Reviews for month


SECRET HISTORY OF HOBGOBLINS
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
BERK, ARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 02, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
With Bettelheim I agree that the uses of enchantment are many. Artfully produced with an eye for the classic tales, The Secret History of Hobgoblins is a faux-encyclopedia chock full of information and illustrations of hobgoblins that will find fans among the fantasy lovers. Like another popular title "Mermaids" each of the plentiful and often humorous illustrations can create a story in themselves. The goblin tales told in text boxes, fold out pages, captions and sundry quirky passages are easy going, making the whole package an easy and popular choice for recreational reading. And should such things lead readers to finer examples of the genre such as Tolkein's Hobbit, or "The Golden Key" or "the Light Princess" by George Macdonald (illustrated by Maurice Sendak)...why then I'll declare the Secret History of Hobgoblins a successful storytelling ploy.
Girls' Golf
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Hudson, Maryann
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Queenie : One Elephant's Story
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Fenton, Corinne
Gouldthorpe, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Lovingly illustrated book about Queenie, an Asian elephant taken from the Indian jungle and installed in Australia's Melbourne Zoo. She was quickly put into use as a ride and served her community for about 40 years. She suffered the abuse of early zoo practice, both from visitors and handlers, and the general non-understanding of the time about how to care for wild elephants. In an event still not fully understood, Queenie crushed one of her keepers in 1944. Because there was a shortage of food due to the war, it was thought best to put her to sleep. This is a special tribute to a much loved zoo animal, Queenie.
Robot Rumpus
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Taylor, Sean
Collins, Ross
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Bright, bold, hilarious graphic illustrations set the tone for a fun romp with Robot Rumpus! Misguided parents think a slew of robots like Dress-bot, Cook-bot, Teeth-bot, Wash-bot, Clean-bot and more, can take the place of busy parents. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Fun, rhyming story of one night's adventures while Mom and Dad go out for the evening. The kids will love this as a read-aloud and for checkout.
Ouch! : The Weird & Wild Ways Your Body Deals With Agonizing
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
Rhatigan, Joe
Owlsley, Anthony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
For kids who are fascinated with the human body, and who might be interested in the medical field, here is an informative introduction to the way the body works and protects itself. There is an early disclaimer that this book is not to be used to diagnose or treat medical conditions, that one should always talk to a parent or doctor/nurse about any symptoms one is having. For each condition, there is information on a body’s first response, what your doctor does, what your body does, and what you can do to prevent the condition, all with accompanying color photos and cartoony illustrations. At the end of each chapter there is an assortment of smiley faces from smiling to crying to show the range of pain one might experience with a particular ailment. The format is kid-friendly, but the type is tiny and sometimes faint due to the color choice in printing certain areas. Struggling readers will skip reading the text and will just look at the pictures and illustrations. All the information has been vetted by a doctor for accuracy. Extensive glossary of terms and index round out the text.
Spelling Bee Before Recess
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Rose, Deborah Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Wonderfully fun spelling story will have your students eager to spell along with the characters in this delightful book. Set to "Twas the night before Christmas" in rhyming style, the author had a good time choosing tricky but familiar word groups to rhyme. The two remaining contestants in the spelling bee race back and forth with correct answers, until it's just one minute 'til recess and no one was winning! The principal finally announces that the next word will not only have to be spelled correctly, but a correct definition will be required as well. The illustrations perfectly mirror the drama and consternation felt by the contestants as they are challenged. An extensive list of spelling words, both used in the contest and from within the text are provided on a two-page spread at the end of the story. I could see a whole school of third graders having their own spelling bee based on this charming story.
Reptiles
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
Arlon, Penelope
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Typical Scholastic “Discover More” overview of reptiles with a free digital book link included. Scores of color photographs, up close and personal glimpses of interesting body parts, loads of sidebars, factoids, fun action photos, for the casual or first-time exposure to these creatures. Definitely not enough information to use for a report, but it could spur a curious youngster into investigating a particular animal in more depth. Not a first purchase but definitely fun to have for the casual reader, in the nurses office, or waiting room for antsy students. Interview with a wildlife explorer, glossary and index complete the overview.
Vampirina Hosts A Sleepover
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Pace, Anne Marie
Pham, Leuyan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Ballerina buddies get an eyeful when Vampirina hosts her first sleepover. Being a perfect hostess takes a lot of work, and offering pizza AND tentacles is the friendly thing to do. The unusual family members go out of their way to make sure everyone has a good time. Gentle reminders of how to be a helpful ballerina..."a true friend doesn't disappear when a friend has trouble with a new routine"...are peppered into the storyline. Darling and funny illustrations are sure to have the little ballerinas looking at this book more than once.
Silver Button
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Graham, Bob
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
At the stroke of 9:59 on a Thursday morning......and so the extraordinary everyday events that unfold in one minute are revealed in this intimate and yet universal look into our world. The illustrations are very sweet and charming watercolors that are deceptive in that the full spreads reference previous parts of the story in little ways that invite deeper looking. The story is very child friendly and bear repeat reading and looking.
Vampire Baby
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bennett, Kelly
Meisel, Paul
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
A sibling story with a twist. Little sister Tootie has suddenly gone from ga-ga-goo-goo into Vampire baby, complete with two new fangs, which she playfully sinks into anything nearby. Mom and Dad try to convince that she's just going through a phase but big brother isn't buying it. Perfect for students with baby siblings, but not of much interest to a wider audience. Color illustrations are very will done.
Boom! : Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Ray, Mary Lyn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Little Rosie, the white dog, isn't afraid of tigers or orangutans, or vacuum cleaners, or fire truck sirens, but when a big storm blows in, just one clap of thunder sends her racing into her boy's arms. They find safety curled around each other on the big bed and when the storm blows over, her boy reassures her, and maybe himself too, that everything is okay once again. For children who may be afraid of storms, this is a gentle book to explore fears in the safety of a story. The illustrations and text mirror the content, a great help for emerging readers.
Girls' Softball
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Howell, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Lacrosse
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Bowker, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Hockey
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Peters, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Volleyball
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Ackerman, Jon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Basketball
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Williams, Doug
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Soccer
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Monnig, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Girls' Gymnastics
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Lawrence, Blythe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This series of eight titles focusing on girls’ sports published by the respected ABDO house would be a welcome addition to any school library. Specific well-known athletes are featured in each book, explaining how they got to a professional level, their strategy on the field, exciting highlights from particular games, along with playing techniques, equipment and training needed, with field diagrams, glossary, web links, places to visit, bibliography and an index for quick reference. Library bound for longevity. Other titles in the series are: Soccer, Basketball, Golf, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lacrosse, Softball and Volleyball. On a personal note, growing up in an era before Title IV was in existence, girls were not allowed to play these sports, nor encouraged to be extremely physical, except maybe for water ballet, so I am thrilled when I see texts of this caliber celebrating sports for girls!
Lion
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Kjelle, Marylou Morano
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Compelling texts about the world's great predators like Crocodile, Boa Constrictor, Great White Shark, Grizzley Bear, Komodo Dragon, Lion, Piranha and Tarantula (?), are featured in this well written series. All books are aligned with CCSS, are well researched, primary sources, with multiple prompts and activities for writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, maps, and color photos enhance the topics. Elementary readers will enjoy being drawn into these fascinating tales of the wild. Did you know that a lion's roar can be heard for a distance of five miles? Library bound.
If You Want To See A Whale
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Fogliano, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Utterly charming tome about noticing the world around you. The sly illustrations by Erin Stead bring you deeper into the story so gently, you hardly notice until you find yourself paging backward to look one more time at a previous page. The deceptively simple story line fulfills the promise on the last page. Could easily be used for high beginning readers, with some prompts. Lovely story about being patient. Show the kids the whale pictures in this link for added fun AFTER the last page: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1207590/The-underwater-dance-David-Goliath-Diver-perches-fin-friendly-50ft-humpback-whale.html
Boa Constrictor
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Lanser, Amanda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Compelling texts about the world's great predators like Crocodile, Boa Constrictor, Great White Shark, Grizzley Bear, Komodo Dragon, Lion, Piranha and Tarantula (?), are featured in this well written series. All books are aligned with CCSS, are well researched, primary sources, with multiple prompts and activities for writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, maps, and color photos enhance the topics. Elementary readers will enjoy being drawn into these fascinating tales of the wild. Did you know that on average, a boa only moves about one mile per hour? Library bound.
Whizz! Pop! Granny, Stop!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Corderoy, Tracey
Berger, Joe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Granny always wants to help out and when it's time to plan for her granddaughter's birthday, the little girl pleads to do it the "regular" way...no magic. Granny's magic seems to take on a life of it's own and often gets carried away making more trouble to fix it right. Lopsided cake, frog infused punch, and bats in the kitchen with every pot dirty calls for some magic after all, when all the guests are gone. Rhyming story line and exuberant illustrations add to the playful layout.
Grizzly Bear
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Shaffer, Jody Jensen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Compelling texts about the world's great predators like Crocodile, Boa Constrictor, Great White Shark, Grizzley Bear, Komodo Dragon, Lion, Piranha and Tarantula (?), are featured in this well written series. All books are aligned with CCSS, are well researched, primary sources, with multiple prompts and activities for writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, maps, and color photos enhance the topics. Elementary readers will enjoy being drawn into these fascinating tales of the wild. Did you know that on a normal day, grizzlies can eat up to 20,000 calories of food? (That's like a human eating 40 hamburgers and 40 ice cream sundaes in 24 hours!) Library bound.
Mary Wrightly, So Politely
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Bridges, Shirin Yim
Monescillo, Maria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Learning to assert oneself can be a difficult lesson to learn. This gentle story illustrates the positive outcome of speaking up for oneself. Little Mary goes shopping to buy her baby brother a present and spies the perfect gift, a little blue stuffed elephant. Just as she's reaching for it, a lady reaches over her head and snatches it away. What is Mary to do? Being polite, saying Please, Thank You, You're welcome and I'm Sorry are all well and good, but there is a time to stand up for oneself too. Charming pastel illustrations show the whole story in friendly detail.
Crocodile
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Compelling texts about the world's great predators like Crocodile, Boa Constrictor, Great White Shark, Grizzley Bear, Komodo Dragon, Lion, Piranha and Tarantula (?), are featured in this well written series. All books are aligned with CCSS, are well researched, primary sources, with multiple prompts and activities for writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines, maps, and color photos enhance the topics. Elementary readers will enjoy being drawn into these fascinating tales of the wild. Did you know that crocodiles can survive for an entire year without eating? Library bound.
Zoe's Room (No Sisters Allowed)
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Murguia, Bethanie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Change isn't easy, especially when you are the Queen of the Universe...well, your own universe, that is. It's time for baby sister to move out of her parent's room and into her big sister Zoe's room, but Zoe can see no reason to welcome the little intruder until one booming, stormy night, when a little company is just the ticket to assuage one's fears. Simple illustrations support the story with cheerful watercolor hues.
Hiding Out At The Pancake Palace
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Marino, Nan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Elvis is ALIVE and living in Wares Grove, New Jersey! From the author of Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies, comes a wan tale of tween superstar-dome, unrelenting paparazzi, freezing up on stage, and blossoming puberty. A major suspension of disbelief is needed to plow through this tale of a young singing star hiding out at a family's pancake house, working through his issues of stagefright and trying to reconnect with his music, all the while serving and cooking pancakes to the locals and tourists. Young resident Cecilia makes a connection with Elvis while on here own journey to figure out what the music is all about in the mysterious Pine Barrens. Trouble sneaks in when someone can't keep a secret about who Elvis, code name Aaron, really is. This tale of two misfits has some charm and young girls and some loner boy students will like it.
Farmer Will Allen And The Growing Table
READERS TO EATERS [READERS TO EATERS]
Martin, Jacqueline Brigg
Larkin, Eric-Shabazz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Doing what you love, and sharing that love, is one way to earn a MacArthur Genius grant. Former basketball player Will Allen, gardening visionary, isn't satisfied with just growing things on his wife's parents land...he want's his own place. One day he spies a large, empty, run down city lot with several old greenhouses on it and decides to buy it. This story details the struggles Allen went through to turn this polluted city lot into a thriving, food-producing enterprise that empowered and served the local community. A personal letter from Allen, and helpful resource page will help you get your own garden started.
Best Foot Forward : Exploring Feet, Flippers, And Claws
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Arndt, Ingo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Guessing game format of unusual creature feet, every photo taken by the author, with interesting factoids about similar feet on adjoining page. I would have liked to see the whole animal/creature that the additional feet belonged to as a point of reference. The color photos are very nice, very interesting, and taken from unlikely perspectives in some cases. Somehow I just wanted more out of this book, it seemed very sparse, though well done. Kids will like it and if you have a generous budget buy it.
Peck, Peck, Peck
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Little pileated, red-headed woodpecker is learning how to peck. It starts with his daddy telling him “it’s time you learned to peck a tree.” This rhyming story is full of holes, literally! Each page, including the primary-colored cover is full of irregular, woodpecker holes. This fact alone will delight the youngest readers, and conversely create problems for a school library collection, as it will be pretty hard to maintain the integrity of the paper throughout successive check-outs. The illustrations and hand-lettering are simply wonderful, so bold, so fun, so delightful. Daddy woodpecker ends the story by telling his little one how much he loves, loves, loves him. I would wholeheartedly give this book as a gift but might think twice about including it in my library collection because of all the holes and the potential tearing of pages by little hands
Things That Float And Things That Don't
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Adler, David A
Raff, Anna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
How does one explain density and flotation to a very young student? Extremely clever and well-written text outlines the basic principals, and humorous illustrations make it perfectly easy to understand. With a little preparation by a teacher, the examples can be shown quickly during a read-aloud, further embedding the lesson for the young learner. The simple but powerful concepts can easily be shared at home to delight mom and dad.
Taffy Saltwater's Yummy Summer Day
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE]
Paraskevas, Michael
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Cheerful, colorful illustrations will not make up for the dreary text in this book. Painfully boring....sorry!
Examining Oil And Coal
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Robertson, Chase
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Examining Wind Energy
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Boyle, Jordan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Examining Natural Gas
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Bright, Sandra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Examining Geothermal Energy
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Boyle, Jordan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Examining Biofuels
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Robertson, Chase
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Examining Solar Energy
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Bright, Sandra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Bedtime Is Canceled
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Meng, Cece
Neyret, Aurelie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Every child's secret wish comes true through a series of silly events that magnify the runaway news that proliferates through every form of media today. A fun cautionary tale of news gone wild. Simple illustrations point out the exaggerated content.
