Review of Playful Pigs from A to Z

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Playful Pigs from A to Z by Anita Lobel; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Knopf     40 pp. 7/15     978-0-553-50832-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-50833-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-50834-5     $10.99 Twenty-six pigs wake up in their pen and decide to explore the countryside, running down the road and finding a field of “magical surprises”: […]

Review of Secrets of the Rainforest

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Secrets of the Rainforest: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown; illus. by Alyssa Nassner Preschool, Primary     Kane Miller     40 pp. 3/15     978-161067-325-9     $12.99 In Nassner’s eye-catching illustrations, the lush foliage of a tropical rainforest, filled with abstract, bright-green leaves and brown branches and trunks, hides a host of living organisms. To find out what kinds […]

Review of The Skunk

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The Skunk by Mac Barnett; illus. by Patrick McDonnell Primary     Roaring Brook     32 pp. 4/15     978-1-59643-966-5     $17.99 A skunk shows up on the narrator’s doorstep and begins to tail him. Try as he might, our narrator just can’t seem to shake the skunk — “When I sped up, the skunk sped up. When […]

The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn digital book app review

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Spend a rainy afternoon with the mischievous Cat in the Hat in Oceanhouse Media‘s brand-new interactive digital book app The Cat in the Hat — Read & Learn (July 2015). After you leave the home screen in “read to me” mode (there’s also a “read it myself” option for reading practice), the energetic narration begins […]

Review of Salsa

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Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary     Groundwood     32 pp. 3/15     978-1-55498-442-8     $18.95 e-book ed. 978-1-55498-443-5     $16.95 In this latest addition to his series of bilingual cooking poems (Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding; Guacamole), Argueta […]

Summertime…

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…and the livin’ is easy. There’s no better time to dive into picture books, especially books about summer adventures. Grab a towel (and some sunscreen), pack a lunch, and soak up three new stories about memorable trips to the beach and one book about everyone’s favorite hot-weather treat. A companion to Tea Rex and Camp […]

Apps for learning and fun

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In these apps for preschool and primary users, interactivity adds an extra-engaging aspect to learning new concepts. The cute monsters from Endless Alphabet, Endless Reader, and Endless Numbers are back to teach basic Spanish vocabulary in Endless Spanish. A sight word beginning with each letter appears on the screen and is pronounced by the narrator, […]

Whack-a-Word app review

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Practice turning letters into words with Whack-a-Word (Reading Horizons, 2013). The setting: a garden with a row of carrots in front and a spate of moles popping up, whack-a-mole style, behind them, each holding a placard with a letter. Your mission: to tap the moles holding the letters you need to spell words, and thus […]

Review of Drum Dream Girl

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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage 
Changed Music by Margarita Engle; 
illus. by Rafael López Primary    Houghton    40 pp. 3/15    978-0-544-10229-3    $16.99 A young girl dreams of becoming a drummer. Though she lives “on an island of music / in a city of drumbeats,” hers is an impossible dream: only boys play drums. An […]

Review of Gordon Parks

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Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured 
Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jamey Christoph Primary   Whitman   32 pp. 3/15     978-0-8075-3017-7   $16.99   g Weatherford (Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood, rev. 5/14; Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane, rev. 5/08) presents the life of groundbreaking African American photographer […]