Saturday, January 21, 2012

Actual Size

Actual Size By: Steve Jenkins

Have you ever wondered how your head would size up to that of a brown bear?  Or just how big the biggest giant walking stick is?  This is the book for you! In this book of awesome facts I can only say one thing WOW! This book shows the actual size of some animals, or just parts of some animals bodies!  My students at school have worn my copy out there and my kids at home are doing the same. They love to look at the pictures and have a good time imagining seeing the animal face to face.

I was given this book for my classroom and I also purchased one at a local used book store.
ISBN: 978-0-547-25554-5

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott A Personal Biography BY: Susan Cheever

This is a wonderful biography of the life of Louisa May Alcott. As biographies do it follows her life and times and gives a look into the reasons for her books and how the story of her life made these books come to be. I found it completely interesting to look into her life and see what she went through. The story of the type of person her father was and how interesting her upbringing was.  While I enjoyed the facts and story I would not say that this book was a quick and easy read for me. It is always hard for me to read such detail of other people, as I tend to like stories where skipping a few words here or there does not matter, not so with this book.  But a wonderful way to learn about another person!

I purchased this book at Costco
ISBN: 978-1-4165-6992-3

To Catch a Thief Series

To Catch a Thief Series By: Jill Elizabeth Nelson

This series follows Desiree Jacobs in her attempt to keep the art world safe. Desiree follows in her father's footsteps to protect the artwork in museums and those in the homes of private collectors.  It also follows the life of Agent Tony Lucano of the FBI as he tracks criminals around the world.

In Book One: Reluctant Burglar Desiree finds out about her father's hidden secret when he is killed.  She is forced to team up with Agent Lucano, who she is not to fond of, to find and capture the people responsible and to ultimately clear her father's name. But both Desiree and Tony find that they really do enjoy spending time together.

In Book Two: Reluctant Runaway Desiree and Tony are on the hunt to help find her best friend's niece but she finds herself in a bigger mystery than her or Tony could ever imagine.

In Book Three: Reluctant Smuggler Desiree and Tony are trying to find the time to marry but an unseen threat costs them time as they both fight for their lives and solve the mystery surrounding historical artifacts from Mexico

I really enjoyed this series.  It was a fun mystery series that keep you on your seat. It was also a fun story of two independent people that really have to work hard at letting the other be the person they were made to be.

I borrowed these from the church library.
ISBN: 978-1-59052-686-4, 978-1-59052-687-3, 978-1-59052-688-0

Monday, January 16, 2012

Balloons Over Broadway

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of The Puppeteer of Macy's Parade By: Melissa Sweet

This is the story of Tony Sarg who loved puppets from the time he was little. He started making his own puppets and eventually got a job at Macy's making window displays that crowds loved.  Then Macy's asked him to plan an parade, the first one was with puppets and live zoo animals. Then he thought to make it better so more people could see the parade he would make puppets in the sky. He talked with the people who made blimps and that is where the idea of the large balloons was created. From then on every year Macy's has a huge parade at Thanksgiving all because Tony Sarg was able to create puppets in the air.

I loved this book. I have always loved the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and this book makes it even more special. To read the story of how the parade started and how Tony Sarg came up with the idea for his balloons was fantastic. The artwork is very good too. I would love to read this to kids the day before Thanksgiving and talk about the parade more.  My children loved this book and I plan to share it with my students this week, even if Thanksgiving is over.

I found this at the public library
ISBN: 978-0-547-19945-0

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Morning Gift

The Morning Gift By: Eva Ibbotson

Ruth Berger does not know what to do.   She has been left by her family on accident as they fled Vienna to escape the Nazi party. She was supposed to be grated exit on a student visa but something went wrong.  She is found by Quin Sommerville hiding in her family's apartment and he decides to try to help her escape. The only solution that they can find is to marry so that she becomes a British Citizen, promising to annul the marriage as soon as possible so that she can marry the man she loves, Heini.  But getting an annulment proves harder than they thought and trying to keep their marriage a secret does also.  As she enrolls in school and is placed in his class they cannot help but be attracted to each other.  Quin is also being pursued by another very powerful girl who is making things difficult.  But Ruth is tryig to stay faithful to her long time love Heini, but does she really love him?  Will Ruth and Quin's secret get out? Can they decide to be together or will they go their separate ways?

I liked this book for the good feelings it gave. You can tell from the beginning that the two main characters are meant for each other and you just have to wait for them to realize it. I thought that the storyline was a great one to read. They both denied for almost the entire book that they begin to care for one another.  I think that it also has a hint of the historical aspect, as the characters are plagued by what is happening to the Jewish people, and the feelings of those in Brittan about those who continue to immigrate to get away from the torture.  This is labeled a teen novel and I think it would be a great high school read.

