Archive for April 4, 2013

Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever-or Snack time?

Written by Tammi Sauer 

Illustrated by Micheal Slack

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Nugget is a minnow and Fang is a shark…. And how in the world can they be friends? This delightful story for younger readers is a tale of fear and of friendship. Minnow thinks Fang is the very best until he goes to school and learns that minnows are food for sharks. Now what in the world will he do without his best friend? And why do the others think he should be afraid?

The author does a wonderful job with few words introducing both math concepts for first and second grade readers and fun science facts too. Younger children will enjoy the story if read aloud and will quickly learn to read this fun story independently.

The bright and colorful illustrations make this story an exciting book to add to the classroom library. With both science and math concepts along with some life lessons on friendship and being different, this book gives teachers many opportunities to use this book as a springboard for other discussions and activities in the first grade classroom.

Teachers and parents will love the way the book makes reading comprehension a breeze for first and second grade readers. The simple words, diagrams, and illustrations lend themselves to fun and engaging the reader from the first page.  Students may even want to try their hand at writing and illustrating their own stories of friendship using math and science to make their story shine.

You can find more about this author at   Visit Michael Slack at

  • NuggetTitle: Nugget & Fang:  Friends Forever-or Snack time?
  • Author: Tammi Sauer
  • Illustrator: Michael Slack
  • Picture Book
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children’s Books
  • Reviewer: Terri Forehand
  • Pages: 32

Two Shy Pandas

Written by Julia Jarman
Illustrated by Susan Varley

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A sweet rhyming picture book with endearing characters, Two Shy Pandas addresses a common fear for young children: making friends. Two young pandas live next door to one another. Each saw the other out playing by themselves. Each wanted to ask the other to play. Each could not get the courage to approach the other. But each was very aware of the other one especially when Pandora wanted to seesaw or to bounce her ball. Then one day it snowed and Panda made lots of snowballs. He saw that he couldn’t play with snowballs by himself so he tossed one over the fence. But Pandora wasn’t there! He began to worry if she was sick or if she had gone away. After being inside for a while, Pandora worried too that she hadn’t seen Panda. As they worried about each other, they both decided to find out what was going on and bumped into each other. After learning that each panda was still there and not sick, they became the best of friends, playing together long after the snow was gone.
The text is very kid-friendly, having an easy enough reading level that second graders can read it themselves, perhaps making their own audio book as a literacy activity or a book to read to a younger book buddy. It would be a valuable class read aloud as part of a Character Counts unit, touching on most of the pillars of character. Students will be drawn in by the panda characters because they are so likeable and easy to relate to due to both the illustrations and the storytelling.

  • Two Shy PandasTITLE: Two Shy Pandas
  • AUTHOR: Julia Jarman
  • ILLUSTRATOR: Susan Varley
  • PUBLISHER: Andersen/Lerner, 2013
  • REVIEWER: Risa Brown
  • EDITION: Hardcover, 32 p.
  • ISBN: 978-1-4677-1141-8
  • GENRE: Picture Book
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