Non-Fiction Review: The Fascinating Animal Book

The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids by Ginjer Clarke
The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids: 500 Wild Facts!
by Ginjer Clarke

5 out of 5 stars


Divided into chapters for mammals, insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, this book gives amazing facts and information about each animal. Did you know that male lions will often sleep for 20 hours a day? Did you know that fireflies can speak to each other through the patterns of flashing lights? And that the smallest bird in the world is the bee hummingbird, which is only 2 inches long?

Every page is covered with beautiful photographs of animals in the wild. Each photo is vibrant and energetic, with the action of racing predators, diving birds, or a busy ant colony.
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Non-Fiction Review: Real Science Experiments

Real Science Experiments by Jess Harris
Real Science Experiments: 40 Exciting STEAM Activities for Kids
by Jess Harris

5 out of 5 stars

Using ordinary items found around the house, these experiments are introduced in separate chapters for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. They range from simple activities that a young child could do alone, to more complex experiments that require an adults supervision. Each activity poses a scientific question, and asks the reader to create a theory, examine evidence, draw conclusions, and record their observations.

You can make your own microscope, track sound waves, build 3-D lenses, power a small boat with just a candle, build a robot that hops, create artwork with a pendulum, and weave a magical math square.
The instructions are clear and easy to follow, with photos that show children doing the actual experiments. There is even a glossary in the back for some of the more scientific terms. Continue reading

Non-Fiction Review: Awesome Achievers in Science

Awesome Achievers in Science by Alan Katz
Awesome Achievers in Science: Super and Strange Facts about 12 Almost Famous History Makers 
by Alan Katz 

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Do you remember who invented the Post It note? Or the Polaroid camera? You may know the name of the Heimlich maneuver, but do you know anything about Dr. Heimlich himself, who invented the famous move?

This book features twelve scientists, chemists, doctors, engineers, and astronauts whose inventions or actions are well-known, but the people themselves are less than famous. Including the inventions of Velcro, Teflon, Kevlar, the Polaroid camera, bionic limbs, laser eye surgery for cataracts, and the CPR method, this book gives short bios of the almost-famous inventors, along with a comedic poem or song written by the author in their honor, and sometimes a small comic sketch or personal anecdote.

This book is FULL of “Dad jokes”. There are cringey puns and wisecracks on every page that will make anyone remember their own dad and his terrible jokes. The humor might appeal to a 7-year-old boy, but I spent most of the book rolling my eyes at the ridiculous one-liners. Continue reading

Book Review: Forgotten Beasts

Forgotten Beasts by Matt Sewell
Forgotten Beasts 
by Matt Sewell

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This beautifully illustrated book teaches about extinct animals from the ancient past. There are no monstrous lizards or dinosaurs in this book. This is all about other types of mammals, birds, and sea creatures who once roamed the earth. Some are familiar to us, like the woolly mammoth and the sabre-toothed tiger, but most are impressively rare and wild-looking.

The illustrations are soft and colorful, with a gentle and silky style. But I wish there were more detail in the illustrations, and I wish that there were more drawings of each animal. It would have been interesting to compare the bone structure of fossils to the artist’s rendition of fur, feathers, and scales. It is very beautiful, but I was hoping for more detail.

As always with these sort of scientific books, I’m put off by the assumption of theories and dates that have not been proven. The author writes about millions of years, as though those dates were established scientific fact. The theory of evolution is also discussed as though it were fact and not theory. It makes me lose confidence in the veracity of the writing when ideas that are not proven are written about as if they were true.
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Book Review: IGIST

IGIST by L.S. Larson
IGIST 
by L.S. Larson ,Yujin Jung (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Emi and her father live on Earth, where a plague is ravaging humanity, but Emi dreams of attending the elite IGIST school on the moon’s space station, where she could fulfill her wish of making scientific breakthroughs to cure the plague.

This book comes with an app, available for iOS in the App store. You can read the entire book on the app, where you can earn coins for reading each chapter, and spend your coins to purchase special character bios, photo filters and stickers, and earn badges as you follow the character’s stories. If you read on the app, the story is enhanced with graphics, videos, and illustrations that add to the reading experience.

I liked the main idea of the story, but the execution left me bored. The app is VERY cool! I loved the graphics and the badges and the special effects! But the writing is flat and awkward. The characters are one-dimensional, and I didn’t care about any of them.

I didn’t like the main character, Emi, very much, and it was painful reading stiff scenes where she is supposed to be making connections with other characters. She could be making friends, making enemies, or connecting with a mentor, but there is no emotional attachment. The characters are made of cardboard with painted faces. Continue reading

Book Review: Make This!

Make This! by Ella Schwartz
Make This!: Building Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You 
by Ella Schwartz

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book is perfect for any curious child who loves to take apart their toys, build a bridge out of books, or create their own system of pulleys and levers to open the bedroom door.

With special sections for materials, energy, optics, connecting systems, acoustics, and forces in motion, this book provides all the steps to create a rocket ship powered by your breath, make an entire rainforest ecosystem in a jar, and make a periscope out of cardboard, along with dozens of other projects. Each chapter also has questions to be solved and scenarios that require an imaginative solution.
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Book Review: The Case of the Sliding Spaceship

Art Smart, Science Detective by Melinda Long
Art Smart, Science Detective: The Case of the Sliding Spaceship 
by Melinda Long ,  Monica Wyrick (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Art and his friends are on the watch for alien activity in their neighborhood, but they never expected a REAL alien spaceship to appear in Art’s telescope viewer. The aliens appear to be in a purple spaceship right next to the moon, and Art and his friends prepare for an invasion. Art prides himself on being a logical scientist, so he uses his knowledge to hatch a plan to protect his friends from anything the aliens might use to attack.
Are there really aliens attacking Earth, or are Art and his friends overreacting?  Continue reading

Non-Fiction Revew: Weird But True! 10

Weird But True 10 by National Geographic Kids
Weird But True 10 
by National Geographic Kids

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


This interesting book combines colorful illustrations and photos with tid-bits of weird information about history, science, biology, culture, animal life, and a million other subjects!

I read through the entire book in just a half hour, fascinated with every wacky statement and attracted to each page by the stunning photos. I learned so many freaky things, like that jellyfish used to have hard shells, there is an albino humpback whale off the coast of Australia, and that it’s against the law in the USA for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs! haha! Weird and random and hilarious! Continue reading

Book Review: Acadia Files, Autumn Science

The Acadia Files by Katie Coppens
The Acadia Files: Book Two, Autumn Science 
by Katie Coppens  (Author),Holly Hatam (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Acadia is a little girl full of questions. Why are there different time zones? How do frogs breathe? Where does rain come from? Why do leaves change color? How does my body fight off germs? With the help of her scientist parents, Acadia and her friends are determined to go out in the world and find answers.

I loved this interesting book! Acadia is such a cute character, and she asks really detailed and important questions. I liked that Acadia’s mom is a central character, always ready with some guidance towards a solid scientific answer.
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