Elem. – Riddle Fun (Series NF)

Huddleston, Emma. Riddle Fun. Child’s World, 2022. $21.95 ea. $175.60 set of 8. 24 p. Grades K-3.

Alphabet Riddles. 978-1-503-84989-1.
Animal Riddles.  978-1-503-84984-6.
Dinosaur Riddles. 978-1-503-84987-7.
Earth Riddles. 978-1-503-84990-7.
Invention Riddles. 978-1-503-84985-3.
Math Riddles. 978-1-503-84988-4.
Space Riddles. 978-1-503-84983-9.
Weather Riddles. 978-1-503-84986-0.

What is a more entertaining way to learn about a subject than through riddles? This eye catching set, aimed at the primary grades, is a worthwhile addition to the elementary school riddle collection. Space Riddles and Math Riddles both contained ten riddles based on their topic, and introduced vocabulary and concepts along with giggles. The graphic design, utilizing bold colors, large fonts, and attractive photographs, will engage young readers, who may not notice the books are organized like reference material, including a glossary along with websites and book suggestions to learn more about the topic. These books also would make a handy teaching tool, providing the instructor with riddles to insert into the lesson. Joke and riddle books always are popular in elementary school, and this set will enhance an easy fiction collection. 

THOUGHTS: This visually appealing set of riddles is perfect for emerging readers. A fine secondary purchase for libraries serving young patrons.

793.7 Riddles          Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD

Elem. – What Was the Turning Point of the Civil War?

Crenshaw, Ellen T. What Was the Turning Point of the Civil War? Penguin, 2022. 978-0-593-22516-5. 64 p. $7.99. Grades 3-7.

This graphic novel, part of the “Who HQ” series, tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of Alfred Waud. A newspaper artist assigned to cover the Army of the Potomac, Waud traveled with the troops to Gettysburg and witnessed the three days of brutal battle that turned the tide of war in favor of the Union. The expressive illustrations are interspersed with pages of additional information that highlight lesser known facts and individuals, such as Thomas Morris Chester, a Black lawyer from Harrisburg, PA, who was a militia captain as well as a correspondent covering Black troops in the war. A text introduction sets the scene for young readers, and a conclusion rounds out the brief story. Also included are a timeline of the Civil War and, delightfully, a bibliography. The book is an excellent addition to the field of books such as the Who Was series (published by a subsidiary of Penguin). Young inquiring minds will gravitate to the graphic novel format, and the editorial choice to feature unique, little known individuals is appreciated. The publisher’s website provides additional activities and worksheets. 

THOUGHTS: A highly attractive, entertaining, non-fiction graphic novel with an unusual focus should attract interested readers. 

Graphic Novel            Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor SD
793.7 Civil War

Elem. – Pets of Presidents (Series NF)

Hansen, Grace. Pets of Presidents. Abdo Kids, 2022. $21.95 ea. $131.70 set of 6. 24 p. Grades K-2. 

Birds of Presidents. 978-1-098-20923-0.
Cats of Presidents. 978-1-098-20924-7.
Dogs of Presidents. 978-1-098-20925-4.
Farm Pest of Presidents. 978-1-098-20926-1.
Horses of Presidents. 978-1-098-20927-9.
Unusual Pets of Presidents. 978-1-098-20928-5.

This series focuses on a unique part of presidential history – the pets of presidents and their families. Each two page spread features age appropriate text identifying the president and the pet(s) owned by their family. A historical image of the president (or family) is accompanied by a contemporary photo of the pet species they owned. This reviewer had an opportunity to read Birds of Presidents. While the overall book was very informative, the spread featuring the Teddy Roosevelt family and their macaw had text that simply mentioned “The Roosevelts” and a photo showing Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. with the macaw. It would have been clearer to the reader had the text indicated that “The Roosevelts” referred specifically to the Theodore Roosevelt family (since, after all, two Roosevelts have occupied the Oval Office). Each volume also features a picture glossary and a link to additional online resources. 

THOUGHTS: An interesting angle on presidential history that will appeal to both animal fans and history fans, this series is a worthwhile additional purchase for libraries looking to add to their presidential collections. 

973 American History          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem. – Travel Bucket Lists (Series NF)

Travel Bucket Lists. Core Library, 2022. $24.95 ea. $149.70 set of 6. 48 p. Grades 3-6. 

Huddleston, Emma. Animal Encounter Bucket List. 978-1-532-19522-8.
Huddleston, Emma. Historical Site Bucket List. 978-1-532-19524-2.
Huddleston, Emma. Outdoor Expedition Bucket List.  978-1-532-19526-6.
Kortemeier, Todd. Sports Venue Bucket List. 978-1-532-19527-3.
London, Martha. Archaeological Site Bucket List.  978-1-532-19523-5.
London, Martha. Natural Wonder Bucket List. 978-1-532-19525-9.

Just like animals, the places one can encounter them come in all shapes and sizes. Animal Encounter Bucket List features some of the most famous places in the world where people can visit and learn about animals. There are sanctuaries that seek to rehabilitate animals. Boon Lott’s Elephant’s Sanctuary in Thailand helps animals harmed by the country’s tourism. Zoos are also another way to encounter animals, the oldest being Vienna Zoo in Austria.The best zoos to visit are ones that are accredited with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Natural Parks like the Everglades and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are worth visiting to see not only animals but the entire habitat in which they live. For those wanting to stay a bit closer to home, camping, hiking, bird-watching, and water activities give people the chance to see animals up close right in their own backyards.

THOUGHTS: This book is easy to read with bright photographs. Some pages include special features like Perspectives and Further Evidence; however, there are not so many of these features that they distract from the text. The entire series is aligned to Common Core Standards and matched to state standards.

590.72 Animals           Danielle Corrao, Manheim Central SD

Elem. – Animals with Armor

Murray, Julie. Animals with Armor. Abdo Kids, 2022. $21.95 ea. $131.70 set of 6. 24 p. Grades K-3. 

Armadillos. 978-1-098-22657-2.
Beetles. 978-1-098-22658-9.
Crabs. 978-1-098-22659-6.
Porcupines. 978-1-098-22660-2.
Rhinoceros. 978-1-098-22661-9.
Tortoises. 978-1-098-22662-6.

Many animals have developed adaptations to help protect them from predators and other enemies. The Animals with Armor series takes a look at some animals with armor related protection. In addition to learning about each animal’s unique armor, readers will learn about the animal’s habitat, food sources, size and other interesting facts. This reviewer had the opportunity to read Porcupines. The volume featured numerous facts as well as numerous photographs, including several close-up views of fearsome porcupine quills. Each volume also features additional facts, a glossary, and a website link where readers can find quality websites on the animal. 

THOUGHTS: This engaging series is sure to be a hit with young readers who are animal fans. The text is simple, yet informative and the high-quality photos allow readers to get a close up look at some armor (like porcupine quills) that they may not personally have the opportunity to view in the wild. A worthwhile purchase for schools looking to add to their animal collections.

590s Animals                Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem. – Science Questions (Series NF)

Andrews, Elizabeth. Science Questions (Set 2). Abdo Kids, 2022. $21.95 ea. $131.70 set of 6. 24 p. Gr. K-3. 

How Do Fish Breathe? 978-1-098-24107-0.
How Do Puppies Get Their Colors? 978-1-098-24108-7.
How Does a Body Heal? 978-1-098-24109-4.
How Does Plumbing Work? 978-1-098-24110-0.
Why Do Volcanoes Erupt? 978-1-098-24111-7.
Why Does a Boat Float? 978-1-098-24112-4.

The Science Questions series from Abdo Publishing is back with another six volumes answering common student questions regarding science. Each volume examines a science-related question, explaining the answer using age-appropriate language and terminology. This reviewer had the opportunity to examine How Do Fish Breathe?, a question that many children undoubtedly have wondered when watching fish in a tank or in the wild. The volume explains how oxygen is present in water and how fish use their gills to help distribute oxygen throughout their bodies. The volume closes with a brief chapter mentioning how climate change is causing falling oxygen levels in the ocean. Each volume features numerous high quality photographs, diagrams, a glossary, and making connections questions. In addition, a QR code is present where readers can access online resources such as videos, links, and activities (word search, coloring page, etc.). 

THOUGHTS: Children naturally are curious and questioning–this series is a great option to hand students with science related interests or questions. The series (and the online supplemental material) also would be useful in elementary classroom science lessons. Recommended. 

500s Science                Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem. – Antarctic Animals (Series NF)

Hansern, Grace. Antarctic Animals series. Abdo Kids, 2022. $22.95 ea. or $137.70 for set of 6. Grades K-3.

Adélie Penguin. 978-1-098-20937-7.
Antarctic Shag. 978-1-098-20938-4.
Gentoo Penguin. 978-1-098-20939-1.
Leopard Seal. 978-1-098-20940-7.
Southern Minke Whale. 978-1-098-20941-4.
Wandering Albatross. 978-1-098-20942-1.

The Antarctic Animal series features some of the most impressive animals on Earth: those that can survive the freezing cold Antarctica. This series spotlights some amazing animals and the characteristics that make them unique. This reviewer read the Antarctic Shag book which features information about Antarctica, then focuses specifically on the Antarctic Shag, a bird that is the only one of its species to live in Antarctica. The book informs readers about diet, size, shape, coloring, babies, and other interesting features of this bird.

THOUGHTS: This series is a great starter to learning about several different animals that live in Antarctica. Full photographic illustrations, large words, and additional information located in the back of the book make this series a great nonfiction series for younger readers.

598 Birds          Rachel Burkhouse, Otto-Eldred SD

Tags:  Animals, Antarctica, Science, Technology

Elem. – Traditions Around the World (Series NF)

Traditions Around the World.  The Child’s World, 2022.  $30.79 ea. Set of 8. 32 p. Grades K-3.

