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Review of Bird Builds a Nest

Bird Builds a Nest [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-7636-9346-6    $16.99 Striking mixed-media illustrations, collage-like and muted with earth tones, depict a burnt-orange sun rising in the east and a bird perched on a tree branch, perfectly representing the opening sentence of […]

Review of The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman; 
photos by the author Intermediate    Houghton    140 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-544-71713-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-83028-9    $9.99 Sidman introduces readers to Maria Merian, a seventeenth-century German naturalist whose illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and moths included groundbreaking scientific details, such […]

Review of The United States v. Jackie Robinson

The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 1/18    978-0-06-228784-7    $17.99 “Long before anyone had heard of Rosa Parks, a guy named Jack refused to move to the back of the bus.” So begins the story of baseball star Jackie Robinson…before he was […]

Review of Older than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth

Older than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth by Don Brown and Mike Perfit; illus. by Don Brown Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    104 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-544-80503-3    $18.99 An extended conversation between a science-savvy groundhog and a new-to-Earth’s-history worm features a comprehensive overview of the geological past of our planet. The graphic format, […]

The past made present | Class #3, 2018

Next Tuesday (February 6), the YA literature class will be discussing several books on the theme The past made present,” considering both nonfiction and historical fiction: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. […]

Review of A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield Middle School, High School    Clarion    196 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-544-78513-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-69904-6    $9.99 This readable, compelling history explores the longstanding and deeply rooted causes of the 1919 Chicago Race Riot, which left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of […]

Animal-human relationships

Castaldo, Nancy F.  Beastly Brains: Exploring How Animals Think, Talk, and Feel Middle school, high school     152 pp.     Houghton Castaldo explores the scientific evidence for animal intelligence, emotions, and communication—from early observational studies to contemporary experiments that show the cognitive capabilities of monkeys, dogs, dolphins, and crows. The ethics of animal-human interactions are also considered. […]

Graphic-novel biographies and memoirs

Chandler, Matt  Outrunning the Nazis: The Brave Escape of Resistance Fighter Sven Somme Illustrated by Daniele Nicotra. Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Capstone/Graphic Library Yomtov, Nel  Death Camp Uprising: The Escape from Sobibor Concentration Camp Illustrated by Wilson Tortosa. Gr. 4–6, middle school     32 pp.     Capstone/Graphic Library Great Escapes of World War II series. […]

Interesting invention stories

Allman, Toney  Women Scientists and Inventors Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Collective Biographies series. Following a brief introduction describing historical obstacles to women’s careers in sciences, this volume profiles six successful women and their rise to influence. Each fairly short bio narrates the ups and downs of its subject’s career, and most paint […]

Logophila

Brunetti, Ivan  Wordplay Gr. K–3     40 pp.     TOON After Annemarie defines compound word for her teacher, the girl imagines interpreting compounds part by part: an eggplant, for instance, would be a plant that grows eggs. Spacious graphic-novel panels invite readers to spend time with each of Brunetti’s humorous illustrations. The two words that make each […]