Little Red Bat by Carole Gerber

Title: Little Red Bat
Author: Carole Gerber

Illustrator: Christina Wald
Paperback or hardback:
32 pgs Hardback and Paperback
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing

Publication Date: March 2010
ISBN-13: 9781-607-180692 (H)  $16.95/ 9781-607-180807 (P)  $ 8.95

Reviewed by Kathy Stemke

When we mention bats what image comes to your mind?  Count Dracula?  Bats often get a bad rap.  The little red bat in Carole Gerber’s story is a sweet young bat that doesn’t know whether to stay in the forest for winter or migrate to a warmer climate.  She talks to many different animals that tell her how they survive the winter.  Each one warns the little red bat about his natural enemy. 

“Where will you live this winter?” asks the little red bat.  “I’m wondering if I should stay or if I should go.”  With a swish of his tail, the squirrel buries his last nut.  “I’m staying.  My winter food is all stored,” he says.  If you stay, watch out for owls.” 

Christina Wald offers outstanding illustrations, which add to the enjoyment and educational opportunities of this book.  She even features close ups of certain animal body parts like the wing, foot, and head of a quail.  Kids will see new details with every reading. 

A feature of “the creative mind” section at the end of the book is a detailed, labeled illustration of a tree bat that is full of interesting facts.  There’s an adaptation matching game, and a life cycle sequencing activity too.  As a teacher I can say that Little Red Bat is a must for every classroom.



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Newton and Me by Lynne Mayer

Title: Newton and Me

Ages: 4-8
Author: Lynne Mayer

Illustrator: Sherry Rogers
Paperback or hardback: 32 pgs, Hardback or Paperback
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing

Publication Date: March 2010
ISBN-13:  978-1-60718-067-8  (H)  $16.95/
978-1-60718-078-4  (P)   $ 8.95

Reviewed by Kathy Stemke

Lynne Mayer’s story of a boy and his dog, Newton, playing and discovering the laws of force and motion will delight kids everywhere.  Whether this duo is playing with a ball or solving a problem with a wagon full of rocks, they illustrate how Newton’s laws of motion affect the world we live in every day. 

The whimsical illustrations by Sherry Rogers will fascinate young children as they find new details with each reading.  The clever rhymes will help new readers to navigate easily through this informative story. 

“Saturday morning I was asleep in my bed,

when Newton, my dog, dropped a ball on my head.

Then Newton and I ran out the back door,

We had the whole day to play and explore.” 

In the “Creative Minds” section at the back of the book Ms. Mayer recaps the laws in simple language, and asks the children some questions to reinforce and continue the learning process.  

 “A pull is a force that moves something toward you.  What are some things in the book that the boy pulls? What are some things that you might pull?”

She continues to challenge kids by asking them to match up these laws with illustrations from the book.  More facts about Sir Isaac Newton and his important contributions to math and physics are included here as well.  As a teacher, I treasure Lynne Mayer’s book, Newton and Me, as a fun-filled, and useful tool for every classroom.



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Celebrate Black History Month with a Good Book

The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection encourages you to celebrate Black History Month by selecting a few good books. Here are some of our picks!

America’s Black Founders by Nancy I. Sanders

Amazon.com description:  America’s Black Founders celebrates the lesser known but significant lives and contributions of our nation’s early African American leaders. Many know that the Revolutionary War’s first martyr, Crispus Attucks, a dockworker of African descent, was killed at the Boston Massacre. But far fewer know that the final conflict of the war, the Battle of Yorktown, was hastened to a conclusion by James Armistead Lafayette, a slave and spy who reported the battle plans of General Cornwallis to George Washington.

 
Author Nancy Sanders weaves the histories of dozens of men and women—soldiers, sailors, ministers, poets, merchants, doctors, and other community leaders—who have earned proper recognition among the founders of the United States of America. To get a better sense of what these individuals accomplished and the times in which they lived, readers will celebrate Constitution Day, cook colonial foods, publish a newspaper, petition their government, and more. This valuable resource also includes a time line of significant events, a list of historic sites to visit or explore online, and Web resources for further study.
Note: We will be reviewing this title at a later time.
 

D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet by Nancy I. Sanders

Scholastic description:  A rich, poetic, alphabetical presentation of African-American history, including the Great Migration, the March on Washington, Malcolm X, and more.

Also available at Amazon.com!

The Day Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Shot: A Photo History of the Civil Rights Movement by Jim Haskins

Scholastic description: A stirring look at the history of the fight for civil rights and the gains made since the fateful day of King’s death. With powerful photographs, illustrations, and more.

Also available at Amazon.com!

Cornerstones of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement in America by Elaine Landau

Scholastic description: Dramatic and defining moments in American history come vividly to life in this series designed to make children feel they are on the scene as history is being made. Through text, illustrations, photographs, and engravings, these titles support history, social studies and geography curricula. Index included.

The history of slavery in the United States extends from 1619 to the Emancipation Proclamation, but the story of racial injustice is much longer. Relive the struggle against segregation and inequality from the Civil War through the Montgomery Bus Boycotts to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Also available at Amazon.com!

Not Afraid to Dare: The Stories of Ten African-American Women by Tonya Bolden

Scholastic description:  Ellen Craft, Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison – featured here are just a few of the African-American women who have enriched American life. Refusing to yield to discrimination and prejudice, these 10 women strove to be heard, to succeed, and to be free. Includes index and table of contents.

Also available at Amazon.com!

Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen 

Scholastic description:  

Sassy tries out for a summer dance festival in Washington, D.C., despite the other girls’ taunts that she is much too tall.

Also available at Amazon.com!

Note: This is by dancer and actor Debbie Allen known to people of my generation as the dance teacher from Fame (the movie and the series).  My oldest daughter borrowed this book from the school library numerous times. It has an excellent storyline and is very inspirational.



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Don't Know Much About Anything Else by Kenneth C. Davis

don't know much about anything elseClara Barton, West Point, the Gulf War, Labor Day, trains, mosquitoes, the Kentucky Derby, The Wizard of Oz and the Girl Scouts. What do these things all have in common?

These people, places, things and many more can be found in Kenneth C. Davis’s latest book, Don’t Know Much About Anything Else.

Davis makes learning fun for people of all ages. Broken down into nine different sections, the author brings you along on an enjoyable adventure to learn more about the people, places, and things you have read about in school or in books. Each topic begins with a brief introduction and is followed with a short series of questions whose answers you’ll find on the next page. Living only 15 minutes from Thedor (Dr. Seuss) Geisel’s childhood home, I was thrilled to see a page dedicated to this famous children’s author. (Check out Page 45)

A fun, easy and interesting way to learn more about the world we live in and the people who have made a difference. Teachers could use this book to encourage a love of learning in young people and readers will enjoy testing their family and friends about what they know. There’s only one problem with this book–it’s addicting.

I can’t wait until Davis comes out with another Don’t Know Much About title.

 

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks 
  • ISBN-10: 0061562327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061562327
  • SRP:  $14.95