Tuesday, October 31, 2017


 (Image from Amazon)

Title: Me...Jane
Author: Patrick McDonnell
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Copyright Date: 2011
Age Range: 2-7 years old
Lexile Level: 740


This is a narrative nonfiction book about Jane Goodall as a young girl. It introduces readers to the first 'chimp' in her life, her stuffed animal Jubilee. It also describes Jane's love of nature and animals and how she would read books about animals and study them in her backyard, with Jubilee. She dreamed of visiting Africa and being able to help animals...eventually her dream came true and her work with animals is well known all over the world. Children will admire Jane Goodall after reading about her.


This is a great book for a younger audience of 2-7 year olds. Any child who loves animals should be aware of Jane Goodall and all that she has accomplished through her studies of chimps. Readers who love animals are sure to love this book about a fellow animal lover. This book will show readers that their dreams are possible if they work hard and are dedicated to their passions. This is a great read-aloud for younger children, I especially think children would like the illustrations in this book.

 (Images from http://news.janegoodall.org)

Read alikes:

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by: Jeanette Winter
Readers who enjoyed reading about Jane Goodall will like this book about her too.

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by: H. Joseph Hopkins
This book would be enjoyed by readers who like Jane's perseverance and her love of science.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by: Laurie Lawlor
This book is also about a great female scientist, so readers will like to learn about Rachel Carson and all she has done for science.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Barefoot Book of Children

 (Image from Amazon)

Title: The Barefoot Book of Children
Author: Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Copyright Date: 2016
Age Range: 5-8 years old
Lexile Level: Not Found

This book teaches children about the differences between the children of the world. It shows it's readers that the world is a very diverse place and that we should be accepting of everyone who lives here. The first part of the book can be used as a read aloud book for storytimes in libraries and classrooms. The illustrations are very bright and colorful and the book is over-sized, so the audience will be able to see the pages clearly. The last few pages of this book are more informative and there are sections for each part of the book that was discussed, but in more detail. This gives a more in depth look at the world's different faiths, languages, food, etc. Examples from pages inside the book shown below.

 (Images from barefootbooks.com and globetrottinkids.com)


This book is great for children of all ages and genders. I think it is very informative and will help children understand that there are a lot of other children in the world that may look different than them or live differently than they do, but that they should be accepting of these differences.

Read alikes:

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by: Matt Lamothe
This book follows the lives of seven different children from around the world. The countries discussed are: Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda and Russia. I think these are very diverse choices that children would learn a lot of new information from.

Same, Same but Different by: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
This book is about two pen pals, one that lives in America and one that lives in India. They have similar interests, but there worlds look different.

Barefoot Books World Atlas by: Nick Crane
This book is by the same publishing company and it is an atlas of the world. It is divided by geographic region and allows children to learn more about the world and the environment of different regions.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do

(Image from Amazon)

Title: Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do
Author: Steve Jenkins
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Copyright Date: 2014
Age Range: 4-7 years old
Lexile Level: 650


This book is all about animals. Each page features a different, uniquely illustrated, animal who is asked a question about their features. The animal then replies why they look the way they look to the audience. This allows children to have fun while learning, which is a great feature for a nonfiction book to have.  

(Images from Pinterest and JuniorLibraryGuild)

Great read aloud features:
  • This book would be a great read aloud book to a group of preschoolers or kindergartners at a library or school. The reader can use funny voices for the animals to keep the children entertained and amused throughout the storytime.
  • It will introduce children to new animals they may never have heard of: barirusa, red fan parrot, axolotl, etc.  
  • The illustrations are bright, colorful and unique.
  • The reader will be able to ask the audience why they think the animals do the things they do…you might get some creative and funny responses from the children!


Boys and girls who love animals will love this book. They will be able to learn fun and exciting facts about animals and they will be able to enjoy reading the book with different voices for each animal in the book. If being read to, the reader can entertain them with the different voices.

Read alikes:

Actual Size by: Steve Jenkins
This incredible book by the same author allows children to get an up close examination of the animals included in the book. Children will be able to compare their hand to the hand of a gorilla or their head to the head of an Alaskan brown bear.

Living Color by: Steve Jenkins
This is another book by Jenkins, and will allow children to learn their colors and the different types of animals with those colors. The illustrations are very bright and clear and children will be able clearly see them even in a large group.

Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents by: Lita Judge
This book will be enjoyed by children who like animals and they will be able to see and learn new facts about the baby animals of the world.


The following website describes author, Steve Jenkins, process for making this book. It is very interesting, he discusses: concept, research, sketches, text, illustrations, designs, production and the final book. http://www.stevejenkinsbooks.com/creaturefeatures/

Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers & Rebels

(Image from Amazon)

Title: Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers and Rebels
Author: Linda Skeers
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Copyright Date: 2017
Age Range: 8-14 years old
Lexile Level: Not found


This book provides short summaries of 52 brave women throughout history and throughout the world. Each woman is described briefly, yet thoroughly through text, brightly illustrated and their birth year, death year, place of birth and their nickname or what they were famous for are all highlighted on the page. The history of these brave and fearless women will encourage children to accomplish their goals with fearlessness.

(Image from booktopia.com)


I think young tween/teenage girls will particularly find this book fun and exciting, however young boys who think women can be brave and fearless too will enjoy this book just as much! History lovers will enjoy this book as well.

Read alikes:

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History...and Our Future! By: Kate Schatz
This book is very similar to Women Who Dared, each women depicted in illustrations and text, however each letter of the alphabet is represented by a woman in this book.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls By: Elena Favilli
This book depicts each women by illustration and through text as well. Each illustration is drawn by one of sixty different artists. The text is set up so parents or children can read about one woman per night.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by: Rachel Ignotofsky

This book describes the incredible women in the science field and all that they have accomplished throughout their careers. This book is illustrated as well.

Final comment:
I love all of the recent publications about strong female women from our history!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments

 (Image from Amazon.com)

Title: The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments: Awesome Things To Do With Your Parents, Babysitters and Other Adults
Author: Rachel Miller, Holly Homer and Jamie Harrington
Publisher: Page Street Publishing Company
Copyright Date: 2016
Age Range: 5-12 years old
This book is brightly illustrated and nicely organized, it is easy to read and easy to follow along with the step by step processes. There are four chapters: kitchen chemistry, physics and making things move, exploring the world and the human body. The experiments offered will allow children to have fun while learning more about science.
Each experiment offers readers:
  • A mess meter
  • Whether or not there are safety precautions or adult supervisions needed
  • Prep time
  • Experiment duration time
  • Supplies needed
  • An explanation of the experiment, why it worked and outcome
  • Variation examples
  • “Did you know?” and “Try This!” sections (which gives readers tips and tricks)
As this book states this book is great for children and their caregivers, however, the book is also useful to librarians who want to do STEM programs with children or teenagers. There are many ideas that can be used to create and implement fun and engaging programs in the library. Children and younger teens would enjoy the science and reactions they would learn from the program and have fun during the process.

Read alikes:
101 Kids Activities That are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!: The Entertainment Solution for Parents, Relatives and Babysitters! By: Holly Homer and Rachel Miller

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More with Fun Activities by: Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij

Outdoor Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments for the Yard, Garden, Playground, and Park by: Liz Lee Heinecke

https://kidsactivitiesblog.com/kids-activities-bloggers/the-101-coolest-simple-science-experiments The authors of this book have a blog that ties in very nicely with this book and their other books. It is called the Kids Activities Blog and it offers a lot of fun and exciting crafts and activities to do with children.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

 (Image from Amazon.com)

Title: She Persisted:13 American Women Who Changed the World
Author: Chelsea Clinton
Publisher: Philomel Books
Copyright Date: 2017
Age Range: 4-8 years old
Lexile Level: 1170

This book describes the lives of 13 incredible women who persisted to change the world. This book will inspire young girls to stand up for what they believe in even if it goes against what others believe is right or wrong. The book encourages girls to persist just like the women throughout our history. Each woman in this book is briefly described, illustrated and a quote of theirs is provided to the reader. At the end of the book, the author encourages the reader to persist just like the women in the book do, because everyone's voice is important.

Children will enjoy this book about strong women and it will hopefully encourage them to grow up just as strong as the women in the book. I think young girls will especially enjoy this book, but boys who are interested in history will also find interest in this book. Adults are sure to love this book as well and it would be a great storytime book choice to read in schools or libraries during women's history month in March.

Read alikes:
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by: Debbie Levy
This biography discusses Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and explains that disagreeing with others isn't always a bad thing. She stands up for others and stands up for what she believes in.

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History and Our Future by: Kate Shatz
Much like She Persisted, this book describes incredible women who have shaped history and fought for what they believe in.

Rosie Revere, Engineer By: Andrea Beaty
This picture book inspires young girls to follow their heart and do what they love even if it is out of the ordinary. With hard work and determination she is able to accomplish her goals.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An Egg is Quiet

Title: An Egg is Quiet
Written by: Dianna Aston
Illustrated by: Sylvia Long
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Copyright date: 2006
Age ranges: 4-10
Lexile level: 670

An Egg is Quiet introduces children to over 60 different types of eggs through brightly colored and clear illustrations, each illustrated drawing of an egg is labeled with what type of animal or insect it will turn into. Interesting facts about these eggs are also given throughout the book. Towards the end of the book there is a timeline of how the eggs hatch or evolve, the examples of a hen, salmon and grasshopper are given to show the differences between the types of egg processes. This is an explanatory nonfiction book that children are sure to enjoy with a parent, teacher or librarian.

I really enjoyed the content and organization of this book. The first two full pages include over 60 pictures of eggs, with the name of each animal or insect labeling it. The last two full pages include the hatched or evolved versions of each of those eggs from the first two pages, this gives children a visualization of what the eggs will turn into. The book begins with “An egg is quiet ,” in large cursive letters and the story told in those large cursive letters throughout the book would be a great read aloud for a younger audience of 4-6, the words that are larger lyrical and easily understood by a younger audience. There are some pages that also give more detailed information on the eggs in a smaller font, these words would be able to be better received by an older audience of children ages 6-10. Therefore the larger font can be read and then the smaller font can be read to the older audience so they can better understand the evolutions of eggs. I think this is a unique and interesting feature of this book that makes it stand out as an explanatory nonfiction book. 

Why should it be a part of a collection?
This is one of the most unique nonfiction explanatory books for children that I have read. I love how depending on how much or how little you read of the book, you can read to different age audiences. It is also beautifully illustrated and written and has great reviews. There are also other books by the author that are similar to this book, and I would recommend a library own all of them.

Intended audience:
Children, ages 4-10, who love animals, birds and insects especially, would enjoy this book. They would be able to learn about up 60 different types of eggs, including fun facts, what they look like, and in the back of they will be able to see what the animal/insect looks like as well, once it hatches. This book would be a great read aloud in a classroom or story time. The text makes it so only some of the text needs to be read, for younger audiences or you can read all of the information in the book for children who are a little bit older and able to understand more.

Read alikes:

Other books by Dianna Aston include:

A Beetle is Shy
A Butterfly is Patient
A Nest is Noisy
A Rock is Lively
A Seed is Sleepy

Books with similar topics:

Whose Egg? by: Lynette Evans
Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg by: Mia Posada
Over and Under the Pond By: Kate Messner

All of the books mentioned above would be good recommendations to children who liked this book because the first group is by the same author and the books have a very similar structure/message and the second group are all books recommend to children who are fascinated with more information about eggs and nature.

http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/an-egg-is-quiet/ This website provides extra resources, questions to ask your audience, and crafts and activities that would work well with this book.

Extension activity
This would be a great book to read to classes that have baby chicks in their classrooms in order to explain the process of eggs a little further. In a library setting, if there was someone in the community who is willing to show or bring in their chicks and eggs for children at a story time to see, that would be a great tie-in to this book to allow children the chance to see eggs in person. (Images from Amazon)