Bergers Book Reviews

Hidden Critters


Author: Stan Tekiela
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Animals / Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-1-59193-812-5
Pages: 48
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

The ability to blend in with its surroundings can mean the difference between life and death for many animals. In Hidden Critters, Stan Tekiela shows kids some of these animals that survive by hiding.

Tekiela is a gifted nature photographer who has captured images of the animals in hiding and in plain sight, so kids can see them in their natural settings. In the first picture, kids need to try to find the hidden animal. The second picture shows it in plain view. Closing pages provide fun facts about each of the animals featured: burrowing owl, gray wolf, southern flying squirrel, American alligator, brown creeper, short-tailed weasel, bullfrog, praying mantis, white-tailed deer, and polar bear. A key to the hidden critter pages is also included, showing exactly where to spot these animals.

Nature lovers of all ages will enjoy this book. I highly recommend it for home and classroom.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 7, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

Look at Me!


Author & Illustrator: Jim Arnosky
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Nature / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-4549-2809-6
Pages: 40
Price: $16.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Many animals have coloring that allows them to blend in with their surroundings, camouflaging them from being seen by predators. But some animals have colorful and unusual features that are meant to attract mates, as well as avoid being eaten. Look at Me! shows us some of these creatures and their stunning displays.

Male turkeys spread their tail feathers, and strut to attract females. African bullfrogs blow up to twice their size to avoid frog-eating snakes. Deer have antlers and sheep have horns for battling other males during mating season. These as well as many other interesting animals are introduced with beautiful illustrations, including some fold out spreads.

Nature’s wonders never fail to please children, and Look at Me! is a delight to read. Kids (and teachers) will love it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

November 9, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

My First Wild Activity Book


Author: Isabel Otter-Barry Ross
Illustrator: Maxime Lebrun
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
ISBN: 978-1-62686-957-8
Pages: 32
Price: $12.99

Buy it at Amazon

Children may not be able to take a trip around the world to visit natural habitats, but they can do this from the comfort of their own homes. With My First Wild Activity Book, kids will explore the rain forest, desert, ocean, mountains, forest, savanna, and polar ice.

Each location has several activities: search and finds, counting, mazes, matching, connect the dots, coloring, and stickers. An answer key is also provided. At the end of each section, there is a space for young adventurers to place their explorer completion badge.

This activity book is more about fun than learning, and the amount of actual information provided for each section is manageable for small children. But by playing with this book, they will discover these seven different habitats and hopefully be curious enough to want to know more. Kids will love this fun activity book.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

September 18, 2018 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

Rock Collecting for Kids / Rock Log


Author: Dan R. Lynch
Publisher: Adventure Publications
Genre: Kids / Nature / Geology
ISBN: 978-1-59193-773-9
Pages: 144
Price: $12.95

Buy Rock Collecting for Kids at Amazon

Buy Rock Log at Amazon

Rock collecting is a simple and fun hobby for kids. Rocks comes in so many interesting shapes and sizes, from soft to hard, and have some spectacular colors. They’re so easy to find in backyards, school yards, and parks. Kids can also buy polished stones and split open rocks that reveal the crystals and rings hidden inside.

Rock Collecting for Kids helps kids identify the cool rock they’ve found, while Rock Log gives them a place to record it. Each log entry makes a note of time, place, description, and a place for a drawing of the rock. Fun facts are included in the side margins.

Budding geologists will enjoy this rock collecting set. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

July 12, 2018 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

Whose Baby Butt?


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

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

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

May 10, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

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

Author’s website
Photographer’s website
Buy it at Amazon

“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

May 9, 2018 Posted by | animals, children, nature | Leave a comment

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

Buy it at Amazon

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

May 3, 2018 Posted by | animals, art, children, nature | Leave a comment

The Runaway Dandelion


Author: Jill Regensburg
Illustrator: Leticia Plate
Publisher: EarthWardProject
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-0998459608
Pages: 48
Price: $10.99

Buy it at Amazon

One day, some large equipment arrives in a beautiful meadow and rips out all the trees and plants, before a huge house is built and a lawn planted. After the owners finish spraying for weeds, one lone dandelion survives, but she’s lonely. All her friends are gone. So when her yellow flower petals turn to a fluff of seeds, she floats away to another meadow that looks inviting.

