Posts Tagged ‘junior non-fiction’

Feathers: Not Just for Flying

August 20, 2014

There are so many great new books about birds!

I was enamored with Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart.  This picture book nonfiction title shares some of the unique qualities of feathers.  With a scrapbook-like illustration style, each page provides a line of bold text, with smaller text to give more detailed factual information.  Illustrations show the bird and the object their feathers are compared to.  I like that the feathers are compared to objects which could lead to further discussion between reader and listener.

“Feathers can dig holes like a backhoe…or carry building supplies like a forklift.”  There are swallows who use the feathers on their lower legs to dig tunnels; and there is the lovebird who puts nest materials under her rump feathers.

I was fascinated by all the ways that birds use their feathers and I’m sure children will be, too.

The young ornithologists in your life might also enjoy these new titles:

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward

Have you Heard the Nesting Bird? by Rita Gray

Nest by Jorey Hurley

Print this entry


Title Tag

August 8, 2014

To have a bit of reading fun with books play Title Tag.

Directions:  Start with a classic book title.  Then find another title that begins with the last word of the first book chosen. (You will likely have several to choose from.) Repeat the process as long as you are able. Challenge yourself to read the books you find. You’ll be amazed where the game leads and what you learn. Here’s an example list beginning with The Little Prince*. 


The Little Prince (Saint-Exupery)


The Prince of the Pond (Napoli)


Pond Full of Ink (839.3116 SCH)




Footprints on the Moon (629.454 SIY)


Moon over High Street (Babbitt)


Street Art (709.05 SUT)


The Artsy Smartsy Club (Pinkwater)


Club Dread (Keene)


The Dreadful, Smelly Colonies (973.3 RAU)


*These searches were limited to choices from Junior fiction and nonfiction titles in the Plano Public Library catalog.


Ready to play? Tag! You’re it!

Print this entry


Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

July 30, 2014

dreamingupDreaming Up: A Celebration of Building

By: Christy Hale

This books starts off with a quote by Madhu Thangavelu, an architect, in the beginning endpage:

‘If they can dream it, they can build it.’

Thus begins a journey into building. Illustrations of children creating juxtaposed with photographs of well-known buildings shows the similarities between child play and the world around us. A blanket tossed onto some chairs may be a fort to children, but its sloping roof looks similar to the Yoyogi National Stadium in Japan created by architect Kenzo Tange.  This is one of the many examples of architecture (and the architects that created the buildings) showcased in this book.

The illustrations and photos are accompanied with poetic text and the back pages give information concerning the buildings and their corresponding architects. Share this book with those that love to build and see if they get inspired!

Speaking of building, PPLS still has some upcoming building programs this summer; join us for:

Read! Build! Play! at Harrington Library on Friday, August 1st at 11:00 am (for ages 0-5)

Block Party at Parr Library on Wednesday, August 6th at 11:00 am (all ages)

Library Legos at Davis Library on Friday, August 15th at 3:00 pm (all ages)

Happy Building!

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)


Print this entry


Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature

April 15, 2014

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

Print this entry


Bone By Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons

March 28, 2014

51-hQw5DqCL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Bone by Bone: Comparing Animal Skeletons

By Sarah Levine and T.S Spookytooth

What kind of animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones?

Beginning with an introduction to the human skeleton, this book then compares our bones to the bones of various animals by posing questions like the ones above and then revealing the answers! Did you know that a bat’s wings are made up of finger bones much like the ones in our hands? Young scientists will enjoy this creative and interesting way of learning about the skeletal system and how it functions.

Recommended for children aged 5 and up.

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

Print this entry


March 25, 2014


Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts

Cold, Crunchy, Colorful

Using Our Senses

Brocket’s newest nonfiction treasure explores the five senses with your preschooler.  The vibrant and tantalizing pictures really stand out and help each sense truly come to life.

The book gives a simple definition of each sense, along with several vividly engaging examples. I can almost feel the cactus spikes,  smell the delicate yellow daffodils, and hear taxi cabs honking.

This is a fabulous book to explore with your child. Check it out– you’ll be glad you did!


Print this entry


Spring Is for the Birds

March 14, 2014


Three new titles in the collection on birds provide a little science, beautiful illustrations and great read-aloud experiences. These delightful bird books will fly off library shelves and fascinate young listeners.


Ages 2-5: Nest by Jorey Hurley. In just 15 words readers are introduced to the life cycle of robins. NEST is the first word next to a dogwood tree where a mating robin couple look at their pretty blue egg. For WARM, the mother is sitting on her egg, protecting it from  raindrops, just as the tree starts to bud. Using the dogwood tree as a backdrop in each two-page spread reinforces the sense of a year’s time.


Ages 3-6: Two Little Birds by Mary Newell DePalma. Two little nest-mates hatch, grow and play until one day they spot an enormous flock of birds overhead and join them. Though they struggle to keep up the two yellow birds fly far from home, through a thunderstorm and over a sea. Later they return home to start families of their own. DePalma’s colorful illustrations skillfully heighten the mood of the story: the pair might appear as mere specks in the enormous sky or take center stage as they nest or frolic. This tale of orchard orioles making the exhausting journey from U.S.A. to Central America and back introduces the concept of migration to younger readers.


Ages 6-9: Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart. Well knock me over with a feather! Who knew there were so many kinds of feathers serving so many purposes! Stewart compares everyday objects in a child’s world with feathers from 16 birds to illustrate their unique properties. Larger text is presented in read-aloud rhyme. Feathers can shade out sun like an umbrella . . . or protect skin like sunscreen. Text in smaller font is reserved for further explanation. Sarah Branner’s detailed color illustrations of birds and feathers have a photographic quality perfectly suited to the scrapbook format.

Print this entry


Sweet Dreams

March 11, 2014

sweet dreamsSweet Dreams

By Jewel

Illustrated by Amy June Bates

As the shadows and moon beams roll in, a mother and her child embark on an adventure through the magical night. Along the velvety clouds and twinkling constellations, the pair fish for stars and are welcomed by the man in the moon.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the illustrations. Amy June Bates does a wonderful job of bringing Jewel’s words to life. Her illustrations are beautiful and there’s something about her style that evokes a nostalgic feeling. Written and sung by Jewel, Sweet Dreams is a darling book many can enjoy.

Recommended for children between the ages of 1-5 years.

Print this entry


Hippos Can’t Swim and Other Fun Facts

February 27, 2014

500x500_3933684_file[1]Hippos Can’t Swim and Other Fun Facts by Laura Lyn DiSiena and Hannah Eliot/Pete Oswald

Did you know that hippos can’t swim? Apparently, their bodies are too dense to float, so they just walk underwater instead and use their feet to push off in order to move themselves around! That fact leads to dozens more about all sorts of other animals, from squirrels to fireflies to big blue whales. Each topic leads right into the next one, and you’ll discover all sorts of interesting information about animals, like how many naps an ant takes each day, how many times per second a hummingbird can flap its wings, and how jellyfish scare away predators!

This wonderfully illustrated non-fiction book is definitely a great way to jump-start your young one’s interest in animals and science, and parents will find it entertaining as well. If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out its companion book Chickens Don’t Fly and Other Fun Facts as well!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard)

Print this entry


Fly Guy Presents Space

February 6, 2014

fly guy spacefly guy spacefly guy spaceFly Guy Presents Space by Tedd Arnold

Fly Guy learns about space from his friend Buzz in this fact-filled but funny title.   Photographs of space and some of the people who have been important in space exploration are combined with illustrations of Buzz and Fly Guy.  Imagine Fly Guy in an astronaut suit in front of an actual image showing part of the universe. Buzz explains what he and Fly Guy are seeing at the Space Museum. Buzz also takes notes which are shown throughout the book. In addition to being entertained by Buzz and Fly Guy’s adventure, I learned something I didn’t know- the first creatures sent into space were fruit flies in 1947.  Fly Guy was quite excited about that fact.

buzz notebook

Interest level- K-3rd

Reading level- 2nd-3rd

Recommended by Donna C (Schimelpfenig Library)

Print this entry