Sunday, August 23, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 Cubs in the Tub


Candace Fleming tells the story of Helen Martini and her work with young animals, work which led Helen to become the first woman zookeeper at the Bronx Zoo. Julie Downing's illustrations bring Fleming's words to life in scenes of Helen bottle feeding cubs, weighing them, burping them, bathing them. The text describes all the work that went into creating a formula, feedings every three hours, the mischief the cubs got into in the Martini's home, and how much she missed the cubs when they had to return to the zoo. 

It will seem incredible to readers that 76 years ago Mr. Martini was allowed to bring cubs home from the zoo. The back matter explains more about Helen and her zoo babies. It also explains that many women in her day found their way into careers through unusual routes, much like Helen and her secret nursery. There are also source notes, a selected bibliography, and the URL for a YouTube video of Helen in her zoo nursery.

Perfect for collections looking for books with women in STEM careers, strong female protagonists, or stories about nurturing animals. I read a review copy provided by the publisher through edelweiss. Pub. date was August 4, 2020. 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 The Music Box Enigma

The Music Box Enigma (A Silas Quinn Mystery Book 7) by [R.N. Morris]

I'm new to the Silas Quinn mysteries, but that was not an impediment to enjoying this title. Historical fiction plus mystery equals an intriguing story. Set in the London of World War I, this story does an excellent job of capturing the wartime atmosphere and the social mores of the era. 

Fans of procedural police shows and vintage detective stories alike will find plenty to hold their interest as Quinn and his team from the Special Crimes Department at New Scotland Yard try to find the murderer of a renowned choir director. Someone obviously doesn't have the holiday spirit, since they stabbed him in the ear with a tuning fork during a rehearsal break for the Christmas concert.

The more the team investigates, the more enemies they uncover. Between his gambling debts, affairs, rudeness to others in the musical field...the list just keeps growing. And the odd music box that plays something that grates on the ears doesn't make sense. Why was it delivered shortly before his death - and does it hold any clues to a motive?

Existing relationships between the original members of Quinn's team and the reasons behind the newest members being assigned to his command seem to cause some of the men to distrust each other. Additional oversight by the Military Operations Directorate leads to even more tension in an already difficult situation. With all the political and personal currents beneath the surface, Quinn may be in dangerous waters as he works to solve the case. 

I read a review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Buckets Goes on a Winter Adventure Giveaway Tour


Enter for a chance to win an autographed copy of Buckets Goes On a Winter Adventure and a 16″ plush Buckets toy!

One (1) winner receives:
  • An autographed copy, by both Taryn Crowder and Buckets, of Buckets Goes On A Winter Adventure
  • A 16″ plush Buckets toy
Nine (9) winners will receive:
  • An autographed copy, by both Taryn Crowder and Buckets, of Buckets Goes On A Winter Adventure
Giveaway begins August 3, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 3, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Written by Taryn Crowder
Illustrated by Nidhom
Publisher’s Synopsis: Buckets is a curious French Bulldog, and he’s determined to find out where snow comes from! One wintry day, Buckets runs away from his home in Brooklyn in hopes of finding its origin…but what happens when he gets lost along the way?
Buckets Goes on a Winter Adventure is a story of friendship and determination, and will encourage readers of all ages to explore the mysteries of the world around them.
Ages 4-8 | Mascot Books | October 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1643073699


August 3
The Children's Book Review
August 4
Word Spelunking
August 5
Over Coffee Conversations
August 6
J.R.'s Book Reviews
August 7
Life Is What It's Called
August 10
Barbara Ann Mojica's Blog
August 11
icefairy's Treasure Chest
August 12
Library Lady's Kid Lit
August 13
Heart to Heart
August 14
Confessions of a Book Addict
August 17
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
August 18
Mommy Ramblings
August 19
Fairview Elementary School (Library)
August 20
A Dream Within A Dream
The Fairview Review is participating in the blog tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Taryn Crowder.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 Ocean Atlas: A Journey Across the Waves and into the Deep

Ocean Atlas: A journey across the waves and into the deep

Gr 2–6—In this guide to the Earth's oceans, Jackson covers a wide variety of topics, including food chains and global warming. Many of the brightly illustrated pages feature maps and diagrams. Photographs highlight unusual creatures and fascinating aquatic elements, such as coelacanths, gulper eels, and hydrothermal vents. Readers interested in biology will appreciate details about the various zones as well as information about the living conditions within the different ecosystems. Exploration equipment ranging from scuba gear to remotely operated vehicles (ROV) is shown, along with less familiar items (diving bells and bathyscaphes). Jackson also offers sections on continental drift, the possibility of microbial life in the oceans underneath the surfaces of Jupiter's moons, and the relationship between the oceans and the weather. The text and maps emphasize the connection between all the oceans and seas, and the interdependence of humanity and the watery portions of the world. Whether readers want to learn about the techniques used to map the ocean floor or the unique fauna of the Gal├ípagos Islands, this book will appeal to those eager to devour knowledge about the Earth's oceans. VERDICT A fact-filled and colorful addition to collections; great for STEAM tie-ins.

My review was first published by School Library Journal in July 2020.

Summer Reading 2020: Beginning to End (Blastoff Readers)

Beginning to End from Bellwether

K-Gr 3—This series offers bright colors, clear photos, and information about the origins of everyday items. Captions and labels identify important elements in the photos, such as the bobbins in a textile mill or the pasteurizer in a dairy. The text provides clear explanations with key terms in boldface. Each title contains a map showing one location in the world where the raw materials are produced, such as cocoa beans from the Ivory Coast. Another common feature is a flowchart of the production process (in Bulb to Tulip, there's a life cycle chart for tulips). Many of the books use a pictograph to emphasize facts: how many paper products are made from recycled paper, or how many trees are lost to clear land for cocoa farming. Others have inset photos calling attention to the various equipment or processes used—grinding and conching chocolate, or carding and combing cotton. There are also blurbs about the amount of water used to produce one glass of milk or one T-shirt; these would make excellent discussion points or research topics. Pumpkin Seed to Pie even contains a recipe. Back matter includes a glossary defining all the highlighted terms, an index, suggestions for further reading, and directions for using the FactSurfer website. Another plus is the inclusion of topics beyond the usual "tomatoes to ketchup." VERDICT A valuable update to collections.

My review was first published by School Library Journal in April 2020.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 The Weeping Wombat

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Do you know any young children who seem to wear their heart on their sleeve? The kind of child that is easily moved to tears? Then you need to read this book with them. The Nocturnals find Walter the Wombat under a weeping willow looking positively woebegone. (Try saying that three times fast.) But once Walter explains his problem to them, the friends assure him that weeping is just another way to show your feelings.

Readers who are already familiar with the characters will not be surprised that Dawn is the one who firmly leads the discussion, that Tobin holds Walter's hand in support, or that Bismark finds himself wailing when he thinks of something sad. If you haven't tried any of the Nocturnals readers, then you are in for a fun introduction to the group. And youngsters will have fun with all the "w" words that are sprinkled through the story - weepy, walloping, wonderful, whistle - just to name a few.

There are also facts about each of the animals in the back matter, along with free printables to download and enjoy. Wouldn't it be fun to make masks and act out the story? The book went on sale today, so add it to your growing collection of Nocturnals titles.

I read a review copy provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Summer Reading 2020 Your Place in the Universe

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Jason Chin has created a book that leads readers from their own experiences (the size of other children, books, trees) outward to the edge of the observable universe. He explains units of measurement from inches to light years, and makes comparisons to help develop perspective. For instance, an eight-year-old child is about 5 times as tall as a copy of the book, but two children would not be as tall as an ostrich. Buildings, mountains, atmospheric layers, distances within the solar system...the scale expands like ripples on a pond.

The illustrations, as one would expect from Jason Chin, are beautiful and detailed. The spread showing Mount Everest captures the grandeur of the snowy peaks, but also includes the tiny silhouettes of the world's tallest buildings. Readers may have to look twice to even notice the Empire State Building or Burj Khalifa standing in the shadows of the mountain. And the illustration of the distance to the International Space Station shows all the atmospheric layers, complete with the Himalayas as a small ripple along the bottom of the scene. One detail I particularly appreciated is the diversity of the children shown and the fact that most of these stargazing youngsters are girls.

There are plenty of labels and small notes included on the pages, but the back matter is full of additional details about telescopes, the solar system, the universe and other topics mentioned in the text. There are also a list of selected sources, an author's note, and suggested websites. This book is an excellent way to introduce students to how our planet fits into the grand scheme of the universe and as a way to discuss different types of measurements for various scales of distance.

I read a review copy provided by the publisher through edelweiss.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Summer Reading 2020 Dung for Dinner


Looking for a book to suit readers who delight in the disgusting? Then you need a copy of this exploration into every revolting thing people have put into their mouths over the centuries. Whether it is a discussion of how doctors used to taste bodily secretions (of all sorts) to diagnose illnesses, or the latest craze of fecal transplants to help restore gut health - there are no details spared. 

Did you know that all water on the space station is recycled? And they do mean ALL. Or maybe you had heard that the nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" was actually about the Black Death? Nope, historians disagree. But you can learn more about the plague or the tie between poop and coffee within these pages.

Not for the faint of heart, and not to read or discuss at the dinner table - but this could be the perfect book for a reluctant reader who is fascinated by the gross and ugly side of life. Even the chapter headings lure the curious in with phrases such as, "The Odoriferous Beaver Butt." Doesn't that make you want to find out more? If so ,it went on sale July 21, so you won't have to wait to get a copy.

I read an ebook provided by the publisher through NetGalley. 

Summer Reading 2020 One for the Books

At long last, Lindsey and Sully are getting married. Or are they? Just days before the wedding, the justice of the peace turns up dead. Now who will conduct the ceremony? It doesn't help that he is a friend of Sully's, and our favorite couple want the investigation closed before their wedding day. Between preparations for the big day, family coming in from out of town, a mix-up on the guest list, and the hunt for a new officiant - Lindsey and her husband-to-be have a full week ahead of them. Will they be able to check off everything on their to-do list before they say, "I do" to each other?

Fans who have been with this series from the beginning will enjoy the continued development of the characters and relationships throughout the town. The police chief dating the world-renowned actor, the children's librarian expecting her first child, the crotchety Ms. Cole deciding to run for mayor...a small town is never a dull place. Even those who are just reading about Briar Creek and its library director for the first time will be caught up in the mystery of who dunnit, with multiple suspects and motives to keep readers guessing until the final reveal.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Pub. date is September 1.