Elem. – How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye?

Yolen, Jane and Mark Teague. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye? Scholastic Press, 2021. 978-1-338-36335-7. 40 p. $17.99. PreK-2.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye is the latest book in the How Do Dinosaurs companion series, and it has all the laughter and lessons of the other books in the series. This one shows how dinosaurs react to either their loved ones leaving, or when they have to leave to go somewhere. It shows how the dinosaurs face their fears of goodbyes and are able to tell the adults in their life how they feel.

THOUGHTS: A great addition to the How Do Dinosaurs series. The illustrations are really well done throughout the book and give the reader a lot to look at while reading. 

Picture Book          Mary McEndree, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy

Elem. – Fascinating Facts (Series NF)

Fascinating Facts. The Child’s World, 2021. $19.95 ea. $239.40 set of 12. 24 p. Grades 2-5. 

Kruesi, Liz. Inventions. 978-1503844698.
—. Space. 978-1503844636.
Lassieur, Allison. Natural Disasters. 978-1503844681.
—. Scary Stuff. 978-1503844704.
Pearson, Marie. Dogs. 978-1503844629.
Peterson, Sheryl. U.S. Presidents. 978-1503844599.
Smibert, Angie. Engineering. 978-1503844612.
—. Math. 978-1503844643.
York, M.J. Dinosaurs. 978-11503844667.
. Earth. 978-1503844650.
—. History. 978-1503844605.
—. Human Body. 978-1503844674.

Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt had a photographic memory? Or that Chester Arthur was a clotheshorse who owned 80 pairs of shoes? These are just some of the presidential tidbits shared in the U.S. Presidents volume of the Fascinating Facts series. Each volume explores unusual and unique facts and stories on a given subject. Facts are grouped together by chapter (for example, the U.S. Presidents book chapters included “Life in the White House,” “First Families,” and “Strange but True Tales.”) The text is accompanied by numerous sidebars as well as photos on each page. A glossary as well as links to web resources are also included.

THOUGHTS: Perfect for aficionados of fact-style books, this series is a worthwhile additional purchase for elementary collections.

363.34-973.09 Science, Math, Animals, History          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD  

The world is a mysterious place, filled with lots of unique and bizarre stories! This series focuses on some of the most odd stories of the world, including stories about the human body, space, natural disasters, and scary stuff. The Reviewer read Natural Disasters and Scary Stuff. Natural Disasters showcases some of the most iconic types of natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanoes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Each section of this book describes what the natural disaster is, in addition to presenting unique stories about each. Scary Stuff displays some of the most iconic scary items found throughout the world, such as vampires and werewolves! Scary Stuff shares some legends of these scary items, in addition to ways to prevent and/or save yourself from the monsters that go bump in the night.

THOUGHTS: This series is very well done. It includes a lot of information that is presented with colorful visuals and pictures, both photographs and illustrations.

363.34-973.09                    Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – Theo Thesaurus: The Dinosaur Who Loved Big Words

Johannes, Shelli R. Theo Thesaurus: The Dinosaur Who Loved Big Words. Illustrated by Mike Moran. Philomel Books, 2021. Unpaged. 978-0-593-20551-8 $17.99 Grades K-2.

Theo and his parents are migrating, and his parents are excited, but Theo is worried about joining a new class where no one knows him. He and his parents are a special species of dinosaurs called Thesauruses–self-described ‘logo maniacs’ or word-lovers. Sure enough, Theo’s big words create a barrier between him and his new classmates. He tries to be friendly.  “Salutations!” he greets them; ‘Could you lead me to the athenaeum (library)?” in class; “Care for a crudite (raw snack)?” at lunch; “want to play conceal and search (hide and seek)?” at recess. Everything leads to misconceptions and confusion.  He keeps trying, even inviting them: “I request your attendance to celebrate the anniversary of my hatching.” When the birthday party arrives, but no friends do, Theo tries several words to describe his emotions but discovers he is speechless.  Then the doorbell rings and his classmates arrive, shouting, “Salutations!” Theo and his parents are equally excited to party with his new friends.

THOUGHTS: This is a cute concept, but the words used require explaining to K-2 readers for them to fully understand the humor. Also, Theo’s parents want to be helpful (but seem to miss the mark), while it is unclear what changes the minds of Theo’s classmates. A glossary of Theo’s “thesaurus” style words is included. Supplemental purchase.

Picture Book          Melissa Scott, Shenango Area SD

Elem. – Never Show a T.Rex a Book

Sirdeshpande, Rashmi. Never Show a T.Rex a Book. 1st American ed., Kane Miller, 2021. 978-1-684-64159-8. Unpaged. $12.99. Grades K-3.

A young girl finds that chaos ensues when she teaches her dinosaur how to read. Written in the same style as Laura Numeroff’s If You Give… series, this imaginative book portrays countless if/then scenarios that will delight young readers–and maybe even encourage them to envision some scenarios of their own. A heartwarming tale about the transformative magic of reading, kids will be begging to re-read this book over and over again.

THOUGHTS: The illustrations in this book are gorgeous, and I love that they portray a multicultural cast of characters. I should note that because this was originally published in England, there are a few pages that may require some clarification for young children; for instance, one page states that the newly educated dinosaur might just become the prime minister. Fans of Laura Numeroff will adore this book, as will dinosaur lovers and avid readers.

Picture Book          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – Dinosaurs Roar & Sea Creatures Swim

Jenkins, Steve. Dinosaurs Roar. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 978-0-358-04055-2. Unpaged. $8.99. Grades PreK-K.

Jenkins, Steve. Sea Creatures Swim. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 978-0-358-04056-9. Unpaged. $8.99. Grades PreK-K.

In these informational board books, Caldecott-Honor awardee Steve Jenkins introduces young readers to various dinosaurs and sea creatures. Each two-page spread includes beautiful, bright cut-paper illustrations with one sentence about the animals in the illustration.  Readers then open the flap to a three-tile full illustration and fact about the featured animal. In Dinosaurs Roar, he highlights lesser known dinosaurs like Titanosaurus and Spinosaurus. In Sea Creatures Swim, he looks at movement of the animals and why they do certain things like surface for air or jump from water. Each book also features a cut top associated with the subject; Dinosaurs Roar has a jagged edge like a dinosaur bit the book, and Sea Creatures Swim has a rolling top like waves in the ocean.

THOUGHTS:  These board books for toddlers and preschoolers are beautifully illustrated and the design encourages interaction with the book.

Board Book          Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD
Animals, Dinosaurs

Elem. – We Will Rock Our Classmates

THOUGHTS: This followup to We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is sure to be loved by fans of Higgins’ work, and children will delight with the humorous story. A must have for elementary collections, social emotional learning lessons, or read alouds. You’ll have difficulty reading this one without giggling yourself!

Picture Book          Maryalice Bond, South Middleton SD

 

Elem. – The Girl and the Dinosaur

Hughes, Hollie. The Girl and the Dinosaur. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2020. 978-1-547-60322-0. 32 p. $17.99. Grades K-3.

In a town by the sea, Marianne spends her days digging for dinosaurs on the sandy beach. Nearby fisherfolk worry that the solitary girl should try to find friends instead of bones. But Marianne’s persistence pays off when bone by bone, she assembles a skeleton she dubs ‘Bony.’ As evening falls, Marianne leaves Bony on the beach, promising to return the next day. Before falling asleep, she wishes for the bones to come to life, and under the bright stars, her wish comes true. A longneck dinosaur flies through the sky, picks up Marianne, and she rides on its back as they begin an evening of adventures. From swimming in the ocean to visiting an enchanted forest filled with fairies, unicorns, and giants, it’s definitely a night to remember. Finally, the pair ascend a tall mountain and rise into the clouds, visiting an island populated by other children and their dinosaur friends. Readers will be enchanted by this world filled with gentle dinosaurs and other magical creatures. Watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations in muted tones perfectly mirror the imagination and fantasy of the rhyming text.

THOUGHTS: This fanciful  story will be popular with dinosaur lovers, particularly girls. Marianne is a confident and imaginative protagonist who is up for any adventure the evening has in store.

Picture Book          Anne Bozievich, Southern York County SD

Tags: Picture book. Dinosaur fiction. Friendship. Stories in rhyme.

Picture Books – The Road Home; Smoot; T. Veg; Windows

Cotton, Katie.   The Road Home.  Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2017. 9781419723742. Unpaged. $15.95. Gr. K-2.

