Thursday, August 18, 2011

Short Takes

OH HOW SYLVESTER CAN PESTER by Robert Kinerk with illustrations by Drazen Kozjan (Simon & Schuster 2011) is subtitled AND OTHER POEMS MORE OR LESS ABOUT MANNERS. Table manners, manners when in the supermarket (so can relate to the need for this lesson), shaking hands, dressing appropriately, and much more are presented in quick, lively rhymes for young (and maybe even older) readers. Pair this one with RUDE GIANTS. <401>

Chris Van Allsburg presents readers with the true life story of the QUEEN OF THE FALLS (Houghton Mifflin 2011). Annie Edson Taylor was in her 60s when she decided to have a barrel custom built for a trip over Niagra Falls. Van Allsburg's quiet illustrations lend much to this story of a woman who sought a way to earn a living late in life. Master of perspective and point of view, the illustrations demand attention even after the story ends. <402>

The Scientists in the Field series is one of the best (if not the best) available for elementary and middle grade readers. THE ELEPHANT SCIENTIST by Caitlin O'Connell and Donna M. Jackson (Houghton Mifflin 2011) is just one example of this powerful series that tracks scientists who are tops in their field. O'Connell has spent years observing elephants and has demonstrated that they can communicate in complex ways. They can also sense vibrations through their feet which are designed to conduct even the slightest of vibrations. Informational, conversational text and incredible you-are-there photos combine for a fascinating look at these immense creatures. <403>

TEN LITTLE PUPPIES or DIEZ PERRITOS by Alma Flor Ada (Spanish text) and Rosalma Zubizarreta (English text) with illustrations by F. Isabel Carmody (for the Spanish text) and Ulises Wensell (English text) gives readers a fun rhyme about 10 puppies and their adventures out into the world. A terrific touch is the appendix which tells a little about each of the species pictured in the illustrations. Text is in Spanish with English translation on the facing page. <404>

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation on the "Scientists in the Field" series. Our campus is focusing on raising reading levels, especially reading and comprehending nonfiction; these will be welcome additions to my classroom library.