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

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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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Uncategorized

Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story By Lindsey McDivitt

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Back of Book:
The art and writing of Gwen Frostic are well known in her home state of Michigan and around the world, but this picture book biography tells the story behind Gwen’s famous work. After a debilitating illness as a child, Gwen sought solace in art and nature. She learned to be persistent and independent–never taking no for an answer or letting her disabilities define her. After creating artwork for famous Detroiters and for display at the World’s Fair and helping to build WWII bombers, Gwen moved her printmaking business to northern Michigan. She dedicated her work and her life to reminding people of the wonder and beauty in nature.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Lindsey McDivitt in exchange for an honest review.
Natures Friend is a powerful picture book about the amazing, and creative Gwen Frostic. This nonfiction biography shows readers the tenacity and strength that Gwen had throughout her life. Even though Gwen faced many obstacles, she never stopped striving to be better. I loved that she worked with the military to create bombers. Gwen also had a passion for nature. I love that Lindsey weaved original quotes from Gwen into the story. Eileen Ryan Ewen is a talented artist and her illustrations are detailed and stunning. The back of the book has more information about Gwen Frostic, as well how to sketch and paint with nature. I truly enjoyed reading this story. I highly recommend it for all school classrooms and libraries. A perfect addition to any unit for National Women’s Month.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Art, Uncategorized

Something from Nothing by Damian Synadinos

 

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Back of Book:

“Hank and Stella in Something From Nothing” is an engaging story that helps children laugh while they learn and improve through improv.

Theatrical improv(isation) is, essentially, making something from nothing. Players create and perform shows simultaneously and in the moment, without a script, props, or costumes. And, the fundamental principles and skills of improv are as useful on stage as they are at play and in life!

The story takes place on a boring, grey, and rainy day as Stella the bunny and Hank the dog learn about improv and discuss focusing on the present, getting and exploring ideas, reacting to accidents and mistakes, the importance of practice, and the benefits of diversity. The story ends with Hank and Stella inviting the reader to join them in an improv show, and even includes a few silly, simple games to help get kids started making improv shows of their own!

The book can help children develop their imaginations, play cooperatively, increase their confidence, and even conquer boring, grey, rainy days!

My Review:
I was very excited to receive a copy of this fun and unique story from the author Damian Synadinos.
I have never seen a picture book that teaches children how to do improve. The story follows Hank and Stella as they try to find something to do. They decide to create a show. I love that the text explains to readers what improve is. There are several categories and definitions that describe to readers how they can create their own show. The text rhymes which keeps readers engaged and smiling. The illustrations are sweet and fun. I love that Damian created thought bubbles so readers can see what Stella and Hank are describing. The back of the book has a list of improv games so that readers can put on their own show. I am looking forward to sharing this book with my classroom.
Ages 5 and up
44 Pages

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