Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars RoverCuriosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum; illustrated by Markus Motum. 2018. Mixed media. Published by Candlewick Press.

Brief summary: Curiosity tells readers of the scientific plans before her creation as a Mars rover, what she can do thanks to the hard work of the NASA scientists,  her travel flight of 253 days, and what it is like on Mars. Full of fun facts and nonfiction text features to help understand Curiosity and her important work.

Comments: This story is through the perspective of Curiosity. The book gives background information on how she was created and about other Mars rovers.  The book has several back sections: picture captions, diagram, map, a timeline of Mars’ missions, and glossary.

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Red Sky at Night by Elly MacKay

Red Sky at NightRed Sky at Night by Elly MacKay; illustrated by Elly MacKay. 2018. Cutout paper drawings placed in dioramas and photographed. Published by Tundra.

Brief summary: This beautifully illustrated story is of a grandfather and his two young grandchildren looking outside to the sky to see if they can determine the weather for tomorrow’s fishing adventure. Weather-related sayings and idioms are shared as they enjoy the fishing trip, night of camping, and the next day.

Comments:  I  recognized some of the weather predicting sayings that I was taught as a child. These three-dimensional illustrations are gorgeous! The story is told with the illustrations. This  definitely would be a Caldecott contender if Elly MacKay lived in the USA instead of Canada. Looking forward to more beautiful illustrations from this author/illustrator.

I would house this book in weather 551 or picture books.

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If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

 

A Busy Creature’s Day Eating! by Mo Willems

A Busy Creature's Day of EatingA Busy Creature’s Day Eating! by Mo Willems; illustrated by Mo Willems. 2018. Published by Hyperion Books for Children

Brief summary: A purple monster with a pink and blue striped outfit alphabetically eats through things in the house beginning with Apples and then ending up feeling sick at Q for Queasy. The father comes in and gives the monster child foods that are to help the stomach-ache until “V” happens in which the monster is put to bed.

Comments: The creature could be any child that overeats everything in the house until a big stomach-ache occurs. It is nice to see an ABC concept book with a story. End pages have a large upper cased blocked ABCs. The back flap has a cartoon of Mo Willems with his brief bio sketch.

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If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo

Free as a Bird

Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo; illustrated by Lina Maslo. 2018. Acrylic and ink. Published by Balzer & Bray.

Brief summary: Born in Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai learns that women do not have the same rights as men. Malala’s father is a teacher and takes her to school with him where she learns to read and write. An enemy comes and prohibits girls from going to school. Soon a war breaks out. Malala begins to speak about making Pakistan better by allowing girls to get an education. One day, her voice is stopped, but she is able to continue her campaign in England where the world begins to hear her pleas that all(especially) girls should be able to get an education.

Comments: The time in her life when she is shot by the Taliban is implied that something bad happens but does not let the young reader really know what. The author’s note in the back explains the Pakistani culture. There are a timeline, brief bio of Malalai of Maiwand, and Further Resources sections in the back. End pages are bird cages.

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If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

DUDE! by Aaron Reynolds

DUDE!

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Dan Santat. 2018. Published by Roaring Book Press.

Brief Summary: A beaver and platypus are surfing the waves when a shark approaches wanting to join them. Friend or foe? Will the mammals get to know the marine animal and become great surfing buddies?

Comments: The expressions on their faces are priceless and will bring many laughs to young readers. The only word is “dude” which is used many times with several different meanings conveyed by changing the fonts, all caps and small caps letters, and various punctuation after the word.

Teachers, librarians, and those reading to children— You will need to practice ahead of time  to make sure you get the right voice tones, accents, and meanings across by saying “dude” in many ways you never considered saying before  reading this book. A silly and fun read aloud.

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms by Gene Barretta

The Bat Can Bat

The Bat Can Bat: A Book of True Homonyms by Gene Barretta; illustrated by Gene Barretta. 2018. Published by Henry Holt and Company.

Brief summary: The animals enjoy playing sports and now the president has announced a law stating that animals have the right to play sports. The sport events are often with humorous human and animal combinations along with wordplay that makes the reader stop and think about what the homonym meaning is meant.

Comments: Fun story to teach young readers about words that are spelled and sounded the same but have two different meanings. Narrative nonfiction if shelved in the figurative language section. Could be shelved in the everybody section as well.

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

 

 

 

I Got It! by David Wiesner

I Got It

I Got It! by David Wiesner; illustrated by David Wiesner. 2018. Acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. Published by Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Brief summary: This wordless story is about a boy playing baseball and needs to catch the ball in the outfield. Many worries go through his mind leaving the reader wondering if he is going to catch it or not.

Comments: I teach stories without words by having everyone silent while I turn the pages. The story unfolds in their heads. Afterwards, we go through the book and take turns telling what the pictures are telling us.

This story can be taught how we sometimes worry so much about something but do not need to at the end. We either catch the ball or not. If not, we learn what to do next time in order to catch it.

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood

Shaking Things Up

Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood; illustrated by a variety of artists. 2018. Published by Harper Collins

Brief summary: There is a full paged illustration of the young women on the left with a brief biographic poem. There is also a short paragraph of when the women were born, died(some are still living), and their main contribution in which they are remembered.  Each woman is illustrated by a different illustrator. This collective biography is illustrated with many mediums.

Comments: Contents and timelines are in the front. Author’s notes is in the back with a rectangle of each woman that includes notes, sources, and further sources. Illustrators are Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin K. Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate

Sometimes You Fly

Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate; illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. 2018. Ink and watercolor. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Brief summary: The reader will learn that before one succeeds, there are sometimes mistakes beforehand.

Comments: The right side of the book tells the failure. When the reader turns the page, the failure becomes a success. Done with rhyming texts, we are reminded that although we may fail at times, to not be disheartened, as it is also how we learn to succeed. We learn how to fly.

The many milestones of growing and learning is a theme all readers can relate to as they read this beautifully illustrated book.  Sprinkled with a touch of humor here and there helps make the reader laugh while remembering and relating to the same failures.

An inspirational story to read at the beginning of the school year to students explaining that they will have setbacks and that is a normal part of life. I could see this being given to graduates also to let them know that they will fail at times as they go out into the world but to stop and learn from those failures.  It’s okay to fail as long as we acknowledge that mistakes teach us what not to do next time. If we do that, we can truly fly!

Source: Vimeo from HMH Kids (https://vimeo.com/259028983)

(I have the comment moderation turned on. Your comment will appear after it has been approved. Keep in mind that young readers may be reading the picture book I reviewed, so I will not approve your comment if there is inappropriate language. Be kind; be polite. No spam or ads, please. Because I am working as a library media specialist, it may take me a day to get back to my blog.

If you see that I made a typo or grammatical error, I’m totally cool with you politely letting me know. No need to be snarky. I am fully aware that I have an attention span of a hummingbird and miss things when I proofread. I also realize that I am not a professional writer, but I am willing to learn and improve).

Love by Matt de la Pena

Love

Love by Matt de la Pena; illustrated by Loren Long. 2018. Collaged monotype prints, acrylic paint and pencil. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Brief summary: The book begins with two parents looking straight at the reader but are actually peering into a crib. They are the beginning of love. You, for a moment, are the baby seeing his/her parents for the first time.  Readers journey through the book relating and recalling the various types of loves we have(or will if the reader is a child) in life through the quiet poem and illustrations.

Comments: (My resource for reviewing picture books are from my public library, so it took a while for my name to come up in the long reserve list for this book that released in January). The illustrations are diverse and multicultural with scenes from various families’ lives and times when love is displayed and shared. The concepts may be a bit mature for very young children. Older elementary students will understand and relate to those times they experienced love.

I feel this is one of those picture books adults will enjoy too, as they can relate and experience all of those situations when love was experienced–in good times and bad. I believe this will be a good “going-off-to-college” or graduation gift as the ending talks about leaving the family but having love on the new journey.

I am including this book trailer where both author and illustrator beautifully share their ideas for this book.