Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Blue Whale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Blue Whale
by Jenni Desmond
Enchanted Lion Books, 2015

This is a perfect ‘boys’ book that, with a kid-voice of awe and excitement, introduces the greatest mammal on earth, the blue whale.  Readers learn a whale’s heart is the size of a small car, about 1,300 pounds and its tongue is three tons!  They learn 50 people could fit inside a whale’s mouth.  While a whale eats 35 million krill a day, its throat is only as wide as a grapefruit.  The illustrations cleverly show all the whale details throughout the story and features ‘whales’ wherever possible, like the kitchen table is shaped like a whale.  They even get a geography lesson thrown in.  Targeted for the 4-7 year old, they will have fun reading it over and over to learn about the gigantic whale.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

Whoops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Whoops!

by Suzi Moore, illustrated by Russell Ayto
Templar Books, 2016

The problems are simple, the cat can’t meow, the dog can’t woof, and the mouse can’t squeak.  How can get it right?  The wise owl, sends them off to the little old lady in a house in the woods who will give them a “spell to make them well.”  (Yes, it’s all in perfect rhyme.)  But the little old lady, emphasis on old, doesn’t seem to be able to find the right spell, for the cat goes cluck!, the dog goes quack!, and the mouse goes cock-a-doodle-doo!—“Whoops!”  So she tries again, and again, and again.   Whoops!  Find out if she can cast the right spell.  Readers will enjoy the mystery story, the mix-ups with their Whoops!, and the intensely colored pages when a spell is cast.  A downright funny story.

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A Symphony of Cowbells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Symphony of Cowbells
by Heather Preusser, Illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

Through heartwarming, Swiss-style illustrations and lots of clanging and jangling, readers take a trip to the Swiss Mountains.  This is best appreciated when read aloud.

Petra’s favorite cow, Elfi, wore the most booming brass bell of all the cows, but one morning the brass bell was missing.  To stay on their schedule of moving the herd to spring pastures, the family decided Elfi would have to do without, but Elfi wanted nothing to do with that idea and wouldn’t budge.  The family found a small bell, which Elfi snorted at. Without the big brass bell, the herd was “out of tune” and the entire herd would not move!  Petra had to find the big bell.  The next day she noticed a crow carrying a shiny object.  Figuring this was a clue, she chased down the crow.  Unable to reach the crow’s nest, she enlisted the help of family and neighbors and, indeed, there was the bell, along with many other missing items!  With the herd in harmony again, they moved up to the spring pastures.

The illustrations join the words to make a great family read aloud.

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.

 

Little Red Rolls Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Red Rolls Away
by Linda Whalen, illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

This story is perfect for children experiencing changes in life, like a big move, changing schools, etc..

In Little Red Rolls Away, Little Red is picked up, placed on wheels, then placed on a boat and doesn’t know why.  His boards shake and his nails nearly pop out, he does not like this trip!  When he reaches shore, he then travels a very long distance until he is placed on land again.  He feels better.  Soon his old friends join him and he is okay.  Readers will have to find out the ‘happy place’ Little Red goes.

An Afterward provides tips on How to Help a Child Navigate Change.

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K is for Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


K is for Kindergarten

by Erin Dealey, illustrated by Joseph Cowman
Sleeping Bear Press, 2017

In this book, readers get two books.  One is an alphabet book, counting down the days before the first day of Kindergarten, and the second is an activities book, providing the anxious/excited child activities to both entertain and teach.

Author Erin Dealey weaves together poetry and kindergarten activities in the countdown.
“C is for crayons and coloring.
How creative can you be?
Glitter, scissors, paste, and yarn—
make some art for all to see!”

Each page includes a Kinder Countdown and a Kinder Challenge introducing or reviewing, depending upon your child, kindergarten basics, like the ABC Song, drawing, jump roping and music.

The illustrations are rich, colorful and right on target to capture the emotions leading up to starting school.This book is a delight to the ear and eye and includes pages of interactive things to do.

Read more reviews and order on Amazon.

