Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
Science and Nature

Summer is over and excitement builds as students prepare to start learning again after a long break. To ease them into the new year, bring out a collection of books that blend fiction with nonfiction. These are books that tell a story — or offer a poem — while simultaneously teaching a concept about science or nature. Add them to your science bookshelf, or read them aloud for entertainment!

Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

Almost Astronauts, 13 Women Who Dared to Dream

By: Tanya Lee Stone, Margaret A. Weitekamp
Publisher: Candlewick
Level: 14+

Provides the story of the thirteen women connected with NASA’s Mercury 13 space mission, who braved prejudice and jealousy to make their mark and open the door for the female pilots and space commanders that would soon follow.

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Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World's Tallest Man

Robert Wadlow: The Unique Life of the Boy Who Became the World’s Tallest Man

By: Jennifer Phillips
Publisher: Nose in a Book Publishing
Level: 10-11

Imagine being the tallest person in the world. As a child. You just keep growing and growing and growing…six feet…seven feet…eight feet up. The world is made in miniature and you must constantly endure. The crush of public attention is relentless. Some people are kind, some are mean. All are curious. This may sound like a tale from long ago, but this is the inspirational true life story of young Robert Wadlow. The victim of an overactive pituitary gland, Robert lived from 1918 to 1940. He stood just shy of …

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Kitten's First Full Moon

Kitten’s First Full Moon

By: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 6-7

What a night! The moon is full and Kitten is hungry and inquisitive and brave and fast and persistent and unlucky… Then lucky! What a night!

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Summer Skills: Grade 5

Summer Skills: Grade 5

By: Flash Kids Editors
Publisher: Spark Publishing
Level: 10-11

Keep Learning Alive All Summer Long!
School is out for the summer, but keeping your child engaged in learning through the break will prepare him or her to excel during the next school year. This Summer Skills workbook reviews topics learned in pre-school and introduces skills that will be introduced in the kindergarden, helping your child to transition seamlessly from one grade to the next. Children will love the beautiful full-color illustrations and interesting activities on each page, and he or she will feel more confident about learning when school is …

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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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I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato Pop-Up

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato Pop-Up

By: Lauren Child
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Level: 0-5

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until big brother Charlie reveals that they are really orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they are cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many, many things Lola absolutely will not eat, including — and especially — tomatoes. Or will she? Kate Greenaway Medalist Lauren Child cooks up a witty treat for picky eaters and the people who love them.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

By: Eric Carle
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Level: 0-5

One Sunday a very hungry caterpillar hatched. He eats his way through a variety of foods that are boldly and colorfully illustrated. The story progresses with the caterpillar spinning a cocoon and waking up into a butterfly, illustrating one of nature’s common but lovely marvels.

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The New Way Things Work

The New Way Things Work

By: David Macaulay
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 1998
Level: 12-13

In this award-winning book, a traveling woolly mammoth helps demonstrate how things work, from levers and plows to zippers and microchips. With colorful, kid-friendly illustrations on almost every one of its 400 pages, this engaging reference covers electricity, computers, machines, motors, magnetism, and more!

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There’s an Owl in the Shower

There’s an Owl in the Shower

By: Jean Craighead George
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1995
Level: 12-13

Borden Watson’s father is a logger in Northern California and he has lost his job because logging in that region has been halted to protect the endangered spotted owl. When Borden brings home an abandoned baby owl, his father yells, “Shoot him!” But calmer heads prevail and the owl is allowed to remain in the house. Before long, the presence of the owl causes a turn-around in the lives and attitudes of the people who live there.

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Rattlesnake Dance

Rattlesnake Dance

By: Jennifer Owings Dewey
Publisher: Boyds Mills, 1997
Level: 10-11

“I felt the strike. There was stunning pain from the instant the twin fangs pierced the soft, fleshy side of my hand,” writes the author in this gripping account of how she was bitten by a rattle-snake at age nine. Fortunately, her history with snakes does not end badly. She was treated successfully for the bite, and a year later, she observed Hopi Indian “snake dancers” handling dangerous live rattlers.

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