Posts from the ‘reluctant reader’ Category

RAW AND REAL

I Escaped the World’s Deadliest Shark Attack: The USS Indianapolis Disaster: WW2

Written by Scott Peters and Ellie Crowe

A powerful story of a historical adventure narrated through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old survivor. Josh enlisted with forged papers to avenge the death of his father at Pearl Harbor. He is straight out of boot camp serving on the USS Indianapolis when the battleship is struck by a Japanese torpedo. He struggles to escape the burning ship, but that is just the beginning of his troubles. No help is in sight; sharks infest the waters, and the survivors begin to turn against each other.

This book is a powerful story filled with raw emotions, adventure, and history. The authors provide readers with an action-packed tale filled with interesting facts about sharks and military history. It contains actual photographs, maps, and hand-drawn illustrations.

The book is little more than one hundred pages. Reluctant readers can easily navigate the short chapters with graphics. Targeted for middle grades but just as appealing to young adult and adult audiences.

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DRESSING UP THE STARS virtual book tour and giveaway #dressingupthestars

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Jeanne Walker Harvey.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Illustrated by Diana Toledano

Ages 3-8 | 40 Pages

Publisher: Beach Lane Books | ISBN-13: 9781534451056

About the Book: Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.

As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.

Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!

Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Bookshop.org

Barnes and Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne Walker Harvey studied literature and psychology at Stanford University and has worn many job hats, ranging from being a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney, a middle school language arts teacher, and a long-time docent for school groups at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the author of several books for young readers, including the picture book biographies Dressing up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head, Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. Jeanne lives in Northern California.

Visit her online at www.jeanneharvey.com.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Diana Toledano is an illustrator, writer, and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out. Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: dee-ah-na) grew up in Madrid where she studied art history and illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats. Her mixed media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s product designs, picture books, board books, and chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She enjoys doing school visits and speaking at conferences.

Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.

My Review of This Book:

FASHION SAVY

Dressing Up the Stars

Written by Jeanne Harvey Walker

Illustrated by Diana Toledano

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that relates the biography of Edith Head, the famous Hollywood costume designer.

Edith seemed an unlikely candidate for such a career. She grew up in isolated mining towns in the desert; her father worked as a mining engineer. Edith grew up with few friends, so she dressed up pets and invented make-believe friends with scraps of fabric. When she moved to Searchlight, Nevada, Edith created costumes for her two girlfriends.

Life changed when her mother sent her to high school in Los Angeles. There she fell in love with the movies. After attending college, she got a job drawing costumes. At first, she failed, but Edith worked hard until she became an Academy Award winning costume designer.

Edith provides a strong female role model for young girls everywhere, proving to them that through arduous work, determination, and perseverance, anyone can achieve a dream.

I would highly recommend this gorgeous picture book for primary grade readers, especially those interested in fashion design and the movies.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a set of five copies of Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head!

Five (5) winners receive:

A set of five copies of Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

https://gleam.io/dtTDP/dressing-up-the-stars-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 15, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 16, 2022BookoholicmomA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 17, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, August 18, 2022The Review WireA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, August 19, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Monday, August 22, 2022Dad SuggestsA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 23, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 24, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, August 25, 2022Me Two BooksA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, August 26, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Monday, August 29, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 30, 2022Some the WiserA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 31, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, September 1, 2022Heart to HeartA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, September 2, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review of Dressing Up the Stars

A PARANORMAL TREAT

Pigeon in the Pinewoods: a shifter paranormal adventure (The Hinterland Chronicles Book 1)

Written by Kevin George

Book One of this series begins with the birth of Niko and the disappearance of his mother from the hospital. The author describes Niko in such a way that readers immediately empathize with him. They follow him on a long journey that involves his bouncing from one home to another.

Niko is no ordinary child. He possesses strange abilities and powers. For middle-grade readers who enjoy adventure and the paranormal, this book is a good choice. Niko is a shifter, the scenes are done tastefully with just enough of a edge. Children who enjoy magic and fantasy but also a bit of the darker side should enjoy the quick read.

The author does a good job of moving the plot along. Short chapters contain much dialogue but no illustrations. Older readers will not be disappointed.

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A NON-THREATENING APPROACH

Coronavirus: A Book for Children about Covid-19

Written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts

Illustrated by Alex Scheffler

This book is available in kindle, audio, and paperback editions. It is laid out in a question-and-answer graphic novel format.

The characters ask questions about the origin, symptoms, spread, treatments, preventions, vaccines, and social-emotional issues. There is an effort to include examples of diversity and disabilities so that all types of children are included. It provides a great deal of information without advocating a specific approach.

