Book review: Rock Explorer series, two titles by Claudia Martin

Martin, Claudia. Fossils. (Rock Explorer series). QEB/Quarto Publishing, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781682973264. 24 pages. Ages 6-9. P7 Q8

Not only can fossils tell us about the past, they are fun to find and there are so many types. Starting off with the definition of fossils and moving on to how fossils form this reference book includes photographs and facts that will entice children to learn more about fossils. Fossil facts are inserted among the photographs, which makes it easy to read and not overwhelming. This book can be read straight through or readers can pick and choose the chapters they are interested in. In the Rock Explorer series, this book Includes a table of contents, glossary and fossil guide.

Verdict: Children who are interested in learning more about fossils will enjoy this book, which is full of facts and photographs. This book is great for units on fossils. I work in an elementary school and students often ask me how fossils and petrified wood are formed. This book has easy to understand explanations of fossil formation. As an adult who likes to find fossils, I found this book interesting and engaging.

 

Martin, Claudia. Minerals. (Rock Explorer series). QEB/Quarto Publishing, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781682973240. 24 pages. Ages 6-9. P7 Q8

What is a mineral and how does it form? Did you know that there are around 5,000 different minerals? Mineral facts inserted around the colorful photographs will keep children’s interest. This book features amazing crystals, shining metals, strange and powerful minerals, most deadly minerals, and useful minerals. In the Rock Explorer series, this book includes a table of contents, glossary and mineral guide. The photographs are large and colorful. Readers will be not only be able to identify minerals, they will also know why the minerals are important.

Verdict: Children who are interested in minerals will enjoy this fact filled book filled with beautiful photographs. Useful for a unit on minerals. As an adult who likes to learn more about minerals, I found this book interesting and engaging.

March 2018 reviews by Tami Harris.

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Book review: Crayola Colorology Series, two titles by Mari Schuh

Schuh, Mari. Crayola Science of Color. “Crayola Colorology Series.” Lerner Publications, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781512466911. 32 pages. Ages 5-7.  P7 Q8

Did you know that bright blue pigment was made by surprise? Color is all around us, but have we ever thought what is color, where does it come from, and how does color effect how we feel? Colors can make us calm or give us energy. Featuring Crayola, children learn about primary, secondary, complementary colors and the color wheel. The vibrant photos and lyrical texts will keep children engaged while they learn about colors. The book contains four chapters and includes a table of contents, index, glossary, and titles of books and websites to learn more about colors. This book is in the Crayola Colorology series.

Verdict: Great for a beginning art class or unit on art. Encourages readers to notice colors in the world. Readers and beginning readers alike will enjoy this colorful book.

 

Schuh, Mari. Crayola Color in Culture. “Crayola Colorology Series.” Lerner Publications, 2018. $26.65. ISBN 9781512466898. 32 pages. Ages 5-7.  P7 Q8

Color is all around us, but why is it important? Color is part of culture: “Culture is the art we make, clothes we wear, and the way we live in the world.” Featuring Crayola, readers discover that colors have different meanings around the world. In Mexico, green is the color of freedom. In India, Holi is the festival of colors. The vibrant photographs and lyrical text will keep children engaged while they learn about colors in culture. The book contains five chapters and includes a table of contents, index, glossary, and titles of books and websites to learn more about colors. It is in the Crayola Colorology series.

Verdict: Not only do readers learn more about colors, they learn about colors in different cultures, expanding the readers knowledge of different cultures while enjoying beautiful photographs. A great addition to libraries for elementary age children.

March 2018 reviews by Tami Harris.

Book review: If You Were the Moon, by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Jaime Kim

Salas, Laura Purdie. If You Were the Moon. Illus. Jaime Kim. Millbrook Press, 2017. unp. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1-4677-8009-4. Gr. 1+. P8 Q9

A young girl, going to sleep looks at the moon and says, “I wish I could do exactly nothing, just like you.” The moon answers the young girl with rhyming text, explaining all the jobs it does. Corner brackets on each page include facts about the moon. The vivid, rich illustrations, done in acrylic paints and then enhanced with digital techniques, will appeal to all who read this book.

Verdict: WOW!!!!! If you are planning a unit on the moon this book could be used as an introdution.

January 2018 review by Carol Bernardi.

Book review: Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton

Davies, Nicola. Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth. Illustrated by Emily Sutton. Candlewick Press, 2017. Unpaged. $15.99. ISBN 9780763694838. Ages 5-8. P8Q8

This book is a follow up to Tiny Creatures, The World of Microbes by Davies and Sutton. It is an accessible and engaging beginning science book that talks about the diversity of life on earth in clear, simple language that is appropriate for young readers. The author and artist help readers see the huge variety of creatures, as well as the interdependence between various living things. Other areas of focus are patterns in nature, conservation, and extinction of species. The watercolor illustrations have a folk art feeling to them and are very colorful and fun to look at.

VERDICT: I think this book will be a good addition to the children’s collection at my library, and I expect it to be popular with parents of young children.

December 2017 review by Carol Schramm.

Book review: Can an Aardvark Bark?, by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Stewart, Melissa. Can an Aardvark Bark? Il. by Steve Jenkins. Beach Lane, 2017. $17.99. unp. ISBN 978-1-4814-5852-8. Ages 3-7. P9Q9

Representational cut-and-torn-paper double-page collage depictions of animals highlight the noises—barks, grunts, squeals, whines, bellows, growls, and laughs—that animals use to communicate. The author asks a rhyming question about the sound and then explains other animals that make this sound. The last page asks readers to make the same noises, making this a fun, albeit noisy, read-aloud.

Verdict: Fun plus educational!

Summer 2017 review by Nel Ward.

Book review: Just Like Us! series, by Bridget Heos, illustrated by David Clark

Bridget, Heos. Birds. Illustrated by David Clark. (Just Like Us! series) HMH Books, 2017. $14.99. ISBN 9780544570443. 32 pages. Ages 4-7. P6 Q7

Bridget, Heos. Ants. Illustrated by David Clark. (Just Like Us! series) HMH Books, 2017. $14.99. ISBN 9780544570436. 32 pages. Ages 4-7. P6 Q7

The Just Like Us! series are busy, fact-filled, humorous picture books combining color cartoon illustrations and photographs to introduce children to various animals.  Part of the fun is in comparing how the animals are both similar to humans and different from us. The books include glossaries and bibliographies.

 

 

 

 

Verdict: These engaging books will be fun in children’s libraries. Families will enjoy reading them together and they will be good classroom resources for teachers.

October 2017 review by Tami Harris.

 

 

Book review: If Sharks Disappeared, by Lily Williams

Williams, Lily. If Sharks Disappeared. Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing, 2017. ISBN 9781626724136. $17.99. UNP. P5 Q8

The World Wildlife Fund estimates that 150-200 species of plants and animals reach extinction every 24 hours. This extinction rate is about 1000 times higher than what is generally understood as a “natural” rate. Therefore, a book about the disappearance of such important creatures is quite timely. Because humans live on land and breathe air, it is hard to grasp the true impact that the extinction of sharks and other major sea predators would have on our survival. If Sharks Disappeared introduces basic principles like the food chain, evolution, and natural selection to explain the consequences of an unbalanced ecosystem. The young female character and her parents bring the abstract event of shark extinction closer to home, especially when she is shown gazing across an ocean clogged with toxic algae. The illustrations are friendly (the sharks look like they have smiling faces), not too scientific, and successfully present new scientific concepts. A glossary of terms and further information about sharks can be found after the main text of the book.

Verdict: If Sharks Disappeared is a great classroom resource to supplement various important lessons like climate change, cause and effect, evolution, etc.

September 2017 review by Lillian Curanzy.