Reviews for month


Lana's World : Let's Have A Parade
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Silverman, Erica
Golden, Jess
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
The usual repetition of certain words for beginning readers in this book is:“Let’s have a parade”. Lana would like to have a parade and suggests it to all her family members but because of the rain nobody is interested. She decides she will make it happen indoors. Her stuffed animals and toys are the ones taking part in it. Lana has a catchy song she sings and the illustrations show her imagination of the parade as if it is taking place on a sunny street. Eventually her family would like to join in. They add to the song with whatever instrument they play ending the song with the line “Pitter, pitter, pat sang the rain”. Color illustrations accompany the story and show a bright eyed young girl with a modern family where Lana’s father helps with meals and her brothers can serve themselves. Lana is an imaginative girl with her own sense of style and can appeal to young readers.
Flip Flap Safari
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Scheffler, Axel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
Interactive book for those who like animals and have an imagination that can be fueled with odd combinations of animals. Well known illustrator Axel Scheffler has come up with a humorous book that has rhymes, facts and more options of animal combinations available than you could think off. the book has a spiral binding which makes it possible to lay the pages next to one another. Pages are split horizontally which can create animals with a new pair of legs or some legs with a new body. it not only creates a new illustration but also a new name like the Liant (a combination of a lion and an elephant) and a new rhyme describing this new species. there is also the possibility to have the body of an elephant and the legs of a lion which would create an Elephon with a different description. Sturdy pages gives this book a long shelve life and lots of interactive fun.
Fly
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Horacek, Petr
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
This humorous story from well known author and illustrator Petr Horacek is narrated by and stars a house fly. He takes the reader through all the activities of the day. Most are related to food and involves a fly swatter, not in favor of the fly. This is what the fly does not understand; why does no one like him. It’s not only a boy with a fly swatter but other animals too that are after him; a frog and a bird almost ate him. The fly does get a little revenge when he finds the perfect spot to rest; the boy’s forehead. The reader is the actual holder of the fly swatter since the page is a die-cut and lands on the boy's forehead. The mixture of media used for this picture book, scratches in paint, stenciled letters, makes it an attractive and fun read for the older picture book readers or a short read aloud.
Pat-A-Cake Baby
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dunbar, Joyce
Dunbar, Polly
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
The adventure of making a cake is the base of this book and the author’s interpretation of the well known nursery rhyme. All the ingredients are present and are poured into the bowl while baby is making the cake with its friends. Although the idea is a great one, the text does not flow with the rhyme and since it is geared towards a night time story time, the man in the moon takes part when the cake is done, the bright colors and sugary content might not bring that message to the young readers. If used as a read aloud, one might have to practice because the text is a jumble of words; And here’s the sugar, ditzy sugar, oh so glitzy oh so glossy and we’re frisking while we’re whisking ‘til it’s flitter flotter fluffy. The glitter on the front might give the impression there’s more inside but that is just part of the selling gimmick for young readers on the cover.
Big Princess
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Miura, Taro
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
Graphic designer/illustrator Taro Mura published another book where his designer skills shine through and his narrative is as fantastical as his first book; the tiny king. Some clip art is used with simple angular illustrations which sets this book apart from other princess books. A childless king and queen are blessed with a tiny princess, a very tiny princess. She is so small that she fits on a leave. This is where the king finds her. The queen is smitten with the tiny little girl and provides her with a feather bed, that is one feather. Overnight the princess grows. The queen does not question this and provides her with another bed. Every morning the princess is a little bigger, but she becomes so big that she does not even fit into a child's bed. The king realizes that this is the curse he was warned about in his dream when the arrival of the princess was announced to him. If he does not break the spell, it will ruin his kingdom. This is literally true because the princess becomes even too big to live in one of the towers and it is about to crumble when the king finds the solution. An interesting and long story for a picture book that could captivate younger elementary grades or be used as an adoption tale.
Curious George Discovers The Ocean
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Rey, H A
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
Based on the TV program this is a series of books where the popular monkey finds out about lots of different topics. Germs, the sun and the rainbow are some of the titles. New titles include space and the senses. This particular book describes aspects of the ocean. George is helping to relocate a weather satellite. It has fallen into the ocean and when looking for the satellite, he finds out about the ocean; it’s creatures, coral reefs but also about what it takes to swim underwater in a scuba outfit. Illustrations are used with drawings and photographs to add to the nonfiction content of the book. It will be popular with the kids that are familiar with the show or the character from the original books.
Tortoise And The Hare
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Ritchie, Alison
Noj, Nahta
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
This would be a wonderful book for the younger crowd. The text is simple and the illustrations have a sweet quality through its pastel colors with a couple of splashes of boldness. The die cuts are interesting but not a necessity to the story and not obvious to the little ones and could make it a challenge in circulating this book. The story is the well known Aesop fable about the hare, who thinks he is the fastest animal, and the tortoise challenging him. The text use of boldness, italics and various font sizes, to emphasize certain words, comes across as the excitement of the race in addition to wrapping the words around the race course. With the text simple, the message could be introduced to a whole new age group.
Do You Know Rhinoceros?
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Quintin, Michel
Sampar
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
Humorous nonfiction series about animals like tigers, rats, leeches, and spiders. The one reviewed is about rhinoceros. A two page spread will have a cartoon like drawing taking up most of the pages. It will exaggerate the fact that is accompanying the drawing, an interesting fact but usually only two sentences, in the illustration. The fact that the rhinoceros navigates with its nose, the best in the animal kingdom, is accompanied by a drawing of a female looking rhino in a car telling the male rhinoceros with the snotty nose “Lost again! You should never drive when you’re sick.” Another spread depicts the rhinos as ice hockey players. One of them asks “Why is he team captain?” and points to a small rhinoceros with the biggest horn. The third Rhino replies “Take a guess…” The fact tells the reader that rhinoceros’ horn determines its rank. The book concludes with a glossary and an index. The aim of the series is for a younger audience but the humor might be a little too advanced to be interesting to them. It will probably still appeal to them because of the style of illustrations and they might gain some knowledge about these animals.
Hypnotize A Tiger : Poems About Just About Everything
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Brown, Calef
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
A wonderful collection of poems about just about everything. Most of the poems are 1 page and vary in length of a couple of lines to a whole page. The categorization of the poems are interesting and have unusual headings. Poems about animals are The critterverse. There is a section called My peeps. Anything related to school is Schoolishness. The whole book is delightfully illustrated with just two colors; black and blue and add to the silliness of the poems. Some of the pages have a very short poem about the same topic or an interesting fact also done in rhyme at the bottom. The book concludes with a Q and A with the author with the same attitude as the rest of the book; silliness galore. A great poetry addition to any elementary school library and could be interesting to Shel Silverstein fans.
Surviving Sharks And Other Dangerous Creatures
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Zullo, Allan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 02, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Beware! There are dangerous animals out there. Sure, encounters with them are rare, but that makes the stories of survival all the more exciting. Here are ten such tales, where kids faced death and survived. A great white shark attacks. Elephants, bears, cougars, even a python, prove nearly deadly. Wolves, gators, bulls, and supposedly cute little monkeys can threaten your life. The author tells the tales, with dialogue and plenty of true information mixed into the text. This is the sort of compelling book that will fly off the shelf solely on the subject matter, but readers will actually end up learning something, too!
Conviction
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Gilbert, Kelly Loy
Premise Entertainment
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 02, 2015
Dame, Anne
Braden's family has had lots of tough times in the past, but his faith is about to be tested severely when his dad, who is a Christian radio minister, is arrested for murder. Braden's much older brother Trey, who has been estranged from the family for the past ten years, comes back to watch over Braden so he isn't placed into CPS custody. Braden adores Trey, but there is a huge disconnect between the two brothers. Braden is convinced that God and baseball will be able to bring his family back together. This is quite good for a debut novel. The characters are engaging and convincing, although there are parts of dad's personality that seem quite stereotypical. I think Braden's struggle with his faith is extremely credible. But I also feel like there may be too many story lines going on as well.
You And Me And Him
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Dinnison, Kris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 02, 2015
Dame, Anne
Maggie and Nash are outsiders and best friends. Maggie is overweight and her mom doesn't help matters any. Nash is openly gay and hopes to meet "Mr. Right" even in their small town. When cute new boy Tom shows up, Nash calls dibs. Maggie tries valiantly to respect that even though it seems pretty clear after a while that Tom is much more interested in her than in Nash. Their friendship undergoes some serious strain as they work through this and other complicated issues. There are a few swears, some references to smoking and drinking alcohol, and a few sexual references but nothing graphic. It wasn't the greatest book I've ever read, but definitely a solid addition to an LGBTQ collection.
Two For Joy
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Amateau, Gigi
Marble, Abigail
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 02, 2015
Burton, Paula
Geared towards a very specific audience author Gigi Amateau is appealing to those beginning readers of chapter books who can identify with an elderly person in their home and what adjustments both grownups and children make because of a situation like it. In this warmhearted story Jenna and her mom decide to take care of great-aunt Britannia. Aunt Tannie has always been an independent spirited woman and after a bad fall, it is an adjustment for her to not live in her own home. It is an adjustment for Jenna’s mom who would like to take care of aunt Tannie but doesn’t leave her independence in tact. Jenna does not expect her active great-aunt to be any different than before but realizes that making a tree house is not possible for Aunt Tannie.The story is not sugar coated and develops the characters only at the service for the reader to know what it must be like to have three generations living under the same roof. It does come to a conclusion where Jenna, her mom and aunt Tannie discuss with one another how this new living arrangement can work out for all three of them. If a beginning chapter book reader lives in a similar situation it could be a good fit but otherwise not a must have.
Whisper
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Starmer, Aaron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Chaos, metaphors, friendship, and deception wind through the stories that create, explain, and layer the world of Aquavania. Alastair plunges into the multicolored watery portal on a search to find his friend Fiona, discover the truth about Charlie, and run from the bleeding bullet hole where he had shot Charlie’s older brother. This second book of the trilogy weaves the history of Aquavania, an alternate universe, through mythic stories as each person lies and runs from the consequences of an action in the “solid world” that caused a death. As Alastair confronts one terrifying world after another, he gradually learns he is a swimmer, others are creators and control their creations, called ciphers, to shape shift from benign beings into monsters. Driven by his quest to find and rescue Fiona, Alastair continues to move deeper and deeper into Aquavania until the cliffhanger ending leaves readers eager for the final book. Despite the backstory carefully woven in the initial chapters, reading the series in order is recommended. Dark places, corruption of power and confronting difficult truths will appeal to fantasy readers drawn to dystopian novels as well as battles of good against evil.
In The New World : A Family In Two Centuries
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Raidt, Gerda
Holtei, Christa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Originally written and published in Germany, this story of an immigrant family moving to America comes full circle when 150 years later, their descendants travel to Germany. The front endpapers map the family’s travels on land and sea from Hanover, Prussia to New Steinberg, Nebraska, while the back endpapers map the German named towns across the North and Midwest. An introduction explains factors leading to the immigration of almost six million Germans by the end of the 1800’s, making them the largest ancestral group today. The Peters family left Germany because their prospects of making a living were slim. Typical immigrant experiences including leaving behind belongings, saying goodbyes, arduous travels, and learning a new language are mentioned, but the emphasis is on the emotional difficulty of leaving rather than the dangers and risks. The story is told in third person, painting a rosy picture as the Peters become quite successful and pass the farm down five generations. Detailed illustrations appear to be historically appropriate and the generalized conditions described represent a common immigration path. Excellent introduction to historical immigration, ELL students and ancestry.
JUST FLIRT
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
BOWERS, LAURA
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 03, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
16-year-old Dee writes a blog about the power of super flirting and she lives with her widowed mother in the east coast campground they own. Dee's life becomes complicated when her ex-boyfriend's ex-girlfriend and her mother sue the campground, claiming that Dee tripped the ex-girlfriend. The plot drags on and is crowded with too many characters and conflicts. I wish the book had been shorter and better edited (comma splices abound); then, the plot would have had a chance. Suitable for grades 7th to 12th.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias : The Making Of A Champion
SANDPIPER [SANDPIPER]
Freedman, Russell
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 03, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Babe Didrikson Zaharias was an amazing athlete. Her buoyant personality, sense of humor, and single-minded determination made her an extraordinary personality whose legend lives on. Russell Freedman celebrates her life, in this exceptionally well-written and researched biography, filled with well-captioned photographs, and quotes both positive and negative about Babe. Originally published in 1999, the book is now available in paperback and it is a great read. It follows Babe from her poor immigrant beginnings during the Depression to her Olympic triumphs, victories in a variety of sports, and her eventual role as an amazing golfer. All that energy was not enough, however, to win the battle against cancer. While a joyous accounting of her life, Freedman doesn't gloss over how she was perceived by many. It's interesting to read, because much of what she did to open sports up for women, would be considered perfectly normal today. This is a solid and beautiful book that merits a place in every library.
Learn to draw dinosaurs : learn to draw and color 27 prehistoric creatures, step by easy step, shape by simple shape!
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Shelly, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Walter Fosters Dinosaurs drawing book gives directions for 27 prehistoric creatures by squeezing the 3-7 steps onto one or two pages. The first two pages introduce valuable information pointing out how variations on circles, rectangles, and triangles are used in the animal drawings and they illustrate how colored pencils, crayons, and markers all produce a different finish. Each dinosaur drawing has a short descriptive paragraph introducing the creature and at the bottom an attention grabbing Fun fact or Myth. Readers are encouraged to use whatever colors they wish, as we don’t know what the creatures actually looked like. The drawings approximate current knowledge of shape and behavior and the steps should be easy enough for a 3rd grader to follow on his/her own. Younger students may need more guidance than that.
Pet crafts : everything you need to become your pet's craft star!
Walter Foster/lerner Publications C [Walter Foster/lerner Publications C]
Friday, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Author Megan Friday is “besotted” with her pets and has created a well-written and illustrated book of unusual and fun crafts for upper elementary readers. A Table of Contents, brief biography of Megan, introduction to the book, and a visual list with explanations of some of the materials needed. A warning at the bottom of the page tells pet owners to supervise their pets when playing with any toy. The projects include several wearable ones including a tutu, bandana, and pet sweater. Other crafts include toys such as a glittery disco ball for cats, felt iPod, critter crawlspace, royal pet carpet and jeweled bird swing. Pet treats, a decorated tin for storing treats and several picture frames or invitations round out the craft selection. The sequentially numbered steps are sufficiently self-explanatory with the directions but many of the skills necessary will be new and younger readers especially will need help with most steps. Templates are included as well as sizing instructions. Pet books fly off most libraries shelves and with a short introduction, so should this one.
Dear Hank Williams
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Holt, Kimberly Willis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
“A dog pours a pitcher of love into the lonesome spots of your life.” And in 1948, Rippling Creek, Louisiana, Tate P. Ellerbee has a whole lot of lonesome spots to fill. Tate selects Hank Williams, an up and coming country singer who sings every Saturday evening on the Louisiana Hayride radio show, to be her pen pal for the class assignment. Tate’s voice is resplendent with homey details of life with her younger brother, Frog, Uncle Jolly who alternates between being infatuated with the wrong sort of woman and benders at the saloon, and Aunt Patty Cake’s maternal fussing. She explains that her famous parents work far away and dreams of when they will return. Luvie, an abused dog, arrives to fill one lonesome spot, but when she disappears, Tate’s story about her life starts to unravel. As she shares all these details in her letters to Hank Williams we witness her painful blossoming and a surprising twist will make you cheer for another spunky, strong girl character. The author’s note describes how her historical research and familial storytelling skills informed this marvelous middle-grade novel.
Hippos Are Huge!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
London, Jonathan
Trueman, Matthew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
From the enormous yawning mouth on the cover to the illustrations throughout this wonderful picture book, huge hippos dominate the pages. Jonathan London and Matthew Trueman convey through text well-matched to the mixed media drawings, little known facts such as the hippo’s mouth is second in size only to a whales and the tusks are so strong they can bite a giant crocodile in half. Each page contains large bold text focusing on the narrative with a few high-interest facts paired with the large-scale pictures and smaller text providing additional details. A particularly attention-getting spread shows two bull hippos standing rump to rump for a unique method of fighting, “a smelly message to KEEP OUT,” that will bring howls during a read aloud. With high-interest and entertaining illustrations and text, this would make a great read aloud. An index and short message about their Endangered Species Listing as “vulnerable,” provides back material.
Some Kind Of Magic
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Fogelin, Adrian
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 03, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Well-known author, Adrian Fogelin, has crafted another middle grade/young adult novel about young teens in-between stages of life. Four close friends, Cass, Jemmie, Ben, and Austin, begin their summer anticipating that beginning high school in the fall will bring changes. When Ben’s summer responsibility, his younger brother Cody, finds an old hat belonging to their absent Uncle Paul, adventure beckons. With Cody wearing the hat, a mysterious force directs them into the forbidden private property in the woods where they discover an old dilapidated shed and burned foundation of a house. Characters alternate in telling the story punctuated by the countdown to Cody’s seventh birthday. Despite Uncle Paul’s unknown whereabouts, his spirit gradually becomes entwined with the building tension that yanks events into a downward spiral. The characters must reach deep within to find new strengths in order to respond to the ensuing events. Classic stereotypes of girl athlete, pudgy boy, adventure seeking boy and wholesome girl,encounter typical relationship issues, contrasting home environments and truth-telling pressures. Middle grade readers seeking realistic fiction with a soupcon of scary will find this an appealing and fast-moving novel.
Emu
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Saxby, Claire
Byrne, Graham
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 04, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Australian non-fiction author, Claire Saxby follows a brood of young emus as their Father sits on the nest for 8 weeks and nurtures them for the first six months. The flightless bird is less well known than the ostrich but can be as tall as a human and must nest on the ground. Saxby crafts evocative phrases within the primary narrative text. “. . . the first eggs wobble and blink-eyed chicks. . .gangly, with stippled heads and ribbon stripes” that are further explained by brief facts on the opposite page telling how this camouflage is effective in their grassland home. Fending off dangerous predators while leading his chicks in a zigzag run, Emu must be constantly diligent. Information about how this zigzag run keeps them safer, accompanies the narrative. Entrancing digitally rendered illustrations contain an array of textures, layering, brush strokes in the tans, gold, black, and blues palette of the Australian grassland and are excellent for whole group readings. Courting, nest building, chick raising, food, dangers, and finally independence are sequentially described in this stellar non-fiction read aloud. A page summary of facts about emus and index are included.
Scare Scape
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Fisher, Sam
Bosma, Sam
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 04, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Toxic Vapor Worms, Two-Headed Mutant Rodents, and Electric Killer Eels, are just some of the lexicon of terrifying beasts found in this reissue of Sam Fisher’s debut 2013 novel. The Clay family has moved to a small town, Dimvale, home to the Dimvale Observatory where Mr. Clay will start work. Driving up to their new home, a humongous decrepit mansion, the three siblings react characteristically with Melissa’s horror, Jack’s matter-of-fact acceptance and the youngest, Morton's excitement. The scene is set when Morton discovers a wish-granting gargoyle buried in grass he is mowing. At that point their three wishes set in motion an increasingly terrifying set of events that will have horror fans eagerly turning pages. The beasts they encounter are the evil characters from the horror magazine, Scare Scape, and are endowed with life-threatening powers. Fortunately, Morton’s encyclopedic knowledge of the comic’s monsters and their weaknesses provide the information needed to fight them off. Sibling squabbles and fitting in a new school take a back seat to the adventure but form the backdrop for the final coming together to undue the harm of the wishes. Recommend to all your older Goosebumps and horror book fans.
Emergency Vehicles
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Green, Rod
Biesty, Stephen
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 04, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
This large horizontal board book is tailor-made for vehicle fans and will provide hours of fun for graduates of Richard Scary books. Each two-page spread contains a large-scale illustration of a rescue vehicle containing detail-rich labels and flaps with additional information inside. Inset illustrations enlarge significant features or variations on the vehicle. Starting with a high-tech police car, flaps reveal the complex computers stored under the seats, contents of the trunk, and a description of the BlueNet technology used to check databanks of license plates. Insets illustrate a Dutch police dog unit vehicle, UK highway vehicle, and the mobile data terminal. A pumper fire truck, flying firefighter, rescue submarine, giant fireboat, air ambulance, ocean-going lifeboat, and ambulance all contain the same rich set of information and will be attractive for a wide age-range of students. The quantity of flaps and amount of details make this a book more appropriate for a home audience, but I am tempted to include it in my own library collection for limited checkout or library perusal as it will appeal to so many of my vehicle lovers.
Haunted Houses
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Kallio, Jamie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 04, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Are ghosts real? Are haunted houses merely creaky old places with rattling pipes and loose shutters or are they places where tragic deaths and unhappy events occurred? While no scientific proof of ghosts has been corroborated, over 50 % of Americans believe in ghosts and 1 in 5 have claimed a sighting according to studies mentioned in this Unsolved Mysteries series book. Stories about famous haunted houses, various known hoaxes, as well as common experiences and sightings are described and a brief history of hauntings dating back to 470 B.C. is mentioned. Besides the traits of old houses, hallucinations caused by sleep paralysis or carbon dioxide poisoning are suggested as causes of sightings. While just a summary of the topic, the publisher links referenced include one linking to a wide assortment of more famous Haunted Houses. Recommend Avi’s The Seer of Shadows to readers interested in the hoaxes. Terms defined in the glossary and used in the text include, paranormal, skeptics, apparitions, and hallucinations. This is an appealing series and will undoubtedly be in constant circulation.
Shh! We Have A Plan
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Haughton, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Chris Haughton's primitive art style digital illustrations tell most of the story with very minimal, but important, text. This translates well from his picture book into this board book format. In dark blues, black and purple, four people? (dressed up for the cold in hats and coats) are on a mission to capture a red bird. The three adult size carry nets and the smallest brings up the rear. The stand out for each are the big white eyes with a big black pupil. When they see the bird they shush the little one who calls out, “Hello, birdie” as they keep repeating, “We have a plan.” They first tiptoe slowly, climb slowly, and finally paddle slowly, but each time on the count of three their “plan” fails disastrously and the bird escapes. When the small one lures the bird and his many friends with bread crumbs, his comrades are amazed and then fear for retaliation from the birds. At the end they find a new creature to try to trap. Hilarious illustrations through understatement and primitive artwork with amazing expression in such simple details. This is fun, simple, rewarding repetition and pattern with enough surprises in actions and color to make it a hit with the very young crowd.
Disney Baby Baby Animals
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This Disney baby Touch-and-Feel Fun board book combines famous Disney cartoon characters with photos of the baby animal each greets. For instance, Mickey Mouse says hello to a little chick, feeds it and gently touches its yellow down. Donald, Minney, Daisy, Goofy, Clarabelle are all included along with a piglet, puppy, kitten, turtle and bunny. There is no plot to this book, but the very young audience will enjoy touching the animals’ fur, snout or shell.
Maisy's Race Car : A Go With Maisy Board Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This Go with Maisy Board Book features that lovable mouse Daisy in bright bold colors outlined with thick black lines. In this very simple story Daisy and her friends race their cars in a friendly competition that is momentarily interrupted by Tortoise crossing the track. They take turns in the lead, but Charley the alligator finally wins. All celebrate with ice cream. “Vroom” adds to the action. (Designated as age 6 months - 3 years.)
Maisy's Digger : A Go With Maisy Board Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Cousins, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This Go with Maisy Board Book features that lovable mouse Daisy in bright bold colors outlined with thick black lines. While Maisy handles the digger to dig out the dirt for the pond and then add the gravel her animal friends each help by lining the pond, filling it with water, adding reeds around the edges and finally adding fish. This group effort is a big success, and will most likely be a hit with Maisy’s youngest fans. Sound effects will be appreciated such as, “Scoop, scoop, scoop!” and “Plop, plop, plop!” (Designated as age 6 months - 3 years.)
Can You Say It, Too? Hoot! Hoot!
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Braun, Sebastien
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Braun has created another board book with big flaps to lift for Nosy Crow publishers. In this title each left hand page asks who is on the opposite page. Under each large flap is a creature along with its signature sound. It starts with, “Who’s that in the tree?” Under the flap is a wise owl saying, “Hoot! Hoot!” Behind the gate is a fox that says, “Sniff! Sniff!” A squeaking mouse sits beside a flowerpot, and a nibbling squirrel behind a bucket. The last page has an added surprise with two flaps, one with a sleepy, snoring rabbit, and under her are her snoring babies. This is a very cute and sturdy addition for the board book set that will encourage interaction, learning of noises, and prepositions.
Figaro's Halloween Surprise
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Glass, Calliope
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
In board book format this Disney Tails Touch-and-Feel Adventure features Figaro a very Disney looking cat who wants to surprise his friend Cleo. Thus he finds the perfect pumpkin, carves a face into it, dons a ghost costume and surprises Cleo, the golden scaled fish. In only 10 pages this is a very simple story, but perhaps just right for the preschool board book crowd. Each double page spread has something to touch—a leaf, smooth pumpkin, cat nose, flannel sheet, and gold scales.
What's Your Favorite Animal?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Carle, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
First published as a hardback picture book in 2014, this new board book edition came out in 2015. All royalties for the book will be donated to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. 14 authors starting with Eric Carle share their favorite animals. Each has a double page spread where the animal and author/illustrator are named with a short explanation that may be one line or a short poem plus his/her own illustration. Animals range from Eric Carle’s cat to Mo Willems’ Amazonian Neotropical Lower Rive Tink-Tink, which isn’t actually depicted since a snake has already eaten it:) Fun, creative, and amusing look into favorite author/illustrators’ thoughts and choices that may entertain adults as much as their little ones.
Boo!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Patricelli, Leslie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Local Seattle author Leslie Patricelli has added another original board book to her popular collection. With more text/sentences/plot than her first books, this title still features a baby in diapers, this time picking out a pumpkin, cleaning and carving a jack-o-lantern, selecting a costume and going on his/her first trick-or-treat outing. As usual, choices are involved, but more options abound in this title, not just the opposites of her first ones. This is a gentle and humorous introduction to Halloween traditions for the very young. (Designated as ages 0-3, but more like 1or 2+)
Where Do I Sleep?
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Blomgren, Jennifer
Gabriel, Andrea
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
The 2001 picture book subtitled a Pacific Northwest Lullaby has now been transformed into a pleasant board book for even younger listeners. Each double page spread has a four-line poem starting with the question, “Where do I sleep?” This is followed by 3 lines, 2 that rhyme with a simple answer, such as, “ Overlooking the Sound, In a big nest of sticks, seen for miles around.” for the bald eagle family. Other animals include the gray whale, sea otter, blacktailed deer, gray wolf, brown bat, mountain goat, cougar, garden spider and red fox. The soft illustrations match the gentle text and hopefully will set a quiet tone for bedtime. This will be especially enjoyed by Pacific Northwest families.
Survival Strategies Of The Almost Brave
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
White, Jen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 06, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Liberty and Billie and Mom are doing fine together – but when Mom dies in a car accident, Mom’s best friend takes care of them until she can track down their long missing Dad, a peripatetic photographer who puts the girls in his camper van and heads off on a summer photo safari with them in the SW desert. Even at his best, Dad is a forgetful parent, not well attuned to the need kids have for regular food, rest, clean clothes, and bathroom breaks. It’s not a total surprise to Liberty when she and Billie come out of the bathroom at a rest stop to find that Dad has left without them but she clings to the hope that he will come back and is embarrassed and afraid to ask any adults for help. A touching survival story.
Material Girls
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Dimopoulos, Elaine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 06, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Set some time in the future, the chapters alternate between Marla Klein, originally a successful Superior Court member of one of the top five fashion houses and Ivy Wilde, the top female pop star. Both 16-year-olds girls are at a crossroads in their “careers” after having been “tapped” at age 13 and assigned to the top spots in the creative industry that seems to be the focus of this society dominated by teenage workers. Marla’s fashion sense for what is trendsetting has served her well until the story starts, and she is demoted to be a drafter, a designer with less status in all ways. Along with this go her boyfriend and best friends. Ivy is striving to stay at the top of her game as a new young thing threatens her status. When Marla gets involved with a group trying to change Torro-LeBlanc with a strike designed to create more equality among workers and their talents, she accidentally encounters Ivy Wilde and creates a secret, new, highly successful trend for her. This “eco-chic” takes off and becomes a catalyst for the movement. As both girls try to negotiate their possible freedom, they come to different resolutions. This fast paced, intriguing, thought-provoking debut novel will appeal to middle school girls.
Lizard Radio
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Schmatz, Pat
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 06, 2015
Dame, Anne
This is definitely for higher level readers with good comprehension skills. The author uses made-up words that require good inferencing skills as well. Kivali (aka Lizard) is dropped off at CropCamp by her adoptive mother, Sheila. Lizard is heartbroken as she could have stayed home for two more years and doesn't understand why Sheila has changed her mind so suddenly. Lizard wonders if it has something to do with her difficulty in choosing and conforming to a gender (which is mandatory in this world setting). Although Lizard makes some friends, she still has a lot of issues and the camp director does not make things any easier. While Lizard's thoughts and feelings seem quite authentic to her character, I still didn't feel much attachment to her or to the other characters. Overall, I felt like I had to try to hard to read this book and think it will be a hard sell to students.
Andreo's Race
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Withers, Pam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Andreo and his family are big into competitive sports, especially multi-sport races. When they sign up to compete as a family in a race in Bolivia, they take along Andreo's best friend, Raul. As it turns out, both Andreo and Raul were born in this area of Bolivia and adopted by their US parents. The coincidences pile up and they discover a ring of human traffickers selling infants to desperate parental-wanna-be's. Lots of action and adventure. Good for fans of Hatchet. Also good for those moving from hi-lo Orca books to something longer in length.
Wild Boy And The Black Terror
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Jones, Rob Lloyd
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Sequel to Wild Boy A man named Marcus has taken Wild Boy and Clarissa into his care after their departure from the Freak Show. A new mystery presents itself when someone begins poisoning people and Marcus is one of the people affected. This poison literally scares people to death and there is a very limited amount of time to find a cure before they succumb. No need to read the first one as enough background information is given. The plot is intriguing and the mystery a good one. However, I'm not sure which students will want to read this; could be a hard sell.
Primary Source History Of U.s. Independence
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Goddu, Krystyna Poray
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
This book packs a lot into it's 32 pages. Maybe a bit too much for students who are still learning to distinguish text features. There are: fact boxes, infographics, critical thinking boxes, sidebars, callout definitions, as well as the actual text and numerous primary source engravings, newspapers, documents, maps and other reproductions from the time period. Plus there is a table of contents, glossary, selected bibliography, index, and suggested websites for further research. Excellent information. Will likely need a lot of adult guidance. Series also includes Slavery in the US, the Dust Bowl, and Westward Expansion.
Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement : A Primary Source Explo
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Mortensen, Lori
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
This book packs a lot into it's 32 pages. Layout is very well done, but may be a bit overwhelming for students who are still learning to distinguish text features. There are fact boxes and sidebars, as well as the actual text and numerous compelling, primary source photographs. In addition, there is a table of contents, glossary, selected bibliography, index, suggested websites for further research, and a few critical thinking questions based on Common Core. Excellent information. Series also includes the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, Freedom Riders, the Little Rock Nine, the March on Washington, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Sheep Go To Sleep
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Shaw, Nancy E
Apple, Margot
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Another sheep book from the Sheep in a Jeep series. It's time for the sheep to go to sleep, but they need love and attention from the collie before they can start to snooze and snore. Sweet rhymes and illustrations.
Buster The Very Shy Dog Finds A Kitten
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bechtold, Lisze
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
A level 3 reader. Buster is a very shy dog who is easily scared. He makes friends with a kitten who needs a home. Sweet story. Simple but interesting illustrations add character to the story.
Spy Guy : The Not-So-Secret Agent
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Young, Jessica
Santoso, Charles
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Illustrations are the highlight of this tale of a young boy trying hard to be a sneaky spy. Rhymes feel a bit forced plus there is a "lesson" on the last page (never give up). Definitely holds appeal, though.
Yak And Gnu
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Maciver, Juliette
Chapman, Cat
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
I found the forced rhymes to be quite annoying but the illustrations are adorable. Also good vocabulary development and counting reinforcement.
I Will Never Get A Star On Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mann, Jennifer K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Loved the story: a teacher puts student names and stars on the board for class accomplishments. However, Rose doesn't think she'll ever get a star because her desk is always so messy. She feels sick to her stomach, which I think many students will be able to relate to. When Rose is finally recognized, it's super sweet. Illustrations are good but don't add as much to the text as one might have hoped.
Hazmat Removal Worker
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Mara, Wil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Although only 32 pages long, this book gives a good introduction to what is required of a hazmat removal worker. Most of the information is in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). There are many color photographs throughout as well as "think about" boxes. In the back is a glossary and index plus a list of print and digital resources for finding further information.
Medical Illustrator
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Yomtov, Nel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Although only 32 pages long, this book gives a good introduction to what is required of a medical illustrator. Most of the information is in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). There are many color photographs throughout as well as "think about" boxes. In the back is a glossary and index plus a list of print and digital resources for finding further information.
Crime Scene Investigator
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Orr, Tamra B
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Although only 32 pages long, this book gives a good introduction to what is required of a crime scene investigator. Most of the information is in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). There are many color photographs throughout as well as "think about" boxes. In the back is a glossary and index plus a list of print and digital resources for finding further information.
Athletic Trainer
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Bell, Samantha
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 07, 2015
Dame, Anne
Although only 32 pages long, this book gives a good introduction to what is required of an athletic trainer. Most of the information is in the context of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). There are many color photographs throughout as well as "think about" boxes. In the back is a glossary and index plus a list of print and digital resources for finding further information.
Happy In Our Skin
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Manushkin, Fran
Tobia, Lauren
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Look at the baby bouquet--all different shades, all well-loved. Skin comes in many shades, sometimes with freckles, sometimes with goosebumps. Rejoice in the skin you're in! That's the message of this enthusiastic book, with touching warm illustrations by Lauren Tobia. The concept is excellent. The rhyme and rhythm falter, however. You just think you have it, then the author strays. I love the sentiment, and recommend the book for that. However, practice before sharing.
Who Stole The Stellosphere?
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Scollon, Bill
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Based on an episode from Disney's "Miles From Tomorrowland", Miles is in trouble for not cleaning his room. Therefore he is left on board the Stellosphere while his family debarks for the Adventure Orb. When a villain, Gadfly, steals the family spaceship, it is up to Miles to thwart his evil plans and save the day. Digital illustrations accompany the text. This book only really works if you mentally run the episode through your head while you read it. Nevertheless, fans of the series will enjoy it.
These Are The Guardians
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wong, Clarissa
Lim, Ron And Marcelo Pinto
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is a "World of Reading" Level 1 book that introduces the Guardians of the Galaxy. Forget the movie. This is a serious look at the five characters that make up the Guardians, and their mission to fight for the right. No quirky sense of humor here. It won't matter. Any Marvel books are instantly popular in my library and have an instant readership.
This Is Hulk
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wyatt, Chris
Lim, Ron And Rachelle Rosenberg
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is a "World of Reading" Level 1 book that gives young readers an introduction to Marvel's Hulk. This is not the movie Hulk, but harks back to the original origin story. Bruce Banner was testing a bomb and, in saving a life, was exposed to radiation. The Hulk's power and size is mentioned, but also his heroism in saving the innocent and his role as a member of the Avengers. This is not great literature, but these books literally fly off my library shelf. It's what you hand to the student whose class is ready to leave and they're still wandering. They always leave happy. with a Marvel book.
Elephants
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series are large-format, sturdy 24-page books featuring crisp close-up photographs that bow across the gutter and face a few sentences of informative text. This book focuses on elephants. Young readers learn a few facts about where they live, their diet, and anatomy. Emphasis is placed on social interactions and herd behavior, especially on how elephants care for each other. An extra fact page, as well as a glossary and index, are included. There's also a code to use on the website for further activities. No distinction is made between African and Asian elephants, though the book features African elephants. This is a solid, basic book that provides enough information for very very basic report-writing.
Bottlenose Dolphins
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series are large-format, sturdy 24-page books featuring crisp close-up photographs that bow across the gutter and face a few sentences of informative text. This book focuses on bottlenose dolphins. Young readers learn a few facts about where they live, their diet, and anatomy. Emphasis is placed on social interactions, especially helping and nurturing. An extra fact page, as well as a glossary and index, are included. There's also a code to use on the website for further activities. This is a solid, basic book that provides enough information for very very basic report-writing.
Chimpanzees
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series are large-format, sturdy 24-page books featuring crisp close-up photographs that bow across the gutter and face a few sentences of informative text. This book focuses on chimpanzees. Young readers learn a few facts about where chimpanzees live, their diet, and tool use. Emphasis is placed on social interactions, especially sharing. An extra fact page, as well as a glossary and index, are included. There's also a code to use on the website for further activities. This is a solid, basic book that provides enough information for very very basic report-writing.
Peaches Pie, Take A Bath!
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! A doll named Peaches Pie has been carried around by a dog. She no longer smells like peaches. It's Doc and her stuffed friends to the rescue. A bath solves the problem and all ends well. This is based on an episode of Disney's Doc McStuffins series and has bright digital cartoon illustrations. There's not much to the story, but fans of the series will enjoy it, and it is just about right for beginning readers.
Clayton Stone, At Your Service
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Jones, Ena
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
12-year-old Clayton doesn't know it, but this lacrosse player is about to join the family business. It turns out he is related to the leader of a top secret organization. They need a kid to act as bait to break open a kidnapping case. Clayton soon finds himself in over his head, but also discovers he has a knack for the business. Of course it's not easy. Friends don't understand why he's missing practices and his handlers don't understand why he's following his instincts instead of his instructions. Lives are in danger. Will Clayton's instincts save the day, or prove his undoing? While this book starts out slowly, it rapidly picks up speed and Clayton ends up being an enjoyable character. I'm sure we'll be seeing more books about him.
Henry Hugglemonster : The Huggleball Game
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Scollon, Bill
Case, Jonathan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is based on an episode of "Henry HuggleMonster". It's time to play Huggleball! The kids are playing against their parents. Both Henry and Summer have plans. It is only when they combine their plans, however, that they win. Bright digital illustrations accompany the very simple text. This isn't great literature but will be much welcomed by beginning readers who enjoy the series.
Sheriff Callie's Wild West : Callie Asks For Help
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is based on an episode of "Sheriff Callie's Wild West", with 3-D pastel digital illustrations. Sheriff Callie and her horse, Sparky, help everyone in their wild west town. When they need help, others come to their aid. This is a very very simple story that is rather jerky in its execution. However, fans of the series will be less picky, and it is a good choice for beginning readers.
Hamsters
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This large-format book (but not as large as the "Plus" books) is just what the doctor ordered when you're looking for easy-reader nonfiction in the pet section. Adorable full-page photographs of hamsters face one or two sentences of simple text giving some very basic information about having a hamster as a pet. The basic needs for a hamster are covered. A glossary and index, which are short and pretty unnecessary, are also included. Abdo includes Kid Code for further activities and games on their website. Too often younger children go to the pet section and find nothing they can read. This series offers a good choice for those beginning readers.
Black Cat, White Cat
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Borando, Silvia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Translated from the Italian, this is the simple story of a black cat who only knows the day, and a white cat who only knows the night. When they decide to go outside their comfort zones they meet. Each introduces the other to the world they know. Soon friends become more and they have kittens, which (in the surprise ending) are orange. This is a gently sweet simple tale. What makes it unique are the black and white illustrations. Of course the black cat shows up well in daylight, and the white cat pops in the night. But when they cross the line the illustrator is very clever in creating backgrounds ithat allow the cats to stand out, regardless of their color. This would be an interesting book to lead into an art activity.
Churchill's Tale Of Tails
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sandu, Anca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Churchill, the pig, has a tail. It isn't especially spectaculary, but it is his and he loves it. Then, one day, his tail disappears! What is he to do? He just doesn't feel quite like himself. He tries other tails, and each gives him some aspect of its original owner. In fact, he becomes a little tail-obsessed and ignores his friends. When his true tail reappears, however, Churchill realizes the error of his ways and is happy just being himself...most of the time. This is a delightful tale of a tail, with quirky and expressive digital illustrations that pop with patterns and joy.
Fossils
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to fossils. They learn how fossils are formed, and the difference between body and trace fossils. Finding fossils and learning from them is briefly mentioned. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. This is a nice basic introduction for primary students.
Minerals
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to minerals. They learn that minerals are made naturally and consist of elements, but cannot be made by living things. The six crystal shapes of minerals are presented and illustrated. Readers learn that minerals form in the main rock types, and can be formed by water. Examples are given. A page of mineral types are shown. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. I'm just not sure the initial definition--minerals are made of elements--is adequate. Going to the glossary provides more information that should have been provided in the text.
Ores
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to ores. They learn that ores are naturally occurring rocks that have metal inside of them. Ore formation through magma and also through water are briefly explained. Ways in which ore is mined and used are very briefly touched upon. There is a page showing types of ores as well. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. The explanation presented here is so brief I'm not sure young students would really understand the difference between ores and rocks, however.
Rocks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to rocks. They learn briefly about igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks, and how they are formed. A few ways in which humans use rocks are presented and some examples are shown. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. This is a solid introduction for primary students.
Soils
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to soil. They learn that soil comes in many colors and is found in many places. Dead and living elements of soil are highlighted. Microbes are explained. Readers also learn about loam and the importance of soil. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. I can't help but think that if the glossary information had been incorporated in the actual text this book would have been much more informative.
Look And Be Grateful
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
De Paola, Tomie
Oelze, Don
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Gratitude is not complicated. It is the simple and joyful acknowledgement of thankfulness for all that is around us. Tomie dePaola points this out in this muted, warm, gentle book that urges readers to open their eyes and see the blessings that surround them. And he does it in 37 words and his amazingly simple, yet poignant illustrations. Church nurseries will want to have this book on their shelves, and all who recognize the blessings in their lives will find it a sweet reminder.
Tiptoe Tapirs
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Kim, Hanmin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Korean import pourquoi story all the animals are noisy, each trying to be the loudest. That is, all except the tapir. Tapir is quiet and tiptoes around so silently most animals don't even note her passing, with her baby. A leopard attack proves silence isn't always a defense. However, when hunters arrive, tapir's skills prove very valuable. In fact, Leopard walks with stealth to this day, and the other animals also became so quiet that the hunters left, sure nothing was left to hunt. This is a simple, but fun story with plenty of noisy opportunities for audience interaction. The watercolor and ink illustrations are fluid and funny--flowing shapes popping against white backgrounds. This is an amusing story that should make a good read-aloud.
My Humongous Hamster Goes To School
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Freytag, Lorna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no--the hamster is back! The boy takes his hamster for "Bring Your Pet To School Day" but when the hamster escapes and eats everybody's lunch he grows and grows. Now he's humongous! The hamster participates in school activities, and is always adorable in the photo collage illustrations, despite his size. (The hamster in a tutu is particularly cute.) A group hug helps to bring the hamster back to normal size and all ends well. This is cute as a button and will be embraced by young children who understand feeling small in a big world. They will be delighted by a small critter that gets big.
When A Dragon Moves In Again
FLASHLIGHT PRESS [FLASHLIGHT PRESS]
Moore, Jodi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
That "imaginary" dragon is back again, and with him come other changes. There's a new baby in the house! The young boy isn't completely happy with the new arrival, and his dragon is causing all kinds of problems. . Yet, it turns out that he and the dragon can sooth the baby, so maybe they should keep him after all...the baby, that is. This is a warmly-written and lavishly illustrated book that addresses a common issue. It would make a good read-aloud and would be welcomed by families dealing with sibling rivalry, when a new baby arrives.
Safest Lie
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Cerrito, Angela
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Few Jews escaped the Warsaw ghetto, but 9-year-old Anna was one of the lucky ones--if it is luck to lose your family and go into hiding until the war ends. Shuffled from one place to another she finally winds up in a loving home. Still, her true identity must remain hidden and there is constant danger. She clings to the teachings of her parents. But when the war ends what will be left for her? This is a well-written, heart-touching story based on the actions of Irena Sendler, who saved many children from Nazi atrocities. The end note, where the author met Irena, is particularly touching. Unfortunately the cover isn't very exciting, and the book font is a tad off-putting. Nevertheless, hand this to students who loved "Number the Stars" or "The Upstairs Room" and they will find it a worthy read.
Star Wars : Rebels : Servants Of The Empire : Imperial Justi
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Fry, Jason
Hughes, Brooke Boynton
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Zare is a student at the Imperial Academy, but he doesn't like what the Empire is doing to ordinary people, and is actually trying to find out the fate of his missing sister. His girlfriend, Merei, has her own issues since she's acting as a courier for the criminal underworld. Both of them know they, and their families, would pay the price should their actions be uncovered. This is based on the animated TV show "Star Wars Rebels" and you really need the background of the show to understand what is going on. If you enjoy the show already, however, this would be a great way to enjoy the characters in a book format.
Rampage Of The Goblins
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
It's back to Scream Street in book #10 in the series. You thought werewolf-boy Luke and his not-so-vampire friends, Resus, and mummy, Cleo, were done with adventure. WRONG! True, in previous books they gathered all the relics they needed to open a portal to return Luke and his parents to the real world. Now, however, Luke's parents have decided they like Scream Street and don't want to move. And the evil landlord is using the portal for tourism. The only way to make Scream Street safe again is to return all the relics to their original owners. In this book the kids are off to ancient Egypt to return a mummy's heart. Naturally this will not be easy, with a booby-trapped pyramid and flatulent goblins, not to mention a man-eating worm that might have come straight out of "Dune." Occasional black and white illustrations are tossed throughout the text. This has just enough "scare" in it to please young readers, along with plenty of action. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.
Doc Mcstuffins : Blame It On The Rain
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Weinberg, Jennifer Liber
Character Building Studio
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Horrors! Moo-Moo, a stuffed cow, has been left out in the rain. the cow is now a sodden mess. Time to call in Doc and her stuffed toys. Time for a drying out, as well as forgiveness for a thoughtless child who left a toy out in the rain. This is based on an episode of the Disney show "Doc McStuffins" and is digitally illustrated. Fans of the series will enjoy it.
Stormstruck!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Macfarlane, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Sam’s brother was killed in action. Before he left, he charged Sam with the care of his dog, Pogo. Pogo, however is now old and infirm. Sam overhears his parents talking about putting the dog down. That’s why he slipped out of the house and set sail. A twelve-year-old, however, doesn’t always show the best judgment. A series of bad choices and bad luck leave him and Pogo trapped and in danger, and Sam finds more than one life depending on him. This is a thoughtful and often suspenseful survival story that should appeal to upper elementary and middle school readers. Unfortunately they might not choose to pick it up. The cover art is not especially compelling, and the font is uninviting. It will take some promotion to get this book circulating, but the book is worth it. It would possibly appeal to fans of Paulsen and Hobbs.
Things That Go Burp! In The Night
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Moerder, Lynne
Maruyama, Jerrod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
When the lights are out what is that noise in the house? It's ten whimsical mice looking for 9 carrots, 8 macaroni and so forth down to 1 cat. The rhyming text is simple and fun. The real winner here, however, is found in the digital collage illustrations that pop with color and expression, making it a bit of a challenge to easily count the items you're looking for. This is a fun and silly book that offers a chance to count and giggle.
Bonobos
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series are large-format, sturdy 24-page books featuring crisp close-up photographs that bow across the gutter and face a few sentences of informative text. This book focuses on bonobos. Young readers learn a few facts about where chimpanzees live, their diet, and how they differ from chimpanzees. Emphasis is placed on social interactions, especially their innate kindness . An extra fact page, as well as a glossary and index, are included. There's also a code to use on the website for further activities. This is a solid, basic book that provides enough information for very very basic report-writing.
Ballet Cat : The Totally Secret Secret
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Shea, Bob
Ross, Luke & Dean White
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 10, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Ballet Cat and Pony are ready to play, but the suggestions Pony makes are all knocked down by Ballet Cat. Yes, once again they are going to dance. This is not where Pony's enthusiasm and skills lie. Still, he can't tell the truth because he cares about his friend. Finally she notices something is wrong and he must share his deep dark secret with her. Then she has a secret to share, too. This is delightful, with the simple yet subtly evocative illustrations conveying all the unspoken emotions of the characters. It will appeal to the same crowd who love Elephant and Piggy.
Animator's Gallery : Eric Goldberg Draws The Disney Chara
Disney Editions [Disney Editions]
Bossert, David A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
OK, this is a coffee table book, but it is also an intriguing look at a special art collection, and a celebration of animation. Disney artist, Eric Goldberg, was asked to draw caricatures of Disney characters for a restaurant in Shanghai Disney resort. This book provides a look into the life of the artist, and the art of animation itself. This is all written at an adult level. Then readers can dive into the artwork and enjoy the spare lines and beautiful artistry that conveys so much with a curve here, a swirl there. Pondering whether this belongs in a library I have to refer to the text, where a young Eric Goldberg pored over comics and cartoons to develop his own artistic style. (These are in the style of Al Hirschfeld, one of his inspirations.) For those latent artists, this book will be a treasure.
Gems
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Geology Rocks" series, this sturdy 24-page large-format book introduces young readers to gems. They learn that gems are mineral crystals that form in different ways. Gems formed through magma and through water are briefly explained. Then more detailed information is given about pearl formation. The book includes a short glossary and index, as well as a Kids Code to access further information and activities on the Internet. Close-up photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to meet a sentence or two of explanatory text. This is an extremely basic introduction that doesn't really cover the subject well, especially its failure to explore other types of organic gems.
I Yam A Donkey!
CLARION [CLARION]
Bell, Cece
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 11, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
This humorous confusion of grammar between a donkey and a yam reaches preposterously funny proportions as the repartee travels back and forth. “I yam a donkey” vs “I am a donkey” “You is a donkey too?” “You is a funny-looking donkey.” “Is, am, yam, are, hee-haw, yam-yam-a – ding-dong” dominate the pages in large speech bubbles with toothy mouthed donkey and increasingly frustrated yam in the fast-moving exchange. Just when the absurd dialogue has been pushed to the limit, an unseen twist brings the book to a satisfying conclusion. With large, brightly colored illustrations and plenty of funny lines, this picture book is ready for a jolly story time. Students may also enjoy buddy reading and this would be excellent practice for reading with expression. Cece Bell is author of El Deafo, a graphic autobiography of her growing up deaf, as well as married to Tom Angleberger.
Gorillas
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series are large-format, sturdy 24-page books featuring crisp close-up photographs that bow across the gutter and face a few sentences of informative text. This book focuses on gorillas. Young readers learn a few facts about where gorillas live, their anatomy and diet. Social interaction is emphasized and the book tells how gorillas destroy traps to protect themselves and other gorillas. The emphasis is on the sense of community. An extra fact page, as well as a glossary and index, are included. There's also a code to use on the website for further activities. This is a solid, basic book that provides enough information for very very basic report-writing.
Police Officers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "My Community: Jobs" series, this well-bound 24 page book introduces young readers to police officers. Color photographs spill over the gutter and face a sentence or two of very simple text that tells a few of the things police officers do. Both male and female police officers are shown. The appendix includes a page showing 4 tools police officers might use, a three word picture glossary, and an unnecessary, short index. The book includes a Kid Code that allows access to more information and activities on the abdokids website. This is very slight, but quite visually appealing. It would be a good choice for the very young.
Mail Carriers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "My Community: Jobs" series, this well-bound 24 page book introduces young readers to mail carriers. Color photographs spill over the gutter and face a sentence or two of very simple text that tells what mail carriers do. Both mail and female mail carriers are shown. The appendix includes a page showing 4 tools a mail carrier uses, a three word picture glossary, and an unnecessary, short index. The book includes a Kid Code that allows access to more information and activities on the abdokids website. This is very slight, but quite visually appealing. It would be a good choice for the very young.
Fire Fighters
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "My Community: Jobs" series, this well-bound 24 page book introduces young readers to firefighters. Color photographs spill over the gutter and face a sentence or two of very simple text that tells what firefighters do. Most pictures show firefighters from the rear, so it's hard to tell if any female firefighters are shown in the book. There's an adorable picture of children using a fire hose. The appendix includes a page showing 4 firefighting tools, a two word picture glossary, and an unnecessary, short index. The book includes a Kid Code that allows access to more information and activities on the abdokids website. This is very slight, but quite visually appealing. It would be a good choice for the very young.
Mystery In Mayan Mexico
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Wells, Marcia
Calo, Marcos
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 11, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Edmund (Eddie Red), kid detective, his family, and best buddy Jonah are vacationing in Mexico when a valuable jade and gold mask is stolen from the hotel lobby and Edmund’s Dad is a suspect. Eddie employs his photographic memory to recall the people passing through the hotel lobby and matches one person’s face to the long ago criminal, Pablo Valero. The fast-paced mystery includes Jonah’s far-fetched ideas for solving the crime, encounters with a local gang, Las Plumas, rebelling against the local authoritarian government, the local Police Chief’s daughter, and Eddie and Jonah’s trademark disregard for the law (and parental dictates) if it gets in the way of solving the mystery. The second book in this humorous mystery series, will appeal to those readers who avoid the more psychologically scary and threatening aspects of the genre and a sprinkling of Spanish words and chapter headings add an additional point of interest. I anticipate many more books in the Eddie Red Undercover series and there will be a solid readership waiting.
Atlantic Ocean
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Spilsbury, Louise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Oceans of the World" series. This book explores the Atlantic Ocean. Each 2-4 page spread covers one topic: Geography, weather, islands, resources, people, ports, etc. The spread includes well-written, descriptive text and color photographs. Many of the spreads include a clear and colorful map. Readers will learn about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the Sargasso Sea, and the Panama Canal. This is a basic overview and is a solid non-fiction offering for younger readers, however, may not be picked off the shelf. It might work well in a classroom, if the class studies this topic. The book includes a table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), fun facts, and a quiz.
Owl Babies
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Waddell, Martin
Benson, Patrick
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 12, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
The 1992, near classic, Owl Babies is now out in board book form. The three baby owls, Sarah and Percy and Bill, live in a tree with their owl mother, who one night leaves them alone. When they awake they each have their own reactions as they await her return. Previously kindergarten students howled each time they heard the youngest’s refrain, ““I want my mommy!” said Bill.” Benson’s charming illustrations still capture the softness and concern of the owlets. Fortunately for all there’s a quiet, happy reunion when their mother returns. This sweet story is still a hit for any any age!
Life Of W.e.b. Du Bois : Civil Rights Champion
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rowh, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 96 page book is a reissue of "Champion of Civil Rights" so the publisher could create an e-book. It is part of the "Legendary African Americans" series. The book describes the life and times of William E. B. DuBois. The book opens with his first day working at the NAACP in 1910 and then returns to his birth in Massachusetts and follows his life. The reader learns how he became a scholar, professor, and eventually a civil rights leader. The book also looks at his controversial political views and the effects those views had on his efforts. The book is well written, understandable, and would be an excellent source for biographical research. The book has a table of contents, index, extensive source notes, timeline, and bibliography (no web resources listed). A strong addition to your biography collection.
Vladimir Putin : Russian Leader
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Sylvan, Lu
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Newsmakers" series, this 48 page book looks at the life of Russian leader, Vladimir Putin. The book begins with his assent to the Russian presidency in 1999 to capture reader's interest and then goes back to his birth and follow his life up to 2014. The reader learns of his time in the KGB, his other roles in government that lead to his presidency, and his response to crisis. The book is well-written and contains captioned, photographs. Call out boxes provide additional information. Primary sources and common core related activities are found at the end of most chapters. Although issues such as homophobia prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics are included, the recent issues with Crimea and Syria are not. As he is still leader of Russia, his life continues to unfold and will quickly make this book out of date. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, map, glossary bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information.
Mark Zuckerberg : Creator Of Facebook
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Weil, Jamie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Newsmakers" series, this 48 page book looks at the life of Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg. The book begins with President Obama's 2011 visit to Facebook headquarters to capture reader's interest and then goes back to his birth and follow his life up to his thirtieth birthday in 2014. The reader learns how his education contributed to his development of Facebook, setting up shop in California's Silicon Valley, and the future of the company. Controversy about privacy is discussed. The book is well-written and contains captioned, photographs. Call out boxes provide additional information. Primary sources and common core related activities are found at the end of most chapters. As he is young his life continues to unfold and will quickly make this book out of date. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, map, glossary bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information.
Life Of Arthur Ashe : Smashing The Color Barrier In Tennis
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Wright, David K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 96 page book is a reissue of "Breaking the Color Barrier" (1997) so the publisher could create an e-book. It is part of the "Legendary African Americans" series. The book describes the life and times of tennis great, Arthur Ashe. The book opens with his announcement that he had AIDS. The book then returns to his birth in Richmond, Virginia and follows his life. The reader learns how he became became one of the stars in tennis, his political views, and his health issues. The book looks at his controversial trip to South Africa and the AIDS crisis. The book is detailed, well written, understandable, and would be an excellent source for biographical research. The book has a table of contents, index, extensive source notes, timeline, and bibliography (no web resources listed). A strong addition to your biography collection.
Zombies
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series, this sturdy 32-page book presents the reader with zombies. Are they real? Well, the text is written in a "believing" sort of way, but examples given are pretty much fictional. The author explores some zombie lore, as well as zombie legends and their origins. Fictional zombies in both past and popular culture are shown. Zombies around the world are presented. And let's not forget the zombie apocalypse! In the end the reader is left to decide for himself. The book includes a glossary and index. You can never have too many zombie books. This will be popular.
