Friday, December 4, 2015

Carole P Roman Roundup!

I have featured several series by Carole P. Roman on my blog before. She writes two book series for children that I have really enjoyed and am excited to bring you a few more books in both of those series and a stand alone book as well! Her books are always full of beautifl illustrations and rich vocabulary that can enhance a read aloud session. I have read some of the books to my past preschool classes and they are always a hit! Without further ado...

Series: If You Were Me and  Lived in...

                                                 Grade: A+

As I have stated in past reviews, I think this series is a much needed addition to the world of childrens literature. Each book in the series focuses on a different country and general facts about that country that are relatable to children. The newest ones I have to review are about Greece, Scotland, Hungary, and China. Each of the books starts with a map of the location of the country and then goes into the facts. I am going to Scotland in the spring, so I was very interested in the book about Scotland. I liked the descriptions of the food and am looking forward to trying some delicious tassie scones! Something that I picked up when reading these newest books that I didn't before was that after each new word, Roman gives the phonetic pronunciation. This can be such a vital tool when reading new and unfamiliar words to children! I hope that you all have the opportunity to check out this series! I promise you won't be disappointed and will definitely learn something new!

    Series: Captain No Beard
                                                      Grade: A

The Captain No Beard series follows Captain No Beard, aka Alexander, and his crew as they learn life lessons through high sea adventures with his crew. 

One of the newest books, Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles focuses on new additions to the family. Fribbet is scared because he has no brothers and sisters in his family and doesn't like the new changes. He shares his fears with the crew and the crew is able to help him through this difficult time. I really liked two things about this book. First the lesson about families growing and the changes that bring. This is a subject that is very relevant for children and it shows them how to talk through their fears with others. The other thing I liked about this book was that it went through the life cycle of a frog. It started with eggs and went all the way to an adult frog. This description included pictures and verbal descriptions on each phase. I would definitely include this book in my life cycle theme!

A Flag for the Flying Dragon is the second new book in the series. This book introduces and new character to the crew, baby Zachary. The crew struggles to find a job that will make Zachary feel included, but will also keep him out of trouble. The crew problem solves, and works together to come up with a solution. Learning how to problem solve is a vital part of my preschool classroom. This book shows an example of how to do this in a fun and understandable way.

Title: I Want to do Yoga too
                                  Grade: C

I Want to do Yoga too introduces us to Hallie and her mom who are on the way to yoga. While Hallie's mom is attending her yoga class, Hallie is in the childrens area. She really, really wants to do yoga just like her mom! Robin, the babysitter, shows Hallie how to do several easy yoga poses that any child can do. Hallie is delighted to find out that she can do yoga too!

I was not super impressed by this book. It started with a good plot, but then fell stagnant. Hallie is shown how to do yoga poses, but is constantly complaining that she wants to do yoga too, which she actually is doing. I guess the book tries to show kids that they can do several easy yoga poses just like their parents. The book is just not very interesting and I don't think it would hold the attention of most of my preschoolers. If you are into yoga, you would probably find this book interesting, otherwise I would leave it. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: Hidden-: Like Anne Frank

Title:  Hidden: Like Anne Frank
Author: Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhis
Grade:  A+

This book tells the tales of several Jewish children who survive the Holocaust by hiding.  This book had been on my TBR shelf for quite awhile. I have always been interest in the Holocaust but was pushed to read this book after I recently saw a play version of Anne Frank. I was blown away by the play and was excited (which I don't think is the exact word to describe reading about such an awful time period) to read this book. The book is divided into 14 chapters that each focus on a different child. Most of the children in the chapters do not actually end up in a concentration camp, but survive by either hiding in plain sight and acting as a non-Jewish child, or by hiding in a closet or a hidden area in a house. This is different than most of the books I have read about the Holocaust. Each of the chapters truly tugged on my heart and made me feel like I was actually there hiding along with each of them. I can not imagine how terrifying it would be to have to worry who would find me or where if I would ever see my family again. Another part of the book that I really liked was that there were photos of what each child looks like today. This really puts a face to a name and truly shows that these were real people, not just fictional characters in a book. Because the Holocaust is truly a terrible, horrible time period, when reading these books, we sometimes convince ourselves that the stories are fiction and there is no way that any of this could have actually happened. It is very unfortunate that it did happen and it is truly a part of history.

I think this book is a great read for anyone interested in the Holocaust and survival stories. It is a juvenile fiction book so it is a short read, but is still very powerful.

Happy Reading!