Examining Nuclear Energy
Clara House Books [Clara House Books]
Cooke, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
One in a series of 8 books about energy, other titles include: Biofuels, Geothermal Energy, Wind Energy, Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy, Oil and Coal, Solar Energy, and Water Power. Every book in the series has used a professional scientist from noted universities as a consultant. The information covers the history of the type of energy, how the type of energy is used in the home environment, the chemical makeup of the energy source, how they find they energy source, how it’s processed, stored and moved for use, the future of the type of energy, and a chapter called YOUR TURN, where you, the reader, are asked to consider the information just read and answer some further thinking questions about the energy source studied. Each book has a glossary, explore further, selected bibliography and index. Every book has color photos, color illustrations, charts/graphs, sidebars and informative factoids. The information is balanced, clearly questioning the pros and cons of each resource, how we can use it better, what the future holds, changes that are imminent, the role of government in the US as well as around the world in developing and using these resources. Library bound.
Balance Of Power
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Mccloud, Scott
Bievins, Bret
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Unsuitable
May 02, 2014
Garrard, Thom
Livewire has been catatonic for months, but she revives when she hears an anti-feminist tirade on talk radio. She decides to censor all media reports and appearances by men. When Superman confronts her, she is able to get away. This prompts Superman to make an alliance with the evil Lex Luthor, who has been developing weapons that are capable of containing her. Instead, Luthor turns up the power and nearly kills her, and this enables men to resume their previous positions of power in the media. When her ambulance attendants echo the sentiments of the talk radio host, her eyes show a flicker of life, but the damage has already been done. The quality of the artwork is irrelevant. Even if Superman’s facial expression might be intended to suggest that he regrets what has happened, those who would subjugate and objectify women are the winners, and this book ends up reinforcing those objectionable positions.
Counterfeits
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Baltazar, Art
Brizuela, Dario
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 02, 2014
Garrard, Thom
When Green Lanterns Jordan and Kilowog are transporting a Red Lantern prisoner who has just caused the death of an entire planet, their ship is invaded by light-based life forms that mimic their appearance and feed off their emotions. The aliens are only physically vulnerable when they switch from shadows into a solid state. The prisoner volunteers to join forces with the Greens, and three of them manage to inflict some damage. But it is not until they flood the ship with light that they are finally able to repel the shadowy counterfeits. Afterwards, the prisoner voluntarily returns to his cell, proving that despite being evil, he is honest. The writing and illustration meets that expected of a graphic novel. A drawing lesson, two pages of visual questions, and a shocking three pages of advertising for Green Lantern books conclude this volume.
CHRONAL ENGINE
CLARION [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
SMITH, GREG LEITICH
HENRY, BLAKE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Max, Kyle, and Emma don't have much of a relationship with their Grandfather. In fact, he's considered a little loony. Nevertheless they are sent to spend the summer with him. That's where they find out about the time machine. When Grandpa predicts his own massive heart attack they begin to think that maybe he's not so nuts after all. Then Emma is kidnapped by a time-traveler and the rest, including a local girl, travel back to dinosaur times to rescue her. Needless to say, this has its dangers and delights--think "Jurassic Park." They make an unlikely ally in the past, and realize that perhaps their time-traveling adventures are only beginning. Time travel is always paradoxically tricky, but if you ignore that this is an exciting adventure story with a slight sci-fi edge that should appeal to dinosaur fans.
Papa Is A Poet : A Story About Robert Frost
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Bober, Natalie S
Gibbon, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 02, 2014
Seasholes, Craig L
A story told by Lesley, Robert Frost's oldest daughter sheds light on one of America's still-favorite lovers of common language. The picture book opens with the family arriving back in NY (Feb 13,1915) from their year in Paris, unsure of what will happen next. Stopping to buy a copy of The New Republic magazine at a newsstand outside Grand Central Station, Mama is startled to find a review of a book of poems Papa had written during their time in England. That anthology "North of Boston" recalled the family's life on their New England farm and this favorable review leads Robert to make "...a reckless choice: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference." Illustrations by Rebecca Gibbon give this picture book an engaging fresh look at a disarmingly plain spoken poet. A great little picture book biography on par wqith Barbara Cooney's Eleanor.
Loula Is Leaving For Africa
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Villeneuve, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This darling little book will immediately remind one of "Madeline" because of the illustrations and "Eloise" because of the precocious nature of little Loula. Sick of her triplet older brothers, Loula declares that she has had ENOUGH and is leaving. She packs the essentials: her stuffed cat, her tea set, and her best drawing. As she stomps out the door, the family chauffeur trails along, ever solicitous with helpful suggestions on the very best way to get to Africa. This book is absolutely delightful. Students will laugh at the story and illustrations and sweet subterfuge of the chauffeur.
Pip And Posy : The Snowy Day
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Scheffler, Axel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Pip and Posy love to play outside in the snow, but trouble arises when Pip wants to build a snowrabbit and Posy wants to build a snowmouse! This is a charming little story about how friends can learn to resolve their differences by compromising and working together. Very delightful illustrations!
Ten Birds Meet A Monster
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Young, Cybele
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Gorgeous pen and ink drawings vault this into a most artful journey into learning to count to ten. This is also a story about collaboration and creativity and reminds us of the value that each brings to a collective spirit. Wonderful imagination about a mysterious monster. How will the birds cope?
Mitchell Goes Bowling
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Durand, Hallie
Fucile, Tony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
What better way to accommodate a raucous four-year old who loves to knock things down than by cleverly taking him bowling. Father and son spend one Saturday at the local alley, where Mitchell gets to wear special shoes, and pick out any ball he wants. The loud crashing noises, sparkling lights, and even pizza were sure to make Mitchell right at home. Trouble ensues when the slippery lanes and ever present gutter seem to thwart every try to get that ball down the alley. Mitchell's dad makes it look easy and even has a special dance when he gets a strike. What is Mitchell going to do? Learning how to be a sport and the delightful father/son interaction make this a winner. Cute, sometimes cartoony, illustrations help move the story along.
Pete Bogg : King Of The Frogs
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Sonneborn, Scott
Martinez, Sergio & Angelica Bracho
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 02, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Once upon a time, a handsome man and a beautiful woman fell in love. Soon, the lovely couple married and had a sweet, caring child together. But the handsome man had a deep, dark secret....he was really a frog! And so the story starts from here. Frog daddy and half-human, half-frog son fled the city to live in the swamp in peace. He's a sweet boy/frog, loves taking care of the tadpoles, playing leapfrog, eating flies, and all the other usual stuff, but just doesn't feel like he fits in. He longs to find his mom and find out what life is like in the big city. Cute graphic novel with lots of silly frog antics, like catching annoying flies in his new classroom with his long tongue. He suffers the bullies, sports angst, and comes to the rescue of his new community by showing how to reduce, reuse and recycle to keep the environment clean. Good fun.
Truths I Learned From Sam
Dundurn Press [Dundurn Press]
Butcher, Kristin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 03, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
While her mother is in Europe on yet another honeymoon, city-girl Dani is sent to a small town in the middle of nowhere, Canada to stay with her previously-unknown uncle, Sam. He lives in a trailer with only his horse to talk to. Although she thinks the six-week visit will be torture, Dani enjoys her horse-riding lessons (thanks to cutie cowboy Micah) and gets along well with Sam. Dani discovers things about Sam that worry her and although her mother initially comes across as self-absorbed, she does come through for her daughter. A surprise ending (was I the only one who didn't see it coming?). Compassion, honesty, some humor, and a lot of thoughtful conversations. I loved the story and know my teen readers will as well. Recommended for grades 7+
Crafting With Duct Tape
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Rau, Dana Meachen
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 03, 2014
Garrard, Thom
During World War II, duct tape’s combination of strength, flexibility, being waterproof and sticky made it the perfect way to keep ammunition cases dry. Today it has become a popular medium for doing craft projects. After describing basic tools that one might need for duct tape projects, this book gives clear step-by-step directions for making strips, sheets, and tabs, which are some basic building blocks for the projects that follow. Flowers, placemats, decorated jars, belts, pencil cases, tissue box coverings, and a seating pad can be made by using the instructions on the subsequent pages. All are accompanied by color drawings that help the reader turn the words into actions. After doing these projects, the duct tape enthusiast would probably have enough experience to start creating and executing projects of her own. This volume from Cherry Lake’s How-to Library is a quality product.
Masquerade In Red!
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Slott, Dan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 03, 2014
Garrard, Thom
After going undercover to infiltrate the Black Mask’s False Face Society, Batman has almost finished dismantling the crime syndicate from within. Desperate, Black Mask breaks into Wayne Enterprises and threatens to shoot hostages unless they hand over Bruce Wayne, but he is forced to flee to the basement. Batman arrives and captures the Mask in time to save him from being killed by Phantasm. Red Hood, the mastermind behind this syndicate, reveals that he has other tasks for Phantasm to do now, and he will eventually handle Gotham by himself. A brief second story explains how Batman became Matches Malone, his undercover identity, and how the fake mustache makes him resemble his dead father. The writing and illustrations meet the standard for graphic novels. A regular glossary, a Batman glossary, visual questions and prompts, and a page of advertising for other Batman books conclude this volume.
Painting The Rainbow
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Gordon, Amy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 03, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Secrets want to come out, and the family secret about Uncle Jesse is like a festering sliver--healing can only begin when it reaches the surface. It's 1965 and 13-year-old cousins, Ivy and Holly, are with the rest of the family at the annual reunion. Their grandparents' house on the lake seems much the same, but things are changing. While the girls have always been close, they are now developing their own interests and are facing challenges that will change them as well. Are they drifting apart? Then they resurrect the old rowboat used long ago by Uncle Jake and Uncle Jesse, and other items start appearing. Who was Kiyoshi? What happened to Uncle Jesse? Why is it still haunting the family? This thought-provoking book creates a real sense of time and place. Written in the form of journal entries from both Holly and Ivy, it offers different points of view on a variety of topics, showing there are many ways to see the world. Underlying themes of courage, standing by your beliefs, and responsibility are tightly woven into the plot. Middle school teachers would find this a good choice for literature studies.
Geronimo
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Spilsbury, Richard
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 04, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This 48-page title in the Hero Journal series is formatted to look like a journal with headings, a paragraph of information in the first person extended by fact boxes or quotes, plus photos or illustrations in scrapbook form with typed captions. This chronicles Geronimo’s life from his 1829 birth near the Gila River in what was then Mexico, to his 1909 death on a reservation in Oklahoma, seemingly from his point of view. Several maps help clarify locations though past and present day boundaries are a little confusing. This man’s colorful, adventurous life as a man out for revenge on the Mexicans who killed his first family is well documented. Seemingly Spilsbury has condensed parts of Geronimo’s autobiography cited in the bibliography to speak as his own words. The book concludes with a two-page timeline, background on Indians, how to write a journal, a two-page glossary and detailed index. The bibliography includes museums to visit. A part of the book that may not be necessary are the intermittent “Document it!” boxes that encourage the reader to become a journal writer. This is interesting, accessible information, with the text broken up in a variety of ways, complimented by highly appropriate drawings, maps and photos.
African Myths And Legends
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Chambers, Catherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 04, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Chock full of color photographs, illustrations, informative text blocks, and 'Did you know?" sidebars, this NF introduction to Africa, its deities, heroes, tricksters, myths and legends will be a great beginning resource for a curious student. There are a variety of one-page narrative myth retellings that will put the information into context. There is a two-page glossary of characters, creatures and places as well as the traditional vocabulary glossary, as well as "Find out More" links and an index. Library bound.
American Indian Stories And Legends
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Chambers, Catherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 04, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Chock full of color photographs, illustrations, informative text blocks, and 'Did you know?" sidebars, this NF introduction to American Indian Stories and Legends, its spirits, heroes & villains, tricksters, myths and legends and death and the afterlife, will be a great beginning resource for a curious student. There are a variety of one-page narrative myth retellings that will put the information into context. There is a two-page glossary of characters, creatures as well as the traditional vocabulary glossary, as well as "Find out More" links and an index. Library bound.
Triangles
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Adler, David A
Miller, Edward
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
David Adler knows how to write good nonfiction, and this is no exception. Want to teach students about triangles? Want to review key concepts? Bright colors, digital illustrations, and lots of clear, solid information make this book a stand-out. Readers learn about the different types of triangles, and similar and congruent triangles. Angles? Yep! Two children join with a friendly robot to build another robot using their triangle skills. Even the end papers are filled with information. Eye-catching, informative, and interesting, school libraries will want to have this in their collections.
Ophelia And The Marvelous Boy
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Foxlee, Karen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ophelia's recently deceased mother believed in things unseen, in magic and coincidence. Ophelia is more reality-based. When her father is commissioned to prepare a special exhibit at a museum in a snow-burdened town she soon has to stretch in her beliefs. She finds a boy locked in the museum who tells a story about a Snow Queen, kept alive through taking the essence of young girls. She must be defeated, or the world will suffer. To release the boy Ophelia faces challenges that test her courage and scientific mindset. The memory of her mother's beliefs helps guide her. Still, the strength for the final battle must come from the deepest part of Ophelia herself. This is a unique, gentle fantasy that weaves reality, magic, and a trace of horror. It leads readers to hope that magic might actually touch the real world, and that they might be perceptive enough to recognize it, and brave enough to grasp it firmly in their hands and use it for good, should it appear.
Fix This Mess!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Arnold, Tedd
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ted Arnold's colorful, bug-eyed illustrations are the true stars of this story of a robovac gone amok. Jake ordered the machine because he's sort of a slob. It was supposed to clean things up. Instead, it transfers his messes from one spot to another, accumulating more junk as it goes along. In the end, Jake learns a valuable lesson about personal responsibility, so the robot was a success after all. The text is very simple, making this an easy reader. The pictures carry the humor of the story with a remarkably expressive robot vacuum cleaner stealing the show. This is sure to be a hit with young readers.
Minnie's Fashion Show
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Higginson, Sheila Sweeny
Wall, Mike
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Minnie Mouse has been invited to a Paris fashion show, to highlight her fancy hair bows. Unfortunately, she accidentally switches suitcases with Penguini the Magnificent, a magician. Now she and her two nieces, as well as Daisy Duck, are chasing 1-2-3-4...10 baby bunnies around major Paris landmarks, as she also buy materials to make new bows for the show. In the end, her tour of Paris results in bows that feature its unique landmarks and all ends well. This is not exceptional, but it introduces youngsters to Paris, has elements of a counting book, and is sparkly with plenty of pink. It also includes access to the ebook. This is a popcorn book--no nutritional value, but sure to find a happy audience.
Cool Summer Tail
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Pearson, Carrie
Wald, Christina
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Baby animals ask their mothers how humans stay cool in the summer. Do they do it the way the animals do? The mothers reply that no, humans don't pant, flap their wings, perching on branches and so forth. Then human children ask their mother if animals stay cool the way humans do. Their mother provides them with an answer. All of this is in slightly stilted verse, with big, somewhat static colorful illustrations by Christina Wald. A small fanciful black and white drawing tucked on each two-page spread shows what it might look like if a child used the animal's method of cooling. End pages include extension activities. Learning how animals stay cool is interesting, and teachers looking for information on this topic may find the book useful.