Ghosts
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series, this sturdy 32-page book presents the reader with ghosts. Are they real? Well, the text is written in a "believing" sort of way. Classic examples of hauntings and haunted houses are briefly presented, with very little detail. Legendary ghosts are also introduced, as well as ghosts in popular culture. Photographs and illustrations accompany by text. In the end the reader is left to decide for himself. The book includes a glossary and index. This is a rather shallow and unscary look at the topic, but you can never have too many books in the 100's. It will be popular.
Bigfoot
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series, this sturdy 32-page book presents the reader with Bigfoot. Are they real? Well, the text is written in a "believing" sort of way, and those who pursue the elusive beast are given their due. The evidence is presented, but not in any sort of scientific way. Yeti and Sasquatch are also mentioned. Popular culture examples of Bigfoot are presented. In the end the reader is left to decide for himself. The book includes a glossary and index. This is kind of a shallow dip into a deep pool, but you can never have too many books in the 001.9 section. Kids will definitely check it out.
Vampires
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series, this sturdy 32-page book presents the reader with vampires. Are they real? Well, the text is written in a "believing" sort of way, but examples given are pretty much fictional. The author explores some of the possible aspects of vampires that have been posited through literature, legend, and film. Photographs come from classic and modern movies, as well as TV. The author points out that modern medicine has explained some of the vampire legends. Of course Bram Stoker and Vlad III Dracula are mentioned. Vampires in popular culture is explored and both good and bad fictional vampires are mentioned. In the end the reader is left to decide for himself. The book includes a glossary and index. This is the sort of book that would fly off my library shelves.
Aliens
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series, this sturdy 32-page book presents the reader with aliens. Are they real? Well, the text is written in a "believing" sort of way, but examples given are pretty much fictional. The author explores some of the possible aspects of aliens that have been posited through literature, legend, and cinematography. Photographs come from movies such as "Alien" and "Independence Day." Did extraterrestrials build the pyramids? How about Stonehenge? Do they have any relationship with crop circles or the Nazca Lines? The rise of sci-fi is explored, and both good and bad fictional aliens are mentioned. There's even a little bit about Area 51. In the end the reader is left to decide for himself. The book includes a glossary and index. You can never have too many books in the 001.9 section. This will be popular.
Sir Cumference And The Roundabout Battle
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Neuschwander, Cindy
Geehan, Wayne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Sir Cumference and friends are back in another math adventure. In this case the castle steward, Edmund Rounds, has a son who he is bringing up in the profession. His son, nicknamed Rounds 2, is great at counting by tens, but has trouble keeping track of things that require more precise numbers. Keeping inventories is, of course, a major task of a castle steward. By learning to round up or down, however, he is able to keep a fairly accurate count of things. He also proves essential when the castle comes under attack. This is another fun story. Sure, the math is a bit of a stretch, but it would do children good to see the mathematical principle in action, and Wayne Geehan's acrylic illustrations are always a delight.
Great Never Sea Conquest
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Based on an episode of the Disney cartoon "Captain Jake and the Never Land Pirates" this is the story of pirates having to team up to fight a common enemy. Naturally Jake leads the attack. There's evil afoot, and magic as well. Will everyone survive the battle? This is Disney and no parents are involved so, of course! The book includes stickers, so it's designed for home use, which is just as well because this story is so convoluted that not even the parrot's jokes can save it.
Boca Mas Hambrienta Del Mar
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Walters, Peter
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is a Spanish-language version of "The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea". Who is the hungriest mouth in the sea? The book marches up a food chain in a southern ocean. Is plankton the hungriest mouth? Wait, what's that coming? Is Antarctic krill the answer? The book moves up to blue cod, penguins, fur seals, and then orcas as the top of the food chain. The text rhymes and the book swims along with beautiful collage illustrations that are textured and eye-catching. The problem is that the questions and answers are separated by a page of alternate possibilities. While this shows other predators that operate on more or less the same level, it vastly decreases the opportunity to use the book for prediction, and cuts into its flow. This is particularly notable because the question is asked, and on that page readers see just a hint of the answer in the illustrations, but then that actual answer doesn't show up on the next page. This is a design flaw, although I can almost hear the editorial argument--but we're expanding the chain to a web! Maybe, but something more valuable is lost. The book includes extension activities and allows for copying for educational use. This makes it a good addition to school and classroom libraries.
Hungriest Mouth In The Sea
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Walters, Peter
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Who is the hungriest mouth in the sea? This book marches up a food chain in a southern ocean. Is plankton the hungriest mouth? Wait, what's that coming? Is Antarctic krill the answer? The book moves up to blue cod, penguins, fur seals, and then orcas as the top of the food chain. The text rhymes and the book swims along with beautiful collage illustrations that are textured and eye-catching. The problem is that the questions and answers are separated by a page of alternate possibilities. While this shows other predators that operate on more or less the same level, it vastly decreases the opportunity to use the book for prediction, and cuts into its flow. This is particularly notable because the question is asked, and on that page readers see just a hint of the answer in the illustrations, but then that actual answer doesn't show up on the next page. This is a design flaw, although I can almost hear the editorial argument--but we're expanding the chain to a web! Maybe, but something more valuable is lost. The book includes extension activities and allows for copying for educational use. This makes it a good addition to school and classroom libraries.
Stranded Whale
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Yolen, Jane
Cataldo, Melanie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Walking home from school on a windy September day in 1971, three siblings find a stranded sperm whale. Sally tells the story as she and her brothers do what they can, calling for help and squeezing sweaters soaked in salt water from the ebbing tide over the whale. Assistance arrives, but this leviathan is doomed. The task is too great, and Sally is left to wish for a better outcome. Told in Jane Yolen's beautiful prose, this JLG selection is a poignant tale that ends with an author's note about marine mammal beachings, pointing out that most do not end well. Melanie Cataldo's soft and intimate illustrations show the motion of the wind against the unmoving bulk of the enormous whale, giving the impression of small efforts having little effect on a giant task. Some things are beyond even the best of intentions. This touching tale should lead to interesting classroom discussions.
Asombrosa Carrera Entre La Tortuga Y La Liebre
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Berkes, Marianne
Morrison, Cathy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this Spanish-language version of the story Henry Hare mocks Tess Tortoise for her speed. Then he challenges her to a race. The results are what you would expect in this retelling of "The Tortoise and the Hare." As we all know, slow and steady wins the race. This retelling, however, also includes elements of measurement as we learn how long a mile is in feet and yards, and fractions are used to show progress in the race. Cathy Morrison's illustrations are big and colorful, but the text is a little didactic. The book, however, is designed for educational use. The appendix includes measurement activities, a lesson on greater than, equals, and less than, and a game to put animals in the right size order. These elements enhance the book's use in a classroom or home-schooling situation.
Tortoise And Hare's Amazing Race
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Berkes, Marianne
Morrison, Cathy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 12, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Henry Hare mocks Tess Tortoise for her speed. Then he challenges her to a race. The results are what you would expect in this retelling of "The Tortoise and the Hare." As we all know, slow and steady wins the race. This retelling, however, also includes elements of measurement as we learn how long a mile is in feet and yards, and fractions are used to show progress in the race. Cathy Morrison's illustrations are big and colorful, but the text is a little didactic. The book, however, is designed for educational use. The appendix includes measurement activities, a lesson on greater than, equals, and less than, and a game to put animals in the right size order. The Lexile Level (610) is included, as well as a list of key vocabulary concepts. These elements enhance the book's use in a Common Core curriculum.
Seizure-Alert Dogs
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Laughlin, Kara L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 12, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the "Service Dogs" series. The book describes the use of dogs to help alert and respond to seizure emergencies. Although scientists are not fully sure how dogs are able to detect seizures, they think it has something to do with smell. The book discusses how the dogs can help, how they can be trained, and what to do if you see a seizure dog. The book is well written and accompanied by color photographs. A few years ago my school had a staff member with a seizure alert dog, this book would have been very helpful to help students understand this type of service dog. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary (words in boldface within the text), index, bibliography (web resources available via the publisher's website). A strong addition for your dog collection.
Smart Kid's Guide To Divorce
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Petersen, Christine
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 13, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life" series. The book opens with a description of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's separation and divorce. Then the book looks at the reasons parents divorce, the effects of the divorce on the family, and the changes that might occur. The reader learns that there are many different ways to show their feelings and emotions. What kids can do to make the best of these events are also described: share feeling, be organized, work on friendships, keeping in touch with the other parent when you are staying at a different house. The book also looks at the future of having a step-parent. The text is well-written and will help students who are dealing with divorce. Color photographs enhance the text. The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). Let your school counselor know about this book, they will want to use it again and again.
Feelings And Emotions
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Thornborough, Kathy
Petelinsek, Kathleen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This simple, 24 page book is part of the "Talking Hands" series. The book shows the American Sign Language (ASL) signs for 21 common feelings and emotions. Each page contains the word, a description of the sign with a picture, a synonym for the feeling, and a color photograph showing that feeling. The description of the sign is in words and black line drawing. Red arrows show movement on the drawing. The end matter includes the sign language alphabet and a thank you to the models from Alexander Bell Elementary that were used in the drawings. This would interest students who want to learn sign language, however, it only gives a few words. It would need to be supplemented with other materials.
Marie Curie : Physics And Chemistry Pioneer
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Krieg, Katherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 13, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: Great Minds of Science" series, this 48 page book describes the life of Marie Curie. The text is interesting and well written. It traces her life from Poland in 1867, to her desire and struggle for education, and finally her scientific discoveries. Readers will learn of her family life, Nobel Prizes, and her death caused by her research. Photographs are captioned and found throughout the book. Primary source articles, call out boxes, and common core related activities will enhance the reader's experience. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, author information, glossary, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). An excellent book of biographical research. A strong addition for your biography section.
Sonidos En La Sabana
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Jennings, Terry Catasus
Saroff, Phyllis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What are the sounds you might hear in the Savanna? A lion's roar? A elephant's rumble? The warning cry of a monkey? This is a day on the African plains, through the sounds an animal might hear from dawn until dark. Phyllis Saroff's lovely illustrations have a wonderful touch of reality to them. The text is evocative and tells small stories of life in this habitat. This is the Spanish-language version of "Sounds of the Savanna." Extension activities at the end of the book include information about sound, and about predators and prey. Inclusion of Lexile Level and key phrases increase the book's utility in the classroom.
Sounds Of The Savanna
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Jennings, Terry Catasus
Saroff, Phyllis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What are the sounds you might hear in the Savanna? A lion's roar? A elephant's rumble? The warning cry of a monkey? This is a day on the African plains, through the sounds an animal might hear from dawn until dark. Phyllis Saroff's lovely illustrations have a wonderful touch of reality to them. The text is evocative and tells small stories of life in this habitat. Extension activities at the end of the book include information about sound, and about predators and prey. Inclusion of Lexile Level and key phrases increase the book's utility in the classroom.
Instinto Animal : Ellos Ya Saben! ?
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Yardi, Robin
Klein, Laurie Allen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
How do caterpillars know what to eat, and how to turn into a butterfly? How do they know how to take that first flight? How do lady bugs take care of themselves? What about kingsnakes? And how do baby sea turtles know where to go? All are left to fend for themselves. Where do they get the information they need to survive? Well, they just know what to do, all on their own. This is an interesting, kid-friendly look at animal instinct. It is the Spanish-language version of the book "They Just Know." And, frankly, it may work a little better in Spanish because of the brevity and punch of the repeating line. The author's bringing in things that humans would do to babies personalizes it, and makes the final picture of a loving mother with a baby particularly poignant. Laurie Allen Klein's soft illustrations show reality and humorous anthropomorphizing, which opens the book up to a nice fact/fiction discussion. Additional extension activities are included, that may be copied for classroom use. This is an enjoyable introduction to a science topic that would find a happy home in a kindergarten classroom.
They Just Know : Animal Instincts
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Yardi, Robin
Klein, Laurie Allen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
How do caterpillars know what to eat, and how to turn into a butterfly? How do they know how to take that first flight? How do lady bugs take care of themselves? What about kingsnakes? And how do baby sea turtles know where to go? All are left to fend for themselves. Where do they get the information they need to survive? Well, they just know what to do, all on their own. This is an interesting, kid-friendly look at animal instinct. The author's bringing in things that humans would do to babies personalizes it, and makes the final picture of a loving mother with a baby particularly poignant. Laurie Allen Klein's soft illustrations show reality and humorous anthropomorphizing, which opens the book up to a nice fact/fiction discussion. Additional extension activities are included, that may be copied for classroom use. This is an enjoyable introduction to a science topic that would find a happy home in a kindergarten classroom.
Anfibios Y Reptiles : Un Libro De Comparacion Y Contraste
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Hall, Katharine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Compare and Contrast" book, that is a Spanish-language version of "Amphibians and Reptiles," young readers are able to learn about reptiles and amphibians--their similarities and differences. The three main types of amphibians, and four different kinds of reptiles are presented. Readers then learn about habitat, appearance and life cycles. The simple yet informative text is accompanied by big photographs that illustrate key points. Extension activities are included, as well as a page discussing herpetology and encouraging children to observe nature and record those observations. This is an excellent introduction to the topic that primary teachers will embrace.
Amphibians And Reptiles : A Compare And Contrast Book
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Hall, Katharine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Compare and Contrast" book young readers are able to learn about reptiles and amphibians--their similarities and differences. The three main types of amphibians, and four different kinds of reptiles are presented. Readers then learn about habitat, appearance and life cycles. The simple yet informative text is accompanied by big photographs that illustrate key points. Extension activities are included, as well as a page discussing herpetology and encouraging children to observe nature and record those observations. This is an excellent introduction to the topic that primary teachers will embrace.
President And Cabinet
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Krieg, Katherine
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 13, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "U.S. Government and Civics" series, this crisply-written 24-page book presents clear and accurate information about the president, his job, and the role of the Cabinet in government. There is a table that includes all of the Departments represented in the Cabinet, their seals, titles, and responsibilities. There is also a glossary and index. If the rest of this series is as clear and cogent it would be a good addition to elementary government sections.
Powerful Place Value : Patterns And Power
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Arias, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 13, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Got Math" series. It features rhyming text to teach students about place value. The reader will learn about the various places (ones, tens, etc), as well as, standard form, word form, modeling, expanded notation, and reading numbers. Explanations are clear. My only concerns is the infinite symbol image which has an arrow included within it (which is not an accurate symbol) and the presence of a word find (with all of the words pre-found and highlighed in green) which I'm not sure the purpose of. This book will be useful in reteaching but will have limited appeal. A table of contents, before & after reading information, glossary, index, website list, and author information are included.
