Monthly Archives: February 2014

Show Me Space

This design of this book is an encyclopedia format, with pictures and captions about different categories of outer space.  This includes our sun, planets, earth, moon, space rocks, snowballs in space, our Milky Way Galaxy, and other galaxies.  There are … Continue reading

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Tony Baloney School Rules

Tony Baloney is an animated penguin with human characteristics.  He is new to school and excited to be away from his bossy, older sister and mother and prove himself in the classroom.  Unfortunetly, Tony doesn’t understand the rules at school … Continue reading

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China

Wonderful, larger sized picture book which will handle well when sharing with students!  Real photographs of the people, food, landforms and the great wall.  Three sentences per page/topic make this a great book to use with PrK-2 graders.  Facts. a … Continue reading

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Money Through History

I was quite surprised to learn how far back actual stamped coins dated back.  I would not have thought that ancient civilizations would have had the ability to mine and melt precious metals, and then mint coins with words, dates, … Continue reading

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The Warrior’s Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage

A reader’s perception of the book The Warrior’s Heart with will probably shape their overall feeling for this account about Eric Greitens.  All in all this is the story of Eric coming of age.  The first 130 pages detail the … Continue reading

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Little Red Riding Duck

In this series, it seems that they have taken traditional fairy tales with human characters and substituted animals.  For me, personally, Little Red Riding Duck doesn’t seem to work.  One reason is that the large size of the wolf and … Continue reading

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Drat that Cat!

Cats are smart, that’s for sure.  However, Suzy Baggots, the family cat, certainly knows how to get and do what she wants.  She jumps up and grabs food off of the table, piddles in golf bags, poos in chairs, tears … Continue reading

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Invisible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-ending Search for a Cure

Jim Murphy and Alison Blank have put forth a wonderful account of the history of Tuberculosis in Invisible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-ending Search for a Cure.  They begin with “This is the story of a small, harmless germ that … Continue reading

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50 Successful Stanford Application Essays

Superstar book authors on getting into Ivy league schools have pulled together great advice on hitting a grand slam with the Standford application essay in this book.  The first chapter gives 25 mistakes to avoid when writing the essay, most … Continue reading

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Hooray Parade

Grandma is coming over a play date!  And she always brings so many friends.  By simply hanging a bed sheet near a window, grandma uses body shadows to have her granddaughter guess as different animals in a parade, including an … Continue reading

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The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant was originally published in 1888 and has been re-illustrated many times since then.  In this particular edition, the illustrator is Ritva Voutila, a Finnish artist.  The illustrations are mellow and muted and somewhat dark, pretty much reflecting … Continue reading

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Too Much Glue

Every elementary teacher knows his or her tricks to keep the glue in check.  For Matty, his art teacher says “Glue drops, not puddles!”.  But Matty loves glue.  At home, his parents help him produce all sorts of zany creations … Continue reading

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The Woman Who Invented The Thread That Stops Bullets: The Genius of Stephanie Kwolek

Stephanie Kwolek grew up during the Great Depression and, as any typical little girl, loved to make dresses for her dolls.  When she was in high school, her passion turned to chemistry.  She felt there was a relationship between the … Continue reading

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Rain!

With very limited text (strictly dialogue), the story is told mostly through the illustrations, which juxtapose a scowling old man and an eager young boy as they face the prospect of heading out on a rainy day, the old man … Continue reading

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Goodnight Baseball

Part sentimental look at a boy’s trip to the ball game with his father, part nod to “Goodnight Moon,” the rhyming text and sepia toned illustrations begin by describing all the things they see and do as spectators at the … Continue reading

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Which Is Round? Which Is Bigger?

Intended for very young audiences, a repetitive format and simple text and illustrations  teach basic concepts, while also inviting young readers to delve more deeply into those concepts.  It begins by showing an apple opposite an armadillo, asking the simple … Continue reading

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Mr. King’s Things

The child-like illustrations of characters are over-laid over more sophisticated backgrounds.  The story contains a simple message about reusing items rather than discarding them:  Mr. King (King of the jungle perhaps? A cat with a crown) begins as a consumer … Continue reading

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What Is a Preposition?

Though it may not be a popular title, it sure is a useful one.  I wish I’d had a copy handy when I was a first-year teacher, trying to teach prepositional phrases from a grammar text book that didn’t define … Continue reading

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The Hudson Plane Landing

This account of the emergency landing of Flight 1549 was incredibly moving. I remember watching it on television, wondering how they could possibly survive. The book begins with how the day started for many of the passengers and crew, and … Continue reading

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Hot Air Balloons

The full-page color photos that illustrate this book are bright and eye-catching.  The text is simple, with only two or three sentences on each two-page spread, as it is intended to for beginning readers.  As is often the risk with … Continue reading

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Clucky and the Magic Kettle

This story is written as a rhyme, but does not flow smoothly in places.  In the first half of the book the things the chicks learn at school each day are not correct.  The mother hen ends up reteaching her … Continue reading

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Princess Posey and the Tiny Treasure

This is a cute story about responsibility and consequences.  The book is a great one for readers who want to start reading chapter books. The characters are loveable and kind.  They learn to deal with problems in an appropriate way. … Continue reading

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Bella’s Rules

This book has fun pictures, but the story line seems to have no real conclusions.  Maybe for kids who like to imagine their own solutions this would be an interesting book.  To me, it just seemed to ramble around.

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Crafts for Pampering Yourself

This book is very eco-friendly, with fun projects young girls would enjoy!  It has clear pictures, with numbered step by step instructions.  Very easy to follow.  The grammar could be improved in some of the instructions.  Page 9, step 4 … Continue reading

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Spike and Ike Take a Hike

This book is full of almost tongue twisting rhymes.  It  would be a fun read with a group of young children.  Then you could let them try to repeat the phrase.  The pictures are cute and colorful.  Some of the … Continue reading

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