Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Book Review: Rooting for Rafael Rosales

ROOTING FOR RAFAEL ROSALES by Kurtis Scaletta tells the connected stories of a boy with a passion for baseball and a girl who becomes a fan.
Told as connected stories, readers learn about the dreams of two young people. One hopes to become a professional baseball player and the other struggles to save the world’s bee population.
Librarians will find the connected narratives and compelling characters make this an unusually emotional story. The mix of the baseball and bee themes contribute to the appeal.
Published by Albert Whitman & Company on April 25, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Website Review: Pictures of Nursing

PICTURES OF NURSING is an online exhibition featuring postcards depicting the social and cultural impact of nurses and nursing.
Produced by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this website includes an exhibition, education, and digital gallery sections. The exhibition presents a series of short narratives along with primary source materials in five areas: introduction, a women’s mission, nursing as a career, gender of nursing, nursing and respectability, and the art of nursing. The digital gallery provides access to primary source materials and the education section features lesson plans, higher education resources, online activities, and other materials.
Librarians will find this online exhibition useful across the curriculum. This highly visual approach will be appealing for students of all ages.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review: The Hidden Life of a Toad

THE HIDDEN LIFE OF A TOAD by Doug Wechsler traces the life cycle of a toad in photographs.
Using detailed, close-up photos and easy-to-read text, this amazing informational picture book takes readers day by day through the life of a toad. The book concludes with a glossary, science information, ideas for photographers, and additional sources.
Librarians will find this book to be useful in the primary science curriculum. Ask students to compare the life cycle of the toad with other creatures. Encourage them to build their own science book using public domain, online photos. Or, take their own nature photographs.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to
Published on March 14, 2017 by Charlesbridge, an imprint of Random House. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Website Review: Teaching History

TEACHING HISTORY is the National History Education Clearinghouse website.
Aimed at K-12 teachers, this website contains teaching materials, history content, and best practices. Users can go directly to sections for elementary, middle, or high school education. Introductory videos are available by grade level along with an introduction to historical thinking and digital classroom resources. The spotlight section focuses on resources related to specific events such as Constitution Day. Beyond the basics, users can also explore the blog, issues and research, digital classroom ideas, and projects.
Librarians will find this to be an excellent resource in connecting history content with inquiry-based learning experiences. Seek resources that focus on historical thinking and teaching with primary sources.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Book Review: Star Scouts

STAR SCOUTS by Mike Lawrence is a colorfully illustrated science fiction graphic novel for children.
When Avani is abducted by an alien, she discovers that she’d rather be part of an intergalactic scouting troop than back on Earth with her fellow humans.
Librarians will find that the combination of an action-packed story and diverse cast of characters will appeal to young people. The second book in this new series is due in Spring 2018.
Published by First Second Books on March 21, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Website Review: 100 Leaders in World History

100 LEADERS IN WORLD HISTORY explores a hundred key people from around the global through history.
This easy-to-use project provides a gallery of leaders, video, classroom resources, and the results of an interactive survey. The leader section provides an overview of each leader. A video asks the question, “What Makes a Leader”? The classroom resources area provides a video, classroom ideas, lesson plans, printable posters, and other information. The results section provides statistical data and results of interactive surveys, and student-produced materials.
Librarians will find this unique website stimulates conversations and information investigations about leaders, leadership, and world history. Use it to draw interest in world history as well as the biography section of the library.
To visit the website, go to

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review: Martina & Chrissie

MARTINA & CHRISSIE: THE GREATEST RIVALRY IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS by Phil Bildner tells the story of two women striving for excellence in tennis.
In addition to tracing the history of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert’s friendship and rivalry, this compelling picture book biography also weaves in historical information that provides a global context.
Brett Helquist’s engaging and realistic illustrations bring the competition to life for readers. The book concludes with a timelines and addition sources.
Librarians know that sports biographies are popular. With the current popularity of tennis, young women will be particularly drawn to this fierce rivalry.
To learn more about the author, go to
To learn more about the illustrator, go to
Published by Candlewick Press on March 14, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Website Review: Histories of the National Mall

HISTORIES OF THE NATIONAL MALL is a website exploring historical maps, stories, people, and events related to Washington DC’s famous mall.
In addition to a search tool that provides access to the digital collection, users can explore the resources through maps, explorations, people, and past events. The maps section provides an interactive map that allows users to explore areas of the Mall. The explorations area features scavenger hunts, along with fascinating questions and answers pages featuring items from the digital collection. The people section features key men and women who impacted the Mall. Finally, the past events area provides a timeline of key events and primary sources related to these happenings.
Librarians will find this website connects with many areas of history and social studies. Use the explorations section to jumpstart information inquiry projects.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Review: Stormy Seas

STORMY SEAS by Mary Beth Leatherdale tells the refugee stories of five young people from around the globe.
Using collage-based design, this highly-illustrated book shares the true stories of boys and girls who sought to escape violence or poverty by sailing to a new country. Fact boxes, sidebars, timelines, and other informational asides contribute to the value of this work of nonfiction for both literature activities and social studies reports.
Librarians will find this timely book to be popular with upper elementary and middle school youth. The unusual illustrations are an added draw for young readers.
Published by Annick Press, an imprint of Ingram on April 11, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views

DENNIS COLLECTION OF STEREOSCOPIC VIEWS is a massive collection of stereographs spanning the mid 19th century to the mid 20th century.
Contents: This amazing collection of over 40,000 photographs includes locations from around the world. Users can search by topic, place, genre, and other categories.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find this public domain collection useful when connecting photographs to historical places and events. Mine the collection for photos matching specific topics in the history curriculum. Ask students to select a photo as the basis for a history project focusing on a particular time and place.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Book Review: I Promise

I PROMISE by David McPhail is a beautifully illustrated picture book featuring a mother bear and her cub.
This charming story follows a bear and her cub as they spend the day exploring the forest. Along the way, the cub learns about the meaning of the word “promise”.
Librarians will find this sweet story has a useful message that can be effectively woven into the primary grade curriculum.
To learn more about the author/illustrator, go to
Published by Little, Brown for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette on March 7, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Immigration to the US, 1789-1930

IMMIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES, 1789-1930 explores the aspirations, acculturation, and impact of immigrants through a wide range of primary source documents.
Contents: Part of Harvard University Library’s open collections programs, this digital collection features historical materials from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. In addition to browsing for digital objects, users can explore materials by topic including the immigrant diaspora, new lives, and restricting immigration.
Classroom Connections: History and social studies teachers will find a wealth of useful resources in this collection that connect directly to the standards. Of particular note are the many acts and other legal documents associated with immigration. In addition, students will enjoy the diaries, photographs, and other documents related to the everyday lives of immigrants.
To visit the collection, go to

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Book Review: Catstronauts Series

CATSTRONAUTS by Drew Brockington is an adorable science fiction, graphic novel series for children.
The series kicks off with Mission Moon. In a world populated by cats, catStronauts must set up a solar power plant on the moon to save the planet. In the followup titled Race to Mars, the catStronauts compete with the CosmoCats to be the first cats on Mars.
Librarians will find this series to be an excellent addition of the growing collection of graphic novels aimed at the elementary grades. These simply illustrated books contain short, easy to read chapters perfect for children bridging beginning comics and more complex graphic novels.
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette on April 18, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Digital Spotlight: American Archive of Public Broadcasting

AMERICAN ARCHIVE OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING shares historic programs of publicly funded radio and television in the United States.
Contents: Users can browse the collection such as agriculture, dance, energy, fine art, or literature. Another option is to explore curated exhibits on topics such as climate change and the Civil Rights Movement. Students can also explore content by participating organization.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find quality programs across the curriculum. Partner with teachers to identify audio and video segments that match specific curriculum needs.
To visit the collection, go to

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Book Review: Baby on Board

BABY ON BOARD: HOW ANIMALS CARRY THEIR YOUNG by Marianne Berkes shares the many ways mothers carry their offspring.
Featuring a wide array of animals, the picture book begins by asking children to think about how they were carried as a baby. Rhyming verses describe the relationship between animals and their young, while the realistic illustrations provide visual detail. Background information is also provided for each animals. The book concludes with a matching game for children, ideas for teachers and parents, and additional resources.
Librarians will find that this book fits well with the primary grade science curriculum.
The publisher website provides free activities at
Published by Dawn Publications on March 1, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Discovering Literature: Shakespeare

DISCOVERING LITERATURE: SHAKESPEARE from the British Library is a digital collection and educational resource focusing on Shakespeare’s plays.
Contents: This resource features digital objects from the British Library. Users can explore the materials by works, articles, collection items, themes, teaching resources, and a person area. The works section features 15 plays. The articles area provides nearly 100 articles written by scholars, performers, curators, and journalists focusing different aspects of Shakespeare and his works. The collection section provides easy access to collection items. The themes area explores themes such as comedies, tragedies, histories, and more. The Shakespeare biography page includes links to many collection resources. The teacher resources contains a couple dozen lesson plans and resources.
Classroom Connections: Librarians and English teachers will find that these high quality digital objects and supplemental materials are useful additions to the English curriculum. Use the themes section to immerse students in a variety of works related to topics of interest from ethnicity to interpretations of madness.
To visit the collection, go to

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Book Review: John Roland's Dragons

JOHN ROLAND’S DRAGONS by Caroline McAlister is a picture book telling the story of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life.
Young John Roland loved to dream of dragons and create secret languages. Through colorful illustrations and easy-to-read text, McAlister and illustrator Eliza Wheeler tell the story of how a young boy’s fascinating with dragons led to the creation of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books. Through author and illustrator notes at the end of the book, readers gain insights into hidden elements of the picture book.
Librarians will find this picture book provides a nice introduction to Tolkien’s life for young children who may have heard about this famous books. Add it to the library’s growing collection of author biographies.
Published by Roaring Book Press, an imprint of Macmillan on March 21, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.