Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Gift Giving Guide with Chronicle Kids: Part 3

Image
  Make Me a Robot by Mark Rogalski I love robots and could not pass up the chance to try this rhyming, interactive book that ends with an adorable robot! With each page turn of this interactive board book, a smiling, digital face greets readers with the invitation add a part to their creation. From arms and antennas to wings and fuel tanks, each gadget makes this bot hard to resist! Readers will enjoy all the different combinations they can create, depending on which gadgets they choose to unveil. Review Copy from  Chronicle Books

Gift Giving Guide with Chronicle Kids, Part 2

Image
Piece It Together Family Puzzle: Owl Aboard! I loved doing puzzles with my kids, and working at Barnes & Noble for all of their childhoods, I had an amazing array of quality puzzles to choose from at every level of complexity. Happily, when I became an elementary school librarian, the sturdy puzzles my children did over and over were in good enough shape for a whole new set of kids to enjoy them. In my years of buying puzzles, I never encountered one like Owl Aboard! With 60 pieces, it's a good challenge for kids who already have some jigsaw experience under their belts. What is especially cool about this puzzle, and what makes it a "family puzzle" are the size of the pieces. The top half of the puzzle is comprised of 20 large pieces and the bottom half is made up of 40 smaller pieces. So, a more skilled puzzler can work on the lower part while the younger puzzler works on the top! The puzzle divides in a place that works naturally with Wednesday Kirwan's  charm

Gift Giving Guide with Chronicle Kids, Part 1

Image
In 2017 I reviewed the interactive board book  Masha and Her Sisters    by the ultra-creative Suzy Ultman. I love nesting dolls, and the superb design of Ultman's book worked perfectly with the theme. Since then, Chronicle Books has created an activity book and now a nesting puzzle featuring Masha and her friends. Read on for more Masha - and nesting dolls Ultman designed herself! The Masha and Her Friends Nesting Puzzle  will inspire hours of creative play from the moment it is opened. Like the board book, Masha and her five (smaller) friends have an array of items incorporated into the pattern of their dresses that reflect their interests, from baking to music and dancing to collecting. On the backside are animal friends. Flip Masha over and you find her bear and a jar of honey. Flip Natalya, the smallest friend, and you find a ladybug with paints. Each animal has a number that corresponds with the items for number recognition and counting practice. Once out of the box, you can

SCIENCE COMICS - Crows: Genius Birds by Kyla Vanderklugt, 122 pp. RL 4

Image
Science Comics    Crows: Genius Birds by Kyla Vanderklugt Review Copy from FirstSecond Crows are fascinating. And entertaining. The same can be said for Science Comics! While I love comics, I don't always like reading about science (or history). This is the fourth in this series of twenty-one books  that I have reviewed ( Dinosaurs , Coral Reefs and Volcanoes ) always hooked by the storytelling aspect of these non-fiction books. In Crows: Genius Birds, Vanderklugt gets readers wanting to know more about these birds that are not always popular or even liked with Buddy, a playful dog who is befriended by a crow. While the crow coaxes Buddy out so that his friends can have a go at the dog's dinner (which is in the house, behind a doggie door and no obstacle for these genius birds...) the relationship proves to be mutually beneficial and engagingly educational. Making their way through town looking for the best morsels of food to be found gives Crow the perfect opportunity to exp

Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds by Elise Gravel, 64 pp, RL 1.5

Image
Arlo & Pips : King of the Birds   by Elise Gravel Purchased at Barnes & Noble Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds is the ninth book I have reviewed by the amazing Elise Gravel and her work never fails to engage and delight me. Part buddy story, part non-fiction, King of the Birds finds friends Arlo, a crow, and Pips, a little, yellow bird, getting to know each other. Well, really, it's more about Pips getting to know Arlo, who refers to himself as "King of the Feathered World." Arlo shows off, while also demonstrating why he just might deserve the title he has given himself. Every time Arlo shares a fact about crows, Gravel includes a red star in his word bubble, alerting readers to visit a fact box at the bottom of the page. And the fact! I learned so many cool things about crows, including the fact that they are able to count as high as six, maybe more, and they might even be able to add (it's really funny when Pips tries to count) and that crows will play

How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino, Lisk Feng, Vera Brosgol and Monica Garwood, 216 pp, RL: ALL AGES

Image
  How to Raise a Reader   by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo , Editors, The New York Times Book Review Review Copy from Workman Publishing I have spent the last two and a half decades working to help parents raise readers and share my passion for reading, always trying to translate the joy, connection, expansion, and satisfaction that can be found in a good book with the goal of creating lifelong readers. While I always approach a bookshelf, be it in a bookstore, library, classroom, or living room, with a curious, if discerning, eye, I frequently have to remind myself that most adults don't. When my kids started school, I remember being shocked to learn that their teachers, regardless of the grade, did not read children's books outside of the classroom. I learned this again working as an elementary school librarian where many of my colleagues did not read children's books outside of work. My initial outrage gradually mellowed into the realization that not every person raising

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen, 256 pp, RL

Image
The Magic Fish   by Trung Le Nguyen Review Copy from RH Graphic Le Nguyen's debut is a stunning instance of words and pictures working together equally to tell a story. Or, as Le Ngyuen says in "Between Words and Pictures," back matter that adds depth to an already profound work, "comic books speak a hybrid language between orthography and iconography." Hybrid languages, be it words and pictures, Vietnamese and English, real life and fairy tales, is a theme in  The Magic Fish , the story of a boy struggling to find a way to tell his parents, immigrants from Vietnam, that his is gay when there is no word for it in the Vietnamese language.  Set in 1998, Tiến and his mother, a seamstress who works at a costume store, practice their English in the evenings by reading out loud to each other. As Hiền, or Helen, sews patches onto Tiến's coat so they can get one more year out of it, he reads "Tattercoats," one of the many variations on Cinderella.  [[My fa