Posts from the ‘fiction’ Category

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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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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AN EYE FOR DETAIL

At Your Service!: Blondie McGhee Detective Series: Funny Detective Stories

Written by Ashley Eneriz

 

The first book in a detective series based on fourth grade Graham Elementary student Blondie McGhee. Blondie became interested in mysteries when her Grandmother gave her a detective kit when she was in third grade. As the story opens Blondie is excited to begin fourth grade. She is eager to recruit students at the school who have a mystery to solve.
One week passes by with no case in site. Blondie fears she has not advertised enough so she stands on the lunch table and offers her detective services to all the students. All seem to ignore her, except Owen Thomas who claims there is a mysterious noise coming from the janitor’s closet. Blondie makes an excuse to leave class and investigates. She is horrified when Mike, a friend of Owen, is hiding inside dressed as a monster. The three students are in big trouble; Blondie is a laughingstock. Blondie feels a little better after her mother shares her own embarrassing school story, but Blondie is reluctant about returning to school. She is shocked when Owen comes to her door to apologize and beg her help to solve a real mystery.

Blondie is back on the case of the Tuesday Food Fight. She methodically follows the clues until this genuine mystery is solved. Blondie wins back her credibility and reputation. There will be many more mysteries to solve in the next books of the series.

The author recommends her series for girls in the nine to twelve age range. I think boys will enjoy them as well. The book-length of fewer than one hundred pages and adorable black and white illustrations allow the stories to appeal to reluctant readers and advanced beginning readers as well. Detective story fans mark this series as one to add to your collection.

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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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A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

Timber View Camp

Written by Jason Deas

Sally and Reggie are fifth-grade friends who are also neighbors. When Sally receives a free “golden ticket” to attend Timber View Camp, she is upset about leaving her home this summer. Her fears are somewhat alleviated when Reggie also wins a ticket.

When the day to leave for camp arrives, they are dismayed to see an ugly purple double-decker bus with a strange driver who speaks in rhyme pick them up. The pair is even more alarmed when they are dropped off in the middle of nowhere with only a four-part riddle to guide them. By pulling together the campers dub themselves the 12 up and use each of their talents to survive and make it to the campground.

Things keep getting weirder as Reggie and Sally, along with their new friends, fear that they are being watched and followed. Tony and Sissy, their counselors, mysteriously disappear as the odd events unfold. The campers cleverly team up with Cynthia, whose family works at the camp, to develop a plan to expose the owners and turn the tables on them.

This mystery contains wonderful characters, clever plot lines, and lots of humor to accompany the mystery. Young detectives will have to use their smarts to solve it.

Highly recommended for readers ages nine and older.

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A BIGGER BUCKET

How Big is Your Bucket?

Written by Todd Weaver

Daddy Lion decides that he will have a contest for his three young cubs. He challenges each to find the biggest bucket for The Autumn Harvest Festival. Ashley, Alex, and Jacob each have a plan. They scurry off to complete their task before dinner. Alex secures the car wash bucket, Ashley decides on the laundry bucket, but Jacob methodically scours the town until he comes upon the mayor’s bucket for tomorrow’s parade, which he borrows to show his father. Daddy Lion fills all the buckets to the top with toys and candy. The children wisely choose to share their treats with the whole town.

This book is written in rhyme that is sometimes not to the point and a bit difficult to follow. I would also suggest a larger font size so that a young reader could follow more easily. Recommended for preschoolers and primary grade readers.

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DON’T LET YOUR GUARD DOWN

Children’s Book: A Step and a Half to Success

Written by Aya Steiner

Illustrated by Taranggana

Ten-year-old Eric is a natural basketball player. Eric has been sinking baskets since the age of four and he is used to his mother bragging about his talent. He has just learned that he has been named to the All City Basketball Team. When he meets Coach Teddy, Eric promises to do his part when the coach urges the team to pass the ball to make defensive points. But soon Eric loses his confidence and initiative in taking shots and relies on the other team members because he is afraid to fail. Eric’s mom urges him to practice on his own until he masters his technique. Eric learns that any team sport requires lots of patience, practice, and persistence. Natural talent needs to be nurtured to achieve continued success.

This is a good book for late elementary school and middle-school readers who are interested in sports or need to revitalize their self-esteem. Perfect individual or read aloud discussion book choice for children ages seven through twelve. Colorful illustrations will also attract reluctant readers.

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