animals, birds, children

Greta the Great Horned Owl

Author: Christie Gove-Berg
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-815-6
Pages: 32
Price: 14.95

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Greta the Great Horned Owl is out hunting one evening when she spots her prey. Intent on catching the field mouse, she doesn’t see the train coming her way. In a flash, she’s pinned against the front of the train, unable to move.

When the train stops moving, she frees herself and drops to the ground. But her wings hurt and she’s unable to fly. Greta is fortunate that someone sees her plight and carries her away. Soon she’s in a facility that cares for injured wildlife. She has a broken leg and wing, and the veterinarians are going to mend them for her. Once Greta is fully healed, she is released back into the wild where she can live out the rest of her natural days.

Greta the Great Horned Owl shares a wonderful rehabilitation story that kids will enjoy reading. The great horned owl facts at the end of the story, as well as the many spectacular photos, will be helpful in learning about these magnificent birds of prey. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Middle School Misfits: The Stained Glass Tree

Author: Leona Lugan
Illustrator: Kyle Merriman
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Middle grade
ISBN: 978-1-944882-35-8
Pages: 128
Price: $8.85

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Jilly is starting at a new school – again – and she’s understandably stressed. Her first moments there don’t go very well, and she has to face up to the consequences of her actions. But what she doesn’t understand is why some of her classmates have taken an immediate dislike to her.

Despite her rough start, Jilly finds a few friends, especially Anton, who feels like he’s also a misfit. She spends a lot of time with him, as she introduces him to her unusual family – a depressed mother, no father, and a little sister. Life at home is rocky, and she’s grateful that he doesn’t judge her or her family. And soon she realizes she can lean on him and his family when things are especially rough.

Middle School Misfits: The Stained Glass Tree gives middle graders the chance to look at Jilly’s actions and ask themselves how she’s handled the situations in her life. At the end of every chapter, questions are provided in thinking critically about what they’ve read, and there is also a space for notes. This is not only a well-written story with an engaging plot and very real characters, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity for classroom discussion. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


Eat, Live, Thrive Diet

Authors: Danna Demetre and Robyn Thomson
Publisher: WaterBrook
Genre: Health / Diet
ISBN: 978-0-525-65316-5
Pages: 272
Price: $18.99

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Aging comes along with its share of challenges, which often includes weight gain. But with the proper diet and exercise plan, women don’t have to suffer from a spreading middle. Eat, Live, Thrive Diet provides women some options that will help keep the weight off and give them more energy.

Beginning with the preparation chapters, Demetre and Thomson introduce the concepts they’ve developed for a healthy eating plan. Then the elimination diet program is presented, with three levels from simple to comprehensive. This two-week phase prepares the body for the reintroduction of potential problem foods in a controlled manner. By the end of this program, women will most likely see some weight loss and possibly discover some trigger foods that play havoc with their bodies.

The final section of this book is a series of recipes that follow the plan. But they are so amazingly healthy and tasty that they can easily be added to your normal meal choices once this program had concluded. Using the recipes provided, it would be relatively easy to follow this program, but you might find some of the restricted foods (like coffee) to be a bit difficult to live without.

I can’t comment on the effectiveness of this program since I have no training in this field, but if you believe you may be suffering from a food intolerance, you might find it very helpful. I know you’ll enjoy the delicious recipes!

Reviewer: Alice Berger


New York Day & Night

Author: Aurélie Pollet
Illustrator: Vincent Bergier
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7378-2
Pages: 30
Price: $16.95

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Illustrator’s website
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New York City is the city that never sleeps. Sandy the cat introduces the city at night, while Frankie the squirrel shows us the city during the day. Both have a very different perspective of the sights they see.

When Sandy is exploring, a plastic sheet covers the page, showing the images from her nighttime perspective. But when kids lift the sheet, they see the same place during the day, and Frankie explains it as it really is. Sandy’s imagination leads her to see spaceships and monsters, but these are just ordinary places in daylight.

New York Day & Night is a fun, interactive look at New York from two very different viewpoints. Kids will enjoy seeing the sights with Sandy and Frankie.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, dogs

Stay Benson!

Author & Illustrator: Thereza Rowe
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Dogs
ISBN: 978-0-500-65153-7
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95

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Before she leaves for school, Flick tells Benson to stay. But as soon as she’s gone, Benson runs outside to play. As Benson explores, the cat reminds him that he’s supposed to stay, not play! The day ends too quickly and Benson must rush home to be there when Flick arrives.

Creative page cut-outs allow the reader to see scenes from before and after the current page, and the artwork is minimalistic in bright colors. Kids will enjoy this whimsical day in the life of a disobedient pup.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, Christian

The World of the Bible

Author: Jill Rubalcaba
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Bible history
ISBN: 978-1-4263-2881-7
Pages: 128
Price: $14.99

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Connecting Bible history to real world places and times can make the word of God come alive for readers. In The World of the Bible, National Geographic Kids shows us when these Bible stories took place and what the world may have looked like at the time.

Spanning the time periods of both the Old Testament and the New Testament, this book looks at early history, the Exodus, the judges, prophets, and the kings, as well as some of the places Jesus would have visited as he traveled around Judah and Samaria. Artifacts from excavations, photos of ruins, and artwork depicting the various scenes help readers to picture the events more clearly.

Although it isn’t truly possible to revisit the past, The World of the Bible makes it easier for kids to see these stories in a more realistic setting. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, birds, children

The Song of Spring

Author & Illustrator: Hendrik Jonas
Publisher: Prestel
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-3-7913-7379-9
Pages: 52
Price: $12.95

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It’s springtime, and all the birds are singing their mating calls. But one little bird can’t remember his song. He wants to find a birdie friend, so he attempts to discover it through trial and error.

Time after time, he sings a song, but his moos, meows, and oinks fail miserably. Soon he’s surrounded by farm animals but no birdie friend. Until one day a strange song comes from the distance – a little girl bird attempting to find her own song.

The Song of Spring is an adorable tale of friendship, as each of these animals come to keep little bird company. Kids will love these charming illustrations of cheerful animals in spring. I highly recommend this cute story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger