Reviews for month


Southwest
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
The Southwest presents information on the four states: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. It is one of five titles in The Regions of the U.S.A series. The presentation is attractive, beautiful photographs, easy to read type, lots of white space around the text and illustrations. As with all the titles in this series, the second chapter discusses the history of the area. The information on the Native Americans briefly mentions the variety tribes in certain areas, but is brief enough to leave inaccurate impressions, such as “The Plains Apache lived in Oklahoma” gives no indication of the different branches of the Apache who live in other parts of the Southwest. The European impact on the area begins briefly with the Spanish, starting in New Mexico through to Arizona and New Mexico’s statehood. The information covered is slight and generalized but an adequate starting place for research on the region. The standard features of non-fiction text are included. The publisher’s website includes a note to the effect they “routinely verify our Web links to make sure they are saFe and active sties.
Southeast
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
The Southeast presents information on the 12 states that make up the area known as “The South” and Washington, D. C. It is one of five titles in The Regions of the U.S.A series. The presentation is attractive, beautiful photographs from the states; easy to read type, lots of white space around the text and illustrations. The chapter “Slavery, Civil War and Civil Rights” presents a brief history of the area, barely mentioning the Spanish discovery and colonization, mostly focusing on the era from just prior to the Civil War through the Civil Rights movement. The third chapter discusses the forms of government and the economy of the area to present day. The information covered is slight and generalized but an adequate starting place for research on the region. The standard features of non-fiction text are included. The publisher’s website includes a note to the effect they “routinely verify our Web links to make sure they are safe and active sties.
Midwest
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
The Midwest presents information on the 12 states that make up the area known as “America’s Heartland.” These states are the central geographic area of the US and the “center of population and industry” made up of the “Great Plains states and the “Great Lake states”. It is one of five titles in The Regions of the U.S.A series. The presentation is attractive, beautiful photographs; easy to read type, lots of white space around the text and illustrations. As with all the titles in this series, the second chapter discusses the history of the area, with mention of the Paleo-Indians, and the Native Americans before moving on the European impact on the area. The third chapter discusses the forms of government and the economy of the area to present day. The information covered is slight and generalized but an adequate starting place for research on the region. The standard features of non-fiction text are included. The publisher’s website includes a note to the effect they “routinely verify our Web links to make sure they are safe and active sties.
Polka-Dot Puppy
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Regan, Dana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This title is part of the Magic Castle Readers which to quote the publisher “feature charming illustrations and provide children with a fun escape to faraway lands. Curriculum topics are woven into each book and include subjects such as counting, colors, feelings, manners, and many more.” In this one, a “Just-for-fun book” a small puppy, drawn to look like a Dalmatian puppy, is alone on the street looking for a home. After begin chased from a bakery, a toy story and a grocery store the puppy finds himself outside a tall building just as it is getting dark. Left alone in the dark he saves the day by barking when fire breaks and is finally adopted by the firefighters who come to put out the fire. It is a sweet story with charming, simple illustrations that the very young dog lovers will enjoy. The story is one that would be a good read with pre-school and kindergarten students, but students would need to be reading about the second grade level to read it independently. The library binding will outlast the paper on board cover. Purchase if you have a need for this type of material.
Nanny Goat's Boat
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Girouard, Patrick
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This title is part of the Magic Castle Readers which refers to books as “Word Windows” and opens each story with the words “ Sam (or other character) opened a Word Window, Here is what he read.” To quote the publisher the books “feature charming illustrations and provide children with a fun escape to faraway lands. Curriculum topics are woven into each book and include subjects such as counting, colors, feelings, manners, and many more.” Nanny Goat’s Boat” is supposed to present the curriculum topic of rhyming to young readers. The rhyming is labored “I will sail away,” she said one day. But the boat would not float. Then Nanny Goat lost her coat.” (And this is one of the best ones). Along about page 21 the reader is asked to figure out the answers to the questions posed, “Ape came with a gift for Nanny Goat. This is to wear when you sail in your boat.” “Is it a scarf, or a cap?” asked the Ape. You know! Isn’t’ that so?” - the answer is usually in the illustrations, which are sometimes clear and other times uncertain. There are better rhyming stories available. The library binding will outlast the paper on board cover, if you can find students interested enough to read it.
Smile,' Says Little Crocodile
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Desantis, Susan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This title is part of the Magic Castle Readers by A Child’s World that refers to books as “Word Windows” and opens each story with the words “Tess (or other character) opened a Word Window, Here is what she read.” To quote the publisher the books “feature charming illustrations and provide children with a fun escape to faraway lands. Curriculum topics are woven into each book and include subjects such as counting, colors, feelings, manners, and many more.” This title is one of four in their Health & Safety series. Written in simple language the little crocodile list all of the things to do to keep a happy healthy smile on your face “Good food keeps me keep my smile,” says the little crocodile. “I eat apples and celery for snacks and treats instead of too many gooey sweets.” Exercise helps keep my smile,” says the little crocodile. I jog, I climb, I jump rope, too.” All are good suggestions presented with a positive attitude but are a bit of a heavy hand. It could be used a supplemental reading for a health unit either as a read aloud for pre-school and Kindergarten students and maybe independent reading for first or second grade students. The library binding will outlast the paper on board cover.
Rabbits' Habits
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Desantis, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
This title is part of the Magic Castle Readers by A Child’s World that refers to books as “Word Windows” and opens each story with the words “Sara (or other character) opened a Word Window, Here is what she read.” To quote the publisher the books “feature charming illustrations and provide children with a fun escape to faraway lands. Curriculum topics are woven into each book and include subjects such as counting, colors, feelings, manners, and many more.” This title is one of four in their Health & Safety series. Written in simple language the three little rabbits show good and bad examples of behavior (habits) towards new experiences, taking care of things, playing with others and helping. In each scene, two of the rabbits demonstrate bad habits and one has a good habit. After each one, the reader is asked, “Which little rabbit had a good habit?” It seems a little heavy handed in its approach, but may do well if you want to begin a discussion of appropriate behaviors for Pre-School students, maybe even Kindergarten students. The library binding will outlast the paper on board cover.
Alphabet Trucks
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Vamos, Samantha R
O'rourke, Ryan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Trucks! Trucks! And more Trucks! 26 of them “Vroom! Rumble! Zoom!” across the pages of this delightful alphabet book for truck lovers. Written in rhyming couplets that occasionally are awkward but truck lovers will not care. The commonplace trucks; Dump truck, Fuel truck, and Ice-Cream truck and the unusual trucks; Knuckle-boom truck; Ore truck and Zipper truck rumble through the delightful oil and acrylic illustrations reminiscent of those of the past such as those in Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Letters and trucks spread over the page in a variety ways. The variety of fonts used for each letter as the vacuum truck vacuums up the letter V in the middle of the street adds a fun dimension to the illustrations. This is a fun choice for truck lovers from this Seattle author. The trade binding may have a hard time standing up to the use could receive from young truck lovers. Also reviewed in SLJ, Kirkus Reviews and Feathered Quill Book Reviews
Good Night, Sleep Tight
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Fox, Mem
Horacek, Judy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Mem Fox has written a delightful nursery rhyme book about two young children, Bonnie and Ben, and their babysitter, Skinny Doug. At bedtime as he says good night, he begins with the nursery rhyme “Good night, sleep tight. Hope the fleas don’t bite! If they do, squeeze ‘em tight and they won’t bit another night.” Bonnie and Ben had never heard it before and asked for more, “We love it! We love it! said Bonnie and Ben. How does it go again?” to which Skinny Doug replies: “Some other time. But I’ll tell you another I heard from my mother - and off he goes with another rhyme, some familiar such as “This Little Piggy” and others not so familiar such as “Round and Round the Garden”. After each of the six rhymes, the same exchange is heard. The illustrations by Judy Horacek complement the text from the simple colorful figures of Skinny Doug, Bonnie and Ben to the fun, whimsical, bright and amusing figures that go with the nursery rhymes. There are just enough nursery rhymes for a bedtime book or for a young reader to enjoy for a quick read. This is another Mem Fox title that is sure to entice readers - maybe of all ages. The binding is adequate and the dust jacket will protect the paper on board cover.
Hello, Mama Wallaroo
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Lunde, Darrin
Wynne, Patricia J.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 02, 2013
Cook, Kathryn
Here is a beginning Informational text for the very young. Hello, Mama Wallaroo introduces young readers to the wallaroo, a kangaroo type animal native to Australia. Written in a question and answer format, the question, “Hello, hopping animal. What is your name?”is in large font, and the answer, “My name is Mama Wallaroo. A wallaroo is a kind of kangaroo.” in a smaller font. The reader finds basic information about what they look like, the habitat, habits and danger facing a wallaroo in the text and in the beautiful, realistic pen, ink and watercolor illustrations. The last two pages have additional information about the wallaroo and a note that there are about fifty different kinds of Kangaroo-like animals in Australia. This will surely attract young readers. The author and illustrator have teamed up for other similar titles: Hello, Baby Beluga and Hello, Bumblebee Bat. The binding is adequate and the dust jacket should keep the paper on board cover intact through much handling.
Hurry Up, Houdini!
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Osborne, Mary Pope
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 02, 2013
Dame, Anne
#50 in the Magic Tree house series, and yet it is the first one I have read. The prologue gave the necessary background information on the series for anyone (like me) who has not read one of the other books in the series yet. Siblings Jack and Annie have a magical tree house which, with help from the wizard Merlin, allows them to adventure all through time and space. In this book they are transported to Coney Island in 1908 to witness Houdini perform and learn the secret to his greatness. A very interesting setting and could definitely spark interest in the setting or to learn more about Houdini. For those who want to learn magic tricks, there is a companion book called "Magic Tricks from the Tree House."
Magic Tricks From The Tree House
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Osborne, Mary Pope
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 02, 2013
Dame, Anne
Companion book to Magic Tree House #50 "Hurry Up, Houdini." 25 simple magic tricks to amaze friends and family. Some tricks are simpler than others, but the clear illustrations and lots of practice should allow anyone to perform these tricks.
Cassie And The Woolf
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Snowe, Olivia
Lamoreaux, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 02, 2013
Dame, Anne
A modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a twist. Interspersed with engaging black and white illustrations with red accents, there are also red accents in the text to combine for a visually interesting read. My favorite part was the end of the book where there is a chart and instructions for creating your own twice told tale!
Class Pets
Branches [Branches]
Nees, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 02, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe series is part of Scholastic Branches early chapter books. In this title Melissa Abigail Rose AKA Missy prepares to bring home a class pet, but first she has to convince her mom. Then she has to overcome the new mean girl Tiffany, who has her sights set on the same Eenie-Meenie, Miney, and Moe that Missy hopes to take. She plots throughout the day how to do this, and is about to get the goldfish, when she gives Tiffany the treats for the three rats. Tiffany goes berserk when she realizes they’re rats, and Missy has the enjoyable experience of caring for them instead. The colorful cartoon drawings are bold and entertaining. Missy’s a force to be reckoned with as she’s very determined. Young girls should enjoy this beginning chapter book intended for Gr. 1-3 with a reading level for Gr. 2. Lexile is 390.
Coco : My Delicious Life
Branches [Branches]
May, Kyla
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 02, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Coco is one of the four Lotus Lane girls, each with her own book. At the outset, Coco, an only child, gets a diary, which becomes this book. It’s decorated by her, includes drawings of her friends and pet Chihuahua, and is marked by her exuberant style. She’s the baker and artist of the group. Three of the girls have a club, the Lotus Lane Girls Club with a set schedule 5 out of 7 days of the week—Scrapbooking Monday, Doggie Day Spa Tuesday, 10-minute Makeover Thursday, Pajama Party Friday, and Cupcake Catch-up Saturday. Two problems occur—her father is off to save the snails, so the girls plan to create a vegetable garden for these creatures. The principal offers to let them have it at school if they can raise the funds. In the process, the new girl on the street Mika, has to earn her way into this tight three-some. She’s successful when they get to know her and she helps them out. The handwritten typestyle makes it almost seem like a diary. Young girls will enjoy this sweet, upbeat story in an 84-page early chapter series called Branches intended for Gr. 1-3 with a 2nd grade reading level (Lexile 740). Others in the series include Kiki: my stylish life; Lulu: my glamorous life; and Mika: my new life.
Kiki : My Stylish Life
Branches [Branches]
May, Kyla
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 02, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Coco: My Delicious Life by same author in same Lotus Lane series. Kiki is the fashionista of the Lotus Lane Girls Club (LLGC), but she also likes facts. In her book, which is the first of the four, she receives her diary as a gift from her mom who travels a lot. When a new girl from Japan moves in next door, they get off to a bad start. This is exacerbated when both girls choose the same art project—creating kimonos for the art show. A breezy, excitable Kiki comes through, but with a good heart. The little facts, artwork, instant messages, and text abbreviations make this a fun chapter book for young girls.
CITY CHICKENS
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
HEPPERMANN, CHRISTINE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 02, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Chicken Run Rescue, an inner-city shelter for chickens in Minneapolis, operates out of the backyard of a typical residential house in a residential area. In City Chickens, readers learn how Mary Britton and Bert Clouse started the shelter, where the birds have come from and their efforts to place them in homes. Various anecdotes pepper the pages including one where the author describes her own entrancement by the chickens resulting in adopting one! Multiple brightly colored photographs accompany the descriptive text on each page along with plentiful quotes and several full-page photographs. This is a fabulous book for aspiring chicken owners as well as providing a site for alternative curriculum for classrooms considering hatching chicks, which often leads to abandoned chickens. Sources and two websites including the Chicken Run Rescue are given but no other non-fiction text features are included.
Stick!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pritchett, Andy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Puppy would love to play with his new-found stick, but neither cow nor bird nor pig is interested. When he finally throws it away, it comes flying back, followed by another puppy who wants to play that game. Only then do the other animals join in. The puppies know they have found the basis of a new friendship. The text is sparse (only one word per page and only six different words in total), so the story is conveyed mostly by the bright, colorful pencil and digital illustrations. Backgrounds are solid colors from all over the rainbow, and the cartoon-like characters have their conversation shown in speech bubbles. Puppy’s changing emotions are easily understood, and young children will enjoy the sweet but short story in the first picture book from this author-illustrator.
Thumpy Feet
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Lewin, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2013
Garrard, Thom
The cat named Thumpy Feet spends his day eating, cleaning, playing, napping, and then playing some more. The simple repeated words and phrases that describe the action, like “Licky lick! Licky licky lick lick licky licky” for the tongue bath, are just the type of word play that is likely to appeal to preschoolers. But the best part of this book is the sense of the cat’s personality that is conveyed by Lewin’s artwork. The bright watercolors with black outlines include only Thumpy Feet and the important details set against a white background. This is clearly an energetic cat with a lot of personality. This book actually turns out to be more character study than story. Since the activities in a preschooler’s day may bear some resemblance to those of the cat, however, younger audiences are likely to enjoy the action.
Me Too!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gorbachev, Valeri
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 03, 2013
Garrard, Thom
In this story of friendship on a snowy day, Bear always takes the lead and Chipmunk enthusiastically follows. When Bear exclaims that he loves snow, Chipmunk responds, “Me too!” When they go outside, Bear has them shoveling snow, building a snowman, ice skating, falling down, going skiing, getting into deep snow, and finally getting cold and heading home. Throughout their adventures, Chipmunk’s response is always, “Me Too!” But when they are settled in their beds and Bear wishes him sweet dreams, Chipmunk replies, “You Too!” The expressive watercolor and ink illustrations incorporate details that help the reader find humor in their vastly different sizes. The large format of the book, the repetitive text, the appealing illustrations that provide visual clues, and the positive interactions of these two friends make a winning combination that works well for the beginning reader.
India
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
Cuba
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
Israel
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
Canada
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
Australia
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
Spain
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Shirts, Brooke
You can't get more basic than the "Explore the Countries" series; each slim volume in this set is ready-made for school reports, with all the pertinent information given in language as plain and direct as possible. Sometimes this plainness is a detriment to the text; there are often odd jumps of logic that may not make sense to young readers. (For example, a paragraph about Madrid begins, "Some of Madrid was rebuilt after the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939. But, it still has buildings from the 1500s and 1600s.") The center spread of each book is timeline that is poorly designed (bent arrows directing readers to text boxes scattered all over the page) and offers an odd combinations of facts (India's timeline follows colonization, then independence, then a note about winning the Cricket World cup). A lack of context aside, this is probably a fair choice for libraries hunting for "country books" for fledgling readers. While the text is bland, it is fairly easy to read, and the stock-illustration full-color photography is just fine. Distilling an entire country's history, geography and culture into 40 easy-to-read pages is no easy task.
FROM FLOWER TO HONEY
Lerner Publishing Group [Lerner Publishing Group]
NELSON, ROBIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Stunning graphic design and content well matched to the intended younger readers, combine to create a series that can be used to teach non-fiction text features as well as sequencing steps in the cycle of bees using flowers to produce honey. Each two-page spread is arranged with the text on the left and a full-page photograph on the right. Black text on a wide white arrow is placed on a bright orange page, so that the arrow points towards the picture and the next steps in the cycle. A short sentence such as Bees drink nectar, doubles as the chapter title and a picture caption. Two – three short sentences follow, giving a few facts and using sequencing words. Other books in this series include: From Egg to Butterfly, From Foal to Horse, From Kernel to corn, From Shoot to Apple, and From Tadpole to Frog. This series complements life cycle units and can be used to teach sequencing and main idea and details. Glossary and Index included.
LET'S CLASSIFY ORGANISMS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HICKS, KELLI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 03, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
All living organisms have been placed into six kingdoms based on shared characteristics. Kelli Hicks uses concise, clear language in explaining these characteristics and further differentiating how each of the kingdoms is divided into phyla. The balance between a simple overview of classification and the details provided for each kingdom will meet needs for a wide variety of ages. Younger students can absorb the overview and enjoy the eye-catching photographs and diagrams, whereas older students have just a bit more information about the next level of classification that divides the organisms into Phyla. The Plantae and Animalia kingdoms have the most additional information including large well-labeled diagrams of typical cells, as well as some of the differences scientists use in further classification. Bold words in the text are defined in the glossary and include decomposers, membrane, nucleus, vascular, eukaryotic, spores and photosynthesize. Excellent text features include the photographs, many which are highly magnified, Did You Know text boxes, a short review quiz, index, glossary and three solid websites for further information. This is a book and a series that should complement the new Science Standards.
HIBERNATION
Scholastic Paperbacks [Scholastic Paperbacks]
KOSARA, TORI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 03, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
This Scholastic Level 2 Reader talks about why animals hibernate and what happens when they do. When the weather is too cold for an animal to survive it has few options. One is to migrate to a warmer place and the other is to hibernate. Animals need to prepare for hibernation and their bodies need to adapt. Each animal has it’s own adaptations and this is a good book to study how these develop as a response to unique situations. Written in a narrative style, students will need to extract information rather than have it chunked for them under chapter headings. Wonderful photographs sprawl across the pages with no defined borders, bringing readers close to the animals. While this book includes a glossary with bolded words from the text, no other standard text features are present making this more suitable for young readers after they have experience with non-fiction.
Pete Won't Eat
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Mccully, Emily Arnold
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Pete the piglet won’t eat the green slop that Mom cooked up for a treat, even though his siblings lap it up. The others go out to play, but Pete is not allowed to leave the table until he eats his slop. Eventually tears are shed by Pete, as well as by Mom, who regrets using this tactic. When she offers to make Pete a sandwich instead, Pete relents and gives in to his curiosity. When he finally tries it, he likes it, empties the bowl, gets to play outside, and is even ready to help cook up the next batch. Lively watercolor and ink pictures help to convey the emotions in this battle of wills. The large format book, short sentences, appealing illustrations with visual clues, and a scenario that may be all too familiar, make a combination that works well for the beginning reader.
Favorite Daughter
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Say, Allen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 04, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Allen Say wrote this tribute to his daughter and in doing so shares a side of his personal life that may surprise and provoke worthwhile discussion of race, culture and families. His life's work includes numerous award-winning picture books depicting Japanese Americans, but this blond haired, blue-eyed Favorite Daughter both brings her bi-racial identity and life has a child of separated parents to the fore in a way not seen in his other books. Mr Say's thoughtful words and illustrations radiate the love and pride he feels for his daughter. It makes a worthwhile addition to author studies when coupled with his recent graphic memoir "Drawing From Memory" as well as two dozen other fine books. The story begins with Yuriko's asking her dad for "a picture of me when I was little" for a elementary class project, a picture from when she was two, dressed in a kimono. But at school she is teased at for her blond hair and Japanese name. She proposes changing her name to something more "American" like Michelle. Her father kindly and patiently goes along while also reminding her of some of the things about her Japanese heritage that help quell her desire for "fitting in" by changing her name. Mā arigatō Allen Say.
Whiskers, Tails & Wings : Animal Folk Tales From Mexico
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Goldman, Judy
Vandenbroeck, Fabricio
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 04, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Re-reading the starred Kirkus review reminded me to appreciate this book's strengths: 5 folkloric tales of animals from less commonly known peoples of Mexico accompanied by ethnographic information of those sub-cultures from our neighbors to the south. Author Judy Goldman clearly appreciates the indigenous cultures of Mexico and has brought these stories forward for English speaking audience. A map, numerous glossary of included Spanish terms, extensive bibliography on the stories' sources and ethnographic information (though often in Spanish) including URLs make this a useful addition to folktale collections, especially in schools (like mine) with significant Mexican-American student populations. It would be good to see in Spanish language edition, as well for home use by bilingual families. Note author's blog http://judygoldman.blogspot.com/ for a glimpse into this bilingual author's other titles and approach to cultural studies.
Why Do I Sing? : Animal Songs Of The Pacific Northwest
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
Blomgren, Jennifer
Gabriel, Andrea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 04, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
The question, "Why do I sing?" is answered in short four-line rhymes by 15 resident species of the Pacific Northwest. Cheery two-page illustrations of the creatures accompany each joyful celebration of the call of the wild: the trill of meadowlark and hooting of the spotted owl, the croaking chorus of Pacific tree frogs and the solitary cry of Northern loons, the clear-voiced red-winged blackbird and sea star's silence, chirping crickets and whistling swans, fin whale long low voices and wolves haunting howls, the bugling elk and buzzing bees, rattlesnakes shake and marmots whistles. What's that you say, is that just 14 creatures? Then Gathered 'round a golden campfire, why do we sing?/In the cool, still evening air, our clear, high voices ring./Everybody sings; every girl, every boy,/ For the best of all reasons: We sing for joy. Easily shared in read-aloud rhyme and informative watercolor illustrations, but of limited use as informational resource.
GOLDEN TWINE
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
RIOUX, JO
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 04, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Suri is a young orphan girl travelling with a merchant caravan, determined to become a real monster tamer in this graphic novel which manages to spin a yarn with the help of some magic golden twine. One night a caitsith is seen stealing chickens from a farmer’s coop, and it isn’t long before Suri is chasing-and eing chased by a family of these shape-shifting cat-human monsters. When Suri discovers a ball of golden twine she unknowingly possesses the key to defeating the caitsiths, who are determined to retrieve the magic thread from this impetuous little girl: dead or alive. Luckily for Suri, she befriends a huge, loveable dog-monster who is caged in a wagon associated with in her travelling caravan and this beast becomes Suri’s best chance to avoid capture by the caitsiths and to travel further into the land where monsters dwell. Ending with the caitsiths still in pursuit, this first installment is one that should be a popular series of not-too scary graphic novels for elementary school fantasy fans.
No Borders
Fifth House [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Willett, Mindy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
December 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Darla Evyagotailak is a 16 year old Inuit girl who, with the help of teacher Mindy Willett, shares her view of everyday life in Northern Canada through photographs by Tessa Macintosh. Adopted by her grandparents but appreciating her birth mother and extended family Darla takes time to explain family life and voices an appreciation for modern and traditional culture and her efforts to learn all she can from her elders. Crisp photographs of Arctic environment and people engaged in everyday activities fill each page with information that complements the text. Along with 74 year old grandparents Darla embarks on a 600 km sled trip over a frozen land and seascape to visit relatives across the border Nunavut/Northwest Territories on Victoria Island. Strong women, hearty elders and plenty of youthful energy applied to bridging modern and traditional ways give this book an authentic and upbeat glimpse into life in the North. This slim non-fiction book is highly recommended part of an 8 volume "The Land is Our Storybook" series supported by the Canada council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.
Vaccines
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Hand, Carol
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2013
Dame, Anne
Polio, small pox, yellow fever, diptheria, measles, mumps... These diseases all used to be much more deadly than they are now due to the development of vaccines. This 112 page book details the scientific progress and development of these medicines used to protect people from such deadly diseases. There are many text features, such as primary source photographs, graphs and charts, and sidebars. While these contain useful information, they can be potentially distracting to a reader who is not proficient in reading nonfiction texts. In addition, a majority of the photographs feature Caucasians. While this was likely representative of the scientific field of the 17-1800's, I do not believe it is an accurate representation today. The text itself is detailed but clear, although it is heavily laden with scientific terms and jargon. The author clarifies the terms each time she uses them, but it could be easily overwhelming for those who do not have a strong science background.
FACESPACE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
CHAMBERLAIN, ADRIAN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 05, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
This ho-lo Orca Currents title about teen use and misuse of technology will draw students in but the dialogue left me wanting. Danny is a lonely young man whose social life consists of Parcheesi games with his mom. He makes a fictitious FaceSpace teen but Danny's leap in popularity due to his friending of the fictitious boy does not last. The annoyance of reading about FaceSpace (a combination of Facebook and MySpace?) carried with me through the entire book and the ending was not difficult to guess. I was unable to make a connection with Danny and wonder if students will be able to. Additional purchase. Reviewed in School Library Journal and VOYA.
GYMNASTICS BOOK : THE YOUNG PERFORMER'S GUIDE TO GYMNASTICS
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
SCHLEGEL, ELFI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Bright color photographs and succinct, knowledgeable text introduce gymnastics to the elementaryaudience. The author’s career in competitive gymnastics and coaching is evident in scrapbook text-box features and in the clear organization and presentation of 144 pages of solid information. In addition to well-sequenced action photos describing the basic moves, additional chapters cover choosing a good program and coach, warm-up and cool-down routines, the history and stars of Olympic-level gymnasts, and a final chapter on “Where Gymnastics Can Take You.” The only drawback to my eye is a lack of racial or ethnic diversity in the gymnast models, a correction that would make a worthwhile 3nd edition from Canada’s Firefly Books an gold medal winner. AD+ and worthwhile for collections looking to support the interest of budding gymnastic performers in our schools.
MONSTERS UNDER BRIDGES : THE NORTHWEST EDITION
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
CODDINGTON, RACHEL ROELL
JOLBY
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 05, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Drats! This whimsical guide to a dozen fanciful, colorful creatures that are loosely associated with notable bridges from Oregon to Vancouver BC soars on its sheer improbable nonsense, but falls short of carrying this reader to the other shore of what might be a fun introduction to landmarks of the Pacific Northwest. The names, locations and basic shape of the bridges are noted, but only to serve as a backdrop for the two-page spreads describing the unabashed quirkiness of what these creatures do (e.g. snack on donuts, listen to Justin Beiber, eat local-sources vegetables only, etc). Intended for ages 4-8 as a harmless romp, it is that and not much else.
20 Big Trucks In The Middle Of The Street
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lee, Mark
Cyrus, Kurt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
When an ice-cream truck breaks down in the middle of a narrow city street, a mail truck, a hay truck, a pickup, a crane, and other assorted trucks get stuck behind it. The young bicyclist who has ridden to the end of the line and counted all twenty knows just how to solve the problem. When people in the crowd of onlookers finally pay attention and start repeating his idea, the enormous crane lifts the ice-cream truck off the road, and all of the rest can go. The rhymes in the text work well and have a smooth cadence when read aloud. Most of the bright illustrations in this large format book show the colorful trucks from the child’s ground level perspective, but some are slightly elevated and the two-page spread with an aerial view of the entire traffic jam does a marvelous job of capturing the scope of the problem. That is the only scene that includes all twenty trucks, so most counting done with this book would involve counting on. With the young hero, quality pictures, good writing, and lots of trucks, the younger set will love this one.
Picture Day
Branches [Branches]
Nees, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Missy’s unusual method of getting dressed involves lots of jump roping and trying out different outfits. When picture day arrives, her plan to wear a shiny, sparkly outfit with lots of ruffles, ribbons, and rainbows is overruled by her mom. So she is in a dark mood when she arrives at school. She opts to sit next to Oscar, a thinker who listens but doesn’t talk much. Her day does not improve at lunch, when he refuses to trade his pudding for her carrots. In the picture line, she finally erupts at his unhelpfulness, and they both get in trouble. While they await their turns, he finally does say something. The idea he shares shows that he is thinker, a good listener, and a good friend. At the last minute they make a trade that gives each of them the picture they really want. Colorful, energetic drawings and short narrative passages are interspersed with graphic novel features, including panels, speech bubbles, and thought clouds. Beginning readers may find the organization in this particular hybrid to be a little confusing, but girls in particular are likely to enjoy Missy’s spunky character. First book in a series.
King Of The Zoo
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Perl, Erica S
Urbanovic, Jackie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Given that he is so cool, clever, and charming, Carlos the chameleon believes that he is the king of the zoo. Then one day he steps away from his cage and finds that all of the animals have signs that say “King of the Zoo” He visits each one in turn, changes colors to match their appearance, and insists loudly that he is the only king of the zoo. After visiting eight animals, he finally retreats to his cage. Just as he begins to doubt his supremacy, however, a girl proclaims to her grandmother that he is her favorite, and this is enough for him to know that he still rules. Though the colorful illustrations are playful and the antics of his two sidekicks throughout the story are amusing, the chameleon’s jealousy and petulant behavior are annoying, and it is not at all clear that he has learned a lesson about humility.
Odd Duck
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Varon, Sara
Varon, Sara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Theodora swims with a teacup balanced on her head, rides her bike, quilts, reads unusual books, eats mango salsa, and stargazes. She is definitely an odd duck and a bit of a loner, but a happy one. When Chad moves in next door, she bakes him a cake, but given his different appearance, lack of manners, and strange conversation topics, she knows they will never be friends. She keeps to herself, expecting him to fly south with the other ducks for the winter, but he doesn’t go. After he invites her to look through his telescope one night, they discover that they have a lot in common and become best friends. But when the others return and someone comments on the “odd duck,” they end up in an argument about which of them is really the oddity. After their anger cools, they realize that they are both odd and that they like each other just as they are. Just like the characters, this book is an odd duck, blending characteristics of the graphic novel, picture book, and chapter book into a successful relationship. Author and illustrator both have a light touch, effectively using humor to celebrate quirkiness and encourage positive feelings about being a little different.
Cute & Cuter
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Townsend, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Janie Jane receives Sir Yips-a-lot, the cutest dog ever for her birthday. They are inseparable until a year later when her parents give her Lady Meow-meow, the world’s cutest kitty. Now the cat gets all the attention, and the dog is just not cute enough to compete. His solution is to pop the cat out the mail slot, but Janie Jane gets so upset that he reconsiders and rescues the cat. As he begins to walk away from the house in defeat, the cat chases him down and will not let him go. At this point the dog realizes that they are a family and can all be cute together. Much to the pets’ dismay, Janie Jane’s next birthday present is a cute pet octopus! Graphic novel features like speech bubbles, frames, fun fonts, and humorous cartoon illustrations are cleverly blended with traditional narrative and pictures. Children with a younger sibling are going to empathize with the dog’s feelings of jealousy, and all the cuteness is certain to make this book a hit.
MONSTER IN THE PARK
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [ABDO]
WOLEK, GUY
WOLEK, GUY
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
At the park a girl hears sounds but cannot find their source. When she notices huge muddy footprints, she follows the trail until she becomes convinced that there is a monster loose in the park. Sliding down the slide leads her, not to the enormous purple monster she imagines, but to a very muddy little brother. While the story idea seems promising, parts of the text rhyme, other parts don’t, and sometimes the rhymes in the text are awkward, such as grime/mine. The meter is gratingly inconsistent. The cartoonish characters and scenes in the colorful illustrations look like something from a Pixar movie, and nearly everything is in soft focus. Overall, a good concept but the execution is lacking.
Bathing Costume : Or The Worst Vacation Of My Life
ENCHANTED LION BOOKS [ENCHANTED LION BOOKS]
Tallec, Olivier
Tallec, Oliver
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 07, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Myron is just 8. He still hasn't lost a tooth and now he has to go on vacation with grandparents and cousins without his big brother (that's OK though) or his Mama (that's hard, he's never done that before, ever)! What's worse, he has to wear a loose yellow swimsuit his cousin loans him which proves itself unreliable in his first dive from the 3 foot board leaves him with his "bottom in the air." How embarrassing! He also has to write a short letter each day, (Grandma says) and his notes tremble as Myron tries to put up a good face, "I'm eating everything Grandma serves, including all the green vegetables" then strikes out the part about "Even seconds" because "of course there's no way she'd ever believe me" Looming at the end of the vacation is the dive from the 10 foot diving board. He simply has to dive off, baggie suit and all. For trembling Myron, toes over the end of the board it is a requisite right of passage for this 8th summer. Then his tooth falls out from 10 feet up, he dives after it, his suit fails (again) and the Worst Vacation of My Life becomes the Best. This fresh French tale is delightfully told in an endearing first person voice, illustrated with expressive pencil and watercolor illustration.
BREEZIER, CHEESIER, NEWEST, AND BLUEST : WHAT ARE COMPARATIV
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
CLEARY, BRIAN P
GABLE, BRIAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 07, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
"Breezier and Cheesier, the Newest and the Bluest Comparatives and Superlatives" is the volume that's the truest Example in this series of twenty three CATegorical books With its snappy rhymes and funny cats it deserves your second looks If teaching English Language Arts to kids is something that you must Brian Cleary's newest title is another you can trust To deliver easy rhyming lessons, illustrated by Brian Gable Is a purchase worth the 17 bucks, buy it if you are able. I've seen so many of these books aligned on library shelves With titles clearly telling readers, but do contents teach themselves? My circulation records don't match their value, the books are oft' unused Perhaps the push to Common Core will help them stand out and be perused.
Larry Gets Lost In History : From Dinosaurs To The Stone Age
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
Skewes, John
Skewes, John
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Having traveled (and gotten lost) at least ten times in various places across the United States, Pete’s dog Larry is now going to travel through time. In this first episode of a new series, Larry dozes off as Pete reads books about prehistory. In his dream Larry encounters plant-eating and meat-eating dinosaurs, dinosaurs with armor and with feathers, some that can fly and others that can swim. After an “extinction event,” he moves quickly through the Ice Age and the Stone Age and wakes up back in his own time. Most of the text is written in uninspired four-line rhyming verses, though there some verses where the expected rhyme is absent, such as size/fly, change/age, caves/day. Some of the facts that Pete reads are included in a smaller font, but these prove distracting and provide little information. The monochromatic cartoonish illustrations work better when Larry and Pete are the subjects than when dinosaurs or mammoths are depicted. Using a single adventure to move through all of prehistory from the dinosaurs to the cavemen seems a poor choice, as it reinforces a misconception common among young children about when these creatures lived. Dinosaur fans will find better alternatives.
MONSTER ON THE LOOSE
LOOKING GLASS LIBRARY [ABDO]
WOLEK, GUY
WOLEK, GUY
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
A girl wakes up to find that her house in a shambles. As she follows the trail of destruction, she becomes convinced that there is a monster in the house. Finally, a loud noise leads her to the monster, who turns out to be her little brother. While the story idea seems promising, some of the rhymes in the text are awkward, such as peek/shrieked and clues/loose, and the meter is gratingly inconsistent. The cartoonish characters and scenes in the colorful illustrations look like something from a Pixar movie. Oddly enough, on some pages the girl’s eyes are sharply drawn, but otherwise nearly everything is in soft focus. And to top everything off, the glossary uses some words in the definitions that are harder than the entry words, like stun means to cause bewilderment. Overall, a good concept but the execution is lacking.
My Dream Playground
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Becker, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 07, 2013
Garrard, Thom
A young girl imagines that the empty lot across from her apartment building would make a wonderful playground. She starts sketching her plans, and her mom encourages her to “never stop dreaming.” One day a man comes to the lot with the intention of building a playground. Unsurprised, she shares her drawings with him. Together they plan the project, which becomes reality with the help of volunteers and community members. Based on the true story of KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that works to create play spaces for children near their homes, the text is a straightforward accounting of the process, and the digital illustrations support the narrative by showing the progression from the vision represented in the girl’s drawings to the reality of the playground. Unfortunately, the author’s note suggests that the actual seven-year-old girl worked harder on fundraising and organizing than her fictionalized counterpart does in the book. The story ends up being rather thin, and some additional details about the work involved in the process might have helped. Still, the idea that the girl pursued her dream and accomplished something of this significance with the help of her community is worthy of discussion and deserves to be celebrated.
Razia's Ray Of Hope : One Girl's Dream Of An Education
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Suneby, Elizabeth
Verelst, Suana
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Subtitled One Girl’s Dream of an Education this is a fictional story of an Afghani girl in a village outside of Kabul. Some of her brothers are being educated, but the older ones chose quarry work. Her extended family has a farm where Razia is expected to help, but secretly teaches herself to read through her brothers. When word that a new school for girls is being built in their village Razia begs her grandfather to convince her family to let her attend, but the oldest brother puts his foot down. After Razia meets teacher Razia Jan and explains her situation, the teacher tries to convince her family of the benefits. Baba gi’s heartfelt speech and Razia proves the advantage of reading before her dream is realized. Inspired by Razia Jan, who returned to her homeland to start a school for girls, this is a wonderful way for intermediate children to learn about another culture and the value of an education that may be taken for granted. This CitizenKid book ends with information about the world’s uneducated children, the real Razia Jan, a glossary of Dari words, and activity page. The large format and detailed illustrations capture the setting and extend the text. Highly recommended.
Gluten-Free Birthday For Me!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Fliess, Sue
Morris, Jennifer E.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
In simple rhyming text a young girl helps prepare her gluten-free birthday cake for her party. When one guest feels like he’ll be left out due not being able to eat gluten or cake, she reassures him that she’s the same way. Thus a fun time is had by all. The story ends with two recipes—one for Chocolate-Cookie-Crumble Cake and the other for Very Berry Pie with Ice Cream. The last two pages contain “Tips for friends and family with gluten allergies” plus eight websites for further information. This is not great literature, but enjoyable, with cute illustrations. Those with gluten intolerance will welcome a title that reflects their condition. The smile on one child’s face was enough to make this purchase worthwhile, and will bring awareness to others. There is not much out there for elementary students on this subject.
Electrical Wizard : How Nikola Tesla Lit Up The World
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rusch, Elizabeth
Dominguez, Oliver
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This picture book biography of a lesser known inventor is a good introduction for students, especially those studying electricity. Where Thomas Edison gets most of the credit, Serbian Nikola Tesla actually introduced the far-reaching alternating current(AC)that lights our world. Good scientific information is included along with how curious Tesla was from an early age. With his mind constantly trying to figure out how to harness alternating current to produce a wide-spread energy use, he became a competitor with Edison, who tried to undermine his work. But he proved himself at the Chicago World’s Fair, where Westinghouse enlisted his expertise in lighting the fair and making his electrical system available to the masses. The book concludes with pages of extra information including how Tesla was ahead of his time, the rivalry between Edison and him, some scientific notes differentiating AC and DC, static electricity, and how other Tesla inventions mentioned in the book worked. A very detailed bibliography makes up the last and 39th page. It’s helpful to have some background in electricity before tackling these concepts. Dates are included though there is no timeline. This man is under represented in children’s literature.
SPEED TRAINING FOR TEEN ATHLETES : EXERCISES TO TAKE YOUR GA
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
FREDERICK, SHANE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
December 08, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Speed training is for everybody, and this slim but photo-rich Sports Illustrated for Kids provides a quick guide to how to work out for a focus on speed and agility. A series of workout exercises are given step-by-step illustrated instructions with photographs of teen athletes. Plentiful text boxes, arrows, tips and variations make each 2-page description easy to follow. Action photos of iconic sports stars provide inspirational introduction to each chapter's focus on feet, legs, hips and core, upper body and arms. A sensible concluding "rest and recovery" section suggests moderation and attention to any symptoms of overuse or injury. A glossary, suggested further titles and index are useful additions..the "Fact Hound" website link is not. A useful addition to any library where boys and girls engaged in sports are looking for help in a book to support their health and athletic pursuits.
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
DOAK, ROBIN S
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
As a nonfiction series, Scholastic's "Cornerstones of Freedom" includes this 2013 edition of "National Intelligence" in an effort "Bringing History to Life." As a topic roiling in national debate after Edward Snowdon's disclosures of massive surveillence by the NSA, one can rightly wonder if any print volume could claim to be up-to-date or fair and impartial. Nevertheless, author Robin S. Doak has assembled a timely non-fiction title that can help students understand the "big picture" of "the business of understanding the big picture." This is no easy task, no matter what your perspective or level of distrust of the business of spying, surveillance and national security. If, as the book's back cover claims, the United States spends $75 billion on intelligence each year, this slim volume is a first step into understanding just what US citizens are paying for. Understandably, book is largely drawn from US Government explanations. Weblinked information provided in the "Living History" site provided at www.factsfornow.scholastic "National Intelligence" page give solid, public facing information from the varous agencies involved in the National Intelligence services. Includes glossary, index and suggested readings.
Gus, The Dinosaur Bus
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Liu, Julia
Lynn, Bei
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This is a cute story with Gus, the dinosaur, who gives students rides to school. What a cool way to get there since he comes right to their apartment windows where they can slide down his neck. Travel time is expedited since he’s never stuck in traffic as he has his own road built by the city to protect other cars. But problems arise when the principal receives complaints and bills due to tangled phone lines, broken traffic lights and damaged overpasses. Pulled off the road Gus hides out in the gym where his tears create a pool. When the children find him and try to cheer him up they discover a new use for their friend. He is now the school recreation center including slide, swimming pool,swing and climbing toy. Kindergarteners enjoyed this playful romp and their librarian paired it with Bernard Most’s If the Dinosaurs Came Back. Between the two there are lots of ideas prompting children to create their own scenarios. Bei Lynn’s childlike watercolor and pencil illustrations fit the audience of the story.
Can You Tell A Stegosaurus From An Ankylosaurus?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Silverman, Buffy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
This Lightning Bolt Book does not disappoint. The first grade audience understood the dinosaur facts and comparisons more quickly than the adult reader! Girls and boys alike were a captive audience as the similarities and differences between a stegosaurus and ankylosaurus were clearly depicted. The 32 pages of quality nonfiction contains all of the text features desired from table of contents to index, clear photos or graphic depictions, sentence captions, interesting text and facts, detailed glossary, and seven items for further reading including websites and books. The final two-page diagrams of both creatures with key body parts labeled reinforces the comparison. This works nicely for a Venn diagram follow up which first graders were able to do from memory. Impressive!
Musk Ox Counts
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Cabatingan, Erin
Myers, Matthew
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Fans of A Is for Musk Ox will welcome this addition with numbers, counting and addition. Once again Musk Ox messes up Zebra’s counting book as evidenced by the cover and on the first page where 1 musk ox is missing. He got lonely on his page all by himself and joined the 2 yaks where they’re now in party mode. With the banter between the two creatures, Musk Ox always has a solution to the problem page be it putting a sign on the back of Zebra (“1 zebra – kick me”) or doing addition such as “1 musk ox + 2 yaks = 3 hoofed, cold-loving animals”. The text matches the color of the arguing animals with black for the blue striped zebra and brown for the ever clever musk ox as they continue through the numbers till 10, and then so Zebra has his own page Musk Ox introduces zero☺ Children and adults alike will enjoy Musk Ox once again.
Fall Ball
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mccarty, Peter
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
There is not much of a story here even if one is needed for fall. Children on a school bus look forward to play time after school. Most play football except Jimmy who has to rake leaves with no help from his dog Sparky. Sparky also steals the football and crashes right through the huge pile of raked leaves. By then it’s already 4:30, time to go home, and it starts snowing. Back home there are good food, snug pajamas and more football…on TV. The porcupine hair styles on these children are not appealing. The book seems well made but lacks substance and appeal.
Christmas Wish
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Evert, Lori
Breiehagen, Per
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 08, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Sweet little Anja, a girl from long ago and in the far Scandinavian north, longs to be one of Santa’s elves, so one day she sets off in search of him. Along the way she is escorted by different talking creatures—a red cardinal, a giant horse, a musk ox, polar bear, and finally a reindeer, who flies her across the ocean to Santa. He welcomes this naturally kind girl and invites her to help on his sleigh. He gives her a special bell with which to call him. Then she awakens in her own bed with the bell wondering if it was all a dream. The story itself seems reminiscent of The Polar Express in parts rendering it less than original, and the text is adequate. The strength of this book lies in the large, crisp photos that capture the beauty of the snowy north and the magical aspect of Santa, which will draw children to it. Pre-2.
BARACK OBAMA
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
NICHOLS, CATHERINE
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Presidents of the U.S.A" series, this 48 page book describes the family, childhood, and rise to the presidency of the first African American to hold the office, Barack Obama. Readers learn how Obama shifted between households growing up, how he became editor of the Harvard Review, and met his wife, Michelle. Captioned photographs are found throughout and work well with the text. The book ends with his reelection in 2012. The book contains background information about the White House, Electoral College, and branches of US Government. Non-fiction text features such as table of contents, timeline, bibliography, glossary, and index are included. Since Obama is still president, this book is an additional purchase.
Jackie Robinson : American Hero
Scholastic, Inc. [Scholastic, Inc.]
Robinson, Sharon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon, is the author of this 48 page biography. The text is well-written and describes the life of the baseball star that broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947. The reader will learn about his family, his athleticism, his determination, and his legacy. Photographs are found throughout the book and will pull in the reader. The book also includes a table of contents, glossary, and author Q & A. There is no index, bibliography, or source information, which is why it has a lower rating. Baseball fans will love this book.
DAVID KARP
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
KENNEY, KAREN LATCHANA
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of Lerner's Gateway Biographies Series, this 48 page book tells the life story of 27 year old David Karp. Karp developed the popular blogging website, Tumblr. While Karp was focused and spent a lot of time with computers, he also had the advantage of attending private school, being allowed to quit high school and have an internship with an animation production company (while being home schooled), and many connections in the industry. The book describes the formation of Tumblr and its quest for investors. The book is well-written and will attract readers interested in Tumblr and entrepreneurship. But because the subject of the book is so young and the company is still forming there is more to the story to be told in the future and this book will become quickly out dated, thus the additional rating. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, source notes, bibliography, and index.
Father's Day
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Heinrichs, Ann
Alley, R.w.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Father's Day, a holiday started in Washington state in 1910. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written and contains many color illustrations. The definition of father is broad including step-fathers, grandfathers, and uncles. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
Independence Day
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Heinrichs, Ann
Squier, Robert
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Independence Day. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems/songs, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book contains many color illustrations. The history of the holiday is brief and the reader would need other sources to learn of the complete story. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. Purchase if you have a need.
Take A Closer Look At Your Teeth
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Vanvoorst, Jenny Fretlan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the "Take a Closer Look" series that focuses on the human body. This title looks at teeth. The different types of teeth, the anatomy of a tooth, baby teeth, tooth decay, wisdom teeth, orthodontia, and dental care are all covered in the simple, but well-written text. Color photographs enhance the text. Small red boxes highlight interesting facts or information. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (2 books and the publisher website), and an index. This is a great introduction to the study of teeth and could be used in dental health units.
Christmas
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Trueit, Trudi Strain
Bryan-Hunt, Jan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Christmas. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems/songs, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written by Everett, WA author, Trudi Strain Trueit and contains many color illustrations. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
Chinese New Year
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Heinrichs, Ann
Huang, Benrei
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Chinese New Year. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written and contains many color illustrations. The book also contains a chart of Chinese calendar year names from 1996 through 2019. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
Mother's Day
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Heinrichs, Ann
Alley, R.w.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Mother's Day. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written and contains many color illustrations. The book also contains a chapter with quotes from some presidents about their mothers. The definition of mother is inclusive: step-mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and sisters. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
China
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 08, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the Asian nation of China. Readers will only scratch the surface of the 4th largest country in area and 1st in population. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in 14 sentences), symbols, geography, and resources. Famous leaders: Confucius and Mao Zedong are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Untold
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Brennan, Sarah Rees
Fochesato, Giorgio
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 09, 2013
Dame, Anne
This is the sequel to Unspoken, a great read about magic and sorcerers without werewolves, vampires and the like. Believable characters and interesting plot twists also add to the enjoyment of this story. Set in Sorry-in-the Vale, a quaint little town in England, Kami Glass is caught up between two vying teams of sorcerers who want control of the town. Lots of action and suspense, and a little bit of romance too.
Testing
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Charbonneau, Joelle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 09, 2013
Dame, Anne
I feel like I may be less than objective about dystopian novels lately as I've read so many and they all start to sound the same after a while. This one is a great read-alike for Hunger Games but at a lower level of violence so it's more appropriate for a slightly younger audience. However, it reminded me almost too much of the Hunger Games with many similarities in plot, but dystopian fans will not care so much about that. They will enjoy the characters and the action.
Brazil
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Heinrichs, Ann
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 09, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Enchantment of the World" series, this 144 page book will provide readers with everything they would need to complete a research project on the South American nation of Brazil. The well written book describes Brazil's geography, history, government, economy, culture, environment, and resources. Captioned color photographs are found throughout the book. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, index, fast facts, bibliography, and author information. This will be a great book for student research. Purchase if you are updating this section of your library.
