Books and Library, Uncategorized

Read the Book, Lemmings! Ame Dyckman

Lemmings

Back of Book:
Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off.

After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!
My Review:
This is an incredibly fun and exciting story. I loved reading about the unique Lemmings and their antics. Foxy is trying to read a story about Lemmings he holds the pages open so the Lemmings can read them. The problem was that the Lemmings can’t read and keep jumping in the water. This book is laugh out loud funny. Ame Dyckman and Zachariah OHora make a perfect team. The illustrated Lemmings will captivate readers. I hope that there are many more adventures written about these fun little characters. A perfect story to introduce the importance of reading. This story makes a perfect gift for Charismas.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher

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Back of Book:
Here is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem through Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.
My Review:
This is among my favorite stories to read during the Christmas season. It is written in the same poem as Twas the Night Before Christmas. This book tells the story of Christs birth in a simple yet incredibly poetic way. The illustrations are among the finest that are around. They are truly stunning and bring each small detail to life. The back of the story has the scriptures in the bible that tell the story of Jesus. I was very excited to see this book in the Scholastic catelogs last Christmas.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin

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Back of Book:

Spend the holidays with your favorite blue cat! In this rockin’ spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

My Review:

Pete the cat should be an essential part of every elementary teachers library.  There is just something fun and magical about every story that Eric Litwin writes. I had a student who bought me my first Pete the Cat story. Since then I have found and purchased the entire series. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas is a read aloud for the Christmas season. The story follows Pete as he agrees to deliver all the presents on Christmas Eve. Santa is sick so he calls the grooviest cat around to fill in for him. The rhyming text is easy to follow along with. James Dean brings Pete to life in a truly unique way. My students ask every day if we can read this book They sit and listen to every word. I highly recommend this Christmas story.

Ages 4 and up

40 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas By Fiona Boon

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Back of Book:
When Pip the polar bear is woken up in the middle of winter by a strange jingling sound, he sets off into the snow to find out what it is. When Pip finds Santa s grotto, he learns that the sleigh is one reindeer short and Christmas will be canceled unless they can replace her! Find out what happens in this charming and delightful story about a shy, little polar bear, who overcomes fear, helps others, and saves Christmas!
My Review
I love reading Christmas books that involve animals. They make stories more fun and Interactive. The Polar Bear who saved Christmas is a fun story about Pip a polar bear who takes Dancers place in Santa’s sleigh. Pip says yes, and because of his bravery he is able to save Christmas. The story is written in a fun rhyming pattern, that readers will enjoy. The illustrations are whimsical and beautiful. Readers will enjoy reading about Pip flying with Santa and the reindeer. This is a perfect read aloud for the classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith

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After moving from a small village in Mexico to a town in the United States, Eduardo is sure it will never feel quite like home. The other children don’t speak his language and they do not play fútbol. His family promises him that he will feel right at home by the time Christmas comes along, when “your words float like clouds from your mouth” and “trees will ride on cars.” With whimsical imagery and a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary, Gretchen Griffith takes readers on a multicultural journey with Eduardo who discovers the United States is not so different from Latin America and home is wherever the family is.

My Review:
This is a different type of Christmas story. The beginning of the story starts in September and ends in Christmas. Eduardo doesn’t want to move away from his hometown in Mexico. He misses playing futbol (soccer) with his friends. Everything in America seems difficult and strange. As the book progresses Eduardo realizes that he loves many things about America. Still, it won’t feel like home until he can set up his families nativity. I love that this book is honest and real. Most children do not feel comfortable when they first come to the United States. I loved that Eduardo takes his experiences day by day. The text in this story encourages readers to consider how people from other countries may view Christmas away from home. The illustrations are warm and draw readers into Eduardo’s emotions. This is a perfect story to read around the holidays.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

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Back of Book:
Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights.
My Review:
One of my families Christmas traditions is getting a live Christmas tree. It is one of my fondest childhood memories. The beauty of decorating a tree is exciting and this book is beautifully written to describe the experience. The text in this book is written with detailed description and rhyming patterns. My favorite part of this story is when it talks about all the different Christmas ornaments there are to choose from. The text is charming and pulls readers into the fun and excitement of the Christmas season. The illustrations are truly remarkable. I love the fun additions to each page like the kitty in the Christmas tree. This book is a perfect addition to any holiday reading list. I am looking forward to sharing it with my student this Christmas season.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Uncategorized

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

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Back of Book:
Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred. The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change. Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.
My Review:
This book tells the amazing and inspirational journey of one woman as she strived to make the world a better place. This book is based on the true story of Isatou. She found a way to recycle the plastic bags that littered the city streets. She recruited many women to help her turn the bags into something beautiful! This story is beautifully told. Isatou was brave enough to take one small step, that would eventually lead to giant change in her community. The authors note in the back tells readers about how the author heard about , and connected with Isatou. This is not simply a book about recycling, but a story of hope. This is an excellent story to read to students about perseverance and not giving up. The text has a repeating refrain that allows readers to follow along. The illustrations are stunning! They bring the women of Niju Gambia to life. I was very excited that One Plastic Bag is apart of the Scholastic Magazines. It deserves to be in every classroom and library.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Biography, Dog stories, Uncategorized

Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch Mona Kerby

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Back of Book:
One rainy night in 1888, a stray dog wandered into the U.S. Post Office in Albany, New York. Workers found him the next morning asleep on a pile of mail pouches. The dog seemed to like the post office and the smell of the mailbags and the men’s wool uniforms. When no one came to claim him, they named him Owney and made him their pet. However, Owney’s loyalty and sense of adventure soon made it clear he wasn’t just an average mutt. Over the course of nine years, Owney guarded the mail―not only in Albany but on mail trains that traveled all over the United States.
My Review: The librarian at my school shared this story with my class. I absolutely fell in love with the story of the brave dog who protected the mail. He is a true historical figure who is fairly unknown to most people. The story teaches readers all about the adventures that Owney went on. Mona Kerby did quite a bit of research to ensure that her book was as accurate as possible. Barasch did a beautiful job bringing Owney to life. Readers will love seeing the adventures that one small dog who spent his life, protecting the mail. The back of the book has a great authors note, as well as pictures of Owney. This is a great addition to any biography book list.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Uncategorized

Zero the Hero By Joan Holub

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Bac of Book:
Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s what all the other numbers think of Zero. He doesn’t add anything in addition. He’s of no use in division. And don’t even ask what he does in multiplication. (Hint: Poof!) But Zero knows he’s worth a lot, and when the other numbers get into trouble, he swoops in to prove that his talents are innumerable.
My Review:
I love combining picture books and math units. Anytime I can use a story to teach a math lesson, I jump at the chance. I love using this book to explain the true importance of the number zero. Zero the Hero is written with such a unique and different twist as most picture books. The entire story is written using word bubbles. The plot is cleverly written, and engages readers from the first page. The book talks about addition, subtraction, multiplication, division as well as Roman numerals. Readers will laugh out loud at all the jokes that are scattered throughout text. This is a perfect book to read for any math and ELA crossover!
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Biography, Uncategorized

The Story of Barbie and the Woman Who Created Her by Cindy Eagan

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Back of Book: After noticing how her daughter played with “grown-up” paper dolls, Ruth Handler wanted to create a doll that would inspire little girls to use their huge imaginations and big dreams about their futures. While others told her it wasn’t possible, Ruth Handler proved them all wrong by creating the most famous doll ever!

Since 1959, Barbie has shown girls that they can live their dreams. From an astronaut to a chef to a president, she knows that girls can do anything!
My Review: Barbie was my most favorite doll to play with growing up. She inspired me to follow my dreams. When I heard that there was a picture book about the woman who created Barbie I was excited. This book was a beautifully retelling of the courage that Ruth had to keep trying. The story follows how Ruth came up with the idea for Barbie by watching her daughter play. Ruth introduced her idea at the 1959 Toy Fair and the concept was loved. The story explains the addition of Ken and all Barbie’s friends. The most unique part of this book was looking at all the jobs that Barbie has had through the years. This book is not only a look at the creator of the doll, but how Barbie evolved over the years. Ruth made sure that as the nation changed, so did Barbie. The illustrations are beautiful, and show readers the different careers that Barbie was a part of. This is a great nonfiction story to add to any library or classroom.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages