Kid Picks

April 20, 2014 by

Title: No No, Yes Yes

Author: Leslie Patricelli

What I thought about it: What I liked best about this book was that it showed funny pictuers of babys doing stuff there supposed to do and not suppsed to do.

Reviewed by: A’Teya Leonard



Title: Magic Tree House (Series)

Author: Mary Pope Osborne

What I thought about it: I thought about that I was Jack and I could save anything even monsters!

Reviewed by: Brian




Title: Fancy Nancy

Author: Jane O’Connor

What I thought about it: (Tell what you liked best) When she given some tutus!

Reviewed by: Seeja




Title: The Tale of Despereaux

Author: Kate DiCamillo

What I thought about it: A mouse goes throug many dangers to save a princess accidently in a dungeon by a rat.

Reviewed by: Sanjana




Title: Prince Caspian

Author: C.S. Lewis

What I thought about it: I thought it was great of how he writes his books and the way he thinks differently.

Reviewed by: Isaiah Lawshe




Title: The Blue Ghost

Author: Marion Dane Bauer

What I thought about it: It was scary

Reviewed by: Sanjana





Title: Green Eggs and Ham

Author: Dr. Seuss

What I thought about it: I loved it the grinch thought he didn’t like it but he never tried it

Reviewed by: Genesis

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Recommended App of the Week

April 19, 2014 by

lazoosquigglesLazoo: Squiggles! (optimized for iPad, iOS 5.0+):  Make squiggles with this fun and simple app.  Choose a scene: blank, one of the 12 installed in the app, or one from your device.  Then, listen to the instructions and add the appropriate “squiggles” on the drawing.  After you are done, press “go” and the drawing will become animated.  Take a look at the video below for a demonstration:


This app is available for free here and is recommended for ages 2 and up.

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Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

April 18, 2014 by


Star in the Forest

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

Zitlally’s father has been deported, and she feels alone.  She hides in the junkyard of rusted car parts near her trailer park, where she finds a dog which has been chained and abandoned.  Eventually she begins to trust the dog, and with the help of her next-door neighbor and new friend, Crystal, she finds the courage to rescue Star.

As Zitlally withdraws from her friends at school, she develops empathy for Crystal, a girl who is considered a liar and an outsider. Star in the Forest is an important story for children, because it opens the door to several good discussion points, like the meaning of friendship, and immigration. Immigration, a topic not normally discussed with children, does affect them.  Why not begin the discussion around a book?  Laura Resau’s website,, has two discussion guides that might be useful, plus you’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name.  There are also pronunciation guides in the back of the book for Spanish and Nahuatl words.

Best for grades 3 to 6, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Zitlally, Crystal and Star.

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Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

April 17, 2014 by

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

Anna Branford

I love the heroine in the Violet Mackerel series.  She is sweet and caring with just enough spunk to make her seem like a seven-year-old.  Violet Mackerel’s NaturalHabitat is the best entry in the series so far.   Young Violet spies a tiny ladybug in her backyard and the little bug reminds what it’s like to be the smallest and youngest in her family.  She picks up the bug, names her Gloria and places her in a jar and feeds her cheese bread.  Violet soon learns that the jar is not the best habitat for a ladybug.  Meanwhile, Violet’s sister, Nicola, is trying to come up with an idea for her natural-science project.  Violet suggests a ladybug project and she helps her sister come up with an excellent plan.  The project brings the two sisters closer together and results in a satisfying conclusion to the story.


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Shoe Dog

April 16, 2014 by

Megan McDonald

Shoe Dog by Megan McDonald.

All dogs love to chew and they can usually be placated by a bone, a toy or even a smelly sock but  not Shoe Dog.  How did he get that name?  We meet this adorable dog at a pet store where is is anxiously waiting for a home.  The owner has no idea what she is in for until she discovers his passion, shoes!  In fact, that is how he got his name.  He can’t seem to help himself as he discovers just the right size boxes filled with shoes.  Even though he is called “BAD DOG” and has to sleep at the bottom of the bed or on the cold downstairs floor the lure of those shoe boxes is just more than he can stand.  You would think he would have learned his lesson but when a large red bag appears he hears that familiar rustling of paper and he knows those boxes are just waiting for him.  Shoe Dog will find that bag and when he pulls it over what falls out makes him stop in his tracks.  He no longer needs shoes for his has found a new passion.

