Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review of 'The Long, Long Journey' by Sandra Markle


Crackle! Crackle! Crunch! What's hatching from that egg? It's a young bar-tailed godwit. She will spend the summer in Alaska learning to fly, find her own food, and escape from scary predators. Her long, long journey begins in October when she flies to New Zealand. This 7,000-mile flight is the longest nonstop bird migration ever recorded. Follow along on her amazing voyage!

**My thoughts**

This book was intriguing from the start, because I had never before heard of the godwit. The book chronicles how the young bird grows up, predators she may face, and then her long journey from Alaska to New Zealand. They fly nonstop for over a week on that trip!

The end of the book provides a few more fun facts, as well as resources for further information about the birds. It's a great book for talking about migration in general, as well as opening up conversation about habitat, Alaska, and New Zealand! They even have a festival down there in honor of these birds!

The illustrations look like watercolors and are absolutely beautiful. I would love to add this book to my classroom library.

I received an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review of 'Breezier, Cheesier, Newst, and Bluest: What Are Comparatives and Superlatives?" by Brian P. Cleary


What are comparatives and superlatives? After reading this book, you'll have a much clearer idea and will be the best at forming these descriptive words! Brian P. Cleary and Brian Gable explain how these forms of adjectives compare nouns, through the cleverest rhymes and illustrations that are sillier than ever. Each comparative or superlative word is printed in color for easier identification.

Breezier, Cheesier, Newest, and Bluest: What Are Comparatives and Superlatives? turns traditional grammar lessons on end. Read it aloud and share in the delight of the sense—and nonsense—of words.

**My thoughts**

I love this series of books. They provide simple grammar lessons with fun rhymes, pictures and text. This one provides a simple overview of the rules used when making adjectives into comparatives and superlatives. It doesn't serve as a sole explanation for all of the rules and exceptions, but is a great introduction for more formal grammar lessons. It could be read to kindergartners as a foundation for their language skills, and definitely used in early elementary.  

 Follow author Brian P. Cleary: Website \ Facebook \ Twitter

Monday, March 18, 2013

'Drummer Boy of John John' by Mark Greenwood


Carnival is coming, and the villagers of John John, Trinidad, are getting ready to jump up and celebrate with music, dancing, and a parade. Best of all, the Roti King has promised free rotis-tasty fried pancakes filled with chicken, herbs, and spices-for the best band in the parade.

Young Winston dreams of feasting on those delicious rotis. But there's a problem: he's not in a band! Pondering his predicament as he wanders through the village junkyard, Winston makes a curious musical discovery that may be just the ticket to realizing his dream. With ingenuity and the help of his friends, Winston takes on the Carnival bands, drumming his way to victory-and to the Roti King's prized treat.

Musical text and sun-drenched paintings joyously transport readers to the Caribbean, and to this exuberant story inspired by the early life of Winston "Spree" Simon, a pioneer in the development of the steel drum.

**My Thoughts**

The illustrations in this book inspired by real events capture the excitement of Carnival. Words added to the pages help to further illustrate the various sounds that can be created by different drums. Learn new words and phrases by visiting the glossary in the back. There is also a brief biography of the late Winston "Spree" Simon, who is the real-life inspiration for this book.

By simply tossing a mango pit in a junkyard, Winston realizes that nontraditional items can make for some awesome instruments. His fellow villagers quickly join in the fun and a new tradition is born. Kids will love reading this book and then looking for their own ways of making new instruments from everyday materials. It is also a fun look at a different culture that could inspire a Carnival within the classroom or at home. It's a great addition to a classroom or home library.

I received a complimentary eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Visit author Mark Greenwood's website:

Visit illustrator Frane Lessac's website:  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review of 'Mosey's Field' by Barbara Lockhart


Mosey, a long-legged, lumbering kind of dog, has a napping place in the middle of a corn field, but when the plow comes through, followed later by the planter, Mosey can no longer find his spot. As the corn grows, Mosey's adventures in the field include exploring tunnels in the corn rows, chasing rabbits, finding relief from the summer’s heat, and, at the end of the season, experiencing the terrifying (to him) appearance of a combine. Mosey's Field illuminates the beauty of the rural landscape, the change in seasons, and the progression of agricultural methods. While Mosey continues the search for his special place, children are not only connected to the environment, but the important concept of where food comes from. Early Reader; Ages 5-8.

**My thoughts**

I love the watercolor illustrations in this book. Mosey is adorable! They also elicit memories of visiting my family's farms when I was a child.

The story is told from the point of view of the dog, who can't figure out why his favorite napping place in the field keeps on changing. The back story ends up being the cycle of corn: how it is planted, grows, and then is harvested. It can serve as an introduction to farming and corn, and even has a page at the end that provides further information. 

I know for me, the first time I read it, I focused more on the dog and his story about his napping place. The second time through, I was able to pay more attention to what was happening with the corn in the field. I think that children may also miss the story of the corn the first time through, as they will be more focused on the dog. Repeated readings, plus some discussion, will bring the story of the corn more to the forefront.

I would still add this book to my library when studying farms, food, seasons, or from where things come. It is a cute story.  

I received an eARC of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Barbara Lockhart, a retired kindergarten teacher, lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she's been watching fields for years. Heather Crow is an award-winning artist and art teacher. She lives in Easton, Maryland.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review of 'How Oysters Saved the Bay' by Jeff Dombek


The Chesapeake Bay is a wondrous and exciting place to live. But oysters Chester and Meredith have a big problem: pollution in the waters of the Bay is making the underwater grasses sick. The grasses are home to so many young fish, crabs, and other creatures in the Bay; the disappearance of underwater grasses could lead to the sad loss of even more species. So much is at stake! How can Chester and Meredith possibly figure out a way to save the grasses and also the Bay? See how Chester and Meredith lead their underwater friends to clear up their messy and murky problem. Early Reader; Ages 5-8.

Jeff Dombek is an author/illustrator whose work includes Sam: The Tale of a Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. A Maryland public school art teacher since 1989, he loves the outdoors, especially fishing, kayaking, and mountain biking.

**My thoughts**

The book opens up with a brief introduction about oysters, before launching into the story. In the story, Chester and Meredith decide they are going to help the murky waters of the Chesapeake Bay by filtering the harmful particles in the water, which actually serve as food for the oysters. The last page of the book provides a more scientific look at what happened at the story.

The story is cute. I like how the scientific explanation is also provided for more information, to back up the story. Interested children can read that part, as well. Or, teachers and parents can refer to it for more information during a lesson.

I really like the illustrations in this book. They are reminiscent of Eric Carle in their design, which makes them appealing. I would use this in my classroom.

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Pre-order on Amazon (releases 3/29/13)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Release Day Party! 'Healthy Me!' by Cherrie Dejolde Bautista

We’re celebrating the release day party of Healthy Me! today. The author was kind enough to offer 5 Kindle eBook copies of Healthy Me! as a giveaway. Scroll down for the Rafflecopter form to participate.

The giveaway runs from March 9th to March 14th and is international.

Healthy Me! is a book of healthy affirmations for little stars. Written to promote positive self talk to kids, Healthy Me! encourages children to have a healthy lifestyle --- physically, mentally, and emotionally. This book is full of positive affirmations that focuses on taking care of one's self while having fun doing it! 
Don't forget to check the end for your Bonus Gift to see how you can download a free ebook, you and your family will enjoy!

Book Excerpt
I like to stay healthy,
take care of myself.
I respect my self-image.
I’m proud of my health.

Author Bio
Cherrie Dejolde Bautista is a Certified Empowerment Coach committed to help everyone reach their fullest potential and be the best they can be. Having a technical background who worked as an Analyst/Computer Programmer, she pursued and became certified as an Empowerment Coach in her quest to understand how she can become the best parent for her kids. She realized that in order to raise her kids to be healthy, responsible, confident and successful individuals with a lot of respect for themselves, their family, other people, and life, she needs to empower herself not only to be the best parent, but also to reach her own fullest potential and be the best individual she can be. Being a good role model is the most effective way of teaching, influencing, and nurturing her kids. She teaches her children how to live by letting them watch her do it.


Win one of 5 Kindle eBook copies of Healthy Me! The giveaway runs from March 9th to March 14th and is international.
a Rafflecopter giveaway