Elem. – Hello, World! Kids’ Guides (Series NF)

McDonald, Jill. Hello, World! Kids’ Guides. Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2022.  $15.99 ea. $63.96 set of 4. 32 p. Grades K-4.

Exploring Sharks. 978-0-593-56481-3.
Exploring the Solar System. 978-0-593-48204-9.
Exploring Dinosaurs. 978-0-593-56820-0. (available in 2023)
Exploring Insects. 978-0-593-56823-1. (available in 2023)

This nonfiction selection tours our solar system beginning with the sun. The eight major planets and the known dwarf planets are covered. Each planet has a two-page spread with fun facts, a footer indicating the location of the planet in relation to the rest of the solar system, and a sidebar with statistics. The sidebar info-panels give the size, distance, temperature, length of day and year, and number of moons for each planet, in a consistent and organized format. The text is simple but has enough interesting information to keep young readers intrigued without being overwhelmed. Each spread includes a thought-provoking discussion question. Delightful, bold, brightly colored  illustrations add to the fun on this engaging trip through the solar system.

THOUGHTS: A very well organized informational text with plenty of intriguing facts for early elementary students. Varied fonts and the whimsical illustrations give the book a fun and exciting feel. My very favorite part of each two-page planetary information spread are the discussion questions. Some questions are pensive queries about favorite things on Earth, or personal preferences for warm or cold environments. Others are STEAM related questions about cloud colors and day length. These questions have an SEL quality that will enhance scientific discussions in the classroom. 

523.2 Astronomical Objects and Astrophysics          Anne McKernan, Council Rock SD
500s Science

Elem. – The Legend of Christmas Witch

Murphy, Dan and Plaza Aubrey. The Legend of Christmas Witch. Viking Books for Young Readers, 2021. 978-0-593-35080-5. 56 p. $18.99. Grades 2-5.

It’s been a while since a new holiday folklore book hit the shelves! Santa’s twin sister, Kristtōrn, was raised by a witch in the woods. Although it may sound familiar that her magic powers grew just as proficiently as her temper, the storyline leans into fear and persecution of the “other” that existed during the Salem witch trials and occurs in other fashions in the modern day.

THOUGHTS: This story is unusual and far from traditional, but makes space for another tale to be told about the Christmas season. The book is beautifully illustrated and appeals to natural aspects. The ending leaves a lot for the reader to interpret and would be a good project book for older readers. 

Picture Book          Samantha Hull, Ephrata Area SD