Reviews for month


Urgency Emergency! : Big Bad Wolf
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Archer, Dosh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This Urgency Emergency! beginning reader features an emergency room team of Doctor Glenda (a dog) and Nurse Percy (a chicken), who despite their fear of wolves must treat this patient. Wolf seems to be choking on something, but sounds emanating from his stomach indicate it might be someone. The two professionals resort to squeezing wolf’s stomach three times before the missing grandma pops out, a little worse for the experience. The child-like illustrations are humorous especially when feet can be seen down the wolf’s throat. The young readers, especially K-1, will enjoy the story and their knowledge of the original Little Red Riding Hood it alludes to. Lexile 510. Another in the series is Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Urgency Emergency! : Itsy Bitsy Spider
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Archer, Dosh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
See review for Big Bad Wolf in same series by same author/illustrator. This title in the Urgency Emergency! series has allusions to more Mother Goose Rhymes including Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet, and the title character making it another fun romp through the emergency room. This time Miss Muffet finds an injured Itsy Bitsy, the spider, and brings her in with a big cut on her forehead that needs stitches. For beginning readers Gr. K-2 with Lexile 560.
Flying Solo : How Ruth Elder Soared Into America's Heart
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Cummins, Julie
Laugesen, Malene R.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
The jaunty text reflects the spunk of this beauty queen/aviatrix. In 1927 23-year-old Ruth Elder attempts to be the first female to fly across the Atlantic. Two-thirds of the way there she and her co-pilot must be rescued by a ship after they are forced to ditch their plane before it burst into flames. After making it to Paris they are celebrated in Europe and the US and her acting career soars. Still wanting to prove herself a serious aviatrix, in 1929 she takes part in the first woman’s cross-country air race placing fifth despite getting lost several times and landing in a field of cows. She helped promote her belief that American women would be fighter pilots in the future. The last two pages feature illustrations of 15 women who did just that. The Author’s Note gives more background on Ruth Elder’s place in aviation history, a nice list of sources and further reading, plus identification of the women in the illustrations of the Powder Puff Derby and fighter pilots. This is a great message for girls and good information for all children. This narrative nonfiction picture book biography is worth having in all libraries that serve children. The binding could be enhanced with shorter stitching and more durable cover.
Penguin Cha-Cha
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Valiant, Kristi
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Julia loves the Romping Chomping Park and Zoo especially the week-end dance shows. One day she notices sneaky penguins backstage taking the clothes, hats, fans and bows. When she follows them she finds they are wearing the costumes and dancing in their own cove. She tries to join them, but they just freeze like penguin Popsicles. Even when she dresses as a penguin and enlists Hippo’s help, they won’t budge when the duo dance for them. As a last resort Julia puts on her bright red dress and teaches them the cha-cha, which they can’t resist. Children will enjoy joining in the cha-cha as well and appreciate the last page where Julia notices tricky monkeys sneaking the magician’s tools off the stage. This is a simple, pleasant story with fun movement words such as toe-tapping, knee-knocking, hip-hopping and boogie-bopping throughout. Additional purchase for Preschool - Grade 2.
Eight Dolphins Of Katrina : A True Tale Of Survival
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Coleman, Janet Wyman
Nascimbene, Yan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This interesting book is divided into three parts. The first recounts the events at the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, where the trainers try to save their dolphins from the impending Hurricane Katrina. Six are taken to local motel pools further inland, but the other eight are left to their own devices in their pool that had survived a previous hurricane. But Katrina’s 40-foot tidal wave crushes the dolphin’s house and plunges the roof into the pool. It takes 12 days before the team can find a boat and helicopter to help search for the missing dolphins loose in the gulf. Within 15 minutes of signals the dolphins pop up near the boat and are evacuated to a nearby US Navy base pool reunited with the others. This touching story is then followed by examples of dolphins rescuing humans and animals. It concludes with a photo scrapbook of theses events. Interviews and secondary sources are documented on the last page. In the recounting Japanese style illustrations are used to highlight lines from the text and do justice to the events, but the photos at the end may have better captured the real story. Children will be need some background knowledge on Katrina, but will be intrigued by this true story.
Thomas Jefferson Builds A Library
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Rosenstock, Barbara
O'brien, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This title will be of obvious interest to librarians and perhaps to children as well. The text and illustrations are lively with many details, little quotations and sidebars, all of which demand to be read. The amount of books Thomas Jefferson read in his lifetime is amazing and the collections he amassed impressive. Reading stands at the core of this farmer, slave owner, family man, statesman, president, diplomat and writer of the Declaration of Independence. His preoccupation with books, reading and knowledge permeates every page and culminates in his selling 10 tons of his books to the Library of Congress when its original collection (which he was instrumental in expanding) burned. In the Author’s Note controversy surrounding this sale and also trying to reconcile the framer of freedom with his slave holding are discussed. A decent bibliography and source notes conclude this interesting nonfiction title in narrative picture book form that documents Jefferson’s life along with his obsession with books.
3D Printing
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
O'neill, Terence
Williams, Josh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 02, 2014
Wittmann, Paula
3D printing is a high interest technology right now. Unfortunately, this text is not a strong introduction. It does share the basics of how the printing works by putting out layers of plastic to build 3D objects. It also gives information on where to explore possibilities of what can be made. It even outline the basic steps to create an object. Unfortunately, the explanation is somewhat confusing, and the process, though several pages long, is too general to be very helpful. Add in an overabundance of exclamation points, text heavy layout, and uninspired photographs that show the machines rather than the possible creations and you have a text that will only draw in readers with a strong interest already. This will give them ideas on where to jump into exploring the possibilities of 3D printing online and through programs, but not provide enough to satisfy them on its own merits. If you can find no better introduction to the topic this will do, but hopefully there is something better out there.
It Wasn't My Fault
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Lester, Helen
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Subtitled A Story about Taking Responsibility, this is a reissue of the 1985 version though this new edition is part of the Laugh-Along Lessons series with downloadable audio. Murdley Gurdson seems to have problems with kites, toothpaste, wastebaskets, valuable vases and it’s usually his fault. One day as he’s walking along in his one too big shoe a bird lays an egg on his head. When questioned the bird claims it isn’t his fault since an aardvark’s scream had scared her. This sets off a chain of events in backwards order as they retrace each effect and cause. Each creature claims it wasn’t his fault until they trace back to the flopping ears coming out of a hopping shoe. When Murdley realizes it was his fault once again he starts to cry, and all of the empathetic animals then claim the blame. The resolution is to share the scrambled egg. Afterwards Murdley opens the door to let them out, but inadvertently opens the closet as its contents tumbling onto him, but “it wasn’t his fault!” This duo always produce fun stories that capture young children’s imaginations. This is worth having if a library needs more cute Lester/Munsinger titles and doesn't own the original.
ANIMALS BIG AND SMALL
HEINEMANN RAINTREE LIBRARY [CAPSTONE PRESS INC]
NUNN, DANIEL
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 02, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This is a sturdy, well-made, large, bright concept book in 24 pages that is part of the Math Every Day series by Raintree. Comparisons between animals are made fun with rhyming text, questions and photos using big and small, tall and short, long and short, wide and narrow, and the same size. The table of contents is hardly necessary, nor is the index, other than to introduce the young child to these text features. The clear color photos are placed on bright pages with attractive graphics and large font. At times the font changes to reflect the term i.e. big, small, biggest. Because this book is easy to read and has easy concepts, this makes is useful as a group read out loud and for special education students who are a bit older. Others in this series include Counting 1 to 10, Patterns Outside, and Shapes Around Us.
Jealous
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Thomas, Isabel
Elsom, Clare
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This title is part of Heinemann's Read and Learn Dealing with Feeling...series. The 24 pages has a chapter every double-page spread with table of contents, 3-word glossary, very short bibliography and index. In a progressive way the feeling of jealousy is defined and then described through actions or reactions. It's stressed that it's normal to feel jealous for a variety of reasons, but that it's not okay to be mean or hurtful as a response. Instead a person should talk about one's feelings, think positive thoughts about oneself and what makes one happy, and try to be happy for others who do well. This is very admirable if only it were so easy:) The illustrations include boys and girls of a variety of races that depict the concepts. This would work well when discussing such emotions in a primary (K-2) classroom or one on one though children will most likely not pick it up by themselves. Others in the series include Angry, Caring, Happy, Proud, Sad, Shy and Worried.
When I Feel Worried
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Spelman, Cornelia Maude
Parkinson, Kathy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
The Way I Feel books by Cornelia Spelman are subtitled Taking Care of Our Emotions! In this one worry is addressed using anthropomorphized hamsters from the youngest hamster's point of view. She begins by saying how it feels to be worried and what situations might cause this. Then she progresses into how she can begin to feel better with someone listening, explaining, holding, or talking. She can then begin to feel happy by drawing, singing, dancing, listening to music, jumping, moving, being outside, or laughing. In these ways she knows that though she will feel worried, she knows it won't last as she has coping mechanisms. This is a very simple and sweet way of showing how a person can with assurance and help de-stress. The gentle illustrations do justice to the concepts. The full page letter to teachers and parents at the beginning is especially helpful in reminding them to manage their own worries in order to be positive and reassuring models to the children in their lives. Others in this series include When I Care about Others, When I Feel Angry, When I Feel Jealous, When I Feel Sad, When I Feel Scared, When I Feel Good about Myself, and When I Miss You.
Big Guy Took My Ball!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Willems, Mo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 03, 2014
Evey, Kay
Piggie and elephant are back in another story of friendship. Piggie is upset when a 'big guy' takes the ball she found and she goes to Gerald for help. Gerald is big but his is not as big as the whale whose ball it originally was in the first place. Gerald comes up with a solution that pleases all of them and all is well.
Happy Birdday, Tacky!
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Lester, Helen
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 03, 2014
Evey, Kay
Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly and Perfect are planning the perfect birthday party for Tacky. Tacky is an odd bird with a very odd way of counting so they make adjustments to tell him how old he is. They also have to make many adjustments to the perfect party when Tacky blows out the candles, passes the cake and opens the present. Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger.
Last Academy
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Applegate, Anne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
grades 7-10 better . After a disastrous pool party ends 14-year-old Camden Fischer's friendship with her best friend, she escapes to boarding school in California. She’s hoping for a fresh start to make friends and to get rid of the haunted feeling that is left over. But Lethe Academy prep school is nothing like she expected and nothing like she has ever known. The encounter with Barnaby Charon, a school trustee, was just too creepy for words. On the plane, he sat down beside her, held her by her throat, and asked her if she didn’t think it might be better for her to get off the plane before it took off. When she said no he just seemed to vanish. When Cam sees him at the first assembly, it seems that there are others who encountered him as well and are equally discombobulated by him. She makes friends with Nora and Jessie and even the beautiful Brynn, but best of all there is Mark Elliot, a hot and hunky senior who is interested in HER! But it’s not all roses at Lethe; Cam seems to have hallucinations about other people in her room visiting her snarky roommate. When Jessie disappears on one seems to care, Cam knows Barnaby Charon is involved. Mythological mystery. Hi/Low reading level.
Tides
CLARION [CLARION]
Cornwell, Betsy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Lucky Noah, at 17 he has landed a summer internship with a top-flight marine biologist. Not only that but he can live with this Grandmother Gemm in the Isles of Shoals for the summer. Lo, his sister, can come along as well and maybe the change of scene will help her as she battles with bulimia. The two of them don’t expect much of an adventure and that is just fine. But the first night on the island Noah meets the mysterious Mara looking not quite of this world, and their grandmother Gemm’s friend Maebh (Mayve) . She’s a bit otherworldly too. Noah’s job with Professor Foster’s a bit of a bust, no real money, lots of moldering and brittle paper to file – nothing like Noah thought it would be so he recruits Lo, the super organizer to help him. Noah goes out walking, rowing, becoming friends with Mara and learning her story. In her work, Lo discovers an old seal skin with strips cut out of it and notes about Foster’s research to find selkies and the curative properties of their skins. Noah has several odd encounters with Mara; Lo gets her grandmother and Maebh to tell their story and she figures out that Dr. Foster trapped one of Maebh’s family many years before and another young one has gone missing from the family.
Audacious
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Prendergast, Gabrielle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Everything is hard for Raphaella, friends, school, family, so when the opportunity comes for her family to move, Ella decides that things will be different and she will work hard to fit in. She’ll shed her skin and become Ella. But moving doesn’t always mean a change or a fresh start. In Prendergrast’s novel in verse, school life doesn’t change for Ella, just the names of the bullies. “Is Ella short for elephant?” As in this school, the only thing that Ella is good at is art and in the creation of nine canvases for a school art show based on the world “Audacious” where each letter represents another word, acrostic style, we fine out the details of the move, her family’s dysfunction, and her need to be as audacious as the women who fight back despite their circumstances, including images devoted to labels such as "Disabled," "Indigenous," and "Asthmatic.” "Controversy ensues when Ella incorporates a canvas for the letter "C" for the word "Cunt," along with a photo of her genitalia. Child pornography charges are filed, and her family is forced to finally speak openly about the secrets that threaten to tear each of them apart. Readers of Ellen Hopkins and Sonya Sone will be captivated by this story. Mature readers.
Romeo And Juliet
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hinds, Gareth
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
A most Excellent Graphical Presentation of the Play. Hinds’s characters, in period array modified by a few more contemporary touches, are poignantly specific yet as universal as this tragic tale of young love demands. The watercolor and digitally illustrated panels that Hinds has truly presents a stunning visual reading. Juliet and the Capulets are from India. Romeo and the Montagues are from Africa. Thus, the political rivalries of Verona become contemporary and more meaningful to 21st-century readers. The Capulets are dressed in reds and the Montagues in blue--all against the finely rendered lines of Verona's buildings and Friar Laurence's monastery. The Shakespearean language is abridged but not adapted into contemporary English; footnotes explain words that could be confusing to young audiences. In the author’s note he says, “I tried not to take too many liberties with the text.” The story moves quickly and the points of view in panels change dramatically to give greater urgency to fight scenes and when there is much hubbub and commotion. Hinds also offers visual cues to the dialogue through his artwork; for example, as a character refers to maidenheads, he pops a cherry off its stem. Astute readers may get the visual puns
Of Beast And Beauty
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Jay, Stacey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
Hundreds of years after humans landed on a distant planet, Smooth Skins live in protective domes that keep out the scaly skinned Desert People, whom they call Monstrous. Blind since childhood, 17-year-old Princess Isra makes clandestine nighttime visits to the dome's rose garden. Someday, as queen, she will have to shed her blood to water the roses and keep the city secure. To save their people from starvation, a Monstrous raiding party attempts to steal the roses and their magic. Isra demands that 19-year-old Gem be spared. She hopes that he can help her raise plants to stop the scaling skin that could doom her to banishment. Slowly Isra comes to see both literally and figuratively the deformities and mistreatment of the Banished inside the city and the injustices done to the Desert People outside. Gem realizes that Isra, too, is a prisoner, destined to marry Bo, whose powerful father manipulates events to make sure his son will rule the kingdom. Eventually Isra learns that the queens' bloodletting actually feeds an evil Dark Heart beneath the flowers. Only love between a Smooth Skin and a Monstrous can break an ancient curse. Isra, Gem, and Bo narrate chapters of this re-imagining of the familiar tale. Satisfying fantasy romance
Andrew Jenks : My Adventures As A Young Filmmaker
Scholastic, Inc. [Scholastic, Inc.]
Jenks, Andrew
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
I was disappointed in this book, I hoped for some information for aspiring young filmmakers beyond “fake it ‘til you make it.” There is no denying that Andrew Jenks has done a lot of things and many of them will have a lasting legacy: At 16 he founded the Hendrick Hudson Film Festival at 16 which has become the biggest high school film festival in the US. At 19 he made his first feature documentary film for HBO Andrew Jenks about moving into an assisted living center to capture “the meaning of life” from it’s elderly citizens. At 21 is spent seven months in Japan for and ESPN documentary about baseball legend Bobby Valentine (a utility player and later manager) called The Zen of Baseball. At that time Valentine was managing the Chiba Lotte Marines, he is currently athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. At 23 he created an MTV series – now in its 2nd season, World of Jenks. The photo biography is much like an annotated scrapbook with the 21st Century addition of tweets IM’s and email and it’s very “I can’t believe that I doing this, wait I should be doing this.” What it does offer to young readers is a good set of working rules: be bold, learn how to listen, and never take no for an answer.
Rose Under Fire
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Wein, Elizabeth
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
This companion to Wein's Printz Honor- and Edgar-winning Code Name Verity introduces Rose Justice, a Pennsylvania teenager and volunteer civilian pilot during WWII. Rose is ferrying a Spitfire back to England from France for the Royal Air Force when she is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck, the women's concentration camp. Designated a "skilled" worker, Rose is assigned to a factory; when she realizes that she's making bomb fuses, she stops working. Two brutal beatings later, she is reassigned to the high-security unit at the camp, where she is taken under the wing of the "Rabbits"--Polish political prisoners whose bodies have been horrifically abused by Nazi doctors for medical experimentation. Rose's poetry, a panacea that's translated and passed through the camp, is at the heart of the story, revealing her growing understanding of what's happening around her. Wein sets up a stark contrast between the innocent American teen's view of an untarnished world and the realities of the Holocaust, using slices of narrative from characters first encountered in the previous book. Recounting her six months in the Ravensbruck concentration camp through journal entries and poems, Rose honors her commitment to tell the world.