Brazil
Buddy Books/abdo [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
December 09, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the South American nation of Brazil. Readers will only scratch the surface of this large nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous leaders: Alberto Santos-Dumont and Pele' are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Mexico
Buddy Books/abdo [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
December 09, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the North American nation of Mexico. Readers will only scratch the surface this nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in brief), symbols, geography, and resources. Famous artist, Diego Rivera is also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
United Kingdom
Buddy Books/abdo [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
December 09, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the European nation of the United Kingdom. Readers will only scratch the surface of this island nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous faces: William Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
SPACE BETWEEN
DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
THORPE, KIKI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 09, 2013
Stein, Valerie
The girls have gone home, only to find trouble! There’s a mouse where there shouldn’t be, and Lainey suspects it’s a Neverland animal slipped through to their world. At the same time, the fairies find that a beloved animal has gone missing from Neverland. It will take both fairies and humans to solve the mystery and keep the fragile enchanted world safe from danger. Simply written, these books offer straightforward plot with a welcoming layout to serve younger readers. this is the second in a great introductory chapter series.
Music Of Zombies
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
French, Vivian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 09, 2013
Stein, Valerie
I was introduced to the Tales of Five Kingdoms series when I reviewed Book Three, The Heart of Glass. I fell in love with the characters then, and I have no reason to change my mind with this book, either. Gracie Gillypot, one of the Trueheart clan, is small and determined, with a huge, caring heart. She and Prince Marcus once again team up to save the kingdom from an evil violin-playing zombie in this adventure. Of course Gubble the troll helps them to save the day. The world building and characterizations in this series are delightful, but simple enough for slightly younger students to embrace. The rich, realistic human relationships that pull everyone together help readers to grow and become better in the end.
HIDE AND SEEK
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
MESSNER, KATE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 09, 2013
Stein, Valerie
In Capture the Flag, the first in the Jaguar Society series, three kids meet and discover they’ve talents that, used together, help foil a thief out to steal a national treasure. Their parents are all members of this secret society which aims to keep the world’s treasures safe, and though they are thought to be too young to serve, the kids prove otherwise. Henry, Anna and Jose are back in Messner’s second in the series, Hide and Seek, to save an antiquity from a different country, and their adventures carry the reader to the rain forests of Costa Rica. Suspenseful and well- plotted, this is a great mystery for middle grade readers, even better than the first. It’s great to have such a refreshing, clever addition to the mystery choices available for this grade range.
Oliver And His Alligator
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Schmid, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 09, 2013
Stein, Valerie
Such a gruesome, lovely book, with such a wonderful opening: “Oliver sometimes felt his brave wasn’t nearly as big as he needed it to be.” And then, it gets even better. With a delightful mix of the predictable and the surprising, Paul Schmid takes the reader along with Oliver, where we share his worries, the solutions, and finally his realization about what is important. The illustrations masterfully capture mood and gesture in a few spare lines that speak worlds. A great “first weeks” or “new student” book for young children.
IN A BLINK
DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
THORPE, KIKI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 09, 2013
Stein, Valerie
Four girls find themselves in another world - in Neverland, to be precise. One of the Neverland fairies accidentally “blinks” them to the fantastical island when the ideal conditions exist for crossing over. The girls, all firm believers in fairies, discover a wonderful world they have only partly imagined in their wildest dreams. They are excited to explore this new world with their fairy friends. But will they ever be able to make it home? The circumstances which brought them here are rare. Simply written, straightforward plot with a welcoming layout to serve younger readers, this is the first in a great introductory chapter series.
More Than This
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ness, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Starred in Kirkus Reviews and SLJ. The novel starts with Seth drowning. When he awakens from his death, he finds himself in front of the house he lived in before his little brother Owen was kidnapped and the family left England to start a new life in the US. Oddly enough Seth walked into the Pacific and here he is in England. Whenever he closes eyes, painful memories plague him, the abduction f his brother, his drowning, his public outing by a girl who he thought was a friend, and the subsequent fallout. He wanders for a long while before he runs into two other teens, Regine and Tomasz. Together, they dodge the mysteriously dangerous Driver while trying to make sense of their lives, their apparent deaths, and their current warped reality. Past and present collide as Seth struggles to determine what's real and what isn't, whether circumstances are all of his own doing. He faces doorways everywhere, with genuine death seemingly just beyond, but there are hints of something even more sinister going on. There are no easy answers in the exploration of opposites -- life and death, privacy and exposure, guilt and innocence. An existential exploration of the human psyche. Pair with the The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Life of Pi.
TRAGEDY PAPER
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
LABAN, ELIZABETH
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
Laban's debut novel will bowl you over with intrigue and sweet romance; not the supernatural, shape-shifting stuff which is seen in YA literature but a shy love that grows as the story develops. But is love the point of this story? I think not. Tragedy, my friends, tragedy--it's the name of the game (and yes, there is a game). Duncan is a senior at the Irving School; although he is assigned to what may appear as the least desirable dorm room, he finds secrets awaiting him. The previous year's occupant, Tim, left Duncan a set of CDs on which Tim tells a story of events that happened the previous year. As the story nears completion, Duncan realizes the part he played in last year's senior game, when a tragedy did take place. The story alternates between Tim telling the story of the previous year and Duncan living through his own senior year, when he admits to Daisy and to himself the depth of his feelings for her. This is a parallel to Tim's senior year story, as he develops feelings for Vanessa. She is the girlfriend of Patrick, a two-faced popular boy. Danger and lots of suspense will keep the keeper tied to this story. Well done!
Spirit's Chosen
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Friesner, Esther
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Currently, there is a trend to use mythology and fairy tales as a jumping off point, and a princess always helps the story along. Spirit's Chosen has Himiko, the daughter of her clan's leader and shaman-in-training for the Matsu is not your ordinary princess. When the Ookami clan attacks her village and captures many of it's people for slaves including her younger brother, she decides that she will save her homeland a tribe. Heading off with her best friend the Lady Kaya, Himiko's plan unfolds just as she had hoped, until they are captured and enslaved by the Ookami. Then begins the tale of Himiko's conquest of the Ookami through kindness, hard work, and using her skills as a healer. Himiko's connection to the spirit world helps her to rise to the point where she can challenge Lord Ryu, the Ookami's belligerent and autocratic chieftain. Earthquakes, mythic dragons, and the uprising of the conquered clans all make for a satisfying story.
Rules For Disappearing
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Elston, Ashley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
In the nearly 18 months that Meg has been in the Witness Protection Program with her family she's been six different people in six different towns. Now she's in Louisiana and she has decided that this will be the last fake ID that she takes on. Witness Protection has taken just about everything she has from her. He name; her mother's ability to cope; her father's ability to provide an income and her little sister's childhood. Meg decides that the suits who govern their lives but can't control her mother's drinking, her father's slide into desperation or her own anger aren't going to so she's going to solve the problem herself. She's begged her father to tell her what he did pr saw that landed them in the program to no avail. In walks Ethan Landry, farm boy, interested and interesting and won't take "Stay out of my life," seriously. Together Meg and Ethan tackle the mean girls at school, a rivalry between two used-to-be-friendly families, a midnight hog hunt on ATVs, and Swamp Pizza with extra jalapenos as they try to unravel the mystery. A twisty ending and endearing if too precocious characters where the only rule is to survive.
When Love Comes To Town
Albert Whitman Teen [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Lennon, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Twenty years ago Tom Lennon published a slim book that was to become one of the ground-breaking books for young adults about coming out and coming of age in Ireland. This is an anniversary re-release. It has been compared to Catcher in the Rye in its ability to give voice to disenfranchised youth. Neil is the perfect guy, plays rugby, gets good grades, has snogged all the girls in the in-crowd and is gay. It's 1990 and a guy like Neil can't tell his folks that he want's to go to college for a Liberal Arts degree instead or engineering, let alone come out of the closet. Now, just about to turn eighteen, Neil has to make some big decisions about living the truth. He gets some unexpected help from a couple of transvestites, an openly gay party boy, and one of his friends whose brother is gay. As one would expect, the soundtrack of the '90's with Sinead O'Connor, U2 offer just the right note of teen angst. This is a good time to reflect on how much attitudes have changed while underlining the question that everyone asks, When will love come to my town.
Gorgeous
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Rudnick, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Becky Randal's the most ordinary girl you'd ever meet. Lives in a trailer in East Trawley, MO, and loves her mom fiercely, all 400 +pounds of her. On Becky's 18th birthday, she asks Becky to promise her one thing, "..don't be like me." As Becky is cleaning up their house after her mother's death, she comes across a silver shoe box with the name Tom Kelly and a telephone number with a New York area code. On a whim she calls and meets Tom Kelly the world's top fashion designer who promises to create three dresses for her and transform her from a nothing-special into Most Beautiful Woman Who Ever Lived. Even though Becky thinks she is being punked, she accepts. She becomes Rebecca and 180 hot degrees away from frizzy hair, awkward mannerisms and cankles. Soon she is on the cover of Vogue and the tabloids. She's the new Hollywood darling and she's trying to figure out the puzzle that is and ageless Tom Kelly in pictures with a beautiful woman who he claims is her mother of 20 years past. When she meets the heir to the British throne, everything starts to crumble. Is her Most Beautiful Woman getting in the way of the Becky inside? With the help of psychic Corgies, Becky and we readers get to see what the power of inner beauty is.
Belle Epoque
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Ross, Elizabeth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Inspired by Emile Zola's short story "Les Repoussoirs," this debut novel takes place during the late 1800s. Maude Pichon, a runaway, discovers life in Paris to be crueler and much less romantic than she imagined from her country home in provincial Brittany. To get by, she takes a job as a repoussoir (“ruh-poo-swahr.”), a young woman hired for her ugliness and used to highlight the beauty of her patroness. When Countess Dubern comes to the studio of Monsieur Drandeau, she selects Maude as the foil for her headstrong daughter, Isabelle. Maude must keep the secret that she is "hired help" but her association with Isabelle constantly challenges keeping that secret. Maude admires Isabelle and wants to be her real friend, Isabelle for her part, truly sees Maude as an equal in her struggle against becoming her mother's pretty puppet. In a time where everything is for sale, the questions of self-worth, loyalty, friendship and what beauty all ring true to this time as well as the decadent times in which the book is set.
1 Cookie, 2 Chairs, 3 Pears : Numbers Everywhere
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Brocket, Jane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Interesting photographs of a variety of natural and manmade objects make this 1-20 counting book engaging. Simple statements and question encourage readers to linger over the images taking time to count repeatedly. This would be best for sharing one on one with young children so they can touch and count, but the clear, bright photographs would also work well in small groups. Preschool and kindergarten teachers will find this a useful addition to the math section.
Twelve Kinds Of Ice
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Obed, Ellen Bryan
Mcclintock, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
This unusual offering might not fly off the shelves, but those readers who find it will be drawn in and captivated. Presented as a series of short personal memories the reader explores a season of ice with a family who loves skating. From the first shards on a pail of water to a full skating rink that is annually created on the family's large vegetable patch to the last patches amidst the mud. Teachers will appreciate this as a mentor text when presenting personal essays or memoirs. Beautifully written and perfectly complemented with illustrations by Barbara McClintock readers will come away dreaming of what it would be like to experience a season of ice like the narrator.
Bowling Alley Bandit
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Keller, Laurie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Arnie the doughnut has transitioned from picture book to easy chapter book character in this mystery, the first in a new series. Arnie, Mr. Bing’s pet talking doughnut, is happy to hang out when Mr. Bing is practicing with his bowling team. He talks to the people and equipment and likes to do a little karaoke in the bowling alley’s restaurant. When Mr. Bing's new bowling ball is swapped during the big tournament Arnie goes undercover to find and help his owner. Full of quirky humor, fun illustrations and a mix of short paragraphs and comic style presentation this will be a great book to offer fans of Bad Kitty who could move to the next level. This is a strong start to an easier chapter book series.
Freaks
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Larwood, Kieran
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Sheba doesn’t remember her life before the poor house. She was rescued from there, but was taken to serve as a side-show freak. Billed as a wolf girl as she has a thick pelt on head, her face, and arms as well as sharp point teeth and a keen sense of smell she spends her days locked in a cage and growling at the very occasional paying visitor. When she is sold to another larger show she moves to London and finds herself living among a cast of freaks: a giant, a rat trainer, a monkey boy and a Japanese girl who has trained as a ninja assassin. Together they entertain the Victorian England populace. Things change when local street urchins who comb the muck of the river Thames for treasures begin to disappear. The troupe of outsiders are asked to help and their unique skills combine to allow them to thwart an evil plan. Though Sheba is still a freak she finds that she has also found herself a family in the troupe. Mystery, elements of steam punk, and a truly memorable cast of characters and setting make this a winner. The ending is kept open for a sequel. End pages include illustrations of many of the characters, and a several pages exploring the setting of Victorian Era London and life there.
Science Experiments With Gravity & Motion
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
The physics of gravity and motion are presented and explored in this science experiment text. In 11 simple experiments the reader will discover simple facts about motion gravity and friction. In this particular volume you would need more than one set of eyes for several of the experiments, and some might be difficult to have a clear result. The directions are clear, and most of the experiments have fewer than five steps making them approachable for kids explore with a friend. After each experiment a sometimes too brief paragraph explains the main idea behind the experiment. In this volume some of the supplies are everyday household objects, but others might need a trip to the store. This is part of the Super Sandcastle More Super Simple Science Series. Each volume includes a table of contents, an almost identical introduction and page on thinking like a scientist, a volume specific page on supplies, 11 experiments and a short glossary.
Science Experiments With Light
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Light is presented and explored in this science experiment text. In 11 simple experiments the reader will discover many of the properties of light and build a simple circuit to light a bulb. The directions are clear, and most of the experiments have fewer than five steps making them approachable for kids exploring on their own. After each experiment a sometimes too brief paragraph explains the main idea behind the experiment. Many of the supplies are everyday household objects, but others will probably need a trip to the store. This is part of the Super Sandcastle More Super Simple Science Series. Each volume includes a table of contents, an almost identical introduction and page on thinking like a scientist, a volume specific page on supplies, 11 experiments and a short glossary.
Science Experiments With Magnets
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Light is presented and explored in this science experiment text. In 11 simple experiments the reader will discover many of the properties of light and build a simple circuit to light a bulb. The directions are clear, and most of the experiments have fewer than five steps making them approachable for kids exploring on their own. After each experiment a sometimes too brief paragraph explains the main idea behind the experiment. Many of the supplies are everyday household objects, but others will probably need a trip to the store. This is part of the Super Sandcastle More Super Simple Science Series. Each volume includes a table of contents, an almost identical introduction and page on thinking like a scientist, a volume specific page on supplies, 11 experiments and a short glossary.
Watercolors
Snap Books/capstone Press [Snap Books/capstone Press]
Bolte, Mari
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Learn the basics of watercolor painting with ten interesting projects plus useful tips that are sure to inspire artists of all ages. After a few pages about paints, paper, brushes, and colors the projects start as a way to explore watercolors, such as a dot flower bouquet. Mixed media is introduced and applied with a fun experimental cupcake art. The projects get progressively more complicated as new methods and techniques are introduced. Each project has step-by-step instructions with some illustrated, tips, and a finished example. The types of projects range from Chinese brush painting of a bird on a branch to a cell phone cover with a limited palette of colors. A list of resources is included at the end. The layout of the book and the projects are both very appealing for any beginning watercolor artist.
Garden Of My Imaan
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Zia, Farhana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Aliya has always wanted to blend in whether at school and in her classes at the Islamic center. However, she is not confident about how she fits in with either place. At school she is reluctant to talk to the boy she likes or to share her Indian and Muslim home life especially as so many people equate Muslim with terrorist. At the Islamic Center watches instead of participates actively in her Arabic and religious classes. When, Marwa, a Moroccan girl comes to her school Aliya finds herself challenged to reconcile her home life and school life. Eventually, with her family and best friends support and Marwa’s quiet confidence as a role model, Aliya gains confidence in being proud of her unique traits begins to share them with others and grow as a leader. The book is full of vivid characters and entertaining predicaments. Many readers will identify with Aliya’s lack of confidence and cheer as she grows. In addition, they will also have a chance to explore a little bit about faith and the Muslim religion.
BUFFALOES
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO]
LLANAS, SHEILA GRIFFIN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
While there is plenty of information on buffaloes in this book the organization of the material makes it less accessible than ideal. Short chapters jump from buffalo history to more basic information to buffaloes in public culture to the future of the species. The lack of cohesion in the organization in both the structure of the book and individual sections makes this book more challenging to access information. It does include a glossary and index. Part of the Animal icon series by ABDO.
Kittens
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Adorable photos of kittens will have kids picking this book off the shelf. Large font, short sentences and (usually) simple word choice will help build reading success as they learn a few facts about kittens. Each volume in the Sandcastle Baby Animals series include an additional “Did You Know” fact page, a short quiz which covers both facts learned and page specific questions that will encourage readers to turn back to find the answer in the text. The last page is a short glossary of words that have been bolded in the text. Young animal lovers will be drawn to these small scale beginning readers.
Foals
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Adorable photos of foals will have kids picking this book off the shelf. Large font, short sentences and (usually) simple word choice will help build reading success as they learn a few facts about young horses. Each volume in the Sandcastle Baby Animals series include an additional “Did You Know” fact page, a short quiz which covers both facts learned and page specific questions that will encourage readers to turn back to find the answer in the text. The last page is a short glossary of words that have been bolded in the text. Young animal lovers will be drawn to these small scale beginning readers.
Calves
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Charming photos of calves will have kids picking this book off the shelf. Large font, short sentences and (usually) simple word choice will help build reading success as they learn a few facts about young cattle. Each volume in the Sandcastle Baby Animals series include an additional “Did You Know” fact page, a short quiz which covers both facts learned and page specific questions that will encourage readers to turn back to find the answer in the text. The last page is a short glossary of words that have been bolded in the text. Young animal lovers will be drawn to these small scale beginning readers.
Piglets
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Engaging photos of piglets will have kids picking this book off the shelf. Large font, short sentences and (usually) simple word choice will help build reading success as they learn a few facts about baby pigs. Each volume in the Sandcastle Baby Animals series include an additional “Did You Know” fact page, a short quiz which covers both facts learned and page specific questions that will encourage readers to turn back to find the answer in the text. The last page is a short glossary of words that have been bolded in the text. Young animal lovers will be drawn to these small scale beginning readers.
Puppies
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Paula
Sweet photos of puppies will have kids picking this book off the shelf. Large font, short sentences and (usually) simple word choice will help build reading success as they learn a few facts about puppies. Each volume in the Sandcastle Baby Animals series include an additional “Did You Know” fact page, a short quiz which covers both facts learned and page specific questions that will encourage readers to turn back to find the answer in the text. The last page is a short glossary of words that have been bolded in the text. In this volume the author chose to put the word reward in the glossary while leaving off the more unusual gnaw. Young animal lovers will be drawn to these small scale beginning readers.
Bugs
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, Sue L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a pet that is a bit unusual, then this book may inspire you to get one. Ten types of insect pets are included from more common pets like crickets and walking sticks to more unusual ones like katydids and cockroaches. Each type of pet is introduced on two to four pages with a few paragraphs of information, an extreme fact, and a large photograph as the background which includes the animal. A glossary and index are included. This is not a detailed book for a pet owner, but very interesting for browsing about unusual animals. It is part of the Extreme Pets series.
Spiders
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a pet that is a bit unusual, then this book may inspire you to get one. Five types of spider pets are included from more common pets like tarantulas to more unusual ones like grass spiders and fishing spiders. Each type of pet is introduced on two to eight pages with a few paragraphs of information, an extreme fact, and a large photograph as the background which includes the animal. Tarantulas are the most popular spider pets and get an eight page section with dramatic closeup photographs. A glossary and index are included. This is not a detailed book for a pet owner, but very interesting for browsing about unusual animals. It is part of the Extreme Pets series.
Dandy Desserts
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Cornell, Kari
Cohen Brie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Nine appealing desserts are featured in this dessert cookbook from easier recipes like creampuffs to more elaborate ones like creamy ginger whoopie pies. Except for readymade pie crusts and puff pastry for the turnovers, all the baked goods are made by the cook. Each recipe is detailed with a list of ingredients and equipment, step-by-step directions with diagrams at times and a large photograph of the finished dessert. A metric conversion chart, index, and list of resources are included. Unlike many kids’ cookbooks, the emphasis is on baking and not just decorating (although the homemade critter cupcakes have great decoration). It is just too bad that there are only nine recipes.
Otto's Orange Day
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Cammuso, Frank
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Otto is a cat who loves the color orange. When his aunt Sally sends him a lamp and a genie pops out and gives him a wish, Otto wishes for everything to be orange. Soon after his wish is granted Otto begins to tire of everything being orange from all his food to the sky and even the traffic signals. Otto cleverly finds a way to get another wish and in the end he is happy with a world of many colors. This graphic novel for beginning readers has a simple plot, but the fun illustrations and bouncy dialogue will appeal to kids.
Unsolved Mystery Of Ufos
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Sievert, Terri
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a good introduction to the controversy and famous stories of UFOs for a young reader. The first chapter briefly tells about the incident at Roswell, New Mexico and the second chapter mentions a few historical UFO sightings from Alexander the Great to Betty and Barney Hill who claim they were followed by a UFO in 1961. The last two chapters deal with hoaxes and what is known and unknown about UFOs. There are captioned photographs and illustrations and fact boxes to accompany the simple paragraphs of text. An index, glossary, and list of resources are included. This would be a good book for basic research or for young readers who want to know a little about UFOs.
Sharks
Smithsonian/capstone Press [Smithsonian/capstone Press]
Peterson, Megan Cooley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for an interesting research book on sharks for young readers, then this may be it. It has thirteen two-page chapters covering basic topics such as physical features, where they live, hunting, and pups, but there are also other topics such as filter feeder sharks, why we need sharks, and sharks and electricity. Each mini chapter has a few sentences of informational text along with several photographs, maps, or diagrams with captions or labels that tell much more about the topic. A wide variety of sharks are covered within the chapters. A glossary, list of resources, and index are included and are more extensive than many at this reading level. This would be a great book for basic research or a lesson on text features. It is part of the Smithsonian Little Explorer series.
Reptiles
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, Sue L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a pet that is a bit unusual, then this book may inspire you to get one. Nine types of reptile pets are included from more common pets like snakes and geckos to more unusual ones like bearded dragons and monitors Each type of pet is introduced on two to four pages with a few paragraphs of information, an extreme fact, and a large photograph as the background which includes the animal. A glossary and index are included. This is not a detailed book for a pet owner, but very interesting for browsing about unusual animals. It is part of the Extreme Pets series.
Fish
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, Sue L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a pet that is a bit unusual, then this book may inspire you to get one. Five freshwater fish, six saltwater fish (or jellyfish), and one pond fish are included. The freshwater fish include piranhas and betas, but also oscars which are known for their personalities. The saltwater fish include puffer fish, sea dragons, sharks, and moon jellyfish which are all more difficult to have as pets. Each pet is introduced on two pages with a few paragraphs of information, an extreme fact, and a large photograph as the background which includes the animal. A glossary and index are included. This is not a detailed book for a pet owner, but very interesting for browsing about unusual animals. It is part of the Extreme Pets series.
Dogs
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, Sue L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
If you are looking for a dog that is a bit unusual, then this book may inspire you to get one. Ten categories of dogs are included such as heaviest dogs, hairless dogs, best swimmers, and smartest dogs. Each category of dog is introduced on two to four pages with a few paragraphs of information, an extreme fact, and a large photograph as the background which includes the animal or several small photographs of different breeds in the category. A glossary and index are included. This is not a detailed book for a pet owner, but very interesting for browsing about unusual dogs. It is part of the Extreme Pets series.
BABY PENGUINS
Children's Press [SCHOLASTIC]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 10, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
The baby penguins in this book really are super cute like it says on the cover. There are also some very basic facts about baby penguins in three chapters. Each chapter is four to eight pages and consists of a few sentences for beginning readers and very appealing two-page photographs that complement the text. This book would work for the most basic research and includes an index, glossary, and list of resources. Most young readers will check it out just to look and the great photographs of baby penguins. It is a level 1 Blastoff Reader.
U-2 PLANES
Children's Press [SCHOLASTIC]
Von Finn, Denny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 10, 2013
Soel, Barbara
Upon first glance at U-2 Planes, I was certain that students would check this book out without first opening it up; the cover is very compelling with a photo of the plane, a large title, and the book is slim. There is also a list of other Military Vehicle titles listed on the back. The standard text features are all there: table of contents, glossary, “to learn more” page, and an index. The text was written in somewhat disjointed paragraphs that created questions for the reader that weren’t answered. For example, “The U-2 tips to one side after landing.” This reader wants to know “Why?” Also, the author defines the U-2 planes five pages into the book; if the reader is unfamiliar with the topic, s/he begins the book with uncertainty. However, the author takes a very sophisticated topic and does a good job of talking about it in simple terms, and uses a glossary to define those that might be unfamiliar to the reader. The photographs and page layouts are attractively done. One readability issue is the white lettering used at the back of the book, and on the back cover; it tends to make the font look fuzzy and it’s hard on the eyes. Due to the exceptional visual appeal, kids with interest in anything military will check this out!
VANISHING GAME
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
MYERS, KATE KAE
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Great creepy cover, fun, creepy anti-Prince Charming, puzzles to solve, and a dedicated sister who needs to know the truth and the answer. Those are the highlights. The story about a creepy haunted house and a series of puzzles to solve don't have enough to support the big idea behind the writing. The book devolves into pretty run-of the-mill horror. The puzzles are intriguing and that's what got me through the book.
Lost Sun
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Gratton, Tessa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 10, 2013
Datisman, Eve
I'd rate this as an Ad+/R and 7-12th grade appropriate. The premise is that the Gods of Asgard are well and living in the United States of Asgard and walking freely among the mortals and hosting celebrations and other events. It's winter Solstice when Baldur the Beautiful is supposed to be reborn with the fires that bring light back into the world; instead he disappears in front of the TV cameras that broadcast the ensuing chaos. Soren Bearskin, a destined berserker who is famous because his father killed 22 innocent people in a mall wants freedom from his violent background. Astrid Glyn, whose mother was the most famous seer sees that Soren can change the future. Together, at the night of Baldur's disappearance, they set off to find him. At a carnival, they make an ally with VIder, one of Loki's kin, who wants to apprentice herself to the berserkers. The three find Baldur, and that turns out to be the easiest part of the journey. Baldur doesn't know who he is. Soren, Astrid and Vider find the gods have been manipulating the story of Baldur's disappearance for their own purposes. The three must find a way to return Baldur without bringing attention to themselves before knowing who they can trust and who they can't.
Animal Rights Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Perdew, Laura
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) index, and timelines. This survey begins with the rise of the animal-welfare movement in the nineteenth century, then traces the growth of vegetarian and vegan practices as well as the philosophical and organizational foundations of animal-liberation advocates. While highlighting major cases and protests, successful or otherwise, the author describes farm, circus, and testing-lab abuses without dwelling on gory details. Furthermore, few, if any, of the sparse assortment of photos are explicit enough to disturb younger viewers. Largely based on published sources but incorporating some new material, the study offers readers a relatively dispassionate picture of a hot-button emotional issue with its major agendas and obstacles.
Civil Rights Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Capek, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) index, and timelines. People and events profiled include Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the NAACP, Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., The March on Washington, The Voter's Rights March in Selma, Alabama, Jesse Jackson, and President Barack Obama.
Disability Rights Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Mcneese, Tim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) index, and timelines.Presents arguments pertaining to the rights of the disabled, examining how the courts have shaped issues such as eugenic sterilization, special education, and equal access to public places through rulings, with primary sources from each case, dissenting opinions, and analyses.
Gay Rights Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Watson, Stephanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) index, and timelines. Essays in the book debate gay rights in the US and the role of the government in this. People profiled include Harry Hay (the Mattachine Society), Franklin Kameny, Harvey Milk and Ellen DeGeneres. Events profiles include the Stonewall Riots, the response to AIDS in the early 90's and subsequently, Supreme Court Cases concerning discrimination toward gay employees, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and marriage equality issues.
Green Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Eboch, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) and index. Explores the history of the green movement in the United States. Features articles on John Muir, Rachel Carson, Lois Gibbs and others. Issues addressed include pollution, global warming, recycling, Love Canal, and Climate change. Timelines
Women's Rights Movement
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Anderson, Jennifer Jolin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Part of the Essential Library of Social Change. All of the books in the series examine major social movements in American History. The people, events and causes behind each movement. Designed to highlight the change that has taken place and challenges that are still there. The Women's Right Movement begins with the Seneca Falls Convention for Women's Rights in 1848 when women were still considered weaker than all ways than men and subject to their whim in all things. Chronicles the history of the Women's Rights Movement in America that describes the events and people responsible for changing the face of the nation including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the Temperance and Suffrage movements, and the Equal Rights Amendment. Includes bibliographical references (pages 104-109) and index.
My Pen Pal, Santa
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Stanton, Melissa
Bell, Jennifer A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 11, 2013
Turpin, Sharon
Somewhat reminiscent of The Jolly Postman books, these are letters between young Ava (age 6-7) and Santa throughout the year. Starting in January Ava writes to thank him for her Christmas presents and pose a few questions. Santa is pleasantly surprised to get a letter AFTER Christmas and answers all of her questions in a most captivating way. Each month Ava writes a new letter often with a holiday reference, and Santa responds in kind. Mention is made about how her brother says Santa isn’t real, but Santa says it’s okay that some people believe and others don’t. This is a reassuring tale told in a fun and straight-forward way including many questions young children may have incorporating the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny as well. The illustrations capture the happy feeling and blend the two scenes between Ava’s situations and Santa’s on each month’s double-page spread. This might be best shared one on one, and if purchased for a library should be more solidly bound. Gr. K-2 are the most appropriate audience.
Boston Jacky : Being An Account Of The Further Adventures Of
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Meyer, L A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 11, 2013
Dame, Anne
Book 11 in the Bloody Jack series. I am a fan of this series, especially the strong, exuberant, yet sometimes vulnerable Jacky Faber. However, sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. Parts of this book felt slow and plodding, as if it were just a way to get from Plot Point A to Plot Point B. With that said, this is a great look at Boston's history, the Irish immigration, the "insurance" purchased from the fire companies, etc. It also continues the unending heartbreak and romance saga between Jackie and Jaimy.
Sex & Violence
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Mesrobian, Carrie
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Gustafson, Chris
Moving often has benefits - Evan never stays anywhere long enough to form deep bonds, so he's developed a strategy. Relationships with girls are just about sex and Evan pulls this off well, until a severe beat-down gives him a taste of what it's like to live fearfully. Language and clearly described sexual situations make this a better fit for high school readers.
DESERTER
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
GUILIN, PEADAR O
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Sequel to The Inferior. To save his tribe, the cannibal Stopmouth must abandon it. Leaving the stone-age world of the Surface behind, he travels to the Roof, the mysterious hi-tech world suspended above. But the Roof has its own problems. The nanotechnology that controls it is collapsing. And now a rebellion against the ruling Commission is about to erupt. Hunted by the Commission's nano-enhanced agents, Stopmouth must succeed in a desperate hunt of his own: to find the woman he loves. Only she knows how to save his tribe. But in this super-sophisticated world, all he has to fight with are his raw strength and fierce courage.The world building is good and the characters are differentiated well but action breaks down and then one has to slog through to the next sequence. The idea of high tech vs. human primitivism is relegated to a kind of comic book simplicity.
Dead And Buried
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Harrington, Kim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 11, 2013
Datisman, Eve
Good Hi/Low title for the horror, ghost story, solve a murder readers. Selected as best 2012 Horror, Sci Fi Fantasy picks in the Follett lists. New girl moves into a new school during her senior year, loves her new house and excited for a new start in an urban setting. Naturally things start to happen, Jade's little brother, Colby, claims to see a shimmery girl in his room, Jade's jewelry shifts around, things go missing, and the kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something they don't. Yup, the house is haunted by Kayla Sloane, the popular mean girl who died in an accident at the house. So is the ghost out for vengeance or the truth? After Kayla possesses Colby things get more urgent. Jade has to piece the clues together before he own life is at stake. City, country, there are deep, dark secrets everywhere. Satisfying suspense and a little high school romance.
SAVING & INVESTING
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
RUMSCH, BREANN
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 12, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Saving and Investing, part of Abdo’s Economy in Action series, opens by discussing options that individuals have for their earnings - spending, giving, and saving. Bank products for savers, how interest works, the difference between direct and indirect investments, the benefits and risks of buying stocks and bonds, and the importance of diversification are briefly discussed on two page spreads which each have text mostly on one side with captioned photographs filling most or all of the other. For a short volume, too much space is devoted to poor examples and unimportant ideas. Compound interest and the rule of 72 for doubling are almost irrelevant for savers now that savings interest rates hover around 1%. Despite assertions to the contrary, the comparison of simple and compound interest for a borrower makes the difference seem inconsequential. The example for stock dividends involves a small business (Berkshire Hathaway?) distributing $500 per share! And nearly a full page is spent on stock splits, which have become mostly irrelevant in this era of electronic stock trading. Students can gain a basic understanding of many concepts here, but they will have much more to learn.
EYE ON ECONOMICS
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
BRITTON, TAMARA L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 12, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Eye on Economics, part of Abdo’s Economy in Action series, shows how individuals use limited resources to meet a fraction of their unlimited wants and needs, and then expands that concept to countries, which must make similar decisions on a larger scale. Different economic systems, international trade, imports and exports, trade barriers, and trade agreements are all briefly explained on successive two page spreads that have text on one side and captioned photographs on the other. The final sections tell how a country’s economic performance is measured, what happens when a national economy shrinks or stagnates, and how the world’s economies are interconnected. These are followed by some multiple choice questions and matching exercise that are superfluous. A glossary of twenty-one words (!) and an index complete the book. This is a lot of material to cover in a short volume. The explanations build on each other nicely and are fairly clear, although they are necessarily brief and lacking in depth. This would serve as a useful starting point for students who wish to build up their background knowledge on economics.
LABOR & MANAGEMENT
CHECKERBOARD [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
GUNDERSON, MEGAN M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 12, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Labor and Management, part of Abdo’s Economy in Action series, poses many questions about economics and then spends one or two paragraphs explaining the answers to each one. What is a business? Who is in charge of a business? Why do people start businesses? How does a business make a profit? Kid-friendly examples help to make the concepts real. In this accessible style, the book proceeds to examine supply and demand, inflation, deflation, unemployment, and labor unions. Each two page spread has mainly text on one side with captioned photographs filling most or all of the other. This short volume covers a lot of ground. The explanations build on each other nicely and are fairly clear, although they are somewhat brief and lacking in depth. This would serve as a useful starting point for students who wish to build up their background knowledge on economics.
SYLVIA'S SPINACH
READERS TO EATERS [READERS TO EATERS]
PRYOR, KATHRINE
RAFF, ANNA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 12, 2013
Stein, Valerie
Sylvia is pretty sure she hates spinach, and she’s not willing to try it, not even a little bit! When she has to plant spinach seeds for the school garden project, Sylvia feels that she’s gotten the worst deal of all. Bleh. Then, when all the plants start to grow and hers doesn't sprout, she feels very dejected. Illustrator Anna Raff’s artwork, simply painted in fluid forms with line-drawn details, speaks worlds throughout the book, and Sylvia’s reaction when shoots finally appear in her pot is a spot-on capture of kid joy. There is always a danger of being preachy in a book like this, and it’s clearly one with a very specific, targeted message. The connection to a school garden project actually keeps it from going too far with that “eat your vegetables” tone, at least for me. The end matter discussing gardens adds to its usefulness in an elementary school setting, possibly as the invitation to a unit on gardens, especially when paired with other books on schoolyard garden projects. Adults will be interested in author Katherine Pryor's work with gardens and food advocacy for under-served populations in the Seattle area; this could be a jumping-off point for discussion with older students as well.
Easter
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Trueit, Trudi Strain
Huang, Benrei
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about the Christian holiday of Easter. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, poems/songs, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written by Everett, WA author, Trudi Strain Trueit and contains many color illustrations. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
Martha Speaks : Canine Comics : Six Daring Doggie Adventures
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
White, Jamie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 12, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Martha the talking dog has six adventures in this graphic novel. They cover a variety of simple plots from a robot dog to a fake pet show to Martha dreaming she is trapped inside a computer. Three of the six stories involve Martha realizing it was all a dream. These are simple graphic novels with fun illustrations in the style of the Martha picture books, but the stories tend to be predictable and preachy at times. Martha always learns a lesson and everything turns out in the end. More difficult words are often defined within the dialogue of the characters, for example “Flexible means to bend easily. Like this straw.” Even though the illustrations are appealing, there are better graphic novels for young readers.
Komodo Dragon
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Cain, Patrick G
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of Abdo's Core Library: Great Predators series, this 48 page book takes a look at the komodo dragon of Indonesia. The book describes the animals life cycle, how it hunts, its relationship with humans, and why it is endangered. Captioned color photographs will engage the reader as will the well-written text. The book also contains some primary resources, a map, and a graph. One thing that is off-putting is that this book (like others in the series) includes sections the make it seem more like a text book with assignments. But, that is the purpose of this series to connect non-fiction to the Common Core State Standards Curriculum. This would be a strong addition to your animal section.
Firefighters Help
Pebble Books/capstone Press [Pebble Books/capstone Press]
Ready, Dee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of Pebble Books "Our Community Helpers" series, this small book (7.25" x 6") describes the job of a firefighter using 178 words. Each two page spread has a color photograph and 2-3 sentences. Photos show firefighters of different races and one female firefighter. The book is well-written and children who dream of being a firefighter will like this book. The 24 page book also includes a small glossary, index, and resources (including information on how to get to the publisher website for web resources).
Cinco De Mayo
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Heinrichs, Ann
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Cinco de Mayo. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, preparation, songs, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written and contains many color illustrations. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
Germany
Buddy Books/abdo [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
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the European nation of Germany. Readers will only scratch the surface of this large nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous faces: writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and composer, Ludwig van Beethoven are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Egypt
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the Middle East nation of Brazil. Readers will only scratch the surface of this historic and diverse nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in 4 paragraphs!), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous leaders: Ramses III and Cleopatra are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Italy
Buddy Books/abdo [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
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the European nation of Italy. Readers will only scratch the surface of this historic nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous artists: Leonardo daVinci and Michelangelo are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Russia
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the Eurasian nation of Russia. Readers will only scratch the surface of the largest nation in the world in area. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. Famous faces: poet, Aleksandr Pushkin and composer Sergey Rachmaninoff are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Japan
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Explore the Countries" series, this 40 page book will provide readers with an introduction to the Asian nation of Japan. Readers will only scratch the surface of this island nation. The book tells of the location of the country, it's three largest cities, it's history (in a brief 2 pages), symbols, geography, culture, and resources. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami are mentioned in the timeline. Famous leaders: Emperor Meiji and Emperor Hirohito are also presented. Color photographs and maps accompany the basic text. The book includes a table of contents, timeline (in the middle of the book), index, fact page, and glossary. This will be a great book as a beginning for country research or for students with lower reading levels.
Hanukkah
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Trueit, Trudi Strain
Thornburgh, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 12, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of The Child's World "Holidays and Celebrations" series, this 32 page book provides information about Hanukkah. As with other books in the series, the book contains information about the holiday, symbols, occurrence, history, preparation, poems, songs, recipe, activity, and how to join in the celebration. The book is well-written and contains many color illustrations. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography. This book will serve as a good, simple reference for this holiday. Purchase if needed to update your holiday collection.
MATT KENSETH
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
MILLER, CONNIE COLWELL
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 13, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Matt is a current NASCAR stock car driver who drives real fast. Short text and plentiful photographs make this an easy read for gear heads, but limited biographical depth. The SportsZone NASCAR HEROES series includes 7 other titles about other guys who drive real fast. It's an additional purchase only in those schools where the roar of engines resonates with readers satisfied with a quick lap around the track.
CARL EDWARDS
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
MILLER, CONNIE COLWELL
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 13, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Carl Edwards in another of the SportsZone NASCAR HEROES series, which includes 7 other titles about other guys who drive real fast. It's an additional purchase recommended for elementary schools where the roar of engines resonates with readers satisfied with a quick lap around the track. A short timeline, glossary and index make it work as a typical non-fiction title; but there's not much of note, besides Mr Edwards penchant to doing a back flip off his car each time he wins.
FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
MONNIG, ALEX
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 13, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
One of ABDO's 20 Inside College Football titles profile the Florida State Seminoles football highlights. College football fans will find plenty to enjoy in reading about this consistently winning team, even through some of the low points when caught cheating on academic standards for players, illegal gifts to players, etc. Big-time college sports fans will smile and nod, and read on to the high points. Index, time lines, and plenty of non-fiction text features make this fine for instructional use, but it will only be needed in libraries that can carry a 20 volume set (on men's college football) in the collection, but an optional purchase for most.
Christmas In The Philippines
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Enderlein, Cheryl L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 13, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
How is Christmas celebrated in the Philippines? Readers will learn the customs and traditions of this holiday in this book. Each two page spread includes a color photograph and a page of text that covers: the first Christmas, symbols, grandparents, decorations, food, and songs. The book has a table of contents, index, glossary, activity, and bibliography (web resources provided through the publisher's web site). Part of the First Facts: Christmas Around the World series, this 24 page book will be useful when looking at celebrations around the world.
Explore The Library
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Piehl, Janet
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 13, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Library Smarts series, this 24 page book explains what a child might find in a public library. How people use the library, the job of the librarian, finding books, story time, checking out, and returning books are all covered in the text. Each two page spread contains a color photograph on one side and text on the other. The text could be read to younger students, but with a lexile level of 350 it is probably at a 2nd grade reading level. The book contains a table of contents, glossary, and index. Use this book before a field trip to the public library.
Tsunamis
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Swanson, Jennifer
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 13, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
After opening with the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, the text describes how tsunamis are formed (both volcanic and landslide), the four phases of tsunamis, and early warning systems. There are color photographs, maps, diagrams, and primary sources. Each chapter has assignment-like activities making it appear like a text book. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography, and a list of ten deadly tsunamis. The book will appeal to students who like to read about volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. The 48 page book is part of the Core Library: Earth in Action series.
AMAZON.COM : THE COMPANY AND ITS FOUNDER
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
WITTEKIND, ERIKA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 13, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Technology Pioneers series, this 112 page book describes the origin of Amazon.com, it's innovations, and it's founder, Jeff Bezos. Color photographs enhance the text as the reader learns about the Kindle, 1-click shopping, associates, international expansion, Amazon Prime, and more. The book also follows the life of Jeff Bezos - both ups and downs from birth in New Mexico, attending Princeton, working in New York City, finally moving to Seattle. One truly gets an understanding of this Seattle company and it's beliefs. The book does not shy away from problems the company has encountered like its relationship with Toys R Us. The book covers the company through 2011 and includes a table of contents, timeline, essential facts page, glossary, bibliography, source notes, index, and author information. A strong additional purchase for libraries in Western Washington.
From Hardships To Championships
SANDPIPER [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Stout, Glenn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 14, 2013
Korf, Clarence
From Hardships to Championships is part of the Good Sports series highlighting 5 historical baseball players. The stories start with Babe Ruth and continue through different decades with the last beginning in 2000. Each story reflects on how each player became a baseball star through challenges which included being committed to a boarding school, jail, depression, physical abuse and poverty. The book includes player statistics of each highlighted player. A book is ideal for the true baseball fan who loves the game with its current stars as well as those from the past.
TANGLED WEB OF THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 14, 2013
Korf, Clarence
The Tangled Webs of Spider-Man is part of the Amazing Spider-Man series. The book has the main events from the Spider-man movie which may be a draw for readers who really enjoy the movie or a reluctant reader. The book includes pictures from the movie and for young Spider-Man fans they will enjoy reading about their favorite character.
Cowpoke Clyde And Dirty Dawg
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Mortensen, Lori
Austin, Michael A.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2013
Korf, Clarence
Cowpoke Clyde is a man who likes a clean home. He thinks he is finished until he sees ol’ Dawg caked in mud. Giving a dog is no problem for Clyde until he makes the attempt. A fun story told in rhyme with lots of fun illustrations. Kids will like to predict the rhymes at different intervals in the book. It is not until Cowpoke Clyde gives up does he find a great soapy solution. For those who have attempted to give their dogs a bath, they will immediately connect with Clyde’s predicament.
Monkey World : The Thunderbolt Express
SASQUATCH BOOKS [SASQUATCH BOOKS]
Porter, Matthew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 14, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
Get your ticket and climb aboard Monkey World's Thunderbolt Express for a wild adventure. Fans of Thomas the Tank Engine may eagerly climb onboard with the retro-British railway look, but then so will anyone willing to suspend disbelief long enough to enjoy brightly drawn, wide-eyed monkeys in kitschy clothes. One by one we meet the passengers who fill this little pufferbelly train; with names like Fabulous Fred and his Flying Flea Circus, Billy Baxter the ventriloquist and Mono the inventor, Jango Jenkins and his swingin' jazz band, those along for the ride know they'll be in for a delightfully unpredictable plot. When the brake handle brakes off in the engineer's hands and, Oh No The Bridge is Gone! threatens catastrophe, these clever monkeys unload every ounce of extra baggage in time to jump the tracks and fly over the river. This Aussie's charminging bright blocky illustrations make this tasty bit of eye candy a perfect "spoonful of sugar" antidote to any over-feeding focus on non-fiction for youngsters. These monkeys are nuts!
Come Back, Ben
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Hassett, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 14, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
An uplifting little tale for beginning readers has little Ben grabbing ahold of a big red balloon. Ben and his balloon go up past his little sister, up past the window's "Come Back, Ben" past the bees and trees, kite and hill, rain and rainbow till he's greeted by a big friendly moon. Ben fills his pockets with moon rocks and descends. Repeated text and round faced characters reminiscent of Helen Oxenberry's characters are set on simple cut-paper settings to make this a charming easy reader, good through the last page's surprise.
MYSTIC CITY
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
LAWRENCE, THEO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 14, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
4.5 stars (I stayed up until 2am finishing this book--it was that good.) Aria Rose awakens to discover not only does she not remember overdosing on Stic, an illegal drug, but neither does she remember being in love with Thomas, to whom she is engaged. As Thomas is the son of Aria's father's rival, it just doesn't make sense. Aria's powerful father rules a Manhattan of the future, where much of the city is flooded and the lower-class citizens, including mystics, live beneath the surface. Mystics are feared and their power regularly drained by the government but there are plenty of mystics living illegally outside the reach of Aria's father's enforcers. Through the process of finding the truth about her memory and her life, Aria realizes that even her family members cannot be trusted. Romance with a mystic is a big no-no but Aria finds herself continually drawn to Hunter. Great cover, interesting story, although there are plenty of places where Aria should've figured out the plot much sooner. She is generally portrayed as a strong character but was slow on the uptake in several situations. Read it, recommend it, have a couple copies on your shelf if you are a teen librarian. Recommended for grades 7-12
BUSHMAN LIVES!
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
PINKWATER, DANIEL
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 15, 2013
Seasholes, Craig L
An independent reader with a funny bone for fiction will find this short novel a delight. Bushman is a large male gorilla, who, while still alive had caught the the wandering fancy of our narrator, young Harold Knishke. "Bushman Lives"is a triumphantly recalled in a whimsical greeting of kindred spirits throughout this humorous examination of art, creativity and coming of age in Chicago. somewhere along the Loop of this nutty novel we attend a drawing classes, meet beatniks and artists, a giant not-a-dog Wolluf, Spanish Civil War veterans and a lucious tribute to Chicago hot dogs; all done in a tasty blend Pinkwater's pithy prose and Calef Brown's quirky illustrations. What feels like a pleasant but rudderless romp through Harold's pursuit of becoming an artist-or even just figuring out what is an artist- is actually a charmingly good-natured and accurate rendering of the scrambled sensibility of a adolescent's brain. It's funny (and I suspect that life kinda happens like this for a lot more of us than we let on!) Recommended.
Misadventures Of The Magician's Dog
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Sackett, Frances
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Peter's not sure how he's suddenly the owner of an unusual dog. Is he being manipulated? Yes, and the dog is the one in charge. His new pet trains him to perform magic in the hope that he can get the dog's former owner out of a spell he cast, turning him to stone. Now Peter and his sisters are dealing with magic, danger, and a dog with a mission. This mission, however, may end up endangering his new master. Magic, you see, has the power to corrupt. This is a fun fantasy adventure that's right on target for elementary students.
Hanukkah Bear
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kimmel, Eric A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
It's Hanukkah time with all its traditions, and near-sighted Bubba Brayna is expecting company. When a bear comes by unexpectedly she thinks its the rabbi. (It's an easy mistake to make, what with his size and fur coat.) His grunting and growling is interpreted by the old lady as conversation. Her hearing, after all, is little better than her vision. Soon the bear has eaten up all her latkes and leaves wearing a scarf, giving Bubba Brayna a lick on the cheek. It's only when her REAL guests show up that the truth is revealed. A new batch of latkes must be made and everyone has a happy Hanukkah. An author's note gives a little more information about the holiday. This is a gently sweet, humorous tale told in Kimmel's likeable storytelling style. The acrylic illustrations by Mike Wohnoutka play off the theme--a Festival of Lights, and glow with an inner warmth. Readers may recognize the story. A version of it by the author was previously published in 1990 (with different illustrations) as "The Chanukkah Guest."
Celebrating New York : 50 States To Celebrate
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 15, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on New York City, Niagara Falls, and an Iroquois game of lacrosse.
Celebrating Texas : 50 States To Celebrate
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 15, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on rodeos, the Alamo, and crops like cotton and pecans.
Good, The Bad, And The Monkeys
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Sonneborn, Scott
Bradley, Jess
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Want a graphic novel for the younger set? Here's your chance, with the "Comics Land" series! In this picture book Jake is riding the range with his horse, tending to his herd of...no, not cows--MONKEYS! That's right, he's a "monkeyboy" who can't help thinking that cows would be easier to herd than those mischievous monkeys, as he tries to get them through the desert to the banana plantation. But, drat! He hadn't planned on monkey-rustlers. How are he and horse going to save the day? And will that make the monkeys respect his authority more? (Not likely.) This is laugh-out-loud funny with bright illustrations and tons of conversation bubbles and sound effects. Since not everything is spoken, the reader is left to infer from the conversations and illustrations just what, exactly, is happening. GREAT for visual learners. This is a sturdy 32-page book, but is it going to be sturdy enough? Not for the kind of use I expect it to see. Even better, at the end of the book there's an appendix that promotes some of the other books in the series, provides a glossary and puzzles, and has readers examine graphic novel elements to determine what they mean--motion lines, surprise lines, etc. I have GOT to look at the rest pf the series.
Mammal Babies
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Veitch, Catherine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 24-page book has crisp color photographs and clear, simple text. In it the reader learns what a mammal is, how they are born (nothing explicit), where baby mammals might live, and how their parents care for them. Each concept shows several examples--each given its own page, photograph, and single sentence of bold text. The photographs are exceptional--clear, crisp, and compelling. The final two pages point out that people are mammals, too. The appendix includes the life cycle of an orangutan, and a simple picture glossary and index. It's hard to find good easy nonfiction, and this is excellent.
Hocus Pocus Takes The Train
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Desrosiers, Sylvie
Simard, Remy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Hocus Pocus, the magician's bunny, is back in another wordless graphic novel style adventure. The magician and his dog are taking a train trip, with Hocus Pocus safely in the hat. However, the sight of another bunny lures Hocus Pocus out. This is a stuffed toy belonging to a baby. Soon Hocus Pocus is separated from his companions, and is desperately trying to get back to his hat, and to return the bunny to the baby who is crying for it. Bright pastel colors and clever illustrations make this story a standout. Every nuance must be drawn from the simple pictures, and there is much to infer there not only about plot but also about the characters' emotions. Children will enjoy telling the story to any adult not smart enough to figure it out. Bright, happy, and adventuresome, this will appeal to more than those just learning to read.
Where Is Baby Bear?
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Billin-Frye, Paige
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "A book about animal homes" this Magic Castle Reader is designed for young learners. Peter opens his word window (book) and is in the forest playing hide and seek with a few animals. He has trouble finding them, then checks out their homes and finds them there. All except for Baby Bear. He doesn't know where Baby Bear lives. Then there's a surprise. All ends well. The text is very simple and the illustrations are bold and colorful against a stark white background. End notes include some questions for the reader. While not "great literature" this is certainly right on target for beginning readers. There's a simple plot, and plenty of repetition. I'm just not a fan of calling a library a "magic castle" and a book a "word window." What's wrong with the right words? Besides, that intro wastes 3 pages that could be used in story development.
Mr. Doodle Had A Poodle
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Magic Castle Readers" series, this is subtitled "A book about fun activities." Mr. Doodle had a multi-talented poodle. She could dance. She could ski. She could skate, drive a car and do much more. However, she couldn't bark. That was true until she encountered a cat, and then her "bow-wow" came out in reply to its "meow." I guess that poodle can do just about anything! Bright colorful illustrations stand out against a stark white background. The text is simple and rhyming. This would be a good book for beginning readers. I just have a problem with this "library is a magic castle, books are word windows" concept. It basically wastes 3 pages that could contain more lines of story, and what's so bad about calling a book a book?
Whistle In The Dark
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Long, Susan Hill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Clem has just turned thirteen, but in his town, and at his time, that's no cause for celebration. Now considered to be an adult, he must leave school and join his stepfather in the bowels of the earth, mining coal. That's life in the 1920's. Clem has dreams--he likes to write and loves the sun. Instead, he must spend his daylight hours buried in the earth, with no escape in sight. His family needs the money. His sister is sick. His grandpa shows the results of his own mining career in a cough that is so bad he can hardly breath. Clem feels trapped. A girl in town does, too. Her abusive father demands she help with his moonshine business. Is it any wonder the two--Clem and Lindy--are drawn together? There are happy times, and times of great tragedy. Through it all Clem's character shines like a headlamp in a coal mine. This is excellent historical fiction. The author creates a real feeling of time and place. Readers can't help but empathize with her fully-realized characters. Good historical fiction is hard to come by, especially from this time period. This merits a place in middle school collections.
Reluctant Assassin
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Colfer, Eoin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 15, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Life is hard for Riley in Victorian England. He's the apprentice to a murderer and the skills he's learning are just as likely to kill him as someone else. Before he has a chance to apply them, however, he finds himself flung into our time. Unfortunately, so is his master, who acquires knowledge that makes him truly dangerous in more than one time period. Riley forms a reluctant partnership with 17-year-old Chevron Savano, a Native-American agent who has her own story of loss. Her martial arts abilities, and Riley's assassin skills and general cunning, are all that stands between the two of them and death when they end up back in Victorian London, stalked by the all-too-knowledgeable assassin who wants them dead, with plans for changing the future. This is a fast-paced, high adventure book with two likable main characters. Both of their skills will be needed if they are to survive but, of course, they must. After all, this is the first book in the W.A.R.P. series. Eoin Colfer is known for compelling plots and fascinating premises. Readers who like his Artemis Fowl series will find this a great new series to move to. It is, however, a tad bloody and best suited for secondary.
Celebrating Florida : 50 States To Celebrate
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 15, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on airboating in the Everglades, visiting St. Augustine, and scuba diving in the Keys.
Unfed
Chicken House [Chicken House]
Mckay, Kirsty
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In the first book, "Undead" Bobby winds up facing the zombie apocalypse when her bus filled with teenage students ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mayhem ensued, and alliances were formed among those who survived. Still, she thought it was all over and she was finally safe. Getting on another bus filled with teens should have rung warning bells. Fool me once... Now she wakes up in a hospital to find 6 weeks have passed, and zombies are loose in the facility. It's back to thwarting the undead again. Hey, this is getting old. Bobby is indefatigable, but her ability to endure idiocy is low. Reuniting with old friends helps, but having to drag along the snarky Alice can make you wonder if she wouldn't, indeed, be better off undead. The teens flee, the dead follow, shedding various body parts along the way. Did I mention zombie farm animals? And what's with those well-armed guys in black? I don't like zombie books, but this series is so over-the-top and fun it will appeal to just about everyone. I can't wait for book #3.
Math At The Store
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Steffora, Tracey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Real-life applications of math are examined in this sturdy 24-page book. Young readers are given examples of how counting, measuring, sorting, and shapes can be found in a typical trip to the store. Bright, crisp photographs are accompanied by a single line of bold simple text. Labels within the pictures act as a picture glossary. There are questions to answer and a brief index. This is a nice example of easy nonfiction that would lead naturally into a discussion of other examples of math you would find in real life.
I Want A Sister!
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Ross, Tony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The Little Princess is back, and she's received some bad news--her mother is expecting a baby. The Little Princess wants a girl, of course. Boys smell, have bad habits, and are messy. All the folks in the castle provide her with helpful feedback, but she's still adamant. When the new baby (a boy) arrives, there is some disappointment. But, as her parents point out, they already HAVE a princess. Her! This seems reasonable, and she begins to move into her role as a "big kid." This is a simple tale told with Ross's big, warm, watercolor illustrations showing a down-to-earth royal family and court. The story deals with a common situation children face in a humorous and sympathetic way, and the bold illustrations and simple text make this a good choice for preschool story time. Unfortunately, like pretty much all Tony Ross books, the binding is not going to stand up to much usage. Prebinding is recommended.
Adventure Of The Second Stain
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Goodwin, Vincent
Dunn, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Graphic Novel Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" series, this book follows Holmes and Watson as they try to solve an unusual case. A letter is missing from a locked strongbox. The words on that sheet of paper could lead to war. Indeed, they will unless the letter is recovered. But who could have taken it, and why? There are those, of course, who want war, but surely the letter would have been published by now, if that was their intent. When a body shows up, and the bloodstained rug doesn't match the stain on the floor, Holmes may have the final clue he needs to solve the case. This is a graphic novel with bold outlines and expressive faces. The plot is moved along nicely through conversations and the reader gets the same clues Holmes does. I have students who want to read Sherlock Holmes mysteries, but are not up to the originals. This would be an excellent compromise.
Digger, Dozer, Dumper
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Vestergaard, Hope
Slonim, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Oh those big machines--dozers, diggers, dumpers, sweepers. Kids love 'em, and why not? This is a collection of short poems about big machines and what they do. Each poem focuses on a particular machine and is accompanied by acrylic and charcoal illustrations that give the machines facial expressions and show kids, and a dog, driving and using them. The poems are direct, clever, and informative, with bouncy rhymes and solid rhythms. The final illustration, showing children playing with toy machines, adds just the right touch. This would provide a nice poetry tie-in with "I Stink" and appeal to the truck-lover in all youngsters.
Unsolved Mystery Of The Bermuda Triangle
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Rudolph, Aaron
Ray, Mike
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the First Facts: Unexplained Mysteries series. The simple, but well-written text describes the strange occurrences in the middle Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida since it was first mentioned in 1492. Possible explanations are also included. Vocabulary words are defined on the page they are found as well as the glossary. The book has true/false pages and a map showing the area. Color illustrations will engage readers. The book has the usual non-fiction features: table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. A good purchase to add an easier read to your unexplained phenomena section.
United States Air Force
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Green, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the First Facts: US Military Forces series. The book provides an overview of the US Air Force. After setting the scene by describing fighter planes over Afghanistan, the text describes the formation of the Air Force, jobs, how to become an Airman, the Air Force Academy, two planes, and satellite defenses. While the text is simple, it is well-written. Small fact boxes throughout the book provide more information. Vocabulary words are defined at the bottom of the page they are found, as well as, in the glossary. The book also has a table of contents, index, and bibliography. Web resources are handled through the publisher's website. Buy this book to update your military section, especially for younger readers.
Little Red Riding Duck
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Guillain, Charlotte
Beacon, Dawn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 16, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Animal Fairy Tales" series this is a basic retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" with the human characters--Red, and Grandma--replaced with ducks. And that's the only change. The story proceeds as usual, except Grandma doesn't get eaten (she is tucked in a closet), and the wolf runs away and doesn't get killed. The binding is sturdy. The writing is competent. However, I was expecting something more original. If you need the basic story, with a very small twist, this book would serve.
Celebrating Arizona : 50 States To Celebrate
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on the Grand Canyon, the Anasazi, and the state's sports teams.
Celebrating California : 50 States To Celebrate
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on the weather and crops grown in California; the illustration of tomatoes is a bit off.
Celebrating Virginia And Washington, D.c. : 50 States To Cel
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Bauer, Marion Dane
Canga, C.b.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
In this series, geography teacher Mr. Geo visits a different state in each book. He is seen as a happy modern-day explorer of major cities, national parks, and attractions that have become famous. Mr. Geo's shirt has the two-letter state abbreviation on it. A U.S. and a state map are included in each title, as well as a chronology of important dates, activities to reinforce learning from the book, and a glossary with the page numbers on which each listed word is found. "Did you know?" facts are seen in a text box at the bottom of some pages. The young people included in Mr. Geo's activities could be upper-elementary age or a bit older; they do not look so young that struggling readers of middle school or high school age might be offended reading the books. The basic information young students need for a "state" report is available on the "Fast Facts" page while the information in the rest of the book is more supplemental. That being said, this series is a nice alternative to the state books that are straight facts and photos. Young people will enjoy the whimsical illustrations and the brevity of the text. This title includes information on outdoor activities, Colonial Williamsburg, and D.C. attractions.
Mr. King's Castle
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Cote, Genevieve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Mr. King, a cat, likes BIG things and decides to build a BIG castle by chopping blocks out of the rest of the illustration for construction materials. Indeed, he ends up with a splendid building, but the other animals are left with a mess and then practically nothing. Mr. King's greed has affected everyone. Fortunately he realizes his mistake and, with the help of his friends, makes things right again. The multimedia artwork is enthusiastic and imaginative and keeps the obvious moral message from being too stark. Still, the story has lessons that children will recognize and adults will appreciate.
Tallulah's Nutcracker
CLARION [CLARION]
Singer, Marilyn
Boiger, Alexandra
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Tallulah, a young ballerina, has been cast as a mouse in a REAL Nutcracker production! She is determined to be the best mouse ever, and puts her heart and soul into it. She practices hard, and follows instructions. This will be her first step into a wider world of ballet. Then, at the performance, disaster strikes. How will Tallulah handle it? This is another delightful entry in a series that shows clearly the hard work involved in ballet, but also the joy. Expressive watercolor illustrations show children with real children's bodies, not sylph-like waifs. I appreciate that. The cover entices with sparkles and a tutu. Here's the perfect way to lure those girls caught in the princess genre into another, slightly more attainable, ideal.
Picture A Touchdown : A Football Drawing Book
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Wacholtz, Anthony
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Drawing books are always popular. Sports books are always popular. Combine the two and you have a surefire winner. Part of the "Drawing with Sports Illustrated Kids" series, this 64 page book focuses on football. After a brief introduction, including basic drawing tips, young artists are shown how to draw a football player in 15 high-action plays. Throwing, kicking, offense, defense. These are not static drawings, which makes them interesting. The drawings are shown in five steps starting with an armature, blocking out the figure, and then gradually adding details. The final drawing is shown against a blurred real-life sports scene. This is a clear and interesting drawing book, and sure to appeal to the target audience. The reinforced library binding is sturdy, but this book is sure to wear out fast from heavy usage.
Mammoth In The Fridge
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Escoffier, Michael
Maudet, Matthieu
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
There's a wooly mammoth in the fridge. Really! Noah has a little trouble convincing his family but, yep, there is, indeed, a mammoth squeezed into the fridge. Now what do you do? The fire department doesn't help. Then you have a mammoth on the run, then up a tree. NOW, what do you do? Head on home, I guess. But late that night Noah's little sister, Elsa, uses carrots to lure the mammoth out of the tree and up to her bedroom where he gets a stern talking-to, as he nearly endangered all her other unusual pets. This is a story that rides on a wave of tongue-in-cheek whimsy with the text consisting mostly of dialogue, and Matthieu Maudet's humorous, understated illustrations moving things along nicely. Translated from the French, this is delightfully imaginative.
Elecopter
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Slack, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Michael Slack, the creator of the ever-popular "Monkey Truck" is back with another animal/machine combo--Elecopter! Combine an elephant with a helicopter and you've got something. It scans the savannah from above, saving critters, tidying things up, and fighting fires. Simple, rhyming text and bright, absurd illustrations make it hard not to giggle at the impossible, but undeniably appealing, concept. Pair this, and "Monkey Truck" with Prelutsky's animal combo poems for a fun story time.
Away Went The Farmer's Hat
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
A farmer's hat blows off his head. Soon it is on an adventure of its own. It rests on the heads of various animals, becomes a duck's boat, a nest for bunnies then birds then squirrels, and finally returns to its owner. This is clearly aimed at early readers, and has a simple vocabulary and lots and lots of repetition, which is always appreciated. The crisp-edged, pastel illustrations by Dana Regan are attractive and fit the text well. While not "great literature," this certainly hits the mark for the target audience.
When Lions Roar
ORCHARD BOOKS [ORCHARD BOOKS]
Harris, Robie H
Raschka, Chris
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
What do you do when something scares you--when lions roar, or thunder booms? How do you deal with the scary? Order it to go away, then notice the beauty around you in the quiet. Peace will come. Simple text by Robi H. Harris accompanies big splashy watercolors by Chris Raschka. Every child has to deal with scary things, and this offers comforting advice that the scary will pass, and good things are still out there. This would be a good lap book when a child is dealing with fears.
One-Dog Sleigh
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX]
Casanova, Mary
Hoyt, Ard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
A young girl hitches her horse up to a small sleigh and she and her dog are off for a snowy winter ride. It's a one-dog sleigh, after all. Soon, however, other animals are hopping in, though they receive little encouragement from the driver. Before long the overladen sleigh is an hilarious jumble of fur, horns, hooves, and paws. Now, what will happen when it hits a BUMP? Ah, it's back to a one-dog sleigh, at last! Just-right, gently rhyming text combines with soft and humorous watercolor and ink illustrations by Ard Hoyt that are much in the same style as Lynn Munsinger's drawings. This is another delightful cumulative tale that would pair well with any version of "The Mitten."
Welcome To Robot Town
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Heshka, Ryan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Robot Town is an exciting place where robots live, work, learn, and play. Don't be late for robot school! Director Steelburg is filming a new movie. Dr. Socket makes house calls. This is a day in the life of a young robot with the emphasis on Ryan Heshka's acrylic and collage retro illustrations. The text is simple, with the occasional hint of a pun. Robot lovers, however, aren't going to worry much about that. They're going to LOVE examining the bright, imaginative illustrations, and visualizing themselves in Heshka's robot world.
Hound Dog True
HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH [HARCOURT BRACE JOVANOVICH]
Urban, Linda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 18, 2013
Korf, Clarence
Hound Dog True from the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect offers a about an incredibly and sometimes painfully shy girl. Mattie has just moved again and is starting her 4th school as a 5th Grader. Her mom has had to move in with her Uncle Potluck’s house for a few months. She hates to be singled out and no one has a clue about who she is except her Uncle Potluck. He is the school’s janitor and he is Mattie’s hope of avoiding the social perils of school. She is being pushed into a friendship with a neighbor girl and now is afraid her whole world will turn upside down when she finds out someone has been reading her diary. This shy girl will have to step out of her shell in order to change her world. Hound Dog True is sensitive, touching, compassionate and ends with courage. The story may for some readers be difficult in the beginning due to Mattie’s shyness and so desperately wanting her to engage with the other characters. If one can persist through more than half of the book, the relationships do begin to develop.
I Know Basketball
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Tometich, Annabelle
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 24-page level 3 book contains under 200 words, and is designed for readers who are growing independent. Crisp action photographs, showing both boys and girls playing, accompany basic text on the history, rules and records of the sport. This is far, far from comprehensive. Indeed, the information is very limited. However, the book is competently written, visually appealing, and includes an index and word list. Besides, who doesn't need more nonfiction for those lower-level readers?
This Is Our House
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
Yum, Hyewon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Houses are more than brick and mortar--they have histories, and dear memories. In this sweet story by Hyewon Yum we are introduced to the house her grandparents first lived in when they arrived from far away. The tree outside welcomed the baby that was her mother. The front steps are where she and her brothers used to play. The bedrooms were where they shared dreams, and the kitchen is filled with the smells of good memories. Eventually the girl grew up, married, and she and her husband moved into the house. Grandparents are there as the narrator experiences the same growing experiences in the same home. This is a warm and gentle story with watercolor illustrations that perfectly match it--like a visual hug.
Pocketful Of Pets
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Billin-Frye, Paige
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 18, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Mike opens a word window (book) and finds himself helping Mama Kangaroo find Little Kangaroo. It is, after all, time for his nap. They meet various animals who help for a while, looking in their own habitats. Finally each gets sleepy and hops into Mama Kangaroo's pocket. In this cumulative tale we add a puppy, a kitten, a duck, two lambs, and four bunnies to the pocket before Little Kangaroo is finally located at the zoo. Then Little Kangaroo gets his napping spot back. Clearly designed for the beginning reader, with simple text and lots of repetition, this gently humorous book will definitely meet a need. Questions at the end allow for extension. I just have a problem with wasting 3 pages explaining a magic castle (library) and word window (book). Those pages could have been better used in extending the plot.
Safety In My Neighborhood
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Lyons, Shelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
You have to love the format of the Pebble Plus books. They are BIG with bright photographs showing children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The pictures expand over the gutter, and the simple text begins with a clear heading and supporting concepts underneath. This book focuses on "around the neighborhood" safety. Knowing the rules, bikes, knowing your phone number, problem-solving without fighting, waiting for the bus--it's all here, if briefly. This book would best serve as a jumping off point for a wider discussion and, as such, it will be welcomed by parents and teachers.
Spring
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Hedlund, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Seasons" series, this sturdy 24-page book gives young readers an introduction to spring. First readers learn about the seasons, and their cause (the Earth's tilt and orbit). The vernal equinox is explained and illustrated. While the focus is on the northern hemisphere, readers learn when spring occurs in the southern hemisphere. The book then focuses on what life is like during the spring. Weather, activities, plants and animals, and clothing are all briefly presented in both text and Stephanie Bauer's multimedia illustrations. The book includes a link to a website and a short glossary and index. This would be a good choice for preschool and kindergarten teachers to use when introducing the seasons to their students.
Winter
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Hedlund, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Seasons" series, this sturdy 24-page book gives young readers an introduction to winter. First readers learn about the seasons, and their cause (the Earth's tilt and orbit). The winter solstice is explained and illustrated and readers learn that winter can vary in length depending on location. While the focus is on the northern hemisphere, readers learn when winter occurs in the southern hemisphere. The book then focuses on what life is like during winter. Weather, activities, plants and animals, and clothing are all briefly presented in both text and Stephanie Bauer's multimedia illustrations. The book includes a link to a website and a short glossary and index. This would be a good choice for preschool and kindergarten teachers to use when introducing the seasons to their students.
Football Abc
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Weakland, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Fagundes, Annie
Sports Illustrated Kids Football ABC is visually stimulating and would attract any young football fan. The full page photographs highlight each of the alphabet words and keep the reader scanning for a glimpse of their favorite player(s) and team(s)! Both college and professional NFL teams are featured, and for the most part, the vocabulary word for each letter is directly applicable to the sport (“F is for fumble,” “I is for interception,” “Q is for quarterback”). The author stretched the use of X, stating that “nothing is more eXciting than a football game.” The book includes an in-depth glossary, a code to access online FactHound resources as per most nonfiction Capstone texts, and an index. Although the content is extremely minimal and simplistic, the visual elements are engaging and would be hard to keep on the shelves. The book comes with a reinforced library binding and retails for about $20.00. Other books in the Sports Illustrated Kids Rookie Books include: Football Colors and Football Opposites.
Show Me Rocks And Minerals : My First Picture Encyclopedia
A+ Books/capstone Press [A+ Books/capstone Press]
Wooster, Patricia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 19, 2013
Fagundes, Annie
This beginning reference book is designed for young researchers looking for an overview on the topic. The author does an effective job of explaining the relationship between rocks and minerals and distinguishing between the three different types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary. Each chapter heading has a short introductory paragraph while the remainder of the page is splattered with photographs, fact boxes, and vocabulary words. For many readers this lack of flow in content may be distracting, but the visual elements make up for the disorganization. Like other Capstone nonfiction, this book includes a code to access related FactHound resources for further investigation online. This title would be a good addition to an elementary library collection and is inexpensive when compared to other books on the topic. Unfortunately the book is missing a glossary and index – two text features essential for navigating nonfiction. Other titles in the set include: Show Me Community Helpers, Show Me Insects, Show me Transportation, and Show Me Polar Animals.
Autumn
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Hedlund, Stephanie
Bauer, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Seasons" series, this sturdy 24-page book gives young readers an introduction to autumn. First readers learn about the seasons, and their cause (the Earth's tilt and orbit). The autumnal equinox is explained and illustrated. While the focus is on the northern hemisphere, readers learn when autumn occurs in the southern hemisphere. The book then focuses on what life is like during autumn. Weather, activities, plants and animals, and clothing are all briefly presented in both text and Stephanie Bauer's multimedia illustrations. The book includes a link to a website and a short glossary and index. This would be a good choice for preschool and kindergarten teachers to use when introducing the seasons to their students.
Summer
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Hedlund, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Seasons" series, this sturdy 24-page book gives young readers an introduction to summer. First readers learn about the seasons, and their cause (the Earth's tilt and orbit). The summer solstice is explained and illustrated. While the focus is on the northern hemisphere, readers learn when summer occurs in the southern hemisphere. The book then focuses on what life is like during the summer. Weather, activities, plants and animals, and clothing are all briefly presented in both text and Stephanie Bauer's multimedia illustrations. The book includes a link to a website and a short glossary and index. This would be a good choice for preschool and kindergarten teachers to use when introducing the seasons to their students.
Martha Bunny Loves School!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Vulliamy, Clara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Martha Bunny is getting ready for her first day of school, but what should she bring with her? And how will her little brothers and dog survive without her? Getting ready is fraught with decisions. Her backpack gets fuller and fuller--lucky there are so many pockets! She's constantly distracted. It's a busy, activity-filled morning, and the clock is counting down. Colorful illustrations are filled with all kinds of details in a scrapbook-like format. Frankly, anyone paying attention will realize that there is no way she could possibly do all the activities listed in the time allotted, but it makes for merry mayhem. Finally Martha heads to school, backpack much lightened and small charges satisfied. It's a wonderful day and a delight to return to her welcoming family. This is a bright, bouncy, optimistic book with plenty of details in both text and illustration that will keep young readers entranced.
San Francisco Earthquake And Fire
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mcdougall, Chros
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 19, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Core Library: History's Greatest Disasters series, this 48 page book describes the April 18, 1906 earthquake that devastated the city of San Francisco, California. The book begins with a the story of the quake in the city, then explains the San Andreas Fault (map included) and how earthquakes are caused. Then the book describes the resulting fire, rebuilding, and the 1989 Loma Preita quake, Primary sources are found at the end of the chapters along with academic questions/assignments. Photographs are included throughout. Side boxes provide more detailed information about specific topics (i.e. city hall, measuring quakes). The book also includes a table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography (web resources through publisher website), index, and author information. The perfect book for students studying earthquakes.
Butterfly Express
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Billin-Frye, Paige
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the Magic Castle Readers: Science series. Which means that the first 2 pages talk about how a book is a "word window" and the library is a "magic castle". The third page starts a story of a girl who opens a word window to read a story about butterflies. In my opinion 3 pages of content are lost by doing this introduction (found in all series books). The story about butterflies is okay. The girl finds a butterfly, she takes it home, and watches it as it goes through the life cycle. For some reason, it's snowing when the butterfly hatches, but this lucky butterfly gets to fly on an airplane to California with a pilot friend of the girl's father. The ending of the story doesn't seem realistic. 5 questions are found at the end of the book. Color illustrations are large enough for group sharing. There are no non-fiction text features. You will find better written life cycle material elsewhere.
Bears Upstairs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Moncure, Jane Belk
Girouard, Patrick
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 19, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "A book of Creative Dramatics" (what's with THAT?) this "Magic Castle Readers" book is Jane Belk Moncure's 1988 book with minor changes and new illustrations. A girl plays with bears. They use chairs to make a plane, a train, a bus and, after the bus gets a little rowdy, a hospital. The girl takes care of the bears, then feeds them pears. Ooooookay. The illustrations by Patrick Girourd are bright and kid-friendly. There's nothing wrong with the slight story, but it is that--slight. Granted, it's hard to find low-level picture books. (This is 1.7 on AR.) Still, this whole series is annoying with its insistence on calling a library a "magic castle" and a book a "word window." Not to mention that explaining the aforementioned terms takes of 3 pages that could be better used to expand the text. All in all this is a tad disappointing, but acceptable to provide new readers with quick fodder.
About Penguins : A Guide For Children
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Let me be clear--I LOVE the books by Cathryn and John Sill. I love the formatting, I love the writing, and I'm a tremendous fan of John Sill's beautiful watercolor illustrations that always remind me, just a bit, of the works of Audubon. This book focuses on penguins. The gorgeous pictures fill an entire page, and face a page with a simple sentence of text that offers a basic fact about penguins and a small caption. You could read the book to kindergarten students and they'd get a nice overview of penguins, and love the illustrations. HOWEVER, at the end of the book the author provides an afterword that focuses on each individual plate and offers a paragraph of much more specific information. Add to that a solid bibliography and website list, as well as a glossary, and you have a book older students can use for reading and report-writing. It's like two, two, two books in one! This is a wonderful series that merits a place in libraries serving children.
About Birds : A Guide For Children
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Let me be clear--I LOVE the books by Cathryn and John Sill. I love the formatting, I love the writing, and I'm a tremendous fan of John Sill's beautiful watercolor illustrations that always remind me, just a bit, of the works of Audubon. This book focuses on an overview of birds. The gorgeous pictures fill an entire page, and face a page with a simple sentence of text that offers a basic fact about birds, along with a small caption for the picture. You could read the book to kindergarten students and they'd get a nice overview of birds, and love the illustrations. HOWEVER, at the end of the book the author provides an afterword that focuses on each individual plate and offers a paragraph of much more specific information. Add to that a solid bibliography and website list, as well as a glossary, and you have a book older students can use for reading and report-writing. It's like two, two, two books in one! This is a wonderful series that merits a place in libraries serving children.
Where Is Baby?
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Galbraith, Kathryn O
Butler, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Where can you find babies? A fawn might be in a dappled meadow. Baby river otters might be diving in the water. Baby elephants hide behind a forest of legs. Kathryn Galbraith has created lyrical, evocative text, each word ringing like a sweet bell. The beautifully-crafted steeple from which those bells ring is made of John Butler's exquisite acrylic and colored pencil illustrations showing cuddly, sweet, idealized animals. The book begins with a human baby and ends the same way--circling back like a warm hug. This would be a wonderful lap book that children will want to hear again and again.
Felicidad Es... = Happy Is...
A+ Books/capstone Press [A+ Books/capstone Press]
Miller, Connie Colwell
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp color photographs of smiling children, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, accompany simple text in both Spanish and English, exploring the concept of happiness. Happiness is a tingling in your tummy, a hug from your dad. It can come at any time, when you're alone or with others. It can come from a job well done, or from being with those you love. The English-language text for each page rhymes, while the Spanish-language portion generally does not, but conveys the concept with the same level of emotion, or even a little more, since it doesn't have to be squeezed into verse. Teachers will appreciate this book as it will lead naturally into classroom discussions, art, and writing projects.
Jurassic Park : 1 : Danger
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Simonson, Walter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Do you like the movie "Jurassic Park?" Here it is in graphic novel format in a ten-volume set that covers the movie and then extends the plot beyond it. In this, volume 1, readers are introduced to Isla Nublar as Dr. Grant, Dr. Sattler, and Dr. Malcolm are recruited to vet the park for its safety, per the request of the owner's lawyers. Unless you live in a cave you know what happens. All the main characters are introduced in this book, and we follow them up to the point where they catch their first sight of living dinosaurs. The artwork is bold and very detailed. The dialogue carries things along nicely, and even adds to the story most readers know, while retaining most of the favorite quotes. This is sure to be a big hit and is sturdy enough to stand up to the usage you would expect. However, this is one of those series where each book contains a small portion of the plot. The books must be read in order. Lose a book and you're up a creek until it is replaced. It does help, however, that the first four books cover the movie, so the plot should be familiar to readers.
Jurassic Park : 2 : The Miracle Of Cloning
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Simonson, Walter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Do you like the movie "Jurassic Park?" Here it is in graphic novel format in a ten-volume set that covers the movie and then extends the plot beyond it. In this, volume 2, readers are there as doctors Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm are introduced to the concept of dino cloning, and to Hammond's grandchildren. They start their tour, get to the T-Rex enclosure, and exit the cars to meet a triceratops. The artwork is bold and detailed. The dialogue is crisp and informative, and even adds to the story most readers know, while retaining most of the favorite quotes. This is sure to be a big hit and is sturdy enough to stand up to the usage you would expect. However, this is a series where each book contains a small portion of the plot. The books must be read in order. Lose a book and you're up a creek until it is replaced. It does help, however, that the first four books cover the movie, so the plot should be familiar to readers.
Jurassic Park : 3 : Don't Move!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Simonson, Walter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Do you like the movie "Jurassic Park?" Here it is in graphic novel format in a ten-volume set that covers the movie and then extends the plot beyond it. In this, volume 3, readers are introduced to a sick triceratops, get caught in a storm and, as the park systems go down, a T-Rex runs amok. The artwork is bold and very detailed. The dialogue carries the plot nicely, and even adds to the story most readers know, while retaining most of the favorite quotes. This is sure to be a hit and is sturdy enough to stand up to the usage you would expect. However, this is a series where each book contains a small portion of the plot. The books must be read in order. Lose a book and the set is invalidated until the book is replaced. It does help, however, that the first four books cover the movie, so the plot should be familiar to readers.
Jurassic Park : 4 : Leaving Jurassic Park
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Simonson, Walter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 20, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Do you like the movie "Jurassic Park?" Here it is in graphic novel format in a ten-volume set that covers the movie and then extends the plot beyond it. In this, volume 4, our heroes are chased by a T-Rex and raptors. Dr. Grant gets the children safely back to the Center...but it isn't safe there, either. Finally the main characters escape--leaving behind an island that is too dangerous to contemplate. The book ends where the first movie ends, as they fly away from Isla Nublar. The artwork is bold and very detailed. The dialogue carries things along nicely, and even adds to the story most readers know, while retaining most of the favorite quotes. This is sure to be a big hit and is sturdy enough to stand up to the usage you would expect. However, this is a series where each book contains a small portion of the plot. The books must be read in order. Lose a book and you're in trouble until it is replaced. It does help, however, that the first four books cover the movie, so the plot should be familiar to readers.
Helen Keller's Best Friend Belle
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Barry, Holly M
Thermes, Jennifer
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Most people have heard about Helen Keller, but what do you know about her dogs? As author Holly M. Barry points out, Helen had dogs who comforted her, as a child, and who became her devoted companions. One was a setter named Belle who was there when Annie Sullivan arrived, and when Helen regained her ability to communicate. This book briefly tells the story of Helen's life from her birth to the first time she returned home from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. Naturally Belle was there to greet her. The end notes give more information about Helen Keller's lifelong love of dogs, and the dogs she had through her life. She was the first person, for example, to bring an Akita to the United States. Warm, friendly watercolor illustrations by Jennifer Thermes accompany the charming text, making this an excellent choice for group sharing.
Franklin And The Little Sisters
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Endrulat, Harry
Clark, Brenda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Franklin and his friend Bear want to play in their tree fort, but Franklin's mother insists they take their little sisters along. Little sisters aren't allowed in the tree fort. It's too high to be safe for them. At first Franklin and Bear take turns watching their sisters, but finally they help their sisters build a cardboard fort on the ground that they can enjoy. This if from an animated episode of "Franklin and Friends and includes three-dimensional bright illustrations from the show. It is a warm and gentle story of siblings getting along.
Howard B. Wigglebottom On Yes Or No : A Fable About Belongin
WE DO LISTEN [WE DO LISTEN]
Binkow, Howard
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Why was Howard's friend, Buzz, so unhappy all the time? Why did he keep getting into trouble? Howard B. Wigglebottom is on the case! He discovers that people are taking advantage of Buzz, and leading him astray. Buzz really needs to learn how to say no, and who to trust. His friends help him and soon he has learned when to say yes, and when to say no and how to defend himself. All ends well. Splotchy oil illustrations accompany the preachy text. This is bibliotherapy with a hint of plot thrown in. Still, if you need books on the subject this will work.
Living And Nonliving In The Desert
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Want to teach students the difference between living and nonliving things? Well, here's the series for you. It defines living and nonliving and then shows examples from different biomes. The series includes desert, grasslands, mountains, ocean, polar regions, and rain forest. The reviewed book was on the desert. The photographs are crisp and attractive. (Alas, they are not captioned nor labeled.) The text is simple and direct, applying the definitions for living and nonliving to each pictured item to reinforce the key concepts. A picture glossary as well as a short website list, bibliography, and index, finish off this well-bound book. This series would be useful for both introducing students to the concept of living and nonliving, and to give them a nice introduction to different biomes.
Missing Mommy : A Book About Bereavement
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
Cobb, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in 2011 by Macmillan, this gentle, heart-touching book is a way to help young children deal with grief after the loss of a parent, in this case a mother. Told in the first person, in a young boy's voice, it simply states the world as he views it. Illustrations add the detail of a funeral, a grieving father, the evidence of a mother who is no longer there. The child doesn't understand. Was it his fault? When is Mommy coming back? Why do other kids have a mom, and he doesn't? It's not fair! Soft pastel illustrations show a family living with grief, and coming out the other side still intact. Sad, yet hopeful, the book would open the door for families to talk and grieve together.
Jurassic Park : 8 : Animals Vs. Men
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Englehart, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Doctors Sattler and Grant continue the adventure begun in the movie "Jurassic Park." Kidnapped with young raptors, and now prisoners of a Colombian drug lord who wants their expertise in caring for the raptors. Their escape attempt thwarted, they see their captors plans put into action as he brings the raptors to town as his ultimate defense against prosecution. Weapons, however, can turn against you. Especially if they're clever, and deadly, and know you are responsible for their pain. The graphic novel includes artwork that is vivid, colorful, and detailed. I preferred this volume's illustrations to the previous ones. It is a little less "busy" and faces are much clearer. This is a fast-paced and exciting book that will keep young readers glued to the pages. It is book #8 in a well-bound ten-book set. The first four books cover the movie, and the rest extend it. Lamentably, each only contains a portion of the plot. This means you need the whole set, they must be read in order, and if one is lost the entire series is invalidated. Nevertheless, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel and dinosaur fans.
Jurassic Park : 7 : Raptors Attack
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Englehart, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Doctors Sattler and Grant continue the adventure begun in the movie "Jurassic Park." Kidnapped with young raptors, and carried away in a cargo plane that crashed, they now find themselves prisoners of a Colombian drug lord. Their only value lies in their ability work with the three raptors, one injured, recovered from the plan wreck. The raptors will make the ultimate security force for the drug lord, if he only manages to train them properly. Pain is a great motivator, but raptors have long memories. The graphic novel includes artwork that is vivid and detailed. Unfortunately, the use of shading lines often results in facial distortions. Nevertheless, this is a fast-paced and exciting book that will keep young readers glued to the pages. It is book #7 in a well-bound ten-book set. The first four books cover the movie, and the rest extend it. Lamentably, each only contains a portion of the plot. This means you need the whole set, they must be read in order, and if one is lost the entire series is invalidated. Nevertheless, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel and dinosaur fans.
Jurassic Park : 9 : Animals Vs. Gods!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Englehart, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Doctors Sattler and Grant continue the adventure begun in the movie "Jurassic Park." Kidnapped with young raptors, then held captive by a Colombian drug lord, they now face a different problem. They are free, but so are the three raptors. They're lose in the jungle and if, heaven forbid, they breed, nobody will be safe. Found by a native tribe who treats them like gods, the raptors wait and watch. These worshippers are just a moving buffet, but when will they eat? The graphic novel includes artwork that is vivid and detailed. I preferred the illustrations in this volume and the previous one. It is clearer, especially regarding faces, than the first 7 books in the series. This is a fast-paced and exciting book that will keep young readers glued to the pages. It is book #9 in a well-bound ten-book set. The first four books cover the movie, and the rest extend it. Lamentably, each only contains a portion of the plot. This means you need the whole set, they must be read in order, and if one is lost the entire series is invalidated. Nevertheless, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel and dinosaur fans.
Jurassic Park : 5 : Aftershocks!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Englehart, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Although they had escaped from Jurassic Park, both Doctors Sattler and Grant have been called back to help put the escaped dinos back into some sort of confinement, in particular the raptors. What they hadn't counted on was a mercenary, sent to capture the same raptors and deliver them to his employer. Dr. Grant and Sattler are an inconvenience that must be eliminated. Starting where the first movie left off (and in no way connected to the second movie) this graphic novel follows Alan and Ellie as they discover a mother raptor with five little ones. (Nature does, indeed, find a way.) Lamentably, they are captured along with the young raptors. The artwork is vivid, with heavy black lines. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to faces being downright ugly. Nevertheless, this is a fast-paced and exciting book that will keep young readers glued to the pages. It is book #5 in a well-bound ten-book set. The first four books cover the movie, and the rest extend it. Lamentably, each only contains a portion of the plot. This means you need the whole set, they must be read in order, and if one is lost the entire series is invalidated. Nevertheless, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel and dinosaur fans.
Jurassic Park : 6 : Dark Cargo!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Englehart, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 21, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Doctors Grant and Sattler are back. Captured by a mercenary, along with some young raptors, they're now on a cargo plane heading who knows where. However, if you think snakes on a plane are dangerous, try raptors. They pick the lock to their cage and mayhem ensues. Deaths follow. Ellie and Grant end up on a pilotless plane crashing into the jungle with their dangerous charges. This graphic novel continues the story of Jurassic park. The artwork is detailed, with heavy black lines. Unfortunately this sometimes leads to faces being downright ugly. Nevertheless, this is a fast-paced and exciting book that will keep young readers glued to the pages. It is book #6 in a well-bound ten-book set. The first four books cover the movie, and the rest extend it. Lamentably, each only contains a portion of the plot. This means you need the whole set, they must be read in order, and if one is lost the entire series is invalidated. Nevertheless, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel and dinosaur fans.
Darkseid's Inferno!
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Beechen, Adam
Beavers, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The evil Darkseid is trying to use the "X-Element" to blast through to the Source with which he hopes to end all life and make himself the master of everything. This is NOT GOOD! Fortunate, members of the Justice League are there to thwart his evil plan. There is super hero action galore in this space battle that also helps Supergirl resolve some issues in her own life. The artwork is epic, but with a nice retro look that keeps the characters clean and well-defined. This graphic novel is sure to be hit with superhero fans, and I appreciate the final pages that clue readers in to some of the techniques used in graphic novels to convey plot and character development. This book is well-bound, but reinforce it heavily before putting it out, because it's going to fly off the shelf.
Fears
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Baltazar, Art
Jones, Christopher
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Young Justice" graphic novel series, this book focuses on junior members of the Justice League. A brief bio introduces each of the six teen superheroes. Most share their origin stories around a campfire, but Robin only thinks about the tragic loss of his family and how he came to be who he is. Others have their own worries. The action in this book is in the past as their origin stories are played out. Artwork by Christopher Jones, with coloring by Zac Atkinson and lettering by Dezi Sienty is clear and bright, with a dark, brooding edge. This introduction to the heroes provides readers with the backgrounds they need to understand character motivation. It's visually appealing, has a slight retro feeling, and has enough action to keep readers involved. It's sure to be a hit.
Inhuman
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Falls, Kat
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
A biological disaster has changed the world. Those who avoided infection built a huge wall, and maintain their humanity. Those who were infected--human and animal--now find themselves to be strange hybrids. While humans may become "manimals" with the strengths and appearance of whatever animal with which they are infected, their humanity is soon consumed in the beast and they turn feral and are no longer who they once were. Lane is from the human side of the wall, but has crossed over in hopes of saving her father. Accompanied by two young men, each of whom are attached to her for different reasons, she braves the hybrid monsters that now inhabit the region--both 'human' and animal, with a single goal in mind. When she is stalked by a particularly awful predator, whose human mind has been twisted, she finds herself in greater danger than she ever imagined. This is dystopian fiction that will appeal to the YA audience. While it starts slowly, it quickly picks up speed, and becomes a compelling novel that is difficult to put down. Yes, it looks like a sequel is coming, and it will be welcomed.
Local Hero
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Beechen, Adam
Barberi, Carlo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Justice League Unlimited" graphic novel some of our heroes are on Adam Strange's planet of Rann, cleaning up a little evil villain problem. When a local lad decides HE wants to be the hero, and that Adam Strange, who is not of their planet, doesn't deserve the title, he makes a mistake that may doom the planet. Fortunately the heroes find a way to solve the problem, and Adam welcomes the boy into their group. After all, it doesn't matter WHO saves the planet, right? This is a fun, somewhat lighthearted story with artwork by Carlo Barberi, Walden Wong, and Nick Napolitano. That, with the colorist being "Heroic Age" well reflects the style. This is indeed an homage to the golden age of comic books with heroes in bright costumes, standing out against pastel backgrounds, with incredibly broad and muscled chests (well, except for the girls, of course.) Speaking as a gal who still has her old comic book collection, I felt right at home here. I also appreciate the "visual questions & prompts" section that asks readers to take a closer look at how artwork expands the story. This is sure to be a hit with young superhero fans.
Hey, Charleston! : The True Story Of The Jenkins Orphanage B
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Rockwell, Anne
Bootman, Colin
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In 1891 Charleston, South Carolina, had a problem with orphans. Reverend Jenkins started taking in these homeless African-American kids. His church was soon full, so he went to the city who gave him an old warehouse and $100. Soon his boys were drowning out the noise from the prison next door with music they played on donated instruments. Thus was born the Jenkins Orphanage Band. They spread ragtime music wherever they went, and helped inspire a dance craze--the Charleston. The band was in London in 1914, when WWI began. They had tickets on a boat home, but many other Americans were not so fortunate. Reverend Jenkins showed the same generosity of spirit he had when he took in orphans, using the band's profits to buy tickets for fellow Americans, one of whom was on the council that gave him the original $100. This is an inspiring bit of history, well-told and with gorgeous illustrations by Colin Bootman. Buy it now--it's going to be on a lot of awards lists.
Globo Grande Y Mojado
TOON BOOKS [TOON BOOKS]
Liniers, Ricardo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is a Toon Book--a Level 2 from the "Toon Into Reading" series--graphic novels for the very young. Delightful, detailed, small watercolor illustrations tell the story of an older sister introducing her younger sister to the delights of a rainy day. Dialogue boxes help move the story forward, but the real focus here is the expressive illustrations against a slightly sepia, rain-spattered background. I reviewed both the Spanish and English versions of the graphic novel. (English: 978-1-935179-32-0) and found each to be exceptional. There is a childlike delight here that will ring true with anyone who has found joy in a rainy day.
Little Prince : 11 : The Planet Of Libris
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Bruneau, Clotilde
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Books are being stolen, and that may lead to a planet's doom. Once again the Little Prince is on the case, with his ever-present friend, Fox. In this new graphic novel series the Little Prince travels from planet to planet, trying to stop the Snake from his goal of destruction and domination. Now he is on the planet Libris. A mysterious person is stealing the books. The library is slowly sinking. Why? How can it be stopped? With the help of a new friend, Myriade, he hopes to solve the mystery. However, the Snake has deceived someone into helping him, and the evil Gloomies are also there. The artwork is spectacular--colorful, well-drawn, crisp, and expressive. The stories in this series, however, are lacking. WHY will the loss of the books doom the planet? Character motivation is irrational. The ending is saccharine and far too simple. Despite their beauty, these books do not circulate in my library.
Boyhood Of Thor!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, except now several are combined in each book and they are adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art by Kirby, Milla, and Simek. In this book readers enjoy three stories from the boyhood of Thor, as he battles giants, rescues maidens, and deals with the treachery of Loki. The fourth story is Thor's journey to Mirmir and incorporates a Norse creation legend. The book includes two pages providing in-depth information about Asgard, and Thor's hammer. This is classic Stan Lee stuff--a joyous romp through mayhem, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. (And why do they give special thanks to Ralph Macchio?) Amazing, fabulous, classic...these books show WHY people became nerds in the first place, and are the perfect recruiting literature!
Balder The Brave
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, except now several are combined in each book and they are adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art by Kirby, Milla, Colleta, Rosen, and Simek. In this second book in the series readers enjoy four stories from Asgard as Balder proves his worth, Thor battles trolls and giants, and Odin gives hope as he retreats. This is classic Stan Lee--a joyous romp through mayhem, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. (You can tell the creators are getting a little cocky.) The artwork is amazing, the plots are great. The first four books do not have to be read in order. This shows why people became nerds, and will recruit more folks to the cause!
Challenge!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, except now several are combined in each book and they are adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art and lettering by Kirby, Colletta, Milla, and Simek. In this book readers enjoy four stories from the life of Thor, as he deals with Loki's HHtreachery, finds Sighurd's secret in battle, and successfully meets the challenges of King Hymir. As always, Thor's honor and heroism win out. The book includes two pages providing in-depth information about Loki. This is classic Stan Lee stuff--a joyous romp through mayhem, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. Amazing, fabulous, classic...these books show WHY people became nerds in the first place, and are the perfect recruiting literature!
To The Death!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art and lettering by Kirby, Milla, Colletta, Rosen and Simek. In this, the 6th book in the series, readers finish the journey to Mystic Mountain begun in book 4, and see the final battle between Thor and his friends Fandral, Hogun, and Volstaff and the Mogul of Mystic Mountain. With an unexpected ally, the tables are turned and victory is theirs. This, and book #5 are unusually thick with Shakespearean style dialogue. The language is really rich, which is a lot of fun but may be challenging for younger readers. This is classic Stan Lee stuff--a joyous romp through mayhem and treachery, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor (hey, it has chubby Volstagg, need I say more?) and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. Amazing, fabulous, classic...these books show WHY people became nerds in the first place, and are the perfect recruiting literature.
Quest For The Mystic Mountain!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, except now several are combined in each book and they are adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art and lettering by Kirby, Milla, Colletta, Rosen and Simek. In this, the 5th book in the series, readers continue the journey to Mystic Mountain begun in book 4. Thor and his friends Fandral, Hogun, and Volstaff face incredible dangers--battling an ogur to find the key to their destination. In the meantime the evil Mogul of Mystic Mountain sentences a good man to certain doom, and unleashes the armies of Satan. This, and book #6 are unusually thick with Shakespearean style dialogue. The language is really rich, which is a lot of fun but may be challenging for younger readers. This is classic Stan Lee stuff--a joyous romp through mayhem and treachery, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor (hey, it has chubby Volstagg, need I say more?) and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. The book includes a map of Asgard. Amazing, fabulous, classic...these books show WHY people became nerds in the first place, and are the perfect recruiting literature.
When Speaks The Dragon!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Lee, Stan
Kirby, Jack
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 23, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
In this well-bound six book set , classic Thor comic books are back, except now several are combined in each book and they are adapted for a graphic novel world. For true comic book fans this is fabulous--we're talking stories by Stan Lee, with art and lettering by Kirby, Milla, Colletta, Rosen and Simek. In this, the 4th book in the series, readers enjoy one story in four chapters featuring Thor and his friends (Fandral, Hogun, and Volstaff) on a quest to Nastrond to fight a dragon (who is actually a transformed being, but let's not get into that.) They also meet Mogul of Mystic Mountain which leads into the next two books. Included are two pages providing more information about the Warriors Three--Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun. This is classic Stan Lee stuff--a joyous romp through mayhem, with lots of valor thrown in, a little humor (hey, it has chubby Volstagg, need I say more?) and (just occasionally) some snark. Even the credits are fun to read. Amazing, fabulous, classic...these books show WHY people became nerds in the first place, and are the perfect recruiting literature!
SCOOP ABOUT MEASURING MATTER
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
MAURER, TRACY NELSON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 24, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Measurement of matter in various states is fundamental to science and students of all ages will benefit by this exceptionally clear overview. Concepts of mass and conservation of mass, matter and different states of matter, atoms and molecules and gravity are explained through text, diagrams, and photographs. The metric system is mentioned and a conversion chart shows volume equivalencies. Both the tools and methods used to measure mass and volume are illustrated in brightly colored photographs with descriptive captions. Matter of Fact text boxes and three solid websites provides additional high quality information and a short 3-question quiz encourages student reflection. HIghlighted words are defined in the glossary and index and table of contents are included. If the other books in The My Science Library series by Rourke are as well done as this, they will provide an excellent start for elementary libraries beefing up their science sections.
SUPERHEROES EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
CLARION [CLARION]
SINGER, MARILYN
JONES, NOAH Z.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone knows Superman and Batman and the major superheroes, but what about the "also-rans?" What about those whose super powers just don't quite make the big time? Luckily they are available for your superheroing needs. Just contact the Superheroes Employment Agency. That's where you'll find heroes such as Blunder Woman, the Verminator, Muffy the Vampire Sprayer, and more. Sure, their talents are a little off-beat, but they get the job done. In this new poetry book by Marilyn Singer, with bright cartoon illustrations by Noah Z. Jones, young readers get to enjoy poetry about a popular topic. Each poem has plenty of rhyme and rhythm, as well as cleverness and humor. As you near the end of the book superheroes start to pair up and find how their skills are complementary. While a fun idea, from a poet who knows her stuff, these poems, like several of the superheroes featured, just don't quite soar. On the other hand, maybe that was the point!
Hand In Hand : Part 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
David, Peter
Cliquet, Ronan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a delight. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. She's trying to figure out an outfit and an X-Man nickname, and he's trying to teach her how not to die while battling evil. Talk about your "odd couples!" In the first two books, of which this is the first, several X-Men, including Wolverine and Kitty, have to battle Ninjas who want a demon mask for its evil power. Even old foes become allies. The artwork is amazing--crisp, colorful, and exciting. Action-packed, but with a sly humor, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel fans.
Substitute
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Van Lente, Fred
Koblish, Scott
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a delight. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. On a campout with other X-men and the Professor, she is briefly transferred into Cyclop's care. Sure, he's nicer but... When Kitty awakens an ancient evil that wants to take over the world all bets are off. The artwork is fabulous--crisp, colorful, and exciting. Action-packed, but with a sly humor, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel fans, and draw in some of the younger audience.
Rock Gods
Spotlight [Spotlight]
David, Peter
Koblish, Scott
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a lot of fun. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. In this volume Kitty makes the mistake of claiming Thor as a personal friend. Naturally the girls she bragged to want evidence. Couldn't her mentor help her? When Thor makes an appearance in town mayhem erupts, Kitty gets to practice some skills, and she gets her fondest desire. While part of the series this book easily stands alone. The artwork is amazing--crisp, colorful, and exciting. Action-packed, and with plenty of teen-girl humor, this will appeal to both boy and girl fans.
Pack : Part 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Van Lente, Fred
Petrus, Hugo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a ton of fun. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. In the last two books, of which this is the second, Wolverine is having a little werewolf trouble, which puts Kitty and her parents in danger. Now it's time for the student to rescue the master, which she does in typical teen fashion. Wonderful artwork, action-packed plot. A little humor here and there. This will appeal to graphic novel fans of both the superhero and werewolf ilk.
Pack : Part 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Van Lente, Fred
Portela, Francis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a delight. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. In the last two books, of which this is the first, Wolverine is training Kitty in wilderness skills when he meets the wrong folks and ends up going werewolf. The artwork is great--crisp, colorful, and exciting. Action-packed, but with humor, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel fans and these particular two books will also pull in the werewolf fans.
Hand In Hand : Part 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
David, Peter
Cliquet, Ronan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 6 book "Wolverine First Class" series is a delight. Brooding, taciturn Wolverine is tasked with training a 13-year-old girl, Kitty Pryde, who can phase through solid matter. She's trying to figure out an outfit and an X-Man nickname, and he's trying to teach her how not to die while battling evil. Talk about your "odd couples!" In the first two books, of which this is the second, several X-Men, including Wolverine and Kitty, have to battle Ninjas who want a demon mask for its evil power. When Kitty's friend is possessed by the mask, she must use her mutant powers to save her. The artwork is amazing--crisp, colorful, and exciting. Action-packed, but with a sly humor, this is sure to be a hit with graphic novel fans.
MONKEY KING : 7 : THE EXPULSION OF SUN WU KONG
JR COMICS [JR COMICS]
CHEN, WEI DONG
PENG, CHAO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 26, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is the seventh volume in the "Adventures from China: Monkey King" series of graphic novels. Our mischievous but mostly reformed monkey king, Sun Wu Kong, is traveling with two others--the three of them charged with the protection of the priest San Zang. The monkey king attempts to be good, but it's hard when he protects his master against the evil White Bone Goblin, who desires the priest's flesh for her immortality, only to be chastised and then banished when he is the only one not deceived by her trickery. Without his monkey guardian the priest soon finds himself in hot water with a demon, trying to rescue a damsel who appears to be in distress, and in rather desperate need of his banished protector. This is a great Chinese graphic novel with fabulous detailed illustrations that have a strong anime tone, especially in the drawing of the female characters. The legends of the monkey king are still not as well known in the West as they ought to be. This series is a good introduction, and a lot of fun to boot.
Delilah Dirk And The Turkish Lieutenant
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Cliff, Tony
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
With her white pleated skirt and loosely bound hair, Delilah Dirk ought to be a lady. Indeed, in some situations she is. In most, however, she's an adventuress who fights pirates and other baddies, steals treasure, and uses her awesome martial arts skills (and her flying ship) to escape from peril. Selim, on the other hand, is a Turkish lieutenant who knows how to brew an excellent cup of tea and believes in following orders. When their two paths cross all heck breaks loose. Soon Selim finds his quiet existence turned upside down as he is swept away in Delilah's wake. He hates the loss of his well-ordered life...or does he? This is a graphic novel that shows what the genre should be. Crisp, fabulous illustrations with chuckle-worthy moments move the story briskly along while the often deadpan dialogue creates a contrast that makes the reader laugh out loud. Visually stunning, action-packed and a lot of fun, this book is sure to be a hit.
Chick & Chickie Play All Day!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Ponti, Claude
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Beginning readers will fight for this new graphic Toon book and the two mischievous characters, Chick and Chickie. A Level E in GRL leveling, the two chicks create masks and scare each other and play school. Playing school involves dragging a large squishy red letter A that proclaims a variation on AAAH no matter what shape they mold it into. AH when they set him down, Ha Ha Ha when they tickle him, AAAAAAAAA when they fly him through the air. In the books concluding two-page spread Chickie suggests that tomorrow they can play with B! Readers spot A sprinting off the page saying AAAH! Repeated phrases, comical expressions and the humorously personified letter A are matched by the brightly colored orange, yellow, red and tan palette, clear black print and an absence of unnecessary details in the background. This book and most Toon books are winners for an Early Childhood or Elementary school.
Jack And The Box
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Spiegelman, Art
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Art Spiegelman masterfully manipulates the graphic format to tell a simple story of a jack-in-the-box named Zach given to a boy bunny named Jack. Zach has a mind of his own and picks his moments to spring open, leering, scaring and laughing as Jack rears back in fear. Readers watch as Jack overcomes his fears by mimicking his mother calling it a silly toy and engaging in games of hide-and-seek. A la Dr. Seuss, Zach’s hat opens to reveal Mack who has a pet duck and little ducks who come out to play. A lamp crashes, a quick clean up follows and a good as new lamp reappears just in time for the bunny parents to return, investigating the noise. Rhyming and repetitive words match perfectly with the bunnies’ varying facial expressions and graphic features showing motion and speech. This humorous Level G Toon graphic book will be a winner with emergent readers.
Benny And Penny In Just Pretend
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Hayes, Geoffrey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Benny and Penny, two little mice, engage in typical sibling behavior with Benny the older playing pirate and Penny, the younger trying to join in. Benny calls her a crybaby, pest, and a dumb, bad, little sister before his mother makes him play with her. Hide-and-seek is just the right game to play if you want to ditch a sister and Benny returns to play pirate without looking for her. A colorful homey house, flowerbeds, garden, trees and a large backyard with shed, laundry line and wood box provide an excellent background for the little inset pictures and frames mixed throughout the book. The Graphic Toon books are divided into three levels and this one is at the lower end of Level 2 and rated G on the GRL leveling system. Included on several commended lists including Booklist Top 10 Graphic Novels for Youth, Kirkus Best of ’09 Continuing Series, and Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, your young readers will clamor for more Benny & Penny stories.
Nina In That Makes Me Mad!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Knight, Hilary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Hilary Knight, best known for his Eloise illustrations, has taken Steven Kroll’s text and created a graphic Toon book entirely devoted to what makes Nina mad. “When you don’t know what I like,” “When you get mad at me and I didn’t do it,” and “When you promise and then you forget,” are all common experiences that younger children remember. Just like Alexander and the terrible, horrible no good, very bad day, has become a classic, so does this book fill a niche helping children see they are not the only one who gets mad in these situations. While Nina is depicted as a preschool-age child, early elementary students will laugh at her antics and understand her feelings even better. 13 vignettes on two-page spreads depict different situations that make Nina mad. The left page shows Nina proclaiming what makes her mad facing a page of varied number of pictures, some in frames and others free form, that show the sequence of events causing her anger. Be prepared for this Level J, graphic novel to circulate widely.
Zig And Wikki In Something Ate My Homework
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Spiegelman, Nadja
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Another great set of Toon characters, Zig and his computer screen friend Wikki, need to find a pet for Zig’s homework. Heading for Grandmother’s house, they find themselves lost and landing on Planet Earth. Earth provides some good possibilities for pets but in quick succession they find it difficult to catch a fly, dragonfly, frog and raccoon. Luckily the duo brought along the shrink ray gun, as raccoon was turned to snare Wikki. Instead Zig aimed and shrunk Wikki in front of a very surprised raccoon. They raced back to the rocket with homework unfinished and Wikki was resized when a stowaway fly surprised suddenly the two. Wikki’s square body screen produces a photographic insert, giving a description of each animal and providing a quick dose of factual information amidst the fanciful science fiction graphic book. Wikki’s fun facts are reproduced on the last page of this Level K, sure to provide plentiful laughs and significant check out stats.
Johnstown Flood : An Up2U Historical Fiction Adventure
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Martin, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
It's May 31st, 1889, and Sarah Beth is in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. It's raining, raining, raining, but she needs to go to the store for her mother. She meets a friend, Vincent. The water is rising. Is trouble coming? When she ruins the lace and thread she bought for her mother she is faced with a dilemma. How can she make it right? At this point the reader chooses one of three alternate endings as the dam bursts and Johnstown is swept away in the flood. Two of the endings result in Sarah Beth's survival. The writing is adequate, but not especially compelling. There is some background on the Johnstown flood, but this book is historical fiction and does not attempt to provide lots of factual information. It gives the reader what Sarah Beth would know or observe. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. Part of the Up2U series, this is a well-bound book, and children like the choose your own adventure format. Still, this is not exceptional.
EARLY BATTLES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ABDO [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The second volume in the exceptional "American Revolution" series, this well-bound 32-page book cogently introduces readers to the first battles of the American Revolution. Told in a clear, chronological format, starting in April, 1775, it provides information about the leaders on both the American and British sides, and the some of the strategies they tried. The siege of Boston, the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the invasion of Canada, battle for New York, and conflicts in the South are all highlighted and their connections are shown. Political issues are presented as well, as the Second Continental Congress met, and the Declaration of Independence was issued. The book ends in November, 1776. What is wonderful about this series is how the author clearly shows the connections between events, placing them firmly in context. Maps showing American and British forces help readers visualize the situation. Well-captioned photographs, illustrations, and historical artwork provide additional information. Add in a timeline, glossary, and index and you have a beautifully-presented series that merits a place in all libraries serving children.
You Wouldn't Want To Be A Viking Explorer! : Voyages You'd R
Franklin Watts [Franklin Watts]
Langley, Andrew
Antram, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Darn it all, they're updating the "You Wouldn't Want to..." series, And this revision is excellent. What would it be like to be a Viking? Join Thorvald as he takes a long ship and crew on a trip to Vinland. The journey is difficult, and settling in the new land is problematic. Shelter, food, dangerous wildlife, and natives all present their own challenges. At last you head home again. The classic cartoon illustrations typical of the series, by David Antram, are here, as are the clever asides and helpful hints. Now you also have a timeline, plenty of maps, an overview of famous Viking explorers, and a some additional information. Is it worth throwing away all your old books? No, but when they fall apart you should definitely upgrade.
You Wouldn't Want To Sail On The Mayflower! : A Trip That To
Franklin Watts [Franklin Watts]
Cook, Peter
Whelan, Ken
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Darn it all, they're updating the "You Wouldn't Want to..." series, And this revision is excellent. What would it be like to sail on the Mayflower? Priscilla Mullins knows. This follows her on her long voyage and as she settles down in a dangerous new world. The perils are not underplayed, as she loses all of her family and faces sickness and starvation. Help from Native Americans is essential. The classic cartoon illustrations typical of the series, by Kevin Whelan, are here, as are the clever asides and helpful hints. Now you also have a timeline, plenty of maps, and information about other famous ships as well as the tools their navigators might have used. Is it worth throwing away all your old books? No, but when they fall apart you should definitely upgrade.
I CAN PROVE IT! : INVESTIGATING SCIENCE
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HICKS, KELLI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Most students are assigned a science fair experiment at some time in elementary school. Scientists follow the same basic steps when carrying out valid, repeatable, significant research ready for peer review and publication. The scientific method is shown in a full-page diagram and modeled through an experiment investigating plant growth with more water. The process of asking a question, conducting background research, creating a hypothesis, testing through established procedures with one variable, collecting and analyzing data and communicating the results is shown with three graphs and measurement details. Five scientists, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, Jane Goodall, Jonas Salk, Dr. Robert H. Goddard and Benjamin Franklin, and their discoveries are detailed in How Did They Prove It boxes. Definitions of pertinent words are included in the glossary and the three suggested websites are packed full of further information. Review questions are directed at recall, inference and applied levels supporting common core standards in content areas. Recommended for elementary libraries.
PULL IT, PUSH IT
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
SILVERMAN, BUFFY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 27, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
What do bicycling, basketball, soccer and skateboarding have in common? These sports all involve movement and can be explained by forces such as gravity, inertia, friction and mass, which act on each other. While information about how these forces interact is very general, the excellent photographs of children in action and well-labeled diagrams clarify these more abstract concepts. Air trapped in a racecar’s parachute and brake pads on a bicycle create enough friction to slow them down and are a counter force to the streamlined design of a racecar and the bicycle’s increasing speed when pedaled. A balance of forces is demonstrated by two boys pulling on the ends of a rope in tug-of-war. Definitions of pertinent words are included in the glossary and the three suggested websites are packed full of further information. Review questions are directed at recall, inference and applied levels supporting common core standards in content areas. Recommended for elementary libraries.
UH-60 BLACK HAWK
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Military Aircraft" series, set #2, this book focuses on the UH-=60 Black Hawk helicopter. The book is awash in full-color photographs, with the crisp informative text atop the pictures. Readers learn how the aircraft was developed. They also learn about parts of the aircraft, what types of missions it performs, a typical crew, and its combat history. Its use as a transport vehicle is emphasized. A fast facts page provides specific statistics as to size and power. A glossary and index are included. This is a popular subject, and the text is clear and yet simple. It's sure to be a hit in elementary libraries but would also find a place as a high-interest, low-vocabulary book for older readers.
V-22 OSPREY
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Military Aircraft" series, set #2, this book focuses on the V-22 Osprey--an unusual aircraft in that it can be configured to act as either a helicopter or airplane, making it a very versatile vehicle. The book is awash in full-color photographs, with the crisp informative text atop the pictures. Readers learn how the aircraft was developed. They also learn about parts of the aircraft, what types of missions it performs, a typical crew, and its combat history. A fast facts page provides specific statistics as to size and power. The book includes a glossary and index. This is a popular subject, and the text is clear and yet simple. It's sure to be a hit in elementary libraries but would also find a place as a high-interest, low-vocabulary book for older readers.
F-22 RAPTOR
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Military Aircraft" series, set #2, this book focuses on the F-22 RaptorV-22 Osprey--a fighter aircraft with stealth capability. The book is awash in full-color photographs, with the crisp informative text atop the pictures. Readers learn how the aircraft was developed. They also learn about parts of the aircraft, what types of missions it performs, a typical crew (1), and its combat history. A fast facts page provides specific statistics as to size and power. The book includes a glossary and index. This is a popular subject, and the text is clear and yet simple. It's sure to be a hit in elementary libraries but would also find a place as a high-interest, low-vocabulary book for older readers.
AMERICAN REVOLUTION : THE ROAD TO WAR
ABDO [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The first volume in the exceptional "American Revolution" series, this well-bound 32-page book cogently introduces readers to the causes of the American Revolution. Told in a clear, chronological format, starting in 1760 when King George III took the throne, the author shows how events such as the French and Indian War led to the higher taxes that in turn led to the Boston massacre and Tea Party. As the king squeezed the colonies further with the Intolerable Acts, readers gain a greater understanding of both sides, and how the Revolution began. The book ends in April, 1775 with the battles of Lexington and Concord. What is wonderful about this series is how the author clearly shows the connections between events, placing them firmly in context. He is clear, but never pedantic, as he brings history to life. Maps, well-captioned photographs, illustrations, and historical artwork provide additional information. Add in a timeline, glossary, and index and you have a beautifully-presented series that merits a place in all libraries serving children.
Three Cheers For Trees! : A Book About Our Carbon Footprint
A+ Books/capstone Press [A+ Books/capstone Press]
Lepetit, Angie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 27, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone is worried about our carbon footprint and this book tells young readers just exactly what that means. It defines it as just how much you change the Earth by using its fossil fuel energy. Fossil fuels and pollution are both introduced, and readers are encouraged to reduce, reuse, and recycle. All this is good, solid information. Where the book goes a little off the deep end is when it encourages readers to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle (as if large farming and transport of produce doesn't have an impact on carbon footprints), and when it talks about trees. Without trees we would have nothing to breath? Really? Other plants don't have an impact? Also, a new study suggests that both trees AND open spaces are necessary for the planet's health. This is an excellent book--beautifully formatted with big color photographs and clear, crisp text. However, the science keeps changing. This is a good introduction, and some elements of the book will always be true, but others may become outdated as our understanding of how our planet works grows.
Flu Pandemic Of 1918
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Marciniak, Kristin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "History's Greatest Disasters" series, this volume focuses on the flu pandemic of 1918, also known as the Spanish Flu pandemic. The author clearly and sequentially introduces readers to this international disaster as it began, quietly, in Haskell County, Kansas, and then went on to kill 30 to 50 million people worldwide. The failed attempts to treat the disease, the conditions that encouraged its spread, and what we are doing today to make sure it doesn't happen again are all considered. At the end of most chapters there are chances for further exploration and thought, along with primary sources, tying the book in with common core standards. Photographs, fact boxes, and charts and graphs help clarify the information. The book also includes a timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index, making it an excellent resource for report-writing. This is solid nonfiction that merits a place in school libraries.
Adventures Of Franklin And Friends : A Collection Of 8 Stori
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Endrulat, Harry
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This hardback book contains eight Franklin stories based on episodes of the "Franklin and Friends" television series. In these stories Franklin and his friends look for a wonder in nature and face their fears. They also deal with embarrassment, solve a case in their superhero guises, learn how to be better friends, and enjoy imaginative play. The illustrations are 3-D computer generated pictures from the show. The stories are a tad saccharine, and not as well-written as the original series by the actual author, but will doubtless please fans of the show. The glossy paper over board binding will not last in libraries but would be fine for home use. The cover is a glossy 3-D picture that changes from different angles and made my eyes blur. Still, children may enjoy it. This book is not a first purchase, and not really designed for library use. Still, if you have a child who adores the television series they will probably embrace it.
LEADERS & GENERALS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ABDO [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "American Revolution" series, this well-written, well-bound 32-page book provides young readers with a quick overview of the major players in the American Revolution. Readers get short information about leaders, both political and military, from both the British and the American sides. Granted, there is much more information about American leaders, and it does tend to show all but Benedict Arnold in a favorable light, still, this is a fabulous way to introduce students to the people behind the names, as they study the Revolutionary War. Women during the Revolution are briefly mentioned (since all the leaders covered are men) and the book includes a glossary and index. This would be a valuable resource to use during units on this important historical period.
WEAPONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ABDO [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "American Revolution" series, this well-bound 32-page book focuses on the weapons used during the Revolutionary War. Muskets, rifles, pistols, bladed weapons from bayonets to swords, artillery such as cannons and howitzers, and warships are all briefly covered. The author gives readers clear information about each weapon featured, including its size, range, advantages and disadvantages, and accuracy. Historical pictures and photographs accompany the crisp text. There's also a glossary and index. Too often we fling around terms like "musket" and just assume students know what we mean. This book clarifies these terms and, in so doing, greatly increases understanding of the type of warfare involved during the Revolution. This is a valuable resource, and the entire set would be an asset to any collection serving children.
BOSTON MASSACRE
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
KJELLE, MARYLOU MORANO
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a clear and interesting look into what is sometimes considered to be the first battle of the American Revolution. Readers learn about the strife in Boston as British troops enforced unpopular laws. Clear details about the event itself and information about some of its victims, including Crispus Attucks, is presented. The background behind the uprising is clearly explained, giving readers a clearer idea of why the event happened. The trial of the British soldiers, its result, and the impact the incident had on the American Revolution are all examined. The book pulls in a few primary sources, and each chapter ends with questions and website links that support further inquiry and common core standards. Of course the websites, despite being from very reliable sources, will eventually become outdated. Still, the content of the book is solid and the addition of a timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index make it an excellent resource for report-writing.
THIRTEEN COLONIES
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
HAMEN, SUSAN E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a clear and interesting look into the original settlement of what became the United States, and the origins of each of the 13 original colonies. People, places, and political ideals are all presented, with fact boxes adding additional information. Photographs and historical artwork accompany and expand the text. The book pulls in a few primary sources, and each chapter ends with questions and website links that support further inquiry and common core standards. Of course the websites, despite being from very reliable sources, will eventually become outdated. Still, the content of the book is solid and the addition of a timeline, glossary, bibliography, and index make this an excellent resource for report-writing.
CASE OF THE SUPERSTAR SCAM
KANE PRESS [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
MONTGOMERY, LEWIS B
WUMMER, AMY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Milo and Jazz, sleuths in training, return to solve their 10th crime with the timely help of a Dash Marlowe detective lesson on Venn diagrams. When the TV crime-fighting Super Starr comes to film a show in Westview, her middle school fans are thrilled. But a letter has each one convinced that as the biggest fan they would be on her show, and as part of the deal they needed to leave the Power Pick received in a trivia contest under Starr’s trailer steps. A scam is unraveled and honesty rewarded. Humor, boy-girl teamwork solving mysteries and the Dash Marlowe online detective course are the backbone of this popular chapter book series for students almost ready for The Magic Tree House. Several pages of puzzles conclude each book adding to the reader’s enjoyment. The series is a good example of the mystery genre for younger students and struggling older readers. With fun pen & ink drawings and larger font, this Level L bridge series is good for students just starting longer chapter books.
