Saturday, February 16, 2019

Book Review: Greek Mythology

WEIRD BUT TRUE: GREEK MYTHOLOGY by Sarah Wassner Flynn is a rich resource for mythology fans.
This colorfully illustrated reference book features information about each Greek god along with connections to classic stories from Greek mythology. Fascinating trivia is woven throughout each entry. Of particular note are the pages on topics such as nymphs, muses, and unsung heroes. The book concludes with activities, lists, and a glossary.
Librarians will find this book to be popular with young fans of mythology. The table of contents and index provide easy access to information about each god. The short chunks of information and connections with topics such as movies, constellations, artwork, animals, and global locations will appeal to young researchers. Pair this book with novels featuring Greek mythology. Use this title to introduce readers to the popular WEIRD BY TRUE series.
Published on September 1, 2019 by National Geographic Kids. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Website Review: Sixty Symbols

SIXTY SYMBOLS is a website and YouTube channel exploring physics and astronomy symbols.
Sponsored by The University of Nottingham, the project began with sixty symbols and has expanded to include dozens more. In addition to the sixty original symbols, the website also has sections focusing on the planets, large hadron collider, and scientists. The project also links to related topics connected with chemistry, mathematics, and more.
Librarians will find that students enjoy both the topics and the approach. Rather than relying on humor or animation, most of the videos are simply straight-forward explanations of key science concept by professors and other scholars. Of particular note are the videos by Stephen Hawking.
To visit the website, go to
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Website Review: National Geographic Wild

NATGEOWILD is a YouTube Channel focusing on the animal kingdom.
Sponsored by National Geographic, the engaging animal videos will be of interest to all ages. Browse the playlists for video collections such as Dead by Dawn, Live Safaris. Dr. Oakley, Animal Fight Night, Untamed, Australia’s Deadly Monsters, and the Incredible Dr. Pol. The community section provides information about new and upcoming videos.
Librarians will find these videos to be a fun way to introduce a science or writing unit. Involve youth in selecting their favorite video to jumpstart an inquiry. Or, explore the playlists to connect videos to specific science units. Pair the videos with nonfiction books connected to specific topics such as “world’s weirdest” and “world’s deadliest”.
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Monday, February 11, 2019

Website Review: World Digital Library

The WORLD DIGITAL LIBRARY makes available primary materials from all countries and cultures around the world.
Sponsored by the Library of Congress, users can discover, study, and enjoy cultural treasures and historical documents through the World Digital Library (WDL) website. WDL content includes information and images that can be explored by place, time period, topic, item type, language and institution. Users will find items organized in themes, timelines, and interactive maps. The WDL project is supported by the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) and cooperation with libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations around the world.
Librarians will find primary source materials in a variety of forms; books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, journals, prints and photographs, sound recordings, and films are not translated but presented in their original languages. Weave these resources throughout the information literacy curriculum and across content areas.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Book Review: Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers

PIPSQUEAKS, SLOWPOKES, AND STINKERS by Melissa Stewart celebrates animal underdogs.
This humorous, nonfiction picture book features often overlooked animals like frogs, lizards, and rats. Using an appealing, conversational style, the author draws attention to lesser-known creatures from around the world. Questions and fascinating examples maintain reader interest throughout. The book concludes with additional information about each creature.
Librarians will find this informational picture book to be an unusual way to jumpstart animal inquiries. Ask youth to select an “unsung underdog” to explore. What special characteristic can we celebrate?
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Website Review: In a Nutshell

KURZGESAGT: IN A NUTSHELL is a YouTube channel featuring short animations focusing on science topics.
Publishing one video per month, the YouTube channel features dozens of earth, life, and physical science topics. Each video uses a unique, witty narrative style likely to appeal to all ages. The elaborate, bright colored animations bring each topic to life.
Use the playlist to identify multiple videos on topics such as genetic engineering, technology, immune system, and the universe. Of particular note is their “best stuff” section featuring a variety of topics. Based in Germany, the videos provide a useful global perspective on topics such as energy.
Librarians will find these beautifully produced animations to be effective in addressing popular how and why science questions. Use the videos to introduce concepts across the science curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Website Review: Math Antics

MATH ANTICS is a website and YouTube channel teaching basic math concepts.
Designed for grades 3 through 8, the videos are intended to supplement the math curriculum. The videos are organized by math concept such as arithmetic, fractions, geometry, algebra and percents rather than by grade level. The engaging format may be useful for learners seeking alternative ways of thinking about a math concept.
Librarians will find these fast-paced, math videos to be popular with teachers seeking short tutorials to review or enhance learning. Although the videos are free, additional materials can be purchased at the website.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Website Review: Magna Carta

The MAGNA CARTA website explores the history and legacy of one of the world’s most famous documents, the Magna Carta.
Housed at the British Library, the original document was agreed at Runnymede in 1215. This site displays one of the four surviving copies. Visitors can explore and study articles by leading experts, view videos and animations, and other items for ideas and information associated with the Magna Carta. Discover the important people involved in the 13th century including King John and Henry III, Pope Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton, Barons William Marshal and Robert Fitzwalter.
Librarians can help students and adults find resources for primary and secondary schools in teaching history, government, citizenship, human rights, law and politics. Lead them to discover why this document is still important today. How has it changed over the last 800 years? How does it affect our culture, laws and rights?
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Book Review: Countdown

COUNTDOWN by Suzanne Slade tells the true story of the moon landing.
Told through stunning illustrations and engaging free verse, this large picture book takes readers on a 2979 day journey from President John F. Kennedy’s announcement through the moon landing. Each of the nine chapters explore a different stage in the project. Thomas Gonzalez’s photo-quality images share a visual record, while the free verse draws readers into the engaging true story. The book concludes with background information, notes, a bibliography, quotations, and an index.
Librarians will find that this large picture book provides a unique way to experience this powerful story of engineering and human sacrifice. Pair it work biographies and other works of nonfiction along with the many NASA websites related to the moon project.
Published by Peachtree Publishers on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Website Review: C.G.P. Grey

C.G.P. GREY is a popular YouTube Channel featuring short, fast-paced animated videos on popular topics.
Each short video explores a specific problem or question such as who owns the state of liberty or how do machines learn?
Librarians will find youth enjoy the fast-paced style. Keep in mind that some videos contain humor and satire appropriate for older students. Of particular note is a video that explores the differences between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England. The fast-paced, humorous approach will be popular with sharp AP students.
To visit the youtube channel, go to

Monday, January 28, 2019

Website Review: The Graphics Atlas

The GRAPHICS ATLAS website uses an object-based approach to identification of prints and photographs.
Created and maintained by the Image Permanence Institute, a department of the College of Art and Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), this website provides useful tools connected with photography. Users can explore the collection by taking a guided tour of individual prints; a virtual study of the collection that contains processes ranging from historic woodcuts to today’s inkjet prints. The collection covers pre-photographic, photomechanical, photographic and digital processes. Compare the process traits using a variety of lighting techniques and image magnifications. One can learn the key identifying characteristics of each process. Users can sign up for an interesting picture of the month to be emailed to them.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful tool for students and teachers who work with historical photographs. The website helps learners look at past pictures online and learn about the processes used in their production. Use it as part of both the information literacy program and the social studies curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Book Review: The Secrets of Tutankhamun

THE SECRETS OF TUTANKHAMUN by Patricia Cleveland-Peck tells the story of King Tut and how archaeologists drew conclusions from historical evidence.
This appealing informational picture book is told in three parts. After introducing the key people, the first section of the book takes readers back to Ancient Egypt, the second section explores the archaeological discoveries surrounding King Tut, and the final section speculates on current and future discoveries.
Librarians will find this visually attractive work of nonfiction appeals to a broad audience. By including information about the science of mummification along with the history and archaeology, the book easily crosses multiple interest and curriculum areas.
Published by Bloomsbury on August 21, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Website Review: Maker Ed

MAKER ED is a website providing resources and information to educators interested in maker-centered learning.
The Maker Education Initiative is a non-profit project providing training, support, and resources to the educational community. The website contains a resource library with planning materials and ideas for making the case for makerspaces in schools. Tools, materials, publications, research reports, and project approaches are also available. Of particular interest are tours and descriptions of specific examples of school, library, and museum makerspaces.
Librarians will find endless ideas for building maker spaces into teaching and learning activities.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Website Review: Animated Math

ANIMATED MATH also known as 3BLUE1BROWN is a website and YouTube channel providing videos and math poetry on advanced mathematics topics.
Although too tough for most teens, this website is perfect for advanced math students looking for ways to enhance their learning. Created by Grant Sanderson, the video section introduces the latest videos and the math poetry area presents a dozen poems.
Librarians will find this website to be an effective way to promote advanced mathematics in a high school setting. Of particular interest is the math poetry section. Go directly to the YouTube channel to explore playlists connected with particular topics.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, January 21, 2019

Website Review: Library Learning & Creation Center

The LIBRARY LEARNING & CREATION CENTER is a website supporting the professional development needs of librarians.
Sponsored by the Colorado Virtual Library, the website contains resources focusing on collection management, community engagement, customer service, leadership, maker spaces, services and programming, and technology. In addition, the Library 101 section is geared to challenges facing librarians from professional ethics to intellectual freedom. Many of the topics link to videos and reading materials sponsored by state and national library organizations such as the American Library Association.
Librarians will find useful resources to jumpstart their own professional development activities along with materials to assist their library staff and volunteers.
To visit the website, go to

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Book Review: Eleanore Roosevelt

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: FIGHTER FOR JUSTICE by Ilene Cooper is a biography focusing on Roosevelt’s lasting impact.
Designed for intermediate and middle grade readers, this biography includes the basics of Roosevelt’s life. However this work of nonfiction places emphasis on her transformation into an advocate for social justice. The author uses a conversational approach to describe how Roosevelt overcame her own prejudices and used her powerful position to promote important causes such as the Civil Rights Movement. Historic photographs and other illustrations will contribute to the appeal of this title. The book includes a timeline, biography, and index.
Librarians will find their collection filled with books on Eleanor Roosevelt. What makes this book unusual is its emphasis on her national and international contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and other efforts related to social justice. Students doing reports on both Roosevelt and the Civil Rights Movement will find the book useful.
Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers on August 7, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Website Revie: Makerspace for Education

MAKERSPACE FOR EDUCATION is website providing resources related to makerspaces in teaching and learning.
The website introduces the basics of makerspaces along with the philosophical basis for the approach. A materials section lists print resources, software, websites, and other useful links to get educators started. A community of practice section welcomes involvement and provides links to a blog and teacher-generated lesson ideas.
Librarians will find this website to be helpful in designing makerspaces and locating materials and support for both the library and classroom settings.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Website Review: Jared Owen Animations

JARED OWEN ANIMATIONS is a YouTube Channel sharing fascinating 3D animations.
From science to architecture and history, Jared Owen has produced fascinating 3D animations that illustrate concepts, address questions, look inside equipment, and visit locations around the world. Users can see a series of animations related to Apollo Spacecraft, look inside a lightsaber, and visit Buckingham Palace.
Librarians will find the animations useful in computer science classes teaching 3D animation. In addition, collaborate with social studies and science teachers to weave the animations into the curriculum.
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Monday, January 14, 2019

Website Review: National World War II Museum

THE NATIONAL WORLD WAR II MUSEUM website features learning resources telling the story of the war that changed the world.
Located in New Orleans, the museum website contains information about the physical location along with a growing number of online resources.
The War section of the website provides articles, items from the digital collection, WWII polls, and other types of information including text, graphics, and video content.
The Students and Teachers section provides distance learning programs, educator resources, and student resources that explore history topics related to WWII. Of particular note is their electronic field trip connected with the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Librarians will find these high-quality learning materials appeal to students and teachers alike. Be sure to check out the YouTube channel for lots of video content. Also, examine the classroom website focusing specifically on using the collections in schools.
To visit the website, go to
To visit the YouTube channel, go to
To visit the classroom website, go to

