Monday, July 31, 2006

Math Fables

Tang, Greg. Math Fables. Scholastic 2004. ISBN 0439453992. $11.53. Ages 4-8.

Hello! My name is K-. You will love this book by Greg Tang. It is a nonfiction book about math. It is called, Math Fables. You will love this book because it has really beautiful pictures of bugs, trees, flowers and hills. You can tell other people about this book so they can enjoy it, too. I think they will love this book so so so much! If you would like to read this book, you may check it out at the library.

K., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio

Guess Who Bites

Gordon, Sharon. Guess Who Bites. Benchmark 2005. ISBN 0761417664. $21.36. Ages 9-12.

Hi! My name is S-. Do you like sharks? I do! The book Guess Who Bites by Sharon Gordon has real pictures. I love this book because I learned some interesting facts about sharks like, they have scales and can see very well underwater. You better run and get this book at your local library.

S., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio


Richardson, Adele. Fish. Capstone 2005. ISBN 073682622X. $14.46. Ages Baby – Preschool.

Hi! My name is E-. If you want to learn about fish, go to the public library and get this book titled Fish by Adele Richardson. You will learn about a whole bunch of fish. It has a lot of fish in this book. I liked this book because it is nonfiction and that means it is real. If you want this book, because I bet lots of people do, you better hurry up or you’re going to miss learning about fish.

E., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio.


Frost, Helen. Snow. Capstone 2004. ISBN 0736820957. $10.83. Ages 9-12.

Hello! My name is M-. If you like snow this is a good book for you. It’s all about snow. The title is Snow and the author is Helen Frost. It is a nonfiction story about snow. There is a table of contents showing 8 chapters. I liked this book because I love snow. If you like snow, you better run to the library and get it.

M. C., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Guess Who Runs

Gordon, Sharon. Guess Who Runs. Benchmark 2005. ISBN 076141763X. $21.36. Ages 9-12.

Hi! My name is Z-. If you want to read a good book and like horses, be sure to read Guess Who Runs? by Sharon Gordon. It has real pictures and is a nonfiction book. It does not have a table of contents. At the end of the book, it tells you what each picture is. I liked this book because it is a guessing game.

Z., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sam Goes to School

Labatt, Mary. Sam Goes to School. Illustrated by Marisol Sarrazin. Kids Can Press 2004. ISBN 1553375645. $3.95. Ages 4-8.

Hello! My name is R-. This book is about a dog going to school. This book will make you laugh a lot. You will enjoy this story. I picked this book because I have a puppy! Go to the public library and get this book. The title is Sam Goes to School, written by Mary Labatt, illustrated by Marisol Sarrazin.

R., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Guinea Pigs

Kalman, Bobbie, and Kelly Macaulay. Guinea Pigs. Photographs by Marc Crabtree. Crabtree 2004. ISBN 0778717550. $16.27. Ages 9-12.

Hi! My name is R-. Do you want to know how to take care of a guinea pig? If you do, go to the library and check out Guinea Pigs by Bobbie Kalman and Kelly Macaulay. This will teach you what you need to take care of a guinea pig. This book has real pictures and facts, so it’s a nonfiction book. It even has a table of contents. Captions and labeling show you every part of a guinea pig. I liked this book because it taught me about guinea pigs. So, go to the public library and get this good book.

R., South Main Elementary, Bowling Green, Ohio.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein

Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. ISBN 0618492984. $16.00. Ages 4-8.

I think Odd Boy Out was a good book. If someone wanted to learn about Einstein they would get a lot of information. I think it was sort of funny that he did not talk until he was three, but he was very smart.

I like the drawings. But he only used a couple colors. He makes good drawings of people. If he had used color it would have been better. It would have been more lively. If it talked about Albert more that would have been more informational. If it was longer it would of made more interest. Also, if the book had a different title, like Albert’s Life or Einstein. Overall, I think it was a good book. He added a lot more details. People have a lot of old clothes. It was like the old days and what they used to look like back then.

J. L., Glendale-Feilbach Elementary, Toledo, Ohio.

John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon

Rappaport, Doreen. John’s Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon. Illustrated by Brian Collier. Hyperion, 2004. ISBN 0786808179. $16.99. Ages 9-12.

John’s Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon by Doreen Rappaport is a terrific story of John Lennon’s sorrowful life from childhood to death. It starts when he is five and left with his aunt and uncle. John had a “secret dream” to play guitar and perform music. People who like classical rock and / or the Beetles will enjoy this book filled with John’s thoughts and how he changed the world. Every page is filled with Brian Collier’s clever illustration. Don’t miss out on this amazing book.

M. D., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

Hazel Nutt Alien Hunter

Elliot David. Hazel Nutt, Alien Hunter. Illustrated by True Kelley. Holiday House, 2004. ISBN 082341843X. $16.95. Ages 4-8.

If you enjoy a book about space, dumb but funny aliens and flying meatballs then you would enjoy Hazel Nutt, Alien Hunter by David Elliot. The story tells of a girl whose name is Hazel Nutt. She goes into space with a dog and her two headed first mate Igor. The illustrator, True Kelley, makes weird aliens and wacko drawings giving it an extra boost of humor and excitement. I would suggest this book to a person who enjoys a giggle, funny surprises, or even just as a read aloud to a child. This book I think would be good for all ages. This was different from many books I’ve ever read and a joy to read, I think any and everyone who reads this book will want to read it again.

M. H., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Remembering Stone

Russell, Barbara. The Remembering Stone. Illustrated by Claire B. Cotts. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. ISBN 03743624221. $16.00. Ages 4-8.

If you like books about dreams then you’ll like The Remembering Stone by Barbara Russell. It’s about a girl who tries to find out what her dream is, and when she does she wants to make it happen. The author makes you want to keep reading to find out what her dream is. I think the author could have made it better if she said what some of the words in Spanish meant. The illustrations by Claire B. Cotts were vivid and went right with the story. Throughout the whole book it sends you a message, not to let go of your dreams.

K.M., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Whole Green World

Johnston, Tony. The Whole Green World. Illustrated by Elisa Kleven. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. ISBN 0374384002. $15.00. Ages 4-8.

If you are just learning how to read and like books that rhyme you would like The Whole Green World by Tony Johnston. Elisa Kleven did a great mix of cartoon and realistic pictures. They are also very colorful, you can’t see a lot of white in them. This book would have been a lot better if they did not say practically the same thing on each page. This book might not have been the best book ever to a 5th grader, but it would be good to a younger child.

T. J., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

The Boy Who Loved Bananas

Elliot, George. The Boy Who Loved Bananas. Illustrated by Andrej Krystsforski. Kids Can Press, 2005. ISBN 1553377443. $15.95. Ages 4-8.

If you like books with weird events going on, then you’ll love, The Boy Who Loved Bananas. It is about a boy who went to a zoo. After he left the zoo, the only thing he ever wanted to eat were bananas! But, the next time he went to the zoo, weird things started happening. The author of this book leaves you wondering what would be happening if there was a second part.

S.F., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

Extreme Waterskiing Moves

Firestone, Mary. Extreme Waterskiing Moves. Capstone High Interest Books, 2003. ISBN 0736821554. $22.60. Ages 4-8.

If you like waterskiing then you will like Extreme Waterskiing Moves by Mary Firestone. It is a book about how they do all their cool tricks. I think it would have been better if there was a little more text and diagrams of the ski. The pictures were very good. It is like you know all of their secrets now.

B. D., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio

Tony Hawk: Skateboarding Legend

Savage, Jeff. Tony Hawk: Skateboarding Legend. Capstone Press, 2004. ISBN 0736827048. $22.60.

Do you know the first person to land a 900 degree, it was Tody Hawk. Tony Hawk: Skateboarding Legend is written by Jeff Savage. I liked this book because I like watching skating. I like watching skating because skating is a challenge and that is why Tony became famous when he land the 900 degree.

Tony was the first to land the 900 degree in the 1999 X-Games. When Tony was 11 he decided to stop all other sports but skating. Tony won an ESPN award in 2001.

I would recommend this book to somebody that likes skating of course, but also an amateur because it tells a lot about skating.

T. R., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.


Gifford,Clive. Spies. Kingfisher, 2004. ISBN 075345776. $11.95. Ages 9-12.

Are you interested in spies? If you are, Spies by Clive Gifford is the book for you. I enjoyed this book because it tells several amazing things about spies and what they do. This book tells what they do about some famous spies, when governments use spies, and why people spy. It also tells about weapons and gadgest they use.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes this topic, because it tells cool stuff about spies.

J. P., Farifield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cool Scrapbooks

Price, Pam. Cool Scrapbooks. Abdo Publishing Company, 2004. ISBN 1591977444. $22.78. Ages 4-8.

Do you like scrap booking? If so, Cool Scrapbooks, by Pam Price, is the book for you. It is a good book. I liked it because it gave you tips on how to make a good scrapbook.

One example is not to use too many stickers or other decorations. If you do, the picture won’t stand out because your attention would be drawn to all the decorations, not the picture.

I would recommend this book to people who are scrap booking, artistic, or just making cards. I would recommend this book to artistic people because it has good craft materials. People who are making cards would like it because of decorating ideas.

G. H., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Hemp Jewelry

Sadler, Judy Ann. Hemp Jewelry. Illustrated by June Bradford. Kids Can Press, 2005. ISBN 1553377745. $12.95. Ages 4-8.

Hemp Jewelry by Judy Ann Sadler was great because girls or even boys can have fun making hemp jewelry. This book has pictures of the jewelry when it is finished, so you know what it will look like when it is all done.

This book teaches you how to be very crafty with hemp, and it is fun and easy. It showed you how to make tight knots, bracelets, necklaces, and rings with many different designs.

This book would entertain crafty people who would like to have stylish jewelry because that’s what this book is all about!

M. F., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Too Loud Lily

Laguna, Sofie. Too Loud Lily. Illustrated by Kerry Argent. Scholastic Press, 2004. ISBN 0439579139. $14.95. Ages 4-8.

Have you ever felt you just wanted to be loud? Too Loud Lily by Kerry Argent is for you. This book is great! Like when she is at school she always screams out the answers, but when she goes too far she ends up in the principal’s office. Lily just can’t be quiet. Lily finds out a great solution for being loud.

This book is about a hippo named Lily and she is always getting told to quiet down. But when she gets a new music teacher, things turn around. Like when her music teacher teaches her a dance then she can be loud. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to be loud.

E. B., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Tiger Woods

Bradley, Michael. Tiger Woods. Benchmark Books, 2003. ISBN 0761416315. $27.07. Ages 4-8.

Do you know who won 4 Master’s Tournaments? If you don’t, you should read Tiger Woods by Michael Bradley. It was an awesome book because it tells lots of Tiger Woods’ stats. It was also a good book because it talked about my other favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson.

This book is about how Tiger Woods got to be a pro. He first hit a golf ball when he was only 11 months old. It’s also about Tiger Woods’ career in golf. This book is for someone who likes golf and Tiger Woods. It is a good book for someone who likes Tiger Woods because it tells many facts about Tiger Woods’ life.

A. T., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Am a Sea Turtle

Stille, Darlene R. I Am a Sea Turtle. Illustrated by Todd Owen. Picture Window Books, 2004. ISBN 1404805974. $22.60. Ages 4-8.

Can you imagine being left alone on a beach with no mother to guide you? How do sea turtles know what to do? This book by Darlene R. Stille called I Am a Sea Turtle, taught you how they lived and what they did. It was exciting when they had to race to the ocean in-order not to get eaten. You just want to yell “go, go!”

