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National Geographic Nonfiction Review! Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey

31 Aug

janegoodUntamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall

Written by Anita Silvey

Foreword by Jane Goodall

96 pages (hardcover) – ages 8+

Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Synopsis- Jane Goodall always loved animals, ever since her childhood. When given an opportunity to visit Africa, Jane pounces on the idea – imagine the wildlife there! When in Africa, she realized she needs a job. That leads her to animal and historical enthusiast, Louis Leakey. Working as his secretary Jane soon steps up to a job that Louis has been looking for a person to do. That job? Visit the nearby, unmapped Gombe forest and study the chimpanzees living there. It was something no trained field expert had ever done, and Jane had no field experience. Was this the opportunity of a life time or huge mistake?

What I Thought- This is a wonderful resource about the life of Jane Goodall. It starts from her young childhood and goes to current-day. The book even includes a foreword by Ms. Goodall. I like how, while the book is meant for kids, it puts the parts of the book in a cool, easy-to-read, but was also informational and succinct. I actually prefer these to what NatGeo puts out for adults (but maybe that is because I am a  kid ;) ). This has fun facts, easy-to-read pages, and much more! Besides learning about Ms. Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, did you know that Ms. Goodall was a great waitress, and could carry around 12 plates without a tray? I learned a lot, and the book really brought Ms. Goodall to life for me. The real life photographs added so much to the story. All I have to say is WOW! I enjoyed every bit of this. I highly recommend the book!

I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

BONUS REVIEW!

 

My sister Josie  just read a National Geographic Kids book she was very excited about. She wanted to review it also.

dirtDirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth: All About Rocks, Minerals, Fossils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, & Even Dirt!

by Steve Tomecek

Illustrated by Fred Harper

128 pages – ages 8+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on June 9, 2015

Summary – (from the publisher) – Come and explore the world under your feet with the Dirtmeister and friends! Part graphic novel, part fun guidebook, this very cool, rocky journey introduces both eager and reluctant readers to the basic geologic processes that shape our Earth. Clear and concise explanations of the various geologic processes reveal the comprehensive science behind each fascinating topic. Fun facts and simple DIY experiments reinforce the concepts while short biographies of important scientists inspire future geo-scientists.

What Josie thought – This was one of the coolest books I ever read. I collect rocks and love to play in the dirt and dig in the dirt. This book was awesome. It told me about rocks and how they form and different types. It told me about earthquakes and the Earth and volcanoes too. It was interesting to read how mountains are made. I like all the pictures in the book. Some were real pictures and some were cartoons. I liked that the words are spread all over (not like in a story). I think all kids will like this book!

I will give this book eighteen bookworms out of five ha ha ha Erik won’t let me do that so I give it five bookworms fivebooks

Review! Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett

28 Aug

leoLeo: A Ghost Story
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrations by Christian Robinson
52 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on August 25, 2015

Theme/Topic- Friendships / Imaginary Friends

Genre- Fiction

Synopsis- Leo is a ghost. He’s lived by himself for many years. Not many people can see him. One day, a family moves into the house, and when Leo greets them with tea, they freak out. Leo, feeling unwanted, leaves the house. After wandering the city streets for a bit, Leo meets Jane, a young girl. Jane can see him. They have a lot of fun together. When a robber tries to ruin their fun, Leo learns that being a ghost can be a very good thing.

Why I liked this book- This is a fun book to read. I like how it ends in a unique, marvelous way (read the book to find out!). The book itself is a sweet book about friendship. Mr. Barnett is a great author, and Mr. Robinson is a great illustrator, so it’s no wonder they make an amazing team! The simple illustrations go really well with the story line, as if you see the book from a child’s view. I think all younger kids looking for a good read will enjoy this story!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson

25 Aug

stickiceStick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream

Book 4 Stick Dog Series

By Tom Watson

244 pages – ages 7+

Published by HarperCollins on May 19, 2015

Synopsis- It’s a hot summer day, the hottest of the hot, and Stick Dog and his gang are in need of something cool. But nothing they try seems to work. That is, until they find a big, odd-shaped truck that plays an annoying song comes around. The dogs don’t know what is going on, but when it leaves, there are sometimes little puddles of cool, multi-colored, yummy liquid. So, the dogs chase after the truck, always getting those puddles. But it’s not enough! They need MORE!

What I Thought- I LOVE the Stick Dog books (See my review HERE). They genuinely look like they came from a notebook The drawings are funny and capture the feelings of the dogs perfectly. Mr. Watson has a fun writing style that really sounds like it’s a kid telling the story. The only thing I didn’t like was that the book didn’t even re-introduce the characters and if kids were picking the series up with this book, it would have helped with a little more introduction. The books are an awesome read for their intended age. The silly humor is a favorite of mine and I am sure other kids feel the same. Book 4 of the series didn’t disappoint with the wacky humor and even sillier drawings.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Review! Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage by Julie Anne Grasso

19 Aug

frankie#3Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabotage

Written by Julie Anne Grasso

Illustrated by Alexander Avellino

134 pages – ages 8+

Published by Julie Anne Grasso on May 10, 2015

Synopsis- Frankie Dupont, Junior-Investigator-In-Training, was going to a local science fair, when he learns that a friend’s brothers’ project was sabotaged! Their robot’s robotic chip was stolen! Can Frankie find the thief before the show starts and the two twins get disqualified?

What I Thought- I really like this series. Ms. Grasso writes these mysteries really well. She adds just enough clues so that the reader is solving the mystery along with Frankie. There is a good amount of humor in this book. For example, I was literally laughing out loud when Frankie decided that a person wasn’t lying, because, when people lie, their eyes go up and to the right, but one character was definitely telling the truth because their eyes went up and to the left. There are cool illustrations throughout the book that add a lot to the story. The stories are great for young kids looking for a good mystery. The story flows well and it gets the reader involved. I really like this series and the Frankie Dupont character. I can’t wait to read more!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Top Secret Files: The Cold War by Stephanie Bearce AND A GIVEAWAY!

17 Aug

Be sure to read to the bottom of this post for the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a copy of this book!

coldwarTop Secret Files: The Cold War

Written by Stephanie Bearce

128 pages – ages 8+

Published by Prufrock Press on August 1, 2015

 Summary- From the Publisher: “Take a look if you dare, but be careful! Some secrets are meant to stay hidden…

Poison dart umbrellas and cyanide guns were all a part of the arsenal of tools used by spies of the Soviet KGB, American CIA, and the British MI6, but you won’t learn that in your history books! Learn true stories of the Cold War and how spies used listening devices planted in live cats and wristwatch cameras. Discover how East Germans tried to ride zip lines to freedom, while the Cambridge Four infiltrated Britain and master spy catchers like Charles Elwell were celebrated. Then make your own secret codes and practice sending shoe messages. It’s all part of the true stories from Top Secret Files: Cold War.

What I Thought- I love history. I love spies. This book has both. I often am hesitant to review books on subjects I am very fond of because, I find myself being very picky on how things are presented. I was very happy with this book because I learned from it, I think it is written well for the audience it is for (8+) and I think it is very well presented. Ms. Bearce also includes activities related to the book that would be a great resource for teachers. She also includes some really cool facts about what was going on during the cold war. I was fascinated to learn that the really cool, stereotypical spy gear actually existed (well, at least some of them). That was a real eye-opener. There is really cool true stories about some of the real spies. I like how Ms. Bearce doesn’t really bias herself on which side she portraits and offers a fair assessment of both sides. This is an interesting, introduction to the history of the cold war and will lead kids to looking further into the topics covered. Ms. Bearce I think kids in the fourth grade and up would like it, but the book is suited for younger advanced readers too.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Top 3 Cold War Secrets

1)     The Big Dog Escape– Would you believe that one secret agent made his escape disguised as a dog? During the 1970’s, the CIA disguised one of their agents as a St. Bernard to get him out of Europe. The operative wore a fake dog suit and was concealed in a dog kennel. Nobody was suspicious when the dog was taken to the vet for a check-up, and the operative made his escape.

2)     Flying Saucers- In 1956, the U.S. Air Force experimented with building its own flying saucer. The plans called for a disc shaped flying machine that would reach altitudes of 100,000 feet and fly at Mach 4. The machine they built didn’t work quite as well as they hoped. It wobbled uncontrollably if it went higher than 3 feet of the ground and its top speed was 35mph. The project was scrapped.

3)     Moon Bomb– Scientists came up with some wild ideas during the Cold War, but one of the craziest was to bomb the moon. Some U.S. scientists thought that if they exploded an atomic bomb on the moon, then it would scare the Soviet Union. Other scientists argued that a mistake could seriously hurt the earth and ruin the surface of the moon. The plan was scrapped and no bombs were sent to the moon.

About the Author: Stephanie Bearce is a writer, teacher, and history detective. She loves tracking down spies and uncovering secret missions from the comfort of her library in St. Charles, MO. When she isn’t writing or teaching, Stephanie loves to travel the world and go on adventures with her husband, Darrell.

 Website: http://www.stephaniebearce.com/about.html

Buy the Book!:

Amazon- http://ow.ly/PpgP4

Barnes & Noble- http://ow.ly/PphXb

Books A Million- http://ow.ly/Ppiet

!ndigo-  http://ow.ly/Ppina

Indiebound- http://ow.ly/PpixJ

Also Available in this series:

Top Secret Files: American Revolution

Top Secret Files: The Civil War

Top Secret Files: World War I

Top Secret Files: World War II

Top Secret Files: Pirates & Buried Treasure

Enter to win a copy of this book!:
Click HERE

Review! Nanny X Returns by Madelyn Rosenberg

14 Aug

nannyx2Nanny X Returns

By Madelyn Rosenberg

128 pages – ages 8+

Will be Published by Holiday House on September 15, 2015

Synopsis- Ali, Jake, and their baby sister got excited when Nanny X walked through their doorway once more. After all, Nanny X was a secret agent with lots of cool gadgets, and she even let them help her on a case! But, all is normal now. After that case, Nanny X is now acting like… well, like a normal nanny. That is, until they find out about a criminal called the Angler. The Angler has threatened to destroy precious national treasures if a fish stature that was sent isn’t put up at the White House lawn. Will Nanny X and the kids save the day in time?

What I Thought– This was a really great sequel to Nanny X (see my review HERE)! Nanny X (the character) is a fun, slightly wacky, nanny who just so happens to be a secret government agent working for NAP (Nanny Action Patrol).  That’s just the icing on the cake. It was a nice touch to have siblings Ali and Jake get along (well, maybe not 100%, but realistically close :) ). I really like Ms. Rosenberg’s writing style. It captures the essence of being a kid perfectly (it’s told from Jake and Ali’s point-of-view, every other chapter (Jake, then Ali, then Jake, etc.)). I really like this series. It has just enough realism to make you think that it could happen in real life. This is a great book and a good series for young readers!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Brickabrack Hall by David Eveleigh

11 Aug

brickbrackBrickabrack Hall

Written by David Eveleigh

Illustrated by Cheyenne Quimby

7,130 words – ages 6+

Published by Smashwords on October 31, 2014

Synopsis- Brickabrack Hall. A famous hotel for famous people (of nefarious deeds). The ginormous hotel has only three underpaid employees. One is from Transylvania, one has a hunched back, and one is a creepy butler-ish type. They do all the work there. When a ghost starts haunting one of the rooms one day, the three employees are ordered to catch it. How will they ever catch a ghost? And, with all of the employees out ghost-hunting, who will do the work around the hotel? Certainly not their pompous manager!

What I Thought- This was a good book. The characters’ personalities are realistic. I like how the book doesn’t flat out say that the characters are monsters, but hints at it. That was cool. The story rolls along, with lots of humor and twists. The fact that the characters come up with all these elaborate ghost catching schemes only to have the manager befriend the ghost gave me a good chuckle. The short length of the book (about 4 chapters) makes it a good read for a rainy day or for kids wanting a quick story. There are really cool illustrations at the beginning of every chapter. They really add a lot to the story. Kids will love them, and the humor in them. I recommend this book as a perfect read for younger kids’ Halloweens!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Digital Filmmaking For Kids by Nick Willoughby

6 Aug

forkidsfordummiesDigital Filmmaking For Kids

By Nick Willoughby

336 pages – Ages 8+

Published by For Dummies on May 4, 2015

Synopsis- Have you ever wondered how to make your own movie, or mini-film? Have you ever tried to get a movie crew started with your friends but didn’t know how? Well, is this the book for you! Mr. Willoughby-filmmaker, teacher, and self-proclaimed film geek-gives you the step-by-step process of making your movie, from trailer to editing, all in one book! Are you up to the task? This book includes areas on learning the basics, making a film trailer, making a documentary, your first short narrative film, and much more!

What I Thought- Mr. Willoughby has written a pretty nifty book. It teaches you how to do all of the cool stuff mentioned in the summary. The book gives good sound advice (literally and figuratively ;) ). Mr. Willoughby put in several fun projects to try out and use as a starting point for your film-making career. There were easy-to-understand diagrams, and well-organized chapters. There was a wide assortment of topics covered so the reader gets a good understanding of the basics. There were a few parts of the book I thought could have been explained a bit more (remember the book is for “Dummies”). For example, Mr. Willoughby used iMovie to edit his film, and he mentioned, amongst others, Microsoft Movie Maker for an alternate program, but it didn’t explain benefits or drawbacks with either program. I would have liked even just a small photo of a Movie Maker screen, with labels for the important objects. The majority of the content was very helpful and interesting to read.  I really liked this book. I would recommend this book to a kid in your life you wants to gt into movie/video making.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Picture Book Bonanza!

30 Jul

I’ve had a stack of to be reviewed picture books sitting on my desk and these three are the ones I enjoyed the most so far. I give all of these wonderful books 5 bookworms!

fivebooks

charieballCharlie Plays Ball

Written by Ree Drummond

Illustrated by Diane deGroat

40 pages – Ages 6+

Published by HarperCollins on March 24, 2015

Synopsis- Charlie the Basset Hound is a ranch dog. He ropes, he rides, and he eats – okay he really doesn’t rope and he just rides in trucks but he does eat a lot. And eats. Besides eating, Charlie also loves it when the ranch people play ball. Come with Charlie as he goes and PLAYS BALL! [He also takes a nap and eats, but that’s not the point]

What I Thought- Charlie is amazing. The series is awesome. I may be a tad biased, because we also have a basset hound and the books has the basset personality down pat. The books are funny and really cute. I love the fact that Charlie is a real dog. It brings a good touch of realism to the story. The illustrations are funny, usually with under-lying humor in the background. For example, Charlie has a little chipmunk friend on almost every page. Ms. Drummond really knows how to write a great story! Charlie eats, sleeps, and thinks he helps out. Just like Clyde, our basset. I really like this series, and think that kids will love it too.

bearduckBear and Duck

By Katy Hudson

32 pages – Ages 5+

Published by HarperCollins on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- Bear is tired of being a bear. He’s tired of sleeping all winter. He’s tired of his warm fur. He’s tired of the bees. So, he decides to be a duck. Being a duck looks much easier. All they do is waddle and quack. Duck decides to help Bear be a duck. But is there more to being a duck than Bear thinks?

What I Thought- This was a funny book. I like how Bear is convinced that he can become a duck overnight. I also like that on his list of complaints is his fur. That made me smile. Duck is a great friend. Ms. Hudson really wrote a good story about two friends who are united by their differences.

pigwigWhat This Story Needs Is A Pig In A Wig: A Pig in a Wig book

By Emma J. Virgán

40 pages – Ages 4+

Published by HarperCollins on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- This story needs a pig. In a wig. In a boat in a moat… But what happens when, as more and more animals and their belongings appear on the small, over-crowded boat?

What I Thought- This is a cute book. I like the rhyme, which reminds me a tad of Dr. Seuss’. I like Ms. Virgán’s illustrations. They have a fun, cartoon feeling about them. This story is perfect for bedtimes, and young kids starting to read.

Review! Max’s Wild Night by Meg Welch Dendler

28 Jul

maxnightMax’s Wild Night By Meg Welch Dendler 146 pages – Ages 7+ Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on February 23, 2015 Synopsis- Max liked his owners. They were always good to him. But one day, Max’s daily routine got mixed up. His play-times were cut short, and his owners were busy. When he was in the yard, he caught a scent-trail. So, as any sensible dog would do, he followed it. But soon, the trail led into unfamiliar territory. Max was lost. So began Max’s wild night. What I Thought- This was a fun book. It involves characters from Ms. Dendler’s other books, but it doesn’t mention the cat-aliens at all (see my reviews of Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3 in the Cat in the Mirror series). It was just a story about a dog running through the Ozark Mountains on an adventure. It was cool getting into a dog’s perspective. It was realistic, and reminded me of my dog, Clyde. I felt like I was there with Max and his new-found friends. Ms. Dendler knows how to draw you into a story. Max was a nice character, and you feel kind of sorry for him and you can’t wait for him to succeed. The black-and-white illustrations throughout the book are done really nice. They have a cool sketched feeling about them. I think younger kids will love this series! I give this five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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