Reviews for month


Tales Of The Fallen Beasts
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Mull, Brandon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Just as in all of the other books in this series (all three different parts of it), Tales of the Fallen Beasts engages and delights the reader. An evil man named Zerif is roaming the countryside, infecting the Great Beast spirit animals and then their owners with a poisonous wormlike creature that crawls into the body and changes the victim's loyalty to Zerif. What will happen to the Greencloaks, the Great Beasts, and their spirit owners? Will they continue to exist or be forever ruled by Zerif? Five different authors relayed the five stories in the novel and each was as good as the other. Well, perhaps Brandon Mull, was a wee bit better! Students in third through fifth grade love these books and they fly off the shelves.
Tom Brady
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gordon, Nick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Tom Brady is a biography for younger readers. The book covers his Super Bowl stunner as a young NFL quarterback, his transition from backup to star, his records and let downs as well as becoming a champion again. Each chapter includes two to four pages which one of the two is a photograph. The book is lean on information but can be a good resource for young readers or struggling readers who need easily accessible information. It includes Fast Fact insets for each chapter, timeline, glossary and index. The book is part of the Football's Greatest Stars series which includes Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson.
Peyton Manning
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Peyton Manning is a biography for younger readers. The book covers his biggest game, football family, and his college and pro career. Each chapter includes two to four pages which one of the two is a photograph. The book is lean on information but can be a good resource for young readers or struggling readers who need easily accessible information. It includes Fast Fact insets for each chapter, timeline, glossary and index. The book is part of the Football's Greatest Stars series which includes Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson.
Andrew Luck
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Scheff, Matt
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Andrew Luck is a biography for younger readers. The book covers an epic comeback, his early life, replacing a legend and coming up clutch in a big game. Each chapter includes two to four pages which one of the two is a photograph. The book is lean on information but can be a good resource for young readers or struggling readers who need easily accessible information. It includes Fast Fact insets for each chapter, timeline, glossary and index. The book is part of the Football's Greatest Stars series which includes Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt and Russell Wilson.
Say It!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Zolotov, Charlotte
Voake, Charlotte
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Say It is a re-publication of a 1980 edition with James Stevenson illustrating. For those who do not know the story, it is about a little girl out on an autumn walk with her mother. As they converse with each other, the girl begs her mother to say three words to her. Her mother distracts and delays and finally gives those three words at the end of the story. As with any Charlotte Zolotow book, it is full of tender words and connections with others. The watercolor and ink drawing by Charlotte Voake are nice but are not a real draw in creating warmth in the story.
Super simple bar cookies : easy cookie recipes for kids!
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Delicious-looking bar cookies decorate the cover of this Abdo Super Sandcastle. Front pages give safety instructions, basic cooking and measuring instructions, measuring equivalencies, two pages of pictures and names of kitchen utensils, and two of ingredients. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and tools, clear sequence of steps with several pictures of a few steps. A large picture of the baked goodie covers one page crossing into the other. Recipes included are; Sweet Brownie Bites, Lucky Lemon Bars, Crispy Rice Bars, Chewy Peanut Bites, Sweet Caramel Pieces, and Nutty Chocolate Slices. Glossary included. With the appealing covers, simple to follow directions and appealing cookies, they are sure to be a popular addition to a cookbook section of your library.
Super simple classic cookies : easy cookie recipes for kids!
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Delicious-looking classic cookies, (just like your Mom or Grandma made), decorate the cover of this Abdo Super Sandcastle series. Front pages give safety instructions, basic cooking and measuring instructions, measuring equivalencies, two pages of pictures and names of kitchen utensils, and two of ingredients. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and tools, clear sequence of steps with several pictures of a few steps. A large picture of the baked goodie covers one page crossing into the other. Recipes included are; Classic Chocolate Chip, Chewy Oat, Sugar Drops, Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Cream Sandwiches, Sweet & Soft Snickerdoodles, and Butterscotch Delights. Glossary included. With the appealing covers, simple to follow directions and appealing cookies, they are sure to be a popular addition to a cookbook section of your library.
Super simple healthy cookies : easy cookie recipes for kids!
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Mouthwatering cookies decorate the cover of this Healthy Cookies Super Sandcastle book. Front pages give safety instructions, basic cooking and measuring instructions, measuring equivalencies, two pages of pictures and names of kitchen utensils, and two of ingredients. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and tools, clear sequence of steps with several pictures of a few steps. A large picture of the baked goodie covers one page crossing into the other. Recipes substitute some ingredients with applesauce, almond and whole-wheat flour, and olive oil, and add other healthy ingredients such as nuts, sesame and sunflower seeds, oat bran, wheat germ, flax seeds and fruit. But most still use sugar and honey and are probably quite calorie laden - after all they are cookies. Included are Sweet Molasses Cookies, Nutty Oat Squares, Giant Breakfast Cookies, Banana Cookie Bites, Perfect Purple Cookies, and Raspberry Swirls. Glossary included. With the appealing covers, simple to follow directions and appealing cookies, they are sure to be a popular addition to a cookbook section of your library.
Super simple holiday cookies : easy cookie recipes for kids!
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Delicious-looking cookies created for multiple holidays decorate the cover of this Abdo Super Sandcastle cookbook. What stands out in these recipes are the decorating directions and fortunately they are clearly written and well illustrated. Front pages give safety instructions, basic cooking and measuring instructions, measuring equivalencies, two pages of pictures and names of kitchen utensils, and two of ingredients. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and tools, clear sequence of steps with several pictures of a few steps. A large picture of the baked goodie covers one page crossing into the other. Recipes included are: New Year’s Surprise!, Be Mine Hearts, Earth Day Globes, 4th of July Fireworks, Spooky Eye Candy, Sugary Dreidel Pops, and Candy Cane Twists. Glossary included. With the appealing covers, simple to follow directions and appealing cookies, they are sure to be a popular addition to a cookbook section of your library.
Super simple no-bake cookies : easy cookie recipes for kids!
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO PUBLISHING COMPANY]
KUSKOWSKI, ALEX
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 02, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Delicious-looking no-bake cookies decorate the cover of this Abdo Super Sandcastle series. Front pages give safety instructions, basic cooking and measuring instructions, measuring equivalencies, two pages of pictures and names of kitchen utensils, and two of ingredients. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients and tools, clear sequence of steps with several pictures of a few steps. A large picture of the baked goodie covers one page crossing into the other. Recipes included are: Toasty Oaty Orbs, Sweet Cookie Pops, Delish Cookie Drizzles, Noodle Stack-ups, Little Chocolate Dippers, Yummy S’more Bites, and Crunchy PB & J Sammies. Glossary included. With the appealing covers, simple to follow directions and appealing cookies, they are sure to be a popular addition to a cookbook section of your library.
Chameleons Change Color
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Marsico, Katie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
A beginning informational book of the Tell Me Why series on chameleons which takes a scenario of a class taking a field trip to an animal sanctuary. Facts included about the chameleon are its ability to change color, its skin layer, reasons why it changes color and a need for conversation. Each open page has text on the left with clear photographs on the right. The overall content is good but the field trip scenario is a bit contrived. The book includes concerns of proper pet care for chameleons, questions to think about, glossary, additional information and index.
Jump Back, Paul : The Life And Poems Of Paul Laurence Dunbar
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Derby, Sally
Qualls, Sean
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 03, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
"You never heard of the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar? Child, where've you been?" begins the conversational narrative of "Jump Back, Paul." Author Sally Derby has done us all a great favor by breathing life into the poetry of Dunbar which takes us back to a time Americans still smarted from the Civil War and Reconstruction. As a young writer in Dayton OH, Paul Dunbar used the presses of Orville Wright to publish a short-lived newspaper for African Americans and was personal assistant to Fredrick Douglass for a spell. He wrote "major" poetry on themes and in forms popular at the time and "minor" poems on lighter themes from everyday life, many of which were written in dialect that captured the cadence of African-American conversation and deserve to be read aloud. So here's my true confession: I didn't know much 'bout the "Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar," 'til I read that interview with author Sally Derby in SLJournal. Now "I know why the caged bird sings!" -because Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote it down and his poetry sings. "Jump Back, Paul" serves as a window to a time in a voice that makes this a recommended purchase for all poetry collections. Jump Back!
Lizzie And The Lost Baby
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Blackford, Cheryl
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 03, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Cheryl Blackford in this, her debut novel, relays a tale based on a true story. Lizzie and her younger brother, Peter, had to leave Hull during World War II to live in the countryside, as thousands of English evacuee children had to do. They were taken in by a policeman and his wife, but stayed with the wife's sister, Elsie. Elsie, who had lost both a husband and a child in the past year, was severely depressed. Lizzie and Peter found a baby one day when they were walking and they took her home. Elsie mistook the baby for her own. Meanwhile, the boy, Elijah, who had "lost" his baby sister was desperately searching for her. Elijah couldn't seek proper help from the police because he was a Gypsy and would only face prejudice. The story turns out well and I enjoyed it for the most part. The alternating chapters between Lizzie and Elijah were unnecessary. Some characters were not fully developed and left the reader wondering. I hope the author writes her next book continuing this story.
Just A Lucky So And So : The Story Of Louis Armstrong
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Cline-Ransome, Lesa
Ransome, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 03, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Louis Armstrong's music was filled with joy and spirit, and the same is true of this book. The Ransomes have created a lilting, rhythmic picture book biography of the musician. Song lyrics dance across pages as readers learn of Sachmo's poor beginnings, struggles with the law, love of music, and eventual leap into fame. James Ransome's rich illustrations take readers back to a different time and combine with the lyrical text to convince the viewer that dreams can, indeed, come true because, after all, it's a wonderful world. The author's note gives additional information about Louis Armstrong, and resource lists can be found on the end papers. This is an exceptional book that is sure to win awards. It merits a place in any library serving children.
Fast And Slow
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Minden, Cecilia
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
This sturdy and colorful book about animal opposites will appeal to the eyes of young readers, but the text itself leaves a lot to be desired. The first set of pages confused me, which isn't a good sign for a book aimed at pre-K through 1st graders. On the first page rabbits fall into the "pets" category and are described as fast animals who live outside. The next page profiles the tortoise, which is supposed to be the opposite of a rabbit because it is very slow and takes its time. The author doesn't point out where a tortoise lives, which was mentioned on the page about rabbits, and the reader is prompted to identify shapes on the tortoise's shell even though a connection is never made between shapes and rabbits. There are three more types of animals that are compared - farm, water and zoo - with the strongest comparison being between a sailfish and a manatee because the author actually compares the same characteristics. The back of the book includes a glossary, a long list of words from the book that are marketed as helping "your child become a better reader," and an unnecessary index since the actual content is contained within very few pages. There are far more superior books about opposites out there.
Go West : First Contact With Native Nations
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
This glossy paperback, part of the Go West series, is jam-packed with information about Westward expansion and how it affected Native peoples. Each two-page spread covers a specific topic, such as first contact and the loss of buffalo, and is then divided into 4 or 5 sections related to that topic. There are also some "Did you know?" fact bubbles and suggestions for writing activities spread throughout, as well as common nonfiction text features, like a table of contents, index, glossary, and timeline. Some readers may be overwhelmed by the layout of information on each page and find it difficult to synthesize the information. Because of the binding, this book would not last long on the library shelf. It is much more appropriate as supplementary material for teachers to use in their classrooms.
Go West With Cowboys And Ranchers
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Cooke, Tim
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
See review of "First Contact with Native Nations."
Go West With Merchants And Traders
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
See review of "First Contact with Native Nations."
Go West With Settlers And Farmers
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
See review of "First Contact with Native Nations."
