Thursday, July 03, 2014

I Have a Garden

I Have a Garden
Written and illustrated by Bob Bamer
New York:  Holiday House, 2013, Ages 2-4

This story is all about different animals in a dog's garden. The writing style is simple, using action verbs and common nouns. The illustrations fill the entire page and focus in on the subject of the page.  

I recommend placing this book in a toddler or preschool room. It's an easy one for kids 2-4 years of age. It's a good book to integrate with a lesson about gardening or what animals you may find in a garden.

--review by EmKAsh

Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie

Tea Time with Sophia Grace and Rosie
By Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
New York:  Orchard Books, 2013, Ages 4-7

This story is about two little girls who love girly things like pink, fairies, tutus, and tea parties. The story is told by the two little girls featured in the story.

The writing style is descriptive and enthusiastic! The illustrations are colorful in pink and purple, and are very detailed. The pictures complement the text.

I recommend this book for parents with little girls who absolutely love dressing up and pretending. The book encourages pretend play which enhances the pragmatic knowledge. It supports the use of imagination and creativity. These cousins (the authors) were even featured on the Ellen Degeneres show with famous actresses like Katy Perry. However, it is a little over the top with all the girly things!

--review by EmKAsh

The Children Who Loved Books

The Children Who Loved Books
Written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas
Tulsa, Oklahoma:  Kane Miller Books, 2013, Ages 3-6

This story is about a family that loves books. The author uses simple words. There is cause for anticipation when sentences end with ellipsis. The illustrations are bright, colorful and realistic. 

It was hard to find meaning in this book besides that reading can be a fun hobby. The author's purpose is unclear. I would only recommend this for children that love books. It may be an aid to teaching why reading is important even though it doesn't directly state why reading is beneficial. The text is short making it an easy read for beginner readers.

--review by EmKAsh

Picture Book of Daniel Boone

Picture Book of Daniel Boone
By David A. Adler and Michael S. Adler, illustrated by Matt Collins
New York:  Holiday House, 2013, Age 7-12

This story depicts the life of Daniel Boone. The struggles Boone experiences are exciting and the reader wonders if he will make it or not.

The author's writing style is descriptive, accurate and uses strong verbs like "toll" and "trapped," as well as challenging vocabulary like "expedition" and "rugged."

The illustrations are very detailed in a painted medium. They are clear and complement the text.

I thought this book was informational and a great learning resource for information about Daniel Boone. The text includes an author's note, important dates, source notes, selected bibliography and websites. The book had a lot of great information and I think children would enjoy the pictures as long as the lengthy text keeps their attention. Perhaps boys will especially relate to Boone's desire for adventure.

--review by EmKAsh

The U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights

The U. S. Constitution and Bill of Rights
By Maegan Schmidt
Minneapolis:  Core Library, 2013, Ages 8-11

This is a non-fiction book discussing the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and the road to their place in our nation.

The author has illustrations and pictures which complement the text. The writing is informative and summarizes a lot of information in a clear manner.

The illustrations vary from diagrams to paintings to digital pictures. All work to set the scene.

This book is lengthy making it appropriate for children in grades 3-6.  It comes from the Core Library so it contains information that supports the common core state standards. I recommend this for use in the classroom. It also provides several lesson plan ideas and additional online resources.

--reviewed by EmKAsh

The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy

The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy
By Martha Brockenbrough, illustrated by Israel Sanchez
New York:  Arthur A. Levine Books, 2013, Ages 4-7

The story is about a dinosaur tooth fairy who ventures to get a little girl's tooth. The dinosaur wants this tooth because it is much different and much smaller than a dinosaur's tooth.

The author's writing style is repetitive and confusing to follow.  The illustrations are kid-friendly and childish, but also confusing to follow.

I did not really enjoy this story because the text is not easy to follow and would be hard for a young child to understand. Readers must still believe in the tooth fairy, but understand figurative language and have a fairly stable awareness of semantic knowledge.

--review by EmKAsh

I Wish I Had...

I Wish I Had...
By Giovanna Zoboli, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani
Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2013, Ages 4-7

This book has many different animals in it and each animal has a specific trait. The author's writing style is repetitive, but also very descriptive. Illustrations in the book are large, great and detailed.

I would recommend this book to other children. I would recommend it to the ages of 4-7 preferably.

I enjoyed this book. It was very descriptive and it kind of gets you thinking.

--review by M. B.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Jasper & Joop

Jasper & Joop a Perfect Pair: One Tidy, One Messy

Written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

Jasper & Joop will appeal to toddlers and young children. It follows two ducks, both completely different in character and personality. Jasper is a small, white duck who is very neat and tidy and doesn't take risks. Joop, on the other hand, is a small grey duck who is very messy and doesn't seem to take life too seriously-always getting himself into all sorts of trouble. Soon, they come across a bee hive and this event tests their friendship.In the end, both shift a little so that the friendship grows stronger than ever before.

Readers will love this sweet and easy to read book. Dunrea's writing is laid out in a way that each page belongs to one of the ducks, making it easy to compare Jasper and Joop, and to see how they come together by the end of the story. The illustrations are fun-filled and you see the duck's expressions and personality through them. The illustrations even show the journey the ducks take to get away from the bees in great detail. The scenes are simple to go perfectly with the short, yet fun text. I loved this book! It was a fun read and I think toddlers and young children would love to see the friendship between Jasper and Joop. It can bring wonderful discussion about how even though we are all different, we can still work together and get along with each other.

Reviewed by Katie Shearer

Nat the Cat's Sunny Smile

Nat the Cat's Sunny Smile
By Jez Alborough
Tulsa, OK : Kane Miller, 2013, Ages 3-7

Nat the Cat wanted to go on a picnic with her friends Billy Goat and Hugo Hare.  Nat the Cat arrived at each of his friend's home with a huge smile and a picnic basket in his hand. But one by one his friends declined her invitation to join him. Will Nat the Cat have a picnic alone?

The author uses a lot of rhyming in this book which makes it an easy read. The bright colored and descriptive illustrations add to this delightful story.

I would recommend this book to other kids.  It was an enjoyable easy read. The song music and lyrics are included so after you read the story, you can sing the song.

Reviewed by MB

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Volcano Rising

Volcano Rising
By Elizabeth Rusch, Illustrated by Susan Swan
Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2013

In this book, the author provides information about volcanoes such as where volcanoes may be found, how they form, and what happens when they erupt. The writing style used by Rusch is very entertaining. She adds sounds to keep readers entertained. Large words are not used so this title may work well for all grade levels. The illustrations are well drawn and very colorful. They capture the eye and also serve to entertain. Volcano Rising is informative and would be a good read for students doing research on volcanoes. The title would work best for 5th through 8th graders.

Reviewed by B.A.


By Paul Rudnick
New York : Scholastic Press, 2013, Ages 10 to 14

Gorgeous is about an 18 year old girl named Becky, living a seemingly average life in a small town. Her life was normal until her mother suddenly  died and left her a mysterious message that would change everything she thought she knew. With the help of the billionaire Tom Kelly, Becky will transform her entire life.

Paul Rudnick has a very humorous and mysterious writing style. He gives just enough information to keep you informed and interested but leaves out enough to keep you wanting more to read.

There are no illustration aside from the cover. The cover is simply black with a girl in a red dress running off the page. It is very intriguing and even a little dangerous. 

I loved reading this book! It has a great mix of mystery, romance, and humor. I would recommend it for middle school students who are looking for a twist on a typical story about a girl trying to find herself.

Reviewed J.S.

Whitney Houston: Recording Artist and Actress

Whitney Houston: Recording Artist and Actress
By Christine Heppermann
Minneapolis, MN : ABDO Pub. Co., 2013, Ages 10 to adult 

This book explored the life of Whitney Houston. The author tell the reader about the good and the bad of her life. She even gave details about the people who Whitney was close to during her life.

The author's style is very graceful. The book flows together connecting the major accomplishments of her life.

I really loved the pictures. It was nice to see pictures of her from childhood rather than the ones of her singing. The pictures gave me a good sense of what happened. 

I would recommend this book to kids around the ages of about fifth grade and up. The author mentions Whitney's drug usage, and I feel students below fifth grade level may not understand what was going on.

Reviewed by B.A. 

Happy Cat

Happy Cat
By Steve Henry
New York : Holiday House, c2013, Ages 4-7

A cat finds shelter in a building on a very cold winter day.  As the cat climbs the stairs, he receives a gift from those living on each floor.The cat reaches the top and is not the only one living happily in the building.

The author's writing style allows young readers to follow along easily. The three to four word sentences and repetition makes it an easy reader.

The illustrations are very detailed and colorful which gives the younger reader lots to look at on each page.

I think young readers would enjoy this story.

Reviewed by L.I.