I borrowed this form the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-14-240911-4

The Amaranth Enchantment

The Amaranth Enchantment By: Julie Berry

Lucinda Chapdelaine lost both her parents when she was a young girl. And unfortunately for her she has to live with her Uncle and Aunt. Her aunt does not like her very much and treats her very poorly.  When one day a lady comes into the shop with a rare stone, but when her aunt finds out that it is the Amaranth Witch that left the stone she tells Lucinda to take it back to her. But she does not. Then he uncle dies and she is cast out of the house by her aunt who no longer wishes to care for her. Lucinda has no where to go, she starts walking and finds herself at her childhood home, where the Amaranth Witch now lives.  Lucinda desperately wants to give her back the stone but it had been stolen from her. She finds the boy who took it and they proceed to try to steal it form the person he sold it to, who just happens to be the prince himself. But when she is caught things begin to unravel for her. Will she be able to to get free? Will the prince ever forgive her? What is to happen to the Amaranth Witch?

This was a great fairy tale story. I loved the characters in the book and from the beginning you felt like you were reading the Cinderella story told in a different fashion.  I loved how the story unfolded a little at a time for you.   The characters were well described and lovable too! This would be great for about eighth graders and up and is a edition to any teen fairy tale story.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-59990-449-8


Jackalope  By: Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Jack does not like being an ordinary rabbit. He wants to be scary!  So when the chance comes in the form of his fairy godrabbit he wishes for horns. But the fairy godrabbit warns him that when he tells a lie his horns will grow. He does not believe her and sets off on his day. Whenever he tells a lie his horns grow larger. When coyote finds him and begins to chase him he gets stuck in the ground by his now long horns. But his fairy godrabbit comes to the rescue and with one last trick they trick the coyote away.  After that they decide to live together always!!

I love this story. It has funny images and makes me and the kids I read it to laugh. I also like how the fairy godrabbit talks using vegetable names as part of her sentences.  They trick at the end of the book also makes this book a fun one, I am not going to give that away. I read it to my fourth and fifth graders and they actually listened and I heard a few laughs in the room too!! Great animal fairy tale book!!

I borrowed this from the school library.
ISBN: 0-15-216736-6

Friday, January 6, 2012

PIcture Perfect A Sick Day for Amos McGee

A Sick Day for Amos McGee B: Philip C. Stead Illustrated By: Erin E. Stead

Amos McGee is a loved zoo keeper who works hard at the zoo but makes sure to take time to visit his special friends each day.  He plays chess with the elephant, wipes the nose of the rhino that has allergies, and reads with the owl afraid of the dark, among other things.  He is really a nice guy!  He is sick one day and the animals wait patiently for him to come, when he does not come they decide to go find him.  They take a bus to his house and take care of him instead.

This is one of the most wonderful stories I have read. I love the friendship that is shown with the zoo keeper and the animals. I love the subtle humor in the book, and the illustrations are really nice too! I read this to my fourth and fifth graders today and they liked it a a lot. My own children who are second grade, kindergarten, and two love it too!!

This is actually not by book, my Mom was given this book as a gift and she is sharing it with me.
ISBN: 978-1-59643-402-8

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Tall Tales With Mr. K

Tall Tales with Mr. K By: Kathy Sattem Rygg

This is the story of Mr. K. who is a third grade teacher at Coyote Run Elementary School, the students are nervous about having him because they have heard that he does things very differently.  The students are surprised to walk in and find that they have real apple trees in their classroom and that they will be sitting at picnic tables instead of desks. The best part about Mr. K is that each student gets to take a trip with him to a special place to learn something just for them. For example, one student gets to go on a hunt for pirate treasure, which helps him learn that he is good at decoding, so he is a better reader. Another student, Karly, gets to try her hand at trapeze, and then she decides that she can do the monkey bars.

I enjoyed this book for the message Mr. K told each of his students. He made them feel like individuals that were good at different things that they felt they were struggling with. I think that the lessons the students learn in this book would help students in classrooms realize the same thing.  I don't think that the writing in the book was spectacular and drew me in but I really liked the book anyway.  I think it would be  a fun book to read to any classroom as a read aloud for kids to hear the messages and then maybe have the kids find something they are not good at and think of what type of field trip would make them feel better about their struggle.

I purchased this book from, mainly because there is a teacher at my school named Mr. K, and I bought him one too. :)

ISBN: 9781466254635