Reviews for month


Bedtime Math 3 : The Truth Comes Out
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Overdeck, Laura
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 02, 2016
Kline, Karen
This third title in the series is meant to inspire parents to share math with their children at bedtime much as they would share a bedtime story. The book consists of two-page spreads with each of the left-facing pages describing a wide range of topics from space science to idioms. One article about onions surprisingly suggests that readers plug their noses and bite into “an onion, an apple, and a raw potato” to determine that smell doesn’t connotate taste, yet there is no mention of the risk of eating raw potatoes due to their toxicity. The right-facing pages include four leveled math questions labeled “wee ones,” “little kids,” “big kids,” and “bonus,” each related to the text. Each spread has the answers to the questions printed upside-down in small font. The same answers are repeated on the last three pages of the book. This random book of trivia and its accompanying math problems are little more than just that. While answers to the problems are provided, there are no explanations for how to solve the problems. The zany art by Paillot engages, but can’t save the overall effect of this book. If math is to be more about the process than the final product, this book misses the mark.
Last But Not Least : Lola And The Cupcake Queens
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Pakkala, Christine
Hoppe, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 03, 2016
Lewis, Jo
Lola is in a mix-up with Savannah over what costume they should wear for Halloween. This emerging reader chapter story has Lola learning a bit about herself and making friends with her neighbors. Not didactic, however. The third in a series, "Last-but-not-least." The story stands alone, not needing the previous stories to be enjoyed. Will appeal to fans of Beverly Cleary books.
Dietary Supplements: Harmless, Helpful, or Hurtful?
21st Century [21st Century]
Goldsmith, Connie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 96 page informational text about dietary supplements is very dense. The font is small and the layout is crowded. The information is broken down into several sections: vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements, weight-loss supplements, and sports supplements. Each section contains charts, graphs, and photos to supplement the text. The information appears to be accurate with a strong bias with the main message being that if one eats a healthy diet, one should not need any dietary supplements. Multiple examples are given of cases where people have become very ill or even have died due to the lack of regulations concerning the production and labeling of dietary supplements. One other thing about the layout: facing pages were different shades of blue that were too similar to each other to be complementary and just different enough to make your brain notice it and be annoyed. The yellow text boxes were also glaringly bright and too vivid of a contrast in my opinion.
Eat Your Vegetables! : Healthy Eating Habits
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Sandcastle: Healthy Habits" series, this small sized 24 page book focuses on healthy eating. Each two page spread contains one or two sentences and a large color photograph. The book uses MyPlate.gov as a guide and readers learn about the five food groups and how sweets should be limited. This is a simple introduction to the topic of nutrition. A table of contents, true/false quiz, and glossary complete the book. This book might be useful in reinforcing general ideas in nutrition units for younger students, but there is not a great deal of information contained in the book making this an additional purchase.
Wear A Helmet! : Healthy Safety Habits
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This small 24 page book is part of the "Sandcastle: Healthy Habits" series. The book has one to three sentence on a two page spread with a large colorful photograph. One example has a photograph of a child wearing a seat belt. The text says, "Lydia is getting a ride to school. She has her seat belt on." The simple text make this book accessible to early readers. Topics include: bike helmets, online safety, oven mitts, waiting for crosswalk, and life jackets (although the child should also be wearing a helmet when river rafting). A five question quiz, table on contents, and glossary round out this book. There are other books on this topic with more depth making this an additional purchase.
Us Air Force
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Grayson, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Essential Library of the US Military" series. It's 112 pages take an in depth look at the Unites States Air Force. The book opens with a 2009 rescue during the War in Afghanistan to pique reader interest, then the book follows the military branch from its beginning as a branch of the US Army during the Civil War where balloons were used to sight positions of Confederate troops to the present day. The well-written text explores the equipment, eligibility, training, and careers available in the Air Force. There is also information about the Air Force Academy. Boxes, located throughout the book, call out important background information to assist in understanding. Captioned photographs (mostly in color) are found every few pages. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, rank list, fact page, glossary, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), extensive source notes, index, and author information. A strong book for those interested in military careers or for research on this branch of the service. Buy to update your military section.
Alamo
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mattern, Joanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Symbols of Freedom" series, this 32 page book looks at San Antonio's Alamo. Beginning with the famous battle, the book then looks at site's history, more battle details, the aftermath of the battle, the use of "Remember the Alamo," and the site today. Illustrations and photographs (color and gray-scale) accompany the descriptive and well-written text. Additional related facts are found in call out boxes titled "Freedom Fact!" Illustrations and photographs (color and gray-scale). Could be used as a resource in American history or research on The Alamo. The book could also be paired with biographies of defenders. The book includes a pre/post reading introduction, timeline, glossary, index, comprehension questions, a list of three related web pages, and author information.
What Protects Us During Natural Disasters?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Owings, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 32 page informational text is part of the Engineering Keeps Us Safe series. Other titles are: What Makes Medical Technology Safer?, What Makes Sports Gear Safer?, and What Makes Vehicles Safer? The natural disasters addressed in this book are Air/Twisting Storms, Earth/Quaking Ground, Fire/Spreading Flames, and Water/Rising Waves. Each section gives basic information about the types of natural disasters within that element and then multiple ways that engineers can design buildings and protective structures to stand up to such pressures. Full color photographs and charts add to the content presented. There is also a bibliography, index, glossary, and a list of places to find additional information. Although it is an introductory look at the material, it is accurate and well-presented. An excellent addition for a STEM curriculum.
Disgusting Animals
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Perish, Patrick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Epic: Totally Disgusting" series, this explores the yucky side of animals, Readers learn about smelly and gross defenses animals use to protect themselves, as well as, strange looking faces. Kids will enjoy the odd looking animals shown in color photographs and will learn a little bit about these animals (not really enough information for research projects). A Gross-o-meter shows the where the animal fits from sort of disgusting to totally disgusting. The book contains a table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography (web resources provided through the publisher's web page). This book will fly off of the shelf due to the fun topic.
Bolivia
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Owings, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Exploring Countries" series, this colorful 32 page book focuses on the South American nation of Bolivia. Each two page spread describes one aspect of this nation. Topics include: school, geography, people, language, food, holidays, and more. Colorful, captioned photographs will enhance the reader's experience, as will the "Did You Know" call out boxes. The book has a table of contents, glossary, basic fact page, bibliography (web resources are handled by the publisher's web page), and index. While not for in-depth research, this book will be useful for basic research or for older students needing a lower reading level on the topic. It is another strong title in this series and should be purchased if you are updating your South America books.
Betting Game
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
O'connor, Heather
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Jack is an excellent soccer player and is on a very select team. Sadly, he makes poor choices in a new friend, Luka, who is a bookie. Luka enables Jack to make some bets and while his system works for a while, it soon breaks down and Jack owes Luka an astonishing amount of money. None of Jack's choices look good for how to get himself out of this mess. An Orca Sports novel.
Tom Gates : Everything's Amazing (Sort Of)
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pichon, Liz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Book 3 in the series, but stands alone. Written in Wimpy Kid style. Tom is excited about his upcoming birthday and also about entering his friend's dog in a dog show, but these joys are dampened by his older sister Delia, the threat of his grandparents cooking for his birthday party, and the usual travails at school with homework and annoying peer, Marcus.
Brat Attack!
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Weber, Bob
Stephens, Jay
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
This graphic novel is all about the antics of little brother Bud and his interactions with big sister, Lily. Overall, it is quite humorous and students with siblings will definitely relate to he interactions between these two. Full color illustrations complement the text. While this highlights sibling relationships, Lily acts very much like a mother figure. It annoys me that the parents are never portrayed and rarely even referenced, but I doubt that will occur to students.
Messenger : The Legend Of Joan Of Arc
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Lee, Tony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
The story of Joan of Arc is presented very clearly in the text of this graphic novel. However, it also requires some basic knowledge of the history of the time period, otherwise terms like Burgundians and dauphin will make understanding more difficult for some readers. The graphics are rendered in a blocky, angular style which fits the mood of the story but can make it hard to distinguish some of the supporting characters. Color scheme is also appropriately dark for most of the book but also contributes to some of the difficulties in distinguishing various characters. Overall, it is still a good addition to a collection in terms of strong female protagonists and accurate historical accounts.
First Man : Reimagining Matthew Henson
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Schwartz, Simon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Excellent illustrations in shades of black, gray, blue, and white fully complement the text story of Matthew Henson, the first (black) man to reach the north pole. If you were to research who was the first man to reach the north pole, you would find that there are two white men who both claim that distinction: Robert Peary and Frederick Cook. Matthew Henson accompanied Peary on that trip. It can be argued that perhaps Henson was indeed the first man, white or black, to reach the north pole. Author Schwartz does state that this is a literary retelling and not everything is historically accurate. He also includes an accurate timeline, map, primary source photos, and a selected bibliography at the back of the book.
Code Of Honor
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Gratz, Alan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Kamran is an excellent football player, gets good grades, and is popular at school... until his older brother Darius is accused of being a terrorist! Kamran is convinced that his brother would never sell out his country and has been taken hostage and is acting under duress. He is determined to find a way to prove his brother's innocence no matter how dangerous that task may be. A very interesting look at prejudice, friendship, and family relationships. Kamran's character feels very authentic as he wavers between loyalty to his brother and uncertainty when confronted with new evidence. Some violence. A very timely novel with the current situation in the Middle East.
What's Your Story, Jackie Robinson?
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Berne, Emma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
A cartoon bear "cub" reporter interviews Jackie Robinson, baseball star, in this 32 page informational biography. Each two page spread features a question and answer plus a primary source photograph further enhancing the text on those pages. A good introduction to Robinson and his important role in the history of baseball. Also included: timeline, index, glossary, and a list of books and websites for additional information.
Stones On A Grave
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Kacer, Kathy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Kacer and six other well-known YA authors have written a set of stand alone books that all revolve around the same pivotal event - the burning down of the orphanage where the characters lived. In this one, 18-year-old Sara is given two official documents, one of which is a doctor's note written in German, and a Star of David necklace. These items are all she has that might lead to answers about her past and her family. Published by Orca, I believe the series will be engaging for 6th-10th grade, especially reluctant readers.
Unquiet Past
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Armstrong, Kelley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Armstrong and six other well-known YA authors have written a set of stand alone books that all revolve around the same pivotal event - the burning down of the orphanage where the characters lived. In this one, Tess is old enough to be released from the orphanage rather than being placed somewhere else. She is given a phone number and an address that she hopes will lead her to information about her birth family. The address leads to a creepy old house (where she also meets a cute boy) and it seems to be haunted. While I do not think that this is Armstrong's best work, it is published by Orca and I believe the series will be engaging for 6th-10th grade, especially reluctant readers.
Shattered Glass
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Toten, Teresa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 04, 2016
Dame, Anne
Toten and six other well-known YA authors have written a set of stand alone books that all revolve around the same pivotal event - the burning down of the orphanage where the characters lived. In this one, Toni is given 3 items: a torn menu, an old playbill, and a release form from Toronto General Hospital. These items are all she has that might lead to answers about her past and her family. Published by Orca, I believe the series will be engaging for 6th-10th grade, especially reluctant readers.
Koob : The Backwards Book
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Brett, Anna
Elle, Draw
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
All ages
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This whimsical activity book is not designed for libraries. Owners read the book backwards and are encouraged to cut, tape, glue, write, and draw. Prompts are often unusual and a little off-the-wall. Hence "koob" rather than "book." This would be a fun gift book for an imaginative and crafty child who has time for silliness.
Baby Wolves At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "All About Baby Zoo Animals" series consists of well-bound 24-page books, each featuring adorable crisp photographs facing a sentence or two of bold informative text. Readers get an initial three word picture glossary of "words to know" and then proceed to learn about the highlighted animal. This book focuses on baby wolves. Readers learn they are called pupsand that a group of wolves is called a pack. More simple information about appearance, behavior, diet, and communication is included. The focus here is on zoo life, rather than life in the wild. Standard text features include a table of contents as well as a short bibliography, website list, and index. There's not a lot of content here, but what is included is very kid-friendly. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will welcome this series, especially if they're planning a field trip to the zoo. Beginning readers will adore the simple, accessible text.
Baby Gorillas At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "All About Baby Zoo Animals" series consists of well-bound 24-page books, each featuring adorable crisp photographs facing a sentence or two of bold informative text. Readers get an initial three word picture glossary of "words to know" and then proceed to learn about the highlighted animal. This book focuses on baby gorillas. Readers learn they are called infants and that a group of gorillas is called a troop More simple information about appearance, behavior, diet, and communication is included. The focus here is on zoo life, rather than life in the wild. Standard text features include a table of contents as well as a short bibliography, website list, and index. There's not a lot of content here, but what is included is very kid-friendly. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will welcome this series, especially if they're planning a field trip to the zoo. Beginning readers will adore the simple, accessible text.
Baby Hippos At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "All About Baby Zoo Animals" series consists of well-bound 24-page books, each featuring adorable crisp photographs facing a sentence or two of bold informative text. Readers get an initial three word picture glossary of "words to know" and then proceed to learn about the highlighted animal. This book focuses on baby hippos. Readers learn they are called calves and that a group of hippos is called a herd or school. More simple information about appearance, behavior, diet, and communication is included. The focus here is on zoo life, rather than life in the wild. Standard text features include a table of contents as well as a short bibliography, website list, and index. There's not a lot of content here, but what is included is very kid-friendly. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will welcome this series, especially if they're planning a field trip to the zoo. Beginning readers will adore the simple, accessible text.
Baby Polar Bears At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "All About Baby Zoo Animals" series consists of well-bound 24-page books, each featuring adorable crisp photographs facing a sentence or two of bold informative text. Readers get an initial three word picture glossary of "words to know" and then proceed to learn about the highlighted animal. This book focuses on baby polar bears. Readers learn they are called cubs. More simple information about appearance, behavior, diet, and communication is included. The focus here is on zoo life, rather than life in the wild. Standard text features include table of contents, as well as a short bibliography, website list, and an index. There's not a lot of content here, but what is included is very kid-friendly. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will welcome this series, especially if they're planning a field trip to the zoo, and beginning readers will adore the simple, accessible text.
Baby Penguins At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "All About Baby Zoo Animals" series consists of well-bound 24-page books, each featuring adorable crisp photographs of baby animals facing a sentence or two of bold informative text. Readers get an initial three word picture glossary of "words to know" and then proceed to learn about the highlighted animal. This book focuses on baby penguins. Readers learn they are called chicks, and that a group of penguins is called a colony. More simple information about appearance, anatomy, diet, and communication is included. The focus here is on zoo life, rather than life in the wild. Standard text features--table of contents, as well as a short bibliography, website list, and index--are included. There's not a lot of content here, but what is included is very kid-friendly. Kindergarten and first grade teachers will welcome this series, especially if they're planning a field trip to the zoo, and beginning readers will adore the simple, accessible text.
Labrador Retrievers
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Bowman, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Very basic information in this Level 2 Blastoff Reader introduces Labrador Retrievers with carefully controlled text, and includes a physical description, a history of the breed, and personality traits. Bold, clear photographs on every page, show Manx cats stalking, playing, and growling, and highlight the variety of colors and hair qualities most often seen. Insets showing the black, yellow, and chocolate coat colors and photographs showing the Labs hunting, working as therapy and search and rescue dogs highlight their friendly and eager-to-please attitude. A full-bodied photograph identifying the significant physical characteristics provides practice in reading non-fiction text features and the mandatory photograph of puppies will elicit the oohs and ahs. Additional features include the bold words defined in a glossary, three recommended books, a publisher- monitored website link, and an index. Scholastic’s Blastoff series provides five levels of excellent non-fiction readers for emergent to increasingly fluent readers just about ready to tackle the longer, less structured non-fiction and despite limited information are an excellent addition to elementary libraries and address needs for very early reader non-fiction.
Siamese
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
FELIX, REBECCA
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Beautiful photographs of Siamese cats are shown in various poses, close ups, and are accompanied by one to three short sentences. Very basic information in this Level 2 Blastoff Reader introduces in the carefully controlled text, a physical description, a history of the breed, and personality traits. Insets of four coat colors, a map locating Thailand (Siam), and a full-bodied photograph identifying the significant physical characteristics provide practice in reading non-fiction text features. Additional features include the bold words defined in a glossary, three recommended books, a publisher- monitored website link, and an index. Scholastic’s Blastoff series provides five levels of excellent non-fiction readers for emergent to increasingly fluent readers just about ready to tackle the longer, less structured non-fiction and despite limited information are an excellent addition to elementary libraries and address needs for very early reader non-fiction.
Patrick Eats His Peas And Other Stories
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Hayes, Geoffrey
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Toon Books" offer libraries a chance to introduce younger readers to the graphic novel format. In this book readers get to know young Patrick. He's a mischievous little boy bear dealing with typical kid problems. He doesn't want to eat his peas. He DOES want to help his parents, although his help is often quite unhelpful. Then there's bath and bedtime. The four stories in this book are all gently humorous with themes all children (and adults) will appreciate. These books are popular in my library.
Benjamin Bear In Bright Ideas!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Coudray, Philippe
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Benjamin Bear and his bunny friend turn things upside down in this "Too Book." Each page is a separate story told in 3-6 panels. Benjamin shows some inventive thinking, and young readers will giggle at some of his solutions that are less than obvious. The crisp color illustrations and brief dialogue make this humor appropriate for younger children. However, even adults will grin at some of the concepts, and find a few of Benjamin Bear's observations rather thought-provoking. That makes the book worth having in your junior graphic novel collection.
Giddy-Up, Scooby-Doo
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. In this volume Mystery, Inc. is off to a dude ranch. Someone, however, is stealing the horses. Is it the rodeo clown? The evidence seems to point that way. The gang lies in wait to discover the truth. Naturally the villain would have succeeded were it not for "those meddling kids." They even get to use some of their cowboy skills in the capture! Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Lego Ninjago : Attack Of The Sky Pirates
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Not Recommended/Out of Scope -- Appropriate for another kind of collection or different age levels.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no--Sky Pirates are attacking! Well, that's what the title says, but truthfully this Lego Ninjago activity book is filled with puzzles as well as a few stories, mostly involving a genii, in various formatsi. There is much here to attract young enthusiasts. This is the Ninjago paperback, with accompanying 6 part Lego toy, that you'll see at your Scholastic book fair. As such it is highly popular, but not appropriate for library collections.
