For Children, Teens, Parents, Teachers and Librarians
Children's and teen literature, fiction and non-fiction children's books
Carefully selected from among (tens of) thousands
“MOM, Can I watch a movie before I go to bed?” No, you have plenty to read in your room. Get a good book and read before you go to bed.” (real conversation) - Roy stomps up to his room, but he is also happy, in a way, every night his parents read to him, and now that he is almost a teenager, he reads himself to sleep nearly every night, on his own.
Teach your child to learn to love reading. Well-selected books can mold your child's mind and heart in positive channels. Reading can be a part of a child's life that eclipses TV and screen infatuation or addiction and can contribute to a lifestyle conducive to good mental health.
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Does your child have the television
in his bedroom? By all means take it out. Television, video games
, open-access Internet
in the bedroom is an invitation to a distracted child in the classroom. One girl who could not focus in class had a wide screen television in her bedroom and she watched music videos every night until three or four in the morning before falling off to sleep.
Another tween couldn’t concentrate, or on some days, keep his eyes open in class, but watched horror movies
on his X-box until the wee hours of the morning unbeknownst to his parents.
Another very distracted barely teen had open access to the Internet on which he rocked himself to sleep at night watching his favorite videos. In school he was unsettled, had a very hard time sitting still and couldn’t concentrate. But he could bang out a beat on the table without missing a single word in his favorite rap songs
. This is the case with some children and young teens who have been diagnosed with ADHD
and who take stimulant medication
. It may very well be that their brain is overloaded with stimulation.
How much better to encourage your child to be a reader from an early age. This is a short list of excellent books for children and young people, that teach positive life lessons or help build character. “A reader is a leader!”
The small amount of commission the AYCNP receives from Amazon for books provides limited funding and contributes towards its non-profit activities which include distributing books to inner city children and teens, and to school and public libraries.
A carefully selected list largely from Newark Public School classrooms and Newark public library
All books were read for review purposes by the AYCNP
Organized from early childhood books through books
for older children and teens
Early Childhood Books
Alphabet and Counting
A Gardener's Alphabet
by Mary Azarian
A great ABC book that will teach your child about garden plants and vegetables. Ages K and older. Like most children’s books, adults will learn too! The illustrations are wonderful hand-colored woodblock prints and each page provides a new and colorful country scene. Mary Azarian is a Caldecott medalist.
One Child, One Seed: A South African Counting Book, by Kathryn Cave, Gisele Wulfsohn.
From a single seed to through the harvest. A cultural picture book to teach children counting.
Count Your Way
series by James Haskins
Would you like your child to develop interest in being bi-lingual? How about being multi-lingual? This series, then, is for you. The Count Your Way series features books such as Count Your Way Through Brazil
which teaches children to count in Portuguese. Count Your Way Through France
will prepare your child for a trip to France, mingling with Haitians, or a journey through North Africa. For East African, Count Your Way Through Africa
will introduce you and your child to Swahili, spoken by some 50 million persons in that part of the world. Count Your Way Through India
encourages cultural diversity. Learn how to count (simply and fun) in Hindi, the national language of India which is the fourth most-spoken language in the world. Only Chinese, English and Spanish are spoken by more people on this planet. Count Your Way Through the Arab World
introduces children to count in Arabic.
Also in the series is Count Your Way Through China
and Count Your Way Through Israel
teaching children to count in Hebrew, and, can you believe it, Count Your Way Through Afghanistan
This is a marvelous collection of books that are designed for children grades 1 through 3, but that can be used through the fifth grade and can are even suitable for adults who really want to learn to count in another language. Numbering in all books is basic, from one to ten.
In addition to teaching you to count in each language, interesting and diverse cultural information and illustrations are provided on each page, giving you a panoramic sampling of each country. It is enough to more than get your feet wet.
The Shoe Book
The Shoe Book
is an out-of-print book that is available used on Amazon.com, that is listed from its use in a Kindergarten classroom. It is a clever book that has a cute story about tying one's shoes, from the perspective of a child, and that has an actual oversized shoe with laces for children to really learn how to tie their shoes. Clever book that K and pre-K, some 1st graders, will love.
Handsigns: A Sign Language Alphabet, by Kathleen Fain
Non-fiction for children. Teaches children the alphabet and sign language alphabet using illustrations of animals. Because it teaches the sign language alphabet, it can be used, really, for any age, although the book itself was designed for young children.
Early Childhood Fiction and Stories
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?
by Eric Carle
Even though this book is a bit repetitive, the value of the book can be found in its closing sentences, with the assurance that "animal mothers love their babies just as yours loves you". It is a book that provides a measure of security to a child, stirs up feelings of warmth, and positive emotions. The book is in many children's classrooms for that reason, and is to be recommended. While repetition is used, repetition can be helpful for young children in their ability to retain information and word-phrases. So, it is for good reason that Eric Carle's book, Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?, is a favorite in the early childhood classroom.
Two other books by Eric Carle to consider for young children are, "Slowly, slowly, slowly said the Sloth" and "Mister Seahorse".
White Snow, Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt, Roger Duvoisin
PreK and Kindergarten book. From a Newark school librarian's best book list. Poetic book highlighting children's fascination with falling snow.
Footprints in the Snow (Hello Reader!, Level 1)
by Cynthia Benjamin
Another illustrated book focusing on the beauty of snow. This book contains soft, pretty illustrated winter scenes. The illustrations within the book are prettier than even the cover illustration, with gentle winter snow. It concludes with a positive message of comfort and love. This type of book builds positive emotions in children, helping them to feel secure.
It can also help them get to know different types of animals and their habitats. A warm, loving book for young children worth having at home or the classroom. Good to read to PreK children, or for early readers in Kindergarten or early 1st grade.
The Little Engine That Could
by Watty Piper
There are a number of versions of this classic story for children. Talk about the power of positive thinking! “I think I can, I think I can…” This is a win, win book for young children that he or she will never forget.
All I See
by Cynthia Rylant
A young boy awakens artistically through his friendship with a seasoned painter. This book is suitable both for early childhood and older grade school children. It can help encourage the artist in a child and contribute to developing appreciation in the value of painting and creativity, the peace and serenity of producing works of art. With so much media violence, art is a wonderful skill for children and teens to develop and for parents and educators to encourage.
The Rainbow Fish
and Rainbow Fish Colors, by Marcus Pfister
There are seven or eight books with the Rainbow Fish themes. This are colorful books that children love. They teach good lessons about sharing and getting along with others. Children love them, it captures their eyes and captures their heart! For children ages four through seven.
Once Upon a Springtime (Hello Reader, Level 2
by Jean Marzollo
Once Upon a Springtime teaches young children about little deer, the realistic fictional account of a deer's first year of life, including the difficulties of eating in winter and the joy of plenty when spring comes. It is a touching story and wonderful Bambi alternative.
Hush! A Thai Lullaby
by Minfong Ho, Holly Meade
Hush is a children's poem/lullaby, with a Thailand theme. It develops the theme of the love a mother has for her baby, while the mother tries to still the numerous creatures of the house and forest, so her baby won't wake. The art is culturally enriching, simple, yet deep, and pleasing to the visual senses. This is a lovely book for a mother to read to her child, or for the classroom, for Kindergarten or pre-K children.
A Walk in the Rainforest, by Kristin Joy Pratt
Non-fiction picture book for young children written and illustrated by a 14-year-old. Children learn about rainforest animals through a Walk in the Forest, narrated by an ant. All early childhood grades.
Rain Forest Counts - Pbk
Rain Forest Counts is an innovative counting book with lovely illustrations for PreK children through the 1st grade. It can also be enjoyed by children in the 2nd and 3rd grade on another level, through facts and verse through which the child will learn about exotic animals, plants and insects of the rainforest. The book contains brightly colored collages and interesting facts.
Over in the Meadow, by Olive A. Wadsworth, Anna Vojtech
Classic nursery poem for preK and Kindergarten children, ages three and up. The book is current, the poem was written in the 19th century. Soft and sweet illustrations. Teaches children to count. From Newark, NJ public school librarian's best early childhood books list.
Have You Seen My Duckling?
by Nancy Tafuri, Caldecott Honor Book
This is an interesting book in that there are few words other than "Have you seen my duckling" on several pages. The story is told in pictures, similar to the way Chinese characters convey an idea. If you rush through the book it can be easy to miss the point of the story.
In that respect it is very good for early childhood. Children who read this book have to learn from observing pictures rather than a lot of words. This stimulates the right-hemisphere of the brain, and so, it is good mental/cognitive training for young children. So, while the story has few words, there is a lesson here of a mother's love. It is a warm, visual book for young children.
Make Way For Ducklings
, by Robert McCloskey, Caldecott Honor Book
McCloskey wrote this classic early childhood book in 1941. It is still going strong, and the warmth that is found in this cleverly spun animal-human tale set in Boston, still touches children’s hearts. While Boston streets are much too dangerous for a duck family attempting to land, a friendly police officer comes to the rescue, and the duck family finds a safe haven amidst clamoring and impatient cars, finding a nice island home with plenty of water. The sketched illustrations are soft and simple, realistic and idyllic. The book imparts a feeling of warmth, belongingness and security to a child. The reading level is up to eight years old, but younger children, from PreK will enjoy the book being read to them.
by Reeve Lindbergh, Kathy Jakobsen
Jon Chapman was the real-life Johnny Appleseed, who traveled through the United States from Massachusetts to the MidWest planting apple seeds. This is a poetry book that depicts Chapman as a reverent and religious man, gentle and on a mission, a person who loves the land and has the will to do something about it.
The story is related by a grandmother to her grandchildren. There are a slew of books about Jon Chapman, some of which take the view of a conquering hero-giant. This book takes it a bit farther down to earth, and is worth having for children in early childhood from PreK through 3rd grade.
The Lost Lake (Houghton Mifflin Sandpiper Books),
by Allen Say
Another fictional picture-story of a father and son, and their short hiking/backpacking adventure. The story switches the young reader's interest away from the developed-commercial sun-bathing lake, to finding enjoyment in exploring the wilderness. Positive values of father and son on a shared adventure, accompanied by positive values of rejecting the commercial in favor of natural beauty. Good art from a good children's story-teller.
by Allen Say
This is another Allen Say story of interest. A little girls story of being adopted, with her expressions of emotion in the form of anger and frustration, and ending positively (a happy ending), along with a good lesson. This is a good book for any children experiencing frustration or coping with anger problems. Children's realistic fiction for ages 7 through 12.
by Eve Bunting
Eve Bunting's books are soft and kind for children. This is an interesting book for children well worth having for girls and boys. It takes you to the bustle and traffic of the city, where a young boy with an older companion, manages to find a "secret place" where ducks and other common animals find a little oasis and continue the existence that they had before industrialization took over. Another lovely book, interesting, with positive values for children in 1st through 3rd grade (ages 7 to early 9).
How Much?: Visiting Markets Around the World
by Ted Lewin
How Much? takes the child all over the world to places such as Egypt, Bangkok, and closer to home to Moroccan Brooklyn and Southern New Jersey. It is painted realistically in the manner of photography. The artwork is very nice, soft, interesting. Children will get a good education about many different cultures through this book. It is recommended for the classroom, for home-schooled child or as a gift. Good for second and third grades.
Let's Eat: What Children Eat Around the World, by Beatrice Hollyer
Another culture photo-book for early childhood that is good for children up to the fourth grade. One of these “child-adult books” where children of all ages, and even adults are educated.
Early Childhood Non-Fiction
The 5 Senses (Let's Learn about)
, Nuria Roca, Rosa M. Curto (illustrator)
The 5 senses is an early childhood book of some value for children. It contains cartoonish illustrations of some elaboration, that accompany basic information on the five senses, which is at an appropriate reading level for 1st and 2nd grade children, but that can also be used by a teacher in Kindergarten or possibly preK. The book does cover the topics well, teaching the child, not just citing facts, and the illustrations are such that most children will find the book easy to follow, and will most likely captivate the attention of the average 1st or 2nd grader. There is a two-page section in the book of the book with teaching guidelines for parents.
by Gail Gibbons
is children's non-fiction for the 2nd and third grade. It teaches them the ins and outs of bicycles, with a brief history and information on the various types of bicycles, how bicycles work and are used, as well as ideas in safety and maintenance.
Century Farm: One Hundred Years on a Family Farm
by Cris Peterson, Alvis Upitis (Photographer
A warm picture book for early childhood up to the 2nd grade, that describes a bit of the history of a family farm, up to the present day. It is family-oriented, teaches positive values, such as unity, the value of hard work, as well as teaching children about farm life.
An Elephant in the Backyard, by Richard Sobol
For children ages 5 and older, through this picture book, children learn about the life of children in Thailand, through the eyes of brother and sister, Jak and Muay.
, by Steve Jenkins
- An innovative book for children, Actual Size
is for children PreSchool through 5th Grade. The artwork is paper collages and the book contains 18 animals and insects, or a part of their body, in actual size. The book is one of contrasts in size between different animals, a one foot wide squid eye occupies one page. Miniscule termites, a mouse lemur, one two and a half inches tall, contrast with the portrait of a 600 pound Gorilla, all in "actual size". Interesting book for kids, introducing them to the world of nature, helping them to get a grasp on the reality of comparisons, measurement and observation, as well as the scientific method of record keeping. Engaging text also adds to the interest of this book.
Bridges Are to Cross (Picture Puffins)
, Philemon Sturges, Giles Laroche (Illustrator)
Bridges are to Cross is a delightful little picture book for first grade children, or supplementary social studies book for children up to the 3rd grade, with bright pictures, that teaches children about bridges, like the Golden Gate Bridge, yes, but also, teaches children about bridges from diverse cultures and time periods. It exposes them, therefore, to different cultures in a captivating way. The only issue is the print of the main text, while interesting, is a little small. In any case, it is an interesting addition to a child's or classroom library / collection.
Early Childhood Science and Nature
Into the Sea, by Brenda Z. Guiberson
Into the Sea has bright, beautiful pictures. The text is accurate nature science and provides many details about the sea turtle’s life. The climax of the book ends with the sea turtle returning to the beach where she herself was hatched to lay eggs after 20 years. It gently introduces the idea of the food web and that only two out of an entire brood of hatchlings will survive to lay eggs. A nice nature and science book with an introduction to environmental conservation for children up to grade 3.
In the Swim by Douglas Florian
2nd or 3rd grade poetry with simplistic paintings / illustrations, but it works. Good poetry. On a couple of occasions, the book drifts into needless negativism, about fish no-less, but all-in-all, the book is upbeat. The fish poeticized in this interesting kid's book are, Catfish; Salmon; Piranhas; Eel; Sawfish; Seahorse; Whale starfish; Ray; Flounder; Sharks; Blenny; Flying fish; Clam; Anglerfiah; Skates; Manatee; Jellyfish; Oysters; Rainbow trout; Tetra
Here Is the African Savanna (Web of Life),
by Madelene DunphyM
A rich book of poetry and prose for children, early childhood. In the style of the poem from decades ago, that many of us remember, "I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don't know why she swallowed a fly..." the story of the African savanna is developed, with animals and scenes gradually developed. Kindergarten children were enthralled. A captivating book for children, with captivating artwork, bright and vivid, lifelike at times, and artistic at others. Younger children will enjoy, enjoy your reading the book to them. Children who can read well will enjoy reading the book and examining the nature art on their own. One page with artwork or an African elephant is breathtakingly beautiful.
This book is part of a small series that includes
Here Is the Coral Reef (Web of Life),
Here Is Antarctica (Web of Life),
Here is the Tropical Rainforest,
Here Is the Wetland (Web of Life),
Here Is the Southwestern Desert (Web of Life),
Here Is the Arctic Winter (Web of Life)
(all of which were not reviewed by AYCNP, with the exception of Here is the African Savanna). See: www.mdunphy.com
Not part of this series, on the theme of early childhood (up to 3rd grade) books of interest, Life in a Coral Reef (Ranger Rick Science Spectacular Series)
by Melvin Berger
has beautiful photos and is worth it for children. It isn't worth the current (2012) new cost on Amazon, but used, it is a good deal.
If You Find a Rock, by Peggy Christian, photos by Barara Hirsh Lember
Not that the book isn’t nice for girls, but this is a great book for little boys. There is something comforting about rocks. Studying rocks in geology is very stabilizing. There are no serious ethical issues with rocks such as genetic engineering and mutations. Rocks evolve and then the de-evolve back to a simpler form in a wonderful cycle.
This book, of course, does not get into all that, it basically poetically teaches children about different categories of rocks, and that rocks are...well, your friend. You can have a lot of fun with rocks. It has photos, more or less poetry, for Kindergarten and first grade boys. Girls will like it, boys will like it, but its a first-choice for little boys.
The Reason for a Flower (Ruth Heller's World of Nature), by Ruth Heller
The illustrations are fine, bold, and beautiful, even for children who cannot read. If they can read, it will hold the attention of a child up to 8 years (or even 9). It is an early childhood book, but this is another book that adults can learn from. Six year olds who read this book, in our special education class, loved, loved it. They read along, and listened. It is a book for all children but especially girls. Every child will enjoy this book and it’s a nice gift for girls.
Pop-Up: Hide & Seek (National Geographic Action Book)
(National Geographic Action Book) - This is a clever 12-page book that enthralls children, with interesting pop-up animals, it is as much a game as it is a book. Part of a series of books from National Geographic, children will learn and be enthralled. From a grade school classroom where children preferred these National G. pop-up books.
Explore a Tropical Forest, Pop-up Book, by Peggy D. Winston
is another in the series, bright, colorful, fun and educational to boot!
Strange Animals of the Sea
(National Geographic Action Book)
This is wonderful children's non-fiction. The book is beautifully illustrated and each page has pop-ups. Kids love it and it is well worth it for any classroom, grades Kindergarten to 6th. There are several books in this series and children are enthralled.
Other books in the series are, Pop-Up: African Animal Giants (National Geographic Action Book)
by James Dietz
, Pop-Up: Amazing Monkeys
, Pop-Up: Animal Homes (National Geographic Action Book)
by Jeffrey Terreson
, Wonderful Animals of Australia (National Geographic Action Book)
by Jane R. McCauley
, Pop-Up: Animal Acrobats
, along with other similar titles.
Under the Sea (Usborne Lift and Look)
Some little bit of pop-ups in this colorful book, (not on the same level of the National G. books listed above). The illustrations in the first two chapters are good but not so striking, but the rest of the illustrations are vibrant and colorful. Kids enjoy this book, and it is a good touchstone for children on which to draw their own pictures, through the 3rd or 4th grade. This is a nice book all in all for K into the 1st grade.
Spots: Counting Creatures from Sky to Sea
, by by Carolyn Lesser, Laura Regan (illustrator)
Kids really enjoyed reading this simple book about animals with spots. It is a good book to read to children in class or at home, and expands a first graders knowledge of animals. It helps them see a pattern in nature, categorize animals in a way they normally might not, so it serves as a cognitive bridge for early childhood. It can be used for an art / science lesson after reading the story to them. Almost all children enjoyed drawing and coloring pictures of animals with spots after reading the story with them. Early childhood or grade school science teachers can use this book for a one period lesson.
The Rainforest Grew All Around
, by Susan K. Mitchell (Author), Connie McLennan (Illustrator)
- Teacher's Choices Reading List, 2007
This is a rainforest version take-off on the song, "The Green Grass Grew All Around". Children will learn about rainforest animal life, such as jaguars, boas, leafcutter ants, toucans, bats, sloths, as well as rainforest flora such as kapok trees and bromeliads, to mention just two. The book also includes a three-page For Creative Minds educational section that will help children further broaden their newly blooming knowledge of the rainforest.
Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea
by Chris Butterworth
A gentle, soft and cutely illustrated book for children from Kindergarten through third grade that teaches children about seahorses. A nature book that has enough information that adults will also learn.
Butterflies and Moths (World Discovery Science Readers)
by Kris Hirschmann
This is one of an excellent series of science and nature books for children. The books are suitable for early childhood through the 4th Grade. Other books in the series include Ants, Bees and Other Social Insects, Dolphins, Sharks, Rocks and Minerals, Water
and the Solar System
Dolphin Talk: Whistles, Clicks, and Clapping Jaws (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)
, Wendy Pfeiffer, author; Helen F. Davie, illustrator
Dolphin Talk is a pleasant paperback book with substance for children up to 2nd grade. Teachers or parents can read Dolphin Talk with children from Kindergarten. Soft, but unsophisticated, artwork, with pretty colors of water and underwater scenes, can be a base from which children design their own art. The science is accurate, and simply explained, and focuses on such topics as how dolphins create sounds such as whistles and clicks, and draws parallels to the sounds a human baby makes and how a mother dolphin warns and scolds its calves. Echolocation is also discuses, and there is a two page spread of the internal anatomy of a Dolphin, an excellent introduction to the topic. The subjects discussed here are good for children to understand, and will add to their advancement in science. It is presented in a format that can educate early childhood in grades prior to the third grade.
Red-eyed Tree Frog (Scholastic Bookshelf)
, by Joy Cowley, Nic Bishop
Red-Eyed Tree Frog is a book that boys love. This is suitable for first or second grade, and teaches children to love nature. The book is great for kids, in part, because of the bright, colorful pictures which captivate little boys, who usually love frogs to begin with (one of the first graders request is a book on frogs).
Good for the home library or the classroom.
, Kay Winters, Laura Regan (Illustrator)
Nicely illustrated children's books about a tigresses life with her cubs. Hunting, danger, teaching her cubs to swim, hunt and survive, this is a good introduction to one of the most fascinating creatures on earth.
Early Childhood Poetry and Music
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
, Paul Fleischman, Eric Beddows (Illustrator)
- 1989 Newbery Award
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
is an illustrated poetry book, rather than a picture book with poetic lyrics, for young readers (early childhood). It is a delightful book and winner of the 1989 Newbery Award.
How We Make Music (Rosen Real Readers)
by Roland Graham
How We Make Music is a non-fiction early childhood picture book that inspires children to learn how to play a musical instrument, or to get used to the idea. PreK through 2nd Grade.
Bein' with You This Way by W. Nikola-Lisa, Michael Bryant (Illustrator)
An interesting poem-song-rap for third grade and younger, helping children to unite! as it were. Message: We are all different, yet the same. This is a good lesson for children to learn and teachers or parents can use it to initiate discussion in getting along with other people, viewing people who might be different than us, different color, different likes or interests, different race or country, on an equal level with ourselves. The Golden Rule can be highlighted, when it comes to applying the idea behind the message of
Bein' with You This Way
. If people are the same as us, while looking different, shouldn't we treat them the same way we would like to be treated????? Children will enjoy the bop be do bop bops phrasings interjected in the book and the teacher or parent can have fun with the children with it.
Another idea with this book is to help children to realize that rap is a form of poetry, helping to shift them towards finding pleasure in reading and writing poetry.
101 Rhythm Instrument Activities: for Young Children
by Abigail Flesch Connors
With a world filled with passive entertainment, this book teaches children music from the perspective of active participants. Because music is approached from the rhythmic point of view, it is something that all children can participate in. The books is geared towards parents and teachers for early childhood.
The author is an early childhood music specialist who includes dance, rhythm instrument activities, music literacy, and listening games in her book.
Early Childhood Arts, Art Stories and Craft
I Am an Artist (Rosen Real Readers: Early Emergent)
by Janet Carson
This is a simple book with pictures for Kindergarten and Pre-K children, that will inspire them to be artists. This was from a wonderful and unusual kindergarten class filled with great books for children.
Let's Draw! (Real Readers - Upper Emergent)
by Carlie Todoro
A nice 12-page PreK or Kindergarten book that encourages children in drawing. A small book of worth in the classroom or home.
The Sign Painter
, by Allen Say
Interesting fiction for children, picture book, with nice, gentle and soft artwork, with a Western United States, desert motif. A story of a child/teen artist and his work as a mural artist painting billboards in the deserts. It is a somewhat inspiring story for children, helping them to think in terms of their own artistic development.
The story is written in an almost Zen-Buddhist, soft spoken manner, not that there is anything religious here, but that the manner in which the story is delivered reflects that manner, a American theme delivered by an Oriental writer. This is a good story worth having in the classroom, one that will enrich your child's education.
For children 2nd and 3rd grades.
David's Drawings, by Cathryn Falwell
Gentle fictional story with illustrations that imparts positive values about cooperation with other classmates, being content, modesty and the value of simplicity. It also shows how by pulling together more can be accomplished than you can alone. It is a nice book for the early childhood classroom, for children, up to the 2nd grade. Kindness and good values are highlighted.
Paint Brush Kid (Stepping Stone, paper)
by Clyde Robert Bulla
is another work of fiction about a boy who works to save his "uncle's" house by painting pictures, a book of positive values and inspiring to potential young artists.
The Brigham Young Library recommends Origami 101: Master Basic Skills and Techniques Easily through Step-by-Step Instruction
, by Benjamin John Coleman
in its Young Adult Non-Fiction category recommended books. Origami 101 provided 50 projects, arranged from simple to most difficult, with numbered instructions and photos. It also includes an instructional DVD with step-by-step instructions, as well as printable origami papers, as well as the entire book in PDF format.
Origami is a sublime Japanese art that spans centuries, that children, teens and adults can find delight in. Parents, replace video game time with Origami time! Your child's life and creative mind will be culturally enriched forever.
Fun with Easy Origami: 32 Projects and 24 Sheets of Origami Paper (Dover Origami Papercraft), by Dover
Paper airplanes are many a boy's passion. Origami is the art of folding paper into myriads of creations. This Japanese art is captivating for children, and is practiced in Japan as an art form for children and adults. This book provides a good introduction to Origami. The new book comes with 24 sheets of origami paper in 12 colors.
Another book of similar theme is Fun with Paper Folding and Origami (Dover Game & Puzzle Activity Books)
by William D. Murray, Francis J. Rigney
Big Book of Playtime Activities by Ray Gibson by Ray Gibson
This is a great book of art and craft activities for children with simple things for children to make. It uses step-by-step pictures with instructions, and teaches a diversity of number skills for young children, while they create various craft-works. Included are fingerpainting, drawing animals, adding and other numbers games. The book is 224 pages, and contains a wide variety of interesting arts projects for children. Why let children be bored? Keep them busy with fun and simple arts ideas and projects. The book is suitable for children into the 3rd grade.
Reader's Digest Illustrated Great World Atlas
Many children will find this children's atlas of interest and enjoy the many interesting facts, maps and artwork.
Picture Reference Atlas (Picture Reference Atlas Series)
This is one of the best children's picture Atlas's available. There are colorful maps and illustrations that will capture the attention as well as teach a wealth of information to children grades 2 through 4.
National Geographic World Atlas for Young Explorers
, Third Edition
Another good choice in a children's atlas. Booklist states that "Introductory material is one of the strong points in this atlas." 25 maps in the beginning of the atlas demonstrate such themes as, climate, vegetation, population density, endangered species, world economies. This atlas is for children grades 3 through 7.
Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey around the World
Not quite an atlas, but along the same lines, Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey around the World
, by Maya Ajmera, is a beautiful hardcover book that describes with photographs and text, children from all over the world. Each section contains about 265 words, with a synopsis, or profile, of each country, especially as it relates to children. Major countries such as Brazil, France, England, are considered, as well as lesser known countries such as Qatar and Oman. Each country contains a map indicating where the country is located in the world, major languages, total population and population of children in each country is also included, as well as the popular sports and environmental fact. Additional countries that begin with the same letter are listed.
Xanadu is included as an imaginary country of peace and kindness, a Shangri-la or Utopia of children's imagination, which can be a good springboard for classroom discussion, or conversation with parents.
All of the illustrations are striking and beautiful, so the book does grab the attention of children. Some minor factual question marks, why Calcutta, and not Kolkota, the current name of the prominent Indian city. Also, why are Buddhist children featured as a main photo in the India section when the majority of Indians are Hindu, and Buddhism is a small minority in certain sections of India. Besides these few detail-oriented question marks, this is an excellent library or home book, a nice gift for any family with grade school children.
Grade School Children Books
A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme
by J. Patrick Lewis
A book for second through fourth grades, an interesting poetry book, with unique illustrations. There is much that children can learn from this, an educational book based on history that helps the children get a grasp of the world's historical explorers, as well as gaining knowledge of world geography.
Any book that takes children to different parts of the world, to history, and does it in a way that they can easily digest is worth it. Parents or teachers might need to explain some of the facts to children. Not all of the poems are not top of the line, but suffice, but provide a good stage for the illustrations and facts, which make up for any lack in the level of poetic expertise.
1001 Things to Spot on the Farm (Usborne 1001 Things to Spot), by Gillian Doherty
Like Rainbow Fish, this is part of series of books, including, 1001 Things to Spot on the Farm, 1001 Things to Spot in the Sea, as well as Spanish versions of the same. With a myriad of small illustrations to captivate children, some of the themes developed are on safari, in the desert, in the arctic, woods, ocean, rainforest, garden, swamp, mountains, etc. Holds their attention and imagination. Early childhood through third or even fourth grade.
One Hundred One Questions About Desert Life, by Alice Jablonsky
The book has nice illustrations and photos on every page. Each page has three or four questions. Some examples of questions are, 17. Why do cactus plants have sharp spines? 19. Can people eat desert plants? 59. What is the largest lizard in the United States? 77. What is the smallest bird in the Southwest?
The book is plentiful with facts and each question is supplied with concise factual answers of only one or two paragraphs. These Twitter-like answers are a good way to assimilate information for anyone.
This is a good supplementary science book for grades three to seven (another one of those books adults will also learn from). It is worth having for the classroom, science class, library, home schooling or as a small gift. Definitely worth the few dollars for a new copy.
Almost Gone: The World's Rarest Animals (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
, by Steven Jenkins.
This is a marvelous book for children grades 2 through 5, which will open the child's mind and heart to the plight of the world's most endangered species. Species as diverse as rare butterflies and insects that were thought to have been extinct, but of which there are only a few left, to rare dolphins of China, the Javan Rhino, as well as the world's most rare animal, the Galapagos Giant Tortoise, are presented to the reader.
Not only are these rare species developed, but several pages are devoted to animals which have in fact become extinct, as well as animals which, through intervention, have recovered from the brink of extinction. This is a rare book that will entertain both young and old, and which provides a concise and easy to digest, yet heart-touching, look at this interesting topic.
The one drawback of the book, depending on your viewpoint, is that the illustrations are rather simplistic and child-like, rather than well-developed. The content, however, more than makes up for any like in illustrative production, and the book is highly recommended. From a second-grade classroom, but of interest for any pre-teen children.
Another of Jenkins noteworthy books for children is What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? (Caldecott Honor Book)
A Caldecott Honor Book (not reviewed here).
Endangered Animals (Hello Reader!, Level 3)
, by Faith McNulty and Carol Schwartz...
...is a good choice for a children's book on this subject. Early Childhood level is from Kindergarten through third grade. The book is nicely illustrated with bright watercolors, and is designed to raise awareness of the value of conservation to the future generation. The book was found in a Newark, NJ third grade classroom of note as to the extent, organization and care reflected in its classroom library.
Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl (Blue Ribbon Books (Prebound))
A photo book of a real life nine-year old girl from 1627, Sarah Morton, in the Pilgrim village in Massachusetts, reconstructed in this park setting, where Amelia Poole interprets the life of Sarah Morton on weekends and after school. A highly-educational book that makes social studies and history concerning this time period, come to life, for grade school children from 1st through the 4th grade. Nice photos throughout the book, girls can identify with some of the struggles Sarah Morton, as well as find a good model of seriousness and faith.
Three Award-Winning Noah's Ark Books
Beloved Bible Stories: The Creation, Noah and the Ark
by Kelly McGillis
This is a beautiful book with gentle illustrations based on the Bible account. The book does not mention the world “Bible” but it does mention God and Lord in the narrative. The book is based accurately on the Bible account, and is very nicely illustrated. It is tactfully prepared for children without dwelling on any negative or scary aspects of the story.
The only inaccuracy in the story is the pointed bow and stern of the ark, which the Bible narrative describes as chest shaped. The author embellishes a little on the story. The story of Noah and the ark is a part of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith, and the flood story in some form is a part of almost all major world religions.
A second Noah's Ark story is Noah's Ark
, by Jerry Pinkney - 1978 Caldecott Honor Book
This Noah's Ark story book, suitable for school libraries or home use, this 1978 Caldecott Honor Book contains little text, instead contains rich, creative illustrations that depict the Bible (or Torah) account of Noah and the Ark, the Great Flood and rainbow. Illustrations are detailed, water-color and pencil.
, (Picture Yearling Book) by Peter Spier, Caldecott Honor Book
A third Noah's ark story is by another Caldecott Honor medalist, Peter Spier. Spier opens the book with a translation to English from Dutch of a seventeenth-century poem on the subject. Few words adorn the remainder of the book, which is told in softly painted colors, helping the reader to visualize the scene and possibly the feelings of the characters.
Also for children,
My Book of Bible Stories
Bible stories for children, pre-teen children, ages 2 to 10. Old and New Testament stories, accurate and easy to read, with Bible references, simple illustrations. Character education lessons of value. Parents should explain certain stories which are difficult to understand for young children. Also available at no cost from itinerant ministers.
More Grade School Level Children's Books
THE YOUNG ARTIST
by Thomas Locker
An illustrated book for children, Grades 3 to 6. A nice piece of fiction with a little bit of fairy tale appeal to it, with the young artist painting idealistically rather than commercially, paintings of the princess, the king’s daughter. The paintings in this book make it appear to be an actual biography of a serious English artist. The story is interesting and holds your attention, with a few unexpected twists, turns, and climax. The story plot has a kind of Daniel in the Lion’s Den feel to it. It helps direct a child’s psyche towards high ideals and towards interest in art.
In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
by Javaka Steptoe
In Daddy's Arms I am Tall, is a nicely Illustrated book of short poems celebrating African American fathers. There are twelve poems in this book, which help the reader develop appreciation for fatherhood. It is a book that can be bonding between fathers and their children. This is a good book for children into the fourth grade.
This Is Our Earth: ESL: This Is Our Earth Grade 4 This Is Our Earth
, by Laura Lee Benson, John Carrozza (Illustrator)
This is Our Earth is an upbeat environmental book for children up to grade 4, but more likely to interest 2nd and 3rd grade children. It is simple, based on a rhyming poem / song, with musical notes inscribed at the end, that children can sing to accompaniment, if you can play an instrument.
The song teaches basic in caring for the earth, and can be enjoyed at an early childhood level, or for fourth grades, snippets of facts on each page that teach them an interesting cross-section of ecology.
The book is brightly illustrated and positive.
Eagles (Kids Can Press Wildlife Series)
(Kids Can Press Wildlife Series)
Deborah Hodge, Nancy Gray Ogle
"Don't judge a book by its cover" holds true with this book. The simplistic cover of rather unimpressive art betrays much more impressive and detailed artwork in the interior of this non-fiction children's book.
The subject of eagles is given full consideration here, with pages filled with details, including introducing the idea of conservationism. This is a fine book for an addition to any nature-book collection. It is good for children from the 2nd through 4th grades.
Interesting facts, well-organized, nice book for children up to the 4th grade, possibly young 5th graders, to flip through. Children from K or 1st grade will enjoy the pictures. Each section has about 100 words of main text, with an additional description of 10 animals per section. There are some helpful features such as a scale inset that gives perspective on distance. Some endangered animals are mapped out on the last page of the book, as well as small section specific to tigers. The only shortcoming of this book is that the colors and photos are not so vibrant.
Horse Dictionary: An A to Z of Horses
from Scholastic contains descriptions and illustrations of 109 horses. The illustrations are excellent and accurate, the descriptions simple, but detailed enough to obtain an understanding of the nuances of the world's different types of horses. There are some excellent features such as a size-scale inset, providing the maximum height of the horse in feet and "hands," as well as a small world map inset on each page indicating where the geographic area of each horse species.
There is a glossary indexing terms, and an index listing each species of horse. Descriptions for each horse are about 60 words in length. This is an excellent addition to a library, a home collection of books for children, and a beautiful gift (new), the used copy in the school library from which this review was obtained was worn to the point of losing pages, maybe an indication of the popularity of this particular book. (Some religiously conservative parents might object to the opening two pages which discuss horse evolution dating back tens of thousands and millions of years).
by Sarah Stewart
An interesting book that encourages children to read more. There are great illustrations, an interesting story, good for the second and third grades, for children around eight-years-old. It trails the life of a book enthusiast from childhood until her old age, and how she establishes a library with her collection. The book is a fantasy, not overly serious, but makes a good point, that is, learn to enjoy reading!
If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island
Nicely illustrated book that tells the story of the turn of the century through 1920s immigrants who made their way through Ellis Island. The book reads like a script from Ellis Island tour guides. (A tour of Ellis Island is a wonderful day trip for visitors to the United States, for classrooms within 100 miles of Ellis Island, or for any U.S. citizen, especially those with roots from overseas). A good, serious, non-fiction book for children.
Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic
by Steven Schnur
This is a delightful, interesting, mind and eye-engaging unique series of books, good for the home or classroom, discovered in one of the most well-organized third-grade classrooms ever developed, as far as the classroom library goes. Nice book for kids, even for adults it is engaging. Nice poetry/rhymes, almost Haiku in style. Bright, well-defined, high-quality illustrations.
Also check out the three other books in the series, predictably, Summer: An Alphabet Acrostic
, Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic
, and Winter: An Alphabet Acrostic
The Boy Who Ran with the Gazelles
by Marianna Mayer and Leonid Gore
An interesting children's story about an African boy raised by a herd of gazelles. A fictional account of interest, a teacher or parent guided story, in that the book breaks some rules to get back to his herd, escaping from jail and so on, after he is captured by unethical rescuers.
The artwork is simple but interesting, a good view of the African-Arabic-Muslim world, and a happy ending. What was most interesting in the book, that beyond the far-out theme, is a page that provides a detailed short list of true and documented accounts of children in history having been raised by or among herds of wild animals, such as by wolves and ostriches. This account is based on a story believed to be a legend, but that might have some basis in truth.