In this poetic and comforting tale, animals prepare for winter.  Each pair of animals has a goal in mind. The mouse builds a nest underground, and the bird and her chick fly off to a warmer climate.   On their journey, the rabbit and her kit find themselves in an alarming situation. They are being pursued by a wolf and cub who feel hunger or that “burning thing that settles like a stone.”  The author describes the rabbits’ fear as they try to outrun their predator. The reader is reassured to see that the pair have escaped the hungry wolves and have found safety in their leafy home as night falls. As spring arrives, all the animals return to the meadow, having survived the harsh winter. The illustrator Sarah Jacoby has chosen watercolors in a soft and muted color palette, which helps set the mood of the story.  Her engaging drawings take us through the seasons, as the tale begins in late summer and ends in spring. Most of the illustrations are full bleed and are done over a two-page spread. In the drawing of the fall leaves being blown about, one can almost feel and hear the wind. The winter landscape looks bleak and cold, with a blanket of snow topped by thorny bushes. The message here is that whenever parent and child are together, that place is home, no matter how difficult the road was to get there.  THOUGHTS: This lyrical story works well in winter-themed storytimes and would make a wonderful bedtime story.  Children will enjoy looking at the sweet drawings of the animals. A worthy selection for elementary collections.

Picture Book            Denise Medwick, West Allegheny SD

 

Cuevas, Michelle and Sydney Smith. Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow. Dial Books. 2017. 978-0-525-42969-2. $17.99. Unpaged. Gr. K-2.

A shadow’s job is typically to obediently follow you around, but “if life is a book, then Smoot the Shadow has been reading the same yawn-colored page for the last seven and a half years.” One day, Smoot has the chance to live out his dreams and wishes when he comes unstuck from his boy. As Smoot continues his journey, other shadows find courage and try their own fantasies. Smoot worries that this could get out of hand, so the rebellious shadow takes matters into his own shadowy hand, all within the curious eye of his boy. Will they find a connection? Sydney Smith’s gentle wwatercolorswith inky shadows make for an interesting contrast, and Michelle Cuevas keeps her text lyrical and well paced. The shadow of Smoot may just encourage more dreaming and action for other children who are stuck in a rut.  THOUGHTS: Smoot would make for a fun twist for science lessons or the old groundhog stories that primary teachers use every year.

Picture Book     Dustin Brackbill, State College Area SD

 

Prasadam-Halls, Smriti. T. Veg. Abrams Books, 2017. 978-1-4197-2494-7.  $16.95. Unpaged. Gr. K-2.

Poor Reginald the T. Rex just doesn’t fit in with his jungle friends. He is great at roaring and stomping, but come dinner time, he opts for carrot cake over steak. He attempts to convince his family and friends to try grapes, greens, avocado pie and smoothies, but they insist that a T. Rex should just eat meat, meat, meat. Eventually, the poor little dino, tired of being teased and tormented, packs his bag and runs away, looking to hang out with like-minded herbivores instead. But that proves to be challenging for a variety of reasons, leaving Reg frustrated and alone. However, his friends and family are missing him, too, and when Reg saves the clan from disaster, they finally appreciate the benefits of eating their fruits and veggies. The story is related in rollicking rhyme, and the palate of the  bold illustrations bring to mind carrots, peas and eggplant. THOUGHTS: A cute book to underscore the freedom to be different, or to encourage healthy eating.   

Picture Book     Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD

 

Denos, Julia. Windows. Candlewick, 2017. 978-0-7636-9035-9. $15.99. Unpaged. PreK – 1.

Evening begins to fall and a young boy heads out into his neighborhood, taking his small dog for a walk. As the pair amble past homes and businesses, the boy notices the variety of activities taking place in the windows, eventually returning home to a familiar, welcoming warmth. The detailed illustrations will invite children to closely examine each page and each window to see what is happening.  THOUGHTS: Beautifully illustrated, this is a lovely book for one-on-one reading.  

Picture Book     Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District

Picture Books – No Honking Allowed!; That’s My Book; The Thank You Dish; Robinson

Calmenson, Stephanie. No Honking Allowed! Holiday House, 2017. 978-0-8234-3672-9. $16.95. Unpaged. Gr. K-2.
Friends (and dinosaurs) Rex and Stego go on a driving adventure in Rex’s car in this rhyming tale from Stephanie Calmenson. Rex is very excited about his car and wants to demonstrate his favorite features: the engine (“vroom”), the brakes (“screech”), and his favorite feature on the vehicle: the horn (“honk!”). In fact, everywhere he goes in the city, Rex wants to honk the horn. But before he can stark honking, Stego points out to him the “No Honking. Except for Safety.” signs posted throughout the city. When a fire truck needs to get through the crowded street, Stego finally gives Rex permission to honk the horn, which Rex does with enthusiasm. But after the fire truck passes, Rex must try to regain control over his urge to honk. THOUGHTS: Sure to be popular with readers, this humorous, rhyming story would be a perfect read-aloud choice. Recommended for schools and classrooms serving younger readers.
Picture Book      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

 

Yoon, Salina. That’s My Book! And Other Stories. Bloomsbury, 2017. 978-1-611963-891-4. Upaged. $9.99. Gr. K-2.

Salina Yoon returns with three new stories in the newest installment of Duck, Duck, Porcupine!.  In “That’s My Book!”, Porcupine and Big Duck are bored.  They ask Little Duck to borrow his books, but instead of reading them, they play dominos, “walk fancy”, and make a stage out of books.  This bothers Little Duck, so he takes his books back.  When Porcupine and Big Duck find a left-behind book, they open it and learn that reading is fun.  Story two, “Let’s Have a Talent Show!”, showcases that everyone has talents even when they don’t know it.  Big Duck wants to have a talent show, but Porcupine doesn’t seem to have any talents.  He soon realizes, as do the others, that he too has talents they are just different from Big Duck’s talents.  In the final story, “Dress-Like-A-Pirate Day”, Porcupine gives Little Duck an eye patch for Dress-Like-A- Pirate Day, but Big Duck doesn’t know it’s that day, so he’s worried that something is wrong with Little Duck because he’s wearing an eye patch and will only say, “Arr!”  He misses all of the signs as he tries to figure out what’s wrong with Little Duck.  THOUGHTS:  All three stories are fun read alouds with elementary students.  Each story has a great theme/moral that can lead to great character and kindness discussions.  This is a great addition to elementary libraries and classrooms.

Picture Book       Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

 

Balla, Trace. The Thank You Dish. Kane Miller, 2017. 978-1-61067-644-1. Unpaged. $9.99. Gr. K-2.

The Thank You Dish highlights all of the people and things necessary for one meal.  As Grace and her mama sit down to dinner, Mama starts by thanking rain, soil, and the sun for helping with the meal.  Grace then begins to add in all of the other animals, people, and things that helped create the meal on her plate.  Each page spread uses muted yellows, oranges, and greens and highlights the image of Grace’s thank you.  THOUGHTS:  Although not a must-have, this is a nice concept book about what it takes to create a meal and also how to show gratitude for what one has.  It would be good to read around Thanksgiving or with a kindergarten class learning about kindness.

Picture Book     Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

 

Sís, Peter. Robinson. Scholastic Press, 2017. 978-0-545-73166-9. 32 pp. $17.99. Gr. Pre-K-2.

A little boy who loves to play pirates with his friends is excited for a Halloween contest at school. His mom suggests he be the character from his favorite book, Robinson Crusoe, and he creates an elaborate costume. The boy is excited, until he gets to school and his friends laugh at him for wearing something so unusual. Upset, the boy goes home to bed and dreams of sailing to an island and living like Crusoe. In the end his friends come over to apologize and learn more about the boy’s favorite book.  THOUGHTS: An adventurous read about acceptance and being ok with one’s self. The drawings are typical of Peter Sís, beautiful and soft.

Picture Book          Emily Woodward, The Baldwin School

 

 

 

MS/YA Series NF – EL Info Age; Deadliest Spiders; Drug Dangers

essentiallibrary

Essential Library of the Information Age. Minneapolis: ABDO, 2017. $24.95ea. $149.70 set of 6. 112p. Gr. 8-12.

Eboch, M.M. Big Data and Privacy Rights. 978-1-68078-282-0.

Higgins, Melissa and Michael Regan. Net Neutrality. 978-1-68078-286-8.

Laine, Carolee. Book Banning and Other Forms of Censorship. 978-1-68078-283-7 .

Laine, Carolee. Content Ownership and Copyright. 978-1-68078-284-4.

Perdew, Laura. Information Literacy in the Digital Age. 978-1-68078-285-1.

Perdew, Laura. Online Identity. 978-1-68078-287-5.

The Essential Library of the Information Age examines the sometimes contentious and controversial issues that are present in today’s digital world. As the internet and digital world has evolved and changed, so too have the ways individuals deal with issues such as privacy, identity, censorship, copyright, access to information, and content ownership. Each volume of this series investigates one of these controversial topics in-depth. Each book includes an overview of the topic under discussion, presented in terms understood by laypeople. Also included is historical background information on the topic. Controversies surrounding each topic are fully discussed, with equal weight given to both sides of the issue. Numerous real-life examples are presented within the text and also included in sidebars. Other sidebars serve to define and further explain  information concepts.  THOUGHTS: This series does an admirable job of presenting what can be difficult to understand topics (net neutrality, for example) in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. Illustrative examples of issues are relevant to to the topics being discussed and further enhance understanding. Recommend for purchase in schools where research/projects warrant.   

Technology      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg HS/MS

 

deadliest

Deadliest Predators. San Diego: Reference Point Press, 2016. $29.95 ea. $179.70 set. 80 pp. Gr. 5 and up.

Abramovitz, Melissa. Deadliest Sharks. 978-68282- 0544.

Altman, Toney. Deadliest Mammals. 978-168282- 00506.

Hirschmann, Kris. Deadliest Reptiles. 978-168282- 0520.

Hirschmann, Kris. Deadliest Snakes. 978-68282- 0568.

Hirschmann, Kris. Deadliest Spiders. 978-68282- 0582.

Nardo, Don. Deadliest Dinosaurs. 978-168282- 0483.

These titles aim to give details on the “deadliest” animals of their type. In Deadly Dinosaurs, this task is done by offering six chapters, each devoted to a different predator: T. Rex (which likely lumbered like an elephant), Carcharodontosaurus (whose first discovered bones were destroyed by a WWII bomb hitting Munich), Spinosaurus (whose bony spinal “sail” could have been used to intimidate predators), Troodon (which appears to have been the smartest of all dinosaurs), Sonorithosaurus (which had feathers and wings—for gliding not flying), and Predator X (the seas’ top predator). Predator X was huge and “had teeth that would have made a T. rex whimper” (60). Not for arachnophobes, Deadliest Spiders provides a detailed view of the world’s spiders to avoid. Photos and illustrations are kept to one per two-page spread, leaving ample room for more detail and color. Six spiders are covered in ten pages each: the Black Widow Spider (and its well-known red marking), the Brazilian Wandering Spider (which wins the title of world’s most venomous spider), the Chilean Recluse (whose venom works to liquefy its victims’ internal organs), Sydney Full-Web Spider (whose nocturnal and underground habits fortunately limit its encounters with humans), the Eastern Mouse Spider (native to Australia), and the Indian Ornamental Tarantula (due to their beautiful markings and calm nature, these are popular as pets). Each spider’s physical characteristics, homeland and hunting patterns are discussed, followed by descriptions of the effects of its venom and a caution to steer clear or proceed cautiously with any spider. Nardo closes with useful source notes, glossary, further research list, and index.  THOUGHTS: A descriptive series that will attract readers for its topics and its content.

500s Animals; Dinosaurs        Melissa Scott, Shenango High School

drugdangers

Drug Dangers. San Diego: Reference Point Press, 2016. $29.95 ea. $239.60 set. 80 pp. Gr. 5 and up.

Allen, John. The Dangers of Heroin. 978-168282- 0186.

MacKay, Jenny. The Dangers of Hallucinogens. 978-168282- 0162 .

Marcovitz, Hal. The Dangers of Methamphetamine. 978-168282- 0223.

Mooney, Carla. The Dangers of Marijuana. 978-168282- 0209.

Mooney, Carla. The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs. 978-168282- 0261.

Parks, Peggy J. The Dangers of Alcohol. 978-168282- 00124.

Parks, Peggy J. The Dangers of E-Cigarettes. 978-168282- 0148.

Parks, Peggy J. The Dangers of Painkillers. 978-168282- 0247.

Both The Dangers of Hallucinogens and The Dangers of Painkillers are structured with five chapters which cover the scope of the problem, the drug’s effects, how addictive the drug is, treatment options, and prevention of drug abuse. The format is inviting, with photographs, graphs, or sidebars added to enhance the material. The limits of the law are considered, as are challenges to the law, and difficulties that medical professionals regularly see. It is noted that teenage athletes are at risk for painkiller abuse due to injuries for which doctors prescribe painkillers. The “street names of hallucinogens” is a helpful sidebar.  THOUGHTS: Overall, this a solid series that updates readers with current situations.

362.29 Drugs and Alcohol      Melissa Scott, Shenango High