Archive for March 18, 2019

Noah Builds an Ark

Written by Kate Banks
Illustrated by John Rocco

It seems a little silly to call this a quiet book, since the central event is a storm that lasts four days, but quiet it is. In it, the reader learns a lot about what it takes to survive such a storm and how beneficial it is to be helpful to those around us.

As Noah’s family readies for a big storm, Noah worries about the small creatures he regularly meets in his backyard. As his father boards up the windows, Noah prepares his wagon for the salamanders, field mice, hummingbirds, and spiders to take shelter. He removes the wheels and adds a roof and walls. As his mother and sister stack groceries in the kitchen, Noah gathers seeds and other foods for the animals. With the yard flooded, the animals are indeed safe inside Noah’s ark.

As always, Rocco’s beautiful illustrations are important part of the story. Imagine living through such a big storm and being in the ark.

Though it’s somewhat doubtful that all of Noah’s creatures would share this type of space, the heartwarming way in which the story is presented make this a tale worth embracing. It makes the reader wonder how they can help others, especially those animals mentioned.

  • Noah Builds An ArkTitle: Noah Builds an Ark
  • Author: Kate Banks
  • Illustrator: John Rocco
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska                                                                              
  • Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
  • Grade Level: PreK to 2
  • Genre: Ecology, Empathy
  • ISBN: 978-0-7636-7484-7

King and Kayla and the Case of Found Fred

Written by Dori Hillestad Butler
Illustrated by Nancy Meyers

Kayla really needs to learn to speak – or at least understand – dog-lish. Because King often has all the answers for solving the mysteries they confront. In the latest installment of the King and Kayla series, they are trying to figure out where a stray dog came from. Kayla quickly realizes he is not a stray because he knows tricks. King gets his name – Fred – and clues to his family’s location. Not until King has a chance to show Kayla the answer is Fred reunited with his family.

Kayla’s well thought out approach to problem solving is an excellent model for readers to learn. She always lists what they know and what they need to discover to solve the mystery. Plus, she has fun while she helps the lost dog. Outstanding illustrations accompany every page, helping to draw the reader into the story. They can truly feel the fun to be had a vacation lake.

  • Found FredTitle: King and Kayla and the Case of Found Fred
  • Author: Dori Hillestad Butler
  • Illustrator: Nancy Meyers
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company Inc., 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska                                                                                                                                             
  • Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
  • Grade Level: 2 to 4
  • Genre: Fiction Chapter Book, Mystery
  • ISBN: 978-1-68263-052-5

Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly!

Written by Ann Ingalls
Illustrated by Rebecca Evans

This cute rhyming story follows a baby robin as it shakily learns to fly like mama. Not only are those first “steps” difficult, but the presence of a cat makes concentration especially challenging. Of course, it’s a rocky start, but the bird soon finds that the effort to try new things can be well worth it.

Wonderful illustrations make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience for readers. They can feel the baby bird’s struggle, the pride of the mother bird, the possible amusement of the sparrows as they watch, the malevolence of the cat, and more. The bird even watches while sister does ballet moves.

In addition to the lesson to keep trying, readers will learn a lot about birds – American robins in particular and what makes a bird in general. They will also learn about predators and the circle of life. As is usual for this publisher, extensive suggestions for further learning accompany the text, with links for even more learning. STEM is not just an acronym.

  • Why Should I WalkTitle: Why Should I Walk? I Can Fly!
  • Author: Ann Ingalls
  • Illustrator: Rebecca Evans
  • Publisher: Dawn Publications, 2019
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska                                                                                                                                             
  • Format: Paperback, 32 pages
  • Grade Level: 1 to 3
  • Genre: Nature, Young birds
  • ISBN: 978-1-58469-639-1
  • Extras: Explore More – For Kids, Explore More – For Teachers and Parents