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3-5

The Great Truck Rescue

Author: Jon Scieszka

overview This Trucktown adventure finds Rita, the ambulance, stuck in a big pit she slid into. Now it is up to the boys, Melvin, Jack, and Pete, to rescue her. Its a tough job but thet are up to the task and, after much effort, Rita is rolling again. The Trucktown series has been very popular with both boys and girls. There's also a subtle message in this action story too about self-confidence and the ability to manage tasks we, perhaps thought, we were not up to.

critique This is a good, inexpensive picture book for children who are ready to read. The text is not too difficult, the pictures will draw the child into the story and there are some fun action words to shout out like "roar, splash, and soar".
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B+
Pub: Simon & Schuster

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 12/03/10

 
3-5

The Christmas Giant

Author: Steve Light

overview Humphrey, a giant, and his little friend Leetree, an elf. live at the North Pole. Usually they make the wrapping paper Santa uses for gifts but in this story Santa asks the pair to grow a fir tree. The idea is that the mature tree will be used to celebrate Christmas at the North Pole. Although Humphrey and Leetree produce a fine tree it never makes it to the village square. What happens to the tree and how Humphrey manages to save the day are the subject of this humorous picture book.

critique Because he doesn't use a lot of text, Steve Light's story and illustrations allow young readers to "fill in some of the blanks" by explaining what is going on in this amusing tale. This is a clever way to engage the reader and get him or her to help tell the story even if he/she can't yet actually read.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 12/02/10

 
5-7

O Chrsitmas Tree

Author: Jacqueline Farmer

overview From the ancient Greeks and Egyptians and how they used evergreens to today, this picture book explores the use of the fir tree in the celebration of Christmas. The author also looks at decorations and also how the frees are grown on tree farms. There's also a plethora of special and unusual facts on Christmas tree use, especially at the White House, and a guide that can be used to identify the different kinds of fir trees. Joanne Friar's illustrations accompany the informative text and make this a keepsake that the family will use year after year during the holiday period.

critique Here's a fascinating book that explains how the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree came into being. There are lots of interesting facts, wonderful illustrations and other unusual information about the holiday that will certainly delight every member of the family.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Charlesbridge

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 11/29/10

 
3-5

Christmas Shapes

Author: Jane Gerver

overview This interactive board book combines a holiday theme with recognizing basic shapes like a circle, square, etc. The child is asked to remove the puzzle piece and place it in the space provided. For example, use a circle to finish off a snowman or place a square "gift" under the Christmas tree. Along with identifying shapes the youngster will be challenged to get the puzzle piece into the collect space so there is a need for some hand-eye coordination here too.

critique This will help a child recognize basic shapes as well as fit them into the correct empty "puzzle" space. But be careful for the pieces do present a choking hazard. Do not use with a child who might place the pieces in his or her mouth.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 14
Grade: A-
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 11/11/10

 
3-5

Trucksgiving

Author: Jon Scieszka

overview A Ready-to-Read Level One paperback, this new title in the popular Trucktown series centers on the characters celebrating the construiction of Trucktown. As a way of thanking all the vehicles that contributed to the construction project, a dinner is held. Gathered around the long table that is laden with oil and metal parts (what else do trucks eat and drink!) they all enjoy the day which ends with a race. This level-one booklet stories features a simple vocabulary, word repetition, and sinple sentences.

critique The text of this book is rather inane but if it encourages a child to read, so be it!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: B-
Pub: Simon Spotlight

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 11/07/10

 
Parent

The Boss Baby

Author: Marla Frazee

overview Here's a picture book, designed for all ages, that illustrates what happens when a new child arrives in the household. The Boss Baby expects to get his own way and, in this book at least, the home is now his "business". Like any good boss, Baby will run the business as he (or she) sees fit. If the Boss does not get the respect he thinks is his due he'll figure something out to change that situation. You'll love how baby is dressed in a suit and tie in this book. His gestures and expressions would do any corporate head proud and his humorous actions to "control" his environment are right on the mark!

critique This book would make the perfect gift for a couple expecting their first child. There's plenty of humor here and, of course, a lot of truth too!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Beach Lane

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 10/29/10

 
3-5

Don't Want to Go!

Author: Shirley Hughes

overview When Lily's mother is feeling ill, the little girl's dad asks a neighbor to watch her for the day while he is at work. Lily's is not too thrilled and declares, "Don't want to go!" Unfortunately, she has no choice. Although the day begins awkwardly with Lily continually saying "Don't want to!" when the nice neighbor tries to engage her in some activity eventually the child adjusts and has a lot of fun. By the time he father returns to take Lily home, she is so comfortable with the situation that she doesn't want to go home!

critique If you have a youngster who doesn't react well to new experiences this book will show the child that trying new things can be fun. This is a reassuring story that involves meeting new people, making new friends and enjoying a whole new set of activities.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 10/27/10

 
3-5

Where Is Friendship Bear?

Author: Romero Britto

overview Here's a board book that invites preschoolers to join in and help find the bears that are hidden behind flaps throughout the volumn. You'll meet Love Bear at the beginning of the story and he'll ask you to please help him find his friend, Friendship Bear, who seems to have gone missing. Behind the flaps you'll encounter while paging through the book are a series of other cute little bears but, alas, not the specific one you are seraching for. Each bear does features a "touch-and--feel" element that your child will want to run his or her fingers over. Finally, the missing Friendship Bear will appear on the last page so the book will end on a happy note.

critique Pop artist Romeo Britto's illustrations jump out at the reader and make this an interactive book that children will want to engage with whether it be turning back the flaps or touching the textured sections. An exceptionally attractive book, you and your child will both enjoy looking for Friendship Bear.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 16
Grade: A-
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 10/26/10

 
1-3

Pony Brushes His Teeth

Author: Michael Dahl

overview Pony learns how to brush his teeth by watching Dad.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 20
Grade:
Pub: Picture Window Books; Brdbk edition

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/12/10

 
5-7

Hello, Goodbye, and a Very Little Lie

Author: Christianne C. Jones

overview Larry lies about everything. Find out what he does when he gets caught in one of his lies.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade:
Pub: Picture Window Books

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/12/10

 
Infant

Cheeky Chiller; A Zoo Animal Mystery

Author:

overview Who is this book about? It's a mystery! A jungle-jiving zoo animal gives you clues about its life, its home, and its young. Can you solve this cheeky chiller?

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade:
Pub: Capstone Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/12/10

 
5-7

T Is for Tiara; A Princess Alphabet

Author: Thomas K. and Heather Adamson

overview

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade:
Pub: Capstone Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/12/10

 
5-7

How Do You Measure Length and Distance?

Author: Thomas K. and Heather Adamson

overview How tall will my sunflower grow? How long is Fidos leash? Learn how rulers and odometers can take you from inches to miles.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade:
Pub: Capstone Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/12/10

 
Parent

Baby-Led Weaning

Author: Gill Rapley

overview Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide to Introducing Solid Foods-and Helping Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater -- Baby-Led Weaning explodes the myth that babies need to be spoon-fed and shows why self-feeding from the start of the weaning process is the healthiest way for your child to develop. With baby-led weaning (BLW, for short), you can skip pur?es and make the transition to solid food by following your baby's cues. At about six months, most babies are ready to join the family at the kitchen table and discover food for themselves.

critique Baby-Led Weaning is the definitive guide to this crucial period in your child?s development, and shows you how to help your baby: * Participate in family meals right from the start * Experiment with food at his or her own pace * Develop new abilities, including hand-eye coordination and chewing * Learn to love a variety of foods and to enjoy mealtimes
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 256
Grade:
Pub: 978-1615190218

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/11/10

 
5-7

Change Is Okay with Kacie Shay: A Story About A Family

Author: Jolie Carpenter

overview Growing up in a nice family that does fun things together, Kacie is sad and confused when confronted with the announcement of her parents' separation and divorce. She discovers, with the help of her mother, that she is not the only child who is faced with this situation and learns that talking about her feelings and keeping a positive attitude can make her feel better. The lighthearted tone of this narrative makes an otherwise harsh subject more approachable and can help guide a child through the process of change from an age-appropriate point of view. Painting a picture of a loving union and an amicable ending, this tale demonstrates that a sad situation can still yield a happy ending.

critique This book reiterates the messages that children need most: marriage is good, divorce is not their fault, both parents still love them, and things will be okay.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade:
Pub: Panache Partners

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/11/10

 
5-7

The Last Ornament

Author: Judith Vicary Swisher

overview Christopher and Noelle?s family loves trimming the tree and, as they unwrap the ornaments, they remember why each is so special. Proudly displayed on the Christmas tree for all to admire, the ornaments come to life after a long year packed away in boxes. The whimsical illustrations delight children as they meet each ornament described throughout the book - What do the little stars do? Can the bells ring? Do the toy clowns dance? Can you hear them talking late at night? As the holidays come to an end, the tree is taken down, and the family packs everything away again. All the ornaments are put back in their boxes, except one. The ornaments realize that Little Blue Engine is missing.

critique Offering a new way to wind down the holidays, this fun and unique picture book shows the annual family tradition of taking down the Christmas tree from a new and original perspective?that of the ornaments.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 36
Grade: A
Pub: Rogers Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 10/11/10

 
5-7

Bedtime Monster

Author: Heather Ayris Burnell

overview A little boy doesn't want to go to bed. He whines. He cries. He throws a tantrum. He begins to grow long claws and a tail. What? A tail? It's true! This little boy is not only acting like a monster, he turns into one! But, his parents know what to do. They calmly cuddle, rock and sing to him. Here is a monster you might actually want to snuggle with as bedtime draws near.

critique Great illustrations and a fun story. Another great part of the book is the bilingual format.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A-
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/30/10

 
5-7

A Sweater For Duncan

Author: Margaret Gay Malone

overview Little Duncan penguin is proud of his fuzzy coat. He sticks out his chest as he waddles among the other penguins. He know he is the handsomest on in the frozen south.Trouble jumps in when his fuzz flies off in clumps and floats on the wind like butterflies. His mother agrees to knit him a sweater, but will that solve the problem? The sweater is just too small. What's he to do? Finally, his mother leads him to a mirror-like piece of ice, where a happy surprise awaits.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A-
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/30/10

 
1-3

Little Owl Lost

Author: Chris Haughton

overview When Little Owl takes a tumble and falls out of his nest he is suddenly lost. Fortunately, a friendly squirrel comes along and helps the little bird find his mommy. It isn't an easy task because Little Owl doesn't provide a complete description of his mommy but eventually everything works out and he is back in the nest. After you read this story with your preschooler you might want to discuss what the child should do if he or she is ever separated from you. Come up with a good game plan and then repeat it everytime you read about Little Owl's misadventure.

critique This cute story will reassure young children that if they should be lost they will, with help, be able to find their way home again. Of course, it is better to not wander away (or fall out of the nest) in the first place but if you do someone will help you.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 09/24/10

 
1-3

Tubby

Author: Leslie Patricelli

overview It is time for Baby's bath and once into the tub the little fellow demonstrates how much fun taking a bath can be. Not only is playing with the bubbles really cool but Baby can play motorboat and practice his swimming too. When he is finished Baby is dried off my his mother (Daddyt has to clean up the bathroom!), then he gets a fresh diaper and is ready for bed.

critique This is the perfect book to help convince a child who doesn't enjoy bathtime that getting in the tub is really (or can be) fun. Bright art work, exuberant language and simple, familiar scenes show the child that taking a bath really is a splendid idea and it provides the opportunity for some unusual playtime as well.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 28
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 09/22/10

