Charlebridge Press was kind enough to send me some books to review on my blog and share with other teacher librarians in my district. I loved spending an evening looking through them (and I learned a lot, too!). Each of these books are fantastic and must haves for school libraries. I can hardly wait to see what else Charlesbridge has coming out this spring, and I'm already getting excited to see the fall titles.
1. Breaking News: Bears to the Rescue by David Biedrzycki
This is the lone fiction title in this group from Charlesbridge. The illustrations are bright and colorful, and the story fast moving. I loved the newsfeed that runs across the bottom of each page, creating what appears to be a television news program. Although I didn't learn as much from this book as the others Charlesbridge sent me, I did enjoy it a lot. Bears to the Rescue is a fantastic read aloud for grades K-3.
2. To The Stars! The First American Woman to Walk in Space by Carmella Van Vleet and Dr. Kathy Sullivan illustrated by Nicole Wong
Dr. Kathy Sullivan is a name I had never heard prior to reading To the Stars! However, I loved this picture book biography of the first American woman to walk in space. I also appreciated the list of other famous women who have made their mark at NASA (some of which are familiar to me). This is not only a great biography, but also a great book to use to encourage girls in science related studies.
3. Living Fossils: Clues to the Past by Caroline Arnold, illustrated by Andrew Plant
This book is full of information on living fossils, a term I had never heard before reading this book. Arnold gives several examples of animals that exist today that are very similar to animals from long ago. These animals have changed over time for a variety of reasons. Most of the animals featured were ones I was unfamiliar with, but the description and information given is absolutely fascinating. I can see teachers using this one as they study fossils, animals, evolution, and endangered species.
4. Every Breath We Take: A Book About Air by Maya Ajmera and Dominique Browning
The information in this book is easily understandable to lower elementary students but accessible to older students who may read it on their own. The photographs are beautiful as well. I can't wait to use this book with classes. There is also a two page question/answer section at the end of the book that gives a bit more information for older readers.
5. Will's Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk by Jane Sutcliffe, illustrated by John Shelley
This book is amazing in so many ways. First, the illustrations are fantastic, depicting The Globe Theater and life in England in a variety of settings. Second, the way this information is shared is just absolutely clever. Text boxes give information on William Shakespeare's plays, writings, and life at the time with words or phrases in bold that Shakespeare himself used in his writings. A second text box then explains the meaning of the word or phrase and gives an exact bibliographical reference to where this was seen in Shakespeare's plays. A timeline at the end provides additional information as do letters at the beginning and ending of this book shedding a bit more light on Shakespeare. I can see using this book with upper elementary students as well as middle and high school students. As an adult, I'm amazed by it, so I think the appeal for this book is wide.
Considering most students are required to read Shakespeare at some point in their education, this is one book that is a must-have resource in school libraries.