Reviews for month


Floating Eye
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 760 Hi/Lo Grades 9-12 4thrd in the Queens of Cyberspace series Trapped in the game and betrayed by Ramses, the king of Altair, Brit, Mikayla and Suzanne flee to the queendom of Pyxis. As they travel through the two kingdoms, the girls learn more about the Pyxian-Altairi war ravaging Io. The girls befriend siblings Lynx and Leo, later learning that they are the Prince and Princess of Pyxis, the younger siblings of the current queen Libra. Still, despite all the intrigue and danger of Cyberspace, the girls can't forget about their bodies in the real world, and still have to find a way home. Again it’s a good plot, the characters are interesting, and there is good world building in the game and in the “real” world. The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. Despite the fact the story is interesting, fast paced and will garner a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Suzanne's Dream
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 740 Hi/Lo Grades 9-12 6th in the Queens of Cyberspace series Although it’s only been two days in the real world, Brit Mikayla, and Suzanne have lived for months in Io. Now with NPCs (Non-player characters) turning into monsters and allies scarce the virtual world has never been more dangerous. The girls’ end game is finally clear. They must return to Zenith City where they started. With the combined armies of Altair and Pyxis hunting them, they must risk everything. When the final battle comes who will win? Who will lose? The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. Despite the fact the story is interesting, fast paced and will garner a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Reunion Tour
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 740 Hi/Lo Grades 9-12 4th in the Queens of Cyberspace series For the first time since entering Io, the girls have been separated. Suzanne is Ramses’ prisoner deep in the swamps of Fenfold; her safety is one guaranteed for as long as Ramses thinks she’s useful. Meanwhile, Brit and Mikayla return to Pyixs seeking help from their old ally Leo, the new king. But Pyixs is nothing like they remember it and neither is the king. It looks like this time the fighting will be with former friends as well as old enemies. Again it’s a good plot, the characters are interesting, and there is good world building in the game and in the “real” world. The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. Despite the fact the story is interesting, fast paced and will garner a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Battle Within
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 680 Hi/Lo Finally back home, Odin reaches out to the very people who programmed his childhood, experimented on him, and manipulated him into creating a new weapon capable of unprecedented terror. However, after watching Wendell use Odin's body to destroy their entire facility, the Solar Flare project is not interested in anything Odin has to tell them. Now powerless and with disaster inevitable, Odin must find a way to work with General Delgado and Solar Flare director Clancy Braxton in stopping an even greater weapon: Wendell. Despite the fact the story is interesting and fast paced, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Talk To Me
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 690 Hi/Lo Resentful that he is being limited, Odin Lewis begins to rebel against the authorities in his life. At school, he acts up in class, refuses to do homework, and predicts answers before hearing the question. At home, Odin becomes suspicious that his parents aren't the loving caregivers they claim to be, but instead manipulative captors programming his every action and thought. With Wendell still whispering his head, Odin becomes more powerful and less trusting until finally learning a stark truth: everything he knows is a lie. Despite the fact the story is interesting and fast paced and will attract a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Activation
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Manoa, J
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 700 Hi/Lo Wendell has won. After demonstrating Solar Flare's destruction and with Odin completely powerless in front of him, nothing is left to can stand in Wendell's way. His plan is progressing exactly as he said it would. He is making the world everything he wants it to be. With his home taken away and only Dr. Burnett left from the life he once had, only one purpose remains for Odin: revenge. Reflecting on the lives stolen from his family, his friends, and from himself, Odin uses everything he has to strike back against Wendell and prevent him from causing further damage to Odin's world. Despite the fact the story is interesting and fast paced, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Tangled Webs
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Bross, Lee
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lady A is a blackmailer, she haunts the edges of public functions where commoners and aristocrats mingle freely as long as both stay masked. It’s 1725 and there is a brisk trade in secrets. But Arista, the girl who wears the black raven’s mask would like to escape the life she’s been leading since being orphaned at the age of 5. Bones, her abusive master, isn’t likely to let her go until she stops being useful and when he does she’ll be dead. To be aa safe as possible in the dangerous streets of London she dresses and passes as a boy. All of that changes when she meets Grae Sinclair, a young man of the shipping business. He loves her for herself and that of course will erase the problem of her background. The title's setting matches that of important mainstays in the English curriculum, such as books by Charles Dickens and the Bronte sisters. The cycle of worry and scrapes and resolution is predictable and the use of modern words and phrasing a bit jarring. Not as witty as the Palace of Spies novels, but it’s serviceable for historical fiction/romance fans.
After Dark
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Leck, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
gr7-10, Lexile 800 Hi/Lo Charlie Harker is a prankster; he’s the one who decides to be superglued to the ceiling of his dorm room at Choke Academy boarding school. He’s the one with a snarky comeback for everything and he thinks he’ll be spending the summer on the beach, sleeping in, and drinking lemonade. Big surprise when his mom tell his that he will be doing manual labor with his sister Lilith and brother Johnny to get the family’s old resort, Rolling Hill’s B&B, up and running. He's mortified to learn the family fortune--estranged Dad was a Tony Robbins-style self-help guru--is completely gone. We’re talking sweat and early mornings. When his neighbor Miles Van Helsing runs screaming into the night babbling about “humanoid creatures and his strange Uncle Hal disappears, Charlies starts to think that something might be up. A mysterious illness is spreading in Rolling hills and Charlie finds the only recourse is to run...but can he run fast enough? Can he be brave? Horror fans will delight in shout-outs to classics: Charlie’s and Miles’ last names are from Dracula; the town diner is called Romero’s; and the coffee shop is run by the Frog Brothers, a nod to the 1987 movie The Lost Boys. Clever plot for fans of the X-Files.
Overpopulation : 7 Billion People And Counting
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Newton, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Thanks to modern medicine, people are living longer. But can our planet support such a large population? Experts weigh in on the subject, introducing readers to the ideas of population trends, how demographics are changing and where, the population issues in North America, the limits to population as proposed by Malthus, the consequence of overpopulation (growth (food, water, loss of arable land, desertification, breakdown of infrastructure, migration. Also includes information on how populations grow, change, and how trends are measured. It Also introduces the solution of population control and how some of policies enforced and the consequences of them. Provocative at times. Take Action boxes suggest research activities students can do to increase their understanding of the issue. Includes Chapter notes, glossary, website list for taking action, suggestions for further reading, index. Useful for a Contemporary World Problems class, senior seminars, and civics study. Other titles in the series: Buried: Too much garbage; Climate change: A threat to all live on earth; Drying up: Running out of water; Out of gas: Using up fossil fuels; Starving: Can we feed everyone.
Hour of the bees
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Eagar, Lindsay
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
A 12-year-old Mexican-American girl moves in with her estranged grandfather, who tells her fantastic tales she thinks might be true. The summer before seventh grade, Carolina (she now calls herself Carol) can't believe her bad luck. Instead of hanging with her friends in Albuquerque, Carol moves with her family to the New Mexico desert to help her paternal grandfather, Serge, whom she's never met. Serge suffers from dementia and thinks "Caro-leeen-a" needs to learn about her roots. He tells her the area's drought is because of the lack of bees, but Carol hears buzzing and spots bees. In spite of herself, Carol is drawn into these stories, learning more about her family history, and becoming increasingly uncertain about the truth. While her parents prepare to sell Serge's sheep ranch and her older sister, Alta, complains, Carol bonds with Serge over his fairy tales about Sergio and Rosa's centuries-old love story sustained by a magical life-giving tree. A blend of Tuck Everlasting with magical realism that explores a multi-generational tale about living each day as fully as possible Teaching materials download from Follett. Starred reviews in Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Publisher’s Weekly, VOYA.
Dead Zones : Why Earth's Waters Are Losing Oxygen
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Hand, Carol
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1230 Kirkus Reviews says, “Deeply depressing and not for casual readers, but older students will find this an informative introduction to a serious environmental issue.” Can’t argue with that. Emphasizing the interconnections of global ecosystems, Hand dives into the growing problem of dead zones: vast regions of earth’s oceans that suffer from decreased oxygen levels, which devastate marine plant and animal populations. Highlighting one of the more insidious by-products of environmental pollution, Hand explains how fertilizer runoff can result in algal blooms far downstream that leave huge areas of fresh or salt water so hypoxic-or low in oxygen-that only anaerobic bacteria can survive and leaves foul smelling goo. To be fair, Hand mentions other causes as well, including natural ones, oil spills, and global warming. In a chapter called "Success and Failure" she describes efforts at decreasing nutrient runoff and restoring wetlands before offering some hypotheses about why these efforts have not been as successful as people had hoped. Maps and diagrams helpfully illustrate some of the science, and the clean, text will encourage students to think critically about their own choices, even if they live far from the ocean.
Burn baby burn
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
MEDINA, MEG
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
It’s the spring of 1977 in New York. It’s hot; racial tensions are ramping up; the son of Sam killer is targeting young couples parked in cars and single brunettes;Disco is king of the airwaves. Nora and her best friend Kathleen will be 18 in a few weeks. Then Nora can start planning her real life that doesn’t involve school, covering for her increasingly violent, drug-addicted, pyro brother, helping her mother make ends meet, and trying to make her father remember her on days other than holidays marked on the calendar. Her school counselor is on her about applying to trade school; so is her shop teacher –Nora is a first-class carpenter/woodworker. Kathleen is all squared away. All Nora wants to do is turn 18 and dance and maybe get to know the cute guy who’s just be hired at the store where she works. Everything finally comes to a head on July 13th, the night of the NYC blackout. Nora realizes that she can’t be the one to hold everything together. This is a slice of life, coming of age story with a Cuban-American flavor, Rocky and Donna Summer, the thumping beats of disco, as well as other references from the time, capture the era, while break-ins, fires, shootings, and the infamous blackout bring a harrowing sense of danger.
Rhythm Ride : A Road Trip Through The Motown Sound
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 1030 Pinkney creates a narrator called the Groove, “the tempo that keeps us on track” and uses it to tell the history of Motown, the company, the sound, and its hit records produced (some written) by Barry Gordy in the context of (mostly) 1960s America. With $800 borrowed from his family, Gordy started Motown Records at a two-story bungalow he dubbed Hitsville USA. The ambitious Gordy drew on his experience working for Ford Motor Co. to turn Motown into an assembly line cranking out hit after hit. Gordy's "Motown family" soon included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five, the Funk Brothers -- Motown's official studio band and more. Pinkney’s narrative interweaves accounts of the cultural and political upheavals occurring during the years of Motown's greatest success, such as the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and the deadly riots in Detroit. These important milestones are interspersed throughout, bringing home the important place Motown had not only in the proliferation of rhythm and blues, rock, and disco into American culture but also its integration into the African American identity.
Most Dangerous : Daniel Ellsberg And The Secret History Of T
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Sheinkin, Steve
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Sheinkin takes on the Pentagon Papers, unravels the tangled threads of truths and half-truths concerning the policy and war in Vietnam, and shows how one “cold warrior” became "the most dangerous man in the world” according to Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon. Divided into three sections, the book's short chapters detail Ellsberg's transformation from U.S. Marine, government analyst, and "cold warrior" to antiwar activist and whistle-blower. Initial pages list nearly 100 characters central to the Ellsberg-Vietnam story, including politicians, reporters, military personnel, and Vietnamese officials. Each appears chronologically in the narrative, which also traces how several U.S. presidents and their often secretive policies led to the prolonged conflict in Southeast Asia. Chapters dealing with Ellsberg's clandestine leak of a top-secret government study of the war, as well as the Nixon White House's response, reads like a thriller; John LeCarre’s spies have nothing on this story. This story is important also in light of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks, and Edward Snowden’s NSA documents revelations and requires reflection on the burden of loyalty and when loyalty must be questioned in light of larger truths.
Voice Of Freedom : Fannie Lou Hamer : Spirit Of The Civil Ri
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Weatherford, Carole Bost
Holmes, Ekua
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Picture book biography in conversational free verse text juxtaposed against the colored collage illustrations of Ekua Holmes that layer meaning with scraps of historical photos, newsprint, maps, musical scores, and more. Using shadows, patterns, and alternately vast and intimate perspectives, she adds emotional heft to the contrasts between Hamer’s public stature and personal experiences. Farmer was the youngest of 20 children born in 1917 to sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta. She started picking cotton at the age of six; she was a good student but dropped out at the end of sixth grade because her family needed her work. At 27 she married but wasn’t able to have children because of a law on the books that allowed poor people to be sterilized under the guise of “cancer prevention.” She became a Civil Rights activist when she signed up to vote in 1962. She dodged night riders, she survived being shot at and beaten and served jail time. She didn’t quit. She sang instead and earned the names Voice of Freedom and Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1964 she spoke before the Democratic National Committee Credentials Committee and ran for elective office three times.
Booked
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Alexander, Kwame
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Eighth grader Nick lives for soccer, has the best time getting beaten by his mom playing ping pong, and is pretty sure April likes him but is really unsure how to let her know he likes her back. There are bullies, Nick and his dad are on different wavelengths, mom and dad are not getting along, and then there’s Nick's determination to get permission to go to a soccer tournament in Dallas. Alexander’s tight, accessible verse is a vivid window into Nick’s life. It’s excellent.
Tru & Nelle
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Neri, G
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 02, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
I really will buy whatever G. Neri writes, but it’s going to be a bit jarring for fans of Yummy to figure out what to make of this fictionalized childhood of Harper Lee and Truman Capote. Both of them are incredibly unusual children. Modern kids will be hard-pressed to make a connection with the small southern town setting and Tru's clothing choices. Those who have read To Kill a Mockingbird are the most likely audience, and they will have to get past a cover that looks geared for fifth grader readers.
Behind The Canvas
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Vance, Alexander
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 02, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Art nerd Claudia is the only one who can see the boy who first shows up in a painting she sees on a field trip and shes's astonished when she is teased by her classmates and lectured by her teacher for sketching a character in to her response on the painting who no one else can see. When the boy appears in a painting in her room, Claudia is consumed by curiosity. Who is he, and why does he want to be her friend? Can she go in to the picture with him, or can he come out? An entertaining art history mystery.
Paper Wishes
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Sepahban, Lois
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 02, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Ten-year-old Manami’s life on Bainbridge Island is tranquil – walks on the beach with Grandfather and beloved dog Yujiin, eating the fish her father catches, going to school. When Executive Order 9066 signals the start of internment, Manami is caught off guard, partly by the surprise of it all and partly because her family culture shields children from the bad news. There are poignant scenes of packing, and Manami’s frantic determination when she learns of the plan to leave Yujiin behind. Unfortunately her plan to take him along ends disastrously. Grief overwhelms Manami and she becomes mute. Although a careful observer of all she sees at camp, she finds a way to express herself through art when she stops talking. Lots of interesting information about life in the camps, though it is all rather slow moving.
