Read Your World

Americans by Douglas Wood

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Back of Book:
What makes Americans great?

Americans are different from one another in many ways. And despite these differences, Americans share certain ways of doing and being that hold us all together. From the Fourth of July to the Bill of Rights, Douglas Wood and Elizabeth Sayles share the story of what it is to be American.
My Review:
When I walked by this book at the bookstore and saw the cover, I knew that I wanted to read this book. The text in this book is nothing short of poetic. Each page teaches readers about something that Americans do. They love, create, dream, fight, choose and more. I absolutely love each description of what the American people do. The text tells readers about the historic events that have made America strong, diverse, and different from other places in the world. It talks about the Bill of Rights, The 4th of July, National Parks and more. The illustrations are beautiful and detailed. I love the diversity and history outlined in each picture. This book should be a part of every classroom library.

40 Pages

Ages 5 and up

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Thanksgiving

Over the River and Through the Wood illustrared by Emma Randall

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Back of Book:
In this stunning paper-over-board picture book, a blustering wind stings the toes and bites the nose, but hearts are warm and there’s lots to eat–for ’tis Thanksgiving Day! Bundle up as you navigate a winter wonderland of sparkling snow-covered trees and adorable woodland creatures in this cherished holiday tale. Coupled with Emma Randall’s delightful illustrations, the familiar poem-turned-song is the perfect way to celebrate the season. Just remember to leave room for pumpkin pie!
My Review:
I have always loved this song and share it with my students every Thanksgiving. I was thrilled to see that Emma Randall was illustrating a new version of the classic this year. The story follows two children as they ride in their sleigh to reach their Grandmothers house for a much anticipated Thanksgiving meal. The illustrations truly capture the essence of the song and bring the lyrics to life! I love the detail on every page. Even the animals are excited for Thanksgiving Day. My students loved hearing this version of the song. The bright colors kept their attention throughout the story. A fantastic book to share with children during the Thanksgiving season.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Animals, Cyblis Awards 2018

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Back of Book:
Timely and inspiring, The Hyena Scientist sets the record straight about one of history’s most hated and misunderstood mammals, while featuring the groundbreaking, pioneering research of a female scientist in a predominately male field in this offering by Sibert-winning duo Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop.

As a scientist studying one of the only mammalian societies led entirely by females, zoologist Kay Holecamp has made it her life’s work to understand hyenas, the fascinating, complex creatures that are playful, social, and highly intelligent—almost nothing like the mangy monsters of pop culture lore.
My Review:
I have never studied much about hyenas and found this book to be a fantastic nonfiction text that teaches readers all about this slightly unknown animal. The book follows zoologist Kay Holecamp as she studies the resistance and intelligence of hyenas. I love that the text is broken down into chapters with easy to understand titles. Readers know what they will be reading before they read it. The color photos are beautiful and show hyenas in their natural habitats. This is an excellent book to share in classrooms and gives readers a new perspective on hyenas.
80 Pages
Ages 10 and up

Animals

A Frog’s Life by Irene Kelly

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Back of Book:
Frogs, frogs, and more frogs! This exciting survey of the world’s frog species will introduce children to varieties as diverse as the golden poison frog (the planet’s most toxic animal), the Amau frog (so tiny it’s no bigger than a housefly), and the Chinese gliding frog (which can “fly” up to 17 feet)! Their different hunting techniques, preferred foods, body types, and methods of defense are covered, as are the universal basics of the frog life cycle.
One of the science standards in Kindergarten is to teach my students the frog life cycle. I am always on the lookout for well written and researched books that I can use as an introduction to my life cycle unit.
A Frogs Life by Irene Kelly is a fantastic story that teaches readers facts and details about frogs. It begins by discussing that frogs are amphibians and giving readers that definition. The book then goes on to discuss how frogs breath underwater, catch their food and lay eggs. The text is written in an easy to read format that allows readers to clearly comprehend what is being taught to them. The illustrations are scientifically accurate and match the text beautifully. The back of the book has a helpful index, as well as ways that people can help protect frogs. This is a great nonfiction story because it teaches readers so many facts, while still keeping them engaged. A great addition to any classroom or elementary library.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Friendship

Zola’s Elephant By Randall de Sève

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Back of Book:

When Zola moves into the neighborhood, her new next-door neighbor is too shy to go over and introduce herself. Plus, Zola already has a friend to play with—an elephant!
What we imagine is not always true, as the little girl discovers. Luckily, she also discovers that being brave can lead to new friendships—and even richer imaginary worlds—in this heartwarming book about friendship, moving, and the power of imagination.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Randall de Seve in exchange for an honest review.
Zola’s Elephant is a wonderful story that shows readers the beauty of imagination and the importance of having the courage to meet new people. The story follows a young girl as she shares her apprehension about meeting her new neighbor Zola. The girl convinces herself that Zola has a has a much more exciting life then she does that includes an elephant. In reality, Zola is lonely and needs a new friend. The illustrations are whimsical and nothing short of stunning! The end of the book has a sweet ending that encourages readers to get to know new friends. This is a perfect tale to share in the classroom when a new student joins the class.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Biography, History

