information could be spiced up by some brief true accounts of an experience of a live tornado. Reviewed copy was a paperback classroom leveled reader.
What Is A Hurricane?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
After a brief description of wind, weather, and the severe conditions necessary for the formation of hurricanes, maps illustrate the origins near the equator and how large one can be as it heads towards landfall. Critical hurricane terms such as eye, landfall, storm surge and equator are explained in the text but not included in the glossary. Several pages detail a meteorologist’s critical role in predicting the severity and path leading to a Hurricane Warning and/or Watch. By assigning a name and Category based on wind speed residents know to check emergency supplies and plan if evacuation is needed. Hurricane safety tips and checklists are offered. Photographs are varied and labeled and “What do you think” question boxes included on each two-page spread. Recommended books, websites, glossary, and index included. The overall format is attractive and provides examples of subtitles, a non-fiction feature my teachers often request but the generalized information could be spiced up by some brief true accounts of an experience of people impacted by such well-known hurricanes as Sandy and Katrina. Reviewed copy was a paperback classroom leveled reader.
Hare And Tortoise
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murray, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
This classic Aesop’s Fable adapted and illustrated by Alison Murray places a modern twist on the traditional tale employing friendly banter and humor accompanied by lively illustrations. “Hey, Hare. Hellooo!” “Has anyone seen Tortoise?” We know the outcome of a race between Leapus swifticus vs Slow and steadicus but how they arrive is where the wit meets the page. Two portraits of our competitors are labeled with descriptions such as, “Whiskers: Extra Twitchy,” and “Ears: Accustomed to the sound of animals cheering.” A bulleted list of traits includes “Dash over misty meadows” vs Tortoise “has never been known to, ‘Dash over misty meadows.” The labeled racecourse winds through the meadow, duck pond, carrot field, and shady tree before reaching the finish line. Large digital illustrations simulate watercolor and provide just enough detail to make this an excellent large-group read-aloud. A worthy addition to a folk literature collection with an obvious tie-in to a comparison with the original tales or as an example for students writing their own fables.
Dragonflies Matter
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo’s Bioindicator Species series highlights species that are used to measure the health of an ecosystem threatened by human-caused climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The 48-page books are packed with clearly written information, perspective boxes examining how other animals and people are impacted, maps, graphs, well-labeled photographs, and questions directed to some of the linked websites. Back material targets skills such as identifying the author’s point and evidence, writing activities, research, and taking a stance on an issue. Fast facts, glossary, index, recommended recently published books and link to publisher-monitored websites are also included. While dragonflies are indicator species, they continue to thrive in most of the United States. But they are highly dependent on water quality and temperature and as pesticides and rising temps impact their habitat, they face many challenges. Around the globe habitat destruction and increased reliance on insecticides polluting the air, ground water, and wetlands, have impacted many species. As natural pest controls for farmers, dragonfly populations are vital to reduce dependence on pesticides.
Polar Bears Matter
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo’s Bioindicator Species series highlights species that are used to measure the health of an ecosystem threatened by human-caused climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The 48-page books are packed with clearly written information, perspective boxes examining how other animals and people are impacted, maps, graphs, photographs, and questions directed some of the linked websites. Back material targets skills such as identifying the author’s point and evidence, writing activities, research, and taking a stance on an issue. Fast facts, glossary, index, recommended books and link to publisher-monitored websites are also included. Polar Bears Matter highlights the complex Arctic ecosystem in where polar bears are the top predator. Threatened by the bioaccumulation of toxic substances from lower on the food chain, and global warming causing earlier ice melting, various populations are particularly at risk. As polar bears are forced onto land earlier in spring they eat food sources other species depend on and females postpone pregnancies until reliable food sources are available with the impacts traveling down the food chain. Debate exists about polar bears survival as some populations rebounded when hunting was banned.
Monarch Butterflies Matter
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mccarthy, Cecilia Pinto
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo’s Bioindicator Species series highlights species used to measure the health of an ecosystem threatened by human-caused climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The 48-page books are packed with clearly written information, perspective boxes examining how animals and people are impacted, maps, graphs, well-labeled photographs, and questions directed some of the linked websites. Back material targets skills such as identifying the author’s point and evidence, writing activities, research, and taking a stance on an issue. Fast facts, glossary, index, recommended recently published books and link to publisher-monitored websites are also included. Monarchs’ magnificent migration is a threatened marvel as habitat loss, pesticides, and herbicides reduce their only food source, the milkweed plant, and nesting trees in Mexico. Cooperation between the three North American countries is a major key to increasing the monarch population. Positive steps include the formation of Monarch Butterfly Reserves, planting milkweed plants, preventing Mexican habitat loss through ecotourism, education to promote cutting back on chemicals helping increase pollinator populations, and making butterfly way stations along migration routes.
Bees Matter
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Wassall, Erika
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo’s Bioindicator Species series highlights six bioindicator species that are used to measure the health of an ecosystem threatened by human-caused climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The 48-page books are packed with clearly written information, perspective boxes examining how other animals and people are impacted, maps, graphs, well-labeled photographs, and questions directed some of the linked websites. Back material targets skills such as identifying the author’s point and evidence, writing activities, research, and taking a stance on an issue. Fast facts, glossary, index, recommended recently published books and link to publisher-monitored websites are also included. Bees are critical for their role as pollinators and their widespread use in agriculture is threatened by their loss. Entire colonies of native bees as well as European honeybees have died from exposure to pesticides, herbicides, monoculture farming, and other stressors. Colony collapse disorder, parasites, and diseases have wiped out large numbers of bees, destroying entire beekeepers hives. To counter these losses farmers have relied on migratory beehives traveling to different regions and changes in beekeeping practices.
Frogs Matter
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo’s Bioindicator Species series highlights species used to measure the health of an ecosystem threatened by human-caused climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The books are packed with clearly written information, perspective boxes examining how other animals and people are impacted, maps, graphs, well-labeled photographs, and questions directed at linked websites. Back material targets skills such as identifying the author’s point and evidence, writing activities, research, and taking a stance on an issue. Fast facts, glossary, index, recommended books, and a link to publisher-monitored websites are also included. Frogs have been compared to the canaries in the mines as their skin takes in moisture and is very sensitive to polluted water and air causing diseases, deformities and a huge drop in population. Habitat destruction due to encroaching humans, wetland destruction, and rising temperatures drying and shrinking sources of water are also responsible for the decreasing populations and some species’ extinction. Frogs feed on algae as tadpoles and mosquitos and other insects as adults and fewer frogs provide a sign that other water dwellers are also endangered.
Day Of The Dead
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
What do brightly decorated skulls, skeletons, marigolds, parades, fireworks, and graveyard picnics have in common? These are just a few ways that people celebrate Los Dias de los Muertos or Days of the Dead in Mexico that originated with the Aztec who believed in life and rebirth of the dead spirits in a new level of the universe. The celebration is held between October 31 and November 2, the late summer in Mexico. Explanations of the symbols, root beliefs, and the merging of this holiday with the Catholic All Saints Days are described in this series book, as well as the setting up of the Ofrenda, altars, with food, flowers, candles and favorite items of the dead. Highly decorated skeletons, and sugar skulls were popularized with José Guadalupe Posada’s artwork in the late 1800’s depicting humorous skeletons and are a major part of the holiday now. Pair with the biography of Funny Bones: Posada and his Day of the Dead Calaveras a Siebert Honor Book, to learn more about his life and art. A pipe cleaner skeleton craft and recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate are included as well as glossary, recommended books and websites and index.
Columbus Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
As one of the more controversial American holidays, its origins in a celebration of Columbus’s explorations and discoveries have evolved to an understanding that this was land inhabited by people in fully developed cultures. Several chapters detail biographical specifics of Columbus’s life, reasons and funding for his explorations, as well as a map showing the roots of his and John Cabot’s voyages further North in the Americas. Many ways Columbus Day has been celebrated are mentioned but only one small section mentions how many groups, especially Native Americans now protest the holiday choosing to highlight all the destructive and deceptive results of these voyages and the enslavement and abuse of the original inhabitants. Stock photographs of current memorials and parades are joined by paintings showing elements of Columbus’s “discovery.” The book concludes with a small craft using a jar or large bottle cap, paper and clay to create a tiny sailboat. The text is a bit dry but addresses the background of the holiday in a 32-page book and is part of a series featuring religious, national, and American holidays. It is an adequate series for middle age readers.
