Thursday, January 24, 2019

Breathe review

Image result for 9781433828720

"Mom, I can't sleep!"
"Why not?"
"I don't know...I'm nervous and I can't stop thinking, thinking, thinking..."
"Do you want me to teach you how to breathe?"
"Breathe? But I already know how to breathe!"

This familiar scene of a child having difficulty falling asleep leads to fantastic and imaginative techniques to foster calm and mindfulness. From a boat on your belly to yoga poses these beautifully illustrated and gently described tools are sure to help restless people of any age. Further notes about the techniques are included in the back. This book could be read in a sitting or picked up and put down as needed when you want to try a new tool. The mixed media illustrations perfectly capture abstract concepts to help children with visualizations. A great resource for parents and educators!

Breathe by Ines Castel-Branco: buy it or check it out today!

The Turtle Ship review

This early tale of biomimicry is based on historical fact. The Gobukson (or turtle ships) were known for their powerful design that included ironclad covering long before any western ships did. The story follows a young boy who observes a turtle in nature and then takes him to the emperor to illustrate his idea. This is a great book for budding inventors and could easily be paired with a maker's activity on boat building. The illustrations are intricate collages that lend the book a sense of warmth and solidity; you can almost feel the textures beneath your fingers. This really helps showcase the various design elements of the ship. 

The Turtle Ship by Helena Ku Rhee illus. by Colleen Kong-Savage: buy it or check it out today!

On Our Street Review

This wise book starts off reassuring readers that when you go out into the world, you may have questions about what you see, and that is okay. People live in many different ways. It goes on to give an example of a kid walking to school and seeing a man sleeping on the street. The child asks "Why would he sleep outside?" The book answers with matter of fact, developmentally-appropriate language and continues to other questions from what is poverty to what is a fundamental human right to how can I help. This book is an excellent resource for parents or educators looking for language and advice on how to broach this topic with children. You could even just sit down with a child and read the whole book together. I love that the book comes from a place of curiosity and compassion. It doesn't talk down to the reader or make them feel bad for asking perfectly natural questions. Illustrated with a mixture of watercolor and photographs, this approachable book is a must-read.

Source: school library

On Our Street by Dr. Jillian Roberts and Jamie Casap, illus. by Jane Heinrichs: buy it or check it out today!

Fly With Me review

Fly With Me is a masterpiece of transdisciplinary study. The book examines birds from every possible angle: biological, historical, conservation, art, and stories. Poetry is peppered throughout complementing the other information. It's a National Geographic book, so you can trust that the photography throughout is stunning. Perfect for bird enthusiasts and curious minds. 

Source: School library
Fly With Me by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Temple: buy it or check it out today!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Friday Barnes Girl Detective

Girl Detective (Friday Barnes #1)

Book talk: Friday Barnes may be eleven, but she can solve mysteries that stump adult detectives. When she helps catch a bank robber, she uses the prize money to pay for tuition at an elite private school. The classes there aren't much of a challenge for her, but the students and even teachers provide her with plenty of mysteries to keep her busy. She'll go to any length to solve a crime--even performing an analysis on doggy poo.

Rave: This parody of detective novels had me laughing throughout. The characters are all satirizations of tropes. The principal is outrageously incompetent, her academic parents are too wrapped up in themselves to to notice her, and her fellow students obligingly supply mysteries which they are happy to let Friday investigate. It's full of a dry humor and all the hallmarks of the genre. I particularly enjoyed the gentle ribbing of Academics and Friday's partiality to her brown cardigan collection and green felt pork pie hat (because all detectives should have funny hats.)

Every book its reader: I'd give this to students 3rd and up looking for a funny mystery novel.

Topics and trends: humor, mystery, parody, boarding schools

Source: school library

Friday Barnes: Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt, illustrated by Phil Gosier: buy it or check it out today!