Friday, December 19, 2014

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Buffy's Blog.

For Poetry Friday -- "Bees, snails, & peacock tail: patterns & shapes--naturally" written by Betsy Franco and illustrated by Steve Jenkins.

Franco introduces her young readers to the natural world through poems that celebrate nature's geometry -- from the delicate artistry of a spider's web to the brilliant design of a male peacock's tail. Her poetry often mimics the shapes as when the verse spirals like the snail shell she's describing.

Jenkins clever paper collages are perfect counterpoints to the text and beautifully rendered.
Additional scientific information on the various subjects of the poems is provided in an appendix.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

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For Nonfiction Monday - - "The kids' guide to paper airplanes " by Christopher L. Harbo.

The holiday season is filled with advertising for digital and electronic games and toys, but sometimes fun can be found in the simplest of items -- paper!
Harbo provides easy-to-follow fold-by-fold directions and clear illustrations for the creation of a variety of craft from the simple to the complex. He also provides tips on how to achieve maximum air time. Budding aeronautical engineers will find plenty to keep their hands busy and their minds engaged.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Booktalking #kidlit: Anastasia Suen's Blog

My selection is "Wonderful words: poems about reading, writing, speaking, and listening" selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Karen Barbour.

I couldn't resist sharing this fun collection of poems that encourage creativity and invite readers to discover the power and fun of words. Hopkins' selected verses are by some of our best known poets and touch on a variety of topics both broad and specific: from finding your own creativity and embracing the joy of reading to works entitled "Metaphor" and "The Period."

Barbour's boldly colored illustrations are a delight to the eye.

Teachers will find multiple uses for this book as both an introduction to and inspiration for writing.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

Today I'm offering some fun with Math Appeal: mind-stretching math riddles written by Greg Tang, illustrated by Harry Briggs.

Playful puns and brilliantly colored double page spreads offer readers the challenge of finding strategies such as identifying the pattern in a group of objects in order to count them. Here is an engaging lesson in problem solving that could be used individually or in a classroom. Teacher notes are included at the end of the book.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

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Fourteen careers ranging from Alpaca farmer to robotics engineer, set designer to pet photographer are given individual double page spreads as they are highlighted for the reader with colorful photo-essays. Each occupation includes basic information about the job, education and/or skills required to be successful.

Loy's book would be a fun introduction to a discussion of future careers and a great way for readers to imagine themselves in various settings.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nonfiction Monday

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For Nonfiction Monday  --  "I'm all thumbs! (and other odd things we say)" written by Cynthia Amoroso with illustrations by Mernie Gallagher-Cole.


Amoroso leads the reader through about thirty of the common idioms and figures of speech commonly in use: I'm all thumbs, the big cheese, at the drop of a hat, no sweat, and off the wall to name a few. She provides an example of how the idiom is used and explains the meaning while Gallagher-Cole ups the entertainment factor with literal illustrations of the phrases.

This would be a handy reference for English language learners -- both children and adults.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Poetry Friday

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Teacher Dance.

For Poetry Friday -- "Your Skeleton Is Showing: rhymes of blunder from six feet under" written by Kurt Cyrus with illustrations by Crab Scrambly.


A search through a cemetery for a ghost-dog's owner leads a boy on an adventure of discovery as each passing headstone reveals a cautionary tale or a history of the deceased. Who knew nose-picking could be fatal?

The verses vary from silly to grim providing just enough of the "ick" factor to make them appealing for readers delighted by the morbid and ridiculous.  There's even a touch of mystery as the reader is challenged by a verse to answer the question "Who is laid below? / Mysterious letters mark the stone: / EIEIO."

Scrambly's art puts me in mind of Tim Burton, but with a softer and more humorous sensibility. Other reviewers have likened Scrambly's art to the work of Edward Gorey.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer