Book review: Rocks, by Claudia Martin

Martin, Claudia. Rocks (Discover our World series). Quarto Publishing, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781682973974. 24 pages. Ages 7-10. P7 Q7

Have you ever wondered how rocks are formed? The reader will learn about rocks, sand, caves, minerals, metals, gems and fossils. Text boxes with facts are set in photographs showing a visual of the facts, engaging the reader and enlightening them further. The reader can move from chapter to chapter based on their interest, the book does not need to be read straight through. This format makes the book easier for children to read. In the Discover our World series, this book includes an index, table of contents and glossary.

Verdict: For children who are interested in rocks, this book provides many facts and photographs that will broaden their knowledge. I recommend this book for elementary school and public libraries. Teachers and homeschool families will find this book valuable.

November 2018 review by Tami Harris.

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Book review: Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs, by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis

Stewart, Melissa. Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs. Stephanie Laberis. Peachtree Publishers, 2018. $16.95. ISBN 9781561459360. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8 Q8

We know a lot about powerful and exciting animals, but what about the animals who are overlooked? Ranging from the Etruscan pygmy shrew, whose name is longer than it is to the Western fence lizard, who is clumsy, this humorous, engaging book takes children on an adventure to discover animals who are the underdogs. Readers will find out what strengths these animals have and how their perceived weaknesses help them survive. Large colorful illustrations of realistic animals with expressive facial features enhance this book. The text draws the reader in, while teaching them about the animals. The last page contains additional facts about each animal featured.

Verdict: If you like animals, you will enjoy this book. Interesting and engaging, it will be a book children will want to read over and over. They will be learning while they are being entertained by the little-known facts about the underdogs.

November 2018 review by Tami Harris.

Book review: Lovely Beasts, by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith

Gardner, Kate. Lovely Beasts. Illustrator Heidi Smith. Balzer + Bray, 2018. $17.99. ISBN 9780062741615. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P8Q8

Don’t judge a book by its cover or at least an animal by its outward appearance.  Lovely Beasts is an elegant testament to the beauty and uniqueness of animals. Readers are encouraged to look beyond first impressions and discover new and exciting features that animals offer our world. Illustrations are detailed and elegant models displaying muted grays, blues, and greens with noticeable fine-grained charcoal pencil lines.

Verdict: This book will be a good addition to any K-2 classroom or library read aloud lesson for work with the joy of reading, vocabulary, sentence fluency, and lessons for the Next Generation Science Standards in the area of Life Science.

December 2018 review by Marcy Doyle.

Book review: Cheetah Dreams, by Linda Stanek, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Stanek, Linda. Cheetah Dreams. Illustrator Shennen Bersani. Arbordale Publishing, 2018.  $9.95. ISBN 9781607187417. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P7Q7 

Linda Stanek introduces conservation while highlighting the grace and beauty of cheetahs. The story is written in two styles dancing between the rhythm of poetry and informational text.  Vivid illustrations capture the motion, beauty, and power of cheetahs.

Verdict: This book will be a good addition to any library read aloud lesson on life science, conservation, and citizen science.

December 2018 review by Marcy Doyle.

Book review: Which Animal is Fastest?, by Brian Rock, illustrated by Carolyn Le

Rock, Brian. Which Animal is Fastest? Illustrator Carolyn Le. Arbordale Publishing, 2018. $9.95. ISBN 9781607187455. Unpaged. Ages 4-8. P7Q6

One size does not fit all is the theme permeating the pages of Which Animal is Fastest? Animals from a cheetah to a peacock mantis shrimp all clamor to be hailed fastest in the kingdom. Readers join lion on his quest to discover the fastest animal and to uncover the importance of each animal and their unique speeds and strengths.

Verdict: This book will be a good addition to any library read aloud lesson for work with theme, recounting/retelling, and mathematical comparisons.

December 2018 review by Marcy Doyle.

Book review: A Day in a Forested Wetland, by Kevin Kurtz, illustrated by Sherry Neidigh

Kurtz, Kevin. A Day in a Forested Wetland. Illustrator Sherry Neidigh. Arbordale Publishing, 2018. $9.95. ISBN 9781628559132. Unpaged. Ages 4-9. P7Q8

A Day in a Forested Wetland takes readers on a rhythmic journey into life in the wetlands. Each double-page spread is filled with bold, intricately designed images drawing the reader further into the wonder and raw beauty of the wetland habitat.

Verdict: This book will be a good addition to any K-2 classroom or library read aloud lesson for work with rhyme, vocabulary, sentence fluency, and lessons for the Next Generation Science Standards in the area of Life Science.

December 2018 review by Marcy Doyle.

Book review: I Am Sonia Sotomayor, by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Meltzer, Brad. I Am Sonia Sotomayor. Illus. by Christopher Eliopoulos. (Ordinary People Change the World series). Dial, 2018. $14.99. unp. ISBN 978-0-7352-2873-3. Ages 4-7. P4Q4

The latest in this series continues to use cartoon illustrations and comic book bubbles, this time to tell about the life of a Supreme Court justice.

Verdict: Sotomayor’s autobiographical picture book, Turning Pages: My Life Story, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, is a better buy.

 

December 2018 review by Nel Ward.