 
5-7

Emily's First Day of School

Author: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York

overview Going to school for the first time is a big step for Emily. But her worries about being away from her family every day soon fade away as Emily meets new friends and learns how much fun school can be.

critique A sweet and easy read for parents and kids. It will take some of the mystery away and help children understand what they can expect when they start kindergarten. There are great tips at the end to help parents facilitate this new transition with their child. Check out other books by this author... Michael and His New Baby Brother, Ashley Learns about Strangers, Mathew and the Bullies.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: A-
Pub: Sterling Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/20/10

 
8-10

Dinner Talk - 365 Engaging Conversation Starters

Author: Emily Hall, Philip S. Hall & Nancy D. Hall

overview There's more to say than just "please pass the salt..." Dinner Talk provides you with 365 ways to spark conversations and engage your youngsters while you gather around the table. Make dinnertime a lively experience the whole family looks forward to, as kids share their ideas, explore their creativity, and let you in on their wildest dreams with fun questions; If you could invite a character from a book or movie to do something with you, who would you invite? What would your life be like if you could be invisible. -- Studies show that kids who participate in regular family meals get better grades, have larger vocabularies and are healthier than kids that don't.

critique Great book for families that have trouble connecting at the dinner table! It will make your family time entertaining and give everyone regardless of their age a chance to share and connect. The questions range from: What is the nicest thing anyone ever said to you? What are all the uses you can think of for bubble gum? It goes on to give ideas on how to help kids expand on the question.
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 371
Grade: A
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/20/10

 
5-7

If Babies Went to School

Author: Barbara Lock

overview This story is to introduce children to the articulation of inductive reasoning. All children, and indeed all learners, use inductive reasoning to inform themselves about their world, but it usually remains inarticulated.

critique A great book for school-aged children with wonderful illustrations.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 34
Grade: A-
Pub: Author House

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/20/10

 
Parent

Please Stop Laughing at Me... One Woman's Inspirational Story

Author: Jodee Blanco

overview This powerful, unforgettable memoir chronicles how one child was shunned-and sometimes physically abused-by her classmates from elementary school through high school. It is an unflinching look at what it means to be the outcast, how even the most loving parents can get it all wrong, why schools are often unable to prevent disaster, and how bullying has been misunderstood and mishandled by the mental health community. You will be shocked, moved, and ultimately inspired by this harrowing tale of survival against insurmountable odds. This vivid story will open your eyes to the harsh realities and long-term consequences of bullying-and how all of us can make a difference in the lives of teens

critique
Type: Parenting
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 284
Grade: B+
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/20/10

 
Infant

Strategies For the C-Section Mom - A Complete Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Guide

Author: Mary Beth Knight

overview Whether your C-section is planned or you have one unexpectedly, you need to know about the risks, the recovery, and how to regain your fitness level postpartum--all while caring for a newborn. This book outlines exactly what a C-section entails, and offers you information, guidance, and advice on how to make your experience and recovery smooth and happy. Readers will learn how to: * Manage postoperative pain successfully * Cope with emotional issues * Exercise safely and effectively after the surgery * Focus on exercises and stretches that can actually speed up your recovery * Maintain a balanced workout that includes

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 240
Grade:
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 09/20/10

 
5-7

A Bedtime for Bear

Author: Bonny Becker

overview Bear and Mouse are the best of friends but that relationship is tested when Mouse visits and spends the night at bear's house. Bear demands absolute silence when bedtime arrives but Mouse isn't fully able to grant that request. It turns into a very humorous situation and one young readers should enjoy. Kady MacDonald Denton's watercolor illustrations make this irresistible story even better. The follow-up to the author's earlier stories, A Visitor for Bear and A Birthday for Bear. one hopes more Bear and Mouse books are on the way.

critique The third picture book in this excellent series about the misadventures of Mouse and Bear, this is an amusing read about a character who just can't seem to get to sleep unless it is perfectly quiet. The author has fun with the scenario as does Bear's buddy. Mouse manages to pull a few of Bear's "strings" which should elicit a bit of laughter from your child.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 09/19/10

 
3-5

Too Pickley!

Author: Jean Reidy

overview This picture book is dedicated to "little gourmets everywhere". Although the child featured on the first page is hungry everything set in front of him is "too" something. It is either too wrinkly, too fruity, too fishy, too bubbly or too stringy. The list goes on and on. But after exhausting the "too" qualities of his food, the child does finally eat! Praise the Lord and pass the peanut butter!

critique If you have a picky eater this is a must read. Hopefully the child's hilarious antics will help parents focus on the positive and bring an end to dinner table drama! It is certainly worth a try!Also this is a fun book to read aloud so even if it doesn't improve your child's eating habits it will at least make story time interesting.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A-
Pub: Bloomsbury

Reviewer: bob walch
Submitted: 09/18/10

 
5-7

Let's Get a Checkup!

Author: Alan Katz

overview A number of little critters are waiting in Dr. Green's front office for checkups. None of them are that thrilled about the situation. Fortunately, the doctor has some tricks up his sleeve to make each patient feel right at home. In fact, he is so successful that now everyone wants to return right away for another exam because that way they'll get another cool sticker to wear. The message is very clear here -"Be a good patient. Don't cry or yelp. Doctors are kind and they're there to help."

critique This is the perfect book to read a child before the youngster must go see the family doctor. If is a preschooler's first experience in a doctor's office this will make it a lot easier. Check-in with Let's Get a Checkup! and you'll not have to worry about this rountine visit in the future!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 16
Grade: A
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer: Bob Walch
Submitted: 09/17/10

 
Parent

Teach Your Kids to Think!

Author: Maria Chesley Fisk, Ph.D.

overview This book provides parents with practical ideas on how to teach their children to think. It explains the benefits of teaching your children to think and provides the tools for teaching analytic, creative, social/emotional, and practical thinking.

critique I found this book to be very user friendly - it is concise and easy to bring along with you in the car or in your bag to read a chapter as you have time. I especially liked the practical tips for helping your kids to dissect a problem as well as the section on being a part of a family team. The analytic thinking section was my favorite chapter. The author suggests putting the book on the counter or in your passenger seat as a reminder to try the different tools. I need the visual cue to help me take the next step and implement these tools with my kids.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 92
Grade: A-
Pub: That's Good Thinking

Reviewer: Julie Sorenson
Submitted: 07/09/10

 
Parent

Dinner for Busy Moms

Author: Jeanne Muchnick

overview The tagline reads "Easy Strategies for getting your family to the table" This book starts with the benefits of gathering around the table as a family then goes on to cover dinner prep and planning, organizing your pantry, and shopping. It also includes great resources for recipes, meal planning and more.

critique - They really pump up the use of your freezer which is probably a valid suggestion. - They do a good job of promoting simple wholesome food that isn't processed and also not sounding preachy about using organic (although I like that) - The comment I got the most out of was a side bar saying the average parent spend a total of 40 min a week in any meaningful communication with their child. That bummed me out. - I also think I could do a better job of getting my kids to help cook dinner, especially my youngest who is often bored that time of night. - I would have liked more specific food ideas/recipes, but the ones they gave were very practical and user friendly. For the most part, I do a lot of what they talk about: plan ahead, shop once a week, no TV/electronics etc. There were great reminders in this book.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 209
Grade: B+
Pub: PlainWhitePress.com

Reviewer: Carrie
Submitted: 07/06/10

 
Parent

Best Family Adventures SB County

Author: Jennifer Best

overview This book covers a wide range of activities for families all over SB County. It includes over 450 adventures, the relevant details for each of these places(address, phone #s, website, etc), driving directions as well as detailed descriptions. It includes some local history and is broken down into specific cities and areas of the county and includes some day trip ideas as an added bonus. I also reviewed a second book by Jennifer Best - Best Family Adventures San Luis Obispo County. I grew up in SLO so it was neat to read all of the wonderful activities that were included in this book.

critique I found this book to be very comprehensive of the parks and activities in our area. I read some details about one park that I have never been to. I am going to check out Francesca Park since it offers picnic spots with beautiful views of the ocean. There is upcoming information about a Children's Museum that isn't built yet - very thorough! All of our favorite activities are covered in this book - there are some great photos included too. The book for SLO county was also great although it was printed in 2006 so I did note a few minor changes since the publication date(book notes to call ahead to confirm details since subject to change). The SB County book was printed in 2010.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 260
Grade: A
Pub: Pen & Pad Publishing

Reviewer: Julie
Submitted: 07/06/10

 
Parent

The Alternative Medicine Cabinet

Author: Kathy Gruver

overview The Alternative Medicine Cabinet - Hundreds of Ways to Take Charge of Your Health. Naturally. Whether you're suffering from an illness, a parent looking for alternatives for your children, or just curious about other options instead of Western medicine, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet can help. You'll be educated on everything from back pain, alternative cancer treatments, and weight loss solutions to how to improve your sleep, natural ways to treat depression, and how to decrease stress and create a better life for yourself and your family.

critique This is a great choice for anyone interested in learning more about alternative health. It is simple and practical and full of information on women's issues, sleep, obesity, medical issues which include being your own advocate and more.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 139
Grade: A
Pub: Infiniity Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Parent

Teach Your Kids to Think - Simple Tools You Can Use Everyday

Author: Maria Chesley Fisk Ph.D.

overview "Teach Your Kids to Think" is designed to help parents teach their children how to think wisely and well during the time they already spend together. Using the latest research, author Maria Chesley Fisk, Ph.D., has created a series of easy-to-use, fun tools that can be used whenever parents are with their 4- to 12-year-old children. The tools are divided into four sections that represent different kinds of thinking: analytical, creative, social and emotional, and practical.

critique This book is a quick read with a lot of helpful reminders of how as parents we can help our children with better communication. The chapter on Tools for Teaching Social and Emotional Thinking Skills was especially insightful since many parents struggle watching their kids go through the day to day challenges with peers. Maria walks parents through the process and gives parents and kids easy step by step tools to use in their day to day interactions.
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 108
Grade: A-
Pub: Think Parenting

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Parent

The Mommy Files

Author: Jen Klein

overview SheKnows.com Presents:The Mommy Files - Secrets Every New Mom Should Know (that no one else will tell you!) - And Jen Klein knows motherhood. She?s survived changing a soiled diaper in a truck-stop bathroom while suspending a baby in mid-air. She?s witnessed the judgment of the so-called ?Mommy Mafia.? She?s found dried applesauce on her shirt. And in her hair. And the baby?s hair. And the dog?s fur. Here she reveals secrets she?s learned along the way about mastering the art of moetherhood, from how to handle strangers who ask how much weight you?ve gained to (finally) getting your little ones on the big yellow bus on-time and with clean underwear.

critique This is an ideal book for an expecting mom because it is a casual approach with real mom answers to all those big questions parents have the first year... it is informative and a quick read. One of our favorite chapters was Playgroups Are For Moms, Not Children.
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 213
Grade: A-
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Parent

Your Million Dollar Dream

Author: Tamara Monosoff

overview Create your "someday" life TODAY! "A heart-pounding read for entrepreneurs who want answers to all those nagging questions. Read it and fly." Nell Merlino, creator of the Take Our Daughters to Work Day and Make Mine a Million $ Business programs and author of Stepping Out of Line -Link your dream to practical business possibilities -Identify your skills and motivations -Create an effective business plan -Use Twitter and Facebook as powerful business tools -Find the funding to support your business

critique If you are a budding entrepreneur, you will be inspired by the stories that Tamara shares. You will find answers to many of those questions on starting a new business and motivated to take a risk and follow your passion.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 314
Grade: A
Pub: McGraw Hill

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Parent

See Dick Bite Jane

Author: Elise Mac Adam

overview See Dick Bite Jane - A Think and Do Book for Parenting Predicaments Big and Small See daddy cringe. See mommy cry. Solutions to the parenting problems that make you groan and sigh. Now you may be the one who wants to run - but as a parent, it's often from invasive strangers, inconsiderate parents, and well-meaning but overbearing grandparents. This book is a primer for handling every parenting pitfall - featuring true tales of "Uh-ohs!" and "Oh, nos!" from moms and dads just like you. Etiquette expert, Elise Mac Adam doles out helpful, straightforward advice designed to put bullies in their place - whether those bullies are sandbox strong-arms, nasty neighbors, or your own little angels.

critique
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 247
Grade: A-
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Parent

Your High-Risk Pregnancy: A Practical and Supportive Guide

Author: Diana M Raab

overview More pregnancies are considered high-risk than ever before. As many as 30% fall into this category due to factors including ? Difficulty conceiving ? Pregnancy after age 35 ? Genetic testing ? Multiples ? Hypertension or diabetes before or during pregnancy Despite the high number of mothers experiencing such issues, a complex pregnancy can be not only stressful, but also profoundly lonely. You are not alone. Written by a nurse who has carried three high-risk pregnancies to term, and a physician who has devoted his career to high-risk pregnancy care, this is the expertise and empathy that women, their partners, and their caregivers need.

critique Raab and Norwitz believe in the power of sound, straightforward knowledge to build confidence, minimize stress, and maximize good decision-making. Along with the numerous real-world mothers and partners who share their experiences throughout the book, the authors begin at the beginning, with conception (including conception via ART and IVF.) They then move through the course of a pregnancy, explaining the variety of possible risk factors, describing month-by-month testing and procedures, demystifying labor and delivery, and thoroughly addressing postpartum issues. Readers learn to ? Obtain top-notch care and choose appropriate specialists ? Understand test results ? Consider birth methods and medication options ? Build a solid support system ? Soothe emotions through journaling, communication, and self-care ? Cope with pregnancy loss and premies Also included are insightful discussions of bed rest periods, same-sex couples, single parenting, sex while expecting, exercise, nutrition, and alternative or complimentary health care. A glossary of terms and appendices providing a wealth of online and in-person support options throughout North America make this a uniquely comprehensive, caring, and wise companion to the challenges ? and joys ? of your pregnancy.
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 348
Grade: A-
Pub: Hunter House

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
Teen

Mean Chicks, Cliques, and Dirty Tricks A Real Girl's Guide to Getting Through It All

Author: Erika V. Shearin Karres

overview Cliques. Snobs. Facebook Stalkers. Twitter Twits. Gossip. MySpace Brats. Name-calling and showing off. Let's face it - the girl world is tough. This is your ultimate survival guide to backstabbers and bullies both in school and online. Girl guru Dr. Erika talked to more than 1,000 teen girls just like you to help you understand what makes mean chicks tick. Se features smart strategies and powerful tools. Loaded with helpful advice and true stories from girls who fought back against teasing and cyberbullying, Mean Chicks is the only book you need to feel strong, confident and triumphant.

critique
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 214
Grade: A
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael
Submitted: 06/14/10

 
1-3

It's Vacation Time

Author: Lerryn Korda

overview The Playtime with Little Nye gang are getting ready for a summer vacation. They are headed to the beach but can't get all their playthings into their suitcase. What will be left out and what will go along with them? It is a tough decision until Gracie comes up with the perfect solution. But, you'll have to read the book to see what it is!

critique This is an ideal book for toddlers who are ready for bedtime stories with a simple storyline. Also, if you are preparing for a trip and have too much stuff to go in your child's suitcase try reading this book to him or her. It might help!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 26
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/19/10

 
5-7

Aunt Mary's Rose

Author: Douglas Wood

overview This is a charming picture book about how a rose bush links various generations of a family together. A little boy's aunt explains why the rose is so important and how she, as a little girl, took care of the plant. The child learns about family members, like an uncle who died in the war, whom he never met and how the memory of this beloved, departed relative lives on in the rose bush. LeUyen Pham's retro illustrations nicely complement the story's tone and make it all the more engaging.

critique Here is an excellent story that shows how objects or plants can have meaning far beyond what they normally do. This simple rose bush has a little bit of each family member in it and, thus, it serves as a reminder of those who have passed on. If there has been a death in the family the story offers a way of honoring that person in a special manner.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 26
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/14/10

 
5-7

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!

Author: April Pulley Sayre

overview This picture book follows the life of a little sea turtle from the time she hatches and leaves the nest on a Florida beach until she eventually returns to lay her own eggs. The turtle, with the help of some concerned humans, must not only survive the dangers of getting from her nest to the water but she has plenty of situations to avoid once she is swimming in the sea. This reissued book offers not only new illustrations but updated information on sea turtles and the conservation practices that are being used to save them.

critique Here's a wonderful way to heighten your child's awareness of endangered species while also reading about the life of a sea turtle. There are lots of great illustrations plus plenty of worthwhile information in this little book.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Charlesbridge

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/12/10

 
3-5

Olivia and the Babies

Author: adapted by Jodie Shepherd

overview When Olivia sees all the attention her little brother gets when her mother takes Baby William out, the little white pig decides she's going to be a mommie too. Olivia takes the family's pets (a dog and cat) and dresses them in baby clothing and takes them out in a stroller. Sure enough, everyone remarks on how cute Olivia's babies are. But when her "babies" demand a little attention she discovers there's a lot more to being a mother than just acknowledging the praise strangers give her "little ones".

critique If your child enjoys the Olivia series this latest title will be hit at story time. The message here is a good one also - being a mommie isn't easy!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: B
Pub: Simon Spotlight

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/10/10

 
Parent

Talking Sex With Your Kids

Author: Amber Madison

overview If you want to help your kids make responsible sexual choices, not only do you have to talk with them about sex, you have to do it in a way that addresses their real concerns with advice that's relevant to their lives. Now you have a unique advantage to getting through to your child as Amber Madison lets you in on what your kids are really thinking. With insider advice on how to speak frankly without giving TMI (too much information), Talking Sex with Your Kids will encourage you to teach them to be safe and smart when it comes to sex.

critique Even for parents that are comfortable broaching the topic of sex with their kids, there are great tips and reminders on the best approach so that your kids stay open to talking to you. 1. Talk your age 2. Use the media 3. Keep it general 4. Make it a conversation 5. Don't rush your answers 5. Know they're listening -- Sex is an issue every parent will have to address and this book makes it easier.
Type: Parenting
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 235
Grade: A-
Pub: Adams Media

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 04/07/10

 
3-5

No T. Rex in the Library

Author: Toni Buzzeo

overview Tess is not having a good day and when she becomes disruptive on a visit to the library her mother calls for a ten minute "time out" period. When the little girl knocks over a bookshelf and a T. rex dinosaur is released from an open book's pages Tess finds the shoe is now suddenly on the other foot. Tess has to deal with the naughty dino who is doing his best to create chaos in the library. Will Tess be able to get this unruly character under control? You'll have to read the book to see if she'll be successful in getting T. rex to take a much needed time-out!

critique Most children need a "time out", cooling-off period from time to time. This is the ideal picture book that looks at this situation, why it is necessary and how a child (and parent) might deal with it.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B
Pub: Margaret McElderry

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/05/10

 
Parent

Bedtiming the parent's guide to getting your child to sleep at just the right age

Author: Marc D. Lewis and Isabela Granic

overview Are you tired of endless hours spent rocking your baby to sleep? Have you ?hit the wall? when it comes to sleepless nights? Teaching your baby or toddler to sleep through the night can be a bewildering and frustrating experience. Developmental psychologists Marc D. Lewis and Isabela Granic reveal that the key to your child?s sleep habits is not which method you choose to help your child sleep, but when you use it. * time windows when sleep-training will be most effective and when it will stand the least chance of success * the pros and cons of several popular sleep-training techniques?including the ?cry-it-out,? ?no-cry,? and Ferber methods * common sleep setbacks and how to handle them

critique
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 230
Grade:
Pub: The Experiment Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 02/11/10

 
Parent

Active Baby, Healthy Brain

Author: Margaret Sasse

overview Movement, play, and active exploration in the first five years of a child's life are essential to the development of his or her body and brain. Now Active Baby, Healthy Brain presents 135 massages, exercises, and activities that engage your child's love of play while also stimulating his or her brain development in multiple areas, including: Balance Cross-pattern movement Visualization Vestibular (inner ear) stimulation Laterality Fine and gross motor skills - Each activity is presented on its own page with step-by-step instructions, appealing illustrations, and illuminating sidebars.

critique The detailed instructions tell you exactly how to do each activity, as well as how to incorporate toys, music, dance, and games. No single activity takes more than two minutes, and all that's required is ten minutes a day. More than thirty years in the making, Active Baby, Healthy Brain is an indispensable guide for everyone who is raising a child or who interacts with preschoolers.
Type: Parenting
Category: Other
Pages: 160
Grade: A
Pub: The Experiment Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 02/11/10

 
7-9

There's An Alien in my Toilet Vol 1

Author: Samuel Vera

overview A Sci-fi comedy Adventure series about an egocentric Alien named Doodie sent to earth on a recon mission. Doodie forgets to check his fuel tank, crash lands and has to survive Earth's simple creatures. The government is after him, a janitor who beleives aliens travel through the sewar system, a chihuahua named Herman who thinks Doodie is a talking Jalepeno and more.

critique This is an all ages comedy series with a flare for the traditional looney toons slap stick humor.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages:
Grade: B
Pub: Crazee Comics

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 02/11/10

 
5-7

Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans

Author: Sami FitzGerald & Caryn FitzGerald

overview Created by 6-year-old Sami FitzGerald and her mother, "Fish Sticks, Books and Blue Jeans" is an easy to use workbook for children of all ages. Children learn to appreciate the blessings in their lives, about being thankful and how to live in gratitude through fun and creative exercises. A wonderful gift for children of all ages.

critique What a lovely book for kids to give them to reflect on everything that is wonderful in their life. This book is set up for them to write about what each of these things mean to them... Love, Caring, Sharing, Believe, Smile, Happiness, Proud, Success, Friends, Health, Food, Family, Reading, Exercise, Acts of Kindness, My Thoughts... a wonderful book with the things we should all be focused on.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 46
Grade:
Pub: Caryn FitzGerald

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 02/11/10

 
1-3

Baby at the Farm

Author: Karen Katz

overview This touch-and-feel board book follows Baby as he visits a farm and pets a number of the animals. It will give you the opportunity to look at a variety of animals without leaving home. Feel some of the critter's fur, listen to them "moo" or "chirp", and watch Baby as he collects eggs in a basket and jumps in the hay. It is all part of a fun day "down on the farm"!

critique Here's a great way to work on word and sound recognition with common farm animals. Make it into a game as you point to the animals and ask what sound they make.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 12
Grade: A-
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/18/10

 
8-12

Rocks and Minerals

Author: Dan Green and Simon Basher

overview Using first person narratives (the rocks and minerals are presented as cartoon-like characters) this book introduces the young reader to the wonders of fossilized plants and animals, rock formations, and the characteristics of a whole range of minerals and crystals. The chapters include "Little Gems", "The Purists" (gold, silver, etc.) "Mineral Gang" and "Fossils". You'll also find a detachable poster and a useful glossary of terms used in the book.

critique This inexpensive book is a great way to get any youngster interested in geology and natural science. After reading this informative guide the child will want to learn more about rocks and minerals.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 128
Grade: A
Pub: Kingfisher

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/13/10

 
3-5

Don't Be Afraid Little Pip

Author: Karma Wilson

overview It is time for Little Pip to learn to swim with all the other penguins. Unfortunately, Little Pip is afraid of jumping into the water and facing the unknown beneath the surface of the sea. Instead, the penguin decides she wants to fly but she learns, during the course of this story, that penguins can't fly like the other birds. Eventually, after trying very hard to take to the air, Little Pip ends up in the water where she discovers swimming is pretty cool after all!

critique If you have a child who needs reassurance when it comes to trying new things this is the idea book to get the message across that trying something new can be fun and exciting.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/10/10

 
3-5

Milo Armadillo

Author: Jan Fearnley

overview Tallulah wants a pink, fluffy stuffed rabbit for her birthday but, instead, her grandmother knits her a pink armadillo. The little girl accepts the gift so as to not hurt her grandmother's feelings but she is not really thrilled with Milo, the new stuffed toy. Although she plays with Milo, Tallulah still wishes she had the pink bunny instead. With his feelings hurt, Milo decides to go away. When she realizes he has left, the child discovers she has really come to enjoy the armadillo's company. Now Tallulah must go after her friend and bring him back because she has come to love the funny, little toy.

critique There are times when children don't get what they want. This story stresses that when this happens what the child does receive may, in fact, be much. much better. The key is to give it time so the replacement gift's positive characteristics or qualities can emerge.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/10/10

 
5-7

Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth

Author: Sarah Weeks

overview Sophie, the narrator of this picture book, makes it very clear she is not too happy about having a little, baby brother. She lists all the negatives about having babies around (they get everything they want and steal all the attention) and then suggests some ways of dealing with a baby brother who enjoys rummaging around in her underwear drawer. After Sophie explains the reasons she isn't thrilled about the family's new addition she then switches to some of the positives. When all is said in done, the good outweighs the bad and Sophie admits she does like her little brother.

critique If you have or expect to have an infant in your household this would be an excellent book to read to any young children you now have. After reading the book aloud with your child discuss how he/she feels about having a new little brother or sister.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/19/09

 
3-5

My Elephant

Author: Petr Horacek

overview The little boy in this story blames his imaginary elephant for a number of things that happen when he is staying with his grandparents. Missing cupcakes, a broken vase, and water on the bathroom floor are all the elephant's fault. The child has an very active imagination but that's not at the real root of this situation. He's a bit lonely and when his grandparents don't drop what they are doing to play with him the "elephant" appears. I think you'll like how the adults in this warm intergenerational story deal with their grandson once they realize what it happening.

critique If your child sometimes blames problems such as a broken toy or messed up room on an imaginary friend this is a must read. Discuss why the boy in the story has created an imaginary elephant and then discuss you child's particular situation.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/19/09

 
8-12

Animals

Author: Miranda Smith

overview This guide to the world of animals is filled with amazing facts about mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. The reader will crawl into a meerkat burrow, look out for a pit viper attack and dive into the darkest ocean depths to find extraordinary fish. Peer inside the egg of a hatching chick or hunt with a pack of chimpanzees, it is all part of the fascinating aspects of animal life you'll discover as you page through this volume.

critique Lots of solid information about the animal kingdom with cutting-edge pictures and 3-D artwork make this a reference book your children will return to over and over again.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Kingfisher

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/15/09

 
3-5

The King of Quizzical Island

Author: Gordon Snell

overview The king of Quizzical Island, who is himself a very curious person, has set off to see if the world is flat or round. His sailing adventure into the unknown will take him to such odd places as Jigsaw Land, Vertical Land and the Sea of Dreadful Dreams. It is, indeed, a topsy-turvy world where alligators stand on their rear legs and things aren't quite as they seem but, when all is said and done, the king does get back home. Unfortunaterly, not all his subjects believe he did sail around the world so he'll have to find another way to prove to them the Earth is round. But, as the king explains, that will be "another book"!

critique Here's a delightfully silly story told in a catchy rhyme that preschoolers will love. It will remind mom and dad of some of Edward Lear's work.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/10/09

 
8-10

Middle East

Author: Philip Steele

overview First published in a hardbound edition in 2006 this paper edition has been updated to reflect the most recent political developments in the area. After looking at the religion, resources, history, politics and cultural affairs of the Middle East the author then provides two page spread on each county in the region. There are also Websites and books listed for those who wish more information for a detailed investigation of the topics discussed. .

critique Part of the Kingfisher Knowledge series of books this is a good way of providing your child with some basic information about this headline making region of the world
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A
Pub: Kingfisher

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/10/09

 
3-5

Red Ted and the Lost Things

Author: Michael Rosen

overview British Children's Laureate Michael Rosen collaborates with illustrator Joel Stewart in this story about a little teddy bear, Red Ted, who is separated from his owner and has to find his way home. Left on a train seat, Red Ted ends up in the railway station Lost & Found room where he meets a stuffed, toy crocodile. The two decide to try and find Red Ted's home and with the assistance of a helpful cat, the two toys actually do succeed. When reunited with the little girl who lost him, Ted is delighted that she adopts his newly discovered friends as well. This is a graphic storybook that shows the importance of pluck and persistence when facing a seemingly insurmountable problem.

critique Any child who has lost a toy will appreciate this book. The author also stresses the importance of teamwork and common sense to solve the problem facing the bear in this story. That's an important message for any youngster.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/09/09

 
5-7

Weather

Author: Caroline Harris

overview This easy to read format introduces children to such topics as the changing seasons, world climates, mist and clouds, flakes of snow, and weather forecasting. Not overly detailed, you'll find about four to five weather related facts on each page along with photos and vocabulary enhancement material. There are also a three, simple home projects the child can try. Perhaps a little too simplistic for older children this will work well with preschoolers and first graders.

critique Here's the ideal book to introduce young readers to the weather. The illustrations are good, the facts easy to grasp and there's even a touch of "weather" vocabulary. The three home projects are an added bonus. If your child watches the evening weather report on TV with you I think he'll enjoy WEATHER.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Kingfisher

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/08/09

 
Parent

How to be an EVERYDAY Philanthropist

Author: Nicole Bouchard Boles

overview 330 ways to make a difference in your home, community and world - at no cost. Almost every daily action can result in a small but deeply meaningful act of giving. Here are 330 unexpected ideas for making a difference -- ideas that have nothing to do with the size of your bank account and everything to do with using assets you already have. As Julie Salamon, author of Hospital, says, "This book is the perfect guide for those who want to do the right thing, but can't figure out how." Get Generous, Get Creative: Use your body... Use your family... Use your computer... Use your talents... Use your belongings... Use your trash... Use your community... Use your decisions... Use your awareness

critique This is a great handbook that every family should read. You will be inspired when you realize how many ways you can give back without it costing a dime. Every suggestion can be done within a day, if not hours so what are you waiting for. Grab your kids and see how enriching it is to give back and help others.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 214
Grade: A
Pub: Workman Publishing Company

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 12/01/09

 
1-3

Thumper's First Snow

Author: Kate Egan

overview Thumper and his sisters experience their very first snowfall in this delightful picture book. The bunnies go sledding, make a snow rabbit and even have a snowball fight. And, when their day is done, they all head home where their mother has a warm meal awaiting them.

critique The lyrical text and cute illustrations of this sturdy board book will make it a bedtime favorite during the winter months.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 16
Grade: B
Pub: Disney Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 11/21/09

 
3-5

Maisy's Snowy Christmas Eve

Author: Lucy Cousins

overview It's Christmas Eve and snow is falling everywhere - on Maisy's house, on her friend's houses and even on Eddie the elephant. All of Maisy's friends are heading to the little white mouse's house for a special holiday celebration. Unfortunately, poor Eddy gets stuck in the snow and it is up to Maisy, Cyril, Charley and Tallulah to rescue the poor pachyderm. Once Eddie is free, everyone goes back to Maisy's to get warm and enjoy the best Christmas ever.

critique A favorite with preschoolers, the Maisy series of board books have become bedtime classics. This newest Maisy adventure is perfect for the holidays and is one your child will want you to read with him or her over and over again in the days leading up to Christmas.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 30
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 11/21/09

 
3-5

My Chanukah Playbook

Author: Salina Yoon

overview This board book comes with eight foil-stamped round pieces that will be used to get a child actively involved with Chanukah. The child can use the pieces to light the individual candles of the menorah found on the book's final page. Other interactive sections of the book include a section on foods, and games. Here again, the pieces will come in handy to fill the tzedekah box with gelt or make latkes.

critique Here's an excellent way to teach young children some of the traditions of the celebration of lights.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 8
Grade: A
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer:
Submitted: 11/21/09

 
3-5

Auntie's House

Author: Dawn Aldrich

overview Auntie's House is about a little girl who spends the day with her Auntie while her mommy goes to work. She and Auntie spend the day playing with toys, having a tea party, playing outside and reading books. The little girl is reassured that her mommy will come back at the end of her work day and has an enjoyable day with her aunt.

critique There are great illustrations in this book! Auntie's House would be a good book to read to children when preparing them for spending a day with a relative. I enjoyed all of the fun things the little girl was able to do with her aunt and appreciated Auntie's reassuring words that mommy would be back. To order this book: http://www.halopublishing.com/auntieshousealdrich.html
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Halo Publishing International

Reviewer: Kim Young
Submitted: 10/12/09

 
5-7

The Treasure

Author: Susan Yost-Filgate

overview When Rip Squeak and his friends discover a map tucked away in a book of pirate stories, they set off on another exciting adventure. Along the way they encounter some colorful new characters and discover that the word treasure can have more than one meaning.

critique The illustrations will engage you and your child with their warmth. It is a wonderful story and sweet adventure.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade:
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
5-7

Moon Over the Mountain

Author: Keith Polette

overview A fun-filled retelling of a traditional Asian tale in which a discontented stonecutter is never satisfied with each wish that is granted him. In this variation, master storyteller Keith Polette creates a vivid Southwestern landscape in which to set the story.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B+
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
8-12

A Seed Was Planted

Author: Toulla Palazeti

overview A wonderful cycle of giving begins when a seed is planted. Pieces and sprouts of a walnut tree are passed along from one person to that person?s friend and on to that friend?s neighbor and on and on and on. The circle of giving brings about a new crop of trees (supporting the idea of reforestation) and instills traditional values of sharing and caring. It also brings about a spirit of hope and goodwill to the givers. Love grows along with the saplings in the beautifully generous world. Also available in a bilingual editions.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
Infant

The Adventures of Marco Flamingo Under the Sea

Author: Sheila Jarkins

overview The adventures continue with America's favorite flamingo, Marco Flamingo. In this latest book Marco explores the open seas and finds himself in humorous situations and meets curious friends. This book is full text bilingual in both English and Spanish. It is also available in English only editions.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
5-7

Soap Soap Soap/ Jabon Jabon Jabon

Author: Elizabeth O. Dulemba

overview Hugo's mamNB sends him to the store to buy soap. Of course, Hugo takes the long way there which gets him into loads of trouble and plenty of mud. With all his adventures, he keeps forgetting what he?s supposed to buy at the store. But through each mishap he?s somehow reminded he needs soap, soap, soap ~ jabon, jabon, jabon! Hugo ends up a muddy mess, but he finally prevails. He buys the soap and returns home only to discover that his mamNB plans to use the soap on him! Soap takes the classic Appalachian Jack Tale and gives it a modern twist. The story now takes place in a small rural town with a sweet little troublemaker named Hugo.

critique Cute and playful and so much fun to read with the kids.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
Parent

A Parents' Guide to the Middle School Years

Author: Joe Bruzzese

overview University of California, Santa Barbara, professor (Graduate School of Education) Joe Bruzzese offers parents and their children empowering support as they face the trials and tribulations of middle school (6th-8th grade). You'll find valuable material here on how to enhance communication and create workable solutions to a range of concerns. Some of the issues the author deals with include keeping your children safe online, identifying signs of bullying and depression, and how to confront and deal with drug and/or alcohol abuse. It is essential that parents understand their child's emotional shifts, academic challenges and social pressures. This helpful guide will help.

critique If you have children in middle school (or about to enter it) this is a book that can be very helpful in dealing with a range of issues.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 176
Grade: A-
Pub: Celestial Arts

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
5-7

Tickle Tut's Toes

Author: Julie Appel & Amy Guglielmo

overview Tickle Tut's toes. Scratch the pyramid. Poke a mummified crocodile... Jump inside the paintings with fun, interactive artwork that has textured touch spaces. You can stroke, pat, lift, and feel your way through art history. Experience the wonders of ancient Egypt! This long-gone civilization will come alive for kids when they actually feel a gold coffin with the tomb of the legendary King Tut, the scratchy pyramids at Giza, the gauzy covering on a mummy, and Nefertiti?s jewels. It?s a really cool way to make both art and history accessible to even the youngest children.

critique
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages:
Grade: A-
Pub: Sterling

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
3-5

Catch Picasso's Rooster

Author: Julie Appel & Amy Guglielmo

overview Jump inside the paintings with fun, interactive art work that has textured touch spaces. You can pet, sniff, stroke, and feel your way through art history. Go ahead - touch the art.

critique Young hands will have fun with this book. Why they view the artwork, they can pet the animals.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 20
Grade: A-
Pub: Sterling

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
8-12

Secrets of a Christmas Box

Author: Steven Hornby

overview Enter the magical festive world of the Christmas 'Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, wakes up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother is missing. Desperate to find him before Christmas, Larry, along with his girlfriend Debbie, a newcomer Splint, and Larry's companion Tinsel, break the laws of the 'Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues. Away from the safety of the tree and in an unfamiliar world, the Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret that threatens their entire world. Can Larry and the group make it back to the tree in time to warn the others, and finally uncover the truth behind...

critique Curl up next to the fire with the family for a good holiday read. A fun and exciting story that will let your imagination run wild. This book will become a tradition in your family each year.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 235
Grade: A
Pub: Ecky Thump Books

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 09/21/09

 
Parent

Empowered Autism Parenting

Author: William Stillman

overview The author, an adult with Asperger's Syndrome, offers a thought provoking book about this condition. Stillman provides real-world information for parents of children with autism. He addresses the misconceptions about autism to reveal the truth - that those with autism are intelligent, insightful and inspired individuals who can participate in and contribute to society. Stillman also discusses the myths about high-cost therapies and various medications which he considers all grist for an industry that promotes a culture of fear about autism.

critique For parents and educators who want to know more about autism. If the book's subtitle - Celebrating (and Defending) Your Child's Place in the World - is relevant to your present situation you'll want to read what Stillman has to say!
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 206
Grade: A
Pub: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Reviewer:
Submitted: 09/08/09

 
8-12

Ruth Ann and the Green Blowster

Author: Kathy Luders & Frances Beebe

overview Ruth Ann goes into the woods at midnight and meets her new best friend - Whistle Stick. Whistle Stick tells her about the Green Blowster and Ruth Ann wants to meet him so they head to the swamp. When the Green Blowster blows Ruth Ann and Whistle Stick up to high country, who knows what will happen next. This book is filled with many fun adventures and exciting twists and turns. Ruth Ann meets many new friends and explores many new places. Her and Whistle Stick have so many adventures in the high country. This book will definitely keep you reading every day - A LOT.

critique I really enjoyed this book because it was fast-paced so I had a hard time putting it down. I think it is very interesting how this book came about. When the author was young, she found some old pages (written by her grandma) that held this creative story. Later in life, she found the papers again after her mom died and decided to finish the book as a tribute to her family.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 267
Grade: A
Pub: Brown Books Publishing Group

Reviewer: Avery, age 11
Submitted: 08/27/09

 
3-5

Termite Tales

Author: Kathy Caple

overview Part of the Brand New Readers series this is a collection of four stories about Termite and his friend Ostrich. Each humorous story is eight pages in length and is dimply told so young readers can quickly master the text. In one story Termite measures his buddy's with a tape measure. Then the pair go out in a canoe for a lake adventure. The other two silly stories show Termite helping his friend sharpen a pencil and Termite doing a dance number.

critique With instructions on how to use these books to start your child on the path to reading, this is the perfect gift for a child who wants to "do it himself". Follow the instructions and your youngster will soon be reading aloud to you.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 08/05/09

 
3-5

Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes

Author: Margie Palatini

overview The author offers a new look at Aesop's beloved fable of "The Fox and the Grapes" in this beautifully illustrated picture book. When Fox realizes he can't quite reach some tantalizing grapes he sees, he calls upon Bear, Beaver, Porcupine and finally Possum to lend a paw. The complex plan that Fox devises to reach the grapes isn't successful. Although his friends offer alternative approaches Fox always ignores them and tells them, "I'm the fox. Sly. Clever. Smart. I know how to get the grapes." Finally admitting defeat, Fox gives in. His friends then quickly put their plan to work and, naturally, it works perfectly.

critique This book reinforces the idea that it is sometimes better to listen to another person's ideas before you launch into something. Had Fox listen to his friends' suggestions for getting the grapes, the task would have been accomplished quickly and with ease.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 30
Grade: A-
Pub: Simon & Schuster

Reviewer:
Submitted: 08/03/09

 
3-5

The Daddy Long Legs Blues

Author: Mike Orstein

overview Daddy Longlegs will have kids singing along with his bluesy song as they read this hip picture book! He?s one cool cat who scats, an eight-legged drummer keeping the beat. He moves and grooves and gets funky across the floor. And one thing?s for sure: no one?s better at getting mellow on a saxophone, and bringing rhythm and soul into every child?s home. A glossary of blues terms, a list of instruments played by the characters, and a page of facts about daddy longlegs and blues music provides extra entertaining info.

critique The illustrations are so fantastic and you feel like singing as you read the story. Kids and adults will love the cool and hip Daddy Longlegs character.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A-
Pub: Sterling Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 07/28/09

 
8-10

Extreme Animals

Author: Nicola Davies

overview The author looks at a number of animals that live in harsh environments and still manage to survive. Discover how they do it in this informative and entertaining book about the toughest creatures on earth. Young readers will travel from the South Pole to Africa's Sahara Desert, into volcanoes and down to the bottom of the ocean in search of these very special survivors that manage to live in some very remarkable places.

critique If your child is interested in natural science this is an excellent book that will probably make him wish to read more about these "extreme" critters and survival.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 07/06/09

 
3-5

How to Potty Train Your Monster

Author: Kelly DiPucchio

overview This clever and very humorous book addresses the task of potty training in a manner that will encourage your little monster to move from diapers to a potty chair. Not only will the ten steps of potty training provide guidance for the adults involved in the process put the author's "Tips' and "Warnings" are not only funny but also right on the mark. Your child will love Mike Moon's "monster" illustrations so be sure the book is left in the bathroom so your youngster can page through the book while sitting on his or her "little throne'!

critique Potty training does not have to be an angst filled situation for you or your child. Use this picture book to prepare the ground so your child will be a willing participant in the process. A little humor makes it easier to accomplish any potentially difficult task and there's plenty of humor here.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Disney-Hyperion

Reviewer:
Submitted: 06/27/09

 
5-7

A Walk With Grandpa

Author: Sharon K. Solomon

overview A simple walk in the woods becomes something more in this touching and playful story. Daniela and her grandfather stroll through a peaceful woodland setting and enjoy both the beautiful day and each other's company. (Bilingual format with text in both English and Spanish)

critique Beautiful illustrations and a sweet story where both the child and grandfather share their feelings.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: B
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/20/09

 
5-7

Beautiful Moon

Author: Dawn Jeffers

overview There are so many things to do in a single day... especially if you are an energetic little girl who wants to do them all. It seems there is never enough time for everything. But what if a day could go on forever? What if nighttime never came? (Bilingual format in both English and Spanish)

critique A simple but sweet story about a girl who has fun playing all day but learns that there is a benefit to going to sleep at night. These books are great for kids who are learning Spanish or English since they are able to see both translations on the same page. The pictures are vivid and captivating.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B+
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/20/09

 
5-7

I Wish I Was Tall Like Willie

Author: Kathryn Heling & Deborah Hembrook

overview How far will Manuel go to be tall like Willie? And what will Willie do to be strong like Manuel? Through humorous situations that don't always work out as planned, best friends Willie and Manuel grow to appreciate their own uniqueness. Kids are reminded to like themselves "just the way they are."

critique This is a great story for any child that finds himself comparing himself to others.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: B+
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/20/09

 
Infant

Lewis Cardinal's First Winter

Author: Amy Crane Johnson

overview Lewis Cardinal is confused as he watches his woodland friends prepare for winter. The robins are leaving. Cinnamon Bear is settling in for a long nap. Even the fish are acting oddly. Should Lewis stay or go? Solomon Raven explains hibernation and migration, helping Lewis understand the necessity of change and the comfort of lasting friendships.

critique This is a wonderful book with beautiful illustrations. It is a great way for kids to learn through the story about how animals are affected as the seasons change.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Raven Tree Press

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/20/09

 
3-5

Big Cat Pepper

Author: Elizabeth Partridge

overview One day the child in this book notices the family cat is not his usual, playful self. The little boy asks his mother if there is a problem and she admits the pet is old and perhaps is about to die. Pepper (the cat) does, in fact, pass away and the rest of the book deals with how the child is able to get through this difficult period. With his mother's help, the boy does put his sorrow behind him and move on. This is a common issue many families must face if they have pets. The author has created a very special story to help a youngster contend with this reality of life.

critique If a family pet has died, here's a wonderful book to help your child get over the loss. The subject matter is handled with sensitivity and skill.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A+
Pub: Bloomsbury

Reviewer:
Submitted: 06/18/09

 
5-7

Going to the Hospital... What Will I see?

Author: Jaynie Wood & Jo Berkus

overview Going to the Hospital... What Will I see? And Who are Those People Wearing Funny Clothes? This book is about a boy named Kirk who is going to the hospital for the first time. His stuffed dragon is right by his side as we follow him through his journey of checking in, having an operation, waking up, recovering, taking medicine and his visit with a therapy dog. Hospital personnel are introduced and their tasks are described. Procedures and the reasons for those procedures are discussed. The patient learns what he can do to help the doctors and nurses. This is a book of love and dedication written by 2 women who interact closely with pediatric patients and share a passion to support children.

critique Parents of any child under 14 who is hospitalized for any reason ranging from a broken bone to being diagnosed with a terminal illness will appreciate having this wonderful tool to explain the process. There is great detail. The pictures are fun and bright and the characters are sweet. **Note: Proceeds from this book will be providing financial assistant to families who have a child with cancer
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: AuthorHouse

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/10/09

 
5-7

Archibald's Swiss Cheese Mountain

Author: Sylvia Lieberman

overview Meet Archibald, the little mouse with a BIG heart . . . and join him on his BIG adventure as he teaches children how to chase their BIG dreams! He is a young mouse who lives with his family in Mr. Hochmeyer's General Store. He wants to be more independent and find adventure.

critique Archibald has a wonderful mother who supports him in leaving the nest to find his own food. She offers advice and comfort. He learns risk and consequences and demonstrates that new adventures can be both exciting and frightening. The illustrations in this book are beautiful! Kids will pick this book up over and over again.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Seven Locks Press

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/10/09

 
Parent

Special-Needs Kids Eat Right

Author: Judy Converse

overview Special-Needs Kids Eat Right: Strategies to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Focus, Learn, and Thrive -- Any parent of a child with autism, Asperger's, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or other developmental disabilities knows that special-needs kids often have food sensitivities and can be very fussy eaters. Plus, they've been told to avoid such common ingredients as gluten and casein, making it even harder to give them the balanced, healthy meals all children need. Now, Judy Converse, a registered, licensed dietitian, offers new advice and guidance on how to use food as an essential tool for development. Based on the latest research, Special-Needs Kids Eat Right includes:

critique Parents will find great tools: *Recipes *Simple substitutions that can be easily customized to suit any child's needs *Advice for helping the whole family-along with school staff and caregivers adjust and take part *Strategies and tips for staying on track at restaurants, holiday gatherings, school parties and lunches *Shopping and resource guides *A long-term program for measuring progress
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 288
Grade: A
Pub: Perigee Trade

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/10/09

 
Teen

Dream Leader

Author: Jill Espin

overview Teen leadership expert Jill Esplin uses stories of 22 teens and adults to make her key point: To lead your dreams and others you have to learn to lead your self. Self-leadership skills that young people can spend a lifetime learning or never learn are organized into 12 concrete actions with plenty of proof from dreamers like Kinko s Founder Paul Orfalea and real Freedom Writer Maria Reyes from the Paramount and MTV movie.

critique Start with the book and then try out the board game with friends.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 138
Grade: B+
Pub: Silver House

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/10/09

 
Parent

The Highly Intuitive Child

Author: Catherine Crawford

overview The Highly Intuitive Child: A Guide to Understanding and Parenting Unusually Sensitive and Empathic Children -- Some children can walk into a room and feel "the vibe" instantly in their body. Others may tune into an unspoken family conflict, or tell someone to "be careful" before stumbling into an unknown situation. These may seem to be the normal human qualities of intuition and empathy, but in highly intuitive children, such traits are supercharged. Growing up in a culture that favors the rational and the five senses can be difficult for gifted children. This book shows parents, teachers, and therapists how to help them - and those around them - embrace and exercise their gift.

critique The Highly Intuitive Child covers a wealth of topics including: how to easily identify the intuitive child; how life is different for them; the 10 skills they must master before leaving home; the connections between neuroscience and intuition; what other cultures can teach us about supporting intuitive children; "indigo" children; success stories; and much more.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 200
Grade: A
Pub: Hunter House

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 06/10/09

 
5-7

Always

Author: Alison McGhee

overview We know children can form strong attachments with their pets. This picture book is interesting because it looks at that bond from the dog's point of view. This little puppy, as you will see, will do anything to protect friend.

critique Although the text is minimal you'll get the idea that there's is a very strong bond between a dog and its owner. Fortunately, a lot of words are not necessary because Pascal Lemaiter's illustrations say it all. Any child who has a pet dog will love this book.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Simon & Schuster

Reviewer:
Submitted: 06/08/09

 
7-9

The Hermit Crab

Author: Carter Goodrich

overview Shy and unassuming, the hermit crab in this underwater story likes to keep in the background and he hates being on center of attention. When one of the larger fish, a flounder, stumbles into a fish trap the little crab comes to the rescue and saves him. Now considered a hero by all the underwater creatures, the hermit crab is paraded about and placed on the "rock of honor". All the he wants, though, is to be allowed to scuttle back to his shell.

critique An excellent book that has a very important message - you don't have to be the center of attention or always be in the limelight. Too many children today feel they must always be the focus of what's happening around them. Perhaps they'll learn a lesson from the hermit crab!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: A
Pub: Simon & Schuster

Reviewer:
Submitted: 06/03/09

 
3-5

What Do You See?

Author: Stephen Krensky

overview Here's a lift the flap book that features some endangered species. Read the rhyming riddle and then try to guess what is hidden behind the "door". It will not take toddlers long to help you read this simple story out loud. Have them start by telling you what the creature is before you flip the flap.

critique Part of the publisher's Little Green Book series, this book is printed on recycled paper. Here's a way to teach her child read and be co-friendly at the same time.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 16
Grade: A-
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer:
Submitted: 06/01/09

 
3-5

The Horse Show

Author: Lindsay Graham

overview With 80 reusable stickers plus pages featuring empty indoor and outdoor show rings where horse shows can be staged, this is an activity book that should delight any youngster who loves to play make-believe. Along with a simple text that gives an overview of different types of competitive equestrian events the author provides a few suggestions for staging your own horse show with the stickers. Four horses, a couple of riders plus the tack and special clothing necessary for western or jumping events make it possible for more than one child to use this book. Part of the fun will be thinking of inventive ways of using the stickers to create imaginative scenes.

critique An excellent activity book that can keep a child busy for hours, you might wish to consider buying "The Horse Show" before taking a summer vacation trip. This will make the time go by faster for your child and decrease the "Are we there yet?" questions. REMEMBER that stickers are a potential choking hazard for young children.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 16
Grade: A
Pub: Storey Publishing

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/27/09

 
5-7

Houndsley and Catina: Plink and Plunk

Author: James Howe

overview Another in the Houndsley and Catina series, this latest adventure finds the two friends canoeing and biking together. Unfortunately both animals have a problem: Houndsley can not ride a bike very well and Catina does not know how to swim. How the two deal with these problems is the substance of this delightful story that addresses the problem of being afraid of something and being unwilling to share that fear.

critique An excellent book that teaches the value of friends and how they can help a person overcome a secret fear, this is also a great story for beginning readers. The simple sentence structure will make it possible for the youngster to eventually read the book himself/herself.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/25/09

 
7-9

Alligators and Crocodiles! Strange and Wonderful

Author: Laurence Pringle

overview Open this book and you'll discover plenty of interesting facts about alligators and crocodiles' characteristics and habits. These reptiles are found throughout the world on five continents. They vary in size and stretch between six and 23 feet in length although most of them fall in the 12-20 foot range. Over twenty of the most common species of alligators and crocodiles are featured in the book with lifelike illustrations provided by Meryl Henderson. There's all sorts of material about breeding, where they live and what they like to eat. If your child is curious about alligators or crocodiles (and the differences between the two) here's the place to look!

critique Although it could frighten younger children, those seven and older would probably find this book fascinating. Far more than just a picture book, there's enough solid information here to make this an excellent resource for anyone doing a report on these creatures.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Boyds Mills Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/23/09

 
3-5

Please Pick Me Up, Mama!

Author: Robin Luebs

overview No matter the time, the little raccoon featured in this book can't decide if she wants to be held by her mother or set down. From the time she awakens until bedtime the chorus is the same - "Please pick me up! Please put me down!". Fortunately, Mama Raccoon is very patient and is willing to engage in the "Up and Down" game throughout the day!

critique Here's a cute picture book about a child who always wants to be picked-up or, conversely, put-down. If you have a toddler like this, here's a story book you'll want to read to him/her.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade: B+
Pub: Atheneum

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/23/09

 
8-12

The Time Book

Author: Martin Jenkins

overview This brief history of how man measures time stretches from from lunar calendars to atomic clocks. The author looks at some of the bizarre ways ways time has been "kept" and the year "measured". Martin Jenkins takes a potentially "dry" subject and makes it interesting for young readers. Richard Holland provides the illustrations that accompany the text.

critique If your child is interested in science or perhaps curious about things like what types of devices have been used to accurately measure time, this would be an ideal introduction to clocks and calendars. This is also a good book to use with youngsters being home schooled.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/12/09

 
8-12

Canterwood Crest: #1 Take the Reins

Author: Jessica Burkhart

overview Tweens who love horses will enjoy reading this first installment of the Canterwood Crest series. Sasha Silver has come to Canterwood Crest Academy with the intention of making the school's top level equestrian team. Unfortunately, a potential teammate considers Sasha a threat and will stop at nothing to make sure she doesn't succeed in her goal. Will the young girl rise to the occasion and land a coveted spot on the team or have to go home after one semester?

critique If your daughter likes to read about horses this is a new series you'll want to start her in from the first novel. She'll love it and this is so much better than watching TV!
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 224
Grade: A
Pub: Aladdin Mix

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/08/09

 
8-12

Rain Forests

Author: Richard Vogt

overview This book showcases every aspect of the rain forest's ecosystem including plants, all the different types of creatures and climate conditions. Part of the Insiders series of books, the art work is fantastic and the factual information is excellent. If your child is doing a school report or would just like to know more about rain forests and why they are threatened, here's a good place to start the research project. The overview the author provides will serve as an introduction to the subject and then you can focus on more specific sources.

critique You'll want to get this book for any child who would like to know what happens in rain forests and why they are endangered. This is an excellent reference book the entire family will find worth reading.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A
Pub: Simon & Schuster

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/07/09

 
3-5

Mouse Has Fun

Author: Phyllis Root

overview This oversize picture book features four short stories about mouse. Each one is simply told with a vocabulary a "reading ready" child can quickly master. Mouse's adventures include trying to make lunch (he ends up sending out for pizza), playing with a friend, having a picnic with another buddy, and pretending to be Super Mouse. Part of the charm of this book is its size. You'll need to place it flat on a table or the floor to read it but there's a good reason for this. As you read the author's directions on how to get your child into the stories you will see there is definitely a "method to the madness"!

critique Teachers and parents (especially those who home school their child) will want to use this book with a youngster who is ready to start reading. Follow the instructions the author provides and you'll soon have your son or daughter reading this book to you!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 05/06/09

 
1-3

My Mother Is Mine

Author: Marion Dane Bauer

overview We know there are many things moms do that are taken for granted. This simple picture book pays tribute to all moms and calls attention to the special things they do everyday. A group of young animals share the special quality their mothers have. For example, a little lamb says her mother is soft and a kitten explains that her mom is patient and still loves her when she misbehaves. After all the animals explain why their mothers are so special, a little girl ends by listing the reasons her mom is so unique.

critique Looking for a gift for Mother's Day or anytime of the year for that matter? Well, here it is! This board book will delight any mom and it will be a bedtime favorite for years to come.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 36
Grade: A
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/26/09

 
7-9

The Cuckoo's Haiku and Other Birding Poems

Author: Michael Rosen

overview You'll find 24 birds in this picture book along with a haiku poem about each one. The birds are divided by the seasons of the year and there is a little bit of information about each bird's characteristics. Stan Fellows watercolor illustrations alone are worth the "price of admission"!

critique This book provides an opportunity to introduce your child to both various types of birds and poetry. After you have read the book check out your own yard and neighborhood to see if any of the birds in the book live in your area.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A-
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/23/09

 
8-12

Greek News

Author: Anton Powell and Philip Steele

overview Using a news magazine/newspaper format this fully illustrated volume looks at various aspects of ancient Greek society. You'll find stories as varied as - "Sparta Attacks!", "Sea Dog Tells All", "The Slave Trade" and "Olypmic Games Spoiled". There's a section entitled "Women Talk Back" and one on "Pleasing the Gods" plus a behind the scenes look at Greek theatre, schools and medicine. You'll want to pay close attention to the classified ad page and the amusing display advertising sprinkled throughout the publication. From start to finish this book offers a delightful way of delving into the ancient Greeks and their culture.

critique Here's a clever way to get you child interested in ancient Greek history. After reading this he or she may want to learn more about ancient civilizations.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/07/09

 
Parent

Teaching Content Outrageously

Author: Stanley Pogrow

overview Whether you are a teacher or a parent engaged in home schooling your child, more often than not you must deal with a restless, bored or indifferent student who is not really that excited about what you are trying to teach him or her. This book offers an antidote for that indifference! Designed for children in grades 4-12, the author shares many techniques for getting the individual interested and engaged in the subject matter. The examples of lesson plans cover all subject areas and no "special expertise" is needed to put these ideas to immediate use. All it takes is a little imagination and a sense of humor to make these suggestions work at home or in the classroom.

critique The down to earth approach the author uses combined with actual examples of how these ideas were put to use with real children plus the step-by-step instructions make this a book anyone engaged in educating young people will want to look at. You may not think you can "teach outrageously" but don't sell yourself short - anyone can captivate students using this technique!
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 234
Grade: A
Pub: Jossey-Bass

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/02/09

 
3-5

Thumper Finds an Egg

Author: Laura Driscoll

overview It is spring and Thumper is out "exploring" when he discovers a little blue egg on the ground. Since he doesn't see a bird's nest close-by he and his sister Daisy decide to make a basket to protect the egg until they can find the mother bird. The bunnies keep guard over the nest and they sing and dance around the egg to "keep it happy". Fortunately, the mother robin soon finds them and sits on the nest the bunnies made.

critique This is a cute story that underscores the idea of doing something kind for someone else. Thumper and the other bunnies help save the egg and when it hatches a surprise await them.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: A-
Pub: Disney Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 04/02/09

 
3-5

Little Beauty

Author: Anthony Browne

overview Once there was a gorilla who had everything he wanted - well, almost everything. The one thing he didn't have that he really wanted was a friend. Then one day that friend materialized in the shape of a little kitten. Now you might think a big gorilla and a little kitten would not mix too well but, actually, that wasn't the case. The two became firm, fast friends and did everything together. Then one day gorilla did something stupid that almost ended the relationship. You'll have to read the story to see what he did and how the kitten made everything "right" so the two animals could continue to live together.

critique This is a wonderful story about a very unlikely friendship and how friends often have to "go that extra mile" to make sure the friendship works. The big, bold, color illustrations of this picture book are an added plus and will delight young readers.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 03/24/09

 
Parent

Differentiated Instruction for the Middle School Language Arts Teacher

Author: Joan D'Amico and Kate Gallaway

overview The authors of this helpful guide offer a full range of activities and strategies that can be modified to reach students with different learning needs. The core of the book which is geared for students in grades 5-8, focuses on written language conventions, reading skills and comprehension, writing as a process, and oral language. Each of the lessons the authors provide includes instructions for the teacher, reproducible worksheets, ideas on how to adapt the lesson for the inclusive classroom and a "home-school' connection with family-based everyday language activities.

critique No matter what your situation, a teacher or parent who wants to help his or her child with some at-home instruction, this book provides plenty of suggestions and worksheets that will allow you to focus on improving various language arts skills.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 188
Grade: A
Pub: Jossey-Bass

Reviewer:
Submitted: 03/22/09

 
8-12

Website: Book Adventures

Author:

overview www.bookadventure.org is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. When I first saw Book Adventure it looked like fun so I signed up, along with my mom and my sister.

critique We both took a quiz on a book and I bought Balloon HQ, which took points away from my sister. The first page of Balloon HQ didn't print anything but the heading, only the second page worked. I quizzed myself on another book today, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. My account logged out when I finished putting in my answers, so I tried it again and I got 180 points, but when I went to the prizes it went to 20 points. After that my sister did Dragon's Fat Cat by Dan Pikey. After she finished answering all the questions, her right/wrong answer page had Harry Potter questions on it and the account switched to mine and I got the points. That happened again when she retook the test. I like the big idea behind the website, but there are too many bugs, and that does not exactly make it fun. Hopefully the bugs will get fixed, then it will be a motivating site for kids to get exited about reading.
Type: Fiction
Category: Other
Pages:
Grade: F
Pub:

Reviewer: Garrett Marton
Submitted: 03/05/09

 
Parent

Making Learning Whole

Author: David Perkins

overview Using the game of baseball as a metaphor, David Perkins shows how teaching any subject at any grade level can be made more effective if students are exposed to the "whole game" rather than isolated pieces of the discipline. The seven principles the author discusses are: Play the Whole Game, Make the Game Worth Playing, Work on the Hard Plays, Play Out of Town, Uncover the Hidden Game, Learn from the Team and Learn the Game of Learning. What this all means in terms of teaching a math concept or how to write an essay is explained in this volume filled with real-world examples.

critique Here's a book for teachers and parents that explains how to approach creating meaningful lessons for children of all ages. Easy to read and understand, you'll learn to organize learning in a coherent manner that will make children exciting about the subject matter set in front of them.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 252
Grade: A
Pub: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Reviewer:
Submitted: 03/04/09

 
3-5

How to Heal a Broken Wing

Author: Bob Graham

overview A small bird hits a skyscraper and falls to the street blow with a shattered wing. No one cares about the wounded bird until a little boy comes along, sees it and asked his mother if they can take it home. Carefully nursing the bird back to health, the boy must then say good-bye to his friend and set him free.

critique Here's a touching story about a child who takes the time and effort to care for a helpless creature. As this tale illustrates miracles still do happen in small and unexpected ways. This book has all the earmarks of a bedtime classic!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 40
Grade:
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 03/04/09

 
Parent

Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior

Author: Russell Barkley

overview You don't read a book with a title like this -- much less shell out the money -- if you don't think you have a problem. So if you are tempted to buy this book (or get it from the library if yours has it), you probably should. Barkley does a great job of creating a manual for people who have really let things get out of hand. He gently walks them through a recovery process, assuming that, for example, they don't actually spend any one-on-one time with their defiant child, and that they don't know how to issue one clear command at a time rather than confusing their children with wishy-washy and complex sets of commands.

critique Read my full review at http://edusource.wetpaint.com/page/Your+Defiant+Child.
Type: Parenting
Category: Chapter Book
Pages:
Grade:
Pub:

Reviewer: Suki Wessling
Submitted: 02/21/09

 
3-5

Artichoke Boy

Author: Scott Mickelson

overview The boy featured here loves artichokes. In fact his entire family loves artichokes. They are so crazy about artichokes that they have a car made from a giant artichoke and their pets have spiky, artichoke bodies. On every page of this funny book you'll discover some really novel way artichokes impact this little boy's life.

critique This is a totally silly book but one your child will probably love because of the funny ways artichokes pop up on each page. Also, who knows, perhaps your child will actually want to try an artichoke at dinner time too!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A-
Pub: Boyds Mills Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 02/17/09

 
Infant

Posy

Author: Linda Newbery

overview Meet Posy. She's a busy little kitten and you'll follow her exploits from catching spiders and scratching the sofa to ice-cream guzzling and leaf collecting. Whether she's inside or out, this adorable little kitten is so active and has so much to do that it will come as no surprise she'll need a little snooze by the time you reach the final page of this charming picture book.

critique The illustrations by Catherine Rayner make this book! The text is simple and perfect for read along, out loud story time sessions and Rayner's little kitten is too cute for words.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub: Atheneum.

Reviewer:
Submitted: 02/17/09

 
Parent

SPARKS

Author: Peter Benson

overview A leading authority on childhood and adolescence, Peter Bensen presents a powerful plan for awakening the spark that lives inside each and every young person. This book offers a step-by-step approach to identifying a teenager's unique sparks and helping the youngster grow within his/her family, school and community. An encouraging and positive psychological approach backed by solid research, the five point program will enable the parent to discover his/her child's sparks and then foster them to light that fire that will carry the youngster on into the future.

critique This author's focus on the creative arts, athletics, reading, religion, nature and ecology, animal welfare, being committed to living in a specific way, helping others and the joy of learning will provide plenty of subject areas that can provide that SPARK. Give it a try and see if you can interest and engage your teen in something he/she can get truly excited about!
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 235
Grade: B+
Pub: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Reviewer:
Submitted: 02/09/09

 
Teen

Larry and The Meaning of Life

Author: Janet Tashjian

overview Josh "Larry" Swensen just can't seem to get off the family room couch. Beth, Larry's best friend, knows he's not acting his usual upbeat self. When she takes him on an outing to Walden Pond the couple runs into Gus Muldarian, a spiritual guru who suggests Larry join his study group to find a deeper meaning in life. Although he thinks it is a big joke Larry agrees which launches the teenager on his most profound adventure yet.

critique A fun novel with its Thoreau-esque overtones, "Larry and the Meaning of Life" brings this popular character back for his third encore. From start to finish, here's a novel your teen will enjoy reading. In fact, he/she might even let you read it if you ask nicely!
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 224
Grade: B
Pub: Henry Holt

Reviewer:
Submitted: 02/06/09

 
5-7

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time

Author: James Howe

overview It looks like Houndsley and Catina are going to be snowbound for the day. While Houndsley relishes this quiet time, his friend is distraught because she doesn't like being cooped up inside. Furthermore, the two are participating in a concert that night and Catina is worried it might get canceled. What to do? Actually, Houndsley comes up with some activities that save the day and the concert that evening.

critique For the child experiencing "cabin fever" this is an excellent chapter/picture book that suggests some ways to transform a "blue" mood into a happier one. Mom and Dad might want to set this story aside until a rainy day or blizzard cause a change of outdoor plans. When that happens, take this out for a read along session!
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Candlewick Press

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/30/09

 
7-9

The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch

Author: Anne Isaacs

overview A natural born healer, Estrella loves taking care of animals that have been injured. She has collected quite a group of wild critters but someone is stealing them. Imagine her horror when the little girl discovers the greedy ghosts of old gold miners are the culprits. Once she figures out who is responsible, Estrella overcomes her initial fear to get her pets back. The ghosts of Luckless Gulch are about to discover that even with their special powers they are not match for this determined little girl.

critique This ghostly tall tale is not too spooky to scare young readers and Dan Santat's colorful illustrations make the story jump right off the page. If your child likes animals and scary stories this would be a good selection.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 48
Grade: B+
Pub: Atheneum

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/30/09

 
7-9

Uncle Pirate

Author: Douglas Rees

overview Life in the Wilson household is about to drastically change when a long lost uncle, Desperate Evil Wicked Bob, and his pet penguin, Captain Jack, come for an extended visit. Having a penguin and pirate living with you can certainly be an interesting experience but it gets even more amusing when the fearsome duo descend upon Very Elementary School for a "show and tell" session. Realizing the educational establishment is in complete disarray Uncle Pirate is determined to salvage this floundering academic vessel and get it ship-shape and back on course. Unfortunately, you can't run a school like a pirate ship! Or can you?

critique This humorous chapter book will even have non-motivated readers flipping the pages with glee. Once they set sail with Uncle Pirate (and Captain Jack) on this quirky voyage they'll stay focused all the way to its rollicking conclusion.
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 112
Grade: A
Pub: McElderry Books

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/29/09

 
10-12

Science Fair

Author: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

overview Why would foreign criminals want to rig a middle school science fair? It all has to do with a plot to overthrow the American government by getting into some of Washington's most powerful computers to steal top secret military technology. What role a bunch of middle schoolers have in this weird scheme and how one of them foils the terrorists' dastardly plans is the subject of SCIENCE FAIR. A delightfully bizarre story SCIENCE FAIR will elicit chuckles from start to finish!

critique With award winning humorist Dave Barry sharing the authoring chores of this novel you know it is going to have to he "over-the-top" funny. This story of mystery, danger, international suspense and levitating frogs (yes, you read that correctly!) is so good you may want to borrow it from your child to read yourself!
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 360
Grade: A
Pub: Disney

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/29/09

 
3-5

Smash That Trash!

Author: Sonia Dander

overview It is trash day in Trucktown and Gabriella is heading out on her route to collect all the trash and garbage she can find. Go along with the purple garbage truck as she finds all sorts of good neat stuff to crunch and smash in her trash compactor. This interactive book features wheels the child can turn to bring up objects in a display window that Gabriella must find along her route.

critique Use this book to make your youngster start identifying and matching like objects. For example, when the child turns the wheel and sees a wrench he or she will have to find that wrench in the two page spread before him/her. This is a fun way increasing the child's awareness of objects and fostering matching skills. You might also want to talk about the function of each object.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 14
Grade: B+
Pub: Little Simon

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/12/09

 
3-5

Are You Ready to Play Outside?

Author: Mo Willems

overview Elephant and Piggie are all ready to have fun outside when it starts to rain. Piggie is really upset because he doesn't like to get wet. Using his head (and his large ears) Elephant comes up with a clever solution to the problem. What's more, Piggie quickly discovers getting wet (a little bit at a time) isn't so bad after all. This clever Elephant & Piggie book is another winner in this ever expanding series from humorist Mo Willems.

critique This funny picture book shows how Elephant is able to make a rainy day into a play day using a little creative thinking. There's a simple message here that you can discuss with you child. How can we turn bad situations into good ones!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 64
Grade: A
Pub: Hyperion

Reviewer:
Submitted: 01/11/09

 
Parent

The Art Teacher's Survival Guide

Author: Helen Hume

overview Designed for children in grades K-8, this guide features 125 projects and the instructions on how to accomplish each one. Although it is intended for classroom use the material on printmaking, ceramics, digital media, photography, painting, drawing and multicultural art can just as easily be used at home. Here's a comprehensive, well illustrated guide that offers a full range of art projects that will appeal to children up through middle school. You don't have to be an art teacher to understand the directions and each project is accompanied by a list of needed material as well as a "how to" guide.

critique Here's the perfect book for parents who are home schooling their chuildren, art teachers, and anyone who wants to encourage a child's artistic creativity. It is also the ideal "rainy day" book that will provide plenty ideas on things to do that are artistic in nature.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 494
Grade: A
Pub: Joseey-Bass

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/28/08

 
3-5

Beyond the Moon with Luna

Author: Stephanie Rach

overview Beyond the Moon with Luna - It begins with one great leap... Ever wonder why the cow jumped over the moon? Join Luna as she prepares to take her first leap, discovering she can do more than give milk and howdy moos. Inspires young girls to leap for their dreams and support each other along the way.

critique Beautiful and fun animated pages filled with inspiration. We loved the positive message to girls to go after their dreams and think positively.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 27
Grade: A
Pub: IAG Media

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 12/22/08

 
5-7

Boomer and Halley Lost and Found

Author: Mary Jane McKittrick

overview In this second installment of the Little Lessons - Big Results series, we find out what happens when Boomer and Halley wind up lost in Shady Pines. How did they get here? Total strangers to each other, will they get along? (One of a series.)

critique A sweet book that teaches children about kindness while they enjoy a fun story. The book even includes a bookmark highlighting some of the lessons. There is a little paw next to different parts of the story to encourage parents and children to dialogue. This was a hit with our 6 year-old. Checkout their fun website... www.boomerandhalley.com
Type: Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 48
Grade: A
Pub: Theo Davis Printing

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 12/22/08

 
1-3

Bye-Bye Time

Author: Elizabeth Verdick

overview Being dropped off at childcare or cared for by a baby-sitter means saying good-bye to Mom or Dad?and for many toddlers, bye-bye is a big deal. This gentle book helps ease the transition with simple rituals: hugs and kisses, a big wave, a deep breath, and the confidence to seek comfort with the new caregiver or other children. An award-winning author/illustrator team offers a fresh look at the times and transitions all toddlers face daily, giving young children the tools to handle routines with confidence and cooperation.

critique This series of books (clean-up, naptime, bye-bye and listening time) are a gentle way to help your child with these concepts. They are positive and fun with simple messages and fun illustrations.
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 24
Grade: B+
Pub: Free Spirit Publishing

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 12/22/08

 
Parent

How To Reach and Teach All Chrildren Through Balanced Literacy

Author: Sandra Rief and Julie Heimburge

overview The user-friendly strategies, tools, activities and read-to-use material in this book are perfect for children in grades 3-8. The balanced literacy method combines the best practices of phonics and other skill-based language instruction with the holistic, literature based approach in order to present a workable format that covers reading, writing, and speaking. Some of the topics covered include reading aloud, vocabulary development, modeled writing, and enhancing literacy through the use of technology. The reproducible exercises in this guide can also be used across content areas.

critique This guide will be of interest to not only teachers but also parents who wish to provide their children with some "at home" academic enrichment. Anyone involved in home schooling or working with children being home schooled will want to add this book to his or her library of instructional material.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Chapter Book
Pages: 321
Grade: A
Pub: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/07/08

 
3-5

Olivia Helps With Chrsitmas

Author: Ian Falconer

overview "Olivia Helps With Christmas" finds the famous white piglet preparing for Christmas Day by driving her parents crazy. Between tangling up the lights before her dad can string them on the tree to refusing to let anyone start a fire in the fireplace, Olivia is kept pretty busy. Finally it is Christmas morning, so Olivia and her two brothers rush downstairs to open their gifts. By the end of the day, she is so exhausted from playing with her new toys that Olivia is definitely ready for good snooze.

critique If your little ones are over excited and hyper (like Olivia) because Christmas is nearly here try reading this story to them to calm them down a tad. The Olivia stories are all classics and this one is no exception. It is the holiday perfect story that may even take the "edge" off a bit for everyone!
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 42
Grade: A
Pub: Atheneum

Reviewer:
Submitted: 12/05/08

 
7-9

Dive Into Your Imagination

Author: Annie Crawley

overview Annie's newly created series, Dive Into Your Imagination is a trilogy of DVDs to entertain and educate children and their parents, teachers and grandparents about the amazing natural world in the ocean. The DVDs are all bilingual and you can choose English or Spanish narration or a special music only track featuring the original score, by local composer Craig Dobbin. What Makes A Fish A Fish is the first in the series. It teaches children about astounding fish from around the world.

critique Beautiful books and a wonderful learning adventure.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 32
Grade: A
Pub:

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 11/26/08

 
5-7

Butt Ugly

Author: Lynn Montgomery

overview Poor BUTT UGLY. He's green. He's puny. And no one wants to give him a home. What happens to the runt of the litter when he's abandoned on a doorstep in a Ding-Dong-Ditch? Mutts of the world unite! This book is for every 4-legged, 2-legged, and even 50-legged creature who has ever felt a little shy, a little alone, or a little butt ugly. And for all the heroes who have opened their homes and their hearts to love them. Butt Ugly has partnered with Eco-Libris, a "tree-offset" company. For every book purchased through the SB Parent website, a tree will be planted in a developing country.

critique It is a wonderful story. Loved the pictures, loved the story, did not love the title (although the kids thought it was hilarious).
Type: Fiction
Category: Picture Book
Pages: 28
Grade: A-
Pub: Zu Zu Petals

Reviewer: Rachael Steidl
Submitted: 11/26/08

 
8-10

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Author: Hal Iggulden

overview The perfect book for every boy from eight to eighty. In this age of video games and cell phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree houses, and stories of incredible courage. The one thing that we always say about childhood is that we seemed to have more time back then. This book will help you recapture those Sunday afternoons and long summers - because they're still long if you know how to look at them. You'll find find famous battles in these pages, insects and dinosaurs - as well as essential Shakespeare quotes, how to cut flint heads for a bow and arrow, and instructions on making the best paper airplane in the world.

critique As the mother of two boys (and one younger princess!) I was initially scared by the title of this book thinking that my boys had plenty of opportunities for danger on their own. However, all it takes is a quick glance at the Table of Contents and a flipping through of the pages of the book to realize this is a GREAT book for boys! The author has compiled information ranging from history lessons to how to perform cool tricks with coins. Both of my boys love this book and I love that they will pick it up and read without any prompting. I highly recommend this for boys 8+.
Type: Non-Fiction
Category: Other
Pages: 267
Grade: A
Pub: HarperCollins

Reviewer: Kim Young
Submitted: 10/17/08

 
3-5

Where The Wild Things Are ...and 5 More Stories

Author: Maurice Sendak

overview WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE - When Max is sent to bed without supper, he sails off to a world inhabited with weird creatures. IN THE NIGHT KITCHEN... Mickey is awakened by noise in the night. Who's in the night kitchen making all that clatter? THE NUTSHELL KIDS - From the Nutshell Library. ALLIGATOR'S ALL AROUND--Alligators dance and sing through the alphabet in a jamboree from A to Z. PIERRE--Pierre doesn't care about anything until he meets a hungry lion who changes everything. ONE WAS JOHNNY--Counting forwards and backwards has never been so much fun with Johnny and his uninvited house guests. CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE - Learning the months of the year has never been so delicious!

critique 54 minutes of READ-ALONG books on DVD... Where The Wild Things are is a classic and this DVD makes it fun for kids because they have a visual and reader to bring the stories to life.
Type: Fiction
Category: Other
Pages:
Grade: A
Pub: Scholastic Books

Reviewer:
Submitted: 10/15/08

 
3-5

Corduroy ...and more stories about caring

Author: Don Freeman

overview CORDUROY - Corduroy longs for someone to take him home from the department store. He thinks that finding his lost button may help, so he searchers the store when no one is around. MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL - Big diesel engines threaten to run Mike Mulligan and his old steam shovel, Mary Anne, out of business until Mike finds just the job to prove their worth. THE HAPPY LION - When the zookeeper leaves the door open, the happy lion decides to walk through town to visit his friends. LOVE YOU LIKE CRAZY CAKES - This heart-warming story tells of a mother's love and a baby's smile as they become each other's family. Plus 3 more bonus stories.

critique These books that are brought to life on a a 54 minute DVD are sweet stories that any young child will enjoy.
Type: Fiction
Category: Other
Pages:
Grade: A
Pub: Scholastic Books

Reviewer:
Submitted: 10/15/08

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