Reviews for month


Spring Hare
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Yelchin, Eugene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 02, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Baby hare who meets and plays with a young girl as they jump on a trampoline and go higher and higher - over the forest, catches the tail of an airplane flying through a flock of geese, bumps into a hot-air balloon, continues over a rainbow into outer space following a rocket ship before catching a shooting star back to earth and into the arms of his friend. Bright, colorful collage made from traditional painting illustrations but cut out that gives this wordless book as a spring board for little ones to create their own stories. While the title implies a seasonal connection, the story could be "read" at any time. Reinforced binding.
Founding Of America
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gilman, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 02, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Introduction to the American Revolution in eleven chapters of short length with classic photos credited at the beginning of the book. Basic information about the how and why the American Revolution started; Second Continental Congress; Boston Tea Party; Battles of Lexington and Concord; Continental Army with George Washington as the leader; Battle of Bunker Hill; petition to King George to avoid further fighting; publication of Common Sense by Thomas Paine; the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson and reviewed, edited, and improved upon by delegates Ben Franklin ; 48 pages, and John Adams; writing of Articles of Confederation that was replaced by a new document, the Constitution with the Bill of Rights added in Dec. 1791. "Explore the Facts" boxes;. Timeline; Further Reading suggestions; 3 listed websites of interest to kids; Timeline; Index; Glossary; Library binding. Explains how the event was at a high cost to some who lost homes, wealth, and even lives in the battle for freedom.
Bad Kitty, Scaredy-Cat
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bruel, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 02, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Bad Kitty wasn't always a scaredy-cat. She was an Angry kitty..., an Energetic kitty ..., a Heroic kitty ..., an eXasperated kitty -- an alphabetic list of Kitty's attributes. Then something happened on a dark and foggy night when she saw frightening creatures in alphabetical order who scared her. The monsters dropped candy and then she decided to be a very, very BAD kitty who Attacked the Alien, Flattened Frankenstein, Tackled the Tarantula, and Zinged the Zombie. She would NEVER be a scaredy-cat again. Great alphabetical lists in a great book for Halloween! Fans will not be disappointed. Reviewed in SLJ. Reinforced binding.
Key
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Rogers, Kelly
Sullivan, Dana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 03, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Horror story of a female middle schooler, M.J., who has just started her first day of seventh grade along with a new teacher, Ms. Fleek, who teaches science. But Ms. Fleek has a problem of not being able to find the key to the lab door Room 201. Ms Emily Fleek has two 2 page diary submissions that give her perspective. When she finally has opened the door, weird changes occur to Ms. Fleek. Strange things happen and students start to avoid Rm 201. 5 by 7 1/2 inches in a short story format with illustrations and colored words on each page will draw interests of reluctant readers. From the series Rm 20l in Library binding. Cost found on Amazon Books is $28.50. AD+ rating but could be higher as this could be a great addition if needed and you have a good sized budget.
Ready, Set... Baby!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rusch, Elizabeth
Leng, Qin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
November 03, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Anna and Oliver are sharing their experience on the waiting for the expected sibling, when the baby comes home, tips about poop, what babies can't and can do, and much more. Cartoon drawings are humorous and capture feelings from facial expressions to body language. Useful for families expecting new additions to share with soon-to-be big brothers and sisters. Tips for parents, websites visit and books to read. Reviewed by SLJ, Booklist, Kirkus. Hardback. Would make a great gift to a family.
Overboard!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Johnson, Terry Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Survivor Diaries" series, and written by a survival expert, this book tells the fictional story of a whale-watching expedition in the Salish Sea that goes awry. Two children--Travis and Marina-- are swept away when the boat capsizes. They must do all they can to survive until they are rescued. Injury and fear, as well as hypothermia, play a role. Important survival tips are woven into the text. This series educates as it entertains.
Labyrinth
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Keats, Israel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
SuprSolvr and Fites4fun are two gamers in the year 2089. They are trying out a new virtual game, in which their avatars must face dangers, and solve puzzles, and finish before time runs out. They each have three lives. If they don't reach the end they will be trapped in the game. While the concept is not new, this is a fun quick read with two interesting characters. Both of their skills are needed to survive, and both change a bit as the game goes on. Themes of friendship and teamwork abound. This is part of the "Level Up" series and would be a good choice for middle schools.
Are You At Risk For Public Shaming?
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Mabry-Gordon, Sherri
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this era of social media "shaming" has reached a new height--able to spread with a single click of a mouse, and devastate lives. This book, part of the "Got Issues" series, provides real-life stories, cautions, and advice for those who have been victimized. While it differentiates between shaming and cyberbullying, the two are very much intertwined. This is a solid, well-researched book that is, nonetheless, quite readable and addresses an important topic.
Diary Of An 8-Bit Warrior : Crafting Alliances : An Unoffici
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Cube Kid
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this third book in the "diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series our hero, Runt really is quite heroic. Their village is under siege. Human players have arrived but not all of them believe Minecraftia is real and so mostly they're no help. It's up to the villagers to save the day, and Runt's keen wits play a significant role. Written in a journal fashion, with plenty of pixelated color illustrations, this is sure to please Minecraft fans despite, or because of, it's "An Unofficial Minecraft Adventure" label.
Sheep Won't Sleep : Counting By 2S, 5S, And 10S
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Cox, Judy
Cuneo, Nina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 05, 2017
Kline, Karen
When Clarissa can’t sleep she gives up her knitting and tries counting sheep. Little does she know, but the sheep end up staying in her room making for an even more distracted evening! If only she would try harder, chastise the sheep -- she should count pairs of alpacas. Clarissa is smitten with the colorful wool of the alpacas, and they suggest she try counting llamas by the fives. The llamas are decked out in wild multicolored patterns that demand that she try counting yaks ten at a time. These colorful woolly hoofers show up in arrays of coats color coordinated by their groups. Poor Clarissa, though, her room has been overtaken by these bleating and baaing quadrupeds shedding wool all over her room. After adding them all up -- 100 in all -- Clarissa knows they can’t stay. The digital illustrations are a delight and provide plenty of visual chaos to count. Ever the clever counter, Clarissa begins to subtract each set the same way they came in by their group totals (10 sheep, 20 alpacas, 20 llamas, 50 yaks) as she winds up the loose wool into a massive ball of yarn that tempts her back to knitting a cozy coverlet that she finds herself snoozing beneath as the sun comes up. This math tale doesn’t sacrifice story.
Old Macdonald Had A...zoo?
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Trapani, Iza
Trapani, Iza
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 05, 2017
Kline, Karen
What happens when Old MacDonald’s farm is invaded by zoo animals? Chaos breaks out! Zebras helping themselves to the hay! Monkeys breaking eggs in the henhouse! Even poor Old MacDonald gets an elephant’s trunkful of water sprayed right in his face. Crocodiles in the garden are the last straw, though, snapping here and snapping there, and our typically docile hero loses control. The zoo animals are rounded up into the back of the truck, and E-I-E-I-O’d right back to where they came from. Trapani’s colorful and and charismatic characters frolic about the pages on full-bleed-to-gutter illustrations that will capture the attention of the target audience and will have everyone singing along to this spirited variation of the well-loved song. A few simple bars of the music are included on the back page along with the seven stanzas.
Nasa Mathematician Katherine Johnson
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Schwartz, Heather E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 05, 2017
Kline, Karen
This inspiring biography of math wiz Katherine Johnson whose life was feature in the movie Hidden Figures is a book that shows the civil liberties obstacles that women of color have faced in the US. The book states it is unlikely that Johnson would have had an opportunity to work in the aeronautics field if World War II had not taken so many men out of the jobs in her area and onto the war fronts. Johnson’s important work as a NASA mathematician is captured in the text citing John Glenn’s concern about machine computers and his asking Johnson to check the math before he would rely on the calculations that took him to the moon and back. Johnson’s persistence in asking questions is a central theme of the story, and readers will be reminded of the knack she also had for humility and grace despite her gifted skills. Period photos on every page support the text and bring the facts to life. Glossary, index, timeline, and list of additional reading included.
Great Penguin Rescue : Saving The African Penguins
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Markle, Sandra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 05, 2017
Kline, Karen
Adult African penguins are having to travel farther to get food for their young awaiting them on the twenty-seven breeding grounds on the beaches of the coast near Cape Town, South Africa. The babies wait and wait, and many die. What was a population of four million penguins about two hundred years ago, has dwindled to only 19,000 breeding pairs in South Africa and 5,000 pairs in Namibia. What has caused the rapid decline? Many different issues disturbing their habitats, but the main cause is sadly -- humans. The penguins are at risk of extinction. Dramatic close-up photos of birds and rescue workers make this text come alive on each double page spread. Readers see the birds in their unprotected nests that used to be covered by guano shells that over time humans have removed. Uncontrolled overfishing has threatened the penguins’ food supply, and now the upwelling of nutrients that feed the birds’ favorite food, sardines, has been drifting further from the coast due to global warming and forcing the adults to swim further to get food as well. Source notes, bibliography, glossary and a well-developed one-page timeline flesh out this superb narrative presented by one of our foremost science writers for children in the field.
Big Book Of Canada : Exploring The Provinces And Territories
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Moore, Christopher
Slavin, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 05, 2017
Kline, Karen
This compendium of all-things-Canada casts a wide net in scope. It covers Indigenous People, French and British settlers and influencers of today. Arranged by Province, each section begins with a one-page introduction and overview and an artistic, thematic map of the Province and its bordering Provinces, major cities, important geographical features, and thumbnails of noteworthy and iconic topics of interest (ie. Yukon map show a gold pan prospector and dog sled-- among others). Each section includes eight two-page layouts on “Landscape,” “Moments” (which is a narrative timeline), “Peoples,” “On the Map,” “At Work,” “Famous and Infamous,” “Law and Order,” and “At a Glance.” Captioned photographs and stylistic art by illustrator Bill Slavin enliven the text and bring a uniform visual quality to the book that provides eye-catching details browsers will linger upon. Captions for some of the drawings would have enhanced understanding. The extensive index will provide researchers with the useful tools needed to find topics, but they are likely to dive deeper into this treasure trove of information. This is a revised edition just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday.
Microsaurs : Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Hansen, Dustin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In book #2 of Microsaurs Danny and Lin are involved in a wild remote car race. However, that's not the real focus of the book. They hold a tremendous secret about a place where microsaurs live--tiny dinosaurs that need care. Naturally there is a way to shrink down to be with the dinosaurs, and a way to get back to their normal sizes. Now Professor Penrod has sent them a mysterious box, with air holes. They discover it is full of tiny oviraptors, and an egg the children must protect. It's off to another adventure with the microsaurs. The book is quick-paced and has plenty of black and white illustrations. While it doesn't actually hang together well--for example, there are some things that would be done easily and without danger if the children were large, and why would anyone pack an egg (however well protected) in the same box as oviraptors?--young readers probably won't notice the plot holes.
One Good Thing About America
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Freeman, Ruth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Anais, her brother Jean-Claude, and her mother have just arrived to America. She writes (in English) to her grandmother back home in the Congo telling her about the difficulties and triumphs in starting school. Anais is worried about her father and big brother and the government soldiers who are looking to make trouble. This is a realistic story about students coming to the United States: they live in temporary housing with other new immigrants, look for an apartment; Mama fills out forms to stay; using cell phones to keep in touch with family in their country of origin. Anais has rough days: not understanding words and expressions; not understanding American holidays and customs. As the school year progresses she slowly learns how to live in their new home, and there is good news that more family will be joining them. The text is sprinkled with french words as she writes to her grandmother. No lexile level given, but would be good to read to ELL students or for older students to read on their own.
Braced
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Gerber, Alyson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Rachel Brooks is ready to have a great year playing soccer for her school team. But when she goes back for a check up for the curvature in her spine, she finds out she has to wear a brace 23 of 24 hours a day. Practice is hard, forcing her to make adjustment to her game and clearing up rumors of her quitting the team. She endures rawness where the brace rubs, practicing harder on foot skills and left-foot kick to compensate for her limited mobility. Mixed in are guys and best friends who sometimes just can't understand. This is a first time author who wore a brace for her scoliosis from age 11 to 13. Good soccer story and persevering through a definite physical challenge. 640 lexile with RC Test
Reformed
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Weinberger, Justin
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ian Hart and two of his buddies are in trouble at school and end up going to Bully Reform School during the summer. The story tries to keep it light and have them rolling around from one hijinks to another. At the core is whether Ian can refuse his friend Devon's direction. It seems hard to believe that parents would let their kids go to a camp at a moments notice; that there might have been more intervention before resorting to reform camp. And the seriousness of the prank, directed by Devon, to slip a peanut butter sandwich to a highly allergic student, would result in a lot more attention by parents and school staff. Another reviewer described this as a Gordon Korman wanna-be and I would agree. But not thought through and serious incidents trying to be funny.
Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Madrid, Erwin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Judy Moody and Friends series are beginning reader books in a 400 lexile range.In Judy Moody and the Tooth Fairy, Stink has a tooth that is loose. Judy and friends are trying to discover if the tooth fairy is real. Through trials and tests, (she tries to stay up to watch over Stink) the Tooth Fairy delivers. Though not with the same aip as Judy and Stink chapter books, this does provide age appropriate reading for the higher-level 1st and 2nd graders.
Ten : A Soccer Story
CLARION [CLARION]
Flint, Shamini
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Maya LOVES soccer. She dreams about it, thinks about it, talks about it. But doesn't play it because girls are not allowed to play soccer in Kuatan, Malaysia in 1986. She is able to get her friends to practice during recess and soon has a team at her all-girls school. But her family is coming apart -- she worries about whether he parents will stay together. Her old-fashioned grandmother reminds everyone that Maya's mother should never have married a white (British) man and that Maya's light skin is important. Her father leaves to find work back in England and when she figures out he is not coming back, she knows that a winning goal will get her the award which will send her to watch her favorite team in England. This is a somewhat predictable plot for family dynamics and unrealistic narrative of winning a trip to England and to run out on the field of a professional (and televised) soccer game. A good enough sports story for girls with issues of skin color, Hindu vs. Muslin students in school, and mixed families.
Lgbtq Rights
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 48 page text is part of a series that analyzes primary sources to learn things about the past. This one focuses on LGBTQ rights to do so. Overall, it is well-done and would make a good addition to any collection. Just a few things of note: it is very Canada-centric (which I liked as it gives a wider perspective for readers from the US); it uses the term gender fluid instead of non-binary, which is a bit of an issue as the terms are not synonymous; it is very legal/politics centered as far as sources go (using court cases and newspapers rather than letters, diaries, etc.); the section on gays in the military is very well done and thorough in using a variety of sources - I wish all the sections had been done in the same manner. Useful for developing critical thinking skills.
On The Free
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Voorhees, Coert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
Fans of "Hatchet" and other survival stories will enjoy this tale of 4 young people and two adventure leaders who go camping in the Bear Canyon Wilderness as part of an alternative juvenile detention program. Santi is the main character and he is in the program for car theft. He meets Victor, Rico, and Celeste who are also in the program but he doesn't know what they have done to get there. Jerry and Amelia, the group leaders, round out the cast. They all set off on what should be a 6 day hiking/camping trip through remote Colorado wilderness - but inevitably, disaster strikes. Santi and the others will need to pool their resources and wits to survive. Lots of action and adventure, one unexpected plot twist (for me), but the ending was too conveniently wrapped up and just felt very pat. Some underage drinking, violence, and sexual references make this a better fit for mature middle schoolers or for a high school audience.
Little Bits Of Sky
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Durrant, S E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 06, 2017
Dame, Anne
Ira (short for Miracle) and her brother Zac are foster kids who keep getting bounced from place to place. They finally end up at an orphanage called Skilly House where the two nicest people are the cook and the gardener. Set in 1987 in England, this book, although sweet, may not be the easiest to find an audience for. Neither Ira nor Zac particularly drew me in and I feel like there may be other books with more "feels" to them (like "Bridge to Terabithia"). However, it does fill a niche as there aren't lots of stories about kids in care. There's also some very British terms that won't be accessible to many (American) students: poll tax being the most obvious one.
Boo Who?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Clanton, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Boo is a ghost that is new to school. He is a little different and when he tries to make friends at recess, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Ghosts can't catch basketballs, or play tag. But his new friends--robot, dinosaur, monster, and unicorn-rabbit -- are willing to choose a game that he can play. Boo is good at playing hide and seek. In the end "He's new, but he fits right in." Students enjoyed the simple story and retro illustrations. Could be used to encourage children to welcome new students in their school. The illustrator adds a word game--when looking for Boo, the dinosaur discovers a boot... BOO...T. Students enjoyed the word play.
Dinosaurs In Disguise
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Krensky, Stephen
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are several dinosaur books where the reader can imagine they are still around and how to use them. Illustrator Lynn Munsinger and Stephen Krensky pair up to imagine all the ways that dinosaurs disguise themselves in modern times. In Egypt they can hide in plain view, as a camel, sphinx, or pyramid. They can be pilgrims or Santa Claus. They could reveal themselves, but for now they will stay hidden. With an environmental message afterthought, the boy reassures them that humans will work on the issues of junk food, pollution, and garbage so that they shouldn't worry.
Carrot & Pea : An Unlikely Friendship
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Hood, Morag
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Carrot and Pea use personification to show that friendships are not necessarily between two that are exactly alike. This picture book is in the style of Amy Krouse Rosenthal's "Pea," "Spoon," and "Chopstick." Colin the Carrot is too tall, too orange and cannot roll or bounce. But he can add to the fun when he can be a bridge or a slide. Even though there are other stories similar (Keith Bakers "LMNO Peas") it is still a whimsical story that is simple and true.
Prince Ribbit
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Emmett, Jonathan
Bernatene, Poly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Author and illustrator created "Princess and the Pig," a Washington Children's Choice nominee. This story is another spin-off of a fairytale with the kind of twist and turn humor that children enjoy. Princesses Lucinda and Arabella are silly princesses who dream of marrying a prince. Princess Martha "likes facts more than fairytales," and doesn't need a handsome prince to complete her life. Frog sees his chance for a life of leisure and poses as an enchanted prince. When Martha challenges her sisters, they insist that it is true "because it was in a book." Martha is able to prove Frog's ruse when princess kisses don't turn him into a prince. But she rather likes his spirit and when she gives him a kiss...he indeed turns into a prince. It is not so bad to be married to someone so clever AND good looking. And to the reader..."if that's not the ending you were expecting, then remember...just because it is in a book doesn't mean it's true."
Baby Goes To Market
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Atinuke
Brooksbank, Angela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 06, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Atinuke has written beginning chapter books about Anna Hibiscus and her country of Nigeria. In this picture book she writes of a small child on his mother's back as they go through the market to buy food. At each stall, the vendors slip baby a pieces of fruit, or candy, or cookies and baby adds some to mama's wide hat. When mama is ready to feed a hungry baby, she discovers all the food that is atop her hat. They ride home on a taxi motorcycle. Illustrations by Angela Brooksbank are colorful and bright, showing a cheerful bustling market. Clothes (and endpapers) have traditional African patterns. A great story for preschool and companion to "It Takes a Village."
Ancient China Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Spence, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ancient Worlds Inside Out is a series of books which include Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Maya, and Mesopotamia. See Mesopotamia for all-over review.
Ancient Maya Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ancient Worlds Inside Out is a series of books which include Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Maya, and Mesopotamia. See Mesopotamia for all-over review.
Ancient Egypt Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rodger, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ancient Worlds Inside Out is a series of books which include Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Maya, and Mesopotamia. See Mesopotamia for all-over review.
Ancient Rome Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Malam, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ancient Worlds Inside Out is a series of books which include Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Maya, and Mesopotamia. See Mesopotamia for all-over review.
Ancient Mesopotamia Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rodger, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This review is a general review for six titles in a series called Ancient ... Inside Out. Only 32 pages, it is stocked full of useful and interesting information about an ancient culture. Has T/C, bold headings, insets, photos, drawings, maps, captions, labels, primary sources, glossary, index, more resources, and a craft or activity.This gives plenty of information for school research and covers topics that are generally assigned (daily life, religion, government). Review copies were in paperback which would, with heavy glossy paper, soon fall apart. Can be ordered in hardback with library binding. Fits perfectly with curriculum and reading level of intermediate elementary schools. Appropriate for secondary as well.
Earth Movers
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Pettiford, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a Level 2 Blastoff! Readers by Scholastic. There are 18 in the books series "Mighty Machines in Action." Earth Movers have 1 and 2 page spreads with photos, diagrams, and text. Single sentence on each page describes what they do, how it sounds, where they are used and the different types of features (buckets, blades, tracks, dump boxes, and hopper). Has T/C, bold headings, labels, Glossary, Index, and additional resources. Other book: Airplanes, Backhoes, Bulldozers, Concrete Mixers, Cranes, Dump Trucks, Fire Trucks, Garbage Trucks, Helicopters, Monster Trucks, Police Cars, Ships, Snowplows, Tractors, Trains, Zamboni.
Passenger Trains
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Leighton, Christina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is one in a series of 6 books about trains. Boxed text cover some of the photo on all two-page spreads. Text describes the different types of cars (locomotive, lounge, sleeping) and seems to suggest that passenger trains are for sight seeing and pleasure rather than function. Subway, Monorail, City, and High-Speed train books might cover the need for traveling for work or for long distances. Has T/C, bold print, labeling, glossary, additional resources, and index. Others in series: Subway, Monorail, City, High-Speed, and Freight Trains.
Game Change
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Monninger, Joseph
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 07, 2017
Dame, Anne
Zeb is a senior in high school and a quarterback on the football team in rural New Hampshire. However, he doesn't get much playing time as the first string QB has brought the team all the way to the state championships, which are in 7 days. However, an accident takes him out so Zeb gets brought up to take his place. Zeb has never gotten much attention before but now he is high profile due to this unexpected chance. It brings about some unexpected consequences as well as a lot of pressure. Football fans will enjoy, so great for readers of Mike Lupica and Tim Green. Some swearing, a little bit of kissing, and also some deer hunting - so don't give this to your animal lovers.
Ancient Greece Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Malam, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Ancient Worlds Inside Out is a series of books which include Rome, Egypt, Greece, China, Maya, and Mesopotamia. See Mesopotamia for all-over review.
Your Guide To Medieval Society
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are 6 titles in a series called Destination: Middle Ages. Titles: Medieval Society, Medieval Warefare, Knights and the Age of Chivalry, Medieval Society, Arts in the Middle Ages, Islamic Golden Age, and Trade in the Middle Ages. See TRADE for general review.
Your Guide To The Arts In The Middle Ages
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are 6 titles in a series called Destination: Middle Ages. Titles: Medieval Society, Medieval Warefare, Knights and the Age of Chivalry, Medieval Society, Arts in the Middle Ages, Islamic Golden Age, and Trade in the Middle Ages. See TRADE for general review.
Your Guide To Trade In The Middle Ages
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are 6 titles in a series called Destination: Middle Ages. Titles are: Medieval Society, Medieval Warfare, Knights and the Age of Chivalry, Medieval Society, Arts in the Middle Ages, Islamic Golden Age, and Trade in the Middle Ages. Titles have 32 pages and are filled with photos, maps, different colored font and bold print, boxed facts, and more. There are things I like about the series: a timeline, same basic structuring of information, primary sources, index, and additional resources. Each book has a similar map, and identifies a city, region, or battle that applies to the topic (Warfare: Battle of Hastings; First Crusades). But information seems random and not the depth that students might need for report writing or just plain enjoy. For example, in daily life, it talks about drinking ale instead of water without explaining the reason (lack of clean water). Daily life information could be in more than one of the books. Information is jammed into too little space and rethinking what to include would have made these a better series.
Your Guide To Castles And Medieval Warfare
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are 6 titles in a series called Destination: Middle Ages. Titles: Medieval Society, Medieval Warefare, Knights and the Age of Chivalry, Medieval Society, Arts in the Middle Ages, Islamic Golden Age, and Trade in the Middle Ages. See TRADE for general review.
Your Guide To Knights And The Age Of Chivalry
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 07, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
There are 6 titles in a series called Destination: Middle Ages. Titles: Medieval Society, Medieval Warefare, Knights and the Age of Chivalry, Medieval Society, Arts in the Middle Ages, Islamic Golden Age, and Trade in the Middle Ages. See TRADE for general review.
Locked Up For Freedom : Civil Rights Protesters At The Leesb
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Schwartz, Heather E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 08, 2017
Dame, Anne
We often hear about the Civil Rights movement in a general sense, in broad terms. Rarely do we hear about the individual people, other than Martin Luther King, who took part in helping gain equal rights for blacks. This book focuses on specific young people who fought for justice and were thrown into jail because of it. In Americus, Georgia, there were 30 young girls (ages 11-15) who were held in terrible conditions because of their actions. Primary source accounts and photographs make this a well-researched and compelling account of a difficult and unfair period in US history. An excellent addition to elementary and middle school collections; could also be useful in high school for differentiated instruction.
Diary Of An 8-Bit Warrior : Path Of The Diamond : An Unoffic
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Cube Kid
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Runt's village in Miecraftia is under attack and the students who have been working for the privilege of choosing to be warriors, rather that farmers or other professions, are tested to the max. Runt wants to score high enough to be a team leader. Then he can select his friends to be part of his group. When he recruits a girl who has few other skills, but major redstone abilities, it may end up being a bad choice. Will it matter if his village is overrun? A clever plan is put into effect, but what will happen? This is the 4th installment in the "Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior" series. Written in journal format, it follows Runt's deepest, and shallowest, thoughts. He and his friends are growing up and their relationships are changing. In this unofficial Minecraft book, fans of the game will find references to things they truly care about. Is it high literature? No, but that hardly matters. Fans will enjoy it.
Going On An Airplane
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Rober, Harold T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Good book to share with young people who might be going on an airplane ride. Shows a family going through the security check, getting on the plane, the plane taking off, flight attendants giving out snacks, the view out the window, and what people do while on the plane during the flight. Parts of this NF book include the Table of Contents, Flight supplies, picture Glossary, Index, and other books to read. Library binding.
Muddle & Mo
CLARION [CLARION]
Robinson, Nikki Slade
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Muddle (a duck) feels that Mo (a goat) is a funny color for a duck and has a hairy beak and other attributes until Muddle realizes that Mo is not a duck but a goat. Muddle then asks if he is a goat. Good for a discussion about friendship, differences and acceptance. Hardback.
Clifford The Small Red Puppy : Vintage Edition
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Bridwell, Norman
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Reprint of the 1975 first printing of the classic tale of Emily Elizabeth's big red dog. One day a neighbor invited her to choose a puppy from his dog's litter of puppies. She chose the littlest one which she called Clifford. He was so small that her father worried that he might not live through the winter. The next morning Emily thought that Clifford looked bigger. He keeps on getting bigger and bigger in short periods of time. She takes him for a walk and he is even bigger when she gets home. He is so big that he scares the neighbor and must be removed from the garden by a crane and put into a moving van to be moved out to her uncle's home in the country. Emily and Clifford missed each other and were reunited when her uncle invites dad to work with him in the country. That's how she got her dog. Review copy was a hardback. Everyone should have this book.
How To Track A Truck
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Eaton, Jason Carter
Rocco, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 10, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Want a truck for a pet? How to "track, catch, and tame your very own pet truck" starts with where to find the specific type that you want - a dump truck, or moving van, or garbage truck or other type and suggestions for names. Once you have your own truck, you'll want to have playtime with other trucks. Once they learn to play with the other trucks you'll have a great time. Great for the truck lovers as they enjoy the "petsonified" continuation of the Eaton and Rocco collaboration who also created How to Train a Train. Cartoon style illustrations will engage to readers in the story. Reviewed in SLJ and Booklist. Reinforce trade edition. Wonderful storytime read.
Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, And The Secret Of Life : The Riot
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Amato, Mary
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Meet Orville and Wilbur, The Riot Brothers, who make the most of life everyday with crazy games and schemes which sometimes gets them in trouble. They make up rules to make life interesting and Riot Brothers Rule Number One is "Make something exciting happen every day." Their first mission is to capture a criminal which involves making money so their mother will take them to a bank. Unfortunately when they charge money at recess for lessons on how to be annoying their mother who is the principal does not agree with their money making scheme. The Riot Brothers also make up unique games so they don't get bored. One example is The Frying Pan Game where you imagine your bed is a giant frying pan and you act like food frying in the pan and your brother tries to guess what kind of food you are. Orville and Wilbur are great characters with good hearts, fantastic imaginations, and lots of brotherly love. Their mother is amazingly patient with their antics, but also likes to join in the fun occasionally. This is a great humor series that is easy to read and full of very fun ideas.
Take The Mummy And Run : The Riot Brothers Are On A Roll
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Amato, Mary
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Summer vacations means fun and freedom for the Riot Brothers. They start with popcorn for breakfast and things are going well until they find out that their cousin Amelia is coming to visit for three days. Wilbur and Orville decide to trick her, but she ends up scaring them with her pet rubber snake and they decide she is their kind of cousin. The cousins have a great time together including a mission to find a lost mummy. Of course they need to fit in a trip to a museum and surprisingly they find and rescue Harry the mummy. Their next idea to make money to go to the water park by singing songs turns out to be quite an adventure also. All in all their cousin Amelia's visit was a success. The bonus section includes Riot Brothers' games, sayings, rules, songs as usual plus their secret handshake. This fourth book in the series is sure to please reader who like creative fun and crazy adventures.
Stinky And Successful : The Riot Brothers Never Stop
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Amato, Mary
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The typical wacky adventures start when The Riot Brothers decide to make it their mission to rescue a damsel in distress. This idea doesn't work so well on their field trip to the Botanic Gardens, but in the end they rescue a damselfly. April Fools' Day brings many opportunities for Orville and Wilbur to try to fool their mother, but she isn't easily fooled. Then they decide to be mad scientists which calls for crazy experiments and inventions like Make-in-Your-Mouth macaroni and cheese. The bonus section at the end has Riot Brother games, songs, rules, and sayings as usual plus knightly talk in case you want to talk like a medieval knight. The fun continues with this easy to read and very humorous series.
Drooling And Dangerous : The Riot Brothers Return!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Amato, Mary
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
The Riot Brothers are back in Book 2 in the series and they are full of new crazy games and ideas for making life interesting. Orville and Wilbur have a lot of fun hiding plastic insects and surprising people. Then they decide to be spies and sneak into the teachers' lounge and discover a diamond smuggling plan, except that it turns out to be completely wrong and they have to apologize and promise not to spy at school again. Their idea to have Switch Day where they switch everything around works out much better and their mom and friends even join in the fun. The bonus section at the end has several Riot Brothers' games like Bye-Bye Buggie and Sirty Dockball, songs, Riot Brother rules and sayings. Fans of this humorous series will love this books which continues the Riot Brothers' version of imaginative and good-hearted fun.
Mercy : The Incredible & True Story Of Henry Bergh, Founder
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Furstinger, Nancy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Animal Rights were unheard of in the 1860’s and inhumane treatment ranging from whipping workhorses to death, dogfights, and chaining dogs to treadmills for work were the norm. Initially Henry’s Bergh’s efforts were directed towards abolishing slavery but inspired by the RBSPCA (Royal British Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) formed in 1832, Henry decided to form an American counterpart. Later in life he became aware of the severity of child abuse and neglect and started a comparable agency, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Henry Bergh was an unlikely hero, a wealthy and happily married man who yet was willing to weather public humiliation and scorn in the streets and newspapers as well as loss of social status and friendships. Henry was quite controversial and some of his actions today seem contra his mission, but his perseverance resulted in the passage of significant legislation. Several factors stand out in this wonderful biography. The colorful digitally illustrations bring to life the world of the mid 1800’s and when paired with historical photographs and many pages of history interspersed throughout the text this is valuable as history of every-day life as well as an excellent biography.
Slowest Book Ever
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Sayre, April Pulley
Murphy, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Distract your fans of Guinness Book of World Records with this bright orange book of unique two-page articles about a slew of animals, plants, jobs, historic events and hard-to-classify topics. Warning: This is not a book to be read cover-to-cover and the “table of contents” is provided only to give some structure and provoke interest. “Slow thoughts are big thoughts” and readers are admonished to ponder and reread. Every element of the book from a cover depicting a snail, turtle, sloth and the hare leaving them in the dust, to the catchy titles and black, white and orange illustrations are designed to draw the reader into a slowwww investigation of the mysterious workings of the universe. The century plant, and saguaro cactus growth, are joined by jobs such as watching paint dry and building the Great Wall of China as long lifespans, longevity in time for projects, slow animal and plant movements, are intermixed. Open the book to any page and prepare for an unusual snippet of information. Concluding with Chewy Words (glossary), and “Not-Exactly-End-Notes” that provide substantial additional information.
Tommy Mcknight And The Great Election
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Kravitz, Danny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
12 year-old Tommy McKnight contracted polio soon after swimming in a lake and now walks only with his metal braces and crutches making him a prime target for bullying in middle school. Set during the Great Depression, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt was running for President, Tommy feels new hope when he discovers that FDR had polio and didn’t let it stop him. With a renewed enthusiasm Tommy changes his physical therapy to a pool and with encouragement from supportive friends decides to run for President of the student council. Modeling his speech after FDR’s acceptance speech, Tommy finds new courage to face the future believing it will only get better. The ravages of polio are unknown to this generation of readers and this moderate chapter book provides a toned-down look at a fairly mild case. But the struggles to overcome a challenge can be extrapolated to many other situations. Under 100 pages, the double-spaced text and short chapters are well suited for reluctant readers and those not ready for longer fiction. Back material includes six higher-level discussion questions, as well as an extensive glossary and background information on The Great Depression, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and polio.
It's Great Being A Dad
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bar-El, Dan
Perry, Gina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Dad is relaxing while eating pizza and having a drink while the wading pool fills with water. The kids are having fun being different creatures as they explain why they enjoy being a unicorn, Bigfoot, robot, Loch Ness Monster, and a fairy queen ballerina doctor. Each helps the others when they have a problem. Then the sneaky flying alligator pirate flies over and steals her wand. He bumps into Dad. Dad just loves being a dad and helping each one to play nicely. "So what's not to like about being a dad?" Read this family focused book together and ask what mythical creature would you be? Cookie style creatures. Printed and bound in China. Also in electronic format.
Chicken Lily
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mortensen, Lori
Crittenden, Nina Victor
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Adorable animal illustrations, a compelling story about overcoming your fears, and a few well-placed chicken puns are wrapped into this simple yet entertaining picture book. Lily, a scaredy chicken, is a “careful colorer (between the lines), a patient puzzler, and the quietest hide and seeker” but won’t give up her training wheels, is afraid to talk in class, and never tries new food. Lily wants to fly the coop when she needs to recite a poem in front of an audience. Timid and shy children will relate to Lily’s predicament and fears. Endpapers feature named portraits of Lily’s animal classmates matching the names on their desks and details such as the hanging solar system mobile or teacher’s cup provide close reading interest as well as large group read aloud. Designed for younger readers and well received by a class of 1st graders, I predict a wide readership.
Search And Rescue Teams : Saving People In Danger
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Petersen, Justin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Danger, survival, and the ability to save people are all riveting topics for many middle grade readers and this well-written description of the Search and Rescue teams provides a thorough yet manageable amount of information to satisfy that interest. Several specific missions describe situations of wilderness mishaps, lost people, K-9 rescues and as well as the response to Sept 11 and illustrate typical situations for rescues adding personal interest. The 32-page Edge book covers the qualifications, training, and skills needed, as well as the sacrifices made by rescuers who may work full-time jobs and can be called out anytime of night or day and season and weather. Vocabulary words in bold are defined at the bottom of the pages and definitely add to the readability but I would like to see more acronyms defined on the pages as well. Photographs display rescuers planning with a few action shots but lack the drama and danger often faced in missions. Pair with Margarita Engle's book The Mountain Dog for a fiction/non-fiction duo. Sidebars and Fact boxes add important information. Glossary, recently published books, critical thinking questions, Internet sites and index included.
Oceans In 30 Seconds
Ivy Kids - Quarto Library [Ivy Kids - Quarto Library]
Green, Jen
Robins, Wesley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
This 96 page library bound book packs a wide assortment of ocean facts into 30 separate two-page spreads that are divided into 6 chapters entitled blue Planet, Stunning Seascapes, Ocean Life, Ocean Perils, Exploring the Oceans, Using the Oceans. Each section begins with a large colorful illustration and paragraph describing an overview of the topic and a two-page glossary. This up front vocabulary both primes readers for content and gives a handy reference for difficult concepts and words in the topics such as In the Depths or Ocean Food Chains. The two-pages contain the 3-second summary, 3-minute mission (experiment) and what is supposed to be a 30 second explanation on the left page and the illustrations on the right. Even with background in these topics, I found 30 seconds to brief to allow readers to process the information and match with the illustrations on the facing page. But the concept is catchy and with the brief exploration of so many related subjects, readers can pick up and read at any point as well as find plenty of research topics or enquiry questions. Recommend to readers who prefer shorter books and point out the format. Index, books, websites included.
Moon Bears
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Newman, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 11, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
What’s not to love about crisp clear photographs of Moon Bears climbing trees, swinging in hammocks, floating in water, and being hand fed bottles in the two rescue centers portrayed. Enticing photographs of the Asiatic black bear are described by catchy captions naming the rescued bears and accompanied by ample clearly written text explaining details of the bear’s physical and behavioral characteristics. All the bears shown live in two sanctuaries in China and Vietnam and have been rescued from bear bile farms, circuses and other inhumane circumstances. All ages will enjoy the bears’ antics and beauty although the picture book format is an excellent non-fiction book for younger readers.
Little Red Riding Hood
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Bryan, Ed
Bryan, Ed
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 11, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Updated classic fairy tale by illustrator Ed Bryan is lighthearted and has contemporary illustrations such as Red in a red hoodie. After meeting the wolf and his question about where she is going, Red moves along. On her way to Grandma's house, she collects daisies, acorns, and a jar of honey that she got from a bear after she helps him pour honey into jars. Classic questions and answers about big ears, big eyes, and big teeth lead to the wolf chasing Red who uses each of the extra gifts that she collected on her way to Grandma's house. Great for compare and contrast and just for an introduction to fairy tales. Reinforced trade edition. Also in series - Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk; and The Three Little Pigs.
I Want To Grow
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Adamson, Ged
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 11, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Herb, green non-human, has notice that his best friend, human Muriel, is getting taller but he is not. He tries three ways to grow up - planted and watered like a plant; rolled back and forth like a piece of clay; then a new clothes outfit of a stovepipe style hat and high heels. But he just didn't grow, got sick, and fell down. One morning Muriel notices on the height chart on the wall that Herb has grown a little. Hooray! Delightful tale for kids stuck in a no growth period. Reinforced trade edition.
Hear The Wolves
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Scott, Victoria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Some teens and adults from a small Alaskan town must make the dangerous journey to the river to get someone out to a doctor. Unfortunately, the local wolves have lost their food supply due to man-made circumstances, and the travelers are in danger. Sloan is dealing with issues of self-confidence, but she's a hunter and has a limited number of bullets. Others in their party have skills they might need. However, as their journey mirrors that of the wolves, both groups are predator and prey. The author has done her research on wolf behavior, and it shows. This is a taught, well-told story, with believable characters and plenty of suspense. My one quibble? Setting is a problem. Having lived in Alaska I can say you don't fall into a frozen river, then walk to the next shelter. You don't talk about cloud types during a blizzard. If tributaries are iced in enough to walk over, the river is not ice-free. A small dog is not going to have enough body mass to survive. More important, you don't leave shelter when there are wolves, and bad weather. Still, those who don't know the area won't notice.
Lucy's Lovey
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Devany, Betsy
Denise, Christopher
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 12, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Lucy has seventeen doll babies but her favorite is Smelly Baby who starts out smelling like peppermint. Eventually, Smelly Baby takes on the smells of what she comes in contact with -peanut butter, bananas, sour milk, and even spaghetti. While at Grandma’s house, Smelly Baby is taken by the dog, Mr. Slobbers and when they find her, Smelly Baby is a mess of drool. On the way home in the car, the windows are rolled down because of the smell with Lucy hanging to the doll’s arm while she flapped like a flag in the breeze outside of the car. Then ….R-I-I-I-I-P! All that remained in the car was Smelly Baby’s arm. They stopped and Dad goes back to search. No luck. In a few days, a package arrives in the mail. Lucy had written her name & address on Smelly Baby’s tummy so a lady who found her gave her a bath and mailed her with a note saying she was sorry about not finding the missing arm. But then Lucy drags her all over and around the area and food until she “was smellier than she’s ever been before.” Now Lucy was happy. Reviews in SLJ and Kirkus Review. Reinforced binding. Wonderful action filled illustrations add to the story makes a great one on one read aloud.
Can You See Me Now?
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Bernal, Estela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 13, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Amanda is dealing with the grief of her father's death, killed by a drunk driver when he was on an errand to pick up her birthday gift. She doesn't understand mother's response to put in longer hours at work and to hand Amanda over to the grandmother. Amanda reaches out to Paloma and her "yoga-natural food" family and Rogelio whose house has burned down where she starts on the path of healing. The story takes place in a hispanic community in California with mean girls, a few talks with the school counselor, and the elder neighbors sharing the history of their community for a school project. Mom has the chance to move to Seattle for a new job, but Amanda is able to convince her that their community is where they belong.
This Is My Post Office
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Bellamy, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 13, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
From the “All About My World” series is the title “This is MY Post Office.” Easy start NF book about the Post Office tells in simplified style about standing in line, sending packages and letters, buying and putting a stamp on a letter, people getting mail from their box at the Post Office. Postal workers drive mail trucks and some workers deliver mail to your home. But going to the Post Office can be fun! A Words to Know section at the beginning of the book helps students learn new vocabulary. Lists websites, other books to read, Index. Reinforced Library binding with a 110 word count. Level B Guided Reading.
Stella Batts : Broken Birthday
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Sheinmel, Courtney
Bell, Jennifer A.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 13, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Stella is having a birthday and she is excited to have her best friend Willa from her old school celebrate it with her. But when she uses a chair (as a ladder) in her classroom to get her piece of writing, she tumbles. A broken leg (cast and all) ruins her birthday. Disappointment is lessened when Willa comes to visit. This makes the 10th Stella Batts chapter book. A spunky kid with school and home experiences, this is suitable to the younger reader who is ready for a above grade level chapter book. No lexile or Reading Counts tests.
I Love You, Michael Collins
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Baratz-Logsted, Lauren
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 13, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This story takes place during the months around the landing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Mamie's teacher has assigned her class to write letters to the astronauts--Armstrong, Aldrin, and Michael Collins, the one who is staying on board the space ship. Mamie chooses Michael Collins, the astronaut who is holding things together. Mamie continues to write letters as a means to hold her life together. She doesn't understand the tension between her parents or why her two older sisters are (figuratively) moving away from the family. In the end, she knows that things will change; maybe her parents will come apart again, her sisters move on to college, but she will take the moments as they happen.
Gordon Ramsay
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Nagle, Jeanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
As someone who is known for his hot temper and obscenity-laden rants, Gordon Ramsey might not seem like the most appropriate subject for a middle grade biography, but as the book attests, Ramsey is also a hard-working, passionate man who has found great success despite many challenges, and his life will inspire many young readers to persevere. Presented in chronological order with all the usual nonfiction text features, like an index, glossary and footnotes, this biography, which is part of Enslow's Celebrity Chefs series, will be especially appealing to students interested in cooking. The final chapter provides advice on how to become a chef and there are several recipes included in the back for those who want to whip up a delicious dish. Overall, this is a solidly written and interesting biography about a person many students will recognize and be interested in learning more about.
Daisy Ridley
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Nicole K.
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
As of this biography's publish date, Daisy Ridley is mostly known for one role - Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And, while she's lead an interesting life, I'm not sure it merits an entire book quite yet. The biography opens with a detailed description of Ridley filming in the dangerous desert of Abu Dahbi, which immediately hooks the reader, but then the narrative falls apart. Information about Ridley's childhood and accomplishments are supplemented with somewhat random information, which left this reader a tad confused. Is it important to know that another actress tweeted her admiration for Ridley? Why is there a photograph of Carrie Fisher in her gold bikini? Overall, this biography will appeal to hardcore fans of Daisy Ridley, if there is such a thing, and will be ignored by almost everyone else.
If You Were The Moon
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Salas, Laura Purdie
Kim, Jaime
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
A child wishes she could be like the moon and just do nothing. The moon explains there are many things she could do if she was the moon such as keeping earth in balance, hide in the shadows, play tug-of-war with the ocean, light a pathway to the sea and more. Each two-page spread shares a role the moon takes in helping Earth keep its rhythm of life and includes a short paragraph on facts which apply to the various activities the moon does. The fun illustrations with various moon facial expressions makes this a fun read for young students and with limited text a good book for emergent readers. This book could be a good jumping off point for a classes study of the moon. The book includes a short glossary and additional reading resources.
Ocean Animals From Head To Tail
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Roderick, Stacey
Moriya, Kwanchai
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Each sea animal presented with a question first about a specific body part such as head, eye, mouth and tail. Young children will love to guess what animal it is with an illustration of an enlarged part of the body highlighted. When a question is given, the next page provides a few brief facts about the sea animal. The animals include mammals, fish, reptiles and invertebrates. The book covers eight different animals highlighting eight different body parts. For young children the clear colorful paper collage illustrations are engaging and support the text well. Brief descriptions of an additional eight sea animals are listed at the back of the book.
Top 10 Shooters And Scorers In Basketball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Over the many years of professional basketball, there have been many great shooters and scorers. An attempt is made to list the top 10 scorers and shooters of all time but when they have created other top 10 titles in the series, some of the top scorers in the game are not listed because they have been highlighted in other categories. Players come from several eras of basketball including the present. Each player has four pages which include a full page picture, a brief bio which includes their nickname, teams played, position, height and year of note. Three pages of text provide insight to the players success, personal background and successes on the court. The book includes a table of contents, glossary, further reading, online resources and an index.
Zoom In On The Liberty Bell
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Shea, Therese
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 14, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Information about the famous Liberty Bell that was ordered from England in 1751 to honor the charter that gave colonists many freedoms. The bell cracked the first time it was rung. It was melted down, not once but twice, and remade. It was call the State House Bell. During the Revolutionary War the bell was hidden because it was feared that the British would melt it and create cannons with the metal. Explains how the bell is a symbol for so many and how it is still inspiring people. While not rung, the bell is tapped to celebrate various events. Glossary at the front of book helps with vocabulary. Activity page. Suggested books to read and two websites for additional information. Index. Library binding.
Top 10 Towers Of Power In Basketball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Over the many years of professional basketball, there have been many great tall players in the National Basketball Association. An introduction is given to how the authors choose to list the top 10 Towers of Power of all time. They did have to exclude some players because they were listed in other titles in the series. Players come from several eras of basketball including the present. Each player has four pages which include a full page picture, a brief bio which includes their nickname, teams played, position, height and year of note. Three pages of text provide insight to the players success, personal background and successes on the court. The book includes a table of contents, glossary, further reading, online resources and an index. The series includes the Top 10 Dunkers, Injuries, Moments, Shooters and Teams.
Top 10 Dunkers In Basketball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Over the many years of professional basketball, there have been many basketball players who had a flair for dunking the basketball. An introduction provides the history of dunking in basketball and some of the players who were not highlighted in this book because they were highlighted in another book in the series. Players come from several eras of basketball including the present. Each player has four pages which include a full page picture, a brief bio which includes their nickname, teams played, position, height and what they were known for. Three pages of text provide insight to the players success, personal background and successes on the court. The book includes a table of contents, glossary, further reading, online resources and an index. The series includes Top 10 Injuries, Moments, Shooters, Teams and Towers of Power.
Hooray For Books!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Won, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Disclaimer: Like most librarians, I am a sucker for books that celebrate books, so my review of this picture book may be a smidge biased. This brightly illustrated story will have young students shouting "Hooray for books!" right along with the animals who are helping Turtle track down his favorite book. He loaned it to Zebra, who loaned it to Owl, who loaned it to...well, you get the picture. Will Turtle ever find his book? This will make a fantastic read aloud at the start of the year to highlight book care and the joy of reading.
Wiggling Whiskers : Rabbit
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Macheske, Felicia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Long ears, a small pink nose, strong back legs made for hopping - can you guess what I am? Each layout in this nonfiction book from Cherry Lake's Guess What series, consists of a short sentence that matches a closeup photograph that fills an entire page. At the end, readers are asked if they know which animal is being described and are then shown a photograph of an entire rabbit. The cropped picture of a rabbit's head on the cover makes it pretty obvious from the start which animal is being profiled, but young readers will still delight in shouting out their guesses after each page. Five facts about rabbits and six questions to consider before adopting a rabbit as a pet are included in the back. This series would be great as mentor texts for informational writing in the primary grades.
No Honking Allowed
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Calmenson, Stephanie
Ferrari, Antongionata
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Can T-Rex honk at a littering dinosaur? What about to say "hello" to a buggy of children? Rex and Stego are out for a drive and Rex wants to honk at everything, but as Stego keeps reminding his friend, honking is only for safety. The illustrative style is visually appealing and the rhyme scheme is on point, but since children don't drive, it's not clear who this book is intended for; perhaps the frustrated, minivan-driving parents of young readers? Fans of silly dinosaur stories will enjoy this, while the adults reading it will be left scratching their heads, especially toward the end when the dinos break the fourth wall and the text stops rhyming.
Marta! Big & Small
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Arena, Jennifer
Dominguez, Angela
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 14, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Marta is "grande" to an ant and "pequena" to an elephant. In simple text, she is compared to other animals with a variety of antonyms. Spanish words are incorporated throughout the book and their meaning is clear in how each sentence is created. Bright, simple illustrations enhance the meaning of each word used to describe Marta. The fun illustrations which include nine descriptive words and seven animal names in Spanish can engage young readers. In the end, Marta is very clever like a girl which provides a strong message for young girls.
New Friend For Sparkle
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Young, Amy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 14, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Is that a goat? No! It's a unicorn! (Seriously, it's just a goat with a blue horn, but if you read the first book, it will all make sense). Lucy's friend Cole has come over to play and have so much fun together that they completely forget about Sparkle, who is so upset about being left out that he destroys some of the kids' toys. Time out for Sparkle! Then Cole starts playing a drum he brought with him and Sparkle discovers he can play, too. Now Lucy is upset because she's left out. Will these friends figure out how overcome hurt feelings and make music together? This a cute story that will appeal to young readers and could be used effectively in the classroom to discuss jealousy and acting out. The text is fairly mundane, but seeing a unicorn/goat shake his booty to the beat will get students giggling.
Goldfish Boy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Thompson, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 15, 2017
Burton, Paula
Matthew describes his neighborhood in a small town close to London. He does this from the window in the guest bedroom/office/never used nursery. This is how he observes the world. The reason why he stays indoors is because he is afraid of germs, it started small; at school going to the restrooms every hour, staying at home and cleaning the bathroom with q tips and needing gloves because he is cleaning so much it damages his hands. This is something that has only recently become problematic, before it was manageable. The reader does not know what the reason is for his compulsive behavior. When a neighbor boy is missing, Matthews viewing habits can help solve the case. A wonderfully written first novel by British author Lisa Thompson. The compulsive behavior is well described and throughout the novel the reader becomes more aware how it affects Matthews life and the reason for his behavior. A great book for advanced readers about a topic not widely discussed among elementary school children.
Bear Make Den
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Godwin, Jane
Joyner, Andrew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 15, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Bear makes a den, but then realizes it's missing something. Is it a couch? A table? Light? Art on the walls? Will Bear ever figure out what his den needs to feel like a home? This story lends itself perfectly to making predictions and will most likely have young students shouting out suggestions to Bear. The one drawback is grammatically incorrect text, which might drive some adults crazy.
Little Red Rolls Away
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Whalen, Linda
Morris, Jennifer E.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 15, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Red the barn wakes up one morning and something isn't quite right. Where are his animal friends? Where are all of the tools that live inside of him? Why in the world is he being lifted off the ground and onto a large truck? Red is very nervous as he travels far from his farm, but once he realizes where his new home will be and what his purpose is, his anxiety changes into happiness. This is a cute read aloud for younger children that may spark discussion about change and how it feels when unexpected things happen. There is even a guide on the back cover called How to Help a Child Navigate Change.
Mommy Loves You!
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
James, Helen Foster
Brown, Petra
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 15, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Lush pencil and watercolor illustrations set the tone for this simple, sweet story about a rabbit mother and her firstborn. The rhyming text is simple, but very heartfelt, and captures the feelings of being a new parent perfectly. There is even a space in the back where a mother can write a short note to her child and paste a photograph. Due to the subject and format, this is more appropriate as a baby shower gift and not as an elementary library book.
Power Play
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Maddox, Jake
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 16, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Kelly is an excellent hockey player but 9th graders are not included on Varsity this year. A recent divorce and her mother’s new-boyfriend coaching from the sidelines add to her growing anger and frustrations. And Mackenzie Martin and a prior rival is now on her team and competing for attention. Kelly is thrown off her game and knows she must stay focused if she is to succeed. Jake Maddox sports books contain lightweight dilemmas of sportsmanship, discouragement, jealousy, competitiveness, and friendship. The scenarios are realistic, the characters one-dimensional, and the solutions are wrapped up a bit too nicely. Jake Maddox JV books are a step up from the transitional series, with smaller font, and no illustrations, but the text is still double-spaced and the 96 pages are just the right length for reluctant readers needing more complex content. Back material includes writing prompts, discussion questions, and an explanation of various hockey rules, glossary and index.
Volleyball Victory
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Maddox, Jake
Wood, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 16, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
When the Puma’s new volleyball coach mixes up the players’ positions and Andrea finds herself at center blocking rather than setting, she struggles to adjust. Jake Maddox sports books contain lightweight dilemmas of sportsmanship, discouragement, jealousy, competitiveness, and friendship. The scenarios are realistic, the characters engaging but the solutions are always wrapped up nicely. With larger font, double-spaced text and black & white sketches, these 72 page books are just the right length for reluctant and transitional readers. Written at a GRL M the plots and character development are predictable but that is part of the attraction to many of these emerging readers. Back material includes writing prompts, discussion questions, description of volleyball positions, glossary and index.
Sticks & Stones
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 16, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Welcome back to the Dunwiddle Magic School where one class is set aside for those whose magic is “upside-down.” When wacky magic throws the school into a huge crisis after the pennies from the Potions jar are turned into tiny marble-shaped rocks littering the hallways, the Upside-Down class is blamed. And when Marigold loses control of her magical powers and shrinks Lacey to gerbil-size, a petition is circulated to remove the Upside-down class from the school. Follow Nory, Bax, Willa, and Elliot amongst the other characters as they struggle to learn to control their unpredictable magic and show the school they belong. Fans of the first book will eagerly fly through this and anxiously await further books in the series. Recommend to those who like magic with realistic characters.
Case Of The Missing Mom
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Brezenoff, Steve
Weber, Lisa K.
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 16, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Four friends, bound in friendship by parents who work in the Capitol City museums, work together to solve a mystery when 10-year old Wilson Kipper’s mom goes missing. A shipment of recently dug dinosaur bones has kept the paleontologists working all night, but when Wilson can’t find his mother, the lab is empty, and the bones have disappeared, the Police are called in. The plot is predictable and character development inadequate but the real problems stem from the stereotypes of the four friends. Introduced in color, comic-like drawings, Wilson is an African American boy, Raining Sam a Native American boy, Amal Farah i a Muslim girl wearing an hijab, and Clementine, a redhead Caucasian. This is tokenism rather than diverse and meaningful character development. Another problem with this book is the juxtaposition of information about prehistoric man and the missing dinosaur bones. While the solution to the mystery does involve the prehistoric man exhibit, it is misleading to portray them is such a way as to suggest that prehistoric man hunted dinosaurs. Large font, double-space text and short chapters support readers transitioning from Early Chapter books. There are better mystery series available at this level.
Women Entrepreneurs
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gay, Kathlyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 128 page text talks about women entrepreneurs from Colonial America all the way up through the present day, from Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse who was a shipping magnate to Nely Galán who was president of a TV network and owns and operates her own media company. This book strives to recognize how women have always been involved in business, 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 in Technology, Women Warriors, Women Political Leaders, and Women Writers.
Stem
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Reeves, Diane Lindsey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
An introductory look at STEM careers for an elementary level audience. Features two page spreads focusing on a certain career such as epidemiologist or naval architect. Full color pictures. Each spread has "check it out" links to additional resources as well as a "start now" box with suggestions for ways to practice and/or get some experience with those types of activities that would be part of that career path. Includes glossary, index, a more complete list of careers available in this field, and several charts to fill out; *these charts also say not to write on them if it is a borrowed book and gives the link to online forms that can be printed out and written on*. It felt a little condescending in it's tone - perhaps because there are parts that are addressed directly to the reader rather than just presenting the information.
Scorpia : An Alex Rider Graphic Novel
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Horowitz, Anthony
Vieceli, Emma
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
Action packed story with vivid supporting graphics make this a strong candidate for struggling/reluctant readers. Although it is not the first in the series, there was enough information given to easily follow the story line. May also be an inducement for readers who enjoy it to pick up the text version next. Excellent addition to a graphic novel collection. Alex finds out that his father may not have been the type of person he had always thought he was. In order to find out more, he gets involved with an agency of super-villains known as Scorpia.
Eagle Strike : An Alex Rider Graphic Novel
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Horowitz, Anthony
Damerum, Kanako And Yuzuru Takasaki
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
Action packed story with vivid supporting graphics make this a strong candidate for struggling/reluctant readers. Although it is not the first in the series, there was enough information given to easily follow the story line. May also be an inducement for readers who enjoy it to pick up the text version next. Excellent addition to a graphic novel collection. Alex is on vacation when an unexpected attack drives him to track down the dangerous hit man without support from the MI-6.
Women Political Leaders
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Cunningham, Anne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 128 page text talks about women political leaders from ancient times all the way up through the present day, from Queen Nefertiti to Hillary Rodham Clinton. This book strives to recognize how women have always been involved in politics, 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 in Technology, Women Warriors, Women Entrepreneurs, and Women Writers.
Women Athletes
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Mabry-Gordon, Sherri
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2017
Dame, Anne
This 128 page text talks about women athletes from ancient times all the way up through the present day, from Kyniska, the first female Olympian to Mo'ne Davis the first girl pitcher to win a game in the Little League world series. This book strives to recognize how women have been involved in sports, but have been given short shrift by history. It also emphasizes how important fitness is and yet how it was not considered appropriate or feminine for females to be active. 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 in Technology, Women Warriors, Women Entrepreneurs, and Women Writers.
Striker
Lorimer (Lerner) [Lorimer (Lerner)]
Skuy, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 17, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Cody is ready to get back to playing soccer after undergoing chemo for a cancerous tumor in his leg. Cody wants to get back to normal but his parents worry--his father working extra hours just to not talk about it. His mother hovers and is afraid that any roughness in the game will trigger the cancer again or damage emaciated muscles. Cody joins a premier team and knows that it will take extra effort to get himself back into shape. But member of his team seem to be running the practices and the games --over the coaching and over the teamwork of the rest of the players. This is a book that boys and soccer players will love to read. The play by play action is not overdone. The "mean boys" perhaps are too stereotyped in bullying the rests of the players (dad sponsors the team with uniforms, etc.) Cody befriends a Brazilian new kid whose father is a medical doctor. They both overcome elitism AND win the tournament game. A good addition to the Tim Green and Mike Lupica sports books.
Podkin One-Ear
CLARION [CLARION]
Larwood, Kieran
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 17, 2017
Lewis, Jo
Three siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who has killed their father and enslaved their clan. Podkin must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives. (publisher) Another in the genre of animal (rabbits) warriors with some evil magic pushing the tension. It is voiced by a storyteller with great ability to enthrall his audience. A mix of Redwall and Watership Down but with only 244 pages, its size is less intimidating. A good read-a-loud anthropomorphic fantasy with spine tingling action, courage, and a little violence. Series: Longburrow ; 1.
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Florence, Debbi Michiko
Vukovic, Elizabet
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Spunky 8-year old Jasmine is determined to help make mochi for her family's New Year's Eve celebration, even though everyone else had to wait until they were ten to be involved. Walnuts! How can Jasmine convince her parents that she is ready to roll mochi or, better yet, help hammer the sticky rice with the men in her family? She better start building up her arm muscles! This is a sweet story about a Japanese-American girl who desperately wants to buck tradition and won't let anything stand in her way, not even mean cousin Eddie. The storyline is stretched a tad thin, with the events occurring over just a few days, but young readers will relate to Jasmine's struggles and be eager to see how everything gets resolved. Good for fans of the Ramona books.
Bubbles
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Cooper, Abby
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 17, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Seventh grader Sophie Mulvaney always saw herself as an adventurous person, but lately all she wants to do is stay invisible on the sidelines. She's carrying the guilt of breaking up her mom's long-term relationship and getting her mom fired, plus her friends are clearly not enthusiastic about her recent change in personality. Could life get any worse? Definitely. Sophie has started seeing cartoon thought bubbles above people's heads, allowing her to know their true feelings and worries. It seems everyone is just as sad as Sophie. Is there anything she can do to help them? Will the bubbles ever go away? This is a charming story with the perfect balance of humor and drama. Middle grade readers will relate to the different characters and be eager to find out how Sophie resolves her unusual problem.
Sparkle Boy
Lee & Low Books [Lee & Low Books]
Newman, Leslea
Mola, Maria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 18, 2017
Burton, Paula
Casey and Jessie are brother and sister, playing the roles Jessie believes they are meant to play. Boys play with blocks and dump trucks and girls play with glittery and shiny things. Jessie is surprised when Casey wants to imitate her; wear a shimmery skirt, have glittery nails, and a sparkly bracelet. The adults, mom, dad and Abuelita, have to think about Casey’s request but believe it is okay for boys to do the same things as girls. When Casey, Jessie and mom visit the library, Casey wears his shimmery skirt, has glittery nails, and his sparkly bracelet and is confronted by older boys. Jessie stands up for him by questioning the older boys.Acceptance of wearing the sparkly things are only shown as being okay at home which is somewhat of a disappointment. This picture book can be read to everyone to create a more accepting world. It is good for boys who want to wear items used to be specifically for girls and their siblings. The illustrations are a wonderful addition to the story with its own sparkly shine to it and would be a wonderful addition to any library.
Balinese
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Rathburn, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Immensely popular with readers, these Blastoff Level 2 Readers fly off the shelf. History of the breed, physical characteristics, labeled photograph of key features, map of the world showing where they were first bred from Siamese kittens with long hair, chart of four common Balinese coat colors add to the basic text. These silky haired cats were named after the graceful Balinese dancers and are known for their blue slanty eyes, long athletic bodies and frequent vocalization. Intelligent, active and family oriented, these engaging cats apparently can be trained to walk on a leash. Excellent addition for your cat loving younger readers. Index, glossary and learn more books and websites included.
Ocicats
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Rathburn, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Cat lovers flock to Blastoff Readers and the Cool Cats Level 2 series will fly off the shelves. Ocicats are a recent breed of domesticated cats resulting from breeding Abyssinian and Siamese cats and were named after the wild Ocelots. These large wild-looking cats have large spotted coats that come in 12 common colors with a long tail, and dark tip and slanted eyes. Ocicats are strong, considered quite intelligent, and like to be around their owners. Large font and just a few sentences per 2-page spread mixed with plentiful crisp, clear photographs of the cats in backyard habitats, pouncing, playing, caring for cubs will provoke plenty of ooh’s and ah’s from readers. Additional features include a rather pointless map of the world pinpointing Michigan as the place the cats were first bred, with labeled photographs of the two parent breeds but no other relevant information. A chart showing four of the most common ocicat coats and a labeled photograph of the cat with weight and life span are much more useful. Index, glossary and learn more books and websites included. Immensely popular with younger readers.
One Is Not A Pair
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Teckentrup, Britta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 18, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Delightful rhyming riddles challenge readers to spot the one object not in a matching pair. Rhyming riddles are centered on one page with the assortment of paired objects on the other. The third spotting book by author – illustrator Britta Teckentrup contains an assortment of challenges with socks, leaves, pencils, cats, tractors, planes, ice cream cones, birdhouses, cherries, blocks, teddy bears, and toadstools ready to be sorted and matched. The book concludes with a two-page spread that includes two of each item and the challenge to find the one unpaired! Beautiful mixed media illustrations invite close scrutiny and the muted color palette of the objects and pages are both soothing and attractive. There are just enough details to ponder and linger over but not so many as to over stimulate younger readers. Introduce this delightful book to your younger grades and encourage them to share the search with a friend or parent.
Different? Same!
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Tekavec, Heather
Curnick, Pippa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 19, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Differences abound in the animal kingdom; it sometimes takes a second look to notice similarities. This picture-book's two page spreads ask readers to consider attributes of a variety of creatures, then zeros in on one point of commonality. Take for example the leathery rhinoceros, shaggy bison, lean impala and shiny rhinoceros beetle; while differences are many, "But look closer now...We all have horns!" So readers can go from page to page spotting stripes, whiskers, tusks, manes, shells, antennae, wings, fangs, scales,spikes, tentacles, flippers and fins. A short explanation of the adaptive advantages to each feature is found at the end. This will make a nice preschool/ KG non-fiction read-aloud with minimal text and friendly watercolor and ink illustrations.
Thief's Apprentice
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Methods, Bryan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oliver Diplexito is an ordinary boy. Perhaps he's not the best student on the planet, but that's part of being ordinary. When he discovers that his father's valet is actually the infamous Ruminating Claw, and becomes the Claw's apprentice, things start to get interesting. Soon he's stealing things back from thieves who believe they have a right to supposedly magical artifacts, risking his life, and learning a lot about himself in the process. This is a fast-paced bit of steam-punkish literature that clearly leaves the door open for a future sequel, yet provides a satisfying ending.
Rabbit Stew
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Wahman, Wendy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 19, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Rusty and Rojo Fox have tended their garden all summer long while a family of bunnies have gamboled about, fattening themselves on carrots, celery and leafy greens. But as the foxes gather ingredients for their favorite Rabbit Stew the bunnies seem destined for the pot. Fortunately author-illustrator Wendy Wahman loves animals far too much to eat them. The rising "Oh no, they're going to be eaten" tension of the foxes harvest is resolved in a banquet "for our favorite Rabbit, Stew-and his family, too!" Bright illustrations of garden vegetables and cute-as-a-bunny animals make this a charming read-aloud for the youngest grades.
Marti's Song For Freedom = Marti Y Sus Versos Por La Liberta
Childrens Book Press [Childrens Book Press]
Otheguy, Emma
Vidal, Beatriz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 19, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Bi-lingual Spanish/English picture book tells the story of revolutionary Cuban poet Jose Marti. As the Civil War raged to the north, young Jose Marti drew inspiration, spoke and wrote for Cuba's independence from Spain and the emancipation of slaves on his island home. Arrested and exiled to the United States, Marti continued his fight against colonialism and oppression by writing elegant musical poetry. His "Versos Sencillos" draw on both the physical beauty of the natural world (in Cuba and in his Catskill Mtn home in the US) as well as on his profound aspirations for liberation of the oppressed. He returned to Cuba during the Cuban War for Independence, but died in 1895 during his first battle and before the eventual Cuban victory in 1902. Marti's poetic stanzas have served as poetic inspiration for numerous liberation struggles in Latin American, and are excerpted throughout this book. Written by Cuban-American author/historian Emma Otheguy and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal, this Junior Library Guild selection published by Lee & Low is a recommended addition to all elementary libraries.
Everything's Changed
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Sternberg, Julie
Wright, Johanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This title is the 2nd of (so far) three books about Celie Valentine. Celie, a spirited girl like Ramona, Junie B. Jones or Judy Moody, has moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn so that her grandmother with the beginnings of dementia can live with them. In a diary format she describes starting a new school, missing old friends, and maneuvering her way through making the right kind of new friends. Mary Majors is someone who is not the best choice; she convinces Celie to get into her sister's business, take the metro all the way back to Manhattan without telling anyone, and breaks her trust with an old friend. In the end she loses cell phone privileges but (I think) learns her lesson on making her own decisions. Celie is a delightfully confident girl. Entries in the diary are chunked with illustrations. Students who like Ellie McDoodle will like meeting Celie.
The Wishing Foxes
Plum Street Publishers [Plum Street Publishers]
Macdonald, Margaret Read
Harvill, Kitty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Margaret MacDonald has written another traditional folktale, this time an Appalachian version of "Diamonds and Toads." Bess goes off to get water as she cheerfully greets a grumpy bear, mountain lion, and wild boar. Because of her kindness, they all let her pass. When she greets three foxes at the well, she kindly picks them up, wash their faces, and set them down right easy. She comes home with gold falling from her mouth and sneezing diamonds. Rude sister Tess tries her had and is mean. She returns with toads coming out of her mouth and sneezing corn. Illustrations are bright, textured collage that don't exactly seem to fit the storyline, but having another version of this traditional tale is appreciated.
What Is A Child?
Tate Publishing [Tate Publishing]
Alemagna, Beatrice
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
A beautifully drawn portrait of childhood with wonder-fully simple text make this over-sized Italian picture book a celebration of childhood worth displaying and sharing. Only an Italian would offer a text like this "A child has small hands, small feet and small ears, but that does not mean they have small ideas. Children's ideas can sometimes be very big. They amuse the grown-ups and leave them open-mouthed, saying: 'Oh!'" accompanied by a portrait of a red-haired boy in a green plaid shirt, downcast crossed eyes and tongue tucked in the corner of a assiduously closed mouth, jabbing his finger up his nose. (Only a delighted grown-up reviewer could write a run-on sentence like that, trying to jam my delight in the illustrations into a sentence of inordinate, but insufficient complexity). A charming reminder that beautiful books deserve attention for their own sake, and serve an antidote to any school librarian who's tendency to focus teaching has drowned out our sense of wonder and delight.
Us Women Win The World Cup
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Trusdell, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 20, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Winning the Women's World Cup in 1999 transformed women's soccer into a popular sport in the United States. The United States Women's soccer team was becoming an international powerhouse. They were beating teams by lopsided scores but there were a few countries which challenged the US team. One of those teams was the team from China. China and the US met in the final for the Women's World Cup and it was an epic soccer battle between two great teams. This book takes a look at the history of events which brought the success to the 1999 team and it looks at the marketing success of bringing many people to the game. One of those key players was a woman who worked her marketing skills for building a great turnout for the 1999 World's Cup. Included are many captioned photographs and text insets which connect and reinforce the text. The book includes a timeline, glossary, further reading, places to visit and an index.
Truthers
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Griard, Geoffrey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
In this intense thriller, a young woman delves into the world of conspiracy theorists to help her father, who's been remanded to a mental institution following a breakdown. Seventeen-year-old Katie Wallace is shocked when her father claims that she isn't his daughter but is living proof of a government cover-up involving the 9/11 attacks. Girard wrote this for the students he teaches and for his children to shine a light on 9/11 as a pivotal turning point in US politics. It explores the WikiLeaks, the overreaching powers of the Patriot Act, the paradox of the Internet’s ability to bring people together and provides for the “smallest teapot of folks with the same worldview,” the ease of becoming an instant expert through Google vs. critically researching and learning about a subject. Excellent thriller with a difficult but sympathetic, smart, female protagonist. A must-read for today. Includes author’s note and bibliographical references. Pub WKly*
Take A Picture Of Me, James Vanderzee!
Lee & Low Books [Lee & Low Books]
Loney, Andrea J
Mallett, Keith
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
3+ James VanDerZee is the best-known photographer of the Harlem Renaissance. At age 18 he moved from Lennox, Massachusetts to Harlem, NYC at age 18. As a child, he had been enraptured with how the camera and its ability to capture the detail and likeness of its subjects accurately. VanDerZee set out to capture a person’s story on film, “to share the beauty he saw in his heart.” He photographed celebrities (Joe Louis. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Mamie Smith), the middle class, and the poor. He used props. His retouched photos, and used photomontage – innovative techniques at that time to help everyone look their best. In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art needed photos for an exhibit on the history of Harlem and most of them came from VanDerZee’s studio. Loney’s language is succinct and upbeat, the Keith Mallett’s acrylic paintings, some based on VanDerZee’s photos, are done with low-light to better approximate the photo studio’s lighting. The afterword includes a short biography and some of VanDerZee’s photographs. Bibliography and further reading. Pub Wkly*
Spliced
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mcgoran, Jon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
7+ Jimi Corcoran knows that people change, but her best friend Del is taking things too far. His grades are tanking, he’s testing his dad’s temper, and he’s obsessed with getting spliced. Set in a near future of gene modification, personhood is political and not just for the modified. In an America that has survived several major flu epidemics and where only the cities have easy electrical power and only the rich have anything passing for internet or cell service, the interested (with enough money) can have their genes altered and change their appearances. Those who are “spliced” become chimeras, humans with animal DNA. Jimi knows this will ruin Del’s future, especially once Humans for Humanity passes state legislation to declare chimeras nonpersons. This is a very believable future seen through the eyes of a believable white teen for whom discrimination on the basis of visual difference has suddenly become real. This nightmare study in manufactured prejudice will resonate with many teens who see themselves as part of a marginalized group, especially in the era of Trump. Timely, thrilling, and more than a little scary. This SciFi thriller is a tale for our times and asks us, “What makes us human, our appearance or our compassion
Marco Polo : Dangers And Visions
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Tabilio, Marco
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Debut Graphic Novel from Italian cartoonist Tabilio breathes new life into Marco Polo and his travels. It begins with Polo dreaming while imprisoned in Genoa after the Venetian defeat Battle of Korcula in 1298. An injured Polo awaits the negotiation of his release and meets Pisan writer Rustichello. He begins to recount his own amazing adventures to his cellmate, who writes them down. We see him through his whole life as Polo recounts his tale. Little do they realize that this elaborate narrative will become the world's most celebrated (real) travelogue--The Travels of Marco Polo--detailing Polo's long career and many adventures in the service of the emperor Kublai Khan. The story intertwines with dreams, visions, and Tabilio’s illustrations that are as complex in content as they are simple in sketch-like style using thin lines, few details, limited, pastel color pallet and medieval style. Much is left to the reader’s imagination although everything is founded in fact. However, small anachronisms and metafictive comments from Rustichello invoke the many centuries of debate around Marco Polo’s travelogue, situating readers to question where his perspective might depart from truth. Complex and intriguing. Short Polo bio and glossary
Exploring Space : From Galileo To The Mars Rover And Beyond
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Jenkins, Martin
Biesty, Stephen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Gr. 4-8 An out-of-this-world examination of the past, present, and future of humans in space. Jenkins begins with a short explanation about our solar system and what’s beyond it; then he moves into history of space exploration before and after the invention of the telescope and the development of the types of telescopes we have today and how they work. He covers how we get into space – it’s rocket science from around the world; how to get back after we’ve gone into space; how to survive in a spacesuit or on the International Space Station; looking for life on other planets and moons; putting a robot on Mars, looking at how crowded space is because of satellites and space junk; and finally the future of space exploration, space tourism and the changes in machinery needed. He brings the reader back to earth and asks us how exploration may enable us to be more appreciative of our own planet all accompanied by detailed cutaway illustrations. Index, timeline of space discovery beginning in 300 BCE, glossary, and timeline of space exploration, for further reading list. Bklist*
Sartre
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Ramadie, Mathilde
Depommier, Anais
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Existentialist philosophy is a hard sell in high school despite the Ayn Rand Foundation Essay contest and Sartre the man is even harder. Ramadie and Depommier embark on an ambitious biography in graphic novel form. Like other offerings from NBM Graphic Novels, (Ghetto Brother, Thoreau: A Sublime Life, Glenn Gould, Girl in Dior) is visually stunning and jam-packed with details about his life. Simon de Bouvoir, “the Beaver” plays an important part and much of the book details their discussion of ideas and their burgeoning philosophies; it also graphically details their sex lives, their infidelities, and their circle of intellectual devil’s advocates and devotees. I was disappointed the Camus and Malraux only get a few cameo frames of no real consequence. Camus’s statement that he is NOT an existentialist needs more examination. This would have been a better book if it had better explained the philosophy of existentialism, which Sartre was most famous for and highlighting what made him notable to the wider public in the first place. It’s getting polarized reviews from the graphic novel community and is better placed in a public, college or university library
Hanging Girl
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Cook, Eileen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex. 680 H/L, Trust No One. Deceive Everyone Skye Thorn’s motto. She’s given tarot card readings for years and she’s also spun some real whoppers and gotten caught in them that make folks disinclined to trust her. But she’s always been able to read people well, so her skill has earned a bit of respect if not fear. When the town’s golden girl, Paige Bennet, goes missing, Skye uses her “paranormal abilities” to help the police with their investigation. What the police don’t know and Sky won’t tell them is that the Kidnapping was supposed to be easy and no one was supposed to get hurt. What started out as a prank turns deadly. Skye is caught in the middle and she’ll need to figure out who is telling the truth and who she can trust before she’s a victim too. Fans of twisty, psychological thrillers will like this. VOYA*
Special Ones
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bailey, E M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Lex. 750 H/L Creepy import from Australia. Esther, is one of the “Special Ones,” four spiritual guides who live under His protection in a remote farmhouse. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are-- all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther is working hard to play her part. If He finds out she's not really Special, she'll be renewed. No one knows what happens, but it can’t be good. As daily survival becomes more challenging, the pressure mounts for Esther to keep up the ruse or face the uncertainty of renewal and judgment. When Henry, then only special male, is renewed, things on the farm get worse; there is less food and more work. Esther can’t help on the farm; she can never go any further than the front porch. A storm and its aftermath add an extra layer of tension and desperation. Will Esther be able to keep up her performance until she can escape? The plot may require some suspension of disbelief but complex characters and well-written dialogue will keep readers engaged. Complex story viscerally revealing the quiet terrors of captivity and brainwashing. Kirkus, Bklist*
I See A Cat
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Meisel, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is a very early reader in the ‘I like to read” series. This is a paperback version the same size as other early readers. The hardback versions have been larger, which makes this paperback a perfect fit if your school library has readers in baskets. The story is a simple and humorous one of a dog who is looking through a glass door into the yard. He sees many animals, and his excitement is different depending on what he sees. In the end he is allowed outside with the boy he spots through the glass door. The text is very simple and is repeated multiple times which makes this just like the other books in the series; a wonderful fit for beginning readers or those who struggle with reading in the lower grade. Colorful illustrations will attract animal lovers to this particular book.
Great Art Caper
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS]
Jamieson, Victoria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is the second book in the series about a couple of school pets by Roller Girl author and illustrator, Victoria Jamieson. This is also a graphic novel but for a much younger audience. Sunflower, GW, and Barry are back. This time GW is actually getting a little touchy feely himself. He wants to make a congratulations card for his classroom friend Carina who has an art piece in the juried art show. Since the arts and crafts room is on the same floor where Harriet, the evil mouse and her minions, lives, the three friends find out about Harriet's evil plan for the art show. He is trying to get the blame to go to GW. They have to come up with a rescue mission. During this action part of the story GW finds out he is not Carina’s favorite and he is not sure if he wants to help save the artshow. It all turns out well with many colorful illustrations and lots of humor in them. Although the story is not as strong as the first book was, The Great pet Escape, it would still be a wonderful addition to the graphic novel section in the library. The reviewer had a paperback version.
Migloo's Weekend
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bee, William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
This is the follow up to Migloo’s Day. An interactive book where readers try to find the little dog Migloo among all the other business going on in the pictures. In between the bussy pages there are pages with text which tells the story of Migloo rescuing Flashy Gordon the main attraction of the fair. Like it’s predecessor, there is one foldout page at the end which might make it not the best purchase for a library but it’s colorful digital art and multicultural characters, could delight younger readers.
Mouse Is Small
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murphy, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
A board book for the very young with die cut pages. The main objective is size of the animal. It starts with a mouse and moves on to a tortoise. The pages are getting bigger too. The last animal is a spider and with a funny twist, scares all the other animals away. Dark outlined bright illustrations and simple text makes this a sure hit with the very little ones.
Old Macdonald's Things That Go
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Clarke, Jane
Blanco, Migy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
The familiar song takes on things that go on the farm. Colorful illustrations accompany this little than larger size picture book that not only highlights mode of transportation like a bike, bus, and an airplane, but also includes a tractor and a combine harvester. Old Macdonald also has a digger, to complete those favorite motorized items. He is accompanied by many farm animals, who also operate the things that go. It can be sung or just a read aloud. The song’s third line is a little different than the traditional E-I-E-I-O, there is the line “He loved things that go! Which is a little harder to put into the song.
Daddy Long Legs
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Brun-Cosme, Nadine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
Imagination takes over a father when in the morning their car is having trouble starting to go to school. His son asks him what would happen at pick up time if the car does not work. He comes up with the big red tractor, the stuffed animal on the son’s bed, or the birds in the trees.Eventually he thinks he would use his own two long legs to fetch his son to reassure him that he will get to his school. Repetition and colorful illustrations that have classic feel to them, will make this a wonderful read aloud to those kids who are anxious about who will pick them up from school. The story could also lend itself for more possibilities to be picked up at school and be great for the beginning of the school year.
Esteban De Luna, Baby Rescuer = Esteban De Luna, Rescatador
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Mercado-Lopez, Larissa
Delange, Alex Pardo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
Esteban wants to be a super hero with a cape but his it doesn't have any super powers. He goes to the playground with his mother and sister (and cape) where he finds a doll that has been left behind. When it starts raining, he rescues the doll by wrapping his cape protectively around her. He continues to "care" for her, toting her the same way her mother carries his sister. He realizes that his super power is to be a baby rescuer. This story is written in both English and Spanish with a simple story of family, imagination, and heroism. I like that Esteban continues to protect the doll. Pictures show him eating, listening to a story, and going to bed with her. Bilingual book especially appeal to me because students or their parents can read in either language, supporting the joy of families sharing a book together.
Bravo! : Poemas Sobre Hispanos Extraordinarios
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Engle, Margarita
Lopez, Rafael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
See review for English-language version of this title.
What Decade Do You Belong In?
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Rowe, Brooke
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.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 20, 2017
Korf, Clarence
The book is part of the Best Quiz Ever and unfortunately is falls short of being anything close to being the best. Students may find this fun to find out if they would like to live in a different decade, century or the future. There are twelve questions in a multiple choice format to determine what time era one would like to live. The advantages of the book are that it is very visually appealing with clear pictures, engaging page design and interesting facts. Unfortunately, the disadvantages include narrow answer choices and some biased answers. The questions with about accessories, phone and what you wear on your head had more girl related answers and the sports with more boy related answers. Student may be interested for a short time period to take the quiz out of curtesy and therefore the book may have circulation only in spurts. It includes a glossary and index but I wonder why for such a short book with no significant information provided.
King & Kayla And The Case Of The Secret Code
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Butler, Dori Hillestad
Meyers, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
A reader format mystery where the dog is the main character. Short chapters tell the story of King and his Human Kayla. They receive a mysterious letter. It turns out their friend Mason also has received a letter without any vowels, which makes it very difficult to read. King with his ability to smell the letter, knows who it is from but for Kayla and Mason it is a mystery. Other titles in this series are the case of the missing dog treats, the mysterious mouse, and the case of the lost tooth. Kids who like animals, humor and are not ready for the longer chapter books, will like this book. There are many illustrations on each page. Out of the three characters shown in the illustrations, Kayla is the only diverse character.
Pedal Power : How One Community Became The Bicycle Capital O
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Drummond, Allan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
The true account of the reason how Amsterdam became the city where bicycles are everywhere and not overruled by motorized modes of transportation. It shows that the voice of one can be powerful enough to be heard because of a common problem for many. One woman in Amsterdam realized cars, trucks, buses and other motorized transportation were taking over the roads. She believed the roads belonged to everyone and should be safe for not only bikers, but pedestrians and kids. The story is illustrated with watercolor pictures outlined with calligraphy like black lines. This could be used for different units in a classroom setting and read aloud as example of topics like protests, transportation, safety, or city planning. There’s an author’s note on the last page accompanied by black and white photographs of the time of the protests and current photographs of Maartje Rutten, the woman who started it all. A small bibliography is also included.
Fog
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Maclear, Kyo
Pak, Kenard
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Burton, Paula
Beautiful watercolor illustrations in combination with crayon line-work, accompany this interesting story. A yellow warbler lives on an island where there is lots of fog. Many visitors from around the world visited this place. It has such a presence, the island changes its name to fog island. The birds around him use this change to think there was never a time the island did not have fog. The warbler notices the change too and it worried her. It wasn’t until she met a small human with a red coat and dark hair, that he was wondering if others saw the fog. He asked the human. She saw it too. Did everyone see it?The warbler and the human asked by sending out folded paper boats. The answers on these boats are funny and help lift the fog. I don’t believe this book will be something children will pick off the shelves themselves but although fantastical, could be a good read aloud to use with lessons on environment and how to involve more people to make a better world.
Warli People
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Shin, Hye-Eun
Jeong, Su-Bi
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Unsuitable
November 20, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
An attractive book, but only at first glance: in fact it is a disturbing, unsettling bit of cultural tourism and appropriation not suited for school libraries. The book's appeal comes from the attractive geometric folk-art style of the Warli , an indigenous tribe living in mountainous as well as coastal areas of Maharashtra-Gujarat in India. The books downfall is that text speaks of them as an ancient people of the past, never as a still living community. Erdmans Publishers and editor Joy Cowley have missed an opportunity to work with an indigenous people to share their ongoing culture and attractive art motifs.
Dragon Was Terrible
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Dipucchio, Kelly
Pizzoli, Greg
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Dragon is terrible. In fact, he is as rotten as rotten can be. Dragon hates rules and he loves to ruin everyone else's lives. When he is confronted, his behavior just gets worse. What do you do with a dragon who spits on cupcakes, throws sand, popping birthday balloons and much, much more. The king solicits first knights and then the people to tame this unruly dragon. A young boy finally has had enough but instead of confronting the dragon, he intices the dragon into a story. A good story changes the dragons behavior and the boy acquires a new friend. The simple illustrations from Greg Pizzoli add humor and clarity to the story. Students will easily recognize the misbehavior and the importance of sharing a good story with anyone who is willing to listen.
Jabari Jumps
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cornwall, Gaia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
A small black boy tells his dad that he is ready to jump off the diving board this day. He (says to himself) he is not scared: " 'Looks easy', Jabari said. But when his dad squeezed his hand, Jabari squeezed back." He goes stage by stage getting ready for the jump: getting in line, letting a few kids in front of him, climbing back down, and then rethinking it all and ready for the feeling of a good surprise at the end. His father gently encourages him and he take the leap which ends in celebration and exclamation, " 'Surprise double backflip is next?' " Kids LOVED this book. Simple words but lots of feelings. The illustration are sometimes drawn from different perspective: looking up the ladder; bird's eye view on the ladder, panoramic scan of the community pool.
Bravo! : Poems About Amazing Hispanics
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Engle, Margarita
Lopez, Rafael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
It seems that Margarita Engle has produced a cluster of award winning books recently. King County Library System used "Mountain Dog" in a recent Global Reading Challenge event; "All The Way To Havana" is about the retro American cars found in Cuba; "Enchanted Air", "Summer Birds" (bio of Maria Merian) and "Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano." "Bravo" is a collection of poems about human rights activists, writers, scientists, and more. One page of double spread is has text in poem form, honoring these pioneers. Opposite is an illustration of the person. Most people of note are Cuban, Puerto Rican, or Mexican, but also includes El Salvador's George Melendez Wright (animal rights) and Baruj Benacerraf (scientist) of Venezuela. Appendix has introductory information about each of the biographies. Illustrations are bold and convey the strength of these accomplished Hispanics.
Escalera A La Luna
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Soetoro-Ng, Maya
Morales, Yuyi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 20, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a beautiful story of a young girl remembering her grandmother and flying off to visit her in the sky. Using a Mexican mystic style of storytelling, it evokes a tradition of family, humanity, and awe in the world around us. Illustrations by Yuyi Morales are in soft blues and golds, with large, exaggerated bodies in the style of Columbian artist Fernando Botero. I relied on a little of my own Spanish language ability, a ELL colleague, and translation app. Reviews were high for text, but most especially the reputation of the illustrator.
Waste Of Space
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Damico, Gina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
Chazz Young, producer of the TV hit Pantsing with the Stars has had a brainstorm to rescue DV8 Productions from flagging ratings. He’s going find 10 teen Spacetronauts, stuff them in a Spaceplane, blast them into orbit, and film what happens. He’s contracted NASAW (National Association for the Study of Astronomy and Weightlessness, NASA declined to participate) for the science. He promises that they can run a side project using the Spacetronauts and the success of the show will have people clamoring to fund the space program again. There is one little catch; the Spacetronauts aren’t really going into space but into an elaborate set in the middle of a desert. Ratings go up, but behind the scenes cast members are beginning to doubt they’re in space. Chazz is desperately trying to up the ante. Suddenly, all transmissions from the “ship” are stopped and access to it is cut off. None of the teens (or Chazz) knows what’s going on except they’re in trouble. Told almost entirely through transcripts of phone calls, video recordings, and unaired footage, this is acerbic, satirical look at the world of reality TV is for fans of Beauty Queens, Sci-fi spoofs, and black humor. On page sex, salty language.
Venturess
CLARION [CLARION]
Cornwell, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2017
Datisman, Eve
L950 H/L, 5+ Sequel to Mechanica. Fairytale endings are nice, but what happens after that? Nicola Lampton, had escaped the evil Steps and is living and inventing in the palace with prince Fin and her friend Caro. But all is not well. She’s almost saved up enough money to buy the house she grew up in, where her mother’s mechanical workshop is. However, her Steps and the suspicious, religious Brethren aren’t through with her yet, donating her home before she can make an offer. Meanwhile, anti-magic religious fanatics and war profiteers aim to lead the kingdom into a full-blown genocide of Faerie. Fin thinks he can stop the war, but they must hurry; one courtier is secretly building an automaton army. This book overturns and plays with typical steampunk tropes and features female engineers with a DIY attitude. It also presents a world in which dark-skinned people, such as Fin, reign over those with fairer skin. Freedom is the central theme-religious freedom, freedom from imperialism, freedom to live unencumbered by gender norms, and freedom to love others unbound by restrictions of family, gender, or race. Covers a lot of social issues, leaves room for another installment. Deserves a place in middle and high school libraries.
Sound
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Rivera, Andrea
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 21, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
This is one book in a series titled “Science Concepts.” Other titles are: Air, Gravity, Light, Living and Nonliving, and Motion. Basic, limited information that describes sound as vibrations. Photos, graphics, and font draw the reader in, but does not offer a comprehensive explanation of the concept. Has T/C, glossary, index and Abdo Kids code to find fun things to do online.
Escape From Syria
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Kullab, Samya
Roche, Jackie
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 21, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
The author Samya Kullab writes an introduction to this graphic novel where she explains how and why she wrote this story. As editor and reporter for the Lebanon's Daily Star, she reported on the Syrian Refugee crisis in that country. The book uses fictional characters based on a composite of people and experiences the author reported on for three years. The story is told through the lives of Amina and her family. Graphic layout is sometimes full-page or divided into 5 or 6 blocks; muted colors, realistic figures. Panels show (very limited) explosions, shootings with blood, body bags lined up, and gassed civilians. But the overall story is compelling based on the courage of the people and one family as they try to leave Syria and struggle to survive in Lebanon. The story ends on a positive note when the family is granted asylum in Canada. Panels show welcome signs and social workers who help them with renting an apartment, finding a job, medical assistance, and going to school. Still, they are challenged by public transportation, language, a different climate, and worry for the extended family they have left behind. Endnotes provide more information (noting page numbers in the story) with photographs.
Puppies
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 21, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
See review for kittens.
Kittens
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 21, 2017
Fisk, Rhetta
It’s all about those darling photos!! CUTE pictures of cats with the most basic facts that could help with a Kindergarten or First Grade research project. Two page spread has one sentence and color print for heading or vocabulary. Shows a variety of breeds, growth cycle from kitten to cat, and a process of adoption. But have I said the pictures were CUTE?! Has T/C, glossary, index and Abdo Kids code to find fun things to do online.
Birthdays Around The World
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Ruurs, Margriet
Barron, Ashley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Learn about how birthdays are celebrated in fourteen countries around the world through the "stories" of children. After an introduction about birthdays in general, there is a two-page map with the countries featured and the first names of the children with their picture. The information in the book is based on interviews with real people so the realistic cut paper illustrations on a white background work perfectly. The birthday customs of the children are each presented on large two-page spreads to introduce the child and location plus a birthday greeting in that language. ("Ninoshka lives in Koipur, India. Janam din mubarak!") Four short sections of text cover customs such as food, games, and activities from the child's point of view with several large and small cut paper illustrations to give details. Several countries don't celebrate birthdays so the focus is on a related special day, such as Pro Kok Kun when a baby turns one month old. The book ends with questions about birthdays and traditions for the reader and five activities, plus a glossary of the featured birthday greetings and words in other languages in the text. This is a great resources for world culture studies.
Long-Armed Ludy And The First Women's Olympics
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Patrick, Jean L S
Gustavson, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Lucile "Ludy" Godbold was six feet tall, very skinny, and an athlete at Winthrop College in 1917. This picture biography tells the story of Ludy's start as a shot putter and her rigorous training to become a champion. In 1922 she set an American record in the shot put with a throw of 35 feet, 6-1/4 inches. She went on to qualify for the Women's Olympics in France, but she did not have the money to travel there. She continued to train and eventually the students and teachers at Winthrop College raised the money to send her. She continued to train on the six-day voyage by ship to France. At the Women's Olympics Ludy was nervous, but she won and set a new world record. There are two pages at the end with more information about Ludy, the Women's Olympics, and how the author found and researched Ludy's story along with photographs of Ludythrowing shot put and the United States Women's Olympics team. The oil paint illustrations are eye catching and informative with details about Ludy training in knee-length athletic pantaloons of the day and Ludy towering over almost everyone with her long arms and skinny frame. This is an inspirational story about determination, hard work, and helping others.
Chicken In The Kitchen
Lantana Publishing [Lantana Publishing]
Okorafor, Nnedi
Amini, Mehrodokht
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Anyaugo wakes up the night before the New Yam Festival in Nigeria to find a colorful giant chicken in her kitchen. Anyaugo worries about what she should do and why her nature spirit friend the Wood Wit is not there to help her. Meanwhile the Wood Wit is in the kitchen annoying the giant chicken. Finally the Wood Wit helps by telling her to speak to the chicken in Chickenese, then the chicken becomes friendly. The next day Anyaugo enjoys the New Yam Festival and sees the chicken masquerade among the performers. This story may take some explanation for students who are not used to Nigerian customs, but they will love the multi-colored chicken and the mischievous Wood Wit. The lively illustrations with splashes of color and charming details fit the story perfectly.
Out Of School And Into Nature : The Anna Comstock Story
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Slade, Suzanne
Lanan, Jessica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This picture biography tells the story of Anna Comstock and her love of nature that drove her to become a scientist and artist at a time when women were supposed to get married after high school. Anna was born in 1854 and grew up studying plants and animals outdoors. With her parents encouragement she went to college to study plants and insects. She drew very accurate and intricate picture of insects that were admired by teachers and scientists. After graduating and becoming a nature expert and helping farmers, Anna focused her energy on encouraging teachers in New York schools to study nature and to bring students outside to observe nature. More details about her personal life, education, career, and books she wrote are included in the two-page author's note at the end. Several quotes from Anna Comstock's writings and three of her engravings of insects are incorporated into the story. The warm watercolor illustrations fit the book perfectly and give details that are not covered in the simple text. The book is written for younger students to understand, but older students who love nature and art will also be interested. This book shows what can be accomplished by someone who is passionate about a topic.
Peg + Cat : The Big Dog Problem
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Oxley, Jennifer
Aronson, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Peg and her cat are trusted with five letters to mail including a very important red one. The first problem they have to solve is how to divide up the letters fairly to carry them to the mailbox. Then they discover a big dog blocking their way to the mailbox. Peg thinks of three plans to mail the letters, but when they don't work they have to try harder to show Peg's mom they can be trusted. They learn that the big dog is friendly and he even helps them reach the mailbox to mail the letters. Peg and Cat's persistence and creativity solves their problems in this Level 2 easy reader that is based on the PBS Kids TV program called Peg + Cat. Cute stylized illustrations with a faint graph paper background fit the fun but somewhat unrealistic story.
Peg + Cat : The Pirate Problem
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Oxley, Jennifer
Aronson, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Peg and her cat don't have any problems sharing food, but the pirates they meet definitely do. Peg and her cat finally find peaches that the picky pirates will eat, but they have to learn how to divide up the peaches evenly. Finally Peg uses addition to solve the problem when a monkey steals some peaches. Once again math saves the day and solves the problem in this Level 2 easy reader that is based on the PBS Kids TV program called Peg + Cat. Cute stylized illustrations with a faint graph paper background fit the fun but somewhat unrealistic story.
101 Books To Read Before You Grow Up
Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library [Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library]
Schulze, Bianca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Bianca Schulze, founder of The Children’s Book Review, has but together a guide to 101 books that she recommends that every kid should read. Each selection has a blurb to tempt readers, a list of books to read after, a fun fact connected to the book, and reader age, genre, and publishing info. The collection is a personal and eclectic list of books. There are old and recent books, well known favorites and a less well known as well. The book progresses from books for the youngest reader through those aimed at 11 years or older. In the back is an index organized by genre. Those who work with children, aficionados of kids books and even voracious young readers should enjoy dipping into this as to think about what they might like to read next.
How The Toilet Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Perdew, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the toilet and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text lays out the history well, makes clear connections to health implications (as well as the stench issue) but also is very clear in showing that lack of toilets and related problems are still a huge issue in many parts of the world. A reader might pick it up for the gross factor but come away wanting to explore it more deeply as a current social issue. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
How The Refrigerator Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bjornlund, Lydia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the refrigerator and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. The history of refrigeration is well laid out and the changes to business, homemaking, and food production make it very clear of the huge impact of refrigerators on our society. More difficult to follow were the technological advancements (or perhaps I just didn’t give myself time to digest the text). Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
How The Light Bulb Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bailey, Diane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the light bulb and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text lays out the history well connecting clearly the impact on the technology to the way people live, how industry changed and how the light bulb drove the development of energy infrastructure. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
Love Me
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Shukert, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Amanda, Margo, and Gabby just want to make it in 1930’s Hollywood. However, that isn’t easy unless you are talented, lucky and always ready to be seen. Hopping between plot lines the girls take turns working to be noticed or acknowledged, to have a real love affair or to flourish or even survive in a cutthroat world. Amanda can’t seem to move on after her relationship with a screenwriter ends. Not only is she depressed and listless she is broke and might soon have to slip back into her previous life as an escort. Margo seems to be on the rise until she is overlooked for an Oscar and seemingly cast aside by both the industry and the movie star she has been living with. Gabby just wants to be taken seriously as an adult performer and has turned to drinking and drugs. There is plenty of action and petty behavior to keep a reader turning the pages once the story lines are sorted out, but it will take readers with stamina to do that unless they have already read the first book in the Starstruck series.
How The Refrigerator Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bjornlund, Lydia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the refrigerator and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text lays out the history well, but has a tendency to introduce topics on impacts without clearly connecting them leaving the reader to infer what exactly has changed because of the car. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
How The Computer Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Naber, Therese
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the computer and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text was very focused on the development technology making it dense reading if the reader doesn’t have strong background knowledge and vocabulary. There seemed to be less of a focus on how the computer has changed society than in other books in the series. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
How The Wheel Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Higgins, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the wheel and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text is clear about how the technology of the wheel was influential in not only changing society but also its role as a building block for so many other inventions that came after it. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index
How The Printing Press Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Yomtov, Nel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the printing press and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text lays out the history of the technology succinctly, but its strong point is pointing out the speed and depth of the impact of the printing press on society. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
Super Happy Magic Forest
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Long, Matty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
When the Mystic Crystals of Life are stolen a mismatched team of mystical creatures (and one mushroom) are sent on a quest to recover them. Thus starts a journey through different lands each covering a two page spread as they search to recover the crystal. Unfortunately, the crystals are not to be found. After facing defeat the band of heroes find out via butterfly messenger that the Great Evil is back where they started in the Super Happy Magical Forest. They rush back, confront the Evil Old Oak, recapture the crystals, and fly the tree through the air to transport it to the Super Creepy Haunted Forest. After that it is time to party! With its colorfully cartoon illustrations this book will fly off the shelf and readers probably won’t mind in the least that the story is a little slight.
What's That Noise?
Tate Publishing [Tate Publishing]
Martins, Isabel Minhos
Matoso, Madalena
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
This is an intriguing interactive read. Through questions and directions the reader is encouraged to explore and interact with bold graphic illustrations using their fingers to walk through the story, and make sounds of rain and otherwise inviting them to interact. After the reader explores the setting, they are introduced to a friendly worm (with antennae?) that they get to know and then protect with their hands from a bird. This is unique lap book that could find a small but loyal following.
Solutions For Cold Feet And Other Little Problems
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Sookocheff, Carey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
A girl and her dog explore alternate solutions to life problems such as losing a shoe, getting caught in the rain, melting ice cream and being bored. The text is simple with simple words or phrases or pictures to illustrate each idea. This might make a good discussion starter on flexible thinking, perseverance and finding multiple solutions to a problem.
Egyptian Warrior
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hulme-Cross, Benjamin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Arthur and Fin travel back to Ancient Egypt to release the ghost of Thamose, an ancient Egyptian warrior trapped in their great-grandfather’s museum. Can they change the course of history and free the ghosts? Thamose was the 16-year-old son of the Pharaoh of Thebes. Their task is to prevent a war between Thebes and the Nubians which the high priest wants. As in thir other adventures, one learns a bit about Ancient Egypt from the story and additional sections that provide background information. The story is exciting with lots of intrigue and deception. Ancient Egypt has always inspired tales of adventure that appeal to many. Students will enjoy this tale and will want to read other books in this time travel series.
Director's Cut
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Acton, Vanessa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
At Edmonds Air Force Base Alex finds new friendship with Air Force “brats” Ahmed, Destiny, and Gabby. Next to the base is an abandoned movie set that burned down during the 1980’s. Rumors say that it is cursed but that doesn’t stop them from exploring it. When Destiny disappears and Alex spots her bracelet in the basement below where the floor has caved in, Alex drops down to explore fearing Destiny is injured. Spotting a tunnel they follow it. Being chased by a pack of wolves and an explosive fire add to the excitement. Military brats know there are far scarier things in real life, such as moving, overseas parental deployment, and finding “true” friends. What is the key to the “curse” on the movie set—the movie itself? Students will find this a quick, fun read with just enough “scare” and connection to life to keep them involved. It should also encourage them to read other titles in the series.
Sam In Winter
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Van De Vendel, Edward
Hopman, Philip
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Translated from the Dutch by David Coleman, this touching story of an old white dog and his loyalties is excellent. It is a sequel to A dog like Sam. Though Kix has only had the mysterious dog Sam only a year, Sam has become part of the family, especially to Kix. As Sam ages he begins to act strangely and disappears one day and doesn’t come back. Desperate to find him, Sam finally turns to an old enemy to help. He finds him with his old ownerFlint who has had many problems in his life, including kicking Sam once. The portrayal of the old dog Sam is true to what we see in older dogs, as is the loyalties of a dog. The feelings of Kix and Flint are realistic and will appeal to any dog lover. I read this shortly after I losing my own “old white dog” that I shared with her original family. This story will touch the heart of all dog lovers and help them understand older dogs and why we love them.
Ogres Awake!
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Sturm, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The knight and his horse, Edward, from Adventures in Cartooning are off to tackle another challenge. There is a band of ogres asleep in the meadow outside the castle and the knight is sure it will mean war. The king, however, has a different plan. He and his garden gnomes have been busy preparing by growing vegetables. With the knight enlisted to help they make sweet potato stew to offer to the ogres when they wake up hungry. It works- the ogres are happy and the kingdom is safe. Only the knight who is tasked with cleanup, and who didn’t get to fight is a little disappointed. The story is fun, and young cartoon aficionados will appreciate the drawing lessons for the knight, Edward the horse, the garden gnomes and the ogres inside the covers.
Found
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Bodeen, S A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
As this is the fourth book in the Shipwreck Island Series, the reader needs to have read the earlier titles to make sense of what is happening and the characters. When Sarah Robinson and her newly blended family are shipwrecked on the island, there are many mysteries and questions. Sarah meets “Curator”, a strange boy who may be an Alien; Cash, a girl who may hold the key to why the island has been kept a secret; many unusual creatures, such as the rhinocorn and sharkodile; and people who are after the “treasure”. This exciting tale will appeal to students who like adventure, time travel, fantasy and the “slightly sinister”. Will the evil Fox and Miss Blackstone find the treasure first and hurt members of the family and other creatures on the island? Reluctant readers will also enjoy this book.
Hurry Up, Henry
PUFFIN BOOKS [PUFFIN BOOKS]
Lanthier, Jennifer
Malenfant, Isabelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Henry is always being hurried along. It’s not that he wants to be late, but he does like to notice things along the way and he likes time to just be. His style drives most of his family a little crazy but his best friend Simon (who is always being told to slow down) understands that it is who he is. And so, for his Harry’s birthday, Simon comes up with a surprise that Harry’s grandma helps him carry out. They move the clocks in Harry’s home back one hour so instead of the regular rush out the door to get to school and work the family has a whole hour to look, linger and enjoy the morning. This is a sweet story about recognizing personal styles and taking the time to celebrate them together. Soft, inviting and slightly whimsical illustrations show a cast of multicultural characters in an urban setting. Children who like to slow down and dawdle will relish that their style is celebrated in this book.
Sammy And The Headless Horseman
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Arato, Rona
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Utilizing the “headless horseman” from the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, this tale is set in the Catskill Mountains of the 1920’s. 11-year old Sammy was sent to spend the summer with his “awful” cousin Joshua at a Jewish hotel. Sammy and his friends become entangled in a series of mysterious events including attacks of “the legendary headless horseman” on a reclusive “Hermit” who lives on the hill. This rather old-fashioned story features strong Jewish family traditions that some students will not understand. Students will enjoy the scary “headless horseman”. Sammy ends up working for the hotel and has adventures with his new friends as they explore the mystery and reasons for the pranks at the hotel and attacks on the Hermit. Sammy also meets Eddie Cantor, a famous entertainer, and performs with him. Unraveling the mystery helps Sammy make new friends, understand his cousin, and his changing family relationships. This will appeal to students who enjoy a bit of scary, a mystery, and cultural situations. Students who were attracted by the title will find more than just a scare.
Newspaper Hats
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Cummings, Phil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Georgie, a young girl, is visiting her grandfather in a retirement home with her father. On the way she wonders if he will remember her this time. He doesn’t, but with the help of old newspapers and photos he is able to tell her of memories he does have. Georgie points out a picture of her in a newspaper hat he made for her and together the make a batch of hats that they then share with other residents of the home. When Grandpa’s hat flies away Georgie tells him not to worry they can make another and he says, “I remember how.” This is a sweet story of love that transcends memory. Children who know someone with memory problems will appreciate this and those who don’t should also. Soft collared pencil illustrations enhance the tale.
Goodnight, Hockey Fans
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Larsen, Andrew
Lee, Jacqui
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Hockey fans will relate strongly to the dreams of this young boy who is sent to bed before the game is over. As he lies in his bed, he grabs the radio, turns on the game, and tucks it under his pillow. Falling asleep he transports himself into the game to make a score and become the star of the game. Soft illustrations portray his feelings in his face. The words create the actions and thoughts of hockey—“He’s whistling like the wind. He is flying! This well-written and illustrated tale is a nostalgic bedtime story. Though written in Canada where hockey is the dream of every young boy, the story can be shared by all who dream of being a “star” in hockey or any other sport.
Hop Up! Wriggle Over!
CLARION [CLARION]
Honey, Elizabeth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Australian author Elizabeth Honey uses delightful, fun Australian animals and active simple words and sounds to follow the animals through the day. A sample of the words on each two page spread describe the activity pictured, “Yum yum Picnic! Thirsty! Sploosh! Illustrations are fun; animals are adorable. At the end of the book, the nine animals are identified with their name, pronunciation, and picture. She also challenges the children to find the baby of each animal in the pictures. Teachers can use this to talk about onomatopoeia (sound words) and active verbs, as well as feelings. It could also be a beginning to learn about unique Australian animals. This book is a joy to read and share!
What Matters
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Hughes, Alison
Hatam, Holly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
A boy picks up a can in the park and throws it in the recycling. He doesn’t under the impact of this small deed, but the book spells it out in spades. From snails and insects, to spiders and birds, to grass and flowers, streams and rivers to even the ocean a small act can make an impact. While I liked the idea of tracing the positive impact, I must say that even as an adult I was hard pressed to understand the impact of one less can on a baby bird or a spider. I’d imagine an inquisitive kid might find the lack of clear connection even more annoying than I did.
Shelter
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Claire, Celine
Leng, Qin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Originally published in French as L’abri, this gentle tale includes a variety of animals (families of rabbits foxes, squirrels, birds, and pigs) taking shelter and collecting food before a storm. Safe and warm in their homes, each family turns away two strangers (bears) that come to their doors with excuses of no food, too small, etc. As the snow comes the two bears make a shelter in the snow on the hill. The heavy snowfall causes the fox house to collapse and force the fox family into the storm. The bears welcome the fox family into their snow den. The delightful lesson on the importance of food, shelter, and friendship is useful in teaching both “needs” and friendship. The illustrations are reminiscent of Julia Rawlinsons’ Fletcher books about seasons. Primary students will enjoy this story.
Totally Wacky Facts About Ancient History
Mind Benders/capstone Press [Mind Benders/capstone Press]
Meister, Cari
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Odd facts about ancient civilizations are presented in short 1-3 sentence statements. Eye-catching photos, illustrations and layouts accompany them. The ancient civilizations are mainly focused on Rome, Greece, Egyptian and Chinese though there are a good smattering from other parts of the world as well. If you need some high interest browsing materials this might be a perfect fit for your collection. However, the shallow bits of information are just for fun consumption not for anything in depth.
Bugs From Head To Tail
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Roderick, Stacey
Moriya, Kwanchai
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
Utilizing a question and picture format, this book introduces children to unique features of 9 bugs. Each question is answered on the next page with the name of the bug and an informative paragraph. Fortunately, there is an explanation at the end of the groups of creatures in the arthropod families—insect, arachnids and myriapods. Myriapods are a classification that are frequently not explained, so this could be a good way to start learning about them. Included in the book are the rhinoceros beetle, luna moth, grasshopper, lady bug, monarch butterfly, tarantula, millipede, and dragonfly. Seven additional “bugs” are shown with one sentence descriptions. The illustrations are cheerful, playful, and colorful (much like Steve Jenkins pictures). The descriptions focus on details of the featured characteristic of the animal. Details are interesting and will capture the attention of young students. This could be used as an introduction to the groups of bugs and to research.
Bridge To The Wild : Behind The Scenes At The Zoo
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
O'connell, Caitlin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Naturalist and writer Caitlin O’Connell uses her connections and skills to give readers a taste of the work that goes on behind the scenes at a Zoo Atlanta. In well-written narrative non-fiction the book focuses on the science and research happening at the zoo as well as the work of zookeepers and veterinarians through the lens of what is happening with various animals and exhibits. Thoughtfully chosen photos, illustrations, informational sidebars and charts are used to break apart the text and extend learning. The book will appeal to readers thinking of careers working with animals. It would also work well as a read aloud in a classroom. Endnotes including examples of data collection forms, a thorough
Double Take! : A New Look At Opposites
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hood, Susan
Fleck, Jay
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Elders, Ann
An elephant and a boy introduce the concept of opposites and extends the concept to include relative terms and point of view. Simple line drawings and illustrations give the concepts of opposites meaning and perspective by showing how such ideas as near and far can change by different distances or adding another character to the picture. Point of view is presented by using a picture of dashes and dots viewed up close and then from a distance becoming a rainbow butterfly and how ahead and behind changes on where a person is in a line. Some vocabulary is advanced with words like “perplexing” and “array” that may need explaining. Teachers will find this useful in enhancing the opposite concept and students will love the characters. R+ K-3
King And The Sea
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Janisch, Heinz
Erlbruch, Wolf
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
In a series of short vignettes a king learns that the entire world around him does not fall under his command. Time and again he runs up against objects and animals that disregard his commands or simply show that they being in the world in their own unique way. In fits and starts he begins to take their cue and to enjoy things as they are rather than expect them to change. Simple mixed media illustrations suit the style well. Though pleasant enough, I’m not sure who the intended audience would be for the tales. An Austrian import, perhaps it doesn’t translate well to an American audience.
Cornish Rexes
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Leighton, Christina
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Cat lovers who are just learning to read should enjoy learning about this less familiar breed. The book covers the distinctive curly hair and appearance of the breed, their history, and their personality. With clear pictures, short approachable text and text features such as an index and further resources this is a fine easy non-fiction text. It is level two Blastoff Reader. If you have a loyal cat loving population this title should be popular.
How The Automobile Changed History
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Bailey, Diane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
The history of the automobile and its implications on human society are presented in this volume of the “Essential Library of Inventions” by ABDO. This particular text lays out the history well, but has a tendency to introduce topics on impacts without clearly connecting them leaving the reader to infer what exactly has changed because of the car. Each book in the series starts off with an engaging moment in the inventions history and then highlights the history of the invention, key figures in its development, how it has impacted human life and a look at the future of the invention. Clear illustrations and old photographs support and enhance the design of the book. Informative sidebars add interesting details. Each volume also has endnotes including: a review page of essential facts, glossary, source notes, additional resources and an index.
Noodleheads See The Future
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Arnold, Tedd
Arnold, Tedd
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Taking inspiration from Noodlehead tales from around the world this start of a new easy reader series should have great appeal to young readers. In short accessible chapters set up in graphic format two empty headed macaroni noodles (Mac and Mac) go on short adventures each showing their literal thinking, lack of understanding and limited foresight. Engaging illustrations by Tedd Arnold and goofy stories will make this a natural choice for fans of the Dumb Bunnies and the Stupids. At the end are source notes of where each of the tales retold come from. I will definitely be buying both volumes in this new series.
Enough Water? : A Guide To What We Have And How We Use It
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
After a fairly dense introduction on the importance of paying attention to water use, and where the water we use in our homes usually comes from this book is filled with large scale clear graphics showing how much water is used in daily life. There are charts showing use in the in the bathroom, and laundry room in the home. Other non-food goods such as clothing, paper and electronics are also shown. The largest group of charts covers food-allowing readers to easily compare choices in eating and their impact on water. The final seven pages are filled with tips to reduce water use in various settings. An extensive selected bibliography and illustration credit page indicate thorough research went into the book, also included is a glossary and index. Readers interested in the environment should find plenty to think about in this volume and teachers will welcome it as a tool to start and guide discussions around water use.
Wasp Builds A Nest : See Inside A Paper Wasp's Nest And Watc
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Scarborough, Kate
Camm, Martin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Budding naturalists will find plenty to enjoy in this book that explores the process and timeline of how paper wasps build their home. In increasing page sizes the reader will follow a queen as she leaves her winter home and chooses a site to begin to build a wasps nest. The first 52 days show the queen busy at work building the pillar to support the nest and a small cluster of cells in which she lays eggs. After the eggs hatch she cares for the first generation of workers until they begin metamorphosis. Then she gets busy starting the first expansion of both the inside cells and the outside walls of the home. After the first workers emerge the queen’s role changes to mainly egg layer and her offspring take over the building of the nest. Finally, as the summer begins to wane the queen lays a final set of eggs, which become the drones and a new generation of queens for the next year. Intricate illustrations invite readers to pore over the pictures and information and marvel at the process.
Rocks, Minerals, And Gems
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Omber, Gary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 24, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Amazing photos will draw browsers to pore over this book. It is filled with information if one takes time to read captions, the charts and the many short blocks of texts. However, besides having the spreads organized into minerals, rocks, and gems the text seems to jump between examples. For browsing or for looking up specific specimen this is a fine resource. For gaining an overall picture it may be too detail oriented focusing on examples rather than similarities and differences across specimens. However, the book is sure to be popular for browsing the excellent photos and for those real rock hounds that will enjoy the detailed charts.
Great White Sharks In Action
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Silverman, Buffy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 25, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Many children are fascinated by great white sharks and this book will appeal to them lots of photographs and interesting basic information about them. The four chapters are each four pages long with a few sentences of text on each page along with a supplemental photograph (usually with a caption). Topics include physical features, hunting and food, baby sharks, and habitat. At the end is a basic diagram of the physical features, short index and glossary, list of resources, and a list of facts about people and sharks including shark attacks. A few additions would make this book more useful, such as a photograph of a baby shark and a map of the range of great white sharks. This is an appealing book and adequate for a beginning research project. It is part of the Shark World series.
Orcas On The Hunt
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Klepeis, Alicia Z
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 25, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Orcas are top ocean predators and this book focuses on them as hunters with additional information about habitat, physical features, social groups, and communication. The first chapter is about a group of orcas in Antarctica working together to hunt a seal on an ice floe. The next chapters focus on habitat and their connections with humans and physical features. The last chapter is about the three pod types, communication, and the life cycle. Each page is a mixture of text and a captioned photograph, diagram, or map to support the information. This book would be useful for intermediate grade research because every chapter has subtitles and information is clear and well organized. A short index, glossary, list of resources, and list of basic scientific facts are included. It is not as appealing for browsing as some books because the photos are smaller, but better for learning about orcas.
Meet A Baby Koala
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Fishman, Jon M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 25, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Learn about baby koalas and how mother koalas care for them in this simple and appealing book. Each chapter is four pages long with a photo (usually captioned) and text in large print on each page. The chapters follow the baby koala from birth to life on its own after one or two years. Even though the focus is on baby koalas, there is enough information for a basic research report including life cycle, food, habitat, and location if bulleted facts at the end of the book are used. There is also a very short glossary and index, and a list of other resources. Students will love the up-close photographs of baby koalas and their mother on every page. It is part of the Baby Australian Animals series.
Coding To Create And Communicate
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Lyons, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 25, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Use this book to introduce young children to online creativity and communication options including internet safety. Each of the nine two-page spreads very briefly explains a topic with chunks of information and simple drawings or diagrams on a bright background. The topics are very simple like screen time or email in the beginning and the last topics are coding music and exploring on the Internet. All the topics include some basic information about being safe online or digital literacy. The book lends itself to introducing topics at a basic level, but a great deal of supplemental information would be needed about specific programs or web sites to use the tips. For example, one topic is how to share a story or poem with family or friends, but a "trusted adult" is needed to choose a safe web site and no suggestions are given. This makes the book less likely to quickly be out-of-date, but it isn't helpful for actually finding a safe web site for posting work. At the end is a link to more online activities, short glossary and index, plus the answers to the questions. It is part of the Kids Get Coding series.
Clutch
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Camlot, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 25, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Montreal 1946. Each chapter title is a baseball term followed by a quotation about Jackie Robinson’s first year in the minor leagues for the Montreal Royals and the challenges he faces. The body of the text, however, is the story of a 12-year-old Jewish boy, who takes on the full responsibility as man of the house when his father suddenly dies. Joey has good intentions, but is very angry at his situation financially and emotionally, thinking his goal has to be to get his mother and 6-year-old brother out of the ghetto grocer’s life that he believes killed his father. He becomes a bit single-minded and at times ruthless, which is opposed to his true nature. Unfortunately his best friend’s creepy, criminal father tries to take advantage of Joey’s drive, and almost succeeds. Fortunately Joey really has a strong support system around him—neighbors, mother(when she comes out of her own depression), brother, and friends who ultimately remind him of who he is and what’s important. Analogies to Robinson’s life intermingle. Not sure who the readership will be, as it’s not as much baseball as promised. The last chapters are quite satisfying in this first novel. Gr. 5-7
Piece Of Home
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Watts, Jeri
Yum, Hyewon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 25, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Hee Jun and his family are surprised when his father accepts a teaching position at a law school in West Virginia. They are happy in their life in Korea where his grandmother is a respected teacher. The transition is not easy for Hee Jun, his little sister or his grandmother. His little sister is having an especially hard time and bites and spits on her teacher. Hee Jun’s grandmother is drafted into helping in his sister’s classroom and the young teacher and her bond- grandmother sharing teaching tips and the teacher teaching the grandmother English. Likewise, Hee Jun and his sister learn the language and begin to make friends. The story ends most of a year later with the family feeling that they have started to set down roots that connect their new and old homes into an ordinary life once more. This is a quiet story that will resonate with students who must move when they have no choice in the matter.
Dreams And What They Mean : Facts, Trivia, And Quizzes
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Olson, Elsie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 26, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Students may not ask for books about dreams, but once they see this book they may be very interested. This is an appealing book divided into six short chapters covering topic such as the importance of dreams in ancient civilizations, the science of sleep, and interpretations of dreams. There isn't much detail, but short subtitled paragraphs with interesting little drawings or photographs are probably what students really want. There are also two quizzes about dreams, directions on how to make a dream journal, and a flowchart about what dreams mean. There are a couple of paragraphs about Freud and Jung's philosophies about dreams, but the reader is encouraged to interpret their dreams themselves. A glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of the Mind Games series. Students will enjoy the emphasis on understanding their own dreams by actively paying attention to them.
Race Cars
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Crane, Cody
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 26, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
This True Book about race cars gives just enough information in an organized and interesting way for the reader to know the basics of race cars in general. The four chapters cover different types of racing, race car design, race courses, and the future of racing. Each chapter has several subtitled sections of text along with high-quality captioned photographs, timelines, or diagrams. Some of the photographs are labeled to point out features explained in the text. There are four pages of STEM connections (Science - racing forces, Technology - Formula E (electric) cars, Engineering - inside a race car's engine, and Math - horsepower). At the end are two four-page activities related to race cars, statistics, short list of resources, glossary, and index. Students interested in race cars will enjoy this interesting book and they will also learn about the science behind the sport.
Princess And The Christmas Rescue
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Hart, Caryl
Warburton, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 26, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Princess Eliza lives in the far North in a beautiful palace, but she doesn't have friends to play with. She loves to tinker and make machines like the Odd Sock Sorter, but her parents don't think it is hobby that is proper for a princess. One day Eliza is bored and leaves the palace looking for someone to help her find friends. She stumbles upon Santa's workshop and finds out that the elves are in a panic because Santa has the flu and there is too much to do before Christmas. Eliza saves the day by inventing machines to read children's letter and sort the toys. Santa lets her help deliver the toys and Eliza's parent realize that what she needs is a workshop so she can help other by making things. The bright mixed media illustrations surround the rhyming text with details about Eliza's machines, the characters, and the setting. This is a fun Christmas book about a good-hearted and inventive girl who just wants to make some friends.
Journey With Francisco Vazquez De Coronado
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Kallen, Stuart A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 26, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Francisco Vazquez de Coronado was a Spanish explorer living in Mexico in the 1500's when he led an expedition searching for riches in great cities to the north. Coronado never found the treasures and cities he had heard about, but his two-year journey put him in history as the first Spanish explorer to what is now the southwest and central United States. The first two chapters tell of Coronado's move to Mexico, how he marries into a wealthy family, becomes a government investigator, and finally the governor of New Galicia. The last two chapters tell of his expedition to find the famed Seven Cities of Cibola and Quivira. The portrayal of Coronado is often not favorable with many examples of how he harshly treated servants, native people, and his own soldiers. The chapters are divided into subtitled sections with a primary source document or art on almost every page. There is also a timeline, simple map of his expedition, and several pages with quotes from primary sources. The primary sources add authenticity and depth to the book, but they are often too small to really be able to see in detail and the caption boxes are often covering part of the primary source. Source notes, glossary, annotated list of resources, and index.
I Won't Eat That
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Neal, Christopher Silas
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
A contrary cat decides he won’t eat cat food, so he sets out to discover something new. As he asks each animal what it eats, Cat becomes more picky. Originally he says, “I’m hungry and searching for something yummy to eat.”, but after conferring with Turtle, Fox, Chimp, Lion, and Elephant, he qualifies his requests with something that doesn’t wiggle, bounce, bite, isn’t too big or dry or boring. After Whale describes its bioluminescent phytoplankton, something too weird for Cat, Mouse asks Cat what he eats. Cat suddenly knows the answer to this as unwitting Mouse is seen running off the end page. This was a 2-1/2-year-old's favorite among a handful of new books, so its large format, muted mixed media illustrations, cumulative text, and surprise ending will fit the preschool-1st grade crowd. Beware—foxes do eat rabbits and lions so eat zebras.
Maisy Goes On A Plane : A Maisy First Experiences Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
See Karen Kline's 12/2015 review for the original hardback version. This edition is the paperback. I agree with everything Karen said-- "Maisy the mouse is off on a plane trip to see her friend Ella. As her friend Cyril sees her off she goes through the routines that modern air travel demands -- checking bags, security, and the boarding process. A variety of animals depicted in black line, color illustrations show up for the flight and find their seats. Exit signs and seat belts are described along with a bathroom break for Maisy complete with her having to stand in line. Young readers will appreciate this introduction to air travel with a familiar character, and the peppy two-dimensional art with its wide-eyed creatures tells little fans they are in the company of a story geared just for them. This will be a welcome book for any little traveler embarking on a plane ride, and parents will surely be asked to read it multiple times."
We Wish You A Merry Christmas : Sing Along With Me!
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Huang, Yu-Hsuan
Yu-Hsuan, Huang
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 26, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Another offering by Huang in the Sing Along With Me! board book series brings the preschool set a short version of the traditional Christmas song. Four very thick double-page spreads have the lyrics to the song, which can be accompanied by the free downloadable audio version. Note that the book and audio version don’t quite match as “good tidings” is used for “glad tidings” (audio), as well as the last page is written as “Good tidings for a Christmas and a happy New Year!” whereas the audio sings, “We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!” This probably won’t matter to the very young readers as they will be more interested in manipulating the moving parts of pleasant, colorful snowmen, sledders, a polar bear on roof, and Santa and reindeer flying through the night sky.
Where's The Owl?
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Arrhenius, Ingela P
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 26, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
This board book uses felt flaps to hide the animal in question starting with “Where’s the deer?” Under the felt green tree is the deer with the response, “Here it is!” After four animals, the final double page spread asks, “Where are you?” Under the felt flap the young reader will happily see his/her own face in the mirror. Though very simple this appeals to the intended ages of 0-3 with its repetition, manipulation of the easy felt flaps, and the bright, bold illustrations also featuring a fox, hedgehog and owl.
Popo's Lucky Chinese New Year
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Benoit, Renne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 27, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Grandmother "PoPo" has come to America for a Lunar New Year visit, and a Chinese-American girl shares customs and beliefs common in her family traditions. Watercolor and ink illustrations accompany a child's-eye description of the busy holiday preparations, making this a good read-aloud for K-. A a simple summary of the custom illustrated makes an easy to learn summary of 14 common beliefs. Directions for making a small handheld Chinese Pellet Drum are on the end pages. Useful for elementary schools wanting more on this important holiday season.
Bad Guys In The Furball Strikes Back
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Blabey, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 27, 2017
Burton, Paula
The introduction to the third installment in this series, is a news report about the usual bad guys doing some good. It makes it a perfect way to introduce the premise of these books and creates an opportunity to read the series out of order. The gang of a wolf, snake, shark and mutant sardine is still trying to change their reputation of being the bad guys by helping others. The request to help cute little furry animals is only a trap by Doctor Marmalade the billionair mad scientist which leads to a new adventure where it even involves a special secret agent. This humorous graphic novel is a sure hit with the younger transitional readers in the elementary school crowd. Black and white illustrations full of action of this popular Australian author, will be difficult to keep on the shelves.
Knife's Edge
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Larson, Hope
Mock, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 27, 2017
Burton, Paula
The follow up to the graphic novel Compass South, about the twins Alex and Cleo still looking for the treasure left behind by their mother they now know. They have been reunited with their father and have found a new captain and ship to find the treasure related to the watch and pocket knife. They are not the only ones who are looking for this treasure. They are followed by the Pirate Worloy?? And his crew. Through flashbacks the reader finds out what happened to the twins mother, also a pirate these days and still alive. Both Alex and Cleo are trying to find their own identity and since it is set in the 19th century, Cleo is supposed to take up the role of a lady. She is not at all interested in this and wants to find out for herself what it is she wants to do. A colorful graphic novel, fast pace, full of action and anticipation where women identities are challenged. A wonderful addition for any library and a must have for those who have the first installment. The reviewer had a hardback version.
Twinsanity
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Sheinmel, Courtney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Zack has always been in a sort of competition with his twin sister. She's popular and seems to have her act together. Fortunately Zack discovered he had something she didn't--he was a genie! In book #1 in the series he went on his first genie mission and made a few mistakes. Now he's going to genie school and finally has something that is all his own...until it turns out that his sister also has the gift. Now she's disappeared and he and other young genies are off to the 13th dimension to try and rescue her. That is, assuming she WANTS to be rescued. This is a story about sibling rivalry, family, friends, and (of course) magic. Fans of the first book will want to read this one.
Shaun The Sheep : Blast To The Past
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Howard, Martin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 27, 2017
Burton, Paula
Based on the popular TV series and movie, there is now a series of stories for beginning chapter readers about the adventures of this hilarious character and his farm. Shaun creates a new activity for Timmy to have some fun like he did in the good old days. The sheep created the dream speed cart for Timmy, but instead of driving it by themselves, Shaun and Timmy are joined by the whole flock. The crash into the wall plays with the imagination of the whole flock and the farm dog Bitzer; they went back into time. At least that is what the pigs want Shaun to believe, and he does for the longest time. Before the contents page, the reader is introduced to the layout of the farm with a two spread map and the reappearing characters on the farm. This will make it possible for kids to pick up any book in the series without having to read them in a certain order. The last couple of pages are filled with two activities for the readers; How to make your own time capsule and how to draw the farmer in six easy steps. Chapters are accompanied by lively black and white cartoon like illustrations on every page. There are five more books in this series at the time of this review. The reviewer had a paperback version of the book.
Father's Road
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Jang, Ji-Yun
Jun, Tan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 28, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
A young boy is excited to be joining his father, a silk merchant, as he travels along the Silk Road. In small episodic segments he learns about traveling across deserts and mountains on a camel, visits some of the sites along the way and is even caught in a bandit attack and sandstorm. When the caravan reaches Constantinople he begins to understand the importance of trade in moving unique goods from one place to another around the world. This is part of the Trade Winds series from Eerdmans Books that show key economic ideas around the world and through out history. Though the episodic structure makes it difficult to track the time and length of the journey from China across Asia, this is an interesting and inviting introduction to the Silk Road.
Fresh-Picked Poetry : A Day At The Farmers' Market
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Schaub, Michelle
Huntington, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 28, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Exploring the farmer’s market is a delight in this approachable collection of poems. It starts with a truck laden with boxes of produce headed to the market, proceeds through set up and the first customers. Different stalls at the market are the focus of the center of the book-vegetables, fruits, the bakery, musicians and other highlights are covered in many different styles and types of poetry. The final spread closes the day with the packing up of the vendors and the unpacking of all that was bought at homes. Watercolor and ink illustrations add to the story showing the son of a farmer and a girl from the town exploring and enjoying the market together. This would add to poetry units but also tie nicely into nutrition and community units.
S.m.a.r.t.s. And The Mars Mission Mayhem
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Metz, Melinda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Part of a series of 4 books from Capstone, the Science, Maker, and Real Technology Students (aka SMARTS) Science club kids go on a Mars mission simulation in the Oregon Desert. A rival tea, the "Mad Scientists" seem determined to win recognition and award from the mission's promotor Timothy Pegg, CEO of the Mars Commission. Mr Pegg is hunting for the publicity of the students participation to encourage investors, but trouble develops when a "Earth First" protest group greets the young science teams arrival along with an over-eager young blogger who hopes to get the inside scoop for her blog. With 4 kids from each team inside the Mars station simulators, a series of challenging surprises make them use their smarts and teamwork to each snafu while the teams at Mission Control try to figure out how things are going wrong. This is an up-to-date "Cam Janson-esque whodunnit" with illustrations and healthy dose of STEM problems enough to make a satisfying chapter book for 3-5th graders.
Mathematician And Computer Scientist Grace Hopper
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Pelleschi, Andrea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 28, 2017
Lindquist, Sabrina Porter
This 32-page biography, published by Lerner in 2017, is worth your time despite its off-putting cover photo of an unsmiling, elderly Grace Hopper. Don't be deterred, however, as the content is an accessible description of her critical role in developing modern computing, largely via her U.S. Navy stint from 1943 until 1986, when she retired as one of the first female admirals. The introductory chapter links her future as a mathematics Ph.D., college professor, and the “grandmother” of COBOL, (the first standard computing language) to her childhood interest in science. Author Andrea Pelleschi notes that Hopper's parents actively encouraged her mechanical aptitude. The book details Hopper’s contributions, including writing the world’s first computer manual in 1946, as it describes early computers and how they worked in easy-to-understand language. This hardback, one of 26 titles in Lerner’s STEM Trailblazer Bios series, has page spreads well balanced between text and graphics, with a few color photos among the many black-and-white ones, and judicious use of white space. The book is sturdily bound and has four end pages of notes, including a timeline of Hopper’s life, glossary, index, sources of pull-out quotes, and a bibliography.
When A Wolf Is Hungry
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Naumann-Villemin, Christ
Di Giacomo, Kris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Leave it to an epicurean French wolf Edmond Bigsnout to go to town in search of a grain-fed, silky-haired rabbit with just a hint of sweetness. Leave it to French illustrators to put the famished (and foolish) wolf riding a bicycle, in a distinguished tuxedo. When he leaves his very sharp knife in the elevator en route to the bunny's apartment, he goes back for a chainsaw. Back again in the apartment a neighbor bear wants to borrow it and of course Edmond goes back...for rope which is promptly borrowed by a neighborly skunk on his way to the rooftop for a party. Back goes the wolf for BBQ (borrowed by a very polite cow) then BBQ (borrowed by a lovely young she-wolf Miss Eyestopper who just happened to have a box of matches in her paw. Back he goes, settling on eating raw rabbit with mustard (Dijon of course) but when he arrives the rabbit is out with a note directing guests to a rooftop party. Up he goes, to encounter all he's met and helped with rabbit exclaiming "You've even brought mustard! How neighborly of you!" Surrendering to their welcoming hospitality, Mr Bigsnout becomes vegetarian and moves to the city. Quelle suprise! Friendly, furry, French fun.
Poe : Stories And Poems : A Graphic Novel Adaptation
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hinds, Gareth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Gareth Hind's pen and brush revive 7 of Poe's notably ghastly poems and stories, leaving a trail of blood and sending me away with shivers of dread. It's a wonderful adaptation, but strong bitter stuff best shared with middle and high school readers willing to dip into the macabre with a master graphic artist and a storyteller back from the dead. The graphic power of The Masque of the Red Death and Tell Tale Heart are here drawn in dark shadowy colors brightened only with torch light and scarlet bursts of blood. The Pit and the Pendulum swings closer with its keen cruelty, while the treacherous prince entombs his drunken foe in the crypt in The Cask of Amontillado with such wickedness that one wonders if such dark horrors are left buried in dusty text without the dark red-tinged illustrations that bring this old tale to life. Poe's famous "Raven" is well drawn with its dark and foreboding, "Nevermore" bringing this collection to a close. Not for elementary students or the feint of heart, this is a valuable and gripping treatment worth adding to those old enough to stomach the bitter ink and timeless legacy of a great American writer.
Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Renaud, Anne
Sala, Felicita
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 28, 2017
Seasholes, Craig L
Did you know that the inventor of the potato chip was of Native American and African American descent? Local legend has it that in 1853 George Crum was working as a chef at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, NY when he did just that. Now while in fact a cookbook before 1853 featured recipes similar to what George cooked up, this story gives the legend a lovely retelling, with humorous vocabulary highlighting the story of a particular patron who kept sending back his plate, wanting his potato's ever-thinner. "Still too thick-and bland as burlap," he complains to Gladys who exclaims "Well, flying flapjacks! The customer at table five is sending his plate back again!" George Crum exclaims, "This cannot be. Everyone loves my spuds. They are scrumptious. They are succulent. They are sublime." "Not according to finicky, persnickety Filbert Punctilious Horsefeathers," says Gladys...until thinly cut fried potatoes stacked high on a plate teeter, splinter, crack, snap and reached "Perfection!" Photos and historical notes complete the book with a satisfying crunch.
Inside Your Insides : A Guide To The Microbes That Call You
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Eamer, Claire
Tremblay, Marie-Eve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 28, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Scientists are busy studying the ways that microbes interact to help and harm humans. This book is an engaging and informative way for readers to find out more about this evolving body of knowledge. In clear and understandable prose readers will find out the definition and main types of microbes, where the live in and on our bodies, and way in which they help keep us healthy or make us sick. It also talks about current research being done to explore how microbes could be used to improve medical treatments in some people. With cartoon drawings, plenty of white space, informational sidebars and a microbe comic telling some jokes every few pages the book is inviting and approachable. By the end readers will come away with a much deeper knowledge and appreciation of the importance of our unique microbiome.
Applesauce Weather
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Frost, Helen
Bates, Amy June
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 28, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
When Faith and her brother Peter find the first apple that falls from the old tree outside their home they know to look for their Great Uncle Arthur. However, Peter isn’t sure he will show up, after all it was Aunt Lucy’s childhood home and she has died. Faith is sure she will and waits patiently on the bench by the tree even through dinnertime. She is rewarded and he arrives in the evening for his annual visit. Peter and Faith are waiting to her Uncle Arthur’s stories, but his year he is slow to tell them. Peter and Faith are patient and eventually over the days of his visit Uncle Arthur spins a wonderful tale of his missing finger and the love he felt for his wife. Written in verse, this is a rewarding book about the power of stories, traditions and love. This book will draw a small audience but should appeal to readers who appreciate quiet stories.
Bee & Me
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Jay, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
A girl, who lives in a city with little nature captures and then befriends a bee. She researches how to care for it and does such a good job that the bee grows larger than she is. The have fun in the city but when the bee sees a big bouquet of flowers they plan a trip to the country with the girl flying on the bees back together they gather pollen and then sprinkle it over the city. In the fall the bee leaves, but the girl befriends a boy from the apartment above hers and in the spring they find that their city is greener that it used to be. The final illustration shows the return of the giant bee (or possibly a different bee as this one has a crown on its head.) The final page has bee information on how cities are impacting bee habitat and what plants are good for food and how to encourage them to make the city home. Careful readers will find much to enjoy in this wordless adventure- others might flip through and just think it is odd. Teachers should enjoy this as a companion to science lessons about pollination and bees.
Viva, Rose!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Krawitz, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2017
Wittmann, Teresa
Rose thinks her older brother Abe has left El Paso to visit relatives in Brooklyn, but by chance she sees a photo in a newspaper with her brother standing next to Pancho Villa and his revolutionary soldiers. The news that her brother lied and gone to join a Mexican outlaw's gang would break her parents' hearts. Rose decides to go find Abe, but her plan is turned around when she is taken by Pancho Villa's gang to be a companion to a spoiled young girl who is Pancho's favorite. Rose learns some Spanish and also how to adapt to life at the outlaws' camp. Her brother secretly meets with her, but he will not return to El Paso with her. Rose learns the extent of her bravery and creativity as she searches for a way to escape and go home. This is an interesting novel full of adventure about life in 1915 in the West as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl. The details about Pancho Villa's camp and some characters are inspired by history and the author's own family. The author's note at the end gives historical context to the story. Also included are glossaries of Spanish and Yiddish words and images of newspaper articles and a photo of Pancho Villa's gang.
Elf In The House
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Paquette, Ammi-Joan
Record, Adam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
A girl is woken up on Christmas Eve by a jingling noise and decides to investigate. Who left cookie crumbs all over the floor? Who is giggling behind the couch? Who is clopping down the hall? The girl marches through her house collecting a mouse, an elf and a reindeer along the way until the group find Santa Claus, and then they have a dance party. The language is simple without being boring and the rhythm of the text is unexpected, but overall the story is falls flat. The large digital illustrations will catch young readers' eyes, but areas of dark text will frustrate those who are sharing the story out loud. The title is also a tad confusing since the elf isn't the only creature stirring. In the end this is a cute Christmas story that will get circulated even though there are more superior titles out there.
Merry Christmas, Mary Christmas!
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Friedman, Laurie
Durst, Kathryn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Poor Mary Christmas. Her family is obsessed with Christmas and every year they seem to outdo themselves with more lights, larger trees, and endless piles of presents. But Mary is not a fan of all the fuss. Isn't there more to Christmas than oodles of decorations and gifts galore? After a heart to heart with Santa and a long night of mulling over the jolly man's advice, Mary has an epiphany. Will her family go along with her plan or will she be forced to participate in an over-the-top holiday? Primary students will love the bold, cartoonish illustrations and be on the edge of their seats wondering what Mary plans to do. An entertaining addition to any elementary school's holiday collection.
Red & Lulu
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Red and Lulu, a pair of cardinals, love the tree they call home. They especially love it during the winter when a family decorates it with lights and people gather around to sing Christmas songs. Then one day while Red is out looking for breakfast the tree is chopped down and loaded onto a flatbed truck with Lulu still nestled in the branches. Red flies as fast as he can for as long as he can, keeping an eye on the truck, but eventually he gets tired and loses sight of his best friend and their home. Will the pair be reunited? Thankfully the answer is yes. This is a beautifully written and illustrated story about friendship and the magic of Christmas. A page in the back contains information about the history of the Rockefeller Center tree, which will fascinate readers of all ages. Red & Lulu is perfect for reading out loud to an entire class and for cozying up with someone you love to share a little holiday spirit.
Family Game Night And Other Catastrophes
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lambert, Mary E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 29, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
Annabelle has one rule: never befriend someone who lives within 5 miles of her house. If she does, that person might want to come over and before she knew it everyone in town would know her horrible secret - her mother is a hoarder and the house is filled with old newspapers, broken toys, dirty bed sheets, empty food containers, and more. Each family member deals with her mother's illness in a different way. Her father is blind to the problem, her older brother distances himself, and her younger sister obsessively reads articles about the horrifying consequences of hoarding. When a giant pile of newspapers collapses onto Annabelle's sister, the family realizes something has to change. This is a charming and thought-provoking middle grade novel about mental illness, complex family relationships, and acceptance. The characters feel authentic and their problems aren't easily solved, which is refreshing. Fans of books like Forget Me Not and Finding Perfect will devour Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes.
Maud : A Novel
Penguin Teen Canada [Penguin Random House Canada]
Fishbane, Melanie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 29, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Fans of the Anne of Green Gables series will find much to like in this novel “inspired by the life of L. M. Montgomery”. They will recognize the similar settings and characters and be able to see the connections between the author’s own life and her books. Lucy Maud – known as Maud to her family and friends- is shuttled between her maternal grandparents and various aunts for much of her childhood. As a teenager she goes to live with her father and his new family in Saskatchewan but that to is a failure and she is sent back to Prince Edward Island. Through it all Maud makes close friends, finds romance, and progresses toward her dream of becoming a teacher and writer. The book was a compelling read as an Anne fan, but it also left me wondering how closely it followed the life of Montgomery. Even the notes at the end did little to clarify just how fictional the account was. Personally, I enjoyed the book, but might have enjoyed a well-written biography even more.
Symbiosis : How Different Animals Relate
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2017
Wittmann, Paula
Symbiosis is widely defined in this text as the close relationship between two different species. This opens up to a discussion of four classes of symbiosis: mutualism -where both species benefit, commensalism- one species benefits but the other is not harmed, parasitism- one species benefits and the other is harmed and predatism- where one species benefits by feeding on the other. The book goes on to discuss examples of each type and often asks questions to encourage the reader to decide the type of symbiosis or to explain other ideas. Clear photos add interest and information. The one drawback is that I found myself having to flip back to try to remember the names of the four classes.
Shaun The Sheep : Pranks A Lot!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Howard, Martin
Janes, Andy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
An early chapter book on the Tales from Mossy Bottom Farm series for younger readers who enjoy the antics of Shaun the Sheep, the flock, Bitzer and the farmer. Shaun missed the ending of a movie all because of Bitzer and Bitzer had to pay. While Bitzer was sleeping, he decorated his face with a permanent marker. All the other farm animals couldn't help not laughing when Bitzer came around. When Bitzer gets even with Shaun an all out prank war ensues. Shaun and Bitzer escapades are now affecting everyone else and they want the war to stop. The question is can they stop. For the reader, the prank war is a lot of fun at the book characters expense. The book includes comic artwork throughout and a few activities at the end.
Winchester Mystery House : A Chilling Interactive Advent
You Choose Books/capstone Press [You Choose Books/capstone Press]
Doeden, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
The Winchester Mystery House is based on the home of Sarah Winchester, who inherited the Winchester Rifle fortune in the early 1900's. The story's setting takes place in the Winchester home in current modern day and the story goes that the house is haunted. Two boys decide to enter the house because the weather is hot and a ghostly adventure begins. With a variety of story lines and endings, readers get to explore various aspects of the house. Readers who like to choose their direction in the story will enjoy this haunted tale. The book includes information about the Winchester House in San Jose, California, motivation to build the house and the possibility the house is haunted. The book is part of other interactive adventure stories which include Alcatraz, Tower of London and Queen Mary by Capstone. It also includes a glossary, index and resources to explore more.
Pinocchio : The Origin Story
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Sanna, Alessandro
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Where did Pinocchio come from? How did Pinocchio come to be? This wordless book takes us on a journey to the beginning of time to the first tree and when that tree grows and matures and branch from the tree a marionette can be created. The vibrant watercolor images begin with the big bang, see evidence of the first tree and when a human like branch is bolted out of the tree an adventure begins through a deep dark forest, a forest fire, a ravenous snake and into the deep sea. Through all the travels, the tree no longer is just a branch but one sprouting leaves and growing to maturity. It is when the tree is mature that the beginning of Pinocchio has begun. A younger reader may enjoy looking at the pictures but it takes a lot of background knowledge for a reader to fully understand the story. The symbolism throughout the book can be a conversation starter for older readers and being able to add text to the pictures could be an interesting task. The author has a forward which includes his reason for the book which began with a young man who was struggling with life in a children's hospital. It was out of seeing this fragility, this book was born.
Squiggly Story
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Larsen, Andrew
Lowery, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
In watching his older sister read and write, a boy desires to do the same but all he can do is pretend. In his frustration, he asks his sister how to write a story. She helps him understand that every story begins with a word and every word begins with a letter so start there. He begins by writing the letter "I" and then adds squiggles to tell his story. He gets stuck and needs advice to continue. He struggles with an ending but decides to share his story without an ending at show and tell and gets advice from his peers. His sister tells him he is the boss of the story and can write whatever he wants. An great book to introduce the challenges of writing to young writers and the struggles of coming up with the right ideas for a story.
Dear Wandering Wildebeest : And Other Poems From The Water H
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Latham, Irene
Wadbam, Anna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
Fifteen poems about animals which visit an African water hole are each given a two page spread each. One page includes a poem about an animal and on the opposite page is a text box which includes brief facts about the animal. The colorful watercolor illustrations add additional visual information as well as whimsy with the addition of human objects to a natural world. Young students will engage with the poems and the factual information. Even though primarily targeted to younger readers this could be used by older students who are blending both poetry and art.
Stickmen's Guide To Mountains And Valleys In Layers
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Chambers, Catherine
De Quay, John Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 30, 2017
Korf, Clarence
A beginning book in understanding some basics of the earth's geology in layers. The layers include mountains, plains, canyons, volcanoes, crust and earth's core. As each layer is focused on basic facts about the layer are given as well as some interesting facts about the layer. None of the information provided provides in depth information but the book on the whole gives an excellent overview of the various topography of the earth's crust and the inner layers of the earth's core. On many of the layers, brief information is given on animal and plant life. Additional pages focus on the mining and drilling which takes place inside the earth's crust and how the tectonic plates affect daily life on the earth. The books illustrations with the stickmen add humor and visuals to each of the topics. The book includes an index and glossary but it could be larger with all the content if trying to connect with younger readers.