Reviews for month


World Wide Web : What It Is And How To Use It
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Yearling, Tricia
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Do your students know what the Internet is and how it is different from the World Wide Web? This book is a powerful resource for learning about the history of the World Wide Web, using the WWW, and tips & tricks such as using menus, hyperlinks, and bookmarks. Info boxes have interesting bites about topics. Has safety admonition for students to always get adult permission before going online, visiting certain websites, buying anything, or giving out personal information. Guides readers through steps to find out about Carl Sagan as an example of what to do to use the Internet for research. “Learn More” includes books to read and websites plus an Index. Preview book had library binding. Other books in the Zoom in on Technology series include books about computers, the Internet, and e-mail. Excellent choice to update books in 025 section of the Dewey Decimal System.
Choose It! : Finding The Right Research Topic
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Coleman, Kelly
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
What is research? Learn some strategies to help choose a topic. Some research may possibly have guidelines from the teacher if a class project. Or a personal research will have none. How to get started has brainstorming with writing down as many questions possible in 5 minutes. How to narrow down your topics. Discusses the difference between closed and open questions with open being best for research. Readers able to get a copy of the suggested activities by going to the URL given. Has Glossary, list of three books, and two websites, and indexed. Library binding. Useful for learning about doing research.
Ten Of The Best Adventures In Space
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Two page account of ten adventures into space with pictures and drawings. Starts with Yuri Gagarin’s flight on April 12, 1961, making him the first human to journey into outer space and make an orbit of the Earth. May 5th, 1961, Alan Shepard has a 15 minute flight into space without orbiting Earth. July 21, 1961, Gus Grisson does not orbit with his 15 ½ minute flight. First spacewalk is by a Soviet cosmonaut. Apollo 11’s trip to the moon with Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon. Soviet Soyuz 18-1 cosmonauts don’t make it into space for a two month stay on the space station but end up stranded on a mountain on Earth. Two Space Shuttle disasters loose crews. Space shuttle Discovery is launched to successfully repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Fire in space in the Mir Space Station is a near disaster. Finally, the winning of the X Prize by a non-governmental organization is discussed. While the articles are short, interested readers can search for books and websites about the Space Race to read more about this topic. Other books in the Ten of the best adventures series are about frozen landscapes, new worlds, the jungle, the sky, and the seas. Paperback. A taste for space adventure may engage future astronauts.
Help Yourself Cookbook For Kids : 60 Easy Plant-Based Recipe
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Roth, Ruby
Martin, Wendy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
June 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
Excerpt from the Intro: Since the day you were born, someone has been making you food and serving you meals (that's the life!). But wait a minute...what's that on the end of your arm? Why, it's a hand! And it turns out you need little more than your own two hands and a few ingredients to help yourself to healthy foods...and help the world, while you're at it! Because from the tip of your nose to the tip of an iceberg, the food we eat affects our bodies, our environment, and even strangers on the other side of the planet. It's amazing but true. This is a delightful plant-based cookbook for kids (lots of tips grown-ups would love as well) filled with different AND fun recipes for kids to make. "Adult Alerts" accompany recipes that need some adult supervision. Not only are there appealing things to make, but there are interesting factoids with each recipe. These factoids paired with whimsical illustrations and photographs make for a fun read even if you never make anything in the book. Very poorly bound paperback that would not last long in a library collection or in a kitchen. It is still a delightful read with recipes that this grandmother reviewer looks forward to making for grandkids!
Draw It! Color It! Creatures
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company]
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.
All ages
June 02, 2016
Norton, Geneva
All kinds of creatures drawn by 43 different illustrators fill this fun activity book. With a "foundation" drawing by each illustrator, the reader is invited to add their own drawing to carry on the introduced creature/s. Wonderful black and white drawings draw the reader into each different scenario. Brief text for each direct the reader as well. The book will appeal to all ages. Adults should have their own copy so they are not trying to fill in and direct their young reader. Very fun, but cannot see it in a general library collection since the whole purpose is to encourage creative drawing on the book's pages. However, it could be a great idea resource for an art lesson.
Ethical Hacker
45Th Parallel Press [45Th Parallel Press]
Loh-Hagan, Virginia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Book contains five chapters about what hackers are, computer security, networks, security measures, and prevention of computer crimes. Perhaps not what teachers and parents want young people to do – be a computer hacker. However, the difference between and ethical hacker (white hat hacker) and cybercriminals (black hat hackers) are explained and how ethical hackers help with the jobs they perform. Other books in the Odd Jobs series include acupuncturist, ghost hunter, mortician, odor tester, parade float designer, sound effects artist, and tattoo artist. Library binding. Book was interesting to reviewer because five members of our family are involved in security in computer businesses.
Pioneer Practices With Ree Drummond
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Finne, Stephanie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Reality TV Titans" series, this 32 page biography explores the life of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Drummond began blogging about her life on the ranch and parlayed that in to cook books and eventually her cooking show. The book follows her life chronologically. Color photographs are captioned and found throughout the book. "Did You Know" circles are sprinkled through the book and provide additional tidbits for the reader. A recipe for Cheesy Cornbread is included. The book has the usual non-fiction features: table of contents, timeline, glossary (words are in bold within the text), and index. Additional resources are available through the publisher's website. While the book is written for elementary students, very few of them would know who Drummond is, making this an additional purchase.
Life Of Dr. Charles Drew : Blood Bank Innovator
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Schraff, Anne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Great Minds of Science" series, this 48 page biography explores the life of Dr. Charles Drew. Drew, African American, dealt with segregation and racism growing up in the early 1900s. While studying at McGill University in Montreal he found his passion, learning and working with blood. This lead to his work on transporting blood, blood transfusions. He was the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank in New York, however, he resigned when blood was racially segregated. The well-written text also describes the lasting impact of his work.. Color and gray-scale captioned photographs are found throughout the book. The book had common core related activities at the end of each chapter and in the end matter. The book is complete with a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are available through the publisher's website), index, and author information. This book would be a strong addition to your biography collection
Thrift Shopping : Discovering Bargains And Hidden Treasures
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Donovan, Sandy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Save some money and create your own style. This 64 page book explores the world of thrift shopping. Readers will learn what is thrift shopping (including consignment stores, thrift shops, flea markets, garage sales, online, and more), why one might use this method of shopping (i.e. save money, find unique items, save the planet), where to go, how to sell your own items, upcycling, and more. Insider tip boxes give the readers additional ideas and strategies. Color photographs with extensive captions also give the reader more ideas. The book also has activities and ideas that readers could easily do. The text is well-written and the layout is engaging. The book has a table of contents, extensive bibliography, index, and author information. This will be a popular book with your creative and thrifty students!
Charles Drew : Distinguished Surgeon And Blood Researcher
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Garstecki, Julia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Legendary African Americans" series, this 96 page biography was originally published in 2003 under the title "Dr. Charles Drew: Blood Bank Innovator." The book opens with the story of his work with transporting blood to Great Britain during World War II and then explores his life chronologically. We learn about his childhood, the racism he faced as he became a doctor, his accomplishments and work with blood, and his legacy. The text is well-written and will be useful for students doing biographical research or studying blood. Typical non-fiction text features are found: table of contents, timeline, chapter notes, bibliography, and index. This would be a fine addition to your biography section.
Rosa Parks And The Montgomery Bus Boycott
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Kenney, Karen Latchana
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "Stories of the Civil Rights Movement" series, this 48 page book describes the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the part Rosa Parks played. The book opens with a description of the events of December 1, 1955 when Parks was arrested. Readers learn about the segregation laws and how people were working to change them. We learn about how Parks became involved in the civil rights movement and how others had challenged the laws. The last two chapters focus on the bus boycott and the changes that occurred after. Captioned, gray-scale photographs are found throughout the book. The text is well-written and understandable. Common core related activities are found at the end of each chapter and in the end matter, which might be useful for teachers. The book has a table of contents, glossary, bibliography (web resources are provided through the publisher's website), index, and author information. This would be an excellent book to use around the King holiday.
Animal Camouflage
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Franchino, Vicky
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
Part of the "A True Book" series, this 48 page book explores the variety of camouflage found in the animal world. The book opens (even before the table of contents) with two quiz questions to focus the reader (they are answered at the end on p. 44). Then the book explains what camouflage is, why various animals use it, and examples of camouflage in the animal world. There is also a two-page spread on how humans use camouflage in hunting and war. The text is well-written, the photographs are crisp and engaging. The book has a table of contents, bibliography, glossary (words are in bold the first time they appear in the text), index, and author information. This would be a useful book for science units.
Celebrate Kwanzaa With Paper Crafts
Enslow Elementary [Enslow Elementary]
Mcgee, Randel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 02, 2016
Sonnen, Dave
This 48 page book is part of the "Celebrate Holidays with Paper Crafts" series. After a short introduction about Kwanzaa, eight paper projects related to Kwanzaa are presented. Each activity has four pages. Background information regarding an aspect of Kwanzaa is describes in an introduction, then there is a list of supplies, and finally clear, step-by-step directions accompanied with photographs of the steps. An author's note encourages use of recycled paper and adapting the activity for other holidays. The end matter includes patterns (along with the percentage to enlarge) that can be photocopied. The book has a table of contents, bibliography, index, and extensive information about the author. This is a good example of "how to" and will add diversity to your craft section.
Football Record Breakers
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Gray, Aaron Jonathan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Football Record Breakers covers all aspects of the game. It includes running backs, quarterbacks, receivers, perfect teams, sack leaders and strong defensive teams. Each chapter includes 5-6 pages of information and text about the record breaker. The chapters include the records they broke as well as significant seasons which helped them to accomplish their feats, stories of the games in which they established their record and factors which made them successful. The book includes a sidebar in each chapter which includes a player who held a record in another aspect of the position. The book will become dated over time but the few records listed in the book will not be broken easily or in the near future. The book includes a glossary, index, and additional resources which includes both books and websites.
Test Pilot
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Test pilots put a variety of aircraft to the test. Their job is to make sure the airplanes being developed are well thought out and safe to fly. The book includes information about types of test pilots, history of famous test pilots, training and education needed to be successful and job facts. The pictures ranging in size from a quarter sheet to two-page spreads are clear in showing many aspects of the job. The book mixes white and black lettering which is effective since much of the text is over the photographs. The book includes a table of contents, glossary and index. Test Pilots is part of the XTreme Jobs series which includes astronauts, daredevils, rodeo clown, search and rescue and stunt performer.
Rodeo Clown
A&d Xtreme/abdo [A&d Xtreme/abdo]
Hamilton John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 02, 2016
Korf, Clarence
Rodeo clowns are fun to watch but we do not realize how dangerous their job can be. Rodeo clowns have a job which entertains the crowd but more importantly protects the bull riders from angry bulls. The books covers all aspects of their job and what they do to keep the bull riders as safe as possible. The book includes the history, training and protective gear needed to become a successful rodeo clown. The pictures ranging in size from a quarter sheet to two-page spreads are clear in showing many aspects of the job. The white text is effective when it is on a black background or over a dark part of the picture. It is not effective when the text is over the full page pictures and the background changes from dark to light. The book includes a table of contents, glossary and index. Rodeo Clowns is part of the XTreme Jobs series which includes astronauts, daredevils, search and rescue, stunt performer and test pilot.
Whale In My Swimming Pool
Farrar Straus Giroux [Farrar Straus Giroux]
Wan, Joyce
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Little boy discovers a whale in his wading pool and tries numerous ways of getting it to leave his pool until at last he has the idea to float on his inner tube held up by the whale’s water spout. Then he finds a snoring bear in his bed. Oh, dear! Wonderful for the preschool and kindergarten crowd. Dust jacket indicates reinforced binding.
Daddy's Back-To-School Shopping Adventure
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Sitomer, Alan Lawrence
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Need a back-to-school theme book? Mom and dad take Jake and Jenny shopping for school supplies but they can only get what is on “The List.” While mom is off to another side of the store, the kids load a cart with all sorts of items such as neon paper clips, glow-in-the-dark glue sticks, electronic garbage-truck pencil sharpener, and more when Dad finds a nostalgic yellow bus lunchbox that reminds him of the one he had as a kid. But … it’s NOT on the list. Everything not on the list goes back but the kids and mom surprise him with the lunchbox as a present. Sweet story to share at the beginning of school. Dust jack indicates reinforced binding. Reviewed in SLJ.
Explore Soil! : With 25 Great Projects
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Reilly, Kathleen M
Stone, Bryan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
Projects outlined for young ( and young at heart) explorers with supplies listed and step-by-step directions with interesting ways to record the results. “Did you know” circles with interesting trivia. “Just for fun” questions and answers to share laughs. “Words to know” boxes explain the words in green found on that page. Essential question to contemplate such as “Is all soil the same?” Glossary, metric conversions, Resources, and Index. Can connect to primary resources by scanning the QR code to explore more. URLs listed on Resources page. Reviewed in Booklist. Great addition for the science topics with Norse Myths!, Fossils!, and Forces and Motion! as the newest titles in the Explore Your World ! Series.
Made You Look : How Advertising Works And Why You Should Kno
ANNICK PRESS [ANNICK PRESS]
Graydon, Shari
Lamoreaux, Michelle
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 03, 2016
Norton, Geneva
…"to the fish, the water is invisible…", so begins this visually appealing book on advertising. It is a great resource for students and parents. It has been called "the kids' survival guide to advertising in the digital age" with colorful sidebars, graphics, and other eye-catching layouts. The author has used successfully used advertising "gimmicks" to pull readers into different topics and then expand on them. There is enough detail for understanding without being overwhelmed with information. Ad resources, a detailed attributions for each reference listed by chapter, and an index complete the book. It is all accomplished in 154 pages leaving one feeling more aware and informed. It is an updated version of the same title to reflect advertising of today. The author then concludes the book, "…advertising is an inescapable part of life in North America (This reviewer would expand that area). We are basically swimming in commercial messages everywhere we go. And it's really important to be as aware as possible of the kind of "water" surrounding us". challenging us to become "informed swimmers" in these sometimes "invisible waters".
Animals' Ark
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Dubuc, Marianne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 03, 2016
Norton, Geneva
This delightful re-telling of the story of Noah's ark is enchanting. The author/illustrator's pictures capture many of the questions children many have about housing, space, and keeping busy on this full boat. from SLJ review: "The brief sentences and text will appeal to early readers, who will also enjoy decoding words and phrases from the amusing and lively illustrations. It's 7 1/4 inch size makes it a charming companion for the young reader.
Class Dismissed
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Woodrow, Allan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 03, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
When their 5th grade teacher throws up her hands and abandons the class, the students find themselves free and unencumbered. Her message to the principal is waylaid and now they have no teacher at all...but how long can they keep up the farce? At first it's all fun and games, but they soon realize that they need to keep up appearances. That means homework, and lunch counts, and wait...they're supposed to present a play as part of a school-wide celebration? Told from differing viewpoints this is a look at how students might handle the chance to govern their own education. Of course there's a massive suspension of disbelief required, since they would actually need a key to access the classroom in the first place, but it's an interesting romp to see them pull it off for two whole weeks as each plays to his or her often unexpected talents.
Swashbuckling Scoundrels : Pirates In Fact And Fiction
TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS [TWENTY FIRST CENTURY BOOKS]
Kaplan, Arie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 04, 2016
Korf, Clarence
For fans of pirates, this is a great book which provides the truth about pirates in the past and in the present as well as the fantastical folklore. The recent series of films about the Pirates of the Caribbean has spurred interest about pirates. Many tales we hear are fiction but this book provides many facts about the famous pirates of the past and the reasons for the ebbs and flows of pirates throughout history. The illustrations, pictures, maps and layout make this book a pleasure the read. The torn parchment paper insets add additional information which is always connected to the text. The book is definitely for older readers because the author does not mince words with the violence which pirates inflict on others and how some of the pirates met their end when justice was handed out. A chapter is also devoted to pop culture and the influence it has on the fascination we have with pirates today. The book includes source notes, glossary, and extensive bibliography and further information in books, websites and films.
Monkeys And Apes
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Herrington, Lisa M
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Part of Rookie-Read-About What’s the Difference series, this compact 32-page book introduces younger readers to monkeys and apes and their similarities and differences. Crisp, colorful, full-page photographs face a full page of large font text with substantive information. Occasional fun fact boxes and well-labeled photographs provide support for the readers moving beyond the simple 2-3 sentences to the 2-3 short paragraphs on a page. Chapter Titles are questions and bold vocabulary words and other unfamiliar subject specific words include the pronunciation and measurements are given in both US and metric. The last 8 pages contain eye catching spreads with a range map showing where apes and monkeys live, What’s the difference with labeled photographs comparing a spider monkey and orangutan, a That’s Amazing section with a photograph and description of Howler monkeys, Japanese macaques, Orangutans, and Chimpanzees. The book concludes with a Guess Who photographs with clues, photographic glossary, index, and publisher website links. Highly recommended non-fiction for readers ready for increasing text demands and more substantial information.
Fire Trucks
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Mattern, Joanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Part of Rookie-Read-About How things Work series, this compact 32 page book introduces younger readers to how firefighters use pumper and ladder fire trucks and the equipment on board to rescue people and fight fires. A page of text faces a full-page eye-catching photograph or diagram with labeling in blue boxes and Run Facts add extra interest. An excellent diagram of a pumper truck and a photograph of inside storage add visual information as well. Back material includes an illustrated timeline showing a horse-drawn fire trick in 1890’s through modern trucks, an experiment showing how the pumps force water out a hose, an illustrated glossary, and a That’s Amazing page speculating about firefighting’s future. Index and publisher website links included. Highly recommended non-fiction for readers ready for increasing text demands and more substantial information.
Aircraft
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Sandcastle’s Amazing Inventions small-format book introduces beginning readers to the history of the car from the horseless carriage and crank starting days to the Model T and modern gas and electric cars. Two horizontal photographs cover each two-page spread with banners on top and bottom framing a few sentences of text in the middle. A large central photograph is superimposed on top of the others. The consistent formatting supports early readers in this informative and attractive series. Additional pages include photographs and text about assembly lines, gasoline and electric cars, seat belts and working on the car. A concluding Think About It and glossary conclude the book. Limited information does not make this suitable for research but cars are a magnet topic and will be popular with early readers. Vocabulary words may need introduction to the intended audience.
Automobile
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Salzmann, Mary Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Sandcastle’s Amazing Inventions small-format book introduces beginning readers to short bursts of information about aircraft including hot air balloons, gliders, biplane, fighter jets, passenger planes, float planes, helicopters, and rockets. Two horizontal photographs cover each two-page spread with banners on top and bottom framing a few sentences of text in the middle. A large central photograph is superimposed on top of the others. The consistent formatting supports early readers in this informative and attractive series. A concluding Think About It and glossary conclude the book. Limited information precludes use for research but the crisp, vivid photographs will attract readers.
Energy From Living Things : Biomass Energy
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Stuckey, Rachel
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Energy From Wind : Wind Farming
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Energy From Earth's Core : Geothermal Energy
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Living In A Sustainable Way : Green Communities
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kopp, Megan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Energy From The Sun : Solar Power
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Energy From Nuclear Fission : Splitting The Atom
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dickmann, Nancy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Earth's Climate Change : Carbon Dioxide Overload
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Fracking, the first book in this Next Generation Energy series by Crabtree Publishing Company.
Fracking : Fracturing Rock To Reach Oil And Gas Underground
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dickmann, Nancy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Crabtree has published a new series titled, Next Generation Energy, and this is the first book in the series. It is a Guided Reading "S," so aimed at 5th grade readers. The book contains solid, current information on fracking, mainly in the U.S., but does touch lightly on the practice in other countries. Topics covered go from What is Energy? to Environmental Impact to Political Controversy. Many photos and relevant captions adorn each page. The one large photo of Jimmy Carter's face could have been omitted, but otherwise the photos help to explain the text. Many pages contain text boxes with "Rewind" or "Fast Forward" captions that explain the relevant history or potential impact of fracking. In these text boxes, too, are questions posed to help students think critically, such as "Would you support a company's proposal to frack in your area? Why or why not?" These would be great discussion or writing topics. The Pros and Cons chapter is so nicely laid out, just ready made for classroom debates or argumentative writing. The usual text features are present: Table of contents, index, glossary (plus bolded words in the text), and book and web site list. PB is affordable at $8.95, but will not stand heavy usage.
Cool Springy, Slinky, & Stretchy Projects : Crafting Creativ
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The brightly colored, library bound, 32-page Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games books are a perfect addition for your creative readers seeking craft books or a library housing a MakerSpace. Delightfully fun toys can be made with simple supplies such as balloons, paper, pushpins, craft sticks, and rubber bands. Include some cat toy springs, pipe cleaners and small bouncy balls and you are ready to make a water balloon bouncy ball by banding your balloon with the cut of tails of others, or a springy spider puppet. Most intriguing to me is an origami paper slinky that is reputed to travel down stairs although I have yet to try it. A two-page spread briefly recounts the story of the Slinky’s invention including the factoid that the original ones were made of 80 feet of wire! The colorfully illustrated projects feature a full-page picture of the finished item, materials list including safety symbols, and the sequence of steps color-coded to match the corresponding photo. Back material includes a glossary, index and web links.
Nanny X Returns
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rosenberg, Madelyn
Donnelly, Karen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Nanny X, an agent for the Nanny Action Patrol, is given a new mission when the President of the United States receives a threat that he must display a large fish sculpture on the White House lawn or the nation will lose various national treasures. After picking up her charges, Jake, Ali, and baby Eliza, Nanny and another agent, Boris, race against time through the museums on the National Mall, deciphering clues, catching robot fish, encountering a spy squirrel that snatches Nanny X’s highly secret computer, and using all sorts of wacky spy tools. Nanny’s diaper bag fills a central role as it hides bunny slippers with rollers for fast travel, diaper phones, and hats with antennas for plenty of humor in this action packed book for middle grade readers. The story is recounted in first person alternating between Ali and Jake, but the baby Eliza and a friend Stinky all participate in uncovering and capturing the culprit. While the series will need to be talked up, Nanny X may well develop a following and should be recommended for those readers seeking humor, mild adventure, and just perhaps younger video game players.
Eloise Breaks Some Eggs
Spotlight [Spotlight]
Mcnamara, Margaret
Lyon, Tammie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Six-year old Eloise lives on the top floor in a posh New York hotel of a bygone era with a nanny, spacious, elegant rooms and the freedom to run through the hotel as one might run through a house. Rude, spoiled and precocious, Eloise was an original creation of Kay Thompson with illustrations by Hilary Knight, but this new edition has been simplified for beginning readers by Margaret McNamara, in a new Simon Spotlight Ready-To-Read series. Rambunctious and irrepressible, humor abounds as Eloise creates mayhem when she races through the halls and elevators with Nanny in tow with the resultant cooking lesson of breaking eggs resulting in a yellow splattered page with egg flying everywhere. Failing to create her own egg dish, Nanny and Eloise return to their apartment and in a precocious twist, Eloise resourcefully calls room service. While the mode of living is clearly outdated and may seem strange to many children, the zany actions, reminiscent of Amelia Bedelia, still attracts readers and contributes to the growing repertoire of beginning readers.
Aleecia
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
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Luciana, the first book in this series.
Jasmine
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
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Luciana, the first book in this series.
Shawna
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
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Luciana, the first book in this series.
Isabella
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
June 05, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Please see my review of Luciana, the first book in this series.
Totally Wacky Facts About The Human Body
Mind Benders/capstone Press [Mind Benders/capstone Press]
Meister, Cari
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
OK, I get it-- the human body is weird. Still, this book of random fascinating and obscure facts unveils things you may or may not want to know. 112 well-bound pages generally contain one or two odd facts apiece, against varied background photographs or illustrations that go with the text. Report-writing? Forget about it. This is the sort of book a student checks out so they can share weird stuff with a friend. Nevertheless the facts are so interesting they stick with you. Taste buds on the inside of your cheeks? Really? Cool! There's really no rhyme nor reason here, but the book does include a glossary and index, and should tickle young readers who enjoy trivia.
Quirky, Cute Doodles
Savvy/capstone Press [Savvy/capstone Press]
Corfee, Stephanie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Who doesn't love to doodle? Still, you may need a little push to improve your doodling and see the possibilities. That's what this series seems to focus on. Stephanie Corfee introduces readers to good doodling tools. (I had never heard of several of these types of pens and am quite intrigued.) She then encourages readers to experiment with creative borders, make a doodle unicorn, decorate a skateboard, and fancify an umbrella. Letters, flowers, days, hands. Anything can be improved with doodles. You don't even have to limit them to paper! This is actually quite a useful book that will improve doodling for any who read it. The author's multiple examples show the readers how the artwork might turn out, while not forcing them into copying. The whole book is based on multiple options, increasing complexity, and then adding color. Students would enjoy the entire series.
Little Red
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Woollvin, Bethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bold simple illustrations overflow the pages in this uncomplicated and amusing retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood." Little Red is on her way to Grandma's house. Some girls might have been scared by the wolf, but not this girl. Some girls might have been fooled by the wolf, but not this girl. Some girls might have been eaten by the wolf, but not this girl. This is big and bold and brassy and the eyes say it all. Young children will giggle at the ending. Adults will notice that the only two faces you see are the girl's and the wolf's. This would be a funny addition to preschool storytime, and very easy to act out, or use for a quick puppet play.
Mr. King's Machine
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Cote, Genevieve
Huyck, David
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Mr. King is happy...until he finds a caterpillar has chewed his flower. He quickly builds a machine to track down the perfidious caterpillar. However, soon all his friends are chasing trying to stop him. In his zeal to conquer the caterpillar he has dirtied the air and smashed more flowers than were destroyed in the first place. Realizing the error of his ways he turns the machine into a flower seed machine, makes friends with the caterpillar, and soon beautifies all around him. The gentle message about caring for the world around you is is accompanied by child-like, joyous multimedia illustrations. While not a first purchase, this would still be a nice fiction addition to ecology units for kindergarteners.
Buster The Very Shy Dog And The Great Bone Game
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Bechtold, Lisze
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This Level 3 reader is a delight, and sure to attract the kids who loved the Biscuit books at a slightly younger level. It consists of two chapters. In the first new puppy, Buster, is scammed by older dog, Phoebe. She ends up with his bones as she teaches him how to "train" them. In the second chapter he teaches the large dog next door how to "train" his enormous bone. Phoebe is up to her old tricks, but Buster makes sure justice prevails, and ends up with a new friend. The fluid, flowing watercolor and ink illustrations are delightful and expressive. The text will have young readers giggling as they see Phoebe in action, and Buster thwart her plans. This is a series you'll want in your library as readers step up from "Fly Guy" and "Biscuit."
Go, Billy, Go! : Being Yourself
RED CHAIR PRESS [RED CHAIR PRESS]
Blevins, Wiley
Gordon, John
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Billy is a boy and he likes boy stuff. He also loves to cheer. He can do cartwheels, and jump high. His family is uncertain, and his friends laugh. However, when Billy shows off his skills at the game it's clear he has true talent. Now he's a boy AND a cheerleader. It's OK to be yourself. Bright color illustrations accompany the text. This is a simple book with a simple message, clearly presented.
Spidermania : Friends On The Web
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Siy, Alexandra
Kunkel, Dennis
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
A wealth of information, and exquisite microscopic photographs (EM - electron micrographs) are assembled in this fascinating informative book on spiders. Eye-catching EM photographs are taken in black and white, but photographer Dennis Kunkel uses startling colors to highlight, specific spider features. Magnified 1000 of times, the images focus on the body parts including the unique eyes, fangs, antennae and silk making spinnerets stand out down to single strands of silk and hairs. Divided into three sections, the book covers, general information, specific identifying methods, 10 different unique and fascinating spiders, and where to find spiders. Written in a narrative format, this book has it all with detailed information accompanied by anecdotes and familiar connections. Working from the premise that the more we get to know spiders the more we might treat them like friends and the diving bell, fishing, daddy-long legs, wolf, black widow, sac, crab, spiny-backed orb weavers, spitting, and jumping spiders. Also includes the brown recluse and tarantula. Back material includes a simple key to eight arachnid species, spiders in the animal classification system, eye recognition chart, additional resources, source notes, glossary.
Cool Doughs, Putties, Slimes, & Goops : Crafting Creative To
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The brightly colored, inviting 32-page Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games books are a perfect addition for a library housing a MakersSpace or your creative readers seeking craft books. Chemistry buffs will love the recipes for the concoctions found in this book as projects include making silly putty, magnetic goop, glow-in-the-dark goo, mystery slime, and scented play-dough. Borax, cornstarch, gelatin powder, glue, and liquid starch form the basic ingredients with paints, glitter, iron oxide, and food coloring providing the extra pizzazz. The colorfully illustrated projects feature a full-page picture of the finished item, materials list including safety symbols, and the sequence of steps color-coded to match the corresponding photo. Back material includes a glossary, index and web links.
Cool Crayons, Chalks, & Paints : Crafting Creative Toys & Am
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The brightly colored, inviting 32-page Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games books are a perfect addition for a library housing a MakersSpace or your creative readers seeking craft books. Beginning with a description of how the earliest paints were mixed from ground plants and minerals; readers are then given suggestions for creating your own paints, chalks, and elaborate crayons. Each colorfully illustrated project features a full-page picture of the finished item, materials list including safety symbols, and the sequence of steps color-coded to match the corresponding photo. Recipes for chalk cubes, multi-layer and treasure crayons, glow-in-the-dark, berry, and washable window paints. Back material includes a glossary, index and web links.
Cool Construction & Building Blocks : Crafting Creative Toys
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The brightly colored, inviting 32-page Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games books are a perfect addition for a library housing a MakersSpace or your creative readers seeking craft books. Each book starts with a section including a brief history of the toy, suggestions for building your own, a photographic list of materials used in all the projects and a safety warning. Who knew that ice cube trays could be useful for creating both magnetic clay blocks as well as resin-filled clear blocks with a treasure inside? Other projects include card stock building walls and two projects using LEGOs for a multipurpose desk and 3-D mural. The colorfully illustrated projects feature a full-page picture of the finished item, materials list including safety symbols, and the sequence of steps color-coded to match the corresponding photo. Back material includes a glossary, index and web links.
Cool Action Figures & Dolls : Crafting Creative Toys & Amazi
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Felix, Rebecca
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The brightly colored, inviting 32-page Crafting Creative Toys & Amazing Games books are a perfect addition for a library housing a MakersSpace or your creative readers seeking craft books. Each book starts with a section including a brief history of the toy, suggestions for building your own, a photographic list of materials used in all the projects and a safety warning. The colorfully illustrated projects feature a full-page picture of the finished item, materials list including safety symbols, and the sequence of steps color-coded to match the corresponding photo. Twig Things, Found Object Action Figure, Springy Sprites, and Secret Container Creatures are created from scratch, while the last project involves creating a Barbie Adventure Case out of an old suitcase. Back material includes a glossary, index and web links.
Where's Walrus? And Penguin?
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Savage, Stephen
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Get ready for a delicious wordless romp when Walrus and Penguin escape the zoo and explore the city in the bold and colorful graphic designs of Stephen Savage. The duo assumes various disguises as they evade capture by the pursuing Zookeeper, blending into scenes of the streets, waterways, and stage and mimicking the actions of the surrounding people. On the cover, Walrus holds the umbrella overhead as hand-in-hand they wait in line for the bus with the other passengers. Penguin and Walrus, sell newspapers, drive in a black limo, race in a shell, and act in a play before we spot Walrus in the outfield of a baseball game. When he suffers a hit to the head and is rushed to the hospital, the Zookeeper, net in hand, finally catches up. But wait; is that a Walrus nurse we spot caring for our friend? Young readers will snicker as the duo return to the zoo for a veiled wedding presided over by none other than our Zookeeper friend. Digitally rendered blocky illustrations provide ample detail and are just right for whole group reading and would make an excellent prompt for telling storytelling.
Search And Spot : Animals!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Ljungkvist, Laura
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Strikingly vibrant illustrations dominate the cover and pages of this visually stunning seek-and-find book. Readers are invited to begin an adventure finding the hidden animals as they move through the day from morning in the city through surrounding farms, fields, forests, and water, before returning to the city at night. Ljungkvist cleverly constructs the searching pages with dazzling digital illustrations that use subtle variations in geometric shapes and repetition to force close examination. Spare directions given in a large contrasting color circle are accompanied by examples of the sought after animals. The difficulty increases as readers move from spotting 10 cats amongst the city dwellings, to dogs and horses in various colors, shapes and sizes, until finally searching amongst a moonlight illustration for 6 baby owls, 5 hooting owls, and 10 owls that are still sleeping. Finding both the hooting and sleeping owls required multiple searches for this reviewer. Ljungkvist cleverly engages readers in her intricate artwork as they pour over the illustrations finding the subtle differences in the animals’ coloring or shading, position or stance. An excellent addition to picture puzzle books.
D-Day Invasion Of Normandy
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Capek, Michael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
The D-Day Invasion is one of the most celebrated and mourned events of WWII. Credited as the major turning point in the WWII leading to the war’s ending, it was also one of the deadliest battle with many thousands of soldiers killed while landing on the beaches of Normandy in the quest to reclaim the country from Germany. Details of the build up to D-Day on both sides and the deceptive practices of the Allied forces in preparation for the day elaborate on the very complex and detailed plans drawn up for over a year prior to the assault. Despite a whole host of mishaps and unfavorable weather, General Eisenhower gave the orders to commence the invasion and the historic battle commenced. Historical photographs, in depth informational boxes, timeline, source notes, glossary, recommended resources and places to visit and an index provide additional support for accessing information. Part of a superb collection of 10 books on of WWI, the Essential Library of WWII is just that – essential. Recommended for 6th – 12th grade libraries, I would also give to 4th & 5th grade WWII buffs willing to tackle the heavier text and depth of subject matter.
World War Ii Espionage
Essential Library/abdo [Essential Library/abdo]
Amidon, Marcia Lusted
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
June 05, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Uncovering all the ways espionage, codes, saboteurs, double agents, deceptive operations, and resistance fighters contributed to winning the war makes for fascinating reading. An overview on the development of espionage during war and peacetime combined with some of the common techniques and equipment used in WWII provides readers with a solid background to delve into the organizations and people involved in spying. Did you know that Ian Fleming based many of the James Bond plots on his experiences spying during the war? Or that Josephine Baker was able to pick up intelligence while entertaining German soldiers? The success of Operation Mincemeat, Operation Fortitude South, breaking the Enigma code, and use of the Navajo Code Talkers are described in detail. Historical photographs, in depth informational boxes, timeline, source notes, glossary, recommended resources and places to visit and an index provide additional support for accessing information. Part of a superb collection of 10 books on of WWI, the Essential Library of WWII is just that – essential. Recommended for 6th – 12th grade libraries, I would also give to 4th & 5th grade WWII buffs willing to tackle the heavier text and depth of subject matter.
Piranhas : Built For The Hunt
First Facts/capstone Press [First Facts/capstone Press]
Gagne, Tammy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Built for the Hunt" series, this sturdy 24-page book explores the hunting prowess of the piranhas. Mind you, this isn't a book about the life cycle or habitat of the fish. It focuses on what makes it an effective predator. Readers learn about feeding frenzies, teeth, jaw pressure, group dynamics, and when piranhas are most dangerous. Each double-paged spread features a full-page photograph facing a paragraph or two of informative text, a fact box, and sometimes glossary words defined on the page on which they appear as well as in a glossary at the back of the book. There's also an index, bibliography, internet link, and two critical thinking questions. Students love all things dangerous and toothy and this book puts its emphasis on the stuff they find most fascinating. I'm sure it will be a popular library book.
Cultural Traditions In Argentina
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Morganelli, Adrianna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Cultural Traditions" series by Crabtree, this 32 page large format glossy paperback book examines some of the traditions of Argentina. From asados to tango, it introduces young readers to the unique cultures found in the country. Unfortunately it feels like this book was written after an internet search, rather than from any personal experience. Many of the holidays and foods mentioned are quite regional, but the implication is that they are nationally popular. Oddly, no mention is made of alfajores at all, nor of the large Greek population found in the country. A major mistake is found on page 19 where Rio de la Plata is translated as River Plate. Ummm, no. A better translation would be Silver River, or River of Silver. Having lived in Argentina, I found much here that used a very broad brush for an extremely rich culture. It's not all incorrect, it just leaves the reader with some false impressions. Bright color photographs accompany the text.
Inside Out Box Of Mixed Emotions
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 06, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
An early reader spin off of the Disney/Pixar's "Inside Out" film presents five little books, one each for the colorful characters that respond to life's challenges in Riley's brain aka "Mission Control." Joy, Sadness, Anger, Envy and Fear will be familiar to many young readers who have seen the film about a girl's move from Minnesota to California, and will enjoy the pictures and conversational style of text. Rather than using a restricted vocabulary, students will need to use that knowledge to stretch/guess rather than decode big words sprinkled throughout the character's 24 page tour of what makes them tick. These 5 small square HC books fit into a case in this colorful bit of marketing and reading/media. Given the film's clever casting of emotions as characters, this is a worthwhile addition to early elementary libraries.
How It Ends
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lo, Catherine
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
June 06, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
15-year-olds Jessie and Annie meet on the first day of school. Annie is new, introduces herself to Jessie, and they hit it off right away. Before Annie's arrival, Jessie was bullied by two girls, Larissa and Courtney. Now Jessie has Annie and vice versa; they quickly become BFFs. As the school year progresses, Annie befriends Larissa and Courtney, and tries to convince Jessie that she has misunderstood the two girls and should give them another chance. Annie also falls for Scott, Jessie's lab partner, and that romance fast becomes hot and steamy. Annie and Jessie's friendship starts to crumble. Jessie begins to suffer from her old anxiety problem and relies on drugs to help her stay calm. Annie gets pregnant and is rushed into a decision she doesn't know was right for her. So many issues come up in both girls' lives: betrayal, family disagreements, loss of a parent, abortion, social media drama. In the end, both Jessie and Annie make peace with each other and it seems like they will go back to being the BFFs they were in the beginning of the story. This tale is told in alternating chapters from Jessie's and Annie's point-of-view. I did not understand the title, How it Ends as the girls' friendship didn't end.
Puckster Plays The Hockey Mascots
TUNDRA BOOKS [TUNDRA BOOKS]
Nicholson, Lorna Schultz
Findley, Kelly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Puckster" series, devoted to young Canadian hockey fans, this is book #8 in the series. Puckster and his animal team have a special game lined up. They're playing the mascots from famous Canadian teams! The pressure is on and polar bear Puckster wants to impress. However that means he ends up being a puck-hog. His teammates are not happy. It's only when he decides to play as a team member that things go right. This is a paperback book that devoted hockey fans might find enjoyable, but it is really aimed for kids who live north of the border.
I Can Roar!
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Asch, Frank
Guillerey, Aurelie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Here's an interactive book for your toddler, but you'll need a mirror so they can truly appreciate it. The sturdy oversized board book comes with a big hole cut out all the way through. Readers are encouraged to put their faces in the hole and then do what that animal does--roar, stick our your tongue, meow, twitch your nose, etc. Each page contains a sentence such as "I can chew like a cow." The picture shows a cow with the face missing. Pop your toddler in and watch them giggle...but you're going to HAVE to have a mirror to really make it work. Or, you can use the camera on your phone. Probably the most fun would be in sharing the book with parent and then child putting faces to the hole. Consider the potential giggles!
Dragon's Best Friend
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Based on an episode of Disney's Doc McStuffins, this is a story of friendship. Stuffy the dragon is playing hide-and-seek with his friends at the park when a bouncy cutie patootie toy pet shows up. It doesn't seem to have an owner so they must take it home with them. Stuffy is at first annoyed by the exuberant critter, but soon he enjoys its company. An accident requires the help of Doc McStuffins, and a search for the owner brings brief suspense. Naturally all ends well. Soft illustrations accompany the text. Hardcover binding is poor and will not last. I'd recommend this only for fans of the series, and it would be best for home use.
American Crows
Pebble Plus/capstone Press [Pebble Plus/capstone Press]
Amstutz, Lisa J
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 06, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is a Pebble Plus book and you know what that means--a large-format book with crisp photographs that fill one page and spill over the gutter to meet a few sentences of simple yet informative text. American crows are the focus here. Readers learn where they live, what they eat, and a little about their appearance, behavior, social life and life cycle. Text features include a range map, table of contents, glossary, bibliography, website link3 critical thinking questions and an unnecessary index. My only quibble is that basically the same information is given on pages 4 and 12, about where these crows are found. This is part of the "Backyard Birds" series and will be a popular addition to easy nonfiction sections.
Field Guide To The Grumpasaurus
CLARION [CLARION]
Hemingway, Edward
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is just as it states--a field guide to the Badmoodicus grumpasauricus, more commonly known as the North American Grumpasaurus. It is a fearsome creature noted for massive overreactions to major tragedies such as broken toys. Approach with caution when the grumpasaurus is irate. Beware of making it do what it does not want to do. However, when properly cajoled this creature can be tamed. What makes the book fun are the whimsical illustrations showing a small angry dinosaur that turns into a young boy when his triggering incident is resolved. Throughout, readers can appreciate the viewpoint of the cat who has to put up with the vicissitudes of the grumpisaurus. As all of us have had to endure a grumpasaurus, whether large or small, so we get it, this is an amusing book to pull out...but it will not be enjoyed by the grumpasaurus while in the middle of a glorious grump.
More-Igami
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kleber, Dori
Karas, G. Brian
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Young Joey is an inveterate folder. He loves anything that folds--maps, accordions, tacos. When a mother comes to school and demonstrates origami Joey is immediately captivated. However, his first efforts are not very successful. Mrs. Takimoto tells him that to become an origami master he must have both patience and practice, but both are hard to come by. His family soon tires of him folding everything in sight. A local restaurant, however, lets him practice on napkins and he finds Mrs. Takimoto was right. This is a delightful story with fun watercolor and pencil illustrations. The underlying message that things take time to master is one all children need to learn.
Fingerprint Bugs
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Nuytten, Bobbie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
All ages
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Drawing books are always popular and this series that focuses on using fingerprints as the base of a drawing will be a hit with everyone but the parents who have to clean up inky fingerprints all over the house. The author provides a list of useful supplies and then explains how different parts of the finger provide different kinds of shapes. Young artists are then launched into the process that shows 3 or 4 steps from fingerprint to insect, and then a picture in which the insect is incorporated. These are cute, easy, and fun. However, do you really want children turning these pages as they practice the artwork? Hmmmm..... I would add one more item to the supply list--wet wipes.
Feathered And Fierce : Bald Eagle
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Calhoun, Kelly
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Guess What" series, this well-bound 24-page book features close-up photographs of different parts of the target animal, facing a single sentence of bold text on a bright-colored page. The text provides a hint. In the end, a picture of the whole animal is shown. readers should be able to guess the correct animal long before the last page. Still, this would be a fun choice for prediction and inference though the surprise is gone after the first reading.
Ten Pets : The Sound Of Short E
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Amoroso, Cynthia
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This sturdy 24-page book has big, adorable pictures of pets facing a single bold sentence of text about the picture that, naturally features words with the short e sound. A word list is included. Children will enjoy the pictures, and find success in the simple text. Sure, the book is slight, but most books focusing on a single word sound are, and the photographs will hold the attention of young readers.
Worms
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Friot, Bernard
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 07, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this import from France a young boy talks about how bored he is when his father invites executives from his company to dinner. Given the chance to fetch the salad bowls, the boy decides to mix things up by adding a worm to each salad. He then sits back and sees how each adult deals with the situation. Unfortunately he fails to consider that he, too, has a worm in his salad. This is a slight offering with a quirky sense of humor and bold illustrations with a 60's feel. There's not much here, but it is a good example of first-person narrative.
Lost In The Cave
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Law, Felicia
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The "Science to the Rescue" series consists of glossy larger paperback books that, in 32 pages, introduce a science concept, with the subtitle of "Can Science Save Your Life?" The books are excellent--well-written and extremely informative. The format, however, is unnecessary. In each book Joe and Dr. Bea go on an adventure. In this case they are spelunking in search of cave worms. Along the way the readers learns a lot about how caves are formed, different types of cave formations, cave animals, and noteworthy caves around the world. All nonfiction information is accompanied by beautiful crisp color photographs that fit the text perfectly. The story about Dr. Bea and Joe is illustrated. The thing is, in no book are they really in any danger nor does science actually save their lives. The storyline is fluff. The factual information in each of these books is exceptional--well-organized, clear, and interesting. They can stand on their own. I recommend the entire series.
Fresh Delicious : Poems From The Farmers' Market
Wordsong [Wordsong]
Latham, Irene
Moriuchi, Mique
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Here are all things fresh and delicious, tossed into your basket at the farmer's market. This collection of short poems features fruits and vegetables awash in simile and metaphor. Many of the poems could be used as riddles, saving the title and picture until after children guess its subject. All are a quick burst of fresh and amusing flavor.
How To Draw Dragons, Trolls, And Other Dangerous Monsters
Edge Books/capstone Press [Edge Books/capstone Press]
Sautter, A J
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Drawing books are always popular and drawing dragons, trolls, ogres and other monstrous creatures is sure to be a hit. This drawing book is not for the young or faint of heart, however. Not the subject matter so much as the difficulty of the projects. The book features 5 artists and each drawing project shows how to start with a basic armature and add details to create a finished product. However, anyone eying these products will realize there's a lot of skill involved in going from step one to the intended result. Dedicated young artists will put in the time, but those who just want an easy drawing project will quickly move on. The author includes "information" about each of the creatures featured here, and suggestions are made for adapting the final product into a unique picture. While there's nothing inappropriate here, I would recommend the book for secondary schools because of the skill level needed.
Fintastic Fishsitter
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
O'hara, Mo
Jagucki, Marek
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Now the Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is available in a picture book format. The green food loving zombie fish is in trouble. He's being pet-sat by a young girl, Sami, who has to try and thwart the eternal battle between the goldfish and the vampire kitten, Fang. Both pets use all their wiles to continue their battles. Sami is jumping from one disaster to another. Can she keep them both alive? This is a silly, amusing story with no moral whatsoever and big bold digital illustrations that will set children giggling. Hey, sometimes you have to read just for the fun of it!
Wet Cement : A Mix Of Concrete Poems
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Raczka, Bob
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This Junior Library Guild book is a wonderful selection of shape poems. The poet introduces the concept and then takes off with it, using every opportunity, even the poem titles, to play with words and letters and forms and pictures and concepts. These are clever poems. (My favorite kind.) Readers have to use their brains to winkle out the hidden meanings and recognize the poet's inner chuckle. The word pictures here are a pure delight. I'll be pulling this out during National Poetry Month and it's sure to be a hit with students.
No Lie, Pigs (And Their Houses) Can Fly! : The Story Of The
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Gunderson, Jessica
Bernardini, Cristian
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 08, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Here's another version of "The Three Little Pigs" as told by the wolf. Can he help it if he has a breathing disorder? His powerful panting has led to ridicule from his peers. He only wants to make friends. Is it his fault that the pigs have flimsy houses and that a tasty treat shows up unexpected when those houses collapse? The third pig is harder to reach, but a plop down the chimney and into a pot of hot water makes the now hairless wolf look a lot more "piggy." Soon his new friend teaches him to use his disability for good and all is well. This is a silly story with hilarious illustrations by Christian Bernardini. Is there a moral here? No, not really. I mean, the first two pigs do get eaten. However, the wolf does seem reformed in the end. Put this out for a compare and contrast and it should lead to some lively discussions.
Singing Superstar
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Jules, Jacqueline
Smith, Kim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Sofia Martinez is a young Latina with personality galore. She's not excited about most of her Christmas gifts, but her grandmother obviously knows Sofia well. A Superstar Sing Box! Does it get better than that? Soon Sofia's family tires of her microphone and her loud singing and she's forced to take her music on the road...the neighborhood road. Eventually she ends up with the same person who gave her the gift, who also gives her the gift of an audience. This is a short easy chapter book that has a nice mix of Spanish words added to the English, reflecting Sofia's heritage. The series would be a good choice to add more diversity to collections.
Puppy!
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Graves, Keith
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A young cave boy wants a pet. He's dragged a "puppy" home by its long, reptilian tail. This multicolored critter is hard to train, especially since it eats just about everything, including the table. Then the "puppy" gets sad. His crying brings a much larger version of the "puppy" and soon the pet is back with its family. Wait, what is the cave boy bringing back now? This is an exuberant romp with enthusiastic illustrations that really turn it into more of a simple graphic picture book. From the front cover--open it up to show the back to young audiences--to the hilarious ending this is a fun book that will set young audiences all a-chortle.
Lucy Tries Luge
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Bowes, Lisa
Hearne, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lucy is going to try the luge. This red-headed moppet has the outfit, the sled, and the supportive parents. But how will she do on the track? Splendidly, as it turns out. OK, there's not a lot of plot here, but the illustrations are vivid and enjoyable, and this is a great introduction to luge for youngsters. It would be a nice book to read just before the winter Olympics.
Hole Story Of The Doughnut
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Miller, Pat
Kirsch Vincent X.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Everyone loves a traditional doughnut, but where did that hole come from, anyway? This is the tale of Hanson Gregory who, as a ship's captain, had many noteworthy adventures. The thing for which he is best known, however, happened when he was a ship's cook. Those fried cakes he was serving were crispy on the outside, but the middle was a lead load in a sailor's stomach. But what would happen if he cut out that center BEFORE he fried them? The experiment was a success and a legend was born. Sure, there are more mythical tales, but isn't this one good enough? The book includes a bibliography, timeline, author's note, and a photograph of the captain himself. The watercolor illustrations are expressive and enjoyable. This is fun narrative nonfiction that might lead to a discussion of how other food might be "fixed."
Superhero Dad
NOSY CROW [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knapman, Timothy
Beardshaw, Rosalind
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Told in the first person, a young boy lauds his father. He's secretly a superhero, you know. He has super snoring, makes super breakfasts, and his jokes are super funny. He can even make monsters disappear! This is an enthusiastic homage to dads with digital illustrations filled with fun. (I especially like the bright red sweater.) This would lead into a wonderful writing assignment for children to describe how their parent or guardian is a superhero, and then they can provide evidence and illustrate. Wait, doesn't that meet an important standard?
Lovely Old Lion
ANDERSEN PRESS USA [ANDERSEN PRESS USA]
Jarman, Julia
Varley, Susan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 09, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lenny is a lion cub who loves his grandfather, the king. They have a close relationship, but now Grandpa is forgetting things. What's happening? King Lion's friends gather to share memories, but they can't stop the inevitable. This is a gentle story of a child dealing with a cherished adult suffering from dementia. Soft watercolor and ink illustrations are tender and loving. Sure this is bibliotherapy, but it is a way to approach the subject with young children that will open the path to discussion.
Bagels On Board
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Stuchner, Joan Betty
Whamond, Dave
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Bernstein family loves loves loves Betsy Brown's Baked Beans. Mind you, their dog, Bagels, is not allowed the beans themselves due to unfortunate side effects. He does, however, adore the tomato sauce that comes with them. When they win a cruise for an essay explaining their love of the product Bagels, alas, must be left behind...or must he? The dog manages to slip on board and becomes instrumental in helping the two kids solve a silly case of industrial sabotage. Who knew beans were so filled with intrigue and espionage? This is another funny, lightweight book in the Bagels Bernstein series that will appeal to readers transitioning to chapter books with its short chapters and occasional illustrations and kid humor.
Ghost Of Donley Farm
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Johnson, Jaime Gardner
Klein, Laurie Allen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A red-tailed hawk named Rebecca wonders about the rumors she's heard of a ghost at the old Donley farm. She decides to stay up past her bedtime and check things out. Imagine her surprise to encounter a barn owl named Bernard. The two had never crossed paths before because one is diurnal and the other nocturnal. Yet they have much in common. Each goes away with a greater understanding. This slightly anthropomorphized book straddles that elusive line between fiction and nonfiction that some choose to call narrative nonfiction. The book is clearly fiction, but the author has carefully and painstakingly stuffed it full of facts about habitat, diet, anatomy, and behavior for both types of birds. Lamentably, this greatly slows the flow of the slight storyline. The illustrations are somewhat static but have a beautiful line and delicate colors. Two pages at the back contain raptor fun facts and raptor adaptations. This is acceptable fare with the compare and contrast built sturdily right into the text.
Do You See What I See?
Flying Eye Books [Flying Eye Books]
Borten, Helen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
June 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in 1959, this book shows its age, yet the principles it teaches are so enduring that hardly matters. This is a book about art itself, at a child's level. The author introduces lines, shapes, and colors and shows how they can be put together to create different feelings. Vertical lines imply motion and height while horizontal ones convey peace and expanse. What about slants and curves? Lines are everywhere! Now consider how artists use shapes and integrate colors. This book is a perfect introduction to art for children, and would naturally lead into a many lessons about the different principles it teaches. It reminds me of teaching the elements of poetry and then showing children how they work to make a poem beautiful. This book shows the elements that go into making art compelling.
Circle
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Baker, Jeannie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Jeannie Baker is back with another book in which her extraordinary collage illustrations are the highlight. Readers will pore over every detail as the lyrical text tracks the migration of bartailed gotwits--birds who have the longest unbroken migration of any animal on the planet. Their journey, however, is disturbed as habitat is being destroyed. Shorelines where they once rested are now skyscrapers and cement. Even the bird sanctuary where the book begins and ends is not sacrosanct. Astute readers will note the sign saying "no dogs horses or vehicles" and also note the dogs, horses, and boats causing the birds to take flight from what should be their one sure home. There's a deep ecological message in this book, but also the story of cycles and change as we see a young boy in a wheelchair who, as the gotwits return, is casting aside crutches to curl his toes in the sand. He imagines himself in flight, like the birds he watches. An author's note provides additional information on the gotwits, and a map shows their extraordinary migratory patterns. This is a treasure of a book that will capture readers' eyes and hearts.
Little One
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Weaver, Jo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 10, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Sweet and expressive charcoal illustrations on textured paper are the highlight of this simple and lovely tale of a mother bear and her cub. Spring has them emerging into a world that is new to the cub. Everywhere there are things to see and absorb. Yet things keep changing as the seasons turn. There is much to learn--swimming, fishing, surviving. All too soon they are filling their bellies and returning to the den for a long winter's sleep. The large format book has pictures big enough for sharing and preschoolers will enjoy the simple story and loving relationship between mother and child. Pair it with "Blueberries for Sal" for a great storytime.
Dragonfly Kites
Fifth House [Fifth House]
Highway, Tomson
Flett, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
June 11, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Two brothers and their families spend long summer days in subsistence living in the northern lake country of Canada. Joe and Cody entertain themselves by various imaginative games like naming animals and found objects as friends as they enjoy a summer together with their parents at a Manitoba lakeside. Written by Cree playwright/poet Tomson Highway and illustrated by Julie Flett of Cree-Metis ancestry this bilingual English/Cree story is a celebration of simple childhood days spent in their geographically isolated but never dull summer days. Recommended for its gentle pace as well as authentic contemporary portrayal of First-Nations family life.
Toshi's Little Treasures
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Robert, Nadine
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 11, 2016
Seasholes, Craig L
Do you still enjoy picking up little treasures? Finding something magical in found objects seems to be something enjoyed by people (and crows, rats and other animals) world wide. This book from Kids Can was translated from France, with a little boy and his grandmother wander through a wetlands, city neighborhood, forest, farm lane,city park, and seaside picking up a dozen treasures from each place they stop. Large two page spreads in a simplified graphic style show the objects in the environments, then isolate them on the following pages in this "Can you find?" picture book perfect for young collectors. A lovely addition that beats the striped shirt and pants off (Where's) Waldo. AD+.
Let's Find Ads On Food Packages
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Schuh, Mari
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 11, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Consumer education is an interesting aspect of learning that is all too often ignored. This "First Step Nonfiction" book offers, in its 24 pages, a quick look at labels and packages and the ads that can be integrated into them. Is the packaging merely informative or is it persuasive? What does it use to get you to buy the product--color pictures? Promises about ease of use or nutritional value? What other things does the packaging advertise--movies, sports? As the book points out, it's smart to ask questions about ads. I imagine most consumers don't consider packaging as advertising but it is designed to sell a product. This is part of the "Learn About Advertising" series and would lead to interesting examinations of products, and discussions about advertising techniques. This is upper level thinking with real world applications.
Ten Of The Best Adventures In New Worlds
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure" series, this larger glossy-covered 24-page paperback features 10 stories of adventure. Each story is briefly told in two pages with illustrations and occasional maps. This book focuses on ten adventures in exploring new worlds--China, the Americas, Africa, and Australia. Readers get a brief glimpse of Marco Polo, Cortes, Pizarro, Champlain, La Salle, Clark, Livingston, Burton, Hedin and Burke. There is only room here for a taste, not a feast, but hopefully this will inspire readers to further research. The book includes a glossary and index.
Ten Of The Best Adventures In The Jungle
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure" series, this larger glossy-covered 24-page paperback features 10 stories of adventure. Each story is briefly told in two pages with illustrations and occasional maps. This book focuses on ten jungle adventures in the Americas, Africa, the East Indies, and Southeast Asia. Readers get a brief glimpse of expeditions for riches and knowledge, most of which ended in disaster and death. There is only room here for a taste, not a feast, but hopefully this will inspire readers to further research. The book includes a glossary and index.
Ten Of The Best Adventures In The Sky
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure" series, this larger glossy-covered 24-page paperback features 10 stories of adventure in the earliest days of aviation. Each story is briefly told in two pages with illustrations and occasional maps. Here you can read briefly about hot air balloons, dirigibles, the first in air travel, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, and even a sky dive from outer space. There is only room here for a taste, not a feast, but hopefully this will inspire readers to further research. The book includes a glossary and index.
Currents
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Smolik, Jane
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 12, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
In the mid 1800s, Bones, a young slave girl in Virginia, puts her birth document in a bottle and sets it in the James River. The bottle floats to the Isle of Wight in England, where Bess, a well-to-do girl who wants to be an explorer, finds it. She places a necklace in it and sets the bottle afloat. This time, it follows the current back to the U.S. to Boston. Mary Margaret, who finds the bottle, needs the money that the necklace brings at a pawnshop to support her ailing sister. Finally, the necklace is purchased and is returned to Bess in England. Each girl has her own separate book in the story with the dramas that unfold in their respective lives. I liked this story and couldn't wait to see how it all would be worked out. Not all loose ends were resolved, but enough of them were that it made for a satisfying ending. Many coincidences made the book hard to believe, but fans of historical fiction will enjoy reading about girls their own age in challenging times.
Ten Of The Best Adventures In Frozen Landscapes
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure" series, this larger glossy-covered 24-page paperback features 10 stories of adventure. Each story is briefly told in two pages with illustrations and occasional maps. This book focuses on ten adventures in the frozen lands near the North or South Poles. Most involve ill-fated expeditions for either knowledge or the chance to be "first" at something. The Arctic and Antarctic, however, are unforgiving. Most of the stories end in disaster and death whether by ship, balloon, sled, or airplane. The stories are fascinating, if brief. There is only room here for a taste, not a feast, but hopefully this will inspire readers to further research. The book includes a glossary and index.
Wetlands Inside Out
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Bow, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This larger, glossy-covered 32-page paperback book introduces young readers to wetlands. Part of the "Ecosystems Inside Out" series, it defines ecosystems and then wetlands. Food chains and webs, and the exchange of energy, is clearly explained. Then readers learn about specific types of wetlands--swamps, ponds and marshes, bogs and fens, estuaries, tidal flats and salt marshes. The West Siberian Plain, Florida Everglades, Pantanal, and Hudson Bay Lowlands are specifically highlighted. Artificial wetlands are also mentioned. Throughout, clear explanations are presented, examples are given, and some information about flora and fauna is included. There's even an activity as well as a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is surprisingly expansive for a short book and provides plenty of information that would be useful for report-writing, as well as crisp color photographs, maps and diagrams that illustrate key points.
Big Challenges That Animals Face
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Kalman, Bobbie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 12, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Part of the Big Science Ideas series from Crabtree Publishing, this 32-page volume takes a look at the major sources of danger to animals around the world: pollution from slash-and-burn fires, global warming, poaching, humans spreading disease to animals, etc. The book provides a brief overview of many different challenges and asks readers to think about ways they can help. Each chapter is a two-page spread. Photos have captions, so that even young readers can easily follow the text. There is a Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, and suggestions for videos to watch and an Earth Ranger group to join. I like the look and price ($8.95) of this book, but would need the series to be in a library binding ($19.95) if I were to purchase it for my library.
Hansel & Gretel & Zombies : A Graphic Novel
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Harper, Benjamin
Cano, Fernando
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Far Out Fairy Tales" series, this is a new take on "Hansel and Gretel." They and their family are hungry zombies. Their parents hatch a plot to dress them up like ordinary lost children. When helpful tourists return them home...DINNER! The witch is surprised to find children uninterested in her house of sweets. She thinks she's the predator, but she's on the other end of the food chain. In the end they find they have too much in common to be consumed by one another. Crisp illustrations go along with the snappy and humorous text. This is a fun graphic novel picture book that is just gross enough to appeal to those kids who adore such stuff.
Dear Yeti
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Kwan, James
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
June 12, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Two young hikers are out seeking the elusive yeti, but they just keep missing him. They leave him letters without success. When the children get lost, however, and are attacked by a bear, it is the letter-reading yeti who saves them. The last letter is from him to his seekers. This is a simple story. The illustrations are particularly note-worthy, filling the pages with interesting shapes and shadows. Teachers might use this for a fun letter-writing unit as they send students off to find their own mythical critters.
Ten Of The Best Adventures On The Seas
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
West, David
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the "Ten of the Best: Stories of Exploration and Adventure" series, this larger glossy-covered 24-page paperback features 10 stories of adventure. Each story is briefly told in two pages with illustrations and occasional maps. This book focuses on ten adventures that involve the sea. Here are mutineers, pirates, explorers, and castaways. The book includes Vikings, Columbus, Magellan, Sir Frances Drake, Henry Hudson, William Dampier, Alexander Selkirk, Captain Cook, the mutiny on the Bounty, and Kon-Tiki. There is only room here for a taste, not a feast, but hopefully this will inspire readers to further research. The book includes a glossary and index.
Journey Through The Solar System
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Cole, Joanna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
June 13, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Ms. Frizzle and company are off on an adventure through the solar system, with a twist. This time it's in 3-D1 Glasses are included. The glossy pages introduce the planets, the sun, moons, asteroids, dwarf planets, and comets. There's not a lot of kid-action in this book as the focus is on presenting clear facts and providing a general overview. This is an adequate book for the purpose, but the 3-D glasses make it a better choice for homes than libraries.
Two-Face Face-Off
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Sutton, Laurie S
Vecchio, Luciano
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
2nd grade to 4th grade
June 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Batman and Robin are off to the Arkham Asylum. Two-Face is causing trouble. When he escapes they have to figure out how to recapture him, and his minions. Looking for twin or double events in the city seems to be the best bet. However, when they have to split up it puts them both in danger. Yes, this is an easy chapter book. Yes, it stars popular characters and occasional color illustrations have a nice graphic-novel feel. However, the story is not particularly compelling and the writing is not that gripping. This should be a more exciting book than it is.
Place For Frogs
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Stewart, Melissa
Bond, Higgins
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
June 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The same author/illustrator who brought us "A Place for Bats", "A Place for Birds," "A Place for Butterflies," and more is back with a focus on frogs. This is a winning series that brings young readers' attention to ecological challenges being faced by different animals. What challenges do frogs face? Loss of habitat, pollution, climate change, human interaction and pet interference all have an impact. The author's simple primary text on each double page spread presents a problem and then offers a solution. The accompanying fact box provides an example, using a specific type of frog. The format offers teachers a chance to read the problem, allow students to clearly define it, read the example and have students come up with ways the problem would be solved. They can check their answer against the author's. The makes for a highly interactive book. Of course along the way students also learn quite a bit about frogs and the colorful, expressive illustrations do much to extend the text. Even the end papers inform, as they include range maps. This is a winner.
Aliens From Earth : When Animals And Plants Invade Other Eco
Peachtree Publishers [Peachtree Publishers]
Batten, Mary
Doyle, Beverly J.
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 15, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The subtitle says it all. What happens when non-native flora and fauna are introduced to new ecosystems? All too often the result is bad--occasionally catastrophic. Sometimes the introductions are accidental. Sometimes they are thoughtless. Other times they are part of a plan that turns out poorly. Regardless, once the cat is out of the bag it is often impossible to stuff it back in. This book offers a cogent overview of the topic, and specific examples. The illustrations show native, alien, endangered, and extinct animals in the different ecosystems, while the text explains how these animals and/or plants interact. The author points out that plants and animals have always traveled, but the speed at which this migration now takes place does not allow for native plants and animals to adapt. This is a global problem with no easy solution and, probably, no solution at all. How we handle it is one of our biggest environmental challenges. This is an interesting, well-written book on a fascinating topic. It merits a place in your library.
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel
CLARION [CLARION]
Dumas, Firoozeh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 15, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
In 1978, Zomorod, aka Cindy, and her family have already moved four times and she's only in sixth grade. They moved from Iran to Compton, CA, back to Iran, back to Compton, and now to another town in California. Her family has moved into a condo and the reader learns that Zomoro is unofficially the translator for her family. Father is an engineer contracted to work in a US oil company and mom stays at home. Cindy experiences the usual social and emotional ups and downs of middle school, but life becomes extremely difficult when the politics in Iran heat up and many Americans show their prejudice against Iranians living in the US. The Shah is overthrown and Khomeini takes charge, throwing modern Iran into turmoil. Then, American hostages are taken and held for 444 days. As a result of what is happening in Iran, Cindy's father is laid off from his job and her mother is depressed. Eventually, neighbors and friends help the family back onto their feet, and it looks like the family will avoid having to move back to the home country. I enjoyed this partly autobiographical story, but know that it would take a special reader to work through the 400+ pages that include pretty heavy political, emotional, and social information.
Woodford Brave
Calkins Creek [Calkins Creek]
Jones, Marcia Thornton
Whipple, Kevin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
June 15, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Woodford is a name synonomous with "bravery" in the town of Harmony. Cory Woodford's grandfather was a soldier killed in World War I and a statue of him presides over the town park. Presently, in 1943, Cory's father is fighting on the frontlines in Europe. Cory feels the burden upon him to be brave, to live up to what he thinks the men in his family have been and are. Cory is faced with several challenges: his best friend makes friends with a boy who used to be a common enemy; a new girl moves into town and is better than the boys at baseball and building go-carts; a German neighbor is moving around at night suspiciously; and Cory finds that he is just not all that brave. When sad news hits his family, Cory does finds his own superpower and true friends, and he discovers something about himself that makes him reconsider his prejudice against the Germans. A really lovely part of this book is when Cory writes letters to his father, including his own comic strip with the Mighty Space Warrior and his fearless fighting companion, the Mighty Echo. The comic adds a rich dimension to the story. One part of the book did not connect for me: The comic strip and advanced vocabulary in it do not match young Cory's character.
Mage Of Trelian
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Knudsen, Michelle
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Ok, this actually goes from 4th grade to adult, but that wasn't an option on the menu. At last! At last! The final book in the Trelian series! The author left her readers falling over a cliff at the end of the last book but, thankfully, the landing found in this final book in the trilogy was worth the wait. Apprentice mage Calen has some unusual magical abilities, which is probably why the dark mage, Krelig, blackmailed him into leaving behind all he loved to become the apprentice to evil. Calen's goal was to save those he loved. He learns much from the dark mage about his own powers and abilities, but longs for home. Krelig is gathering and training an army of mages. In the meantime Princess Meg and her dragon are training for war to protect the kingdom of Trelian, and good mages gather as well. When Calen escapes he and Meg may be the deciding factors in the final battle. This is a well-conceived, well-written fantasy series with delightful characters and plenty of action. I highly recommend it.
Owls! : Strange And Wonderful
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Pringle, Laurence
Henderson, Meryl
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 17, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Laurence Pringle is a master when it comes to nonfiction and in this book his clear and interesting informational text is accompanied by gorgeous and expressive artwork by Maryl Henderson. While this is a 32-page picture book format, it contains a surprising amount of information about owls. Readers learn a little history of owls and then learn about various species, their ranges, habitats, anatomy, diet, behavior, and life cycle. The labeled illustrations clearly show the different types of owls, and other illustrations show how their skeleton fits into their bodies, and other interesting anatomical features. It is all quite fascinating. The book ends with an excellent glossary, bibliography, index, and website list. This is exceptional nonfiction that merits a place in any library serving children.
The Alchemist's Theorem: Sir Duffy's Promise
Thomson-Shore [Thomson-Shore]
Chiavetta, Margaret R.
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
June 19, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Sir Duffy, an alchemist, has the Putrid's Heart, which is coveted by the Advanced Disciplines members (opposing group to those that Sir Duffy follows). The goal is to transport the Putrid's Heart to the Great Lady before the AD's can get their hands on it. Mendel, Sir Duffy's assistant, is a boy very different from his classmates (he has left school and no one noticed) and has a father who abuses him. Duffy loves Mendel and cherishes the very qualities that make him different; in fact, Duffy has enrolled Mendel in alchemy school for the following year. Magical creatures and symbols abound in this story: talking rabbits, carnivorous horses, the "canny" class of animals that cannot be eaten pegasi, and the alchemy star. I love the way the author fluently weaves these wondrous creations into the story. The drawback is that there is no compelling human/animal drama that moves the story forward. The book reads mainly as one adventure (or misadventure) after another.
Infatuate
HARCOURT CHILDRENS BOOKS [HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY]
Agresti, Aimee
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
June 27, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Haven, Lucas, and Dante, angels-in-the-making and closely bonded friends, have just graduated from high school one semester early. Now that they have some time on their hands, they know they have to go somewhere to fight another battle with the devils. They volunteer in the post Hurricane Katrina clean-up and re-build under Connor who has recruited Haven. It turns out that Connor has gone around the country recruiting angels to fight the devils who have become quite a messy problem in New Orleans. Lucian, who Haven loved in the first book, returns, but this time he wants Haven to save him from Hell. Haven has her hands full, though, already battling Devils, trying to hang on to her new boyfriend, all the while practicing her levitation and alligator-escaping methods. What will Haven's role be in Book Three? I can't wait to read it!
Girl In The Tower
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Schroeder, Lisa
Ceccoli, Nicoletta
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
June 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In a style slightly reminiscent of George MacDonald we have a fantasy story about a young girl and her mother imprisoned in a castle tower. The ersatz queen is actually a witch who has enchanted the kingdom. One thing her magic cannot do, however, is make her beautiful. For that she needs a hair from the head head of a young girl with particular features and of a particular age, and a hummingbird's feather. When a baby girl is born to a minstrel woman in the castle the queen sees a chance to gain her first ingredient. The hummingbirds she brings from afar become the little girl's friend. Her father has been made to forget. Their life in the tower is hard, but the girl and her mother live through their imaginations and on the slim rations they are allowed. What will happen when the girl comes of age, however? This is a gently sweet chapter book.