April 15, 2014

Subscribe to SLJ
Daryl Grabarek

About Daryl Grabarek

Daryl Grabarek is the editor of School Library Journal's monthly enewsletter, Curriculum Connections, and its online column Touch and Go. Before coming to SLJ, she held librarian positions in private, school, public, and college libraries. Her dream is to manage a collection on a remote island in the South Pacific.

Fractals, Dinosaurs, and Medical Mysteries | Nonfiction Notes, April 2014

Mysterious Patterns Cover Art

It’s Spring publishing season and we’ve highlighted a few of the exciting new titles that are being offered this season, ranging from a lucid explanation of a math concept for young readers to a collection of oral histories of individuals who went into hiding in the Netherlands during World War II. You’ll also find mysteries—medical and mythological, and a few art books.

Barefoot World Atlas; Jack and the Beanstalk | App Reviews

Barefoot World Atlas: Great Cities (Crane)  © David Dean.

New Informational apps and a well-known character take viewers on trips around the world and up a beanstalk.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘Love, the app’ | Touch and Go


The winners of the 2014 Bologna Ragazzi Digital Award were recently announced; Gian Berto Vanni’s ‘Love, the app’ took the top prize in the fiction category.

Maps, Globes, and a Few Lessons in Geography | Touch and Go


Join us for a look at some recent geography releases for early elementary to middle school students. The apps offer different approaches to the topic; together they cover both physical and human geography.

Leaving China | James McMullan’s Peripatetic Childhood

Leaving China

“What the taste of the Madeleine was for Proust the color purple was for me, a dreamlike atmosphere of late afternoon light that encased so many of the scenes that still reverberated in my mind.” James McMullan on his art for ‘Leaving China.’

Nonfiction Notes | March 2014


This month’s selection of new nonfiction titles includes a little bit of everything: biography, memoir, science, and history—cultural and political.

Nosy Crow’s ‘Jack and The Beanstalk’ | Touch and Go


The award-winning British digital developer with a distinct approach to fairy tales has a new app, and it’s something to crow about.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books


This month’s selection of apps take viewers on journeys: following threads of of invention across time, and to Shakespeare’s works, in a presentation designed especially for students.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! | Touch and Go


Once again it’s time to raise a few balloons as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2) with a roundup of his stories and Seuss-inspired titles, released as apps within the past 12 months.

The Intergalactic Duo Is Back & Bowling | Touch and Go


Capturing kids’ interest through games and badges is generally effective, but the trivia game ‘Ansel and Clair: American Bowl’ makes it clear that careful consideration must be given to both pacing and learning opportunities.

Axel’s Chain Reaction | Touch and Go

axel cover

‘Axel’s Chain Reaction,’ an original story app written by Allison Pomenta and illustrated by Mónica Armiño, provides multiple avenues to explore in a classroom, including a nonfiction investigation on kinetic art. It will also serve character education programs.

Celebrations and Anniversaries | Nonfiction Notes, February, 2014

The Beatles

Topping the piles of books on our desks this month are volumes marking the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Fab Four on American soil, titles to feature in your Black History Month displays, and a few choice selections on animals (and their plumage).

Journeys of Invention | Touch and Go

journeys cover

Prepare to get lost in the latest Touch Press app, ‘Journeys of Invention,’ developed in association with London’s Science Museum. Fourteen threads allow viewers to follow the creation of related technologies through time and cultures, and offer them some hands-on experiences with inventions ranging from a 17th-century microscope to a 20th-century encoder.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books

Endless Alphabet (Originator Inc.) ©2013

This month’s app selections are strong choices for home and school collections: two engaging productions for kids learning the alphabet, and an interactive introduction to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and the debates that swirl around the document today.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Starting Shakespeare | Touch and Go


Plays by Shakespeare often send high school students running for the hills, turned off by the language and ultimately missing out on some of the world’s greatest literary masterpieces. Is there a solution to this problem? Australia’s national theater company, Bell Shakespeare, thinks so.

The Wagner Files | Touch and Go


“Blaring trumpets, rumbling timpani. Dramatic surges of volume followed by ominous moments of quiet. Nobody has ever accused German composer Richard Wagner of subtlety.” ”The Wagner Files,’ a graphic novel, creates a vivid portrait of the 19th-century composer covering his music, and equally dramatic personal life and political activities from 1848 to his death in 1883.

Lessons from Aesop | Touch and Go


The ‘Aesop for Children’ for iOS from the Library of Congress provides a window for today’s children into a past where the way a crow manages to get a drink from a bottle and the consequences of goats facing off on a narrow bridge prove instructive for real life.

Searching for Sarah Rector | An Interview with Tonya Bolden

Searching for Sarah Rector

The Oklahoma-Texas oil boom of the early 1900s created fortunes for many landowners, including an 11-year-old girl named Sarah Rector. Her fascinating story is told here by Tonya Bolden.

History—and a Dash of Poetry | Nonfiction Notes, January 2014


Titles highlighted this month feature individuals, events, and policies germane to our nation’s history—and a dash of poetry.

A Bevy of Alphabet Apps | Touch and Go

Interior screen from "Elmo Loves ABC" (Sesame Street)

Judging from the number of alphabet apps, it appears that every developer has created at least one. This week we look at five of them, each worthy of a child’s attention.