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Showing posts from August, 2018

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Imagine! by Raul Colon/Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

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IMAGINE! by Raul Colon Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-4814-6273-0 Source: publisher for review Ages 6 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A wordless picture book about a visit to the museum and the power of art and imagination.

After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery changes how he sees the world ever after.

REVIEW

I love this book for several reasons.  I love the book because of the gorgeous art.  Colon has become one of my favorite illustrators for this reason.  The second thing I love about the book is the theme revolving around the power of imagination to help see and experience things we couldn't otherwise.  In the book which is wordless, a young boy leaves his home, crosses a bridge, and visits an art museum.  But as…

SERIES THURSDAY: The Last Firehawk, books 1-4

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THE EMBER STONE The Last Firehawk, #1 by Katrina Charman, illustrated by Jeremy Norton Scholastic, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-338-12230-5 Source: purchased Ages 6-8 Early Chapter book All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A terrible darkness is spreading across Perodia. Thorn, a powerful vulture, is using dark magic (and his dark army of spies!) to destroy the magical land. A young owl named Tag may be the only one who can save it! Tag dreams of one day becoming a brave warrior, but he is small . . . In this first book, Tag and his best friend -- a squirrel named Skyla -- meet the last firehawk. Together, the three friends learn about a magical stone. Could this stone be powerful enough to defeat Thorn? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!

REVIEW

The Ember Stone is the first book in a new series that's part of Scholastic's Branches early chapter bo…

WILD & WONDERFUL WORLD: History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles from the Past by Kitson Jazynka

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HISTORY'S MYSTERIES: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles from the Past by Kitson Jazynka National Geographic Kids, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-4263-2871-8 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 9-12 MG Nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Why were the Easter Island heads erected? What really happened to the Maya? Who stole the Irish Crown Jewels? The first book in this exciting new series will cover history's heavy-hitting, head-scratching mysteries, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke, the Bermuda Triangle, the Oak Island Money Pit, Stonehenge, the Sphinx, the disappearance of entire civilizations, the dancing plague, the Voynich manuscript, and so many more. Chock-full of cool photos, fun facts, and spine-tingling mysteries.

REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this well-researched, and engagingly told account of a variety of mysteries.  There are 7 chapters and each chapter discusses several different mysteries related to that topic.  Topics include vanished…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Goodbye Brings Hello/What Do They Do With All That Poo?/A Boy, A Bear, A Balloon/A Home for Leo

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GOODBYE BRINGS HELLO words by Dianne White, pictures by Daniel Wiseman Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-544-79875-5 Source: Blue Slip Media Ages 3-6 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Like Bernie Waber's COURAGE and Davis' KINDERGARTEN ROCKS!, this inspiring, vibrantly illustrated gift book is perfect for celebrating life's milestones, both great and small—especially that first day of kindergarten.

There are many ways of letting go.
With each goodbye, a new hello.

From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next.  

Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life's milestones, both large and small.

REVIEW

MIDDLE GRADE REVIEW: wishtree by Katherine Applegate

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WISHTREE by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charles Santoso Feiwel & Friends, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-250-04322-1 Source: purchased Middle grade fantasy/speculative Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

REVIEW

I absolutely adored this book by Katherine Applegate.  After loving The One and Only Ivan, I've been an eager fan of hers.  And this book doesn't disappoint in the slightest.  It's a fairly short book at 211…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Snared--Escape to the Above by Adam Jay Epstein

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SNARED Escape to the Above by Adam Jay Epstein Imprint, 2018 ISBN:  978-1-250-14692-2 Middle grade fantasy/speculative Ages 9-12 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Chopping blades, scorpion nests, giant spiderwebs—no one makes traps better than Wily Snare.

He has never seen the sun, or blue sky, or even his parents. Wily Snare lives underground, creating traps to keep treasure-seekers away from the gold in an ancient wizard’s dungeon. He spends his days mopping up giant slug slime, avoiding poison darts, and herding undead skeletons. It’s all he knows.

Until an unusual band of adventurers—an acrobatic elf, a warrior with a magic arm, and a giant made of moss—successfully defeat Wily’s traps. And they want the ultimate treasure: Wily himself. His skills can help them invade every other dungeon in the kingdom. He might even aid their fight against the Infernal King, whose gearfolk and prisonauts terrorize the land.

But for a boy who has never been outside,…

WILD & WONDERFUL WORLD: SHARKS!

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SHARKS: NATURE'S PERFECT HUNTER Science Comics by Joe Flood First Second, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-62672-788-5 Source: purchased MG Nonfiction Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

For over 400 million years, sharks have been the ocean's top predator! They're vital to our ecosystem, but their importance is often overshadowed by our own fear—even though they hardly ever threaten humans.

Dive in for an intimate look at the dynamic hammerhead, infamous great white, primordial megalodon, and the gentle nurse shark, the rare species that will let a scuba diver pet them! This book is filled to the gills with jaw-dropping illustrations and razor-sharp facts that shed light on these fascinating creatures of the deep, including their undersea terrain, cunning adaptability, and staggering variety.

REVIEW
Sharks are a fascinating animal.  And many children are interested in learning about them.  So this addition to the Science Comics series is a welcome one.  The book mixe…

PICTURE BOOKS for TEACHING 2018-2019

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MIXED: A COLORFUL STORY by Arree Chung Henry Holt and Company, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-250-14273-3 Source: purchased Grades to be used with: K-1 All opinions are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The reds, the yellows, and the blues all think they're the best in this vibrant, thought-provoking picture book with a message of acceptance and unity.

In the beginning, there were three colors . . .

Reds,

Yellows,

and Blues.

All special in their own ways, all living in harmony--until one day, a Red says "Reds are the best!" and starts a color kerfuffle. When the colors decide to separate, is there anything that can change their minds?

A Yellow, a Blue, and a never-before-seen color might just save the day in this inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences.

REVIEW

People can be quick to judge others and children are no different.  It can be especially difficult to be welcoming to someone who is quite different from you.  As such I am always looking for books that can help me …

SERIES THURSDAY: The Year of.. by Andrea Cheng

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THE YEAR OF THE GARDEN by Andrea Cheng, illustrated by Patrice Barton Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-544-66444-9 Source: school library Middle grade contemporary Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

When Anna is gifted a copy of The Secret Garden, it inspires her to follow her dreams—maybe she can plant ivy and purple crocuses and the birds will come.  Or maybe what grows from her dream of a garden is even better: friendship. And friendship, like a garden, often has a mind of its own.       In this prequel to Year of the Book, join Anna in a year of discovery, new beginnings, friendships, and growth.

REVIEW

This is an adorable book about a young girl, Anna, who has moved into a new house and new neighborhood and isn't sure where she fits.  But after visiting one of her mother's clients, she's inspired to create her own garden, especially after starting to read the copy of The Secret Garden she's given. But after meeting Laura, a neighb…