Friday, May 2, 2008
Title: Search for the Golden Moon Bear
Author: Sy Montgomery
Illustrator: Nic Bishop
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 2002
This is the story of the search for a new bear species that takes place in Southeast Asia. Written in Montgomery's entertaining narrative style. However this book differs in that it is written from a first person point of view, unlike like her observational third person style of books like The Tarantula Scientist and The Snake Scientist. Montgomery participates not only in the writing process but also in the scientific one, including taking hair samples from existing captured bears to perform DNA analysis. Tantalizing the bears with marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk is just one of the adventures that Montgomery experiences in this experience of discovery and observation.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Title: Zoobooks: Lions
Author: John Bonnett Wexo
Illustrator: Richard Orr (paintings)
Publisher: Zoobooks/Wildlife Education, Ltd.
Publication Date: March 2008
Full of color photographs, paintings, and other graphic illustrations, this periodical walks the reader through the life and habitats of lions. Part of the popular Zoobooks! series that features various animals inspired by the author's trips to local zoological gardens, this issue highlights many access features including illustrations, photographs with captions, diagrams (cutaways and cross-sections), sidebars and inserts, author and illustrator notes, and photo credits. Each periodical includes an activities insert that focuses on vocabulary development, aristic and creative activities, parental involvement activities, facts, and questions. These periodicals also include teacher lesson guides and activities available at their thematic curriculum link.
Title: Give Me Liberty!: The Story of the Declaration of Independence
Author: Russell Freedman
Illustrator: Russell Freedman
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Publication Date: November 2001
In this 96 page recounting of the creation of the Declaration of Independence, Freedman relates the various challenges and issues that arose within the birth of the American nation. Freedman uses quotations, contextual situations, and actions to define and describe the forefathers including Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Washington. Additionally the book includes the full text of the Declaration, facsimiles of the first and final drafts, and a list of all its signers. This book is a sure winner for any teacher or student studying the origins of the United States.
Title: The Reason For a Flower
Author: Ruth Heller
Illustrator: Ruth Heller
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication Date: February 1999 (reissued)
Heller is known for informational books written in rhyme and this book is no different. Labeling the parts of a flower as well as its purpose in the ecosystem, Heller walks the reader through the botany and ecology in a simple story with an entertaining rhythm. The illustrations are beautifully done and include some flowers that don't appear to be flowers but really are. This is part of Ruth Heller's "World of Nature" series.
Title: Galaxies, Galaxies
Author: Gail Gibbons
Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
Publication Date: September 2006
Take a bite out of the Milky Way and explore our universe in this delightful book about our solar system (albeit now outdated due to recent astronomical redefinitions) and the galaxy in which we live. Learning about astronomy the science, the astronomers who make this science their livelihood, telescopes, and the types of galaxies that are classified makes this a great resource for a basic astronomy information in the classroom, with caveats regarding distortion of size and redefinition of planets.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Title: Alison Dare: Little Miss Adventures, Vol. 1
Author: J. Torres
Illustrator: J. Bone
Alison Dare is not your typical 12-year-old. The daughter of an archeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab (and the niece of an international super-spy), Alison's life has always been different from other girls her age. A craving for danger is in her blood. Sent by her parents to the prestigious St. Joan of Arc Academy for Girls, hoping that this would lead to a more "normal" life for their daughter, Alison and her cohorts, Wendy and Dot, seem to have the adventures find them. Genies, bank robbers with super powers, and members of the peerage bent on world domination all cross Alison's path. A modern day, preteen combo of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones, these graphic novels are sure to be a hit with youngsters of both sexes.
Title: The River of Wind (Guardians of Ga'Hoole Series #13)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: July 2007
The owls are seeking out a sixth kingdom in this thirteenth book of the series. Following the religious incident with the ember worship which nearly destroyed the colony, Coryn and the Chaw of Chaws have returned order. However the band must seek out the new kingdom when Bess, from the Palace of Mists, discovers the unknown sixth kingdom across the Unnamed Sea. The owls set out on a quest to discover the new land and also to rescue one of the triplets who has wandered astray and been sucked into the River of Wind, unbeknownst to the band. They discover a new group of monastic owls who differ than any others from the Five Kingdoms but the challenge comes from the race against the Purists and their desire to restore the ember. This low fantasy novel features talking owls and other creatures as well as foreign settings and is indicated to appeal to nine to twelve year olds. The owl language can be difficult to follow at times and this doesn't seem to be a good series to start at a midpoint as the previous story lines tie into the current one.