Posts from the ‘elementary grades’ Category

OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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THE WHOLE TRUTH

The Kurious Kid Presents Lying

Written by Brian A. Cliette

 

This book can be used as a bedtime story or beginning nonfiction chapter book to help preschoolers and elementary children understand the concept of lying and why telling the truth is important.

Smith explains the definition of a lie, the reasons for lying, and how lies prevent other people from trusting the liar. He discusses how it is okay to pretend and that accidents do happen, but that covering up the truth to protect oneself from punishment, blaming others, and hiding the truth to protect someone else or to get something one wants is wrong. He stresses the fact that as a child grows older, the consequences of lying get more serious and the opportunity to be thought of as an honest person decreases.

This is a clearly written explanation about lying. Recommended for parents and teachers as a tool to initiate discussion with children on the importance of telling the truth.

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B.D. BEFORE THE DIGITAL AGE

Stories of Elders: What the Greatest Generation Knows About Technology That You Don’t

Written by Veronica Kirin

This book is a fascinating study conducted by a trained anthropologist who became an entrepreneur. Kirin traveled across America to interview members of what she calls The Greatest Generation, Americans who were born before 1945. She wanted to discover what it was like to live before the advent of technology from the mouths of those who grew up living without it.

Kirin developed a list of fifteen interview questions which covered basic demographic information as well as the type of childhood, their occupations, and how technology has changed their lives and those who are growing up in a world dominated by technology. Her questions touched on poverty, economic issues, family, religion, safety, and community. Her conclusions discuss the advantages and disadvantages of growing up with or without technology. Kirin provides a list of participants in an index.

I believe that millennials will find this study interesting and enlightening. As a person who grew up between these two groups, I found the information fascinating.

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HIDDEN DANGER

Little Monsters, it’s time to go to bed!

Written by Olivia Longray

 

Betsy is getting ready for bed. She has already tucked in her doll and teddy bear. Betsy’s mom reminds her to put the monsters to sleep. When Betsy asks, “What monsters,?” her mother explains how bacteria hide in the mouth and must be brushed and flossed away, to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

This is a short book to explain the importance of proper dental hygiene for preschoolers and primary grade children who don’t see the importance or necessity of brushing their teeth. Recommended for parents and teachers of children ages three through seven.

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FOLDING FUN

Origami For Kids: Easy Japanese Origami Instruction For Kids

Written by Ben Mikaelson

This book is a practical guide for learning the ancient art of origami, Japanese art of paper folding. I like the fact that the author takes the time to go into the history of paper and the art of paper folding. Mikaelson proceeds to give instructions on how to make fourteen separate origami projects. He begins with simple symbols and shapes like the heart, a cup, and a letter. Then he progresses to a cicada, bird, and a little boat. As one becomes more accomplished, the finished projects evidence a growing sophistication with the art form. If the budding artist keeps practicing, he will be fashioning a peacock, a whale, and a dinosaur before finishing the book.

Readers will learn how to create Japanese letters and how Akira Yoshizawa popularized origami in Japan and throughout the world. He created more than 50,000 unique origami designs. Today the principles of origami are used in building cars, microscopes, robots, and even heart surgery.

I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age. Perfect activity for families and siblings to share or art teachers to introduce to their students.

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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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FAST FRIENDS

The Dog Gang Collection

Written by Yael Rosman

This book is a collection of stories focusing on the adventures of three dog friends, Bowie, Cheo, and Zaza. They are different in breed, looks, and personality, but they have one thing in common, they meet to romp and play at the same park with their owners Morin, Benny, and Shila Each of these tales was originally published as a separate story.

Roseman personifies her canine characters. In each of the tales, one of the dogs becomes a lead character. By the time the story ends, children learn life lessons based on the behavior of these canine friends. Readers learn why it is important not to show off, to work as a team, to care about each other’s feelings, and how each of us is special and unique.

The illustrations are colorful and well-executed, but sometimes the text and illustrations don’t line up properly. Readers may be confused because illustrations from the first story are repeated in the third story. This collection runs more than two hundred pages, which is way too long for the age of the targeted bedtime story audience. I would recommend this book as better suited to readers in the six to eight-year-old range.

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