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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Firstborn by Tor Seidler: Book Review


Life on the ranch becomes tedious for Maggie the magpie and she longs to spread her wings and see the world. When a fox just misses having her for dinner thanks to the intervention of a wolf, Maggie seizes her chance to fly away and leave her old life behind. She follows the big wolf named Blue Boy who is on his way to Canada to find his old pack. 

During the journey, Maggie finds food and Blue Boy hunts it down. She watches Blue Boy's heartache and frustration when finding the fate of his old pack. The blue wolf eventually finds a new pack, picks a mate and settles in Yellowstone. When Blue Boy fathers a litter of pups, Maggie observes his disappointment in his firstborn son, Lamar, who fails to live up to the alpha male role his father expects of him.

Seidler eloquently introduces an outdoor world of beauty and true to life wilderness danger while exploring the meaning of true friendship. A touching tribute to family togetherness, love, devotion and forever friends.

Rating:  ★★★★★

Publishing Information: 

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (3/3/2015)
ISBN: 9781481410175
Ages: 9-14

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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FTC Disclosure: ARC received at no charge from publisher to facilitate my review.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stanley The Builder Written & Illustrated by William Bee: Book Review



 Find for Stanley's pink nose and watch him work on his farm. 
After he plows the field his friends, his friends show up to help. Shamus helps him with the "smelly work" of spreading manure and planting seeds while Little Woo and Shamus help Stanley with the watering. The ensuing growth and harvest keep the friends busy

Simple but bright illustrations will capture the attention of the early reader who will have no trouble connecting to the likable characters. Straightforward text teaches the active mind agricultural vocabulary that will leave excited youngsters naming every machine on their next trip through farm country.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
Peachtree Publishers (March 2015)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-803-5
Ages: 2-4

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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**I received an Advanced Readers Copy from the publisher to facilitate my review.**

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Book Review: Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse


Scientists might know what happens when left brain meets right. Literature enthusiasts are about to find out.

Bulion gives a nod to Shakespeare with poem titles like "Wherefore Art Thou, Alveoli?" and "Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Auricles!" While exploring the inner workings of the human body through different poetry styles, the reader gets a chance to guess the organ systems from  silly and sometimes "icky" rhymes. Though the answers are found on the same page, it doesn't take the fun of the riddle away.

The comic illustrations mixed with microscopic close up of body systems strengthens the smile muscles and gives the eyes plenty of  exercise. The intended audience may be too young for the back "poetry notes" and the relations to Shakespeare's work but are interesting, nevertheless. A fun book to stimulate the budding scientist's interest in literature and to plant the blooming poet firmly into the world of science.

Rating:  Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information:
 
Written by Leslie Bulion
Illustrated by Mike Lowery
Publisher: Peachtree (March 2015)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-737-3
Ages 8-12

This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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**ARC copy received at no charge from the publisher to facilitate my review.**

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Book Review: History in the Faking by Andreas Oertel


Book received at no charge to facilitate review.
The dry season has left the small town of Sultana, Manitoba struggling. The tourists no longer want to camp along the nearly dry riverbed. The loss of tourism causes financial hardship to the residents who depend on it to eek out a living. Cody gets nervous about his best friend's mom restaurant job. If she loses it, his friend, Eric and his twin sister, Rachel will have to move. Cody will do anything to keep his friends in town. Even if that means creating a hoax that will bring visitors to Sultana.

Cody, Eric and Rachel set to work on creating an "ancient Egyptian" tablet, which chronicles a group of travelers from Egypt who make it up the Mississippi River only to find themselves stranded in Manitoba. When Dr. Murray (some type of retired doctor) "discovers" the tablet along the riverbed, it brings a buzz of activity to Sultana. The group of friends find themselves in a bind with seemingly no way out.

Oertel takes an implausible event and turns it into a delightful archeological adventure sure to hook readers who will no doubt want to read the next book in the series. Solid middle grade book that will appeal equally to boys and girls while peaking their interest in archeology.

Rating:  Recommended ★★★★☆

Publishing Information: 

Publisher: Wandering Fox Books
Pages: 192
ISBN-13: 978-1-772030-082
Ages: 8-1


This book can be purchased at the following retailers: