If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams

If Sharks Disappeared

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams; illustrated by Lily Williams. 2017. Published by Roaring Book Press.

Brief summary: This book explains how if the sharks, apex predators, were eliminated, the ocean would become unbalanced. Sharks typically eat the weak. This allows the healthier animals to reproduce. But if sharks become extinct, then many other marine life will have higher populations, causing them to eat all the fish. Those fish eat plankton, but if  there is too much plankton, the water would be a thick sludge. Many land animals rely on the ocean for food, and they would start to starve and die too. This cause and effect pattern could continue spreading across the globe.

Comments: This narrative nonfiction book did a great job of explaining trophic cascade with simple terms and illustrations. I recommend this book for science units as well as teaching the importance we, as humans,  have to  keep the earth balanced. There is a glossary, Sharks Are In Trouble, How You Can Help Save Sharks, and Author’s Note. The end pages have drawings of various sharks. There is one fold out.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Diana’s White House Garden by Elisa Carbone

Diana's White House Garden

Diana’s White House Garden by Elisa Carbone; illustrated by Jen Hill. 2017. Pencil, gouache, and digital. Published by Viking.

Brief summary: Diana Hopkins lived in the White House with her father, Harry Hopkins, who was the chief advisor to President Roosevelt. This ten-year old girl wanted to do her part for her country during the second war and was trying to figure out a way to do so. Diana did get in a lot of mischief while living in the White House often accompanied with the Roosevelts’ black Scottish terrier, Fala. Diana heard the President tell her father that he wanted the food our farmers grew to go straight to the soldiers to make sure they were fit and for civilians to start growing gardens for their own food in their yards and empty lots.  Diana volunteered to help. The President wanted to be an example for others to follow, so Mrs. Roosevelt, Diana, and George (the groundskeeper) planted a garden in the lawn of the White House with all three tending to it. Diana felt good being able to sit at the table with her father and the Roosevelts knowing they were eating food from the garden.

Comments: This is based on a true story. Diana Hopkins’ photo is in the back holding hands with Mrs. Roosevelt. There is an author’s note and illustrator’s note explaining why Victory Gardens were needed. I did not realize that there was not enough steel and tin for fighter planes and to be used for canned vegetables. Classes were being offered to teach canning with glass jars so that people had food during the winter. The gardens were growing everywhere: city parks, apartment rooftops, urban yards, and suburban yards.

This book could be used for  science units of study and also for teaching how if we all work together, we can make a difference as a whole.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari

Hello Goodbye Dog

Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari; illustrated by Patrice Barton. 2017. Published by Roaring Brook Press.

Brief summary: Zara loves her dog, Moose. Moose misses Zara when she goes to school. The dog wants to be with her owner and escapes from the house to be with Zara in her classroom. The dog loves the hellos of seeing Zara, but not the goodbyes when she must leave her human. It takes Mom, Dad, Zara and Mrs. Perkins to get Moose to leave the classroom. Moose soon returns for a big hello as everyone is reading in the library. The entire day is full of hellos and goodbyes for Moose. Zara comes up with a solution, and she and Moose go to therapy dog school where Moose passes all the tests to becomes Zara’s therapy dog. Now, Moose can attend school with Zara all day.

Comments: This is set up as a cumulative story with more and more people taking Moose out of the school. There is an author’s note in the back about library dogs and therapy dogs.  It was refreshing to read a story about a little girl who went to school and who happened to be in a wheelchair.  The story was not focused on her disability.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon

Flowers for Sarajevo

Flowers for Sarajevo by John McCutcheon; illustrated by Kristy Caldwell. 2017. Ink, charcoal, graphite pencil, and Adobe Photoshop. Published by Peachtree.

Brief summary: Drasko’s father goes to fight in the Bosnian war leaving his son to sell  red roses in the town square to feed the family. The merchants take the best spots causing Drasko to move to the building where the orchestra practices.  As the church bells ring ten, the square is hit by a mortar shell  causing all the merchants and customers in the square to flee. The next day the square is quiet. Twenty-two people died the day before. Each day at 10 o’clock for twenty-two days,  a cellist comes out with a chair, sits, and plays in front of the bakery where the bombing occurred. Drasko does his small part too to make a sorrowful time a little better.

Comments: This is a historical fiction picture book based on a bombing of  the Bosnian War and the cellist who did play in memory of the victims each day at ten o’clock where the bombing took place.  There are  several sections at the end of the book: A Region Shaped by War, Author’s Note, Sheet Music with the words of a song the author wrote in honor of the cellist, and a biographical sketch of Vedran Smailovic, the cellist in the book. There  is also a CD with John McCutcheon reading the book as well as music which includes John McCutcheon as the vocalist,  Vedran Smailovic as the cellist, and Michael Aharon as the pianist.  (Vedran Smailovic now lives in Ireland).

This is a war picture book and may not be for some young children to read on their own without a little guidance from an adult.  War is always a difficult subject to talk about for anyone.  I could see this picture book as an educational resource for teens/adults for an introduction to the Bosnian War unit of  study.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Apex Predators: The Word’s Deadliest Hunters, Past and Present

Apex Predators

Apex Predators: The World’s Deadliest Hunters, Past and Present by Steve Jenkins; illustrated by Steve Jenkins. 2017. Torn- and cut- paper collage. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Brief summary: Apex predators are “creatures too tough, too big, or too well-armed to be hunted by other animals.” The reader will be wowed going through this book learning about the mightiest hunters of the past and present day. Steve Jenkins explains how each of the hunters were/are the top of their food chain with no natural enemies.

Comments: This is one of those nonfiction books that one student checks out and sits down with a circle of friends sharing and pointing facts about each page.  Not only are there interesting facts of why the apex predator was the best but a chart comparing the beast’s height to a man. The tab on the upper part of the page tells the reader when the creature exists or existed.  Steve Jenkins never lets me down. This is a must for every library–home, public, or school. He is one of the best torn/cut paper artists able to make the illustrations pop off the pages.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

Different? Same! by Heather Tekavec

Different?Same!

Different? Same! by Heather Tekavec; illustrated by Pippa Curnick. 2017. Digitally rendered. Published by Kids Can Press.

Brief summary: Readers go through the two spread illustrations noticing what is different and what is surprisingly alike with the animals. What is different is immediately noticed. What do they have in common?  That is the surprise.

Comments: Very cleverly done. Animals that are usually not thought to have anything in common are shown that they do actually have something in common. A great way to broaden one’s mind by looking at animal characteristics in a new way. Each animal is labeled and a characteristic shared. The last sentence reveals the similarity they share. The back pages have a list of the different characteristics explained.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

LMNO Pea-quel by Keith Baker

LMNOpea-quel

LMNO Pea-quel by Keith Baker; illustrated by Keith Baker. 2017. Published by Beach Lane Books.

Brief summary:  in rhyming text, the peas share different careers and jobs beginning with each letter of the alphabet.

Comments: Another addition to The Peas Series that will be loved by students. Each pea is unique. The students like to look at this book together standing around a table. A great addition to any elementary library. One of my favorite series. Letters are in lower case.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library)

Dragons Love Tacos 2: the Sequel by Adam Rubin

 

Dragons Love Tacos 2: the Sequel by Adam Rubin; illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. 2017. Illustrations were created with watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and digital. Published by Dial Books for Young Readers.

Brief summary:    A young boy sees that the dragons are very upset, because there are no tacos left. He and his animal friends go to the time machine in the garage and travel back to a time where there was a taco party. They grab a couple of tacos and plant them so that there will always  be tacos. After several attempts of going back to the wrong times, they are successful with the mission and all is good.

Comments: This has the same  absurd humor and silliness as the first. The dragons learn not eat the spicy salsa ever again.

By here.

(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library)

Take a Picture of Me, James Vanderzee! by Andrea J. Loney

Take a Picture of Me, James Vanderzee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illustrated by Keith Mallett. 2017. Acrylic on canvas. Published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Brief summary: James VanDerZee lived in Lenox, Massachusetts with four brothers and sisters and near his aunts’ home and grandparents’ home.  A photographer visits and takes the family’s picture. James knew then that he wanted to have a camera also and take photos. Cameras were not popular yet and very expensive. He worked and was able to save enough to buy one and took many pictures of his family and classmates developing them in his closet. As he grew older, he went to Harlem and became an assistant to a photographer in New Jersey. His own way of taking photos caused many people coming in to the studio requesting him. He decided to  open his own studio in Harlem, New York. James had the knack of having people looking their best in his photographs. Over time, the camera evolved and became easy enough for people to take their own photos.  He changed from taking photos to preserving and fixing old photos.  He had a successful exhibit called “Harlem on My Mind” of his collection of forty years  of people in Harlem including several famous people.

Comments: This narrative biography also has an afterword with more details of James VanDerZee’s life, some of his photos, and explanations of some of the techniques.  He took over 75,000 photographs and was able to capture the energy of Harlem. I think it would have been beneficial to have a camera timeline in the back, so that young readers could understand how the camera changed over time. They may not realize how expensive it was to have a photo taken and that there may have only been one or two photos taken in a person’s whole life unlike now where there are photos taken constantly of a person throughout his/her lifetime.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library)

Barkus by Patricia Maclachlan

Barkus

Barkus by Patricia Maclachlan; illustrated by Marc Boutavant. 2017. Published by Chronicle Books.

Brief summary: Uncle Everton comes to visit Nicky before traveling around the world. He leaves Barkus, a large brown dog, to Nicky and her family. Barkus follows Nikky to school becoming her class’s dog. Barkus is loved by everyone and has several little adventures including finding a kitten.

Comments: This is a beginner reader with short chapters to help prepare young readers for chapter book reading. Each chapter is a story within itself.  The energy and excitement of having a new pet is shared with the reader. It looks like this may be the first of a series.  The title page and spine did say Book 1. The online description says 56 pages.

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(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library)