Diwali
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, celebrates the triumph of light over dark and good over evil as told in the Ramayana, the story of Rama and Sita. While the origins of the celebration are not known as they predate written history, it is thought to start around the harvest time and the start of the New Year in India. Colorful photographs match clearly written text, describing a simple overview of the Ramayana story, origins and customs of the celebration, and information about Hindu practices. Side boxes explain Diya, Hindu shrines, puja prayer services, and the Vedas, Hindi holy books, written in Sanskrit. Standard non-fiction text features are included as well as directions for a craft game similar to pin-the-tail on the donkey, Light the Flame on the Diya. There is no specific indication that this is a traditional game. The text is a bit dry but contains quite a lot of information in the 32-page books and as part of a series featuring religious, national, and American holidays will make a good addition to most libraries. Pair with a simpler, but more anecdotal series such as the older National Geographic series, Holidays around the World.
Halloween
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The Story of our Holidays series includes secular, American and religious holidays, describing the origins, history, and traditions associated with each. The quality of information and illustrations vary widely from book to book, but the series as a whole is a worthwhile addition. The book on Halloween explains how the traditions from the Celtic celebration of Samhain, the Roman harvest festival, and the Catholic All Hallows and All Soul’s day have blended together forming our modern holiday. Stories explaining possible origins of some spooky symbols such as jack-o-lanterns, skeletons, witches, broomsticks, black cats and trick-or-treating and modern traditions are recounted. Ideas for costumes, parties and safety tips for trick-or-treating are included as well as a recipe for quite realistic-looking Witch Finger Cookies. The tissue paper ghost craft is so simple it will only appeal to the youngest readers. Standard non-fiction text features included but no sources for information.
Flying Frogs And Walking Fish : Leaping Lemurs, Tumbling Toa
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Jenkins, Steve
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Have you ever seen a Steve Jenkins and Robin Page book that you wouldn’t snatch up for your library? This unpaged book groups various methods of movement into sections of Walking, Leaping, Swimming, Tree-climbing, Flying, Rolling, and Jet Propulsion. “. . . a Ring-Tailed Lemur vaults from tree to tree . . . and an armadillo lizard . . . wheels away from danger. . .” Waddling, strolling, gliding and tumbling are just a few more of the approaches animals use to move themselves towards food and away from danger. Within each four-page section a diversity of action verbs further describe their movement and provide an entertaining way to introduce verbs, spur variety in word choice for writing, or give structure to needed moments of wiggle time. Robin’s torn and cut paper collage illustrations are colorful and the ragged edges suggest the animals’ movement techniques. Highly recommended for all library collections and book talk to teachers early in the year. Better yet, assemble your collection of their books and introduce them all together.
Knights Before Christmas
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Holub, Joan
Magoon, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
“Twas December 24th, and three knights ding-a-ling were guarding the castle for their illustrious king.” Brave Knight, Polite Knight, and Silent Knight were settling in when “what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a red-and-white knight and eight dragons. Oh dear!” Pure fun accompanies this humorous parody of Moore’s classic poem with knights, castles, moats, bows and arrows and a bombardment of weaponized Christmas goodies. Colorful digitally created illustrations are reminiscent of plastic toys and characters have over-sized cartoonish heads. Speech bubbles with a version of “We wish you a merry castle . . . and a happy new spear!” contribute to this entertaining new addition to a secular holiday collection. Once seen this is a book guaranteed to fly off the shelf.
Animals That Make Me Say Ewww!
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
Cusick, Dawn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 27, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Have you ever wondered how marsupial pouches remain clean while their offspring are growing inside? Or why birds of prey regurgitate pellets after feeding? From feces-swatting hippos to gorillas eating their nasal detritus, many animals have survival adaptations with a high yuck factor in the human world. Ranger Rick publisher, National Wildlife Foundation, balances short pithy text boxes with crisp, close-up photos informing readers of the reasons for these actions. Divided into three sections, Cleanup, Dinner, and Encore, the 80-page book include a wide-variety of animals living in diverse habitats but is not all sensationally based. Yes camels vomit and skunks spray stinks, and gorillas and other primates eat their boogers for nourishment, but less theatrical adaptations such as snakes shedding skin and insect pollination are also featured. White borders around the photographs and red titles in the text boxes effectively direct readers on pages where up to four different animals and photos are featured. While tempting to your readers drawn to scatological words and information, more serious nature-lovers will also find this a satisfying book to browse. Binding is inadequate for library usage.