Grandparents Song, by Sheila Hamanaka
Grandparents Song is a simple, delightful book for girls (and boys) from K to 3rd grade. The artwork is wonderful, colorful, with an American Indian and somewhat African motif. The story teaches a wonderful lesson about roots, the protagonist’s ancestors, grandparents, where they were from and a bit about their story, the mixed heritage of a little girl. It might make children think about their own roots, where their grandparents were from, and their stories.
Grandparents might obtain this book to read to their grandchildren, and use it as a basis to explain to their grandchildren the grandchild’s ancestral heritage. The story incorporates cultures of Mexico, U.S., African American and American Indian. It was written by a Japanese author. Especially for girls ages 5 to 7.
Jamaica's Find (Reading Rainbow), by Juanita Havill
Cute story with a nice lesson for children about returning things you find or that don’t belong to you. You can ask the child after reading with them this story, what did you learn from this story? It can be the theme of a class assignment. It relates values associated with inter-racial friendships, cooperation, honesty and the happiness in giving. It teaches a child that they will find pleasure in doing the right thing. The illustrations are simple, but fit the motif and theme. Early childhood through second grade.
I'm Telling the Truth: A First Look at Honesty (First Look at Books)
, by Pat Thomas
A valuable lesson to impart to every child is found in this simple and attractive character education book for young children.
Other books in the series include: Don’t Call Me Special — A First Look at Disability; I Can Be Safe — A First Look at Safety; I Miss You — A First Look at Death; I’m Telling the Truth — A First Look at Honesty; Is It Right to Fight? — A First Look at Anger; My Amazing Body — A First Look at Health and Fitness; My Family’s Changing — A First Look at Family Break-Up; My Manners Matter — A First Look at Being Polite; My New Family — A First Look at Adoption; The Skin I’m In — A First Look at Racism; Stop Picking on Me — A First Look at Bullying
10-Minute Life Lessons for Kids: 52 Fun and Simple Games and Activities to Teach Your Child Honesty, Trust, Love, and Other Important Values
, by Jamie C. MillerThis book is for parents for children.
10-Minue Life Lessons contains easy to understand activities for parents to help children moral lessons and principles such as honesty, trust, generosity, love, as well as other lessons. Activities and fun games are with readily available materials. Other games you can play riding in the car.
Share and Take Turns (Learning to Get Along, Book 1), by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed.
This is a Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award Finalist
Booklist describes Share and Take Turns
as "A good choice for teachers seeking books that reinforce familiar classroom messages." Share and Take Turns is part of a series of 15 books that was among Booklist's 'Top 5 Character Education Series'. Several of the books are currently translated into Portuguese, Arabic, Korean, Slovak and Indonesian and Greek. This is a good series for the early childhood classroom, and children are attracted to the books as a classroom choice.
Some other related positive character education books for young children are, Talk and Work It Out; Join In and Play; Be Polite and Kind; Cool Down and Work Through Anger; Know and Follow Rules; How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends; When I Feel Angry
(Way I Feel Books) by Cornelia Maude Spelman
; Sharing Time
(Toddler Tools) by Elizabeth Verdick; Hand Are Not for Hitting
(Board Book) by Martine Agassi Ph.D.
; Feet Are Not for Kicking
(Board Book) by Elizabeth Verdick
The Children's Book of Virtues
, by William J. Bennett, Michael Hague (illustrator)
This is a character building (character education) book for children Kindergarten through 2nd grade. It is a follow up to the book, The Book of Virtues
, which some readers might enjoy, depending on your point of view. Courage, Perseverance, Responsibility, Work, Self-discipline, Compassion, Faith, Honesty, Loyalty, and Friendship are some of the values The Children's Book of Virtues endeavors to impart, through stories collected from many sources, from Aesop's fables, Bible stories, to Native American and African folklore.
Alejandro's Gift, by Richard E. Albert and Sylvia Long
This fictional story is for children grades one through four. Good educational fiction, teaching children about desert life and life lessons. Colorful illustrations to capture their interest.
Gangs and Your Neighborhood (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gangs Violence)
by Stanley Tookie Williams, Barbara C. Becnel
Former Cripps founder and death row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams speaks out from jail to young people and children against gang violence. A number of books on this and similar topics for children of all ages. This book provides education on gangs, prison, consequences of wrongdoing and being involved with the wrong crowd, as well as how people can change for the better.
Snowflake Bentley (Caldecott Medal Book), by Jacqueline Briggs Martin - Caldecott Medal book
Historic story of a nature photographer whose work still defines photographing snowflakes. Recommended to me by a 2nd grade class in Newark, NJ. Nicely and gently illustrated. For children grades 2 to 4.
Akiak: A Tale From the Idiatrod
by Robert J. Blake
is realistic fiction for children grades 2 through 4. the story is based on the Alaska Idiatrod and teaches children about skill and survival. Akiak is the lead sled dog among fifty-six sled dog teams, that will her some 1,151 miles in a rugged Alaskan race that commences in Anchorage, ending in Nome. This story is about a dog who will not give up. (I think I can, I think I can....)
Map Math: Learning About Latitude and Longitude Using Coordinate Systems (Powermath)
by Orli Zuravicky
This is a children's book for learning math in different contexts and applying math to realistic applications. For grades 3 through 7.
I Saw Your Face
by Tom Feelings, Kwame Dawes
This is a wonderfully inspiring for grades 2 through 6, a book with West African roots, that contains drawings of charcoal and pencil portraits created by a West African artist, accompanied with verse.
The book takes the reader on a global tour of young black faces from Africa, North and South America, Europe, and the Caribbean. The book can help African American and other black children appreciate the interconnected relationship of people with African ancestry. Some African American children do not have insight into their historical roots. This is a fine way for children to gain appreciate for their ancestral roots.
The book is also inspiring for children and can help them develop an interest in drawing faces. Portraits, without a doubt, in this opinion, can be considered to be the highest form of artistic expression, and the talent to design portraits can be cultivated in children from early years. In this respect, I Saw Your Face
is a good title for parents and teachers to consider. We ran across this book in the children's section of a Newark, NJ library.
When the TV Broke (Easy-to-Read, Puffin)
by Harriet Ziefert
An easy read book for children through the first through the third or even fourth grade. It would be so boring without the TV, so a child would think, but, within a short time, all sorts of interesting activities begin to fill the vacant hours of this child, so much so, that he scarcely cared that the TV was repaired. This is an invaluable lesson for parents and children. Do we really need what one Newark educator referred to as "the one-eyed monster" to entertain our children??? Great book.
Silent Music, by James Rumford
When you think of Iraq what comes to mind? No doubt war and strife. This excellent book by an Iraqi “boy” concerns the calligraphy of this country, from a backdrop of soccer. It will help a child develop a world-view, interest in foreign countries and cultures and to come to the conclusion that Iraqi boys are no different than American or British boys. It gives children an opportunity to practice Arabic calligraphy, was well as learn a little Arabic.
The Other Side
, by Jacqueline Woodson and E. B. Lewis
Nicely Illustrated fiction for grade school children. Two children, one black, one white, work towards “breaking down” the literal fence that separates them. Their efforts towards friendship are fruitful. This is a nice book for children to sow seeds of unity and take down walls of prejudice.
The Piano, by William Miller
A story of music and love which is warm, positive and softly illustrated. It teaches positive values of racial harmony, self-sacrifice, the value of hard work and the friendship between black and white, old and young. It guides children towards loving relationships and to encourage a positive interest in music.
Simple illustrations but with sufficient detail to interest a child or adult. 100% positive message, great for children, girls, African American viewpoint. Good for grades 2 to 3. It can also be read by teacher or parent to a 1st grader.
How Sweet the Sound: African-American Songs for Children, with Cassette, by Wade Hudson, Cheryl Hudson, Floyd Cooper
This book for pre-teen children of any age highlights African American songs/lyrics from Gospels to key periods in African American history. It is good for African-American children to gain an understanding of their American cultural heritage. This book helps along those lines. It contains 23 songs, including "Kum Ba Ya," "Follow the Drinking Gourd," "This Little Light of Mine," along with spirituals such as "Go Down, Moses," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," and "Get on Board, Little Children." Protest songs and one popular soul music song is also included.
One Grain Of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale
Great folktale that will surprise most adults as well. A short story, with exotic illustrations, great introduction to India. Book for grades one to four that children can read several times.
For You Are a Kenyan Child (Anne Schwartz Books) , by Kelly Cunnane, Ana Juan (Illustrator) - (Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award)
Life in a Kenyan village that you can almost feel and smell. Story for children that will capture their senses. Swahili phrases intermingled for true authenticity.
Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books)
, Claire A. Nivola - 2008 Teacher's Choice selection
Wangari Maathai was the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founded the Green Belt Movement> She grew up in the pristine highlands of Kenya, but over the decades, the land was gradually stripped of its trees and beauty, the Kenya Maathai grew up with no longer existed. When Wangari returned from college in the U.S., the people were malnourished, the gardens were infertile, and the land stripped of its trees. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai (Frances Foster Books)
is gently and colorfully illustrated, based on this true story of a successful East African movement to repopulate the depleted tree-population in Kenya. One person can make a difference!
Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor (Awards))
, by James Rumford
Sequoyah is an illustrated book about the Cherokee Indian who invented the alphabet for the Cherokee language in the 1800s, which previously was only an oral language. The entire book is written in both English and Cherokee. The book is for children from 1st through 5th Grade, but it is a story that will fascinate adults as well, opening the door on interesting page in the history of America.
Interestingly, the reader will learn that, unlike alphabets based on individual sounds, written Cherokee is a syllabet, meaning that the individual symbols stand for syllables rather than simple letters. This true story teaches children (and adults) an additional lesson in perseverance.