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Book Review: Over on a Desert

OVER ON A DESERT: SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD by Marianne Berkes is a picture book exploration of the driest places on Earth and the animals who live there.
A short description, map, and illustration are provided for each of the ten featured deserts. Each scene shows creatures in their native habitats and are depicted using high-quality collage techniques. In addition to introducing the deserts, the book can also be used as a counting and number book with younger children. The very short narratives will appeal to young readers. The book concludes with additional background information, activity ideas, and even a song.
Librarians will find this book to be a useful read-aloud book for a desert themed unit. Young children and primary-aged youth alike will enjoy both the short narratives and the predictable counting theme. Use this book to kickstart a unit on desert habitats.
Published by Dawn Publications on September 1, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Website: Series of the Week

SERIES OF THE WEEK is a website featuring the best of web video series.
The Education section focuses specifically on web-based videos of interest to educators and students. Videos are grouped into subcategories including science, history, nature, and literature.
Librarians will find this website to be a good place to begin an exploration of web-based videos for use across the curriculum.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Website: Simple History

SIMPLE HISTORY is a YouTube Channel providing animated history videos.
Each short video visualizes a different aspect of history including culture, technology, and key events. Playlists are available on world history and wonders of the world. Users will find multiple videos on topics such as World War I and World War II.
Librarians will find dozens of engaging history segments to jumpstart an interest in a wide range of history topics. Work with the history teacher to weave the videos into the curriculum.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Website: BBC

The BBC YouTube channels contain endless informational and educational video programming.
BBC supports dozens of YouTube channels. Best known is the BBC News channel, however there are many other channels useful for educational activities.
BBC Ideas is a channel contains short videos to “feed your curiosity.” CBBC is popular with youth. Check out their videos dealing with the issue of bullying. Students will find their “Horrible Histories” hilarious. CBeebie is a channel designed for young children. Finally Children in Need is focused on changing the lives of disadvantaged youth.
Librarians will want to mine the many BBC channels for short videos that can be woven into the curriculum. Use the news channel to provide a more global perspective on social issues.
To visit the channels, go to

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Book Review: Fakers

FAKERS by H. P. Wood is an insider’s guide to cons, hoaxes, and scams.
This work of nonfiction begins with the history of scams and deception. Each chapter then explores a different fake such as con artists, psychics, and mass-media hoaxes. Readers will be attracted to the many sidebars, historical documents, and colorful illustrations.
Librarians will find youth enjoy discussing the many hoaxes found in the book. Feature this title in a display along with books about aliens, fake news, and scams. Also, connect the book with lessons associated with technology scams and information literacy.
Published by Charlesbridge Publishing on October 2, 2018. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Digital Spotlight: Science History Institute

The SCIENCE HISTORY INSTITUTE digital collection focuses on chemistry, engineering, and life sciences.
Contents: This digital collection contains nearly 6000 digital objects including artifacts, photographs, advertisements, letters, rare books, and more. Users can search by key word and limit the search by date.
Classroom Connections: Librarians will find this collection useful for students projects. Students can search for public domain images that can be used in science or other types of projects.
Featured Digital Objects:
Wilson College Chemistry Club
Princess and Fairy, or, the Wonders of Nature
Science on Stamps
To visit the collection, go to

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Website: AP Images

AP IMAGES is a collection of images from the Associated Press.
Students can use the basic or advanced search engine to locate images or browse the website resources.
The Editorial Photography area contains images related to breaking news and top stories as well as images by topic. The historical section contains award winning photographs from the past 90 years. The GraphicsBank includes a wide range of graphics including logos and maps.
Librarians will find this website to be an effective way to locate key photos for a wide range of projects from current events to historical projects. Involve youth in starting a social issues project with a photograph from the collection. Be sure that students cite any images they use for class projects.
Before sharing the photographs outside the library or classroom, be sure to check the use guidelines for the particular image.
To visit the website, go to