Reviews for month


Bobby Lee Claremont And The Criminal Element
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mobley, Jeannie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 02, 2018
Averill, Linda
Bobby Lee Claremont, a 13 year old orphan has been with the nuns at a New Orleans Catholic orphan since his mother died. Bobby Lee read a newspaper article about how criminals were making fortunes in Chicago during Prohibition and decided that he would join them to make his fortune by joining the mob. He became a runaway- riding the train to Chicago On the train this white boy, who stole money from the poor box for his ticket, encountered a widow with a baby boy and this reminds him of his own mother. The widow is escorted by 2 tough looking me that Bobby Lee thinks may be mob associates. A law officer, out of his jurisdiction, is trying to from the widow and two men for the death of her husband. Bobby Lee, with the help of two young black boys and a black jazz musician, determines who killed the man, how it was done, and saves the widow's inheritance. He makes peace with the orphanage nuns and is able to join the musician's tour.
Big Machines : The Story Of Virginia Lee Burton
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rinker, Sherri Duskey
Rocco, John
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
February 02, 2018
Norton, Geneva
Readers of all ages will love this book. It is a delightful biography of Virgnia Lee Burtin (Jinjee) as well as a colorful invitation to any reader to embrace the magic that comes from the heart and mind to the artist and storyteller. Readers who grew up with The Little House, Katy, Mike Mulligan, and the rest of Jinjee Burton’s books will delight in the way the Sherri Rinker and John Rocco have told Jinjee’s story. The artwork is in much the same style as Ms. Burton’s with beautiful fidelity. Creating her stories to the entertain her two sons, the author created stories that "ring true" even today. There is a sense of enthusiasm. energy, and magic to the whole book. Could be used just as a great story to read, as a great prompt to starting ones own autobiography or memoir with words and pictures, as a great prompt to start a story. So much fun.
Little House
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Burton, Virginia Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 02, 2018
Norton, Geneva
This is the 75th anniversary edition of the classic 1943 Caldecott award winner, The Little House. The timeliness of the story may ring even more true today than when it was published. The wonderful house is built on the hill with views all around it. Time and developments surround the house over the years until it is squeezed between two skyscrapers with noisy transportation of many kinds zoom around it. The sadness of the little house is alleviated when the great-great-granddaughter of the builder sees the house and remembers stories of it. She rescues the house and has it moved back to the country where it can watch seasons pass happily again. Told without heavy moralizing, it is still a sound read and allows its readers to make their own conclusions. Page of window clings in the back are nice thought for a home purchase, but not too useful in a school library.
Unschooled
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Woodrow, Allan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 03, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
George and Lilly have been friends since forever. Nothing can tear that friendship apart...until the annual 5th grade Spirit Week where they end up as team captains for the two opposing teams. Lilly is highly competitive. George is a good organizer. Their problem? What are students willing to do to win? It starts with an accident but revenge follows revenge and things escalate until their friendship is toast and the whole 5th grade is in detention. In a desperate attempt to revive Spirit Week a reconciliation is in order, but can they hold things together when there are 5th graders ready to sabotage the other team, and wild speculation regarding the potential prize for winning? Lilly and George relate alternating chapters as the week progresses, so readers get both viewpoints. While the book is a tad implausible and it seems odd that teachers aren't intervening, this is still a fun, well-written book that will attract eager readers.
Koala
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Saxby, Claire
Vivas, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Averill, Linda
With 3 different type-sets this engaging book tells the factual story of a young koala and how he moves away from his mother. The author, in large bold type encourages the animal throughout his journey to climb, move, or stay. Illustrations are in soft browns and blues that become dark at night or when danger is nearby. In small type, and usually at the bottom of the page like footnotes, are interesting facts that directly relate to the story on that page. And index of eleven words encourages the reader to "look up the pages to find out all about these koala things."
The Agony of Bun O'Keefe
Penguin Teen Canada [Penguin Random House Canada]
Smith, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 04, 2018
Averill, Linda
Bun's mother, a 300 pound hoarder, tells the 14-year-old to "get out". It is Nov. 1986 in Newfoundland when Bun walks out without a coat. She is helped by Busker Boy, a First Nations street performer. He takes her to his apartment building where she meets Big Eyes, a lapsed Catholic white girl who won't swear, Chef, a culinary student and Cher/Chris a white drag queen. Bun takes everything literally. She has been raised with very little love, conversation or education she is remarkably intelligent and self-taught using the variety of books her mother acquired. The author handles the topics of neglect, suicide, racism, homophobia, transphobia, AIDS and sexual abuse matter-of-factly.
Mae And June And The Wonder Wheel
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Harper, Charise Mericle
Spires, Ashley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
June with her dog Sammy, is looking for a friend with all the three F’s: Fun, Friendly, and Full of Adventure. After a new girl, Mae, moves next door June excitedly watches out the window hoping that she may be this friend. The her “free spirit” Grandma Penny sends her a gift that when assembled becomes a Wonder Wheel, with instructions for setting up a new configuration of choices each week and instructions for what each daily spin of the wheel requires. On the first day June chooses her spirit animal and channels that energy. On the second she asks people what was the best and the worst thing about their day. Behind each activity is a mini-life lesson encouraging qualities of friendship, creativity and fun. And her friendship with Mae is solidly in place when June confides that Sammy can talk and she understands him. Endearing and with 5 more weeks of activities to go, this could well be a new series. Diverse characters, typical Ashley Spires illustrations are plentiful, and the large double-spaced font makes this a solid bridge book for your transitional readers.
Barnyard Boogie!
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Mccanna, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In this bright, sturdy board book the animals have a band and they're about to perform, but what will the cow do? Why, she's the leader of course! Rhyming text is complemented by glossy, bold illustrations and plenty of onomatopoeia for a fun book that toddlers will enjoy.
Portly Pig : A Farm Friends Sound Book
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Scheffler, Axel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Portly Pig hates to be tidy. He's not happy being neat. He looks for some place mucky for his body, head, and feet. He finds the perfect puddle, on his way back there's some rain. He's clean again, oh drat! He has to get mucked up again. Bright pictures make this board book shine. Sound button makes it fun. But the story isn't fabulous when all is said and done.
Gobbly Goat : A Farm Friends Sound Book
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Scheffler, Axel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Gobby Goat is hungry. Oh, what is there to eat? That hat tastes bad, the fruits' too high, the hay's the horse's. BLEAT! Oh, what's that in the window? The goat's mouth opens wide and eats the bowl of strawberries, and flowers by its side. The book has a sound button that will make young readers grin. This board book's got bright pictures, but the plot's a little thin.
Cometas
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
This Spanish-language version of "Comets" is from the Abdo Kids "Nuestra Galaxia" series. In 24 pages young readers learn solid basic facts about comets, accompanied by vivid, huge photographs that cross the gutter. The writing is excellent, and the information is solid, despite the short length of the book. There's also a website link, index, glossary, and a few additional facts. This is excellent nonfiction that merits a place in easy nonfiction Spanish collections.
Natalie's Hair Was Wild!
CLARION [CLARION]
Freeman, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Natalie's hair is wild--so wild, in fact, that soon she is hosting a variety of critters there. At first she doesn't care, but eventually she has to call in the zoo and the fire department to extricate the animals and help her get her hair back under control again, at least for a while. The big, colorful digital illustrations show this African-American girl rejoicing in her curly locks, even when they cause her trouble. The concept has been done before, but the delightful rhyming text and joyous hyperbole make this a winner nonetheless. Combine it with "The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair" for a fun story time.
Bmx
Bolt!/abdo [Bolt!/abdo]
Abdo, Kenny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Action Sports" series, this 24 page book features big action-packed photographs that leap across the pages and accompany short paragraphs of informative text. Young readers learn about what BMX stands for, its history, the different types of bikes involved and their purposes, and a little about the sport itself. This would be a good choice for easy non-fiction collections and is sure to find a fan base.
Last Tree
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Chabbert, Ingrid
Guridi
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Translated from the French, this is a story of a boy and his friend who live in a bleak city. Green is not a color much seen there. When they find a sapling they are excited. Is it the last tree? When new construction threatens the young tree they dig it up and transplant it far away, where it has the chance to grow, as they grow. The story is simple and heart-touching. The illustrations are bleak, with a dull palette and rigid angles and lines. The two children are only seen as filled outlines. The attempt is clearly to create a mood, and it does. This presents a strong environmental message, however, I'm not sure that children will find the book attractive enough to read.
Training Course
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 04, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "D.I.Y. Make it Happen" series, this 32-page book provides some basic information on creating training and obstacle courses. What makes a training course? Many options are presented. Safety issues are brought up. Colorful photographs and graphics make this book attractive. Unfortunately, the text is poorly organized and poorly written. Short, declarative sentences have no flow and don't build on each other. In one paragraph 12 of the sentences start with "She". There is no attempt to make the text more interesting or attractive. Any time a new word is introduced the next sentence is used to define it. I am learning to avoid books written by this author.
Taxonomy Of Love
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Allen, Rachael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 04, 2018
Tucker, Merrilyn
13-year-old Spencer has Tourette's Syndrome (the tic variety, not the swearing kind, as he points out) and feels like he doesn't fit in at school or home. His older brother, Dean, is the golden boy, and he attracts the girls, too. When Hope, also 13, moves in next door and wants to be friends with Spencer, he's delighted. As they grow up, though, there's always a misunderstanding between Hope and Spencer that keeps them from becoming romantically involved. Over the course of six years, they experience life's ups and downs, sometimes as confidants and friends, other times as almost strangers. Hope and Spencer watch each other grow up. The taxonomy motif is interesting, but I don't think it adds strength to the plot. The story's characters are not always fleshed out or followed through with (for example, Spencer and Dean's real mother).
La La La
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dicamillo, Kate
Kim, Jaime
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Tucker, Merrilyn
When the little girl in this almost-wordless story sings, no one hears. She wanders, lonely, singing to herself. Finally, she spots the moon and eventually, she finds a friend who not only listens but also answers with a song. Everyone can find a friend; just keep singing your song and someone will respond. Jaime Kim's illustrations are magical. I will be interested to see how this story works with children.
Missing Mola Lisa : Case #1
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Shaskan, Trisha Speed
Shaskan, Stephen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Tucker, Merrilyn
Q (a hedgehog-like character) and Ray (a rat-like character) with the help of their teachers track down the thief who stole the Mola Lisa from the local art gallery. In this whodunnit graphic novel for the younger crowd (K-2?), the clever sleuths follow clues and finally track down the culprit. This may have to be read with an adult in order to follow the narrative on the page, but if a child likes mysteries solved by various animals, then they may enjoy this colorful comic. It's the start of a series. Includes brief information about Leonardo da Vinci at the end.
Charlie Builds : Bridges, Skyscrapers, Doghouses, And More!
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Bianchini, Bob
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 04, 2018
Averill, Linda
This delightful board book shows Charlie and his father (both white) at the beach building a sandcastle, at home building a train bridge from sticks, a Lego garage, and a fire station from boxes. At dad's office they build a skyscraper from blocks while outside a window a crane works. In their yard father and son build a doghouse, a mountain of leaves and an igloo. Charlie's favorite building is his fort made of blankets and pillows. The text is simple rhyme and illustrations are thick-lined with colors of red, blue, green and some browns and yellows.
Stanley's Numbers
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Bee, William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 04, 2018
Averill, Linda
Two animals, Stanley and Woo, gather decorations and snacks for a picnic. These are 1 jello salad, 2 cakes, 3 picnic rugs, 4 pillows, 5 hats, 6 balloons, 7 party flags, 8 apples, 9 cheeses, and 10 bottles of milk. Each page describes what is being gathered for the party with the corresponding number spelled out in the text and the number placed in the corner of the page. The illustrations are bright and most of the items to be counted are easily distinguished from the background.
You're All Kinds Of Wonderful
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Tillman, Nancy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Kline, Karen
This celebration of every child’s uniqueness is a wonderful balance of encouragement and fun. In rhyming couplets Tillman melds musical notes, dance, and a pink bloomered pig on trapeze in the full-to-bleed pages of the realistic and digitally created illustrations. Being yourself is not easy. Ringing your own special bell takes persistence and the ability to ignore those that tempt you to be like them and ring their bells instead of yours. The metaphors are clear as a bell. Readers will enjoy the cavorting kids and animals that are as different as any they’ll see in a picture book. Multicultural children depict the ideals as well as one Down’s child on the cover and repeated in the text. This anthem on self esteem will pair well with Beaumont’s I Like Myself! and Curtis’s I’m Gonna Like Me.
About Fish : A Guide For Children
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Kline, Karen
One or two sentences of text offset the dominant artwork on the facing page of each layout of the book in this important series of non-fiction books for young readers. Readers learn about the physical features of fish including camouflage, protective markings, defensive characteristics and more. The types of water that fish live in and how they multiply are just a couple of the topics included in both the main text and the more detailed topics appended with smaller versions of the same art shown three per page at the end. As in other books in the series by this respected author/illustrator duo, the subjects and common names of each art “plate” are cataloged on the facing pages. A glossary, further reading section, and short list of recommended websites is included together on one page. (English-Spanish bilingual version available for $1 more in paperback binding; reviewed 2/2018 here at PSC.)