The Fox Wish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fox Wish
by Kimiko Aman, illustrated by Komako Sakai
Chronicle Books, 2017
Originally published in Japan

This favorite story originally published in Japan, delights the imagination and tickles the heart. A ‘what if’ story in a world where children and animals understand each other.

A young girl and her toddler brother forget their jump rope at the park. When they return to find it, their jump rope isn’t where they left it.  When they hear laughter, they follow it and come upon a pack of young foxes jumping with their rope.  The foxes jumped well, but their tails got in their way and they kept falling.  While the young girl knew it was not polite to laugh, the toddler giggled.  The foxes heard them and the two came out of hiding. Soon they were all jumping.  But who would take the jump rope home?  Roxie, who left it at the park, or Roxy who found it?  Enjoy the emotions shared in this imaginary encounter with a pack of playful foxes.  The soothing and almost whimsical illustrations rendered in acrylic gouache, oil pencil and ballpoint pen capture the foxes’ personified emotions.  A story and art for the heart.

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Going Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Going Places

Peter H. and Paul Reynolds
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014

A book that encourages a child’s imagination to ‘go places.’

Rafael and Maya’s class receive go-cart kits to make for an upcoming race.  Rafael follows the directions perfectly. But Maya sees the world differently, as she sits on the kit’s box, absorbed in drawing a bird. She takes the kit and creates a contraption with wings.  At first Rafael hesitates, but then throws aside the instructions as the two join together to make a flying go-cart. At the starting line, everyone laughs, but the cart soars into the sky and wins the race.  When Rafael and Maya land near a pond, they see the potential for their next project! Another winner by Peter H. Reynolds!  (Other books by award winning Peter H. Reynolds: Ish, and Playing from the Heart)

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My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis
by Paul Meisel
Holiday House, 2017

Through a cleverly written journal by P. Mantis, we follow his life.  From the day he was born, May 17, to the time he leaves his short life, October 17.  We meet his 150 brothers and sisters who devour plants and are devoured by birds.  P Mantis pretends to be a stick and survives attacks by his predators.  He loves summer and shares his escapades, but then fall arrives and he beings to move more slowly.  He returns to where he was born and lays eggs, which will be born next spring.  The story gently closes, with “I’m going to lie down now and take a long nap.  Good-bye!”

Mantis’ voice is upbeat and kid-like so early readers can follow along and see P. Mantis’ life through P. Mantis’ eyes. A great way to introduce children to a single insect’s life cycle. On the inside pages, adults will find more details about P. Mantis’, including websites.

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Ice Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice Boy
by David Ezra Stein
Candlewick Press, 2017

Ice Boy lives in the freezer with his family.  His parents said the best thing that could happen to an ice cube was to be chosen, but Ice Boy wanted more.  His parents said to never go outside, but he did.  His doctor said never go in the sun, but he did anyway.  He had a great time exploring the world, but soon he became….Water Boy.  A clever story introducing the water cycle, geared for the youngest readers.

Graphically, we see the world from an ice cube’s point of view where ice cream cones, fudgsicles, muffins and ice cream sandwiches decorate or are used for furniture in his home.

In the end, Ice Boy meets back with his parents and Ice Boy takes them on an adventure!

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Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
By Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
Charlesbridge, 2016

When a child is curious, they just have to explore, and that’s exactly what Lonnie Johnson did as a child.  Living in a small house with five brothers and sisters, he had challenges storing his rocket kits, bamboo shooters, rubber-band guns, erector set, go-kart engine, and all the other spare parts he used to make things.  He was an inventor.

From scratch he taught himself how to make a rocket and launched it for his classmates.  When an ‘exam’ told him he would not make a good engineer, he pushed through those claims because he knew he had Linux, a robot he had created from spare parts.  In 1968 he and Linux won a science fair at the University of Alabama, where only five years earlier, African American students hadn’t even been allowed.  In time he invents the Super-Soaker and, with perseverance, his dreams come true.  An inspiring story with encouragement to push through setbacks.

Red more reviews and purchase at Amazon.