Buster The Very Shy Dog And The Great Bone Game
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bechtold, Lisze
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
August 30, 2017
Elders, Ann
Before Buster, the puppy, came to the house, Phoebe collected and chewed her bones. Typical for a puppy, Buster was curious about bones and wants one. This story is a cute, easy to read tale where clever dog Phoebe teaches Buster the value of bones and how to train a smart bone. In chapter two Gregory, an enormous dog, has a huge bone that Phoebe wants. These stories are from a selection of tales in Buster & Phoebe: the great bone game. Early readers who love dogs will enjoy this story and will love Buster, Phoebe, and Gregory. Anyone who has an older dog and a new puppy will recognize the behaviors.
Andrew The Seeker
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Nordling, Lee
Roberts, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
August 31, 2017
Burton, Paula
This colorful, humorous, wordless graphic novel is full of imagination and exploration. A little boy, who the reader knows is Andrew by the title, draws a purple monster. He decides he would like to catch the beast and sets out for an adventure. The purple monster is made visible to the reader; trailing behind the little boy or hiding high in the trees, but Andrew does not seem to be able to get it into his view. He gets frustrated and at the end of the day goes home and crosses out the monster in his drawing. For a new day there is a new hint of the purple monster and Andrew goes after it again. The end pages have maps of Andrew’s trail. At the beginning of the book it is a plain map. The end shows what went wrong on Andrew’s adventure. A wonderful very simplistic graphic novel that could be used for the younger grades tin a lesson to tell the story in their own words. Illustrations are simple and the reviewer had a hardback copy.
20 Games To Play With Scratch
Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library [Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library]
Wainewright, Max
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
August 31, 2017
Burton, Paula
The same author of the “How to Code” series has focused his attention in this book on one coding program; Scratch. This colorful guide to coding with scratch, the free coding program found online, is divided into five levels. Each level increasing the difficulty of code used. The introduction is short. A spread to tell the reader what makes a good game and the following four pages introducing scratch. Scratch uses blocks and colors which make it easy to follow the additional instructions and doesn’t require more than the introduction given. Each level has a short spread telling the coder what they will learn. Each game following within that level has directions indicated by numbers. The higher the level, the more blocks are used, the longer the explanations become. Little robots with speech bubbles add to the instructions. This is an easy to follow how to codebook for those who are interested in learning to make the games designed for the book. A hardback edition of 80 pages, including an index at the end.
Can You Find My Robot's Arm?
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Takeuchi, Chihiro
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
August 31, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is the first picture book from this paper cut artist in English. The illustrations are wonderful and remind me off the Where is Waldo books but that is where the similarity ends. This book has the opportunity to make it interactive; to look for the missing arm within the other wonderful shapes that appear in the illustrations but it doesn’t. The arm is actual not found by robot or his friend, it turns up with the dog on the very last page. The story starts with the title; robot has lost its arm and another robot comes up with many possibilities to replace the lost arm; up in a tree, at a candy story. This creates repetition that is wonderful for younger readers. At these places, robots friend comes up with lots of other solutions but none of them are a good fit. Although one of the earlier solutions, a fork, returns as the end result. This is not a must have but could be good for detailed oriented students.
Sam Sorts
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Jocelyn, Marthe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
August 31, 2017
Burton, Paula
Award winning author and illustrator Marthe Jocelyn shows there are many ways to organize. The main character Sam has a lot of things and they are all in a heap. Time to organize. He discoveries there are many ways to organize in a playful manner. Organization of animals, things that rhyme, things with stripes, round things, or things that come in twos like dice and socks. The end is that everything ends up in a heap again but it shows that kids could be very imaginative with their toys. It could also be a lead into organizing random items in a classroom. A complement to a mathematical unit for the younger kids or a language project to come up with similar items. The illustrations are a collage of the items familiar to young ones in preschool or kindergarten. The portrayal of Sam might be more geared towards preschoolers but it still could be a good book used in kindergarten with many possibilities.
Trees
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lemniscates
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
August 31, 2017
Burton, Paula
The second picture book by author/illustrator Lemniscates. Her bio on goodreads states that she “encourages creative thinking and curiosity about subjects such as nature” and other topics. This book falls in the category of nature curiosity for the young. The text is simple and approaches the topic of the environment in more than just the seasons. It mentions that a tree “provides homes to many” showing a tree with several birds nests “and shade for all” with a child and a cow under the tree and a big orange sun behind it. Illustrations are a collage of different techniques in colors that coincide with the seasons mentioned at the beginning of the book; winter is predominantly light blue, spring is pink and red hues with some greenish blue tints, summer bears orange too, and fall’s only color is red. The illustrations do have some details, which makes this book a nice addition to read to preschoolers or could be used in a kindergarten study about trees.