mystery, tween

The Mystery Beneath Midville Museum (Cedar Creek Mystery #3)

Author: Anne Loader McGee
Publisher: Vendera Publishing
Genre: Middle grade / Mystery
ISBN: 978-1-936307-40-1
Pages: 156
Price: $9.99

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Mallory Gilmartin is troubled by some unusual events at the Midville Museum. But when she’s hired by one of her classmates to find out why her mother is being laid off from the museum, Mallory knows something fishy is going on. Who is the strange guard that keeps eyeing her suspiciously? What secret activity is happening in the basement? Does the moving ushabti statue have anything to do with it?

Mallory’s extrasensory perception will be called on when an unexpected visitor appears during the night. But how can she solve the mystery while also helping her visitor complete her journey?

The Mystery Beneath Midville Museum is the third book in the Cedar Creek Mystery series featuring Mallory Gilmartin and her friends and family. Mallory is well-known for her ability to pick up things others can’t see or hear. Although it might be nice to read these books in sequence, casual readers will have no trouble following this story without reading the first two books. I highly recommend this fun series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

Christian, journal

The Beloved Word: A Scripture Journal

Author & Illustrator: Joanne Fink
Publisher: Quiet Fox Designs
Genre: Christian / Journal
ISBN: 978-1-64178-026-1
Pages: 128
Price: $7.99

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This blank journal features the artwork of Joanne Fink along with 30 inspiring Bible verses interspersed throughout the book. Soft watercolor enhances the line drawings appearing in the corners and on the margins of the pages. Sturdy hardcover binding and lined pages make for an easy and enjoyable writing experience. This beautiful book is perfect for faith-based notes and journal entries.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children

Rufus Blasts Off!

Author: Kim T. Griswell
Illustrator: Valeri Gorbachev
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2099-1
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

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Rufus the pig needs more stories and knows just what to do. He’ll travel off into space so he can tell everyone all about it. But first he has to convince Commander Luna he has the right stuff.

Treats, a blanket, and even a space suit aren’t enough. But when Rufus shows up with a flag proclaiming, “I love reading!” along with a bag full of books, Commander Luna finally agrees. And soon Rufus is on Mars, reading to kids everywhere on TV.

Rufus is such a cute character and kids will admire his persistence as he keeps chasing his dreams. His love of books and reading is contagious, inspiring kids to read just because it’s fun. I highly recommend Rufus Blasts Off!.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Whose Baby Butt?

Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher:Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-783-8
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

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Baby animals have the cutest features, including their fuzzy, little butts. But can you identify the animal by its baby butt? Whose Baby Butt? uses this question to introduce kids to ten adorable baby animals.

One one two-page spread, kids see a photo of the baby butt to identify. A short blurb accompanies it, ending with the question, “Whose baby butt is this?” In the second two-page spread, the baby is pictured in full, often with parents and siblings, along with a description of the animal. The final pages of this book include more facts about the animals pictured.

Kids love baby animals, and they’ll get a kick out of identifying them by their baby butts. I highly recommend this fun nature book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

What Eats That?

Author: Ryan Jacobson
Photographer: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-59193-749-4
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

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“A food chain is a string of living things that eat (and might be eaten by) other living things.” What Eats That? explains the concept of a food chain to kids, showing the relationships between predator and prey.

Each animal in a food chain is pictured, along with an explanation of what it eats. A teaser then prompts kids to turn the page and find out who eats it. Beginning with a butterfly eating the nectar of a flower, there is a progression all the way up to humans and the natural end of the food chain. Just for fun, kids are encouraged to build their own food chains beginning with a mosquito. The eating habits of the animals pictured are included in the appendix.

As an animal person, I was a bit worried that I’d see cute and cuddly animals described as dinner. But the authors mostly stay away from those prey, focusing more on insects and cold-blooded animals. Kids will enjoy learning about the food chain with this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, art, children, nature

Paint by Sticker Kids: Beautiful Bugs

Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Genre: Children / Art/ Nature
ISBN: 978-1-5235-0295-0
Pages: 34
Price: 9.95

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Creating images of bugs has never been easier with Paint by Sticker Kids: Beautiful Bugs. Each bug design contains numbered stickers that kids can peel and stick in the designated spot on the diagram. Designs are printed on perforated card stock with colorful backgrounds, suitable for displaying their sticker bug creations.

Some of the featured bugs include: ladybug, spider, beetles, firefly, and butterflies, as well as many other interesting creatures. The age range listed for this book is K-6, but younger children may need some adult assistance to make sure the stickers end up in the right place. Tweezers are recommended for proper placement, and stickers are not removable.

Each design is a puzzle which can only be revealed by proper placement of the stickers, so kids will enjoy the act of creating a beautiful bug. I highly recommend this enjoyable nature activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger



Artist: David Baloche
Format: Audio CD
Price: $11.99

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He Hears My Voice
Nothing Can Separate
Come to Me
Green Pastures
Those Who Hope
Lead Me to the Rock
Groanings Too Deep for Words
As a Father Carries His Son
The Peace of God
My Help Comes From the Lord

Beautiful instrumental and electronic music accompanies repetitive phrases, encouraging a meditative state as the listener hears and absorbs these reassuring words from Scripture. The peacefulness of this CD reminds me of Gregorian chant for the modern listener. Highly recommended!

Reviewer: Alice Berger