Small Walt

by Elizabeth Verdick

illustrated by Marc Rosenthal

 

A tiny snowplow determined to prove his worth battles a blizzard in this supremely charming story.  Small Walt and his driver, Gus, take on a blizzard! All the bigger snowplows doubt that Walt has what it takes to plow the roads in the storm, but Walt is determined to prove them wrong.

 

 

 

Small Walt is very reminiscent to The Little Engine that Could  and Katy and the Big Snow. Small Walt follows a street cleaner as he drives the smallest snow plow around the city to clean the streets during a blizzard. Kids that live in areas that have snow plows will love this book. The big snow plows don’t think a small plow can do the same works as them since he is so small. They laugh at him and no one wants to drive him. Gus comes along decides to take Walt for the plowing that night. The book flows their adventures as they clear the streets.  This book would be really fun for a winter story  time or class read aloud. I can just hear little ones chanting the verse “My name is Walt. I plow and salt. They say I’m small, but I’ll show them all.” 

The story is sweet and shows that just because your little you can still be mighty and do things that many big kids and adults don’t think you can. If you believe and don’t give up just think of all the things you can do. The illustrations have a very vintage fill of old picture books. I really enjoyed them and they fall into the frame-able picture book illustrations for me. Over all this is  the perfect picture book to have out for some fun winter reading and sure to become a classic!

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Amanda Panda Quits Kindergarten

by Candice Ransom

illustrated by Christine Grove

Sometimes we have in our head how we see something playing out. It may be a project your working on, a conversation or the first day of school. This book shows that things don’t always go as planned. Amanda Panda has it all figured out and knows exactly how the first day of kindergarten is going to go. However what she didn’t consider was that a: things don’t always go exactly as planned b: there are other kids in her kindergarten class  and c: sometimes changes are hard but every now and then good things come from them. Over the course of the first day of kindergarten a certain little head to toe pink girl really wants to be Amanda’s friend. Bitsy is just everywhere and doing everything before Amanda can this makes Amanda very upset. So upset she decides to skip kindergarten all together and hang out with her big brother in 2nd grade. Bitsy goes on a mission to find her best friend Amanda and get her back to class. Amanda soon realizes that Bitsy might just make kindergarten fun and it’s always a great day when you make a new best friend. This one is cute and while Amanda does sneak off to a different classroom which is a big no-no the outcome is good. I do wish the author would have had a little part where the teacher talks to Bitsy and Amanda about how they can’t do that. Instead she just had it that the students and teacher didn’t even know they were late getting back to class. Besides that little part that I would have liked to be different it is a cute story.  I think this would be a cute addition to any back to school reading list for your and your little bookworms or in the classroom setting. Just be sure to let them know don’t leave your classroom or class and wonder off around the school. 🙂

About the book: Amanda Panda has BIG ideas for her first day of school. But when things don’t go according to plan, and when a pesky girl in a pink bow decides to be her best friend, she walks out on kindergarten and joins her brother in second grade. It takes an unlikely partner to fix Amanda’s terrible day—and to teach her about friendship, tolerance, and how to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Pinkalicious and Planet Pink

by Victoria Kann

I Can Read Level 1 Beginning Reading: Short sentences, familiar words, and simple concepts for children eager to read on their own.

My youngest who is not a middle school-er loved her Pinkalicious when she was younger. Sadly that year didn’t last long and she moved on. However Pinkalicious is still going strong with preschool to young elementary aged readers and I’m glad. The stories are cute and sweet and most little girls go through that totally pink phase in life. This one was interesting a pink planet – is there really such a thing? Yes there is astronomer’s discovered it and it is really quite pretty and interesting.

Pinkalicious class has been given a homework  assignment for school. They have to imagine what life would be like on this bubble gum pink planet. This is right up her alley, I mean when it comes to all things pink she is your gal! Peter her brother and her get into a discussion on who should go with the cute little aliens if they come down to earth. Like so many times when you go to bed thinking about something it becomes a dream and then an adventure awaits when she wakes up with a fright. This picture book is cute and might just spark some interest in the solar system. You could read it to your little pinkalicious bookworm and decide what life would be like on the pink planet just like her.

About the book: When Pinkalicious learns about Planet Pink, she has fun imagining life as a Pinktonian alien living on the pinkest planet in the universe! But what would happen if the Pinktonians paid her a visit?

When the Sun Goes Dark

National Science Teachers Association

by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz

illustrated by Eric Freeberg

Sites with information about the 2017 Solar Eclipse: NASANASA warning about Solar Eclipse Glasses Celestron

LiveScience step by step instructions on making a Solar Eclipse Box Viewer

 

If you are lucky enough to be in the path of totality on August 21st than this is the book your going to want to read to you kids or students. It is published by the National Science Teachers Association and full of information as well as easy to do experiments. In this book the grandparents have just gotten back from a trip to a little island in the Pacific Ocean to see the total eclipse. Their grand kids have a lot of questions about what is an eclipse and what do you see. In order to best explain it the grandparents do some fun experiments that involve things from around the house. All you really need to recreate these from the book are some balls, a lamp, hula hoops, a box – scissors – and tin foil, an umbrella and more. Many places in the path have glasses to buy at your local stores, even Lowes is carrying them. I can’t wait to see this amazing event and this book is a must read for all who have kids or work with kids that are in the line and 70 mile wide path of the Solar Eclipse. This is a chance in a lifetime for some since who knows when it will happen again for my town. Yes, it’s going to be sheer chaos that weekend before and that day is going to be insanely crowded and wild but I hope this is something my girls will always remember. Our schools are not closing so I won’t be able to experience it with them but they have a lot of activities planned so they will be learning and do so much that day it will be memorable I’m sure. This book can be read alone for any established reader and there is a glossary in the back to explain words the reader might not have read before. This would be a great addition to a 4-6 grade science classroom. I really think you could do this with the younger kids as well. Maybe read half one day and half the next and do some of the activities in small groups ending with each student making their own pinhole viewer. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting an easy way to explain and learn more about 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse. Even if you are not in the path and can’t make the drive to one of the place in the line if you are close enough you will get a partial eclipse which is neat, just remember you can only take those glasses off or stop using the pinhole viewer during the very short time frame of totality. Go onto NASA to find out the exact time that this happens so you don’t harm your eyes. Also make sure if you do buy glasses that they are NASA approved and have the rating: ISO 12312-2. I included a link to the warning for you to read.

The Most Magnificent Thing

by Ashley Spires
published by Kids Can Press

 

This picture book by Ashley Spires, is so adorable { I know almost all picture books are, but this book is definitely one that is!} First off the age range listed is preschool through grade 2. However I think it lends itself for going beyond 2nd grade. It would be a great read aloud since the message is a good one.

The story follows “the girl” and her best friend in the whole wide world her dog. “the girl” does everything with the dog. One day she gets this inspiration in her head and sets out to create it. Have you ever done that get this thought/vision in your head and try to create it. Some how they always look better in my head than when I create them. This is also the case for “the girl” the problem is she is a perfectionist so it has to be perfect. Along the way she discards just everything and almost quits!

After a melt down of all melt downs, a good cry, a nice long walk the mad feelings go away and she starts over. She she leaves all her other designs and sets out 1 more time.The people along the street where she has created these creations have stopped to check them out and realize they can use them. In the end she is able to create something close to what she wanted to make in the first place. She persevered and didn’t quit, she maybe even let go of a teeny tiny bit of her perfectionist personality and her and her assistant set out on The Most Magnificent Thing!

The Truth About Forever

 

 

 

Enter Giveaway for Complete set of Sarah Dessen in paperback

by Sarah Dessen

 

 

My ReadADessen continues and this time I picked up The Truth About Forever. I had not read this one before – well I’m pretty sure I haven’t since nothing seemed familiar to me while reading it. This book was really great and I like that while her books would be considered YA Chick Lit they are not light and fluffy. She has some grit and heavy topics in her books but doesn’t make them so heavy that they are too much to handle. The topic is a big hard and heavy hitting one: A Parents Death. Macy was a such a sweet likable character and this one might just be my new favorite of Sarah Dessen’s. This story was filled with happy and sweet moments along with the sad and bittersweet moments. I think the author did a great job and touching on all the stages of grief and how we all grief differently. I really could have read a couple hundred more about Macy and really wish there was a book 2 to continue her life story. So I’ll just have to cherish what I read and be so happy I picked this one up at the library for the ReadADessen reading campaign, next up Lock and Key!

About the Book: Expect the unexpected.

Macy’s got her whole summer carefully planned.

But her plans didn’t include a job at Wish Catering. And they certainly didn’t include Wes.

But Macy soon discovers that the things you expect least are sometimes the things you need most.

Giveaway Legal Copy:
 
Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

The Safest Lies

by Megan Miranda

The Safest Lies was a good weekend book and I liked it. Yes, it was predictable but that’s OK the description was very lengthy and pretty much tells you what to expect. There were some parts though that I didn’t expect and liked that she threw a curve ball in the story. Those are always good and keep you reading. The budding romance between the main character Kelsey and Ryan was sweet. I really was kinda questioning if Ryan was a good guy at one point. Kelsey is not your average teen this girl could get herself out of any situation thanks to her mom’s fear of being found. All that training she thought was not necessary ending up coming in handy. Kelsey was a think fast and on the spot tough girl. I liked her character as well as Ryan’s. The mystery and mom’s story within the story that is The Safest Lie was good and made for a great book to read over the weekend. This one is perfect of YA readers and really I’d let me middle grade reader read this one. There was kissing but nothing more, one scene where she falls asleep in Ryan’s room but that is it and she has seen that on Grimm. Over all it is pretty clean and fast paced, geared for YA so use your judgement on if you’d let your tween middle grade reader read this one.


summary: Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.

Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.

A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.