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Space : a visual encyclopedia (#0073EA1)

Booklist (December 1, 2010 (Online)) Grades 7-12. From planet earth to the far reaches of the universe, this encyclopedia provides the opportunity for readers to explore space. Information is divided into nine sections, beginning with Observing the Universe, which covers a definition of space, a history of viewing the stars, telescopes, and observatories. Other chapters include The Violent Universe, Solar System, Earth, The Moon, and The Sun. Liftoff features information on space shuttles, satellites, and rockets. Humans in Space discusses our exploration of the universe (animals in space, space stations, and the future of space exploration). A final Stars and Stargazing section describes stars, other solar systems, and what you can see in the night sky. Within each section, topics are examined on two-page spreads featuring a typical DK layout: title, large-font introductory paragraph, several mediumsized-font paragraphs of supporting information, and numerous photographs with captions that provide additional details. Though there is plenty of detail to keep would-be astronauts engaged, the illustrative material is obviously the highlight of this volume. The stunning full-color photographs and visuals, courtesy of NASA and high-tech telescopes from around the world, show detail and clarity. This work will find popularity with space enthusiasts and browsers alike, although report writers will need additional research sources if focusing on only one topic. Because of the relatively low cost, public libraries will likely want more than one copy. Junior- and senior-high-schools where astronomy is studied will want to consider purchase for their library or science department.

Library Media Connection (May/June 2011) From the farthest reaches of space to life on earth, this book provides a basic introduction to a wide variety of topics in typical DK Publishing fashion. Students will enjoy learning about space through this information-packed volume. There are color illustrations, diagrams, and charts as well as a glossary, timeline, and index. Although no topic is examined in great detail, those working on reports or projects would find this book helpful. The book is well organized and comprehensive. For the price, this is an excellent addition to any library collection. Recommended. Kristen Albright, Elementary Librarian, Penns Valley Elementary Schools, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania

School Library Journal (July 1, 2011) Gr 4-6-In addition to discussing "Space Tourism," this spectacularly illustrated tour sweeps viewers along from low Earth orbit to the farthest reaches of the universe with a mix of dazzling space photos, artists' speculations, sky maps, cutaway views of spacecraft, and much more. Hundreds of accompanying captions, headers, and bite-size text blocks fill in plenty of details. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

National Geographic Kids almanac 2012. (#0373BJ7)


School Library Journal (October 1, 2011) Gr 3-8-National Geographic has built a reputation for providing breathtaking images and this book doesn't disappoint, providing high-quality, full-color photographs or maps on every page, accompanying information about animals, nature, history, and cultures. The almanac is divided into 10 major sections with catchy titles such as "Your World 2012," "Awesome Adventures," and "Geography Rocks." Homework-help sections offer assistance with common student tasks-writing letters, conducting research, and giving speeches, for example. This edition also includes mobile media features. Readers with access to a smartphone can download a free QR (Quick Response) code reader at a website listed inside the book's cover and then scan the 10 codes sprinkled throughout the text to access videos or view further information or related projects. The same offerings, as well as frequently updated blogs, pictures, trivia, and articles, labeled as "Cool Clicks" in the book, are available online. Students can learn so much from this almanac and its online features. It is also a logical point for starting projects or for teachers to use when introducing concepts as varied as Pompeii, crystal caves, natural disasters, biomes, mythology, dinosaurs, jaguars, and energy. Ideal for reference and circulating collections.-Beth McGuire, Hempfield Area School District, Greensburg, PA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

National Geographic Kids beginner's world atlas. (#0414YR8)


Booklist (November 1, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 5)) Grades 2-4. It is a formidable challenge to present a satisfying sampling of the diverse aspects of our planet in 64 oversize pages, but National Geographic pulls it off in this third edition of their eye-catching atlas for the child who is ready to learn about the world beyond his or her own community. Enticing panoramic photographs introduce each continent, and easy-to-decipher maps make this oversize volume one that will fascinate inquisitive young children given to browsing. The front matter effectively introduces what constitutes a map,using large, clear diagrams, and gives an overview of the physical and political world with

maps of the entire planet that use just the right amount of detail. Information for each continent is laid out on two attractively designed double-page spreads with the physical map, photos, and text about the land first, followed by the political map, and finally text about and photos of the people. A few of the choices for inclusion seem odd; nonetheless, this is a good volume to keep readily available.

School Library Journal (December 1, 2011) K-Gr 3-Except for a few new photos and updated statistics, this version is identical to the 2005 edition, making it an unnecessary purchase for libraries that have the latter volume. It is already out of date (it shows Sudan as one country) and it misses some opportunities to improve upon the last edition by discussing geographic oddities that are sure to interest children. For example, why does Bolivia have two capitals? How was the border between Europe and Asia decided? How should New Zealand be classified if it is not part of any continent (in fact, when looking at the map on the end pages, it is left gray, as though someone hoped that no one will notice it.) Page numbers on the world map on the end pages form a table of contents. Spreads in the opening "Understanding Your World" section discuss how a flat map represents a spherical Earth, what readers will learn from the atlas, and the difference between physical and political maps. Following that distinction is a world physical map showing land regions, water, climate, plants and animals; and a world political map showing countries, cities, people, languages, and products. The body of the atlas mainly covers continents in chapters of three spreads each; the United States and Canada have their own chapters. Students will be better off with Facts On File's The World Almanac Children's Atlas (2011), which shows South Sudan as a separate country.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Macmillan dictionary for children (#20931T0)


Booklist (September 1, 2007 (Vol. 104, No. 1)) Grades 3-6. Dictionaries designed for the upper-elementary- and middle-school crowd try to nudge children up the language ladder by including parts of speech, inflected forms, and pronunciation and also adding more advanced dictionary features, such as syllabification, cross-references, and idioms. This dictionary is no exception. It was last issued in 2001, but instead of updating, the publisher has acquired a completely new work. There are still approximately 35,000 entries but now almost 3,000 images (the previous edition had 1,100 illustrations, most of them photographs) and numerous differences in layout and design, making for a livelier, if also denser looking, page. Entries contains the usual elements, such as parts of speech, pronunciation, and variants and inflected forms, but otherwise bear little resemblance to those in past editions, with a different arrangement, different definitions, sample sentences, word histories, and usage notes. There are no synonyms, which comparable dictiionaries have. Other changes include feature panels on topics such as geothermal regions, killer whales, and optical illustions. Users will no longer find entries for place-names or the fairly detailed Story of English at the beginning of the volume, and the reference section at the back of the volume is a bit skimpier (no more thesaurus, no more weights and measures). This dictionary remains a good choice for the older children in its designated age range. The many illustrations, some of which take up half a page, add interest and will invite browsing. Children at the lower end of the range will have an easier time with The American Heritage Childrens Dictionary (2003), which has simpler definitions and a less-crowded design. Library Media Connection (January 2008) It is hard to get excited about a dictionary. However, this children's dictionary is colorful, interesting, easy-to- use, and easy-toread. A large number of details and numerous outstanding illustrations, including an illustrated table of contents, add to its appeal. Each page has the entire alphabet listed in the margin with the current letter highlighted in various colors. Blue guidewords pop out on the page and catch the readers' attention. Pop-up boxes of word histories, feature panels, arrows for illustrations, language notes, captions, and labels are just some of the educational tools that are included on every page. The reference section at the back includes almost 30 pages of extremely useful maps and charts. Reasonably priced and perfect for elementary students, this is a must-have reference covering 35,000 entries. Highly Recommended. Roxanne Welch Mills, Supervisor of Media Services, Chesapeake, Virginia School Library Journal (October 1, 2007) Gr 2-5-Revised and updated with 35,000 entries and more than 3000 full-color illustrations, this attractive dictionary is a browser's delight. An introductory section explains how to find a word and includes a helpful spelling guide. Colorful alphabet tabs appear in capitals on the left and in lowercase on the right of each spread; guide words appear in blue at the top of each page. Red arrowheads in entries indicate illustrations; there are generally between three and six of these per spread, all with engaging captions. Pronunciation guides, alternate spellings, parts of speech, other forms, and idioms that include the word in question accompany each clearly written definition. Occasional word histories are boxed in blue, and language notes in yellow. Any broad category with which the word is associated-such as history or government-is also mentioned, though these are a bit redundant and arbitrary. For instance, "Science" is an entry, but "Chemistry," "Biology," and "Environment," which could all fall under it, are

mentioned separately. Eye-catching feature panels provide detailed information about words of particular interest to children, such as cats, storms, and sharks. The reference section includes maps; a chart showing each state's flag, nickname, capital, population, name origin, flower, and bird; a list of presidents-their terms, First Ladies, and vice presidents; a list of countries and their flags; charts about environmental issues; and a section on the solar system, reflecting Pluto's demotion. An accessible and enticing addition.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

A kid's guide to Native American history : more than 50 activities (#00880X5)

Booklist (January 1, 2010 (Vol. 106, No. 9)) Grades 4-6. Complementing the authors excellent Native Americans Today: Resources and Activities for Educators, Grades 48 (2000), this child-centered gathering of history, crafts, and activities opens with a chapter of stereotype-dispelling information, then goes on in regionally arranged chapters to present brief accounts of the past and (especially) present lives and customs of several dozen cultures, from Mikmaq to Native Hawaiian. Carefully steering clear of items with ceremonial or religious import, Dennis and Hirschfelder add simple directions for creating versions of distinctive everyday objectssuch as Seminole-style decorations for a baseball cap or Winnebago appliqu ribbonwork for a notebook coverplus games, recipes (with notes suggesting adult supervision where cooking or cutting is involved), and art projects. Rattray supplies simple line patterns or diagrams throughout. With plenty of ideas for curriculum enrichment, this resource also includes enough historical background to be a good supplementary source of information for early reports. Back matter includes extensive lists of books, Web sites, and Native American museums and cultural centers.

Kirkus Reviews (October 1, 2009) More a guide for teachers and parents than for kids, this comprehensive volume offers much information about Native cultures past and present. A timeline, sidebars, lists, maps and a variety of projects and activities involve readers in a broad learning experience, though in trying to cover so much ground about so many Native groups in the introduction and first chapter, the volume starts overly broad and didactic. In the many activities offered, the authors do not include the making of ceremonial objects or clothing, as they don't want to encourage children to "play Indian," which is offensive to Native people. However, this spirit seems contradicted in such activities as puppet shows, crafting a Seminole design patchwork baseball cap, sculpting a Pueblo storyteller doll and making an Ojibway seasons apron. Still, the book includes a wealth of information and activities for classroom teachers or parents creating a home learning program. (glossary, list of Native American museums and cultural centers, list of festivals and powwows, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7-10)

Library Media Connection (November/December 2010) This book is devoted to crafts, biographies, and the history of Native Americans. It also discusses stereotypes and attempts to correct them. People of the First Nation are divided geographically from the northeast to Hawaii. The crafts, with simple directions, attempt to connect to the individual tribe's culture but a few, such as holding a bike rodeo and making bike saddle fenders, are a stretch. The mini-biographies are interesting, but readers would need to look elsewhere for more in-depth information. The resource section contains an extensive list of Native American museums and cultural centers. Unfortunately there is no index, which makes navigation through the text difficult. Bibliography. Glossary. Timeline. Additional Selection. Joanne Ligamari, Library Media Teacher, Pioneer & Garden Valley Elementary Schools, Twin Rivers School District, Sacramento, California

School Library Journal (November 1, 2009) Gr 3-6-This two-in-one history and activity book does an excellent job of explaining Native American history in easy-tounderstand language while stressing the differences between and diversity among tribes. The book is divided by region (including maps of each one): Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Plains, Great Basin and Plateau, Southwest, Pacific States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Activities are kid-friendly (a few have adult supervision required) and encourage exploration of the text (such as creating a Delaware story bag, trying a Gros Ventre-inspired hands game, playing Washoe stone jacks). Clear illustrations accompany each activity. An introductory note is careful to explain that no ceremonial objects or clothing are included, and children are discouraged from "playing Indian," thus promoting cultural sensitivity. Brief biographies of famous, modern-day Native peoples are generously included, thus reinforcing the fact that Native American history is still being made. Pronunciations of tribal names and other Native words are included throughout. A lengthy list of museums, cultural-resource centers, and festivals is appended, as is a substantial suggested reading list. A top-notch resource for classroom use or independent study.-Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Atlas of African-American history (#15487Z7)

Booklist (May 1, 2008 (Vol. 104, No. 17)) This attractive and informative title about African American history is more or less chronologically arranged. Beginning with a chapter on African history and ending with a chapter on Black America Today that is up to date through 2007, with Barack Obama a presidential candidate, it provides a detailed overview of experiences and events surrounding Americans of African descent. Among the topics and events that are discussed are the Amistad incident, racism following Hurricane Katrina, integration of the armed forces, and the rise of hip-hop. Of course, a work of this size cant be comprehensive. The Tulsa violence of 1921 is described in a text box, but Rosewood and Fort Pillow arent mentioned. Photos, maps, charts, and graphs are used liberally and usually illustrate the text well. An index and selected bibliography add to the books usefulness. Kudos to the author for readability and the careful way he posits theories about early civilizations. Writing is clear, and the book is certainly inviting. High-school and college libraries that dont already own the first (2001) edition will want to purchase this for reference or circulating collections.

Library Journal (March 1, 2008) Originally published in 2002, this vividly written survey atlas of African American history is a well-illustrated reference work filled with colorful maps, photographs, graphs, and other boxed features. Edited by Ciment (Encyclopedia of the Great Depression and New Deal), this revision consists of eight chapters covering the African American experience chronologically. The last chapter highlights contemporary social, racial, and economic issues that continue to confront the United States, with an emphasis on post-Katrina New Orleans. This current information-a much-needed addition to this revised work-is complemented by new data on the African American middle class after World War II and musical and literary influences since the 1960s. Ciment proposes that the African American experience is about movement, either by enslavement or by choice, a dynamic colorfully illustrated with 73 maps showing the immigration patterns of the African Diaspora from Africa to the Western Hemisphere and afterward. Detailed maps range from the routes of the Underground Railroad to the post-World War I emigration of Southern African Americans to the North and include the raid on Harper's Ferry and the Katrina-ravaged African American sections of New Orleans. The book's currency is further highlighted by biographies of Condoleezza Rice and Barack Obama. BOTTOM LINE This visually appealing reference atlas is complemented by a clearly written text that is admirably balanced in presenting the social, economic, political, and cultural components of African American history. The maps are functional, with appropriate graphics and bullet points for the reader. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries, including those owning the first edition. [Available in print only.]-Kam W. Teo, Weyburn P.L., Sask. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Library Media Connection (August/September 2008) Whether undertaking a research project on To Kill a Mockingbird (HarperCollins, 1960) or the Civil Rights movement this book is an outstanding resource. Chapters cover a short history of Africa, slavery in early America, African Americans in the late 19th and early to mid-20th centuries, the Civil Rights movement, backlash and retrenchment, and the Black American now. Each chapter is rich with information and very accessible to high school students. Color maps include supplemental information such as annual lynchings of African Americans, 1882-1925, World War I battles in which African Americans participated, street maps of Harlem in the 1920s, and more. Special inserts about people and events are well- placed and expand the information found in the text. The selection of photographs is powerful--they offer the reader a visual understanding of the events found in the text. Most of the photographs are b&w and are from the Library of Congress. A list of photo credits would be helpful. This is an excellent resource and should be part of every high school library collection. Bibliography. Index. Highly Recommended. Susan D. Yutzey, Library Media Specialist, Upper Arlington High School, Columbus, Ohio

School Library Journal (April 1, 2008) Gr 7 Up-This thorough and comprehensive overview of the history and culture of African Americans is arranged chronologically, beginning with life in ancient Africa and continuing up to the present day. More text- and illustration-heavy than other atlases, it updates the 2001 edition with additional full-color maps (73 in all), black-and-white and color photographs, and illustrations (143 and 39, respectively); and recent events, such as the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and on the rest of the country. The book covers the slave trade through to the Civil War and its aftermath, discussing slaves' contributions to this country, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Movement, and black political and cultural leaders. The graphs and charts are particularly informative, chronicling the slave trade (including its triangular aspect) and migration routes. Ciment includes a discussion of rap and hip-hop, with maps indicating the home cities and spheres of influence of prominent artists. Similar to Colin A. Palmer's The Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History (Gale, 2006), this text supplies a great deal of information and is a solid choice.-Carol Jones Collins, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Children's encyclopedia of American history (#15974N8)


Horn Book (Fall 2003) Published with the Smithsonian Institution, this formidable compendium of facts about key events and cultural movements in American history bustles with text, photos, captions, maps, drawings, sidebars, charts, and heads and subheads. Fortunately, the barrage of information is somewhat tamed by a chronological (versus alphabetical) order. The book is organized into eighteen chapters and enlists a color-coding system. Ind.

Library Media Connection (November 2003) This encyclopedia will appeal to social studies teachers, media specialists, and students. This volume provides a concise look at American history from the year 1000 AD to the present day. Each chapter covers a particular era in the history of the United States. It includes maps, paintings, drawings, photographs, definitions, feature spreads, cross-references, and timelines. Some features are color coded so that readers can easily navigate through a vast amount of information. It is a book that can be readily used to find a quick fact. However, once you get started you will be captivated, and you will want to read more. Anyone teaching a decade project will find this a must have reference. Included is a two-page spread on how to use the book, a feature I found most welcome. Also included are table of contents, index, and appendices. Some of the features in the appendices include specific facts, original documents, a list of the U.S. presidents, and state facts. Media specialists in elementary and middle schools will welcome this addition to their collection. Recommended. Ruie Chehak, Library Media Specialist, Sallie Jones Elementary, Punta Gorda, Florida

Publishers Weekly (April 7, 2003) Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution, DK's Children's Encyclopedia of American History by David King is a comprehensive overview lavishly illustrated with period photographs, paintings and drawings of people, objects and events, as well as maps and charts. Separate topics-from "The Constitution" to "Terrorism Strikes Home"-unfold in double-page spreads throughout 18 chronologically organized chapters. An appendix includes a list of the U.S. presidents, a chart of key facts about the 50 states, and the texts of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and its Amendments, plus the Gettysburg Address. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal (October 1, 2003) Gr 5-9-A visually enticing and textually fascinating survey. Grouped thematically and chronologically (with overlap where necessary), the 18 chapters span the centuries, starting with 1000-1607 ("Two Worlds Meet"-a look at the indigenous cultures and the impacts of European exploration) and concluding with 2000-2002 ("A New Millennium"-September 11, 2001, and beyond). Chapters consist of up to 10 two- to four-page spreads and open with an introduction that offers a few paragraphs of text, a representative graphic, a brief overview, and a time line. A typical spread contains a colored tab indicating the years addressed, maps, captioned photos, sidebars that elaborate on specific events, reproductions of paintings and drawings, definitions, and cross-references. Appendixes include a compendium of presidents; state facts; and the full text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. Tied more to themes and historical strands than Chronicle of America (DK, 2000), this book is also more approachable and will be especially appealing to students intimidated by text-heavy resources.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

America Bowl : 44 presidents vs. 44 Super Bowls (#0267BL9)

Booklist (January 1, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 9)) Grades 4-6. Inspired by the once-ever fact that Super Bowl XLIV was played during the administration of the forty-fourth president, sports writer Steinberg pits each chief executive from George Washington on against the correspondingly numbered football championship. Along with handfuls of quick facts about years of service, political party, electoral votes, and the like on one side, and final scores, season records, and cost of a 30-second TV commercial on the other, he stacks a short tally of each administrations successes and failures up against highlights and general quality of the paired gridiron conflictthen picks a winner. Based on vague criteria and arbitrary choices, he awards the presidents an early lead, but the overall scoring remains suspensefully close throughout. Readers who dont know their QBs from their DBs will be lost by the authors game summaries, the football photos are often only marginally relevant to the great plays being described, and the whole premise is ridiculous anywaybut, as Steinberg writes, Its the most fun you can have learning about Americas presidents and Super Bowls without having to read two separate books.

Kirkus Reviews (November 15, 2010) To a boy like Steinberg, who grew up with action figures and three-inch-tall president statues who battled it out, it made perfect sense to create matchups between presidents and football games. Barack Obama is the 44th president, and early in his presidency came the 44th Super Bowl, so why not match each president with a Super Bowl game? President Washington, it turns out, wins round one: a monumental presidency, a letdown of a football game. Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl 16, but he didn't free the slaves-"It's Abraham Lincoln in a walkover." There were no scandals in game 37, so score a win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Richard Nixon. Each spread represents a game, with plenty of pictures and speech bubbles, as well as a scoreboard. Based on the America Bowl blog, this admittedly lightweight volume will teach a bit about presidents and football while offering the pure fun and goofiness intended by the author.

What does the president do? (#19016A7)


Library Media Connection (October 2010) Each title starts with an overview of the office and what the job entails, then a description of how you get the job, typical activities, where you would work, historical background, and how to follow the current officeholders in the media and/or contact them. Photographs on the covers are of current officeholders and full page interior photographs are of past and present officeholders engaged in typical activities. The series will work best where the branches of government are included in the curriculum. They present enough about the various jobs to be interesting but not enough to overwhelm young learners. More indepth information is available at the websites given. Using current photographs may date these volumes more quickly, but they do provide immediacy. Including the names and accomplishments of notable officeholders past and present throughout the text provides opportunities for expanding research. Glossary. Websites. Table of Contents. Index. Recommended. Sherry Hoy, Library Media Specialist, Tuscarora JHS, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania

School Library Journal (April 1, 2010) Gr 3-5-These titles do not succeed in either inspiring or educating. The terms are not clearly explained, and the texts are often awkwardly written. The format will not appeal to older elementary students, and the vocabulary is not accessible to most younger readers. What Does a Senator Do? states that ".President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol," but readers will most likely not know what a cornerstone is. In some cases, the illustrations and color photographs contradict the text, such as in What Does a Supreme Court Justice Do?, when the text on one page states, "Some Supreme Court justices, such as Antonin Scalia, are known for asking many hard questions. Others, such as Clarence Thomas, generally just listen to the arguments," and then the photograph on the following page shows Justice Thomas talking with another justice, and the caption reads, "The Court's justices do not always agree." What Does the President Do? offers current information regarding the present administration, though, as with the other titles, the vocabulary is stilted and not likely to appeal to students. Suzanne LeVert's The Supreme Court (Marshall Cavendish, 2003) is a better choice.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

