Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What Pet Should I Get?

What Pet Should I Get?

Written by Dr. Suess

Random House, 2015, Ages 3-10

What Pet Should I Get? is a story of how two children, a brother and sister, were given a task to pick out only one pet they want, and their dad would pay for it. Their parents told them to be home by noon, which means they did not have too much time to make a decision, but they had to, or else, they would not take home a pet. The children had a hard time making up their minds because they liked all of the pets in the pet store, and they could only get one. They had to think about how their house was small which meant that a small pet would be suitable, however, a flexible pet they thought could work too. The ending was left at that they got one pet, but the pet they got was never revealed. 

The author, Dr. Seuss, is a famous writer of rhyming children's books with amazing illustrations. His famous rhyming was again used in this story. Also, Dr. Seuss left the ending a mystery of which pet they got so that the readers reading this story will have to make educated guesses to enhance their thinking and decision making skills. 

The cover of What Pet Should I Get? is illustrated with a cartoon picture of a boy looking at four different types of pets while petting a cat. This illustrates that he is in search for a pet at the pet store perhaps. All of the illustrations throughout the story were somewhat unrealistic in some instances. They were all cartoon drawings with a fun side which all contained many colors consisting of a base of blue, yellow and black. 

This children's book can be read to students of all ages to help them with decision making and mind making up. It shares how one's mind cannot be made up on the spot when it comes to a hard decision. This book is about how one makes a decision with using background knowledge of that they like and what criteria the subject or thing may need in order to work best in their final decision. Such simple words in a small picture book can create a huge meaning toward one’s life necessities. 

Review by Hannah Schnaterbeck

Monday, November 09, 2015

Stick and Stone

Stick and Stone 

Written by Beth Ferry; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, Ages 3-6

Stick and Stone is a book about a stick and a stone becoming friends by sticking up for each other in hard situations, as well as helping each other out in a crisis. 

Beth Ferry uses a rhyming style in telling the story, though not all sentences rhyme.

The illustrations help to convey the points made in the text, as well as making the book simple and age appropriate.  

This book is great for teaching children about friendships with different people. I would definitely recommend this book to parents who want their children to be open to making new friends and to teachers who want to teach their students what can happen if you stick up for someone. Also, I would recommend this book to teachers and parents with children that are 3 to 6 years of age. 

Review by Lauren Whaley 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad 

Written by Natalie Hyde 

Crabtree Publishing, 2015, Ages: 9-14

This book covers information regarding the Underground Railroad's history, and the people involved, such as slaves, slave hunters, and those who helped slaves to freedom, like Harriet Tubman. In addition to history, it also talks about the danger and success stories of the Underground Railroad and the people involved. Another topic that is covered in the text are the primary sources of information:  written, visual, and auditory. They described the different ways these techniques were used to advertise slaves, and how slaves knew when they had their opportunity to escape. Since there are two very different groups that participated in this time period, the book talks about interpreting the evidence that was left behind and the dangers of bias. With many opinions about this point in history, there is discussion about the controversial role of hymns and songs that were sung during this time. And finally, the topic at the end of the book talks about how history is repeating itself, and discusses slavery (now known as human trafficking) and what is being done in order to stop it. 

The author's writing style is very informative and straight forward, which would come in handy for students who are using this book as a resource for a project. The author is clear about showing no bias from her perspective, which is important when discussing a topic such as slavery. The author has also written many questions for the reader to ask themselves, such as "Are fictional stories written about events of the Underground Railroad primary sources or secondary sources?" The writer also does a good job of explaining words that the reader may not understand; this is important for adolescents who are working on their reading skills to become more fluent in their reading. 

The illustrations vary from paintings, prints, blueprints, documents, newspaper clippings, and even photographs. Another component that I found interesting was that the author described how some of the illustrations were created. An example of this is on page 13. On the bottom of the page, it looks like an average painting, but the text explains that the image is actually an engraving. An engraving is a print that was made using a carved pattern in a metal printing plate. 

I believe that this book is an excellent source for students and teachers alike to learn about this time period. I would definitely recommend this book to others who have an interest in the Underground Railroad. It offers readers many illustrations to help those who are visual learners, and there is text next to the pictures to explain what is being shown. But what I found very beneficial is that at the end of the book, there are many different sources the reader could use if they were doing research. In the back of the book, the following is provided: Timeline, Internet Guidelines, and a glossary. I feel that these components are very important because they help the reader better understand the content that is being provided by the author. Overall, I think that this is a great book, and this would be an interesting read for students ranging from the ages 9-14. 

Review by Evelyn Wilkins