Terror At Bottle Creek
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Key, Watt
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 02, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
Young teen Cort loves life with Dad on their houseboat, moored on a southern river right down the hill from classmate Liza, who he wishes was more than a friend. Mom and Dad have recently separated which is just fine with Cort, he just wishes Dad wasn’t always over visiting Mom and trying to get back together. A storm is coming and Cort helps Dad as well as Liza’s Mom to prepare for it. When the storm actually arrives, the adults are conveniently away, Liza’s little sister Francie chases Cort’s dog onto their houseboat, which is washed away, and Liza and Cort must save the day. Another nicely done middle grade survival/adventure story from the author of Alabama Moon.
Amnesty
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 750 Hi/Lo Grades 9-12 4th in the Queens of Cyberspace series With Ramses removed from power, Suzanne, Brit and Mikayla have spent the past weeks focusing on opening the Oracle Chamber and finally logging out. The girls aren't having much success when they receive summons from Ramses. The deposed king has retreated to the swampy south of Altair to consolidate his power and has invited nobles from all over Io to attend a summit. Suspecting foul play, the girls decide to attend. Ramses has two new powerful allies, the sadistic Gemini and the mysterious Xenos, with whom the girls will also have to contend if they're ever going to make it home. Again it’s a good plot, the characters are interesting, and there is good world building in the game and in the “real” world. The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. Despite the fact the story is interesting, fast paced and will garner a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Expansion Pack
Epic Press/abdo [Epic Press/abdo]
Teitelbaum, Clancy
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 02, 2016
Datisman, Eve
Lexile 760 Hi/Lo Grades 9-12 2nd in the Queens of Cyberspace series Trapped in the game and betrayed by Ramses, the king of Altair, Brit, Mikayla and Suzanne flee to the queendom of Pyxis. As they travel through the two kingdoms, the girls learn more about the Pyxian-Altairi war ravaging Io. The girls befriend siblings Lynx and Leo, later learning that they are the Prince and Princess of Pyxis, the younger siblings of the current queen Libra. Still, despite all the intrigue and danger of Cyberspace, the girls can't forget about their bodies in the real world, and still have to find a way home. Again it’s a good plot, the characters are interesting, and there is good world building in the game and in the “real” world. The series has a problem with F-bombs, big white space, oversized font. Despite the fact the story is interesting, fast paced and will garner a readership, I can’t recommend this. Each of the 6 books in the series is simply a chapter in what should have been published as a single novella and at $18.99 per book, that’s $125.00 including tax.
Raymie Nightingale
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Dicamillo, Kate
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 06, 2016
Lewis, Jo
Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds while outmaneuvering a drama queen and a saboteur who become her unlikely friends and allies during a painful challenge. The three girls with differing challenges of their own to overcome find their courage and the power of friendship as they stick together to rescue each other. Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo writes a quiet but powerful tale of the unlikely friendship of these three girls. It's the kind of story that stays with you for a long time. Starred by most reviewers. Don't miss it!
Brave Bear
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Taylor, Sean
Berger, Joe
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A papa bear and his cub are off on an adventure to cool down in the river. There's quite a journey involved and the cub ends up injuring himself. Dad's there, however and the two of them are the bravest, wettest, jumpiest things in the world. This is a sweet and reassuring father/son story told in the first person from the cub's point of view with plenty of exchanged dialogue. The pencil and digital illustrations are in earth tones and tend to anthropomorphize the bears. What's fun is looking for all the plants and animals hiding out in the pictures. There's a lot there to see. This would be a good book for father-son sharing.
Black? White! Day? Night! : A Book Of Opposites
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Gosier, Phil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This clever lift-the-flap, almost-a-boardbook reinforces the concept of opposites by creating pages with windows and a single word of text. The window shows a bat against a white sky. Black. Lift the windowed flap and the bat has become the mouth of a ghost that takes up the whole page. White! Day/night, over/under, outside/inside--some are more successful than others but all will be a delight to young readers who will flip the pages back and forth to see how the magic is done. Careful readers will notice that it's even on the end papers. While not suitable for library purchase (it would not last long) this is a fun at-home choice that will provide hours of amusement. Just be prepared to get out the tape!
Elephant In The Dark
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Javaherbin, Mina
Yelchin, Eugene
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Merchant Ahmad has brought a mysterious creature all the way back from India. The journey was long, and he's too tired to show the villagers his latest acquisition so several sneak into the dark barn to try and figure it out. Each touches a different part of the strange animal. Is it a rope? A fan? A tree? Only when they see it in daylight do they get the full picture. Of course this is a retelling of "The Blind Men and the Elephant", removing the disability but retaining the message. Eugene Yelchin's watercolor, ink, and acrylic illustrations are filled with patterns that have a wonderful Persian flavor. They are the best part of the book. The retelling is simple and amusing. Readers are in on the joke from the front cover, removing any chance of an "a-ha" moment, but allowing for inner amusement at the foibles of others. The author did her research and bases this on one of the earliest versions of Rumi's poem. It might be a valuable addition to a collection as an opportunity to compare and contrast different versions of the story.
Final Kingdom
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Northrop, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this final book in the "Tombquest" series everything comes together. We left our heroes in a hopeless situation at the end of the last book. Can they prevent an army of the undead from marching into the world of the living? Can they find Alex's mother, and save Ren's family? Only through the use of a dangerous portal, that takes them into the land of the dead, can the children find what they need to save the living. Egyptian mythology mixes with action/adventure to bring this series to a tense and satisfying conclusion. There are losses, and there are risks. Who can you trust? The children are tested and tried, but it is the evil Order that learns a lesson about consequences. This is a great series that will appeal to Rick Riordan fans without requiring quite the time commitment.
Bear And The Piano
CLARION [CLARION]
Litchfield, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
He's just a bear, wandering through the woods. Then, what's that? It's a strange new thing. The piano intrigues the bear, although it makes nasty noises. Over time, however, he learns to make beautiful music with the piano. When the bear is discovered he leaves all his friends behind. Soon he's out in the big world, wearing a tuxedo and playing on Broadway. He has seen the wide world. He has everything--fame, and fortune. Yet something tugs at his heart and calls him home to the woods again. How will he be received by the friends he left behind? This is a poignant, sweet tale with expressive mixed media illustrations. Music teachers will love the unspoken message that opens the door to a world of possibilities.
This Is My Home, This Is My School
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Bean, Jonathan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this homage to home-schooling a young boy points out that his home is also his school. His parents are also his teachers. Field trips are done in the family van, and any experience is a learning activity. Watercolors slip out of their ink outlines, just as this type of schooling doesn't fit neatly into society's box. The overall effect is joyous, casual, and fun. Home-schoolers will eat this book up. Public educators? Maybe not.
Peppa Pig And The Camping Trip
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Peppa Pig and family are off on a camping trip in their wonderful van that can turn into a home or into a boat. The great outdoors is a lot of fun. They get to see ducks, set up tents, enjoy the stars, and have a campfire. All in all it's a lovely vacation. Bright digital illustrations accompany this story based on the TV series. Frankly, I'm not much impressed by these books, however, I have a group of loyal fans in my library who keep them happily circulating so clearly they are kid-friendly.
One Little Bean
Big & Small [Big & Small]
Kim, Cecil
Dattola, Chiara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this Korean import a little bean plops to the ground. He's scared, but soon he is cared for by the sun, the wind, the earth, the rain and much more. Soon a root grows, then the bean reaches for the sky. Eventually new beans form and fall to the ground. This is a gently sweet story that gives very young reader s a sweet look at the life cycle of a bean with uncomplicated yet expressive kid-friendly illustrations.
Bigfoot Does Not Like Birthday Parties
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Ode, Eric
Temairik, Jaime
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
You can hold a parade, but it's all a charade because Bigfoot abhors birthday parties. You can bring out some pies for his birthday surprise, but he still will not like birthday parties. See the mayor's new suit? Hear the brass band's horns toot? Sorry, Bigfoot abhors birthday parties. But a reader aware, will see Bigfoot is there, hiding out at the birthday party. And when things fall apart and pies fly through the park well, the honoree ends up a mess. Still, it is nice to know he can laugh at things, so perhaps this party's really the best.
Hammer And Nails
FLASHLIGHT PRESS [FLASHLIGHT PRESS]
Bledsoe, Josh
Warrick, Jessica
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Girly-girl Darcy was going to have a play date with her best friend. When it falls through her father steps in to fill the void...but can he? They both make a list of what they want to do and switch back and forth. They dress up, build a fence, do their nails, have some downtime, dance, and generally have a fine time. The joyous watercolor and digital illustrations show a happy flannel-shirted dad, with his princessy daughter enjoying activities together. This is a delightful book that will tickle children who love spending quality time with Dad.
Sad, The Dog
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Fussell, Sandy
Suwannakit, Tull
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There was a dog without a name, given as an unwanted Christmas present. He was fed and washed, but he wasn't loved. So he named himself Sad. The people who owned him finally moved away, leaving Sad behind. New people moved in--a family with a boy who was enchanted by the dog. It takes effort and love to win over an animal not used to affection, but eventually he's living the happy life a dog should live, and his name is now Lucky. This is a melancholy story with a happy ending that will start the audience in sorrow but end them with joy. The watercolor illustrations by Tull Suwannakit are moody and expressive, full of details that add to the emotions of each page. This is a book that should be pulled out when talking about empathy, and kindness.
Story Circle = El Club De Lectura
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Bertrand, Diane Gonzales
Fields, Lisa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When their classroom is damaged by a big storm the class is saddened by the loss of all their books. The teacher, however, shows them that they can make their own stories. As each child's imagination soars, they write and illustrate their own books for the classroom shelves. The illustrations by Diane Gonzales Bertrand show a diverse classroom full of joyous children and aptly suit the text. Unfortunately neither text nor illustrations stand out. Nevertheless, it's hard to find bilingual materials and this story, told in both Spanish and English, meets that need.
Charmed Life = Una Vida Con Suerte
PINATA BOOKS [PINATA BOOKS]
Barbieri, Gladys
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Felicia goes along with her mother as she cleans a large house. Felicia is amazed by the size of the home, and the toys, and especially the swingset. She can never have anything like that. Although under strict orders to sit and color she explores, and then goes out to swing. Her mother is not pleased, but the pregnant owner of the house goes out to swing with her and points out that her own ancestors came from Ireland and started out poor. Hard work and a dream got her where she was today. She gives Felicia a charm bracelet to remember that her life is charmed. The story is told in both Spanish and English, with soft, joyous illustrations by Lisa Fields. While not exceptional, it's hard to find solid bilingual materials and this one offers hope to those just starting out in this country.
Duck Hunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Hunting" series from Abdo author and sportsman Tom Carpenter introduces readers to the methods, strategies, equipment and joys of the sport. This volume focuses on duck hunting. Readers get a brief history of duck hunting in North America. They then learn about various types of ducks, their range, biology, habitat, diet, and anatomy. Techniques for hunting ducks are explored. Equipment, wardrobe, firearm safety (TAB-K), licensing and conservation are also mentioned. Each sturdy 48-page book begins with a positive hunting vignette and ends with a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Both male and female hunters are shown in the crisp color photographs, as well as younger hunters. The focus here is not on hunting for food, but on the sport of hunting itself, although readers are informed that it is illegal to kill an animal and waste the meat. While probably not a good choice for urban collections, this series would doubtless find readership in a more rural setting.
Bear Hunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Hunting" series from Abdo author and sportsman Tom Carpenter introduces readers to the methods, strategies, equipment and joys of the sport. This volume focuses on bear hunting. Readers get a brief history of bear hunting in North America. They then learn about black bears and brown bears, their ranges, biology, habitats, diet, and anatomy. Techniques for hunting bears are explored including stalking, baiting, and using dogs (illegal in some states). Equipment, wardrobe, firearm safety (TAB-K), licensing and conservation are also mentioned. Safety is emphasized. Each sturdy 48-page book begins with a positive hunting vignette and ends with a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Both male and female hunters, as well as younger hunters, are shown in the crisp color photographs. The focus here is not on hunting for food, but on the sport of hunting itself, although readers are informed that it is illegal to kill an animal and waste the meat. While probably not a good choice for urban collections, this series would doubtless find readership in a more rural setting.
Bowhunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Hunting" series from Abdo author and sportsman Tom Carpenter introduces readers to the methods, strategies, equipment and joys of the sport. This volume focuses on bowhunting. Readers get a brief history of bowhunting, then learn some basic techniques in the sport. Practice, safety, equipment, and animal conservation are all emphasized. Each sturdy 48-page book begins with a positive hunting vignette and ends with a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Both male and female hunters, as well as younger hunters, are shown in the crisp color photographs. The focus here is not on hunting for food, but on the sport of hunting itself. While probably not a good choice for urban collections, this series would doubtless find readership in a more rural setting.
Go, Little Green Truck!
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Schotter, Roni
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Little Green is a happy farm truck, busy doing his job and happy about it. When the farmer purchases a bigger, newer, blue truck poor Little Green is put out to pasture, literally. The farmer's daughter, Fern, however, comes up with a plan to refurbish Little Green and, decorated and now running on biofuels, he is now the truck they take when bringing produce to the farmer's market. He's good for the gentle jobs, while the big blue truck is good for the tough ones. This is a sweet, environmentally friendly story with bold, friendly illustrations. It'll be a hit with truck-loving kids who like a happy ending.
Deer Hunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Hunting" series from Abdo author and sportsman Tom Carpenter introduces readers to the methods, strategies, equipment and joys of the sport. This volume focuses on deer hunting. Then readers get a brief history of deer hunting in North America. They then learn about mule, white-tailed, and black-tailed deer--their range, biology, habitat, diet, and anatomy. Techniques for hunting deer--scouting, stand and still hunting, spot-and-stalk hunting, and pushing are all described. Equipment, wardrobe, firearm safety (TAB-K), licensing and conservation are also mentioned. Each sturdy 48-page book begins with a positive hunting vignette and ends with a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Both male and female hunters are shown in the crisp color photographs, as well as younger hunters. The focus here is not on hunting for food, but on the sport of hunting itself, although readers are informed that it is illegal to kill an animal and waste the meat. While probably not a good choice for urban collections, this series would doubtless find readership in a more rural setting.
Tornado Tamer
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Fields, Terri
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this fractured retelling of "The Emperor's New Clothes" a town is worried about tornadoes. When a shyster weasel comes into town claiming to be a tornado tamer they are completely taken in, except for a young mouse. The con-weasel claims to create a cover for the town that will keep it safe. Naturally this cover can only be seen by those who are smart and special. When a tornado hits, however, it is clear that there is no protection for the town. It's too late to hold the weasel to account, however. He's already moved on to another town, claiming to be able to protect them from earthquakes. This is an amusing rewrite, with bright illustrations and lots of additional information in the back about weather in general and tornadoes in particular. While not exceptional, this would make a good compare and contrast book when paired with the original story.
Small-Game Hunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this "Hunting" series from Abdo author and sportsman Tom Carpenter introduces readers to the methods, strategies, equipment and joys of the sport. This volume focuses on small-game hunting. Then readers get a brief history of small-game hunting. They then learn a little about the type of game that qualifies, such as coyotes, bobcats, and foxes. More emphasis is given to squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons. Techniques for small-game hunting are covered, including the use of dogs (which is illegal in some states.) Readers learn about equipment, including shotgun chokes, licensing and conservation. Following the law is emphasized. Each sturdy 48-page book begins with a positive hunting vignette and ends with a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. Both male and female hunters are shown in the crisp color photographs, as well as younger hunters. The focus here is not on hunting for food, but on the sport of hunting itself, although readers are informed that it is illegal to kill an animal and waste the meat. While probably not a good choice for urban collections, this series would doubtless find readership in a more rural setting.
Keeping Healthy
Qeb Publishing [Qeb Publishing]
Hewitt, Sally
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Looking After Me" series, this Level 2 reader provides some ways the reader can keep healthy. Wach two page spread contains two to five sentence and some color photographs. Readers learn why maintaining health is important, eating well, washing hands, getting fresh air, and moving. The text is simple and readable and will serve emerging readers. The book has a table of contents and glossary. Since it is an overview, one might want to purchase stand alone titles of the topics covered in this book. 24 pages.
In The Swish
RED DEER PRESS [RED DEER PRESS]
Green, Dawn
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 10, 2016
Dame, Anne
This is a sports book about high school girls basketball and without a love triangle/romance focus! It is actually about sports and friendship! In her junior year of high school, Bennett's basketball team made it to the state championships but lost the final game to their rival. Just before she starts her senior year, her mom gets a job as principal - at the rival school. Bennett does not want to leave her friends and school but mom says family comes first and so she has to go. Lots of drama at both schools; realistic relationship problems; convincing characters. The coach's daughter is especially likable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more by this author!
Great Pet Escape
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS]
Jamieson, Victoria
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When you were once part of a trio of mischief-making animals, and now find yourself trapped in a cage in a classroom what do you seek? ESCAPE, of course! GW, a hamster, is determined to break out, find his friends, and remove himself from this situation. For a time this delightful graphic novel reads a lot like a prison break movie. First he gets himself out through planning and cleverness, then he seeks out his friends. Barry the bunny is trapped in a first-grade classroom. Worse, Biter the guinea pig has been condemned to kindergarten and has now turned into a zen pacifist. (It's what happens when you're exposed to a classroom where they talk a lot about feelings.) The horror! The horror! But things get worse when white mice pets from older grades try to lay down the law for our three heroes with the help of another pet--a snake. The mouse and his minions have a horrible plan and it's up to our escapees to thwart it. This is fun from the first page on. Characters are well-developed and the artwork is hilarious. Add this to your graphic novel collections.
Baa Baa Smart Sheep
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Sommerset, Mark
Sommerset, Rowan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
With a warning on the front that the book "contains mischief" readers should know that they're in for a silly romp. Little Baa Baa, a sheep, is bored, but he can make his own fun. When Quirky Turkey comes along he manages, after considerable effort, to convince the turkey that the pile of sheep poo next to him is actually a pile of smarty tablets. When he tries to eat them, however, the turkey discovers he's been tricked. Hey, he's smarter already. Now here comes a silly billy goat... The majority of the madcap tale is carried by dialogue, which would make it an easy book to turn into a gross and disgusting reader's theater--just what kids adore. The simple illustrations are remarkably expressive and the whole thing is chuckle-worthy fun. Still, I can only recommend it if you've got budget to spare.
When Dad Showed Me The Universe
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Stark, Ulf
Eriksson, Eva
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this Swedish import a father and son share a special night as they dress warmly, walk through the town, buy provisions and head to a hill away from village lights where they have open sky. There the universe is spread out before their eyes. (Although the young boy first sees a universe in the wonders he observes looking down, rather than up.) While their foray is not without its foibles, this is a sweet story of a father/son bonding moment. The illustrations by Eva Eriksson are rich with detail and texture and suit the text well. It's always nice to see a book celebrating dad and their roles in the lives of their children.
Dark Island
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Chantler, Scott
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
I will openly admit that I'm a big fan of the "Three Thieves" graphic novel series. I mean, who wouldn't love a feisty girl being chased by the authorities and in search of her lost twin brother? Her two non-human companions are equally interesting. In this book Dessa and friends find themselves on a strange island with a few kidnapped royal children and an enemy they have met before. Can they save the children, and are there any clues there about Dessa's brother? In the meantime Dessa's most ardent pursuers have located her brother but are beginning to suspect that they are being used. The truth is going to change everything. Who are these two kids? Rousing adventures, wonderful illustrations, sharp dialogue and interesting characters and plot combine to make this a series worth having. This is book #6. You'll need them all.
Groundhogs And Guinea Pigs : A Readers' Theater Script And G
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Wallace, Nancy K
Mata, Nina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Reader's Theater: How To Put on a Production" series. It provides a script that could be used as a reader's theater, adapted reader's theater, play, or puppet show. The book begins with background production information: series overview, tickets and playbills, and the crew. Then the book describes the sets, props, cast, make up/costumes, and details about stage directions needed. Although the series uses the term "reader's theater" the author talks about adapted readers theater (which is more involved) and really these could be easily made into short plays. In this book Michael and Jake go to the library to learn about the reliability of the ground hog. Jake needs to develop an extra credit project so he decides to use his pet guinea pig the predict the weather. The guinea pig does a great job and even helps the school principal to close school as a snow storm approaches. This book would work well in the classroom as a reader's theater. There are links to a teaching guide and printable scripts on the publisher's website. The book has a table of contents and colorful illustrations throughout.
Turkey And Takeout : A Readers' Theater Script And Guide
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Wallace, Nancy K
Fleming, Lucy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Reader's Theater: How To Put on a Production" series. It provides a script that could be used as a reader's theater, adapted reader's theater, play, or puppet show. The book begins with background production information: series overview, tickets and playbills, and the crew. Then the book describes the sets, props, cast, make up/costumes, and details about stage directions needed. Although the series uses the term "reader's theater" the author talks about adapted readers theater (which is more involved) and really these could be easily made into short plays. In this book Maddy is upset to learn that her family will be serving Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter instead of their usual family dinner. She learns about the Thanksgiving holiday and discovers that helping others can be fun and rewarding. This book would work well in the classroom as a reader's theater. There are links to a teaching guide and printable scripts on the publisher's website. The book has a table of contents and colorful illustrations throughout.
Fettuccine And Four-Leaf Clovers : A Readers' Theater Script
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Wallace, Nancy K
Mata, Nina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Reader's Theater: How To Put on a Production" series. It provides a script that could be used as a reader's theater, adapted reader's theater, play, or puppet show. The book begins with background production information: series overview, tickets and playbills, and the crew. Then the book describes the sets, props, cast, make up/costumes, and details about stage directions needed. Although the series uses the term "reader's theater" the author talks about adapted readers theater (which is more involved) and really these could be easily made into short plays. In this book Cody and Nicolas find themselves in charge of their class food booth for the St. Patrick's Day parade. Neither of them is Irish. They team up with twp girls from their class and develop a multi-cultural food celebration that includes everyone. This book would work well in the classroom as a reader's theater. There are links to a teaching guide and printable scripts on the publisher's website. The book has a table of contents and colorful illustrations throughout.
Medals And Memorials : A Readers' Theater Script And Guide
Looking Glass Library [Looking Glass Library]
Wallace, Nancy K
Mata, Nina
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 10, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Reader's Theater: How To Put on a Production" series. It provides a script that could be used as a reader's theater, adapted reader's theater, play, or puppet show. The book begins with background production information: series overview, tickets and playbills, and the crew. Then the book describes the sets, props, cast, make up/costumes, and details about stage directions needed. Although the series uses the term "reader's theater" the author talks about adapted readers theater (which is more involved) and really these could be easily made into short plays. In this book the class is doing projects for Memorial Day. Katie can't decide what to do for her project, but her neighbor, Mrs. Cortez gives her an idea. She joins with two other classmates and takes her class to a cemetery where they remember Mrs. Cortez's son. This book would work well in the classroom as a reader's theater. There are links to a teaching guide and printable scripts on the publisher's website. The book has a table of contents and colorful illustrations throughout.
Life in a desert
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
SCHUETZ, KARI
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Biomes Alive!" series, this sturdy 24-page book, a level 3 Blastoff Reader, is a clear crisp introduction to desert biomes. Photographs and clear, concise text combine to educate the readers about deserts, their climates, and plants and animals that might be found there. There's a focus on the Sahara Desert although both cold and hot deserts are mentioned. This series abounds in text features. Table of contents, glossary, bibliography, website link, index, map--it's all here. This is a solid addition to easy nonfiction collections.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "North American Animals" series, this sturdy 24-page book is a level 3 Blastoff Reader. It features incredible crisp close-up photographs and equally crisp writing as it introduces young readers to ruby-throated hummingbirds. Range maps, anatomy, identification, diet, behavior, and life cycle are all briefly but clearly covered. And the text features--oh the text features! Table of contents, glossary, bibliography, website link, index, range map, labels, charts... The formatting is wonderful and the subject matter is interesting. I've been impressed by these books in the past and feel most of them merit a place in your easy nonfiction section.
Clothesline Clues To Sports People Play
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Heling, Kathryn
Davies, Andy Robert
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
What do various athletes wear? This fun, 32 page, interactive book will have the younger set guessing. The book has a colorful illustration of some of the equipment an athlete of a particular sport uses and wears drying on a clothesline. Rhyming text ask the reader to guess, "what sport does he/she play?" The answer is revealed on the following page. Sports covered are baseball, soccer, tennis, fencing, basketball, football, and archery.
Fall
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
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Seasons" series. This simple, 24 page book explores the season of Fall. Each two page spread had one or two sentences that describe the season and some of the activities kids enjoy. There are large, colorful photographs to accompany the text. The book has a table of contents, picture glossary, and index. Related materials can be found on the publisher's website. Might fill a need if classes study seasons and need some low-level text.
Summer
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
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Seasons" series. This simple, 24 page book explores the season of Summer. Each two page spread had one or two sentences that describe the season and some of the activities kids enjoy. There are large, colorful photographs to accompany the text. The book has a table of contents, picture glossary, and index. Related materials can be found on the publisher's website. Might fill a need if classes study seasons and need some low-level text.
Information Insecurity : Privacy Under Siege
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
January, Brendan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
Although it will quickly become outdated with references to current celebrities and also due to rapid technological advances, this is a useful source of information regarding one's personal security (or lack thereof) regarding their digital information. Graphics, photographs, and illustrations add to the textual content.
Bioluminescence : Nature And Science At Work
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Zimmer, Marc
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
Gorgeous photographs are the highlight of this book. However, the bright chartreuses pages paired with the black text hurt my eyes. I understand that it was meant to be a bit of a visual demonstration of the topic, but I still did not appreciate it. Lots of accurate information about bioluminescence in nature as well as how it can be used in science and daily lives. Solid addition to a collection, especially if this is a part of curriculum.
Battle Of The Bulge : A Graphic History Of Allied Victory In
Quarto Publishing Group [Quarto Publishing Group]
Vansant, Wayne
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
Background knowledge of this topic will be very useful to the reader. Even though I feel like I have a fairly good grasp of the basic issues of WWII, I was definitely still struggling to keep track of characters and places. I also found it frustrating that the maps throughout the book did not necessarily provide all the information I would have liked. Graphics are well done, although one needs to pay close attention to the difference of the uniforms to tell the two armies apart. Author does a good job of clarifying any German terms used.
Marked
CLARION [CLARION]
Mccaffrey, Laura William
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
A serviceable dystopian. In Lyla's society, criminals are "marked" with a tattoo on their wrists. Once you have a tattoo, your chances of success in society decrease dramatically. Any further arrests and crimes will add additional marks or tattoos to your wrist. At taht point, your only option is to join the rebel group: the Red Fists. Lyla strives to do well and remain unmarked but she gets caught at a black market and is Marked. She is given a chance to redeem herself and get the mark removed, but it involves a lot of lying and a lot of risk but she decides it is worth it. Very predictable, characters are flat and stereotypical. However, I can see my dystopia fans enjoying it anyway.
Samurai Rising : The Epic Life Of Minamoto Yoshitsune
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Turner, Pamela S
Hinds, Gareth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
Despite fascination with the samurai culture of Japan, it can be difficult to piece together the true story of what happened to Minamoto Yoshitsune, one of Japan's most famous samurai. This is mostly due to lack of written accounts from that time period. However, Turner has taken the information available and written a credible account of what did happen to Minamoto Yoshitsune. It is full of action, adventure, betrayal, battles, etc. It can be a bit confusing at times with the similar but different names of various characters. Some background knowledge is helpful but not necessary. Steer towards more capable readers - although it might hook a reluctant reader if this is a topic of interest for them.
Jim Bowie : Legendary Hero Of The Alamo
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Gaines, Ann Graham
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
7th grade to 9th grade
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 96 page book is part of the "Legendary American Biographies" series. It was originally published in 2000 with the title, "Jim Bowie: Hero of the Alamo." The book begins with a graphic description of the battle at the Alamo, then tells the story of Bowie's life chronologically. We learn about his childhood, moving to Texas, political connections in both Mexico and Texas, and the events after the Alamo. The text is well-written and easily understood. Maps show where events happen and there are a few gray-scale photographs. The book contains a table of contents, timeline, source notes, glossary, bibliography and index. It is a perfect book for biographical research on this interesting man.
Daniel Boone : American Pioneer And Frontiersman
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Mccarthy, Pat
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary American Biographies" series, this 96 page biography was originally published in 2000 as "Daniel Boone: Frontier Legend." The book opens with the exciting story of a rescue of three Boonesborough girls from Native Americans and then chronologically surveys Boone's life. We learn about his youth, time in Kentucky, time with the Shawnee, settling in Missouri, and his death. The book also looks at his legacy in the final chapter. There is only one gray-scale illustration of Boone. Callout boxes provide additional information for the reader. A map is not included. The book includes a table of contents, timeline, source notes, bibliography, and index. A great book for biographical research.
I Survived The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Tarshis, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
My big pet peeve with this story is that it is called "I Survived" (emphasis on the I), but then the story is told in third person... Other than that, the story of the Hindenburg disaster will likely appeal to elementary students and could even extend to middle school struggling/reluctant readers. It might require a little bit of background knowledge about the Nazis, but basic facts are also included in the narrative. Special appeal added by the dog included in the story.
Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy
Franklin Watts [Franklin Watts]
Mara, Wil
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 11, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Wil Mara does an outstanding job bringing together all of the information regarding the assassination of President Kennedy into a clear and concise narrative that will inform young readers about this historic event. The 112 page book begins with a description of the events of November 22, 1963. Then we learn about Lee Harvey Oswald, the Secrete Service, the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby. The next section focuses on the Warren Commission and the numerous conspiracy theories. We learn about the impact of the event and how it shaped the United States from the 1960's to today. Captioned photos are found throughout. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, extensive source notes, places to go for further information, bibliography, index, and author information. This book will be useful for research and should be in every library.
Great Chicago Fire
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 48 page paperback book is a member of the Crabtree Chrome series, which seems to focus on historical people and events. Surrounded by historical artwork and some photographs the clear, compelling text introduces young readers to the city of Chicago from its humble beginnings to its rise as a major metropolitan area. It's hard to believe that it only took 50 years for this city to grow from a few citizens to over 300,000. Such rapid construction, however, came at a cost as was so sadly illustrated when the great Chicago fire hit, wiping out a large portion of the city, killing several hundred people, and leaving a third of the city homeless. The book gives solid details about the fire itself, and the aftermath. It includes an index, glossary, bibliography, and website list. This is a solid overview of an important historical event.
Kate Middleton
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Lajiness, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Big Buddy Pop Biographies" series, this large format 32-page book introduces young readers to Kate Middleton. How she is a "pop star" is beyond me, but that's not the point. The book features charming, large photographs of this real-life princess while giving brief information about her birth, youth, courtship and marriage to Prince William, and the subsequent birth of their two children. Readers learn about her charity work and royal duties. This is a quick and positive introducvtion that includes a glossary, index, and website link. Other books in this series, about musicians, literally fly off my library shelves. The ones about actors aren't nearly as popular. I'm not sure where this book would fall in that spectrum. Do my students care about British royalty?
Feeding The Flying Fanellis : And Other Poems From A Circus
CAROLRHODA [CAROLRHODA]
Hosford, Kate
Kawa, Cosei
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A circus chef has to be flexible in meeting the needs of his unusual clients. How can he tempt the lion, without becoming its next meal? What about the tightrope walker's need for a balanced diet? The clown, of course, must have custard pies, though not necessarily to eat, and the human cannonball should be watching his diet or he won't fit into the barrel anymore. There's plenty of rhyme and rhythm in this collection of 17 unique poems. Particularly spectacular are Cosei Kawa's whimsical and imaginative multimedia illustrations that stretch the imagination and leave the reader wondering. That is a flamboyant romp with unusual subject matter.
Becoming Babe Ruth
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Tavares, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 11, 2016
Dame, Anne
Full color illustrations on each page add to this 40 page biography about baseball great Babe Ruth. Lots of details about his childhood and how his father left him at a boys school when he was only 7 years old. While there, he was heavily influenced by a baseball playing monk and even when he made it to the big leagues, he never forgot where he came from. Also included: author's note, bibliography, Babe Ruth's stats, and an index.
Our Moon : New Discoveries About Earth's Closest Companion
CLARION [CLARION]
Scott, Elaine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 12, 2016
Dame, Anne
Beautiful full-color photographs, illustrations, and charts complement the comprehensive text. Great research addition, but personally I enjoyed just browsing it rather than reading it straight through. Also includes a glossary, index, and a fairly extensive list of books and websites for further research and reading.
Attack Of The Dragons
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Stilton, Geronimo
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Well, we're off to another Geronimo Stilton series, this one based on Vikings. (It took me a while to realize that micekings meant Vikings...that "king" syllable kept reminding me of royalty and threw me off.) Yes, this is a new concept, but it is exactly the same Geronimo and pals, even with their Vikingized names. In a world where strength is prized a smartymouse like Geronimo is at a disadvantage. However, he is soon reluctantly off on a quest to get some mint to cure a cold so that he can finally be fed. Geronimo spends the book starving, and his rumbling tummy is both an asset and a detriment when it comes to dragons. Bright cartoon illustrations, stereotyped characters, and lots of humorous adventure make this a typical entry in the series, which is exactly what fans adore. They won't be disappointed.
Animals That Live In Social Groups
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is a typical Bobbie Kalman book, which means it is a well-organized, clear source of information filled with good color photographs and solid facts. This 32-page book focuses on animals that live in social groups. The concept is defined, and then different animal groups are examined to see how they interact, communicate, and behave. Readers get to see social groups in action among elephants, wolves, dolphins, penguins, lions, Gelada baboons, chimpanzees, gorillas, lemurs, meerkats, and prairie dogs. The fact that humans also gather in social groups is mentioned. This is a readable, interesting book that would good for both research and casual reading.
When I Am Happiest
GECKO PRESS [GECKO PRESS]
Lagercrantz, Rose
Eriksson, Eva
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It's the second-to-last day of school and Dani's biggest worry is what she's going to wear tomorrow. Then her father is hit by a car while biking and everything changes. How can she be happy again? This gentle Swedish import is the third Dani book. She is an introspective, caring child and the stories touch at the core of what childhood is. While the book is chunky the chapters are short and the many large black and white illustrations make this a transitional chapter book. It should please girls just leaving picture books behind, who want a story about a "real" girl.
Inside the muscles
21st Century [21st Century]
HALVORSON, KARIN
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Super Simple Body" series is exceptional. Written by Karin Halvorson, M.D., it presents clear, interesting, and informative information about the human body, interspersed with experiments readers can do to reinforce key concepts. This entry in the series focuses on muscles. In 32 well-bound pages it teaches young readers about the three types of muscle cells - skeletal, cardiac, and smooth. Each is examined in depth, and their role in movement and general health is emphasized. There are lots of clear and interesting diagrams and labeled pictures. This author has a particular felicity for explaining things simply and well. The entire series merits a place on elementary library shelves.
Top 10 Teams In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Sports Greats" series this sturdy 48-page book gives a quick introduction to the concept of teamwork in baseball, and then devotes two to three pages to each of its honorees. Four of the highlighted teams are the New York Yankees, in different years, The Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland A's, Cincinnati Red, Atlanta Braves, and San Francisco Giants (from different years) round out the list. Crisp and interesting writing explain why each was chosen for this honor, placing their accomplishments in context with the rules and situations that applied at the time. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. Each book includes a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. This is exactly the series for baseball aficionados who like the facts, the stats, and the history behind the game. It should also lead to some interesting arguments about who else should have made the list.
Big Nate : Thunka, Thunka, Thunka
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Peirce, Lincoln
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2016
Dame, Anne
Another colorful graphic novel in the Big Nate series where Nate is up to his usual, including making a bet with Gina that he can avoid detention for a whole week. Big Nate fans will ensure that this does not sit on your shelf for very long.
Be A Force On The Field : Skills, Drills, And Plays
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 13, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 32 page book is a beginning point for kids interested in playing football. It starts with the very basics: "How to Play" and "The Rules of the Game." It moves on into running, passing, catching, blocking and tackling. There are full color photographs showing some warm-ups and then drills for the items listed above. Then there are features of some of football's greatest. Also a paragraph on sportsmanship and another on nutrition. Finally, there is also a glossary, index, and suggested books and sites for further reading. Basically, there was too much information crammed into 32 pages. The text and illustrations ended up looking very crowded on the pages, especially the ones that also had text box features.
Gridiron Greats : Heroes Of Football
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Rivkin, Jennifer
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 32 page full color book highlights some of football's greatest players, breaking them down by position they play. Limited statistics for each player, honors they've received, teams they have played for, etc. are listed for each player. There is one page dedicated to Women of the Gridiron, highlighting Jennifer Welter. Also included, additional resources, glossary and index. Pages feel a bit crowded with photos, player cards, stat boxes, and other text features. *As a Seattle resident, I should note that there are several players from the Seattle Seahawks that are showcased: Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, Richard Sherman, and coach Pete Carroll
For Extreme Sports-Crazy Boys Only
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Coy, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Dame, Anne
The cover is very eye catching with black, gray, and lots of neon orange. However, they carried the neon orange theme into the pages of the book and while it is okay for background and accent color, I hate it as a color for the font. It's too hard to read. As for the actual content of the book, I will admit to skimming over quite a bit of it, especially anything that had to do with background/history of extreme sports. I did like the Top 40 extreme sports with a 2 page spread for each sport describing what the sport is, it's beginnings, equipment needed, stars, records, and other tidbits of information. Only some of them had a picture, though, and I wished all of them had a picture. I do think my middle school sports kids will enjoy it, but it could have been so much better!
Alex Morgan
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Fishman, Jon M
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 13, 2016
Dame, Anne
This 32 page biography of female soccer star Alex Morgan is perfect for students in grades 2-5, although it could certainly be accessible to those in other grades as well. This is a brief look at Alex's growth as a soccer player, her struggles and her achievements. Lots of full color photographs. Also includes a list of selected career highlights, glossary, index and a list of additional resources for further information.
Top 10 Bloopers In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Hinnant, Jamal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Who hasn't made a mistake once in a while? Now imagine making it in front of thousands, and having it recorded for all time. Such is the joy of the blooper reel in baseball. Part of the "Sports Greats" series this sturdy 48-page book gives a quick introduction to the concept baseball bloopers and then devotes two to three pages to each of its honorees. This is a medley of mistakes that will make readers both grin and wince. The author crisply introduces each player, provides background into the situation, then joyfully introduces the reason for the honor. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. Each book includes a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. This is exactly the series for baseball aficionados who like the facts, the stats, and the history behind the game. It will elicit giggles and empathy, and be a good reminder for the kid who just made the game-losing mistake. Even the guys in the big leagues can have a bad day.
Top 10 Injuries In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Hinnant, Jamal
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Sports Greats" series this sturdy 48-page book provides readers with some basic reasons for injuries in major sports even in baseball, a sport that seems less risky. Readers then get to hear about ten horrifically wince-worthy injuries that occurred during baseball games. Ten players are highlighted along with their position, team, jersey number (where applicable), injury, and recovery time. There's a lead-in, showing the player's career up to that point, then cringe-worthy details about the specifics of the injury. We've got head injuries, broken bones, torn ligaments and, in the case of Ray Chapman, a fractured skull leading to death. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. Each book includes a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. This is exactly the series for baseball aficionados who like the facts, the stats, and the history behind the game. It will also make parents think twice about this low-injury sport. Ouch!
Top 10 Pitchers In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Sports Greats" series this sturdy 48-page book gives a quick introduction to the concept of great pitchers in baseball, and then devotes two to three pages to each of its honorees. Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Satchel Paige, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw are each highlighted. Crisp and interesting writing puts each hitter's accomplishments in context with the time and rules that applied during their careers. There's also nice background information about how they got into the sport, and a basic fact box about each player. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. Each book includes a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. This is exactly the series for baseball aficionados who like the facts, the stats, and the history behind the game. It should also lead to some interesting arguments about who else should have made the list.
Jay-Z : Rapper And Businessman
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Kampff, Joseph
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Exceptional African Americans" series, this 24-page book follows Shawn Carter from his birth in Brooklyn to a rough life in a tough neighborhood. It doesn't whitewash his drug-dealing, but focuses on his career in rap, then evolution to a successful businessman. His marriage to Beyonce, and the birth of their daughter, are mentioned, as is his return to music. All in all this is a brief, upbeat introduction to a popular musician. The book includes a timeline, bibliography, two websites, and short index. Biographies of current famous musicians are popular, but they become quickly outdated. Buy only if you have a generous budget.
Top 10 Hitters In Baseball
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Aretha, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Sports Greats" series this sturdy 48-page book gives a quick introduction to the concept of great hitters in baseball, and then devotes two to three pages to each of its honorees. Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Tony Gwynn, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, and Miguel Cabrera are each highlighted. Crisp and interesting writing puts each hitter's accomplishments in context for the time and rules that applied during their careers. Black and white and color photographs accompany the text. Each book includes a glossary, bibliography, website list, and index. This is exactly the series for baseball aficionados who like the facts, the stats, and the history behind the game. It should also lead to some interesting arguments about who else should have made the list.
Treat
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Sullivan, Mary
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
One word, "treat" is used over 100 times throughout this 30 page book which has a cartoon format. The family dog wants a treat but none of his humans understand. Disappointed, he falls asleep and dreams of treats and the items he saw when trying to obtain his treat; sharks and other toy animals, false teeth. They chase him, calling "treat". When he wakes the children have a surprise for him.
Gretchen Over The Beach
CLARION [CLARION]
Alley, R W
Wheeler, Eliza
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
The smallest child is ignored by her siblings who swim in the big waves while she plays on the beach. Her imagination takes her on a grand adventure in "wave clouds" where she lands on and island cloud and rides on a seagull. Children who are the youngest will relate to being left out.
Tractor Mac Harvest Time
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Steers, Billy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
A big tractor and a small tractor are envious of each other's jobs. The big one gets caught in small spaces and the little one can't pull his heavy loads. They trade places for a day and have a good experience, the big tractor easily pulling happy, noisy children who have picked pumpkins from a pumpkin patch. The small tractor worked in the quiet orchard harvesting apples for cider and applesauce. The illustrations depict colorful farm festival scenes and the end flaps have labelled diagrams of a cider press and a tractor.
Good Night, Truck
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Odgers, Sally
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
What jobs Truck, Digger, Boat, Rocket and Tractor do during the day is explained with a colorful 2-page spread and 4 poetic sentences. Once the jobs are complete each goes for a rest in his proper place, another 2- pages per toy and 4 more poetic sentences. The final toy, the truck, is tucked in bed beside a boy.
One Hundred Bones
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Zommer, Yuval
Hughes, Emily
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
Scruff didn't have an owner and he liked to dig. Mr. Fancypants, Mr. Fusspot, Mrs. Hoity-Toity, Mr. Greenfinger and their dogs were no pleased. Scruff went off by himself exploring, digging and he found a huge pile of bones. He convinced the other dogs to help uncover them and they took they bones to a museum where a Professor recognized the dinosaur bones, reassembled them and had a ceremony recognizing "Scruff and Friends" as the finders. Scruff was adopted by the Professor and continued to dig.
Fairiest Fairy
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Booth, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
This is a delightful rhyming story of new friends helping each other. Betty attended Fairy School and though each of her assignments (sprinkle dewdrops, wake flower petals, and painting rainbows) was "muddled" she did some good like removing a thorn from a rabbit's paw and helping a blackbird and a butterfly. Because she had helped them, each of the animals was able to help her successfully accomplish a fairy task for the King and Queen who surprised everyone by declaring her the Fairiest.
Big Friends
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Sarah, Linda
Muradov, Roman
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 14, 2016
Averill, Linda
Etho and Birt are best friends. Etho is willing to expand his friendship circle to include another but Birt is reluctant. Shu, a small boy finally had the courage to ask the 2 if he could play. The story takes the reader quickly through Birt's resistance to change, Etho and Shu's persistence to maintain the friendship with Birt. Birt learns that new things and changes can be exciting and fun.
Ansel Elgort
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Morreale, Marie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Real Bios" series, this fan-friendly book gives kids the chance to get to know this star of the "Divergent" series, and "The Fault in Our Stars." Then, of course, there is his musical side as well. Many questions are asked and answered. How tall is he? What instrument does he play? What superhero would he like to be? (OK, if you check out the resources they're all from sources like "Seventeen" and "Teen Vogue" and "Parade." So, let's face it, this isn't hard-hitting journalism. On the other hand, that's not what readers are looking for anyway. They just want to see the photographs and learn a little more about the actor and the breezy text makes the fluff very bearable. Lots of attractive photographs also fill the pages and there's also an index and glossary. This will be quickly outdated, but if you have the budget it will probably be very popular, especially at a middle school level.
Free At Last?
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
O'neal, Claire
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Footsteps to Freedom: The Underground Railroad" series is exceptional. Each sturdy 48 page book focuses on a different aspect of the history of slavery in the United States, and the people who fought against it. This book looks at what happened after the Emancipation Proclamation. Jim Crow, "separate but equal," Negro League Baseball, and the fight against discrimation, and those who led it, are all briefly examined. Short vignettes, quotes, quick biographies--it's all here, told in crisp text. The author presents things clearly, allowing the reader to draw conclusions. This is both a sobering and informative book that includes historical artwork, photographs, an excellent bibliography and website list, a glossary, index, and chronology. This well-researched book includes excellent source notes, and is a compelling resource. I feel it would be a good read-aloud for classes studying the issue. Every elementary and middle school library should have the series.
Famous Fighters
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
Wilson, Wayne
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Footsteps to Freedom: The Underground Railroad" series is exceptional. Each sturdy 48 page book focuses on a different aspect of the history of slavery in the United States, and the people who fought against it. This book concentrates on the abolitionists, writers, speakers, and those who risked their lives to bring slaves to freedom. The Fugitive Slave Act is explained, and its impact examined. Both major and minor players are briefly presented. The writing is bold and compelling, but just lays forth the facts leaving readers to draw their own conclusions. This is both a sobering and inspiring book that includes historical artwork, photographs, an excellent bibliography and website list, a glossary, index, and chronology. This well-researched book includes excellent source notes, and is a thoughtful and exceptional resource. I feel it would be a good read-aloud for classes studying the issue. Every elementary and middle school library should have the series.
Need For Flight
Purple Toad Publishing [Purple Toad Publishing]
O'neal, Claire
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 14, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Footsteps to Freedom: The Underground Railroad" series is exceptional. Each sturdy 48 page book focuses on a different aspect of the history of slavery in the United States, and the people who fought against it. This book concentrates on how slavery began here, its broader impact on the nation's character and economy, and the horror it inflicted on an individual level. Short vignettes, quotes, varying opinions of the time on the humanity of Blacks, quick biographies--it's all here, told in crisp text. The author doesn't go out of her way to point out the atrocities. Laying the facts out allow the reader to form his own conclusions. This is both a sobering and inspiring book that includes historical artwork, photographs, an excellent bibliography and website list, and a glossary, index, and chronology. This well-researched book includes excellent source notes, and is a compelling resource. I feel it would be a good read-aloud for classes studying the issue. Every elementary and middle school library should have the series.
Manners Are Not For Monkeys
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Tekavec, Heather
Luxbacher, Irene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
When the monkeys are moved to a new cage next to the children's playground the little monkeys observe the children's behavior (chew with mouth closed, take turns, no screeching, tidy up) and begin to imitate the children much to Mother Monkey's consternation. She wants them to behave like monkeys. When a wild bunch of children visit the zoo, they create a commotion while trying to get the monkeys to "act like monkeys". The zookeeper realizes there is a problem, she releases the good monkeys and places the wild children in the cage. A delightful story that will have every reader laughing.
Rowdy : The Pirate Who Could Not Sleep
Mims House [Mims House]
Pattison, Darcy
Willis, Peter
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
The story of Rowdy, a female pirate, who has not been able to sleep since leaving Shanghai and fighting a sea monster is told in rhyme. When Rowdy offers a chest of gold for a lullaby her pirate crew tries to oblige. They bring songs, music boxes and conch shells but nothing works until one crew member finds an old buccaneer. He just happens to be her Pappy and Rowdy has been waiting for him to sing her another lullaby. She rewards her crewmate, the cabin boy, and falls asleep. Pictures are done using geometric shapes, angles and lines.
Secret Tree Fort
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Farley, Brianne
Bernstein, Galia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
Mom sends two sisters out to play. Big sister is trying to read, but little sister keeps trying to get her to play. To gain attention she states that she has a fort, but can't tell about it "because it's secret. But I bet you want to see it," she teases. When that doesn't get a reaction little sister adds, "It has a rope ladder." Then she details a water balloon launcher, a trapdoor, and a crows nest. Each addition becomes more extreme until "the whole thing is made of candy" provokes a reaction from big sister who insists "it doesn't exist", promoting a yelling match that ends with little sister giving in and big sister helping her draw a treehouse. Whales, monsters and pirates frolic through the pages of this story of two sisters who have different interests and argue but can still play together.
Finding Monkey Moon
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pulford, Elizabeth
Wilkinson, Kate
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
The subdued colors in the illustrations accurately reflect the cold, late autumn night when a father and son go looking for the child's favorite toy, a stuffed monkey. Dad stays reassuringly close to the child, placing the boy on his shoulders. They thoroughly explore the park with the child calling, "Don't be scared Monkey Moon. I'm coming." They have no luck finding the toy until the boy happens to kick a bush and see an eye looking at him. He discovers his toy, puts it on his shoulders and repeats what his father had said to him, "There you go, young fella" and they all three go home.
Tanks At War
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Peppas, Lynn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
This book gives a very brief synopsis of the history of tanks from the first visualization by Leonardo da Vinci to the latest use in peacekeeping missions. There are explanations of the different types of tanks, their jobs and how they are changing. Photographs show tanks during their combat missions in WWI, WWII, Vietnam and Desert Storm as well as tanks from other nations in combat. The book concludes with a glossary, an index and a list of books and websites for further information. This is a good resource for very basic research.
Clark In The Deep Sea
CLARION [CLARION]
Alley, R W
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
One rainy spring day four children are playing on the porch when a stuffed bear falls into a puddle. The call, "Bear Overboard", leads to an imaginative adventure involving a fur-shark, his cave and the Million-mile Eel. Bear is rescued, dried and returned to his owners as the children wait for the rain to stop. Illustrations fun and match the story. The reader can see that the dark cave (the doghouse) stinks as the colors are dark and brown wavy lines illustrate the stench. Children will enjoy recognizing the hose as the Eel and the dog as the fur-shark.
Mammals : A Compare And Contrast Book
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Hall, Katharine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 15, 2016
Averill, Linda
The text introduces a way mammals are similar; they all have lungs and breathe air. Then their are side-by-side photographs of a land animal and a water animal with an explanation of how each breathes. The book explains that mammals have spines, maintain their own temperature, have fur or hair, and provide milk to their young. The final three pages provide a key to help the reader distinguish between a mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian. Some suggested activities and projects are listed.
Causes Of World War Ii
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Offord, Alexander
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "World War II: History's Deadliest Conflict" series, this large format 48 page Crabtree paperback book provides readers with solid information on the myriad causes of the war, beginning with decisions made after WWI. Politics, economics, treaties, border disputes, invasions and occupations. Was it lack of decisive action, or too much action? Was there anything that might have been done? Those are questions readers are left to ponder as they read about a situation that went from bad to worse. Maps, photographs and fact boxes accompany the clear and informative text that lays a solid foundation for understanding the war's beginnings. For a short book it is surprisingly broad in its coverage. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index. The entire series is excellent, but I would recommend they be purchased in hardcover editions, or prebound.
Significant People Of World War Ii
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hyde, Natalie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "World War II: History's Deadliest Conflict" series, this large format 48 page Crabtree paperback book provides readers with solid information about the leaders who played a significant role in the war--its beginning, middle, and conclusion. Leaders of both Allied and Axis forces are highlighted and placed firmly in historical context. Ground, air, and naval leaders are all considered. Maps, photographs, fact boxes and thought questions accompany the clear and well-written text. For a short book it is surprisingly broad in its coverage. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index. The entire series is excellent, but I would recommend they be purchased in hardcover editions, or prebound.
Significant Battles Of World War Ii
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Cochrane, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 16, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "World War II: History's Deadliest Conflict" series, this large format 48 page Crabtree paperback book provides readers with solid information on the war's beginning, the Allied and Axis forces and resources and then important naval, ground, and air battles on all the different fronts. Maps, photographs and fact boxes accompany the clear and informative text that lays a solid foundation for understanding the war. For a short book it is surprisingly broad in its coverage. The book includes a bibliography, website list, glossary, and index. The entire series is excellent, but I would recommend they be purchased in hardcover editions, or prebound.
Fall
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Preller, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 16, 2016
Dame, Anne
3.5 stars Preller, author of Bystander, has written another vivid account of bullying and the effect it can have on students. Sam Proctor keeps a journal after a girl at his school was cyberbullied and committed suicide. Sam relates his participation - albeit reluctant - in the bullying and his thoughts and actions afterwards as well. Authentic teen voice; most entries are short making this a good pick for a reluctant reader. My first reaction as a teacher was "why didn't any adults intervene?" but then acknowledged that I have no idea what is on my students' social media pages either. While I appreciate that this is a message that students need to hear, to me this felt like there was a MESSAGE that became more important than the storyline itself.
Listen To The Moon
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Morpurgo, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 16, 2016
Dame, Anne
Alfie and his parents live on a small island off the English coast. One day while he and his dad are out fishing, they hear crying from an uninhabited island and discover a young girl. They rescue her and take her home with them as she was close to dying. She is mute except for two words: Lucy and piano. Lucy (as they call her) and Alfie become friends and everyone tries to figure out who this girl is and where she came from. Love the historical accuracy and detail of the book. Characters are all complex and well-rounded. For example, not everyone is all bad or all good; rather, they are nuanced. Because the main characters are around 12-years-old, this will sell best in upper elem and middle school, but high schoolers who are interested in WWII could also be quickly drawn into it. *My only hang-up with it was not being able to tell if it was actually written about Morpurgo's family or not. This is because the first section is called "To Begin" rather than "Prologue."
Willow's Smile
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Button, Lana
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 17, 2016
Averill, Linda
Shy Willow is worried about being picture perfect on school picture day. She can smile, but not on command. She practiced her smile, tugged and pinched her cheeks and watched herself in a mirror. She dressed in different outfits, but on picture day she was still nervous about her smile until she saw another girl who had forgotten about picture day and was sad. Willow smiled as she shared her ribbons, but her smile slipped as they lined up. The photographer asked her to help him make the other children smile and as she waved a rubber chicken she noticed that the children were also nervous and she was happy that she could help them. When it was her turn for a picture her classmates helped her, calling and helping her the was she had helped them and her class picture shows her with a big smile.
Young Investigator's Guide To Ancient Aliens
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
May 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Want wild speculation? Conspiracy theories? A text that asks a ton of provocative questions with no real answers? Have I got the book for you! Based on the "Ancient Aliens" TV series and frequently quoting its expert, Giorgio Tsoukalos, as if his word were gospel, this is the book for anyone who loves a mystery and doesn't believe in Occam's razor. True, that there are many mysteries out there, including similar pyramids found all over the globe, ancient constructions that seem impossible with the technology we believe they had at the time, and legends that seem to speak of alien visitors. What about Atlantis? UFOs? The Nazca lines? Are all the result of higher technology brought to the planet by an alien race? Actually, these sort of mysteries have always fascinated me. My own theory is that skills have been lost over time, only to be rediscovered with different technology years later. What will our time period leave behind? With everything being stored digitally we'll leave less than the Mayans! Sure, this is speculative and may be poppycock. Still, it's a fun read.
Fright In The Night
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Gardner, Lyn
Patel, Dharmali
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Oh no--the Ghastly McNastys are back in the town of Little Snoring! One would have thought being carried off by a shark would have taken care of them, but these perfidious pirates cannot be so easily defeated. Gruesome and Grisley hijack a ship, maroon the crew, and make their way back to search for the hidden treasure. Naturally young Tat and Hetty are one step ahead of them, but can they survive the pirates' evil plans? These over-the-top books are delightfully silly. This is book #3 in the Ghastly McNastys series, and is just like the rest--filled with horrible peril, tongue-in-cheek humor, blatant belly-laughs, and truly incompetent evil when it comes to the McNastys. Occasional black and white illustrations accompany the text which includes occasional mischievous asides from the author. This is giggle-worthy fare that will make readers yell, "Squeaky Underpants!"
Friday Barnes, Girl Detective
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Spratt, R A
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 19, 2016
Lewis, Jo
"A genius girl detective discovers her ultra-exclusive boarding school is a hotbed of crime, from missing homework and stolen lemon tarts to a mysterious yeti haunting the school swamp." - provided by the publisher. Friday, the fifth child in a genius family, raises herself and prefers it that way, staying unnoticed in her muted brown cardigans as she wanders through public school educating herself without the help of the adults. When she realizes that her detecting skills are worth a lot, she begins a life of detecting, collecting large sums of money which enable her to attend a pricey boarding school. She investigates everything from disappearing homework to a reported yeti haunting the school swamp. Illustrated with charming black and white illustrations this is a very promising start to a new series sure to be enjoyed by readers in grades 3-6. A good read-aloud mystery that will keep everyone laughing.
Cody And The Mysteries Of The Universe
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Springstubb, Tricia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 19, 2016
Lewis, Jo
Tricia Springstuff's second in the Cody series is as welcome as was the first. It is full of charm, delight and a diverse group of characters. The author understands the dilemmas children of Cody's age meet. Broken families being shunted between parents, families having to move in with grandparents, new mean-appearing neighbors who bully at school, the possibility of losing one's best friend to another friend are all in the mix. Cody's older brother is there for her, substituting for an often absent truck-driving father. As Meagan McDonald says, "Cody's story is witty, heartwarming, and wise." It would be a good read-aloud in the early grades.
Raising the stakes
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Romanek, Trudee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
May 20, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In high school you're supposed to figure out your career path and Chloe's is sure of her's. She loves improv and her team is doing well. Surely she can make a career out of that? In her quest to boost her future possibilities she begins to suck the joy out of improv for her teammates, and be critical of their contributions. She thinks she's helping, but that rapport so necessary to group performance art is being ripped to shreds. Can she resolve her issues and find a true future for herself? This is an Orca Limelights book which means it's a well-written book that is clearly aimed at a teen audience, but is quick to read and not overly challenging. Secondary schools should all stock tons of the Orca books.
Blazing Courage
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Halls, Kelly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 21, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Home-school Annie can spend her days volunteering at the Top Tier stables, where her horse-crazy inclinations are well-fed. Carefully she hoards her money to buy a horse of her own at the wild horse auction. The reliable horse she's planning on bidding for, however, is overshadowed by a little mustang with a lot of spirit, who needs to be trained. The steps of training a horse are clearly defined, and both Annie and Poco learn a lot about each other as well as those around them. Annie's squabbles with a rich girl become less important as it looks like someone is targeting the stables. Some of what happens puts lives in danger. Will the truth be discovered, or will the horses pay the price? This is book #1 in the "Animal Rescues" series, loosely based on a real rescue story. Crisply written text with believable characters and short chapters make this a good choice for horse-loving kids who are put off by a really long book.
Inside Out Read-Along Storybook And Cd
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Holland, Daniel
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 22, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Disney-Pixar have a hit franchise with the story of what goes on inside Headquarters the brain of Riley, personified by five color-coded characters Joy, Anger, Envy, Sadness and Anxiety. This thin book has a read-along CD that draws from the feature-length film, and will be enjoyed by youngsters who have seen the film but is unlikely to be considered essential reading. The plot follows Riley's happy childhood through a difficult move to San Francisco. New school, no friends, and pre-adolescent moodiness shake up things in Headquarters, and it takes A second book, also from Disney Press is "Driven By Emotions: Five Stories Told from the Mind" ISBN 978-148472203-3. Here a chapter-length hardcover adaptation for 3-5 grade readers also relives the film, with each emotion taking a turn telling the sequence of events Both books are faint echos of a very wonderful movie that cleverly captures a great deal of psychological truth while delighting watchers with a delightful movie for the whole family. Better to get the DVD of the film and share that.
Playing From The Heart
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Reynolds, Peter H
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
All ages
May 22, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Peter H. Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot, Ish, and Sky Color (the Creatrilogy), among other books, tells the story of a father and his piano-playing son. When Raj is very young, he begins to experiment with the piano keys and likes the sound he hears. As he grows up, Raj plays more and more and his father feels that Raj has talent. So, a piano teacher is hired and Raj practices until he is tired of the piano and he leaves it altogether. Years go by and the father is very ill. He calls Raj to come home and play the piano for him. Raj sits down to play a melody that he learned during his practicing years, but his father asks him to play the simple tunes Raj used to make up. This is a sweet story, beautifully illustrated with black, brown, and white watercolor for the father and son, and color for the musical notes. This book seems more aimed at adults (warning not to push kids too hard about practicing?) and not so much toward children.
Colors
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Vendittelli, Marie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Originally published in France, this photo board book translates nicely into English. Composed of brilliant, close-up photos by different photographers, each double page spread features one photo of an animal with a highlighted color. The text box has the color labeled in large letters i.e “Gray” followed by a description that begins with “like” such as “Like this elephant in the savannah.” The text is within a matching color background box. Thus the very young reader will be introduced to exotic animals, their habitats, and a variety of colors. The animals and colors cover a white arctic fox, blue starfish, yellow fish, brown horse, black birds, orange coral, pink flamingos, red frog, turquoise octopus, green snake, violet sea anemones, silver fish, and gold toad. This is a very appealing and stunning production in the Picture This series that includes Homes, Shapes, and Numbers.
Numbers
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Nouvian, Judith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
As with its counterpart Colors, this title in the Picture This series originally published in French is a wonderful addition to the board book nonfiction offerings. Again stunning photos of animals are used to depict each number. A double page spread includes an animal, a number in numeric form and written form, the animal’s name and an interesting fact. It begins with “1 one frog The red-eyed frog can leap up to three feet!” The other featured animals are owls, polar bears, zebras, ants, lemurs, giraffes, ducks, penguins, dogs and sheep. Thus the numbers range from 1 to 10 with the last pages being wall-to-wall sheep:) This is a very appealing production that will be appreciated by adult readers and their captive audience. Besides Colors, others in the series include Homes and Shapes.
Peep And Egg : I'm Not Hatching
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Gehl, Laura
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Little chick Peep keeps asking Egg if it’s hatching, but Egg doesn’t want to hatch because it’s too scary. For every wonderful thing Peep tells Egg they will be able to do together, Egg has an excuse—watch the sunrise from the henhouse roof is too high, ride on the sheep is too bumpy, splash in puddles is too wet, walk to the pond and greet the ducks is too far, take a nap in the grass is too buggy, and so on. Following each exchange, Egg more adamantly repeats, “I’m not hatching!” Finally Peep gives up and decides to leave. This is the impetus for Egg to finally hatch and join her. This is a simple, yet clever story that young readers will enjoy. The thick outlines surrounding the chick and egg are simple and perfect for this duo. The extra large illustrations on the page make them even more enticing for the young set.
How to Find Gold
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Schwarz, Viviane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Impulsive, adventurous Anna and her more pragmatic, cautious friend Crocodile set out to find gold despite Crocodile’s fear that it will be dangerous and difficult. Crocodile tries to get Anna to plan, keep it secret, consider the weight, and make a map. They finally set out to sea on their boat, find a storm and dive down into the deep where they do discover gold as sunken treasure. Rather than spend it, which would let people know they have found it and then it would eventually be gone, they decide to bury it along with the map they create. Thus it will be theirs forever, and they are very pleased about this. This is somewhat of an odd story with little details that may make sense to a child, but involve backwards reasoning. Thus adults should see the humor in the dialogue between these two characters, but children might not. This is an attractive offering done in pencil, crayon, and watercolor with a matte finish to the pages. The illustrations become more vivid, colorful and fantastical as their adventure progresses. The voices of the girl and her crocodile are distinct, both strong in their own right. Very positively reviewed in many publications which enjoyed this more than this reviewer. For Gr.K-2.
Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker : a peek-through story
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Ahlberg, Jessica
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
On the cover a myriad of fairy tale characters follow a girl to a cut-out showing her dog. The story then begins on the end sheets as the girl asks her dog Mr. Barker if he’d like to hear a story. Continuing through the title page Lucy sees Mr. Barker is distracted by a butterfly and takes off through a cut-out window into the next page where she follows him. She finds herself in a house with a broken chair, porridge bowls and a golden-haired girl and deduces where she is. Lucy declines Goldilock’s offer of porridge knowing the bears might be home soon, which alerts Goldilocks that she might be in trouble. Lucy invites her to join them through the cut-out door into a new house made of straw. The story continues with Lucy recognizing each fairy tale setting and inviting the characters to follow her through the next cut-out until she has all of them in the safety of her own bedroom where she begins to read them a story without bears, giants, wolves, or wicked fairies though a troll does lurk outside her window:) This very clever, sturdy book works on many levels and will be great for inference if children know the original tales. Finely detailed watercolor illustrations provide much to pore over.
Hedgehugs
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Wilson, Steve
Tapper, Lucy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 23, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Hedgehogs Horace and Hattie are the best of friends. They do many things together, but are independent enough to do things alone if the other is busy. What they cannot do is hug because they are too prickly. They’ve tried to cover their spikes with many things—snow in the winter, hollow logs in the spring, strawberries in the summer, and leaves in the autumn, but each is too cold, bumpy, sticky or scratchy. One day a solution comes to them when they discover colorful socks in a basket under the clothesline. They each squeeze into an appropriately decorated sock and chew some holes for heads and arms. Finally they are able to share a hug, a hedgehug, which might account for lone or mismatched socks in the world. This British husband and wife team’s debut picture book is charming. The illustrations are perfectly sweet and entertaining in their details. Hattie has just a wisp of eyelashes and a polka-dotted bow to distinguish her from her friend. Children and adults alike should be enamored with and warmed by this fresh tale of friendship.
The Jungle Book : Mogli's Story
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
KIPLING, RUDYARD
Bayley, Nicola
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 24, 2016
Dame, Anne
This new edition of Kipling's Jungle Book is absolutely beautiful! The full-color illustrations by Nicola Bayley are exquisite in their detail and amazingly life-like/realistic showcasing each animal, person, tree, etc. This is an unabridged version of the 3 stories about Mowgli, the man-cub as well as the poems that Kipling used to frame the stories.
It's Not Easy Being Number Three
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Dernavich, Drew
Davies, Benji
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 24, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Not being satisfied with his life among the numbers, Three struck out on his own. "But what was a number supposed to do once it stopped being a number?" Could he be the wings of a seagull? The hem of a dress? A sculpture? Even though his shape can be found in all of these things, he felt it wasn't really him. When Three went to the fair and found that it couldn't open because there would be no games, no music, and no Ferris wheel without this important number, Three had an epiphany: he was valuable just by being himself. I read this to a third grade class who enjoyed the silly story, loved finding the threes in the fun illustrations, and appreciated the lesson about valuing self. I will purchase this for my library. The author and illustrator, Drew Dernavich, is a regular cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine.
Whale
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Murrow, Vita
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 24, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Gorgeously illustrated by husband and wife team, Ethan and Vita Murrow, this pencil-sketched book tells the story of two children who see a spotted whale, but are not believed when they return home to tell their tale. Years later, two children who are strangers, go on a quest to find this spotted whale. They go with tracking equipment and cameras, bringing home proof of their discovery. The first kids who found the whale are now in their sixties, and they were very pleased that the hoax they had been accused of playing was actually proven true. There are a few "newspaper" stories relating the two whale discoveries, but otherwise, this is a wordless picture book. The fourth grade class I read this to did not respond favorably to the story, saying it was confusing and there wasn't a hook to catch their interest. I have to agree; as much as I wanted to fall head over heels for this book, I stayed unmoved.
Most Notorious Curses Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Campbell, Dave
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Twelve curses or jinxes in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. Some of the curses have to do with a specific publicity event, such as the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Heisman trophy hex. Some are historical and a few are international, but most involve popular American sports with male athletes. The only female athletes included were football cheerleaders. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Science Of Music : Discovering Sound
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concept of sound through music and its applications in the world. There are four chapters of four to six pages covering sound, sound waves, hearing, and making music. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Biggest Upsets Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Wilner, Barry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Thirteen upsets in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. The upsets are introduced chronologically from the 1919 Sanford Stakes horse race won by Upset to the 2011 Daytona 500 rookie winner Trevor Bayne. There are some international sports upsets, but most are popular American sports and all involve male athletes. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Greatest Coaches Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Wilner, Barry
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Fifteen coaches in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. There are some coaches of international sports such as the Stanley Cup and the Olympics, but most are popular American sports and all but one involve male coaches. The one female coach feature is basketball coach Pat Summitt. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Most Amazing Sports Moments Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Williams, Doug
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Thirteen amazing moments in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. They are covered chronologically from Jackie Robinson’s 1947 major league debut to Chris Davis’ 109-yard touchdown run in 2013. A few of the sport moments included are international, but most involve popular American sports with male athletes. The only two great moments involving women athletes are Kerri Strug’s winning vault with an injured ankle and Brandi Chastain’s goal to win the 1999 Women’s World Cup. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Oddest Superstitions Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Graves, Will
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Twelve superstitions in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. Some of the superstitions involve uniforms, food, and routines. Some are international, but most involve popular American sports and only with male athletes. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Most Dominant Dynasties Of All Time
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Trusdell, Brian
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Thirteen dynasties in the world of sports are briefly covered in two to four pages each with interesting text and a few large captioned photographs. They are covered chronologically from the Yankees in the 1950s to the Patriots in 2000s. A few of the sport moments included are international, but most involve popular American sports with male athletes. The only dynasties included from female sports are the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team in the 2000s. It will appeal to boy sports trivia lovers who want a basic understanding of curses in the sports world. A very basic glossary, list of resources, and index are included. It is part of The Legendary World of Sports series.
Science Of Roller Coasters : Understanding Energy
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concept of energy through the topic of roller coasters. There are five chapters of four to six pages covering energy, gravity and design, speed, turns, and safety on roller coasters. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Science Of Race Cars : Studying Forces And Motion
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concepts of forces and motion through the topic of race cars. There are five chapters of four to six pages covering forces and motion, car engines, speed and driving, aerodynamics, and car protection. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Science Of Stars : Exploring Matter
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concept of matter through the topic of stars. There are eight chapters of four to six pages covering matter, atoms, solids, gases, liquids, extreme states of matter, conservation of matter, and states of matter. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Science Of Color : Investigating Light
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concept of light through of color and its applications in the world. There are six chapters of four to six pages covering color, light waves, white light, seeing color, color and heat, and mixing colors. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Science Of Glaciers : How Temperature Works
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an appealing and informative book that explores the concept of temperature through the topic of glaciers. There are six chapters of four to six pages covering temperature, atoms, energy sources, states of matter, cold, and heating of the Earth. Some of the chapters have subtitles but all have paragraphs of clear text and captioned photographs or diagrams to support the text. There is a simple experiment at the end that follows the scientific method. Two pages about a scientist or special topic are included, as well as a glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Science in Action series.
Fabulous Frogs
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Jenkins, Martin
Hopgood, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is an interesting nonfiction picture book that tells facts about different frogs around the world. The frogs are simply and graphically illustrated using mixed media with a simple sentence or two telling why it is unique and more details in smaller print at the bottom of the page. The facts are interesting, but there isn’t much scientific detail. For example, “And this one has a very strange nose.” and in smaller font below “It’s called Darwin’s frog, and it lives in South America. No one really knows why it has a pointy nose.” There is a brief introduction about frogs, eight more illustrated and labeled frogs at the end, and a very brief index.
Iraq
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Iraq is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
Afghanistan
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Afghanistan is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
South Korea
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
South Korea is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
Colombia
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Colombia is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
Iran
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Iran is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible for young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
United States
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
The United States is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
North Korea
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
North Korea is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. Nothing is mentioned about the country’s isolation in the world or the restrictions on people. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
Switzerland
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
Switzerland is introduced in this appealing and organized but basic country book. Each chapter is two to four pages with a few paragraphs of text in large font and a few well captioned photographs or a map. The topics covered include history, geography, important cities, symbols, economy, daily life, famous people, and tourist attractions. The few maps are very general. Since there is so little text, the information covered in each chapter is very basic. For example, only two people are covered in the Important People chapter with two or three very short paragraphs and a photo or two. The result is that the overall impression the book gives about the country is simple and superficial but accessible to young researchers. The chapters and features are the same in every book in the series. It includes a short glossary, link to current information, and basic index. It is part of the Explore the Countries series.
Captain Underpants And The Perilous Plot Of Professor Poopyp
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Pilkey, Dav
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
The classic fourth epic novel about Captain Underpants is now in full color. The story is exactly the same with crazy characters, slapstick humor, and lots of action with a mix of paragraphs and line drawings. This color version is an improvement and will be even more appealing to reluctant readers who are starting to read chapter books.
Lemons Are Not Red
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This is a clever picture book that combines learning about colors with common objects and animals. Every other page has a cut out of an object with a color showing through that does not match the object (Lemons are not RED). On the following page the correct color is given for the object (Lemons are YELLOW) with the cut out page now showing the correct color. The opposite page has an object with the correct color (Apples are RED). This pattern repeats so a child can guess the next page.
One Boy
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This unique book combines words, art, and cut out pages to count to ten. The clever way the pages work together makes it suitable for older children and art projects. Each number from one to ten is introduced with a simple phrase describing a simple illustration that shows through a cutout page that is opposite (Two seals). The following page uses the cutout to frame words from the simple phrase that now complete the picture (at the sea) which is illustrated on the opposite page.
Walter Was Worried
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 25, 2016
Wittmann, Teresa
This unique picture book combines art with learning about letters, feelings, and weather. There are four pages that repeat with the first page having a statement about a character and a feeling (Walter was worried when). The letters for the feeling in different fonts which are then used to make the facial features of the character on the opposite page showing the feeling. The next two pages show why the character was feeling that way in terms of weather (the sky grew dark.) This would be a great book to use to discuss facial expressions and feelings as well as what letters can be found in the face.
Grandad's Island
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Davies, Benji
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 25, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Syd goes to Grandad's house for a visit and is surprised to see that he is still in his pyjamas and slippers. Syd is even more surprised when Grandad opens a large metal door in his attic and the two of them step through into another world. There, they take an ocean liner to a tropical island and enjoy themselves thoroughly! One day, when Syd feels that the time to leave is near, Grandad shares that he is going to stay on the island. Syd makes the long journey home alone and, once there, comes to terms with life without Grandad. The artwork is bright and colorful, and includes many details that children love to look at. There is a comic touch to the pictures, too, such as the funny, tall ocean liner. The fourth grade class I read this to loved the story, but, as we discussed it further, they were sad that the boy lost his grandfather to the "island." We talked about metaphor and how gently this author handled the delicate topic of the death of a child's grandparent. I will definitely buy this book for my school library.
Miss Moon : Wise Words From A Dog Governess
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Hill, Janet
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
All ages
May 25, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Miss Wilhelmina Moon, young and beautiful governess to 67 dogs on an island off the coast of France, certainly has her hands full. She is not easily "ruff"led, though, by their antics; Miss Moon is a stern, but fair teacher. Each page has a lesson such as "Make-believe is good for the soul" with an accompanying picture (in this case, Miss Moon and the dogs are dressed in costumes). There are dogs who swim, bathe, bake, help with archery, and listen to stories. There are big dogs, small ones, long ones, and short ones. The pictures are so beautiful that I want to take them out of the book and frame them. The story and the lessons are simple and sweet. Dog lovers will want to pore over the pictures. Cat lovers may not fancy the book quite as much! I hope that Janet Hill has more books in store for us in the future.
Shape Shift
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Hesselberth, Joyce
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 26, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This delightfully simple book tickles children's imaginations by presenting them with basic shapes and having students guess what familiar objects they can be made into. Nine shapes are shown in the beginning of the book and, over the next few pages, the author shows two or three of them together at a time, and asks the reader to play the "name the shape" game. "What do you see? she asks," and students can have fun predicting what object the illustrator will make the shapes into. Each page's art is made up entirely of the nine shapes in the forms of people, dogs, tools, and so on. This makes a great read aloud, but would be great to use in a math or art lesson, too. The collage style is perfect for this story. I will definitely purchase this for my school library.
Extincts
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Cossanteli, Veronica
Clemesha, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 27, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
When 11-year-old George Drake finds his bike stolen outside the candy store, to earn money for a new one he follows up on an unusual Help Wanted message—“Interest in wildlife necessary. Must be the right person. Apply to Mrs. Lind, Wormstall Farm. No squamophobes” (fear of scales). Deep in the forest George finally finds the unusual farm which is ultimately a refuge for extinct animals and cryptids run by the caring Mrs. Lind and her elusive assistant Lo. Strange and dangerous animals abound—a kraken in the toilet, a unicorn and aurochs (enormous wild cows) in the pasture, bullockornis (giant demon ducks) and ichthyosaurs in the pond, a wounded dragon in the barn, a dodo bird setting on a variety of eggs in the kitchen among others. Of utmost concern is the basilisk (giant serpent) that has escaped, been stalking the town’s pets and turning them to stone. Lo has been collecting these stone creatures while Mrs. Lind tries to create the antidote to restore them. Add to this a new girl “friend” at school Prudence, whose evil stepmother, a crazed taxidermist, is in search of creatures that will bring her fame. A quirky, fun, suspenseful romp for this debut novelist with pen and ink drawings to match plus a creature glossary.
Ticket To The Pennant : A Tale Of Baseball In Seattle
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
Holtzen, Mark
Skewes, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
On Saturday Sept 10, 1955 the Seattle Rainiers faced the Los Angeles Angels for the Pacific Coast League baseball championship at Sick's Stadium, at the corner of Rainier and McClellan Avenue, just a mile from where I live. In this picture book young Huey is all ready to go to the game, but can't find his ticket! He races through the neighborhood, in hopes of finding where he might have misplaced it. Frustrated to be missing the game he hears broadcast everywhere he goes, he smacks his ballcap against his thigh and the ticket flutters to the ground. While the game is already in the third inning, he has visited several landmark local businesses (Borracchini's Bakery, Mutual Fish, Stewart Lumber) that are still in operation today and gets to see the home team hold on to win the pennant 3-1. People who know Seattle baseball or the Rainier Valley neighborhood will enjoy this trip down memory lane by the creator of "Larry Gets Lost in Seattle" and Seattle author Mark Holtzen. A additional purchase for Puget Sound elementary collections looking to, "root, root, root for the home team."
Science Stunts : Fun Feats Of Physics
Imagine Publishing [Imagine Publishing]
Brown, Jordan D
Owsley, Anthony
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Physics is a whole lot more fun when you combine 25 simple do-it-yourself demonstrations with the science behind the stunt as explained by Einstein, Newton and Galileo. Gravity, motion, temperature, magnetism, sound, light and electricity basics get covered and illustrator Anthony Owsley makes this book as bright and fun to look at as Jordan Brown's breezy text is readable by the targeted audience. School libraries looking to refresh STEM collections and teachers looking for simple demonstration ideas are well served by this book, and students looking for science fair projects may enjoy finding what they need.
Maurice Sendak
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 28, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Maurice Sendak's illustrations and picture books are timeless treasures of children's literature and his respect for the complexity of children's emotions are a hallmark of authors whose work stand the test of time. His interest in music, comics, movies helps kids relate to a formidable Great Author. Quotes and text boxes add meaningful information that help students understand more about what's so great about the always-slightly-unsettling nature of his many award winning titles. One of 12 Children's Storytellers profiled in bright photos and manageable text for early readers in search of information about the author, Blastoff Readers from Children's Press (Scholastic) are a solid addition to school libraries for both their readability and value in viewing an author's enduring contribution to children's literature. I heartily recommend buying the whole set that also includes Schultz, Seuss, Rowling, Kinney, Blume, DiCamillo, Wilder, Lowry, Riordan, Dahl and Silverstein.
Journey Of Seeds : Seed Propogation
Big & Small [Big & Small]
Choi, Soo-Bok
Jang, Wal-Goong
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Books, like seeds, travel and take root in fertile soil. Edited by early-reader master Joy Cowley, clear simple text by Soo-bok Choi lead readers to consider how seeds work. "They do not move. They are not magic. So how do they make plants?" Gorgeously accurate color illustrations by Wal-goon Jang let us consider the coconut an dandelion, pine nut and cocklebur as we explore the various shapes, sizes and ways that seeds are dispersed. Clear and lovely page spreads present one summary statement like "Seeds fly away to find new land." accompanied by several illustrating examples "Dandelion seeds drift like parachutes" "Pasque flower seeds float like feathers." "White forsythia seeds whirl like fans." and "Maple seeds spin away on wings." This "Science Storybook" from big & SMALL press is accurate and attractive non-fiction that will delight librarians as it plants its own seeds of science understanding in the minds of young readers.
The Rise and Fall of Oscar the Magician
Little Bigfoot [Little Bigfoot]
PORTER, MATTHEW
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Smug and monocled Milton the Magnificent so covets Monkey World's Magician of the Year award that he tries to sabotage his rival Oscar's acts. His dastardly deeds (putting bees in Oscar's top hat, cutting his high wire and bending his magic wand backfire and bring Oscar closer to winning the award. Employing his hypnotizing monocle to make Oscar steal a blue diamond backfires, too and lands Milton the Not so Magnificient in jail. Author Matthew Porter's jaunty characters, silly plot twists, and bold color illustrations recalls that streak of oddball humor frequently found in England from this British transplant to Seattle's thriving children's literature scene. Sasquatch Books' "Little Bigfoot" imprint should be congratulated on this delightful second "Monkey World" madcap adventure. Recommended for elementary fun.
Spare Parts
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Emberley, Rebecca
Emberley, Ed
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Whaaaaats going on here? The father-daughter daughter team of Rebecca and Ed Emberley have created something new; but what is it? Is it a Maker Space meets picture book in a poem to the possibilities of finding new love late in life? Junkyard robot Rhoobart is cobbled together "Tarnished and tattered,/He felt nothing mattered./ He was all spare parts,/ With a second hand heart./All of his days were lonely and boring./ Until today./" Going to the Spare Parts Mart for new heart-parts his ticker gets a shock from a junk-robot named Sweetart, "An energetic bit of metal/With just the right amount of tarnish." "Ah," Rhoobart thought, "THIS is what matters!" and they dance their way to the story's conclusion. Best I can tell, based on self-description as "old grandpa-kinda guy" on his own website http://www.edemberley.com/ this beloved illustrator has found new love late in life and is celebrating with a new picture book. If that's the case, "Hip Hip Horray" for an author that has brought his drawing and delight to generations of readers starting when "Drummer Hoff fired it off." Bright illustrations and whimsical mechanical what nots make this fun additional purchase to complete the Emberley Ouvre.
Goodnight Selfie
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Menchin, Scott
Collet-Derby, Pierre
Not Recommended -- Does not meet library standards in style, content or design.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
An adorable red-headed little girl's first day infatuation with self-portraits on her hand-me-down cellphone takes us through a day of smiles and cute poses...through to her "Goodnight Selfie" showing an exhausted and precocious child. Charming smiles and a busy day aside, the book falls flat if considering what-if anything-the little girl, or the reader might have learned while taking all those self-reflective. This book is a painful reminder that the Culture of Narcissism has a perfect tool in the camera-phone...and that we should hope to instill a bit more outward-looking empathy and a whole lot less self-absorption. Maybe that's the author and illustrated unstated goal, but if so that would be a different book. Buy that one if it comes around, take a rare pass on this one from usually delightful Candlewick Press.
Inside Out : Driven By Emotions
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Allen, Elise
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Inside Out is a fine and popular Disney/Pixar animated film about five emotions working out the ups and downs of a girl during her family's move to a new city. This novelization gives each emotion (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Anxiety and Envy) a section of the story to narrate. Readers familiar with the movie will breeze through the story and perhaps relive the magic on the screen, but few newcomers will be satisfied with this book written for 3rd-5th grade fans. An additional purchase that will be popular, for now.
I Am Henry Finch
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Deacon, Alexis
Schwarz, Viviane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
With red thumbprint bodies and and a few deft black lines Viviane Schwarz draws a flock of finches and lets Alexis Deacon's unlikely existential story-line of a self-aware little bird soar. Every day, every little bird greets each day and each other with the same Good Morning, and accepts their fate when the Beast sometimes devours one of their flock. Then one night our hero, Henry Finch awakens and realizes that he has thoughts, will power and determination to face the Beast head on. Unfortunately, the sharp-toothed, reptile-ish monster swallows little Henry whole. Inside in the darkness of doubt, Henry considers his plight and despairs. Then Ta-Da(!) this plucky little thumbprint of a hero regains confidence telepathically convinces the Beast to release him and to henceforth be a vegetarian. Returning to the flock this little finch helps other little birds realize their own ability to think, dream and act. Rather like Leo Lionni's Fredrick and Swimmy; here's a cheery little picture book with enough deeper meaning to bear repeated readings. It is also easily used to inspire projects for students to create thumbprint characters of their own. Recommended.
Touchdown! The History Of Football
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kovacs, Vic
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
The popularity of American football guarantees that any new book about the sport will score with a high-priority target in school library programs, boys reading in the mid-range F&P Level G. Crabtree Publishing covers the history and highlights of the gridiron with ample color photographs, simple paragraphs and a multitude of text features that will satisfy requirements for a mid-range book report but falls short of the goal-line of greatness by its very wide scope and slim 32 page coverage. One of four books in the Football source series, fortunately also available as $20 hardbound editions that promise a longer playing time than the thin, glued paperback edition that sell for half the price. If you've got funds for sports books, its an acceptable addition.
Jazz Day : The making of a famous photograph
Candlewick [Candlewick]
ORGILL, ROXANE
Vallejo, Francis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
May 29, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Unpacking Art Kane/Esquire Magazine's photograph "Harlem 1958" is a jazz lovers delight. Gathered on the sidewalk and stoops of that Harlem brownstone were a "who's who" of the Golden Age of Jazz and Roxanne Orgill's poems and Vallejo's drawings re-create moments of some of the 57 musicians and 12 boys who assembled for that single photographic moment on August 12, 1955. There's Willie the Lion Smith, Luckey Roberts, Count Basie, Eddie Locke, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Fump Hinton, JC Heard, Roy Eldridge, Gerry Mulligan, Maxine Sullivan, Mary Lou Williams, Lester Young, Rex Stewart...and even a poem about the biggest no-show, Duke Ellington. Orgill's free-verse poems about these many musicians are fun and accessible, yet based on solid research. Plentiful author's notes, biographic and bibliographic information, websites and and other end notes make this a great launch pad for further exploration of this milestone moment in American music.
Whole New Ballgame
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Bildner, Phil
Probert, Tim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 29, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
5th grade is going to be EPIC but wait--who's that guy in the front of the classroom? Where's the teacher they were expecting? Turns out she's retired, and the new teacher is truly new. This is his first year and he has a different take on education. He's also the coach on the basketball team. Rip's a pretty laid-back kid and goes with the flow, but his friend Red may have issues. He's clearly on the autism spectrum and needs consistency. This year is going to test both of them as the new teacher creates a unique environment that makes them stretch. Parents are not so thrilled with his teaching methods, however, as they fear their children will not pass the high-stakes tests that are coming up. Will Mr. Acevedo be forced to "teach to the test" to keep his job? This book clearly promotes the idea that creative and involving education is the best path to achievement. What's best about the book, however, is the relationship between Rip and Red. Red's autism is a constant side story, but it's trumped by their friendship. Rip just adjusts to Red's needs as any good friend would. This is a positive, engaging book that young readers should enjoy.
Never Insult A Killer Zucchini
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Azose, Elana
Clark, David
Marginal -- Contains so many weaknesses that it might be considered for purchase only as supplementary material in its field or to meet special localized subject needs.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
May 30, 2016
Garrard, Thom
Judge Farnsworth walks through a science fair in which the high-powered science projects are arranged in alphabetical order, and the exhibitors and the judge are occasionally in peril from the exhibits. When Farnsworth mentions that he thinks zucchini is delicious, the killer zucchini targets him. During the rest of the tour, it tries to use several of the projects against him, until Farnsworth rescues the zucchini from being consumed by a vortex. Cartoonish illustrations done with ink and color washes and text that is presented solely in speech bubbles and signage make this book resemble one continuous comic. Despite four added pages that explain the scientific principles or progress made on each of the concepts presented in the projects, finding an audience for this book will be difficult. The attempts at humor throughout the book seem more geared to adults than children. Younger students are unlikely to read or understand the end pages. Older students are unlikely to pick up an ABC picture book in the first place. Unless one has a specific purpose and a clear audience in mind, give the killer zucchini a wide berth.
Explore Fossils! : With 25 Great Projects
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Brown, Cynthia Light
Stone, Bryan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 30, 2016
Averill, Linda
Explore Fossils introduces readers to how fossils are formed and what they can tell us about plants and animals of long ago. Children are encouraged to keep a scientific journal as they do the activities. Some activities such as taking steps to measure the timeline of the earth would take place outside while others, like popping popcorn to determine radiometric dating and creating edible amber and making an ice fossil would be indoor activities. Other activities include simulations of a lava flow and meteorite strike to explain why mass extinctions may have happened. Two chapters about dinosaurs will be popular. In addition to the 25 activities the book has a table of contents, glossary, and index. A "further resources" section includes a list of books and websites.
William Shakespeare
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Johnson, Robin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 30, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This title provides a superficial look at Shakespeare's life and works. Each page contains text, photos, sidebars, and/or primary documents, and definitions of words used in the text. Sometimes the definitions are odd, such as, "figurative language: words that do not have their usual meanings." Also, all of the words defined are in the glossary as well which seems redundant. 48 pages of glossy paperback, which includes a table of contents, index, glossary, recommended books and web sites, this colorful volume is part of the Crabtree Chrome series intended to give brief, high-interest introductions to nonfiction topics. As it could be used for research, I will add this book to my collection.
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
May 30, 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.
Secrets Of Selkie Bay
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Thomas, Shelley Moore
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 30, 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.
Microbes : Discover An Unseen World
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Burillo-Kirch, Christine
Casteel, Tom
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
May 30, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
This is the ideal book for students who want to know more about microbes than they are learning in the classroom. Part textbook, part experiment project book, colorful, fun, and animated Microbes is easy to follow and goes in depth into various parts of the science: the scientists behind discoveries of microbes, illnesses and disease, and cures and antibodies. Each chapter has an essential question that is written both at the beginning and the end. Students are encouraged to reflect on what they have learned by keeping scientific journals (the scientific method is spelled out as well). At the end of each chapter are three different experiments that children can perform on their own (if there is any potential danger, the author notes that parental help is advised). Several QR codes are available so the reader can take a closer look at a microbe, pathogen, etc. Table of contents, index, resources used to write this book, recommended web sites and books, metric equivalent chart, and QR code index (in case the scanner does not work) all serve to round out the amazing science book!
Who Woke the Baby?
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Clarke, Jane
Fuge, Charles
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 31, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In the pattern and rhythm of This Is the House That Jack Built, this fresh version begins, “This is the baby who woke in the morn, smelly and yell and all forlorn.” The baby here is a very cute gorilla in a jungle setting. The cumulative rhyme works backwards through the different animals that wake each other—the hippo yawns like a horn, the zebra makes a fuss, the lion roars, the crocodile snippety-snaps, the frog croaks, the bee is buzzy, and finally there's a gentle butterfly. A new day dawns when the baby gorilla wakes up wriggly and giggly with delight at the butterfly. The repeating text is catchy and engaging with words bolded for effect. The color illustrations are outstanding and will captivate readers young and old with their expressions and large sizes, somewhat reminiscent of Janet Stevens.
Eat A Balanced Diet!
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Marsico, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Jada is hungry and it's lunch time. Jada's dad offers to help her make a delicious and nutritious meal and help her learn about balanced diets. They learn about food groups and how choosing healthy foods help the body. At the end, the book also reminds the reader that exercise is also important. This would be a good narrative non-fiction piece that could serve as an introduction to a nutrition unit if shared with the class. Color, captioned photographs are found on most two-page spreaders. A body diagram that shows food and the part of the body they help is also included. A few bands across the bottom of four pages invite readers to Think!, Look!, Make a Guess!, and Create!. These will help focus the reader. Regular non-fiction features are present: table of contents, glossary (words are in bold font within the text), bibliography, index, and author information (2 sentences). This 24 page book is part of the "21st Century Junior Library" series.
Alfie's Lost Sharkie
CLARION [CLARION]
Walker, Anna
Kath, Katie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 31, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Alfie, a preschool age dinosaur, cannot find his sharkie anywhere. It just happens to be bedtime and sharkie just happens to be in the drawer, in the bathroom, and then in Alfie's bed. Once sharkie is found, however, Alfie can't find bunny! The author-illustrator delights with her all-too familiar painful routine of young ones not wanting to go to bed, always needing one more item, and a parent trying to convince the child he or she needs to sleep. The pictures --a mixture of collage and watercolor -- are colorful and endearing; there is always a surprise or two on each page. The dialogue is simple and the story is sweet. Older children can relate to both the child's and adult's perspectives of bedtime.
Aaron And Alexander : The Most Famous Duel In American Histo
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Brown, Don
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2016
Elders, Ann
Set in 19th century British Mars, this is an unusual combination of science fiction, history, and fantasy. Edward Sullivan (12) wants to be a spy like the ones he reads about in his favorite magazine Thrilling Martian Tales. Edward feels it is his responsibility to protect his eccentric family from disaster. Their world changes when his cousin Freddie arrives on Mars and is soon followed by Sir Titus Dane, a villainous archaeologist, who kidnaps his family. Throughout a series of crazy adventures in the Martian wilderness which includes pterodactyls, Martian hunting machines, helpful Martians and many other creatures, Edward learns his sisters and cousin are capable and useful. This group must uncover the secrets of the dragon tombs and save the family before Sir Titus does. Those intermediate age boys who are fascinated by adventure and fantasy will find this fun. Some background information may help them understand historical references. The combination of worlds can be convoluted at times. I am buying this for my grandson (8).
Gerbil, Uncurled
FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE [FITZHENRY & WHITESIDE]
Hughes, Alison
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2016
Elders, Ann
Little Gerbil likes to sleep spread out in the sun. However, the GERBIL MOTTOS say that gerbils sleep curled up into a ball. All gerbils learn the Gerbil Mottos and are expected to live by them. Grandpa Gerbil is kind and wise, so Little Gerbil promises to try but is miserable. Little Gerbil teaches the other gerbils that sometimes the Mottos are difficult, and that she might not be the only one who struggles. The Gerbil Circle eventually revises the Mottos to account for individuality and individual needs. Embedded in this cute story is a major lesson on flexibility and differences. The adorable illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo enhance the story.
Secrets Of The Dragon Tomb
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Samphire, Patrick
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2016
Elders, Ann
Set in 19th century British Mars, this is an unusual combination of science fiction, history, and fantasy. Edward Sullivan (12) wants to be a spy like the ones he reads about in his favorite magazine Thrilling Martian Tales. Edward feels it is his responsibility to protect his eccentric family from disaster. Their world changes when his cousin Freddie arrives on Mars and is soon followed by Sir Titus Dane, a villainous archaeologist, who kidnaps his family. Throughout a series of crazy adventures in the Martian wilderness which includes pterodactyls, Martian hunting machines, helpful Martians and many other creatures, Edward learns his sisters and cousin are capable and useful. This group must uncover the secrets of the dragon tombs and save the family before Sir Titus does. Those intermediate age boys who are fascinated by adventure and fantasy will find this fun. Some background information may help them understand historical references. The combination of worlds can be convoluted at times. I am buying this for my grandson (8).
Look At Minerals
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Brannon, Cecelia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 31, 2016
Elders, Ann
This concise introduction to minerals is clear with attractive pictures to illustrate each concept and includes diverse text features to support the concept. “Did you know” text and pictures provide additional information. Text features include diagrams, charts, a glossary, further reading, index, and table of contents. Each picture is clearly labeled in bold print. Topics are two page spreads with headings. Sections include What is a mineral?, What are minerals made of?, How to identify a mineral, and Why are minerals important? This basic introduction will support science units on rocks and minerals.
Shawnee
Big Buddy Books/abdo [Big Buddy Books/abdo]
Tieck, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
May 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Big Buddy Books: Native Americans" series, this 24 page book provides information about the Shawnee tribe of Ohio (and today Oklahoma). The book covers territory, home life, food, customs, arts, religion, and history. The book presents how this tribe lives today, as well as, their traditional customs. Color, captioned photographs enhance the well-written text. "Did You Know" call out boxes provide additional facts. The book is complete with a table of contents, timeline, glossary (words are in bold and color within the text), and index. Web resources are provided through the publisher's website. This book would be useful for Native American research projects especially if focused on the Shawnee. It would also be helpful for older students who might need a lower reading level to cover the information presented.
Fifteen Lanes
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Laidlaw, S J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
May 31, 2016
Dame, Anne
Noor is 14 and is living in one of the worst areas of Mumbai. Her mom is a prostitute and it is likely that Noor will end up as one, too unless she can get out of these 15 lanes where they live. The first chapter clearly sets the scene as a brothel. Although there is no graphic content, it made me a bit hesitant when considering it for my middle school library. The subsequent chapters are less aggressive in that sense. There is violence and sexual situations throughout the book, including rape. But there is also a message of friendship and hope. I will put it in my library as it contains the very real situation that many young (Indian) girls face.
Smart Kid's Guide To Manners
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Petersen, Christine
Rooney, Ronnie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 32 page book is part of the "Smart Kid's Guide to Everyday Life" series. This book explores manners. Readers learn what manners are, why manners are needed, how you can practice good manners, and how you can use manners in your everyday life. The text is well-written and perfect for the target audience. Color, captioned photographs and cartoon-like drawings are found throughout the book and help focus the reader. Each chapter has a box that focuses the reader by suggesting an activity or giving more information. My counselor loved this book and most of the others in this series. In addition to a Table of Contents, you will find a list of things to know about manners, glossary (words are in color and bold within the text), index, and bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website). A great resource for students who are struggling with manners.
Alligators
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Furstinger, Nancy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
May 31, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Amazing Reptiles" series from Abdo's Core Library, this 48 page book will delight reptile fans. The book explores both American and Chinese alligators. The reader will learn about their life cycle, daily life, diet, and habitat. Call out boxes provide additional information to help the reader, such as, crocodile vs. alligator, alligator wrestling, and saving the Chinese alligator. Color, captioned photographs, range map, and photo diagram add to the well-written text. Common Core related activities are found at the end of each chapter (similar to all Core Library books) and a 2 page "stop and think" spread provides even more. The book is complete with the usual non-fiction text features: table of contents, fact page, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. This would be a great resource for animal research projects and would be a strong purchase when updating this section of your library.
Girl With The Parrot On Her Head
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Hirst, Daisy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
The reader knows that the main character, Isabel, sees the world differently just from the fact that she wears a parrot on her head. She and her best friend, Simon, who "was very good with newts," enjoyed playing together. When Simon moved away, Isabel decided she was going to like being on her own. She began creating systems to soothe herself, boxing up all of her toys and organizing her little world. When Isabel meets Chester (who is in a box), her heart opens up again and they play together. The graphics and the story are quirky, but enjoyable. Most children can relate to feeling lonely when friends move away. In the end, I did wonder if Chester were real or if he was an imaginary friend of Isabel's. This might be a good discussion starter or this book could be paired with Beekle, the Unimaginary Friend.
Armadillo In New York
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Kraulis, Julie
Shiell, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
May 31, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of An Armadillo in Paris on 01/07/2015. I love this delightful book just as much! In this story, Arlo searches New York City high and low for Lady Liberty, who Arlo's Grandfather Augustin writes about in his travel journal. On the way to the Lady, Arlo visits the great sights of the Big Apple. Finally, he reaches the Statue of Liberty and the illustrator presents us with a full two-page spread of the Lady (this drawing is replicated on the inside of the dust jacket). This book is magical, not only for the fun travel story, but also for the fantastic pencil and paint artwork. Facts about the Statue of Liberty are included in the back of the book.
Bunny Dreams
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Mccarty, Peter
Holmes, Jeremy
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
May 31, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Fanciful and brief, this story is told mainly through pictures with very few words. Essentially bunnies know the basics: that they like vegetables, they need to run away from dogs, and that they live in burrows. But when they sleep, bunnies take on a whole new world. They dream of pencils, pens, and paper and numbers and...chickens. The bunnies' bodies take on the stuff of their dreams. When the bunnies wake up, they see the bunny on the moon. What is this book about? I am really not sure, but I read it to a class of first graders and they loved it! The illustrations absolutely delighted them and the whimsy of it all made them laugh.