Tag Archive for reviews
Most adults know the muffin man by now, but many will have never heard the story in quite this way! Author Blake Hoena has given the intrepid baker and his beloved Drury Lane bakery a new daily routine, turning the Muffin Man into an early riser who makes a wide variety of muffins to tempt the passers-by. At the end of the day, the store is empty and everyone is happy. This cute picture book is written in such a way that every page can be sung to the melody of the classic children’s song; in fact, the book even includes a CD featuring a recording of the full song, complete with toe-tappingly catchy music. Illustrations by Luke Flowers are delightfully cartoony, full of bright colors, and young readers will be smiling along with the people in the book as they go through every page. This is a fun addition to the library of any young reader . . . Great for the preschool crowd.
—San Francisco Book Review
Colorful, fascinating, and timely, this book on soccer is true to National Geographic’s reputation for excellent coverage. Non-soccer fans, whose numbers are diminishing, will enjoy this addition to the “Everything Series” for National Geographic Kids. It is an educational romp. With more than 100 pictures, interesting history about the game’s origins, and information about the worldwide coverage of superstar players, coaches, and their territories, this book will ensure that readers’ eyes do not wander. The picture book size is bold, illustrations are numerous, and the information is massive. Definitions, maps, addresses for soccer websites, and a photographic diagram of “The Pitch” (i.e., the playing area for international games) are provided. Altogether, this keeps the pressure on to keep on… reading. In 2015 the Women’s World Cup will be played in Canada, and the world again will be watching. To be in the know about soccer language and rules, place this book in your school library and your backpack.
The introduction presents some dinosaur “what if”s: What if dinosaurs had not become extinct? What was the world really like with dinosaurs roaming around? Dr. Paul Sereno, a paleontologist, helps to answer these questions through his research. In “Explorer’s Corner” sidebars throughout the book, Dr. Sereno provides extra information from his worldwide expeditions. The four chapters cover everything from “dinosaurs rule” to “fun with dinos.” Colored illustrations and sidebars complement the text. Young readers will learn how dinosaurs first evolved as well as how they became extinct. An “Afterword” explores why we are still interested in dinosaurs. An interactive glossary tests the reader’s knowledge with four definition options for each term. Correct answers are provided at the bottom of the page. A “Find Out More” section provides “Dino Documentaries,” “Dino-riffic Reads,” a list of related websites, and information about places to visit to learn more about these creatures. An index allows easy navigation through the text. This book is part of the “National Geographic Kids ‘Everything’” series, which covers an extensive number of topics for young readers. This book would be an excellent addition to supplement the science curriculum and will open the world of dinosaurs for young readers.
In Everything Mythology, Blake Hoena and Adrienne Mayor introduce readers to a colorful and fearful world that is not entirely foreign. This book is filled with stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, Monsters, revenge, love, hate, trickery and so much more. As readers and listeners journey into the world of Mythology they will quickly find characters they are familiar with in today’s world—including super heroes, wizards, princesses and characters from some favorite books. Short stories and facts are accompanied by vibrant illustrations that will engage readers. Hoena and Mayor include a map to help readers place the stories in a geographical context. This book is a great steppingstone into mythology for young readers. Each mythical story builds upon the next and soon readers will understand where terms like “Pandora’s box” and “Achilles’ heel” come from. Hoena and Mayor did an effective job at keeping the facts and stories short and understandable. All these elements lend to an educated introduction to Mythology. This book is highly recommended for use by parents with young readers who want to know the backstories of their favorite modern day heroes.
With more than 100 full-color illustrations these titles are visual treats, while providing a good deal of content. Each features four main sections with two-page chapters within those sections concentrating on specific topics. Within “Dinosaur Life,” for instance, readers will find spreads on the “Dino Nursery,” “Growing Up Dinosaur,” “Chomp or Be Chomped,” and “The Plant Eaters.” The layouts include headlines, text boxes, illustrations, and quick facts. Mythology even offers an Olympus Family Tree and isn’t limited to the gods of the Greek pantheon. Anansi, Horus, and Ganesha are all at home in these pages. The books are not only easy to read and understand, they’re also fun. Each volume includes a glossary (with an accompanying quiz to increase comprehension) and sources for more information (books, websites). Good purchases where these subjects are much in demand.
—School Library Journal
The latest in the Everything series will certainly appeal to young dinosaur enthusiasts. Illustrations rule here, even though, as the text mentions, scientists aren’t sure about the color, shape, and texture of most dinosaurs. Tempesta’s illustrations present dinos of all sizes and dimensions, like the Mamenchisaurus, whose neck was 35 feet long. These pictures provide a sense of drama and danger, though the fainthearted should take note that several images depict ravenous dinosaurs feasting rather bloodily upon others. Hoena packs in a lot of facts, ranging from one-sentence “Dino Bites” to fieldwork insights from paleontologist Sereno. One intriguing section discusses how dinosaurs cared for their young and shows fossils of the long, thin eggs of meat-eating dinosaurs; the bowling-ball-sized Diplodocus eggs; and the spiral patterns that some dinosaurs used to organize their eggs. The book doesn’t delve very deeply, but like the dinosaurs, it covers a lot of ground.
Fun to see my Treasure Island adaptation up on LitPick, a site where kids (my readers!) are the reviewers. Check it out Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
“Are you ready for an adventure? Campfire Crisis takes you deep into the woods where you’ll have to make smart decisions too save the day!”
—Chris Everheart, author of Recon Academy and Hub’s Adventures
“Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is not only a fun action packed adventure it is a treasure hunt for the story itself. Readers are challenged to make choices as to whether or not the story could end before it really gets started. Readers have the option to end the story as they see fit. Chapter one of this tale can be found on page 64. Your name is Jim Hawking and you help your mother run the Admiral Benbow inn. A strange sea fellow carrying a chest with him rents a room. After months of keeping to himself he asks you, for a few coin of course, to keep an eye out for a peg legged man. There might be a lot as stake. So, if you decide to help, go to page 47. If not, page 26. The reader decides which direction the adventure will go.
Author Blake Hoena has adapted one of his favorite childhood stories into a Choose Your Path book. These already exciting stories now offer a fun way for readers to enjoy them all over again or for the first time. Readers are encouraged to make a decision as to which way they want to read the story and follow the adventure. Parents and teachers will love this storytelling method and can use it as a tool to get those kids who wouldn’t normally pick up a book to actually have fun reading and enjoying the adventure.”