Reviews for month


All About Stems
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Throp, Claire
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
From All About Plants series is a book with chapters about what plants are, what plants need to grow, what are stems, types of stems, stems as food, and why plants need stems. Pictures are labeled and a three word glossary page. Index. Library reinforced binding. Questions and suggested activities for parents and teachers to use before and after reading.
I Can Make A Truck
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Issa, Joanna
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
To be found in the Dewey sections of 745.5 in nonfiction," I can make a truck" starts with what is needed to make a cab & trailer with labeled and quantity of parts. Step by step directions with when to "ask for adult help" boxes. Older students would be able to complete much on their own but younger kids will find working with an adult or older sibling more successful. Picture glossary with 4 bolded words. Suggested books for further reading and access code to the FactHound.com webpage. Index. Library reinforced binding. Good gift for following directions to enhance the creativeness in a child.
Dinosaur Parade
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY]
Halpern, Shari
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 02, 2016
Williams, Karen I.
For the dinosaur lovers is the colorful yet simple book about the different dinosaurs. Boy with a box of toy dinosaurs starts a parade of the creatures with a brief fact about the various dinosaurs. End pages and covers list the dinosaurs with a way of pronouncing each name and a little more information about each. Dust jacket proclaims "Reinforced Binding" but one inch stitching can be seen. Good gift for the young dinosaur lover.
ASK AMY GREEN : BRIDESMAID BLITZ
CANDLEWICK PRESS [WALKER & COMPANY]
WEBB, SARAH
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 04, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Amy Green is a typical Irish teenager dealing with family and friends. In this entry in the series her boyfriend is coping with his mother's cancer. Her mother is about to marry her live-in boyfriend. Her father's new wife gives birth, and Amy visits Paris. That actually sounds rather grim, when you see it all laid out. However, the truth is that this series is delightful realistic fiction with a strong main character, typical teen woes, and a good sense of humor. Sure, there's a lot of Irish slang here, but that just adds to the flavor. I enjoy the whole series and they would be a great addition to middle school libraries.
Secret Language Of Sisters
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Rice, Luanne
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
A good read-alike for "If I Stay" and also "Out of My Mind" Tilly and Roo are sisters. A car accident while texting sends one of them to the hospital in a coma and leaves the other feeling incredibly guilty about the accident. However, Roo's coma is actually something else and she desperately struggles to communicate with the hospital staff and her family. While this is definitely a book with a message about texting while driving, it will hold high appeal for teen readers.
Deadly 7
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Jennings, Garth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Nelson's older sister Celeste disappears on a class trip to Spain, so Nelson is sent to stay in London with his eccentric Uncle Pogo while his parents go to Spain. Uncle Pogo is a plumber and is working on fixing a leak at St. Paul's cathedral and he enlists Nelson to help him. During their work, Nelson discovers a hidden workshop that had belonged to Christopher Wren and he also inadvertently sets loose his own 7 deadly sins. While this sounds quite serious so far, this book has a lot of humor, including the illustrations of the 7 sins. No one can see them except Nelson and while they are each a sin, they also are determined to help Nelson find his sister. Could be useful as a transition book between Wimpy Kid and books with no illustrations. Lots of humor, action and adventure, plus great illustrations.
Disappearance Of Ember Crow
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kwaymullina, Ambelin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
In this world, children with special powers are Illegal. Book 1 is about their detainment and rescue. This sequel is about a girl, Ashala Wolf, who has the power of Sleepwalking. Unfortunately, her powers are still quite erratic. But when she hears that her friend Ember is missing, she knows that she needs to figure it out to help her friend and to help maintain the newly restored peace in their land.
Immortal Crown
Shadow Mountain [Shadow Mountain]
Merrill, Kieth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Book 1 in the Saga of Kings series. Centuries ago, there were 13 stones in a crown that would make one immortal. The stones have been scattered over the ages, but now there are three people in a desperate search for the stones - some with good intentions and some with evil intentions. Lots of characters to track and a somewhat convoluted storyline make this a book for higher level readers, preferably with a strong background in fantasy fiction.
Apollo : The Brilliant One
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
O'connor, George
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
The 8th graphic novel in The Olympians series. The muses tell the story of Apollo. Includes an autho's note, a brief synopsis about Apollo including symbols, sacred animals, plants, etc., also a brief synopsis of Asklepios the greatest healer, a section entitled G(r)eek Notes, a brief synopsis of the muses, discussion questions, a bibliography, and several suggestions for further reading for both younger and older audiences. My middle school students really enjoy this series. *Subtle reference to bisexuality in Apollo's relationships
Far From Fair
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Arnold, Elana K
Salerno, Steven
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Life isn't fair and Odette is making a list of all the things in her life that fall into this category. Some of those things include having Rex for a brother and getting the wrong dog when her parents finally get her one. However, she finds out that there are a lot bigger things in life that aren't fair, such as a very sick grandmother. A sweet but predictable read.
Pete Milano's Guide To Being A Movie Star
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Greenwald, Tommy
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Part of the Charlie Joe Jackson series; great read-alike for Wimpy Kid fans Pete Milano, one of Charlie Joe Jackson's buddies is spotted by a talent scout and is asked to audition for a part in a new movie. Pete details the whole process with lots of humor plus illustrations to help clarify things.
Possibility Of Now
POINT SIGNATURE [POINT SIGNATURE]
Culbertson, Kim
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Mara has always been a really good student with dreams of being the valedictorian of her class and getting into a top-rated college. However, when she freaks out during calculus and rips up her exam and another student catches it on video and it goes viral, these plans somehow don't look quite as realistic as they used to. Mara convinces her mom to let her go live with her ski bum dad in Tahoe for a while to get some perspective and get things back together. While in Tahoe, she makes some new friends, learns to ski, and starts to realize that sometimes it is more important to live in the now instead of always looking towards the future.
Titans
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Scott, Victoria
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
For fans of Stiefvater's Scorpio Races: Astrid lives in Detroit, a slightly futuristic Detroit that has fallen even further into bankruptcy and despair than it is currently. One of the things that gives the people in the neighborhood entertainment is an illegal horse racing track and the gambling that occurs. But the horses that race there are not your usual horses - they are mechanical horses and Astrid is completely intrigued by them. She would give anything to ride one of them, to race one of them, because if she could and if she could win, she could pay off her father's gambling debts and they won't have to worry about losing their house. LOVE the horses, especially Padlock. Great setting, great premise. Very enjoyable read.
Hero Two Doors Down : Based On The True Story Of Friendship
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Robinson, Sharon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Stephen lives in Brooklyn and is a huge fan of the Dodgers. He and his dad bond over baseball and model airplanes. When Jackie Robinson moves in 2 doors away, Stevie is over the moon and the two families become good friends. Written by Jackie Robinson's daughter and based on true events and people. Photos at the end are a nice finishing touch. It's a sweet story and has a lot to say about acceptance of those who are different from you whether it is race, religion, etc.
Key To Extraordinary
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Lloyd, Natalie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
A sweet story by the author of "A Snicker of Magic." Lloyd continues to imbue a bit of magic into her stories and fans of Snicker will also enjoy this tale. Emma lives with her grandmother, Blue, and her older brother, Topher. They live in a small town/village and run a cafe right next to a graveyard. Emma gives cemetery tours and dreams of finding her destiny as the next in a line of extraordinary women in her family. While searching for her destiny, she makes a new friend and with him and her lifelong BFF, they must keep the cafe from being sold.
Save Me A Seat
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Weeks, Sarah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Told in alternating voices of Joe and Ravi. Ravi has just moved to the US from India while Joe has always lived in this town. Since Joe's friends have moved away, it seems like he and Ravi could make a friendship work. Each is convinced the other is too different, however. The cover makes it look like it should have humorous content, but it does not. It's a pretty serious book about bullying, racism, and acceptance. It is a book with a message and the message is not subtle, but for the most part the story is compelling enough to draw the reader in anyway.
Darkest Hour
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Richmond, Caroline Tung
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Lucie is 16-years-old and is an undercover agent for the Covert Ops, a female spy group trying to take down the Nazis during WWII. Her brother was killed in North Africa so she is determined to do whatever it takes to avenge his death and stop Hitler and his armies. A terrible plot that could change the course of the war is discovered and Covert Ops must stop it from happening. Great cover art. Premise is good, but execution was disappointing. None of the characters was particularly likable, most of the plot was quite predictable, and many things were also unbelievable.
Read Me Like A Book
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Kessler, Liz
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 05, 2016
Dame, Anne
Ashleigh has lots of drama and she's really self-centered. It's quite likely that those two things are related?! She has school issues, boyfriend issues, friend issues, family issues... And then she starts falling in love with her young, intriguing, challenging, encouraging (female) English teacher. * I just have to say that I mostly appreciate how the teacher/student angle was handled - and I'll leave it at that.
Escaping Peril
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Sutherland, Tui T
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 05, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Peril has firescales, which prevent the dragon from any close relationships, as she has a tendency to burn other dragons to a crisp. Her moral compass is a little askew, after serving as Queen Scarlett's assassin for many years, but now she's trying to change. It's not easy, however. Murder is such a simple solution to basic problems--just eliminate them! Her new friends, however, are being threatened by the renegade Queen Scarlet and Peril decides to take off with...could he be a friend?...a muddragon named Turtle. If she finds and kills the evil queen surely that will seal her friendship with Clay and the others, right? Peril has to do a lot of growing up, and make some major life changes to become true to herself. This is a wonderful addition to the "Wings of Fire" series. Peril's voice is so well-developed and so amusing in its murderous tendencies, readers aren't sure whether to cheer for her or not. Can she overcome a rough upbringing and make the right choices? if not, who will die? This is a fun book that fans of the series will embrace.
Isabella For Real
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Palatini, Margie
Bean, Johnathan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 06, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
6th grader Isabella lives with her large and eccentric Italian family in Jersey. Her actress (and wealthy) aunt decides that Isabella would do better at an upscale private girls' school, so that is where she ends up. Her goal is to make friends, of course, so when three girls approach her and think Isabella is her aunt's daughter, and therefore rich, famous, and connected, a major mistaken-identity farce ensues. It's a cute storyline but relies too heavily on knowledge of the east coast way of life. Characters are many and varied and some are quite odd. The chapters are relayed in segments of time, down to the seconds, which didn't seem necessary. LeUyen Pham draws the full page or two comics that accompany the story. A sequel is surely coming.
Little Boo
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Wunderli, Stephen
Zeltner, Tim
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 07, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
This 28-page board book version of the 2014 picture book seems to be exactly the same except for size and page thickness. In the fall garden a little pumpkin seed tries to scare a leaf, a grub and finally a snowflake by saying, “Boo,” to each, but is sad when none is scared. The friendly wind advises it to be patient and wait for the appropriate time for scaring. The wind then blows soil over the seed to keep it warm until it awakens from a long sleep to the sun’s warmth. Even as it’s growing into a sprout and vine it is still unsuccessful in scaring a boot, shovel or watering can. It’s proud of how big it’s getting, but not even the bucket, bees or grasshopper are yet scared of its “boo.” The wind continues to suggest patience and that the correct time is growing near as it blossoms with flowers followed by little green fruit that turn into a big round orange pumpkin. When this pumpkin has been carved into a lit jack o’lantern the successful booing begins by scaring the cat and trick-or-treaters, and is congratulated by its friend the wind. The life cycle of the pumpkin seed and the theme of patience will be enjoyed by the young who can sit through this much text of pleasant language and warm color illustrations.
Pout-Pout Fish Undersea Alphabet : Touch And Feel
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 07, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Colorful Pout-Pout Fish with its shiny purple rings and spots on its light teal body is included for the letter P in this alphabet book featuring sea creatures. Though Touch and Feel is highlighted on the front of this decent sized board book, on any double page spread there is usually only one such item and many times that could be just shiny or raised. The sea animals are both expected (clam, dolphin, jellyfish) and unexpected (isopod, lantern fish, queen conch). The larger format, the bright coloring, the fun bulging eye balls, the color of the letter matching the color of the written term, are all appealing aspects of this book that should be enjoyed by the intended audience and their adult readers.
Gladiator's Victory
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Hulme-Cross, Benjamin
Rinaldi, Angelo
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 09, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
One of the first four titles in the The Warrior Heroes series by Benjamin Hulme-Cross is the story of two young brothers, the elder, an athlete and the younger a "nerd" who time travel releasing ghosts of ancient warriors unable to rest because something in their past needs to change. The brothers, Arthur and Finn, are sent to ancient Rome to convince a gladiator to fight for his freedom, escaping certain death. Arthur ends up in the gladiator's school and has to survive and escape along with convincing Marcus to escape and join Spartacus's rebellion while Finn is taken by a powerful, conniving Roman Senator as a slave. Danger, intrigue and mayhem follow. The stories have enough action and adventure to appeal to a boys love of warriors while the background information is well researched and as accurate as is possible within the context of the tale. This title will especially appeal any reader interested in ancient Rome.
Lion
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Stone, Jeff
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 09, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Lion is book 2 from the The Five Ancestors Out of the Ashes series, taking place 350 years after the original Five Ancestors series. Ryan Vanderhausen and friends try mountain bike racing where Ryan's disastrous race leads them to road bike racing. Ryan, Phoenix and Jake along with Ryan's new friend Hu Die head for California to train with Ryan's cousin Peter in addition to wean himself off of a "dragon bone" addiction. Things get interesting as they hear about bikers dropping dead and posts on a biking blog lead to the arrival of an unwelcome visitor and Peter and Jake are kidnapped. This could appeal to Kung Fu and bike racing enthusiasts, but it would help if they reader is familiar with the original Five Ancestors stories.
Keep Dancing, Katie
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Manushkin, Fran
Lyon, Tammie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 09, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Another in the early chapter book series Katie Woo. Katie declares that she is a "fabulous dancer". She spun fast and leaped high, "nobody could dance like Katie." That was until a new girl joined their class, then it was Mattie who spun the fastest and leapt the highest. Katie doesn't like the competition and doesn't always make the best choices. When it is really important Katie chooses to do the right thing and realizes that she likes dancing with Mattie. Young readers will connect with Katie and her struggle with competition. The large type and abundance of white space around the type will enable beginning chapter readers to continue. The sweet illustrations by Tammie Lyon enhance the text and will attract all the little girls who love to dance.
Writing With Rosie : You Can Write A Story Too
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Giff, Patricia Reilly
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 09, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Giff has written a step-by-step guide for wannabe writers. She uses her own writing format beginning with a chapter encouraging the reader to write. She starts with characters then movies on to setting, the problem and ways the character might approach the problem to find a solution. Talking directly to the reader she encourages, offers insight when writer's block happens and adds a touch of fun and humor as he talks about her dog Rosie as she tries to write. Fun and well written, fans of Patricia Reilly Giff may enjoy this one. Teachers will be able to use it to introduce writing parts of the story, but may not find a wide audience in the library.
Mighty Murphy
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Sateren, Shelley Swanson
Melmon, Deborah
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 09, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
In the Adventures at Hound Hotel series, a kennel run by the Wolfe family is the center of the story. The parents run the posh boarding service, and the young twins Alfie and Alfreeda help out with chores such as feeding, walking, and brushing the dogs. Each book in the series features a different breed of dog. This particular story stars Murphy, the Rottweiler. Mother has agreed never to board Murphy again, but when his owner gets in a bind Murphy ends up at the Wolfe's again. The twins respect how powerful Murphy is and how much he hates Daisy, the cow next door, and they find a way to work with this Rottweiler's strengths to gain his trust. Funny, yet full of facts about Rottweilers, I think this is a definite purchase for the "easy chapter books" shelf.
Poppy Pickle
TEMPLAR [TEMPLAR]
Yarlett, Emma
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 11, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
A wooly mammoth with a monocle? A chimp playing a cello? All sorts of outrageous things exist in Poppy Pickle's imagination...which often gets her into trouble. One day, after an incident with a flying cat and her father's head, Poppy is sent upstairs to clean her room, but instead of tidying up she starts imagining all kinds of incredible animals and things and what's even more incredible is they start to appear in her bedroom! Of course, her room is soon overrun with creatures and Poppy has to figure out how to make them disappear. This entertaining ode to the overactive imagination will delight young readers and have them on the edge of their seats wondering how Poppy will get out of her most daunting pickle yet.
How Do Dinosaurs Stay Friends?
BLUE SKY [BLUE SKY]
Yolen, Jane
Teague, Mark
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 12, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
What would you do if you got in a fight with your best friend? Would you call him names or spread rumors about him or ruin his favorite toy? Or perhaps, like the dinosaurs in this book, you'll realize that apologizing with a thoughtful note or plate of homemade cookies yields better results. Young readers will enjoy the short lines of rhyming text and large, bold illustrations. Each dinosaur is subtly identified by name along their body, making this an educational, as well as entertaining story about forgiveness and friendship
Maybe Something Beautiful : How Art Transformed A Neighborho
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Campoy, F Isabel
Lopez, Rafael
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 13, 2016
Evey, Kay
This book is based on a true story of how the murals in East Village in the town of San Diego, California came to be. Rafael and Candace Lopez founded the Urban Art Trail to bring people together in the neighborhood to create art. This book is illustrated by the artist Rafael Lopez who inspired the art work and the development of the community that has brought scholarships and artwork to neighborhoods throughout the United States. The story is a fictionalized account of how the work started from a child's perspective. The three pages about the author and artist at the end of the book includes actual photographs of the work as well as the people that worked to bring the ideas to life. A great introduction to building community and working to better a neighborhood for the young and old.
Maggie And Michael Get Dressed
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Fleming, Denise
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 13, 2016
Evey, Kay
Maggie is the dog that Michael decides to dress first while he is getting ready for school in the morning. He asks Maggie which shirt and socks he should wear and promptly puts them on the dog until Mom asks if he is ready and then he is dressed in the clothes that Maggie had been dressed in. Maggie plays the day away with the clothes Michael did not wear until Michael comes home to play with her. Denise's illustrations are her signature liquid paper pulp handmade paper designs that become the basis for the book and then typeset for printed pages.
Bear And Bunny
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Pinkwater, Daniel
Hillenbrand, Will
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 13, 2016
Evey, Kay
Another story about Bear and Bunny, two best friends who think the other is just a smaller version of themselves. They talk about different kind of pets, what they eat and how to care for one. They end up with a frog they think is a kitty but it loves them and so the friends now have a pet. The illustrations are soft pastel drawings with watercolors and other mixed media.
Baby Turtles
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Baby Turtles is part of the "Blastoff! Readers by Scholastic. Large print, excellent photos, bold print and text features make this a good book for primary students. Includes Table of Contents, index, glossary and recommended websites and more.
Canada Geese
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
BORGERT-SPANIOL, MEGAN
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
"Canada Geese" is part of the "North American Animals Blastoff! Readers" series. This book contains more text than other Animal "Blastoff! Reader" books, but has the same good photo selection, bold print and text features. Information seems more random than previously reviewed books, but it may be useful in learning about animals in our Pacific Northwest region.
Pomeranians
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Brown, Domini
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Pomeranians is one of 18 of the "Awesome Dogs Blastoff! Readers" series by Scholastic. Excellent photos, maps, label, ,bold print and other text features make this a book that K-6 will want to read. Includes Table of Contents, index, and glossary.
One, Two, Three, Mother Goose
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Opie, Iona
Wells, Rosemary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 14, 2016
Evey, Kay
Twelve Mother Goose rhymes are delightfully illustrated by Rosemary Wells with watercolor, inks and mixed media. Many are very common and will be very familiar to the reader as they are read to the very young in this sturdy board book. A few lesser known rhymes are included for variety. Sure to be a delight at story time. Intended as a lap book..
Shakespeare : Investigate The Bard's Influence On Today's Wo
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Diehn, Andi
Carbaugh, Samuel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
"Shakespeare: Investigate the Bard's Influence on Today's World" is a book that can be used by teachers to help middle school students make connections to Shakespeare's works, and for high school students to read (in bits and pieces), making connections on their own. There is a small amount of graphic novel approach to the book, dispersed throughout the book, with 2 characters going back in time to meet Shakespeare and to find modern connections to Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream. But it is mostly text: question and answer of how to set a plot, character development, story ideas, etc. Author relates to current movies, famous art, and classical music. Table of Contents, timeline, index, glossary QR Codes are included.
Cat Knit
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Grant, Jacob
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 14, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Cat has a new friend who is bright and rolly. His name is Yarn. But when Yarn is changed into a scratchy, uncomfortable sweater (knitted by Girl) Cat thinks it is no fun at all. In the end, friends are friends no matter what. Illustrations give meaning to this simple story and all ages will enjoy (especially knitters).
Little Bot And Sparrow
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Parker, Jake
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 15, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
In this book, the illustrations, text, tone and even end papers, ... come together in this emotionally satisfying picture book. It is about the friendship of a cast-off robot and a bird. "Bot" learns that things birds do are not so easy for a Robot, but their friendship endures. When it is time for bird to fly to warmer climates, Bot remembers his friend. The story ends with dreams of sparrow's return. Illustrations are absolutely R*. This quiet story grows on the reader and will be a gentle favorite of the very young.
Teeny-Tiny Woman
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Galdone, Paul
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 15, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This is a reissue of the classic tale, illustrated by the familiar Paul Galdone. The size of the book, color illustrations, and size of print are perfect for story time as well as parent-child reading time. Excellent binding; this book will last until the next reissue.
Slacker
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Korman, Gordon
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 16, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
"Slacker" is a story in the same league as Korman's "Ungifted." Cameron is a kid who is obsessed with video games. He is a slacker when it comes to doing anything else, including homework or following through on simple requests from his mom. When he almost burns the house down he is pressured to perform some community service. He creates a bogus online service club which ends up doing good deeds. Who knew that teens could be altruistic role models.
Scandal
DUTTON JUVENILE [DUTTON JUVENILE]
Grisham, John
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 16, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
Like his adult novels, Grisham's books for intermediate and middle school readers will continue to be popular. Fast paced, a likable future lawyer, readers will appreciate the formula of Theodore Boone cracking the case of a school grade database being hacked.
First Light, First Life : A Worldwide Creation Story
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Fleischman, Paul
Paschkis, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 16, 2016
Fisk, Rhetta
This book creates a narrative of creation stories from different cultures. On each page, one sentence quotes a story of our beginnings--of the creation of the world, creation of humans, and our interaction with god(s) and animals. Soome ideas are familiar. Other ideas are new and refreshing. This would be an excellent book to start a study of belief systems, ancient cultures, and our commonalities. End papers have a world map that pinpoint the locations of their beliefs. The illustrations fit the text wonderfully. Each page hints of the style of that culture while at the same time, having an overall uniform style.
