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Empire Run app review

empire run title

The setup of Empire Run (Planet H/Red Games, 2014) is similar to another Planet H/Red Games app, Frontier Heroes (and with the same caveat about some arguably stereotypical images; see details below) several sections, themed by historical time period, each contain a few games; each game has a number of different levels which allow the […]

Review of Among a Thousand Fireflies

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Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost; photos by Rick Lieder Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/16    978-0-7636-7642-1    $15.99    g Frost and Lieder (Step Gently Out; Sweep Up the Sun) collaborate on a third picture book featuring a poem by Frost illustrated with Lieder’s luminous photographs, this time on the subject 
of fireflies. Frost’s short […]

Review of On the Farm, at the Market

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On the Farm, at the Market by G. Brian Karas; illus. by the author Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-8050-9372-8    $16.99 Karas divides his entertaining and enlightening behind-the-scenes story of a farmers’ market into two sections. The first, “On the Farm,” places a sunny focus on the daily grind that keeps three types of farms […]

MarcoPolo Ocean app review

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MarcoPolo Ocean (MarcoPolo, 2014) — in the same series as MarcoPolo Arctic — introduces young children to an ocean biome. A blue sea with gentle waves appears on the main screen as vaguely Caribbean-sounding background music plays. Before beginning, you can orient yourself by investigating underwater, looking at some fish, bobbing the buoy, etc. The […]

Review of Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands

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Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving 
North America’s Grasslands by Susan L. Roth and Cindy 
Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 4/16    978-1-62014-245-5    $18.95    g Roth and Trumbore take off from the cumulative folk song “The Green Grass Grew All Around” to detail the plight of the prairie […]

Review of Horrible Bear!

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Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman; 
illus. by Zachariah OHora Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 4/16    978-0-316-28283-3    $16.99 The action begins on the title-page spread, with a little red-haired girl standing on the bottom of the left-hand page. She’s flying a kite — and she’s frowning. The kite is high up in the sky, on […]

Kiko’s Thinking Time app review

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In today’s exciting installment of “Shoshana Is Bad at Spatial Reasoning”…Kiko’s Thinking Time (Kiko Labs, 2015)! This is an app with a lot of games that help hone a lot of skills. I’m sorry, did I say “a lot?” I meant “a zillion.” Approximately. Each day, the app provides a “Daily Quest.” Complete a series […]

Bob Raczka on Wet Cement

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In our May/June 2016 issue, reviewer Sarah Ellis asked Bob Raczka about poetry in unconventional places. Read the starred review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. Sarah Ellis: Have you ever, yourself, written in wet cement or indulged in any other sneaky poetry? Bob Raczka: Sneaky poetry? Hmmm. In my day job as […]

Review of Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems

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Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka Primary, Intermediate     Roaring Brook    44 pp. 3/16     978-1-62672-236-1     $17.99     g Graphic design meets riddle meets visual wordplay in this collection of sturdy and joyful perspectives on the ordinary stuff of the world. Each of the twenty-one offerings consists of a one-word title and […]

A variety of verses

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Poetry can rhyme, or not. It can take interesting shapes, or just use straightforward lines. These collections for primary and intermediate readers are great examples of the many forms poetry can take. Look for our What Makes Good Poetry? newsletter in your inbox on April 27, 2016. When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons […]