Reviews for month


PERFECT SCOUNDRELS
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
CARTER, ALLY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 03, 2013
Dame, Anne
Book 3 in the Heist Society series. When Kat is hired for a new job, she doesn't realize all the crazy heists she will have to pull off this time – including breaking into the Henley (again!) and an unassailable bank, to name just a few. Lots of character development in this one, especially regarding Hale and his family. An exciting, fun read; hard to put down.
COMPUTER TEACHER FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
THALER, MIKE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
See review for The Bully from the Black Lagoon or The Art Teacher from the Black Lagoon by the same author. This title might be even darker than the others, and even a bit creepy according to the student listeners. The computer language--bites, menus, hyperlinks, boot, log, ram, browser (the name of a dog), and, of course, mouse, are totally misunderstood by good old Hubie, and may not be cleared up for the intended audience. And per usual he is happy to find the computer teacher has lots of fun activities planned from them in contrast to his worst imaginings. Some kids like this kind of humor.
ART TEACHER FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
THALER, MIKE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
See review for The Bully from the Black Lagoon by the same author. Again Hubie anticipates the worst with a new art teacher, but all of his fears are dispelled once he goes to class. Lots of word play again that might go over the heads of the intended audience.
ZERO THE HERO
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
HOLUB, JOAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Zero has always thought of himself as a superhero dressed in a black mask and red cape, but the other numbers from 1 to 9 don't appreciate him. They think he looks like a donut, is worthless, amounts to nothing, and can't be added or subtracted with any value. They're so full of themselves they don't notice when he disappears. When they need Zero for story problems, rounding up and to combat the infiltrating Roman Numerals, they miss him. He hears their call for help and comes to the rescue threatening to multiply the Roman Numerals into oblivion. This is a fun math book with lots to look at and many dialogue balloons to read by the numbers. It can be shared aloud, but might be even more appreciated one on one. Lots of word play and funny illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld in ink, pastel and colored pencil make this an entertaining and humorous educational picture book worth sharing.
BULLY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
THALER, MIKE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Hubie's overactive imagination tends towards the dark side when he shares what he's heard about the new bully Butch Pounder at school. As usual Hubie has misinformation, misused or misinterpreted terms. When he finally literally runs into the real Butch, he is big, but not the monster he had imagined. He's kind, is from the State of Pennsylvania (not the State Pen), and does have a lot of records (that he plays on a record player). There is more boy appeal in this story, but fans will probably like it.
LET'S HAVE A TREE PARTY!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MARTIN, DAVID
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
In lively, rhyming text Grandpa Crow announces he's having a party in a tree. A bit of counting ensues as the animals arrive to eat pizza and ice cream before dancing and playing music until the sun is set. When it looks like it's lights out, the owl and other night creatures swoop in to restart the revelry. This fun, light-hearted, fast-paced, rhythmic tale will be fun for group sharing with John Manders's watercolor, gouache, and pencil illustrations to match.
WHO AM I?
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
PHINN, GERVASE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is an oft told tale about an unusual creature that hatches out of an egg and goes in search of his identity. He asks each critter he meets if it can tell him who he is and where he comes from, but the giraffe, elephant, cheetah, rhino, and chimp do not know the answer. They only know their unique characteristics. When he comes to the alluring crocodile, he gets a positive answer, and is just about to climb on its nose when his mother interrupts and saves her baby. The astute reader will notice the creature changing colors and patterns with each animal he encounters, or learn that he's a chameleon when his mother finally enlightens him. Tony Ross's large, colorful pen, ink and watercolor illustrations meet up to his entertaining style. The last page and the end sheets add to the fun with a multicolored baby matching the many colors of his multitude of brothers and sisters. This is a fun take on an old pattern story.
Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar?
Henry Holt and Co. [Henry Holt and Co.]
Shannon, George
Paschkis, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Kline, Karen
We all love to take cookies out of the cookie jar, but how often do we consider what it takes to put the cookies in the cookie jar?? Readers are taken beyond the kitchen to multicultural places around the globe in this book where oven mitts are made, cookie sheets are crafted, and trains and trucks are loaded with farm ingredients to be delivered to a grocery store.? Sparse, rhyming text and a simple vocabulary will appeal to young readers, but the concept is complex enough for upper grades to appreciate.? ?It takes many hands to produce a product, and we are interdependent upon each other to complete our work and to enjoy the small pleasures of life ? even cookies!? Paschkis's colorful gouache illustrations in her folk art style are a perfect complement and support the text on each page with precision and detail.?? Teachers will find many uses for this book for units on everything from commerce to thankfulness.? Pair this book with Cookies:? Bite Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal for a philosophical discussion of cookies and how they make the world go around!? Positive reviews from Horn Book, Booklist and others for this Bainbridge Island based author.? (Review based on uncorrected proof.)
GAME FOR SWALLOWS : TO DIE, TO LEAVE, TO RETURN
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
ABIRACHED, ZEINA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Set during in Beirut in 1984, this striking graphic novel allows the reader to experience the uncertainties of life in a war zone. A young girl and her brother are waiting at home for their parents to return from a visit to their grandmothers house just blocks away. When an attack comes their parents can't safely make it home. However, the neighbors come to check in on the family and stay with the children as they huddle in a small foyer, the safest room in the apartment. Together the neighbors support and entertain one another with stories, food, and drink as the shells fall around the building. Eventually the parents return, but soon after the building suffers a direct hit prompting many to move out of the building that some of them have lived in for generations. Through words and engaging black and white illustrations this book shows the importance of community in times of duress and reminds us of the agonizingly difficult situations that people sometimes find themselves in as they try to carry out their lives. Winner of a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Award for 2013.
ANIMAL SCIENCE
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
DUKE, SHIRLEY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Covering animal science around food production, animal fiber production, service and companion animals, breeding and genetics, and possible future trends in animal research and the controversy around some of them this book touches on many subjects briefly in its 45 pages. At times it reads like a laundry list of possible careers from tanner, to aquaculture, to ichthyologists, and government testing regulation among dozens of others possible jobs. As a reader it was difficult to tell the intended audience. The information seemed too broad and shallow for report writing, and was scattered in its organization. Readers interested in agriculture and animals may enjoy the breadth of information, but if depth is needed around any particular topic they will need to look elsewhere.
THE FRIESIAN HORSE
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
GREEN, SARA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Horse lovers will enjoy this short but informative book on the Friesian horse breed. The physical and temperamental characteristics of the breed are discussed as well as the history of the breed which dates back over 2,000 years. During the mid-1800s the breed was disappearing. However a group of breeders worked to create the Studbook Society to register purebreds. Today the breed is well established with about 40,000 horse registered including about 7,000 in the American chapter of the society. Information on showing Friesians such as a "pleasure driving competition" featuring traditional carts and drivers as well as the horses being shown in dressage competitions. Also included is a page of famous Friesian Horses, a glossary, index and where to learn more including the publisher run factsurfer.com portal.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
DAVIES, NICOLA
BOUTAVANT, MARC
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
A young audience is drawn into the natural world through situations that are described and then are asked, "What happens next?" A half page is flipped and the answer is shown through illustrations and words. Predator and prey, an animal home, mating, communication, and animals using tools are all touched on in this very short book. The last two pages feature a collage of illustrations to help young readers remember each situation and outcome. It also shows a final "What happens next?" of a girl and her art supply and the picture she creates. Wonderful illustrations by Marc Boutavant, reminiscent of Golden books from the 1950s and 60s add interest and warmth. Readers and teachers should respond to this excellent interactive non-fiction offering for the very young.
HORRID HENRY AND THE MEGA-MEAN TIME MACHINE
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Horrid Henry is back in another transitional chapter book from England. The episodic books of four stories each feature an obnoxious young boy who always seems be entangled in one entertaining situation or another. In this volume Henry must suffer through a family walk in the country; he tricks his younger brother, Perfect Peter, to believe that he has traveled into the future; he is accused by secret note of wanting to marry his obnoxious neighbor, Moody Margaret; and he is forced to eat at a fancy French restaurant only to find he has a taste for escargot. Fans of the series will enjoy the goofy humor and over the top behavior of Henry.
HORRID HENRY TRICKS THE TOOTH FAIRY
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
SIMON, FRANCESCA
ROSS, TONY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Horrid Henry is back in another transitional chapter book from England. The episodic books of four stories each feature an obnoxious young boy who always seems be entangled in one entertaining situation or another. Henry can't seem to lose a tooth so he tries to trick the tooth fairy, unfortunately things backfire when he accidently swallows his real lost tooth. The second tale features Henry suffering through being a ring bearer at a wedding. In the third chapter Horrid Henry meets his match when Moody Margaret comes to stay at his house while her parents are on vacation. In the final story Henry makes a bet that he can make his new teacher run away on the first day of school before lunch is over. Yes, he manages to do it and even gets his little brother in trouble at the same time. Fans of the series will enjoy the goofy humor and over the top behavior of Henry.
MR. TERUPT FALLS AGAIN
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
BUYEA, ROB
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
The students in Mr. Terupt class are thankful both that their teacher has recovered from the coma he was in after being hit with a snowball and that they get to stay together as a class for another year. Told in first person segments from seven different students the reader finds about the changes in their lives during sixth grade and about what happens in the classroom. Like the first book there is turmoil, growth and surprise during the year. There is also healing as the now 6th graders learn to stand on their own feet to support one another. Readers who enjoyed the first book about Mr. Terupt's class will be happy to hear the voices of the same students and will surely enjoy this different, but satisfying sequel.
SHOW ME A STORY! : WHY PICTURE BOOKS MATTER : CONVERSATIONS
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MARCUS, LEONARD S
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Filled with interviews with great illustrators of children's books, this book is a joy for a fan of children's books to read. The introduction gives a brief introduction to the history of children's illustration in America since the 1930s. It then features a series of 21 interviews with children's book illustrators from America and abroad. The interviews delve into the intricacy of matching story and art to speak to an audience of children. The mission and passion of these illustrators and their chosen medium comes across clearly. Perhaps this might find an audience in a high school audiences, but really this is a book for adults who love their picture books.
SAVAGE FORTRESS
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
CHADDA, SARWAT
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Ash Mistry was certain he would enjoy his summer visit to stay with his aunt and uncle in Varanasi India, but after three weeks he was ready to go home. When a rich business man, Mr. Savage, offers his uncle two million pounds to translate a scroll that could unlock the ancient Harappan language his family is drawn into the world of Hindu gods and the rakshasa- (demons) that Savage has trained as his minions as he works to gain everlasting life and unleash further evil into the world. Ash discovers an artifact of the gods that Savage wants and the old man sets his rakshasas to recover it. In the process Ash's aunt and uncle are killed and Ash and his little sister Lucky, escape only when they are aided by a holy man with magical powers. Ultimately, Ash is forced to do what the Hindu hero Rama avoided in order to save the world from the evil that Savage wants to unleash. Making that choice may save the world, but it aligns Ash with Kali, the goddess of death. Full of violence, action and Hindu mythology this book will introduce audiences to yet another of the world's ancient mythologies. The book ends with hints of more adventures to come.
NORTH KOREA
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
RAUM, ELIZABETH
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Countries Around the World" series, this 48 page book has everything a budding social studies researcher would need to learn about the country of North Korea. The book includes sections on history, geography, government, economics, and culture. It should be noted that with the passing of Kim Jong Il, his son has taken over as leader. This is not reflected in the book, there is only mention that when he dies, his son, Kim Jong Un, may become the next leader; making this book out of date (hence the Ad- rating). Color photographs and maps enhance the understandable text. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, timeline, bibliography (Find Our More), and quick reference (Fact File).
SAUDI ARABIA
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
OWINGS, LISA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Exploring Countries" series, which is part of the "Blastoff Readers". The logo on the front cover identifies the book as a level 5 (which is for Fluent Readers). The book contains information about the geography, culture, religion, and environments of this middle eastern nation. With the exception of the cover logo and lack of information on the government, this book would do nicely for older students doing country research but needing a lower level text. The text is descriptive and well written. Color photographs and fun fact boxes will keep the reader's attention. The book contains a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography. Web resources are found on the publisher's website.
ADELE : SINGING SENSATION
BUDDY BOOKS [ABDO]
TIECK, SARAH
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Buddy Bios" series, this 32 page book will appeal to fans of singer Adele, however, there is not much information to be found. Each 2-page spread contains a few sentences, color photographs, and small boxes with additional information. Although she is a new star, there is more to her story to come. One sentence mentions that she is a mother, but gives no details about her child. The snapshot page in the back contains simple facts easily found in the text. The book includes a small glossary, contents, and index. Web resources are found on the publisher website.
NUCLEAR AGE
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
BENOIT, PETER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
A brief overview of nuclear development is described in this 64 page book, part of the "Cornerstones of Freedom" series. The book describes the discovery of radioactivity, the development of weapons, making electricity, the Cold War, and current issues (Fukushima disaster). Color, captioned photographs, sidebars, and an appealing layout will attract readers. However, the opening sentence "Did you know that studying history can be fun?" seem to belittle the reader. The book also references Kim Jong-Il, who has passed away, making this book a bit out of date. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, index, glossary, and links to primary sources.
AUSTRALIA
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
BLASHFIELD, JEAN F
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Australia is an amazing country and this book explains why. The 144 page book in the "Enchantment of the World" series cover the geogrpahy, history, economy, culture, and environment. The book describes the aboriginal people and their relationship to Australia. The text is well-written and enhanced by beautiful captioned color photographs, tables, and sidebars. The book is perfect for country research and contains a table of contents, index, timeline, reference section, bibliography, and author information. This is the book to buy if you need to update your Australia (994) section.
IRAQ
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
SONNEBORN, LIZ
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The Middle Eastern country of Iraq is explored in this 144 page book, part of the "Enchantment of the World" series. The geography, history, environment, culture, government, and economy are described in well-written text. Color photographs are found throughout the book, along with maps and charts. There is a chapter on the relationships between the different ethnic groups in the country. The book includes a table of contents, index, timeline, reference section, bibliography, and author information. Perfect for country research projects. One caution, this book contains events through 2011, and the sections on government and economics may change in the near future, making this book quickly out-of-date.
ISRAEL
Childrens Press [SCHOLASTIC]
YOMTOV, NEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Enchantment of the World" series, this 144 page book explores the country of Isreal. The book covers the countries' geogrpahy, history, economy, culture, and environment. Special emphasis the put on the formation of Israel and on the religions and beliefs of the people (including Jewish, Muslim, Christian). The book is understandable and contains color photographs, charts, and sidebars with more detailed information. The book will work well for country research because it contains a table of contents, index, timeline, quick reference section, bibliography, and author information. Buy as you update your Middle East section.
Ancient Greece
Kingfisher [Kingfisher]
Steele, Philip
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Navigators" series, this book will be useful for research on the Ancient Greek civilization as well as the casual browser. The book consists of two page spreads. Each spread covers one topic (i.e. architecture, Sparta, Olympics, etc). A well-written paragraph introduces the topic. Then the reader is allowed to read captions and notes around the colorful, engaging illustrations. Each spead also has a URL that the reader can use to find more information (URL go to various sites, not just the publisher's site). The book is complete with a table of contents, index, and glossary. The book ends with a page titled "Investigate" which gives the reader suggestions for furthur study. Buy this book to update your ancient world section.
ASTRONOMY
Rosen Education Service [Rosen Education Service]
HOLLAR, SHERMAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This is the first book in the "Solar System" series by Britannica. The 96 page book gives the reader an introductory look at this fascinating field. The well-written text explain some complex topics, such as, big bang theory. The history of astronomy, the different fields within the discipline, and how amatuer astronomers can move the field forward are all covered. Beautiful color illustration complement the text. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography. Perfect for students who want to take their interest in the stars to a new level. Buy if you are upgrading this section of your middle or high school library.
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A BAKER'S DOZEN? AND OTHER INTERESTING
SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
BUSSIERE, DESIREE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sandcastle: Let's Measure More" transitional reader series, this 24 page mini book seems to be a reference book pretending to be a something else. Each two page spread contains the definition of a unit of measure (cubit, ream, watt, gross, baker's dozen) and a simple sentence of a child using that measurement. The color photographs attempt to show the measurement but many fail (the gross of pencils doesn't look anything close to 144). There is a true/false quiz at the end. Considering the cost and the quality, this is a marginal purchase at best.
THOMAS EDISON : INCREDIBLE INVENTOR
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [ABDO]
SPRUNGER, REED
SPRUNGER, REED
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
The incredible Thomas Edison's story is told in this well written book. The 32 page book is part of the "Beginner Biographies" series. It tells of the inventor's life and his many creations. It also explains that while he didn't invent the light bulb, he did come up with a light bulb for everyday use. On every two page spread clear and understandable text is found on one side and a color illustration is on the other. Perfect for younger readers. The book contains all of the standard non-fiction features: contents, index, glossary, timeline, and bibliography. Web resources are found on the publisher's site.
SOUTH KOREA
ESSENTIAL LIBRARY [ABDO]
FORAN, RACQUEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 04, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Countries of the World" series, this well-written book contains a vast amount of information about the Asian nation of South Korea. The book has information about the geography, history, culture, government, fauna, economics, and relation with North Korea. Color photographs are found throughout the book. Side bar boxes contain even more detailed information. Fast facts, contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography, detailed source notes, and index will serve research needs. Buy if you are updating your Asia section. 144 pages.
BUDDY
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
KLIMO, KATE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
For an easy chapter book, you can't go wrong with Buddy. The Dog Diaries series looks a life from a dog's perspective, and in the case of Buddy no ordinary dog. Buddy was the first guide dog in modern history. Trained in Switzerland, Buddy moved to Nashville to be the constant compaion of Morris Frank, a blind man who eventually opened up "The Seeing Eye," the first guide dog school. Buddy, who is first known as Kiss and trained as a sheepdog, sees learning to be a guide as a game, but it is no game when she arrives in the United States and reporters test her and Morris by making her lead him across the busiest street in the country. Buddy's perspective is not schmaltzy or overdone and she is in fact the perfect narrator for her story. Occasional black and white illustrations add the perfect touch. In the back, a short history section contains photographs of the real Buddy and the real Morris Frank and adds web links for further searching. There is also information about how guide dogs are trained today and how one can apply to host puppies who will be trained as guide dogs. An introductory chapter to the next book in the series leaves readers wanting more. In the crowded field of early chapter books, the Dog Diaries series will stand out and these books will be well worth the purchase for most libraries.
CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
SCHULZ, CHARLES M
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
This picture book version of the much-loved Christmas special suffers from comparison to the original. The dialogue is mostly straight out of the film, but the narration is somewhat awkwardly worded, as though someone was trying to describe what is happening onscreen. Charles M. Schulz is given an author credit, although his contributions to this particular project, probably because he wrote the film. The illlustrations are mostly copies of the film, but the famous Christmas tree has no green on it at all and bizarrely Peppermint Patty makes an appearance and says some of the lines Violet does in the film, although Peanuts enthusiasts know Peppermint Patty did not make her Peanuts debut until after "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was aired on television in 1965. Some of the wittier dialogue, including Pigpen's scene as the innkeeper, is cut out completely. For those wanting to get into the spirit of Christmas with Charlie Brown this may make an okay read, but don't be surprised if readers head back to the original TV special for their holiday Charlie Brown fix.
WAR DOGS : CHURCHILL AND RUFUS
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
SELBERT, KATHRYN
MARKS, ALAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
This delightful picture book takes a minute or two to get into, but is well worth the trip. Don't know much about Churchill or Britain during the Second World War? You will love hearing all about them from Rufus, Churchill's pet poodle. From the beginning, Rufus is in on it all, in the office, listening to Churchill tell him about the events. As Churchill must retreat to his secret office under London, Rufus goes with him. Each page has a few lines of text, told in third person from Rufus's perspective, and then a quote by Churchill taking the reader right into the action. The illustrations take you into Churchill's office and into the dark of London during the Blitz. Rufus is there when Churchill and Roosevelt plan out D-Day, and the illustration captures it. After cheering the victory with crowds in London, Churchill can once again walk with his wife and Rufus in the country. Rufus's eyes are a great view into war on the homefront and from the Houses of Parliament. Back matter includes a timeline, numerous sources and further reading, a note on Churchill and a note specfically on Churchill and poodles. While the title is a bit confusing (I didn't know Churchill was called a bulldog and kept looking for another dog in the story), and the younger readers may need an adult's help to decipher the extensive timeline, this is still well worth the addition for those interested in Churchill, World War Two London, or poodles.
LANGSTON HUGHES
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
ANDERSON, JENNIFER JOLIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the "Great American Authors" series, which is part of ABDO's "Core Library," this sturdy 48-page biography is part of a series that includes Louisa May Alcott, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman. Hughes' interesting life is clearly outlined in five chapters, from his early life to his death, with photos that must have taken some researching to find, including one of Hughes as a busboy when he became known as the "busboy poet" in 1925. Throughout the book, readers are asked to think critically about what they are reading. Sidebars give historical context and two "Straight to the Source" sections share a poem or an excerpt of one and ask the reader for analysis. A two page "Stop and Think" spread invites the reader to all kinds of extended learning opportunities, from creative writing, to research extension, to summarizing activities. One "Further Evidence" section invites readers to look at a different source to corroborate what they are reading. Back matter includes key dates, important works, a glossary, further reading (books and then a link to ABDO's website, although other web resources are listed in the text) and an index. This book stands alone as a great biography, and adding critical thinking skills lessons will make it great for classroom use.
SKIT-SCAT RAGGEDY CAT : ELLA FITZGERALD
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
ORGILL, ROXANE
BLAKE, QUENTIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Ella Fitzgerald's journey from dancing to her mother's phonograph to releasing her first single, "A Tisket A Tasket," was not an easy one, and this wonderfully illlustrated biography shows the pain of her circumstance and her joy in singing. Longer and meatier than a picture book biography but short and simple in eight chapters, this is a vibrant addition to biography collections. Left homeless as a teenager, Ella doesn't have pretty clothes or a pretty hairstyle and is in fact a pretty raggety cat. In the end, after a few successful amateur nights, she finds her way onstage with the Chuck Webb band, and eventually writes their first hit single, based on an old nursery rhyme, harkening back to her childhood dancing in her mother's kitchen. Many readers who have felt out of place will relate to Ella. Coretta Scott King honor illustrator Sean Qualls (Before John Was a Jazz Giant, Dizzy) perfectly captures Ella's transition from street kid to fancy swing singer. For those who want more, an extensive bibliography includes further reading, listening, and viewing, as well as web resources. A full index is also included.
ARTSY-FARTSY AUCTION
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
MULLARKEY, LISA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the Katharine the Almost Great series, this is fine as a standalone volume. Katharine's school is holding an art auction where student art will be bid on and purchased by other students to raise money for charity, and Katharine has been chosen to create a work of art, a popcorn bowl slightly chewed on by little brother Jack and, with teeth marks, perfect for monster movie night. But the fact that only one person has bid on her bowl is not Katharine's biggest problem. Her biggest problem is arch-rival "Miss Priss-a-poo" Vanessa outbidding her for the art project commemorating everyone's favorite celebrity. Katharine has managed to figure this out despite the secrecy of the auction and without becoming a CG or Cheatie Girl. And then there's her cousin Crockett, who is living in Katharine's house with his mom right now and his dad is never around when he promises to be. Once Katharine hatches an auction-related plan to help cheer Crockett up, the other drama fades to the background...almost. But all's well that ends well as the Artsy Fartsy auction comes to a close. This solidly bound and plainly illustrated early chapter book will hardly stand out, but for chapter book collections needing a boost it is a solid choice as many readers will relate to the exploits and challenges of Katharine the Almost Great. Instructions on creating the perfect-o popcorn bowl are in the back.
COSTUME CRAZINESS
GRAPHIC PLANET [ABDO]
EVANS, DUSTIN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
This short form (32 page) graphic novel from Magic Wagon, a division in ABDO, is second in a series but you won't need the whole series. A brief introductory page (oddly mostly text with a simple illustration) introduces new readers to the series to the premise: there is a magical pencil that will bring to life whatever has been drawn with it, and it is right now missing. It turns up in the hands of a classmate of the first book's protagonist, who has been tasked with drawing the costumes for the upcoming class play, including a flying pig which quickly comes to life and flies all over the school. Drawing a farmer (complete with farm) to rein it in does no good. In fact, there is only one solution, the solution that was introduced to us in the summary of the previous book: draw a world in which this coming-to-life drawing has never happened. Quick as a wink the kids are onstage, taking bows, and all has been forgotten by everyone who saw their mishap (except, of course, for them). The science teacher, working backstage, spies the pencil, which he needs for an upcoming science project and sets us up for the whole thing to happen again. It doesn't take much deducing to figure that other volumes in the series (A Medieval Mess, Dinosaur Drama, and Raging Robots) all have essentially the same plot. The illustrations are fun, the print is large enough to read for young readers, there is a handy "How to Draw a Flying Pig" page and the self portrait in the about the author section is fun, but with no real plot to speak of, this well-bound ABDO title will probably never wear out.
YOU NEVER HEARD OF WILLIE MAYS?!
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
WINTER, JONAH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Thel lenticular cover of Willie Mays swinging the bat draws readers into this fantastic picture book biography. Mays, who started playing in the Negro Leagues at age 15 when baseball was still segregated, is considered to be one of the best baseball players of all time. This book follows him from his childhood idolizing Joe DiMaggio, all the way to his professional career with the New York Giants. Told in the voice of a storyteller and illustrated with wonderful muted paintings by prolific illustrater Jonah Winter, this book hits on all the highlights of Mays' career: his start in the Negro Leagues and transition to the majors at age 20, "The Throw," "The Catch," how his career was interrupted by military service, and how he bounced back as good as ever. Social and political issues are addressed lightly, such as the troubles with segregation in Mays' early career, and how in 1954 most fans actually watched him make "The Catch," as television had finally reached a wide audience. But this isn't a book about opression or its time as much as it is about Mays, a big kid leaving the Polo Grounds after a game and going back to his neighborhood to play ball with kids in the street. Back matter includes full stats, a glossary, sources for statistcs, and notes about which calls in the book are actual radio play-by-plays and which have been constructed. Also available: "You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!" about one of baseball's Jewish pioneers. Young baseball fans can only hope these are only the beginning of a longer series.
Army Night Stalkers
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Gordon, Nick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Part of the Epic U.S. military series, this brief 24-page overview covers the special ops aviation unit called The Night Stalkers. Digitally enhanced photos of helicopters and gear make this a visually appealing book, although the information is sparse. Further reading, including websites and books, is included in the back for readers wishing for more, and a glossary and index are also included. Will definitely find readers, but is at best a surface level overview of the topic for more reluctant readers.
HEALTHY KIDS
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
AJMERA, MAYA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
Global Fund for Kids has published a number of kids' books like this one, probably the most notable being "To Be a Kid," and those familiar with those titles will recognize the format of this book. Photos from around the world show kids doing what kids do to stay healthy, including brushing teeth, washing hands and faces, and using the toilet (sure to be a crowd pleaser with read-aloud groups). The photos, from over two dozen countries (represented by a map in the back), show kids from very young to preteens in all manner of community and family groups, all smiling and enjoying sharing their world. The text is simple and straightforward, but with a few challenging words "We eat nourishing food. Sometimes we get a sweet treat!" The foreward, by Melinda Gates, talks about the difficulties children have in getting necessities, but it is somewhat confusing when followed by so many smiling kids, and somewhat redundant, because material in the back goes into detail about what kids need and how we can help. Kids, who are natural voyeurs, will appreciate the pictures of kids like them but will need an adult's help to access the back matter. Also, they will need to look gently at this book, because after just a few readings, stitches were already visible and will not likely hold up to too much love.
GLOBAL BABY GIRLS
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
NIHOFF, TIM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
The Global Fund for Children, who brought you Global Babies, are back in this cheerful and rich little board book that is complex in its simplicity. Baby girls from Benin, Peru, Bolivia, China, the USA, Russia, Liberia, and a half-dozen other countries are pictured being babies...laughing frowning, smiling, crawling, etc., all in up-close shots focused primarily on faces. Perfectly geared to an infant's developmental need for face time and aware of the fact that baby girls are not always valued in all parts of the world, this book is a social lesson and the perfect lapsit (or chewable) for babies in one. Most of the pictures are not decidedly feminine, and we know that these babies are girls mostly because we are told they are. Simple text explains that girls are strong and beautiful and can grow up to be anything. Probably not a good choice for most school libraries unless they serve an early pre-K population, but the perfect gift choice for any baby, boy or girl, under 2.
SUZANNE COLLINS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
WHEELER, JILL C
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Dersch, Kris
This text-heavy 24-page volume contains a lot of information for a pretty short book. Part of the Children's Authors series by ABDO (which has a volume for pretty much any big-name author you can think of), it gives a pretty good overview of Suzanne's early life, why she was interested in writing war stories (she's a military kid fascinated early by Greek mythology), and how she became a TV writer for kids' shows on Nickelodeon. Each double page spread is it's own section: one for her early life, one for her early influences, etc. While the Gregor series has one section, the Hunger Games is covered in three: one for the books, one for the phenomenon, and one for the controversy. And therein lies this book's biggest problem. While the text admits that Collins' most popular series is definitely for readers 12 and up, this book is clearly aimed at readers in the 8-12 range if not younger, making one wonder if this book will ever find its audience. A glossary, link to ABDO's web resources, and index (although no print sources or even a comprehensive reading list) are included.
SCHOOL RULES FOR DIVA DUCK
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
LEVY, JANICE
MADDEN, COLLEEN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
The title character lives up to her name as an annoying diva, who is full of herself and doesn't take school seriously. Consequently she doesn't learn much as she's busy putting school down, making wise "quacks" and tweeting to all her fans. Ultimately she's embarrassed by her poor performance on a spelling test that lets others know she can't read and is behind in math. Her spunky personality responds with putting her energy into studying and turning her academics around. Some cautions about the inclusion of "School's for fools" (her initial attitude) and later "wiggling her butt." Children will notice these inappropriate terms. The lively, colorful illustrations have kid appeal, and the end message is worthwhile. The book ends with three discussion questions. Some of the word play may be lost on the child reader, but not the adults.
DESMOND AND THE VERY MEAN WORD
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
TUTU, DESMOND
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
The book starts with a recent photo of Desmond Tutu opposite a letter to the reader explaining how when he was a child mean things were sometimes said about the color of a person's skin. Desmond is so proud of his new bicycle he's off to tell Father Trevor, the kind, loving man who cares about all people. Desmond loses this excitement when a gang of boys, spearheaded by a tall red-head, shout a mean word at him. Father Trevor understands how this has hurt Desmond's feeling, but Desmond isn't ready to forgive the boys. The priest warns that "getting back" is self-perpetuating. After Desmond shouts a mean word at the boys, he becomes more depressed and not vindicated. When Desmond sees the red-haired boy bullied and embarrassed by his older brothers, feeling sorry for him makes it easier for Desmond to take the first step in approaching the boy to apologize. The lesson of how forgiveness frees the forgiver can be is easily understood by elementary readers. A photograph of Father Trevor and Louis Armstrong end the book with Desmond Tutu explaining how this archbishop was his mentor and hero. Most readers Gr. 1-3 gave this a thumbs up, and on a scale of 1-5, some gave it a 7!! A. G. Ford's large, oil paintings make this a great story for group sharing, and the message is one worth sharing again and again.
FISH FOR JIMMY : BASED ON ONE FAMILY'S EXPERIENCE IN A JAPAN
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
YAMASAKI, KATIE
ANGARAMO, ROBERTA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is an important book based on a true story inspired by the author's great-grandfather's experience. Jimmy and his older brother Taro had a happy life near the Pacific Ocean in California where their father ran a vegetable market. This life is disrupted when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and that night their father is taken away leaving Taro as the man of the house. When they and others of Japanese descent are uprooted from their homes and taken to an internment camp, Taro tries to find a solution to Jimmy's waning appetite. He cleverly sneaks off into the mountains to catch fresh fish for his ailing sibling. The family is reunited when their father is released from prison. This family story has just the right amount of information for the intended audience in understandable, matter-of-fact terms. The fanciful illustrations of a boy curled up on the fish fit the message. The author concludes this first book she's written and illustrated with a letter to the reader giving background on her family's story along with two photos, one of which is of the internees at Granada Relocation Center in Colorado. Some students found this fascinating, especially since it is based in history. It might not be for every child, but it is worth sharing even in a group setting. Well done!
MAYA WAS GRUMPY
FLASHLIGHT PRESS [FLASHLIGHT PRESS]
PIPPIN-MATHUR, COURTNEY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Maya doesn't know why, but she's in a bad mood. She doesn't want to do any of her normal things, just share her bad mood with the cat, the birds and her baby brothers. When she tries to share it with Gramma, she's met her match. Gramma assesses the situation and comes up with one silly scenario after another that Maya will not be able to partake in due to her bad mood. Ultimately Maya progresses from rolling her eyes to a tingling belly until finally she can't contain the giggle that escapes after she envisions swinging with monkeys with Gramma. Her bad mood cured as evidenced by her now under control bright red hair, they go off for a pleasant day in search of all the imagined creatures. This is a heart-warming family story with an understanding and clever grandmother. Great word choice and bright, colorful, engaging illustrations will appeal to the younger audience.
NURSE CLEMENTINE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
JAMES, SIMON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
After Clementine gets just what she wants for her birthday--a nurse's outfit and first-aid kit, she finds opportunities to "help" each member of her family when a toe is banged, a head aches, or a paw is licked. Her standard care was bandaging excessively with directions to keep it on for a week. Her younger brother Tommy, the superhero, evades her solicitations despite his disposition towards accidents until he gets caught in a tree. Nurse Clementine comes to the rescue and afterwards he allows her to bandage him in true superhero form--like a mummy! This is a pleasant story of a good-hearted girl that primary students enjoyed. They can predict her ministrations very quickly and enjoyed the humor in the watercolor and ink illustrations including the bandaged cat in the end. Back end sheets have labeled miscellaneous care artifacts to peruse. Binding on this version would need reinforcing for repeated circulations.
WANT TO BE IN A BAND?
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
ROCHE, SUZZY
POTTER, GISELLE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is the author's first children's book and an opportunity to tell her personal story of what it is like to be in a band with your two older sisters for many years. She talks directly to the reader throughout giving tips of how to entice your sisters at a young age to start a band and then how to keep this band going on to bigger and better stages. A theme that the readers will come away with is that practice is a key to success and for her it was also love of her family. Because of the personal nature this book will have limited appeal. Young readers suggested that budding musicians might like it, but it is specific to a family band. This might also work for a book about procedural writing in a broad sense. Giselle Potter's illustrations capture the folksy feel, but are not captivating.
Mouse and Mole, a Perfect Halloween
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children [Houghton Mifflin Books for Children]
Yee, Wong Herbert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This sixth Mouse and Mole book by a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award winning author/illustrator is again 48 pages with four chapters, this time featuring Halloween. These two friends, who are a bit different--adventurous Mouse and scaredy Mole, find a happy medium by the end of this pleasant story about friendship. For different reasons they win the pumpkin carving contest--Mouse for having the silliest and Mole, unintendly, the scariest. There is also a rhyming story within a story about a Mouse and Mole on Halloween, which Mouse shares with Mole as bibliotherapy that works. Cute characters and pleasant chapters appropriate for the independent second grade reading level. Fans of the series will most likely enjoy this as well with the cute illustrations in litho pencil and gouache for a seasonal story that can be enjoyed anytime.
How the Leopard Got His Claws
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Achebe, Chinua and Iroaganachi, John
GrandPre, Mary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This seemingly Nigerian tale is co-authored by Chinua Achebe and John Iroaganachi. Achebe has won several presitigious awards from around the world. In this dark pourquoi tale, a once peaceful animal kingdom ruled by the wise and kind leopard is turned on its head when the only animal with teeth, the dog, seeks refuge in the shared hall he refused to help build after a severe deluge. He turns all of the animals away from this shelter, and they in turn call for their King Leopard's help. When he is wounded by the dog, all animals turn on him and prasie the dog as their new king. Ironically the dog sends out his minions to force the leopard back to the fold, where all animals must stay. The leopard refuses and instead seeks out a blacksmith, who makes him a sharp set of teeth and claws. From Thunder he gets his roar. Upon his return to the hall he throws out the dog and all of the other cowardly, two-faced animals never to be friends again. The dog enslaves himslef to the human hunter, and all remain enemies to this day. An author's note would have been much appreciated to give background and clarity to this violent, dark tale. It's well written, has quite a long text and large illustrations in acrylic on gessoed illustration board by Mary GrandPre fit the setting.
SOME CAT!
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
CASANOVA, MARY
HOYT, ARD
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Violet is a cat with an attitude that she's destined for grandeur, but she's actually stuck in a cage in a shelter scaring away prospective adoptive families. One day an older couple decide she needs a home and give her a chance. She is mean to the two dogs in the home until they save her from three stray dogs. After that she displays a softer, more gracious side to her adopted family. This is a simple, pleasant story with large illustrations by Ard Hoyt that have great expression.
ANGEL FIRE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
WEATHERLY, L A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 06, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
I must begin by saying this book was just too long! My teen readers balk at reading books this thick, despite my urgings to try them out. So I don't anticipate a high circulation rate in my library, despite book talking and recommending it to individual students. That said, I did enjoy the book, although not as much as Angel Burn. It started slowly but ended with a bang. Willow and Alex are in Mexico, the change in setting being a nice touch. Enter Seb, a swoon-worthy opponent in the love triangle that (of course) takes place. At times the romance angle overshadows the rest of the plot which annoyed me. Willow's dad, Raziel, is remains the same creepy guy as he always was and his quest to overpower the same group that Willow and Alex are after leads to more conflict. Action, adventure, romance -- this book has it all. I'm hoping for a shorter end to this trilogy.
HAND IN HAND : TEN BLACK MEN WHO CHANGED AMERICA
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
PINKNEY, ANDREA
PINKNEY, BRIAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 07, 2013
Dame, Anne
Carefully researched, vivid detail highlights this fabulous biographical collection of ten important black men in America's history. As the author notes, it was difficult to limit it to ten because there are so many who have done so much, but these ten encompass the historical span of the US as well as including avocations such as politics, astronomy, sports, education, and activism. Each entry includes in-depth information about childhood influences, accomplishments, and challenges. I would have liked to have seen some primary source photos included and because of the publication date, it does not include Obama's second term as president. Overall, however, this is an excellent addition to just about any collection.
RED PYRAMID : THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
RIORDAN, RICK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 07, 2013
Dame, Anne
The graphic novel version of Rick Riordan's popular The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1). With colorful, lively graphics, this rendition does a great job of portraying the bi-racial main characters. It also manages to convey the dual voice narration of the print edition. Fans of the series will enjoy this version – and those who have not yet read the print version may be drawn to it after reading the graphic version.
STOLEN
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
WILSON, JOHN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 08, 2013
Dame, Anne
Sam is less than thrilled when he and his dad move to Australia, especially when Dad takes them to a little town called Warrnambool for holiday. However, his opinion changes quickly when he meets a pretty girl who can recite over 1000 digits of Pi. Annabel works at a museum with lots of items from shipwrecks that have happened on the coast in that area. But when their most prized item is stolen, Sam and Annabel quickly get caught up in action and danger. A good hi-lo mystery.
KOREMATSU V. THE UNITED STATES : WORLD WAR II JAPANESE-AMERI
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KENNEY, KAREN LATCHANA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 09, 2013
Dame, Anne
Fred Korematsu was an American citizen of Japanese descent living in California when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. Early in 1942, the American government decreed that all alien and non-alien Japanese-Americans on the West Coast must obey a curfew and eventually they were all excluded and sent to internment camps. Fred considered himself an American and so he did not report to be sent to the camps. He was arrested and put in jail a few weeks later. The ACLU became involved in his case and eventually it went all the way to the Supreme Court and is well-known as a landmark case today. Written as simply as possible for a book that necessarily has to include legal jargon, this is a fascinating look at one of the darker periods in our history. Terms are written in bold and defined on the same page. Many primary source photos. Facts are clearly stated and does not sway into the territory of opinion. Highly recommended, especially for curriculum that includes WWII and the Japanese internment camps.
VANISH
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
SPAFFORD-FITZ, KAREN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 10, 2013
Dame, Anne
Simone moves to a new school at the start of 8th grade and is having trouble making friends there. When her leadership class begins an ongoing project with the kindergartners, she actually enjoys spending time with her buddy, Lily. However, disaster is about to strike. This Orca Currents book is a compelling hi-lo realistic drama. Savvy readers will easily predict plot twists, but will still enjoy the characters and story.
LAUREN YANOFSKY HATES THE HOLOCAUST
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
LIEBERMAN, LEANNE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 14, 2013
Dame, Anne
Lauren's dad is a Holocaust expert. While other kids got to go to Disneyland, she got to go to concentration camps. She's tired of the whole Jewish thing and decides to give it up – until some kids at school start playing Nazi war games. Then she has some hard decisions to make. Takes a very grave topic and wraps it in humor in a way that is not denigrating at all; authentic teen voices.
DANCE TEAM
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
SIMON, CHARNAN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
From the "Surviving Southside" series. Izzy's one of two freshman girls to make the Southside High School dance team, along with new friend Olivia ? a big deal since Izzy just transferred from Northside. It's been a successful dance team season and regional competitions are looming ? maybe this is the year Southside can beat the team from Northside, Izzy's old school. Izzy's former neighbor Leah is the star of the Northside team, and Southside team captain Camilla starts dropping not to subtle hints that Izzy could worm some helpful intel about their routines from Leah, or even cause Camilla enough harm to keep her out of regionals. Izzy says no, but bad things start happening to Leah. Should Izzy tell she suspects Camilla? Under 100 pages, pretty stock characters, but a perfectly serviceable hi-lo book that girls will like.
MARKED MAN
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
DOEDEN, MATT
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
For those who have little or no background on Malcolm X, this is a serviceable starting place. The first chapter is biographical, the second provides a brief overview of the history of slavery, the third chapter profiles the men who were convicted of the murder, and the fourth addresses conspiracy theories and the impact of Malcolm's death on his family and the civil right movement. Book design is attractive and easy to navigate.
NOT A CHANCE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
MULDER, MICHELLE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Thirteen year old Dian's the only child of socially responsible doctor parents who take her with them to the Dominican Republic every summer to provide medical care in a remote village. Everyone walks the walk ? they wear the clothes they have taken to donate, their living conditions aren't exceptional, and they walk the careful line between help and imposing their own values. Dian has grown up with the village kids, especially best friend Aracely, speaking Spanish and entering into village life. There's no good way to keep in touch over the school year, so when fourteen yar old Aracely happily announces that she's engaged and will be married the next year, Dian is horrified. She and Aracely spent the previous summer planning that Aracely would come live with them in Canada and go to school, and it's even more stunning that mom and dad don't feel that this is an appropriate venue to protest the custom of early marriage. For a slight book there's lot's of cultural baggage to unpack and if the grown-ups aren't too nuanced, that's the price of brevity.
TAGGED
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
WALTERS, ERIC
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Ian, Oswald, and Julia are high school classmates and friends ? Julia and Ian are pretty serious about school but Oswald is the clown of the group with more varied interests, dragging the other two off the see the work of a local tagger who paints politically pointed scenes in obscure locales around their small city. Readers will guess right away that Oswald is the artist but it's still enjoyable to see Ian and Julia figure it out. An Orca Soundings title.
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG AND THE RACE AGAINST TIME
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BOYCE, FRANK COTTRELL
BERGER, JOE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
The second book in the Frank Boyce continuation of the Ian Flemming classic story. The first book was absolutely charming, and the second book picks up right where it left off with the Tooting family in a worrying situation with dinosaurs in the Cretaceous. There's a side trip to El Dorado and then to 1920s New York ? plenty of humor, delightful illustrations.
YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MEDINA, MEG
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
The crumbling apartment steps are the final straw, and mom moves with teen daughter Piddy to a better apartment that's served by a different high school. Piddy did well in her old school, but it's hard to find her place and make new friends. Inexplicably, a scary-mean girl named Yaqui Delgado targets Piddy; Piddy has no idea why Yaqui's friends are threatening her and Yaqui wants to fight her. Fear of Yaqui infects everything at the new school and Piddy's grade plummet. Meanwhile she learns that her strict mother didn't follow the guidelines she's insisting Piddy uphold, and Piddy makes more poor choices as a result. Finally, Piddy asks for grown-up help, resulting in a realistic conclusion. Motives and motivations of all the characters are thoughtfully shown, from supportive surrogate aunt Lila to fearful and uptight mom to former neighbor Joey to the school principal. A very thoughtful, complex look at bullying.
DEADLY
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
HARVEY, SARAH N
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 15, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
High schoolers Amy and Eric have a disagreement at a party and Eric goes home early. Later, Amy leaves the party and disappears, leaving Eric a prime suspect. Told in alternating chapters from Eric's and Amy's points of view, Eric works doggedly to find Amy, while Amy resourcefully manages to nearly escape by the time Eric tracks her down. Girl Stolen fans will like this short Orca Soundings title.
HIGH WIRE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
JACKSON, MELANIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 19, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Zack loves being a wire walker, and his aunt, with whom he has lived since the death of his parents, is supportive of Zack and his skills. When Aunt Ellie's business takes her out of town, Zack is stuck caring for a new puppy that Ellie adopted. It's stressful keeping the pup hidden around the performing tents but nothing compared the the heat everyone is taking when a valuable necklace goes missing during a performance. If the thief isn't found, the circus will have to close. Zack suspects someone but will he be able to prove anything in time to save his job? A good hi-lo read on a topic that most teens have little knowledge of--working in a performance troupe. Nice wrap-up after the mystery is revealed.
Bridge of Time
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [MACMILLAN]
Buzbee, Lewis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Eighth graders Lee and Joan find themselves transported from the present day back to San Francisco in 1864, where they meet Sam Clemens. Together the friends learn about time travel, explore the young city, face their fears and doubts about their futures, and try to find a way back. The well-crafted plot, with its combination of science fiction, history, mystery, peril, and humor, will hold the attention of most middle school readers.
IS SHE FOR REAL?
Simon Spotlight [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
NIGHT, P J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Legend has it that insanely jealous Lady Warwick was accidentally buried alive and now haunts the small town to which Bethany has just moved. When her new boyfriend gives her a beautiful old ring, Bethany starts acting strangely, and history may be repeating itself. This seventh book in the Creepover series for middle grade girls is definitely creepy, though somewhat predictable.
DANGEROUS WATERS : AN ADVENTURE ON THE TITANIC
ROARING BROOK PRESS [MACMILLAN]
MONE, GREGORY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
A twelve-year-old Irish boy who sneaks aboard the Titanic and becomes part of the waitstaff is befriended by a wealthy academic who is returning home to America with his rare book collection. A thief is also onboard, plotting to steal one particular book that may hold alchemical secrets. The boy and the collector are in danger, which only multiplies when the ship hits the iceberg. Historical accuracy and believable characters make this a satisfying read.
FAME, FORTUNE, AND THE BRAN MUFFINS OF DOOM
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
KELLEY, MARTY
FALCONE, FERNANDO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Simon and his friends want to compete as a band in the school talent show, despite their utter lack of musical ability. They must contend with the class bullies and the muffin-throwing old neighbor. The reader must contend with Simon's expansive vocabulary, which requires an 8-page glossary. With annoying characters and a weak plot, this book seems unlikely to attract much applause from its intended audience.
BECOMING HOLMES : THE BOY SHERLOCK HOLMES, HIS FINAL CASE
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
PEACOCK, SHANE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
In the conclusion of this series of six books, seventeen-year-old Sherlock Holmes must use his wits to disrupt and destroy an evil plot hatched by Malefactor. Knowing that Sherlock's future has already been written, the author does an admirable job of establishing relationships while developing character traits and chronicling his growth into manhood. However, I found it by turns annoying, distracting and perplexing that the author chose to use the present tense to tell a story set in 1870.
EARTH AND THE ROLE OF WATER
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
DUKE, SHIRLEY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Water plays an important role in geology, chemistry, biology, botany, and in human systems. Colorful photographs and diagrams help explain the water cycle, water's erosive force, uses of water, weather, and the importance of potable water as a limiting resource. Sidebars, a glossary, an index, and suggested websites are included. Although the scope is rather wide, the book covers the subject at sufficient depth for most intermediate grade students' needs.
I SURVIVED THE SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE, 1906
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
TARSHIS, LAUREN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
After Leo's treasured gold nugget is stolen by bullies, his scheme to recover it is interrupted when the destructive earthquake strikes the city. The element of peril and the pursuit of justice are an effective combination for reluctant readers and those transitioning to chapter books. Ten pages of earthquake facts and the author's personal experience in the city by the bay round out this fifth book in the I Survived series.
PLANTS AS FOOD, FUEL, AND MEDICINE
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
LUNDGREN, JULIE K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 20, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Plants are important as the basis of food chains, as the source of both fossil and renewable fuels, and as a major source of new medicines. Colorful photographs, diagrams, sidebars, a glossary, an index, and suggested websites are included. Although the scope is rather wide, the book covers the subject at sufficient depth for most intermediate grade students' needs.
I AM ON STRIKE AGAINST SOFTBALL
STONE ARCH BOOKS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
GASSMAN, JULIE A
SANTILLAN, JORGE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 22, 2013
Garrard, Thom
After her embarrassing performance the previous year, ten-year-old Alicia dreads playing softball in gym class. She overcomes her fixed mindset with the support of her family and by working hard and practicing. Cartoon-style illustrations cover at least half of every two-page spread, which makes this a quick read. The plot is predictable and the character development minimal, but the idea that a naturally gifted athlete must practice and work hard to be successful will be heard by the sports enthusiasts who will read this book.
DOLPH ZIGGLER
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
GORDON, NICK
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 22, 2013
Garrard, Thom
This biography of the professional wrestler known as Dolph Ziggler focuses mainly on the significant events in his career and on some of the signature wrestling moves he has used on his way to becoming a champion. Well-chosen action photographs from the ring cover at least half the pages in the book. This book will have special appeal to wrestling fans.
KATE AND NATE ARE RUNNING LATE!
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
EGAN, KATE
YACCARINO, DAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 22, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Nate, his older sister, and his mother have all overslept, and chaos ensues as they hurry through their morning routine. The colorful retro-style illustrations are simple, yet they effectively convey the plot. The text is a bit awkward in spots, but young readers will overlook that, because they will be busy identifying with the rushing. They will also love the surprise ending, which makes it clear that even adults make mistakes.
ATOMS AND MOLECULES
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MAURER, TRACY NELSON
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
This simple, clear introduction to the basic concepts of matter explains about protons, neutrons, electrons, atoms,molecules, and elements. Diagrams and other illustrations add clarity. Sidebars provide additional facts about atoms. A glossary and index are included. The potentially challenging subject matter should be accessible to intermediate grade students.
BIRDHOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
GREVE, MEG
POOLE, HELEN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Jack and his friends build a birdhouse for the birds whose nest has fallen from the tree. Some of the book has embedded rhymes, though the meter is sometimes awkward, but the rhymes end before the story does. The story begins with the birdhouse that Jack built, but then it just disappears. At the end, there is a birdhouse that Jack and his friends built together. If one can ignore these glaring deficiencies, the book could serve as an entry point for discussing cooperation. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience read some of the harder words.
BUFF DUCKS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MCKENZIE, PRECIOUS
REASONER, JOHN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Doing all kinds of exercise makes the ducks buff. This book could be an entry point for discussing the health benefits of being active. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Nearly half of the 44 words in the story are "ducks," but practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience deal with most of the rest.
DISASTER DAY
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MCKENZIE, PRECIOUS
MONES, MARC
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Turtledoves Lovey and Darling struggle in flight school, although they have improved with practice. When a tornado strikes, they become heroes by keeping calm and helping their fellow students follow safety procedures. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience deal with some challenging vocabulary.
FIRE SAFETY
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
HERRINGTON, LISA M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
This book provides straightforward tips about how to stay safe around fire, how to be prepared in case of a fire, and what to do if a fire actually happens. Each two-page spread in this small format book has a photograph on one side and a few brief sentences on the other. The book could serve as an excellent springboard for an adult to discuss these important topics with a child.
HAPPY HARRY'S CAFE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
ROSEN, MICHAEL
HOLLAND, RICHARD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
All the animals rush to Harry's café to get some of his wonderful soup. Everyone is enjoying it except Matt. Once his problem is solved, they are all happy and break into song. The mixed-media collage illustrations display a sense of fun that matches the story perfectly. This falls more in the category of a joke than a story, but kids are apt to enjoy it nonetheless.
I LOOK LIKE MY MOTHER
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
LUNDGREN, JULIE K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
This introduction to the basic concepts of heredity explores basic principles of genetics, the issue of cloning, the influence of the environment and learning on the traits of living things, and Darwin's theory of natural selection. The two-page spread that describes a seed planting experiment in which growing conditions are less than ideal seems off-target. A glossary and index are included. This book may help intermediate grade students comprehend potentially challenging science concepts.
KEEP YOUR CHIN UP
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HORD, COLLEEN
DUFALLA, ANITA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
When Calypso gets tired of hearing the other cats on the pirate ship complaining all the time, she convenes a meeting to tell them to look at the good things in their lives. This book could serve as an entry point for a discussion on maintaining a positive outlook. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience read some of the harder words.
MARSUPIALS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
STURM, JEANNE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
After an introductory chapter that explains what marsupials are and where they live, descriptions and additional information about kangaroos are provided in one chapter, and koalas, Tasmanina devils, and opossums share the following chapter. Threats to marsupials, in which a couple of other animals rate a mention, wraps up the text, followed by a glossary and index. The organization of the chapters and the text seem odd at times, and the tiny photos that illustrate the koala life cycle surrender the advantage gained by the use of larger photographs used elsewhere. This one could have been better.
NOBODY'S WATCHING
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
STEINKRAUS, KYLA
DUFALLA, ANITA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Ernest Elephant finds five dollars that he wants to use to buy a hat, but he decides to give the money back to its owner. His honesty is rewarded by his friend's gratitude and when he receives the hat as a birthday present a few weeks later. The book could serve as an entry point for discussing the importance of being truthful. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience deal with some of the more difficult vocabulary.
PLATE TECTONICS AND DISASTERS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
GREVE, TOM
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
In five chapters cover the theory of plate tectonics, how the plates of the earth's crust relate to the interior of the earth, the dangers that originate along different kinds of plate boundaries, why the ring of fire is particularly prone to earthquakes and volcanism, and why structural engineering is better than forecasting for helping people deal with these dangers. Given the complexity of the information, these explanations are really quite good. Photos , diagrams, and sidebars aid understanding. A glossary and an index are included.
RAILROAD HANK
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
MOSER, LISA
DAVIES, BENJI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
When he learns that Granny Bett is feeling blue, Railroad Hank starts up the mountain to visit her. As he meets characters along the way, they suggest things to help her feel better, but Hank goes one step too far with each idea. When the train reaches the Granny's place, the chaos created by his cargo lifts Granny's spirits, and she will be happy to relive it all in her dreams. The text has the perfect balance of surprise on the one hand with repetition and patterns on the other, and the lively, colorful illustrations match the mood exactly. Young readers will love this story of friendship and bringing happiness to others.
RUN...IT'S A BEE!
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
KOONTZ, ROBIN
KOONTZ, ROBIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
When Jasper sticks his nose in a sunflower, pollen sticks to him and that attracts a bee. After everyone runs through a baseball game and a play with the bee in pursuit, they arrive back at the garden, at which point everyone realizes that the bee only wants to collect the pollen from Jasper's nose. This silly story will likely find an audience among the many kids who have ever run from bees. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience deal with some of the more difficult vocabulary.
SKELETONS AND EXOSKELETONS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
LUNDGREN, JULIE K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
The purposes of skeletons, to protect bodies and to allow them to move, are briefly discussed in the opening chapter. Animals with exoskeletons are coverd in more depth in one chapter and animals with endoskeletons in another. Photographs and diagrams add clarity to the concepts in the text. A glossary and an index are included. This book should be easily understood by intermediate grade students who are seeking information on this topic.
UNCLE WALLY'S OLD BROWN SHOE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
EDWARDS, WALLACE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
A shoe encounters a variety of unusual animals on its journey through a variety of imaginative landscapes. This cumulative story uses an additive structure like that in "The House that Jack Built." The whimsical watercolor, gouache, and pencil artwork contains many surprises that may not be referenced in the text, and it is these pictures that will captivate and intrigue the young readers.
WE'RE GOING ON A DINOSAUR DIG
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
SUEN, ANASTASIA
MYER, ED
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Three kids cope with several obstacles on their way to dig up a dinosaur, only to reverse course quickly when they find an actual one. Students familiar with "going on a bear hunt" are apt to enjoy this. The cartoonish illustrations may add appeal for some readers. Practicing the list of "words to know before you read" will help the intended audience read some of the harder words.
WHAT'S AN ELECTION?
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
ALLEN, NANCY KELLY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 27, 2013
Garrard, Thom
With one or two sentences per page, this book provides a very simple introduction to the concept of elections. Unfortunately, many of the statements are generalizations that may apply in other locations, but not in Washington state. For example, some offices filled through the electoral process are non-partisan, voters do not choose a political party when registering, and mail-in voting has eliminated both the idea of lining up to vote and the use of voting machines. With so much invalid information, this book would be of limited use.
ONE LAND, MANY CULTURES
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
ROBINS, MAUREEN PICARD
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This book presents the idea that the United States is made up of many different cultures and in the class presented there are 25 students and each of them has ties to an original culture. The example is from New York but would work with any classroom and they are looking at various foods of cultures. There is a six term picture glossary. Full color photographs illustrate the 24 page text.
LIGHTING OUR WORLD : A YEAR OF CELEBRATIONS
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
RONDINA, CATHERINE
OAKLEY, JACQUI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
The table of contents provides the reader with a chronological array of holidays through all the months of the year. Some of the two-page spreads are dedicated to one month while many of the them have two months. The illustrations are done in acrylic paint and ink with some digital touches. The common theme through the holidays in the book is how light is used to celebrate in each holiday. Most of the entries are approximately three-quarter of the page of a two-inch column in length and written in first person. While this is not a comprehensive look at any of these festivals it is an interesting premise and may be the starting point for further research.
JACOB WONDERBAR FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSE
DIAL [DIAL]
BRANSFORD, NATHAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this sequel to "Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow" our hapless hero and his friends are once again drawn into outer space. Jacob has been nominated to be President of the Universe and needs to get his campaign underway. He needs a running mate. He needs to save Dexter from space monkeys. He needs to defeat his lying opponant. He needs to keep the earth from being destroyed. It's going to be a busy couple of days. This is a wacky, humorous adventure that has its own twisted logic. There's not much "science" in this science-fiction, but when you have hovering reporters, campaign scandals, and a deeply-rooted pranking complex what do you expect? Fans of the first book will enjoy this one. If you haven't read the first one the author gives you enough of a toehold to climb into this one. Ditzy, wacky, and nonsensical, this will appeal to readers who don't take things too seriously.
DOUBLE FEATURE
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
DEVILLERS, JULIA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Our favorite twins--Payton and Emma Mills--are back again. This time they're off to Hollywood for an unexpected chance to star in a shampoo commercial. Brainy Emma and stylist Payton are going to have the time of their lives. Movie stars! A fancy hotel! Meeting a former nemesis! Helping others. Starring in a game show. Yes, this is going to be fun. This is a light-hearted, breezy book that is written in chapters alternating viewpoints from our two main characters. Not surprising, really, considering that the series is written by twin authors Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy. A fun read.
AUTHOR VISIT FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
THALER, MIKE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this Black Lagoon chapter book Hubie is nervous, as always. A genuine author is coming to visit the school and he's on the committee to choose which one. Once the choice is made he must read her books. Which one to choose? What if he hates them? What will the visit be like? What is it that authors do, anyway? As usual Hubie blows his fears up into out-of-this world expectations which are quickly put to rest by reality. Humorous illustrations by Jared Lee accompany this over-the-top story that fans of the series will enjoy. You can tell the author has done his share of school visits, and this would be fun to read before an author visit to your own school.
DRAGONSWOOD
DIAL [DIAL]
CAREY, JANET LEE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Tess hasn't had an easy life, with a father who beats her and a future that seems headed toward marrying a man who will do much the same. Her only escape is into the forbidden Dragonswood. She feels drawn there. Then a witch-hunter comes to town and Tess is accused. Soon she is running with her two best friends, trying to find refuge. When they do, each begins to find a new place for herself, but where does Tess belong? Who is she, really? The book begins one way, and then twists into a more traditional fantasy as the fey and dragons and a long-ago prophecy combine to twist Tess's future. Will she be strong enough to fight for what she wants? The cover art is compelling, but the story doesn't really hit its stride until Garth enters. Then everything falls into place. This is a companion book to "Dragons Keep" and fantasy lovers will find it a compelling and thoughtful story, with just the right amount of romance. Oh, and it doesn't leave you hanging. The author does a nice job of creating a feeling of closure at the end, with just a hint of things to come.
LIVES WE LOST
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
CREWE, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is the sequel to "The Way We Fall" in which a virus struck with a high mortality rate and teens in a small Canadian island community had to try and survive on what amounted to "ground zero."Nowl Kaelyn and her friends have a reason to go to the mainland--the vaccine that her father created. If they can get it to the right people maybe it can save lives, assuming it works at all. The problem is that the virus has also decimated the mainland. Where can they find the people with the facilities and knowledge to help? Survivors are either showing their best or worst natures. Who can you trust? The group of teens must travel through blizzards and over tremendous distances, looking for supplies and trying to survive as they carry the possible hope for humankind. The countryside is dangerous enough, but the big city proves to be even more perilous. This is a compelling series with an interesting premise and good characters with typical teen love interest problems. While this sequel isn't as solid as the first book I will still look forward to the next book in the series.
SWIMMING WITH THE SHARKS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
MULLARKEY, LISA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In book #11 in the "Katharine the Almost Great" series, Katharine and her cousin , Crockett, are trying out for the swim team. Katharine has much to learn and unfortunately her first lesson is that lying about her abilities will come back to bite her. Nevertheless she works hard and has fun and learns that others also have areas in which they need improvement. This is a fun series that reminds me of Junie B. Jones, though Katharine is a tad older. Short, easy chapters and black and white illustrations make it a good choice for those who need easy chapter books. Katharine's habit of popping up with weird and interesting facts is fun, and the problems she faces are ones kids will understand. If you need a new short chapter series I can recommend this.
HAIR'S LOOKING AT YOU
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
MULLARKEY, LISA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Katharine is a typical kid with typical kid issues. In this, book #12 in the "Katharine the Almost Great" series, she's dealing with a hair-raising issue. One of the girls at school has donated her long hair to Locks of Love and now everyone is pressuring everyone else to do it. Even the adults are excited about it. Soon students form a club only for those who've donated their hair. Katharine doesn't want to cut her hair, but doesn't like the idea that she's not a caring person if she doesn't bend to this type of peer pressure. How's she going to resolve the problem? This is a fun, realistic story with a protagonist who feels like a normal kid. Similar to the Junie B. Jones series, but without Junie's unique way of talking, this would appeal to the same crowd or a slightly older group since Katharine is older than Junie. Short chapters, easy vocabulary, and scattered black and white illustrations make this a friendly easy chapter book that both boys and girls will enjoy.
PURR-FECT-O PRESENT
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
MULLARKEY, LISA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
It's Christmas time and Katharine the Almost Great (this is book # 10 in the series) has a problem. Her teacher is acting oddly. At times she's normal, and at other times she's cranky. What could the problem be? Then there's the issue of her cousin. He and his mother live with Katharine's family since her cousin's parents divorced. He hopes to spend Christmas with his Dad, but now it looks like that won't happen. How is Katharine going to help both her teacher and her cousin have a happy holiday? This is a fun Katharine book with a hint of a mystery. Similar to Junie B. Jones in style, but without her unique way of speaking, this is for a slightly older crowd, yet is at much the same reading level. Katharine is older than Junie, her situations are a tad more realistic. Still, the chapters are short, the vocabulary is non-threatening, and black and while illustrations abound. This is an easy chapter book that children will enjoy.
JUNIE B. JONES AND THE STUPID SMELLY BUS
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
PARK, BARBARA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Can you believe it's been 20 years since the first Junie B. Jones book came out? Feel old? I do! And the first book was, of course, "Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus." Here it is, out in a special anniversary hardcover edition. Young readers again get to meet Junie and get her special "take" on the world in general and kindergarten in particular. I remember the controversy over Junie B.'s inaccurate English, but her child-like view on the world touched a chord with children and continues to do so. Is your copy getting raggedy? Time to upgrade to this one. It has full-color illustrations, colorful end papers, and 14 pages of additional material. There's an amusing and informative interview between the author and Junie B., and information about the illustrator along with some preliminary sketches. All in all this is a fun book that both children and adults will enjoy.
DOUBLE DOG DARE
PHILOMEL [PHILOMEL]
GRAFF, LISA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Who will be the next news anchor of the fourth-grade media club? Kansas doesn't particularly want the job, but he now finds himself in a battle of dares to win it. New to the school, he's still just trying to fit in, but now he's doing it as he's also putting underwear up the flagpole, wearing a tutu, and throwing up on camera. It is only when he discovers that his opponent, Francine, is having to cope with divorcing parents like he is, that he begins to gain a greater understanding. Perhaps they can team up for their mutual benefit?
PERCY'S NEIGHBORHOOD
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MURPHY, STUART J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Percy and his father are walking around their neighborhood and visiting a few community helpers--a doctor, a firefighter, a police officer, and a librarian. Percy learns what a community and a neighborhood are, and how we can all be community helpers. This is part of Stuart J. Murphy's "I See I Learn" Knowing Your Community series. Bright illustrations of humanized animals accompany the clear explanatory text. Discussion questions at the end will be handy for classroom discussions. Since early primary grades cover communities in social studies this would be a good adjunct to those units.
CLUES AT THE CARNIVAL
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
IP, IVY S
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #5 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. Each book in the series has 24 well-bound pages and a very simple text with bright cartoon illustrations and rebuses. Unfortunately, while eye-appealling, the use of rebuses in the text slows down the reader. Worse, there is no page that clarifies what each rebus stands for and nowhere are readers introduced to the names of the characters. It is just assumed that they already known. Some of the pictures can be confusing as well. In this entry in the series the gang is at the carnival and tries to track down a missing hat with a rabbit inside. Of course they follow simple clues and the answer is not at all scary. This isn't a first-purchase, but will appeal to reluctant readers.
DINOSAUR DIG
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
SODERBERG, ERIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #3 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. Each book in the series has 24 well-bound pages and a very simple text with bright cartoon illustrations. The text includes a lot of rebuses and therein lies the problem. Nowhere in the book is there a page that tells what each rebus picture means, and the names of the characters are not presented anywhere in the text. This assumption that everyone already knows their names is a problem. And some of the other rebuses can be hard to figure out. In this adventure our gang is on a dinosaur dig, but bones go missing. What could be the problem? They follow clues, but now more is missing, including the Scooby Snacks! Oh no! The final answer is amusing and not scary at all. While not a first purchase this would undoubtedly appeal to young readers.
ELECTRICITY IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
WARD, SARAH E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is part of the "Science in the Real World" series and it focuses on electricity. I also reviewed the book on light from the same series, and was unimpressed. This volume, however, is much better. The flow is good, the information is solid, and the explanations are clear. Readers learn about atoms and electrons. A history behind major discoveries in electricity is presented, along with brief information about the people responsible. Readers learn about circuits and how electricity is produced and transported. Electricity in living things is explored, and the future of electricity (including concerns about our aging infrastructure) are given. There are diagrams and and color photographs, as well as a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a solid book that would probably find its best home in a secondary library.
ENERGY IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
ZUCHORA-WALSKE, CHRISTIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Clearly designed for a secondary audience, most especially middle school, this book is part of the "Science in the Real World" series. In 48 well-bound pages it introduces the concept of energy. Various types of energy--kinetic and potential--are explored. The history behind the study and implementation of energy principles is briefly examined. Various types of energy and the ways we produce energy are presented. This is a very broad approach to the topic, giving a nice overview. Crisp color photographs as well as good diagrams accompany the text. Standard text features apply. Designed for the Common Core, each chapter ends with primary source material and an activity that requires higher level thinking skills.
FARTHER
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
BAKER-SMITH, GRAHAME
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
His father was caught by the dream of flight, and when it carried him away he shed earthly concerns to create his amazing flying machines that never really flew. When he was firmly attached back to the earth he treasured his young son, and shared experiences with him. Then the father was called away as a soldier and did not return. Red poppies bloom against a more subtle background. Eventually the son takes up the father's dream, building on the past and succeeding. What will his own son dream? This is an evocative homage to fathers and heritage. The digital illustrations are particularly eye-catching, teetering on the edge between reality and fantasy--delicate as a dream, yet solid as stone. This is a truly beautiful book. A treat for eye and ear. Unfortunately its picture book format is deceptive, as it is clear that adults would better appreciate both the story and the artwork.
FRENCH BULLDOGS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
BRITTON, TAMARA L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is another well-written entry in the Checkerboard Animal Library Dogs series. The 24 pages contain solid information about French Bulldogs. The history behind the breed is explored. The animals are described and there is information on their care. There's even a little about their life cycle. Adorable photographs abound and the book includes a glossary and an index. The books in this series are very popular and this will be no exception.
GREAT CHOICE, CAMILLE!
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
MURPHY, STUART J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Oh choices--they're so difficult to make. We've all encountered children who can't make a choice to save their souls. Camille has a problem with decision-making. At school she can help with the garden, or build a kite. Which? Which seed should she plant? What happens if her first choice is already taken? As the story continues, caring adults help guide Camille. This is an entry in Stuart J. Murphy's "I See I Learn" Emotional Skills series. Bright illustrations and simple sequential text walk young readers through the decision-making process. It's not great literature, but it certainly addresses a common issue children face and, as such, it merits a place in the library. Counselors and teachers will find it to be a valuable discussion-starter.
I HAVE A GARDEN
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
BARNER, BOB
LESSAC, FRANE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Dog has a garden. He has a chipmunk in his garden. He has a bug in his garden. He has many things in his garden. Wait?with so many others sharing it Dog does NOT have a garden. WE have a garden. This is an easy-reader in a full picture-book size. The very simple text is combined with big flowing yet simple illustrations that should appeal to the target audience. Stitching is excellent, but the glossy paper over board cover will not survive long in the type of usage I see in easy readers. Still, beginners will find this a good success experience.
STAYING BULLY-FREE ONLINE
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HALL, PAMELA
OSTROM, BOB
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Bully-Free World" series, this sturdy 24-page book gives children information on cyber-bullying--a problem that seems to be increasing in both frequency and severeity. First a few reasons why bullies act the way they do are introduced. Then cyberbullying is specifically defined. Types of cyberbullying--using an alias or hidden identity, spreading rumors, and passing along unfortunate photographs--are presented. Each is followed by a page giving possible ways to deal with the situation. These include standing up for yourself and others, involving adults, ignoring the bully, or making a joke out of it and making the bully look silly (not my first advice for children). Bright illustrations show children from many ethnicities. This is a reasonable introduction to the topic and would lead naturally into more specific classroom discussion.
LIGHT IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
KOONTZ, ROBIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Science in the Real World" series, this well-bound 48-page book concentrates on the subject of light. A chapter focuses on man-made light from fire to Edison's lightbulb and to modern LEDs, as well as a few theories about the nature of light. Chapter 3 is probably what most people are really looking for in a book about light. It talks about visible light and how it travels, and reacts with objects--reflected light, transmitted, light, and absorbed light. Refraction is also covered, as is the EM spectrum. Ways in which light is used are explored, including optics and solar energy. Then there's information about nature's lights including stars, meteors, comets, auroras, bioluminescence and more. Throughout the book are obvious common core activities encouraging readers to dig deeper, use primary sources, and think things through. Photographs and diagrams accompany the somewhat scholarly text. This is an interesting book in that it is both too broad and too narrow. It tries to cover too many aspects of the topic and in doing so fails to cover any of them adequately. However, the recommended activities could prove valuable to teachers.
CAR GOES FAR
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
GARLAND, MICHAEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Michael Garland's bright 3-D digital illustrations are the highlight of this easy reader. Car looks good in the morning. Car goes. Car goes everywhere. Oh, no! Smoke gets on Car. So does mud. (And let's not talk about the birds.) Car needs a wash. Car looks good again! Now the day is over and Car goes home. The text is simple and sequential. That simplicity, however, makes this a perfect book for teaching sequence as well as problem/solution in the very early grades.
NOISY BUG SING-ALONG
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
HIMMELMAN, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this nonfiction picture book children are introduced to insects that make sounds--three types of crickets, two types of katydids, the click beetle, the tiger moth, bees, mosquitoes, butterflies (silent), and cicadas. Huge detailed illustrations show the insects up close while the sounds they make swirl and bob across the pages. At the end of the book young readers learn about sound waves and see the sound waves for the different sounds the insects made. There are also science activities and a little more information about the featured insects. Even better, it lists websites where you can go get audio files on the insect noises and additional nature sounds. Totally cool! This is great nonfiction.
TJ ZAPS THE ONE-UPPER : STOPPING ONE-UPPING AND CELL PHONE B
CALICO CHAPTER BOOKS [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
MULLARKEY, LISA
LACOSTE, GARY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Fourth-grader TJ is excited. His best friend, Danny, is moving back after two years. Unfortunately Danny has changed. He's no longer behaving like a friend. He's one-upping TJ all the time. He's self-absorbed and a pain to be around. TJ's disappointed. That's not the worst, however. Danny's one-upping turns into bullying, including cyber-bullying. TJ's life is miserable. Other students stand up for him, but it takes the intervention of adults to deal with the situation. Unfortunately those adults don't include Danny's parents. This is a realistic book from the "TJ Trapper Bully Zapper" series. With short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, and a clear message this would be good for transitional readers.It would also make an interesting read-aloud for classroom discussions about bullies.
BECOMING BABE RUTH
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
TAVARES, MATT
FORD, A.G.
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
I never knew the backstory behind Babe Ruth, but in this book young readers are immersed in gorgeous watercolor and pencil illustrations as they learn about the life of the famous baseball player. Sent to a sort of reform school as a child, he learned baseball from Brother Matthias and, with practice and more practice and more practice, he soon caught the eye of talent scouts. Sent to the minors and then to the majors, he galvanized a nation with his hard-hitting skills, but never forgot where he came from. This is a heart-touching story of a hard-earned success and a man who gave back. The text is spare and evocative, blending seamlessly with the illustrations. The use of a repetitive phrase subtly shows the passing of a torch. An author's note provides further information, as well as a statistics page for George "Babe" Ruth. There's also a bibliography. This is an exceptional biography both in illustration and text. It merits a place in every library serving children.
PIZZA PLACE GHOST
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
DEL SUR, DUENDES
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #4 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. These sturdy books are 24 pages long and contain an easy-to-read Scooby-Doo adventure with bright cartoon illustrations and lots of rebuses in the text. That's where the books have a problem. It would have been nice to include a page telling what each picture represents, especially since our main characters are never introduced by name. I also couldn't figure out one of the rebuses--was it pepperoni? Would have been nice to know. In this adventure the cheese is going missing from the pizza place every night. What could be the cause--a ghost? There's plenty of both food and clues and the answer becomes obvious to all. It's not scary. There's some humor, but this isn't a first purchase. Still, it is a change of pace for easy readers.
FORENSIC IDENTIFICATION : PUTTING A NAME AND FACE ON DEATH
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
MURRAY, ELIZABETH A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Fans of "CSI" and "Body of Proof" and "Bones" will love this book about forensic science and how it is used to identify human remains. Due to some of the graphic descriptions and photographs, not to mention the high-level reading required, this is really most appropriate in secondary schools. There, however, it will get a tremendous workout. The book is filled with vignettes--cases of bodies being discovered. Then the reader gets information about DNA, fingerprints, blood, bones, teeth, insects, and all the other things used to determine identity as well as time and cause of death. Facial reconstruction and age progression are examined. Each beginning vignette of a body discovery is continued at chapter's end with the final results, after forensic identification has been applied. The book is fascinating, but doesn't gloss over the gross bits. Well-captioned photographs, an extensivew bibliography, and a nice index are included. It would be useful for reports, but will probably fly off the shelves as a good read as well.
SAM AND THE BIG KIDS
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
MCCULLY, EMILY ARNOLD
GAMMELL, STEPHEN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Sam is a young bear with an older sister. When his sister and her friend get together the last thing they want is a baby brother tagging along. And, naturally, that is the only thing Sam wants to do. They try tricking him. They try distracting him. However, when a problem arises it's Sam who saves the day. This is a simple "I Like to Read" book designed for beginning readers but in a large format with cute watercolor and ink illustrations. The stitching is good, but the glossy paper over board cover won't last.
SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE CARNIVAL CREEPER
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
GELSEY, JAMES
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Jinkies! Scooby and the gang are off to the carnival for a day of fun. However, that day turns sour when a "creeper" scares away customers and threatens our heroes. Who is the creeper, and why is he trying to shut down the carnival? Scooby will be in life-threatening danger on the Ferris wheel before the answer is revealed! This reads exactly like an episode of the cartoon and the bright cartoon illustrations further the effect. There's lots of eating and running and, of course, a perfectly reasonable explanation at the end. While this isn't great literature it is fun. It will be extremely popular with the intended audience and particularly alluring for reluctant readers.
SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE GRUESOME GOBLIN
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
GELSEY, JAMES
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Yikes! An innocent day at the water park turns into mystery and mayhem for Scooby and the gang. A gruesome goblin is scaring of tourists and trying to close the park down. What is going on? A couple of Scooby Snacks and we'll figure it out! As is typical in Scooby-Doo stories there are many possible villains, there's a chase scene involving Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. There's eating, involving Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. There's acting as "bait" involving Shaggy and...wait, I sense a pattern! This reads exactly like an episode of the cartoon, and the bright cartoon illustrations further the effect. There's lots of action and silliness, a little danger and, of course, a perfectly reasonable explanation at the end. While this isn't great literature it is fun. It will be extremely popular with the intended audience and particularly alluring for reluctant readers.
BULLY-FREE SCHOOL
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HALL, PAMELA
OSTROM, BOB
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Bully-Free World" series, this well-bound 24-page book addresses the issue of bullying at school. It provides some reasons why people bully and then gives examples of bullying--rumors, peer pressure, name-calling, and hitting and shoving. Each is followed by a page giving ideas on how to handle the situation--ignoring the bully, standing up for someone else, making a joke out of it, and not fighting back. The final answer is to contact an adult. Bright illustrations show children from many ethnicities on both sides of the bullying issue. This is an adequate introduction to the topic that would lead naturally into classroom discussion. However, adults should be involved in all the situations mentioned, and some of the suggestions seem facile. Still, it's the beginning of an important discussion
SEARCH FOR SCOOBY SNACKS
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
WASSERMAN, ROBIN
DEL SUR, DUENDES
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is, I believe, book #2 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. These sturdy 24-page books contain easy-to-read Scooby-Doo adventures with bright cartoon illustrations and lots of rebuses in the level 1 text. Unfortunately there is no page showing what the rebuses mean. Sure, you can figure out most of them, but it would have been nice to include a list, especially since they are used for the characters and there may be readers unfamiliar with their names. In this adventure the gang is camping out, but then there food goes missing--even the Scooby Snacks! Could it be a monster? They follow the clues to find the answer. This is very simple and not really scary at all. While not a first purchase it would probably be a popular book.
BUTTON DOWN
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
YLVISAKER, ANNE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Ned Button is obsessed with football, as is just about everyone else in the small Iowa town of Goodhue. Perhaps it is because a local boy has made it good, playing college ball. When Ned is deprived of a football he rightfully should have had, he ends up getting himself into situations which he regrets. His grandfather understands his dreams and encourages them, teaching him that football is more than running the ball down the field--it's strategy and planning. This is a small town slice-of-life from the years when Herbert Hoover was president and before video games usurped a pick-up game of football. Readers who enjoyed "The Luck of the Buttons" will welcome another chance to spend time with the family.
MAGNETS IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
EBOCH, CHRIS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Really written for a secondary school audience this book is part of the "Science in the Real World" series. In 48 well-bound pages it covers the basics of magnets, a brief history behind the study of magnetism, and its application in the real world. This is a broad approach to the topic and gives the reader a good overview. Crisp color photographs as well as good diagrams accompany the text. Standard text features apply. This is clearly designed to go with the Common Core as each chapter ends with primary source material and a suggested activity for high level thinking skills.
I, WITNESS
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
MCCLINTOCK, NORAH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Boone and Robbie are teenage boys living in the 'hood.' Late one night they witness a murder. Keeping quiet seems safer, but soon Robbie is dead, then another friend follows. Relatives of the victims urge Boone to come forward so that justice can be done, but he insists he knows nothing. Surely that's the only way to be safe, right? Still, it doesn't stop him from being injured in a drive-by, and it's clear that the bad guys want to eliminate even possible witnesses. What do you do? The right thing? What's that? Either way you might be dead. This gripping graphic novel is done in slashes of stark black and white. There are no shades of gray, just splashes of red for the blood that is spilled. Some choices require sacrifice, but the overwhelming blackness of the illustrations begins to lighten as Boone makes his final choice. Evocative, real, gritty--this is a book that leaves you wondering, and hoping.
WAY WE FALL
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
CREWE, MEGAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
16-year-old Kaelyn loves life on the island, but misses her estranged friend, Leo. Thus she begins a series of journal entries aimed at her missing friend. They chronicle the disease that hits the island, devastating its population and proving that adversity brings out both the best and the worst in people. Teens form alliances. Some work for the good of the community, some for themselves. The adults are either battling the disease or dying...sometimes both. In fact, just about everyone who gets the disease dies. A cough, a scratch, a loss of inhibitions...a corpse. Kaelyn has to watch the death of loved ones and then faces the illness herself. As one of the few who survives she is now trying to be part of the solution, but no help is coming from the mainland. What is going on? This is a compelling story with well-fleshed-out characters and an interesting premise.It's sure to appeal to dystopia fans.
CATNAPPED CAPER
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
BARBO, MARIA S
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #1 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. These sturdy 24-page books contain easy-to-read Scooby-Doo adventures with bright cartoon illustrations and a text that contains a lot of rebuses replacing words. That's where the problem begins. The rebuses slow down the flow of the text and nowhere is there a page that shows what each rebus represents. It's not like it's hard, but none of the main characters is named and so if you don't know the characters you wouldn't have a word to put with their rebus pictures. In this adventure a cat is missing. Could a ghost be responsible? Velma loses her glasses! Shaggy and Scooby eat stuff! They prowl through the house looking for clues. The answer to their search is an anticlimax. This is not a first-purchase but might be useful with reluctant readers.
TEN GOOD AND BAD THINGS ABOUT MY LIFE (SO FAR)
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
MARTIN, ANN M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Readers who enjoyed "Ten Rules for Living With My Sister" will be happy to read about Pearl Littlefield again. Now she's in 5th grade and the teacher gives her the assignment of writing about her summer. As you can imagine, Pearl had a summer rife with incident. Her father lost her job. The family had to make changes. Pearl had a fight with her best friend. The family did a "staycation". Pearl learned how to economize and started her own business with her best friend, once they'd made up. Oh, and there was day camp. All in all it was a very eventful summer for this New York City girl. Ann Martin has a down-to-earth way of writing that lets the reader dive into a character's life and feel like a part of it. She captures the essence of life, and lets the reader become involved.
WHEN I GET OLDER : THE STORY BEHIND WAVIN' FLAG
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
GUTIERREZ, RUDY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Canadian rapper, K'naan, uses this nonfiction picture book to tell his own story. He was born in Mogadishu and lived there with his extended family. This included his grandfather who was a noted Somali poet. Then war came and, with it, fear. He clung to the words of his grandfather promising strength with age, and freedom. He and his mother managed to get to the United States and then Canada. Adapting to a new culture was hard, but his grandfather's words gave him strength, and soon he put them to music. This resulted in the song "Wavin' Flag" for which the rapper is known. The book includes the music and lyrics for the song, as well as further information about both Somalia and K'Naan. The writing is flowing and emotional. The illustrations by Rudy Guttierrez splash like visual music across the pages, filled with symbols and swirling lines with three-dimensional faces standing out in stark contrast. While I am not familiar with this artist, the book is an homage to hope, and home, and heritage.
WONDERFUL WATER CYCLE
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HUTMACHER, KIMBERLY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Water, water everywhere, but where does it come from? Where does it go? How do we use it? This book not only covers all four parts of the water cycle--evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection--it also briefly addresses issues such as drought, irrigation, aquifers, sewage treatment, and conservation. I was particularly fascinated by the picture and caption on solar water disinfection that allows 6 hours of sunlight to kill germs. Who knew? I want to know more! There's a quick test at the end as well as a glossary, bibliography and index. Crisp color photographs and the occasional diagram augment the clear and informative text. This would be a useful addition to science collections.
MAGICALAMITY
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
SAUNDERS, KATE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Tom is eleven and has led a relatively normal life, until the morning he wakes up, discovers both his parents are missing, and finds his big-bottomed fairy-godmother in the kitchen. Suddenly he's on the run as he discovers his father is actually a fairy, making him a demisprite. Dad's been accused of murder and more, and Tom is in mortal danger. Mom's hidden safely away, but Tom needs the help of his three fairy godmothers to try and set things right again. This is a bit of a madcap adventure, with geniis, fairies, magic, and a surprising amount of literary nudity. (Apparently that's what fairies do to appear posh.) Oh, and there may be a dragon involved and perhaps someone thought to be dead really isn't. Actually this family has a LOT of secrets. The story bounces along at a brisk pace and, while it doesn't always flow logically, it is a lot of fun.
JEPP, WHO DEFIED THE STARS
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
MARSH, KATHERINE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is an interesting book to add to your historical fiction collection. It takes place in the 16th century. Jepp is a young dwarf who finds himself in the Infanta's court--well-fed and cared for, but demeaned. He gets to jump out of pies and do other things to amuse his patroness--like a cherished pet, rather than a valued person. Freedom? Well, there's an illusion of it, but that's all. The others of his stature, in a similar position, have all found a way to accept their fates, for the what the stars decree must come to be. Jepp, however, has dreams. When he aids another dwarf in an escape attempt he ends up banished to a far-away island, sleeping with a moose and fed under the table like a dog. Does he accept this fate? No, for even Jepp is not fully aware of his strength of character. He finds love, but longs to discover his parentage, hoping that the stars, or his ancestry, will help him define himself. It is only when he accepts that he, alone, determines his fate that he finds peace. The story is enthralling, with rich language, beautifully-crafted characters (many based on real people from the time period), and a sympathetic hero. While lengthy, the story is well-paced and the short chapters also keep it moving swiftly along. It catches at your heart and is difficult to put down. The author's love for her story, as well as her extensive research, clearly shows.
NAMING WORDS : NOUNS AND PRONOUNS
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
GANERI, ANITA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
If you're looking for a clear, informative, comprehensive explanation of nouns and pronouns, with plenty of examples, you've come to the right place. In just 32 well-bound pages readers learn what grammar is and why it's important. They then learn about nouns, common and proper, singular and plural. There's also information about collective and abstract nouns. Pronouns, both personal and possessive, are also presented. Examples are clear, as are explanations. Lots of good graphics, crisp photographs, and bright illustrationsaccompany the text. Yes, there's a glossary, bibliography, and index, though one wonders why. All in all this is exceptional. If the other books in the series are as well done they should all be part of standard library collections.
AMELIA'S LIFE DURING WARTIME
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
GOWNLEY, JIMMY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The Amelia Rules books are terrific graphic novels that make full use of the medium. Amelia lives a kid's life, with friend problems and divorced parents. In this book summer is here and Amelia and her erzatz superhero friends are going to start a war with the kids in a nearby park who like to dress as ninjas. Gownley really understands a kid's mind. The humor is both broad and subtle (is such a thing possible?) and he beautifully captures how kids can get perhaps a little too deeply involved in the concept of imaginary play without really thinking it through. Will there be violence? Will there be war? Will Amelia wake up in time to find out? There's a lesson here, and an ending that shows that despite what they think, a back-up system of adults is always there. Bright, expressive cartoons, and a masterful use of text and dialogue make this another winner in the series. This story has previously appeared in the compilation "What Makes You Happy."
HOW TO BEAT THE BULLY WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
PAULA WISEMAN [SIMON & SCHUSTER]
STARKEY, SCOTT
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
When Rodney Rathbone moves to Ohio he hopes to no longer be the "bully-bait" he was at his previous school. Unfortunately he comes under the scrutiny of the local bully quickly. Oddly, however, circumstances serve to put him in a position of power. Soon he has a reputaton as a bully-tamer, all through no particular effort on his part. Still quavering within, he needs to keep that "rep" up, but it's a constant battle. Worst of all, however, may be his horrible teacher, Mrs. Lutzkraut. Hey, bullies come in all shapes and sizes. This is an hilarious story of coincidence, hyperbole, and amusing names. Facing your fear can be painful, but in this case it is also a lot of fun.
JUST A DOG
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
BAUER, MICHAEL GERARD
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Mister Mosely was a dog?but not just a dog. In this book Corey tells stories about his enormous whiteish family pet, from the day they got him to the day he left their lives. Some of the stories are funny, some poignant. This is not just the story of a dog, but the story of a family that hit hard times. The lessons Corey learned from his dog are ones that will stick with him through life. This is a sweet, enthralling book that dog lovers will adore. It occasionally shows its Australian origins, but young readers will understand that stories of a boy and his dog are universal.
CONSTRUCTION KITTIES
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
STURGES, JUDY SUE GOODWI
HALPERN, SHARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The sun is up and Construction Kitties are getting ready to go to work. They've got their helmets (with their ears sticking out) and their big machinery. It's a hard day moving earth, building, and eating lunch, but the finished product--a playground--is well worth the effort. Big, bold, simple text accompanied by big, bold, child-friendly illustrations make this a good choice for preschool story-times.
SEE ME DIG
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
MEISEL, PAUL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
A pack of friendly dogs like to dig. They dig everywhere, much to the chagrin of their woodland friends. Then they dig up a treasure chest, which annoys the pirate ghosts who guard it. With the ghosts on their tails the dogs might be doomed?or maybe not. They find something that digs even better than they do. Bright watercolor and ink illustrations accompany a very simple text for this easy-reader picture book. Beginning readers will grin as they find this is a book they can easily master.
BULLY-FREE BUS
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HALL, PAMELA
OSTROM, BOB
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Bully-Free World" series, this well-bound 24-page book addresses the issue of bullying on the school bus. It provides some reasons why people bully, then gives examples of bullying--hitting and shoving, hogging the seats, taking someone else's stuff, and name-calling. Each example is followed by a page giving ideas on how to handle the situation. Children are encouraged to stand up for themselves and for others, tell a trusted adult, ignore the bully if possible, and to not fight back. Colorful illustrations show children from a variety of ethnicities both in the role of bully and bullied. This is an adequate introduction though the solutions seem a little too easy. Nevertheless it would be a good beginning for classroom discussion on bus behavior.
BULLY-FREE PARTY
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
HALL, PAMELA
OSTROM, BOB
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A Bully-Free World" series, this well-bound 24-page book addresses the issue of bullying in social settings. It provides some reasons why people bully and then gives examples of bullying--verbal bullying not getting inviting, having to invite a bully, peer pressure, and secrets. Each is followed by a page giving ideas on how to handle the situation--ignoring the bully, standing up for yourself or someone else, making a joke out of it, talking to an adult, and not fighting back. Bold illustrations show children from many ethnicities on both sides of the bullying issue. This is an adequate introduction to the topic that would lead naturally into classroom discussion.
I DARE YOU NOT TO YAWN
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BOUDREAU, HELENE
BLOCH, SERGE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Watch out! Yawns will sneak up on you. You'll be minding your own business and parents will sneak in bedtime things and activities and those yawns will creep into your mouth and next thing you know?YAWN! A young boy struggles against the inevitable as bedtime routines are followed and yawns ensue. Kid-friendly, humorous illustrations accompany the delightful text, written as cautionary advice. Honestly, I dare you to read this book and not yawn!
FACES FOR BABY : AN ART FOR BABY BOOK
TEMPLAR [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
PEEL, YANA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Twelve works of art by famous artists including Picasso, Chuck Close, and Chris Ofili, are beautifully reproduced in a large format and mounted on board-book thick pages in this collection designed for the very young. This is part of a series that encourages exploring artwork with your young child. Each picture shows a face--some realistic, and some less so. All are friendly and compelling. There is some argument about just when babies recognize pictures of faces. 3 months seems to be the earliest that this might be the case and, naturally, real faces are much more important to the very young than flat pictures. Still, some studies show that an oval with two dots that is even vaguely face-like does intrigue young children, and those who are old enough to enjoy pictures will find this a fun book to explore.
VACATION FOR POOCH
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
COCCA-LEFFLER, MARYANN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Violet is going on vacation to Florida. Her dog, Pooch, is going to board with Violet's grandparents on the farm. Violet has carefully packed a bag for herself and a bag for Pooch, but she's quite concerned that Pooch will not be OK on the farm. When she gets to Florida she discovers, to her horror, that she has Pooch's bag and Pooch has hers. How will Pooch survive without all his special things? Just fine, as it turns out. And Pooch has Violet's things to reassure him, and Violet has Pooch's things to help her adjust. Bright watercolor illustrations fill this small-format book with color and humor. This is a warm reassuring story that should make worriers feel better.
TRIXIE TEN
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [MACMILLAN]
MASSINI, SARAH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Trixie Ten has 9 brothers and sisters--Wanda One, Thomas Two, Theo Three, right up to Nathaniel Nine. The problem is that they all have idiosyncrasies and they all make noise. This noise is driving Trixie Ten batty. That's why she runs away from home. But the quiet world is a little scary. That night at bed check everyone realizes someone important is missing and they go in search of their sister. Trixie has also realized she misses them. She finds a solution for dealing with the noise and everyone is happy. This is actually a fairly simple story. The digital illustrations make it uniqe since most characters, including Trixie and her family, have bodies created with a colorful fingerprint. This creates a bouncy, fun book that would lead naturally into classroom art activities.
HOWARD B. WIGGLEBOTTOM LEARNS ABOUT COURAGE
WE DO LISTEN [WE DO LISTEN]
BINKOW, HOWARD
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Howard B. Wigglebottom is a rabbit with a problem--he's afraid. He's scared of everything and it's only getting worse. Finally he refuses to leave his room. Then he watches a baby bird take its first flight, outside his window. It's willing to take a risk, for the glory of flight. The bird teaches Howard that without fear we cannot learn about courage. Howard decides to face his fears one at a time, often with friends and family. He learns that fear should not stop you from living your life. OK, the book is a tad preachy, but young children often blow their fears out of proportion and allow them to dominate their lives. This book provides a positive way to show them how to cope. There are suggested extension activities at the end of the book. This would lead naturally into classroom discussion or provide a nice piece of bibliotheraphy for counselors dealing with children.
CLAN OF THE SCORPION
SQUARE FISH [MACMILLAN]
JONES, GARETH P
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Four Ninja meerkats face death and danger to save the world from the evil Ringmaster and his plan of doom. A tiger has been stolen--a tiger with a roar that can mesmerize all who hear it. If the Ringmaster can project that roar around the world he will have achieved total domination with a slave population to do his bidding. Who can stop him? Only our furry friends! The meercats travel to Hong Kong, cleverly hidden in a suitcase, to thwart the evil-doer's plan. Think Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtles, with meercats. Each of our heroes has a role--the planner, the intellectual, the warrior, the stomach. Yet they work as a team with banter a-plenty and lots of bad jokes and puns. This is sure to be a popular series as it is high on the silliness scale and a fun read. The format would also be sure attractive to reluctant readers.
EYE OF THE MONKEY
MACMILLAN [MACMILLAN]
JONES, GARETH P
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Our meercats of mayhem have returned in their second ninja adventure. Now they are in India trying to protect an emerald with mystic powers. They team up with the Delhi Llama, fight and then unite with Shaolin monkeys, and once again face the evil Ringmaster who seeks world domination. There are battles, there are villains. There is a lot of really bad banter that kids will adore. Oh the pun-ishment! Think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with meercats. This series is sure to be a hit, especially with boys. The format, with short chapters, occasional illustrations, and lots of action, will appeal to reluctant readers as well. And yes, I have had boys recently asking me for ninja books.
TAKE ME TO YOUR BBQ
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
DUVAL, KATHY
MCCAULEY, ADAM
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Cowboy Willy's about due to make a little barbeque. He's got the place, he's got the meat. He's even got the proper heat. But overhead he sees a glow. Good grief! Is that a UFO? The 3-eyed aliens greet Willy. They want his BBQ, and chili! They dance and sing and eat and play until it's time to go away. Now Willy will not be ignored, and so they invite him aboard. He's on a planet-hopping spree with pets and new-found friends. Yippee!
DEADLY! : THE TRUTH ABOUT THE MOST DANGEROUS CREATURES ON EA
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
DAVIES, NICOLA
LAYTON, NEAL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is an interesting book. It covers all kinds of deadly critters, but has casual cartoonish illustrations that a juvenile boy might have drawn, including funny conversation bubbles and plenty of blood and gore. In other words, it can kill you, but don't sweat, dude. Combine those fun-poking illustrations with informative and often serious text and you get quite the juxtaposition. There are lots of facts about lions, and tigers and bears, and sharks and cobras and...well, if it's dangerous it probably at least got a mention here. Of course not all things are dangerous to humans, and some animals that are merely dangerous to other animals are featured. Various means of both offense and defense are covered and the author points out that most deadly encouters are the result of accident or stupidity...or both. The final result is an odd mix of a book that's just weird enough to draw in those adolescent boys, and just informative enough to actually teach them something!
SOUND IN THE REAL WORLD
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
MILIOS, RITA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Science in the Real World" series, this well-bound 48-page book concentrates on the subject of sound. Sound is defined and the history of its study is explored. There's information on the science behind sound, and how humans hear sound. Noise pollution, sound technology, and animal sounds are briefly covered. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This series varies widely. Each chapter ends with an activity that leads into deeper thought--clearly designed to meet common core standards. However, as with the book on light, this book is both too broad and too narrow. It tries to cover too much and so the coverage is thin but broad. Photographs and diagrams accompany the text. This would not be my first purchase for a book on sound, but it would make an excellent supplement.
TREASURE HUNT
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
BARBO, MARIA
DEL SUR, DUENDES
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #13 in the Scooby-Doo! Picture Clue Book series. Each book in the series has 24 well-bound pages and a very simple text with bright cartoon illustrations. The text contains rebuses--pictures that replace some of the words, and that's the problem. While they are visually appealling, they slow down the reader. Worse, the books should begin with a glossary page that indicate what each picture means. There is an assumption that the young reader already knows all the names of the characters (which are entirely portrayed by pictures and never by name), and that they know what each picture represents. Even I was confused a time or two. In this entry in the series Scooby and pals look for a pirate treasure and have a run-in with a beehive. The plot is actually very simple and straightforward and not particularly scary. This is not a first purchase, but if you've got some spare cash it might appeal to reluctant readers.
VALENTINE BE MINE
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
FARMER, JACQUELINE
AVERBAECK, JIM
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Now this is an interesting book. It contains snippets of all kinds of odds and ends about Valentine's Day, much of which I had never seen before and none of which I have ever seen in one place. Cool! Want to know more about St. Valentine? The book tells you about all three of them! Was the holiday's connection to love based on another holiday it supplanted, or a poem? Perhaps. Where did the tradition of sending valentines come from? Who turned those cards into a home-based big business? What about cupids, doves, and hearts? What do different flowers mean, when you send them? There are a couple of art activities, some holiday-related jokes, and information about interesting holiday traditions from around the world. The final result is a fascinating, well-written, nicely paced book that makes you want to turn the page and find out more. The mixed-media illustrations are intriguing and a touch old-fashioned, like a classic Valentine's Day card. Add this to your holiday collection.
LITTLE YOU
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
VAN CAMP, RICHARD
FLETT, JULIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Oh my. This board book is an homage to babies and the joy and wonder they bring into a family's life. A simple and heartfelt poem is scattered like kisses across the pages while warm collage illustrations have crisp outlines and big blocks of color and pattern. This is a sweet treat to share with the little one you love.
YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE!
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
NIGHT, P J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
With a "Sleep with the lights on" rating on the Creep-o-Meter, this is a scary story that will please the "Goosebumps" crowd. Emily enjoys being friends with the two rather strange children across the street. They're unnaturally pale and are home-schooled though she's never met their parents. She has, however, seen a bloody-fanged wolf roaming the neighborhood late at night. On the night of a sleep-over Emily finally puts two and two together...but is it too late? This is an appropriately creepy story without a lot of character development. It's plot-driven, but young horror lovers will find no fault with that.
YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO BE SIR ISAAC NEWTON!
FRANKLIN WATTS [HACHETTE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
GRAHAM, IAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
I love the "You Wouldn't Want to?" series and they fly off my library shelves. Combine cartoon illustrations with humorous asides, a breezy text that gives the highlights of the subject while also pulling out any weird or interesting stuff that might be hanging about, and funny "Handy Hints" and you have a winner. This book is no exception. Subtitled: A Lonely Life You'd Rather Not Lead, it introduces young readers to Sir Isaac Newton. Some biographies can be dull. Some can be informative but not compelling This, however, is delightful. Readers learn about Newton's childhood, his education, his discoveries and theories, his dabbling in alchemy, and his eventual old age and death. A very nice glossary and index accompany the fun but highly informative text. This is another winner in the series.
LOST HEIR
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
SUTHERLAND, TUI T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is the second book in the "Wings of Fire" series that follows 5 young dragons who are, supposedly, destined to end a dragon war that has been going on for years. At least that's what the prophecy says. Each was stolen as an egg, and raised in what amounted to captivity to ensure their safety. Now they are out in the world and seeking their homes and the lives they lost, as well as trying to figure out how their destiny is to be fulfilled. The first book concentrated on Clay, the solid, caring member of their group. In this volume Tsunami, a Seawing dragon, is the focus. She's always been a bit self-centered and this may result in the death of her friends as she returns to the kingdom which she has the chance to eventually rule. Things are not always as they seem, however. Princesses of that kingdom have been dying mysteriously. An attempt is made on her life. Her mother seems as self-centered as Tsunami herself and the young dragon realizes she needs to change. Then there's her relationship with a sister she has just met who is her rival for the throne. There's action, treachery, a testing of friendships, and a bit of black magic. This is another interesting addition to the series, and is sure to please dragon fans.
COOKIE, THE WALKER
CAROLRHODA [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
MONROE, CHRIS
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Cookie, the dog, discovers she has an unusual ability. She can walk on her back legs, just like a person. This has some obvious advantages--she can reach the ice-maker, turn on the TV, and look out the window when she wants. However, her talent is soon exploited by humans. First it's tricks, then she's the star of the circus, and soon she has her own TV show! She should be on top of the world, but now she misses friends and home. Sure, she loves the fanny packs and the fame, but is the cost too great? Maybe being just a regular dog has its own benefits (Though that doesn't mean you can't still occasionally take advantage of your particular talents.) This book is a hoot and a half, with funny conversation bubbles carrying much of the plot, and a clever use of language to add to the absurdity. Children will giggle at the concept, and understand Cookie's final choice. Hey, sometimes you have to give up something, for something you value more.
HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
MAYHALL, ROBIN
CELLA, KRISTEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #7 in the "My Boyfriend is a Monster" series. Serena has just moved into a small town and adjusting is hard. But suddenly two boys are interested in her--the quarterback and a smart, kind boy who helps her with her homework. The homework? Dr. Jekyl l and Mr. Hyde. Lance, the quarterback, is becoming increasingly unstable. Cam, the intellectual, is hiding something. Some faculty members know more than they should. When two cheerleaders are killed it becomes clear that a deadly danger stalks the school. Will Serena be its next target? This black and white graphic novel is another intriguing entry in the series. While the others I have read can easily be placed in an elementary library this one is more appropriate for a secondary library. (The word "bitch" is bandied about.) The only quibble I have with the artwork is that Serena is drawn in such a way that she doesn't really look like a high school student. At times she looks much much older, with wrinkles. I do, however, appreciate that the artist draws people of a normal size, not a bunch of teenagers who are size 2. This is a tense, interesting horror story that teens will enjoy.
BARK IN SPACE
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
ROBBINS, TRINA
PAGE, TYLER
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #5 in the "Chicagoland Detective Agency" graphic novel series. Pet supply store owner, Raf, has invented an app that will translate the speech of dogs into English. Not that he needs it for his own dog, Bradley, who already speaks English quite well. Along with 13-year-old sorta Goth Megan, who writes haikus, Raf and Bradley solve mysteries that border on the bizarre. In this one Bradley is dognapped by space aliens who are actually pooches themselves looking for a missing princess who has run away. Recruiting Bradley's "pets"--Raf and Megan--they set out to find a dog who may not wish to be found. There's true love, an evil scientist (who we have met previously), danger, and plenty of haikus. This is another great adventure with just a touch of humor and terrific black and white illustrations. If you haven't stumbled on this series yet you need to look it over. It's a lot of fun.
LITTLE PRINCE : 5 : THE STAR SNATCHER'S PLANET
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
DORISON, GUILLAUME
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
There's a new graphic novel series that snatches Antoine De Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" and continues his adventures. The artwork is fabulous--crisp, evocative and detailed. Lamentably, the story leaves much to be desired and, while occasionally paying homage to the ideals of the original book, never even comes close to capturing its essence. The concept is that the Little Prince, and his snarky friend, Fox, are traveling the universe saving planets from the influence of the Snake. In this book they find a planet that is gradually dying because someone is capturing the stars and hoarding them. The Little Prince must convince the perpetrator to ignore the whisperings of the Snake before the Prince's own lovely planet with his Rose is also captured. The story idea is actually not bad, but execution is a problem. People behave oddly with little motivation. The star snatcher is kind and then evil and then wishy-washy. Anytime the plot needs a nudge an amazing fact is revealed without any foreshadowing to get it kick-started again. The reader is left feeling cheated despite the kindness and bravery of our hero. Sigh. Still, the artwork is amazing.
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A TON? AND OTHER WEIGHT & VOLUME MEASUR
SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
BUSSIERE, DESIREE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy, 24-page Sandcastle book uses short crisp text and equally crisp photographs to introduce some basic words we use for weight and volume. It covers pound, ounce, ton, fluid ounce, pint, gallon, grain, and carat. There's a fun facts page, short quiz, and glossary. This is a clear, informative book, beautifully put together, but I have never had a need for a book of this type. Still, it might be useful in measurement units.
Investigating Light
Searchlight Books [Lerner Publications]
Walker, Sally M.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
When it comes to writing solid nonfiction Sally Walker knows her stuff. This member of the Searchlight Books "How Does Energy Work?" series shines the light on?well, light. The author clearly defines light and talks about both sunlight and other light sources. Atoms, photons, molecules and matter are part of the discussion. Reflection, absorption, and refraction are explained, as is the spectrum. Every time a new concept is introduced it is clearly explained in ways children will understand, and accompanied by simple science experiements that illustrate the key point. There's a good glossary, bibliography, weblist and index. Crisp photographs and colorful illustrations augment the text. This would be an excellent addition to school libraries. One can only hope the rest of the series (Electricity, Heat, Magnetism, Matter, and Sound) is as good.
I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
ROSS, TONY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Little Princess is back. Now she has something on her nose and must go to the hospital. She is very unhappy with this, and hides. However, once at the hospital she finds that, as is only right, the whole world seems to revolve around her. Once back at the castle her only desire is to return to the hospital. This is another romp with the self-absorbed princess with bright bold illustrations big enough for sharing. The story is slight, but children going to the hospital will find it both humorous and reassuring. However, like all books in this series, the stitching is not going to last.
HENRY AND THE CANNONS : AN EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY OF THE A
ROARING BROOK PRESS [MACMILLAN]
BROWN, DON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Sometimes the best stories are the true ones. During the American Revolution the British took over Boston. George Washington had to watch from afar, knowing he didn't have the weapons or troops to retake the city. If only he could get the cannons the patriots had acquired from the British when the Americans took Fort Ticondaroga. But it was the middle of winter, and those cannons were 300 miles away across a wilderness. They might as well have been on the moon. Then Henry Knox, an unassuming bookseller, stepped forward and volunteered. Despite incredible obstacles, he and a group of soldiers over several months managed to bring all of the cannons to Boston where they proved an unexpected surprise for the British. Brown tells the tale of this fascinating historic event in clear, evocative text, accompanied by spare watercolor illustrations in sepia tones that convey much in a few careful strokes. Add this to your history section!
HOW'S THE WEATHER IN FALL?
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
FELIX, REBECCA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The title contains the question the book answers. What is the weather like in the fall? The temperature changes. We wear warmer clothes. Animals prepare for the winter. Leaves change color. Days get shorter. The 24 sturdily-bound pages of this book contain a sentence or two of simple text facing crisp autumn photographs with a curved orange border. Index, glossary, bibliography, word list? They're all here. My only quibble? The books in this series about fall could easily have been combined into just one book.
WHAT DO ANIMALS DO IN FALL?
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
FELIX, REBECCA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Seasonal studies are always popular in the primary grades and this book would fit in nicely. It briefly examines what animals do in the fall. They change their appearance, store food, prepare to hibernate, or migrate. The 24 sturdily-bound pages contain a sentence of two of simple text facing crisp autumn photographs with a curved orange border. Of course normal text features apply. I just find it odd that the publisher didn't combine the simple titles about fall by Rebecca Felix into one inclusive book. Oh wait, then they wouldn't have been able to charge you for two books. Hmmmm.
CINDERELLA
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
LAKE, OLIVER
LAKE, OLIVER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is a board book with a one word summary on each page of the important parts of the plot for the fairy tale Cinderella. This would work well one on one with a child that has been read the actual fairy tale so that they may be reminded of the main ideas and retell the story with an adult.
WHAT ARE THE US REGIONS?
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
ROBINS, MAUREEN PICARD
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is an introduction to the five regions of the United States. There are maps, full-color photographs and fun fact boxes that enhance the text. There are generally three pages of information for each of the regions. Usually only one state is highlighted with one or two sentences about other parts of the region but it shows all the states included on the map without mentioning them again in the text. There is a six term glossary and a seven entry index with additional resources (websites) noted.
Other Felix, The
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Graff, Keir
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Felix lives in the big city with parents who work long hours and little in the way of friends. Oh, and he also has nightmares. Every time he falls asleep he finds himself in a strange forested place completely different from his home. Monsters dwell there, and another boy who looks just like him, also named Felix. When he wakes in the morning evidences of his nightly journey are in his room--mud on the sheets, a torn robe. And then he has to face the monsters of his real world--a bully, parents who are worried about job security, a stranger in the park. At night he's learning how to face up to the monsters, but the other Felix is acting strangely. At first a friend, now he seems a threat, and the monsters may not be what Felix originally thought. This is an interesting, introspective type of book that leaves the reader wondering. It can be viewed on many levels as everyone faces monsters in their lives. This is the author's first book for children and it is well-written but it's not going to appeal to the widest audience. Those who embrace it, however, will see reflections of themselves in Felix.
WHAT ARE THE BRANCHES OF DEMOCRACY?
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MATZKE, ANN H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This book presents the basic information about the United States government. It would work well as an introduction, read aloud with an older audience or as a basic book of information for high-low readers. There is more information here than is usually needed in a primary class. It is current for Obama the President and 435 representatives but will become dated easily. There is a six term glossary, six term index and additional resources (websites) listed. The book is illustrated with drawings, charts, and full-color photographs.
Larry Loves Seattle
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
Skewes, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This board book is the younger version of Larry Gets Lost in Seattle without the plot. There are fewer Seattle landmarks, but it is a good introduction to places to go and things to do in the city.
Farm
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Brown, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Pig, sheep, dog, horse, goose, cow are shown on one side of the board book page with a repeating graphic pattern of the animal decorating the opposite page. Each page has a large image and the word with the final page telling us they are all animals on the farm.
Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever
Candlewick [Candlewick]
DiCamillo, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is the third book in this series about these two best friends. The first book was a Ted Geisel honor book. There are chapters, allowing the story line to change but the book is one line of text with illustrations and 80 pages in length. Fans of the characters will enjoy this new book with three separate adventures.
OLD MACDONALD HAD HER FARM
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
LAWSON, JONARNO
HOLDCROFT, TINA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Her farm is full of the vowel sounds of a,e, i, o, u and when she came across one of them she would do chores that accentuated the sound of the vowel represented. The rhythm and rhymes are sometimes difficult to read and the digital color illustrations are busy and zany with much to take in making this a better read alone title. The refrain ia "And when she came across an (vowel in red font) this is what she'd do, and then there is at least two to six rhyming couplets using the vowel for farm work. There is even the sometimes y. This will work well as a teaching tool for vowels for students already familiar with the original.
SNOW WHITE
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
LAKE, OLIVER
LAKE, OLIVER
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Using the same format as the fairy tale Cinderella, this board book includes enough pictures of the parts of the fairy tale that is will work for sharing after the child has been introduced to the actual fairy tale or the adult will need to adlib the story from the pictures given.
WHO NEEDS LOVE?
ROBIN COREY BOOKS [RANDOM HOUSE]
PRIMAVERA, ELISE
PARK, LAURA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Simon and Scarlett are two alligators that live in Pokey Marsh but they each have dreams of leaving. Scarlett wants to be a singer and Simon wants to find great things by exploring other lands. Everyone thought they were destined to fall in love and live happily ever after but they have other plans and they meet a witch by the old cypress tree that wants the silver dollar and turns Simon into a donkey and when Scarlett gives it to her she asks to be turned into a great singer. The witch is not happy with the silver dollar, blames and destroys the old cypress tree because of it but Scarlett wishes she had Simon back and breaks the witches spell. They reunite, stay in Pokey Marsh and live happily in love forever. The illustrations are done in watercolor, pen and ink.
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU : COLORS
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MCBRATNEY, SAM
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
The colors are portrayed in watercolor. This makes them very muted shades of the actual color. Bunny greets each color: yellow, green, red, blue and brown. The last page shows bunny 'nutbornw' with its mother and a real world example of each of the colors; a yellow butterly, green frog, blue bird, red ladybug and brown leaves. The small size makes it perfect for tiny hands of the toddler that will appreciate the format and concepts.
Who's Hiding
Candlewick [Candlewick]
Braun, Sebastien
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is a lift-the-flap board book that asked the preschooler "who is hiding" and then when the flap is lifted the visual image along with the word for the animal is revealed. There is a puppy, caterpillar, snail, rabbit, guinea pig and cat, ending with the baby in a playhouse. This will work well one on one with a preschool child but the flaps may need to be reattached if they are let 'read' on their own.
SLOW SNAIL
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MURPHY, MARY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Snail leaves a silver trail as she goes down the flower, over the stone, through the boot, under a stick, along a bottle and in and out of a brick until she meets another snail for dinner. This is very similar to the Duck book but no sound is made by this animal allowing only the visual appeal of the shiny trail and bright colors.
WHO HAS THIS TAIL?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
HULBERT, LAURA
BROOKS, ERIK
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Each two-page spread asks the question who has this tail with a large drawing of the tail in questions. The next two-page spread shows the answer and tells the reader how the animal uses its tail. The illustrations are done in watercolor and pen and ink. The animals include a spider monkey, rattlesnake, shark, gerbil, horse, scorpion, peacock, arctic fox, and beaver. The detail on the tail may or may not make the solution obvious. The last pages have thumnails and then the pages fold out to say "We have these tails". This book will work well for a story time as the pictures of the tails are large enough for group sharing.
PIGS IN PAJAMAS
Knopf Books for Young Readers [RANDOM HOUSE]
SMITH, MAGGIE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This book accentuates the letter 'p' and the last page provides a list of the words that begin with p that the reader should be able to find within the text or illustrations.The illustrations are done in acrylic paint and collage. The rhyming couplet text tells the story of the pigs dressed in their pajamas on the way to Penny's for a party, a birthday sleepover. The author lives in Seattle and can be found at maggiebooks.com.
BUTTERFLY COLORS AND COUNTING
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
PALLOTTA, JERRY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
The numbers one to ten and the colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, white and black are introduced as butterflys. This is visually appealing and can be used to reinforce those concepts for the very young audience.
I Want to Help!
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Adams, Diane
Hayashi, Nancy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is a comforting story about a rambunctious little girl who is very capable and either in preschool or Kindergarten. She is willing to help and she does things like most kids but when her fathr doesn't pick her up on time and she is scared the teacher tells her she could really use her help while they wait. The illustrations are done in soft watercolor and colored pencil.
QUICK DUCK
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MURPHY, MARY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Duck quacks his way to the pond where mother and siblings wait to go on a journey on the water. He goes through, around, under, over and down allowing those concepts to be visually integrated for the very young child. The illustrations are bright and colorful and the oversize font allows this to be used for a samll preschool sharing time.
HISS-S-S-S-S!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
KIMMEL, ERIC A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Omar wants a snake for a pet but he must adjust to the many difficulties of having a snake in the house including his mother's morbid fear of the animals. His little sister has several ideas of her own about having a snake in the house and when it gets loose in the house Omar has to deal with the possibility that his mother may find it before he can and after what happened with the mice he knows that that may be the last straw. This is a fun read and it allows the reader to think about the responsibility of pet ownership and what difficulties come with exotic pets.
JUNIE B., FIRST GRADER : TURKEYS WE HAVE LOVED AND EATEN (AN
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE CHILDREN'S BOOKS]
PARK, BARBARA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
There is a contest at Junie B. Jones' school to create the best Thankful List. The first grade class is creating quite a list of things for which they are thankful. Mr. Scary has his hands full with their creative ideas and impulsive tendencies. The first graders are certain that they will not like the prize of pumpkin pie, but Mrs. Gladys Gutzman has a family recipe that surprises them. There are great lessons on being thankful and being good friends.
JUDY MOODY AND THE BAD LUCK CHARM
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MCDONALD, MEGAN
REYNOLDS, PETER H.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Judy Moody did not win the National Spelling Bee but she was invited by the winner from her school to come along and babysit for her precious pot-bellied pig. With Judy's lucky penny she figures nothing can go wrong, but it does and then she must find the runaway pig, along with other mishaps. This continuation of the Judy moody character will be enjoyed by fans.
PUMPKIN COUNTDOWN
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
HOLUB, JOAN
SMITH, JAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This is done in the same format as Apple Countdown by the same author and illustrator team. The end papers include fun facts about pumpkins. The class has set out on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. There is a pumpkin in the corner of each page telling the reader which number is being showcased on the page, although there are a few two-page spreads for the same number. It starts with 20 and ends with the 1 pumpkin song the teacher knows that the class sings on the way back to school at the end of the field trip. The illustrations are done in full-color watercolor paintings with word bubbles of additional conversation but these are infrequent. There is enough information here to begin a primary unit about pumpkins or to use as an introduction before the class trip to the pumpkin patch.
MAGGIE'S CHOPSTICKS
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
WOO, ALAN
MELENFANT, ISABELLE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Maggie gets a new pair of chopsticks and many of the members in the family have advice for her about how she should hold her chopsticks but her father tells her everyone is unique when he sees her struggling with them. Her father helps her to gain the confidence she needs to succeed. The illustrations are done in watercolor and Adobe photoshop. This is a multicultural reassuring look at the differences in people and culture but will appeal to the broader audience.
TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
CABRERA, JANE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
This book continues the well-known children's song with additional verses where the little star sparkles, flickers, shimmers and glistens over forests, desert and other biomes incluing acrylic paintings with animals until it ends in the sky overlooking earth and eventually for the one I love. Music is included on the end paper. This adaptation of the nursery song will be popular for preschool story time.
GRANNY'S CLAN : A TALE OF WILD ORCAS
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
HODSON, SALLY
JONES, ANN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
The last two pages of this book offer an array of factual information, websites and identification elements of the Pacific Northwest J, K, and L pod orcas. The illustrations are done as acrylic paintings and at times are simplistic and other times have detail and color. The author and illustrator are from the area, one lives on Orcas Island and the other lives on one of the islands. While the story presents information to the reader it also 'humanizes' the animals and their emotions which detracts from the overall book.
THERE'S A FLY GUY IN MY SOUP
CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC) [CARTWHEEL BOOKS (SCHOLASTIC)]
ARNOLD, TEDD
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2013
Evey, Kay
Fly Guy is back in this easy beginning chapter book with its owner Buzz. This time they stop at a hotel with Buzz's parents and Buzz is told that Fly Guy may NOT accompany them to the fancy hotel restaurant so Fly Guy goes outside to see what he can find to eat in the garbage, however he is unsatisfied with the choices there and smells something wonderful so he flies into the back door of the restaurant and into the kitchen where he begins to bather in a bowl of soup. Chaos reigns over the dining room and everyone is covered in soup. Fans of Fly Guy will enjoy this new offering.