This book is about how turtles live, what they do, and how they do it. You learn about their body parts and how they work. I would recommend this book to my brother because he loves sea turtles and used to own a turtle. I would also recommend it to turtle lovers everywhere.

L. O., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Once Upon an Ordinary School Day

McNaughton, Colin. Once Upon an Ordinary School Day. Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. $16.00. Ages 4-8.

This book called, Once Upon an Ordinary School Day, by Colin McNaughton and Satoshi Kitamura was awesome! It was awesome because at first the ordinary boy did his ordinary thing he did in the morning. The ordinary boy got to school after the ordinary bell rang. He went inside and thinking something ordinary was going to happen. Mr. Gee came in and had the class listen to music and write their own opinion of what the music was like to them. The ordinary boy was soon out of the ordinary because the music changed him.

I think that you should read this book because it is great entertainment and has good detail. Don’t leave this book on the shelf, pick it up and read!

E.B., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Chess: From First Moves to Checkmate

King, Daniel. Chess, From First Moves to Checkmate. Kingfisher, 2004. ISBN 0753458209. $8.95. Ages 9-12.

Chess, From First Moves to Checkmate by Daniel King is very good. I think he couldn’t have done better. The cover really gets people into the book and the first pages of facts keep people reading. It also looks modern, interesting, and cool. They also use easy explanations and diagrams. They do a good job of showing you how to play chess. I think that you should read this book because it makes learning how to play chess fun.

M., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Granite Baby

Bertrand, Lynne. Granite Baby. Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005. ISBN 0374327610. $16.00. Ages 4-8.

The book Granite Baby by Lynne Bertrand was a great book, it was mysterious and challenging. This book was mysterious because there were giants with special talents and challenging because there were some difficult words. I say that if you like mysterious and meeting a challenge, this books for you!

N.I., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.


Geisert, Arthur. Pigaroons. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. ISBN 0618410589. $16.00. Ages 4-8.

This book is called Pigaroons, by Arthur Geisert was entertaining, but needed more pizzazz. It was entertaining because the pigs stole stuff with their cleverness, who ever heard of piggy pirates anyway? Although it was an entertaining book it could have included more details and adventure. Why should good always triumph over evil? Pigaroon pirates rock! If you like pigs, pirates, and undetailed books, this one is great for you!

M., Fairfield Elementary, Maumee, Ohio.

Friday, July 14, 2006

How It Happens at the Fireworks Factory

Rocker, Megan. How It Happens at the Fireworks Factory. Illustrated by Diane and Robert L. Wolfe. Oliver Press, 2004. $19.95. ISBN 1881508978. Ages 4-8.

The book How It Happens at the Fireworks Factory was written in 2004 and was published by the Oliver Press, Inc. The photo credits were taken by Bob and Diane Wolfe. It is how fireworks are made and set up to be fired. The features of this book are captions, like “Stars and Inserts” and “Assembly.” The photos are great, and there is also a glossary in the back of the book so you can understand the words more. If I were to read this I think there should be more writing because some of the pages have five to six words on the page, and the rest is pictures. The text is very big and there are gigantic, descriptive pictures that take up most of the page. So that might mean this book is for younger audiences. I think this book is bad for little kids to read because it teaches them how to make fireworks. I thought it was a wonderful book for people who are interested in making fireworks. Overall, I thought this was a very good and descriptive book, and I would buy it because fireworks interest me.

N. H., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Merlin and the Making of a King

Hodges, Margaret. Merlin and the Making of a King. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Holiday House, 2004. ISBN 082341647X. $16.95. Ages 9-12.

Merlin and the Making of a King retold by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman was a great book. This book was published by Holiday House books in New York. This book was based on one of my favorite subjects, King Arthur. The storyline was the traditional tale of King Arthur and his knights. The pictures went exactly with the words and really added feeling. The painted illustrations are beautifully drawn; their color draws your eyes. I loved this book and recommend it to younger kids fascinated with medieval literature and King Arthur. I also liked how detailed the facts were about King Arthur. The wording is easily understood. It was a tad bit wordy, but yet very interesting. The font used in the chapter titles is a bit challenging to read because some letters look alike. If I was to go shopping and see this, I would buy this for my little sister. She is very good at reading, and I know she would love it.

K. F.., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Facts about Ecstasy (Drugs)

Levert, Suzanne. The Facts about Ecstasy (Drugs). Benchmark Books, 2004. ISBN 0761418075. $37.07. Ages 9-12.

The book The Facts about Ecstasy (Drugs) is by Suzanne Levert. This book talks about ecstasy. It lists out the facts about how dangerous it is. It also names the slang of ecstasy and the “street names” for ecstasy. The style is straightforward, no nonsense, non fiction. It gives you the facts and the facts only. The negative space is great. It has just the right amount for you to be able to get enough information and still have not a ton of words per page. It has great pictures of important people in the war against the worldwide spread of ecstasy. I thought the book was great. The first-hand account made me want to stay away from ecstasy forever. It is a very educational book it has a great chapter on rehabilitation if you have taken and have gotten addicted to ecstasy. I would recommend this book to anyone who is addicted to ecstasy or even if you just want to get some information.

B. W., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Aggressive In-Line Skating

Weil, Ann. Aggressive In-Line Skating. Capstone Press, 2004. ISBN 0736827080. $22.60. Ages 9-12.

The book Aggressive In-Line Skating was written by Ann Weil and was published by Capstone Press in 2005. This book has chapters, a glossary, internet sites, and an index. It is informational to beginners, and it has really great photos in it. The photos were my favorite part; I liked seeing pictures of awesome tricks. Overall, it is a good book, but I really didn’t learn anything new. I think this book is best for beginners of in-line skating. Maybe the title should be changed a little to indicate that it is not for experts. One thing I liked a lot was how every picture is described so the reader knows what certain things look like. I enjoyed this book, and if I was getting into in-line skating I would definitely buy it.

T.T., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Making a First Recording

Schaefer, A. R. and James Henke.Making a First Recording. Capstone Press, 2003. ISBN 0736821473. $22.60. Ages 9-12.

Making a First Recording was written by A. R. Schaefer and published by Capstone Press in 2004. It is a non-fiction book about making a first promotion, and expectations. It has straightforward and easy to read text. The pictures also relate well with the text. The book is filled with photographs and there is almost no negative space on each page. The book is decent, and I would recommend it for a band that wants to make a record. It has accurate information and there is a lot of it. The order of information is a bit confusing though. It ends up saying things repetitively. It also sounds sometimes like a seventh grader wrote it.

C.B., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Extreme Motocross

Kalman, Bobbie and John Crossingham. Extreme Motocross. Crabtree Publishing, 2004. ISBN 077871716X. $6.95. Ages 9-12.

Extreme Motocross by Bobbie Kalman and John Crossingham was published in 2004 by Crabtree Publishing Company. This book tells the history of motocross racing. The first page has the table of contents for reference and a glossary and index at the rear of the book. This book also includes full colored pictures as well as black and white from the past. Extreme Motocross is an informational book about the history and present events of MC (motocross). Most of the pictures include a small text about that particular picture. The book has a combination of photographs, drawings, and captions to show different events. In my opinion this is a great book. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the history of motocross. This book is awesome and is a great way to learn something new.

K. L., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bed Hogs

Dipucchio, Kelly. Bed Hogs Illustrated by Howard Fine. Hyperion Books, 2004. ISBN 0786818840. $15.99. Ages birth-4.

