Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Donating and Packing books for fun Box #1

I’m enjoying packing books to send to my hometown library. In many ways giving is so much better than getting. I’m so happy as I put each book in the box that I felt the need to tell someone about these books.  I won’t be there when the librarian opens the box but maybe she will read this and know how much I loved these books as I packed them. 

Margaret Hillert’s Beginning-to-Read books. These books are classics, beloved by teachers and students in kindergarten and first grade. Schools that have programs like Accelerated Reader need books like these for students to practice and accumulate points. All schools who like to watch students read quickly and succeed should have these for their little ones’ hands. These new sports-themed titles are updated with illustrations by David Schimmell.

Beginning to Read - It's a Good Game, Dear DragonIt’s a Good Game, Dear Dragon
I Did It, Dear DragonFire Up With Reading! Book
Touchdown! Dear Dragon
Play, Play, Play, Dear Dragon

Fire Up With Reading! written by Toni Buzzeo illustrations by Sachiko Yoshikawa. One of my favorite librarians with the coolest accessories is back to fire up students for their school reading program. I love my dragons!

The series  I Like Weird Animals including 

Hair-Shooting Taratulas And Other Weird Spiders
Flying Geckos and Other Weird Reptiles
Weird Birds
Leafy Sea Dragons and Other Sea Creatures
Bomb-Factory Beetles and Other Weird Insects Maybelle Goes to Tea

illustration - I Need My Monster-Front cover for book published Spring 2009 - McWilliam, HowardI Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.  What a fun bedtime story! I can just picture the children curling up listening to this title.

Maybelle Goes to Tea by written by Katie Speck  and illustrated by Paul Ratz de Tagyos. I love those cockroaches.
Nature’s Baby Animals from Enslow Publishing including:
Baby Animals of the Ocean
Baby Animals of the Woodland Forest
Baby Animals of the Desert 

I particularly like Baby Animals of the Desert which includes simple explanations of an Arabian camel, meerkat, burrowing owl, gecko, desert bighorn sheep, African desert elephant, sandgrouse, and a kit fox. These books won’t answer intense research questions. They are intended to introduce the youngest of listeners to fascinating animals in their biomes. Every early elementary library should include nonfiction like these.  Parents who are new to reading nonfiction aloud will appreciate these interesting comments on cute, adorable baby animals. <gasp> I did use the cute word, but reviewers can’t resist using that word when they comment upon it.

Holidays – Count and Celebrate! series by Fredrick L. McKissack and Lisa Beringer McKissack. These are not simple counting books. While they share facts in a 1-2-3 manner, their subjects range in Cinco de Mayo from presidents to zapateado to cannon fire during the re-enactment of the day when the Mexican army beat the French army.

Cinco de Mayo  

Counting in the Biomes by Fredrick L. McKissack and Lisa Beringer McKissack
Counting in the Oceans
Counting in the Taiga

Count the Critters from Abdo’s Magic Wagon
Hiding Hippos: Counting from 1 to 10 by Amanda Doering Tourville . Unlike the Enslow series, these are drawings instead of photographs. These titles are definitely intended for parents to read to preschoolers. The hippos wear clothes like people, but the text is true to hippo behavior. For example, we read 

"Hippos live together in African rivers. Seven hippos call to the others with a grunt. Count them: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven."
The illustrations show hippos wearing glasses, innertubes and bathing suits. Non-threatening pictures for preschoolers. (Only we adults will know that more people die from hippo attacks than lion or crocodile attacks in Africa. Shhh! That fact isn’t in these books)

What Lives in the Arctic? Abdo Super Sandcastle Animal Habitats series by Oona Gaarder-Juntti. I do have a complaint with the Abdo site. I want to show you all the covers in the series, but the site only has one title. ARGH! Ignore that and pretend the picture is the book I’m packing. 

I really like the title What Lives in the Arctic? It has full-color photographs inside, lots of good details. Intended for emerging readers, this book will take a stronger reader/listener, but it is worth it. The title has pages on each of these animals — Atlantic puffin, Arctic fox, Snowy owl, Harp seal, walrus, Beluga whale, Musk ox, and Polar bear. I’m particularly fond of the list of additional animals that students can research: arctic hare, arctic tern, caribou, collared lemming, Dall sheep, ermine, gyrfalcon, moose, narwhal, reindeer, rock ptarmigan, ruddy turnstone, snow bunting, snow goose, and wolverine.  Excellent list!

So for this box of books, if the library had to pay full price (and no one I knows does that) the books would be valued at $399.39. Wow! That’s just one box of many to send. I’d better get busy and get them on their way.