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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Farm Animals - Developing Reader Level 2 - Wade Cooper

Farm Animals
Developing Reader Level 2

Wade Cooper

Cartwheel Books
An Imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9780545099936

The Leveled readers from Scholastic are a great way to introduce your child to reading. The levels are:
Pre1: ABC's & First Words
Level 1: Sight words, words to sound out and simple sentences.
Level 2: New vocabulary and longer sentences.
Level 3: Reading for inspiration and information.
Each book has a level rating, a grade level, a reading level, a lexile level and a word count on the back.

This book Farm Animals has great photos of animals, and poems to help children remember. It has quiz pages to help test what has been learned. It is a great resource for parents looking to assist their children in developing their reading skills.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Great Giveaways

Chris Rue and MVP from the Welcome to the Funcave blog is offering coupons for 20% off any Microsoft Exam, and as many as you want for completing a quick survey.

So far he has given away:
"To give folks an idea of the scale of the “Gear To Get Your Butt In Gear” giveaways at chrisrue.com this month, here’s a rough accounting (using MSRP)…

Total value of exam discounts (so far) = $11,950
Total value of books (so far) = $600
HTC Touch = $300
Windows 7 Ultimate = $320
MS Office 2007 Pro = $500
SMB Nation passes = $2000
For a GRAND TOTAL of $15,670!!"

Wow! Thanks for all the freebies. Chris Rue you rock! But take note time is limited on the 20% of Microsoft Learning is changing it and as of August 27th the discount will drop to 10% because the MCT rewards program is changing. Quick fill out the survey while you can.

Chris's company is Black Warrior Technology.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard - Hank Zipzer Book 9 - Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
Hank Zipzer Book 9

Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Penguin Canada
ISBN 9780448437491


What do you do when you discover you love something but most people do not understand it, or they think it is lame? Well if you're Hank Zipzer you try to hide it. It's the beginning of the 5th grade and Hank has joined the soccer team, but he's not very good, and does not really enjoy it. Then his grandfather takes him to a
Ping-Pong Emporium, and not only does Hank like it, he can actually see some skill developing. But when he tries to feel out his friends on the subject of Ping-Pong they leave the impression it is lame, and the school bully McKelty mocks it the most. So he tries to hide his newfound love of the sport Ping-Pong.

Unfortunately he loves Ping-Pong so much he keeps skipping soccer practice to play; when his father finds out he gets a big lecture. His father lets him know he does not think Ping-pong is a real sport and he is disappointed in Hank for letting his soccer team down by not following through on his commitment.

The story comes to a head when at PS 87's Parade of Athletes, McKelty mocks a kindergarten kid about Ping-Pong and makes him cry. Little Sam Chin will try again if Hank will play with him, but to do so will be to admit his love for the sport. Can he overcome his fear of ridicule? Can he change his father's attitude about Ping-Pong? Can he rise above and help Sam? Read and find out why being a Ping-Pong wizard helps Hank with more than just developing hand-eye co-ordination.

Books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer Books:
1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?
2. I Got a "D" in Salami
3. Day of the Iguana
4.
Zippety Zinger
5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip
6. Holy Enchilada!
7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!
8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?
9.
My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail
11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Went Down
12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip
13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!
14. Life of Me
15. A Tail of Two Tails
16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm On My Way, Mom!
17. A Brand-New Me!


Ghost Buddy Books:
1. Zero to Hero
2. Mind If I Read Your Mind?
3. How to Scare the Pants off Your Pets

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Don't lose Your Shoes! Tie Them Instead! - Mill & Beise

Don't lose Your Shoes!
Tie Them Instead!
Elizabeth Mills (Author)

Sarah Beise (Illustrator)

Cartwheel Books

An Imprint of Scholastic

ISBN 9780545108577

This book should not only live up to its title, but be fun for children as they learn how to do so. The cover of the book actually has laces and you can lace and unlace the shoe on the cover and it has step by step instructions on how to tie shoes in a fun story. This is the story of Eric the monkey; he loves his new shoes but while at the playground he keeps having problems. First his shoes fly off on the monkey bars, then they get caught in the log bridge, and they get tangled in the rope ladder. But Eric has good friends and they help him, and in the end he can tie his shoes.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Award Nominations: The Past

I have been debating for the past few weeks cleaning up my sidebar's some more. I wanted to archive my past blog award nominations, in appreciation for all who have nominated me and voted for me. Thank you. Over the last year my focus has again drifted from predominantly Catholic books and fiction to more general children s and teen literature. There will remain a Catholic focus just less of the reviews will be at least for a while. My reading trends are always up and down. I have also added a new section for health and fitness links and blogs. You will read more about that over the fall. Again thank you for the nominations and for reading.


Trends: Female Authors

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Peek a Boo! Animal Babies by Tim Bugbird

Peek a Boo! Animal Babies
Tim Bugbird
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545985451


These books just keep getting better and better. The kids loved them and when this one and Perfect Pets arrived in the mail the other day, they would not put them down. Again, this book includes great flaps and shapes and textures and is packed full of fun. We encounter a kitten, a bear, penguins, puppy and chicks. This book is great fun for you and your little ones.

Tim Bugbird has created some awesome children's books with this series. The books are:

Peek A Boo! Curious Kitten
Peek A Boo! Playful Puppy
Peek A Boo! Animal Babies
Peek A Boo! Perfect Pets

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Summer School! What Genius Thought That Up! - Hank Zipzer Book 8 - Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver


Summer School! What Genius Thought That Up!
Hank Zipzer Book 8
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Penguin Canada

ISBN
9780448437392

Our last adventure found Hank making it out of the fourth grade but only if he attends summer school, to strengthen his academic skills. This book begins the first day of summer school. And while
Hank will still get to walk to and from school with his best friends Ashley and Frankie, they were participating in the Junior Explorer's program and Hank was stuck back in the classroom with 10 other fourth and fifth graders. While he sits in class he can watch the junior explorers prepare for a luau.

Hank desperately wants to attend the luau, but his father has set a condition - Hank must get an A on his assignment on Friday, a presentation on a person that they admire. Mr. Rock the music teacher who is leading summer school suggests that Hank does his on Albert Einstein. Papa Pete takes him to the NYC Library to get a library card and a slew of books. The interesting thing is Hank begins to have fun learning; he also reads for fun. But can he get his A and be able to go to the party? Read and find out.

Books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer Books:
1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?
2. I Got a "D" in Salami
3. Day of the Iguana
4.
Zippety Zinger
5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip
6. Holy Enchilada!
7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!
8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?
9.
My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail
11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Went Down
12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip
13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!
14. Life of Me
15. A Tail of Two Tails
16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm On My Way, Mom!
17. A Brand-New Me!


Ghost Buddy Books:
1. Zero to Hero
2. Mind If I Read Your Mind?
3. How to Scare the Pants off Your Pets

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Peek a Boo! Perfect Pets by Tim Bugbird

Peek a Boo! Perfect Pets
Tim Bugbird

Scholastic
ISBN 9780545985468


These books are great for young children. My kids love them and when this one and Animal Babies arrived in the mail the other day, they would not put them down. Again this book includes great flaps and shapes and textures and is packed full of fun. My only complaint is that all 4 books in the series have right hand flaps on the first 4 pages and a split flap on the last page. I would have liked to see more variety, top flap, bottom, or left. Yet even with that they are favorites of our children. This time we encounter a rabbit, a kitten, a pony, a puppy and all then all four together. This book is great fun for you and your little ones.

Tim Bugbird has created some awesome children's books with this series. The books are:

Peek A Boo! Curious Kitten
Peek A Boo! Playful Puppy
Peek A Boo! Animal Babies
Peek A Boo! Perfect Pets


Saturday, 1 August 2009

My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat - Hank Zipzer Book 10 by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat
Hank Zipzer Book 10
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Penguin Canada
ISBN 9780448438788

In this adventure Hank finally has had enough of Nick McKelty. The school bully has gone too far. During the school Halloween Parade, Nick mocks a kid in kindergarten, and makes everybody laugh at Hank but the topper is he mocks Hank's younger sister and her friend Robert. With the help of grandfather he comes up with a plan to create a haunted house and get revenge on McKelty.


With the help of his best friends Ashley and Frankie, they set about transfor
ming the family living room into a haunted house of horrors. They test it on two other schoolmates and McKelty arrives just before their parents close up shop. But will their plans and work really scare the school bully? You need to read this to find out.

This is a great series about a young boy with a learning disability. It really captures the experiences of someone with those struggles. My only complaint about this book is the first inconsistency in the series and it is a big one. On p.15 Hank says his books have never gone above the C's range, yet in book 7, Summer School? What Genius Thought That Up?, he achieves an A+ for his presentation. He says his grades have only ever traveled to C-ville and parts south. It is a great line but doesn't match the other books. It's a little disappointing but not enough to stop me reading the book or the series.

Books by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
Hank Zipzer Books:
1. Niagara Falls, or Does It?
2. I Got a "D" in Salami
3. Day of the Iguana
4.
Zippety Zinger
5. The Night I Flunked My Field Trip
6. Holy Enchilada!
7. Help! Somebody Get me out of Fourth Grade!
8. Summer School? What Genius thought That Up?
9.
My Secret Life as a Ping-Pong Wizard
10. My Dog's a Scaredy-Cat: A Halloween Tail
11. The Curtain Went Up, My Pants Went Down
12. Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip
13. Who Ordered This Baby? Definitely Not Me!
14. Life of Me
15. A Tail of Two Tails
16. Dump Trucks and Dogsleds: I'm On My Way, Mom!
17. A Brand-New Me!


Ghost Buddy Books:
1. Zero to Hero
2. Mind If I Read Your Mind?
3. How to Scare the Pants off Your Pets