About Habitats : Seashores
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Kline, Karen
Simple language describes the many features of animals, plants, and geographic features of seashores in this book from the much-acclaimed “About Habitat” series. Large-font text on white background opposes the detailed watercolor illustrations. Each animal and plant featured in the art is named in the plate description on the opposite page. Tides, beach geography, and dunes are defined in basic terms in the main text and more fully in the “afterword” section which shows thumbnails of the art with the additional descriptions. Cutaway perspectives, multiple before/after tide renderings, and split page landscapes are interspersed throughout the single point perspective full page landscapes. The different forms provide engaging variations for the eye. Another winner from this talented team of naturalists.
City Mouse, Country Mouse
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Rudy, Maggie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2018
Kline, Karen
Two little mice happen upon each other in the garden one day and fall into a conversation about the pros and cons of city and country life. Will was from the city, and Tansy was from the country. When Will turns to head back home to the city, Tansy realizes she will miss him. Life-like diorama scenes dominate each page of the book, and each one is full of details like ladybugs, stones, ants, and artfully sliced strawberries. Readers will enjoy pouring over each photograph reminiscent of Secret Life of Squirrels and some animated films. Tansy agrees to visit the city with Will, but she only makes it part of the way when she and Will serendipitously find the other going back to look for the other. They end up enjoying the “halfway town” and decide they will make their homes there. A wonderful addition to most collections that will add to curriculum for teaching community that includes city, country and suburb life.
Writing Radar : Using Your Journal To Snoop Out And Craft Gr
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Gantos, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 04, 2018
Kline, Karen
This book is chock full of ideas for gathering inspiration for writing and turning those ideas into a well-polished story. It’s also full of clever little stories that help the reader analyze the ideas that Newbery Award-winning author Gantos suggests for taking writing to the next level. These stories had me chuckling and laughing out loud. Gantos’ own simple sketches pop up every few pages making the point that writing and drawing are linked to visualization. Gantos has a knack for recalling situations of childhood and speaks candidly and modestly. Educators will find the book useful as a whole as well as from individual chapters on topics like “Story Structure and Story Elements” and “Story Maps.” The “Writing Tip!” boxes scattered throughout will pull in casual browsers, and references to many works of children’s literature will inspire further reading. Highly recommended.
Cyber Attack
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Goldstein, Margaret J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Cyber attacks are a very apt topic for our time as exposes of recent major hacks including the credit bureau Equifax, Yahoo accounts, and Uber. Demonstrate. After a quick history of cyber hacking, the ubiquitous nature and methods for infiltrating mobile devices, data systems, government agencies, businesses and financial institutions are detailed. Perpetrators include criminals and thieves, gangs, as well as governments and our military concludes that cyber attacks are now part of any warfare and very dangerous. The goals vary from simply meeting a challenge, to stealing passwords, account information, business plans, and even elections as the current investigation of Russian hacking and infiltration of our voting process includes sophisticated misuse of social media. The authors are clear from the beginning that the book only reflects the information available as of the publishing date in 2015 and recommends searching The New York Times for up-to-date information. Standard recommendations for protecting our information and devices are mentioned but the authors have little hope that full-scale attacks can be averted with current technologies. Source Notes, Bibliography, Recommendations, Index included.
Wombats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
My, what fun! I never knew wombats could be so cute, or so interesting. In this larger-format Abdo Kids "Nocturnal Animals" book, the reader has 24 pages to get to know wombats. Each double-page spread includes a delightful, crisp close-up photograph, and a sentence or two of factual information. There's a little here about behavior, appearance, diet, and life cycle. There's not a lot of information, but this book is aimed at your younger nonfiction audience and beautifully suits the intended audience.
Neil Armstrong : Astronaut & First Human To Walk On The Moon
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In this large-format 24-page entry in the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, young readers get a peek into the life of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. The book follows him from birth to youth to his career in NASA and his eventual death. Each double-page spread features a large photograph that spills over the gutter, and faces a few simple sentences of factual text. There's not a lot of room here for exposition or exploration of Armstrong's character and many contributions. On the other hand, the book provides a brief introduction that might launch students into a search for more information, and it meets that need for very easy nonfiction. It includes a timeline, glossary, and index.
Minecraft : Guide To Combat
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gregory, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 05, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Sure to be popular, this Guide to Combat in Minecraft offers beginners a brief glimpse of what dangers await as they explore the Minecraft world. While emphasizing the fun nature of exploration, this guide identifies the different monsters, witches, creepers, and other creatures lurking in the caves and mountains. Tools and weapons for successfully combating these threats can be created from materials previously mined and a crafting grid shown above the inventory chest outlines the materials needed. Brewing potions and enchanting spells are techniques used to enhance potency of weapons for defending as well as attacking. Supplemental information boxes provide more detail about topics such as making weapons more durable or selecting the armor or gear that may give you special abilities in combat. This guide is sufficient to give a beginning player adequate information for facing dangers and combat. Expect this book to be off the shelf most of the time.
Minecraft Beginner's Guide
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Zeiger, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 05, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Sure to be popular, this series offers beginners a brief understanding and glimpse of what the game is about, some of the options, and suggestions for how to proceed once starting the game. A concise history of the founder, the game’s evolution, and graphic illustrations of the shapes, food and health bars and screen shots of the some of the basic survival steps of “mining” the wood, rock, and coal to create a shelter, gathering food and creating a crafting table. Missing are screen shots of the actual playing containing inventory and tool chests that are shown in other volumes from the Unofficial Guides series. Also overlooked is the very basic description of Minecraft as a game that teaches beginning coding skills and a featured game in the Hour of Code. Still, as a complete beginner, I could imagine starting to play after reading this book and quickly moving on to the next volumes for more information. Expect this book to be off the shelf most of the time.
Land Rovers
Bolt!/abdo [Bolt!/abdo]
Abdo, Kenny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Young car enthusiasts may enjoy this easy addition to the "Off Road Vehicles" series. Readers learn where the Land Rover was first built. Various iterations of the vehicle are shown, as well as many ways in which it is used, from off-roading to movies to military use. It's all accompanied by plenty of photographs. An index, glossary, and website link are included. There's not a lot here, but there's enough information to please young readers.
Growing A Pizza Garden
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Spalding, Maddie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp and beautiful photographs accompany this simple book about gardening. First you need a sunny spot. Compost will enrich the soil. Plan and plant, water and grow. It's all beautifully done, but less than I had hoped for. Peppers and basil are the only crops shown, though the circular, pizza-shaped, garden plan shows a place for tomatoes, wheat and corn, onions and garlic, and fallow wedges between. Clearly those were to represent different pizza ingredients, but this doesn't really portray a true home garden. This is a nice beginning, but there's not enough here, despite the clever idea.
Inspector Brunswick : The Case Of The Missing Eyebrow
Tate Publishing [Tate Publishing]
Keoghan, Angela
Sam, Chris Lam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Inspector Brunswick (a cat), and his slightly more able sidekick Nelson (a dog) are on the case when a mystery occurs at the local museum. One of the paintings is missing an eyebrow! Where is it? Was it stolen? A search ensues, and clues are followed to find the unusual culprit, who also has a love of art. Originally published in London, this is a gentle romp with muted, quirky illustrations. If you need an easy mystery book, this might suit your purposes. The solution to the mystery, however, will surprise most readers. It's not something they can figure out on their own from the clues that are given.
Machu Picchu
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 05, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Machu Picchu is an incredible historical site, and this book gives younger readers a tantalizing taste of its mystery and majesty. Crisp and beautiful photographs accompany simple, but informative text providing a little of the history of the site, its construction, and some of its more famous aspects. The book includes a glossary and index. This would be a good addition to easy nonfiction shelves.
Barnaby Never Forgets
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Collet-Derby, Pierre
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
Barnaby is a confident rabbit as he struts across the cover with backpack unzipped and school supplies falling out, but you can already tell that he might not be so good at keeping track of his things. In looking for his glasses we see piles of toys, clothes, an unkempt desk, and runaway pet crickets. Freezer doors are left open, swimsuits are left in a forgotten backpack, and a year-old lollipop is rediscovered. As he walks to school, students will be giggling when he FORGETS that today is Saturday! But they will roar with delight when the illustrator pans back to show that he is only in his shirt and undies.Retro-styled illustrations in muted reds, yellows, and blues are humorous, with hints of his disorder on each page.
Stars
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
See “Comets” by Grace Hansen review.
Comets
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is in the Abdo series “Our Galaxy” and includes “Asteroids & Meteoroids,” “The Milky Way,” “The Moon,” “Stars”, and “The Sun.” It has a 2 page spread with text and photo or diagram. Though it seems simple at first, it gives basic, but fascinating information-how they are formed, their make-up, location in the solar system (Oort cloud and Kuiper belt) and orbit pattern. With 22 pages of information, I learned something new on every one! Includes T/C, bold print, labels, More Facts, Glossary, and Index.
Snow Scene
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Jackson, Richard
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Gorgeous acrylic illustrations on a textured canvas, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, are the highlight of this simple bold book that takes young readers from winter snow to summer, where the only snow caps the mountains. Each double-page spread at first asks a question, providing visual hints as to the answer that is shown on the next page. Then the changes seem to pick up speed as the gently-rhyming text throws readers with a few simple words through spring into June. Evocative, and useful for prediction, this is a sweet book that teachers may enjoy sharing after the winter holidays.
Spidey : 7 : Weekdays
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thompson, Robbie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
“Spidey” seems to be in a 12 book series, about the high school life of Peter Parker. The first page of each book reviews the radioactive bite of a spider, the death of his uncle, and Parker’s dedication to fighting evil. In this book, he is challenged to keep his cover as he is bullied by school bully Flash Thompson. In his spare time he battles superpower nemeses. There are flashes of humor with Spiderman’s self-absorbed monologues. Panels have muted illustrations with interesting angles of sight. Lots of punches, martial art kicks and laser zaps. Strong binding and cover will help this stay in circulation a long time.
Avengers K : Assembling The Avengers : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
Thank you! -- -the first pages give an account of each of the Avenger superheroes: their powers, how they got it; their allies and enemies. Nick Fury, director of the Avengers is directed to stop his search for a frozen Captain America. Tony Stark is a security risk to work on what will one day be Iron Man. Bruce Banner is no longer being monitored for controlling his Hulk personality. Someone is trying to divert the mission of what will be the Avengers. Stay tuned leaves you to read Avengers #2, 3, 4… up to seven. Storyline ends a little too abruptly but readers will be more focused on the characters and the fight scene panels. Strong binding and cover will help this stay in circulation a long time.
Avengers K : Assembling The Avengers : 7
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
See Avengers K #1
Boom Boom Mushroom : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Tobin, Paul
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
See Garden Warfare #3 (Plants vs. Zombies)
Garden Warfare : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Tobin, Paul
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
Ok. I don’t really understand these comics… err graphic novels, but readers are absolutely transfixed with them. These books are based on a video game where “homeowners use different plants to prevent an army of zombies entering their houses and ‘eating their brains’ “. Panels use colorful but muted tones. Lots of onomatopoeic sound affects and interjections. Vocabulary is high (thwarted, harmonized, extensive) and readers might not understand the puns. Strong binding and cover will help this stay in circulation a long time.
Star Wars : Rebel Jail : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Aaron, Jason
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This series (five separate books) of graphic novels feature the classic Star Wars characters: Princess Leia, Hans and Luke. They are in a battle to take back the galaxy from the Emperor. The episodes are short and don’t quite finish a story; I am assuming that there is a thread to all five. Panels have a variety of gun-pointing and enflamed robots or planets. Or course, the readers will love it, but not sure they will be completely satisfied at the end of a book or even the series. Strong binding and cover will help this stay in circulation a long time.
Star Wars : Rebel Jail : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Aaron, Jason
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This series (five separate books) of graphic novels feature the classic Star Wars characters: Princess Leia, Hans and Luke. They are in a battle to take back the galaxy from the Emperor. The episodes are short and don’t quite finish a story; I am assuming that there is a thread to all five. Panels have a variety of gun-pointing and enflamed robots or planets. Or course, the readers will love it, but not sure they will be completely satisfied at the end of a book or even the series. Strong binding and cover will help this stay in circulation a long time.
Spidey : 10 : Bad Reputation
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thompson, Robbie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
Spidey #10 Bad Reputation See Spidey # 7 Weekdays
Reason For The Season
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Alexander, Louise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The Hearth's Warming holiday is here, and Applejack and her family will be spending the holidays with Pinkie Pie and her family. Both are eagerly anticipating their holiday traditions, but what if their traditions are quite different? Applejack is bothered by the Pie family's dull and seemingly subdued celebrations and misses her family's more exuberant festivities. When she tries to brighten things up it all goes badly. She learns, however, to appreciate the traditions of others, and all can celebrate by singing Hearth's Warming Day songs. This is adapted from the cartoon episode "Hearthbreakers" and has bright cartoon "My Little Pony" illustrations. The text is overly wordy and one can only wonder how such a gray family produced Pinky Pie. Nevertheless, lovers of the cartoon will doubtless embrace this book.
Windsurfing
Bolt!/abdo [Bolt!/abdo]
Abdo, Kenny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The "Action Sports" series consists of sturdy 24-page books that combine double-page spreads of action photographs with a couple of sentences of information per page. This book focuses on windsurfing. Readers get a snippet of information about types of boards, competitions, and a definition of the sport. Granted, this is just a taste, but the length and reading level make it a good choice for early nonfiction readers and for reluctant readers. It includes a brief glossary and index, as well as a website link.
