Children’s Nonfiction

The Way Downtown by Inna Gertsberg

cover114613-mediumThe Way Downtown by Inna Gertsberg is a wonderful book that teaches about public transport in the city. The book covers details about several aspects of public transportation; such as, tickets, trams, trolleybuses, modern light transportation trains. The illustrations are wonderful. They are simple but interesting through the transportation and maps.

Throughout the book the reader “meets” a few families as they take public transportation. A couple of the families are; the Zanies are street performers who take public transportation where they perform on the didgeridoo and juggle and Dr. Brody takes a ferry to go to work each day. The maps, explanations of the sights and sounds are useful to kids. The book even gives advice on what to do if someone gets lost. The pictures are both helpful and hilarious.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and Kids Can Press in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, Canada, Canadian, children, Children's Nonfiction, downtown, kids, Kids Can Press, NetGalley, picture books, public transportation, transportation, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shelter by Céline Claire

cover114627-mediumThe Shelter by Céline Claire is a beautiful and wonderful story that teaches about goodness. A big storm is brewing and all the animals are headed inside for safety. But two lone bears are out and about. They knock door to door looking for shelter from the storm. They offer their tea in exchange, but no one opens their doors. Once snow starts to fall the bears make their own shelter, and are able to be the help someone else needs when the time arrives.

The reader is introduced to a small group of animals who are preparing for a storm. Two polar bear brother are stuck in the storm. They try to find shelter from other animals but as they go door to door no one lets them in. While the fox den turns the bears away because of size, the foxes helped the bears with a small gift. Eventually the bears find their own shelter and when the fox family finds themselves in the cold when their den collapses the bears invite the foxes in to their shelter.

The story has a great message of goodness and helping other when possible. The pictures are done by watercolor illustrations, which shows the mood and atmosphere of the story.  It brings the beauty of the forest, it’s inhabitants, their hidden houses and families to the reader. A true story of friendship, caring, compassion, sharing and love.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and Kids Can Press in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: animals, book review, children, Children's Nonfiction, family, french, friendships, kids, Kids Can Press, NetGalley, picture books, Watercolor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Worship God by Nancy Streza

cover114393-mediumWe Worship God by Nancy Streza is a beautiful book for preschool and elementary school aged children. The illustrations are wonderful and really add to the message.  This is a very nice approach to the ABC’s. It is rooted in the Bible and in the qualities that Jesus portrays. Each page covers a letter to the alphabet. This story not only teaches the alphabet but also about Jesus.

I received this ARC from NetGalley and Xist Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Alphabet, book review, books, children, Children's Nonfiction, Christian, NetGalley, nonfiction, picture books, religion, spiritual | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio

cover87601-mediumFight to Learn by Laura Scandiffio brings interest and excitement to going to school. While most people have heard of Malala, they may not have heard of all of the great people in Scandiffio’s book: people helping to change education for poverty-stricken Indians and Roma, Pakistanis denied an education because of their gender, children ripped away from schools becoming soldiers, and separate, but not equal, schools on First Nation land.

Liked that the book was divided into different challenges children face rather than by geography. It even included an example in the U.S. I also liked that the book highlighted the people, many of whom are children, who are finding solutions to this issue.

A fantastic resource for older students.

I received an ARC copy from Annick Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: Annick Press, book review, books, Children's Nonfiction, Middle grade, multi-cultural, Multicultural Interest, NetGalley, nonfiction, Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trail Blazers by Lisa Graves

22181133Trail Blazers: An Illustrated Guide to the Women Who Explored the World by Lisa Graves is a picture book full of famous women explorers. I found it interesting and educational. There’s not a great amount of information, but what’s here is enough to give a sense of these women’s accomplishments, as well as their determination, in just enough detail to whet the reader’s curiosity.

Graves introduces readers to thirteen women who were influential explorers. Each woman gets one spread with a column about their life and most famous accomplishments. Further textboxes on the spread highlight major accomplishments, places travelled, etc. Some of these women are well known names, like Nellie Bly, Amelia Earhart, and Sacagewa, others are not so well known like Ida Laura Pfeiffer, Harriet Chalmers Adams, and Gertrude Bell. They explored any time between the mid 1700s to mid 1900s, used different methods of transportation, explored different areas of the world, but all were intrepid adventurers and left their marks in society, literature, science, archeology, geography, and more.

I received an ARC from Xist Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: Adventure, book review, books, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, Middle grade, NetGalley, nonfiction, picture books, travel, women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World

32080177Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World shares biographies of six female scientists, whose discoveries have had an immeasurable impact on the world, but due to their gender, have been forgotten by history.  This book includes biographies about Shark expert Eugenie Clark, Medical researcher Gertrude Elion and NASA ‘computer’ Katherine Coleman Johnson. This is an important book that needed to be written and read. It tells the story of six little known women pioneers in science. It’s important that their stories are told and that girls are actively encouraged to pursue STEM careers.

Each mini-biography is written with an interesting introductory scene of their most important achievement then gives a brief explanation of their lives. This is a longer read, but the women and fields of study are captivating. It’s incredible to think of how many women were able to move into scientific fields only because of WWII and the “Rosy the Riveter” era of letting women into the work force. I almost wish that this book would have focused in a little bit more on some of that background history. Also, the vocabulary is rather elevated with very few context clues or explanations, so if a younger student was reading this, they would need a lot of help.

I received this ARC copy from Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC and Holiday House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, biographical, biography, book review, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, history, Middle grade, NetGalley, nonfiction, Science, STEM, women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sing Freedom! by Vanita Oelschlager

25186289Sing Freedom! by Vanita Oelschlager is an inspiring a non-fiction story about Estonia, a small country near Russia, and its journey to regain independence after years of communist invasion. The book contained a great amount of historical information as well as geographical information. Invaded by USSR and Germany during WW2, communism later led to the demise of Estonia’s flag, songs and customs. This is the story of how the people of Estonia revolted in song instead of violent actions

The story tells how Estonia, a small European country, won its freedom from the former Soviet Union by showing that the spirit of a people is stronger than tanks and bullets. They showed their spirit by singing together in song. It is a tastefully written and illustrated book for children about the unique singing revolution vs. a violent revolution that could have resulted in bloodshed. The illustrations are well done and easily communicate the mood with the colors and human expressions. A great book to use to discuss revolution and how to change something peacefully.

I received this ARC copy from Vanita Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: ARC, biographical, book review, books, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, diversity, estonia, Europe, European, freedom, NetGalley, singing, Soviet Union, USSR, Vanita Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Different It Was: Canadians at the Time of Confederation

31252292How Different It Was: Canadians at the Time of Confederation is a wonderful book that focuses on the who, the why, and the how as it pertains to the Confederation in Canadian history. The book gives the reader a glimpse into Canadian confederation life.

How Different It Was focuses on how people lived, interacted, their interests, how they entertained, how they treated one another, and how animals were treated. The author does an excellent job of outlining an overview of the many peoples who came to Canada to settle, and demonstrates how it’s distinctively rural life differed both from British and American models over the years. The author focuses on troubling aspects of Canadian history such as treatment of First Nation peoples, and how long it took to begin to redress the mistreatment.

I received an ARC copy from Dundurn and A J. Patrick Boyer Book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: A J. Patrick Boyer Book, ARC, book review, books, Canada, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, culture, Dundurn, education, history, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Different Pond by Bao Phi

34137106A Different Pond by Bao Phi is a children’s book about a family who came to America (Minnesota) from Vietnam as refugees. The story is mainly about Bao and his father’s trip to the pond to fetch dinner. During the trip, Bao learns about why his mom and dad have to work so hard for a living as everything has an expense. It’s a simple read for young children and the illustrations keep their interest. The book has a graphic novel feel to it and has an artsy appearance.

A young boy wakes early in the morning, on a weekend day, to join his father for a couple of hours for fishing in a pond nearby. The time spent together is an opportunity to share life stories, especially from the ‘old country’, but also short remarks about life.

Both the writer and the illustrator were born in Vietnam and arrived in the USA following the civil war, and one can seize the nostalgy after a world they don’t necessarily know but was created through adults stories and memories. In a couple of words, and powerful simple images, a story about longing, hard life and first generation of immigrants was created, which can help us, the readers, regardless our age, to better understand the feeling of displacement and the need to stay connected with your roots, especially in a dramatically new environment. Children and adults need to nurture the memories of home and it is the power of story to invoke emotions and remember the past.

One of the major themes of the story is his father’s hard-working nature, something we’re introduced to at the very beginning, when the young boy tells us his dad has been up for hours preparing their food and packing the car. Only a few pages later we learn they’re leaving so early because his father has taken a second job.

I received this ARC from Capstone and Capstone Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Categories: book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, culture, multi-cultural, Multicultural Interest, NetGalley | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yes, Let’s by Galen Goodwin Longstreth

16000413Yes, Let’s by Galen Goodwin Longstreth is a story about a family day in the woods, from sun-up to sun-down. The rhyming text takes the reader through waking up, packing gear, riding there, hiking, playing, swimming, eating, and eventually sleepily returning home. Every sentence begins with “Let’s,” inviting the reader to join in the fun. The understated verse conjures up visual images.  The illustrator shows a family that mostly enjoys each other, at least most of the time. There is lot’s of humor in the illustrations, as well as details hinting at the personalities of each family member.

I received this ARC from Tanglewood Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Categories: ARC, book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, children's poetry, family, Galen Goodwin Longstreth, NetGalley, Tanglewood | Leave a comment

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