Monday, April 29, 2013

Alex the Parrot

TITLE: Alex the Parrot  No Ordinary Bird
AUTHOR:  Stephanie Spinner
PUBLISHER:  Alfred A. Knopf

Alex was an African gray parrot who was trained by Irene Pepperberg.  Everyone was surprised by the things he learned to do.  He could count, speak and recognize shapes, sizes, and colors.  These were things he was not supposed to be able to do.

This is a very interesting story, and my son and I enjoyed reading this nonfiction book.  This is AR level 4.1.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Rock is Lively

TITLE: A Rock is Lively
AUTHOR:  Dianna Hutts Aston
PUBLISHER: Chronicle Books

This nonfiction book about rocks is very interesting.  The reader will learn how rocks are made, the types of rocks and the many uses of rocks.  (I had not thought about just how useful rocks are!) 

This would be a great resource o use in a classroom to begin a study on the types of rocks.  This book is AR level 5.4.

One note:  There was a picture of the David sculpture at the end of this book; I think a teacher would need to be warned of this before reading it to the class.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tabby McTat The Musical Cat

TITLE: Tabby McTat The Musical Cat
AUTHOR:  Julia Donaldson
ILLUSTRATOR: Axel Scheffler
PUBLISHER: Arthur A. Levine Books

Tabby McTat enjoys his life singing with a street musician named Fred.  The two are separated one day though and Tabby McTat has a new life with a family but misses his life with Fred.  Will they ever find each to sing together again? 

This is a rhyming story that will be enjoyed by primary aged children.  This book is AR level 3.7.

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Few Bites

TITLE:  A Few Bites
AUTHOR:  Cybele Young
PUBLISHER: Groundwood Books

It is lunch time, but Ferdie wants to continue looking for a part of his fighter ship.  His sister Viola says she will help him after he eats.  When he comes to the table he finds broccoli, carrots, and ravioli.  He doesn't want to eat any of it!  Viola imaginatively comes up with stories about dinosaurs and aliens to get Ferdie to take a few bites. 

This is a creative book.  The illustrations start black and white and then are colored illustrations to go with Viola's stories are added.  I am not sure that young children would enjoy the illustrations really.  I would think it would be appropriate for 2nd/3rd grade students.  It is AR level 3.3

Friday, April 19, 2013

Biscuit Plays Ball

TITLE: Biscuit Plays Ball
AUTHOR:  Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Biscuit wants to play ball but he is told this ball game is not for him.  He does eventually get to play when his friend Puddles comes.

This book is appropriate for those learning to read and would be enjoyed by preschool aged children.  Little ones enjoy the Biscuit character as they are beginning to read on their own.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Marvin Makes Music

TITLE: Marvin Makes Music
AUTHOR: Marvin Hamlisch
PUBLISHER: Dial Books for Young Readers

Marvin loves to play the piano but he does not like playing pieces by funny named composers like Wolfgang or Ludwig.  He has an audition for the Julliard School.  On the day of the audition, he and his Dad explore on the roof of the building while they are waiting.  They get locked out.  Will Marvin make it to his audition in time?  Will his nerves keep him from performing to the best of his ability?

This is a true life story of composer Marvin Hamlisch.

I thought this was an interesting story and the illustrations make the book come alive.  The book is AR level 3.6.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!

TITLE:  Ready or Not, Here Comes Scout!
AUTHOR:  Jill Abramson & Jane O'Connor
ILLUSTRATOR:  Deborah Melmon

Scout (a dog) is excited to go to the dog park with his human for the first time.  She tries so hard to make friends but the other dogs do not want to have anything to do with her.  The next day she observes the other dogs first and then she tries again to make some friends.  She comes across one dog named Taco who is mean and that causes her to stay away from the dog park for a while.  When she goes back, she loses her stuffed dog Baby.  Will she be able to find Baby before it's time to go home?

This is a cute dog story.  I thought the illustrations are wonderfully done as well.   The lessons learned can be applied to friendships.  The book will be enjoyed by preschoolers through early primary aged children. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos

TITLE: Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos
AUTHOR:  Susan Middleton Elya
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury

A group of brave bomberos work to put out a fire at a casa.  They get a gato to the ground too.

The text of the book is in English but it has Spanish words added in.  The reader will be able to figure out the meaning of the words based on the context. 

We enjoyed this rhyming book and the nice fire fighter illustrations.  Anyone who enjoys stories about fire men will like reading this book! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Knit Your Bit

TITLE: Knit Your Bit  A World War I Story
AUTHOR:  Deborah Hopkinson
ILLUSTRATOR: Steven Guarnaccia
PUBLISHER: G. P. Putnam's Sons

Since Mikey's Dad is gone to fight in the war, Mikey wants to do something helpful.  His teacher tells the class about a knitting bee.  At first he thinks knitting is just for girls.  But when it turns into a competition, Mikey and his friends decide to participate in the knitting bee to help the soldiers.

I really enjoyed this book as it taught about an interesting time in our country's history. The illustrations are wonderful and overall this is just a great story and book.  I hope you will check it out.  I could see it being used in the classroom unit about World War I and lead into a great discussion on knitting and the war efforts. 

It is 2.8 reading level in AR.

Monday, April 8, 2013

How Do You Feel?

TITLE: How Do YOU Feel?
AUTHOR:  Anthony Browne
ILLUSTRATOR: Anthony Browne
PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press

This book is all about feelings.  How do you feel today?  Are you curious, confident, angry, or silly?  

Toddlers through kindergarten aged children would enjoy this book.  It would be a nice addition to a unit on feelings to build vocabulary and also show how we can have different feelings throughout the day. 

Friday, April 5, 2013


Today I am linking up with Kelly's Korner SUYL

Welcome to my book review blog!  I am a certified teacher in the state of Texas, but right now I am thankful to be a stay at home Mom.  I have always loved books!  My son and I have read so many good ones together that I decided to start a review blog just for children's books that we read and enjoy.  I try to post books that are relevant to the season or holidays as well as other fun ones.  In my reviews I include a brief overview of the book and the ages for which I think it would be appropriate.

Do you have a favorite children's book?  We have so many that we love.

Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you will look around and become a follower if you enjoy wonderful children's books! 

God bless your day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Construction Kitties

TITLE: Construction Kitties
AUTHOR: Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges
ILLUSTRATOR:  Shari Halpern
PUBLISHER: Christy Ottaviano Books Henry Holt and Company

Little kitties are up early and ready to head to a day at the construction site.  They use an excavator, dump truck, and back hoe and work hard all day. 

With short sentences and bright illustrations, this is a fun book to read to your own little one who is a fan of construction sites.  Toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy this book. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


TITLE: Puppies  Cute and Cuddly:  Baby Animals
AUTHOR:  Grace Elora
PUBLISHER: Gareth Stevens

The reader will learn a few facts and see very nice photos of cute puppies. 

This is a leveled reader with minimal text and is appropriate for beginning readers.  Toddlers who like puppies would enjoy this book as well.

This book is level 0.9 in Accelerated Reader.