June 30, 2014
by Megan Radford
drawings by Peter Cook
Kids can doodle their way across Canada with this amusing activity book. Basically, they're asked to complete a collection of pictures that depict various Canadian tourist spots. For example, they can draw moose white-water rafting at Hell's Gate rapids, add helmets to buffalo at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, or fireworks exploding over Parliament Hill. There are too many Toronto-centric pictures, but otherwise, this compact little book is perfect to take along on any Canadian road trip.
The Big Book of Canada: Exploring the Provinces and Territories
by Christopher Moore
illustrations by Bill Slavin
Before embarking on a cross-Canada road trip, kids would do well to check out Moore's book. It'll give them a brief overview about each province or territory's geography, history (with timeline), important people (past and present), prominent cities, law and order, and statistics (provincial mottos, flowers, population). Then there are the interesting and unusual stories about Newfoundland vocabulary, Maritime poetry and song, Niagara Falls daredevils, Alberta weather, and Cree writings.
With modern and archival photographs, recipes, and Slavin's colorful maps & illustrations.
A big, entertaining look at Canada that kids will actually read and enjoy.
June 27, 2014
The Really Wicked Droning Wasp and Other Things that Bite and Sting
by Theresa Greenaway
Alarming close-ups of wasps, hornets, bees, ticks, caterpillars, scorpions and horseflies abound in the pages of this large-format book. Best to be avoided if such things freak you out.
Large easy-to-read font provides interesting tidbits about each insect.
Good for ages 4 - 6.
June 25, 2014
Paleo Bugs: Survival of the Creepiest
by Timothy J. Bradley
Kids who like dinosaurs will have no trouble reading about prehistoric bugs such as the gigantic meganeura dragonfly, the crab-like limuloides, or the armor-plated arthropleura. They'll also like the easy-to-copy drawings.
Good for budding paleontologists.
June 23, 2014
by Michael Worek
The insect on the cover, an Australian stick insect, is certainly weird looking but mostly, the insects pictured in this book are not weird at all. With their iridescent colours, delicate antennae, and gossamer wings, these insects are amazingly beautiful. Brief text provides each insect's Latin name along with descriptions of its habitat, defenses, and life cycles.
June 20, 2014
by Melvin & Gilda Berger
illustrated by Jim Effler
All manner of insect-related questions are answered in this excellent reference book. Examples of queries include:
- why are there so many insects?
- do insects have blood?
- how fast can insects fly?
- what do larvae do?
- how can you tell a moth from a butterfly?
- how do fireflies make their light?
Read the book straight through and become an insect expert!
How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?
by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page
How many ways can you catch a fly? snare a fish? hatch an egg? use a leaf? dig a hole? eat a clam? Animals can do all these things, and in a variety of different ways. This attractive book will tell you how.
As always, Jenkins' simple text and paper collage illustrations both inform and entertain young readers.
June 18, 2014
A Book of Flies: Real or Otherwise
by Richard Michelson
drawings by Leonard Baskin
The poems in this collection focus on nine different species of flies and four nonflies. Words and pictures depict imaginary, fanciful creatures based on literal interpretations of the flies' names. So a dragonfly is spouting flames and has an extra long tail, while the words describe a knight's unsuccessful attempt to save a damsel from it: Too late! / (for this hot date) / The dragon ate / her -- fried. Each painting is followed by smaller, realistic drawings of the actual insect and accompanying text which describes physical or behavioral characteristics or miscellaneous facts.
Bug Off! Creepy, Crawly Poems
by Jane Yolen
photos by Jason Stemple
The beauty and mystery of tiny living insects are celebrated with Yolen's playful verse. Here's what she asks of a lovebug:
Has you mate
of your hug?
Are you a
June 16, 2014
by Elise Gravel
The Fly is a nonfiction book presented as a short graphic novel. The drawings give human personalities to the common house fly, while the text provides interesting facts about them. That most of these facts are disgusting add to the appeal.
Focus on Flies
by Norma Dixon
Dixon's book would make a good companion to Gravel's little book. Focus on Flies provides more information about fly behaviour, fly anatomy, and fly locomotion. It even has a few facts about mosquitoes. The realistic drawings and photos are attractive too.
June 13, 2014
Hey Batta Batta Swing! The Wild Old Days of Baseball
A humorous look at American baseball history, such as uniform designs, team names, player nicknames, and the fine art of cheating. Sprinkled throughout are definitions of unusual baseball terms like cranks (baseball fans), frozen ropes (hard-hit line drives), and Annie Oakleys (walks). The old-timey illustrations perfectly complement the enthusiasm of the text.
A fun read.
June 11, 2014
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
written & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
An outstanding book about the heroes of Negro League Baseball, written in the voice of an everyman player. The reader becomes a witness to the beginnings of the Negro League until its decline with the integration of baseball in 1947. It is a story of determination, racial segregation, poor conditions, low pay, independence, and the love of the game. The players' strength, dignity, pain, and athleticism are expertly captured in Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings.
June 9, 2014
by Keltie Thomas
An entertaining book about baseball, filled with interesting facts, fun anecdotes, and helpful playing tips. Kids can practice the easy exercises that will help them become control pitchers or spray hitters. They'll also enjoy the action-filled photos and pictures.
For both casual fans and baseball fanatics.
June 6, 2014
The Basket Counts
by Arnold Adoff
illustrated by Michael Weaver
Adoff's concrete poems mirror the movement, the feel and the sounds of the rhythmic game of basketball.
poems compiled by Lillian Morrison
illustrated by Bill James
An energetic collection of poems that pay tribute to the game and its players.
excerpt from "The Man They Call Dr. J", by Pete Vecsey:
...The man soars,
hand outstretched like
a giant derrick, vacuums
the ball to his fingertips
drawing it safely to his
chest in midair. Then in a
bewildering flash, he's
charging downcourt, shifting
gears, changing directions,
hustling past opponents,
driving toward the basket.