One Green Apple

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By Eve Bunting

A picturebook that reads like a true story, and in a sense is true, as it tells the story of a young middle eastern immigrant to North America. Join Farah as she goes with her new classmates on a field trip to an apple orchard and finds out that among all the strangeness and difficulties, laughter and friendliness are a universal language.

Picturebook

Ages 5-12

Recommended

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

 

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The Boy’s Book of Outdoor Survival: 101 Courageous Skills for Exploring the Dangerous Wild

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By Chris McNab

Intriguing to all wanna-be-explorers, this book actually teaches practical skills from building a fire to cooking and shelter-building. Each skill has a page of its own and is written in a clear, brief, interesting manner with pictures and diagrams to help out. A great companion book to “My Side of the Mountain”!

Ages 8 and up

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Ages 8 and up

Reviewer: Doreen

The Little White Horse

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By Elizabeth Goudge

A fairy-tale for middle graders, this chapter book tells the story of a girl who is determined to suppress evil and restore peace to the valley of her forefathers. Goudge was high-church Anglican and brings a strong respect for the church and one’s service to God. For Protestants, there is reference to a statue of Mary and the old traditional prayer times of the monks, but these are elements that can be taken in context of the fairytale as a whole. With little to no magic, except the sea horses which come rushing through the woods one night, the heroine proceeds with courage, discovering her own weaknesses and resolving not to fall into the old family ways of pride and bitterness. A strong sense of home and family and the sanctity of marriage are conveyed throughout the book. For preteen girls who still want to read fairytales, here is one that remains wholesome.

Chapter book

Ages 10-13

Available from public libraries

Reviewer: Doreen

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes

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by Nicola Davies

Davies excels at taking tiny parts of our world and making them relevant and understandable to children. Neat illustrations with a retro look help make the scientific concepts relevant and interesting.

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Big picturebook (not very long)

Available from public libraries

Ages 5-12

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

 

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Whose Nest is This?

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By Heidi Bee Roemer

With beautiful, well-detailed illustrations, this picturebook brings to life all kinds of creatures’ nests, not just birds. The object of the book is not to cover many nests, but rather, a wide variety of nests, which it does well. Truly this book is a tribute to our great Creator. The text on each page is simple, but more details are included on the final page for the eager learner.

Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

In the Middle of the Night

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By Aileen Fisher

When a girl doesn’t want a puppy or toy or any other traditional birthday gift, but only wants to go out for a walk in the middle of the night, the result is this poetic picture book with lovely retro illustrations. Join the girl and her dad as they discover the mystery and beauty of the night with small, fascinating, middle-of-the-night nature discoveries—the girl’s best birthday present ever.

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Picturebook

Ages 3-10

Available second-hand

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

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by Nicola Davies

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A tall picturebook with lots of things to look at, this book “Many” celebrates the incredible diversity of life on earth and also reminds us to care for the creatures on it! Well-researched and charmingly illustrated, kids will love to see the latest species that have been discovered, as well as the species that are now extinct. They will learn a little about the difficulty in identifying species as well as how plant and animal species rely on one another. Although the book doesn’t say it, every page shouts, “Truly, we have a great Creator!” (Not too long to read in one sitting.)

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Picturebook

Available from public libraries

Ages 4-10

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

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Bunny the Brave War Horse: Based on a True Story

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by Elizabeth MacLeod

A look at history through a picturebook, this books tells of the little-known role of several million horses used during WWI. The real-life police horse from Toronto, Ontario, helps keep the kids interest as the story covers quite a bit of ground. And, although the book touches on some heavy topics such as the death of a main character, poison gas, and heavy gunfire, the simple, childish pictures manage to convey the scene without showing guns, bombers, or the dying.

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Picturebook with more detailed information on the last pages.

Ages 3-12

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen

Julie of the Wolves

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by Jean Craighead George

I don’t know about the unabridged version of the chapter book “Julie of the Wolves,” but this one hour audio version gave a brief but eye-opening look into the changing lifestyle of the Inuit in North America. It also gives you a close look at wolf behaviour, the northern landscape, and traditional Inuit ways of living off the land. Listening with an adult would be helpful as children would benefit from a discussion of why Julie doesn’t stay with her long-lost father, in the end.

Ages 8-14

Fiction

Natural History

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer:  Doreen

Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream

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by Robert Burleigh

A poetic look at the work of John Audubon. If you know nothing of him, it would be better to start with the brief autobiographical note at the end of the story. Told in rhyme as a letter to his father, the book highlights his love for birds and nature. True (but brief ) excerpts from his journal are what make the book worth reading. Illustrations are well done.

Ages 6-12

Picture book

Available from public libraries

Recommended

Reviewer: Doreen