For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Peggy Thomas

Biography Nonfiction Most kids will not be familiar with Roger Tory Peterson – I didn’t learn about him until I took an ornithology class in college, but Peggy Thomas really brings this artist, naturalist, and bird-lover to life – his passion for birds is clear throughout this eye-catchingly illustrated children’s biography. He used a system of field marks (indicating size, shape, notable markings, voice, range, etc.) to help fledgling birders learn how to identify different … Read more

Beetle Book – book review

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins Juvenile Non-fiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Beetles Insects Juvenile Nonfiction This book will whet young appetites for beetles – learning about them, at least. With over 350,000 different species, readers are sure to encounter some of them in their lifetimes. Steve Jenkins presents almost 80 beetles in this introduction to beetle types, morphology, adaptations, and life cycles. You will come away amazed at all of the different … Read more

Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessie Hartland

Bon Appetit.jpg Julia Child and her husband spent many years living abroad in France and other places, traveling when necessary to accommodate Paul’s employer.  While they were living in France, Julia took cooking classes and met two other women – Simca and Louisette – who were trying to create a book of French recipes for American cooks.  Together, the friends started their own cooking school and Julia became involved with the cookbook.  Ten years later, … Read more

Honeybee Man – book review

The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi Juvenile Fiction/Non-fiction Picture book * * * * Stars (Great!) Fred the Brooklyn beekeeper loves his bees. He climbs up to his rooftop apiaries every morning to greet his colonies with a “Good morning, my bees, my darlings.” And addresses an individual greeting to each of his bee queens (Mab, Nefertiti, and Boadicea). This is an excellent, accessible introduction for younger children to what bees and their keepers do. … Read more

Life Cycle of a Snail – book review

The Life Cycle of a Snail by L.L. Owens Juvenile Non-fiction Picture book * * * Stars (Pretty good) This introduction to snail biology will have young readers racing out to their own backyards to locate their slimy subjects for a closer inspection. Detailed, close-up photographs accompany explications of snails’ life cycle – the one of the land snail laying its eggs in a moist patch of soil is a particularly good catch. While some … Read more

Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs – book review

The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle Juvenile Non-fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) In the space of just a few years, biologist Karen Lips noticed a serious decline in the population of golden frogs living in the mountain forests of Panama. She discovered massive quantities of dead frogs and was perplexed and concerned about the cause of their deaths. Sandra Markle follows Lips’ investigation into the near-extinction … Read more

Only the Mountains Do Not Move: A Maasai Story of Culture and Conservation by Jan Reynolds

only the mountains do not move.jpg The Maasai are a group of semi-nomadic people who live in Kenya and Tanzania. In the past they traveled thousands of miles with their herds, following rain and growing seasons and seeking out new pastures for their animals. They do not believe in land ownership. Their way of life has had to change with modern times, however. Other people and practices have required them to reduce their grazing territory … Read more

Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Photos by William Munoz

pit bull puppy.jpg Michael Vick, NFL quarterback, was running an illegal dog-fighting ring and raising “fighting dogs” at his appropriately named “Bad Newz Kennels.” When information about his crimes came to light, the dogs were seized, as evidence, and spent many months in isolation in an animal shelter. In the past, fighting dogs were considered dangerous and people thought they were not good prospects for rehabilitation. In the case of Vick’s dogs, however – probably … Read more

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Larvae: A Guide for Insect Parents (and Curious Kids) By Bridget Heos

larvae.jpg Bridget Heos presents and answers the questions expecting insect parents might have IF they were capable of asking questions (and needed the answers) in an informative and amusing way. “Congratulations, insect parent-to-be! You must be very excited. You may be feeling proud but also a little scared. Your babies will be tiny. How will you help them grow big and strong, like you? Don’t worry. You have instincts. They will tell you how to … Read more

Wimpy Kid Movie Diary – book review

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney Juvenile Non-fiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) Jeff Kinney has written a behind-the-scenes look at the Wimpy Kid Movie that’s just as entertaining as his bestselling book series. Not only does it capture the same humor and charm of Greg Heffley’s diaries, but it also provides a lot of insider information about how movies get made (and, of course, how this movie in particular was made). … Read more

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