Go West With Miners, Prospectors, And Loggers
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 04, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
See review of "First Contact with Native Nations."
Wild Blood
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lasky, Kathryn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this final book in the "Horses of the Dawn" trilogy, the once-captive horses and other equines are seeking freedom, along with the boy, Tijo. They have been aided by spirit helpers, Haru and a tiny horse, as well as the son of an old enemy. Still, the lust for gold in El Miedo, burns strong and threatens their safety. When the leader of the herd is recaptured it seems all is lost. However, destiny is on their side. Told from multiple viewpoints this is an interesting take on how horses were reintroduced to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors. Like all of Lasky's books that anthropomorphize animals, the animals in the book are far more developed than the humans. Mysticism plays a significant role in the lives of all the characters. Cooperation, perseverance and hope are overriding themes. Fans of the series will find this a satisfying ending, with a bright future ahead for the characters you truly care a bout.
I Can Hear
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
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Senses" series, this large format 24-page book introduces the sense of hearing and features huge crisp photographs that cross the gutter, showing children from many different racial backgrounds. Each facing page contains two lines of simple text. "We hear loud sounds. Molly hears the train." for example. The book talks about hearing loud and quiet and then specific sounds like hearing animals, laughter, and family. Readers are informed that we hear with our ears, but do not learn how this happens. The book ends with "What sounds did you hear today?", a quick list of the five senses, a two word picture glossary, an unnecessary index and a website link. There's not much here, but it would be a good stepping off point for further education on the subject.
I Can See
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
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Senses" series, this large format 24-page book introduces sight and features huge crisp photographs that cross the gutter, showing children from many different racial backgrounds. Each facing page contains two lines of simple text. "We see during the day. Jack wears sunglasses." for example. A page each introduces seeing during the day and the night, as well as seeing friends, books, family, etc. Readers are informed that we see with our eyes, but no information is given about how our eyes work and the actual mechanism that is needed for sight. The book ends with "What did you see today?", a quick list of the five senses, a two word picture glossary, an unnecessary index and a website link. There's not much here, but it would be a good stepping off point for further education on the subject.
Five Senses
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
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Senses" series, this large format 24-page book briefly introduces the five senses and features huge crisp photographs that cross the gutter, showing children from many different racial backgrounds. Each facing page contains two lines of simple text. Readers are informed about touch, taste, sight, hearing, and sight, but are not told about how these senses work. The book ends with a quick list of the five senses, a two word picture glossary, an unnecessary index and a website link. There's not much here, but it would be a good stepping off point for further education on the subject.
I Can Touch
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
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Senses" series, this large format 24-page book introduces touch and features huge crisp photographs that cross the gutter, showing children from many different racial backgrounds. Each facing page contains two lines of simple text. "We touch soft things. Lisa sleeps with her blanket." for example. A page each introduces soft, smooth, cold, wet, furry, etc. Readers are informed that we touch with our hands, although touch can involve any body part. No further information is given about how the sense of touch works. The book ends with "What did you touch today?", a quick list of the five senses, a two word picture glossary, an unnecessary index and a website link. There's not much here, but it would be a good stepping off point for further education on the subject.
Tuck-In Time
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Gerber, Carole
Pearson, Tracey Campbell
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's tuck-me-in time and for mother and child. Tthis time can be tender, this time can be wild. Let's check out our body. Clap-clap those two hands. Let's tickle your tummy, now isn't that grand? Soft, warm illustrations and text sweet and flowing and motions galore get that tuck-in-kid going. And don't forget dog and that stuffed rabbit too. Yes everyone wants to get on to this crew. Is this book quite fun? Yes, there's no doubt about it. Will it lead to some quiet sleep? Somehow I doubt it.
Black Cauldron
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Alexander, Lloyd
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in 1965, this second book in the "Chronicles of Prydain" won a Newbery Honor Award and is now available in this 50th Anniversary Edition. Taran, ssistant Pig-Keeper introduced in "The Book of Three" now faces greater peril. The Horned King is using the black cauldron to create an army of the undead that threatens all of Prydain. While the main armies gather to fight the enemy, Taran and a small band of his friends--most of whom are much more royal than he--are on a secret mission to capture and destroy the cauldron itself, thus destroying the army that it has created. Unfortunately, the only way to destroy the cauldron is by a living man giving up his own life within it. This is the ultimate classic fantasy series, based on Welsh mythology and the root of much of the fantasy available today. The characters, plot, and themes are extremely compelling and life-changing. Faith, friendship, cooperation, and sacrifice all play a role. The series changed my life. I just wish I could get more students to read the books.
Lassie Come-Home
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Knight, Eric
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Can this really be the 75th anniversary edition of the classic children's story? Age doesn't matter at all, however, for this timeless tale of a dog's devotion and a young boy's love for his pet. Joe loves his collie, Lassie, and that love is returned ten-fold. However, when his family falls on hard times the only thing of value they seem to have is that perfect collie. When Lassie is sold to the Duke she escapes again and again to return to the boy's embrace. Finally the dog is taken far away to the Duke's castle in the far north of Scotland. The journey from there to her boy in England, 400 mile, seems impossible, but Lassie manages it. Along the way she encounters dangers and benevolence. If you can read chapter 21 when a ragged, worn dog is recognized and embraced by the boy of her heart and not cry then you have no soul at all. This is the ultimate dog story that should be a part of every child's experience. This edition includes an introduction by Ann M. Martin.
Invasive Animal Species
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The topic of invasive species is a fascinating one, and seems to be having an increasingly negative impact on native wildlife worldwide. This 32 page Bobbie Kalman book does a terrific job of introducing the topic, explaining it, and then giving specific examples of invasive species that were introduced both intentionally and accidentally. Pythons, Nile monitor lizards, wild pigs, gray squirrels, rabbits, red foxes, possums, stoats, rats, mongooses, starlings and more are covered briefly. Crisp well-captioned photographs (sometimes with labels) accompany the well-written and informative text. Along the way excellent thought questions are posed that could lead to great classroom discussion. Ways of coping with invasive species are presented, but none offer a lot of hope. And, despite the title, there's even a page on plant invaders. The book concludes with a glossary and index. This is an excellent resource. Buy it prebound for library collections as the review copy was a paperback.
One Big Family
EERDMAN'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS [EERDMAN'S BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS]
Harshman, Marc
Palacios, Sara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There is joy involved in a large extended family, and that is reflected in this picture book. Sara Palacios has created digital pen and ink illustrations showing a family with a tendency to red hair as they gather for a family reunion. The car trip is long, but once you're there there's family, family, everywhere. Author, Marc Harshman has created a simple text with a simple declarative sentence per double-page spread that throws the reader into one experience after another, each sentence ending with a command verb. For example: When the sun grows hot and the water stays cold, little brother says SWIM. This is both simple and joyous as text and illustration combine, much as a family combines, to create a cohesive whole.
Lost Stone
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Quinn, Jordan
Mcphillips, Robert
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Want simple fantasy for your kids just heading into chapter books? Here's "The Kingdom of Wrenly" series. With a reading level just a touch below Rodda's "Fairy Realm" series, these are short chapter books with black and white illustrations. In this, the first in the series, Prince Lucas is eight. As a prince, he is limited in acceptable playmates, and carefully protected from dangerous experiences. Boring! However, when his mother loses an emerald pendant Lucas takes it upon himself to find the missing gem. This involves adventure--strictly forbidden--and he teams up with a commoner girl--also verboten! Along the way wizards and mermaids will play a role. This is a fun, lightweight series that is very popular at my school and just right for the target audience.
Here Is Big Bunny
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Henry, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Imagine a peek-a-boo game, in a book format. There's an ear. There's an eye. There's a foot. Bits of a big big bunny are glimpsed around buildings and through windows. The reader finally sees the entire bunny only to discover that the bunny in question is a giant parade balloon. This is an extremely simple story with colorful, detailed illustrations. Very young children should enjoy the simple mystery and kid-friendly pictures. Did I say peek-a-boo? Maybe "peek-a-book" would be more appropriate!
Apple Tart Of Hope
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Fitzgerald, Sarah Moore
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
April 04, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Meg and Oscar have had a long friendship both in and out of school, mainly stemming from their talking between their bedroom windows which face each other. When Meg has to leave Ireland to live in New Zealand for six months with her parents, everything breaks down in Oscar's world and it all has to do with the new girl, Paloma, who is now living in Meg's house. Oscar goes from being the easy-going guy who everyone likes, and who bakes apple tarts with healing powers in his spare time, to a depressed young man. To complicate matters, Meg has cut off communication with Oscar due to a miscommunication of feelings between the two. When Oscar's bike and shoes are found near the pier, everyone presumes he has killed himself. It is up to Stevie, Oscar's disabled brother, and Meg to find Oscar and prove he is alive. This is a sweet story, but the themes of bullying and betrayal ring loud and clear.
Hide-and-scare-bear
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Bates, Ivan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The other animals are not at all pleased with Bear. He likes to hide and then pop out and scare them all, at every occasion. Needless to say, this gets old fast. A rabbit, however, finds the solution. He refuses to be scared and proceeds to teach Bear how to be more socially acceptable by turning his ROARs into hugs. All ends in cuddly sweetness as Bear learns an important lesson. This rhyming story teaches a nice lesson about behavior and has sweet pastel illustrations that suit the text well. Is it a little saccharine? Yes. Does it beat you over the head with its moral? Yes. Is it bibliotherapy? Yes. Do some of us find random and unasked for hugs objectionable? Oh, yes. Nevertheless, the overall message of being kind to others is a valuable one and this book would lead to useful classroom discussions about behavior...with the teacher adding in school policy regarding touching others without their permission.
Rub-A-Dub-Dub : Three Men And A Pancake
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dale, Katie
Stone, Steve
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When a large pancake runs away he is chased by a butcher, a baker, and a candlestick maker. Unfortunately they get all gooped up with the pancake and the whole mess looks pretty tasty to a passing giant. The pancake expedites their escape by floating down a river. This saves the three men, but the pancake is in sad shape. Fortunately it is repaired by the ones it saved and all ends happily. This is a fairytale mash-up of "The Gingerbread Man" and "Three Men in a Tub" and includes bright friendly illustrations. It is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series and includes two puzzles at the end to test comprehension and practice sequencing, as well as notes for adults. While not extraordinary, books of this sort are always useful for compare and contrast exercises.
Thumbelina Thinks Big
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dale, Katie
Van Wyk, Rupert
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A mother and father long for a child and a fairy grants their wish with a daughter who is no bigger than than thumb. Because of her size Thumbelina must design and sew all her own clothes. She wants to be a runway model, but height is a problem. When she slips into a show it looks like things will end poorly, but she ends up getting he dream job. Fun watercolor and ink illustrations accompany this fractured fairy tale from the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series. It includes two puzzles at the end to test comprehension and practice sequencing, as well as notes for adults. While not extraordinary, books of this sort are always useful for compare and contrast exercises.
Boy Who Cried Sheep!
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
North, Laura
Moor, Becka
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A boy tends the sheep, but does much more than that. He trains the sheep do do amazing things. Unfortunately, he also likes to tease a wolf-shy girl who wears a red riding hood. He tells her a wolf is nearby, she runs for help, and the villagers get tired of the whole thing. When a real wolf is lying in grandma's bed the young shepherd must use his sheeps' amazing abilities to save the day. With bright , energetic color illustrations this is a sort of mash-up of "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf" and "Little Red Riding Hood." It is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series. It includes two puzzles at the end to test comprehension and practice sequencing, as well as notes for adults. While not extraordinary, books of this sort are always useful for compare and contrast exercises.
Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot Vs. The Naughty Nightcrawlers F
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Santat, Dan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Ricky Ricotta and his robot have faced perils from many planets. Now some wicked worms from Neptune figure they know how to defeat the duo. When Ricky and the robot build a truly terrific fort (or, as his cousin Lucy calls it, a castle) they only intend to have fun with it. The naughty nightcrawlers, using a portal and the aid of an unhappy neighbor, undermine the fort and use it to trap the robot. Without it, Earth is easy prey. A portal works both ways, however, and Ricky and Lucy find what they need on the other side to thwart these evil aliens. Bright and exciting illustrations by Dan Santat go splendidly with Dav PIlkey's fun and friendly text. And let's not forget the flip-o-rama pages. This is a great series for reluctant boy readers and the books are ever popular.
Little Red Hen's Great Escape
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dale, Elizabeth
Painter, Andrew
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Little Red Hen is sure the farmer is up to something. She asks the other farm animals for help in figuring it out, but they brush off her concerns. Is she the only one willing to do the work to figure out what's going on? Eventually the truth comes out and the animals discover she was right all along. This is a very simple fractured fairy tale, with bright, boldly-outlined illustrations and humorous wordplay. It is part of the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series, twisting "The Little Red Hen" although there are elements of "Chicken Little" here as well. The book includes two puzzles at the end to test comprehension and practice sequencing, as well as notes for adults. While not extraordinary, books of this sort are always useful for compare and contrast exercises.
Brownilocks And The Three Bowls Of Cornflakes
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Richemont, Enid
Lovsin, Polona
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A family sets out bowls of cornflakes before taking a walk. Unfortunately Brownielocks, a bear, happens by. There's cornflake-eating and chair-breaking and bed-sleeping. The family adapts, however, providing a giant bowl for the next time the bear visits, as well as a beanbag chair. All ends well. This is a very simple fractured fairy tale, with warm color illustrations, from the "Tadpoles Fairytale Twists" series. It includes two puzzles at the end to test comprehension and practice sequencing, as well as notes for adults. While not extraordinary, books of this sort are always useful for compare and contrast exercises.
Hal And Al
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Bowser, Ken
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Hal is a faithful forklift who has a job with great responsibility. He does it with flair, knowing where everything goes and getting it there in a timely fashion. However, the last box he has to lift gives him pause. Is it a robotic replacement for HIM? Fear not, Hal. It's just a new assistant to help you keep doing the fabulous job you're famous for. This is part of the "Truck Pals on the Job" series and includes nice detailed illustrations and text that is designed for readers who have moved past the primer level. Fans of the "Trucktown" series will doubtless embrace Hal, and the other books in this series.
Cici : A Fairy's Tale : 1 : Believe Your Eyes
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE [GRAPHIC UNIVERSE]
Doerrfeld, Cori
Page, Tyler
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Cici is a Latina girl dealing with some real issues. First, her parents are getting a divorce and so her world is being turned upside-down. Then there's her little sister who is retreating into herself, and her overworked Mom. Add that to a popular girl who is having a birthday party on the same day as Cici's and everything seems overwhelming. When Grandma comes to visit it's just one more thing, but that leads to the final straw--Cici wakes up to discover she has wings. Yes, like her grandmother she is a fairy and with her new status come new abilities, some of which are a little too revealing. Will she choose to face her problems squarely, be true to herself, and embrace her new abilities, or will she dump it all and take the easy road? This is the first book in a graphic novel series with clear, bright, excellent artwork and compelling themes that elementary students will understand. Having a Latino family adds a nice touch of diversity. While the book is a tad jerky at times, it shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing the next book in the series.
Adam Sandler
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series, this large format 32 page book provides a nice quick introduction to actor/comedian Adam Sandler. Big bright color photographs accompany this fan-friendly book as young readers learn a little about the actor's family, youth, career, and accomplishments. Name-dropping abounds, which is hardly surprising, as his associates are also mentioned. Highlights from his career, up to 2015, are given. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Books of this type are rapidly outdated. On the other hand, I've found these to be incredibly popular and they wear out before they time out. If you have the budget, this is a series that will make a lot of your readers happy.
5 Seconds Of Summer
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series, this large format 32 page book provides a nice quick introduction to the Australian boy band "5 Seconds of Summer." Big bright color photographs accompany this fan-friendly book as young readers learn a little about how the group was formed and its accomplishments. A little about each member of the group is presented, and their specialties are highlighted. The book takes readers up to June, 2015, and includes a glossary, website link, and index. Books of this type are rapidly outdated. On the other hand, I've found this series to be incredibly popular and the books tend to wear out before they time out. If you have the budget, this is a series that will make a lot of your readers happy.
Pharrell Williams
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
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series, this large format 32 page book provides a nice quick introduction to music star Pharrell Williams. Big bright color photographs accompany this fan-friendly book as young readers learn a little about the artist's family, youth, career, and accomplishments. His philanthropic endeavors are also mentioned. The book includes a glossary, website link, and index. Books of this type are rapidly outdated. On the other hand, I've found these to be incredibly popular and they wear out before they time out. If you have the budget, this is a series that will make a lot of your readers happy.
Werewolves
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series that focuses on traditional horror elements, this 32-page book concentrates on werewolves. Are they real? The book won't say for sure. Instead it delves briefly into traditional concepts about werewolves including appearance, beliefs from around the world, and common things associated with lycanthrophy. Examples of both good and bad werewolves from books and movies are presented, and readers are left to make their own conclusions about whether they are real or not. The book includes thought questions, glossary, a website link, and an index. Well-captioned photographs accompany the text. The subject matter is popular although this treatment will not provide the "scare factor" most young readers will desire.
Witches
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Creepy Creatures" series that focuses on traditional horror elements, this 32-page book concentrates on witches. Are they real? The book won't say for sure. Instead it delves briefly into traditional concepts about witches including appearance, beliefs from around the world, and common things associated with witches. Witch hunts are examined, then readers are asked if witches are good or evil. Examples of witches from popular culture are presented, and readers are left to come to their own conclusion about whether witches are fact or fiction. The book includes thought questions, glossary, a website link, and an index. Well-captioned photographs accompany the text. The subject matter is popular although this treatment will not provide the "scare factor" most young readers will desire.
Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Hanna, Dan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's Christmas but the Pout-Pout fish is not happy. He's caught up in trying to find the perfect gift for each of his friends. But how? How do you know what to get, and where do you get it? Christmas shopping is getting him down. A refocusing is needed to make the holiday joyous again. This over-sized picture book features big and expressive watercolor and ink illustrations that take readers on a humorous dive beneath the sea for Christmas. The text is rhyming, with a repetitive chorus. This ought to be a hit, with a beloved character and a holiday theme. However, despite so much going for it the book ends up being a bit flat. If you need more holiday books it would be an adequate purchase, but it's not going to end up being a holiday classic.
Bears In A Band
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Parenteau, Shirley
Walker, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Those adorable pastel baby bears are back in another book. This time the bears are trying out instruments. What a racket! Will it wake up Big Brown Bear? Yes, but rather than being angry he joins in and creates harmony from cacophony. This is another sweet rhyming story from Shirley Parenteau, with soft expressive acrylic illustrations by David Walker. The books are large enough for group sharing and make a lovely choice for preschool story times.
Lassie Come Home: An Adaptation of Eric Knight's Classic Story
21st Century [21st Century]
Hill, Susan
Ivanov, Olga
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's the 75th anniversary of the classic children's book and so it's no surprise that new editions and abridgements are coming out. This is a picture book version of the story. Lassie is a fine collie who belongs to a poor family. When times are hard they're forced to sell the dog to the Duke. However, Lassie keeps returning to the home and people she loves. The Duke takes the dog to his castle in the far north of Scotland. That, however, is no deterrent for a determined dog. Her 400 mile journey home is filled with pain, danger, and temporary friendships all of which are pretty much skimmed over in this book. Joe's father's deception is skipped as well, and the role of the Duke's daughter is expanded. There is much that is missing here, still, this is a serviceable, if slight, abridgement of the story and the gorgeous watercolor and pencil illustrations make it a feast for the eyes. Hopefully young readers will dip their toes in here, and later immerse themselves in the original story.
Trouble In Space
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Law, Felicia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
the "Science to the Rescue" series is an odd duck. These 32 page paperback books follow the adventures of Joe and Dr. Bea as they explore different science subjects. Truth be told, however, Joe and Dr. Bea are completely superfluous and their mishaps are meaningless. The series' strength lies in excellent writing, fascinating facts, and clear and interesting details. You don't need the fluff because the substance is here. This book focuses on the International Space Station. Readers learn how astronauts are trained for work on the station, how the station is configured, and some of the complications of living and working in space. There's a nice explanation for "free fall" and concerns are voice about space junk. Fact boxes, plenty of headings, interesting sidebars, and all the text features you would expect are found here. It's just a solid, good read and you walk away having learned some cool facts. The same was true of the series entry on rivers. I'd suggest getting the whole series prebound.
End Of Days
Doubleday Canada [Doubleday Canada]
Walters, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A giant asteroid is heading towards our planet. If it hits it will wipe out all life and probably affect the earth's orbit, moving it out of its "Goldilocks" position. The planet has 28 years. What will it do? Secrecy is the watchword. Society will crumble if the truth comes out. Then two different solutions come to the forefront. One involves secretly gathering the best experts together, and using all the resources possible, to destroy the asteroid. They hope to save the planet. The other plan has a different goal--to save mankind. Both seem related, yet work independently. In the meantime, when the truth comes out, a religious group arises saying the asteroid is God's judgement and works to sabotage both plans. The book focuses on two good men, and a teen-age boy, all of whom play a pivotal role. This is compelling science-fiction. The second book in this duology, "Regenesis", is out. Buy both books for middle school collections.
Stories Of Titanic's Children
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Caravantes, Peggy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Titanic continues to be a subject of interest for both children and adults. This 24 page book takes a slightly different focus. Of the 115 children on board, nearly half survived. What were their stories? Memories, other sources, and black and white photographs tell what happened to some of the children, both on the night of the disaster and in their later lives. The writing is crisp and interesting, bringing an immediacy to the disaster not found in dryer texts. It's fascinating to get "the rest of the story", and see how the event impacted young lives. The book includes a glossary, index, source notes list, and bibliography. This would be a solid addition to Titanic collections.
Cool Parks & Trails : Great Things To Do In The Great Outdoo
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Cool" books by Abdo consist of many different series on many different subjects. They have several things in common. They are all well-bound 32 page books that include an index, glossary, and website link. Each book offers activities children can do, or things they can make. Some of the original arts and crafts books are exceptional. The rest of the books vary widely in usefulness, although they all have the same high quality formatting. This one is part of the "Cool Great Outdoors" series and it encourages outdoor activities. Parks and trails are defined, a materials list is provided. Backpack basics are included. Six arts and crafts projects follow--a reusable snack pack, a painted walking stick, hiking bingo cards, a water bottle holder, art with nature, and a bike helmet Mohawk. Each project includes a materials list and step-by-step instructions. This might provide some ideas to make outdoor activities more fun.
Woodland Wedding
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Elliott, Rebecca
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this addition to the "Owl Diaries" series readers get to enjoy Eva's latest adventure. She and her owl friends have an exciting event at school. It's Pet Day and Eva and Lucy dress up their pets before bringing them to school. Then even bigger news is announced. Their teacher is getting married! Naturally Eva starts a club, even though one owl girl is acting mean. When the teacher's necklace disappears the wedding club also turns into a detective club. Can they solve the mystery before the wedding? This is a buoyant "Branches" early chapter book with short chapters, easy words, and bright digital illustrations throughout. While I'm not completely enthralled by the books my students are. "Branches" books are always popular and constantly circulating, and this book will happily join that crowd.
If I Had A Gryphon
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Vansickle, Vikki
Atkinson, Cale
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Hey, who says you have to have a puppy or kitten? Why not have a more exotic pet. Like a hippogriff, or a unicorn, or a kraken...or a gryphon. There are lots of cool things you could do with pets like that. But, then again, there are also some problems that would arise. Hmmm. Maybe that new hamster isn't so bad after all. The digital illustrations (that claim to be augmented with fairy dust and phoenix ash) are whimsical and filled with humorous details. With its rhyming text and imaginative ideas this would be a fun book to add to a pet story time.
This Orq. (He Say Ugh!)
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Elliott, David
Nichols, Lori
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Orq is a caveboy with a woolly mammoth named Woman and a bully named Dorq. Dorq's a force to be reckoned with but Orq doesn't really have the skills to deal with him. He makes Orq's life so miserable that he finally blows his lid and smashes some rocks together. Wait...what is that hot sparky thing? Maybe brains (or dumb luck) can win out against brawn. This is a fun simple story with amusing illustrations by Lori Nichols. It fits in nicely with the first Orq book and will please young fans.
Nerdy Birdy
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Reynolds, Aaron
Davies, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Nerdy Birdy is not like the other birds. His overlarge glasses and tiny wings, not to mention his unusual allergies and video-game addiction, make him a bit of a pariah among the cool birdies. They all have so much going for them. It's hard for Nerdy Birdy to find friends, until he stumbles on the not-so-cool birdies who all have a lot in common with him, including a love of "World of Wormcraft." Sure, they're not cool, but there are a lot more of them than there are of the cool birdies. Nerdy Birdy has found his niche! But, when a new birdy comes to the neighborhood, even the not-so-cool birdies are hesitant. A vulture? Really? Nerdy Birdy's invitation to the newcomer to join his group is met with resistance from the others, but that doesn't mean Nerdy Birdy can't have a new friend. This is a humorous look at inclusiveness that pokes a little fun at cliques while teaching a gentle lesson. Matt Davies' watercolor and ink illustrations are filled with humorous details and some visual hyperbole that will make young readers giggle. All in all a grand book!
Everyone Loves Bacon
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Dipucchio, Kelly
Wight, Eric
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Hey, who doesn't love Bacon? Everyone loves him (except French Toast), which is fine until Bacon let's it go to his head. He's charming. He's personable. He's making all the other breakfast meats jealous. He doesn't care. He's riding the fame-mobile into a brighter future and forgetting all his old friends. Of course he fails to realize WHY people love bacon until he ends up as just a grease stain on a plate. This is a funny book with amusing illustrations. Let's not think too much about how ALL his friends exist only to be eaten because that kind of spoils the "moral" of the story. While not extraordinary literature, this is a funny book that will delight children who like a surprise ending.
Rats
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Animal Friends" series this sturdy, glossy large format 24 page book introduces young readers to rats. Clear color photographs, many against stark white backgrounds, pop from the page and face a couple of sentences of simple and informative text. Readers learn that rats are rodents with hair, four legs, pink noses and long tails. They also learn how scientists use rats, and how intelligent rats are. Four additional rat facts are included as well as a glossary and unnecessary index. There's also a website link. Let's face it--there's not a lot of information here, but what is here is interesting. And we can always use more lower-level nonfiction.
Coelophysis
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gregory, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "21st Century Junior Library" this 24 page book introduces young readers to the Coelophysis, one of the first dinosaurs, once found in what is now the southwestern United States. Readers learn about its appearance, anatomy, probable behavior, and diet. That this information was gathered from fossil evidence is emphasized. Throughout the book there are thought and inference questions that ask the reader to draw conclusions and consider possibilities. The book includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list. Dinosaur books are always popular and this, with its digital illustrations, will continue to feed that all-consuming need.
Battle Of The Vegetables
CLARION [CLARION]
Sylvander, Matthieu
Barrier, Perceval
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The life of a leek is not particularly exciting...or it wasn't until a head pokes over the garden fence. The creature proceeds to feed them a story about how he was one of Santa's reindeer and had seen his share of the world. His offer to take the leeks home with him is met with glee, and they obliviously wind up as dinner. The carrots in the next patch over find this highly amusing. Those leeks are so gullible! On the other hand, danger threatens. They overreact, create an escape plan and, unfortunately, discover the meaning of the word "warren" as it applies to wild rabbits. The third story in the book is one of mixed vegetables. A romantic leek named Romeo is in love with Julienne, a carrot. Of course their love story is doomed from the start. When other vegetables butt in a war ensues. Everyone is chopped to bits and good only for soup...except for our two young lovers who are now in the sights of the villains from the previous two stories. These are quirky tales with mixed morals and fun illustrations. One big problem--the udder identifies the cow as a female, despite the pronoun used to describe her. These rather Thurberesque stories will make adults snort. Kids may end up a little confused.
Breaking News : Bears To The Rescue
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Biedrzycki, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Breaking news--two bears are spotted in town. They're heading for the carnival! They on the Ferris wheel! People are running in terror! Our reporter is there to cover the story. With a breaking news banner running at the bottom of each page readers follow the story through dialogue bubbles as the reporter interviews people. Start and end the book on the end papers. Those illustrations are important to the plot. Pay attention to the illustrations. Readers have a chance for a little inference and prediction as a baby bear ends up being handed out as a carnival prize. A happy ending follows...or does it? The end papers imply that baby bear is due for another adventure. This is a fun, fast-paced story told in a different way. It would make a great read-aloud with plenty of opportunities for children to chime in with their opinions about the news story. Vivid digital illustrations are chockablock full of interesting little details and a careful reader will note that the cover gives the whole story away. There's much here to enjoy, and this book will not be a shelf-sitter.
Baby Turtles At The Zoo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This six-book series introduces young readers to various baby animals at the zoo--gorillas, hippos, penguins, polar bears, turtles, and wolves. This book focuses on baby turtles. Clear, brief information is provided facing crisp close-up photographs. Readers learn a little about a baby turtle's anatomy, diet, and behavior. Of course the photographs are cute (though, let's face it, baby turtles are not as adorable as some of the other babies in the series). This is a good series to attract young readers, with just enough information for a very simple report. The books would be especially handy for teachers about to take a class on a zoo fieldtrip.
Among a thousand fireflies
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Frost, Helen
Leider, Rick -- Photographer
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Helen Frost's lovely, evocative poem about fireflies has now been matched with Rick Lieder's incredible photographs to create an charming picture book. The photographs spread across the pages, with a line or two of the poem fitting them perfectly and telling the story of two fireflies finding each other in the twinkling night. The formatting is exquisite, creating a visual feast. A short explanation about fireflies is included in an end note. This is an eye-catching wonder that brings poetry to life.
Lost City Of Atlantis
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Crabtree "Chrome" series consist of 48 page oversized paperback nonfiction books, each with a solid bibliography, glossary, and index. They focus on various subjects, most of which are historical in nature. Photographs, maps, historical artwork and illustrations all serve to provide valuable insights into the fascinating and well-written text. This book looks at the lost city of Atlantis. Was it real? Historical references are examined. Possible locations and archaeological evidence are presented. Legends about Atlantis are retold and recent literature and movies based on those legends are mentioned. The information is all quite fascinating and presented clearly in short bursts under nicely organized headings. Readers are left to draw their own conclusions. This book would be useful for report-writing, but would also find a ready readership for casual browsing. It would be a nice addition to library collections, but I'd get it prebound for durability.
Gladiators
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Crabtree "Chrome" series consist of 48 page oversized paperback nonfiction books, each with a solid bibliography, glossary, and index. They focus on various subjects, most of which are historical in nature. Photographs, maps, historical artwork and illustrations all serve to provide valuable insights into the fascinating and well-written text. This book looks at gladiators. Young readers learn about the history of the sport, the various types of gladiators and their weapons. The politics behind the games, and the training, fighting, and fate of most of the participants. The information is all quite fascinating and presented clearly in short bursts under nicely organized headings. This book would be useful for report-writing, but would also find a ready readership for casual browsing. It would be a nice addition to library collections, but I'd get it prebound for durability.
Plan And Investigate It!
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Duke, Shirley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scientific investigation is a process, and children need to know the appropriate steps and terms. This "Science Sleuths" series--oversized paperbacks by Crabtree--offers that information with crisp photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds, lots of fact boxes, step-by-step instructions and clear definitions. Naturally the books also include a glossary, index, bibliography, and website list. This book focuses on the investigative process. Readers learn about questions, investigations, making a hypothesis, drawing conclusions and asking more questions. Examples are given. This would be a valuable resource for students preparing for science fairs, but there is a lot of overlap between this book and "Prove It!", another book in the series. I think the two could have easily been combined into one volume.
Prove It!
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Duke, Shirley
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Scientific investigation is a process, and children need to know the appropriate steps and terms. This "Science Sleuths" series--oversized paperbacks by Crabtree--offers that information with crisp photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds, lots of fact boxes, step-by-step instructions and clear definitions. Naturally the books also include a glossary, index, bibliography, and website list. This book focuses on giving reasons for why things are the way they are. How do you prove it? Readers learn about questions, investigations, gathering and analyzing data, fact and opinion, arguments and how you support them with evidence. Scientific sharing of information is presented and respectful questioning is outlined. The emphasis is on proving your hypothesis. This would be a valuable resource for students preparing for science fairs, but there is a lot of overlap between this book and "Plan and Investigate it!", another book in the series. I think the two could have easily been combined into one volume.
Lewis and Clark map the American West
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
YOMTOV, NEL
Vollmer, Joel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 24-page nonfiction graphic novel gives young readers a quick overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. From its start at St. Charles, Missouri to the Pacific coast and back again, the highlights of the trek are covered with some dialogue and plenty of narration boxes. The book includes maps, glossary, index, bibliography, and website link. While the information is solid, the artwork is not appealing with its dark palette and oddly deformed faces. While an adequate purchase add only if you need additional material on this historical event.
Inside your germs
SUPER SANDCASTLE [ABDO]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Super Simple Body" series, this beautifully formatted, well-bound 32-page book takes readers inside their bodies to better understand germs. The author presents the four types of germs - bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa - and provides solid information about each. Both good germs and bad germs are highlighted. Every few pages there is an activity that helps demonstrate key concepts from the text. Cells are explained. Ways to fight germs and stop their spread are examined. The book includes a glossary. This entire series is exceptional. Each book is clear, interesting, and accurate. Buy the whole series for your elementary library.
Understanding Computer Safety
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Mason, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 07, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
One of four titles in Heinemann’s Info search series, this title is well designed and written providing basic information about computer and internet safety. It explores the questions: What are the dangers of using the internet? How can you stay safe when you are using computers? What should you do if you have concerns about safety? Using a question and answer format - each chapter title is in the form of a question with text blocks containing case studies, diagrams, fact boxes and the short paragraphs answer the questions making the information easily accessible to students. The four page chapters address questions about computers and internet safety; explain terms such as online/offline, the Internet/World Wide Web; offer Dos and Don'ts, bits of “Knowledge” about the topic under discussion and safety rules for young users. As noted at the bottom of the Table of Contents page, definitions for words in bold text are in the glossary. There is some information found in the text that students may not have had explained and could be of use to students. An Index and “Find Out more pages” that list books; Websites and Places to Visit are included. Additonal reviews found: Horn Book Guide.
Living On A Mountain
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Labrecque, Ellen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 07, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
One of six titles in the Heinemann First Library Places We Live series this is a brief introduction to life in mountains around the world. In the first three chapters, students are introduced to what it is, how they are formed and where many of the mountains in the world are found. Each chapters is a two-page spread looking at basic geographical features, why people live in the mountains and some of the risks and extremes for mountain living. In the following chapters, the text and photographs show many different cultures, highlighting how people around the world have adapted to living, working, and going to school in the mountains. Much of the information illustrates economic conditions that are in complete contrast to life in the United States. In the chapter, “All kinds of People” reference it Vail, Colorado as “one of the wealthiest mountain towns in the world.” is in the paragraph about people living on mountains for pleasure. Occasionally the statements about everyday jobs or activities lead the reader to be aware that there are some things that are the same around the world. Includes, bold text, glossary, captions, index and a Find Out More page that includes books and the Facthound website.
Ross Lynch
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Morreale, Marie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Ross Lynch, known for his roles in Disney TV shows and movies, as well as being a member of the pop music group R5, is one of those tousle-haired hunky stars who make tweens and some teens squeal. In this 48 page member of the "Real Bios" series fans get a chance to learn more about their idol. Information about his family and youth are included in some depth. The growth of his career, plenty of quotes, and future plans are examined. Plenty of fan-friendly photographs fill the pages, as well as all the odd facts you'd like to know. What's his favorite breakfast? What instruments does he play? What's the first thing he reaches for in the fridge? OK, this is a puff piece, but it's an in-depth puff piece and will thrill and delight young fans. It will also become quickly outdated, but that's about par for this type of book. Whatcha gonna do?
Spirit-Raising Cheers And Chants
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cheerleading" series, this sturdy 32-page book examines the concepts of cheers and chants, and their importance in raising the spirits of the crowd and supporting the team. It manages to do this without giving much in the way of examples of specific cheers and chants, instead urging readers to check out Youtube. Cheers and chants are defined and keys to success- - rhyme, rhythm, repetition - are mentioned. Yelling from the diaphragm is encouraged as is making chants and cheers appropriate to the sport and team. The enthusiastic text introduces cheerleading vocabulary and is accompanied by well-captioned color photographs showing cheerleaders of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and, yes, even a few guys. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Young girls, and those planning on joining the cheer squad, will doubtless enjoy this series.
Cheer Tryouts And Training
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cheerleading" series, this sturdy 32-page book lets young readers know that cheerleading requires practice and dedication. The book focuses specifically on tips for a successful tryout for the squad, and the expectations and training that accompany membership. The enthusiastic text introduces cheerleading vocabulary and is accompanied by well-captioned color photographs showing cheerleaders of all ages and ethnic backgrounds but not, unlike a few other books in the series, any guys. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Safety warnings are included. This is an encouraging book for girls who want to become cheerleaders. Young girls will doubtless enjoy this series.
Cheer Tools And Gear
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Marciniak, Kristin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cheerleading" series, this sturdy 32-page book focuses on the gear, uniforms, and props used by cheerleaders. Historical changes in uniforms are examined, and specifics about appearance, including hair and make-up, are presented. Oddly, despite many pictures showing cheerleaders with face decals, the text doesn't mention them. Cheer vocabulary is introduced and the enthusiastic text is accompanied by well-captioned color photographs showing cheerleaders of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and, yes, even a few guys. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Safety warnings are included. Young girls, and those considering cheer as a sport, will doubtless enjoy this series.
Cheer Skills And Drills
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Lusted, Marcia Amidon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cheerleading" series, this sturdy 32-page book lets young readers know that cheerleading requires practice and dedication. The book focuses specifically on skills such as arm and leg movements, jumps and tumbling, stunts and spotters, and different formations. The enthusiastic text introduces cheerleading vocabulary and is accompanied by well-captioned color photographs showing cheerleaders of all ages and ethnic backgrounds and, yes, even a few guys. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Safety warnings are included. My major complaint is that the photographs don't exactly match the text. It would have been good to see a visual of all of the specific things defined in the text since cheerleading is such a visual sport. Young girls will doubtless enjoy this series.
Cheer Careers
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Mooney, Carla
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cheerleading" series, this sturdy 32-page book examines possible career choices in the field of cheerleading. Ever optimistic and enthusiastic, the author points out job possibilities in uniform design, coaching, choreography, teaching and more. Then, of course, there are those who become professional cheerleaders in their adult life. Well-captioned color photographs show cheerleaders of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Unlike other books in the series, no men are shown. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Cheerleading books tend to be popular in my library, and this series will doubtless find readership.
Angel Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone A+ series, students learn about the Angel shark’s physical description, habitat, food, babies and behavior. But missing are standard non-fiction characteristics such as photograph captions, diagrams, a comparison of shark sizes and a range map. Teachers are looking for these features even in the most basic non-fiction books. Despite the mentioned lacking features, readers will snatch these books off the shelves and are useful for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Sand Tiger Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone A+ series, students learn about the Sand Tiger shark’s physical description, habitat, food, babies and behavior. But missing are standard non-fiction characteristics such as photograph captions, diagrams, a comparison of shark sizes and a range map. Teachers are looking for these features even in the most basic non-fiction books. Despite the mentioned lacking features, readers will snatch these books off the shelves and are useful for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Nurse Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone A+ series, students learn about the Nurse shark’s physical description, habitat, food, babies and behavior. But missing are standard non-fiction characteristics such as photograph captions, diagrams, a comparison of shark sizes and a range map. Teachers are looking for these features even in the most basic non-fiction books. Despite the mentioned lacking features, readers will snatch these books off the shelves and are useful for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Blue Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone A+ series, students learn about the Blue shark’s physical description, habitat, food, babies and behavior. But missing are standard non-fiction characteristics such as photograph captions, diagrams, a comparison of shark sizes and a range map. Teachers are looking for these features even in the most basic non-fiction books. Despite the mentioned lacking features, readers will snatch these books off the shelves and are useful for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Masters Of Disguise : Amazing Animal Tricksters
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Johnson, Rebecca L
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
April 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone knows that some animals use clever camouflage to survive. A few, however, take it a step further. This fascinating book introduces some of the more interesting animals and their clever adaptations--whether it be through appearance or actions. How about those assassin bugs that carry corpses on their backs? What about the rain forest chicks that look exactly like poisonous caterpillars, even down to their movements? Don't forget the caterpillars that trick ants into being their babysitters, the fish that pretend to be coral, the spiders that build puppets, and much more. What is particularly interesting is how the author introduces the target animal and the adaptation, then proceeds to tell "The Science Behind the Story" showing how scientists first observed this behavior, and the scientific methods used to test it. The book includes source notes, a good glossary and bibliography, and an index. Amazing close-up photographs and and exceptional writing combine to draw readers in, making science totally cool. Depend on it, this will be on award lists.
Leeches
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Marsico, Katie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Blood-sucking, fear-inducing, squiggly slimy--hey, folks have lots of opinions about leeches. This book provides fascinating insights into the critters that many of us were first introduced to by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Who can forget that incident "On the Banks of Plum Creek"?) The book begins with a fact page that provides all the basics students are looking for in report-writing. Continue reading, however, and you'll learn that there are many varieties of leeches, not all of which have a diet of blood. A leech's life cycle is examined in depth, and the history of leeches on the planet is explored. Readers learn how leeches move, how they feed, and what animals prey on leeches. There's a compare and contrast section between leeches and their cousins, earthworms. You even learn how to appropriately remove a leech. All of this is accompanied by incredible crisp close-up photographs that beautifully expand the text. Naturally there's a glossary, habitat map (basically they're everywhere), bibliography, website link, and index. The 48-page "Nature Children's" books are always excellent, and this is no exception.
Fad Mania! : A History Of American Crazes
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Bix, Cynthia Overbeck
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Fads come and fads go, but while they're here they can define a generation. This book is an interesting history of the fads that have come and gone...and some of which have come again...through American history starting in the 1920's flapper movement. Each chapter takes readers ahead in American history, with a brief timeline of important events of that era, and then a close examination of some of the crazes found there. Phone booth stuffing, Cabbage Patch Kids, mood rings, flash mobs--they're all here. And let's not forget streakers and coon-skin caps. This is a very readable book with extensive source notes, bibliographies, and index. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. This is an interesting look at a social phenomenon that leaves you wondering what the next big thing will, momentarily, be.
When Mischief Came To Town
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Nannestad, Katrina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 09, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is a sweet, touching story of love, family, loss, and life, set in 1911 Bornholm, Denmark. Inge Maria moves to the isolated island of Bornholm from her home in Copenhagen. She goes to live with her no -nonsense grandmother who lives a routine-filled existence on the small farm she owns. Inge Maria can't help but cause mischief, whether it is wanting to play with the boys on the playground or feed the pigs the wrong food at home. Her grandmother switches Inge Maria on the legs and is initially very stern with her. Soon, however, grandmother's real nature declares itself and Inge Maria sees that grandmother and her friends actually appreciate her naughtiness! Inga Maria wakes up Bornholm from its slumber and its inhabitants are grateful. I believe this is a re-issue of the original story published in 2013, The Girl Who Brought Mischief to Town.
Cool Refashioned T-Shirts : Fun & Easy Fashion Projects
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Are you looking for projects for a MakersSpace or for crafts to introduce around Earth Day? The Cool Refashioned books introduce craft projects using recycled clothing or odds & ends in simple sequential steps with photographs illustrating key steps. T-Shirts are refashioned into fancy clothe bows, travel totes and simple drawstring backpack bag, creating a magnetic fabric bracelet or cord necklace, decorating plain flip flops and sunglasses, and adding lace or block prints to spice up plain t-shirts. Each book contains a Table of Contents, glossary, index, and a website link to other projects, an introduction to the book’s theme, safety tips, supplies and tools needed as well as tips for working with the materials. The brightly colored photographs, straightforward directions with a supply list and finished project, and mix of levels of difficulty should appeal to students with a wide age range and skill set. Younger children may need some additional support with terms and tools such as a hot glue gun and iron. The well-known Checkerboard imprint repeats some of the same introductory information so many readers skip straight to the projects. Otherwise these are attractive accessible books for your crafty students.
Cool Refashioned Scarves & Ties : Fun & Easy Fashion Project
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Are you looking for projects for a MakersSpace or for crafts to introduce around Earth Day? The Cool Refashioned books introduce craft projects using recycled clothing or odds & ends in simple sequential steps with photographs illustrating key steps. Scarves and ties are repurposed to create vests, necklaces, wrist wallet, folded scarf bags, reversible skirts, bows, belted ties, and a fruit print scarf. Each book contains a Table of Contents, glossary, index, and a website link to other projects, an introduction to the book’s theme, safety tips, supplies and tools needed as well as tips for working with the materials. The brightly colored photographs, straightforward directions with a supply list and finished project, and mix of levels of difficulty should appeal to students with a wide age range and skill set. Younger children may need some additional support with terms and tools such as a hot glue gun and iron. The well-known Checkerboard imprint repeats some of the same introductory information so many readers skip straight to the projects. Otherwise these are attractive accessible books for your crafty students.
Cool Refashioned Odds & Ends : Fun & Easy Fashion Projects
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kuskowski, Alex
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Are you looking for projects for a MakersSpace or for crafts to introduce around Earth Day? The Cool Refashioned books introduce craft projects using recycled clothing or odds & ends in simple sequential steps with photographs illustrating key steps. Each book contains a Table of Contents, glossary, index, and a website link to other projects, an introduction to the book’s theme, safety tips, supplies and tools needed as well as tips for working with the materials. Odds and ends found around a house such as puzzle pieces, yarn bits, burlap, and small pieces of fabric are used tp create fun projects. Some of the projects use clothing or objects that are embellished including a plain hat, pair of flip flops, and plain shoes. Other projects are wallets, bags, tech case, poncho, and bracelets. The brightly colored photographs, straightforward directions with a supply list and finished project, and mix of levels of difficulty should appeal to students with a wide age range and skill set. The well-known Checkerboard imprint repeats some of the same introductory information so many readers skip straight to the projects. Otherwise these are attractive accessible books for your crafty students.
