Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#MMBBR Children's Books Review Round-Up @HolidayHouseBks #SpringReads #SummerReading




Summer is just around the corner. It is time to start thinking about what you will have your kids read over the long break, so they don't lose all the gains they made over the school year.  Here are some amazing read for kids of various ages.  I cannot wait to give these to my boys to read.  They will go nuts because they are incredible  reads.  There are books that teach, books that entertain and books that engage their creative side.  Enjoy!




Who am I? ask captions alongside close-ups of colorful animal eyes. As readers guess which animal belongs to each eye, they will discover that each animal has a unique and amazing way of seeing. Snakes have clear eyelids that cannot ever open or close. Some sea creatures have hundreds of eyes around the edges of their shells. Many animals can see colors that are invisible to humans. Brimming with vivid and engaging photographs, this book also includes a clear explanation of how human eyes work, a labeled diagram of a human eye, a glossary and an index."

MY REVIEW:
I adore nature/animal based photo-illustrated books.  I love that they can engage a reader through the sheer beauty of nature and show an up close perspective that may not otherwise be seen without the wonders of photography.  In Whose Eye Am I? the reader gets to be part of a fun guessing game involving the amazing eyes of various animals/creatures.  Eyes are one of our most amazing body parts and not all eyes see or function the same way.  As you guess your way through the book you get a lesson on how each animal's eyes work.  I adored the vibrant and astonishing photos and the facts are well explained without being too complicated or too difficult for younger readers.  The facts are well stated, clear and completely compelling.  At the end of the book the reader gets an in depth explanation of the human eye, as well as a glossary and index.  It is a must for all animal lovers and those that love science and nature.  5 stars



A day on the African savanna is like a game of hide-and-seek with deadly consequences. Fierce, predatory animals chase down weaker creatures for food, while their targets scatter to avoid ending up as lunch.  We see animals of all sizes on their quest for a meal, leading up to a climactic face-off with some hungry lions: Run for your life! Back matter includes average sprint speeds for the animals mentioned in the book.

MY REVIEW:
Run For Your Life: Predators and Prey on the African Savanna is a story that can be told through the beautiful illustrations or through the incredible story filled with action packed words. The animals come to life as they leap, hop and trot through the food chain in a life or death battle to survive another day. This book you can teach children about predictor verse prey, the food chain, speed of animals, camouflage and marking as a way of survival, various verbs or actions words, as well as day-to-day life for the animals of the savanna.  There is so much that can be done with this book!  Kids that love action, adventure and a bit of suspense with devour this book! An added bonus are the last two pages that contain the speeds in which animals of the savanna travel.  I did not know a black mamba snake can travel 12.5 miles per hour!  5 stars





When Dog looks inside a hole in the wall, he spies another dog!  Dog can t wait to tell Warthog, Lion and Elephant the news. But when his friends look in the hole for themselves, none of them find the dog. In fact, they each see something different!  An argument ensues.  Each animal is sure the others are wrong, because everyone can t be right . . . can they? After a little reflection, readers will be delighted to discover that the hole in the wall is not a hole at all but a mirror. At the end of the day, friendship and harmony prevail.  Hans Wilhelm has created a humorous interpretation of Mark Twain s A Fable.

MY REVIEW:
How do the group of animals settle a dispute when they are all certain they are right?  When a group of animals look into a hole in the wall they all see something different, this causes issues and hurt feelings until the animals figure it all out.  A hilarious story that helps facilitates discussion around miscommunication, misunderstandings and ultimately resolution.  This book is also amazing because it is inspired by Mark Twain's, A Fable.  I loved that I can now introduce classic literature into my kids reading experience.  This book is a sure fire hit and has me thinking about all the ways that I can use it in my classes!  5 stars  





When Sally informs her mom that there is a hippo in the yard, Sally s mother is dismissive. I don t think so, dear, she tells her daughter, barely looking up from her lunch. I will give it some lettuce, Sally says, grabbing a leaf from her mom s bowl. Hippo is happy, but now the tiger in the tree is hungry. Sally's father is also disbelieving, so Sally just feeds the big cat some tuna. As with her parents, Sally s sister is unmoved by her tale of zebras in the garage, and even Nana refuses to set her knitting aside when Sally tells her about bears in the hammock. Meanwhile, the phone rings, and the family is in for a shock.  Zoo animals are on the loose! A frantic search finds Sally atop a hippo in their yard, along with several other satisfied animal friends.

MY REVIEW:
An outrageous story about a Zoo break.  Sally tries to tell her family about all the animals in the yard, but instead of believing her they disregard her until a call comes in to alert them of the news.  By that time, Sally has all the animals fed and happy in the yard.  4 stars 





In this urban adventure filled with more than one hundred fifty colorful animal characters, readers may notice something funny about the bright, energetic scenes. As critters roam through the city, each spread has a clue: a huge hand, a gigantic foot, a big tail, an enormous ear… What do these clues add up to? Big Bunny the oversized balloon, who sails down the street with a smile on his big face! Spot him in the background at the museum, the library, even the toy store.   Playful art inspired by illustrators Hilary Knight and Garth Williams, as well as modern artists Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and Henri Matisse, features bold colors and detailed cutaways.

MY REVIEW:
I love when I find books that are great for new readers.  HERE IS BIG BUNNY uses 20 repeating words to create an amazing story about a city full of animals.  The colors and vibrancy of the illustrations are such a fun way to journey through the story.  There is so much to see to engage the reader.  I love that it is an early reader, but has the feel of a full blown picture book. 5 stars





When Little Chipmunk wakes from his long winter sleep, it is springtime and he is hungry. But Little Chipmunk finds no seeds in his hiding place. Instead, there is the shoot of an unusual plant. The plant grows taller and taller under the spring sun, finally sprouting a gigantic golden flower: a sunflower!  Warm, rustic illustrations show Chipmunk watching the sunflower grow and change throughout the seasons. The flower turns from a brilliant yellow to a darkening brown, and sheds hundreds of seeds before wintertime. These seeds feed Little Chipmunk, but he is sure to bury some for next year, too. Backmatter includes a page detailing the life cycle of a sunflower.

