Monday, December 30, 2013

THE WOODEN SWORD by Ann Redisch Stampler. Illistrated by Carol Liddiment. Chicago: Albert Whitman & Company, 2012. 32p. 978-0807592014  Ages 5-7

Everybody loves a good story about a king, prince, or in this case, a shah who wants to get to know the people he rules over and what their life is like.  The shah decides to put a young man and his wife to test regarding the strength of their faith and happiness.  Each time he decrees the man's job as illegal, the man remains faithful and tells his wife that everything turns out just as it should.  After a few rounds of this, the shah brings the poor man to his palace to serve as his royal advisor, based on his patience and loyalty, rewarding his virtues.
~Mary Koshorek, Library Assistant, Spies Public Library

Friday, December 27, 2013

Newquist, HP.
HERE THERE BE MONSTERS: THE LEGENDARY KRAKEN AND THE GIANT SQUID by H.P. Newquist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010. 73p. 978-0-547-07678-2; hb.  Grade 5 and up

Excellent coverage of historical legends of the Kraken (now called the giant squid) from ancient to contemporary times. Amply illustrated with ancient maps, woodcuts and contemporary photos, this book grabs one's attention. If there is any doubt about the existence of the squid, the photos of the 26 foot long recent catch stretched out on stainless steel will remove all doubt and possibly result in nightmares for the squeamish. Knife-life hooks coming out of the suckers and teeth-like blades on the
tongue, not to mention the 13" diameter eyeball, are sure to intrigue, gross-out and entertain children and adults alike. The anatomy of the squid is very interesting is sure to keep the interest of those who delve beyond the illustrations to read the science. There is still a great deal to learn about these elusive mysterious creatures.
~Susie Rohrbough

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Non-Fiction Continues...

GROUND ZERO DOGS by Meish Goldish. New York: Bearport Publishing, 2013. 31pages.
ISBN: 978-1-61772-576-0   Juv.
The book begins with the first plan crashing into the World Trade Center on 9-11, and the story of how 2 guide dogs, Salty and Rosie,  led their owners down stairs to safety. Salty led his owner down 71 floors in the dark.  The focus then shifts to the role which search and rescue dogs had in locating survivors and eventually the recovery of bodies. Specially trained comfort dogs were brought in
to help rescue workers and survivors.  The focus is on the valuable roles dogs play in our lives.  From assisting police and rescue personnel to providing comfort to trauma victims.
Joanne Weber, Volunteer, Munising School Public Library

GREAT SHAKES: THE SCIENCE OF EARTHQUAKES by Darlene Stille. Mankato, MN: Compass Points Books, 2009. 48 pages. 978-0756539474. Grades 5-8.

This compact title in the Headline Science series uses newspaper headlines from the New York Times and other notable periodicals to introduce the earthquake event. Expect to find an excellent introduction to earthquakes and the science behind our current day knowledge of these events. From
measuring in scientific terms to human terms, the photos, charts, maps, informative insets and chronology provide enough information to get the grade schooler ready to begin a report on earthquakes. 
Susie Rohrbough, Accordionist and Librarian at large

Monday, December 23, 2013

Non-Fiction Nuggets

HOW SMALL IS SMALL: COMPARING BODY PARTS by Vic Parker, Illustrator: Victoria Allen.
Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2011. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4329-3960-1   Grades 5 and up
Illustrated with both people and drawings, this book explains how to measure the average body.  How children become larger than babies, but not yet as large as adults. How the body measurements relate to self: usually the length of your big toe 5 times equals the length of your foot; your shoulders are as wide as two hand spans, etc. Includes fun activities, brief quiz, glossary, additional reading list and websites.
Joanne Weber, Volunteer, Munising School Public Library

WHICH IS ROUND? WHICH IS BIGGER? by Mineko Mamada.  New York:  Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2013.  25p.   ISBN 978-1-55453-973-4 hc., $16.95.    PreS-Gr.3    NF J516.15
Children are presented with easy choices in Mamada’s concept book. But are they as easy as they seem? Which is red, the watermelon or the apple? The apple of will be the simple, apparent answer chorused by children. But turn the page and a different choice is revealed. The apple, eaten to the core is no longer red; a sliced watermelon now reveals red.  Simple, bright illustrations and the repetitive text enforce the concept, encourage greater observation and thinking as well as opportunities for discussion. This small offering will be worn out quickly. Sizeable libraries will want an additional copy.
Barbara Ward, Dickinson County Library, Children’s Librarian, Retired

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Year Comes Round: Haiku Through the Seasons. Sid Farrara, author.
Illustrated by Ilse Plume. 32 Pages. Picture book for K-2.

Having never read children's poetry, I was pleased to open the first page
and find "Each windowpane's a / masterpiece, personally / Jack Frost" With
a lovely view of a wondow with four panes and each indeed a wonderful
masterpiece. And so the poetry goes through a year of months and seasons
with a good deal of humor for the child to enjoy. A snowman hoping the
noon sun doesn't notice him, a wily robin asking a worm to her nest to
meet her family and a bear who quickly leaves when skunk invites himself
in are sampling of the themes. There is an explanation of Haiku at the end
of the book.  There are also useful explanations of each season and the
earth's rotation of the sun providing a teacher or parent an opportunity
to talk about seasonal phenomena, like why the sun is warmer and days
longer in the summer.  Charming illustrations by Caldecott  winner, Ilse
Plume, will delight the child and adult. This book is perfect!

Susie Rohrbough
Accordionist and Librarian at large

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

     Just finished two readers in the Urgency Emergency series by Dosh Archer.  The books begin at the hospital with a patient receiving treatment when the ambulance arrives.  The new patients are characters from a nursery rhyme or folktale who use their background information to create a new story. 
     ITSY BITSY SPIDER (title and main character) was washed down the spout and found, with a large laceration, by none other than Miss Muffett.  After a few stitches, the Itsy Bitsy Spider is as good as new and goes home with Miss Muffett who is working on her fear of spiders.
     BIG BAD WOLF begins with a choking victim who, upon visual inspection of the throat, has swallowed something whole.  Several applications of the Heimlich Maneuver produce Grandma (from Little Red Riding Hood) who is "damp and a bit chewed around the edges, but otherwise OK."  The hospital team calls the police for the Big Bad Wolf and discharges Grandma back home.
     There are four more books in the series and I hope to read every one of them, as they are entertaining and creative.  They would make writing prompts in the classroom and make a good choice for new readers with simple text and illustrations.