Reviews for month


Roaches
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Insects" series. The first four pages include an introduction and a description of the body parts of a roach, the remaining pages look at specific types of roaches. These are divided into three groups: domestic, peridomestic, and feral. Nine roaches are described in these two page spreads that include color photographs and several sentences of text that describe the habitat and unique features of that particular roach. Call out boxes provide additional facts. The text is on top of the photograph and sometimes the white text can be hard to read. The book closes with a brief look at using roaches in medicine and as a food source. The book contains a table of contents, index, and glossary. While interesting, there may not be enough information for insect research projects, but the creepy appeal will have this title circulate.
Book Of Money : Everything You Need To Know About How World
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Conaghan, Daniel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
If you want to know about the world of money, this is your book! The text is dense, but understandable. Charts, graphs, tables, maps, infographics, and photographs all assist in the explanation of the topic at hand. Readers can learn about money (including bitcoin), financial markets, government controls, investing, law, saving, and more. The final chapter looks at the future of money. Most likely, this book will be used as a reference for economic classes/units. The book includes a table of contents, glossary, and index. Review copy was paperback and will probably not hold up to heavy use. 256 pages.
Hungary
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Owens, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Exploring Countries" series, this 32 page book explores the European country of Hungary. The text is informative and simple (it's a level 5 Blastoff Reader). The reader will learn, in brief, about the wildlife, daily life, school, holidays, and capital city of this nation. Each topic is explored in two pages. Color photographs are found throughout the book and some have labels. "Did You Know" paragraphs are found on some pages and give the reader additional information. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography (web resources provided by the publisher's website), and fact page. This is the perfect book for lower readers who need to do country research.
How Political Campaigns And Elections Work
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Cunningham, Kevin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Core Library: How The US Government Works" series, this 32 page book takes a look at the election process. The book opens with an explanation of the separation of powers and how our representative government was formed. The text then describes how the US president, congress, and state offices are elected. The final three chapters focus on the campaign and the election itself. The text is well-written. Captioned photographs are found throughout and callout boxes provide the reader with additional information on related topics. Common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter and four more activities are found at the end of the book. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and one sentence about the author. With a presidential election on the horizon this book might fill a need in your library.
Mr. Postmouse's Rounds
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Dubuc, Marianne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Mr. Postmouse has deliveries to make. He visits Mr. Bear, the Rabbit family, Mr. Snake, Mr. Squirrel, Mr. Dragon, and others. He even goes under the water! Each household gets the item they need. The final stop is Mr. Postmouse's home when a present is delivered for his son. The text is small, the story is slight, and the colorful illustrations are detailed, so this might not be the book for large group sharing, however, this will be a book children can become involved in and will pour over again and again. This book would be a good alternative for kids who love "I Spy" type of books.
Granddaddy's Turn : A Journey To The Ballot Box
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bandy, Michael S
Ramsome, James E.
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Life on the farm is hard work. One day the grandson gets to go with his granddaddy into town. They are heading to the polls for granddaddy's first election. He dresses in a suit and tie and is proud as he gets his ballot only to be turned away (and the ballot ripped up) because he cannot pass a literacy test. This is one of the ways African Americans were discriminated against. His granddaddy never gets a chance to vote in an election. At then end of the story we see the grandson going to vote for his first time. He brings along a photograph of his grandfather and casts his vote. We learn from the jacket that this is a true story based on the author’s family. The watercolor illustration by James Ransome are incredible and fit the tone of the book. This picture book will spark many classroom discussion and brings one aspect of the civil rights movement to light. It belongs in every school library collection.
Edward Hopper Paints His World
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Burleigh, Robert
Minor, Wendell
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 02, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This beautiful 38 page, picture book biography looks at the life of renowned artist Edward Hopper. The reader learns, though descriptive text, about the process Hopper went through to create his art. His works are brilliantly reproduced. Some are pencil sketches and some are of Hopper creating one of his masterpieces, so the reader sees the artist in his subject. Direct quotes are also included within the test. The book's end matter includes more information about the artist, some quotes, more detail about four of his painting, important dates, bibliography, and a note regarding the images found in the book. Could easily be used with older students. This book is a visual delight and belongs in every library.
Positive And Negative Numbers, Oh My!
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Arias, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 03, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Got Math!" series. It reviews the concepts involved in positive and negative numbers. In rhyming verse readers learn about integers, absolute value, inequalities, and four quadrant graphing. Exercises are presented every few pages with the answers upside down on the bottom of the page. The explanations are well done and color is used to emphasize point. There is a page with before and after reading activities to assist teachers and parents. The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, author information, and a list of helpful websites. While this book will probably not be a student selected book, learning support teachers (of all ages) might appreciate this as an additional resource.
Extreme Bridges
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Squire, Ann O
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 03, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "A True Book" series, this inviting 48 page book looks at the construction of bridges. The reader learns about different styles and types of bridges from around the world. With color photographs we learn about famous bridges, such as, Austin's Congress Bridge - home to thousands of bats, New York's Brooklyn Bridge, even Tacoma's first Narrows Bridge. We learn how bridges developed through history and how they can be constructed. The text is fast paced and well written. The book also includes some random bridge stats and a true/false quiz. Typical non-fiction features are also found: table of contents, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher website), glossary (called "Important Words"), index, and author information. A good purchase to develop your engineering section.
Smart Kid's Guide To Moving
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Petersen, Christine
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 03, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
According to this book, every year one out of eight Americans move. This 32 page book, part of the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life" series, will help children navigate this anxious time. Through the well-written text readers learn why people move, the steps the most moves involve, saying goodbye, and packing/unpacking. The final chapter offers some advice on how children can be proactive and help in this process. My school psychologist gave this book high marks for the message it sends to kids. The book contains color drawings and photographs. A table of contents, interesting fact page, glossary, and index are included. Web resources are available through the publisher's website. A strong purchase for your library.
School Long Ago And Today
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Lee, Sally
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 03, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
What was school like long ago? How has it changed? These questions will be answered in this 24 page book. Part of the "Long Ago and Today" series, the reader will learn about education with Native Americans, during Colonial Times, and pioneer times. We learn how education changed with mass immigration of the early 1900s and during integration in the 1950s. The book closes with technology use in school today. Captioned photographs enhance the simple, but well-written text. There is an activity: Make a Horn Book, and some common core related questions. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). This might be used in units where classes are working on compare/contrast or changes over time.
SCREECH OWLS AT THE ALAMO
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 03, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
If you love hockey this is the series for you. The Screech Owls are a Canadian co-ed youth hockey team. There are personalities involved that occasionally clash but mesh together neatly when the puck is on the ice. In this volume in the series the team is off to San Antonio for a hockey tournament. It's clear the author has visited the locale, and he infuses his book with local landmarks and history. The game portions of the book are filled with play-by-play action. It's the off-rink action, however, that endangers the players' lives. Something is going on, and more than a game may be at stake. It's the last 30 pages of the book that are filled with danger and action and a threat to national security. It's kind of a pity that it takes so long for that element of the plot to take off. Nevertheless hockey fans will be enraptured by the previous 120 pages. It will just be a hard sell for suspense fans who DON'T like hockey.
In The Footsteps Of Crazy Horse
Amulet Books [Amulet Books]
Marshall, Joseph
Yellowhawk, Jim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 03, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This is a welcome addition to information about Native Americans from the Native American perspective. Eleven-year-old Jimmy is teased for being a blue-eyed, brown haired, light skinned Lakota with McLean as a last name, who lives on the Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He’s 3/4 Lakota and 1 part Scottish. His very insightful, understanding grandfather takes him on a summer trip tracing important places in the life of the greatest Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, who was also light skinned and brown haired originally named Light Hair. As they travel through Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana Grandpa Nyles recounts the stories from the oral tradition involving Crazy Horse from a child until his death. Through these experiences Jimmy gains an insight into this famed warrior, who was courageous and humble, that help him face his foes back at school. The map and 16-page glossary will help readers navigate this life through stories especially since the Lakota author includes many directional words throughout. Includes a bibliography plus information gleaned from his Lakota elders through their oral tradition. The artwork beginning each chapter totally fits and adds to the overall book.
Patient Zero : Solving The Mysteries Of Deadly Epidemics
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Peters, Marilee
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 03, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Epidemiology has always fascinated me. Those medical detectives who track down the source of a major illness, and figure out how to save lives--what's not to love? This well-researched book examines seven medical mysteries, the beliefs about their causes, and the methodology used to determine the truth. London's Great Plague of 1665, The 1854 Soho Cholera outbreak (which ties in neatly with "The Great Trouble" by Hopkinson), Cuban Yellow Fever in 1900, Typhoid Mary, Ebola, and AIDS are all clearly presented. Readers learn about real people dealing with a real epidemic, and follow along as they stumble, hypothesize, test, and map to finally arrive at a conclusion. Finding the source of the infection is, of course, the best result, but rarely easy. The author's crisp and compelling text draws the reader in, having them follow along as people die, history is impacted, and medical detectives work. This is fascinating and frightening reading, and would be a good addition to secondary libraries.
28 Days : Moments In Black History That Changed The World
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Smith, Charles R
Evans, Shane W.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 03, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Beginning with Crispus Attucks death at the start of the American Revolution in 1770 through today, this book takes a look at 28 days of significance in Black history using a picture book format. Each event is shared on one or two pages. It includes a poem and information about the person involved. Bright, colorful illustration reflect the tone of the events. Events include: Dred Scott, the first open heart operation, Plessy v. Ferguson, Matthew Henson at the North Pole, Bessie Coleman's pilot license, Jesse Owens Olympic medals and many more. The book ends with Day 29 - Today, asking reader to reflect on what history they will make. This would be a great book for history, multicultural studies, and African American History Month. The book includes a note from the author about event selection and a bilbiiography. This book belongs in your collection. 32 pages.
Smart Kid's Guide To Feeling Sad Or Angry
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cosson, J
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life" series, this 32 page book was the weakest in this series. The book covers feeling sad and feeling angry. It seems to bounce back and forth between the two very different emotions. There is a lot of information to cover. The text is descriptive and covers what these feelings are, how people react to them, and how the reader can deal with them. The final chapter offers practical tips on how to feet better. It might have been better to create two separate books. Color photographs and illustrations are found throughout the book and a "ten things you should know" page summarizes points at the end. The book has a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). There are other titles that might serve you better in this area.
Smart Kid's Guide To Friendships
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cosson, J
Rooney, Ronnie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Smart Kids Guide to Everyday Life" series, this 32 page book tackles friendship. The book begins with defining friends. It explores three types of friends: friends for a reason, a season, and a lifetime. It gives great advice on making friends, as well as, keeping them. The book also has ideas on what to do if you lose a friend or need to move on from a friendship. My school psychologist loved this book. The text was clear, concise and will help students dealing with a range of friend issues. Color photographs and illustrations will enhance the reader's experience. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). A great book for your library.
Smart Kid's Guide To Knowing What To Say
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Cosson, J
Rooney, Ronnie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Another great book in the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life" series. This 32 page book explores conversation. The book briefly looks at body language to begin with, then describes several situations: you want something, someone is sad or hurting, someone has been kind, saying something difficult. Each situation contains scripted language of how a conversation might go. The book also has tips for a great conversation. The text is well-written and will be understandable for students. Color photographs and illustration enhance the text. My school psychologist loved this title and will use it with small groups depending on the situation. The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). A strong book for your counseling section.
Bees & Wasps
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Insects" series. The first four pages include an introduction and a description of the body parts of a bee and a wasp, the remaining pages look at specific types of these creatures. These are divided into six groups: social bees, solitary bees, social wasps, aggressive wasps, solitary wasps, and paralyzing wasps. Ten insects are described in these one and two page spreads that include color photographs and several sentences of text that describe the habitat and unique features of that particular bee/wasp. Call out boxes provide additional facts. The text is on top of the photograph and sometimes the white text can be hard to read. The book closes with a brief look at using bees and wasps in medicine and bee larvae as a food source (though it recommends not to eat them as there is a decline in world's bee population). The book contains a table of contents, index, and glossary. While interesting, there may not be enough information for insect research projects, but the sting appeal will have this title circulate in your library
Biking
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Ringstad, Arnold
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 04, 2015
Kline, Karen
Each two-page spread of this book covers a different biking topic like “What is Biking?” and “Biking Fun.” Readers get information about safety, parts of a bike, different kinds of bikes and gear. Straightforward information in this book does not veer beyond the most basic topics. For instance, BMX bikes, recumbent bikes, or kid-friendly balance bikes are not found here. Bicycle Basics: Let it Roll by Amstuz (Capstone/PebblePlus) has an even more simple text for beginning readers that may serve younger audiences better. The target audience for this book is likely to want more depth to the information than is found here. Statements like, “Mirrors let bikers see behind them,” and “Bikers should learn special hand signals,” leave out the key details readers need to know to effectively put the ideas into practice. A description of a “race in France” that is very long going more than 2,000 miles in three weeks fails to name the infamous Tour de France in the text. The glossary, index and bibliography are unlikely to inspire research. Color captioned photos throughout add little to the text.
Hanukkah In Alaska
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Brown, Barbara
Schuett, Stacy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Set in Alaska during the winter a young girl gets ready for Hanukkah telling what it is like to live in Alaska near the Arctic Circle in winter: the snow, the dark (only 5 hours of daylight) and danger when a moose takes up residence in the yard. She feels down and worried about the damage the moose just might inflict on her swing. One night her Dad insists on going outside – in spite of the moose. He looks at the sky while she looks at the moose. It is only when she sees the Northern Lights, their own “Hanukkah Festival of Lights” that she begins to feel happy again. She even solves the problem with the moose and her swing. A version of this story was originally part of an anthology “A Hanukkah Treasury” edited by Eric Kimmel. The beautiful acrylic and gouache illustrations portray the reality of Alaskan winter. This is a realistic story combining information on Alaska and a little about Hanukkah and would be a good addition to a library.
Spooky Box
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Gonyea, Mark
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Knock, Knock! Something is waiting at the door; It’s a box, a large spooky box. What is in it? Bats? Rats? “What if it is spiders?” Or a “bunch of old bones?” Snakes? A cake? Or is it haunted . . . The imagination takes off as the reader turns the pages. Illustrations are stark cut paper collage style done in orange and black to emphasize the spooky feel. Young children will enjoy thinking of all types of things that could be inside. Just what is inside? When the box is finally opened another mystery is presented.
Galileo Seven : Part 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Johnson, Mike
Molinar, Stephen & Joe Phillips
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Combining the classic story line “The Galileo Seven” with the images of the new STAR Trek cast, the adventures of Captain Kirk and the Starship crew continue in this series. On a mission to deliver medical supplies the Enterprise comes across an unexplored star system and diverts t investigate. The shuttle crashes with Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty and other members of the crew. The inhabitants resemble stone-age man and attack. Left with a disabled ship, dead crew member it is up to Spock and Scotty to figure out how to get out of there, while Captain Kirk is running out of time to rescue them. The standard graphic comic style illustrations show the action as the dialog tells the plot. Since this is part 1, the action stops as Captain Kirk is forced to abandon the search and before Spock and crew are rescued. The story leaves the reader hanging. Students will flock to it because it is Star Trek, but if you can’t afford the price of both parts I would skip the purchase – you might see if there is a way to find it as a donation.
Galileo Seven : Part 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Johnson, Mike
Molinar, Stephen & Joe Phillips
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Combining the classic story line “The Galileo Seven” with the images of the new STAR Trek cast, the adventures of Captain Kirk and the Starship crew continue in this series. On a mission to deliver medical supplies the Enterprise comes across an unexplored star system and diverts t investigate. The shuttle crashes with Spock, Dr. McCoy, Scotty and other members of the crew. The inhabitants resemble stone-age man and attack. The standard graphic comic style illustrations show the action as the dialog tells the plot. Since this is part 2, the action picks up where part 1 ended with Captain Kirk being forced to abandon the search and before Spock and crew are rescued. Before Mr. Spock is forced to make a deadly decision Lieutenant Uhura takes matters into her own hands. Students will flock to it because it is Star Trek, but if you can’t afford the price of both parts 1 & 2 I would skip the purchase – you might see if there is a way to find it as a donation.
Where No Man Has Gone Before : Part 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Johnson, Mike
Molinar, Stephen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Combining the classic story line “Where No Man Has Gone Before” with the images of the new STAR Trek cast, the adventures of Captain Kirk and the Starship crew continue in this series. . The standard graphic comic style illustrations show the action as the dialog tells the plot. Since this is part 2, the action picks up where part 1 ended with a friend and crewmember, Gary Mitchell, having been mysteriously transformed and stronger than anyone could have imagined. Captain Kirk decides to strand what is left of his old friend on Delta Vega to protect his ship and crew, but actually doing it may prove to be difficult. Students will flock to it because it is Star Trek, but if you can’t afford the price of both parts 1 & 2 I would not purchase this one – you might see if there is a way to find it as a donation for both part 1 and part 2.
He Has Shot The President! : April 14, 1865 : The Day John W
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Brown, Don
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
We all know that President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater on the night of April 14, 1865. But, how many realize Booth first planned to kidnap the President then turn him over to the leadership of the Confederacy, he had co-conspirators and planned further assignations. Don Brown tells the story of that night introducing the reader to Booth’s co-conspirators, then alternating between Lincoln’s and Booth’s activities on April 14th leading up to the assignation and Booth’s escape. He has included the story of Lewis Powell’s brutal attack on an already injured and bed-ridden Secretary William Seward. The pursuit, seizure and finial moments of John Wilkes Booth are detailed. The failure, capture and punishment of other conspirators are described, keeping close to his source materials several of which are included in a short bibliography at the end of the book. Lincoln’s last long, sad journey to his resting place in Springfield Illinois is beautifully described and illustrated with pencil and watercolor illustrations of soft browns, grays and blues to evoke the feeling of the era. The accessible relaxed narrative style of the text makes this a good addition to a library. The binding is adequate.
Cool String Art : Creative Activities That Make Math & Scien
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Hanson, Anders
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
One of six books in the Cool Art with Math and Science series from ABDO, combines math and science with art. Four fun, creative art activities to do with string focusing on geometry, the stars, the solar system and letters. Each project has a list of items you will need and important terms, which are defined on the pages Math Terms and in the glossary. Easy to follow step-by-step directions, with accompanying photographs make each of the projects doable for Kindergarten on up. This series adds “A” to STEM to make it STEAM. The sturdy library binding will hold up well. This would be an excellent addition to a library.
Ice Fishing
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 04, 2015
Kline, Karen
This title is part of the Xtreme Fishing series including Fly Fishing, Freshwater Fishing, and others. These titles pack a lot of information into a small package both through the action-oriented, bleed-to- gutter photos as well as the lively text full of relevant, topical vocabulary. Unfortunately the photos lack any cultural or gender diversity and no children are included. Young anglers will still appreciate the pages on methods for using a tip-up, ice rod, and jiggle stick as well as the two-page spreads on eight different types of fish that may be caught in icy freshwater climates. A section on dangers is sure to grab readers with a photo of a half-submerged truck sinking below the ice and its accompanying inset box detailing the “pick of life,” a device that can tether a distressed fisherman using rope and a sharp pin. The reinforced binding and sturdy cover are rugged and likely to last repeated use. Communities with sport fishing enthusiasts will benefit from this book and others in the series, but the price to acquire all the titles will make most wish they were bound as one volume. Table of contents, a glossary and index complete the book’s usefulness.
Bears Go To School
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Winters, Kay
Kirkland, Katherine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 04, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
Summer is over and the bear cubs are lonely, everyone has left the campgrounds. They decide to go looking for something fun to do. When the come upon a big red building with children getting out of buses they decide to follow, because if children are there it must be fun. The watch as the flag is raised, then sneak in through a back door. Taking a tour of the school first they explore the music room, then the art room, the gym, the science room, where they let all of the animals out of their cages and finally they find the cafeteria and food! After salad bowls go crashing to the floor they are discovered, the school is evacuated. The police come, the rangers come and the cubs get a ride back to the park in a police cruiser with the lights and sirens going – what fun. The soft watercolor illustrations will entice young readers and the cubs antics will make them laugh. A fun addition to any beginning of the school year collection.
Plank Houses
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Flynn, Riley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page book is part of the "American Indian Homes" series. The book explores the plank houses of the Pacific Northwest Coast tribes. The book covers materials, construction, and uses. The book also looks are the villages, decorations (including totem poles), and special structures. Captioned, color photographs compliment the understandable text and give a true feeling of the plank homes. Call out boxes give additional information that enhances the reader's experience. Two common core related questions are found on the last page (above the index). This would be a great book for Native American and Northwest history units of study. The book has a table of contents, glossary (words are also defined on the page they are used - making the glossary somewhat redundant), bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), and index.
Indonesia
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Yomtov, Nel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 04, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Enchantment of the World" series, this 144 page book explores the diverse country of Indonesia. Readers will learn about the geography, history, culture, economy, and religions of this island nation. Color, captioned photographs will engage the reader, as will the well-written and descriptive text. The book has everything a student would need to complete a country research project. The final chapter looks at a typical day in Indonesia. Sidebars, graphs, and maps provide additional information for the reader. The book also has a recipe. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline (Indonesian and world history), fact section, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A strong purchase if you have a need.
Glorkian Warrior Delivers A Pizza
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Kochalka, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 05, 2015
Cook, Kathryn
The Glorkian Warrior just wants to put his feet up and relax for the evening, his talking backpack is read for adventure. Suddenly he receives a call for a pizza deliver on the “Emergency Space Phone”: their mission – to deliver a peperoni pizza. Wrong number? No . . . it is destiny! Off they go to deliver the pizza they found in the Hyper Fridge. The silliness continues as they crash the Super Car , “the fastest thing to ever go fastest”, collecting a feisty Gonk, and a baby space alien, and cause “the Magic Robot” to laugh so hard that it explodes. Told in large panels, brightly illustrated with cartoon style characters who are funny and engaging, bumbling through the adventure setting off explosions with every new encounter. Just right for younger graphic novel fans, this one will appeal to a wide range of readers, unfortunately the paperback format will have a tough time standing up to the handling it will receive.
GHOST OF THE STANLEY CUP
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 06, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The "Screech Owl" series is about a co-ed Canadian youth soccer team and their games and adventures. In this entry in the series the team travels to Ottawa for a summer peewee hockey tournament--the Little Stanley Cup. Players have their different personalities, but Nish's may be the wildest. Full of bluster and brags, he claims to be the best. When a girl on his team starts upstaging him Nish decides to get revenge. Unfortunately for him, his plans usually backfire. In the meantime the team is without their normal coach. When a young man volunteers to help them they're grateful for his assistance, even though some of his ideas are downright old-fashioned. Who is this guy anyway? The truth is unbelievable. This series is filled with fun characters, and lots and lots of hockey action. If you have hockey fans they would enjoy it.
Ants
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Insects" series. The first four pages include an introduction and a description of the body parts of a roach, the remaining pages look at specific types of roaches. These are divided into seven groups: venomous, biting, jumping, trap-building, super-colony, invading, and largest . Twelve ants are described in one or two page spreads that include color photographs and several sentences of text that describe the habitat and unique features of that particular ant. Call out boxes provide additional facts. The text is on top of the photograph and sometimes the white text can be hard to read. The book closes with a brief look at using ants in medicine and as a food source. The book contains a table of contents, index, and glossary. While interesting, there is not enough information for insect research projects, but the creepy appeal will have this title circulate.
Alvin Schwartz
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Wheeler, Jill C
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 24 page biography is part of the "Children's Authors" series. The book describes the life of author, Alvin Schwartz. You may not know this author, but he is best known for "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" and "In a Dark, Dark, Room." We learn about his early years, his interest in folklore, and how he began to develop and write his books. The text is well-written and is enhanced by color, captioned photographs (including a couple of his book covers). This book would be useful for students studying biographies. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website.
Mantis
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 06, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Xtreme Insects" series. The first four pages include an introduction and a description of the body parts of a roach, the remaining pages look at specific types of mantids. These are divided into six groups: leaf mimic, stick mimic, grass mimic, bark mimic, stone mimic, and flower mimic. Ten mantids are described in two page spreads that include color photographs and several sentences of text that describe the habitat and unique features of that particular mantis. Call out boxes provide additional facts. The text is on top of the photograph and sometimes the white text can be hard to read. The book closes with a brief look at using mantids as a food source. The book contains a table of contents, index, and glossary. While interesting, there may not be enough information for insect research projects, but the creepy appeal will have this title circulate.
Scorpions
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Franchino, Vicky
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 06, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
The 48 page book is part of the "Nature;s Children" series. The book would be perfect for intermediate grade animal research. The book begins with a scorpion attacking its dinner, then explains why this animal is not an insect. Subsequent chapters describe body parts, defenses, food, mating, and life cycle. The final chapters focus on the development of the scorpion from 400 million years ago to today, related animals, and medical uses. A map of the scorpions range is included along with color, captioned photographs. The book contains a table of contents, glossary (words are in red and bold font in the text), bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A strong addition for your animal section.
My Life As A Gamer
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Tashjian, Janet
Tashjian, Jake
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 07, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Derek Fallon’s dream opportunity arrives when he and his 3 best friends become part of a Focus Group for Global Games, testing out a new game, Arctic Ninja. The daily participant tasks are fun, challenging and competitive. While Derek’s friends are doing well, his difficulty with reading the directions leaves him at a big disadvantage. And making the challenge even harder, is the presence of El Cid, an infamous and anonymous online gamer who dominates all the scoring. But gaming compensates for the increasing pressure Derek’s class is under with major standardized tests fast approaching. The Tashjian duo masterfully merges the two themes, when Derek’s skill in drawing cartoons and love of gaming are useful in teaching him to relax and use his visual strengths while taking the tests. His reading tutor in this fifth book in the series, Hannah, provides comic interludes, as she uses her varied skill while working with her resistant pupil. Jake Tashjian’s ever-present stick figure illustrations in the margins are entertaining and will be eagerly scrutinized by the targeted readers, fans of gaming, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and humor.
Fresh
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Steele, Michael Anthony
Cano, Fernando & Laura Rivera
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 07, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Thirteen year old Jack and his best friend Levi are spending summer vacation making skateboarding videos and posting them on a favorite video website. But a mysterious Sk8R 88 is posting copycat videos with even more difficult tricks and snazzier composition filmed in the same location. Driven to attempt increasingly difficult tricks at risky locations, Jack forgets to feed his dog, Rusty, several days. As a consequence Jack’s parents sign him up to volunteer at a local animal shelter to learn responsibility, but that doesn’t stop the duo from continuing their video project and trying to solve the mystery of Skater 88 and how their locations are being discovered? Double spaced text, full-color cartoon illustrations of skateboarding action, and skating lingo appeal to reluctant and struggling readers in this middle grade novel that would not be out of place in middle schools. A creative assemblage of inset pictures gives Chapter titles and page numbers. Back material includes a Skater Clinic page of Skating Terms and a page illustrating the four steps to performing a basic trick, a Pop Shuvit. More books are available in this series.
Jack And The Wild Life
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Doan, Lisa
Stevanovic, Ivica
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 07, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Jack has been abandoned by his wildly impractical parents once before on a get-rich scheme and refuses to go on any more trips until Berenson Family rules are created. Reluctantly he is convinced to go to Kenya where his parents plan to build a resort of Masai huts and provide spears and bows and arrows for paying guests to hunt their own food. They are counting on the resources and knowledge of a Masai “friend” they met on their last safari venture when they left two guests stranded after a bathroom break out on the Mara. But Meticiki is nowhere to be found. Despite Jack’s best efforts at emergency planning, the ill-fated duo manages to strand Jack up an acacia tree after their jeep is charged by a water buffalo. Jack’s resourcefulness helps him survive four days in the tree despite a confrontation with a honey badger and bull elephant. Finally, Jack spots a hot air balloon and descends to try and flag it down. Slapstick humor dominates in this middle grade chapter book. The books in the series can be read in any order and will appeal to readers seeking humor, drama, and light adventure.
Growling Gracie
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Sateren, Shelley Swanson
Melmon, Deborah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 07, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The canine-loving Wolfe family runs Hound Hotel, a top-notch boarding kennel, but this weekend they are overbooked and sleep deprived when Winifred’s brother arrives with his girlfriend’s dogs, Gracie and Trixie. Over Winifred’s protests, Uncle Robert sends her off for a nap, takes the 11 boarding dogs for a walk, and leaves the twins, Alfie and Alfreeda, to play Frisbee with Trixie, a pug, and Gracie. But Gracie, a golden retriever, snaps at the rooster, drags Alfreeda across the yard and bites at Alfie’s backside. The siblings are depicted realistically as they bicker, squabble and fight to be first, but eventually when one is hurt rush to take care of the other. Alfie comments on how he is trying out the techniques used by Uncle Robert as he diffused angry situations by “throwing ice” on the fire. Large font, short paragraphs, and multiple full-color drawings make this an appealing transitional book to build reading stamina. Back material includes a glossary, letter from Alfreeda about whether a Golden Retriever is the right dog for the reader, discussion questions, and writing prompts. Recommend to your dog lovers.
Dirty Trick
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Falcone, L M
Martin, Pauline
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 07, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Max arrives at his Grandfather Harry’s house for the summer and is delighted to see the house the perfect spooky cottage. But when Max investigates mysterious crying, he discovers a small ramshackle cabin with the sign, “Monroe Detective Agency,” and meets Harry’s brother Larry, a failed detective, and a ghost. Max and Larry are called to a gathering of the Mystery Hall of Fame – Competition Night to break a tie and determine which Author will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. But one author, Rhonda Remington has received a warning note about a dirty trick and is afraid that something bad will happen. Time is running out to solve the mystery, as the two contestants are about to begin their stories. Humor is interjected as the invisible Larry and Max question suspects, locate clues, and use deduction to solve the case all without revealing that a ghost is involved. Plentiful black and white drawings, large font with wide spacing of sentences and humor combine to create a bridge book just right for building readers’ stamina. This is the third book in The Ghost and Max Monroe series by Canadian author, L. M. Falcone.
SUDDEN DEATH IN NEW YORK
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 07, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Screech Owls are a co-ed youth soccer team from a small town in Canada. They travel all over, visiting new places while playing hockey tournaments. At each place something unusual happens--a mystery, a ghost, a deadly plot. In this book they are in New York in winter. When a snowstorm hits they make the news with their impromptu game in Central Park. Nish, ever bigger-than-life, adopts the lingo of his new environment and unfortunately gets involved, all unknowing, with a criminal element. And all this, so he can moon millions of people. Each book researches the location and portrays it well. The play-by-play hockey scenes are vivid, and so is the life of the players off the rink. If you have hockey fans, this is the series for you.
Bizzy Bear : Dinosaur Safari
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Davies, Benji
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This sturdy interactive board book by Nosy Crow features Bizzy Bear and his rabbit friend as they travel through a dinosaur safari park. Beginning on the cover there are red tabs with green arrows that indicate what part moves. in each of the four double-page spreads. The cute, cartoon like drawings are colorful with lots of dinosaurs of differing sizes throughout. Their car trip and short, rhyming text ends at the Dino Diner. Intended for ages 0-3. Once the adult and/or child learns where the tabs are they should hold up for repeated use in this pleasant, simple offering.
One Gorilla : A Counting Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Browne, Anthony
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Anthony Browne’s illustrations are always captivating and this new board book derives from the original 2012 picture book. The counting book goes from one gorilla to 10 lemurs with all primates in between. Included are orangutans, chimpanzees, mandrills, baboons, gibbons, spider monkeys, macaques and colobus monkeys. There is no text beyond the number symbol and the label, but the illustrations are colorful and stunning. The eyes and expressions of the animals are especially telling. He concludes the book with a self-portrait and the words, “All primates. All one family. All my family…” followed by “and yours!”on the final double-page spread of a very multicultual group of humans of all ages. The intended audience for this board book version is 0-3 and works well as such. It can spark a discussion, if appropriate, or just be a fun counting book with great visuals. His message will be very clear. See Teresa Bateman's review of the original title.
When I Grow Up
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Dodd, Emma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published in 2007, this is the first US edition of this simple, charming book in which a young cub tells what it wants to do, be or go when it grows up. The rhyming text is minimal, but important as it begins, “When I grow up, I want to be…clever and funny, wild and free.” (This takes six pages.) The digital images capture wonderful expressions especially on the young bear and the thick outlines around the mother and cub emphasize them. What really stands out are the gold, shimmering pieces throughout that will make the reader, even adults, want to touch the page, be it a slice of moon or the huge sun in the sky. This brings a richness to this thoughtful experience.
Why Do I Sing? Animal Songs of the Pacific Northwest
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Blomgren, Jennifer
Gabriel, Andrea
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 09, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This 2013 picture book has been transformed into a board book for the youngest set. Four lines of rhyming text on each double-page spread introduce an animal and its sounds. These include the dancing and singing honeybee, the spotted owl with a song that rings, Pacific tree frogs and their “big twilight chorus”, Fin whales heard for many miles, loons’s calls, meadowlark singing, loud crickets, marmots’ whistles, red-winged blackbirds bringing in spring and the haunting wolf howls. Each indicates which time of day or season these are likely to be heard and the soft illustrations reflect this and their habitats. Though this may be most appropriate in the Pacific Northwest there is a calmness to the words and pictures that could soothe children and adults in any region as well as inform.
Pharrell Williams : Grammy-Winning Singer, Songwriter & Prod
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Burling, Alexis
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 09, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Contemporary Lives" series, this 112 page biography explores the life of singer Pharrell Williams. Williams recent claim to fame is his hit song "Happy." The reader learns about his life from his birth in 1973 to 2014. The text is well written and accompanied by captioned, color photographs. Call out boxes provide the reader with additional details to assist with understanding. This artist is currently at a high point in his career and more is surely to come from this brilliant artist, therefore, this edition will quickly become outdated making this an additional purchase. The book has a table of contents, fact page, glossary, source notes, index, author information, and bibliography (web resources are provided via the publisher's website).
What's Great About Maine?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Wang, Andrea
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 09, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Our Great States" series, this 32 page book takes a look at the state of Maine. After a brief introduction (1 paragraph), the book looks at ten places around the state. As we learn about these unique sites, we learn about the state of Maine. Sidebars give the reader additional information related to the site. Color photographs will draw the reader into the text. The book reads like a travelogue, but is filled with facts and information. The book has several maps and a fact page to assist with research projects. The book also has a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index.
Spearfishing
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2015
Kline, Karen
This title is part of the Xtreme Fishing series including Fly Fishing, Freshwater Fishing, and others. These titles pack a lot of information into a small package both through the action-oriented, bleed-to- gutter photos as well as the lively text full of relevant, topical vocabulary. Unfortunately the photos lack any cultural or gender diversity and no children are included. Young anglers will still appreciate the pages on dangers depicting the x-ray of a teen’s brain pierced by a speargun. Insets entitled “Xtreme Facts” elaborate on dangers and quote some experienced fishermen as well. Though the book does not stress sustainable fishing practices or where to avoid catching endangered fish, occasional comments like, “Fish that are protected or endangered are left alone,” may raise awareness for further research. The reinforced binding and sturdy cover are rugged and likely to last repeated use. Communities with sport fishing enthusiasts will benefit from this book and others in the series, but the price to acquire all the titles will make most wish they were bound as one volume. Table of contents, a glossary and index complete the book’s usefulness.
Big Game Fishing
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton, S L
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 09, 2015
Kline, Karen
This title is part of the Xtreme Fishing series including Fly Fishing, Freshwater Fishing, and others. These titles pack a lot of information into a small package both through the action-oriented, bleed-to- gutter photos as well as the lively text full of relevant, topical vocabulary. Unfortunately the photos lack any cultural or gender diversity and no children are included. Young anglers will still appreciate the pages on dangers and boats and gears as well as the two-page spreads on ten different types of fish that may be caught in ocean waters. Insets entitled “Xtreme Facts” elaborate on dangers and quote some experienced fishermen as well. Though the book does not stress sustainable fishing practices or where to avoid catching endangered fish, occasional comments like the one about bluefin tuna being overfished and the associated limits on fishing for them may raise awareness for further research. The reinforced binding and sturdy cover are rugged and likely to last repeated use. Communities with sport fishing enthusiasts will benefit from this book and others in the series, but the price to acquire all the titles will make most wish they were bound as one volume. Table of contents, a glossary and index included.
What Is A Graphic Novel?
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Guillain, Charlotte
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 09, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Connect with Text" series, this 32 page book explores the graphic novel. Readers will learn what a graphic novel is, the tools used to create a graphic novel, how stories are plotted, different styles of graphics, non-fiction graphic novels, and how to choose a graphic novel. The text is well-written and descriptive. Call out boxes provide additional information. While the topic will be of interest to students, they will most likely browse this book and move quickly on to an actual graphic novel. Teachers might use this book when introducing the genre. There are a couple of "write your own" activities, as well as, some extension ideas. The book has a table of contents, glossary, index, and bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website).
Dandy Decimals : Add, Subtract, Multiply, And Divide
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Arias, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 09, 2015
Sonnen, Dave
Decimals are the topic of this 32 page book. Part of the "Got Math" series, the book uses rhyming text to explain decimals and their relationship to fractions. The book also looks at equivalent decimals, comparing decimals, and using decimals to describe money. The book has colorful illustrations and solid descriptions. Answers to practice questions are found upside down on the page. The book has a parent/teacher page with before and after reading activities. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, index, list of websites to visit, and author information. Your learning support teacher will make use of the book. This is one of the stronger titles in this series and a good book to consider for your mathematics section.
Wild Weather
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cole, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 11, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Publishers of The Magic School Bus series have produced a bestselling science series that includes titles such as Sea Creatures, Planet Earth, The Human Body, Our Solar System, and the newest Wild Weather. In Wild Weather, readers will head into the clouds with Ms. Frizzle and explore hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, thunder, lightning, and more. Two page spreads focus on a single area of study with general information, photographs, illustrations, and text boxes. Also included on each page is a Frizzle Fact and a Question/Answer note by one of Ms. Frizzle's students. In addition to the variety of weather types, interesting facts and information are given about weather forecasting, changing climate, and weather professionals. Though not an in-depth study on all types of weather, enough information is given to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the variety of weather on planet earth. A glossary is provided in the back, though it is unfortunately called "Words to Know." A downside to this paperback book is that the pages are lightweight and may tear easily. Even so, students will enjoy reading and learning about weather with the familiarity of their Magic School Bus friends.
PERIL AT THE WORLD'S BIGGEST HOCKEY TOURNAMENT
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The "Screech Owls" series revolves around a Canadian co-ed youth hockey team. In each adventure they are involved in a tournament and another plot is woven into the mix. In this addition to the series the team is in Ottawa at a huge international tournament. What they don't know is that a terrorist is planning on using the tournament to make a statement. Play-by-play action in the rink is accompanied by humorous elements involving team members and their personalities. Nish, of course, is his usually wild and crazy self, and becomes a key in preventing mass deaths. This is a fun series, and should be a big hit with young hockey fans.
Jennifer Lawrence
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Morreale, Marie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Although Jennifer Lawrence’s acting career barely spans a decade, she has already become the youngest person ever nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Actress and the second-youngest Best Actress winner. Following a description of her childhood and how she got started in modeling and acting, her noteworthy performances in hit movies like X-Men, Silver Lining Playbook, and The Hunger Games are chronicled. A chapter of quotes from her responses to interview questions, another composed of sidebars, and a short spread on future plans conclude the book. With over half the book devoted to photos, sidebars, timelines, quotes, and charts, the minimal text reads more like a fan magazine article than a biography. This will hold appeal for those who are satisfied with knowing celebrity trivia, but it only provides brief glimpses of Jennifer Lawrence as a person.
Greatest Comebacks In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Long, Dustin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2015
Garrard, Thom
As the clock ticks down or the last few turns approach in an athletic contest or the season draws to a close, everyone may assume that they know what the final outcome will be. Often their conclusions will be right, but sometimes they are wrong. Each story in this book describes a comeback with sufficient detail to help the reader understand the incredible elation of a sports team or an individual athlete who overcame odds that seemed insurmountable. For example, in a 1974 NCAA basketball game, North Carolina trailed archrival Duke by four baskets with only 17 seconds to play, but tied the game and won it in overtime. In addition to college basketball, chapters are dedicated to baseball, pro football, pro basketball, college football, and individual sports. The use of sidebars to give brief descriptions allows additional comebacks to be included. On average, the photographs and sidebars cover half of every two-page spread and help to draw in the reader. Like the other books in the Sports’ Biggest Moments series, fun facts, a glossary, resources and an index are included.
Biggest Upsets In Sports
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Rappoport, Ken
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 11, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Sometimes in sports, an individual or a team has so much more ability and experience than an opponent that the result of their athletic contest seems to be a foregone conclusion. However, there is a reason why these events are contested in person and not just on paper. Each story in this book describes an upset in sufficient detail so that the reader can understand the incredible elation of those who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds. In the 1980 Winter Olympics, for example, the U.S. ice hockey team, which was comprised mostly of college players, reached the medal round and faced off against the mighty team from the Soviet Union, the most dominant team in the world. Miraculously, they pulled out a 4-3 victory, and went on to defeat Finland for the gold medal. After discussing team sports (actually only hockey and soccer) in the opener, subsequent chapters focus on football, basketball, baseball, and individual sports. Sidebars give brief descriptions of additional upsets. On average, the photographs and sidebars cover half of every two-page spread and help to draw in the reader. Like the other books in the Sports’ Biggest Moments series, fun facts, a glossary, resources and an index are included.
NIGHT THEY STOLE THE STANLEY CUP
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
MACGREGOR, ROY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Screech Owls are back for another adventure. This Canadian peewee hockey team consists of boys and girls who love the game, but have distinct personalities. Having reviewed a lot of the series this particular entry surprised me. Some of the regular characters are missing--off doing other hockey stuff--and the silliness of bad behavior has gotten a tad darker. Several members of the team are caught shop-lifting. A bad apple may be spoiling the whole bushel basket. Play by play on-ice action show what happens when a team isn't working together. Still, Travis and a few friends manage to save the Stanley Cup from robbers (again.) Those who enjoy hockey will find this series a good fit.