Bera The One-Headed Troll
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Orchard, Eric
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
Wonderful graphic novel about Bera a one headed troll, because there are trolls in this book that have more than one head. Bera is a pumpkin farmer and happy to be living on her island without anyone but her friend Winslowe, an owl. That is until a human baby washes up on the shore. You can tell Bera can not leave it alone, and that trend continues throughout the story, she will help those who are in need, even her enemies. She would like to return the baby to its human village but is in doubt if she can do it herself. She seeks the help of giants and trolls who she knows from books and legends. To find these creatures she’ll have to se out for a journey and leave her island behind. Her adventure begins. Fantastical monotone illustrations with humorous text make this a good read for those interested in troll stories or a fit for a challenging read for a lower grade student.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
This copy is the 50th anniversary edition of the popular classic picture book in board book format. 1967 was the first year the book came out with its rhythmic text and well known illustrations of animals teaching toddlers colors. It is an exact replica of it's picture book counterpart.
Once Upon A Gorjuss Time : Six Classic Tales To Dream By
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Santoro
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
The well known fairy tale classics of Little Red, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Alice, Thumbelina, and Rapunzel are told in their original state with Gorjuss as its main character. Printed on paper as if the reader is holding an old book found in the attic as the little snippets that weave the stories together, explains. The illustration of the little girl finding this book, is also depicted as the main characters in the fairy tales; dreamy looking with long black hair and her only features are eyes, no mouth or nose. To remember where the reader left off, there is a red ribbon attached to the book. A great read aloud for a very small audience with wonderful illustrations but not the greatest for a school library unless it is necessary to have a fairy tale book with only female characters and a crowd that collects everything that has to do with Gorjuss.
Goodnight Everyone
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Haughton, Chris
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
Award winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton, known from titles like Little owl lost, Shh! We have a plan, comes another story in the animal world. This is a bedtime story. All the animals are ready to go to bed and demonstrate this with a big yawn and snuggling up with their family. This part of the book has smaller pages. When the reader gets to little bear, the pages are regular format and he thinks he can stay up a little longer. After asking the other animals to play, he does get a little bit tired. The last part is a repetition of all the animals asleep even little bear. A great book for the very young with repetition of short text and vibrant illustrations using the natural colors of a night in the style known by Haughton.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
This copy is the 50th anniversary edition of the popular classic picture book. 1967 was the first year the book came out with its rhythmic text and well known illustrations of animals teaching toddlers colors. In addition to the slightly larger picture book format, there is a cd of the book in the back with a reading of the story in English by Gwyneth Paltrow, a read along version, a Spanish reading, and a reading by the author. Eric Carle wrote a short paragraph about the influence of the story at the beginning of the book on his own career.
Varmints
FIRST SECOND [FIRST SECOND]
Hirsch, Andy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 16, 2016
Burton, Paula
Set in the Wild West, this graphic novel follows brother and sister Ned and Opie. Opie is very bossy, even tells the guys at the poker table to keep their eyes to themselves and Ned is the gullible, sees no harm, little brother. The children are without parents but never without trouble. After they “borrow” a horse from a very tall quiet guy, they lose it again to the horse thieves. Which leads them to being chased and having to flee in a trunk to a bigger town. Along their story the biggest bad guy in town is always mentioned; Pa. Apparently he is Opies and Ned's real father and a confrontation is inevitable. Colorful detailed drawings with an adventurous story divided into chapters makes this a fun read for those who like historical graphic novels.
Explore With John Cabot
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
O'brien, Cynthia
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 16, 2016
Sepessy, Lona
Gossip magazine meets nonfiction in Crabtree's Travel with the Great Explorers series. The cover consists of an historical picture of John Cabot, his boat Matthew, the land he claimed, New-Found-Land, and the cod from the Grand Banks. Organized into 13 - two page chapters with titles such as "Meet the Boss" and "Solve it with science," snippets of information are contained in text boxes interspersed with historical drawings, maps, and modern photographs. Each chapter title is followed by a brief summary of the content with torn paper headlines announcing each smaller box's topic. Born in Italy, he moved to England for funding and claimed the North Eastern Canadian lands for England. His discovery of the Grand Banks fishing area and mapping of areas were starting points for other explorers. Source materials for his explorations are limited but referred to in the text. Quotes, journal prompts, timeline, glossary, index, and recommended reading and websites are included. While not a standard biography, the entertaining format should appeal to reluctant readers containing basic information with a pizazz. Pair with a standard biography if explorers are studied.
There's A Bear On My Chair
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Collins, Ross
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 17, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
This giggle-worthy story of a frustrated mouse just begs to be read out loud. Poor mouse, he tries just about everything to encourage a giant bear to vacate his chair, including jumping out of a box in his underwear, but nothing works. Mouse finally throws in the towel and goes off to look for another resting place, which turns out to be exactly the motivation the bear needs. The rhymes are spot on and the uncluttered illustrations elevate the story, making this a wholly satisfying book for young and old alike.
Science Facts To Surprise You!
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 19, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Did you know it's impossible to hum while plugging your nose or that astronauts can't burp while in space? Part of ABDO's Seeing is Believing series, this title presents readers with interesting scientific facts about a variety of topics. Each fact is accompanied by a full-page photograph that spills into the gutter, and there is also a table of contents, glossary, index and section that further explains three of the facts presented in the book. This is a quick and accessible read that will appeal to many different readers, promote curiosity, and serve as a high-interest resource when teaching students about facts.
Places To Amaze You!
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 19, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
The only thing about this book that will amaze readers is the gorgeous, vibrant photographs of each location. The sparse text simply serves as captions for the pictures and, unfortunately, many of the words may be too challenging for the intended audience. Yes, there is a glossary in the back, but it is unlikely that young readers will read through the provided definitions and then flip back to the appropriate page so they have context for this new knowledge. A basic atlas is more likely to pique students' interest in travel.
Surprised
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Murray, Julie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 19, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo Kids "Emotions" series, this is a large format introduction to surprise. The 24-page book features crisp photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds, all in a state of joyous surprise. The pictures stretch across the gutter and face a sentence or two of very simple text. Sure, the book is slight, but it is very eye-catching and it would easily lead to classroom discussion on what surprises the students have had. Also, I defy anyone to look at the pictures and not smile.
Mixed-Up Truck
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Savage, Stephen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 20, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The author and illustrator of the delightful "Supertruck", as well as other kid-friendly books, is back with another truck story. This time it's a cement mixer and he's new to the job. When the other trucks tell him he needs to mix up some powdery white cement he makes a few mistakes. He first mixes flour, resulting a giant cake at the worksite. Then it's powdered sugar, resulting in frosting for the cake. Finally he gets it right and a giant building arises. However, there's one more mix the truck must do--soap for a bubble bath for all those tired dusty trucks! This sequential silliness is perfect for the target audience--young children. The digital illustrations are also just right--simple, bold, and friendly. This is a lap book children will demand again and again.
Dog, Ray
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Coggin, Linda
Mclean, Andrew
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 20, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
When Daisy dies in a car accident, she goes directly to the Job Center where souls are put into bodies that need them. Daisy takes a wrong turn to the soul placement room and winds up in a dog's, not a human's, body. Her life takes on a new outlook, to say the least. Interfering with her current life are memories of her old life: her parents, the horse that hit the car, being able to talk, and her old bedroom and clothes. Daisy, now called Ray, teams up with an old man and a teen, both homeless. She is loved by both and the feeling is mutual. Gradually, Daisy's human memories fade as times improve for the boy and Daisy's/Ray's loyalty pays off. Wonderful story and one that I think kids would enjoy for both the sad and happy parts.
Merrow
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Braxton-Smith, Ananda
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 20, 2016
Tucker, Merrilyn
Young Neen lives on the island of Carrick with her Auntie Ushag, Neen's mother's sister. The island is remote; life is simple and farm-based. Neen's mother, Mam, reportedly had merrow (mermaid) blood which evidenced itself by scales on her body. Neen inherited the merrow-ness and wonders what her life will be like when she grows up. Reportedly, after the death of Neen's father, who died when Neen was three, Mam drowned herself. Neen, though, believes Mam turned herself into a Merrow and now lives in the sea. She and Auntie Ushag are at odds about this. A stranger, a Norseman, washes up on shore. Neen and Ushag bring him back from a close brush with death. After his arrival, Ushag seems to become softer and more sympathetic to Neen's beliefs. Seeming to draw from Gabriel-Marquez's magic realism, this book had me confused in parts. It's still a magical read, but not easy to follow. This apparently is the first book in a series. It was a Notable Book by the Children's Book Council of Australia.
Maggie Mcgillicuddy's Eye For Trouble
KIDS CAN PRESS [KIDS CAN PRESS]
Hughes, Susan
Kerrigan, Brooke
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 21, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Maggie McGillicuddy is an old woman who sits on her porch and watches for trouble in her neighborhood--things like tigers, and snakes, and elephants. She drives the danger away with a thump of her cane, or a clack of her knitting needles. She's the only one who sees the trouble, however. That is, until a little boy moves in next door. She saves him from real danger and it turns out his imagination is just as good as hers. This is a sweet story with soft watercolor and ink illustrations showing the real and the imagined. The biggest problem with the book, however, is that it is excessively wordy, and the paragraph asides that break the fourth wall are a tad too "cutesy." The message, however, is a fun one.
Please Say Please!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Webster, Kyle T
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
It's incredible what you can get by simply saying "please," or at least that's how it works for the girl in this story who ends up getting endless stacks of pancakes, a fish as big as a whale, a kite large enough to send her soaring through the sky, and much more. By the end of the book the emphasis on saying please grated on my nerves a bit, but this would lend itself well to reading out loud, especially if students were invited to shout the little girl's demands, and could lead to a lively discussion about using good manners.
Kim
Black Sheep [Black Sheep]
Cooper, T
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 22, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
There is really nothing else like the Changers series. At the beginning of book one Ethan is excited to begin his freshman year of high school, but when he wakes up, he has been transformed overnight into a girl. His parents are overjoyed; they are Changers but there was no guarantee that Ethan was as well, until this first transformation. Ethan is astonished to learn that this is just the first of four similar changes he will undergo at the start of each year of high school. After graduation he will choose which of the four identities to make permanent. It's a lot to take in plus the clothes he had laid out for the first day won't work now! Kim is the third book in the series and although the authors provide a somewhat clunky early exposition to catch up readers who are new to the series, it really helps to understand the political drama if you read the first two books first. Seventh graders on up have found this series a very intriguing look at gender identity and prejudice.
In The Red Canoe
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Davidson, Leslie
Bifano, Laura
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Paddling gently in a red canoe a girl and her grandfather spend lazy days and nights on the water interacting with nature. Gently rhyming simple text accompanies flowing watercolor illustrations to create an evocative book that speaks of both our relationship with the world and with each other.
