2014 Reviews by Library: Shawano

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Author: Christie Matheson

This simple book is stunning in its presentation of the life cycle of an apple tree.  Readers are involved with moving the tree through its different stages and seasons-  tap the tree to create more leaves, warm the tree by rubbing it to create blooms, shake the tree to drop the apples along with many other magical actions.  Not to be missed!

Amazing Wonder

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Author: R. J. Palacio

For Wonder fans, Mr. Browne's precepts continue on in this quick but powerful read.  The precepts- or principles to live by- were compiled by Mr. Browne; one for each day of the year.  They demonstrate kindness, hopefulness and the goodness of human beings and were derived from the original characters in Wonder, popular songs, children's stories, over 1200 submissions from readers among many other famous people.

Very Magical!

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Author: Patrick George

This fun and interactive book demonstrates opposites through a very ingenious way- an acetate transparent page changes sun into rain or hot into cold.  An excellent short read for preschool age children.  The format of the book allows children to take part in learning opposites in a hands-on way.

A Strong Woman

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Author: Stone Tanya Lee

This book is a biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, set in picture book format.  It is informative and easy to understand for elementary-aged children.  For older children, the book also includes an author's note giving more comprehensive information on Blackwell.  The well-researched book ends with a list of sources consulted while creating the book.  Children will be surprised at Blackwell's story and her hardships in becoming the first female doctor.  The book is illustrated by Marjorie Priceman (think "Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!")

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This simple book is an extremely creative way to explore colors!  One "see-through" page magically becomes two different images- a green frog is also a brown bear; a chocolate ice cream cone is also an orange sunset.  Children will enjoy flipping through the book, exploring what happens when colors blend together.

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Author: Carron Brown

This truly innovative book will be a big hit with kids!  Turn down the lights, grab your flashlight and investigate the life of an apple tree by shining a light behind each page to see what emerges.  From bare branches to insects and critters, children will have fun guessing what will shine through the tree next.

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Title: Naked!
Author: Michael Ian Black

Have fun chasing this little boy around the house after his bath- naked!  Mom tries so hard to catch him but the boy can only have fun with being naked until...mom dresses him in a cape!  This book is sure to please young boys and girls alike, with many parents being able to relate to the characters.

Rhyming Fun

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Author: Patricia Thomas

With a Seuss-ical feel, all the jungle animals beg and plead with Elephant NOT to sneeze because when he sneezes...you better watch out!  The zebra loses his stripes, the alligator's snout turns inside out and monkeys fall from the trees among other crazy events.  It's the teeny tiny mouse that finds a way to keep Elephant from sneezing, however even that has unexpected results.  A great rhyming story that moves along at a great reading pace.

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Author: Harriet Ziefert

In the style of "Goodnight Moon," Bear and his six friends get ready for a camp-out, starting with their underwear!  They rhyming rhythm is fun and and moves the story along nicely.  The sparse text and simple illustrations makes this a good choice for younger readers.

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Author: Steve Jenkins

The Steve Jenkins and Robin Page duo are at it again with this great story and illustrations about a variety of baby animals' first days.  From kiwis kicking out of their eggs to sea otters dozing on their mothers' belly to sea lion moms and pups calling back and forth to recognize each other's voices, this book is a winner!  As usual, the book ends with a glossary of the animals presented in the book with additional information for those children seeking more details.  Beautifully done.

Try not to Yawn!

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Author: Helene Boudreau

In this quick read, a young boy tries his hardest not to yawn because he knows that once the first yawn escapes, bedtime is nearby!  Trying desperately to delay bedtime, the young boy begins avoiding huggable stuffed animals, soft cozy pajamas, and his favorite blankie.  But, after even his best attempt, the dreaded first yawn escapes from his mouth and off to bed he goes.  See if you can read this great bedtime story without yawning (I couldn't!).

!

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Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This book truly hits the mark!  Exclamation Mark really is not sure about himself in life- he knows he's different from the others, it's just a matter of finding his own uniqueness.  This book is a great example about standing out and trying to fit in, but ultimately finding that being yourself is best.  A timeless tale for all children.

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Author: Kathryn Galbraith

Even bunnies are prone to squabbles and hop, hop, hop off their own directions.  But...some things, like sweet green clover and red ripe berries, are just better with friends!  In a simple, easy to understand text for very young readers, this book is a great example of not getting along with friends and then reconciling again.

