Posts from the ‘chapter book’ Category

GOING GREEN

Pea Soup Disaster (A Gregory Green Adventure Book 1)

Written by Elaine Kaye

Gregory Green is excited to find a thermos of green pea soup in his thermos. Unlike most kids, he loves his mother’s homemade pea soup. After lunch on the playground, his friends begin making fun of him. Gregory has turned green! Gregory is feeling bad when an unexpected buddy comes to his rescue to end the bullying.

This book contains elements of fantasy, a family curse, a lesson about bullying, and strong family bonds. The layout is more like a chapter book but there are some multicultural illustrations. I read the book in kindle format which did contain a few formatting errors, but the clever storyline and message make the book a good choice for beginning readers, reluctant readers and a parent read-aloud for any age child.

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UNDER THE COVER…

SPIES, CODE BREAKERS, AND SECRET AGENTS: A WORLD WAR II BOOK FOR KIDS

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Alessandra Santelli

Author-winning children’s book author, Carole P. Roman has hit it out of the park with this nonfiction book. This book provides a comprehensive of about the importance of spies during World War II.

Chapter One begins with the background and causes leading to the war’s outbreak. The importance of spies in winning the war in both the Atlantic and Pacific spheres is the focus of the book.

Young readers receive a clear picture of the training, weapons, and tools used in spycraft. Secret armies and the intelligence organizations operations in each country are discussed. Illustrations provide visuals that provide greater insight.

I found the chapters featuring biographical portraits of the spies one of the most interesting sections. Spies worked in many professions. Chef Julia Child and author Graham Greene operated undercover. Roman discusses double agents and the Native Americans who broke the Japanese code. Before closing, the author explains how some wartime spy organizations still exist and how they have adopted modern tools of technology.

The Glossary explains terms used and provides more websites to explore. It also lists espionage monuments and museums that may be visited. For inquisitive minds looking to find out even more, Roman includes a bibliography of the resources she used in her research.

I would recommend this book to children who love adventure, espionage, and history. It’s a perfect read for middle-grade students, but an eye-opener for adults as well.

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A WINTER SURPRISE

A Bear in November: Caspian’s Adventures Book One

Written by Alice Holness

This book is the first in a series of chapter books featuring the adventures of Caspian, the Bear. Caspian unexpectedly awakens from hibernation and finds that he cannot sleep. He decides to leave his cave and is amazed by the beauty of his snowy surroundings. Caspian discovers that there are animals who stay active during the winter. He meets Pierre and his rabbit friends who have built a ski slope and a reindeer lift. They live with other small animals in a winter shelter that they have created together.

Caspian receives a set of skis from Timbers, the Beaver, and learns to enjoy skiing. His new community of friends asks only one thing from him. Caspian will sleep outside their shelter and protect them from the wolves if they should attack. Will Caspian be able to enjoy his newly discovered winter life and protect the small mammal creatures?

This book is an introductory chapter book with only five chapters. The characters are charming, and the story is unique. Highly recommended for beginning and middle school readers.

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#Old and New Friends

Flame and Sparkles: A Different Kind of Magic

Written by Issac Bowers

Illustrated by Kimber Bowers

This is the second book in a series that features two best friends, a fire-dragon and a unicorn. The two friends are off to a rock-hunting adventure on Lake Erie. They spot something floating in the water. When they move closer, they realize it is moving.

Flame and Sparkles meet Nessie, a Loch Ness monster who wants to be friends. Nessie invites them to her undersea home and teaches them how to swim. Nessie shows them that we all have a special kind of magic within us. If we believe and cooperate with each other, we can use that magic to create miracles. She gives Flame and Sparkles a special gift to remind them of their new friendship and the possibilities waiting to be developed with them.

I would classify this book as a chapter book rather than a picture book, even though the illustrations are delightful. Especially recommended for dragon and unicorn lovers in elementary grades. Hoping that this young author will use his imagination to take readers on many more inspiring adventures.

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FOREVER FRIENDS

The Sunny Adventure: a story about true friendship (Animal World Alice Ira Book 1)

Written by Alice Ira

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Translated by Nina Kutia

This book is a tender tale about a little fox named Redkin and her first hunting quest. Redkin is rather lazy. She reacts with shock where her mother tells her to go out and find her own food. A bit reluctantly, Redkin sets off on her quest. She looks up at the Sun and decides that it looks like a delicious pancake. She decides to bring it home to her mother.

Redkin meets a frog named Loudcroak along her route. They decide to become partners. Redkin remains fearful but Loudcroak provides the courage and inspiration to continue their search. Other animals offer advice, but the sun continues to elude them.

How will Redkin handle her defeat? What does the fox learn about friendship, compassion, and bravery?

This book is targeted for ages six through twelve. While the length of the book is appropriate for a beginning chapter book, some of the vocabulary is a bit advanced for the lower end of this audience. I would recommend the book particularly for reluctant readers; the illustrations are beautiful and suited to the mood of the tale. Recommended especially for readers ages eight through twelve.

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#BUG OFF…

The Queen Who Banished Bugs, A Tale of Bees, Butterflies, Ants, and Other Pollinators

Written by Ferris Kelly Robinson

Illustrated by Mary Ferris Kelly

King Claude and Queen Libertine rule the kingdom of Dunce. The queen is overbearing and obstinate. King Claude spends his days trying to appease her. One day a bee lands on her heel. The queen immediately kills it. That does not appease her anger. Queen Libertine banishes every insect in the kingdom. That effectively destroys the food chain. Pollination ceases and crops die. The animals in the kingdom have no food.

The king becomes desperate. He decides to defy the queen. Claude plants a tiny seed that grows into milkweed. Other types of flowers follow. Pollinators return to the kingdom. The king tutors his queen on the importance of pollinators to ensure the food supply of their kingdom.

The author provides an explanation of how pollination works at the end of the tale. Robinson adds a link to resources for learning more about the subject.

This story is written in rhyme. The illustrator provides line drawings with color interspersed throughout the story. I would consider this book more of an early chapter book than a picture book. While it could be a read-aloud for younger children, it will appeal more to readers in the five to eight age range or as a beginning reader.

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A GLIMPSE INTO THE LIFE…

Grigori Rasputin: A Life from Beginning to End

Written by Hourly History

This short read of approximately fifty pages can be read in an hour or less. As such, it cannot be considered a comprehensive review of “The Mad Monk’s” life. It is one of the better books in this history series.

The book begins with Rasputin’s life as a troubled child born in a small village in Siberia. He had many clandestine meetings with his followers, many of whom were women. Rasputin soon developed a reputation as a womanizer. On the other hand, his banishment to a monastery led to the development of a mystical streak. Rasputin had a habit of carrying out everything in his life to extreme limits.

When the monk cured the Tsar and Tsarina’s son, his history of miracles emerged to become a factor. Rasputin would divide the Greek Orthodox church into factions. He soon found himself surrounded by enemies. During his life, he found himself in and out of favor with the Russian monarchy as well as the common populace.

His ability to work miracles protected him from harm many times. He reportedly survived an assassination attempt by poison, only to be shot while making his escape. The combination of factors including World War I and its effect on the Russian populace would eventually doom the Russian government.

This book will give readers a decent overview of Rasputin’s colorful life and role in twentieth-century Russian history. It whets the appetite and interested readers can move on to more comprehensive studies.

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