Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Early Book Review: A Quiet Girl by Peter Carnavas

A Quiet Girl by Peter Carnavas is a picturebook currently scheduled for release on August 4 2020. Mary was a quiet girl. She thought quiet thoughts, stepped quiet steps, and whispered quiet words. Mary knows how to savor the small things. Wonder is everywhere: in the rustle of leaves, in the sigh of a sleeping dog, in the wingbeats of the birds who visit her upcycled feeders. But Mary’s family couldn’t be more different. Amidst the sound of blow-dryers, blenders, lawnmowers, and her brother’s trombone, Mary goes almost unnoticed. It isn’t until her family starts searching the neighborhood for her that they begin to see the world through her eyes. From critically acclaimed author-illustrator Peter Carnavas comes a gentle breeze of a picture book with themes of mindfulness, observation, and being present in the natural world. A Quiet Girl invites young readers (and the noisy adults in their lives) to appreciate the thousand little pleasures that surround us—if only we would notice them.

A Quiet Girl is a picturebook that really resonated with me. I loved that the artwork was pastel and simple, not bright and shouting, so that it matched the personality of Mary. She is quiet, and because of that often feels invisible and overlooked. However, her quiet nature also lets her hear and notice things that her family might be missing out on. I like that she is not as absent from the thoughts of her family as she thinks she is, and that taking the time to listen and look for her allows her family to notice the things she wanted to share with them. I think this book is a great family read, especially for those with a quiet family member or friend. I related to Mary a great deal, having preferred a book or sitting under a tree to louder pastimes (both as a child and an adult). I think the book can help readers understand the wonders that they might be missing, and to understand how other people might feel in a world that seems to be loud and in a hurry as a default.

Early Book Review: Builders by Reina Ollivier, Karel Claes, Steffie Padmos

Builders, written by Reina Ollivier and Karel Claes and illustrated by Steffie Padmos, is currently scheduled for release on August 11 2020. Just like people, animals need a place to live. The nine animals in this book are very talented builders and make their own homes. Readers can learn about the amazing beaver, cross spider, sociable weaver, termite, stork, meerkat, honeybee, Japanese puffer fish, and mole.
Builders is a well written book that clearly explains the basic information these nine animals and their homes. It does not go into great depth of detail, but gives enough information to give readers a good understanding of the animals. I really enjoyed the illustrations. I thought they were done with great skill, and offered details and visual interest to the read. This book offers readers exactly what it promises and just might trigger greater interest and curiosity in readers, inspiring them to research and read further on their own. 

Early Book Review: Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator by Emma Bland Smith


Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator, 
written by Emma Bland Smith and illustrated by Jennifer M. Potter,  is currently scheduled for release on August 4 2020. Claude is a celebrity alligator and the mascot for San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences. His story started almost 25 years ago in Louisiana, where he hatched out of his egg to discover he looked different from the other hatchlings. They were green and Claude was white. The other hatchlings avoided him, and his color made him vulnerable to predators. So Claude went to a special zoo that cared for alligators where he lived in a pen by himself. Now he was safe--but alone. One day, scientists at the California Academy of Sciences heard about him and asked the zoo if he could come and live in the Academy's swamp. He made a 2,800 mile journey to his new home, where he had a surprise--he would share his swamp with Bonnie, an alligator who the scientists hoped would be a friend for Claude. Unfortunately, Bonnie didn't like Claude's differences either, so she was moved to another home. But then Claude was alone again--or was he? With Bonnie gone, Claude began to interact with the five enormous snapping turtles who shared his swamp. The turtles didn't mind at all that Claude was different! And neither do the millions of people who visit him every year. They know that Claude's differences are exactly what makes him special. 
Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator is more than a story about a cool albino alligator finding a happy home and being safe and cared for. I like that it does teach the facts about Claude's life, but it also shines a light on how animals (and people) tend to treat the different. While some enjoyed the spectacle and like to stare, others took the time to make sure he was safe and happy. I was glad that Claude and his turtle friends are happy together, and that he can play a part in education and research. I was very happy to see that the book includes back matter with answers to frequently asked questions about the famous alligator, including information about albinism in animals.

Claude: The True Story of a White Alligator is a well written story that might inspire kindness to animals, and people, regardless of possible differences.

Early Book Review: A Thousand No's by DJ Corchin

A Thousand No's by DJ Corchin is a picturebook that is currently scheduled for release on August 4 2020. There was a little girl who had a great idea. She had the most amazing, superb, best idea ever! NO? Wait, what do you mean NO? NO again? What is she supposed to do with all these NO's? NO after NO after NO come the little girl's way, twisting and squishing her idea. But by persevering, collaborating and using a little imagination, all those NO's become the building blocks for the biggest YES ever! A Thousand NO's is a story about perseverance and innovation. It shows what amazing things can happen if we work with others and don't give up, and teaches kids not to let expectations of how things should be get in the way of what could be.
A Thousand No's is a picturebook that shows that ideas can grow and change, sometimes for the better. A few no's help the young girl stretch and change her idea, but collaborating with others and allowing those changes made her idea bigger and better. I like that the story showed that the process of an idea changing, and allowing others in to help, can be hard. However, being willing to share, willing to adapt, makes for wonderful things. The illustrations are mostly black and white, with wonderful details and powerful uses of color. I enjoyed the read and think that it is enjoyable as a read to share, and as one to start discussions about ideas, hearing no, and collaboration. 

Early Book Review: Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers by Mathew New

Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers by Mathew New is a children's graphic novel that is currently scheduled for release on August 1 2020. Billy Johnson, the son of two world-famous explorers (who mysteriously disappeared eight years ago) has big dreams. The teenager may be a part-time janitor now, but exploring is in his blood. He just needs one big discovery to prove to the Explorers League that he’s worthy of the rank of Ace Explorer. Luckily, Billy has an ally in his best friend, Barrace. Not only is Barrace a college professor of linguistics, but he’s also a duck! Together, these boon companions brave hidden jungle kingdoms, haunted tombs, deadly deserts, and treacherous mythological trials to uncover the mysteries of the world. But will they discover that the biggest mystery of all may be following them every step of the way?

Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers is a fun and accessible for some of the youngest graphic novel readers. I felt like the story was fast and fun, with some neat twists and moments but that it never got too intense or deep. The colors and artwork were bold and bright with a good sense of movement to help keep everything moving forward. The art did seem a little childish to me, but considering the target audience I do not think it will be an issue for most. The action and conversations came in small, digestible pieces. Enough to keep young readers interested and engaged without being too much all at once and allowing for breaks if needed. I think the book was exactly what it was intended to be, a fun and fast moving graphic novel for young readers, but I rather felt that it could have done that and still been even more. While it sometimes seems like it wants the Adventure Time crowd, and sometimes the motion of the art feels like it, it does not match the smooth and more in depth humor that fans of that will want. It is fun, and it can entertain, but I do not think it reached its full potential.

Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers is a cute graphic novel that is vaguely reminiscent of Adventure Time the will appeal to young readers.

Book Review: Fossils for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Dinosaur Bones, Ancient Animals, and Prehistoric Life on Earth by Ashley Hall

Fossils for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Dinosaur Bones, Ancient Animals, and Prehistoric Life on Earth by Ashley Hall is filled with photographs and facts for junior fossil hunters ages 5 to 9. It includes how fossils form, where they are found, and tips on how to identify them. Start by learning more about some of your favorite dinosaurs—from Velociraptor to Tyrannosaurus rex—and where you can see the coolest dinosaur skeletons. Then discover the creatures that predate even the dinosaurs! You’ll meet famous birds, like the Archaeopteryx, explore tiny invertebrate trilobites, and learn which ancient plant is the source of a delicious drink—root beer!  Readers won’t just be learning about dinosaurs; this book covers mammals, other reptiles, and plant fossils. 
Fossils for Kids is a solid and well organized book that gives a summary of fossil study and finding for young readers. The information is accessible and covers a broad range of information that is valuable to readers just getting started on the topic. The pictures, illustrations, and occasional fact box and sidebar were well placed and added value while keeping the book from becoming too text heavy. I though the book as a whole is a great starting point for readers that are intrigued by fossil hunting, and want to know more about the process both so they can get started and so they can know what the professionals are doing in the field. However, I think that readers that have been interested in the subject for awhile and maybe already read other books on the topic might find it less valuable than those just getting started. 

Fossils for Kids is a good introduction to fossils and related fields for young readers.

Early Book Review: It’s Your Funeral by Emily Riesbeck, Ellen Kramer, Matt Krotzer

It’s Your Funeral by Emily Riesbeck, Ellen Kramer, and Matt Krotzer is a young adult graphic novel currently scheduled for release on July 21 2020.
Marnie Winters was going to turn her life around; get out of the house, make friends, no more “Miserable Old Marnie!” Everything was going to plan, but then, of course, she died. Now, Marnie’s a ghost trapped on Earth, and the only one who can help her is the overenthusiastic, alien social worker, Xel, whose job is to help ghosts “close their file” and pass on.  Xel has an idea to soothe Marnie’s troubled spirit: an internship in the hopeless bureaucracy of the trans-dimensional Department of Spectral Affairs! This new do-gooder duo has their work cut out for them in a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures throughout the space-time continuum (but mostly in and around the office) as Marnie finds pathways through her feelings of worthlessness by helping others. A paranormal fantasy about healing, learning to love yourself, and being OK with being not OK.

It’s Your Funeral is a graphic novel that is fun to look at. I really enjoyed the artwork and colors, and thought the imagination involved was wonderful. It was also a read that will appeal to many on an emotional level. There are a number of very different personalities, and I liked that no one style is touted as perfect or better, rather it is those differences that make things work.  I cringed a few times, especially when Marnie took her emotions out on others, but those emotions and reactions rang true and help move the story forward and raise the emotional stakes of the story. I like that the book acknowledged that dealing with anything, including depression or anxiety, is a process and that taking the time and being kind (including to yourself) is key. I thought the overall product was very good, and good read.

It’s Your Funeral is a well drawn and told story that will appeal to a number of young adult and adult readers. 

Early Book Review: Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost, written and illustrated by Flavia Z. Drago, is a picturebook currently scheduled for release on July 14 2020.  Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. He loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? 
Gustavo, the Shy Ghost is a sweet picturebook with beautiful illustrations. I really enjoyed the art style and think the illustrations did a great job of adding to the story and including humor. As someone that has always been on the shy side, I could relate to Gustavo's troubles in talking to others- and even when we are not really invisible to them like he is sometimes we can feel that way. I really enjoyed Gustavo's journey, and how detailed and vivid the images are and how ideas like loneliness and kindness are handled. I think this would be a great read aloud, a story to share both around the Day of the Dead and in the beginning of a school year or start of a storytime program season to help young readers. It could be a great discussion starter and ice break- and is just a lovely read. 

Early Book Review: Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World's Most Ingenious Inventions by Robert Winston

Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World's Most Ingenious Inventions, written by Robert Winston and illustrated by Jessamy Hawke, is currently scheduled for release on July 7 2020. The stories are as unusual as they are unique. From Mr. Kellogg, who accidentally created cornflakes after leaving grains boiling for too long, to the ancient Turkish polymath Ismail al-Jazari, who decided the best way to power a clock was with a model elephant, to Sarah E. Goode's fold-up bed space-saving solution--the inventors of this book have all used tons of creativity to find ways to improve our world. These groundbreaking inventions include the very earliest discoveries to modern-day breakthroughs in science, food, transportation, technology, toys, and more. Illustrations by Jessamy Hawke  and photography highlight the detail of the designs and hand-painted cross-sections reveal the intricacies of a robotic arm, the first plane, and the printing press. The inventors come from all walks of life and parts of the world, making this the perfect book for every budding inventor.

Inventors is a book that features a well rounded selection of inventors and innovators from through out history, and around the world. I like that so many different countries were included and that women and men were included. Some of the inventors were well known to me already, but I was glad to learn a little bit more about them, and learn about those I only vaguely knew about. I really liked learning about the inventors that I knew nothing about, and think that the book does a good job of detailing the lives and innovations of the individuals- giving readers the context to understand the lives they lived, and how that might have impacted the work they did or how hard they had to work for it. I did think that some of the illustrations were very well done, but overall I found that some of the pages were a little busy, with artwork that felt more like extras or doodles than necessary additions. The overall look will appeal to many, but I have to admit that I found it a little distracting.

Inventors is a nicely varied look at inventors from around the world, and through out time. I think it will appeal to interested readers and just might inspire some readers to work on their own ideas.

Early Book Review: Fussy Flamingo by Shelly Vaughan James, Matthew Rivera

Fussy Flamingo is a picturebook written by Shelly Vaughan James and illustrated by Matthew Rivera that is currently scheduled for release on July 1 2020.  Lola is the "no, no" flamingo. Lola will NOT eat shrimp, thank you very much. She does NOT care that it will turn her feathers pink. It is just plain yucky. But when Lola sneaks other snacks, she discovers that you really are what you eat. 

Fussy Flamingo is an entertaining read that adults and young readers can enjoy together. I loved the artwork, and thought it captured the story and the moods of the characters perfectly. I have a picky eater at home, and some of the chars between Lola and her parents felt very familiar. She is more interested in exploring and eating colorful fruit than the shrimp she is supposed to eat. I liked that the fruit she ate might be new to some readers, and just might encourage them to give them a try. I like that in the end her parents just asked her to try the shrimp, which is all we can ever really do, and of course once she tries them she liked them. I also liked that the book offers real information about flamingos at the end of the book. The facts chosen were interesting and add an extra layer of interest to the story. 
I think Fussy Flamingo will appeal to a wide range of readers, and that it might become a favorite for sharing at home or during a storytime or classroom setting. 

Early Book Review: When Darwin Sailed the Sea: Uncover how Darwin's Revolutionary Ideas Helped Change the World by David Long, Sam Kalda

When Darwin Sailed the Sea: Uncover how Darwin's Revolutionary Ideas Helped Change the World, written by David Long and illustrated by Sam Kalda, is currently scheduled for release on July 1 2020. At the age of 22 Charles Darwin clambered up the steps of HMS Beagle, armed with enough notepads to last him for several years and set sail on a journey of exploration that would change his life and how we view the entire world forever. This book tells the story of Charles Darwin, and shows how his revolutionary research changed the world forever. From his fascination with the natural world which began at an early age, his love of collecting new specimens and keen eye for observation, to his groundbreaking theory of evolution, uncover the incredible life of Charles Darwin with this illustrated, narrative non-fiction book. 

When Darwin Sailed the Sea is a book that offers readers a look at Darwin as a person and a scientist. The book does a good job of explaining his interests, determination, and how he collaborated with a variety of people. The information was accessible and interesting.I found the accompanying artwork to be lovely to look at while also adding meaning and detail to the text as appropriate. I learned quite a bit about Darwin, and liked the narrative tone that I think works very well in this format. I will admit that I was not expecting it to be as text heavy as it was, but the style and substance balanced that out. I am hoping some young people reading this will see how hard Darwin worked to follow his interests and be inspired. I really liked the timeline, further information on the people Darwin worked with, and additional information included in the endpages. Good use of this section always makes me happy- and this book delivered. 

When Darwin Sailed the Sea would be a great addition to school, classroom, and public libraries. Some readers will want it for their personal collections as well. 

