Reviews for month


Tractor Mac Teamwork
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Steers, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Tractor Mac and his other small- scale farm machines decide to build a pond and divide the tasks amongst themselves according to design. Along comes new-fangled multi-tool machine, Deke, though telling them he can do all the jobs better and taking over the jobs. The inevitable happens and Deke learns that teamwork is a better way to go. Colorful illustrations offer plenty of details for close reading and conversation while reading together with Preschool children. Endpapers contain well-labeled diagrams of Tractor Mac and Doug the Steam Shovel providing more information for the construction-loving readers. While young for an elementary library, I found several Kindergarten readers eagerly reading the other Tractor Mac books I had reviewed earlier.
Singing In The Rain
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Hopgood, Tim
Hopgood, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Anyone familiar with musicals knows "Singing in the Rain" as a joyous song. Tim Hopgood has illustrated it with a group of happy city children out playing in the gray gloomy rain, undeterred. As the song repeats, their imaginations, and umbrellas, take them on a rain forest adventure with vivid colors and interesting animals. This is an optimistic, imaginative take on the song. It is visually stunning and irrepressibly glad. This is the third song Hopgood has illustrated.
Animals In Spring
Little Pebble/capstone Press [Little Pebble/capstone Press]
Clay, Kathryn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
“Animals are busy in spring. They build nests. They find food.” Three short chapters celebrate these events with short 3-4 word sentences and striking close-up photographs of spring babies, many with their mamas. The vibrant clarity provides viewers with fine details and paired together create a wonderful early non-fiction book, part of the Celebrate Spring series for young readers. Little Pebble books small scale and size are perfect for early readers and fill a niche for beginning non-fiction.
Class Pet Squad : Journey To The Center Of Town
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Yaccarino, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
After the class leaves, the Pet Squad surveys the room and Max, the Squads leader, starts his rounds to make sure that everything is in order. On noticing that Ben had left his favorite toy Sharkman behind and won’t be able to get to sleep he calls the CODE RED ALERT. The Squad will have to cross town and climb into Ben’s bedroom in order to return the toy before bedtime. Challenges are many including marauding cats and a burly watchdog but teamwork saves the day. After all as Max says,” His students. And there was nothing he wouldn’t do for each and every one of them.” Large-scale digital illustrations employ a singular blue with gray, black and white color palette for the simple line drawn cartoonish characters. The squad’s sincerity and ingenuity in tackling the task will endear them in this 136-page chapter book for newly independent readers.
Read, Recite, And Write List Poems
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Macken, Joann Early
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 03, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Each book in Crabtree’s Read, Recite, and Write series focuses on a different style of poetry explaining its historical roots, basic forms, key attributes and then walks writers through the steps of writing and revising poems in that style. Plentiful ideas for teaching and examples that can structure lessons. This is a superb teaching book and series, including a variety of pointers and exercises to guide young poets as they learn the concise structure, and effective ways to write this and other poetical forms. Highly recommended as a resource and inspiration for shaping a poetry unit.
Bobcats
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Leighton, Christina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2017
Sepessy, Lona
Blastoff Readers series are sure hits in elementary school libraries. This Level 3 reader for Early Fluent readers covers the ubiquitous but elusive Bobcat with information on their habitat, physical and behavioral characteristics, food, and life cycle. Engaging photographs show the various habitats they are found in as well as close-up pouncing on and devouring prey and caring for their cubs. The photographs appear to be taken in a natural environment whether in captivity or wild and are strikingly appealing. Extra features include a range map showing the wide range of habitat as well as their status of “least concern,” photographs showing key features for identification and a chart of various prey animals. Facts about the babies, vocabulary words in bold defined in a glossary, further reading and Internet sites and index are included.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Colandro, Lucille
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Who doesn't love the "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed..." series? Now this book is available in a board book format, perfect for toddler Halloween sharing. The old lady swallows a bat, a cat, an owl, a goblin, a ghost, a wizard, and more. When she finally burps up "Happy Halloween!" the young readers will giggle and shout, "AGAIN!" Jared Lee's energetic and amusing illustrations survive the transition to this smaller format well. Add this to your board book collection.
Old Macdonald Had A Farm
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Grimly, Gris
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Yes, this is the traditional song with all the traditional animals...with one exception. Old MacDonald does, indeed have a farm. However, is that a bear as the last animal? With a grr-grr here and a grr-grr there soon the farmer and all his animals are on the run. The slight twist at the end is not what makes this book so much fun, however. What puts it over the top are Grimly's hilarious, vivacious, expressive and delightful watercolor illustrations. Old MacDonald is dancing through the chores, and the animals' reactions give them all a personality that will set readers giggling. This would be a terrific start to any farm-based story time.
Forgiveness
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
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Character Education" series, this large format book features big bright photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds. These photographs cross over the gutter and face two lines of simple text and a graphic feature. The formatting is beautiful and the young audience is clear from the simplicity of the text. The book includes a picture glossary, simple index, and website link. My problem? While it shows examples of conflict and resolution, the term "forgiveness" is never clearly defined. One must suppose that readers are expected to infer it from context.
Gingerbread Man : A Storyplay Book
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Aylesworth, Jim
Mcclintock, Barbara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This book is a conundrum. It is the original retelling of "The Gingerbread Man" by Aylesworth, with the classic illustrations by Barbara McClintock. This is a rather traditional version of the tale, including farm animals who chase the cookie. It's always been one of my favorites, and very handy for compare/contrast activities. However, in this "Story Play" version, there are questions asked on each double-page spread, about what is going on in the story. Clearly this is meant to increase interaction and encourage parent/child shared reading. That's a good thing. However, when reading the story alone they interrupt the flow. The bigger issue is the book's format. The cover is almost a board-book, but the inner pages are flimsy and the ten-stitch binding will not last. The format is much smaller than the original book. I would say this is Scholastic's version of the "Little Golden Book." Suitable for home use, but not sturdy enough for a library.
Another Way To Climb A Tree
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Scanlon, Liz Garton
Hooper, Hadley
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Lulu loves to climb trees--all kinds of trees. She climbs the unclimbable and loves the experience. When she is sick she misses the trees and the trees miss her. Then she discovers that tree shadows fill her bedroom walls. So, even when she must stay inside there are still trees she can climb in her imagination. This is a gentle, sweet story with pictures that combine print-making techniques and Photoshop to create old-fashioned-feeling illustrations against warm color backgrounds. Young tree-climbers should enjoy it.
Polaris
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Northrop, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
The adults on the Polaris took one of the lifeboats down the mouth of the Amazon but only half of them return. Clearly, something terrible happened, and one of the returned crew is dying of a mysterious malady. Soon, with no explanation, the cabin boys are sent off behind locked doors where they listen, terrified, while mutiny, murder, and escape leave them alone on the ship. As they try to piece together the skills needed to get the ship back to the U.S., they discover that the mysterious malady has overtaken one of them, and he lurks below decks, threatening to infect them. A deft combination of survival, horror, and non-stop action. It was a little hard to keep all the characters straight.
Who Killed Darius Drake?
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Philbrick, Rodman
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Arthur isn’t really a bully, but he cultivates a fierce reputation so that his classmates will leave him alone unless they are paying him with candy bars to scare others. Darius Drake is no different; he wants to hire Arthur to intimidate Scar Man, who lives in a house with the same address as a death threat that was sent to Darius. The two boys plus Arthur's step-sister wade into a mystery that involves missing jewels and is full of intrigue and deduction. Short chapters, an excellent middle grade mystery genre title.
Under-The-Bed Fred
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bailey, Linda
Jack, Colin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
There is clearly a monster under Leo's bed. It’s noisy and scary and Leo is in constant terror of having his ankles bitten. When Leo finally gets up the courage to confront the monster, they develop quite a lovely friendship. A fun and funny early reader, might be a good fit for Princess in Black fans.
Bunjitsu Bunny Vs. Bunjitsu Bunny
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Himmelman, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Who is fierce and skillful enough to defeat Bunjutsu Bunny? Turns out that her only worth opponent is herself. A short chapter book full of friends solving problems in positive ways with cheerful illustrations. A good choice for emerging readers. This is the latest addition to the series, and it's very popular in my Japanese Language Immersion School.
Lumberjack's Beard
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Beedie, Duncan
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Big Jim goes about his business cutting down trees, but a bird, a porcupine, and other animals confront him about the habitat loss he has caused. Big Jim's beard is provides temporary housing, but only Big Jim and time and provide a more permanent solution in this simple tale of habitat lost and found. A limited color palette and somewhat stylized art provide plenty of detail for readers who are telling themselves the story using picture support.
Peppa Pig And The Library Visit
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
It’s time for a bedtime story, and Peppa improbably finds a long lost checkout of grandpa's, a snoozy selection called The Wonderful World of Concrete. After an explanation of how library borrowing works, those who have books overdue are described as naughty and the book is returned. The art is bright, clear, and cheerful, and some children will enjoy the connection to the UK television series but I found the story to be simplistic and annoying. I do not want patrons with overdue books to be described as naughty. Not recommended by me.
Dogosaurus Rex
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Staniszewski, Anna
Hawkes, Kevin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Ben is intrigued by the many cute dogs at the animal shelter, but he loses his heart to Sadie, the biggest of them all. Readers will love the clueless way Ben and his family insist that Sadie is a dog despite the havoc she causes in town. Sadie finally finds a way to use her size and skills for the community and wins acceptance while maintaining her dog persona. Softly colored illustrations, charming details. An excellent class read aloud.
I'm Afraid Your Teddy Is In Trouble Today
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dunn, Jancee
Nash, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
It's a ominous start - you arrive home to find the police are waiting for you. They've responded to the complaints of neighbors and have discovered that your Teddy had a huge party and trashed the house while you were out. You go through the house, review the damage as the timeline of the party is reconstructed, and then - the consequences! Bright, cartoonish illustrations provide plenty of details about what happened and the facial expressions of the Teddy made me laugh. Couple be a mentor text for solving a mystery or for point of view. Excited to share this with students!
Back To School With Bigfoot
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Berger, Samantha
Pressler, Dave
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
A serviceable addition to a collection of back to school stories. Bigfoot has the usual assortment of back to school anxieties plus the difficulty of being big, hairy, and tough to see in those back to school pictures. Sharp edged, cartoony art.
By The Time You Read This...
Clockwise Press [Clockwise Press]
Lanthier, Jennifer
Storms, Patricia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Oscar is breaking off what was clearly a close friendship with Sam, destroying their science experiments, taking down their blanket fort, and removing the robots from their battlefield. The reader doesn’t know why Oscar is so angry until the end of the book, but they will speculate about the cast on his arm, and will enjoy the apology that restores the friendship.
Peep And Egg : I'm Not Taking A Bath
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Gehl, Laura
Wan, Joyce
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Egg has been playing in the mud and desperately needs a bath. Peep points this out, but Egg is determined to avoid the experience. In fact he turns down all the alternatives Peep offers--bubble bath, hose, a dog licking him clean. Each is summarily dismissed. As Peep heads to the pond with an armload of bath toys, however, Egg is sucked into the fun. This is a simple, sweet story with big bold illustrations just right for both lap and story-time sharing. While quite simple, the story is one students will understand and empathize with.
I Am Bear
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Smith, Ben Bailey
Akyuz, Sav
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I am Bear. And I am bare. The suit I wear has purple hair. Thus begins this very simple book with big, bold, digital illustrations that look like acrylic paints were used. Each double-page spread features a bright picture of the large silly bear and a line or two of very short easy-to-read text. Bear in his zip-on purple suit does magic tricks, plays games, tells jokes, and surprises the reader. He's a bit mischievous, but fun. This book is clearly designed to be read aloud and shared with a young audience. It would be a dandy addition to preschool story time. Oh, and don't forget to go to the website and see the free music video of the book. Unfortunately I found the sound quality poor and the words hard to understand. But the simple animation was fun.
One Piece Of String
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Jocelyn, Marthe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What can you do with a piece of string? Well, a remarkable amount of things, as it happens. This wordless board book is a visual delight. Collage illustrations against backgrounds that vary from bold single colors to interesting patterns, show simple and recognizable objects--a package, a snail, a sheep, spaghetti, and more--all simply and beautifully designed and all with a piece of white string incorporated into the picture. The crisp photographs of the artwork make the entire book seem three-dimensional, and toddlers will reach out to touch the pages, expecting to feel the bumps. There is no story, but each picture would invite conversation. Then, perhaps, an art project with string?
One Red Button
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Jocelyn, Marthe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Marthe Jocelyn has created several wonderful board books that are wordless visual treats. A red button falls of a girl's coat. Where is it going? In this picture it is the cherry on top of a sundae. In the next it's part of a cluster of balloons. In each collage illustration the button plays a prominent role, though you sometimes have to check twice to see it. What makes this especially delightful is the angle of the photographs of the collages. This angle provides just a hint of a shadow that makes the two holes seem like eyes and the shadow a cheery grin. If you look carefully it's just a button again, but stand back and that grin reappears. This is sure to delight both adults and young children.
Trucks To The Rescue!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Low, William
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What toddler--boy or girl--doesn't like big trucks? This sturdy board book with bright illustrations shows a problem on one two-page spread, and the solution in the form of a truck on the next. Traffic signal out and a traffic jam forming? Bucket truck to the rescue! Missing luggage? Here comes the baggage truck. Five situations and their truck solutions are presented. Simple text combines with kid-friendly illustrations for a fun lap time.
Meet Woof And Quack
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Swenson, Jamie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this level 1 book young readers are introduced to Woof--a dog, and Quack--a duck. Theirs is an unusual friendship. For example, the duck likes to fetch. When he tries to fetch a thrown cake, however, the resulting mess is delightfully delicious. Told entirely through conversation bubbles, each page like a single box in a graphic novel with bright illustrations against bold background colors, this is a fun book that should tickle those just learning to read.
Tiny Tale Of Little Pea
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Cali, Davide
Mourrain, Sebastien
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's always fun to look at things from a different perspective and that's the case with Little Pea. He so small he sleeps in a matchbook bed, and wears dolls' shoes. School is a particular challenge. There is concern about what will become of him. What does? Well, he grows up, but doesn't get much bigger, and lives a happy life as an illustrator of stamps. Add this to "Two Bad Ants" and "George Shrinks" for looking at the world from a much different angle, which is perfect for young children who are experiencing similar feelings of being small in a world that is big.
Midnight At The Zoo
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Hanson, Faye
Hanson, Faye
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Red-headed Max and Mia are on a jolly field trip to the zoo. Lamentably, it's a tad disappointing as it seems most of the animals are hiding. Unfortunately, Max and Mia are left behind when the class piles back onto the bus...or is it so unfortunate? They have fine coping skills and once midnight hits they have quite the show as the animals go all out with costumes, displays, and entertainment. Nobody will believe them, but it really happened. The story is simple and understated. What makes the book stand out are the incredible pencil and digital illustrations. They're filled with texture, color, and delightful details that will lead young readers to explore them in more depth. This is an imaginative romp with a strong art focus.
Too-Scary Story
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Murguia, Bethanie Deeney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Walter and Grace want a bedtime story and, like many children, Grace wants it to be scary. Walter, not so much. Dad weaves a tale that goes from scary to cuddly to scary again as you turn the pages, in an attempt to please both children. In the end, however, perhaps it was too scary after all. A nightlight of bottled fireflies keeps the children feeling safe. That, and the time and love that Dad has spent with them at bedtime. The pencil, watercolor, and collage illustrations are in deep night tones with sparks of light in glowing eyes and sparkling fireflies, and splashes of color from the children's night clothes. This would be a fun bedtime read-aloud to satisfy both sides of the "I want a scary story" issue.
Dog Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Clerici, Lorenzo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Here's your new dog. Call his name! Give him a scratch on the back. Tell him to sit up. Tell him again. Much in the spirit of "Press Here" this is a book that encourages children to interact with the pages. A simple bold brown dog is the focal point of the book, and the text is clearly meant to be shared. This would be good for lap time, and might be a reassuring way to deal with children who are hesitant around dogs.
Forecasts
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
SCHUETZ, KRISTIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Understanding Weather" series and a level 2 "Blastoff Reader", this sturdy 24-page book combines crisp photographs and equally crisp informative text to teach young readers about meteorologists and the forecasts they make. Water vapor, winds, severe weather, and precipitation are all briefly presented as part of a forecast. The book includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website link. This would be a good basic addition to your weather section, with a nice focus on younger readers.
It's Time For School, Stinky Face
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Mccourt, Lisa
Moore, Cyd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Lisa McCourt's fun book about imagination and facing fears is now available in a board book format. Told in the first person, a child expresses concerns about what might happen at school that day. What if the bus's tires went flat? What if the glue spilled and the door to the classroom got stuck? What if...? To each quirky concern the mother has an equally quirky answer involving clown cars, magic raspberries, pogo sticks and more. This delightful exchange between parent and child is illustrated by Cyd Moore with all the silliness it merits. Ultimately reassuring, this would be a fun sharing book when talking about fears.
What Kind Of Friend Are You?
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Rowe, Brooke
Arbona, Marion
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The title asks the question the book attempts to answer. How can you figure out what type of friend you are? Well, you could ask your friends, but why bother when you can just take a multiple-choice quiz? 12 questions are each given double-page spreads. Keep track of your answers. Now, at the end, check out how many A's, B's, C's, or D's you had. Each type is explained in a paragraph from a lone wolf to a popular person to a social butterfly to a wallflower. The quiz questions are accompanied by photographs of teens in a variety of activities, and odd "Did You Know?" facts that don't always fit the question. That's all right because the questions are sort of shallow and, naturally, you can't categorize people this easily. Still, teens might enjoy passing the book around and doing the quiz together, then arguing about what it means.
Case Of Sense
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Daemicke, Songju Ma
BERSANI, SHENNEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is a retelling of a classic folktale that is found in many ethnic groups. In this case, the retelling is Asian. When Fu Wang cooks up a feast in his house the entire neighborhood enjoys the smells. However, when the greedy man demands payment for the enjoyment of the smells, the case winds up in court. A young boy, Ming, observes as the judge considers the situation and makes the neighbors bring out their coins. However they are not asked to pay Fu Wang. Instead the judge has them shake the coins. The sound of the coins pays for the smell of the food. It's a clever story and this retelling is well done and makes the tale available to a new audience. (The publisher also has it available in Spanish.) Colorful illustrations show a Chinese neighborhood with a taste if the mid 1900's. The large format paperback book includes extension activities.
Roads
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Polinsky, Paige V
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Engineering Super Structures" series, this smaller format 24-page book examines the idea of roads. Roads are defined, and a brief history his presented. Then young readers learn a little about how roads are made and repaired. Short informative text accompanies crisp color photographs in this book that provides very basic information. This well-bound book includes a glossary, and a thought question.
Monster's New Undies
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Berger, Samantha
Carpenter, Tad
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Monster's favorite pair of tidy whities is so small that they just fell apart. He and Mom have to go to the undie store, but the young monster is not impressed by the selection. They're all wrong, wrong, wrong! The wrong size, the wrong length, the wrong color, the wrong design. He is determined to be unsatisfied. Better to go bare! But wait, what's that in the corner? HAH! Underwear that looks just like his old undies. His tush is in love! Let's buy 18 pairs. Oh yeah--here's one happy monster. This is great silliness with equally silly illustrations by Tad Carpenter that show a green furry monster and all sorts of underwear. Young children, to whom underwear is a BIG DEAL will find much here to enjoy.
Soup Day
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Iwai, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's cold and frosty outside--a perfect soup day. Time to go to the market with Mom to pick up fresh vegies. Now home to peel and chop and slice. Step-by-step the soup is prepared and then simmers on the stove until Daddy comes home. It's soup time! This is a gentle slice-of-life book of a loving family in an everyday activity. The board book contains bold and beautiful illustrations and the entire experience is as warm as hands cupped around a mug of soup.
I Have Cuts And Scrapes
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Mattern, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 06, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Took a tumble? Oh no--you might have a cut or scrape! Now, what do you do? In this "Rookie Read-about Health" book beginning readers learn about cuts and scrapes, how scabs form, and what you should do when you are injured. It's all very straight-forward, clear, and informative. Crisp color photographs, with good captions, accompany the text and, naturally, there are your standard text features. This is a sturdy 32-page book that would make a nice addition to your health collection.
Rescue At Sea Around The World
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Staniford, Linda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What happens when you get in trouble at sea? Well, it depends on your situation and location. This book points out several types of rescues and the people who perform them. Trouble at the beach? Lifeguards are there to protect you. Sinking ship? Lifeboats, helicopters, and even seaplanes might come into play. There is brief information about equipment and safety, but this is mostly a short overview of the topic that should lead readers to find out more. Action photographs accompany the clear and concise text to make this a solid nonfiction book.
Beetle Boy
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Leonard, M G
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Darkus Cuttle's life has changed. His father has disappeared. He now lives with his uncle. He has new friends...one of which is a beetle who seems unusually intelligent. In fact, can beetles be related to his father's disappearance? Darkus and his friends are determined to find out. What they stumble on is beetles in need of rescuing, dangerously stupid neighbors, an experiment involving gene-splicing with insects, a poor little rich girl who may or may not be an ally, and an evil woman who is not what she seems and whose plans may jeopardize the world. Yeah, pretty exciting, right? This is a well-written, gripping story with believable characters (yes, even with the sci-fi premise), good pacing, and lots of fascinating information about beetles. While it comes to a satisfying ending, it also clearly sets up for a sequel. Cool!
Building Amazing Creations : Sean Kenney's Art With Lego Bri
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Kenney, Sean
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
OK, let's be up front about this. This book is a coffee table book--gorgeous photographs against glossy white paper. 382 pages long. Why did I say it is for all audiences? Because of the subject matter, of course. Sean Kenney is an artist who works in LEGO bricks. His creations are astounding, beautiful, thought-provoking, and eye-raising. With brief text giving some background details, and a few building hints, Sean explains his work. The book is divided into categories--animals, robots, architecture, plants & insects, vehicles, baseball, household objects, people, events exhibitions, logos, and books. A green LEGO bike? A mother polar bear with cubs? If you can imagine it he seems to be able to create it. Children and adults will pore over this book. Sure, it's not going last with that kind of usage, but while it's there it will have happy readers (who are really going to be spending more time on the pictures than the text.)
