Friday, December 19, 2008

Book Blitz

Grab them while they're hot! Here are more snack-sized reviews for your reading pleasure.

Moonbeams, Dumplings, & Dragon Boats (The Not-So-Random Shelf: Nonfiction)

If you’re planning a program for Chinese New Year (or any of the major Chinese holidays) or Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, take a look at this book. Not only will you read about the customs and legends of the major Chinese holidays, you’ll also get neat craft and activity suggestions.

D’Aulaires’ Book of Trolls (The Not-So-Random Shelf: Nonfiction)

I’m not much into trolls, but I thought this was a fun and funny read. Although the D’Aulaires created books about Greek myths, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Pocahontas, they are probably most famous for their books that reflect Norwegian folklore. Trolls is in the same line of their stunning illustrations and engaging text. Even if you’re not a major troll fan, read this to get a better sense of the D’aulaires’ work.

Twelve Tales (The Not-So-Random Shelf: Nonfiction)

Collections of Anderson tales abound, but this one focuses less on the familiar (“The Princess and the Pea” and “The Little Match Girl”) than on the unfamiliar tales. If you want a collection translated by a Dutch author, read this one. The luxurious language make this suitable for patient readers and listeners.

Santa Who? (The Not-So-Random Shelf: Nonfiction)

Gail Gibbons is well-known for her nonfiction aimed at lower elementary students. Santa Who? explains the various legends of the St. Nicholas character. The book’s physical size is larger than most of her books, which allow for larger and more distinctive illustrations. Gibbons straddles the fence when it comes to the reality of Santa Claus, so parents looking for a nonfiction read aloud for younger children might want to look elsewhere.

I Live at a Military Post (The Not-So-Random Shelf: Nonfiction)

Admittedly, I chose this because I needed a very short nonfiction read. The Kids in Their Communities series is not designed for pleasure reading, but the information and pictures are presented in an agreeable manner. Each book in the series is narrated by a child living in a specific community; in this book, we meet Michael, who lives with his mother and stepfather at Ft. Belvoir (Fairfax County). Michael introduces us to the base’s school, library, community center, and post exchange. We learn a little about Ft. Belvoir’s history and what it’s like to live on a military base. A glossary and an index are included.

(To be continued)

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