Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame app review

breathe think do menu

Simple app Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame (Sesame Workshop, December 2013), starring a blue, horned Sesame Street monster, models the “Breathe, Think, Do” problem-solving strategy for the very youngest (ages 2-5): “First…breathe to calm down after facing a challenge; next, think of plans to solve the problem; and then choose one of the plans.” (From […]

Review of Neighborhood Sharks

roy_neigborhood sharks

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites 
of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    
48 pp. 9/14    978-1-59643-874-3    $17.99    g Look closely at the cover of this impressive account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast: that bright red in the illustration is blood trailing […]

Review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry Middle School    Roaring Brook    354 pp. 9/14    978-1-59634-956-6    $15.99    g This airy confection could not be more different from Berry’s most recent (and pitch-black) novel All the Truth That’s in Me (rev. 11/13). Part murder mystery, part girls’-school story, part dark drawing-room comedy (think Edwin Drood, […]

Review of Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

uegaki_hana hashimoto, sixth violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Kids Can    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-894786-33-1    $16.95 Despite her brothers’ teasing, little Hana plans to play her violin at the talent show. True, she’s only a beginner, but Hana is a stalwart and determined young lady, practicing every day and performing for any […]

Review of Picture This

bang_picture this first ed

Picture This: Perception and Composition by Molly Bang; illus. by the author Intermediate     Bulfinch/Little     141 pp. 9/91     Paper ed. 0-8212-1855-7     $12.95 With a forward by Rudolf Arnheim. If I could buy only one book this year, this would be the one. If I could take only one book on a long cavation, this would be […]

Reviews of selected books by Marla Frazee

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Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Harcourt     32 pp. 5/03     0-15-204554-6     $16.00 Once a roller coaster is all loaded up, and the operator releases the brake to start the cars slowly chugging up the first hill, that’s that. “Now it is too late for anyone to change their mind,” Frazee […]

Kids Discover: Cells app review

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By now, nonfiction magazine Kids Discover has adapted twenty-two (and counting) of its issues to digital, covering a wide range of natural and social science topics from the microscopic to the galactic. Every issue — and by extension, every app — offers eight informational chapters, each with an introductory paragraph followed by a engaging, collagelike […]

Music for Alice: a book in the key of life

Music for Alice

Since I teach ESL to adults, I have to consider how I can convey some empathy for what my students have experienced, while also risking that some of the material I present may overwhelm them. Since I can never completely know all my students have been through — once a student burst into tears in […]

Children’s Books Boston reminder

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Don’t forget the Children’s Books Boston get-together tomorrow, 5:30 to 8, at the Simmons College Paresky Center, 300 The Fenway. We request a five-dollar donation to cover refreshments, and attendees are invited to bring a children’s book to swap. RSVP here.

Review of Poisoned Apples

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Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann; 
photos by various artists High School    Greenwillow    106 pp. 10/14    978-0-06-228957-5    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-228959-9    $9.99 For this poet, there is no dividing line between fairy tales and reality: “You can lose your way anywhere,” claims the poem with which she begins this collection […]