37572424Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers

by Kelly Milner Halls

Published October 1, 2018 by Millbrook Press

4.5 Stars

When I saw the cover of this book, I thought it would be a good one for boys. I am always looking for ways to entice boys to read and what better way than animals that eat dead stuff. Death Eaters: Meet Nature’s Scavengers by Kelly Milner Halls is a middle grade nonfiction book that shows a lot about decomposition and the many animals that assist with that.

This book is not a fun read, but the subject matter is fascinating, and important. Death eaters come in all shapes and sizes, live on land, in the air and in the sea. I knew about some of them, but not all. Everyone has probably seen maggots and vultures, but I did not realize that raccoons also ate the dead. I found this book to be well written and organized. The text will be difficult for younger readers, but middle grades should be all right with it. I like how this book not only shows and tells about decomposition, but how that is helpful to other life. The ending anecdote from the author finding a dead kitten, shows children that as much as death is sad, there can be meaning in that death. The photos in the book are quite good and give some up close pictures of various death eaters. There is also a good glossary and resources at the book for further investigation. This is a good book for schools and classrooms, especially when studying animals, life cycles, habitats etc. The publisher, Millbrook Press, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.


41142357The Brightest Star

by Danielle Schothorst

Published September 1st 2018 by Clavis Publishing

3 Stars

This is a cute book with wonderful illustrations. They have a lot of detail and expression and the colours are soft and muted. It is sure to appeal to young children and their parents. This would be a great story to read before bedtime, after all, it is about stars. The message is about giving compliments to one another. Now, this book is not at all scientific, so if you are a firm believer in always being honest about facts, this would not be a book for you or your child.

Dog and Fox are looking at the stars one night when Fox asks why some are big and some are small. Dog’s answer is because they are growing, just like us. When we say nice things to others, their heart grows, so when we say nice things about them, they grow. All the animals stand around watching as more and more compliments are given to the star until …… I read this book to my granddaughter and she understood that they were being nice and the star was getting bigger, but the word compliments was a over her head. She loved the illustrations and we talked a lot about them as we read the book.

Once again, I think this is a great bedtime story for younger children that also teaches a message. The publisher, Clavis Publishing, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.


38743098Good Morning, Neighbor

by Davide CaliMaria Dek (Illustrations)

Published September 4th 2018 by Princeton Architectural Press

4.5 Stars

A cute story about the importance of collaboration, working together, friendship and sharing. It is told in the repetition mode adding something each time. My grandchildren and I had fun trying to remember each animal in order as well as what they contributed to the cake. The list of what they needed was pretty complete. Of course, my grandson was concerned that the mouse never got to make the omelette he wanted until we decided that cake tasted better. We were a little worried at the end that the mouse was not going to get a piece of cake, but the animals figured out that he should get one too. The illustrations are simple, childlike watercolors that are painted in a whimsical way. They are vibrant and add much to the story. I recommend this book to primary classrooms, family and school libraries.


40784712A Gift from Venus

by Gina Lypaczewski Marie Jane Works (Illustrator)

Published June 29th 2018 by Rosemount FARM Publishing LLC

3.5 Stars

Having recently put my dog out of his misery and my grandchildren’s cat receiving palliative care, I wanted to see if this book would be beneficial to them. They enjoyed the story about Venus growing older and getting tired and losing her sight. Their “Chief” is doing the same things. We talked about the special place for animals and the “rainbow bridge”. The only think I would have liked to see differently is someone from the family being with their cat when the end comes. My grandson commented that “Auntie Nini” would come to their house when it was time to say goodbye to Chief so they could all hug him one last time. Overall this is a very simple way to show children that there is a place for their beloved pets when they are no longer with us on Earth. The publisher, Rosemount FARM Publishing, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.


36748607P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

by Raj Haldar Chris CarpenterMaria Beddia (illustrator)
5 Stars
Expected publication: November 1st 2018 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
My grandchildren love alphabet books, and dinosaurs, so I though this would be right up their alley. Well there was only one dinosaur, but this was an incredibly silly book and my grandson loved it. It poked fun at the way the English language does not follow rules, especially all the silent letters in the language. It’s written quite sarcastically and would probably be appreciated by older children who struggle with pronunciations and spelling as well as younger children who will just enjoy the illustrations and fun text. The art is fun to look at and I enjoyed seeing a book that has fun with the ridiculousness of the English language. I would not recommend this book to early readers as it would probably frustrate them very much. A great addition to a school library. The publisher, SOURCEBOOKS Jabberwocky, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions are my own.

38743101Up the Mountain Path

by Marianne Dubuc

Published October 2nd 2018 by Princeton Architectural Press

5 Stars

This is a beautiful story about the circle of life, friendship, learning from elders, and enjoying life and nature. Each Sunday Mrs Badger walks up to the top of the mountain, a place where she can sit and see the world, Along the way she makes friends with various animals and helps when she can. One day, Leo the cat spots Mrs Badger, and, even though he is afraid and doesn’t think he can make it, Mrs. Badger helps him reach the top. The journey repeats itself every Sunday, until Mrs. Badger is too tired and can’t make it anymore. When Lulu heads up the mountain alone, she brings back items and stories to Mrs. Badger. Eventually, she meets a reluctant friend and the tradition continues.

Dubuc’s story is simple, poetic and told through illustrations and text. I love the depictions of the mountain, nature and the panorama they see at the top of the mountain. This is a great story about life, encouraging one another, taking the first step, and so much more. A story for families everywhere. The publisher, Princeton Architectural Press, generously provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.