Reviews for month


Thank You, Bees
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Yuly, Toni
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 04, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
The strength of this picture book is its striking art created with ink and tissue, fabric, wood and digital collage. Toni Yuly is a hit with the very youngest readers, and this plays right into that as each item in nature is thanked for what it gives us. It starts with, “Sun gives us light.” followed on the next double-page spread with, “Thank you, sun.” It then proceeds to bees, sheep, clouds, and dirt, ending with the Earth that gives us our home. The large illustrations will be a big hit, and the predictable, simple pattern will be welcome as well for toddlers to repeat joyfully.
Unbound : A Novel In Verse
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Burg, Ann E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
This novel in verse tells the story of Grace, a slave. She lives in the slave cabins with her Mama but is being sent up to the Big House to work. She sees the cruelty of the white Master and Missus and wonders how people can be so mean to each other. One thing leads to another and Grace and her family decide that they need to escape before things get any worse. They go the the Great Dismal Swamp - a real place that history books tell little about. Danger abounds. This poetry format forces the author to make each word count - and Burg does. Words are carefully selected and nuanced, creating vivid pictures in the mind of the reader.
All Heart : My Dedication And Determination To Become One Of
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lloyd, Carli
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
Carli Lloyd is known for her soccer prowess, but most people don't know that she almost quit soccer when she got cut from a U-21 team. She tells her story about her love of the sport from the time she was a young girl to the woman she is now. She talks about her hard work and determination, her struggles and her successes. She is also very frank about the issues she faced with teammates and coaches as well as with her own family. The writing is not the best, but those with a passion for soccer will enjoy it. 8 pages of full color photographs
Fantasmas
Scholastic En Espanol [Scholastic En Espanol]
Telgemeier, Raina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
***Please note that there are many cultural concerns about this book*** This is the Spanish edition of "Ghosts" by Raina Telgemeier Cat and her family move to northern California so that her younger sister Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, can breathe better. They meet their neighbor who is very excited about sharing the history and legends of ghosts in the area. This all culminates in a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. This is definitely a beautiful story about sisters and grieving, which is very well told, but it also deals with some cultural ideas that may not be correct - and may even be harmful to those from that culture. Please see this thoughtful review for more clarification: https://www.teenservicesunderground.com/a-look-at-ghosts/ With that said, this is going to be a huge hit with those who are fans of Telgemeier's other graphic novels. Add it to your collection, but be ready to talk to students about some of the problems with it.
Singing Bones
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Tan, Shaun
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
Shaun Tan has taken brief snippets from the Grimm brothers' fairy tales and created sculptures that capture the essence of that tale. Each two page spread contains the excerpt from the fairy tale on one page with a full color photo of Tan's sculpture on the facing page. The art work is incredible. Each piece is truly unique and begs to be held and touched as they look very tactile. I'm not sure how much use it will get in a middle school setting, but I could see elementary schools using as mentor texts and inspirations for art projects. Or showing the picture only and having students create their own fairy tale based on the sculpture. Also a great coffee table book.
Diwali : Festival Of Lights
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Singh, Rina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
This is a beautiful, well-researched book about Diwali, the festival of lights. It has full color photographs on every page, as well as recipes, an index, a glossary, and references and resources. The author talks about what Diwali means to her and her family but also talked to others and has included their stories. She talks about the history of Diwali and how it is changing in modern times and how it is different in different areas and can vary by religious belief as well. Very engaging and informative. A great addition to make library collections more culturally relevant to students and to inform those who are not from that culture.
Guardians Of The Louvre
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Taniguchi, Jiro
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
This is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel but there's not a lot of plot line; it's a little more like art history. The main character is traveling for work and stops in Paris but gets sick. He manages to get out of bed and go to the Louvre to see the art work but starts to hallucinate while he is there. He meets the "guardians" or spirits of the Louvre while he is hallucinating and gets transported into the time and place of some of the paintings, even getting to meet some of the artists while he's there. Adult character and some basic art knowledge required make this a better fit for high school and/or adults.
Closing Down Heaven
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
CHOYCE, LESLEY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 04, 2017
Dame, Anne
This is a hi-lo novel in verse. It tells the story of Hunter, who crashed into a rock wall while mountain biking and has ended up in the hereafter (called Heaven). While there he meets Trinity who he is supposed to protect and care for but also somehow find his way back to earth. Personally, I did not find the story compelling and I think struggling /reluctant readers, who this is intended for, will have difficulty with the style and the concepts.
And Two Boys Booed
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Viorst, Judith
Blackall, Sophie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 04, 2017
Norton, Geneva
“On the day of the talent show, a boy is ready to sing his song, and he isn't one bit scared because he has practiced a billion times, plus he's wearing his lucky blue boots and his pants with all ten pockets. But as all of the other kids perform before him, he gets more and more nervous.”(from publisher) Great illustrations and the repetition in the text mirror the boy’s fears as they escalate with fun word mix-ups. These are experiences that performers of ages can relate to. His perseverance, inspite of the two boo-ing classmates add to the sense of success the reader feels at the book’s end. The lift-up flaps add to the story, but are not very sturdy. A great hands-on book that may need to be a hands-off book in a school library.
Yaqui Delgado quiere darte una paliza
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MEDINA, MEG
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 05, 2017
Dame, Anne
*Spanish translation of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass* Literally translated this title is Yaqui Delgado Wants to Give You a Beating. Piddy Sanchez is being targeted by a bully named Yaqui Delgado - but Piddy doesn't even know Yaqui and is certainly not interested in Yaqui's boyfriend despite what others are saying. Sadly, the bullying takes over all aspects of Piddy's life: school, work, and home. Very realistic setting and characters. I have it in my middle school because I think bullying is such an important topic, but does have a bit more mature content and language. I can't remember if the original English version was as repetitive about the shrugging of shoulders as happens in the Spanish version, but I quickly lost count of how many times that particular phrase was used.
Firewall
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Rodman, Sean
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 05, 2017
Dame, Anne
In this hi-lo book, Josh has just moved from Chicago to a small town. He stays up late playing video games. The one he likes is called Killswitch; it gets creepy when one of the mods seems to be a microcosm of his new town. Things that happen in the game are starting to come true in real life and they are not good. Gamers will enjoy and understand the references. Personally I found the writing to be lackluster and characters flat.
Plunge
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Howling, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 05, 2017
Dame, Anne
A hi-lo book from Orca Sports. Cade loves to swim but he is never quite fast enough to place in the top 3. His dad wishes he would quit swimming and play football. Cade is not at all interested in football, but a chance interaction leads him into exploring triathlon instead. This causes some conflicts but ends up coming in very handy in a bad situation. Ending was a bit unrealistic but liked the character growth in addition to the well-developed secondary characters.
Up North
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Ross, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
Rob and his mom have moved to a small town in Northern Ontario to be closer to the place where Rob's brother is in prison. There is a lot of racial tension between the whites and the First Nations people who live there. Rob tries to stay out of it, but one day is involved in a very serious incident. He's assigned to community service and starts to learn some important things about himself and others. Definitely a MESSAGE book, albeit a very important message. The plot and characters are engaging enough that it does not feel pedantic, however. A strong hi-lo book that will appeal to struggling/reluctant readers. Some survival aspects, so might also appeal to those who like "Hatchet"/survival stories.
Pop Quiz
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Ryan, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
A hi-lo book about a group of kids who have starred on a tv show for a few years, but money has run out and their contracts are coming to an end. Aiden doesn't want to see this happen - especially as the story line hasn't come to a satisfying conclusion. He is determined to see if he can find a way to get a more satisfying end to the series. A serviceable story for struggling/reluctant readers, especially those who are into acting and/or are YouTube fans.
How To Avoid Extinction
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Acampora, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
After Leo's grandfather dies, Leo spends much of his time trying to find and take care of his grandmother. The whole family has been hard hit by the loss and are still grieving, but grandma is having an especially difficult time as the one year anniversary approaches. Gram is determined to go to Utah to a dinosaur quarry and despite his best intentions, Leo, his cousin Abbey, her dog, and Gram all head out in the old Buick on a cross country trek. A sweet yet funny (at times) look at loss, grieving, and families. May be difficult to find the right audience for, but if you find them, they will like it. Lots of good character development and growth.
Pigs Might Fly
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Abadzis, Nick
Dye, Jerel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
The strong female character was my favorite part of this graphic novel. Lily (a pig) is an inventor; she's working on an airplane that could fly using science rather than magic. Although her best friend thinks some protection spells would also be useful; he's probably right about that. Lily needs to find a solution quickly because it appears that the warthogs have gotten their hands on planes and are planning to wage war on the folks in Pigdom Plains. Lots of action and adventure, great use of color. More advanced/complex than bird and squirrel but with some of the same themes of friendship; also explores topics of family, racism, and stereotypes. Could be an R depending on your collection.
Taste For Monsters
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Kirby, Matthew J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
Set in the time of Jack the Ripper. Evelyn needs to find a place to live and work in a city that is being terrorized by a serial killer. She winds up at a hospital helping to care for a man named Joseph Merrick, nicknamed "The Elephant Man". Despite her misgivings, Evelyn takes the job and finds an unexpected affinity with Joseph as they begin experiencing haunting visits from the spirits of Jack the Ripper's victims. Merrick, like Jack the Ripper, was a real person. Details appear to be carefully researched. Story and characters very engaging to me, although it may be hard to find the right audience for this one. It's not quite a mystery, not quite horror, and not quite historical fiction, which is why I gave it AD+ rather than an R.
Terror At Bottle Creek
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Key, Watt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
This is for your survival story fans. Compelling and fast-paced. Cort and his dad live near a swamp in Alabama. When a hurricane comes through while his dad is gone, however, Cort must work with his friend and neighbor Liza to save her little sister and themselves from the dangers of the hurricane and all the wildlife in the swamp that are also seeking refuge from the storm.
Out!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Chung, Arree
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This isn't a wordless picture book, but it's close, with the limited text pretty much consisting of "OUT!" and "WOOF!" A toddler is stuck in a crib, the bars keeping him from exploring the house when he's supposed to be sleeping. The family dog is sympathetic and manages to liberate the child. Then they're off for adventure...and cake! Now the dog is in a cage. Can the toddler assist? The palette is dark for the night, but warm, as the illustrations carry the tale of their outing. Facial expressions are a delight as the parents track down the errant adventurers. This would be a fun book for younger children to tell the story themselves.
All Kinds Of Friends
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Rotner, Shelley
Kelly, Sheila M.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp color photographs spill joyously across the pages of this book that celebrates friendship. Your friends can be tall or short, old or young. Your friends can come in all shapes and abilities and colors. You share all kinds of activities with your friends. Each page shows smiles and sharing. This would be a great introduction to friendship, leading to discussions about friends.
Good Night, Reindeer
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Nelson, Denise Brennan
Bucci, Marco
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's bedtime at the North Pole and Santa is saying good night. "Good night, Vixen." "Good night, Donner." All the reindeer are heading to bed from their varied activities. There's even a good night for the dolls, bells, and sleigh. Wait, what's that light? Rudolph doesn't need a flashlight under the covers. This is reminiscent of "Good Night Moon" with a Christmas theme. Marco Bucci's bold illustrations show mischievous warm North Pole details and invite readers to look deeper. This is a simple Christmas story that will appeal to beginning readers.
Great Puppy Invasion
CLARION [CLARION]
Heim, Alastair
Smith, Kim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! The town of Strictville is under invasion! What are they to do? Puppies are all over the town. Nobody has ever seen such a thing before. Are they dangerous? Those cuddly bodies and cute eyes are clearly clever ploys to ingratiate themselves as they take over. Run for cover! They tried throwing sticks at them, but the puppies brought them back. They tried chasing them away, but the puppies seemed to enjoy that. Sure if they fed them they'd go away...right? Young Teddy is the only one who dares reach out. Wait, these critters are so adorable! Soon the town is captivated and the take-over is complete. Observant readers will note there's a cat lurking just outside of town on the last page. Bright digital illustrations perfectly suit the humorous text showing plenty of action and reaction. This would be a wonderful read-aloud that should have children giggling.
Christmas Fairy
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Booth, Anne
Beardshaw, Rosalind
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Christmas fairies are apparently supposed to be able to perch quietly on a Christmas tree in an ornamental fashion. However, Clara is having trouble learning her role. She is not quiet, she's noisy. She is not still, she is always in motion. Can she be a good Christmas fairy if she doesn't fit the mold? Santa thinks so, and Clara saves the day when it looks like the North Pole Christmas show is not going to happen. OK, this is trying to create a Christmas fairy ornament legend, and it's basically the story of Rudolph, reimagined. Nevertheless, you have to love spunky Clara and all the other little preschool Christmas fairies with their toddler bodies, colorful leggings, and short skirts. They come in all colors and are absolutely adorable. So, while this is not a first purchase, it will still be popular.
Middle Bear
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Isern, Susanna
Gauthier, Manon
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What a disappointment. This may be an award-winning Spanish author, but perhaps her work does not translate well. It certainly fails to shine with Manon Gauthier's dull, uninspired collage illustrations. Middle Bear isn't the biggest, nor the smallest. Everything he does is middle-sized, which isn't particularly exceptional. When their parents get sick only the bark of the willow at the top of the mountain will help them, but how to get there? Turns out Big Bear is too big for the ice to hold him. Little Bear is too small to make the jump across the water. Only Middle Bear can do the job. This is a very traditional theme in children's literature, and is not particularly well-done here. Worse, the illustrations are not at all attractive and it is often difficult to discriminate the size differences between the three child bears since they all look pretty much alike. The subtle red crayon outline is too subtle for the intended audience. The intention is good here, but the execution is poor.
Stinker
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Zeltser, David
Patton, Julia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Stinker is a happy, playful, energetic little dog with one little problem, which resulted in his name. Nobody wants to adopt him at the animal shelter because of the noxious clouds of gas that he emits on a regular basis. There are many times when it looked like his story might have a happy ending but, while it would be nice if that happened quickly, his toots are not sweet. A helpful cat helps him escape and find a home where is appreciated for all his fine qualities. This is a whimsical tale with a lot of humor in both the text and the mixed-media illustrations by Julia Patton. Young readers will sympathize with Stinker, while giggling at his plight. They will also appreciate the eventual happy ending.
Sometimes We Think You Are A Monkey
PUFFIN BOOKS [PUFFIN BOOKS]
Skibsrud, Johanna
Morstad, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is a baby? Well, sometimes you might think it is a monkey, or a bird, or a bunny, due to motions and actions. But in the end you are a much-loved new baby. This is a sweet parent/child book that may be a little wordy for the target audience, but any time spent on a parent's lap, reading, is valuable time. Bold illustrations are big enough for sharing and contain hints as to the next animal coming, making this a good choice for prediction. This is a sweet book that would be a lovely baby gift for a new parent.
Captain Monty Takes The Plunge
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Mook-Sang, Jennifer
Starin, Liz
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Captain Monty is a fierce pirate with quite an air about him...mainly because he never bathes. Unbeknownst to his crew, this is due to his inability to swim--a shameful thing for a pirate. When he falls in love with a mermaid his lack of swimming talent becomes a real deficit. However, when she is attacked by a giant octopus he is forced to face his biggest fear. Big, bright watercolor illustrations swim across the pages providing expressive insights into the characters. (I particularly like seeing a mermaid who is not a slender wisp of a thing.) The writing is particularly delightful, with little humorous touches that will tug at your giggle muscles. This is fun pirate fare that would also be a good read-aloud.
Monkey With A Tool Belt And The Silly School Mystery
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Monroe, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Chico Bon Bon and his friends are back. Naturally Chico Bon Bon has his tool belt, and it has everything he's going to need for a day at school. A very breakable, mysterious day at school. Things are fall apart. Things are going missing. Things are being chewed. What is going on? Chico has a mystery to solve. Are he and his tool belt up to the task? This is another entry in a popular series noted for its highly-detailed watercolor and pencil illustrations. This is the series for the kids who love to figure out how things work, and fix them.
Marty Frye, Private Eye : The Case Of The Missing Action Fig
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Tashjian, Janet
Keller, Laurie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 07, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Need to solve a crime? Like detectives who rhyme? Give Marty Frye the clue, 'cause he knows just what to do! Young Marty Frye fancies himself a detective and almost everything that comes out of his mouth rhymes. In the first book in this beginning chapter book series Marty solves three mysteries in the course of a day - one at school, one on his way home, and one involving his family. Each chapter is broken into different sections, like "searching for clues" and "suspects," which feels a tad formulaic, but will appeal to a lot of transitional readers who tend to appreciate consistency/predictability. Quirky illustrations complement the storytelling. Overall, an entertaining tale that budding mystery fans will gravitate toward.
Big Bad Fox
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Renner, Benjamin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 07, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Who's afraid of the big, bad fox? Apparently, no one. When Fox visits the farm the other animals make fun of him or ignore him. Pig even gives Fox baskets of turnips to save him from starvation. Then Fox runs into Wolf in the woods, who plants the seed of a diabolical idea in Fox's head - since he is too meek to kill a chicken he should steal her eggs instead and then share the spoils with Wolf, who is just as hungry. Fox pulls off the egg heist perfectly and then realizes he'll have to sit on the eggs until they are ready to hatch. Of course, once the adorable chicks make an appearance Fox can't bear to eat them. The babies imprint on Fox and the rest is history! Fans of funny graphic novels will devour The Big Bad Fox, racing through it to find out how Fox will handle parenthood and appease Wolf. Oh, and did I mention the angry mob of chickens who have been training to destroy any fox that dares set foot on the farm? A delightful read that will circulate often, especially if booktalked.
Schnitzel : A Cautionary Tale For Lazy Louts
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Shaw, Stephanie
Bucci, Marco
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Told in verse, this is a different version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Young Schnitzel is apprenticed to a wizard who leaves him with the task of cleaning the house. Unfortunately Schnitzel is a lazy boy, always seeking an easy answer to a hard task. When a door-to-door vampire, selling vacuums and offering a free demonstration, arrives, Schnitzel is delighted. That demonstration should easily finish up his housework. Naturally all does not end well as the vacuum sucks up not only the dust and dirt, but eventually the entire house. Now it looks like the salesman is ready for a little snack...Schnitzel! Luckily the wizard returns and puts things to right. Schnitzel, however, has learned a valuable lesson. The text is clever and reads aloud well. The illustrations are in neutral tones and full of deliciously creepy details. This would be a fun Halloween book, without a single word about Halloween in its pages.
Symphony Of Cowbells
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Preusser, Heather
Ewen, Eileen Ryan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Set in Switzerland, this is the story of a recalcitrant cow and a Swiss girl named Petra. When the cows go to the high pastures you can hear the sound of their various cowbells, each distinct. This year, however, Petra's favorite cow, Elfi, is missing her bell. Naturally it is the largest and loudest bell of all. Without that bell the cow won't move, and no substitution is acceptable. A search for the bell finds it in a very unusual place, but once it's back where it belongs all is well again. The story is filled with onomatopoeia bell sounds, which would add to its read-aloud value. Differing fonts, and bright, detailed illustrations (that have an echo of Jan Brett's artwork) bring the story to life. This is a sweet tale, and visually appealing.
Rettie And The Ragamuffin Parade : A Thanksgiving Story
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Noble, Trinka Hakes
Gardner, David C.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is historical fiction for the picture-book crowd. Set in New York City in 1918 it tells the story of a young girl named Rettie, who lives in a tenement. Her father is away fighting the war. Her mother is ill. It's up to Rettie to take care of her younger sisters and brother. She's waiting for the Ragamuffin Parade. This was a tradition where children dressed in rags and marched down the streets begging for pennies from passers-by. These pennies will make a difference in Rettie's family and provide them with something special for their Thanksgiving meal. However, a flu epidemic is hitting the city. Will the all-important parade be canceled? This is a story of grit and perseverance, as well as joy in the small things. The author includes factual information about the tradition that was later replaced by Halloween and, possibly, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It's hard to find good historical fiction in this format. The realistic, detailed illustrations and engaging text will draw the reader into another time and place.
Piece By Piece
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Shaw, Stephanie
Daigneault, Sylvie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A weaver with young children weaves more than thread into her almost-magical cloth, which she fashions into a beautiful dress. She weaves in sounds, and smells, and feelings--ocean foam and dragon scales. The merchant, however, rejects the dress. What ridiculous notions that weaver has. She gradually takes it apart, but the cloth ends up in a spectacular quilt that catches the eyes of many buyers. Now the merchant sees its value, in the price it could bring. The weaver, however, wraps her own children in its fanciful folds. A final picture shows her selling quilts for a living. The author includes a note about quilt-making in general. This is a sweet, gentle tale with truly beautiful illustrations by Sylvie Daigneault--each delicate line as flowing as a dove's wing, and each color as soft as lamb's wool. The text and illustrations go together well. The only question is who the audience is intended to be. It's a beautiful story, but may not be particularly child-friendly in its flights of fancy.
Billy Bloo Is Stuck In Goo
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hamburg, Jennifer
Burach, Ross
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Billy Bloo is stuck in goo, what shall we do? Different helpers appear--acrobats, a cowgirl, a pirate, an octopus--offering different solutions, but in this cumulative story all eventually end up stuck in the goo as well. The problem just gets bigger and bigger. This is a madcap, rhyming adventure with bright and hilarious digital illustrations that include funny asides and humorous details. Kindergarten teachers will also enjoy using it when emphasizing the "oo" sound. It begs to be read aloud.
Giant Of Jum
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Woollard, Elli
Davies, Benji
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A grouchy, hungry giant sets out to find tasty children to eat. He's heard about a particularly annoying one named Jack, but any child will do. Unfortunately for him, when he happens on children instead of running in horror they befriend him, ask him for help, and compliment him. Eventually they satisfy his hunger with cake and all ends well. The story is told in rhyme, with a repeating, and fun, refrain. The illustrations show humorous details and fun perspectives between large and small. This would be a good read-aloud and children will want to join in on the refrain.
On The Go With Mother Goose
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Opie, Iona
Wells, Rosemary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 08, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Since much of the language in old nursery rhymes feels outdated and almost foreign to younger ears, the illustrations by Rosemary Wells are the real selling point of this collection. Her usual rabbits make several appearances, along with other animals, a few humans, and an odd collection of fruit. There is a good balance of famous Mother Goose rhymes and more obscure ones. Overall, a fun book for small hands that will be revisited because of the pictures.
Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Gaggiotti, Lucia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 08, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
The squirrel was so clever at hiding his acorns that he can't find them! Can you help him? An entertaining lift-the-flap story that encourages young readers to find different amounts of acorns in different colors. There are two flaps on each page, one hiding the acorns and one hiding a different kind of food. It's a bit disappointing to find the acorns under the first flap you try (at least for this adult). Why bother lifting the other one? The pages are quite sturdy and the illustrations are bold and fill the entire page. This is a book that young readers will repeatedly enjoy, although it is better suited to a personal collection rather than a library due to the format.
Day With Parkinson's
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Hultquist, A
Lew-Vriethoff, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Grandpa can't do everything he used to do. He has Parkinson's. Nevertheless, he loves his grandson and does all he can, within his current ability level, to manage the disease and enjoy time with Noah. Noah doesn't always understand the limitations, but he tries to help, and is reassured by his grandfather's presence and the child-appropriate information he is given. This is a gentle, sweet book showing Noah, Grandpa and Mom on a trip to the beach. Watercolor and ink illustrations show a loving family. The end of the book includes information on talking to children about Parkinson's, and information about the disease itself. Frankly, the disease information section spends more time talking about locating information on the disease than on the condition itself, which is a lost opportunity. On the other hand, information changes, and links to reliable sources are always valuable. This would be a useful tool in introducing children to Parkinson's if a family member is diagnosed with the condition.
Birds
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Heos, Bridget
Clark, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The same author who brought us "What To Expect When You're Expecting Larvae" is here to tell young readers a little something wacky about birds. Hey, they're a lot like us! Baby birds learn to talk, like baby humans. Birds dance, sing, do some home-decorating, and flirt. Sure, there are some gross things, like fecal sacs and fish vomit, but humans aren't all that tidy all the time either, right? A combination of hilarious illustrations, and fascinating photographs, along with the breezy and delightful text, make this a winner. It would be good for browsing as well as for reading-aloud to an eager class, ready to go "EEEEWWWWW!" A glossary and bibliography are included. This would be a fun and useful addition to the 598 section.
Mystery In The Barn
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Blevins, Wiley
Paillot, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Something is going on in the barn, but what? Dogs Ick and Crud are on the case. Four short chapters lead them to clues and, eventually, to nests of eggs ready to hatch. This is a short, simple story with touches of humor, bright cartoon illustrations, and not much else to make it stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, it would meet the needs of readers just transitioning into chapter books.
Eerie Esp
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Maurer, Tracy Nelson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What is ESP? This book, in 32 pages, attempts to provide information about the subject. Readers learn about precognition, telepathy, and clairvoyance. A history of the study of ESP, as well as questions regarding its authenticity, at all examined. Fact or Fiction pages encourage readers to question and draw their own conclusions. The book includes photographs, bibliography, website list, glossary, and index. This is a basic introduction to the topic.
Leather Shoe Charlie
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Kim, Kyeong-Hwa
Balbusso, Anna & Elena Balbusso
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Set in Britain's Industrial Revolution, this historical fiction picture book follows young Charlie and his family. His grandfather was a shoemaker, but as things change his business goes away. The family is forced to move to the city, and work in a factory. Everything changes except Charlie's beloved leather shoes, made by his grandfather. However, when a family crisis hits, Charlie decides some things are more important than shoes. This is a gentle story of sacrifice and change, originally published in Korean. The illustrations are lines and slashes of muted color with a cubist feel. The author includes factual information about the industrial revolution, and includes a map and timeline.
Smell My Elephant
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Debord, Tina Ballon
Debord, Kim Jackson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 09, 2017
Elders, Ann
One morning Fletcher notices that his stuffed elephant smells different, instead of smelling like the places he’s been. He asks family members what the elephant smells like and each has a different answer. On each page you see what each family member or friend says—dirty socks, popcorn, clover blossoms, beetle wings, rubber boots, but Fletcher doesn’t agree. Fletcher decides that the smell is “hugs” from each of the people he asks—though his friend tells him “you”. At times, the logic was hard to follow but that would be a little boy. The illustrations by Kim Jackson DeBard feature blue, black, white, and some soft colors—simple but descriptive illustrations. This sweet, simplistic story will appeal to the preschooler with a stuffed animal and celebrates the scents of childhood.
Missile Toe : A Very Confused Christmas
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Scillian, Devin
Kelley, Marty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's Christmas and it's time for some punny poetry. Sure, there is the possibility for confusion around Christmas. How do you deck a hall, and how can you do it if you can't find Holly? Where is that girl? What blocked our ears from the angels we half heard on high? Why was round John Verjun at the stable? What are the dangers of washing your sheep by night? Pretty much every poem depends on a pun or a misunderstanding. They're not all universally delightful, but there's plenty here to tickle a funny bone and the energetic, bright illustrations by Marty Kelley are visual hyperbole that goes well with the poetry. If you need more Christmas poetry then this might be the book for you.
High-Tech Highways And Super Skyways : The Next 100 Years Of
Graphic Library/capstone Press [Graphic Library/capstone Press]
Bethea, Nikole Brooks
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
You know, with a title like this, you're going to have to sell the book, but once readers get a chance to really look at it, it will sell itself. This is a non-fiction graphic novel that explores transportation. A group of students is on a field trip to the Transportation History Museum. Their guide is Luna Li, a cool futurist. She shows them the past history of transportation from foot to carriage to train to automobile and plane. Current trends are presented, and then future possibilities are explored. It is a tribute to both the writing and artwork that it all ends up being really fascinating. Readers will be left considering just what the future might hold. The 32 pages include a glossary, index, bibliography, and website list. If the rest of the series is as good it would be an excellent purchase, with a strong STEM component.
Life And Times Of Abraham Lincoln And The U.s. Civil War
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Kirkman, Marissa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "the Life and Times of" series, this 24 page books provides a basic overview of causes of the Civil War, slavery, Abraham Lincoln, and how the war ended. It is, of necessity, brief and not at all comprehensive. Nevertheless, the book manages to present clear, concise information and augment it with maps, photographs, historical artwork, fact boxes, standard text features, and two critical thinking questions. This would be a good introduction to an important historical event, for younger students.
Joe And Sparky, Party Animals!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Michalak, Jamie
Remkiewicz, Frank
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Joe and Sparky are not your typical friends. Joe is a giraffe, and Sparky is a turtle. Sparky is a realist, but Joe lives life large, which explains why he wants to throw a surprise party for his worm, Wiggy. Oddly, nobody has ever seen Wiggy, and the stories Joe tells about him seem unlikely at best--flying a plane? racing cars? wearing pants? Sparky becomes even more suspicious when the suggested party gifts all seem aimed at things Joe likes. Is Wiggy real? Is he going to show up at the party? Does it matter in the end? Four short, humorous chapters make this a fun choice for transitional readers. Bright cartoonish illustrations add to the hilarity. Maybe I should look into the other books in this series!
Inside Fighter Planes
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Oxlade, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Do you have readers who love fighter planes? Well, this is the book for you. Its 32 pages contain information about fighter planes including historical information from WWI and WWII, as well as modern day planes. Information on the planes, cut-away pictures, and information on pilots and fighter tactics are included. There's even a page or two on attack helicopters. There is also a timeline, glossary, and index. This is a solid overview of a high-interest topic. Yep, this is going to appeal to that crowd.
All About Systems
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Ball, Jacqueline A
Bowser, Ken
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Space Cat Explores STEM" series, this 24 page book focuses on the basic concept of systems. There are all sorts of systems both within and around us. The book introduces readers to various body systems, and systems that help society function. Photographs and cartoon illustrations accompany the text. Along the way fun facts are introduced and new words are defined. The writing is clear and informative. Standard text features apply.
Bad Decisions Playlist
CLARION [CLARION]
Rubens, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 10, 2017
Dame, Anne
Austin's life gets turned upside-down when the father that he's always thought was dead is actually alive and is a well known musician. Austin is also a musician and has also made some bad decisions, but they seem to be getting worse as he struggles with this new knowledge and dealing with his mom's serious boyfriend. Steer to high school due to language, smoking/drugs/alcohol, and situations. Writing is a bit predictable and pedantic.
Star Wars : Darth Vader : 3 : The Shu-Torun War
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Gillen, Kieron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 10, 2017
Dame, Anne
Book 3 in this graphic novel series about Darth Vader, follows the period after the ending of "A New Hope". Vader enlists Captain Aphra to further his nefarious schemes. She and the droid (BT-1), who likes torture a little bit too much, add some levity to this 28 page comic. Illustrations are appropriately dark. Star Wars fans will enjoy.
Star Wars : Darth Vader : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Gillen, Kieron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 10, 2017
Dame, Anne
Book 4 in this graphic novel series about Darth Vader, follows the period after the ending of "A New Hope". Vader, Aphra, and the droids are on the planet Geonosis exploring an old droid factory to see if there is anything there they can utilize. While there, a bounty hunter informs Vader that the Empire is planning to replace him. 28 page comic. Illustrations are appropriately dark. Star Wars fans will enjoy.
What A Kick : How A Clutch World Cup Win Propelled Women's S
Compass Point Books [Compass Point Books]
Berne, Emma Carlson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 10, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 64 page book focuses on the 1999 Women's World Cup soccer championship. There had already been the regulation playing time plus two overtimes, so it came down to 5 penalty kicks. Brandi Chastain was the final US kicker and her shot would decide the game. The book talks about that game, that shot, and the famous photo of Chastain taken after the kick. Lots of full color photographs, fact sidebars, and additional full page informational sections about things that pertain to women and sports, sports photography, etc. My favorite part was a "where are they now" spread at the the end. There is also a timeline, glossary, additional resources, source notes, selected bibliography, and an index. An excellent addition about women in sports - but is already outdated because 1999 was so long ago in the timelines of our students. Otherwise I would have given it an R.
From Me To Youtube : The Unofficial Guide To Bethany Mota
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Klein, Emily
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is an unauthorized fluff piece about video blogger Bethany Mota, who managed to parlay self-produced YouTube videos about beauty products into fame and fortune and even a chance on "Dancing With the Stars." The research is obviously garnered from interviews and articles published elsewhere, with plenty of casual teen-speak, and photographs. Fans will be delighted even though this lightweight 48 page paperback, published in 2015, is already outdated.
Mysteries Of Machu Picchu
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Weitzman, Elizabeth
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Mach Picchu is a fascinating archaeological site and this book provides a solid, interesting, and informative introduction to this ancient abandoned city. Readers learn about its rediscovery, important features, amazing engineering, cultural aspects, and history. Myths are dispelled, but there are still many questions left unanswered. Best guesses are presented against a backdrop of photographs and illustrations. Standard text features are included. This is truly exceptional--well-written and engaging. It made me want to travel to Peru.
Find Your Future In Science
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Reeves, Diane Lindsey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Interested in science? That's a pretty broad field, with room for a wide variety of jobs. This book focuses on just a few. Readers learn a little about the jobs of astrophysicist, chemist, crime scene investigator, environmental scientist, food scientist, hydrologist, marine biologist, and veterinarian. Even within those fields, the book emphasizes there are many different types of jobs. The information presented is clear and cogent, and accompanied by photographs and illustrations. Readers are urged to ask big questions, and explore further. Website links provide additional resources. A glossary and index are included. This would be a good resource for STEM curriculum career days.
Close Encounters
Full Tilt Press [Full Tilt Press]
Johnson, C M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is just the sort of book kids love. It's not a reasoned, rational look at the possibility of aliens. It leans a bit on the sensational side. That's not to say that it doesn't provide a rational explanation for crop circles, but it provides other possible explanations as well. The same is true of alien abductions, the Nazca lines, and UFOs. Yes, of course there are perfectly rational possible explanations, but it's a lot more fun to speculate. And the truth is, we don't know. Accompanied by photographs, fact boxes, a quiz, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index, this is a fun 48 page book that will leave readers questioning...which is sort of the point. My readers of 001.9 do not WANT rational explanations. They want weird and interesting possibilities. They would love this book.