Mr. Peek And The Panda-Monium At The Zoo
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Waldron, Kevin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Mr. Peek, and his zoo, are back. This time he is planning a major event. A baby panda is going on display. Crowds will come and he plans to top off the day with an animal parade. He's so caught up in his plans, however, that he makes some mistakes in doing his animal chores. Fortunately his young assistant, Jimmy, is on the ball. Still, when the new panda disappears, what will Mr. Peek do? He comes up with a creative solution, is saved from possible disaster, and gets his wish of an animal parade in a big fold-out page. The bold digital illustrations show a big-chinned zookeeper, and contain amusing details. Sharp-eyed readers will predict disaster and see it fulfilled as they turn to the final page. Teachers will appreciate the many chances to teach inference. Lamentably the binding is poor.
Dandelion's Tale
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Sheehan, Kevin
Dunlavey, Rob
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A dandelion, all alone in a field, mourns the fact that soon the ten seedpods on her head will be blown away and she will be gone, with no legacy. A sparrow decides to help by recording the dandelion's myriad thoughts and experiences on a piece of wet ground, with its beak. Then a storm comes, wiping away the narrative and the dandelion is crushed in the wind. All seems lost. But wait...are those ten new baby dandelions lifting their yellow faces to the sun? The sparrow passes on her knowledge and the legacy of the dandelion continues. This is a syrupy, well-meant story. The writing is beautiful, but the story is maudlin and overly wordy. The illustrations done in watercolor and digital media are muted and not particularly exceptional. This is a tender story, that clearly comes from the heart of the storyteller, but lacks general appeal.
World Of Mamoko In The Year 3000
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Mizielinska, Aleksandra
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
All ages
May 04, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
At first a wild hodgepodge, this wordless picture book is like diving into a buffet. Go into the future and meet strange creatures. Young readers could spend hours perusing the detailed pictures and seeing what each character is doing. How are they related? Is there a theme? The first pages introduce the characters and tell readers other things they can look for. Boardbook thick pages will stand up to hard use. This is a book that requires involvement--sort of a "Where's Waldo?" from the future. Children can jump in alone, or dare each other to find specific items on a page. It would be a good choice to keep children busy on a long car trip.
Because I'm Your Dad
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Zappa, Ahmet
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 04, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Because I'm Your Dad is a darling tribute to dad's everywhere, monster dads included. These sometime silly scenarios are fun to imagine...eating ice cream in the bathtub, but there are wonderful comforts too as in "I'll go to all your soccer games, even when they're far away" and "...when you fall asleep in the backseat, I'll carry you inside." The illustrations are fabulous, done by Dan Santat, in exuberant, expressive, joyful and lively color. The children will have much fun relating to the scenes on each page.
Missing Trumpet
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Yasuda, Anita
Harpster, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 05, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
One of Capstone’s Stone Arch Readers Level 2 intended for reading with help features the Dino Detectives beginning with instructions to the adult helpers. Dot the Diplodocus, Sara the Triceratops, Cory the Corythosaurus and Ty the T. rex are all going to be in the school concert. Cory is especially exuberant about practicing his trumpet anytime he can, but when he wakes up the morning of the concert his instrument is missing. He questions his mom and sister, and his friends all help search. Each comes up with something interesting or missing, but not the trumpet. Finally they hear it and trace it back to his sister, who is giving her dolls a concert. The bright, cheerful illustrations will draw the beginning readers in, and even though there’s not a lot to this story it should be enjoyed by the intended audience. The attractve 32 pages include 292 words and 6 story words featured at the end.
Wood
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Colich, Abby
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 05, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Part of Heinemann Library’s Exploring Materials series this Acorn book for early readers introduces the topic of wood. The 24 pages of four chapters cover What Is Wood?, Where Does Wood Come From?, What Is Wood Like? and How Do We Use Wood? A clear, bright color photo illustrates the simple sentence of information on each page. A few photos have added labels to reinforce a point. The very sturdily bound book wraps up with a quiz question asking which of the 3 pictures depicts something made from wood followed by a 2-term picture glossary, a very brief index and a note to parents and teachers about pre and post reading strategies. Others in this series include Glass, Metal, Paper, Plastic, Rock and Rubber. This is decent, attractive nonfiction for the beginning reader.
My Migrant Family Story = La Historia De Mi Familia Migrante
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Garcia, Lily
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 05, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
The author describes nine years of her childhood when her family travelled between McAllen, Texas and Coloma, Michigan as migrant laborers. The not-necessarily-sequential chapters contain memories of packing up household items, a description of the house in Coloma where the family of fourteen lived, and the author's schooling; as the youngest, she was the only family member not working in the fields and thus the only one able to attend school. The short story, written both in English and Spanish, will probably appeal to an audience who is learning English but I saw several problems: the writing was choppy so the flow of the story was interrupted. I would've liked an explanation about the photos--are they of the author's family? On page 1, the second sentence is missing a word -- "My parents..." AND "my older siblings..." which annoyed me. A better map than the one on the front cover would help readers better understand the sacrifice in time that the family took each year. The short length will appeal to struggling readers and the bilingual aspect will be a great asset to many readers.
LIVING WITH SUBSTANCE ADDICTION
Essential Library [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
HIGGINS, MELISSA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 05, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
ABDO's "Living with Health Challenges" series combines ficitonalized accounts of teens living with the subject diseases along with factual information from health professionals. The use of text features, specifically text boxes and varying colors of type, helps point out important information such as symptoms to watch for and common misconceptions, along with celebrities with the diseases. Each chapter ends with "Ask Yourself This" questions specific to that chapter. A great resource for teens looking for answers about a disease or for researching topics for a school project. The author's work as a mental health counselor both in private practice and in the school setting adds credibility to her authorship of this book. Titles in this series include Living with: Autism; Cancer; Celiac Disease; Diabetes; Epilepsy; Food Allergies; and ADHD. A solid purchase for secondary schools.
Where's Mommy?
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Donofrio, Beverly
Mcclintock, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A young girl, and a mousegirl, are best friends. They share many experiences but, of course, they must keep their relationship a secret. The girl's parents would never tolerate mice in the house, and the mousegirl's parents would flee the house if they knew their secret was out. The warm and amusingly detailed watercolor and ink illustrations by Barbara McClintock are a delight--showing similar activities happening both above and below the floorboards. When both girls go looking for their mothers, however, they discover an amusing secret--another friendship that has been kept under wraps. There are multiple curriculum applications for this book--point of view, compare and contrast, using this as a jumping board for writing your own story. Mostly, however, children will just enjoy it as a warm, reassuring, story with an amusing premise.
Where's My Tushy?
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Aronson, Deborah
Stevanovic, Ivica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's nice to have a tush, you know--a hind-end, butt, or rear. No matter what you call it it's invaluable, my dear. But tushies unappreciated may decide to roam, and that's what happens in this book. The tushies all leave home. They're off on a vacation, leaving dents in people's pants. Without them clothes don't fit quite right. It's hard to sit, or dance. While, in their frilly undies, "bottoms up!" the tushies roar. Their former owners miss them as they never had before. But even though vacations may last days or even weeks, eventually they end, and soon returned are all the cheeks. Silly? Sure, but giggle-worthy, fun and frilly fare. You'll never find another book with this much derriere.
About Birds : A Guide For Children = Sobre Los Parajos : Una
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
I LOVE the books by Cathryn and John Sill. I love the formatting, the writing, and I'm a tremendous fan of John Sill's beautiful watercolor illustrations that always remind me, a bit, of the works of Audubon. This book focuses on an overview of birds and includes text in both Spanish and English. The gorgeous pictures fill an entire page, and face a page with a simple sentence of text that offers a basic fact about birds, along with a small caption for the picture. You could read the book to kindergarten students and they'd get a nice overview of birds, and love the illustrations. HOWEVER, at the end of the book the author provides an afterword that focuses on each individual plate and offers a paragraph of much more specific information. Add to that a solid bibliography and website list, as well as a glossary, and you have a book older students can use for reading and report-writing. It's like two, two, two books in one! This is a wonderful series that merits a place in libraries serving children.
Dale, Dale, Dale = Hit It, Hit It, Hit It
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Saldana, Rene, Jr
Flores, Carolyn Dee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Today is a young boy's birthday and, in this bilingual book he counts up from one candy-filled pinata to two hours until the party to three decorated tables right up to 12 children waiting to hit the pinata. Told in the first person, this counting book includes text in both Spanish and English as well as two-page spread illustrations that have a collage feel as they digitally manipulate photographs and, add details. One quibble. The English version says the boy is excited. The Spanish translation is ansioso, which I always understood to mean anxious, but in this case perhaps he is expectantly anxious for the party to begin. At any rate, it's always nice to have something new to add to the multicultural collection, and this fits the bill.
How To Babysit A Grandma
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Reagan, Jean
Wildish, Lee
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
How do you babysit a grandma? Well, you have to have plenty of activities, and a lot of patience. Expose her to new things, show her how to make eating things more fun, and don't forget to tuck her in at night. This is a delightful advice book by the author and illustrator team that already brought us "How to Babysit a Grandpa." The bright digital illustrations pop with color, and have tons of humor that both children and adults will enjoy. This would be handy in a library, but also be a wonderful gift for that special grandma.
About Habitats : Forests
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Sill, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 05, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
I LOVE the books by Cathryn and John Sill. I love the formatting and the writing. I'm especially a tremendous fan of John Sill's beautiful watercolor illustrations that remind me, a bit, of the works of Audubon. Part of the "About Habitats" series, this book focuses on forests. A world map shows forest regions, and readers learn about boreal, temperate, and tropical forests. The gorgeous pictures fill an entire page, and face a page with a simple sentence of text that offers a basic fact, along with a small caption for the picture. You could read the book to kindergarten students and they'd get a nice overview of forests, and love the illustrations. HOWEVER, at the end of the book the author provides an afterword that focuses on each individual plate and offers a paragraph of much more specific information. Add to that a solid bibliography and website list, as well as a glossary, and you have a book older students can use for reading and report-writing. It's like two, two, two books in one! This is a wonderful series that merits a place in libraries serving children.
Korean War
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Moore, Shannon Baker
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 05, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
For the preteen and teen who enjoys reading about war, this series will be a welcome addition to a library. Each of the books includes background information about the causes of the war and the cultural divide that caused politics to clash with the common folk. Explanation is given about the change in mission from keeping North Korea north of the 38th parallel to removing Communists from the entire peninsula; white and color photos help the reader see the reality that is combat. A timeline, map, list of key players, and glossary are included. As with other titles in this series, additional maps placed throughout the book would help in understanding how troop movements affected the outcome of the war. A solid purchase for beginning researchers.
World War Ii
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Hamen, Susan E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 05, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
For the preteen and teen who enjoys reading about war, this series will be a welcome addition to a library. Each of the books includes background information about the causes of the war and the cultural divide that caused politics to clash with the common folk; this title has information about the German and Japanese desire for expansion in the decades prior to the official beginning of the war. A timeline, map, list of key players, and glossary are included. As with other titles in this series, additional maps placed throughout the book, instead of only two at the end of the book, would help in understanding how troop movements affected the outcome of the war, particularly with the large number of countries involved. A solid purchase for beginning researchers.
Rocky And Daisy Go Camping
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Crow, Melinda Melton
Brownlow, Mike
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
Level 3 Stone Arch Readers are intended for reading alone. The 32 pages begin with Owen introducing his two dogs Rocky and Daisy. Then the text switches to the third person for the story where for the first time Rocky and Daisy get to join Owen and his parents on a camping trip. Nothing earthshaking happens other than thunder causing the threesome to run from their tent to the safety of the parent’s camper. The parents seem to do somewhat typecast jobs--dad finds the gear & mom packs the clothes and food. Oddly the dogs' comments are in quotations making it sound like they’re speaking though the humans probably aren’t hearing them. The color illustrations depict a mixed race family according to the different skin colors. With 432 words nine of these are highlighted on the story words page at the end. Other Rocky and Daisy (My two dogs) titles end with Go Home, Get Trained, and At the Park. This is a satisfactory selection for the beginning independent reader, K-2.
Silly Cars
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Abramovitz, Melissa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
In 24 pages and three chapters this Pebble Plus book has a different and unusual car on each double-page spread. The paragraph of somewhat large font is opposite a large color photo with a bold full sentence caption that extends the text. The format seems intended for very young readers, but the content regarding the specific cars may take some background knowledge with the different makes and models. The topic should be highly interesting though some of these seem like one-of-a-kind creations especially the silliest cars—the bowling pin car, the Golden Mean glow-in-the-dark snail car, and the Phone Car. The photos unfortunately tend toward the dark side and the hydrofoil winged car is a bit blurry. Kids probably won’t mind, but adults should hope for better quality photos. As usual the book concludes with a short 4-word glossary (passenger is included, but not welding), three books for further reading, one publisher site, index, word count of 198, Grade 1, Early-Intervention Level: 23. Other titles in the Cars, Cars, Cars set are Big Cars, Famous Cars, Fast Cars, Old Cars and Small Cars.
Pup And Hound's Big Book Of Stories : A Collection Of 6 Firs
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Hood, Susan
Hendry, Lina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Hound is the older, responsible one. Pup is exactly what you'd expect. Put them together and you have a fun doggy duo. This book contains six of the Pup and Hound easy readers. Hound meets Pup and deals with the changes that brings to his well-ordered life. They learn to get along. Pup has a nighttime adventure, and so does Hound. Pup gets into trouble. Hound saves him, and they hatch an egg. These are gentle, short stories with plenty of fun illustrations. Beginning readers love the series and it's nice to see several of the books combined in this collection. Poor stitching, however, makes this a better choice for home use than library circulation.
Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch
SCHWARTZ & WADE [SCHWARTZ & WADE]
Isaacs, Anne
Hawkes, Kevin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
When widow, Tulip Jones, inherits 35 million dollars and a ranch in Texas she takes her twelve pet tortoises and her three servants--Lindsey, Woolsey, and Calico--and moves right in. Now, everyone knows that things are bigger in Texas, and soon those tortoises have grown so large you can ride them. And they're fast, too! The four women are kept busy harvesting giant crops, but soon another problem grows too big to handle. A rich widow is too good to pass up. Soon a long line of squirrely Texas bachelors has formed outside the gate. How to get rid of them? Well, Tulip sets some impossible tasks, and sends for a mess of single women. Lucky for her she doesn't have to worry about meals. She has Charlie for that, and he's a wonder. Unfortunately, some of the men actually manage to complete the impossible tasks! What can set fear into their hearts? This is another tall tale by Anne Isaacs, with rip-roaring illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. A fun plot, and a growing mound of absurdities, will make this a hit with children. Pull it out when teaching hyperbole!
Wedgieman And The Big Bunny Trouble
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Harper, Charise Mericle
Shea, Bob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Silliness abounds as Wedgieman (originally Veggieman, but he bowed to pressure) faces Bad Dude who is, naturally, a bad guy. You can tell this by the bad stuff he has collected, his evil laugh, and his Powerful Ordinary-Object Phaser (P.O.O.P) that makes things bigger and smaller. When he accidentally enlarges a a cute bunny disaster ensues. It's Wedgieman to the rescue! A healthy carrot snack--jumbo-sized--saves the day. Stylized digital illustrations and tongue-in-cheek simple text make this third Wedgieman adventure a winner.
Tale About Tails
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Rabe, Tish
Brannon, Tom
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In somewhat stilted verse, with bright cartoon illustrations, the Cat in the Hat teaches two children about tails. They take the Thinga-ma-jigger to Wagga-tag-tail and see all kinds of tails and their uses. The Tail-a-ma-fixer machine even gives them a chance to try out tails themselves. This is a fanciful book that may amuse children, but its educational value is limited.
Frankenweenie : A Graphic Novel
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Burton, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Losing a dog is hard, but when you're a kid who likes to experiment there are options open to you. Victor's dog, Sparky, died in a car accident but now, with the help some stitching and a blast of lightning, he's back. This is a graphic novel of the Tim Burton movie. It begins with an introduction of the characters then basically lets the reader relive the movie. The artwork, in crisp black and white (heavy on the black), matches the macabre tone of the story, and brings to mind classic horror movies. Yet, of course, this is also the heartwarming story of a boy and his dead dog. The juxtaposition is amusing.
Can You See A Chimpanzee? : All About Primates
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Rabe, Tish
Ruiz, Aristedes & Joe Mathieu
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In somewhat stilted verse, with bright cartoon illustrations, the Cat in the Hat takes Sally and her brother, as well as Thing One and Thing Two, and introduces them to primates. Monkeys, apes, and prosimians are all presented, and basic facts are inserted into the rhyming lines. General primate information is presented, as well as facts specific to particular primates. Fact boxes pop up occasionally with additional information. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. Readers will learn a lot about primates, but I prefer my factual books to look less fictional, and be better organized. Still, it is a way to painlessly teach young readers who already have a relationship with the Cat in the Hat.
Catty Jane Who Loved To Dance
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Gorbachev, Valeri
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Catty Jane loved to dance. When she is finally old enough to enroll in Mrs. Herron's Dance Academy, she finds that it takes a lot of work and a lot of time away from her friends. When her friend Froggy shares his love of dancing by leaping up and over Catty Jane, she tells him she doesn't like his dancing, hurting feelings. Froggy yells "you're not my friend anymore!" and they both sit down in a huff on the garden bench. When two friends come along and suggest they all have fun dancing, Catty Jane announces she is too busy and must go home and practice. Gentle intervention by Catty Jane's mother leads to a healing of the hurt feelings. This is a good book to explore friendship issues with young students.
Some Monsters Are Different
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Milgrim, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Learning to accept differences is hilariously illustrated in this little, lovely book. The monster characters are fresh, and inspired under the artistic hand of author David Milgrim. Goofy typography in outlandish sizes help create the fun of the absurd, and the various scenarios speak to real-life occurrences such as some monsters like to play outside and some like to stay in. The funny monsters will elicit giggles from the kids and adults alike. The large type will make it easy for little ones to speak along with you.
Hero
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Kontis, Alethea
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 07, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
In this charming sequel to the well-received "Enchanted," Kontis focuses the story on the second-youngest daughter of the Woodcutter family: Saturday, who, according to nursery-rhyme fate, "works hard for a living." Tomboy Saturday dreams of using her enchanted sword on a quest, but her wish is granted in an unexpected way. An evil witch, out for revenge on Saturday's older brother Jack, traps her in a mountain of fire and ice at the top of the world. Her only friend and ally is a prince who has also been ensnared by the witch. Together, they must outwit the witch, escape the mountain, and spare the world from the doom the witch seeks to unleash -- all the while avoiding waking a long-asleep dragon and dealing with various romantic entanglements. Kontis enjoys playing with gender roles here; Saturday, with her cropped hair and trousers, is frequently mistaken for a boy, while the prince is under a spell that makes him appear female. Ultimately, Saturday's quest relies on her ability to connect with her emotional side as well as her strength and cunning, a relatable message. Like her first novel, Kontis' imagination is far-ranging, amplifying and embroidering fantasy tropes in fresh new ways. Fans will live happily ever after.
Lion And The Mouse : Turn-And-Tell Tales
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Broom, Jenny
Noj, Nahta
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Big, bright digital illustrations by Nahta Noj fill the pages in this retelling of the classic Aesop's fable about the lion and the mouse. A mouse disturbs a lion, while trying to get a tasty berry. The lion spares her life, but laughs at her promise to return the favor. However, when hunters lay a net trap, it is the mouse who chews the ropes and frees the lion, thus sealing their friendship. The story is simply and sweetly told. The illustrations include peek-through windows, and some cut-outs. Words follow the curves of the pictures, and delightful shapes and patterns create a visual treat. Put it all together and you have a delightful book that youngsters will enjoy.
Of Course They Do! : Boys And Girls Can Do Anything
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Roger, Marie-Sabine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Boys don't dance, or cook or take care of babies. Girls don't play sports, care about cars, or build things. Or do they? Of course they do! This book features crisp, page-filling photographs as a single statement about what boys or girls don't do is followed, with a page turn, by a picture of an adult man or woman doing exactly that. The positive statements that accompany these pictures gently but firmly point out the faults in the original assumption. Preachy? Sure, but this is exactly the book you want when you talk to kindergarteners or first-graders about what they want to do when they grow up. It erases those lines that may be boxing them in, and rejoices in the many many choices that, boy or girl, they have ahead of them.
Daddy's Zigzagging Bedtime Story
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence
Carter, Abby
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
It's time for a bedtime story, but a young boy and girl have differing tastes and can't agree on what that story should be. Their father comes up with his own story that bounces back and forth between princesses, monster trucks, unicorns, aliens and more. The amusing zig-zag of the story as it goes from girly to boy-friendly and back again is a lot of fun, and makes for a good read-aloud. Watercolor illustrations by Abby Carter are enthusiastic and expressive. Children will understand this tongue-in-cheek approach to what boys and girls like when it comes to stories. Of course O'Malley did much the same thing with "Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude," but there's room in your collection for both books.
Ella May And The Wishing Stone
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Fagan, Cary
Cote, Genevieve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ella May has found a special stone with a line of color all the way around it. It must be a wishing stone! She shows it to all the kids in the neighborhood, bragging it up. Indeed, it seems to be bringing her what she wants. (Her wishes are simple, so is it the stone or is it just life?) But when it alienates all her friends she begins to wonder if having a wishing stone is all it's cracked up to be. Everyone tries to find a wishing stone, or make one, and unhappiness follows. When her stone cannot be found everyone discovers that their stones are good for hopscotch and things are back to normal. This is a sweet, slice-of-life story with kid-friendly muted digital illustrations. It would be a good discussion-starter when talking about friendship, or a nice story-starter to find out what students would do if they had a wishing stone.
Zoobots : Wild Robots Inspired By Real Animals
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Becker, Helaine
Ries, Alez
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
All right, this isn't for ALL ages, but there wasn't the option to make it for 4th grade on up. Do you have students pestering you for robot books, and the limited supply you have on the shelf are really lame? Well, here's the book for you! Each two-page spread presents a particular robot that gets its inspiration from the animal kingdom--snakes, bats, shrews, cockroaches and more. Twelve robots are highlighted. Readers learn what they are called, the team creating them, what they can do, which animal inspired their creation, and why. A status update shows that these are either working prototypes or prototypes in development. Bold graphics, photographs, and illustrations pop against a glossy black background. This is cool from the introduction right to the glossary and index. This is what the kids are looking for when they ask for a robot book. BUY IT!
Surviving In Cold Places
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Mooney, Carla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 07, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Brrrr. Here are six tales of survival in extreme cold conditions. Readers learn about a pilot who crashed in Alaska, an ill-fated Antarctic expedition, a snowboarder and a young family lost in the snow, the Shackleton expedition, and the rugby players whose plane crashed in the Andes. (The cannibalism in the final case is briefly mentioned, but not emphasized.) Each tale is crisply told, with just an edge of suspense. The book ends with ten tips for surviving emergency situations in the cold. Photographs, index, and bibliography round out this excellent nonfiction book that will be eagerly enjoyed by the same crowd who like fiction survival stories such as "Hatchet."
Tombstone Twins : Soul Mates
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Downer, Denise
Frampton, Otis
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
This graphic novel is an odd mix of grown-up issues and references along with toilet humor and banal puns. The illustrations are simplistic using a limited color palette which works with the underground graveyard setting, but doesn't leave much for exploring tasty visual tidbits that usually are found within texts of this type. Against the grown-ups wishes, two students from Underworld Elementary set out to fix the problems in the above world, only to be frustrated. These twin misfits, even by underworld status, come back and rally the troops to help out and of course, the little ghouls figure out how to save the day. Predictable and just ho-hum story line.
Lucha Lizards : Chameleon Cage Match
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Lemke, Donald
Eliopoulos, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 07, 2014
Avinger-Jacques, JJ
Welcome to Luchaville, the tiny town of wrestling reptiles! Everyone has a specialty except little chameleon, who just doesn't fit in any special catagory. He longs to become a wrestling champion, but somehow he must rise through the ranks of the LWA-the Lizard Wrestling Association. There are grappling iguanas and gecko-roman wrestling, and don't forget the salamander smackdowns! There are some nice science lessons embedded within the story, such as whether salamanders (and newts) are amphibians or not and whether they belong in the Wrestling Association. Comic illustrations are humorous with a great variety of over the top expressions that will sure to delight the young ones. At the end of the book there are several pages outlining the differences of the main characters, salamander, blue-tongues skinks, flying dragon, thorny devil, gila monster and king komodo & of course little chameleon. Library bound.
How's The Weather In Spring?
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gleisner, Jenna Lee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Photographs chosen as much for their beauty as their subject matter accompany this simple book about the weather you might expect to find in the springtime. Spring brings changes. Young readers learn about the temperature, rain, and increased sunlight that are part of the season. This is a level 1 reader containing 24 well-bound pages as well as an index, bibliography, glossary, word list, and table of contents. Frankly, the added material probably has as many words in it as the actual text of the book. kindergarten teachers will find this an excellent choice when doing season studies.
Secret Life Of The Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Pringle, Laurence
Paley, Joan
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Who hasn't enjoyed the feel of a wooly bear caterpillar slinking across a finger or curling up in a palm? There's just something so friendly about them. I want to know more, and this book is a great way to start. Laurence Pringle masterfully informs young readers about the anatomy, life cycle and diet of these friendly insects by following one he nicknames Bella. Combine the informative and highly readable text with gorgeous cut paper and mixed media illustrations by Joan Paley and you have a winning mix. The bold, vivid illustrations sweep across two-page spreads, clearly showing key points. Big enough for group sharing, this is going to be a sure-fire hit with teachers and students alike.
Only Alex Addleston In All These Mountains
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Solheim, James
Ebbeler, Jeffrey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Friendship that lasts the years is the theme of this gently sweet story. In kindergarten there are two Alex Addlestons in the rural classroom--a boy and a girl. They soon become heartfelt friends, doing everything together. When The girl moves to Kenya with her family, to build schools, the two are separated. Her note, giving an address, is lost. The two grow in different ways, but never forget that special friendship. Then, one evening six years later, while chasing fireflies, they meet again. Both are now back in the mountains and their friendship clearly is unbroken. Splashy, evocative illustrations by Jeffrey Ebbeler have a warm down-home quality that fits the story perfectly. This is a satisfying book that will make readers smile.
Spider-Man : Attack Of The Heroes : A Marvel Chapter Book
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Thomas, Rich
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Peter Parker is dealing with an obnoxious bully at school. Naturally, as Spider-Man, he could easily crush this annoyance, but he knows that's a bad idea. Besides, he has other problems. It seems that some local superheroes have gone over to the dark side. Spidey is left chasing and fighting them, while trying to figure out why former friends are behaving so strangely. However, when a video surfaces of Spider-Man being held captive, Peter knows something is up. Someone is impersonating superheroes and it's his job to save the day. This is a fast-paced superhero adventure chapter book with occasional bright color illustrations. The writing is good and the subject matter is sure to draw readers.
Bagels Come Home
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Stuchner, Joan Betty
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Orca Echoes" series, this short chapter book tells the wild and crazy tale of Bagels--the new puppy in the Bernstein family. He joins their fish, Lox, and their cat, Creamcheese. They knew a new puppy might be a challenge but this mixed-breed canine seems to have all the wildest features of every bloodline in his body. He runs, barks, flips, disobeys and, worst of all, escapes. (Although this is not entirely his own fault.) When he threatens a local production of Peter Pan, however, Bagels gets his big break. This is an amusing paperback with occasional black and white illustrations. Its length makes it a good choice for guided reading groups.
King's Dragon
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Chantler, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 08, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
The three thieves, Dessa, Topper, and Fisk are in a tight spot. Dessa's leg is broken and she is healing in a monastery. Unfortunately the royal knights--the King's Dragons--are onto her. How will she escape? This is book # 4 in the "Three Thieves" graphic novel series and it focuses on one of the knights--Captain Drake. Current action takes place in colored illustrations, but Drake is having second thoughts about his mission. Black and white segment take us back to when he first became a knight, and the pledges of honor he made then. That honor has been sorely tested, and even broken, following orders. Where do his loyalties lie? Where SHOULD they lie? The artwork is crisp and compelling, and the story moves at a brisk pace with plenty of action and a nice touch of humor. Fans of the series will demand this book be added to the collection.
Maleficent
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Piehl, Scott A
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 09, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
This book was published by Disney to preceed the May 30th release of Disney's film of the same title. Maleficent is the evil fairy who enchants the princess Aurora, making her into Sleeping Beauty. The story of how and why she comes to that decision is detailed. Although readers of Sleeping Beauty may think of Maleficent as a human, this book brings back the notion that she is, in fact, a fairy. A quick, easy read for the intended audience who will enjoy a different look at a story they may remember from childhood. This book follows Disney's book, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen (adapted by Serena Valentino, c2009), the story of the evil ruler from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The mostly-black cover and 5 1/2 x 7-inch size will make the book unique in look; the arresting cover illustration means the book won't stay long on the shelf. This light read will be a hit with preteen girls.
Hunt
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Kade, Stacey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 09, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Told in alternating chapters with the voices of the two protagonists, Ariane and Zane, this book works well as a stand-alone. Reading the first book in the series, The Rules, will definitely benefit those who pick up this sequel but I found the story captivating without the background information. Ariane is part human, part alien; she has escaped from the research facility and Zane now accompanies her on the run. Their relationship begins to blossom so there are the tender, excited, worried, giddy emotions of teens hoping for romance; the reality that their possible romance is doomed before it goes very far is a constant in their minds. Bad guys from competing companies are trying to locate the teens to continue experimentation. A set of hybrids, one who looks nearly identical to Ariane, offers hope of a way to beat the baddies. Who can be trusted? A great read but with an abrupt and somewhat disappointing ending. It definitely leaves you waiting for the next book in the series.
