Children's Book Reviews

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Science is always fun with Sylvan Dell!

I always have such joy reading the Sylvan Dell books. This batch is no exception. I wish these books had been around when I was a little girl, or even when my children were little. Back then we observed nature and did the rote math our teachers required daily, however, it was never explained in a fun, engaging way. Incredibly as I grow older, I am amazed how much I am continuing to learn from these books. For instance I knew that lizard's tails could grow back, but to have a story about it, enriches it so!
A book was published in paper back last year, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. It addresses how in our modern society our children are becoming nature deprived. One thing that
Sylvan Dell books do is to keep nature (science & math too) alive for us and our children. What a New Year's gift these can be. May your New Year bring you all your dreams

Julie the Rockhound

What child doesn’t collect rocks at one time or another, especially the shiny and unusual ones? That makes all children rockhounds like Julie in this most interesting story that proficiently explains what quartz crystals are and how to find them. Young readers will enjoy learning about the properties and growth of crystals. Yes, crystals do grow! Author Gail Langer Karwoski has done a splendid job of taking a scientific concept and creating an absorbing story around it.
Artist Lisa
Downey’s detailed pencil drawings add so much to the story, making it easy for readers to visualize what Julie and Dad talk about on their hunt for rocks. For instance, where Dad explains, “It takes a VERY long grow.” The illustrations show the ascending scale of a quartz crystal’s growth. The activities in the back of the book are both informative and enjoyable. The book is highly recommended for the rockhounds in any home or classroom, ages 6 – 10.
and more!

My Even Day

If you read One Odd Day and enjoyed it, you will also delight in this companion book, My Even Day. Authors Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed have continued showing math concepts in a wonderful, zany story. It’s zany in an irresistible imaginative way guaranteed to catch the attention of the reader who will be drawn into counting the six wings on a trio of lions or the Scramblesaurus with ten eyes! What is a Scramblesaurus? Read the book to discover it and its number of features. Like in the first book, the writing is in rhyme that flows easily, and the even numbers are in bold type for beginning readers.
Illustrator Karen Lee nicely integrates all of the numeric concepts in fanciful paintings with movement, rhythm, and humor! The activities at the back challenge children to count, multiply, and solve riddles. Children from Kindergarten to Second Grade will take to this book, not only for math, but also for beginning reading skills and enjoyment above all. Highly recommended.

Little Skink’s Tail

Oh no, Little Skink’s Tail is stolen! She is scared and sad. Can she get another tail? What kind of tail would she like next? A skunk’s tail, a turtle’s tail, an owl’s tail? No tails she sees in the forest seems just right. Luckily, she is a lizard. Do you know how lizards get their tails? This book will tell you.
Author Janet Halfmann and Illustrator Laurie Allen Klein do a splendid job in telling this tale and in painting not only Little Skink, but also all of the forest and its inhabitants. Therefore, the young reader will learn all about a whole woodland habitat. One matching activity in the back goes further in explaining the uses of many other animal’s tails, for instance a rabbit raises its cottontail to tell other rabbits about trouble ahead. This book is a terrific addition to a home or classroom, ages 5 - 8. Just think how wonderful a forest or lizard unit would be in a classroom. One can just see a diorama created by children based on the book!


Post a Comment

<< Home