children, girls, mathematics, science

Ara the Star Engineer


Author: Komal Singh
Illustrator: Ipek Konak
Genre: Children / STEM
ISBN: 978-1-989025-05-5
Pages: 40
Price: $15.95

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Ara is named after a seven-star constellation, and she’d love to know how many stars there are in the sky. With her faithful companion robot, DeeDee, she visits Innovation Plex for help in solving her problem.

First, she visits Kripa, the prolific problem solver, and discovers she needs a plan to program DeeDee to count stars. Next, she meets Parisa, the intrepid innovator, who helps her build an algorithm. Diane, the code commander, teaches Ara how to build her own code. And finally, Marian, the tenacious troubleshooter, upgrades DeeDee’s hardware, so she has enough memory to count all the stars.

Using courage, creativity, code, and collaboration, Ara succeeds in programming DeeDee to count all the stars in the universe. She sets a terrific example for all girls (and boys) who see their futures in technology, as she works through her problem in a logical and systematic manner. Ara the Star Engineer is a fun read with a great message.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, science

Electricity in Your Life


Author: Bo-hyun Seo
Illustrator: Sung-hwa Kwak
Publisher: Tantan Publishing
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-939248-16-9
Pages: 30
Price: $17.95

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Electricity is useful in powering many everyday items. It keeps refrigerated foods fresh, rooms well lit, and televisions ready for entertainment. But how does electricity work?

Electricity in Your Life shows kids some electric powered appliances and how they receive their source of electricity. It touches on the operation of power plants and the wires that send electricity into their homes. And it shows what happens when there is a power failure and all is dark. It also explains the importance of conserving energy and how to use electricity safely.

Most kids don’t realize the importance of electricity in their lives until there is a power failure. In this interesting and informative book, they will see how their household appliances work and what happens when they unplug them. This is a great introduction to electricity for kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

biography, science

Eureka! 50 Scientists Who Shaped Human History


Author: John Grant
Publisher: Zest Books
Genre: Science / Biography
ISBN: 978-1-942186-17-5
Pages: 224
Price: $14.99

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Throughout the ages, there have been many people who made an impact on how we view the world. In Eureka!, John Grant has compiled a group of fifty scientists who shaped human history. This list includes modern and ancient men and women from all over of the world.

Reading somewhat like an encyclopedia, Eureka! gives a brief overview of each person’s contribution to our scientific knowledge base, while also sharing some interesting personal details. Each fun and engaging mini biography is three to five pages long, and includes a reading/video list for further exploration.

Teenagers and adults will enjoy this easy-to-read journey through our science heritage, while probably taking a few side trips to learn more along the way. I highly recommend Eureka!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature, science

Make and Move: Shark


Author: Jen Green
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-62686-490-0
Pages: 28
Price: $19.95

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There are many kinds of sharks and most of them are harmless to humans. These fascinating sea creatures come in many interesting shapes and sizes. Illustrations and descriptions of some of these sharks are included in this guidebook, which details the features that make them unique. Skeleton, skin, size, fins and tails, as well as other body styles and behaviors are described and explained.

In addition to reading the shark guidebook, kids can make a model shark from heavy-duty cutout cardboard pieces. Make and Move: Shark is a fun book for all kids who love to learn about animals.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature, science

See Inside the Dinosaur: An Interactive 3-D Exploration of a Triceratops


Author: Michael Bright
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-62686-566-2
Pages: 48
Price: $21.95

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Millions of years ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed the earth. See Inside the Dinosaur features some of these fascinating creatures and explains a little about them. Focusing on dinosaurs individually and in groups of like beasts, it shows when they might have lived, whether they were plant-eaters or carnivores, if they were able to fly, what kind of skin covering they had, and other interesting facts.

A dinosaur guidebook is provided, along with a Triceratops model with 33 removable body parts, and a 7-piece card stock T. Rex model. Assembly instructions are included for both.

It’s so much fun to learn about dinosaurs, and kids will really enjoy working with this kit.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, education, nature, science

Smithsonian Readers: Endless Explorations Level 4

Endless Explorations
Authors: Brenda Scott-Royce, Stephen Binns, Emily Rose Oachs, Kaitlyn DiPerna
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-62686-454-2
Pages: 192
Price: $14.95

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Science, history, and nature are interesting for kids, and Smithsonian Readers capitalizes on this desire to learn more about these topics. Endless Explorations covers predators, world wonders, space exploration, natural disasters, ocean habitats, and flight. Beautiful photos fill each page, bringing the text alive and making it more engaging. Each section closes with a multiple choice quiz to determine reading comprehension.

The Smithsonian Readers series is designed for early, developing, engage and fluent readers. In this level 4 book, kids will read extended sentences and complex words in a variety of factual texts to challenge fluent readers.

Smithsonian Readers: Endless Explorations Level 4 is sure to generate some curiosity and enthusiasm in the home and classroom. I highly recommend it.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature, science

Smithsonian Readers: Seriously Amazing Level 2

Seriously Amazing
Authors: Brenda Scott-Royce, Emily Rose Oachs, Stephen Binns, Ruth Strother
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: Children / Education
ISBN: 978-1-62686-452-8
Pages: 192
Price: 14.95

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Science and nature are interesting for kids, and Smithsonian Readers capitalizes on this desire to learn more about these topics. Seriously Amazing covers nighttime animals, sea life, baby animals, dinosaurs, solar system, and the human body. Beautiful photos fill each page, bringing the text alive and making it more engaging. Each section closes with a multiple choice quiz to determine reading comprehension.

The Smithsonian Readers series is designed for early, developing, engaged and fluent readers. In this level 2 book, kids will read mostly familiar vocabulary balanced with new phonic structures, longer words, and compound sentences.

Smithsonian Readers: Seriously Amazing Level 2 is sure to generate some curiosity and enthusiasm in the home and classroom. I highly recommend it.