Weird Nature
45Th Parallel Press (Clp) [45Th Parallel Press (Clp)]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What a disappointment. The title is intriguing. The cover is compelling. The content, however, is lacking. Part of the "Stranger Than Fiction" series, this 32-page book introduces rock formations shaped like elephants, fire rainbows, the Bermuda triangle, glowworm caverns, ghost trees (due to spider webs), koalas, tiger blood trees, and a few other odds and ends. The topics vary widely and most are given a two-page spread that includes one small and one large photograph as well as explanatory text. And there's the problem. The text is boring. It is written in short declarative sentences. There is no emotion. There is no excitement. In most cases there is little explanation for the subject. Readers will pick this up in anticipation, but put it down in favor of something with more oomph. Again, what a disappointment.
Great White Sharks
Abdo Zoom [Abdo Zoom]
Statts, Leo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Sharks are ever popular, but finding materials on sharks for our younger readers is often a challenge. This is a good book to address that need. In 24 sturdily-bound pages, readers learn just a bit about Great White Shark senses, anatomy, habitat, diet, and life cycle. Short informative sentences create brief paragraphs about the topics and are accompanied by terrific photographs, which is just the ticket for the target audience. The book includes a map, and other standard text features. There are five other books in the series. If they are equal in quality I would recommend them all for purchase.
Woof And Quack In Winter (Reader)
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Swenson, Jamie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Great silliness abounds in this new Level 1 series about a dog and his duck friend. They are an odd couple and break plenty of stereotypes. In this entry in the series winter comes but Quack refuses to fly south. Despite the cold, he enjoys the chance to play in the snow. It is Woof he decides they should both fly south, in an airplane, and enjoy the sunny weather and beach fun, many of their activities echoing what they did in the snow. This is a fun friendship and will be sure to gain avid readers.
Humpback Whale Migration
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Animal Migration" series, this large format 24-page book features beautiful large photographs that fill up the right-hand page and spill over into the facing page. There, clear informative text provides basic information about humpback whales, their habitat, diet, life cycle and, most especially, their yearly migration. It's beautifully presented and quite fascinating. This is solid easy nonfiction that merits a place in any library serving children.
Walrus Migration
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Animal Migration" series, this large-format 24-page book introduces young readers to the topic of walrus migration. Crisp, beautiful photographs fill one page and spill across the gutter to butt up against informative and interesting text aimed at a young audience. Readers learn about the diet, habitat, and life cycle of the walrus but, most especially, about its migratory patterns. Maps are including as well as a glossary and index. This is solid easy nonfiction that is worthy of addition to any children's collection.
Howler
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Gohmann, Johanna
Sorrentino, Flavia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 48 page book is the definition of high interest/low vocabulary. Aya's father has followed his dream and reopened an amusement park that was the site of tragic death years ago. Ghosts, however, still roam the place. This is book #1 in the series where Aya and her new friend Oliver have to deal with a ghost on the roller coaster. Can Aya survive the experience? This is very very very short yet still divided into four chapters. There's enough scary here to please most young horror fans, and making this a good choice for middle school reluctant readers. Plenty of bizarre and spooky illustrations fill the pages. My one major quibble? I found the wide variety of fonts, changing color and size and appearance constantly, distracted me from the story itself. Nevertheless, this was a fun and creepy fast read.
Face In The Photo
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Gohmann, Johanna
Sorrentino, Flavia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 48 page book is definitely a high interest/low vocabulary book. Aya's father has reopened an amusement park that was the site of tragic deaths years ago. The spirits of the dead linger. This is book #2 in the series where Aya and her friend Oliver have to deal with a ghost who appears on photos in the photo booth. It was a tragic story of love lost. Can Aya resolve the issue and set the ghost free? This is very very short book with four chapters. Creepy illustrations fill the pages more than text. And there's my problem--the text. The wide variety of fonts, changing color and size and appearance constantly, distracted me from the story itself. Nevertheless, this was a fun and spooky fast read.
Pedro For President
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Manushkin, Fran
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this short 3-chapter book Pedro is running for class president against Katie Woo. Who will win? Sure, the boys think that voting for a boy is good, but Pedro doesn't want to win that way. He wants the best candidate to win. His campaign is not spectacular, but his heart is in the right place and his actions show it. Simple text and bright, friendly illustrations make this a nice transitional chapter book. And fans of Katie Woo will welcome a story from her classroom.
Cool Metalworking Projects : Fun & Creative Workshop Activit
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Rebecca, Felix
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo "Cool" activity books vary widely in quality and usability. Yet most are solid arts and crafts books. This deals with projects involving metal. Metalworking is defined, then safety is emphasized. The book includes a list of tools and supplies, including photographs. Then 5 projects are presented. Each includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. Photographs illustrate key points and the finished product. These are somewhat complicated projects that might require adult help. On the other hand, metal is not a common craft material and so this is a unique book that offers opportunities to expand crafting in a new direction.
What If You Had Animal Eyes?
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Markle, Sandra
Mcwilliam, Howard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 08, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Joining Markle's books on animal teeth, hair, ears, feet and noses, this book introduces young readers to unique aspects of animal eyes. Readers learn about the eyes of chameleons, dragonflies, llamas and more. The factual information is fascinating and fills the left-hand page with solid information and a good photograph. The right-hand page indulges in fun speculation about what it would be like if YOU had those types of eyes. The illustrations that accompany this flight of fancy are amusing, yet the whole thing helps to reinforce key factual concepts. This is another winner from the author/illustrator, and it merits a place in any collection serving children.
Remy Sneakers Vs. The Robo-Rats
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sherry, Kevin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Remy Raccoon is known for wearing sneakers and is generally well-liked. However, now he is accused of being a thief. Remy and his mouse friend must work to clear his name. To do so, and protect the neighborhood, they're going to have to enlist allies. What? An evil genius has created an army of robotic animals (including a Remy look-alike) to plunder the town? Only working together can the real animals overcome these mechanical imposters. Plenty of illustrations, lots of conversation, and some silliness make this a good choice for transitional readers.
Trickiest! : 19 Sneaky Animals
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Jenkins, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of Steve Jenkins' "Extreme Animals" series, this 40-page paperback book features Jenkins' exquisite collage illustrations against a crisp white background, as he introduces 19 tricky animals ranging from the drongo to the Great Pacific Octopus. Each animal is presented with a paragraph or two of informative text, explaining how it tricks people or other animals, whether it be camouflage or defense mechanisms. A map of its range, as well as its diet and habitat, are briefly presented. A comparison picture shows the size of the animal next to the outline of a person, or a hand. These additional text features, as well as a chart including additional facts, glossary, and bibliography, make this not only a good book for casual browsing and research, but an excellent resource for teaching text features.
Deadliest! : 20 Dangerous Animals
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Jenkins, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of Steve Jenkins' "Extreme Animals" series, this 40-page paperback book features Jenkins' exquisite collage illustrations against a crisp white background, as he introduces 20 deadly animals ranging from sharks to mosquitoes. Each animal is presented with a paragraph or two of informative text, explaining why it is deadly. A map of its range, as well as its diet and habitat, are briefly presented. A comparison picture shows the size of the animal next to the outline of a person, or a hand. These additional text features, as well as a chart including additional facts, glossary, and bibliography, make this not only a good book for casual browsing and research, but an excellent resource for teaching text features.
School In Colonial America
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Sateren, Shelley Swanson
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of a series that focuses on what school was like during specific time periods in the United States, this book concentrates on the colonial period. Of necessity it includes information about the events of the time to provide context. It provides facts about schooling from the 1600's to the 1700's. Home-schooling, dame schools, typical classrooms, tutors, horn books, punishment, and more are briefly covered in the book's 32 pages. Historical artwork and a map, as well as an index, glossary, bibliography, and website link are included. There are also instructions for making your own quill pen and berry-based ink. This would be an interesting book for students to compare and contrast schools today with schools of the past.
Secret Agent Secrets : Part 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Marz, Ron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A Skylanders elite squad has disappeared. Did they fall into a trap? Have they been captured? An answer must be found, and a rescue effected. So Superchargers Stormblade, Spitfire, and Nightfall set out to resolve the mystery. Unfortunately, what they discover is not at all what they expected. In the meantime there is suspicion as Kaos has joined the Skylanders. Can he really be trusted? I find this graphic novel series confusing and frenetic with bright illustrations with way too many details, and an assumption that readers already know the full backstory. This is also one of those series that divide one story up into many expensive volumes, invalidating the whole series if one book gets lost. I hate that. Fans will enjoy this, of course, but only buy it if you have the budget to buy them all and replace them frequently.
Secret Agent Secrets : Part 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Marz, Ron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 09, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A Skylanders elite squad has disappeared, and Superchargers Stormblade, Spitfire, and Nightfall are off to the rescue. Unfortunately, things are not what they seem. Has the elite team really joined the enemy? Things are looking down for the Skylanders as the enemy approaches. I find this graphic novel series confusing and frenetic with bright illustrations with way too many details, which makes them bright, yet dark because of all the lines, and an assumption that readers already know the full backstory. This is also one of those series that divide one story up into many expensive volumes, invalidating the whole series if one book gets lost. I hate that. Fans will enjoy this, of course, but only buy it if you have the budget to buy them all and replace them frequently.
Michael Faraday
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Scientists at Work" series, this 24-page book focuses on the life and contributions of Michael Faraday. This inventor worked with electromagnetism, motors, and batteries. He is responsible for many scientific terms we use today. This is a brief overview of his life and the simple text is accompanied by illustrations and black and white photographs, as well as a short glossary. Add it to your easy biography section.
Choo Choo : The Story Of A Little Engine Who Ran Away
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Burton, Virginia Lee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I love Virginia Lee Burton. "Katy's Big Snow" is one of my favorite books. That being said, not everything she wrote is golden and holds up well. This book was her first, originally published in 1937. That was a time when trains were an active part of the transportation system, fueled by coal, and well-oiled. Choo Choo, a shiny black engine, is tired of hauling other cars. She thinks how fast she would be if she were on her own. So, one day she runs away, leaving crew and cars behind. As you might imagine things do not end well, and she is finally rescued and mends her ways. Burton's original black and white illustrations have been lightly colorized. Still, the story and illustrations are dated and even the bonus audio download cannot change that.
How To Make Awesome Comics
David Fickling Books (Scholastic) [David Fickling Books (Scholastic)]
Cameron, Neill
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
All ages
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Graphic novels are big right now, which means that cartooning is something that intrigues young readers and artists. Ah, but how do you create a cartoon? This book gives some step by step instructions. Professor Panels and Art Monkey lead young readers into the ins and outs of panels, dialogue, artwork, and general awesomeness. Along the way readers are encouraged to join in the fun. And therein lies the rub. This is NOT a library book. It is clearly designed for users to write on the pages and try out their cartooning skills. So, buy this for your young cartoonist, but don't put it in your library. (And if you have a young cartoonist you might add, or prefer, the cartooning book by Bruel.)
Suit Your Selfie : A Pearls Before Swine Collection
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Pastis, Stephan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
C'mon, who doesn't like "Pearls Before Swine" with ego-driven Rat, delightfully naïve Pig, eye-rolling Goat, much put-upon Zebra, and the totally clueless crocodiles? Well, this collection has been specifically designed to appeal to middle-schoolers. There are horrible puns, self-destructive lemmings, and badly considered philosophy. What's not to love?
Evil Emperor Penguin
David Fickling Books (Scholastic) [David Fickling Books (Scholastic)]
Anderson, Laura Ellen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Evil Emperor Penguin has plans to take over the world. Unfortunately, he has a serious problem with his staff. His sidekick is an octopus who loves to knit and is called Number 8. His top minion is an adorable small cloned abominable snowman who wants nothing more than to spread love and happiness. When that's what you've got to work with, how are you going to create ultimate evil? This hilarious graphic novel includes 16 very short chapters. (The whole paperback book is only 64 pages long.) Each ties in with the one before as world leaders are supposed to be hit with deadly lasers, but wind up with cuddly knitted outfits instead. There are jelly baby nightmares, spider bots, and (naturally) an evil cat nemesis who makes the mistake of stealing the penguin's top minion. It's all adorably funny mayhem and had faint echoes, at least to this reader, of "Pinky and the Brain." Such fun!
I Can Make Marvelous Movers
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Holzweiss, Kristina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Here's a great arts and crafts book about applied physics. The small format, 32-page book contains instructions for making a spinning top, a mountain climber, and a balloon car. These are fairly complex projects that require some thought and dexterity, and the physics that makes them work is explained along the way. Photographs, materials lists, and step-by-step instructions, along with bright photographs, make this a kid-friendly book that meets STEM requirements.
Roswell
45Th Parallel Press (Clp) [45Th Parallel Press (Clp)]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
OOOOOOH! Roswell, New Mexico! Home of possible aliens, and wrecked spaceships? Conspiracy theorists love to speculate. Surely this 32-page entry in the "Urban Legends: Don't Read Alone!" series will be just the thing, right? Not so much. The topic is exciting. The cover art is compelling. Photographs abound. Unfortunately, the writing is stilted. Short sentences. Any sentence with a word that might be misunderstood is followed immediately by a sentence defining that word. This sucks even more flow away from the text. Readers will learn about major Roswell incidents, and about probable explanations for them. Unfortunately readers will not be drawn in. Better books on the topic exist. Buy only if you have plenty of money, and a wish to augment an already-large collection.
Hookman
45Th Parallel Press (Clp) [45Th Parallel Press (Clp)]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone has heard at least one story about the Hookman. A young couple alone in the car, a scratching at the door, a quick escape only to find a hook attached when they get home. There are all kinds of versions of the story, and this book examines it. Where did it originate? Why? real-world connections are explored. Tips for investigating further are presented. The topic is sure to draw in readers. Why didn't I give it a higher rating? The writing is poor. It consists of short, declarative sentences. It does not flow. It fails to live up to the storytelling expectations of its subject matter. This is a pity.
Refugee's Journey From Guatemala
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hudak, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Leaving My Homeland" series, this 32-page paperback book provides young readers with general information about refugees, internally displaced persons, and immigrants, as well as the role the United Nations plays in helping them. More specifically, this volume introduces the conflict in Guatemala, a little about the country itself, and the reasons why a family might need to lead their home to survive. A story about a refugee child--an amalgam created using pieces from various people's stories--personalizes the narrative. In this case the story is about a young boy named Martinez whose family paid a smuggler to get them to Mexico, fleeing the gangs that threatened them. There they were among the lucky few granted asylum. Photographs, maps, discussion points, the UN Rights of the Child, an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list are included. This series is compelling. I just wish the story it hangs on were that of a real person, and that the text acknowledged the impact refugees have on the countries they move to. A solution needs to be found, but is impossible without recognizing the sacrifices asked of both sides.
Refugee's Journey From Colombia
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Barghoorn, Linda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Leaving My Homeland" series, this 32-page paperback book provides young readers with general information about refugees, internally displaced persons, and immigrants, as well as the role the United Nations plays in helping them. More specifically, this volume introduces the conflict in Colombia, a little about the country itself, and the reasons why a family might need to lead their home to survive. A story about a refugee child--an amalgam created using pieces from various people's stories--is told in the first person and gives the concept a face. In this case the story is about a child named Andres whose family is threatened by fighters from both sides. Fleeing to Ecuador seems their only chance for survival. Photographs, maps, discussion points, the UN Rights of the Child, an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list are included. This series is compelling. I just wish the story it hangs on were that of a real person, and that the text acknowledged the impact refugees have on the countries they move to. A solution needs to be found, but is impossible without recognizing the sacrifices asked of both sides.
Refugee's Journey From Yemen
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hudak, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Leaving My Homeland" series, this 32-page paperback book provides young readers with general information about refugees, internally displaced persons, and immigrants, as well as the role the United Nations plays in helping them. More specifically, this volume introduces the conflict in Yemen, a little about the country itself, and the reasons why a family might need to lead their home to survive. A story about a refugee child--an amalgam created using pieces from various people's stories--personalizes the narrative. In this case the story is about a child named Sahar whose house was bombed. They fled, and eventually immigrated to Canada. Photographs, maps, discussion points, the UN Rights of the Child, an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list are included. The focus is on the challenges refugees face. This series is compelling. I just wish the story it hangs on were that of a real person, and that the text acknowledged the impact refugees have on the countries they move to. A solution needs to be found, but is impossible without recognizing the sacrifices asked of both sides.
Refugee's Journey From Myanmar
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rodger, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 11, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Leaving My Homeland" series, this 32-page paperback book provides young readers with general information about refugees, internally displaced persons, and immigrants, as well as the role the United Nations plays in helping them. More specifically, this volume introduces the conflict in Myanmar, a little about the country itself, and the discrimination faced by the Rohingya people there. A story about a refugee child--an amalgam created using pieces from various people's stories--personalizes the narrative. In this case the story is about a boy named Sayed whose family suffers tragic loss in trying to escape the country. Photographs, maps, discussion points, the UN Rights of the Child, an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list are included. This series is compelling. I just wish the story it hangs on were that of a real person, and that the text acknowledged the impact refugees have on the countries they move to. A solution needs to be found, but is impossible without recognizing the sacrifices asked of both sides.
Asking Questions And Finding Solutions
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Flynn, Riley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This large format Pebble Plus entry in the "Science and Engineering Practices" series addresses the issue of curiosity. It is by asking questions, and seeking answers, that new discoveries are made. Bright photographs fill the right-hand page and spill over the gutter. They face a paragraph of simple text. Observation, questioning and experimenting are briefly discussed. An experiment is included. Granted, there's not much room for more than a brief introduction in this 24-page book, especially when pages are taken up with text features. Still, this is an introduction to an important STEM concept, aimed at a younger audience.
Sports Jokes
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Moore, Hugh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Joke books are ever popular and this book focuses on sports jokes. Each two-page spread has digital illustrations, bold colors, and four jokes and their answers. Basketball, karate, surfing--many sports are represented. Some of the jokes are well-known, but they'll be new to the intended audience. You can never have too many joke books. Use this, and other books in the series, to buff up your jokes section.
Mary Mcscary
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Stine, R L
Brown, Marc
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Mary McScary loves causing a fright. She scares people and animals. It gives her delight. Beware of Mary McScary! However, Mary is unable to scare her cousin Harry. He quails before neither gorilla, nor hippo, nor scary spiders. What is Mary to do? Her reputation is on the line! Ahhhh, watch him run when a kiss is offered! R.L. Stine is known for creating scary stories, so it's funny to have him poke fun at frightening people this way. His text is rhythmic and fun, good for reading aloud. Marc Brown's illustrations are textured and bright, with humorous details. This would make a good story time book to lead into a discussion about what scares you.
How Is Ice Cream Made?
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone loves to eat ice cream, but how is it made? This large-format 24-page removes the mystery from the process. It follows milk from the cow to the creamery then off to the ice cream factory. Readers see ingredients added, pasteurization taking place, mixing and freezing. Bold photographs illustrate the process, spilling across the gutter to face a paragraph of clear and informative text per double-page spread. The book includes a glossary, index, and website link. This is easy nonfiction on an interesting topic, and would be a good addition to your collection.
May's Wild Walk
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Paty, Miss
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The first in "The Whiskers Sisters" series, this French import follows three unusual sisters. One looks like a cat, one has furry antlers, and the youngest is sick and tired of being, well, the youngest. It doesn't help that she's too young to express herself. Her older sisters are preparing a party for their grandfather, the Guardian of the Forest, who is returning after being away. They get so caught up in their plans that they don't even notice when little May goes missing. She's off on a wild adventure involving an owl's mail pouch, rescuing letters, and gathering animals for the party. Despite her inability to communicate with her sisters, she does just fine with the forest animals and everyone, including the guest of honor, is there when the party begins. This is a graphic novel with detailed color illustrations. The story is a little different, perhaps because of its origin, but it is fanciful and fun and should delight young readers.
Nerdy Birdy Tweets
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Reynolds, Aaron
Davies, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Nerdy Birdy and his friend, Vulture, are back for another adventure together...or are they? Nerdy Birdy has acquired a number of new friends online, on Tweetster. He's spending so much time with them that he is ignoring the friend who is right there in front of him. Vulture tries to break him of the habit, but finally gives in and joins Tweetster, too. Unfortunately Nerdy Birdy posts something about his friend that upsets Vulture. He thought it was funny, but Vulture finds it embarrassing. Can this friendship be saved? Only with a sincere apology and a change in behavior. This is a timely book that fits neatly in with the required Digital Citizenship curriculum for districts to maintain their erate. Buy. Buy. Buy.
Fish who cried wolf, The
Arthur A Levine Books [Scholastic, Inc.]
Donaldson, Julia
Scheffler, Alex
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 12, 2017
Gustafson, Chris
Tiddler is constantly late for fish school and his creative excuses are the very definition of fish tales. Although his teacher and most of his classmates are scornful, Little Johnny Dory loves Tiddler's stories and shares them. When Tiddler is caught in a net, escapes, and is lost, those who have heard his stories help him find his way home. Vivid, brightly colored, detailed illustrations give the reader plenty to see, and it was an okay fairy tale twist.
Rocket Raccoon : 1 : A Chasing Tale : Part One
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Young, Skottie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Groot : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Loveness, Jeff
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Guardians Of The Galaxy : 3 : One In A Million You
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Melching, Steven
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Guardians Of The Galaxy : 6 : Undercover Angle
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Griffin, Marsha F
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Groot : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Loveness, Jeff
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Rocket Raccoon : 2 : A Chasing Tale : Part Two
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Young, Skottie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Can a school library ever have enough hardbound comic books to satisfy demand? Marvel Studios doesn’t think so. They’ve rolled out a collection of comic series featuring the “Guardians of the Galaxy.” These comics are adapted from the films -- not the other way ‘round -- with the same character design and personalities. Guardians’ freewheeling outer-space setting and pop-culture infused dialogue allows for more outlandish and colorful adventures than your standard superhero story. Quests for cosmic seeds, spaceship-eating asteroids, mysterious space goddesses, dragons -- hey, why not try everything? The mainline “Guardians” comics feature rather mundane art produced anonymously by “Marvel Animation Studios,” but the series focused on singular characters (such as Rocket or Groot) have more distinctive art and design, which is refreshing. Though costly, the binding on these books is high quality and should last through a good number of re-reads.
Star Wars : Han Solo : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Liu, Marjorie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Have young readers who can’t get enough “Star Wars”? Comic books to the rescue! These hardbound editions are well bound and sturdy enough to last through dozens of check-outs by ardent fans. While the “Force Awakens” series is simply a direct comic adaptation of the film (the dialogue is an exact replica of the screenplay), the “Han Solo” series is an original creation, imagining further adventures of the familiar wisecracking space rogue and his sidekick, Chewbacca. The art is beautifully inked and full-color, and while some page design is a little overbusy (lookin’ at you, Han Solo series) there’s more than enough delights here for young Jedi-in-training to devour.
Star Wars : Han Solo : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Liu, Marjorie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Have young readers who can’t get enough “Star Wars”? Comic books to the rescue! These hardbound editions are well bound and sturdy enough to last through dozens of check-outs by ardent fans. While the “Force Awakens” series is simply a direct comic adaptation of the film (the dialogue is an exact replica of the screenplay), the “Han Solo” series is an original creation, imagining further adventures of the familiar wisecracking space rogue and his sidekick, Chewbacca. The art is beautifully inked and full-color, and while some page design is a little overbusy (lookin’ at you, Han Solo series) there’s more than enough delights here for young Jedi-in-training to devour.
Star Wars : The Force Awakens : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wendig, Chuck
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Have young readers who can’t get enough “Star Wars”? Comic books to the rescue! These hardbound editions are well bound and sturdy enough to last through dozens of check-outs by ardent fans. While the “Force Awakens” series is simply a direct comic adaptation of the film (the dialogue is an exact replica of the screenplay), the “Han Solo” series is an original creation, imagining further adventures of the familiar wisecracking space rogue and his sidekick, Chewbacca. The art is beautifully inked and full-color, and while some page design is a little overbusy (lookin’ at you, Han Solo series) there’s more than enough delights here for young Jedi-in-training to devour.
Star Wars : The Force Awakens : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wendig, Chuck
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
Have young readers who can’t get enough “Star Wars”? Comic books to the rescue! These hardbound editions are well bound and sturdy enough to last through dozens of check-outs by ardent fans. While the “Force Awakens” series is simply a direct comic adaptation of the film (the dialogue is an exact replica of the screenplay), the “Han Solo” series is an original creation, imagining further adventures of the familiar wisecracking space rogue and his sidekick, Chewbacca. The art is beautifully inked and full-color, and while some page design is a little overbusy (lookin’ at you, Han Solo series) there’s more than enough delights here for young Jedi-in-training to devour.
Super Rabbit Boy Powers Up!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Flintham, Thomas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
That stinker King Viking is at it again! When Super Rabbit Boy discovers that King Viking is trying to find the Legendary Power Up, he sets of to discover it himself and save Animal Town from evil. If the story seems familiar, but the terminology doesn’t, it’s because the “Power Up!” series is based on classic 8-bit video game design. In a framing device, we see Sunny and his family press start on a game called “Super Rabbit Boy,” and the ensuing story are the puzzles and obstacles our pixelated hero overcomes. Similar to folktales, the story involves multiple groups of threes -- three keys, three locks, three monsters to defeat, which makes the story satisfying as well as cheekily self-aware. Each page features comic-style full color art, and the characters are a mix of cute and creepy, similar to any standard platform game of the 80s. While there is a noticeable dearth of female characters in the game, the framing device ultimately has little sister Rue solving the most difficult puzzle, which helps. A great choice for reluctant or beginning readers.
Super Happy Party Bears : Bat To The Bone
Imprint (Mps) [Imprint (Mps)]
Colleen, Marcie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 12, 2017
Shirts, Brooke
The animal residents of Grumpy Woods are curmudgeons proud of it. The only thorn in their peacefully cranky existence is their neighbors, the Super Happy Party Bears, who live to eat marshmallows and party down. Truce only happens at night, when everyone is expected to “read two books only and then lights out.” However, when a punk-rock band of bats called Flying Band begins nighttime rehearsals in the forest, a feud breaks out. The Super Happy Party Bears love the rock music and join the band, while the residents of Grumpy Woods start a plot to ruin their debut concert. Fortunately, the power of rock and parties conquers all, and the animal neighborhood returns to its peaceful-ish self. What really shines here are the super-adorable full color illustrations on every page; Colleen’s art is reminiscent of happy emojis in their line-free, intentionally simplified design that bursts with rainbow colors. The bears, with their happy-face-stamped tummies, give a nod to retro favorites the Care Bears. A cute and refreshingly gender-neutral series for beginning readers.
Pashmina
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Chanani, Nidhi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 12, 2017
Dame, Anne
Priyanka is an Indian-American teen who struggles with things that many teens can also identify with - learning to drive, self-esteem, etc. For Pri, this is exacerbated by the fact that her mom refuses to talk about the past. And then, when her favorite uncle and his wife are going to have a baby, Pri feels even more adrift. When she finds a pashmina that magically transports her to India, she begins to learn a bit about her heritage. She begins asking her mom questions and starts pushing for a trip to India so she can learn more about herself and her family. Beautifully illustrated by the author, who was born in India and raised in California, this graphic novel is a great debut. I can't wait to see what this author will create next.
Lost Boys
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Rosenblatt, Darcey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 12, 2017
Dame, Anne
Set in Iran in 1982, this is the story of Reza. He's 12-years-old and lives with his mother. His favorite uncle is killed because of his part in the resistance. Young people, like Reza, are being encouraged to join the army in the fight against Iraq. Despite his mothers objections, Reza and his best friend enlist. They are taken almost immediately to the front lines where the young people are tied together to form a line and are sent out in front of the troops as human mine sweepers. Reza is injured but not killed and is taken to a POW camp. Conditions are harsh, but he is told that conditions are much worse in the other camps. He is seeking any information about his friend and also hoping desperately to escape the camp and return home. It helps to have a little knowledge about the conflict in Iran/Iraq, but the author does a good job of filling in information for the reader. This is a shocking but realistic look at what young men in the Middle East are facing, even this much later in time than when the story is set. This is a well-written debut novel. The author explains in the afterword where she got the idea for the story as well as the research involved in making it as authentic as possible. Grades 6-10.
Dog Man : A Tale Of Two Kitties
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Pilkey, Dav
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2017
Dame, Anne
Fans of DogMan will not be disappointed by the third book in the series. It is loosely based on Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" - which will be lost on most readers, however. If you have the first two, you need this one, especially as the next book (DogMan and CatKid) is based on events that happen in this one. Petey, the cat, clones himself - but the clone is a baby kitten not an adult. Petey is disappointed and annoyed by the kitten and DogMan rescues it after it is abandoned. Things go terribly wrong. Lots of humor, simple but colorful graphics that fit the style of the book. Allusions to the classic will be lost on the typical audience for this book.
Refugee
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Gratz, Alan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 12, 2017
Dame, Anne
Gratz skillfully weaves together 3 different story-lines about refugees. The first refugee is a Jewish boy in Nazi Germany during the late 1930's; the second is a Cuban girl in 1994; the third is a boy in Syria in 2015. Each person is fleeing their country for a different reason and with different resources. This is a timely look at a controversial topic. Characters and settings are well-developed. Astute readers will start to piece together how the stories might connect, but clues can be subtle. Maps at the end detail each journey. There is also a detailed author's note about the basis for these stories; they are fictional but based on true stories.
Tool School
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Holub, Joan
Dean, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Where do young tools get their education? Why, at tool school, of course! Rhyming text introduces each tool and its skill set, then follows them all on the bus and off to school. Their teacher, Ms. Drill, teaches them about safety rules and famous tools. But when building time comes mayhem ensues. It turns out that cooperation is the best way to build things. If each uses their particular talents, the final product is pretty nice. This is a fun book with a solid message. Granted, the tools are a little stiff as characters, but James Dean's fun, kid-friendly illustrations (in Pete the Cat style) help. This would be a good choice for young handy-kids.
Earth! : My First 4.54 Billion Years
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mcanulty, Stacy
Litchfield, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
We live on our planet, but do we know what it thinks? Here Earth gets a chance to reminisce about it's first 4 and a half billion years. First Earth introduces itself. No ego problem here. We learn Earth has a big family, and likes spinning and circling. It's best friend? The moon, of course. They go everywhere together. A family photo album reveals a gassy, explosive baby that soon got soggy, then land appeared. Things were always changing. That asteroid, for example, was a doozy. Earth has enjoyed all its animal species, but humans have been super fun. They're not always kind to Earth, but they may turn out OK. This is a fun book to introduce our planet to younger children. End notes provide additional information. The first-person text is breezy, yet informative, and David Litchfield's pencil, ink, watercolor, and digital illustrations fill the double-page spreads and provide a quirky personality for our planet. This is delightful narrative nonfiction for the younger grades and would make a terrific read-aloud.
Mama Africa! : How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope With Her Song
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Erskine, Kathryn
Palmer, Charly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Evocative oil illustrations by Charly Palmer lay out the bold lines of Miriam Makeba's legacy, as lyric, understated text by Kathryn Erskine examines her life and the situation in South Africa during apartheid. A young African girl grows up in a system rife with discrimination and danger. How can she speak out against this injustice? Perhaps she cannot speak, but she can certainly sing, and her voice carries a strong message of both hope and the need for change. Delivering her message is not without risk, but silence is not an option she is willing to entertain. She speaks to the UN, joins the American Civil Rights Movement, wins a Grammy, and continues to strive for freedom in South Africa, where her music is banned. This is a strong story of perseverance and the power of both her music and her spirit. The book includes a timeline, end notes, glossary, and bibliography. It brings an extraordinary woman's life into focus for a younger audience.
Handbook To Ghosts, Poltergeists, And Haunted Houses
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Mccollum, Sean
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Whooo-oooooo doesn't like a scary nonfiction book about ghosts? In 32 creepy pages the author presents classics tales like "The Vanishing Hitchhiker", then examines the whole idea of ghosts. Ghosts from literature and movies are included, as well as information about famous haunted places, and the five levels of poltergeist activity. What makes this a good choice for ghost-lovers is the writing. It's clear, crisp, informative, and yet has an edge of spookiness that serves the subject matter well. Photographs and some historic artwork accompany the text. There are never enough books in the 133.1 section of my library, and this would be a good one to add.
Let's Do A Thing!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Benton, Jim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Well known for his "Dumb Diary" and "Franny K. Stein" books, Jim Benton is now back with a new character. And what a character he is. Victor Shmud is, or at least purports to be, a "Total Expert." He wants to be many things. He wants to do many things. He claims to be able to do many things and, maybe, he's sort of right. With the help of Dumpylumps, a small duck who Victor claims is a chicken, Victory manages to solve a video game. Unfortunately this leads to his abduction by aliens. Will Dumpylump's butt save the universe? Possibly. This is great silliness and, to be frank, the first part is so random it makes little sense. However, once the alien abduction happens the story takes off...literally...and is a lot of fun. Short chapters, easy words, plenty of black and white illustrations--yep, this is a transitional reader that will appeal to the same crowd who like "Bad Kitty."
Case Of The Smelly Sneaker
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 13, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jigsaw Jones likes to solve puzzles. When the girls challenge the boys to a football game it seems a one-sided match. Or is it? They may never find out, because Bigs Maloney's giant, smelly sneakers are missing. He can't play wearing boots. Will the game be called off? Was it an attempt to keep him out of the game or is the disappearance less nefarious? Jigsaw Jones and his friends are on the case. The Jigsaw Jones mysteries are easy chapter books with short chapters, and plenty of black and white illustrations. They're a good choice for reluctant readers.
Curse Of The Harvester
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Grunberg, Greg
Turnbloom, Lucas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 13, 2017
Dame, Anne
Sequel to graphic novel: Dream Jumper. It helps to have read the first one, but there is enough scaffolding to pick up the second (although maybe not for struggling readers). Lively, colorful illustrations make this a fun and enjoyable read. If you have the first, you need to add this one to your collection as well. Ben and Jake are using the Dream Jumper business to make some money. However, there are some strange things happening in the dream world and a new enemy to face.
Anne Of Green Gables : The Graphic Novel
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Thummler, Brenna
Thummler, Brenna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 13, 2017
Dame, Anne
I loved the novel and I think this graphic novel does a great job of staying true to the original story. The full color, but slightly muted, illustrations are completely realistic and also stay true to the tone of the book - plus match (well enough) the visuals in my head from when I read the book. Anne is an orphan adopted by brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla, to help out on their arm. They were expecting a boy, but keep Anne anyway despite her exuberance and tendency towards drama and verbosity. A sweet and touching read. Might have to hand sell this one as it is not what the typical graphic novel reader will go for.
Secret Coders : 4 : Robots & Repeats
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Yang, Gene Luen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Best selling author/graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has teamed up with Mike Holmes to create a graphic novel that teaches kids how to code using Logo and binary as the programming languages. The coding happens within a story line and also gives students the opportunity to practice as they go along. This is a sequel - only get it if you have #1-3. #1 is a must have. Grades 3-5
Adventures Of John Blake : Mystery Of The Ghost Ship
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Pullman, Philip
Fordham, Fred
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
This graphic novel was originally a series in The Phoenix. The ship "Mary Alice" is a ghost ship and can travel through time - although the crew cannot control when and where they go. One crew member is John Blake, a young boy who rescues a girl, Serena, when she is swept off her family's yacht during a storm. In Serena's time, there is an evil corporation desperately seeking the ship to use it for their own nefarious plans. Lots of action and adventure, and full color graphics make this an appealing read. I hope there are more books in the series to flesh out some of the other characters and their backgrounds.
My Brigadista Year
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Paterson, Katherine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Set in Cuba in 1961. Fidel Castro has just taken over and has promised that his country will be 100% literate within a year. In order for this to happen, young people must go out into the remote regions of the country to teach the farmers. This is a fictionalized memoir of a young girl named Lora who is determined to go out and teach others to read. Despite her parents' reluctance, she has the backing of her grandmother, so she is able to sign up and go. Her experiences in the field require bravery, dedication, and determination. Seems to be well-researched. An enjoyable and educational read. Some readers may struggle a bit with the setting and concepts involved during that era. Strong, diverse, female protagonist!
Pig The Winner
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Blabey, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 14, 2017
Burton, Paula
The Australian author and illustrator of many picture and chapter books wrote and illustrated another Pig the pug book. The first one in the series published in America at this time is Pig the Pug. Just as funny as the first one, and again Pig, who is a pug, gets himself in trouble because he has some problems behaving nicely. This time it is because he wants to win and tries to make anything into a competition. In addition he is a sore loser, if he cannot win, he will cheat his way to first place. Through rhyme the story ends not well for Pig again. The watercolor illustrations are expressive almost characheture and will delight the reader and listener. A humorous addition for younger kids in anny library which discusses social behavior and manners where the characters take the main stage.
Plankton Is Pushy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Fenske, Jonathan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 14, 2017
Burton, Paula
Jonathan Fenske has written another ocean centered picture book but this time it is a plankton and mussel who take center stage. The plankton comes upon Mr Mussel and politely says hello. There is no response. This repeats itself a couple of times with plankton getting into the manners of meeting another person or animal, how it is polite to say hello back. Mussel still does not speak. He does open his mouth a little, and when he plankton comes closer(spoiler alert) eats it. The illustrations in this picture book remind me of the style of Jan thomas (Rhyming dust bunnies, what will fat cat sit on); repetition of simple text, black outlined characters, and a humorous ending although this one is a little more blunt than Thomas endings, since the main character gets eaten. This book could be a great story next to an ocean unit for the very young.
Dig Dig Digging Abc
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mayo, Margaret
Ayliffe, Alex
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 14, 2017
Burton, Paula
An alphabet book with things that go. From old favorites like F for fire engine to newer modes of transportation like E for express train. S even includes the scooter.The more difficult letters are interesting and long words to make the letter fit; V is for velodrome track bike and X is for extra big wheels on a monster truck. For those who know their transportation items, it might be confusing to see a monster truck not for M but with the letter X. Letter L is for Long haul truck, which for little ones could be just a truck. Every page has the letter displayed as a upper and lower case example. Along with the letter is a four line rhyme which flow well. The second line is a word, repeated twice and followed by the verb of this word which creates more action for the little ones. The alphabet is accompanied by bright illustrations. This book would not be a good one to learn one’s ABC’s, but those who like transportation and things that go, it is still attractive.
Better Off Undead
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Adrian (last name Lazarus - insert unsubtle reference here) was not wearing a bike helmet (duh!), and died when he got into a bad accident. Somehow he came back to life, but he is now afflicted with terribly dry skin, loss of appetite, and is constantly harassed by clouds of flies. Things are different, but it's not just because he is undead. Globally things are falling apart as well - bees are dying, forest fires are raging. Then he discovers that he is being spied upon by a droid. He and two friends are determined to figure out what is going on. A serviceable mystery/adventure with some humor thrown in for good measure. This is very different that Preller's previous works about bullying and is suited for a younger audience.
Cast No Shadow
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Tapalansky, Nick
Espinosa, Anissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Every town seems to have that creepy haunted house that no one can leave alone. Lancaster is no exception. However, Greg discovers that there may be a reason behind the reputation of this particular haunted house. Creepy, with gray-scale illustrations that add to the darkness of the plot.
Crafty Cat And The Crafty Camp Crisis
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Harper, Charise Mericle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Birdie is in 2nd grade. She loves to craft and has an alter ego that no one can see called Crafty Cat. Crafty cat has helped Birdie get out of embarrassing and other difficult situations in the past and will need to again when Birdie and best friend Evan go to craft camp at school. Second in the series but stands alone just fine. At the back of the book are directions for making all the crafts that were shown throughout the story. Students in grades K-3 will definitely be able to relate to the characters and situations. Colors are muted browns, greens, blues, and yellows. Illustrations are clear and visually interesting. Their simplicity is a perfect match for the intended audience.
Disco Fever
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Savage, Doug
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
A graphic novel tale of Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy. This is the second book in the series but it stands alone just fine. A shipment of disco balls is let loose in the forest - was it the evil plan of a chickadee or just a string of unintended consequences? Moose is sure it is the former. However, that pales to the evil plan cooked up by Cyborgupine who finds all the disco balls and creates a disco ball monster robot. Moose's lasers are reflected by the mirrors on the disco balls, so he cannot stop Cyborgupine that way. Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy will have to come up with a new plan. Suspend your disbelief that Moose's lasers are strong enough to cut through trees in mere seconds but do minimal damage when turned on himself. Students will enjoy this humorous series with clear, colorful illustrations.
Sinking The Sultana : A Civil War Story Of Imprisonment, Gre
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Walker, Sally M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Approximately the same number of people lost their lives in the sinking of the Sultana as did on the sinking of the Titanic. However, one of these events is much better known than the other. This is a fascinating look at the circumstances that caused this terrible accident with such a devastating loss of life. It took place during the Civil War so ties in neatly to 8th grade curriculum. Well-researched, thorough. The author used diaries and other primary source documents when available. She also met with relatives/descendants of those who were on the ship. Primary source photographs and charts are included whenever possible. There is also a lot of factual information about the Mississippi River itself. I enjoyed learning new things while reading this book. Complete source notes and bibliography at the end. A few suggestions for further learning are also included. Grades 5-10
Science Comics : Dogs : From Predator To Protector
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Hirsch, Andy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 14, 2017
Dame, Anne
Dog-lovers will enjoy this romp through a detailed scientific look at many facts and facets about dogs. In graphic novel format, one dog takes the reader along to explore whether or not dogs are descended from wolves, differences between breeds, and much more. The level of scientific detail regarding genes is thorough and accurate (as far as I could tell, although college biology was a long time ago). Because of the depth of science, this is not a book to browse; it must be read thoughtfully - or some readers may skim through the parts they do not understand and just try to figure out where the guide dog's ball went. A great scaffold or support for students learning about genetics and how evolution shapes species. May have limited appeal due to technicality of writing, although it is made as accessible as possible. Grades 4 and up
Louie Lets Loose!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hamilton, Rachel
Armelles, Oscar
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 14, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Louie wasn't happy, which simply didn't work in Story Land. After all, he was a unicorn--a purveyor of all that is joyful and glittery and rainbowy. Then he gets his chance. He's going to New York to seek fame and fortune as a performer. Amusingly, every negative thing that happens to him is viewed through Louie's rose-colored glasses. His new friends, a mermaid who aspires to being an opera star, a troll who loves dance, and a faun with a desire to direct, aid Louie in his quest for stardom. Naturally there is a nemesis--another unicorn who doesn't want anyone infringing on his turf. Can Louie's optimism, and his ability to make donut holes, save the day? This is a light-hearted frolic with short chapters and plenty of black and white, with pink and red accents, illustrations. There are sure to those will embrace this ruthlessly optimistic hero. This is book #1 in the series.
Trucks Galore
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Stein, Peter
Staake, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 15, 2017
Burton, Paula
Lots of trucks pass by in this colorful picture book. Since the last word of all the sentences is truck, there is a nice rhythm and rhyme to it; Strong truck, weak truck, hide-and-seek truck. From trucks on the farm, to trucks on a construction site, there is even trucks who work with a spaceship. For those who like things that go, this is a wonderful book to read aloud or look at the many trucks with lots of detail and language to expand young minds. This is the third book in the series on all items galore. Previous books are toys galore and cars galore.
Fallingwater : The Building Of Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpi
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Harshman, Marc
Pham, Leuyen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 15, 2017
Burton, Paula
A picture book format book about one house; a very famous house. The house Frank Lloyd Wright build at the later part of his career. Lyrical language accompanies the illustrations that articulate Wright’s ideas of long straight lines with a touch of nature. It is a combination where images add to the text. This is how Wright had imagined the house according to the story. The book starts with the architect in his office, thinking it is the end of his career when he receives a request from department store owner Edgar Kaufmann. He wants to build a house away from the city between rugged hills where a stream called Bear Run comes through. The last spread has an author's' note, artist's note, bibliography, and additional information for those who like to read more about this world famous house. A wonderful addition for any library.
Witch Boy
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Ostertag, Molly Knox
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 15, 2017
Dame, Anne
Lots of diverse characters in this graphic novel about being true to who you are and what your interests are instead of what society says you should be and do. Story line is engaging as well. A good addition for upper elementary, middle school, and high school collections. Students will be drawn in by the colorful and engaging illustrations.
Perfecto Pet Show
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Springfield, Pepper
Caldwell, Kristy
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Bobs and the Tweets are two very different families. The Tweets are quite organized and tidy--a place for everything and everything in its place. The Bobs are more...relaxed. There couldn't be two more different neighbor families. Their children, Lou and Dean, are friends despite their families' foibles. Now a pet talent show is going to be held at Bonefish Street School. Both want to participate, but both have issues with their talents, their pets, and their families. What to do, what to do? It turns out that both the children and their families learn a lesson in cooperation and being flexible. That all sounds lovely, and the bright cartoonish illustrations by Kristy Caldwell, that fill the 74 pages with color and humor are delightful. The rhyming text, however, often lacks rhythm, falters, and stretches for a rhyme. This story would have been better told in prose. The rhyming extends it too far, and detracts from the message. And yes, this is the second book in the series.
Louie Takes The Stage!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hamilton, Rachel
Armelles, Oscar
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Ever-optimistic Louie the Unicorn is back for his second adventure. He's still at the New York School of Performing Arts. His best friends are still a troll who embraces dance, an aspiring opera star mermaid, and a faun with a penchant for directing. His biggest competition? Arnie the Unicorn. The school's 50th anniversary is coming up and they will be able to perform "The Handsome Prince and the Princess Pointlessly Stuck in a Tower" for one night on Broadway. Naturally Louie aspires to the lead role of the handsome prince. Arnie does all he can to submarine his rival, not that Louie notices. He views the world through rose-colored glasses. As Arnie's understudy Louie is turned into Arnie's servant, but his over-helpfulness leads to disaster and a chance at the starring role. When the play is on, however, it's up to Louie to save the day when a bad case of stage fright hits a friend. Oh, and there's that birthday extravaganza he's planning. This is another whacky adventure with short chapters and plenty of illustrations. Its quirky sense of humor will attract fans.
Zoom In On The Bald Eagle
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 17, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
24 page book explains how the Eagle became the symbol for the United States. Original symbol designed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin had a woman, “Liberty,” holding a shield which represented all the states. Congress instead had an artist create a design which featured a golden eagle. Congress changed the bird to the American bald eagle which only lives in America. President Truman changed the direction the eagle faced to the olive branches instead of the arrows. From the Zoom in on American Symbols series which includes Liberty Bell, US Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and the Statue of Liberty. Include Glossary at the beginning of the book, two pages of activities, Learn More from book titles and listed websites. Index. Reinforced Library Binding.
Zoom In On The Pledge Of Allegiance
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 17, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
When, why written, and who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and when was it first recited starts the first chapter about the original Pledge. Additional chapters cover reciting and saluting; changes; rules of the Pledge. Useful to enlighten readers. From the Zoom in on American Symbols series which includes Liberty Bell, US Flag, Bald Eagle, National Anthem, and the Statue of Liberty. Include Glossary at the beginning of the book, two pages of six activities, Learn More from book titles and listed websites. Index. Reinforced Library Binding.
Lucky Lazlo
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Light, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 17, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Lazlo gets a red rose to take to his love who is starring in a play. He already had his ticket but bumps into a street clock and a cat takes off with the dropped rose into the stage door of the theater where people are getting ready. The chase is on with the cat tangled in thread, then tries to hide in a tuba, crashes through the props table, scampered through the orchestra pit but lets go of the rose when a mirror crashes and finally, chases after a mouse. Lazlo steals the show when he rolls across the stage on a ball and wins the heart of his lady love. At the end of the book is the author’s note about theatrical superstitions as the author has incorporated as many as possible. Useful to use with drama classes. Reinforced Trade Edition.
Journeys : Young Readers' Letters To Authors Who Changed
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Professional
December 17, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Fifty-two letters from the hundred of thousands of letters written to authors, living or dead, by youngsters in grades 4th to 12th in three divisions in the Letters About Literature program sponsored by the Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. Information about and winners from the years since the start in 1992 can be found on the web but this book gives a look at letters from students with a writing about the author before the letter. Interesting how books and the insight of authors has affected young people who have had to deal with bullying, death, suicidal feelings, being fat, war, change, risk taking, and much more. Students have read what the author has to say and thought about how their words have helped them to grow, understand, change. A copy of this book would assist teachers and teacher-librarians in encouraging students to write to an author telling them how their book(s) have affected them. Deadline is in the beginning of January so this is an excellent writing assignment to start in October. Buy and enjoy.
Pigloo
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Pace, Anne Marie
Hussey, Lorna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Entertaining story about a young piglet named Pigloo who finally gets snow, so he can go to the “North Pole” but he needs to be back for lunch. At the bottom of a very, very huge hill, he finds a red-and-white pole, a polar bear, and part of an igloo, and sister, Paisley. They finish the igloo and go home for lunch via the short way. Then because there were no penguins, Pigloo decides to go the South Pole and Paisley is going, too. Review copy in Reinforced binding.
Birds Vs. Blades? : Offshore Wind Power And The Race To Prot
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Hirsch, Rebecca E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Just at sunset scientists go out in a small, just right-sized boat to capture and implant high-tech tags in seabirds to track their movements. The scientists are learning as much as they can about seabirds who need to share the airspace over the ocean with wind farms. Explanation of how an offshore wind farm works. Three species of Atlantic seabirds that could be vulnerable to the affects of off-shore wind farms are Northern Gannet, Red-throated loon and Surf Scoter. The data collected from the studies will help in guiding the development of wind farms. Other threats to seabirds is also discussed. Source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, websites, and Index. Reinforced binding. Very useful book for research in a controversial topic.
Penguins! : The World's Coolest Birds
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Lynch, Wayne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Dr. Wayne has updated “Penguins” with new pictures and information including two new determined penguin species. Lynch’s passion and fascination for penguins helps to inform readers about the effects of climate change on habitat, life cycle, and what might happen in the future for these marvelous creatures. Useful for report writing but also a “good read.” Parts of the book include Table of Contents, map of penguins of the world showing their habitat locations by numbered pictures of twenty species. Index. Info about the author.
Very Little Sleeping Beauty
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Heapy, Teresa
Heap, Sue
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Tomorrow is little Sleeping Beauty’s birthday and Daddy is trying to put her to bed early. She isn’t sleepy and wants to play, sing, tickle, jump on the bed, and then needs all sorts of bedtime necessities – her bear, blanket, and especially a drink in her cup. But the cup is not to be found. After awhile, she goes looking for daddy. Up in the tower of the castle she finds Aunty Fairy with her birthday present which gets opened and then broken. After saying, “Sorry,” Sleeping Beauty is put to bed just as the Sun was about to rise. She slept and slept until it was night time the next day. The kids end up having a pajama party. Happy Birthday, Very Little Sleeping Beauty!” Ideal for reading at bedtime. Also look for Very Little Red Riding Hood and Very Little Cinderella.
Hop, Throw, And Play : Build Your Skills Every Day!
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Sjonger, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
From Healthy habits for a lifetime series which includes books about being physically fit; choosing foods; good nutrition; managing emotions guide; and resting, “Hop, throw and play: build your skills everyday!” stresses moving your body each day. Not just a healthy habit but fun, too. Excellent ideas about why kids should be active. Builds up muscles & bones, lungs and heart grow stronger, increases your energy level, keeps body at a healthy weight, and even improves how well you sleep at night. (Might even share with grandparents!) Stresses the three main kinds of motor skills – traveling skills, balancing skills, and object -handling skills with examples of each. Be active at least 60 minutes each day. Suggestions for challenging each skill. Guided reading level: L. Includes websites and books for further reading, glossary, index. Paperback edition. My father, a PE teacher, would have recommended and shared this book.
Maze Monster
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Catling, Andy
Catling, Andy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Professor Igor has a tale of Ned and Victor who sneak into the science building to find out about what is in and going on. They learn that there are weird things there. They are almost discovered by the building security guard but disappear into a maze of halls and doors with dead ends. They should never have gone into the lab. Now they are helping the scientists learn a lot from their new lab brats. He He! Professor Igor’s lab notes contain information about real labs. Glossary, Discussion questions, and Writing prompts. Biography notes about author and illustrator. Series titled Igor’s Lab of Fear. Reinforced binding. Small size at 5 ¼ X 7 ¼ “.
Dojo Surprise
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Tougas, Chris
Cinar, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Six little ninja boys and girls are sneaking into the Dojo Daycare while the Master is sleeping. He awakens and tries to be aware by using his ears and eyes so that he won’t be taken by surprise. But the little ninja yell, “Surprise!” It’s the Master’s birthday party that they have created. Yes, little people can surprise the adults! Other books in series include Dojo Daycare and Dojo Daytrip.
Never Follow A Dinosaur
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Latimer, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Sally and Joe find some footprints that they are convinced belong to a dinosaur. So they follow the footprints and from what they observe make guesses as to what has happened – “hungry, heavy, swimming, dancing dinosaur with a headache and a sore foot. But then the footprints stop. They spend the afternoon planning and building a trap. But no dinosaur. Does it fly? They get scooped up and taken to help the dinosaur bake and eat lots of desserts. Author/illustrator, Alex Latimer, has created a wonderful cumulative story for reading aloud. Listeners can predict what they think will happen. He He!!
Cy Makes A Friend
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Stephens, Ann Marie
Subisak, Tracy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Cy, the cyclops, was born to build. He makes many different things but he can’t make a friend. It can be scary making friends so he prepares by practicing conversation, watches his do with his friends, and looking like a friend. Because he knows that sharing is nice, he builds a surprise that needs wheels so he goes to the market. Now he is ready. Will he find a friend to share with? Good discussion starter about making friends for the preK-1st crowd. Second book by the author. Debut picture book for the illustrator, Tracy Subisak. Review copy Reinforced trade edition.
Motor Miles
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Burningham, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Miles the dog was a very difficult dog who didn’t like coming when called, going for walks, eating food, rain, or other dogs. He barked too much. But Alice Trudge and her son, Norman, like him. Miles really liked going for rides in the car – especially to the café. The neighbor, Mr. Huddy, offers to make a car for Miles. Norman helps. When the car is finished, Mr. Huddy teaches Miles to drive. One day, Miles drives Norman to school. After that they go on early morning rides. Miles was getting easier to have as a dog. But Norman grew up and no longer fit in the car, so Miles gave up driving the car. Noise was coming from Mr. Huddy’s workshop and they discovered Mr. Hubby making an airplane. Who is that for? Reinforced Trade edition. Miles named for Burningham’s “much-loved, difficult dog” per the dedication.
Herbie's Big Adventure
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Poh, Jennie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Herbie the young hedgehog, is sent out on his foraging adventure. A big wind sweeps him deeper into the forest until he lands in the snow and finally finds a resting place in the arms of a “snow bear.” Next morning, a wind gust blows him back home. Cute winterish tale. Reinforced Library binding.
Rise Of The Rebels
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Kogge, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 19, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Four-part sci-fi story from War Wars Rebels series which is based on the animated television series. The main characters Kanan (gunner), Hera (pilot), and Chopper (droid) fight the TIE fighters of the Empire in Part 1. Part 2 has artist Sabine who battles Stormtroopers by getting them to fire in the direction of their new fighters on the airfield which damages them. The final blow is a bomb. Part 3 has Zeb who fights Stormtroopers while trying to get to the rendezvous with Kanan. Part 4 features Ezra who recovers a special souvenir at the crash site of an Imperial fighter. 4 books in the series. Drawings of the characters done in the style of cartoon show but are not very appealing in the drab colors of orange and grey primarily. No gathering of the rebels – just a story of each about what they are doing. Might appeal to a reluctant reader. Library binding.
Peg + Cat : The Lemonade Problem
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Oxley, Jennifer
Aronson, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
A book based on the Emmy Award-winning PBS TV animated series of Peg + Cat produced by the Fred Rogers Company. A math problem-solving tale about getting paid for lemonade. Bar graph charts, supply and demand, negotiating a price, and problem solving. Perhaps kids will want to watch the program.
Elvis
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Chanoinat, Philippe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 19, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Graphic novel biography that touches on “The King’s” humble beginnings in Mississippi through his rise to stardom in films as well singing rock ‘n’ roll songs. Includes his military service, family life, and the last days of his life. What is missing is any frank discussion of his marriage breakup and “health issues” that ultimately ends his life. Sugar coated but a book that will look good on the coffee table. Illustrations are almost photo quality. From NBM Graphic Novels which has more including Bluesman. Also available in e-book format. Reviewed in Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
Dracula Marries Frankenstein : An Anne Of Green Bagels Story
Papercutz [Papercutz]
Schade, Susan
Buller, Jon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Anne of Green Bagels" books are created by the husband and wife team of Susan Schade and Jon Buller. These are hybrid novels--one chapter in text, the next in graphic novel format. In this entry in the series Anne Blossom and her friend Otto decide to make a horror movie and find just the right location--Herringbone Hall. However, when they start filming "Dracula Marries Frankenstein" the owner of the hall has a bad reaction to the same-sex marriage theme, which is captured on video and goes viral. Now she's receiving threats and soon her house is burned to the ground. It was probably faulty wiring. She's sorry for her reaction and apologizes, explaining it had to do with an old beau who dropped her for a man. She goes to live in a new home built by Anne's father, underwater. I know this series has received positive reviews elsewhere, but I found the switching back and forth between formats jarring. The story seemed slight, with a moral like a cudgel. On the other hand, fans of the series may well enjoy it. Perhaps if I had read the first book I would have found the characters more enthralling. They just never seemed to come to life.
Pigeon P.i.
CLARION [CLARION]
Mclaren, Meg
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A hard-boiled bird detective is induced, by a young chick, to investigate the disappearance of birds around the city. He'd decided to throw away his shingle after his partner skipped town, but soon finds himself at the Red Herring Bar and Grill. (It's above Legal Eagles and to the right of Bird, Bath and Beyond.) Something is fishy at the Red Herring. The truth will make feathers fly. This is a fun, light take on noir for younger readers and it sets Pigeon P.I. on the road to many more adventures with his new sidekick.
Yak And Dove
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Maclear, Kyo
Shapiro, Esme
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Yak and Dove are very unlikely friends. Their differences far outnumber their similarities. This can lead to clashes. In this picture-book format, three-chapter book Yak and Dove explore their differences, and find them insurmountable. A huff is in order. In the second chapter Yak auditions new friends, but none are just right until Dove shows up. The final chapter has them sharing a moment that is both quiet and noisy, enjoying the differences that make them friends. Like the Elephant and Piggy books, the stories are told in conversation, accompanied by Esme Shapiro's watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations. This is a sweet book on friendship.
Follow The Track All The Way Back
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knapman, Timothy
Mantle, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Little Train is going out into the big wide world all by himself for the first time. His parents tell him that, when he is ready to return, he only has to follow the track all the way back. But he's hardly paying attention. He's caught up in new experiences and goes chugging along on an onomatopoeia adventure until he reaches the end of the track. Now it's dark, and he's alone. What should he do? His parents' advice brings him safely home again. The pastel and digital illustrations have an old-fashioned quality that have just a hint of "Little Toot." Children should find this story a nice parallel for their own lives as they become more independent, but can always go home again.
Can't Catch Me!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knapman, Timothy
Ciraolo, Simona
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A cocky little mouse named Jake is fast, fast, fast. Naturally this leads to a certain braggadocio. He teases the cat, but the cat can't catch him. He taunts the fox, but the fox can't catch him. The same is true of the wolf and the bear. He's just too fast. In fact, he is so fast he runs around the world and ends up back with the cat. Still anxious to brag, he finds his audience hard of hearing, or so it seems. The cat, on the other hand, eventually finds him...delicious. Light-filled watercolor illustrations use flowing lines and gentle humor to help tell the story. Pair this with "The Gingerbread Man" for a new take on an old story.
When The Wind Blew
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Brown, Petra
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Tucked in his warm and safe den, with his mother, Little Bear hears the wind blowing outside. Big Bear reassures him that they are safe, and they are. However, when they emerge from their den they find trees knocked down, and everything changed. They will have to move, to find a safer place with a new food source. Change is hard, but Big Bear is reassuring. Together they find a new place. There's some danger getting there, but Little Bear never has to face it alone. At last they are in a new home and all is well. They've overcome an obstacle together, and Little Bear now knows that home depends more on family than location. Soft, warm illustrations accompany the sweet and tender text. This is the sort of reassuring book you will want to share with a child who has had to relocate due to circumstances beyond his control. Knowing that grown-ups will find a solution is a valuable message.
Aliens Get The Sniffles Too! Ahhh-Choo!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Duffield, Katy S
Campbell, K. G.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A cute little alien has the sniffles. His parents do everything they can to make him both comfortable and happy. They use Shooting-Star Ear Drops, a Little Dipperful of water, a Milky Way milkshake and more. All the while Mars Rover (the dog) is sympathetic. It is their pet who finally cheers the sick one up, only to start sneezing himself. Time to bring in the remedies again! This is a sweet and gentle story, with plenty of humor. The watercolor, pen, and pencil illustrations are delightful, filling the pages with color and action, and big enough for sharing. This would be a nice addition to an "I'm Sick" story time.
Wild Animals
45Th Parallel Press (Clp) [45Th Parallel Press (Clp)]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Stranger Than Fiction" series ought to be better than it is. The series covers epic fails, odd inventions, stupid criminals, and more. The subject matter should entice, and it does. Where the series fails is in its execution. This book, for example, is about wild animals, using "wild" as odd or strange, rather than free-roaming. The cover shows a blobfish. Cool! Unfortunately the book itself is flawed. The writing is poor. Short declarative sentences do not flow, and any sentence containing a new word is followed by a sentence defining it. This makes the text even choppier. Sure, some of the animals are weird, but others are more common. The book includes short information about Texas horned lizards, blobfish, horseshoe crabs, platypuses, polydactyl cats, snakes, narwhales, and some mutations such as octogoat and a cyclops albino shark. Some text obviously calls for a photograph, but none is to be found. Some photographs are sort of on topic, but not specific to it. This creates a hodgepodge, leaving readers confused. I've reviewed other books in the series and found the same problems. Good idea. Poor execution.
Pterodactyl
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Rober, Harold T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Bumba Books "Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Beasts" series, this sturdy 24-page book introduces young readers to pterodactyls. Big, beautiful computer-generated photographs, from Shutterstock, accompany clear and informative text as young readers learn about this flying reptile. There is brief information about the anatomy, diet, and life cycle of pterodactyls. A labeled picture, a short index, a bibliography and a picture glossary complete this easy nonfiction book. The subject matter is popular, and the book is beautifully organized. This would be a useful addition to easy nonfiction collections.
Winter Dance
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Jones, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
When a single snowflake settles on the nose of a fine red fox he knows winter is on the way, but is not sure what to do. Each animal he asks has a different solution. The woolly caterpillar suggests wrapping himself in a chrysalis. A turtle offers the choice of diving down and burying himself in the mud. Bat, bear, squirrel, bird and more all have suggestions, but while their ideas work for them, none are the right solution for the fox. It is another fox who knows the truth--red foxes dance in the snow. Gentle illustrations hold the colors of autumn turning to winter and are as soft and sure as the lyrical text. This would be a nice literature tie-in to units on animal adaptation to seasonal changes.
Jack And The Beanstalk And The French Fries
Orchard Books (Scholastic) [Orchard Books (Scholastic)]
Teague, Mark
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk...or do they? In Teague's unique take on the classic, Jack and his mother are starving. He does, indeed, trade the cow for magic beans. However the results are that they now have plenty to eat--plenty of beans, that is. Bean soup, bean salad, bean muffins. There's enough and to spare--enough and to share! They're healthy, nutritious, and FREE! Parents are pleased. Others? Not so much. An angry mob, and the advice of a stranger, send Jack up the beanstalk where he finds a giant who hates beans just as much as he does. It's the giant's wife who suggests planting a vegetable garden, especially potatoes, to make everyone's diet more varied. YAY for French fries! This is a sharp and humorous retelling. Put it together with Teague's rounded, colorful illustrations that have a fairy-tale quality, with a bit of a humorous edge, and you have a winner!
Kindness
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Character Education" series, this large-format 24-page book illustrates examples of kindness. Each double-spread page includes a photograph of children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The photograph crosses the gutter to face two or three simple lines of text such as: "Dion shares his blocks. He is being kind." 7 examples of kindness are shown. Character education is important, and this series is a good start for primary students. My one complaint is that the character trait emphasized in each book is never clearly defined before examples are given. I guess that's left up to the teacher or parent, before the book is read.
How Is Peanut Butter Made?
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Except for those with allergies, peanut butter is often a basic part of a child's diet. But where does it come from? How is it made? This large-format, 24-page Abdo Kids book (part of the "How Is It Made?" series) seeks to answer those questions. From field to jar it follows the peanuts as they are harvested, shelled, roasted, blanched, and eventually turned into that protein-rich spread enjoyed by so many. Crisp color photographs fill the right-hand pages and flow across the gutter to meet a short paragraph of informative text. This would be an excellent addition to your easy nonfiction section.
Maybe A Bear Ate It
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Harris, Robie H
Emberley, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A young monster is missing his book. How can he sleep without his book? A frantic search ensues, as well as wild speculation. Did a bear eat it? Maybe a shark or a stegosaurus was involved! Clearly this little monster knows how to exercise his imagination. Check out his stuffed toys for the sources of his story-telling. Luckily the book is found and all ends well. This was a delightful story when first published in 2008, with bright and kid-friendly illustrations. Now it's back in this new format which seems to be Scholastic's version of the "Little Golden Book" series. The story is now augmented with questions a parent can ask a child throughout the book (which I find disruptive, but they can be ignored). The binding will not last. This is clearly designed for home use, where it should find a happy audience, especially at the $5.99 price.
Song Of The Poison Dragon
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
West, Tracey
Jones, Damien
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 19, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this, book #5 of the "Dragon Masters" series, the previous child Dragon Masters and their dragons welcome a new Dragon Master. Petra, however, seems like a bit of a "know-it-all" and isn't bonding well with her hydra dragon. Maybe her being chosen was a mistake? When her dragon poisons the king it is all the more important that she bond, so a cure can be found. This is one of the ever-popular "Branches" series of easy chapter books. Short chapters and plenty of illustrations make it kid-friendly. That is never enough, however. The writing has to attract young readers, and it does. This is one of the most popular series in my library.
Whale In My Swimming Pool
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Wan, Joyce
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 19, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Little boy discovers a whale in his wading pool and tries numerous ways of getting it to leave his pool until at last he has the idea to float on his inner tube held up by the whale’s water spout. Then he finds a snoring bear in his bed. Oh, dear! Wonderful for the preschool and kindergarten crowd. Board book issue. Also available in reinforced binding.
We're Going On A Spooky Ghost Hunt
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Geist, Ken
Francis, Guy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Instead of going on a bear hunt, these intrepid explorers are looking for ghosts. They're not afraid! They'll have to go down a stumpy, bumpy hill; follow a misty, twisty path and more to reach their goal. But do they really want their goal when they find it? Back they go encountering the same obstacles in reverse. There's plenty here to repeat and provide actions for. This is part of the Scholastic "Story Play" series. The series appears to mirror the old "Little Golden Books" taking picture books and putting them into a smaller format, then adding prompts that a parent might ask a child to check and expand comprehension. I find the questions disrupt the flow of the story, but they can be ignored. What can't be ignored is the poor binding. These books are clearly designed for home, rather than library use. Their $5.99 price will make them a good choice for home libraries.
Three Little Pigs And The Somewhat Bad Wolf
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Teague, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Mark Teague's take on the story of the three little pigs is delightful. Two of the pigs want chips and soda, so they scrimp on building materials in order to save some money for snacks. The wolf is surprised at his ability to blow those houses down, but awfully hungry. Hey, when opportunity knocks... It's the pigs' sister who had the sense to build a brick house which saves her brothers and defeats the wolf. He was only bad because of hunger, and a good meal at the brick house will take care of that. Soon everyone is living there, under the watchful care of the one sensible pig. Teague's delightful 3-dimensional illustrations are filled with fun details. This is a version of the classic story that everyone should love. It was originally published in 2013 and is back as part of the Scholastic "Story Play" series. The series appears to mirror the "Little Golden Books" taking popular picture books and putting them into a smaller format and adding prompts to the text that a parent might ask a child to expand comprehension. I find these disrupt the flow of the story, but they can be ignored. What can't be ignored is the poor binding found here. These books are clearly designed for home, rather than library use.
Firehouse!
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Teague, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Edward wants to be a firefighter, so Mark Teague takes him to the firehouse to learn more about the job in this all-dog book. The text is straightforward and often informational. The illustrations, however, are the key to this kid-friendly book. they are bright and rounded and contain humorous details to delight young readers. Soon Edward is part of the team and off to the rescue. This was originally published in 2010 and is back as part of the Scholastic "Story Play" series. The series appears to mirror the "Little Golden Books" taking popular picture books and putting them into a smaller format and adding prompts and activities to the text that a parent might use to check and expand comprehension. I find the questions disrupt the flow of the story, but they can be ignored. What can't be ignored is the poor binding. These books are clearly designed for home, rather than library use. their $5.99 price will make them a good choice for home libraries.
Down By The Cool Of The Pool : A Storyplay Book
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Mitton, Tony
Parker-Rees, Guy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A riotous time is going on down by the cool of the pool as a frog starts dancing and other animals join in. Soon they're not only BY the pool, they're IN it. Nevertheless, they continue their frolic. Energetic and colorful pictures show animals with a lot of personality, as action and noise skips across each page in rhythmic and rhyming delight. This was originally published in 2001 and is back as part of the Scholastic "Story Play" series. The series appears to mirror the old "Little Golden Books" taking popular picture books and putting them into a smaller format and adding questions to the text that a parent might ask a child to check and expand comprehension. I find the questions disrupt the flow of the story, but they can be ignored. What can't be ignored is the poor binding found here. These books are clearly designed for home, rather than library use. their $5.99 price will make them a good choice for home libraries.
Shining A Penny
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Rowe, Brooke
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
How do you make a penny shine after it's gotten dull? Sounds like it's time to experiment! Part of the "My Science Fun" series, this 24-page book introduces a science experiment with three different solutions to try. This is a nice introduction to setting up a science experiment and running it. Do I wish it more clearly defined the scientific method? Yes. Do I wish the cover were glossy, not dull? Yes. Do I find the book to be rather slight? Yes. Nevertheless, easy science experiments for the very young are hard to find. It might be worth looking into the series.
Beary Merry Christmas
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Meunier, Henri
Choux, Nathalie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this picture book graphic-novel style import from France Rory and Sheldon (a tiger and a turtle) are preparing for Christmas. Unfortunately Grumpus the bear is running amok, stealing other animals' food and being mean. So the two friends are forced into superhero mode. Clearly Grumpus is tired and needs to hibernate. Can they plan a clever ploy to get him to do just that? Of course! The story is told entirely in conversation bubbles and the illustrations are cute and kid-friendly. On the whole the story translates well. However, the binding is poor and will not last.
Coral : A Close-Up Photographic Look Inside Your World
Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library [Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library]
Fiedler, Heidi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This "Up Close" book is not just about coral. Instead, it gives young readers a quick peek at the history of photography, then information about macro and micro photography and some modern equipment and techniques. Following this introduction there are amazing and beautiful crisp close-up photographs of different types of coral, as well as seashells, starfish and anemones. But the photographs don't stand alone. Included is brief but interesting information about the highlighted subjects. This is a solid nonfiction book, beautifully formatted, informative, wonderfully organized. This is what nonfiction is supposed to look like.
Pizza Day
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Iwai, Melissa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's pizza day! While Mom is at work a child and his (her? Hard to say from the picture) dad work on making a pizza. They pick the vegetables, and start the sauce. They make and knead the dough. Now the sauce has to simmer and the dough has to rise. Time for chores and fun. Then it's time to assemble the pizza. This really is a step-by-step book showing the entire process but, more importantly, showing a loving father/child interaction. The end of the book includes a recipe for garden pizza. This is a wordier follow-up to Iwai's delightful "Soup Day" aimed at a slightly older audience. Bright illustrations accompany the straightforward, happy text. Great for teaching sequence, or baking your own pizza, it would be a nice addition to your collection even though the "almost a board book" format will not last due to its 6-stitch binding.
His Royal Highness, King Baby : A Terrible True Story
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lloyd-Jones, Sally
Roberts, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Things were lovely in the kingdom that included a mom, a dad, and the most beautiful kind and gentle Princess of a daughter, with long flowing hair. (Pantyhose worn on the head.) Then a usurper tries to take the throne! A baby brother arrives and King Baby is taking ALL the attention ALL the time despite the amazingness of his Princess sister. The rolling eyes in David Roberts' droll watercolor and pen illustrations, as well as the delightful details and expressions, combine to make this a winner in the sibling-rivalry genre. Yes, it's a little wordy, but the text is clever and very tongue-in-cheek. It should make a good read-aloud for a slightly older crowd with a longer attention span. They're the ones who will understand the horror of new arrivals in the household anyway!
Why Should I Save For A Rainy Day?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Eagen, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Money Sense: An Introduction to Financial Literacy" series, this 24-page helps teach students the importance of saving money. Where you save, why you save, and having a plan are all covered. Readers also learn the difference between wants and needs. Bright colors, crisp photographs, standard text features, and thought questions combine to make this a solid book on an important topic. I was surprised, however, that while the book recommended a savings account it made no mention of interest, not that you earn that much nowadays. Still, it should have been included.
Owls
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Raptors" series, this sturdy 32-page book is an exceptional example of well-organized and well-presented nonfiction. Clear, beautifully written text, crisp and well-captioned photographs, X-treme fact boxes that are both informative and interesting, and standard text features including glossary and index combine to make this a valuable resource. (And to make that a run-on sentence!) Owls are introduced and the two categories of owls--Tytonidae and Strigidae--are defined. Habitat, diet, anatomy and behavior are all examined. The endangered status of some owls is explained. This is a treat for both eye and brain. If the rest of the series is as good buy them all to update your bird section.
Usain Bolt : (Spanish)
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Biografias de deportistas Olimpicos" series, this sturdy, large-format, 24-page Spanish-language book gives the youngest readers a quick introduction to runner, Usain Bolt. Crisp color photographs fill the right-hand pages and spill over the gutter. A short paragraph of simple text accompanies each photo. One page is dedicated to his birth and youth. The rest of the book focuses on his running career, and the Olympics he attended as well as the records he broke and the metals he won. It ends with his success at the Rio Olympics. This is a solid, if brief, addition to easy nonfiction for your Spanish-language readers.
Sail Away Dragon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Joosse, Barbara
Cecil, Randy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In a simple, yet lyric, story Girl lived in a castle, and Dragon lived in his lair. Everything was always the same. Then, one day, they decided to set off for adventure together, for they were forevermore friends. They swam oceans, met new friends, and challenged Bad Hats, picking up a cat and an owl along the way. Finally there is the joy of homecoming, returning to the sameness that had sent them out in the first place. This is a simple story, but it is the telling that makes it shine. Twists of phrases, unique repetitions, delightfully dancing text--combine that with textured, soft oil illustrations for a story that seems penned in the fuzz of a fun fantasy world.
October
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Months" series, this large format 24-page book introduces young readers to the tenth month of the year. First October is introduced, then readers learn about different special days found in that month, such as holidays or important birthdays. Diwali and Halloween are highlighted. January is presented as a month of falling leaves and pumpkins. Crisp photographs fill the right-hand page and cross the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This is solid easy nonfiction that kindergarten or preschool teachers would welcome as they introduce each month to students.
January
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Months" series, this large format 24-page book introduces young readers to the first month of the year. First the month is introduced, then readers learn about different special days found in that month, such as holidays or important birthdays. January is presented as a month of snow and ice and fun. Photographs fill the right-hand page and cross the gutter to meet two lines of simple informative text. This is solid easy nonfiction that kindergarten or preschool teachers would welcome as they introduce each month to students.
Biggest Christmas Tree Ever : A Storyplay Book
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Kroll, Steven
Bassett, Jeni
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Two young mice have the same idea--to find the biggest Christmas tree ever. They each set out on a separate search but it is in working together that their goal is achieved. It takes all the other mice in town to chop the tree down and make it the centerpiece of the town's Christmas. This sweet Christmas story by Steven Kroll was originally published in 2009. Now it's back in a smaller format with prompts for adults to help young readers extend knowledge. I find the prompts disruptive to the story, but the book itself is fun, with bright Christmassy illustrations by Jeni Bassett. Part of the "Story Play" series, which seem to be Scholastic's version of the Little Golden Books, both price and binding are obviously aimed at the home market, where the books would be a nice part of a child's library.
Cultural Traditions In Honduras
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Sjonger, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cultural Traditions in My World" series, this 32-page paperback explores some of the cultures of Honduras. First readers get a brief introduction to the country itself. The following pages focus on different holidays and fiestas, the days on which they are held, and a little of the background behind them. Plenty of captions and photographs enhance the text. This is a nice general overview that offers a little insight into the culture of this Central American country.
Monster Nanny
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Tolonen, Tuutikki
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Mother's received a surprise free vacation to Lapland. Father, on a business trip, is delayed by a blizzard...in June. Who will take care of the children? Luckily a nanny has been assigned--a monster nanny. Halley, Koby, and Mimi aren't sure this is a good idea. Something weird is definitely going on. Mimi's bathrobe has cogent advice, but should you trust a talking bathrobe? Koby finds a book in the library that may offer clues. Halley tries to be the responsible one. Mimi bonds with the monster. But wait...are they the ONLY ones with monster nannies? Turns out their situation is not unique. Other strange creatures are showing up. What is going on? This is a delightfully silly, well-written book, originally published in Finland. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. The story is delightful and kid-friendly. Unfortunately the final chapters are poorly paced, slowing things down when they should be picking up. That made the ending, while satisfying, a bit of a relief.
Whoops!
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Moore, Suzi
Ayto, Russell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Garrard, Thom
A cat, a dog, and a mouse are unable to speak, so the owl directs them to the lady in the tumbledown house. When the lady casts a spell on them, they end up speaking like farm birds. Whoops! She tries again, but now they speak like farm mammals. Whoops! On the third try, the sounds are correct, but they are mismatched. Whoops! With each successive attempt, the color of the lady's hair changes and the weather effects accompanying the spell get larger. Her final spell fixes the three animals, but turns the lady into a frog. It is left to the owl to say, “Whoops!” The wonderful rhythm, rhyme and repeated patterns in the text invite listener participation, and the mixed media illustrations set against a variety of bright colorful backgrounds are hilarious. By perfectly combining catchy text, dynamic visuals, and a silly plot line, Moore and Ayto have created a winner.
Hole In The Wall
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Wilhelm, Hans
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Garrard, Thom
When an African wild dog looks at a hole in the wall, he sees another dog. When the warthog looks at it, he does not see a dog, but a warthog. Lion sees a lion, and elephant sees an elephant. Their disagreement over what’s in the hole makes them angry at each other. Finally, they stomp back to the hole, where they see one of each. And because they were all right, they are happy. The text is large and uses different colors to place emphasis on certain words. The cartoonish illustrations, rendered with digital tools and pencils, clearly display the animals’ emotions throughout this brief, simple story. Children will enjoy feeling smarter than the animal characters. The book could serve as a valuable springboard to help children discuss the impact of individual perspectives on a problem, and the importance of peace-making and friendship. This story was inspired by a Mark Twain fable that is included, though it probably could not be accessed by the book’s main audience.
Hippo In Our Yard
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Donnelly, Liza
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Garrard, Thom
When Sally discovers a hippo in the yard, her mother is busy eating lunch and does not believe it. While feeding it lettuce, Sally spots a tiger. Involved with their electronics, her dad dismisses her subsequent announcement and her sister scorns the ensuing news about the zebras. Nana does trust her about the koalas and calmly suggests feeding them grapes. But the family panics when the zoo calls about their escaped animals. They discover that Sally has them fed and happy in the yard, and she finally gets to say, “I told you so!” The text uses simple, clear language, and since Sally’s dialogue is printed in red, it is easy to identify who is speaking. Donnelly’s uncluttered, cartoonlike illustrations, done with pen and ink and watercolors, could mostly stand alone in conveying the story. Unfortunately, the visuals depict bears, while the text says “koalas.” This glaring error detracts from an otherwise wonderful book in which the caring and truthful child proves that she deserves her family’s trust.
Top 10 Moments In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Momentous events in baseball history are described in a straightforward manner over the course of four pages, including a full-page photo and a smaller one. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, Bobby Thompson’s “shot heard round the world”, Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off homer in the 1960 World Series, Carlton Fisk’s game-winning homer in the 1975 World Series, gimpy Kirk Gibson’s dramatic homer in the 1988 World Series opener, and Joe Carter’s 1993 walk-off homer that made Toronto back-to-back title winners are included. There are also two “moments” that are the culmination of career achievements: Hank Aaron’s 715th career home run and Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game. As often happens in books of this type, the next two reveal a bias in favor of recent events. While Luis Gonzalez’s walk-off single in the 2001 World Series and David Freese’s tying and winning hits in the 2011 World Series were certainly significant, do they deserve inclusion more than Babe Ruth’s called shot in the 1932 World Series, Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, or Willie Mays’s iconic catch in the 1954 World Series? This volume will hold appeal for baseball fans and could help fuel this debate.
Monster Trucks
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Keller, Joy
Saburi, Misa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Why do they call them "monster trucks?" Is it because they're big? No! It's because monsters are the ones who operate them! Sure, monsters like to scare people at Halloween, but c'mon, a monster can't do that year-long. What are their day (or night) jobs? Werewolf drives a bulldozer. The skeletons are a road crew. Yeti clears snow, Witch cleans streets, and Swam Monster hauls muck. Everyone has a monster job to do involving large equipment. So don't worry about a monster under your bed. That monster is probably at work, instead. The rhyming text bounces along nicely with the bold illustrations that show a tie-in with each monster and its job. This is a fun book that should draw a wide audience.
On The Night Of The Shooting Star
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hest, Amy
Desmond, Jenni
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
There is a fence that stands between the homes of Bunny and Dog. Each lives a separate life, letting that fence define their boundaries. Yet, each looks over the fence and thinks the other needs a friend. Time passes without any interaction between the two. Then, one sleepless night, both share a shooting star. The wonder of it brings them together. A shared experience can do that. They dig a hole under the fence and share much more than a shooting star. This is a gently sweet story about friendship, with soft, expressive illustrations by Jenni Desmond.
Abe Builds A Birdhouse : A Book About Animal Homes
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Dinmont, Kerry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Abe and his dad are building a birdhouse as a home for wild birds. What do birds need for a home? They like wood. They need a roof and a door. A place to build a nest is important. This is where the birds will raise a family. Crisp color photographs face a line or two of simple text. This would be a good read-aloud for kindergarten or preschool classes, leading to a discussion of what animals need for shelter.
Monkey Brother
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Auerbach, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
An older brother laments that antics of his younger brother who is a monkey. He's always causing trouble, following, making noise, and generally being a nuisance. Of course he's not as bad as their baby sister...(an elephant.) This is a light-hearted look at sibling rivalry, and the bright comic illustrations carry on the metaphor, showing a monkey creating problems for a long-suffering sibling who, nevertheless, does find some redeeming qualities in his monkey brother. This would be good for story time. Even the end papers are fun!
Feeling Happy
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Clark, Rosalyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Bumba Books "Feelings Matter" series, this 24-page book examines what makes people happy. Smiling faces abound in crisp photographs showing children of many ethnic backgrounds. What makes you happy? How can you make others happy? This is an optimistic book that invites reader participation. Learning to identify emotion is a basic skill. This series would be useful for counselors and teachers of the very young.
Visit To The Library
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Clark, Rosalyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A crisp glossy-paper over board cover, with a picture of a child enjoying a book serves as a nice lead-in to this book about a visit to the library. Beautiful photographs fill most of each double-page spread and accompany a line or two of simple text. What is found in this library? People to help, computers, books, clubs, story-time, even a 3-D printer! Yep, the library is a pretty cool place. Use this book to update your easy nonfiction books on the library.
Hunt The Ozark Howler
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Fields, Jan
Brundage, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Monster Hunters" series, this 80-page book follows a young group of cryptid hunters, who have an Internet show, as they seek out the truth behind the strange and ominous sounds and sightings in the Ozark Mountains. Can it be the Ozark Howler? They are competing with another team with a TV show and a less honest agenda. When Gabe falls into a river will the search for the monster override is rescue? This is a nicely-paced, well-written book with occasional black and white illustrations. The series will appeal to those who like things just a little creepy.
Avengers K : The Advent Of Ultron : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Marvel graphic novels are ever popular. Although this is subtitled "The Advent of Ultron" this particular volume in the series is better described as the origin story behind the Wasp. Hank Pym has invented the Pym particle that allows shrinking and enlarging. That enabled him to become Ant-Man. When his friend, Janet's, father was killed she insists he use it on her and, with some specialized help, she becomes the Wasp. Working together they fight evil in the form of an acid-based life form from another dimension. The plot moves along swiftly, and the high-action illustrations have a strong anime quality. Fans will enjoy this.
Case Of The Glow In The Dark Ghost
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The Jigsaw Jones mysteries are back. This book, originally published in 2004, tells the story our detective's work in solving the mystery of a strange glowing figure seen in the schoolhouse windows late on Tuesday nights. Amusingly there's a taste of Scooby-Doo in this story. Like all Jigsaw Jones mysteries there is a simple explanation. Short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, and clear crisp text make this a good choice for easy chapter-book readers. These books should appeal to the same crowd who like Cam Jansen by Adler.
Death Of Balder : A Viking Graphic Novel
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Simonson, Louise
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Norse mythology is getting more exposure in both literature and movies, especially with Marvel's "Thor." Having a solid background in the legends helps. This graphic novel is a good way to go. First, the author provides some background information and an introduction of characters and their relationships, which really helps. What follows is a graphic novel retelling of Frigg's attempts to save her most beloved son, whose death would be the first omen of Ragnorok. Loki's deception, and role in Baldur's death, as well as his eventual punishment are all part of the tale. This is crisply and clearly told, with sharp, well-drawn artwork. It would provide a good background for readers of some of the current fiction series based on Norse myths.
Stories From Those Who Fought In America's Special Ops
Connect/capstone Press [Connect/capstone Press]
Leavitt, Amie Jane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Starting with a special mission to move cannons during the Revolutionary War, this book gives an overview of special ops throughout American history. Readers learn about Rogers' Rangers, and other special groups that worked during various early wars. WWII frogmen and Rangers are highlighted as are modern special forces missions including the rescue of Scott O'Grady and the search for bin Laden. There are primary sources, quotes, a good resource list, a glossary and index, as well as some thought questions. The writing is clear, compelling, and informative. Photographs and historical artwork accompany the text. This is excellent nonfiction that would be valuable for both report-writing and casual browsing.
Avengers K : The Advent Of Ultron : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Marvel graphic novels are ever popular. Although this is subtitled "The Advent of Ultron" this particular volume in the series is better described as the origin story behind Ant-Man. Hank Pym suffered a tragic loss and is now focusing his whole attention on a new invention--a way to miniaturize and enlarge. A spiffy outfit, a means of communicating with insects, and a little experimentation later he is able to use his powers for good. Oh, and maybe his mourning is over as he meets Janet Van Dyne. The plot moves along swiftly, and the high-action illustrations have a strong anime quality. Fans will enjoy this.
Gum
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Willard, Nancy
Newman, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Down at Mr. Wright's store is a gumball machine. When you put in a quarter you'll get six gumballs. Sometimes you'll get six gumballs and a prize. However, the prize two boys want is the silver racecar that nobody gets. One day they take their quarters with a single goal in mind. What will happen, however, when James uses a Canadian quarter? Though the story is a little wordy, there is a lot here that could be used for inference skills, and for predicting. What will happen when he uses the quarter? Where did that tire come from? Why didn't the racer come out when everything else did? Jeff Newman's ink illustrations stand out against a stark white background, using simple lines and bright colors to convey emotion and augment the text. I had to read this several times, but it grows on you.
Center Stage
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Taddonio, Lea
Aly, Hatem
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Maisey and Kenya are on the tour bus with their best friend, Cadence Hudson, who has suddenly gained fame as a rock star. In the "Along For The Ride" series each 48 page book has a short vignette from the trip, focusing on a particular character. Four chapters, plenty of teen-friendly illustrations, and ever-changing fonts make this a lure for reluctant readers who will find a good story in each book. If you want the whole story, however, you need to buy the series. In this entry in the series Kenya loves to dance, but is very self-conscious. When a dancer in the show is injured, can she find the courage to take her place? Middle school girls who don't like to read will, nevertheless, find these books attractive quick reads.
Fashion Police
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Taddonio, Lea
Aly, Hatem
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Maisey and Kenya are on the tour bus with their best friend, Cadence Hudson, who has suddenly gained fame as a rock star. In the "Along For The Ride" series each 48 page book has a short vignette from the trip, focusing on a particular character. Four chapters, plenty of teen-friendly illustrations, and ever-changing fonts make this a lure for reluctant readers who will find a good story in each book. If you want the whole story, however, you need to buy the series. In this entry in the series fashion-conscious Maisey thinks she is helping when she tries to give her friend, Cadence fashion advice, and a make-over. It doesn't go over well with a girl who likes being authentic and not bending to the crowd. Each learns a valuable lesson. Middle school girls who don't like to read will, nevertheless, find these books attractive quick reads.
I Can Make A Difference!
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Pegis, Jessica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Citizenship in Action" series, this 24-page book uses clear text and bright photographs to encourage young readers to participate in their communities. The role of citizenship is defined, and many ways in which children can make a difference are explored from small things like doing the dishes, to larger ones like standing up for others, or participating in projects that have global impact. Several examples of kids who have made a difference are provided, showing it is possible. This is a clear and interesting look at an important aspect of character and citizenship. The whole series would be valuable for classroom discussion.
Rick Hansen : Improving Life For People With Disabilities
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Morganelli, Adrianna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Remarkable Lives Revealed" series, this focuses on the "Man in Motion", Rick Hansen. This Canadian became a paraplegic at age 15. He went on to champion the rights of people with disabilities. Most memorably, he decided to circle the world in his wheelchair, raising money for worthy causes. This journey of 24,900 miles took over two years to complete and garnered worldwide attention. He went on to support other causes, and work to improve access for people with disabilities. This is an inspirational short biography with plenty of photographs and some interesting ideas to inspire readers to make a difference in their own communities. It would be a good addition to character education units.
Clark The Clam : The Sound Of Cl
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Alinas, Marv
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Blends" series, this book focuses on the CL blend. A crisp photograph faces a single line of text on each double-page spread. The reader is introduced to Clark the clam and learns he cannot clap, wear clothes or clogs, play with clay, or climb. Still, he's happy being a clam. The story is simple. Bold colors surround the text box, making it stand out. the book ends with a words list, and a note to parents and educators. While not great literature, this certainly meets a specific need and teachers presenting letter blends should find it, and the rest of the series, handy.
Birdhouse Builder
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Cobb, Amy
Neonakis, Alexandria
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's a snow day and Libby Wimbley and her friend decide to help the birds by building a bird house. Unfortunately, their carpentry doesn't turn out well. Libby decides to try something different, propping up a fallen evergreen, and festooning it with bird snacks. The whole family joins in the fun. This is a short and sweet book with an African-American main character, which is nice. Very short chapters and bright warm illustrations make it a good transitional reader for those just heading into chapter books.
Stained
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Varley, Dax
Proctor, Jon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Demon Slayer" series consists of very short hardback books clearly designed for reluctant middle school readers. Each contains 4 short chapters with dark graphic-novel style illustrations and quick first-person text, told from the viewpoint of the male teen protagonist. This text has fonts that change constantly, reflecting the indicated word. I find it distracting, but it takes up space and makes the books seems longer than they are. The books follow the story of Max, who has a raven for a friend and whose mother has been stolen by demons. He fights to get her back. In this entry in the series Max is led to an abandoned gas station. The inside seems clear, if filthy, but the demons are hiding in the stains in the walls. He and his raven must work together to survive. This is a series designed to attract a specific audience, and it will. Unfortunately, if you want to get the whole story you'll have to buy the whole series.
Air
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
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Zoom In On Science Concepts" series, this sturdy 24-page book introduces young scientists to air. What is air? How is it used? To be frank, the concept is too broad for such a small book. So the book touches lightly on air in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Air pollution, wind turbines, wind instruments, and atmospheric layers are briefly presented. Bright photographs accompany the text. Possibly the most useful part of the book is the diagram of the atmosphere. The intent is good. This is not a bad basic introduction. However, the subject is too broad, and spread over too many areas, to really get more than a taste.
Scarlet Portal
Spellbound/abdo [Spellbound/abdo]
Varley, Dax
Proctor, Jon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Demon Slayer" series consists of very short hardback books clearly designed for reluctant middle school readers. Each contains 4 short chapters with dark graphic-novel style illustrations and quick first-person text, told from the viewpoint of the male teen protagonist. This text has fonts that change constantly, which I found distracting, but it takes up space and makes the books seems longer than they are. The books follow Max, who has a raven for a friend and whose mother has been stolen by demons. He fights to get her back. In this entry in the series his goal has been achieved. His mother is safe and in the hospital. Max must now find the portal the demons are using, and close it. His search, however, is a trap. This is a series designed to attract a specific audience, and it will. Unfortunately, if you want to get the whole story you'll have to buy the whole series.
Be An Active Citizen In Your Community
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Mason, Helen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 22, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Citizenship in Action" series, this 24-page glossy paper book uses crisp text and plenty of photographs to emphasize how children can participate in their community. First, it defines various communities--family, school, town. Then it talks about being a citizen and being actively involved. This can include showing respect, playing fair, and serving others. This is a nice overview of an important topic. The entire series would fit nicely in a character-education unit.
Stay! : A Top Dog Story
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Latimer, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 23, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Ben loves his dog Buster, but Buster’s messy, rowdy exhausting behavior makes him more than a handful. With a family vacation approaching, Ben’s parents stand firm that Buster will be staying behind with Grampa. In preparation, Ben starts writing lists for Grampa: Buster’s likes and dislikes, when he should kept on the leash, when to give him a bath, and many more. While enjoying his vacation activities, more things occur to Ben, which he mails on a slew of postcards. Unfortunately, the most important tip arrives too late. After the post office incident, Grampa decides to cure Buster of his bad behavior. It is lots of work, but when Ben returns, he receives lots of training tips from Grampa and Buster is a (mostly) changed dog. The book's main narrative appears in regular text, with many details added through speech and thought bubbles, and via the colored, digitized pencil drawings that include many of the lists and postcards from Ben. These elements are well-balanced, visually interesting, and display Latimer’s sense of humor, while making a point about the importance of obedience training for pets of the canine variety.
Early Cretaceous : Volume 1 : Notes, Drawings, And Observati
Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library [Walter Foster Jr - Quarto Library]
Paul, Gregory S
Paul, Gregory S.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 23, 2017
Kline, Karen
This small (7” x 9”) book is designed to feel like a handbook, field guide or journal. One of the two illustrators/authors is a dinosaur specialists with credits for many movies including Jurassic Park. The book mostly consists of double-page or four-page spreads detailing a single species of dinosaur from the early Cretaceous. The creators do a thorough and succinct job of introducing the scope of the book, the time period, and the nuances of the flora and fauna that developed in a few short pages. The intro includes a small map and timeline. The book is divided into “theropods” and “pterosaurs” and three and four page descriptions introduced the sections. The strength of the book lies in its art and the consistent layout depicting the different species. Each dinosaur spread has a small chart describing where the dinosaur’s remains have been found, its scientific family name, length, height, weight, and temperament. The rest of the pages have intricate drawings of labeled parts of the dinosaurs as well as the animals in their totalities. The only quibble about this lovely book is the small font on the illustration layouts intended to look like handwriting and is quite difficult to read. Dino-enthusiasts will roar!
Ghost Cat
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Bunting, Eve
Barry, Kevin M.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 23, 2017
Kline, Karen
The sometimes-invisible cat Sailor Boy tells this story of Miss Maggie his companion and keeper of the Port Carrick lighthouse. Giving tours and keeping the beacon lighted at night, Miss Maggie is a stalwart of consistency. Sailor Boy likes to playfully taunt visitors by stepping on their shoelaces or pawing through their handbags while invisible. Readers will appreciate the lively, action-packed illustrations and the dramatically oversized eyeballs of the quirky characters. Conflict arises when Maggie’s niece Cissie comes for a visit and Miss Maggie falls going up the steps to light the beacon. It’s up to Sailor Boy to find Cissie and channel his inner Lassie to communicate the problems and get the light on upstairs. This is a delightful little story, but not likely to surpass Bunting’s prior works of superior storytelling. Purchase if you’re looking for warm and fuzzy.
Japan
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Winter, Max
Gallagher-Cole, Mernie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 23, 2017
Garrard, Thom
An intriguing but short description of the centuries-old, wintertime Kamakura Festival opens this introduction to Japan, one volume in the One World, Many Countries series from Child’s World. Chapters about land, government and cities, people and cultures, and daily life provide clearly written, basic information on those facets of this island nation of 127 million people. In addition, Japan’s international relations are described on the global connections page, and the daily life of children is explained on another. The maps, captioned photos, and postcard sidebars work together well in support of the text. The positive tone maintained throughout most of the book is broken only by brief mentions of two negative topics: pre-isolation Japanese imperialism and the destructive tsunami of 2011. The absence of any acknowledgement of Japan’s role in World War II is a glaring omission. This makes sense when celebrating cultural diversity and emphasizing global connectedness are the goals of a book, but for anyone who truly wishes to understand modern Japan, that landmark episode of her history cannot be ignored.
Best Hockey Players Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Graves, Will
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 23, 2017
Garrard, Thom
The on-ice careers of thirteen of the best athletes to ever play in the NHL are profiled, along with a token female, 4-time Olympic gold medalist Hayley Wickenheiser. In addition to five paragraphs of somewhat dry text, each four-page “chapter” includes two photos in one and a half pages, a table of facts, and a number with special significance for that player printed in an extra-large font. For example, 8 is the number of consecutive NHL MVP awards won by Wayne Gretzky. These features help to make the pages more visually interesting. The claim that these are the fourteen best hockey players of all time is certainly enough to stir debate among fans because making comparisons between players of different eras is so subjective. Nonetheless, many might well agree on the majority of those named here. For youth who play the game, learning a little about big stars whose careers concluded before they were born will increase their hockey knowledge and appreciation of the sport.
Two Tims
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Elliott, David
Alborozo, Gabriel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 23, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Tim and Tim, best friends forever, go everywhere and do everything together. When Tom comes along and starts playing knights with one and then crazy dancing with the other, their bond is threatened. But when Tom teaches them both to swim, their best friendship expands to include him. Now all three of them go everywhere and do everything together. The book ends with a great discussion point, visually posing the question of whether they can now add a fourth. With less than a hundred words of text, the digitally colored pen and ink drawings play an important role in conveying the emotional content of this gentle story. The adjustment from a pair to a group of friends is a common, but difficult problem, and the book's creators have skillfully presented it so that most children will be able to find guidance here.
Little Plane Learns To Write
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Savage, Stephen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 23, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
From award-winning author-illustrator Stephen Savage, Little Plane has started flight school which he loves and the best part is learning how to write in the sky. But making the LOOPITY-LOOPS makes him dizzy. He finally finds a way to do it without getting dizzy. Wonderful tale for youngsters learning to write or anything else that has frustration. The idea of keep practicing and keep trying is paramount. Review copy in Reinforced binding. Reviewed in Kirkus Reviews.
Super Simple Wetland Critter Crafts : Fun And Easy Animal Cr
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Bosch, Sammy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Super Simple Critter Crafts" series, this well-bound 32-page book teaches readers a little about various wetland animals, as well as different types of wetlands before the art projects begin. 8 projects are included using materials such as tennis balls, egg cartons, clothes pins, and CDs to create frogs, turtles, otters, fish, and more. Each project includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions with photographs of both the steps and the finished product. My favorite was using old CDs to create hanging fish. All of the projects are fairly simple, though some may require adult assistance. You'll have to buzz to the craft store for a few supplies, but nothing too exotic is used. This is a nice addition to your arts and crafts section. The wetland information is an added bonus.
William Kamkwamba : Powering His Village
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Burns, Kylie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Many children are aware of William Kamkwamba from his TED talk and from "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind". This provides a nice biography of the African boy from Malawi who figured out how to build a windmill to provide electricity to his family. The book focuses on his ingenuity and perseverance. Photograph, quotes, thought questions, and writing prompts add to the book's value. This nicely presents more information about an interesting and inspiring man who has gone on to do much good for both his community and the wider world.
Misty Copeland
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Reusser, Kayleen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 23, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Misty Copeland's story is both interesting and inspiring and Kayleen Reusser beautifully presents it in this Beacon Biography. In 32 well-written pages, readers will learn of Misty's somewhat dysfunctional childhood, then her discovery of ballet. As an African-American girl she had to fight stereotypes, and messages that her body was wrong for this art form. Courage, perseverance, talent, and hard work allowed her to achieve her goal of becoming a prima ballerina. There were setbacks and possibly career-ending injuries, but she muscled through. Beautiful photographs, crisp and expressive text, and all the standard text features you'd want combine to make this an exceptional biography that merits a place in collections serving children.
Snail & Worm : Three Stories About Two Friends
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Kugler, Tina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 24, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Best friends Snail and Worm have three mini-adventures in this initial volume of the series. When Worm meets Snail, the latter is playing a game of tag with Bob the rock. Snail happily allows Worm and Ann the stick to join the fun. In the second story, Worm encourages Snail to fulfill the dream of climbing to the top of a flower. Although its weight almost bends the flower to the ground, Snail exclaims over everything that is visible from there - and then is perplexed by how to get down. The third story begins with Worm’s description of a lost pet. Snail misinterprets it as a scary spider, but spider and dog turn out to be confusing concepts for Snail. The simple text, written entirely in dialogue and utilizing different colors for each speaker, will be easily accessible for beginning readers. The mixed media illustrations convey the cheerful friendship of the main characters and reveal the humorous discrepancies between their conversations and reality.
Spotted Hyena : Cackling Carnivore Of The Savanna
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Polinsky, Paige V
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Real Monsters" series, this well-bound 32-page book introduces young readers to the spotted hyena. A quick overview provides the basic facts--range, life span, size, etc. Then readers learn how the hyena gained its bad reputation. Legends, historical events, and even movies such as "The Lion King" have all painted this animal with a rather broad brush. The author then presents the facts. Well-captioned photographs combine with clear and compelling text to teach about the hyena's life cycle, diet, behavior, and social interactions. It's all quite fascinating. Add in a glossary, website list, and index and you've got quality nonfiction that merits a place in your library. I suggest looking at more books in this series.
Ants
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Heos, Bridget
Clark, David
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I love Bridget Heos' take on nonfiction. She brought us "What to Expect When You're Expecting Larvae," "I Fly," and more. She knows how to bring out interesting facts and present them in a memorable way that will both tickle the funny bone and the fancy of young readers. In this case it's down the ant hole. Ants are just like us, you know! They farm. They live in communities. Babies help turn flies into protein shakes for their parents... OK, maybe they're not JUST like us. This book is filled with fascinating facts, hilarious cartoon illustrations by David Clark, and wonderful close up photographs. This all works together to create a delightful and creatively informative book that would be an asset to any library serving children. Keep your eye out for anything by this author.
Salem Witch Trials
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gilman, Sarah
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What, exactly, happened in Salem Village in 1691-1692? This book provides a clear and compelling timeline of events as young girls accused fellow-citizens of witchcraft. Based solely on "spectral evidence" and their testimonies 20 people were killed for their supposed association with black magic. The reverberations of this event still affect us today in our vernacular as we talk about "witch-hunts" as claims of guilt with little evidence to back them. The book dispels some myths, and does not sensationalize things. It brings up issues of property, social class, a desire for attention, the lack of adequate supervision and yes, even a brief mention of possible ergot poisoning (which it basically dismisses.) It's easier to imagine physical poison than mental poison, after all. This is a fascinating look into an unfortunate historical event, that will leave readers with their own questions.
Get Into Claymation
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Spence, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Young animators will love this introduction to Claymation. in 32 pages this large-format paperback book introduces young readers to the art of Claymation, and then walks them through important elements of doing their own Claymation movie. Sets, storyboards, props, and people are all covered. There's information here about shooting, angles, lighting, and storyboarding. 4 projects allow readers to practice and enhance their skills. Bright photographs, clear and descriptive text, and a high-interest subject will make this book a popular one.
10 Cosas Que Puedes Hacer Para Reducir, Reciclar Y Reutiliza
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Weitzman, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
This is the Spanish-language version of the Rookie Star "Make a Difference" series entry "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle." Young readers learn the basics of being ecologically sensitive when it comes to waste. The focus is not just on things we might throw away, but also turning off lights, using less water, and being aware of the ecological costs of transporting the items we use. 10 ways to help save the planet are each given a two-page spread. There's also a short article about a boy whose actions have had a significant ecological impact. Crisp photographs abound in this small-format 32-page book. This is a good book to pull out on Earth Day, encouraging children to be involved in caring for the planet.
Energy Engineering And Powering The Future
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Nixon, Jonathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Engineering in Action" series, this 32-page, large-format paperback focuses specifically on engineering careers in energy technology. Different forms of energy are presented--both renewable and non-renewable. The history of energy engineering is discussed briefly. Future possibilities are presented and both historical and modern people working in the field are highlighted. The text is fairly dense, but frequent photographs, examples, and fact boxes break it up and add interest. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. Clearly this is designed to enhance STEM collections and it does a good job. You'll probably want to look at the whole series.
Ezekiel Elliott
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Diprimio, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Ezekiel Elliott is a running back for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League. This 32-page biography gives young sports fans some insight into his life, stats, and football career. Crisp narrative writings weaves important points in Zeke's life both on and off the field. It includes information about his youth and continues to making the Pro Bowl in 2017. It's all very upbeat and includes an appendix that has source notes, a timeline, and the other text features you would expect. Other aspects of this athlete's life, which recently led to a six-game suspension, are not mentioned, although the athlete's occasional lack of self-discipline sneaks into the text if you read between the lines. Photographs abound. Like all books on current sports figures this will quickly be out of date. Nevertheless, young fans will embrace it.
Magnetic Magic
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Jennings, Terry Catasus
Gabriel, Andrea
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Dena always gathers a crowd at the pool when she performs her magic tricks. She practices hard to make them showy and fun. Then a new boy, Enrique, shows up. He recognizes her magic for what it is--magnetism. He thinks its wrong to fool the other kids into thinking it's magic. When he bring out a treasure map from 1905 and challenges her to find the treasure Dena is up for the task. A compass is magnetic, after all. She carefully plots things out, but at first fails. Earth's magnetic field moves over time. she adjusts and everyone is treated to sundaes. She then reveals the secret to her "magic." Frankly, the story is disjointed and not very compelling. Enrique's attitude makes little sense, and the final solution is a reach. The illustrations are not very attractive, and the faces seem a little "off." Clearly this is a book on a particular mission, and learning about magnetism is good. However, the execution is off. The final pages provide further magnet activities.
Zendaya
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Nicole K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Zendaya is a multi-talented star--actor, clothes-designer, singer, model, dancer. This book chronicles her life in 32 pages. Some information is given about her childhood and family. Readers learn of her sports background and of her gradual growth into a very full career. Emphasis is placed on the importance of her being a role-model for young girls, and rejoicing in her mixed-race heritage. At time this reads a bit like a fluff piece for a fanzine, but young girls do adore Zendaya and giving them someone to admire, who works hard to be a positive role model, is not a bad thing. The writing is solid and interesting, and the appendix includes a timeline, source notes, a bibliography, website links, a glossary and an index. Fans will enjoy this, and it will lure more students into the biography section.
Picture Graphs
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Sikkens, Crystal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Get Graphing" series, this 24 page large format paperback uses bright photographs, plenty of examples, and clear writing to introduce students to picture graphs. First, various types of graphs are explained and illustrated. Then readers learn the various part of a picture graph. A variety of a picture graphs using a bar graph format are then shown. Readers learn the best ways to present their data. There's a lot of solid information here. The entire series would be good to have in the library to support teachers, and to show students how to best present their findings, especially during science fairs.
Emperor Of Mars
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Samphire, Patrick
Holmes, Jeremy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In book #2 of "The Secrets of the Dragon Tomb" series, Edward is feeling unsettled. His family has returned from life-threatening adventures as they located and opened the dragon tomb on Mars. It seems like everyone in the family now has their own things to do, and their own talents. Where does that leave him? When he and his little sister are caught in the aftermath of a robbery, it is just the first event in another family adventure that will bring back Dr. Blood, who is determined to become Emperor of Mars and fight Napoleon when he tries to conquer the planet. (He's already taken over most of Earth.) This is a fun steampunk sci-fi series with, literally, never-ending action. Just when you think you can take a breath something else happens. A missing Martian, a dragon egg, a thief, and a spy--these are only a few of the elements that will keep readers guessing right up to the last page. Now where's book #3?
Deadzone
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Nielsen, Jennifer A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A small group of teen robot enthusiasts were on their way to a robotics competition in Japan when their airplane suffered a strange disaster. They were flying over the Pole when the plane went down and they were left, alone, in a strange place that had nothing to do with snow and ice. Two moons travel the skies and strange devices offer them chances at survival. Robots abound--friend or foe? This is another of those series written by multiple authors. In this, the second book, our team of teens must cross a dangerous desert to reach a building where the answers may lie. Can they work as a team? Can they endure loss and danger? Can they survive? Personalities clash. The risks are high. What, and who, can they trust? This is another fast-paced entry in the series, leaving readers desperate for book #3/
Not Me!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gorbachev, Valeri
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
In this story of friendship, Bear always takes the lead and Chipmunk reluctantly follows. When they arrive at the beach, Bear exclaims that he loves it, but Chipmunk responds, “Not me!” During the day, Bear has them sitting in the sun, diving in the water, swimming, building sandcastles, playing ball, snorkeling, and fish watching, before finally packing up to head home. Bear loves everything, but Chipmunk always says, “Not me!” When Bear finally asks why he came, Chipmunk says he came to be with Bear. At this, Bear calls him a good friend, and Chipmunk responds, “That’s me!” The expressive watercolor and ink illustrations incorporate details that help the reader find humor in their vastly different sizes. The large format of the book, the repetitive text, the appealing watercolor and ink illustrations that provide visual clues, and the positive interactions of these two friends make a winning combination that works well for the beginning reader.
Amazing U.s. Air Force Facts
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Marx, Mandy R
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
This title, part of the Pebble Plus nonfiction series on military facts, focuses on the U.S. Air Force. Different sections cover facts about airmen, jobs, vehicles, and weapons. Each right-hand page is completely filled by a large, full-color photograph. The three or four simple sentences found on each left-hand page are clearly written. Several pages incorporate excellent comparisons that will help readers make sense of facts that use a large number for weight or distance. Features include the table of contents, glossary, resource list, link to FactHound (with 2/3 of websites working), common core questions, and an index. Some of these are not useful and could easily have been condensed to make room for another spread with additional facts. This book will appeal to beginning readers with an interest in the military.
Cat Behavior
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Gardeski, Christina Mia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
This title, part of the Pebble Plus nonfiction series on cats, focuses on common cat behaviors and why they do them. For example, rubbing against a person’s leg leaves a scent to tell other cats who their owner is. Each right-hand page is completely filled by a large, full-color photograph. The three or four simple sentences found on each left-hand page are clearly written and provide valuable information, such as how to read a cat’s mood from its tail. Added features include the table of contents, glossary, resource list, link to FactHound (with 2/3 of websites working), common core questions, and an index. Some of these are not useful and could easily have been condensed to make room for another spread to explain an additional behavior. Nonetheless, this book will appeal to beginning readers with an interest in cats.
Case Of The Vanishing Little Brown Bats : A Scientific Myste
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Markle, Sandra
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
As voracious consumers of insects, little brown bats are a valuable part of our ecosystem, but within the past decade their population declined precipitously after hibernating bats were attacked by a mysterious killer. This book follows the work of the scientists who discovered the problem, collected and analyzed data, formed hypotheses, conducted experiments, and finally identified the fungus that is responsible. Since then, they have been working to devise strategies that could help keep these bats from landing on the endangered species list. Markle’s narration keeps the mystery captivating but accessible and shows how scientists make valuable contributions by ruling out possibilities, as well as by finding correct answers. One or more intriguing photographs in every spread maintain visual interest by showing both bats and the scientists working to save them. Students who wish to learn more will appreciate the back matter that includes further facts, ways to help, and more resources, as well as glossary and index. An important addition to intermediate and middle school libraries.
Rex
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
James, Simon
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Tyrannosaurus scares all the other dinosaurs, who give him a wide berth. When an egg hatches in the cave where he is sleeping, the baby assumes this is his dad. He starts following him everywhere, copying his every move and asking if he will grow up to be like him. The big dinosaur tells the baby that he isn’t his real dad. In shock and wondering where he belongs, the little dinosaur sets off on his own, which turns out to be lonely and frightening. The big dinosaur comes to the rescue and promises to help him become big and scary, because that’s what dads are for. The cartoon-like quality of the watercolor and ink illustrations gives them a certain appeal, though budding paleontologists may be unhappy with blatant scientific inaccuracies such as the big dinosaur dangling his feet in a river of molten lava. The bigger issue here is whether the positive message about an unconventional family structure outweighs the negative message that dads are there to help kids grow into big, scary bullies. Proceed with caution.
Moonday
Disney Hyperion [Disney Hyperion]
Rex, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 26, 2017
Garrard, Thom
While driving home in the car, a girl notices that the Moon is large and low in the sky before she falls asleep. In the morning, it is lower, larger- and in the backyard. When her dad lifts her up, she walks all over it. Morning has missed the town, and everyone moves sluggishly and yawns tiredly all-day long. The family tries to hide the Moon, but problems keep multiplying as the tide rises in the backyard and dogs gather round to howl at it. Finally, the family goes for another drive, instructs the Moon to stay, and returns home while the girl again falls asleep in the car. Each page has a few sentences of text, mostly printed in white, as the striking paintings almost entirely have black backgrounds. The Moon and other light sources softly illuminate only limited areas on each page, reinforcing the dreamlike quality of the story. Whether the girl dreams the story or whether this is the fantastical reality that she has experienced, the adults’ acceptance honors her vision and make this a lovely, gentle bedtime story.
Evil Wizard Smallbone
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sherman, Delia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
With its abundance of seafood, cute shops, and mild weather, Smallbone Cove in Maine is the perfect place to spend a week or two over the summer. It is a pretty nice place to live, too, as long as the townsfolk uphold their end of the deal they made with Zachariah Smallbone, an evil wizard and owner of the town's bookshop. Unfortunately, it's been years since they walked the border of the quaint hamlet while singing to the magical sentries Smallbone installed over a hundred years ago and now a pack of were-coyotes, led by a truly evil French wizard, is causing trouble and terrifying Smallbone Cove's citizens. As if Zachariah doesn't have enough on his hands, a runaway named Nick shows up at his door during a blizzard in desperate need of a place to stay; his uncle has hit him one too many times and Nick refuses to return home. The evil wizard agrees to take Nick on as an apprentice, which turns out to be an excellent decision because the twelve-year old is fairly adept at magic and may be the key to saving Smallbone Cove. Every moment of this middle grade fantasy book is perfect. It will appeal to anyone who enjoys a blend of action, magic and humor. The only disappointing moment was when it came to an end.
Grizzly Bear
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Back from Near Extinction" series. It looks at the North American grizzly bear. The book opens with a description of a mother grizzly teaching her cubs to fish. The book then discusses their relation with humans and why they are threatened. The reader learns about the habitat, life cycle, and habits of the grizzly. The book concludes with a future outlook for this animal. Call out boxes give the reader additional information (i.e. how they are different from brown and polar bears). Color, captioned photographs enhance the clear and concise text. Common core related activities are found throughout the book. The book has a table of contents, range map, glossary, species overview, index, bibliography (web resources are handled through the publisher's website), and author information. This would be a good book for research on the grizzly bear.
Ten Pigs : An Epic Bath Adventure
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
Anderson, Derek
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 27, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
All the little oinker wants to do is enjoy a bubble bath with his rubber ducky, but before he knows it a whole pack of pigs has jumped into the tub, ruining his fun. What's a hog to do?! The pig's plan is hilariously brilliant and will have young readers and old chuckling at the ending. The text is simple, yet engaging, and reinforces counting skills. This sturdy board book will be enjoyed again and again, especially after bath time.
Refugee's Journey From Somalia
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Barghoorn, Linda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Leaving My Homeland" series, this focuses on refugees from Somalia. The dangerous political situation in Somalia is explained, and some of the county's history is briefly explored. The civil war and rise of Al-Shabaab are presented. A composite story, told from the viewpoint of a child, tells of being raised in a refugee camp in Kenya because her family had to flee their homeland. Readers learn about the UN Rights of a Child, and the dangers and challenges faced by refugees as they try to survive in camps, and as some are relocated to other countries. The refugee crisis is a current event that merits examination and this series provides it with a human voice.
People And Places Of The Northeast
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Micklos, John, Jr
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The problem with any regional overview is that the information presented is, necessarily, broad. This sturdy 32-page book introduces readers to the Northeast area of the United States. It begins with a map, and a chart listing the states, their population, area, capital, and nickname, and where they rank with the other states in population and area. The people and history of the region are examined beginning with the Native Americans who were there before Europeans arrived. A general overview of topography, climate, flora, fauna, and economy is presented. A little information about cultural resources and ethnic heritage is included. Standard text features apply. Photographs accompany the text. I wish the map had been better, including cities and topographical features. While not exceptional it does provide a basic introduction to the topic.
John Boyega
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
John Boyega's role in the new Star Wars movies, as the stormtrooper Finn, has launched him into international stardom, although his previous roles mean he was not exactly unknown. This is a well-written, interesting 32-page biography of the actor. It speaks of his youth and some of the challenges he faced in pursuing his career. His current endeavors, the awards he has won, and his charity work are also highlighted. The author's buoyant text, accompanied by plenty of photographs, make this a positive and uplifting biography that will please young fans.
Ember Stone
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Charman, Katrina
Norton, Jeremy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I was excited to see this book, because the "Branches" series are all very popular at my libraries for those who need easy chapter books. Unfortunately I found it to be a bit of a disappointment. Tag is a small owl who desires to be a warrior. His size, however, is a problem. When he and his friend Skyla, a squirrel, disobey an order and visit the howling caves they discover an egg that hatches into a firehawk--a bird similar to a phoenix. They also awaken an enemy. Darkness is coming. The only way to fight it is to find the ember stone, which has been broken into pieces. Clearly this quest will be the focus of the series. The plot sounds good, but I found the book oddly bland, and the characters were not well-developed. Perhaps it will improve as the series progresses, but since the first book is the hook, I hope young readers enjoy it more than I did.
Dog Night At The Story Zoo
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bar-El, Dan
Nerino, Vicki
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
What do the animals do at night? Well, they sneak out of their cages at the zoo, or out of their homes, and head to the Story Zoo nightclub. Tonight is Dog Night and your presenters have a wide range of stories. Boomer tells of his love of fetching, and his list of fails before finding the perfect home. Emma is a yippy little dog whose nature resulted in some problems, before her yippiness saved the day. Walter recites a poem providing deeper insights into a bulldog's soul. Wilmette, the bloodhound, tells of working with another dog named Surelick to solve a mystery. All their stories end well, though there are moments of tension. This is a graphic novel with a good sense of humor. The writing is fun and often touching. The illustrations, however, are not as attractive as the text, and sometimes fail to support the story as fully as is needed in a graphic novel format. This is unfortunate.
From Raindrop To Tap
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bright, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Source to Resource" series, this large-format glossy 32-page paperback book focuses on water. The water cycle is defined and expanded. The different states of water are explained. The role water plays in the weather, different types of water resources, aquifers, dams, water treatment, and water as a power source are all briefly examined. Readers are encouraged to conserve water, and work for clean water access for everyone. This is a nice overview of a very broad topic. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list.
Get Into Magic
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kovacs, Vic
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Get-Into-It Guides" are large format glossy 32-page paperbacks on interesting hands-on topics. This one focuses on magic. It first introduces the concept and points out the difference between witchcraft and stage magic. Magic terms, and types of magic tricks, are clearly defined, and a brief history of stage magic is presented. Some famous magicians are highlighted. This introduction is followed by step-by-step instructions for some simple, classic tricks illustrating the different types of magic tricks--sleight of hand, teleportation, vanishing, production, restoration, prediction, and transformation. Card tricks and math tricks are also given some space. Unfortunately I found the instructions and photographs did not always truly clarify the key steps of a trick, but someone who is truly dedicated can probably work it out. Young magicians will find this a useful resource.
Great Wall
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Leavitt, Amie Jane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Building on a Dream" series, this well-bound 32 page book provides a clear, concise introduction to the Great Wall of China. Readers learn about the various methods used to build the wall, and the various dynasties involved in its construction. Building methods, loss of life, and current restoration efforts are also mentioned. Myths are dispelled, and interesting facts are highlighted. Beautiful well-captioned photographs accompany the text. The book includes an index, glossary, and timeline. This is an exceptional introduction to an important world landmark. It would be good for both casual browsing and report writing.
John F. Kennedy
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Duffield, Katy S
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page biography is part of the "Premier Presidents" series. The book opens with Kennedy's heroics during World War II on PT-109, the follows his life chronologically. The text is understandable and complimented with captioned photographs. This is a simple overview, perfect as a beginning biography, but will need supplemental information if extensive research is needed. The book has a table of contents, glossary (words are in bold within the text), bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), timeline, and index. A solid purchase if you have a need in your biography section.
Minecraft Creator Markus Notch Persson
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Cornell, Kari
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page biography is part of the "STEM trailblazer BIOS" series. The book profiles Markus Persson, the creator of the popular game, Minecraft. The text follows his life chronologically from his 1979 birth in Sweden through the creation of his newest company in 2015. The reader will learn about how Minecraft came to be, its popularity, and sale to Microsoft. It also mentions Persson's new company, Rubberbrain. Color, captioned photographs are found throughout the book. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography (including web resources), index, and author information. This book will go out of date quickly as Persson is alive and working with his new company, however, due to the popularity of Minecraft, students will want to know about its creator making this a worth while purchase.
Freedom Summer, 1964
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mooney, Carla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Stories of the Civil Rights Movement" series, this 48 page book describes the events and activities that occurred in the southern United States in 1964. The book opens with the murder of the three civil rights activists in Mississippi. Then the reader learns about the conditions in the south, the KKK, voting rights, and more. The book concluded with the impact of the events that summer and the Voting Rights Act of 1964. The text is well-written and descriptive. Photographs are found throughout the book and are captioned. Common core related activities are included. Call out boxes, a Mississippi map, and primary source quotes enhance the reader experience. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography (web resourced are provided through the publisher's website), and author information. This book would be a strong addition to your history section.
Living On A Budget
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Real World Math: Personal Finance" series, this 32 page book looks at budgeting. The opening chapter describes why one might budget. The following chapters look at creating and living on a budget. Each chapter has "Real World Math Challenges" that provide readers a chance to work with numbers related to a budget. Answers are provided in the back of the book. Color, captioned photographs focus the reader and call out boxes provide additional information. The text is understandable and will help readers gain a basic understanding of budgets. The book has a table of contents, bibliography (including web resources), index, and glossary. A good offering if your library has a need.
Michael Phelps
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Fishman, Jon M
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This short, 32 page, biography looks at the life of Olympic gold-medalist, Michael Phelps. The text opens with a description of his win in the 4x100 relay at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The reader then learns about his childhood and previous accomplishments. The his training, stardom, and family are covered. The book concludes with his retirement. The text is understandable and written in a positive tone. A table of Most Individual Olympic Medals in History is included. Color, captioned photographs are found on nearly every page. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, bibliography, source notes, glossary are included. The book is a part of the "Sports All-Stars" series. Since Phelps is alive and his life is evolving, this book is an additional purchase.
Rachael Ray
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Threlkeld, Sarah
On camera Rachael Ray is endlessly perky, engaging with viewers and laughing at her mistakes, but her life hasn't always been peaches and cream. This biography is packed with information about Ray's humble beginnings and how she climbed the ladder of success to become a celebrity chef with no formal training. Some of the details are fairly dark - her parents struggled with mental health issues before deciding to divorce and Rachael was attacked twice while living in NYC - but overall the tone of the book is upbeat and inspirational, much like Ray herself. Colored photographs appear every few pages and boxes of fun facts and top ten lists are sprinkled throughout. A collection of recipes is included at the end of the book, along with the usual nonfiction text features. The biography is well-researched and written in an accessible way, but extremely text-heavy, which may turn off casual fans. In the end, like the other books in Enslow's Celebrity Chef series, this title will most likely be overlooked by anyone who isn't a hardcore fan or budding chef.
Colonial Cooking
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Dosier, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2017
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Exploring History Through Food" series. The 32 page book looks at cooking from the Plymouth Pilgrims to the Revolutionary War. Each of the chapters is two to four pages and contain information about the colonies, ingredients, and foods colonists eat. Each chapter also contains a recipe related to the text. Recipes require adult help but include ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and a color photograph. There is also a metric conversion chart, equipment needed (with illustration), and kitchen safety. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). This is a book that will be used in your 5th grade social studies units on Colonial America by both teachers and students and is therefore strongly recommended.
I'm A Javascript Games Maker : The Basics
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Generation Code" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that get young readers into the nitty-gritty of programming. This entry in the series provides young programmers with the basics of using JavaScript to create games. Step-by-step it walks young coders through installing Sublime Text and then using it to build 7 simple programs that will provide a valuable foundation for future expansion. Complex? Sure, but the instructions are clear, and the author works hard to clarify them. The completed code is shown at the end. The book includes an index, glossary, and a page of debugging advice. Buy the whole series for the up and coming coders in your community.
I'm An Html Web Page Builder
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Generation Code" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that get young readers into the nitty-gritty of programming. This entry in the series focuses on using HTML to build your own web pages. The author takes coders through installing Sublime Text to building 12 simple programs that will get them started on creating their own web pages. Complex? Sure, but the instructions are clear, and the author works hard to clarify them. The skills build on each other and will provide a nice foundation for future learning. The book includes an index, glossary, and a page of debugging advice. Buy the whole series for the up and coming coders in your community.
I'm A Javascript Games Maker : Advanced Coding
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Generation Code" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that get young readers into the nitty-gritty of programming. This entry in the series builds on the book "I'm a JavaScript Games Maker: The Basics" to provide young programmers with more advanced JavaScript programming. Step-by-step it walks young coders through installing Sublime Text and then using it to build 4 more complex programs. Complex? The instructions are clear, and the author works hard to clarify them. The complete code is shown at the end. The book includes an index, glossary, and a page of debugging advice. Buy the whole series for the up and coming coders in your community.
I'm A Scratch Coder
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Generation Code" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that get young readers into the nitty-gritty of programming. This entry in the series focuses on using Scratch to build 9 programs. Step-by-step it walks young coders through the parts of Scratch and using those parts to create. Conditional loops, different blocks, cloning sprites and more are covered. The instructions are clear, and the author works hard to clarify them. The book includes an index, glossary, and a page of debugging advice. This is exactly what some of my techie students are looking for. Buy the whole series for the up and coming coders in your community.
I'm An App Developer
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wainewright, Max
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Generation Code" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that get young readers into the nitty-gritty of programming. This entry in the series focuses on developing apps. Step-by-step it walks young coders through using AI Companion and APP Inventor. The author takes coders through installing the software to building 6 simple app programs that will get them started on creating their own apps. Complex? Sure, but the instructions are clear, and the author works hard to clarify them. Sharing your app is the last step. The book includes an index, glossary, and a page of debugging advice. Buy the whole series for the up and coming coders in your community.
From Oil Rig To Gas Pump
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bright, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Source to Resource" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that do just what the series name suggests--follow something from it's source to its practical application. This one focuses on fossil fuels. The source of oil is examined and renewable and non-renewable energy sources are defined. The history behind using oil is presented. Extracting, processing, transporting, and refining oil is examined. Petroleum-based products are presented. Crisp color photographs, attractive graphics, fact boxes, and clear text make this a good nonfiction book. An index, bibliography, website list, and glossary are included. This is an informative book, teaching students where much of their fuel, as well as other products, comes from.
From Sunshine To Light Bulb
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bright, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Source to Resource" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that do just what the series name suggests--follow something from it's source to its practical application. This one focuses on solar energy. The sun as a basic source of energy is briefly presented. The book then focuses specifically on solar energy following as it is converted to electricity and that electricity travels to homes and businesses. Crisp color photographs, attractive graphics, fact boxes, and clear text make this a good nonfiction book. An index, bibliography, website list, and glossary are included. This is an informative book, teaching students about a clean energy source.
Math On The Job : Keeping People Healthy
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about health care careers. Readers learn about doctors, nurses and nutritionists. The basics of each job are presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. Figuring dosages, graphing information, rounding, and measurement are a few of the math principles covered. The situations are real, and job-connected. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
Math On The Job : Working In Construction
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about construction work. Readers learn about carpenters, crane operators, and electricians. Figuring out area, using charts, measuring and converting, and figuring out amps are only a few of the math concepts presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. The situations are real, and job-related. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
Math On The Job : Serving Your Community
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about community helpers. Readers learn about Coast Guard commanders, firefighters, and police officers. The basics of each job are presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. Allocating resources and personnel, evaluating health symptoms, and examining skid marks are only part of the things covered here. The situations are real, and job-connected. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
Math On The Job : Building A Business
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Rick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about building a business. Readers learn about pet shop owners, bakers, and video game designers. The basics of each job are presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. Figuring wages, mark-ups, discounts, and costs are only part of the things covered here. The situations are real, and job-connected. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
From Field To Plate
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bright, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Source to Resource" series consists of glossy, large-format 32-page paperback books that do just what the series name suggests--follow something from it's source to its practical application. This one focuses on food. The history behind food origins is briefly presented. Farming, both small and large, is examined. Transportation, preservation, sale, and preparation of food are all given space. There's a lot of odds and ends presented here, circling around the central theme. Crisp color photographs, attractive graphics, fact boxes, and clear text make this a good nonfiction book. An index, bibliography, website list, and glossary are included. This is an informative book, teaching students where their food comes from.
Spot The Swamp Lizard Man
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Fields, Jan
Proctor, Jon
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Gabe has an internet show about tracking cryptids. He and his crew, along with his younger brother, travel the country investigating possible monster sightings. They debunk frauds, and seek to discover the truth. In this entry in the series they are looking into the swamp lizard man. A local boy offers to lead them to the monster, which is suspicious. A night of terror follows, with the unmasking of a fraud, but the possibility of a real monster after all. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. The subject matter is sure to draw interest. This would be a good choice for reluctant readers who want an easy chapter book.
Math On The Job : Working In Sports
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about careers in sports. Readers learn about professional baseball players, sports statisticians, and sports journalists. The basics of each job are presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. Figuring averages, changing fractions to decimals, evaluating performance, and determining stats are only part of the things covered here. The situations are real, and job-related. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It has an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
Math On The Job : Caring For Marine Animals
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wunderlich, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Math on the Job" series consists of large-format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that introduce careers and challenge young readers to do the math to complete tasks in those careers. Each book focuses on a different type of job. This one is about caring for marine animals. Readers learn about marine veterinarians, veterinary technologists, and aquarists. The basics of each job are presented, then situations are given in which math is an essential component. Translating standard to metric measurements, creating tables, making math-based decisions, and using referents are only part of the things covered here. The situations are real, and job-connected. The book includes short interviews with people in the field, crisp photographs, attractive graphics, and information about preparing for the careers. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, website list, and the answers to the math problems posed. This is an excellent series showing real-life applications of math principles.
Backcourt Battle : An Up2U Character Education Adventure
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Wallace, Rich
King, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jamere wants to start as point guard for his basketball team, but Kyle already has that position, and he's not exactly the "sharing" type. Truth is, there are things Jamere needs to learn about teamwork as well. When Kyle sprains his ankle Jamere gets his chance but are either of them willing to give up personal glory for the rest of the team? This is a high-action sports book with plenty of play-by-play description. Jamere's home life also comes into play. Will they win the championship? Well, that's up to the reader who is given a choice of three possible endings. Black and white illustrations accompany the text. This would be a good choice for reluctant readers who like to have a little control over the stories they read.
Starving Ghost : An Up2U Mystery Adventure
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Rogers, Kelly
Glenn, Ebony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Shay is visiting her uncle in Ireland for the summer. For the first time she's learning farm chores, and living in a foreign country. There's a lot to adjust to--new food, new money, accents--but one thing she never expected to face was a ghost. Bridget used to live on the land Shay now visits, but she died during the great potato famine. What does she want now? Why is she appearing to Shay? Is she a friend or...? The author does a good job in setting up the situation in short chapters with occasional digital black and white illustrations. However, since this is an Up2U story, it is up to the reader to choose an ending. Three possibilities are presented, and the reader decides how the story will end. Two endings are happy, while one is scary. This is an easy chapter book suitable for readers who like to have a say in how a book concludes.
Abby In Wonderland
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In this special edition "Whatever After" book Abby has a piece of the magic mirror frame in her pocket when she goes to spend time with two friends and a frenemy. Next thing she knows they're all down the rabbit hole, accused of stealing the queen's tarts, meeting Wonderlands unusual characters, and desperately trying to find a way home. Little do they realize that someone is actively working against them. Fans of the series may miss Abby's brother, Jonah, who has previously shared all her adventures, but this book opens the door to more adventures as it introduces new characters and widens the reach of the series to all of children's literature, not just fairy tales. Fans should enjoy it.
Firefly Encyclopedia Of Transportation : A Comprehensive Loo
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Green, Oliver
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 29, 2017
Burton, Paula
A very comprehensive book about transportation. With 143 pages of information and lots of illustrations, hand drawn and computer generated this will be a wonderful asset to any library. Divided into six sections, on wheels, on water, on the tracks, greener transportation, in the air, and in space, the book covers all areas of transportation in a clear way. Every spread has its own topic. The paragraph describing the topic has a little bigger font than the text with the illustrations which might make it a more challenging read. The history is well described and in the back there is a complete timeline spanning from 10000 BC to 2015. In addition there are lists with transportation trailblazers and record breakers, a glossary of terms and an index. The topics exceed your usual expectation of transportation with a section on mobility machines which includes a 1900s wheel chair and a Melrose Rhino rugby chair. Within every section there is a description on how this particular mode of transportation works. For your transportation enthusiasts, a great book and even those with lower reading levels it is a joy to look at the illustrations.
Case Of The Bicycle Bandit
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Jigsaw Jones' friend's bike has been stolen. Don't worry--the detective is on the case! With his friend, Mila, Jigsaw gathers clues, considers suspects, and arrives at a conclusion that is nearly correct. Turns out the theft was not a heinous crime after all. This is a simple, fun mystery designed for the same crowd who love the Cam Jansen mysteries. Short chapters and occasional black and white illustrations combine to make this a fun, quick read.
Ghosts And Goblins
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Pearson, Maggie
Greenwood, Francesca
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 29, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Ghosts and Goblins, part of the World of Stories series from Lerner Books, contains 25 tales attributed to various world cultures, though more than half the tales come from European or North American traditions. When “The Goblin Pony” plunges into the sea, his riders are drowned. “The Werewolf’s Bride” lures the most corpulent men to feed her hungry husband. When a mischievous spirit hears a woman describing “The Man of Her Dreams”, he borrows the best features of her village neighbors to trick her into marrying him. Although many of the ghosts or supernatural beings intend harm to humans, some are benevolent, and some stories have no ghost at all, such as “The Hidden Hand,” in which a girl fears a ghost has ahold of her when, in fact, she has accidentally pinned her dress to a grave. The brevity of the stories and the conversational tone of the language means they easily lend themselves to oral telling. Unfortunately, these stories are labeled as “traditional”, and as such, the absence of any source material or attribution is problematic and falls short of accepted practice for books of this type.
Stick Insects And Ants
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Cunningham, Kevin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 29, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Stick Insects and Ants, part of Cherry Lake’s Better Together series, helps readers understand the mutually beneficial relationship between the two species. Female stick insects drop their eggs on the forest floor, where worker ants collect them and bring them to their colony. The ants eat only a fatty knob on the end of the egg, discarding the rest and leaving it to hatch in the safety of the colony’s trash room. This basic idea is augmented with a limited amount of tangentially related information about these species. Each spread includes a full page, captioned, color photograph opposite a page of text with glossary words helpfully printed in red. Scattered through the book are a few brief activity suggestions that lead students to look, think, and ask questions. The information contained in this volume is too slim to sustain a report on either species by itself, though it could serve as a supplement or help with a study of symbiotic relationships.
Above And Beyond With Collaboration
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
"Collaboration" is the current buzz word, and this glossy, large format, 48 page paperback book examines the concept, explains it, and explores why it is valuable. Readers learn the difference between teamwork and collaboration, how to make it more effective, what works to destroy collaboration, and how to implement it. Setting guidelines is an important part of collaboration. Some historical information is given and both positive and negative aspects of collaboration are examined. Colorful graphics, fact boxes, crisp text, and photographs combine to make this an attractive book. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list. If you need a book on collaboration this would be a good resource.
Genetic Engineering And Developments In Biotechnology
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rooney, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Engineering in Action" series consists of large format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that examine how scientific theories are put into action by engineers and presents possible career choices in that field. This book speaks of genetic engineering. Information about DNA and genes is presented and the field of genetic engineering is defined. Engineers in the field, and their accomplishments, are briefly highlighted. Historical information is included. The engineering process is presented--start with a problem, come up with possible solutions, implement the project, test and refine, share. Selective breeding is compared with genetic engineering. Examples of genetic engineering are given, including a project to genetically engineer animals to produce human breast milk. Crisp photographs, bright graphics, fact boxes, and informative, interesting writing combine to make this a valuable resource. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index.
Robotics Engineering And Our Automated World
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Sjonger, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Engineering in Action" series consists of large format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that examine how scientific theories are put into action by engineers and presents possible career choices in that field. This book speaks of robotics engineering and automation. Systems thinking is introduced. Engineers in the field, and their accomplishments, are briefly highlighted. Historical information is included. The engineering process is presented--start with a problem, come up with possible solutions, build a prototype, test and refine, share. Some current successes in the field are presented. Crisp photographs, bright graphics, fact boxes, and informative, interesting writing combine to make this a valuable resource. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index.
Top 10 Craziest Plays In Football
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Every sport has its memorable moments--some good, some bad. This book introduces what it considers to be the 10 craziest plays, plays that live on in fame...or infamy. Running the wrong way. Treating the football like a hot potato. The impossible catch that nonetheless happened. Those are here and more. Football fans will enjoy the play-by-play explanations of what happened, Eyes will roll, and jaws will drop. The writing is energetic and interesting. Photographs accompany the text. An index is included. This would be a fun read for football ethusiasts.
Ocean Engineering And Designing For The Deep Sea
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Sjonger, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 29, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
The "Engineering in Action" series consists of large format, glossy, 32-page paperback books that examine how scientific theories are put into action by engineers and presents possible career choices in that field. This book speaks of ocean engineering. Information about the world's oceans is presented and the field of ocean engineering is defined. Engineers in the field, and their accomplishments, are briefly highlighted. Historical information is included. The engineering process is presented--start with a problem, come up with possible solutions, build a prototype, test and refine, share. Some of the particular challenges of ocean engineering are examined--buoyancy, salinity, currents, waves, etc. The development of ABE as an alternative to ALVIN is used as an example. Crisp photographs, bright graphics, fact boxes, and informative, interesting writing combine to make this a valuable resource. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index.
The Cat Came Back
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Barker, Cordell
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Who doesn't love the bouncy song about the cat that keeps coming back despite all efforts to get rid of it? This book takes that concept to a new level. Frankly, the text is lacking the fun of the song, but the illustrations...oh the illustrations! They're hilarious. Old Mr. Johnson just wants to play his tuba, but the annoying and surprisingly destructive cat makes his life a misery. From the beginning it's a hapless Wiley Coyote vs. the clever roadrunner cartoon, with things escalating until a massive explosion takes them both out. However, heaven is not going to be peaceful with the nine lives of that cat haunting poor Mr. Johnson. If I were reading this aloud I'd add the song every time the cat came back, just for fun because, like I stated before, the text isn't that compelling.
The Three Little Pigs : a Finger Puppet Theater Book
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
Robertson, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Let's be clear, this is "A Finger Puppet Theater Book" and is not designed for library use except, possibly, as a kit. It is a pretty traditional retelling of "The Three Little Pigs," with Sister Pig having built a house of brick. When the exhausted wolf gives up, they invite him in. Is it a happy ending? The wolf's smile seems to create a little doubt. The book is designed with a handle, and comes with a front cover that turns into a stage, and four finger puppets of the main characters. It would be a fun addition to home libraries.
Case From Outer Space
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
A little free library in town has sprouted a mystery that seems to have something to do with aliens. Of course Jigsaw Jones and his partner, Mila, are on the case. They use codes, and follow clues, and finally solve the mystery. Along the way they learn a little something about astronomy as well, and their class gets a terrific surprise visitor. This is another fun, simple mystery with short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, and genial characters. It's a good choice for beginning chapter readers who enjoy a lightweight mystery.
Case Of The Mummy Mystery
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
It's Halloween and there's a lot going on in Jigsaw's neighborhood. Joey Pignattano has promised to eat a worm for $1. They're selling tickets. He hires Jigsaw to make sure nothing shady is going on. Then there's the story about the cursed mummy roaming the neighborhood. Like all good stories it grows in the retelling. Is any of it true? It's a typical mystery for Jigsaw and his partner Mila who follow clues and use codes and generally have fun solving local mysteries. Short chapters, a fast-paced plot, and occasional black and white illustrations all combine to make this a fun mystery for those who need easy chapter books.
Bear On The Loose!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lysiak, Hilde
Lew-Vriethoff, Joanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
I enjoy the "Branches" books that are easy chapter books for transitional readers. In this "Hilde Cracks the Case" book, Hilde and her sister are trying to track down the who, what, when, where, and why behind local rumors of a rampaging bear. Hilde writes local news for her neighborhood. In tracking down the truth they discover a surprising truth, and recognize the impact of local deforestation. Short chapters, plenty of black and white illustrations, and a fun plot make this enjoyable. Still, if you're looking for a mystery stick with Jigsaw Jones or Cam Jansen for the same age group. If you want books on reporting, however, this might be your series.
When They Came : A Chronology Of North American Exploration
Connect/capstone Press [Connect/capstone Press]
Webb, Sarah Powers
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Chronology Of..." series, this sturdy 48-page book gives a cogent and interesting overview of the exploration of northern America. Acknowledging the Native Americans who already inhabited the land, and clearly showing the impact that this exploration had on them, the book explores Viking exploration in the A.D. 1000, then gradually takes readers up to the 1700's. Columbus's voyages are examined, and interesting facts are brought forth that don't paint him in such a golden light. Then readers learn about Ponce de Leon, Jacques Cartier, de Soto, Coronado, Champlain, and a few more until the area was officially "settled" by Europeans. This is a fascinating look at how the timelines intertwine, and it provides some interesting information that gives new insights. And all this in just a general overview. Historical paintings, timelines, maps, as well as an index, bibliography, website link, and glossary, make this a good resource for both study and report-writing. Teachers, doing exploration units, would find this a valuable resource.
Roanoke : the Lost Colony
Children's Press [SCHOLASTIC]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Abandoned Places" series, this 24 page book uses pages filled with historical pictures and modern photographs to enhance a brief retelling of the story of the colony and its mysterious disappearance in the late 1500's. Where did the settlers go? Possible answers are briefly presented but, of course, nobody knows. The book includes a glossary, index, bibliography, and website link. It will provide young readers with a basic overview of this historical mystery.
Giant Pants
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Fearing, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Belbum the giant has a problem. He's lost something. Something important--his pants! How embarrassing! He can't find them anywhere and must turn to friends for assistance. But that means going outside without his pants. The horror! He strides forth in his polka-dot shorts, seeking aid, but his friends' advice just doesn't quite work for him...although it often leads to humorous illustrations. Finally he has a tailor make him some new pants. In fact he gets a spare pair or two, just in case. What he does with the spare pants, and how he finds his old ones, ends the book on a humorous note. This is, of course, in a giant picture-book format, certainly big enough for sharing. Big, colorful, bold illustrations and a simple but funny story with underwear ever present will make this a hit at any story time.
Italy
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Rechner, Amy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 30, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Country Profiles" series, this 32-page book gives young readers a very quick peek at the country of Italy. A topographical map shows its location, major cities, and landforms. Landscape, climate, flora, fauna, tourist attractions, the people and local customs, diet, celebrations, and a basic timeline of the country's history are included. This is just a taste here, a nibble there, certainly not an all-inclusive look at what makes up Italy as a whole. Nevertheless, if you just want a quick peek the book certainly does that. Standard text features, and two fact pages, would make it useful for beginning report-writers.
Hedgehugs And The Hattiepillar
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Wilson, Steve
Tapper, Lucy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 30, 2017
Garrard, Thom
In the second episode of their adventures, hedgehog friends Horace and Hattie enjoy many activities together during springtime. After discovering a caterpillar egg under a leaf, they observe the creature hatching, eating voraciously, sleeping in its soft cocoon bed, emerging as a colorful butterfly, and flying away. Horace wonders if they could achieve the same results by following the same process, so they try it. Of course, it also works for them - after a fashion. This simple story of wonder and discovery is well complemented by the digitized artwork. The opportunity to learn about metamorphosis is an added bonus.
Baby Animal Farm
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Blair, Karen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2017
Williams, Karen I.
Great gift for a new baby as five toddlers are off to the baby animal farm to pet and hear the sounds of ducklings, chicks, lamb, goat kid, kittens, piglet, and calf. But where's the missing teddy? The puppy found it. The multicultural visitors are ready to go home in their strollers. What a day. Board book
Snow Leopards After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 30, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Snow Leopards, part of Enslow’s Animals of the Night series, adequately covers all the basic information about this endangered species, such as physical description, habitat, food, reproduction, and communication. Each spread includes a large, captioned color photograph opposite a paragraph or two of white text on a black background. A glossary is placed in the front of the book, and those words are printed in red when they appear in the text. Some pages have an additional fun fact in a circular sidebar. Given their endangered status and the fact that they live in Asia, the page of safety tips for anyone encountering a snow leopard is an odd addition. Since the book is part of a series on nocturnal animals, the one brief mention of nighttime activity seems inadequate. Further, the fact that all of the photos are daylight shots, rather than even a single flash shot triggered by a sensor, also underwhelms. The unnecessarily black pages are the darkest thing about this book.
Capybaras After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 30, 2017
Garrard, Thom
Capybaras After Dark, part of Enslow’s Animals of the Night series, adequately covers all the basic information about this species, such as physical description, habitat, food, reproduction, and communication. Each spread includes a large, captioned color photograph opposite a paragraph or two of white text on a black background. A glossary is placed in the front of the book, and those words are printed in red when they appear in the text. Some pages have an additional fun fact in a circular sidebar. Given the fact that they live in Central and South America, the page of safety tips for anyone encountering a capybara is an odd addition. Since the book is part of a series on nocturnal animals, the short discussion of their nighttime activity seems inadequate. Further, the fact that all of the photos are daylight shots, rather than even a single flash shot triggered by a sensor, also underwhelms. The unnecessarily black pages are the darkest thing about this book.
Fa La La = Tra-La-La
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Patricelli, Leslie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Local author and illustrator Leslie Patricelli now has her 2012 board book Fa La La in a bilingual text. English is in black font with Spanish in white as the signature baby gets ready for and celebrates Christmas The excited, diapered baby loves the holiday and makes his/her own creative gifts. The illustrations depict silliness and messes, but all in good cheer from picking out a Christmas tree and destroying a gingerbread house to opening and opening presents Christmas morning. Parents will want to add this to their seasonal books for their very young children.
Everything Is Mama
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Fallon, Jimmy
Ordonez, Miguel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Fans of Jimmy Fallon’s first book, Your Baby’s First Word Will be DADA, should be equally taken with this book. A variety of animal mothers try to induce their child to learn a word other than the oft repeated “ MAMA!” with no success. Despite saying and depicting a hat, the sun, a waffle, shoes, etc. all except the independent duckling still say, “MAMA!” That contrary duck still says, “QUACK!” as it did in the first book. Infants on up will get a kick out of this new addition. Currently just out as a picture book, the board book will hopefully come out soon as little hands will want to hold it.
Who Am I? : An Animal Guessing Game
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Page, Robin
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Any offering from Steve Jenkins is always welcome, and this is no exception. The thicker pages and content here are geared to a younger set. Each double page spread begins with, “I have…” followed by large depictions of different labeled body parts such as “a sticky, flicky tongue," "bumpy green skin," "two bulging eyeballs," "ten webbed toes," "a floating lily pad," and "a fly for lunch!” The right corner on the bright white background then asks, “Who am I?” Though this seems quite easy for an adult reader and perhaps a primary student, this wasn’t that simple for a 2-1/2-year-old familiar with a lot of animals. On the following double page spread is the answer, “I’m a frog!” with that creature all put together and in action. Other animals include a rabbit, crab, flamingo, owl, monkey, and ladybug. The final four pages go into more detail on each animal with what they eat, where they live, their size, and interesting facts. A bibliography for further reading concludes this wonderfully illustrated, well written, and delightfully presented new offering by Steve Jenkins with his signature cut- and torn-paper collage illustrations.
Little Fire Truck
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Cuyler, Margery
Kolar, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 31, 2017
Turpin, Sharon
Between a board book and picture book with its thicker glossier pages, this bright offering from a well known author will appeal to the intended pre-school set. End sheets delineate and label the equipment and vehicles associated with a fire station from boots and air mask to an EMT and ladder truck. Each page of rhyming text begins with, “I’m a little fire truck” followed by three short lines that follow its driver Jill around throughout a day and a myriad of calls. The busy digital illustrations feature blues, reds and yellows that invite the young reader to looks for details. This fit the bill for a 2-1/2-year-old interested in all sorts of vehicles. Others by this duo include The Little Dump Truck, and The Little School Bus.
Once Upon A Frog
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Whatever After" series Abby and her brother Jonah have access to a magic mirror that sends them into fairy tales. Once there they usually manage to mess things up in the traditional tale, but things usually end well. In this book they are tossed into "The Frog Princess." Trying to get the prince changed back to a human again is a pain. It doesn't help that the princess seems mean and unhelpful. She's the least of their worries, however. It turns out there was a good reason why that prince was a frog. This is another fun entry in the popular series that should please young fans.
Ghost Attack
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lubar, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Alex and his cousin, Sarah, are visiting their grandparents in their new, and possibly haunted home. Alex has a problem with allergies, but it gets much worse when he discovers that he is allergic to ghosts and there is, indeed, a ghost involved. He and his cousin must work together to discover who the ghost is, and clear his name so he can move on. This involves some research at the local historical society, as well as a treasure hunt. This is a fun, lightweight ghosty mystery with occasional black and white illustrations. It is the first book of a series.
Joseph Stalin : Dictator Of The Soviet Union
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Cernak, Linda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Essential Lives" series, this 112 page book provides readers with a solid and fascinating overview of the life of Joseph Stalin. His role as a revolutionary, his careful manipulations to gain power, and both his success in modernizing the Soviet Union and his total disregard for the lives of its people are emphasized. The writing is compelling. Photographs, fact boxes, primary source quotes, and plenty of additional resources in the appendix make this an excellent resource for report-writing. Both disturbing and insightful, this is a portrait of a dictator that will leave modern readers finding disturbing similarities with the current situation in North Korea.
Lost In The Crater Of Fear
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Turner, Tracey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 31, 2017
Bateman, Teresa
the "Lost" series combines the best elements of survival handbooks and choose-your-own-adventure stories to create a well-written and informative examination of how you can survive in various life-threatening situations. In this case you have been accidentally left behind in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. You must make it out of the crater before nightfall, without being killed by any of the local animals. What might you face? Well, rhinos, snakes, lions, jackals...to name a few. Make the wrong decision and you're toast, or lunch. The book is well-written and manages to pack in a ton of information about African animals, as well as good survival tips. It's not easy to make it out alive. Additional materials include more information about the area as well as an index, bibliography, website list, glossary, and some true tales of survival. Buy the whole series.