The Great Leopard Rescue by Sandra Markle


The Great Leopard Rescue: saving the Amur Leopards by Sandra Markle. 48 p. Millbrook Press/ Lerner Publishing Group, August 1, 2016. 9781467792479.

Who can resist a face that that? I couldn’t when I was speedwalking past the Lerner Booth at ALAAC16! It stopped me dead in my tracks and I’m so glad it’s mine. Stop over to my blog, Proseandkahn for the full review.




Yellowstone (National Park Explorers)
by Sara Gilbert (Author)

Booktalk: A young explorer’s introduction to Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, covering its geyser-filled landscape, plants, animals such as bison, and activities such as camping and fishing.

Snippet: yellowstone_in

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.


Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up


Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up
by Jennifer Swanson (Author)

Booktalk: Take a close-up look at sports and nanotechnology, the cutting-edge science that manipulates objects at the atomic level. Nanotechnology is used to create high-tech swimsuits, tennis rackets, golf clubs, running shoes, and more. It is changing the face of sports as we know it.

Snippet: What do Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Michelle Wie, and Usain Bolt have in common? All of their equipment was made with nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is the science of things at the nanoscale. It deals with microscopic particles called nanoparticles. Most people measure things in terms of meters or feet. Nanotechnology engineers measure objects in nanometers. Nano- means “one-billionth,” so a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.


Meet Jennifer Swanson (and me!) at the Cool Science panel at the ALA Annual Book Buzz stage 10:30 – 11:15 on Saturday, June 25. We’ll talk about bringing contemporary subjects and science in action to classrooms and libraries.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Nature Recycles: How About You?


Title:  Nature Recycles:  How About You?

Author:  Michelle Lord

Illustrator:  Cathy Morrison

Target Ages:  4-8

First Lines: “The decorator sea urchin lives in the Atlantic Ocean.  The water is warm, but he covers up. Urchin wears colorful algae, rocks, and coral.  He wears ocean refuse like old oyster shells.”

Publisher Summary: “From sea urchins in the Atlantic Ocean to bandicoots on the Australian savanna, animals all over the world recycle. Explore how different animals in different habitats use recycled material to build homes, protect themselves and get food. This fascinating collection of animal facts will teach readers about the importance of recycling and inspire them to take part in protecting and conserving the environment by recycling in their own way.”

EvaluationNature Recycles:  How About You? presents the idea of recycling in a fresh and natural approach.  I never thought about the normal activities of the animals highlighted, like the woodpecker finch, octopus, caddisfly larva, and poison dart frog, as recycling.  In interesting ways, they recycle and reuse items left behind by plants and other creatures, often in highly creative ways. Readers get the sense of the circle of life as one living thing’s trash becomes a treasure for another.

The author keeps the idea of recycling at the forefront.  After a description of each creatures’ activities, she states:

(The creatures) recycle.

How about you?

AAwhereThis question opens up an opportunity to discuss ways people can improve their recycling and reusing practices.  An outstanding supplement book that provides extra information is Where Do Garbage Trucks Go? And Other Questions about Trash and Recycling (Benjamin Richmond). Thirteen common questions are answered about areas, such as why trash smells, what makes some garbage dangerous, and what is a recycling plant.

Cathy Morrison does a beautiful job on the illustrations in Nature Recycles:  How About You? Different habitats are shown, such as the ocean, desert, river, savannah, and forest. Each habitat is depicted in vivid detail, providing an opportunity to discuss the subject further.


Emerging readers will easily understand this straight forward text as it is being read aloud. There are several examples of onomatopoeia related to animals sounds that children can mimic. Beginning readers can decode it with minimal adult help or independently.

The book finishes off with 4-pages of extension ideas and activities.  However, there is much, much more provided FREE at the Arbordale website for each of their titles.

Both fascinating and educational, Nature Recycles:  How About You? is a great non-fiction read.

from Books4Learning


My Book of Birds

My Book of Birds
by Geraldo Valério (Author / Illustrator)

Booktalk: Geraldo Valério is an artist who loves birds, from majestic golden eagles and snowy owls to brilliant cardinals and jays to the tiniest of hummingbirds. Here he presents his favorites, with beautiful collage illustrations and brief descriptions that highlight intriguing facts about each one.

Trumpeter Swan
Cygnus buccinator

These huge swans — the biggest in the world — were almost extinct a hundred years ago because they were so widely prized for their feathers, eggs, and skin. Thanks to the work of conservationists, Trumpeter Swans are increasing in number, although humans now threaten the freshwater lakes, marshes and rivers where they live.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Everything Robotics by Jennifer Swanson


National Geographic Kids Everything Robotics: all the robotic photos, facts and fun! by Jennifer Swanson. National Geographic Kids Everything series. 64 p. National Geographic, March, 2016. 9781426323324. (Review from purchased copy.)

Do you have a STEM/ STEAM program or robotics club in your school or public library? This book should be front and center. Buy it even if you don’t. How can you resist that cover? If you find that you can, find the book and flip to the back cover!  Full review over at Proseandkahn.

The Hole Story of the Doughnut

Hole Story of DonutThe Hole Story of the Doughnut

by Pat Miller; illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch

40 pages; ages 6-9

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

“Few remember the master mariner Hanson Crockett Gregory, though he was bold and brave and bright. But the pastry he invented more than 166 years ago is eaten daily by doughnut lovers everywhere.”

Hanson Gregory was just 13 when he went to sea. He wanted to learn as much as possible, and he eventually became a captain of a clipper, shipping foods from Maine to California. He even got a medal for heroism from the Queen of Spain.

But what people remember him for: inventing the doughnut.

What I like about this book: It’s a true story that reads like a tall tale. Kitchen boy goofs up making buns; comes up with way to ensure there are no raw, doughy centers by cutting them out. Sailors loved them and the rest is history. It’s fun to read and the illustrations are clever, but make sure you’ve got a plate of doughnuts because everyone will want one when you turn the last page.

I like that there’s back matter: author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography of resources. I also like that author Pat Miller was inspired to write this book by a snippet of conversation she overheard. On a tour of Boston Harbor the guide offhandedly commented, “The guy who invented the hole in the doughnut is buried over there.” That, and Miller’s curiosity, led her to discover a delicious story.

Today is National Donut Day – so head over to Sally’s Bookshelf for some beyond-the-book activities.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved. Site Meter