Early Book Review: Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist by Linda Skeers

Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist by Linda Skeers is a nonfiction picturebook that is currently scheduled for release on July 1 2020. As a kid, Mary Anning loved hunting for fossils with her father. One day, that hobby led to an unexpected discovery: the skeleton of a creature no one had never seen before! Mary had unearthed a dinosaur fossil, the first to ever be discovered. Her find reshaped scientific beliefs about the natural world and led to the beginning of a brand new field of study: paleontology. For the rest of her life, Mary continued to make astonishing finds and her fossils are displayed in museums all across the world! The daring discoveries of Mary Anning not only changed the scientific world, but also helped change people’s attitudes towards women scientists.
Dinosaur Lady is a picturebook that not only talks about the early years and discoveries in paleontology, but how women were viewed in science, and to a certain degree still are. I liked the illustrations, they added a great deal of detail and heart to each page. I thought the information included was interesting and was accessible. I think the narrative and information were well balanced and should keep the reader's interest. I also liked the additional information that was included at the end of the book. I really enjoyed the read and think the book just might inspire kids interested in topic others might try to dissuade them from perusing to keep on studying and working towards their goals.
Dinosaur Lady is a engaging and informative book that would be a great addition to all libraries. Hopefully it will encourage more young scientists to follow their interests.

Early Book Review: Eels by Rachel Poliquin; Nicholas John Frith

Eels by Rachel Poliquin; Nicholas John Frith is a children's nonfiction book currently scheduled for release on June 23 2020.  Meet Olenka, an ordinary eel. Did I hear you say, “But aren’t eels just long slippery slimy fishy-things that . . . hmm.   Is there anything else to know about eels?” You bet your buttons there is! Sit back and hold on tight, because Olenka is going to amaze you with superpowers such as double invisibility and shape-shifting, and the super secret Lair of the Abyss  (that means a top-secret deep-sea hideout). In fact, Olenka's life is so impossibly extraordinary, it has baffled the smartest scientists in the world for thousands of years. 

Eels is a book with a lively blend of information, narrative, illustration, and science. I never thought much about eels, and thought I knew everything that I needed to. Well, this book proved me wrong very quickly. I enjoyed learning about the strange skills of the eel, and how they change to move and survive. I thought the humor, interesting facts, and illustrations kept the text from feeling too dense, while I still learned a great deal. I am very glad that I requested this from Netgalley, and I think my daughter would love to add this book to our home collection. I really like the inclusion of a glossary and resources for further research, which includes books for adults and websites. This is the forth book in a series about animals and their unique skills. I have not yet read the others, but after this I think I will. 

Eels is an informative and entertaining read that I never knew I wanted. I think it will appeal to a wide range of readers and would be a great addition to libraries and school collections. 

Early Book Review: The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Wild, Wacky Names by Matthew Murrie, Steve Murrie

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Wild, Wacky Names,  written by Matthew Murrie and Steve Murrie, and illustrated by Julie Benbassat, is currently scheduled for release on June 9 2020. It is a a science-based illustrated celebration of creatures notable for their bizarre, baffling, and just-plain-funny names. Meet the Waxy Monkey Tree Frog, who lives high in the forests of South America—the “waxy” refers to its skin secretions and the “monkey” comes from its long, simian fingers, perfect for climbing. The White-Bellied Go-Away Bird—guess what its cry sounds like? Plus the Fried Egg Jellyfish, the Sparklemuffin Peacock Spider, the Bone-Eating Snot Flower Worm, and many more. While the names of these species are undeniably curious, the heart of the book is their just-as-curious habits, appearance, abilities—and the stories of how they acquired their unusual monikers. There are over 70 creatures in all,  with full-color illustrations and photographs and detailed text.

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Wild, Wacky Names was a really interesting read. I have always been a fan of learning about the weird and wacky of the world, so some of the animals described (like the naked mole rat and blobfish) were not new to me. However, most of the creatures were at least partially unknown to me- and frankly man of their names could double as awesome band names. The artwork was simply amazing. The images were very well done, with great detail, and added significantly to the book as a whole. The text was well written, and while some of the terminology was advanced definitions and explanations were woven perfectly into the text. I like that there was also a glossary at the end of the book, along with some resources for further reading and information on conservation. I also liked the use of text boxes and small commentary on almost every page. I found the balance of science and humor kept the reader's attention and interest which in turn keeps them reading. My daughter just might be getting this book for her next birthday.

The Screaming Hairy Armadillo and 76 Other Animals with Wild, Wacky Names is a fun and informative read that I think will be a favorite for middle grade and older readers.

Book Review: Celtic Mythology for Kids: Tales of Selkies, Giants, and the Sea by Chris Pinard

Celtic Mythology for Kids: Tales of Selkies, Giants, and the Sea by Chris Pinard features twenty famous and lesser-known myths from places like Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany, this is your introduction to a faraway world of wonder. Colorful illustrations begin every myth. There is a glossary of Celtic mythology terms to better understand words like banshee, brownie, and selkie.
Celtic Mythology for Kids is not an introduction to Celtic mythology, which is what I was hoping for from the title. It is a selection of stories from the region, with questions at the end of each story, basically asking about the moral of the story. I know that fairy tales and oral tradition often are morality tales, or at least started that way, but I was rather hoping for more information about the creatures unique to the Celtic mythos than stories and questions that seem pointed at making readers behave. I wanted to learn more about a mythology and was disappointed with what I found.

Early Book Review: The Gryphon's Lair (Royal Guide to Monster Slaying) by Kelley Armstrong

The Gryphon's Lair is the second book in the Royal Guide to Monster Slaying series by Kelley Armstrong. It is currently scheduled for release on June 2 2020. I do recommend reading the series in order, mostly to understand the characters and how they relate to each other. However, a determined reader could catch up fairly easily and still enjoy the read.

Rowan is now the Royal Monster Hunter, and her twin brother, Rhydd, is destined to be king. But her mother's cousin Heward is still determined that his children be the ones to inherit the titles, and will stop at nothing to show that Rowan and Rhydd are too immature to properly lead. After the gryphon that Rowan captured in Book One gives birth but then dies, Rowan is left with a baby gryphon she knows she cannot keep. And it grows faster than anyone can imagine. In order to save face after an accident involving the troublesome gryphon, Rowan, with the help of her friends Dain and Alianor, along with an entourage of monstrous companions, must make a journey to the mountains to release the gryphon back into the wild. What starts off as a simple enough task soon becomes a dangerous quest, as the group encounters numerous rare and deadly monsters along the way, including wyverns and ceffyl-dwrs. 

The Gryphon's Lair is a book that is as much about Rowan and her friends coming together, and understanding each other and themselves, as it is the adventure of what to do with a young gryphon. I really liked the importance respect and compassion is given in this series. Rowan is trying to be a good member of the royal family, doing what is best for the kingdom while also thinking about understanding the monstrous creatures in the world rather than just killing them all. I laughed at some of he antic the crew she has assembled, cringed when those antics turned dangerous. There was action, heart to heart talks, amazing creatures, and a few heart wrenching moments. When I finished this story I was left with two thoughts. First, my daughter needs to read this series, as it is right up her alley, and second was that I hope there are more books set in this world coming because I am eager for more.

The Gryphon's Lair is a middle grade fantasy novel that has a near perfect balance of action and character growth. 

Early Book Review: Ray by Marianna Coppo

Ray by Marianna Coppo is a picturebook currently scheduled for release on May 26 2020. At the end of the hall, near the staircase, is a closet. In that closet lives Ray, who is a light bulb. Ray spends most of his time in darkness, which is pretty boring if you don't know how to fill it. So boring that Ray usually slips into a dreamless sleep. Everything changes one day when Ray is migrated into a portable lantern and taken on the trip of a lifetime. He wakes up in a much larger closet (the outside), surrounded by incredible things - too many to count! Everything is super big, and Ray has never felt so small. And in the morning, Ray makes an incredible discovery which will change his life forever.

Ray is a cute book about a lightbulb that might be a little bored in his comfort zone, but has no complaints. Being moved to a camping lantern for a short trip gives Ray the chance to see the larger world, and while it might be scary, he takes the time to look around and soak it all in. Sometimes seeing the larger world through another's eyes helps us appreciate them more,  and I think getting the chance to see the stars, the trees, and of course the sun, through Ray's eyes can help readers of all ages think about how amazing some of the things we take for granted really are. 
Ray is a lovely picturebook. It would be great for sharing anytime, but might be most impactful before camping or going somewhere new. 

Early Book Review: The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life by Barry Cox; R. J. G. Savage; Brian Gardiner; Colin Harrison

The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia: A Visual Who's Who of Prehistoric Life by Barry Cox, R. J. G. Savage, Brian Gardiner, and Colin Harrison​ is currently scheduled for release on May 19 2020. There are entries for more than 600 species, arranged in its evolutionary sequence.  From predatory dinosaurs to primitive amphibians, from giant armored fish to woolly mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, and dire wolves. Each entry features a specially commissioned full-color painting prepared according to the best research of today in close collaboration with world renowned paleontologists. The records of rocks—fossil bones, teeth, skin, hair, and even footprints and nests—have been combined with knowledge of the anatomy and behavior of present day descendants to arrive at informed judgments about posture, color, and other aspects of appearance. Lively and informative "biographies" of the creatures accompany these remarkable illustrations: how they moved, what they ate, where they ranged, and the habitats and ecological niches they occupied.

The Illustrated Dinosaur Encyclopedia is a comprehensive guide to over 600 species of dinosaurs. Information about fossils, evolution, and other related subjects. It is well organized and highly detailed, with beautiful artwork and well structured pages the book is easy to browse, read in order, or search up a favorite bit of information.  I really like that an effort was made to compare  the subject to current animals- making the information more understandable and accessible to readers. The artwork and images were wonderful on their own, but in context of the book they were valuable and add a great deal to the overall read. 

This book would be a prized addition to a personal library for those with interest in dinosaurs and prehistoric times. It would also be a great addition to public, school, and classroom libraries. 

Early Book Review: Glow in the Dark: Nature's Light Spectacular: 12 Stunning Scenes of Earth's Greatest Shows by Katy Flint, Cornelia Li

Glow in the Dark: Nature's Light Spectacular: 12 Stunning Scenes of Earth's Greatest Shows, written by Katy Flint and illustrated by Cornelia Li, is a children's book currently scheduled for release on May 19 2020. Follow two intrepid explorers as they witness the Northern Lights, marvel in wonder at glow worm caves, go hunting for double rainbows, and dodge volcanic lightning. Each spread features an enchanting illustration of a different natural phenomenon animated by a description of the science behind it, told in exciting prose. Fact boxes call out more information.  And for those with the paper edition there is a glow in the dark poster featuring the stages of a solar eclipse. 
Glow in the Dark is simple beautiful to look at. The full page illustration of the light effects of our world are worth the purchase price all on their own. The fact boxes and information about each of the natural light shows include Volcanic Lightning, Meteor Showers, Double Rainbows, Sun Dogs, Glowworm Caves, Super Blood Moon, Light pillars, and Auroras. I learned new things about each of these phenomenon and found the information offered to be well written and interesting. I think the combination of the stunning layouts and well done text will capture the interest of readers, and perhaps encourage further research or exploration in young readers. I think this would be a valuable addition to libraries, and as a classroom tool in discussing these topics and the science of light in general.

Glow in the Dark is a visually stunning book with interesting information that will capture the attention of a wide range of readers.

Early Book Review: A Rainbow of Rocks by Kate Depalma

A Rainbow of Rocks by Kate Depalma is a children's book currently scheduled for release on May 15 2020. This book offers exactly what the title suggests, a rainbow of rocks from ruby to amethyst and beyond. Close-up photos of real, vibrant rocks and minerals in a rainbow of colors are paired with rhyming text about the many facets of geology. Includes educational notes perfect for STEM learning.

A Rainbow of Rocks is a lovely, rhyming primer covering the basics of geology for young readers. The text is fairly simple, but still imparts some good information to readers of all ages. The images are bold and bright, and worth a look all on their own. I think the combination of the stunning images, with information, and rhyming text will really keep the interest and attention of readers. I really appreciated the addition of additional information at the end of the book, in the form of a Q&A with more complex information for the more interested or advanced readers. 

I think A Rainbow of Rocks is a book that would be a good addition to any library, including school and public collections.