Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Picks by Carol C.

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard  by Annette LeBlanc Cate

Cover image for Look up! : bird-watching in your own backyardSeveral years ago, the author thought it would be nice to keep a nature sketchbook.  She would sit outside drawing trees, rocks and flowers…and couldn’t help but notice lots of birds…some she knew, and others she did not recognize.  Had they been there all along and she just wasn’t paying attention?  YES!  She couldn’t stop watching and got hooked!

She suggests keeping a sketchbook with you, writing things down and drawing pictures.  And that’s what this book contains…tips to help you head out and start observing these beautiful, amazing creatures.  Colors, shapes, size, sounds, …observe it all!

Great illustrations, facts, cartoons and word bubbles…it’s a lot of fun!

Book reviewed by Carol C.., Elementary School Liaison

Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World by Steve Jenkins

Cover image for Eye to eye : how animals see the worldSteve Jenkins has quite a few amazing nonfiction animal books and this one doesn’t disappoint!  In Eye to Eye, you can learn how different animals have various types of eyes depending on their environment.  For example, did you know that a halibut (fish) is born with an eye on each side of his head, but as he gets older, one eye migrates and eventually they end up on the same side of his head?  He has 2 eyes on one side of his head!  This ends up being very helpful since an adult halibut spends most of its life lying on the bottom of the ocean.  With both eyes on one side of his head he is able to see away from the ocean floor.  How cool is that?

20 animal eyes are featured with great pictures, animal facts and a glossary.

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

How to Build a Tornado in a Bottle by Lori Shores

Cover image for How to build a tornado in a bottleCalling all scientists!  Do you like to build things and learn how they work?  This series is for you!  The Hands-On Science Fun series includes titles about making slime, fizzy rockets, mystery smell balloons and….TORNADOs in a bottle!

In How to Build a Tornado in a Bottle by Lori Shores, 1st and 2nd graders are given clear directions on how to create their own tornado using little more than plastic bottles, tape and colored water.  You will also learn how a real tornado happens!  Great pictures and simple directions make this a fun book and an enjoyable series.

Book reviewed by Carol C.., Elementary School Liaison

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Cover image for Rain reignIn Ann M. Martin’s newest novel entitled Rain Reign, we meet 5th grader Rose Howard who is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. This beautiful novel is told through her voice.  Rose is obsessed with homonyms (which are words that sound alike but are spelled differently; like the title of this book Rain Reign).

No one seems to understand her…not her teachers, the kids at school, or even her own father!  They don’t get her obsession with homonyms, prime numbers, and following rules.  This makes school and home quite a struggle.

When her town is hit by a super storm, Rose’s world is turned upside down.  The power is out, schools are closed, her already stressed father loses his job, and the search for her missing dog, Rain, pushes her way out of her comfort zone.

From sadness to joy, this book takes you on a rewarding adventure filled with emotion and allows the reader to see things from the very different viewpoint of someone on the Autism spectrum.

I recommend this book for 4th-6th graders who enjoy a heartfelt read.

Book reviewed by Carol C.., Elementary School Liaison