Posts from the ‘children of all ages’ Category

THREE TECHIE FRIENDS

Ai and Big City Adventure: New Age Pinocchio, Adventures of Ai, his new friends, and Old Man in the Big City

Written by Olga Go

 

Old Man Steve lives by himself in a small apartment in New York City and often feels lonely. One day he finds a smartphone and decides to try to fix it. He names the phone Ai. Suddenly, the phone comes to life. The next day, Ai leaves the apartment while Steve is sleeping. He plays in the park with a computer, a camera, and an i pad. They exchange information with each other. The new friends hatch a scheme to sell Ai to get some money. Ai is sold to Jack, but Ai feels guilty about leaving his friend Steve. They arrive at a compromise that makes everyone happy.

This story is a clever 21St Century Pinocchio story. The illustrations are modern, crisp, and colorful. Elementary school children will enjoy the clever characters and empathize with Steve’s plight. My only recommendation would be to make the print text bolder as it is sometimes difficult to read when placed against the illustrations.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – TRANSFORMATIONS

Weeds in Nana’s Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Written and Illustrated by Kathryn Harrison

This well-written book is poignant and beautiful. The author tackles a difficult subject with which many families are forced to face. By using the metaphor of a garden overcome with weeds, the author introduces the subject of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.

The protagonist is a young girl who enjoys planting seeds in her Nana’s garden every spring. She laughs and dances as her grandmother explains the fairies are sprinkling their magic dust in the garden. They work the garden as the flowers spring to life. They observe the changes in the garden as the seasons change.

Then one summer, the little girl notices weeds growing in the garden. She inquires of her Nana whether they should pull them out, but her grandmother just nods. Confused, the little girl asks her mother why Nana does not remove the weeds and her mother tenderly explains that Nana’s brain is sick and that like the garden it is becoming tangled and confused. She reminds her daughter that like the flowers growing among the weeds, the Nana they remember is still underneath.

As time goes on, the weeds multiply and Nana’s condition worsens. The little girl has grown and she learns to deal with reality. She sings and dances in the garden once more, now taking over the responsibility for the garden while her grandmother rests sitting underneath a tree.

The author reminds us that our mothers and grandmothers are treasures, but like the cycle of the seasons, they will not be with us forever. There is a wonderful list of questions and answers that can be used to explain dementia to children. Harrison donates 20% of her sales to the Alzheimer Foundation in Canada. Recommended for parents, grandparents, teachers and children ages six and older.

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WALT DISNEY- THE STORY BEHIND THE MAN

Walt Disney- A Kids Book with Fun Facts About the History and Life of Walt Disney

Written by Jacob Smith

 

This is an informative book about the life and history of Walt Disney and his artistic career. It begins with his life as a child on a farm in Kansas and the struggles of Walt’s father, Elias, to provide for the family. At school, Walt tended to daydream and draw pictures. Walt also became enamored of trains, and the nascent motion picture industry. During his high school years in Chicago, Walt began drawing cartoons. After serving in World War II, Walt began his own animation business. Soon he made his way to Hollywood where he invented his Mickey Mouse character, for which he received an Academy Award in 1932. He then moved on to create longer features and new characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Three Pigs. Walt combined his fascination with trains with the concept of a theme park. Disneyland was born. That led to numerous spin-offs and merchandise. Walt’s legacy continues to evolve with new technological developments in the animation industry.

Smith has created an easy to read biography and history of Walt Disney’s life and career achievements. Pertinent photos are included. Recommended for children ages eight and older. The book is a fascinating read for adults as well.

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Soup to Nuts #Poetry Month

It’s Crazy in Here! : Fun Poems for Fun Kids of all Ages

Written by Malia Haberman

On the last day of poetry month, I thought it appropriate to review a book containing a selection of poems that will delight members of the entire family.

This is a fun book that will have even those children who would never read a poem change their minds. The author has chosen a wide variety of topics that will appeal to boys and girls. There are monsters, fleas, dragons, dogs, cats, and bedbugs. Situations, like eating leftovers, classroom pranks, and falling in love, are explored with finesse and humor.

April is poetry month. Teachers might use this book to entice their students to explore poetry. While the book is recommended for ages five and up, I would especially recommend it to middle-grade students.

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SOUP TO NUTS #POETRY MONTH

It’s Crazy in Here!: Fun Poems for Fun Kids of all Ages

Written by Malia Ann Haberman

 

This is a fun book that will have even those children who would never read a poem change their minds. The author has chosen a wide variety of topics that will appeal to boys and girls. There are monsters, fleas, dragons, dogs, cats, and bedbugs. Situations, like eating leftovers, classroom pranks, and falling in love, are explored with finesse and humor.

April is poetry month. Teachers might use this book to entice their students to explore poetry. While the book is recommended for ages five and up, I would especially recommend it to middle-grade students.

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LEARNING HOW TO BE A TRUE FRIEND

Emilia’s Treasure: How a Mermaid Makes Friends

Written by Anca Niculae

Illustrated by Maria Falie

Emilia, the mermaid, is upset because none of her mermaid friends want to search for pearls with her. She goes off in search of other mermaids, a snail and a school of fish, but none of them seem interested in her project. When a little mermaid loses her seahorse, Emma decides to search with her. As the two new friends continue on their exploration they meet other creatures of the sea. This time the two mermaids stop and listen to what these creatures have to say. They learn the valuable lesson that in seeking friendship listening is more important than seeking to impress others.

At the end of the book, the author supplies a questionnaire to assist children in assessing their own relationships. Children are presented with a list of questions to answer and activities to use that are placed in appropriate age categories. I would particularly recommend this book for beginning readers and shy children who have difficulty with peer relationships. This book has value for children of all ages.

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SIZE DOESN’T MATTER

Deadly Animals: 25 Most Deadly Animals in the World That You Should Know!

Written by Hathai Ross

 

While this book contains a lot of interesting information, I would rate it 3.5 stars because the photos that are included are often undersized and unclear.

The author includes animals found all over the world. Their size varies from the tiny mosquito and tsetse fly to the huge animals like the hippopotamus and polar bear. Habitats range from the sea to the glaciers and arid deserts of the Sahara. Readers will find many familiar names like the lion, rhinoceros, leopard, and elephants, but also more unfamiliar species like the Brazilian Wandering Spider, the Blue-Ringed Octopus, the Cone Snail, and the Cape Buffalo.

Ross describes each animal, its habitat, why it is dangerous, and how it affects humans. Some facts that I found particularly interesting are that the Poison Dart Frog is the most poisonous animal on the planet, the poisonous Puffer Fish is a delicacy eaten by many people, and the cute Polar Bear is not afraid of humans, and when hungry enough will even eat its own cubs.

The book is a collection of individual chapters that provide reference information about each of the twenty-five animals selected. It is useful as a starting point of research on some of the most interesting and dangerous animals with which we share our planet. Recommended for middle-grade, young adult or adult readers interested in animal research.

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