Blacktip Reef Sharks
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 09, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Once again an Abdo Kids series pairs crisp colorful photographs that spill across gutters with brief paragraphs of basic information for beginning readers. Targeting readers just a little younger than the Capstone A+ series, students learn about the Blacktip shark’s physical description, habitat, food, babies and behavior. But missing are standard non-fiction characteristics such as photograph captions, diagrams, a comparison of shark sizes and a range map. Teachers are looking for these features even in the most basic non-fiction books. Despite the mentioned lacking features, readers will snatch these books off the shelves and are useful for beginning researchers. And because of the consistent format and information covered, the high interest topic could be used for lessons in comparisons and similarities. Back material for each book includes three facts, brief glossary, index, and a code to publisher monitored website.
Amulet : 7 : Firelight
GRAPHIX [GRAPHIX]
Kibuishi, Kazu
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 10, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is my first foray into the Amulet series and now I will read it from the beginning. The characters go to an island to seek access to lost memories. Very intriguing plot! There are human characters and animal characters interacting. One of the humans, Emily, finds her father alive, but then realizes she is dreaming, or is she? There is something for everyone in this comic: space travel, betrayal, friendship and loyalty, memory blocks, an active amulet... All this AND the author is from Seattle. Now I understand why I can't keep this series on my shelves!
Stink And The Attack Of The Slime Mold
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Mcdonald, Megan
Reynolds, Peter H.
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 10, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
After watching the movies, The Glob, Stink and his friend, Riley, receive slime mold cultures from their science club teacher. Stink is psyched to have a new pet and names it Mr. McGoo. Stink's family, including sister Judy, and his teacher are not crazy about having the slime mold around, but put up with it as long as it stays under control. Daily updates ala Star Trek keep the reader informed of McGoo's progress. A few full-page comics give insight into Stink's vivid imagination. When the mold takes over his room, however, Stink's parents send it and Stink outside. Where one story ends, though, another begins as Stink finds a star slime mold in his yard. Obviously, it's slime for a sequel!
50 Body Questions : A Book That Spills Its Guts
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Kyi, Tanya
Kinnaird, Ross
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
I will openly admit that I enjoy all the "50 Questions" books by this author. Tanya Lloyd Kyi manages to make any subject both humorous and interesting and never fails to keep me reading. This book focuses on the human bodies. Through answering questions like "Is there snot in your stomach?" and "Is your inner ear a gossip?" readers learn about the body's innards, blood, bones, senses, brain and much more. Things that attack the body are examined. Weird facts are highlighted, but placed into a context where you end up learning some of the essential basics as well. Humorous cartoon illustrations by Ross Kinnaird perfectly suit the text and add to the fun. Occasional hands-on experiments allow readers to go a little deeper. As I said, everything in this series is fun, and I always put down one of Kyi's books feeling like I've learned some cool stuff.
Dolls Of Hope
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Parenteau, Shirley
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 12, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Set in 1926 Japan, a companion novel to “Ship of Dolls.” Protagonist Chiyo copes with her sudden entree into the Tsuchiura Girls School in an effort to rid her of her wild country ways by her sisters older wealthy betrothed and local landowner, Yamada Nori. Once at school the sweet, simple Chiyo learns of the friendship dolls sent from America to forge bonds of friendship and peace with the Emperor and all of Japan. But, like her life at school peace is not easy when General Miyamoto’s daughter, the spiteful, elitist, arch villain bully Hoshi Miyamoto will stop at nothing to ensure Chiyo never has a happy moment. Like Chiyo the book overfocuses on the bully missing many opportunities to explore the fascinating 1926 Japan.
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Frazier, Sundee T
Meyer, Jennifer L.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Ambitious, lovable unstoppable, African American heroine Cleo Edison Oliver is determined to become a dynamic businesswoman just like the famous entrepreneur and motivational speaker Fortune A. Davies. Cleo invents a tooth extraction system targeted to capitalize on the massive loose tooth market amongst her peers. Her hilarious hijinks chaminglingly amuse and entertain readers while lightly touching on issues such as adoption and schoolyard rivalries. Several implied plot elements are never resolved-- who is Cleo’s real mom? A must for every collection.
Gryphons Aren't So Great
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Sturm, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2016
Burton, Paula
A humor full graphic novel for young readers. A small knight is having a great time with his friend Edward, which happens to be a horse, until she notices a gryphon. The flying gryphon is more attractive to the little knight and she leaves Edward behind in the middle of the forest. Edward thinks she will change her friend's mind if he shows up in a costume with wings. The gryphon is still more interesting until he takes the knight first too high and then goes too fast. Since they fly past Edward, the knight cries out for help. Edward steps up and saves him when they both realize horses can’t fly. The knight understands, after they plummet into the moat around the castle, she can have the same fun with Edward as she did with the gryphon. This book is a follow up for Sleepless knight and the black outlined illustrations, much like the ones the authors had in Adventures in Cartooning, has a maximum of four panels to a page. A great read for reluctant readers or those just starting to read. Adventure and the message of true friendship create a great story. With the easy to follow steps on the front and end-paper, the kids could draw their own main characters from the book.
Larry Loves Washington, Dc!
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Skewes, John
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten
April 12, 2016
Burton, Paula
This board book is like the other Larry loves titles, a younger version of its picture book companion Larry gets lost in Washington DC. Fewer landmarks are highlighted and there is no plot but it is a great introduction to the city for younger kids.
Fable Comics
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Duffy, Chris
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 12, 2016
Burton, Paula
Like the Fairy tale comics, same editor, a three to five page spread retells a fairy tale in a graphic novel format. Different contributors all use their own style to retell these fairy tales and make this into a wide variety of how the comics are retold. Since there has been a volume prior to this edition, most of the fairy tales are not as well known but still include: The hare and the tortoise, The boy who cried wolf, and Lion and mouse. In addition there is The sun and the wind, The great weasel war, Leopard drums up dinner, The dolphins, the whales, and the sprat and many more. The last pages introduce the illustrators but there is no origin of the tale. A great way to introduce unfamiliar fairy tales to a young audience.
Batman's Dark Secret
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Puckett, Kelley
Muth, Jon J.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 12, 2016
Burton, Paula
Well known author and illustrator Jon Muth, known from the Zen picture books, has tackled a very popular topic; Batman. The interesting part of the book is that it centers around Bruce Wayne when he was a child. The Batman character only appears on the last page of the book. It centres around Wayne’s fear of the dark after he loses his parents, the loss is only illustrated by a hat and a scarf lying on the sidewalk, when he ventures into a dark alley. All of a sudden Bruce is an orphan and any dark corner, room or space scares him. When he falls into a dark cave full of bats he realises that he can overcome his fear. His eyes adjust to the dark and something inside changes. This is a new format based on a reader published by Scholastic in 2000, written by Kelley Puckett. Unfortunately his name is not mentioned on the cover or inside the book except for the Library of Congress publication data. Although it is written in a picture book format, it can appeal to an audience young and old. Muth’s watercolor illustrations are a perfect match to make this book the gradual step into the darker side of superhero comics.
Honor Bound
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
London, C Alexander
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 12, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
The US Marines secret weapon, “Special Forces” team Felix and the highly trained remarkable seal lion “Sly” are mobilized to take on the villainous Somalian pirate “Surfer Boy,” wreaking havoc amongst the international shipping lanes off of Somalia’s territorial waters. A fast paced military adventure, readers are riveted, amused and cheering for the marine mammal combat ready unit Felix and Sly. Well written believable characters, used as effective combatants while readers marginally consider the ethical use of animals in combat. Fast paced, guaranteed to to keep you reading and rooting for “Sly and the US Marines.” “Huzzah!” Some combat centered violence.
Space Junk : The Dangers Of Polluting Earth's Orbit
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Young, Karen Romano
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 14, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Kessler Syndrome (theory that space junk creates more space junk) and the dangers of polluting earth's orbit. Where does space junk go? Nowhere, what happens if space junk collides? Smaller pieces of space junk! Humans have been exploring space since 1957 and leaving exploration equipment in orbit thus creating a problem with space debris. Over 6000 pieces of garbage randomly colliding imperiling current space missions. 3 countries are responsible for the majority of junk, China, the US and Russia. A fascinating read about the shortsighted nature of humans; even the brilliant scientists capable of building missions to outer space! Excellent layout, interesting topic, nice graphics, clear narration, glossary, index, timeline, an excellent resource for this research topic.
Brain Science
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Abramovitz, Melissa
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 14, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
An easy to follow narrative highlighting the many aspects of brain research topics. Mapping the brain, brain disorders, mental illness, PTSD memory, intelligence, thought controlled machines and other exciting topics discussed as scientists all over the world gain insight into the universe's most complex organ. “Brain Science” has some layout issues, namely the sidebars on each page are difficult to read as the font is small (atop within a gray text box). The glossary and additional information in back seem an inadequate afterthought. Students will have difficulty using these features to further understanding. A decent addition for basic research projects.
Little Robot
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Hatke, Ben
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 14, 2016
Dame, Anne
Hooray for a diverse protagonist in this sweet graphic novel about a little girl and a robot! Love the illustrations. Limited text. Also totally suitable for middle school.
I.o.u. Dead : A Keno Kalder Mystery
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Wan, Michelle
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Keno is a debt collector. Along with his associate, Jaco, he gets the money his boss has coming to him. If that involves roughing folks up a little, well, so be it. It's a job. However, a murderer is stalking the city. When he and Jaco stumble on a body, and witness the killer, they mess up the evidence and worry they'll implicate themselves. Perhaps choosing to blackmail the real killer wasn't the brightest idea, but you don't get into debt collection because you're a genius, right? Now it looks like they're going to be the next victims. This is a Raven Books (Orca) "Rapid Reads" book, meaning it has short chapters, and an easier reading level. Nevertheless it is a book aimed clearly at young adults and adults. Frankly, I'm always impressed by Orca books. They meet a need for high interest, low vocabulary materials for older teens and adults who still find reading a bit onerous. The fact that they're all well-written and a good read is just gravy on the potatoes!
Luciana
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Wells, Maggie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 16, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Luciana has some serious issues. She is 14, a blogger about her intimate life, she admittedly "loves sex," and acts on her desires. After having had sex with seven different guys, Luciana is told she has to move away with her dad to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the summer. The move brings many changes: Luciana finds out she's pregnant, she lands an unwanted job as a babysitter, and becomes an unofficial mentor of Roxanne, another 14 year old who "loves sex," too. When Luciana reveals to her parents that she's pregnant, they insist that she have an abortion, which she follows through with. The boys she had sex with back home have to go through paternity tests and this results in more sadness and drama. Luciana returns home to Pittsburgh, turning her attention to vlogging, making videos of interviews with other teens who have had abortions and those who have kept their babies. Although the writing is fine, the focus of the book is uneven. It is a story aimed toward reluctant teen readers (this book is number six in a series), but I am not certain who the audience would be exactly. Language, abortion, suicide, abuse, and sex all make this a high school read.
