Monday, July 19, 2010

B is for Bufflehead

B is for Bufflehead
Steve Hutchcraft
Publish Date: November 2009

Professional nature photographer Steve Hutchcraft focuses on birds of North America in B IS FOR BUFFLEHEAD. Each photo is joined by a short description of the bird, cleverly told from the brid's point of view. An appendix of each bird contains more information such as range, habitat, food, and interesting facts. A fairly comprehensive bibliography of websites for additional information follows.

Full of absolutely stunning photos, B IS FOR BUFFLEHEAD is a delightful ABC book. Meticulously researched, the information and sometimes funny facts about these amazing birds of North America sets this book apart from others in the genre. Did you know a great heron will go to great lentghs not to lose a good meal? They will even choke themselves to death instead of giving up a too-large fish! Readers can't help but grow in appreciation and knowledge of our feathered neighbors.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Princess and the Kiss: the Three Gifts of Christmas

The Princess and the Kiss: The Three Gifts of Christmas
Jeannie Bishop
Preston McDaniels (illustrator)
Publish Date: September 2009

Jeannie Bishop's newest, THE PRINCESS AND THE KISS: THE THREE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS is a delightful Christmas story and is not to be missed. When the princess becomes ungreatful and selfish when presented with the many gifts of Christmas, the King and Queen decree that no gifts be given to the royal family. They give their daughter only three gifts - each reflected by the Princess they love. Through these gifts, the Princess learns a valuable lesson.

With gorgeous illustrations and a simple, but powerful, story, Ms. Bishop reminds the reader of the true spirit of Christmas. The story is beautifully written, in plain language that will resonate with readers of all ages. THE THREE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS made me tear up - have tissues at the ready! This will definately be added to my Christmas collection to be read year after year.

Buy It Now at Barnes and Noble

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall

The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall
Mary Downing Hahn
Publish Date: September 2010

When Florence is summoned from the orphanage where she has lived most of her life to live with her Uncle, she dreams of a better life. Unsure what to expect but still hopeful, Florence is almost immediately disappointed. Her spinster aunt seemingly hates Florence. Florence bears a remarkable resemblence to her cousin, Sophia, who was killed in an accident not long ago. Aunt resents Florence for taking Sophia's place in the house, making Florence miserable. In addition, James, Sophia's sister, has been bed ridden since Sophia's death. FLorence's hope for a friendship with her cousin is dashed.

Soon, though, Florence's quiet and sometimes boring life is shaken when she begins to see, and hear, Sophia's ghost. Sophia is a spiteful and jealous girl who has returned to get revenge on her brother. Florence must find a way to save both James and herself from her vengeful sister.

Spine-tingling, thrilling and sometimes downright scary, THE GHOST OF CRTCHFIELD HALL will engage readers of all ages. It is a perfect tale for young readers who like mysteries or ghost stories. Fast-paced and intensely creeepy, Ms. Hahn will have many readers at the edge of their seats. This great book is not recommended for late-night reading - readers may never get to sleep! I will definately add THE GHOST OF CRUTCHFIELD HALL to my classroom library.

Buy It Now at Barnes and Noble