March 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Preschool to Grade 4 Nonfiction | October 2013

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The Tree Lady (Hopkins)
©2013 by Jill McElmurry

redstarHOPKINS, H. Joseph. The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever. illus. by Jill McElmurry. 32p. S & S/Beach Lane Books. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-1402-0; ebook $12.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-8727-7.

K-Gr 2–Katherine Olivia Sessions was a real go-getter, becoming the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a science degree (1881) and transforming San Diego’s City Park from a dry, ugly hillside into a lush garden flourishing beneath a beautiful canopy of trees. Motivated by the love she’d felt for trees since her childhood, Sessions researched species that would grow in arid weather and hilly terrain, and she asked gardeners around the world to send her seeds. She had left teaching to establish a nursery, and by the turn of the century, trees from that nursery were growing not only in City Park but all over San Diego. The park would be the site of the Panama-California Exposition in 1909, and Sessions wanted thousands of additional trees in place to make it even more spectacular. Multitudes volunteered, and the result was so lovely that the fair stayed open for two years instead of one. Hopkins writes in a light narrative style that makes this picture-book biography a great selection for a storytime with a nature-based theme, but it also contains good information for early report writers. The author utilizes variations of a positive, upbeat refrain–“but she did”–that kids will enjoy repeating. McElmurry’s artwork undergirds Hopkins’s writing with stylized beauty and a sense of joy. This is a wonderful tribute to a true champion of nature.–Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR

redstarMACAULAY, David with Sheila Kennan. Toilet: How It Works. illus. by David Macaulay. 32p. (My Readers Series). further reading. glossary. index. websites. Roaring Brook/David Macaulay Studio. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-779-1; pap. $3.99. ISBN 978-1-59643-780-7. LC 2012947300.

Gr 2-5–A unique nonfiction offering that deals with human waste in a way that most other books have not. The topic of toilets could go in many directions, and this book addresses a number of them. Readers learn the biology of why people need to use a toilet, how it flushes, and where the waste ends up. Ever wonder how septic systems and sewers work? Look no further. Overall, this is an informative look at a technology that everyone uses and most people take for granted. At every step of the way, Macaulay’s engaging ink and watercolor illustrations and cutaway diagrams help to explain the text. This is a challenging read full of sophisticated and specific vocabulary, yet it is one that inquisitive youngsters and science-oriented kids will be drawn to. A boon to those looking to beef up informational offerings to meet Common Core standards.–Trina Bolfing, Westbank Libraries, Austin, TX

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The following titles are reviewed in this month’s print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

ARNDT, Ingo. Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws. tr. from German by J. Alison James. photos by author. 32p. index. Holiday House. 2013. RTE $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2857-1. ebook available. LC 2012039295.

BAUER, Marion Dane. Celebrating Florida. ISBN 978-0-547-89699-1; ISBN 978-0-547-89698-4. LC 2012016886.

––––.Celebrating New York. ISBN 978-0-547-89782-0; ISBN 978-0-547-89781-3. LC 2012016878.

ea vol: illus. by C. B. Canga. 40p. (50 States to Celebrate Series). chron. glossary. photos. Houghton Mifflin/Sandpiper. 2013. Tr $12.99; pap. $3.99.

FRISCH, Aaron. Bulldozers. ISBN 978-1-60818-338-8. LC 2012023247.

––––.Cranes. ISBN 978-1-60818-339-5. LC 2012023308.

––––.Diggers. ISBN 978-1-60818-340-1. LC 2012023420.

––––.Dump Trucks. ISBN 978-1-60818-341-8. LC 2012023422.

ea vol: 24p. (Seedlings Series). diag. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Creative Education. 2013. lib. ed. $22.80.

GRIMM, The Brothers. Cinderella: A Grimm’s Fairy Tale. tr. from German. illus. by Ulrike Haseloff. 32p. Floris. 2013. RTE $17.95. ISBN 978-0-86315-948-0.

JENKINS, Steve. The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest–and Most Surprising–Animals on Earth. illus. by author. 208p. bibliog. chart. chron. glossary. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2013. Tr $24.99. ISBN 978-0-547-55799-1.

JENKINS, Steve with Robin Page. Animals Upside Down: A Pull, Pop, Lift & Learn Book! illus. by author. 24p. Houghton Mifflin. 2013. lib. ed. $24.99. ISBN 978-0-547-34127-9.

LIVERSIDGE, Cassie. Pasta Sauce!: Grow Your Own Ingredients. 40p. chart. illus. photos. websites. Sky Pony. 2013. RTE $14.95. ISBN 978-1-62087-533-9. LC 2012041060.

MONSON, Christy. Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen. illus. by Lori Nawyn. 32p. Familius. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-938301-60-5. ebook available. LC 2013935465.

MORGAN, Emily. Next Time You See a Firefly. 32p. photos. websites. National Science Teachers Association/NSTA Kids. 2013. RTE $15.95. ISBN 978-1-938946-16-5; pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-936959-18-1. ebook available.

O’NEILL, Alexis. The Kite That Bridged Two Nations: Homan Walsh and the First Niagara Suspension Bridge. illus. by Terry Widener. 32p. chron. notes. websites. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-59078-938-4. LC 2012955629.

ROTH, Ruby. V Is for Vegan: The ABCs of Being Kind. illus. by author. 32p. North Atlantic Books. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-1-58394-649-7.

SAYRE, April Pulley. Eat Like a Bear. illus. by Steve Jenkins. 32p. Holt. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8050-9039-0.

SCHAEFER, Lola M. Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives. illus. by Christopher Silas Neal. 40p. Chronicle. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4521-0714-1. LC 2012039328.

SEGARRA, Mercedes. Fun Party Food. ISBN 978-0-7660-4262-9; ISBN 978-1-4644-0467-2.

––––.Pizza and Pasta. ISBN 978-0-7660-4263-6; ISBN 978-1-4644-0469-6.

––––.Tasty Desserts. ISBN 978-0-7660-4261-2; ISBN 978-1-4644-0465-8.

––––.Yummy Snacks. ISBN 978-0-7660-4264-3; ISBN 978-1-4644-0471-9.

ea vol: illus. by Rosa M. Curto. 36p. (The Little Chef Series). further reading. websites. Enslow Elementary. 2013. lib. ed. $22.60; pap. $6.95.

STEVENSON, Emma. Hide-and-Seek Science: Animal Camouflage. illus. by author. 32p. index. Holiday House. Oct. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 978-0-8234-2293-7. ebook available. LC 2011042109.

STRAUS, Susan Farber. Healing Days: A Guide for Kids Who Have Experienced Trauma. illus. by Maria Bogade. 32p. Magination. 2013. pap. $9.95. ISBN 978-1-4338-1293-4. LC 2012035872.


This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.