Thursday, July 10, 2014

Children's Review Round-Up



Animal Rescue Team
Braden North loves animals. He loves to bring them to school to show his class, and he loves the classroom pets his teacher brings. But one day something horrible happens.
It's a new rule: Animals of any kind will no longer be allowed in school!
Readers ages 5-9 will love discovering how Braden and his friends try to solve this problem. Will they succeed in becoming an Animal Rescue Team?
This is an easy chapter book with short chapters for readers who love animals.

An adorable story that kids and parents will both love!  It is a great story for those that love animals. It has great characters and an amazing story plotted with problems and solutions.  
4 stars

Baby's First Blocks
Book Blocks are chunky little board books that are shaped like blocks, the perfect first books for babies! Featuring high-contrast colors, eye-catching shapes, and colorful patterns (incorporating the latest scientific research about vision development), these mini books are designed to entice infants to focus and develop their visual acuity.
     Four little block-shaped mini books, each measuring 2-3/8 x 2-3/8 inches, comprise this adorable set:

     Book 1: Black and White--simple but interesting shapes moving into more complex shapes and patterns

     Book 2: Red, Blue, and Yellow--introduces primary colors and slightly more complex shapes, moving into real patterns with multiple colors

     Book 3: Color and Pattern--secondary colors and more complex patterns

     Book 4: Visual Excitement--subtle shades and complicated patterns 

Simply sit with your baby a few minutes each day and turn the pages, encouraging baby to focus on each page. As your baby develops, you will be able to hand the book blocks back and forth, and soon your baby will be able to grasp the book blocks and explore for her or himself. 
   • The set of 4 books is presented in a slim box, 9-1/2 x 2-3/8 x 2, with an acetate window that reveals the book blocks inside. 

   • Studies show that during the first year of life, babies' visual skills develop dramatically. While a month-old infant will prefer sharply defined, black and white edges and patterns, by 4 months of age, most babies can distinguish even subtle shades and respond to repeating patterns. 

   • These little books provide a great opportunity for parents and caregivers to interact with baby. Just a few minutes a day of looking at and tracking shapes and colors helps babies to develop good visual acuity.

   • Designed by Dan Stiles, who is known for his appealing use of color and pattern, these bloox make a great toy that will continue to be fun to play with long after babies have learned to see as well as adults.


Amazing and Awesome, simply put.  I think these board books are some of the best I have seen.  They are just what babies and toddlers love:  perfect size for little hands and visually stunning! They are just what parents love:  easy to take along and durable.  
5 stars

Bedtime Kisses
Mommy will be here really soon, But first I'll plant some kisses On my friends around the room. So begins a different type counting book for little ones.


I think think this is the sweetest night time story for young children.  I think children would have amazing dreams if this book was read to them nightly.  Counting and love wrapped together into an adorable read.
4.5 stars

Big Book of Who:  All Stars

From the editors of Sports Illustrated Kids comes The Big Book of Who, a 128-page collection of the brightest stars in sports, past and present. Profiles, facts and stats will bring the best players in pro sports history to life with all of the touches that Sports Illustrated Kids is famous for - terrific, age-appropriate writing and exciting sports photography. Ballfield greats such as, Lebron James, Babe Ruth, Landon Donovan, Michael Jordan, and Sidney Crosby will be profiled. Written in a fun question and answer format, kids will be able to stump their friends. 

The Big Book of Who is a book your young sports fans will return to again and again!


I think that TIME just keeps getting better and better. This book is full of the best of the best in sports all-stars.  They have it broken down by each sport and has some of the best pictures and facts collected in one book. My son is a sport fanatic and just devoured this book.  Every time that he picked it up to peruse or read he learned something new.  He takes it on every road trip and it keeps him entertained for hours.  
5 stars

X Why Z: Animals
Why do zebras have stripes?
Why don't cats like water?
Why do sharks have so many teeth?

When it comes to the facts, every child wants to know: Why? Now, with X-Why-Z Animals from Time For Kids, young readers-and their parents-can discover the answers. This book satisfies the never-ending curiosity of children, ages 4 to 6.

The easy to follow, question and answer format accompanied by colorful photos and illustrations delivers answers to more than 200 questions that kids have about animals! 

OMG, this book is adorable, fact filled and fun.  I loved reading it (maybe more than the kids).  We were on a road trip and took turns quizzing each other on fun animal facts.  I love how TIME formats their books.  They create facts around fun, colorful and vibrant pictures.   There are so many facts about all sorts of animals.  This is a MUST for all children's libraries.  Everybody will learn something and have fun while doing so.  This book allowed me to create great memories with my kids.  5 stars 

Robots is the first book in an exciting, new series fro­­­m TIME For Kids. Aimed squarely at readers who want to know more, this book answers the questions that children ages 8-12 want to learn the answers to.

Do you know what makes something a robot? Can you name the six types of robots? Can robots really fly? What kinds of robots are being designed by spy agencies, the military, and our first responders? And best of all, what's next? 

Rich with photos, facts, and fun, Robots will cover the world of robots as it exists today - and will exist tomorrow.

Who doesn't love robots???  This is the book for anybody who loves robots.  There is  something for everyone.  I never knew how many different kinds of robots there were and how many uses there are for robots.  I learn something new every time I open this book.  My son is fascinated with this book and his thirst and love for robots and robotics has grown.  What a great book to fuel the love of robots in people of all ages.
5 stars

Ten Busy Brownies
Count the Brownies from one to ten as they go about their night time chores.


An adorable rhyming story that kids will love.  I think this will be a great book to use in the classroom as well.  It is original and fun. 
4 stars

The Blue Baboon in the Big Balloon
Join Harold the blue baboon in this hilarious children’s picture book, as he travels to the moon, in a big balloon, with an outrageous cast of friends! This creative rhyming book will inspire children’s imaginations to soar to new heights!

Giggle Poetry:  Reading Lessons
Amy Buswell and Bruce Lansky's Giggle Poetry Reading Lessons turns struggling readers into happy readers — For Grades 2–5.
Many struggling readers are embarrassed to read aloud. They are often intimidated or bored by texts that conventional programs require them to practice. So, instead of catching up, they fall further behind. Currently 67% of American fourth graders can’t read grade-level text. Reading specialist Amy Buswell has spent eight years looking for remediation methods that work. “What is needed,” Buswell explains, “is a program that improves the motivation of struggling readers, because that accounts for 90% of the problem.” Four years ago, Buswell came up with a brainstorm. She knew her best readers enjoyed reading Bruce Lansky’s poetry books for pleasure. The more poems they read, the better the reading got. Why not use Lansky’s kid-tested poems as texts struggling readers could practice on to improve their reading—using six research-based strategies: choral reading, echo reading, paired reading, repeated reading, sustained silent reading and “say it like the character” reading. — This book is the result of that brainstorm and the resulting collaboration between Buswell and Lansky. It gives teachers and parents everything they need to help children improve their reading: -35 kid-tested poems by Bruce Lansky -35 customized reading lessons by Amy Buswell -35 off-the-wall illustrations by Stephen Carpenter -35 sets of zany performance tips by Bruce Lansky …all of which is designed to make the process of reading improvement more like fun than work. — What Amy Buswell and Bruce Lansky have created is the most entertaining fluency intervention ever. That’s why it is so successful at overcoming negative attitudes to improve reading skills and scores. Ninety-five percent of participating students made significant improvement in their fluency (reading rate). And average reading scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) for Buswell’s school raised her school’s rating to an A for the first time. In 2011, Buswell’s school achieved one of the highest-percentage reading gains in the county. — There’s no reason parents can’t get in on the fun, too. Parents will enjoy Lansky’s funny poems and Stephen Carpenter’s delightful illustrations as much as their children. By reading the poems with their children and encouraging their children to try some of Lansky’s entertaining performance tips (by adding gestures, sound effects, props and finding additional readers: be they friends, family or neighbors), they can dramatically speed up their child’s reading progress (and have lots of fun in the process.)


  1. Terrific reviews of splendid books. Thanks for reviewing Karin Larson's Bedtime Kisses, much appreciated!

  2. Thanks for reviewing Bedtime Kisses, Emily! I really appreciate your time.


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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