Monthly Archives: December 2016

Building the Great Wall of China

It could be titled, “Dozens of Ways to Die.”  Ninety percent of the 24 possible ending end in death.  Which makes it a great choice for those reluctant reader boys who will be eager to try a new path and … Continue reading

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The Call of the Osprey

It is a really quality work: very thorough and well-written, illustrated with lots of full-color photographs.  This is a series I have been generally very impressed with, and I would probably recommend it for middle school or high school, but … Continue reading

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How to Code: a step-by-step guide to computer coding

This is fun! I want to try it out with my students! And I want to get the other books in the series (there are 4).  It begins with a basic introduction to what coding is, and defining some key … Continue reading

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Alice in Wonderland: down the rabbit hole

I LOVE the illustrations! They are whimsical and fanciful and delightful, and they totally suit the nonsensical spirit of Wonderland.  They were almost enough to win me over from my usual distaste of abridgments.  But this isn’t even a whole … Continue reading

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Alice in Wonderland

I’m not generally inclined to be a fan of abridgments, as I find them somewhat disrespectful to the author’s original work, but if you’re in the market for such a thing, this would be a reasonable choice.  It is a … Continue reading

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Naughty Mabel Sees It All

It’s got a great title, and it’s written with a great voice, that brings out the personality of the main character.  The cartoonish illustrations, likewise, are drawn to contribute to the personality of the characters, but there’s a gray undertone … Continue reading

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The Lion Inside

A delightful story with a message we all need reminding of from time to time.  Told in rhyme with a poetic rhythm (without being too sing-songy), the story tells of a meek, tiny mouse who lives at the base of … Continue reading

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The Cow Who Climbed a Tree

This book is outstanding! The artwork is gorgeous, colorful, and so unique! The story follows a cow (Tina) who has 3 sisters with no imagination. Tina goes exploring and climbs a tree where she meets a dragon who teaches her … Continue reading

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How Airplanes Get from Here to There

If you are looking for a book about how planes work, this book gives only a VERY general overview. It takes a broader approach for a younger audience about air travel in general (including a chapter on airport security). I … Continue reading

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Be the Change: a Grandfather Gandhi Story

This beautifully illustrated picture book uses the voice of Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson to describe the work and teachings of Gandhi, through the perspective of a young boy not fully the lessons he’s being taught and chaffing at the behavior expected … Continue reading

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Owls! Strange and Wonderful

Highly readable and highly informative.  It covers everything from the lore that surrounds owls from a variety of cultures, to the different types, anatomy, hunting, and mating.  A generally all-encompassing book, illustrated with beautiful watercolors that support text.

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Faraway Fox

This is a book where the illustrations are crucial to telling the story. Told from the perspective of a solitary fox, the story opens with the words, “This is the forest where I lived with my family.”  Yet the illustration … Continue reading

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Yaks Yak: animal word pairs

A fun book for exploring language — namely words that have multiple meanings, both as nouns (specifically animals) and verbs.  Each page contains one very short sentence consisting of repeating words (Bats bat. Steers steer. Dogs dog dogs.), and silly, … Continue reading

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Me and Annie McPhee

It’s fun.  It’s a rhyming story, a counting story, and a build-upon-itself repeating story.  It begins in the middle of the sea with nothing to see; then there’s nothing to see but one tiny island just big enough for me … Continue reading

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Maggie McGillicuddy’s Eye for Trouble

It’s okay.  The illustrations are cute.  The theme is a popular one in children’s lit:  the fun to be had in exercising one’s imagination.  It tells of a young boy and elderly neighbor and all they imagine from her front … Continue reading

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Suite for Human Nature

The illustrations alone are enough to recommend this book.  They are beautiful and charming and fanciful.  The story is a bit heavy: an  allegory describing all the troubles that arise as Mother Nature keeps trying to make children of her own … Continue reading

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Good Night, Baddies

A charming story, told in rhyme, with really cute illustrations, makes the reader think twice about all the classic bad-guy characters.  In this book, the witches, trolls, dragons, giants, etc. are not really evil through and through — that’s just … Continue reading

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Octopuses One to Ten

It follows a fairly standard format of similar non-fiction counting books:  it’s got larger print offering a couple lines of rhyming text on each page that indicate how each number relates to octopuses, and then smaller text offers a paragraph … Continue reading

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Because of Thursday

Somehow it seems almost sacrilege to give a Patricia Polacco book anything less than a Recommendation.  And I suppose this would be a worthy book to have if you want to have the complete works for an author study, but … Continue reading

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Hooray for Today!

The simplicity of the story relegates it to the youngest readers, but there is lots of repetition in the text, which makes it especially appropriate for those students, as a scaffold for emergent readers.  The simplicity and matted color palette … Continue reading

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Stowaway in a Sleigh

Well, it’s definitely not an R*, which I really wanted it to be, since I recognized the kitty on the front from it’s partner book, Lost, which I absolutely loved.  I’m sorry to say this one did not live up … Continue reading

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Stay a Spell, #2

Nicholas O. Time, authors a new series dealing with time travel – In Due Time. In book #2 – Stay a Spell the main characters Jada and her friends Abby and Daniel are students at Sands Middle School. Their school … Continue reading

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Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars

Tim Howard, Dwayne Wade, Stephen Curry, Jim Abbott, Althea Gibson, LeBron James, Shane Battier, R.A. Dickey, Serge Ibaka, Caron Butler, & Jacques Demers.  These 11 athletes began their lives heading down a path that one would not expect to lead … Continue reading

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Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus

The Grumpasaurus is a small, fearsome creature. You should observe the Grumpasaurus from afar. Edward Hemingway’s book is written as a field guide and features diagrams and colorful illustrations. The book starts out with the Grumpasaurs finding his teddy bear … Continue reading

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The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero

Written in the form of undated journal entries, Max Crumbly is sure to be a hit with fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries. After being home-schooled by his grandmother since kindergarten, Max starts his first public school … Continue reading

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