Let's Explore The Moon
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Moon, Walt K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is a very basic book on the moon, designed for beginning readers. It has wonderful photographs, and the information it provides is factual. The problem is that the information is very slight. Each double page spread has one to three sentences of text facing a full-page photograph. Occasionally a question is asked. It manages to make it through the entire book without once using the word "satellite." While it would be a useful launching point for a primary astronomy unit, it is too slight to recommend as a stand-alone.
Crayola Spring Colors
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Shepherd, Jodie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp color photographs of nature and bright new crayons are the highlight of this color book. Spring is here. Look at the colors all around. There are many changes in the spring. How can you draw them? What color crayons might you use? The book includes some basic information on the season, and on drawing techniques such as shading, symmetry, and texture. The other seasons are represented in other books in "Crayola Seasons" series. There's a clear commercial aspect to the series, but kindergarten teachers will appreciate its emphasis on color and seasons.
Crayola Counting Book
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Schuh, Mari
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Can you count Crayola crayons? Start with the red one and count. Now count them backwards. How many green ones are on the page? Let's skip count, then count by groups. We can add and subtract them as well. This is a basic math book with bright, crisp photographs of colorful crayons. It is certainly visually attractive with the crayons popping against white backgrounds. Kindergarten teachers might appreciate its approach, and use it as a lesson-launcher.
Martin Luther King Jr. : Civil Rights Leader And American He
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Roome, Hugh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Rookie Biographies series, this sturdy small-format 32-page book gives a brief overview of the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. Accompanied by photographs, young readers learn about his youth, and about the injustices of the time that led to the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King's role in that movement, and eventual death, are all briefly covered. The writing is factual, but not particularly compelling. Better books exist, that bring the man to life, and draw children in. This is an adequate addition to the primary biography collection, but not my first choice for truly gaining a better understand of the man and his motivations.
Grand Canyon National Park
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Herrington, Lisa M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Ranger Red Fox takes young readers on an abbreviated tour of the Grand Canyon in this 32-page, small format entry in the "Rookie National Parks" series. Well-captioned photographs accompany clear text that provides information about the canyon, its formation, its flora and fauna, and tourists that visit there. Well-captioned photographs, as well as an index and brief glossary, accompany the text. This is a nice basic introduction for children.
Notorious Outlaws
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Yasuda, Anita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Wild West didn't gain that moniker because of the animals found there. No--far from towns and cities lawlessness often abounded. This book looks at famous outlaws, both male and female, from Tiburcio Vasquez and Billy the Kid to Belle Star. The author carefully sets the stage... before she robs it. (Sorry.) She provides solid historical context before telling about these famous criminals and their eventual ends. Photographs and historical artwork accompany the text. This is an interesting introduction to a fascinating topic, and might lead readers to do some research to find out more.
Zoo Scientists To The Rescue
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Newman, Patricia
Crawley, Annie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I love books about scientists in the field, and they certainly are good choices for STEM collections. This is an excellent example of the genre. Three zoo scientists are highlighted, most of whom have done extensive field work before their zoo jobs. Dr. Meredith Bastian studies orangutans. Jeff Baughman works with black-footed ferrets. Dr. Rachel Santymire helps endangered rhino species largely through studying their feces. All of these animals are facing problems in the wild. The book provides extensive information about the scientist's work, how it help the endangered animals, and the entire ecosystem that is affected. More information about zoos, as well as encouragement for readers to explore similar jobs, are included. The writing is crisp and compelling, as are the photographs. A glossary, bibliography, and index are included. This is a fascinating and enlightening book that would be an excellent addition to secondary collections.
Dragonflies
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Perish, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is a sturdy 24-page Blastoff! Reader, Level 1 dealing with the topic of dragonflies. Two sentences of bold, informative text face a crisp, close-up photograph on each two-page spread. There is information here about diet, habitat, anatomy, and life cycle. While it is brief, it is also clear and accurate. Standard text features apply. This would be an excellent addition to easy non-fiction collections.
U.s. Special Forces : Ghosts Of The Night
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Enecio, Jeremy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A journalist who wants to make a prize-winning documentary. An Afghan boy who doesn't always do what he's supposed to. A helicopter pilot who breaks the rules for some Girl Scout cookies and pays the price. A crash. A rescue. A ghost story. This is realistic fiction that takes the reader into Afghanistan with U.S. Special Forces. Told from many viewpoints it is a taut story of rescue, survival, war, and sacrifice. The writing is crisp and intense, and the characters are surprisingly well-developed for a 90 page book. It's not too long to be intimidating, and has a gritty realism. Yet it reads a lot like an episode of "Seal Team" or "The Brave" with a slightly eerie twist. This is going to appeal to a wide audience, especially boys, and including reluctant readers who will be drawn in by the subject matter.
Science Of Sea Monsters : Prehistoric Reptiles Of The Sea
Franklin Watts (Slp) [Franklin Watts (Slp)]
Woolf, Alex
Rowland, Andy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Sure, children love dinosaurs, but dinosaurs weren't the only scary, huge, critters that have lived on this planet. Plenty of weird animals would easily fit the moniker of "sea monster." Starting with the Silurian era, 444 million years ago, and taking readers up to the Cretaceous era, a mere 65 million years ago, readers learn about the Archelon, pleosaurs, Livyatan, Helicoprions and more. Captions lead the way--teeth, fascinating facts, T. rex of the sea, hunting style. Your eyes will dart from fact to fact, learning cool stuff while enjoying the colorful illustrations (which also feature scientists of all colors, shapes, sizes, and abilities.) It's all very cool. Add in an index and glossary. This is a book that will appeal to dinosaur fans while introducing a whole new world...under the prehistoric ocean.
Timeline Of Presidential Elections
Connect/capstone Press [Connect/capstone Press]
Krasner, Barbara
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 17, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Absolutely fascinating. I expected a bit of a snorefest when I picked this book, but I was immediately sucked in and couldn't put it down. The 48-page book divides our nation's history into 10 eras, starting with "A New Nation Steps Forward (1729-1828)" and ending with "The New Millenium (2000-2012).Each receives a brief introduction, but the fascinating parts are the timeline fact boxes highlighting each presidential election. In one brief paragraph the author manages to provide a clear look at the candidates, the unique aspects of the election, its results, and an interesting fact or two. Here's the thing--by making the entries brief it is easy for the reader to bounce from box to box and start making some interesting connections. My eyebrows were raised more than once not by the facts, but by being able to compare them side-by-side. The conclusions you could draw were enlightening. There is artwork, some photographs, a glossary and index. the book's only flaw is that it only goes to the 2012 election, but that's life. Buy it anyway. Build critical thinking skills.
Pirate Pierre And The Lost Treasure
Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library [Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 18, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Scratch is a wonderful coding program. This book teaches young coders how to create an entire pirate adventure, using Scratch. As they work through the step-by-step instructions coders will also learn the features of the program, and gain the skills necessary to go on to create their own adventures. Cartoon illustrations accompany the text. Any coding fans from 4th grade on up, who have the perseverance, will find this a valuable and fun way to learn coding with Scratch.
Little Frog's Tadpole Trouble
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Tatyana, Feeney
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Little Frog is perfectly happy as the only froglet in his family. Then, when nine tadpoles arrive, his world turns upside down. They're not even that interesting. They can't do anything. Not only that, but they're using up all of the time that Little Frog used to have with his parents. Becoming a big brother can be a monumental change, but it can also open new possibilities. Simple illustrations feature thin outlines in black or green. Green is also the main color for filling in the outlines, with occasional splashes of other colors. This is a simple book about a common topic with which children can empathize.
A Is For Awesome
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Clayton, Dallas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is an optimistic alphabet book that seeks to raise the spirits and ambitions of young readers. From "A is for Awesome and also Amazin'" to "O is Oh Boy there are so many sights" and ending with "Z is for Zzzzleeping safe cozy and sound" the rhyming text contains positive messages. The author/illustrator also includes small watercolor and ink illustrations of other items that begin with the target letter. While not exceptional, this would still be an acceptable addition to your alphabet collection.
When Elephant Met Giraffe
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Gude, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Elephant is an active, talkative, friendly animal. When she meets Giraffe, who prefers silence, theirs seems an unlikely friendship. Still, she does some research and discovers giraffes don't say much, so proceeds to take charge of the situation. Giraffe is going to have to stand up for himself if he wants a voice in this friendship. This is a plot young children will understand and appreciate and the big bold illustrations are perfect for groups haring. This would be a good introduction to a classroom discussion on how to be a good friend. It is written by a Seattle author.
Urgency Emergency! : Humpty's Fall
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Archer, Dosh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Urgency Emergency!" series, this is the medical story of Humpty Dumpty. All the king's men bring him to the clinic. His head is cracked and the yolk is dribbling out. What to do, what to do? Well, it was a weasel, popping a bubble gum bubble, that startled him off the wall. Perhaps the weasel has what is needed to help make him better. There's a little fun with a familiar story, some common sense solutions, and enjoyable characters in this series. Plenty of color illustrations accompany the text in this mid-sized picture book.
100 Hungry Monkeys!
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Sebe, Masayuki
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in Japanese, this is a rollicking, eye-filling cacophony of monkeys. There are 100 of them. 100 monkeys set out to find something to eat, then take a nap. Wait, why's that monster chasing them? Maybe his intentions aren't what they think. The story is very slight because the illustrations are the key to this book. there are things to look for, all sorts of small funny details, and humorous asides. This is not a book that you're going to read cover to cover. You're going to want to carefully peruse each page and catch all the clever details.
I Said, Bed!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Degen, Bruce
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Holiday House "I Like to Read" series, this book is an easy-reader with a limited vocabulary, lots of repetition, and energetic illustrations by Bruce Degen. A young boy does not wish to go to bed, but finally his dreams take him to new and wonderful places that make home and sleep a good choice. This is just right for those beginning readers who still want to read a whole book.
Just My Type : Understanding Personality Profiles
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Rosen, Michael J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The cover and title drew me in, but I found both to be a tad deceptive. This is really a scholarly book on the history of studying personalities, or what led up to psychology and psychiatry. It starts with astrology, and then touches on humorology, phrenology, and other discounted theories about how you can judge a person. Freud is here, as is Rorschach and all the famous names in the field. Is it nature or nurture? What about physiognomy? The author discusses various tests used to evaluate people, their strengths and flaws, and their uses. The book is interesting and well-researched, with extensive source notes, as well as an index, bibliography, and glossary. For high school students interested in personality studies this might be a good choice.
Pharrell Williams : Singer And Songwriter
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Flores, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 21, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
If kids are looking for a talented role model, Pharrell Williams isn't a bad one to choose. He works hard at his job, is a dedicated family man, oversees a charity that benefits kids, and focuses on bringing happiness to people around the world through music of all genres. Oh, and he rocks some pretty fly hats. This title, from Enslow Publishing's Junior Biographies collection, starts off with a list of Words to Know and a table of contents, then moves chronologically through Williams's life, revealing he was not born into a musical family, but his parents encouraged his passion for creating and playing music, and how he met and started working with longtime friend and collaborator Chad Hugo when he was in seventh grade. The biography ends with Pharrell's book deal in 2015. The text is accessible and appropriate for upper elementary students and the Fun Facts sprinkled throughout are interesting (although a tad distracting since they have nothing to do with the artist). Overall, this is a biography that will appeal to students interested in celebrities or music makers, and it may even inspire some to make music of their own.
Stephen Curry : Basketball's Mvp
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Shea, Therese
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 21, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Whether readers are huge basketball fans or know almost nothing about the game, they will be impressed by Stephen Curry's perseverance, work ethic, passion for the sport, and commitment to making the world a better place. This title, from Enslow Publishing's Junior Biographies series, presents information about Curry's life chronologically, from his birth up until 2016. All of the expected nonfiction features are included - glossary, table of contents, index, and a section with resources for learning more. An abundance of color photographs, quotations and fun facts complement the main text, making this an entertaining and accessible read for intermediate readers.
China Anne Mcclain : Actress, Singer, And Songwriter
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Nelson, Kristen Rajczak
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 21, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Although I had never heard of China Anne McClain, upper elementary students will probably be very familiar with her work in a variety of family-friendly TV shows and movies. This title, which is part of Enslow Publishing's Junior Biographies series, traces China Anne's life and career from her first role at age seven up to 2016 with her current role on Disney's Descendants 2. The book highlights the actresses positive attitude, work ethic, and dedication to her family. All of the expected nonfiction features are included - glossary, table of contents, index, and a section with resources for learning more. An abundance of color photographs, quotations and fun facts complement the main text, making this an entertaining and accessible read for intermediate readers.
Pick A Pine Tree
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Toht, Patricia
Jarvis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 22, 2017
Kline, Karen
This jaunty read is a rhyming rendition of picking a Christmas tree and all that goes with it -- the selecting, the transporting, the decorating, the friends, the topping. The charming art by Jarvis is cheerful and full of details created with pencil, chalk, paint, and digital color. The size of the book makes it perfect for group sharing and the limited text will keep the pages turning for a winning read aloud. Readers will want to linger over the pages, though, much as the wide-eyed children in the book. There are things to point out on each page -- a cat poking its head out of the limbs, the myriad ornaments, the dog with the candy cane. As evening approaches the page hues turn to blues and whites before the final reveal of the tree in all its lighted glory taking up the double page spread and rendered horizontally across requiring the 90 degree-turn and presentation of the book that will bring even more story time smiles. The book is topped off with a thin, sparkly ribbon of art along the side of the cover that beckons to be opened. A holiday treat!
Yitzi And The Giant Menorah
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Ungar, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 22, 2017
Kline, Karen
This book depicts people in Chelm a vibrant Jewish community in what is now Poland. The mayor of nearby Lubin has given the village a giant menorah, and the people of Chelm are consumed with deciding how to thank him. A young boy, Yitzi, recognizes the menorah right away and tells his father it’s not a beautiful tree as his father suggests. The art in the book is vibrant with color and created through the process of watercolor monoprinting. The giant menorah, brought to the village on a wagon, itself is a bright pink hue dominating many of the pages. The two-dimensional quality of the village and pastoral scenes has a Van Gogh-esque feel that fill the pages with detail. Additionally, smaller charcoal insets are scattered throughout the book showing moments of interest like a hand peeling a potato on the page that we learn that a villager is making latkes to give to the mayor as thanks. The latkes get eaten along the way and never get to the mayor. Another villager decides that a gift of Chelm’s pristine snow would be a local thing the mayor can’t get in Lubin, but it melts before he can deliver it. In the end it is a simple gift of song that Yitzi orchestrates that delights the mayor looking and listening on a hill from afar.
Captain America : The Winter Soldier 10X10 Picture Book Form
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Lim, Ron Et Al
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Written as a report document from S.H.I.E.L.D., this is an overview of the entire Winter Soldier incident. Dossiers are provided on all the main players in the incident, from both sides. Information about weapons, skills, and techniques are provided. Along the way there is a report on the action that revolved around the Winter Soldier. Bold graphic illustrations accompany the text in this oversized book that is sure to please Avenger fans.
We Shall Overcome : The Story Of A Song
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Levy, Debbie
Brantley-Newton, Vanessa
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Where did the song "We Shall Overcome," that became an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, come from? This book investigates its beginnings in slave songs, then its gradual evolution in words and purpose through Martin Luther King, Jr., to sit-ins, the Freedom Singers and on to other countries until our nation had an African American president. And it is still sung. The text is poetic, swift and concise, warm and empathetic. The digital and mixed-media illustrations show people of all colors embracing the song's message. A timeline, source notes, and a bibliography are included. Add this to your Civil Rights collection.
When Mama Goes To Work
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk
Phillips, Jessica
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When mamas go to work they are busy doing all kinds of things. Their children are also busy. This book features bright illustrations picturing mothers and children of many colors. It shows how their days have similarities and they end with smiles all around, and the children dreaming of what they'll be when they grow up. It's a positive look at working mothers that will be good for lap time, or a story time about working parents.
Get Out Of My Bath!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Teckentrup, Britta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Ellie the elephant is planning on enjoying a lovely restful bath. Wait, what is a crocodile doing there? And a flamingo, and a tiger, and more! Things are getting crowded and not at all comfortable. Luckily Ellie has a solution. This is a simple and fun story with big digital illustrations. And it's the illustrations that will first draw in readers. There is a glossy flowing water overlay, like the water in the bathtub. Tip the book and the next page shows the water piling up in a corner. Tip the other way... this acts much like "Press Here" and should delight young children.
Injuries In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Basen, Ryan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 22, 2017
Kline, Karen
True stories of injured professional athletes like linebacker LaVar Arrington’s (torn Achilles’ tendon), running back Adrian Peterson (torn ACL) and tennis star Andy Murray (sprained ankle) dominate this book. Readers are faced with many statistics about sports injuries from professional leagues to little leagues including, “one in three youth athletes playing a team sport will miss games or practices due to injury.” Collisions sports like football and hockey are highlighted in one of the five chapters that focuses exclusively on youth. Changes in rules are covered with a balance of reports on those who disagree with the changes in rules who feel kids won’t be prepared for higher levels if the rules and skills are not similar for younger players. Medical advances and commentary on “playing through the pain” are presented. Some stories mention the “macho,” “man enough” attitudes that some players and leagues expect with little or no mention of women’s sports and the injuries and attitudes therein. Striking photos of athletes in pain, on backer boards, and their scars make this a frank look at a timely topic. Index, bibliography, discussion questions, glossary and more.
Disappearing Magician
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Egan, Kate
Wight, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Magic Shop" series, this continues to follow the legerdemain of Mike. He loves being a magician and practicing and performing his magic tricks. Now a school talent show is coming up. What a perfect opportunity! When his best friend backs out, Mike needs to find a new assistant. However, what will he do when his performance goes sideways? This is a well-written story, and includes information on how to do several magic tricks. I especially appreciated the theme of overcoming obstacles--something my students desperately need to learn.
Cyber Technology : Using Computers To Fight Terrorism
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gray, Judy Silverstein
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Military Engineering in Action" series, this focuses not on weapons and vehicles, but on the newest field of war--cyber attacks. The author gives a brief overview of the three basic elements of cybersecurity--computer network defense, computer network exploitation, and computer network attack. Then a quick history of wartime use of codes and coding is given, as an introduction to the challenges faced today in an interconnected world. Readers will learn some of what will be required to get a job in this field, whether for the military or for civilian businesses. This is a solid overview of an important topic. It includes photographs, fact boxes, a timeline, a glossary, index, and bibliography. It would be a good resource for report-writing.
Sharon Draper : Author
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Shea, Therese
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 22, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Of all the titles in the Junior Biographies series by Enslow Publishing, this one falls a bit short. As with the other books, this one focuses on an African American who finds success thanks to family support, a strong work ethic, and genuine passion for their work. While the information about author Sharon Draper is interesting, the writing itself is choppy and repetitive. The text is accessible to upper elementary students and the large color photographs and quotations complement the information, but students probably won't seek this title out unless they are familiar with Draper's books.
Misty Copeland : Ballerina
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Isbell, Hannah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 22, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Whether they are ballet fans or have never heard of the art form, young readers will be inspired by this biography about Misty Copeland, the first woman of color to be named principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theater. Misty's parents divorced when she was young and her mother struggled to raise five kids in a motel. Ballet, which Misty discovered at a Boys and Girls Club when she was twelve, became an escape for Misty, and soon she was impressing her ballet teacher, who called Misty a prodigy. With hard work, perseverance, and some strong female role models, Misty mastered ballet and is now considered to be one of the best dancers alive. As with the other Junior Biographies titles in this series by Enslow Publishing, it includes a glossary, table of contents, index, and resource list. Large color photographs, quotes and fun facts about ballet complement the text nicely.
Olympic Trivia
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gitlin, Marty
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 23, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Olympic Trivia has a great cover with American gymnast Gabby Douglas. Her picture is repeated on the title page and on the first page of text but unfortunately her name is never mentioned, including the index. The content of the book are questions with answers on the Olympic Games. The questions and answers provide many interesting facts. The book has four chapters (Rookie, Veteran, Champion and Hall of Famer) but it really didn't need to be separated out at all because the trivia listed does not stay focused on the chapter headings. The questions could have been sorted in another way which may have helped the book have some consistent ability to connect with the reader. The book includes a trivia quiz, glossary, index and more information.
Cut Too Far
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Brown, Herman
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Chace has a facial deformity that has resulted in some bullying. In fact, one other student has made his life miserable for years. Now it's moved to social media and Chace has had enough. His life is already difficult as his divorced parents start dating, and his mother has an Iranian man as a boyfriend. Change is hard. But when enough things pile up on him, Chace takes charge. He bullies back with a vengeance, and the results are far from positive. How's he going to rebuild his life? This deals with teen issues that are increasingly important. Part of the "Suspended" series, it is a short chapter book that can be easily read in one sitting--perfect for unenthusiastic readers, who should sympathize with Chace's position.
Combat Zone
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Jones, Patrick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Justin's parents are divorced and he lives with his dad, which is great. He's planning on growing up to be just like his father--a Navy Seal. The Seals are a bigger family, and their sons have a sort of "fight club" thing going on. Justin's good at it. The testosterone is really flowing. They talk about girls, a teacher's boobs, typical macho male stuff. However, when he discovers his father is gay, his world crumbles. He acts out. He runs away. He doesn't want to face it. Acceptance is going to be hard. This is part of the "Support and Defend" series, short fiction books aimed at a high school audience. While I felt the ending was a bit facile, the book does address important issues.
Trouble In The City
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Taylor, Jo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Arnie and Annabelle are brother and sister. When their parents split up Arnie went to the big city with Mom. Annabelle stayed on the farm with Dad. The siblings miss each other and are having trouble adapting. When Annabelle visits Arnie in the city they find that each has changed, but the important things remain the same. This is an easy chapter book with short chapters told from each child's viewpoint, and color illustrations. While it reads a bit like bibliotherapy, it may well appeal to children facing similar changes in their lives.
Dream Big : A True Story Of Courage And Determination
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Mcgillivray, Dave
Himler, Ron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 25, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Scheduled for publication in March 2018 this inspirational story shares Dave McGillivray’s experience as a boy who was always too little to be picked anything but last for any team, but who aspires to be a professional athlete. With the guidance of his very wise grandfather, he approaches life’s challenges with the thought, “Sometimes in life, things don’t work out the way you want, and you have to find a different way. Maybe if you can’t be big, you can do something big.” Dave found running was a sport that didn’t require tryouts, and began running his age starting at 12 years old (12 miles). He overestimated what it took to run a marathon at age 17, but his grandfather came through for him again. He’s run every Boston Marathon since (and always comes in last) and has become its race director. The text is highly readable as a read aloud or read alone with Himler’s water color illustrations. Includes a timeline from 1954-2018, with no mention of the 2013 bombings.
Beep, Beep, Maisy!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 25, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This new, bright Maisy book has a large format and 50+ flaps for young hands to open and possibly tear off:) though it is holding up rather well. As Maisy goes for a drive she encounters all of her friends on different vehicles—bus, motorcycle, train, helicopter, bicycle, tractor, and fire engine. As she beep, beeps at each animal, the sound of the other vehicle is also repeated. The myriad of flaps uncover many little surprises on each page. Maisy fans will enjoy holding and poring over this large books with its bold colors and cute animal friends.
Audacity Jones Steals The Show
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Larson, Kirby
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 25, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Audacity Jones is back, and this time she and Bimmy are leaving the Home for Wayward Girls with Cypher to go to New York City. Cypher now works for the Pinkerton Agency, and has been tasked with helping Harry Houdini. Of course Min, the cat, manages to join the trip to New York City. There are nefarious plots, a need to learn to juggle, vaudeville vernacular, and more as Houdini attempts to disappear an elephant, and so does Audacity...but her elephant disappearance will be real. Adventure, fun, and a toe well-dipped into the sights and sounds and smells of NYC in the early 1900's make this another delightful book in a series that was never supposed to be a series.
Blue Corn Soup
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Stutson, Caroline
Weidner, Teri
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 26, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Blue Corn Soup is a rhyming story about a grandmother (abulelita) mouse that cooks soup (sopa) for herself. As she adds dried corn, peppers, pine nuts and onions, animals from a wintery community sniff the tantalizing smell of sopa. When they realize there is not enough for everyone, chipmunk, rabbit and bear bring more vegetables to add to it. Blue corn soup recipe is at the back of the story. Illustrations have soft, gentle colors. A good companion to Stone Soup and other versions.
Gingerbread Man
Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library [Qeb Publishing - Quarto Library]
Pirotta, Saviour
Newson, Karl
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 26, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a simple retelling of the Gingerbread Man. With plain text that has only a woman, cow and pig chasing him, the Gingerbread Man chants his traditional rhyme that students will want to repeat. Even with different versions--Galdone, Brett, Ziefert, and Aylesworth--and the many spin-offs, this version is worth a purchase. Text is more simple than other versions, but just as satisfying. The illustrations are in pastels, soft yet bright, and set the right tone. The back of the book offers suggestions on extension activities.
Sun Played Hide-And-Seek : A Personification Story
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Cleary, Brian P
Crimmins, Carol
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 26, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
A young girl is assigned to teach the rests of the class about "personification." Other students explain similes, puns, metaphors, superlatives and idioms. She worries that she won't be able to explain so that her classmates will understand and goes to the park to calm her worries. There, she notices objects taking on human qualities: " daffodils waltz; stone wall dressed in ivy; a lawn mower engine coughing." The students ends up leaving the classroom and she is able to show examples of personification. Story is done in rhyme. Illustrations are whimsical. This does a good job of introducing and illustrating this literary element.
Invisible Lizard
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Cyrus, Kurt
Atkins, Andy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 26, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Napoleon is a chameleon who wants to have friends. He blends in so well that the other forest animals don't notice him. Trying to get their attention, he waves his arms, creates a welcome sign, makes funny faces and other antics, but to no avail. Finally he falls and flicks his long tongue to rescue himself. Finally! Now he has the other animals to play hide and seek. Some of the story is facts based (chameleon are slow; their tongue flicks out fast, he changes color), but it doesn't relate to HOW he uses his tongue (for eating) or when he changes color (temperature changes). This could be used to compare nonfiction text to story. Illustrations are fun and exaggerated; colorful too.
Free-Range Farming
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Mickelson, Trina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
So, which should it be--free-range, or factory farms? This is a great debate topic, and one that is an important issue. As such, this book provides solid information. Yes, it clearly prefers free-range farming. The author provides a history of farming, and its gradual evolution to what it is today. She highlights the benefits of free-range farming. Still, at the same time, she recognizes the need to provide enough food for growing populations, and the risks that come with free-range farming. Thus, there is an unexpected balance to the text, regardless of its clear bias. Photographs accompany well-reasoned and researched text. Readers learn about pollution issues, labeling and what it means, and economic issues. Of course there are quotes from Temple Grandin--she's an expert in farm animal care. This is the book you want on your shelves when students come in looking for a current issue to research.
Women Warriors
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Schmermund, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 27, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 128 page text talks about women warriors from the ancient world all the way up through the present day, from Hatshepsut (1507 - 1458 BCE) to Remedio Gomez-Paraiso (1919-2014). This book does a good job of covering not just women who have fought but also how women are affected by war despite our perception that war is the domain of men. Many primary source photographs, as well as other artistic renderings for those eras when photography was not an option. Also included: chapter notes, glossary, and additional resources both print and digital. Other books in the "Defying Convention: Women Who Changed the Rules" series include: Women Athletes, Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Technology, Women Political Leaders, and Women Writers.
Women In Technology
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Schmermund, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 27, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 128 page text talks about women in technology from the ancient world all the way up through the present day, from Maria the Jewess, also known as Miriam the Prophetess,who created the basis for Western alchemy to Marissa Mayer (1975 - ) the first female engineer at Google. This book strives to recognize how women have always been inventors and innovators, but have been given short shrift by history. Many primary source photographs, as well as other artistic renderings for those eras when photography was not an option. Also included: chapter notes, glossary, and additional resources both print and digital. Other books in the "Defying Convention: Women Who Changed the Rules" series include: Women Athletes, Women Entrepreneurs, Women Warriors, Women Political Leaders, and Women Writers.
Auma's Long Run
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Odhiambo, Eucabeth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 27, 2017
Dame, Anne
Auma lives in a remote village in Kenya. She loves to run and is hoping to get a track scholarship so that she can attend secondary school. Her dream is to become a doctor someday. However, when her dad gets really sick and many people in her village start dying, her dream seems to become less and less of a possibility. Although set at the onset of the AIDS crisis, this still feels very contemporary. The author lived in Kenya at the time, so details are accurate and reliable. While it is overall a story of hope and determination, there is also sadness and fear. There is an attempted rape scene but it is brief and not graphic. A very good addition to a collection in terms of both diversity and strong female protagonists, but also the message of determination and persistence. However, I fear kids will not pick it up because of the AIDS plot-line and that it will feel old and outdated to them.
Diary Of An 8-Bit Warrior : From Seeds To Swords : An Unoffi
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Cube Kid
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In the second book in this unofficial Minecraft adventure series our wanna-be hero, Runt, is dealing with warrior training (despite his villager status), an encroaching forest, a pet slime, a talented girl, and...oh, an ATTACK ON THE VILLAGE! Can he apply what he's learned? Can he survive? Well, since this isn't the last book in the series let's assume he can. There's adventure, there's Minecraft insider jokes, there's a nemesis turned friend. There are also plenty of illustrations in this journal-esque novel. Think along the lines of a pixelated "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" book.
Carl Linnaeus : Genius Of Classification
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Anderson, Margaret J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Figuring out how to organize and classify things is hard. Coming up with new systems, and then getting them generally accepted, is a challenge. Swedish scientist, Carl Linneaus, was one of those willing to take on the task. He created a binomial system of nomenclature that allowed scientists to define plants and animals first by genus and second by species. While this system has been adjusted over the years, it was a significant step forward in scientific thought. This sturdy 96 page book provides a solid biography of Carl Linneaus, showing how his work evolved over time, and how it impacts us today. The appendix is quite extensive, including activities, chapter notes, index, glossary, and more. This is a solid nonfiction book that would be a good addition to standard collections.
Outside shot
21st Century [21st Century]
Bowen, Fred
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 29, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Fred Bowen writes sports stories banking that boys in upper elementary to middle-to school ageswill pick them as a quick about the sports they enjoy. Bowen creates stories of school aged athletes who try to rise to the top of their favorite baseball, football, soccer and in this case, basketball team. In "Outside Shot" Richie Mallon is a middle-school point guard with a great outside shot-and a self-image built around NBA All-Star Steph Curry- has to learn how fit in with a new coach and team-mates. The book's got game at a 610 Lexile level and will be popular with aspirational athletes and diligent students searching for an easy breezy bit of sports-laden fiction to fill down-time between action on the court or time spent cheering from the grandstands.
Pip Bartlett's Guide To Unicorn Training
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stiefvater, Maggie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 29, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
The newest Pip Bartlett Guide to Unicorn Training joins the delightful Guide to Magical Creatures series with its humor, mild mystery, and antics of Pip who can understand and talk with these Creatures. Pip and her sidekick, Thomas, have to get Regent Maximus, the scaredy-cat unicorn ready for the grand Triple Trident competition with all the challenges of noise, demands, and worst of appearing in front of crowds. With the help of classmate, Marisol, and some baby unicorns, they appear to be succeeding although not producing the gold medal winner. But all is not well as a nefarious criminal is sneaking into the stalls late at night and cutting off the tails of the beautiful unicorns. Will the trio be able to save both the unicorns from mutilation as well as the fidelity of the competition? Black and white sketches of Magical Creatures with guidebook-like labeling and descriptions are interspersed throughout the pages. Co-authored by Jackson and Maggie Stiefvater, this is an entertaining fantasy – lite series to recommend to reluctant readers or those younger students seeking longer books.
Fergus And Zeke
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Messner, Kate
Ross, Heather
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 29, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Fergus, a lovable and well-behaved class pet mouse, stows away in Emily’s backpack for the field trip to the Natural History Museum. Still following the rules he finds a buddy mouse, Zeke, and the two scamper off to scramble the playground of a T-Rex and roar with the lions. Mild panic ensues when racing to find the class in time to catch the bus, but Zeke’s knowledge of the museum saves the day. Charming and colorful digital illustrations capture the dapper duo on their explorations through the museum in this transitional short chapter book. Kate Messner, author of the Ranger in Time and Marty MaGuire series,
Shimmy
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Jones, Kari
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Lila wants to be a professional dancer, and is part of a belly dancing troupe with her best friend. When she is given the chance to move to a more professional studio she leaps at it. Yet she discovers that with every choice come both good and bad consequences. Her dancing improves, but her joy in the act is diminished. It is also testing her friendships, and making her sacrifice homework and other activities. This is another great Orca book--a solid and interesting quick read with compelling characters and a fascinating insight into a different style of dance. I highly recommend it.
Sam Walton : Founder Of The Walmart Empire
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Krieg, Katherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
We live in interesting times where we seek to find fault with rich people, minimize their contributions, and find sanctimonious joy in their failings. Yet at the same time we have shows like "Shark Tank" helping people build businesses with the hopes of making millions. This is the biography of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Because of that, there are those who will scoff and deride without ever reading the book. Nonetheless, I found it quite interesting. Here was a man who started with nothing and built a retail empire. It wasn't always easy, but canny business practices and hard work paid off. You may argue about big box stores, but from this biography it is clear that trends come and trends go. Sam Walton based his business model on that. The book devotes time to the impact that big box stores may have on small communities, but also points out positive aspects. Ignore the politics. The story of his life is interesting and instructive. The text is readable, and the work ethic he promoted is valuable. A young entrepreneur might do well to read this for tips.