Losing a Parent

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Author: Rebecca Cobb

This story begins "Some time ago we said good-bye to Mommy.  I am not sure where she has gone."  The story continues through a child's eyes of losing his mommy.  It's a simple and honest approach to discussing an emotionally difficult subject.  Although sad in nature, the book also explores the positive- still being part of a family and that he will always be special to his mommy.  A very touching book.

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Author: Steve Jenkins

This comprehensive compendium of the animal kingdom is not to be missed!  Jenkins' stunning work covers roughly 300 of the world's most remarkable animals.  Facts are presented in an accessible and informative way.  In Jenkins' own words he explains the book covers "the exotic and the everyday- and describes some of the amazing things they can do."  The book is a must- have for any fan of the natural world.

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Author: Charlotte Forten

Capstone Press' series First-Person Histories are excellent resources for learning about key points in our American history through the eyes of those that lived it, presented in diary format.  The six titles in the series cover topics such as pioneer farms, covered wagons, Civil War, and more.  The short books are filled with colorful illustrations and easy to process tidbits of information.  The books include a glossary, discussion questions using the Common Core, related internet sites and bibliography for further reading.  Attractive format that makes learn history even more fun.

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Title: Windblown
Author: Edouard Manceau

This cumulative tale is simply stunning!  From one scrap of paper to seven, new animals emerge each claiming the scraps as their own.  From chicken, to fish, to bird and more, the scraps come together forming new animals until finally the wind blows them all away.  The sparse words and illustrations leave a big impact.

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Author: Rachel Vail

Piggy Liam looks like an ordinary pig- chubby, pink and cute- however, he's got one interest in life- to become the Easter Bunny!  Even though Liam's parents remind him that he's a great piglet just as he is, it's grandma and grandpa that help Liam achieve his dream, bring so much joy for this little oinker.  The book is a reminder that all of us are unique individuals with something to offer.

Cranky Happens

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Author: Samantha Berger

This book shows that every kid- at some point or another- can be a CRANKENSTEIN!  Perhaps it's a too early wake up call in the morning being bumped on the head with a ball- watch out, because Crankenstein is sure to emerge!  The cure, you're wondering?  How about a little bit of laughter to send Crankenstein back into the shadows.  The illustrator his the mark with this book- alternating between mute, dark grumpy pictures and colorful illustrations.

Dealing with Fear

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Author: Robie Harris

A short and simple book that focuses on reassurance as a way for children to overcome the fears that surround them.  After running into several uncomfortable situations, the little boy takes a moment to sit down and shout out "go away!"   His braveness is rewarded with blooming flowers, bright sun, and a soft puppy.  Superbly illustrated by the award-winning Chris Raschka.

Tall Tales

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Author: Anne Isaacs

Join widow Tulip Jones as she finds out that everything in Texas is bigger, from vegetables to  tortoises.  Without giving away the story, this tall tale is a read aloud tongue twister that's lots of fun.  Meanwhille, I'm going to head back to the ranch for more laughs...

Word Ladders

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Author: Valerie Wyatt

By simply changing one letter at a time, wacky things happen in this world!  This word game adventure explores letters and spelling.  Simple changes occur at first (toy becomes boy) leading up to the more complex changes (safe becomes whew).  Silly illustrations reinforce the unrelated word changes creating a comically fun book to read visually as well.  Two thumbs up on the fun approach to exploring words and spelling.

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Author: Amy Krause Rosenthal

Sparse words and simple illustrations lend itself to the power of this great story!  Little Miss grabs her shovel and plants a kiss (literally!).  From there, she patiently waits, verging on doubt, until a small sprout appears.  She wastes no time in sharing the love whereever she goes, learning that a simple act of kindness and love can lead to "endless bliss."  A great example of sharing and selflessness for young children.

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Title: I Love Ewe
Author: Aaron Zenz

I Love Ewe: An Ode To Animal Moms is a great, quick read for preschool aged children.  The book has adorable pictures of animal babies with their moms, along with the formal name for each animal mom.  Who knew hens lived underwater?  The final page of the book is a yearbook-style synopsis of all the animal moms, listing the animal along with the mom name and a picture, such as Fox-Vixen or Opossum-Jill.  The companion book, Hug a Bull: An Ode to Animal Dads is just as fun!

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Title: Extra Yarn
Author: Mac Barnett

This Caldecott Honor book is right on the mark!  Striking and simple illustrations tell just as much as the words in this book.  Annabelle is a generous and self-assured young girl who finds a way to improve her community through a magical box of yarn.

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Author: Allison Jackson

A short, sweet and silly Valentine story, set to the tune of Clementine.  You just have to sing along once you start reading!