Life in the Rain Forests,
by Lucy Baker
A book filled with photos, some full page, including fascinating closeups of rainforest wildlife. This book is easy to read and suitable for children from grades 3 through 7. It opens the door for a knowledge of conservation and why it is crucial for the survival of the rainforests. Also discussed is several pages devoted to rainforests peoples and tribes, although only a few are referred to by name.
Interesting facts include 1/4 of all the worlds medicines come from rainforest plants and animals. Also, 80 tribes of the Amazon rainforest have died out in Brazil since 1900.
The book includes index, bibliography and further reading and research section. It is an interesting addition to the classroom or home library.
India: The People (Lands, Peoples, & Cultures), by Bobbie Kalman
Non-fiction picture and facts book, for children interested in learning more about India and its culture. For children ages nine and into early teen years.
Polar Bears (Animal Predators) by Sandra Markle
Animal Predators: Polar Bears is a book for children from the 2nd to 5th grade, small, but filled with beautiful photographs capturing the essence of polar bears and their hunting / food habits. It is enthralling for boys and is educationally oriented from the standpoint of photos alone, in addition to descriptive text.
Bones: Our Skeletal System
by Seymour Simon
Interesting science and health-oriented book by an author well-known for his natural-genre picture books for children. Lots of full-page photos and closeups of bones, marrow, joints, and of course skeletons, along with illustrations. The photos and illustrations will hold a child's interest. The text is factual and a bit dry, but the interesting pictures spice up the book enough to make up for the slightly-dry text.
The book has value for children from 2nd through 5th or even 6th and 7th grade, and can help them develop an understanding of health and health issues, as well as what some adults and younger ones go through in terms of potential skeletal problems. It also can help them to develop a health-oriented view of their body and self-care, as well as taking precautions when playing or engaging in sports. This is a book worth having in the classroom or in the home-school environment.
Simon also has a book on the heart, solar system and volcanoes similarly focused (but not reviewed here by the AYCNP).
Constellations (True Books: Space)
by Paul B. Sipiera, Diane Sipiera
A science book Science for children between grades 2 through 5 which teaches about the stars and constellations. It is simple enough for young readers, but everyone, including most teachers and parents, will learn a little something from the information here. It is nicely illustrated with photographs and can be obtained online.
100 Award-Winning Science Fair Projects by Glen Peter Vecchione
Every child or young teen asks, when confronted with a science fair project, "What should I do?" If that is the case with your child or student, this is a great book, found in a grade school/middle school library. It is nicely illustrated with a wide variety of projects, some very simple, that can be put together on a shoestring, some very complex for the future Einsteins among us. This is a must library book, and a great gift for the grade school or middle school student looking for Science Fair ideas.
by Chris K. Soentpiet and Alice McGill
Based on the true story of scientist and innovator Benjamin Banneker's grandmother, who was unjustly convicted of stealing and who escaped death because she could read the Bible (English law at that time). Bannaky was sent to the U.S., where she worked as an indentured servant, and married a slave with royal heritage. Molly persevered and prospered on her farm in Maryland, which during the Civil War was a state that had both free Negroes as well as slaves.
One day she had the pleasure of writing her new grandson's name in her cherished Bible: Benjamin Banneker. Banneker was a renowned scientist of his time, who wanted to prove that black people were not inferior in intelligence than white, and by all accounts that case was settled then in Thomas Jefferson's day. Banneker wrote Jefferson, and Jefferson, while still possessing slaves, wrote back positively to Banneker, furthering the cause of equality of African Americans in the U.S.
This book has some beautiful and majestic art. The book is suitable for children 2nd grade through 4th.
Benjamin Banneker (Black Americans of Achievement)
, from the Black Americans of Achievement collection - by Kevin Conley, B. Washington, Nathan I. Huggins
A historical book for children and teens from the 6th grade through high school. Banneker became accomplished in mathematics, astronomy, and clockmaking, as well as creating almanacs and assisting in the original survey of Washington, D.C.
Part of Banneker's needed mission was to prove that blacks were not inferior in intellect to whites. Case closed. A book that will be inspiring and help provide positive cultural roots for African American young people.
Welcome to Kaya's World, 1764: Growing Up in a Native American Homeland (American Girl)
by Dottie Raymer
Welcome to Kaya's World is from series of books which focus on various points in history. Kay's World, describes the inner life and culture of the Nez Perce Indians, from the perspective of a 11 or 12 year old girl in 1764. The Nez Perce Indians are from the America NorthWest, Oregon, Idaho, Washington. As one reviewer states, "these books are rich in historical details... and are lavishly illustrated with drawings, archival photographs, and well-researched. It couldn't be stated better. The book may be out of print, but you can still find new and used copies on the Internet and in libraries. A nice gift for pre-teen girls 7 or 8 years old and older.
Pioneer Life from A to Z (Alphabasics)
by Bobbie Kalman
Pioneer Life from A to Z (Alphabasics)
is part of a series of alphabet books that, with this particular book, provides a synopsis of the life of hardworking pioneers in the American Midwest. It is fully illustrated and an interesting that helps to develop the imagination of children.
Children may find another book in the series, Colonial Times from A to Z (Alphabasics)
of interest as well. There are colorful illustrations that take the reader back to the 18th century. Both books are suitable for grade school children from the 3rd through 6th grades.
Dealing with Lying (Conflict Resolution Library)
, by Don Middleton, Lisa Adams
Being honest is one of the most important lessons that parents and teachers need to impart to children from an early age. This book is part of a character education series that has much value for pre-teen children. It is simple, straightforward and illustrated. It helps children to learn the value of being honest, not only the do's, but also the whys, and what that means is that it is easier to reach the heart of the child with this valuable lesson.
Children responded very well to this book, it can help a teacher to frame one period in character education for the children. One grade school teacher says that she spends two days in the beginning of each school year devoted to character education. This helps the children learn lessons which will help them, and the teacher, for the rest of the school year. This is an important part of education. Of course, parents and teachers need to be honest themselves to be able to effectively teach this lesson. In teaching children, using Dealing with Lying, we can teach ourselves also.
This is part of a series of character education books.
Grandfather and I, by Helen Elizabeth Buckley
A bonding book between grandfather and child. Cozy is a good word for it. Everyone is in a hurry, except grandfather who takes time for the boy and girl. An African American theme, a nice book with good mix of portrait illustrations and scenery. Highlighting the special love an older grandfather has for the children. For young readers up to the third grade.
Linnea in Monet's Garden, by Christina Bjork
A European girl, Linnea, provides a gentle lesson in the art history surrounding Monet, with lots of photos and illustrations. Children through grade six will enjoy this interesting historical, illustrated and inspiring artistic journey.
Helen Keller (A Holiday House Reader, Level 2)
by David A. Adler, John C. Wallner
is a good mini-biography on the life of Helen Keller for readers in the second grade.
The Boy Who Loved to Draw: Benjamin West
by Barbara Brenner
This is a most interesting story, told with simple words, good for any reader grades 2 through 4. The true story of Benjamin West, who some regard as the father of American art. From Pennsylvania, as a young boy, Benjamin's parents were amazed at his adeptness in drawing the face of his baby sister. He got into some trouble with his parents, at times, because of his preoccupation with art, but in the end, his parents sent him to Philadelphia, as a boy, to work with a master artist and develop his skills, which he did.
He went on to move England, around the time of the American revolution, painted the portraits of Benjamin Franklin, and British royalty. He was a most serious and famous artist of his time, his paintings can be seen in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of art. A museum containing some of his works can be visited in Swathmore, Pennsylvania.
This book, written for children, contains simple illustrative artwork throughout, which adds to the idea that the art produced by West as a child, was significant, and that children can be inspired by West and his childlike drawings, which gradually evolved into some of the finest art produced by an American.
This is a nice gift to add to the cultural development of young children.
For the more serious reader or mature-minded teen, the biography of BENJAMIN WEST
by Robert Alberts
, 1978, will give the adult and older teen insight and inspiration. The Paintings of Benjamin West (A Barra Foundation book)
by Helmut von Erffa
and Professor Allen Staley
is also of interest.
Childhood of Famous Americans Series
, Various authors
An interesting series of books for pre-teen and young teen readers by various authors. The books are easy reading, apparently accurate, true stories of well-known Americans. Some interesting books for young readers in this series of biographies are,
John Muir: Young Naturalist (Childhood of Famous Americans)
Teddy Roosevelt: Young Rough Rider
Sacagawea: American Pathfinder
Helen Keller: From Tragedy to Triumph
Harriet Tubman: Freedom's Trailblazer
Pocahontas: Young Peacemaker
Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist Hero
Frederick Douglass: Abolitionist Hero
Eleanor Roosevelt: Fighter for Social Justice
Sitting Bull: Dakota Boy
This is a nice series of positive and affordable books, true stories for children to learn and enjoy.
Langston Hughes: Young Black Poet
Which leads to our next section,
Poetry for Teens and Young Adults
Turn young people on to poetry. Creating poetry proves to be a great hobby/pastime, tool of creativity, self-expression and effectuation, and can also be a means of catharsis, therapy and emotional outlet for some. In the case of reading poetry, it can be a peaceful, lifetime interest that helps expand a young person's cultural horizons.
Teachers and parents can provide positive poetry books for children and especially teens, in the classroom and at home. Some young people are outstanding poets. Encouraging and showcasing their work, even helping them self-publish, can contribute toward providing them with self-identity.
This self-published work is one effort from an older pre-teen, who provides insight into her own difficult childhood of abuse, but that also reflects here varied interests, love of life, interest in knowing God, and her relationships with friends and family.
A Portrait of a Brazilian-Dominican, American Teen: in 100 Poems, and a couple more by Jessica Simmons
Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for Young Poets
compiled by Paul B. Janeczko
This is a delightful book and fine gift for any young person who is interested in poetry. The book consists of both letters and poetry from established poets, providing advice, guidance and encouragement. The book is warm, the poems included, from each of the contributing poets, are interesting, sometimes providing encouragement, but usually providing samples, along with teaching lessons.
The appendix in the back of the book contains brief biographies, including photos, of each of the contributing poets. This is a class A book, and recommended. Teachers should think about their students who are gifted in poetry, there are usually one or two in every class, and give the book as a gift, it is inspiring. Encourage students who have a large enough collection of poetry to self-publish.
The Haiku Handbook -25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku
, by William J. Higginson
Haiku is a marvelous form of poetry, quiet, succinct, a new universe unfolds in (approximately) 16 syllables. This book contains Haiku poems from English, Spanish, French, German, and five other languages, along with Japanese poets (translated into English). Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki are four master Haiku poets whose work is represented here.
The section, "Haiku for Kids" is inspiring for children in learning this delicate artform. Reading and writing Haiku poetry is meditative and mind-altering. The fact that the Haiku poem is deliberately restricted as to length, forces the reader/writer to think in pictures, and it quiets the mind. Nice book not commonly found in the classroom.
For those interested in more fully exploring the Haiku poems of the Japanese masters, The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology (Dover Thrift Editions)
, by Faubion Bowers
showcases a generous sampling of these classic poetic works. The book contains Haiku poems spanning 400 years of history, (1488–1902).
Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children, by Wade Hudson, Floyd Cooper (illustrator)
A collection of poetry from fourteen African American poets such as Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Elois Greenfieid, among others. The portraits in this book are also of note and add to the value of the book. Whether your child is African American or not, this is a book that adds to cultural America and is worthwhile for children to read. If they enjoy music, or get caught up in songs, exposing them to poetry is a logical connection that will enrich their lives.
Phillis Wheatley: First African-American Poet (Rookie Biographies),
by Carol Greene
...introduces children to Phillis Wheatley's life and works.
Wheatley was a former slave from Africa, who was educated in the U.S., and earned her freedom through her poetry, met George Washington, and reflected humility and modesty in her successes and works.
Wheatley's story and her poetry is something that can help contribute to a balanced and rounded view of slavery in the United States. Her story provides a positive example of someone who humbly rose above adversity. Reading her poetry can contribute to the cultural development of any American, any American or African American teen, or anyone who is interested in learning more about the development of poetry in diverse contexts.
This is a fine, illustrated book for young readers.
For more mature readers, and for those interested in reading Wheatley's poetry on a personal and more in-depth level, the book Phillis Wheatley, Complete Writings
by Phillis Wheatley,
with Vincent Carretta,
contains both her letters and poems.
Voices : Poetry and Art from Around the World
by Barbara Brenner
This is a marvelous children's world-cultural book that teaches children about different cultures through poetry and art. This is a highly recommended book!!!! It is great for 2nd Grade all the way to high school, and can be appreciated at different levels. Simple, lively and fast-paced, world cultures shine in this children's book provided interesting information for the classroom, home school or coffee table.
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes,
Langston Hughes poems can be short and pithy, short enough to capture the attention of young people with limited attention span, but interesting and diverse enough to stimulate intellectual and poetic contemplation.
Langston Hughes poems are an essential part of any American's education, and for anyone in the worldwide cultural community interested in broadening their understanding of African American culture and heritage. Hughes wrote most of his poems in Harlem in the 20th century, and his poetry provides glimpses of the heritage of most African Americans in slavery, protest of inequality, although Hughes only touches on these subjects on some of his poems. Some of his poetry capture a feeling of jazz-blues to poetry, and a some of it expresses profound delight in God and spirituality.
Hughes' poetry is something every teen should become acquainted with and can help to satisfy their urge for lyrical expression in the rap and hip-hop age. Turn young people on to some of the great poets of the past centuries and you may help to enrich their cultural lives.
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes
by Langston Hughes
contains a more concise collection of Hughes works, which first hit the press in 1926. This is a fine collection poems for teenagers to enjoy and for African American teens to delight in.
More Books for Older Children and Young Teens
Draw 50 Animals,
Lee J. Ames
This is a book for children 10 years old and up, from approximately fourth grade through early high school, or that even adults can use to get started in drawing.
The Dore Bible Gallery
Containing One Hundred Superb Illustrations & A Page of Explanatory Letter-Press Facing Each -Hardcover by Gustave Doré
Gostave Doré was a superb French illustrator from the mid to late 1800s who, as a young man, illustrated for the works of Rabelais, Balzac, Milton and Dante. He remained single, thoroughly engrossed in his artwork. The Doré Bible Gallery may be out of print, dates from the 1890s, but there are still copies available on Amazon.com, Abe Books, and other online places. It is worth having.
Each of the 100 woodcuts are marvelously designed, rich in texture, with the preceding facing page providing a brief story of the Bible account. The copy in our family has remained since it was first given as a gift to a relative in the last decade of the 1800s. Five generations have found pleasure in the marvelous artwork of Gostave Doré since that time.
Also from Doré, and perhaps easier to obtain are Doré’s Bible Illustrations by Gustave Dore, introduction by Millicent Rose
and The Doré Gallery of Bible Illustrations, Complete
The Doré books are suitable for children, teens and adults.
Islamic Art: Recognizing Geometric Ideas in Art (Powermath)
(Powermath) by Janey Levy
An interesting, illustrated, non-religious book that highlights mathematical geometrical concepts from a backdrop of historical Muslim architecture. Muslims throughout history were strong innovators of mathematics, and this is a fitting book for learning geometrical concepts and creating cultural bridges in ethnically diverse communities.
Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind (Scholastic Biography), by Janet Compere, Margaret Davidson
This is an out-or-print book that you can get used online or through the library. It is non-fiction that tells the simple, but fascinating story of how one boy, Louis Braille, became blind, and invented the Braille tactile system for the blind, as a result of his unfortunate accident. From Scholastic books services, 1971. Grades 3 to 5 reading level.
Living Free, by Adamson
Living Free inspired the movie Born Free
, and is an interesting story for grade school children from the 3rd through the 6th grades. Living Free is the story of a mother lioness named Elsa and her cubs.
Fire on the Mountain (Aladdin Picture Books), by Jane Kurtz, E.B. Lewis (illustrator)
Story exposing children to foreign cultures worth reading for girls and boys ages seven to twelve. Story about an Ethiopian boy who overcomes adversity.
Orphan Train Rider: One Boy's True Story
by Andrea Warren
A book of historical interest, 81 pages, with index, that contains nearly every page with historical and some modern photos. The story is told of the orphans, from the biographical perspective of orphan Lee ..... that road the orphan trains from 1924 through 1930, to the West, Midwest and South. Orphan boys in orphanages in the east were sent to farms to work with families, and escape a dismal existence in orphanages.
As could be expected, the fate of the boys turned out to be mixed depending on the type of families they worked with. Over 300,000 boys road the orphan trains in that short time period.
This story is touching, moving and adds to the historical background of the United States as well as individuals whose life might not have been in the best of circumstances, but who, in many cases, rose above the odds against them, to live a successful and happy life. This book is well worth reading by children, teens and even adults. Excellent book for good readers from fourth grade through middle school or 9th grade.
Several Essential Holocaust Books for Children and Young Teens
Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry - Newbery Medal winner and American Library Association, Association for Library Service to Children recommendation
A heartwarming and exciting book recounting Nazi occupation in Denmark. Historical fiction which recounts the bravery and discreet actions of the Danes who saved their Jewish neighbors, helping them to escape to the safety of non-occupied, nearby Sweden. Relatively few Jews were captured by the Nazis as a result. This is a must-read for children ages eight through teenage years.
Facing the Lion (Abridged Edition): Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe
by Simone Arnold Liebster
A similar story of a little girl’s courage and resoluteness in the face of Nazi opposition, her parents sent to concentration camps, she sent to a “reform school” where she would be taught the Nazi ideology. A little girls’ ideological triumph over Nazi oppression. A story of religious and moral integrity. Good reading for fourth grade through adult.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
The Diary of Anne Frank is, of course, the most well-known of these three stories of females during the Holocaust. A poignant account of this Jewish girl in Amsterdam is usually a part of grade school literature courses, but if a child or teen does not have opportunity to read Anne Frank's work in school, parents would want their children to be exposed to this heart-touching story.
These three books provide a well-rounded biographical backdrop for understanding the emotions and reasons millions suffered during the Holocaust, and how it touched the lives of individual children, in this case girls, as well as our obligation to stand firm against atrocities committed in the name of the state or individual injustices.
by Karen Levine
This is another Holocaust account that switches between a Japanese teacher and her Holocaust Memorial Museum work in Japan with students, and a girl named Hana, who was a victim of the Holocaust, eventually being sent to Auschwitz.
This is, like many Holocaust stories a joyful/sad story, bitter-sweet, of this girl who was 11 years old when she went to Auschwitz. An exciting, heart-touching account, well-written, suspensful, sad and joyful. Highly recommended book for children (and adults), from 15 years old and younger, who can read reasonably well (around third grade).
Many pictures, easy reading.
Teaching About the Holocaust - The Holocaust for Kids
Eleven books recounting the Holocaust for children and teens
More Books for Older Children and Young Teens
Women of Our Time Series
from various authors
Concise biographies of exceptional women for readers, ages eight to sixteen. Good non-fiction, especially for girls (and for some boys also). Some of the biographies in this series are, Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology (Women of Our Time)
; Helen Keller: A Light for the Blind (Women of Our Time)
; Grandma Moses : Painter of Rural America (Women of Our Time)
; Eleanor, First Lady of the World [VHS]
Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution
by Ji-li Jiang
This is an interesting book for young adults that is found in some middle school classrooms, and that can also be a good book for children as young as fifth grade. Like many books for youth that have a serious message, as this one does, it is suitable for adults as well.
This provides a good education for young people and children, to get a first hand perspective on China and the Cultural Revolution. It will help children to understand that not everyone is "free" to do as they please, and the cherish their freedom. It is a character-building book of value for young people. It should be one of those must-read book for the summer.
The book is not totally gentle, has some rough edges, like China itself, and younger readers should read it along with guidance from an adult.
National Geographic Encyclopedia of Animals
A book worth getting for children and young teens. This is an anti-ADHD book at its best. The most restless child in sixth grade found a half-an-hour of absolute stillness and quiet with the detailed illustrations in this illustrated book. Every page is simply illustrated, with up to 18 animals of all genres. Detailed, with small easy to assimilate factual blurbs, it is the kind of non-fiction book that a child or young teen (especially boys, but many girls also) can use for several years and still learn more.
China the Land (Lands, Peoples, & Cultures)
, by Bobbie Kalman
A beautiful book with interesting photos. It gives a concise review of each aspect of China's culture, including its religion, food, arts, symbols, horoscope, festivals and traditions. It also includes games and hobbies. Clear and easy to understand, logical, and provides enough historical information, including the Cultural Revolution and how it affected the cultural development during that time period, and the resurgence of Chinese culture. It is good for the grade school or junior high school children/teens.
Steck-Vaughn Stories of America: Student Reader Save the Everglades, by Judith Bauer Stamper
Non-fiction, inspiring reading book for children ages 9 through early teen years. The true story of a new airport in Miami was started, but which was eventually halted, due to efforts from concerned friends of the Florida Everglades.
The story is exciting, gripping, and will be enjoyable for any grade school or middle school children. It teaches about our responsibility to the planet, lessons about the environment, how hunters and their interests in preserving the Everglades played a role, and how eventually hunting alligators ended in the Everglades until the species recovered some years later. Additionally, the Native Americans of the Everglades also were enlisted as supporters, whose ancestral land was somewhat desecrated by the bulldozers of the up and coming airport. A true story worth understanding.
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot (Scientists in the Field Series)
by Sy Montgomery, Nic Bishop
This book is recommended by the New York Public Library best books of 2010 list. The story revolves around the Kakapo Parrots in New Zealand, a flightless bird, and one of the most endangered species on earth. Only 91 parrots remain, and scientists are working to try to ensure their survival.
The book takes you on a 10-day excursion with those working to save the kakapo.
The text is both readable and conversational, and provides interesting reading for young readers from 3rd grade through middle school, and teaches them positive values of respect for living things and the earth's resources.
The Sierra Club Book of Our National Parks
This is a 64 page book, with index, glossary with descriptions of all 49 U.S. National Parks and activities, along with map of U.S. National Parks. It starts off where a book on U.S. National Parks should, with the Grand Canyon, and provides a synopsis history of the history of the U.S. National Parks, which is of much interest in all its details.
Historical, modern and scenic photographs are contained throughout. This is a good reference work, as well as a book of interest for young people, helping to mold their character in a way so as to respect nature and have an appreciation, knowledge and education as to the high value America has placed on national parks in its history, especially since the early 1900s, until today.
(There are other Sierra Club Guides to various U.S. National Parks, so don't be confused).
Guidance for Teens
The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
by Sean Covey
A secular (non-religious) book guiding teens, by a teen-at-heart, best selling author Sean Covey. He provides encouragement to teenagers to work hard at their schoolwork, stay off drugs, maintain good morals, including an excellent section on why and how to avoid pornography, presented in a format that teens can relate to. The book contains myriads of illustrations, humorous cartoons and graphics, making it easy to read for most teens.
Questions Young People Ask, Answers That Work, Vol 1 (unrevised version)
Volumes 1 and Volume 2
Similar themes as Covey's book, original volume from 1989, now updated version, covering most aspects of teen's questions and issues. Positive, interactive, illustrated, every teen will benefit from this information. This book contains Bible citations. Also available at no cost or voluntary donation basis from door to door ministers. Vol 1 - revised/updated is not available online, but must be personally requested.
Excellent Art and Design Books for Teens
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence
by Betty Edwards
This best seller is worth giving to most teens, (adults), or older children. Good book to have in the home, school library, library or classroom. It teaches the basics of art, from perspective to portraits, using simple techniques to help unlock the artistic potential in your brain. It is clear, simple, illustrated throughout, and it is easy to progress from a "stick-figure" artist to an accomplished one using the methods here. A recommended gift.
Essential Techniques Drawing & Painting More Than 200 Techniques and Step By Step Projects
by Sarah Utridge
This is a great book for those who want to get involved in creating art, a good beginners to intermediate book for drawing and painting.
Drawing Faces: Internet-linked (Usborne Art Ideas)
, by Rosie Dickins, Jan McCafferty, Fiona Watt and Carrie A. Seay
Drawing Faces is a good beginner's book for older children and teens to teach them to draw faces. Nicely illustrated and well-developed, this is a recommended book for teaching art.
Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering and Design,
by Margaret Shepherd
Margaret Shepherd has a series of books on learning calligraphy that is simple and easy to follow. It teaches basic techniques to those which are more advanced. If you are interested in learning calligraphy, or interesting a teenager or older child who has some aptitude, this is a good place to go.
The Calligraphy Book
by Peter Grislis
Another calligraphy book that teaches calligraphy simply and clearly. This how-to book is good for 3rd grade through high school.
Art: An A-Z Guide (Reference)
by Shirley Greenway
This book focuses on art terms, alphabetically, 59 in all, and provides descriptions, definitions, illustrations, photographs, examples and paintings. It provides information on individual artists and different art periods. The book is effective and can help a older pre-teen or teenager to gain a knowledge and interest in art. It is a book pleasing to the intellect as well as to the eye. From a Newark grade school library in the heart of Central Newark. Get your children off of the video games and into art!
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: Understanding the Concepts of Parallel and Perpendicular (Powermath)
(Powermath) by Janey Levy
This is a fine addition to any 4th to 9th grade classroom, or of interest for children and teenagers, not to mention adults, in the home. Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture is timeless and almost artistic, really, a form of art. It helps children and teens to develop an understanding of how design, artistic skill and mathematics combine in the field of creative architecture. It can be inspiration for some promising teens.
Dorothea Lange: The Crucial Years
by Oliva Maria Rubio, Jack von Euw, Sandra Phillips, Dorothea Lange (Photographer)
Dorothea Lange's photographs are cataloged and described in this interesting book, which documents her poignant photography during the years from the 1930s through the 1940s.
The images she captured of depression era suffering and restless Americans is of interest, note and soul-stirring. There are a number of books which document Lange's work that teens can benefit from reading and perusing. Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits
by Linda Gordon
is one, Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange
by Elizabeth Partridge
is another worth reading. Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field
by Anne Whiston Spirn
presents some of Lange's lesser known works.
More Books for Teenagers
All Creatures Great and Small
, by James Herriot
James Herriot's books are wonderful books for teens from 12 years old to adult. They are warm, humorous, positive, heartfelt, adventurous, good character education builders, entertaining. Very hearty recommendation for these novelish tales for teens and adults. Novelish tales of this veterinarian in the English countryside who tells his stories from early days as a practicing vet stories, caring for animals, birthing calves and horses, comforting farmers who lost their beloved dog.
Also from Herriot:
All Things Wise and Wonderful
James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot's Dog Stories: Warm And Wonderful Stories About The Animals Herriot Loves Best
The Lord God Made Them All
Every Living Thing
All Things Bright and Beautiful
, N.H.Senzai - 2011 Teacher’s Choice for Young People
Historical Fiction of an Afghanistan family's illegal departure from Afghanistan to California, right before the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. The book has roots paralleling experiences of the author's husband, who fled Afghanistan, which was then under Soviet control. In the mayhem of their exodus from Afghanistan, the six-year-old girl, sister of the protagonist Fadi, is lost in the crowd and left behind. How will they retrieve her? This is a book of courage, hope, love and perseverance.
Smithsonian Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide
by DK Publishers
DK Publishing is renowned for its high quality books filled stunning photos of whatever subject they develop. This is not exception. Page after page of stunning nature photography makes this the definitive gift to teenagers or older preteens, for education and captivation with the animal kingdom.
Like many books of high quality, this book can be appreciated at many levels, children can simply enjoy gazing at the pictures of 2,000 different species. Older children and teens can find facts and information that will contribute to their basic knowledge of science and biology. For those who wish to delve more deeply, the book contains coverage that will help the reader gain a fuller understanding of the wide variety of animal life on the planet, insight into endangered species, and understanding of the many new species that are being discovered annually.
Books like this last a lifetime and enrich the lives of children and young adults.
References for 200 of the Best Books for Children and Teens
1. Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books, 1976-1985: With Acceptance Papers, Biographies, and Related Material Chiefly from the Horn Book Magazine, (1986). Lee Kingman (Editor).
2. 1998 Best Books for Young Adults. Young Adult Library Services Association
3. Rasheeda Baldwin's Best Early Childhood Books list, (2009). - Public School Librarian, Newark, NJ.
4. Teachers’ Choices Reading List, (2007). K-2 5-8. International Reading Association
5. Young Adult Non-Fiction, 2011. Brigham Young City Library
Pages Related to Best Books for Children and Teens
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Teaching About the Holocaust
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- Eleven books recounting the Holocaust for children and teens
Children - Art
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