FINAL YEARS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
ABDO [ABDO]
HAMILTON, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "American Revolution" series, this well-bound 32-page book provides young readers with a clear, cogent, sequential look at the battles that ended the war. Beginning with an overview of the war in the frontier, the book starts in October of 1777 and follows Patriot and British forces as they enjoyed victories and suffered defeats. The book includes the battles of Camden, Kings Mountain, Cowpens, and Guilford Courthouse. Documents such as the Articles of Confederation, The Treaty of Paris, and the U.S. Constitution are also briefly presented. Cornwallis's strategic mistake that led to the siege of Yorktown and the end of the war are all clearly explained, as is the aftermath of the war as the United States worked to have itself acknowledged a free nation. The book ends in March of 1789 with the institution of the Constitution. The author does a splendid job of placing information in context and providing the background readers need for greater understanding, yet not overwhelming the reader. The glossary, index and timeline are also helpful. Photographs and historical artwork provide further information. This is an exceptional series that merits a place in all elementary and middle school libraries.
CASE OF THE CROOKED CAMPAIGN
KANE PRESS [KANE PRESS]
MONTGOMERY, LEWIS B
WHUMMER, AMY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Milo and Jazz are enrolled in the Dash Marlowe online detective course, and now have Mystery #9 to solve during the school election. When popular Zack decides to run against Jazz for the student council president, she forms a campaign team. But every day, Zack & his buddy Gordy, seem to know all their plans, stealing ideas and sabotaging the campaign posters, . Was there a spy on their team? A timely Dash Marlowe detective lesson on red-herring clues arrives just in time to give the final nudge for the mystery’s unraveling. Humor, boy-girl teamwork solving mysteries and the Dash Marlowe online detective course are the backbone of this popular chapter book series for students not quite ready for The Magic Tree House. Several pages of puzzles conclude each book adding to the reader’s enjoyment. The series is a good example of the mystery genre for younger students and struggling older readers. With fun pen & ink drawings and larger font, this is a good bridge series for students just starting longer chapter books.
NOODLE LOVES THE ZOO
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BILLET, MARION
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Noodle, the charming Panda with an oversized head, visits the zoo with his father in this engaging board book. Put this brightly colored touch and feel series into the hands of a toddler and enjoy the tactile experience of zebra and brown bear fur, the corrugated giraffe door, rough elephant hide and felt pull down flap hiding the. The final scene includes Noodle’s signature mirrored pool, this time a lion’s pond and a great stimulus for the reader to view themselves and roar like a lion. Repetitive one line text introduces each animal providing an opportunity for the memory reading young children love. Noodle loves the bear. Noodle loves the zebra. The little details provide patient toddlers an opportunity to spot small pictures of the animals on the front of the spine as well as the additional animals and geometric details within each two-page spread. Purchase as a gift unless needed for a pre-school or special niche audience.
NOODLE LOVES TO DRIVE
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BILLET, MARION
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Noodle, every toddler’s favorite Panda, drives and plays with an assortment of vehicles all providing the tactile experience readers expect. Bumpy tires on the tractor, stubby bicycle tires, sparkly racecars and corrugated train cars follow the shiny red puffy car body gracing the cover. Repetitive one line text introduces each vehicle providing an opportunity for the memory reading young children love. Noodle loves the digger. Noodle loves the train. The addition of counting to five precedes the trademark mirror included in the rear view mirror. Tiny pictures on the front spine preview the toys and objects included in background details. Purchase as a gift unless needed for a pre-school or special niche audience.
LET'S PLAY IN THE SNOW : A GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU STORYBO
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
MCBRATNEY, SAM
JERAM, ANITA
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Little NutBrown Hare and Big NutBrown Hare play I Spy as they hop around in the snow. “I spy something that belongs to a tree” or “I spy something that belongs to a spider.” Each I spy becomes a bit trickier until Big NutBrown Hare spies something that belongs to him – his favorite nutbrown hopping, Little NutBrown Hare. The author 7 illustrators of Guess How Much I Love You, create an endearing loving story as parent and child frolic in the glistening snow. Sparkly white snow on the cover and the wintry white, light blues and nutbrown colors beg for a cuddly audience before bedtime. Wonderful for a gift or younger daycare but not a regular purchase for most other schools.
What Rhymes?
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Clock, sock, cat and hat are just a few of the rhymes in this brightly colored Rookie Toddler board book. With just one familiar object and matching word per page, this becomes an attractive book for babies starting to learn the names of common items. Words are color coded with the changeable initial sound or blend written in black and the rhyming letters in a different color. Each page is repeated in miniature as part of a review activity suggested for toddlers on the last two pages. A scalloped edge with alternating blue and yellow semi-circles and a primary color palette create a fun book for a baby, but not appropriated for an elementary school.
MAYFLOWER COMPACT
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
KALLIO, JAMIE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a cogent, clear understanding of the Mayflower Compact and the history that surrounded it. The author presents readers with an overview of European expansion, and the background behind the Pilgrims. The journey to the new world, settlement, and difficulty of surviving in a new land are all presented. Native American issues are examined. Old-style artwork, historical art, and photographs accompany the text. Fact boxes abound, primary sources are presented, and opportunities are included for further thought and expansion, in line with common core concepts. The book includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a solid series that would be a valuable resource in school libraries.
JAMESTOWN COLONY
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
HIGGINS, MELISSA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a cogent, clear overview of the Jamestown Colony and the history that surrounded it. The people involved, the long journey, and the challenges they faced are all clearly delineated. It is incredible how many times the colony nearly failed, and the number of people who died before it finally became a successful venture. The author manages to convey all of this in a way that brings it to life for the reader. Native American issues, which had a big impact on the colony are also carefully examined. Old-style artwork, maps, charts, historical art, and photographs accompany the text. Fact boxes abound, primary sources are presented, and opportunities are included for further thought and expansion, in line with common core concepts. The book includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a solid series that would be a valuable resource in school libraries.
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
CARAVANTES, PEGGY
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a cogent, clear overview of the French and Indian War. Readers learn of its origins, its relationship to the Seven Year War, and the role it played in providing the fuel for the American Revolution. Major battles, important people, and key issues are all presented. Old-style artwork, maps, historical art, and photographs accompany the text. Fact boxes abound, primary sources are presented, and opportunities are included for further thought and expansion, in line with common core concepts. (Although these expansion opportunities often seem a little advanced for the target audience.) The book includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a solid series that would be a valuable resource in school libraries.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
RISSMAN, REBECCA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a clear presentation of the historical events that led up to the Declaration of Independence. The growing unrest under British rule, acts of rebellion, and early attempts at reconciliation are all presented here. One quibble--the author is clear that a battle was CALLED the Battle of Bunker Hill, but it would have been nice to have its actual location clarified. Old-style artwork, charts, historical art, and photographs accompany the text. Fact boxes abound, primary sources are presented, and opportunities are included for further thought and expansion, in line with common core concepts. These opportunities are often rather advanced, however. The book includes an index, glossary, timeline, bibliography, and index. This is a solid series that would be a valuable resource in school libraries.
BOSTON TEA PARTY
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
MALASPINA, ANN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Foundations of Our Nation" series, this sturdy 48-page book provides young readers with a clear presentation of the historical events that led up to the Boston Tea Party, and the repercussions that followed. The growing unrest under British rule, acts of rebellion, and early attempts at reconciliation are all presented here. Key players are highlighted. Old-style artwork, charts, maps, historical art, and photographs accompany the text. Fact boxes abound, primary sources are presented, and rather advanced opportunities are included for further thought and expansion, in line with common core concepts. The book includes an index, glossary, timeline, bibliography, and index. This is a solid series that would be a valuable resource in school libraries.
Third Door
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Rodda, Emily
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #3 in Emily Rodda's "The Three Doors Trilogy" and it's fabulous fantasy that will appeal to both elementary and middle school students. The town of Weld, enclosed in thick walls, is under siege. Skimmers fly in at night, killing and destroying. Heroes are needed to find and eliminate the source of the skimmers. Three doors lead out into the world. Rye, and his friend Sonia, have already gone through the golden door, rescuing one of Rye's brothers. Their journey through the silver door showed them a world almost lost in hopelessness, but gave them the chance to free another of his brothers. At last they get to choose the wood door that was Rye's first inclination. That door, however, holds the key to either a desolate future, or hope. Using the magic tokens given by the Fellan, Rye and Sonia, along with their companions, must find out the truth and act before it is too late. This is a fast-paced, interesting fantasy series. Emily Rodda can always be depended upon to create characters that intrigue, and plots that make you think. There's even a link here to her Deltora books! Fans of the author will not be disappointed in this series.
Super Science: Feel the Force!
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
ADAMS, TOM
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
An elaborate Rube-Goldberg contraption on the cover of the oversized pop-up book, features principles of physics in a cascade of gravity, pulley, lever, magnetic, gear driven mechanical actions that will catch a budding scientist's attention. Each two-page spread contains a plethora of information about physical science concepts in a colorful array full of flaps, pull tabs, an experiment, descriptions and occasional pop-ups. The Forcing It pages shows 3 children in a tug-of-war, with a pull-tab showing directionality of forces, a pop-up of a rocket, with text and diagrams showing the airfoil of an airplane wing, the description of gravity and Isaac Newton, Galileo’ ball drop experiment and an experiment to try showing isolated movement in a tower of coins. Each page is overwhelming at a casual glance but will delight any science fiend and would make a great gift. While the conceptual information is all very appropriate for an elementary school, the fragility of the moveable parts precludes its use for library circulation.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY POP-UP
PUFFIN BOOKS [PUFFIN BOOKS]
DAHL, ROALD
BLAKE, QUENTIN
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
Roald Dahl’s masterful story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been engineered into an oversize pop-up book using the original illustrations of Quentin Blake. Chapter titles pop-up and pull-tabs reveal the disappearance of each child. The crowning glories though are the three large pop-ups of the Factory, the Big Day of Arrival, and the Great Glass Elevator. While children will be delighted with all the moveable features, this book is best suited as an individual gift and will not hold up to library circulation.
PEAS ON EARTH
ROBIN COREY BOOKS [ROBIN COREY BOOKS]
DOODLER, TODD H.
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2013
Sepessy, Lona
When will we have Peas on Earth? Peas on earth will happen when dogs get along with cats and ants say bless you when anteaters sneeze. Love and peas on earth are best friends just like peanut butter and jelly and salt and pepper. Childlike digitally rendered drawings of cute animals and laughing peas gleefully narrate this appealing board book and the play on words adds even more humor. Lessons in manners mix with pure childlike glee as “fruits and vegetables taste just like candy” and “it only rains we’re sleeping.” Smiling peas hold hands stand atop the childlike Earth with vague continent shapes floating on the blue sea and a pop-up Earth populated by peas announces Give Peas A Chance! at the book’s conclusion. This is one unique board book I can imagine using as an example of comparisons but otherwise is a preschool or niche population purchase.
SMALL AND TALL TALES OF EXTINCT ANIMALS
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
LAVERDUNT, DAMIEN
RAJCAK, HELENE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in France in 2010, then translated into English and published in New Zealand, and now published in the United States, this large format book presents young readers with the stories behind over 25 extinct animals. The giant ground sloth, the great auk, the dodo, Stellar's sea cow, the giant moa, the pig-footed bandicoot and more are highlighted. The book is arranged by geographic region--The Americas, Africa, Eurasia, and Oceania. A cartoon introduces the animal, then a page is devoted to it. This includes a paragraph or two of information, a good illustration, a picture showing the animal's size compared to a person, and a few fact circles. Myths and legends that may have to do with the extinct animals are explored. Throughout the book man's role in animal extinction is clearly and constantly emphasized. Lonesome George, the Chinese river dolphin, and tigers in danger show that the risk of extinction continues. Well-written, and fascinating this would be a good addition to library collections.
Big Wet Balloon
TOON BOOKS [TOON BOOKS]
Liniers, Ricardo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
This is a Toon Book--a Level 2 from the "Toon Into Reading" series, graphic novels for the very young. Delightful, detailed, small watercolor illustrations tell the story of an older sister introducing her younger sister to the delights of a rainy day. Dialogue boxes help move the story forward, but the real focus here is the expressive illustrations against a slightly sepia, rain-spattered background. This book is also available in a Spanish language version (978-1-935179-40-5). There is a childlike delight here that will ring true with anyone who has found joy in a rainy day.
Becoming Ben Franklin : How A Candle-Maker's Son Helped Ligh
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Freedman, Russell
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 30, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Russell Freedman has done it again with this exceptional biography of Benjamin Franklin. It could almost be called an autobiography because of the extensive use of primary source materials. Freedman has carefully plucked quotes from Ben's autobiography, Ben himself, and those around him, and woven them together with beautifully written narrative to give readers a fascinating view of the man. The reader follows Ben from youth to death, gaining insights not only into his accomplishments, but his motivations and his gregarious personality. Benjamin Franklin was a Renaissance man--inventor, printer, diplomat. His key role in first trying to find a diplomatic solution to the colonies' problems, and then finding the support needed to make the Revolution a success, is clearly delineated here. His long stays abroad were key to winning the war. Historical maps and artwork accompany the compelling text. An excellent timeline, thorough index, and extensive source notes make this exceptional nonfiction. Lamentably it is a bit too complex for elementary students, but it should be a required purchase for all secondary schools and public libraries.
Mr. Wuffles!
CLARION [CLARION]
Wiesner, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 30, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
This unusual wordless picture book begins with a cat named Mr. Wuffles that won’t play with any toys. One of the toys the cat ignores is a spaceship filled with little aliens who have come to explore. The cat chases the aliens when they come out of the spaceship and they take refuge under a radiator. There they discover a ladybug and several ants and begin a dialogue in two unhuman languages. The insects and the aliens share food, technology, and take pictures of each other and even draw their adventures on the walls behind the radiator. When the aliens go back to their spaceship they are once again chased by the cat and barely escape. The humans in the house have no idea that anything unusual is happening. This odd story is a bit hard to follow and the reader may have to look over the illustrations several times to understand exactly what is happening. For this reason it is more suited to older readers who can make inferences and examine details in the illustrations. The watercolor and ink illustrations are wonderful and make the story come alive until the reader is willing to believe that tiny aliens may have visited Earth just like the story.
Journey
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Becker, Aaron
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 30, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
In this wordless picture book a girl is bored and lonely so she picks up a red crayon and draws a door on the wall of her bedroom. The door opens to a different world that the girl begins to explore. Every time she need something new like a boat or a hot air balloon, she just draws it. In this strange new world she frees a purple bird from a cage and is imprisoned. The bird brings her the red crayon so she can draw a flying carpet to escape. They go back to the regular world where the girl meets a boy with a purple crayon who created the purple bird. This is a magical story about the power of the imagination. The watercolor and pen and ink illustrations are wonderful and use color and detail to bring the reader into the magical world of the story.
Patch
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Slonim, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Three short chapters tell mini stories of a boy and his dog Patch. The boy has to clean up after and take care of Patch, but that is okay. He doesn’t mind being with Patch even when he has fleas. The last chapter tells how Patch trains for a dog show, but then gets stage fright and the boy still loves him. This is a sweet book that even beginning readers can enjoy on their own. The soft whimsical illustrations of the boy and Patch on a white background tell most of the story and the simple text fills in the details.
Dodsworth In Tokyo
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Egan, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Dodsworth is traveling to Tokyo with his duck and he is worried that the duck will get into trouble as usual. They go to several tourist sites and the duck is behaving well and even bows to other animals he meets. Then the duck collides with a rickshaw and Dodsworth is worried that he will cause more trouble. The duck loves sushi and eats it politely. They find a kendama toy in the park and try to find the owner. Everything is going fine until the duck falls in a stream and has to be rescued because he doesn’t know how to swim. At the temple at Akasuka the duck causes trouble during the Sanja Festival. Luckily the duck redeems himself when he finds the owner of the kendama toy and returns it. This is an unusual short chapter book that young readers who are just starting chapter books will enjoy. There is an appealing quirkiness to the story with the duck’s mishaps and the world filled with animals instead of humans. The setting is also unusual and a nice change from most easy books. There are ink and watercolor illustrations on every page to tell the story along with the fairly simple text. This is the fifth book telling of Dodsworth’s adventures in different famous cities around the world.
HEIDI HECKELBECK CASTS A SPELL
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
COVEN, WANDA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2013
Wittmann, Teresa
Heidi is not having the easiest time at school thanks to Melanie Maplethorpe who makes fun of her. Luckily Heidi comes from a family of witches and she has a book of spells. She starts collecting the ingredients for a spell that will make Melanie forget her lines in the school play to get back at her. Heidi does make some new friends at school, but Melanie is still mean to her especially during play practice. Heidi’s Aunt Trudy figures out her plan and tells her not to use her magic powers when people make her mad. Heidi keeps collecting the ingredients for the forgetting spell anyways and decides to use it when Melanie is mean one more time. After Heidi casts the spell and Melanie forgets her lines on opening night, Heidi immediately feels bad and reverses the spell. Simple black and white and gray illustrations on every page and large font make this book very accessible for readers just beginning chapter books. The plot is somewhat predictable and the characters are not well developed, but young readers will connect to Heidi’s problems and will wish they could use magic spells too.
Jack Strong Takes A Stand
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Greenwald, Tommy
Mendes, Melissa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 31, 2013
Garrard, Thom
Middle school student Jack Strong’s plate is overflowing with after-school and weekend activities in which his parents have enrolled him, including soccer, cello, tennis, tutoring, Chinese lessons, swimming, karate, youth orchestra, baseball, and junior EMTs. Like other parents, his dad thinks this is necessary to get into college and won’t hear of eliminating anything. One day when he is feeling tired, Jack spontaneously decides to go on strike, vowing to stay on the couch until he is allowed to cut back and do only the things he wants to do. Over the next two weeks, he attracts media attention and sparks a widespread debate about the meaning of childhood. The author has created a successful blend of the elements that make an enjoyable read for intermediate and middle school students, especially those who might be feeling some pressure themselves. Starting with a likable protagonist, he has incorporated enough humor to amuse, provided insight into the motivations of the main characters, and brought up an important issue for discussion.
My First Day
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Jenkins, Steve
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 31, 2013
Garrard, Thom
The first day of life can be very different for various species of animals. The beginning of infancy for the twenty-two animals featured here is often unusual, as in the case of the Darwin’s frog who hops out of his father’s mouth on his first day. Others face danger without parental help. And who knew that mother zebras immediately memorize the pattern of their baby’s stripes so that they can find them in the herd? Another masterful collaboration between Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, this entertaining and educational book features colorful cut-paper illustrations and a couple of informative sentences on each page. Those seeking more information will find a paragraph at the end, which is particularly useful if one is unfamiliar with sifakas, muntjacs, or megapodes. Wonderful stuff!
Benny And Penny In The Toy Breaker
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Hayes, Geoffrey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 31, 2013
Kline, Karen
Benny and Penny are about to go on a self-designed treasure hunt when cousin Bo shows up. Quick, hide all the toys! Bo always breaks everything! Benny and Penny create a series of white lies to explain the missing toys. Bo is persistent, though, and discovers the all-important treasure map. Benny and Penny find a way to take the map back, though, and exclude Bo from their play. This classic story of the problems that arise when three are playing together will be familiar terrain to the target audience. As others in the series, the mouse characters are presented in a comic style format in this level 2 easy-to-read book. The reinforced binding will stand up to the high demand for this item in elementary libraries.
Nikki & Deja : Substitute Trouble
CLARION [CLARION]
English, Karen
Freeman, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 31, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Nikki & Deja have a problem. Their beloved teacher has broken her ankle, and the new substitute is getting run over by the antics of out-of-control students. Deja tries to help, but only ends up in trouble herself. Then a new substitute arrives. His drill sergeant tactics maintain control, but without the warmth the students have come to expect from their teacher. How can our two girls survive? The writing is all in present tense, which is at first off-setting, but this series is a delight. There are not very many series out there with children of color as the main characters, aimed at the easy chapter book set. Get them all!
Kennedy's Last Days : The Assassination That Defined A Gener
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
O'reilly, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
December 31, 2013
Gleb, Heidi
 This adaptation of O'Reilly's "Killing Kennedy" is meant for young people and as such it covers the events leading up to the day our 35th president was assasinated with adequate depth to satisfy any teen inquiry. From the background on the military exploits of both Lee Havey Oswald and John F. Kennedy to the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs and the aftermath of the death of JFK, this book is full of tidbits that will be previously unknown to many readers. I would've liked to have seen more color photos in the book, but the large quantity of black and white photos do greatly enhance the story. A good resource for readers ages 12-16.
Big City Bust-Up
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Jones, Gareth
Finlayson, Luke
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 31, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Our meercats of mystery have returned in their sixth novel. Jet, Chuck, Donnie, Bruce and their mentor Grandmaster One-Eye are ninja meercats. In each book they are face the evil Ringmaster and his minions, who try to take over the world. In this volume they are sent to London. The orb has been stolen from the Tower of London. Inside it is a magic that can make statues come to life. Soon the city is awash with moving, fighting statuary. Can the evil Ringmaster be behind it? But of course! And is he planning on taking over the world? Well, doesn't he try that in every book in the series? Our heroes are up to the task, however, with their major ninja skills. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. With merry banter (reminiscent of the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles) and lots of action, this is a fun series that is a big hit at my library.
Tomb Of Doom
Square Fish [Square Fish]
Jones, Gareth
Finlayson, Luke
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 31, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
Our meercats of mystery are back in their fifth novel. Jet, Chuck, Donnie, Bruce and their mentor Grandmaster One-Eye are ninja meercats. In each book they are face the evil Ringmaster and his minions, who try to take over the world. In this volume they are sent to Egypt. There is a tomb that contains a mysterious mask. With it, a person can read the thoughts of others. If the Ringmaster gets his hands on it the world will not be safe. The tomb, however, has its own dangers--traps, mummies, traitors. This will truly test the meercats' ninja skills. Occasional black and white illustrations add to the fun. Will our heroes survive? With merry banter (reminiscent of the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles) and lots of action, this is a fun series that is a big hit at my library.
Darkest Path
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Hirsch, Jeff
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 31, 2013
Bateman, Teresa
The United States is divided into two militant groups--the Feds, with the remnants of the old government, and the Path. The Path is a group of religious zealots who are enforcing their beliefs on others and using military might to spread their "gospel." Captured 6 years ago, 15-year-old Cal, and his brother, are members of the Path. Yet Cal hasn't truly been converted. He escapes, killing someone along the way. His only goal is to get home again, on the other side of the battle lines. Along the way he gains friends and a dog, and discovers that neither side has the monopoly on truth and right. This is a story of survival, adventure and intrigue, where readers are left to wonder what choices they would make in similar circumstances. There are battles, deaths, and strategies. If you have students asking for an "action" book you can't go wrong here.
Ukulele Hayley
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Cox, Judy
Haley, Amanda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 31, 2013
Kline, Karen
Third grader Hayley is looking forward to the school talent show, but she can’t decide what her talent is. Her friend Skeeter has plenty of ideas and confidently changes his mind and talent from burping the Star Spangled Banner to juggling with his feet almost on a daily basis. Cox is adept at conveying typical family and school life themes from a third grader perspective. Hayley’s family takes a bike ride to a garage sale, and Hayley buys a ukulele with her own money. She even has to bargain with the owner for a price within her budget. After consulting her school music teacher, Hayley begins to learn chords and practice with her sites on the talent show. Eventually, Hayley enlists Mr. Y’s help in forming a band of uke players at school, but budget cuts threaten the music teacher’s job. Hayley finds that banding together can be an effective advocacy method when dealing with the school board too. The occasional black/white illustrations throughout, plot twists, and just enough music vernacular mixed in make this book a nice package. Steer fans of the Clementine and Junie B. series to this book.
Crazy Clues
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Yasuda, Anita
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 31, 2013
Kline, Karen
Dot the diplodocus is off to her last day of swim lessons, and it may be the day that she graduates from level 1. Before she leaves her house though, she notices some strange things are going on. Her mom is baking, her dad is on the phone, and her brother is mowing the grass. Apparently these are unusual occurrences at Dot’s house, so readers will have to play along to understand why Dot starts making a list of these mysterious clues. Turns out everyone has been preparing a surprise party celebrate Dot’s achievement in swimming class. This level 2 reader from the DINO Detectives series feels a little contrived as it combines three high-interest topics -- sports/swimming, mysteries, and dinosaurs -- into only 250 words. The target audience is unlikely to care, though, and this is a reasonable addition to libraries that need more leveled readers. The cartoon-like art is colorful and supports the text well, and some of the characters are strikingly familiar to some we know from other copyrighted products and media.