Saturday, November 22, 2014

Read This! Picture Books

And Away We Go
by Migi (a.k.a. Miguel Ornia-Blanco)

Mr. Fox orders a hot air balloon to ride to the moon from New York City. He encounters friends as he tries to get started on his trip, and little by little the balloon basket gets filled! In the end, Mr. Fox and friends decide to go to the moon another time and just enjoy their little party instead.

This has some very bright and interesting illustrations, which are a mix of ink and paint, and have a bit of a 1960's vibe. The story continues in a jovial progression as everyone who asks to come on the trip is welcomed. This picture book will be especially loved by kids (and grownups) who love NYC and love to see the author's take on famous eateries and other landmarks.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Make Something! Grades 4-6

Garden to Table: A Kid's Guide to Planting, Growing and Preparing Food
by Katherine Hengel

This is a how to book -- how to plant vegetables and herbs, how to tend to them, and how to create awesome, simple meals involving the very items that you have grown! The basil chapter tells you about planting basil, how best to tend to it, how to harvest it and store it, and some awesome recipes -- including Basil Tomato Soup, Pizza Margherita, Thai Noodles and Basil, Grilled Cheese and pesto sandwiches and more! Each chapter is a different garden food, including carrots, potatoes, leaf lettuce and tomatoes.

This book is full of pictures and easy to follow instructions. The beginning has basic cooking terms with photographic demonstrations. There's also a list of "cool ingredients" with pictures that include Dijon mustard, nutmeg, flour tortillas and more. There is also a few pages of kitchen tools with pictures that include many kinds of baking dishes, utensils and measuring items.

This is an AWESOME book, with a lot of great information! This would be a wonderful family project. If you can't grow a thing, you can buy fresh vegetables and fruit and use these recipes to foster a love of cooking, eating healthy, and using fresh ingredients! Cooking also involves measuring and experimenting, which will bring science and math skills into your kitchen!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Read This! Adults

by Lauren Oliver

Richard Walker dies, and his estranged family comes back to collect their inheritance. The house is not empty, though, because two ghosts live there --- they have always lived there, and they speak through the creaks of the house, the hiss of the radiator, and the sounds of settling. All of a sudden, a new ghost moves in, and one of the humans can communicate with it, and the truth of the lives (and deads) of every being in the house comes out with what can only be explained as a ---bang!

There are characters upon characters and secrets and lies and unreliable narrators and a lot of stuff. But somehow it works. This is a ghost story. This is a family drama. This is a bit of a saga. And, in the end, there is tragedy and sadness and surprises. If you are looking for something a little different, this may be the title for you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Make Something! Families

Maybe you are ahead of schedule with your holiday planning! Maybe your kids don't stress about making presents for family or friends. If that's NOT the case - think about the LIBRARY! We have tons of craft books for kids (and tons for adults too!)
A few offerings:

Nature's Art Box
Written by Laura C. Martin with drawings by David Cain
From T-shirts to twig baskets, 65 cool projects for crafty kids to make with natural materials you can find anywhere! Gift giving ideas: baskets, wreaths, sachets, stamped bags and more.

Crafting Fun
By Rae Grant
101 things to Make and Do with Kids
Activities and Crafts for every month - something for everyone who likes handmade home decor and natural materials!

Gifts for Kids to Make by Cheryl Owen
Make lipbalms, bathsalts, picture frames and more with these easy-to-read, easy-to-follow, well-photographed instructions. Families can easily make presents for more than one person at a time! Each project also has an age-range for how appropriate the craft is to do by themselves.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Read This! Nonfiction for Middle Grades

Dusted and Busted: The Science of Fingerprinting
by D.B. Beres

This is a non-fiction book about fingerprinting in forensic science. These three true-life cases discuss how forensic scientists gather fingerprints (and in one case, bare footprints) and how the prints are analyzed. One case involves a gruesome murder (talks about body parts found in a duffle bag) and the other two cases are burglaries. Besides the cases, there is an interview with a fingerprint specialist, outside resources, a glossary, a forensics fingerprinting timeline, how fingerprints work and much more.

This is a short book with very big text, but has complex vocabulary. Readers searching for interesting information about forensics, crime solving, and real life police work would really love this book and all of the information about the technical part of fingerprinting.

This does speak about a rather gruesome real life murder, and about body parts being cut up. Some readers may be uncomfortable with this sort of case discussion.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Read This! Easy Readers

Monkeys and the Universe 
Written by Kate Banks, Illustrated by Tomek Bogacki

Max is a monkey. His older brother, Pete, is building a model of the solar system for school. They talk about how the solar system works, and Pete feels very small. Eventually, Max and Pete go with their dad to a planetarium and find out a lot more about the stars and the planets.
This is definitely one of the hardest easy readers we have! The vocabulary is advanced, with words like "phosphorescent" and "ancestors" and planet names. There are between 35 and 70 words per page, and there are four chapters. Fans of the Nate the Great and Frog and Toad series will like the pacing of this story.