Axelrod-Contrada, Joan. Halloween and Day of the Dead Traditions. 978-1-503-85016-3.
Cosson, M.J.  Easter Traditions. 978-1-503-85015-6.
—. Wishing Traditions. 978-1-503-85014-9.
Ingalls, Ann.  Birthday Traditions. 978-1-503-85011-8.
—. Christmas Traditions. 978-1-503-85012-5.
Kesserling, Susan. National Day Traditions. 978-1-503-85017-0.
Malaspina, Anna. New Year Traditions. 978-1-503-85018-7.
—. Tooth Traditions. 978-1-503-85013-2.

Each volume of this collection discusses various holidays, celebrations, or traditions in a variety of countries. These include Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Halloween, New Year, National holidays, and customs regarding tooth loss and wishing.  The text is formatted in typical nonfiction style and includes a table of contents, glossary, index, and suggested supplemental reading. What makes this series interesting is that the author has included at least one country from every inhabited continent. In Christmas Traditions, there are pages for Uganda, Chile, and India. In Birthday Traditions, one can learn about customs in Australia, Ghana, and Korea. At the bottom of each country’s page, a world map highlights the featured nation in red. The texts give some general background about the featured subject on the first few pages. The author includes either a craft or recipe as well as a song in the back matter. There are colorful photographs or illustrations on each two page spread. 

THOUGHTS: Although the set is a bit pricey, it is a good choice for those libraries needing updated diverse materials on holidays and traditions. This set is also useful for demonstrating nonfiction text features. Also available in digital format.  The volumes about Christmas Traditions and Birthday Traditions were used for this review.

394 General Customs          Denise Medwick, Retired, PSLA Member

Elem. – First Responders on the Scene (Series NF)

First Responders on the Scene. The Child’s World, 2022. $21.95 ea. $175.60 set of 8. 24 p. Grades 3-6.

Shaffer, Jody Jensen. 911 Dispatchers On the Call. 978-1-503-85588-5.
—. Air Ambulance Crews On the Scene. 978-1-503-85584-7.
Thernstrom, Amy, and Kara L. Laughlin. Air and Sea Rescue Teams On the Scene. 978-1-503-85586-1.
Dolbear, Emily. Firefighters On the Scene. 978-1-503-85581-6.
Shaffer, Jody Jensen. Hotshot Crews On the Scene. 978-1-503-85587-8.
Paramedics On the Scene. 978-1-503-85583-0.
Dolbear, Emily. Police Officers On the Scene. 978-1-503-85582-3.
Laughlin, Kara L. Search and Rescue Teams On the Scene. 978-1-503-85585-4.

This reviewer had the opportunity to review Paramedics on the Scene from this series. Each chapter tells a short story of paramedics who were able to save a life based on training, quick thinking, and teamwork. There are large, colorful photographs, sidebars, and Think-About-It questions for each chapter. A “Fast Facts” section at the beginning of the book provides valuable background information, and an index, a glossary, and bibliography information is included in the back matter.

THOUGHTS: With very short chapters, large print, and lots of supplemental material, these books would be a welcome addition to students looking for nonfiction information about first responders. Great hi-lo reading material for students who need lots of support from text features in nonfiction books. This series is a good addition to collections where First Responder information is used in research assignments or biography projects, or where there is interest in First Responders as careers or for free choice reading.

600s First Responders          Erin Faulkner, Cumberland Valley SD

Elem. – Tall Tales

Tall Tales. Child’s World, 2022. $19.95 each. $169.60 set of 8. 24 p. Grades K-3.

Dolbear, Emily J. Alfred Bulltop Stormalong. 978-1-503-85006-4.
—. Calamity Jane. 978-1-503-85004-0.
York, M.J. Casey Jones. 978-1-503-84999-0.
Dolbear, Emily J. John Henry. 978-1-503-85005-7.
York, M.J. Johnny Appleseed. 978-1-503-85000-2.
Dolbear, Emily J. Molly Pitcher. 978-1-503-85003-3.
York, M.J. Paul Bunyan. 978-1-503-85001-9.
—. Pecos Bill. 978-1-503-85002-6.

Traditional American tall tales such as Casey Jones and Paul Bunyan get a new look in this set aimed at early readers. The slim volumes are youngster-friendly; the large print, clean graphic design, and conversational text will draw readers into the story. The scope of the stories is necessarily pared down, but all the fun is intact. Readers learn how Pecos Bill got his name and became the best cowboy in Texas, and they are introduced to the early days of railroading in Casey Jones. Bold, full page illustrations add to the enjoyment. The “Beyond the Story” afterward clues readers into the exaggeration classic in tall tales, and offers insight into real-world connections.  

THOUGHTS: This set provides an abridged version of tall tales where the Steven Kellogg volumes may be too advanced. A good purchase if the collection is in need of such books. 

398.2 Traditional Literature        Nancy Nadig Penn Manor SD