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

children, nature, science

Bright in the Night


Author & Illustrator: Lena Sjöberg
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Genre: Children / Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-500-65219-0
Pages: 48
Price: $17.95

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Even though it’s dark outside, there are many things with features that are bright at night. Either through reflected light or UV light, these shine brightly all around us. Bright in the Night shares some of these unusual objects and creatures with us.

Beginning with the night sky, Sjöberg shows us the moon, stars, and planets, as well as the northern and southern lights. Next are mysterious lights, and glowing stones and mushrooms. We also see animals’ glowing eyes and body surface areas that shine in UV light. Lights on land include lighthouses, neon signs, and safety reflectors.

Bright in the Night is written for serious science-minded kids, as the topic is covered in quite a bit of depth. Anyone who wants to learn more about the bright objects around them at night will enjoy this interesting and informative book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Luckiest Snowball


Author & Illustrator: Elliot Kreloff
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4105-1
Pages: 40
Price: $17.99

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Izzy is playing out in the snow when he decides to make a snowball. Before he can toss it, the snowball tells him to stop. Once Izzy realizes it’s alive, they make snow angels and build a fort and snowman together. But when Izzy brings it inside the house and introduces his new friend, Larry, to his mom, the snowball yells for help. Larry is melting!

Over the course of the year, Larry meets all kinds of interesting food in the freezer where he lives. And as each season rolls around, Izzy takes him out to see the scenery outside. Larry keeps reminding Izzy that he’s melting, and back into the freezer he goes. Finally, it’s winter, and Larry can play outside again. This time, he decides to stay outside when Izzy goes back into the house. Winter is his home.

Larry considers himself the luckiest snowball because he’s had the opportunity to see all of the seasons. Children can learn about the seasons also, as they explore the information provided in the appendix. The Luckiest Snowball is a fun read for kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, self improvement

How Did You Miss That?


Author: Bryan Smith
Illustrator: Lisa M. Griffin
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Genre: Self-improvement / Children
ISBN: 978-1-944882-45-7
Pages: 32
Price: $9.99

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Braden has a list of things to do before bed, and he’s sure he accomplished everything in record time. But when his mom checks his work, she shows him all the things he didn’t do. How could he have missed them all? Then his mom shares a four-step process to self-monitoring to be sure he doesn’t make the same mistake again.

At school a few days later, Braden is reminded of this problem when he misses a whole page on a test. His teacher goes over the process with him again, and this time he’s sure he’ll remember. He soon has opportunities to share his learning with his younger brother, and even with his parents!

Self-monitoring is an important skill for kids who want to live successful and productive lives. It helps them identify what they want to accomplish, stay focused, double-check everything, and ask for assistance when they need it. How Did You Miss That? shows kids these steps in action and also provides tips for parents and educators. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children

The Thank You Letter


Author & Illustrator: Jane Cabrera
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-0-8234-4250-8
Pages: 34
Price: $23.99

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Grace is celebrating her birthday and receives a bunch of really great gifts. So the very next day, Grace sits down to write Thank You letters to everyone who gave her a present. But when she’s finished, she keeps writing Thank You letters to other people she knows. Everyone who receives a letter feels really special.

One day, Grace comes home to find Love letters written to her. Her Thank You letters have sparked a lot of love in the community, and everyone wants to share how good they’re feeling. Grace had no idea how her letters would impact the community in such a wonderful way.

The Thank You Letter is a terrific book for kids on the power of gratitude in their lives. By showing her gratitude with others, Grace has opened up a flood of positivity all around her. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger