Books, Science/Math

Book Review: The Case of the Sneezy Popcorn

TITLE: The Case of the Sneezy Popcorn (Body System Disease Investigations)

AUTHOR: Michelle Faulk, PhD

PUBLICATION INFO: Enslow, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7660-3946-9

SOURCE:  publisher provided copy

INTENDED AUDIENCE: interest level = 5+ (publisher), reading level 5.6

GENRE: fact-filled fiction

OPENING and SYNOPSIS:

“My name is Agent Annie Biotica. I am a Disease Scene Investigator with the Major Health Crimes Unit.”

From the book cover:

“What do you get when you combine evil microbes trying to harm the respiratory system and a super detective skilled at Body System Disease Investigations? You get crime-solving super sleuth Annie Biotica.” Think Law & Order meets your local doctor’s office.

THEMES/TOPICS: respiratory system, science, health, biology, mystery

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: It took me a few days to wrestle this book away from my mystery-obsessed 6 1/2-year-old. Sneezy Popcorn expertly combines mystery with learning about the respiratory system. Readers have to consider the clues carefully, interpret results of medical tests and help Annie Biotica solve the cases and cure the patients. The book is divided into 5 cases, but also includes three cases for readers to solve on their own, once they’ve learned symptoms and how to interpret medical tests. The book reminded us of Encyclopedia Brown, a current favorite in our house. One note of caution: very sensitive children may worry about contracting many of the illnesses described in the book. I had to reassure mine that he has had vaccinations for most of them.

Books

Book Review: Tasty Desserts (Little Chef Recipes)

TITLE: Little Chef Recipes: Tasty Desserts

AUTHOR: Mercedes Segarra

ILLUSTRATOR: Rosa M. Curto

PUBLICATION INFO: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4644-0465-8

SOURCE: Publisher-provided copy

INTENDED AUDIENCE: kindergarten through third grade

GENRE: how-to

SYNOPSIS: Are you hungry for some delightful desserts? From staples like brownies and cheesecake to new foods like “watermelon soup,” children will learn how to make delicious desserts with a parent’s help.

THEMES/TOPICS: how-to, cooking, baking

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK: You would not believe how difficult it is to create a good cookbook for the youngest children, but Segarra and Curto have done it. This book is much more than a collection of recipes, but a good overview of how to become a “Little Chef.” The book includes a “Before You Start Cooking” section with sound advice on preparing to cook, like washing hands, donning an apron and reading the recipe thoroughly. “Words to Know”  in the back uses pictures to show children what key kitchen terms mean, for example “separate” (eggs) or “line” (a baking sheet). It also shows children pictures of kitchen equipment that they might not be familiar with.

IMG_3237

Best of all, each recipe includes an illustrated ingredients list and step-by-step instructions. Finley, who can’t read yet, was able to look at the recipe, point to each picture, and describe what we would do in that step. I can’t wait to check out the other recipes in the series: Fun Party Foods, Pizza and Pasta, and Yummy Snacks.