Archive for the 'children’s books' Category

Christmas from Heaven – A True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013


Christmas from Heaven

Read by Tom Brokaw illustrated by Robert T. Barrett
“From little things come big things,” Gail Halvorsen remembered his father saying. As a twenty-seven-year-old American pilot, Brother
Halvorsen’s job was to airdrop much-needed food and supplies to the people of West Berlin in the aftermath of World War II. But it was his simple gift of two sticks of gum that launched an extraordinary humanitarian endeavor and earned him the nickname “The Candy
Bomber.” Each day as hundreds of small white parachutes delivered treats to the children of West Germany, the wounds of war began to heal. “Operation Little Vittles” captured the imagination of people everywhere, bringing the spirit of Christmas to a world in need of peace and hope.

Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD.
Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.

With a career spanning more than fifty years, Tom Brokaw is one of the most trusted and respected figures in broadcast journalism. The bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, he is a special correspondent for NBC News and has received numerous awards and honors for his work.

My Comments:  This is such a sweet inspiring book that brought tears to my eyes.  I love the story of the Candy Bomber.  It is also great that instructions are given to make a candy parachute.  A DVD is included with the book which shows news anchor Tom Brokaw reading the story and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing in the background.  The DVD ads so much to the book.  Parts of the story are acted out making the story come alive.  I really think this story is a little old for my second graders.  I think older children and even adults  could gain much from it.  Even better than just a children’s book, this book would make a great gift, coffee-table type book.  This would make a great Christmas gift for that person who is hard to buy for.

Crankenstein – A great new Halloween kids’ book by Samantha Berger

Saturday, October 19th, 2013


Who is Crankenstein?
He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic–or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day!
My Comments:  If you are interested in a cute new Halloween book, this might just be it.  I read it to my class of second graders last week and we all enjoyed it (especially since I’ve been super cranky lately 🙂  All of the kids could relate to it.  It led into a great discussion of what makes us feel cranky.  The illustrations by Dan Santat are vivid and really cute.

Dylan’s Day by Tim Hutchinson

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013


Dylan is a playful and curious dog who has many things to do with his time, including the most important thing of all: finding the big fat cat that lives next door. This beautifully illustrated book follows Dylan as he chases, sniffs, catches and follows birds, flowers, pots, neighbors and more, all the while frantically looking for the big fat catuntil he finds it, that is. Dylans Day is a funny and endearing story that teaches kids its OK to sometimes be a little scared.

My Comments:  What is cuter than a dog in pursuit of a cat – especially a big fat one?  This is a great children’s book.  The illustrations are outstanding!  Anyone with a pet an relate to Dylan and his pursuit of the big fat cat.  I reviewed this book because we just got a brand new puppy, so I had a special interest in this.  After teaching for 22 years, I know that children are VERY interested in pets and especially dogs.  Dylan is a sweetie!  I can’t wait to read this book to my new class this fall!  Thank you NetGalley!


Tomorrow is Last Day for GIVEAWAY on Meet the Planets –

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Meet the Planets


Tomorrow is the last day to try winning this great children’s book.  All you have to do is go to this link and post

GIVEAWAY – – Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Meet the Planets

Soar into the Solar System to witness the first Favorite Planet Competition, emceed by none other than the former-ninth planet, now known as dwarf planet Pluto. The readers become the judges after the sun can’t pick a favorite and the meteors leave for a shower. Who will the lucky winning planet be? Could it be speedy-messenger Mercury, light-on-his-feet Saturn, or smoking-hot Venus? Readers learn all about each planet as Pluto announces them with short, tongue-in-cheek facts. Children of all ages will spend hours searching the art for all the references to famous scientists and people of history, space technology, constellations, art, and classic literature. 4-6 pg For Creative Minds educational section in the back 40-60 pg cross-curricular Teaching Activities and 3 Interactive Quizzes available free on the book s homepage eBooks with Auto-Flip, Auto-Read and selectable English and Spanish text and audio
My Comments:  I have been reading Sylvan Dell books to my second graders for the past week and they LOVE them.  I told them I was getting this book yesterday and low and behold when I got home it was there, so I read it to them today.  They LOVED it.  We do not have the opportunity to do lots of science, so they listen like there is no tomorrow when I read these books and especially for some reason when I read this book to them.  The illustrations are adorable.  The facts are up to date, and cute cute cute the way they teach the planets in a game-show format.  I know if you have a child from the ages of 5-10, this book would be beneficial and of interest.  The AR level is 4.2, which is a little high for my group of students, but the interest in the content is definitely there, so it is a terrific read aloud.
Giveaway:  If you are interested in a copy of this book, please leave a comment telling me your favorite topic of non-fiction children’s book.  I will use to choose a winner on Sunday, May 19.  Thank you for your interest!


Children’s Book Week with Sylvan Dell and a GIVEAWAY

Monday, May 13th, 2013

**Be watching this week for my review of Meet the Planets by John McGranaghan.  This will be our giveaway during this week of Children’s Book Week.  You can also download Sylvan Dell’s eBooks for only 99 cents this week!   Read the following announcement from Sylvan Dell:

Sylvan Dell Publishing Celebrates Children’s Book Week

Mt Pleasant, SC (April 23, 2013)-It’s all about reading! For Children’s Book Week Sylvan Dell Publishing and their authors are delighted to share the love of a good book with children. Not only will several authors be participating in events at bookstores, libraries and schools in their communities, but the publisher will also offer free access to new favorites at For tablet readers all of Sylvan Dell’s enhanced eBooks will be 99 cents on the Kindle and iBooks stores from May 12th through the 18th.

To spark a love of reading and an appreciation for science and the natural world around us is the foundation on which Sylvan Dell was built. Each of the authors has an interest in sharing this love with children; meet one of these dedicated authors in your city.

  • See Janet Halfmann author of Home in the Cave, Little Skink’s Tail and Fur and Feathers at the Women’s Club of Wisconsin on May 14th at 6:00 pm and the South Milwaukee Public Library on May 15th at 6:00 pm for story time and signing.
  • Marianne Berkes author of Animalogy and The Tree that Bear Climbed will celebrate Children’s Book Week at Woodward Elementary School on May 15th.
  • Terry Catasús Jennings will be signing Gopher to the Rescue on May 15th at Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oegon. Then she will be presenting at the Mount Saint Helen’s Institute on May 16th and at the Mount Saint Helen’s Coldwater Science & Learning Center on the 18th with a signing at Johnston Ridge Gift Shop later that day.
  • Scotti Cohn author of On the Move: Mass Migrations, Big Cat, Little Kitty and One Wolf Howls  will be presenting and signing at the Blue Ridge Bookfest in Flat Rock, North Carolina on May 17th & 18th.
  • At the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, Colorado Phyllis Perry author of Pandas’ Earthquake Escape will be part of a Book Week presentation at 7:00 pm on May 18th.
  • Illustrator of Count Down to Fall, Deep in the Desert and The Best Nest, Sherry Neidigh will be presenting at Malprops Bookstore on May 18th in Ashville, North Carolina.
  • Ann Downer author of Shark Baby will be presenting an ocean themed event at Books on the Square in Providence Rhode Island on May 18th.

During Children’s Book Week Sylvan Dell will be hosting contests, giveaways and free fun activities.  The Sylvan Dell blog, Facebook page and @sylvandell on twitter will be dedicated to Children’s Book Week events beginning in May, get involved and win! For a complete listing of events, to schedule an interview with Sylvan Dell or any of the authors please visit or contact

About Sylvan Dell Publishing

Sylvan Dell is on a mission to improve child literacy with science and math through fictional picture books. Using prose and pictures, children are delighted with stories of their favorite animals, planets, or even place. This leads to the exploration of facts and learning activities in each book’s For Creative Minds pages. Sylvan Dell carefully designs each book to portray accurately the chosen subject. Vetted by experts in that field, and aligned to common core and state standards; each book is a unique asset to educational programs. Sylvan Dell has grown to include more than 80 authors and illustrators, and honored to have won more than 70 book awards since its inception in 2005.





Bob’s Booger by Scott Black illustrated by Margeret TerBush

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Bob's Booger


Bob’s Booger is a children’s picture book written in rhyme about a boy who wakes up feeling sick. In spite of his desire to stay home, his mother makes him go to school. Bob goes about his day with a booger in his nose. Bus riders, classmates and teachers see this booger, but neglect to tell him of his predicament. At the end of the day, Bob takes homework to his friend, Joe, who is also sick, but stayed home. When Joe sees Bob’s booger, he is quick to inform his friend. Ultimately, Bob learns a lesson about friendship. He learns that a true friend will always be honest, even if the truth is green and crusty…


My Comments:  This is a great children’s book and very timely for April with allergies rampant!  I believe most kids could relate to this book.  They will see the humor, but also relate to the predicament.  The illustrations are simple, but very cute.  A great addition to your child’s library.

Thank you NetGalley for my review copy!

Shark Baby by Ann Downer and Shennen Bersani

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Who am I? wonders Shark Baby. When his mermaid’s purse egg case is torn loose in a storm, he finds himself on a journey through different ocean habitats: kelp forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. He learns what kind of shark he isn’t, but not what kind he is. He needs to find the mermaid to learn where he belongs, but the ocean is big and full of dangers. Will he find out who he is-and what he can do-in time?
My Comments:  I read this book to my second graders and we all enjoyed it.  Children LOVE non-fiction and they have a real interest in sharks and sea life, maybe because we live in Southern California.  The illustrations are colorful and eye-catching.
This book kind of reminded me of Stella Luna, where Stella Luna the bat thought she was a bird and nothing made sense to her.  In this book, the shark questions what kind of shark she/he is.  We learn about several types of sharks in the process.
The books by Sylvan Dell are loaded with educational aides which make them worth so much more than just non-fiction books.  I will be using some of these aides to help prepare my students for CST testing in May.  The children loved learning about sharks!  Great read, great illustrations, great helps!
Thank you Sylvan Dell for a review copy of this book!

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel

Monday, March 11th, 2013


From the back cover: ” A for Amazing,

B for Buoyant, C for Charming,

Bad Kitty takes us on a mad and manic joyride through the alphabet.  And if once is not enough, just watch out…

D for delightful.”

My Review: This is a very cute book.  I like the way the author goes through the whole alphabet FOUR times telling the story of a kitty who turns from bad to good and it’s all wrapped around FOOD!  The illustrations are great and children will relate to it – especially the food they would probably agree with kitty is yucky!  I can’t wait to add this book to my second grade library.  I know the children will love it!  This book is leveled at 2.2 Accelerated Reader

The Most Dangerous by Terri Fields and Laura Jacques

Saturday, September 29th, 2012