March 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Preschool to Grade 4 Nonfiction

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Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom (Lapham) ©2013 by R. Gregory Christie, p. 174

Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom (Lapham)
©2013 by R. Gregory Christie

redstarCampbell, Sarah C. Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature. photos by Sarah C. Campbell & Richard P. Campbell. 32p. diag. glossary. Boyds Mills. Apr. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781620916278.

Gr 3-6 –The team who explored the Fibonacci sequence in Growing Patterns (Boyds Mills, 2010) returns with a similar book about fractals. Until 1975, there was no name for shapes in nature in which smaller parts looked like the whole shape. Then mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, who had been thinking about and studying these patterns, named them fractals. Using clear text and outstanding color photographs, Campbell explores the concept of these unusual shapes. Beginning with circles, cones, and cylinders, she leads readers carefully and concisely through examples of fractals such as trees, rivers, mountains, broccoli, lightning, and lungs. The photographs, sometimes highlighting the ever-smaller pieces of a vegetable fractal against a black background, sometimes drawing back to give a aerial view of a geological feature, are crisp and precise and underscore the clear text. The book invites readers to construct a geometric fractal as a hands-on exemplar of the concept. An afterword reveals more of Mandelbrot’s background and work, which will be an inspiration to budding scientists/mathematicians.–Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI

redstarCHIN, Jason. Gravity. illus. by Jason Chin. 32p. bibliog. diag. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. Apr. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781596437173. LC 2013001634.

Gr 2-5 –How do we stay put on our planet and not float away into outer space? What makes things fall to the ground from high places? Chin introduces youngsters to the concept of gravity, presenting the information in highly understandable language and in captivating paintings that will delight young readers. Deceptively simple large print text describe how gravity affects all things on Earth as well as in outer space. Colorful and incredibly detailed watercolor landscapes and close-up illustrations keep readers’ attention, and certain objects are repeated throughout the pages. Although Gravity is set up like a fictional text, the information necessary to understand the basics of gravity are present. This is a wonderful addition to libraries for younger students. In the “More About Gravity” section, readers can add to their increasing knowledge of the topic with important vocabulary and comparisons that allow for deeper understanding.–Katy Charles, Virgil Elementary School, Cortland, NY

redstarEhlert, Lois. The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. illus. by Lois Ehlert. 72p. photos. reprods. S & S/Beach Lane. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442435711; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442435728. LC 2012041869.

Gr 2-5 –Ehlert continues to enchant children with her inventive picture books. In this charming autobiography, she gives readers a fascinating glimpse into her creative process and her considerable talents as both an author and an illustrator are on full display. When discussing the fact that a career doesn’t happen immediately, she states, “Everyone needs time to develop their dreams. An egg in the nest doesn’t become a bird overnight.” Each and every page pops with her signature collages as she gives examples of her various techniques. “I use odd items to create texture. I splatter paint with a toothbrush or rub a crayon over my grater.” This book will attract browsers, thrill children who already love her work, be the perfect complement to an author/illustrator study, and is a stellar introduction to graphic design at its finest. A small masterpiece that is a delight for the eye and ear.–Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

redstarJenkins, Steve. Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World. illus. by Steve Jenkins. 32p. bibliog. diag. glossary. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780547959078.

Gr 3-6 –The ability to perceive light and dark first developed in simple animals approximately 600 million years ago. Since that time, multiple variations of eyes have evolved from four main types: eyespot, pinhole, compound, and camera. Toward the end of the book, Jenkins devotes a page to describing the “evolution of the eye,” enabling readers to easily follow the changes. Jenkins’s outstanding torn- and cut-paper illustrations offer a fascinating look at these important organs, which range in size from the tiniest holes (starfish) to basketballs (colossal squid). Eyes not only allow animals to find food and avoid predators but can also assist in swallowing food and aid in attracting a mate. Large, colorful pictures of more than 20 animal eyes are accompanied by a small illustration of the entire creature and a brief paragraph of intriguing information (for example, as a halibut ages, one eye moves until both end up on the same side of its head, the panther chameleon can operate both eyes separately, and the hippopotamus has a clear membrane that enables it to see while underwater). Animal facts, a bibliography, and a glossary round out this slim volume that will captivate readers of all ages.–Maryann H. Owen, Children’s Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI

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

Preschool to Grade 4

Bailey, Gerry. Adventure Homes. illus. by Moreno Chiacchiera & others. ISBN 9780778702870; ISBN 9780778702917. LC 2013023898.

––––. Storybook Homes. illus. by Joelle Dreidemy & Karen Radford. ISBN 9780778702887; ISBN 9780778702986. LC 2013023900.

––––. Towering Homes. illus. by Moreno Chiacchiera & others. ISBN 9780778702894; ISBN 9780778702993. LC 2013023899.

––––. Working Homes. illus. by Moreno Chiacchiera & others. ISBN 9780778702900; ISBN 9780778703006. LC 2013023897.

ea vol: 32p. (Young Architect Series). diag. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Crabtree. 2013. lib. ed. $27.60. pap. $9.95.

Bardoe, Cheryl. Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle. illus. by Alan Marks. 32p. bibliog. diag. glossary. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580895545; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781607346203. LC 2012038692.

Beck, Angela. Guinea Pigs. ISBN 9780 766041844; ISBN 9781464402999. LC 2012038631.

––––. Rabbits. ISBN 9780766041837; ISBN 9781464402975. LC 2012041568.

Grimm, Hannelore. Kittens. ISBN 9780 766041868; ISBN 9781464403033. LC 2012038633.

Harries, Brigitte. Puppies. ISBN 9780 766041875; ISBN 9781464403057. LC 2012038637.

ea vol: tr. from German by Claire Mullen. 72p. (Keeping and Caring for Your Pet Series). chart. further reading. index. photos. websites. Enslow. 2013. lib. ed. $27.93. pap. $7.95.

Brett, Jeannie. Wild About Bears. illus. by Jeannie Brett. 32p. further reading. glossary. maps. websites. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2014. RTE $17.95. ISBN 9781580894180; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580894197; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346364. LC 2012038700.

Broom, Jenny. The Lion and the Mouse. illus. by Nahta Nój. 32p. Candlewick/Templar. Apr. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763666194. LC 2013934309.

Brown, Don. He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: the Day John Wilkes Booth Killed President Lincoln. illus. by Don Brown. 64p. bibliog. Roaring Brook. Apr. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781596432246. LC 2013016334.

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History. illus. by James E. Ransome. 32p. chron. ebook available. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823423620. LC 2010048154.

Einhorn, Edward. Fractions in Disguise. illus. by David Clark. 32p. diag. Charlesbridge. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781570917738; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781570917745. LC 2012024435.

Francis, Suzanne. Europe. ISBN 9781 617839320; ISBN 9781617839979. LC 2013931973.

Hinds, Maurene J. Antarctica. ISBN 9781617839290; ISBN 9781617839948. LC 2013931972.

Klepeis, Alicia. Africa. ISBN 9781617839283; ISBN 9781617839931. LC 2013931967.

ea vol: 48p. (Continents Series). chart. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. ABDO. 2013. lib. ed. $32.79. pap. $15.64.

George, Jean Craighead. Galápagos George. illus. by Wendell Minor. 40p. chron. further reading. glossary. websites. HarperCollins. Apr. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780060287931. LC 2011030446.

Gibbons, Gail. It’s Raining! illus. by Gail Gibbons. 32p. diag. ebook available. maps. Holiday House. Apr. 2014. RTE $14.95. ISBN 9780823429240.

Glaser, Linda, retel. Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm. illus. by Maryam Tabatabaei. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807576205.

Goossens, Jesse. Holland/1000 Things About Holland Set. tr. from Dutch by Jonathan Ellis. illus. by Charlotte Dematons. 2 vols. 176p. Lemniscaat. 2013. Tr $29.95. ISBN 9781935954330.

Head, Honor. Fish. ISBN 9781848988583.

––––. Mammals. ISBN 9781848988569.

––––. Plants. ISBN 9781848988613.

Williams, Brian. Reptiles and Amphibians. ISBN 9781848988576.

ea vol: 32p. (Amazing Life Cycles Series). diag. glossary. index. maps. photos. TickTock/Octopus. 2013. pap. $5.99.

Jones, Ursula, retel. Beauty and the Beast. illus. by Sarah Gibb. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807506004.

Juarez, Christine. China. ISBN 9781476530772; ISBN 9781476535173. LC 2013002012.

––––. Japan. ISBN 9781476530802; ISBN 9781476535203. LC 2013002013.

––––. Mexico. ISBN 9781476530765; ISBN 9781476535166. LC 2013002014.

ea vol: 24p. (Pebble Plus: Countries Series). ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. maps. photos. websites. Capstone. 2013. lib. ed. $24.65. pap. $5.95.

Kaufman, Elliott. Numbers Everywhere. photos by Elliott Kaufman. 32p. index. Abbeville. 2013. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9780789211576.

Ketteman, Helen. There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant. illus. by Will Terry. 32p. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807578506. LC 2013027328.

Kutschbach, Doris. The Great Art Treasure Hunt: I Spy Red, Yellow, and Blue. tr. from German by Cynthia Hall. 48p. reprods. Prestel. 2013. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9783791371061.

Lapham, Steven Sellers & Eugene Walton. Philip Reid Saves the Statue of Freedom. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 36p. Sleeping Bear. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781585368198. LC 2013002586.

Lumbard, Alexis York. Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World. illus. by Alireza Sadeghian. 28p. Wisdom Tales. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781937786199.

Macaulay, David with Sheila Keenan. Eye: How it Works. illus. by David Macaulay. 32p. (My Readers Series). diag. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Roaring Brook/David Macaulay Studio. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781596437814; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9781596437821. LC 2012951526.

McGrath, Barbara Barbieri. Teddy Bear Addition. illus. by Tim Nihoff. 32p. diag. Charlesbridge. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580894241; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9781580894258; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781607346333. LC 2012038696.

pro familia. My Body Belongs to Me from My Head to My Toes. tr. from German. illus. by Dagmar Geisler. 32p. websites. Sky Pony. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781626363458.

O’Connell, Caitlin. A Baby Elephant in the Wild. photos by Caitlin O’Connell & Timothy Rodwell. 40p. maps. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780544149441.

Olmstead, Kathleen, retel. The Iliad. illus. by Eric Freeberg. 150p. (Classic Starts Series). Sterling. 2014. Tr $6.95. ISBN 9781454906124. LC 2013026604.

Pfeffer, Wendy. Light Is All Around Us. illus. by Paul Meisel. 40p. (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series). diag. HarperCollins/Harper. Mar. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780060291211; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780064409247.

Plumridge, Marianne. If Dinosaurs Lived in My Town. illus. by Bob Eggleton. 56p. Sky Pony. 2013. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781626361768.

Prelutsky, Jack. It’s Valentine’s Day. illus. by Marylin Hafner. 48p. (I Can Read!). HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780060537128; pap. $3.99. ISBN 9780060537142. LC 2008022597.

Rockwell, Lizzy. Plants Feed Me. illus. by Lizzy Rockwell. 32p. ebook available. Holiday House. Apr. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823425266. LC 2012007674.

Salas, Laura Purdie. Water Can Be…. illus. by Violeta Dabija. 32p. further reading. glossary. Millbrook. Apr. 2014. lib. ed. $17.95. ISBN 9781467705912; ebk. $13.95. ISBN 9781467725392. LC 2013017772.

Sill, Cathryn. Forests. illus. by John Sill. 48p. (About Habitats Series). bibliog. glossary. maps. websites. Peachtree. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781561457342. LC 2013026215.

Sneed, Dani. The Man Who Invented the Ferris Wheel: The Genius of George Ferris. ISBN 9780766041363. LC 2012013976.

Wyckoff, Edwin Brit. The Man Who Invented the Laser: The Genius of Theodore H. Maiman. ISBN 9780766041387. LC 2012013979.

ea vol: 48p. (Genius Inventors and Their Great Ideas Series). chron. ebook available. further reading. glossary. illus. index. photos. reprods. websites. Enslow Elementary. 2013. lib. ed. $23.93.

Stewart, Whitney. A Catfish Tale: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife. illus. by Gerald Guerlais. 32p. glossary. Albert Whitman. Mar. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807510988. LC 2013025950.

Stills, Caroline. Mice Mischief: Math Facts in Action. illus. by Judith Rossell. 24p. ebook available. Holiday House. Mar. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823429479. LC 2013017150.

Subramaniam, Manasi, retel. The Fox and the Crow. illus. by Culpeo S. Fox. 28p. Karadi Tales. Mar. 2014. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9788181903037.

Sutcliffe, Jane. Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be. illus. by John Shelley. 32p. bibliog. Charlesbridge. Apr. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580892957; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781607346142. LC 2012024579.

Tutu, Desmond, retel. Let There Be Light. illus. by Nancy Tillman. 32p. Zonderkidz. 2013. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780310727859.

VanHecke, Susan. Under the Freedom Tree. illus. by London Ladd. 32p. bibliog. Charlesbridge. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9781580895507; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781607346340. LC 2012038698.

Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner. Secrets of the Seasons: Orbiting the Sun in Our Backyard. illus. by Priscilla Lamont. 40p. diag. Knopf. Apr. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780517709948.

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