BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Rinda Beach

 

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Title: Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream
Author: Rinda Beach
Illustrator: Cole Roberts
Publisher: Beach Girl Press
Ages: 8-12

Synopsis:

 

Most people know that Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, but very few know how it all started . . . with a dream to build his own wind tunnel.

Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races at age two to the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel at age sixteen. Discover how Neil made his wind tunnel dream come true.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I remember Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. I remember the awe I felt watching him march into history with each step he took on the moon’s surface. But what I didn’t know is what drove this man to venture into the unknown.

Until now.

Rinda Beach’s debut chapter book, Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream, gives her readers a chance to go back in time following the Wright Brothers history making flight, and one young boy’s dream to replicate their wind tunnel experiment.

Engaging and entertaining, Rinda’s story takes us on a journey from two year old Neil’s first glimpse of a flying machine, all the way to a high school senior’s quest to build his own wind tunnel, and all the challenges in between to make that dream happen.

A nice addition to any home or school library.

Like-O-Meter Rating:  4 out of 5…think about it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it! 
4 out of 5…think about it. 
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Ann Abramson

 

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Title: Who Was Anne Frank?
Author: Ann Abramson
Illustrator: Nancy Harrison
Publisher: The Penguin Group
Ages: 8-12

 

Synopsis:

 

Who was Anne Frank?
A high-spirited child always playing pranks?
A young Jewish girl forced into hiding for two years?
The author of one of the best-loved books in the world?
All of the above!
Here is an illustrated biography about Anne Frank and her world.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Anyone studying the history surrounding World War II will have probably heard of Anne Frank. I, myself, have read many different versions of the now famous story of one girl’s plight during one of the world’s most violent eras.

While I thought I was very familiar with Anne’s story, I was quite surprised to discover there were quite a few things I didn’t know about her earlier life before the Nazis invaded her adopted home of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Illustrator Nancy Harrison creates vivid artwork to compliment Ann Abramson’s touching retelling of the everyday struggle in war torn Europe during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Ms. Abramson helps her readers identify with one’s girl’s simple wish of one day becoming a writer and hoping her words might one day inspire the world around her.

Too bad Anne Frank never lived to see how her diary touched so many lives since those horrific days of World War II, but at least we have books like Who Was Ann Frank? to help us to never forget one girl’s dream of a better tomorrow.

A great addition to any home library!
Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**

5 out of 5…grab it! nook
4 out of 5…think about it.
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!

 

 

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Aaron Reynolds

 

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Title: Nerdy Birdy
Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrator: Matt Davies
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Nerdy Birdy likes reading, video games, and reading about video games, which immediately disqualifies him for membership in the cool crowd.

One thing is clear: being a nerdy birdy is a lonely lifestyle.

When he’s at his lowest point, Nerdy Birdy meets a flock just like him. He has friends and discovers that there are far more nerdy birdies than cool birdies in the sky.

 

Why you should read it:

 

Who doesn’t love a book with a title like NERDY BIRDY? Even the illustration of the cute little guy with the big glasses on the cover makes me want to learn more about this nerdy bird.

Children’s author, Aaron Reynolds, shines the light on a very common place problem. What does it take to fit in with the cool kids and what does it take to stand on one’s own? Cute illustrations and a simple, but effective story line helps young readers understand the difference between cliques and true friendships. Sometimes the “cool” birds don’t make the best friends, and sometimes the “nerdy” birds have the most fun! A great addition to any home library.

Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Adam Stower

 

Troll

 

Title: Troll & the Oliver
Author/Illustrator: Adam Stower
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Every day when Oliver goes out, Troll tries to eat him. But catching Oliver is very tricky—he’s fast, sneaky, and just too clever! It is only when it looks like Troll has given up and Oliver celebrates victory that—CHOMP!—he gets eaten, and it turns out that Olivers don’t taste very nice after all.

