Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant


This book is an introduction to Peter Mark Roget, the man who devised the thesaurus. Ms. Bryant tells of Roget's birth in Switzerland and move to England when a young child. Being shy, Roget's youth is spent reading books and compiling lists, something that serves him well later on. Roget eventually becomes a tutor and a doctor, more sources of information that will help write his thesaurus. After starting a family and establishing his medical career, Roget notices other books of word lists which aren't as effective as his. This gives him the courage and inspiration to publish his own work in 1852. The illustrations throughout the book use text and collage in Melissa Sweet's inventive way. Historical objects (book bindings, type drawers, Roget's pages etc) are incorporated throughout and much of the text has synonyms provided. At the end of the book, there's additional notes and a timeline on Roget. The Right Word is a fun and informative book for ages 5 and older.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Railroad Fever: Building the Transcontinental Railroad 1830-1870 by Monica Halpern



This non-fiction chapter book starts with an introduction to the earliest industrial technologies that would eventually create the transcontinental railroad. Each chapter focuses on a specific theme, from the conditions of the workers to native life in the Wild West.  The Great Race between the Union and Central Pacific railroads boasts its own chapter, culminating in the driving of the golden spike where the two rails meet.  Railroad Fever is a great book for older middle school readers.

Readalikes:

Bandanas, Chaps and Ten Gallon Hats by Bobbie Kalman

The Railroad by John R. Matthews

The Industrial Revolution by Hilarie N. Staton

Apps:

Industrial Revolution
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/industrial-revolution/id399672536?mt=8

UP Steam
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/up-steam/id468495042?mt=8

Places:

Holiday Train Rides
http://boston.mommypoppins.com/kids/the-polar-express-holiday-trains-story-times-and-movie-rides-in-and-around-boston

Train Gallery at Wenham Museum
http://www.wenhammuseum.org/trains.html

Chatham Railroad Museum
http://www.chathamrailroadmuseum.com/




Monday, November 17, 2014

Seeing Stars by Dandi Daley Mackall

 

Sparkly stars seem to light up this book of introductory constellations.  With poetic narration, Seeing Stars compares constellations in the sky to their imaginary counterparts.  A bear outline helps children conceptualize the Great Bear, for example.  All of the constellations appear together at the end of the book, making it perfect for early grade readers.

Readalikes:

The Big Dipper by Franklyn M. Branley

Stars! Stars! Stars! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Older than the Stars by Karen C. Fox

Apps:

Star Walk
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/star-walk-5-stars-astronomy/id295430577?mt=8

Astronaut Trainer
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jetpack-journeys-astronaut/id761412238?mt=8

Cosmographia
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cosmographia/id519714038?mt=8

Places:

Boston University public open night
http://www.bu.edu/astronomy/events/public-open-night-at-the-observatory/

Astronomy after Hours, Museum of Science
http://www.mos.org/public-events/astronomy-after-hours


Danger - Icebergs! by Roma Gans

 

This is a simple book for elementary school readers who want to know more about the Arctic, or the natural phenomenon that led to the sinking of the Titanic. From formation to dissolution, this book follows the life of an iceberg.  While icebergs can provide habitats for arctic animals, they are also potentially dangerous.  After reviewing the Titanic disaster, the book ends with a brief mention of how sailors and travelers protect themselves from icebergs today.

Readalikes:

Antarctica by Linda Aspen-Baxter

Icebergs and Glaciers by Seymour Simon

Explore Antarctica by Bobbie Kalman

Apps:

Chasing Ice
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chasing-ice/id579276308?mt=8

Mission Antarctica
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mission-antarctica/id451913321?mt=8

Titanic Database
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/titanic-database/id517114728?mt=8

Places:

Titanic Museum
http://www.titanichistoricalsociety.org/museum/

Exploring the Arctic Seafloor exhibition
http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/museums/exhibit.html



The X-Ray Picture Book of Big Buildings in the Ancient World by JoAnne Jessop


 

The cross-section illustrations in Big Buildings will delight children who want a more detailed understanding of some of the most famous ancient architecture ever constructed. The Great Pyramid, the Parthenon, and Notre Dame are just a few of the structures that are dissected and deconstructed to help explain how they were built. A helpful glossary in the back keeps all the new terms in one convenient place.

Readalikes:

The Taj Mahal: How and Why it was Built by Christine Moorcroft

Greek Temples by Don Nardo

Apps:

Minecraft
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/minecraft-pocket-edition/id479516143?mt=8

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aga-khan-award-for-architecture/id485296765?mt=8

Places:

Harvard Art Museum Ancient Art Collection
http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/special-collections/ancient-mediterranean-and-near-eastern-bronzes-at-the-harvard-art-museums

Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology
https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/