animals, children, nature

Bats


Author & Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4354-3
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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Bats are amazing creatures, but many people are afraid of them. They are harmless animals that care for their young, help control the insect population, and pollinate plants. And right now they are in danger.

Since people don’t understand much about these mammals, they destroy their habitats. Pollution and pesticides also threaten bats. And now, they face a terrible disease called white-nose syndrome that has killed many bats.

Bats may be associated with Count Dracula but they’re not scary at all. In fact, they will probably never come near you. Bats provides a wealth of information so kids can learn all about these nocturnal animals and develop a healthy respect for them. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Hoot and Howl Across the Desert


Author & Illustrator: Vassiliki Tzomaka
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65198-8
Pages: 56
Price: $19.95

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It’s hard to survive in harsh desert conditions, but many animals and plants not only survive, but thrive. They’ve adapted to fit into their environments. Hoot and Howl Across the Desert shows us some of these deserts and the animals and plants that live there.

First, kids learn the definition of a desert, and may be surprised to learn about Antarctica. While focusing on each of the deserts, certain plants and animals are featured, as the author shows us some of their unique characteristics. Illustrations draw on indigenous and folk art local to each featured desert.

There is a wealth of information about the inhabitants of the world’s worst living conditions, and kids will enjoy reading about them all. They may even be inspired to learn more about these intrepid creatures. I highly recommend Hoot and Howl Across the Desert.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Word Pirates


Author: Susan Cooper
Illustrator: Steven Kellogg
Publisher: Neal Porter Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4359-8
Pages: 40
Price: $18.99

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The pirates are hungry, and what they love to eat is words! So they let their flock of Bumblebirds loose and wait for them to bring back some tasty morsels. As the birds collect words for the pirates, books are left empty of their stories.

But one day the Bumblebirds lift the words from the Word Wizard’s book. She won’t let them steal her stories, and she fights back with a magic pen. The pirates are no match for the powerful Wizard, and soon find themselves stranded on a island, planting vegetables to eat, and learning how to read.

The Word Pirates is a fun story that kids will read over and over again. They’ll be giggling at the fate of the pirates as they learn how to appreciate words, rather than eat them.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five!


Author: Cari Best
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4362-8
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99

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It’s time for bed, but this little girl isn’t sleepy. She peeks out her window, notices what’s going on around her, and shuts the drapes. She could have asked Mom and Dad for help, but she’s brave, strong, and five, and she can handle it herself.

Next she sees a menacing shadow and turns on the light to see what it is. Proud of her bravery once again, she climbs back into bed only to hear a big crash. But she also handles this problem herself, without calling Mom and Dad. A third incident is handled in the same way.

I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five! celebrates a young girl’s steps toward independence, as she confronts nighttime problems and fears by herself. This cute bedtime story would be a great addition to any youngster’s collection.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, dogs

Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?


Author: Dr. Nick Crumpton
Illustrator: Lily Snowden-Fine
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Dogs
ISBN: 978-0-500-65223-7
Pages: 48
Price: $16.95

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Have you ever wondered why dogs sniff butts? Or what their wagging tails mean? Do you know about the various jobs dogs were bred to perform? Or why dogs chase cats? If you’re fascinated with man’s best friend and just want to know more about them, Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts? is the perfect book for you.

Filled with lots of interesting facts about dogs, this illustrated book is a fun read for kids or any dog lover. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature

Whose Track is That?


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-59193-958-0
Pages: 52
Price: $14.95

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If you were hiking in the woods and came across an animal track, would you be able to identify it? Whose Track is That? is a fun way to learn which animals might make the tracks you find.

This book features animals tracks for 11 different animals. First, we see a close-up photo of what it looks like, along with a description and a clue as to what it might be. Then when we turn the page, the animal is identified, along with photos and interesting information about it. The appendix shows all animal tracks with some additional pointers to help in identification.

Stan Tekiela has created another fun activity book for kids with his beautiful photography and knowledge of nature. I highly recommend Whose Track is That?

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature

Garden Jungle


Author & Illustrator: Hélène Druvert
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65224-4
Pages: 32
Price: $24.95

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Tom is bored, so his mother sends him off to explore the garden. After a butterfly catches Tom’s attention, he and the cat begin to explore. Trees, birds, animals, and a pond suddenly turn into a jungle, and even the cat is now a leopard. What once seemed ordinary, now looks so much more interesting, as they see the sights together.

This unique book contains several pages with laser-cut silhouette images showing the garden as Tom sees it. These pages are gorgeous in their detail, but small hands will have a hard time handling them gently. Parents will want to supervise while children read this book, or even hold the book themselves to preserve the fine cutouts.

Children will delight in reading Garden Jungle as they see the ordinary come alive in new and exciting ways. They may even want to turn into backyard adventurers, themselves. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Only You Can Be You


Author: Nathan and Sally Clarkson
Illustrator: Tim Warnes
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4002-1143-2
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99

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If children feel they’re different from everyone else, they might not feel like they fit in. Or worse, they may even believe they’re not good enough. But Only You Can Be You says that’s just not true.

Kids may be loud or shy. Tall or short. Funny or wishful. Tough or tender. Each personality characteristic is illustrated to show them in a positive light. There are no two children just the same, and it’s their differences that make them uniquely themselves. “Everyone’s different, and that’s okay. The Maker of everything made us that way.”

This delightful book celebrates everyone’s special uniqueness, reminding them that God didn’t make a mistake – He created them just the way they are. What a wonderful, hope-filled message for kids!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Out of a Dark Winter’s Night


Author & Illustrator: Flora McDonnell
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-500-65195-7
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

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A child is facing a very dark period in his life. He knows something is wrong, and he sets about trying to fix it. He struggles, gets tired, rests, but continues to hope. And finally, he finds the sun again.

Out of a Dark Winter’s Night was created as a gentle expression of the author’s own experience with anxiety and depression. However, kids may need some guidance in interpreting the images they see. Without understanding the subtle message, it’s very easy to take this book literally and see only a dark night. Children facing similar dark periods in their lives will find comfort in this book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

Snowy Race


Author: April Jones Prince
Illustrator: Christine Davenier
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4141-9
Pages: 40
Price: $18.99

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A little girl is waiting for someone special to arrive today, but realizes it’s snowing outside. Good thing Dad drives a snowplow! The two make their way through drifts and flurries, arriving at the train station, just in time to meet her. They’ve won their snowy race!

Any child who loves the snow will enjoy this sweet rhyming story.

Reviewer: Alice Berger