No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas By Tonya Bolden

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Back of Book:
Junius G. Groves came from humble beginnings in the Bluegrass State. Born in Kentucky into slavery, freedom came when he was still a young man and he intended to make a name for himself. Along with thousands of other African Americans who migrated from the South, Junius walked west and stopped in Kansas. Working for a pittance on a small potato farm was no reason to feel sorry for himself, especially when he’s made foreman. But Junius did dream of owning his own farm, so he did the next best thing. He rented the land and worked hard! As he built his empire, he also built a family, and he built them both on tons and tons and tons of potatoes. He never quit working hard, even as the naysayers doubted him, and soon he was declared Potato King of the World and had five hundred acres and a castle to call his own.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Tonya Bolden in exchange for an honest review.
Before reading this story, I had never heard about Junius G. Groves. I was amazed at the strength and determination that Junius throughout his life! Even though he was born a slave, Junius never stopped striving for better things. The story follows his lifespan and shows readers how Junius broke barriers and showed people what he was made of. The illustrations by Don Tate are detailed and stunning. The back of the book has a glossary and a timeline. This is a perfect book for book reports or history projects.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Thanksgiving

How to Catch a TurkeyBy Adam Wallace

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Back of Book:
Thanksgiving time is here again, but there’s a turkey on the run!
Can you catch this tricky bird before the school play has begun?
My Review:
How To Catch a Turkey is another fun addition to Adams fun and popular How to Catch Series. This book follows a turkey as he attempts to flee a Thanksgiving play. My students loved hearing about the crazy antics that happen to the turkey as he tries to flee the play. The turkey travels through all areas of the school including the library, the playground, and the cafeteria. The first person narrative of the turkey allows readers to see a different perspective of how the turkey felt being chased around the school. The rhyming scheme allows for a fun read-aloud that creates a great deal of laughter. The illustrations are full of bright colors and fun detail. My students loved this book and have asked to read it several times since we got it in my Scholastic order.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

History

Before She was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome

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Back of Book:
We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman, she was a Union spy. As Moses, she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty, she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta, she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom. An evocative poem and stunning watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her a larger than life hero.
My Review:
I love sharing stories about strong women with my students! Harriet Tubman is one of my favorite historical figures to share in class. Her strength and bravery allowed hundreds of people to fight for freedom. Before She Was Harriet is a detailed and stunning look at the life of Harriet. I love that the book starts at the end of her life and goes backwards to her childhood. It gives readers a unique perspective as to where Harriet and how she became the woman she was. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. The colors are bright and show the emotion in each step of her journey.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Bugs and Insects

The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall

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Back of Book:
With zooming, vibrant verse by Kirsten Hall and buzzy, beautiful illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, this celebration of the critically important honeybee is a honey-sweet treasure of a picture book.
My Review:
I love finding engaging and informational nonfiction picture books that I can share with my students. The Honeybee by Kirsten Hall is a fantastic look at the life and job of a honeybee. The rhyming scheme allows readers to follow along and enjoy the story. I loved that the book follows the bee through all the seasons. It shows readers the many aspects of bees work through each season. The book also captures the beauty and mystery of the dance that bees do to draw others to the nectar. The illustrations are soft and whimsical. The back of the book has a wonderful note from the author as well as several facts about bees. I think this is should be in every elementary library and classroom.
Ages 5 and up
48 Pages

Growth Mindset, Skills Children Learn

Even Superheroes Make Mistakes by Shelly Becker

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Back of Book:
Even superheroes sometimes slip up and err. And when that happens, do they say, “It’s not FAIR?” or give up in despair? NO! “Ashamed Superheroes who goofed up somehow . . . First STOP . . . then CONSIDER what’s best to do now.” Whether they’ve nabbed the wrong guy by mistake or bashed into a planet while zooming through space, all superheroes ‘fess up their mess-up, get on with their day, and keep on saving the world in the most super way!
I received a copy of this picture book from Sterling Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited to see another story in Shelly Beckers superhero series. My students loved her first book and were just as excited to read another story about these hard working superheroes. This story is a perfect read aloud for a growth mindset project. It shares several examples of how superheroes mess up or fall short in what they are trying to accomplish. There are great reminders within the pages of how blaming others for your mistakes is never a good idea. The rhyming scheme allows the story to flow and lets readers follow along. The illustrations by Eda Kaban are full of color and detail. My students enjoyed this book very much and so did I. It is a perfect addition to any growth mindset unit!
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

 

Animals

How Do You Take a Bath? by Kate McMullan

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Back of Book:
Follow elephants, pigs, monkeys, hippos, and more in this charming rhyming picture book from veteran author Kate McMullan. How does a pig take a bath? It sinks in the mud! What about a chicken? It thrashes about in dust! And a cat? Why, it licks itself clean, of course! Sydney Hanson’s adorable illustrations toggle neatly between animals in nature grooming themselves and humorous depictions of children attempting the animals’ bathing tactics.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from Alfred A. Knopf in exchange for an honest review.
I a completely in love with this charming story about the different ways that animals take baths. Author Kate McCullan chose several different types of animals and gave readers a variety of different animals to show readers the unique ways that animals bathe. The simple rhyming text is perfect for beginning readers. I love at Kate compared the animal’s way of bathing to how we bathe. This simple concept allows readers to compare and contrast the animals and themselves. The illustrations from Sydney Hanson are nothing short of enduring. The colors are soft and draw a readers eye to the adorable antics on each page. This is a perfect book to cuddle up with before bedtime and enjoy the giggles.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages