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BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

Nonfiction

Ammon, Richard CONESTOGA WAGONS. Il. by Bill Farnsworth. ISBN 0-8234-1475-2. New York: Holiday House, 2000. Unp. $16.95. Ammon has skillfully captured the era of the Conestoga Wagons, which were named after the Conestoga Valley in Pennsylvania, where they were first built. While "journeying" with the teamsters who drove the Conestogas from the ports of Philadelphia to neighboring communities, readers learn about the wagons' construction, their historical significance, and their importance to the early American economy. Beautifully illustrated and accurately chronicled, Conestoga Wagons is an intriguing read. Ages 6-10. Reviewed by Mary Laub, Kutztown University of PA

Gibbons, Gail APPLES. Il. by author. ISBN 0-8234-1497-3. New York: Holiday House, 2000. Unp. $16.95. What fruit is grown in more areas of the world than any other? Apples, in all varieties--small to large, tart to sweet, yellow to black. Many varieties of apples have grown on the earth for about two million years. Throughout pages filled with Gibbons's colorful paintings and factual text, readers will explore traditional uses and cultural celebrations for this icon of nature. Ages 4-8. Reviewed by Heather J. B. Arbuckle, Hillsborough, NJ

Giblin, James Cross THE AMAZING LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. Il. by Michael Dooling. ISBN 0-590-48534-2. New York: Scholastic, 2000. Unp. $17.95. Did you know that Ben Franklin was not a native Philadelphian? What important government position did his son William hold? Readers will discover answers to these questions and more as they learn about Franklin's truly amazing life. In this book, Giblin describes Franklin's numerous inventions and accomplishments while weaving in details of his personal life. Dooling's stunning illustrations enhance the informative text. After reading this excellent biography, readers can easily understand why the author describes Franklin as the "wisest American." Ages 9 up. Reviewed by Cynthia Katzenmoyer, Fleetwood Area School District, Fleetwood, PA

Hodge, Deborah EAGLES. Il. by Nancy Gray Ogle. ISBN 1-55074-715-0. Niagara Falls, NY: KIDS CAN PRESS, 2000. 32 pp. $10.95. Eagles live in wild places on every continent except Antarctica. Although adult eagles have few natural enemies, only a small number of these magnificent raptors reach adulthood. These facts, as well as details about the bird's habitat, food, anatomy, struggles for survival, and other topics are presented in a clear, authentic fashion. Realistically' detailed paintings bid readers to stay within each topic. An "eagle fact" is presented on the right-hand side of most double-page compositions, encouraging young readers to review the paintings and check the information before turning the page. Concrete analogies related to eagles' size and speed allow curious young readers to develop a rich schema for these magnificent creatures. Ages 5-10. Reviewed by Jeanie Burnett, Kutztown University of PA

Masoff Joy COLONIAL TIMES: 1600-1700. (Chronicle of America.) Il. with photographs from America's Living History Museums. ISBN 0-439-05107-X. New York: Scholastic Reference, 2000. 48 pp. $15.95. This book makes America's early colonial history come alive with the help of photographs from so-called Living History Museums (such as Williamsburg), in which modern-day reenactors portray people from the past. Here, the author says, is "the story of. how and why so much went right or wrong in the very early days of America." Ages 9-12. Reviewed by Terry Stahler, Kutztown University of PA

Sullivan, George HELEN KELLER. ISBN 0-439-14751-4. New York: Scholastic, 2000. 128 pp. $12.95. Suddenly thrown into a dark and silent world when she became deaf and blind around age 2, Helen Keller nevertheless emerged as one of the most influential people of her time. Discover how this woman met these challenges and went on to lead a truly inspirational life that touched the hearts of so many. Helen's own words are used to convey her message of perseverance. Readers will enjoy the photographs of Helen and her many famous friends. Ages 8 up. Reviewed by Shannon Miller, Bethlehem Area School District, Bethlehem, PA

Fiction

Battle-Lavert, Gwendolyn THE SHAKING BAG. Il. by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. ISBN 0-8075-7328-0. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Co., 2000. Unp. $15.95. This African American tale is reminiscent of the Biblical story about the poor widow who offers the prophet Elijah both a place to sleep and the last of her bread. Annie Mae, like the widow, is rewarded for her generosity in a most mysterious way. The brilliant illustrations complement the text with their down-home, folksy style. Children will delight in this magical story. Ages 6-12. Reviewed by Terre Sychterz, Kutztown University of PA

Couric, Katie THE BRAND NEW KID. Il. by Marjorie Priceman. ISBN 0-385-50030-0. New York: Doubleday, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Among the excited children gathered for their first day of school, Lazlo looks especially out of place. The teacher, as well as the children, seem to focus on his differences, making Lazlo's school experiences dreadful. Fortunately, Ellie McSnelly decides to become Lazlo's friend. Following Ellie's lead, the other children begin to include the brand new kid, too. Authentic situations and realistic characters, supported by rhyming text and spirited illustrations, encourage readers to think about being courageous and kind. This sensitively composed book will surely stimulate important discussions at class meetings, in faculty rooms, and in homes. Ages 3-8.--J.B.

Cowell, Cressida WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE BOO-HOO BABY? II. by Ingrid Godon. ISBN 0-439-15311-5. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Very young children will certainly relate to Boo-hoo Baby's tears in this predictable book with its simple repeating refrains and action-filled pictures. With accompanying animal sounds, the cow, the dog, the cat, and the goose make practical suggestions for soothing the unhappy baby. When they put the baby to bed, he finally falls asleep--or does he? Toddlers will ask to hear this story over and over again. Ages 6 months to 4 years. Reviewed by Susan Miller, Kutztown University of PA

Crisp, Marty BLACK AND WHITE. Il. by Sherry Neidigh. ISBN 0-87358-756-1. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 2000. Unp. $12.95. When Bud brings home a black-and-white dog, his mother says the dog can stay only if he does not disturb the farm animals. When the dog disappears, Bud tries to find him, but the dog blends in with the black-and-white farm animals shown in the rich illustrations. Ages birth to 6. Reviewed by Rebecca Edsall, Quakertown, PA

Deedy, Carmen THE YELLOW STAR: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark. Il. by Henri Sorensen. ISBN 1-56145-208-4. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, 2000. Unp. $16.95. During World War II, Jews in Nazi-occupied lands often were forced to wear yellow stars, in order to segregate them. "If you wished to hide a star, where would you place it?" By musing over this puzzle, King Christian X of Denmark, so the legend goes, devised a plan to keep all Danes safe during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Thereafter, all Danish citizens and their king wore the yellow star, in a show of unity and defiance. The legend of the yellow star symbolizes the heroic loyalty and determination of the Danish people and their king. Ages 5-9. Reviewed by Liane Ford, Chicago Public Schools, IL

Friesen, Gayle MEN OF STONE. ISBN 55074-781-9. Niagara Falls, NY: KIDS CAN PRESS, 2000. 216 pp. $16.95. Most 15-year-old boys are trying to discover the man they will become. In Ben's case, the struggle is more difficult because his father died when Ben was 5, leaving no male role model at home. When Great Aunt Frieda comes to visit, Ben's struggles to fit in and develop his strengths are eased as she describes her own struggles in Russia against the "Men of Stone'--Stalin's agents who terrorized her community. This book sensitively and realistically covers a wide range of topics related to a young boy attempting to become a man. Ages 11 up.--Terry Stahler

Garland, Michael ICARUS SWINEBUCKLE. Il. by author. ISBN 0-8075-3495-1. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Icarus Swinebuckle is a pig who wishes to fly. He has an inquisitive mind and a creative flair that eventually lands him a pair of wings. Icarus's initial attempt at flying, while not a complete success, encourages him to persevere and aim even higher. Inspired by the myth of Icarus, this cleverly illustrated story will catch children's attention. Ages 4-8. Reviewed by Donna Dawson, Reading, PA

Halls, Kelly Milner I BOUGHT A BABY CHICK. Il. by Karen Stormer Brooks. ISBN 1-56397-800-8. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2000. 32 pp. $14.95. A young girl buys a baby chick at the general store. This colorful counting book shows family members scurrying to collect their own set of chickens. Before long, the girl's family acquires over 50 chicks. Unlike most counting books that stop after 10, this book continues on and tells the tale of the chicks' adventures in the family household. The bright illustrations and rhymes will delight young children. Ages 2-5. Reviewed by Tracy Keyes, Kutztown University of PA

Heisel, Sharon E. PRECIOUS GOLD, PRECIOUS JADE. ISBN 0-8234-1432-9. New York: Holiday House, 2000. 186 pp. $16.95. An American and a Chinese girl meet during the Gold Rush and become friends. The Chinese girl teaches her new friend many details about her culture. The American girl reciprocates by confronting the prejudice and violence against Chinese immigrants. This book of historical fiction would be an excellent addition to a multicultural curriculum. It is sure to inspire spirited conversations about the dangers of prejudice. Ages 10 up. Reviewed by Andrea Bartlett, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI

Hite, Sid STICK AND WHITTLE. ISBN 0-439-09828-9. New York: Scholastic, 2000. 202 pp. $16.95. Two lads named Melvin happen upon each other in the western frontier of the United States. They become pals and take on the names of Stick and Whittle. As they forge a new friendship, adventures abound, including a kidnapping and a reacquaintance with a lost love. The action-filled story line keeps the reader glued to the text. Ages 9-12. Reviewed by Elsa Geskus, Kutztown University of PA

Jay, Betsy JANE vs. THE TOOTH FAIRY. Il. by Lori Osiecki. ISBN 0-87358-739-1. Flagstaff, AZ: Rising Moon, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Jane is unhappy about the prospect of losing her first tooth. She is determined to keep it, even though her young friend tells her that the Tooth Fairy comes at night to take the tooth and leave money. Jane changes her mind when she realizes the Tooth Fairy is the means to obtain an art set she wants. Young readers will enjoy the story's humor, along with the creative, bold illustrations. Ages 5-7. Reviewed by Pam Taylor, Wilson Southern Jr. High, Sinking Spring, PA

Larsen, Kirby THE MAGIC KERCHIEF. Il. by Rosanne Litzinger. ISBN 0-8234-1473-6. New York: Holiday House, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Sharp-tongued Griselda learns some important lessons about friendship in this charming tale. A mysterious woman presents a beautiful kerchief to Griselda and insists that it is magical. Although Griselda is doubtful, she finds that while she is wearing it, her words and actions take on a life of their own. The results change Griselda's life for good. The uncomplicated, richly colored illustrations accentuate and extend the story's message. Ages 3-8. Reviewed by Nancy Littlefield, Oley, PA

Lasky, Kathryn THE JOURNAL OF AUGUSTUS PELLETIER: The Lewis and Clark Expedition. ISBN 0-590-68489-2. New York: Scholastic, 2000. 178 pp. $10.95. This "My Name Is America" entry is an exciting, informative account of discovery and self-discovery as 14-year-old Augustus Pelletier journeys with the Lewis and Clark expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The actions and decisions of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are portrayed through the inquisitive eyes of adolescence as Augustus records the people, animals, places, and events encountered on the expedition. This cleverly written, historically accurate depiction of exploration enchants the reader through use of colorful language and country lore, all in a diary-like format. Ages 9-13. Reviewed by John McAndrew, Kutztown University of PA

Love, D. Anne A YEAR WITHOUT RAIN. ISBN 0-8234-1488-4. New York: Holiday House, 2000. 118 pp. $15.95. D. Anne Love reveals the heart of a young girl in conflict. Rachel, who has suffered the loss of her dear mother, lives with her father and brother in drought-stricken Dakota Territory. When her father considers remarrying, Rachel rebels. Her initial, childish reaction eventually yields to wisdom and love. In the author's skilled hands, readers come to feel compassion not only for Rachel, but also for the prospective bride and mother. Ages 9-12. Reviewed by Gayle Roome, Industrial ISD, Lolita, TX

Oberman, Sheldon THE WISDOM BIRD: A Tale of Solomon and Sheba. Il. by Neil Waldman. ISBN 1-56397-816-4. Honesdale, PA: Caroline House, 2000. 32 pp. $15.95. Based on an ancient story, this book tells of Solomon and his promise to Sheba, Queen of Africa. In trying to keep his promise, King Solomon decrees that all birds give up their beaks and build a house from them instead. A hoopoe bird teaches the wise king that it would be wrong to change birds forever. This book incorporates Jewish and African traditions that teach children about respect for others. Ages 4-8. Reviewed by Stephen Mickulik, Shillington, PA

