Friday, July 1, 2016

Animal Bites Series from Animal Planet

Animal Planet has teamed up with Time Inc. Books to create this new nonfiction "Animal Bites" series for younger readers that explores animals and habitats.


by Laaren Brown
Published 2016
Animal Planet
80 Pages
Review copies provided by publisher 

Kids LOVE animals! This new series provides children ages 4-8 with accessible, exciting and fun books to help them learn about their favorite animals. 
Each book highlights different groups of animals. Specific adaptations and behaviors and how they help animals survive the their habitat are explained with facts, photos and diagrams.  Kids will learn more about their favorite animals such as dolphins, sea turtles, penguins, polar bears, seals, grizzly bears and orca whales. 
In Farm Animals, the readers learns about basic farm animals including what they eat and how they need to be cared for. 

I love how the information is presented in simple terms with large, easy to read font just right for young readers. There is an index and a table of contents as well as a section for other places to visit to get more information. 
This series is perfect for animal lovers and K-4 classroom and school libraries!

See what others have to say about this series:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-Please Be Nice to Sharks by Matt Weiss

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website.

So I am slowly getting back into blogging after about 2 months away. I am looking forward to reconnecting with my friends and sharing books!

by Matt Weiss
Photos by Matt Weiss and Daniel Botelho
Published June 7, 2016
Sterling Children's Books
Nonfiction Picture Book
32 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher. 

Although shark attacks on humans are rare, they never fail to make the news when they occur, sending people into a panic. These events and sensationalized shark movies have made sharks one of the most feared creatures in Earth. I was a child when the original JAWS movie came out and I was terrified to go in any body of water for quite some time. 
Please Be Nice to Sharks seeks to dispel scary rumors and misconceptions about these fascinating animals. 

The book opens by presenting information about the importance of sharks to our planet. Then 14 species of sharks are featured one at a time with simple text and colored photographs. The information is presented by the sharks in entertaining first person narration. Each shark tells what is unique about it and tries to convince the reader that people should be nice to it.  Some of the text is accompanied by a text box of further information about the shark such as length, weight, and adaptations. 

I enjoyed the format and the focus of this book. Unlike many books about sharks, it does not try to teach the reader everything about each animal. The text is simple, short and focused. I can see many students choosing to write persuasive nonfiction pieces about animals following this mentor example. 

I would recommend Please Be Nice to Sharks for grades 3-5. It would make a nice addition to a school or classroom library. I can't wait to share it with my 4th graders! 

See what others have to say about this book:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Before I Wake Up by Britta Teckentrup

Before I Wake Up 
by Britta Teckentrup
Published April, 2016
Prestel Publishing
56 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Created by the world-renowned children's author and illustrator Britta Teckentrup, this dreamy, colorful nighttime journey will captivate and soothe young children
everywhere. A young girl falls asleep and travels in her dreams through the sky, down to the ocean's depths, and into a jungle. She is accompanied by a lion friend, who eases her fears, gives her confidence, and helps her explore the world around her. Along
the way she meets whales, jellyfish, grizzly bears and wolves. Then it is time for the moon balloon to take the girl home to her bed, where she awakes, snuggled safely next to the lion, who returns to being a stuffed toy. Award-winning children's illustrator Britta Teckentrup's collage-like artwork creates a magical world of captivating colors, classic shapes, and softly detailed textures. The gently told story reassures children that they are never alone, even in their dreams. Exquisitely produced, this book is certain to become a pre-bedtime favorite for children and their parents. 

My Thoughts
Before I wake up is a sweet bedtime story of a little girl who dreams of animal friends and far off lands. In her dream, the girl, who narrates the story in rhyming verse, finds her special lion friend who makes her feel safe and confident. Together they fly in a hot air balloon, glide on a boat, plays in the forest, and dive in the ocean. 

The illustrations are excellent and start off dark with many layers of muted collage. As the dawn comes, the pages get gradually lighter and brighter until the girl awakens to a bright new day. 

Before I Wake Up reassures young readers that they are safe as they sleep and that the excitement of a new day awaits them when they wake up. I would recommend it for ages 3-6.

See what others have to say about this book:

Visit the author's website.

Monday, June 27, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? June 27, 2016

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

It's good to be back. I took a hiatus from blogging since early May! This was not intentional. The end of the year craziness, combined with my poorly planned timing of taking the exam for National Boards, made May-June exceptionally busy.   I am excited for summer and have been reading quite a bit. Here are a few I have enjoyed recently. Click on the covers to learn more about them.

Currently Reading

Up Next?

What Are You Reading Friends?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My First Book of Baseball: A Rookie Book

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing 

My First Book of Baseball: A Rookie Book
by Beth Bulger and Mark Bechtel
Illustrated by Bill Hinds
Published April, 2016
Sports Illustrated
48 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
My First Book of Baseball, the second Rookie Book from Sports Illustrated Kids, coaches young kids through the game of baseball with a visual retelling of an actual MLB game--from the first pitch to the game winning hit! Strikes, outs, steals, foul balls, home runs and more are all explained using a fun mix of Sports Illustrated action photography, simple text with engaging graphics, and a full glossary of essential baseball terms and phrases. An illustrated rookie player character also appears on every page, providing fun facts to help the next generation of fans better understand the game. Perfect for beginning readers, My First Book of Baseball is meant to be a shared reading experience between parents and their young minor league rookies before, during, and after the ball game. 

My Thoughts
 I read the first book in this series, My First Book of Football several months ago and really enjoyed it. This series of books about sports is great for the youngest sports fans. 
In this First Book of Baseball, readers learn about baseball terminology such as: innings, diamond, runs, offense, defense, fly ball, foul ball, outs, balls and strikes to name a few.
It teaches some of the rules of baseball such as after a pitcher throws four "balls" the batter gets to go to first base and tagging a runner with the ball, or glove with the ball, before he gets to base is an out.
The pages are big and have a solid colored background. The pages are sturdy enough for the littlest readers to turn again and again. There is a combination of actual photographs of professional baseball players, graphics and a cute little illustrated boy that is learning about the sport. The font is large and the text is simplistic. 

I would recommend this book, and series, to any budding young sports fan.  

Monday, May 2, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? May 2,2016

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

Here are the books I got to this week. Click on the covers to learn more about each book. 
Kids will never look at their refrigerators the same way again. Super-fun!
Great beginning-of-the-year picture book!

An early chapter book about living in two homes. Important book for children dealing with divorce. 

Finished Listening
 Wasn't a favorite from this week, but some kids will like this story of the mysterious mud.
I really enjoyed this historical tale based on a true story. 

Currently Reading

What are YOU reading friends?

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Only Child by Guojing

The Only Child 
by Guojing
Published 2015
Schwartz and Wade
Wordless Picture Book
112 Pages
Review copy obtained from public library

Goodreads Summary
Like Shaun Tan's The Arrival and Raymond Briggs's The Snowman, this gorgeous and imaginative 100-page graphic picture book is utterly transporting and original.
A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But... home and family are very far away. How will she get back there?
In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy.

My Thoughts
I am not sure that I have the words to convey how beautiful, sweet and sad this book is. My reading of it was changed by the author's note at the beginning describing her loneliness as a child born under China's "one child" law. I feel that it is a hopeful story that shows the power of imagination and how children can create imaginary worlds to help them cope with feelings of loneliness and sadness. I loved it and will surely share it with my 4th graders. I am interested in hearing their thoughts about The Only Child

Image from author's website:

Read what others have to say about this book.
Publishers Weekly 

Visit Guojing's Website