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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.