Posts tagged ‘sibling relationships’

MEMORIES AND MYSTERIES

THE FLYING FROG

Written by David Yair

Illustrated by Ilana Graf and Natalie Jackson

This is book five of The Flying Frog series, but it stands alone as an interesting approach for children to understand Alzheimer disease. The Rimon children are a clever pair of siblings who are adept at solving mysteries. They accomplish this task with the help of a flying frog named Quack.

In Book Five of the series, Adam Shor is a retired carpenter who is beloved in his town. He is now in the advanced stages of Alzheimer disease. His wife. children and grandchildren watch over him. One day, he walks out of the garden gate. gets confused and lost. The whole town mobilizes to search for him. The Rimon children enlist the aid of Quack. They tie balloons to him and launch him into the forest.

As the story unfolds, children begin to understand the complexities of the disease and the emotional upheaval that it evokes in the family and friends. This story is an excellent way to introduce a discussion about the topic to children. There are a few endearing illustrations that portray the emotional impact of the tale. The book is short at under forty pages, but I would have liked to have seen larger print for the targeted middle-grade audience. Recommended especially for readers in the eight to twelve age range.

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WITTY AND WONDERFUL

20 Degrees from Normal: Creative Poems for All Ages

Written by Anissa Ferris and Antonio Ferris
Illustrated by Fanny Liem

This brother and sister duo has put together a wonderful collection of poems that address a plethora of topics with skill and humor. Almost anyone can find several that will strike a responsive chord. Readers, young and old, will find themselves agreeing with the futility of getting rid of a fly that has entered the house and the annoyance of a leaky faucet. Teenagers will not be able to avoid laughing at the two poems presenting a teenager’s and a parent’s point of view. The importance of everyday objects like the wheel and a lighthouse are simple poems that point out the importance of objects used and seen every day. I really could not stop laughing while reading the poem about a pet spider and the smartest phone. On a more serious note, the authors strike a chord with the poem about a teacher’s real responsibility and the poem which encourages us to soar by realizing that each new challenge entails possible risks.

This collection is certainly enhanced by the double-page spread illustrations of Fanny Liem. They are big, bold and vibrant drawing the eye right into the text. I would highly recommend this collection for any family’s bookshelf. Students in the middle grades and older will be able to fully appreciate the messages of the poems.

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LAUGHS GALORE

3-in-1 Jokes, Riddles & Tongue-Twisters for Kids

Written by Rob Hilario

 

 

This book contains roughly one hundred pages filled with one line jokes, riddles, and fun tongue twisters. It is written mainly for an elementary school age audience, but it would be enjoyed by kids of all ages. The book is divided into categories such as animals and pets, school and science, holidays, ghosts and monsters.

The book would provide lots of entertainment for children’s parties or fun for siblings and friends to quiz each other. Any child who loves jokes or practicing tongue twisters would enjoy this book as a gift. Recommended especially for ages six through twelve.

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ENTERPRISING ENTOMOLOGISTS

Bug Zoo Adventure: An Aspen and Eva Adventure Chapter Book for Kids

Written by Kari Sue Benjamin

An engaging chapter book that teaches children about insects, flowers, 4-H clubs, and good sportsmanship. Seven-year-old Aspen and her five-year-old sister, Eva are getting bored near the end of the summer. They decide that they will capture insects, set up a bug zoo, and charge admission. The chapter book follows their successes and failures. Readers learn about some common insects, the flowers that attract them, and how to collect them.

Aspen is old enough to participate in 4-H. She needs to find a project for the fair so she decides to incorporate her bug zoo project. Readers learn a bit about what 4-H is about and what happens at a county fair. Aspen and Eva expect to earn a lot of money with their museum. Aspen also anticipates winning first prize for her 4-H insect collection. When their plans don’t exactly come to fruition, the girls learn lessons about winning and losing. In the end, there are a few unexpected surprises.

This short chapter book is targeted for ages six through ten but is generally best for the younger part of that age range. Short chapters and lots of dialogue keep the plot interesting and easy to follow. Reluctant readers also will enjoy this fast-paced read of fewer than fifty pages.

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LOOKING BEYOND GROUNDHOG DAY

Margot gets an unexpected visit Nature in Quebec, Pictures of Astonishing Wildlife Book 1

Written and photographed by Lieve Snellings

http://smarturl.it/e7uowx

A charming picture book that combines a heartwarming tale of friendship between a groundhog named Margot and two sisters, and amazing facts that feature the wildlife of Quebec. Lowieske and Marie are two sisters native to Belgium who vacation in Quebec. They share their feelings and enjoy adventures together. Margot keeps her own journal. She shares information about her distant relatives, the squirrels. Readers become aware of the many similarities among humans and the groundhog families.

I found the tale of Eufrazie, the squirrel hairdresser, particularly amusing. Margot enlightens us with photos of the hairdos Eufrazie creates for all the animals who are cheering for the Canadian women in the World Hockey Game. I won’t reveal the winner, but as the sisters get ready to depart for Belgium, they are already looking forward to more adventures with Margot and her animal friends next year.

This beautiful book can be used as an introduction to nature for younger children. There is quite a bit of interesting information about the wildlife of Quebec. As such, the book is a good beginning reader that will sustain interest due to the nice blend of fiction and nonfiction. Children can easily empathize with Margot and her wildlife friends. I would particularly recommend it for children in the six to nine age bracket.

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MAKING THE BEST OF IT

Pure Trash

Written by Bette A. Stevens

PureTrash, pic

By way of disclosure let me say that I read this prequel after I read the full length novel. Some reviewers have indicated they felt the ending abrupt or incomplete, but I loved this short introduction to the characters of Shawn and Willie just as much as I did the full length novel.

Nine year old Shawn and his six year old brother Willie live in a run down house without plumbing along with their hard working mother and alcoholic father. The setting is 1955 when life for two poor boys was hard, but everyday life was simple. On a Saturday morning the two brothers ride their bikes, play with slingshots, and collect bottles for change they can cash in for candy and soda at the local general store. But the well to do town citizens look down upon them, and they are bullied for being “dirty trash” by children and adults alike. Anyone familiar with the baby boomer generation will enjoy and empathize with these lovable characters. Recommended especially for middle grade students.

Fun read for a lazy afternoon. Don’t miss the full novel, Dog Bone Soup.

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WINTER WONDERLAND

Rosco The Rascal in the Land of Snow #2

Written by Shana Gorian

Illustrated by Ros Webb

Roscosnow,pic

This is the second book in the Rosco series featuring the German Shepherd pup and his family. I enjoyed reading the first adventure set in the pumpkin patch, but the second one centering around a family weekend in the mountains entertained me even more.

Twelve year old James and his seven year old sister Mandy are classic sibling characters. Their dialogue and interactions are so natural. In this adventure James and Mandy share snowball fights, a terrifying sled race downhill, and encountering a coyote. Chapter book readers will find themselves identifying and empathizing with the characters and the tricky situations in which they find themselves. Black and white illustrations add interest. I have already grown fond of this family, their triumphs and their failures.

Recommended especially for children in the seven to ten age range, but adults will love it just as much for a enjoyable afternoon read.

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