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Category Archives: Non-Fiction

Rhino in The House

Title: Rhino In the House: The True Story of Saving Samia
Author: Daniel Kirk
Series: N/A
Recommended for: K-3 grade
Pages:40
Call Number/Link: E 599.668 KIR 

Synopsis: This is a nonfiction picture book for young children. It tells the true story of Anna Merz, a wildlife protector in Africa, and Samia, a black rhinoceros she saved after it was abandoned by its mother.

Comment: The pictures are great, especially of Samia. The story is sweet, and informative.   I think this is a great book for kids to learn about conservation, and social behaviors of animals.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Forest Life and Woodland Creatures

Title: Forest Life and Woodland Creatures
Author: DK
Series: Practical Facts For Little People
Recommended for: Preschool – 3rd grade
Pages: 32
Call Number/Link:  E 591.73 FOR

Synopsis: Packed with fun activities, crafts, reading games, and amazing facts, kids can meet all the cuddly creatures and amazing sights found in the woods—from bunnies to bears to bugs—in this educational project book.

Comments: This book is marketed towards parents looking for nature information and crafts to read together with their children. It has all the great DK illustrations that make it appealing to kids, with facts that make it educational enough for parents. I even learned a new word; squirrel nests are called dreys. There are usually a few pages of illustrations, with small chunks of information, then a spread on doing a nature craft like pine cone owls. The “reading games” are things like “count the bugs in the log” and “help the bunny through the maze. It does make it a bit more interactive, but is more of a one on one reference book than something you would read aloud to a group. My only caveat is that we’ve only had a the book for a few months and pages are already pulling apart from the spine. Also, it is easily confused with another Easy Non-Fiction DK book, Woodland and Forest, that has many of the same pictures, but is smaller and for slightly older kids.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Baby Dolphin’s First Swim

Title:   Baby Dolphin’s First Swim
Author:   American Museum of Natural History
Series:   not applicable
Recommended for:   a primary audience of preschoolers and early elementary school students, although it will also appeal to older kids and adults due to its clear appealing photos and interesting information
Pages:   approximately 25 p.
Call Number/Link:   E 599.53 BAB

Rating:   ****

Synopsis:

After a baby dolphin is born in the vast ocean, his mother and other dolphins help him as he learns and grows.

Comments:

How could you go wrong with baby dolphins?  Preschoolers can browse the book’s photos happily – and have fun learning a bit about dolphins.

i would guess that the book is actually intended for students in grades K-3, although it will appeal to a much wider audience.

 

 

 
 

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Becoming Bach–New

 

Title: Becoming Bach
Author: Tom Leonard
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Pre-schoolers and up, especially for homeschoolers looking for an arts supplement.
Pages: 40
Call Number/Link:  E B BACH, S.

Synopsis:

“Highlights the life and achievements of the eighteenth-century German composer and musician, and examines the development of his most important compositions.”

 

My thoughts:

This beautifully-illustrated biography of J.S. Bach does a good job of presenting a great composer to young children. I was nearly mesmerized by the lovely pictures, and just wanted to keep staring at them!

One note: the book describes the deaths of his parents as “after mother and father went to heaven…” Death is definitely a difficult subject for some families, and would be a great discussion point for this book.

The historical notes in the back of the book were also quite interesting; I’ve read some biographical material on Bach that seems to disagree with some of the author’s assertions (eg, my own research seems to indicate that Bach was asked to leave Arnstadt because he took a very long unapproved leave of absence from his position; insulted a student; and engaged in a physical fight with the man, rather than writing music that upset the Church authorities as the author asserts. However, verifying this would take more time than the desk really allows!) but the book itself is lovely and highly recommended! –Rebekah

 
 

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Hatching Chicks in Room 6

hatching-chicks-coverTitle:   Hatching Chicks in Room 6
Author:   Caroline Arnold
Series:   —
Recommended for:  grades K-4 as a readaloud, grades 2 and up for children to read by themselves.  Could work for older preschoolers for one-on-one reading.
Pages:   36 p.
Call Number/Link:  E 636.5 ARN

Rating:   ****

 

 

Synopsis:

Kindergartners learn about the life cycle of a chicken, incubating eggs, watching them hatch and raising them until they are old enough to go to the chicken coop.

 

Comments:

It is no surprise that I enjoyed learning more about this process.  Getting to watch the eggs hatch is one of my favorite things at both the County Fair and the Museum of Science and Industry.

This book is written in a way that is interesting to children and includes clear photo illustrations that enhance the text.  The photos make the book more interesting and eye-catching.  They also help children understand how the chicks develop.

This book would be a great classroom readaloud for grades K-2, but it could also be fine to read it out loud to kids in grades 3-4.  Older preschoolers could also enjoy it one-on-one, especially if they are fascinated by chickens, eggs or farm life.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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Plant the Tiny Seed

plant-the-tiny-seed

 

Title: Plant the Tiny Seed

Author: Christie Mathson

Series: N/A

Recommended for: Preschool – 3rd grade

Pages: 40

Call Number/Link: E MATHESON, C.

Synopsis:  How do you make a garden grow? In this playful companion to the popular Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star, you will see how tiny seeds bloom into beautiful flowers. And by tapping, clapping, waving, and more, young readers can join in the action! Christie Matheson masterfully combines the wonder of the natural world with the interactivity of reading.

Beautiful collage-and-watercolor art follows the seed through its entire life cycle, as it grows into a zinnia in a garden full of buzzing bees, curious hummingbirds, and colorful butterflies. Children engage with the book as they wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, clap to make the sun shine after rain, and shoo away a hungry snail. Appropriate for even the youngest child, Plant the Tiny Seed is never the same book twice—no matter how many times you read it!

And for curious young nature lovers, a page of facts about seeds, flowers, and the insects and animals featured in the book is included at the end. Fans of Press Here, Eric Carle, and Lois Ehlert will find their next favorite book in Plant the Tiny Seed.

My thoughts: I think this book was so cute and had great rhyming sentences.  It is very interactive and would be perfect for any storytime: lapsit, toddler, preschool or Family.  I like the fact that the children can participate by doing an action for each page, while the colors and illustrations are engaging while covering a science topic.  Great book for parents or any type of teachers that want to teach how plants grow.

 

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Because of an Acorn

because-of-an-acorn-cover

Title:   Because of an Acorn
Author:   Lola Schaefer & Adam Schaefer
Illustrator:   Frann Preston-Gannon
Recommended for:    kindergarten-third graders, older preschoolers who aren’t too sensitive (and/or observant) 
Pages:   unpaged
Call Number/Link:   E 577.3 SCH

Rating:  ***

 

 

Synopsis:

Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting illustrations show the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life.

Comments:

This book uses minimal text and detailed illustrations to teach children basic information about a woodland ecosystem.  If used in a classroom, the teacher would need to provide additional explanation for children to actually understand the concept.

The online catalog lists the book as being for ages 5-10 and grades K-3.  It seemed like a book for younger children the first time I read it, but I am less certain of that after looking at the illustrations more closely.  This should not be a shock considering that the book is about the food cycle.  Observant children might notice the bird with an insect in its mouth, a snake approaching a chipmunk, and a hawk capturing a snake.  The text never mentions why some animals are grabbing smaller animals and the animals are not shown eating their prey, so I am unsure whether it could be used for Preschool Storytimes or Toddler Times with a tree or nature theme.

This book is easy nonfiction but reads like a picture book.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in Non-Fiction, Picture Books

 

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