The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Teacher's Edition)
Pomelo Books [Pomelo Books]
Vardell, Sylvia & Janet Wong
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Professional
April 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Want to integrate poetry into your STEM curriculum? Here’s a well-organized, painless way to do it that is also a lot of fun. Originally published in 2014, this 2016 copyrighted volume is essentially the same book. The differences lie not in content but in cover art and formatting. 218 poems by a wide variety of poets are included in the collection. The book is designed to offer 36 poems (a poem a week for a typical school year) for each grade level. A grid shows how the poems correlate to the Next Generation Science Standards. Each poem is accompanied by Take 5! activities offering extension opportunities. You can skim or dive with these poems. Your choice. All are well-chosen, and it's a delight to have the prep work already done. K-5 teachers should rejoice in this collection. It can accompany “The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science For Kids” which includes all of the same poems and 30 more. Finding good science poems is a challenge. This collection is a terrific way to meet that challenge.
The Poetry of Science: The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for Kids
Pomelo Books [Pomelo Books]
Vardell, Sylvia & Janet Wong
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
April 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Designed to accompany "The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science K-5 Teacher/Librarian Edition" this book contains all the poems in the teacher's edition, plus 30 more, all with a science theme. Clever black and white illustrations accompany the poems which were carefully selected for content and organized by themes such as "Ask and Investigate," "Ecosystems," and "Surviving Disasters." A glossary, website list, and index are included. This is a nice collection of very usable poems with a specific focus. It merits a place in your library.
The Mystery of the Roanoke Colonists
CORE LIBRARY [ABDO]
Rea, Amy C.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It is one of the enduring mysteries of American history--what happened to the colonists at Roanoke? Established in 1587, the colony was challenged from the beginning. Under-supplied, understaffed--survival was going to be a test of will and strength. Then the colonists were essentially abandoned. The Spanish Armada took up England's interest and its sea resources. It was three years before anyone returned to Roanoke, and much longer before a close examination of the settlement site took place. What happened? Where did the people go? Did they all perish? This book, part of the Core Library "Mysteries of History" series, combines primary sources with historical artwork and photographs to provide readers with background knowledge, and present the most popular theories along with the evidence that supports them, as well as reasons why they may not be true. This requires upper level thinking skills and introduces some interesting concepts. (Who knew privateers had such an important role in this historical event?) A glossary, index, and bibliography are included. This entire series is excellent and would be a good addition to secondary libraries.
Gabriela
Calico Chapter Books [Calico Chapter Books]
Mullarkey, Lisa
Franco, Paula
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 16, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Gabriela is at Storm Cliff horse camp for girls. She loves reading books and riding horses, and the other girls in the camp share her interests. When Gabriela finishes reading Bigfoot Returns, and talks about it to the other girls, the youngest camper is scared. Esha, a prankster, plays a trick on the girls to frighten them, or as she says, "to have some fun," but Gabriela solves the mystery. Gabriela and her friends seem to be nine or ten years old, and are a multi-racial group (at least that's what it looks like from the illustrations). There are older camp leaders, 12+ years, and a few adults who run the camp. When Esha speaks, her "-ing" endings are abbreviated to "-in," which I found odd. Equal emphasis is put on riding and horse care, and the girls' social lives, so even if the reader isn't a horse fan, she still may enjoy the story.
Worst Witch And The Wishing Star
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murphy, Jill
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 16, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Millie is in the fourth form (equivalent to ninth grade in America) as she enters Miss Cackle's witch school this year. The headmistress announces that all the schools in the country will be given a chance to compete to win an indoor swimming pool. Millie's school duty this year is to light and extinguish the candles in a wing of the school. One day on her rounds she finds a stray dog, whom she takes in secretly and trains to do all sorts of tricks on Millie's broom. When Millie and her rival Ethel accidentally burn all of the costumes of the group that was going to represent their school in the pool competition, Millie and Star, the dog, end up saving the day. This is a book that young girls will love with its timeless themes of friendship and loyalty; the many cats and the one dog that accompany the girls; and Millie, who just can't avoid trouble!
Blue Dragon : A Peter Strand Mystery
RAVEN BOOKS [RAVEN BOOKS]
Tierney, Ronald
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
April 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Peter Strand is a Chinese American who looks the part, but was raised in a white household and speaks no Chinese. That makes his job particularly difficult when he is called in to ease the fears of tenants in an apartment building in San Francisco's Chinatown where a murder has taken place. He seems to fit in, but doesn't really. Nevertheless, as he interviews tenants and investigates further he begins to believe that there is more to this murder than is thought. Can he take the tenuous threads he is gathering from various sources and weave a whole cloth? Is the gay angle just a red herring, or the key to the puzzle? What will he learn about the people he meets, and what will he learn about himself in the process? This is an Orca "Rapid Reads" book, meaning it's an adult book with short chapters and a lower vocabulary. The writing is crisp and the character development is interesting, as is true of every "Rapid Reads" book I've ever reviewed. They meet the needs of teens and adults whose reading skills are slightly lower than expected, but who don't want to read a "kid book."
Tierra Y La Importancia Del Agua
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Duke, Shirley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 18, 2016
Norton, Geneva
Tierra Y La Importance Del Agua (The earth and the role of water)is one of the Exploremos la ciencia (Let's explore science) titles. See Putrefaccion y descomposicion for complete review. This title is Lexile 1290L and like each in the series is available in both Spanish and English.
Putrefaccion Y Descomposicion
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Levete, Sarah
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 18, 2016
Norton, Geneva
SPANISH LANGUAGE: This beautifully laid out science book Putrefaccion y descomposicion (Rot and decay) by Sarah Levete of what to some is a beautifully disgusting topic is filled with vivid photographs and charts that will appeal to even reluctant science book readers. The process of rot and decay is explained detailing how nature takes care of its dead plants and animals with discussions of what happens to spent man-made materials. The clearly written text is in Spanish that was vetted by this reviewer by a high school Spanish teacher. The books in this series, Exploremos la ciencia (Let's Explore Science), are each laid out in much the same fashion and are available in English and eBook formats as well as the Spanish. Source is continuing to add titles to this series. These would be a great resource for bilingual resources with solid informational text. They are designed to be a guided reading text, as well. They have library binding with visual covers. Books include internet sites and additional titles in English and an index and glossary in Spanish. Spanish text Lexile 700L English version Lexile 760L.
Enciende La Luz : Como Funciona La Electricidad
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Newell, Ella
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 18, 2016
Norton, Geneva
One of the Exploremos la ciencia (Let's explore science) titles. See Putrefaccion y descomposicion for complete review. This title is Lexile 1030L and like each in the series is available in both Spanish and English.
Technologia Medica E Ingenieria
ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA [ROURKE EDUCATIONAL MEDIA]
Mooney, Carla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 18, 2016
Norton, Geneva
One of the Exploremos la ciencia (Let's explore science) titles. See Putrefaccion y descomposicion for complete review. This title is Lexile 1250L and like each in the series is available in both Spanish and English.
Ripple Effect
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Taekema, Sylvia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 18, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Sixth grade was supposed to be the best year ever for Dana and her best friend, Nelly. They would do track, basketball, and volleyball together. They'd do all their projects together and be there as they met cute guys and faced the horror that is those preteen years. But Nelly was in a serious bike accident and Dana didn't visit her in the hospital. Her attempts to reconnect meet with failure and even in school she can no longer spend time with her best friend, who is now being best-friended by the pushiest girl in the class who does all she can to keep Dana out of Nelly's circle. Dana feels guilty and very very much alone. This was supposed to be the best year ever, but now she's lost everything. Sure, she has her triumphs, but a joy unshared isn't much of a joy. It doesn't help that she's biking to school through the worst weather. This Orca book is perfect for middle schoolers, although 5th graders would enjoy it as well. Readers will be drawn into Dana's life that rings true for the age level. Short chapters and easier vocabulary in no way make this a book for younger students. Its honesty and charm are sure to appeal to anyone tween or teen who has felt alone.
Mean Girl Meltdown
ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS [ARTHUR A LEVINE BOOKS]
Eyre, Lindsay
Hanson, Sydney
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 21, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Sylvie is excited to be in 4th grade and even more excited to turn out for a hockey team, especially after a game-changing mistake in baseball. She even coerces her friends into joining the team. Hockey, however, is not as intuitive as she had hoped. Her goal of becoming team captain is elusive, and her parents are so busy with her twin brothers, who are a real handful, that she's not getting as much attention as she feels she needs. Then the pranking starts. Sylvie is sure she knows who is doing it--that mean girl who laughed at her baseball mistake. How can she get even? This is a fun sports book with a nice message about judging and about working hard to become good at something. It's nice to see a hockey book with females as the main characters and there is a nice underlying theme about being mean that rings true.
Sophie's Quest
Sunberry Books [Sunberry Books]
Anderson, Sonja
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 23, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Sophie, the owl, loves to collect shiny things, and when she finds a gold "t" on a cross, she asks her grandfather, Great Horned Owl, what it means. He says that it is the letter "t" for trouble. Meanwhile, Timley, the mouse, lives a sheltered life with his family, and yearns to be outside having adventures. When Sophie announces that she is going on a journey, Timley, who fancies himself a pirate, jumps onto her hat and they set off for foreign lands to find the true meaning of the "t." They hop a ship going across the Atlantic and, with the help of the unseen "Skypainter," discover that many people believe different things about the "t," including Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians. This is a sweet and adventurous story that would lend itself to a read aloud in an elementary classroom, although it would have to be in a private school. Quotes from the Bible abound and, even though the book mentions many faiths and that all people have a belief in a god/supreme being, there is still a strong Christian influence.
Drying Up : Running Out Of Water
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Feinstein, Stephen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 23, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
A well written mainly narrative for student research (121 pages). All topics affecting water issues are explored. Freshwater and oceans as resources, population demands, pollution, health issues due to unsafe water, purity stands, legislation and protection of water purity, and the future demands of this valuable resource as well as access to clean water globally. global climate change issues including glacial melt, rising sea levels and political skepticism are addressed. Written using current sources of scientific data. There were no tables or graphs; adding visual supports in the form of tables and graphs would be a valuable addition to increase understanding and allow readers to quickly access data for comparisons (particularly in support of global climate change, ocean acidification, consumption statistics, and pollution data). Decent glossary and index are included as well as an appendix, chapter notes, further reading and a “For More Information” section.
Medical Research And Technology
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Morris, Alexandra
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 23, 2016
Gallagher, Donna
Narrative in style, an interesting title that explores current technology innovations in medicine, and medical research. Students researching current issues in medicine will find many topics briefly covered and coherently explained. Chapters are: growing new organs, fighting cancer with immune system, zeroing in on cancer cells, genetics and personalized medicine, confronting a chronic health crisis, advances in vaccine research, data-driven healthcare, telemedicine and robots and supercomputers are coming. This is an accessible book for the non-scientist. The essential facts, glossary, and additional resources are far too brief, perhaps the assumption is that students will use the internet for research? Source notes are included to support additional student research. Has some layout issues, namely the sidebars on each page are difficult to read as the font is small (atop within a gray text box). Photos, illustrations, and diagrams well done to support understanding.
Baseball Record Breakers
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Williams, Doug
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 23, 2016
Garrard, Thom
The stories behind athletic performances that eclipsed a previous standard are told in the books in Abdo’s Record Breakers series. Chapters in the baseball title cover seven featured records, the players involved, how the records were set, and their historical contexts. Color photographs of game action cover about 40% of each eight-page chapter, and the writing conveys the excitement that built as each existing record was approached and eventually broken. Most of these were achieved over the course of a career, and they include a balance of hitting, pitching, base-running, longevity, and team championships. DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting also merits its inclusion, but the selection of Albert Pujols’s three home runs in game three of the 2011 World Series, while clearly a great performance, seems inconsistent because it only covers one game and only equaled the previous record. Sidebars allow for the mention of more records, and a section of fun facts covers more dubious achievements.
