Saturday, April 8, 2017

#MMBBR #ReviewRoundUp @HolidayHouseBks #learning #BookLove #5StarReads

It all begins when Alexander H. Gory Jr. passes around a notebook in which he reveals a tantalizing secret: he has proof that their teacher, Mrs. Penrose, is a vampire. Soon the entire class is speculating and adding their opinions to the notebook until . . .  it lands in Mrs. Penrose’s hands. It turns out that Mrs. Penrose has been keeping a secret: she is expecting a baby. But since the notebook is encouraging her students to write and improving their spelling and grammar, Mrs. Penrose allows it to continue circulating.
The notebook becomes a terrific place for jokes, poems, stories and the correspondence between the students and their favorite author.  The notebook serves an even more important role when Mrs. Penrose’s baby comes too soon, and she is replaced by a no-nonsense substitute. The students begin to express their fears for their teacher, their frustrations and their hopes. 

My son said this book was hilarious and so fun to read.  He stated that he loved that there short passages to read, so it made it perfect for school because there is not a lot of time to read during the day.  He was able to read a bit here and bit there throughout the day.  He loved the story because it grew as the book progressed.  He said that he laughed and loved that this book.  He loved that the book is about being a team member, working together and about how wonderful writing is and how powerful words can be.  He absolutely loved it!  He said that he recommends this to all kids who love a great story with a complex and interesting story line.  

When winter ends, spring begins! The days get longer and the air gets warmer. Trees and flowers bloom and animals have their babies. Spring is the perfect time to have fun! Preschoolers will love this lyrical yet simple introduction to the wondrous surprises brought by spring. Featuring detailed photographs exploding with color, Hello Spring familiarizes children with the changes in plant and animal life that occur during a temperate spring. A glossary is included.

A great story about the beauty and process of winter becoming spring.  I adored that this book was so bright and beautiful with gorgeous photographs that capture the colors, feels, sights and sounds of the season.  I know that the kids in my classes are going to be completed engaged with this stunning book.  There is so much to love because the words float on the page and the photographs capture the attention with the spender of the season.  I loved this book!

The ants need to plan the Blowout Bug Jamboree! But how can they build a thrilling carnival ride for the festival if they don’t know how many bugs will come, or how big those bugs will be? This is a colorful and fun-filled introduction to nonstandard measurement, comparison, and organizing and representing data. As caterpillars, butterflies, and other insects are measured and compared in lengths of ants, an amazing plan unfolds. Just in time for the jamboree, the ants put the final touches on the perfect roller coaster, seen in a deluxe gatefold spread.

A great way to introduce kids to nonstandard measurement, comparison, organizing and representing data.   I loved that Barner took complicated concepts and presenting them in a way that kids can understand.  It is bright and colorful, which is one of the first things young readers will notice and love.  It is so much fun to try to figure out the lengths of all the bugs, as well as the number of bugs, so they can all be part of the jamboree.  It was sheer delight and I cannot wait to share with with my 123, ABC class as well as get a copy of this book into the school classrooms.  There is something very special about books that both engage and teach children.  When books do so in a way that is both fun and entertaining, then the book is a HUGE hit!  This book is one of those very special books!!! 

How much pizza do you need for a dinosaur party? If you don’t know exactly, you have to estimate! This lively introduction to the mathematical concept of estimation is straightforward and fun. David A. Adler explains what an estimate is and the difference between estimating and rounding. Edward Miller’s colorful and energetic artwork offers the perfect accompaniment to a concise, engaging text. Filled with simple examples and explanations, Let’s Estimate will have kids estimating like pros!

Everyone knows that Adler is a master at taking complicated concerts and breaking them down into smaller easier to understand parts.   I love that Adler can find ways to clearly explain the concepts and does so with humor and fun as well as with graspable examples.  For example:  How much pizza do you need for a dinosaur party?  Kids who are struggling to learn how to estimate or round number will find it so much easier to understand after they read LET'S ESTIMATE: A Book About Estimating and Rounding Numbers.  I found myself thinking that I wish I had this book when I was growing up because it would have helped me so much with these mathematical concepts.  There are easy to understand charts and graphics that help children learn how to be successful when rounding or estimating.  I think this is a must for all children learning these concepts because Adler is a pro at teaching.  I just cannot say enough how fantastic that this book is...a story with fun, entertaining and engaging learning concepts.  
5 HUGE stars!

From cars and trains to plains and boats, people all around the world have developed diverse means and methods of travel. In this fascinating exploration of transportation, Gail Gibbons employs her signature, colorful artwork and accessible text to explain transportation choices to young readers. Vehicles of many kinds are clearly detailed, as are transportation-related facts and concepts such as carpooling and commuting. For young readers on the go, this book is a must-have!

This book is a great way to have young readers learn about all the ways that people get round.  I know that my students will love listening to the story and looking at the full page illustrations.  The text is simple, so new or developing readers will enjoy reading.  The book has lots of drawings of all the various ways we get around.  I cannot wait to use this for my transportation lesson.  All the colorful illustrations the easy to understand text and informative story will be a hit for young readers.

Birds make many kinds of nests in many kinds of places―to keep their eggs safe and to keep chicks safe. In this exquisitely illustrated picture book, created with both traditional woodcut and digital tools, acclaimed artist Michael Garland celebrates animals that are both beautiful and resourceful. This text is accessible to new readers and the birds are labeled with their American English common names.

If you love birds like I do, this book is a must.  It has text that is easy for new or young readers and it is beautifully illustrated.  It is fascinating to see all the different kinds of nest birds build, the locations that the nests are built and with what materials the nest are build.  I feel a strong connection to nature and I have also seen the love in my children.  They are always pointing how hawks, eagles and other birds while we are out and about.  They both absolutely loved this book.  They thought it was both fun to look at and fun to identify the birds (which are also labeled) to see if they knew what they were.  I am pleased to say that they got many of the birds correct.  This is a must for lovers of birds...both young and old!

Sammy is a leopard with 500 perfect spots. But one morning a spot is missing. It’s a runaway spot! Sammy tries to catch it and stick it back on with tape, but the spot hops out the window and escapes. The spot is free! Quirky, dynamic art and a funny story will have young readers chuckling and considering what home means to them. An amusing double gatefold feature reveals the story of the spot’s adventures while on the run. 

Isn't the old saying: If you love something set it free...Sammy has to face this very difficult situation when one of his spots needs to seek some adventure of his own.  This book would ask as a fantastic writing prompt for kids.  They could write brief stories about what the spot does when it is free.  Then is can be compared to the gatefold feature where his adventure is revealed.  This book is funny, silly and a delight to read.  I think any kids will love this book and will open dialogue about what it means to be home.  A super cute and well illustrated book.

Size is just a matter of perspective in this charming story about a little lion who is much, much smaller than the rest. The other animals laugh at him and tell him that real lions are so very big, they can touch the moon with a paw. When a friendly raven discovers the little lion atop a hill, sadly gazing at the moon, the wise bird tells him that to touch the moon, he must reach for it. The next night, Raven brings all the animals to the base of the hill, where at the tippy-top, Little Lion stretches his paw as far as he can. From where the animals are standing, it is clear: Little Lion can touch the moon . . . and no one ever doubts him again.

If we think we are small, then small is how we will feel.  If we think we can touch the moon and reach for it, then just maybe we are bigger than we think.  This is a heartwarming story about the power of friendship, being kind to each other and more importantly being kind to ourselves.  I adored the illustrations and the way the text was displayed on the pages, all of these elements created a wonderful reading experience.  I hope we can all find our great little lion's roar and find ways to walk away from difficult situations smiling!!!


We can’t see magnetism, but it’s everywhere around us―even the Earth is a giant magnet! In this fun and accessible book, David A. Adler covers the basics of magnetism. Terms such as attraction, pole, electromagnetism and force are plainly explained, while Anna A. Raff’s lively art illustrates these concepts clearly. Suggested activities include instructions to make your own magnet! Kids who read this direct and uncomplicated introduction will learn to appreciate how magnetism powers our world.

