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Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

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Customer Comments

Home School Book Review has commented on (374) products.

Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book by Editorial

Home School Book Review, March 17, 2014

Do you know where polar bears live? And do you know where penguins live? Both exist in polar climates where there is a lot of snow, and both like to swim in cold water. However, polar bears live in the Arctic region around the North Pole, whereas penguins live in the Antarctic which is the continent surrounding the South Pole. Polar bears are mammals covered with fur. Penguins are birds covered with feathers. There are many other similarities and differences between these two kinds of animals and their environments. So, do you think that you would likely see a nature photograph with both a polar bear and a penguin in the same shot?

The stunning photographs in Polar Bears and Penguins, along with author Katharine Hall’s instructive text, introduce young readers not only to these two fascinating creatures themselves, but also to the location and terrain of the polar regions, the many other types of bears and the various species of penguins, living habits of polar bears and penguins, and how the seasons are different at the two poles. The four back pages of “For Creative Minds” learning activities include further information on the seasons, polar mammals, and “A Year at the Poles,” plus polar bear true-false and penguin matching exercises, and more free activities are available online at the publisher’s website. Kids will learn that they might see polar bears and penguins near each other at a zoo, but they would never be found in the same habitats in the wild because they live at opposite ends of the Earth.
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The Shape Family Babies by Kristin Haas
The Shape Family Babies

Home School Book Review, March 16, 2014

Do you know what a rectangle and a rhombus are? Once upon a time, a rectangle and a rhombus fell in love, married, and were expecting a child. They wondered whom the baby would look like. It ended up that they had three babies. One had all equal sides like Mother Rhombus. The second had four right angles like Father Rectangle. But the third had both equal sides and four right angles. What should they name it? Cousin Triangle, Cousin Trapezoid, Aunt Hexagon, Uncle Pentagon, Grandpa Rectangle, Grandma Rhombus, and Great-Aunt Octagon all have suggestions. Can you guess what shape the third baby is?

Shapes galore! Author Kristin Haas, a third grade teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education, knows how books inspire learning and engage the minds of young readers. The Shape Family Babies will encourage young math students at home or in classrooms to learn about the various kinds of shapes. The “For Creative Minds” section in the back has further information about polygons and quadrilaterals and a “Name that Shape!” exercise. Also, an additional teaching activities guide is available online at the publisher’s website. With Shennen Bersani’s cute illustrations, this is an adorable way to introduce or reinforce the different geometric shapes.
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Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea by Ellen Prager
Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea

Home School Book Review, March 15, 2014

Is there really such a thing as “sea slime”? If so, what is it? And what does it do? Yes, sea slime does actually exist. Another name is “mucus.” It is very slippery, really gooey, and sometimes sticky. Lots of sea creatures, like jellyfish, sea slugs, sea butterflies, violet snails, parrotfish, clownfish, hagfish, moray eels, squid, and corals have it. They use it to go fast, find food, or even avoid being some other creature’s lunch. Did you know that there’s such a thing as a “vampire squid”? If you lived in the ocean, would you make sea slime? How would you use it?

Most kids really like anything having to do with slime. The author, Dr. Ellen Prager, is a well-respected marine scientist who is widely recognized for her expertise and ability to bring science to the layperson. Shennen Bersani’s illustrations will help youngsters to visualize the fascinating and bizarre animals that use slime for catching food, protecting themselves, or moving from place to place in the undersea environment. The “For Creative Minds” pages have a true-false quiz about slimy animals, further information on slime and the sea habitats where it is found, and a recipe to make your own slime. More free teaching activities can be found online at the publisher’s website. Kids will have an eewuy, gooey time reading or listening to Sea Slime.
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Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis
Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue

Home School Book Review, March 14, 2014

What can be done to rescue an orphaned polar bear cub that is all alone in the wild? Kali is a baby polar bear whose mother has just died. Without her, Kali wouldn’t last long by himself out in the cold. So a man on a snowmobile takes the little bear to his village. The villagers put him on a plane and send him to a wildlife vet in North Slope Borough. From there, he goes on another plane ride to the Alaska Zoo. However, the zoo already has two adult polar bears, so it can provide only a temporary place for him. Will Kali ever find a permanent home? And if so, where?

Reading or hearing stories about animals, especially true stories like this one told by author Jennifer Keats Curtis, is fascinating for youngsters, and the full-color photographs by John Gomes make it all that more real. Children will delight to see pictures of Kali as he drinks from a big bottle, plays with balls, and sleeps with his stuffed toy. The educational value of Kali’s Story is enhanced by the four “For Creative Minds” pages in the back of the book with additional information on polar bears and how they are adapted for life in the Arctic, and a teaching activities guide is available at the publisher’s website. Did you know that the polar bear is the largest land carnivore on earth?
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First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale by Nancy Kelly Allen
First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale

Home School Book Review, March 12, 2014

Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? And how did the earth get fire? This Cherokee folktale, retold by Nancy Kelly Allen and nicely illustrated by Sherry Rogers, begins “when the world was new.” The nights painted the earth with frost, the days blew cold winds, and ice daggers dangled from cliffs. Yet, earth had no fire. One day Thunder hurls a lightning bolt which strikes a sycamore tree on an island and creates flames. Several animals see what happens, but how can they get the fire?

The white raven goes first, but its feathers are singed black. Next, the screech owl makes a stab at it, but the fire burns its eyes and turns them red. Several other animals also try, such as the hoot owl, the horned owl, the racer snake, and the tiny spider. All but one fail. Which one succeeds and is able to bring the fire back for the animals? The section “For Creative Minds” in the back of the book contains further information about the Cherokee people, fire (including a true-false quiz), and water spiders, with even more free learning activities online at the publisher’s website. Anyone interested in Native American folklore will especially appreciate First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale.
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