Now she lives with people who care about the environment, and she’s much happier. They grow their own vegetables, use solar and wind power to heat their home, and play outdoors rather than watch too much TV. And best of all, they think dandelions are a tasty addition to their fresh salads. They don’t want to kill her – they really appreciate her.

Sustainable living is not an idea many city dwellers give much thought to, but even if one lives in the suburbs, it’s possible to be more mindful of the environment. Kids will learn about this concept as they follow the little dandelion to her new and nicer home. A glossary of terms is also included. I highly recommend The Runaway Dandelion.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

December 3, 2017 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

Treecology


Author: Monica Russo
Photographer: Kevin Byron
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Genre: Nature / Children
ISBN: 978-1-61373-396-7
Pages: 144
Price: $15.99

Buy it at Amazon

The forest offers children a wonderful environment to explore. They can enjoy the bright colors of autumn, the fresh green of spring, or the barren landscape of winter. Each tree has its own distinguishing characteristics just waiting to be discovered.

Treecology offers the young naturalist an opportunity to view the trees around him, seeing them in a new light. Thirty activities and observations are included to guide him in making his discoveries, and lots of interesting facts about trees and forests are provided. Forests are home to animal populations as well as insects, and many of these are also discussed.

Kids love being outdoors in nature, and Treecology will encourage them to see the trees and forests around them in a new way. I highly recommend this fun and educational resource.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

October 26, 2017 Posted by | children, nature | Leave a comment

Bass Fishing, Brown Dogs & Curveballs


Author: Jerry McKinnis
Publisher: JEM Publishing
Genre: Memoir / Fishing
ISBN: 978-0996253505
Pages: 354
Price: $20.00 (autographed if purchased through author’s website)

Author’s website

If you know anything about bass fishing, or at least grew up watching fishing shows on ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network), you know about the very affable fishing enthusiast and television host, Jerry McKinnis. His outdoor fishing show, The Fishin’ Hole, ran for over 40 years and has the longest running tenure of any program ever on ESPN.

Fortunately for all of his fans, Mr. McKinnis decided to write an autobiography of sorts complete with sage advice, humor, and fishing stories that most of us could only ever dream about. As Jerry states on the book cover, “this is a book about fishing but it is not a fishing book.” In other words, Jerry tells us at the outset that “you can read every word on all of these pages and not improve as a fisherman one single bit.” You will, however, thoroughly enjoy learning about this gentle man’s life and adventures and maybe learn something about your own in the process.

You see, for as genuine a fellow as he appeared on TV, that is exactly how he is in the book. You can just hear his voice and calm, pleasant demeanor come through with every word. It’s like he’s sitting right next to you, sharing a cup of coffee over a nice warm fire, and you’re listening to a man who indeed was (and is) one of the most overlooked role models for our time.

Jerry’s recollections range from how he dallied with playing professional baseball as a young man, to becoming a bass fishing guide in Arkansas, and finally establishing one of the most successful fishing programs and television production companies ever.

Along the way we learn about the multitude of entertaining personalities that touched and inspired him on his life journey. Jerry’s stories are also filled with enriched insight, and the reward is that he teaches us some hard lessons he learned…in the hope of inspiring us to create our own life adventures.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of Mr. McKinnis or knew that he was a major personality on ESPN for over four decades. You will still enjoy the down-home warmth his stories exude. And if you are an avid fisherman, well then, this book is just the icing on the cake. I give it my highest recommendation.

Reviewer: Gene Berger

August 30, 2017 Posted by | memoir, nature | Leave a comment