Reviews for month


Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kessler, Liz
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 03, 2015
Dame, Anne
Jessica unexpectedly discovers that, with some practice, she can make herself disappear. As in, completely invisible. She and her friend Izzy are trying to figure out how this magic power happened and start to realize that there may be others who are also able to do some unexpected, magical things. As Paige and Izzy try to find the root of the powers, they open a bigger can of worms than they expected. A fun read although a bit predictable. Fans of Emily Windsnap will enjoy this new title by that author.
Earth's Growing Population
Marshall Cavendish Children's Books [Marshall Cavendish Children's Books]
Reiter, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The population explosion is as huge a problem today as it was back in the 1970’s when environmentalists sounded the alarm, although today so many other phrases represent issues resulting in part by this intense growth. This middle school book takes an international look at a variety of issues, including the rural to urban migration, technology and agriculture’s partnership in driving civilization from 10,000 years ago to the present, impact of ecological footprint from the wealthy industrialized nations and the inequity and scarcity of resources in many parts of the world. Climate change is examined through the lens of its impact on water supplies, impoverished nations, coastal areas, and catastrophic weather. The author attempts to bring hope to this picture through slowing population growth and reducing consumption using the term sustainable development. Biotechnology, education of girls, and microloans for women-created businesses are a few of the ways the author believes we can remake our relationship to nature for a more sustainable future and controlling population is at the center. Photographs, maps, charts, stand alone topic pages are accompanied by footnotes, recommended reading, websites, bibliography and index included
Anastasia Krupnik
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lowry, Lois
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
Reissue of 1979 first book that launched an eventual 9 book series. We are introduced to a deliciously articulate, tall but otherwise normal 10 year old girl. Her father is a poet and college English professor while her mother is both a painter and a housewife. In her journal, Anastatia keeps a list of "Things I Love!" and "Things I Hate!" and adds and subtracts from each list as she navigates school, a first crush on a boy, getting to know her grandmother, and the news that her parents are expecting a baby. Enjoyably articulate (and skillfully written), I found myself enjoying meeting this charming character and looking forward to each chapter in ways that speak highly of both character and author and the enduring appeal to upper elementary readers.
Anastasia Again!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lowry, Lois
Degroat, Diane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2015
Seasholes, Craig L
The second book in Anistasia Krupnick series of 9 books, reissued from original 1981 release. Now that the baby brother is a precocious 2 year old, Anastasia's family leaves Cambridge for the suburbs of Boston. 13 year old Anastasia has to cope with moving to the suburbs and finding new friends. Overcoming her assumptions that suburban life is a wasteland of pink curlers, TV dinners, and manicured lawns; Anastasia finds that an elderly neighbor whose name she contracts to Gertrudestein, is just the sort of cheering up "project" she needs to learn to make friends in her new home. The wonderful combination of an articulate "tween's" observations of everyday life make this a delightful, humorous and worthwhile read. I was surprised that I had not met this charming character until 34 years after her arrival alongside the likes of Harriet the Spy, Matilda and other enduring characters for upper elementary and middle school readers. Recommended.
Pool House Sloths
Sharanya Sarathy [Sharanya Sarathy]
Sarathy, Sharanya
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
A young local woman self-published this paperback after experiencing Monique Pool’s rescue house for sloths in Suriname. Told from the point of view of Lucas, a three-toed baby sloth, who lives in the Pool House, the reader is introduced to his other friends and their habits. Captions aren’t needed as the large font text clearly describes the antics of these darling, unusual creatures with different personalities. One page includes a list of differences between the two-toed and three-toed animals. Their nap positions, the food they eat, how and why they’re weighed all make for interesting photos and information. In 2012 Monique and her team of volunteers rescued 200 sloths in just a few days from one part of the rainforest that was being taken over. After being assured that the sloths are healthy they are released into a safer rainforest location. The book concludes with photos of the author and Monique Pool, herself, with sloths. All profits for this book go to the Green Heritage Fund Suriname. Three classes of second graders gave this a thumbs up. They loved hearing Lucas’s point of view, that it was true and the cute photos of these endearing mammals. If purchased this would be money well spent.
Blue Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Blue is easily the most popular color in the world, but it is rarely found in nature, on animals. This large format Abdo Kids book from the "Animal Colors" series introduces young readers to eight animals, from birds to slugs, that are (or can be) blue. The color blue is introduced, then each animal is briefly featured with a large sharp photograph that spills across the double-page spreads and faces two lines of simple text. There is a fact page as well as a brief glossary and index. (Interestingly, all the glossary words come from the introduction page and the fact page.) This is an attractive book that will intrigue young readers. However, is it an essential addition to your collection? Probably not.
Zoo Box
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Steinke, Aron Nels
Steinke Aron Nels
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Erika and Patrick are left alone in the house while their parents go out. As the oldest, Erika leads her little brother upstairs to the attic where they try on old animal costumes. When they discover a hat box with "Do Not Open" on it of course they open it. Animals pour out and charge outside. Nicely disguised, the children follow the menagerie to a zoo with humans as the exhibits. Soon they are spotted, however, and it's a race for their home where they trap the animals back in the box and hop into bed before their parents know anything happened. Done in a graphic-novel picture book style, this is an imaginative story by a husband and wife team from Portland.
Milo And Millie
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Robaard, Jedda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A boy and his teddy bear enjoy an adventurous bathtime, exploring an imaginary ocean in a paper boat made from a map. They encounter frogs, buildings, and even a whale (toys) and at last get caught in a whirlpool as the water drains away. Luckily they're rescued and ready for bed. This is a sweet bedtime/bathtime book with gentle illustrations in soft pastels and very simple text in short declarative sentences. It would be a good lap book.
Snow White Sees The Light
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Wallace, Karen
Rowland, Andy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Snow White works her fingers to the bone washing and cooking and cleaning for those darned dwarfs, and do they appreciate it? Apparently not. Fortunately, a wise queen sees the problem in her magic mirror and has Snow pretend to be poisoned by an apple, to see what the dwarfs will do. When their only voiced concerns are for their household chores Snow knows what she needs to do. She leaves them to their messiness and finds a nice prince who believes in sharing the work. This is meant to be a fractured fairy tale, but is so far removed from the original story that's a bit of a stretch. Still, it's a nice easy reader with bright illustrations and a good message about helping out.
Rumpled Stilton Skin
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Postgate, Daniel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this fractured fairy tale a young cheese-lover wishes to go to a royal party. Unfortunately, she stinks of cheese, especially that smelly Stilton cheese, with the rumpled skin. When a little man pops up and offers to make her beautiful both in appearance and smell, she jumps at the chance. After she marries the king, however, the bill comes due. The man wants her dog, possibly as an entree, if she can't guess his name. Why he's so awful he's as bad as that rumpled Stilton skin! Whew! Day saved! This is very simple but quite funny, with bright illustrations. The review copy was in paperback, but this might merit prebinding.
Cutie Pie Looks For The Easter Bunny : A Tiny Tab Book
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ho, Jannie
Ho, Jannie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Bright yellow and adorable, Cutie Pie is a chick on a mission. She's looking for the Easter Bunny! Along the way she finds plenty of friends, and eggs in lively patterns. This is a very solid board book with more layers of cardboard than normal, to allow for the thick cardboard tabs that help surprises appear on each page.The book is clearly designed for little hands and multiple uses. It would be a nice addition to any toddler's Easter basket.
Lost Planet
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Searles, Rachel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Chase wakes up in mortal danger, with no idea who or where he is. Rescued by a solitary teen being raised by an android, Chase tries to find out the truth about himself and the strange abilities he is starting to exhibit. His rescuer, Parker, is a computer genius and a bit of a risk-taker. Soon the two of them are off on an interplanetary adventure involving smugglers, plots within plots, and the death of an entire planet. Who is to blame? Who can they trust? Why are they being pursued? Who is Chase Garrety? This is a terrific sci-fi book that is sure to appeal to young action fans. The cover is eye-catching, and the content is terrific. It should grab the same crowd that loves "The Planet Thieves" by Krokos. It's nice to see folks writing good sci-fi, after such a plethora of fantasy.
Stolen Moon
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Searles, Rachel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Here's the second book in a fabulous sci-fi series. In the first book we met Chase, who had lost his memory, as well as his kid sister and his friend, Parker. Now they're all on the run and involved in intergalactic politics and intrigues. Aboard a military starship, where they hoped to be safe, a diplomatic situation arises. There's a hijacking, a kidnapping, and betrayal. Can the kids survive long enough to figure out what's going on? Both Chase and his sister have unusual abilities that they are just starting to hone and there are those who desire to have control over the kids. Who can they trust? This is a well-written, fast-paced series that will appeal to fans of Krokos's "The Planet Thieves" series. The characters are well-drawn, and there are underlying themes of loyalty, friendship, and justice. I can't wait for the third book to come out!
Market Maze
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Munro, Roxie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
April 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In a unique take on "find it" books, this teaches a lesson about how food gets from farm to table, all while engaging young readers in close scrutiny of the detailed illustrations. These pictures contain multiple things that readers can find, as well as specific trucks that are taking the food into the city to the farmer's market. This is not easy. Fish, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and even bakery goods are followed. There is fun to be had here, but also an important lesson to be learned. The illustrations are complex and educational. Readers who like "I Spy" books will embrace this one, and learn something along the way.
Amen, L.A.
Ember [RANDOM HOUSE]
Bennett, Cherie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 07, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Natalie Shelton, 17 years old, starts off stating she's lost her virginity the night before she and her family depart small town Minnesota for a new life in Beverly Hills where her mother has just been recruited as the minister of the Church of Beverly Hills. This last act with a long term boyfriend that she has mixed feelings about is not something that Nathalie is proud of nor does she share with anyone. She starts life in LA with amazement at all that is so over-the-top—the mansions (including the one they have to live in while the pastor’s home is being fixed), the near celebrities everywhere, the very rich people who are involved in the church, both adults and kids. Natalie becomes friends with a troubled neighbor girl who’s struggled with rehab after the sudden death of her parents causing disapproval from the church girls. Then there’s Brett, the gorgeous boy, who seems too perfect and turns out to be an actor. Can she hold on to her moral compass? Can she help Alex stay sober? Can she figure out what to do with her old boyfriend? This is a little breezy with all of the comparisons between Minnesota and Beverly Hills, but fun because of it. Natalie has hard decisions to make and doesn't always take the easy route.
Skeletal System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Human Body" series, this is a surprisingly informative introduction to the human skeletal system. While it includes the basics you might expect from any book on the topic, it also provides information about the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton, as well as the different types of bones, and both yellow and red marrow and their composition and roles. Readers learn about parts of bones, and what holds bones together. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This book contains information not normally found in a book on the subject, and it is presented in a cogent manner, with plenty of photographs and illustrations that clarify key points. It would be a useful addition to school library collections.
Finding A Mate : Animal Companions
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
St James, Cassidy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 08, 2015
Porter, Heidi
How do animals find mates? This book addresses ways by which male animals attract females through various types of display behavior. Each example reinforces the concept that female animals are looking for a strong and healthy mate who will father healthy babies. Primary-aged readers will enjoy the variety of ways that males use to show their suitability, including hearty mating calls, speedy chases, bright feathers and physical battles. Maps are provided throughout. Photos are large, well-selected and enhance understanding of the text. The book includes a glossary and index.
My Food, Your Food
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Bullard, Lisa
Schneider, Christine M.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
In the Cloverleap Books Alike and Different series, this narrative nonfiction introduces young children to the fact that people eat different foods in their homes, some of which come from their family backgrounds. Five simple chapters follow Manuel through his class’s study and sharing during Food Week. They learn that noodles can come from different places (Italy -spaghetti, China-yi mien). Bread can be flat or fluffy with Norwegian lefse, Indian roti and Jewish challah. People can eat fish and meat, or no animal products at all. This very multicultural class is represented in attractive illustrations that culminate with Manuel sharing his favorite food, Abulela’s salsa. Some factoid/question boxes are scattered through encouraging readers to share their own family favorites. The book concludes with a salsa recipe, a glossary that is pretty much unnecessary due to defining all terms in context. The bold words are a bit random and overdone as not all are included in this glossary. Further reading includes three books, two web sites, plus a short index. Others in the series touch on clothes, family, homes, language and religion. Gr.K-2
Secret Of The Water Dragon
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
West, Tracey
Howells, Graham
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The “Dragon Masters” series features a multiethnic cast of four children who have each been chosen to work with a dragon. The dragons are just as diverse as the children, some European, some Asian. In this, the third book in the series, someone steals the dragon stone. Surely the evil Maldred is behind this! The Emperor has been affected by dark magic as well. Can our four young heroes, and their dragons, save the day? Is there any doubt? The concept is interesting, and dragons are always popular. The occasional black and white illustrations help make this easy chapter book a good choice for transitional readers. However, the writing is weak, character development is practically nonexistent, and things just happen—nothing flows. This is a pity because the idea is good. The execution, however, needs work.
Glamourpuss
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Weeks, Sarah
Small, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Glamourpuss knows how to strut her stuff, in an elegant way of course. She lives in a mansion and is used to being pampered and adored. She’s even shortened “meow” to the more correct “me.” Then a visitor arrives from Texas with a Chihuahua who has multiple outfits and tricks galore. Suddenly Glamourpuss finds herself out of the spotlight, and it is not a good feeling. At first she resents her rival, but she eventually realizes an important truth about the dog, and takes it under her competent paw. This is a funny story with slapdash evocative illustrations by David Small that capture the idea of a spoiled cat and an over-dressed dog perfectly. The sparkly pink cover will attract young girls, but both girls and boys will enjoy the story, and the message about being yourself.
The Hangman in the Mirror
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Cayley, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Based on an obscure law and a true story, this is historical fiction about a girl in 18th-century Quebec who desires to rise above her peasant status. When given the chance to be a lady’s maid she is initially delighted, but becomes disenchanted with her new station in life. Tried for theft and sentenced to death by hanging, she charms a fellow prisoner into volunteering to be the hangman, and into marrying her, thus commuting her sentence. This is a whole tapestry spun from a single thread of historical fact, but it is well-written and provides an interesting insight into a different time and place. It would made a good addition to historical fiction collections in secondary schools.
Rapunzel And The Prince Of Pop
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Gorman, Karyn
Anderson, Laura Ellen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “Tadpoles Fairytale Twists” series, this paperback book gives an updated twist to the story of Rapunzel. The Prince of Pop is driving by when he hears a beautiful voice coming from a tower. Further investigation leads him to Rapunzel. He knows he can make a fortune from her voice and proceeds to groom her for a record contract, all the while thinking only of himself. The tables are turned, however, when she chooses a new agent—the witch—and goes out on her own. This is an adequate version of the story, but lacks the quirky humor usually found in fractured fairy tales. The illustrations are bright and colorful. Unfortunately they do not match the text perfectly since the text refers several times to Rapunzel’s braid, while the illustrations show only long flowing tresses. This is a fun easy-reader, but has a few flaws.
Monkey And The Bee
ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [ABRAMS BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Raymundo, Peter
Raymundo, Peter
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Monkey. Banana. Bee. Bee on banana. Mad monkey. Monkey chases bee. Angry lion. Monkey runs. Bee saves monkey. Friends. This is a very very very simple story told with one or two words per page and through the expressive and joyously illustrations by Petyer Raymundo. This is very very close to a wordless picture book, and has a sort of graphic novel feel to it, as if each page were a frame. It would be a great book for beginning readers to expand on the basic tale through describing the illustrations.
Education Through The Years : How Going To School Has Change
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Lewis, Clare
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This 24 page book peripherally examines some aspects of education in the United States in living memory. First “living memory” is defined. Then young readers see what schools were like in the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today. Photographs go from black and white to color. The brief text shows how things have changed from how children get to school to how classrooms are organized to the increasing resources available today. With only two pages dedicated to a decade this is a very quick and superficial view, but it would still be handy for compare and contrast, or a good stepping-off-point for students to interview their parents and grandparents about their own educational experiences.
Groundhog Day
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lewin, Betsy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This Scholastic Level 1 paperback reader features big bold illustrations as readers learn about Phil, the groundhog, and his big day. They may be surprised at why Phil and his shadow have such a dicey relationship. This is a very simple story with a touch of humor that will appeal to beginning readers. Besides, there are never enough books for Groundhog’s Day!
Wild About Shapes
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Fischer, Jeremie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is a unique concept. Young readers are asked what they see. It seems to be only slashes and blobs of color, but when the plastic page is turned the colored shape on it meets the colored shape on the facing page and an animal shape magically appears. That animal introduces the next one. Sometimes you can see them coming. Other times they are a surprise. A few words accompany each picture. Some are more successful than others, but the concept is appealing and young children will delight in the “magic” involved. Lamentably, even though the pages are sturdy, spiral bindings are notoriously bad for library circulation. This would be a better book for home collections.
Walk On The Wild Side
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Oldland, Nicholas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Bear, Moose, and Beaver are friends, although sometimes they can get a little competitive. A hike to a mountain turns into a race to the top. When disaster strikes, however, the friends work together and discover there’s a lot to be said for cooperation. This is a simple story but what really makes it stand out are the quirky digital illustrations, all in muted tones with clever yet subtle humor. There’s a nice lesson here, but it’s not shoved down the reader’s throat.
You Can Do It, Bert!
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Konnecke, Ole
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A little bird, Bert, is on a branch next to his nest. What is he about to try? Why is he hesitating? The text consists solely of short, encouraging remarks. When Bert finally leaps from the branch what will happen? It’s not quite what you might expect. This is a delightfully understated book that kindergarten teachers will enjoy using for prediction. The big, bold illustrations pop against white backgrounds giving the book a kid-friendly appeal. Yet, in those simple lines, there is a lot going on. Children will giggle and want to hear it again. That’s good, because it is very, very short. On the other hand, it would serve as a nice writing start for older children to come up with other endings that might work as well.
Fishfishfish
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Nordling, Lee
Bosch, Meritxell
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this wordless graphic novel readers see a little yellow fish threatened by a barracuda. Who will save him? The story is told in 3 tiers of panels, each displaying a different viewpoint. (It is important to read inside the front cover, which explains how the book is organized.) The top panels show the solitary fish. The middle ones are the barracuda. The bottom panels show a school of fish united in a cause. This is a unique way to teach point-of-view and the artwork is colorful and interesting. Children will be able to pore over the pictures multiple times. This is the sort of book you'll have to talk up at first, however, because its interesting qualities are not immediately obvious.
How Come It's Windy?
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Williams, Judith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “How Does Weather Happen?” series, this sturdy 24 page book combines crisp photographs with , bright illustrations, and clear simple text to provide young readers with a scientific explanation about what causes the wind. It begins with a glossary and ends with a bibliography and index. Particularly good are the inclusion of the Beaufort scale and an experiment that uses it. This is a clear, interesting explanation of a common phenomenon. It merits a place in school libraries.
I Can Draw Dinosaurs, Dragons & Prehistoric Creatures : Lear
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Legendre, Philippe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "I Can Draw" series, this is an eclectic mix of fact and fantasy. Dinosaurs? Sure, as well as ancient mammals and flying critters. Then toss in a few dragons for the heck of it. Huh? Each critter is introduced with a sentence of information and a complete drawing. These are followed by four steps that will produce the picture which is sometimes the whole body and other times just the head. The steps are quite simple and could be followed by primary grade students. . Information about tools and materials, as well as the color wheel, is included. Young artists have the chance to draw 19 things from Dimetrodons to Cro Magnon man. I'll admit that the addition of mythical creatures puzzled me, but drawing books are always popular and this will be no exception.
Abraham Lincoln
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Anderson, Annmarie
Kelley, Gerald
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Told in the first person, this is a short biography designed to introduce young readers to Abraham Lincoln as if he were speaking to them himself. Illustrations and photographs accompany the sympathetic text to give a nice overview of Lincoln's life and his most significant contributions to our nation's history. This is a friendly, informal Level 3 Reader that would be be a good read-aloud for primary grade students, but also a book they could read on their own. It is part of the "When I Grow Up" series, and I've been impressed with the other books from the series which I have read.
Teensy Weensy Animals
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Emerson, Joan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Level 2 Reader crisp color photographs accompany well-written paragraphs of text to introduce young readers to some of the smallest critters around. Dwarf sloths, pygmy goats, and munchkin cats are only a few of the cute animals found in this book which doesn't just concentrate on the very small, but also on smaller versions of much larger creatures, such as the pygmy elephant. While the text always provides a comparison to give an idea of actual size, it would have been nice to see a comparison object in all, instead of just some, of the photographs. Also, the overuse of exclamation marks became very annoying! Still, this is an interesting topic that should enthrall young nonfiction readers.
Make Money Choices
Pebble Books/capstone Press [Pebble Books/capstone Press]
Reina, Mary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 09, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Drat! This is exactly the book one of my teachers was asking for three months ago. She wanted something that presented the difference between wants and needs. This small format nonfiction book introduces the concept of how we use money. Do you spend? Do you save? Do you donate? Wants and needs are clearly defined, with examples given. Other options are also briefly presented. Crisp color photographs face a clear paragraph of text. 24 pages is a perfect introduction for young children, and would be a good starting point for further discussion. Yes, the book has a glossary, bibliography, and unnecessary index. It also includes two Common Core critical thinking questions. This is an excellent introduction to financial literacy, which is becoming a significant issue in education.
Pop Of The Bumpy Mummy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cummings, Troy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Things are weird in Stermont. This is what Alexander Bopp discovered when he moved to the town. Now he is a member of the S.S.M.P. (Super Secret Monster Patrol), keeping track of the various weird monsters they encounter, and figuring out a way to thwart them. In this entry in "The Notebook of Doom" series (#6) every kid in town receives a strange striped box in the mail with nothing but bubble wrap inside. What could it mean? A sleepover at the local museum will reveal all as a bubble wrap mummy comes to life and must be eliminated. Short chapters, plenty of black and white illustrations, and mild scariness make this series a good choice for transitional readers.
How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe?
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Yolen, Jane
Teague, Mark
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Yolen and Teague are back with another oversized dinosaur collaboration. This time Yolen's simple rhyming text addresses the issue of safety. Do dinosaurs ride their bikes without helmets? Do they climb on the roof? Do they stand on chairs? Of course not. They hold their mother's hand while crossing the street, wear a helmet, and avoid strangers. While the text certainly opens the door for discussions with young children about safety issues, the illustrations are the real highlight of the book. Big, brightly patterned dinosaurs expand across the double-page spreads, clearly the stars. Unfortunately this means prebinding cuts right into the illustration, and original binding is not great. Sigh. These books are very popular in my library.
Second Banana
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Graves, Keith
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Amazing Bubbles is the star of the circus. This monkey drives, dives, plays the piano, and is shot out of a cannon. Poor Oop, the gorilla, is far from a star. She's the backstage help for all of the monkey's amazing stunts. She'd like to be more but, as the Amazing Bubbles explains, she's the second banana. When Bubbles suffers a boo-boo, however, it's up to Oop to save the show, in her own style. This is a funny story, but it's the delightful illustrations with their own humorous twists, that will draw young readers in. They'll go bananas for this book!
Pied Piper And The Wrong Song
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
North, Laura
Anderson, Scoular
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Hamelin is overwhelmed with rats! What should they do? They call in the piper, of course. However, his tunes are not effective. They keep targeting the wrong audience--cows, pigs, farmers. Finally the town pays him to go away. This is a slight tale, part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series. Still, its bright illustrations and simple text make it a good choice for beginning readers. They might not, however, be familiar with the story it parodies.
Elves And The Trendy Shoes
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Foster, Evelyn
Venturini, Claudia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The elves have been shoemakers for years, but now their shoes are no longer in demand. Cinderella is sick of glass slippers and Puss isn't all that into boots anymore. Then, one morning, they wake up to discover that their shop is filled with wonderful new trendy shoes--high heels, sneakers, roller-blades. These are a hit with fairy-tale folks. Who could have done it? When they find out the truth a trade is arranged and everyone ends up happy. Part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series, this is a remake of "The Shoemaker and the Elves." Bright illustrations and simple text make it a good choice for beginning readers.
Pirate Treasure
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Tucker, Rosalyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Who doesn't love the idea of pirate treasure? It's been the basis of books and movies for years. This 24 page Pebble Plus book gives young readers a brief overview of pirate treasure. What did they steal, and how did they dispose of it? The coverage is slight (word count 228) but the subject matter is interesting. A paragraph of text faces an illustration or photograph in this large format book. There's a glossary, an index, a bibliography, and a website link. With its attractive cover and appealing subject matter this is sure to attract readers.
Emperor's New Uniform
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Haselhurst, Maureen
Kennedy, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Vivid, colorful illustrations accompany this different version of "The Emperor's New Clothes." Frankie is jealous of Enrico. Both play on the same soccer team but Enrico is a bit of a diva, and goes all out for the fame and the clothes. When he seeks a new snazzy uniform Frankie presents him with an empty box and a story about how only the best soccer players can see the uniform inside. A young fan, however, turns the table on Frankie and he is the one who ends up in his underwear on the field. This is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series, providing beginning readers with humorous fractured fairy tales. The book is visually appealing, and the story is funny. It should be popular with children.
Three Frilly Goats Fluff
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Guillain, Charlotte
Littler, Phil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A goat family loves frilly things, and they shop for them. Lamentably they must pass over a troll's bridge to get to the mall. When the troll accosts each family member, they buy their way across by flinging a frilly item at the troll. Turns out the troll likes looking frilly, too, and next time they'll all go shopping together. This is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series but to call it a fractured fairy tale is a bit of a stretch. Still children will enjoy the silliness of the frilly goats, as shown in the bright and humorous illustrations, and the simple story.
Over On A Mountain : Somewhere In The World
DAWN PUBLICATIONS [DAWN PUBLICATIONS]
Berkes, Marianne
Dubin, Jill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is part of a series of books all based on the song "Over In The Meadow" and all singable. (Take note, GLAD schools.) Jill Dubin's beautiful collage and pencil illustrations combine with Marianne Berkes text to introduce youngsters to animals around the world. In each double-page spread readers are introduced to an animal and the correct name of that animal's baby. A map shows where this animal can be found. This is also a counting book, and a mountain book, as each featured animal can be associated with a specific mountain range. The song and illustrations give clues about habitat and diet as well. But that's not all! End pages provide facts about the mountains, additional facts about the featured animals, AND facts about other mountain animals hidden in each picture. Author and illustrator notes, as well as the music for the song, are included. I enjoy all the books in this series and find them both singable and informative.
Hansel And Gretel And The Green Witch
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
North, Laura
Jevons, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this fractured fairy tale version of "Hansel and Gretel" the two children are couch potatoes. In an effort to get them to exercise more, their father leaves a trail of doughnuts into the woods. There they encounter a witch who only likes to eat healthy, fit children. She runs them through an exercise regimen and they nibble on her vegetable house. When they're just right for dinner, however, they're also fit enough to outrun the witch and return home again. Bright digital illustrations accompany the text which is designed for beginning readers. This is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series.
Icky Sticky : Scary Snakes
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Brown, Laaren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Wow--look at the cover! That's a photograph of a vivid green snake with fangs ready. That alone will draw readers in. This is a Level 2 introduction to snakes. Photographs, fact boxes, and new word introductions combine with the text to make this appealing, even if the content is a bit eclectic and the information covered is a little random. Snake enthusiasts won't care. This, however, is NOT for library collections. It includes 50 stickers that are specifically designed to go into the book at particular locations. Students will enjoy buying this at the book fair for personal use, but don't plan on adding it to your library.
Funny Bunnies : Morning, Noon, And Night
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Dicicco, Sue
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A bouncing family of bright pastel bunnies hop across the pages of this Level 1 Reader, their day filled with activities. Games, food, chores--theirs is a busy and diverse family. There's even a bunny in a wheelchair! Then it's off to bed, because tomorrow will be a another busy and fun day. This is a book that offers beginning readers the chance for successful decoding.
Does The Sun Make Weather?
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Williams, Judith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “How Does Weather Happen?” series, this sturdy 24 page book combines crisp photographs with, bright illustrations, and clear simple text to provide young readers with a scientific explanation about the sun's role in creating weather. It begins with a glossary and ends with a bibliography and index. The water cycle is explained in simple terms - water vapor rises, clouds, rain--and a diagram is included. An explanation of why it's warmer in summer than winter is included. The book includes a copy of the UV index. A simple science experiment is included. This is a clear, interesting explanation suitable for younger children. It merits a place in school libraries.
Soon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knapman, Timothy
Benson, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
It is early in the morning when Raju's mother starts a journey with her baby. The two Asian elephants travel through different landscapes and face dangers. Each time Raju's mother keeps him safe, and he imitates her behavior when facing snakes, or tigers, or other perils. "When can we go home again?" he asks, but his mother's only answer is "Soon." Finally they reach the mountain top and the view is amazing. Returning home, Raju wants to know when they can go on the adventure again, to receive the same reply as before. This is a tender mother/child tale with soft and poignant illustrations by Patrick Benson. This sweet story would be a good lap book.
How Come It's Snowing?
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Williams, Judith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “How Does Weather Happen?” series, this sturdy 24 page book combines crisp photographs with, bright illustrations, and clear simple text to provide young readers with a clear explanation about snow. It begins with a glossary and ends with a bibliography and index. The formation of snow is explained as part of the water cycle, which is explained in simple terms. There are beautiful, crisp photographs of snow crystals. One flaw--the text says there are usually 5 different shapes, but the five different shapes are not clearly defined or illustrated. Readers learn how snow crystals become snowflakes, how to measure snow, and how a blizzard is defined. A simple science experiment is included. This is a clear, interesting explanation suitable for younger children. It merits a place in school libraries.
One Direction : Popular Boy Band
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Diver, Lucas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Pop Bios" series, this large-format 24 page book features big, crisp photographs that bow across the hinges of double-page spreads and face two or three sentences of simple text. This book gives a few tidbits of information about the band One Direction, and its members. It begins with their X Factor appearance where they went from solos to a group, then follows some highlights of their career to date. There is also a timeline, glossary, and completely unnecessary index. Children will enjoy reading this very brief puff piece, and it's sure to be popular. Unfortunately it's also sure to be outdated very quickly.
Zendaya : Disney Channel Actress
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Diver, Lucas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Pop Bios" series, this large-format 24 page book features big, crisp photographs that bow across the hinges of double-page spreads and face two or three sentences of simple text. This book gives a few tidbits of information about young Disney actress, Zendaya. Readers are told where and when she was born and a little about her earlier life and her acting and musical career, including her "Dancing with the Stars" appearance, up to this point. There is also a timeline, glossary, and completely unnecessary index. Children will enjoy reading this very brief puff piece, but biographies of young stars, while popular, are a poor choice for libraries with slim budgets because they become outdated so quickly.
Ross Lynch : Disney Channel Actor
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Diver, Lucas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Pop Bios" series, this large-format 24 page book features big, crisp photographs that bow across the hinges of double-page spreads and face two or three sentences of simple text. This book gives a few tidbits of information about Ross Lynch, who has appeared in a variety of Disney Channel shows. Readers are told where and when he was born and a little about his musical background, and his family band R5. A little about his acting career is mentioned as well. There is also a timeline, glossary, and completely unnecessary index. Children will enjoy reading this very brief puff piece, but biographies of young stars, while popular, are a poor choice for libraries with slim budgets because they become outdated so quickly.
Rowan Blanchard : Star Of Girl Meets World
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Diver, Lucas
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Pop Bios" series, this large-format 24 page book features big, crisp photographs that flow across the hinges of double-page spreads and face two or three sentences of simple text. This book gives a few tidbits of information about Rowan Blanchard, who stars in the Disney show "Girl Meets World." Readers are told where and when she was born and a little about her earlier life and her career up to this point. There is also a timeline, glossary, and completely unnecessary index. Children will enjoy reading this very brief puff piece, but biographies of young stars, while popular, are a poor choice for libraries with slim budgets because they become outdated so quickly.
Made In The Wild : Animal Builders
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Norris, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 10, 2015
Porter, Heidi
What kinds of structures do animals build and why? This book for primary students describes an array of animal-built structures. In spite of the simple reading level, the text manages to provide interesting information about building techniques and materials. Included are photos and descriptions of numerous animal structures such as a sociable weaver nest, a massive termite mound, a coral reef and a beaver dam. Primary students are sure to enjoy this well-designed and visually appealing book. Index and photo glossary are included. The book is part of a Rourke series, "Close Up on Amazing Animals".
Farm Machines
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Clay, Kathryn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Big machines--who doesn't love them? This Pebble Plus book uses its large format to showcase the big machines that you might find on a farm. Tractors pull plows, seed drills, and cultivators. Combines and harvesters harvest crops. Balers create rolls of grass and silage. The big photographs show the machines at work and face a page with a short paragraph of explanatory text. The book includes a glossary, index, bibliography, and weblink. Fans of big machines will find this book immensely appealing.
Mending Horses
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Barker, Michele
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
It's the mid 1800's in the United States. Daniel Linnehan has escaped indentured servitude and is a free young man, albeit there are ghosts that haunt him. When a misunderstanding nearly gets him killed he ends up with a peddler, a traveling show, and a girl who calls herself Billy and pretends to be a boy to escape her own rough past. In mending the show's badly-treated horses, Daniel also finds himself trying to mend other relationships. In the meantime different threads follow Billy's drunk and selfish father, and her heartbroken older brother who thinks his sister is dead. The story takes place during a time when Irish people like Billy and Daniel suffered discrimination. Can they find a place to call home? This is densely written, complex, beautiful historical fiction with fully developed characters and a compelling story. There were times I literally could not put it down. It is the sequel to "A Difficult Boy." The author's historical expertise shines through on every page. It merits a place in secondary libraries.
Nelly May Has Her Say
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
Defelice, Cynthia
Cole, Henry
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Nelly May comes from a large family and wants to earn a living to help out. That's why she goes to the mansion on the hill to ask for work as the housekeeper. Lord Ignatius Pinkwinkle, however, is willing to hire her only if she agrees to his vocabulary for ordinary things. The fire, for example, is a "flaming pop-and-sizzle", while the dog is a "fur-faced fluffenbarker." It goes on and on. Nevertheless she takes the job. When a fire hits that night, however, her need to use The Most Excellent of All Masters' vocabulary to describe the problem and warn the man seriously slows things down. Frustrated, she returns home, but soon finds her former employer repentant at the door. This is a highly amusing story with detailed watercolor and ink illustrations by Henry Cole. It begs to be read aloud and has a multitude of possibilities for extension activities.
When You Were Born
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Dodd, Emma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Settle a toddler on your lap and wrap him in your arms as your open this book to share. When you were born the snow melted, the birds sang, the grass waved...everything changed. This gently sweet and loving book is clearly designed to be shared one-on-one, with a child close enough to reach out and touch the soft illustrations that have been enhanced by bits of glistening silver that add texture to rain, grass, and stars. In these illustrations animal parents reassure their babies, and the final pictures show a human baby added to the mix. This is the sort of book parents and grandparents will want to share with their little ones.
Laura Marano : Famous Actress & Singer
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book introduces young readers to actress and singer, Laura Marano. Readers learn where and when she was born, and a little about her family. It then focuses on her career including early influences and experiences, commercials, TV roles and her starring role in the Disney program "Austin & Ally."" Movie roles and her musical career are also highlighted. Readers learn a bit about her life on and off the set, and her charity work. The book features big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly become outdated, but that's the problem with any biography about a living person.
Lorde : Singing Sensation
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book introduces young readers to singer Lorde. Readers learn about her New Zealand origins and her family and early influences. The author notes the singer's love of reading. YAY! Information about her career includes songs, performances, and awards. There is also a little bit about her life both in and out of the studio. , and her charity work. The book features big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly be outdated, but that's true with any biography about a living person.
Debby Ryan : Disney Tv Star
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book introduces young readers to Disney actress, Debby Ryan from "The Suite Life On Deck," and "Jessie." Readers learn where and when she was born, and a little about her family and early career. Her big break was in 2008, with Disney. Other acting jobs she's had are also mentioned. Readers learn about her musical talents, and her life both on and off the set. Big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic, abound. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly be outdated, but them's the breaks when it comes to current biographies.
Daft Punk : Electronic Music Duo
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book introduces young readers to electronic music team, Daft Punk. Readers learn about the two men behind the enigmatic masks, where and when they were born, how they met, and their early musical career. The gradual evolution of their musical style and costumes is also explored. Highlights from their career thus far, including albums and awards as well as charity work, are also highlighted. The book features big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly be outdated, but that's the problem with any biography about people still in the midst of shaping their careers.
Kacey Musgraves : Country Music Star
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book introduces young readers to country music star, Kacey Musgraves. Readers learn where and when she was born, and a little about her family. Early musical experiences and influences are mentioned. The book then focuses on her career, including major events, awards, songs she has released and how she promotes her music. Charity work is also mentioned. The book features big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly be outdated, but that's the problem with any biography about a living person.
Elephants Are Awesome!
A+ Books/capstone Press [A+ Books/capstone Press]
Rustad, Martha E H
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Elephants are AWESOME! (Why do I hear that Lego Movie song going through my head? This book is awesome, too. In 32 pages this larger format book informs readers about African elephant habitats, family life, diet, anatomy and more. It does this in short paragraphs scattered among amazingly crisp photographs that are scattered across the pages. In many cases the text acts as an extended picture caption, and the two, combined carry a lot of information. The text is designed to draw young readers in and provide the interesting facts they long for. The book includes a glossary, index, bibliography, and three Common Core critical thinking questions. This is excellent nonfiction, perfect for those first-grade animal reports. If the rest of the series is as good I would recommend purchasing them all. Awesome!
Clouds : A Compare And Contrast Book
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Hall, Katharine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What this book has to recommend it are the photographs. The double-paged spreads are filled with gorgeous clouds of all varieties. On the picture is a single line of text describing the clouds. "Some clouds are colorful" for example. The pictures are extraordinary and compelling. However, it is only on the end pages that readers learn anything about the types of clouds or how clouds can be used to predict the weather. This "Compare and Contrast Book" mostly focuses on how clouds can be different from each other. The other problem is the format. This is a sturdy, large paperback book. Prebinding, however, would seriously compromise many of the photographs, most especially the one of the tornado. This is beautiful, but would require guidance for classroom use.
Ariana Grande : Famous Actress & Singer
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo "Big Buddy Biographies" series, this well-bound 32 page large format book provides young readers with a quick overview of actress and singer, Ariana Grande. Readers learn where and when she was born, and a little about her family. The book then follows her career from child actress to Broadway and then children's television star. Her musical career is also briefly highlighted. Readers learn about her life on and off the stage, and her charity work. The book features big, well-captioned photographs and fact boxes, all with a star theme graphic. A quick snapshot page gives the basic facts. There is a glossary and index. This book is surprisingly informative and will please young fans. Of course it will quickly be outdated, but that's the problem with any biography about a living person.
Rock Can Be...
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Salas, Laura Purdie
Dabija, Violeta
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What can a rock be? It can be as small as a grain of sand, or as big as a mountain. It can be a fire sparker, a hopscotch marker, a fountain, a dune. There are many things a rock can be. This simple rhyming text is accompanied by Violeta Dabija's expressive, radiant illustrations that open the mind to new possibilities. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and additional information at the back about each of the things that rocks can be. Combine this with Baylor's "Everybody Needs a Rock", and some rock samples, for an interesting story time.
I Feel Sick!
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Ross, Tony
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Tony Ross's Little Princess is back and this time she feels sick...but only when there's something she doesn't want to do. This selective illness saves her from work and inconvenience but nearly keeps her from a party as well. She parties too hardy, however, and this time she really is sick. This series is known for its very simple story lines, large format books, big bold illustrations big enough for sharing, and poor binding. Kindergarteners love the Little Princess. Prebind, if purchasing for library use.
Bear Hug
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Mcewen, Katharine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Collage illustrations fill the pages with tender colors and detail as the sweet and simple text follows two bears as they prepare for winter, using the skills taught by their parents. When they emerge from their den there is a third bear, who they teach as the seasons progress until winter returns and they hibernate together. This is a lovely, gentle story about family and life that is as warm as a bear hug, even if it is not scientifically accurate.
Rice And Beans
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Blevins, Wiley
Cerato, Mattia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
A young girl looks at her family and then at herself. Her hair and eyes are black. Her parents have “red hair and skin the color of vanilla ice cream. She talks about the differences between where she was born and where she lives now, “A place where they eat pork dumplings and rice. Lots and lots of rice. Now I eat brown beans and cornbread. Lots and lots of cornbread.” She knows she is adopted explaining that it means she has a birth mother and a forever mother. Her American family makes sure she learns about her birth culture and watch her participate in the lion dance for the Chinese New Year celebration. The text is simple and straight forward in its message about adoption. The story feels just a little stilted and pointed, trying to give adoptees a book in which they can see themselves and telling everyone that to adoption is a good thing. The bright illustrations emphasize the “feel good” text and appeal to young children. The binding is adequate. Interest in this title may last as long as the paper on board covers.
Mysterious Patterns : Finding Fractals In Nature
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Campbell, Sarah C
Campbell Sarah C. & Richard P.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
We see shapes and patterns in nature all around us. We use man made shape descriptions (think: circle, triangle, cone; pyramid) to explain them. However, nature does not have smooth lines or shapes that we see in man made objects. A tomato is almost a sphere; an icicle is almost a cone, but not quite. Mysterious Patters introduces us to the concept of Fractals; identified in 1975 by Benoit Mandelbrot. In clear easy to understand kid language, diagrams and beautiful close up photographs of a tree, broccoli, and Queen Ann’s lace, Campbell explains fractals. “Every fractal shape has smaller parts that look like the whole shape... All fractals have parts that repeat at different sizes.” The photos pair perfectly with the text, making the concept especially accessible to learners, adults included. The binding is adequate; the dust jacket will protect the paper on board cover well, as this text will most likely receive most of its use from teachers introducing the concept of fractals to their class. The glossary provided helps the young readers with the basic math vocabulary in the text. Make Your Own Fractal activity and back matters about Benoit Mandel.
Skink On The Brink
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Dalrymple, Lisa
Del Rizzo, Suzanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Stewie is a very little skink with a very blue tail.” He says his blue tail gives him superpowers against his enemies. He lives where “the ground is just damp enough; the sun is just warm enough. And the air is just perfect.” Stewie loves to sing songs about himself and his habitat. When a weasel pounces his blue tail pops of and he is able to hid. This is an introduction to the life and habitat of a Common Five-Lined Skink. Stewie, who happens to live in Ontario, is related to at least two other separate populations found across Canada and the United States. Del Rizzo’s collage style illustrations cover a third to one half of the page with a few lines of text with plenty of white space surrounding it. The “songs” that Stewie makes up are a bit of a stretch and somewhat awkward when being read aloud. Written in a bouncy narrative style, the information contained in this volume is slight, but makes appealing reading for young readers who enjoy material on “real” things. The binding is adequate and the paper on board cover is bright and attractive.
Super Red Riding Hood
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Davila, Claudia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Ruby loves everything red; red berries, her red boots, especially the read cloak grandma made for her. When she puts on her red cloak, she is Super Red Riding Hood! She saves babies from trees; she plays superhero. One day mom ask her to go on a super important mission... go pick some raspberries for a snack. Grabbing her lunch box, flashlight and throwing on her red boots and cloak, she heads for the raspberry patch in the deep dark woods. Super Red Riding Hood rescues a snail in her path on her way as she sings, “Who’s afraid of the deep dark woods” to herself. Just as she is finished picking raspberries she hears a “big rumbly, growly terrifying sound!” Singing, “Who’s afraid of the -Wolf!” she quickly climbs a tree. After facing down the wolf, she learns the he is hungry so as a good superhero shares her snack. This is a fun take on the Red Riding Hood story with a strong heroine. The bright colorful Photoshop illustrations are reminiscent of earlier decades. The binding probably will not hold up well to much handling. This title could be used for a classroom discussion between this and a version of the original Red Riding Hood story.
Snow Joke
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Degen, Bruce
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Hooray! Lots of snow is on the ground and Bunny is excited to play in it with her friend Red. Red is not such a good friend as he teases Bunny. First is the snowball he throws at her, then taking her hat for the snowman, making a snow devil out of her snow angel and even pushing her off the sled. He excuses each of his actions with “It’s just a joke.” when Bunny complains “That’s not funny!” But, when Red falls while skating and all the friends laugh, it is he who says “That’s not funny!” In the end, Bunny shows Red how to be a friend when she invites Red in for hot cocoa along with the rest of her friends. Degan, illustrator of the Magic School Bus series, has created an endearing story for the youngest readers. Bunny and friends are all brightly dressed in their winter clothes, their expressions clearly show their emotions as Red plays his jokes. The illustrations tell the story adding the details about the characters winter day while the minimal text supplies the main idea of the story in this "I Like to Read" offering. With one or two large-type sentences per page this is a perfect story of friendship for the very earliest readers. Unfortunately, the binding and paper on board cover will not stand up well to much handling.
Mighty Lalouche
SCHWARTZ & WADE [RANDOM HOUSE]
Olshan, Matthew
Blackall, Sophie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
French boxing was popular in France in the late 19th century. Similar to kick-boxing today, it depended more on agility than on brute strength. This is a fictional picture book about a postal worker who was neither large nor muscled. Nevertheless, when he lost his job due to mechanization, he took up boxing. Could such a slender fellow last in the ring against the behemoths who dominated the sport? This is a funny story with illustrations that are often metaphors themselves. Perhaps most interesting, however, is the end note giving background on the sport and the time. This is an interesting peek into a different time and place that would certainly count as picture book historical fiction.
Library Field Trip
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Martin, Isabel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Let's go on a trip to the library! What might we see there? Tables, books, computers! Did you know that librarians are like detectives when it comes to finding information? They also read stories and organize things. You can check out a book if you have a library card. The library is a great place to be. This enthusiastic Pebble Plus book features big color photographs a paragraph of simple text. All standard text features apply. This is a nice introduction to libraries and would fit well on your easy-nonfiction shelves.
Why Do I Burp?
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Kolpin, Molly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This Pebble Plus book from the "My Silly Body" series gives young readers a simple yet solid explanation behind why they burp. A diagram shows the esophagus, and ways that you might swallow air are explained. The process of eliminating that gas orally is presented. (Other gas elimination options are not covered here.) Good manners are encouraged. The 24-page large format book features crisp color photographs facing a paragraph of simple text. The book includes a glossary, index, bibliography, and maintained weblink. There is also a brief Common Core critical thinking activity. This is an informative, simple book that would fit well into any easy nonfiction collection.
Jasper & Joop
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Dunrea, Olivier
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Jasper and Joop are gosling friends, but completely different. Jasper is tidy and organized. Joop is more spontaneous and loves the chance to get messy. When chased by bees, however, Jasper has to drop some of his careful behaviors and both he and Joop end up having fun and getting delightfully messy. Bright clear drawings pop against a glossy white background in this joyous celebration of friendship.
Oh No, George!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Haughton, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
George just can't seem to follow directions. He wants to be good, but that cake looks so yummy, and the cat so chase-able. What will George do? Oh no, George! After several amusing failings, long-nosed George manages to behave himself on a walk. He passes many temptations, but will he be able to pass by the last one? The reader is left wondering as this board book ends. This is a funny book that captures the spirit of a good-hearted, if not always well-behaved, canine. Quirky illustrations suite the text well. While toddlers may not always "get" the concept, their parents will grin.
Hide And Seek Harry On The Farm
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Harrison, Kenny
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Harry is the hippo and he's playing hide-and-seek on a farm in this board book. Of course the two children will have no problem finding Harry, nor will the toddler reading the book who will delight in spotting the oversized Harry in his ineffectual hiding spots. This is an amusing interactive book that is just right for a toddler's sense of humor.
Eclipses
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Hunter, Nick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
One of four titles in Heinemann first Library’s The Night Sky and Other Amazing Sights in Space, Eclipses looks at solar and lunar eclipses. It explains how they happen, what they look like, how they affect animals, how people reacted to them in the past and how scientists study them in the present. There is even a little about eclipses and other planets. Each two-page spread is a “chapter”; with beautiful photos, and two clearly stated, short, mater-of-fact, information packed paragraphs, one on each page. The small insert “text boxes” provide a snippet of additional information acting as a caption for each of the photographs and/or illustrations on each page. Young readers will become enthusiastic astronomers and look for the other titles in the series such as Comets, Northern Lights and Stars and Constellations. The sturdy library binding will stand up to all the handling young sky watcher can dish out. This would be an excellent addition to an elementary library and can enhance several Common Core Standards. Includes a doable enrichment activity, a glossary, index and Find Our More pages
Bears
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
One of six beginning nonfiction titles from the Zoo Animals series from Sandcastle, an ABDO imprint, Bears, would be considered a “just right book” for a beginning reader. The simple vocabulary and two sentences of text surrounded by white space take up a less than a quarter - one corner - of a two-page spread. Photographs of one of the eight species of bear cover the rest of the two-page spread. Most of the photographs are of brown bear, polar bear, giant panda, and grizzly bear. Surprisingly, the text contains enough information that a first or second grade student could use it as a resource in writing about Bears. It contains a small glossary, Fast Fact and a Quick Quiz page. The sturdy library binding will last well.
Cool Savory Muffins : Fun & Easy Baking Recipes For Kids!
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
One of six titles in the Checkerboard Cool cookbook series for kids, this title focuses on savory muffins. The explanation “Savory muffins are muffins you can eat for dinner, lunch or snacks.” does not quite clarify just what they are. “Savory” is in bold type that leads to the small glossary in the back where the definition does include “not sweet”. The first chapters, two page spreads, are all about the “Basics”: Ask Permission, Be prepared, Be neat and Clean; Be Smart, Be Safe; Measuring & No Germs Allowed!; “Cool Cooking Terms and Symbols with accompanying photograph. Kitchen Supplies with photographs of each item and identifying tags; and Ingredients with labeled photographs of each used in the recipe. The recipes themselves include Mac and Cheese Bites and Cheesy Pizza Puff Pieces, which should appeal to kids, but others such as Chicken Pot Pie Surprise and Corn Bread Broccoli Muffins may be suspect. The directions are clear and easy to follow, with accompanying photographs. Since this is a cookbook or children, it is a bit surprising that the only reminder to have adult help with things like hot stoves, ovens and sharp instruments is in the first chapter. This library bound title would be a respectable addition.
Mysterious Patterns : Finding Fractals In Nature
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Campbell, Sarah C
Campbell Sarah C. & Richard P.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
We see shapes and patterns in nature all around us. We use man made shape descriptions (think: circle, triangle, cone; pyramid) to explain them. However, nature does not have smooth lines or shapes that we see in man-made objects. A tomato is almost a sphere; an icicle is almost a cone. Mysterious Patters introduces us to the concept of Fractals; identified in 1975 by Benoit Mandelbrot. In clear easy to understand kid language, diagrams and beautiful close up photographs of a tree, broccoli, and Queen Ann’s lace, Campbell explains fractals. “Every fractal shape has smaller parts that look like the whole shape.... All fractals have parts that repeat at different sizes.” The photos pair perfectly with the text, making the concept accessible to all learners, adults included.The binding is adequate; the dust jacket will protect the paper on board cover. This text will most likely receive most of its use from teachers introducing the concept of fractals to their class.The glossary provided just behind the title page helps the young readers with basic math vocabulary in the text. Make Your Own Fractal activity and back matters about Benoit Mandelbrot are included
Yoko Finds Her Way
HYPERION PRESS [HYPERION PRESS]
Wells, Rosemary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Yoko, Mama and Miki are on their way to the airport, heading for Japan. Mama suggests Yoko can help by reading the signs for her as they navigate the roads, parking, checking, security, and gate. All goes smoothly until Yoko exits the restroom from a different door and looses Mama. Yoko follows the signs to the Airport Police to ask for help. Mama is gone when they arrive at Big Wave Airlines gate 54. Mama needs help to find her way back. The signs Yoko identifies to help Mama navigate through the confusing pathways, corridors and aisles can be seen printed across the top of the page. Wells uses icons for food, stairs, elevators, terminals in the same style as Internationals signage. These and the words will let younger listeners follow the story in wide-ranging ways. Wells adds an Asian feel by using Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa print as the sign for Big Wave Airlines. Her illustrations are as engaging as always. This simple story will appeal to Yoko fans.
Story Starts Here!
Owlkids Books, Inc [Owlkids Books, Inc]
Merola, Caroline
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Little Wolf decides to turn everything upside down and backwards in this story. The beginning is at the end of the book (because Little Wolf says so!) and the ending is turned upside down at the beginning of the book. Mom and Dad tell Little Wolf he can't start the book that way. He wants to eat standing up and begin with desert - when told no he plays the piano with his toes. Finally sent to get dressed, he chooses to wear his pants on his head. After being told to “go to his room to think about is behavior" he climbs out the window only to see everyone running away in terror from an indescribable thing. The reader turns the pages upside down discovering the “thing” is Little Wolf’s dad who was playing his own joke. Little Wolf acts like a young child trying to take control The text is slight, but readable for beginning readers, the illustrations very cartoonish, and the plot is thin but very recognizable by the intended audience. This is one best as a read aloud - the beginning reader may not get the joke and be confused by the format. The binding is adequate and the dust jacket will take care of the paper on board cover.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR)]
Swenson, Jamie A
Walker, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Boom! Crash! Flash! A little boy is ready for bed, just him, a book and his teddy bear, Fred, during a mighty storm. One by one the critters ask to join him, the dog, the cat, the guinea pig, a frog, a parrot, a snake, until little sister is just one too many and the bed can’t take it anymore. “Sis jumped in with elbows flying - The bed groaned, AND THEN stopped trying!” In the end the storm has dissipated, the boy is in his broken bed along with his book and teddy bear ready to sleep. Filled with onomatopoeia from the crashing of the storm to the animal’s sounds and fun rhyming text the flow of the story brings to mind Jan Brett’s The Mitten. A good bedtime read - if you don’t mind the thought of a snake in bed with you or your bed breaking apart. The soft pastel-colored illustrations complement the rhyming text. This is a good one for discussing rhyme and onomatopoeia. The binding is adequate and the dust jacket will help the cover last.
Mama's Day With Little Gray
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Reid, Aimee
Bryant, Laura J.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
“Mama, when I grow up, will you grow down?” Little Gray elephant can’t help but wonder what it will be like when she is all grown up. “If I grew up and you were my calf,” said Little Gray, “I’d spend every day with you.” “I would be your calf and stay right by your side,” said Mama. Little Gray is thinking of all the things that Mama does for him as they go through their day. “If I grew up and you grew down, I’d want to have a day just like today.” “So would I,” said Mama. This sweet story seems to combine the sentiments of Munch’s I Will Love You Forever, and Joosse’s, Mama, Do You Love Me, giving the young listener the reassurance of a parent’s love and caring. The landscape Little Gray and Mama wander through are done in a soft pastel palette complimenting this gentle story. The binding is adequate and with the dust jacket, the cover will last as long as needed.
Scorpions! : Strange And Wonderful
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Pringle, Laurence
Henderson, Meryl
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Laurence Pringle, the author of many informational science books for children, has taken on the topic of scorpions. In Scorpions! one of ten titles in the Strange and Wonderful series by Boyd Mills Press, briefly covers the fossil record - they were around before the dinosaurs and their place in ancient Greek, Mayan and Egyptian cultures. Pringle looks at the over 2000 varieties of scorpions discussing the differences in size, behavior and the places they live noting there are only about three dozen species that can actually kill a person and only one of those lives in the United States. Written as narrative nonfiction this interesting text by Pringle provides more than enough information to use this volume for research. The attractive realistic watercolor illustrations by Meryl Henderson enhance the information and keep the reader interested. The adequate binding and the dust jacket over a paper on board cover may not hold up as well as one might wish to the handling this title could receive. There is a Learn More page with a Pronunciation Guide; Websites, Books and Periodicals and Sources listed.
Stripes Of All Types = Rayas De Todas Tallas
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Stockdale, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 11, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
A delightful introduction to stripes found in the patterns animals wear. Lively, energetic, alliterative rhymes and simple phrases capture the young listener’s attention. “Stripes found in water, sliding through weeds. Drinking from rivers and darting through reeds.” The large acrylic illustrations draw the reader’s attention to the sharp lines and beautiful patterns, displaying some of the reasons for stripes found on animals for young readers. A matching game encourages close observation and visual glossary of the animals in the text has additional information written in English and Spanish. This is an excellent addition to the math, animal and bilingual section of any library for young children. I would look for this in hardcover because paper will not hold up to the use it is likely to receive. Also, it could be an excellent resource to spark discussion in a classroom.
Perfect Place For Ted
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rudge, Leila
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Sweater-wearing Ted is a smart dog, but no one notices or wants to adopt him from the pet store. Ted decides to go out on his own to find somewhere perfect to live. The circus, pet pageant, and working as a guard dog just doesn't do it for Ted. Finally giving up, Ted heads back to the pet store. But along the way he finds Dot, a girl looking for a furry friend who enjoys long walks and ball games. Could Dot’s home be Ted’s perfect place? He does his best to make a good impression, hanging out with Dot and playing together. When Dot takes Ted home with her, he just knows he has found his perfect place (or should I say puuuurrrrfect place). You guessed it, her home is full of cats! Sweater-wearing cats. And it sure looks like Ted is right at home. Soft color illustrations on cream colored pages give an attractive appearance to this book about what all children love – cats and dogs!
Rafa Was My Robot
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Dellevoet, Alexandra
Turner, Ken
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
April 12, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, this gentle book may bring comfort while reading about Jacob and his robot named Rafa. Jacob and Rafa are inseparable, going everywhere together. One day, Rafe doesn't feel very well. Jacob takes him to the doctor, only to discover that Rafe needs a one-of-a-kind special battery. Jacob travels around the world looking for that special battery, but there is none to be found. Like that one-of-a-kind battery, Rafe is one-of-a-kind. As Jacob deals with the passing of his friend, he learns to meet Rafa in his dreams. Sweet dreams. If children can make the connection between Rafa and their loved one, they will discover there is nothing they could have done to keep their loved one alive. This comforting picture book may be the lifeline a grieving child needs. Written in memory of a dear friend, this is the author’s first children’s book.
Orchestra Pit
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Wright, Johanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
A green snake with white polka dots accidentally wanders into a pit. Unfortunately, it’s an orchestra pit. The performers react in a variety of ways as the snake examines their instruments. The oboe is rather charming and seems to mesmerize the snake. When the snake swallows a bass, his body becomes the same shape. Sounds made by the instruments remind the snake of a variety of animals, and as he heads back home to his pit, readers will have an “aha” moment when they realize the snake lives in a zoo and is familiar with the animals he is reminded of by the instruments. A fun and entertaining way to learn the names of instruments in an orchestra. Acrylic paint on canvas outlined by black India ink brings an unusual but beautiful touch to the bright, full-page color illustrations. This amusing book is very sturdy and will stand up to numerous check outs from the library (if it can ever be found waiting on the shelf).
Wall
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Cole, Tom Clohosy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Separated by an immense Wall, a young boy misses his father and decides to start digging a tunnel in hopes of getting under and reuniting his family. His mother said life was better on the other side but he worries his father is lonely. While crossing the field to the tunnel’s entrance, they are spotted, but fortunately the soldier allows them to go through. Published to honor the 25th anniversary of the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the digitally rendered art conveys the somber, drab world of East Berlin with hauntingly tall walls capped by barbwire and armed guards mounted on top. Failed escapes as well as other ingenious attempts are seen through windows illustrating the danger. East Berlin, characterized by the dark shadowy world is contrasted with the bright dawn arriving in West Berlin and the more colorful clothing worn by the citizens. While the wall is not specifically identified, the spare text and dramatic illustrations provide an understandable and evocative introduction to the impact of the Berlin Wall as well as the Cold War.
What's New? The Zoo! : A Zippy History Of Zoos
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Krull, Kathleen
Hall, Marcellus
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Author Kathleen Krull is well known for her non-fiction and biographies, but has recently written a few historical fiction picture books. In this Zippy history of zoos, Krull traces the earliest known zoos back to 4,400 years ago in the Sumerian city of Ur, in present-day Iraq. Clay tablets mention only lions, but by 3500 years ago the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, in present-day Ethiopia, collected leopard, cheetahs, greyhounds and even a giraffe. Aristotle studied animals in Ancient Greece, but until the 1800’s, exotic animals were mostly for Kings and Queens to show off their wealth and power and only a few zoos were open to the public. Then in 1875, Kolkata, India, the Alipore Zoo started breeding white tigers and other increasingly rare animals and the idea that zoos could protect and breed endangered species was born. Short paragraphs describing each zoo are placed; one per page, within the watercolor and ink illustrations in a pairing that highlights the large illustrations just right for whole group read alouds. Recommended as a book for many ages and also useful for introducing the concepts of endangered species.
Pout-Pout Fish Goes To School
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Hanna, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
What a fabulous book introducing new students to Kindergarten with the loveable Pout-Pout Fish encountering uncertainty, doubts and fears about belonging. On his first day Pout-Pout fish loses his way and wanders into several classrooms of older students studying subjects and doing work much to difficult. Feeling discouraged, the Pout-Pout fish spouts four troubles after each class he enters. “I’m not smart! I’ll never get it! I don’t belong! And I should forget it!” Finally his real teacher finds him and on welcoming everyone to the “Brand New Fish” class, they learn the positive slant on the refrain. “You are smart” and so on. Pout-Pout and the other sea-students swim and float through the pastel colored illustrations that have enough detail to be interesting yet fine for whole group read-alouds. Add this to your back-to-school book collection and you can’t go wrong. Although geared towards Kindergarten, this could easily be used with 1st graders as they think about the previous year and how much they had learned.
Bats In The Band
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lies, Brian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Brian Lies adventurous Bats are back and this time jiving to the music, playing in bands, dancing and singing the whole night long. As the “wicked winter thaws” and hibernation ends, the feeding frenzy begins. But something is wrong until a solitary bugle blast reminds them that a “little night music” is what they need. Rhyming couplets accompany the bats as they enter the theatre and tune their odd assortment of instruments: curly horns, bagpipes, fiddle and even straws and spoons. Quartets, country music, romantic crooning precedes the dancing as the evening stretches into dawn and the bats depart for roosts and sleeping the day away. Humorous illustrations show bats playing from all directions including hanging upside down and clinging to posts. The nocturnal atmosphere is captured in the somber, darkened tones of even the reds and yellows against the black and brown tones of the night, wood and bats. Fans of the earlier Bat books will be eager to check this one out and is a good addition to Halloween collections. Strongly recommended for elementary libraries.
Ambush Of Tigers : A Wild Gathering Of Collective Nouns
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Rosenthal, Betsy R
Jago
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
An ambush of tigers, a raft of otters, a murder of crows--the collective nouns for groups of animals can be amusing. In this book the author turns these collective nouns into a poem that plays on the homonyms of the nouns. The illustrator, Jago, adds to the fun with quirky, textured oil paintings. The final product is one that has multiple curriculum applications--poetry, vocabulary, homonyms, and more. This is a delightful romp that will make you smile.
Branches Of The Military
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Otero, Hanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard--these are the branches of the military highlighted in this Level 2 reader. Crisp photographs with labels and captions, as well as informative text fill the book with brief information on the subject matter. There are plenty of fact boxes and graphic elements that make the book visually appealing. An index and glossary are included. This is a nice introduction to the topic, giving young readers the basics.
Frogs
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Bishop, Nic
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
You know when Nic Bishop is involved you're going to get an amazing nonfiction book with incredible color photographs, and this is no exception. This Level 2 Reader provides a brief, but exciting overview of frogs. All kinds of frogs are shown while readers learn a bit about their diet, habitat, and life cycle. As always, in the end papers the author/photographer tells a little about how the photographs were taken. This is educational eye-candy that will fly off the shelf.
Stand Up For Yourself : The Kids' Book Of Courage
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What is courage? It's about being brave, of course, but what does that mean? This book offers examples of courage in face of danger, in trying new things, in standing up for what you believe in, and more. Sharing your feelings and telling the truth can sometimes take courage as well. This is a nice discussion-starter with simple text and plenty of photographs. It would be a nice addition to character units.
Eye-Popping Cgi : Computer-Generated Special Effects
Blazers Books/capstone Press [Blazers Books/capstone Press]
Hammelef, Danielle S
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
How do they make those cool special effects found in television shows and movies? This book provides a quick overview of some of the techniques used.Young readers will learn about controls used on animated characters, blue or green screens, special camera tricks, and motion capture. While this is only a quick introduction it is quite fascinating, and the accompanying photographs provide additional insights. The book has all the standard text features as well. This is an interesting brief insight into the process that should appeal to young enthusiasts.
Creciendo Verde
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Sturm, Jeanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Spanish-language version of the book "Growing Up Green" young readers learn various ways in which they can live a "green" life" and keep the earth clean and healthy. Picking up litter, reducing, reusing, and recycling, composting--these are a few of the ways in which children can help the earth. Personal responsibility is emphasized. Crisp color photographs show kids at work, doing the right thing. The book includes a glossary and index. This would be useful for ecology units, if you need Spanish-language materials.
Animal Helpers : Raptor Centers
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Curtis, Jennifer Keats
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What is a raptor? What happens when a raptor gets injured? How is a raptor rehabilitated? These are some of the questions answered in this informative book. Bright color photographs accompany clear informative text as young readers learn about various types of raptors, how they can be injured, and the ways in which raptor centers heal, raise, help, and (when possible) release the birds back into the wild. The text personalizes the experience, encouraging young people to become involved in raptor rescue. End pages provide further information on types of raptors, diurnal and nocturnal raptors, and raptor adaptation. This is an informative book on an interesting subject. The stiff paperback cover will not stand up for much library circulation, however.
Love Monster And The Perfect Present
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Bright, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 13, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
In this sequel to Love Monster, the author addresses a common problem children have: What can you give to that someone special when you have no money? One day a year, the city of Cutesville celebrates Present Day, and Love Monster discovers that perfect presents cost money. A lot of money. He comes up with a brilliant idea to make something perfect for his perfect monster friend and works all night to get it done. And, of course, the present is perfect! This sweet and slightly sappy tale is refreshing in light of commercialism these days. Bright colored illustrations and sturdy pages are a winning combination for this children’s picture book.
Carnivores
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Benefield, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "What Animals Eat" series, this 24 page book provides young readers with basic information on carnivores. The term is defined and then readers learn about both predators and scavengers. Adaptations that help predators, such as strong jaws and sharp teeth, are highlighted. Many types of carnivores are presented from insects to fish to mammals, and even plants. A fact page, picture glossary, bibliography and index round out the book. This is effective and informative nonfiction that would serve as a nice introduction to the subject matter.
Elmer And Butterfly
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Mckee, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
When Elmer the colorful patchwork elephant saves a butterfly he is amused at the butterfly's promise to help him, if he ever needs it. However, when Elmer is trapped himself, later that day, the butterfly brings help. This is basically the story of the lion and the mouse, done up in bright colors, with others helping as well. Still, most Elmer fans won't be familiar with the traditional fable, and will just enjoy this story for its simplicity and happy ending.
Marilyn's Monster
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knudsen, Michelle
Phelan, Matt
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What child hasn't longed for an unobtained milestone that others have reached already? First loose tooth, pierced ears, cell phone...you can tell yourself it's not as cool as they make it out to be, but you suspect you're wrong. Michelle Knudsen captures that feeling perfectly in this book. Marilyn doesn't have a monster. Gradually all of her friends get their monsters until she's the only one left. Everyone tells her she just needs to be patient. Her monster will find her. Patience, however, is not working. At last Marilyn decides to defy convention and actually go out and LOOk for her missing monster. This turns out to be a good idea. This is a book that targets a common emotion and children will understand it perfectly. Matt Phelan's soft pastel illustrations show a variety of monsters, none of which are particularly scary. This would make a delightful read-aloud and could lead to important discussions. WCCPBA anyone?
Animal Eyes
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Holland, Mary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Animal eyes come in many shapes, sizes, and locations. Much of this is determined by how the animal uses its eyes. Is it diurnal or nocturnal? Is it predator or prey? This interesting book examines not only a variety of animal eyes but also the reasons they are the way they are. Interesting facts abound. Sometimes you can tell the sex or age of an animal by its eye color. Eyelids vary depending on purpose. This is an intriguing overview with plenty of crisp color photographs illustrating key points. End papers provide additional information, a glossary, and a matching game. I wish this book was in hardcover, rather than a large paperback format, because it merits a place in school libraries.
Salamander Season
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Curtis, Jennifer Keats
Bersani, Shennen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Want to demonstrate the scientific processes of observation and recording data? Here's a great book for you. A fictional young girl and her scientist father visit a spotted salamander pond over a year's time. Illustrations and photographs show the life cycle of the spotted salamander. This is a down-to-earth approach to natural science and is personalized by the story. The photographs are excellent and clearly show various stages in the salamander's growth from egg to adult. It was quite fascinating, and made it seem very possible for a child to duplicate a similar process keeping a nature journal. End pages provide further information as well as a flow chart that can be used to determine if an animal is a mammal, reptile, fish, or amphibian. This clear presentation of salamander information, as well as how a scientist acquires data, would be a valuable resource for those teaching young scientists.
Airplanes
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Hicks, Kelli
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A plane is big and heavy. How on earth does it get off the ground? This member of the "How It Works" series teaches young readers about airfoils and how they work. Weight, lift, thrust, and drag are all briefly explained with crisp photographs, bright red fact boxes, and labeled pictures. The sturdy 24-page book also includes a glossary and index. This is solid, clear, simple nonfiction, that would fit nicely into library collections.
Dealing With Loss
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 13, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Grief and loss are tough enough for adults to navigate so this clear, short, easy to read book could find an audience of teens if they are brave enough to pick it up. The initial section dramatically describes a girl flirting with suicide before calling a helpline, but from then on the focus is on losses of all types - divorce, a friend, a move, as well as death. Attractive book design and short text sections well suited to the intended audience. Guided Reading Level U.
Sin Eater's Daughter
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Salisbury, Melinda
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 13, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Twylla is the oldest daughter of the Sin Eater and her future is set - when her mother dies, Twylla will attend the funeral of each death, eating the ceremonial foods that have been set out as a sort of confession of each type of sin committed by the deceased, then pronouncing an absolution. It's a grim business, so when young teen Twylla is invited to join the royal court in dual roles - the prospective wife of the prince, and embodiment of the Goddess who kills with her touch, it sounds like a better option. In fairness, the executioner part of her job is a bit unclear when she signs up, but now at 16 she's responsible for the deaths of a number of traitors and struggles to handle the guilt. The initial world-building is nicely done so the reader may be learning along with Twylla that all is not as it seems, aided by the insights of a new guard and the return of the prince from his two year Progress. Yes, there's a love triangle, but both the prince and the guard are complex characters, to say nothing of Twylla's conflicted progress toward becoming her own person. Ends with an irresistible cliff-hanger.
Digital Dangers
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 13, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
One the plus side, there are plenty of poor choices to be made online, and in 48 pages they are well covered but not in an alarmist, scare-mongering fashion. The first section reminds readers how quickly images posted online are distributed; subsequent chapters deal briefly but clearly with cyberbullying, online fraud, and the pervasiveness of social media. The addictive properties of online gaming get a quick, clear look. Despite covering a topic that is constantly in flux and is sure to have a relatively short period of currency, it's worth a look. One of a set of titles from Crabtree called Straight Talk About...
Red Bicycle : The Extraordinary Story Of One Ordinary Bicycl
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Isabella, Jude
Shin, Simone
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 13, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
When Leo outgrew his big red bike, he donated it to an organization that shipped it to Africa. Alisetta in Burkina Faso was the first person there to use the bike; subsequently it passed through several owners as it provided transportation, a way to get goods to market, and as a mobile ambulance. The colorful, muted artwork in interesting and engaging; text heavy pages make this a good fit from second grade up through middle school. Respectful of the lives and culture of all the bike owners, this is another excellent title from the Citizen Kid imprint of Kids Can.
Super Simple Japanese Art : Fun And Easy Art From Around The
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The series name, Super Simple, aptly describes the 32-page Super Sandcastle cultural craft books, each containing nine projects using common supplies, many found around the house or inexpensive to purchase. A brief introduction to cultural relevance and a pictorial glossary to symbols, objects and cultural aspects are followed by a two-page spread of necessary supplies. A note to adult helpers and a “hot” symbol on projects accompany very clear, sequential directions for each project with photographs of several of the stages. The nine Japanese projects include: Japanese tie-dye, origami paper box, doll key chain, koi windsock, bonsai tree, Japanese sandal case, block print, and bento box. A more appropriate lunch could have been chosen to put in the bento box, as directions are for a ham sandwich on hamburger bun with sliced American cheese. Disclaimer: while these projects are quite attractive and appear to be easy to make, I have not tried any of them. Glossary included. An excellent series to add to an elementary library.
Green Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Spectacular photographs of brightly colored animals are featured in each of the books in the Animal Color series including white animals as well. Primary colors are identified and colorful overlapping circles create a color wheel that displays the mixing producing secondary colors. Close-up photographs of the appropriately colored animal spill across the two-page spread facing a short paragraph of two or three sentences describing a fact or two about the animal. Eight animals are categorized into those living on land, air or water, offering a representation of many different species and phyla. Green animals featured include the tree python, European tree frogs, tree sloths colored green by the algae growing on them, green basilisk, caterpillars, Amazon parrots, praying mantis, and green sea slugs . A great browsing book for children learning colors or just interested in animals, these will be favorites. Additional facts, glossary, index and publisher link to websites are included.
White Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Spectacular photographs of brightly colored animals are featured in each of the books in the Animal Color series including white animals as well. Primary colors are identified and colorful overlapping circles create a color wheel that displays the mixing producing secondary colors. The simple explanation is given that adding inks and paints to white creates colors and mixing white with colors lightens them. Close-up photographs of the appropriately colored animal spill across the two-page spread facing a short paragraph of two or three sentences describing a fact or two about the animal. Eight animals are categorized into those living on land, air or water, offering a representation of many different species and phyla. Albino animals are explained as well as many white animals live in snow country and can hide more easily, but those like stoats have a summer brown color to match that environment. A great browsing book for children learning colors or just interested in animals, these will be favorites. Additional facts, glossary, index and publisher link to websites are included.
Orange Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Spectacular photographs of brightly colored animals are featured in each of the books in the Animal Color series including white animals as well. Primary colors are identified and colorful overlapping circles create a color wheel that displays the mixing producing secondary colors. Close-up photographs of the appropriately colored animal spill across the two-page spread facing a short paragraph of two or three sentences describing a fact or two about the animal. Eight animals are categorized into those living on land, air or water, offering a representation of many different species and phyla. Orange animals include Gila monsters, Orange baboon tarantulas, Orangutans, male Julia butterflies, Altamira orioles, ruddy shelducks, starfish, and koi. A great browsing book for children learning colors or just interested in animals, these will be favorites. Additional facts, glossary, index and publisher link to websites are included.
Red Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Spectacular photographs of brightly colored animals are featured in each of the books in the Animal Color series including white animals as well. Primary colors are identified and colorful overlapping circles create a color wheel that displays the mixing producing secondary colors. Close-up photographs of the appropriately colored animal spill across the two-page spread facing a short paragraph of two or three sentences describing a fact or two about the animal. Eight animals are categorized into those living on land, air or water, offering a representation of many different species and phyla. The red animals featured include some with just a red face or special body part such as a rooster and mandrill. Other animals include the red fox, red panda, scarlet ibis, red lily beetles, frogfish, and the Acadian redfish. A great browsing book for children learning colors or just interested in animals, these will be favorites. Additional facts, glossary, index and publisher link to websites are included.
Yellow Animals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Spectacular photographs of brightly colored animals are featured in each of the books in the Animal Color series including white animals as well. Primary colors are identified and colorful overlapping circles create a color wheel that displays the mixing producing secondary colors. Close-up photographs of the appropriately colored animal spill across the two-page spread facing a short paragraph of two or three sentences describing a fact or two about the animal. Eight animals are categorized into those living on land, air or water, offering a representation of many different species and phyla. Yellow animals featured include crab spiders, citrus bearded dragon, golden dart frog, comet moth, American goldfinch, dragonflies, brain coral, and yellow boxfish. A great browsing book for children learning colors or just interested in animals, these will be favorites. Additional facts, glossary, index and publisher link to websites are included.
What If You Had Animal Feet!?
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Markle, Sandra
Mcwilliam, Howard
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Animals come with all sorts of different types of feet, all built for different tasks. This book introduces many types of animal feet, providing the correct names (paws, hooves, etc.) and explaining why they work best for that particular animal. The left-hand pages show the animal and a close-up photograph of its feet. The text provides information and a fact box gives an unusual tidbit to intrigue the reader. The right-hand page posits what a person would do with similar feet, with humorous color illustrations showing how it might work. This jumping back and forth from fact to speculation actually works quite well, keeping the reader involved and smiling. The book ends with human feet, and how we should care for them. This is part of an enjoyable series, and is both informative and fun.
Insects
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
Arnold, Tedd
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Fly Guy is always popular, and the new series of nonfiction Fly Guy books are well-loved as well. This one is perfect for our winged host as he introduces young readers to something he is intimately acquainted with--insects. The facts Buzz is learning about the topic are presented with plenty of close-up photographs to illustrate key points. Readers learn about exoskeletons, ancient insects, a typical insect life cycle, and insect anatomy. When is an insect a bug? It's explained here! Stingers, life spans, diets...it's all briefly mentioned. The importance of insects in maintaining our ecosystem is emphasized. This is a visual treat, with cartoons mixed with photographs and plenty of graphic elements. Just make sure you get the book prebound because the Scholastic Book Fair paperback isn't going to last.
Insect Pollinators
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Boothroyd, Jennifer
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Want to explain pollination to young children? Here's the perfect book for you. Even explaining what pollen is can be challenging, but this book uses simple, clear text to explain what pollen is, why pollination is important, how insects pollinate, and what kinds of insects do this important work. Protecting these insects is mentioned. Sure, the text is nicely written, but what makes this book golden are the close-up photographs showing the process with many types of insects. Yes, there's a glossary, and an unnecessary index. Those aren't really the selling points here. The true value lies in the clear, simple, and very visual explanation of an important natural process.
Hot Rod Hamster And The Awesome Atv Adventure!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lord, Cynthia
Anderson, Derek
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Hot Rod Hamster and his animal buddies are off to try out some ATVs and have an adventure. They see different types of ATVs and head off for fun. Their adventure takes a different turn when they find an ATV stuck in the mud and have to work together to rescue the unfortunate riders and their vehicle. Bright cartoon illustrations based on Derek Anderson's artwork accompany text that includes plenty of conversation bubbles to move the plot along. This is a sweet little story but lacks substance.
Chips And Cheese And Nana's Knees : What Is Alliteration?
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Cleary, Brian P
Goneau, Martin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This review was written in April--National Poetry Month. That made this bouncy book on alliteration truly timely. Part of the "Words are CATegorical" series, this rhyming book by Brian Cleary is accompanied by the quirky illustrations of Martin Goneau featuring cartoon cats acting out the alliterative examples. Along the way readers learn what alliteration is and see it in action multiple times. This is a humorous introduction to the topic that teaches tots tremendous truths about all things alliterative.
Camping
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
York, J
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What is camping? Well, it's living outside and communing with nature. How do you get to where you're camping? There are many ways including driving, biking, hiking and kayaking. What are some supplies you might take, or safety considerations you should know? This is a general 24 page look at the concept of camping. photographs accompany the text and all standard text features apply. Unfortunately, in being all-encompassing the book manages to suck the life out of the sport. It's so busy explaining aspects of camping that it never really brings it to life for the reader, and that's a pity.
Field Guide To Goblins, Gremlins, And Other Wicked Creatur
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Sautter, A J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Gremlins, and Boggarts, and Pixies oh my!! This field guide is not for the faint of heart as the images of these “evil” creatures are designed to repulse, frighten and fascinate. Modeled after a field guide of living creatures, vital information about size, habitat, diet, life cycle, physical features and behavior are found on the page facing a large picture of the imaginary creature. A few vocabulary words are identified and defined for each creature and a fact extracted from the folklore. Movie appearances are mentioned including Pixies in Harry Potter and Orcs in Lord of the Ring. Back material includes 6 Test your Knowledge questions and answers and a world map showing the locations of stories about Pixies, Hags, Sirens and Goblins. The glossary replicates words defined in the pages and 3 recommended books and publisher monitored web sites, and index is also included. Elementary students will eat this up and my only concern would be that terrifying images may be nightmare producers in younger students. Otherwise this is a great tie-in with any folk literature unit.
Super Simple Indian Art : Fun And Easy Art From Around The W
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The series name, Super Simple, aptly describes the 32-page Super Sandcastle cultural craft books, each containing nine projects using common supplies, many found around the house or inexpensive to purchase. A brief introduction to cultural relevance and a pictorial glossary to symbols, objects and cultural aspects are followed by a two-page spread of necessary supplies. A note to adult helpers and a “hot” symbol on projects accompany very clear, sequential directions for each project with photographs of several of the stages.. The nine projects from India include, a mandala, ankle bells, flower hanging, Diwali bowl, Lotus flower, bangles, peacock shirt print, henna key chain, and an almond cookie recipe. Disclaimer: while these projects are quite attractive and the directions easy to follow, I have not tried any of them. Glossary included. An excellent series to add to an elementary library.
Super Simple Australian Art : Fun And Easy Art From Around T
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 14, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The series name, Super Simple, aptly describes the 32-page Super Sandcastle cultural craft books, each containing nine projects using common supplies, many found around the house or inexpensive to purchase. A brief introduction to cultural relevance and a pictorial glossary to symbols, objects and cultural aspects are followed by a two-page spread of necessary supplies. A note to adult helpers and a “hot” symbol on projects accompany very clear, sequential directions for each project with photographs of several of the stages. The nine Australian projects include a Rock Art Frame, Serpent Coaster, Boomerang, Kangaroo pencil holder, musical clap sticks, Koala key chain, didgeridoo, wooly sheep and a favorite Australian biscuit. Disclaimer: while these projects are quite attractive and appear to be easy to make, I have not tried any of them. Glossary included. An excellent series to add to an elementary library.
Mammals
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Royston, Angela
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Animal Classifications" series (which also includes Amphibians, Birds, Fish, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) this volume focuses on mammals. Fresh photographs abound, each well captioned and illustrating a key text point. In this book young readers learn what about mammals being vertebrates, having hair and fur, and being warm-blooded. They also learn that most mammals give live birth to their young and feed their babies milk. Marsupials, cats, sea mammals, rodents, and primates are highlighted although many other mammals are shown. The book ends with humans. There's also a quiz, glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a solid scientific book that clearly explains a key principle. As such, it merits a place in school libraries, and so does the rest of the series if they are as well written.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Stupid Stinkbugs From S
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Ricky Ricotta books have been re-released, this time with bright 3-D cartoon illustrations by award-winner, Dan Santat. In this book Ricky has to spend time with his cousin Lucy, who has a princess obsession. Luckily stinkbugs from Saturn are planning on taking over the planet, and they mistake Lucy's fake princess attire for real royalty. Now Ricky and Lucy are in a fight for their lives (and for the lives of everyone on the planet, of course.) There's growing and shrinking and malevolent insects, and plenty of thumping and flip-o-ramas. These books were starting to turn into shelf-sitters, but the new illustrations have given them new life. Replace the old copies immediately with these fresh, new versions.
Death Sentence
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Dahl, Michael
Evergreen, Nelson
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What is the best kind of book--a tragedy, a magic book? A group of kids are on a bus and the question arises. They don't know that there is a book under the seats that may stop their questions once and for all. It is titled "Death Sentence" and is blank...except for one sentence. When the reader scans that sentence he or she disappears. Slowly the book is making its way around the bus, nobody seeming to notice its deleterious effects. The bus driver smiles. Then a strange passenger gets on and does battle. Who will win? This is part of the "Library of Doom" series. Lots of white space. Short chapters. Occasional black and white illustrations. The story is 35 pages long, but takes about ten minutes to read. Kids will love its spookiness and high interest low vocabulary students will appreciate how it does NOT look like a "little kid's book." Everyone's always asking for "scary" and this fits the bill.
Perfectly Poppy : Poppy's Puppy
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Jakubowski, Michele
Waters, Erica-Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Poppy has a new puppy, but Rosie is hard to train. Poppy and her friend Millie work to teach the dog. Who ends up tired at the end? Soft color illustrations accompany the text. This is a very simple sweet short chapter book that includes a variety of end materials such as a glossary, extension activities, and critical thinking questions.
Something Sure Smells Around Here : Limericks
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Cleary, Brian P
Rowland, Andy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The same author who brought you the "Words are CATegorical" series, now presents the basics behind the poetry form known as a limerick. First Brian Cleary describes how a limerick is written--its rhyming pattern, number of lines, and usual rhythm. What follows are 26 poems, all but the last of which are limericks. The book includes a bibliography and website list. This is a humorous introduction to the subject and, with its bright cartoonish illustrations, is both fun to read and look at. Hopefully this will inspire youngsters to try their own hands at this type of poetry.
Scooby-Doo! Monster Jokes!
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Dahl, Michael
Jeralds, Scott
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 15, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
OK, there are some chestnuts here, but there are also some new jokes and they're all about monsters, so you know they'll be popular. The Scooby-Doo gang shows up to tell a few of the jokes, and there are occasional monster illustrations as well. There are jokes here about ghosts, mad scientists, Frankenstein, and other creepy things. Most are pun-based. With an average of four jokes a page, there are about a hundred jokes here. That will keep children giggling, and adults rolling their eyes for some time. You need joke books? Of course you do! Buy this.
Trash Mountain
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Yolen, Jane
Monroe, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 15, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Learning to live on his own after the sad, sudden demise of his parents by the bullying Gray Squirrels, naive young Nutley, a Red Squirrel, uses the adages his parents taught him in his encounters with the rats and gulls at the trash heap beside the farm where he was born. He learns to navigate the territory in search of food, shelter and safety thanks to the help of unlikely allies in the rats and one sea gull he saves. There is violence in this animal world, and young Nutley must make quick decisions, one right after the other, after a sheltered young life. Cute, scratchy pen and ink drawings are interspersed throughout including a map of the his territory on the end sheets. Disappointing copy editing in places and especially in how words run into each other with out spaces from time to time.
Baseball : Great Moments, Records, And Facts
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 16, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ Great Sports series will appeal to young sports enthusiasts, with the full-page action-packed photographs and matching short paragraph of information, but the text is choppy. Correctly subtitled, Great Moments, Records, and Facts, the focus is on historical moments & facts, with little narrative connecting the facts. Historical photographs mingle with those from more recent times and will need some explanation. Since the intended audience is younger students, those with adult or older reading companions may best appreciate these books. The Abdo Kid’s format shines though, with the larger books and photographs spilling across one and ½ pages, simple sentences and limited vocabulary. Baseball includes a brief history, photograph of Fenway Park, great records by Nolan Ryan, Joe DiMaggio, Cal Ripken, Jr. and teams going from worst records to winning the World Series. Three facts, glossary, index, and publisher-monitored websites are included.
Basketball : Great Moments, Records, And Facts
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 16, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ Great Sports series will appeal to young sports enthusiasts, with the full-page action-packed photographs and matching short paragraph of information, but the text is choppy. Correctly subtitled, Great Moments, Records, and Facts, the focus is on historical moments & facts, with little narrative connecting the facts. Historical photographs mingle with those from more recent times and will need some explanation. Since the intended audience is younger students, those with adult or older reading companions may best appreciate these books. The Abdo Kid’s format shines though, with the larger books and photographs spilling across one and ½ pages, simple sentences and limited vocabulary. Basketball includes a brief history, photograph of a basketball court, great records of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and a description of Michael Jordan’s winning basket for the Chicago Bulls 1998 NBA victory. Three facts, glossary, index, and publisher-monitored websites are included.
Hockey : Great Moments, Records, And Facts
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 16, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ Great Sports series will appeal to young sports enthusiasts, with the full-page action-packed photographs and matching short paragraph of information, but the text is choppy. Correctly subtitled, Great Moments, Records, and Facts, the focus is on historical moments & facts, with little narrative connecting the facts. Historical photographs mingle with those from more recent times and will need some explanation. Since the intended audience is younger students, those with adult or older reading companions may best appreciate these books. The Abdo Kid’s format shines though, with the larger books and photographs spilling across one and ½ pages, simple sentences and limited vocabulary. Hockey includes a brief history, mention of Canada’s 2500 indoor rinks and 5000 outdoor rinks, great records by Wayne Gretzky, Glenn Hall, Tiger Williams (most penalty minutes), U.S. victory over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics, and Bobby Orr’s flying goal winning the 1970 Stanley Cup for the Bruins. Three facts, glossary, index, and publisher-monitored websites are included.
Soccer : Great Moments, Records, And Facts
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Borth, Teddy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 16, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids’ Great Sports series will appeal to young sports enthusiasts, with the full-page action-packed photographs and matching short paragraph of information, but the text is choppy. Correctly subtitled, Great Moments, Records, and Facts, the focus is on historical moments & facts, with little narrative connecting the facts. Historical photographs mingle with those from more recent times and will need some explanation. Since the intended audience is younger students, those with adult or older reading companions may best appreciate these books. The Abdo Kid’s format shines though, with the larger books and photographs spilling across one and ½ pages, simple sentences and limited vocabulary. A brief history of soccer, photograph of large soccer pitch during a game and great records by Pelé, Lionel Messi, and the Romanian team, Steaua Bucuresti are all given 2 page spreads. Other highlights include information about a star player, Stiliyan Petrov, who had his jersey number retired when he was diagnosed with cancer and stopped playing and a description of Cameroon becoming one of the final 8 teams in the 1990 World Cup. Three facts, glossary, index, and publisher-monitored websites are included.
Voting In Elections
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Manning, Jack
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 16, 2015
Gleb, Heidi
Part of Capstone's "Our Government" series, this title gives beginning readers basic information about the voting process in the United States. Red, white, and blue colors are features through the pages; all words found in the glossary are printed in bold, blue ink while blue text boxes with white letters give the same information at the bottom of that particular page containing the word. This duplicity initially seemed unnecessary but I do see how it would be helpful to readers. One chapter introduces readers to voting in historical context, where only white, male landowners could vote. Fact bubbles are included on nearly every two-page spread. Three additional print resources are mentioned as is a FactHound website. Readers have the opportunity to think about two questions which are posed at the end of the book, printed as "Critical Thinking Using the Common Core." A good starting point for young readers and those learning English.
Scholastic Almanac For Kids, 2015
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone knows what an almanac is--it' a hodgepodge of interesting and useful information all stuffed in one place. In that it's kind of like a paper Internet! For kids who like trivia, and a quick resource for interesting facts, here's the 2015 Scholastic almanac. Crisp color photographs, lots of graphics, weird facts in the "check it out" boxes--it's all here. Perpetual calendars, states and countries, animals, sports, crime, disasters and much more are in this pages. These books are incredibly popular in my library, even though they are out of date as soon as they're off the press. The binding won't last, but the students love them anyway. Prepare to mend!
Word Wizard's Book Of Adverbs
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback book is part of the "Word Wizard" series--24 page books that combine clear text, photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds, and bright graphics and illustrations. Here, adverbs are the focus. Adverbs are defined and their uses are explained in how they tell us more about verbs--how things happen, when they happen, and where they happen. Their use in comparing items is also demonstrated. Readers learn how adverbs are formed, where they fit into a sentence, and how adverbs can be synonyms. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. While the text is clear and very informational, at times it can be a little confusing. There are several chances for reader interaction, but correct answers are not included. This well-intentioned series might be helpful for language arts teachers, but students won't pick it up on their own.
Waluk
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Ruiz, Emilio
Miralles, Ana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Waluk is a little polar bear who has to survive on his own. He's mentored by an old polar bear who knows the ropes, but neither may survive long because global warming is destroying their food sources, and people are invading their territories. This is a graphic novel with a message, and it beats you over the head with it. The artwork is exceptional, with the cold colors of the north, and wonderfully telling expressions. The story, however, lacks flow and wanders between realism, mythology, and anthropomorphism. This leaves the reader on shifting, possibly melting ice. Doubtless this will win awards for its art and message, however it's not a book I'd slog through twice.
Word Wizard's Book Of Verbs
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback book is part of the "Word Wizard" series--24 page books that combine clear text, photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds, and bright graphics and illustrations. Here, verbs are the focus. Verbs are defined and their uses are explained. Emphasis is placed on how important it is that subjects and verbs agree. Verb tenses, irregular verbs, synonyms and antonyms are taught. Readers also learn where they fit into a sentence. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. While the text is clear and very informational, at times it can be a little confusing. There are several chances for reader interaction, but correct answers are not included. This well-intentioned series might be helpful for language arts teachers, but students won't pick it up on their own.
Word Wizard's Book Of Nouns
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback book is part of the "Word Wizard" series--24 page books that combine clear text, photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds, and bright graphics and illustrations. Here, nouns are the focus. Nouns are defined. Singular, plural, and proper nouns are explained, including the basic rules for turning a singular noun into a plural noun. Possessive and collective nouns are mentioned, as are pronouns. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. While the text is clear and very informational, at times it can be a little confusing. There are several chances for reader interaction, but correct answers are not included. This well-intentioned series might be helpful for language arts teachers, but students won't pick it up on their own.
Word Wizard's Book Of Homonyms
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback book is part of the "Word Wizard" series--24 page books that combine clear text, photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds, and bright graphics and illustrations. Here, homonyms are the focus. Homonyms are defined as words that look or sound the same, but have different meanings. Homophones and homographs are presented, with multiple examples. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. While the text is clear and very informational, at times it can be a little confusing. There are several chances for reader interaction, but correct answers are not included. This well-intentioned series might be helpful for language arts teachers, but students won't pick it up on their own.
Word Wizard's Book Of Adjectives
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback book is part of the "Word Wizard" series--24 page books that combine clear text, photographs of children from many ethnic backgrounds, and bright graphics and illustrations. Here, adjectives are the focus. Adjectives are defined and their uses in modifying nouns is explained. Readers learn where adjectives fit in a sentence, how they can be used for comparisons, and antonyms and synonyms. The issue of "shades of meaning" is discussed. Readers are encouraged to use strong adjectives to make their writing better. The book includes a bibliography, glossary, and index. While the text is clear and very informational, at times it can be a little confusing. There are several chances for reader interaction, but correct answers are not included. This well-intentioned series might be helpful for language arts teachers, but students won't pick it up on their own.
Respiratory System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Six body systems are covered in this Human Body series: circulatory, digestive, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and skeletal. Each book contains a human-interest chapter, labeled diagrams, Did You Know fact boxes, and clearly written descriptions about the body system and how it works. Gray does a nice job explaining the importance and interrelatedness within the targeted system but the stock photographs are uninspiring and add nothing to the text. The diagrams are labeled as static organs or partial systems with little crossover between systems or emphasis on the human body as a dynamic entity. The respiratory system is defined, how it works, mechanics of speech, singing and the importance of blood in carrying the oxygen around the body and problems with colds, viruses, asthma and sleep apnea are described. A labeled diagram of the system from nose to lungs gives the overview along with a diagram of an alveolus and how the oxygen exchange occurs. Glossary, recommended books, index and publisher monitored web site included. This is a sufficient introduction to body systems for elementary students and a starting place for research.
Nervous System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Six body systems are covered in this Human Body series: circulatory, digestive, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and skeletal. Each book contains a human-interest chapter, labeled diagrams, Did You Know fact boxes, and clearly written descriptions about the body system and how it works. Gray does a nice job explaining the importance and interrelatedness within the targeted system but the stock photographs are uninspiring and add nothing to the text. The diagrams are labeled as static organs or partial systems with little crossover between systems or emphasis on the human body as a dynamic entity. The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, sensory systems and voluntary and involuntary actions. Parts of nerve cells and the sensory messaging system are discussed along with potential diseases such as Alzheimer’s and strokes. Glossary, recommended books, index and publisher monitored web site included. This is a sufficient introduction to body systems for elementary students and a starting place for research.
Muscular System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Six body systems are covered in this Human Body series: circulatory, digestive, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and skeletal. Each book contains a human-interest chapter, labeled diagrams, Did You Know fact boxes, and clearly written descriptions about the body system and how it works. Gray does a nice job explaining the importance and interrelatedness within the targeted system but the stock photographs are uninspiring and add nothing to the text. The diagrams are labeled as static organs or partial systems with little crossover between systems or emphasis on the human body as a dynamic entity. Three types of muscle tissue, voluntary and involuntary muscles and 4 types of muscle movement are mentioned as well as muscle cells, and the cellular process of creating movement. Muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis are mentioned as potential diseases. Glossary, recommended books, index and publisher monitored web site included. This is a sufficient introduction to body systems for elementary students and a starting place for research.
Digestive System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Six body systems are covered in this Human Body series: circulatory, digestive, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and skeletal. Each book contains a human-interest chapter, labeled diagrams, Did You Know fact boxes, and clearly written descriptions about the body system and how it works. Gray does a nice job explaining the importance and interrelatedness within the targeted system but the stock photographs are uninspiring and add nothing to the text. The diagrams are labeled as static organs or partial systems with little crossover between systems or emphasis on the human body as a dynamic entity. An overview of the digestive system from mouth to appendix is labeled, but unfortunately no part of the excretory end is discussed or labeled. The various parts of the system are introduced and the overall job of breaking down nutrients and getting them into the bloodstream is emphasized. Bacteria, viruses, ulcers, and motion sickness are mentioned as potential diseases and problems of the system. Glossary, recommended books, index and publisher monitored web site included. This is a sufficient introduction to body systems for elementary students and a starting place for research.
Circulatory System
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Gray, Susan H
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 17, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Six body systems are covered in this Human Body series: circulatory, digestive, muscular, nervous, respiratory, and skeletal. Each book contains a human-interest chapter, labeled diagrams, Did You Know fact boxes, and clearly written descriptions about the body system and how it works. Gray does a nice job explaining the importance and interrelatedness within the targeted system but the stock photographs are uninspiring and add nothing to the text. The diagrams are labeled as static organs or partial systems with little crossover between systems or emphasis on the human body as a dynamic entity. In the Circulatory system, two diagrams show the four chambers of the heart and the blood vessels in the lungs. Blood is defined as a fluid, and plasma with its red blood cells carrying nutrients and oxygen to organs and extremities, white blood cells fighting infection, and platelets clotting blood. Pulse, inhaling and exhaling as well as blood vessels and potential problems add details. Glossary, recommended books, index and publisher monitored web site included. This is a sufficient introduction to body systems for elementary students and a starting place for research.
Dinosaurs
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cole, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Magic School Bus is back. This series of "The Magic School Bus Presents" books is based on the series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, and reflects some of their writing style and artwork, but has a stronger nonfiction focus. This book focuses on the ever popular dinosaurs. Miss Frizzle and the kids are on the bus, with interesting facts presented as short student reports and "Frizzle Facts." The majority of the text, however, provides solid and interesting information on dinosaur basics and biology. Diet, life cycle, air and water ancient creatures, and how scientists figure out how they looked and moved are all examined. The facts are interesting and well-presented. The book is visually appealing with bright color photographs and occasional illustrations of the students and their teacher, which signals a nice distinction between fiction and nonfiction. This would be a useful book to have in your library. Just get it in hardcover, rather than in paperback.
Volcanoes And Earthquakes
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cole, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Magic School Bus is back, or at least a version of it is. This series of "The Magic School Bus Presents" books is based on the series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, and reflects some of their writing style and artwork, but has a stronger nonfiction focus. This book focuses on volcanoes and earthquakes. Miss Frizzle and the kids are on the bus, with interesting facts presented as short student reports and "Frizzle Facts." The majority of the text, however, provides solid and interesting information on different types of volcanoes, as well as a little information about tsunamis and earthquakes. The facts are interesting and well-presented. The book is visually appealing with bright color photographs and occasional illustrations of the students and their teacher, which signals a nice distinction between fiction and nonfiction. This would be a useful book to have in your library. Just get it in hardcover, rather than in paperback.
Insects
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cole, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Magic School Bus is back, or at least a version of it is. This series of "The Magic School Bus Presents" books is based on the series by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, and reflects some of their writing style and artwork, but has a stronger nonfiction focus. This book focuses on insects. Miss Frizzle and the kids are on the bus, with interesting facts presented as short student reports and "Frizzle Facts." The majority of the text, however, provides solid and interesting information on insect basics and biology. Bees, beetles, butterflies and flies are a few of the insects given a two-page spread. The facts are interesting and well-presented. The book is visually appealing with bright color photographs and occasional illustrations of the students and their teacher, which signals a nice distinction between fiction and nonfiction. This would be a useful book to have in your library. Just get it in hardcover, rather than in paperback.
Challenger Explosion : Core Events Of A Space Tragedy
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Micklos, John, Jr
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Challenger disaster changed the way many of us viewed space exploration. In this entry in the "What Went Wrong?" series, the author examines the event, and the subsequent investigation. The findings of that investigation, and the changes that resulted from them, are highlighted. This is a clear view of an historical event that has an impact on decisions we make today. I would note, however, that for most of the target audience this is ancient history and, with the conclusion of the shuttle program, they are left with no frame of reference.
Search-And-Rescue Dogs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Laughlin, Kara L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
When disaster strikes and people are trapped one of the best tools is a well-trained canine. This book explains what types of dogs make good SAR dogs, how they are trained, and some of the situations where they are used. The dog who found the last survivor after the Twin Towers fell is highlighted. Well-captioned photographs, plenty of fact boxes, and clear text combine to make this a useful resource. The book also includes a glossary, bibliography, and index.
Police Dogs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Laughlin, Kara L
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
K-9 units are an important part of policing. This book provides clear, cogent information about the history of canines in law enforcement, their training, and the different types of roles they play. Crisp photographs face pages of clear text and red "interesting fact" boxes abound. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a popular subject and children will enjoy learning more about it.
Hiking
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
York, J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Great Outdoors" series, this 24 page book introduces youngsters to hiking. The sport is defined and readers learn about short and long hikes, and different places where people might hike. Safety is emphasized and some hiking gear is presented. The book has a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is just a general overview, promoting the idea. It includes captioned photographs, and occasional colorful graphics. I would have appreciated more emphasis on the ten essentials you should carry for any hike and safety basics like always hiking with companions and letting someone know your schedule. Still, that wasn't the book's focus so I guess I can't complain.
Coming Clean
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Hoena, Blake
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 18, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Jess and Jaylen are best friends sharing a love of skateboarding, meeting up every Saturday at the local Skate Park. The eight book series focuses on situations the twosome face in their daily lives such as bullying, cheating, breaking someone else’s property, and finding courage to try something again after an injury. In Coming Clean, Jaylen borrows his brother’s cell phone to take pictures but when startled by Jess, he drops it in the pond. Rather than confessing what happened, Jaylen puts the phone in his brother’s room hoping he will not be blamed. But when his younger sister is blamed and chaos and yelling take over the family, Jaylen owns up and accepts his consequences. These transitional chapter books have a sprinkling of colorful digital illustrations, large font and a Fountas & Pinnell reading level M. Each book concludes with six discussion or writing prompt questions involving recall, personal connection, comparison, analysis, or prediction. Characters reflect multiple cultures and will appeal to students who like realistic and friendship books but the plots are predictable without much character transformation. This is a series that will be checked out and also useful for problem-oriented group discussions.
Skateboard Scare
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Hoena, Blake
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 18, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Jess and Jaylen are best friends sharing a love of skateboarding, meeting up every Saturday at the local Skate Park. The eight book series focuses on situations the twosome face in their daily lives such as bullying, cheating, breaking someone else’s property, and finding courage to try something again after an injury. In Skateboard Scare, Jess and Jaylen practice for a competition despite Jess’s lack of protective padding. While attempting a new trick, she falls injuring her wrist. Worst of all, her fiercest competitor, Kim, seems to have all her tricks down. After Jess’s wrist heels Jaylen talks her into getting back on the board, but will she be able to face the railing where she fell? These transitional chapter books have a sprinkling of colorful digital illustrations, large font and a Fountas & Pinnell reading level M. Each book concludes with six discussion or writing prompt questions involving recall, personal connection, comparison, analysis, or prediction. Characters reflect multiple cultures and will appeal to students who like realistic and friendship books but the plots are predictable without much character transformation. This is a series that will be checked out and useful for problem-oriented group discussions.
Trouble With Cheating
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Hoena, Blake
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 18, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Jess and Jaylen are best friends sharing a love of skateboarding, meeting up every Saturday at the local Skate Park. The eight book series focuses on situations the twosome face in their daily lives such as bullying, cheating, breaking someone else’s property, and finding courage to try something again after an injury. In Trouble with Cheating, Jess struggles with fractions. Jaylen whizzes through, but unwilling to admit she doesn’t understand them, Jess resorts to copying Jaylen’s work although he doesn’t want her to. When inevitably she is caught, a tutor is found and Jess realizes no one thinks she is dumb, just needs extra help with fractions. These transitional chapter books have a sprinkling of colorful digital illustrations, large font and a Fountas & Pinnell reading level M. Each book concludes with six discussion or writing prompt questions involving recall, personal connection, comparison, analysis, or prediction. Characters reflect multiple cultures and will appeal to students who like realistic and friendship books but the plots are predictable without much character transformation. This is a series that will be checked out and also useful for problem-oriented group discussions.
School Bus Bully
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Hoena, Blake
Regan, Dana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 18, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Jess and Jaylen are best friends sharing a love of skateboarding, meeting up every Saturday at the local Skate Park. The eight book series focuses on situations the twosome face in their daily lives such as bullying, cheating, breaking someone else’s property, and finding courage to try something again after an injury. In School Bus Bully, new boy Alex pushes a younger boy and threatens Jaylen on numerous occasions during the first few days. Jaylen witnesses older students bullying Alex and secretly feels glad. But after sharing cookies and inviting Alex to sit at the same table, friendship results. Tidily resolved, the characters are ready for their next problem. Written for moral instruction rather than literary content, these transitional chapter books have a sprinkling of colorful digital illustrations, large font and a Fountas & Pinnell reading level M. Each book concludes with six discussion or writing prompt questions involving recall, personal connection, comparison, analysis, or prediction. Characters reflect multiple cultures and will appeal to students who like realistic and friendship books but the plots are predictable without much character transformation. Useful for discussions, the series will be checked out.
Pinocchio
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Mcmullan, Kate
Lemaitre, Pascal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 18, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Kate McMullan and Pascal LeMaitre have combined their talents for storytelling and graphic design in an abridged retelling of the 19th century classic story of Pinocchio, the naughty little wooden puppet boy. Originally published as newspaper chapters in Italy, McMullan has simplified the text into short chapters while maintaining the gullibility, misfortunes and bad choices Pinocchio continuously makes. McMullan explains that the original installments ended with cliffhangers and has modeled her chapters accordingly. Pinocchio’s selfish disregard for Geppetto’s sacrifices is finally overcome when he realizes how he has harmed Geppetto and sets off to find him. The central question of whether a good heart and intentions will be enough to transform Pinocchio follows his mishaps from chapter to chapter. Le Maitre’s excellent orange, tan and black illustrations wonderfully complement the text as the graphic format is expertly executed. This transitional chapter book will also delight older grade students and may lead them to read the full edition. Pinocchio sets a high bar for this new series Classical Cartoons and will be well placed in most elementary libraries.
Wild Things! : Acts Of Mischief In Children's Literature
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bird, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Professional
April 19, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
The audience of this book is not children or even teens, but rather adults that love and appreciate children’s literature. A librarian, a reviewer and blogger, and an author and reviewer teamed up to create this ode to children literature and authors that push the boundaries of what might be deemed “acceptable” for children. Topics ranging from early tales that push boundaries, to GLBT authors, to books that critics hate and children love, to trends in the kids book world, to sex and murder on page and in the lives of authors. This was an entertaining look at continually evolving world of children’s books. A great read for the adults, and perhaps parents that use the library.
Saddle Up! : Riding And Competitions For Horse Lovers
Snap Books/capstone Press [Snap Books/capstone Press]
Bratton, Donna Bowman
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
As a librarian at a horse-loving school, I know this is a book that will fly off our shelves and be passed around amongst multiple grades with constant checkout. Plenty of details can be discovered in the varied graphic layouts with jaunty titles and several captioned photographs per page, and Did You Know fact boxes. A basic introduction to competitive horse riding, tack, and safety rules precedes the two main sections of Western and English competitive events. Glossary words are bold and informative for the uninitiated and differences in tacks and best horses for certain events mentioned. Many Western events are based on the work needed by ranchers including cutting and trail riding. Barrel riding was invented for women although men compete as well now. English riding events include dressage, show jumping, and eventing, adding trail riding to the other two events. Horseracing completes the discussion of competitive events followed by a multiple-choice quiz, recommended books, index, and a website portal. If you have a horse-riding population at your school, this would be a good series to explore.
Learning About Poems
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Rustad, Martha E H
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
This Pebble Plus book is a stellar example of simplicity combined with valuable content. Poems are described as “connect(ing) words with senses and feelings” and poems communicate big ideas with few words. “Look for yellow when you’re weary, smiling color makes you cheery.” Basic poetry terms including lines, stanzas, rhyme, and rhythm are defined and short poems exhibit their use. While geared towards primary grades, the clear and small examples of alliteration and comparison could easily be used with older grades as a quick review. Haiku, cinquain and acrostic poems are also covered. Large colorful photographs spill across the center onto the facing page adding a visual component complementing the poem. With the large photographs, this teaching book is easy to share directly with a whole group or projected as well. A glossary, recommended reading and publisher-monitored websites are included.
Robots In Space
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Clay, Kathryn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Pebble Plus books excel at matching photographs to text using topics of high interest to young primary grade students. Robots in Space will appeal to gadget hungry readers as well as space aficionados and includes plentiful photographs of robotic devices and unmanned probes and rovers. A robotic glove for a human is contrasted with a 60-foot long robotic arm attached to the International Space Station. The unmanned probes, Van Allen and Voyager 2 are mentioned as well as the Curiosity, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers that landed on Mars. Future spider bots and humanoid robots are presented with critical thinking questions related to common core standards on the last page. A glossary, index, and recommended reading and publisher-monitored web sites are included. With animals often the focus of early reader non-fiction, this could be a good purchase for most libraries.
Jane Goodall : Chimpanzee Expert & Activist
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids biographies are basic introductions to influential people through the large book format. Several short sentences of text recount a few facts with vocabulary words in bold. Historical photographs add authenticity to the information and childhood pictures are included. While information is minimal, the reader learns why the person is significant and a timeline reinforces the chronology. Glossary, index, recommended reading and code for publisher’s web links also included. Jane Goodall followed her childhood dreams to travel to Africa and study animals and is known for her many decades study of chimpanzees. Her discovery that chimps used tools radically changed our view of animals and especially primates. Photographs of Jane show her with binoculars, observing chimpanzees, playing with the chimps, and traveling to speak to people about the ways to make the world a better place. Vocabulary words are fossil, mission, and protection.
Jackie Robinson : Baseball Legend
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids biographies are basic introductions to influential people through the large book format. Several short sentences of text recount a few facts with vocabulary words in bold. Historical photographs add authenticity to the information and childhood pictures are included. While information is minimal, the reader learns why the person is significant, a map shows the location of their birth, and a timeline reinforces the chronology. Glossary, index, recommended reading and code for publisher’s web links also included. In Jackie Robinson, readers will learn how he was the first black man to play in major league baseball. Young students may not be aware that black athletes were not allowed on professional sports teams, nor that they continued to face racist treatment even as they excelled and led teams to victory. Photographs of Jackie Robinson show him playing several sports, in a military uniform, with his family, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and with his teammates. Vocabulary words include rookie, segregation, social change, varsity, and UCLA.
Walt Disney : Animator & Founder
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Abdo Kids biographies are basic introductions to influential people through the large book format. Several short sentences of text recount a few facts with vocabulary words in bold. Historical photographs add authenticity to the information and childhood pictures are included. While information is minimal, the reader learns why the person is significant and a timeline reinforces the chronology. Glossary, index, recommended reading and code for publisher’s web links also included. Disney is a word most students connect with Disneyland or Disney World rather than Walt Disney the animator of movie and founder of the amusement parks. Born 115 years ago, Walt loved drawing as a child and was introduced to animation at his first job at a film ad company. After founding the Disney Bros. Studio with brother Ray, he created Mickey Mouse and moved from silent cartoons to ones with sound before eventually making the first Disney movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This biography is sure to be a favorite. Vocabulary words are animation, featured, popular, release and silent cartoons.
Plantas Fuera De Lugar
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Farrell, Courtney
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Invasive plants and animals are becoming an increasing problem in our global world. This Spanish-language book provides a clear and interesting overview of how non-native plants are creating possible ecological disasters. Specific case studies from different parts of the United States, and the world, are highlighted. Readers also learn general problems, such as non-native plants' impact on food chains and food webs, their crowding out of native plants, and their impact on local wildlife and farmers. Clear and interesting writing combines with color photographs to present this cautionary tale. The book includes a glossary and index and would be an excellent resource for report-writing.
Jackie Robinson Breaks The Color Barrier
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Smolka, Bo
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Greatest Events in Sports History" series, this is how good nonfiction is done. The writing is crisp and compelling, drawing the reader in, and presenting a variety of viewpoint and events that led to Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier. Other black players are highlighted. Quotes from the time give readers an "I was there" feeling. Black and white photographs add visual appeal. This well-bound 48 page book has an index, bibliography, glossary, and timeline. What's more important, it has a compelling story and it tells it well.
Ocean
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Arlon, Penelope
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
With a foreword by Jacque Cousteau's grandson you know it's gotta be good! This is an interesting 64 page compendium of solid facts and weird trivia from beneath the sea. Readers will learn about reefs, and what threatens them, as well as big and small, safe and dangerous sea creatures. Sea noise, life spans, and life in the deep deep ocean are all highlighted. This is a book for exploring, filled with photographs, fact boxes, and interesting graphics. There's a glossary and index. While not really good for report-writing, this is a fabulous browsing book that will find a ready audience.
Jellyfish
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Marsico, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 19, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Nature’s Children books, with their predictable format, informative diagrams, and eye-catching photographs are a reliable and higher level middle grade introduction to a wide variety of animals. A one-page fact file introduces the jellyfish, giving its scientific classification, distribution, habitats, physical characteristics, habits and diet. The Table of Contents showing five 5-12 page chapters, glossary, habitat map, additional resources, index and brief biography of the author. Stunning full-color captioned photographs match the text and an occasional label emphasizes a critical point. Complex content uses academic language, (not all words found in the glossary), but upper elementary students will appreciate the amount of details explaining jellyfish life. The last chapter addresses human interaction and hints at the issues presented by their increasing numbers, possibly due to their ability to survive in poor water quality, and decreasing numbers of predators. Jellyfish have existed long before many of the mass extinction events and indications are they may be able to survive the increasing environmental pressures. If representative of the quality of recent books in the series, great addition to the school library.
Beetle Busters : A Rogue Insect And The People Who Track It
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Burns, Loree Griffin
Harasimowicz, Ellen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 19, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
The Asian long horned beetle (ALB) originally from China is quite noticeable. It is an inch and a half long and has long blue and black striped antennae. This is a good thing, because it is an invasive species that, if not held in check, could decimate huge portions of our deciduous forests. Luckily dedicated foresters and etymologists as well as scores of volunteers are working to eradicate outbreaks of the insect and understand how to protect our forests from them. Techniques include studying the insects and trees that have been infested, but on the ground work to eradicate the insects from infested areas focus on carefully looking for infected trees, cutting those infected and chipping the wood into small bits. The aftermath for communities can be barren deforestation that will take decades to replace. The dedication of the scientists and the tragedy of the infestations and aftermath to their eradication are well documented and show the complexities invasive species in our increasingly connected world.
Outside
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Gill, Deirdre
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 19, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
A young boy is bored inside and so he bundles up to explore the snowy world outside his countryside home. Soon his imagination is fired and he makes a snow friend and castle that is then visited by an imaginary dragon. Just as he is about to head back inside his older brother joins him and they are off to explore and imagine some more. Though readers from Western Washington might wonder why he would bother to get bored before going to play in the snow, they will appreciate the imaginative play once he is there. Beautiful illustrations with playful imaginative touches invite careful observation and add greatly to the story.
Hunters Of The Great Forest
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Nolan, Dennis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 19, 2015
Wittmann, Paula
A hunting group sets off from a small village. As they make their way up hillsides, around boulders and by the forest trees the reader begins to realize that they are small, really small, folk. The group successfully evades insects, an angry jay, a toad and a chipmunk before they reach their final hunting ground- a human campfire. They sneak in and capture a single marshmallow that they haul home to share with their entire village. The story of this wordless book is a little slow in starting, but the engaging detailed illustrations should keep kids interested and keep them coming back to relook at details once they reach its satisfying end. The book should spark the interest and imagination of many young readers especially those willing to slow down, look closely and comeback to look again.
Clash Of The Dinos : Watch Dinosaurs Do Battle!
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Johnson, Jinny
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
I have had students at both schools coming up to me asking for "one of those dinosaur battle books." They mean books that pit different dinosaurs against one another in an imaginary battle, deciding which one would win. Well, this is the book they'll all be drooling after. This 64 page large-format paperback introduces some basic dino information such as the different dinosaur periods, and the major events that happened then. Types of dinosaurs--ornithischians vs. saurischians--are explained. Then different dinosaurs are introduced and each is evaluated for strength, armor, agility, scariness, special skills, and speed. This evaluation leads to a numbered "danger level." Some pages contain specific information about some types of dinosaur, while other two-page spreads pit dino on dino and posit who would win. Vivid illustrations accompany the well-researched text. The book includes an index and glossary. This will fly off the shelf...probably on pterosaur wings. (And yes, this book doesn't limit itself to dinosaurs, although that is its focus.)
Ten Of The Best Monster Stories
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The series is titled "Ten of the Best Myths, Legends & Folk Stories" and each oversized paperback book focuses on a different topic--animals, giants, ghosts, princesses, etc. This one is about monsters and takes traditional stories from a variety of cultures around the world giving each a one or two page brief retelling accompanied by a large illustration and information about the author or source. Here readers find a quick introduction to the chimera, werewolves, vampires, the draugr, St. George and the dragon, wyverns, ogres, bunyips, the Taniwha, and Beauty and the Beast. The stories are competently, if briefly, retold and the book includes an index and glossary. For teachers who want to give students a quick background on any of these subjects, this book would be ideal.
U.s. Navy True Stories : Tales Of Bravery
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Gunderson, Jessica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
These true stories are those of Naval personnel whose acts of bravery led to medals of distinction. The book begins with an explanation of the awards, then the author takes readers on a journey through history. Acts of bravery from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom are described, with information about the act itself and the person or persons involved, and why it merited the award. Photographs accompany the text. The book includes an index, bibliography, and glossary. Each story is told briefly, and young readers will lack the context necessary to give it the depth it merits. Still, this is a worthy book about a subject that often receives too little mention--courage. Similar titles in the series feature stories from other branches of the military.
Big Star Otto
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Slavin, Bill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Otto has been seeking his dear friend, Georgie through two graphic novels now and into this third one. Otto is an elephant, and Georgie is a monkey. Now Otto is in Hollywood where Georgie is a spoiled movie star. Can the two be united in friendship again, or has Georgie changed too much? In the meantime Otto is getting a shot at show business, is unwillingly "rescued" by animal activists who have a strange concept of how elephants should live, and stages a stampede. A change of heart, and an evil Man in a Yellow Hat (which will make adults giggle, but may go right over young readers' heads) tie this humorous story up in a sloppy bow. There's lots here to make children laugh in the basic story and wonderful graphic illustrations. Adults, however, will catch all kinds of funny references, puns, and jokes tucked away in both text and illustrations. That makes this a winner for young and old!
Kayla The Pottery Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Magic" series that features fairies of every ilk is very popular with my girls at school. The author has run through about every color under the rainbow and now is exploring other avenues. This is the first in "The Magical Crafts Fairies" series which is pretty much identical to all the previous books, written to a similar pattern. Rachel and Kirsty are back on Rainspell Island. There's an arts and crafts festival, and they meet Kayla, the Potter Fairy, who takes them to Fairyland. Oh no, Jack Frost and his minions have stolen 7 of the fairy craft items (corresponding, of course, with 7 fairies.) Can the girls get them back? This is formulaic and uninspired but it will doubtless be extremely popular.
Eva's Treetop Festival
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Elliott, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Eva the owl is keeping a diary about her life. She's a flamboyant flyer, and anxious to do well in school. When she gets the great idea for a spring festival she tries to do everything herself but soon is overwhelmed. That's when she learns the value of letting others help, using their talents. This is a story about cooperation and sharing the credit, with patterned digital illustrations and short easy-to-read chapters. It would be a good transitional chapter book for those just stepping up from picture books.
Ignite
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Larson, Sara B
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 20, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Alexa has told newly crowned King Damian that there's no hope for their relationship, though she remains his most trusted guard. As the story begins, foreign emissaries arrive, led by the captivatingly beautiful Lady Vera. Alexa must manage to swallow her jealousy to discern Vera's true intentions - plus there's plenty of swordplay, sorcery, and romantic misunderstanding. Those who liked the first book are liable to be fine with this and it's clear there will at least be a third. Don't purchase where Defy isn't popular.
Rebel Among Redcoats : A Revolutionary War Novel
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Gunderson, Jessica
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 21, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This new series The Revolutionary War contains three nonfiction titles and this short novel. In October 1779 Maggie Tinsdale, the motherless daughter of a wealthy plantation owner outside Charles Town (now Charleston), South Carolina, is with her father when his wagon is overtaken by British Redcoats for carrying weapons to the militia. Maggie escapes to her Aunt Kate’s in Charles Town with the help of militiamen, but has trouble putting up with her aunt’s seemingly Loyalist views. Her goal is to find where her father is imprisoned, but they must endure the siege of Charles Town. When it’s over her aunt celebrates the victorious British military in her home. Helping Maggie survive this time is a 13-year-old boy, a cabinet maker’s apprentice, who shares her views. During the story she meets Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, and the British Banastre “The Butcher” Tarleton. Though fast paced and true to the times, the antics and successes of Maggie, especially at the end, make this historical fiction a bit unrealistic. It will still convey the desired introduction to the conflict of this war. The 88 pages is followed by a glossary, a page on making connections, and brief biographical information on four people in the book.
Step Into The Spotlight!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Alexander, Heather
Le Feyer, Diane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Marlo is off on an adventure. Her mother has just taken a job as a cook for a circus, which travels by train from town to town. There are 3 girls her age in the circus, and Marlo wants to be a Stardust Girl, too. Still, she needs to find a talent that would be spectacular enough to perform in front of crowds. Of course she needs to make new friends as well. This is as sweet and unsubstantial as cotton candy, but with its sparkly cover, plentiful black and white illustrations, and short chapters this is sure to appeal to the same crowd who adore "Rainbow Magic" and mermaid stories. And, hey, if it keeps them reading I'm all for that!
Volcano Blast
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Kennedy, Marlane
Madrid, Erwin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Noah and Emma are missing Hawaii, especially Noah. Their father, a noted vulcanologist, is taking a year to study volcanoes in Alaska, and the climate and culture shock are a little hard to take. However, on their first visit to a volcanic island in the Aleutian chain, the unthinkable happens. The volcano actually erupts, putting the children and a new friend in life-threatening danger. Ash, mud slides, lava, and more all must be faced on their run to potential safety. Part of the "Disaster Strikes" series, this is competently written, and young readers will learn something about volcanoes and volcanic eruptions along the way. There's enough suspense to keep readers turning the pages, but short chapters and easy vocabulary will also make this a good choice for reluctant readers.
Seed Bank Heist
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Bright, J E
Beavers, Ethen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Poison Ivy has escaped from prison and is trying to rob the seed bank, an irreplaceable treasure. Light up the Bat-signal! Fighting this arch-villain, however, isn't easy. In fact, in this "You-Choose" book there is only one path that leads to success. Make the wrong choice and Batman ends up losing the fight...badly. Very occasional full-page color illustrations accompany the text that gives readers 14 possible endings. AR test? Not likely. Still, there is an audience for this type of book and they will be pleased.
Runaway Train : Saved By Belle Of The Mines And Mountains
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Coleman, Wim
Renaud, Joanne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 21, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Setting the Stage for Fluency" series, this 40-page book provides information about 15-year-old Bella Dunkinson's act of bravery in 1856, in a play format. There are 18 parts, most of them small, telling the story of Bella's bravery during a potential train disaster during a big storm. This is Bella herself, telling the story from an older age. Other parts reenact it. Unfortunately the story is not especially compelling in this format, but this does provide the opportunity for students to experience nonfiction through a different genre. (Although the argument could be made that, while based on a true event, the addition of imagined dialogue turns this into more "historical fiction" than straight history.) Either way, if you need more plays, this series would be worth investigating.
Telefonos Moviles
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mcleese, Don
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 21, 2015
Threlkeld, Sarah
Part of the Technology of Communication series published by Rourke Educational Media, "Los telefonos moviles," or "Mobile Phones," is aimed at upper elementary and middle school students who read fluently in Spanish. The book covers the history of mobile phones, the differences between land lines and cell phones, the parts of phones (batteries, screens, etc.), and the science behind cell phone technology. The most relevant and interesting chapter discusses cell phone etiquette and various places people should refrain from using their phones. Every page contains at least one photograph connected to the text, which aids in comprehension, but many of the photos feel outdated or staged and avvy teenagers will quickly lose interest. The book also includes a table of contents, glossary, index, and a timeline of phone technology that starts with Bell's 1876 invention. "Los telefonos moviles" is packed with information, but students will most likely seek it out only if they are conducting research since the text is fairly dry and the presentation already feels out of date.
Best Bat
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Howard, Ryan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 22, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Ethnic diversity, short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, easy to read text, lunchtimes where kids talk about dinosaurs, good lessons on character--hey, add in sports and you've got a recipe for success for a particular, often hard-to-reach audience. This is the "Little Rhino" series. Rhino is an African-American kid whose real name is Ryan. He loves baseball. In this, the second book in the series, his league team is starting to learn to work together for success. That means that a bully needs to mend his ways, and Rhino needs to stop jumping to conclusions and falsely accusing folks. This is a nice easy chapter sports book. Boys who likee Stoudemire's STAT series (basketball) will also enjoy these books. Hey, girls might like them, too. It's a co-ed team, after all.
My New Team
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Howard, Ryan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 22, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Ethnic diversity, short chapters, occasional black and white illustrations, easy to read text, lunchtimes where kids talk about dinosaurs, good lessons on character--hey, add in sports and you've got a recipe for success for a particular, often hard-to-reach audience. This is the "Little Rhino" series. Rhino is an African-American kid whose real name is Ryan. He loves baseball and has been practicing. Now it's time to follow his older brother into league baseball. That doesn't mean his life is easy. He's trying to draw a friend out of his shell, dealing with a bully, and learning that skills need constant honing. Still, baseball is his life and he's enjoying being part of a team. This is the first book in the series and is a nice introduction to the characters and premise. Kids who like Stoudemire's STAT series (basketball) will also enjoy these books.
Take A Bath! : Healthy Body Habits
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sandcastle: Healthy Habits" series, this small (6.5" x 7.5"), 24 page book explores building healthy cleanliness habits. It is more than just about bathing. Each two page spread contains a large two page photograph and a text box that contains one or two simple sentences. The reader learns about germs, why bathing is important, washing hands, combing hair, and having clean clothes in just a couple sentences. There is a table of contents in the front, and a true and false quiz and five-word glossary in the back. There will be other titles on cleanliness with more information.
Brush Your Teeth! : Healthy Dental Habits
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sandcastle: Healthy Habits" series, this small (6.5" x 7.5"), 24 page book explores building healthy dental habits, Each two page spread contains a large two page photograph and a text box that contains one or two simple sentences. The reader learns why brushing teeth is important, about flossing, regular dentist visits, and braces in just a couple sentences. There is a table of contents in the front, and a true and false quiz and seven-word glossary in the back. There will be other titles on teeth with much more information.
There Goes Ted Williams : The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Candlewick Biographies" series. The 40 pages give an account of professional baseball player, Ted Williams. The eight chapters follow his life chronologically. The layout of the text is inviting and well written. Color illustrations are found throughout the text. It would have been nice to have an actual photograph (perhaps in the end matter). The reader will learn about his development as a baseball player, his military service in World War II and the Korean War, and his final game at Fenway Park in Boston. The Author's Note give the reader some additional information. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, baseball stat page, and author information. This biography will be great for baseball fans and perhaps struggling readers at intermediate grade levels.
Minnesota Vikings
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Zappa, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the Minnesota Vikings. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches and players, stadium (the text tells of the new stadium to open in 2016), fans, and game highlights (including four Super Bowl appearances). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (through 2012), quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
New Orleans Saints
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Zappa, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the New Orleans Saints. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches, stadium, fans, and game highlights (including their 2010 Super Bowl appearance and win). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (through 2010), quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
Oakland Raiders
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Zappa, Marcia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of "The NFL's Greatest Teams" series, this 32 page book gives an overview of the Oakland Raiders. Most chapters are 2 pages (one is 4 pages). Each chapter contains a topic and color, captioned photographs. The text is well-written and will appeal to young football fans. The reader will learn about the team's history, famous coaches, stadium, fans, and game highlights (including three Super Bowl wins). A stat page is found in the middle of the book, titled "Halftime! Stat Break." The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, quiz (4 questions), glossary, and index. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. An additional book for your sports section.
Tae Kwon Do
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Adamson, Thomas K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Inside Martial Arts" series, this 48 page book takes a basic look at the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. Readers learn of the history, techniques, moves, and competitions. The text is well-written and accompanied by color, captioned photographs that include competitors of various gender/ethnicities. The book is complete with traditional non-fiction text features (table of contents, glossary, bibliography (websites provided through the publisher), index, and author information. A strong offering if you are updating your martial arts section.
Shakira : International Music Star
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Big Buddy Books: Biography" series, this 32 page book contains a basic biography of International music sensation Shakira. Born in Colombia, the book traces her life from childhood to the present day (2014) with clear and concise text. Most double page spreads cover one aspect of her life. They contain a color photograph and one or two paragraphs of text. Photos are captioned. The layout is attractive and will appeal to readers. The book is complete with a table of contents, map, fact page, glossary, index. A website through the publisher is provided for additional resources. As this star continues to perform, this book will go out of date quickly.
Lost In The Sea Of Despair
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Turner, Tracey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 23, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The "Lost" series combine survival information with a choose-your-own-adventure format to throw readers into a dangerous situation and see if they can make the right decisions to make it out alive. Each focuses on a specific environment. In this one you are on a boat that is sinking in the South Pacific. How are you going to survive? Along the way readers learn a lot about the flora and fauna of the ocean, and a typical uninhabited island. The need for water and food, and dangers to your life raft are highlighted. Signalling for help? That may not be as successful as you would like. All but two paths lead to a miserable death. This is actually quite a fascinating series, that teaches excellent survival skills as students read it over and over, following different paths. Sure, there will never be an AR test for the book, but it will still find a good readership if you booktalk it.
Welcome To Moldy Manor
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Cousin Trap has shown up and wherever he appears trouble follows. He turns Geronimo's carefully-planned birthday party into a party for himself, wildly spending much of Geronimo's money. Now Geronimo's flat-busted. What can he do? To teach him a lesson he is sent to Moldy Manor to learn how to be more frugal. There's a difference between frugal and stingy, however. Can Geronimo learn his lesson, save the paper, and become financially responsible? Bright cartoon illustrations, lots of color in the text, and quick pace make this Geronimo Stilton another fun one to add to your shelves. These are extremely popular and this one will be no exception.
Dino-Mike And The T. Rex Attack
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Aureliani, Franco
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Mike's dad is a famous paleontologist, which is why he's on a dig. With a nickname like "Dino-Mike" you know he's a dinosaur enthusiast. However, when he finds himself being chased by an actual T-Rex things turn weird. A time-traveling girl is trying to corral the beast, while a teen is trying to thwart her. What is going on? This is part of a series and has short chapters, some black and white illustrations and DINOSAURS! It would be a nice transitional book for reluctant readers just moving up to chapter books.
Space Penguins Star Attack!
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Courtenay, Lucy
Davies, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Captain James T. Krill and his crew--Rocky Waddle, Splash Gordon, and Fuzz Allgrin--are penguins in space, known throughout the universe as crime-fighting heroes. Now, however, they are trapped. A former crew member has turned himself into a penguin robot villain with a black helmet named...wait for it...Dark Wader who has created a Death Starfish space station from which he hopes to rule the universe. In trying to rescue a space pizza delivery guy, the heroes are trapped and now they're dealing with mechanical sea lions and a robot killer whales. Can they survive? This is a quirky, silly book with plenty of humor. Young readers may not get all the references, but the lighthearted adventure is a fun read and with short chapters and occasional black and white illustrations this serves beginning chapter book readers well.
Rattlesnakes
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Gagne, Tammy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 24, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Amazing Reptiles" series and will be perfect for student research on rattlesnakes. The text is well-written and explores the range, habitat, life cycle, and diet of these dangerous snakes. The book also looks at the impact of human development on these creatures, as well as, how people can avoid them to prevent attacks. Color photographs are captioned and will delight reptile lovers! Common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter, along with primary source text. The book is complete with a table of contents, range map, fact page, index, glossary, and author information. Purchase when you update your animal section.
Who Needs Magic?
DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [DELACORTE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Mccullough, Kathy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 25, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Teenaged Delaney learned she was a fairy godmother in "Don't Expect Magic". Unfortunately a fairy godmother's life isn't always magical. After the death of her mother she has moved to California to live with a father she doesn't know. He's the one she inherited the f.g. magic from, but it's hard fitting into a new place and make new friends. Then everything goes to pot. Her friendship with Flynn seems to be falling apart. Her dad is dating a woman with a son, which comes with its own baggage. She likes Gina, but still... Delaney's boot-redesigning business is faltering and she is now in a fairy godmother battle with another young fairy godmother who has a whole different view of how the business should be run. When they end up trying to grant conflicting wishes the battle is on. Delaney is turning into someone even she doesn't like. Can it all end well? This is tightly-written, well-paced fiction with a touch of magic and romance. The magic is not as big an issue as the typical things that teens face as they try to figure out their place in the world. The two books would be popular in secondary libraries.
If It Bleeds
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Richards, Linda
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 25, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Nichole Charles knows she was lucky to land a job as a reporter, right out of college. True, the society page wasn't her goal, but she hopes it will be a stepping stone to a real news job. When she stumbles on a dead body at a gallery opening this would seem to be her chance. A "real" reporter stomps her down, however, and the editor is less than helpful. Undaunted, she continues her research and discovers that having links with the society pages gives her some unusual sources. This is part of the "Rapid Reads" series and it is, indeed, a quick read. It is also a fun mystery-suspense novel that will appeal to YA readers or reluctant adult readers. Sure, there are some threads that aren't really woven in, but perhaps the author is planning on making this a series and they will play out in the future.
Loula And The Sister Recipe
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Villeneuve, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 26, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Having triplet brothers is a bit disappointing to Loula. She thinks they are “the worst invention in the world.” Deciding she wants a sister, Loula approaches her parents and asks them to make a sister for her. Taken by surprise, her parents explain that making a sister is like making a cake – you need the right ingredients. Loula and the family chauffeur embark on a shopping adventure to collect all the ingredients: butterflies in your stomach, a candlelit supper, full moon, kisses and hugs, and chocolate. After everything is set up and Loula waits for an eternity, she suddenly remembers that she forgot the most important ingredients – a mama and a papa! While she runs into the house to grab her parents, a hungry stray dog knocks over the beautiful table and scarfs down the cheese tartines Loula had prepared. Surprisingly, Loula believes the recipe worked after all. It brought her a new sister (the dog), even though he is a mister. Even with all the extra work involved in caring for a pet, Loula believes that Mister is the best sister. Simple watercolor and ink illustrations lend a touch of whimsy to this enjoyable story.
Sleep Tight, Anna Banana
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Dormal, Alexis
Dormal, Alexis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 26, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Anna Banana isn’t ready to go to sleep, even after her parents tell her she can’t read anymore. Her stuffed animal friends are tired, but Anna keeps them awake as she laughingly enjoys her bedtime story. As they try to sneak out to another room, Anna grabs their tails and sits on them. After finishing the book, she turns off the light and tries to go to sleep. Her stuffed animals decide to retaliate and engage in numerous noisy antics to keep her awake. Anna apologizes and kisses all her furry friends goodnight. The story ends with an “aaahhh” moment as they all fall sound asleep. This story will resonate with children who just can’t stop reading when they should be falling asleep. Illustrations and text are set up similar to a graphic novel.
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Becker, Helaine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 26, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Just what does it take to be a hero? Dirk Daring, fifth-grader Darren Dirkowitz’s alter ego, transforms every daily event into a spy operation full of dangers while recording the mission details in his super-secret spy journal. But when his older stepbrother Jason, otherwise called Waldo, steals the journal and blackmails him with the threat of revealing the journal to the entire middle school, Darren is trapped. His best friend Travis, confidante and sometimes accomplice, prompts him to also spy on Waldo and discover his secrets. And secrets he has. Thus starts a cat and mouse game of info gathering and intrigue. And it only becomes more complicated when Opal pals up with Darren while Lucinda only has eyes for Travis. Just who is spying on whom? Betrayal, friendship, secrets, and siblings converge as a real mission emerges to uncover the culprits stealing lunch money from younger kids. School teasing and bullying play a big part in the characters decision-making and would provide good fodder for classroom discussion. A scattering of doodles, Dirk Daring’s encrypted and de-encrypted reports and his profiles of main characters add special interest. Recommended for middle grades. Alert: review copy is paperback.
Audrey (Cow)
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bar-El, Dan
Mai-Wyss, Tatjana
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 26, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
A charmingly illustrated cover of a Charolais, (French white cow), frolicking and jumping a fence, surrounded by a watchful crowd of farm and forest animals, may not appeal to all readers, but read some quotes before passing judgment. “I knew exactly where I was heading . . .downhill . . .to the meat section.” Audrey, the poetry-loving cow, moves from calf innocence to a firm resolve to avoid her intended fate, in a delightful tale told through the voices of over two dozen animals and people. Doris (the deer) describes the story, “ brave cows escaping their dark destiny and dodging hunters and vicious predators.” When the slaughter truck arrives for Audrey, Operation Urgent Fury is put into motion with most of the farm animals playing a part. Brilliant Buster (pig) masterminds the plot and Eddie the dog and Audrey’s best friend provides the narrative thread for the scene. Subtitled, “An oral account of a most daring escape, based more or less on a true story”, this enchanting escapade may not be picked up off the shelf without some book talking, but would make for an excellent read-aloud in younger grades and a good recommend for middle-grade, animal lovers.
Jack At The Helm
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Doan, Lisa
Stevanovic, Ivica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Jack Berenson is a responsible kid. A very responsible kid. He pretty much has to be because his parents are way out in left field when it comes to responsibility and parental skills. In the previous books Jack ended up stranded on an island, and then there was the safari fiasco. Now his parents have decided to start a new religion--nosnereb--that cherry-picks from a variety of currently-available religions, and they've bought a house in Nepal over the internet in the town of Shangilala where they hope to become co-lamas. Of course, the town doesn't exist, but in their search for it they lose Jack yet again. Now he's traveling in a raft down a river in Nepal with a dude who is trying to find himself...and both of them are missing. It's another Berenson mishap and Jack is going to have to depend on his skills to survive. This is an amusing series with plenty of action, fast-paced writing, and a humorous premise. Those who already enjoy the series will find this entry entertaining.
Disappearing Act
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Gaetz, Dayle Campbell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Leena never really felt like a worthy member of her family, which is why she chose to disappear a few years ago. Now, suddenly, her sister has tracked her down with a need to vanish as well. Her husband has been murdered. She's a suspect. Is she guilty? Leena decides to put her new Internet-acquired detective skills to work to find the real murderer. However, what will happen if the murderer finds her first? This is a light, fun mystery story with adult characters that will, nonetheless, appeal to a YA audience. It's a quick beach read that will leave readers hoping for more books about Leena O'Neil.
Bones
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Wilson, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Sam and Annabel meet up again with their arch-nemesis, billionaire Humphrey Battleford who likes to collect stolen art, when they visit a dinosaur dig in Alberta. This is an unusual skeleton that would have a high value on the black market. When Battleford shows up they know that the skeleton isn't safe. They risk life and limb to thwart a robbery, and all ends well in this quick and fun "Orca Currents" book. These are short chapter books aimed at secondary audiences that are well-written and of a non-threatening length. This will appeal to both reluctant and regular teen readers, and to adults who don't want to read a "kid" book as they're increasing their language skills.
Nightmare On Clown Street
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stine, R L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
A summer working with his uncle in a clown circus? It'll be great! However, when Ray arrives, something is off. The clowns seem nervous. He doesn't get to stay in the same trailer with his uncle, and there are warnings about being sent to "Clown Street." As the situation worsens Ray realizes that he must be sent to Clown Street to rescue his uncle and other clowns who have disappeared, but he doesn't realize the terrifying danger involved. This is another "Goosebumps" book with that perfect blend of horror and adventure that fans of the series expect. Every chapter ends with a cliff-hanger. Doubt drips through the pages about the hero's potential at survival. Those who love this series will enjoy this book.
Jasper John Dooley : You're In Trouble
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Adderson, Caroline
Clanton, Ben
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is the 4th Jasper John Dooley book and you might think of him as the male Junie B. Jones, but with better language skills. In this book Jasper finds out what effects an energy drink can have on his already energetic life. I mean, sure, it makes him better at soccer because now he's always moving, and not looking at the dandelions. Still, he is literally bouncing off the walls. He wants to be BAD! He wears labeled underwear on the wrong day. He says all the bad "b" words--bottom, bum, butt! His dad is a bit of an instigator as well. With short chapters, easy vocabulary, and occasional black and white illustrations this series will appeal to reluctant readers transitioning to chapter books.
We Can Work It Out
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Eulberg, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
A companion book to The Lonely Hearts Club which picks up just a few month after Penny Lane, founder of the girl-empowering club in the title, has begun to date club-approved Ryan. Penny Lane is trying to balance her responsibilities to the club, supporting their founding belief that girls do not need guys to validate their self-worth, while figuring out how to be a girlfriend. She's still shaking off the trauma of her previous relationship that led to the founding of the club, and makes plenty of mistakes along the way. Penny Lane is thoughtful and engaging; her supporting cast is not so nuanced but girls will enjoy the ups and downs of the romance and there's plenty of girl power here as well. You don't need to have read the first book to enjoy this one.
Echo
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Ryan, Pam Munoz
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
What you need to know about this book: it is structured as three stories within a story, all bound together by a harmonica. The outside story is a magical folk tale, while the inner three stories are all historical fiction set in Nazi Germany, in a U.S. orphanage in the 1930s, and in California mirroring the story of Sylvia Mendez. And it's about 575 pages long. So your question is, who is the audience for this book? Advanced learning 5th and 6th graders plus 6th and 7th graders who like historical fiction and complex stories. Not a huge group, but this is a well-written and intriguing piece.
I Survived The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Tarshis, Lauren
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Oscar, his mom, and his sister have struggled to keep the family farm going since dad's death, but it's still hard for Oscar when mom's remarriage means they are all moving to Chicago. The family arrives just as the Great Chicago Fire is breaking out, and there plenty of gore and plot crammed in to about 100 pages. O From the Scholastic "I Survived" series.
Raising Heaven
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Jones, Patrick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Teen Deja's mom is in prison and is pregnant again. Mom's life of chronic addiction has provided Deja with a number of half-siblings that she barely knows, but this baby is different. Mom will get out of prison just a few months after the birth so Deja has volunteered to take care of the baby until then, enrolling in a school program for teen parents. Taking care of baby Heaven is tougher than Deja thought it would be, especially since her friends and grandmother aren't providing the support she expected. And how can she believe mom's promises to go straight when she has failed so many times? Should pull readers right in.
Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Readers will be intrigued by the first section of the book which introduces Tanner, a boy who is confused about what his interests and preferences say about his gender identity and sexual orientation. Subsequent chapters clearly and helpfully examine those two concepts and include a Q and A chapter along with further resources. Attractive book design, and although it's a topic that's rapidly changing, information included is not so specific that it will be quickly dated. Guided Reading Level V.
Binge Drinking
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 27, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
The definition of binge drinking, the chemistry of what happens when you drink, the psychology of why teens drink and drink to excess, plus plenty of consequences are clearly laid out here - the book design is engaging and although the photos will of necessity limit the shelf life of this title, it's a worthy choice for non-fiction sections.
COMMERCIAL BREAKS
UNKNOWN [UNKNOWN]
KAIN, P G
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 28, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Who would think a year would change everything? Brittany had been appearing in commercials since she was a baby and was a huge success. Her whole life revolved around the artificial world she worked in, and the recognition it gave her. Returning from a year in Hong Kong with her family, however, she discovers everything has changed. It's like she's starting all over again. The person getting all the jobs she used to get is Phoebe--who needs her older brother, Liam, as a security blanket. Phoebe is so clueless she thinks Brittany is her friend, and Liam is...well, Liam is awfully cute. Brittany decides that the way to get back on top is by taking out Phoebe. She just needs to get into Liam's art class and everything will snap into place. The thing is, Brittany really loves art as well, and she's talented. Is it worth losing Liam and giving up her art to go back to the world of commercials? This is a fabulous book with well-developed characters and a ton of insider information on the world of commercials. Clearly the author has worked in the field. The book is all about balance, and it should be a hit for middle-schoolers.
National Mall
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mattern, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 28, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Symbols of Freedom" series, this 32 page book explores the National Mall in Washington, DC. Readers learn about the development of the mall, the city planner L'Enfant, and the various memorials and institutions that are contained in the mall. Highlighted memorials include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. There is also a chapter about the Smithsonian Institute. Color photographs and maps are found throughout the book. Call out boxes highlight related, interesting facts. The book has the basic non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, index, author information, and timeline. A page in the front contains pre and post reading activities. There are also comprehension questions in the end matter. While probably not useful for major research, this book would provide a solid overview of the area and may get students to look deeper into one of the presented topics.
Stonehenge
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Capek, Michael
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 28, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 112 page book is part of the "Digging Up the Past" series and focuses on the Stonehenge site on the Salisbury Plain in southern England. Because the structure is in plain site, it did not have to be discovered. This book focuses on how archaeologists and others have studied and made discoveries about the site. The well-written text describes excavations throughout history, theories to its creation, and the current preservation efforts. Along the way, readers learn about the various individuals who have studied the site. Sidebars, illustrations, maps, diagrams, and photographs help the readers build understanding. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, fact pages, glossary, index, source notes, and author information. The grade level could go higher than 8th grade. This would be a great addition to ancient civilization section.
St. Louis Gateway Arch
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Sipperly, Keli
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 28, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Symbols of Freedom" series. The 32 pages look at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. Before the book begins, there is a page of before & after reading activities. The book describes the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. Readers learn about the history of the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark Expedition, and the founding of St. Louis. The book then describes the vision for the monument, the construction, and visiting the site today. Sidebars give additional information about people and events connected to the memorial. The book has typical non-fiction features: table of contents, timeline, glossary, author information and index. Photographs (both color and grayscale) and illustrations compliment the text. This book might be useful in a study of westward expansion.
ANCIENT EGYPT
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
ARLON, PENELOPE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 28, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Discover More" series, this 80 page book provides an overview of the ancient civilization of Egypt. The engaging book is divided into three main section: Discovering ancient Egypt, Everyday Life, and Afterlife. Within each section, topics are covered in two page spreads. The spreads provide an overview of the topic and include colorful photographs, illustrations, and diagrams. While not the book for in depth research, this book could provide students with a strong overview that might lead students to further research on the specific topics. A free digital book is also offered with this title (code on first page). The book has non-fiction features: table of contents, index, and glossary. This would be a strong addition for your library and will be used by classes studying ancient civilizations. Binding, while stronger than paperback will not hold up to heavy use.
Sleeping Beauty Dreams Big
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Holub, Joan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 29, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Briar Rose (AKA Sleeping Beauty) is delighted to arrive at Grimm Academy. Her parents have been unreasonable about the whole "pointy object" thing since the curse at her christening. The curse is due to take effect on her 12th birthday, which means she has a week to enjoy javelins, needles, and sharp pencils. However, things aren't well at Grimm Academy. Fairy tales are being rewritten and hers is rewritten with her as a villain. What is going on? What will happen on her birthday? Is evil overtaking the school? In the meantime she's making friends with other fairy tale princesses and enjoying a little freedom for once. How will it all end? Well, in a bit of a let-down, actually. Everyone seems to be doing books based on the old fairy tales and nursery rhymes, and this entry in the "Grimmtastic Girls" series is a pretty run-of-the-mill attempt at the genre. The characters are shallow, the setting is convoluted and has more depth than the people, and the result is a bit of a mish-mash. That being said, girls will probably be drawn in by princesses, and cartoon bright covers.
Amazing Feats Of Civil Engineering
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Carmichael, L E
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 30, 2015
Dame, Anne
This is one book in a series featuring different feats of engineering. The others are: electrical, aerospace, mechanical, biological, and environmental engineering. Numerous photos depicting a diversity of race and gender plus various civil engineering projects add much interest and helpful information. The students that I used this series with stated that the pictures were indeed useful. Each text also includes a hands-on project, career planning advice, and additional resources. Side-bars throughout also add to the overall excellence of this series. A great addition particularly in regards to STEM curriculum.
G-Man Super Journal : Awesome Origins
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Giarrusso, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2015
Burton, Paula
This book is a spin off from the G-man comics in which Michael G. is keeping a journal for his English teacher. On lined paper and interspersed with drawings it looks a lot like the diary of a wimpy kid. That’s where the similarities end; G-man lives in a world full of superheroes where it is cool to have some kind of superpower. G-man would like to have something that will make him cool and fun too but it’s not easy when parents blame you for everything your older brother does and teachers who do not think superheroes are that good for society at all. He also has to compete with a rich classmate who gets all the cool gadgets to attain superhero status. It isn’t until G-man himself finds a magic blanket that he figures out how to become a superhero. Although geared towards an audience in elementary school, it has many relatively sophisticated words throughout the narration which doesn’t take away the story for younger readers but could make it appealing to slightly older students.
Hoot Owl, Master Of Disguise
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Taylor, Sean
Jullien, Jean
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2015
Burton, Paula
Dark pages fit this story about an owl who is a master of disguise. With references to his nocturnal surroundings he tries to lure other animals with his disguises to have a tasty meal. Bold black outlined illustrations make his disguises silly but fun, especially since the owl picks the cutest animals as his prey like a bunny and a sheep with glasses. It doesn’t always work though and the owl stays hungry. Even when he disguises himself as a bird bath to get close to a pigeon. It is not until owl finds something that doesn’t move, when he is successful. Although the owl talks a big game, he never attacks and the rich illustration colors make this a non threatening and fun story for preschoolers.
Night Owl
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Yuly, Toni
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 30, 2015
Burton, Paula
A wonderful follow up to Early bird by North West author and illustrator Toni Yuly. Simple black outlined illustrations accompany this delightful story of an owl looking for its mother. Since he cannot see her, he tries to listen for her, he hears a lot of animals but none are the familiar sound of its mother. With the repetition of the same questions and familiar animals to little ones, this would be a great book for a very young audience in story time but could very well be used as a bedtime story.
Home
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ellis, Carson
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2015
Burton, Paula
Simple text accompany these wonderful watercolor illustrations about how a home can be different for everyone. It takes the reader all over the world; from the simple house in the country to the complexity of a palace. The imagination is used for a shoe as a home, where to no surprise, many children live, or the house under water for Atlanteans. The illustrations do not only spark the imagination but also asks questions about homes; whose is it and why. The author/illustrator from Portland does an excellent job making this book an interactive, worldly book using simple text but rich illustrations. A great picture book that could be used in many different lessons on homes, houses, stories, imagination or world geography.
Score One For The Sloths
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lester, Helen
Munsinger, Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 30, 2015
Burton, Paula
Sloths in school. Hard to imagine there being any action and there is none. The soft water color illustrations accompany the humorous text about all the activities Sleepy Valley Sloth School students perform during a school day; yawning, snoring, rolling over. All these exercises contain some form of sleep, slumber or napping. That is until a new sloth joins them. Her name by itself causes the other sloths to ignore her; Sparky. Sparky does her name justice. “She was full of life and energy and vim and vigor and vitality” and does not fit in. On Sparky's first day, the wild boar from SOS (society for organizing sameness) comes to visit. You can tell he is wild boar. The illustration shows a boar in colored and bright printed clothing. This kind of humor is a constant delight throughout the story. It turns out that Sparky is a wonderful addition to the school. This book could be a wonderful read to 1st and 2nd grade to accompany a unit on sloths.
When Lunch Fights Back : Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Johnson, Rebecca L
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 30, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Animals’ defenses against predators commonly revolve around counterattacking with sharp teeth and claws or using camouflage to hide. This book helps expand our thinking by exploring more unusual tactics that are surprising and sometimes incredibly gross. For example, some birds accurately shoot streams of foul-smelling poop or vomit at their attackers. Horned lizards can squirt streams of blood out of their eyes. Mantis shrimp pack a wallop with a punch that has 200 pounds of force. For the hagfish, producing epic amounts of slime proves effective. Two-spot astyanax are small silvery river fish from Brazil that will injure a member of their own species by biting it and then driving it away from the school as a sacrifice to an approaching predator. During her research, the author consulted scholarly articles, as well as conducting written and oral exchanges with the scientists. So she follows up the information about each animal defense with a description of the science behind the story. Many amazing close-up photographs will also help to pique kids’ interest. This is gross. This is fascinating. This is going to be hard to keep on the shelf. This exceptional science book is highly recommended.