Thursday, July 19, 2018

#Joy #NetGalley by Corrinne Averiss

Title: Joy
Author: Corrinne Averiss
Illustrator: Isabelle Follath
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens

Publish Day: July 19,2018!

Rating: 5/5

Description 

Fern’s Nanna has not been herself of late. And when Mom remarks that all the joy seems to have gone out of her life, Fern decides to fetch the joy back. With her catching-kit at the ready, she goes to the park and finds joy in all sorts of unusual places. Whooooshh!

But Fern soon realises that joy doesn’t fit in a bag, or a box, or a can! How will she manage to bring some back to Nanna? Emotional, funny, and uplifting, this beautiful picture book has a strong message about empathy and maintaining loving relationships with our grandparents. Guaranteed to bring a bit of joy into every reader’s life, this story is a pure delight.



Review:

Downloaded through Netgalley thanks to the publisher free in exchange of an honest review! 

Fern realizes that something is going on with her Nanna and plans on remedying it. Great book to help with emotions and noticing differences in others. The illustrations are engaging and interesting for me. I liked the use of the illustrations to convey the emotions going on with the little girl. This is a definite recommendation from me.


Image is from an eARC that may not be what it looks like when published. Wording may differ, too, but wanted to show more of the art from it.


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Thursday, July 12, 2018

#NationalParksOfTheUsa #NetGalley

Title: National Parks of the USA
Author: Kate Siber
Illustrator: Chris Turnham

Rating: 5/5

Publish Day: July 3, 2018

Access: downloaded through Netgalley for free in exchange for honest review.

Summary:
Discover the beauty and diversity of America's great outdoors in this tour of its most iconic national parks. Explore Florida's river-laced Everglades, travel down the white water rapids of the Grand Canyon, trek across the deserts of Death Valley and scale the soaring summits of the Rocky Mountains with this book that brings you up close to nature's greatest adventures. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each park, this fully-illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places—and shows why they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

 Parks include: Acadia, Badlands, Big Bend, Biscayne, Bryce Canyon, Channel Islands, Death Valley, Denali, Everglades, Glacier, Glacier Bay, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, Mountains, Hawaii volcanoes, Isle Royal, Mesa Verde, Olympic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Virgin Islands, Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Review:

A great offline Wikipedia pages about each state park with an artistic twist. The illustrations are engaging and fun to look at. The cursive may be hard for students who aren't accustomed to reading / writing in cursive. But it's done well enough that kids should be able to puzzle out what is being said.

This offline Wikipedia pages are styled in a scrap book fashion. Each state park is introduced with a vignette that is colorful and appealing for readers. Usually I prefer books for kids with actual photography but this can slide through as it's super adorable.

Recommend? Yes - definitely good for a classroom setting, road tripping or just for a gift.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

#TheHockeySaint #HowardShapiro

The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro

Summary:
Twenty-one year old Jeremiah Jacobson is the world's best hockey player, but he wasn't prepared for the frenzy and scrutiny that came with that title. Tom Leonard is an average college sophomore... just a guy trying to find his place in the world as he sorts through issues that are both very real and seemingly insurmountable.

 Through a chance meeting, these two strike up an unlikely friendship.

Their bond is tested when Tom discovers that his idol isn't as perfect up close as he seems from afar.

With Jeremiah living a little too much in the moment and with his past catching up to him, will Tom be able to help him before it's too late? From the author of the critically acclaimed "The Stereotypical Freaks", comes its sequel, "The Hockey Saint" a graphic novel about friendship, fame, and what we sacrifice for ambition and success.


Quick Review:

But these are great for kids who may not like reading or kids who enjoy real-life comics. Would recommend! Downloaded from Netgalley (auto-approved for this publisher on there). This has been out since 2014 so can purchase now. Yay!


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Monday, July 9, 2018

#HarrietTubman #NetGalley Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Title: Harriet Tubman
Author: Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Illustrator:  Pili Aguado
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Childrens / Quarto
Publish date:  June 5, 2018 --- soon!
Downloaded from: Netgalley

Description:New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor who 'never lost a single passenger' in this true story of her life. Little Harriet was born into slavery in Maryland and laboured in the fields from the age of 12. But as an adult, she escaped, freeing herself before returning back to lead hundreds of enslaved African Americans to freedom with great bravery and courage. Harriet sacrificed so much of her life for others, eventually working for the army in the Civil War and then promoting women's voting rights until she retired in Auburn, New York. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Review: 

Cute easy to read informative. Attractive/appealing as they describe 'quirky' illustrations. This is how you keep history.

Recommend: Yes, especially, if you're teaching this subject in a class or to kids. Or, just want to enjoy the illustrations.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Megabat - Anna Humphrey

Score: 4/5

Summary: Kid who has moved finds a sad bat. The bat wants to go home.

Recommend grade level: 2-5

Good:

Interesting enough that I  kept reading it. Good book for a kid who doesn't really like the magical/fantasy vibe of many kid books. But it has imagination built into it anyway. Great little story about making friends in the weirdest way. Great little companion story to have for any kid who enjoys Star Wars because that's like a sliver of the theme in this book.

Does fantastic with believable sibling arguments and wielding information against one another.

Has bird poop humor for those who love it (and we all probably know a kid who does).

Artwork is adorable which for me is an A++ for me.

Bad:

It was hard for me to read the start of it. I had to come back to it several times before I was able to get through it. Gets better toward the middle and until it finally ends.

Recommend?

Yes. Dabbles with moving, anxiety over making friends, and finding friends in the end. Dabbles a little with geography which was a surprise.



This is a copy of the review from my main review blog. 
 
Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness by Robert Kondo; Dice Tsutsumi


 Downloaded through Netgalley to read for an honest review.

This is a tie-in to an animation and the second book in the series. There will be more! So my introduction to these characters and story was actually through Facebook stickers. The stickers show you a weirdly cute and yet dark characters:


The website which is linked in the image above is also lovely to look at. It has images, videos and their social media. 

The first book follows Pig and the life inside Sunrise Valley. He's bullied, makes a friend with Fox. Now they are going on an adventure...

Which is what is happening happening in The Dam Keeper: World Without Darkness
The Dam Keeper Website


Short version:

Good:

- Gorgeous artwork and is just fun to look at. Excellent for students who cannot read yet or struggle with the font choice. You definitely see the adventure and can understand what is happening within the story with the images.
- A spookiness/dark aspect to the story. There is a ghost-like images and a sad flash back and what occurs at the end of the story.
- Touches on pollution and cultural belief differences but not deeply or anything. Could be used as an "extra" if you're teaching either of these points. Can students recognize they're putting masks on due to pollution? How do they react to different culture that they encounter? But definitely couldn't be a main piece in these lessons.
- Fun adventure story that you get to go along on!

Bad:

- Like the first book the font is hard to read. Age range for the first book is 7 to 11. Yes, kids this age can read and read well. But most children books have easy to read fonts. They're just big enough and nothing too different from what the kids are reading. Recommend for a kid who can easily read different fonts than what is normally in a book.
- Use the word crazy a little too much for my taste.
-There is a scene where the Princess of the moles is stepping a later and Pig accidentally sees up her dress. It's depicted in the story. This happens on page 109 so if you want to just skip that page to avoid that situation while reading this with your kids. 
- Ends on a cliffhanger we have to wait for the next installment!!!

Recommend:

Yes.

-----------------------------



Good:

The artwork is gorgeous and just fun to look at even if you're not able to read the words just yet. Great for kids who are too young to read. This story has a dark feel to in.

There is a bit of a spookiness to this story with Pig seeing what looks like a smoke ghost of his father. This triggers a flashback for Pig. Pig's loss can help discuss connecting students or your child to grief or sadness of loss and grief. Of course, if this is in a classroom setting you would definitely need to know your students well to do this.

In this their worldview is expanded they are learning there is more to life than just Sunrise Valley. There is a moment where they are in the city and have to put on breathing masks. These masks are meant to protect them from the pollution that the town has created.

This book is not ideal as one of your main point books but possibly good to have as a filler when talking about pollution. It could be something to see if kids recognize that they are putting on the masks because of the bad air.

They encounter people in this city who don't speak the same language as they do. They don't interact much with these characters other than to realize that they don't speak the same language. They're in the middle of looking for a friend that they lost in the crowd.

This has Hippo who is talking in his sleep. He's telling his father that he isn't a loser and that he'll do better. Hippo is the bully of this group so we're finding out that he's also being bullied at his house.

We get more hints about Pig's dad which I liked -- getting to some answers maybe??

Bad:

Like the first book in this series the fonts are hard to read. The age range states ages seven to eleven for the first book. I'm going to assume that this is the same age range for the second book. The writing is in white boxes so it's easy to find where the text is.

But creators of these lovely stories with the terrible fonts forget that kids struggle with these kind of things.

It uses the word "crazy" one too many that I wanted to shake the book in hopes to shake the word out.  When they are in the city with the pollution and people who don't speak their language they kind of adjust and move on.

 When they encounter the moles they show less acceptance or okay with dealing with people who are different than who they are. But you get to where she had plans on sacrificing Fox and Hippo so they were on the right track/ 

There is a scene where the Princess of the moles is stepping a later and Pig accidentally sees up her dress. It's depicted in the story. This happens on page 109 so if you want to just skip that page to avoid that situation while reading this with your kids.

It has its "Scary" bits with the creepy when Hippo and Fox are in the middle of almost getting sacrificed to what the moles and their princess call a Dragon. It's a smoke monster this happens toward the end of the story.

It ends on a cliffhanger. Why is Pig not going with them? What will happen? Where is this story going?

Again, unless you know your kids can handle the font and be able to read it comfortably that's fine. But it's definitely more of a picture book and a read to them kind of book. Many kids struggle with the type of font that is used in this story.

If you are against your kids or even your students reading things with "heck" or characters saying things like, "What the --?" and getting cut off this could be an issue. I know for parents often don't like replacement cuss words such as heck, darn, shoot,etc or the cutaways that suggestive of cussing even if there's no proof that is where they were going.

Recommend:

Yes. Even with the dark aspects of the story I think it's interesting enough. Used as an educational tool you would use this more of an extra simply because of the snip of pollution, introduction to different people and cultural beliefs. There is no depth to them alone in this particular story but they are there so it could be used -- but again as extra material.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

#AudreyTheAmazingInventor #NetGalley




Title: Audrey the Amazing Inventor
Author: Rachel Valentine
Illustrator: Katie Weymouth
Publisher:  Quarto Publishing Group - words & picture
Publish Day: June 21, 2018 -- Today!
Rating: 5/5

SummaryMeet Audrey. She wants to be an inventor, but her inventions are not entirely successful: the egg collectors and jam dispenser are a bit messy, and her faithful pet, Happy Cat, is still recovering from the mishap with the cat washer! It's enough for Audrey to lose heart and give up altogether, but with some encouraging words she gives inventing one last try. This fun and quirky picture book featuring a feisty and inspiring female protagonist with an inventive mind and curious spirit, is an inspirational story about following your dreams, caring for those you love and persevering to achieve your goals. Hilarious, heartfelt and utterly bonkers, Audrey the Inventor is a new heroine with plenty to say and do!

Review:

Cute, energetic and focused on a girls creativity. Zany attired, wild red hair tied up in pigtails with measuring tape.. she is inquisitive, creative and build things that interest her.

Most of her inventions aren't as successful as she'd like them to be..but keeps working. Very much a Little People Big Dreams kind of book.


Similar to The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires , Georgia O'KeeffeHarriet Tubman  < Little People Big Dream Books

Downloaded from Netgalley to read in exchange for an honest review.