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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'kindergarten'.

Winter Sleep uses a story of a boy who visits his grandmother as a framework to describe some of the ways that many woodland animals hibernate during the winter. The book begins with a brief look at some animals in their wide-awake forms during summer, before contrasting this with the colder and quieter winter scene. 

I enjoyed the illustrations that use plenty of earthy colors to show pond life, smaller animals like mice and insects, as well as larger animals like bears as they take their winter rest. The "story" itself is a bit sparse, but serves well enough as a more conversational way to present the information.

This reminded me a bit of Over and Under the Snow (see my review here). It's less poetic, but contains more informational pages at the end. It also refers to bugs as "minibeasts" which I thought was an amusing term -- I assume it's a British convention.

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Authors: Sean Taylor and Alex Morss
Illustrator: Cinyee Chiu
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

The unnamed girl in Count on Me begins by telling us that everyone has a passion. She shows some of her family members' passions, as well as some of the things she tried that just weren't for her. Then she reveals what her passion is: math. She enjoys looking for it in the world around her, in the form of geometric playground equipment, concentric circles in the water, etc. While this section of the book doesn't go into a lot of detail about mathematical concepts, it serves to present math as a way of seeing the world, as well as to normalize it as something for a girl to do. 

At the end of the book, there are several pages describing in more detail how to look for different kinds of math in the real world: fractals, projections, polygons, etc. This section was helpful and gives a more tangible picture of how ubiquitous math is when you know how to look for it. (Despite the title, counting isn't really discussed here.) We enjoyed this book very much, and the watercolor art is beautiful.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: LibraryThing

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Miguel Tanco
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

While living in the UK, my family somehow acquired a cassette tape (yes, this was in the 90s) at a gas station (or petrol, as they called it there) called "Miles of Classical." It contained several well-known orchestral pieces of music, including Strauss's "Blue Danube," a movement from Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," and, the fifth and last piece on side 1 of the cassette, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," or at least an abbreviated version of it.

Other than "The Nutcracker," I didn't have much love for orchestral music, but listening to that cassette over and over and over on long drives really helped me and my siblings to develop more appreciation for some of these favorites. I'm still not sure I really "understand" jazz music, but Gershwin's piece was definitely my favorite on that cassette. It reminded me at various points of a morning sunrise and a predator/prey chase scene. The piano solo always amazed me. I would try to visualize the showmanship and talent that a piece like that must require. It wasn't until adulthood that I heard the piece in full, and also learned that Gershwin gave the opening notes to a clarinet rather than a saxophone, which made me like him even more (I took clarinet lessons in high school but never did anything cool like that with it).

So when I heard there was a book out called The Music in George's Head: George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue, I knew I had to procure it someday. There were few pieces of music that I would have been more interested in learning about than this one, but I also wondered how the translation of jazz-to-picture-book would go. 

I think it's fabulous. Everything is drawn in shades of blue with some earth tones thrown in -- gray-blues on the city streets, navy blue swirls of musical notes and piano keys, baby blues for people and sheets of music.. the whole book comes alive in a jazz-blue world, where it recounts factual information but also skips and bumps along at times with a steady, jazzy feel. Most of the text is written in a normal cadence and is not difficult to understand or read, but sometimes we have a "rattle-ty bang" of train tracks or the "WuaaaAAA..." of the clarinet. 

"Sleepy eyes flew open. Restless listeners sat still. People heading for the door hurried back to their seats. Trombones and trumpets blew brassy sounds -- small and soft, then big and bright. Velvety violins started to sing. More musicians joined in. Each carefully playing their sheets of music. Fingers flying, George made those piano keys MARCH. SKIP. Dance. But he didn't have sheet music. George played the notes in his head."

Wish I could've been there!

Scrounged From: PaperbackSwap.com

Format: Hardcover
Author: Suzanne Slade
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

A while back I reviewed Counting Birds (review here), which tells the story of how the long-running citizen science project called the "Christmas bird count" developed, and why it's become so important for scientists and for the birds they are aiming to protect.

Bird Count is also about the bird count, but it approaches it from a more personal angle. It tells the fictionalized story of a girl named Ava and her mom as they participate in the bird count, spending an entire wintery day watching, listening, and collecting data. 

We get to see some of the methodology of counting birds at work here -- for example, a bird can only be counted if two or more people in the group see it. The route the group takes is also identified in advance so they can cover a large area. On each page, we see the tally of different types of birds as it's added to.

The "day in the life" aspect of this book helped to make the bird count come alive, and it inspired me to do some reading on The Audubon Society's website to see what kinds of counting groups are available in my area. Maybe someday we'll make this event part of our winter science education!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Susan Edwards Richmond
Illustrator: Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

The Brilliant Deep is partially about Ken Nedimyer, the founder of the Coral Restoration Foundation. It tells about his passion for the sea, and the process he used to transplant healthy coral to dying and shrinking reefs in order to help them thrive again.

(When I read this it instantly reminded me of an episode of Reading Rainbow, in which I clearly remember watching scuba divers gluing coral to rocks. I looked it up and that episode featured a different "coral doctor" than this book, but it appears that the idea is the same.)

But this book is also about how one person can make a difference, and how growth and multiplication of a good thing can help turn the tide (no pun intended) of something bad. The stunning artwork blends so many colors together in a way that conjures up what it must feel like to be surrounded by the dazzling and diverse shapes and colors of living coral. Just as the colors meld together to form something amazing, this story can remind us how interconnected all of life is. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Kate Messner
Illustrator: Matthew Forsythe
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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