Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Brass Family on Parade

The illustrations seem a little quirky, and personifying the instruments didn’t seem necessary, but the information seemed clear and pertinent.  I don’t know much about musical instruments, but I learned some basics from this book. It seems like an adequate … Continue reading

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Earth’s Water Cycle

I liked this one.  Usually I don’t have much use for these early-reader non-fiction books, because they generally lack any real substance to the information they provide.  This one just had a sentence or two per page, but it managed … Continue reading

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Dump Trucks

It’s badly written — highly repetitive and redundant.  It saved the interesting stuff for the last page instead of including it throughout.

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Itches and Scratches

It certainly lived up to the title of the series.  There wasn’t a whole lot connecting the different facts included other than that they are all things that make people itch.  The photos and illustrations, combined with the information to … Continue reading

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Watch Me Grow! A downt-to-Earth look at grwoing food in the city

I get the feeling this book isn’t really meant for the audience it’s claiming to be for — I don’t think it’s so much a kids’ book as it is a book for parents who want to raise eco-friendly kids. … Continue reading

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Triangulos / Triangles

This one is just basically a waste of paper.  It doesn’t seem to have anything consistent about it.  I can’t tell what it’s purpose is.  It seems to be a book about finding shapes around us in our daily lives, … Continue reading

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Weird Birds

I almost gave this one a “Recommended.”  It’s got more information that a lot of the non-fiction for early readers.  It does have some interesting facts about some interesting birds.  The piece it doesn’t have that I really wish it … Continue reading

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Growing a Garden

It’s yet another early reader text with simple sentences accompanying color photos, and including all the typical non-fiction text features.  It’s shiny, and it’s got a sturdy binding, and it’s just fine for what it is, but I don’t usually … Continue reading

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What Can Live in a Forest?

Intended for emergent readers, one to two sentences per page accompany color photos, listing different adaptations that forest animals use to either help them hide or help them access food. It’s small in size for the small hands of the … Continue reading

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Seasons on a Farm

Eh. It’s fine I guess.  Nothing really to get excited about, but nothing really to complain about — except maybe that it over generalizes, saying “In fall, plants are ready to be picked.”  I don’t claim to be a farming … Continue reading

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Our Blood

It almost earned an “additional purchase,” but it poked one of my review buttons: even when writing for young children, I think it’s important not to talk down to them.  On p. 12 it states, “Your blood moves around your … Continue reading

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Oceans

I thought about giving this book an “additional purchase” rating — it’s got an adequate, if not substantial, amount of information; it’s clearly organized, and written in text that is comprehensible to it’s young audience, without being overwhelming (not too … Continue reading

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Hearing

Minimal information, but sturdy binding, colorful photos, all the necessary text features for teaching non-fiction literacy skills.  More useful for the classroom than for the library.

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What Are Food Chains and Food Webs?

A lot of significant vocabulary and complex science presented in clear text and supportive illustrations to make it comprehensible to young students.  I like this book because it targets young readers without losing substance.

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Bugs on the Move

The information is limited, but the detail in the clear, up-close photographs is fabulous.  Intended more as a literacy tool for emergent readers, the information is weak, but definitely about a topic of interest to many students.  It includes photographs … Continue reading

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A Visit to the Vet

Bright, bold illustrations and simple text introduce young readers to the graphic novel format while also explaining the role of Veterinarians in our community, outlining the different reasons people may take their pets to see a vet, and what is … Continue reading

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Baby Zoo Animals

This is not a book of information, so much as a literacy development tool for very emergent readers.  There is only one sentence per page, and it is pretty much the same sentence on every page, with just the verb … Continue reading

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Touching

It’s got a good, sturdy binding, large color photos to support the text, lots of text features for teaching about non-fiction, large font, and simple text (using lots of repeating vocabulary) to present the basic scientific information about the sense … Continue reading

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Reading, Rhyming, and ‘Rithmetic

A fun collection of poems all created around a theme of school, with such such topics as yucky cafeteria food, writing sentences as punishment, substitutes, etc.  Kids will enjoy and relate and laugh.

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Fairy Handbook

This is a fun book, full of cheerful illustrations describing this author’s imaginings of what the world of fairies is like:  it declares that fairies were created from the love of girls and butterflies, and goes on to describe them … Continue reading

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Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

In true Scaredy Squirrel fashion, Scaredy Squirrel is petrified of having a party for his birthday, for a whole host of reasons which he carefully outlines.  He then sets forth elaborate plans to have a safe party, protected from all … Continue reading

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Doodleday

A really fun story about the disaster that strikes when young Harvey dismisses his mother’s instructions about how important it is that no one draws on Doodle Day.  When mom goes off to the market Harvey decides to go ahead … Continue reading

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Pet Shop Follies

When no one is coming in the pet store, the pets decide to put on a circus, complete with costumes they’ve made themselves, and then all sorts of people come in the store.  There are just a few words per … Continue reading

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Molly the Great Tells the Truth

Ugh.  This is the third one of these I’ve gotten myself stuck with, and I haven’t liked any of them.  They have a noble purpose, to create stories that teach valued characteristics, but this needs to be done in such … Continue reading

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If I Were a Movie Star

It presents itself as non-fiction, but it makes some assumptions in its description of what life would be like as a movie star, glamorizing a career children already have glamorized visions of.  I can’t find a purpose to this book.

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