Review of Flora and the Penguin

idle_flora and the penguin

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 9/14    978-1-4521-2891-7    $16.99 Having mastered the art of the dahhnce in Flora and the Flamingo (rev. 7/13), the same little-girl protagonist takes up figure skating. While lacing up her skates, she spies an orange beak peeking out of a […]

Review of Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone

russell-brown_little melba

Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; 
illus. by Frank Morrison Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 7/14    978-1-60060-898-8    $18.95    g From the time she was a little girl, Melba Liston loved music, especially the jazz music that surrounded her while she was growing up, first in Kansas City and then in Los […]

Review of Nuts to You

perkins_nuts to you

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author Intermediate    Greenwillow    260 pp. 8/14    978-0-06-009275-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-226220-2    $8.99 Jed the squirrel’s odyssey begins dramatically when he is captured by a hawk and carried far away from his community. Using an “ancient squirrel defensive martial art,” he escapes and so begins his […]

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 movie review

mockingjay part 1 poster

The team behind The Hunger Games film adaptations gets it. With plenty of explosions and covert operations to draw from in Suzanne Collins’s source material, Lionsgate Films’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 could have been just an action movie. Instead, the filmmakers’ decision to split the book into two movies allows the characters’ emotional […]

Medicine and the human body

Invincible Microbes

Arnold, Caroline Too Hot? Too Cold?: Keeping Body Temperature Just Right Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Charlesbridge Illustrated by Annie Patterson. Arnold’s explanations of how humans and animals regulate their body temperatures are simple, accurate, and organized into major sections: “Our Bodies Keep Us Warm or Cool,” touches on features and mechanisms such as fat, sweating, […]

Geography and maps

mizielinska_maps

Brasch, Nicolas Community Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas Country Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas Land and Sea Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas World Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Map Smart series. This series looks at how maps are created, special features […]

Indigenous cultures

charleyboy_dreaming in indian

Bruchac, James and Bruchac, Joseph Rabbit’s Snow Dance: A Traditional Iroquois Story Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Dial Illustrated by Jeff Newman. The Bruchacs retell a pourquoi tale that the elder included in two previous collections (Iroquois Stories and The Boy Who Lived with the Bears). This version differs significantly (unfortunately, there’s no source note), but […]

How things work

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Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Hang Gliders Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Helicopters Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Parachutes Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner Silverman, Buffy How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner Silverman, Buffy How Do Jets Work? Gr. […]

Social change

kuklin_beyond magenta

Burgan, Michael Tank Man: How a Photograph Defined China’s Protest Movement Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Nardo, Don Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War Gr. 4–6   64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Captured History series. Photographs can often be more powerful than the written word in bringing social change. These use […]

Review of A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

mcdonnell_perfectly messed-up story

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-316-22258-7    $17.00 “No pages were harmed in the making of this book.” This cheeky copyright page disclaimer is undoubtedly true, but the very realistic-looking messes inside — and on the cover—make it hard to believe. For Louie, […]