Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE by Jean Riedy. Illus. by Leo Timmers.  New York:  Bloomsbury, 2013.  32p.  978-1-59990-185-7;  hc.,  $14.99.    PreS-K    EPIC            
Rhyming stanzas perfectly match the brightly illustrated pages in a picture book ‘peopled’ with a variety of town inhabitants, benign, sometimes hilarious looking animals. The wide eyed characters are depicted doing everyday things that children can identify in their own cities and towns; or perhaps as we would wish our towns to be.

The trip around the town begins with a zebra, giraffe, elephant and other happy, friendly looking creatures on a school bus waiting for a book-pack toting bear who is leaving a bakery with a freshly baked morning treat. As the pages reveal farmers hauling corn, neighbors planting gardens, restaurant cooks flipping pancakes, mothers pushing strollers and buggies, turtle leaving the library with a load of books, there are small funny-bone tickling characters. A few of the many vignettes: a small creature popping out of the ground surrounded by apple cores and raccoon tossing his newspapers with a perfect throw to dog, dressed in high-heels, hat and coat, carrying a briefcase under one arm and a cell phone in the opposite hand. The perfect throw of course, is caught in dog’s mouth. Browsing the detail-packed pages will engross children and their big people. The cadence never falters and the rhymes flow effortlessly. A good addition to public and school collections, this book would be a good choice for a gift.Barbara Ward, Retired Children’s Librarian, Dickinson County Library

Sunday, January 26, 2014

GRAVITY ALL AROUND by David Conrad. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2011. 24p.
ISBN: 978-1-4296-6606-0 hb., $24.65.   Preschool- Grade 1  NFIC

This volume of the Physical Science series is designed to support national science standards. This is a well-written concise book geared toward novice students. Photographs and easily understood text teach concepts relating to gravity such as bouncing, force and speed. Aristotle, Galileo and Newton are briefly mentioned. An excellent introduction to physics.

SEYMOUR SIMON'S EXTREME EARTH RECORDS. Seymour Simon. Chronicle Books: San Francisco, 2012. 57p.  978-1-4521-0785-1 hb., $17.99  Grades 3-7  NFIC

Filled with stunning photographs, this highly readable science book is a wonderful introduction to the environments that produced the highest, coldest, hottest, deepest and even the most remote places on earth. It includes ample comparisons of places; descriptions of weather and geographic features; and brief coverage of plant and animal life. This is a great book to read and read again. Seymour Simon is a well known science writer for children and he has not disappointed with this volume.

Susie Rohrbough, Accordionist and Librarian at large (Librarian Emerita, Collections and
Access Services, Ohio University)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

MONKEY SEE MONKEY DRAW by Alex Beard.  Abrams: New York, 2011. 32p.
ISBN: 978-0-8109-8970-2 hb. $16.95   Gr. K-3   E PIC

African monkeys learn to play together and overcome fears with the help of an elephant friend.  They find ancient drawings which are made from hand, foot and thumbprints. This inspires the monkey's to create art themselves. The illustrations throught the book incorporate these ideas.  Many of the animals are drawn from handprints, and the monkey's faces have thumbprints.  Story of learning to
both work together but yet create your own art.  Perfect for children to encourage their own imagination and expression.  Teachers and parents may want to use the story as a springboard for playtime when children can create their own figures for hand or thumbprints.
Joanne Weber, Volunteer, Munising School Public Library

Monday, January 20, 2014

RAINBOW STEW by Cathryn Falwell.  Lee & Low Books, New York: 2013. 32p.
ISBN: 978-1-60060-847-6 hc.$17.95    Gr. PreS-Gr.1    E PIC

While visiting Grandpa, the kids ask to go outside in the rain and Grandpa must come up with a plan to keep them busy.  So they go out to the garden and find some colors for his famous Rainbow Stew.  Engaging rhymes and bright colors work together to bring the reader into Grandpa's garden, where green kale and spinach, purple cabbage and eggplant, red radishes and tomatoes, orange carrots are ready for the picking.  After gathering the different vegetables together, they peel,
slice, chop, and dice everything for the stew pot.  Then they all read as they wait for the Rainbow Stew to be ready for lunch.  Of course it is yummy!  Also in the back of the book there is a recipe to
make Rainbow stew that I will be trying! 
Mary Kashorek, Librarian Assistant, Spies Public Library

Friday, January 17, 2014

WHICH IS ROUND? WHICH IS BIGGER? by Mineko Marmada.  New York:  Kids Can Press, Ltd., 2013.  25p.   ISBN 978-1-55453-973-4 hc., $16.95.    PreS-Gr.3    PB or 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

Monday, January 13, 2014

COUNTING BY 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Dial Books 2013. 384p.  Grades 5-8

What can you do when you think on a different plane than anyone else your age, focusing on the small details around you while compiling them all into a larger picture of the world?  You can count by 7's. This is Willow Chance's world until her parents are killed in a car crash and she's left in the care of five very different people who try to make her life manageable.  However, they all have challenges of their own to overcome, which makes them all the more interesting. There's a guidance counselor with low self esteem, a Vietnamese family living in poverty, and a taxi driver who dreams of going to college.  One of the side plots involves Willow's penchant for gardening which parallels the personalities of the leading characters in their approaches to the planting process.  Sloan has delivered a unique story that will delight and inspire middle school readers.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center

Friday, January 10, 2014

TOO PRINCESSY by Jean Reidy. Illustrated by Genevieve Leloup. Bloomsbury, New York, 2012. 32p. ISBN 978-1599907222. Preschool - Grade 1.

One of the best children's books I've read in a long time, TOO PRINCESSY has bright colors and simple pictures that are very appealing to the eye. A little yellow toy duck is involved in all of the pictures.  Reading through the book a second time, I noticed that the toy box shows what is going to be on the next page.  The rhyming text makes the book a great read-aloud for young children.
Mary Koshorek, Spies Public Library

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

SEW ZOEY: READY TO WEAR by Chloe Taylor. Illustrated by Nancy Zhang, Simon Spotlight, New York, 2013. 171p. ISBN 978-1-4424-7934-0, Grades 3-6

This year Zoey's school is changing the dress code to remove the need for uniforms.  When Zoey and her friends go shopping for school clothes, Zoey has trouble finding outfits she would like to wear.  She enjoys drawing designs for clothes, which gives her the idea to try to make her own.  This story is great for young readers who want to try new things, especially when it involves problem solving skills.
Laura LaHaie, Ontonagon Township Library
SNAKES by Nic Bishop. 2012. 48p. ISBN 9780545206389
Bishop offers a book on snakes, and while the text delivers this it's really the stunning photographs that make the book so engaging. The writing is a bit basic, but that just directs it toward younger children.  The pictures are entrancing and there are some good tidbits, trivia, and quotes on varying subjects related to snakes. Bishop has a long list of nonfiction books for children - all with outstanding photographs.
Emily Waters, Ontonagon Public Library

Friday, January 3, 2014

Just got new review books from Erdman's Books for Young Readers.  THE VERY BIG CARROT by Satoe Tone is a rabbit fantasy that follows a family of imaginative critters who think of the best way to use a very big carrot they just found.  Laws of gravity and physics are left behind as the author illustrates a carrot boat with an upside-down green stem formed to float and the orange part serving as a sail.  After several creative ideas, the rabbits think of one last thing they could do with the carrot because they're hungry.  You probably guessed what they did!  This book was published in France last year and in Grand Rapids, MI in 2013.  The illustrations are outstanding and feature the six rabbits as a collective - always sharing ideas and working together.  Watch their ears change position on each page. Great for readers in Grades K-2.
~Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center