Posts from the ‘adventure’ Category

TAKING A DEEP BREATH

The Barnyard Friends: STOP for Peace
Written by Julie Penshorn
Illustrated by Jorry Keith

The animals in the barnyard were enjoying a peaceful day until the rains came. A horse named King stood under the barn roof remaining dry, while the rest of the animals whined and paced outside getting soaking wet. Mrs. McCloud urged the animals to calm down and stop and think. After a while, the animals were able to express how they felt. They succeeded in brainstorming ideas to solve the problem. In the end, King moved over and the rest of the animals found shelter.

The STOP method for conflict resolution involves four steps:
1 Stop and breathe
2 Tell how you feel
3 Open your mind
4 Plan ahead

This book is designed to help children and adults resolve conflicts peacefully. At the end of the story, the creators provide a guide for teachers on how to present the lesson effectively. Suggestions for follow-up and a song that reinforces the lesson is provided. The story and lesson are specially designed for students in kindergarten through third grade.

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A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

Timber View Camp

Written by Jason Deas

Sally and Reggie are fifth-grade friends who are also neighbors. When Sally receives a free “golden ticket” to attend Timber View Camp, she is upset about leaving her home this summer. Her fears are somewhat alleviated when Reggie also wins a ticket.

When the day to leave for camp arrives, they are dismayed to see an ugly purple double-decker bus with a strange driver who speaks in rhyme pick them up. The pair is even more alarmed when they are dropped off in the middle of nowhere with only a four-part riddle to guide them. By pulling together the campers dub themselves the 12 up and use each of their talents to survive and make it to the campground.

Things keep getting weirder as Reggie and Sally, along with their new friends, fear that they are being watched and followed. Tony and Sissy, their counselors, mysteriously disappear as the odd events unfold. The campers cleverly team up with Cynthia, whose family works at the camp, to develop a plan to expose the owners and turn the tables on them.

This mystery contains wonderful characters, clever plot lines, and lots of humor to accompany the mystery. Young detectives will have to use their smarts to solve it.

Highly recommended for readers ages nine and older.

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A BIGGER BUCKET

How Big is Your Bucket?

Written by Todd Weaver

Daddy Lion decides that he will have a contest for his three young cubs. He challenges each to find the biggest bucket for The Autumn Harvest Festival. Ashley, Alex, and Jacob each have a plan. They scurry off to complete their task before dinner. Alex secures the car wash bucket, Ashley decides on the laundry bucket, but Jacob methodically scours the town until he comes upon the mayor’s bucket for tomorrow’s parade, which he borrows to show his father. Daddy Lion fills all the buckets to the top with toys and candy. The children wisely choose to share their treats with the whole town.

This book is written in rhyme that is sometimes not to the point and a bit difficult to follow. I would also suggest a larger font size so that a young reader could follow more easily. Recommended for preschoolers and primary grade readers.

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HE VS. SHE

HE VERSES SHE

The Hockey Wars

Written by Sam Lawrence and Ben Jackson

Millie and Cameron grew up together and shared many mutual interests. Some even thought them twins. In the small town of Dakota playing hockey was a way of life for girls and boys. The girls and boys played on the same team for many years, but Millie has recently decided to form an all-female team. Now the Dragons and the newly formed Lightning team competed fiercely. The teams argued frequently over who would get to practice at the ice at the pond after school. One day, the crisis could no longer be averted. The teams decided on a face-off game. Whoever won that game would gain permanent access to the pond.

For the following week, both teams felt the tension. The author spends a good amount of time describing the personalities of all the members of both teams.  Conflicting emotions erupt on both sides. In fact, many of the boys and girls on either side like Violet and Linkin are clearly attracted to each other. A coming of age and peer relationship plotline is a crucial part of the tale.

Who will win the big game? Will the tension between the former teammates be resolved? This chapter book with black and white pencil drawings is a good choice for a beginning reader as well as middle-grade students. I think many adults will enjoy it as well.

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TO LONDON, WE WILL GO

HEY KIDS! LET’S VISIT LONDON (Fun, Facts, and Amazing Discoveries for Kids)

Written by Teresa Mills

This book is geared toward middle-grade students, roughly ages eight through thirteen. It can be used as a guidebook to prepare children who are planning a trip to London with a family or a community organization. Each site is accompanied by pictures, its history, main features, and visitor appeal. Mills talks about iconic historical landmarks like Stonehenge, The Tower of London, Big Ben, The Red Phone Booth, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. She discusses street landmarks like Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the London Eye, and Harrod’s Department Store. Other notable spots to visit include The London Zoo, Hampstead Heath, The Globe Theater, and Platform 9 3/4’s with its connection to Harry Potter. Of course, no visit would be complete without a ride on the London tube or a visit to one of the museums like The Duxford Air & Space Museum or the RAF Museum.

There is so much to see. Mills has especially focused on those of interest to children. This book can also be useful as a starting place for a school project on London. The book need not be read in any particular order as the chapters are not laid out sequentially.

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BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR…

Duck and Friends

Written by Donna McFarland

Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Duck owns a farm in Pleasant Valley, complete with cows, pigs, chickens, and alpacas. One day, his friend, Cat calls Duck on his cell phone complaining that his computer is running too slow. Duck asks if he is sure that he wants it to run faster. He installs a new program that gives the computer arms and legs. Suddenly, the computer takes off, causing all manner of havoc in the community. All the animal friends experience quite an adventure before the day is finished.

This beginning chapter book blends modern technology with familiar animals and a clever adventure plot line. Adorable pencil sketches throughout the chapters keep the interest level high. Perfect choice for primary grade students who are just learning to read or reluctant readers.

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A FISH OUT OF WATER

Monty the fish goes to the Zoo

Written by Vivienne Alonge

Illustrated by Mikaila Maidment

Seems like there are a plethora of children’s books about visiting the zoo lately. This one features a fish named Monty who decides to take a trip to the zoo, but this particular zoo is no ordinary one. Monty views a bear water skiing on the water, a giraffe wearing cowboy boots, a queen dancing with a python, and a tiger eating strawberries and cream, to name just a few. Youngest readers will enjoy identifying the animals and laugh at their preposterous antics.

This is a picture book but unfortunately, the illustrations do not fill the screen on my kindle. Each animal is given a one-sentence description along with the illustration. The book synopsis says the book is aimed at ages zero through eighteen. It is most appropriate for kindergarten and preschool children.

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