Very Quiet Parrot
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Gohmann, Johanna
Von Innerebner, Jessika
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
"The Pirate Kids" series follows a pirate family with Mom, Dad, and two children. Each book has four short chapters that relate a single story. In this entry in the series a new pet is introduced--a parrot! Percy and Piper get to name her, and then struggle to get the parrot to talk, with surprising results. Bright illustrations accompany the text. This is a short and fun pirate jaunt designed for transitional readers.
Welcome To Equestria!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
London, Olivia
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are the new rulers of the Crystal Empire and, as such, have decided to do a royal tour of Equestria, while sending notes about the places they visit to Shining Armor's sister, Twilight. And that's what this book is about. Candy-colored illustrations accompany a basic, somewhat wordy, and rather dull travelogue of Equestria. Plot? Nope. Worth buying? Nope. Bound to be popular if you DO buy it? Yep.
I Am Peace : A Book Of Mindfulness
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Verde, Susan
Reynolds, Peter H.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2018
Kline, Karen
This lovely little book shares the principles of mindfulness from a child’s point of view. The barefooted, stocking-cap clad child with his (or is it her?) peace medallion tells us what he does when worry takes over his thoughts...when problems are like a capsized boat. Peter Reynolds’ colorful illustrations add much to the text. The child makes a difference and feeds the birds, drops a seed, and up springs a tree. The child’s skinny limbs, over-sized head, and friendly face are at once captivating. An author’s note about mindfulness and a second page describing a mindfulness exercise to try cover more ground for educators and caregivers. With cases of childhood anxiety on the rise, books like this deserve an important place in classrooms and libraries.
Stephen Curry
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Nicole K.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 06, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This biography about Stephen Curry is more than just his on-court abilities. It describes his childhood and the influence of his father (player for the Charlotte Hornets) as well as coaches and other professional basketball players. It recognizes the other talents in his family, including his mother (Virginia Tech volley ball) and sister (Elon University, NC volleyball) and brother (Dallas Mavericks). Like Michael Jordan, Stephen had obstacles in achieving his dream of playing basketball. For him, it was height and size. Recognition of his work on and off the court has come from many areas—All Star Team, ESPY Awards, and working with the Obama Administration on eradication of malaria. Book layout is in the Golden State Warrior team colors-Blue and Yellow. Includes photo, captions, with substantial text. This is a book that can be read more than once to grasp the integrity, hard work and dedication of a great athlete. Contains T/C, index, chronology, stats, further reading, glossary and more.
Wompananny Witches Make One Mean Pizza
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Palmer, Jennie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2018
Averill, Linda
Two witch sisters, with green hair and purple skin, are afraid of the neighborhood children. When 3 come to their door selling cookies it terrifies the withes who believe children and witches go together "like chocolate chips and pickles". The witches enjoy making pizza and pound all of their "fearful, freaked-out feelings" into the dough. When they pull the pizza from the oven it rolls away, trough town, scaring the adults. Realizing they had baked "one mean pizza" the witches tried to stop it but failed. The pizza left a trail of sauce and cheese that the children sampled. Finding it delicious the children followed it to the park where the caught up to it. When the children asked for more pizza the two sisters decided "Children and witches are a perfect pair, like pizza and pepperoni and opened a pizza parlor.
Goldenlocks and the three pirates
Farrar Straus Giroux [Farrar Straus Giroux]
Prince, April Jones
SALERNO, STEVEN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2018
Averill, Linda
Full of alliteration, pirate talk and colorful cartoon illustrations this take-off on Goldilocks will make a great read-aloud. The 3 pirates are "a pilfering Papa pirate," "a menacing Mama pirate," and "a bonny Baby pirate-in-training" who row from their sloop to shore for fresh water after Mama burns the gruel. Goldenlocks is a "lonesome lass" out for a row who smells the gruel, boards the pirate boat and tries the 3 bowls of gruel. She finds Papa's too hot and nasty, Mama's was cold and terrible, while "needs something" so she added nutmeg and ate it. Next she found 3 stools, tried them and broke Baby's. Being handy with hammer and nails, she fixed it. As she tried the hammocks she discovered the smallest on was in need of mending. When she finished patching it she "rigged the ropes and rehung the hammock" then fell asleep in it. The 3 pirates returned, discovered Goldenlocks and were impressed with what she had accomplished. They gave her a job as the newest (and only) member of their crew. The final page is labelled Pirate Glossary and identifies 14 words and expressions such as plunder, bilge water, bullion, scallywag and stopper knot.
All Kinds Of Kisses
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Swain, Heather
Henry, Steven
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Different animals have different kinds of mouths. How do they give kisses to their offspring? Each double-page spread features an animal and child or children. Bouncy verse tells us a little about the animal and its mouth, then asks the question about how this animal might kiss. The pencil and digital illustrations flow across pages, and the colors are uniquely suited to each animal. Unfortunately there are some interesting glitches. The first page does not rhyme, while the rest of the book does. This is a jarring exception, especially since it introduces the book. The text states that the grasshopper mouth opens east-west not north-south, but this is not reflected in the illustrations. The giraffe is described as the grandmother, but the baby is described as her calf. Seems we skipped a generation there. This was a delightful concept, and parents will probably enjoy sharing it as a lap book. Nevertheless, these flaws should have been caught in the editing process.
Miguel's Brave Knight : Young Cervantes And His Dream Of Don
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Engle, Margarita
Colon, Raul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In clear and simple poems Margarita Engle examines elements from the life of Don Miguel de Cervantes that may reflect in his story of the bold and befuddled knight of the woeful countenance--Don Quixote de la Mancha. Accompanied by truly compelling watercolor and ink illustrations by Raul Colon, this is just a peek at the author's life. End notes provide further information about Cervantes, and both poet and illustrator motivations in this creation. While the poet may make connections between life and literature that are, at best, suppositions, still, this brings Cervantes to life in a unique way. Hopefully it will help introduce a new generation to a wonderful literary character, and the man who created him.
Unexpected Love Story Of Alfred Fiddleduckling
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ering, Timothy Basil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Captain Alfred is on his way home to a worried wife, with a boat full of ducks, his dog, his fiddle, and an unhatched egg with a destiny. When a storm arises the egg is left alone and the duckling hatches to find nobody there. When he encounters the floating fiddle he finds the sounds it makes soothing, and those sounds eventually reunite everyone for a happy ending. This is a tender tale that combines with expressive acrylic illustrations to tiptoe around possible tragedy to eventual joy.
Hu Wan And The Sleeping Dragon
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Young, Judy
Solano, Jordi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In 1572, in China, there is a boy named Hu Wan who lives with his grandfather, and helps in his garden. They are within sight of the Forbidden City but, of course, can never enter the emperor's home. While their jewels are found in the vegetables they grow--from the gold of onions to the ruby red of beets--his grandfather's special talent is in forming and then carving particular gourds that can be used as a cage for a pet cricket. This is Hu Wan's first attempt at his grandfather's art, and he turns his gourd into a curled dragon. It is his first attempt, and not perfect, but he loves it nonetheless. When the emperor dies and his young son needs comfort, many gifts are presented. His is a humble one, but one that calls to the heart of another young boy. The story is beautifully written and reads like a legend. Add to that Jordi Solano's exquisite, expressive illustrations and you have a lovely book that calls to both heart and mind.
Hilda And The Runaway Baby
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hirst, Daisy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In this delightful little romp a pig named Hilda lives at the bottom of the hill. She lives a solitary and peaceful life and is perfectly happy that way. At the top of the hill is a town and in that town is rambunctious baby who is constantly turning up in places he shouldn't. One day his baby carriage heads down the hill and picks up speed. Hilda sees a disaster in the making and, with considerable effort, saves the child and returns him to his family. However, without his new friend he is disconsolate. It looks like Hilda's solitary life is over, and maybe that's a good thing. This is a sweet and gently humorous story with bold, blocky screen-printed illustrations that I didn't like at first, but their charming exuberance won me over. This would be a fun book for preschool story time.
Sonia Delaunay : Art Is Life
Museum Of Modern Art [Museum Of Modern Art]
Manes, Cara
Ramos, Fatinha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 07, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In a flight of fancy a young boy travels through time and space in a multi-colored car as his mother shows him the inspirations for her unique artwork. The work of Sonia Delaunay was part of the Simultanism or Orpheism movement, which tried to incorporate the feeling of shapes, colors, sound, and other sensory images into artwork. As the mother explains this to her son, he examines some of her better-known works, and gains a greater appreciation for the type of artwork and the colors and shapes of his own life. The book is produced by MOMA in New York, and includes reproductions of the artwork, as well as illustrations by Fatinha Ramos that capture a bit of its style while remaining realistic enough for young readers. The book is beautifully imagined and presented. It would probably be best used in an art class, as the style is introduced.
Tooth Trouble
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Anaya, Fatima
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The Carlos & Carmen series features twin Latino children in a warm-loving two-parent family. Each book contains four short chapters, designed for young readers just transitioning to chapter books. Colorful illustrations accompany the simple text which is contains many Spanish words and phrases which are clear in context, but also defined at the end of the book. In this adventure Carmen is losing her teeth, but not Carlos. This hardly seems fair. They try to trick the tooth fairy, but to no avail. Fortunately things happen in their own time, and Carlos soon finds himself in the tooth-losing business as well. I love this series, and it is great for increasing diversity in a collection. What I like most, however, is that the stories appeal to all children.
Over The Fence
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Anaya, Fatima
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The Carlos & Carmen series features twin Latino children in a warm-loving two-parent family. Each book contains four short chapters, designed for young readers just transitioning to chapter books. Colorful illustrations accompany the simple text which is contains many Spanish words and phrases which are clear in context, but also defined at the end of the book. In this adventure the children see another of their toys go over the fence, where so many have gone before. How are they going to get it, and the rest of them, back? A new neighbor moving in not only provides a solution, but a new friend. This is a wonderful series that helps bring more diversity to any collection serving children. What I like most, however, is that the stories appeal to all children.
Waiting For Pumpsie
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Wittenstein, Barry
Ladd, London
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 08, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone remembers how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for Major League baseball. What is less well-known is that some teams, the Red Sox for example, waited years before allowing black athletes a role in their organization. Jackie Robinson was in 1947. Pumpsie Green was the first African-American player for the Red Sox...in 1959. Told from the view of a fictional African boy in Boston, this is the story of Pumpsie's debut, and the people who yearned to be represented in the team they cheered for. Rich, expressive illustrations by London Ladd beautifully complement the clear and personal text, bringing the historical event to light and to life. This would be a good addition to collections, and a useful tool for proving that the war often continues after a single battle is won.
On The Night You Were Born
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Tillman, Nancy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 09, 2018
Averill, Linda
Parents will enjoy sharing this sweet book with their small children. The story talks directly to a child, pointing out that s/he is unique and how s/he is welcomed into the world by wind, rain, geese, ladybugs, polar bears, and the smiling moon. Musical notes that symbolize the child's name will need to be explained as they are part of the illustrations that depict the welcoming. The rhythmic, rhyming text will encourage child participation. Artwork is of a computer-generated collage technique.
Nathan
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Ouriou, Susan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 09, 2018
Averill, Linda
Nathan is a loner because a bully targets him and anyone who associates with him. During the summer a new kid moves into the neighborhood and becomes Nathan's friend, riding bikes, fishing and building forts. This is the summer Nathan's grandfather moves in as he has Alzheimer's disease. Grandfather briefly touches on his mother's life and history; she was a member of First Nation, an orphan who was sent to a school for Native children who were stripped of their language and culture. When summer concludes and school begins, Nathan stops to get his new friend but the bully is there and attacks him and then his friend. Nathan suffers some severe injuries that result in being temporarily out of school and in a wheelchair. His friend's family places the friend in a private school. There seems to be little progress is resolving issues or tying loose ends.
Dirt
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Orenstein, Denise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 09, 2018
Averill, Linda
When 11-year-old Yonder's mother died in a car accident the girl stopped speaking out loud and her father started drinking heavily. At school Yonder is bullied. At home she locks her father in his room at night, afraid that he will leave her and disappear. A wayward pony finds its way to Yonder's yard. She bonds with the overweight Shetland that she names Dirt. Yonder discovers that Dirt's owner is planning to sell him for horsemeat. She moves Dirt into her bedroom, skips school and sleeps on the kitchen floor. When a social worker investigates, Yonder is removed fro her home and placed in foster care. She runs away to try and save Dirt. Amid all of this drama her father suffers a stroke. Though characters names are contrived (Trudy Trumpet, Mrs. Prattle, Principal Flint) children may still recognize the relationship that develops between a mischievous pony and the young girl.
Armored Reptiles
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 09, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
You have to constantly update the dinosaur section due to both new scientific discoveries and wear and tear from high usage. This would be a good choice for replacing dated and battered books. In 32 pages the author explains the basics of armored dinosaurs and the two groups that fit this category--ankylosaurs and stegosaurs. Photographs and computer-generated illustrations aptly supplement the text and bones and fossils illustrate key points. Well-written and beautifully presented, this is a worthy addition to any dinosaur collection.
Lamborghini Aventador
Dash!/abdo [Dash!/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
OK, there's not much "there" there. This book reads like an advertisement for the Lamborghini Aventador. Bold and crisp photographs charge across double-page spreads accompanied by a line or two of informative text. Information about the car's appearance, features, and power are all briefly included. This is mainly eye-candy for young car enthusiasts, however. (Those doors are totally cool!) It is amusing to note that the first word in the six-word glossary is "expensive." Yeah. But young readers aren't buying it, they're reading about it...and drooling over it.
Breaking The 10 : 2
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Wilson, Sean Michael
Morikawa, Michiru
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Unsuitable
February 09, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Had I checked this book out before choosing it for review I would have left it on the table. I don't like to be exposed to constant iterations of the "f" word, and their use, and some of the themes of the book make it problematic for school collections. This is clearly aimed at adults. This is the second volume of "Breaking the 10." By "the 10" the main character means the ten commandments. After the loss of his wife and son due to a drunk driver, David is determined to attract God's attention and have a serious conversation with Him, by breaking every commandment. On this journey are two "friends". Mr. Black seems to represent moral relativism, not necessarily satanic evil. Mr. White leans on being good, and doing the right thing, but is loving and forgiving of David's bad choices and nudges him towards better ones. When he is left with only one commandment to break--thou shalt not kill--he takes a room full of very young school children hostage and threatens to shoot one. Surely that will get God's attention, right? There are deep themes here, and the stark black and white illustrations of this graphic novel suit the text perfectly. What is here is done well, it was just too graphic of a graphic novel for me.
Manosaurs : 1 : Walk Like A Manosaur
Papercutz [Papercutz]
Petrucha, Stefan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 09, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Want a wacky idea for a graphic novel (that really crosses line into terrific comic book?) Well, take an out-of-luck paleontologist and have him find some dinosaur eggs that hatch and then imprint on him...becoming more and more human as they absorb television programs. Now all these four different dinosaurs are walking upright, wearing pants, and trading witty repartee (a la Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles) as they try to be heroes but find it hard to fit in. Now toss in some aliens who may or may not have been well-meaning, and who trapped the evil creature responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs. Give that creature the power to turn curmudgeon into a comet-headed villain and then throw it all into a pot and stir. Does it work? Sure! C'mon, you suspended disbelief the minute those eggs hatched, right? Fabulous, crisp, action-packed artwork combines with a fun story and humorous little bon mots to make this a good choice, especially for secondary collections.
Multimedia Artist And Animator
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Labrecque, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 09, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
We can't just have books about teachers and firefighters and astronauts any more. It's time to expand our career sections with the new tech careers that are so much a part of the job landscape anymore. This book explores the wide-ranging jobs that can be found for multimedia artists and animators. Two artists are highlighted--a female multimedia artist and photograph, and a male animator and story artist (for Pixar) are both highlighted. Readers learn some of the terminology, as well as the skills they might need for these careers. Good schools are highlighted, and the need for both creativity and strong software skills is emphasized. This is an interesting peek into fascinating career possibilities that may ignite a spark in teens searching for their future.
Tales From The Crypt : 1 : The Stalking Dead
Super Genius [Super Genius]
Gaines, William
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 10, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
OOOH! Tales from the Crypt is back and ready to terrify a new generation. Crisp artwork with demonic creatures and dark tones dominate the pages as 8 brief stories are presented. Zombies rule, werewolves howl, blood is spattered and, of course, the Old Witch provides some social commentary. Let's face it--the stories for the most part are mostly just ideas, fleshed out (or defleshed in some cases) with the creepy graphics. There's not much in the way of character development or plot development for that matter. Doesn't matter. You don't read Playboy for the articles, and you don't read Tales From the Crypt for its literary value.
Movie Monsters : From Godzilla To Frankenstein
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Goddu, Krystyna Poray
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 10, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Monster Mania" series, this 32-page book examines the world of movie monsters. From Frankenstein to Monsters, Inc., the author briskly presents a variety of movie monsters. She provides information about them, some background, and some interesting tie-ins with real life. Photographs accompany the text. This is a fun, interesting book on a fascinating topic. It's sure to be a hit with young readers.
Trolls
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Magic, Myths, and Mystery" series, this 32 page book introduces young readers to the myths and legends behind trolls. Historical elements, behavior, appearance, and appearances in literature are briefly covered. Illustrations and photographs accompany the text. There are survival tips, as well as important troll vocabulary. The cover art is compelling and the topic is interesting. Unfortunately this is written by Virginia Loh-Hagan and I have found all of her books to be stilted, and poorly written. Sentences do not flow. New vocabulary is presented in one sentence then immediately defined in the next. There is no attempt to vary sentence structure. It is very disappointing.
Yayoi Kusama : From Here To Infinity!
Museum Of Modern Art [Museum Of Modern Art]
Suzuki, Sarah
Weinstein, Ellen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 10, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is producing some beautiful children's picture books, with the aim of introducing children to different artists and their styles. In this vivid and interesting book youngsters get to meet Yayoi Kusama and learn about her polka dots. The book includes a brief history of her art career so far, as well as lovely examples of her artwork. The crisp text by Sarah Suzuki is clear and compelling, while the bold illustrations by Ellen Weinstein are eye-catching and cleverly incorporate elements of Suzuki's works. Notes at the end provide further information about the artist. School art teachers will want the entire series.
United Way
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Marsico, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 10, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "How Do They Help?" series, this 24-page book provides some clear information about United Way and some of the humanitarian projects they support. Crisp photographs show smiling recipients of United Way programs. Questions are asked and answered. Additional fact boxes are included. This is a nice basic overview of the organization, and includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list.
Plants In Winter
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gleisner, Jenna Lee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
What do plants do in winter? A compelling, beautiful cover draws young readers in to this easy nonfiction book. Exquisite crisp photographs fill right-hand pages, facing a few sentences of factual text. It's all quite lovely, well-bound and well-organized. The only problem is that the information provided is extremely slight. There's just not much content here. I suspect if you put all the books in the "Welcome Winter" series together you'd have one good solid book. What a pity.
We Are Family
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Belle, Magnolia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In this "My Little Pony" level one book, readers are introduced to various family and friends of My Little Pony characters. Bright, cartoon illustrations accompany the simple text which has no plot at all. This is, instead, a book that shows that family can include friends and pets. it is simple and not exceptional. Still, it's going to be very popular because it's a My Little Pony book.
Pinkie Pie Keeps A Secret
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Belle, Magnolia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In this "My Little Pony" book Pinkie Pie knows a secret and has to work very very hard to keep it. This is hard for the talkative pony, and everything seems to conspire against her. Nevertheless, she holds true to a promise until the secret is revealed properly to everyone. This is a level 1 reader, and has as much substance as cotton candy. It doesn't matter. for some reason there's a big rush on My Little Pony books.
Bad Day At Pirate School
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Gohmann, Johanna
Von Innerebner, Jessika
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In "The Pirate Kids" series four short chapters filled with color illustrations follow a pirate family through their adventures. In this entry in the series brother and sister Percy and Piperare off to Pirate School. Reading a treasure map and wooden leg practice are only a few of the skills a true pirate needs. It's also helpful to solve a little mystery. This is a fun series for those students just moving up into chapter books.
Branded A Baby Killer : the story of Tammy Marquardt
Lorimer (Lerner) [Lorimer (Lerner)]
D'costa, Jasmine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
In 1993 Tammy Marquardt lost her young son, Kenneth. This was tragic enough, but she was later accused of murdering him and spent more than 13 years in jail before her conviction was overturned. Her story is one of justice denied, and sloppy forensic work. In this "Real Justice" book, the author explores the Canadian case, and the steps, and missteps, that led to Tammy's incarceration, and her eventual exoneration. While the author writes a highly biased text, designed to promote outrage and pull at the heart strings, minimizing Tammy's drug use for example, this is a fascinating true crime book that will interest reader are concerned about the criminal justice system.
Hero Dog!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lysiak, Hilde
Lew-Vriethoff, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Hilde and her sister Izzy are responsible for the Orange Street News. Izzy is the photography, and Hilde seeks out the who, what, when, where, why and how of news stories in her neighborhood. The fact that the two solve mysteries as they seek the truth behind stories is just an added bonus. In this, the first book in the series, baked goods are disappearing, or being sabotaged, just before a neighborhood bake-off. Who is responsible? Is it the neighbor's dog? Could it be a disgruntled contestant? Both girls work together to solve the case and make sure justice is done. This is a new series in the "Branches" group--transitional chapter books with short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, and enjoyable characters. Branches books are hot commodities at both my libraries.
It All Comes Down To This
CLARION [CLARION]
English, Karen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2018
Turpin, Sharon
Los Angeles Summer 1965–12-year-old, smart, bookish Sophie navigates being in the first colored family on her block in a very nice neighborhood. She’s excluded by the white girls until neighbor Jennifer, who’s also 12 and going into the ninth grade, becomes a true friend and calls the neighbor girls prejudiced when Sophie’s not allowed at their homes or pool. Adding to the summer’s complications include a new Jamaican housekeeper, who at first seems mean trying to put Sophie in her place; the disruption in their parents troubled marriage with the exposure of another woman; light sister Lily passing as a Jewish girl to get a job; Lily falling for the housekeeper’s son who attends UC Berkeley and does odd jobs for them; plus Sophie, already lonely in her own house, dreading Lily’s departure for Spelman. Sophie is not an angry girl, and has thoughtful, evolving responses to the unexpected racism she encounters i.e.when she’s not even considered for a part in a community play and when with her light sister and her dark boyfriend get stopped by the police before the Watts Riots. This is an important perspective on what it meant to be a shade of black in the mid-60’s that’s still relevant today. Some mature language and themes.
Meerkat
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about the African animals and their physical description, habitat, food, life cycle, and behavior. Photographs of the erect meerkats on guard outside their burrow entrances and the baby meerkats covered in fuzz are sure to elicit some oohs and ahs. Animal lovers will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Zebra
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about the African animals and their physical description, habitat, food, life cycle, and behavior. While most photographs show them in their habitat or herds, one close-up shows the zebra’s open mouth with teeth bared showing their close relationship to horses. Animal lovers will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Miniature Horses
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about miniature horses and their many roles from working in coal mines to becoming royal pets. Sure to win over animals with the miniature factor, horse lovers especially will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. Because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Clydesdale Horses
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about Clydesdale horses and their physical description, habitat, food, life cycle, and behavior. Horse lovers will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Styracosaurus
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about the Styracosaurus, their physical description, habitat, food, life cycle, and behavior. A map of the Western United States and Canada show where the Allosaurus fossils have been found and scattered photographs show actual fossils as well as the recreations models. With over 100 fossils at one site, scientists have been able to determine they lived in herds and had a horn from their nose and a frill of spikes to for protection. Dinosaur lovers will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Allosaurus
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone Plus series, students learn about The Allosaurus, their physical description, habitat, food, life cycle, and behavior. A map of the Western United States shows the three states where the Allosaurus fossils have been found and scattered photographs show actual fossils as well as the recreations models. Dinosaur lovers will snatch these books off the shelves and they are just right for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Ghost Friends Forever : 1
Charmz [Charmz]
Gallagher, Monica
Kane, Kata
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "My Heart Lies in the 90's" this graphic novel introduces Sophia and her brother Felix. Their parents used to run Campos Family Ghost Services, Inc. However, now they've split up. Sophia is living with Dad, and Felix with Mom. This split has created a division between the siblings as well. When Sophia meets an attractive girl ghost, and falls in love, she may be taking on more than she bargained for. That ghost would only be there if she was murdered, and finding that murderer will involve some danger. She, Felix, and a friend investigate, despite the risks. The artwork is beautiful and crisp, with some anime elements. The story is interesting and clearly leading into a series. This might be a good choice for middle school graphic novel collections.
My Bed And Other Home Furniture
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Greathead, Helen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Well Made, Fair Trade" series, this large-format glossy paperback book uses its 32 pages to examine how home furniture can reflect fair trade practices. Concerns about the environment, labor practices, sustainability, and waste are all addressed. Multiple brief case studies show how these issues can be resolved equitably. Bright color photographs abound. This is a nicely-done series that would provide solid information for debate teams, and for environmental studies. It includes an index, glossary, and website list.
Black Holes : A Space Discovery Guide
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Roland, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 12, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Space Discovery Guides" series this 48-page book is a cogent, scholarly look at black holes. This is not a casual glance. Indeed, the author goes into gravitational waves, Einstein's theories, current science and scientific speculation. How we discover black holes, what they might be, different types of telescopes and their ability to provide data, and more are covered. This is a thoughtful, interesting look at a fascinating topic. it includes photographs, artists' renditions, changes in theories, source notes, a glossary, bibliography, and index. It merits a place in any secondary school.
Vanishing Hitchhiker
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
February 12, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
The urban legends regarding the mysterious hitchhiker who disappears, often leaving something behind, only to be revealed as a ghost later, are well-known. Part of the "Urban Legends" series, this 32-page book examines various versions of the legend, considers ghosts and hallucinations, ponders the lessons these stories might be trying to teach, and even ventures into plants and animals that "hitchhike." Spooky photographs accompany the text. The subject matter is interesting and sure to attract young readers. Unfortunately, the writing is poor, lacks flow, and is stilted. I'm learning to avoid this author. On the other hand, maybe she's writing to a flawed script...
Zendaya
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "Famous Entertainer," this is a quick glimpse into the life of the popular Disney star. The 32 pages of this over-sized hardcover book feature a full-page photograph facing a paragraph or two of factual information. Readers learn about her family, early years, and career. Information about Zedaya's charitable work is also included. This is a bit of a puff piece, but young fans will find it fascinating.
Football
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This is an ABDO book in a series called “Sports How To” Each two-page spread has one or two sentences of information, matched with a photo. Profession teams, youth league and college players are featured. While this will be a hit with readers, the information imparted is what any elementary school student would already know. Might prove to be motivation for the reluctant leader. Includes T/C, bold print, labels, glossary and index. Other titles in the series are: Baseball, Basketball, Gymnastics, Hockey, and Soccer.
Avalanche!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Johnson, Terry Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2018
Fisk, Rhetta
This series, which includes titles “Overboard!,” Lost!,” and “Dust Storm!” are formula adventure stories in first person narrative. Ashley and Ryan are twins who go out ahead of their parents on a ski run and get caught in an avalanche. Ryan, always the best and most of everything, has a concussion and Ashley takes the lead in avalanche protocol: swimming with the slide, building a shelter, melting snow for drinking, conserving energy, etc. The purpose of the story is to reinforce all the safety steps in this situation as well as the other book topics in the series. Lexile is 610 and might be for struggling readers-no descriptive language, inference or complicated plot. Students who like “I survived” series will give this a try.
Shogun's Guide
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Chambers, Catherine
Pentney, Ryan
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 13, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Much in the spirit of the "You Wouldn't Want To..." series, this Hungry Tomato book is part of the "How-To guides for Fiendish rulers" series. Told in the first person, this a shogun explaining the rules (or breaking thereof) that are vital to maintaining his position. Cartoon illustrations, fiendish facts, and clever asides add additional information and perspective. Along the way readers will learn a great deal about Japanese history, famous shoguns, and samurais. Readers will both grin and be appalled as the narrator justifies his choices, building his fortune on the backs of peasants. Well, he is fiendish, after all. The book is well-written, fascinating, and fun to read. Readers will come away having been entertained and, all unknowing, educated.
Cao Chong Weighs An Elephant
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Daemicke, Songju Ma
Wald, Christina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Long ago in China an elephant was given as a gift. Questions arose as to its weight. How on earth could it be determined? According to both history and legend, young Cao Chong, only six at the time, figured out a method, using water displacement, that accurately weighed the elephant. The story is told here with humor and delight, and accompanied by bright illustrations with a nice Asian flavor. End pages include more information about Cao Chong and China, as well as activities involving scales and buoyancy. This is a fun book that shows students that children can sometimes succeed where adults falter.
Science Of Snot And Phlegm : The Slimy Truth About Breathing
Franklin Watts (Slp) [Franklin Watts (Slp)]
Macdonald, Fiona
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 13, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
I love Fiona Macdonald. She can take any nonfiction topic and make it interesting. In this case she focuses on the respiratory system and the gunk that resides there--snot and phlegm. She explains the process of breathing and the body parts involved. Then she goes on to expand on runny noses, coughs, the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia, colds, tonsils and adenoids, sinuses, and more. The information is presented in clear snippets, accompanied by color illustrations and lots and lots and lots of interesting and odd facts. Naturally there is also a glossary and index. This is both a fun and interesting reading experience. It would be a valuable addition to health collections.
Battles Of World War I
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Hamilton, John
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 13, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Using clear, cogent writing and careful research John Hamilton presents overviews of some of the major battles of WWI, and the leaders involved in them. First he introduces readers to the topic and the war, then carefully lays out the planning and strategies involved in key battles. Most important, he emphasizes the changes in warfare that occurred during WWI that led to massive casualties as old-style warfare was pitted against newer weapons and vehicles. Hamilton brings the battles to life as he emphasizes the cost of each, and the impact of the results. Historical photographs accompany the text. A glossary, timeline, and index are included. This is the series you want to use to replace those old ones cluttering up your history collections.
Better Together : A Book Of Family
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Joosse, Barbara
Schorr, Jared Andrew
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
Each page of the board book features a single animal facing a dilemma; a zebra facing a predator a crow can't reach a worm, a prairie do sees a snake. What the reader discovers when a flap is lifted is that family is there to protect, share, teach, babysit, The final spread shows a human baby that appears to be all alone but beneath the flap is a multi-ethnic family that demonstrates the same traits that were observed in the animal families. Rhymes have vocabulary that introduces the names of animal babies and names of each animal group. Round lines and bold primary colors make the illustrations appealing.
Lark And The Diamond Caper
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Deen, Natasha
Cutler, Marcus
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
Lark Ba, of Korean and Kenyan heritage, and her younger (by 10 minutes) twin brother are organized, perceptive and thorough when looking for clues and solving mysteries. Though Lark has dyslexia, it doesn't deter her, she loves to read books and solve mysteries. The first three chapters are focused on the children's pride over solving their first case and in trying to think of a trick for family night. In chapter 4 a pair of diamond earrings are missing from the Lee's General Store. The twins follow the clues and Lark, undeterred by adults who dismiss the children, solves the crime in chapter 9. The last three chapters provide entertaining details about Lark's family, her attempts to be best friends with a classmate who calls her "Baa Baa Lark Sheep", and the reward for solving the case of the missing earrings. End notes explain some of the words and expressions found in the story.
Bedtime Yarn
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Winstanley, Nicola
Mueller, Olivia Chin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
A little bear, Frankie, is afraid to go to sleep. "He didn't know where the darkness would take hi, and if it took him too far, how would he ever get back." His mother gently helped him sleep each night and have delightful dreams. She gave him colorful balls of yarn to gently hold while she held the cat in her lap, listened to music and knitted, using the balls of yarn the little one held. Frankie's mother told Frankie that what she was making was a surprise and "It will be finished when you are ready to let go of your last ball of yarn." When Frankie decided he was a big boy and ready to let go of the yarn, his mother gave him one last ball. It was invisible. In the morning he woke to a beautiful blanket that covered him with every color he had held. The digitized art work is colorful and the pages depicting the dreams are appealingly imaginative.
If Animals Said I Love You
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Paul, Ann Whitford
Walker, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
Large, colorful illustrations and delightful rhymes will make this an appealing read aloud for younger children. The animals (gorillas, whales, boa constrictors, impalas, lions, cheetahs, alligators, an ostrich, a spider, and a secretary bird all have large smiles as they demonstrate their way of expressing "I love you". Covering two pages the boa is wrapped around a tree branch with her tail around the babies on the ground. The text is "Hatchlings, come please. Time for a loving, squish-hugging squeeze." and the page devoted to secretary bird shows "love you" scratched in dirt and the text is "Secretary Bird would type with claw feet, LOVE YOU, warm tender words with a click-clack beat." Children will enjoy participating when the gorilla "pounds a loud chest, "slap-slap" and "whappity-whap".
This Bear's Birthday
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Capucilli, Alyssa Satin
Hussey, Lorna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
It's the little bear's birthday and papa bear means his growth and tells him he is getting bigger every day. Little bear decides he can do lots of things all by himself; get dressed for his party, pick apples for his cake, and make sandwiches. He does still need some help as papa picks up little bear so he can reach the apples and mama shows the small bear how to lay out the coat on the floor to put it on. During the party the wind blows the leaves off the trees and the little bear tries to put them back but when he finds it impossible he and his friends rake them into a giant pile and play in it. When it is time to blow out the candles on the birthday cake bear makes his wish, blows and says (his favorite phrase) "This bear did it all by himself." Young children will relate to the independence exhibited by little bear and the "I can do it myself" attitude.
Zebra On The Go
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Nogales, Jill
Rocha, Lorraine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 14, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, prepare to be dazzled by clowns and monkeys and ponies and acrobats! Everything at the circus is going according to plan until Zebra accidentally steps on Lion's toe. Before you know it, Zebra has run away from the circus to escape the wrath of a furious Lion, who's right behind him. The two run all over town with the rest of the circus trailing after them until Lion falls into the ocean. Will Zebra do the right thing and save his friend? The text and illustrations in this fun picture book are exuberant and will catch young readers' attention. It could lead to interesting discussions about problem solving and appropriate reactions, as well as be used to model text that is packed with descriptive verbs. A solid addition to large elementary library collections.
Golden Girl The Chicken
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Franco, Paula
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
Golden Girl, a chicken, is worried. She doesn't have a family and visitors are coming to the farm for family day. Golden Girl has three best friends; a goat, a pig and a cow, but she is sad because her family is at another farm. A horse tells her that her family is on this farm. She searches, but all she finds is her friends. When her friends try to cheer her up Golden Girl realizes that they are her family. With four chapters spread over 32 pages and some full-page, colorful illustrations included this would be an introduction to chapter books.
Murphy And The Great Surf Rescue
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS]
Lewis, Gill
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
The Puppy Academy trained dogs for important jobs. Murphy's special skill was swimming. He passed his first test, saving another dog who was in the river. When a new dog joined the pups at the academy, Murphy became jealous, he thought his friends liked the new pup more. When Murphy and the new pup were placed in the same class to be tested for the surf rescue badge Murphy paid close attention. At the beach Murphy saw a youngster who called for help. Murphy raced to save the child who was playing a trick and laughed at Murphy. Later the same child was caught in a riptide, all of the other dogs were watching a competition, Murphy was the only one to observe the child and wondered if he was pretending again. Murphy decided to try another rescue. He found the boy was really in trouble. He remembered what he had learned in class about riptides. And he recalled what the new pup (a surfing champion) had shared about surfing. Though tired, he got the boy safely to shore and was presented a medal. Dog lovers will enjoy this story told from a dog's point of view.
Tru & Nelle : A Christmas Tale
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Neri, G
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 14, 2018
Averill, Linda
This second book about the childhood friendship of Nelle Harper Lee and Truman Capote is a fiction account based on actual events. It details three Christmas seasons; the first in 1935 when Truman (11 years old), his mother and step father are in Monroeville, Alabama for a custody hearing. Truman's mother is awarded custody so he must leave his friends and return to New York following the hearing. Two years later Truman goes AWOL from the military academy where his mother has enrolled him. He arrived in Monroeville in time to see his relatives home burn to the ground. He believes he is bullied by the son of a Ku Klux Klan leader, he renews his friendship with Nell and kisses her for the first time, and hw witnesses how unfair justice can be when Nelle's father loses a case where black clients are unfairly accused of murder. That Christmas is spent at the jail. The final Christmas detailed is 19 years later when Tru is a famous writer and Nelle receives a gift enabling her to have the time to write. With some guidance, youngsters will find the basis for many of Truman Capote's stories and the framework for Nelle Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird".
Chrisopher Paul Curtis
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 14, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Level 4 in the "Blastoff! Readers" series, this sturdy 24-page book provides a clear, cogent (albeit brief) biography of Newbery Award-winning author, Christopher Paull Curtis. This doesn't just give the basic facts, but also explores Curtis' journey as an author, and important elements he incorporates into his work. There are plenty of fun facts as well as photographs and standard text features. This is a nice introduction to an important African-American author.
My Smartphone And Other Digital Accessories
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Greathead, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 14, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
What is "Fair Trade?" What does it mean? Why is it important? This book provides a clear an interesting introduction to a concept that considers more than production and distribution. Fair trade considers environmental impacts, workers' rights and health, global issues, sustainability, and reducing, reusing, and recycling. This book focuses on electronics, specifically digital items like smart phones, tablets, and game consoles. Information about manufacturing is included, as well as special metals involved. Case studies show both good and bad examples of production and how the items can be recycled. Suggestions for change are offered. Each book in the "Well Made, Fair Trade" series is a glossy oversized 32-page paperback and includes crisp color photographs, as well as a glossary, index, and website list. These would be useful resources for environmental studies, especially at the secondary level.
My T-Shirt And Other Clothing
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Greathead, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 14, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
What is "Fair Trade?" What does it mean? Why is it important? This book provides a clear an interesting introduction to a concept that considers more than production and distribution. Fair trade considers environmental impacts, workers' rights and health, global issues, sustainability, and reducing, reusing, and recycling. This book focuses on clothing, specifically t-shirts, jeans, flip-flops, sweaters, sneakers, and silk items. Information about the source of these items, as well as the material from which they are made, is presented. Case studies show both good and bad examples of how the clothing is produced, and suggestions for change are offered. Ways in which used items can be recycled are particularly interesting. Each book in the "Well Made, Fair Trade" series is a glossy oversized 32-page paperback and includes crisp color photographs, as well as a glossary, index, and website list. These would be useful resources for environmental studies, especially at the secondary level.
My Chocolate Bar And Other Foods
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Greathead, Helen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 14, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
What is "Fair Trade?" What does it mean? Why is it important? This book provides a clear an interesting introduction to a concept that considers more than production and distribution. Fair trade considers environmental impacts, workers' rights and health, global issues, sustainability, and reducing, reusing, and recycling. This book focuses on foods, specifically chocolate, bananas, tea, peanuts, sugar, and honey. Information about the source of these foods is presented. Case studies show both good and bad examples of how the food is produced, and suggestions for change are offered. Each book in the "Well Made, Fair Trade" series is a glossy oversized 32-page paperback and includes crisp color photographs, as well as a glossary, index, and website list. These would be useful resources for environmental studies, especially at the secondary level.
