Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
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Higher Power of Lucky

Higher Power of Lucky

By: Susan Patron
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Level: 12-13

Lucky, age ten, can’t wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.

It’s all Brigitte’s fault — for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she’ll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won’t be allowed. She’ll have to lose her friends …

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Clementine

Clementine

By: Sara Pennypacker
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Level: 8-9

In this first book of the series, Clementine tries to help out her friend Margaret, but ends up in a lot of trouble for it. Things get worse each day of the week, until finally she’s worried that Margaret is right: Clementine’s parents might consider her “the hard one” in the family. They’re up to something mysterious…are they thinking they’d be better off if they only had her little vegetable-named brother… “the easy one”?

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The House in the Night

The House in the Night

By: Susan Marie Swanson,
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Level: 6-7

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers—a key, a bed, the moon—this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.

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Loony Laughs and Riddles

Loony Laughs and Riddles

By: Loony Laughs and Riddles
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
Level: 8-9

This comic collection captures the loony side of everything: morning and nighttime, clothes, work, animals, vacations, the seasons. These wacky jokes and riddles cover a range of topics, from dinosaurs to cars, turning them all into pure fun. Why did the boy put a banana peel next to his bed? So he could slip out of bed in the morning. What do you say to someone who has an egg on his head? The yolk’s on you! A man opened a dresser and a dozen people fell out. Why? Because …

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The Underneath

The Underneath

By: Kathi Appelt
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Level: 10-11

There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road.

A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the …

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A Grand Old Tree

A Grand Old Tree

By: Mary Newell DePalma
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Level: 8-9

Once there was a grand old tree, whose roots sank deep into the earth and whose arms reached high into the sky. Every spring the grand old tree flowered and bore cherries for the squirrels and birds that made their homes in her leafy branches. And every year, seeds from the tree scattered in the wind, along with many millions of leaves. Mary Newell DePalma creates an emotional tale of life and renewal, of nature’s bounty and quiet balance, illustrated with simple images made powerful with vivid colors and moving …

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A Day in the Salt Marsh

A Day in the Salt Marsh

By: Kevin Kurtz
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Pub
Level: 8-9

Enjoy A Day in the Salt Marsh, one of the most dynamic habitats on earth. Fun-to-read, rhyming verse introduces readers to hourly changes in the marsh as the tide comes and goes. Watch the animals that have adapted to this ever-changing environment as they hunt for food or play in the sun, and learn how the marsh grass survives even though it is covered by salt water twice a day. An activity on adaptations is included in the For Creative Minds section.

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How Full Is Your Bucket?

How Full Is Your Bucket?

By: Tom Rath
Publisher: Gallup Press
Level: 8-9

Through the story of a little boy named Felix, this charming book explains to children how being kind not only helps others, it helps them, too. As he goes about his day, Felix interacts with different people — his sister Anna, his grandfather, other family and friends. Some people are happy, but others are grumpy or sad. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’ grandfather explains why the happy people make Felix feel good, while the others leave him feeling bad — and how Felix himself is affecting …

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Substitute Groundhog

Substitute Groundhog

By: Pat Miller
Publisher: Albert Whitman
Level: 8-9

It’s almost Groundhog Day! Everyone knows that Groundhog has an important job to do every February 2, but this year he’s not feeling well. Dr. Owl diagnoses him with the flu and orders two days of bed rest. But how will people know the weather forecast if Groundhog is down in his hole in bed?

Then Groundhog has in idea — he can hire a substitute! Maybe Squirrel can be the substitute, or Eagle, or Bear. But at the subtitute auditions, Groundhog realizes that none of his friends is quite right …

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The Girls Book of Glamour: A Guide to Being a Goddess

The Girls Book of Glamour: A Guide to Being a Goddess

By: Sally Jeffrie
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Level: 12-13

Transform yourself from drab to fab with this nifty guide to all things glamorous! Whether you want to have the shiniest hair or convince people you’re a celebrity, this book will show you how! Being a glamour goddess has never been so easy.

Inside this handy guide you’ll find instructions on how to host a spa party, create your own style, exit a limo gracefully, make your own body glitter, persuade your best friend to lend you her clothes, put on a fashion show, make your own jewelry box, and much, …

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