Monday, April 27, 2015

INSIDE THIS BOOK (are three books) by Barney Saltzberg. New York:  Abrams Appleseed, 2015.  32p. ISBN 9781419 714870 hc. $15.95   Gr. K-2   E PIC

This clever story is written by Seymour, whose mother makes books with blank pages for him and his siblings.  His book is bound within the regular book with smaller pages that reveal the things he writes about, including a comic strip.  His sister, Fiona, also writes about her favorite topics on pages that are a little smaller than Seymour's.  She likes poetry and rhyme and lots of illustrations.  The youngest brother, Wilbur, can only draw his story on pages that are even smaller, but asks Seymour to write the text in for him.  This book, composed of the three short books, can be enjoyed one-on-one or as a classroom model for the gradual stages of writing workshop.  The different page sizes make it quite unique.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, April 20, 2015

THE THING ABOUT SPRING by Daniel Kirk. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015. 32p. ISBN 9781419 714924 hc. $16.95   Gr. K-2    E PIC

First of all, the illustrations by Daniel Kirk are superb.  Characters drawn in pen and ink, are featured against softly colored, very detailed backgrounds.  He also authored the story of four friends, all forest animals, who say goodbye to winter weather, along with all the fun that snow brings.  Some are happy for the change to spring and some are more reluctant, until the group reviews the great things that come with spring such as rain water for rabbit, flowers for mouse, worms for bird and a shower for bear.  This seasonal story is a springboard for classroom discussion of lifestyle changes that come with the weather for animals and people in various regions of the earth.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, April 13, 2015

EGG: Nature's Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 32p. ISBN 978-0-547-909-2 hc. $16.99   Gr. K-4   E PIC

The same, but different, this book educates readers about animals by using the same paper collage art technique that has become a Jenkins and Page trademark.  This particular book is focused on the beginning of life for many animals that hatch from eggs, including reptiles, mammals, fish, and insects.  Jenkins and Page start with where the eggs are laid, their protectors and predators, ways to disguise the eggs, and end with the hatching process.  There's a double page spread comparing the development of a chicken egg to an alligator egg.  As always, the last pages are packed with scientific facts about all the animals featured in the book.  It's another fantastic book by a dynamic writing duo.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center

Thursday, April 9, 2015

THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander.  New York: HoughtonMifflin Company: 2014.
240p. ISBN 978 0544107717 hc. $16.99   Gr. 6-8   Juv FIC

Written in verse, this 2015 Newberry Medal award winner brings basketball, family and the bond of twin brothers together in a riveting coming of age story that is fast-paced both on and off the court.  Josh Bell loves the game of basketball and, together with his twin Jordan, he is a force on his school’s team. But when Jordan starts thinking more about a girl than his game, Josh finds himself left out of play. There’s a strong family unit and a mystery about why the father gave up his basketball dreams. Josh and Jordan are impacted by this secret in a big way.  ~ Jeni Kilpela, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI