Sometimes when I finish a book that I loved I can’t wait to sit down and gush about how great it is. Other times, I love it but I just know I won’t be able to give it proper credit: I struggle to explain just why it is so incredible.
Shapes in Math, Science, and Nature by Catherine Sheldrick Ross (April 2014, Kids Can Press) is a book I struggle to describe. The title suggests something a little bit academic.
But it is far from simply a geometry book about shapes. Rather, Shapes in Math, Science, and Nature is a fascinating activity book for kids with activities and experiments that can get even the math and science averse excited about shapes. It covers not only the subjects indicated on the cover but also history, culture and anthropology, ancient games, and even a little bit of literature. (more…)
Love by the Morning Star by Laura L. Sullivan (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers, June 2014) is a World War II historical fiction novel for teenagers with an amusing role reversal! Much like in stories like The Prince and the Pauper, in Love by the Morning Star, two girls get assigned to the wrong roles. When the attractive man takes interest, the crossed paths of the two girls confuses not only him but many others, leading to an amusing chain of events! (more…)
Tino and the Pomodori by Tonya Russo Hamilton (Gemelli Press, June 2014) is almost like The Little Red Hen, except the boy in the story helps all along and so he delights in the delicious treat at the end!
Tino helps his grandparents plant, irrigate, and nurture the family tomato plants that provide the livelihood for their family for the entire year. Tino is a hard worker, but he also delights in the various stages of growing the tomatoes.
Based in a small Italian village in a different era, Tino and the Pomodori teaches the reader not only about the live cycle of a tomato plant but also about what it means to work hard. Various sentences and phrases are also in Italian, giving the reader even more of a background into the life in which Tino lives and works. With colorful paintings to accompany the text, Tino and the Pomodori also makes my mouth water for good Italian bread, oil, and tomato sauce!
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book.
The cartoon-like illustrations in Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke (First Second Books, September 2014) perfectly match the child-like imaginative story. It begins with fantastic personification:
Julie’s house came to town and settled by the sea.
And Julia is obviously not a normal girl, for when she decides to open her home to lost creatures, she finds herself welcoming not just “patched up Kitty” but a sad troll and all sorts of other monsters. (more…)
Wait, is that snow I see outside?
Nope, it’s the sprinkler and kiddie pool. But nevertheless, it’s time for a Christmas in July book review!
Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka (Carolrhoda Books, September 2014) is a great book for the upcoming holiday season. With 25 different haiku poems, Santa prepares himself and his workshop for the upcoming Christmas holiday. (more…)