Review of Amara and the Bats
Amara and the Bat
Written & illustrated by Emma Reynolds
Age Level: 4 – 8
Grade Level: PS – 3
Amara loves everything about bats. She even collects facts about them, but when she moves to a new house . . . no bats. She’s afraid to talk about it at school, and even if she does, would it do any good? Read and find out what happens to Amara and those bats.
Don’t forget the back matter! It includes Amera’s bat facts, how echolocation works, a guide to bat houses, and ideas to begin your own bat adventures.
Review of Cow Says Meow
Cow Says Meow
Written by Kirsti Call
Illustrated by Brandon James Scott
Age Level: 2 – 5
Grade Level: PS – 3
A cow says meow? They really do, at least in this picture book! And young children, what do they say? Tee hee hee! Then they giggle from cover to cover as they watch the words and animals play.
Review of Knights vs Dinosaurs
Knights vs. Dinosaurs
Written & Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 3 – 7
When I saw this book in my local library, I had to pick it up, and I wasn’t disappointed! Imagine going back in time to meet four of King Arthur’s knights. I don’t remember these names, do you? Sir Bors, Sir Hector, Sir Erec, Squire Mel, and the black knight. The action begins when Sir Erec brags about beating 40 dragons. Merlin decides Erec needs a little more fun, with a few dinosaurs. That’s when the real sport begins!
PS – This book was so good it became a series, book 1 out of 3.
How to Hug a Pufferfish
Written & Illustrated by Ellie Peterson
Age Level: 3 - 6
Grade Level: PS – 1
If you’ve ever wanted to hug a pufferfish, this is the book for you. I love the way it’s structured. First find out why they’re so huggable, but don’t forget . . . they have spikes. YIKES! If you still want that hug, listen to good advice, from the pufferfish himself. He knows exactly how he wants to be treated, and his tale is as much fun as the cover promises.
Review of It's a Rhap, Cat
It’s a Rhap, Cat
Written by Lee Y. Miao
What would you do if you discovered your identical twin in a Renaissance painting by Raphael? No one knows who the lady in the portrait is, but everyone’s staring . . . at you and your painted twin.
Follow Cat in this tween adventure. Can she find the right partner for the Renaissance History and Art Project (RHAP)? She has a crush on Trey, the best artist, but so does the class diva. Both girls want to win RHAP, for the glory, and for a seat in honors history. Who will Trey pick? But don’t forget the other twist in the plot – the lady in the painting! Can Cat find a connection?
You’ll have to read for yourself, but be prepared for a roller coaster of an adventure. The best part – this author really understands middle schoolers, their locker kingdom, and their relationships, with each other and with parents too. It’s true . . . there’s nothing like a good roller coaster!
Zahra’s Blessing: A Ramadan Story
Written by Shirin Shamsi
Illustrated by Manal Mirza
Level: 4 - 9
Grade Level: PS – 3
This story is a blessing . . . for anyone who wants to learn more about Ramadan. Take a peek inside and watch how a Muslim family celebrates the holiday. Zahra has always wished for a sister, but she feels absolutely lost when her best buddy, her teddy bear is missing. Is there a way to find both? Only with a Ramadan blessing, of course!
Review of Ten Magic Butterflies
Ten Magic Butterflies
Written by Danica McKeller
Illustrated by Jen Bricking
Age Level: 2 - 5
Grade Level: PS – 1
Do you know Danica McKeller from the Hallmark channel? I know her from The Wonder Years too. She’s a real mathematician, and now she’s a writer. She’s written seven books, all math related! Her mission – “to make math fun for even the youngest of kids.”
I loved this book so much I took it with me when I subbed in Kindergarten. The kids, they loved it too – the magic of Danica’s words and the way they sound together. It’s beautifully written, in rhyme.
Any young child will love watching ten flowers who only want to fly, turn into butterflies. Teachers will love it too . . . it uses math with 10 frames. Those frames help littles understand math in a visual way. Ten frames also help kids count, add, and use fact families. They’re a great thing, and so is this book!
Review of Loon Summer
Written by Yvona Fast
Photographs by Nina Schoch
From the photos, to the poems, to the fun science facts – this book is beautifully put together. Did you know loons aren’t ducks? I didn’t. They may look like ducks and walk like ducks, but they’re loons!
This book doesn’t have a guide for age levels, but it’s perfect for anyone who wants to learn about loons. Discover how they live, communicate, and care for their chicks. It’s a great resource for classrooms with lakes and loons living nearby. I wish I’d had it for second grade science, but I’m retired. The format also makes it a great read-aloud for littles, especially if you let them try out a few loon calls. They’d love them! I did 😊
Royal Princess Academy: Dragon Dreams
Written by Laura Joy Rennert
Illustrated by Melanie Florian
Age Level: 7 – 10
Grade Level: 2 – 5
This is one of the first books I read back when I started keeping a reading journal, around 2012. I loved it back then, and now I’m disappointed to discover, for whatever reason, that it’s not part of a series. Emma is a princess who absolutely does not fit the traditional princess mold. She tries, but somehow she always manages to do the wrong thing. Her big dream – to earn her own dragon. Can she do it? I hope so – a princess should always have a happy ending!
The Secret Explorers and The Lost Whales
Written by S J King
Age Level: 6 – 9
Grade Level: 2 – 4
This is a SENSATIONAL book. Imagine a secret group of kids who get to help the planet. An ordinary door flashes a signal, then whisks you off to a super-secret meeting. Two kids will be selected for the mission. Could it be you? You’ll have to wait to see if you’re selected . . . and to find out your mission.
In the Lost Whales, a marine biology and space expert are called forward, Connor and Roshnie. They hop into the beat-up go cart. It’s the best transformer ever. This time it changes into an underwater vehicle that can help the kids find those lost whales. Seem impossible? Try diving into this action-filled adventure!
PS – if you like this one, there are 14 more adventures left in this series.
Whenever I read or write, I find a comfy chair with a great view. I get my favorite drink, stretch out, and let the words take me away.