Soccer Record Breakers
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Trusdell, Brian
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 23, 2016
Garrard, Thom
The stories behind athletic performances that eclipsed a previous standard are told in the books in Abdo’s Record Breakers series. The soccer title includes chapters on five featured records, the players involved, how the records were set, and their historical contexts. Color photographs of game action cover about 40% of each eight-page chapter, and the writing conveys the excitement that built as each existing record was approached and eventually broken. Given the long dominance of American women, the choice of Kristine Lilly’s record of 352 international matches is appropriate. However, the fact that American men were selected for two of the other four chapters reveals a major bias. The US men’s team has rarely been ranked among the world’s top ten teams. Records given brief mention in the sidebars and the fun facts section more accurately reflect the global nature of the sport.
Help! The Wolf Is Coming!
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Ramadier, Cedric
Bourgeau, Vincent
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
April 23, 2016
Garrard, Thom
At the approach of the wolf, the text exhorts the reader to stop him by quickly turning the pages. When this doesn’t work and the wolf gets closer, suggested strategies include tipping, shaking, and flipping the book. The ultimate solution is shutting the book, but then the back cover slyly suggests flipping it over to be sure the wolf has gone, and you can guess who is on the front. The red text on yellow sky and yellow text on green ground are eye-catching, and the anticipation builds nicely as the reader interacts with the story. Given that most of the text uses a cursive font, children will probably start out sharing this book with a parent rather than reading it independently. Eventually, they will have it committed to memory, because this board book will be lots of fun for younger audiences.
Secrets Of Selkie Bay
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Thomas, Shelley Moore
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 26, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Cordie, Ione, and little Neevy are the three daughters left behind by their mother in the care of their loving father. Mother has disappeared overnight, and Cordie and Ione believe that she has gone back to her selkie form. The family is left with little money to survive, so Cordie and Ione go out to work for the local crank, Mr. Doyle, the owner of a shop that sells memorabilia to make some extra cash to pay the rent. When Cordie takes her sisters out in their boat to search for treasure (purportedly left by pirate Grace O'Malley) on the hidden selkie island, the boat takes on water and they are stranded. While there, the girls discover a black seal they think is their mother and a group of smaller seals. The girls are saved when Mr. Doyle and then their father arrive, only to discover that the seals are pixies, thought to be extinct. The ending is positive and the reader is left to imagine that the family all live happily ever after. Not perfect in all of its elements, this story captures the reader who empathizes with its young characters.
Last Of The Sandwalkers
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Hosler, Jay
Hindle, James K.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
April 26, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Cartoonist Jay Hosler is a biology professor whose graduate work on beetles informs this unusual and highly recommended graphic novel. As with “Clan Apis” about life in a bee colony, and “Sandwalk Adventure” on the life of a follicle mite on Charles Darwin’s bushy eyebrows, Hosler spins an unlikely adventure of a small band of brave beetles exploring beyond their known world of a desert oasis. Lucy’s the scientific one with the undaunted courage and scientific curiosity of Lewis and Clark combined with Inspector Gadget’s humorously resourceful tinkering. Accompanied by a a hodge-podge of other beetles, including a nefarious Dr. Owen who hopes to sabotage the expedition and reinforce the dogmatic state and religious of Scarabus. Through almost 300 pages of illustrated adventure the beetles impart fascinating facts, wise-cracking dialog and unexpected plot through twists and turns en route to a triumphant conclusion. Annotations and source material at the end will satisfy entomologists, while the novel content and entertaining plot will reward anyone daring enough to pick up this unlikely but recommended graphic novel.
Boy's Best Friend
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Banks, Kate
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 26, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
George is doing an experiment to see if his dog, Bart, knows when he's coming home. He's also dealing with the loss of his best friend, who recently moved. Lester's family just moved from Denver to Cape Cod. He feels lost. Both boys are in the same class in school and since both have dogs they do the same experiment. Gradually they become friends, each recognizing that they have suffered a loss, but their lives are not over. Scattered throughout is correspondence with Rupert Sheldrake, the author of "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home." He offers George scientific advice for his experiment, and words of wisdom for other issues he is facing. Ultimately the book is warm, reassuring, and satisfying. However, getting there takes time. The entire first 3rd of the book made me want to tell the author "show, don't tell," as it is filled with extraneous details that slow the plot down. The two characters are also difficult to tell apart because their circumstances (as is explained in painful detail) may be different, but their personalities are not well-defined and seem almost identical. A lovely idea, but not as well-executed as I had hoped.
My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish : Fins Of Fury
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
O'hara, Mo
Paillot, Jim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
April 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This the third in the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series and it contains not one, but two "dangerously hypnotic zombie stories!" It is hard to resist the crazy adventures of Tom, Pradeep, and zombie goldfish, Frankie who all try to stay out of the grips of Tom's evil scientist brother, Mark. In the first story, Mark has aligned with Sam Savage to scare campers with a Beast-in-the-Burdock-Woods story. The second tale is one of stolen paranormal pets and the evil plot in which Mark turns nice. The author spoke at our school once and immediately had students lined up to check out her books, and they have been reading them ever since!
Star Wars : The Force Awakens : The Official Lucas Collector
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
April 27, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Touted as the "LucasFilm Ltd. Insider's Guide and the "ultimate look behind the scenes" this is a book designed for the true fan with plenty of glossy pictures, and interviews with all the actors playing the main characters in the film. How did they get the part? How did they feel when they got it? How did filming go? OK, the questions aren't exactly deep, but fans want to know. There're also sections dealing with costumes, creatures, settings, and the Millennium Falcon. The book is not long, so there's not a ton of information here. I haven't seen the movie and don't feel like I received any "spoilers." My favorite part was the overview of all the movies in the series, starting at the beginning and hitting key plot points. Collectors will want to collect this, but it's not a vital addition to your library, although it will doubtless find a ready readership.
Geek Fantasy Novel
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Schrefer, Eliot
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
April 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
"Be careful what you wish for" is especially good advice for geeky Ralph. His parents have insulated him from wishes his entire life. That bubble wrap is starting to chafe, however, and Ralph (completely without permission) takes off to spend the summer in England with his cousins. It is there that he learns about his family's history, and the tradition (now abandoned after a tragic incident) of granting each child one wish that would lead to a magical adventure in which great life truths would be learned. It all revolves around Aunt Chessie, whose behavior is highly suspect. When she chooses to grant her nieces and nephews a wish apiece, Ralph is caught up in the wished adventures, in most of which he is slated for death. Every wish is a separate story, but intertwined with the others and none are at all "safe." Then, of course, there is the narrator who has to put his two cents in. At times wickedly funny, at other times bewildering, this is an amusing romp that doesn't easily fit into any fantasy category. Terry Pratchett fans will probably love it, and appreciate the word play and snarky asides.
On The Run
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Bancks, Tristan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
April 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Chubby Ben is an introvert who fears almost everything and likes creating stop-motion movies. He lives in his imagination, but his own life is dull and predictable. That is, until the cops show up and suddenly his parents are piling him and his sister into the car to go on a "vacation." Ben's not an idiot. It's clear they're on the run, but why? With a bullying father and a weak mother Ben feels protective of his little sister, but what can a kid do? This Australian import explores right, wrong, and doing what is best for yourself and those you love. It also considers the idea of family history versus self-determination. There's adventure, survival, and personal growth through adversity. Ben discovers that his copy of "My Side of the Mountain" is not a great survival guide. Maybe the literary world isn't always directly applicable to the real one. This is a thought-provoking story, but the reader is left frustrated as many opportunities for better choices slip by. You want to shake the characters to make them see reason. I suppose that level of aggravation is an homage to the author who caused it.
Math Journey Through Planet Earth
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rooney, Anne
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2016
Kline, Karen
Twelve “missions” are stated for math enthusiasts in this slight volume of mathematics scenarios that feel more like a workbook than an exploration of geologic numbers. The spread entitled “Fossil Hunting” in Mongolia simply posits readers to imagine they are buying for a museum and must budget their money. (Recent articles from the New Yorker about the prosecution of fossil hunters purchasing Mongolian fossils where the “commercialization of natural history is prohibited” might be of greater interest to readers.) The section on global warming in the Himalayas (p. 16-17) displays more than a page of traditional division algorithms, but the numbers in the examples are seemingly chosen at random and have no word description or problem of reference. So 48 divided by 12 equals 4, but what does that have to do with the Himalayan glaciers melting in the “mission statement?” Answer: nothing. Topics covered are basic inequalities, tally marks, money/decimals, Roman numerals, division, number lines, scale maps, geometric shapes, time zone calculations, line graphs, and pictograms. The cursory bits of math presented in this book will be unlikely to inspire readers any more than a textbook would.
Record-Breaking Building Feats
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Richards, Jon
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
3rd grade to 5th grade
April 30, 2016
Kline, Karen
Data visualization, infographics, math, and engineering -- this book seems like a STEM winner upon first glance, but the crowded page design and random tidbits of information sprinkled around the pages are distracting. Each two-page spread presents a different set of construction monstrosities that have made it into some world’s top ten category like “largest domes through history” and “buildings that lean more than others.” These simply are not categories likely to enthrall the intended audience. Perhaps if some photographs of these buildings were included readers would appreciate the architecture or designs, but the graphic renderings are so generic that little or no connection to the actual structures will be made. The half-page index is random as well, such that researchers will only find a fraction of the buildings listed that appear in the the text. The authors’ attempts to make comparisons throughout the book are often confusing and some bordering on bizarre. For instance, more than a half page of comparisons about the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest are detailed including the total weight of its glass relative to the weight of blue whales -- 3,858 tons or 17.5 whales. An abundance of unimportant information here.
Ginny Louise And The School Showdown
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Sauer, Tammi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
April 30, 2016
Kline, Karen
Look out troublemakers, there’s a new kid on campus -- Ginny Louise. She’s not a scoundrel. She does not scowl. She just refuses to notice or hear about any of the antics of her new and noticeably nefarious classmates -- like Make-My-Day May who is constantly telling Ginny Louise, “Yer gonna pay.” What’s that? Ginny Louise says she’d LOVE to play! This Pollyanna of the playground even returns the swiped toys that May and her trio of nicking naughties take from a smaller classmate. But when Ginny makes up a friendship song about Make-My-Day May even the biggest, baddest bully around can’t help but be taken in by Ginny Louise’s sweetness. Pretty soon the whole class is enjoying themselves and dancing about. Lynn Munsinger’s supporting art will capture the story time crowd with details like old West-style “Wanted” signs showing the big baddies and peek-a-boo windows and doorways revealing just enough to tease and support inferential thinking. A superb choice for social emotional learning!
Little Rock Nine
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Mooney, Carla
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
April 30, 2016
Kline, Karen
True to the form of the ABDO Core Library series, this book starts out with a gripping narrative. This one is about one of the nine students, Elizabeth Eckford, who attended Little Rock Central High on the first day of segregation in that city. Readers will be drawn into the topic as they follow Eckford up to the National Guardsmen who blocked her entry to the school campus. An accompanying photo brings the moment to life. The book continues with five more chapters to explore the civil rights issues leading up to that moment in Little Rock including slavery, Jim Crow laws, court cases like Plessy vs. Ferguson and it transitions to explore the days after the integration. Readers are provided primary document quotes, photo evidence, and biographical information about key figures Daisy Bates of the Arkansas NAACP and several of the nine students. Writing and thinking prompts throughout the book challenge readers to consider evidence, cite examples, and connect their learning. More sources are linked online at the publisher’s website. A solid resource for libraries needing information on civil rights history.