The buck stops here : the presidents of the United States (#0494TC2)
School Library Journal (January 1, 2011) Gr 2-4-Provensen updates her compendium of presidential portraits to include Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Rhyming couplets serve as footers beneath detailed earth-toned watercolor illustrations that fill each page with miniature scenes featuring campaign slogans, historical events with time line dates, and major accomplishments and inopportune failures. Illustrated historical events, some nonpolitical, graciously surround each man's portrait and term in office. Each president's personality is indirectly revealed through facial expressions that disclose personal struggles with some of America's most difficult executive decisions. For example, the couplet "Junior Bush, Forty-three/Plagued by catastrophe" runs along the bottom of George W. Bush's desk while the tragedy of the September 11th terrorist attacks plays out through his large picture window. Barack Obama's vignette reveals some of the world's current concerns, e.g., the war in Afghanistan and struggling economy, while his wife and children plant new seeds in their White House garden as they cultivate "hope in time of war." "Notes About the Presidents," which can come in useful when writing brief reports, are appended. Unfortunately, the "Selected Bibliography" has not been updated, and the most recent title is from 1993. Nonetheless, this is an excellent introduction to America's leaders.-Krista Welz, North Bergen Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Obama : only in America (#08083W1)


Booklist (May 1, 2010 (Vol. 106, No. 17))

Grades 3-5. Some will call this picture book for older readers adulatoryand it isbut Weatherford puts an amazing amount of information about Barack Obama into a rhythmic text that is also wonderfully concise. Most of the major moments of Obamas life are here, both personal and professional. Beginning with the unlikely pairing of his parents; through his time in Indonesia (There, beggars knocked on the door and crocodiles sunned in the yard); to his decisions to become, first, a community organizer, then a politician, the book makes Obama seem both larger than life yet also someone beset with struggles with which readers can identify. He is shown longing for his father, at times lazy in his studies, unsure of his racial identity. His flirtation with drugs is mentioned obliquely: He . . . stopped getting high. Barretts illustrations, oils on canvas, add a soft focus to the events. Depictions of Obama himself vary in quality from page to page, but they capture a man of many parts. The snippets from speeches that adorn each spread deepen the perspective.

Horn Book (Fall 2010) With energy and emotion, Weatherford tells Barack Obama's life story. The text, formatted to look like a poem, is just the right level of difficulty for a picture book biography, but the page-concluding quotes plucked from Obama's speeches aren't worth the disruption to the narrative. Although the oil portraits don't always closely resemble their subjects, they lend intimacy to Obama's very public story.

Kirkus Reviews (March 15, 2010) This lyrical tribute to the 44th U.S. President describes Barack Obama's diverse childhood experiences and his various mentors and concludes with his successful presidential election. Struggling for self-acceptance, Obama's search for racial identity led him to his father's Kenyan homeland before establishing his family and expanding his political ambitions. Obama's noteworthy quotations are highlighted on each double-page spread, adding a powerful personal element to this rhythmic narrative and revealing a talented orator and inspirational leader. Though his recreational drug use is briefly described, Obama is depicted more as an iconic saint uniting the masses than a multifaceted, flawed human being. "He mirrored the best of all of us, and the good in all of us. / More than a poet, he was a candle in the darkness." Barrett's oil paintings successfully create depth by varying dominant features against muted, shaded backdrops. Expressive faces convey a dramatic tension. Weatherford's commemorative "American Baptism" provides a powerful finale to this undeniably passionate offering. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)

Library Media Connection (August/September 2010) This is a biography told in lyrical prose by New York Times best-selling poet and childrens book author, Carole Boston Weatherford. The book pays tribute to a man who journeyed from a childhood in Hawaii to becoming the first African-American president of the United States of America. The illustrations are paintings, which vividly capture Barack Obamas life through the years. The author includes excerpts from several speeches President Obama has given during his journey to the White House. Recommended. Teresa Raimo, Media Specialist, Ridgefield Park (New Jersey) School District

School Library Journal (April 1, 2010) Gr 4-6-This "biographical tribute" traces Obama from his birth on August 4, 1961, to Inauguration Day 2009. Facts about his upbringing, family, self-doubt, education, and political career are presented in a conversational style set on the page as free verse. Serious topics like racial identity, experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and the death of his father are touched on. A quote from one of his speeches appears in red type below the main text. The opposite page features oil paintings on canvas done in a muted palette that adds a dated feel to the work. Overall, the format seems wrong for the text. If a picture book is desired, Nikki Grimes's Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope (S & S, 2008) may be a better fit, and Garen Thomas's Yes We Can (Feiwel & Friends, 2009) fills the bill as straight biography.-Stacy Dillon, LREI, New York City Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Meet the planets (#0418ZK3)


Horn Book (Spring 2012) The eight planets in the solar system are introduced through a gimmicky beauty-pageant-type "Favorite Planet Competition." A creepy anthropomorphized planet trots across each double-page spread, announcing random (and sometimes in poor taste) facts; Venus: "She's bright, she's beautiful, and she's smoking hot." The illustrations try, but there are a lot of similarities among the smiley-faced space bodies. Library Media Connection (November/December 2011)

Although presented in picture book format, this clever book will get older elementary scientists talking. We meet the planets in a Miss America-style pageant. Each double page spread with cartoonish illustrations presents a different anthropomorphized planet. Many of the introductions include splashes of facts such as size, composition, or namesake. Most intriguing are the picture clues with each planet: different satellites, Ptolemy, Gustav Holtz, Greek gods and goddesses, Osiris, H.G. Wells, etc; appear with the relevant planet. Readers will enjoy guessing why certain authors, scientists, gods, or aliens are associated with the planet. The answers can be found on Sylvan Dell's website-along with other activities to support the book. There are also several activities presented in the book. Although not a "hard science" book about the planets, this fun romp will engage students as to how the planets have shaped human art, history, architecture, mythology, and religion. Melinda Elzinga, Librarian, Boulder (Colorado) Country Day School [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format and paperback.] RECOMMENDED School Library Journal (July 1, 2011) Gr 2-4-Amusingly framed as a cheesy popularity contest, this parade of personified planets features illustrations in which rotund, recognizably marked caricatures of these heavenly bodies pose and mug, surrounded by an entourage of relevant though unidentified scientists, space probes, satellites both natural and artificial, books, constellations, and astronomical symbols. After introducing the contestants one by one, ex-planet emcee Pluto invites viewers to choose the winner: Venus, perhaps? "She's bright, she's beautiful, and she's smoking hot." Or "massive, gassive Jupiter"? For young judges who prefer to make decisions by the numbers, the final three spreads are packed with charts, physical facts, and quizzes, all of which are supplemented by much more of the same in a dedicated area of the publisher's website. Though the only visual key to each spread is buried in the massive online teacher's guide where few young readers will find it on their own, and a claim in one quiz that "life as we know it" could not survive the temperatures on other planets is incorrect, the breezy, unconventional approach makes this a promisingly engaging way to introduce, or re-introduce, our celestial neighbors.-John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Far-out guide to the icy dwarf planets (#0029FB8)


Horn Book (Spring 2011) These texts explore a range of topics about bodies in the solar system, covering both planetary science and the technology used to explore and gather data. The formats are a little crowded with main text, detailed captions for the many color photographs and diagrams, "Far-Out Fact" text boxes, and "Fast Facts" lists. There are six other fall 2010 titles in this series. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind. [Review covers these Far-Out Guide to the Solar System titles: Far-Out Guide to Asteroids and Comets, FarOut Guide to Earth, Far-Out Guide to Icy Dwarf Planets, Far-Out Guide to Mars, Far-Out Guide to the Moon, and Far-Out Guide to the Sun.] Library Media Connection (August/September 2011) These books pack a lot of current information into a few pages. Starting with ideas on the beginnings of the various heavenly bodies, they move to what we already know and then on to future exploration. Color illustrations abound, and each title includes quick facts. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in space exploration, so books on that topic are likely to be popular. Sentence length is fairly short, making for easy reading. Most students will be able to read one of these books in a night or two. Bibliography. Glossary. Websites. Index. David Lininger, Middle School/High School Librarian, Hickory County R-1 Schools, Urbana, Missouri [Editor's Note: Also available in paperback.] RECOMMENDED School Library Journal (July 1, 2011) Gr 4-5-For travelers eager to rough it without having to go all that far from home (in astronomical terms), Carson presents four solar system outliers-three of them only recently discovered and none as yet visited by any astronauts or even space probes. A tantalizing set of space photos and speculative art enhances the author's clear account. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

13 planets : the latest view of the solar system (#0192QKX)


Booklist (March 15, 2011 (Vol. 107, No. 14)) Grades 5-8. Though the number of celestial objects regarded as planets has varied through the centuries, the rate of change has dramatically increased. Only three years after the publication of 11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System (2008), Aguilar offers an amended volume reflecting the findings of the International Astronomical Union, which currently classifies eight objects in the solar system as planets and, with the addition of Haumea and Makemake, five as dwarf planets. Although a great deal of the material is familiar from the previous book, Aguilar has not only added sections on Haumea and Makemake, he has also used this opportunity to rewrite portions of the text and captions throughout the book and, in some cases, to substitute new

illustrations or improve old ones for the new volume. The result is a more readable, more accurate, and more handsome edition of the previous work. Horn Book (Fall 2011) In this useful volume, Aguilar explains the latest categorizations of planets in the solar system (currently considered to be eight planets and five dwarf planets), then profiles each, along with providing information about the sun and various other nearby bodies. Most of the crisp illustrations are color-enhanced photographic images or digital-looking artistic renderings. Basic planet stats are appended. Websites. Glos., ind. Library Media Connection (October 2011) Black cosmic space contrasting with colorful planets on the cover will attract readers of all ages. A solar system in a grocery bag exemplifies our solar system with a grapefruit, salt, sugar, grapes, baking soda, and even an orange for Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our Sun. Ceres, the 5th planet, was reclassified in 2006, as was Pluto, as one of the dwarf planets. Eris, a dwarf planet, now accepted by astronomers completes the thirteen planets. Awe-inspiring views of planets and ice striations are artistically exceptional, as the publisher's reputation promises. Many classrooms and school libraries desperately need this quality update of the solar system. Websites for further exploration, Earth weight chart with weight on other planets, and a Planet Chart are included. Glossary. Index. Ann Bryan Nelson, Volunteer Media Specialist and Guest Teacher, Thompson Ranch Elementary School, Dysart Unified School District, Surprise, Arizona. RECOMMENDED School Library Journal (May 1, 2011) Gr 4-6-Including remote Eris, Haumea, and Makemake in his count of major and dwarf planets, Aguilar tours the solar system from the Sun out to the Oort Cloud, highlighting such relatively recent discoveries as Saturn's "dark ring" and closing with a quick note about extrasolar planets. A claim that "occasionally a colossal meteorite strikes the Earth" seems likely to provoke unnecessary anxiety, and readers will struggle to draw anything meaningful from the statement that "billions of years from now, as our Sun begins its final days, new worlds among the stars may await our arrival." Furthermore, both Mercury and Jupiter's moon Callisto are designated as "the most heavily cratered object in our solar system," and recent observations have cast doubt on whether Eris is actually larger than Pluto, as claimed here. Alongside the volume's many excellent, large, sharply detailed space photos and paintings are provocatively posed smaller images of often scantily clad gods and goddesses representing their eponymous planets, which strike a dissonant note. Though the continuing flood of new knowledge about our solar neighborhood makes frequent updates a necessity, this one is problematic.-John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

NASA [Follett eBook] (#54806O0)


School Library Journal (June 1, 2011) Gr 2-3-These volumes offer short, simply phrased introductions to topics in astronomy enhanced by generous quantities of fairly high-quality space photography and art. Zappa bravely attempts to explain at least the "ins" of black holes-there aren't any "outs"but founders on the subject's intrinsic complexity. (She makes the accurate but baffling observation that an object falling past an event horizon "becomes part of the black hole's singularity.") Readers should come away from Constellations with a clear understanding of why many star patterns move in the sky from season to season, Eclipses confines itself to the lunar and solar types but includes specific eclipse-related discoveries about how light behaves and other phenomena, and the author's history of NASA is up-to-date enough to close with mentions of the Space Shuttle program's end and its probable successor, Orion. Resource mini-lists for each title are available on the publisher's website. In general, sturdy fare for fledgling sky watchers.-John Peters, formerly at New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Planets (#0385VU0)
Booklist (March 1, 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 13)) Grades 3-5. Part of Scholastics new Discover More series, this highly pictorial volumes title is a bit misleading, as there is as much information about related topics as there is about our solar systems eight largest bodies. In the books first half, each planet garners a double-page spread with additional informationasteroids, space probes, and so onoften included. The second half of the book is about space travel, exploration, and what lies beyond our solar system. Each page features an attractive, colorful mixture of abundant photos, drawings, and diagrams with short blocks of strategically placed text in a large font against mostly black backgrounds. The information is scaled to confident readers (the series breaks itself into three tiers of reading skill); and young researchers seeking in-depth explanations will want to consult additional titles. A unique feature of this series is an

accompanying digital book, accessed via a code, that includes videos, quizzes, and so on. This highly browsable title should spark plenty of interest for classroom and personal reading. Library Media Connection (October 2012) Scholastic's Discover More titles bring a new concept to the book; they've supplemented the traditional book with a downloadable PDF format book. Books in the collection are divided into emergent reader, confident reader, and expert reader levels. The digital book adds to the print book, with the ability to point and click to get a definition or more information. In particular, The Elements digital book will help readers understand where they will find the elements of the periodic table in daily life. Planets has video links from NASA, including pictures from the Mars Rover. As a librarian, I applaud Scholastic's venture into this new form of publishing, which will be formed by the way the reader uses the information. Many of my young readers are drawn to information they can get with a click of the mouse. Index. Nelda Brangwin, Cherry Valley Elementary School, Duvall, Washington. RECOMMENDED School Library Journal (April 1, 2012) Gr 3-5-Unexceptional in informational content but handsomely laid out and well endowed with special features, this introduction to the solar system and space exploration merits a spot in deeper, high-demand collections. It features single topic spreads on which sharply reproduced astronomy photos and images mingle with (usually) white on black captions, facts, cross references, and two or three sentence blocks of text. Spreads on the Moon landings, the Galileo probe, the Milky Way and extrasolar planets, observatories, and several other related topics, plus a short interview with an astronaut, expand the customary planet-by-planet tour-as does a downloadable ebook supplement (for Mac or PC) with video clips and quizzes that takes detailed looks at six significant probes and spacecraft. Oddly phrased claims include, "[i]t takes one day for Earth to rotate on itself," and that a solar flare "cut off the telegraph wires 150 years ago." An assertion that the dwarf planets are all farther away from the Sun than the primary ones is incorrect, an implication that Mercury's entire surface is a uniform temperature is misleading, and the space exploration time line stops at 2001. Furthermore, aside from an oblique nod in the astronaut interview, the end of the space shuttle program goes unmentioned. Consider as an appealing, if supplementary, choice.-John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Space, stars, and the beginning of time : what the Hubble telescope saw (#0357KD8)
Horn Book (March/April, 2011) In 2009, the last approved repair mission for the Hubble Telescope marked the beginning of the end for this remarkable astronomical tool. Scott covers this mission (also one of the last for another NASA achievement, the Space Shuttle) as well as the highlights of the Hubble-supported science and technology advancements of the past two decades. The book is filled with the amazingly clear, color-enhanced images of planets, stars, and nebulae that we've become accustomed to, but Scott also explains the less showy but significant science made possible by the Hubble's instruments: calculations of the age of the universe and evidence for dark energy and black holes. Scott carefully traces the history of ideas that led to each of these discoveries and includes profiles of prominent astronomers and sidebars filled with additional information and definitions. Though many questions have been answered by the Hubble data, Scott shows that many more questions remain for the ten years of functionality left in the Hubble telescope. danielle j. ford Horn Book starred (Fall 2011) Scott covers the last approved repair mission for the Hubble Telescope (in 2009) as well as highlights of the Hubble-supported science and technology advancements of the past two decades. While the book is filled with amazingly clear, color-enhanced images of planets, stars, etc., Scott also explains the less showy but significant science made possible by the Hubble's instruments. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind. Library Media Connection (August/September 2011) Scott spends the book's first three chapters discussing the history of telescopy, including the creation of the Hubble and the shuttle missions that have been launched to maintain and repair it. The remainder of the book is devoted to the details of what scientists have learned from the Hubble and what we still need to learn. The book is illustrated with photographs taken by the Hubble, and these images are glorious. It is Scott's text in conjunction with these images that will really engage the reader. As with her previous titles, she is able to explain complex ideas in words that are easily accessible. It is Scott's ability to interpret and explain what we see and learn in the photographs that inspires awe and provokes thought. Just as interesting as the main text are the occasional boxes of information covering such topics as gravity, the science of orbits, the big bang theory, and bends in space and time. The book is appended with a glossary, a bibliography of books and websites, and a detailed index. Add this beautifully

designed and beautifully written book to your library collection. Richard Parker, Media Specialist, Laytonsville (Maryland) Elementary School. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED School Library Journal (July 1, 2011) Gr 5-8-This tribute to our greatest-ever Eye in the Sky captures the "awesome" with a grand array of deep space photos and clear explanations of the Hubble's components and mission, as well as some of the startling discoveries made with it. Overviews of the history of astronomy, the Big Bang, black holes, and more will enrich any reader's understanding of what the pictures reveal. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

A visual dictionary of Native communities (#10892U5)


Library Media Connection (November/December 2008) Each volume in this series features brief chapters with short introductions written in simple, easy-to-understand language. Various colorful, visually appealing illustrations with captions explain pertinent items; vocabulary terms are often advanced, words with which students would be unfamiliar. Each of the books presents a broad overview of the topic and would be most helpful to English Language Learners and American history students who are reluctant readers. Additional Selection. Susie Nightingale, Library Media Specialist, Santa Fe Trail Junior High School, Olathe, Kansas [Editor?s Note: Also available in paperback.] School Library Journal (June 1, 2008) Gr 3-5-These titles are derived from former titles by the author including the "Historic Communities," "Life in the Old West," "Colonial People," and "Native Nations of North America" series (all Crabtree). Each volume is divided into 15 chapter spreads that vary widely but generally focus on aspects of daily life, including clothing, food, homes, and work and other activities. The treatments are cursory, particularly in Native Communities, which attempts to cover the entire North American continent. Each spread has an introductory paragraph and includes an assortment of small and spot illustrations. Terms are defined in paragraphs or in captions accompanying the many color drawings. Labeling these titles as dictionaries is somewhat deceptive. Owners of the earlier series won't need them, and others should consider North American Indian (DK, 2005), Joy Masoff's Colonial Times (Scholastic, 2000), and titles from Sally Senzell Isaacs's "Picture the Past" series (Heinemann Library) instead.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

A visual dictionary of a pioneer community (#26352U3)


Library Media Connection (November/December 2008) Each volume in this series features brief chapters with short introductions written in simple, easy-to-understand language. Various colorful, visually appealing illustrations with captions explain pertinent items; vocabulary terms are often advanced, words with which students would be unfamiliar. Each of the books presents a broad overview of the topic and would be most helpful to English Language Learners and American history students who are reluctant readers. Additional Selection. Susie Nightingale, Library Media Specialist, Santa Fe Trail Junior High School, Olathe, Kansas [Editor?s Note: Also available in paperback.] School Library Journal (June 1, 2008) Gr 3-5-These titles are derived from former titles by the author including the "Historic Communities," "Life in the Old West," "Colonial People," and "Native Nations of North America" series (all Crabtree). Each volume is divided into 15 chapter spreads that vary widely but generally focus on aspects of daily life, including clothing, food, homes, and work and other activities. The treatments are cursory, particularly in Native Communities, which attempts to cover the entire North American continent. Each spread has an introductory paragraph and includes an assortment of small and spot illustrations. Terms are defined in paragraphs or in captions accompanying the many color drawings. Labeling these titles as dictionaries is somewhat deceptive. Owners of the earlier series won't need them, and others should consider North American Indian (DK, 2005), Joy Masoff's Colonial Times (Scholastic, 2000), and titles from Sally Senzell Isaacs's "Picture the Past" series (Heinemann Library) instead.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

A visual dictionary of a colonial community (#18918UX)


Library Media Connection (November/December 2008)

Each volume in this series features brief chapters with short introductions written in simple, easy-to-understand language. Various colorful, visually appealing illustrations with captions explain pertinent items; vocabulary terms are often advanced, words with which students would be unfamiliar. Each of the books presents a broad overview of the topic and would be most helpful to English Language Learners and American history students who are reluctant readers. Additional Selection. Susie Nightingale, Library Media Specialist, Santa Fe Trail Junior High School, Olathe, Kansas [Editors Note: Also available in paperback.] School Library Journal (June 1, 2008) Gr 3-5-These titles are derived from former titles by the author including the "Historic Communities," "Life in the Old West," "Colonial People," and "Native Nations of North America" series (all Crabtree). Each volume is divided into 15 chapter spreads that vary widely but generally focus on aspects of daily life, including clothing, food, homes, and work and other activities. The treatments are cursory, particularly in Native Communities, which attempts to cover the entire North American continent. Each spread has an introductory paragraph and includes an assortment of small and spot illustrations. Terms are defined in paragraphs or in captions accompanying the many color drawings. Labeling these titles as dictionaries is somewhat deceptive. Owners of the earlier series won't need them, and others should consider North American Indian (DK, 2005), Joy Masoff's Colonial Times (Scholastic, 2000), and titles from Sally Senzell Isaacs's "Picture the Past" series (Heinemann Library) instead.-Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

The Kingfisher geography encyclopedia (#0440MM0)


Booklist (October 15, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 4)) Grades 4-7. The central portion of this encyclopedia briefly explores the major attributes of each country, arranged by region of the world. The book opens with a chapter, The Physical Earth, that highlights various aspects of the earth and closes with a Ready Reference chapter, on miscellaneous topics of interest to earths occupants, such as population, religion, trade, and energy. Within chapters, almost every section is two pages, though a few smaller countries or topics get just one page. Limited space is put to good use with an attractively arranged combination of diagrams, graphs, photos, and text. Each individual country section has the same basic arrangement, allowing for instant comparison. It is possible to make comparisons across topics as well. For example, a map showing the lines dividing the tectonic plates first appears in the section on continental drift, and similar maps appear in the sections on earthquakes and volcanoes, graphically demonstrating the connection. The first chapter, on the earth, and the final Ready Reference chapter, on the worlds people as a whole, presenting facts in such an appealing way, are the most useful. The country information is pretty brief and easily found in many other sources. The photos and most of the text are unchanged from the 2003 edition, but the statistical information has all been updated. This volume is geared to upperelementary and middle-school users but may appeal to others as well. Library Media Connection (October 2011) This revised and updated edition is divided into sections where each continent is surveyed and then divided by countries. The book is well-organized and comprehensive, but not overwhelming for young readers. While the information is general, it is packed with material about the use of resources giving the reader an idea how that affects the culture and economic state of the country's population. Fact boxes give key quick reference information for each country: area, population, capital, languages, religion, currency, exports, and government. Colored pictures and maps with major cities and bodies of water are balanced with the text. Researchers of all ages may find the ready reference section helpful as it gives clear illustrations of energy use of the world population, education, wealth, etc. Teachers would find this a good resource to use alongside a textbook. It includes world statistics. Glossary. Table of Contents. Index. Karen Alexander, Library Media Specialist, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, Michigan. RECOMMENDED