Posts from the ‘elementary grades’ Category

A STICKY SITUATION

Andy the Spider: Captured (Volume 1) 2nd edition

Written by Samantha Rindfuss

Charming chapter book for lower middle grade students focusing on a somewhat unusual grouping of large and small animals. Andy and his sister Emily are sibling spiders who often find themselves at odds. Emily is an expert web weaver, and Andy can’t seem to catch a meal so he often uses his speed to snatch Emily’s food. When Emily disappears, the timid Andy goes off to search for her. This trek into the forest results in a host of adventures and intrigues told in first person by a cast including owls, squirrels, fireflies, a hamster, a porcupine, a skunk, a caterpillar, and a coyote. Two human siblings alternately provide the spiders with a source of hope and fear.

The plot has lots of twists and turns in its 120 plus pages. Rindfuss leads the reader on a roller coaster of emotions but also supplies ample amounts of humor. Animals are infused with human character strengths as well as flaws. Harry the villain owl is a classic bully. Will the laws of the forest ensure justice? Do Andy and Emily resolve their differences and what lessons will their harrowing experience teach them?

Perfect book for beginning readers as well as reluctant readers who enjoy adventure stories with animals. Good discussion book for a teacher read aloud.

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SPIDER SURPRISES

All About Spiders: A Picture Book for Kids About Spiders

Written by Jasmine Williams

Okay, spiders are not the most endearing or popular creatures. There are more than 43,000 species on earth; they live on all continents except Antarctica. Many people are terrified of them, but only two spiders are actually deadly to humans, The Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Spiders are arachnids with bodies consisting of two parts. The silken webs they weave are not only used to trap food. The Goliath Bird-Eating Spider is the largest spider and it accomplishes exactly what its name implies. Several spiders are as small as the head of a pin. I learned that a Hawaiian spider is nicknamed the Happy Faced Spider because it seems to be smiling at us.

 

The photos in this book are unique because they are enlarged to display the features written about in the book. Children will have no difficulty understanding the concepts and information. Budding amateur scientists and animal lovers can learn a lot. The author does not shy away from using challenging vocabulary. For this reason, younger readers will need adult explanation, but readers in the seven to ten group should be able to read independently. Recommended for teachers and librarians to include on their research shelves. It may even convert some spider haters.

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MIGHT MAKES RIGHT

The Race: an inspiring story for Left-Handers

Written by Janet Hurst-Nicholson

Illustrated by Vanessa Burger

Vicky hates sitting next to Graham in school. He is always bumping into her. Vicky is left-handed and finds it difficult to accomplish simple tasks that seem to come easy for everybody else. She is a klutz in sports and never seems to excel. To make matters worse, everyone seems to make fun of her. Vicky is looking forward to her grandmother’s upcoming visit. She has been busy trying to finish a needlepoint cover as a gift, but even that seems to be coming out wrong. Vicky wants to prove to her grandmother that she is successful, so she and her friend Vicky practice nonstop to win the egg balancing race. Her grandmother will be watching; they are determined to win. An unexpected turn of events leads to a new race being added at the last minute. Will Vicky get a chance to prove to herself and others being left-handed actually be an advantage?

I loved this chapter book. Perhaps being married to a left-hander and having a left-handed son has made be acutely aware of some of the everyday problems left-handed people face. This book presents the problems and enables all of us right-handers to understand how difficult it can be for someone who is a “lefty” to function in a world of right-handed preferences. The world is finally becoming more attuned to the need for left handed tools and devices. Recommend this book highly for teachers, parents and children as a read aloud or a book for families to discuss and share.

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A FRIEND IN NEED

Kids Book: Flip to the Rescue

Written by Tara Star

 

This book could be a read aloud for young children or a beginning reader for children in the five to eight age range. I definitely would not recommend it for nine to twelve year olds. This tale features two dolphin friends named Flip and Aqua who enjoyed mischievous adventures together. Some of the other dolphins became jealous because they were excluded. One day they hatched a plot. They told Aqua that Flip had gone to the seashore to dive for pearls that would become a gift for her. When Aqua goes to search for Flip, she becomes trapped in the rough seas. Little does she realize that somewhere close Flip is searching for her. Will the two friends be able to escape the waves and find their way back to their calm pool home? What kind of lessons can Flip, Aqua and the larger pool of dolphin friends learn from this experience?

I struggled to decide a rating for this book. My overall impression is three and a half stars. The photos are nice pictures of dolphins at play, but they do not reflect the individual emotions of the friends in this story. On the other hand, young readers may learn the value of not being exclusive, stepping out of the mold, and how to get along with larger more diverse groups. Recommended for young children who enjoy reading about sea creatures and beginning chapter book readers.

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TINY BUT FEARLESS

The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins

Written by Karin Kaufman

A delightful chapter book consisting of ten stories that revolve around a fearless family of mice facing the dangers and challenges of winter. Geraldine is the protagonist who was born in April, but now in October is facing the end of the gathering season. She and her brother Nigel have much to learn and experience. Readers are introduced to their friends in the forest, Penelope, the sparrow and Cheddar, a white rabbit. The children love to hear their father Nigel read to them stories from the Book of Tales. These adventures teach them about common sense, trust, gratitude, empathy and sharing. As October wanes, the family and friends celebrate Thanksgiving and the joys of Christmas. On the other hand, the children’s curiosity put them in danger of being eaten by wolves and ravens, swept down the river on a log and being destroyed by a forest fire. Charlotte is a sensitive and inquisitive mouse who desires to read, write and explore the world around her. She and her brother share sibling rivalry, but at the same time deeply love and care for one another. Their parents teach them to have faith that Very, Very Big Hands will be there to guide and protect them.

This chapter book is geared toward readers in grades three to six. Some younger children may enjoy individual stories as a read aloud. There are no illustrations; a few simple drawings would add appeal to younger children. I would thoroughly recommend the book as a gentle, sweet read for children who love animals. The many lessons learned and bravery in facing adversity allow for lots of discussion on the topics of developing strong character and interpersonal skills.

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STRIVING FOR SURVIVAL #HoneyGirl – Children’s Book Review Blog Tour

honeyblogtour
SYNOPSIS

HONEY GIRL: THE HAWAIIAN MONK SEAL

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Publisher’s Synopsis: Hawaiian locals and visitors always enjoy spotting endangered Hawaiian monk seals, but Honey Girl is an extra special case. She has raised seven pups, and scientists call her Super Mom. After Honey Girl is injured by a fishhook, she gets very sick. Scientists and veterinarians work to save Honey Girl until she can be released back to her beach. This true story will have readers captivated to learn more about this endangered species.

Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Arbordale Publishing | February 10, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1628559224

Available Here:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne Walker Harvey is the author of several award-winning books, including Astro: The Steller Sea Lion and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden’s Childhood Journey. She’s been a language arts teacher and currently gives school tours at a local museum. Jeanne lives near the Golden Gate Bridge in California and walks by the bay every day looking for sea lions. She writes with her gray tabby cat sitting on the desk next to her.

OFFICIAL LINKS

JeanneHarvey.com: http://www.jeanneharvey.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanneWHarvey

BOOK TRAILERhonrygirltrailer

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2017/02/honey-girl-the-hawaiian-monk-seal-by-jeanne-walker-harvey-book-trailer.html

GIVEAWAY

To Celebrate The Release Of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, Enter To Win A 2 Book Autographed Prize Pack From Award-Winning Author Jeanne Walker Harvey, Plus 2 Plush Animals.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A copy of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal, autographed by Jeanne Walker Harvey

  • A copy of Astro: The Steller Sea Lion, autographed by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  • Two (2) plush toy animals

Age Range: 5-8

Hardcover: 32 pages

Giveaway begins February 22, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends March 22, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by Jeanne Walker Harvey.

https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/weblog/2017/02/win-a-2-book-autographed-prize-pack-with-plush-animals-from-award-winning-author-jeanne-walker-harvey.html

 

My Review for The Children’s Book Review 2017 Blog Tour of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal by Jeanne Walker Harvey

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Heartwarming, true tale of a monk seal named Honey Girl whose courage and tenacity inspired all those who came to know and love her. Honey Girl was often seen swimming along the northern shores of the island of Oahu. Unlike most monk seals, she did not shy away from the beaches. One day Honey Girl was spotted offshore covered in green algae. She was injured by a fishhook. Scientists and veterinarians discovered that her tongue was cut in half and that she had not eaten in several weeks. Vets at the Honolulu Zoo operated and managed to save half her tongue. At first she was fed through a tube. Scientists knew that if she could not eat live fish, her return to the wild would be impossible. After thirteen days, she managed to catch and eat a live tilapia. She was placed in a crate and taken back to Turtle Bay to be released.

A tracking device revealed that she was hunting for food. After a few weeks scientists caught her again to test her weight and strength. Not only had Honey Girl improved, but she was pregnant. Volunteers guarded “Super Mom” day and night while she nursed her pup named Meli. The following year Honey Girl gave birth again; one of her daughters becomes a mother for the first time. “Super Mom” is now a grandmother.

This beautiful picture book with charming double page spreads is pleasing to the eye of young readers. The poignant story teaches children about the environment as well as the work of scientists and veterinarians. Children in the primary grades who love nature and animals will want to read this book over and over again. Perfect for a bedtime story or family read aloud.

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TUCK IN THOSE CORNERS

Children’s Book: A Grand Bed Adventure: Developing Habits of Self Discipline for Children

Written by A.M. Marcus

Illustrated by Oliver Bundoc

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Young Ted visits his grandfather every Monday spending the night with him. They enjoy each other’s company. One morning Ted notices how carefully his grandfather makes the bed and inquires why he spends so much time on something that will get messed up when he sleeps. His grandfather explains that he learned how to make a bed properly when he was a Navy Seal. Beginning the day by doing something well gives you incentive to continue doing good and provides a good reminder at the end of the day. Ted ponders this and is able to transfer the example to incidents in his own experience. He realizes that doing something well is important no matter how small the task.

This book is part of a series encouraging young children to develop positive habits. The text is simple to understand though perhaps relies too heavily on dialogue. Illustrations are simple and colorful. A free coloring book is offered as a free bonus. Recommended especially for preschoolers and primary grade children.

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