Monday, December 5, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: New series from Bearport!

I'm looking at five new series from Bearport this Nonfiction Monday. I order my nonfiction sets in January usually and always pick at least something from Bearport. They're one of my favorite nonfiction series publishers because they offer great bindings, affordable sets, and lots of high-interest subjects with nice layouts! Animals, sports, biggest/smallest/weirdest, careers, I have a little of everything today.

I'm going to start with one of Bearport's quirky series - So Big Compared to What? Freaky-Strange Buildings by Michael Sandler. Last year I purchased several titles of the World's Biggest series - roller coasters, trucks, airplanes, etc. This new series is a little like that, only this one features weird buildings!

In addition to high-interest topics like sports, animals, and machines, Bearport also provides interesting nonfiction series on out of the way topics, like this latest addition. This book highlights eight weird and amazing buildings across the world, from the Turning Torso in Sweden, a unique skyscraper that appears to be twisting in the air, to the Hotel Luna Salada in Bolivia, which is entirely constructed from salt. Additional information on strange and wacky buildings is included as well.

This will be a popular topic for kids who like the weird and the wonderful, even if they aren’t particularly interested in architecture. Hand it to your Guiness World Record fans and watch them pass it on to friends!

Next we have Super Bowl Superstars: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers

This is a must for a Wisconsin library, of course. The book starts with Rodgers’ early life and football dreams, then his difficulty in winning over fans who were upset when he replaced Brett Favre. A play by play account of Super Bowl XLV follows, finishing with the Packers’ exciting win. Throughout the book there is additional information about the photographs, and facts about Rodgers’ life and game. Some of the captions are a bit ridiculous, like the one labeling a photo of Rodgers holding the trophy “Aaron holds the Super Bowl trophy.” Um…duh! But the book is written in brisk and attention-grabbing style, additional information about players, a glossary, index, and further reading is included. This is an affordable, well-bound series on a popular subject, definitely worth adding to your library.

Yummy Tummy Recipes: Artful snacks

This book focuses on healthy snacks and healthy eating. Throughout the simple recipes, Quick Peanut Butter Bars, Healthy Lemon Hummus, Apple Puzzle, and more, historical and statistical information on food and health tips are included. The recipes have symbols showing the tools needed, prep time, serving size, ingredients, and easy-to-follow steps. The book ends with more healthy tips, glossary, index, and bibliography.

This was a nice combination of recipes, but leans heavily on the simple snacks kids can make themselves with a few ingredients and there are plenty of “cookbooks” that focus on these things. The illustrations are oddly distorted photographs and not at all attractive. I wouldn’t recommend this particular series; if you need cookbooks pick up DK’s Cook It Together.

Big Dogs Rule: Great Dane, Gentle Giant

I recently purchased Bearport’s Cat-o-graphics series, which has been a huge hit at our library, and I’m definitely putting Big Dogs Rule on my series order list!

This sample focuses on Great Danes. The book’s central character is Gibson, the tallest dog in the world and a favorite therapy dog. The story begins with Gibson’s visit to a school where the kids were still shocked over a recent car crash which had killed several students. The book continues with the history of the Great Dane breed, illustrated with historical artifacts and paintings, then the breed’s evolution from working animal to pet. Facts about the breed’s disposition, appearance, and caring for their puppies follow. Is a Great Dane a good pet for you? Several pages discuss the needs of this special dog and how to decide if it will be a suitable dog for your circumstances. The story finishes with some more special Great Danes, from therapy dogs to sport mascots. Additional information on the breed, a glossary, bibliography, and additional sources are also included.

Work of Heroes: Paramedics to the rescue

This book on paramedics begins with a life or death story about a young girl hit by a car. A paramedic nearby, Ted Zeigler, was able to save her life and get her to the hospital on time. After this exciting introduction, the book explains what a paramedic is and their responsibilities, then talks about their history and how they began as firefighters with basic medical training. Current training methods are discussed, with plenty of photographs of simulation experiences and hospital observations. Some unusual paramadeic teams and their rescues are described; Flight for Life and Search and Rescue. A paramedic during 9/11, Lisa Desena, is highlighted as is a paramedic in a snake bite operation that same day, Al Cruz. The book describes the good and bad parts of being a paramedic in more general tersm and finishes with information on equipment, a glossary, and further resources.

Some of the photographs are a little overly staged, especially the cover, but this book has an excellent mixture of true-life stories and factual information.

Freaky Strange Buildings by Michael Sandler and Paul F. Johnston
Verdict: Recommended Series
ISBN: 978-1617723056; Published August 2011 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV by Michael Sandler
Verdict: Recommended Series
ISBN: 978-1617723094; Published August 2011 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased series for the library

Artful Snacks by Marilyn La Penta
Verdict: Not recommended. There are better cookbooks for kids out there and a plethora of simple snack books. Weird photography/illustrations.
ISBN: 978-1617723070; Published August 2011 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher

Great Dane: Gentle Giant by Stephen Person
Verdict: Recommended Series
ISBN: 978-1617722974; Published August 2011 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased series for the library

Paramedics to the rescue by Nancy White
Verdict: If you're planning on updating this section of your library, this is a good choice
ISBN: 978-1617722820; Published August 2011 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jennifer, I love how diverse all these topics are! One of the reasons why I love nonfiction Mondays - takes you to whole different worlds entirely. I was just wondering though, is there a sixth book you wanted to include? There seems to be only five on this list. :)

Thank you for participating in Nonfiction Monday this week!

Jennifer said...

Oops! I started this post before Cybils and some of the new series titles were Cybils nominees, so they're in a different post. Good catch!