Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Princess Tales:Once Upon a Time Rhyme with Seek-and-Find Pictures

Princess Tales:Once Upon a Time Rhyme with Seek-and-Find Pictures
by Grace Maccarone
illustrated by Gail de Marcken
Feiwel and Friends, 2013. unpaged nonfiction

If you are planning a road trip any time soon, and need a book to keep the kids busy in the back seat, this is the book for you.  It has 10 fairy tale stories, written in rhyme, illustrated with beautifully detailed, brightly colored paintings. The illustrations feature a variety of cultural styles. For example the picture accompaning the "Frog Princess" looks like a scene from Japan, and the artwork for "The Princess and the Pea" is African in style. At the end of each poem/story there is a list of things to find in the accompaning picture. Opposite the table of contents the creators mention even more things that can be found in each picture. This is a lovely collection of short fairy tales, and the seek-and-find activities are just an added bonus.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Tour of Your Nervous System

Cover image for A tour of your nervous system
A Tour of Your Nervous System
by Molly Kolpin
Illustrated by Chris B. Jones
Capstone Press, 2014. Graphic Nonfiction, 25 p.

Here is another series in the growing market of nonfiction books presented in graphic novel format.  There are five in this series that feature the major systems of the human body.  In this volume Nelly Neuron takes the reader on a tour of the nervous system.  She names the parts of a neuron and explains how a message is carried along a neuron to the spinal column and on to the brain. The information, though limited, is good and the graphic format makes it accessible and appealing to a fairly young audience. Others in the series feature the digestive system, the respiratory system, the circulatory system and the skeletal muscular system.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mama Built a Little Nest

 Cover image for Mama built a little nest
Mama Built a Little Nest
by Jennifer Ward
Illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Beach Lane Books, 2014 unpaged informational picture book

Did you know that hummingbirds use cobwebs when they make their nests, and some wrens make their nests in poky cacti? This new informational picture book is full of interesting facts about different kinds of nests.  The primary text is written in rhyme with only a few lines per page.  Secondary text gives more facts about the birds and nests featured.  Each kind of bird and nest is beautifully depicted with Jenkin's incomparable cut paper illustrations. He manages to make birds and environment look both realistic, and artistic. There is good reason that Jenkins has won almost every major children's informational picture book award out there.

My Name is Bob

My Name is Bob
by, James Bowen and Garry Jenkins
Illustrated by, Gerald Kelley
Random House, UK 2014

This is a lovely book based on a true story about a homeless cat named Bob.  He was found and cared for by James, a man just barely off the streets himself.  James was a street performer in England, struggling to make ends meet when he found Bob.  When James found Bob, he'd been injured and James nursed Bob back to health.  Once he was better, Bob decided he was staying with James, for good!  The story of James and Bob has touched the hearts of many around the world.  It's a beautiful story of kindness and unselfish love and at the end of the book you'll find great photos of Bob and James together!

Display - Katherine Marsh

Jepp, a teenage dwarf living in 16th century Europe, leaves home to seek his destiny.

In an effort to impress a female classmate, high school sophomore Jack Perdu endangers both of their lives by taking her to New York City's Underworld, where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on.

 After fourteen-year-old classics prodigy Jack Perdu has a near fatal accident he meets Euri, a young ghost who introduces him to New York's Underworld, where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on, and Jack vows to find his dead mother there.

Display - Paul B. Janeczko

Janeczko's powerful poems, accented with historic illustrations by actual inmates, convey the horrors of the Czech concentration camp Terezín.
A handbook for the budding cryptographer including codes and ciphers, invisible inks, concealment techniques, spy stories and some history.
A collection of true spy stories from throughout the history of the United States, discussing personalities, missions, traitors, technological advances, and more.
In this splendid and playful volume, acclaimed poetry anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and Caldecott Honor illustrator Chris Raschka present lively examples of twenty-nine poetic forms, demonstrating not only the (sometimes bendable) rules of poetry, but also the spirit that brings these forms so wonderfully to life.
Even kids who don't know they like poetry will love this playful, visually accessible collection of thirty concrete poems--illustrated by a Caldecott Honor artist! Concrete poems startle and delight the eye and mind. The size and arrangement of words--or even just letters on the page can add or alter meaning, and poems can take the shape of crows and fly off the page. Or become a balloon filled with rhyme drifting away from outstretched hands.
A collection of lively rhymes and tricky tongue twisters, poems for more than one voice, bilingual poems -- from classic Shakespeare and Lear to anonymous rhymes to contemporary riffs on everything under the sun. 
The 20 poems in this collection were chosen for their thought-provoking topics; compelling real-world themes that lead to conversation and collaboration in middle school classrooms. And by showing you how the poems and activities address the common core standards for English Language Arts (complete with a sample chart linking the poems to the standards), Paul provides a clear understanding of how you can "get there" using poetry. You can cultivate a passion for poetry in your classroom.
 In this guide for aspiring young writers, poets speak about their work and give examples as well as encouraging tips.
A selection of short American poems dealing with the four seasons and the different weather events and animal patterns that can occur within each.

Display - Steven Kellogg

The zoo animals find a way to keep the baby beebee bird awake during the day so that they can get some sleep at night.

Pinkerton, Behave!
His behavior may be rather unconventional, but Pinkerton the dog proves it doesn't really matter.
Incidents from the life of Pecos Bill, from his childhood among the coyotes to his unusual wedding day.
In this retelling of a well-known tale, Serafina Sow starts her own waffle-selling business in order to enable her three offspring to prepare for the future, which includes an encounter with a surly wolf.
A formidable librarian makes readers not only out of the once resistant residents of her small town, but out of a tough-talking, television-watching motorcycle gang as well.
Text and pictures try to make possible the conceptualization of a million, a billion, and a trillion.
 Jimmy's boa constrictor wreaks havoc on the class trip to a farm.
Sally Ann, wife of Davy Crockett, fears nothing--and proves it when braggart Mike Fink tries to scare her.
In a story loosely based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin, an elf acquires from a miserable witch a magic pipe that allows him to transform things, including the mean-spirited Grand Duke who rules over a rat-infested town.
Recounts the life of the extraordinary lumberjack whose unusual size and strength brought him many fantastic adventures.
 Presents the life of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, describing his love of nature, his kindness to animals, and his physical fortitude.
A boy climbs to the top of a giant beanstalk, where he uses his quick wits to outsmart a giant and make his and his mother's fortune.

Chicken Little and his feathered friends, alarmed that the sky seems to be falling, are easy prey to hungry Foxy Loxy when he poses as a police officer in hopes of tricking them into his truck.
It soon becomes clear that Louis's pet tadpole is not turning into an ordinary frog.

Can I Keep Him?
Mother objects to every pet Arnold asks to keep except one--a person.

The Island of the Skog
To escape the dangers of urban life, Jenny and her friends sail away to an island, only to be faced with a new problem--its single inhabitant--the Skog.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's New? The Zoo!

 Cover image for What's new? the zoo! : a zippy history of zoos
What's New? The Zoo!
by Kathleen Krull
Illustrated by Marcellus Hall
Arthur A. Levine, 2014. Unpaged Nonfiction

It is so fun to go to the zoo but have you ever wondered how zoos got started?  This accessible and entertaining nonfiction follows the history of zoos from Ancient Sumeria to the present.  Krull is a veteran nonfiction writer and she knows just how much interesting facts and information to include to keep the reader engaged. The zoos featured are from around the world, and Krull chronicles how the role of zoos changed through history.  The book is illustrated with child friendly watercolor artwork that highlights important information from the text. This is a great choice to read before your next zoo field trip.

Display - Sy Montgomery

Describes the research that Samuel Marshall and his students are doing on tarantulas, including the largest spider on earth, the Goliath birdeating tarantula.
A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings. Yet Sy had no inkling that this piglet, later named Christopher Hogwood, would not only survive but flourish-and she soon found herself engaged with her small-town community in ways she had never dreamed possible. 

Discusses the work of Bob Mason and his efforts to study and protect snakes, particularly red-sided garter snakes.
What could be better than watching the natural world out your window or on your television? Going out and experiencing it firsthand. In these fifty essays, acclaimed nature and science writer Sy Montgomery takes her readers on a season-by-season tour of the wilderness that is often as close as the backyard.  

When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to unlock the mysteries of the little known pink dolphins, she found ancient whales that plied the Amazon River at dawn and dusk, swam through treetops in flooded forests, and performed underwater ballets with their flexible bodies.
Southeast Asia's golden moon bear, with its luminous coat, lion like mane, and Mickey Mouse ears, was unknown to science--until Montgomery and her colleagues got on the trail at the dawn of the new millennium. Search for the Golden Moon Bear recounts Montgomery's quest--fraught with danger and mayhem--to reconstruct an evolutionary record and piece together a living portrait of her little known subject. 
Contextualism as a philosophy of science has been receiving increased attention from psychologists and other social scientists frustrated with the dominant mechanistic view within psychology. This volume explores a wide range of contextualistic views within psychology and the social sciences. 
A pale, spotted, almost cloud-like coat makes the snow leopard uncannily invisible in its rocky mountain habitat. Author Sy Montgomery and photographer Nic Bishop accompany conservationist Tom McCarthy and his team as they travel to Mongolia's Altai Mountains to gather data about snow leopard populations in an attempt to save this endangered species.
 Describes the cheetah's essential role in the ecosystem and the ways in which Namibia's Cheetah Conservation Fund is promoting cohabitation between cheetahs and farmers.
A book that earned Sy Montgomery her status as one of the most celebrated wildlife writers of our time, Spell of the Tiger brings readers to the Sundarbans, a vast tangle of mangrove swamp and tidal delta that lies between India and Bangladesh. It is the only spot on earth where tigers routinely eat people--swimming silently behind small boats at night to drag away fishermen, snatching honey collectors and woodcutters from the forest. 
 Follow a group of explorers and scientists as they travel to Papua New Guinea to find a type of kangaroo that lives in trees.
Three astounding women scientists have in recent years penetrated the jungles of Africa and Borneo to observe, nurture, and defend humanity's closest cousins. Jane Goodall has worked with the chimpanzees of Gombe for nearly 50 years; Diane Fossey died in 1985 defending the mountain gorillas of Rwanda; and Biruté Galdikas lives in intimate proximity to the orangutans of Borneo.
In this bushwhacking adventure, Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop join a tapir-finding expedition led by the Brazilian field scientist Pati Medici.
On remote Codfish Island off the southern coast of New Zealand live the last 91 kakapo parrots on earth. Originally this bird numbered in the millions before humans brought predators to the islands. Now on the isolated island refuge, a team of scientists is trying to restore the kakapo population.

Display - Maggie Stiefvater

 On the day of an important music competition, talented but painfully introverted and nervous Deirdre Monaghan is helped to perform by the compelling and enigmatic Luke Dillon and finds herself inexorably drawn into the mysteries and dangers of the faerie world.

When music prodigy James Morgan and his best friend, Deirdre, join a private conservatory for musicians, his talent attracts Nuala, a faerie muse who fosters and feeds on creative energies, but soon he finds himself battling the Queen of the Fey for the very lives of Deirdre and Nuala.

In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.
 As Grace hides the vast depth of her love for Sam from her parents and Sam struggles to release his werewolf past and claim a human future, a new wolf named Cole wins Isabel's heart but his own past threatens to destroy the whole pack.
A human girl and her werewolf boyfriend must fight for their love as death comes closing in.
Former frontman for the band Narkotika Cole St. Clair returns to California in hopes of renewing his relationship with Isabel Culpeper.
 For as long as she can remember, clairvoyant Blue Sargent has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys led by Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school, she's not so sure anymore.
After the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, Ronan falls more and more deeply into his dreams which intrude into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after.
Four children have discovered that they have spirit animals, a rare bond between human and animal that has launched them on a quest to save their world. The team heads to the forests of Eura, where another Great Beast is hidden.
Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.