Monthly Archives: October 2016

Wolf Camp

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Wolf Camp
by Andrea Zuill
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2016

Wolf Camp is a hilarious story about a family dog that gets a once in a lifetime experience going to a wolf camp.   Fang and Grrr, Homer’s camp counselors, teach him how to howl, track wild animals and hunt.  But, Homer soon finds out eating what you hunt is gross!  And through a series of humorous lessons, he learns that being a wolf isn’t always what he thought it was.  Homer returns from camp a changed dog.

Readers will feel the excitement of preparing for camp, riding the bus to camp, and making new friends at this very different place called “camp” and will love Homer and his loveable, laughable friends.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

I am Jane Goodall

JaneI am Jane Goodall
by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016

The ‘inspirational’ writing and comic-book like drawings bring Jane Goodall’s story to life.  Starting on her first birthday when she receives her beloved cuddly toy chimpanzee, to her first research project of waiting and watching a chicken lay an egg, to her being inspired to work for animals when she read the book, Dr. Doolittle.  Then, as an adult she gets to Africa, meets Dr. Leakey, and, without any formal schooling but a passion for animals, she becomes an observer and researcher of chimpanzees.  Jane points out there’s much more to gain if you see how alike we all are.  Jane encourages people to follow their dreams.  The book includes adult concepts written in simple terms for kids to comprehend.  An inspiring and encouraging book for young ones.

Author Brad Meltzer has sold more than one million non-fiction picture books for kids–a first! Read other titles in his “Ordinary People Change the World” series to discover historical and contemporary ‘every day’ heroes your child will love and learn from.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Edgar’s Second Word

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Edgar’s Second Word

by Audrey Vernick,, illustrated by Priscilla Buirris
Clarion Books, 2014

A warm, snuggly story that celebrates reading.

Waiting for her baby brother to arrive, Hazel plans to read her favorite books to him, like she does for her stuffed bunny, Rodrigo.  But when Edgar does arrive, reading to him is about the same as reading to Rodrigo.  Hazel watches mom fill in Edgar’s baby book with his ‘firsts’, and they both wonder what his first word will be.  Then his first word arrives and it is “No!”  He cries ‘No!’ where ever they go and it is sometimes quite embarrassing.  Then, one day while Hazel is reading Edgar a book, he says his second word and Hazel knows she loves her brother.

Illustrations are clear, happy and perfect, showing the joy of life.  Readers see intimacy close up when Edgar touches Hazel’s nose as she’s reading a story and when Hazel reads to Edgar, pink cheeks and all.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Before I Leave

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Before I Leave

by Jessixa Bagley
Neal Porter Books, 2016

Jessixa Bagley’s latest book, Before I Leave, is perfect for a child encountering a move, whether the child or their best friend is moving.

Sad their ‘best friend’ is moving away, Aaron and Zelda decide to play one last time “like nothing is changing.”  And so they do all their favorite things.  At day’s end, Aaron waves good bye and says, “you’ll see me soon.”  But Zelda is “not so sure.”  As Zelda rides off with her mother and father, Aaron seems so far away…until she unpacks.

The surprise ending suggests things best friends moving apart can do.  A sensitive, loving book.  Jessixa does her own illustrations in pen and watercolor and fills each page with kid details a child can relate to.  While the character’s expressions are minimal in size, they say so much about the emotions a child experiences when moving away.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Around America to Win the Vote, Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 miles

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Around America to Win the Vote, Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 miles

by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Hadley Hooper
Candlewick Press, 2016

On April 6, 1916, two suffragists set out from New York city in a yellow car to travel across America and back.  They drove all day, speaking at night about the “votes for women.”  The story features the ‘incidents’ they encountered, including a blizzard on their second day out!  They encountered missing bridges, sticky clay, wet sand, as well as an “all-yellow” lunch served in South Carolina.  Yellow was the color for “Votes for Women”.  The story captures a glimpse of two of the many women who helped bring awareness to the votes for women. The women returned to New York in September.  In l920 the Nineteenth Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution giving the right for women to vote.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Every Day Birds

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Every Day Birds
BY Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, illustrations by Dylan Metrano
Orchard Books, 2016

Written in flowing, rhythmic verse and Illustrated with richly colored cut paper Every Day Birds introduces readers to twenty common birds.  The light verse celebrates birds in their unique colors, habits, habitats, and songs.  The illustrations of each bird are so vivid and alive, it’s a pleasure to turn each page to study the art.  It’s easy to imagine seeing each bird and recalling your own experience of seeing the bird in your neighborhood.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Happy

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Happy
by Emma Dodd
Nosy Crow/Candlewick Press, 2014

A comforting, sweet story of a parent sharing with her child all the ways her child shows he is happy.

In a simple, poetic voice, mama owl tells her child, “I know that you are happy when you have a lot to say.”  From hopping and skipping along to giggling when he plays, the reader discovers the many ways in which the child expresses their happiness.  The illustrations are beautiful and comforting.  We see the face and eyes of mama and baby owl up close, we see them playing hide and go seek with each other, and we see shiny gold highlights nearly each page bringing in a subtle happiness.  A wonderful book to share at bedtime with the very youngest.

Check out “Wish”, also by Emma Dodd.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Coyote Moon

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Coyote Moon
by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Roaring Brook Press, 2016

The nighttime illustrations of the coyote’s world draw in the readers—what will happen next?

In Coyote Moon we follow a mother coyote on her nightly hunt for food.  Leaving behind her pups, the older ones on guard to protect the younger ones, she leaves behind the hidden den in the cemetery.  She spots some live food and on the next spread we see her jump high in the air and pounce on her prey through a startling picture that may haunt the very youngest.  She is not successful.  Soon your eyes adjust to the nighttime darkness as she continues her stalking.  Readers learn the kind of animals coyote seek and the kind of dangers that lurk for the coyote.

Back matter following the story tells how coyotes have come to live near people, even in large cities.  A beautifully illustrated book that includes a “distant” interaction with a young girl.

Read more reviews on Amazon.

Perfect Square

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Perfect Square

by Michael Hall
Greenwillow Books, 2011

Perfect Square starts with a red square on Monday and on each day of the week he explores all the things you can make from different color squares.  From a red square, he shapes a fountain that babbles, giggles and claps.  He shapes an orange square into flowers and a green square into a park.  Young ones can guess (or remember) the cut up shapes of each square and what they turn into.  A surprise at the end reviews all the shapes.  The colors are bright and vivid, the shapes are clever and simple.  A delight to explore while learning colors, shapes, and days of the week.

Read more reviews on Amazon.