Boy Who Fell Off The Mayflower, Or John Howland's Good Fortu
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lynch, P J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
What did it feel like to sail on the Mayflower, and endure the rough first years in the new land? P.J. Lynch has done his research and tells the tale from the point of view of John Howland, a young man who was there from the beginning. The journey from England was hard, and the Speedwell had to be left behind. Conditions on the ship were crowded, and a storm actually tossed the boy overboard. Rescued, he lived to see the beginnings of a new community. Indeed, he lived for many years, eventually marrying another who had been on the Mayflower and becoming a leader in the community. This could be a dismal retelling of a well-known story, but the author uses his talents to give the characters depth, while inserting historical information and placing it in context. Readers see a budding romance, death and despair, hope, and fortitude. The amazing watercolor and gouache illustrations have an amazing realism. There's a lot of information here. While the size is that of a picture book, to accomodate the wonderful artwork, the text is not to be quickly scanned. It is to be savored and pondered. This is history in a satisfying feast, rather than hardtack.
Christmas Miracle Of Jonathan Toomey
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Wojciechowski, Susan
Lynch, P. J.
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Woodcarver Jonathan Toomey never smiles. His smiles died with his child and wife. His heart is wood. Then a widow and her son ask him to carve a nativity scene. Gradually they whittle small holes in the woodcarver's rough shell. Like curls of wood being shaved away to find the beauty within, Susan Wojciechowski's lyrical text exposes the soul of the woodcarver, and the impact that others can have on a life. This is a poignant tribute to what Christmas truly means. It's hard to believe that this is the 20th anniversary edition. The expressive illustrations by P.J. Lynch still have that wonderful inner glow. This should be a Christmas tradition in every home.
Gorrion Y Los Arboles
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Chriscoe, Sharon
Detwiler, Susan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Why do deciduous trees lose their leaves during the winter? In this original legend a sparrow must send his family on south, knowing he cannot make the trip with an injured wing. He hopes to winter in the warm leaves of the local trees. However, upon being asked for help each tree refuses him. Only the spruce, pine, and juniper trees offer shelter. Because of their self-centeredness King Forest decreed that the selfish trees would lose their leaves each winter, but not the trees that helped. This is a Spanish-language version of "The Sparrow and the Trees."The book includes additional information about sparrows and trees, and extension activities.The illustrations are crisp and lovely, and the story contains a nice moral.
Sparrow And The Trees
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Chriscoe, Sharon
Detwiler, Susan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Why do deciduous trees lose their leaves during the winter? In this original legend a sparrow must send his family on south, knowing he cannot make the trip with an injured wing. He hopes to winter in the warm leaves of the local trees. However, upon being asked for help each tree refuses him. Only the spruce, pine, and juniper trees offer shelter. Because of their self-centeredness King Forest decreed that the selfish trees would lose their leaves each winter, but not the trees that helped. The book includes additional information about sparrows and trees, and extension activities.The illustrations are crisp and lovely, and the story contains a nice moral.
Little Prince : 21 : The Planet Of Okidians
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Gonnard, Christel
Fayolle, Diane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Little Prince has been kidnapped! Well, his character has. He and Fox are now off adventuring around the universe. They visit different planets where the Snake is trying to cause problems, using Gloomies as his minions. The Little Prince and his companion must use strength, wisdom, cooperation and kindness to get rid of the evil influences and help set things right. In this, volume 21 of the series, they are on a planet about to have a deadly run-in with an asteroid. Hubris has resulted in a very dangerous situation where the queen thinks she will solve the problem, and all the men have been banished. In her quest for sexual equality, the queen has fallen prey to the Snake. Only our heroes, and the queen's daughter, can save the day. This is a graphic novel with exceptional illustrations. The stories may be a little saccharine, but that harms nobody, which is sort of the point.
You Wouldn't Want To Live Without Money!
Franklin Watts [Franklin Watts]
Woolf, Alex
Antram, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The "You Wouldn't Want To..." series has expanded! Now it's examining other things in the "You Wouldn't Want to Live Without..." series, in this case money. This is a fun and fascinating peek into economics. The author examines barter then all kinds of things that have been used for currency. Then there was the rise of the coin, paper money, credit, and now digital currency. All of the information, which could be quite dry, is presented in a kid-friendly and interesting fashion. Add David Antram's cartoon illustrations, weird facts, and fun asides and you have a winner of a book. Looks like this series will be as good as the last.
Camada Con Suerte : Cachorros De Lobo Rescatados De Un Incen
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Curtis, Jennifer Keats
Gomes, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
After a forest fire in Alaska, a firefighter found a den of abandoned and injured wolf pups. This is their story--a Spanish-language version of "The Lucky Litter"--as the wolf cubs were rescued, cared for, and eventually found a home at the Minnesota Zoo. The five cubs are, of course, adorable, and the photographs that accompany the clear and uncomplicated text reflect that. The appendix includes further information on wildlife rescue, growth, wolves as a keystone species, and wildfires.This is an informative and interesting book that would be a welcome addition to school collections.
Lucky Litter : Wolf Pups Rescued From Wildfire
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Curtis, Jennifer Keats
Gomes, John
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
After a forest fire in Alaska, a firefighter found a den of abandoned and injured wolf pups. This is their story as they were rescued, cared for, and eventually found a home at the Minnesota Zoo. The five cubs are, of course, adorable, and the photographs that accompany the clear and uncomplicated text reflect that. The appendix includes further information on wildlife rescue, growth, wolves as a keystone species, and wildfires.This is an informative and interesting book that would be a welcome addition to school collections.
Things I'll Never Say : Stories About Our Secret Selves
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Angel, Ann
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 14, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
I enjoyed each short story in this book! Secrets are hidden in the hearts of all living beings--straight/gay/male/female/paranormal creature. Why do we often not tell others what we hold closest to our hearts? Are we afraid of vulnerability? Of loss? Of rejection? Editor Ann Angel lets the reader indulge in other's secrets and even includes one of her own. Best suited for middle to high school readers.
Symphony For The City Of The Dead : Dmitri Shostakovich And
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Anderson, M T
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
October 16, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Dmitri Shostakovich is a major composer of the 20th century and his life story is inextricably linked with the history of the USSR and especially the life of Josef Stalin. The content of this lengthy, dense, and scholarly book covers the end of the Russian monarchy, the rise of Stalin, and the second World War, with particular focus on the course of Shostakovich’s career. The essential question posed in the narrative is weighty – what choices do people make when they are threatened and manipulated? When Stalin comes to power, he initiates propaganda wars, a cult of personality, and bloody purges; his crazy inconsistency makes it impossible for anyone to chart a course of safety. The reader concludes that people will do what they must to survive but that those who can focus outward on helping others can best keep their humanity. Stalin’s incredibly cruel and violent behavior is detailed in all its shocking and horrific consequences. This critically acclaimed title is a long way from the humor of Feed or the author’s middle grade titles – think of it more as a stepping stone to The Gulag Archipelago.
Scorpions
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
C'mon now--who doesn't like scorpions? in this level 1 "Blastoff! Readers" book, crisp closeup photographs splatter across the page, facing one or two lines of bold explanatory text. At 24 pages long this is a cursory look at the arachnids, but young readers will learn a little about their anatomy, diet, and habitat. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. The kid-friendly lay-out, bright graphics, and clear information on an interesting topic will make this a popular book for early nonfiction readers.
Bighorn Sheep
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "North American Animals" series, this level3 "Blastoff! Readers" book has crisp photographs, graphs, and tables, as well as fact boxes. Each, of course, discloses more information about bighorn sheep. Readers will learn about their habitat, range, anatomy, diet, and life cycle, with a little information about the dangers they face. The sturdy book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. The kid-friendly lay-out, bright graphics, and clear information would make this a good addition to school animal collections.
Jeff Kinney
Scholastic Press [Scholastic Press]
Leaf, Christina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Young fans of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books will enjoy this brief, 24-page biography of the author, Jeff Kinney. The book is a level 4 in the "Blastoff! Readers" series, and includes information about Kinney's childhood, inspirations, and career. A timeline is included. It includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a cursory overview, but the subject matter is sure to make it a popular book.
Shaun the Sheep Movie - The Great Escape
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 17, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
"Shaun the Sheep" is a delightful, dialog-free stop-action movie about a series of silly events that lead a flock of sheep into the city to save their amnesiac farmer. The movie is carried entirely by action. This book quickly describes all the action, with a few photographs from the movie providing the illustrations. Truthfully, the movie is hilarious and no book can carry the giggle-worthy nuances found therein. This is, however, an accurate retelling of the plot.
Hunger Of The Yeti
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Scream Street is in trouble and werewolf kid Luke, his vampire-sorta friend, Resus, and their mummy friend, Cleo, are off to the rescue, again. In the first books they had to acquire relics from the original founders of Scream Street. Now, in order to avert catastrophe they must return the items. This is far from easy. In this book they wind up in the Himalayas, have to deal with a zombie-turned-guru, accidentally kidnap a baby yeti, and meet their arch-nemesis as a child. Needless to say, it's all action all the time. This is another mildly scary, funny story in a series that is always popular at my library.
Camera
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Amazing Inventions" series, this smaller-format, well-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to cameras. It quickly marches them through the history of cameras from metal plates to digital. It does not explain how they work. Plenty of crisp photographs of various sizes accompany a sentence or two of simple text. The book includes a short index and a thought question. While nicely formatted, it's hard to think of an audience for this book except in units showing the evolution of an invention.
Telephone
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Amazing Inventions" series, this smaller-format, well-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to telephones. It quickly marches them through the history of telephones from their original invention to smartphones. It does not tell how they work. Plenty of crisp photographs of various sizes accompany a sentence or two of simple text. The book includes a short index and a thought question. While nicely formatted, it's hard to think of an audience for this book except in units showing the evolution of an invention.
Phonograph
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Amazing Inventions" series, this smaller-format, well-bound 24-page book introduces young readers to phonographs, and a brief history of their evolution. There really isn't much about how, exactly they work, because that's not the point of the series. Lamentably most children have never seen a phonograph so it's hard to think of an audience for this particular book.
Cows
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp photographs and equally crisp text combine in this Abdo Kids Farm Animals book. Each photograph in this well-bound 24-page book faces a sentence or two about cows. The information given is extremely simple, and certainly not adequate for report-writing. However, this would be a great book to read to kindergartners before taking them on a farm or fair field trip.
Impossible Voyage Of Kon-Tiki
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Ray, Deborah Kogan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
I've always been fascinated by the voyage of Kon-Tiki and, as a teen, read every book by Thor Heyerdahl. Now it's nice to see some of that information in a more accessible format for younger readers (even though you haven't lived if you haven't read the original book with its copious photographs.) Deborah Ray briefly but compelling tells the story of Thor Heyerdahl's theories about the ancient Incas traveling by raft to the islands of the South Pacific. Mocked by his peers, he built a raft and, in 1947, set sail with a small crew, basically living off the sea. A little more than three months of calm, and stormy seas later, they arrived where Heyerdahl had predicted, having traveled 4300 nautical miles. This reduces the journey to a picture book, losing much of its tension and excitement. Nevertheless, the entire idea was so groundbreaking, and Heyerdahl such a visionary, it's nice to see the information available to a younger audience. One can only hope that it leads them to the original book in a few years. This includes a brief biography of Heyerdahl, and the end papers show a map of the journey of the Kon-Tiki.
Avengers Assemble Who's Who
MARVEL PRESS [MARVEL PRESS]
Palacios, Tomas
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Avengers are always popular. This paperback picture book introduces 7 Avengers and Nick Fury with two-page spreads that contain crisp cartoon illustrations and a brief explanation of who they are. Four villains are also highlighted. The whole thing comes with two pages of stickers. It is actually a very slight volume and clearly designed for home use. Will it be popular? Of course, but it's not great literature.
School Show
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Gianferrari, Maria
Heder, Thyra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! What do you do when the school talent show is coming up, but you don't have a talent? That's the problem facing Penny. She tries out all kinds of things--fashion-designing, ballroom dancing, magic tricks and more. Nothing turns out well. Reduced to hiding in a closet, Penny is sure she is doomed. Her dog proves to be her inspiration and their act, while a tad unorthodox, allows Penny to shine. Friendly watercolor illustrations by Thyra Heder accompany Maria Gianferrari's delightful text. If your school is having a talent show this will help relieve anxiety for young possible participants.
Super Simple Aircraft Projects : Inspiring & Educational Sci
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This ain't your mama's paper airplane book. Instead this sturdy 32-page book contains some basic information about the history of aeronautics and then instructions for making a helicopter, catapult plane, straw rocket, hovercraft, paper airplane, and square kite. Each project takes up two pages, includes a materials list, and gives step-by-step instructions, with color photographs that show important steps and the finished product. The book ends with a quiz and a glossary. These are actually pretty cool craft projects. It seems the series "Amazing Super Simple Inventions" lives up to its name.
Scream Street : Secret Of The Changeling
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 18, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
There's never a dull moment on Scream Street. Werewolf kid Luke, his vampire-sorta friend, Resus, and their mummy friend, Cleo, are off on another adventure. In the first books they had to acquire relics from the original founders of Scream Street. Now, in order to avert catastrophe they must return the items. This is far from easy. In this book their attempt to return a skeleton's skull results in finding a changeling child, having a horrific adventure in another realm, and saving a bunch of captured fairies. This is another mildly scary, funny story in a series that is always popular at my library.
Trick Arrr Treat : A Pirate Halloween
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Kimmelman, Leslie
Monlongo, Jorge
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Children dressed for trick-or-treating--pirates with an "Arrrr" for greeting. Off they go in search of sweets, with their motto "trick arrrr treat!" They've got pirate names and 'tudes. Yes, that means they can be rude. Imagination goes too far. They think that they're in danger--ARRRRRR! All ends well for pirate crew. Pictures are impressive, too. Need more books for Halloween? Here's a new one on the scene.
Christmas Spirit
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Biedrzycki, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Here's another "Me and My Dragon" story. This time they're looking for the Christmas spirit. The boy is concerned that his dragon doesn't really understand what Christmas is all about--giving, and helping, and thinking of others. He seems unaware that his dragon is doing all of that, and more, behind his back. The two of them team up, however, to help a needy family. This makes it the perfect Christmas. Vivid Photoshop illustrations are eye-catching and very kid-friendly. Can you have too many Christmas books? Yes, so it's time to throw out a few of the older ones and let a new one take their place.
Dia De Los Muertos
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Thong, Roseanne Greenfie
Ballesteros, Carles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Just what is "Dia de los Muertos?" This book provides a surprisingly clear and cogent overview of the holiday while maintaining its picture book format, and personalizing the text. The rhyming story includes most of the traditions of the holiday as it follows a family in its own celebration. Spanish words are included where they fit the best, and a glossary is included. Charles Ballesteros's illustrations perfectly suit the subject matter--they are vibrant and bold, with a hint of Mexican artwork, and a lot of childlike joy. This is the perfect read-aloud for younger children, as the holiday approaches.
From The Notebooks Of A Middle-School Princess
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Cabot, Meg
Yellowhawk, Jim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 19, 2015
Lewis, Jo
In this new offshoot from the Princess Diaries intended for younger readers, we meet Olivia who has had to live with her Aunt Olivia and unfriendly cousins. Her mother is dead and she has never met her father. Olivia is a lively biracial 12-year- old who has always considered herself average until the day the most popular girl in school threatens to beat her up and she discovers that she is nothing like average. This will be snapped up by young girls who love ashes to riches princess stories.
Izzy Barr, Running Star
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Mills, Claudia
Shepperson, Rob
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 19, 2015
Lewis, Jo
Izzy is the star athlete of the third grade but her father seems to only be proud of her half-brother, Justin. Izzy tries not to care, but she does. When her dad finally realizes that she feels badly, he attends the city-wide 10K run she is in. A story full of friendships, parent-child relationships and a feel-good ending. A melded family situation will sound familiar to some young readers.
Francine Poulet Meets The Ghost Raccoon : Tales From Deckawo
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dicamillo, Kate
Van Dusen, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 19, 2015
Lewis, Jo
Francine Poulet, descended from a long line of Animal Control Officers and the holder of many trophies for her skills, finds she is not up to facing down a screaming ghost raccoon. But she is needed by the folks on Deckawoo Drive so she gathers her courage and meets the challenge. Some familiar characters from Deckawoo Drive include Frank, Stella, Mrs. Watson and Mercy, the lover of buttered toast, appear in this tale from the pen of Kate DeCamillo. Charming illustrations are a definitely plus although not very flattering to Francine, our plus-sized hero.
Disappearing Magician
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Egan, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 19, 2015
Lewis, Jo
Mike is an aspiring magician but has never performed before in a talent show. When his usual assistant decides to do her own act, he must find someone else to train. Mike learns some good lessons about the importance of helping others to achieve their goals as well as his own. He also deals well with some harassment from the audience and is able to successfully complete his act in spite of the bullying behavior of one of his classmates. The "how-to" sections of the book showing how some of his tricks are done are a definite plus in this story of a young magician.
Hired Girl
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Schlitz, Laura Amy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
7th grade to 9th grade
October 19, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Fourteen year old Joan still has happy memories of her Mother, but the years since her death have been all unremitting drudgery serving her dull, brutal father and heedless older brothers on the family farm. Father will never provide any affection for Joan and makes it clear that he expects her to spend her life as his drudge, so she relies upon the encouragement of a teacher, the memory of her Mothers love, and the cash her Mother saved from her egg money and sewed into the apron of Joan's childhood doll to make her escape to Baltimore. She is taken into the home of a wealthy Jewish family as a hired girl, and in a classic move up Maslow’s Hierarchy , Joan soon longs for more. Beautifully written, plenty of big ideas and theme work around religion, prejudice, the place of art, and finding a place in the world
Look Both Ways In The Barrio Blanco
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rose, Judith Robbins
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 19, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Jacinta's life is full of lines. There's the US -Mexico border; Mama's on the Mexico side with Abuelita, who is dying. There's the line between Jacinta and White people, with whom she can never be her real self and who must never know that Mama and Papa are undocumented. Another line separates her from older sister Rosa, who can read and write as well as speak Spanish, although Jacinta's English is much better. Jacinta's impetuous and angry at her missing Mama; so she asks Kate, a TV Reporter visiting the community center, to be her Mentor. Kate is a complex mixture of good intentions, White guilt, cluelessness, and genuine interest in Jacinta and her family. Papa's arrest and deportation throws the family into chaos, but will Kate's interventions do more harm than good? A bit uneven, but a thought-provoking first novel.
Expressing The Inner Wild : Tattoos, Piercings, Jewelry, And
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Gordon, Stephen G
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 19, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
People think they're being innovative when they get that tattoo, or pierce that body part, or paint those long long nails. This book examines body art through the ages. While it features people like Lady Gaga (who shows up a lot), it also points out that ancient people did similar things, and that tribal body art is found around the world today. Here you will find wigs, jewelry, hair of all kinds, and fingernail art. Makeup, piercings, neck rings and earrings are all included. It's actually quite fascinating to see how "acts of rebellion" are actually repeats of old-time artwork. Lots of photographs and a clear and fascinating text make this a good choice for secondary libraries. There's also an extensive bibliography and index. There is definitely an audience for this book.
Aztec
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 20, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Native Americans" series, this 32 page book describes, in brief, the Aztec. The reader learns about their history, territory, food, daily life, crafts, spirituality, and the Aztec today. We also learn of the fall of the Aztec Empire. The book ends with a quote from Montezuma II to Cortes as he was dying. Color, captioned photos are found throughout the book. The text is presented in a larger than normal (but not too large) font and is clear and concise. While it does not provide in depth information, this book would be useful for an introduction or those who need a lower level of text. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided on the publisher's web site.
Henry Aaron's Dream
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 20, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Candlewick Biographies" series. The 40 page book focuses on the beginning of Henry "Hank" Aaron's career. Each two page spread contains a large watercolor illustration and descriptive, accessible text. Readers learn about the segregation and racism Aaron experienced growing up and throughout his career. We learn about his dream of playing in the major leagues and how Jackie Robinson was his idol. This is a fascinating read and will be used for biography and civil rights studies. It will be of interest to students who love baseball. The book has a table of contents, author's note, bibliography, stat page, index, and author information. A great addition to your biography collection.
Kayaking
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 20, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the "Great Outdoors" series. Readers will learn about kayaking including different types of kayaks, places to kayak, equipment, and safety. The difference between sea and river kayaking is described. The text is clear and concise. Call-out boxes provide addition information to focus the reader. Color photographs are found throughout. Captions are located at the bottom of the page. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). This book would make a good addition to your recreational sports section.
Maya
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
October 20, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Native Americans" series, this 32 page book describes, in brief, the Maya. The reader learns about their history, territory, food, daily life, spirituality, and the Maya today. The book ends with a quote about the Maya's future. Color, captioned photos are found throughout the book. The text is presented in a larger than normal (but not too large) font and is clear and concise. While it does not provide in depth information, this book would be useful for an introduction or those who need a lower level of text. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided on the publisher's web site.
In The Savannah
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Bailey, Ella
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 21, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
In narrative nonfiction format the story follows a young lion cub throughout his day and along the way a myriad of animals from the savannah are introduced to the young readers. With good illustrations, soft colors and interesting details the bright, almost Disney like eyes, of the lion and his mother will appeal to the intended audience. The endsheets are especially detailed with the front containing the labelled daytime creatures and the nighttime animals end the book. Though the text is very simple, it’s gentle and informative.
Expedition
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Wendel, S E
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 21, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Seemingly high interest, but easier science fiction for the upper elementary and middle school crowd, the series begins with 40,000, people who’ve been selected from a lottery, boarding the five massive starships that have been built to take them from a declining Earth (expected to destruct within 20 years) to colonize a new planet Terra Nova. Hugh, twin of Rhys, has been given his spot by his mother, but gets separated from his twin right after boarding. Rhys enters the Cryo Bay where he will be frozen for the seven-year journey. Sad Hugh is apprenticed to the mechanical engineer in charge of the running of the craft. Elena is a tough, prickly street kid who refuses to enter the Cryo Bay, but is taken under wing by a sympathetic female sergeant for military training. On this other planet Zenaba has just been chosen as the new Golden One of the Charneki culture and is being trained to guide in peace and chaos. So begins the Earth Aliens series Book 1 of six. The 208 pages has relatively large font with much white space, but appeals to a young young adult audience with bullies especially boys toward girls. (A couple of typos i.e. p.176 word missing in first paragraph)
Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Fallon, Jimmy
Denton, Terry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 21, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
In Jimmy Fallon's debut picture book for the very young or their parents, he presents 13 animal fathers trying to get their offspring's first word to be "Dada!" Each double page spread has the father on the left with DADA! coming out of its speech balloon with its baby on the right speaking its expected animal sound. The baby mouse squeaks, the horse neighs, the piglet oinks and the frog rabbits. Miguel Ordonez was a great choice of illustrator as his adult expressions run the gamut including consternation, hope, worry, and even near apathy. The simplicity of these drawings will appeal to the young audience and entertain the parents. Given one last chance, the animals all join together, parents on the left, children on the right and try it one last time with satisfactory results. This is not a truly original idea, nor complicated, but it is fun, as should be expected from this late night talk show host with a new child.
Electrical Wizard : How Nikola Tesla Lit Up The World
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Rusch, Elizabeth
Dominguez, Oliver
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 22, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This biography of a lesser known inventor is a good introduction for students, especially those studying electricity. Where Thomas Edison gets most of the credit, Serbian Nikola Tesla actually introduced the far-reaching alternating current(AC)that lights our world. Good scientific information is included along with how curious Tesla was from an early age. With his mind constantly trying to figure out how to harness alternating current to produce a wide-spread energy use, he became a competitor with Edison, who tried to undermine his work. But he proved himself at the Chicago World’s Fair, where Westinghouse enlisted his expertise in lighting the fair and making his electrical system available to the masses. The book concludes with pages of extra information including how Tesla was ahead of his time, the rivalry between Edison and him, scientific notes differentiating AC & DC, static electricity, and how other Tesla inventions worked. A very detailed bibliography & index conclude the 48 pages. It’s helpful to have some background in electricity before tackling these concepts. Dates are included though there is no timeline. This man is under-represented in children’s literature. Originally published as a picture book in 2013.
Because Your Grandparents Love You
CLARION [CLARION]
Clements, Andrew
Alley, R. W.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 22, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Andrew Clements never disappoints and this is no exception with an homage to kind-hearted grandparents. When two children are dropped off at their grandparents’ farm they go through a series of experiences in the pattern—When…your grandmother or grandfather could say…But she/he doesn’t. Instead in a very gentle manner they help you solve the situation successfully. This begins with the young boy stepping in a cowpie, to which his grandmother could say,”I’m pretty sure I told you we have to watch where we walk around here!” Instead she gets the hose, sprays off his shoes and dries them on the fence. Then they get clean socks and boots this time. Other events include encountering a big, scary horse, helping feed the cows with heavy bales of hay, picking the best apples way up in the tree, safely collecting eggs from the chickens, using an apple peeler to make apple pie, and helping with the fireplace. Each proves an opportunity to make the grandchild (using the familiar “you”) have a positive learning experience. This book will be enjoyed by families along with its warm illustrations that match and extend the text in pen and kink with colored pencils, gouache and crayons, especially in the love they convey. (Pre-2)
Frozen Arendelle Adventures : Read-And-Play Storybook
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Disney Storybook Art Team
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 22, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Four sweet short stories comprise the 96 pages of this padded cover Disney storybook that has a mobile app to accompany it. Fans of Frozen the movie will welcome further adventures of Queen Elsa who’s learned to control her magic, her younger sister Princess Anna, and their friends Olaf the snowman, Kristoff and his reindeer Sven. The sisters take a royal tour by ship visiting several kingdoms the last of which needs her magic. Olaf gets to enjoy a perfect summer day and picnic with the sisters. Elsa and Anna throw a winter ball, but Elsa wants to do something extra special to thank her sister. And Anna and Kristoff need Olaf’s help when babysitting the troll babies. Cute stories and Disney illustrations will keep the young fans entertained. The app is not free for this Read-And-Play Storybook for preschool through Grade 2. One missing word on page 95.
Bob And Flo
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Ashdown, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 22, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
With the subtitle Penguin friends at preschool! this simple, charming story depicts Flo, a young penguin on her first day at preschool. She has a new pink bow and her lunch of fish in a pink bucket. There she meets Bob who compliments her on her bow. After Flo tries some painting she notices her bucket is missing, but there’s something different about Bob. As she looks for her bucket she sees Bob building a tower, finds a bunch of sand castles outside (in the shape of her bucket) and Bob drumming. She finally finds her bucket below the slide with Bob stranded on the top. She comes to his rescue with a whoosh of water, which becomes their pastime until it’s time to go home. Young readers will chortle as they see the red bucket Bob uses in plain sight unbeknownst to Flo. But the ending completes the cuteness, as Flo bids good bye to Bob, but reminds him not to forget OUR bucket:) This British author/illustrator’s picture book debut will be a hit with children and their parents as the simple illustrations perfectly match the text.
World War Ii
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Adamson, Thomas K
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 23, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
When you take something as complex and multi-faceted as WWII, and condense it down into a 32 page book you, of necessity, lose a lot of nuance. On the other hand, you gain the crisp clarity of a quick overview of the major incidents of the war. That is what happens here. The book starts with D-Day, then backtracks to the end of WWI, which set the stage for the next conflict. Key figures are mentioned by name, and their roles are emphasized. Major events are shown in context as the War in Europe began, then the bombing of Pearl Harbor led to U.S. involvement. Specific battles that were turning points are briefly described. Finally the war is over. This is like a coloring book, leaving a lot of blank space. On the other hand, it does give a good synopsis, hopefully creating an outline into which readers will place additional information. Fact boxes along the way include brief mentions of Tuskegee airmen, Navajo code talkers, Rosie the riveter, and more. Photographs accompany the text and the timeline and glossary are handy. This is the book for those who just want to get an idea of what folks are talking about, and it does a good job of that.
Scream Street : Flame Of The Dragon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Donbavand, Tommy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 23, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
They're baaaack! The kids of Scream Street--werewolf, mummy, and vampire wanna-be--continue their quest. In the first series of books they had to gather relics. Now they have to return them. In this book they are returning the last relic but, of course, it's not that easy. First of all they were banished to the Underlands. Then there's China, a dragon, a reanimation, revenge on a nemesis, and then it's over, right? WRONG! Nothing is stopping this series. Not as scary as "Goosebumps" but with enough shivers to please most kids who really don't want to be scared much, this series is very popular and is not a shelf-sitter. Fans will not be disappointed.
