Staff Book Picks: November

POSP 3D-book

Written by Irina Gonikberg Dolinskiy and Illustrations by Mark Wayne Adams
Hardbound ISBN:  978-1-59616-017-0
Pages: 32
Retail Price: $14.95

The parts of speech come magically alive as they participate in a colorful New York City Parade! Each presents and defines itself as it marches down the street and through a child’s imagination.

 

Written by Linda Smigaj and Illustrated by Mark Wayne Adams
ISBN:  978-1-59616-034-7

Paperback Retail Price: $9.99

History with a Twist Makes Learning Fun!

Welcome to the world of Linda Smigaj’s books. Educator and juvenile fiction author Linda Smigaj, aka Professor Fuddy-Duddy, captures the imagination of readers, ages 7–10, through stories of historically accurate events told from a unique perspective. Come travel through early American history with these adventurous flies.

 

Written by Crystal White and Illustrations by Mark Wayne Adams
ISBN: 978-159616-028-6
Pages: 32
Paperback Retail Price: $9.99

Franny Finds a Home! is a beautiful children’s book complete with vibrant illustrations and educational resources for both parents and teachers, not to mention an exciting and heartfelt story.

Franny is a former stray who was relieved to be saved from the streets. But her rescuer, Trishalou, simply can’t keep her. Franny encounters nice workers at the rescue shelter, but she misses her friends. Shy, and not the cutest critter in the place, will Franny ever be chosen for a forever home?

At the end of the story the author (a 20-year reading teacher) has included resources for teaching or review of text features. These activities can be used with any text.

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Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.”—Gracie Bradford, Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-book
Reviewed by Gracie Bradford for Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower: Fly on the Wall Series is written by Linda Smigaj. This 50-page fiction book written for 7-10-year-olds by a retired elementary school teacher of 34 years conveys a powerful lesson. The main characters are Professor Beatrice Fuddy-Duddy and Anna, a cheese fly. The story dates back 400 years, starting in the year 1620 to chronicle the arrival of a ship called the Mayflower. Anna is a cute little character dressed in a stunning, colorful outfit; she wears a bow tie and displays colorful wings. The book contains journal entries about what transpires on the ship as seen through the eyes of a fly. Anna brings new meaning to the traditional phrase, “as a fly on the wall.” I think this book would be an excellent addition to classrooms of a younger age group, given the exceptional illustrations throughout the book and a well-developed story line.

Linda introduces a lesson on early American history with a twist to make learning fun. This book has pictures throughout, making it easy to comprehend concepts. Equally important are ten non-fictional facts elementary school kids probably did not know about the journey of the Mayflower. A glossary provides additional insight into the story. The highlight of the book is illustrations of six flies dressed in an array of colors with unique shapes and forms. Kids will love these characters, and the questions associated with the pictures are sure to generate interesting discussions. The illustrations are outstanding. The main character is well developed and lends itself to a book series.

“fun, adventurous and rooted in history”—Tracy Slowiak, Readers’ Favorite

Mayflower-Fly on the Wall Series-3D-book
Reviewed By Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite

Wow! That’s exactly what I thought when I finished reading Mayflower, the first book in debut author Linda Smigaj’s Fly on the Wall series. This was simply a fantastic read; fun, adventurous and rooted in history with quite an interesting protagonist, a cheese fly named Anna. Anna has traveled to England with a family fleeing Holland, and then she takes the Mayflower to the New World. With lots of historically accurate illustrations showing how the ship was organized, as well as facts and information presented in an absolutely wonderful way, this book will keep children entertained as they are being educated…a dream for any parent or teacher for sure!

I so, so enjoyed Mayflower. Author Linda Smigaj has done a completely wonderful job in writing an engaging and delightful story with a great deal of educational merit. Her use of a fly as the narrator is both surprising and delightful – the old saying of “I wish I could be a fly on the wall…” comes true in this book! This book does an excellent job in relaying true life facts and experiences about the  Mayflower and those who journeyed to the New World on her, but does so in such a way that kids might not even know that they are being educated, they’ll be having too much fun. I highly recommend Mayflower to any child looking for a good book, or parent for a unique book that their child will love. I look forward to reading more from Linda Smigaj’s entertaining new Fly on the Wall series, and hope that the author is already hard at work on the next installment!

Summer Reading List: “Treasure Island”

Prepare to get wet as you embark on a magical boat ride through this Growing Field adventure where personal responsibility is the leadership message. With the help of Nightingale, Pete learns to adjust the “set of his sail” to successfully navigate wind, rocks, rain…and life!

About the Growing Field Series The Growing Field series was inspired by, and written in memory of Mark Hoog‘s colleague, mentor, and friend Jason Dahl, the Captain of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Growing Field Series unlocks the six secret keys to making a child’s dream come true. Each of the six stories is specially designed to capture children’s attention and help them begin building their leadership capabilities!

Treasure Island is part of our Summer Reading List for Students! Purchase your own or check the book out at the local library. If it’s not available at the library, request it be added.