Adler is a genius.  Magnets and concepts surrounding magnets are hard to understand.  My kids are going to go nuts over this book.  There are some very complicated and complex topics that Adler once again breaks down, with illustrations and explanations that are easy for young ones to understand and appreciate.  I love that there is a glossary and index that helps the reader navigate their way through the book.  I love that the book encourages hands on learning, which allows kids to change abstract concept into more concrete learning.  A delight and a must for classrooms teaching scientific concepts of magnets.

Caroline Herschel (1750–1848) was not only one of the greatest astronomers who ever lived but also the first woman to be paid for her scientific work. Born the youngest daughter of a poor family in Hanover, Germany, she was scarred from smallpox, stunted from typhus and used by her parents as a scullery maid. But when her favorite brother, William, left for England, he took her with him. The siblings shared a passion for stars, and together they built the greatest telescope of their age, working tirelessly on star charts. Using their telescope, Caroline discovered fourteen nebulae and two galaxies, was the first woman to discover a comet, and became the first woman officially employed as a scientist―by no less than the King of England! The information from the Herschels’ star catalogs is still used by space agencies today.

Woman have done some very interesting thing, but Caroline Herschel did something AWESOME she was the first woman to discover a comet and to be paid for scientific research.  That is such an amazing accomplishment and one that paved the way for thousands a woman that followed her.  Even though Herschel's life did not start out the way one would thing and through struggles and setbacks Herschel persevered and become something great!  This book is filled with beautiful illustrations, historically important information and a story that is sure to stay with you long after you close the book.  In was an honor reading this story and being able to learn such fun and inspiring things!

On the morning of August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle stood in her bathing suit on the beach at Cape Gris-Nez, France, and faced the churning waves of the English Channel. Twenty-one miles across the perilous waterway, the English coastline beckoned. Lyrical text, stunning illustrations and fascinating back matter put the reader right alongside Ederle in her bid to be the first woman to swim the Channel―and contextualizes her record-smashing victory as a defining moment in sports history. Time line, bibliography, source notes.

Gorgeously illustrated and beautifully written, Trudy's Big Swim will inspire anyone who reads it.   When you set out to do something there is always something that can get in the way, unless you decide not to let roadblocks become what defines you.  Ederle decided that she as going to be the first woman to swim the English Channel and so she did.  She faced waves, dangers in the water and pressures to complete the goal.  This story was fascinating, informative and completely inspiring.  This was one of the greatest athletic achievements of all time and done so by a woman.  Which, furthers the point, that woman can do anything they set their minds to and when we doubt ourselves we need to think about our heroines like Ederle and go after it!!!


“May 17: I was born today! It’s a beautiful, sunny spring day!” This is the diary of P. Mantis, one of 150 brothers and sisters born on a garden bush. P. Mantis is an amazing insect: she can make herself look like a stick to hide from predators, she can swivel her head all the way around, and when she’s grown up, she’ll even be able to fly! Told in dated entries, P. Mantis describes the entirety of her life, sharing the fun and beauty of her world as well its little ups and downs (“I ate one of my brothers. Okay, maybe two.”).  With bold, beautiful art and a text both humorous and scientifically accurate, My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis introduces young children to the life cycle of a familiar insect. 

This is an interesting look at something we may seldom think about...a praying mantis and their life cycle.  Written in the voice of P. Mantis and in journal format you are taken through time with the praying mantis from birth to fall when she takes a long rest.  My kids could not believe that P. Mantis ate of few of her brother's and were a bit grossed out by that fact.  But then they were fascinated by all the ways that the praying mantis could change its appearance to hide from possible predators.  The illustrations are bold and colorful and the text simple, humorous and engaging.  Kids will be fascinated by the extra facts in the front and back cover because they give us a ton of extra information.  There are also websites that can direct interested readers to sites about praying mantises.  Such an unusual book, but one that was both interesting and fun to read.


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