Archive for April 4, 2013

Brilliant Hues

Written by Naomi Kinsman

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Sadie Douglas is dealing with a lot of events, most of them beyond her control. How she reacts to those events are important factors in her growth and development. Her father works as a mediator. One of the participants in a dispute he’s mediating is so angry he’s determined to draw Sadie and her mother into the fray. So Sadie needs a nanny/bodyguard. The nanny keeps people away and protects her. Also, Sadie has taken a younger girl under her wing. The young girl has a twin who could die from cancer. And the girl’s father is the other party in the mediated dispute. Meanwhile, Sadie’s group of friends is engaging in activities Sadie finds distasteful and, in some ways, dishonest. What will happen if she refuses to participate or, worse, tells them what she thinks? Last, Sadie misses her friends in Michigan, where her family lived for a time. Her art continues to tie her to those friends. The reader gets to see her emails to those friends.

As a level headed young woman, Sadie tries to think before she speaks, and she uses her art to reflect her thoughts. In fact, she pours her whole heart into her drawings and paintings. This book, at a fourth grade level, shows how a religious girl can find answers within herself and her community, but it has life lessons for everyone. Obvious reading activities follow the text, with many possibilities for art and writing projects. As the fourth “Faithgirlz: From Sadie’s Sketchbook” volume, this links well to the website with tons of information and more activities.

  • Brilliant HuesTitle: Brilliant Hues
  • By: Naomi Kinsman
  • Publisher: ZonderKidz
  • Reviewer: Sue Poduska
  • Paperback, 224 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-310-72668-5
  • Genre: Chapter book, Religious, Christian, General
  • Lexile Score: 940L

Yummy Soup and Salad Recipes

Written by Jennifer S. Larson
Illustrated by Brie Cohen

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Ready to cook? This book shows how! Recipes include Wonton Soup, Chili, Corn Chowder, Cucumber Soup, a fruit dessert soup, Salad Rollups, Taco Salad and others. The photographs are so mouth-watering that anyone will want to get in the kitchen and start cooking. The recipes use fresh ingredients and, even though there is an allergy alert in the opening, the recipes are mostly free of those allergy foods. The author developed these recipes with her boys, so they are plenty kid-friendly.

Even the youngest cook can follow the diagrams and recipes. The safety tips and advice about cooking are smart without talking down. There are definitions about everything a young cook needs to know: a informational graphic of cooking tools, a section of how-to diagrams of cooking techniques, and a glossary of special ingredients in case a young reader doesn’t know something like bok choy or egg roll skins. There is an index and a section of other reading and websites. A solid recommendation for those “how-to” units, especially if the literacy activity is to make or do the thing described in the book.

The publisher has an additional recipe and other downloads on their website with a log-in: The series has several other titles.

  • Yummy Soup and SaladTITLE: Yummy Soup and Salad Recipes
  • AUTHOR: Jennifer S. Larson
  • ILLUSTRATOR: Brie Cohen
  • PUBLISHER: Millbrook/Lerner, 2013
  • REVIEWER: Risa Brown
  • EDITION: Hardcover, 32 p.
  • ISBN: 978-0-7613-6633-1
  • GENRE: How-to,  Cooking
  • LEXILE: 870
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