Strands Of Bronze And Gold
Knopf Books for Young Readers [RANDOM HOUSE]
Nickerson, Jane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 03, 2014
Datisman, Eve
A retelling of the Bluebeard tale finds its setting in 1855 Mississippi. When her father dies, 17-year-old Sophia is taken in by her godfather, the mysterious Bernard de Cressac. Sophie soon finds out that her guardianis a widower, with three wives before the last. Wyndriven Abbey had been brought over, stone by stone, from France and rebuilt and added to, and it has a full complement of British, Chinese and French servants and plantation slaves. Sophie is first charmed, then puzzled, then frightened by Monsieur Bernard, who is mercurial in his moods and unyielding in his demands. Sophie is plucky; she begins to uncover clues about the past wives of Bernard, and soon realizes that he has sinister intentions. Her curiosity also leads her to the woods where she meets Gideon, the local pastor, with whom she falls in love. The lush, eerie antebellum setting adds tension: one of the things that bothers Boston-born Sophia is the way Monsieur Bernard treats his slaves. And then there are the ghosts of his former wives-all redheads, just like Sophia-and her godfather's increasingly obvious sexual interest in her. The blend of the fairytale world with the realities of Sophia's powerlessness: she's underage, impoverished, and female.
Natural History Museum Book Of Animal Records
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Carwardine, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 03, 2014
Kline, Karen
This encyclopedic look at the animal kingdom's superlatives is an amazing compilation. At 256 pages and with an index of approximately 400 entries, most libraries will want to consider adding this new title for its sheer scope and range. The book is written by a noted zoologist and wildlife photographer who also gathered input from scientists at the British Natural History Museum. The book is arranged and subdivided according to the scientific divisions of the animal kingdom: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates. Sharp, full-color captioned photos on each page distinguish the book and will draw readers in, and many of the photos are highly engaging action shots. Each page also contains entries with bolded headings of a variety of topics both expected (fastest, slowest) and peculiar (strangest ribs, most polygamous). The peculiar listings are both the strength and downfall of the book, though, since the index does not catalog all entries. Casual browsers will find entries misleading since there are multiple entries for some headings like longest, fastest, smallest in each subcategory that only apply to the species. A few dozen bolded page numbers for record holders indexed. PB binding only.
PIP AND POSY : THE LITTLE PUDDLE
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
SCHEFFLER, AXEL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 03, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This board book features two friends Pip and Posy who have fun playing together. They have so much fun that Pip forgets he has to pee and hence the subtitle—The Little Puddle. He has to borrow some of Posy’s girl clothes before continuing to play. The next time he remembers and uses the potty all by himself. And then they take a bath together. This is definitely for very young children and for families that use the term “pee”. The bright illustrations are very cute and engaging.
Revolutionary War
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Grayson, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 03, 2014
Dame, Anne
Lots of information delivered in a straight-forward and easy to understand manner. While much more could be written about the Revolutionary War, this text covers the key points, documents, battles, and people. For those looking to learn more there are additional resources listed at the back. This list is quite brief and could have been fleshed out much more since this is such a key part of American history and social studies curricula. There are a few primary source letters/diaries, many photos/paintings, and frequent sidebars with additional interesting tidbits. Recommended for those who need the basics of the struggle laid out in a clear and orderly fashion.
Battle Of Gettysburg
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Baxter, Roberta
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 03, 2014
Dame, Anne
Part of the "Perspectives Library" series, this book does more than just give the Union vs. Confederate viewpoint of this historical battle. It also includes the viewpoint of a resident of Gettysburg. There is also a glossary, primary source photos and paintings, suggestions for further research, and an index. Text features include boxes that encourage Common Core and Smarter Balanced types of thinking. For example "Compare Anna Parker's experience of the battle to one of the soldier's perspectives. How are they similar? How are they different?" An ideal text for ELL students and struggling readers who may be studying this topic in middle school.
Theo's Mood : A Book Of Feelings
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Cocca-Leffler, Maryann
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
It's Mood Monday in Miss Cady's class where everyone is expected to share how he/she feels after what happened over the week-end. At first Theo doesn't know how he feels, but when questioned they learn his mother had a new baby girl. Then each child suggests that maybe he feels like they do--happy, jealous, afraid, sad, mad, or proud, each for different reasons. Ultimately Theo decides he feels each of those emotions, too, all related to being a new big brother. This is a sweet story with good examples and reasons for each feeling. It's nicely organized, pleasantly illustrated, and a good introduction to younger children about how people feel a variety of moods.
Tiger Cubs & The Chimp : The True Story Of How Anjana The Ch
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Antle, Bhagavan
Bland, Barry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 04, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Subtitled The True Story of How Anjana the Chimp Helped Raise Two Baby Tigers this is another feel good story on the order of Owen and Mzee, but with easier text. The cover photo will lure readers in with the cute white tigers and the little chimp holding them. Mitra and Shiva, twin tigers brothers, were raised on an animal preserve in North Carolina by a human named China and a chimp named Anjana. A storm at the preserve caused them to need safety, which their mother couldn’t provide. China, and Anjana by watching her, cared for the cubs and helped them grow into healthy, happy tigers, which is documented here The photos are the strength of this book as the medium sized text and information is a bit sketchy and geared to younger children. Other books featuring animals at this same preserve are Suriya and Roscoe: The True Story of an Unlikely Friendship (orangutan and dog) and Suriya Swims! The True Story of How an Orangutan Learned to Swim.
Serafina's Promise
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Burg, Ann E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Serafina dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor, but there are so many obstacles that she must overcome. Her family is very loving, but they live in poverty outside of Port-au-Prince in Haiti and each one is struggling to help the family survive. Serafina’s mother is pregnant and the entire family hopes that this time the baby will live. Serafina spends her days doing chores like carrying water and bringing wood to help her mother and grandmother. Her secret dreams of being a doctor are only shared with her best friend. Serafina convinces her parents that she really wants to go to school and they work to save coins for her uniform. The family survives a flash flood, but they must move to higher ground. The baby is born, but becomes sickly. Serafina is going to find a doctor at the clinic when a devastating earthquake occurs and she must be braver than she ever has before. This is a moving story written in verse about a thoughtful and determined girl who wants to work to have a brighter future for herself, her family, and her country. It deals with many themes such as hope, poverty, determination, and family.
Wolf And Dog
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Vanden Heede, Sylvia
Tolman, Marije
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Wolf and Dog are cousins, but Wolf is wild and lives in the forest and Dog is tame and lives as a pet in a house. Both do humanlike things, such as ride a bike, talk on the phone, and drink “strong stuff” out of a flask. Dog is scared of Wolf for good reason. It is unclear why they hang out together since they are often threatening or tricking each other. The story was originally written in Dutch which may be why the story is not as understandable or funny in the English translation. It is written in verse with short chapters. The charming little illustrations of Wolf and Dog's escapades are the best part of the book and will draw readers to try the book, but unfortunately the story does not rise to the level of the illustrations.
Goblins
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Reeve, Philip
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A goblin who's smarter than the average goblin, but pretty much as avaricious. A young cheesewright who has dreams of being a hero and rescuing a princess. An ancient fortress waiting for its next ruler. Toss in a few sorta sorcerers, an aging princess, and a goblin king in comfy pink undies, and you're off for a rip-roaring adventure. In many ways Philip Reeve reminds me of Terry Pratchett. He paints word pictures that set readers giggling, all while pushing forward an absurd but compelling plot that actually has strong moral underpinnings that, much like the goblin king's underwear, remain largely out of sight. Clever, funny, and a riotous good read, this is not your ordinary fantasy novel.
Where Is Curious George? : A Look And Find Book
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Rey, H A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2014
Evey, Kay
This is a look and find book about Curious George, the monkey developed by Margret and H.A. Rey but written by Cynthia Platt with illustrations in the style of H.A. Rey by Greg Paprocki. Each two page spread has text with additional objects to find on the page and asks where is George. The reader then looks for the five objects pictured and George. George is usually in a very obvious place so this is geared toward the youngest read to scrutinize the illustrations, even non-readers will get the gist of the book. The paper over cardboard covers will not stand up to the multiple circulations of a school library and pre-bound may lose some of the picture in the gutter. This is best purchased as a gift book and used one on one with an adult, but will be popular with parents that remember Curious George.
Prairie Chicken Little
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Hopkins, Jackie Mims
Cole, Henry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2014
Evey, Kay
Prairie Chicken Little hears a rumbling that she is sure is a stampede so she if off in chicken little fashion to alert everyone at the ranch of the impending danger. However, she manages to alert the hungry coyote who lures all of the animals to his den to the "shortcut". Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan hear the animals and ride to the rescue. It is Cowboy Dan that explains the rumbling and takes care of it for Prairie Chicken Little. This is a funny adaptation that readers will enjoy even if they have never heard the original and don't see the similarities. However, it makes a great compare and contrast lesson to read both books together. The illustrations by Henry Cole are created in watercolor, ink and colored pencil on 100% rag archival watercolor paper and greatly enhance the text.
Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie Jar?
Henry Holt and Co. [Henry Holt and Co.]
Shannon, George
Paschkis, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2014
Evey, Kay
This simple book looks at all of the people in the world and the jobs they do in order to have cookies put in the cookie jar. This is a good discussion starter for the young reader about how things are made and all of the steps and processes it takes for the ingredients to a recipe, in this case sugar cookies. The recipe is included on the last page. The illustrations by Julie Paschkis are done using Winston & Newton gouache on Arches paper. The illustrations enhance the text and bring a global perspective to the book, but they are also simplistic in nature and greatly enhance the very simple rhyming text.
Boy Meets Dog : A Word Game Adventure
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Wyatt, Valerie
Whamond, Dave
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Energetic, bright illustrations by Dave Whamond combine with word ladder text that changes a toy to a boy and a cat to a dog, a letter at a time. (Cat-cot-cog-dog.) Opposites can change into each other as tiny becomes huge and black becomes white--sometimes with more steps, sometimes with less. The boy and the dog go off on an adventure that turns a little scary. Safe at home at last the boy becomes a toy again, but the dog...well, the dog is perfectly happy as he is, thank you very much. This is a clever book that would be a natural jumping-off point for older students to create their own word-ladder stories, and would be a fun way to introduce the concept of playing with words.
Ben Rides On
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Davies, Matt
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Matt Davies is better known as a Pulitzer Prize-winner for his editorial cartoons. This is his first book for children and oh...my...word--has he got a bright future ahead of him in this new-to-him genre! Ben Lukin loves going to school, especially with his new bike. He even takes the long way, just for the sheer enjoyment of it all. Arriving at school, however, is not so fun, especially when the local bully, Adrian, steals his beloved bike. Walking home, Ben discovers the ruins of his bike, and his arch-enemy down a cliff and clinging to a branch. Adrian certainly deserves no help but Ben, despite misgivings, rescues him anyway. Then Adrian steals his bike again...or does he? The ending is satisfying, but the real fun is found in the journey. Davies' artwork is priceless--with a casual style that conveys emotions in both subtle and obvious ways. The text is a delight as well, using language with subtle overtones that make the reader giggle. Combine the two and you have a priceless package. I still laugh at the page where Ben finds Adrian down the cliff--the text saying one thing and the picture another. This would make a terrific WCCPBA book.
Runaway Hug
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Bland, Nick
Blackwood, Freya
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in Australia, this is the story of a little girl getting ready for bed. She asks her mother for her hug but, since it's her last one, promises to return it. Then the girl goes around the house, sharing the hug with family members and getting it back--each time a little different but just as good. When the dog steals the hug, however, she's afraid she won't be able to return it to her mother. Luckily all ends well in bed with a kiss--and Mom has plenty of those. Freya Blackwood's illustrations are detailed with pastel tones and plenty of stray fine lines that give the impression of motion. Warm and gentle as a hug this will be a great bedtime story.
Five Little Monkeys Trick-Or-Treat
CLARION [CLARION]
Christelow, Eileen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Five mischievous monkeys are going trick-or-treating. Along the way, however, they switch costumes with other animals, to fool their baby-sitter. She seems to be all-unknowing and takes home five correct costumes, with the wrong critters inside them. Just when it seems that their trick may turn out to be a bad one, all ends well with fun treats (for which recipes are included.) This is a jolly romp with our five little monkeys. The original rhyme and rhythm no longer exists, but the characters carry on in delightful style. The illustrations are exuberant and kid-friendly. This is a Halloween treat.
Good Manners With Your Siblings
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Felix, Rebecca
Lacoste, Gary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Often manners books focus on with how we deal with strangers and friends. Good manners with siblings, however, is a bigger issue. Family is (hopefully) going to be around forever. Getting those relationships right is very important. This book shows examples from the life of Bo and his younger sister, Ava. They appear to be adolescents. The book talks about the importance of treating each other with respect, sharing, being kind and polite, taking turns, and using good manners even when disagreeing. The digital illustrations are bright and optimistic, and the tone is the same. The book offers many good ideas but, playing devil's advocate (and coming from a family of ten kids) I think there is a place for personal property, things you don't have to share, and a certain hierarchy that means you get that front seat when you're older. (And that little sister shouldn't be sitting up there anyway because of the air bags.) The truth is that manners are vital for survival in a family, and kindness is essential. The book points this out. It would make a good discussion starter when families discuss their own standards of behavior.
Greatest Dinosaur Ever
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Guiberson, Brenda Z
Spirin, Gennady
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Here's another fine example of nonfiction from Brenda Z. Guiberson. Who was the greatest dinosaur ever? Each double-page spread offers a contender. One was the largest. One was the fastest. One was the smartest. One had the greatest night vision. And so it goes. Each dinosaur introduces himself in first person text, briefly describing why he deserves the title by providing personal information. Each is named, with a pronunciation guide. Which was really the greatest? It's up to the reader to decide. The final pages give more dino information. The facts are clearly presented, in a format that will appeal to young dinosaur fans, yet there is enough information here to interest older readers. Then there are the truly spectacular oil illustrations by Gennady Spirin that leap across the two-page spreads in 3-D splendor, each pebbled hide clearly defined. This will be a hit in any collection serving young dino fans.
Wild Born
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mull, Brandon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Eleven is the age--the age when each child must drink the Nectar that will determine if they have a spirit animal. Having one is a great blessing and reflects well on the child and his or her family. Still...what are the odds? Remarkably good for Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan. Each magically receives a spirit animal, but not just any animal--a wolf, a leopard, a panda and a falcon. Are these the Great Beasts that fell, giving their lives to save the world long ago? If so, an ancient enemy has awakened and both children and their spirit animals have a destiny that will involve unity, courage, and sacrifice. Told in alternating points of view from each of the characters, this is the first book in another well-written fantasy series by the same author who brought us "Fablehaven." It will, doubtless, appeal to the same audience.
Miniature Reptiles
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Mini Animal Marvels" series this sturdy, small-format 24-page book gives four pages each to four very small reptiles. After a brief introduction to the concept, readers learn about the pygmy leaf chameleon, green anole, dwarf caiman, and bog turtle. Crisp color photographs show the animal, while a world map indicates its range and an outline picture compares its size to that of people. A few crisp sentences tell readers a little about each animal. The book also includes a fact page as well as a brief glossary and quiz. This is nicely-organized, easy nonfiction. It doesn't have enough information for report-writing, but would be good for casual browsing and for introducing nonfiction to early readers.
Miniature Primates
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Mini Animal Marvels" series this sturdy, small-format 24-page book gives four pages each to four very small primates. After a brief introduction to the concept, readers learn about the Philippine tarsier, the pygmy marmoset, the mouse lemur, and the emperor tamarin. Crisp color photographs show the animal, while a world map indicates its range and an outline picture compares its size to that of people. A few crisp sentences tell readers a little about each animal. The book also includes a fact page as well as a brief glossary and quiz. This is nicely-organized, easy nonfiction. It doesn't have enough information for report-writing, but would be good for casual browsing and for introducing nonfiction to early readers.
Miniature Mammals
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Mini Animal Marvels" series this sturdy, small-format 24-page book gives four pages each to four very small mammals. After a brief introduction to the concept, readers learn about the fennec fox, African pygmy hedgehog, African pygmy mouse, and the pudu. Crisp color photographs show the animal, while a world map indicates its range and an outline picture compares its size to that of people. A few crisp sentences tell readers a little about each animal. The book also includes a fact page as well as a brief glossary and quiz. This is nicely-organized, easy nonfiction. It doesn't have enough information for report-writing, but would be good for casual browsing and for introducing nonfiction to early readers.
Yu The Great Conquers The Flood : A Chinese Nature Myth
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells the Chinese nature myth of how Kun stole the Yellow Emperor's magic soil to save the world from the flooding ordered by the Yellow Emperor. This angered the ruler, and Kun was ordered killed, but a spirit cannot die. Instead, from his body arose his son Yu who used the magic earth to create the world that we now know. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. While not an extraordinary retelling, this does contain the basics and would be a useful addition to multi-cultural collections.
Pangu Separates The Sky From The Earth : A Chinese Creation
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells a Chinese creation myth. Once only chaos existed, with light and dark trapped in a great egg. Then Pangu was born. He broke out of the egg and organized the chaos, separating the light from the dark. His body became the world we know. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. While not an extraordinary retelling, this does contain the basics and would be a useful addition to multicultural collections.
Dragon, The Phoenix, And The Beautiful Pearl : A Chinese Dra
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells a Chinese dragon spirit myth about how best friends, Jade Dragon and Phoenix, created a wonderful pearl. When it was stolen by the goddess Xi Wang Mu they searched and searched for it. A battle over the pearl resulted in it falling to earth and becoming a lake which the dragon and phoenix guard now, as mountains. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. While not an extraordinary retelling, this does contain the basics and would be a useful addition to multicultural collections.
Nu Gua Mends The Sky : A Chinese Flood Myth
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells a Chinese flood myth about how nurturing goddess Nua Gua dealt with devastation wrought on the earth when the god of water and the god of fire decided to fight it out for supremacy. Nua Gua had to restore the balance between earth and sky, after the terrible battle, in order to save the people she cared for. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. While not an extraordinary retelling, this does contain the basics and would be a useful addition to multicultural collections.
Monkey King : A Chinese Monkey Spirit Myth
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells the basic background behind the Monkey King, a mischievous character from Chinese folklore. Born from a stone, he became ruler of the monkeys, learned cloud-riding and tried to gain enlightenment, and then got in trouble with the Jade Emperor. This book briefly covers his beginning, and how he acquired his outfit and weapons. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. Amazingly, the book manages to make this high-energy character boring. What a pity. It does, however, contain the basics and would be a useful addition to multicultural collections. For a much much better introduction to the character go the Wei Dong Chen's "Adventures from China: Monkey King" graphic novel series.
Jade Emperor : A Chinese Zodiac Myth
SHORT TALES [SHORT TALES]
Yasuda, Anita
Jok
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Magic Wagon Short Tales "Chinese Myths" series, this sturdy 32-page book retells a myth about the origin of the Chinese zodiac. The Jade Emperor declared a race, and animals competed. The first twelve became part of the zodiac. The journey was long and arduous, and rat didn't bother to wake up cat for the race, resulting in their current enmity. The source of the myth is explained and then it it is sparsely retold, with bold digital illustrations. This is a well-known myth and better versions are available. Still, this is an adequate addition to multicultural collections.
Do You Know Leeches?
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Bergeron, Alain M
Sampar
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is an odd and interesting combination. On one hand you have a few sentences of factual information about leeches on each double-page spread--so this is nonfiction. On the other hand, the rest of the double-paged spreads are filled up with cartoons with talking leeches that sort of illustrate the facts, in a humorous manner. Originally published in French, in Canada, this is a translation and the humor translates pretty well. The cartoons are funny and beautifully drawn. The facts are interesting, if somewhat eclectic. There's even a glossary and index. Is this a valuable study resource? No, but it is a fun introduction to leeches that children would pick up for casual browsing.
Wendigo
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Goodwin, Vincent
Espinosa, Rod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Algernon Blackwood's story "The Wendigo," based on Algonquian myths of a demonic half-beast creature, has been adapted and turned into a simple graphic novel containing the bones of the story. It's 1910 and hunters in Canada separate, looking for moose. Young Mr. Simpson goes with Defago in a canoe across the lake. Defago tells him the story of the Wendigo and that night Defago disappears. Footprints in the snow indicate a monstrous creature and possibly a monstrous change as well. Defago is gone, or is he? The artwork by Rod Espinosa is crisp and clear. The story has been simplified and is now carried by dialogue, but all the basics are still here, and it is readable by a younger audience. If you need horror graphic novels this series would serve you well, especially for high interest low vocabulary needs at a middle school level.
Tib & Tumtum : 1 : Welcome To The Tribe!
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Grimaldi
Bannister
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Tib is a caveboy. He has loving parents and a well-functioning tribe. He also, unfortunately, has a birthmark--a port wine stain around his entire left eye. This makes him a subject of ridicule among his peers. When he discovers a young dinosaur nobody believes him. After all, dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. Besides, Tumtum is especially good at hiding when anyone else is around. Tib finally has a friend, but why won't anyone believe him? The concept is a lot of fun and the execution is an absolute delight in this graphic novel that features bright colors, clever dialogue, and grin-worthy illustrations that frolic across the pages, with a slightly anime feel. This is what a graphic novel SHOULD be, and I put it right up there with the "Amelia Rules" series. When does book #2 in the series come out?
Gymnastics By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
This book is part of the Sports by the Numbers series for very young athletics. Gymnastic by the Numbers will be very popular with girls who are interested in this sport, as it uses full-color photographs to explain the equipment needed by gymnasts and also adds information about the proper techniques required for successful participation in the events. And it throws in some simple math word problems to extend the learning. Teachers may find the book beneficial to extend math competencies for students with a keen interest in competitive gymnastics.
Golf By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
This is a well-written book in beautiful binding, but its topic, golf, will have limited appeal to primary students. For that one student who might pick it up, it contains colored photographs and simple one- or two-sentence explanations.In the back is a fact list which is followed by a glossary. Throughout the book are primary-level math story problems with the answers printed on a back page. Teachers might find a use for the book with a student who has an interest in golfing.
Bowling By The Numbers
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Bussiere, Desiree
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
This is another book in the Sports by the Numbers series. It is geared to students in grades kindergarten through first grade, but the content is more advanced. Bowling is of little interest to these primary students, so it will not be a particularly popular book. I think another book in the series, Skateboarding By the Numbers, would peak their interest more than this book will. Despite the choice of topic, the book is very well made. It has a durable binding, large primary font, and enticing photographs. Teachers may use it to extend background knowledge and to introduce math word problems.
Adding Animals
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Alaina, Maria
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
This book combines science and math for an engaging look at Arctic animals. With gorgeous photographs, it describes the physical features of caribou, wolves, and polar bears. New words are in bold font and a simple addition math problems goes with each animal. Young first graders will like the book. It has a durable binding.
Pushes And Pulls
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Gregory, Helen
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
This book gives a very elementary look at a complex topic that is usually taught at the fourth or fifth grade level. On the other hand, the picture on the cover of a young girl in a swing may entice some younger students to explore the topic. For those few primary students who do venture past the front cover, the book explains forces and the many ways children push and pull in everyday life.
Big Green Book of the Big Blue Sea
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Becker, Helaine
Dawson, Willow
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
If your school has a science fair, you really should add this book to your collection. I has over 30 kid-friendly experiments that focus on the oceans, fish and other marine animals. All the experiments require items easily found in most households, and the directions do not require many steps to complete. Each one is illustrated with graphic-novel type visuals or photographs that are eye-appealing; many are quite humorous. Each experiment also has a "What's Going On?" section to explain current research and procedures used in marine biology.
Five 4ths of July
Viking Juvenile [Viking Juvenile]
Hughes, Pat Raccio
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
For all our middle school students who must read a historical fiction book, this is ideal. It is the five-year story of a young man, beginning at age 14, who tells about his life over five 4ths of July beginning in 1777. Each year, his experiences are different. First, he is a boy living in a coastal Connecticut, a boy who is required to work in the family oyster-processing business. Over the next two years, he rebels against his family obligations and is in the state militia. In the next chapter, he is a prisoner on a British ship. At the end, he returns home with a new appreciation of his freedom. Over those five years, he goes through all the agony of a teenager.
WHAT ARE THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION? : AND OTHER QUESTION
Lerner Publishing Group [Lerner Publishing Group]
WAXMAN, LAURA HAMILTON
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 08, 2014
Haines, Hazel
As part of the Six Questions of American History, this book clearly answers these five 'W' questions about the Articles of Confederation -- "What?", "Why?", "When?",, "Where?", and "Who?" Question Number 6 is "How?" The text is easily read and inset photographs and famous paintings add authenticity. The book is colorful and entertaining; even the maps are interesting! The binding is library quality and made to last.
Stranger Things
Branches [Branches]
Lubar, David
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Ed is a normal kid who finds a coin on which is written "Strange. Stranger" Odd things happen to Ed and his friends and it all seems related to this coin. His older sister builds a train from the turkey dinner on her plate and it "choo, choo"s across the table into his lap. His little sister becomes a pied piper of mice. His friend floats into the sky. Wacky...and good for easy reading, but without much real plot or character development beyond except that Ed realizes that he'd better get used to being not-so-normal, because this is book one of 4 in an illustrated early chapter book series targeting a second grade reading level.
Constellation Ursa Minor : The Story Of The Little Bear
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Owings, Lisa
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
One of eight in the Constellations series by Child's World publishers, "The Story of the Little Bear" recounts the legends of the stars that most closely circle Polaris, the North Star. A brief introduction to astronomical science and ancient Greek celestial navigation give way to a retelling of the Greek myth of Ursa Minor. Cronos had fathered and eaten his first five children, but his wife Rhea successfully his Zeus in a cave where he was raised by two goddesses Ida and Adrasteia. After vanquishing Cronos and the other Titans, Zeus become king of the Olympic gods. He showed his gratitude to Ida and Adrasteia by hurling them into the sky as the Little and Great Bear. Finally, the book mentions this set of stars in other cultures but fails to give illustration to how those other cultures might have envisioned the stars. With glossary, suggested reading and a generic link to website www.childsworld.com which should have been two clicks more direct to send us to http://childsworld.com/products/5610/links, instead of forcing the navigation to resource links and search. With these two flaws noted these remain a well illustrated astronomy research introductions should school or public library budgets allow.
Constellation Ursa Major : The Story Of The Big Bear
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Owings, Lisa
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
One of eight in the Constellations series by Child's World publishers. Each are freshly written with little redundancy of text Photos and drawings between volumes. "The Story of the Great Bear" recounts the legends of the stars that make up "The Big Dipper" and point towards the North Star. A brief introduction to astronomical science gives way to a retelling of the Greek myth of Ursa Major. Zeus seduces Callisto, who bears a son Arcas. Years pass, jealous Hera turns Callisto into a bear, and Arcas is a hunter on the verge of killing (his mother) when Zeus grabs both and hurls them into the heavens as Great and Little Bear. Finally, the book mentions this set of stars in other cultures, including the "Drinking Gourd" but fails to give illustrations of how those other cultures might have envisioned the stars. With glossary, suggested reading and a generic link to website www.childsworld.com which should have been two clicks more direct to send us to http://childsworld.com/products/5610/links, instead of forcing the navigation to resource links and search. With these two flaws noted these remain a well illustrated astronomy introduction.
Tractors
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Rogers, Hal
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to tractors. Readers learn what tractors are and how they are used. The parts of a tractor are described and labeled. This book is my favorite of the series because the author is very clear about how versatile tractors are, and he gives excellent examples of many of the types of tractors available. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Trains
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Rogers, Hal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to trains. Readers learn what trains are, the many ways they are used, and the various things they carry--from passengers to freight. Information is given about the engineer, and about the different power sources used by trains. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Dump Trucks
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to dump trucks. Readers learn what dump trucks are and how they are used. Different types of dump trucks are shown, and the book contains information about the operator. It's cool to see the many ways in which things can be dumped. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Bulldozers
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Alinas, Marv
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to bulldozers. Readers learn what bulldozers are and how they are used. The parts of a bulldozer are described and labeled. Crawler tracks, blades, and rippers are explained. Different types of bulldozers are shown. Information about the operator is given. Pages of clear, easy-to-read, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes a simple glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Airplanes
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to airplanes. Readers learn what airplanes are, a few of the basics of how planes fly, and various ways airplanes are used--carrying both passengers and freight, as well as military use. Parts of an airplane are explained and labeled. Brief information is given about pilots. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Fire Trucks
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to fire trucks. Readers learn what fire trucks are and how they are used. Different kinds of fire trucks--such as pumpers and ladder trucks, are presented. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Concrete Mixers
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Eick, Jean
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to concrete mixers. Readers learn some basics about concrete, and about concrete mixers and how they are used. The parts of a concrete mixer are described and labeled. Chutes, drums, and blades are explained. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes a simple glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Diggers
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Alinas, Marv
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to diggers. Readers learn what diggers (also known as excavators) are and how they are used. The parts of a digger are described and labeled. Booms, buckets, and backhoes are explained, as well as brief information about how the machine is operated. Different types and sizes of diggers are shown. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Mister And Lady Day : Billie Holiday And The Dog Who Loved H
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Novesky, Amy
Newton, Vanessa Brantley
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
This picture book is an attractive but simplified biography of Lady Day that shifts focus to her many pets, but especially her favorite Boxer "Mister." More a celebration of the pets than of the music or a life that poignantly colors her great interpretive jazz and blues vocals. this picture book works as a "safe" introduction to Billie Holiday for primary students, but falls short of the greatness her music deserves. A biographical end note and source notes, along with link to www.billieholiday.com give some support for further appreciation of her music, but a discography or better still audio CD/links would bring her story to life far beyond the limits of this picture book. Let’s hope someone like Chris Raschka takes up the challenge to create a definitive picture book as he did for Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker. Now That's Picturebook Jazz!
Tow Trucks
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Machines at Work" series, this well-bound 24-page book (with the corn-starchy cover) introduces young readers to tow trucks. Readers learn what tow trucks are and how they are used. The parts of a tow truck are described and labeled. Booms and winches, and the various ways in which vehicles may be towed, are explained. Different types of tow trucks are shown. Pages of clear, simple, and interesting text face nicely-captioned color photographs. The book includes an easy glossary, index, bibliography, and a publisher's website link. This is a good choice for easy nonfiction collections and will be a hit with "big machine" fans.
Littlest Witch's Story
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Fisher, Rusty
Cook, Joel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Story Time for Little Monsters" series consists of sturdy books features rhyming stories about little monsters who have trouble getting to sleep. In this book Winnie, a young witch, plans to dose her mother with a potion then, while her mother sleeps, she's going out to do some mischief that night. Unfortunately for Winnie, her mother is a witch as well and reverses the potion. Soon Winnie is fast asleep. Big, page-filling illustrations by Joel Cook accompany the text. The rhymes often seem forced, and the rhythms occasionally stumble. This is an interesting concept, but not a first purchase.
Littlest Werewolf's Story
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Fisher, Rusty
Cook, Joel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Story Time for Little Monsters" series consists of sturdy books features rhyming stories about little monsters who have trouble getting to sleep. In this book Little Wolfie, a young werewolf, tells his mother a bedtime tale of his day where he claims to have eaten an entire zoo, a barnful of cattle, and much much more. His tall tales amuse his mother, since the full moon doesn't happen until the NEXT night. Big, page-filling illustrations by Joel Cook accompany the text. The rhymes often seem forced, and the rhythms occasionally stumble. Still, there are young readers who love werewolves and will find this amusing.
Littlest Vampire's Story
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Fisher, Rusty
Cook, Joel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Story Time for Little Monsters" series consists of sturdy books features rhyming stories about little monsters who have trouble getting to sleep. In this book Vickie, a young vampire, just won't settle down. Despite her mother's warning she creeps out of the tomb to look for nighttime fun. Unfortunately there is nobody to play with since all the children are asleep.. Daylight creeps up on her and, were it not for her mother's intervention, Vickie would have been in real trouble. Big, page-filling illustrations by Joel Cook accompany the text. The rhymes often seem forced, and the rhythms occasionally stumble. Still, the ending is reassuring. While not a great book, there are children who would enjoy it.
Littlest Zombie's Story
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Fisher, Rusty
Cook, Joel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Story Time for Little Monsters" series consists of sturdy books features rhyming stories about little monsters who have trouble getting to sleep. In this book Chester, a young zombie, just won't settle down. His mother tries to get him to count something--the brains and body parts that he's munched down. While this puts her to sleep, Chester only gets hungry and so he heads out to feast on human flesh while Mom's out of it. Big, page-filling illustrations by Joel Cook accompany the text. The rhymes often seem forced, and the rhythms occasionally stumble. Then there's the whole issue of feasting on human flesh as a good bedtime story. I'm sure there are parents who will find that off-putting. This is an interesting concept, but not especially well done.
Look What I Can Do!
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Viau, Nancy
Vojtech, Anna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Baby animals try new things in simple, gently rhyming text, with the chorus "Friends of forest, field, and stream, keep trying on your own. Be proud today. Have fun and play. In time you will be grown." Gentle warm illustrations by Anna Vojtech flow across two-page spreads, big enough for sharing. In the background you can see children playing. The theme of growing and achieving new things is one that rings true. This would be a good choice for preschool storytimes.
Class From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
We're used to "Black Lagoon" books that focus on the fears of children. They fantasize with dread about teachers, librarians, book fairs--you name it. But what do the teachers worry about? In this book, a teacher prepares for the first day of school and frets about everything she's heard about her upcoming class. Are they really ghouls? Do they really have two noses so they can pick both of them? Fortunately her worries turn out to be unfounded...mostly. This has Thaler's trademark sense of humor, with Jared Lee's typical, fun, over-the-top illustrations. It's another great addition to the series.
These Seas Count!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Formento, Alison
Snow, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
It is Clean-Up Day and Captain Ned has asked for help clearing Sunnyside Beach. Mr. Tate’s class volunteer and proceed to discuss the importance of the oceans to life in the sea and on land. Playing off the title the Captain Ned explains why the sea is sad by asking the students to “Listen closely; and the sea will share a story.” “One whale leaps high, breaching my surface. Two giant sea turtles surf through a seaweed forest. . . . “ counting through ten, telling the effect of water pollution on the oceans and land. The digital collage illustrations add interest for younger students. This title is a good introduction to be read aloud at the beginning of a science unit about water and oceans or marine life. The text is advanced enough that the audience will need to have it read aloud, and the story itself is aimed at a younger audience who will most likely not have the skills to read themselves. Also reviewed in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reveiws, Horn Book and Booklist.
APOLLO : GOD OF THE SUN, HEALING, MUSIC, AND POETRY
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
TEMPLE, TERI
SQUIRE, ROBERT
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 10, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Who is Apollo? Why was he so important to the ancient Greeks and the Romans? The author has simplified the story of Apollo making is accessible to younger students. The author introduces the reader to the stories of the ancient gods and goddesses explaining how they are connected to the lives of the people at the time and how the stories were passed down and became myths. The gods of ancient Greece are identified along with their relationships. The stores that explain Apollo’s tasks are written in terms appropriate for the audience. This is a good beginning text for students who are beginning to express an interest in Greek and Roman mythology. There are eleven other titles in the series. Also reviewed in SLJ and Library Media connection.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 8
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this, the final volume, the search for the missing princess finally succeeds with a surprise most readers won't see coming. The book contains much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 7
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib and company seek the help of Glinda in returning the Scarecrow to the throne of the Emerald City, now held by General Jinjur. She reveals that a true heir to the throne exists--Princess Ozma, and she must be located. A return to the Emerald City begins the process of locating the missing princess. Wit and wordplay abound in this fun fantasy adventure. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 6
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib brings the "gump" to life--a contraption of sofas and palm leaves--to fly himself and his companions out of the Emerald City where they are under siege. A series of dangers and adventures follows. The book contains much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident, and each of the character's foibles highlighted. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib and company return to the Emerald City to regain the Scarecrow's throne, enlisting the help of the Queen of the Field Mice to overcome enchantments that stand in their way. They regain the palace, but are now under siege from General Jinjur and her soldiers. The book contains much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident, and each of the character's foibles highlighted. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 4
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib and company seek the help of the Tin Woodman to help the Scarecrow regain the throne of the Emerald City. They meet the Woggle-Bug, learn his story, and endure his puns. The story has much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident, and each of the character's foibles highlighted. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib and his companions are in the Emerald City as General Jinjur and her army of girls revolt, thinking men have ruled long enough. (And shouldn't those emeralds be on THEIR fingers?) They escape the city and head as the female army takes over. The book contains much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident, and each of the character's foibles highlighted. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
Marvelous Land Of Oz : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Shanower, Eric
Young, Skottie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Frank L. Baum's "The Marvelous Land of Oz" has been turned into an eight-book series of graphic novels. Each well-bound book tells a portion of the story, which takes place after "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and follows the adventures of a young boy named Tib, and his companions. In this volume Tib and his creation Jack Pumpkinhead, travel to the Emerald City to meet with its king--the Scarecrow. Tib brings a sawhorse to life for Jack to ride. In the Emerald City, Jack meets the Scarecrow and they discover they have a lot in common. The story retains much of the wit and dialogue of the original novel, with Baum's love of wordplay clearly evident. Skottie Young's artwork is filled with detail and has a whimsical quality, with hints of the original art by John R. Neill. This is a fun graphic novel series. Lamentably, the loss of a single book invalidates the whole set, which is problematic.
United We Spy
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Carter, Ally
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
Book 6 in the Gallagher Girl series. The thing I love about all of Ally Carter's books are that she has strong female characters who are intelligent, take risks, and yet are also somehow realistic teens despite all the crazy situations they get into. This book (and series) is no exception. Cammie faces her biggest challenge yet in this final book of the series; she now knows who has been hunting her and why, but now she must stop them before they start WWIII. Lots of action and adventure, some romance, some violence.
It's A Feudal, Feudal World : A Different Medieval History
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Shapiro, Stephen
Kinnaird, Ross
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
This reminds me a bit of the "You Wouldn't Want to be a..." series. It is an overview of medieval history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance. The use of humor, charts, infographics, maps, and timelines gives students a lot of information but broken into smaller, more manageable chunks. It is not limited solely to Europe but also includes Persia, Central Asia, and China. There is representation of weapons, faiths, artisans, peasants, rulers, etc. Each topic has a two-page spread with interesting and useful facts and tidbits. A good beginning resource for those studying or interested in this topic.
Chitchat : Celebrating The World's Languages
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Isabella, Jude
Boake, Kathy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
I'm not sure who this book will appeal to - unless you have a class full of etymologists. Personally, I thought it was fascinating with lots of facts in textboxes and a few puzzles to solve throughout. It is quite dense overall and will require a reader who is up for a bit of a challenge.
Cruisers
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Motorcycles" series, this nicely-bound 32-page book is awash with information and action photographs of cruisers. Readers learn what type of motorcycles are defined as cruisers and where and when they originated. The style and attitude behind cruisers is emphasized. Parts of this type of motorcycle are examined and explained in detail. Touring motorcycles and rallies are briefly mentioned. There's not a lot of information here, but it gives young readers a solid introduction. The eye-catching format, and breezy yet informative writing style are sure to draw in readers, especially the high-interest, low vocabulary crowd. The book includes a glossary and index. It's sure to rev up interest in the subject.
Rey Mysterio
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Pro Wrestling Superstars" series, this book focuses on Oscar Gutierrez, better known as Rey Mysterio. Beginning at a young age, as a luchador in Mexico, Rey followed in his uncle's footsteps, eventually surpassing him in fame. The book talks about Rey's entry into the sport, some of his rivals, and some of his key moves. His career in the WWE is highlighted, and mention is made of his wife and children. Of course nobody really says if this kind of wrestling is "real" but it is certainly real enough to thrill young male readers who leap at any book on the subject. Colorful, high-action pictures and clear informative text combine to make this a winner that will appeal to young readers and also be great for high-interest, low-vocabulary collections. The book includes an index, glossary, and timeline.
Choppers
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Motorcycles" series, this nicely-bound 32-page book is awash with information and action photographs of choppers. Readers learn what choppers are, and where and when they originated. The style and attitude behind choppers is emphasized. Parts of this type of motorcycle are examined and explained in detail, and let's not forget the chrome and paint jobs. While the information is brief, it is interesting and gives young readers a good introduction to the subject matter. The format, and breezy writing style are sure to draw in readers, especially the high-interest, low vocabulary crowd. The book includes a glossary and index. It's sure to rev up interest in the subject.
RENO AIR RACES
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Races" series. It describes the Reno Air Races held annually in Nevada. Starting in 1964, the races include seven classes of planes. The courses are marked by 50 foot high guide pylons and planes travel at fast speeds between 50 and 1500 feet. Traditions, pilots, planes, and dangers are also explained. Full page color photographs are found throughout the book. Information about the 2011 plane crash that killed 10 and injured 70 is contained as a caption to the photo. Much of the text is either black or white on a photographic background which might bother the reader. The text is well written and will excite readers. The book has the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography. A good purchase for reluctant readers.
INDIANAPOLIS 500
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 11, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Races" series. It describes the Indianapolis 500 held annually since 1911 in Indiana. Full page color photographs are found throughout the book. Much of the text is either black or white on a photographic background which might bother some readers. The history, course, rules, qualifying, start, and dangers are covered in a brief paragraph or two. The text is well written and will excite readers. Although the book has the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, and index, there is no bibliography. This would be good purchase for reluctant readers and young racing fans.
Cucuy Stole My Cascarones = El Coco Me Robo Los Cascarones
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Rivas, Spelile
Cervantes, Valerie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
This bilingual (Spanish/English) picture book tells the story of Roberto. He and his mother have filled 30 dozen hollow eggs with confetti and decorated the outside shells with tissue paper for his birthday party the next day. When Roberto wakes up, the cascarones (the filled and decorated eggs) are gone! Roberto sets out with his red wagon to find them. Each page contains the English and Spanish text for the story and is complemented by vivid, colorful, illustrations. This is an excellent way to get immediate help or feedback if uncertain about certain words. The plot has some repeating elements, also making it a good tool for those learning the language.
Lupita's First Dance = El Primer Baile De Lupita
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Ruiz-Flores, Lupe
Utomo, Gabhor
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
This bilingual (Spanish/English) picture book tells the story of Lupita. She is excited about an upcoming performance and dance that her class will do at school. When her partner for the dance is not able to attend, she is understandably disappointed. Each page contains the English and Spanish text for the story and is complemented by vivid, colorful, illustrations. This is an excellent way to get immediate help or feedback if uncertain about certain words. A good addition for those wanting to learn either language.
Dragonquest
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Baillie, Allan
Harris, Wayne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2014
Dame, Anne
Love the illustrations in this book. They are clever, colorful, and emphasize the fantasy of the story with a fabulous reveal at the end. The story itself, however, is average but does not live up to the standard of the illustrations.
Rogue
GRAPHIA [GRAPHIA]
Damico, Gina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It all started when Lex's Uncle Mort told her she was a "reaper"--destined to harvest souls and make sure they made it to the Afterlife. In the book "Croak" she was just coming into her abilities, and discovering she had more abilities than most reapers, which was a problem. And then there was that cute guy... In the book "Scorch" Lex, her uncle, and friends were on the run--outlaws from Grim society largely due to misinformation. In this, the third and final book in the series, everything comes to a head. The fate of the Afterlife is at stake. Portals must be closed. Sacrifices must be made. Still on the run, the fate of everyone hangs in the balance. This is a fun series. I wish the author avoided the f-word but, ignoring that, the characters are interesting and fully-realized. There's a lot of humor here, most of it graveyard humor. Snappy reparte, lots of action, and a heart-stopping finale make this a satisfying conclusion for fans of the series.
Pro Stock
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Motorcycles" series, this well-bound 32-page book is awash with information and action photographs of pro stock motorcycles. Readers learn about this type of motorcycle, its uses, and its origins. Parts of the motorcycle are examined, and safety gear is highlighted. Then readers learn some basics about pro stock racing, and about a few of the stars of the sport. Readers are not overwhelmed with information, but get a pretty good introduction to the subject. The eye-catching format, and breezy yet informative writing style, are sure to draw in readers, especially the high-interest, low vocabulary crowd. The book includes a glossary and index. It's sure to rev up interest in the subject.
Dream Animals : A Bedtime Journey
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Martin, Emily Winfield
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 11, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This fanciful book takes readers away to Slumberland as children ride their dream creatures to whimsical, imaginative locations. Flight, elves, undersea adventures--nothing is impossible in a dream. Sparse, rhyming text dances through big, somewhat old-fashioned illustrations as boys and girls snuggle down and enter the world of sleep. The format is big enough for group sharing, but this would serve better as a gentle lap book just before bedtime.
Letter Carriers
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to letter carriers. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Average salary range and job availability are also indicated. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Peter Walpole, a letter carrier in Virginia. They learn about his background and typical daily routine. Different aspects of the job are presented. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Pilots
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to pilots. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Average salary range, and job availability, are also indicated. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Captain Arnold Tolbert, an airline pilot. They learn about his background, and typical daily routine. Other types of pilots, including medical and military pilots, are also mentioned. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Electricians
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to electricians. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Possible salary, and job availability, are also presented. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Manuel Olvera, an electrician in Missouri. They learn about his background and education, and aspects of his daily routine. The book ends with a static electricity activity, which seems a little bit of a stretch to match the subject matter. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Dentists
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to dentists. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Dr. Claudia Cavallino, a pediatric dentist. They learn about her background, and typical aspects of her daily routine. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Teachers
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to teachers. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Cindy Chiu--a reading teaching in Virginia. . They learn about her background, and her typical daily routine. The book ends with an activity that mimics some aspects of teaching to help readers determine if this is the career for them. A list of similar careers oddly includes both librarian AND library media specialist--huh? A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units. The review copy had serious binding issues, but others from the series did not.
Television Reporters
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cupp, Dave
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to television reporters. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Dana Hackett, a TV reporter. They learn about her background, and her typical daily routine. The book ends with an activity that mimics some aspects of TV reporting. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
North America
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Koenig, Emily C
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 12, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO’s Core Library imprint brings us the Continents series. Each 48-page book contains information about the people, animals, culture and places on the continent being described. Young readers will be drawn to the full-page photos and the numerous text boxes that focus on extended information on a single topic. A map showing the countries and major cities begins the book, followed by a page of facts (highest point, key industries, common languages and more). A half page of “Further Evidence” asks students to think about the chapter, refer to a web site which has links to further sources such as National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, and then rethink any questions they have. I appreciate the way the questions are written so that students aren’t answering rote questions but are be asked to think and form their own conclusions. Includes contents, glossary, book and web sources, and index. A good resource for both intermediate readers and for older students who may be struggling with or learning the English language.
Restaurant Owners
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to restaurant owners. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Average salary range, and job availability, are also indicated. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Glen Armantrout, owner of a chain restaurant in Louisiana. They learn about his background and typical daily routine. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Veterinarians
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "People in Our Community" series, this well-stitched 24-page book introduces young readers to veterinarians. Each book in the series begins with a child considering the highlighted career, and then continues with the who, what, where, when, and why of that particular job. Professionals in the career are shown. Crisp color photographs accompany clear text providing readers with information on education, wardrobe, and tools required for the career, and a list of similar careers. Average salary range, and job availability, are also indicated. Both men and women, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, are shown. In this book readers meet Doctor Robin Downing, who treats family pets. They learn about her background, and typical daily routine. Other types of veterinarians are also mentioned. A glossary, bibliography, publisher's weblink, and index are included. Big enough for sharing, this would be a good addition to community helper units.
Gold
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petersen, Christine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Earth's Treasures series, this 8" x 8", 32 page book describes the precious metal of gold. Readers will learn how gold is valued, how it is used, types of gold, where it can be found, and the California Gold Rush. The book ends with a brief discussion on the future of gold. The text is descriptive and clear. Photographs, mostly in color, are found on every page. Words found in the glossary are in bold typeface in the text. The book is complete with a large world map, a table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography and web resources are provided by the publisher's website. A good purchase if you have a need.
PUCKSTER'S NEW HOCKEY TEAMMATE
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
NICHOLSON, LORNA SCHULTZ
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Puckster series features an athletic polar bear and his animal friends who love to play ice hockey in Canada. Each book includes fun game details, play-by-play descriptions, and real life lessons about sportsmanship, preparation, and friendship. In this book Puckster and friends, Team Canada, are in trouble. A teammate is ill. They need to add someone new to the roster. Puckster has an idea--a talented panda bear who, nevertheless, has never skated. The team works to help their new player gain the skills he needs to succeed. Lots of encouragement, and step-by-step skills acquisition are the keys to success. This sounds a bit treacly, but the story is crisp and sports action abounds. There's a lot of character education here as well, but it integrates nicely into the plot. While this would be most popular for Canadian audiences, any child who loves ice hockey, or could use some solid information on doing well in any sport, would find this series enjoyable.
PUCKSTER'S FIRST HOCKEY TOURNAMENT
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
NICHOLSON, LORNA SCHULTZ
FINDLEY, KELLY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Puckster series features an athletic polar bear and his animal friends who love to play ice hockey in Canada. Each book includes fun game details, play-by-play descriptions, and real life lessons about sportsmanship, preparation, and friendship. In this book Puckster and friends are playing in the Great Hockey Challenge. Will they make it to the gold medal round? Some make good choices and some make bad ones. Each impacts the team. Working together and sticking it out are shown to be the magic formula for success. This sounds a bit treacly, but the story is crisp and sports action abounds. There's a lot of character education here as well, but it integrates nicely into the plot. While this would be most popular for Canadian audiences, any child who loves ice hockey, or could use some solid information on doing well in any sport, would find this series enjoyable.
Operation Inferno
YEARLING [YEARLING]
Nylund, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Yay! This is book #4 in the "Resisters" series. Earth has been taken over by the insectoid Ch'zar. Once puberty hits, human beings are integrated into the hive mind. Only a few adults have escaped, and they have helped create a group of young resistance fighters who fly insect-based fighting machines in hopes of getting the planet back. In the last book the main base had been destroyed and Ethan and his squadron had discovered a new headquarters--Titan Base. Now they are heading to the final battle. New resources are available, and some old ones have reappeared. Ethan's strength is in his ability to plan, organize, and think on the fly. Can he use these skills to strike a fatal blow to the alien hive? Can he survive, if he does? How much is he willing to sacrifice? Finding good sci-fi for elementary level readers is a challenge, but this series is a terrific example.
TOUR DE FRANCE
A&D XTREME [ABDO]
HAMILTON, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Races" series. It describes the multi-day, bicycle race, Tour de France. This race was founded in 1903 and covers over 2000 miles annually. The book describes the history, the changing course, stages, teams, jerseys, traditions, rules, and dangers each in a brief paragraph or two. Full page color photographs are found throughout the book. Much of the text is either black or white on a photographic background which might bother some readers. The text is well written and will excite readers. Although the book has the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, and index, there is no bibliography. This would be good purchase for reluctant readers and young cycling fans.
Puckster's First Hockey Tryout
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Findley, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Puckster series features an athletic polar bear and his animal friends who love to play ice hockey in Canada. Each book includes fun game details, play-by-play descriptions, and real life lessons about sportsmanship, preparation, and friendship. In this book Puckster and friends are trying out for a special Canadian team that will play a televised game against a Russian team. The competition is stressful, but Puckster listens to instructions, shows his mettle, and encourages others who are trying out. Puckster makes the team, as does one of his friends. The others show up at the game to support them. This sounds a bit treacly, but the story is crisp and sports action abounds. There's a lot of character education here as well, but it integrates nicely into the plot. While this would be most popular for Canadian audiences, any child who loves ice hockey, or could use some solid information on doing well in a sport, would find this series enjoyable.
Puckster Goes To The Olympics
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Findley, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The Puckster series features an athletic polar bear and his animal friends who love to play ice hockey in Canada. While most focus on Puckster and his friends, this is a special Olympic edition. Puckster gets to accompany Team Canada, as stick boy, as they head to the Winter Olympics. The same attributes that make him a good player make him excellent in supporting his team--enthusiasm, involvement, and a love of the game. Puckster even gets to play for a bit! Real-life members of the Canadian team are part of the story. There's plenty of action, and some character education as well, which integrates nicely into the plot. This is sure to be a hit with Canadian audiences.
Your Skeleton Is Showing : Rhymes Of Blunder From Six Feet U
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Cyrus, Kurt
Scrambly, Crab
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
If you want to muse on the macabre, be tickled by the terrifying, and be panicked by poetry here's the book for you. A boy meets a ghost dog at the cemetery. They spend the night meeting some of the other denizens of doom-- a boy who died from picking his nose, a high-wire artist who was knot-challenged, a fatal zipper accident victim, and much much more. The poems are lively and diverse, showing a wide range of rhyming patterns, rhythms, and lengths. Each has a touch of humor, but enough gross-out content to keep young audiences in squirming delight. The funny yet gruesome illustrations by Crab Scrambly suit the poems perfectly and add that little extra touch of creepy. No bones about it--this is sure to be a hit.
Muybridge And The Riddle Of Locomotion
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Braun, Marta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
February 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Who knew locomotion could be so interesting? People, animals--they all move. Normally we don't even think about it. But how, exactly, do we do it? In the 1800's an Englishman moved to California and took pictures. He was challenged to take pictures of a racehorse, Sally G, to see exactly how she ran. Through an ingenious series of trip wires and cameras he actually managed to capture the horse in action, picture by picture, showing each element in the animal's locomotion. Soon he was famous for his high-speed photography, showing subjects in action, frame by frame. The concept led to the creation of motion pictures. This is an interesting introduction to the subject and includes reproductions of some of the frame by frame pictures by Muybridge, as well as lentincular images on the cover and a few of the pages--you know, the pictures that change as you view the page from different angles. The lentincular images will draw kids in, but are not nearly as fascinating as the reproductions where readers can peruse locomotion literally step by step. I'm not quite sure where this book belongs, but it is fascinating.
Turquoise
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petersen, Christine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Earth's Treasures series, this 8" x 8", 32 page book describes turquoise. Readers will learn how it was discovered, how ancient civilizations (and Native American cultures) valued the mineral, how it is formed in the Earth, The book ends with information on the hardness scale, becoming a rock hound and starting a collection. The text is descriptive and clear. Photographs, mostly in color, are found on every page. Words found in the glossary are in bold typeface in the text. The book is complete with a large world map, a table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography and web resources are provided by the publisher's website. A good purchase if you have a need.
Pearls
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Petersen, Christine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the Earth's Treasures series, this 8" x 8", 32 page book describes pearls. Readers will learn how pearls are formed, where they can be found, how they are used, and why they are valued. The book ends with information on becoming a rock hound and finding your own pearls. The text is descriptive and clear. Photographs, mostly in color, are found on every page. Words found in the glossary are in bold typeface in the text. The book is complete with a large world map, a table of contents, glossary, and index. There is no bibliography and web resources are provided by the publisher's website. A good purchase if you have a need.
Thanksgiving Day From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a rollicking romp around the year in this new series of well-bound Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this November entry Thanksgiving nears. Of course Hubie is going to find something to worry about. In this case, the class is making floats to celebrate the holiday and Hubie is on his own in building his float. His mother comes up with a great idea, however, and his many worries prove to be unfounded. This is another silly, punny story, and Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text, including funny elements all their own. Fans of the series will gobble this up.
School Play From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a dramatic dance around the year in these new Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this October entry in the series Hubie's class is going to put on class play--"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." His normal nervousness keeps Hubie well off the teacher's radar when it comes to assigning parts. Nevertheless he ends up as the Headless Horseman, with a one-word line. Being Hubie he, naturally, imagines everything that could possibly go wrong and, indeed, there is a major problem with the performance. Yet everything ends well. This is another fun, pun-filled book about facing your fears. Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text, and contain all sorts of funny asides that readers will enjoy. Fans of the series will happily ride off with this new title.
Valentine's Day From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a jolly jaunt around the year in this new series of Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this February entry in the series Valentine's Day approaches. Naturally the holiday is fraught with stress for poor Hubie. What are the consequences if he gives a girl a card? What about if he doesn't give a girl a card? The possibilities for social embarrassment seem endless. What is love, anyway? Oh wait--there's a new girl in class, and she's cute...REALLY cute! Hubie is head-over-heels. Romance, however, is not all it's cracked up to be and Hubie makes a good decision when it comes to the class Valentine's Day party. This is another silly, fun story, and Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text. Fans of the series will love this new title.
Christmas Party From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a merry march around the year in this new series of Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this December entry in the series Christmas approaches. Naturally the holiday is filled with angst for poor Hubie. For the classroom gift share event he got a GIRL! What do you get a girl for Christmas? Besides, Hubie is overwhelmed with the consumerism of the holiday. Unlike most public schools, his class hangs stockings, decorates a tree, watches "A Christmas Carol" and sings holiday songs. Such a joyful time shouldn't be so stressful! Hubie's final solution to the gift dilemma thoughtful, but almost backfires. This is another silly romp of a story, and Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text. Look for lots of extras in those illustrations. Fans of the series will celebrate this new title. Oh, and the binding is excellent.
Halloween Party From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a creepy crawl around the year in this new series of well-bound Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this October entry in the series Halloween nears. As always, this holiday fills Hubie with fear, and not for the normal reasons. What will he wear as a costume? He can't afford to buy one. His mother comes up with the good idea of making his own and the result is delightful. This is another silly, pun-filled story, and Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text. Check out all the funny details for a whole 'nother level of enjoyment. Fans of the series will scream to get their hands on this title.
New Year's Eve Sleepover From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's a jolly jaunt around the year in this new series of Black Lagoon easy chapter books. In this December/January entry in the series Hubie has been invited a New Year's Eve sleepover--his first sleepover, as it happens. Naturally his worrying shifts into high gear. He thinks of everything that could possibly go wrong. This is a bad idea, right? He should just stay home. The party turns out to be kind of fun, however, and his many attempts to phone his mother are thwarted. Turns out things didn't turn out too badly after all. This is another silly, wry story, and Jared Lee's black and white illustrations are a perfect humorous accompaniment to the over-the-top text. Keep your eyes open for funny asides and jokes. Fans of the series will ladly stay awake for this new title.
South America
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Brown, Risa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 14, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO’s Core Library imprint brings us the Continents series. Each 48-page book contains information about the people, animals, culture and places on the continent being described. Young readers will be drawn to the full-page photos and the numerous text boxes that focus on extended information on a single topic. A map showing the countries and major cities begins the book, followed by a page of facts (highest point, key industries, common languages and more). A half page of “Further Evidence” asks students to think about the chapter, refer to a web site which has links to further sources such as National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, and then rethink any questions they have. I appreciate the way the questions are written so that students aren’t answering rote questions but are be asked to think and form their own conclusions. Includes contents, glossary, book and web sources, and index. A good resource for both intermediate readers and for older students who may be struggling with or learning the English language.
Night Wanderer : A Graphic Novel
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Taylor, Drew Hayden
Wyatt, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Stark black and white illustrations, with occasional touches of red, illustrate this graphic novel about a man returning to his roots. Pierre L'Errant rents a room in a home on the Otter Lake native reserve. The sixteen-year-old daughter of the family is facing her own problems with peers and her native heritage. She doesn't know that the handsome stranger harbors a dark secret. He once lived on this land many many years ago. Changed by a chance encounter, he has returned to find a final peace. He tries to pass on some of what he has learned over the centuries to a rebellious girl who sees only a bleak and futureless NOW. This is not your typical vampire story. The artwork by Michael Wyatt is bold and evocative. His spare use of red makes it all the more significant when it appears. The story is thoughtful and should appeal to teens. This is an excellent example of what the genre should be.
Cool Best-Ever Brunches : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Coo
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the delights of brunch-making. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9+ recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Several types of egg bakes that can be prepared in advance are included, as well as coffee cakes, fruit salads, bagels and spreads, and several punch recipes. The caramel french toast recipe looks particularly good. These "from scratch" recipes and are all pretty healthy, without making a big deal of it. This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs and, like any well-done cook book, it made my mouth water.
Cool Cooking Up Chili : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Cook
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the challenges of making good chili and dishes that might accompany it. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9 recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Three types of chili are included, as well as cornbread muffins, homemade chili seasoning, coleslaw, chili brownies, Hot hot fudge, and watermelon agua fresca. These are "from scratch" recipes and are all pretty healthy, without making a big deal of it. This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs and, like any well-done cook book, it made my mouth water.
Cool Picnics & Road Food : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Co
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the fun of food-to-go--picnic and road food. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9 recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Five types of salads are highlighted, as well as walking tacos, hero sandwiches, oven-fried chicken, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Readers learn how to properly hard-boil an egg, and how to make simple syrup, among other culinary delights. These are "from scratch" recipes and are all pretty healthy, without making a big deal of it. This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs and what look to be some mighty tasty recipes.
Cool Thanksgiving Dinner : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Co
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the high risk world of preparing Thanksgiving dinners. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Timing, and making some things ahead, are emphasized. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9 recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Readers learn how to cook a turkey, make gravy and mashed potatoes, cook up cranberry orange sauce, and prepare three vegetable dishes and 2 types of pie. These are "from scratch" recipes and are all pretty healthy, without making a big deal of it. This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs. Anyone would find it a handy "go-to" book for that annual holiday cooking challenge.
You Wouldn't Want To Work On The Railroad! : A Track You'd R
Franklin Watts [Franklin Watts]
Graham, Ian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Wouldn't you know it--they're now putting out revised editions of the "You Wouldn't Want to..." series books. This is the revised edition of the book about building the transcontinental railroad. It introduces the workers, the jobs, the hardships and the challenges of this massive project. The positives and negatives of the railroad are examined. Native American issues are explored. Humorous cartoon illustrations, lots of odd little facts, and interesting "handy hints" add to the appeal. This contains more information than the original book, and every inch of space is used, including the end papers. Do you need to run out and replace your old copy? No, but as soon as it wears out replace it it with this revised edition.
Ancient Treasures
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Hunter, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Who doesn't like a good treasure hunt? Seeking those lost riches, puzzling through the clues, the moment of discovering--it's all good! In this sturdy 48-page addition to the "Treasure Hunters" series, readers learn about amazing finds of ancient treasures. (Other books in the series focus on pirate treasure, tombs, and lost cities.) The origins of the treasure, and the methods by which it is discovered are all explored. Special emphasis is given to the discovery of the Hozne Hoard in England in 1992, the Staffordshire Hoard in 2009, the Rosetta Stone in 1799, and the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. Other treasure hunts for Inca gold are mentioned, and even Nazi gold raises its head. The book is remarkably eclectic for all its primary focus. Small type allows for plenty of information to be included, and the format of plenty of photographs and boxes of info with snippets scattered here and there make for a scrapbook sort of feeling. Lots of interesting bits and pieces are found here. The book includes an index, bibliography, timeline, and glossary.
Claude In The City
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Smith, Alex T
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Last month I reviewed "Claude at the Circus" and wasn't overly impressed. Now, however, having read two Claude books I find they grow on you. Claude is a small dog in a beret who, with his friend Sir Bobblysock (a striped stocking) goes out and has adventures. As you might imagine, silliness abounds. In this book Claude and stripy friend visit the big city.l It's an eye-opener. There's so much going on--the shops, the museum, the art-thief... Naturally Claude and Sir Bobblysock save the day. But what's this? The next day Sir Bobblysock is ill and Claude must take him to the hospital. A mysterious illness abounds. Luckily Claude figures it out, and dispenses the cure. After a hole is darned, Sir Bobblysock is as good as new and the two are ready for adventure again. These look like chapter books (and there are two chapters) but they read like extended picture books and have plenty of whimsical black, white, and red illustrations. Originating in Great Britain, the humor is broad and, in the case of a piece of buttocks artwork, a little naughty. But there's little here to offend and the book is sure to inspire a chortle or two.
Cool Backyard Grilling : Beyond The Basics For Kids Who Cook
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wagner, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice series of cookbooks? Hey, here it is! Part of the "Cool Young Chefs" Checkerboard series by Abdo, this well-bound 32 page book invites young readers (and anyone else who likes to cook) into the wonders of backyard grilling. The concept is introduced, and basics of cooking, including cautions, are presented. Techniques, tools, and ingredients are shown, then 9 recipes are presented in two-page spreads. The recipes include ingredient and tool lists, then step-by-step instructions with plenty of visual cues. "Cool Tips" provide some nice cooking how-to's, while "Beyond Cool" boxes show how the recipe could be adapted based on your tastes, and the ingredients you have available. Several types of burgers (including a vegetarian black bean burger) are included, as well as wings, kebabs, and grilled corn. These are "from scratch" recipes and are all pretty healthy, without making a big deal of it. This is a good, solid cookbook with plenty of guidance for new chefs and, like any well-done cook book, it made my mouth water.
Moonlit Road
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Goodwin, Vincent
Espinosa, Rod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Graphic Horror" series takes classic horror literature and boils it down to its basic elements, then renders it in a well-bound graphic novel format. This is based on Ambrose Bierce's work, adapted by Vincent Goodwin and illustrated by Rod Espinosa. What do you see when you go down the moonlit road? A young boy loses his mother. A man loses his wife. A ghost waits. Part I tells the story from the boy's point of view. Part II reveals much as the father speaks. Part III tells the tale of the murdered woman, as told to a medium. Only by knowing all three parts can the true story be told, and an explanation be found for what waited down the moonlit road. The artwork is bold yet haunting. The story, reduced to minimal dialogue is also reduced in impact. Still, it gives young readers a taste of the original and hopefully will inspire them to seek it out.
Mountaineering
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Adventure" series, this sturdy 32-page book takes young readers mountain-climbing. The sport, and its appeal, is explained. Readers learn about the appropriate clothing, equipment, and safety precautions necessary. Readers then get a quick introduction to each of the "seven summits" as well as three other mountains considered to be important climbs to have achieved, including K-2 and the Matterhorn. The book is filled with crisp action photographs showing both the thrill of the sport and the beauty of the mountains. This is in no way an in-depth book on the sport, but it's a great basic introduction with high visual appeal and should inspire young readers to want to learn more. An index and glossary are included.
Raven
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Espinosa, Rod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Graphic Horror" series takes classic horror literature and boils it down to its basic elements, then renders it in a well-bound graphic novel format. This is based on Edgar Allan Poe's poem of a man filled with dread and lost in thoughts of his missing love. A strange knock, a raven through the window, a single word repeated over and over in answer to each of his desperate questions--"Nevermore." Some of the lines of the original are still there, and the basic ideas, too. Still, without the brooding rhythm and Poe's exceptional mastery of all poetic elements to use them as a conductor might wield his baton to get every bit of nuance out of each word, this loses much of its power. It would be an adequate introduction to the work, but one hopes readers will turn to the original poem (which isn't all that long) to get the full impact.
Body-Snatcher
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Goodwin, Vincent
Espinosa, Rod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Graphic Horror" series takes classic horror literature and boils it down to its basic elements, then renders it in a well-bound, brief graphic novel format. This is based on the work by Robert Lewis Stevenson, adapted by Vincent Goodwin and illustrated by Rod Espinosa. Medical schools need cadavers and Professor Knox is willing to be "flexible" when it comes to their source. He convinces several medical students to be involved, first by receiving the corpses, and then by digging them up. But now it looks like someone has figured out a way to make sure there are always fresh corpses to sell. Murder is so much more convenient than grave-robbing, isn't it? The artwork is bold and rich. The story, reduced mostly to minimal dialogue, is just a bare-bones retelling. Like a body dug up after a few weeks, it lacks the substance of a fresh corpse. Still, this is an introduction to a work that has influenced many elements of the horror genre.
Caving
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Xtreme Adventure" series, this sturdy 32-page book takes young readers spelunking. The sport, and its appeal, is explained. Readers learn about the appropriate clothing, equipment, and safety precautions necessary. Readers also learn about the different types of caves to be explored--limestone, sandstone, lava tube, sea, ice and glacier, and mud and boulder caves. The book is filled with crisp action photographs showing both the thrill of the sport and the beauty of the locations. Cave life and common cave formations are also briefly mentioned. This is in no way an in-depth book on the sport, but it's a great basic introduction and should inspire young readers to want to learn more. The book includes an index and glossary.
Call Of Cthulhu
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Goodwin, Vincent
Espinosa, Rod
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Graphic Horror" series takes classic horror literature and boils it down to its basic elements, then renders it in a well-bound graphic novel format. This is originally Lovecraft's story, adapted by Vincent Goodwin and illustrated by David Hutchison. It tells the tale of a strange tablet, and a dream. Prophecies are being made around the world. Something is stirring. A voodoo cult is rising. The past is reasserting itself. A mysterious island. An idol that spells doom. Something has reawakened. The artwork is bold and compelling. The story, reduced to minimal dialogue is, unfortunately, not very compelling and rather hard to follow. Read the original to get a solid meal instead of this low-calorie snack.
Dolphins
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Designed specifically to support Common Core standards, this sturdy 48-page Core Library book focuses on dolphins. Each chapter emphasizes a different aspect of dolphins as readers learn a little about dolphin anatomy, range, habitat, diet, life cycles, intelligence, and behavior. Most chapters end with primary source material and/or activities that support Common Core concepts, making the book seem a little like a textbook. Most of the primary source materials appear to be a higher reading level than the book's text, which may be problematic, but does support the idea of higher level thinking. The book ends with additional extension ideas, glossary, bibliography, and an index. This is a broad topic in a short book, meaning the coverage is, of necessity a rather broad-brush overview. Still, it's a quite solid introduction, and it does support the new standards.
Elephants
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Designed specifically to support Common Core standards, this sturdy 48-page Core Library book focuses on elephants. Each chapter emphasizes different concepts about elephants as readers learn about their social structure, anatomy, range, habitat, diet, life cycles, intelligence, and behavior. Very clear information is provided about the differences between African and Asian elephants. Most chapters end with primary source material and/or activities that support Common Core concepts, making the book seem a little like a textbook. Most of the primary source materials appear to be a higher reading level than the book's text, which may be problematic, but does support the idea of higher level thinking. The book ends with additional extension ideas, glossary, bibliography, and an index. This is a broad topic in a short book, meaning the coverage is, of necessity a rather broad-brush overview. Still, it's a solid introduction, and it does support the new standards.
Octopuses
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Kessler, Colleen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Designed specifically to support Common Core standards, this sturdy 48-page Core Library book focuses on octopuses. Each chapter talks about a different concept related to these cephalopods. Readers learn about types of octopuses as well as anatomy, range, habitat, diet, life cycles, intelligence, and behavior. Octopus defense mechanisms, as well as current octopus research, are briefly examined. Most chapters end with primary source material and/or activities that support Common Core concepts, making the book seem a little like a textbook. Most of the primary source materials appear to be a higher reading level than the book's text, which may be problematic, but does support the idea of higher level thinking. The book ends with additional extension ideas, glossary, bibliography, and an index. Well-captioned pictures abound. This is a broad topic in a short book, meaning the coverage is, of necessity a rather broad-brush overview. Still, it's a solid introduction, and it does support the new standards.
Dogs
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Furstinger, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Designed specifically to support Common Core standards, this sturdy 48-page Core Library book focuses on dogs. Each chapter emphasizes a different aspect of dogdom. Different types of dogs, their life cycle, their intelligence and behavior, working dogs, service dogs--it's a nice overview. Most chapters end with primary source material and/or activities that support common core concepts, making the book read rather like a textbook. Most of the primary source materials appear to be a higher reading level than the book's text, which may be problematic, but does support the idea of higher level thinking. The book ends with additional extension ideas, glossary, bibliography, and an index. This is a broad topic in a short book, meaning the coverage is, of necessity a rather broad-brush overview. Still, it's a good introduction, and it does support the new standards.
Largemouth Bass
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Llanas, Sheila Griffin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Do you have any fishing fans? Well, this may be the series for them. Part of the "Fish & Game" series, this sturdy 32-page Checkerboard book introduces readers to the largemouth bass--one of the all-time great sports fish. Readers learn that there are two types of largemouth bass, belonging to the black bass species. They also learn that this type of fish cannot be grown commercially. Facts about the fish, parts of the fish, the difference between the two types of largemouth basses--all of these are covered, as well as issues about ecological balance. Readers also learn about their range, senses, diet, and life cycle. Where, when, and how to fish for these fish are all covered, including both fishing for eating and for catch and release. Clear, captioned photographs show both the fish and male and female fishers from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. The book includes a glossary, weblink, and index.
Duke
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Larson, Kirby
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 16, 2014
Stein, Valerie
What would you sacrifice for your country? Hobie has already seen his Dad go to war, and now he's being asked to donate his dog to the cause. Can he do it? Hobie's struggle with his own conscience and his worries feel very real to the reader. The story, told through his worries, opens up to us an aspect of World War II we might not have known about at all. I particularly love this book because I think it's suitable for an even younger age range than some of Kirby's other historical novels. It's difficult to find excellent historical fiction for younger students that doesn't talk down to them, but meets them where they are. My students, especially third graders, are really enjoying this one.
How To Handle Cyberbullies
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Truesdell, Ann
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 16, 2014
Kline, Karen
In five brief chapters this 32-page book explores how to deal with and recognize those that use technology to perpetrate harassment and bullying behaviors, how victims can deal with such behaviors, ways to prevent tech-related bullying and harassment, and what bystanders’ roles are. Seven pages of activities are interspersed throughout giving readers ideas about how online and offline bullying are similar and suggesting ideas for thinking through situations. For instance, readers are encouraged to see how much personal information they can find about themselves online and take steps with an adult to remove things like email addresses and actual addresses. Online activities at the publisher’s website are referenced throughout the text, but they were not present when this reviewer checked on 2/2014. Photos, graphics and layout make this book easy to read and navigate. Index, glossary and "find out more" sections are short. This book is most likely to be used by educators, so purchase accordingly. Educators will find more up-to-date information at the government and CDC websites mentioned in the text. Research on these topics is currently in its infancy and little definitive action can be authoritatively recommended.
Bramble
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Nordling, Lee
Zick, Bruce
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 16, 2014
Kline, Karen
An impromptu game of tag turns dark in this almost wordless picture book in graphic novel layout. A young boy tries to engage with an older group of kids at a park and is not welcomed. The dejected boy is almost consumed by brambles of metaphoric proportions when a creature appears and tries to understand the kid’s situation. As the two connect with a look and thought, the creature offers the boy an amulet and disappears. The boy takes the necklace and follows the creature into the brambles finding the pit’s occasional shafts of light and a clearing as he hopefully hangs the amulet on a bramble branch. Letting go of the talisman unleashes scary and frightful demons and a wave of tsunami and epic proportions. The friendly creature appears again whisking the boy away and shows him how to laugh at the adventure. Eventually, they face the unwelcoming group of demon creatures together and the boy conquers his fears and returns to the playground with the amulet and renewed confidence. Mature themes and creepy illustrations make this a winner for a somewhat older crowd of picture book readers.
Elephant
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the SandCastle "Giant Animals" series, this nicely-bound smaller format 24-page book provides young readers with a nice overview of elephants. Elephants are described, and compared in size to a human. Their life style, habitat, range, anatomy, and diet are briefly presented, along with an idea of their social structure. A page explains that there are two types of elephants, but little information is included on what distinguishes each type other than size A quick quiz and glossary follow. Each short box of text is accompanied by bright color photographs or, occasionally, illustrations. The reading level is a step above beginning readers, and the information is solid, if short, and presented in a clear, interesting, organized format. This would be a good series for easy nonfiction collections.
Panda
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the SandCastle "Giant Animals" series, this nicely-bound smaller format 24-page book provides young readers with a nifty overview of pandas. Pandas are described, and compared in size to a human. Their life style, habitat, range, and diet are briefly presented, along with an idea of their social structure. A quick quiz and glossary follow. Each short box of text is accompanied by bright color photographs or, occasionally, illustrations. The reading level is a step above beginning readers, and the information is solid, if short, and presented in a clear, interesting, organized format. This would be a good series for easy nonfiction collections.
Manatee
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the SandCastle "Giant Animals" series, this nicely-bound smaller format 24-page book provides young readers with a clear and simple overview of manatees. Manatees are described, and compared in size to a human. Their life style, anatomy, habitat, range, communications, and diet are briefly presented, along with an idea of their social structure. Dangers facing manatees are mentioned. A quick quiz and glossary follow. Each short box of text is accompanied by bright color photographs or, occasionally, illustrations. The reading level is a step above beginning readers, and the information is solid, if short, and presented in a clear, interesting, organized format. This would be a good series for easy nonfiction collections.
Constellation Taurus : The Story Of The Bull
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 16, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Arnold Ringstad contributes a fine, short introduction to the science of astronomy along with the Greek myth of Taurus the Great Bull to this worthwhile 8 volume series from www.childsworld.com publishers. Presenting the science first, readers learn the names and characteristics -relative scale of distances and size, heat/color, of the stars, nebulae and galaxies that make up the constellation Taurus and adjacent Pleiades. The 4000 year old Babylonian myth of Taurus and Gilgamesh is credited as the first recognition of the constellation. Later adapted into Greek myth of Zeus transforming to a bull to carry Europa on his back to the island of Crete, where she gives birth to Minos, founder of the palace at Knossos. Mention of the Chinese constellations relating to these same stars is given some mention in text, though not supported by illustrations nor photographs that otherwise present a marvelous glimpse to the fascinating field of astronomy. AD+ for 2-5th grade collections looking to improve nonfiction offerings F&P level S. Index, glossary, suggested reading and an accompanying website offers further resources. Book is available at same $20.00 price in hosted ebook format.
Constellation Scorpius : The Story Of The Scorpion
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Morrow, Jt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 16, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
An introduction to the science of astronomy along with the stories of Scorpius adds to this recommended 8 volume series from www.childsworld.com publishers. Presenting basic scientific information on the stars and other deep-sky objects (galaxies and star clusters) that are in Scorpius. As one of 88 agreed upon constellations, Scorpius was known in Ptolemys original 48 constellations back in 150BCE and to Mesopotamian civilizations as far back as 3000y.a. As with other books in the series, it is the Greek mythological tales that occupy the central part of this book, here the story of Orion's pursuit of Artemis the huntress. After the scorpion stings Orion, Zeus lifts it into the sky to remind mortals to avoid the vanity of the great hunter. Mention of the Chinese constellations relating to these same stars is given some mention in text, though not supported by illustrations nor photographs that otherwise present a marvelous glimpse to the fascinating field of astronomy. Recommended for 2-5th grade collections looking to improve nonfiction offerings F&P level S. Index, glossary, suggested reading and an accompanying website offers further resources. Book is available at same $20.00 price in hosted ebook form.
San Francisco Splash
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Kelly, David A
Meyers, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 16, 2014
Stein, Valerie
Young baseball fans will enjoy this series. Each book is set in a different locale featuring a baseball stadium. While I had some difficulty with the level of mischief (read breaking and entering) and danger these kids somehow engaged in while Dad was standing obliviously by, it was a fun mystery and a good early chapters read. I'd be interested to see if the parents are as clueless in all the books, but I will indeed add it to my collection and gladly offer it to my young chapter readers who need an engaging read.
Rock & Roll!
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Enderle, Dotti
Mcwilliam, Howard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Malcolm and his friend, Dandy, are Ghost Detectors and this is book #15 in their adventures. When Malcolm's sister, Cocoa, wants to go to a teen band concert, Malcolm and Dandy are reluctantly drawn in. A ghostly manifestation at the concert interests them far more than the pop music. They decide it's up to them to take care of a curse and lay a rock star ghost to rest. But how? Dandy is going to have to have a "rock off" and win, to get the ghost to leave. Can a video game save the day? This is another fun, lightweight addition to the series of easy chapter books. Set right at a third-grade reading level, these are fun books with just a little ghostly shiver up the spine. Occasional black and white illustrations by Howard McWilliam accompany the well-bound text. This is a good series for readers who want something scary, but not too scary.
Yo Ho No!
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Enderle, Dotti
Mcwilliam, Howard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Malcolm and his friend, Dandy, are Ghost Detectors and this is book #13 in their adventures. There's a ghost ship, the Flying Hornswaggle, reputed to be sailing the skies off the beach near Malcolm and Dandy's homes. Naturally they're on the case, despite Dandy's assertion that he is allergic to beaches. (His toes swell up.) They didn't, however, plan to be taken captive by ghost pirates and sent on a quest to dig up buried treasure. They also didn't count on coconut-throwing monkeys. This is another fun, lightweight addition to the series of easy chapter books. Set right at a third-grade reading level, these are fun books with just a little ghostly shiver up the spine, and nice dash of humor. Occasional black and white illustrations by Howard McWilliam accompany the well-bound text. This is a good series for readers who want something scary, but not too scary.
Thor : The Dark World Junior Novel
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Palacios, Tomas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Here's a junior novelization of the first half of the movie "Thor: The Dark World." Dark elves are rising. The Nine Realms are splintering. Thor can't forget that cute scientist, Jane Foster, from Earth. Loki is in prison. When Jane Foster accidentally encounters a unique phenomenon she, all unknowing, becomes a pawn in a greater game. Thor must take her back to Asgard, but things are definitely not safe there. When his own home comes under attack, Thor protects the woman he loves but at what cost? This is an episodic, bare-bones retelling of the plot, leaving out important chunks--like just what it is that makes Jane so important. Then it leaves the reader hanging as it ends with the first round of funerals. This isn't great literature, but it isn't meant to be. It will appeal to fans of the movie, and includes some color pictures from the movie and two bookmarks.
Abracadabra!
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Enderle, Dotti
Mcwilliam, Howard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Malcolm and his friend, Dandy, are Ghost Detectors and this is book #16 in their adventures. A prize-winning bottle cap leads the duo to a ghostly magician who refuses to go on into the hereafter. Now he insists that he'll give the bottle cap back, if the boys will volunteer for his weird magic tricks. Can you say "cut in half?" Fortunately, they have a little help from the magician's old assistant. This is another fun, lightweight addition to the series of easy chapter books. Set right at a third-grade reading level, these are fun books with just a little ghostly shiver up the spine and a strong dash of humor. Occasional black and white illustrations by Howard McWilliam accompany the well-bound text. This is a good series for readers who want something scary, but not too scary.
Just Like My Papa
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Buzzeo, Toni
Wohnoutka, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A lion cub, Kito, wants to be just like his father. He wants to roar, and stalk, and protect. But Kito is small and still has much to learn. He shadows his father who sets a loving example for him, while helping keep Kito safe. This is a warm, gentle book with simple, beautifully-flowing prose filled with alliteration and sensory images. Mike Wohnoutka's impressive illustrations fill the pages with the colors of the savannah, and are perfect for group sharing. This would be a lovely choice for a Father's Day story time.
Acorn To Oak Tree
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Herrington, Lisa M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rookie Read-About Science" series consists of small-format, well-bound 32-page books. This entry in the series provides readers with a solid introduction to the life cycle of an oak tree. Readers learn about the parts of a tree, through text and a labeled picture. Clear photographs and crisp text follow an acorn as it grows into a shoot, sapling, and then tree. Different types of oak trees are highlighted, including the live oak which does not lose its leaves in autumn. Changes in the trees during each of the four seasons, are explored. Readers also learn about the role oak trees play in the food chain. The pictures have good captions, and fun fact boxes abound, providing additional information. There's also a brief glossary and index. This is an example of good easy nonfiction and it merits a place in collections.
How Do Lions Say I Love You?
GOLDEN BOOKS/CHILDRENS [GOLDEN BOOKS/CHILDRENS]
Muldrow, Diane E
Walker, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 17, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
With a copyright of 2009, this "a Little Golden Book" is in the old format you would expect--a patterned gold-wrapped spine and thick cardboard covers. It's a gently sweet rhyming book with soft pastel illustrations showing how different animals say "I love you." Elephants, wolves, swans...each animal has its own way of showing that it cares. This would be a sweet lap book for bedtime, but the binding precludes its inclusion in a library collection.
Raspberry Pi
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Severance, Charles R
Fontichiaro, Kristin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 17, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Developed by a team of programmers and computer science educators, the Raspberry Pi is a bare-bones $35 computer made for tinkering and learning to code. This 35 page introduction shares just enough "how to get it up and running" in simple terms to let anyone-even this 57 year-old librarian/PSC reviewer-to assemble the Raspberry Pi kit, download the operating system and boot up a 21st century peek into the world of computer programming. Authors Charles Severance and Kristin Fontichiaro are faculty at the University of Michigan School of Information and well known as advocates for the "Maker Movement" that encourages everyone to pick up stuff and make something of it. With simple text, glossary and "find out more" links to Raspbery Pi foundation and online resources; this book-plus a couple of Raspberry Pi units is all you need to get started turning your library into a more dynamic information technology project center.
What's Black And White And Stinks All Over?
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
George Brown is trying to be well-behaved. Is it his fault that a well-meant wish goes awry? Now he is cursed with a super burp. Whenever it builds in his belly, winds up his windpipe, and exits in a mighty belch, the super burp takes over his whole body. George does ridiculous things that are completely beyond his control until the burp goes away--acting like a dog, saying weird things, disrupting events. Needless to say, this is embarrassing. In this book George's school is having a field day, but the super burp makes George behave very strangely indeed, and includes an encounter with a skunk. This series is by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series and is clearly aimed at boys, but it is so completely over the top even they might find it a stretch. The binding is solid, however, and the occasional black and white illustrations are fun. The author's habit of putting occasional words in bold type is distracting and annoying. Great literature? No. Boy appeal? Probably.
Attack Of The Tighty Whities!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
George Brown is trying to be good. Really. But a wish that went awry has cursed him with a super burp. Whenever it builds in his belly, winds up his windpipe, and exits in a mighty belch, the super burp takes over his whole body. George does ridiculous things that are completely beyond his control until the burp goes away--dancing, saying weird things, disrupting events. Needless to say, this is embarrassing. In this book George wins the spelling bee and goes on to the next competition--a perfect chance for the super burp to mess up his life. And it shows up as he and his Mom are shopping for new clothes, too. Can anything else go wrong? Sure! Thiis series is by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series and is clearly aimed at boys, but it is so completely over the top even they might find it a stretch. The binding is solid, however, and the occasional black and white illustrations are fun. The author's habit of putting occasional words in bold type is distracting and annoying. Great literature? No. Boy appeal? Probably.
Dance Your Pants Off!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
George Brown is trying to be well-behaved. He's vowed to turn over a new leaf at his new school. Is it his fault that a well-meant wish goes awry? Now he is cursed with a super burp. Whenever it builds in his belly, winds up his windpipe, and exits in a mighty belch, the super burp takes over his whole body. George does ridiculous things that are completely beyond his control until the burp goes away--dancing, saying weird things, disrupting events. Needless to say, this is embarrassing. In this book George’s teacher enters a television dance contest—“Dance Your Pants Off.” She’s a rather "unique" dancer, but her fourth-grade class supports her. When George and his friends attend a taping, the super burp literally has George fulfilling the show’s title. Oh the horror! This series is by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series and is clearly aimed at boys, but it is so completely over the top even they might find it a stretch. The binding is solid, however, and the occasional black and white illustrations are fun. The author's habit of putting occasional words in bold type is distracting and annoying. Great literature? No. Boy appeal? Probably.
Clawed! : An Up2U Horror Adventure
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Enderle, Dotti
To, Vivienne
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.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Garrard, Thom
After a stray cat rakes him with its claws, Tray starts transforming into a cat every night. In order to find out how to reverse the curse, he searches for the old stray with his new feline friend Mouser. When they head to the train depot on the third night, the reader gets to select one of three options, all of which lead to a happy ending. Neither the simplistic plot, nor the non-existent character development, nor the handful of black and white illustrations is likely to attract fans of good literature. Yet, some less discriminating readers of early chapters may enjoy the slight creepiness and the choice provided in the ending.
WORLD
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
HAWKINS, JEFF
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 18, 2014
Garrard, Thom
The World Series, part of Abdo’s Sports’ Greatest Championships series, opens with a description of the Cardinals’ victory over the Rangers in their 2011 matchup, before delving back into baseball’s origins. Organized baseball became firmly established in American society at the beginning of the twentieth century when the rival National and American Leagues agreed to have their champions meet in a season-ending series. The New York Yankees were the dominant team in the period from 1920 through 1964, during which they played in twenty-nine series, winning twenty times. In subsequent years, other teams topped their leagues for much shorter periods, winning the Fall Classic once, or twice, or three times before being surpassed. Information about these teams, as well as important plays and individuals whose stellar performances contributed to World Series victories through the years, is provided in the main text or in sidebars. Unfortunately, attempting to cover so much ground leaveas room for only about four photographs in every ten pages, which seems will likely to sdisappoint all but the most serious young students of the game. A timeline, overview, glossary, index and additional resource list complete this volume.
Facing A Frenemy
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Fields, Jan
Bishop, Tracy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This book could not be reviewed. The review copy had a significant printing error. The first 32 pages were from the titled book, and the following pages were clearly from another book in the series.
Toilet Paper Mummy
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Rex, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Refined, erudite reviewers cringe at books like this, but kids may eat it up. "l\Let me explain" as Icky Ricky likes to say:maybe no one will take seriously the baloney straws in lemonade or the cheese-in-a-can special effects sprayed across the room to make a Spider horror film more realistic, or mustard, mayonnaise and maple syrup glue substitute....but you get the idea. Gross, gross-er and rollicking fun when three boys' hi-jinks gets wrapped like a rock and roll toilet paper mummy air guitar concert in Michael Rex's map cap easy chapter books for the Captain Underpants set. First of an eagerly awaited (or fearfully anticipated depending on the strength of your stomach for this sort of foolery)series of Icky Ricky books. If this is what it takes to make reading fun....these trees have not died in vain!
GHOST OF GRAYLOCK
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
POBLOCKI, DAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Whether it was a loony bin or a rehabilitation center doesn't matter. What does matter is that people died--drowned in the lake outside Graylock Hall. Now there is a legend about a ghost who lurks in those deserted hallways, waiting for her next victim. Naturally this is an enticement for Neil and his sister, Bree, to sneak in and see for themselves what the hall is like. New to town, they team up with two local kids to explore the abandoned maze of a building. However, things turn strange and now it appears that perhaps they've brought the ghost home with them. What does she want? Was her death suicide or murder and, if murder, is she seeking justice? All Neil and Bree know are nightmares of drowning and strange happenings in the house they share with their aunts. If they find the murderer will that settle the ghost, or endanger their own lives? This is a genuinely creepy book, right up there with the best of Mary Downing Hahn's books, and it will appeal to the same audience. If your students are asking for "something scary" hand them this!
Meltdown Madness
Branches [Branches]
Lubar, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
Second in the Looniverse early chapter series by "Vampire Weenies" author David Lubar. Strange things continue to happen since Ed found a magic coin that makes strange things happen. As with Amelia Bedelia's literalisms, all Ed has to do is tell his friend to "go as fast as possible" and he's off at the speed of light....unfortunately melting the box of fund-raising chocolate bars in the process. Ed tells his sister to "make pigtails" for her dolls...and three porkers arrive in the kitchen, etc. Running through the story is Ed's need to sell the chocolate to raise funds and join the soccer team, but each new idea to solve the previous mis-spoken idea takes him further from his goal. Though but no great shakes....(not that I'm wishing for every to be an earthquake- producing ground-breaker or anything), this easy reading from Scholastic that may be enjoyed by newly independent readers looking for fun.
Mo's Mustache
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Clanton, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A merry mob of mild monsters admire Mo's new mustache. It's beautiful, and everyone loves it. So much so, in fact, that all Mo's friends are soon sporting mustaches as well. Mo moves on to a spiffy scarf that makes him stand out...until everyone else gets a scarf, too. Mo can't understand why everyone is copying him, until they explain that he is a trend-setter and their imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. A fashion show is held where everyone shows off their unique style, including Mo. This is a lighthearted story with a fun message. The deceptively simple illustrations stand out against a beige background and claim to be "rendered in watercolor and ink using a mustache as a brush." Quirky and fun, this is a delightful romp.
Whale Shines : An Artistic Tail
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Robinson, Fiona
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Creatures of the ocean are preparing for the annual aquatic art show. Some are creating sculptures, others are making patterns in the sand--there are so many chances to express yourself artistically. Whale, however, feels left out. What can he do? Wait--what about using bioluminescent phytoplankton to give the undersea creatures a view of the night sky that whale sees when he breaches? The result is very "Vincent Van Gogh." This is a simple story about finding joy in artistic expression. The huge watercolor and pencil illustrations contain amusing details, sweeping across double-page spreads. They are certainly big enough for sharing. This would be a nice book to begin an art unit.
Eat Like A Bear
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Sayre, April Pulley
Jenkins, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Can you eat like a bear? Waking up in April, you must find food, but where? This book follows a grizzly through spring, summer, and fall as she finds the available foods and prepares for winter's hibernation. The text is lyrical and well-researched, flowing gently with a warm rhythm and gently rhyme. Two ending pages give more information on bears. The icing on the cake, of course, are the wonderful torn paper collage illustrations by Steve Jenkins. This is exceptional nonfiction that both informs and entertains.
Amelia Earhart
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Mara, Wil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy, small format, 32-page "Rookie Biography" gives young readers a solid introduction to aviator Amelia Earhart. Nicely captioned black and white photographs accompany clear, informative text giving young readers insights into her life and career. This is an optimistic biography, encouraging readers to be like Amelia Earhart and follow their own dreams. It includes a timeline and weblink, as well as a brief glossary and index. It would make a nice addition to easy nonfiction collections.
Kelly Clarkson : Original American Idol
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Biographies of current musical personalities are problematic since careers can change so quickly. (See Miley Cyrus.) However, these same biographies are amazingly popular. That is sure to be true of this book about Kelly Clarkson. This large-format 32-page easy biography gives young readers a brief overview of her life and career from being the first winner of American Idol to her third Grammy Award in 2013. Readers learn a little about her family, American Idol, and her work ethic. Bold graphics, bright colors, easy text, and big photographs make this an eye-catching selection. It includes a glossary, weblink, and index. The subject matter alone should make this a popular choice in the biography section.
Robert Downey Jr. : Star Of Iron Man
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Most young readers will recognize Robert Downey Jr. from his role as Iron Man. This large-format 32-page easy biography gives them a brief overview of his life, and lets them know some of the other things he has done. Readers learn about the progression of his career, his struggle with addiction, his awards, and his family. Bright colors, easy text, and big photographs make this a kid-friendly production. It includes a glossary, weblink, and index. The subject matter alone should make this a popular choice in the biography section.
Pink : Pop Music Superstar
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Biographies of popular musicians are always problematic, since careers can change at a moment's notice. However, they are also very popular. This large-format 32-page easy biography gives young readers a brief overview of Alecia Beth Moore, better known as rock star "Pink." Readers learn about her family, and her career up to 2013. A brief mention is made of drug problems as a teen. Bold graphics, bright colors, easy text, and big photographs make this a kid-friendly production. It includes a glossary, weblink, and index. The subject matter alone should make this a popular choice in the biography section.
Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Bernheimer, Kate
Parker, Jake
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
There once was a girl who wouldn't brush her long brown hair. "It's just my way," she would explain to any who asked. It was also "her way" to take her bald baby doll everywhere with her. Soon a mouse discovered her amazing hair and moved in. Other mice followed. It was a perfect place for a home. The girl let them be. "It's just my way," she explained. However, as a multitude of mice set up housekeeping it began to have an impact on the girl's life. They ate her food, didn't allow her to take a bath, and interfered with her sleep. True, they told great knock-knock jokes, but when her teacher told her it was the mice or her baby doll something had to give. Time for a shampoo and a nice thorough brushing. This is a silly story, though well-told. Jake Parker's pencil and digital illustrations are the real stars here--big, soft, imaginative, and whimsical. While not up to "The Lonely Book," this would still be a fun addition to your collection.
What The Witch Left
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Chew, Ruth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in 1973 and now reissued with new cover art, this is the story of two little girls who open a drawer to discover that the items inside are magic. A mirror that shows what you want to see, gloves that help you do things beautifully, an invisibility robe, a strange metal tin, and seven league boots are just what the girls need for adventures. They can, however, also get you into trouble. A trip to Mexico or two to Mexico, with the boots, lets them meet a new friend and enjoy a new culture. The gloves help them with sewing, weaving, and schoolwork--although the schoolwork part ends up causing problems. The robe totally disrupts a Thanksgiving play, the mirror is informative, and the tin saves the day. When the original owner shows up for her stored items will she know that they have been used? This is a gentle, old-fashioned story of magic and friendship. It's easy to read, and aged well, although some may find the Indians in the Thanksgiving play stereotypical. A classic book where magic is at your fingertips, it's nice to have this series delighting a new generation.
Hey! Who Stole The Toilet?
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is a new series by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series. Now in a new school, George is determined to shake his "class clown" image. Unfortunately a wish on a star goes awry and now he's cursed with the super burp. Whenever that burp burst forth (despite all his efforts to squelch it) it takes control of his body and makes him do absurd and attention-grabbing things. Until released from the burp George has no control at all. Needless to say, this makes life challenging. In this entry in the series George is off on a camping trip with the Beaver Scouts. The great outdoors is going to give the super burp plenty of opportunity to show off. The black and white illustrations add a touch of fun, and there's enough absurdity here to attract the target audience, but the author has created interesting characters that would probably do just fine without the "super burp" premise. While a fun concept it is overdone and detracts from the characters and plot.
Super Burp!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy E
Blecha, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is the first book in a new series by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series. In fact, it's a crossover series as George knew Katie in his old school. Known there as a class clown he is now determined to turn over a new leaf. Unfortunately a wish on a star goes awry and now he's cursed with the super burp. Whenever that burp burst forth (despite all his efforts to squelch it) it takes control of his body and makes him do absurd and attention-grabbing things. Until released from the burp George has no control at all. Needless to say, this makes fitting into a new school a challenge. I've read most of the books in the series and they vary wildly in quality. This is quite a good book, introducing the problem and the characters. The black and white illustrations add a touch of fun, and there's just enough absurdity here to attract the target audience. Other books in the series, however, go too far. Frankly, the author has created interesting characters that would probably do just fine without the "super burp" premise.
Trouble Magnet
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy E
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is a new series by the author of the "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" series. In fact, George knew Katie in his old school. Known there as a class clown he is now determined to turn over a new leaf. Unfortunately a wish on a star goes awry and now he's cursed with the super burp. Whenever that burp burst forth (despite all his efforts to squelch it) it takes control of his body and makes him do absurd and attention-grabbing things. Until released from the burp George has no control at all. Needless to say, this makes life challenging. In this entry in the series George is trying to fit in to a new school. A talent show is coming up and he's in a band. He also is creating a volcano with a new friend, for a report. The super burp, however, is going to sabotage all his best efforts. The black and white illustrations add a touch of fun, and there's enough absurdity here to attract the target audience, but the author has created interesting characters that would probably do just fine without the "super burp" premise. It creates situations that actually detract from the characters and plot.
Wet And Wild!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The author of "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" is back with another series with a cross-over character. This was originally published in 2010 and has now come out in a very sturdy library binding. George Brown is in a new school and is trying to behave. His good intentions, however, are sorely tested when a half-fulfilled wish leaves him cursed with the "super burp." When that burp rises from his stomach it takes over and makes him do weird and embarrassing things until it goes away. In this entry in the series George attends a birthday party at a water park with an annoying classmate. Sure enough, that super burp pops up more than once to wreak mayhem. This is the book in the series, however, where his friend Alex figures out what's going on and starts trying to come up with a cure. This is a rambunctious story with all kinds of boy appeal. However, the characters and plot are interesting enough to do fine, and perhaps better, without the constant disruption of the super burp. I think the story could stand on its own two feet.
Help! I'm Stuck In A Giant Nostril!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The author of "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" is back with another series with a cross-over character. This was originally published in 2010 and has now come out in a very sturdy library binding. George Brown is in a new school and is trying to be good. This is a problem, however, since a half-fulfilled wish has left him with a life-changing super burp. When that burp rises from his stomach it takes over his body and makes him do weird and embarrassing things until it goes away. In this entry in the series George's friend, Alex, is still trying to cure George's burp. Their class goes on a field trip to a science museum, and the burp makes enough appearances to cause George extreme embarrassment and plenty of extra work. Also, yes, he gets stuck in a giant nostril at the museum. Life can be interesting with a super burp. This is another high-energy story with plenty of boy appeal. The story is good, but the burp concept gets old pretty fast.
World's Worst Wedgie
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy E
Blecha, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The author of "Katie Kazoo Switcheroo" is back with another series with a cross-over character. This was originally published in 2010 and has now come out in a very sturdy library binding. George Brown is in a new school and is trying to be good. He's not planning on being the class clown, like he was at his old school. His good intentions, however, are sorely tested when a half-fulfilled wish leaves him cursed with the "super burp." When that burp rises from his stomach it takes over his body and makes him do weird and embarrassing things until it goes away. In this entry in the series George and his friend Chris try all kinds of schemes to earn the money for a special toy. The schemes go awry, however, often due to that rambunctious super burp. What's a kid to do when he ends up hanging from a tree, held up by his underwear? This is another fun story with all kinds of boy appeal. However, the characters and plot are interesting enough to do fine, and perhaps better, without the constant disruption of the super burp. I'm just sayin'.
Australia
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Weil, Ann
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 20, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO’s Core Library imprint brings us the Continents series. Each 48-page book contains information about the people, animals, culture and places on the continent being described. Young readers will be drawn to the full-page photos and the numerous text boxes that focus on extended information on a single topic. A map showing the countries and major cities begins the book, followed by a page of facts (highest point, key industries, common languages and more). A half page of “Further Evidence” asks students to think about the chapter, refer to a web site which has links to further sources such as National Geographic and Encyclopedia Britannica, and then rethink any questions they have. I appreciate the way the questions are written so that students aren’t answering rote questions but are be asked to think and form their own conclusions. Check out the photo of Australia's Parliament House and its beautiful mosaic walkway--makes me want to visit soon! Includes contents, glossary, book and web sources, and index. A good resource for both intermediate readers and for older students who may be struggling with or learning the English language.
Middle Ground
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Kacvinsky, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 20, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Easily a stand-alone novel, although this book is a sequel to Awaken (2011).  The cover of these two books will draw the reader to them and the content will keep them up all night.  Maddie lives in a future world where human contact is rare because digital interaction is so entrenched in the population.  Maddie is a rebel, kept out of detention by the wealth and power of her emotionally-distant father. When she oversteps the boundaries set forth by her society, she is finally sent to the detention center where her punishment is the reprogramming of her brain.  The only thing that helps keep her focused is thoughts of Justin.  No, this is not a sappy romance and no (thankfully) there is no third party to make a neat little love triangle.  Both teens have a hard exterior yet the reader sees empathy, fear, and longing in each.  They struggle to find and help each other AND to do the right thing in a society that rejects humans thinking for themselves.  This is a book I will recommend TODAY to my students.
Sunny And The Secret Passage
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Dower, Laura
Gurney, John Steven
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The palace puppies are back in another adventure. Rex, Sunny, and Blix live in the palace with Princess Annie and Prince James and their parents. Oh, and there's a new addition to the family--little Princess Rose. It was a dark and stormy night when Princess Annie starting reading the pups a book about the history of the palace. This sends the canine sleuths off adventuring, following clues set long ago to find an amazing treasure. Secret passages, friendly mice and, eventually, the help of their owners lead to the treasure they seek. This is another fun little romp of a paperback, with a sparkly cover that is sure to appeal to the target audience. Occasional black and white illustrations, and short chapters, make this a good choice for readers just moving up from easy chapter books.
Three Burps And You're Out!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Krulik, Nancy
Blecha, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
George Brown is trying to turn over a new leaf and not be a class clown, at his new school. However, a half-fulfilled wish has saddled him with the "super burp." Whenever it builds in his belly and bursts forth it literally takes over his life and his body, making him perform absurd and attention-grabbing antics until it finally goes away. Needless to say, this complicates George's life. In this entry in the series George and friends are playing baseball. The championship is coming up. Naturally Louie is being obnoxious, Sage is being coy, Alex is trying to find a cure for the burp problem, and George is hanging in there. You can imagine what kind of mayhem results when the burp appears during a baseball game. This is a fun series, but not because of the burp. The characters are enjoyable, and the plots are interesting. It might actually improve the series if it didn't have to deal with the "burp."
Spit Feathers
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Kerrin, Jessica Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Living in a small town, everyone knows everyone else's business, and stories are passed down from generation to generation. Since the town is located by the sea, many of these tales have to do with fishing poles and lobster pots. Ferguson's grandfather is living in a senior residence and, as he grows older, worries that he isn't leaving behind a "legacy." Ferguson does his best to help his grandfather discover a legacy to leave behind, with little success. Still, his heart is in the right place, and the time he spends with the senior citizens is valuable. When a giant lobster is caught, and about to be sold to the highest bidder, Ferguson thinks he's finally found the answer to his grandfather's need. This is the third and final book in "The Lobster Chronicles." It is gentle, slow, slice-of-life realistic fiction with nicely-fleshed-out characters and a lot of warmth.
Tattletale Traitor
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Fields, Jan
Bishop, Tracy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Meri's Mirror" series Meri has a magic mirror with which she can talk to her favorite characters from literature. In this book she gets to talk to Dorothy, from "The Wizard of Oz." Dorothy gives her good advice as Meri deals with a series of painful pranks in her classroom. Of course Meri would never tattle to the teacher, but how is she going to get the pranking to stop, and how is she going to convince the guilty parties that she didn't tell on them? The idea of finding solutions to life's problems through literature is a good one, but this is one of those stories where clearly the teacher should have been informed, to deal with the problem. it is only when the teacher accidentally finds out the truth that things are resolved. Finding that fine line between "tattling" and "providing important information" is an important life skill, and this book doesn't teach it. Also, having read "The Wizard of Oz" greatly increases the reader's understanding of Dorothy's situation. Readers who don't have that background may find themselves a little bit at sea. Still, given all that, if you need an easy chapter book series this might work for you.
READY FOR A SCARE?
SPOTLIGHT [ABDO]
NIGHT, P J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A snowstorm has hit the area and Kelly and her little brother are snowed in, with a babysitter. The party she was supposed to have has been canceled because her parents are unable to make it home. Kelly decides to do a virtual sleepover with 3 friends. However, when they decide to raise the dead by invoking the name of a girl who died in the snow many years ago she may have bit off more than she can chew. People start disappearing. There are strange noises and smells. The people who are left aren't acting like themselves. What is going on, and will she survive? This is a genuinely scary story, perfect for those readers who demand something creepy. The binding is sturdy and will stand up to the high usage this book will receive. Goosebump fans will embrace the "Creepover" series. This book runs the perfect shiver down your spine.
Terrible Twin Mania
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Fields, Jan
Bishop, Tracy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This book cannot be reviews as the review copy was defective. Pages 1-32 were the titled story, but pages 33 on were clearly from another book in the series.
Book Of Doof : How To Find An Arch Nemesis And Other Evi
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Giuliani, Al
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Fans of Phineas and Ferb will be delighted to see this book where arch-villain Doof tells young readers his evil, and completely ineffectual, secrets. Want to be villain? Well, you need to take a quiz or two, learn evil from A to Z, figure out an outfit, get a lair, study the history of villainy and, of course, have a nemesis. There's lots of information here about Perry the Platypus, a couple of color graphic-novel sections with Doof's adventures...or lack thereof...and a ton of tongue-in-cheek humor. Unfortunately the book also includes pages for readers to create their own stuff, which negates the use of the book as part of a library collection. Too bad--it's right up there with Vordak and would appeal to the same crowd, as well as fans of the series.
Sunny And The Royal Party
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Dower, Laura
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #1 in the "Palace Puppies" series. Sunny and Rex belong to Princess Annie and Prince James. Their owners are busily preparing for a party for a troublesome cousin. Sunny and Rex both help and hinder as they give in to their puppy impulses. When the cousin arrives, things get even more difficult. He is short-tempered and seems unappreciative of the work his cousins put into the party. Can a solution be found? This is a lighthearted romp of a book sure to appeal to dog fans. The sparkly cover, with lots of pink, will draw in girls. While not great literature, I have a feeling this is going to be a hot series in my library.
Dog Loves Counting
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Yates, Louise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Dog can’t fall asleep so he decides to start counting things. He finds an egg in one of his books and that it number 1 then he is number two. Then he finds a three-toed sloth, a four-legged camel, a five-lined skink and so on until they find a crab with ten legs and pinchers. Then they all count backwards from ten and can’t find one. This is a counting book that is just too complex for most children learning to count to ten. The illustrations are charming, but the storyline seems forced.
Duck, Duck, Moose!
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Bardhan-Quallen, Sudipta
Jones, Noah Z.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Children who know the game Duck, Duck, Goose where the person tapping on heads is chased by the person tapped as Goose will love this fun picture book. The ducks do well-behaved and predictable things, such as sweep, clean window, dry dishes, and then suddenly Moose comes along to crash in and generally mess up things. Then there is the familiar “duck, duck, duck” with the ducks baking in a well behaved manner until again moose comes along to knock over the cake. Moose leaves because he feels like he messes up everything, but the ducks throw him a party to show that they love his exuberance even when it messes things up. Young children will love anticipating the arrival of moose and the disaster that follows. Simple bold illustrations on white backgrounds add to the fun of the story.
Jaguars
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
This book gives all the facts needed for a young researcher to know about the habitat, food, physical characteristics, and daily lives of jaguars in South America. It begins with a few pages of introduction about South America and where jaguars live there. A few paragraphs of text is accompanied by a few well-captioned photographs and often a fact box with extra information. The text is clear, but has enough detail to add to the basics, such as how the jaguar hunts down and kills its prey or how a jaguar has a large home area, but not a permanent home. An index, glossary, and link to the publisher’s monitored web site are included. This is part of the series called South American Animals. It is a strong addition to a library collection for young researchers and readers who are interested in animals.
Dentist From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
As usual a boy is scared of someone at school and this time it is a dentist coming to visit the school for Dental Health month. He imagines all sorts of terrifying things after listening to people talk about bridges, root canals, and false teeth. In the end the dentist isn’t scary at all of course. The book ends with some tooth riddles. This book isn’t as clever as some of the other books in the series, but young readers will still enjoy it. The illustrations are fun and sketchy as usual with lots of funny details that students will notice.
Custodian From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
A boy imagines the realm of the school custodian Fester Smudge in the basement of the school where he lurks until everyone at school goes home. The custodian is truly someone fearful who has control of the school where he makes the temperature go from boiling hot to icy cold and where there are mechanical disasters when the custodian tries to fix things. There were all sorts of rumors about the custodian and his escapades. Then the custodian arrives smiling and cheerful ready to help the boy open his locker. Students and teachers and especially school custodians will love this book. The illustrations are fun and sketchy as usual with lots of funny details that students will notice.
School Secretary From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Hubie is ten minutes late and he starts to agonize over having to face the school secretary. His imagination goes wild as he thinks about all the scary things he has heard about her, such as the fact that she knows everything that happens in the school even before it happens and that she tortures students for every minute they are late. Some of the things Hubie imagines are very clever like the fact that “She’s the power behind the throne: the voice behind the phone; and the loudspeaker squeaker!” In the end Hubie faces her and it isn’t as bad as he thought, but she does seem to know everything. Students and teachers and especially school secretaries will love this book. The illustrations are fun and sketchy as usual with lots of funny details that students will notice.
Class Pet From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
This time Mrs. Green has promised to bring in a new class pet and a student’s imagination begins to go wild as he imagines what scary pet might arrive. It might be an unknown creature or maybe a dangerous animal in a cage or maybe even two animals stuck together like a kangarooster. The students are more and more scared and then Mrs. Green arrives with a hamster. This is a fun and reassuring story about the arrival of a class pet, but there isn’t much of a storyline besides the students’ imaginations. Fans of the Black Lagoon series will love this story with its mix of scary school characters and humor. The illustrations are fun and sketchy as usual with lots of funny details that students will notice.
Substitute Teacher From The Black Lagoon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Thaler, Mike
Lee, Jared
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
The Substitute Teacher from the Black Lagoon Ad+ gr. 1-3 The teacher is sick and the class is ready to have a fun day with the substitute teacher after they hide the lesson plans and erase the blackboards. Then the substitute teacher arrives and he is scary, plus his name is Frank N. Stein. The students are terrified as he starts a math lesson with a subtraction problem about one student disappearing. As the substitute teacher’s jokes continue they become more fun and the illustrations show him turning from Frankenstein into a regular guy. The book ends with a bunch of riddles about states that the class made up with the substitute teacher. Fans of the Black Lagoon series will love this story with its mix of scary school characters and humor. The illustrations are fun and sketchy as usual with lots of funny details that students will notice.
Bush Vipers
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Sweazy, Davy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Snake books are always popular and this entry in the "Amazing Snakes" series will be no exception. Crisp, eye-catching graphics, big close-up photographs, and nicely-presented information will keep this from being a shelf-sitter. Readers learn what bush vipers are, where they live, and a little about their life cycle, diet, and anatomy. There's not a ton of information here--just enough to tantalize the tastebuds of those hungry snake-loving readers. The book includes a fact page, bibliography, glossary, and index. The 24-page book is well-bound and cover art is enticing. This is sure to be popular!
The Santa Trap
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Emmett, Jonathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Bradley Bartleby is just plain awful. He has been since the day he was born. His rich parents always gave him everything he wanted, and more. That didn't appease the young tyrant, however. He always had a long long list of presents he demanded Santa deliver, typed up by his father's secretaries. Knowing Bradley's nature, Santa never even bothered to read the list, opting instead to give the boy the same gift each year--a new pair of socks. Such an atrocity was not to be endured! Bradley decided to trap Santa, and steal all the gifts in his sleigh. He spent a year in evil planning--explosives, tigers, trapdoors, tripwires. On Christmas Eve he was ready...until everything backfired on him.This is a rambunctious riot of a story about a boy who gets a much-deserved comeuppance. The huge digital mixed-media illustrations by Poly Bernatene are filled with attitude and hilarious details. This is a great book to add to your Christmas collection. It's a pity the binding is so poor.
Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
CHAD, JON
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
"Leo Geo and the Cosmic Crisis" is the title of the book reading it from one side. Reading it from the other side you have "Matt Data and the Cosmic Crisis." Leo Geo and Matt Data are brothers who work in outer space. When Leo spots a comet that's going to hit his brother's space station he grabs a rocket, and his supercomputer Fizzcom, and sets out to rescue his brother. When his brother gets intel that Leo's computer is about to turn evil he sets out with his dog, Maff, to save his brother. Along the way both encounter obstacles--space pirates, aliens, asteroids. There are also some astronomical facts that readers will pick up on the journey, and it is a journey. This is a different sort of graphic novel. Carried entirely in dialogue bubbles, readers follow the characters around and over and under and through. Sometimes you have to turn the book another way to get the full picture. The two brothers meet in the middle. Complicated? Yes, but this is also a lot of fun and should intrigue readers. The binding is not good, however, and where do you shelf this? Vocabulary is intermediate and format is primary. Hmmmm.
Mr. Putter & Tabby Drop the Ball
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children [Houghton Mifflin Books for Children]
RYLANT, CYNTHIA
HOWARD, ARTHUR
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby are napping too much, so Mr. Putter decides they need to play baseball. Luckily Mrs. Teaberry knows of a baseball team where Mr. Putter will feel right at home and not old at all. Tabby does a great job staying in the dugout, but Zeke, Mrs. Teaberry’s dog, causes all sorts of trouble during the game because he is always stealing the ball and running away with it. Then a hit comes towards Mr. Putter and he knows his knees won’t let him get it in time. Luckily Zeke steals the ball and gives it to Mr. Putter who throws it home to get the runner out (the runner is 100 years old so it takes him a long time to run to home plate.) This is a fun very easy chapter book for readers who are ready for a little more complex story without difficult vocabulary. The simple sketchy illustrations on every page add to the story.
Toucans
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Toucans are introduced for beginning readers with a sentence or two of simple text and a colorful photograph to accompany the text. There are three very short chapters that include very basic facts on what toucans are, where they live, and how they live in flocks. A young researcher could use this book for a report as long as the questions were basic. A list of resources, glossary, and index are included. Young readers will also pick up this book for browsing because the colorful format and interesting photographs of toucans are appealing. This is a level one Blast off Reader.
Airplanes
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2014
Wittmann, Teresa
Beginning readers who want to know about vehicles might pick up this book on large planes. Each two-page spread has a few basic sentences and a large uncaptioned photograph to support the text. The first chapter talks about jumbo jets, cockpits, and jet engines. The second chapter describes huge cargo planes and the different things they might carry. The last chapter is only two pages and shows a hangar for a huge plane. An index, glossary, and list of resources are included. The layout and interesting photographs are much more appealing than the very basic information included in the text. It is a level one Blast off Reader
Pinocula
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Skye, Obert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In this third book in "The Creature from my Closet" series, young Rob is in trouble...again. He's fallen into a lie, and he keeps using more lies to prop it up. Now he's in so deep there's no graceful way out of it. And a new creature has popped out of his closet. It's Pinocula--a weird combination of Pinocchio and Dracula. He's not particularly good when it comes to the truth, and he likes to bite wooden things. Dealing with lies, and this weird creature, is really taking it out of Rob. Even with his friends' help it seems his life is about to blow up in his face. This is another amusing book from the author, who really understand the type of humor intermediate elementary guys crave. The format is also very compelling - similar to the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books with lots of cartoony illustrations and dialogue boxes, and the first person narrative drawing the reader in. This will be popular and, check it out--my nose didn't grow when I said that!
Year Of The Baby
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Cheng, Andrea
Barton, Patrice
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In this sequel to "The Year of the Book" Chinese-American, Anna, has a new baby sister, adopted from China. The baby, however, is not thriving. Anna's parents are concerned, and so is the doctor. Can Anna do anything to help? When her class starts science experiments for the fair, Anna gets an idea. Using her sister as the experiment, and the scientific method as her approach, she frames her project around the baby's health. Can singing make the baby eat more? Does she eat better with Chinese songs or English ones? With the help of a friend, Anna documents everything, but will her hypothesis be proven correct? Bumps come up along the way, but Anna copes. The help of her loving family is essential. This is a delightful, optimistic book that leaves the reader smiling, and that provides a nice window into the world of a family that still embraces cultural traditions while fitting in with the rest of the world.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children [Houghton Mifflin Books for Children]
GALDONE, PAUL
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 24, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Paul Galdone's 1974 classic rhyming version of "Jack and the Beanstalk" is back. Rollicking verse and rich vocabulary accompany Galdone's delightful watercolor and ink illustrations that have stood the test of time well. A magic bean, an adventurous climb, a giant defeated (his head was chopped off), and a wedding combine to tell the story. There's no golden goose, or singing harp here. It's a fun version of the tale, and would be useful for compare and contrast units.
Barftastic Life Of Louie Burger
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
Meyerhoff, Jenny
Week, Jason
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 25, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Louie Burger wants to be a stand-up comedian. One problem--he can't do his routine in front of an audience. Another problem--his best friend has made a new friend over summer break and it's a girl! Now he wants them all to be friends together. Louie feels deserted. In the meantime Louie's little sister and her unicorn obsession are driving him crazy, and his older sister isn't much better. He needs support, but he's not going to get as much as he wants from his parents. Dad's decided to follow his dream and become an artist, and Mom has gone back to work as a teacher. Louie's whole life seems messed up. What's he going to do? NOT participate in the upcoming talent show. No, NOT that. The whole situation is rife with the chances for total humiliation. This is an enjoyable book with realistic characters who are just the tiniest bit over the top, adding to the fun. Occasional black and white illustrations, and pages of tips and ideas from Louie, make this read a lot like the Charlie Joe Jackson books, and it will appeal to the same audience.
Living
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
De La Pena, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 25, 2014
Dame, Anne
Matt de la Pena has joined the ranks of those writing series dystopia novels with his latest book "The Living." As always, the characters are detailed and genuine with the focus on Shy, a teenager from a small town in California who is working on a cruise ship for the summer. Shy didn't want to leave his mom, sister, and nephew, but since Grandma has died from a strange new disease, they need his income. But he has even bigger things to worry about when earthquakes and tsunamis hit! I was disappointed with this book, in that I wanted it to be more realistic, like his other ones. I also liked that his other books were stand-alones. However, for your avid action seekers with some intrigue thrown in for good measure, hand them this!
WORM WHISPERER
ROARING BROOK PRESS [MACMILLAN]
HICKS, BETTY
HATKE, BEN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 26, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ellis is having problems...or rather, his family is. His father has a ruptured disk, and they can't afford the $1,000 copay for the surgery he needs. His mother is working multiple jobs, but barely keeping their rural family above water. Ellis has taken over many of the household chores. His one real joy is getting outside. He has a special affinity for wild animals. Then he finds a woolly worm who seems to understand him. Could he possibly be a worm whisperer? And if he is, can he and his his woolly worm win the town Woolly Worm Race? The prize is $1,000. This could be the answer to prayer. Ellis has high hopes, but more trials seem to dash them. Is his family going to pull out of its nose dive? This is a warm, loving story that shows a family coping with a trial with faith and hope. The author nicely integrates the family's religious beliefs, and how they shape their decisions, without being pushy. This creates a lovely well-rounded story. It flows beautifully and leaves the reader satisfied.
SOFIA THE FIRST: HOLIDAY IN ENCHANCIA
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
HAPKA, CATHY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 27, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Little princess Sofia is looking forward to her first Wassailia as royalty. This winter holiday appears to be Christmas, without the awkward Christ or Santa parts. However, festivities are disrupted when Sofia's father goes missing. Naturally, she and the rest of the royal family must go out into the snow to find him. They take the flying carriage, but Minimus is the only flying horse well enough to pull it. (Shades of Rudolph!) How will they ever locate him? Then Princess Aurora makes a magical appearance to urge Sofia to use her animal friends to find her missing dad. (Oooh--how "Cinderella.") They find him in the home of a humble family, where they give the family the gifts meant for the royal children and light the Wassailia candle together. Don't get me wrong--little girls into Disney princesses will enjoy this book. It's got glitter on the cover, fancy gowns, and illustrations all in that pastel Disney palette that can be recognized across the room. It's just not great literature and not particularly original. This is formula fiction.
MALAYSIA
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
Owings, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 27, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Want a nice, solid, interesting introduction to a country? Well, here it is! In 32 well-bound pages readers see crisp photographs, bright colors, and well-written interesting information. The format is attractive. Fun facts abound. Readers learn about Malaysia's geography, wildlife, culture, and economy. They learn how to say a few basic phrases in Bahasa Malaysia as well. The appendix includes fast facts, as well as a glossary, index, bibliography, and weblink. This is solid nonfiction that would be good both for report-writing and casual browsing.
ELEPHANT SEAL
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
Owings, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 27, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Extremely Weird Animals" series, this sturdy 24-page book features big crisp photographs, bright colors, and nice graphics to draw the reader in. Once there, the reader will be pleased to find that the book also contains solid and very interesting information about elephant seals. Diet, life cycle, range and more are covered. There's a nice map, as well as a comparison outline showing an elephant seal next to a person. The book includes a fact page, glossary, bibiliography, weblink, and index. This is solid and fascinating nonfiction, worthy of inclusion in any collection serving children.
PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
HARRISON, DAVID L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 28, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
Oh No! Mama and Papa’s tree has become noisy and crowed, the Blue Jays have a nest full, the Opossums have moved in upstairs and the twins are due soon. Mama and Papa go house hunting for a roomy, quiet, peaceful home. After meeting with A.J. Squirrel and looking at a sweat gum tree (too small) a garage ( too smelly) they move into an attic. All goes well until they hear, WAAAAAH! and “Yap, Yap, Yap”. Realizing that there are people in their basement they move out, ending up back at their original tree home to find the Blue Jay and Opossum families have moved on, just in time to welcome the arrival of their twins. This sweet story of a family looking for a home will tickle the funny bone of any youngster who lives with noisy pets and younger siblings. The brightly colored acrylic illustrations show the reactions of both the human and the raccoon families. The large two page illustrations lend themselves to group read-alouds. The binding is adequate and the dust jacket will protect the paper on board cover. This is a good addition for an elementary school library.
Big Snow
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX]
Bean, Jonathan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 28, 2014
Cook, Kathryn
David can hardly wait for the snow to come. He asks “Mom , when will it snow?” Mom says soon and tries to distract him by making cookies. The flour, white and fine, makes David think of snow, so, he runs outside to check – there are small flakes, white and fine. Mom asks for help with cleaning the bathroom, the foam cleanser, white and fluffy, reminds David of snow, so he runs out to find flakes, white and fluffy, on the ground. And so it goes until Mom suggests a nap. David dreams of a BIG SNOW, entering through the window frames and blowing open the doors. When Dad comes home early, stomping at the door and awakens David. The family put on coats, hats and gloves to play in the BIG SNOW. This is a fun look at a young child’s anticipation, excitement and joy in a lot of snow to play in. The softly colored, warm toned pen –and-ink watercolor illustrations give the feeling of a snowy afternoon.