Posts tagged ‘squirrels’

FINIS #Cybils 2017

 

FINAL REFLECTIONS ON EASY READER AND EARLY CHAPTER CANDIDATES

NUTTY ABOUT NUMBERS

 We Need More Nuts

 Written and Illustrated by Jonathan Fenske

This is a Step 2 Reading Book intended for readers in Grades 1 and 2. It is also a counting book. Children are introduced to squirrels who are hoarding and counting nuts. The number combinations begin with one and range up to twenty-four. This book may be read over and over to teach number skills or left in the hands of a child to practice independently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run, Run Run…

What is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang)

Written by Jan Thomas

This is another book in the Giggle Gang series that features farmyard friends who get into sticky situations. Duck is being chased and he summons his friends to try to get him out of a jam. They come up with some hilarious solutions that don’t appear to be working. Repetitive language, expressive illustrations and lots of humor will keep beginning readers laughing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Fantastica Family

The Beach Trip (Sofia Martinez

Written by Jacqueline Jules

Illustrated by Kim Smith

Sofia Martinez belongs to a huge family. Whether spending a routine day at home, heading off to the beach or shopping for school supplies, things are never dull. Sofia is gentle and tender, but she is also determined and loyal. The chapter book contains three short adventures with Spanish vocabulary words inserted throughout. This book is an excellent choice for ESL students, bilingual families or English-speaking readers who want to learn a bit of Spanish. Sofia’s antics are fun for boys and girls who enjoy having fun.

 

 

 

 

 

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Barkus

Written by Patricia Maclachlan

Illustrated by Marc Boutavani

This early chapter book chronicles how Barkus became an integral part of Nicky’s family. Uncle Everton shows up at her dog with his dog named Barkus who is well-trained and intelligent. Nicky’s uncle will be traveling and can’t take Barkus with him. Barkus follows Nicky to school where he is immediately adopted as the class dog. When Barkus’ birthday rolls around, he invites the neighborhood dogs to crash his birthday party. One day Barkus is bored so he adopts a neighborhood kitten to become a part of his family. Nicky, Barkus and his kitten have a tent camp out in their backyard. Each of them comforts each other; no one is afraid of the dark.

Large font accompanied by simple illustrations and lots of dialogue assist young readers in maintaining interest. By using four different stories and reweaving them at the end, children learn how to recap and summarize events. Family and pets are two themes that appeal to young readers. Highly recommended especially for children in the six to eight-year-old range.

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#Cybils #Finalists #KidReads

Finalist in Easy Reader Category

AN IMPORTANT MESSENGER

Tooth Fairy’s Night

Written by Candice Ransom

Illustrated by Monique Dong

 

 

 

This is a Level 1 Step into Reading book for preschoolers and kindergarten children learning to read. The storyline is perfect for this age group as most children are beginning to lose baby teeth. The Tooth Fairy is illustrated as an adorable character who assiduously performs her duties. The author uses lots of familiar objects like stuffed toys, pets, moon and stars. This book is written in simple rhyme with nice large print font and vivid colors. I would have given it five stars, but the rhyme structure seemed difficult in a few spots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finalist in Early Chapter Book Category

A WORKING VACATION

The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation

Written by Shannon and Dean Hale

Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Princess Magnolia has been busy battling monsters all week. As she prepares for sleep, the monster alarm sounds once again. She hurriedly dresses in her black costume and slides down the chute to the goat pasture, where a monster is threatening to eat the goats. The Princess is surprised to find someone dressed as The Goat Avenger; he looks suspiciously like her friend Duff. The Avenger suggests that Magnolia needs to take a vacation. He vows to stand guard while she is gone,

Princess Magnolia agrees and the next day she is off on her bicycle to the beach. Here she meets Princess Sneezewort. Suddenly, the tranquility of the day is broken by a giant sea serpent who is threatening to eat people. Of course, the princess immediately dons her costume and rises to the threat. Will The Princess in Black meet the challenge?

At the same time, readers are following The Goat Avenger in a parallel story as he strives to protect his goats. He sets traps for unsuspecting thieves. A squirrel is caught in one of his traps, but the tables are soon turned on The Goat Avenger. Is he successful in guarding the goat herd while the princess is away?

Lots of lively dialogue and large print size make this book appealing to young readers. Many of the colorful illustrations are full page. Onomatopoeia and action scenes move the story along quickly with just enough challenging vocabulary. Especially recommended for children for children ages six through eight.

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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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A STICKY SITUATION

Andy the Spider: Captured (Volume 1) 2nd edition

Written by Samantha Rindfuss

Charming chapter book for lower middle grade students focusing on a somewhat unusual grouping of large and small animals. Andy and his sister Emily are sibling spiders who often find themselves at odds. Emily is an expert web weaver, and Andy can’t seem to catch a meal so he often uses his speed to snatch Emily’s food. When Emily disappears, the timid Andy goes off to search for her. This trek into the forest results in a host of adventures and intrigues told in first person by a cast including owls, squirrels, fireflies, a hamster, a porcupine, a skunk, a caterpillar, and a coyote. Two human siblings alternately provide the spiders with a source of hope and fear.

The plot has lots of twists and turns in its 120 plus pages. Rindfuss leads the reader on a roller coaster of emotions but also supplies ample amounts of humor. Animals are infused with human character strengths as well as flaws. Harry the villain owl is a classic bully. Will the laws of the forest ensure justice? Do Andy and Emily resolve their differences and what lessons will their harrowing experience teach them?

Perfect book for beginning readers as well as reluctant readers who enjoy adventure stories with animals. Good discussion book for a teacher read aloud.

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OZETTE’S ODYSSEY

Ozette’s Destiny: Tales From Farlandia

Written by Judy Pierce

Ozette's Destiny pic

Ozette is a beautiful white squirrel marked with just a touch of gray down her back and on her head. She has come to the forest known as Farlandia on the advice of her grandmother, The Divine Miss Piddlewinks, who had given her a golden acorn. Ozette had been blamed for the encroachment of humans into their world because she was different from other squirrels. Upon reaching Farlandia, she planted a golden acorn. The forest bloomed with life, fairies, elves, nature, royalty, and all sorts of mythical creatures.

This book will entertain anyone from age seven through seventy. Its characters spin a tale of adventures that teach many lessons, cooperation, team work, loyalty, bravery, self-sacrifice and numerous others. At the beginning of the book we meet a scruffy white dog named Duchess Zorina who got lost while exploring outside the palace of Queen Beatrix. This turns out to be the beginning of Ozette’s adventures as she and her friends rescue “ DK.” Ozette gets to ride on a unicorn to visit the palace. The Queen insists on rewarding Ozette, giving her a crown and making her queen of the forest. Ozette has long been the humble caretaker of the forest, and her friends involve her in many of their foibles. She experiences life as a hummingbird, rides a parachute, and has her fur dyed pink! She remains a steadfast friend and never deserts a friend in need, even when he has been sprayed by a skunk! Like a true mother hen, Ozette feels a responsibility for all the creatures of the forest. She does not fear responsibility, but she is never overbearing nor does she want to impose her will upon others.

There are many touches of humor. Oliver’s boxer shorts disappear only to emerge as an elaborate bungee jump game for Ozette’s coronation festivities. The spiders weave an elaborate web parachute for her that has been dyed lavender. The Spice Squirrels are singing on stage, while birds and cicadas maintain a steady beat! Oliver, the elf has been busy in his kitchen baking all sorts of goodies. In fact, the author provides a list of delicious recipes that the reader will enjoy making and eating after reading the book.

Young children will enjoy the book if it is broken up into chapters as a read aloud. Older children and adults will fly through its approximately 160 pages as the fast paced story will compel you into quickly finishing it. I am looking forward to reading many more of Ozette’s adventures and the nuggets of wisdom that she drops for us.

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