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Just Read! By Lori Degman

just read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, National Womens Month

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life: Hollywood Legend and Brilliant By Laurie Wallmark

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Back of Book:
To her adoring public, Hedy Lamarr was a glamorous movie star, widely considered the most beautiful woman in the world. But in private, she was something more: a brilliant inventor. And for many years only her closest friends knew her secret. Now Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu, who collaborated on Sterling’s critically acclaimed picture-book biography Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, tell the inspiring story of how, during World War Two, Lamarr developed a groundbreaking communications system that still remains essential to the security of today’s technology.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Laurie Wallmark in exchange for an honest review.
I have been a long time fan of Hedy Lamarr’s acting career. It wasn’t until recently that I learned what a strong and intelligent woman Hedy was. The story follows Hedy from childhood in Austria to her amazing career in Holywood. The most intriguing part of this story to me was the fact that Hedy invented such a complicated system. She worked hard with George Antheil to create a secure torpedo guidance system. Sadly the system she created would be taken and Hedy didn’t receive credit for many years. Amazingly Heldy continued to do anything she could for the country she loved. She sold war bonds and held dances for the soldiers during World War 2. Laurie created a well researched and fascinating biography about one amazing woman. Katy Wu’s illustrations are truly stunning and bring depth to the life of Hedy Lamarr. The back of the book has a timeline of Hedys life, a list of her movies , as well as more information about the Secret Communications System. This is an excellent book for National Women’s Month or any unit on inventions. I highly recommend it!
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

Passover

Around the Passover Table by Tracy Newman

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Back of Book:
The candles are lit, the seder plate filled, and the matzo stacked high. Join in to read, sing, eat, and observe the holiday. The many steps of a Passover seder are portrayed in this rhyming story.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Tracey Newman in exchange for an honest review.
Passover is a beautiful celebration that is held in the springtime by the Jewish people. “Around the Passover Table” is a terrific look at one families Seder dinner. The story follows each step of the Passover event. It teaches readers about the specific food, drinks, songs, and prayers of Passover. The rhyming scheme is well written and engaging. I love the Jewish words that are sprinkled throughout the story. The illustrations are beautiful and show every member of the large family enjoying the Passover together. The back of the book has a authors note that discusses more about the Passover table as well as key terms and their meaning. This is a perfect story to use as an introduction to all the aspects and parts of Passover.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Read Your World

Inspirational Books By Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings

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My Trip to the Beach
Back of Book:
Just like adults, children can have bad days too. The good news is that, just like adults, children can better cope with stress by learning and practicing mindfulness.

Through simple exercises that help strengthen concentration, decrease stress levels, reduce anger and impulse issues, and aid in better self-awareness, seasoned therapist Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings provides poetic perspectives on life and its struggles that encourages children to focus on imagery, positivity, and the important message that with each sunrise comes a chance to begin again.
My Review:

My Trip to the Beach is a terrific book that allows readers to focus on the concept of mindfulness. The story stresses the importance of finding a quiet place and concentrating on the beauty around you. I love that Deirdre reminds children to focus on the people that love them, and the things that they are good at. This book allows children to feel frustrated while giving them skills to cope and deal with their feelings. The illustrations are warm and inviting. The colors are soft and show the simple beauty in life. This is a book that should definitely be in every school and children’s counselors office. A perfect book to add to any mindfulness unit!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Heart
Back of Book:
A children’s book to remind us that when we close our hearts from fear-we close off other emotions like love, peace, and joy. Inspired by her work with foster children, author Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings’Heart speaks directly to our hearts. This simple story with beautiful illustrations is about love, life, faith, and the power of prayer. Heart will help lift your spirit and serves as a guide to the path to healing
My Review:
Heart is a moving and emotional picture book that focuses on the importance of guarding your heart, from people who will hurt and take advantage of you. The story also focuses on the importance of trust and finding a balance between the two concepts. It is truly heartbreaking to me that so many young children are closed off because of the damage that has been done to them. This is a much-needed book for children of all ages. I love that the books overall message is to find faith and believe that there are good people in the world. This is a book that should definitely be in every school and children’s counselors office.
Ages 5 and up
24 Pages

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If a Caterpillar Can Fly, why can’t I?
Throughout her work as a therapist with children, Deirdre Cummings, has recognized two major areas of concern affecting the esteem of today’s youth. One is too much screen time and emphasis on how the world sees you (or worse approves you) through social media. The second is a lack of focus on goals and a real belief that it is possible to achieve them. This journal is fun and thought-provoking. It is never too early for kids to begin working towards their dreams. If A Caterpillar Can Fly, Why Can’t I teaches children the value of having of being self-aware which fosters greater resilience, increases dreaming and motivation, and improves relationships with the people in their life who matter most. It is not only a roadmap but a time capsule of hopes and dreams for tomorrow’s future leaders!
My Review:
This is a fantastic and inspirational resource for young audiences. This interactive journal allows readers to participate in their own growth. The book is completely in black and white and allows readers to color the pages. There are also list prompts that can be filled out and inspirational quotes throughout the pages. All children should have this book in their lives.
Ages 5 and up
84 Pages

Skills Children Learn

Wordy Birdy Meets Mr. Cougarpants by Tammi Sauer

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Back of Book:
Wordy Birdy and her pals are heading on a camping trip, and our favorite chatty bird is all ready for a big night under the stars. (“I brought pickles and bean burritos and more pickles and mashed potatoes and some pickles and . . .”) But the friends soon find themselves in hot water when the dastardly Mr. Cougarpants stalks their campsite. Can Wordy Birdy talk them all out of this pickle? Grab your pack, grill up a s’more, and find out!
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Tammi Sauer in exchange for an honest review.
Wordy Birdy is at it again in another laugh out loud story about an overly talkative bird who has a nack of getting into mischief. In this book, Wordy Birdy and her friends go on a camping trip. The dilemma is, Wordy will not stop talking and it drives her friends crazy! Suddenly Wordy’s nonstop talking gets them out of a sticky situation. I love that the text.is written with speech bubbles. It gives readers a unique perspective to who is speaking in the story. The illustrations have the same familiar characters as the first Wordy Birdy story. Readers who love the first book will equally love the second story as well.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Horses

Wild Horse Annie: Friend of the Mustangs by Tracey Fern

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Back of Book:
Wild Horse Annie was the nickname of Velma Bronn Johnston (1912–77), loved mustangs all her life. When she saw mustangs being rounded up and killed to make room for ranchers’ livestock, she knew she had to speak up. In 1950, she began writing letters to local newspapers and politicians, defending the horses’ right to raom free.
Many people told Annie to hush up, but they couldn’t stop her. She soon became a voice for mustangs throughout the state of Nevada, speaking on their behalf at town halls and meetings.
But Annie was only one person, and she wanted to do more. So she got children to speak up, too, by having them write letters to Washington, D.C., officials to ask them to save the Mustangs. Finally, with the help of her young “pencil brigade,” Annie persuaded Congress to pass nationwide laws protecting wild horses and burros on public land nationwide.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Tracey Fern in exchange for an honest review.
I have never studied much about Wild Horse Annie and was amazed by this well-written biography about one woman’s fight to protect the animals she loved! The story follows Tracey from her childhood love of horses to her struggles with polio. Her love of horses gave her a passion to see them protected and safe. I was fascinated to learn about the many avenues that Velma wrote and spoke to throughout the country. The inspiring ending will make readers want to stand up and fight for a cause of their own! The illustrations are stunning and showcase the beauty of Mustangs. The back of the book has detailed authors note that shares more about Wild Horse Annie. This is a perfect story for horse lovers of all ages. It is also a perfect addition to a National Women’s Unit.
Ages 6 and up
48 Pages

Books and Library

This Book Is Spineless By Lindsay Leslie

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Back of Book:
With suspense and humor, this wary and unadventurous book uses the five senses to try and figure out what kind of story might be on its pages.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Lindsay Leslie in exchange for an honest review.

This is such a creative story that discusses the five senses in a unique way. The text is written in a first-person narrative and invites the reader to be apart of the experience. The book explains to readers that it is spineless and scared of everything. As the story progresses the book shares different aspects of the five senses with readers. I love the way the text is written. The five sense words stand out in the paragraph and immediately draw years to the story. Readers will laugh at the books struggle to face its fears and decide what genre of story it is. The illustrations are well drawn and match the narrative beautifully. This is an amazing book to use for an introduction to first-person writing and the different aspects of the five senses. I think this book should be in every elementary and classroom library.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

Biography, Science, STEM

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge Rachel Dougherty

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Back of Book:
It was the first trip across an engineering marvel that had taken nearly fourteen years to construct. The woman’s husband was the chief engineer, and he knew all about the dangerous new technique involved. The woman insisted she learns as well.
When he fell ill mid-construction, her knowledge came in handy. She supervised every aspect of the project while he was bedridden, and she continued to learn about things only men were supposed to know:
math, science, engineering.
Women weren’t supposed to be engineers.
But this woman insisted she could do it all, and her hard work helped to create one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Rachel Dougherty in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited when I saw that this book was being published. I was unfamiliar with the story that the Brooklyn Bridge was finished by a woman. I loved that Rachel described the many steps of building the bridge. I was fascinated to learn the process of how they built The Brooklyn Bridge. The story begins with Emily’s childhood and shows readers how her love for learning math and science allowed her to play such an important part in history. The text explains how unknown to everyone, Emily took over the building of the bridge. She was never given the recognition she deserved. This amazing book shows readers how strong and courageous women can be. The illustrations are detailed and show readers close up examples of the building of the bridge. The back of the book has more information about Emily Roebling as well as a glossary and pictures of the completed Brooklyn Bridge. This is an amazing story to add to any STEM or National Women’s unit. A must-have for elementary and school libraries.
Ages 6 and up
40 Pages

Animals, Farm

Peeping Beauty by Brenda Maier

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Back of Book:

Peep peep! Mama and Papa can’t wait for their new little chicks to arrive.
With a quiver, A shiver, A crackle, and a peep! Two of the chicks hatch!
But the third egg? It’s in no hurry to get cracking. With the help of his siblings and his mama’s love, will this little chick find its way out into his big, new world?
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from author Brenda Maier in exchange for an honest review. The story follows Mama and Papa chickens are they wait for their baby chicks hatch. As they wait for the third egg to hatch mama chicken tells fun stories like Peeping Beauty to pass the time. The ending has a surprise twist thats sure to make readers giggle with joy. The illustrations are full of bright and engaging colors. The details on each page bring this fun story to life. This is a great story to read at bedtime or anytime.
32 Pages
Ages 5 and up

Biography, Presidents Day

The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock

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Back of Book:
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.
My Review:
I will be sharing this book with my class on Tuesday for Presidents Day. I love finding books about Presidents that are not as widely shared about. When I read the description of “The Camping Trip That Changed America” I knew I needed it in my classroom. It tells readers the fantastic story of how Theodore Roosevelt went on a camping trip and decided to protect the natural environment of the United States. This is a great story to share about the importance of land conservation and protecting the national beauty of this land. I live near a national monument and am very grateful that John Muir played such an important role in history. The illustrations are soft watercolors and truly beautiful. The authors note in the back shares more with readers about the incredible journey that the two men had together. This is a must read for Presidents Day.
32 Pages
Ages 6 and up