Welcome, Readers!

The contest Save the Picture Book has ended. Telling people about funny, informative, beautiful, or generally awesome picture books continues. I also share middle grade books, book apps, and educational apps that my kids and I like.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Books Featured February 20-March 9

On my Facebook page, Author Bridget Heos, I feature a variety of children's books and apps to connect kids and families with stories they love. Here are some that were featured recently:

The Journal of Biddy Owens
by Walter Dean Myers
Scholastic, 2001

‎"We need to let young people know that reading is going to really affect their lives." -Walter Dean Myers, National Ambassador for Children's Literature. Myers has written more than 85 books, including award-winning Monster, Jazz, and Harlem. He also writes about sports. This entry to the popular diary series My Name is America is a great book to get into the swing of baseball season!

Yertle the Turtle
by Dr. Seuss
Random House, 1958

Happy birthday to Dr. Seuss, who taught us that every revolution starts...with a burp. This is my favorite Dr. Seuss book. Who doesn't like when a jerk like Yertle is toppled by a turtle named Mack for the good of turtlekind? To celebrate the birthday, I get to judge literary-themed classroom doors at my kids' school. Can't wait! Fact: Theodor Geisel was a political cartoonist prior to illustrating children's books. Yertle, in early drawings, had a Hitler-style mustache.

BrainPOP Featured Movie

Kids' App: BrainPOP Featured Movie offers one featured movie per day for free. Yesterday, we learned how Leap Year came about. Something about the calendar, Equinox, days, years...Then you take a quiz. J.J. and I didn't do so well. I didn't have my game face on. I don't know what J.J.'s excuse was. Probably also the game face one. Seriously, it's for older kids, though J.J. does enjoy the movies. There's a robot and funny stuff happens. It's a fun way to review/supplement what you learn in school, or, in J.J.'s and my case, laugh at what the robot does.

Steve Jobs: the Man Who Thought Different
by Karen Blumenthal
Feiwel & Friends, 2012

I'm going to go a little crazy and throw a YA book out there. I realize that reading Twilight doesn't NECESSARILY make me an expert on YA. But this is a YA NONfiction book. It's about the fascinating life of Steve Jobs, and those he worked with. You can tell a lot of research went into this thorough book, yet it's so well written that kids will fly right through it. So YA=grades 6-12. MG=grades 3-8. Approximately. I'd say this book would be enjoyed by 5th graders and up.

by R.J. Palacio
Knopf, 2012

This is what we're reading aloud in our house. It's about a fifth grader, Auggie, born with a facial deformity making the transition from home school to private school. Remember the Natalie Merchant song "Wonder"? That's how the author got the idea for the book. It's actually for kids and grownups--in England its marketed to both. If you read it, let me know what you think!

The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore
Moonbot Studios, LA LLC

The Academy Awards smiled on children's books last night. Hugo (based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick) won five Oscars. War Horse (based on the children's novel by Michael Morpurgo) got six nominations (but, alas, no wins.) And the Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, which is also a children's book app, won best animated short.

Pantone Colors
by Pantone
Abrams, 2012

Good morning. What is your favorite shade of yellow? Lemon? Lion? Or how about French fry? Each spread of this 20-page board book includes a simple illustration and 20 shades of a basic color. We've gone through the book twice, and our favorite colors changed. Must depend on the time of day. In the morning, who doesn't love omelette yellow?

by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer
Chronicle, 2011

What if E, thE most frEquEntly usEd lEttEr in thE alphabEt, got in a frEak accident and could no longer contribute to words? Well Obviously O would have to take its place. This book is a lot of fun. At the end, it lists all letters in order of usage. Trivia: Name the three most used letters in the alphabet, including E. Try to "arrive" at your answer without looking it up.

Presidents vs. Aliens
Dan Russell-Pinson

An apt app for President's Day: Presidents vs. Aliens: Answer trivia questions (with presidents' portraits as multiple choices) and then, logically, battle aliens. It's by Dan Russell-Pinson, the creator of Stack the States and Stack the Countries. He's cornered the market on 5th grade social studies apps, and they're FUN. I'd love to see more big kid apps like these.

Lincoln and His Boys
by Rosemary Wells, ill. by P.J. Lynch

For President's Day: Did you know that Lincoln had a soft spot for his boys and let them run wild in the White House? In this very short read aloud, you'll get to know each of the boys and their father. This is not a light read; the Lincolns, as you know, had a tragic family life. But it is worth the tears and very well written by Rosemary Wells, who writes and illustrates the Yoko and Max & Ruby picture books.

And my book!

What to Expect When You're Expecting Hatchlings: a Guide for Crocodilian Parents (and Curious Kids)
by Bridget Heos, ill by Stephane Jorisch
Lerner, 2012

They've hatched! What to Expect When You're Expecting Hatchlings is now available online at Barnes & Noble, Powell's, and Amazon. It's also in 10 public libraries, including Bend, Oregon, for my friends there. It will make it to most library shelves later in the Spring. If you'd like to see it at your library, be sure to request it!

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