A Big Mooncake for Little Star
Written by Grace Lin
Age Level: 4 - 7
Grade Level: P – 3
This is a cute story for young readers, but it offers the phases of the moon for older ones. It’s also a pourquoi story that explains why the moon waxes and wanes. Each month Little Star and her mom bake a mooncake. Each month Little Star promises faithfully not to eat it, but every night hunger changes her mind. What will happen when Mom discovers what Little Star has been up to? You’ll have to read to find out.
What inspired Grace Lin to write this story? The mid-autumn moon festival! It includes eating mooncakes, telling stories, and passing these customs down to the next daughter.
The Artist and the King
Written and illustrated by Julie Fortenberry
Age Level: 4 - 8
Grade Level: K – 1
This is a cute story for little ones. Daphne draws a picture of the king, and he HATES it! Her punishment – wearing a dunce cap. The next problem – Daphne makes them fashionable, and soon everyone is wearing them, even the princess. When the king sees ALL those hats, he sends everyone to the woods. Somehow Daphne is picked to convince him to let his people back in the palace. Find out how Daphne gives this tale a happy ending for the king, the princess, and for the artist herself!
Julie’s book won two awards, but it only has one review. I was amazed! The problem with one review – when I typed the title, I couldn’t find the book. I found 20 others. When I added in the author’s name, it popped right up.
I have 13 reviews. When I type my title, my book comes up. But when I type just Neil Armstrong, 52 titles appear before mine. 50 reviews is the magic number to get my book seen. 37 more reviews will help future readers find Neil’s book. If you’ve read it, please consider writing a review to help us be seen!
The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield
Contributions by Kate Fillion
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers
Age Level: 5 - 6
Grade Level: P – 4
OH MY GOSH! Did you know that Neil Armstrong helped a future astronaut from millions of miles away? The story is told beautifully by Chris, Kate, and the Fan Brothers. A young Chris Hadfield was afraid of the dark until . . . he saw Neil Armstrong land on the moon. He watched Neil lope across the dark lunar surface. That July night in 1969 Chris saw darkness as beautiful for the very first time, and he realized that his dreams of becoming a rocket-man could come true.
I understand the disparity between the age and grade levels. If you read this as a story about fear of the dark, it’s perfect for 5 and 6 year olds. But, if you read it as a story about that first moon landing, you can extend the age range up to 9 and 10 year olds. It is so well written, so well illustrated that everyone will find something wonderful in this book, including a retired teacher like me.
Note: I just discovered when I went to Amazon that I’d already reviewed this book. There were some things that were the same, but there were a few differences. Last time I wrote 3 paragraphs, this time 2. Also this time I noticed the age and grade level difference. Interesting! Here’s the link for the earlier review if you’d like to compare/contrast like I did 😊 Link: http://www.rindabeach.com/my-reads/review-of-the-darkest-dark
To Burp or Not to Burp: A Guide to Your Body in Space
Written by Dr. Dave Williams and Loredana Cunti
Illustrated by Theo Krynauw
Age Level: 7 – 10
Grade Level: 1 – 5
If you’ve ever wanted to travel into space, this is the book for you! It gives you the good, the bad, and the ugly about how your body behaves in zero gravity.
When I was subbing in 4th grade, I read this book aloud to them. I watched their faces –the kids couldn’t decide whether they were grossed out or fascinated. Probably a little of both!
These are my favorite questions and answers – how to go to the bathroom in space, why you’ll be taller when you return, and why burping is a risky business. YUCK I thought, but then I turned the page!
I think kids will love this book, and so will their parents and teachers! You get the scoop on life in zero gravity from an astronaut who flew on two different shuttles.
Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo, and Flo
Written and illustrated by Lauren Molk
Age Level: 3 –5
Grade Level: P – K
Oh My Gosh – Cute! Remember the rhyme with the tiger who gets caught by the toe? Lauren made Eeny, Meeny, Miney, and Mo into mice. Then she added in Flo who’s everything ornery and always this side of trouble. The story is about four brothers and one tenacious little sister. They’re still trying to catch that tiger by the toe. Flo and the illustrations are the stars of this book! Kids will LOVE them!
One Word from Sophia
Written by Jim Averbeck
Illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail
Age Level: 4 –8
Grade Level: P – 3
Poor Sophia! She just wants a giraffe, but no one understands so she targets her argument to each of her relatives. A legal one for Mom the judge. A graph for businessman Dad. She even tries a survey on her uncle. Nothing works . . . until her Grandmama refuses to listen. That’s when she tells Sophie to get to the point. Sophie sharpens her argument to ONE word. You’ll have to read to find out what it is, but be careful! Your child might learn Sophie’s lesson too well and apply it to you. Good luck!
Written and Illustrated by J. R. Krause
Age Level: 3 –7
Grade Level: P – 2
I loved this book! It’s about handling fear, with a little help from your friends, AND it’s fun! George is a boy who’s afraid of the ‘night,’ but one evening a dragon comes out of his book, ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON. Would you believe Dragon is scared of the ‘knight’ too? They go flying together and conquer those fears. How? Sorry, that would be telling! You’ll have to read for yourself to find out how these two friends help each other, AND they even write their own storybook.
Thank You, OMU
Written and Illustrated by Oge Mora
Age Level: 4 – 7
Grade Level: P – 3
This story is about the power of sharing and kindness. I’m a retired teacher, and I think it’s an important lesson for young children to have. Best of all Oge didn’t do it in a teachy-preachy way.
Omu has a pot of thick red stew that’s so yummy that people are attracted by the smell. They come one by one. Omu is so kind that she shares and shares till there’s nothing left for her own dinner. But her kindness has some unexpected payoffs. You’ll have to read to find out how she’s repaid. Kindness is a POWERFUL force!
Cute As An Axolotl: Discovering the World's Cutest Animals
Written by Jess Keating
Illustrated by David DeGrand
Age Level: 5 – 8
Grade Level: K – 3
Do you want to learn about an Axolotl? I saw the cover and had to dive in. I met more plants and animals that are just as cute, just as interesting. Each spread featured the animal’s picture, a great fact, and a funny cartoon. In his the axolotl showed off his stylish headgear. A sidebar featured the species name, size, diet, habitat, predators, and threats to its existence. This is a great way to learn new information. It’s also a great source for reports!
No Frogs in School
Written by A. LaFaye
Illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans
Age Level: 4 – 7
Grade Level: P – 2
This is one CUTE book! Bartholomew Botts loves pets whether they’re hoppy, or hairy, or even scaly. He couldn’t start school without one.
Poor Mr. Patanoose! Each day he tries a new rule to keep the pets out of his classroom, but Friday arrives and so does Bartholomew’s best plan. It’s KID clever!
WARNING: Don’t try these tricks on your teacher!
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.