Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Way the Cookie Crumbled

A Cybils Awards Nominee!



Title: The Way the Cookie Crumbled
Author:  Jody Jensen Shaffer
Illustrations:  Kelly Kennedy
Publisher:  Simon Spotlight
ISBN:  9781484487082

Review:

Kids love cookies. Learning about the history of the cookie is very interesting and engaging. Cookies had a rough start about ten thousand years ago, grain mixed with water were baked on sun warmed rocks. In the 600s of Persia, eggs, butter, cream, fruit, honey and sugar were added to the same flat tasting paste. Clay ovens with wood fires baked these little cakes. Overtime, many countries and cultures added their own twists of flavor like cinnamon, anise, coconut and molasses to name a few.


Recipes were created and shared. Machines were designed and the packaged cookie was born. History shows the cookie was used as a way to celebrate a special occasion, like the change of the seasons. In the Netherlands, St. Nicholas was given carrots for his horses. Later Santa Claus was left cookies as a sign of hope for better times ahead. Young readers will enjoy learning about the history of the cookie. Parents and teachers will appreciate kids wanting to read a nonfiction book that has a subject they can sink their teeth into.

The Infamous Ratsos

A Cybils Awards Nominee!



Title: The Infamous Ratsos
Author:  Kara LaReau
Illustrations:  Matt Myers
Publisher:  Candlewick Press
ISBN:  9780763676360

Review:

Louie and Ralphie are the Ratso brothers. They want to be tough just like their dad Big Lou. Together they plan sinister things so they can show everyone how tough they are. Unfortunately for them, their dastardly deeds never seem to pan out. On the playground, they steal Chad Badgerton’s hat. But, it wasn’t Chad’s hat at all. It belonged to Tiny Crawley who viewed the deed as a save in his favor. Another time during a winter storm their plan was to shovel snow right into the doorway of a local store. Again, their plan backfired and instead they cleared a path so the store could open. Most of their deeds made them out to be the good guys and they didn’t go unnoticed. When Big Lou received a letter from the school Louie and Ralphie were in for a very big surprise. Can you guess what it was?


Author Kara LaReau has created a fun couple of characters in this hilarious read. Black and white illustrations found throughout these pages will make readers laugh out loud as they follow along. Bold print sentences are basic and easy to read. This book would be a great read-a-loud for any classroom or family reading time. This book is also a great tool for discussion regarding bullying.

Inspector Flytrap

A Cybils Awards Nominee!




Title: Inspector Flytrap
Author:  Tom Angleberger
Illustrations:  Cece Bell
Publisher:  Amulet Books
ISBN:  9781419709487

Review:

A Venus flytrap is a pretty scary looking plant. Inspector Flytrap is not scary at all. As a matter of fact, he is an investigator who only solves big deal mysteries. He gets around in his flower pot on a skateboard with the help of his friend Nina the goat. Some of his mysteries involve solving yellow blobs on expensive art that turned out to be the artist’s boogers. Another case was solving the mystery of stinky cookies and stinky feet. When it’s all said and done Inspector Flytrap always managed to come out smelling like a rose.


This early chapter book is more for an advanced beginner reader. Longer chapters with snappy dialogue are fun and engaging. Hilarious illustrations in green and black can be found throughout the pages to give readers insight into the mysteries. Clues can also be found so readers can help solve the puzzles. This is a great book for boys but girls will love it too.

The Great Antonio

A Cybils Awards Nominee!



Title: The Great Antonio
Author:  Elise Gravel
Illustrations:  Elise Gravel
Publisher:  Toon Books
ISBN:  97819431450809

Review:

When Antonio Barichievich was born in Croatia he turned out to be a very large baby. By the time he was a teenager, he could up root trees and carry them on his back. As a young man, he moved to Canada and by then he was huge. His clothes and shoes were so large people could use his shirt as a parachute. In order to satisfy his appetite, he would eat 25 chickens and a dozen donuts. He weighed in over 460 pounds. He got a job as a wrestler. He wrestled 10 men, and even bears. He was known as Antonio the Great.

Author Elise Gravel has created a fun non-fiction read that slightly resembles a comic book with its big cartoonish and colorful words. Hilarious oversized pictures demonstrate the enormity of the character. Short simple sentences are easy to read and follow. The inside cover has an actual photo of Antonio. The back of the book has tips for parents and teachers on how to read cartoons with kids.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ultimate Oceanpedia

If you're looking to learn about the oceans and the creatures that live in and around them this guide is just perfect!



Title:  National Geographic Kids Ultimate OceanPedia
Author: Christina Wilsdon
Publisher: National Geographic
ISBN:  9781426325502

Review:

“I bet you didn’t know that the world’s oceans contain about 320 million cubic miles of water. That’s enough water to fill about 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallon-size milk jugs. If you could line up those jugs, they’d stretch from the sun to the planet Neptune and back nearly six million times.”

The oceans are home to so many types of creatures. If you saw some of them you might think they looked like something straight out of a science fiction movie. The glowing suck octopus produces its own light. It’s 40 suckers don’t grip but can glow blue-green. The dugong is a strange looking mammal that looks like a cross between a walrus and a platypus can stay under water for at least six minutes. The bathykorus bouilloni jellyfish is a new species that lives 4,600 to 6,500 feet below the surface. The sea pig is a blobby animal that eats mud for the tiny organisms that live in it. The barrel sponge can grow to be 6 feet wide and live for more than 2,000 years.

Living amongst us in these vast bodies of water readers will find creatures big, small, poisonous, playful, boney and blobby. There are creatures that live deep below the surface in the dark colder waters that glow in the dark and others that live in warm waters with bright colors close to the surface. There are chapters covering birds, otters and even penguins. Topics like currents, gyres, tides, weather patterns and the global conveyor belt can be found here too. There is a lot of detail found on these pages but also fun facts in bright colored boxes featuring Bet You Didn’t Know information. There is a section explaining how you can help save our planets abundant bodies of water and the creatures that live in them and around them and that means us too. Beautiful photos are found on each page so that readers can see the strange and beautiful creatures that live in our oceans. There are also plenty of colorful diagrams that educate readers on how the climate and even planets affect these waters. Parents, teachers and students will find this guide to be educational, enlightening and fun.

Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity

The Book of Heroes: Tales of History's Most Daring Dudes

Everyone will enjoy everyday heroes from the past and present.


Title:  National Geographic Kids: The Book of Heroes
Author: Crispin Boyer
Publisher: National Geographic
ISBN:  9781426325533

Review:

President Barack Obama is the first black president and a history maker in his own right. His charm, courage and humility put him in the limelight with others like Abraham Lincoln, Bill Gates, Alexander the Great and Sitting Bull. Heroes come in many forms. Russell Simmons started Rush Communications, one of the largest black owned media companies in the United States and with his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation he brings music education to disadvantaged kids. Pancho Villa, Wyatt Earp and Samuel Bellamy fought the good fight like Robin Hood. There are heroes who fight to save communities like police officers, military personnel and firefighters. Sports legend Jesse Owens proved to Hilter’s Nazi party that he was superior rather than inferior. Neil Armstrong, the original moon walker, showed the world that man can fly to the moon. A man of peace, Dr. Martin Luther King proved time and again that protests can be about truth and justice without violence.  Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin were not just men before their time but questioned the laws of physics and human behavior’s and environments.

Readers will find chapters covering Leading Men, Legendary Lads, Game Changers, Heroes for Hire, Peace Heroes, Action Heroes, Inspiring Minds and Outstanding Animals. Men and boys can be heroes too and there are plenty of them found right on these pages. These men have done more than step up to the plate they have challenged, fought and won for the greater good of everyone. Each of these men started out as ordinary but ended up becoming extraordinary.  Colorful artwork and beautiful photography put these heroes front and center. This guide also has fun facts in Moment of Bravery and even points out some Gutsy Gals. Parents, teachers and young readers will be amazed at all they will learn and hopefully all will be inspired to become a hero.

Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity


The Book Of Heroines: Tales of History's Gutsiest Gals

If you're looking for a role model you can find one right here!



Title:  National Geographic Kids: The Book of Heroines
Author: Stephanie Warren Drimmer
Publisher: National Geographic
ISBN:  9781426325571

Review:

Cleopatra was a ruler of ancient Egypt. During her time a girl had to have brains and courage. In 269 Queen Zenobia headed a revolt against the Romans after her husband was assassinated. First Lady Dolly Madison made a brave effort to stand her ground when British Troops were a threat. Mulan is a girl who took her father’s place during wartimes. These heroines were from an earlier time but inspiring none-the-less. So many women and young girls have taken a stance and followed their dreams to do what was right. Marie Curie discovered radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize. There are plenty of women in history who were pioneers in science and medicine like, Grace Murray Hopper, Mary Anning and Shirley Ann Jackson. Most recently you may have heard of Malala Yousafzai, a young girl who is paving the way to freedom for so many women and girls from the Taliban.  First Lady Michelle Obama has made great historical strides by being the first black First Lady and of course she is so much more than that.

Readers will find chapters covering Leading Ladies, Gritty Girls, Heroines On The Job, Legendary Ladies, Daring Dames, Peace Heroines, Ladies In Lab Coats, and Outstanding Animals. Woman and girls can be heroes too and there are plenty of them found right on these pages. These women have done more than step up to the plate they have challenged, fought and won for the greater good of everyone. Each of these women started out as ordinary but ended up becoming extraordinary.  Colorful artwork and beautiful photography put these heroines front and center. This guide also has fun facts in Moment of Bravery and even points out some Daring Dudes. Parents, teachers and young readers will be amazed at all they will learn and hopefully all will be inspired to become a hero.


Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity