Uncategorized

Goldi Rocks & the Three Bears by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Beth Coulton

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Back of Book:
Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear know how to rock! But they need a new singer, so they audition everyone—the Three Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. To their dismay, no one seems just right.

Could the perfect lead singer be the mysterious girl sleeping on Baby Bear’s keyboard?

This mash up of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Voice is a surefire story time hit.
My Review
My Kindergarten students always seem to love the story of Goldilocks and the three bears more than every other fairy tale. So last year during my read aloud time twist on the I read my class several fractured fairy tales. Goldi Rocks and the three Bears is among my favorite versions. The rhyming text makes it perfect for young readers to follow along and enjoy. I love how the author added other fairy tale characters to the story like Little Red and the Three Little Pigs. The ending of this story has a different twist and in my opinion, a much happier ending then the original storyline. I love the illustrations in this story. They are busy enough to keep readers engaged without losing the fun whimsical aspect of fairy tales!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Civil Rights

Martin’s Dream Day By Kitty Kelley

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Back of Book:
Martin Luther King Jr. was nervous.

Standing at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial, he was about to address 250,000 people with what would become known as his “I Have a Dream Speech”—the most famous speech of his life.

This day—August 28, 1963—was a momentous day in the Civil Rights Movement. It was the culmination of years spent leading marches, sit-ins, and boycotts across the South to bring attention to the plight of African Americans. Years spent demanding equality for all. Years spent dreaming of the day that black people would have the same rights as white people, and would be treated with the same dignity and respect. It was time for Martin to share his dream.

My Review:
When I saw this book at the Scholastic book fair this spring, I got super excited! It is by far one of the most beautiful stories explaining Dr. King. I grew up seeing these iconic images, but many of my students had not. This is a historical book that not only tells readers about Martin Kings dream speech, it shows them the impact that one man had on millions of people. Now more than ever, it is important to stress equality among our students. Civil Rights are not always civil. Students need to see what took place all those years ago. I feel like this book needs to be in every child’s hand. Not simply for Martin King day, but for every other day as well. This is an excellent and beautiful story.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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Apples

The Apple Orchard Riddle Margaret McNamara

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Back of Book:

 

Mr. Tiffin and his students from the popular How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? are back in this picture book about a school trip to an apple orchard!

In this playful, humorous, and child-friendly classroom story, the students learn a lot about apples and apple orchards—including how apples are harvested, how cider is made, and what the different varieties of apples are—while trying to solve a riddle.

 

My Review:

 

I don’t back to school until after Labor Day, but I know there are many people who are already beginning their fall units. The Apple Orchard Riddle is a perfect story to discuss the apple cycle. It follows a class field trip and all the things they things they learn about apples. The text especially focuses on one student named Tara and how she thinks just a little different than the other students.  The students learn about all the different types of apples, and when they grow. Tara is the focus of the story. She spends her time trying to figure out the riddle that the farmer has given them.  This is a fun story with a happy ending that allows children to see that it is okay to think differently sometimes.

 

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

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Uncategorized

A Unicorn Named Sparkle By Amy Young

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Back of Book:
When Lucy sees an ad in the newspaper for a unicorn, she sends in her twenty-five cents and waits four to six long weeks for her very own unicorn to arrive. She imagines the flowers that she’ll braid into his beautiful pink mane, and she even picks the perfect name for him: Sparkle. But when Sparkle arrives, his ears are too long, his horn is too short, he smells funny–and oh, he has fleas. Lucy isn’t pleased, but in the end she warms up to Sparkle and realizes that even though he wasn’t exactly the unicorn she wanted, he might be just the one she needs.

My Review:
This is such a sweet, and perfect story for any little girl who loves unicorns. Lucy is such a sweet character who wants to have her very own unicorn. Only one problem, the unicorn is a goat. What follows is a fun chain of events that follows Lucy trying to turn Sparkle into the perfect unicorn. I love that under the fun of this book, there is a message about beauty being in the eyes of the beholder. Amy Young did an excellent job of showing young readers that it is not what you have that is important, but what you do with it. The illustrations are fun and sweet. I am excited to see that there is a sequel and will be adding it to my to read list soon.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages.

Space

Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp

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Back of Book:
People, children especially, have been baffled, bewildered, and even outraged by the fact that Pluto is no longer called a planet. Through whimsical artwork and an entertaining dialogue format, Pluto’s Secret explains the true story of this distant world. Providing a history of the small, icy world from its discovery and naming to its recent reclassification, this book presents a fascinating look at how scientists organize and classify our solar system as they gain new insights into how it works and what types of things exist within it

 

My Review:
The world of outer space continues to be a mystery in many aspects. We are still learning exciting new things about the great beyond. I loved Pluto’s Secret because it teaches children about the great mystery of Pluto. Is Pluto a planet? Or something different? I loved that this book is written by someone who works in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This is not just a story about a planet, but a history of why scientists want to study and understand Pluto in the first place. I love that this book teaches about the scientists who discovered Pluto, and believed it to be something special. As a teacher, I learned several new aspects of space that I had never learned about. I loved that the back of the book has a glossary, and a note from the museum. This book is a must for any space unit.
Ages 7 and up
38 pages

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Allergies

The Princess and the Peanut Allergy By Wendy McClure

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Back of Book:
Regina and her mom are busy preparing for her birthday party. It’s going to be a princess party with the perfect cake that looks like a castle and has ice cream cone towers. Regina is inviting all the girls in her class, including her best friend, Paula. Paula is excited, too, until she finds out about the cake. It will have nutty fudge brownies and peanut butter candies. Paula can’t eat that cake—she can’t go anywhere near that cake—because she has a peanut allergy. Regina really wants her cake, and she and Paula fight about it. That afternoon they both go home mad. But that night, after Regina reads her favorite story, “The Princess and the Pea,” she thinks more about her friend and the cake.
My Review:
This past year I had several students who were allergic to nuts. We had several conversations in my class about how those students could not have nuts and that sharing snacks couldn’t happen. I found that reading picture books about nut allergies helped them understand why certain students couldn’t eat nuts. The Princess and the Peanut is a great story that shares with readers how to act when allergies affect their friends. It explains how some people have allergies to nuts. The text also teaches that that a person cannot catch allergies. I grew up allergic to peanuts and I would have loved to have a book like this. It teaches children to be aware and sensitive to others needs. I loved that in the two girls were able to come to a conclusion that would make them both happy. I think this is a must have for classroom reading, as well as to any child who has an allergy.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Uncategorized

What’s Making Walter C. Laugh? By Ginny Jordan

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Back of Book:
What’s Making Walter C. Laugh? is a whimsical story. Each page will bring giggles to children and adults as they wonder What is Making Walter C. Laugh? Is it a goldfish dancing with a banana on the kitchen table? Is it a snowman eating pizza in the bathtub?
My Review:
I was contacted by the very kind Ginny Jordan, and asked to review What’s Making Walter C laugh? The review is my own opinion. I love finding stories that make children laugh. To me, a child’s laughter is among the greatest sound in the world. So, when I picked up this story, I knew I and my students were in for a real treat. This is such a fun and imaginative story that is sure to bring on the giggles. The illustrations are beautifully done, and allow readers to picture the silly concepts that could be making Walter C laugh. My personal favorite picture was the one of the unicorns unicycling while juggling ice cream cones. As teacher, I can using this book as a writing prompt to see what else could make Walter C laugh. The book is a great length and is a great beginners book. I truly hope that Ginny continues to write more stories.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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math

Let’s Estimate: A Book About Estimating and Rounding Numbers By David Adler

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Back of Book: How much pizza do you need for a dinosaur party? If you don’t know exactly, you have to estimate! This lively introduction to the mathematical concept of estimation is straightforward and fun. David A. Adler explains what an estimate is and the difference between estimating and rounding. Edward Miller’s colorful and energetic artwork offers the perfect accompaniment to a concise, engaging text. Filled with simple examples and explanations, Let’s Estimate will have kids estimating like pros!

My Review
Teaching math can sometimes be difficult. Students don’t always understand the concepts. When I heard about Let’s Estimate I got very excited. Anytime children get to talk about dinosaurs, and pizza they get excited! David Adler is a very talented author who I able to write in a very clear and engaging way. The book gives the definition of estimation, and then goes on to explain how to do it. Each page teaches readers about a new step. Such as what rounding is and how to accomplish it. It breaks down how to round to 100s, 10s and ones. This is not just a book about math. It is a true teaching tool.  The illustrations are full of bright colors and draw readers into the story as they follow the dinosaurs through the math problems.   I wish that this book was around when I was in school. As a teacher, I am thrilled to see something as neat as this book available to readers.
Ages 8 and up
32 Pages

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Science

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

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Back of Book: Ada, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

My Review
I was so excited when I saw that this book is a part of the math and science catalog in Scholastic this month. Ada Twist Scientist is a story that could, and should be used for every STEM project that any teacher does in a classroom. The fact that Ada is a girl scientist adds extra value to this already fantastic story. The way the author integrates the questions of who, what, where when, and why, is truly brilliant! I loved the rhyming of the story it created a great pattern that was easy to read and enjoy. The inquisitive nature of Ada as she navigates questions and forms a hypothesis is both amusing, and informational. This story shows readers that sometimes to figure out the answer to a question, you must ask more questions. Great book for a read aloud before science projects. David Roberts did a great job at bring the illustrations in this book to life. I am looking forward to reading the other two stories by this author.

Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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School

K is for Kindergarten By Erin Dealey

61KrC9FbDtL._SY409_BO1,204,203,200_Back of Book:
Here comes kindergarten! Whether your little reader is gearing up for the first day or making her way through the school year, K is for Kindergarten will help guide them with silly rhymes and fun activities from A to Z.
My Review:
I picked this book during a recent trip to the bookstore. I absolutely love this story and how this book is set up. Each letter of the alphabet has a Kindergarten countdown that talks about all the fun things students can expect in Kindergarten. I also loved that each page has a Kinder challenge. I loved that the Kinder challenge is full of ideas that teachers can do throughout the school year. I also loved that this book gives children ideas on how they can practice at home. For example the letter B stands for books. The paragraph goes on to tell children how they can read books with their parents, and that we read books from left to right. I love that this book engages the parents as well as the students. The illustrations are sweet and involve students working together to accomplish tasks, or play. This is a must read for any Kindergarten teacher.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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