Turn Left At The Cow
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS]
Bullard, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Trav's life is a pain. He has a new step-dad, has moved away from his friends, and no longer feels like he belongs anywhere. So the thirteen-year-old runs away from California to his paternal grandmother's home in Minnesota. He's never really been there before, so it is a complete surprise when he discovers that the father he never knew apparently robbed a bank and drowned, and the money has never been recovered. Everyone in town suspects Trav, especially the local deputy. It doesn't help that some of the robbery bait money starts showing up in local stores right after Trav arrives. I mean, it's been over 13 years, right? What are the odds? With the help of two new friends, one of whom is a cute girl, Trav tries to find his place in the world AND to clear his name by finding the missing cash. Church socials, a first kiss, small-town shunning, and getting to know both his grandmother and his dead father keep Travis busy. He has no idea that his actions are going to put his life in danger. This is grand writing--fun to read and breezy, with fully-developed characters and chuckle-worthy moments. The ending will have readers on the edge of their seats. As the author's first book, it bodes well for her future.
Dalia's Wondrous Hair = El Maravilloso Cabello De Dalia
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Lacamara, Laura
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
One night Dalia's hair grows and grows until it is a towering pile above her head. She uses the opportunity to decorate her Marge Simpsonesque tresses with flowers, leaves, mud, and other things, having her mother guess what kind of tree she is imitating. The neighbors have something to say about Dalia's hair, but she is undeterred. Then, in a final unveiling, some of the things in her hair begin to wiggle. Soon butterflies emerge. She has created a butterfly tree in her hair! This imaginative tale takes place in Cuba and includes text in both English and Spanish. The warm illustrations flow off the pages and show elements of Cuban artwork. This would be a nice addition to multicultural collections.
Beluga Whales
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Kennington, Tammy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Wow and, yet again, wow. Now THIS is good nonfiction! Beautiful well-captioned photographs accompany text that goes beyond what you usually find in a nonfiction animal book. The author introduces readers to the "sea canary" and provides information on its anatomy, range, habitat, life cycle, diet, echolocation, and daily routine, but never as a boring recitation of facts. There is also information on what dangers beluga whales faced in the past, as a source of blubber, and the challenges they confront today. The writing is clear and crisp, and filled with interesting and unusual details, making the reader pause to say, "I never new THAT!" The author draws in comparisons that bring the information to life for the intended audience. Occasional questions encourage deeper thinking. Of course there are standard text features as well. This is an exceptional book that would be a good addition to Common Core collections. One can only hope the other books in the series are as good.
Measuring Length
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Bailer, Darice
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 24-page book is part of the "Measuring Mania" series and focuses on measuring length. Length is defined, then tools for measuring it are presented--rulers, yardsticks, tape measures. Both standard and metric systems are included. Length, width and height are all presented. The book features bright photographs and colorful illustrations, as well as measuring activities that reinforce key concepts. A glossary, bibliography, website list, and index finish the book off. This is a solid book that covers the concept well.
Measuring Temperature
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Bailer, Darice
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This well-bound 24-page book is part of the "Measuring Mania" series and focuses on measuring temperature. Temperature is defined, and different types of thermometers are introduced. Both Celsius and Fahrenheit are explained. The book features bright photographs and colorful illustrations, as well as measuring activities that reinforce key concepts. A glossary, bibliography, website list, and index finish the book off. This is a solid book that covers the concept well.
Mystery Of The Magic Marker Mischief Maker = El Misterio Del
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Saldana, Rene, Jr
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 09, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Mickey Rangel is a fifth-grader, but he is also a detective. In this, the third book in the series, he's called to the principal's office. Someone is spreading graffiti around the school. The obvious suspect claims he is being framed. Mickey is on the case. Some questioning, a consideration of suspects, and a few cogent questions lead him to the correct answer. This is a short novella with an Encylopedia Brown feel to it. The writing is crisp and the characters are enjoyable. Turn the book around and you can read the same story in Spanish. Bilingual collections serving children will want to add this series.
EN EL BOSQUE
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
STEVENSON, ROBIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 10, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Part of the Orca Soundings hi-lo series, this Spanish-language version of "In The Woods" tells the story of Cameron finding a newborn baby in the woods and suspecting that his twin-sister, the always-perfect Katie, is the mother. The reader will come the that conclusion shortly before Cameron does but the story line remains interesting. Will Cameron tell the social worker? The police? There is a back story that could've been developed a bit more--that of the abuse on Katie by their mother's former boyfriend. This is not written as a cautionary tale to prevent teen pregnancy but does bring up the topic of doing the right thing, wondering what the right thing is, and when is it right to protect a loved one. Orca books remain popular with my students.
NO TE VAYAS
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
GRANT, VICKI
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 10, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
The Orca Soundings series is known for hi-lo titles that appeal to teens; this book is no exception. Ria's been living a good life but that all changes when her dad moves out and she is about to become a child of divorce. Although the family has always had money, suddenly Ria's mom won't accept any from her dad so her lifestyle changes dramatically. After her dad is presumed dead in an airplane crash, word gets out that Ria's dad scammed millions of dollars from his investment clients. Unable to bear the news, Ria takes her younger brother and runs away. Grant conveys the anger and shame of a teen whose image of a parent has been shattered, along with the impulsive dash to run away from problems, in a manner that teens will relate to. Reluctant readers will enjoy this title.
REACCION
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
CHOYCE, LESLEY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 10, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Zach and Ashley have been dating for three months and she is two months pregnant. The conflicting emotions of anger and fear threaten their relationship, particularly when rumors go through their school that Zach forced himself on Ashley. Her parents don't want him around and his parents, well, they aren't happy either. The young couple can't decide on what course of action to take--abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby. This is a realistic look at how a situation such as this affects not only the mother and father but also their family and friends. Written from Zach's point of view, this will be an interesting read for both teen girls and boys.
Show's Over
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
"Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman" is a PBS kids show, and this book is based on that show. Ruff Ruffman is in trouble...yet again. He's been invited to the Poodle Ball, but his fancy pants are missing! This is hard for a dog to handle. His cat friend, Blossom, tries to be the silent voice of reason, but Ruff is determined to catch the thief and discover why his TV show has been canceled as well. Naturally this involves a trip to Australia using his doghouse as a vehicle. (Blossom tricks it out.) Oh, and a cat disguise, and a jazz dance number. Four short chapters, bright cartoon illustrations, and a science experiment--what more could you ask for? Great silliness abounds. Fans of the show will doubtless enjoy the book's absurdity, but it's not a first purchase.
Castle Crime
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Roy, Ron
Gurney, John Steven
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "A to Z Mysteries" series, this easy chapter book is Super Edition #6 and has Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose in England. They're sightseeing, and getting rained on. However, when the queen's jewels are stolen, the three children are on the case. They start collecting clues, and considering suspects. The robbers were dressed as Prince Harry and Prince William. Where did they get their disguises? Does it have anything to do with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum? The children enjoy their detective work, get a chance to meet the queen, twice, and help Scotland Yard find the real villains. The author has clearly done his research and the book is almost painfully packed with facts about England, London, Madame Tussauds, and the royal family. You can't turn a page without getting slapped with an educational tidbit. Still, the mystery is fun and this series has a fan base. It's a nice transitional book for children just moving into harder chapter books.
Daisy's Big Night
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Feder, Sandra V
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Daisy is a young girl who loves words. She collects them, organizes them, and always wants to find the right word for the right occasion. In this, the third book in the series, Daisy's class at school is going to have a student showcase. What can Daisy do for the event? She comes up with a unique solution that incorporates poetry and her love for words. This is a sweet, warm easy chapter book with a likable main character. The writing flows beautifully and is accompanied by occasional black and white illustrations. Primary teachers might find it a good read-aloud when doing poetry units.
Fish Named Glub
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Barel, Dan
Bisaillon, Josee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Fish in a bowl wonders, "who am I?" As he gains a greater understanding of his limited world other questions cross his mind. "Where do I come from?" "What do I need?" "What do I do?" The people around him are living lives that seem to have much the same questions. Can their answers be his? This is rather metaphorical for a picture book--introspective and thought-provoking, but slow-moving and hard to categorize. The mixed media illustrations show the much wider world around Glub, with people finding their own answers in life. Warm and gentle, with an almost poetic quality, this is probably not a book that will attract most young readers.
Mouse And The Meadow
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
Wallace, Chad
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
A mouse explores the wonderful new world of the meadow. He is fascinated by the different plants he finds there and by the animals, both friendly and dangerous. This is his home, and he must learn about it. Must he learn alone, however? When he's saved from an owl by another mouse, he finds there is even more to enjoy in the meadow. The poetic text is a beautiful blend of rhyme and meter, although it is overly long. What truly stands out, however, are the incredible illustrations--detailed and idealized, they show a mouse's point-of-view with close-ups of insects, plants, and wildlife. They are beautifully rendered with a lifelike quality and some almost seem to glow with an inner light. The final two pages provide further information and extension activities. This is a lovely book and might be useful to teachers doing units on habitats and food chains.
Heroes For All Times : A Nonfiction Companion To Magic Tree
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Osborne, Mary Pope
Murdocca, Sal
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Designed to go with the Magic Tree House book "High Time for Heroes" this nonfiction companion gives young readers quick and inspirational short biographies of people who made a difference. Florence Nightingale, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Muir are all featured. Illustrations, comments, additional information about other important people, and photographs accompany the text. There's also an extensive appendix for additional research. My only complaint is that the photographs are not captioned, an oversight that leaves the reader wondering. This provides a good introduction to important historical people and would serve as a good jumping off point for further study.
Saving Sammy
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Walters, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is part of the "Orca Echoes" series--short paperback chapter books by a Canadian publisher. Flooding has hit Morgan's backyard and her dog, Shire, discovers a baby beaver washed there from a dam upstream. She and her family have to take care of the critter until they can find the best place for it to stay. The care involves bottles, lack of sleep, and much concern about doing the right thing. Eventually they turn the baby over to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, who will care for it until they can return it to the wild. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the simple, heartfelt text. Children who are interested in wildlife will find this an enjoyable book to read.
Ospreys In Danger
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Mcdowell, Pamela
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
This is part of the "Orca Echoes" series--short paperback chapter books by a Canadian publisher. Cricket lives in Waterton Lakes National Park. When an osprey nest causes a power outage the baby birds must be cared for, and a new location must be created for the nest. Cricket and her family take care of the babies, a difficult task, while the school children in the village create a plan for a nesting pole. When it is completed, will the parents accept their babies again? Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the simple, heartfelt text that contains a strong ecological message. Children who are interested in wildlife will find this an enjoyable book to read.
ANATOMY OF A SINGLE GIRL
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
SNADOWSKY, DARIA
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 12, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Caution: recommended for ages 16+ due to sexual content. This sequel to "Anatomy of a Boyfriend" opens as Dominique finishes her first year of college and returns to her family home for vacation. Her BFF Calvin has hinted he wants more to their relationship but Dom is still reeling from being dumped by Wes in the first book so she plans to forget about men this summer. Then she meets Wes, a frat boy who breaks her resolve. Many sexual encounter occur, with lots of language appropriate for her situation but that may not be appropriate for young teen readers. It is probably aimed at the New Adult reader, those between the ages of 18 and 24 or so. The author does a good job of giving enough information about the first book to make this title work as a stand-alone. Mature teen readers may enjoy the book but I did not.
Darkness Everywhere : The Assassination Of Mohandas Gandhi
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Doeden, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 12, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
To begin with, the title is a bit deceiving, as the book tells Mohandas Gandhi's life story, not just the time surrounding his assassination. There is plenty of back story about India's history, the main players in the political arena, and the reasons Gandhi became so revered. The use of the color orange in both text and as background on the pages reminds the reader of the colors of the Indian flag but makes reading difficult at times. However, the brightness of the orange almost offsets the lack of color in the photographs. Includes timeline, glossary, bibliographic references and index. Most helpful is the two-page spread "Who's Who?" with long paragraphs about ten of the major people in this book. The lack of a map of India is unfortunate but overall, this is a quality purchase.
Wedding Wings
DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DISNEY BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Thorpe, Kiki
Christy, Jana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 12, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Gabby, Mia, Lainey, and Kate have a secret passageway to Pixie Hollow, and a friendship with the fairies there. When Gabby is asked to be flower girl at a wedding she can't help inviting the fairies. A little pixie dust on a veil, an inquisitive winged visitor, and mayhem. Why does magic have to be so messy? This is an easy chapter book with fairies and weddings--guess what audience it's aimed at? The story is fun, and the characters are lively.Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. This is for the imaginative girl who loves to believe that fairies are really real.
Rules For Breaking
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Elston, Ashley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 13, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Although this is a sequel to "The Rules for Disappearing," it works just fine as a stand-alone novel. Anna thinks her life has finally returned to normal, where she can stay in one place and not have to lie about her name; in other words, she and her family are no longer in the Witness Protection Program. When once-trusted federal agent Thomas, previously revealed as a bad guy, kidnaps Anna, her boyfriend Ethan, and her sister Teeny, Anna fears she will never have the life she dreamed of. Lots of tension, excitement, and fear will keep teen readers hooked; the sights, sounds, and culture of New Orleans' French Quarter will mesmorize those who either love the city or long to visit for the first time.
OLE MISS REBELS
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
GITLIN, MARTY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Inside College Football" series, this 48 page book looks at the history of the University of Mississippi ('Ole Miss) football program. The book opens with the description of quarterback Eli Manning and the team's 2004 Cotton Bowl win and then follows the program from its inception in 1893 through 2011. Readers learn about the program's early days, integration in the 1960's, some of the famous coaches, players, and bowl games. Color photograph fit well with the text. Sidebars highlight players/coaches, such as Michael Oher, whose story was featured in the 2009 movie The Blind Side. Some background in football will be needed to understand game and season descriptions. The book will be a hit with Ole Miss fans, but will see little interest outside of that region. The book is complete with a table of contents, quick stats, timeline, glossary, index, author information, and bibliography.
Cheers For A Dozen Ears : A Summer Crop Of Counting
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Chernesky, Felicia Sanza
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This colorful, 32 page counting book uses summer fruits and vegetables to count from 1 to 12. The illustration are lively and will work well for class sharing. The family heads to a farm stand with a list of items. At times the item and number are forced. For example, 11 green beans and "not one bean more". Then mom add a bunch of beans. The ending isn't very satisfying either. After 12, they pick up sunflowers then go home to rest in the shade. It seems like the should have done something with all of the items they purchased, like have a picnic or a barbecue. The book could be used for farm units.
Eruption! : Volcanoes And The Science Of Saving Lives
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Rusch, Elizabeth
Uhlman, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Primary source photos, maps, graphs, and charts add much color and interest to this informative book about volcanoes. Lots of details about the science and technology used now to help predict volcanoes and mitigate their devastating effects makes it a perfect tie-in for 8th grade catastrophic events projects. In the back is an index, vocabulary, chapter notes, and a selected bibliography. The only thing missing is a page of suggested/additional resources.
ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
SPORTSZONE [ABDO]
MONNIG, ALEX
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Inside College Football" series, this 48 page book looks at the history of the University of Arkansas Razorback football program. The book opens with the description of their seven overtime victory game in 2001 (longest in NCAA football history) and then follows the program from its inception in 1894 through 2012. Readers learn how the Razorback name came to be, some of the famous coaches, players, and bowl games. Color photograph fit well with the text. Some background in football will be needed to understand game and season descriptions. The book will be a hit with Arkansas fans, but will see little interest outside of that state. The book is complete with a table of contents, quick stats, timeline, glossary, index, author information, and bibliography.
Missing Marlin
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Kelly, David A
Meyers, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Mike and Kate are in Florida visiting their Uncle Oliver, who is in charge of the Miami Marlin's fish tanks. But was that an endangered turtle Kate spotted in one of the tanks? It's not there the next day when they look, and other fish are disappearing. Who could be behind the fish-nappings? the kids are anxious to solve the mystery. This is book #8 in the "Ballpark Mysteries" all of which are baseball-related and would appeal to the same crowd who enjoy the A-Z mysteries by Roy. This book also contains information about the Marlins and their stadium, as well as an environmental message. The fishy plot has the occasional red herring, which is pretty much mandatory in such stories, and readers will enjoy the final solution.
Mystery Of The Melting Snowman
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Heide, Florence Parry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Why was an iron dog doorstop hidden in a snowman, and who was the mysterious man smashing snowmen to find it? That's the mystery facing Cindy, Jay, and Dexter. Does it have something to do with the house in the neighborhood that has been sold? There are plots within plots. Who can the children believe? They'll have to find the key, and answer a riddle, for the solution to finally appear. This is another well-written mystery in the "Spotlight Club Mysteries" series. The writing is expressive, and the mystery will keep readers invovled right to the end. This series might be a good choice to add to library collections.
Miss Emily
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Muten, Burleigh
Phelan, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
This novel in verse relates a story about Emily Dickinson and her neighbor children. Based on real people, this novel in verse is appropriate for grades 2-8, although the appeal will mostly be in the mid grades. Black and white pencil sketch illustrations by Matt Phelan add to the story of Emily and the children sneaking out in the night when the circus comes to town.
Caminar
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Brown, Skila
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Set in Guatemala in 1981 and based on real events. Soldiers, rebels, and guerrillas are all present in the jungle around Carlos' home and village. Everyone is wary, uncertain, and afraid. One day when soldiers violently invade, his mom tells him to run, to hide - and he does. Having escaped the decimation of his village, he sets off to warn his grandmother's village high on the mountain about the invading soldiers. Written as a novel in verse, the text is precise and evocative adding intensity to an already strong topic. The cover is beautifully illustrated, although I'm not sure that it matches the tone of the book, or how appealing it will be to teenagers.
Little Big Horse : Where's My Bike?
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Horowitz, Dave
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
This level one reader from Scholastic tells the tale of Little Big Horse whose bike was taken by Pablo. Little Big Horse finds Pablo has fallen off the bike because it has a flat tire. Together they take the bike to a shop and fix the tire, then they go and fix Pablo's bike and ride off together happily. While an improbable tale of friendship, the storyline is appropriate for this level of reader. Illustrations were dull in color and cartoon-ish. They did not add much to the story.
Huey, Dewey, And Louie's Rainy Day Adventure
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
This level 2 reader tells the story of Donald Duck's visit from his nephews on a rainy day. Huey, Dewey, and Louie get creative when Uncle Donald falls asleep. Lively, colorful Disney illustrations add to the story.
Captain America : The Winter Soldier
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Piehl, Scott A
Lim, Ron Et Al
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Young fans of Captain Marvel will appreciate this level 2 reader about Captain America and Winter Soldier, which apparently will be a movie in the summer of 2014. It has full color illustrations - and stickers! Could also go down to 1st grade although there are a few scenes of fighting and destruction, but nothing bloody or gory.
Summer I Found You
Albert Whitman Teen [Albert Whitman Teen]
Perry, Jolene
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Kate, a high school senior, has been dumped by the love of her life - and also diagnosed with diabetes. Aidan joined the military right after high school and was sent to Afghanistan. He has been sent home after losing an arm to a bomb. Things are very awkward when they are introduced by a mutual friend, but they soon find that they have more in common than one would have thought. Some swearing, drinking. Also sex and sexual situations. A higher level read-alike for Sarah Dessen fans.
Cheesie Mack Is Running Like Crazy!
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Cotler, Steve
Holgate, Douglas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Book 3 in the series. Cheesie Mack is going to be in 6th grade and entering middle school. He decides that the best way to meet people, make new friends, and enjoy middle school is by running for president. Written in Wimpy-Kid-style with a combination of text and pictures, it will appeal to the same audience. Constantly refers back to events from the first two books, which I personally found annoying but did not detract from this storyline.
Mystery Of The Russian Ransom
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Macgregor, Roy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
A hockey mystery series: Screech Owls. This is #25 in the series. A rich Russian hockey enthusiast is bring the Screech Owl team to Russia to play in a competition and teach some of their techniques to the Russian players. However, before the competition even begins, Sarah, one of their best players is kidnapped! Predictable, but entertaining. Strong female characters as well; I love that it depicts girls playing hockey with boys and how they all work together.
Smash : Trial By Fire
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bolton, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Andrew has always looked up to superhero, Defender, even dressing up as him on Halloween. When Defender is defeated by archenemy Magus, Andrew is inadvertently given Defender's powers. Wearing his homemade costume, he sets out to defend the innocent and bring evil-doers to justice - all the while trying to go to school, do his homework, and defend himself against the school bully. Quite a fabulous graphic novel. I enjoyed it thoroughly and imagine that once it goes out, it won't sit on the shelf again for quite a while. Could probably go as low as 3rd grade.
Don't Even Think About It
Delacorte [Delacorte]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 13, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
The kids in home room 10B don't really have a lot in common - that is until they day most of them get the flu vaccine at school. Everyone who receives the flu vaccine begins to develop the ability to hear the thoughts of others - not right away, only when they are in close proximity, and at first it's terrifying and disorienting. It's also seductively powerful to find out if the boy you like likes you back and to mind-drop on the smartest kid in class during a test. Still, the group meets together to try to figure out how to reverse what happened to them and they struggle to keep their secret and to comfort those who, one by one, notice how their life has changed. When it looks like reversal will be possible, it turns out that giving up what is beginning to feel like a superpower will be much different than anyone imagined. Told from a plural omniscient point of view.
Pieces Of Me
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Kizer, Amber
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 13, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
It’s a terrible day at school for Jessica – although from a wealthy and privileged family, she is timid at school and is easily pushed around by a group of cheerleaders and by her domineering mother. When Jessica dies in a car wreck, her organs are donated and Jessica looks on from the afterlife while the four teens who receive parts of her come to terms with their new lives. Because there are so many characters to manage, it can be hard to feel an in-depth connection to all of them but students who like Lurlene McDonald will definitely enjoy this.
Divided We Fall
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Reedy, Trent
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 13, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Dan Wright is satisfied with his life in small town Idaho. He has a place on the football team, a job at the local garage with a mechanic owner that is a father figure for him, and a girlfriend, JoBell, who is crazy about him. He's had a challenging summer in training for the Idaho National Guard and mentally fragile mom has managed to stay fairly stable while he's away. JoBell is making college plans that would take her to Seattle but for the near future, life is good. Then Dan's unit is called up to help manage demonstrations in Boise that turn violent. Dan's unit wasn't meant to be in a conflict location but they end up confronting hostile demonstrators, he inadvertently fires a shot, and a Kent State situation ensues. The situation escalates with fortifications on the state line and secession. Pretty terrifying.
Skylark
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Cassidy, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 13, 2014
Gustafson, Chris
Angie’s dad lost his job and left to find work elsewhere. Then mom gets hurt while at her housecleaning job and she can’t work. Mom, Angie, and older brother Clem spend all the money they can organize on an old, roomy Bel Air that becomes their home. Mom and both kids work hard to make the best of it. Clem finds an outlet in his biking while Angie manages to express what she feels at a local poetry slam. Really an excellent, brief look at homeless and resiliency. Thank you Orca Soundings.
Salt : A Story Of Friendship In A Time Of War
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
Frost, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
It's 1812, and two boys share an unlikely friendship: James is a white settler whose family runs a trading post in Fort Wayne, while Anikwa is a member of the Miami tribe of Kekionga. Their friendship is the result of two generations' worth of trading and negotiations between the two cultures. But when both British and American troops converge on Fort Wayne as part of the War of 1812, both settlers and Miami are expected to choose sides. Under the threat of war, fragile alliances turn to suspicion and enmity. How can a friendship like James and Anikwa's be expected to survive? Helen Frost uses her trademark poetry to switch between James' and Anikwa's distinct voices. Her research on this time period is impeccable, including collaboration with current members of the Miami Nation of Indiana in her descriptions of Anikwa's family. Her depiction of the relationship between Fort Wayne and Kekionga is nuanced and layered; there are no "good guys" or "bad guys" in this story, and cultural misunderstandings run deep. While Frost doesn't flinch away from a difficult ending, it leaves children with a hopeful note -- that if we work hard enough, friendship and love lasts.
Smokescreen
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Hartry, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 13, 2014
Dame, Anne
Kerry is a dancer with a mother who controls every aspect of her life. When Kerry does not do well at an Irish dancing competition, her mom sends her off to Canada for a summer job. Kerry's new colleague, Yvette, is different from anyone she has met before - and the only other girl at a field work/forest fire fighting camp. Plenty of intrigue as the forest fires appear to be deliberately set, black bears are a threat, and Kerry does not know who to trust as things get more intent. Underage drinking, smoking, some drug use, sexual situations.
Living With Acne
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Ehrman, M K
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 14, 2014
Dame, Anne
Photos, and a few other images, liven up this fact-filled text about acne from the "Living with Health Challenges" series. Chapters cover topics about acne such as: Severe, Persistent, and Cystic Acne; Scarring; Diet & Lifestyle; Psychological, Emotional, and Social Issues. The text itself is clearly written and explains medical terminology as simply as possible. Their is a glossary in the back as well as additional resources, source notes, where to go for help, etc. Three things that I particularly liked: 1.) It cautions readers that when they are doing additional research to evaluate their sources, especially in terms of talking to friends and the date of information gathered. 2.) Each chapter has questions for reflection at the end. 3.) Pictures show a diversity of gender, race, and age.
On A Scale Of Idiot To Complete Jerk
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Hughes, Alison
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled "A highly Scientific Study of Annoying Behavior Science Project by J.J. Murphy" this book loosely uses the scientific method as J.J. explores the world of idiots and jerks. First J.J. defines terms and provides a history of jerkdom. Case studies explore whether kids, animals, or old people can be genuine jerks. Jerks in a variety of social settings--family, school, work, and sports are considered. Is it possible for jerks to truly reform? How do they behave under pressure? How can you tell if you're a jerk? The concept is funny and the author, Alison Hughes, really plays it up as a kid's rather lame, but very long, attempt at getting homework done without doing the actual work. Except this is a lot of work, so the subject is clearly important to the main character. The project gives interesting insights into J.J.'s life. Middle schoolers would probably find this a fun read.
Pigeon Needs A Bath!
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Willems, Mo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 14, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
If your clientele like the Mo Willem's Pigeon books they will enjoy this one, too. As usual Pigeon is very stubborn. He's much in need of a bath as evidenced by his dirty streaks and unattractive odor, but he doesn't agree or see the point. Even when flies find him disgusting he's still in denial. After finally giving in, it takes many small frames to get the water just right. As expected he doesn't want to ever get out. This is easy enough for beginning readers to read to themselves or help read aloud, and will bring chortles from all.
Screaming Staircase
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Stroud, Jonathan
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
For centuries, England has been under a curse: every evening, the streets and fields are plagued with deadly ghosts. One touch from a specter means death, and while folk remedies have emerged to keep the ghosts at bay, the best defenses are squads of children, whose youth gifts them with the psychic powers necessary to trap and defeat them. Young Lucy is an unemployed medium who winds up working for Lockwood & Co. a psychic investigation agency uniquely free of adults. Along with dashing, enigmatic Anthony and lovably nerdy George, the three of them work together to keep their independence, fight ghosts, and fend off rival psychic agencies. Stroud uses his trademark ear for witty dialogue and top-notch plotting to great effect here. He has created a deep mythology with a wide variety of spooky creatures and joyfully anachronistic technology to fight them (for instance, all the children use saber-fighting to fend off ghosts). Lucy is a wistfully haunted heroine, whose psychic abilities makes her sympathize with the ghosts while fighting them. As the novel's central mystery ratchets up the tension, she must use her empathy to avoid the worst of a truly terrifying, gruesome climax. A must-buy for fans of mysteries and ghost stories.
Jack The Castaway
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Doan, Lisa
Stevanovic, Ivica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 15, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Jack's parents left him with a reliable aunt, when he was a baby, as they went off to follow their hearts and not their heads into different schemes, adventures, and failed careers. Now the aunt is dead and their cautious son, Jack, has to live with parents who don't seem to understand the most basic concepts of safety and child care. True, Jack may be a little overly-cautious, but his parents are so incredibly unreliable, through thoughtlessness not malice, that he winds up cast away on a tropical island with a parrot. Jack learns about risk-taking and self-reliance and his parents eventually track him down. Of course Jack has to save them from themselves and they decide maybe some rules might be a good idea. This is a fun story with a bouncy writing style and exotic locales. The cover says this is #1, so one can only assume Jack will be back...if his parents don't accidentally kill him first. Short chapters and occasional illustrations make this a good choice for reluctant readers.
Wind Dancer
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Platt, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 16, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ali lost her beloved pony, Max, and is now avoiding horses. That doesn't stop her from investigating neglected horses near her home and reporting the situation. Now the two horses are being boarded at her home, and she and her family must do what they can to gradually bring them back to health. They're doing much the same with Alie's older brother, a disabled vet who has withdrawn and is suffering from PTSD. Can two needy horses help bring brother and sister together again? This is a great horse story, with believable characters and a solid plot. The information on rehabilitating abused horses is detailed and quite fascinating, and readers will find themselves rooting for the horses, and for Ali's family. If you want more horse stories, the author has written several and all I've read have been excellent.
DESOLACION
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
STEVENSON, ROBIN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 17, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
After his girlfriend dumped him, Jayden has checked out--of school, of his relationship with his friends and his mom. A chance to visit his uncle Mel in Australia doesn't excite him but Jay goes along as it will be something to help him forget about his now-over romance. Mel is a biologist hoping to find a new species of lizard and when he takes his research assistant, Natalie, and Jay into the desert, things get interesting. They get stuck in a very isolated area of the desert with no phone, little food and water, and one of the three goes missing. Are two other biologists trying to find the elusive (possibly) new species, and is Nat secretly telling them what Mel is doin? Part of the Orca Soundings hi-lo series, this has enough adventure to keep reluctant teens reading to the end. A short survival story that is a cautionary tale about following your dreams but not stepping back to see the big picture.
MIRAGE
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
REESE, JENN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 18, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
In book #2 in the "Above World" series soon-to-be-mermaid Aluna travels with her friends to the desert. She has managed to find allies among the Avians, now can she have the same success with the Equians? Among her company is an Equian boy, shunned because he was born without a horse's body, an Avian, and her friend and fellow merperson, Hoku. In the desert, however, they find that they are too late to warn the Equians about the danger of Karl Strand, who wishes to rule the world and utilize the varied genetically engineered populations to do so. While the motto of the desert may be honor, there seems little honor to be found there. Aluna learns a new battle style, discloses treachery, allies herself with the Serpenti, and competes in an Equian tournament. But can she stay alive long enough to make a difference? This is an enjoyable series that would find a happy home in middle schools. Aluna is a compelling character and readers can see her growing and changing as the series progresses.
Chasing The Storm : Tornadoes, Meteorology, And Weather Watc
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Miller, Ron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 19, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Have you wondered what it would be like to be in the middle of a violent storm? If the thought of this produces an adrenalin rush, then the job of storm chaser might be right up your alley (as in, Tornado Alley). This 64-page book describes what a storm chaser does and sees, and the dangers that the job can bring. The effects of global warming on the environment and in extension, on weather patterns, will have preteens wondering how then can help reduce their own negative impact on the earth. Ever heard of a gustnado? The differences between those whirlwinds, waterspouts, landspouts, and dust devils is explained (although not one of these terms is listed in the glossary, which is where young readers would expect to find them; only waterspouts and landspouts are listed in the index. The book is quite current, with information from the 2013 tornado season. Included are instructions for making a weather station and a list of supplies needed for a severe weather emergency kit. A fine resource for young scientists ages 10-13.
Battle Of Hastings
ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
Hamilton, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 20, 2014
Norton, Geneva
The is one of six in the ABDO Daughters Great Battles series. Titles are are famous battles from different conflicts and different eras, but excellently written. The clearly written text is enhanced by both color and black and white illustrations. Each title includes an Aftermath section that nicely frames this battle in context of a larger picture of history. Included are maps, charts, a glossary and an index. This would be a good set to have in a hi/low collection at the high grades. They are great introduction to selected events in history. Sturdy library bindings, this series is also available as an eBook, multi-user, and downloadable PDF.
Weasels
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dolan, Elys
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 20, 2014
Shirts, Brooke
"Weasels. What do you think they do all day?" If pastoral forest scenes come to mind, think again. Elys Dolan's goofy weasels are bent on world domination. Lead by a James Bond-style megalomaniac (stroking a white pet mouse) the weasels are about to launch their doomsday device when -- curses! -- the coffee-fetching office weasel trips and unplugs the power cord. Dolan's cute but jittery weasels are baffled by the malfunction (a monitor screen reads: "MACHINE STATUS: IT'S BROKEN") and rush about their secret lab, drilling, experimenting, rearranging gears, creating potions, and, of course, ordering more coffee. The brief text is supplemented by speech bubbles scattered across the page as each weasel voices his or her theories on what needs to be fixed. There is plenty of cute tongue-in-cheek humor for both kids and adults to enjoy ("Don't worry," one weasel in a lab coat explains, "we can solve this with SCIENCE!") and scads of cleverly drawn, minute details in Dolan's watercolors. In the end, the weasels finally figure out the problem and the countdown continues. Will they succeed? Eagle-eyed readers will notice several depictions of an international "Weaseltopia" on the end pages. A fun, silly romp.
Sigurd F. Olson
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Mattern, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 21, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
This book is a 32 page biography of wilderness advocate, Sigurd F. Olson. It is part of the "Checkerboard Biography Library: Conservationists" series. Olson was a leading force in the preservation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area and Voyager National Park in Minnesota. The book describes his life, from birth, through college, his work in conservation, and legacy. The text is clearly written and photographs are found throughout the pages. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, index, and glossary. Web resources are provided through the publisher's web site. While he may not be a household name, this book would be a good addition to your biography section.
Mysterious Woods Of Whistle Root
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Pennell, Christopher
Bond, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 21, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Carly's physical clock is set wrong. She is awake at night, and cannot help but sleep during the day. This limits her friendships, makes school a misery, and opens her up to unique nighttime possibilities. For example, the rat who likes to play his fiddle on her rooftop, with a squash on drums and Carly herself on the horn. (A band must, after all, have three members--it's a rule.) As Carly gets to know the rats better she also gains deeper insights into the Whistle Root trees that grow all around. Something, however, is changing. Rats are being eaten by owls who used to dance to their music. A strange creature is whispering in people's ears. Carly must solve the problem, perhaps using advice from the band hat in the white cradle in the woods? This is a unique, whimsical fantasy with quirky details that can't help but make your lips twitch into a grin. It is the author's first novel.
TERRIBLE THING THAT HAPPENED TO BARNABY BROCKET
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
BOYNE, JOHN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 22, 2014
Stein, Valerie
As with Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Boyne digs into our thoughts and upends some emotions in ways that are unexpected. Barnaby Brocket is born with an odd affliction. His body does not respond to gravity. Most parents accept their children as they are, born “normal” or not. Barnaby’s parents are the most normal people ever, and are appalled by the fact that they have a child who is different. Powerful veiled messages will be perceived immediately by students who dig into this book. For instance, in his travels (Barnaby floats away when his mother “accidentally” slices a hole in the backpack full of sand that keeps him grounded), Barnaby meets a lesbian couple whose families rejected them. He doesn’t quite understand their relationship but he understands that they know what he’s going through, and the realization is a slap in the face for the reader as more and more instances of rejection are revealed to Barnaby. At the same time, he remains hopeful and is always trying to get home because that is where family belongs - together.
Will Steger
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Mattern, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 22, 2014
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Checkerboard Biography Library: Conservationists" series, this 32 page book describes the life of Will Steger, polar explorer. The book begins with his birth in Minnesota, his education, his trips to Alaska, Yukon, the North Pole, Antarctica and the South Pole. The reader learns how Steger uses his adventures to teach about climate change in the polar regions. The well-written text is accompanied by photographs and maps. The book also contains a table of contents, glossary, index, and timeline. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. This book would be a strong addition to your biography section, especially if your school has an environmental focus.
Flame In The Mist
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [RANDOM HOUSE]
Grindstaff, Kit
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 22, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Imagine the Adams family without the humor, toss in a little human sacrifice, and you have Jemma's family--the Agromonds. Because of them twins and triplets go missing--killed to give them power. Because of them a mist enshrouds the land and the people live without hope. Jemma's tried to be a good Agromond, but she and her pet rats don't enjoy their dark magic. Now she discovers that her upcoming birthday is when she will come into her power, but she is not an Agromond at all. She was stolen as a child, and her parents fight for the light, not the dark. Jemma must escape. With the help of friends, she braves ghosts, minions, and foul beasts to find her real parents, only to realize that she, alone, can stop the Agromond's evil plan and free the land of the mist. This is a creepy fantasy book with no easy solutions for our heroine. Her path is dangerous, but she is not without help. Lovers of darker fantasy will find this a solid, if often grim, book.
Swamp Where Gator Hides
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
Berkes, Marianne
Baird, Roberta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 22, 2014
Stein, Valerie
This is a cute book, with lots of lovely digital illustration of life in the swamp. Phrasing and pacing of the cumulative “This is the House that Jack Built” writing scheme is a little off at the conclusion of the work, which was jarring for me, but students will enjoy this book and have fun looking for all the critters on each detailed two page spread. Includes information about swamp habitat and about each of the animals listed in the story. This would be a good companion book to support a unit featuring either habitats or species study for younger students.
Mummies And Sound
Graphic Library/capstone Press [Graphic Library/capstone Press]
Wacholtz, Anthony
Mallea, Cristian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 22, 2014
Stein, Valerie
I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this book but I was hooked right away. There is a certain strangeness that will appeal to kids as mummies demonstrate the scientific properties of sound. This is a format that could be handled poorly, blurring the science, but in actuality it works very well to communicate concepts and make them memorable. The combination of facts and illustrations paired with appropriate mummy sounds and actions is really quite good. Examples are clearly presented with illustrative examples with mummies as stars in graphic novel form on each page. There is a reasonable glossary included, along with Common Core connections, additional books to read and a Facthound site with an unlock code to take students to additional content. As odd as it may seem, this is a series that could work well for upper elementary and middle school as an engaging accompaniment or intro to specific topics, though maybe not so much for report writing? There are ten titles in all, including Aliens and Energy, Ghosts and Atoms, and Frankenstein’s monster and Scientific Method.
Baygirl
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Smith, Heather
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 25, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Kit can't stand to be at home, with her drunk father and her wimp of a mother, always making excuses for her husband's drinking. Their town has been wrecked by the Newfoundland government's announcement that the cod fishing industry would be shut down for two years. Soon after, Kit and her parents move to St. John's, a city so unlike the small town Kit is used to. Letters back home to her best friend go unanswered; only her beloved Nan stays in touch. A cruel girl in her new school ensures Kit is the butt of every joke but the joke is on her when that girl's boyfriend falls for Kit. At last, a sliver of hope for a better life for Kit, or at least a refuge from the house where her father continues to abuse alcohol and her mother is the sole means of support. Thankfully for Kit, there are people to help her get through this difficult period; one of the best characters is her new next-door neighbor, Mr. Adams. This is a wonderful coming-of-age story, with pain, joy, grief, and hope. Perfectly portrayed are the hardships of changing schools, losing friends, making new friends, teen obsession with wearing just the right clothes, embarassment of parents, and the feeling that nothing will ever go right.
Escape From The Pipe Men!
CLARION [CLARION]
Thompson, Mary G
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 25, 2014
Bateman, Teresa
Ryan and his little sister, Becky, as well as their parents, are part of an intergalactic zoo run by the Pipe Men--aliens who look like long pipes with eyes. When Ryan's father is poisoned Ryan and his sister escape to find the antidote. In doing so they also discover the Pipe Men's secret to creating portals between interstellar destinations, and create tentative alliances with other alien species who also desire freedom. Is escape possible? This is a fast-paced intergalactic travel adventure that gets a little messy in the middle, and kind of fudges on the science part of science-fiction. Nevertheless, the characters are enjoyable and there are surprises and treachery around every corner. This is a unique take on the sci-fi genre.
Worm
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Gravel, Elise
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 27, 2014
Turpin, Sharon
This Disgusting Critters title makes its way into the nonfiction section providing a decent introduction to worms, especially earthworms, and entertains with jokes as well. Think of the Elephant & Piggie style book and illustrations, but now add the facts. Children should be attracted to the format and humor enough to pick this up on their own and learn a few things about these creatures such as that they’re invertebrates, have different habitats, a huge variety of lengths, use photoreceptors to sense light, have male and female organs, and are great recyclers. Every double page spread has interesting facts, comic style illustrations with dialogue bubbles and at least one joke. This proved a useful read aloud addition to the second grade science unit on soil, which incorporated the role of worms. Another in the series is The Fly with The Rat and The Slug expected in August.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Reasoner, Chuck
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This larger than average (but not too large) board book is great for small hands to explore the classic nursery rhyme. Each page has a cut out tab on the right, allowing for easy page turning. This version of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" stars a smiling moon and star, as well as two owls who are hurrying a third to come along and watch the star twinkle. Speech bubbles indicate the owls encouraging the slow poke third owl, and each page has one line of text from the nursery rhyme. There is a peaceful house in the background and the illustrations are bright and cheerful, which may be counterproductive if this is being shared as a bedtime or nap time story. The book concludes with the owls drifting off to sleep under the night sky in this cute, simple board book. Ideal for family and preschool libraries.
This Little Hamster
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Reich, Kass
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
A sequel to Hamsters Holding Hands, this simple, charming board book by a Canadian author teaches rhyme, colors, and vocabulary. It has a consistent text formula that goes: "This (these) little hamster(s) love/collect/go wild for everything_____ (insert color)." This is followed by the hamsters finding items that are that color. While the book is perfectly fine, it has the dreaded board book downfall of an abrupt ending. When all the colors are done, the final page shows a line of hamsters with their colorful items, but no text reviewing what the items are called or what color they are. Suitable for at home use, public library, or preschool library.
Dream It! Do It! (The People, The Places, The Projects) : My
Disney Editions [Disney Editions]
Sklar, Martin
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Unsuitable
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This adult nonfiction title is not geared towards children or teens. It might be interesting to adult Disney fans, as it tells the story of Marty Sklar's career at Disney, but the book is poorly written and needs a better editor.
Hiding Phil
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Barclay, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This picture book is by a first time author (fourth time illustrator) about three children and their dachshund who find an elephant named Phil at the bus stop. They decide to bring him home, but realize they must hide Phil from their parents. Many funny, obvious attempts at hiding a large elephant ensue, and eventually Mom and Dad find Phil. They decide he can visit but must go home, but this makes everyone so sad that they change their minds and announce he can stay. The book is cute, sweet, and funny, but there's nothing particularly earth-shattering about it. Ideal for public and elementary school libraries.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad!
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Yolen, Jane
Teague, Mark
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
Another solid offering in this classic picture book series starring dinosaurs-- this time, a group of very angry dinosaurs. The fabulous end papers include the usual colorful illustrations of dinosaurs and their names, and the book itself is chock full of glossy, large, colorful illustrations of dinosaurs on both their worst and best behaviors. The rhyming text walks children through what they should not and then what they should do when they are mad. This book also includes a prologue about being mad and how to handle it well. This is a great book to direct childen's behavior in a fun way.
GO FOR THE GOAL!
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
BOWEN, FRED
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 28, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
Josh and Aidan are excited to be selected for the United, an elite soccer team. Their enthusiam fades as the team just can't seem to win a game. While researching a project for school, Josh learns about a group of women who formed the 1999 U.S. World Cup team and how they had group-building exercises that seemed to help them on the field. Teammates criticize Josh when his coach agrees to try a few of the exercises. Will the team benefit? Can the players finally begin pulling together as a cohesive unit? Young soccer fans will enjoy the book, as will teens who are struggling with the English language. A decent hi-lo book.
AFTER : NINETEEN STORIES OF APOCALYPSE AND DYSTOPIA
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
DATLOW, ELLEN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This collection of fictional short stories has the tagline "19 stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia", and that's exactly what it is. Fans of dystopian teen fiction will find this a tantalizing introduction to authors they may not have previously read, and many stories could be used as writing prompts. Most of the tales leave the reader wanting more! The stories are not focused on any disaster, but the aftermath of a variety of disasters. They all vary in length, topic, style, and type of apocalypse. The tales are dark and often gory or violent, so the audience is definitely older teen, as well as adults (suitable for a high school library and a public library). Adults wanting to learn more about teen dystopian fiction would find this a helpful guide, as the book also includes an informational forward and afterward.
PHOEBE & DIGGER
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
SPRINGSTUBB, TRICIA
NEWMAN, JEFF
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 28, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This is one of those fabulous picture books where children can enjoy the story while parents can appreciate the humor found within the pages. Written by a former children's librarian, this story tells readers about Phoebe, who gets a new digger when the new baby arrives. The digger toy seems to get itself into an awful lot of attention-seeking trouble! When Mama takes everyone to the park, Phoebe encounters playground bullying, so the book can be used to handle both sibling rivalry and bullying behavior. Full of gleeful toddler behavior, this book is highlighted by simple, slightly smudged drawings that include diverse characters. With a sweet ending, this book is ideal for families with young children.
FITZ
KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [KNOPF BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
COCHRANE, MICK
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 29, 2014
Gleb, Heidi
A short book that takes place mostly over the course of a day, Fitz shows the emotional toll taken on the child of an unplanned pregnancy and an absentee father. After shadowing his newly-found father for days, Fitz buys a gun and forces his father to drive off with him. Despite all Fitz's bravado, the young man doesn't really have a plan for what to do after he holds his dad hostage. Fitz learns that many of his assumptions about his father may not be true. The story ends a bit weakly, with things working out better than the reader might have expected. Teens will empathize with the path Fitz has chosen and will identify with his anger. A good resource for young adults in the same family situation.
Tiny King
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Miura, Taro
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
By a Japanese author and illustrator, this very bright and bold picture book tells the story about a tiny, sad king who needs a family. The Tiny King, lonely in his big castle, becomes much happier after marrying Big Queen and having ten children. The book includes paper cut outs and collage illustrations, and even babies will enjoy the bright, straight forward illustrations that are reminiscent of stylized Alice in Wonderland or It's a Small World. This cute, sweet story with nice family themes is a great choice for lap sit reading or story time.
Eat Up, Little Donkey
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Kromhout, Rindert
Van Haeringen, Annemarie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This picture book, by a Dutch author and Dutch illustrator, tells the story of Little Donkey refusing to eat the lunch Mama has so nicely made him. Mama finally decides to take him to the park and begins to feed his lunch to the ducks, so of course, Little Donkey suddenly changes his mind and wants his food! Little Donkey ultimately decides to share his lunch with the ducks and everyone is happy. The text is in large font on the left page, with a watercolor picture on the right. The pages are thick and glossy, wonderfully resistant to small hands tearing them. A cute, simple book, parents will appreciate the nice lesson for reluctant eaters. Look for companion book 123 Little Donkey.
Kennedy And The Cuban Missile Crisis
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Senker, Cath
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Days of Decision series, this nonfiction title covers President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book includes a table of contents, overview, glossary, index, source notes, further reading, and directions on how to use the glossary. Glossary terms are bolded within the text, and frequent boxes within the text offer first person accounts of the time and events, or further information on topics such as The Cold War and Jackie Kennedy. There are seven chapters, each eight pages or less. The book strays from its focus on the Cuban Missile Crisis, and offers so much background information on other aspects of JFK's presidency (The Civil Rights Movements, etc.) that it is distracting. The book does, however, cover the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and offers a great chart of all of Kennedy's options to resolve the problem.
We All Have Shadows
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Gregoire, Maryellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
Part of the Next Steps: Science series of easy nonfiction, this book covers light sources and shadows. Each chapter is 2-4 pages in length, with 1-2 sentences per page. The text is very large and paired with a photo. Key words are in bold, and the glossary at the end contains three terms. A note at the beginning of the book informs parents and educators that these books support national science standards and early readers. The book has a GRL of G and a EIL of 12, with a word count of 96 words. The book is fine, but readers will quickly outgrow these simple books, and at $16, this book may not be worth the cost to school libraries.
Counting Money
Wonder Readers/capstone Press [Wonder Readers/capstone Press]
Alaina, Maria
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
From the Wonder Readers Next Steps: Science series, this easy nonfiction book covers the basics on counting money, including reading both the word and the numeral for a number. Chapters are 2-6 pages in length and has keywords in bold. It has a GRL of I and a EIL of 15, with a word count of 51. The book supports national math standards and early readers, according to the note for parents and educators at the beginning. The book is perfectly fine, but readers will quickly outgrow this simple book and at about $18, might not be worth it for school libraries to purchase.
Biggest Names Of Video Games
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Kaplan, Arie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
A high interest nonfiction/biography title, this book is from the series Shock Zone Games and Gamers. The book covers a wide variety of video game creators, and their accomplishments and inspirations.The book includes one female video game creator, includes a paragraph on women and gaming, and several of the pictures in the book are of girls playing games. The book includes a table of contents and index, and words are defined on the page of the text. There are plenty of pictures and graphs to hold readers attention and provide additional information. The book concludes with a nice summarizing chart of the all the people discussed. This book will certainly appeal to reluctant readers and would be great for a school report, as well as general interest reading.
Pope Francis : First Pope From The Americas
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Watson, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
From the series Gateway Biographies, this book tells the life story of current pope Francis. The series has a good mix of subjects, including others such as Michael Jackson and Nancy Pelosi. The book has a table of contents, important dates, an index, sources, and further reading. Some terms are defined in the text, while other are defined in later parts. The book lacks a much needed glossary, as many Catholic terms may be unfamiliar to readers. There are about 30 pages of text, and each chapter is 3-5 pages in length. The first chapter has no title or table of contents listing, so this reviewer assumes it is an introduction? There is a lot of information contained in the first paragraph, especially if readers are unfamiliar with Catholicism. The first two pictures are also blurry, so this book doesn't get off to a strong start. The book does provide great information on Pope Francis' life up to the publication date, but of course, this book will become outdated, as all biographies of still-living people become. The book also mentions Pope Benedict, but there is no information explaining who he is. Overall, this book is just not well put together and needs more editing and better pictures. There are better biographies out there.
ON THE ROAD TO MR. MINEO'S
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
O'CONNOR, BARBARA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
This 2012 book is by the author who also wrote How to Steal a Dog and The Small Adventures of Popeye and Elvis. Adventures ensue in the small Southern town of Meadville, all due to Sherman, a one-legged pigeon. Mr. Mineo raises homing pigeons, and when Sherman goes missing, many town residents go on the hunt. Chapters have titles, but there is no table of contents. The font is slightly enlarged and there is plenty of white space on each page. The book is descriptive, languid, and innocent, and does a great job giving readers a clear setting and mood. However, this "kid-sized adventure" (quote from book jacket) moves so slowly and in the end not much happens, that readers might lose interest. Good for young readers with advanced reading levels, this book might unfortunately be one of those sweet tales that appeals to what adults want children to like, rather than a tale that children actually enjoy reading.
Flora & Ulysses : The Illuminated Adventures
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dicamillo, Kate
Campbell, K. G.
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 29, 2014
Samuel, Treasure
When this reviewer picked up this book, it was before it won the 2014 Newbery Medal, an absolutely well-deserved honor. Another fabulous book from Kate DiCamillo, this book tells the story of a squirrel who becomes a poetic superhero after being accidentally vacuumed up! A magical yet honest tale, this books also handles divorce and parent neglect. It is beautiful, silly, and sweet, and teaches readers about love and how important it is for us to all know we are loved. K.G. Campbell's illustrations really suit the whimsy of the story, and I found myself in tears by the end of the book, which is pretty impressive, because again, this is a book about a squirrel. Who gets vacuumed up. And then writes poetry.
Paul Meets Bernadette
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lamb, Rosy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
Paul is a goldfish. He lives in a goldfish bowl and spends his days swimming round and round, up and down, and making big circles. One day another goldfish named Bernadette drops in. She points out all the things beyond the fish bowl that they can see. Bernadette has a creative lens for seeing the world around her. A banana is a boat. A teapot and cups are an elephant feeding her babies. Paul plays along and with each lovely page Bernadette reveals her interesting slant on things in the high contrast oil paintings of mostly blue and orange hues. Before he knows it Paul is smitten with Bernadette and no longer goes “around in circles anymore” but “goes around Bernadette.” Young readers will enjoy seeing things through Bernadette’s eyes and using their imaginations to interpret everyday things in new ways, and the message that a companion can help transform our world will ring true for all.
Mumbet's Declaration Of Independence
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Woelfle, Gretchen
Delinois, Alix
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
This picture book biography tells the little-known story of a Massachusetts slave known as Mumbet at the time of the American Revolution. Mumbet and her daughter served a wealthy landowner and his wife, Colonel and Mrs. John Ashley. Vignettes from the life of Mumbet are related including an incident where Mumbet takes a blow from Mrs. Ashley as Mumbet protects her daughter, Lizzy, who had used some of the dough scraps they were baking for the Ashley’s to make herself a small loaf and, in turn, angers Mrs. Ashley. Vivid water color pictures of depth and contrast make this story come alive and are well-suited for large group sharing. Mumbet eventually overhears the Colonel and others drafting the constitution of Massachusetts and is determined to use the words, “Mankind in a state of Nature are equal, free, and independent,” to press for her own freedom. Convincing a young lawyer, Mr. Sedgwick, who is part of the constitutional writers that she deserves to be free and that she will be no worse off for going to court to challenge her owner, Mumbet is freed by a judge and jury. An author’s note, bibliography, and list of web-based resources will lead readers to primary resource documents that inspired the book.
Ella And The Balloons In The Sky
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Appleby, Danny
Pirie, Lauren
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
One day when Ella goes to feed her pets she finds them all missing. Much to her surprise she sees them floating away, each tied to a balloon. Even as she climbs to the highest tree and reaches out to them, she fails. She wrangles a hundred balloons to try to join them in the sky, but again she fails to reach them. Ella’s mother tells her that she “must stay on the ground and know that one day they’ll be found.” Delicate pen and ink illustrations with muted tea stains and color highlights give the story an ethereal quality. Ella misses her pets and her mother consoles her again telling her that when she misses them to look up to the sky. Ella tries this advice and sees the faces of her pets in clouds, the sun, and the stars. This book would be suitable for starting conversations about death and dying or simply missing a loved one who has gone far away.
Maisy Goes To The Movies : A Maisy First Experiences Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
Maisy and her friends are off to the movies! This “first experience” book follows the formula of other Maisy books helping young children explore their world through literature. Familiar movie-going concepts are related in the simple text -- getting popcorn, deciding which movie to see, buying tickets, and getting seated. The climax comes when the lights go down and Cyril is afraid of the dark and when a scary dinosaur comes on screen. Parents and caregivers will appreciate the pages about interrupting the movie to go to the bathroom and how important it is to go quickly (and wash hands!), so the friends don’t miss any of the movie. Cousins’ signature art style is colorful and clear and includes lots of details for further discussion and perusing. Like the rest of the series this title will be popular with early childhood readers.
ANALYZE THIS : TESTING INGREDIENTS
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
HICKS, KELLI
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
Basic chemistry principles are presented in this 24 page book with large color photos on each page. Readers are first introduced to the scientific method in a paragraph of text as well as a text box on the same page. Concepts including the difference between a solution and a mixture are explained as well as molecular differences in the states of matter. A periodic chart is included with atomic numbers and weights as well as color-coded family and series groupings, though none of these numbers or colors are explained. Interspersed throughout the text are pages and text boxes entitled “Test This” where simple experiments are laid out, though, there are inconsistencies in their content -- some ask questions, some give answers, some have step-by-step procedures, other have no procedures. A glossary and three question quiz entitled “Show What You Know,” and a 12-item index are included. The oversimplified nature of this book makes its use limited even in a school setting.
Joy In Mudville
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Raczka, Bob
Dibley, Glin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
This spin off rhyming story takes off where Thayer’s infamous Casey at the Bat ended. Yes, the Mudville Nine had more games in the season to play! This time Casey gets the only hit of the game in inning eight, and when Mudville takes the field at the top of the ninth getting two outs the starting pitcher then walks three in a row. The coach replaces the pitcher with a rookie “fresh off the farm,” and the fans are dumbfounded that “Joy (the rookie’s first name) was a she.” Joy proceeds to pitch as if hiking a football, lobbing a tennis ball, and shooting a basketball much to the dismay and complaints of the batter, but the umpire calls all the balls to be fair play. The humorous and slightly exaggerated illustrations add to the story with clever interpretations and vantages like an upside down view from the mound as Joy hikes the ball football-style to the plate. The hitter gets a bunt off the Joy’s last pitch, and when Joy kicks the ball home soccer-style to make the play at home plate, the crowd rejoices. The book seems to prove that fans are fickle, but they will embrace the unconventional as long as their team wins. The book includes the text of Thayer’s poem at the end, yet young readers will need to hear it first.
Dream On
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mlynowski, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
Ten year-old Abby and her little brother Jonah are back in this fourth installment of the Whatever After series of twisted fairy tale chapter books. This time Abby’s friend Robin is sleeping over. The problem is that Robin is a sleepwalker, and the magic mirror portal that hangs in Robin’s basement sucks Robin up when she bumps into it. Abby and Jonah are sucked in as well. This time they are all transported to a room with a princess who is pricking her finger with a spindle hoping to fall asleep for a hundred years to be woken with a kiss from a prince, but now it’s the sleepwalker Robin who’s fallen under the Sleeping Beauty spell instead of Princess Brianna. It’s up to Abby and Jonah to set the fairy tale right and get back home before Robin’s mom comes to pick her up from the sleepover. Silly fun with a queen and king who hoard treasures from garage sales, fairies with parental control issues, and a spoiled little brother prince who demands horseyback rides from Jonah. Fans of the series will enjoy this book; purchase where others in the series are popular.
OZZIE AND THE ART CONTEST
SLEEPING BEAR PRESS [SLEEPING BEAR PRESS]
SULLIVAN, DANA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2014
Kline, Karen
Art-loving Ozzie the blue dog and his multi-species animal classmates in Miss Cattywhompus’s class are competing in an art contest. Ozzie “glances” at the instructions even though his teacher tells the class to read the instructions “very carefully.” Ozzie works hard all weekend and dreams of winning the contest as he draws a portrait of his neighbor, a goat. Pen and ink illustrations throughout with colorful watercolor accents add dimension to each page. Readers will linger over the details in the artwork that provide a rich subtext to the story. As the class celebrates the art at their classroom party, Ozzie is dismayed to find that his entry only received an honorable mention. His teacher notices Ozzie’s uncharacteristically quiet behavior and reminds him that winning isn’t the only reason to do the things you really like. Then she points out that he could have perhaps placed better if he had drawn a “boat” (not a “goat”) as the contest prompt required. As Ozzie’s attitude improves he realizes that he can fold a paper boat and share his love of paper folding with the class. Students and teachers will find much here to discuss in classroom setting.