April 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Review: Preschool to Grade 4 Nonfiction

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Firefly July: A Year of Very  Short Poems (Janeczko) ©2014 by Melissa Sweet

Firefly July: A Year of Very
Short Poems (Janeczko)
©2014 by Melissa Sweet

redstarBurns, Loree Griffin. Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey. photos by Ellen Harasimowicz. 32p. bibliog. diag. further reading. glossary. index. maps. websites. Millbrook. Mar. 2014. RTE $29.26. ISBN 9780761393429; ebk. $21.95. ISBN 9781467725422. LC 2013018086.

Gr 1-4 –Burns focuses first on the life of the life of the blue morpho butterfly at the El Bosque Nuevo butterfly farm in Costa Rica and concludes with its a final destination, the Museum of Science in Boston. Bold statements emphasize the details of the expedition through punchy phrases. “Sturdy and tightly sealed, these ingenious packages are ready to travel.” Factual back matter further supports the story. Additional information appears in the section “Insects and Their Life Cycles,” which discusses the process of metamorphosis. Crisp, full-page photographs capture each impressive stage of the butterfly’s journey. Vocabulary is clearly defined within the text, and the glossary explains scientific terms used within the narrative. At the end, the author notes that she and the photographer visited the Costa Rican greenhouse to capture this amazing process. This fascinating topic, rarely featured for a young audience, offers an accessible, visual delight.–Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC

redstarJaneczko, Paul B., sel. Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems. illus. by Melissa Sweet. 48p. Candlewick. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780763648428. LC 2013943087.

K-Gr 4 –Organized by the seasons, beginning with spring, this collection of 36 impeccably chosen short poems demonstrates that significant emotional power can reside in just a few lines. In obvious contrast with such small bites of poetry, the large-format design explodes with bright and expressive watercolor, gouache, and mixed-media collages. Colors and shapes with willowy details expertly blur or bring bits of the images into focus to create a magical sense of place, time, and beauty. The poems range from work by William Carlos Williams, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes to that of James Stevenson, Joyce Sidman, and Ralph Fletcher. The first verse opens the book with daybreak, and after exploring the whole year, the final selection sends readers off to sleep: “A welcome mat of moonlight/on the floor. Wipe your feet/before getting into bed” (Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser). Every poem evokes a moment, and, combined with its corresponding full-bleed illustration, the season is captured for readers to remember, experience, or anticipate. Any collection will be brighter with the inclusion of this treasure.–Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA

redstarRosenstock, Barb. The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art. illus. by Mary GrandPré. 40p. bibliog. notes. reprods. websites. Knopf. Feb. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780307978486. LC 2012032800.

Gr 1-4 –A stirring tribute to a prominent pioneer of abstract art, Paintbox follows the life of Russian-born artist Vasya Kandinsky from his childhood to adulthood, conveying the astounding imagery conjured in the painter’s (probably genetic) condition, synesthesia, which caused sensory fields to collide in explosions that enabled him, for example, to hear colors. In this delightful homage, Rosenstock’s crisp visual language unites with GrandPré’s deeply expressive and whimsical paintings to re-create the intriguing world of art as seen through Kandinsky’s distinct lens. The book offers diverse potential for different types of study, whether one is reading for information or for pleasure. Outstanding.–Kathryn Diman, Bass Harbor Memorial Library, Bernard, ME

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

Preschool to Grade 4

Brett, Jan. Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella. illus. by Jan Brett. 32p. Putnam. 2013. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780399257834. LC 2012048973.

Brocket, Jane. Cold, Crunchy, Colorful: Using Our Senses. 32p. (Jane Brocket’s Clever Concepts Series). photos. Millbrook. Mar. 2014. lib. ed. $26.60. ISBN 9781467702331; ebk. $19.95. ISBN 9781467725385. LC 2013020010.

Burgan, Michael. The Carpenter. ISBN 9781608704118. LC 2011028341.

Heinrichs, Ann. The Shipbuilder. ISBN 9780761400059. LC 2011028344.

Mara, Wil. The Gunsmith. ISBN 9781608704149. LC 2011028342.

Mead, Wendy. The Merchant. ISBN 9781608704156. LC 2011028343.

Petersen, Christine. The Wheelwright. ISBN 9781608704194. LC 2011028345.

ea vol: 48p. (Colonial People Series). further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. reprods. websites. Cavendish. 2013. lib. ed. $29.93.

Curto, Rosa M. Fun and Easy Drawing at Sea. ISBN 9780766060401. LC 2012049228.

––––. Fun and Easy Drawing Fantasy Characters. ISBN 9780766060425. LC 2012049229.

––––. Fun and Easy Drawing on the Farm. ISBN 9780766060388. LC 2012049227.

––––. Fun and Easy Drawing Storybook Characters. ISBN 9780766060449. LC 2012049230.

ea vol: 36p. (Fun and Easy Drawing Series). illus. by Rosa M. Curto. Enslow Elementary. 2013. Tr. $22.60.

deRubertis, Barbara. Let’s Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. illus. by Gershom Griffith. ISBN 9781575656380; ISBN 9781575656397. LC 2013001590.

––––. Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving Day. illus. by Thomas Sperling. ISBN 9781575656366; ISBN 9781575656373. LC 2013001585.

ea vol: 32p. (Holidays & Heroes). photos. Kane Press. 2013. pap. $7.95. ebk. $16.95.

Feldman, Thea. Tadpoles and Frogs. ISBN 9780753470862; ISBN 9780753470879.

Ganeri, Anita & Thea Feldman. Creepy-Crawlies. ISBN 9780753470909; ISBN 9780753470916.

Llewellyn, Claire & Thea Feldman. Fur and Feathers. ISBN 9780753470886; ISBN 9780753470893.

ea vol: 32p. (Kingfisher Readers). glossary. illus. index. photos. Kingfisher. 2013. Tr. $12.99. pap. $3.99.

FitzSimmons, David. Curious Critters: Volume Two. photos by David FitzSimmons. 32p. glossary. Wild Iris. Feb. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781936607709. LC 2013950090.

Florian, Douglas. Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles. illus. by Douglas Florian. 160p. Dial. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803740426.

Gandhi, Arun & Bethany Hegedus. Grandfather Gandhi. illus. by Evan Turk. 48p. S & S/Atheneum. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442423657; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442450820. LC 2011033058.

Gatto, Kimberly. Derek Jeter: A Baseball Star Who Cares. ISBN 9780766042988. LC 2012047620.

––––. Lionel Messi: A Soccer Star Who Cares. ISBN 9780766042995. LC 2012039665.

Torres, John Albert. Dwight Howard: A Basketball Star Who Cares. ISBN 9780766042940. LC 2012039420.

Young, Jeff C. Albert Pujols: A Baseball Star Who Cares. ISBN 9780766042285. LC 2012039418.

ea vol: 48p. (Sports Stars Who Care Series). bibliog. chart. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Enslow Elementary. 2013. lib. ed. $23.93.

Gilpin, Caroline Crosson. Amelia Earhart. 32p. ISBN 9781426313509; ISBN 9781426313516.

Zapruder, Aleandra. Anne Frank. 48p. ISBN 9781426313523; ISBN 9781426313530.

ea vol: (National Geographic Readers). chron. ebook available. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. National Geographic. 2013. pap. $3.99. lib. ed. $12.51.

Gray, Rita. Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? illus. by Kenard Pak. 32p. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544105805. LC 2013017621.

Gutiérrez, Elisa. Letter Lunch. illus. by Elisa Gutiérrez. 32p. Owlkids. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781771470001. LC 2013948985.

Hibbs, Linda. All About Indonesia: Stories, Songs and Crafts for Kids. illus. by Linda Hibbs. 64p. diag. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. score. Tuttle. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780804840859.

Houran, Lori Haskins. A Trip Into Space: An Adventure to the International Space Station. illus. by Francisca Marquez. 24p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780807580912. LC 2013033073.

Kerley, Barbara. A Home for Mr. Emerson. illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. 48p. notes. Scholastic. Mar. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780545350884.

Lewis, J. Patrick & Douglas Florian. Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems. illus. by Jeremy Holmes. 40p. ebook available. Random/Schwartz & Wade. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375866906. LC 2011011023.

Manning, Mick. The Beatles. illus. by Brita Granström. 48p. chron. discog. glossary. Frances Lincoln. Mar. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781847804518.

Mattern, Joanne. I Know Baseball. ISBN 9781624313974; ISBN 9781624314735. LC 2013006121.

––––. I Know Football. ISBN 9781624313998; ISBN 9781624314759. LC 2013006123.

––––. I Know Hockey. ISBN 9781624314018; ISBN 9781624314773. LC 2013006125.

––––. I Know Soccer. ISBN 9781624314025; ISBN 9781624314780. LC 2013008485.

Tometich, Annabelle. I Know Basketball. ISBN 9781624313981; ISBN 9781624314742. LC 2013006122.

––––. I Know Gymnastics. ISBN 978162 4314001; ISBN 978162 4314766. LC 2013006124.

ea vol: 24p. (I Know Sports Series). ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Cherry Lake. 2013. lib. ed. $22.79. pap. $12.79.

Muth, Jon J. Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons. illus. by Jon J. Muth. 32p. Scholastic. Mar. 2014. RTE $17.99. ISBN 9780545166683. LC 2012040378.

Percy, J. P. Animals. ISBN 9781599208923. LC 2012030848.

––––. At Home. ISBN 9781599208930. LC 2012033093.

––––. Nature. ISBN 9781599208954. LC 2012030876.

––––. On the Street. ISBN 9781599208947. LC 2012033092.

ea vol: 24p. (Can You Guess What I Am? Series). photos. Smart Apple. 2013. lib. ed. $25.65.

Pero, Denis. My Book of Animals: A Walk Through the National Parks. tr. from French. 96p. illus. maps. photos. Auzou. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9782733823156.

Rubenstein, Lauren. Visiting Feelings. illus. by Shelly Hehenberger. 32p. Magination. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781433813399. LC 2013001222.

Stewart, Melissa. Feathers: Not Just for Flying. illus. by Sarah S. Brannen. 32p. Charlesbridge. Feb. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781580894302; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580894319; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346272. LC 2012038694.

Ward, Jennifer. Mama Built a Little Nest. illus. by Steve Jenkins. 40p. websites. S & S/Beach Lane. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442421165; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9781442449459. LC 2013003343.

Wharnsby, Dawud. Colours of Islam. illus. by Shireen Adams. 44p. w/CD. The Islamic Foundation. 2013. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9780860375913.

Wilson, Karma. Outside the Box. illus. by Diane Goode. 176p. S & S/McElderry. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781416980056. LC 2011049239.

Yomtov, Nel. How to Write a Fractured Fairy Tale. ISBN 9781624311864. LC 2013008494.

––––. How to Write a Lab Report. ISBN 9781624311857. LC 2013007047.

––––. How to Write a Memoir. ISBN 9781624311888. LC 2013008074.

ea vol: 24p. (Language Arts Explorer Junior Series). chart. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. websites. Cherry Lake. 2013. lib. ed. $25.64.

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