Elem. – To Change A Planet

Soontornvat, Christina. To Change A Planet. Scholastic Press, 2022. 978-1-338-62861-6. 40 p. $18.99. Grades PreK-2. 

To Change A Planet is a picture book that focuses on how one person can affect the world both positively and negatively. There is minimal text, and there isn’t necessarily a story; however, the author does get their message across. The end of the book has an extensive author’s note which delves into more detail about climate change and what people can do. The illustrations have a dreamy, almost underwater type quality to them which gives them a blurry type look to them.

THOUGHTS: This is a beautifully done picture book that can be used as a great introduction to climate change or just a beautiful book to share with readers. A must own for any elementary school collection.

Picture Book            Mary McEndree, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy 

Elem. – The Shark Book

Jenkins, Steve, & Robin Page. The Shark Book. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. 33 p. 978-1-328-56949-3. $17.99. Grades K-2.

The Shark Book features information about various types of sharks, some living and some extinct, all throughout the world. The book goes into detail about the different parts of a shark, how sharks are born, what sharks eat, and much more! At the end of the book, there is a table that goes over more information about each individual shark, including their conservation status. The book also includes a bibliography as well. The illustrations are wonderfully done and add so much to the book as the reader goes through. There is enough information to entice a reader who wants to learn more about sharks, as well as enough unique information for someone who knows a lot about sharks.

THOUGHTS: This is a wonderful nonfiction book about sharks that is a great addition to any elementary school collection. 

597.3 Sharks            Mary McEndree,  Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy

Elem. – Little Narwhal, Not Alone

Stone, Tiffany. Little Narwhal, Not Alone. Greystone Kids, 2021. 978-1-77164-620-8. Unpaged. $17.95. Grades K-2. 

Little Narwhal, Not Alone follows a young narwhal as he explores his world, meets new friends, and has all of these new exciting adventures. However, he travels too far and ends up not finding any narwhals to spend time with, but he does find some beluga whales! But the belugas don’t understand him, and he can’t understand them. Over time the narwhal ends up fitting in with the belugas, and they even play together! The narwhal feels that he has found new friends to spend time with! At the end of this book there is a note from a marine biologist, stating how this book is rooted in some truth! That really adds to the book and makes the reader want to start at the beginning of the book all over again.

THOUGHTS: This is a wonderful picture book!! The illustrations add to the overall underwater feel of the story. The addition from the marine biologist at the end of the book is lovely and will make the reader want to go learn more.

Picture Book          Mary McEndree, Lehigh Valley Regional Charter Academy

Elem. – Sarah and the Big Wave: The True Story of the First Woman to Surf Mavericks

Tsui, Bonnie, and Sophie Diao, illustrator. Sarah and the Big Wave: The True Story of the First Woman to Surf Mavericks. Henry Holt and Company, 2021. 978-1-250-23948-8. unpaged. $18.99. Grades K-2.

Sarah Gerhardt grew up surfing little, medium, and big waves (her favorite!) on Oahu’s North Shore, which is famous for its huge waves, some of which top the height of a five-story building. As one of just a few girl surfers, Sarah struggled to find the right size surfboards and wetsuits; luckily, she found a circle of friends that included a surfboard shaper who made boards that were just right for her. She later moved to California, where her new home was near Mavericks, the famous big-wave surf break. With its monster waves, “Mount Everest meets Niagara Falls” was a dangerous place to surf, and no woman had ever done it … until Sarah! Illustrator Sophie Diao captures Sarah’s history-making ride, and its epic scale, in a made-for-storytime flip-up page. Throughout Sarah and the Big Wave, Diao’s digitally rendered artwork beautifully captures the ever-changing colors of the ocean and the power of its biggest waves. A timeline of milestones in the history of women and surfing complete this fantastic picture book biography.

THOUGHTS: This upbeat, inspiring true story is positively swell.

Picture Book Biography          Amy V. Pickett, Ridley SD

Elem. – Looking at Layers (Series NF)

Looking at Layers. The Child’s World, 2020. $20.00 ea. 24 p. Grades 3-6. 

London, Martha. Looking Inside Earth. 978-1-503-83518-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Looking Inside the Human Body. 978-1-503-83519-1.
—. Looking Into Caves. 978-1-503-83522-1.
—. Looking Into Soil. 978-1-503-83520-7.
London, Martha. Looking Into the Atmosphere. 978-1-503-83516-0.
—. Looking Into the Grand Canyon. 978-1-503-83517-7.
—. Looking Into the Ocean. 978-1-503-83515-3.
Huddleton, Emma. Looking Into the Rain Forest. 978-1-503-83521-4.

An attractive nonfiction series exploring various layers of natural things, from the human body to soil to the rainforest. Straightforward text clearly explains concepts with a natural projection from outward layers in. Words from the glossary are highlighted in red which is a nice feature for readers. Sidebars focus on timely topics, such as “Creating Mountains” when text discusses tectonic plates in Looking Inside Earth. Visuals are both illustrations and photographs. Looking Inside the Human Body has fascinating illustrations of many body systems that will keep little readers absorbed. Back matter includes a helpful Fast Facts section that covers main points from the text, a glossary, “To Learn More” section, and index.

THOUGHTS: Nice collection additions if nonfiction is hot.

500s-600s          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – The Ocean : Exploring Our Blue Planet

Krestovnikoff, Miranda. The Ocean: Exploring Our Blue Planet. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2020. 978-1-547-60335-0. $23.99. Grades K-3.

The Ocean is a non-fiction book that focuses on different parts of the ocean, both underwater and above water areas. Each section is broken down into different parts of the ocean. For example there is a section about coastlines, shipwrecks, the polar seas and more. Each section has beautiful illustrations that definitely give an underwater feel to the book as you read. There is a table of contents page; however, there is no index or a glossary in the book, so the reader may need something additional to help them as they read if they are using this book for research.

THOUGHTS: Overall, this is a beautifully illustrated book that gives some more information about the oceans and different animals who live in and around the ocean. This book could not be the only book someone could use for research, but it does make a nice companion as well as a great book for those students who are always interested in learning more. This book makes a nice jumping off point.

551.46 Ocean          Mary Hyson, Lehigh Valley Charter Academy

Elem. – Great Races (Series NF)

Great Races. Momentum, The Child’s World, 2020. $20.95 ea. $167.70 set of 8. 32 p. Grades 3-6.

Ford, Jeanne Marie. Race Around the World. 978-1-503-83219-0.
Havemeyer, Janie. Race to Mount Everest. 978-1-503-83223-7.
Hutchinson, Patricia. Race to Space. 978-1-503-83220-6.
Maurer, Gretchen. Race to the Bottom of the Ocean. 978-1-503-83224-4.
Perdew, Laura. Race to Discover Energy Independence. 978-1-503-83222-0.
—. Race to Renewable Energy. 978-1-503-83226-8.
Rea, Amy C. Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb. 978-1-503-83225-1.
—. Race to the Poles. 978-1-503-83221-3.

Author Amy C. Rea taps into touchstones of world history in these concise overviews. Race to the Atomic Bomb provides the highlights of the creation of the atomic bomb, starting with brief background of founding scientists and ending with a mention of the post World War II proliferation of nuclear weapons. Aimed at a young audience, the thirty-two page book traces the development of the atom bomb from the British James Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron in 1935 to Albert Einstein’s prodding Franklin Delano Roosevelt to form the Manhattan Project to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Black and white photographs of major scientists and scenes give context for young readers. The book concludes with probing critical thinking questions. Includes contents, glossary, resources, index.

THOUGHTS: Young readers who need some knowledge of these topics may benefit from this series. Though the facts are true, they just skim the surface. For example, Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atom bomb merits a few lines. Relaying the number of deaths and including Truman’s reflection on the dreadfulness of the atom bomb does not convey the impact of such devastation. This series seems directed at a younger audience who are just learning about these events.

355.8 History          Bernadette Cooke, School District of Philadelphia

Animal and Science Books for Elementary Students


Arlon, Penelope. Animal Faces. New York: Scholastic, 2015. 978-0-545-79121-2. 32p. $7.99. Gr. K-3.

This book explores the faces of many different wild animals.  Some of the areas explored in this text include senses, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and amphibians, and fish.  An index, table of contents, and reference to a digital companion book are included. Young readers will really enjoy the bright illustrations and topics covered.  Animal books are always a hit, especially with the youngest students.  The text is presented in small blurbs rather than large paragraphs which makes reading this book especially easy for K-3 level.  THOUGHTS: Hand this book to a K-3 student who loves animals and strike gold!

590 Animals     Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School



Arlon, Penelope. Really? Ocean. New York: Scholastic, 2015. 978-0-545-80650-3. 64p. $8.99. Gr. 2-5.

A  wonderful celebration of the many animals that live in the ocean, the pages of this book include brightly colored photographs and informational text about the coral reef, sharks, jellyfish, whales, and more.  An index, table of contents, and glossary are included.  Ocean creatures are not only a topic covered in many curriculums, but also a highly popular topic with K-5 students.  This book is sure to keep readers happy.  Since each page contains many blurbs and captions, this book is appropriate for reluctant readers.  THOUGHTS: This book is a wonderful addition to any elementary or children’s library in need of books about animals that live in the ocean.

591 Ocean    Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School




Lawrence, Ellen. How Do Water and Wind Change Rock: A Look at Sedimentary Rock.  Bearport Publishing, 2015. 978-1-62724-299-8. 24p.  $18.00. Gr. K-5.

This book gives readers a step-by-step explanation of how sedimentary rock forms.  Each page is filled with brightly colored photographs and small informational paragraphs.  The text includes many pages with short captions and blurbs to keep the reader interested in the topic.  Also included in this book is a sedimentary rocks chart, “Important Science Words” section, an index, bibliography, and “Learn More Online” section.  This is a topic that many students study in science and is also of interest to many young patrons.  Students will enjoy the brightly colored photographs and find this text easy to read.  THOUGHTS: This book is highly recommended for any school or children’s library in need of geology books for younger readers.

552.5 Geology   Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School



Hansen, Grace. Geology Rocks!  Mankato, MN: ABDO, 2016. 24p. $19.95 ea. Gr. K-3.

Ores. 978-1-62970-908-6.

Soils.  978-1-62970-910-9.

This series for young readers contains information about geology topics and is perfect for the youngest readers and budding scientists.  Each text Includes brightly colored photographs and small blurbs of text on each page.  Difficult words are boldfaced and can be found in the glossary to help students with their specific meanings.  An index, table of contents, and code to access Abdokids.com with related games and videos is included.  THOUGHTS:  The topics covered in this series are important to include in any children’s or elementary library.  Both teachers and students will request this series.  

553 Geology   Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School