Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Hockey Then to Wow! from Sports Illustrated Kids

Hockey Then to Wow! 
From Sports Illustrated Kids
September 2017
80 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Hockey: Then to WOW! shows readers how the cool sport has evolved from the early days of its 19th century origins to the game as it is today. Using NHL action photographs, illustrations, stories, and trivia, the book is a journey through time both for hockey fans and those new to the game. Kids will learn how basic equipment has changed from a ball to a puck and how the evolution of game strategy has transformed the sport, players, and equipment. Players throughout history are stacked up against each other in every position so fans can dream up the perfect fantasy team with Wayne Gretzky playing alongside Patrick Roy and Stan Mikita. A fun-filled section of the book explores everything fan culture-from the best ice rinks, to the iconic hockey sweater and the hockey haircut along with key aspects of the toughest sport around.

Sports Illustrated has created some beautiful books about the history of baseball, football and now hockey! It is filled with facts about the rules, equipment, uniforms, players and more!
The text is accompanied by incredible photographs, charts, stats, graphs, diagrams and tables. 

This book, and the others in the series would make great gifts for sports fans! 

See what others have to say about this book.

Monday, December 11, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? December 11, 2017

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

Yes, it has been quite the dry spell for me. Blogging has taken a back seat these days, but I have been reading. Here is some of what I have read recently. 
Click on the covers to learn more about each book. 

Loved this sweet book so much! Ages 3+

Add this to your wordless picture book collection. Any age.

Adorable! Preschool-grade 2

Really loved this one! Great for grades 5-8. 

Enjoyed this one as well. Grades 5-8

Did not expect to like this one, but I really did. Grades 4-7

Not sure all kids will understand the "punk" references, but I really liked this story. 4-7

Currently Reading


What Are You Reading Friends?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

3 New Holiday Books from Sterling

The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas
by Marie Tibi
Illustrated by Fabien Ă–ckto Lambert

Published October, 2017
by Sterling Children's Books
40 pages

Goodreads Summary
Poor little bear! He’s supposed to hibernate—but if he does, he’ll sleep right through Christmas! What can he do?
Winter is coming, and it’s time for little bear to settle in for his long cold-weather nap. But that means he won’t get to celebrate Christmas with his woodland friends, and he’s very sad. Can his pals find a clever way to help him join in the fun? This heartwarming, holiday picture book captures the festive spirit of the holiday and the beauty of friendship.

My Thoughts
What a sweet story of friendship. Little Bear is so sad that he misses Christmas every year because he has to hibernate.  When his friends are decorating and writing letters to Santa he feels very left out. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say that Little Bear has some very good friends. 
Young children LOVE Christmas and will absolutely relate to Little Bear's feelings of sadness at the prospect of missing the holiday every year. They will enjoy how this touching story ends. 
The book's illustrations are beautiful and the characters are adorable. Each page has the frosty feel of winter.  

  Image from book taken by G. McAllister

I would highly recommend The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas for children ages 3-8.  

See what others have to say about this book.

by Annie Silvestro
Illustrated by Teagan White
Published October, 2017
by Sterling Children's Books
32 pages

Goodreads Summary
This mouse doesn’t want to stay in the house . . . even if it’s cold outside!
For most field mice, winter means burrowing down and snuggling in. But not for Lucy! She loves snow crunching under her paws and wearing a fluffy wool hat. And most of all, Lucy loves to skate, and she’s just ACHING to show off her new skill with her friends. After all, a winter wonderland is twice as nice when you have friends to enjoy it with. But the other mice just don’t understand—and after a disastrous indoor snowball fight, it looks as if they never will. Can Lucy find a way to make the other mice come out and “mice skate” too?
With intricately detailed illustrations as cozy as a fireplace in December (and a cup of cocoa, too), this funny punny warmhearted love song to winter—and to one brave, bold, and generous mouse—will have kids bundling up for some cold-weather fun of their own.

My Thoughts
While this title is not technically a holiday title, it is gorgeous and has a Christmasy feel to it. Lucy loves winter and wants to share it with her, but they all just want to stay inside where it is warm until spring. Can clever Lucy think of a way to help them all come outside and go "mice skating"? 
The illustrations are gorgeous! They are done in muted earth tones using water color, gouache and colored pencil on a mostly cream colored paper. 
       Image from book taken by G. McAllister

While the puns are a bit cheesy (sorry, couldn't resist), this book will appeal to young children. I would recommend it mostly for ages 3-8. 

See what others have to say about this book.

by Sue Fliess
Illustrated by Claudia Lambert
Published October, 2017
by Sterling Children's Books
32 pages

Goodreads Summary
We wish for a furry monster,
A big, hairy, scary monster,
Our own stomping, chomping monster, for Christmas this year!

Dear Santa: please bring us a MONSTER for Christmas! This hilarious parody of the traditional carol stars two siblings who want something just a little more special than the usual toys for their Christmas gift. Mom and Dad refuse—so they appeal to a higher power: Santa. And since they’ve been good all year, he delivers. But having a monster in the house may not be all it's cracked up to be . . . as the kids discover when he turns their playroom to rubble and causes tons of trouble. Now, what will they do? Delighted readers will sing along with the merry song.

My Thoughts
So fun! It took me a while to catch on that the book can be read (or sung) to the tune of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", but when I did, I couldn't read it any other way. Kids will love this silly Christmas story and just might change their minds about what they would like for Christmas. 
The digital illustrations are bright and colorful and the characters, even the monsters, are super-cute. 
  Image from book taken by G. McAllister

Check out this book trailer!

There is also a karaoke song for the book here
I would recommend it for ages 4-8. 

See what others have to say about this book.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years Guest Post by Stacy McAnulty

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years
by Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by David Litchfield
Published Oct. 24, 2017
Henry Holt and Co
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodread Summary
Prepare to learn all about Earth from the point-of-view of Earth herself! In this funny yet informative book, filled to the brim with kid-friendly facts, readers will discover key moments in Earth’s life, from her childhood more than four billion years ago all the way up to present day. Beloved children's book author Stacy McAnulty helps Earth tell her story, and award-winning illustrator David Litchfield brings the words to life. The book includes back matter with even more interesting tidbits.

This book is a history narrated by none other than the Earth itself! It is both entertaining and informative. It is filled with facts. Afterall, 4.54 billion years is a LONG time! 
The illustrations are engaging and really help the information make sense to young readers. 
Image from Macmillan Publishers website. https://us.macmillan.com/earthmyfirst454billionyears/stacymcanulty/9781250108081/

I would highly recommend this book for your classroom or home library. 

I am so excited to have author Stacy McAnulty here today for a guest post. 

TMI Earth: There’s so Much to Learn!
By Stacy McAnulty

When I set out to write a picture book about Earth, I was overconfident in my knowledge about our planet. I knew it revolved around the sun, and it rotated on its axis. And I knew how long this took. I was confident in my understanding of the lunar cycle and continental shifts. I’d read that Earth has experienced five major extinctions. I felt comfortable in my own expertise. After all, I have seen both BBC Earth miniseries, and I follow Neil de Grasse Tyson and Bill Nye on Twitter.

But just to be sure, I Googled some things. For example: How long does it take the moon to rotate around the Earth? I knew it was about a month. The answer wasn’t so simple because the Earth is moving around the sun while the moon is circling the earth. I ended up learning about sidereal period verses sydonic period, and I needed to decide which info went in the book. Spoiler Alert: I went with the sidereal period.

In the book, we also created an abbreviated timeline of life on Earth. How long ago did dinosaurs roam the land? What about mammals? Plants? Bugs? And, of course, humans? Again, the answers weren’t easy to come by. I blame the lack of internet and video recording devices in the cretaceous period. Prehistoric science replies on approximations. In the book, we say that bugs have been around for 400 million years. Some sources say 479 million years. Wow, 79 million years is a big difference, until you consider the Earth is about 4.54 billion years old. That’s only a 1.75% change in the timeline. And again, there was definitely no one around to record any of this.

Then of course, there are the things I learned, or wanted to learn more about, that I could not fit in the pages of a picture book. Some of which I snuck into the author notes, like the five mass extinctions. Sure, The Great Dying (as the Permian Extinction is called) is scary. It’s estimated more than 90% of species were destroyed. But one door closes and another opens. Would human have arrived if it weren’t for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction that sent dinosaurs packing? Maybe. Maybe not.

And if I may, I’ll share a few Earth facts that didn’t make the cut. But I know Earth would like you to know these details too.

· The moon was created when a Mars-sized body collided with Earth. Chunks of debris flew off into space but were captured by Earth’s gravitational pull, and the moon was formed.
· There’s truly only one ocean. Humans have given it five different names based on location.
· Continents continue to change. North America and Europe are moving apart at approximately one inch per year.
· The universe is about 13.8 billion years old—over three times older than our solar system.
· Pieces of Mars have been found on Earth in the Artic. This isn’t really related to the history of Earth, but it’s fascinating. We’ve been invaded! (By pieces of rock.)

I may have started out overconfident about my knowledge of Earth. But after working on this project, I realized just because I’m a resident doesn’t make me an expert. I hope this book encourages kids to explore Earth from the inside to outer space, and from her past to the unknown future.

Watch this video of Stacy talking about the book.

See what others have to say about Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years
Cracking the Cover
Unleashing Readers

Author info
Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, who’s also qualified to be a paleontologist (not really), a correspondent for The Daily Show (why not), and a Green Bay Packer coach (totally!). She is the 2017 Ezra Jack Keats Book New Writer Honor Recipient for Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Her other picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years, illustrated by David Litchfield; Brave and Beautiful, both illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite, illustrated by Edward Hemingway; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. She’s also authored the chapter book series Goldie Blox, based on the award-winning toys, and The Dino Files. Her debut middle grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, will publish in 2018. When not writing, Stacy likes to listen to NPR, bake triple-chocolate cupcakes, and eat triple-chocolate cupcakes. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 2.5 dogs, and 1 husband.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Fall Into Cash $250 Giveaway


Fall into Cash $250 Giveaway

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Spotlight On: BE QUIET! by Ryan Higgins

by Ryan Higgins
Published April, 2017
40 Pages
Obtained from public library

Goodreads Summary
All Rupert the mouse wants is to star in a beautiful, wordless picture book. One that's visually stimulating! With scenic pictures! And style! He has plenty of ideas about what makes a great book, but his friends just WON'T. STOP. TALKING. 
Children and adults alike will chuckle at this comedic take on bookmaking from acclaimed author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.

Quick Thoughts
File this one under books that beg to be read aloud over and over again! How can you create a wordless book when the characters won't BE QUIET!? Rupert grows more and more exasperated as his friends try to "help" him with his book.
It is just hilarious and will appeal to readers in Pre-K through elementary grades. I will definitely be adding it to my collection.

Not surprisingly, BE QUIET! has earned many accolades. Look at all these starred reviews!

Visit Ryan's super-fun website!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Scanorama Books by Anna Claybourne

Silver Dolphin presents 3 new interactive books about science and animals. 

Scanorama Amazing Animals
Expected publication Sept. 2017
Silver Dolphin Books
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Slide the scanner across the page to discover what lies under the skin of the world’s most fascinating creatures! In Scanorama: Amazing Animals, readers will meet a variety of species from across the animal kingdom and learn about their astounding feats of strength, speed, and endurance. The five movable sliders transform the illustrated animals—including an anaconda, a thorny devil, and a blue whale—to reveal their skeletons, creating a virtual X-ray on the page. Captivating facts, photographs, and illustrations provide even more details on each animal, and interactive flaps to lift enhance the scan-tastic educational experience.

Scanorama Deadly Predators
Expected publication Sept. 2017
Silver Dolphin Books
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary

On the pages of Scanorama: Deadly Predators, kids are treated to a virtual X-ray tour featuring some of the world's most dangerous animals. Five movable sliders transform illustrated animals into full-body scans that reveal their skeletons and show how they have come to rule their habitats. Featured animals include a tiger, a scorpion, and a great white shark; each animal is covered in detail through informative text, photographs, and illustrations. To learn about even more deadly creatures, readers can lift the flaps and discover what is hiding in wait, ready to pounce on its next victim!

Scanorama Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures
Expected publication Sept. 2017
Silver Dolphin Books
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Scanorama: Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures gives young readers the feel of working as a lab technician as they study dinosaurs and other amazing prehistoric animals. Five movable sliders transform illustrated creatures—such as the deadly T. rex, the armored Ankylosaurus, and the massive Argentinosaurus—into virtual X-ray scans, revealing their fossilized skeletons. Detailed text, photographs, and illustrations provide insights into how each animal survived in the prehistoric world, and even more facts can be found under the interactive flaps throughout the book.

My Thoughts
These books are packed with information! Each one is filled with facts, maps, diagrams, and amazing photographs. 
A unique table of contents shows the organization of the book.
An index helps readers navigate to find specific information. Sturdy pages will hold up after multiple readings. 
A highlight in each volume is the "scanorama" where the reader can scan a panel over an image of an animal to see its skeleton. 

Check out this video.

Listen to what this boy loves about the Scanorama books!

The Scanorama series would be great for any child who is interested in animals grades 2+.