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Interactive Idea Springboard

This category contains 14 posts

THE EASTER BUNNY’S ASSISTANT by Jan Thomas

I love Jan Thomas’ characteristic style of bright, single-color backgrounds behind richly expressive animal characters embroiled in a humorous situation.  The Easter Bunny’s Assistant does all that and a little more! Easter Bunny demonstrates for the reader how to make “BEAUTIFUL Easter eggs.” His assistant is the enthusiastic Skunk. After each step in the Egg-decorating … Continue reading

DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE by Michael Northrop Illustrated by Gustavo Duarte

Dear Justice League would be an enjoyable independent read for young readers already interested in the heroes of the DC Universe. There over-arching storyline is an invasion of Insectoids from the planet Molt-On. Interwoven in this storyline, each hero receives a fan mail text or email asking a question about some facet of their superhero … Continue reading

FUNNY GIRL Edited by Betsy Bird

I truly enjoyed Funny Girl. Edited by Betsy Bird, Funny Girl is a collection of poems, stories, comics, and essays by women authors, aimed specifically at girls around the 3rd to 6th grade demographic. The contents are both fictional and personal experiences, by turns witty and inspiring. Many of the best voices in current children’s literature … Continue reading

THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS by Onjali Q. Rauf

There are many things about The Boy at the Back of the Class that make it a great reading choice for the younger middle grades–more 3rd & 4th grade specifically. Alexa is 9 3/4 years old. A new student named Ahmet appears one day at the formerly empty desk at the back of the classroom. Alexa’s … Continue reading

CRASH, SPLASH OR MOO by Bob Shea…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Starring:  Action Clam Also Starring: Cow Your Host: Mr. McMonkey Before I start this review I need to acknowledge that I love Bob Shea’s work.  I love his sense of humor–both in its cleverness and its broadness of scope. So I was prepared to love this book before I read it.  I was not disappointed.  … Continue reading

The WEIRD series: WEIRD! DARE! TOUGH! by Erin Frankel Illustrated by Paula Heaphy

The WEIRD! series relates a common bullying situation from three different perspectives:  WEIRD! is from the viewpoint of the bully’s target(Luisa); DARE! is from that of the bystander(Jayla); and TOUGH! is from the perspective of the bully, herself(Sam). The bully situation, itself, is absolutely believable.  Sam continually calls Jayla names and puts down how she … Continue reading

WORDS WITH WINGS by Nikki Grimes

Nikki Grimes has become one of my favorite authors over the last three years.  I first discovered her work when the first book in her brilliant young Dyamonde Daniels series appeared as a Division I nominee for the Maud Hart Lovelace Award.  The way she easily slips into the dialogue and behavior of her young … Continue reading

HALF A CHANCE by Cynthia Lord…LOVELACE Nominee 2017-18

Half a Chance is told by Lucy, a tween-age girl who has just moved to a small town in New Hampshire.  Having moved several times before, she is understandably worried about new and unfamiliar places and people–especially finding friends her own age.  Lucy’s new home is situated on a lake and she almost immediately meets … Continue reading

MY BEST FRIEND WILL by Jamie Lowell & Tara Tuchel

My Best Friend Will is a terrific picture book describing the friendship between Jamie and Will.  Jamie and Will are best friends.  The key element to their friendship portrayed in the book is the fact that Will has autism. The book does a fantastic job of explaining autism in a way that is easily understandable to … Continue reading

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S PIE By J. Patrick Lewis

Love this book!  If you’ve read Arith-me-tickle this is the perfect next step by the same author.  Delightful poems based on classic poetry which have wrapped themselves around math puzzles to be solved.  (If you haven’t read Arith-me-tickle I highly recommend it!) The featured poets include Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Ogden Nash, Langston … Continue reading