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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review of "A Crow of His Own"

I recently received a review copy of A Crow of His Own, written by Megan Dowd Lambert and illustrated by David Hyde Costello. Love this book! 

Scrawny Clyde is brought in to take the place of Larry, the prized rooster who took off for new opportunities. The question is: Can Clyde live up to Larry’s reputation?

Clyde tries his hardest to live up to Larry’s reputation using every trick in his book, but he soon finds himself inadequate for the task. In the end, however, Clyde saves the day by "crowing a crow of his own."

Colorful illustrations, a subtle lesson to “be yourself,” and a happy ending make this a book any child would enjoy.

Teachers: “A Crow of His Own” is a great choice for a mentor text in the composition classroom. First, it contains some amusing alliteration. For example: “He had a crick in his comb, his right wing was all wrong, and his wattle? Well, his wattle was a wobbly wreck.”

And, second, the use of complex words such as “disapproving,” “humiliated,” and “inquired” demonstrate how word choice can enhance a story and make it fun to read, even for the youngest reader. 

I thoroughly enjoyed A Crow of His Own and recommend it to children, parents, and teachers, alike.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Dirty Rats!

Do you have a student who's working on a science report and needs fun, interesting information? Or, do you have a child who doesn’t like to read? If so, Dirty Rats? by Darrin Lunde and illustrated by Adam Gustavson might be the answer! Here’s why:

First: the illustrations are awesome – they are fun, colorful, and eye-catching. Between the mousetrap covered with mouse-shaped blood, the dark-creepy tunnel, and the vicious dog chasing a rat, these illustrations will keep even your pickiest reader turning the pages.

Second: the text. The text is simple, yet chock full of interesting facts. For instance, did you know that there is a rat that can hop six feet at a time?  You probably know that rats are used in labs for scientific research, but did you know there's special type of rat that is used to locate explosives in minefields? There's even a rat that is poisonous to touch! This book includes many interesting details that can be integrating into a school report.

This is a perfect gift book for picky readers or a great addition to any library. Personally, I recommend it for ages 5 and up. I think that even adults will enjoy it. I did!