Archive for March, 2019

THREE STARS FOR ADULTS, FIVE FOR KIDS

My Giant Farts

Written by Neil Roy McFarlane

 

This book might be considered a fractured fairy tale with humor in the vein of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Personally, I am not a fan of this kind of humor, but I do know how popular it is with middle grade students.

The plot involves Tom, a boy who is playing down by the old factory and comes across a pile of rubbish. He spies a shiny metal object sticking out. Tom discovers a lamp like Aladdin’s lamp, so he rubs it. Instead of a genie, a giant pops out. Tom thinks he can make wishes. He asks for a time machine and a flying car but the giant informs Tom that he cannot grant wishes.

During the day, Tom meets a few of his friends. Sally Patterson shows him her new dog who fetches, Horace Chomsky demonstrates how his parrot talks and Becky Wilkinson shows him her flea that does circus tricks. Tom is dismayed that his giant has no unique qualities. But when Tom crosses paths with Basher Bates and his gang, the giant’s response is an unexpected relief.

This book is targeted for ages five and older. I believe eight to twelve-year-old readers will particularly find it to their liking.

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TACKLING OUR FEARSI

I DON’T WANT TO GO TO KINDERGARTEN: I’LL MISS YOU TOO MUCH!

Written by Maureen White

Illustrated by Tracy Taylor Arvidson

The author is a school counselor. She uses her expertise to develop a “Powering Up” stress management technique to help us deal with challenging situations. The activity used in this book proves that the body can instantly respond to a change in our thoughts. This book is made interactive by tapping on the pages. White includes instructions on how to reinforce the superpower method and links to videos and workshops that can be used to practice the technique.

White presents a story that features Tina, a young girl who is fearful about beginning kindergarten. While shopping for a backpack, Tina and her mom meet Bobby and his mom. Bobby shares with Tina that he has developed a superpower in preschool that he will teach her. The next day Bobby introduces Tina to Paddy Penguin, a puppet that can help make our muscles strong. He shows Tina that happy thoughts can make one strong.

These techniques can be practiced by children or adults of any age to manage any challenging situation. Recommended for parents and teachers.

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OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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THE WHOLE TRUTH

The Kurious Kid Presents Lying

Written by Brian A. Cliette

 

This book can be used as a bedtime story or beginning nonfiction chapter book to help preschoolers and elementary children understand the concept of lying and why telling the truth is important.

Smith explains the definition of a lie, the reasons for lying, and how lies prevent other people from trusting the liar. He discusses how it is okay to pretend and that accidents do happen, but that covering up the truth to protect oneself from punishment, blaming others, and hiding the truth to protect someone else or to get something one wants is wrong. He stresses the fact that as a child grows older, the consequences of lying get more serious and the opportunity to be thought of as an honest person decreases.

This is a clearly written explanation about lying. Recommended for parents and teachers as a tool to initiate discussion with children on the importance of telling the truth.

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B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

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HIDDEN DANGER

Little Monsters, it’s time to go to bed!

Written by Olivia Longray

 

Betsy is getting ready for bed. She has already tucked in her doll and teddy bear. Betsy’s mom reminds her to put the monsters to sleep. When Betsy asks, “What monsters,?” her mother explains how bacteria hide in the mouth and must be brushed and flossed away, to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

This is a short book to explain the importance of proper dental hygiene for preschoolers and primary grade children who don’t see the importance or necessity of brushing their teeth. Recommended for parents and teachers of children ages three through seven.

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FOLDING FUN

Origami For Kids: Easy Japanese Origami Instruction For Kids

Written by Ben Mikaelson

This book is a practical guide for learning the ancient art of origami, Japanese art of paper folding. I like the fact that the author takes the time to go into the history of paper and the art of paper folding. Mikaelson proceeds to give instructions on how to make fourteen separate origami projects. He begins with simple symbols and shapes like the heart, a cup, and a letter. Then he progresses to a cicada, bird, and a little boat. As one becomes more accomplished, the finished projects evidence a growing sophistication with the art form. If the budding artist keeps practicing, he will be fashioning a peacock, a whale, and a dinosaur before finishing the book.

Readers will learn how to create Japanese letters and how Akira Yoshizawa popularized origami in Japan and throughout the world. He created more than 50,000 unique origami designs. Today the principles of origami are used in building cars, microscopes, robots, and even heart surgery.

I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age. Perfect activity for families and siblings to share or art teachers to introduce to their students.

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