Scooby-Doo And The Snow Monster Mystery
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on some very simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. The books are all written to pretty much the same formula. There is a contest or crisis. The team is called in. Something mysterious threatens them and others. Running and screaming ensues. They make a plan to catch it. It turns out to be someone with a grudge or an agenda who might have succeeded in his plan were it not for "those meddling kids." Scooby and Shaggy end up happy. In this sturdy leveled reader a large hairy monster is destroying entries in a snow castle contest. Our heroes are on the job. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Scooby-Doo Steals The Dog Show
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. The books are all written to pretty much the same formula. There is a contest or crisis. The team is called in. Something mysterious threatens them and others. Running and screaming ensues. They make a plan to catch it. It turns out to be someone with a grudge or an agenda who might have succeeded in his plan were it not for "those meddling kids." Scooby and Shaggy end up happy. In this sturdy leveled reader the gang visits a dog show. After a dognapping, Scooby enters the show to scout things out. A phantom dog (that looks more like a robot) threatens everyone. Our heroes save the day and reveal the perpetrator, not to mention rescue the kidnapped hound. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Scooby-Doo In Bake-Off Mayhem
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on some very simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. In this sturdy leveled reader someone is ruining entries in a baking contest. There are many possible culprits. Who is the guilty party "souring" everyone else's entries? (Hey, could it be the one person whose entry still tastes good? Just sayin'. Shaggy and Scooby enter the contest as cooks and they and the gang track down the person putting vinegar into everyone else's desserts. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, these books are eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Scooby-Doo And The Big Catch
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends solve simple mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. The books are all written to pretty much the same formula. There is a contest or crisis. The team is called in. Something mysterious threatens them and others. Running and screaming ensue. They make a plan to catch it. It turns out to be someone with an agenda who might have succeeded in his plan were it not for "those meddling kids." Scooby and Shaggy end up happy. In this sturdy leveled reader only two fishing boats are left to do their job when a jellyfish monster shows up. Who could be responsible? Our heroes are on the job. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Scooby-Doo And The Battle Of The Snowboarders
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on very simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. The books are all written to pretty much the same formula. There is a contest or crisis. The team is called in. Something mysterious threatens them and others. Running and screaming ensue. They make a plan to catch it. It turns out to be someone with a grudge or an agenda who might have succeeded in his plan were it not for "those meddling kids." Scooby and Shaggy end up happy. In this sturdy leveled reader Scooby is competing in a snow-boarding contest. Wait, why is everything either too slick or too sticky? It looks like NOBODY is going to win the contest. And what is that strange glowing monster trying to do? Our heroes are on the job. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Fruits
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains information on fruits. Young readers learn that fruits of seeds of different sizes. Some fruits grow on trees, others on vines or bushes. The formation of fruit from pollination to dinner table is clearly explained and illustrated with good scientific vocabulary used--stigma, anther, ovary, ovules, sepals. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good botanical terms. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Flowers
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains information on flowers. Young readers learn what flowers do. Pollination is is explained in detail and terms such as anther, stigma, style, ovary, and ovules are defined and illustrated. A graph clearly shows flower reproduction. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good scientific vocabulary. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Stems
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains solid information on stems. Young readers learn about the two types of stems--woody and herbaceous. They also are informed about what stems do and some stem adaptations. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good scientific vocabulary. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Doctors
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "My Community: Jobs" series, this sturdy large-format 24-page book introduces the very young to specific community helpers--doctors. Readers are informed that doctors work in different locations and help people who are sick. Some basic doctor tasks are shown. Male and female physicians of various ethnic backgrounds are shown. The appendix includes four doctors' tools, a four-word picture glossary, a brief and unnecessary index, and a website link. Crisp color photographs accompany the sparse text. This book never gets past the "brief introduction" phase, but if a teacher is giving a quick overview of community helpers it succeeds in that goal.
About Insects : A Guide For Children = Sobre Los Insectos :
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Sill, Cathryn
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
I love these books by Cathryn and John Sill. They cover a wide age range and are beautifully put together. This volume focuses on insects. Gorgeous captioned plates by John Sill (reminiscent of Audubon's work) fill the right-hand pages and face a line of simple, expressive, and informative text. The book can be shared with younger students in this format. HOWEVER, the final pages show thumbnails of the illustrations and provide much more detailed information, making this a valuable resource for older students to use for report-writing. This volume has all that AND the text is available in both English and Spanish. The entire series is exceptional and I highly recommend them.
Roots
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains information about roots. Young readers learn when roots form in plant growth, their purposes and benefits, and the three main types of roots--fibrous, taproots, and adventitious. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this particular series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good scientific vocabulary. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Seeds
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains information on seeds. Young readers learn about seed parts--coat and embryo. As the seed germinates readers are introduced to the radicle, plumule and (in a final labeled picture) the cotyledon. Plant growth is clearly shown. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good scientific vocabulary. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Peppa Pig And The I Love You Game
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's Valentine's Day and Peppa and her family decide to play the "I Love You Game." They tell each other about the things they love. Peppa has quite a list of things she loves. George, of course, has his focus on "dine-saws." Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa all have their favorite things. In the end, however, Peppa loves doing he favorite things with the people she loves. This is a lightly humorous, gently sweet story designed for fans of the TV series. Boldly outlined, colorful illustrations with that Peppa Pig Picassoesque quality abound. Peppa enthusiasts will enjoy the book, but it is not a first purchase.
Leaves
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Abdo Kids "Plant Anatomy" series consists of five sturdy 24-page large format books, each focusing on a different part of a plant. This one contains information on leaves. Young readers learn what leaves do, and more about photosynthesis. Why some trees lose leaves in winter, while others retain needles is explained. A full-page labeled picture shows the parts of a leaf--blade, vein, midrib, and petriole. A glossary, index, and weblink are included. The clear, brief, informative text pops from a glossy white page, facing another page with a crisp photograph that crosses the gutter. These types of books vary widely in usability, but this series is exceptional. It clearly hits the key points, illustrates them well, and uses good scientific vocabulary. It will be a valuable addition to primary botany units.
Vamonos! Let's Go!
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Lainez, Rene Colato
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Rollicking oil over acrylic illustrations by Joe Cepeda are filled with motion, which is perfect for this bilingual adaptation of "The Wheels on the Bus," which focuses on transportation. While children are being picked up by a bus they see all kinds of other forms of transportation--a train, trucks, motorcycles, etc., each of which makes a noise and creates a verse for the song. The verses are available in both Spanish and English. All the children end up at a fair, where they see the trucks, planes, etc. repeated in the rides. This perfectly complements the cumulative last verse of the song. The book is vibrant and accessible and includes a glossary and the music for the song. I love inclusive books. The only problem is that the Spanish version of the song sometimes has to be very very forced to fit the tune. This is a pity because the idea is delightful. Is it a deal-breaker? No, but practice this before singing the book to children.
Witch's Curse
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Quinn, Jordan
Mcphillips, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
"The Kingdom of Wrenly" series is an easy chapter book fantasy series, appealing to both boys and girls. In this, volume 4, the kingdom is in trouble. It has been raining for a long time. Flooding threatens homes and crops. What can they do? When a witch with a bad reputation appears before the king and queen and claims she can lift the curse of the rain...for a price, it seems they have little choice. Then young Prince Lucas and his best friend--a commoner named Clara--take it upon themselves to solve the problem, lift the curse, and save the kingdom. Short chapters, frequent black and white illustrations, and enjoyable plots make this a popular series in my library.
Scarlet Dragon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Quinn, Jordan
Mcphillips, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
"The Kingdom of Wrenly" is an easy chapter book fantasy series, appealing to both boys and girls. In this, volume 2, young Prince Lucas, his commoner friend Clara, and his parents oversee the hatching of a red dragon egg. The scarlet baby dragon becomes Prince Lucas's pet. However, when the baby dragon becomes ill it is up to Clara and Lucas to find the elusive berries that will cure him. Can they do it in time? They'll have to work with the trolls if they want to succeed. Short chapters, frequent black and white illustrations, and enjoyable plots make this a popular series in my library.
Sea Monster!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Quinn, Jordan
Mcphillips, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
"The Kingdom of Wrenly" is an easy chapter book fantasy series, appealing to both boys and girls. In this, volume 3, troubling reports are coming in to the king about a possible sea monster. The king is skeptical, but his young son Lucas decides to investigate with his best friend. Clara. Lucas's pet dragon is instrumental in solving the problem of the sea monster, but the bigger problem of garbage in the water will take more than a dragon to fix. Short chapters, frequent black and white illustrations, and enjoyable plots make this a popular series in my library.
Abraham Lincoln
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Haldy, Emma E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "My Itty-bitty Bio" books are 24 pages long and just like the series title implies--short. A few lines of crisp informative text, with occasional illustrations, face a vintage photograph. Thought questions are sometimes included. The books have very limited timelines as well as a brief glossary and index. This entry in the series introduces young readers to Abraham Lincoln. The first-person text brings the president to life as it feels like he is speaking to the reader. His childhood, marriage, road to the presidency and role in the Civil War are all briefly highlighted. His assassination is covered in one sentence. The final lines in the book sum up his contributions to the world. Yes, this is brief and cursory, but it meets the current need for more easy nonfiction in a clear and interesting way. I just wish the photographs were captioned.
Amelia Earhart
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Haldy, Emma E
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "My Itty-bitty Bio" books are 24 pages long and just like the series title implies--short. A few lines of crisp informative text, with occasional illustrations, face a vintage photograph. Thought questions are sometimes included. The books have very limited timelines as well as a brief glossary and index. This entry in the series introduces young readers to Amelia Earhart. The first-person text brings the pilot to life as it feels like she is speaking to the reader. Her childhood, education, love of flying, marriage, and some of her aviation feats are highlighted. Her disappearance is covered in 3 sentences. The final paragraph sums up her impact on the world. Yes, this is brief and cursory, but it meets the current need for more easy nonfiction in a clear and interesting way.
Scooby-Doo And The Chocolate Phantom
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby-Doo is a popular character and in this series he and his friends go on simple adventures to solve mysteries supposedly involving the supernatural. In this entry in the series Mystery, Inc. is invited to a chocolate art show. The exhibits, however, are being sabotaged. Who is that drippy chocolate monster? After much yelling and running around the gang sets a trap and uncovers the real culprit. And he might have succeeded in his plan were it not for "those meddling kids." Scooby and Shaggy's entry in the chocolate sculpting contest ends up being a real winner and everyone is happy. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany simple narrative text with some dialogue.This is not inspired literature. However, it is eye-candy (or in this case eye-chocolate) for reluctant boy readers and very popular with that crowd.
Trip To The Bottom Of The World With Mouse
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Viva, Frank
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Mouse and a human friend are on a trip to the South Pole. They see many interesting things, have to wear special clothes, and enjoy the wildlife. They even take a dip in a thermal pool over an undersea volcano. However, Mouse keeps asking if they can go home now. In the end Mouse hopes they can return. Bold digital illustrations accompany the simple conversation-based text. (This is, after all, a Toon Book, so it is the simplest form of graphic novel.) Of special interest is the page in which the author talks about his own trip to the South Pole and how it is reflected in the book. Children should enjoy this imaginative trip to the bottom of the world.
Poison Dart Frog : Master Of Poison
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Plattner, Josh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Alert! This is a series designed to grab your readers that race to the snake, spider, and shark books as well as any of the top ten biggest, fastest, greatest animals series. The colorful cover depicts the poison dart frog in a shocking orange color and danger lines radiating outwards superimposed on a shocking yellow and red polka dot background. Non-fiction text features and a highly stimulating graphic design dominate the two-page spreads providing at least as much information as the limited text. Eight examples of the 175 species of brilliantly colored Poison Dart Frogs are displayed in the basic introduction, followed by information on their poison, life cycle, habitat and range, human uses and color morphing. Graphs, diagrams and maps are included as well as highlighted vocabulary words defined in the glossary, a four-question True/False quiz and a prompt to create your own poison dart frog superhero. Information is quite limited, no extra resources are mentioned and one of the labeled photographs is highly confusing, making this a fun series for readers but not very useful for research.
Peregrine Falcon : Master Of Speed
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Alert! This is a series designed to grab readers that race to the snake, spider, and shark books as well as any of the top ten biggest, fastest, greatest animals series. The colorful cover depicts the peregrine falcon with outstretched wings, sharp claws and beak and speed lines radiating outwards from the wings. Non-fiction text features and a highly stimulating graphic design dominate the two-page spreads providing at least as much information as the limited text. With a superpower of speed, the peregrine dives at speeds up to 200 miles per hour, faster than an average helicopter speed and just 30 miles an hour slower than a Formula One car. Information about physical description, range & habitat, falconry, size and roles of female & males, nesting, caring for the young, and the dangers of DDT are briefly described. Graphs, diagrams and maps are included as well as highlighted vocabulary words defined in the glossary, a four-question True/False quiz and a prompt to create your own falcon superhero. This a fun series for younger readers that will widely circulate and provide experience navigating non-fiction, but is also missing any additional resources such as books or websites that direct researchers for more information.
Octopus : Master Of Disguise
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Alert! This is a series for your readers that race to the snake, spider, and shark books as well as any of the top ten biggest, fastest, greatest animals series. The colorful covers depict the octopus with its sprawling arms and giant head prominently displayed with danger lines radiating outwards on a shocking yellow and red polka dot background. An octopi’s superpower is its ability to use camouflage to change color and even skin texture. Non-fiction text features and a highly stimulating graphic design dominate the two-page spreads providing at least as much information as the limited text. Photographs and text highlight physical characteristics such as its size, arms with suction cups, excellent eyesight, ability to taste through touch, jetting movement, hard beak, and three hearts. Shelter, intelligence use of squirting ink as another defense, food and shelter are also highlighted. Graphs, diagrams and maps are included as well as highlighted vocabulary words defined in the glossary, a four-question True/False quiz and a prompt to create your own octopus superhero. This is a fun series for younger readers that will widely circulate and provide experience navigating non-fiction, but lacks recommendations for more resources.
Alligator : Master Of Might
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Alert! This is a series for readers that race to the snake, spider, and shark books as well as any of the top ten biggest, fastest, greatest animals series. The colorful cover depicts an alligator with wide-open jaws ready to bite, and danger lines radiating outwards from its head. Non-fiction text features and a highly stimulating graphic design dominate the two-page spreads providing at least as much information as the limited text. Close-up photographs of an alligator’s mouth, teeth, bony plates, long tail, and young hatchlings in a nest illustrate the physical characteristics and biting superpower, as well as food, young, and habitat described in the text. Hunted for their skin and meat, alligators have regained a healthy population size after receiving the protection from an endangered listing. Graphs, diagrams and maps are included as well as highlighted vocabulary words defined in the glossary, a four-question True/False quiz and a prompt to create your own alligator superhero. This is a fun series for younger readers that will widely circulate and provide experience navigating non-fiction, but is also missing any additional resources such as books or websites that direct researchers for more information.
Salamander : Master Of Regrowth
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 06, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Alert! This is a series for readers that race to the snake, spider, and shark books as well as any of the top ten biggest, fastest, greatest animals series. The colorful cover depicts a yellow and black salamander facing the camera with its large eyes bulging out and motion lines around the limbs illustrating the salamander’s regenerative superpower. Descriptions of the physical characteristics dominate the slim text and highlight the sense of smell, permeability of skin, function of mucus to enable underwater breathing and methods of catching their prey. Non-fiction text features and a highly stimulating graphic design dominate the two-page spreads providing at least as much information as the limited text. Photographs depict the extensive diversity found amongst salamanders with different shapes, numbers of toes, and coloring. A habitat range map is included as well as highlighted vocabulary words defined in the glossary, a four-question True/False quiz and a prompt to create your own salamander superhero. This is a fun series for younger readers that will widely circulate and provide experience navigating non-fiction, but is also missing any additional resources recommendations.
Moon Rising
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sutherland, Tui T
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 07, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Moonwatcher is born to Secretkeeper in the rainforest and lives there her first four years. Moon is born with the gift of hearing others' thoughts (an ancient, and thought to be defunct, skill), but to remain safe, she must hide and not reveal her special gift. When she enters The Jade Mountain Academy, Moon mingles with dragons from other groups; some are friendly, others are fiercely dangerous. Starflight, the school librarian, takes Moon under his wing and tries to look out for her, steering her away from trouble. Darkstalker, a dragon who is hidden, is the only one who can communicate through thoughts with Moon. She wants to help him find a way to escape his hiding place. Can Moon help Darkstalker or will that put her in too much danger? The book begins with lists of the dragons in each academy and drawings of the various dragon types.
One Or Two Things I Learned About Love
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sheldon, Dyan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Ah young love! Hildy doesn't know much about boyfriends having only gone on 2 1/2 dates, which can't really be counted. So, when she catches Connor's eye at the mall she is overwhelmed and soon in over her head. He does such romantic things. (How cute is that?) But Hildy finds her other friendships taking a hit that summer as Connor takes up more and more of her time. And is it jealousy that motivates him when he's always checking up on her, or is it true love? Love, of course. Bliss bliss bliss. The reader, however, can see what Hildy's friends try to warn her about. Connor is very controlling. He's not evil, just incredibly self-centered. Hildy gradually finds herself lying, just to assuage him. That's not who she is. She's a fun, delightful girl with varied interests and a great sense of humor. She's not his puppet. Can she cut the strings? Does she want to? What about LOVE! This is a well-written delightful look at teen romance with an important lesson about standing your ground and being yourself. It will find ready readership at any secondary school.
Squirrels
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Everyday Animals" series, this well-bound large format 24-page book provides young readers with some very basic information about squirrels. They learn a little about appearance, home, diet, and behavior. A page shows four features of a squirrel, and there is a 3 word picture glossary as well as a brief index, and a website link. Crisp, attractive photographs spill across the gutter and face one or two simple lines of text. Frankly, there's not a lot of information here. However, the focus on a neighborhood animal with which the children are probably familiar, is valuable. This could lead naturally into students making their own observations of local wildlife.
Robins
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Everyday Animals" series, this well-bound large format 24-page book provides young readers with some very basic information about robins. They learn a little about appearance, home, diet, and behavior. A page shows four features of a robin, and there is a 2 word picture glossary as well as a brief index, and a website link. Crisp, attractive photographs spill across the gutter and face one or two simple lines of text. There's not a lot of information here. However, the focus on a neighborhood animal with which the children are probably familiar, is valuable. The close up photographs give students a chance to take a good long look--something not usually possible in real life. This could lead naturally into students making their own observations of local wildlife.
Big And Blubbery : Walrus
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Macheske, Felicia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
I'm a big fan of easy nonfiction and this book tries its best to meet that need. It's part of the "Guess What" series, and in 24 pages shows young readers hints--photos showing parts of the animal's body, facing a brightly colored page with a big bold single line of text such as "I have flippers that help me get around." Even the cover gives a hint. In the end students learn that the mystery animal is a walrus, and they see a complete picture. A page with 5 walrus facts follows, then a short glossary and index. This is beautifully designed and nicely put together. However, there really is very little content here. While it would be a fun guessing book for the very young, I want more information in my easy nonfiction books.
Global Baby Bedtimes
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Ajmera, Maya
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oh how sweet--a board book filled with close-ups of baby faces from around the world, a they sleep. Each reflects a different skin tone and a different culture, yet they have much in common. As the author points out in the brief text, babies everywhere go to sleep. She then shows various babies sleeping in various places, and tells the reader the country in the photograph. Many are shown with a loving family member. This is cute as a button, and definitely yawn-provoking for the intended audience. (I do note, however, that the Panama baby at the beginning of the book is wide awake. I can only assume he is on his way to sleep.) This is multiculturalism for the toddler set.
What A Wonderful World
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Thiele, Bob
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
If you can read this song by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss and not hear the rich, vibrant voice of Louis Armstrong singing it, you have no soul. This is a picture book version of the song with evocative and delightful illustrations by Tim Hopgood. The song is, of course, amazing as it celebrates the world we live in and the people who inhabit it. The illustrations--pencil, ink, crayon and pastel create collages that show an imaginative child's view of the world. Bursts of color and texture keep the eye and mind entertained. This book would best be used with a recording of Louis Armstrong's rendition.
Green Lizards Vs. Red Rectangles
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Antony, Steve
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bright armies of green lizards frolic across the big two-page spreads as they battle the bright, sharp-edged red rectangles. What is the war about? Nobody seems to know, but on it goes. Finally, when both sides are exhausted cooler heads prevail and they learn to live together. This is a moral tale with a message of peace. It is not unique in this theme. The best part of the book, however, is the illustrations--bright red rectangles--unbending and fierce--small green lizards powerful in their numbers. The final illustration showing the rectangles now forming a building, with the lizards all living inside and looking out the windows is a powerful visual for compromise and working together. This could lead to some interesting classroom discussions.
Discover Great White Shark
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Splash!" series, this 24 page level 3 guided reader introduces children to solid basic information about sharks. They learn about shark anatomy, senses, behavior, diet, and appearance. The role of sharks in balancing the ocean ecosystem is briefly mentioned. This book has all the standard text features you would expect, and the simple information provided is fairly solid. There are a few problems. The photograph showing gills really doesn't show gills very well. Also, the book states categorically that there are only 10,000 of them left in the world. The truth is, nobody knows how many there are. Numbers vary radically depending on source. Still, shark books are always popular and this will be no exception.
Scooby-Doo In The Lighthouse Mystery
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Herman, Gail
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Fred's aunt is a lighthouse keeper. When Fred and his friends visit the lighthouse, however, it is far from serene. Soon they are running from zombies. Of course the truth is eventually revealed and all ends well. This is a typical Scooby-Doo adventure with just a little bit of scary, a touch of humor, and plenty of colorful cartoon illustrations. While not a first purchase it will appeal to reluctant readers.
Scooby-Doo In The Mystery Mansion
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Auerbach, Annie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scooby and gang set out for a camping trip, but bad weather force a change in their plans. They wind up at an old hotel mansion. Business has been slow, since the place got a reputation for being haunted. It isn't long before Shaggy and Scoob are fleeing from a masked figure. Secret passageways are discovered and so, eventually, is the truth about the hauntings. Bold cartoon illustrations accompany not-so-scary text. This is perfect for the child who wants something "scary" but doesn't really mean it. Great literature? Nope. Sure to be popular? Yep.
Scooby-Doo In Keepaway Camp
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Gross, Scott
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Fred's on a sentimental journey as he brings the gang along to visit the sleep-away camp of his youth. All is not well with the now-defunct camp, however. There's a kindly owner, a cranky handyman, and rumors of a sasquatch. Of course the gang is up for the mystery. When the monster appears there is screaming and yelling, but they plan its capture and reveal the truth, as always. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the not-so-scary text. It's not great literature, but it will find a happy fan base.
Scooby-Doo In Shiver Me Timbers
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Sander, Sonia
Gross, Scott
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bad weather stops the Mystery Machine and its occupants at a remote pirate fort where they meet actors putting on a haunted play. But is the fort REALLY haunted? Something is certainly out to get Mystery, Inc. Perhaps old pirate treasure is involved! Colorful cartoon illustrations accompany the running, screaming, and trapping that are typical of the series. Naturally the true villains are revealed by "those meddling kids" and all ends well. This isn't a first purchase, but it's sturdy and sure to be popular. Reluctant readers should enjoy it.
Scooby-Doo In Up, Up, And Away!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Herman, Gail
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's Saturday night and Scooby and the gang are off to see the balloon races. But wait--is that a werewolf? It's another case for Mystery, Inc. Bright cartoon illustrations accompany the typical things you would expect in a Scooby-Doo story. There's food. There's a mysterious monster. And, of course, there's the point where the true villain is unmasked. He would have succeeded if not for those "meddling kids." This is not extraordinary fiction, but the characters are popular, and so are the books.
Body Bones
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rotner, Shelley
White, David A.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 08, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is a different-from-the-usual bones book. Aimed at the K-3 crowd, each page shows bodies (humans, various animals) with their skeletons superimposed over their skin. It may sound creepy, but it actually works. I think that students will find it fascinating to see what is under their skin, how skeletons look when in action, and to see other animals in motion with their skeletons, too. Some non-skeleton, exoskeleton, and cartilage-only creatures are shown as well. There is an index, but no table of contents (this is a book not meant for research). There is a glossary, but the words in the glossary are not noted (bold/italics) in the text. I will buy this book for my library to satisfy those children interested in "studying" the human skeleton.
Pilot And The Little Prince : The Life Of Antoine De Saint-E
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Sis, Peter
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 08, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Peter Sis brings Antoine de Saint-Exupery to life with this gorgeously illustrated biography. Telling the story of the Frenchman's life in few words and many drawings, Sis conveys the magic and wonder of this pilot, author, and inventor. From his well-to-do beginnings in France to his mysterious ending over the ocean, dS-E is clearly swept along in his own grand adventure. Words flow across the pages like the updrafts of winds. The expansive sky illustrations show the reader what must have beckoned de Saint-Exupery to take to the sky. I must re-read The Prince and, if I can find them, the other works by dS-E. As always when finishing a Sis book, I must go out and buy a copy for my library!
Tasteful Fashion With Tim Gunn
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 09, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Part of ABDO's "Reality TV Titans" series, this biography of Tim Gunn will satisfy intermediate readers looking for information about one of fashion's most beloved figures (although how many of those readers are out there?). The first page provides an overview of Gunn's life before jumping into a chronological presentation of his struggles, including an attempted suicide, and his many accomplishments. A color photograph accompanies each page of text and the book wraps up with a timeline of Gunn's milestones, along with some of his words of wisdom. The book also includes a table of contents, glossary, and an index, making it a possible resource for teaching students about nonfiction text features. The downfall of this series is the choppy writing style, which may not appeal to more sophisticated readers. Also, the book focuses solely on Gunn's life, providing almost no information about the fashion industry, which may turn off burgeoning designers and fashionistas. Overall, this would make a decent addition to an elementary school collection that serves students with a strong interest in reality television.
Hail or freezing rain?
ABDO [ABDO]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines hail and how it differs from freezing rain. Different key points are examined and compared--appearance , time of freezing, and when it is likely to occur. Both similarities and differences are emphasized. Enough information is given for most readers to be able to determine the difference between the two types of weather. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. The book also includes a table of contents, experiment, and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasionally charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand. Its assertion that hail only occurs in the summer is, however, incorrect. Hail occurred in our area last week (January.)
Cloud or fog?
ABDO [ABDO]
DOUDNA, KELLY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines a cloud and how it differs from fog--location and formation being the key points of difference. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. An experiment is included showing readers how to create their own "fog." The book also includes a table of contents and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasionally charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand. This is not the most successful entry in the series, however, since fog can be defined as a cloud that touches the ground, which sort of clouds the issue. Nevertheless there are some differences and the book points them out.
Hurricane or waterspout
ABDO [ABDO]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines a hurricane and how it differs from a waterspout. Different key points are examined and compared--formation, appearance, strength, and duration. Enough information is given for most readers to be able to determine the difference between the two. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. An experiment is included to demonstrate the swirling pattern found in both. The book also includes a table of contents and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasionally charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand.
Tornado or dust devil?
ABDO [ABDO]
Plattner, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines a tornado and how it differs from a dust devil. Different key points are examined and compared--formation, cause, speed, and location. Enough information is given for most readers to be able to determine the difference between the two types of weather. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. An experiment shows readers how to create a liquid "funnel cloud" in a soda bottle. The book also includes a table of contents and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasionally charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand.
Tidal wave or tsunami?
21st Century [21st Century]
DOUDNA, KELLY
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines a tsunami and how it differs from a tidal wave. Different key points are examined and compared--location, cause, predictability, and destructiveness. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. An experiment is included to demonstrate tidal wave interaction with the shore. The book also includes a table of contents and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasional charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand. However, this entry in the series is less successful than others since even Merriam-Webster allows for the idea that sometimes the two terms are interchangeable in common usage. Also, waves aren't really "weather," are they?
Winter storm or blizzard?
ABDO [ABDO]
DOUDNA, KELLY
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "This Or That? Weather" series, this sturdy 24-page book helps young readers determine just what it is that defines a blizzard and how it differs from a winter storm. Different key points are examined and compared--winds, snow, visibility, etc. Enough information is given for most readers to be able to determine the difference between the two types of weather. The "at a glance" page allows for direct compare and contrast. An experiment is included to demonstrate reduced visibility. The book also includes a table of contents and a glossary. Text appears in boxes over related photographs. Occasionally charts and graphs illustrate key points. This is a solid series that gives clear explanations in a way young audiences should understand.
This Is Falcon
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Wong, Clarissa
Lim, Ron And Rachelle Rosenberg
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
“This is Falcon,” based on the Marvel comic book character, is one in a series of World of Reading, Level One Readers. Graphic Novel-like illustrations tell the story of Sam who tries to do what is right and then meet up with Captain America. He needs to practice and work hard until he is good enough to join the Averngers superhero team. Beginning readers who are cartoon and movie fans will love these books. Series includes a variety of current cartoon characters: Doc McStuffins, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Disney’s Minnie Mouse, and two Star Wars books.
Florence Nightingale
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Alexander, Carol
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 10, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Rookie Biographies are a great collection of early reader biographies. Has T/C, timeline, Glossary, index, website, and other add-on information. Illustrations are photos, maps, drawings and facsimiles. Book has a two-page spread with basic but not overly simplified text. A perfect introduction to younger students who will be able to understand the the topic as a read-aloud. Other titles in this cluster of Rookie Readers: Bessie Coleman, Jane Goodall, Cesar Chavez, Paul Revere, Sacagawea, William and Kate, and Malala Yousafzai.
Terrible Typhoid Mary : A True Story Of The Deadliest Cook I
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bartoletti, Susan Campbe
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 10, 2016
Shirts, Brooke
"If you're squeamish and don't like to read about germs, then you should stop now and find some other book to read," warns the preface of this compelling new look at the life of Mary Mallon, aka "Typhoid Mary." Mallon worked as a cook for wealthy families in early 20th-century New York, but her employers always mysteriously contracted typhoid, leading her to be later identified as the very first “patient zero” of an epidemic. With a great eye for detail, Bartoletti expertly describes the hardships of Mallon's life, how epidemics were misunderstood both by experts and the general public, how outbreaks were sensationalized by the media, and how a lack of understanding and consideration lead to a sad outcome: Mallon spent the majority of her adult life in forced solitude, under quarantine on an island. Bartoletti deftly gives consideration to all the parties involved; while health officials may have had the public's interest at heart, they were overzealous in their persecution of Mallon; while it may seem unbelievable today that someone diagnosed as a typhoid carrier would continue working as a cook, Bartoletti points out that class barriers of the time prevented her from doing anything else.
Friendly Witch
Hutton Grove [Hutton Grove]
Elliot, Rachel
Broadley, Leo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Friendly Witch lives in a little cottage in the forest but, for a friendly witch, she certainly seems to lack friends. She's lonely on her birthday so she decides to cast a special spell for visitors. Unfortunately the spell works all too well, and soon her house is awash with folktale, fairy tale, and nursery rhyme characters, none of whom are focusing on their hostess. The noise and crowd are too much. Another spell sends them away and all is quiet again. The Friendly Witch decides quiet isn't so bad, but still she wishes... Oh no! The illustrations by Leo Broadley are chockablock full of action and humorous details. Librarians will be reminded of Cazet's illustrations in "The Perfect Pumpkin Pie." The story, however, is slight and has the feel of the final episode of a TV series where they have to reintroduce every character who has ever appeared in it. It's all sound and fury with no substance.
When Santa Was A Baby
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Bailey, Linda
Godbout, Godbout
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Everybody needs a backstory, even Santa. As a baby he was unusual--he had a deep laugh, and rosy cheeks. He liked giving presents to others, and much preferred the cold to the heat of summer. It's no wonder he grew up, moved to the North Pole, and took up the trade for which he was so obviously destined. This is a sweet, gentle story. GEnevieve Godbout's illustrations are equally soft, using pastels and colored pencils to get the feel of an old-fashioned Christmas card. And yes, there are several that include a bare baby or toddler backside. This is not a first purchase, or even a second purchase. However, if you need more Christmas books this is a possibility.
Scooby-Doo In Mummy Scares Best
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Comic Reader" Scooby-Doo! series, this sturdy 32-page book contains a Scooby-Doo adventure in graphic novel format, designed for younger readers. Mystery, Inc. is off to Egypt to visit an archaeological dig. Of course, with Scooby and the gang, this can't be that simple. What's happening to the water? Are the townspeople zombies? Where did that rampaging mummy come from? While the story doesn't always flow well, the subject matter will definitely appeal to the target audience. If you have the budget, this is the book you hand to that reluctant boy reader who "can't find anything interesting."
Scooby-Doo And The High Tech House Of The Future
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Devaney, Adam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Comic Reader" Scooby-Doo! series, this sturdy 32-page book contains a Scooby-Doo adventure in graphic novel format, designed for younger readers. Mystery, Inc. is visiting the Omaha World's Fair. Unfortunately the House of the Future seems to have a mind of its own. The gang is trapped inside and their lives are in danger. Is the house haunted? This will take some food, some running in terror, and some clever detective work to figure out. Unfortunately the story fails to flow well, not that this will stop the intended audience. This is not a first purchase. However, it will attract reluctant younger boy readers.
Valentine's Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There are lots of holiday books out there, but from its tasty chocolate cover to its fun Valentine's Day craft project, this is a great addition to the holiday section. Readers explore the possible source of the holiday. Unique celebrations across the United States are examined, and odd weddings are highlighted. There's a recipe for chocolate-covered strawberries, and suggestions for using the holiday for acts of kindness. There is much here that is not standard fare in most holiday books. Well-captioned photographs are interspersed with the crisply-written and interesting text. Glossary, bibliography, website list and index are included. This is a book that merits a place in library collections.
Scooby-Doo In There's No Creature Like Snow Creature
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Howard, Lee
Alcadia Snc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Comic Reader" Scooby-Doo! series, this sturdy 32-page book contains a Scooby-Doo adventure in graphic novel format, designed for younger readers. Mystery, Inc. is attending the Snowboarding Open. However, entrants are dropping like flies with mysterious injuries caused by a strange snow creature. Who is behind this plot? Naturally Scooby, Shabby, and the rest of the gang are on the job. Of course there's yelling, and running, and food involved. Unfortunately the story is very episodic--this happens, then this happens, then this happens. It does not flow. This is not a first purchase. However, it will be eye candy for those reluctant younger boy readers.
Search For The Titanic : Finding The Ship's Watery Grave
Velocity/capstone Press [Velocity/capstone Press]
Dougherty, Terri
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Titanic Perspectives" series, this 48 page focuses on the discovery of the Titanic wreckage. The reader breifly learns about the Titanic's sinking, then the book explores the efforts to find the wreckage, the obstacles searchers had to overcome, the discovery in 1985, and the future of the site. The book is well-written, full of captioned illustrations, and maps. Call out boxes provide additional information to focus the reader. The book is complete with typical non-fiction features: table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website). Three common core-related questions are included, but will probably be skipped over by readers. My only wish was there they included a timeline covering all of the events in the book. This book will be loved by those students entranced by books about the Titanic.
Neptune : God Of The Sea And Earthquakes
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Temple, Teri
Young, Eric
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of a series on Roman gods and goddesses. After an introduction about Roman belief in gods/goddesses, the book looks at the myths about Neptune, god of the sea. We learn about his family, how he obtained his powers, what motivates him, and some of the stories in which he was involved. Call out boxes provide the reader with additional information. Color illustrations will attract readers. The book has a simple map (although Mt. Olympus in noted on the map, it isn't shown on the map), illustrations of characters, a family tree, and list of gods/goddesses. The book has a table of contents (not that useful) and an index. There is a bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website). Since this book is only about one god, it might not be a first purchase.
Life During The Industrial Revolution
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Garstecki, Julia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Daily Life in US History" series, the reader learns in 48 pages about life during the Industrial Revolution. The book explains how the industrial revolution began and how it transformed life in America. There is a chapter regarding children during this time. The text is well written and call out boxes provide the reader with additional information. Captioned illustrations (color and gray scale) are found throughout the book and will focus the reader's attention. Common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter (and at the end of the book), while they will probably be ignored by students, teachers might find these helpful. The book also includes a typical day schedule for a 12-year-old boy. The book is complete with table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A strong title if you have a need.
Justin Timberlake
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars (although one might question if this star fits that bill anymore. This book focuses on Justin Timberlake. Young readers get a quick snapshot of his basic stats, then learn a little about the entertainer's life beginning with his childhood, continuing through his role in *NSYNC, and then following him through a successful solo career. Fan-friendly photos fill the pages. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. This is a fan puff piece, and is sure to be outdated quickly. Nevertheless, books in this series are very popular in my library.
Taylor Swift
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars. Taylor Swift headlines this one. Young readers get a quick snapshot of her basic stats, then learn a little about the singer's evolving career. A map shows where she was born. Family information is provided. Readers learn about her hit songs, acting roles, and work with charities. The pages are splashed with just the kinds of photographs fans want to see, with captions. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Is this an in-depth look at Taylor's life and motivations? No. It's more of a fan puff piece. Nevertheless, these books are crazy popular in my library.
R5
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars. This one focuses on R5. (There is a separate one just on Riker Lynch.) . Young readers get a quick snapshot of the band's five members, then learns more about how the Lynch siblings grew up, and how their musical career began, evolved, and continues today. A separate page highlights each member of the band. Fan-friendly pictures abound. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Is this an in-depth look at the band's hard work, history, and motivations? No. It's more of a fan puff piece. Nevertheless, these books fly off my library shelves (and have an extraordinarily high rate of damage and theft. Sigh.)
Nick Jonas
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars. This one focuses on singer Nick Jonas, who got his start with siblings in the Jonas Brothers. Young readers get a quick snapshot of his basic stats, then learn a little about the singer's family, birthplace, origins, and career with his brothers. His solo career is emphasized, including his roles acting roles, and solo career. His hits and philanthropy are highlighted, especially his work for the American Diabetes Association. The pages are splashed with the kinds of captioned photographs fans want to see. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Is this an in-depth look at the star's life and motivations? No. It's more of a fan puff piece. Nevertheless, these books are crazy popular in my library. I'd worry about them getting outdated, except they'll be damaged or stolen before that becomes a problem.
One Direction
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars. This one focuses on the Irish-English Pop band One Direction. Young readers get a quick snapshot of the band members, and then a page apiece provides additional information. A map shows their origins. Brief family information is provided. The focus is on the band's origin and evolution, their top hits and philanthropy. Awards they have received are also presented. Fan-friendly photographs fill the pages. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Is this an in-depth look at the band? No. It's more of a fan puff piece. That doesn't mean it won't be popular. However, when considering purchase remember the band is currently on hiatus and may choose not to return. This type of book gets outdated very quickly.
Riker Lynch
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series features large format well-bound 32-page books about current teen/preteen-appeal stars. This one focuses on Riker Lynch. Young readers get a quick snapshot of his basic stats, then learn a little about the actor/singer/dancer's evolving career. A map shows where he was born. Family information is especially important when talking about this celebrity because of the role his siblings played in his current fame, by forming the band R5. There is information about his role on Glee, R5 concerts and hit songs, and his Dancing With the Stars opportunity. The pages are splashed with just the kinds of photographs fans want to see, with captions. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Is this an in-depth look at the star's life and motivations? No. It's more of a fan puff piece. Nevertheless, these books are crazy popular in my library.
What We Get From Celtic Mythology
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Marsico, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page offering from Cherry Lake Publishing is part of their "21st Century Skills Library: Mythology and Culture" series. The book investigates Celtic mythology. Readers learn about the Celts, how their mythology evolved, where they were located (map included), and their relation to other European mythologies. The reader then learns about some of the primary myths, locations, and characters. The book ends with a description of how the traditions have been carried on and when one might see this mythology in today's society. Captioned, color, photographs and illustrations are found throughout the book. Boxes titled "Look Again," "Go Deeper," and "Think About It" are interspersed to give the reader focus and to allow for critical thinking. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index.
Life During The Great Depression
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Lanier, Wendy H
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Daily Life in US History" series and is aligned with the Common Core State Standards. The book describes the causes of the Great Depression, how people's lives were affected, Roosevelt's New Deal plan, and what is was like to be a child during this time in history. The well-written text is accompanied by interesting, gray scale, captioned photographs. Side bars provide the reader with additional or background information and are found throughout the book. A chart showing the stock market prices during this time period and a day's schedule for a 12 year old boy is included. Common Core related activities and questions are found at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. These would be helpful for teachers planning a unit on this topic. The book has a table of contents,glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. This book would be a strong addition to your U.S. history section.
Finding Out About Hydropower
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Doeden, Matt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "What Are Energy Sources" series, this 40 page book investigates hydroelectric power. Readers will learn what hydropower is, it's history, how it is created, benefits and problems associated with hydropower, and the future of this renewable resource. The text is understandable and is accompanied with color, captioned photographs. Two photos in the book are from Washington (Bonneville Dam (p.20) and Rocky Reach Dam Fish Ladder (p. 26)). The photo of Bonneville is to show a ROR Plant (dam without a reservoir), however, Bonneville is not this type of dam. There is a diagram of a hydroelectric dam. The book has the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, bibliography, and index. With the abundance of this type of energy in the Northwest, this would be a good purchase when updating your energy section.
Black-And-White Animals
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Shepherd, Jodie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 12, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Photographs of six sets of black and white animals are presented in this Rookie Toddler board book. These animals include a kitty, mother and baby pandas, zebras, orcas, colobus monkeys, and penguins. Each double page spread has a left-hand photo opposite the right hand page of appropriately big black text on white background. The animal is named in a phrase rhyming with the ending refrain—“black and white, back and white.” For instance—“Colobus monkeys, what a sight—black and white, black and white.” At the bottom of the last page, which could have been better placed on the back cover so not to interfere with the last page of text, includes Rookie Storytime Tips suggesting a few follow-up activities with the toddler. The scalloped right side of the book invite chewing by the very youngest readers and also make it easier for little hands to turn. The repetition of black and white will encourage adults to point out these colors on each page.
Figment : Journey Into Imagination : 5
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Andrade, Filipe
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Volume 5 in the Figment "Journey Into Imagination" series, this sturdy and brief book features crisp, lush, detailed graphic illustrations as the series explores the origins of Dreamfinder and Figment. Here they escape from Imagination only to discover their steampunk home on Earth is under siege. Dreamfinder has now named himself. This battle sets him up for the future stories he will live. Both language and illustrations are rich but this is another of those graphic novel series that comes in multiple short volumes, each of which gives you only a splash of the story. I would hesitate to even call it a chapter. They must be read in order and the loss of a single volume invalidates the entire series. This is a money pit for school libraries. The volumes are expensive, but not expansive. While I love graphic novels, give your students a real book that has an entire story inside its covers.
Figment : Journey Into Imagination : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Andrade, Filipe
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Volume 3 in the Figment "Journey Into Imagination" series, this sturdy and brief book features crisp, lush, detailed graphic illustrations as the series explores the origins of Dreamfinder and Figment. Here they find themselves trapped in a fantasy world prison by sound sprites, where they meet another prisoner--Fye the Flawed. lMeanwhile, back in a steam punk Earth, the Academy Scientifica-Lucidus is under attack. Can imagination save the day? The language is rich and the illustrations are exquisite but here's the rub--this is another of those graphic novel series that comes in multiple short volumes, each of which gives you only a splash of the story. I would hesitate to even call it a chapter. They must be read in order and the loss of a single volume invalidates the entire series. This is a money pit for school libraries. The volumes are expensive, but not expansive. While I love graphic novels, give your students a real book that has an entire story inside its covers.
Figment : Journey Into Imagination : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Zub, Jim
Andrade, Filipe
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Volume 2 in the Figment "Journey Into Imagination" series, this sturdy and brief book features crisp, lush, detailed graphic illustrations as the series explores the origins of Dreamfinder and Figment. Here they find themselves leaving their steampunk world and being propelled into a fantasy world where imagination has true powers. Strange creatures abound, and our heroes are taken captive. The language is rich, but here's the rub--this is another of those graphic novel series that comes in multiple short volumes, each of which gives you only a splash of the story. I would hesitate to even call it a chapter. They must be read in order and the loss of a single volume invalidates the entire series. This is a money pit for school libraries. The volumes are expensive, but not expansive. While I love graphic novels, give your students a real book that has an entire story inside its covers.
Reach, Reach, Baby!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Bardaus, Anna W.
Grove, Christine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 12, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Soft color illustrations adorn the double page spreads, each depicting a different child in a setting in which he/she might reach. The text for each begins, “Reach, reach, baby!” followed by something for the child to do. Thus it begins, “ Reach, reach, baby! Stretch your little fingers long.” followed on the next double-page spread by “Reach, reach baby! On your tummy, getting STRONG.” Random words are highlighted in a different colors. Different races and both boys and girls are included. This Babies on the Move board book lists three activities to try on the back cover encouraging them to move, reach or do the things in the book. This is a sweet offering with others in the series Read, Read Baby! and Dance, Dance Baby!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : New Animated Adventures : 3
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Tipton, Scott
Brizuela, Dario
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Where do you go when you want all turtles all the time? To the TMNTs of course! These are high-action adventures with comic repartee and lots of goodhearted fun. Spun from the Nickelodeon TV show, these "New Animated Adventures" are a hoot and a half and, thankfully, each can stand on its own. In this, volume 3 of the series, the others fear Mikey's imagination has run away with him when he claims to see zombies. Or has it? Something is certainly going on at the Sleep Research Institute. Hey--alien invasion. Cool! The gang springs into action. This is a fun, fast-paced adventure with terrific graphic novel illustrations that are detailed, humorous, and action-packed. This series is sure to be a winner with young readers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : New Animated Adventures : 2
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Byerly, Kenny
Brizuela, Dario
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
You want snappy repartee, and tons of amusing and high-force action? Look no further than the TMNT. Spun from the Nickelodeon TV show, these "New Animated Adventures" are a lot of fun and, thankfully, each can stand on its own. In this, volume 2 of the series, strange plant growth invades NYC. Snakeweed is back and our boys, and April, are on the job. They have to use a two-pronged approach however. Snakeweed and his plant minions must be defeated, but future spores must also be prevented. The team splits up to solve both problems.This is a silly, fast-paced adventure with terrific graphic novel illustrations that are detailed, humorous, and action-packed. This series is sure to be a winner with young readers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : New Animated Adventures : 1
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Byerly, Kenny
Brizuela, Dario
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
C'mon--who doesn't love the snappy repartee, good-heartedness, and shell-kicking action of the TMNT? Spun from the Nickelodeon TV show, these "New Animated Adventures" are a lot of fun and, thankfully, each can stand on its own. In this, volume 1 of the series, Donatello takes April along on a scavenging hunt for a part he needs. Of course he's scavenging in a top-secret government junk yard. When April is captured the gang has to come to the rescue. Only this time they're fighting the "good guys" and have to pull their punches. Luckily their ace in the hole is April herself. This is a fun, fast-paced adventure with terrific graphic novel illustrations that are detailed, humorous, and action-packed. This series is sure to be a winner with young readers.
Last Stand : Causes And Effects Of The Battle Of The Little
Fact Finders/capstone Press [Fact Finders/capstone Press]
Higgins, Nadia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 12, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Cause and Effect: American Indian History" series, this 32 page book does an exceptional job exploring the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The book describes three causes for the battle, details the battle itself, and four effects of the battle. A final page presents the conclusion: Won the battle, lost the war. The text is well-written, understandable, and descriptive. Color, captioned illustrations and photographs are found throughout the book. Words are defined on the page the text appears in small text boxes. "Fast Facts" provide the reader with additional details to assist with understanding. There is a map of the battlefield showing the troop movements and a description of the important people in this conflict. Common Core related questions are found in the back of the book and would be useful for teachers. The book has the typical non fiction features: table of contents, index, glossary, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's webpage). This book could be used in research and in teaching units.
Skunks After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. This book focuses on skunks. Beginning with a page of "words to know" young readers learn that there are many types of skunks around the world, and they are also known in some parts of the world as stink badgers. Appearance, anatomy, diet, behavior and defenses are also highlighted. Readers learn the mechanism behind a skunk's most notorious defense. Basic facts about the life cycle of a skunk, as well as dangers facing them are covered. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around skunks, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that would be valuable for report-writing and casual browsing. It merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Badgers After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. The book begins with a "words to know" page then proceeds to teach about "badger basics." Young readers learn that there are many types of badgers around the world. Appearance, anatomy, diet, behavior and defenses are highlighted. Basic facts about the life cycle of a badger are covered. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around badgers, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that would be a good resource for report-writing and merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Wolves After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. This book focuses on wolves. Young readers learn that there are many types of wolves around the world. Appearance, anatomy, diet, behavior, communication, and defenses are also highlighted. Basic facts about the life cycle of wolves are covered. Concerns about conservation are mentioned. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around wolves, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Opossums After Dark
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Niver, Heather Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Animals of the Night" series consists of nicely-bound 32-page books that feature white text on glossy black paper; crisp, well-lighted, informatively captioned photographs; and fun fact circles. This book focuses on opossums. Young readers learn that they are marsupials, and that there are many types of opossums around the world. Appearance, anatomy, diet, and defenses are also highlighted. Basic facts about the life cycle of an opossum are covered. The photos of opossum babies in the pouch are particularly intriguing. The contributions of opossums to the environment are emphasized. There is a page containing hints on staying safe around opossums, a bibliography and website list, and an index. This is an excellent series that merits a place in any library. The only thing needed to make it absolutely perfect would be a range map.
Earthquakes, Eruptions, And Other Events That Change Earth
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 24-page paperback book gives young readers a solid overview of the various events that can change the Earth. First readers learn a little bit about our planet with a cut-out illustration showing its layers. The author emphasizes that the Earth is in constant change. Earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, and tsunamis are all defined and their impact on the planet is briefly explained. The book includes an experiment, bibliography, website list, and a brief glossary and index. This is a clear, cogent introduction to the topic and would be useful for both teaching and report-writing.
Robots
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Tuchman, Gail
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Robots are a very popular topic in my library, and there are not nearly enough books available at a lower reading level. This book meets that need. This Level 2 Reader introduces children to the field of robotics. Different types of robots are briefly highlighted, and the wide variety of robots that are being used and created is emphasized. There are plenty of photographs, a good glossary and index, and new word introductions throughout the text. This is a terrific book that you'll want to have in your library. However, the review copy was a paperback. Get it prebound.
Tuesday Tucks Me In : The Loyal Bond Between A Soldier And H
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Montalvan, Luis Carlos
Dion, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
After coming home from the last of several combat tours in Iraq, Luis Carlos Montalvan was a PTSD and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)-broken man who was afraid to leave his apartment. Tuesday, his golden retriever service dog has helped Luis regain a life. Tuesday narrates this story in which each page has a beautiful action shot of Luis and/or Tuesday. There is an author's note at the end which explains how readers can learn more about service dogs and how to help wounded warriors or the disabled. This is an endearing and educational book, and is one that will find itself on my library's shelf. There is an adult version of this book titled, Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him.
Goal!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Taylor, Sean
Vilela, Caio
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 13, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is a pretty book filled with photos of boys and girls playing soccer/football in countries around the world. There are short bursts of text facing each photo, and the text gives very brief information about the game. Below the text is a sidebar/insert that highlights the country featured in the photo on the facing page. It is somewhat confusing at first because the reader expects the insert information and the photo to match up, but they do not. If one is looking for an in-depth coverage of soccer around the world, this is not it. I am not sure exactly for whom this book is intended, but primary aged children would be the ones most likely to enjoy the photos.
Night Of The Were-Boy
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Richemont, Enid
Mazali, Gustavo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Frankie feels weird. His cat food tastes funny. He feels funny. What is happening? With the full moon Frankie is turning into a boy! This is awful! His owner, Martin, is initially skeptical at finding another boy in his apartment. However he is soon convinced it is Frankie. Frankie insists on going outside to "do his business" and while there the two boys thwart some robbers. When the moon goes down Frankie is happy to be back to normal. This is a fun transitional reader with short chapters, fun characters, and a multitude of bright color illustrations. Part of the "Race Further with Reading" series, it will be a welcome addition to the beginning chapter book collection.
Claude In The Spotlight
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Smith, Alex T
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When I first met Claude the dog I was initially a bit put off. A dog in a red beret whose best friend is a sock? Really? However, the books grow on you and are incredibly popular in my library. In this adventure Claude and Sir Bobblysock become dancers. (Well, Claude dances and Sir Bobblysock feels one of his headaches coming on.) This results in them going to a theater where Claude will perform with his dance troupe. Unfortunately a ghost is causing problems...or is it a ghost? Shoe-obsessed Claude notices something is wrong. Great silliness abounds. Absurdities pile one upon another. Giggle-worthy things happen on every page. Really--a sock wearing safety goggles? Exaggerated illustrations add to the enjoyment. This is another fun romp that will be thoroughly enjoyed by those just transitioning to chapter books.
Star Wars : Return Of The Jedi Read-Along Storybook And Cd
Disney Lucasfilm Press [Disney Lucasfilm Press]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Here is a very short overview of the entire movie "Return of the Jedi." The writing isn't inspired, since it has to cram so much information into a short paperback picture book. It hits all the key points, however. Photographs from the movie enhance the white text on black backgrounds. This is an adequate at-home book. HOWEVER, add in the accompanying CD and you really have something. The reading of the story (with page turn signals) is rich with Star Wars music, excellent narration, clips from the show, and sound effects. It really brings the book to life. Together this makes a fun reading experience.
Recess Is A Jungle!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Chabert, Jack
Ricks, Sam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Eerie Elementary lives up to its name in this, the third book in the series. The school is alive...and evil, but Sam, Antonio, and Lucy help keep everyone who doesn't realize this safe. Besides, the influence of the school stops at the fence, right? When a soccer ball goes past the fence and our heroes go after it they begin to doubt this concept. Suddenly they are trapped in a malevolent swamp, their lives in danger. Playground equipment has come to deadly life. Plants cannot be trusted. Something is trying to keep them from returning to the school. Was it all a ploy to distract them? This is a fun transitional chapter book series with just enough "scare factor" to please readers who want a shiver up their spines. Occasional black and white illustrations, along with short, fast-paced chapters, combine to make this a good choice for readers who have recently moved out of picture books.
Quest For The Crystal
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Howard, Kate
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no! Lloyd has been captured by the evil Morro. Now his friends have to find the Realm Crystal before Morro can. This involves following a prophecy, knowing their ninjago, and passing a series of dangerous tests. Yet, even that may not be enough to save their friend. This is a paperback fluff book for fans of the series. The story is disjointed and the illustrations (taken from the TV show?) are dark and blurry. Only true fans will find joy in this book.
Bean And Cheese Taco Birthday = Un Cumpleanos Con Tacos De F
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Bertrand, Diane Gonzales
Trujillo, Robert
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Dario has a little brother, Ariel, who will be five years old soon. What kind of birthday will he want? Dario's 5th birthday was an extravaganza. Ariel, however, wants bean and cheese tacos at the park, with bubbles. What a let down! However, a family afternoon at the park turns out to be pretty special after all. Both English and Spanish versions of the text are found in this bilingual book. The illustrations are soft and muted, and not particularly appealing. The story is fun, but not exceptional. Here's the thing, however--I know from recent experience that finding bilingual English/Spanish books is HARD. Therefore this book meets a very specific need.
Polar Animals
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
Arlon, Penelope
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 14, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This visually stimulating book will keep young nonfiction readers busy for hours. In addition to the Table of Contents, Index, and Glossary, there is also a two-page spread introducing the accompanying digital book (which is definitely worth downloading as it features polar explorers). Both Arctic and the Antarctic animals are studied in the book; the first half dealing with Arctic and second half the "bottom" of the world. The photos are stellar and have just enough text explaining them on the page to satisfy the reader. At the end of the book a couple of pages are spent looking at the harm that humans "may" be causing to the poles with global warming (no proselytizing). The drawbacks to this Scholastic Discover More publication is 1) its flimsy, non-library binding and 2) various errors in the text e.g. -40 degrees F = -40 degrees C.
Animals Work
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Lewin, Ted
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 14, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
I did not care for this illustrated, short sentence book about animals working. First of all, I think that the author could have varied his vocabulary about work ("carry" was used three times and "pull" four times). Secondly, the last two pages which feature a boy and his cat have nothing to do with animals working. The illustrations are beautiful, drawn from animals that Lewin has seen in various parts of the world, but the book does not hold together at all and is not enjoyable to read.
Iwo Jima
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Graphic Warfare" series, this well-bound 32-page book contains solid historical information, presented in easy bits in a graphic novel format. In this entry in the series young readers get a clear and concise overview of Not just the battle for Iwo Jima, but WWII in the Pacific. The foreword provides the background needed to place the historical event in context. Readers then learn about Japanese expansion and goals, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the strategic value of Iwo Jima. Japanese tunnels and plans, and the landing of troops are examined in detail. The eventual fall of the island to American forces, and subsequent end of the war are each presented. Information is given about the iconic flag-raising there. Each book in the series ends with an acknowledgment of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives. Maps, timeline, quick stats, a website link, glossary and index are included as well as a quick overview of two key players, in this case Kuribayashi Tadamichi and Chester Nimitz. Evocative color graphic illustrations accompany the text. This presents the information in a very kid-friendly fashion, providing all the key points a person would need for a basic understanding of the subject.
Fallujah
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Graphic Warfare" series, this well-bound 32-page book contains solid historical information, presented in easy bits in a graphic novel format. In this entry in the series young readers get a clear and concise overview of the Iraq War, with emphasis on the battles for Fallujah. The foreword provides the background needed to place the historical event in context. Readers then learn about the history of the region, Desert Storm, September 11th, Fallujah, and a brief look at the situation today. Each book in the series ends with an acknowledgment of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives. Maps, timeline, quick stats, a website link, glossary and index are included. There is also a quick overview of two key players, in this case George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. Evocative color graphic illustrations accompany the text. This presents the information in a very kid-friendly fashion, providing all the key points a person would need for a basic understanding of the Iraq War.
Tet Offensive
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Graphic Warfare" series, this well-bound 32-page book contains solid historical information, presented in easy bits in a graphic novel format. In this entry in the series young readers get a clear and concise overview of the Tet Offensive and, through it, the entire Vietnam War. The foreword provides the background needed to place the historical event in context. Readers then learn about the history of the region, the 17th Parallel, the entry of the United States into the war, and the eventual anti-war sentiment that arose. Each book in the series ends with an acknowledgment of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives. Maps, timeline, quick stats, a website link, glossary and index. are included as well as a quick overview of two key players, in this case William Westmoreland and Vo Nguyen Giap. Evocative color graphic illustrations accompany the text. This presents the information in a very kid-friendly fashion, providing all the key points a person would need for a basic understanding of the Vietnam War, with emphasis on the Tet Offensive.
Armistice Day
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Graphic Warfare" series, this well-bound 32-page book contains solid historical information, presented in easy bits in a graphic novel format. In this entry, a young boy learns about Armistice Day from his grandfather. The foreword provides the background needed to place thingsin context. Readers then learn about the causes of WWI, the innovations in warfare seen during the war, and its eventual end. Each book in the series ends with an acknowledgment of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, maps, timeline, quick stats, a website link, glossary and index. There is also a quick overview of two key players, in this case Ferdinand Foch and Matthias Erzberger. Evocative color graphic illustrations accompany the text. The grandfather explains how Armistice Day evolved into Veteran's Day in the United States. This presents the information in a very kid-friendly fashion, providing all the key points a person would need for a basic understanding of the origins of the holiday.
Phillis Wheatley : Colonial African-American Poet
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Taylor, Charlotte
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Phillis Wheatley is a fascinating woman from American history. Kidnapped from her African home and sold as a slave in 1761, she gained an education and wrote complex and beautiful poetry, some of which was published. This flew in the face of the common belief of the time that a black skin meant a blank mind, which helped to justify the practice of slavery. Part of the "Exceptional African Americans" series this sturdy 24-page book introduces young readers to Phillis Wheatley by giving a brief history of her life. Truthfully, there is not a lot left from that time period, so the author frequently resorts to references to what was typical of the day. Nevertheless, the book is a clear, crisp look at this important African-American. It includes well-captioned historical artwork, quotes from her poems, a timeline, bibliography, website list, and index. It would be a good addition to library collections, especially during Black History Month.
Crispus Attucks : A Hero Of The American Revolution
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Taylor, Charlotte
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Exceptional African Americans" series this sturdy 24-page book introduces young readers to Crispus Attucks - the first victim of the Boston Massacre and, arguably, the first victim of the American Revolution. A "Words to Know" page begins the book. Then young readers learn how Crispus Attucks was born a slave, how he escaped slavery, and how he came to be in Boston on that fateful day. The book is filled with well-captioned historical artwork and plenty of quotes from John Boyle O'Reilly's poem "Crispus Attucks." A very brief timeline, bibliography, website list, and index are included. This would be a nice addition to collections, especially for Black History Month.
D-Day
Graphic Planet [Graphic Planet]
Dunn, Joeming
Dunn, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Graphic Warfare" series, this well-bound 32-page book contains solid historical information, presented in easy bits in a graphic novel format. In this entry in the series young readers get a clear and concise overview of D-Day. The foreword provides the background needed to place the historical event in context. Readers then learn about the rise of the Third Reich, the beginning of WWII, the Atlantic Wall, then the preparations and deceptions that led up to Operation Overlord. Each beach assault is presented clearly, and the impact of this mission on the war is emphasized. Each book in the series ends with an acknowledgment of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives, maps, timeline, quick stats, a website link, glossary and index. There is also a quick overview of two key players, in this case Dwight D. Eisenhower and Erwin Rommel. Evocative color graphic illustrations accompany the text. This presents the information in a very kid-friendly fashion, providing all the key points a person would need for a basic understanding of D-Day.
Sojourner Truth : Abolitionist And Activist
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Taylor, Charlotte
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lamentably, the review copy of this book has the cover for Sojourner Truth, but the interior is the biography of Kobe Bryant. This binding error makes it impossible to review the listed title.
Scary Small
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Andrus, Aubre
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
That cute little wolf puppy? He turns into a pointed tooth killing machine! Same with that lion cub. Even that cute baby hippo will threaten your life when it's grown. Do you like small cuddly animals or big fierce ones? This book presents both. Each two page spread features an animal--the first shows it as a baby with a little information about the animal. Flip the page and you see a snarly dangerous version of the animal as an adult and learn how deadly it can be. Whoa! This is clearly a browsing book and has an interesting feature. If you flip from the top of the book you get the cute and cuddly babies. If you flip from the bottom you get the dangerous adults. (It has to do with how the pages are cut.) This is a fun browsing book that should appeal to young readers.
Benny And Penny In Lights Out!
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Hayes, Geoffrey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's bedtime, but are little mice Benny and Penny going to sleep? Not likely! Clearly this is a time for adventure. Penny is more on track for bedtime, but Benny is far from sleepy. Has someone stolen the moon? Can he make that bedtime story more exciting? Wait, Benny can't sleep without his pirate hat, and he left it outside in the playhouse. This calls for an excursion! Wait...what's that noise? This is a Toon Book, so it's an easy-reader graphic novel. The bouncy, funny text goes perfectly with the pictures of round and cuddly, yet mischievous, baby mice. Put them together and you have a winner.
Fun Book Of Scary Stuff
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Jenkins, Emily
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone has fears. In this book a boy talks about the things he is afraid of--ghosts, monsters, trolls, the crossing guard at school... His two dogs provide commentary and reassurance. The story is told entirely in dialogue bubbles, with humorous illustrations by Hyewon Yum that poke a little fun at basic fears. This is a gently comforting book that allows children to express their fears in a safe setting.
Remembering Day = El Dia De Los Muertos
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Mora, Pat
Casilla, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this gently sweet book Pat Mora posits the beginnings of Dia de los Muertos as young Bella's grandmother teaches her, and shares the wonders of the world with her granddaughter long ago in the land that is to become Mexico. Their relationship is sweet and satisfying, but Mama Alma knows she will soon pass away. She tells Bella that their relationship will continue as she remembers the things they shared together. A year after Mama Alama passes away a day of remembering is held, and thus is the beginning of Dia de los Muertos. The author is careful to focus on the true meaning of the holiday--the remembering of loved ones gone on ahead, rather than the fluff and hype of candy skulls and Halloweenish modern practices. Did the holiday evolve this way? Who knows? But the book is beautifully written and warmly reassuring. Robert Casillas muted and expressive illustrations add just the right touch. The text is provided in both Spanish and English, making this an excellent addition to library bilingual collections.
Place Where You Live = El Lugar Donde Vives
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Luna, James
Muraida, Thelma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is the place where you live. This is the kitchen, warm and sunny, with tortillas, hot chocolate and everything yummy, here in the place where you live. This is a book that celebrates community--home, and neighborhood, friends and family. The English-language text has the feel, rhythm, and near rhyme of "This is the House that Jack Built" without the cumulative style. The Spanish-language text is not nearly as lyrical, although it covers the same subject matter. Soft illustrations by Thelma Muraida show a multicultural town with smiling faces all around. While not exceptional, this is certainly a nice book. Add that to the challenge of finding solid bilingual materials and you'll want to add it to your bilingual collection.
Rosa Parks : Activist For Equality
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "History Maker Biographies" series, this large-format 24-page book introduces beginning readers to Civil Rights activist, Rosa Parks. Big black and white photographs fill the right-hand pages and bow across the gutter to face several sentences of simple informative text. Readers learn a little about Rosa Park's childhood, marriage, and act of rebellion on the bus. Segregation is mentioned, as well as the Montgomery bus boycott and the Supreme court decision. Nothing is examined in any depth. Standard text features apply. The entire book is rather slight, but it does its job in providing very easy nonfiction and in introducing the very young to an important person in American history.
Friendshape
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse
Lichentenheld, Tom
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2016
Kline, Karen
The powerhouse duo Rosenthal and Lichtenheld have created a book that kids and adults will turn to for a celebration of what it means to be friends. The friendly-faced circle, square, triangle, and rectangle of different colors make the point that friends come in all shapes and colors. When the octagon “stops” by and the friends quarrel and their wiggly lines depict them getting “bent out of shape,” readers will pause to appreciate the message and the fun with each page turn. Clever wordplay interweaves seamlessly with the artwork throughout the book to create visual and verbal fun. Simple text on each page accompanied by occasional talk blurbs, make this book accessible to beginning readers yet even the most mature readers will smile knowingly and enjoy sharing this with any audience.
Bee Dance
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Chrustowski, Rick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 15, 2016
Kline, Karen
Get storytime listeners doing the honey bee jitterbug with this cheerful, informative picture book that is as much factual as it is fun. Bright and bold mixed media illustrations help young naturalist understand the anatomy of bees by including details like the bee’s nimble tongue and pollen baskets on forager bees’ hind legs. The author-illustrator adds many helpful visual details for pre-readers to absorb. There’s the hexagonal shape of the honeycomb cells, a contrasting purple diagram showing the figure eight shaped dance mentioned in the text, and a rich flora and fauna that treat the keen observer to extra perks like a lurking bat, a mostly-camouflaged grasshopper and a colorful palate of botanically accurate prairie flowers. The readability of the text is simple enough for beginning readers, yet the second-person narrative is an unusual vantage that puts the reader right alongside these bees as they buzz and work. The book closes with a page of in-depth explanation of just how bees communicate with their dance relative to their location of the sun and more that was verified by Cornell professor of neurobiology. First rate picture book! Cover diagram of the bee anatomy and common names of prairie flowers not on jacket.
Poet : The Remarkable Story Of George Moses Horton
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Tate, Don
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2016
Kline, Karen
This is the life story of a man that fought for literacy -- his own. Moses Horton grew up as a slave in North Carolina. Horton taught himself to read and as an adult he was taught to write by the kindly wife of a university professor after making a name for himself reciting his own poetry at his owner’s produce stand. The students who heard him were so impressed that they began to give George money, books, and clothes-- sometimes in exchange for his poems, mostly love poems. The same professor’s wife helped George get his poems published including some about the wrongness of slavery. The illustrations bring many qualities to this story. Tate’s art transitions from wholly uplifting and inspiring to depictions of frustration and brutality. In the author’s note we learn about Tate’s research reflected in the bibliography. Horton was a gifted writer who had so much to overcome to have his words heard and seen, and this book is a story that today’s young readers and writers will find compelling and that educators will find worthy of sharing.
Praying mantises
21st Century [21st Century]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp, close-up full-page photographs are the highlight of this interesting and kid-friendly book on praying mantises. A sentence or two of big bold text, in a fun graphic box, faces each photograph. Readers learn about a praying mantis' camouflage, diet, behavior and anatomy. Predators are examined, and the life-cycle of the mantis is briefly highlighted. There's a glossary, bibliography, website link and index. This is a solid addition to the easy nonfiction collection.
Birds
Scholastic Reference [Scholastic Reference]
Arlon, Penelope
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 15, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
These Scholastic Discover More series books are delightful. Aimed at "brand-new readers," there is a two page spread for each subject with plenty of gorgeous photos and simple text. I am not sure which brand-new reader could actually tackle this book, though. The font is large and the vocabulary somewhat simple, but still I am certain that this would be adult-directed reading. The Table of Contents, Index, and Glossary are included which is a selling point to introduce new readers to these nonfiction text features. The accompanying web site is meant to show young people what becoming a birder entails. The pages are thick, almost card stock, and sturdy. The binding, however, is flexible and not up to library standards.
Independence Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
"The Story of Our Holidays" series consists of sturdy 32-page books that give a nice in-depth look at holidays and the many ways in which they are celebrated. This entry in the series focuses on Independence Day. Naturally the book explains the origins of the holiday--the signing of the Declaration of Independence as well as a brief overview of our nation's road to freedom from Great Britain. The main part of the book, however, focuses on parades, fireworks, food, and interesting local traditions. There's an art project that could be better explained, and a recipe whose picture does not match the recipe instructions at all. Nevertheless, the body of the book contains solid and interesting information. With it's crisp well-captioned photographs and clear informative text this would be a nice addition to holiday collections.
Paul Gauguin
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Venezia, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Venezia always writes a fun biography and this is no exception. The author introduces young readers to artist, Paul Gauguin. Readers learn about his travels, family, and, of course, artwork. Artists that influenced Gauguin are highlighted. Venezia points out the various locales and experiences that helped the artist mature in his style. This is the updated version, which means that the end papers are chockablock full of information--maps, timeline, a quiz. The book includes a short glossary and index. Plenty of examples of Gauguin's classic art, as well as art by other artists, are included in the book. One warning--Gauguin's Tahiti artwork contains plenty of bare-breasted women.
Comics : Investigate The History And Technology Of American
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Carbaugh, Samuel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 15, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
If you want to learn about comics, from the history to the making of, this is the book for you (well, if you are in elementary school, anyway). This fascinating and thorough study of how comics began (with early man and cave drawings) to where they are today (graphic novels, web comics, and anime) includes many "how-to" pages for the up and coming comic artist. The Table of Contents and Index are great navigational tools. The Glossary is a list of words that were already explained on the pages on which they were mentioned, so I am not sure of the point. The information about the Comics Code was eye-opening to me as I had no idea that comics had ever been considered subversive in America. I will purchase this book for my library, perhaps for the instructions on how to draw comics and hoping that a little bit of the history is read by the artist who checks out the book. The author is a comic artist himself and this Nomad Press book is part of a Build It Yourself series.
Komodo Conflict
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Patton, Jack
Bean, Brett
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In the "Battle Bugs" series a human, Max, has the ability to travel to the world of the bugs. This is book #6 in the series and the conflict between Bug Island and Reptile Island is now coming to a head. The volcano on Reptile Island is about to erupt so the reptiles plan on taking over Bug Island and enslaving (and eating) its population. Max rallies the troops and creates a defense plan. However, it all may be for naught because of a traitor in their midst. The books are full of factual information about both insects and reptiles, as well as plenty of action and adventure. Fans of the SWITCH series will enjoy this one as well. Short chapters and occasional black and white illustrations make this a good choice for reluctant readers.
Jack And The Snackstalk
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Jones, Noah Z
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe" series is a remarkably silly, highly illustrated, short chapter book series that has a solid fan base. Her first name is Princess. Her last name is Pink. She eschews princessy clothing and hates the color pink. She also has a magical refrigerator that can send her to her friends in the Land of Fake-Believe. In this entry in the series Princess goes to visit her friend Moldylocks. They plan a movie night with Moldylock's cousin, Jack, but they're short on snacks. Magic jellybeans create a snackstalk that they climb through cotton candy clouds. There are tons of snacks up there! Unfortunately there is also a giant rabbit guarding a Golden Egg Roll. Greed, wereworms, and nonsense abound. This series is colorful fluff, and is in remarkably high demand.
St. Patrick's Day
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Story of Our Holidays" series, this well-written, sturdy, 32-page book introduces young readers to St. Patrick's Day. Bright, well-captioned photographs accompany crisp and informative text as readers learn about what is known about the man who became Saint Patrick. Symbols of the holiday are explained and the many ways in which is is celebrated are highlighted. The book includes a recipe for Shepherd's Pie and an arts and craft activity showing how to make a pot of gold. A glossary, bibliography, website list, and index finish up the book. Optimistic and highly-readable, This is an excellent series that provides more than a cursory overview of holidays. Add it to your library collections.
Easter
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Story of Our Holidays" series, this well-written, sturdy, 32-page book introduces young readers to the holiday of Easter. Bright, well-captioned photographs accompany crisp and informative text as readers learn about the history of the holiday, While bunnies, colored eggs, and spring get mentioned, the book does provide a strong focus on this as a Christian holiday celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Information is given about Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday services. Symbols of the season are explained, and various ways in which the holiday is celebrated are presented. There's a recipe for carrot cupcakes, as well as an arts & crafts project making baby chicks from yellow fluffy pompoms. A glossary, bibliography, website list, and index finish up the book. This is an excellent series that provides more than a cursory overview of holidays.
Mardi Gras
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Ponto, Joanna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of "The Story of Our Holidays" series, this well-written, sturdy, 32-page book introduces young readers to the holiday of Mardi Gras. Bright, well-captioned photographs accompany crisp and informative text as readers learn about the history of the holiday, its international appeal, and ways in which it is celebrated. Krewes, parades, throws, and other traditions are all highlighted. A recipe is included for Seafood Gumbo, and there is a craft mask-making activity. A glossary, bibliography, website list, and index finish up the book. This is an excellent series that provides more than a cursory overview of holidays.
Underwater Planet
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Will Geronimo Stilton books ever end? Not likely. This is a popular franchise and it keeps expanding. This is the sixth book in the Spacemice series. Basically it's Geronimo Stilton in outer space. Apparently all you need to do to turn something into science fiction is to add an "x" to the end with, perhaps, a vowel before it. A mystery occurs on Geronimo's spaceship. A sphere awakens and they must return it to its home planet, which is a water world. Dangers are to be faced, of course, and new friends will be made. Oh, wait, are those space pirates? Geronimo Stiltonix is on the job! This is typical of the series, with all the characters you've come to know and love. Bright changing fonts convey a lot of expression in the text, and the colorful illustrations keep reluctant readers involved. While there is a certain "sameness" to all the books in the series this will, nevertheless, be well-received by fans.
Mouse Overboard!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bumbling, clumsy, but good-hearted Geronimo is off on another adventure with family and friends. This time he has been asked to be part of a reenactment of a voyage by Vasco de Gama. It is said that Vasco de Gama is one of Geronimo's ancestors. For a seasick mouse this is a daunting task. Naturally there are secrets aboard the ship, lots to learn about Portugal and the famous explorer who hails from the country. Changing fonts convey a lot of emotion and enthusiasm, adding to the text. Bright cartoon illustrations attract reluctant readers. This is a never-ending series with all the books pretty much the same. That doesn't deter its avid readers, however.
Half A Creature From The Sea : A Life In Stories
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Almond, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 17, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
David Almond's home town of Tyneside in Northern England comes alive in this mixture of fact, fiction, and fantastical short stories. If you like Almond's writing, you will surely love these stories. Prefacing each one is Almond's explanation of the real Tyneside as he was growing up in the 1950s and 60s. Then, each story is told complete with Geordie accents, small town punks and heroes, families, and, of course, football. The writer's imagination and recall of his early years is delightful, but then again, I am a dedicated Almond fan! Having said that, I am not sure who will find this book. It won't go into my library, but maybe it would fit into a middle or high school setting.
Dear Wandering Wildebeest : And Other Poems From The Water H
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Latham, Irene
Wadbam, Anna
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
February 17, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Lovely and lively, this book of poems about animals living on the Serengeti is magical! Inspired by African photographer, Greg du Toit, Latham sets the poems in the grasslands of Africa, the native home to the animals of which she writes. Not all animals are included, but presumably the ones that are happen to be Latham's favorites. I can see enriching the reading of this book to primary classes with having children emulating the simple color pencil drawings/watercolor of the illustrator, Anna Wadham. Another activity that would lend itself to this book is acting out scenes from the poems. It is a must have for a school library! 33 pages includes a Table of Contents, Glossary, Further Reading, and Websites for learning more.
If : A Mind-Bending New Way Of Looking At Big Ideas And Numb
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Smith, David J
Adams, Steve
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
February 17, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
David J. Smith's books on scale are ever intriguing. His other works, If the World Were a Village, If America Were a Village, and This Child, Every Child deal with scale comparisons of countries. This Big Ideas and Numbers book looks at all sorts of subjects, from planets to types of life forms on Earth. Children and adults alike will be fascinated by Smith's analyses accompanied by illustrator, Steve Adams's drawings. Children will need to have the concept of scale explained to them, but soon will catch on to the idea. It is a simple and dynamic way of explaining the excesses and disparity of wealth, resources, and the proliferation of species in our world. Every school library should have all of Smith's books on its shelves. Smith includes a Table of Contents, Note to Parents and Teachers (Smith shares ideas for lessons, as he was an educator himself for 25 years), and Sources.
Life During The Civil War
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Halls, Kelly Milner
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 18, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Daily Life in US History" and is written by Washington author, Kelly Milner Halls. The well-written text gives a solid overview of the US Civil War by looking at the daily lives of a variety of people. The book opens with the events leading up to the war including slavery and Lincoln's election. The book explores schooling, agriculture, clothing, and customs of people during this time period. Call out boxes provide additional information about people or concepts related to the topic at hand. The book ends with a description of the aftermath and impact of the war. Gray-scale and color illustration are found throughout the book. There is a daily schedule for a plantation owner's wife that includes the schedules of two house slaves. Common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter and in the end matter. The book has the expected non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. Buy this book when you are updating your Civil War collection.
Eating Organic
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Rissman, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 19, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Food Matters" series, this 48 page book explores the world of organic foods. The well-written text explains why organics have become popular, how organic farming works, and pros/cons to eating organic foods. Call out boxes, tables, and charts are found throughout the book to provide the reader with background and additional information. Color, captioned photographs also assist the reader. A recipe for black bean and avocado salsa is found in the back. Common Core related activities are found at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. The book has all of the typical non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. A solid book in this series. Buy particularly if you have a school garden or other related program.
Mummy Cat
CLARION [CLARION]
Ewert, Marcus
Brown, Lisa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 19, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Deep within a pyramid, mummy cat awakens every 100 years to see if his owner, Queen Hatshupset has come back. He wanders through the tomb reminiscing as he views the painting that decorate the walls. He looks at the treasures and finally the queen's golden coffin. He must wait with his memories for another 100 years. This picture book contains vibrant illustrations that show life in Ancient Egypt and afterlife. End matter includes more information about mummies, cats, queens, and hieroglyphics. Readers can search for hieroglyphics occurring in the illustrations. An exciting read for future archaeologists! 40 pages.
Malala Yousafzai
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Doak, Robin S
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 19, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "True Book About" series, this 48 page biography explores the life of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. The book opens with a brief description of the 2012 incident where she was shot and then follows her life chronologically. We learn about life for girls in Pakistan, why she loves learning, and why she spoke up about education for girls. We also learn about life under Taliban rule and her blog. We meet her family members. Then we return to 2012 and learn how her live was saved, the worldwide support she received, her Nobel Prize, and her work today. Because she is still making news and this book only covers her life to late 2014, it will soon be out of date. However, it is an inspiring story that should be a part of your biography collection. The book has a true/false quiz, table of contents, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), glossary, index, and author information.
Amazing Incredibull
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Litwin, Mike
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Dakota lives an interesting life. He was shipwrecked on Bermooda--and island populated by talking cows who speak of the mythical hu'mans with great fear. Hence the cow costume he wears. He's been there for a while, now, and has integrated into cow society with the help of his best friend, Chuck. When they win a chance to meet the reclusive author/illustrator of Chuck's favorite comic book series--IncrediBull--Chuck is over the moon. However, an accident makes the artist think he actually IS his superhero. Soon he is doing deeds of derring do all over the island. But is there really a super villain at work here? Recruited as IncrediBull's youthful sidekick, Fantasti-Calf, Dakota isn't so sure, but if there is they're going to have to save the day. This series is wacky and udderly filled with horrible cow puns. Fans of the Chet Gecko series would probably find this hilarious.
Blossom The Flower Girl Fairy
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Meadows, Daisy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Rainbow Magic" books are designed for girls who love fluff and fairies. In this Special Edition there are three short books all related to each other. Rachel's Aunt Angela is a wedding planner. She's asked for Rachel and Kirsty's help. A royal wedding is taking place in Fairyland as well. However, Jack Frost is working hard to spoil both weddings by stealing magical items that belong to the Flower Girl Fairy, who is there to make sure everything goes well. The girls must work both in our world and the world of the fairies to thwart Jack Frost and make sure everything ends happily ever after. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text. These books are insanely popular with a certain group of readers. While not an essential purchase, this is not a bad choice for those just stepping out of transitional chapter books.
Chasing The Baton
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Wallace, Rich
Heitz, Tim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Game Face" early chapter book sports series, this book introduces readers to Marcus Thorpe. He's an African-American kid involved in track, most especially the 400-meter race. When he fails miserably at his first meet Marcus is discouraged. However, hard work and strategy--learning to pace himself--begin to pay off. Will his friend's good natured teasing put an end to their friendship, however? This is a nice series with a few black and white illustrations, good information about the sport, and likable characters. Supportive adults abound as well. Buy the series for your sports fans.
Race Against Time
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 20, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Geronimo Stilton fans rejoice! This big hardcover book contains his third journey through time. Along with adventurous Thea, ever-hungry and annoying Trap, his nephew Benjamin and Benjamin's friend, Bugsy Wugsy, Geronimo visits the Ice Age, ancient Greece, and the Renaissance in depth, along with a few quick accidental trips where they meet pirates, inventors, and Genghis Khan. At each stop they manage to make a difference, and young readers learn much about the time period including typical clothing, diet, housing, and daily life. Of course there are silly adventures along the way, plenty of splashy cartoon illustrations, and Geronimo getting into tons of trouble, often due to Trap's interference. This is typical Geronimo Stilton and, as such, will be just as popular as the rest of the books.
American Bison
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to American bison with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters with the first one titled simply American Bison with twelve pages and then Grazing & Food and Baby Bison with only two or four pages. It includes a facts page with three facts, 5-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Guild Of Geniuses
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Santat, Dan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Mr. Pip the Monkey is best friends with Frederick the famous actor, but on Frederick’s birthday he is so busy opening fabulous gifts from famous people that he doesn’t have time to open Mr. Pip’s gift to him. Mr. Pip is so dejected that Frederick sends him to the Guild of Geniuses so they can solve Mr. Pip’s problem while Frederick is gone for two weeks filming a movie. The geniuses try many clever ways to cheer up Mr. Pip, but they fail. Frederick comes back and spends time with Mr. Pip and Mr. Pip’s problem is solved. This is an odd story with a lesson that is obvious from the beginning. The acrylic and mixed media illustrations fill the pages with details and humor, but in the end the story does not resonate.
Duck's Vacation
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Soffer, Gilad
Giampaglia, Walter/cartoon Saloon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Duck is having a wonderful vacation relaxing on the beach until the reader turns the page and his perfect vacation is interrupted. Duck gets more upset as the reader turns the pages and things start to happen from a pinching crab to kids playing to snow and penguins and finally pirates. The hungry pirates try to make duck soup and that is the final straw and duck leaves the book, then the pirates want to tell their story. This is a light and humorous book that young children will enjoy especially when Duck gets more upset at the turning pages. The colorful and spare pencil illustrations are a perfect complement to the story.
Cabras
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This Spanish language book is a very basic introduction to goats with large photographs and one or two very simple sentences on each two-page spread. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter and then a page called “The Life of a Goat” with four small labeled photographs. There is a 3-word glossary with photos and a 10-word index. There would not be enough information for a young student to do much research, but it does introduce the animal in a general way with interesting photographs and is accessible to very beginning readers. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animales de granja/Farm Animals series.
Raccoons
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This a very basic introduction to raccoons with large photographs and one or two very simple sentences on each two-page spread. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter and then a page called “Features of Raccoon” with four small labeled photographs. There is a 3-word glossary with photos and a 10-word index. There would not be enough information for a young student to do much research, but it does introduce the animal in a general way with interesting photographs and is accessible to very beginning readers. It is part of the Abdo Kids Everyday Animals series.
Grizzly Bears
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to grizzly bears with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters of four to ten pages with the first one titled simply Grizzly Bears and then Food and Sleep, and Baby Grizzly Bears. It includes a facts page with three facts, 3-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Gray Wolves
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to gray wolves with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters of four to eight pages with the first one titled simply Gray Wolves and then Wolf Packs, and Baby Gray Wolves. It includes a facts page with three facts, 3-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Moose
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to moose with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters of four to ten pages with the first one titled simply Gray Wolves and then Food & Eating, and Baby Moose. It includes a facts page with three facts, 2-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Coyotes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to coyotes with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters of four to eight pages with the first one titled simply Coyotes and then Hunting & Food, and Packs & Pups. It includes a facts page with three facts, 4-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Bald Eagles
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a basic introduction to bald eagles with large photographs and two to four simple sentences on each two-page spread. There three chapters of four to eight pages with the first one titled simply Bald Eagles and then Food & Hunting and Baby Bald Eagles. It includes a facts page with three facts, 3-word glossary, table of contents, and very short index. It is slightly more difficult and detailed than several other Abdo Kids series, such as Farm Animals, Pet Animals, and Everyday Animals. There is enough information for a very basic research report. It is part of the Abdo Kids Animals of North America series.
Rabbits
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This a very basic introduction to rabbits with large photographs and one to three very simple sentences on each two-page spread. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter and then a page called “Features of Rabbits” with four small labeled photographs. There is a 2-word glossary with photos and an 11-word index. The focus is on wild rabbits and not pet rabbits, but there is one photograph of a child holding a rabbit. There would not be enough information for a young student to do much research, but it does introduce the animal in a general way with interesting photographs and is accessible to very beginning readers. It is part of the Abdo Kids Everyday Animals series.
Garter Snakes
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This a very basic introduction to garter snakes with large photographs and one to three very simple sentences on each two-page spread. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter and then a page called “Features of Garter Snakes” with four small labeled photographs. There is a 2-word glossary with photos and a 11-word index. There would not be enough information for a young student to do much research, but it does introduce the animal in a general way with interesting photographs and is accessible to very beginning readers. It is part of the Abdo Kids Everyday Animals series.
Deer
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 21, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This a very basic introduction to deer with large photographs and one to three very simple sentences on each two-page spread. There is a table of contents, but only one chapter and then a page called “Features of Deer” with four small labeled photographs. There is a 2-word glossary with photos and a 13-word index. There would not be enough information for a young student to do much research, but it does introduce the animal in a general way with interesting photographs and is accessible to very beginning readers. It is part of the Abdo Kids Everyday Animals series.
Ellie
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Wu, Mike
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 21, 2016
Kline, Karen
Ellie is an elephant in a zoo, a zoo that will be closed. Ellie and her animal friends aren’t told why the zoo will be closed, but all they know is that they want to find a way to save it. Gerard the bespectacled gorilla “always has good ideas” and suggests sprucing things up. Lucy the long-necked giraffe starts pruning trees, and Ellie begins to observe the other animals using their talents to contribute to the clean up. Even Walt, the zookeeper, is putting a coat of paint on one of the buildings. Ellie wants to be a part of the effort, but she doubts her abilities and talent. Ellie tentatively tries using the unknown tool that the zookeeper lays down and worries she may have ruined his work. The characters’ friendly expressions will draw in young audiences, and Wu’s use of drama and perspective add to the overall effect as we see a partial display of the giraffe as her neck extends off the page and muted tones become vibrant as inspired art takes center stage. Ellie’s notion to help over time develops into a talent that brings visitors to the zoo from far and wide. The book speaks to the power of art to reach out and touch others while healing one’s own spirit at the same time.
Descendants : Mal's Spell Book
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 21, 2016
Kline, Karen
This is the evil Disney queen Maleficent’s spell book that she’s given to her daughter Mal as Mal escapes the Isle of the Lost (see PSC review 11/28/2015). Mal and her friends from the Isle-- Evie, Jay, and Carlos-- are invited to be students at Auradon Prep where all the kids of the good heroes go to school including Prince Ben, the son of Belle and the Beast. Seems the do-gooders think the children deserve a chance to choose good over evil. Mal and friends use the spell book to communicate while being charged by Maleficent with retrieving the Fairy Godmother’s wand which will give Mal’s mother the power she needs to break free of the Isle of the Lost and “bend both good and evil to her will.” The spell book itself is filled with potion recipes, otherworldly tips, photo scraps, and, of course, spells. The four Descendants write in their different colored and penned notes around the margins to tell the story of their experiences and plotting while at the academy. Disney Channel series and movie tie-ins are sure to attract some fans to read this book that may endure longer than the hype due to the characters’ links to popular and well-known villains, princesses and heroes.
Life During World War Ii
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Lanier, Wendy H
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 22, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Daily Life in US History" series, this 48 page book explores life during World War II. The first chapter focuses on the causes of the war and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Then the book describes changes in the work force, especially for women and African Americans. The book also describes rationing, school, playtime, recycling, and entertainment. The book closes with the end of the war and its impact. A daily schedule for a girl who is responsible for much of the household since her mother is now working is included in the end matter. Call out boxes provide background and additional information (topics such as Japanese American internment are included here). The text is well-written and understandable. The book has common core related activities at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. The book is complete with the traditional non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, index, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's web page). This would be an excellent book for your history section especially since the focus is on the home-side aspects of the war.
Stinky Cecil In Operation Pond Rescue
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Braddock, Paige
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 22, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Cecil, a frog, must figure out a way to stop his pond from being developed into a freeway. Along with his friends they try to sabotage the construction equipment. When Cecil's friend Ray Ray is discovered by scientist as a rare salamader, the pond is saved as a protected habitat. The story is told in graphic novel format with illustrations that will delight younger readers of this genre. More information about the toad and earthworm are found in the back of the book. A solid addition to your graphic novel section.
Seismology : Our Violent Earth
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Baxter, Roberta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 22, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "History of Science" series, this 112 page book looks at the science of earthquakes. The opening chapter compares the 2010 quakes in Haiti and Chile. The book then looks at seismic theories throughout history beginning with the ancient Greeks. The reader will learn about waves, faults, magnitude, and plate tectonics. The book also covers efforts to detect and record earthquakes, tsunamis, prediction, and safety during a quake. The text is well written and understandable. Color, captioned photographs, charts, diagrams, and maps are found throughout. Sidebars provide additional information to assist the reader. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, key facts, glossary, bibliography, source notes, index, and author information. A strong offering for your Earth sciences section.
Baby-Sitters Club Graphix : 4 : Claudia And Mean Janine
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Martin, Ann M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 22, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
One of Telgemier’s charming graphic novel versions of Ann Martin’s classic Babysitter’s Club series. Claudia and her Babysitter’s Club friends are putting together a sort of a play group/summer camp for the kids of their clients and it leads to disagreements between Claudia and her older sister Janine. The expressive artwork will captivate readers and the series will win a new generation of fans. Nicely done, middle schoolers will also enjoy it.
Rise Of Herk
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Tennapel, Doug
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 22, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Herk’s new home is threatened by the ill-intentioned Lizzarks and he must fight to save his family and their world. TenNapel’s many fans will feel right at home with his quirky, detailed creatures and somewhat somber color palate. This is book 2 of the Nnewts series. Doesn’t stand alone very well, but his work is so popular that most libraries will want book 1, and it will appeal to readers through middle school.
Tornadoes : Be Aware And Prepare
A+ Books/capstone Press [A+ Books/capstone Press]
Rustad, Martha E H
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 22, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Weather Aware" series, this 32 page book explores tornadoes. The text describes what a tornado is, how they are caused, where and when they form, and what damage they cause. The end of the book focuses on how to prepare for a tornado and what to do if you are in a tornado watch or warning. Large color, uncaptioned, photographs will interest readers and can be used in group sharing situations. A chart describing the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale is included (p. 20). Three common core related questions are found in the end matter. The lower reading level might be useful for older students needing a lower-level text. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources available through the publisher's website), and index. A good purchase if you have a need.
Book Of Shane
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Eliopulos, Nick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Spirit Animals" series is being milked until the cow is dry. This book is a collection of stories about Shane. Is he truly the villain he appeared to be during the series, as he pitted his wits against our heroes, the Greencloaks? Or was he, perhaps, misunderstood. Was he merely trying to save his unjustly limited people? In this well-written series of stories, we see different aspects of his character and, sometimes, lack thereof. The writing is crisp and compelling. The big problem with this book is that it jumps around through his life, which is confusing. The reader is left with untied threads. Also, the book requires a solid understanding of all the previous books to know the characters and fit these stories into the history already created. You really can't just pick this up and read it without that background knowledge. So, if you have major fans of the series this might be a good choice. Otherwise, it is not a stand-alone book.
Pressure Point
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Wallace, Rich
Heitz, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Game Point" series are sports fiction that would appeal to reluctant boy readers. Each book is around 100 pages, with a sturdy binding and a strong sports focus. They all feature supportive adults, and lots of play-by-play action. There's also good information on the highlighted sport. This book follows Torry Santana. He's a starter on his school's basketball team, but is not always successful. Hard work helps improve his game. That same level of dedication will help with his learning disability. These are solid sports books. The only problem I have is that the characters are middle school, but the illustrations imply a much younger audience. They may look too "elementary school" to attract 12 to 14 year-olds.
Between The Sticks
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Wallace, Rich
Heitz, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When their goalie gets injured Griffin finds himself stuck with the job. This stretches his athletic ability. He was perfectly comfortable in his former slot. Is soccer supposed to be this hard? The "Game Point" series are sports fiction that would appeal to reluctant boy readers. Each book is around 100 pages long, with a sturdy binding and a strong sports focus. They all feature supportive adults, a multi-ethnic cast, and lots of play-by-play action. There's also good information on the highlighted sport. These are solid sports books. The only problem I have is that the characters are middle school, but the illustrations imply a much younger audience. They may look too "elementary school" to attract 12 to 14 year-olds. On the other hand, elementary students will snap them up.
Cesar Chavez : Champion For Civil Rights
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Roome, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Rookie Biographies are a great collection of early reader biographies. Has T/C, timeline, Glossary, index, website, and other add-on information. Excellent choice of mostly black and white photos, including his influence from Mahatma Gandhi. Other titles in this cluster of Rookie Readers: Bessie Coleman, Jane Goodall, Florence Nightingale, Paul Revere, Sacagawea, William and Kate, and Malala Yousafzai.
Night The Lights Went Out On Christmas
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Paul, Ellis
Brundage, Scott
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2016
Shirts, Brooke
Deck the halls, and then some -- songwriter Ellis Paul's lyrics make up the text of this holiday book. When the Johnson family begins to put extra Christmas lights on their house, it sparks a friendly competition among neighbors that starts off good-naturedly, but soon gets out of control. Before long, the entire block is festooned with glowing lights, statues, sleighs, and a menorah with "eight foot flames." In true tall-tale fashion, the light display grows so enormous that it can be seen from outer space, and then causes a rolling global blackout. But like the Whos in Who-ville, the darkness allows the competitive neighbors to gather together to sing carols by candlelight. Ellis' folky lyrics are clever (if occasionally clunky -- they probably sound better when sung aloud) and keep the story rolling at a fast clip. Scott Brundage's paintings do an excellent job of portraying the jolly, round-cheeked suburbanites in different kinds of light, whether the garish reds and greens of the light display, or the peaceful moonlight and candlelight afterwards. The characters are expressive caricatures, capturing the absurd humor of the story. A good read-aloud for anyone who's been kept up at night by a blinking Santa.
Uh-Oh, Max
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scieszka, Jon
Design Garage
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Melvin’s Valentine for series review
Dizzy Izzy
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scieszka, Jon
Design Garage
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Melvin’s Valentine for series review
Eloise's Summer Vacation
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Mcclatchy, Lisa
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is one in a series of Ready To Read, Level 1 titles based on the story by Kay Thompson and originally illustrated by Hilary Knight. Two-page watercolor illustrations are bright and fun, but the story doesn’t quite ring true to the original character. Vocabulary seems too difficult for a level one reader: supplies, pose, prefer, service, Other titles in series: Eloise and the Snowman, Eloise and the Dinosaurs, Eloise and the Very Secret Room, Eloise Has a Lesson. I would buy more copies of Nancy Nancy Beginning Readers.
Kat's Mystery Gift
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scieszka, Jon
Design Garage
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Melvin’s Valentine for series review.
Eloise Has A Lesson
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Mcnamara, Margaret
Mitter, Kathryn
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Eloise’s Summer Vacation for series review.
Eloise And The Very Secret Room
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Weiss, Ellen
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Eloise’s Summer Vacation for series review.
Eloise And The Dinosaurs
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Mcclatchy, Lisa
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Eloise’s Summer Vacation for series review.
Eloise And The Snowman
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Mcclatchy, Lisa
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Eloise’s Summer Vacation for series review.
Trucks Line Up
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scieszka, Jon
Design Garage
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
See Melvin’s Valentine for series review.
Melvin's Valentine
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Scieszka, Jon
Design Garage
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown stories are Ready To Read series, Level 1.These books are an easy-to-read spinoff of the Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown Truckery Rhymes poetry book. Illustrations are silly and fun two-page spreads with a clear, bold printed sentences on each page. Other titles in series include: Trucks Line Up, Dizzy Izzy, Kat’s Mystery Gift, and Up-Oh Max.
Thomas Edison
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Davis, Lynn
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Thomas Edison is in a series titled “Amazing Inventors and Innovators. It includes: Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Samuel Morse, and The Wright Brothers. Includes T/C, bulleted information, illustrations (photos, facsimiles, fun facts, and glossary. No index. Text is just a brief introduction to his childhood, starting work and inventions. No information on his company, patents, or the immense body of his work.
Kindness And Generosity : It Starts With Me!
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Shepherd, Jodie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
In in a series of books about positive attitudes, this beginning reader has T/C, glossary, index and other text features. Each two-page spread has a photo (variety of settings and ethnically diverse) on one page and simple description of kindness and generosity on the other. This would be a good series to have to start a discussion, then supplement with picture book stories. Other books in the series: conflict resolution, empathy, optimism, perseverance, thankfulness.
Ask Me
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Waber, Bernard
Lee, Suzy
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book, published posthumously, by the author of Ira Sleeps over and Lyle the Crocodile. A young girl, very much in charge of the conversation, is on an outing with her father where she prompts him to ask her all kinds of questions. Through the day they romp through parks, examine butterflies, chase dragonflies, have ice cream cones, and romp through the fallen autumn leaves. Finally at home, she reminds him of her birthday (Dad won’t forget) and admits that she is sleepy. The colored pencil drawings are full of movement and life. Text is in two colors: Dad asking the questions in blue type-little girl’s expresses her likes and opinions in black. Received a star in School Library Journal and others.
Please, Mr. Panda
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Antony, Steve
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Students will love this story about a panda that is waiting for good manners before he agrees to give his animal friends a doughnut. All the animals are in black and white on a gray background. The doughnuts are a delicious, colorful selection of swirls, sprinkles, and frosting.Panda might seem a little stingy, but students will make the connection that it takes a “please” to sometimes get what you want.
Blue Mountain
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Leavitt, Martine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Tuk is a youthful bighorn sheep who grows to become a protector and leader of his band. They are being pushed out by humans with their technology, urban spread and harm to the environment. This is a story that is similar in feeling to Watership Down or Rascoe and the Rats of NIMH. She infuses her characters: they are kind, sacrificing, noble, and brave. Maybe a story that Warrior (Hunt) and Silverwing (Oppel) readers will be ready for.
End Of The Line
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Mckay, Sharon E.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is a historical fiction novel set in Denmark in 1942. It is the story of Beatrix and her mother who are separated when the mother is taken away by the Nazis. Beatrix is taken in by two elderly brothers and throughout the months, they are hopeful that she can be reunited with her mother. But the war continues and all are in danger if it is discovered that Beatrix is Jewish. The love and care that the bachelor brothers give to Beatrix through the war and beyond is tender. The war ends, the story skips to 1960 and 1973; the characters come full circle.
One Death, Nine Stories
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Aronson, Marc
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a well designed and written collection of short stories that revolves around the death of 18 year old Kevin Nicholas. Each person whose life was touched by Kevin’s arrogance, bullying, and emptiness reflect on their own dark secrets. This is a tightly structured collection and credit should be given the multiple authors for the cohesive style and mood.
Subway Love
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Baskin, Nora Raleigh
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a love story of Jonas and Laura who are separated by time, but come together in the New York subways. Laura is a “hippie girl” in 1973 who visits her father in Manhattan, worried about her mother’s new boyfriend. Jonas cannot deal with his father’s extramarital affair and his mother’s pain. Both find each other, but with a “realistic” ending where they cannot be together, it is bittersweet memories.
Horse Called Hero
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Angus, Sam
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Set at the beginning of World War II, Wolfie and his sister Dodo are sent to the country in anticipation of the bombing attacks on London. They learn to adapt and even appreciate the countryside, while they deal with the shame that their father, a WWI war hero, has been accused of treason. They direct their energies to an abandoned foal, raising him into a beautiful and strong animal with heart named Hero. Hero is stolen, presumably for the war effort, but in the end Wolfie, Dodo, their father and Hero survive the war. Though the ending may be less than believable, horse lovers and Anglophiles will love the setting and the heart of this story.
You're In Charge : Basic Rules Every Babysitter Needs To Kno
Snap Books/capstone Press [Snap Books/capstone Press]
Higgins, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 23, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Babysitter's Backpack" series, this engaging 32 page book explores rules a babysitter should follow. The text is well-written and guides young readers to become successful babysitters. In this book, readers learn the qualities of a great babysitter, safety, routines, caring for various age levels, and dealing with behavioral issues. Quiz questions are found throughout the book (answers at the end). Color photographs are found throughout and draw attention to the topic at hand. The book is complete with a table of contents, index, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), and index. This will be a "go to" book for aspiring babysitters!
American Flag
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Sturm, Jeanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 23, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Symbols of Freedom" series, this 32 page book explores the flag of the United States. The text explains how there were many different flags as the colonies came together to fight in the Revolutionary War and how the Continental Congress established a flag for all of the colonies. After the war, the flag was refined several times to the flag we have today. The reader will learn about the creators of the current flag, how to display the flag, The reader learns about flying the flag at half-staff and the many places the flag has flown. The national anthem and pledge of allegiance are also covered. Freedom Fact boxes provide additional information to enhance reading. Color illustration are found throughout the book. Pre and post-reading activities are found at the beginning of the book and comprehension questions are found in the end matter. The book is complete with typical non-fiction text features: table of contents, glossary, timeline, index, website list, and author information.
Seven Stories Up
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Snyder, Laurel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Annie and her mother are traveling to Baltimore to see a grandmother Annie has never met. They come to a worn down, but once elegant hotel owned by her grandmother who is dying. Annie realizes that after her first meeting her, this grandmother is not someone that she would want as a friend. All this is challenged when she goes back to the year 1937 and understands the loneliness and lack of love in her grandmother’s life. They break out on adventures, going to the fair, finding a kitten, and getting into mischief at the local Woolworths. Annie’s story takes place in 1987 and grandmother Molly in 1937 so both settings are a time warp for readers. Annie better understands the reasons for her grandmother’s gruffness and is able to see the difference that she made by going back and being her friend. This is a compliment to the author’s other book, “Bigger than a Breadbox” which is about Annie’s daughter.
Star Spangled Banner
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Reed, Cristie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This book is part of the "Symbols of Freedom" series. The book looks at the United States national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. After an introductory paragraph, the book explains the War of 1812, the flag at the fort, and how Francis Scott Key observed the battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Key was moved by his experience and wrote the poem "The Defense of Fort McHenry." This poem was set to the tune of an old British song. It was sung by both sides in the Civil War and became the national anthem in 1931. The book closes with the ways the anthem is used today. Pre and post reading information for parents is located at the beginning and and comprehension question are in the end matter. The book has the music and words (3 verses). The book includes a table of contents, timeline, glossary, index, website list, and author information. A good addition to your collection
Claude At The Beach
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Smith, Alex T
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
After his owners leave fore work, a dapper Claude head for the beach with is friend Sir Babblysock (a sock toy). This is a silly story that could get some giggles out of kids. The illustrations are black and white with red accents. At the beach he tapes underpants/ bathing suit to keep them up, swims in the water and run into pirates. He brings home some treasure to the wonder of returning owners.
Seven Second Delay
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Easton, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Seven Second Delay is a dystopia with similar appeal as Hunger Games or Divergent. Mila and Julian are secretly entering what once was England from the continent. Julian dies before they reach it and Mila is captured then chased by special government forces. The only chance she has is to be able to counter-intuit her captors by having 7 a seven second delay in the camera that has been implanted in her brain. This is a fast paced adventure from one near escape to another with ordinary people coming to her aid as well as some government forces who are possibly in sympathy with her. There is not a lot of depth in character and plot, but it is a wild ride and readers will enjoy the thrill ride.
Playing A Part
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Wilke, Daria
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Translated from Russian, this is the story of a boy named Grisha who loves the Moscow puppet theater. His grandfather is a master craftsman there, but belittles Grisha who is already bullied by his classmates for being “different.” The one person who he admires is Sam who is leaving because he is a homosexual and cannot tolerate the discrimination in Russia. All these problems (plus another best friend who has cancer) tumbles into a resolution of a screaming match between Grisha and his homophobic grandfather.
Massacre Of The Miners
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Anderson, T Neill
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is one in a series of four “Horrors of History”. The author takes historical events and “novelizes” (through dialog and condensing some events and characters) the violent events of the April 194 Ludlow Massacre. The story includes photos of Ludlow Colorado and other coal mining towns in Colorado. While the events are (almost) accurate, the characters are difficult to keep track of throughout the book; action is fast paced, and descriptions of shootings, beatings, asphyxiations by fire are truly horrific. Perhaps what tempers my disappointment is epilogue and author’s note at the end where he sites further reading. This might be more of interest in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and other mining regions of the U.S. as well as mention of Italian and Greek immigrants that came to our country to make a new start in America. This reader /history buff is ready to read more about coal mining strikes and the beginning of unions’ fight against labor. Other titles include Galveston Hurricane of 1900, influenza epidemic in Pennsylvania of 1918 and fires of Columbia, South Carolina by General Sherman during the Civil War in 1865.
Fizzy's Lunch Lab : Nelly Nitpick, Kid Critic
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book is a combination graphic cartoon and nonfiction about food, healthy eating, exercise, with a whole gamut of “interesting” recipes. Readers will be attracted to the fun graphic illustrations but I am not sure they will take in the intent of the book. Alphabet soup and Stir-Fry might be attempted by the home cook, but I don’t think Broccoli Pesto or Cauliflower Mash will make the cut.
Monkey And Elephant And A Secret Birthday Surprise
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Schaefer, Carole Lexa
Bernstein, Galia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is one of several Monkey and Elephant stories written by a local author living on Camano Island. If this were a Mo Willems book, children and adults would welcome the simple and silly story. Monkey has told Elephant a secret that is so hard to keep—it is his birthday and Monkey doesn’t like birthdays. After several almost slips, Elephant is having an un-birthday party for everyone until Monkey accidentally spills the beans. The text is not quite the lightness of Willems and his illustrations are sorely missed.
Russell Wilson
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 23, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is one is a series of biographies about outstanding football players. Has T/C, timeline, glossary, index, and great selection of photos with captions. Focus is on his early life, college years, concluding with the last two Super Bowl seasons. Well balanced information that stresses hard work and good choices rather than idolization. Others in series are quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers), and defensive end J.J. Watts
Emergent Behavior
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Taylor, Nicole M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 24, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is book #1 in the "Bots" series. In it readers are introduced to Edmond West. His genius lies in robotics but is underutilized in creating soldierbots. His dream is to create a truly lifelike robot--an AI. He begins working on it on his own time. The final product, Hart, is unique and frighteningly human. However, the military sees her only as a tool. At this point Edmond considers her to be much more. This is a fascinating six-book series that explores many of the ethical, moral, and practical aspects of creating an artificial intelligence while also following a compelling plot line. Are you creating a new slave race, or are they merely machines? At what point is the line crossed? How about creating sexbots...both adults and children? The series is both interesting and disturbing. Doubtless it will find a ready readership at the secondary level despite the unappealing cover art.
Moo Bird
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Milgrim, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
A level one reader by Scholastic about a little bird that does not say tweet but boo instead. His fellow birds are upset by this strange behavior. They redirect this bird, which is also a different color, to leave the nest. On its way out it comes upon several farm animals and asks the one word; moo? When it comes upon a cow, the cow tells it to find some birds. Fortunately there is a dog that also says boo, and they happily say moo together. Repetition of text, and black outlined illustrations make this a good book for readers learning to read.
Super Sharks
SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION [SCHOLASTIC NONFICTION]
Brown, Laaren
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
Sharks are always of interest and this book is no different. Facts, photographs, and humorous comments make this book an interesting read for shark lovers. The font chosen is more like a hand written text than a printed book. Ocean themed backgrounds and some pages feature a word explanation inside a life preserver give this book the feeling you are in the middle of the ocean. Although it is a level two reader book, younger kids might be interested in looking at the pictures if they are not intimidated by the big jaw photos. In addition to a two page glossary featured inside the mouth of a shark, there is an index on the last page. There are stickers included that can be placed on the appropriate page.
Tom Gates : Excellent Excuses (And Other Good Stuff)
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pichon, Liz
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
February 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
Book 2 in the series about Tom Gates that could be read without the other books. It is in the same doodle style and will appeal to Diary of a wimpy kid readers. Tom is ready for his break, two weeks of no school and lots of band practice with his best friend Derek. His mom has other plans when she receives a letter from his fifth year teacher. Tom has to rewrite his assignment over his break because he made up a story of a dog attacking him on his way to school and chewing up his homework. On top of that he has to clean his room. Humor, cartoon style drawings, exciting fonts make this a popular book.
Horses & Ponies
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Perkins, Sheila
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
A level three scholastic reader for horse lovers. Many colorful photographs, one per page, against the background of a red barn gives this book a feeling it is supposed to be read on a horse farm. The text is simple but still provides plenty of information on the topic of horses and ponies; their history, diet, living environment and a page with different types of horses. A glossary at the end of the book provides challenging horse related words. Overall a good nonfiction book about the elegant four legged animal that could be read by starting readers or admired for its pictures by younger kids.
My Pet Human
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Surovec, Yasmine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 26, 2016
Burton, Paula
A humorous beginning chapter book. It starts already with the cover. It is centered around the cat and the human is upside down. This cat is a carefree cat (it’s not until the end of the book it will have a name); no human pet, no house, no obligations. The only thing it has to take care of is itself and watch out for animal control. It has friends in the neighborhood that do own human pets. A big dog named Ben, George the rat, and Farrah another cat. They cannot convince the cat to get a human pet of its own. That is until a small human feeds it lots of food, lots of treats and rubs its belly. Many illustrations and comic book style balloons to make this a pre- diary of a wimpy kid read-a-like an interesting, and fun read for cat lovers.
Algonquin
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
One of ABDO's Native America 32-page "Big Buddy" series, Algonquin explains a brief history of this Native tribe. Index, Glossary, and Table of Contents, and Timeline are included. Beautiful photographs of modern-day Algonquin people, geography, and related artifacts, and a painting from c. 1700s. Mention is made of how the Algonquin people have had to fight to maintain their traditional existence. No blood and gore, but a nod to the troubles. The booklinks.abdopublishing.com website "to learn more about Native Americans" is not helpful as it is just thumbnails of other ABDO books on native peoples.
Apache
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See review of Algonquin. Differences between the two books: mention of battles between the whites and the Natives; famous Apaches, such as Geronimo; and the push of the Apaches onto reservations. A timeline is included.
Cherokee
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Cheyenne
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Iroquois
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Navajo
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Seminole
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Sioux
Buddy Books/abdo [Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
See reviews of Algonquin and Apache.
Battle Of The Bots
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Richards, C J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this third book of the "Robots Rule" series C.J. Richards ties up the story with high action and a satisfying ending. George and his robot, Jackbot, are back and living with the results of the previous book "Lots of Bots." The evil genius, Dr. Micron, is in jail and anti-robot sentiment has swept the town. But is Micron the only one who can help George save his parents from their digital imprisonment? A bad decision on his part leads to a giant mechanical spider attacking and digitizing all the town residents. Can George and Jackbot put it right? This is another fun action adventure with occasional black and white illustrations, a lot of humor, and a solid plot. The series is very popular at my school, and this book will be received with joy.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Robert Frost
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Kirk, Connie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Although Frost's words may be well-known to most students, the life that inspired his work may not be. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times (1924, 1930, 1937, 1943) and became the Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress -- Poet Laureate of the US. His modernist verse – a break with tradition and the poetic practices of the past - made him an accessible poet for most readers because he wrote about a natural and industrial world which was by turns familiar and unknowable; was published in the popular press and had a scrappy look power in the face approach to life. By discussing the time in which Frost lived; the events of his life; and an analysis of his themes, style, and language, this text introduces readers to the world of Robert Frost and shows them what made him an American poetry legend. That he lived to the age of 88 and published until his death and addressed contemporary themes all his working life give the reader a tour of US history from the 1850-s through the early 1960’s as well as a grounding in Frost’s poetic style and convention. Chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of poetry collections and verse plays, websites, suggestions for further reading and index.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Newman, Gerald
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
F. Scott Fitzgerald, chronicler of the "Jazz Age," is one of the finest writers in the history of American literature and under appreciated during his live. As both a leading participant and observer of the times he described, he captured the spirit of an era perhaps as no other writer ever has. Several of his shirt stories and two of his novels The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night provide the basis for exploration of his antithetical themes: Wealth and moral bankruptcy, the promise of the American dream and failure in reality, the brilliance and beauty of youth and the loss with age, his use of recurring motifs and symbols, his third person writing style, and his ability to work in a number of dictions and styles to suit his characters. Excerpts from the works and direct quotations from Fitzgerald himself will allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of his work. Highly readable crash course in Jazz age US history as well. Chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of novels, short stories, and criticism, works turned into films, websites, and suggestions for further reading and index. Use with CBAs, Common Core non-fiction.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of John Steinbeck
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Geertz, Eva Weisbrod
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Valuable insights are given into the events and people that influenced Steinbeck's life and his writing. It’s important to understand the Great Depression as a time of privation, diaspora, and folks who were down and out. His novels, short stories, plays, film scripts and war correspondence deal with these themes as well as ecology and political unrest and distrust coupled with a feeling of duty to one’s country to make it better and the dignity of work. The authors show how he developed his succinct style, layered with symbolism, the creation of place as character. His friendship with marine scientist Ed Ricketts was influential as well and show up in many of his works. In depth discussions of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are included. Chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of poetry collections and verse plays, websites, suggestions for further reading and index. Use with CBAs, Common Core non-fiction.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Emily Dickinson
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Borus, Audrey
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Nineteenth-century poet Emily Dickinson is considered, along with Walt Whitman, one of the two most important poets in American literature. In her poetry, Dickinson expressed a dark pessimism, reflecting the alienation of many American intellectuals after the Civil War. While her poetry is often thought of as unconventional because of her practice of not using conventional rhyme, punctuation or capitalization, recent scholarship shows that she was simply a part of the experimental movement at the time. There is a useful chapter that gives a guide to reading poetry in general and Dickinson’s in particular such as using a concordance geared to the King James Bible when encountering an unfamiliar image or turn or phrase, the multiple meaning of words to add nuance, the need to add a word or two to make literal sense of a phrase, her use of meter rather than rhyme, and capitalization to connote importance. Several poems are studied with multiple interpretations which reveal her common themes: life, death and afterlife, truth, faith and beauty, the natural world, war and its impact, and friend ship. Dickinson’s legacy traced through chronology, photos, chapter notes, list of poems, websites, suggestions for further reading, index.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of William Faulkner
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Mcarthur, Debra
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
William Faulkner was raised on legends. He absorbed the skills of storytelling as he sat on the steps of the courthouse in Oxford, listening to the locals tell their tales. His own family history and the stories of Civil War generals and scoundrels all combined in his memory. As a writer, he created a body of literature set in the fictional Mississippi Yoknapatawpha County that would tell more than just stories but also explore themes of guilt and lost tradition, coming of age, through the use of biblical allegory, good and evil, multiple points of view, race, and to make the “the real symbolic without sacrificing the reality. Today, Faulkner is considered one of the most important Southern writers and one of the greatest American authors of all time. Follow his life in literature and Hollywood (adaptations of his work and his work as a screenwriter – The Big Sleep, To Have and Have Not and others. Chronology, photos, chapter notes, short literary glossary, list of poetry collections and verse plays, websites, suggestions for further reading and index. Use with CBAs, Common Core non-fiction.
Modern-Day Serial Killers
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Ted Bundy, BTK, Lonnie Franklin Jr. (the Grim Sleeper), and Anthony Sowell (the Cleveland Strangler) what made these men into serial killers? Text explains the life and crimes of these prolific killers. . Each entry includes birth date, occupation, motive for killing, and arrest date, psychological red flags, patterns of crime and number of victims. Examination by authorities and professionals has given some insight into the minds of these serial killers and others, and psychology students will learn about the most current psychoanalysis of these modern-day murderers. Includes photos and illustrations, chapter notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an index. A personality disorder self-assessment quiz will give readers insight into psychopathy. Creepy and disturbing because many of these folks are still awaiting sentencing and that makes everything so much more immediate. True crime folks will read this in spite or because of the unease.
Female Serial Killers
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
From Lady Elizabeth Bathory to Bell Gunness to Aileen Wuornos, this tries to evaluate the life and crimes of some of the world’s most vicious women, who are grouped into chapters by psychological type: Sexual predators or thrill killers, Profit or crime killers, Angels of death, Cult and religious-belief killers, Black widows, Partnership killers, and Revenge killers. There is also some information about what differentiates the killings by women from those by men. Crimes from the mid-1500s to the present are documented. Each entry includes birth date, occupation, motive for killing, and arrest date, psychological red flags, patterns of crime and number of victims. . Includes photos and illustrations, chapter notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an index. Readers can also take a personality disorder self-assessment quiz to learn more about psychopathy the most common psychological condition for serial killers. High ick factor but there is a audience.
Historical Serial Killers
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Rauf, Don
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Containing profiles of several of the most famous serial killers throughout history such as Jack the Ripper and H. H. Holmes, this in-depth analysis of the killers’ minds, behavior, and actions will surely intrigue any psychology student. Text explains the life and crimes of these prolific killers from history beginning with Locusta of Gaul who was a poisoner for hire in 1st century BC Rome and continuing through the early 20th century. Each entry includes birth date, occupation, motive for killing, and arrest date, psychological red flags, patterns of crime and number of victims. This is the most approachable of the series because there is some historical distance. Includes photos and illustrations, chapter notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an index. A personality disorder self-assessment quiz will give readers insight into psychopathy.
Medical Serial Killers
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Latta, Sara
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
This promises and in-depth analysis and comprehensive text that delves into the psychology of medical serial killers. What it does offer is a collection brief biographies of people who used their positions as doctors, nurses, and licensed care providers to gain access to their victims. Some go back as far as the early 1830 and include those just recently tried and convicted. The bios are sorted into types by motivations: power seeking, comfort-oriented hedonists, lust- and thrill-oriented hedonists, and treatment-oriented serial killers. Each entry includes birth date, occupation, motive for killing, and arrest date, psychological red flags, patterns of crime and number of victims. There is also an introduction to the psychopathy, typology of serial killers, and controversy drawn about the ability to rehabilitate those persons who are within the parameters of psychopathic personality disorder. Includes photos and illustrations, chapter notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an index. Bonus feature: Readers can take a psychopathy quiz to test themselves. The ick factor is high, but there will be a following.
Cannibal Serial Killers
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Petrikowski, Nicki
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Cannibals represent the most horrific parts of the human psyche, we are fascinated and repulsed. We make movies about it. We want to know what happened to make Albert Fish and Jeffery Dahmer do what they did. Psychological and sociological factors are examined in cases that date from the early middle 1500’s and conclude with in the 21st Century. Each entry includes birth date, occupation, motive for killing, and arrest date, psychological red flags, patterns of crime and number of victims. There is also a history of cannibalism in nature, and motivation in human society when practiced under duress or as part of religious ritual. Includes photos and illustrations, chapter notes, glossary, suggestions for further reading and an index. How many times can one say EWWWH?
Women In World War I
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Asselin, Kristine Carlso
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1170 WWI heralded a great shift in society. With men needed at the front the US Navy began recruiting women to fill the many clerical and draftsmen’s positions vacated.. Women like Jeannette Rankin in Montana became the first woman in the House of Representatives in 1916 and focused on keeping the US out of war and on women’s suffrage. This slim volume or 112 pages, focuses on vignettes of women in the US and Europe who were influential as political figures, as entertainers, as spies and intelligence officers (think Mata Hari), as members of the armed forces, nursing corps (Agatha Christie), and support groups like the Salvation Army and Red Cross that sent women to the front to aid soldiers there, and as (my favorite) librarians who fought against the edict that they were too frail to serve in military libraries. It also presents women’s role on the home front as factory workers, “farmerettes” knitters, and in Russia, all women combat corps. The impact of women’s contributions and the equality granted can’t be taken for granted today. Photos, timeline, short biographical info, essential facts page, glossary, additional resources with bib. websites, places to visit, and source notes. Essential series for middle & high.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Edgar Allan Poe
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Mcarthur, Debra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Some of the material used in this book originally appeared in McArthur’s A Student's Guide to Edgar Allan Poe (2006). This is a better and more refined presentation of the material. Edgar Allan Poe's poems and short stories may be familiar to students, but the life that inspired these tales may still remain a mystery. This text provides readers with an understanding of how Poe's writing was influenced by the time period in which he lived and the circumstances of his tragic life. Includes a grounding in the literary conventions of the Romantic Period and their influence the development of Poe’s themes: melancholy and madness, insanity, revenges and confession and premature burial in prose and poetry. Poe’s influence on literary and artistic forms can be found in the development of the mystery/detective and psychological horror genres, the popularity of his stories as translated into film, and his deft creation of setting. Analysis of his poetry and prose, photos and engravings, chronology, chapter notes, short literary glossary, listing of his work, suggestion for future reading, websites, and index. Most likely to be used by a teacher as a jumping off point for lit. crit.
Sphynx Cats
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Furstinger, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
February 28, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Part of the Domestic Cats series, this 24-page study of Sphynx Cats is full of colorful, full-page photos of the hairless breed. Each of the nine chapters briefly explains an aspect of the naked cat with chapter headings such as "Tame Wild Cats" and "Bald Kitties." The chapter headed "Cat Care" deals with cats in general and the Sphynx specifically. Table of Contents, Glossary (words color-coded in the text indicate Glossary entry), and Index are included. There is a note to find out more on the Child's World website which does have links to other sites about Sphynx.
World Of Mamoko In The Time Of Dragons
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Mizielinska, Aleksandra
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 28, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is a wordless I Spy type of book, but with a cast of characters and a plot. Board book and kid friendly, this book has bright and detailed drawings. Follow Robin Hoof, Jasper Fuggle-Hop and others as they go adventuring, locate hidden and misplaced items, and wind up at the feast table with the whole group. The children I showed it to (Kindergarteners) were not very interested, but perhaps if they were in a focused environment, they would enjoy the book more.
Reading And Interpreting The Works Of Toni Morrison
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Crayton, Lisa
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 28, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Toni Morrison, born Chloe Ardelia Wofford Jan. 31, 1931, has received the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993) , the Pulitzer Prize (1988), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2012) and many other awards. But in order to fully appreciate what this author has accomplished, students must know where she came from, the era in which she grew up, and how these details influenced the major themes, style, and language of her writing. Lit Crit guides walks the reader through how Morrison has addressed the challenges of being human – how individuals flourish, how they hurt each other, how oppression works, and how communities sustain generations. With emphasis on the novels The Bluest Eye, Song of Soloman, and Beloved, Morrison tackles the themes of racial beauty, the struggle for freedom and the price that the oppressed pay for it, and the use of ghosts to explore the long-term effects of slavery. Critical analysis of her work and its context in African-American experience in those novels and throughout her work is addressed. Excerpts from the works and direct quotations from Morrison herself will allow readers to gain a deeper understanding of her work.
First Book Of Ore : The Foundry's Edge
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Baity, Cameron
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Phoebe lives a life of wealth and privilege because of her father's influential job at the Foundry. Her country of Meridian has a death grip on all the latest technology. The only problems she faces are the pranks a serving boy, Micah, plays on her. But all is not as it seems. Her world is built on a lie, and when her father is kidnapped Phoebe and Micah follow only to find themselves in a world of living metal that is being plundered and ravaged for the betterment of Meridian. Now Phoebe has a new mission--save her father AND save this new place from destruction. At times confusing, this book is filled with action and adventure, loss and danger. There's a hint of steampunk here, and occasionally a touch of "The Wizard of Oz." Ultimately, however, this is a gritty, gripping book. It claims to be the first in a trilogy, but it has been on the review table since 2014, and I can find no indication of a second book in the series on the Internet. Hmmmmm.
Are You Seeing Me?
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Groth, Darren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
February 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 700 Hi/Lo -- grades 7-12 “We can’t live in a world of one,” says Perry, one of the two protagonists in this story. Perry Richter struggles with an autism spectrum disorder and he’s way out of his comfort zone as he takes a road trip through the Pacific Northwest with his 19-year-old twin Justine. They are from Australia and they can’t get much farther from home. They are on the trail of their “deserter” mother because they have some issues to resolve before Perry can move into a residential center that they father chose before his death and Justine can let go of her care-taking role. While high-functioning Perry is intelligent and kindhearted, his anxiety can turn to panic, and his obsessions with sea monsters, Jackie Chan, and seismic activity can be a handful, even for patient, understanding Justine. Told in alternating voice the characters reveal themselves as having affectionate understanding and each sibling's desire to do right by the other. A bit didactic with constant explanation of autism but sweet and warm so that is easy to forgive. A nice addition to realistic fiction without grittiness.
Before Tomorrowland
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Jensen, Jeff
Roux, Stephanie & Pilot Studio
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
grades 5-12 Set in 1939, this book serves as a prequel to the movie Tomorrowland. History’s finest (Nikola Tesla, H. G. Welles, Amelia Earhart, Orson Welles and Albert Einstein, to name a few) join forces in the name of scientific discovery and human advancement. Operating under the name Plus Ultra, this brilliant group plans to reveal its most exciting project at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, but, wouldn’t you know it, the Nazis get in the way. . . so does a large rampaging robot who is prime to develop consciousness. Dropped into this are 17-year-old Lee Brackett accompanies his mother, Clara as they make their way to the New York World’s Fair. Their interactions with physicists, pacifists and the bad guys take them through space and time. Lovers of super heroes, comic books, and big production movies will enjoy this; but it reads like the actual characters have just been dropped into the story as a convenience. If the movie gets a following this will too. Bonus feature: full color comic book at the end.
Return To The Dark House
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Stolarz, Laurie
Rocco, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
February 29, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Sequel to the Dark House. Ivy Jensen survived the Dark Elf’s machinations once; can she survive again? It’s a scavenger hunt started by a video delivered to her in-box. She suffering from guilt and she feels the need to find the serial killer who murdered her parents and friends Parker, Natalie, Shayla, Frankie and Garth; the police have cold-cased the file. Ivy has to go into the dark in an ancient Gothic building. Of course she’s not alone. A character from the first book, Taylor Monroe, is there as well. But can she be trusted? Who is in control here, The Dark Elf or Ivy? Thrills and chills abound in this YA horror story. It’s good to have read the first book, but not absolutely necessary. Stolarz has a big following and this does not disappoint.
Is That A Cat?
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Hamilton, Tim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
February 29, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Cat wants to play with another cat, he spies what appears to be a tail, but on the next page we discover that it's an umbrella handle held by an elf. The elf wonders if the drops falling on him is rain, on the next page we learn that it is a bear's tears. He's crying because he lost a boot. The picture book continues in this format until they meet a child preparing for a party, when the kids he's expecting don't show, the characters join him. The illustrations are fun and will have children guessing what will come next, however, there doesn't seem to be any clues and the cat never does get to hang out with another cat, which leaves the story disjointed.
Rev Up Your Writing In Letters And E-Mails
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Simons, Lisa M Bolt
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
February 29, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Rev Up Your Writing in" series, this 24 page book describes how to write letters. Readers learn about formal and informal writing styles, format, and content. The difference between letters and emails is explained, although it seems that letter writing is the main focus of the book. Color illustrations are found throughout the book and a list of tips for young writers is included. Typical non-fiction text features are also found: table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided by the publisher's website), and index. This might be useful for small groups needing reinforcement of the concepts presented.
Mighty Military Ships
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 29, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Ready for Military Action" series, this 48 page book explores Navy ships. The book opens with a chapter on the relief efforts after the 2010 Haitian earthquake and other missions. Then the reader learns about the history of the Navy, types of ships, ship formations, construction of ship, and future innovations. The book has captioned photographs and call out boxes that provide additional information for the reader. The book has common core related activities at the end of each chapter and at the end of the book. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided by the publisher's website), index, and author information. This book will get circulated by your military book fans.
Saving Turtles : A Kid's Guide To Helping Endangered Creatur
FIREFLY BOOKS [FIREFLY BOOKS]
Carstairs, Sue
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
February 29, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
How can you help turtles? This book will tell you and more! The 64 pages describe the anatomy of turtles, the current turtle crisis, rescue efforts, research and public education. The reader will have a complete understanding of the issues surrounding the decline of turtles around the world, how scientist are working on solutions and how students can actively participate in these efforts. The text is descriptive and well-written. Color photos are captioned and found throughout the book. The book has a table of contents, index, glossary and extensive resource list. Students working on research about turtles or conservation will find this a great resource. A solid addition for your reptile section.
My Grandfather's Coat
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Aylesworth, Jim
Mcclintock, Barbara
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
February 29, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Grandfather, a tailor, comes to America and constructs a coat for his wedding, as life continues, the coat is remade into a jacket, a vest, a tie, and finally a toy. When the toy is worn, it is used by a mouse to make a nest for its family. Based on the Yiddish folksong "I Had a Little Overcoat." Aylesworth and McClintock create a delightful retelling. The beautiful illustrations show the changes over time and the connection with immigration is welcomed. Add this 32 page picture book to your folktale collection.