Friday, September 22, 2023
Straight Talk for Librarians: A quiet, sparse book that addresses loneliness and the search for connection, "Hello, Jimmy!" could be an important book for a student feeling distant or alienated. Jimmy is mischievous and fun, stealing Jack's toothbrush and entertaining guests, while Jack is quiet and bothered by the noise. In the end, Jack and his dad reconnect and show the importance of communication.
Thursday, September 21, 2023
“I see you
Among the tangled green
A tiny dollop of
On the bottom right of the pages, there is factual information about frogs. It reads “Small and agile, gray treefrogs spend most of their lives on land, quietly blending into their surroundings.” Young readers will follow the main character through the seasons and how both lives are changing. The main character will go to her new school and make new friends. She then brings her friends to see the tree frog which goes from being outside to hibernating to being back outside in the spring.
Straight Talk for Librarians: This book is beautifully illustrated with watercolors that both tell a story and show facts, like how frog eggs look, with labels. This would be a great book to use for teaching poetry. It could be used again to show how it also gives non-fiction scientific facts about treefrog lives and habitats. The illustrations have a touch of folk art to them. The colors also match the seasons that are happening in the book. I think the book is unique in style. Both the words and the colors will grab a young reader's attention. They will end up learning a lot of tree frog facts, but also be able to talk about the emotions and experiences that the little girl when through during her move. A must-have book for any elementary school library.
Good Knight, Mustache Baby, written by Bridget Heos, Illustrated by Joy Ang, reviewed by Klaudia Janek
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Straight Talk for Librarians: Sichol certainly skips over some of Disney's - and big business's - unsavory sides (the closest she comes to criticism is stating that Walt's smoking was a "dangerous habit"), but as an introduction to how a company is formed and an homage to Disney, this book is an excellent fit. Use for reports on Walt Disney or as a simple introduction to a mini society unit. Of note: this was written in 2019, and so some sections - notably the description of Bob Iger's tenure and the statement that the only cause of Disney World's closures has been hurricanes - will require supplemental research.
Summary: The half-circle cutout on the top of this board book asks readers to "place your face here!" As they flip through the pages, readers can put themselves in the outfit of an astronaut, software designer, art teacher, musician, and more. Each career comes with a colorful costume and a brief two-line description of the person's responsibilities. The repeated "I can be..." refrain ends with the promise that the reader can be "anything in the world!"
Straight Talk for Librarians: Kids could have fun putting their face on the page to take on a new career, and this could make for a fun career readiness project. A diverse range of professions are represented, and the bodies do not show the color of their skin, so any student could feel their face fits above any career. A fun additional selection for a board book collection.
Friday, June 2, 2023
Thursday, June 1, 2023
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Racers, The: How an Outcast Driver, An American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Challenged Hitler’s Best, written by Neal Bascomb, reviewed by Bethany Bratney
Summary: The Racers is an exciting piece of narrative nonfiction that builds to the culminating event of the 1937 European Grand Prix. But before readers get to that momentous race, we meet the drivers, teams and cars that participated. Hitler was reveling in his power and trying to prove the prowess of the Third Reich in motor sports. The Nazi German driver, Rudi Caracciola, and his line of vehicles drive one piece of the narrative. We also follow Rene Dreyfus, a French driver of Jewish heritage who is barred from racing for most teams despite having much success in racing. He finds a spot with Ecurie Bleue, a team run by Lucy Shell, an heiress and racer in her own right, who wanted to make her mark on the sport. As the Grand Prix approaches, the book becomes more and more exciting as readers wonder if the underdog team of Dreyfus and Shell stands a chance against the powerhouse force of Nazi Germany.