Social and Emotional Learning (Series NF)

Krekelberg, Alyssa. Social and Emotional Learning. The Child’s World, 2021. $228.00 (set of 12), $18.95 (individual titles). Grades K-3.

Doing the Right Thing: Making Responsible Decisions. 978-1-503-84450-6.
Finding Solutions: Problem Solving.
978-1-503-84451-3.
Helping Friends and Family: Taking Care of Others.
978-1-503-84449-0.
Know Your Feelings: Recognizing Emotions.
978-1-503-84452-0.
Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict
. 978-1-503-84458-2.
No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. 978-1-503-84456-8.
Setting Boundaries: Learning about Healthy Relationships. 978-1-503-84457-5.
Stop and Think: Learning about Self-Discipline. 978-1-503-84448-3.
We Need Each Other: Being a Good Friend. 978-1-503-84447-6.
We Work Together: Learning about Teamwork. 978-1-503-84455-1.
When Things Get Tough: Overcoming Obstacles. 978-1-503-84454-4.
Worrying Too Much: Learning How to Manage Stress. 978-1-503-84453-7.

Social situations can be difficult for children; they do not have the social experiences that allow them to develop understanding of interpersonal communication and relationships. This SEL series helps children develop understanding of situations they may have encountered or will in the future. Each text is divided into chapters that begin with a vignette that explores a realistic situation and the emotions that are involved in it. Throughout the chapter, ideas on how to respond and questions for reflection are presented. The questions help children reflect on their own experiences and consider the feelings of others in the same situation.  Each text includes a glossary (words are highlighted throughout the text) and a section to learn more about the topic.

THOUGHTS: This is an excellent series for young children to explore their feelings through very realistic situations. The series includes 12 titles. This reviewer had the opportunity to two review Let’s Get Along: Resolving Conflict and No One is the Same: Appreciating Differences. Each individual chapter can be used for character education and development and could easily be divided into short 15-20 minute lessons. This series is highly recommended for all elementary schools for use in the classroom and library especially in our current environment where students are lacking SEL and interpersonal skills due to more isolation from the pandemic.

Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

MG – The Black American Journey (Series NF)

The Black American Journey. The Child’s World, 2021. $22.00 ea. $528.00 set of 24 (2021-2022 titles). 32 p. Grades 4-7.

Somervill, Barbara A. The Amistad Mutiny. 978-1-503-85370-6.
Shaffer, Jody Jensen. Barack Obama: First African American President. 978-1-503-85377-5.
Maupin, Melissa. Benjamin Banneker: Astronomer and Mathematician. 978-1-503-85378-2.
Venable, Rose. The Civil Rights Movement. 978-1-503-85369-0.
Carey, Charles W. The Emancipation Proclamation. 978-1-503-85368-3.
Dolbear, Emily J. Juneteenth. 9781503853799.
Madam C. J. Walker: Entrepreneur. 9781503853768.
Jones, Amy Robin. Mary McLeod Bethune: Pioneering Educator. 9781503853751.
Neshama, Rivvy. Nat Turner and the Virginia Slave Revolt. 9781503853720.
Meadows, James. Slavery. 9781503853744.
Laughlin, Kara L. The Tulsa Race Massacre. 9781503853713.
Williams, Carla. The Tuskegee Airmen. 9781503853737.

This reviewer read The Tuskegee Airmen from the The Black American Journey series. This series offers approachable information in a visually-appealing format relating to Black culture and the history of slavery, discrimination, and the Civil Rights Movement throughout American history. Each book in the series includes clearly-labeled sections, attractive sidebars and captions, bolded vocabulary words that are also found in the included glossary, and a variety of interesting historical photographs to accompany the text. “Think about it” questions, a timeline, and an index round out the back matter for each book. 

THOUGHTS: These titles would make great additions to collections where students will benefit from engaging text introductions to the topics in this series. Fans of military history would also enjoy this quick read about a fascinating chapter in the evolution of fighter pilot training, racial integration, and the Air Force. (Title Reviewed: The Tuskegee Airmen.)

940.54 Military History of World War II            Erin Faulkner, Cumberland Valley SD

Elem. – Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery

Hogan, Eric, and Tara Hungerford. Gumboot Kids Nature Mystery. Firefly, 2021. $19.95 ea. 32 p. Grades K-2. 

The Case of the Hanging Food Catcher. 978-0-228-10337-0.
The Case of the Shrinking Friend. 978-0-228-103350-5. 

The mice Scout and Daisy (aka the Gumboot Kids) have returned to solve more nature-related mysteries! In The Case of the Hanging Food Catcher, when Scout and Daisy meet to pick pumpkins, Scout mentions nearly walking into a hanging food catcher earlier in the day. They consult Scout’s field notebook, where he recorded clues about his encounter, which lead them to a beautiful spider web. Their findings are confirmed when they consult a book about spiders. In The Case of the Shrinking Friend, while on a winter hike, Daisy notices that the snow mouse she had built the day before had shrunk! Using Daisy’s sketchbook filled with drawings from the day prior, they set off to solve the mystery. The clues, together with knowledge they gain from a book about weather, lead them to conclude that the snow mouse is shrinking because the warmth of the sun has melted the snow. Each title concludes with a mindful moment in which Scout and Daisy pause and reflect on nature and the knowledge they have gained. Back matter includes definitions of the terms in the field notes, a fact page featuring photographs, and a related nature craft that children can complete. 

THOUGHTS: I love how this series encourages readers to solve mysteries by making observations and then consult books in the library to interpret their observations and answer their questions–what a great way to introduce the basics of the scientific research process to young readers. In addition, the series encourages readers to go out into nature, explore and engage with the world around them, and to be curious. Recommended.

500s Natural Sciences          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

MG – Inquire and Investigate (Series NF)

Inquire and Investigate. Nomad Press, 2021. $17.95 ea. $71.80 set of 4. 128 p. Grades 6-9.

Danneberg, Julie. The Science of Fashion. 978-1-64741-027-8.
Danneberg, Julie. The Science of Weather and Climate. 978-1-61930-850-3.
Taylor, Daian C. The Science of Natural Disasters. 978-1-61930-858-9.
Wood, Matthew Brendon. The Science of Science Fiction. 978-1-61930-470-3.

Science, especially STEM, is a hot topic in all educational institutions. This set of four books reveals the science behind topics such as fashion, science fiction, and natural disasters. This reviewer had the opportunity to read The Science of Fashion. Each chapter, six in total, is chock full of information, comics, experiments, photos, facts, and timelines. The author makes sure to include the science behind textiles, design, accessories, and even color. Another interesting feature in each chapter is the QR codes leading to primary sources on the topic discussed on the page. Throughout the book, the author prompts thinking and encourages the reader to work through the engineering design process. Perhaps the most interesting chapter explains how fast fashion causes damage to the environment but with science and engineering, sustainable, environment-friendly fashion is possible. Back matter includes a glossary, metric conversions, resources, and an index.

THOUGHTS: The titles in this collection would be a good purchase for a library serving upper middle grade students. These books also would serve as an instructional tool in a science, engineering, or even a consumer science classroom.

746.9 Engineering and Technology           Danielle Corrao, Manheim Central SD

Elem. – The Science of Animal Movement (Series NF)

Huddleston, Emma. The Science of Animal Movement. Abdo. 2021. Book: $21.95, Series of 6: $131.70. Grades 2-5.

How Birds Fly. 978-1-532-19292-0.
How Bugs Jump. 978-1-532-19293-7.
How Critters Climb. 978-1-532-19294-4.
How Fish Swim. 978-1-532-19295-1.
How Mammals Run. 978-1-532-19296-8.
How Snakes Slither. 978-1-532-19297-5.

The Science of Animal Movement series describes how animals are able to move depending on their body, size, and its surroundings. The Reviewer read How Birds Fly, focusing specifically on birds. How Birds Fly provides information on how the wide category of birds can move in a variety of ways. From the largest of birds, to the smallest, coast to coast and in every possible biome, birds are found and able to move differently compared to others of the same type.

THOUGHTS: This series provides great information on the science behind the movement of animals. The books come with several different information pieces, including large photographs, colorful text, links & QR codes, diagrams, charts, and more.

500s          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem./MG – Encyclopedias for Kids

Encyclopedias for Kids. Abdo. 2021. $27.95 ea. Set of 4 $111.80. Grades 4-8.

Garcia, Merriam. The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids. 978-1-532-19299-9.
—.
The Dog Encyclopedia for Kids. 978-1-532-19300-2.
Pembroke, Ethan. The Horse Encyclopedia for Kids. 978-1-532-19301-9.
—.
The Shark Encyclopedia for Kids. 978-1-532-19302-6.

The reviewer read The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids. This series of encyclopedias provides readers with information on a variety of breeds for cats, dogs, horses, or sharks. Readers will find information on the breed, history, and behaviors of the animal. Each animal title contains bright photographs expressing the breed in a variety of ways and ages in life. These encyclopedias will provide great information to a variety of well loved animals!

THOUGHTS: This encyclopedia is very well done! The information is easy to understand, pages are color coated and appealing to the eye, and the photographs are large, clear, and able to provide a lot of insight to the breed it shows!

599.75 Felines         Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Elem. – Saving Animals from the Brink (Series NF)

Cooke, Tim. Saving Animals from the Brink. Bearport. 2021. Individual Book: $19.95, Set: $119.70. Grades 3-6.

A Chemical Nightmare: Bald Eagle Comeback. 978-1-636-91045-1.
Fur-tastrophe Avoided: Southern Sea Otter Comeback. 978-1-636-91048-2.
Return to Yellowstone: Gray Wolf Comeback. 978-1-636-91046-8.
Saving the Silvertip: Grizzly Bear Comeback. 978-1-636-91047-5.
A Scary Prediction: Bison Comeback. 978-1-636-91044-4.
Struggle for Survival: Florida Panther Comeback. 978-1-636-91049-9.

The reviewer read A Chemical Nightmare: Bald Eagle Comeback. This series is presented in a graphic novel format showing animals who have made a comeback from endangerment and extinction. Author Tim Cooke writes the amazing stories of some of America’s beloved creatures and the people who helped save them from extinction. Readers are able to learn the history of these animals and people in comic-book style, as well as learn more information at the end of the book with photographs of the animal. Readers will get sucked into these tales and may grow an interest in helping save some amazing animals.

THOUGHTS: A short, but interesting read about some of America’s famous animals and the people who helped save them. The graphic novel style helps pull young readers in, utilizing a favorite format of writing.

Graphic Novel          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

YA – Strong  Healthy Girls (Series NF)

Strong  Healthy Girls. ABDO Publishing, 2021. $25.95 ea. $312.00 set of 12. 112 p. Grades 8-12.

Emily, Lauren. Dealing with Drama. 978-1-532-19215-9.
Johnson, Anne E. Being a Leader. 978-1-532-19213-5.
Myers, Carrie. Coping with Stress and Pressure. 978-1-532-19214-2.
Allen, Rebecca J. Earning an Income. 978-1-532-19216-6.
Morrow, Kate. Finding your Identity. 978-1-532-19217-3.
Rowell, Rebecxa. Handling Family Challenges.   978-1-532-19218-0.
Huddleston, Emma. Healthy Friendships. 978-1-532-19219-7.
Burling, Alexis. Healthy Romantic Relationships. 978-1-532-19220-3.
Huddleston, Emma. Nutrition and Exercise. 978-1-532-19221-0.
Berg, Shannon. Surviving and Thriving at school.  978-1-532-19222-7 .
Ford, Jeanne Marie. Understanding Reproductive Health. 978-1-532-19223-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Using Social Media Responsibly. 978-1-532-19224-1.

The Strong Healthy Girls reference set focuses on positivity and wellness for a YA audience. Written in a conversational style, this set presents issues girls may find themselves facing during their teen years. Dealing with Drama focuses on navigating difficult relationships with peers and family. Realistic scenarios involving bullying, teasing, and other personal conflicts are described, and readers are presented with questions to consider about these difficult situations. Then an expert weighs in with effective strategies for handling these problems. Includes a glossary, a list of additional resources, and an index.

THOUGHTS: A solid resource for self help and mental health for young adults.

300s/600s          Nancy Summers, Abington SD

Elem. – Eureka! The Biography of an Idea (Series NF)

Eureka! The Biography of an Idea. Kane Press, 2021. $17.99 ea.  32 p. Grades PK-3.

Driscoll, Laura. Camera. Illustrated by Hector Borlasca. 978-1-635-92428-2.
Haskins, Lori Houran. Bicycle. Illustrated by Aaron Cushley. 978-1-635-92394-0.
—.  Glasses. Illustrated by John Joven. 978-1-63592-424-4.
Zoehfeld, Kathleen Widener. Lightbulb. Illustrated by Stephanie Dehennin. 978-1-635-92395-7.

Camera is a colorfully illustrated history of the development of the camera from the first observations of a natural phenomenon up to the invention and use of lenses, special papers, and chemicals to create a photographic image. Technical facts clearly are explained in simple language for an elementary audience. Includes two pages of quick facts and some helpful tips for taking better photos.

THOUGHTS: This series provides an engaging introduction for early elementary students into the development of many of our popular inventions or technologies.

771.3 Cameras & Accessories          Nancy Summers, Abington SD

Elem. – Picture Book Science

Perdew, Laura. Picture Book Science. Nomad Press, 2021. $8.96 ea. $116.48 set of 13. 29 p. K-3.

The Earth: One-of-a-Kind Planet. 978-1-619-30984-5.
The Moon: Small-but-Mighty Neighbor. 978-1-619-30988-3.
The Stars: A Gazillion Suns. 978-1-619-30988-3.
The Sun: Shining Star of the Solar System. 978-1-619-30992-0.

Endearing alien narrators tell the story of the sun, moon, Earth, and stars. The narrators discuss how they were all formed and how they are all related. Hands-on activities and glossaries are included in the end matter of each book, giving readers even more opportunities for learning. These informative, easy-to-follow narratives of our solar system are a solid addition to any elementary science collection.

THOUGHTS: I personally received and reviewed The Moon: Small-but-Mighty Neighbor, but there are actually four new releases in the Picture Book Science series (listed above). Additionally, there are 9 other previously published books in the series on topics such as energy, animal adaptations, and more. I especially like how these books bring scientific topics down to a level easily understood by elementary schoolers, and I appreciate the extension activities included in the books.

523 Solar System          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member