The world around us

sayre_woodpecker wham

Preschoolers’ curiosity makes them an ideal audience for books about animals and the natural world. These nonfiction picture books communicate information at a preschool-perfect pace — and with plenty of wonder. In Woodpecker Wham!, author April Pulley Sayre uses a rhyming, sound word–filled text to introduce the distinctively noisy woodpecker and the rhythmic cadences that […]

Review of A Year Without Mom

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A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova; 
illus. by the author Middle School   Groundwood   168 pp. 10/15   978-1-55498-692-7   $19.95 e-book ed. 978-155498-693-4   $16.95 Tolstikova’s illustrated memoir recounts the time when her mother relocated to America for graduate school and she, twelve years old, was left in the care of her grandparents in Moscow. Through present-tense […]

Review of Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark

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Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and 
Survivors in World War II Denmark by Deborah Hopkinson Middle School   Scholastic   339 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-59220-8     $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-59222-2   $17.99 When Germany invaded Denmark in April 1940, the Nazis believed their small neighbor to the north would be a pushover. The Germans were partially right: […]

Review of W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary

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W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary by Tracey Fern; illus. by Boris Kulikov Primary   Ferguson/Farrar   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-374-38240-7   $17.99 This breezy picture-book biography introduces young readers to the man responsible for all those plain, sturdy dictionaries housed in elementary classrooms across America. Far from plain himself, Webster was tall with […]

Review of Traveling Butterflies

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Traveling Butterflies by Susumu Shingu; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Owlkids   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-77147-148-0   $18.95   g This simple, elegant picture book traces the migration of the monarch butterfly from its northern home to its “winter sanctuary” in Mexico and back again. The story begins with eggs “as small as a dewdrop” on a […]

Review of The Inker’s Shadow

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The Inker’s Shadow by Allen Say; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School, High School   
Scholastic   80 pp. 10/15   
978-0-545-43776-9   $19.99   g This “patchwork of memories” (“and memories are unreliable, so I am calling this a work of fiction made of real people and places I knew”) sequel to Drawing from Memory (rev. 9/11) takes […]

Books mentioned in the November 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

World religions Bullard, Lisa My Religion, Your Religion [Cloverleaf Books: Alike and Different series] Illustrated by Holli Conger Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Millbrook     2015 Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-4905-3 Paperback ISBN 978-1-4677-6033-1 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-6296-0 Grün, Anselm The Legend of Saint Nicholas Illustrated by Giuliano Ferri Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Eerdmans     2014 Trade ISBN 978-0-8028-5434-6 Lumbard, […]

Food and cooking

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Brash, Lorna Professor Cook’s Dynamite Dinners Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Enslow Brash, Lorna Professor Cook’s Fruity Desserts Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Enslow Brash, Lorna Professor Cook’s Mind-Blowing Baking Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Enslow Brash, Lorna Professor Cook’s Smashing Snacks Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Enslow Professor Cook’s… series. Kid-friendly recipes are presented with underlying food facts […]

Space and space exploration

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Aguilar, David A. Space Encyclopedia: A Tour of Our Solar System and Beyond Gr. 4–6, middle school     192 pp.     National Geographic Images of space — photographs, artistic renderings, and computer-generated composites — dominate this survey of astronomy and planetary science. On a series of double-page spreads with dramatic black backgrounds, images and diagrams plus thoughtful […]

Medicine and diseases

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Hand, Carol Epidemiology: The Fight Against Ebola & Other Diseases Middle school, high school     112 pp.   ABDO/Essential Library Lokere, Jillian Genetics: Unlocking the Secrets of Life Middle school, high school     112 pp.   ABDO/Essential Library Roberts, Russell Medicine: A Matter of Life and Death Middle school, high school     112 pp.   ABDO/Essential Library History of Science series. […]