I really enjoyed the illustrations in this large colorful book.  The drawing of Shoe Dog really fit his spunky personality.  Who doesn’t enjoy a good dog adventure and this one is worth reading.

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Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature

April 15, 2014 by

growing patterns

Growing Patterns:Fibonacci Numbers in Nature by Sarah C. Campbell

There’s a number sequence, a pattern, that mathematicians call Fibonacci numbers.  Each number is the sum of the two numbers that come before it: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…and so on.  So what?  Well, it happens that this pattern shows up in the strangest places throughout nature.  In the petals on a flower, the bracts on a pinecone, the skin of a pineapple, and the shell of a nautilus.  Who knew that nature and math were so intertwined!

This book makes a somewhat sophisticated math concept accessible to elementary age kids, although it helps if the reader has experience with number patterns.  Simple, striking photographs illustrate the concept beautifully, and the last page in the book expands on related concepts like the Golden Ratio and Lucas numbers for those readers who want to know more.  Fabulous and simple non-fiction about a concept unusual in children’s books.

fibonacci 1

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Early Literacy Tip of the Week

April 14, 2014 by

After you read a story together with your child a few times, let your child tell or ‘read’ it back to you. This helps them understand how stories work and helps their comprehension when they read.


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Kid Picks

April 13, 2014 by

Title: Mark of Athena

Author: Rick Riordan

What I thought about it: This book is full of adventure and I love it.

Reviewed by: Kay Shin Pua




Title: Ride Fly Guy Ride

Author: Tedd Arnold

What I thought about it: What I liked best about this book is fly guy get flew to alot of places by someone or something.

Reviewed by: A’Teya Leonard



Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Author: J.K. Rowling

What I thought about it: It is funny adventures and catches my senses

Reviewed by: Anonymous




Title: Bake Sale

Author: Sara Varon

What I thought about it: I like the part when cupcake goes to the sauna and her wrapper peals off.

Reviewed by: Michelle Kim




Title: Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

What I thought about it: When all the kids start being nice to Auggie and Auggie becomes the new hero around.

Reviewed by: Chelsea




Title: Wings of Fire (Series)

Author: Tui T. Sutherland

What I thought about it: Dragons haves to stop a raging war by tribes. Mudwings, Seawing, Sandwing, Ice wing, rainwing, skywing, and Nightwing.

Reviewed by: Sanjana




Title: Barnum’s Bones

Author: Tracey Fern

What I thought about it: The best thing is that time when this guy finds some cool fossils.

Reviewed by: Anonymous

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Here Comes the Easter Cat

April 11, 2014 by

here-comes-the-easter-catHere Comes the Easter Cat
by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda

Cat doesn’t understand why everybody loves the Easter Bunny so much.  Sure, he brings everyone chocolate eggs, but that can’t be that hard…right? When Cat figures out how hard that job is – and discovers that the Easter Bunny never has time for a nap – he finds a way to help instead of just being jealous.

This fun, humorous picture book is written as if the narrator is having a conversation with Cat, but all of Cat’s responses are nonverbal and only suggested in the illustrations.  This is makes it a wonderful story to use as an exercise in “reading” the pictures in a book.  Each illustration of Cat suggests half of a conversation and half of the narrative in the book.  Take time with your little one and let them tell YOU what Cat is thinking and saying, and enjoy the humor that follows!

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Momo and Snap are NOT friends!

April 10, 2014 by

Momo and Snap are NOT friendsMomo and Snap Are Not Friends!

By Airlie Anderson

Momo and Snap Are Not Friends is a story about two different animals that happen to cross paths, and when they do they engage in a competition of sorts. They battle it out to see which one of them is more ferocious. Through several rounds, Momo the monkey and Snap the alligator go head to head testing their strength and their growls. But that’s not all, they also compete to see who is better at juggling, drawing, swimming, fishing and running. It’s a grueling competition that gets interrupted by a pack of hungry lions. But only Snap sees them coming. Thinking on his feet, Snap does the only thing he can think of. He runs in the opposite direction, but not before scooping up little Momo. And thus begins a  warm friendship.

I love everything about Momo and Snap are NOT friends, it’s such a great story with two adorable characters. What I love the most about this picture book is the style in which it is written. There are no words, the entire story unfolds through pictures and sounds that Momo and Snap make. It’s a fun read, especially when read aloud!

Recommended for ages 3-8.

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