Posts tagged ‘geography’

#IT’S FINALLY HERE! #Christmas Gift

Barbara Ann Mojica ANNOUNCES THE NINTH BOOK IN THE AWARD-WINNING CHILDREN’S BOOK SERIES…

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The NORTH POLE

 


Ever feel like you’re standing on thin ice?  Here at the northernmost point on Earth, no land lies below. Are there seasons? Who lives here?   What does Santa look like and where does he live? Uncover the answers in Little Miss HISTORY Travels to The NORTH POLE, the newest release in the award-winning children’s nonfiction book series.

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Barbara is a licensed New York State educator with forty years’ experience in Elementary Education, Special Education, and School Administration. Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages.

Book Series Awards include International Reader’s Favorite Awards, International Book Excellence Awards, Independent Author Network Awards, Eric Hoffer Award, Global e-book award, CLIPPA Principal’s Award, and B.R.A.G. Medallions to name a few.

For more information, resources, school visits, book signings, and book reviews of family-friendly books, visit me at:

Website:           http://www.littlemisshistory.com

AMAZON:        http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ann-Mojica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANCIENT GREECE IN A NUTSHELL

If You Were Me and Lived in …Ancient Greece

Written by Carole P. Roman

Illustrated by Mateya Arkova

ancientgreece,picThis book is part of a new series which looks at the cultures and customs not of individual countries but about civilizations throughout time. Ancient Greece is the topic of the first release. The author begins by describing the geographical location of Greece and how Greece may have looked in the past contrasting it with the present. Unlike the other series, this book covers a much broader time period, and the author chooses to stage her character as a child living around 350 B.C. in classical Greece. There is no mention of the previous Greek Archaic Period, the rule of the aristocracy or the tyrants which eventually evolved into the establishment of democratic city states. Much of the book discusses everyday life, food, dress, education, family structure, occupations, and religion. Roman ends her discussion with the military conqueror Alexander the Great who established an empire, and whose death would usher in the end of the classical period and the beginning of the Hellenistic Age.

There is a great deal of information simplified and condensed for the elementary school and middle school reader. I would have liked to see more detailed maps showing locations and some actual photographs, though the simple, soft pastel illustrations are lovely and appealing for a younger reader. The glossary and list of gods and goddesses are helpful because readers will need to reference these to keep track of all the information. No doubt this book will open a child’s eyes to the vast legacy of ancient Greece and provide an excellent starting ground for future explorations on the political, social, religious, scientific and educational contributions of ancient Greece.

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A WALK THROUGH THE PAST

Egyptian Diary: Journal of a Young Scribe

Written by Richard Platt

Illustrated by David Parkins

eGYPTIAN DIARY2

An unusual picture book in size and scope. I read the paperback version, written in large print and generous in its approximately 10 X 13 inch size. This book is written in first person diary format. Nakht is a nine year old boy living in the reign of Pharaoh Hatshepsut in ancient Egypt. His father has just been given a promotion in the city of Memphis. Nakht writes in his diary about his adventure, including lots of details about daily life in Egypt, cultural mores, religion, farming, hunting, and craftsmen. The plot takes a dramatic turn when Nakht and his sister, Tamyt discover a tomb robber conspiracy which will take them to the city of Thebes and land them in the court of the palace of Hatshepsut. They are astonished to discover that the Pharaoh is a woman.

Illustrated with beautiful color drawings by Parkins, the reader is transported back 3,500 years. These drawings are beautifully done; the expressions of the faces are somewhat exaggerated to display characters’ emotions. The author provides an extensive appendix which includes notes about geography, society, religion, the pyramids and archaeology.

Targeted for children in grades four through seven, the large pictures might even draw the attention of children slightly younger. Generally recommended for children in the eight to twelve year old range. Anyone interested in ancient Egyptian history will delight in this book. Great choice for homeschooling parents as a fine introduction to the study of this topic.

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LET YOUR FINGERS DO THE WALKING

                                                      HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Kindle Fire Apps For Kids: 22 Kick-Ass Apps Parents Should Buy and Why

Written by Elaine Donato

KindleFireAppsWhile I am not crazy about the name chosen for the subtitle, this short guide is an informative and useful one for parents trying to navigate the world of apps for their children.

Donato begins by talking about recommended ages and the benefits of iPad use for children. She reminds parents that it is important to set and enforce limitations and know that apps are a supplement not a substitution to a child’s education. Subsequent chapters highlight games for kids like Curious George’s Town and Toca Hair Salon. Donato moves on to preview traditional story book apps like Little Red Riding Hood as well as those that explore geography and science such as Barefoot World Atlas and Bobo Explores Light. In her chapter on art, writing, and music the author includes apps for comics, playing piano and creating your own book. Then there are educational apps for learning the alphabet, phonics, counting, and common object recognition.

Donato urges all parents to test the waters with these apps and share the experience with their children. These apps provide an excellent opportunity for both generations to grow and learn together.

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REALITY OR ILLUSION?

Young Plato and the Cave

Written and illustrated by F.A. Chekki

YoungPlatoandthecave,pic

 

This is a wonderful and innovative book for children in middle grades and older. It serves as an introduction to one of Plato’s works, The Allegory of the Cave, as well as a bird’s eye view of ancient Greece and its importance to the Western world today.

At the beginning of the book, the reader meets the philosopher Socrates and his student, Aristotle just finishing a lesson. Portraits of Socrates and Aristotle are given as well as thumbnails of the poem which has Plato visiting the oracle in the cave to discern its mystery. Side by side with the allegorical tale, the author presents what he calls, “Bites” of Greek knowledge. These include the government of Athens, Mount Olympus and its gods, the Library of Alexandria, Greek education, the Oracle of Delphi, notions of Arete, and Greek architecture, Greek theater, art, religion, and geography. These small bites pack an abundance of material on each page.

The black and white pencil drawings of the allegorical tale are combined with humor to contrast nicely with the colorful photos of sculpture, paintings, and Greek artifacts. Students are introduced to a plethora of subjects in an easily digestible format. Teachers have an unlimited field of possibilities when using this book as jump off point of discussion for history, literature, philosophy, government, art and science. Any child age nine and older should be able to find an area of interest for further exploration. As a historian, I was impressed by the succinct but pithy descriptions and the well balanced text. Highly recommended to parents, librarians, teachers and budding scholars who want to learn about ancient Greece in a nutshell! I am confident that most readers will be encouraged to explore to learn more.

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PANDAMONIUM

Pandas – Fun Facts and Cool Pictures of These Adorable Creatures

Written by Laura Han

Pandas,pic

Who doesn’t love to look at these furry, cute creatures? The author has created an early chapter book with beautiful photographs that will appeal to children in kindergarten and the early elementary grades. Han gives a bit of the history and geography of the species, its current habitat, how it is raised, what it eats, describes its habits, and writes about what we can do to save this endangered animal.

There are only about 1600 of these animals surviving in the Sichaun province of southwestern China. Though the black and white patches on their eyes resemble those of a raccoon, they bear no genetic relationship to that species. Did you know that pandas used to be kept in cages as pets for the ancient Chinese emperors? Pandas can eat as much as forty pounds of bamboo in one day, and they spend more than half the day, up to fourteen hours, eating bamboo plants. An adult panda might weigh as much as three hundred pounds, but a newborn weighs only five ounces. Pandas generally keep to themselves, but they do like play by rolling around on the ground and tumbling.

Recently, their natural habitat has been racked by earthquakes, large-scale construction projects, and deforestation. Conservationists are trying to save them by finding them homes in zoos and protecting their native habitat. The author urges her readers to join support groups.

The photographs and maps in this book are beautiful and the text is clear, concise and simple. It is a nice addition to the nonfiction and science shelves of classrooms and libraries. That is not to imply that parents and children who enjoy looking at these beautiful animals will not want to add it to their personal library.

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JOURNEYING THROUGH ALASKA’S HISTORY

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Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume One

Written by Laurel Downing Bill

Vol 1 Cover Aunt Phil

This first book in this series like all the others are based on the writings and research of the author’s aunt, Phyllis Downing Carlson. In the first volume, the reader is treated to thousands of years of Alaska’s history from the time the first humans crossed the Bering Sea land bridge to the Klondike Gold Rush in the nineteenth century. The photograph of a mastodon graveyard is most impressive. Readers learn how the native Eskimos coped with the unknown with the magic of their shamans and the legends of the gods. An influx of Russian fur traders changed Native life forever. They brought illness and destruction to their hunting grounds and forests. Eventually Natives adapted by becoming guides for the newcomers exploration of the seas and the mining operations that later followed.

One of the short stories relates how the last gun shot of the American Civil War was fired from the Confederate ship Shenandoah off the coast of Alaska in June, 1865, two months after the war actually ended. These ships fired on whalers near St. Lawrence Island. The Shenandoah had previously captured thirty-eight Yankee warships. Not willing to surrender to Union authorities in the States, the Shenandoah sailed to England to surrender that November.

Bill traces the history of opposition to William Seward’s purchase of Alaska for the United States and the change of opinion once gold was discovered. Several stories detail singular individuals in Alaska’ s history. Readers learn about Captain James Cook, the explorer, Bishop William Carpenter Bompas, the missionary, Ivan Petroff, the census taker, and Old John Bonner’s murder mystery. One of Alaska’s most educated early citizens was George Washington Carmack who wrote beautiful poetry. Not only do the short stories cover all these areas, but the photographs, maps and drawings provide a feast for the eyes!

Aunt Phil’s Trunk: Volume Two

Written by Laurel Downing Bill

Vol 2 Cover Aunt Phil

Volume Two portrays the history of Alaska for a much shorter period, the end of the nineteenth century through the year 1912. Nevertheless, it packs quite a punch with more than 350 photographs and a saga of interesting characters and developments.

The Klondike Gold Rush brought the ongoing boundary dispute with Canada to a head. Stampeders from Canada walked freely across the border in an attempt to make their fortunes. Crime and robberies became rampart. Miners sometimes took justice into their own hands. One criminal was named “The Blue Parker Bandit.” A small group sailed from Seattle to steal one of the native totem poles for its city. Reportedly, Wyatt Earp and John Clum fled from Arizona to Alaska after the demise of Tombstone.

But as more settlers flooded the area and stayed, order needed to be restored. Leroy Napoleon McQuesten set up supply stations in the wilderness. Clum often traveled by mule and set up Post Offices. Frank Canton set up a court and became the first law officer. As towns sprung up and the area became more stable, the people demanded entertainment and culture. The Black Prince Boxer was listed as a popular attraction. The Monte Carlo Theater came to the town of Dawson. Poet Robert Service wrote his poem “The Call of the Wild.” Estace Ziegler painted scenes of Alaska’s rugged landscapes. The Iditarod trail was blazed;soon railroads and schools followed. Prosperity reigned until suddenly the Katmai Crater Volcano eruption created such a wasteland in 1912 that President Woodrow Wilson called it the largest national monument in the United States. As with volume one, these people and events are richly documented with photographs and drawings. Lots of changes were on the horizon which will be explored in volume three.

These books are highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Alaskan history, geography, and culture. Children age nine and above should be able to handle reading the text independently. All the volumes are a wonderful addition to the bookshelves of teachers, librarians, historians and the the general reader. Well-written comprehensive portrait of America’s forty-ninth state,

Laurel Bill headshot

Contact: Laurel Downing Bill

Email: auntphilstrunk@gmail.com

Website: http://www.AuntPhilsTrunk.com

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/LaurelBillAuthor

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/LaurelBill

Google +: http://www.plus.Google.com/LaurelBill

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmh0wCifvbXYsVg5IkawkyQ

 

Aunt Phil’s Trunk volumes 1 through 4 are available through http://www.AuntPhilsTrunk.com and Amazon.com.

Volume 1: http://j.mp/SSiIKX

Volume 2: http://j.mp/SSiOT1

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