Posts Tagged ‘junior non-fiction’

Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings

May 14, 2015

 1423950404206Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings

by Kris Di Giacomo

There once was a boy with a big imagination who loved to play tag, climb trees, and gaze out of his window. Inspired by the world around him, he expressed his excitement in pictures and poems. Before he could even write, he played with words and said poems aloud. And when he got older, he filled page after page with poems.

Fall in love with the wonder of words with this brilliantly illustrated story of the life of E.E. Cummings, including a chronology and numerous examples of his playful poetry. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to try writing some poems of your own!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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Show Me Happy

April 15, 2015

Show Me Happy by Kathryn Madeline Allen; photographs by Eric Futran

Using rhyming text and photographs, Show Me Happy highlights feelings and other simple concepts that are important to children in their daily lives. Allen and Futran’s second book is no less wonderful than the first, A Kiss Means I Love You. I have a weakness for children’s books using photographs and this one reflects joyous, diverse children.






And speaking of diversity, join us at Harrington Library this Saturday, April 15, for El dia de los ninos/Day of the Child. This is a free family opportunity featuring Solina Marquis, bilingual storyteller at 2pm, Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico at 3pm and crafts at 3pm.

We hope to make you happy!

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I Can Make a Truck

April 10, 2015

maketruckI Can Make a Truck

By: Joanna Issa

This book is part of the What Can I Make Today? series created specifically with first-time crafters in mind. For this book, a child learns what is needed to make a functioning paper truck, with corresponding images of materials. Each section goes step-by-step in making a truck including images. The instructions and information are written in a large font. Some words are in bold, indicating that they can be referenced in the picture glossary in the back of the book. These bold words express important vocabulary when it comes to trucks, such as axle or ramp. Some sections will have a bold red square with a note inside: “ask for adult help.”

This book provides an opportunity for younger elementary children to learn about working with step-by-step instructions. The project is suited to be completed side-by-side with an adult. Once you have finished, what else can you make?

Click on this link to see the companion books in the series!

Recommended for younger elementary school-aged children.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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My Favorite Dogs

April 1, 2015

Dachshund by Jinny Johnson

This is one of eight titles in My Favorite Dogs series, which is new to the library.  I’m partial to the Dachshund, and this one features the most adorable face you’ve ever seen!  Many children in the library ask for the “dog books,” and I’ll be looking forward to showing them this new series.


Harrington Library is looking forward to summer and a series of “Readers and Waggers” programs for young readers.  This fun program allows children a chance to read with a Heart of Texas therapy dog (and handler). Free tickets are available on a first come first served basis thirty minutes before the program.  Be watching for the dates in our summer event calendar coming in May!

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13 Art Movements Children Should Know

March 10, 2015

13artmovements13 Art Movements Children Should Know

By: Brad Finger

This beautiful book published by Prestel gives tidbits of information concerning 13 important art movements: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Pop Art.

Each section of the book shows the time lime (in chronological order) of each movement, explains the style traits, and shows images. One side note is that this book does not give an in-depth look at each movement. Instead, it gives the important facts and concepts surrounding the different periods of art. For example, did you know that Art Nouveau artists oftentimes used a curve in their art that was referred to as a “whiplash” curve? Each chapter also gives suggestions for further reading, in case you find an art movement you love and want to learn more.

Check out this book if you are interested in learning some new things about the different periods of art. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)



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Invisible to the Eye: Animals in Disguise

February 12, 2015

invisibleInvisible to the Eye: Animals in Disguise

By: Kendra Muntz

Many animals use camouflaging to change their outer appearance and survive in their various habitats. Camouflaging or changes in coloration can make animals blend into their environments more easily. For example, mountain goats have yellow-brown fur that blends in with rocks and mountains. In the winter, the mountain goats fur changes to white in order to blend into the snow.

This informational book goes through different habitats to demonstrate how animals use camouflage: desert, forest, polar, grassland, ocean, and mountain. Accompanying photos allow readers to see how camouflage works.

Can you spot all the animals?

Recommended for grades 3 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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What’s New? The Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos

February 11, 2015

What's New? the Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos CoverWhat’s New? The Zoo!: A Zippy History of Zoos

By Kathleen Krull

Illustrated by Marcellus Hall

 Believe it or not….zoos can trace their origins back 4,400 years to the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, which would be in present-day Iraq.  It wasn’t a big zoo. The King of Ur apparently just liked to keep lions to make him feel powerful or so we’ve discovered from ancient clay tablets.

From there we move thousands of years through time as we circle the globe traveling through such places as Greece, Egypt, Rome, China, France, England, Australia, South Africa, and Brazil all the way to modern day San Diego.  As we see zoos evolve from royal menageries belonging to the emperors and kings to modern day zoos focusing upon animal conservation within a more natural habitat, we learn fascinating individual factoids about each.  Each moment in time is accompanied by colorful humorous and cartoonlike illustrations which capture the reader’s attention and enhance the text.

So…before your next trip to the zoo, why not zip back in time to learn a bit about zoo history and see how far we have come over the centuries?

Recommended for children ages 4-8.

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)






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Before, After

November 26, 2014

beforeafterBefore, After

By: Anne-Margot Ramstein & Matthias Arégui

Each time you open a page in this wordless book, there is a set of corresponding images side by side. The images are drawn simply with clean lines. Each set of images implies a “before” and “after” like the title describes. One example of a set of images is a slingshot on one page and a broken window on its facing page. There is also a subtle narrative throughout the book, such as the changing seasons shown with trees.

This book may function as a gentle game, encouraging readers to make associations between the images shown in each set of pages and the book in its entirety. Since it is wordless, it creates the opportunity for dialogue.

Look at this book together as a family and discuss: what do you see before and after?

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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Mama Built a Little Nest

November 6, 2014

Mama built a little nestMama Built a Little Nest

By: Jennifer Ward

This is a perfect science picture book to share with children at bedtime. From the first page with a wren’s nest built on a cactus, to the last page where a bed is a nest for a young child, the story describes nests of all sorts. Birds are creative architects that use a variety of materials such a spider webs, sticks, or spit to build their nests. The illustrator, Steve Jenkins, uses colorful, cut-paper collages to show the detail in each of the bird’s nests. The author, Jennifer Ward uses a four-line rhyming verse on the left page to describe each nest such as “Mama built a little nest./She gathered twigs that float/and placed them on the water/to create a cozy boat.” On the right page the author includes additional information about each bird. An excellent book for the youngest bird watchers.

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The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats

October 31, 2014

brownbatsThe Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bats: A Scientific Mystery

By: Sandra Markle

Whether or not you are a fan of bats, it should be known that bats are an important part of nature’s ecosystem. The main reason why they are important is that they eat insects, which may damage crops or disease animals and people.

In recent years, bat researchers have been alarmed at the number of bats dying during the winter. Since bats hibernate in protected areas, it isn’t the cold that is killing them.

This book explores the sciences involved in solving this mysterious bat killer.

At the end of the book, there are trivia facts about bats, information on how to help local bats, and global bat conversation websites. Additional books and websites are recommended for further research.

This book presents the mystery with a riveting narrative, photos, and scientific facts. It is recommended for older elementary students.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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