February 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 Nonfiction

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How the Meteorite Got to the Museum (Hartland) ©2013 by Jessie Hartland

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum (Hartland)
©2013 by Jessie Hartland

redstarForbes, Scott . How to Be a Dinosaur Hunter: Your Globe-Trotting, Time-Traveling Guide. illus. by James Gulliver Hancock. 160p. (Lonely Planet Not for Parents). diag. index. maps. Lonely Planet. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781743219089.

Gr 3-6T his is a fact-filled romp for anyone fascinated by dinosaurs. Assuming that readers are embarking on a journey through both time and space to learn about and find dinosaurs, this guide supplies tips for budding paleontologists on everything from what to pack to how to outrun an enormous meat eater. Children are invited to explore three periods of time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth: Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous. Scientific data is made easily accessible, including new discoveries. Also included are interesting facts about the many scientists and fossil hunters involved in past and present archaeological expeditions. The author suggests places to visit worldwide, including natural history museums and special collections. The full-color, cartoon illustrations offer numerous sidebars with supplemental facts and asides filled with puns, jokes, and other humorous elements that will appeal to children. Though the volume is best suited for casual browsing, a thorough index makes it a useful tool for research projects as well. Recommended for most collections.–Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY

redstarHartland, Jessie . How the Meteorite Got to the Museum. illus. by author. 40p. Blue Apple. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781609052522.

PreS-Gr 2 –Employing the cumulative narrative style used in How the Sphinx Got to the Museum (2010) and How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum (2011, both Blue Apple ), Hartland explains how the Peekskill Meteorite traveled from space to Earth, eventually finding a permanent place in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The artwork has a naive, folk-art quality, reminiscent of the work of Simms Taback and Grandma Moses. The attractive, colorful illustrations will appeal to children. Back matter includes information on Dr. Mark Anders, the first scientist who viewed the meteorite in Peekskill, and additional facts about meteorites. This engaging work is well suited for reading aloud or for budding geologists, scientists, or curators. As the Common Core State Standards place increased emphasis on nonfiction for young students, this groundbreaking effort fits the bill and does it well.–Ellie Lease, Harford County Public Library, MD

redstarKalman, Maira . Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything. illus. by author. 40p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Jan. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780399240409.

Gr 1-4 –The inimitable Kalman brings her wit, wisdom, and beautifully unique artwork to one of America’s most complex founding fathers: Thomas Jefferson. A thinker, a gardener, a writer, a statesman, and so much more, Jefferson cultivated many interests and pursuits. His ability and need to balance the cerebral with the physical is evident in how he lived, the advice he gave, and the friends he made. Kalman does not shy away from Jefferson’s ownership of slaves and relationship with Sally Hemings, which are handled directly and effectively. Bits of historical context are included, but the focus here is on the man and his “pursuit of everything.” The text alternates between facts, which appear in a more traditional font, and asides to the reader and Kalman’s own thoughts, which are highlighted in large, hand-lettered print. Kalman’s distinctive, bold-stroked gouache paintings keep the tone light and fresh, providing plenty of details that garner a closer look. Share this along with the author’s picture-book biography of Abraham Lincoln, Looking at Lincoln (Penguin, 2012) to inspire young historians and artists alike. –Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

Preschool to Grade 4

AESOP. Aesop’s Fables. adapted by Martin West. illus. by Ayano Imai. 32p. Minedition. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9789888240524.

Barnham, Kay . Could a Robot Make My Dinner?: And Other Questions About Technology. ISBN 9781410952004; ISBN 9781410952066.

Mason, Paul . Did the Romans Eat Chips?: And Other Questions About History. ISBN 978-1-4109-5198-4; ISBN 978-1-4109-5204-2.

ea vol: 32p. (Questions You Never Thought You’d Ask). diag. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. reprods. websites. Raintree. lib. ed. $29.32; pap. $7.77. 2013.

Borden, Louise . Baseball Is…. illus. by Raúl Colón. 48p. S & S/McElderry. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781416955023. LC 2013008621.

Clay, Kathryn . Time to Sign: Sign Language for Kids. illus. by Michael Reid, Randy Chewning, et al. 112p. diag. index. photos. Capstone. 2013. pap. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-62065-687-7.

Curtis, Jennifer Keats with Patti Clark , et. al. Animal Helpers: Zoos. 32p. photos. Sylvan Dell. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781607187134; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781607188506; ebk. $9.95. ISBN 9781607188513. LC 2013021970.

Cuxart, Bernadette . Spooky Characters. 36p. diag. illus. Barron’s. 2013. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781438003580. LC 2013934482.

Demi . Florence Nightingale. illus. by author. 40p. chron. further reading. Holt. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780805097290.

Edgar, Sherra G. Bar Graphs. ISBN 9781624313905; ISBN 9781624314667. LC 2013004937.

––––. Graphing Story Problems. ISBN 9781624313912; ISBN 9781624314674. LC 2013005344.

––––. Line Graphs. ISBN 9781624313929; ISBN 9781624314681. LC 2013004939.

––––. Pictographs. ISBN 9781624313936; ISBN 9781624314698. LC 2013004938.

––––. Pie Graphs. ISBN 9781624313943; ISBN 9781624314704. LC 2013005088.

––––. Tally Charts. ISBN 9781624313950; ISBN 9781624314711. LC 2013005089.

ea vol: 24p. (Let’s Make Graphs). chart. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Cherry Lake. 2013. lib. ed. $22.79; pap. $12.79. ebook available.

The Emperor’s Nightingale and Other Feathery Tales. adapted by Jane Ray. illus. by adapter. 174p. notes. Boxer Bks. 2013. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781907152900.

Gordon, Nick . Alcatraz. ISBN 9781600149450. LC 2013007820.

––––. Edinburgh Castle. ISBN 9781600149481. LC 2013009633.

Von Finn, Denny . Paris Catacombs. ISBN 9781600149498. LC 2013007959.

––––. Tower of London. ISBN 9781600149511. LC 2013009613.

ea vol: 24p. (The Scariest Places on Earth). further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Bellwether Media. 2013. lib. ed. $22.95.

Hague, Michael. Michael Hague’s Read-to-Me Book of Fairy Tales. retold by Allison Grace MacDonald. illus. by author.. 123p. HarperCollins/Harper. 2013. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780688140106.

Ikuutaq Rumbolt, Paula, retel. The Legend of Lightning & Thunder. illus. by Jo Rioux. 32p. Inhabit Media. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781927095287.

Kenney, Sean . Cool Creations in 35 Pieces. photos by John E. Barrett. 32p. diag. illus. websites. Holt/Christy Ottaviano. 2013. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780805096927. LC 2013935799.

Lee, H. Chuku, retel. Beauty and the Beast. illus. by Pat Cummings. 32p. HarperCollins/Amistad. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780688148195. LC 2013021852.

Moncure, Jane Belk . A Color Clown Comes to Town: A Book About Recognizing Colors. illus. by Patrick Girouard. ISBN 9781623235659. LC 2013931407.

––––. A Dragon in a Wagon: A Book About Ways to Travel. illus. by Dana Regan. ISBN 9781623235734. LC 2013931413.

––––. Rabbits’ Habits: A Book About Good Habits. illus. by Susan DeSantis. ISBN 9781623235697. LC 2013931365.

––––. What Do You Do with a Grumpy Kangaroo?: A Book About Feelings. illus. by Mernie Gallagher-Cole. ISBN 9781623235895. LC 2013931421.

ea vol: 32p. (Magic Castle Readers). The Child’s World. 2013. lib. ed. $25.64.

Ondaatje, Griffin, retel. The Camel in the Sun. illus. by Linda Wolfsgruber. 40p. Groundwood. 2013. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781554983810.

Polacco, Patricia . Clara and Davie: The True Story of Young Clara Barton. illus. by author. 40p. photos. Scholastic. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545354776.

Raatma, Lucia . Bullying. ISBN 9781624311529; ISBN 9781624312847. LC 2013007031.

––––. Citizenship. ISBN 9781624311543;ISBN 9781624312861. LC 2013004805.

––––. Respect. ISBN 9781624311567; ISBN 9781624312885. LC 2013004930.

––––. Responsibility. ISBN 9781624311574; ISBN 9781624312892. LC 2013004931.

––––. Sportsmanship. ISBN 9781624311581; ISBN 9781624312908. LC 2013004934.

ea vol: 24p. (Character Education). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Cherry Lake. 2013.lib. ed. $25.64; pap. $12.79. ebook available.

Roberts, Cokie . Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies. illus. by Diane Goode. 40p. chron. websites. HarperCollins/Harper. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780060780029. LC 2013936887.

Rock, Lois, retel. The Lion First Book of Nursery Stories. illus. by Barbara Vagnozzi. 96p. Lion Children’s Books. 2013. lib. ed. $16.99. ISBN 9780745963419.

Schomp, Virginia, retel. Brer Rabbit and the Goober Patch. ISBN 9781608704392. LC 2012010545.

––––. Hiawatha and the Great Peace. ISBN 9781608704408. LC 201105067.

––––. Pecos Bill and the Slue-Foot Sue. ISBN 9781608704446. LC 2010023594.

ea vol: illus. by Jess Yeomans. 30p. (American Legends and Folktales). further reading. glossary. websites. Cavendish Square. 2013. Tr. $28.50. ebook available.

Schomp, Virginia, retel. John Henry the Steel-Driving Man. ISBN 9781608704415. LC 2010023593.

––––. Juan Bobo and the Bag of Gold. ISBN 9781608704422. LC 2010039865.

––––. Paul Bunyan and His Big Blue Ox. ISBN 9781608704439. LC 2010023520.

ea vol: illus. by Jess Yeomans. 30p. (American Legends and Folktales). further reading. glossary. websites. Cavendish Square. 2013. Tr. $28.50. ebook available.

Spilsbury, Richard & Louise Spilsbury . Animals in Danger in Africa. ISBN 9781432976729; ISBN 9781432976798.

––––. Animals in Danger in Europe. ISBN 9781432976750; ISBN 9781432976828.

ea vol: 32p. (Animals in Danger). chart. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. websites. Raintree. 2013. lib. ed. $26.; pap. $7.99.

Woelfle, Gretchen . Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence. illus. by Alix Delinois. 32p. bibliog. further reading. reprods. websites. Carolrhoda. Feb. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9780761365891; ebk. $12.95. ISBN 9781467723992. LC 2013018620.

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

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