Friday, September 22, 2023

They are here! by Roland Smith, illustrated by Gavin Scott

I always think of Roland Smith as an adventure author, so I was a little surprised when I saw he'd written a nonfiction book about invasive species. However, I'm glad I picked it up because it turned out to be both informative and, oddly for this subject area, largely guilt-free.

Smith starts with his own early experiences as a zookeeper and the curiousity this engendered then jumps into a working definition of invasive species, specifically the ones that will be included in the book. Each chapter examines a different invasive species or collection of species. Rats get their own chapter, but there are collective chapters on birds, snakes, reptiles, and insects. Smith includes the more "controversial" creatures like domestic cats and doesn't leave out the plants and aquatic species either. Each section talks about they got here ("here" being the United States or associated areas like Guam), the harm they do, and the efforts scientists and the government are making to eradicate them. The last chapters cover invasivorism (eating invasive species), whether or not humans themselves are an invasive species, the importance of biodiversity, and a final inspiration to readers to be curious and explore the world.

There is no table of contents or index, but there is a glossary, suggested reading list, and bibliography. 

Smith is, primarily, a fiction writer and his skill at telling a good story is present throughout the book with humorous or interesting anecdotes, lively descriptions of scientists' efforts, and neat packets of information, including statistics, about the invasive species. While it would be completely unreasonable to suggest that kids can combat invasive species, especially when adults and large organizations have failed, this hasn't stopped a lot of authors from including similar suggestions that kids "make a difference" and I was pleased that Smith is realistic about what any one person - or even group - can do. This is primarily an informational book, offering facts and narratives to encourage readers to continue deeper and learn more about the subject.

Verdict: Fiction authors could take lessons from the accessible length and lively storytelling of Roland Smith in this book. A great choice for nonfiction lovers and those interested in animals and science. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781250762375; Published May 2023 by Laura Godwin Books; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Rose spoke out: The story of Rose Schneiderman by Emma Carlsno Berne, illustrated by Giovanni Abeille

Rose Schneiderman's early life is encapsulated in this picture book biography, starting with her as a red-headed girl in white blouse and long black skirt, arguing with a teacher in school. After her father's death, she left school at thirteen and went to work in a hat factory. Angered by the poor conditions, she encouraged other young women to stand up with her for better pay and a safer and cleaner workplace. Eventually she coordinated a large strike of women workers in factories, but they made few gains until the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. After the fire, Rose spoke to a large audience at the Metropolitan Opera House and became a leader for fair labor, especially for women.

The text is simple and brief, without excessive details "Rose and her friends stood silently by while the enormous funeral passed." "For the rest of her life, Rose spoke out for workers' rights." The art is somewhat generic, showing Rose as a short, red-haired girl and then woman, with general details of the time period. However, even the picture of the factory does not really convey the horrible conditions; the workers smooth faces don't show sweat or dirt and even when they are supposed to be exhausted and angry, there is not much emotion shown. An author's note gives more details about Rose's life as well as how she fits into the Jewish tradition of activism and social justice.

Verdict: The simplicity of this makes it suitable for even young listeners, who can grasp the concept of things not being fair without the scary or horrific details. With child labor laws currently being repealed or made useless in many states, this is a timely book to encourage kids to stand up for themselves and others and work towards a better world for all.

ISBN: 9781681156170; Published April 2023 by Apples and Honey Press; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's order list

Monday, September 18, 2023

Browsing the Beginning Chapter Books: Peter and Ernesto: A tale of two sloths by Graham Annable

Genre: Adventure; Animals
Protagonists: Animals, Male
Reading level: 400s
Series: Trilogy
Originally reviewed May 2018; Republished May 2021

Review: I still don't really understand the fascination with sloths; they're interesting creatures, but why not hyenas? Or bongos? Anyways, sloths are IN right now and this simple graphic novel will be enjoyed by sloth fans and others.

Peter, a stay-at-home gray sloth and Ernesto, an adventurous beige sloth, are best friends. But when Ernesto decides to take a trip and see the rest of the sky, Peter is worried and upset. Ernesto doesn't stop to think about his friend at first; he is busy exploring the wonderful world outside his tree. He sees many amazing new pieces of sky, makes new friends, and even travels across the ocean. Meanwhile, Peter slowly overcomes his fears to set off in search of his friend. He runs into the same obstacles as Ernesto, and at first feels he simply can't face them. However, his friendship makes him brave and, in his own fashion, he faces all obstacles to find his friend.

In the end, both Peter and Ernesto have learned something about themselves and about the world around them. Although they covered much of the same ground, their very different perspectives gave them an opportunity to see things in a different way. Annable's art is a good match for the simple but thoughtful text. The colors are mostly greens and earth tones, with simple lines and mild humor in the sketched large eyes. The text is minimal, but a great deal of story is told in the sloths' mobile faces.

While not factually accurate (sloths are actually excellent swimmers) this is nevertheless an amusing tale of exploring the world and following your dreams. The text is simple enough to hold beginning chapter readers but there is enough depth to the story and art to capture the interest of older children as well.

Verdict: This quiet story is amusing and makes an excellent addition to the beginning chapter graphic novel genre. While I'm not as wildly enthusiastic about it as some reviewers, it will certainly find an audience and planned sequels are sure to be popular.

Revisited: There are now three titles in this series and it remains a quiet favorite, although the advent of many more intermediate graphic novels has given kids many more options.

Re-Revisited: This continues to circulate steadily and I'd consider it a part of a core collection of beginning chapter comics.

ISBN: 9781626725614; Published 2018 by First Second; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

Sunday, September 17, 2023

This week at the library: Programs begin


  • Paws to Read
  • Cub Scouts meeting (hosting)
  • Family Storytime
  • Pokemon Club
  • We Explore Nature
  • Resource Fair (offsite outreach)
  • Girl Scouts (hosting)
  • Family Storytime
  • Fact Finders book club
  • Open Storyroom
  • TAB
  • Eight kids came to Fact Finders! I'm revamping it to more of a STEAM program than a traditional book club and I am super excited with my turn-out! I've almost finished a big weeding and review of our easy reader section, so I'll be posting on that sometime soon as well. Lots of miscellaneous management stuff going on, my awesome staff getting the programming back and running, fixing schedules, etc. I've also got some collaborations set up with the Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and, of course, lots of teacher requests for the schools.
What are the kids reading?
These are some of what the kids have asked for more of these first weeks!
  • King and Kayla
  • Buddy Files
  • Max Meow
  • Dragon Storm
  • Dragonbreath
  • Girls Survive
  • Notebook of Doom
  • HiLo by Winick
  • Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol
  • Wild Rescuers (StacyPlays)
  • Read-alikes for Pizza & Taco, Beak & Ally
  • Read-alikes for The Survivor Diaries (by Johnson)
  • More short sports stories, with a special request for girls in sports!
    • Jake Maddox
    • MVP (whyyy are there only four? sadness)
    • Ballpark mysteries

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Show your colors; Name your numbers by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Edward Underwood

These are categorized as board books with a "pop-up surprise" but I consider them more on the side of pop-up or novelty books.

Name your numbers has a vivid pink cover with a white goose and the numbers 1-10 faintly showing in the background. Each spread features a different animal on a simple background with a few bright colored details and a rhyming couplet. The text "Let's count your claws,/Koala Clive./On each paw,/I've got five!" features a smiling gray koala in a brown tree surrounded by leaves. A bright red bird looks sideways at Clive and a bold 5 in black typeface stands out in the right bottom corner. The whole image is set against two shades of green for a background. After reaching ten feathers on a goose, the last two spreads invite the reader to count a crocodile's teeth. The final spread has a pop-out of a grinning crocodile mouth with rows of curved white teeth and a warning to "BEWARE!"

The companion book, Show your colors has a similar set-up but features colors instead of numbers. Readers are invited to admire the strong white teeth of "Donkey Dwight" the sparkling green eyes of "Shark Shaheen" and more. The second to last page invites Spider Jack to show his hairy black legs, and the pop-up consists of a menacing spider with four sharp fangs and wiggly legs glaring at the reader, accompanied by "so run away QUICK,/and don't come back!"

Of course, one can't really expect biological accuracy from a board book, but some of the featured animals are a bit out there. Sharks, as far as I know, do not have sparkling emerald eyes and I can't think of an equine I've ever seen with bleached white teeth. Most of the counting book is more accurate, although a goose has a lot more than ten feathers and a porcupine more than nine quills! I also strongly disapprove of the "nasty spider" stereotype - there's no reason to teach kids that spiders are scary and bad, even if you live somewhere with a lot of venomous types. Of course, that's just one of my personal pet peeves, most people won't care if you vilify INNOCENT AND BENEFICIAL arachnids. Ahem.

The actual issue with these books is that, although they're listed as board books they are very flimsy. Besides the pop-up surprise at the back of each book, the pages are a thin cardboard, not the sturdy pages of a regular board book. The crocodile pop-up (she has 26 teeth by the way) is pretty simple, but poor Spider Jack has several moving parts, including sets of four legs that "wiggle" back and forth, so these are unlikely to survive long in a typical board book section.

Verdict: I would categorize these as novelties that might make a good addition to a kit or pop-up book collection, or possibly as a gift for a careful child. They aren't much more expensive than the average board book, so a perfectly reasonable addition if you're willing to add more ephemeral materials and/or have a lot of requests for pop-ups.

Name your numbers
ISBN: 9781536228458

Show your colors
ISBN: 9781536228465

Published July 2023 by Candlewick; Review copies provided by publisher; Donated to the library.

Friday, September 15, 2023

What goes on inside a beaver pond? by Becky Cushing Gop, illustrated by Carrie Shryock

The publisher says this is for readers ages 8-10, putting it solidly in middle grade territory, but I consider it works much better as a picture book for several reasons.

It has an interesting layout, alternating between full spreads and comic panels, with informational sections running along the bottom of the book. There's a primary narrative that follows a young beaver, from her younger years with her family, setting out and searching for her own home, to eventually finding a place and starting a new family. Around the central story, Gop explores how beavers affect and interact with local wildlife and habitat. Readers learn about how beavers create a dam, the challenges of finding new territories in urban and polluted areas, and the different kinds of bird calls you might hear in the beaver's territory.

Green dominates the illustrations, which are often smaller comic panels, heavily outlined in black, set against a washed out aerial view of the landscape. The illustrations are realistic watercolors, showing the beavers swimming, working, and traveling along with delicate drawings of deer, foxes, birds, muskrats, and many other forest creatures.

This is not laid out to be a read-aloud, rather it's something to be read and discussed in small groups or one-on-one. It can be read a little at a time, following the central narrative and then returning to the inset information, or browsing through the book. There are no sources for the information, other than an author's note about their interest in beavers and the natural world, and that, plus the layout makes me feel it's a better fit for my picture book section. My picture book collection is divided into subject neighborhoods and is directed at preschool through elementary school and I have a growing audience for individual and read-aloud picture books for older elementary students.

Verdict: Whether you put this in your nonfiction, juvenile, or picture book section, this is a beautifully illustrated look into the life and habitat of a beaver and will be an excellent choice for readers interested in this amazing animal or the natural world in general.

ISBN: 9781635865271; Published September 2023 by Storey; Egalley provided by publisher via Netgalley; Added to the library's order list

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

May's Brave Day by Lucy Morris

This quiet picture book is an unusual approach to back to school nerves, but a welcome one.

May, the red-haired girl on the cover, has butterflies in her stomach. She sits alone at a kitchen table staring at her breakfast toast and then goes outside to the garden. She remembers other times she was brave - learning to swim, ride a bike, or climb a tree. Then she quietly waits in the soft greens and browns of the garden to find her courage. She looks at bees among the pastel purple and blues of the flowers, at goldfish in the pond, and imagines all the positive things about school popping up like bubbles.

She tries to run and hop until her jitters go away, but finally her mother comes out to tell her it's time to go. She comforts May and reassures her and they slowly walk to school, May still struggling to find her courage. May is welcomed into her classroom and meets a possible friend and slowly the butterflies go away, leaving May at last with room for breakfast and a new friend.

There are some oddities about the book, although most children probably won't notice them. May appears to be going to a private preschool with small classes; but she's tall enough to be eight or nine years old, rides a bike without training wheels, and can swim and skip. Her family (only her mother is pictured or mentioned) have access to a large garden with seemingly unlimited green lawns, a bricked pond, landscaped bushes, multiple trees, and no glimpse of neighbors. There's no early morning rush to get to a bus or wrap-around care, May can wander through the garden trying to calm herself down and then leisurely stroll through town to her school and still be on time - her mother and the other adults seem to be in no hurry. Some of these differences may be attributable to a different culture, but while some things can't reasonably be recreated, I hope some parents (and kids) will think about some of the strategies that can.

Going outside, slowing down, and letting kids take things at their own pace can be a challenge in our busy lives, but it can definitely help anxious children like May. This gentle story offers a quiet solution to the anxiety of trying new things and a happy ending as May manages her first day of school.

Verdict: This may or may not be relevant to your audiences; The vast majority of families I know don't have the leisure or luxury of a relaxed morning routine, but some things could be adopted like going outside and slowing things down a little bit for kids who need more time to try new things.

ISBN: 9781547602902; Published August 2023 by Bloomsbury; Review copy provided by publisher

Monday, September 11, 2023

Browsing the Beginning Chapter Books: Doggo and Pupper by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charlie Alder

Genre: Humorous stories; Animals
Protagonists: Animals, Male
Reading level: n/a
Series: Trilogy
Originally reviewed June 2021

Review: This quirky easy comic could work either as a beginning chapter or an intermediate early reader. Doggo, a scruffy, beige-colored mutt with black ears and tail, enjoys his settled routine. In cheerful rhyme he thinks through all the things he does from "book holder" to "squirrel scolder." Wilder activities happen when the humans are absent, like baking, playing the drums, and ballet. However, the humans have gotten the idea that Doggo is too settled and his life needs more "zip and zing."

Enter Pupper. Pupper, a small, pudgy, red-haired pup with black ears and tail to match Doggo, is always ready to play, get into trouble, and make a mess. But when he makes too big of a mess, the humans decide he needs to go to school. After Pupper's sojourn in Charm School, he's perfectly behaved, perfectly quiet, perfectly perfect. And, Doggo decides, perfectly boring. He misses the original Pupper and decides that maybe they both could use some adventure and a little zip and zing in their lives. One midnight trip later, the two have bonded and both appreciate the other a little more.

Splashy art is divided into panels, some wordless, some with simple speech balloons and a little additional narration. There's enough rhyming text to ease struggling readers along and many unexpected jokes and surprises in the art and story to keep them invested. While most readers at this level are unlikely to recognize Applegate's award-winning older titles, they're sure to recognize a good storyteller when they see one.

Verdict: Cute and sweet, this is sure to appeal to fans of Narwhal and Jelly, Elephant and Piggie, and other beginning chapter graphic novels. Recommended.

Revisited: There are more and more beginning chapter comics available now, but this gently humorous trilogy stands out as a must-have for most library collections.

ISBN: 9781250620972; Published March 2021 by Feiwel and Friends; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Purchased for the library

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Two weeks at the library

Two weeks with 0 programs! The last week of August was busy with the tear-down of the old youth services desk, putting together teacher requests for the new school year, weeding, and working on other projects. The library was very quiet as most folks were at the county fair, squeezing in a last bit of vacation, or in in-service preparing for school. 

The first week of September marked the first day of school, the installation of our new desk, and all the last-minute projects before we resume programming. I stayed late on Wednesday and almost finished the early reader weeding project - just have S-Z left! I took Thursday-Friday off, but of course remembered that I'd forgotten to send out marketing and had to do that Thursday morning....

I took the day off to go to a quilt show in Madison, but I also did a bunch of laundry, some gardening, and other chores.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Read 'n' Play: Our underwater world: A first dive into oceans, lakes, and rivers by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Lisk Feng

Phaidon press released the first of these unique board books back in 2020 with Our World. It's a unique and fun concept; a shaped board book that opens up into a globe, held together with a magnetic fastening within the pages. Each subsequent edition has explored some other concept of the earth and this one focuses on the lakes, rivers, and oceans of the world.

Each spread looks like a 2-D globe, with an image on the circle above and the text on the "stand" below. The images show lush underwater kelp forests, with smiling sea otters holding vivid red sea urchins, massive schools of fish swirling through the light-brushed ocean, and the strange life gathering around underwater geysers.

Gallion's text on the "stand" of the globe is in two sections. On the left, there is a simple sentence of a poem. "Rivers run, oceans flow. Every wondered what's below? Let's explore, take a dive.../The underwater world's alive!" On the right is a more dense but still brief paragraph, giving details about the specific image or aspect of the watery world that is shown. This could be read to a fairly young child just with the simple sentences or pored over with an older child using the lengthier text.

The trickiest part of using these books is figuring out the right collection to put them in. Although technically a board book, with thick cardboard pages, even the simple text is too complex for the board book audience and the art, while lovely, is not really suited to very young children. It's also not, strictly speaking, a nonfiction title since the information it includes is brief and there are no sources or notes. The book's size and shape, tall and narrow, make it difficult to place on a typical library shelf as well.

So what do you DO with these? Well, they make awesome components for circulating storytime kits, especially if you have teachers and homeschool families who use your kits. I like to include a variety of books, manipulatives, and toys in my kits and these books are very popular inclusions. They are also sturdy and stand up well to the hard use, plus they make a nice multi-age offering. I've put them out on display in our activity area, but people always want to take them home, so it's better to figure out a way to circulate them, in my opinion.

Verdict: An excellent addition to circulating kits, these could also be added to a pop-up/activity book collection or, at a pinch, to your board book collection.

ISBN: 9781838667009; Published August 2023 by Phaidon; Review copy provided by publisher

Friday, September 8, 2023

Styx and Scones in The Sticky Wand by Jay Cooper

 Realistically, you just can't get much into an emerging reader. Sure, a genius like Mo Willems can get a lot of nuance into simple lines and phrases, but there's only so much you can do with limited words and simple pictures, especially if you're going to make a book that's actually suitable for a kid trying to decode words and follow artwork, practicing both visual and textual literacy, in a comic. This means that, naturally, titles that are just a bit more complex are going to be more interesting.

This new series from Ready-to-Read's comics line is a fun addition, but is going to need a reader who can handle a little more complex of a story to fully appreciate. This is hinted at in the series title, which includes a play on words (Styx and Scones, i.e. sticks and stones). The two main characters introduce how to follow the sequence of comic panels and how to read word balloons on the first page and then jump into the story.

The story happens in the main room of a witchy cottage. Miss Hattie, a stereotypical witch with green skin, long hooked nose and chin, and scraggly hair, is dressed in black pants and shirt and going out with Miss Hildy, a plump, gray-haired witch with a straw hat and purple pinafore. Their personalities are clearly opposites and there are little hints of magic all over the room, from a deck of tarot cards and a crystal ball on the table to a scaled hand holding the cauldron over the purple fire. Styx, a sleek, purple cat, is curled up on a pillow while Scones, a friendly brown retriever-type dog with a star on their ear, sits up alertly.

After a lecture from the witches on behaving, they leave. Scones notices that they didn't say anything about the crooked stick on the mantelpiece and immediately grabs it. Styx, bored, explains that it's not a stick but a wand but still gets a big surprise when Scones does magic with it! The two have increasingly raucous fun, with Scones transforming Styx, but then they begin to argue over the wand and panic when they break it. All too soon the witches return; will they be angry or is a really good stick just a good stick? There are a few more shenanigans in store before the story finishes on a light note.

Verdict: I really liked this as it reminded me a bit of a childhood favorite of mine, Hocus and Pocus at the circus. Despite her grouchiness and scary appearance, Miss Hattie turns out to be just as kind as Miss Hildy and the animals goofy antics will have kids giggling as they work their way through the words and pictures. Recommended.

ISBN: 9781665935371; Published June 2023 by Little Simon; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Chi-Chi and Pey-Pey: School Day Drama by Jennifer Fosberry, illustrated by Shiho Pate

Ready-to-Read continues to produce accessible comics for a wide variety of beginning readers and I am looking at one of their new offerings today.

Chi-Chi revisits the classic odd couple and first day of school tropes while introducing two new characters, set in a school of animals. The story begins with Chi-Chi and Pey-Pey explaining how to read the comic panels and speech bubbles, then racing off to begin the school day as the bell rings.

Chi-Chi starts off the story with a simple list of things she likes and a disclaimer that she's not at all worried about school, although she's really quite anxious. Then Pey-Pey is introduced, along with their favorite things. Pey-Pey has a fun summer, not thinking about school at all. While Chi-Chi stays up the night before, worrying, her comb neatly tucked in a bonnet, Pey-Pey sprawls across their bed, drooling a little. On their first day of school, the teacher tells them they are class buddies and need to find out what they have in common. But they have nothing in common! They like different snacks, toys, and even shapes! Finally, when they are ready to give up, they discover they do have something in common after all - and now they are friends.

Chi-Chi is a brown chicken with a bright red comb and big, colorful bows and dresses. Pey-Pey is a penguin with a slick mohawk of feathers, dressed in a comfortable pants and sweaters. The panels are simple and brightly colored, accompanying the brief text and dialogue. This is an attractive story for emerging readers, although it doesn't have the bright humor of more well-known series like Elephant and Piggie.

Verdict: A strong addition to early reader collections with a simple, social-emotional themed storyline and easy to follow text and art. Young readers who enjoy classics like Biscuit will be excited to branch out into a different format. A second title in the series will be released in August and librarians may want to order them together.

ISBN: 9781665931892; Published June 2023 by Simon Spotlight; Review copy provided by publisher and donated to the library

Monday, September 4, 2023

Browsing the Beginning Chapter Books: Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine and Aven Green, Baking Machine by Dusti Bowling, illustrated by Gina Perry

Genre: Realistic fiction
Protagonists: White female, physical disability
Reading level: 500s
Series: Currently four titles available
Originally reviewed in September 2021

Review: I know a lot of people really, really loved Dusti Bowling's middle grade novels about Aven Green, but I never got around to reading or purchasing them. I was interested in the chapter books though, since I just finished updating our beginning chapter book section, so I was pleased to get review copies to look at.

Aven Green briskly introduces herself in Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine and gets the boring stuff out of the way first. No, she doesn't have arms, yes, she was just born this way, and now on to the important things - like solving mysteries! With her "brain of many cells" Aven Green has solved a lot of simple mysteries, from missing dessert to stinky feet, but now she's ready to be a real Private Investigator, or P.I., and solve some real mysteries from missing food at school to her great-grandma's disappearing dog and why new girl Sujata looks so sad. Luckily, with the help of friends and her own smarts, Aven Green, sleuthing machine, is able to bring all the cases to a happy solution.

In her next adventure, Aven plans to join with her friends, including new friend Sujata, to bake an award-winning dessert for the fair. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out as she'd planned and they end up having a big fight - and even quiet Sujata refuses to work with Aven any more! Aven's big personality and strong opinions won't help her here; she's hurt her friends' feelings by refusing to try their desserts or compromise in her plans and when she tries to find someone else to enter the contest with, he gets upset with her too! With her many brain cells and excellent ideas, will Aven figure out a way to win back her friends and still enter the contest?

Black and white illustrations are scattered throughout the book, showing how capably Aven has adapted to school and life in general, and her classmates and friends are a racially diverse group. Aven is a strong personality, a la Junie B. Jones, but her parents and teacher kindly but firmly rein her in when necessary, helping her to be more aware of boundaries and the feelings and needs of others. It's great to see more diversity in abilities in beginning chapter books and there appears to be some economic diversity in the families as well, something that's almost as rare.

There is a typo on page 8 of Aven Green Sleuthing Machine, and, generally speaking, younger versions of even popular series are unlikely to attract a new audience, but this stands well on its own. I will say that Aven's teacher is way more long-suffering than I would be with her antics, as are her friends with her bossy and take-charge personality, but there are good lessons about friendship and making things right when you mess up woven into the story, especially in Baking Machine. The second book also includes a large number of recipes in the back for kids to try.

Verdict: If you are looking to diversify your beginning chapter collection, this is a strong addition and will appeal to readers who like Junie B. Jones, Judy Moody, and other exuberant and humorous girls.

Revisited: Aven's fourth adventure features sports (soccer) which is a great addition as we need more beginning chapters featuring sports. It's the most popular one by far, but the series as a whole circulates steadily and consistently. I've recommended it to many teachers and quite a few kids pick it up on their own as well. A must-have for most beginning chapter collections.

Aven Green Sleuthing Machine
ISBN: 9781454942214

Aven Green Baking Machine
ISBN: 9781454942207

Published 2021 by Sterling; Review copies provided by publisher