I do think that the print size in the kindle edition could be made much larger. It is rather difficult to read. A larger easy-to-read font would be friendlier to those with visual problems.

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PARTY HARDY!

Ninjas Go to a Party: A Rhyming Children’s Book About Parties and Practicing Inclusion

Written by Mary Nhin

Those fun-loving ninjas work hard all week, but they do love to take a break occasionally to party. When they do let their hair down, Inclusive Ninja makes sure that everyone has an enjoyable time. He welcomes all to eat, share activities, and work as a team.

This book is part of a series that employs lovable characters to teach life lessons and values like friendship, empathy, compassion, and inclusiveness.

The entire series is available in boxed sets, individual books, and collections arranged by theme.

A fun book to read aloud, for a bedtime story, or for classroom discussion.

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YOU LAUGH, YOU LOSE

YOU LAUGH, YOU LOSE – 9-Year-Old Edition 300 Jokes for Kids that are Funny, Silly, and Interactive Fun the Whole Family Will Love

Written by Smiley Beagle

This book is targeted at nine-year-olds and will have its most appeal to middle-grade readers. It is part of a series of joke books that can be read alone or shared with a family or friends as a game. Each person reads a joke when playing the game but must pass the book to another if he laughs.

The jokes are divided into chapters by categories like people, food, animals, science, and assorted jokes.

Children who can’t get enough of jokes will appreciate the series. Recommended especially for reluctant readers and children who are not ready for longer chapter books.

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LEARNING TO TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD

Sophie Washington: Lemonade Day

Written by Tonya Duncan Ellis

Another fun book in the Sophie Washington middle-grade chapter book series.

In this one, sixth-grader, Sophie Washington, decides to sign up for her school’s Lemonade Day Challenge Event. Ten teams will compete.

Readers cannot help laughing and empathizing with Sophie. She manages to get in trouble for messing up her mother’s files, failing to supervise her younger brother, and getting mixed up with the family dog, Bertram, and his mischief.

Sophie learns about scheduling, organizing a team, coping with supplies, and facing unforeseen delays. She manages to solve problems with her spirit of determination and perseverance. Readers learn lessons about teamwork, respect, and working with family members.

Readers might be inspired to become young entrepreneurs and learn a few life lessons along the way. Highly recommended for eight to twelve-years olds and adults who love to reminisce about their tween years.

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INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Kids on Earth: A Children’s Documentary Series Exploring Global Cultures & the Natural World: Costa Rica

Written by Sensei Paul David

My title does not necessarily imply criticism. This book contains a wealth of information. Readers learn about the climate, customs, language, culture, topography, economy, and recreational pursuits available in Costa Rica. A brother and sister, Joaquin and Yocsary, narrate a soup-to-nuts tour of what a visitor might find while in this intriguing land.

Each page includes a colorful illustration and a box of more fun facts after the explanation. My only criticism is that the storyline could be tightened up to read more smoothly. It feels a bit choppy because the information switches topics rapidly. On the other hand, almost any type of question that a reader might have is answered.

I recommend the series to children who love learning about new cultures, travel, and adventure. Recommended for elementary and middle-school students

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DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE

Agnes’s Rescue: A True Story of an Immigrant Girl

Written by Karl Beckstrand and Veara Southworth Fife

Illustrated by Sean Sullivan

This book is book one of a series for children about young immigrants.

Agnes was born in Scotland and lived there with her siblings. After her father’s disappearance at sea, her mother turns to the Mormon faith. When Agnes turned nine in 1856, her mother had saved enough money to sail to America and become a part of the Latter-Day Saints community in Utah.

Their journey contained numerous perils. After sailing to New York, they took a train to Iowa. There the hardships began. The family must walk pulling a cart with their possessions. Their food supplies became depleted, and the weather turned frigid. Agnes and her family faced frostbite and near annihilation.

The story is biographical and written by a descendant. Sean Sullivan does a marvelous job with emotive illustrations. I like the interactive aspect of the book allowing readers to revisit the story by answering questions and voicing their opinions. This series is sure to inspire readers in elementary and middle school.

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SIBLING RIVALRIES

Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in …Tiger Trouble!

Written by Grant Goodman

Agent Darcy is a gifted ninja who never misses an opportunity to display her talents. Unfortunately, her younger brother, Steve, does not possess her ninja skills. Darcy never lets him forget it.

Book One in a series portrays Darcy and her cohorts as strong female role models. The sibling rivalry scenarios will ring true with elementary and middle-school readers. I believe the book is a good choice for reluctant readers as well because the characters are authentic and the story moves smoothly and quickly. It also could be an excellent tool for a short classroom daily read-aloud book to open a reading lesson.

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