Posts Tagged ‘junior non-fiction’

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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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:


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.






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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