Archive for October 31, 2012

Perimeter, Area and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions

Written by David A. Adler
Illustrated by Edward Miller

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Perimeter, Area and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions combines things kids love like monsters, movies and popcorn with words and concepts they don’t know: perimeter, area and volume. The movie “Monsters in the Neighborhood” is premiering. In the plot, a family of monsters is bothered by nosy neighbors and to solve their problem, they decide to build a fence. They have to measure the yard to know how much fence material to buy. Other movie and monster scenarios are used for measuring examples. But the tastiest example is using popcorn to demonstrate volume. The popcorn smell almost comes through the pages.
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The Case of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Dog

By Martha Freeman

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First in the “First Kids Mystery” series, this is a fun and revealing look at the possible life of kids living in the White House. Cammie’s mom was elected President after being Senator for several years, so ten-year-old Cammie already knows all the kids in her class. Now she lives in the White House with several family members and one very enthusiastic dog. When a popular boy band is due to play at the White House, everyone wants to be invited. But, when a foreign dignitary visits and items start disappearing, it looks like the concert will be cancelled. Is their dog the culprit? If so, how did things disappear when he was under control? And where are these things now? Of course, the kids manage to save the day.
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Valentine and His Violin

Written and Illustrated by Philip Hopman

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The author as a reading activity if a “bad” enough violin player would be willing to provide the sound effect.  Translated from Dutch.

  • ValentineTITLE: Valentine and His Violin
  • AUTHOR: Philip Hopman
  • ILLUSTRATOR: Philip Hopman
  • PUBLISHER: Lemniscaat, 2012
  • REVIEWER: Risa Brown
  • EDITION: Hardcover, 32 p.
  • ISBN: 978-1-935954-17-0

Into the Spotlight

By Erin Falligant

Illustrated by Arcana Studios

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American Girl has created a series of interactive books that allow the reader to become the main character in a story with many endings.  You, the reader, take charge of the outcome.

In this book, you are positioned in the world of dance. Your friend, Neely, is an awesome ballerina. You wish you could be as accomplished as she is. Neely helps teach a  beginning class, and asks you to join. Reilly signs up for the class right away. Will you: A) Join (go to page 14);  B)  Do you want more time to think about it (go to page 16); or C) Will you refuse because you have other things to do (go to page 17)?   Such directions to the page numbers makes it easy for the reader to choose different paths.
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Pobble’s Way

By Simon Van Booy

Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

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A gentle tale of a father, his daughter and a pink mitten that is dropped in the woods while on a walk. Daddy and Pobble make up fantastical names for things they see on their walk. For instance, mushrooms are really frog umbrellas. This sets the stage for more silly naming as the animals try to imagine varied uses for the pink thing they find. Squirrel is sure it is cotton candy. Mouse knows a mouse house when she sees one. Wing warmer for Owl; carrot carrier for Bunny. Duck is sure it is a fish coat. Soon Pobble comes back for her missing mitten and all the animals watch as Pobble puts it on her hand. Mystery solved! Everyone can go to sleep now. Lush illustrations, especially of the animals. » Read more

I’m Really Not Tired

By Lori Sunshine

Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

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I’m Really Not Tired is a delightful book that second graders will relate to. Sam is sure his parents do fun, amazing, thrilling things after he goes to bed. And he misses all of it. Well, no more. He is going to sneak downstairs and catch them. His panda companion, Petey, goes along with every scheme. Sam imagines a circus, a rocket ship, cake and ice cream, video games, even zoo animals, all just one floor below, as he snoozes. Getting downstairs without his parents’ knowing is the problem that must be overcome. Despite all his sneaking, he is discovered because the fifth step creaked. » Read more

They’re Coming!

Written and Illustrated by Timothy Young

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I am one of the few children’s authors or reviewers who do not like Halloween, but I loved this book. This is a great picture book for second grade level readers that uses few words, yet packs a punch filled with suspense.

The suspense builds with every page using a combination of second grade level words, simple sentences that allow second graders to use their imaginations to fill in ideas that are not expressed in words, and eerie illustrations that further spark the reader into thinking ahead in the story.
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The Stone Hatchlings

By Sarah Tsiang

Illustrated by Qin Leng

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When an author captures the magic of a child’s imagination as deftly as Sarah Tsiang has done in her book The Stone Hatchlings, the result is absolute enchantment. The words are spare, lyrical, the illustrations spare, but so amazingly alive. This is a book for the youngest of readers, but it could grace any coffee table.
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Watchman William, Ghost Detective

By Diana Shaw

Illustrated by Mike Phillips

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Watchman William, Ghost Detective is a higher level second grade chapter book that gives students a wonderful exposure to the mystery book. Clever clues and summary lists help second grade students learn how to solve a mystery and how to put clues together to make a good story. Each long chapter is a mini-mystery about the mysterious happenings at the manor where William lives.
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