Posts Tagged ‘junior non-fiction’

Our Great States

August 21, 2015

What’s Great About Louisiana?

Each title in this entertaining series leads with ten things to see or do. The recommendations are presented on colorful two-page spreads with sidebars for additional historical or cultural facts. Visiting our neighbor, Louisiana? Check out Shreveport’s Sci-Port where you can lie down on a bed of nails or investigate a crime scene. Or maybe a safari is more your style. Lousiana has more than one to offer. In Nevada the suggestions range from a visit to Hoover Dam to the Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival in Elko. The map pages clearly show the points of interest mentioned, a few major cities and the state’s location on the United States map. A representation of the state flag as well as important statistics are also provided. Rounding off each volume is a table of contents, a glossary, a list of additional resources and an index.

So what are you waiting for? Go get a guide and find out about Our Great States!

 

Reviewed by:  Sarah W. (Haggard Library)

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School Days Around the World

August 6, 2015

schooldaysSchool Days Around the World

By: Margriet Ruurs

Illustrated by: Alice Feagan

A quote by Malala Yousafzai begins this book: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education.” This is an accurate statement for many of the world’s children and their education. The author bases each country and child’s experience on real children she has encountered previously. Marta, for example, goes to school in Azezo, Ethiopia. There are 70 students in her class and studies are only in the morning so that more children complete studies in the afternoon. Ana walks an hour from her home to her school in San Luis, Honduras. Amy and Gwen are homeschoolers in Alaska and they go fishing on a field trip. The book is not extensive, but gives a welcoming overview about education for children around the world. For children and students that are interested in the topic, this would make a positive primer.

If you are interested in other back to school books, check out the First Day of School display in the children’s area at Harrington Library.

Other titles in this series include: Children Around the World and Families Around the World.

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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Bee Dance

July 10, 2015

beedanceBee Dance

By: Rick Chrustowski

This beautifully illustrated book is a fun way to share information about bees with younger children. The story begins with a single honeybee that goes off to find flowers and drink nectar. After a discovery of a field of prairie flowers, the bee races back to the hive to share the news. The book then describes how honeybees “waggle” dance and buzz to share information with the fellow bees. After all the bees go to the field of flowers, they each take bits of nectar to bring back to the hive at the end of the day. Share this book with friends and family and see if you can perfect the bee dance.

Recommended for ages 3 and up.

For more fascinating information about the bee dance, check out this video:

Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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Trash Talk: Moving Toward a Zero-Waste World

June 19, 2015

Trash talk! : moving toward a zero-waste worldTrash Talk: Moving Toward a Zero-Waste World

By: Michelle Mulder

 

Humans have always made trash and they have always had to find a way to dispose of that trash. This book begins by discussing the history of trash and waste disposal. The ancient Minoans had trash pits that were covered over with soil, the equivalent of modern landfills. Next the author poses the question, “What is trash?” Trash is defined as something that is no longer useful. However, usefulness is in the eye of the beholder and many items could be repurposed. Old jeans can be used as housing insulation, old tires can be used as building materials, and plastic yogurt containers can be reused as pencil holders. The author discusses reusing and repairing to lessen landfill burdens and she includes some startling facts about how much trash the world’s population produces. Mulder has written a thought provoking book with compelling arguments for conservation.

 

Full-color photos of kids in action add to the reader’s understanding of the book’s concepts. This title is an excellent choice for budding environmentalists.

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Trapped!

June 10, 2015

trapped coverTrapped!  A Whale’s Rescue by Robert Burleigh and illustrations by Wendell Minor

As a humpback whale “spyhops, lobtails, flashes her flukes,” and feeds on krill, she encounters danger in the form of unseen nets.  Soon, the threads of the nets are entangled on her body and she begins to struggle.  She is TRAPPED.  Rescue divers come, but are they too late?

With rich vocabulary and many full-page spreads, the reader has a sense of the majesty and grand size of the whale.  There is tension as the reader hopes for a successful rescue.  Wendell Minor’s gouache illustrations are realistic and depict the beautiful, jewel-tone colors of the ocean.  This is the best kind of non-fiction picture book, with the final pages giving more information on the true story behind the book, whale rescue, and humpback whales, and where to look for more resources.

whale 2

In the final double-page spread with no text, the whale splashes back to the depths of the ocean by the light of the moon.  A truly beautiful picture book about a trapped (and saved) whale.

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Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything

June 9, 2015

Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything

By Calef Brown

Have you discovered the literacy benefits of poetry?  Poetry is great for reluctant readers:  it comes in small, bite-sized proportions, and the rhyming words make sounding out words easier.

Hypnotize a Tiger is a great place to start, especially for middle-grade readers.  Calef Brown’s first longer-format book of children’s poetry is wonderfully whimsical and hilarious in its content.  Brown’s fun illustrations accompany each framed poem.  The poet doesn’t let the margins go to waste, though, as Brown has filled them with illustrations, jokes and rhymes that correspond with the framed poems above them.

Here’s my favorite:

Tubadours

Tuba-playing troubadours             
Have tuba doors and tuba stiles
Installed in all their domiciles
For easy entry and exit.
With a normal door
The tuba wrecks it.

{in the margins:}
Marching bands are disbanding everywhere,
except in Manitoba, where they can still man a tuba.

 

 

Don’t miss this awesome collection from Calef Brown, and check out other books by Brown!  My favorite is We Go Together: A Curious Selection of Affectionate VerseRecommended for grades 2-5.

Reviewed by Alyssa (Davis Library)

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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.

 

 

Day%20of%20Child%20Spring%202015%20Banner

 

 

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.

dachshund

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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