Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Animal Mouths by Mary Holland

Ages 4-8, Grades K-3
Hardcover $17.95
Paperback $9.95
About the book: What are some things we can learn about animals from the shape of their mouths, beaks, or bills? What can we infer about animals with sharp teeth compared to large, flat teeth? Are there any animals that don’t have mouths? In this second book of her “Animal Anatomy and Adaptation” series, award-winning nature photographer and environmental educator Mary Holland shares fascinating animal mouths with readers of all ages.

My thoughts: This is a lovely book that is packed with beautiful, engaging photographs of a variety of animals, insects, and creatures showcasing how their mouths are designed and work for the way each critter uses the mouth to eat, catch prey, and simply exist. Whether for capturing, crushing, spearing, chewing, tearing, or cutting the animals, plants, opponents each mouth is specifically and wonderfully designed for what that animal needs.

Children will love the pictures. Teachers in regular schools or in homeschools will love the educational text written so these young learners can enjoy and become engaged as they learn about Animal Mouths. The additional information is very good providing opportunities for further exploration of how mouths work and opportunities to stretch the minds a little.

Animals in the book:   caterpillar, chipmunk, evening grosbeak, frog, great egret, human, luna moth, monarch, opossum, porcupine, red-shouldered hawk, robber fly, snake, turtle, weasel

Arbordale again brings engaging learning to the child in a way that each child will enjoy learning their "science" lessons. In the back of the book is the "For Creative Mindssection. Here is a link so you can see how super it is. There is also a wealth of information on the book's webpage to aid in learning.

Author/illustrator Mary Holland is a naturalist, nature photographer, columnist, and award-winning author with a life-long passion for natural history. After graduating from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources, Mary worked as a naturalist at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York state, directed the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, worked as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and designed and presented her own “Knee-High Nature Programs” for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. In addition to Animal Eyes her children’s books include A Beaver’s Busy Year and Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books, Moonbeam Bronze award) with Arbordale and Milkweed Visitors, (Science Books and Films’ list for the best books of 2006 in the category Children’s Books under Zoological Sciences). Mary’s book Naturally Curious: a Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award for the Nature Guidebook category. Visit Mary’s blog at naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Arbordale Publishing to facilitate this review. No compensation was received and these are my personal opinions.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Say & Pray Bible: First Words, Stories, and Prayers by Diane Stortz; Illustrated by Sarah Ward

About the book: Say and pray the Bible with your little Ones!  Curl up together and experience the Bible in a fresh, new way.  Young children will enjoy pointing to and naming objects on each page for early learning.  Most important, they’ll discover favorite, age-appropriate Bible stories, with Scripture verses and short prayers that also hide God’s Word in young hearts.

Review:   “Say & Pray”  is a very cute beginner’s Bible for toddlers.  It has a total of 20 stories in the book:  10 from the Old Testament and 10 from the New Testament.  All of the stories should be familiar to anyone who has spent much time in Sunday School or youth group – Creation, Noah & the Ark, Joseph & his coat of many colors are just a few from the Old Testament.  Some from the New Testament are the Birth of Jesus, the Good Samaritan, and Jesus’ Resurrection.

The illustrations are nice and child-like.  I like the “word balloons” with single words describing animals, objects, & people.  This point-and-say method is very easy for a toddler to grasp.  The actual construction of the book is quite nice as well.  The pages are thick cardboard and easy to turn.

“Say & Pray Bible” would make a nice gift for new parents and great introduction to Bible for toddlers. (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the BookLook Blogger Review Program on behalf of the publisher, Thomas Nelson. Opinions are those of the reviewer and no compensation was received for this review.

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli; Illustrated by Archie Preston

About the book:  “Thankful” – Like the gardener, thankful for every green sprout, and the fireman for putting the fire out.  There are everyday blessings , you don’t need to look far, to know at a glance how special you are.  Beloved children’s author Eileen Spinelli and illustrator Archie Preston inspire children of all ages with “Thankful” a whimsical picture book that celebrates the everyday blessings we find in our lives.
Review:  I really like this book.  It is described as whimsical and that is exactly right. The whole book is written like a rhyme, which I find very enjoyable when reading to children.  As I was reading it, my granddaughter immediately came to mind and how she “pretends play.”  Just as a child’s imagination jumps from here to there, this book encourages that same imagination – From a waitress being thankful “for comfortable shoes” to a “local reporter for interesting news;”  then to “the chef is thankful for plates licked clean; the tailor, for her sewing machine.”   Even though this book can and does encourage imagination, it does an even better job of helping us teach our children to be thankful!  Being thankful is absolutely something that has to be taught and must begin at the earliest age possible. 

The illustrations of this book are beautiful.  I like the simplicity and the water color effect on all the pages.  The illustrator has chosen to center the author’s wonderful words around a family – father, mother, brother, and sister.   This is great because, again, teaching someone to be thankful begins at home!

“Thankful” is a wonderful book to have in your children’s library and one that you easily can read daily to your children!  I will be adding this to my collection!! (rev. P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the BookLook Blogger Review Program on behalf of Zondervan to facilitate this review. Opinions as those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.