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Review of There Is a Tribe of Kids

smith_there is a tribe of kids

There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-62672-056-5    $18.99 This is a book straight from the thoughts of a young child, with the feel of a daydream. On the face of it, it’s a simple book about collective nouns (“a colony of […]

Review of Mr. Hulot at the Beach

merveille_mr hulot at the beach

Mr. Hulot at the Beach by David Merveille; 
illus. by the author Primary    NorthSouth    56 pp. 5/16    978-0-7358-4254-0    $18.95 At the end of Hello, Mr. Hulot (rev. 1/14), the hero is seen planning a holiday. In this sequel we discover what particular challenges a seaside vacation offers the lanky, well-meaning, and diffident Frenchman. Having borrowed […]

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine app review

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I first became aware of toy start-up GoldieBlox when I saw its smart commercial “The Princess Machine,” in which a group of young girls engineer a complex Rube Goldberg machine using (mostly) stereotypically “girl” toys. The mission of GoldieBlox and inventor/CEO Debbie Sterling is “to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of […]

Review of Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

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Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton; illus. by Don Tate Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge   40 pp. 5/16    978-1-58089-297-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-640-1    $9.99 From childhood, African American inventor Johnson was a tinkerer: 
“Lonnie loved building and creating. Ideas for inventions just kept on flowing.” We learn about how young Lonnie made model […]

Chris Barton on Whoosh!

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In our July/August 2016 issue, senior editor Elissa Gershowitz chatted with author Chris Barton about his new picture book biography Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. Read the full review. Elissa Gershowitz: What is one of the challenges and/or rewards of writing a picture-book biography of a contemporary figure? Chris Barton: One big reward […]

Apps to beat the summer slump

professor astro cat

These nonfiction apps introduce new information, and reinforce familiar concepts with a fresh approach, and strengthen developing skills to encourage engaged learning throughout summer — and all year long. In Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System (based on the 2013 nonfiction book Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space), cat cosmonaut Professor Astro Cat takes you on […]

Review of Who Wants a Tortoise?

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Who Wants a Tortoise? by Dave Keane; 
illus. by K. G. Campbell Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 7/16    978-0-385-75417-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-75418-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-75419-4    $10.99 In spite of her father’s allergies, the narrator longs for a puppy for her birthday. The “present with the holes in the top” looks promising, but […]

Recommended Page-Turners: Primary Fiction and Nonfiction

broach_james to the rescue

Broach, Elise  James to the Rescue! 104 pp.     Holt/Ottaviano     2015     ISBN 978-1-62779-316-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-62779-317-9 Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. Masterpiece Adventures series. Beetle Marvin is going collecting in the Pompadays’ apartment, where the beetles live behind a kitchen cupboard. When Uncle Albert is accidentally cut by a pair of nail scissors, Marvin enlists the help […]

Review of Lion Lessons

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Lion Lessons by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 7/16    978-0-8037-3908-6    $17.99    g Disregarding a city block full of advertised classes (baking, karate, knitting, yoga), a small but determined little boy heads straight into the building offering “Lion Lessons.” The instructor, a real lion whose diploma reads “Harvard School of […]

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Jungle app review

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A companion to Axel Scheffler’s flip book of the same name, Flip Flap Jungle (Nosy Crow, 2015) allows you to create seemingly infinite animals by combining the top half of one and the bottom half of another. Want to see what a parakeet might look like with four furry legs? Swipe the bottom of the brightly […]