Schneider, Howie CHEWIE LOUIE. Il. by author. ISBN 0-87358-765-0. Flagstaff AZ: Rising Moon, 2000. Unp. $15.95. Louie is a small black puppy that chews everything. He destroys his food bowl, toys, furniture, and even the back porch! Dog trainers hired to teach him to behave do not succeed. Just when it seems hopeless and the young protagonist thinks the family will have to give Louie up, something amazing happens. When the boy throws a stick, Louie fetches it and does NOT chew it. "Of course," says the father. "He's not a puppy anymore." Children will laugh at the pictures of the damage Louie causes, and adults will understand and be comforted by the message that when puppies (and children) grow up a little bit they learn not to do inappropriate things. All they need is time. Ages 4-8. Reviewed by Sue Grossman, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Scruggs, Afi-Odelia JUMP ROPE MAGIC. Il. by David Diaz. ISBN 0-590-69327-1. New York: The Blue Sky Press, 2000. Unp. $16.95. Jump RopeMagic is a lively, entertaining story about a young girl, Shameka, who loves to jump rope double Dutch style. As Shameka jumps, she and her friends sing and chant. Readers can't help but join in to the beat of the magical jump rope chants. This is a great book for interactive reading because the text flows easily and is accompanied by colorful, abstract, full-page illustrations. Ages 4-8. Reviewed by Helen Connellan, Washington Elementary School, Allentown, PA

Slangerup, Erik Jon DIRT BOY. Il. by John Manders. ISBN 0-80 75-4424-8. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, 2000. Unp. $15.95. To avoid taking a bath, Fister Farnello runs away from home and is befriended by Dirt Man, a filthy giant who lives in the woods. Fister's adventures are as dramatic--and humorous--as the grimy fingers and old toothbrushes that the illustrator uses to turn Fister into a Dirt Boy. Ages 2-7. Reviewed by Deborah Rios, Myerstown, PA

Tompert, Ann SAINT NICHOLAS. Il. by Michael Garland. ISBN 1-56397-844X. 2000. Unp. $15.95. The author reconstructs the story of Saint Nicholas. Here, the legend is traced to a man named Nicholas who lived in Asia Minor over a thousand years ago. Because of his charitable works, Nicholas appears to have been the source for the legends of Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, and other generous, gift-bearing icons. The mosaic art illustrations beautifully illuminate this religious story. Ages 6 up. Reviewed by Irene Allen, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

Waboose, Jan Bourdeau SKYSISTERS. Il. by Brian Deines. ISBN 1-55074-697-9. Niagara Falls, NY: KIDS CAN PRESS, 2000. Unp. $15.95 The bond between two sisters strengthens on a visit through the snow to witness the incredible beauty of the SkySpirits (i.e.., the Northern Lights). Whether readers have siblings or not, the feeling of family love evident in this Ojibway Indian tale will delight them. The beautiful illustrations enhance the visual imagery of the author's language. Ages 5 up. Reviewed by Julie Yantz-Foley, Northwest Middle School, Reading, PA

Wild, Margaret TOM GOES TO KINDERGARTEN. II. by David Legge. ISBN 0-80758-012-0. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman & Company, 2000. Unp. $1595. Many children love to imagine their first day of kindergarten; when the big day arrives, however, anything can happen. In this boldly illustrated story about a panda named Tom, adults will be reminded that kindergarten is an important event in a child's life--sometimes exciting and sometimes scary. Ages 3-8. Reviewed by Judy Treichler, Allentown, PA

Woodruff, Elvira THE CHRISTMAS DOLL. ISBN 0-590-31872-1. New York: Scholastic, 2000. 151 pp. $15.95. Two young girls are orphaned and must live in a workhouse. When an epidemic spreads through the workhouse, they escape for what they hope is a better future. They find, however, that the outside world is very difficult. Happily, a chance occurrence with a shop owner who notices some stitching on Lucy's smock leads to unforeseen opportunities for survival. Ages 8-12.--E.G.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Association for Childhood Education International
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:BURNETT, JEANIE
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Mar 22, 2001
Words:2828
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