Panic In Pittsburgh
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Macgregor, Roy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
The Screech Owls are a co-ed Canadian peewee hockey team that travel all over, playing great hockey and finding unusual adventures wherever they go. In this book they are in Pittsburgh for the Peewee Winter Classic--played on outdoor ice. Unfortunately, in playing, Travis is injured and a concussion sidelines him. This results in him overhearing a plot to steal the Stanley Cup. He and his teammates are ready to thwart the villains. These books are fun, with a real sense of place, lots of good hockey action, amusing characters, and nice pacing. They would be appreciated by young hockey fans anywhere.
Katy Perry : Chart-Topping Superstar
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Owings, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 14, 2015
Garrard, Thom
This biography of Katy Perry, part of the Contemporary Lives series from ABDO’s Essential Library, opens with a description of her visually arresting and emotional performance in Brazil near the end of her candy-themed California Dreams Tour in 2011. Growing up in a poor, evangelical background, her path to stardom was a long, hard struggle that included going against her parents’ religious beliefs, changing her name, and being signed and then dropped by two record labels. Her hard work and perseverance paid off, however, as five songs from her second album went to the top of the charts, a feat only previously accomplished by Michael Jackson. Her recordings, an autobiographical film, and her concert tours have not been without their critics, and they took a toll on her romantic relationships, but she continues to work hard to make and share her music. The text is easy to read with informative sidebars. Color photographs help the reader understand the spectacle that she creates in her concert performances. For those wishing to learn more about the life of this celebrity, including the ups and downs, this biography does a good job.
Zora's Zucchini
READERS TO EATERS [READERS TO EATERS]
PRYOR, KATHRINE
RAFF, ANNA
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 16, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Readers to Eaters has produced another book well worth sharing with children. Adults all know that zucchinis can take over and be very prolific, but young, bored Zora doesn’t yet know this. While bicycling on the 3rd day of her summer vacation she comes upon upon a sign advertising free zucchinis in front of the hardware store. She packs these in her bike basket and takes them home where she proceeds to plant them properly. After giving them good care she eventually finds her first full grown zucchini. Many more follow this, and after her family has exhausted all the ways to prepare this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, she must come up with more creative ways of getting rid of it. She tries swapping with neighbors or giving them away. Finally she needs something more dramatic for the huge supply, so she plans and executes Zoras’ Garden Swap, a community event that’s a huge success. The last page gives readers ideas for distributing excess garden produce rather than letting it go to waste—donating, preserving and sharing it as Zora did. This is a feel good story with attractive illustrations that capture Zora’s enthusiasm. It shares a theme with Too Many Pumpkins, but can be read all year round.
Migloo's Day
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Bee, William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 16, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Farmer Tom gives the beagle Migloo a lift into Sunnytown, where the dog visits the busy residents, collects lots of edible treats, and rides around in assorted vehicles. While accompanying the school children to their evening concert in the park, the bus breaks down. Migloo saves the day by rounding up his friends who transport everyone to the park. Each two-page spread with one of the exceedingly busy venues offers a number of search-and-find challenges for the reader. Given the dozens of cartoon characters from an ethnically diverse cast engaged in a variety of occupations in each locale, these challenges are not easy. Young students will also enjoy the colorful, digital artwork. Unfortunately, a pair of fold-out pages makes this less than ideal for library use. The final spread enumerates more things to spot throughout the book, which is sure to inspire most readers to make a return trip through Sunnytown.
Hungry For Math : Poems To Munch On
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Winters, Kari-Lynn
Collins, Peggy
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 16, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On contains a dozen poems that touch on concepts such as shapes, patterns, symmetry, skip-counting, money, time, and ordinal numbers. Each short, simple poem could fit on a single page where it not for the illustrations that, although colorful and entertaining, make some poems spread out to as many as four pages. Unfortunately, important math concepts sometimes seem to have been sacrificed, either to fit the rhyme schemes or for some unknown reason. When the Spendosaur uses his last hundred pennies to buy the candy store, for example, kids may remember that a hundred pennies is a dollar, but they will surely be confused about what a hundred pennies is worth. After the mouse runs up the clock and continues moving through a 12-hour period, the poem usually moves forward one hour at a time, but not always. 4:30 inexplicably replaces 4:00, 5:00, and 6:00, and 9:30 is used instead of 9:00. Yes, there’s rhyme, but just not enough reason to recommend this book.
Three Good Things
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Peterson, Lois
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Leni’s Mom’s anxiety completely controls their lives; they move from place to place so frequently that Leni hasn’t been in school and hasn’t been able to form any friendships. An uncle makes sure they have a trickle of money to keep going, but when Leni meets a boy who wants to know more about her life and who shares a bit about his family with her, Leni truly sees how far away from normal her Mom is and manages to ask for help. From Orca Currents.
Secrets Out
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Sternberg, Julie
Wright, Johanna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
Sixth grade big sister Jo has secrets – she keeps her texts private and younger sister Celie, who can’t have a phone yet, is dying to read them. At the same time, Celie wants her own diary The second in the Top Secret Diaries of Celie Valentine series.
My Life Before Me
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Mcclintock, Norah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
It’s a new publishing concept from Orca. A number of their long-time authors take a concept, each writes an individual title, and they are released simultaneously as a sort of instant series. Like a short story collection, the quality across the four series entries I read is uneven. An orphanage burns down in 1960s Canada and the seven older orphans are dispersed, each with clues about her parentage. Cady wants to be a reporter and her clues enmesh her in a small town lynching, uncovering town and family secrets.
Innocent
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Walters, Eric
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
It’s a new publishing concept from Orca. A number of their long-time authors take a concept, each writes an individual title, and they are released simultaneously as a sort of instant series. Like a short story collection, the quality across the four series entries I read is uneven. An orphanage burns down in 1960s Canada and the seven older orphans are dispersed, each with clues about her parentage. Betty gets a job as a maid in a wealthy household where she uncovers family secrets.
Small Bones
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Grant, Vicki
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
It’s a new publishing concept from Orca. A number of their long-time authors take a concept, each writes an individual title, and they are released simultaneously as a sort of instant series. Like a short story collection, the quality across the four series entries I read is uneven. An orphanage burns down in 1960s Canada and the seven older orphans are dispersed, each with clues about her parentage. Dot finds sewing work at a local resort while starting a relationship with a young man who may actually be her brother.
Big Dose Of Lucky
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Jocelyn, Marthe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 17, 2015
Gustafson, Chris
It’s a new publishing concept from Orca. A number of their long-time authors take a concept, each writes an individual title, and they are released simultaneously as a sort of instant series. Like a short story collection, the quality across the four series entries I read is uneven. An orphanage burns down in 1960s Canada and the seven older orphans are dispersed, each with clues about her parentage. Malou was the only mixed race girl in the orphanage and her clues lead her to a town where there are many mixed race residents as she untangles her origin story.
Finding Place
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Hartley, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 20, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This debut novel from Canada tackles a new perspective on the adoption story. 13-year-old Kelly was adopted before the age of one from a Chinese orphanage. The story begins with a pleasant memory from a family trip to Mexico. Fast forward a year to when her father has suddenly left with no explanation and has been gone for weeks with no contact. Kelly struggles to deal with the anger and grief that accompanies this abandonment and takes it out on her mother, who constantly suffers headaches. Communication is complex as Kelly isn’t ready to listen and not blame her mom. Unbeknownst to her, her mother sells her father’s prized swords in order to take her on a bonding trip to China where she hopes Kelly will help find something she is searching for. Kelly doesn’t make anything easy for her mother, but does find pieces of herself in her homeland as they retrace the steps to her “finding place,” where she was originally abandoned/found in a small village in south China. Along the way she discovers the real reason for her dad’s disappearance and the details her mom has kept from her. Though the dramatic emotions of the self-absorbed narrator are at times frustrating, this is a compelling read from a new point of view.
Regenesis
Doubleday Canada [Doubleday Canada]
Walters, Eric
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
November 20, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this sequel to "End of Days" 100 teens and pre-teens are in a space station circling the Earth which is suffering the effects of a nuclear winter due to an asteroid strike. Once things become livable they will return to the planet, and help in its rebirth and repopulation. The plan, while ambitious, seemed to go well. Billy, a street kid, is in charge because his skill set makes leadership of the young but highly intelligent crew a natural fit. They have one last-minute addition to the crew in an elder mentor. Arriving at the station, however, they are surprised to find that it is not unoccupied. Can they integrate the dangerous men they find their into their carefully-controlled community? What risks are they facing in this isolated environment? Granted, the author doesn't always follow the laws of physics as they apply to an orbiting space station. But that's not really the point here. This is a space opera, YA novel with compelling characters and an interesting premise. Naturally it leaves the reader wondering what happens next. I assume (and hope) there will be a sequel.
How Do Insects Protect Themselves?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 21, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Crabtree’s Insects Close-Up series of 8 books are solid non-fiction covering basic information about insects: social, protection, food, movement, helpful, life cycles, and where they live. Insects and their predators are discussed in two page sections prior to the pages devoted to their techniques of protection. Supersensory abilities, stinging, camouflage, bad-smelling chemicals, mimicking coloring or patterns of dangerous insects, bright colors advertising poisonous insects are some of the methods discussed in this book. Colorful photographs litter the pages, accompanied by excellent labels, diagrams, and inset close-ups. What Do You Think Questions are posed in highlighted circles and back material includes an activity, recommended reading and websites and index and glossary. This is a series that would be very useful in the many insect and life cycle projects of science curriculum as well as establish a solid platform to launch students into deeper research.
How Do Insects Work Together?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 21, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Crabtree’s Insects Close-Up series of 8 books are solid non-fiction covering basic information about insects: social, protection, food, movement, helpful, life cycles, and where they live. In Insects Work Together, social insects are featured with information provided about ants, termites, bees, and wasps. Colorful photographs litter the pages, accompanied by excellent labels, diagrams, and inset close-ups. What Do You Think Questions are posed in highlighted circles and back material includes an activity, recommended reading and websites and index and glossary. This is a series that would be very useful in the many insect and life cycle projects of science curriculum as well as establish a solid platform to launch students into deeper research.
How Do Insects Move?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 21, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Crabtree’s Insects Close-Up series of 8 books are solid non-fiction covering basic information about insects: social, protection, food, movement, helpful, life cycles, and where they live. Insects’ anatomy with their jointed legs as well as most having four wings, determines how they can move and chapters are included on use of wings, methods of crawling, burrowing into dirt, jumping, walking on water and swimming. Insects move to look for shelter and food, find a mate, communicate and escape danger. Colorful photographs highlight the body parts that are differentiated for the kinds of movement and are accompanied by excellent labels, diagrams, and inset close-ups. What Do You Think Questions are posed in highlighted circles and back material includes a poster activity, recommended reading and websites and index and glossary. This is a series that would be very useful for the many insect and life cycle projects in science curriculum as well as establish a solid platform to launch students into deeper research.
What Do Insects Eat?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 21, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Crabtree’s Insects Close-Up series of 8 books are solid non-fiction covering basic information about insects: social, protection, food, movement, helpful, life cycles, and where they live. Insects and their differentiation in eating methods, mouthparts, and food sources are discussed in two page sections, followed by chapters on insect chewers, nectar sippers, blood suckers, sap-suckers, spongers and the way an insect’s mouthparts change at different stages in their life cycle. Colorful photographs litter the pages, accompanied by excellent labels, diagrams, and inset close-ups. What Do You Think Questions are posed in highlighted circles and back material includes a Compare and Contrast chart, recommended reading and websites and index and glossary. This is a series that would be very useful for the many insect and life cycle projects in science curriculum as well as establish a solid platform to launch students into deeper research.
Astronomy : Cool Women In Space
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Nomad Press,
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 22, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Who knew how many women played a critical role in uncovering mysteries in the universe? After a brief overview of the history of astronomy, biographies of three extraordinary women of diverse backgrounds, Nancy Grace Roman, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and Andrea Ghez, trace their early interest in space, obstacles they faced in their pursuit of their careers, and major contributions to the field. What distinguishes this series from other biographies is the unusual format, using QR codes to access online content, as well as the additional information dispersed in inset boxes throughout the pages. Beginning with a “How to use this book” page, readers are directed to high quality Essential Questions in “Ask & Answer” boxes, “She Says” boxes contain quotes from other women astronomers, “Cool Career” suggestions, brief biographies of other influential women astronomers, and Primary Source symbols linked to the QR codes. Back material includes a listing of all the Ask & Answer questions, timeline, glossary, additional books, websites, and places to visit, a listing of all the URL’s for the QR codes, and an index. An appealing graphic design and well-written text is only missing a few photographs of the women featured. A Recommended purchase.
Rain Forests Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Beautiful photography provides a rich background for each page as readers explore the big picture of a rainforest biome. The four layers of the rainforest biome (emergent layers, canopy, understory, and forest floor) each encompass a two-page spread filled with information, photographs and text boxes. Fascinating details of organisms living there give readers a close-up view of how living and nonliving things are interconnected in this ecosystem. The author defines an ecosystem and sets out to help the reader explore the variety of ecosystems within the rain forest biome. This busy environment is home to wolves, porcupines, monkeys, and poisonous dart frogs, just to name a few. Vocabulary such as energy, photosynthesis, food chains, and food webs, is used and defined so the reader will be confident in the knowledge attained. An activity is suggested at the conclusion of this book. It's a perfect way for the reader to extend knowledge through further research. As is common to newer nonfiction, the book ends with a glossary, suggested books for further study, websites, and an index. Other books in this "Inside Out" series on biomes include Deserts, Grasslands, Oceans, Tundras, and Wetlands.
Deep-Sea Exploration : Science Technology Engineering
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Mara, Wil
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 22, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The cold, the dark, and the crushing pressure deep in the world’s oceans make exploration of these areas extremely challenging. Deep-Sea Exploration, part of the Calling All Innovators series from Children’s Press, provides historical perspective by examining humans’ undersea voyages since the first working submarine was built in 1620. Technological advances of the last decade have added to our knowledge of this environment, though not without some setbacks. Challenging careers that involve work below the waves are explained, and an interview with an oceanographer is included. The 2012 Deepsea Challenger mission to the deepest point on Earth is also discussed in some detail. Intriguing color photographs are part of virtually every page, and the text switches between one and two columns per page, which increases the book’s visual appeal. Middle school students with an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math will appreciate this look at future work opportunities in a relatively new and challenging field.
Where Is Rusty?
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Posthuma, Sieb
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Originally written in Dutch, this story of a lost dog was translated into English and published in New Zealand. No matter what language the story is told in, children can relate to the anxiety of being separated from their mother in a department store. Turning this experience into a page-by-page fun search for Rusty the little lost terrier, the reader will enjoy seeing a variety of dogs dressed and acting like people. Running away from the guard dogs, Rusty travels below the department store, through the storeroom, into various departments, and ends up hiding under a lamp shade. A salesperson sees a hairy-legged lamp and announces over the intercom that a lost dog was found in the lighting department. Playful illustrations add humor to this simple tale that carries an important lesson for children to remember.
Charlie's Dirt Day
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Larsen, Andrew
Hudon-Verrelli, Jacqueline
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
From the high-up balcony of Charlie's apartment, he discovers people on the street below all moving in one direction. He and his dad join the crowd and end up at a park facing a huge pile of dirt. Actually, the mayor of the city explains that it's "Dirt Day," and he is giving away free compost. Encouraged by one of his neighbors, Charlie accepts a small pot with a planted seed. After weeks of growing, Charlie picks his cherry tomatoes and adds them to his neighbor's homemade spaghetti sauce (made from home grown tomatoes, onions and herbs grown by other neighbors). Enjoying his first gardening success, the next year Charlie plants a variety of seeds that will grow into vegetables he can share again with his neighbors. This "Tell-Me-More! Storybook" ends with several pages full of information about the hows and whys of composting, community gardens, worms, and growing cherry tomatoes from seed. If you don't have a garden growing, you'll be tempted to start your own after reading this book.
Peep And Ducky Rainy Day
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Martin, David
Walker, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
This second book of adventures starring Peep and Ducky has the two friends creating their own fun on a rainy day. With playful, rhyming text the author spins a heartwarming tale of a playdate between a duck and his bluebird friend. You'll want to join in the fun as Peep and Ducky make a tent, have a pillow fight, and play make-believe in an umbrella/boat. As their playtime comes to a close with the arrival of Peep's momma, the two friends do what any friends might do - they hide so they don't have to go their separate ways. Bright, colorful illustrations add to the delight of this story. This sweet book will make you smile as you think about playing with your special friend.
Manger
William B Eerdmans Publishing Co [William B Eerdmans Publishing Co]
Hopkins, Lee Bennett
Cann, Helen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Author Lee Bennett Hopkins collects poems penned by a variety of authors. In his note at the beginning, he explains that on Christmas eve at midnight, God grants all creatures big and small the power of human thought or speech to welcome and comfort baby Jesus lying in a manger. All animals get the chance to be heard, and God's creatures come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The selected poems show the animals' responses to God's gift. Lavish illustrations accompany the 15 poignant poems and together they create a beautiful book fit for any library.
Where Is Pim?
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Landstrom, Lena
Landstrom, Olof
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Simple single and double lined text combined with soft color illustrations create an appealing combination for very young readers. A boy named Pom owns a stuffed animal named Pim that is whisked away by a dog. The reader thinks the dog comes back to help look for Pim and is left wondering why the dog is looking for Pim since he was the one who took Pim away. Under a bench they find a bag, under wildflowers they find a can, and in a pond they find a sock. The sweet ending has the original dog (that looks like the helper dog) bringing back Pom's beloved stuffed animal, Pim. Published in New Zealand, this book is written by an experienced couple who are married, live in Sweden, and have collaborated on many children's books.
Thank You, Mama
FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX (BYR) [MACMILLAN]
Banks, Kate
Swiatkowska, Gabi
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Alice gets a lesson on manners as she and her parents ride bicycles to the zoo. She learns to say "Thank you" and "No, thank you" as her parents suggest a variety of wild animals as her birthday present. Eventually, Alice decides she would like a parrot. Thankfully, the parrot has manners and says "Thank you," but unfortunately, he says "Thank you, Mama" and "Thank you, Papa" instead of "Thank you, Alice." This quaint and playful story delivers the message that manners are learned through love, and perhaps from a goodnight kiss. Throwback illustrations from the Victorian era give readers a unique experience as they learn the timeless message of proper manners. Paired with the book, "Please, Papa" by the same author/illustrator duo, readers will learn basic manners through this simple story.
Wash-A-Bye Bear
TEMPLAR [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Docherty, Thomas
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
If you have a favorite stuffed animal that you love desperately, you'll understand why Flora has a hard time giving up Bear to the washing machine. After watching him get washed with dirty socks and waiting for him to dry, Flora is disappointed to find out that Bear doesn't seem the same anymore. He doesn't look, smell, taste or feel like her Bear. The washing machine has washed away the sweet smelling memories of breakfast smears and ice-cream tears, winter showers and mud-soaked hours, scrapes from climbing trees and hide-and-seek in fallen leaves. When her mom makes Flora take a bath, she's worried that Bear might not love her anymore when she's clean. But, of course, he always will. Illustrations showing imaginative views through the window of a washing machine adds a fun dimension to this heartfelt story. A perfect bedtime read with your favorite stuffed animal (clean or dirty)!
Song Of Delphine
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kraegel, Kenneth
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
In the palace of Queen Isadora, Delphine is a hard-working servant girl with no home, family, or friends. She sings for comfort when her spirits are low. Hoping to have a new friend, Delphine is excited to discover the queen's niece is coming to live with them. She's a princess and is Delphine's age. Unbelievably cruel, Princess Beatrice does everything she can to make life miserable for Delphine. Filled with sorrow, Delphine sings and her lovely voice carries out the window to the wild animals beyond. After a ride into the savannah, savoring the warm friendship the animals offer, Delphine returns to the palace. She comes to understand why Princess Beatrice is so mean and teaches her the power of song. To Delphine's surprise, she becomes the queen's singer and Princess Beatrice apologizes for all the mean things she did. This story of kindness shows the power of a tender heart and the reward of friendship. Full page illustrations, borders, and lovely fonts pull the reader in for an unexpected lesson.
Rodeo Red
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Perkins, Maripat
Idle, Molly
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Told in the first person by Rodeo Red in cowboy-style speech, this funny and heart-warming story tells of the trials a new baby can bring into the family. The daughter of a sheriff and deputy, Rodeo Red and her trusted sidekick, Rusty the stuffed animal hound dog, are happier than two buttons on a new shirt. That is, until her younger baby brother, Sideswiping Slim, shows up. Having a new sibling in the family isn't all it's cracked up to be. The scallywag talks nothing but gibberish and is as slippery as a snake's belly in a mudslide. The last straw is when Red's faithful friend Rusty is captured and taken to bed by Sideswiping Slim. What's a girl to do when the law is not on her side? A belated birthday gift (stuffed kitty cat) arrives in the mail for Rodeo Red, and her quick thinking switcheroo for Rusty keeps peace and order in the house. Soft, humorous illustrations pair nicely with this delightful adventure from a first-time picture book author.
Little Red Henry
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Urban, Linda
Valentine, Madeline
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 22, 2015
Jensen, Kathy
Henry gets fed up with his whole family doing everything for him. He wants to choose his own clothes, pour his own milk, and brush his own teeth. He's sick of his family treating him like a baby. After a day of watching Henry successfully take care of himself, Henry's family is not too sure what to do with themselves since they're no longer doting on him. They soon discover things they're interested in - dancing, playing the violin, painting, drawing, etc. Based loosely on the style of "The Little Red Hen," this tender story proves that sometimes it's nice to have a little help. And there's nothing like being surrounded by the people you love. A strong binding, sturdy pages, and humorous illustrations will ensure many years of pleasure reading by little people who need room to grow.
Peekaboo Presents
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lunn, Corey
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 24, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This very simple lift-the-flap board book presents a myriad of different colored presents under a Christmas tree . It begins with, “Look what Santa brought!” Then it each double page spread asks, “What’s in the (color) box?” As each box is “opened” by lifting the flap an item is revealed starting with a kitten and its label. Each item then continues onto the next page until all of the gifts have been opened including a xylophone, rocking horse, doll, teddy bear, blocks, tug boat, dinosaur, rubber duck, train and dump truck. Intended for ages 0-3 the repetition of the same question with different colors may bore the parents, but eventually it might help a toddler learn the colors. A free app is available to open all of the presents.
Surprise For Tiny Mouse
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Horacek, Petr
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 24, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This sturdy board book has very nice mixed media illustrations and better word choice in descriptive words than many such books for the 0-3 set. Tiny mouse nibbles wheat, watches crackly leaves, likes crunchy frost, but not “splashy rain.” Each double page spread creatively uses either a cut-off or cut-out to add interest concluding with a “turn the wheel” rainbow. This will help the youngest learn about weather through a rather beautiful book.
Snuggle Up With Mother Goose
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Opie, Iona
Wells, Rosemary
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 24, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
Of the 16 nursery rhymes, all supposedly classics, the first 10 were unfamiliar to me. The last six are much more commonly included in shorter presentations. Rosemary Wells illustrations are always a hit, and here her guinea pigs, rabbits and cats will entertain the very young intended audience of 0-3 along with their parents. "Twinkle , twinkle, little star" is complimented by a parent and child rabbit lying together in a lounge chair looking up at the night sky. The soft padded cover will make this board book even more durable for repeated use.
Construction
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sutton, Sally
Benson, Patrick
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 24, 2015
Turpin, Sharon
This is a board book version of a 2014 picture book. As such its language is more specific than many for the very youngest crowd, but the rhyming text and sound words will appeal to this age group and help keep the adult readers engaged. The process of building a (spoiler alert!) library starts with, “Dig the ground. Dig the ground. Bore down in the mud. Shove the piles in one by one. Slip! SLAP! THUD!” Each stage continues until the building is full of books ready for the children to choose their books and read. The pigmented ink illustrations match the process by not being cartoon like, but more architectural.
Ire Of Iron Claw
CLARION [CLARION]
Hamilton, Kersten
Hamilton, James
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 25, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
In this second book in the "Gadgets and Gears" series our hero dachshund, Noodles, narrates the tale of his master, Will Wally, and Will's family as they face danger from saboteurs, sky pirates and, of course, The evil Mesmers...or is the real danger his pigeon, the Iron Claw? In this young steampunkish novel there are robots, and experiments, and inventions galore. Nikola Tesla play s a key role and, naturally, so does Noodles. The series is fun, although the constant explaining of more difficult words and phrases gets old pretty fast. This is an enjoyable series for young readers who delight in interesting scientific possibilities.
Alexander Ovechkin
Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr [Sports Illustrated Kids/capstone Pr]
Frederick, Shane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
As a 20-year old NHL rookie Alexander Ovechkin scored an unbelievable goal after he was knocked down and was sliding on his back with one hand on his stick. Over the past decade, he has continued to score more fantastic goals and done so at an amazing clip. This biography from the Hockey Superstars series by Sports Illustrated for Kids tells briefly about his childhood in Russia, his outstanding performances in world championship competitions, and his arrival in the United States as the top draft pick of the Washington Capitals. In his decade-long career, he has won three MVP awards and is now approaching a total of 500 goals scored, though he has yet to win the coveted Stanley Cup. One or two paragaphs per spread are accompanied by a color action photograph covers at least a full page. Side bars are included and glossary words are conveniently defined on the page where they appear. Hockey fans will enjoy this chance to become more familiar with Alex Ovechkin.
Shaun the Sheep Movie - Timmy in the City
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The animated Shaun the Sheep movie is the story of a sheep that breaks out of the daily routine and takes his pals on an adventure in the Big City that includes rescuing their amnesiac farmer. This 24-page board book attempts to tell that story with one or two sentences per page and still images taken from the animated film. Reading this book is like watching the movie on fast forward. The focus stays almost entirely on Shaun and little Timmy, and the plot points involving the farmer are only hinted at. Preschoolers who enjoyed the movie may enjoy using this book to remember the show, but reading the book without having seen the movie will be much less meaningful.
Pete Makes a Mistake
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
McCully, Emily Arnold
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Pete the piglet agrees to deliver invitations to his sister’s birthday party in exchange for cake. Before completing the task, however, he gets distracted and sticks the last one in his pocket. His sister can’t understand why her friend Gert isn’t there and goes looking for her. Meanwhile, Gert looks for her friends and discovers the empty party setting. Eventually Pete realizes his mistake, everyone meets at the party, and there is cake for all, including Pete. Like the other large format books in the I Like to Read series, the text is large and easy to read with short sentences. The watercolor and ink pictures are lively and offer good clues to support the story line. Unfortunately, the rabbit’s eyes with pupils and eyelashes are glaringly odd, since dots work well for the rest of the eye. Students will be able to relate to the idea that Pete makes a mistake. His sister’s easy forgiveness may be harder to emulate.
Pie for Chuck
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Schories, Pat
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
A pie-loving woodchuck can see and smell the pie on the windowsill, but he can’t reach it. Neither can his friends, who include a raccoon, a rabbit, a chipmunk, and some mice. However, a little teamwork results in pie for Chuck and pie for everyone. As with other books in the I Like to Read series, the text is large and easy to read, and there are no more than ten words on a page. The watercolor illustrations help to tell the story of the animals’ attempts to reach the pie and the triumphant moment when they get it. The limited vocabulary, the repetition, the good visual clues, and the gentle message about cooperation make a winning combination that should work well for most beginning readers.
My dog, Bob
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Torrey, Rich
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
A boy introduces Bob, his very talented dog who loves breakfast and sometimes makes it himself. He also loves to ride in the car and sometimes drives. When he feels like playing with a ball, he goes golfing. And when he digs for bones, he works with a paleontologist. Neighbor Mimi asserts that her dog Truffles is superior because she can catch a stick, sit, and speak. She demonstrates each command while Bob and the boy just watch. After they depart, Bob apologizes but is quickly forgiven, and they head home so Bob can make pizza. The watercolor and oil pencil illustrations are cartoony, simple, and complement the text nicely. Like the other large format books in the I Like to Read series, the text is large and easy to read with no more than a few short sentences per page. Speech bubbles are utilized for dialogue. The intelligent design of the pages in the book allows the reader to be surprised as Bob’s talents are revealed after each page turn. The idea that great talent will not be obvious when assessments are narrow in scope is powerful and should resonate with many young students.
Cat Got a Lot
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Henry, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Cat goes out for fish, visits multiple stores, and returns with presents for his neighbors, as well as fish for himself. Cat’s generosity is admirable and makes a great theme. The most striking thing about this book is the artwork. The vivid watercolor and ink illustrations dominate each page, leaving no white space. In fact, the visual storytelling makes the text extraneous. On some pages the words are even a bit difficult to find. Of course, there aren’t many of them – merely fifty in all. In fact, only twenty unique words are used. Like the other large format books in the I Like to Read series, the sentences are short and easy to read, but a few more words to read would be a plus for a beginning reader. While working with limited words and vocabulary might be a good starting point, the text in this book seems too spare to serve its purpose.
Hiding Dionsaurs
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Moynihan, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
November 26, 2015
Garrard, Thom
Half a dozen dinosaurs hatch from eggs that were too old to eat for breakfast. Somehow the boy manages to keep them hidden from his parents, but they keep growing until they can no longer stay in his room. When their existence is revealed, the boy is surprised to discover that his parents and his friends like them too. As in the other large format books in the I Like to Read series, the text is large and easy to read with no more than a few short sentences per page. Speech bubbles are utilized for the limited amount of dialogue in the story. The ink and watercolor illustrations are cartoony, whimsical, and complement the text nicely. For example, we see that the transportation and yard maintenance that the dinosaurs provide is what the parents really appreciate. The subtle message that keeping this secret from his parents was unnecessary is both interesting and reassuring. Dinosaur-loving beginning readers in particular will enjoy this fantasy.
Gabby Duran And The Unsittables
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Allen, Elise
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 27, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Gabby Duran is a babysitter extraordinaire. She's so good she's in high demand for the children of celebrities, as well as local kids who may be a bit of a challenge. Then she is recruited for a very unusual babysitting job. Did that kid just turn into a mess of goo? Turns out aliens are among us, and their kids need the kind of love and understanding Gabby always brings to her job. The extra money she's promised will help her family, and maybe help Gabby achieve her own dream of a specialized music school. But keeping this kind of a secret is hard, and when she ends up babysitting a particularly unusual child whose care may determine the fate of the planet, during school, while being pursued by alien-kidnappers...well, things get a little harried. Can Gabby's finely-honed babysitting skills, her true love for her clients, and her friends, save the day? This is a delightfully-written book that keeps readers on their toes the entire time. Gabby's ability to adapt to changing situations may strike some readers as unusual, but any babysitter knows that's a prerequisite for the job. This book just extends it to extraordinary lengths. It begs for a sequel. One can only hope!
Best Golfers Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Daniel, P K
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 27, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The legendary careers of fourteen athletes who exhibited the best combination of physical and mental abilities on the links are profiled, including ten men and four women. In addition to five paragraphs of somewhat dry text, each four-page “chapter” includes two photos covering one and a half pages, a table of facts, and a number with special significance printed in an extra large font. For example, 113 is the number of consecutive top-twenty tournament finishes by Byron Nelson. These features help to make the pages more visually interesting. The claim that these are the fourteen best golfers of all time is certainly enough to stir debate among fans, though many will undoubtedly agree with many of those selected here. For youth who take an interest in the game as either players or fans, learning a little about big stars whose careers concluded before they were born will increase their golf knowledge and their appreciation of the sport.
Best Tennis Players Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gitlin, Marty
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 27, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The on-court careers of fourteen athletes with both the physical skills and the mental toughness to find great success in the game of tennis are profiled, including nine men and five women. In addition to five paragraphs of somewhat dry text, each four-page “chapter” includes two photos covering one and a half pages, a table of facts, and a number with special significance printed in an extra large font. For example, 13 is the number of consecutive years in which Chris Evert won at least one Grand Slam title. These features help to make the pages more visually interesting. The claim that these are the fourteen best tennis players of all time is certainly enough to stir debate among fans, though many will undoubtedly agree with many of those selected here. For youth who take an interest in the game as either players or fans, learning a little about big stars whose careers concluded before they were born will increase their tennis knowledge and their appreciation of the sport.
Fantasy Soccer Wall
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bryant, Anne
Kennedy, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 28, 2015
Burton, Paula
Harry is an enthusiastic soccer player but knows he is not the star of his elementary school team. He is a great team player and will do anything for his team. At school Brad, one of his teammates kicks the ball to an area kids are not suppose to go to and will get in trouble. Harry does get in trouble and has to stand by the wall for three minutes. To make the time go faster, Harry imagines the wall is a computer that will cater to his commands. His wishes tapped “into” the wall do come true; the whistle for recess to end and no test. After school Harry looks at the wall again and this time Brad is there too and a dragon. Together they are able to save the dragon and her two babies from the bulldozers which helps Harry and Brad to become friends. This in turn leads to a win in the next soccer match. An advanced reader with a nice message that could appeal to soccer fans with an imagination.
Return To Augie Hobble
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Smith, Lane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
November 28, 2015
Bateman, Teresa
Are there werewolves roaming near the run-down amusement park owned by Augie's father? That would explain all the missing pets. Surely the fortune-teller at the park would have seen this coming? Well, Augie has bigger things to worry about. He has to do a makeup creative arts project over the summer. Ideas flow fast and free, but he flits from one to another without resting on any long enough to get anything significant done. Then there are bullies, that cute girl, and the journal that now has mysterious notes from someone else in it. New Mexico in the summer is hot, but things are getting even hotter for Augie as he faces the death of a friend, a thief, and communication from beyond. This is Lane Smith, so you know it's bound to be wacky. Many parts of the story are genuinely humorous, particularly his word play. The story, however, is wildly disjointed. It seems the only thing holding it together is Augie himself, and he's barely holding on. The format of the book, with lots of white space, journal entries, and some illustrations, will appeal to some readers, but its lack of focus may scare them away again. If they hang in there, however, they will ultimately find a satisfying ending...if weird.
Pigsticks And Harold And The Tuptown Thief
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Milway, Alex
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
November 28, 2015
Burton, Paula
Harold and Pigsticks are part of the group of animals in Tuptown who will help with the Butterfly Ball. Pigsticks will give speeches and Harold is in charge of making the prize. Harold is making a statue and it is just as good as his famous Battenburg cake. The next day the statue is gone. It has been stolen but fortunate for Harold, Pigsticks is an excellent detective. Together they are looking for the thieve. The statue is not the only thing missing in Tuptown. All of the fruit is missing for Sissy’s dessert for the ball. Next are the butterflies, they also have been stolen. Someone in Tuptown does not want the Butterfly Ball to take place. But who? A beginning chapter book in a series of books with the same characters. The larger font and illustrations makes this a great read for readers just starting with chapter books. Throughout the story the illustrations are used to make it look like a graphic novel which could give this book even more appeal.
A Hot Cold Summer
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Weetman, Nova
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
5th grade to 8th grade
November 28, 2015
Burton, Paula
An Australian series of books that uses the “choose your own adventure” method of creating a story. This series is about girls and all their woes with girlfriends, parents and boys. This book was easy to read, not very long although the number of pages is much more because of the multiple options in story lines with the same characters in different situations. There is enough variety that the book can capture the reader several times with completely different tales. It is a bad, bad day for Frankie. First she finds out her father has a girlfriend, and although her parents have been divorced for 8 years, it is still a shock. Her bike gets stolen, and on top of that she finds out the boy she really likes, and would like to spend more time with over summer break, has a girlfriend. Not the best final day of school until she receives two offers to spent the rest of her summer; go to the beach with her dad and his new girlfriend or go to London with her mom. This is where the options start. Each choice is different enough, even after the reader’s initial decision, to create an interesting story. This is an easy read and would be a good choice for girls who want something that is fluffy and fun but has no exemplary role models.
Isle Of The Lost
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
De La Cruz, Melissa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 28, 2015
Kline, Karen
Meet Mal and the rest of the descendents of the evil Disney villians who have been exiled to an island with their wicked parents. On this island all magic has been blocked by an impervious dome and the evil-doers must contend with each other. At the heart of the evil doing is a years’ old battle between Mal’s mother and ruler of the Isle, Malificent, and Evil Queen of Magic Mirror fame. Seems the Evil Queen had a birthday party for her six-year old Evie and invited everyone but Malificient’s daughter. The wrath of Malificent forces Evil Queen to castle-school Evie for years, but ten years later the curse-grudge is broken. Through an unlikely series of events the two girls team up with Cruella De Vil’s brainy son Carlos and the greedy thief Jafar’s son Jay. Together they hope they can win the respect and admiration of their neglectful, selfish parents by finding Malificient’s magical scepter, The Dragon’s Eye. Meanwhile across the Sea of Serenity a sub-plot emerges in the happily-ever-after land of Auradon where Prince Ben, the son of Belle and the Beast, is faced with complaints from the sidekicks like Lumiere and Cogsworth who begin to demand fair compensation for doing all the work in the kingdom of the so-called “good."
How And Why Do People Copy Animals?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Bobbie Kalman examines how humans observe and copy some of the ways animals have adapted to their habitats. Some of her examples though are so prosaic as to be useless while others lack specificity and are simply repeating the obvious. Humans copied birds when trying to fly, and eventually designed complex airplanes but animals are selected to illustrate each topic and the colorful photographs with explanatory labels will maintain interest. Accompanying the information on the wild animals though, are statements about human behavior that are either trivial or obvious. The result is mixed quality non-fiction with very generalized information about non-human animals and forced questions attempting to connect readers’ experiences with that of animals.. Back material includes an activity that matches human and animal body language, as well as recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index. An additional purchase.
How And Why Do Animals Adapt?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Bobbie Kalman explains that animals need to make changes or adapt to the changing circumstances in order to survive. Adaptations can happen quickly or over hundreds and millions of years and occur in animals’ bodies or behavior. This is one of the best of the eight books in the series that I’ve reviewed. Photographs are well labeled with information about animals adapting to climates such as desserts and arctic lands or adapting their movement to find food such as tree kangaroos or seeking safety through flight. Another physical adaptation is that of developing camouflage patterns or mimicry for protection Kalman highlights the important behavioral adaptation of living in groups and how that amplifies major survival needs and finally animals adaptation to city life. Some of the “What do you think?” boxes ask questions comparing how readers adapt to situations such as keeping warm in the winter, community group benefits and traveling or moving. Other boxes ask readers to compare the adaptations of two animals in similar species but different climates. Back material includes an activity that matches human and animal body language, as well as recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index.
How And Why Do Animals Communicate?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The ten book series, All About Animals Close-up, addresses general information pertaining to wild animal behavior and characteristics and compares it to human behavior. A variety of animals are selected to illustrate each topic and the colorful photographs with explanatory labels will maintain interest. Accompanying the information on the wild animals though, are statements about human behavior that are either trivial or obvious. The result is mixed quality non-fiction with forced questions attempting to connect readers’ experiences with that of animals. In this book on how animals communicate, questions such as, “Do they (animals) use cell phones?” and “What three sounds do you make?” might be asked of preschoolers. Basic information includes reasons for animal communication such as scaring enemies, hunting prey, attracting mates, teaching their offspring, showing love, and communication within groups. Touch, smell, visual appearance, sounds, and movement as ways of communicating are discussed and illustrated. Back material includes an activity that matches human and animal body language, as well as recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index. An additional purchase.
How And What Do Animals Learn?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
The ten book series, All About Animals Close-up, addresses general information pertaining to wild animal behavior and characteristics and compares it to human behavior. Kalman tells how most animals learn while young by observing an adult’s behavior, but some are born learning how to survive. She describes survival, food, and shelter skills that the young need to learn, but she doesn’t include more specificity about how that teaching occurs. Included are comments about animals that make tools, social animals, and how animals use their senses. Mixed with the information on the wild animals though, are comparisons about human behavior that are either trivial or obvious. The result is mixed quality non-fiction with very generalized information about non-human animals and forced questions attempting to connect readers’ experiences with that of animals. Back material includes an activity that matches human and animal body language, as well as recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index. An additional purchase.
Why And Where Are Animals Endangered?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Using four categories, endangered, vulnerable, critically endangered, and extinct, Bobbie Kalman differentiates the terms used to describe the level of danger for endangered species and discusses factors influencing the decline in a species. Each two-page spread focuses the text on one of the primary causes of species endangerment with labeled stock photographs describing an impacted animal. The first spread shows photographs of some of the most critically endangered animals as illustrations of each of these causes. Poaching, habitat loss, island dwelling, pollution, overfishing, climate change, and invasive species are all mentioned as contributing causes of species endangerment. What do you Think questions are recall questions and the activity to draw a huge map or globe with endangered animals placed on their proper continent is best suited to classroom curriculum rather than independent readers. Back material includes recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index.
What Kinds Of Coverings Do Animals Have?
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
November 29, 2015
Sepessy, Lona
Bobbie Kalman provides eye-catching non-fiction replete with well-labeled and colorful photographs of her subject matter. In her book on animal coverings, Kalman gives examples of hair & fur, scales, hard shells, feathers, spines and coverings that change during metamorphosis or are used for camouflage. Most of the information is very basic with the photographs as the central focus, but there are two very confusing comments that warrant comment. On the two pages devoted to birds, a label on a photo penguins states, Penguins do not swim. They fly.” Despite a subsequent comment that adult penguins have feathers that help keep water away from their skin, no other modifying information is given. The target age reader will find that extremely confusing, casting in doubt the rest of the information. This comment could perhaps be defended and explained in a high school textbook but here it is just blatantly inappropriate. Questions are basic recall and uninspiring. Back material includes an activity that matches human and animal body language, as well as recommended reading and websites, glossary, and index. Because of the penguin comments, I would not recommend this book.
How Political Parties Work
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
November 29, 2015
Garrard, Thom
The history of political parties in the US and their role in our government is explained in this book, which is part of Abdo's How the Government Works series. Although the main focus is on the two-party system, a page or two is dedicated to some of the smaller parties. The 40% of voters who identify themselves as independents are also discussed. Every two-page spread includes at least one photo, diagram, or sidebar that adds visual interest and provides additional information. Unfortunately, questions and activities that are supposed to support the Common Core are scattered throughout the book. These features may help sell the book to some, but they also make it feel like a textbook, which could put a damper on a student’s enthusiasm for the topic.