McNulty, Mark. Inside Martial Arts; Karate. Minneapolis: Abdo Publishing, 2015. 978-1-62403-603-3. $32.79. Grades 3+.
In this non-fiction guide to Karate, students will learn about the beginnings and history of Karate. They will also get detailed information about the basic moves, blocks and techniques that are a part of this sport. Full color photographs of karatekas( students of Karate) show each move. Side bars include counting in Japanese, Karate in the movies and many other interesting quick facts. The text features include a table of contents, index, captions and glossary.
Non-Fiction Donna Fernandez, Calvary Christian Academy
Brown, Calef. Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Company, 2015. 9780805099287. 138 p. $17.99. Gr 2-5.
Those poetry lovers seeking humor and variety in the quick-witted realm of Prelutsky, Hopkins, and Silverstein should enjoy reading this Calef Brown collection. Hypnotize a Tiger covers short poems on miscellaneous topics such school, nature, food, vehicles, and many mashed-up animals. My favorite part was the portmanteaus poems, taking words that intertwine together to create new creatures, similar to Scranimals by Jack Prelutsky. The blue and black illustrations and the puns and jokes along the bottom bar add delight and nonsense to this already delightful and nonsensical addition to your poetry collection.
811.5 Poetry Dustin Brackbill, Mount Nittany Elementary School
Levinson, Cynthia. Watch out for flying kids! Atlanta: Peachtree, 2015. 978-1-56145-8219. 224p. $22.95. Gr 6+.
Author Levinson conducted over 120 hours of interviews in three languages on two continents to chronicle two youth circus troupes that are bridging cultural divides, keeping kids off the streets, and possibly keeping them alive. She tells individual as well as whole circus troupe stories of both the Circus Harmony in St. Louis where city and suburban kids work together, and Circus Galilee in Israel where Arab and Jewish kids juggle and tumble together. In addition to being impressed with their feats of daring and athleticism, you will cheer for the problem solving and confidence building work that the circus troupes accomplish. The author follows both troupes for 2+ years and provides individual performers’ postscripts toward the end. This book is filled with high-quality, beautiful photography.
The small school where I teach has a 25+ year tradition of a full-fledged fourth grade circus performance each spring, complete with juggling, silks, unicycling and more. I’ve seen firsthand how learning circus skills builds confidence and self-awareness in the kids in amazing ways. As in this book, our students truly own the circus; spotting each other, readying the stage, setting up equipment and using math to figure out the audience seating capacity and configuration. This book is highly recommended for individual kids who are interested in circus arts; teachers to use in lessons about bridging cultural divides; and instructors in extracurricular programs interested in putting a youth circus together.
791 Circus Kathie Jackson, Plymouth Meeting Friends School