The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

 

With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun.

As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action.

File Size: 2732 KB
Print Length: 309 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (January 25, 2011)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Language: English
ASIN: B004HD62O4

 

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Coming in February: Midnight Teacher by Janet Halfmann

Halfmann tells the powerful story of Lily Ann Granderson, an enslaved woman who “believed the path to freedom was through education.” Ladd’s rich, naturalistic acrylic-and-pencil images depict Granderson’s upbringing in Kentucky, where she learned to read and write in secret, then shared her knowledge with other children. As an enslaved adult in Mississippi, Granderson risked punishment by holding night classes in an empty cabin: “Landowners feared that if the enslaved could read, they would discover that some northerners wanted slavery abolished.” After the school is discovered, Granderson is shocked to learn that she won’t be punished (Halfmann speculates about why she might have escaped punishment in an afterword) and reopens her school, teaching as a free woman for many more years. The painful but uplifting narrative may spark readers’ curiosity about other enslaved individuals whose stories have not yet been told.

Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books; Illustrated edition (February 6, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1620141639
ISBN-13: 978-1620141632

Pre-order from Amazon or other online retailers.

You Know What? By Carol Gordon Ekster

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster is a delightful bedtime story that will be treasured by kids and moms alike.

Oliver knows it’s bedtime, but he’s had a busy day and wants to tell mommy all about it.

This is not the first book by Ekster that I’ve read, and I doubt it will be my last. As a former elementary school teacher, she is in tune with what resonates with young people. Oliver continues to toss out the same question to his mommy as he gets ready for bedtime. His tired, yet patient, mommy keeps on listening and encouraging him along the way. It’s a very sweet concept. I also truly enjoyed the artwork of Nynke Mare Talsma. Vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and reds catch your eye as you move page by page through this charming story. I hope we will see more collaborations between these two talented people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 340
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis (September 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605372781
ISBN-13: 978-1605372785

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

STORYSTORM 2018 Update

 

In case you forgot, STORYSTORM, founded by Tara Lazar is taking place this month. In the past, I’ve posted my ideas here. I’m trying something different this year and simply keeping a spreadsheet of my ideas and posting updates at the blog.

Today makes 12 days that we are into this annual event. Believe it or not, I’ve managed to come up with 12 ideas already. I’m struggling, because tired brains don’t think well. Some of the ideas I will probably end up tossing when I get around to reviewing them. The nice thing is that each day a different guest blogger is featured at Tara’s blog to give us a healthy dose of inspiration.

Are you participating in STORYSTORM? Any other events you plan to participate in this year?

This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido van Genechten

This Book is Full of Monsters is a silly and adorable story written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten.

Young readers are warned from the beginning and given a list of things they need if they dare to open the front cover of this book that is filled with small, stinky, loud, gross, sleepy and sometimes scary monsters. This book is a fun interactive experience that kids will enjoy. They might even be in for a surprise or two. With van Genechten’s superb artwork and such a zany story, youngsters will be going back to this one time and again.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis; Pop edition (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373605
ISBN-13: 978-1605373607

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest


I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest is a beautifully told story that will touch the heart of everyone who reads it.

Yuto is given an unusual wooden box by an old man in a store. The man tells him, “Everything you need is in this box.” But no matter how hard Yuto tries, he can’t open the wooden box. On the eve of his seventh birthday, the box opens to reveal a seed, which Yuto plants. Eventually the seed becomes a tree and is so big he plants it in a special place and, throughout his long life, Yuto and the tree share a special bond.

In many ways, this story reminds me of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which is a book I shared with all my children. This poetic fairy tale is enhanced by the stunning artwork of Sassafras De Bryun and the intricate cutouts throughout the book. While I Give You My Heart is a children’s book, the older you are the more meaningful it becomes. I think it would make the perfect coffee table book.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Lexile Measure: 540 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Clavis (November 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373567
ISBN-13: 978-1605373560

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill

You’ll find the topics of bullying, peer pressure, friendship and learning to accept who you are wrapped up in a fabulously engaging story with Too Big by Judy Dearborn Nill.

Shelby Bradshaw considers skipping the fifth grade and going right to middle school. Academically that won’t be a problem, but it’s really to escape all the teasing she has endured since her growth spurt. She’ll miss being with her best friend Zoe, but maybe it will all be worth it.

Though there are many teaching points and topics for discussion, the young reader will also discover a great plot and interesting characters. They might know a Shelby or a Zoe or a Marissa or a Deke or a Kenny. They might have experienced some of what these characters have. Misunderstandings happen. People aren’t always who you think they are. Sometimes actions have bad consequences. Maybe a good idea ends up not being so good later.

Too Big tackles real issues that kids are dealing with and handles them without trivializing them or the real feelings young people must cope with. Too Big is an awesome book. I’m so glad the author asked me to review it. I’ll be looking for more of her work in the future.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Paperback
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing; Large type / large print edition edition (October 22, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616338075
ISBN-13: 978-1616338077

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.