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Mrs. Wibbester: More children’s book reviews

March 9, 2012

I need some newly-acquired non-fiction books to fill out my display, so let’s get to it.

Help Me Learn Addition by Jean Marzollo really won me over, I have to say. The rhymes are a bit cheesy but but but…so cute!  Alien babies!  Little fuzzy chicks!  All the strawberries!  (I’m so hungry.)  I think little guys will love this, and I’m going to try it at a storytime.

Fire Stations in Action by Mari Schuh is pretty good, but I’d prefer bolding of the glossary words, and there’s no actual pictures of fires and stuff, which, IDK, liability issue?  Purposely skipping the tough stuff because it’s such an introductory book?  Because the focus is the station itself?–although I wouldn’t say that’s 100% true ANYWAY, so show the kids some action!

Oh, hello again, David Adler and the Picture Book of ___.  This time it’s Sam Houston.  But we’ve got a different illustrator!  Also, what a book!  Not crazy about starting at the Alamo and then jumping backward (the second page threw me off) but the illustrator’s great and there’s no wishy-washy here.  Did you know Sam Houston was married for 3 months once?  COME ON, that’s awesome.  And they say family values are going downhill.  Anyway, good book.  I’d say it’d be perfect for a Texas library, but this NJ librarian is pleased with it too (and not just because she keeps a part of her heart in Austin).

Speaking of Adler, I have another one by him, too: Perimeter, Area, and Volume: A Monster Book of Dimensions.  Super cute!  VERY informative.  On the older side of young readers though, because you get a lot of information on each page.  The monsters are adorable.

Woohoo!  Mrs. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medival Castle by Joanna Cole is soooo cool.  I mean, I LIKE the Magic School Bus and all, but this is just a TON of fascinating info, including some clarifying comments in the back that are just really, really great. I’m so glad I got this one.

Celebrate the 50 States! by Loreen Leedy is also super-cool!  Each state gets half a page, with a question to answer, the state bird, a picture of its, its capital marked out, and and and and…lots of stuff!  I like it!  No wonder it’s been out so many times.

Young Orville and Wilbur Wright: First to Fly by Andrew Woods suggests that the Wright brothers created the tandem bicycle, but that could just be how I read it.  It’s not true, anyway, that I can tell.  The book also doesn’t tell you how Wilbur died, just that it was decades before his brother, so I had to go to Wikipedia for that too.  I thought it was, like, a deadly plane crash and the book was trying to avoid it.  But no, it was illness.  Anyway, it’s a quick little read, good for beginners.

Ooh, another Loreen Leedy: Seeing Symmetry.  I liked this one a lot too.  Lots of explanation and even crafts at the end.  Now I’m going to spend the rest of the week trying to figure out what around me is symmetrical.

Gail Gibbons teaches us that if you use the word “ladybugs” a certain number of times in a book, it ceases to have any meaning.  I swear, it was like, I was reading this book, and then I had to stop and remind myself what book I was reading because “ladybugs” did not sound right anymore.  It’s an informative book, but I kind of hate the name ladybugs because they’re not all female and I think that’s part of what made the word just stop making sense.   By the way?  The name of the book?  I think you can guess it.

Jets by Lee Sullivan Hill is a solid Easy Reader non-fiction book that gives a lot of information in simple, clear sentences over just enough pages to keep one’s attention.

Remembering the Titanic by Frieda Wishinsky is a Level 3 Scholastic Reader (700-1500 words).  Just in time for the anniversary!  It’s pretty good.  I like the layout.  That poor man Ballard–he looks like he’s sneering in his picture.  Someone should’ve taken another shot.  Not crazy about the last page; I don’t think it wraps up the information well.  But that’s okay.  It’s not like you’re going to end a book this informative with a bang.

Marilyn Singer’s A Stick is an Excellent Thing is full of POETRY.  Poetry is, like, my least favorite thing ever–well, after fan fiction.  So I’m the worst person to review this book.  The art is nice but at times is a bit flat–other times, like the last pages (nighttime) it’s just right.

Speaking of, I need to put up some new Easy Readers as well.

Dragon’s Easter Egg Hunt by Mae Marks is better than the usual Dragon books. This one has Dragon being a bit more expressive, and the story being told a little better.  Yay!

I used to know this girl named Pinky.  She loooved the color pink.  This was a big deal back in the ’80s, when girls were allowed to have other favorite colors besides pink and, occasionally, purple.  She was irritating.  Pinkalicious, thankfully, isn’t irritating.  Pinkalicious: The Princess of Pink Slumber Party by Victoria Kann, however, isn’t quite irritating so much as EH.  This is another transition from picture book to easy reader, and it’s definitely missing some of the charm of the books.  I imagine Kann will only get better at the limited wording as time goes on, though.

I usually like the Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold, but I wasn’t that crazy about Ride, Fly Guy, Ride.  Maybe it’s because I finally looked closely at the art, and the eyes look like they have scribbles in them–SCRIBBLES OF VEINS.  Also, because it doesn’t explain how Fly Guy gets off the rocket.  What a cop-out of an ending.

Bert and Ernie Go Camping is another Brand New Readers Sesame Street book by Ernie Kwiat.  I liked this one a lot.  The synopses feel less like giving everything away and more synoposes-like in this one.  Plus…Bert and Ernie. ❤ (Not Bert and Ernie = <3, by the way.  Just saying.)

Oh, jeez, I did more than I thought.  Until next time!

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