Prehistoric Predators
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Rake, Matthew
Mendez, Simon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 14, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Hey, dinosaurs weren't the only interesting and deadly prehistoric critters. This book introduces 10 dangerous and, naturally, fascinating animals that are just as incredible and fear-promoting. YAY! Double-paged spreads are devoted to the dimetrodon, inostrancevia, sarcosuchus, quetzalcoatlus, ambolocetus, andrewsaurus, entelodont, phorusrhacid, smilodon, and hyaenodon. What's fun, is they are presented in realistic illustrations showing them in modern settings, allowing readers to imagine the terror that would ensue if they were around today. A fact box for each includes a size comparison with humans, a pronunciation guide, information about where and when they lived, and some basics about their anatomy. The writing is breezy and fun, but highly informative. This would be a great browsing book, as well as useful for short reports. End materials include an index, timeline with additional information, and facts about fossils. This would be particularly useful in secondary schools, but fun just about anywhere.
Ramadan
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Ramadan is introduced to very young children with a sentence or two of general information with a large photograph to complement different ways people celebrate the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. There isn’t much depth (“The sun went down. Time to eat!”), but it is a good book for sharing to a group and to start a discussion. The photographs are engaging and show diverse people. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter, plus a page of labeled photos called Signs of Ramadan. There is a two-word picture glossary, nine-word index, and link to the publisher for more information. It is part of the Holidays series.
Figure Skating
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Labrecque, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
The sport of figure skating and the Olympics is combined and explained from different perspectives in each chapter. The first chapter explains the history of the sport and how is performed in the Olympics. The second chapter looks at geography or which countries are strong in Olympic figure skating and which countries have surprised the world. The third chapter covers civics or Olympic pride when skaters represent their countries. The last chapter focuses on economics or figure skating as big business with sponsors, fans, costumes, and prize money. Each chapter combines subtitled sections, captioned photographs of skaters performing, and occasional fact boxes. Students interested in the details behind the sport will enjoy this book if they figure skate or if they are getting ready to watch the Winter Olympics. There is a list of resources, short glossary, and index at the end. It is part of the 21st Century Skills Library with seven other winter sports.
Ice Hockey
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Labrecque, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
The sport of ice hocky and the Olympics is combined and explained from different perspectives in each chapter. The first chapter explains the history of the sport and how is performed in the Olympics. The second chapter looks at geography or which countries are strong in Olympic ice hockey for men and women. The third chapter covers civics or Olympic pride when skaters represent their countries, including in the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" and the Canadian "Golden Goal Game". The last chapter focuses on economics briefly since in 2018 the NHL will no longer let professionals play in the Olympics. Each chapter combines subtitled sections, captioned photographs of hockey players in action, and occasional fact boxes. Students interested in the details behind the sport will enjoy this book if they play hockey or if they are getting ready to watch the Winter Olympics. There is a list of resources, short glossary, and index at the end. It is part of the 21st Century Skills Library with seven other winter sports.
Valentine's Day
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Valentine’s Day is introduced to very young children with a sentence or two of general information with a large photograph to complement different ways to show love on the holiday. There isn’t much depth (“Sam wrote a poem. He tells it to Ellie.”), but it is a good book for sharing to a group and to start a discussion. The photographs are engaging and show diverse people, but sometimes they look staged. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter, plus a page of labeled photos called Signs of Valentine’s Day. There is a two-word picture glossary, nine-word index, and link to the publisher for more information. It is part of the Holidays series.
How Many Guinea Pigs Can Fit On A Plane? : Answers To Your M
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Overdeck, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
If you have ever wanted to know answers to intriguing questions that use math, then this is the book for you. Each two-page spread has wonderfully interesting questions posed by kids, such as "How many guinea pigs can fit on a plane?" or "When will I be a billion seconds old?" The question is answered mathematically and clearly explained with fun photographs on an interesting background. The questions are grouped into five chapters around topics like animals, food, your life, and earth. The sixth chapter has seven "slick tricks to amaze your friends" using mental math. This appealing book is great for browsing, but would also be a fun way to apply math in the classroom. In case you are curious, 472,000 guinea pigs would fit on a 747 jet as long (as they don't each have their own seat) since 13.5 guinea pigs fit in a cubic foot.
Fiona's Little Accident
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Wells, Rosemary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Fiona is so excited to share the volcano that she built with Felix that she doesn't go to the bathroom when the opportunity arises or when her mother asks her. Suddenly it is too late and she has an accident during her presentation so everyone knows. She is very embarrassed and hides, but Felix assures her that everyone will forget soon. Fiona joins the class after putting on new underwear her mother brought and soon all the class can talk about is how Victor almost swallowed his goldfish. Rosemary Well's well-known illustrations add humor and life to the simple story. Teachers will want to share it with young students because accidents do happen.
Rafi Y Rosi : Piratas!
Childrens Book Press [Childrens Book Press]
Delacre, Lulu
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Rafi and Rosi are two frog siblings who act like humans and this time they are at the Castillo del Morro in Puerto Rico. Rosi wants to fly her kite, but she listens to Rafi's pirate adventures. In the second chapter they find real gold pirate coins and give them to the museum. In the last chapter Rafi and Rosi play hide-and-seek in the Castillo del Morro. Fun illustrations on every page supplement the story. Readers who are venturing into easy Spanish language chapter books will enjoy this story of frog brother and sisters who play in a castle that was once attacked by pirates. There is more information at the end of the book about the castle, pirates, and pirate gold. There are two other Rafi and Rosi books.
Chinese Emperor's New Clothes
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Compestine, Ying Chang
Roberts, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
If you want another version of The Emperor's New Clothes, try this book that explains how a very young Chinese emperor tricked his greedy ministers into giving riches to help him feed and clothe the poor. The ministers are told that only dishonest people will see the emperor's magical new clothes as burlap sacks, so they are eager to prove that they see the magical clothes and that their clothes are even more magical. This is a charming retelling of the classic folk tale with wonderful watercolor, pen, and ink illustrations complement the story beautifully. The author's note explains more about Chinese traditions and about the author's life growing up in China. There is also directions on how to make your own Chinese New Year parade robe from a decorated t-shirt or pillowcase.
Starring Carmen!
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Denise, Anika
Gomez, Lorena Alvarez
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Carmen loves to put on shows every night for her parents with elaborate costumes and sets, but she especially loves having an audience. She only lets her little brother Eduardo be a lamp, but he loves being in her show. When her parent need a break from her show business personality they point out that Eduardo adores her. She decides to be a director and Eduardo is the star of the show. This is a slight story about appreciating others and Carmen is definitely the star of the show. The bright busy illustrations fit Carmen's big bright personality.
I Am A Cat
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Bernstein, Galia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2018
Burton, Paula
First time author and illustrator Galia Bernstein, explores the cat family. A small house cat named Simon is compared to all the other big cats; a lion, a jaguar, a puma and more. They all don’t believe that the grey little cat, is a cat. It doesn’t have a mane, cannot jump high, is not orange or black, and does not run very fast. Simon notices that only one of them has a mane, one is orange, only one other cat is black, and only one can run very fast. He asks the question; “How can you all be cats?” They list their similarities. Simon has all those qualities too, he is only smaller. Which means Simon is part of the family. A combination of nonfiction and a picture book with black outlined illustrations makes for a simple but strong message; Simon is not intimidated by the large cats. A good and fun read aloud that can be used in a classroom setting.
Hedgehog Holidays
Tate Publishing [Tate Publishing]
Green, Ruth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 15, 2018
Burton, Paula
Herbert and Hilda are two hedgehogs spending a day at the beach including a picnic, surfing and sailing. They take the bus out of town and there are lot of animals joining them in eating, swimming and other activities. Humor is found in the beach ball which pops because it is played by hedgehogs, and a crab who is wearing socks. Dark black outlines for the illustrations, a smaller size book than your regular picture book and the rhyming text, makes this a more appropriate book for a younger age. The illustrations although with a dark outline, would be mores suited to read with a small group or one on one. The characters could be used for more books on other topics and remind me of the Maisy books by Lucy Cousin.
Badgers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 16, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Young children can learn a few things about badgers with a large photograph and a sentence or two of general information. There isn’t much depth (“Badgers live around the world.”), but it is a good book for sharing to a group. The basic topics for animals are mentioned except for baby badgers. The photographs are engaging and close-up. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter, plus a page of labeled photos called Features of Badgers. There is a two-word picture glossary, twelve-word index, and link to the publisher for more information. It is part of the Nocturnal Animals series.
Gymnastics
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 16, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
Young children can learn a few things about gymnastic events and competition with a large photograph and a sentence or two of general information on every two-page spread. There isn’t much depth (“Judges score the events. The best score wins!”), but it is a good book for sharing to a group or for a beginning reader who loves gymnastics. The basic topics for gymnastics competitions are mentioned including events for men and women. Only five events are featured with a photograph and a sentence or two of information. The photographs are engaging and feature mostly adult professional or very advanced gymnasts who are mentioned by their first name only such as “Nan is on the vault. She spins in the air.” There is a table of contents, but only one chapter, plus a page of labeled photos called Other Gymnastic Events. There is a three-word picture glossary, very basic index, and link to the publisher for more information. It is part of the Sports How To series and is made for beginning readers who already participate in the sport.
Woodpeckers
Launch!/abdo [Launch!/abdo]
Statts, Leo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 16, 2018
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a great research book for beginning readers with clear informative text and supporting close-up photographs of woodpeckers in action. There are five chapters of two to four pages each including an introduction, body, habitat, food, and life cycle. Each chapter has simple sentences that give enough information for a beginning research report. The full-page photographs are uncaptioned, but are engaging, give extra details about the topic, and feature several kinds of woodpeckers in their natural environment. There are two pages covering length and weight of an average woodpecker with a comparison to a common object. There is a six-word glossary, basic index, and links to other information monitored by the publisher. It is part of the Awesome Birds series.
I Am Yoga
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Verde, Susan
Reynolds, Peter H.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 16, 2018
Burton, Paula
This is the board book version of the picture book with the same title. A series of yoga movements help a wiggly girl in the beginning of the book finding a restful place on the last page. The main character’s poses are easy to imitate by children because of the wonderful illustrations and explained with simple text; “I can soar among the clouds” or “I can sail on the sea”. Although the format is smaller than the picture book, it doesn’t lose any of its message. The text is short, the watercolor illustrations are vibrant and clear with the thin black outline working very well in this format. It could be easier to use when one works with a group of kids going along with the yoga moves described. The sturdy format of a board book would make this longer lasting in a preschool setting and maybe not appropriate in a school library. The topic of the book could still be appropriate for an older age group.
Strange Medicine : A History Of Medical Remedies
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Farndon, John
Dean, Venitia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 16, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "The Sickening History of Medicine," this 32-page book manages to stuff a lot of weird and interesting information about the history of medicine, from acupuncture to antibiotics. Cartoonish illustrations accompany the light-hearted but, nevertheless, factual text to make the subject not only palatable, but interesting for readers who will be both grossed-out and intrigued by some medical practices of the past. This is another fun "Hungry Tomato" book that will attract both casual browsers and those looking to write reports.
Do Not Watch
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Darke, J A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 16, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Sam's father loves to collect odd objects for his antique store. When he buys some memorabilia from the estate of a producer of horror films, Sam is surprised to find an old videotape in a desk drawer. It's called "The Gaunt Man" and says DO NOT WATCH. Of course Sam and his friends dig up an old VCR. This is a mistake. Now each is being stalked by the gaunt man of the video, who sucks the energy from his victims. How can they escape? It's up to Sam to find a solution, but the end of the book shows that the problem may not have gone away entirely. This is a good choice for young readers who love something short and shivery. Goosebump fans will be drawn in, and so will reluctant readers who will like the short, easy-to-read chapters. Hand this to a student who wants something "scary."
Fantasy Baseball Math : Using Stats To Score Big In Your Lea
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Morey, Allan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 16, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Some truly enjoy Fantasy Baseball, but are there things you can do to increase your results? Of course! Sports Illustrated for Kids delves into the math involved. The author explores statistics, showing how they are derived, and what they mean. Different positions are considered, and what makes them work best. Different types of leagues and drafts are examined. Of course, once you have your team you need to manage them effectively. Naturally there's a chapter on that. All through the book the math is integrated into the process, showing how it works in real life. Photographs, a glossary, index, bibliography, and website list are included. This will doubtless prove valuable to those who are into fantasy baseball and want to improve their teams.
Pickwicks' Picnic : A Counting Adventure
CLARION [CLARION]
Brendler, Carol
Kurilla, Renee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2018
Averill, Linda
A family of dogs decide to leave the noise, heat and haze of the city and head for the beach. They load their truck and the parents ride in the cab as the two pups, Pip and Squeak, ride, unrestrained in the truck bed and count the other vehicles as they are passed; 2 blue scooters, 3 squeaky jeeps, 8 hasty hatchbacks, all heading for the box-girder bridge. At the bridge they are all stopped by 10 troopers cruisers. It's "a mighty, mighty mess" but Peach and Pick make the best of it by putting up and awning, pouring lemonade and everyone joins in having a picnic while they wait for the bridge repairs to be finished. When evening comes, barricades are gone, everyone continues on their journey and the Pickwicks reach the beach. Colorful cartoon illustrations, a variety of vehicles, repetitive phrases and counting concepts will make this an entertaining read-aloud.
Would You Dare...? : A Lift-The-Flap Adventure
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Flyte, Min
Hunt, Matt
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2018
Averill, Linda
In this lift-the-flap adventure book the little explorer has something following him from home as he travels through the jungle. When he reaches a fork in the road or the river divides he is presented with two choices and the reader lifts the flaps to see what they are. Often the explorer doesn't choose either option but finds an alternative. When he saw a lion and a tiger he didn't have to decide which to pass as they got in a fight. He passed an elephant, rhinoceros, piranhas, crocodile, snake, and gorilla. When he got to a cave and saw the scary thing that had been following him he ran past all the ferocious animals, back to his home where his mom was waiting for him. She wanted him to brush his teeth. His last choice was between brushing his teeth or going back to the jungle.
Buster And The Baby
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hest, Amy
Dunbar, Polly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2018
Averill, Linda
Buster, the family dog, and Baby spend the day playing hide-and-seek. The small dog would hide; under the table, behind a chair, or behind a big stuffed bear. Each time Baby would find Buster and race after him while squealing. As the sun goes down Buster and Baby play ball I the fenced yard. But at night Baby gets tuck in her bed where she hides under the covers. After she is alone and settled Buster runs into the room, jumps on the bed, licks her nose and ears, then both yawn, cuddle and go to sleep. Illustrations are reflective of the text. The text is simple and repetitive so the audience will be chanting along during read-alouds.
Mouseling's Words
CLARION [CLARION]
Crum, Shutta
O’Rourke, Ryan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2018
Averill, Linda
Mouseling's family lives in a nest of words gleaned from the restaurant. His siblings have all left the nest but he is reluctant, not wanting to leave the words he knows. His Aunt Tillie tells him of all the wonderful words that are beyond the nest5. Armed with a hat, rope, map and a snack Mouseling is warned about cats then he ventures out, across a road and into a large building with "stacks and rows of blocky things". Children will realize the "blocky things" are books and that Mouseling has discovered a library. A cat helps Mouseling discover that the blocky things are full of words. Mouseling reads to the library cat. Bright, digital cartoon art presents many of the words as banners.
Pokemon
Children's Press [SCHOLASTIC]
GREEN, SARA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2018
Kline, Karen
Seven chapters of two and four pages each describe facets of the popularity of Pokemon. Snippets and factoids inform readers about the Pokemon brand -- it’s managed by Nintendo, Game Freak, Inc., and Creatures, Inc-- it sold $2 billion in products in 2015 -- and so on. Splashy color photos, charts, and character insets will capture the eyes of fans. The book scratches the surface about such topics as Pokemon movies, tournaments, and development history including Pokemon GO! A table of contents, timeline, and index are included. Publishing giant Scholastic capitalizes on the popularity of familiar “Brands We Know” in this series, and Pokemon is one of the 30 titles that also includes Disney, Nintendo, Star Wars, Barbie and more. Fans will pick up these books, and that will get reluctant readers actively reading.
Voices For Equality
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 17, 2018
Kline, Karen
Five short chapters in this book describe the protests that have led to women's right to vote, the fight for fair wages, the rights for equitable education, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of LGBTQ people. Captioned color photos and some historical black and white photos on every double page spread support and enhance the text. Each chapter focuses on rights in the U.S. with the exception of some mention about women’s struggles for equality and education in other countries and international Pride parades. Full page insets highlight various topics like Trump’s ban on immigration which begins with the quote, “It’s our right as a sovereign nation to choose immigrants that we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us.” The section goes on to describe the many protests that arose in response to the ban as well as the ban’s unlawful discrimination. The book ends with a ten point call to action that explains how to “Stand Up, Speak Out, and Protest,” mentioning that students should “talk to your school principal about planned protests at school and to stay calm because cursing damages your message.” A timeline from 1868 to the 2017’s Women’s March is appended, dozens of footnotes, bibliography, & more.
Stanley's Opposites
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Bee, William
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 17, 2018
Burton, Paula
Stanley the hamster is featured with opposites this time. There are more titles in this learning series by the same author with this cute character who would be attractive to toddlers; Stanley’s numbers, Stanley’s shapes, and Stanley’s colors. Dark outlines and bold colors bring this board book to life. Stanley has lots of fun activities with his friend Woo like painting “Stanley’s paint can is full where little Woo’s is empty”, or playing in the water “Little Woo is in the water. Stanley is out of the water”. Although there is no real story line the book starts with Stanley asleep and waking up and ends a lit bedroom and a dark bedroom. A fun read for the very little ones.
Crystal Caverns
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Charman, Katrina
Norton, Jeremy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Tag, Skyla, and Blaze (an owl, a squirrel, and a firebird) are on a mission. they need to find the pieces of the magic Ember Stone in order to fight an evil opponent. Naturally they face danger along the way. In each book in this series they have a new adventure as they follow their quest. This book takes them to the Crystal Caverns where they travel through an ice maze, face deadly ice leopards, and rescue a lost animal. This is part of the "Branches" series--short easy chapter books with plenty of black and white illustrations, designed for transitional readers. Unfortunately "The Last Firehawk" series is not as exceptional as other "Branches" books. The writing is a bit stiff, and the characters aren't well-developed. There are also a few plot problems. Nevertheless, children just moving into chapter books will doubtless find this acceptable.
42 Is Not Just A Number : The Odyssey Of Jackie Robinson, Am
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rappaport, Doreen
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 17, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Wow...just...WOW! This is a biography of Jackie Robinson, but not your typical biography. Doreen Rappaport has not only done her research, but has fleshed out the icon that is Jackie Robinson, providing insights that I have seen nowhere else. This is not a two-dimensional look at the common facts about the man who broke the race barrier in Major League Baseball. Instead, readers get a chance to truly understand his background, and how that impacted his adult life. The constant battle he faced against racism, and his unwillingness to "just take it," with plenty of examples from his military career and other parts of his life, make his self-control as a baseball player all the more impressive. As I read I kept saying, "I never knew that." The writing is compelling, bringing both people and settings to life. There will be those who object to multiple uses of "the 'n' word." However, it is perfectly appropriate in context as it was the epithet most often thrown at the ball-player. This is both inspiring and enlightening. Extensive source notes, a timeline, a solid bibliography, and an impressive index make this the go-to source for report-writing, but most will just read it for pure enjoyment.
Unicorn Power!
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Tamaki, Mariko
Allen, Brooke
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 17, 2018
Averill, Linda
The Lumberjanes are a group of scouts at a camp. The girls have a motto and earn badges like Peace and Quilt, S'more the Merrier, Sound of Muesli, That's Accordion to You, May the Forge be with You, and View to a Kiln. Roanoke Cabin's five girls had a habit of being easily distracted from tasks and assignments. Instead of cleaning their cabin the go exploring in the woods, discover a Unicorn who is lost, reunite hi with his herd, see a mountain, decide to climb it and when they do they find that it is no longer attached to the earth. There is no longer a way to go below the cloud line. How they cleverly entice the unicorn to the clouds and get them to help creates a unique twist. Young girls who are enthralled by unicorns will enjoy this story.
Shapes At Play
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Borando, Silvia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 18, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Smiling red triangles, yellow squares, and blue circles cavort and bounce across the pages of this enticing, colorful book showing how three shapes can be put together to form recognizable objects. Rhyming text follows the shapes as they travel. “Bounce! Bounce! Bump!” as the blue circles bounce into the large yellow square formed by a 3 X 3 stack of the smaller squares. The top yellow squares knock into the larger red triangle made up of 16 smaller triangles and “Uh-oh! We’re falling oooover!” “Hey, is everyone OK? Yes, and look what we’ve made! A BRAND-NEW Shape – hip hip hooray!” Houses, castles, fruit trees, and rockets are designed until at the very end of the book stands an orange diamond, purple pentagon, and green trapezoid. Concepts of colors as well as shapes are subtly woven into the deceptively simple shape book. Of particular note is the way triangles are assembled rotating the point so they fit together. The white pages set off the bright colors of the shapes and provide a clean look. This is a book that could be used to facilitate instruction or stations using pattern blocks.
Shapes, Reshape!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Borando, Silvia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 18, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Brightly colored, rectangular shapes are combined into a variety of recognizable objects in this simple counting book. The introductory page sets the tone with, “Mix the shapes up and move them around and they RESHAPE!” Readers then guess what buzzy things a pile of blue and yellow rectangular shapes of different sizes will form. 10 dragonflies, flittering and fluttering is the image on the subsequent two-page spread. Two-page spreads alternate between the numbers of colored shapes used with a riddle describing an animal on the first spread, followed by the next spread showing the animals. The numbers of animals formed from the piles of shapes becomes progressively smaller as the size of the animals becoming progressively larger until only “1 large Dragon, fearsome and fire-breathing” remains. Cleverly though, a tiny black and white animal scares that dragon. And this animal is revealed on the back end pages. Deceptively simple, the white pages set off the bright colors of the rectangles providing a clean and attractive appearance. This is a book that could be used to facilitate instruction, art projects or even storytelling.
Charlie Bumpers Vs. His Big Blabby Mouth
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Harley, Bill
Gustavson, Adam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 18, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
It's Career Week and fourth-grader Charlie has asked his father, the accountant, to come and talk about his job. He may have been a little hyperbolic about his dad's position in the company, but rumors fly and pretty soon students think his dad is rich and is bringing calculators for everyone in the class. In reality his dad loves numbers and Charlie is horrified to discover that his father has just lost his job. How does he come back from the mistakes his big blabby mouth started? And how is he going to recover from his desire to RUN in the school halls? This is exceptional realistic fiction with a character, and plot, that students will appreciate. The occasional black and white illustration help make the book non-threatening for early chapter readers, but the content certainly applies to everyone.
Fluffy Strikes Back
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Spires, Ashley
Asquith, Ros
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 18, 2018
Sepessy, Lona
Sergeant Fluffy Vandarmere’s job is to protect the world from Alien domination (i.e. Flying, stinging insects) but depends on Click, his right-hand cat to help monitor all of P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready For Space Travel) business. When a surprise attack overtakes headquarters, Fluffy and Click dive into the bunker where cameras reveal his agents overwhelmed by swarms of dangerous insects. Fluffy arms himself with flyswatter, flypaper and spray in hand and strikes out on a daring solo mission to protect his space pets against the invasion. Will Fluffy have what it takes to save the day? Ashley Spires, the author/illustrator of the Binky graphic series begins what I hope is a new graphic novel series sure to have readers clamoring for more. The mostly black, gray, and white panels with only a few splashes of color tell the story through minimal text written in narrative boxes and horizontal gutters between the panels and accompanied by a few escaping onomatopoeia sounds. Diagrams of the inside floor plans and the captions add a nice visual guide to the location of the actions. Plot twists and a satisfying conclusion wrap it up. Recommended.
Weird Disappearances : Real Tales Of Missing People
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Mccarthy, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 19, 2018
Averill, Linda
The five chapters in this Mystery & Mayhem volume relate the stories of the lost colony of Roanoke, Amelia Earhart, Anastasia Romanov, Percy Fawcett, and Solomon Northup. Readers will probably be familiar with the first three but less so Fawcett and his two companions disappeared while exploring the Amazon in 1925. Solomon Northup was living in New York state as free man in the 1800s. In 1841 he was tricked and sold as a slave. His chapter tells of his life, how he escaped and toured Canada, talking about his life as a slave until he disappeared in 1857 after one of his speeches. Each chapter begins with a map and a brief timeline and concludes with a page telling what else was happening during that time. A few black and white illustrations, a glossary, and a short list of websites are included.
Daring Heists : Real Tales Of Sensational Robberies And Robb
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Mccarthy, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2018
Averill, Linda
Part of the Mystery & Mayhem series this volume focuses on five robberies, each told in story format in its own chapter. Some such as the D. B. Cooper hijacking and the Great Train Robbery are well known. Two others covered by the author are detailing museum robberies, one in 1990 from a Boston art museum and the other in 1985 took place in Mexico City. The chapter titled "Queen of Thieves" tells about Fredericka Madelbaum who ruled New York City for 25 years as the crime queen. She was finally caught in 1845 by the Pinkerton Agency. A judge allowed her to post bail and she immediately fled to Canada. Each chapter is followed by a page detailing what else was happening during that time. This volume includes some maps, a glossary and a few websites for further information.
Meet Happy Bear
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Ballesteros, Carles
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 19, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Toddlers will be entranced by the changing face of Happy Bear and eager to sing a song, act silly and do something kind in order to cheer Happy Bear up. The center of the book has a hole cut out of it that shows the bear's face and any time the page is turned his face changes too, from happy to sad/worried/angry and back to happy again. The only thing that will cheer Happy Bear up in the end is a hug from his mom, which is sweet, but would feel more inclusive if it was his family instead.
Paintball Boss
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Maddox, Jake
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 19, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Quinton has been looking forward to summer, and the paintball competition. He knows his team is good, even though he devalues the youngest and smallest member, Adam. Adam, however, as an older brother on the five-member team. He has plans that can use his younger brothers unique skills to take their paintball team to victory. Can Quinton be the type of leader who can change tactics and listen to others, or will he demand the team adhere to his style and plans? This is a fast-paced, easy-to-read, chapter book with plenty of action sequences and good character development. there aren't that many books out there featuring paintball. This would be a good choice for enthusiasts, and for reluctant readers.
This Is Just A Test
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Shang, Wendy Wan-Long
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 19, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Sure, there's a cold war going on between the United States and Russia, but that's the least of David's worries. He's a Chinese-Jewish boy whose grandmothers seem to be in their own rather heated war, each seeking recognition for their side of his heritage. He's preparing for his bar-mitzvah, trying to figure out girls, and digging a fall-out shelter with one friend while realizing he's not being the best friend to another. Add in the rest of his family, and school, and life can get pretty complicated. This book is a happy collaboration between Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, which probably explains how well they portray David's identity struggle. Poignant, humorous, and authentic, this is a great chapter book that will keep readers involved, and leave them wanting more.
Open Very Carefully : A Book With Bite
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Bromley, Nick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 19, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
An interactive board book with delightful illustrations that will delight young readers and their caregivers. The book begins with the tale of "The Ugly Duckling," but is rudely interrupted by a crocodile who proceeds to wreak all kinds of havoc. Can the story be saved or will the crocodile devour all of the words? Some pages may be a smidge text-heavy for some toddlers, but they will enjoy thumbing through the pages even if they don't hear the entire story.
Friday Barnes, Big Trouble
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Spratt, R A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 19, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Friday Barnes, the quirky detective in a hideous brown cardigan, is back for her third mystery and does not disappoint! A beautiful Norwegian princess has enrolled at Highcrest Academy and within days precious items start to disappear. Could there be a connection? Is her dimwitted physicist father involved? Will Ian and Friday ever stop bickering and share a moment of romance? Fans of the previous books in the series will quickly devour this third installment, despite some over-the-top moments and infuriatingly idiotic characters. The humor isn't for everyone and, sadly, the book probably won't be plucked from the library shelf unless an exuberant fan book talks it, which is why it didn't receive a higher rating.
Underhand
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Mcisaac, M J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 20, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
It's hard when your older brother seems to get not only all the attention, but also the girl you like. Nick feels like he's always coming second. Because of this he makes some bad choices. Still, when his brother is accused of cheating and loses out on a lacrosse scholarship, Nick knows he has to clear his brother's name. This book is full of play-by-play lacrosse coverage, solid characters and a solid plot. I love the Orca books. They are designed for teens, have flashy covers, and are very quick reads. The writing is excellent, so they are a good choice for both eager and reluctant readers. This is part of the "Orca Sports" series.
In My Room : A Book Of Creativity And Imagination
Abrams Appleseed [Abrams Appleseed]
Witek, Jo
Roussey, Christine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 20, 2018
Burton, Paula
On the first page the reader should turn the book 90 degrees to read it. Another feature is the die-cut pages in the shape of a fat coloring pencil in different colors and textures. In addition the pages are made out of a sturdy cardboard, a little thinner than a board-book. A small girl proclaims she can be anything with her paper, crayons, chalk and her imagination. She is an explorer, princess, speed racer and more. From page to page there is a new adventure. She can also be at school or in the office. A little diversity comes to light when the girl and her friend switch roles in the wedding; he is the bride and she is the groom although the roles were traditional to begin with. In the office she is placed behind the typewriter but when she helps her kitty who is hurt, she is the veterinarian. The illustrations have a child like quality and are colorful,mostly, line art. A cute book promoting creativity, but does not stand out.
Missy Piggle-Wiggle And The Whatever Cure
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Martin, Ann M
Hatke, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2018
Burton, Paula
Missy piggle wiggle is summoned by her great aunt to take care of the upside down house and its animals. Auntie is the famous mrs piggle wiggle who decided to find her pirate husband. Missy has some magic in her too and is a perfect replacement to introduce a new generation of readers to the town of Little Spring Valley and its quirky characters. Missy has a knack for making potions and cures just like her great aunt and there are children and adults too, who need them. There is even a little romance between the bookstore owner and Missy that adds to the story. The story is accompanied by lively black and white illustrations by Ben Hatke, the illustrator of the well known graphic novels about Zita the Spacegirl. Using well known names as authors, Parnell is the great-granddaughter of MacDonald, and illustrator will get this series to the children and grandchildren of the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle readers.
Sharing Jam And Ham
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Alinas, Marv
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 20, 2018
Burton, Paula
Part of the rhyming word families series, this is the -am word family book portraying the main characters of the story on the cover; a clam, a ram, jam, a ham and a boy named Tam. The ram’s name is Sam and the clam’s name is Pam. In two sentences there is another -am family word included to say more about the characters. The story is simple and there is even some humor; Pam and Sam do not like ham, there is more for Tam. Colorful illustrations wherever possible. The dam, ram, and clam are grey. Tam is a diverse character which makes this a true 21st century book for beginning readers. The larger typeface and short sentences make this a good read for a beginning reader. All words in the -am family are in a bolder typeface. The end spread is a review list of all the -am words and a to find the rhyming words among the 6 illustrations.
Puritan Girl, Mohawk Girl
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Demos, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 20, 2018
Tucker, Merrilyn
A retired professor of history at Yale, the author, John Demos, certainly brings history to life. This middle grade historical fiction story is based on Demos's book for adults, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story from Early America. In the early 1700s, seven-year-old Eunice Williams and her family are captured by Mohawk Indians and taken to Canada. Due to one circumstance or another, Eunice is the only one of the Williams who remains in Mohawk captivity. Over a long period of time, she is no longer captive but is a consenting member of the tribe. Eunice can no longer speak English; she does not remember what her village or even her home looked like. One day, long into her residence with the Mohawks, Eunice's father arrives to take her back with him and she refuses. Eunice completely identifies with the tribe and loves them as her own family. Based on a true story, this is a story I cannot wait to introduce to my fifth and sixth graders.
K Is For Kindergarten
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
Dealey, Erin
Cowan, Joseph
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
More appropriate for families preparing a child for Kindergarten than a school library collection, although Kindergarten teachers may enjoy sharing this book with students during the first week of school. Each letter of the alphabet spotlights ways in which kids entering school may learn and be successful throughout the day, from leaving stuffed animals at home to learning numbers and letters. Each letter is also attached to a Kinder Countdown challenge that encourages families to practice various skills.
Snickerdoodle Takes The Cake
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Not much is better to start off the day than a slice of homemade lemon poppy seed cake, at least if you are Snickerdoodle. The young chinchilla knows he should stay away from his Na Na's birthday cake (there is a large "Do not touch!" sign on the cover, after all), but the temptation is too strong. He swipes one small crumb from the dessert, but that only whets his appetite even more. Before he knows it he has tripped over the dog and smooshed the entire cake with one hand. Hmm, was that an accident or planned? Luckily, he and his siblings come up with a way to fix the situation in time for Na Na's party. This picture book will have young readers laughing out loud at Snickerdoodle's antics and the large, bold illustrations make it perfect for story time.
Sam Visits The School Library
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Rustad, Martha E H
Golden, Jess
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Finally, a book about school library procedures and resources that is engaging and accessible! This picture book is divided into three chapters: Library Day, Picking What to Read, and Checking Out. Narrated by a boy who is clearly excited about visiting the library, the book spotlights a variety of different things students can do during their visit, like put a book on hold, conduct research, browse graphic novels, and listen to an audio book. It even manages to sneak in a tip about book care. The students in the illustrations are a variety of races, the librarian, Mrs. Lopez, is presumed to be Hispanic, and the classroom teacher is in a wheelchair. Adults might feel the diversity is a tad forced, but kids will probably appreciate seeing themselves reflected in the characters. This book will definitely be used at the start of the school year as an introduction to the school library.
I Don't Know What To Call My Cat
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Philip, Simon
Bailey, Ella
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
A fun idea that is executed poorly. The illustrations are crammed with so many details that they distract from the text and the protagonist is too clueless to be likable. By the end I didn't really care what she named her cat.
Hector The Collector
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Beeny, Emily
Graegin, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
From baseball cards to Pez dispensers, from stamps to stuffed animals, almost everyone collects something. On the way to school one day Hector plucks a smooth, brown acorn out of a crack in the sidewalk. Then he notices a skinny, green acorn and a short, chubby acorn and decides to stuff them in his pocket along with the first acorn. Before he knows it he has an acorn collection taking up residence in his school desk. When his classmates find out about all of the acorns they tease him and Hector becomes embarrassed, but their wise teacher prompts the students to think about their own collections, which helps them to understand that their collections are all different, they are all the same, and they are all beautiful. There are large collections meant for lots of people to enjoy, like museums and libraries, and there are collections meant to bring joy to just one person. This sweet picture book has many layers and will have students begging to share their collections with the class. It also teaches an important message in a fairly subtle way. A valuable addition to any school library collection!
Trains Don't Sleep
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rosenbaum, Andria
Gill, Deirdre
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Freight trains, stock cars, boxcars too, who wants to learn about trains? I do, I do! This lushly illustrated rhyming picture book will be read again and again by children who are fascinated by trains. Those who aren't interested in locomotives will pass this book by and may become disengaged if used as a read aloud in the library. This would be a great resource for primary classroom teachers doing a unit on trains, but I'm not sure that is part of any curriculum. Add it to your collection if you have a lot of train enthusiasts; if not, let it chug on by.
Where Oliver Fits
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Atkinson, Cale
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Too round! Too blue! Too short! Too pointy! Poor Oliver! No matter how hard he tries, he just doesn't fit together with the other puzzle pieces. He uses a marker to change his color and barricades himself with LEGO bricks to downplay his roundness, but the other pieces continue to taunt him. Then he has a stroke of genius - if he just changes himself completely, he's sure to fit in! His plan works, but not quite the way Oliver expects. Is his only choice changing himself to please others or can he find his place in the world by simply being true to who he is? The message is a little heavy-handed, but the story and illustrations are so engaging that readers won't mind. Everyone, whether child or adult, will relate to Oliver's dilemma and hopefully reflect on the ways they tamp down their own personality in order to please others.
Imagine
CLARION [CLARION]
Lennon, John
Jullien, Jean
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Gorgeous, bold brush and ink illustrations complement the lyrics of John Lennon's "Imagine" perfectly. The words themselves may ruffle some feathers (mention of heaven, hell and religion), but the message of peace is important and could lead to some very valuable discussions in the classroom.
Drake
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Whether fans of the singer or band profiled in ABDO's Big Buddy POP Biographies or not, readers will find the series informative and interesting. The text is straightforward and relatively simple without feeling formulaic, and large, colorful photographs and text features will pull in readers who may struggle with some of the vocabulary. After a page that provides an overview of the musician, information about the performer's life is provided chronologically through 2017. All the typical nonfiction features are included. This is a solid biography series that will appeal to elementary readers.
Adele
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 21, 2018
Threlkeld, Sarah
Whether fans of the singer or band profiled in ABDO's Big Buddy POP Biographies or not, readers will find the series informative and interesting. The text is straightforward and relatively simple without feeling formulaic, and large, colorful photographs and text features will pull in readers who may struggle with some of the vocabulary. After a page that provides an overview of the musician, information about the performer's life is provided chronologically through 2017. All the typical nonfiction features are included. This is a solid biography series that will appeal to elementary readers.
Triggered
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Grant, Vicki
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 21, 2018
Bateman, Teresa
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when you're a nice guy. Mick has broken up with Jade after 3 years. He loved her little brother, Gavin, who is often sick, and recognizes that Gavin will suffer from the break-up as well. Jade, however, is convinced that the break-up is a mere blip in their relationship. Each narrates alternating chapter in the book, as readers see events from both sides. At first it seems pretty typical, but gradually readers will see that something is "off." The ending will surprise you. As is true of almost all Orca books, this is a well-written story with short chapters, a solid plot, and compelling characters. it speaks to today's YA crowd, but can be read in a single evening. Reluctant readers will embrace it, as well as anyone who enjoys a solid story. The Orca books merit shelf-space in any high school library.
Love Letters Of Abelard And Lily
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Creedle, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 21, 2018
Datisman, Eve
Gr 7+ H/L 690L Debut novel. Lily Michaels-Ryan, a 10th grader in Austin, TX, craves normalcy and peace; instead, she breaks things, runs away from unpleasant situations, invades people's personal space, and arrives chronically late for everything. She is a slow, avid, reader living with ADHD and dyslexia. One of her impulses leads her to Abelard, a classmate with Asperger’s syndrome. They’re probably the only teens at their school who have read The Love Letters of Abelard and Heloise; they begin a text correspondence in which they quote the book heavily. In fact, the text sessions seem better than some of their real-life encounters. When Lily thinks she is going to lose Abelard, she goes into full destructive mode, which, ironically, heads her in the right direction. The novel is thoughtful. Lily, the first-person narrator, is feisty, funny, and introspective. Abelard’s portrayal dispels the erroneous notion that people with autism lack emotion. Entertaining, thought-provoking, and unsettling—in a good way. Fills a need for tales of realistic fiction, romance, and humor. Based on the author’s experience coping with ADHD.