Archive for October, 2016

NO BAD LUCK HERE

Albatrosses: Amazing Animal Facts

Written by Rita Terry

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Contrary to the widely known expression from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “an albatross around your neck,” the albatross has nothing to do with bad luck. These beautiful animals are the world’s largest seabirds. Levy enlightens readers about the twenty-two varieties, their distinctive appearance, size and weight, diet, habitat, breeding habits, courtship, enemies, and environmental threats.

Most readers probably know little about these birds. I found it interesting that they live for long periods of time on one island, mate with one partner for life, and do not leave their parents until they master the intricate courtship dance to attract their life partner. The fact that the Wandering Albatross can soar without moving its wings for days at a time is amazing. It is sad that so many of these birds are killed when they dive down deep for fish bait and then drown before they can return to the surface.

This book is targeted for readers ages five to eighteen. Photographs are beautiful; the book will probably be most interesting to readers eight and older, who will be better able to master the text. This book contains a lot of information in less than fifty pages, and is well written with the exception of a typo in the spelling of Antarctica. Young animal lovers or children looking for an interesting research project will find the book a valuable nonfiction resource.

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A BAD DREAM

National Park (National Park Trilogy Book 1)

Written by Hinesh Vithal

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An interesting tale narrated by Rajah, a puggle comfortably ensconced with the Patel family in suburbia. When the family decides they will take a vacation trip to the game preserve, he is excited but remains haunted by a dream that his life will be cut short by a lion attack.

Readers will learn about life in the wild as they meet lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, buffalo, and wild dogs. As the family ride through the game preserve, readers feel as if they are a part of nature. The personified animals have a complicated system of government to which all inhabitants of the national park adhere led by a Council of the Big Five. When the vehicle in which Rajah is riding is overturned, he is injured and rescued by the animals. Rajah becomes an integral part of a habitat that is far out of his comfort zone, yet he is rapidly assimilated into their culture and conflicts. When internal discord threatens to wreck the government of the animals and their safety, Rajah becomes an unwilling hero.

This book contains one or two curse words, but is appropriate for readers twelve and older. The plot is cleverly done, if sometimes a bit wordy. Readers will take away factual knowledge of the game preserve, its inhabitants, and some messages that animals and humans might well take note of. Looking forward to see what happens in the rest of the trilogy.

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THE SECRET DOOR

The Witch With The Glitch: A Fairy Tale And Adventure (A Lost Book Adventure)

Written by Adam Maxwell

Cover by Dale Maloney

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Charming adventure of Nina and her two friends Ivy and Oswald who frequently meet in her Aunt and Uncle’s bookshop. Doesn’t sound like the place for a real adventure? Well, it turns out there is a hidden room in the bookshop, and once Nina places the key in the lock the children are on their way to a journey into the unknown. This time the children find themselves in the parlor of a gingerbread house. To their chagrin the three friends find themselves transformed into a vampire, ghost, and a werewolf!

They will meet a witch who has a problem using and controlling her powers, a village of strange little people, two kidnapped children, and a magical cat named Izzy. The three friends will have to learn to control their new identities and transform themselves. If they are unable to find Izzy before midnight, Belinda the witch will be unable to undo their spells, and they will be trapped forever. Will they be able find their way back to the bookstore and their families?

The author combines fairy tales, adventure, paranormal and lots of humor to keep the plot interesting. Characters are well-developed and the dialogue crisp and clever. This book is perfect for readers in grades three to six. Chapters are short and vocabulary provides enough challenge while not being overwhelming for the early reader. A few illustrations would have enhanced the book’s appeal. This could be a fun story to share with a family or class around Halloween.

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