Where Is Curious George? A Look And Find Book--Around the Town
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Platt, Cynthia
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 24, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
“Day is fine George feels good! He goes out in the neighborhood.” So begins a Curious George tale now adapted as a Look-And-Find book, and illustrated in a similar style as H. A. Rey’s original books. Each two-page spread contains a white text panel on the left side facing a large colorful scene of a common place in an old-fashioned small town. Rhyming text describes the scene’s location, followed by a row of pictures of objects to be discovered in the scene. Another rhyme names the objects and concludes with the phrase, “Where is George?” Curious George fans will recognize the scenes from the original books although illustrations are larger, blockier, and use more vibrant colors. A puzzle, beanbag chair, blocks, clocks, and crayon box are appropriately spotted in the schoolroom scene. Other scenes include a playground, fire station, farmers’ market, toy store, zoo, ice cream parlor, pet store, library, baseball diamond, movie theatre, and bedroom. The illustrations while familiar to Curious George readers reflect a bye-gone era and as such do not make a good introduction to a community today. Although attractive and fun for preschoolers, the binding is not strong enough for a library collection.
Journey To Juno
Spotlight [Spotlight]
O'ryan, Ray
Jack, Colin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the Galaxy Zack series Zack Nelson and his family have moved off Earth. Now Zack is an earthling on another planet, trying to fit in at school and dealing with bullies and other typical kid things, with a sci-fi twist. Of course he still misses his best friend back home, but learning the new slang, and exploring the universe are pretty big attractions. In this, volume 2 in the series, Zack's class goes on a field trip to another planet--Juno. Zack is paired up with the school bully, who tries to take credit for everything Zack does, without making any contributions himself. Zack makes an amazing discovery, but shares the glory with the rest of his group. Plenty of black and white illustrations accompany the simple short chapters of text, making this a good transition book. The writing is not amazing, and many characters are pretty much boiler-plate. Still, I can tell that this will be a popular series, and I do appreciate seeing more sci-fi after such a plethora of fantasy.
Monsters In Space!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
O'ryan, Ray
Jack, Colin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the Galaxy Zack series Zack Nelson and his family have moved off Earth. Now Zack is an earthling on another planet, trying to fit in at school and dealing with typical kid things in an alien environment. He still misses his best friend back home, but learning new slang, and meeting aliens exciting. In this, volume 4 in the series, Zack's class gets a visitor. At first Zack identifies him as a monster, but he's just an alien who looks different. Once they get to know each other barriers drop and friendships form. Plenty of black and white illustrations accompany the simple short chapters of text, making this a good transition book. The writing is not amazing, and many characters are pretty much boiler-plate. Still, this will be a popular series, and I do appreciate seeing more sci-fi after so much fantasy.
Prehistoric Planet
Spotlight [Spotlight]
O'ryan, Ray
Jack, Colin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In the Galaxy Zack series Zack Nelson and his family have moved off Earth. Now Zack is an earthling on another planet, trying to fit in at school and dealing with typical kid things, with a sci-fi twist. Of course he still misses his best friend back home, but learning the new slang, and exploring the universe are pretty big attractions. In this, volume 3 in the series, a baby pteradactyl shows up and Zack winds up on an expedition to find the prehistoric planet where the young critter belongs. Plenty of black and white illustrations accompany the simple short chapters of text, making this a good transition book. The writing is not amazing, and many characters are pretty much boiler-plate (his twin sisters, for example). Still, I can tell that this will be a popular series, and I do appreciate seeing more sci-fi after such a lot of fantasy.
Project Alpha
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Machale, D J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
October 24, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Nightly blackouts cannot halt the disaster predicted when Earth’s fossil fuel supply is projected to run out in 50 years. Then Project Alpha, a secret government program, announces a competition for 8-12 year-olds that may help avert catastrophe. The four winners will travel into space to retrieve the Source, a recently discovered fuel on a distant planet, and save the Earth from a new stone age. Eight finalists commence the final testing, with the ensuing selection predictably containing distinct personalities with hints of possible conflict. Significant details of their mission are only discovered en route when Chris, the mission’s creator and his dog Rocket emerge from a locked room in the space ship. Instead of one planet, the team learns they will be traveling to six planets to gather six ingredients needed for the new fuel. Foreboding glimpses of a rival team stealing information and stealthily following in a similar space ship also foreshadows a confrontation. This six book–six author series will appeal to fans of science fiction as well as multi-authored series such as 39 Clues. A website, voyagershq.com, invites readers to travel along with games, puzzles and videos. An enjoyable, although predictable, middle grade book.
Soapstone Signs
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Pinkney, Jeff
Gait, Darlene
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 24, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Orca Echoes" series, this four-chapter book follows a Cree boy through the seasons as he explores nature and seeks the hidden animals within the pieces of soapstone he was given by a master carver. While a modern-day story, this includes great cultural elements and would be a wonderful way to diversify a collection. Like all Orca books it is well written. It also has occasional black and white illustrations by Darlene Gait. This is just the right sort of book for older students whose reading skills may not be as high as their peers.
Mystery At The Calgary Stampede
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Warner, Gertrude Chandle
Vanarsdale, Anthony
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 25, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #140 in "The Boxcar Children" series. This time the four Alden children and their grandfather are off to Calgary, Canada, for the Calgary Stampede. Of course no trip would be complete with out a mystery. When a special pin goes missing, and a girl feels she's lost her luck, the Aldens are on the case. Naturally there are plenty of red herrings, some interesting things to learn about the area, and acts of kindness. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. This is a gentle, popular mystery series that works well for children who are just becoming comfortable with chapter books.
You'e a Crab
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Whitehead, Jenny
Whitehead, Jenny
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
A young crab is not in a good mood and the mother crab tries to be nice, but it doesn’t work and then she just sits next to him like two hermit crabs in their own shells until his bad mood passes. This would be a fun book to start a conversation with a young child about moods, but all the sea creature characters and references may make it hard for a young child to understand. For example, the mother says, “I’m a puffer fish that will hold its breath and make silly faces at you. Yes, today I’m in a GOOD mood!” The fun page illustrations are colorful and sometimes humorous.
Elvis : the story of the rock and roll King
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Christensen, Bonnie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
This picture biography tells the story of Elvis Presley from his childhood in East Tupelo, Mississippi to his hard work trying to make money with music to his eventual fame. The text is fairly simple and in verse, but it has enough dates and details to paint a picture of Elvis’ life until 1954. The full-page illustrations give a nostalgic feel to the book, but also give young readers a sense of life back then. They are photo collages which have been scanned and printed and then painted with oils. The author’s note at the end has a photograph of Elvis with his parents as a child and information on the rest of his life. A time line and list of three resources is included. This is a solid picture biography which might have been improved by a photo at the end of Elvis that young readers might recognize and a list of his songs and movies.
The most amazing creature in the sea
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
GUIBERSON, BRENDA Z
SPIRIN, GENNADY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
Thirteen interesting ocean animals tell information about themselves to “prove” that they are the most amazing creature in the sea. Most of each two-page spread is an incredible illustration by Gennady Spirin of the creature and at the bottom is one long descriptive and informative paragraph from the animal’s point of view. For example, the vampire squid says, “Predators don’t stand a chance against my powers of evasion. I can turn inside out to hide in my black cloak…” At the end the reader is asked to decide which is the most amazing sea creature. The powerful language and rich detailed illustrations make this an unusual book that would be great for browsing and also as a model for a different type of animal report. The author’s note at the end gives more information about life in the sea and a short bibliography.
Can we help? : kids volunteering to help their communities
Candlewick [Candlewick]
ANCONA, GEORGE
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
Kids and their families help others in their communities with a variety of projects, such as knitting hats, growing food, helping at food banks, delivering meals, wrapping gifts, raising service dogs, helping people with disabilities ski, planting trees, mentoring, and picking up trash. The text flows from one real project to the other and several uncaptioned photographs on each page show the projects in action with kids and adults working together. All the community service projects are from the southwest U.S., so the variety of people in the photographs is not as diverse as it might have been if projects were picked from around the country. This would be a good book to help students understand the importance of community service and also ideas on how to help others.
Edible numbers
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bass, Jennifer Vogel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a different kind of counting book with vivid photographs of common and unusual fruits and vegetables on a white background. Each two-page spread has a photo of one of the fruits or vegetables on the left and more on the right in unusual varieties with the same pattern from 1 pea pod/2 pea pods to 1 citrus fruit/12 citrus fruits. Each of the fruits and vegetables in labeled according to its variety. The last two spreads have questions of fruits and vegetables to count on the pages or a bar graph of fruits and vegetables. It is a visually interesting counting book that also introduces the idea of diverse fruits and vegetables.
How to babysit a leopard : and other true stories from our travels across six continents
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
LEWIN, TED
Lewin, Betsy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
Ted and Betsy Lewin have written and illustrated many books and this is a collection of true stories from their travels around the world. The stories are organized geographically by continent or area and each section starts with an illustrated map with the places from the stories labeled. The largest section of stories is focused on Africa with twenty stories of about two or three pages each. The paragraphs of rich descriptive first-person text is supplemented by detailed watercolor illustrations, sketches, photograph, and artifacts from the trip. The result reads like a journal full of interesting and sometimes dangerous adventures from around the world over from the 1970s to the present. For example, one true story is about a captured mongoose in Hawaii and another is about a bull fight in France. This is a beautifully illustrated book that is full of information and inspiration. It would be great for examples of personal narratives or a way to introduce geographical areas.
Mango, Abuela y Yo
Candlewick [Candlewick]
MEDINA, MEG
DOMINGUEZ, OLIVER
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
In this Spanish language picture book, Mia’s grandmother comes to live with her family from far away and shares Mia’s bedroom. They spend time together after school before her parents come home, but have difficulty communicating because Mia doesn’t know Spanish and her grandmother doesn’t know English. They find ways to each other words and phrases as they cook and spend time with the new parrot Mango. They become very close and learn together. This is a sweet somewhat predictable book about being new, learning another language, and family without any negatives. The bold illustrations add to the comforting feel of the book.
Pig is big on books
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
FLORIAN, DOUGLAS
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
October 26, 2015
Wittmann, Teresa
Douglas Florian’s signature sketchy illustrations give life to this very simple beginning reader. Pig loves to read everywhere and everything until one day he doesn’t have any books so he writes one. The text is as simple as “Pig reads at school” and the illustrations fill in the imaginative details. It is a larger format than the traditional learn-to-read book, but this makes the illustrations larger. It is part of the I Like to Read series.
Sleepy Hollow Mystery
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Warner, Gertrude Chandle
Vanarsdale, Anthony
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 26, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Aldens are back in their 141st mystery. This time they're visiting the town of Sleepy Hollow right around Halloween. A family-friendly event is turning dark and scary. What is going on? Are these pranks, or something more sinister? The Aldens are on the case! Naturally there will be something to learn, several false leads, and a denouement that feels like it walked right out of Scooby-Doo. These are not exceptional books. They're all written to pretty much the same formula. However, that formula is a successful one, and the series is popular at both my libraries. This will not be an exception.
Escape From Baxter's Barn
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bond, Rebecca
Bond, Rebecca
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
October 27, 2015
Lewis, Jo
Sure to take its place next to Charlotte's Web in the hearts of young readers, Escape from Baxter's Barn relates the story of a group of farm animals who on discovering that the farmer plans to burn down the barn for insurance money must plan a way of escape before becoming charred. Nanny, the goat takes the lead, with other members of the group chiming in with ideas and actions to engineer a way to escape in time. As the story unfolds, the readers learn of each animals talent as they work together to save their close knit family. Rich with vocabulary, consider this a good read-a-loud to 2-4th graders. A very promising debut novel from an illustrator who liberally sprinkles her pen and ink drawings throughout the text.
Frank Einstein And The Brainturbo
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Scieszka, Jon
Kraus, Daniel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2015
Lewis, Jo
In his effort to improve Janegoodall's natural pitching skills, kid genius Frank Einstein and sidekick Watson attempt to ensure her a spot on the Midville Mud Hens' roster. In a manner, reading suspiciously like a non-fiction text, they explore the different systems of the body while attempting to augment self-assembled robots Klink and Klank. This story is full of science lessons which while reading a fictional story seemed a bit heavy, might appeal to young scientists who would rather be reading nonfiction than fiction. It left me cold as I struggled to complete the story. The science lessons are NOT subtle. Many orange, black and white illustrations extend the story and the science.
Unofficial Secret Keeper Of Halsey School
Scobre Press [Scobre Press]
Rue, Kirsten
Radka, Sara
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
October 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this 5th book in the "Tales of the Uncool" series we meet Julian. He's a quiet guy, and people think that means he's the person to tell their secrets to. This is not a role he embraces but, once he knows a secret, he keeps it. Unfortunately that means he is not completely open with his girlfriend, Tina. How can other people's relatively simple secrets be causing Julian so many headaches? And it's not like he doesn't have some secrets of his own. His parents are behaving strangely. Is a divorce pending? His stomach hurts, and not being able to confide in anyone about his own secret, or the secrets of others, is hard. Then he decides to do something about the secrets--to act, instead of just be a repository. Taking an active role gives him more control over his life. This is a short six-chapter book clearly aimed at high-interest low-vocabulary readers. It is well-written. I would have rated it higher except that the situations and artwork imply the characters are high-school students. When I discovered they were 6th and 7th graders it just rang wrong.
Judy Moody & Stink : The Wishbone Wish
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Reynolds, Peter H.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
October 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Thanksgiving is approaching and Judy and Stink have plans. There's a contest coming up. Can Judy win a turkey? Can Stink win a wishbone wish? Can the two of them make and actually keep a peace treaty? Ah, those are the questions that will be answered. This is a typical entry in the series with humor, sibling rivalry, bright color illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, and a nice holiday plot that teaches as it entertains. Kids who love the series will snap it up.
Rivals In The City
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lee, Y S
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
October 27, 2015
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is the latest title in the series. I have read and adored them all. Lee's historical fiction is wonderfully plotted and rich with details. For further information, please check my reviews of the other books in The Agency series.
Cody And The Fountain Of Happiness
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Springstubb, Tricia
Wheeler, Eliza
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
October 31, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The most beautiful day of the year, the first day of summer vacation, has arrived and Cody is bubbling with excitement. Big brother Wyatt is responsible for her this week before camp starts, but when he refuses to wake up, Cody doesn’t let that stop her. Surprises happen almost immediately when she meets Spencer who is visiting his Grandmother (GC) and looking for a runaway indoor cat named MewMew. A friendship begins after Cody’s camp is cancelled and Cody’s new babysitter, Payton Underwood takes over at home. Cody fills their days with attempts at hypnosis and visits to Spencer’s GC all the while closely observing the world of ants. When Cody’s imagination collides with reality and MewMew disappears, her earnest efforts to make things right provides a lessons for young readers about consequences. Mishaps, misunderstandings, and misfortune may dampen Cody’s spirits but not for long. Irrepressible, imaginative, and fun loving, Cody, is the kind of friend most second and third grade girls would enjoy. By no means a girl’s only book, this is a wonderful new character for fans of Clementine, Judy Moody, Stink, and Ivy and Bean.