Everyone Loves Cupcake
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Dipucchio, Kelly
Wight, Eric
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 22, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The same author who brought us “Everyone Loves Bacon” (leading to Bacon’s unfortunate demise) is back with Cupcake. This time there’s no talk of eating. it’s just a terribly punny and humorous look at how the other pastries view the always popular Cupcake. She’s practically perfect, you know. Coffee loves her a latte, and Brownie is nuts about her. In fact, Cupcake’s level of perfection (including tiara) takes a lot of hard work and can lead to jealousy. Finally she is driven to confess the truth, much to the shock of everyone else. This is absolutely hilarious, with bouncy vibrant illustrations by Eric Wight (including a cameo of Bacon shown as missing on a milk carton). Artwork and words combine to create a masterpiece, and the attractive cover is just the frosting on the cupcake.
Cow Who Climbed A Tree
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Merino, Gemma
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
Who says cows can't fly? With vibrant, whimsical watercolor illustrations and a fast-paced plot, Gemma Merino proves that, with enough imagination, daring and courage, you can achieve almost anything you set your mind to, even if you are a cow who dreams of flying. Tina, a very curious cow with a thirst for discovery, is mocked by her three sisters, who are perfectly content spending their days eating grass. Thankfully, her sisters' teasing doesn't deter Tina from venturing into the forest and climbing a tree, where she discovers something that will change her life. Both adventurous readers and those who are comfortable in their routines will connect to this inspiring story that celebrates imagination and determination.
Incredible Bugs
Hungry Tomato [Hungry Tomato]
Farndon, John
Portolano, Cristina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 26, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 32-page addition to the “Animal Bests” series is chockablock full of interesting tidbits on insects. Weird and fascinating facts about spiders, bees, ants, termites and more are included in this book. The print is small so there’s quite a bit of information. Illustrations and photographs accompany the text. The book includes an index, making it useful for report writing. Now, granted, spiders are neither insects nor bugs, but the book does point that out. This is a fun browsing book for those who like to know odd facts to share with others.
Living On A Mountain
Heinemann Raintree Library [Heinemann Raintree Library]
Labrecque, Ellen
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
One of six titles in Heinemann Raintree’s Places We Live series, this title explores what it is like to live on a mountain. The simple text discusses basic features of mountains, first, defining “What is a Mountain”. It takes an international look at the variety of people, jobs, and recreational opportunities found on mountains around the world. Written in simple, clear language, in a larger font size and plenty of white space covering about one third of the page and a color photograph with caption illustrating the text. Each chapter, contained in a two page spread, examines each chapter’s title such as “Clothes and Shelter“; “All Kinds of People” What Is Work Like?” and “Getting Around”. Young readers will find enough information to enhance a report on people or places in mountains. Included are a Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, and resources for additional information. It will entice many young readers who enjoy non-fiction.
Night Lights
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Rabe, Tish
Ruiz, Aristedes & Joe Mathieu
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 26, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Based on the PBS TV show “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” readers learn fireflies flash their lights using a unique pattern to communicate. In this title Sally, Nick and the Cat need help finding light for their shadow show, Cat’s friend Shimmer, a firefly, is ready to help when she realize that her friend, Glimmer, needs rescuing from a spider’s web. Nick, Sally and the Cat effect a rescue and all ends well. The text is told in rhyme just as a Dr. Seuss inspired book should, but the glow in the dark paint and stickers are gimmicks that don’t materially add to the story. The information about fireflies is slight and is not sufficient reason to consider this book for purchase – accept as a donation if offered, it may appeal to young readers familiar with the PBS program or the Cat in the Hat.
Dragonwatch : A Fablehaven Adventure
Shadow Mountain [Shadow Mountain]
Mull, Brandon
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 27, 2016
Gustafson, Chris
The powerful dragon Celebrant is determined to return dragons to power in the Fablehaven world. Kendra and Seth, beloved by Fablehaven fans, are jointly commissioned to become co-caretakers of Wyrmroost along with Celebrant but it’s a partnership that’s bound to unravel and Celebrant wishes to take power away from Seth and Kendra. There’s a journey, a quest, plenty of magical creatures to battle and befriend, and Kendra and Seth get pretty equal billing. Those looking for a lot of character development will be disappointed but Fablehaven fans will feel comfortably at home.
Skunked!
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Kelly, Jacqueline
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 27, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Jacqueline Kelly has started a new series Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet featuring her feisty female protagonist from the early 1900s Texas. Geared toward the transitioning to chapter book crowd, this 106-page book has large font as well as many entertaining and informative black line drawings. This first offering focuses on her younger-by-a-year brother Travis, who has a penchant for finding animals as pets. When he discovers an orphaned baby skunk, he hides him in a cage in the barn, but Calpurnia’s powers of observation deduce the truth. Thus she becomes an unwilling accomplice in harboring and saving this skunk Stinky and its runt sibling Winky. She consults the vet and others for information under the guise of helping a sickly runt kitten, rather than a skunk kit. This is a pleasant and at times lively tale, especially when the dog gets a squirt in the face, and their teacher nearly does too. If the reader doesn’t mind the telling of white lies for a greater good, this should be enjoyed by the intended readership, girls or boys. The writing is worthy of a recommendation and a place on the historical fiction shelf for Gr. 2-4 readers. The second in the series is Counting Sheep.
Been There, Done That : Reading Animal Signs
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Weber, Jen Funk
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Walking in the woods you may think you are alone. However, there is plenty of evidence of animal activity, if you just know how to look for it. This is what Helena teaches Cole as they take a hike. She’s quick to point out scraped bark, nibbled trees, and other signs that animals have been there. Each sign is followed by a page showing the animal creating it. Beautiful watercolor illustrations accompany clear crisp text. Further information is provided at the end of the book. Oddly scat is not mentioned at all, nor tracks, really. These are usually the most obvious signs of animal passage. At any rate, the book promotes interaction with nature, showing how both animals and people can leave traces behind.
Pez Pucheros
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Hanna, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lovers of “The Pout-Pout Fish” will be delighted to see this exceptional Spanish translation. A grouchy fish cannot be turned from his poutiness. Blub, blub, blub. Many try, but failure seems to be the only option. Blub, blub, blub. That is, until someone finds a way to turn his frown upside down. The wonderfully expressive illustrations are the same as the English version. The Spanish translation, however, is a pure delight—rhyming, rhythmic, and maintaining the tone and humor of the original text. Add this to your Spanish language collections.
Bad Kitty Does Not Like Snow
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Bruel, Nick
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It is snowing. Bad Kitty has never seen snow so he looks it up on the computer. His actual experience with snow, however, is not nearly as neat and tidy as the computer screen. He does NOT like the wet, slippery, soft, and very very cold stuff. No, Bad Kitty does NOT like snow. This is an easy reader paperback with bright glossy illustrations, plenty of humor, and stickers. It would be a good at-home book for young readers.
Boy, A Ball, And A Dog
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Marino, Gianna
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There’s a boy who loves to throw balls, and a dog who always catches them. But one day the dog is unsuccessful because the boy has a balloon that gets loose. Can the dog possibly catch that? Well, he’s going to give it a good try. This is a slice-of-life story with a limited plot. The real power lies in the joyous illustrations showing broad vistas and beautiful rural landscapes. The perspective is lovely, and the illustrations draw the eye to the many carefully thought-out details. That is the book’s greatest strength.
Peep And Egg : I'm Not Trick-Or-Treating
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Gehl, Laura
Wan, Joyce
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It’s Halloween and Peep is ready to go trick-or-treating. Egg is much less eager. There are vampires, ghosts, and other terrible creatures out there! Peep tries humor to assuage Egg’s fears, but eventually just goes. Being alone, however, is even scarier for Egg and they both end up having a grand time. This is a very simple adventure for beginning readers with uncomplicated but cute digital illustrations.
Whose Eye Am I?
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Rotner, Shelley
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The eyes have it in this eye-catching nonfiction book. Vision varies in the animal world, and the author examines the differences as readers get a chance for a close-up view of different animal eyes. Some pages contain just a close-up of an eye, with the question "who am i?" Turn the page to find the answer with a wider picture of the featured animal and additional information. Other pages contain pictures and information about several animals in the same category--birds, mammals, etc. The book ends with an illustrations of the parts of the human eye, and an explanation of how we see. An index is included. This is a fascinating, focused book that should be good for both browsing and report-writing.
Pez Pucheros
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Diesen, Deborah
Hanna, Dan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lovers of “The Pout-Pout Fish” will be delighted to see this exceptional Spanish translation. A grouchy fish cannot be turned from his poutiness. Blub, blub, blub. Many try, but failure seems to be the only option. Blub, blub, blub. That is, until someone finds a way to turn his frown upside down. The wonderfully expressive illustrations are the same as the English version. The Spanish translation, however, is a pure delight—rhyming, rhythmic, and maintaining the tone and humor of the original text. Add this to your Spanish language collections. This copy is a board-book edition of the story.
Where Did They Go?
Big Picture Press [Big Picture Press]
Bornoff, Emily
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Each two-page spread of this picture book has a little introductory text about the biome and the animal hidden there. Young readers can scan the multiple identical small digital illustrations to find the one that is slightly different, where the animal is hidden. Many different biomes are shown, and additional information about the endangered animals is given at the back of the book. The animals are not immediately obvious, but there is no doubt when you find them that you have been successful. This combines the ever-popular seek-and-find with a few solid facts about endangered species.
Becoming A Salamander
Abdo Kids [Abdo Kids]
Hansen, Grace
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the large format Abdo Kids “Changing Animals” series, this is a fabulous introduction to the life cycle of the salamander. Crisp close-up photographs spill across double-page spreads, facing clear and informative, yet simple, text. Young readers follow salamanders from egg to adult. Several types of salamander are mentioned. There’s an index, website link, glossary, and fact page. This is just right for classroom sharing and for personal exploration. Add it to your easy nonfiction shelves.
Meltdown!
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
Murphy, Jill
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Mama Bunny takes baby bunny Roxy shopping. Roxy is good…at first. She helps Mama put things in the cart, cutely repeating things, but that soon gets out of hand and Roxy ends up in the cart herself. It’s the piggy cake that sends her over the edge when Mama makes the mistake of letting her hold it. Soon Roxy is in a full-fledged meltdown at the store and her mother has to check out and wrestle her home as strangers stare in horror. Anyone who has ever gone shopping with a toddler will understand this book and will giggle with sympathy at the author/illustrator’s ability to capture a horrible moment in all its crowd-stopping glory. Brothers or sisters of said toddler will also totally understand this book.
At Night
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers [Eerdmans Books for Young Readers]
Bansch, Helga
Duzakin, Akin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this fanciful turn-around book an elephant sleeps in the tall grass, a bird dreams in her airy nest, and other creatures settle down for the night in their proper places. However, when you reach the middle turn the book upside down and read it back to front where animals are not at all where they’re supposed to be on a dreamy night. The illustrations are whimsical and imaginative and the other side’s title “…But At Night sometimes” opens the door to dreamlike possibilities. It’s a tad existential, and may not find a wide audience, but the artwork is exquisite, and the author/illustrator aptly captures the feeling of a dreamy night.
This Train
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Collicutt, Paul
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
For those young ones who adore trains this is the perfect board book. Simple rhyming text accompanies colorful close-up illustrations of long trains and short trains and freight trains and passenger trains and so on. Each short sentence begins with “This train…” and continues with some description. Eye-catching, just the right size for little hands, and on a popular topic—hey, who could ask for anything more?
Faraway Fox
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Thompson, Jolene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A lonely fox silently slips through an urban landscape, remembering the world he once lived in, and the family he has lost. Now buildings cover the fields, and asphalt stiffens the ground. The lessons his parents taught him no longer seem useful. He is no longer at home. But watch the illustrations—what are those people building? The sign speaks of a wildlife preserve, and a tunnel beneath the highway leads him back to his fox family and a home in the wild. This is a heartbreaking, but ultimately sweet story dealing with the issue of urban wildlife and making a place for all. It would fit beautifully into ecology units.
Me And My Dog
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Dahl, Michael
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A boy and his dog love to do things together, but they don’t always like to do the same thing. Still, they love to be together best of all. This is a simple easy reader with enthusiastic illustrations. It is published in a small sturdy format making it a good choice for beginning reader collections.
We Sang You Home
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Van Camp, Richard
Flett, Julie
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This sweet boardbook combines bold, evocative illustrations with lyrical simple text to rejoice in the addition of a new member to the family. “We sang you from a wish. We sang you from a prayer. We sang you home and you sang back” is how it begins. A loving mother and father are shown nurturing a child through shared experiences. The nature of the text seems aimed more at adults than children, but it is a gentle book that embraces a new arrival and would work for any new member of the family, regardless of the source.
Friends
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Ikegami, Aiko
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Soft, muted illustrations show a new girl, having trouble fitting in at school. Soon she makes friends with some of the local animals and that leads to friendship with her classmates. Then, when an alien moves into the neighborhood he is a little different, too, but their circle of friendship is big enough to embrace him as well. This is a sweet story about inclusion and friendship with a gentle message and delightfully inviting illustrations.
Daddies Are Awesome
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Costain, Meredith
Lovsin, Polona
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Happy daddy dogs care for their pups in each two-page spread as simple rhyming text joyously celebrates what daddies do—play, care, and love. All of this is shown through their actions, and all are easily transferrable to what human dads do. The text is sweet and rhythmic. The illustrations are realistic and big enough for sharing. (OK, it’s clear from some of the illustrations that the dogs don’t have the equipment to BE a dad, but this is a children’s book so that’s OK.) Add this to your collection for Daddy story times.
Daydreaming
ROARING BROOK PRESS [ROARING BROOK PRESS]
Tatulli, Mark
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A young boy escapes from his daily life through vivid and exciting daydreams. Unfortunately, the adults around him are unsympathetic. Then he finds a girl who also has big daydreams and together they can dream even bigger. This story has very few words, the action all taking place in the vivid and delightful illustrations that work like a large graphic novel, carrying the reader along on the daydream. This is a fun flight of fancy that will tickle children who have lost themselves in their own daydreams.
This Orq. (He #1!)
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Elliott, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Orq cave boy. He #1. Climb best, run best, do best. Pet #1 too. Life good. Then new boy move in. He have pet. He climb better, run better, do better. He #1 now. What Orq to do? When trouble come Orq save new boy. Invent WHEEL! Now friends. Orq #1 inventor, #1 hero. This fun book. Pictures good too. Series popular. Buy.
Mass At Work
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kukla, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this sturdy entry in the Abdo “Science at Work” series, young readers learn the basics of mass. The 24-page book is filled with bright photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds, clear and simple text, and a simple glossary. This is a nice introduction to the subject examining the difference between mass and weight and size. Pounds and kilograms are briefly introduced. Frankly, this is a topic that can’t really be explained quickly, but the book provides a nice basis on which to build further understanding.
Temperature At Work
Sandcastle/abdo [Sandcastle/abdo]
Kukla, Lauren
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this sturdy entry in the Abdo “Science at Work” series, young readers learn the basics of temperature. The 24-page book is filled with bright photographs showing children from many ethnic backgrounds, clear and simple text, and a glossary. This is a nice introduction to the subject introducing energy, molecules, Fahrenheit and Celsius. States of matter are briefly mentioned. This would be a solid addition to the easy nonfiction shelves.
Lincoln And Kennedy : A Pair To Compare
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Barretta, Gene
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
While separated by 100 years, Lincoln and Kennedy have often been compared. Indeed, there are websites that provide all sorts of improbable similarities. This book is not quite so mystical in its approach. It examines both men from their upbringing to their education, and their rise to power. Their policies, family life, and challenges are explored, as well as their deaths. All this is done in a picture-book format with warm watercolor illustrations and lots and lots of interesting facts, quotes, and trivia. The book includes a glossary and a sources list. This is an excellent choice for compare and contrast, while teaching a good lesson in history.
One More Dino On The Floor
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Lyons, Kelly Starling
Flowers, Luke
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
One dino’s dancing on the floor, and one by one, there soon are more. Twisting, shaking, limbo, bop. Twisting, turning, they can’t stop! When the T-Rex joins the crew the others aren’t sure what to do. It turns out he’s a dancing ace. Now spins and moonwalks fill the place. Bold patterned pictures dance and sway. This book will likely make your day. It truly is a dancing fest. (but “Cha-Cha-Chimps” is still the best.)
It's Easter, Chloe Zoe!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Smith, Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Easter is here and with it the annual Easter egg hunt. Chloe Zoe is determined to find the ever-elusive golden egg and its hidden treasure. However, as she and her friends hunt in the park, she gets sidetracked helping a friend and another animal finds the golden treasure. They’re all friends, however, so they share. This is a sweet story with bright patterned glossy illustrations.
It's Valentine's Day, Chloe Zoe!
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Smith, Jane
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It’s Valentine’s Day and Chloe Zoe has made some special valentines for the students in her class. Unfortunately, she is one valentine short when she hands them out. What happened to the valentine for her special friend, George? Sorrow turns to joy when another student finds the missing card. This is a simple happy tale with bright patterned glossy illustrations showing a classroom full of happy animal students.
Babies Ruin Everything
St Martins Paperbacks [St Martins Paperbacks]
Swanson, Matthew
Behr, Robbi
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A young girl is not thrilled with the new addition to her family. Her baby brother is boring, sucks up all her parents’ attention, and is a general pain in the neck. Clearly they got a defective model and need a better baby. Trading him in is not an option, however, and she is forced to share, and adapt. Eventually she realizes that, together, she and the baby make a formidable team and she becomes more forgiving of his babyness. Told in the first person, this is a fun and funny book that older brothers and sisters will totally relate to. The large format and expressively humorous illustrations by Robbie Behr would make this a perfect addition to story times.
Love Monster And The Scary Something
Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr) [Farrar Straus Giroux (Byr)]
Bright, Rachel
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It’s nighttime and Love Monster has followed his bedtime routine. In bed, however, he hears scary noises. What is that crunching and creaking and scraping? Is it coming closer to his bedroom? Finally he faces his fears and pulls out his flashlight. It turns out that Love Monster isn’t the only one a little scared that night. This large format paperback book features big bold casual illustrations that scribble and wibble and wobble in a kid-friendly fashion. The moral of facing your fears is a good one, and the book is certainly big enough for group sharing.
Punkydoos Take The Stage
Disney-Hyperion [Disney-Hyperion]
Jackson, Jennifer
Andreasen, Dan
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Lexi-Lou loves to sing sing sing—loud and strong. Unfortunately her musical ambitions are interrupted by adults reminding her about breakfast, brushing her teeth, and standing still. That doesn’t stop her dream, however. She locates other children in the neighborhood and forms a band called “The Punkydoos” which puts on a concert where each of them can shine. This is a large format picture book with big bright illustrations big enough for group sharing. It comes with a CD of the story and the song they sing.
How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln : The Story Behind Th
ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY [ALBERT WHITMAN & COMPANY]
Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth
Belloni, Valentina
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The first female agent in the Pinkerton Detective Agency was Kate Warne, in 1856. Nobody expected a woman in such a role, which made it easier for her to infiltrate dangerous groups, and find out all the latest gossip from the wives of dangerous men. President Lincoln was not universally loved when he won the presidency, and just getting to the inauguration was dangerous. Kate helped determine threats and keep Lincoln safe by being involved in the subterfuge necessary to get him safely to Washington, D.C. Her work opened doors for other women in the profession, but her story is not well known. This book rectifies that wrong with a well-told tale, and lush patterned digital illustrations by Valentina Belloni. It would be a fabulous read-aloud for Women’s History Month.
Yummy Mistake
Magic Wagon [Magic Wagon]
Mcdonald, Kirsten
Shephard, Dave
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is another entry in the delightful “Carlos & Carmen” series of very easy chapter books. It’s Mother’s Day and Carlos and his sister Carmen have big plans. Most of them turn out well, but their attempt at baking fails miserably. Fortunately, their father comes up with a solution and their disaster is turned into a creative and tasty solution. Bright digital illustrations show a happy Latino family, and the text includes the occasional Spanish word. This is a wonderful series to add to your shelves, providing diversity and a great addition to transitional reader shelves. Buy the whole series.
When Penny Met Potus
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Ruiz, Rachel
Manwill, Melissa
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Penny is excited. Her mom is taking her to work today, and she’ll get a chance to meet POTUS. Penny, however, has no idea what POTUS is. She visualizes a large, happy, hairy beast with horns, in a suit. She knows a few things about him, like that he has his own airplane, and security. She’s heard he likes roses. She wanders through the White House hoping to finally meet this mystical creature. Imagine her surprise when she stumbles on a woman who not only knows POTUS, she IS POTUS. That makes Penny realize that she might one day be POTUS too. Bright, crisp digital illustrations are imaginative and humorous, and big enough for sharing. I’m sure this is going to get all kinds of good press. It does introduce children to the term POTUS. Still, it’s hard to believe that a person whose mom works at the White House doesn’t know what the term means.
Tony Baloney : Yo Ho Ho, Halloween
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Ryan, Pam Munoz
Fotheringham, Edwin
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It’s Halloween and this year macaroni penguin. Tony Baloney, wants a different costume—not one that he makes himself, or one that is passed down from another family member. He buys just the perfect costume, but is so excited about it that he ends up ruining it before the big event. Now what to do? This is when family comes in handy. Bright digital media illustrations pop against glossy white pages. In this easy short four-chapter book readers get to enjoy the fun and foibles of the holiday.
Super Simple Experiments With Heat And Cold : Fun And Innova
Super Sandcastle/abdo [Super Sandcastle/abdo]
Polinsky, Paige V
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Temperature is a basic scientific principle and this book gives it a solid introduction. Young readers learn about energy, atoms, molecules, and the ways we measure temperature. The scientific method is clearly laid out. Six experiments follow with equipment and ingredient lists, step-by-step instructions, and clear explanatory photographs and illustrations. Each finishes with the expected results, and an explanation as to why it happened that way. The book includes a glossary. This is an attractive, well-organized book on an important topic and would be a good addition to library collections.
After A While Crocodile : Alexa's Diary
Arbordale Publishing [Arbordale Publishing]
Barr, Brady
Detwiler, Susan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A young Costa Rican girl goes to a school where they raise American crocodiles from eggs to release into the wild. This book is written in a diary format, with plenty of photographs of the girl and her crocodile as it grows, clear watercolor illustrations, occasional Spanish words tossed in, and good information about the life cycle of the crocodile. It’s all quite fascinating and will leave young readers wishing that they, too, got to raise crocodiles as part of their education.
10 Things You Can Do To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Weitzman, Elizabeth
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This 32 page Rookie Reader is part of the “Make a Difference” series. It introduces young readers to being ecologically responsible by reducing, reusing, and recycling. It also encourages growing your own food and spreading the word. A brief profile is given of a boy who has successfully applied these principles. Crisp text is accompanied by bright color photographs. The book includes a glossary and index. It would be a useful addition to primary environmental awareness units.
It Can Rain Frogs And Fish : And Other Facts About Planet Ea
Enslow Publishing [Enslow Publishing]
Payne, Jan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Enslow “True or False” series, this well-bound 48 page book is subtitled “And Other Facts About Planet Earth.” Each chapter deals with a topic like rocks, or oceans, or weather and begins with 6-8 true/false questions, many related to common beliefs. Readers can determine their own answers, then read the rest of the chapter to find out if they were correct. Short paragraphs provide interesting information in small bursts. The book includes an index, glossary, website list, and bibliography. While not useful for report-writing this is a fun source for interesting trivia.
Nefertiti, The Spidernaut : The Jumping Spider Who Learned T
Mims House [Mims House]
Pattison, Darcy
Tisnes, Valeria
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Kindergarten to 6th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
It’s always interesting to see science in action and this is a good book for demonstrating that. One of the experiments on the ISS involved the hypothesis that jumping spiders would not be able to capture their prey in a free fall environment. Nefertiti was the spider chosen for the experiment. This book introduces the experiment and the steps taken to make it happen. Interestingly, the hypothesis proved incorrect as the spider adapted. Problems along the way regarding how the experiment was set up are examined, and changes for future experiments are mentioned. This is an interesting look at an experiment from inception to fruition. I especially liked the page dealing with the engineering problems of creating a spider habitat for space. This book works on many levels—spiders, space, the scientific method. It would be a great book for library collections.
Death In The Donner Party : A Cause-And-Effect Investigation
LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY [LERNER PUBLICATIONS COMPANY]
Oachs, Emily Rose
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The story of the Donner party is one of those tragic chapters from American history that, nevertheless, still both fascinates and horrifies. The Donner/Reed party made a series of bad decisions, all of which culminated in them being trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains when snow hit. Many died, and some resorted to cannibalism to survive. Their story resulted in changes that doubtless saved others from a similar fate, which hardly makes up for their own suffering. This is a clear and cogent account accompanied by photographs, illustrations, charts, maps, standard text features, and two cause and effect pages showing how decisions led to consequences. The book is 40 pages long, and well bound. This is part of the “Cause + Effect Disasters” series. If the others are as clear and focused this would be a good series to add to your library shelves.
Get Into Knitting
Crabtree Publishing Company [Crabtree Publishing Company]
Dyer, Janice
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This large format paperback provides clear step-by-step instructions for beginning knitters. Readers learn how to knit, purl, decrease, cast on and cast off. 7 projects from scarves to hats are included. There’s also information about tools and materials, yarn art, and extreme knitting. This is a good book for beginners and merits a place on library shelves. However, beginning knitters should supplement the book with hands-on instruction from an actual person.
Jackson Pollock
CHILDRENS PRESS [CHILDRENS PRESS]
Venezia, Mike
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Was someone sloppy with their spaghetti eating? Nope, that’s Jackson Pollock’s work. In a new and revised edition, that uses every inch of space including end papers. Mike Venezia introduces young readers to Jackson Pollock. They learn about his life and the artists that influenced his work. Most interesting are examples of his artwork, showing how it changed and evolved over time. This is a friendly and fascinating glimpse of the artist with cartoon illustrations, photos of his art, timeline, maps, glossary, quiz...you name it. It packs a lot of information in 34 pages, and is a worthy addition to your art shelves. However, if you have the older edition it's not worth replacing it.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Feldman, Thea
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is the Christmas cartoon, much edited, told in a large boardbook format with bold glossy illustrations. Rudolph runs away with Hermey. They team up with Yukon Cornelius, visit the Island of Misfit Toys, face the Abominable, and Rudolph saves Christmas on one foggy Christmas Eve. The Christmas special is much beloved, but this is an uninspired, episodic retelling of events without any character development or suspense. It won’t matter to the target audience, however, as they will be filling in the holes with their memories of the cartoon.
When Thomas Edison Fed Someone Worms
Picture Window Books [Picture Window Books]
Radcliffe, Thomas
Radcliffe, Thomas
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
What was Thomas Edison like as a child? Well, unsurprisingly, he was curious. Very, very curious. This large format picture book is filled with information about a smart and inquisitive boy who took a few risks, and wasn’t afraid to ask questions and make connections, even if those connections proved wrong. Birds eat worms. Birds fly. If he fed a worm concoction to a friend would the friend be able to fly? He ran a telegraph line to a friend’s house, sold papers on the train, and did experiments in the basement. He never lost his wonder and did amazing things as an adult. This is an amusing look at the childhood of an renowned inventor and would be a fun read-aloud, while giving children insight into what childhood qualities can lead to greatness.
This Is My Country
MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD) [MILLBROOK PRESS (HARD)]
Bullard, Lisa
Mulryan, Doreen
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Will has a new pen pal. He’s from Morocco. Now it’s up to Will to tell Abdou about the United States. His mother helps him understand there are many different countries with different physical features, governments, and climates. He sends some pictures and information to Abdou and hopes to hear back. This is a very very very basic introduction to geography, part of the “Where I Live” series that includes continents, country, neighborhood, state, and town. Big digital illustrations fill this large format book. It would be useful for kindergarten community studies.
Pheasant Hunting
Sportszone/abdo [Sportszone/abdo]
Carpenter, Tom
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Abdo “Hunting” series, this this sturdy 48-page book provides a positive basic introduction to the sport. Young readers learn about ring-tailed pheasants—their biology, habitat, and range. The history behind pheasant hunting is briefly presented. Then hunting techniques, strategies, equipment, safety, and conservation are addressed. Crisp photographs show both male and female hunters. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and index. This is a brief introduction to the subject that would best serve the patrons of rural libraries.
Gary's Garden
David Fickling Books [David Fickling Books]
Northfield, Gary
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
All sorts of things are going on in Gary’s garden. A caterpillar has dreams. The birds want food. There’s a ladybug in a loincloth, a hedgehog and fox night team and oh so much more. Gary, of course, is oblivious. All these stories are told in a series of short cartoons with detailed rambunctious illustrations, and humorous conversation bubbles. The stories tend to continue on and add up as time goes by, making for a cohesive hodge-podge. This is a funny collection, but the writing is so small you should bring your specs.
Spooky House
Kane/Miller Book Publishers [Kane/Miller Book Publishers]
Rippin, Sally
Fukuoka, Aki
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This is the first “Billie B. Mystery” book. Billie B. Brown wants to start a mystery club with her friends. The first mystery? That old house down the street. Does a witch really live there? Her friends don’t appreciate her scaring them, but Billie soon finds she has scared herself as well. Finding out the truth about the house’s owner is the only way to resolve things. This is an easy chapter book with occasional black and white illustrations, short chapters, and big print. If you need more transitional readers this might be the series for you.
Robotics In The Real World
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Koontz, Robin
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “Stem in the Real World” series, this 48 page book explores the history of robots from legends, to Tesla, to modern times. Careers and the future of robotics are examined. Readers get to see how the field has advanced and imagine what might happen in the future. Well-captioned photographs, interesting fact boxes, and thought-provoking articles and questions combine to make this a useful resource for both browsing and report-writing. There are simpy not enough robot books in my library, so this is a great addition to that section.
Explore Force And Motion! : With 25 Great Projects
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Swanson, Jennifer
Stone, Bryan
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This series, each book subtitlted “With 25 Great Projects” is one that merits a place in every library serving children. Each book begins with a timeline, and a solid introduction. “Words to know” are defined throughout the book, and QR codes lead to interesting videos. (If the QR codes don’t work the book provides keyword prompts to lead young researchers to the right information.) Science practices are defined, and interesting projects follow that teach important principles. An extensive index, bibliography, and glossary follow. This book focuses on physics, introducing Newton, Einstein, Galileo and more. The basic forces around us are defined, explained, and explored through hands-on projects. Much of the information is on an advanced level, but explained so younger students can understand it. There’s interesting information to be found here, and the projects are unique and STEM oriented. Buy the whole series.
Explore Predators And Prey! : With 25 Great Projects
Nomad Press [Nomad Press]
Blobaum, Cindy
Aucoin, Matt
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This series, each book subtitlted “With 25 Great Projects” is one that merits a place in every library serving children. Each book begins with a timeline, and a solid introduction. “Words to know” are defined throughout the book, and QR codes lead to interesting videos. (If the QR codes don’t work the book provides keyword prompts to lead young researchers to the right information.) Science practices are defined, and interesting projects follow that teach important principles. An extensive index, bibliography, and glossary follow. This book focuses on predators and prey—how animals hunt, and how they avoid being hunted. There’s interesting information to be found here, and the projects are unique and STEM oriented. Buy the whole series.
Tweet It! : Twitter Projects For The Real World
Checkerboard/abdo [Checkerboard/abdo]
Bernhardt, Carolyn
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Subtitled “Twitter Projects for the Real World” this 32-page book is part of the “#Cool Social media” series. It introduces Twitter, giving a brief history of the company, a list of terms, and a description of exactly what Twitter is. 6 projects follow that introduce or reinforce Twitter concepts such as hashtagging around the house, or playing Twitter charades. The text is clear and interesting. Photographs abound. The problem is that the book seems aimed at a younger audience while being clear that Twitter users must be at least 13 years old. Teens won’t find the projects compelling. Younger students shouldn’t be using Twitter at all, although this would be a good introduction. The book includes an index and glossary. Your call.
Mystery Of Area 51
Core Library/abdo [Core Library/abdo]
Krasner, Barbara
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “Mysteries of History” series, this book examines the infamous Area 51. Clear, cogent text introduces readers to Area 51 and the legends that surround it. UFOs are defined. The stories are examined. Based on information released more recently, it is clear that many UFO sightings can be directly tied to U.S. testing of stealth aircraft. Primary sources are introduced to support this theory. There’s a glossary, bibliography, website link, and index. In the end readers are left to consider what they know and make their own call on the purpose of Area 51. This is a solid non-sensational approach to an interesting topic. Of course most readers would prefer the sensational version, but thus is life.
African Savanna
Cherry Lake Publishing [Cherry Lake Publishing]
Gregory, Josh
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the “Getting to Know Our Planet” series this 24-page book examines the African Savanna biome. Flora, fauna, and humans on the savanna are all briefly introduced. The book includes a glossary, bibliography, and list of two websites. Well-captioned photographs, clear text, and questions that inspire deeper thinking combine to make this a solid addition to the nonfiction shelves.
Super Happy Party Bears : Gnawing Around
Imprint (Mps) [Imprint (Mps)]
Colleen, Marcie
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Grumpy Woods are exactly as advertised—filled with grumpy critters who are unforgiving of frivolity and fun. Naturally that makes the residents particularly unhappy with the Super Happy Party Bears who live in the Party Patch. Every day is a joyful one for the bears who love nothing better than to throw a party, and who are blissfully unaware of the rancor their antics cause the neighbors. The prickly hedgehog mayor issues decrees to ban the bears, all to no avail. Then snobby beavers move in, hog the local water source, and seem to think they own the place. Hey, maybe those exuberant and overly welcoming bears are finally going to come in handy! This is a silly, funny chapter book with occasional colorful digital illustrations. It’s part of a series, so clearly these happy bears are here to stay.
Ship Of Death
DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS [DARBY CREEK PUBLISHERS]
Hulme-Cross, Benjamin
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
A strange ship is at anchor in the harbor. This is not the first time it’s come. The last time someone went to investigate, and disappeared, when the ship abruptly left. Now Mr. Blood, Old Tom and two children are going aboard. Will they survive the trip? This is one of the 6 titles in the “Dark Hunter” series, featuring Mr. Blood. It is an interesting horror book in that it is a good short story, told in 6 chapters with big print and creepy illustrations. It is clearly aimed at high interest/low vocabulary secondary readers, and is the sort of book they could carry around without stigma. If you have secondary readers with limited skills this might be the perfect series for you.
Teen Beach 2
DISNEY PRESS [DISNEY PRESS]
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
One Disney movie deserves…another? This is the novelization of the sequel to the original Teen Beach movie. In the first movie Brady and his girlfriend Mack traveled into a 60’s beach movie, found true love, and endured people bursting into song and dance at the drop of a surfboard. Now back in the real world the school year is beginning and their relationship is changing. Is it ending? A magical necklace brings the characters from the movie into the real world. They create problems (not to mention song and dance numbers) but also help to bring Mack and Brady together again. This is silly Disney fluff, but fans of the movie will doubtless enjoy it, and it does include some color pictures from the movie itself.
Survive in the Woods
BELLWETHER MEDIA [BELLWETHER MEDIA]
Bowman, Chris
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Crisp graphics, plenty of photographs, fact boxes and solid text combine to make an attractive book on outdoor survival. In 24 pages the author provides good information on how to survive in the woods. It starts with the story of a lost boy then goes on to discuss what to do in such a situation. There’s a list of essential gear, then instructions on finding or making shelter, making a fire, food and water, and staying away from dangerous animals. It’s a very quick overview, but does cover some of the basics. I would argue that the book should have given a little more clarification about being able to survive only 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food, as this fact has a wide range of variables, especially regarding shelter. Nevertheless, this is an interesting book that has good information that would help someone lost in the woods.
Story Of Lee : 2
Nbm Publishing [Nbm Publishing]
Wilson, Sean Michael
Tamura, Nami
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
9th grade to 12th grade/Young Adult
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
This manga-inspired black and white graphic novel is volume 2 in "the Story of Lee" series. Lee is a Chinese girl from Honk Kong who has now moved to the UK to attend university and be with her boyfriend, Matt. There are, however, cultural difficulties, language issues, and an underlying plot about jealousy between Matt's best friend and Lee. This is not the blissful future Lee had envisioned, but can she help mold her future and change things for the better? Her uncle has some good advice to offer. This is definitely a YA series, with alcohol and drug use, adult issues, a little cartoon nudity, bad language, and sexual relationships. The artwork is crisp and the writing is certainly aimed at the target audience.
Build A Rain Barrel
CHILDS WORLD [CHILDS WORLD]
Mcgraw, Sally
Stewart, Roger
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
4th grade to 6th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
There is only so much potable water in the world and it is important to conserve it. There are many ways we can do this. One is by building a rain barrel. This entry in the “Earth-Friendly Projects” series introduces the topic and then, in 24 pages, gives clear step-by-step instructions for building and maintaining a rain barrel. Clear illustrations make this seem a very doable task. This would be a solid addition to any collection.
Science Fair Is Freaky!
SCHOLASTIC [SCHOLASTIC]
Chabert, Jack
Ricks, Sam
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Part of the Branches "Eerie Elementary" series, this book takes us about to the school is actually a person...an evil person. Only Sam, Antonio, and Lucy can stop the school from consuming students and causing other problems. This time, however, it's the science fair. The last time a science fair was held at the school disaster follows. Unfortunately this time is going to be no different. It doesn't help that the children have found a mysterious science experiment book actually owned by the Orson Eerie, and the school wants it back. All of the books in the "Branches" series are good transitional chapter books and in high demand at both my libraries. This will be no exception.
Bad Business
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Dakers, Diane
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 28, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Teen Lindy is desperately earning money to go on her dream trip to the Arctic to see polar bears. When the little old lady who normally gives her an envelope with two $5 bills for her help each Saturday gives her two $100 bills instead, Lindy is caught in a moral dilemma. The deadline is coming up for her trip, and the old woman has been getting forgetful. She decides to keep the money and soon has everything set for the trip. However, another girl finds out what she's done and now Lindy is being blackmailed--her money, or the truth gets out and the trip, not to mention her reputation, is blown. Lindy's going to have to make a choice and it isn't going to be easy. Orca books are always well-written and this is no exception. This short chapter book is perfect for secondary libraries serving reluctant readers.
Dino-Mike And The Dinosaur Cove
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Franco
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 29, 2016
Elders, Ann
In this fourth book of the Dino-Mike series, Mike and his sister Shannon go to Australia with their paleontologist father, continuing their efforts to thwart the nefarious Mr. Bones. Mr. Bones and his accomplices plan to create an army of reanimated dinosaurs from a secret cove of dinosaur bones. Mike’s father is unaware of the danger though Security Guard Reno and Ahfu the dog go with them. Though Dino-Mike manages to capture Mr. Bones, he manages to escape. Informative details about opals in the story provide a twist to why Mr. Bones couldn’t bring all the bones to life as he did with the Allosaurus and C. Yangi (a four-winged predatory dinosaur). Boys will delight in this early chapter book about dinosaurs coming to life and adventures around the world. This series is best read in order as figuring out characters and plot requires some previous knowledge. A glossary and dinosaur fact list are included at the end.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. From the original format to multi-pack sets in small, medium and large sizes, a new generation has the opportunity to enjoy this much loved title. The new board book edition has tabs of each of the animals asked about in this question and answer colorful pattern book. Thus small tabs extend out of and surround the top and right side of the book with progressive images of the red bird, yellow duck, on through the 11 total creatures asked about making it a more interactive and tactile offering for the toddler set. The culminating double page spread has all of these looking at the child readers.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY/BYR PAPERBACKS]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. From the original format to multi-pack sets in small, medium and large sizes, a new generation has the opportunity to enjoy this much loved title. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. This version of Baby Bear is larger than the original picture book with glossy cover over cardboard plus dust jacket. An added bonus is the CD story read by Gwyneth Paltrow. Young children will enjoy the progression of wild animals including the red fox and screech owl with their active verbs, but especially Eric Carle’s extra large, distinctive, and stunning paper collage illustrations.
Anastasia At This Address
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Lowry, Lois
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
5th grade to 8th grade
December 29, 2016
Elders, Ann
This is a reprint of the Anastasia books of the 1980’s. Anastasia wants romance and searches for the ideal man in the personals column of her father’s magazine. She locates a listing that says “SWM, 28 boyish charm, inherited wealth. . . .” At 13 Anastasia believes he sounds perfect as she doesn’t think age matters if two people are on the same “wavelength.” When her “boyfriend” wants to meet her, the trouble begins. Anastasia books were popular with young teens in their time. For today’s world of online sexual predator issues this just touches the base of a serious, dangerous problem. Young teens might find this superficial or tempting to try online. Impetuous Anastasia does manage to learn from her mistake and thankfully avoids trouble. The story, however, is dated.
Nuestro huerto : de la semilla a la cosecha en el huerto del colegio
CANDLEWICK PRESS [CANDLEWICK PRESS]
ANCONA, GEORGE
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
All ages
December 29, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
School gardens are becoming more common. In this book George Ancona examines a small school in Santa Fe that has truly embraced the concept. This isn't just planting, weeding, and harvesting. This is nutrition, culture, planning, and community involvement. The students compost, work with worms, add insects, and make pizza with their produce in a traditional outdoor oven that they also care for. There's cooking, counting, measuring, and cooperation. It's a joyful explosion of learning. In this Spanish-language book crisp photographs accompany enthusiastic text to present what school gardening SHOULD look like.
Brown Bear & Friends Little Bear Library
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. From the original format to multi-pack sets in small, medium and large sizes, a new generation has the opportunity to enjoy this much loved title. This edition contains four tiny books—Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? in a boxed set. This would make a nice gift pack for today’s baby or toddler. The stories still engage though in this version, which is like the original there are not added tactile options or foreshadowing, but would work well for the car or traveling due to the small size for little hands.
Brown Bear & Friends 4 Board Book Gift Set
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. From the original format to multi-pack sets in small, medium and large sizes, a new generation has the opportunity to enjoy this much loved title. This edition contains four board books—Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?, and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? in a boxed set. This would make a nice gift pack for today’s baby or toddler. The stories still engage though in this version, which is like the original there are not added tactile options or foreshadowing, but stay true to the original winners.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Martin, Bill, Jr
Carle, Eric
Highly Recommended -- Superior book everyone should buy.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 29, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the perennially popular hit Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Henry Holt has produced a myriad of formats of this book and its accompanying classics including the 10-year-old Baby Bear, Baby Bear. From the original format to multi-pack sets in small, medium and large sizes, a new generation has the opportunity to enjoy this much loved title. This small board book version of Baby Bear features tabs of each of the animals asked about in this question and answer pattern book. Thus small tabs extend out of and surround the top and right side of the book with progressive images of the red fox, flying squirrel on through the 11 wild creatures asked about making it a more interactive and tactile offering for the toddler set. The culminating double page spread has all of these looking at Mama Bear.
52-Story Treehouse
FEIWEL AND FRIENDS [FEIWEL AND FRIENDS]
Griffiths, Andy
Denton, Terry
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 30, 2016
Threlkeld, Sarah
If you revel in stupid jokes, think ninja snails are the height of humor, and like books with very few lines of text on a page, then you will love "52-Story Treehouse" and all of its predecessors. The protagonists of this series are Andy and Terry, the actual author and illustrator of each book. They have built a massive treehouse with a floor devoted to almost everything imaginable, like a rocket-powered carrot launcher, a fully stocked pizza parlor, and a rocking horse racetrack. The two boys appear to spend their days hanging out, getting roped into extraordinarily ridiculous situations that are references frequently in this book. The plot is fairly straightforward - Terry has forgotten Andy's birthday - but quickly becomes so convoluted that most readers will forget this is the main conflict. Vengeful potato princes and flying fried egg cars, anyone? Ultimately, this will appeal to upper elementary readers who enjoy silly stories that are heavy on graphic elements and light on sophistication.
Sing With Me! : Action Songs Every Child Should Know
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Stoop, Naoko
Stoop, Naoko
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Included in this title are the songs—Down by the Station; Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes; Polly Put the Kettle On; Rain Is Falling Down; Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear; Itsy-bitsy Spider; Pat-a-Cake; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Wheels on the Bus (one verse only); If You’re Happy and You Know It; and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. After each song there are instructions in parentheses for what an adult can do to enhance the action of the verse such as “Pull an imaginary whistle as you sing ‘Toot, toot.’” For going round the mulberry bush, it tells the reader to trace your finger around Baby’s belly button, which seems a stretch. Twinkle Twinkle has you point to the stars in the sky or look out the window. The final two pages almost seemed like an unlikely add on with questions and answers to what does each animal say including a cat, dog, bird, fish, owl and mommy, until one sees the title, “What Does Your Kitty Say?” The different format threw this reader off. Stoop’s gentle illustrations created with acrylic, ink, pencil and paper collage on plywood enhance the songs and depict multicultural children. It is nice to have the songs one sings to a baby or toddler all in one place.
What's Up, Chuck?
CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING [CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING]
Landry, Leo
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 30, 2016
Kline, Karen
Chuck loves to gnaw out wood sculptures and he’s even won “The Best of the Forest” art contest three years in a row. The woodchuck begins to question his talent, though, when a new artist arrives on the scene. Scooter Opossum from Swampy Swamp’s splatter paint technique shows an impressive style. Chuck is glad to find an enthusiastic fellow artist, and he hosts a party for the woodland creatures and serves his speciality sweet-potato pie. Scooter surprises everyone with some delectable cookies, and Chuck is once again feeling upstaged by his new friend. Landry’s art complements the text on every page with details to support and scaffold readers moving up from easy chapter books to a bit more intermediate level. Readers will relate to Chuck’s “meltdown” in chapter seven wherein he has to contend with his rage at being given second place at the annual art contest, but the ending in the final and eighth chapter is satisfying as Chuck admits breaking his own artwork due to his meltdown yet finds that winning the contest is less important than his own love of art and friendship.
Camouflage
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Miklowitz, Gloria
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 30, 2016
Elders, Ann
This reissue of Camouflage is as relevant today as it was in 1998, particularly in light of the gun rights debate, violence, and renewed racism of today’s America. When Kyle goes to Michigan to spend the summer with his father, he learns how to shoot guns, drive trucks, and be a real man in his father’s rough cabin. As he spends time there he starts to wonder what is really going on at the gun club to which his father belongs though he admires the men in the group. When he learns that the gun club is really a militia preparing for war with the federal government, he gets uneasy and scared, especially when he finds out they are going to blow up a building in Lansing. Forced to go along, he must make a choice of how to deal with it or prevent it. The author apologizes for using racist remarks with an explanation that Kyle’s reactions show how repellant they are. This book is powerfully written and reflects attitudes of some groups. One can sense the feelings unease of Kyle as the book develops.
Big Cat
HOLIDAY HOUSE [HOLIDAY HOUSE]
Long, Ethan
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
Big Cat can do a lot of things, especially with the young red-headed girl in its home. Each double page spread depicts a simple sentence starting the book with “Big Cat can nap.” in large font geared to the very beginning reader. The joy of this book is in the cat’s expressions as he puts up with a myriad of activities imposed on him by the two kids with whom he lives such as wake, hug, fly and hide. The digital illustrations will bring smiles to adult readers as well in this I Like to Read by Holiday House.
You Are Not A Cat!
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Flake, Sharon
Del Sur, Duendes
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten to 1st grade
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
When a duck proclaims that he is a cat and meows, the adamant cat begs to differ with him. Thus begins a back and forth argument as to all the reasons the duck is not a cat, but to no avail. The more carefree duck has a retort each time stating that despite not having all the features of a cat, he still likes to meow. This leads to a shouting match where the duck starts to parrot everything the cat says. Ultimately the cat realizes that the duck takes on a different animal persona each day depending on his mood. This is a silly, lively story with large colorful illustrations made with sumi ink washes and pen and pencil drawings digitally assembled and colored that should grab the young readers and make them laugh. This debut picture book bodes well for this self-described “odd duck” author.
Number Slumber
Boyds Mills Press [Boyds Mills Press]
Bloom, Suzanne
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
After asking the reader six questions about what he does to get ready for bed, the book gets to its crux when it asks, “What do other sleepyheads do when their busy day is through?” Then moving from 10 down to 1, each double-page spread features an alliterative sentence describing some creatures starting with, “Ten terribly tired tigers tiptoe to their beds.” and ending with “One really weary wombat yawns…and whispers ‘nighty-night.’ What do other sleepyheads do? Fall fast asleep, just like you.” Bloom’s pastel illustrations create a sense of softness and cuddliness with all of the animals in their jammies making this a perfect countdown to bedtime. The idea originated when she used this with her own kids.
Together
Nosy Crow [NOSY CROW]
Dodd, Emma
Jarvis
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
In distinctive Emma Dodd style, a mother otter recounts the good day she and her baby have just had because they were together. The shiny silver digital illustrations are even more stunning and rich than normal The rhyming text adds to the comfort and reassurance this simple story of a mother’s love brings.
Hooray For Today!
Hmh Books For Young Readers [Hmh Books For Young Readers]
Won, Brian
Litchfield, David
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
Pre-Kindergarten
December 30, 2016
Turpin, Sharon
As night begins, little Owl announces that this will be a good, good day. She sets off with a wagonload of toys to find her friends. But with each animal she asks to play—the elephant, zebra, turtle, giraffe, and lion, each is too sleepy, so she gently bids each a tender, thoughtful good night. Finally in exasperation she shouts, “Hoo-Hoo-HOORAY FOR TODAY! Can anyone come out to play?” There in the moonlight she is all alone except for the descending moon and ascending sun, and she sadly declares that this was a bad, bad day when no one wanted to play. Back at her tree there are all of her friends asking her to play, but she needs a nap first. This is a delightfully written and illustrated picture book that emotes kindness and friendship. The hints of rhyme add to the enjoyment. Also by this author/illustrator is Hooray for Hat!
Batneezer
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR) [HENRY HOLT & COMPANY (BYR)]
Skye, Obert
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 30, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
In this the 6th (and last?) book in "The Creature From My Closet" series, Rob has had it with things including his closet. It has produced a mish-mash of book characters, all of which have taught him lessons, but books are now causing him problems. That's why he puts a chair under the closet doorknob as Christmas nears. That doesn't help, however, as the ghost of Batneezer (a combination of Batman and Ebeneezer Scrooge) appears and tells him 3 ghosts will visit him. All have to do with libraries and the value of reading, as Rob and his friends must stop an evil shyster from destroying his school library over Christmas and replacing the books with pay-per-view computers. All the ghosts are book character combinations, and some old friends come back for this epic battle. This is another fun addition to the series and the strong moral at the end implies it may be the final book. My students love this series and will eagerly embrace this book.
Belladonna And The Nightmare Academy
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Gosselin, Jake
Kelly, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
The Pinkaboos series features young "frights" whose job is to go into the nightmares of little girls and help them face and conquer their fears. Balladonna has a particularly challenging assignment as her little girl had a "fright" named Vex who used magic in her dream, failed miserably at her job, and has turned into a nightmare. Now Vex is trying to turn other frights to the dark side, scaring little girls instead of helping them. Can Belladonna and her friends thwart Vex and save a little girl's dreams? This is a fun series with bright pink covers aimed clearly at a girl audience. Short chapters and occasional color illustrations make it a good choice for those who have recently moved into chapter books.
Bitterly And The Giant Problem
Andrews & Mcmeel [Andrews & Mcmeel]
Gosselin, Jake
Kelly, Billy
Additional Plus -- Good solid book but has some minor flaws.
2nd grade to 4th grade
December 30, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Bitterly, Abyssma, and Belladonna are young "frights" who go to Fright School. Their job is to learn how to enter the nightmares of young girls and help them face and conquer their fears. Unfortunately they have their own nightmare in a bully at the school who calls them "Pinkaboos" as an insult, and makes their lives miserable. Bitterly's first little girl turns out to be a challenge as she is chased by a giant through her dreams. Can Bitterly help her? She both gives and learns an important lesson that helps her in embracing the term "Pinkaboo" and facing her own fears. This is a fun series whose bright pink covers and girl-centered stories will attract girl readers like a magnet.
Letter For The King
David Fickling Books [David Fickling Books]
Dragt, Tonke
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 31, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Originally published in Dutch, in 1962, this is a classic tale of knighthood and adventure. Sixteen-year-old Tiuri is doing his vigil with friends, knowing that the next morning he will be dubbed a knight. Nothing must interrupt this sacred ritual. But there is a voice at the door. A plea for help. Tiuri cannot turn a deaf ear. Soon he is on a quest to deliver an important letter to the king of a nearby kingdom. There are those would stop him, or kill him, and those will help him along the way. His own moral code, courage, and fortitude are all that might save him. Sword fights, escapes, death, betrayal, and friendship all play their roles. The book is long--517 pages--and occasionally a little stilted with a slightly old-fashioned air. However, the reader is soon sucked into Tiuri's adventure and the book is hard to put down. Lovers of King Arthur will find a kindred spirit in Tiuri and his quest.
Night Lights
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER [RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS FOR YOUNG READER]
Rabe, Tish
Ruiz, Aristedes & Joe Mathieu
Additional Minus -- Mediocre.
Kindergarten to 3rd grade
December 31, 2016
Cook, Kathryn
Based on the PBS TV show “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!” readers learn fireflies flash their lights using a unique pattern to communicate. In this title Sally, Nick and the Cat need help finding light for their shadow show, Cat’s friend Shimmer, a firefly, is ready to help when she realize that her friend, Glimmer, needs rescuing from a spider’s web. Nick, Sally and the Cat effect a rescue and all ends well. The text is told in rhyme just as a Dr. Seuss inspired book should, but the glow in the dark paint and stickers are gimmicks that don’t materially add to the story. The information about fireflies is slight and is not sufficient reason to consider this book for purchase – accept as a donation if offered, it may appeal to young readers familiar with the PBS program and Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat.
At Ease
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS [ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERS]
Ross, Jeff
Recommended -- Superior in style, liveliness, integrity and format.
6th grade to 12th grade
December 31, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
15-year old Will has been playing the violin for years, but only for his next-door neighbor who has been teaching him. The neighbor, however, recognizes true talent and gets Will into a two week summer camp in Ottawa that gives him exposure and may set him on his musical path. Will loves the music, and the people in his quartet. However, he has to deal with a competitive rival, and overwhelming stage fright. Will he be able to reach the music within himself, or allow outside influences to stop him? This is another exceptional book from Orca, aimed at a secondary audience but perfectly clean and accessible to elementary readers. The writing is crisp as a staccato note, character development is exceptional, and the book is hard to put down. Lucky it's an Orca book, right? These are books you can read in an hour or two, perfect for reluctant readers but in no way talking down to them. It would make a worthy addition to any secondary library.
Rachel's Worry
Stone Arch Books [Stone Arch Books]
Gurtler, Janet
Wood, Katie
Additional -- Satisfactory book but is or will be excelled in its field by other books.
3rd grade to 5th grade
December 31, 2016
Bateman, Teresa
Mermaids have rules. When you're 13 you can spend brief time on land, growing legs for the occasion. A return to the sea will return your tail. In previous books Rachel has made a human friend and he was given a gift that allowed him to visit her in the sea. Now he is acting strangely, however. Aren't they friends anymore? Rachel and her mermaid friends must discover the trouble and try to fix it. But not all problems can be resolved. this is part of the "Mermaid Kingdom" series--well-bound books with occasional color illustrations. There are plenty of mermaid fans out there, so the series is sure to find readership. My problem with it is that the underwater world is just like ours, with a few fish tossed in. You can fall out of bed, you can capture a tear off your cheek, you can pile things on your dinner plate. None of those things would really be possible in a water environment. And how convenient that your tail turns into a modest pair of shorts when you leave the water. Ah well, the young readers won't care.