Sunday, August 26, 2007

No One is Perfect

Title: No One is Perfect and You are a Great Kid
Author: Kim Hix
Published by Book Surge, LLC., 2006.
ISBN: 1-4196-3148-9.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids 8/07.

Are you sometimes struggling with your feelings about yourself? Sometimes you just feel so different from everyone else. Perhaps you are singled out as being odd and no one wants to be around you. Sometimes you get so angry that you wonder how anyone can stand to be around you much less love you. Zack is a ten year old boy who has an anger problem but has someone who loves him and keeps reassuring him that he is a great kid.

Kim Hix has written a book about her son Zack. He deals with his feelings differently than most kids. Her motivation for writing this book is so that other kids that struggle with their anger can see that they are not alone. She shows her love to her son through the pages in this book. It is easy to see that she does indeed love her son Zack even though he is sometimes a challenge to deal with. Kim is a very talented writer and her books shows much love and feeling for her son who is "a great kid." This is her first book and I hope that she writes more books for kids.

The illustrations in this book add to the storyline of the book. The pictures show so many different emotions. Lee Dillingham uses her art education to bring the text to life . I'm sure kids will be able to see themselves through the pages of this book. Of course, we all have bad days after all no one is perfect but we are all great kids.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

We live in Brazil

Title: We Live in Brazil
Author: Francois-Xavier Freland
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2007.
ISBN: 978-0-8109-122-2.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids

Brazil is clearly the largest country in South America. In fact, it covers about half of that continent. Unlike the 50 states of the United States, Brazil has 26 individual states. It is home to millions of people.

If you have a report to do on a foreign country, why not pick Brazil. It is a fascinating country with wide diversity within its borders. It has a very unique history and even more intriguing traditions and cultures.

"We Live in Brazil" follows three young boys who live in the country in different areas. Joao lives in Salvador da Bahia. Flavia lives in the capital city of Brasilla and gets to see the mighty Amazon River. Marco lives in perhaps the most popular city in Brazil, Rio De Janiero. His city combines both the very rich and the very poor. "We Live in Brazil" has awesome pictures in it as well as many illustrations.

"We Live in Brazil" is a very enjoyable book. I love to travel and may never get to visit the country of Brazil. But with this book and these three tour guides I can experience what life in Brazil is like. You can learn about the history, traditions, geography and culture all within the pages of this book.

Take a trip to Brazil, you don't have to know Portugese, you don't even have to leave your home, all you have to do is get inside this book. Its one experience you won't soon forget.

The Yoga Adventure for Children

Title: The Yoga Adventure for Children
Author: Helen Purpehart
Published by Hunter House, 2007.
ISBN: 0-89793-470-9.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids

Have you ever practiced yoga? Yoga has been around for many years. Many grownups have practiced yoga to calm their emotions and physical strength. Helen Purpehart has created a book which focuses on children doing yoga as a way to gain self-confidence, coordination and flexibility.

"The Yoga Adventure" is a valuable resource. There are many pages of yoga exercises for kids to try. Each exercise is illustrated with step by step instructions. There are many child-friendly stories included to help the older children with the concepts presented. Kids of all ages will enjoy the many yoga exercises in this book. Teachers may even use this as a manual to assist them in introducing yoga to their classrooms.

I found many of these exercises to relax me. I tend to get nervous when taking tests. Maybe I will be able to use some of the techiniques presented in this book to calm me down and receive a better grade. There are so many games in this book both for small groups and larger ones. There are also many stretching exercises which can help me become more flexible before competing as part of a sports team at school.

Puppies, Dogs and Blue Northers

A dog is man's best friend, right? When it comes to Cookie, Gary Paulsen reflects on the wonderful friendship they shared. Cookie is the lead dog on Gary's team of sled dogs and has been for a very long time. Gary and Cookie have traveled alot of trails together. They have even competed in the Idiatrod. Cookie has given birth to many puppies but also goes back to work. You might call Cookie a working mother.

Gary Paulsen tells his own story of love and friendship with his canine friend. If the strength and endurance of sled dogs interest you, you will love this book. The road they have traveled is not always smooth sledding, there are plenty of bumps along the way. Children ages 10 and up will love to learn more about these amazing dogs and the training that goes into being a successful musher. This is an action packed adventure and love story of man and his one very special dog.

Climb aboard this dog sled, you won't ever forget it!

The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish

Title: The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish
Author: Stephanie Guzman
Published by Not So Plain Jane Publishing, 2006.
ISBN 978-1-596664-0009.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids,

Everyone else is invited, why not me? Maybe you've been asked "Are you going to the party?" You haven't even heard about any party. Why did everyone else get asked but not me. What's wrong with me? It just seems like no one likes me.

Oliver is a clownfish with a problem. He cannot understand why he didn't get invited to Sally's party. He thought they were good friends. Oliver asks all his other school friends why Sally didn't invite him. Surely there is a good explanation. An explanation is just what Oliver is seeking.

I loved this book! The illustrations are so cute. The many different kinds of fish are so adorable and so colorful. I think this book will help little children discover that maybe they didn't get the invitation when others did. But isn't not really a reflection of them. I would love to read another book about the adventures of Oliver the Clown Fish. I hope Stephanie Guzman writes more books about Oliver's Adventures and the trials that are facing children today.

The Raspberry Room

Title: The Raspberry Room
Author: Alison Lohans
Published by Orca Book Publishers, 2006.
ISBN: 1-55143-353-2.
Reviewed for Reader Views Kids.

What is Abby to do, her best friend Laura doesn't want to do what she wants to do? Abby and Laura have always done everything together but now it seems that Laura has changed. Or is it Abby that has changed?

Abby is all excited about discovering a little room. Laura isn't interested. Abby is intrigued by looking through a hole in the fence. A dog's wet nose comes through the hole to surprise young Abby. Perhaps she better find something to plug the hole. Her little brother gets all the attention anyway so she uses his stuffed monkey to suit her purpose. Oh no, the monkey's tail gets ruined. She discovers what is on the other side of the fence and is surprised by her findings.

Allison Lohans has created a book which will encourage children ages 7-9 to let their imaginations soar. This fantastic book deals with friendships and the adjustments required to becoming a quality big sister which young Brayden will look up to.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In Jesse's Shoes

Title: In Jesse's Shoes
Author: Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany Backyard, 2007.
ISBN: 0-7642-0313-4.

Do people act differently than you think they should? Are you one of those people who judge others before you get to know someone? Or are you influenced by what other people say about a person rather than getting to know them first?

Allie has an older brother Jesse who stares at things such as, ladybugs, rain puddles and honeysuckle blossoms. She gets tired of always waiting for him. She has to try to keep him moving so he doesn't miss the school bus. She challenges Jesse to try and catch up with Marcus Anderson. Other kids all call him a "dummy" which upsets Allie and she is referred to as the "dummy's sister." Jesse encourages Allie to walk in Jesse's shoes. She tries them on and discovers some valuable information. A new girl comes to their school and she knows what Allie does. God makes everyone special and has made everyone in the way which He wanted to.

"In Jesse's Shoes" is an excellent book for kids of all ages to learn that differences in people are a part of life. Everyone is special in God's eyes. I loved this book and want to keep it and use it in my classroom when I am a teacher someday. I think is a must read for all kids so they learn to accept others for their uniqueness and abilities. Maybe if every person would learn to accept people's differences, the world would become a better place.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Mind the Light Katie

Title: Mind the Light Katie
Authors: Mary Louise Clifford and J Candace Clifford
Published by Cypress Communications, 2006.
ISBN: 0-96364-12-7-1.

Katie Walker is a pioneer in her own way. I know you are saying "who is she? I have never heard of her. Katie Walker was thrown into the role of lighthouse keeper out of necessity. Her son Jacob had to row Katie's husband John to Staten Island for medical treatment from their lighthouse at Robins Reef Lightstation, New York City. John's last words "mind the light, Katie" are the the title of a fascinating book about lighthouses, their importane and some of the women who became official lighthouse keepers, not a very feminine position and not a high paying job either.

"Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers" is a very popular book for grownups to read. "Mind the Light Katie" offers a smaller version and easy to read account of 33 women who held this non-traditional position. Many of these women fought incredible odds to gain official recognition as a keeper of the light. Sometime the daughters of lighthouse keepers would find their husband by assisting men in keeping the lights burning bright. They may at times have married sons of lighthouse keepers or the men who were old enough to be their own fathers.

I think girls ages 12 and up would love to read about women who fought for equality and success in doing "man's work." I have always liked seeing different lighthouses and like learning about the "olden days." I don't think I could have been like any of these women, since they must have gotten terrible lonely working by themselves 365 days a year. Anything men can do, women can do better or at least as well in lighthouse keeping!