This is one of my new favorite nonfiction books. It is all about great white sharks and how they live and survive in California’s Farallon Islands (thThis is one of my new favorite nonfiction books. It is all about great white sharks and how they live and survive in California’s Farallon Islands (think San Fransisco). The thing is, this book has beautiful illustrations. Which I don’t often think of when I think of nonfiction books–which I tend to like photographs in seeing how they are books about “true” things. But not everything to know about great white sharks can be adequately explained through pictures. Sometimes you need a super-awesome illustration of how a great white shark’s body is perfectly aerodynamic just like an airplane. In fact, you need an illustration of a shark airplane to get that point across. And thankfully this book happens to have illustrations of a shark airplane (and many other amazing illustrations that I never knew I needed when reading a book about great white sharks). There are also great bits that explain all about how a shark’s body works or what the perfect meal for a shark would be. And then there are the money shot-type of illustrations that show just why so many people continually are impressed (and tend to watch on shark week) these amazing animals. The text is great. But the illustrations are what will keep bringing young readers and scientists back for more. Well done....more
Jacqueline Woodson let’s us in on some of her memories of growing up in Ohio, South Carolina, and New York. These memories are told in free verse poemJacqueline Woodson let’s us in on some of her memories of growing up in Ohio, South Carolina, and New York. These memories are told in free verse poems which in turn showcase the amazing voice that the young Jacqueline is just learning to discover in the book. With each poem there is much that is said, and often much that isn’t said. People and memories are painted with rich words that transport the reader to this world of memories and understanding. The “How to Listen” poems were especially my favorites. Because in those poems I saw a younger version of myself trying to stop and listen in order to figure out the world (and my own memories) that made me. Woodson has created a collection of poems that not only shows us how she found her voice, but that the act of finding one’s voice is a universal dream for all. The only wish I had about this book was that it would keep going. Once the book was finished, I ached to read more. And with the power that is Jacqueline Woodson being the author, I am not surprised.
Congrats on winning the National Book Award, Newbery honor, Coretta Scott King Award, and Robert F. Sibert Award. After reading this book, I totally understand why everyone else thought it was amazing too....more
In this fun picture book kids learn to think about vegetables in a whole new way. For example, the book opens with a beautiful picture of an orange caIn this fun picture book kids learn to think about vegetables in a whole new way. For example, the book opens with a beautiful picture of an orange carrot and reads, “Carrots are orange.” Then the next page reads, “They are also purple.” and has a picture of a purple carrot. Then by turning the page you see all the other vegetables that can be (but often aren’t associated with) purple: purple asparagus, purple corn, purple peas, violet broccoli, etc. With each page turn kids can see vegetables in colors that they typically recognize along with a few surprises (oranges can be blood red, cauliflower can be green, pumpkins can be blue). Children who love to point out pictures when read will love this book…and will enjoy looking at how the world can be a bit different than expected. Fun....more
I loved How They Croaked and was super excited to see this book come out. When I read How They Croaked I was sad that I didn’t see all the illustratioI loved How They Croaked and was super excited to see this book come out. When I read How They Croaked I was sad that I didn’t see all the illustrations as I listened to the audio book. But I LOVED the audio book, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this book and miss all the audio fun. But I couldn’t wait for the audio and I read it.
This is a fun, snarky collection of biographies that focus on famous people who choked when it was important or after they had done important things. From Montezuma II who couldn’t decide what to do and thus allowed all his people to be killed off thanks to his indecision to Vincent Van Gogh who ate paint and drank turpentine while in an insane asylum. These people and their stories aren’t anything new. But the way that the stories are presented are. There were many times that I chuckled out loud. And I loved being able to see the illustrations this go-round (though I still think I might need to listen to the audio eventually so I can laugh along with the narrator). I love how Bragg can get me to laugh about failures that famous people made…if only because then I realize that my failures aren’t quite as crazy or head-slapping....more
The third in the series tells about the Donner/Reed party and their tragic trek to California. Of course the narrator is still Nathan Hale (the patrioThe third in the series tells about the Donner/Reed party and their tragic trek to California. Of course the narrator is still Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) who is accompanied by the British officer and the hangman. The story starts in Springfield, Illinois where the Reed family first leave to go on their journey. Then comes the long trek. Of course there are many obstacles that the group encounters. A lot of them stem from the choice that the group takes a “short cut” across the Salt Lake desert (home of the salt flats where nothing grows). And because of the gross facts of the group’s cannibalism the narrator gives a choose-your-own-adventure-type of option where readers can skip ahead (although they won’t…because the age of the readers of this book will love gross things). Seriously this is another good non-fiction book filled with loads of facts in a graphic novel format....more
In this edition of the Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) is telling the British officer and the hangman about two ironclad ships that fougIn this edition of the Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale (the patriot/spy) is telling the British officer and the hangman about two ironclad ships that fought in the Civil War. One ship was used for the Confederate navy and the other was part of the Union navy. The South salvaged a burned ship and covered it with iron. The North hired a Swedish inventor to build a small iron ship quickly. Both ships had problems. Both ships made a difference for their respective navies. And of course there are all kinds of bits that made me laugh out loud. (Especially the research babies and the correction baby. I didn’t realize how fun it would be to read some end notes at the end of a story.)...more
This book tells about the life of John F. Kennedy. It starts by telling how he became President and ending with the hour by hour details of the last fThis book tells about the life of John F. Kennedy. It starts by telling how he became President and ending with the hour by hour details of the last few days of his life. There are quite a lot of details, photographs and illustrations of the parade route. It is quite amazing how many details there are of one of the most memorable moments in U.S. history. There are everything from blurry photographs of the various frames of video that was taken while along the parade route to the infamous detailed pictures of all the after math and press that followed the tragic event. Not only are there amazing photographs that capture the event, but the text is quite well-written. And the way that the chapters are done readers will be in no doubt as to what detail happened at exactly what point. I really enjoyed the book and am not at all amazed that it won an award from YALSA....more
I loved seeing the bottoms of different animals' feet. And the fact that you turn the page to find out what animal a foot belongs to is cool. I only wI loved seeing the bottoms of different animals' feet. And the fact that you turn the page to find out what animal a foot belongs to is cool. I only wish that all feet that are pictured had a picture of an animal to go along with it. Sure kids know what an elephant looks like...but how much cooler would the book be if the animal was shown as well as the foot? A lot of animals are shown, just not all. Even if it was just at the end of the book and all the animals were lined up in order of which foot was shown first. But still, it is a fascinating book! ...more
This makes me laugh!It is basically a book that tells about all sorts of My Little Ponies (based on the tv series). You know, short blurbs about theirThis makes me laugh!It is basically a book that tells about all sorts of My Little Ponies (based on the tv series). You know, short blurbs about their "personalities" and whatnot. Girls that love my little pony will enjoy reading them. Adults and librarians will love laughing over them. And as an added bonus the cover says "20% cooler than all other books!" And really, who can beat that?!? Ha!...more