MY REVIEW:
I adored this book for several reasons.  I loved that it brought the reader through the seasons.  It discusses the changes of weather and feel of the seasons.  The illustrations captured it all so beautifully.  The book also followed the life cycle of a sunflower.  I loved this because it will allow me to bring the story to life by allowing the kids in my classes to plant a sunflower.   Growing a sunflower is something most can do and will bring the story to life for the kids in my classes.  The story starts in Spring so now is a great time to read this book to your little ones and now is a great time to start planting sunflowers.  This book is just adorable, beautiful and educational.  I loved the back page where is explains the complete life cycle of a sunflower.  5 stars 





A tree gets planted in the middle of a big city and sprouts beautiful green leaves in the springtime. The local birds and butterflies are impressed by the tree's pretty foliage, but the little tree doesn't want to share. Go away! he tells them. Summer turns into autumn, and before long the tree notices his leaves are turning yellow. As winter approaches, the leaves dry out one by one and fall to the ground. I must be very sick, the tree thinks, panicked, as he regrets his selfishness. Finally the old crow takes pity on the tree and explains the cycle of the seasons. With a sigh of relief, the tree promises to share his branches.

MY REVIEW:
Little tree is young and afraid and doesn't want to share her beautiful green leaves, but as the season change so does the little tree.  The little tree is scared.  The kind crow explains the changes of season to the tree and the tree is relieved and willing to share from that day forward.  It is awesome that the book explains the changes of season in a clear and easy to understand way.  Is is also a story that captures the beauty of giving and sharing.  The book both starts and ends in Spring, so now is a great time to read this book.  This book will be another great book for my classes because it will be a story the young kids can relate to because they struggle with sharing.  The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL!!!  4 stars




Hip, hip hooray! Street and Brace have put their heads together and came up with a book about idioms that hits the topic right on the nose for elementary school students and English language learners. This handy volume allows readers to have hundreds of idioms at their fingertips so they can stay on their toes. The rib-tickling jokes, eye-catching illustrations and an overall lighthearted approach will have kids smiling from ear to ear, if they aren't already too busy laughing their heads off at the book's knee-slapping humor.

MY REVIEW:
I think the pictures in this book are just hilarious.   There is so much to look at that the reader becomes completely entranced from page one.  All the idioms explained in this book keep the reader entertained and maintains attention for a long time.  This is great for elementary aged kids because it explains the idioms with a sense lighthearted fun and humor.  My sons are going to adore this book! There are so many teaching points and dialogue starters for kids contained in this book.  There are so many funny and strange things we say in the English language that may be confusing for young kids.  This book brings them to life and offers an explanation as to what they all mean.  It is important for kids to know what the idioms mean because it will help them better understand things that are said and the things read in books.  Idioms are everywhere.  This book captures metaphors, proverbs, rhymes and alliterations and repeat vowel sounds, as well as exaggerations.    All the idioms are based on the human boy, so you know kids are going to think that is beyond funny.  5 HUGE stars





Jane Cabrera s boldly colored rendition of a favorite rhyme gets an ecofriendly spin. This old woman and her household of high-spirited children and talented pets are resourceful. Together they repair their broken furniture, find alternative modes of transportation when the car breaks down and remake worn clothing with colorful patches. Sheet music for piano, voice and guitar are included in the book."

MY REVIEW:
A new spin on an old favorite.  Recycle and reuse is this family's way.  They find a way to made it work with broken furniture, a broke down car and worn out clothes.  Nothing can keep them down because they are filled with love.  It also celebrates Mother's and all the ways they hold the family together, making everything right, kissing them and loving them up.  A delightful read and one I cannot wait to share with my classes. 4 stars





A girl who can t seem to stop knitting and a sheep who just can t say no star in this captivating new rendition of the well-loved nursery song. As a host of characters from nursery rhymes receive wonderful handmade gifts, poor Black Sheep s coat grows thinner. But there is a special reward in store for a generous sheep in this story about the joy of giving. For extra fun follow a winding strand of yarn through the pages of the book. Sheet music is included."


MY REVIEW:
A new spin on an old favorite and this time the story is about giving back to the sheep rather than just taking away!  In a story about friendship and kindness children will be taken away by the words to the new version of the song.  This is going to make a wonderful lesson in my Art Through Stories class at the Y.  There is so much that can be done with this book!  Each page is like a new adventure when you look at the beautiful illustrations! 4.5 stars





Lively animal characters are a delight in this version of the well-loved children's song, with new lyrics and sheet music included.

MY REVIEW:

Love, Love, Love this book...you need to take a look....I adored this new take on Row, Row, Row Your Boat!!! I cannot wait to use it in my ALL my classes.  There is one class where I have all boys and this book it a sure fire hit!  We will count all the animals in the book and act them out!  I loved the illustrations!  They are colorful and vibrant and sure to please.  The updated lyrics are adorable and fun!  I cannot wait share this book with all the kids in my class and see the excitement on their faces.  5 stars!





The sights and sounds of noisy farmyard animals during a busy day include roosters calling, horses neighing, cows mooing, ducks quacking, and pigs oinking.

MY REVIEW:
This is a great book for a farm lesson or for those that love books about farm yard antics.  I love the vibrant pictures, repetition of phrases, the action packed illustrations and the fun animal sounds.  The book is both cute and funny.  It will definitely entertain young readers.  This book would make an amazing read-aloud. 5 stars


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