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Achoo! Bang! Crash!: The Noisy Alphabet

Achoo! Bang! Crash!: The Noisy Alphabet by Ross MacDonald. Neal Porter Books, 2003. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (Ages 4-8) This riotous book is full of noisy words! Onomatopoeia comprises the entire text, making this a perfect read-aloud (and read with) choice for kindergarten and early elementary students. MacDonald’s illustrations […]

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Count on the Subway

Count On the Subway by Paul Dobois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Knopf, 2014. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 0-4 Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) Bright, colorful illustrations help young listeners count with a little girl and her mom as they walk to the subway, board the train, ride to […]

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What in the World?: Fun-Tastic Puzzles for Curious Minds

What in the World?: Fun-Tastic Puzzles for Curious Minds by Julie Vosburgh Agnone. National Geographic Society, 2014. 48 pages. Reading Level: Picture Books, 4-8 Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) Reminiscent of I Spy books, What in the World? is exactly what its subtitle says it is: fun puzzles for curious minds. Patterns from the natural world, […]

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This Plus That by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace. Harper, 2011. 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Book, Ages 4-8 Maturity Level: same Rosenthal has a knack for creating a twist on an educational subject and applying it to real life. In this deceptively simple book, various elements of life are […]

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One Smart Cookie by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jane Dyer and Brooke Dyer. Harper, 2010. 32 pgs. Reading Level: Picture Book Maturity Level: 2 (ages 4-8) Similar to Rosenthal’s other “Cookies” books, One Smart Cookie defines character traits using the metaphor of making/eating/enjoying cookies and concludes with a […]

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Flight School

Flight School by Lita Judge. Atheneum, 2014, 32 pages. Reading Level: picture book Maturity Level: all An ambitious penguin arrives at flight school with visions of success. Teacher and Flamingo stifle their doubts and patiently include him until the truth can no longer be denied: “I’m sorry, birdie,” said Teacher. “Penguins just aren’t built to fly.” […]

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Hickory Dickory Dog by Alison Murray

Hickory Dickory Dog by Alison Murray. Candlewick, 2014 (first published in U.K. in 2012), 32 pages. Reading Level: Beginning, Picture Book Maturity Level: All Murray applies her signature style in this bold, colorful picture book. Using the familiar nursery rhyme, “Hickory Dickory Dock,” Murray tells the story of a young boy and his dog throughout the […]

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For the Birds

NOTE: Today we begin experimenting with new formats for our book reviews, in anticipation of some big changes ahead–and we need your feedback!  Please scroll down below the review for more. National Wildlife Federation World of Birds: a Beginners Guide, by Kim Kirki. Black Dog & Levanthal, 2014, 80 pages including glossary and index. Reading […]

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For the Birds II

Feathers: Not Just for Flying, by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. Charlesbridge, 2014, 32 pages. Reading Level: Picture Book, Ages 4-8 Maturity Level: All “Birds and feathers go together, like trees and leaves, like stars and sky. All birds have feathers, but no other animals do.” And did you know . . . […]

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Beach Books! (Librarians’ List)

Of course a professional book reviewer and librarian takes books with her to the beach–for herself AND her family. In case you’re of like mind, here are some beach-related books and Dewey numbers to check out before you head to the coast this summer. Kids enjoy both fiction and nonfiction, so this list is a […]

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Shakespeare: life, theater and historical context

Here are some resources that weave together the life of the bard with the world he lived in, how the plays were produced, and what became of his second-best bed after he died. All of these resources cover pretty much the same material, the primary difference being the age of the intended audience. I have […]

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