Schuh, Mari. Nut-Free Diets. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0591-8. $18.49. Gr. K-2.
Both easy-to-read and informative, this book introduces the basics of the very serious challenge of living with a nut allergy. Many people need a nut-free diet and it is refreshing to see resources such as this one that even young children will be able to fully grasp and understand. Readers learn who needs a nut-free diet, food options to try that do not include nuts, what a nut allergy reaction looks like, and what to do if a reaction should occur. There is even a brief section about remembering to be a good friend and not make fun of others for eating different types of food. Along with a glossary, index, and related resources, this book also includes a “safe recipe” for a delicious smoothie. Large, bold photographs of diverse children accompany the accessible text making this a great choice for teaching and learning about the intricacies of nut-allergies.
641.5; Diet and Nutrition Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary
Besel, Jen. Baking Bliss! Baked Desserts to Make and Devour. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0859-9. $23.49. Gr. 4-8.
Part of the “Custom Confections” series, Baking Bliss offers 13 recipes of mouthwatering, custom desserts. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are old favorites with a twist. We all know and love fudge brownies, but Baking Bliss introduces us to PB&J Cheesecake Brownies. Cake pops might be the latest craze, but this cookbook changes things up a bit with a fun, updated “Pie Pops” version. Most of the recipes are fairly straight-forward and while skill is certainly required, along with a basic knowledge of baking, even younger kids could tackle the more challenging treats with help from a willing adult. The book does a nice job of making things as simple as possible, offering tips and tricks throughout. There is even a full-spread page in the beginning of the book showing each baking tool required to master the art of custom confections.
641.86; Cooking Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary
Marx, Mandy R. Stars of Pro-Wrestling. North Mankato, Minnesota: Capstone Press, 2015. 978-1-4914-0594-9. $18.49. Gr. K-3.
As part of the “Sports Stars” series, this book includes facts and short bios on some of wrestling’s most famous champions. Large, color photographs support the easy-to-read text and will captivate young readers as they navigate through the fascinating world of pro-wrestling. Covered in this book are snapshots of Randy Orton, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, Triple H, Undertaker, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, and John Cena. There is also a glossary, an index, and a list of related resources, both print and online. Subject-specific vocabulary words and repetition make this a great choice for both early and reluctant readers.
796.812; Sports & Recreation Lisa Naylor, Concord Elementary
Sidman, Joyce. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. 978-0547906508. 32p. Gr.1-4.
A dozen wintery poems reveal the vigorous animal and plant life hidden beneath the seemingly barren winter landscape. Rich in language and scientific facts, the book focuses on nature and animal survival. It is accompanied by stunning illustrations and includes a glossary of specialized words. This magnificent collection will enchant old and young alike. It is the perfect accompaniment to or focus of a winter animal unit!
821; Poetry Robin Bartley, Davis Elementary
Davis, Kathryn Gibbs. Mr. Ferris and His Wheel. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014. 978-0-547-95922-1. 40 p. $17.99. Gr. K-3.
The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was on the way and engineer Mr. George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. was determined to design a structure that would wow the crowds even more than Mr. Eiffel’s tower did at the Paris World’s Fair in years past. His inspiration came from the water wheel that he watched turn around and around during his childhood in Nevada. He wanted to design a structure that would not only be large and impressive but would move! His design was meant to be both strong and beautiful, but many people did not believe that it would work since it was made of a new product—steel. In the end, after many obstacles, Mr. Ferris and his wheel were successful and over 1.5 million passengers rode it during the Fair’s duration. It revolved more than 10,000 times and made Ferris a household name.
Davis does a wonderful job with this book. She combines history, basic engineering principles, and human interest in one easy to read story. Secondary facts about the wheel and its construction are included on opposite pages and add extra interest and to the story. The book includes quote sources, a selected bibliography, and websites for further information. Illustrator Gilbert Ford uses mostly purple and blue tones in the illustrations which pair nicely with the story. This book would make an excellent read-aloud and will easily tie in with units on science, engineering, inventions, or famous people.
Nonfiction; 791.06 Lindsey Long, Nye & Conewago Elementary Schools
Woll, Kris. Newsmakers Series: Nelson Mandela: South African President and Civil Right Activist. Core Library: Abdo Publishing. 2015. 978162403649. 48 pages. $32.79. Ages 7-10.
This book, which is part of the Newsmakers series, provides a basic overview of Nelson Mandela’s life as the first black president of South Africa. It provides statistics of his early years, his time in prison, and the years after he was released. The timeline provided in the back of the book is a useful resource for all students.
968.06 General History of South Africa Krista Goodzinski/Mars Centennial
Bang, Molly and Penny Chisholm. Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth. New York, NY: The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic, 2014. 978-0-545-57785-4. 42 pages. $18.99. Grades 2-4.
Making a picture book about the value of energy that is both relatable enough for young readers and complex enough to demonstrate sound scientific principles is a challenge. But the team of Molly Bang, long time illustrator and children’s book whiz, with ecology professor Penny Chisholm are up for the task in this engaging latest creation in their Sunlight Series. Descriptions of the production process and value of fossil fuels to our world as well as the environmental impact and intertwined choices comes across fairly straightforward to the readers, allowing them to become part of the conversation with the sun and the earth. The authors bring a sense of scope to the story which young readers may not comprehend, but the illustrations and endnotes really fill in gaps of knowledge and provide an appreciation for the changes to our world and the power of the sunlight.
333; Environmental Science Dustin Brackbill State College Area School District