Monday, December 30, 2019


I know it's probably not politically correct, and  I'm probably not supposed to say this, but as a little girl, I loved going to the zoo. One of the animals I loved most was the polar bear. I remember watching them cavort in the water.

Now that I'm older, I understand that wild animals are supposed to be free. And I feel so sad to know that the choices we have made are hugely damaging to other inhabitants of our planet. Especially animals like polar bears. I want my students to understand that we have to make better choices.

That's why I am so glad that there are books like SEA BEAR. Debut picture book author Lindsay Moore, who has a degree in medical and scientific illustration, traces the journey of a polar bear, across the Arctic ice and through the ocean. It's one of those timeless picture book, simple enough for very young children, and yet one I am sure would also engage my middle school readers.

End matter includes a page of factual information about polar bears, sea ice, and climate change, and another page about other animals above and below the ice.
"Polar bears are patient beasts,as patient as glaciers. We know how to hope and how to wait.I learned to be patient long agofrom my polar bear mother- 
to be patient while hunting,to be patient with weather,to be patient in darkness. 
A polar bear can outwait almost anything--     seals,       storms,          and long sunless winters--             but a bear needs something to stand on, 
I watch the ice.           

Thursday, December 26, 2019


NINE MONTHS: BEFORE A BABY IS BORN follows a young child as she and her parents await the birth of a new baby. Miranda Paul's quintrains are playful and bouncy.  

The point of a pin.
Then it divides…

Our story begins. 

Jason Chin’s detailed and accurate illustrations provide children with accurate information about pregnancy. Each two-page spread is divided in half. The left hand side shows the development of the fetus, most in actual size. The right hand side shows the family- a dad, a mom, and the big sister who is probably three or four, as they engage in a variety of “waiting for baby” activities- reading about babies, examining baby clothes, attending an ultrasound appointment, gardening, and building a crib. As the baby grows, it takes up more and more of the two-page spread. 

Rich end matter includes "More About Babies," a detailed description of a baby's development over nine months, "Whoa Baby!" (nine amazing things a baby can do before it is born), “Humans vs. Animals (gestation length for animals ranging from mice to lions to elephants) and then  “What If- What if there are two, or more than two embryos? What if a baby is born early, What if Something Goes Wrong?”

A perfect book for a big brother or sister who is waiting on a sibling to be born.