Posts from the ‘chapter book’ Category

#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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#Building Bridges

Aspergers Books for Kids: Joey the Weather Boy – A Story About Asperger Syndrome

Written by Dr. Sam Caron, PhD

Illustrated by Jeremy Caron

The author of this boy is a psychologist/ventriloquist who has been working with children and their families for thirty years. As a special educator, I applaud his approach. Dr. Caron has used this fictional short story to address the child and parents and then provided an interactive guide to implementing its lessons.

Joey is an eight-year-old boy who does not look at people and is obsessed with the weather. He has an uncanny talent to predict all aspects of the weather. Joey could talk about nothing else. His parents, teachers, and classmates could not understand him. That was okay with Joey because he preferred to be alone.

Joey’s parents took him to Dr. Caron who introduced Joey to Elwood, his puppet. Joey was able to relate to Elwood. With Dr. Caron’s help, Joey introduced a kids’ weather program and began speech therapy. Joey became more comfortable communicating with others. Children and adults recognized his talents.

This book goes a long way in helping parents, teachers, and children to understand Asperger Syndrome. Children who are bored easily, hyperactive or impulsive are not behavior problems. Books like these go a long way to eliminate preconceived notions. I highly recommend this series of books as a good start to building bridges with families who deal with the problem and members of the general population who misunderstand its symptoms.

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One of a Kind

Only One Samantha

Written by Allesandro Reale

Illustrated by Hank Darwin

Samantha enjoys being unique. She doesn’t need to fit in with the crowd. Every day she wears a different outfit to school. It doesn’t bother her that her classmates criticize her for not wearing clothes like them.

One day, Samantha’s teacher arrives strangely dressed. It is School Dress up day. All her classmates have forgotten. Only Samantha has dressed appropriately. What will happen?

Samantha has the confidence and courage to be true to herself and not depend on the opinions of others. This message is an important one for elementary and middle-school children to understand. This book contains black and white images that the reader may dress and color to their own preference.

Recommended especially for children ages six through twelve, but certainly appropriate for any age.

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

Kids Meal Ideas: 50 Kid-Friendly Recipes

Written by Debbie Madsen

The author places emphasis on ways to produce kid-pleasing meals that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Madsen doesn’t take the approach of cooking separate meals for finicky eaters. Rather, she uses ingredients that kids will recognize as pleasing choices and combines them with healthy options.

The book is divided into sections: chicken, rice and pasta, soups, pork, seafood, eggs, beef, vegetarian, salads, and gluten-free. Within each area, Madsen chooses combinations like meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy turned into volcano meatloaf. Pasta becomes much healthier when combined with spinach and bacon. For the child who loves only peanut butter sandwiches, try peanut chicken with rice. Salad recipes include a variety of textures and extras like pumpkin and chia seeds. French fries are elevated to new heights in a skillet dish in which beef and French fries are baked with ketchup, mustard, and pickles.

The recipes are different and just might attract your picky eater as well as introduce the adults in the family to unique combinations.

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FEAR NOT

Scaredy Bat and the Frozen Vampires: An Illustrated Mystery Chapter Book for Kids 8-12 (Scaredy Bat: A Vampire Detective Series 1)
Written by Marina J. Bowman
Illustrated by Yevheniia Lisavoya

Ellie is a twelve-year-old vampire who loves to solve mysteries. The fact that she is afraid of almost everything fails to deter her. Ellie fears loud noises, spiders, and clowns, among many other things. One thing she does have is a large network of friends who come to her aid. When Ellie attends a vampire wedding, everyone freezes solid. How can she overcome her fears and solve the mystery before it is too late?

The author includes bonuses for budding detective readers. She offers a quiz to test if the reader qualifies to be a detective. Readers receive a guide to analyzing suspects and recording evidence.

Lisavoya draws excellent black and white illustrations to sustain interest levels. The book is not too lengthy, which encourages reluctant readers.
One caveat, I read the Kindle version which contains formatting errors. I would rate the book three stars in the Kindle version, but five stars in the paperback edition.

Recommended for middle-grade readers in the print version.

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ART COMES ALIVE!

Daniel the Draw-er

Written by S.J. Henderson

One day, Daniel breaks his pencil while drawing and goes searching for a replacement. He finds a pencil stump in the attic. When he begins drawing, Daniel is astounded when the cat he draws comes to life. Daniel continues to draw objects like a pizza robot and aliens from the planet, Beezo. His artwork awakens. Daniel tells Annie about his treasure. She is angry that he won’t share it with her.

Now Annie ignores Daniel. He is sad and frustrated. Daniel confides in his mother. She gives him some good advice. One day bullies torment Annie on the school playground. How will Daniel react? Will Annie ever forgive Daniel?

This is a fun middle-grade read. It has lots of humor combined with fantasy. Daniel and Annie face common preteen problems like sibling and peer rivalry.  It also discusses how to handle bullying. Recommended especially for boys and girls ages eight through twelve.

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