 

Why you should read it:

 

It was the clever book design that first caught my eye. With a partial peekaboo cut-away cover, I was immediately drawn into wanting to find out who this cute little kid was and why a Troll seemed to be after him. The whimsically silly story reminded me somewhat of the old Road Runner cartoons where poor Wile E Coyote endeavors to catch a pesky road runner for a midday meal. Kids will also like the surprise ending after Troll discovers an Oliver might not be as tasty as he once thought! Author/illustrator Adam Stower’s lovely illustrations will delight young readers. A great addition to any home library.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEW: Kevin Henkes

 

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Title: Waiting
Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisherr: Green Willow Books
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Look at the owl
and the pig
and the bear
and the puppy
and the rabbit
What do you think they’re waiting for?
A visitor?
A surprise?

 

Why you should read it:

 

I‘m drawn to picture books with simply drawn illustrations showcasing a deeply thought out story line. This masterfully written story by author/illustrator Kevin Henkes reminds me of THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein; one of my favorite picture books of all time.

I can’t help but be drawn to the facial expressions of everyone waiting on the window sill for different things. I was even touched by the artwork when I read, “Once a visitor arrived from far away. He stayed for awhile, then he left and never returned.”

This beautiful book helps teach patience to those of us destined to have to wait. And for young and old alike, THIS lovely book was definitely worth the wait!

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

TALES FROM THE BAYOU: On A Book Bender

 

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Summer always reminds me of the public library in my hometown…

Summer meant freedom from tests and scholarly expectations.

Summer meant a chance to occasionally escape from my mother’s watchful eye and head over to the public library a few blocks from my childhood home. My sister and I would make a morning of it. Grabbing our bikes and heading out in the bright bayou sunlight. We both were voracious readers and every summer we were some of the first kids on our block to sign up for the summer reading program.

I learned to read when I was about four years old. Once the librarian realized I was very comfortable making my way around the written word, she no longer restricted me to “baby books”, and gave me free rein to explore the entire library. Every summer from age five until I left home at seventeen, my goal was to read at least one hundred books before I went back to school.

You read right.

ONE HUNDRED BOOKS.

Even at age five, I had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and read everything I could get my hands on.

Picture books

Chapter books.

Non-fiction books, although back then the children’s section didn’t have the wonderful diversity kids can find nowadays.

And, yes, even encyclopedias. I read them all because I even enjoyed researching random topics that crossed my young mind.

I would stuff as many of my book treasures into my bike’s basket as I could and race home to sneak into my bedroom to start on those imaginative journeys before my mother would drag me outside to work in the garden, or trim the hedges, or cut the grass, or any number of endless jobs she came up with to occupy my summer daylight hours.

I read about Black Beauty and Huckleberry Finn…about Horton and the Whos or the Lorax or even what happened on Mulberry Street. The first summer I was allowed a library card, I literally read every available book for my age and then some. The librarian started picking out different books I might like and I thought that building was the most magical place on earth (Sorry Disney!).

These days I still read hundreds of children’s books each year. Especially during the summer when I work with 40-50 children ages 4-12 years old each day at my Taekwondo school during our summer camp. Many of these children are either struggling readers, come from families where parents don’t enjoy reading so they never fostered a love of reading in their own children, or simply too young to even grasp the art of reading yet. 

So we read together. 

Usually over two hundred books a summer.

TWO HUNDRED BOOKS.

My younger goal driven ME would be so proud of today’s ME…

 

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donna

International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Peter Carnavas

 

jessica

 

Title: Jessica’s Box
Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Publisher: Kane Miller
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

The first day of school can be scary. New teachers. New routines. Jessica wonders if she will meet any new friends and brings a mysterious box to school just to make sure she does. Everyone begins to wonder just what’s inside?

 

Why you should read it:

 

This delightful picture book comes from down under, but every child around the world can deal with the same first-day jitters.

I like how Jessica is encouraged by her family to solve her problem on her own. Author/Illustrator Peter Carnavas’ wonderful drawings take the reader on a journey through Jessica’s school adventure as she tries and tries to make some new friends. It’s only when she believes she’s destined to be alone that a special friendship comes along.

The fact Jessica has a disability will help children realize everyone needs a friend, no matter their situation. This author hides a valuable lesson inside an adorable story. A good addition to any home library.

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!