The book Bed Hogs by Kelly Dipucchio, was written in 2004 and was illustrated by Howard Fine. This book is about a little runt who tries over and over again to get comfortable in his straw bed, but his family members take up all the room, and keep doing things that annoy him in their sleep. The little runt handles that by giving them a little nudge and they scoot away from him. Finally he ends up alone where he is cold and lonely, and realizes it is better to have his family by his side at night. The text is big an bold enough for all ages to read. It is also in rhyming style. The illustrations, by Howard Fine, explain what is going on in the story. It helps young children understand the book much better. If I were to walk by and see this book on a shelf, I would definitely take a double look at it just because the cover is so adorable! Bed Hogs is an all thumbs up from my prospective.

C. D., Otsego Middle School, Tontogany, Ohio.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Jingle Bells

Trapani, Iza. Jingle Bells. Charlesbridge, 2005. ISBN 1580890954. $15.95. Ages 4-8.

Trapani takes a simple well-known Christmas carol and invites her readers into a journey around the world, exploring the cultural differences of a favored holiday. The innocence of this book is wonderfully depicted through its surreal watercolor pictures that tell their own story, and the celebration of different cultures and the journey to visit them is delightful and sensible. The lyrical flow of this story really awakens the holiday spirit and is sure to be an asset to anyone’s Christmas collection.

This book could be used to show how different cultures have different traditions for a holiday. It is a way for teachers to add in some cultural ethnography into the curriculum.

Ashleigh Williams. Intervention Specialist, Junior. BGSU

Zen Shorts

Muth, Jon. Zen Shorts. Illustrated by Jon Muth. Scholastic, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0439339111. $16.95. Ages 6-9.

As the peaceful and subdued Stillwater humbles himself for his new made friends Addy, Micheal, and Karl merge together through Japanese Zen. They spend their time with the giant panda learning life lessons through shared stories. Artistic illustrations of soft color coated through watercolors set the mood of serenity. The flashbacks of Zen Buddhist literature is captured through ink blotches, giving just a hint of texture. The inspirational text allows for the characters to communicate in a serene tongue, and gentle scenery of Muth's illustrations augments the submissive feel of the text. A restrained message underlying the nature of diplomatic actions is sure to be an immensive read.

Nathan Hillery, Early Education Major, Junior, BGSU

Mutt Dog

King, Stephen Michael. Mutt Dog! Illustrated by Stephen Michael King. Harcourt, 2005. ISBN 0152055614. $16.00. Ages 2-5.

King begins with a remarkably simple story about a search for a home and weaves it into an inspiring tale of love of the canine sort as Mutt Dog finds the affection he has longed for his entire life. Cast out and living on the streets of a booming metropolis, Mutt Dog is in a daily struggle for survival until one cold and blustery day, he wanders into a shelter and a nice lady lets him sleep inside. The next morning, she kicks him out only to call him back and take him home to her welcoming family. Readers will appreciate King’s sometimes sorrowful, yet colorful sketches that set off the story as Mutt Dog encounters further hardships until he finally arrives at a place called home.

This book could be used to talk about hardships faced in major metropolitan areas by people who are homeless and how shelters are places of refuge. It can also be used to teach compassion for others.

Darcie Pike, Intervention Specialist, Senior, BGSU

Kindergarten Rocks

Davis, Katie. Kindergarten Rocks. Harcourt , 2005. ISBN 0152049320. $15.00. Ages 4-8.

Dexter Dugan is about to start kindergarten. Along with the help of his experienced third grade sister, Jess, they show Rufus, Dexter’s stuffed dog, that there is nothing to be “an eensy teensy beensy bit scared” of. Wide-eyed Dexter’s humorous journey of the first day of school finds him quickly tackling many of the first-day of school fears and he decides Kindergarten Rocks. The procession of cartoon illustrations highlights Davis’s clever use of cartoon bubble dialogue along with vibrantly crayoned illustrations. Kindergarten Rocks is sure to be a hit among apprehensive children and anxious parents who are sending their children to school for the first time.

Meagan Schraidt, Early Education Major, Junior. BGSU

Pizza for the Queen

Castaldo, Nancy. Pizza for the Queen. Illustrated by Melisande Potter. Holiday House, 2005. ISBN 0823418650. Ages 4-8.

“Magnifico!” exclaims Queen Margherita as she enjoys a slice of pizza made especially for her by Raffaele Esposito. Based on a true story, Castaldo magnificently describes the story of Raffaele, the finest pizza maker in Napoli, who is requested by the queen to make a pizza. Raffaele searches the city for the optimal ingredients for the perfect pizza. With inspiration from the red, white, and green of the Italian flag, Raffaele creates a pizza fit for a queen, appropriately dubbed “Pizza Margherita.” This delectable story is enhanced with Potter’s vivacious illustrations that capture the appetizing quest of Raffaele. With close attention to detail, the intricate pictures are able to express the Italian culture in the late 1800’s. The story, as well as the recipe included in the book for “Pizza Margherita,” will satisfy children’s appetites everywhere.

This book could be used as part of a social studies lesson about Italy. It could also be used to learn about the Italian culture.

Lisa Kahle, Early Education Major, Junior, BGSU

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type

Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type. Illustrated by Betsey Lewin. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. ISBN 0689832133 $15.00
Rachel Coffey

A story of intrigue, drama, suspense, conflict, and a barn full of cows who love to write letters. Farmer Brown has a problem alright when his cows find an old typewriter in the barn and start making outrageous demands for electric blankets. When the farmer refuses to comply, he finds himself face to face with a barn door note reading “Sorry, we’re closed, no milk today.” Soon farmer Brown and his cows on strike must come to an agreement and with the help of a duck, a neutral party, the reach a compromise; electric blankets for the typewriter, but soon farmer Brown will see his troubles aren’t over yet as another set of animals, the ducks, decide they need a diving board. Lewin’s bright, vivid watercolor and black line technique gives the illustrations a mix of lifelike, yet animated qualities page after page. The fabulous, driving storyline, large glossy fully illustrated pages, and repetitive, rhythmic, “Click, Clack, Moo: chant at the end of each line make this story exciting and enjoyable for the preschool and primary crowd.

Ten Little Fish

Wood, Audrey. Ten Little Fish. Illustrated by Bruce Wood. New York: Blue Sky Press, 2004. ISBN 0439635691 $15.95
Emily Rippe

When ten curious fish begin to explore their ocean environment, anything can happen. Each little fish begins to leave the group for different reasons. What will the last little fish do when he is all by himself? Audrey Wood writes about the ten little fish in a simplistic, yet poetic way, allowing the reader’s imagination to hypothesize what might happen to each character. Illustrator Bruce Wood, son of Audrey Wood, digitally crated the vibrant pictures of the ten little fish using Adobe Photoshop. He is an inspiration to young artists everywhere. The tropical colored fish that stand out among the realistic backgrounds are sure to catch the reader’s eye. Ten Little Fish is an excellent picture book for any beginning reader who loves adventures, oceans, and numbers. The book is designed to help children improve on language instruction, as well as math skills. I strongly recommend parents and teachers reading Ten Little Fish to your inquisitive children.

Where Did that Baby Come From?

Gliori, Debi. Where Did that Baby Come From? Orlando: Harcourt, 2005. ISBN 0152053735 $16.00
Amber Shook

Using rhyming four-line stanzas, the author, Debi Gliori, captured a beautiful array of descriptive words to describe the confusing feelings of a young tiger cub meeting his new baby brother cub for the first time. Repeatedly the tiger cub asks “where did that baby come from?” He randomly comes up with his own ideas where the baby came from and why his parents should have left the baby there: “Did you find it in the zoo? You did not heed the “Please Don’t Feed” and brought it home with you.” With this stanza mentioned, the baby cub is sitting in a high chair and has food thrown all over the floor, and around this scene is a puzzle of trees filled with monkeys and even the baby cub is depicted as a monkey! Eye-popping detailed illustrations reinforce the little cub’s imagination. At some points there is an abundance to look at and you must stop just to explore! Anyone who has ever had a younger sibling would enjoy the humor and the soothing, satisfying outcome; the little tiger cub bonds with the new baby one night when he realizes he can calm the baby’s cries. Then he understands that the baby is just like him.


Fleming, Denise. Buster. New York: H. Holt, 2003. ISBN 0805062793 $15.95
Stacie Miller

Fleming seamlessly draws us into a world of a light-hearted dog named Buster. The vibrant yellow and blue hues punctuate his sunny mood, leaving the reader questioning what will happen on the next page. Life seems perfect for this canine; he has two dishes with his name on them, a large grassy yard, his own radio, and walks in the park whenever he wants. That is until an ominous brown box is brought home, and a new fluffy kitten is introduced into his world. Buster is afraid of the new addition in the family, and he decides to go on an adventure. The table turns when Buster is in trouble, and the kitten is his only hope. Fleming changes the mood by creating deep greens and blues which illustrate Busters new mood. Her writing is clear and concise, just right for the targeted young audience. Fleming does a satisfying job splashing the pages with her familiar pulp paper illustrations, crating contrasts of light and dark. It is these art pieces that leave the reader longing for a more melodic writing style. None the less, this story of friendship is sure to be a favorite.

What Does Bunny See?

Smith, Maggie and Linda Sue Park. What Does Bunny See? New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2005. ISBN 0618234853 $15.00
Daniell Brooks

Maggie Smith and Linda Sue Park lead the reader into a magical garden with full bloomed flowers, dainty butterflies and bees. Readers turn each delightful page to see what a curious bunny finds in this Garden of Eden. She takes a quenching drink from the cool stream that runs through flowers like a rainbow. Finally, her journey is over, and bunny drifts off to sleep in a kaleidoscope of color. The words of each color are highlighted in that specific shade and effortlessly scroll from one page to the next. Each word describes the events of bunny’s journey, and is short, sweet, and undemanding. A beginning reader would feel successful and proud to finish this tale, easily. The illustrations are clever and full of life, almost like a Mary Englebright print. Each brushstroke of watercolor is vivid and rich with happiness. Our main character, bunny, has a fluffy, fur body that is penciled in from the tip of her ear to her bushy tail. What Does Bunny See? Is a very cheeky and warmhearted book. Not only does the reader identify colors, but gets to watch a delectable bunny explore a pleasurable filled environment.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Clarke, Gus. Lucky. La Jolla: Kane/Miller, 2005. ISBN 1929132840 $7.95
Laura Campisi

Lucky has everything that a dog could want, except for an owner. He has food, a roof over his head, and a place to sleep. Told through a dog’s perspective, this heartwarming story describes life in the pound. It is optimistic, providing its readers with a positive impression on what it is like for a dog living in the pound. The writing is simple and imaginative, combining pictures with words to tell the story. The full colored illustrations are comprised of paint and colored pencils and have texture and shadows that compliment Lucky’s story. Lucky helps each of his friends in the pound find a family and in the end finds himself a perfect match. This story for animal lovers is lively and inspirational, expressing an encouraging outcome for dogs that live in the pound.

Kitten's Big Adventure

Araki, Mie. Kitten’s Big Adventure. New York: Gulliver Books-Harcourt, Inc., 2005. ISBN 0152167382 $15.00

As Kitten steps out into the great big world to chase a fluttering butterfly he daringly jumps to catch the butterfly and instead splashes into a pool of blue water. The butterfly sneaks back inside Kitten’s home and is magnified by the fish bowl’s water. Kitten is frightened by the now gargantuan butterfly and runs to find his mother to protect him. Mie Araki’s story of a kitten is well designed, original, and written with compassion. Filled with action oriented text and an abundance of creativity, this story is just what the doctor ordered for the adventurous young reader. Araki’s ink on water color paper drawings are magnificent and full of bold, rich colors. The marvelous drawings are simple, yet the thick black outlines intensify and make the illustrations burst. It is a wonderfully satisfying story and is delightful to read. So leap on in and immerse yourself in the adventure.