by Patricia MacLachlan, Emily MacLachlan Charest (Authors), Barry Moser (Illustrator)
Cuddle-some to Troublesome!
From the cutest to the most troublesome kittens, cats and toms, “Cat Talk” features furry friendly poems for children to read. Authors MacLachlan captures the many “cat” personalities in 13 different poems. Written with a gentle flow or words, these poems are told in first person and delightfully easy to read.
Meet “Tough Tom” who walks into a window with his nose scratched and ear torn up from a street fight with cats. He is cold and hungry and scared but he takes a chance and walks into a new life.
Then there is Princess Sheba Darling. This majestic graceful cat poses herself and shows off her importance in this world.
At the end there is playful and friendly Eddie who has a “job”. He meets and greets people. He runs when the phone rings and makes himself busy all through the day.
A lovely set of poems for a cat lovers. Enjoy reading these out and talking about the different personalities of the feline world. Barry Moser’s wonderfully warm watercolor paintings of sometimes playful and sometimes graceful cats are charming and kind to the eye.
Detailed Review @StackingBooks
It’s likely that you’ve seen this book reviewed elsewhere. There has been a lot of buzz about it in the kid-lit world. And for good reason. The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable LIfe of Paul Erdos is a wonderful biography of a fascinating man. In case you’re ignorant like me, Paul Erdos was a Hungarian mathematician known for his work in number theory and for his eccentric personality.
Deborah Heligman strikes a perfect balance in this book between the story of Erdos’ life and an explanation of the mathematical problems that so intrigued and consumed him.The main focus of the text is on the life of Erdos: from a childhood where he was kicked out of school for not following the rules; to his ability at the age of four to quickly tell a person how old they were in seconds once he knew their birthdate and time; to his love of prime numbers and to his mostly itinerant life as an adult as he traveled the world collaborating with other mathematicians.
When it fits with the story Heligman goes into more detail on the math itself (for example a terrific explanation of prime numbers). However, numbers and math are primarily incorporated into the book through the illustrations by LeUyen Pham. The endpages include an extensive explanation of the math she worked into the drawings. One example is that of equations and diagrams from problems Erdos puzzled over drawn into the architecture of buildings in Budapest on one page. And that’s just one example of many.
Read the rest of this review at Supratentorial.
I almost didn’t borrow this book to preview because I thought the illustrations looked blah and unattractive. Well, I still think they’re not the strongest part of the book, but it’s such a good explanation of science concepts for young kids that I purchased it for the library anyways.
The book starts with a sort of general introduction and question. There is a lot of water in the world and people have been using it to travel and move things for a long time. However, how do you know what floats and what sinks? Why does a boat full of people float, but a pebble sinks?
Find the rest of this review at http://jeanlittlelibrary.blogspot.com/search/label/Nonfiction%20Monday
Jennifer at Jean Little Library
This month in the Children’s Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, our staff book discussion (Reading Wildly) centered around nonfiction!
Nonfiction is a genre that some of my staff thought they had no interest in and I think it can definitely be a weak area for many librarians. We started our discussion by talking about the article I had passed out last month:
”Making Nonfiction Accessible for Young Readers” by Sue Christian Parsons (Reading Today, October/November 2012).
While this article is definitely geared towards teachers, we found lots to discuss. We talked about why teachers and librarians may not be as familiar with nonfiction as with fiction – because when we were kids nonfiction may not have been prioritized and a lot of what was being published was textbook-y and dry. Within the past 5-10 years, narrative nonfiction has exploded and there is a lot more available today then there was when we were growing up. Our job as librarians is to stay on top of what’s being published and be ready to recommend engaging nonfiction to teachers and to kids.
Outside of the classroom, some readers naturally gravitate towards nonfiction and we owe it to them to include nonfiction in our readers’ advisory arsenal. We talked about other uses for nonfiction, too. Adults may be looking for a brief overview of a topic, something they might find in a children’s book. And so much great narrative nonfiction is being published for young people that adults may be missing out if they skip over the children’s section altogether.
And, of course, as more and more of our schools are moving to adopt Common Core standards, reading narrative nonfiction is going to become more and more prevalent in classrooms. Nonfiction picture books can be great tools, even in upper grades, to give students an overview of a topic. Keeping on top of nonfiction is essential! And my staff discovered that there are great, readable titles available if we look!
Here are the books my staff talked about this month:
For more information about our discussion and our monthly Reading Wildly program, please visit my blog, abbythelibrarian.com.
At Wrapped In Foil this week we feature Mary Walker Wears the Pants: The True Story of the Doctor, Reformer, and Civil War Hero by Cheryl Harness and illustrated by Carlo Molinari, an excellent example of a picture book biography that introduces children (and many adults) to figures who haven’t been covered in standard history textbooks.
Back in the 1860s, Mary Walker was a figure who stood out. She was one of the first female doctors in the United States. To better perform her duties, she wore pants in a time when most women wore long dresses and even corsets. She even served as a physician during the Civil War and won the Medal of Honor!
Nonfiction Monday reviews of Mary Walker Wears the Pants can be found at:
True Tales and a Cherry on Top
NC Teacher Stuff
Ms. Yingling Reads
and of course, Wrapped in Foil
Donna Wilson’s Creative Creatures: A step-by-step guide to making your own creations
by Donna Wilson (Author, Illustrator)
Booktalk: Stuffed animals teach kids how to create pop-up greeting cards, a phone cover, dress-up clothes, a stuffed felt mobile, and more!
Snippet: If you’ve ever wondered what your stuffed animals do when you’re not in the room, this book will give you an idea. Raff and Rill create a cleaner-upper robot, Olice Owl designs an owl kite, and Cyril makes a sleeping Charlie Monkey doll.
It’s Nonfiction Monday!
Copyright © 2013 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Becoming Ben Franklin
written by Russell Freedman
2013 (Holiday House)
Source: Mebane Public Library
He snatched lightning from the sky and the scepter from tyrants.
- French statesman Jacques Turgot
If you are looking for a thorough and entertaining biography of Ben Franklin, then you should read Russell Freedman’s Becoming Ben Franklin. For readers of previous Franklin biographies, Freedman covers familiar and not so familiar territory. For example, I was not aware that Franklin’s oldest son was born not to his wife Deborah but to a woman that he never identified or that one of his beloved nicknames was “Dr. Fatsides.” After reading this book, you come away with a greater appreciation of Benjamin Franklin’s combination of intellect and common sense. In late 1764, Franklin returned to England to represent Pennsylvania’s interests. Parliament sought out his opinion on the enacting of the Stamp Act. He told them this act “would create a deep-seated aversion between the two countries, laying the foundations of a future total separation.” That’s an insight of the kind that Nostradamus wished he could have had. Franklin and others helped to persuade Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act.
Jeff Barger NC Teacher Stuff - http://ncteacherstuff.blogspot.com/2013/12/nonfiction-monday-becoming-ben-franklin.html