Parents for Sale
By: Dr. Nicole Audet
A story that parents and children can both relate to. Lucy and Luke are twins that are not taking care of their dog, Pistachio, so their parents decide to sell the dog because they are tired of taking care of it. However the twins have other plans…they decide to sell their parents instead. When a deal is finally made with the orphan fairy, she changes into a wicked witch. How will the twins save their parents? Of course with the help of Pistachio!
· The table of contents sets readers up to do investigating of new vocabulary to guide their predicting.
· The illustrations have powerful facial expressions that readers can use to infer characters’ feelings, how the feelings change over time and can help readers retell based on changes in characters’ feelings.
· Sparks writing ideas…chart ideas such as: wanting a pet, incidents that happen regarding taking care of a pet, positives/negatives to selling/trading/renting parents or a sibling, etc.
· Lots of dialogue with many “short” lines to use as a reader’s theater for developing fluency with young readers.
I can’t wait to add this book to our second-grade classroom library. It is sure to be a hit with my growing readers. 4.5 stars
Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo’s Saturn Surprise
By: Oneeka Williams M.D.
A Common Core aligned fantasy intertwined with facts about Saturn. Nine year old super surgeon, Dr. Dee Dee, is ready to help throughout the solar system when crisis occurs. And a crisis is occurring…Saturn’s rings have decided that they do not want to be rings anymore. Instead they want to go back to being a moon.
This book is packed with facts about Saturn, other planets and space exploration. The strong verb usage would be perfect to use in making a classroom chart about words to use when students are creating their own writing. In addition, there is a list of learning words and a glossary of new science words at the end of the story. The illustrations and multiple diagrams are bright and sure to hold students’ attention while providing added information. Finally there are comprehension questions and questions about reading a graph to build students’ knowledge.
Saturn Surprise is a part of the Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo series and is sure to be a hit with students in grades 1-4 that enjoy learning about space. 4.5 stars!
The Cat with the Yellow Star: Coming of Age in Terezin
By: Susan Goldman Rubin and Ela Weissberger
Susan Goldman Rubin ever so eloquently details the life of a young, mentally and physically strong girl during her time in Terezin and beyond. Ela Stein Weissberger was only eleven years old when she boarded a train with her mother, sister, grandmother and uncle for a German ghetto in Czechoslovakia because she was Jewish. During her time at Terazin she becomes part of larger family of approximately 28 girls that lived together in Room 28. The friendships that developed between these girls have become everlasting. Through countless interviews Rubin documents Ela’s experience in her own words. Ela’s quotes are powerful and moving.
This book belongs in every school classroom that studies the Holocaust.
· It provides factual information in an age appropriate way.
· It is a model text on how to use interviews to gather information for writing a biography.
· As a picture book, it is filled with photos of Ela’s life and her amazing artwork done while imprisoned at Terezin.
The strength of Ela Stein Weissberger must be shared, celebrated and admired by everyone! 5 stars!!
Hoppelpopp and the Best Bunny
By: Mira Lobe
Five bunnies, Binny, Benny, Bernie, Bonnie and Buddy, are best friends. They do everything together until a great big Rabbit, Hoppelpopp, shows up. Hoppelpopp asks the five friends a tough question…”Which of you is the best bunny?” The friends struggle with this idea since there hasn’t been any completion between them. Hoppelpop challenges them to find out who is the fastest, strongest, smartest and bravest. This challenge drives a wedge between their friendships until danger approaches.
This book is perfect for K-2 classrooms.
· Social Skills:
o What makes a good friend?
o Why is teamwork important?
o Understanding story elements (problem/solution)
o Lesson/Moral and how it can relate to helping you become a better person
o Character traits
I am excited to share this book with my second graders. It is easy to read and retell. The dialogue is simple so students can read it with character voices and expression. Finally the full page water-colored illustrations are sure to hold readers attention. 4.5 stars!