Fire Prevention, Safety, Uncategorized

Flash, the Little Fire Engine By Pam Calvert

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Back of Book:
It’s Flash’s first day on the job as a little fire engine—and it’s going to be a busy one! But Flash is ready to jump into action and save the day. The only problem is, every time Flash tries to pitch in, he is either too little or too late to help out. What if no one needs him? When a fire erupts in the middle of town, it looks like Flash might be the only one available to help. Does he have what it takes to save the day?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Two Lions Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Flash is a little fire engine who is ready to fight fires and save the day. The only problem is that he always gets there a little too late to help out. I discuss fire prevention in my classroom every year and this is a perfection addition to my fire unit. The text is well written and kept even my wiggliest littles engaged the entire time. The use of figurative language throughout the text added another layer to the story.   My students loved learning about how fires are put out at airports, large buildings, and the forest. I loved the message that more matter how small everybody has an important job that they can do. The illustrations by Jen Taylor are bright and engaging. I loved the expressions on Flash’s face as he showed excitement, sadness, and joy. A perfect book to share with fire engine enthusiasts.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

 

Family, Friendship, Siblings, Uncategorized

Twins: A Picture Book By Mike Ciccotello

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Back of Book:
Being a twin is great! Sometimes our friends can’t tell us apart.
A boy and his twin do everything together―leapfrog and piggyback rides, dancing and disagreeing, and everything in between! Their relationship has its ups and downs, but in the end, it’s great knowing there’s someone in their world who is just like them. This charming picture book is a sweet and silly celebration of twinhood―whether you look-alike or not!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in exchange for an honest review.
As a teacher, I have taught several sets of twins. They always have there own individual personalities, but the ties that bind them are strong.
This adorable story by Mike Ciccontello focuses on all the things that make twins special. The text gives several examples of all the ways that twins are similar as well as how they are different.  Mike also stresses the point that even though twins might not always get along, they will always love one another.  Mike was inspired to write this story for his twin boys. The story allows children who do not have a twin see what it is like.  The illustrations are bright and detailed they draw readers into the story.  This is a terrific story to share with twins of all ages. It is also a great read-aloud if you have twins in your classroom.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages

Science, STEM, Uncategorized

Cece Loves Science and Adventure by Kimberly Derting & Shelli R. Johannes

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Back of Book:
Cece loves being an Adventure Girl almost as much as she loves science, which is why she can’t wait for her troop’s camping trip. Nature is full of science for Cece to explore!
Along with her friends, her mom, and her dog, Einstein, Cece learns how to pitch a tent, set up a campsite, and document landmarks on the trail. Then thunder booms in the distance! Working together, the girls use meteorology and math to determine the location of the storm; engineering to build a shelter, and technology and math to calculate the length of the trek back to the campsite. After all that teamwork, Cece’s mom gives them an Adventure Girl surprise!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Greenwillow books publishing in exchange for an honest review.
I was thrilled when I found out that Cece was going to be in another story. I loved the balance of science and fun that the first story had.
This is a fantastic continuation story about Cece. It follows her and her friends as they travel to the woods for a camping adventure. The story teaches readers about several outdoor scientific things such as the different types of clouds, and how to navigate without a map. The end of the story shows the importance of teamwork and friendship. The illustrations by Vashti Harrison are bright and detailed. I love the scientific details l that she placed in each illustration. The back of the book has a glossary of Cece’s scientific facts and illustrations. This is a terrific diverse picture book that showcases girls learning and enjoying science.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Uncategorized

Beyoncé: Shine Your Light by Sarah Warren

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Back of Book:
Beyoncé is bold, talented, confident, and an inspiring voice and power to millions of people all around the world. This captivating picture book biography celebrates the icon’s rise from a shy little girl to a world-famous superstar. Discover the story of Beyoncé as she finds her voice, through trials and triumphs, and understand that you, too, can shine your light like Beyoncé.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from HMH publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Beyoncé is a powerhouse in every aspect of her life. “Shine Your Light” follows her life from a young shy girl to the strong woman that she is today.
Beyoncé was quiet and kept to herself. It wasn’t until a teacher saw the potential she had that Beyoncé opened up. I love that this story allows readers to see that it takes hard work, and dedication to follow your dreams. Beyoncé did not become famous overnight, it took many years for her to accomplish her dream. The illustrations by Geneva Bowers are bright and almost lifelike. They bring depth and light to the story. This is a great book for National Women’s month because it showcases a true influence in our current society.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Uncategorized

Welcome to Morningtown By Blake Liliane Hellman

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Back of Book:
Welcome to Morningtown!
In Morningtown, animal families of all shapes and sizes are waking up to a shiny new day. They get up out of fluffy beds, hard beds, and secret beds. They hop, splash, and flutter through their morning routines, getting ready for whatever the day holds.
One thing is certain–every day is a beautiful day in Morningtown!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Bloomsbury Press in exchange for an honest review.
This is a light and fun story that follows several animals as they go through their morning routine. The text is written with descriptive words that bring the story to life! I loved the variety of animals that are showcased within the pages. The illustrations are bright and sweet. This is a fantastic story to read with young audiences about beginning a new day.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pagees

Fairy Tales, Uncategorized

It’s Not Hansel and Gretel (It’s Not a Fairy Tale) by Josh Funk

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Back of Book:
Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure! And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch! As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight—after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Two Lions Press in exchange for an honest review.
Josh Funk has created another entertaining fractured fairytale. This time Hansel and Gretel are off on a very different adventure than their original tale. The story begins like the classic fairy tale but quickly is taken over by Hansel and Gretal. This leads to some hysterical conversations between the narrator and the children. The text is made up of regular text as well as speech bubbles. The illustrations by Edwardian Taylor are bright and vibrant. I thought of so many ways to use this in my classroom as a teaching tool. It is a perfect book to teach narration in a story, plot, foreshadowing etc. A great addition to my classroom library.
Ages 6 and up

40 Pages

 

Uncategorized

Just Read! By Lori Degman

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Back of Book:
Learning to read is a big accomplishment, and this exuberant picture book celebrates reading in its many forms. In lively rhyme, it follows a diverse group of word-loving children who grab the opportunity to read wherever and whenever they can. They read while waiting and while sliding or swinging; they read music and in Braille and the signs on the road. And, sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they’ve built.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Lori Degman in exchange for an honest review.
Just Read is a beautiful love letter that celebrates the milestone of learning to read! When children learn to read their worlds open up to limitless possibilities. This story captures all ways that children’s imaginations can grow with reading. The text describes all the different things that children can read including street signs, maps, and music scores. “Just Read” shows the fun and magic of reading. The illustrations showcase a diversity of children and cultures. Children can pick up this book and see themselves within the illustrations. This is a truly breathtaking picture book and should be in every children’s library!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Black History Month, Civil Rights, Uncategorized

Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins By Michelle Meadows

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Back of Book:
Janet Collins wanted to be a ballerina in the 1930s and 40s, a time when racial segregation was widespread in the United States. Janet pursued dance with a passion, despite being rejected from discriminatory dance schools. When she was accepted into the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as a teenager on the condition that she paint her skin white for performances, Janet refused. She continued to go after her dreams, never compromising her values along the way. From her early childhood lessons to the height of her success as the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera, this is the story of a remarkable pioneer.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Michelle Meadows in exchange for an honest review.
I love this beautiful biography that tells readers of the perseverance that Janet Collins had. Readers are drawn into the life of Janet from her childhood to her success on stage. The story follows Janet as she struggles through prejudice, and expectations to rise up and become the first African American ballerina. The lyrical text is whimsical and draws readers into the magic of the ballet. The illustrations by Ebony Glenn are nothing short of stunning. Each page captures the different movements of the dancers in perfect light and detail. Brave Ballerina will inspire everyone who readers it to fight for what they believe in. A must-have for all classroom libraries.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Uncategorized

Lights! Camera! Alice!: The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker By Mara Rockliff

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Back of Book:
Meet Alice Guy-Blaché. She made movies—some of the very first movies, and some of the most exciting! Blow up a pirate ship? Why not? Crawl into a tiger’s cage? Of course! Leap off a bridge onto a real speeding train? It will be easy! Driven by her passion for storytelling, Alice saw a potential for film that others had not seen before, allowing her to develop new narratives, new camera angles, new techniques, and to surprise her audiences again and again. With daring and vision, Alice Guy-Blaché introduced the world to a thrilling frontier of imagination and adventure and became one of filmmaking’s first and greatest innovators. Mara Rockliff tells the story of a girl who grew up loving stories and became an acclaimed storyteller and an inspiration in her own right.
My Review:
This is a truly beautiful nonfiction narrative about the first woman filmmaker. The story follows Alice from her childhood to her life in America as a prominent woman in the movie industry. I had never heard about Alice Guy Blanche and was excited to find that Maria had written such a well-researched story. I love that the book was broken down into sections. It allows readers to follow along with the different parts of Alice’s journey. I was fascinated with all the amazing ways that Alice changed the film industry. The illustrations are whimsical and detailed. The back of the book has an authors note that shares more information about the incredible life that Alice lived. This is a great book that is perfect for Women’s history month or anytime. It should be in every elementary classroom.
60 Pages
Ages 5 and up

 

Uncategorized

Grizzly Boy by Barbara Davis-Pyles

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Back of Book:
One day Theo wakes up and decides he’s a grizzly bear. He leaps out of bed, practices his growl . . . and his roar. . . and scratches his bottom on the bedpost. “Oh my! That’s very convincing,” his mother responds.

When Theo finds a bowl of lettuce and berries for breakfast instead of his favorite Frosted Monster Bites cereal, he is still determined to have a day that’s wild and free, but he finds it’s more difficult than he expected, especially when you have a clever mother and still have to go to school where there are rules and more rules!

After a challenging day as a grizzly boy at school, Theo learns you can follow the rules and still enjoy being wild and free!
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Barbara Davis Pyles in exchange for an honest review. This is a lovely story that is written in the same style of “Where the Wild Things Are”. Theo represents every child who has ever felt like going against social norms. It can be tough for children to always follow rules, especially at school. This book shows those children that they are not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I love the compromise between Theo and his mother. The illustrations are fun and bring the Grizzly side of Theo to life. A great book to add to any social and emotional unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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