Monday, January 16, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?-January 16, 2017

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

It was a picture book week for me this week. 
Click on the cover to get more info about the book on Goodreads. 

I know several little girls who would LOVE this book!
In my opinion ages 3-8 would like it best.

Sweet, adorable, lovely! A book about finding friendships right in front of you. Ages 3-8 in my opinion. 

The librarian at my public library recommended these 
last two for me to read. 

Cute! Sort of a story of not knowing you want something until it's gone. Ages 5-8

So some might think this one is in poor taste, but I found these poems about how these animals "bought the farm" to be very funny. Ages 6-10 

Still Listening

Up Next? Not really sure right now. 

What are you reading friends?

Monday, January 9, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? January 9, 2017

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Click on the book covers to learn more about each book. 

I read this one fairly quickly. A riveting story for grades 5 and up. 
Available April 2017 from Nancy Paulsen Books

Currently Listening

What are you reading friends? 

Monday, January 2, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Readng? January 2, 2017

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Happy New Year friends! I enjoyed a wonderful, 
relaxing vacation with my family. I hope you all have a prosperous and peaceful 2017!

Here are the books I have read over the last 2 weeks. 
Click on the cover to get more info about the book on Goodreads. 
An adorable picture book for K-2 that shows how a message 
can change as you pass it on (telephone game).
An interesting interpretation with excellent illustrations 
set during The Great Depression. Grades 3+

I wish I could say that this was a favorite. I found the story to be slow and disjointed. Also contains some illustrations that I found unnecessary and inappropriate.
Beautifully written, riveting story. Grades 5+
I have a lot of love for this book and all things Jason Reynolds writes. A powerful, raw, important story written for young adults, but adults will enjoy it as well. 
Up Next?

 Wishing you all a happy new reading year!   

Sunday, January 1, 2017

National Geographic Kids Ultimate Oceanpedia by Christina Wilson

National Geographic Kids Ultimate Oceanpedia 
by Christina Wilson
Published October, 2016
National Geographic Kids
272 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
From tsunamis and sea turtles to riptides and reefs, learn all about the creatures, science, and ecology of our oceans, which cover more of the planet than all the continents and are just as important! Travel through all parts of the ocean to learn how it affects of our world, including storms and climate. Amazing facts, photos, illustrations, and diagrams are found throughout this book, along with conservation tips, weird-but-true facts, and a mini ocean atlas. Challenges to the health of our ocean and its creatures are also presented along with what people are doing to keep it pristine for generations to come.

My Thoughts
"The Most Complete Ocean Reference Guide Ever" boasts the cover of this book. Who am I to disagree? If you have a question about the Earth's oceans, I would be willing to bet you would find the answer in this book. 
It is organized into seven chapters:
2-Ocean Life
3-Ocean in Motion
4-Wild Weather
5-Underwater Exploration
6-Along the Coast
7-When People and Oceans Meet

Here are some of the interesting facts I learned from reading this book.
*"If you could take all the salt out of the ocean and spread it evenly on Earth's land, it would form a layer about as tall as a 40-story building!" 
*A jellyfish has no brain, heart or blood.
*Pearls are formed when clams and oysters cover sand granules with a smooth coating because they are irritating. 
*A polar bear can smell a dead animal from a distance of 3 miles. 
*The Pacific Ocean covers roughly one third of the Earth's surface. 

There are over 350 gorgeous photographs in this reference book. This is no surprise coming from National Geographic. 

Other text features include:
Text boxes

Within the back matter, readers are given suggestions of ways to help our oceans and places to seek further information. 

I would highly recommend Ultimate Ocean-pedia for school, classroom or home libraries for ages 9 and up. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Books of Heroes and Heroines from National Geographic Kids

The Book of Heroines: Tales of History's Gutsiest Gals
by Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Published November 2016
National Geographic Kids
176 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Everybody needs a role model! Discover true stories of superstars, war heroes, world leaders, gusty gals, and everyday girls who changed the world. From Sacagawea to Mother Teresa, Annie Oakley to Malala Yousafzai, these famous females hiked up their pants and petticoats or charged full-speed ahead to prove that girls are just as tough as boys...maybe even tougher. Complete with amazing images and a fun design, this is the book that every kid with a goal, hope, or dream will want to own. 

Personal photo taken of pages 116 and 117 of the book. 

by Crispin Boyer 
Published November 2016
National Geographic Kids
176 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Everybody needs a role model! Discover the true stories of superheroes, rebels, world leaders, action heroes, sports legends, and many more daring dudes, all of whom played their part to make their mark, make a contribution, and make the world a better place.

From Abraham Lincoln to Sitting Bull, Stephen Hawking to Galileo, these cool guys had the boldness, bravery, and brains to meet the challenges of their day. With a fun design, engaging text, and high-quality photographs, this is ultimate hero guide and keepsake for 21st century kids.

Personal photo of pages 84 and 85 of the book.

My Thoughts
I enjoyed both of these books about influential men and women throughout history. Readers will learn about people from every historical time period giving kids an opportunity to learn about important people they may not have known about. What a great way to gain exposure to positive role models. 
Each book is organized into eight chapters including gutsy gals and daring dudes in sports, politics, science and peace makers to name a few. Facts are accompanied by photographs, captions, and images of paintings and historical artifacts. The font size is quite small so younger readers may need help from adults. 
I would highly recommend both books for every school or classroom library for grades 3 and up. 

See what others have to say about this book:
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Friday, December 30, 2016

National Geographic kids-Famous Fails! by Crispin Boyer

Famous Fails! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps & How a Mess Can Lead to Success!
by Crispin Boyer
Published October 2016
National Geographic Children's Books
128 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
This fun book of quirky failures and famous flops will keep kids laughing while they learn the importance of messing up in order to get it right. Science, architecture, technology, entertainment -- there are epic fails and hilarious goof-ups from every important field. Silly side features help to analyze the failures: "Lesson Learned," "It Could be Worse!," "Losing Combinations," and a "Fail Scale" to help readers navigate the different kinds and scope of the mistakes made. The stories will include what went wrong, what went right, and what kids can learn from each failed attempt.

My Thoughts
There are several books about learning from mistakes, but this one is one of the most interesting and comprehensive I have seen. It contains hundreds of real, relatable examples of mistakes, mishaps and misconceptions that turned out differently than expected. This book is not afraid to show fails that ended badly and were never completed successfully. However each "fail" is accompanied by a "Lesson Learned" box that shows what we can all take away from the experience. It is organized into eight chapters such as Poor Sports, Botched Buildings, and Pop Culture Catastrophes. 

This book is visually interesting with photographs, colored text "boxes" of varying shapes and multi-colored backgrounds. The index and table of contents help the reader locate information. The text is a bit small at times and youngest readers may need help reading from adults.
Personal photo taken of pages 84 and 85 of the book. 

My students love books about facts. I can see them enjoying this book and sharing facts they learn with their friends. I would recommend this book for children ages 8 and up. 

See what others have to say about this book:

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Two Interactive Science Kits from Silver Dolphin Books

Are you looking for a unique gift for an animal enthusiast of budding biologist? Today I would like to share two excellent interactive science kits from Silver Dolphin Books that would make great gifts! 

Animal Adventures: Sharks
by Cynthia Stierle
Published April 2016
Silver Dolphin Books
Interactive Kit 
Book 40 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Animal Adventures: Sharks will take you beneath the ocean’s surface to meet the many sharks that lurk in the depths. Have fun while learning, encounter sharks—large and small, gentle and fierce—with colorful illustrations and fascinating facts, and then build a diorama. Everything you need to explore the ocean is right here.
*This unique set includes a book full of colorful illustrations and intriguing facts about sharks, plus 3-D animal models and a diorama with reusable stickers.
*Journey to all the world’s oceans to learn everything you need to know about these mysterious creatures.
Animal Adventures: Sharks offers a unique learning experience as you meet wild and exotic animals face-to-face.

My Thoughts
The Book:
Did you know that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning that to be bitten by a shark? Young readers will learn about many different kinds of sharks, shark adaptations, shark behavior and lots more!
At only 40 pages the book that accompanies this kit (Amazing World of Sharks) is short enough to manage for many young readers. The text font is simple with adequate line spacing and comfortable font size. Text features such as a table of contents, headings, text boxes, photographs and images with labels and captions and a glossary make it easy to locate and organize the information. 

The Kit:
Directions and pictures on how to assemble the diorama and 3-D models are included in the back of the book. They were fun and easy to put together. I did need to use tape on the underside of the tabs for the 3-D pieces of the diorama in order for them to stay up. Adults may need to help with the assembly. Repositional stickers add to the fun and extend the interaction of the kit. Kids will like the small plastic sharks of different types included in this kit as well. To further extend the learning, there are 20 fact cards included with a simple fact on one side and an image of a shark on the other. 
            Picture taken of the contents of the kit. Diorama parts have been punched out and one 3-D model assembled.

This interactive kit is sure to be hours of fun and learning for young scientists. I would recommend it for ages 5+. 

See Inside the Dinosaur: An Interactive 3-D Exploration
by Michael Bright
Published May 2016
Silver Dolphin Books
Interactive Kit
Book 48 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Examine the fascinating body of a Triceratops, one layer at a time, with See Inside the Dinosaur. The innovative and interactive 3-D format allows kids to discover the inner workings of a dinosaur’s body with a transparent model that includes removable bones and organs. The detailed text and full-color illustrations in the 48-page book provide readers with an up-close look at how different types of dinosaurs survived in the prehistoric world. Also included is a stand-up cardboard model that provides the reader with a complete overview of a dinosaur’s body.

My Thoughts
The Book:
The book begins with a short and simple overview of the three periods within the Mesozoic Era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. This is followed by a description of fossilization and how paleontologists learn about dinosaurs. Young scientists will learn about the various body systems of dinosaurs, how they protected themselves, reproduction and finally how they became extinct. 
Numerous text features will help the reader navigate the book including maps, a timeline, text boxes, diagrams, captions, headings and an index. The colorful pages with images and photographs are engaging and informative. 

The Kit:
Included in this interactive kit are a 3-D model of the inside of a triceratops including its skeleton and some inner organs covered in a clear case. Step-by-step diagrams in the back of the book show the organs and bones and how they fit together (the model comes pre-assembled).  Two double-sided cardstock models show the muscles, skeleton and inner organs of a T. Rex. 
The triceratops model is interesting to examine. I would recommend that an adult assist with the initial disassembling and reassembling as there are many small pieces that could get lost. 
Picture taken on the contents of the kit.

Kids will be fascinated by the models and the information they learn from the book. I would recommend this kit for children ages 8 and up. 
Visit Silver Dolphin Books to learn more about their products.