Posted in Preschool Reads, Toddler Reads

DK First Emotions Help Kids Identify Feelings

DK has a new board book series, First Emotions, that really speaks to the whole experience of emotions and how to identify them. Spun off the recently released How Do I Feel? A Little Guide to Emotions, the books get into the physiological reasons behind emotions, how kids can recognize the emotions they’re experiencing, and different situations that can spark these emotions. Great to introduce to toddlers and preschoolers, these books gives kids more words to make themselves understood and to understand others. Cheery and upbeat, with bright and fun cartoony, emoji-like characters, this series is a great place to start your social-emotional learning collection for little ones. The first two, I Feel Happy: Why Do I Feel Happy Today? and I Feel Sad: Why Do I Feel Sad Today?, come out on August 11th; I Feel Proud: Why Do I Feel Proud Today? and I Feel Angry: Why Do I Feel Angry Today? are due out in October. Print out some emoji faces for coloring or display during a Feelings/Emotions storytime.

I Feel Happy: Why Do I Feel Happy Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498052
Ages 0-3


I Feel Sad: Why Do I Feel Sad Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498250
Ages 0-3

I Feel Proud: Why Do I Feel Proud Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498076
Ages 0-3


I Feel Angry: Why Do I Feel Angry Today?, by DK Children,
(Aug. 2020, DK Children), $6.99, ISBN: 9781465498090
Ages 0-3

Posted in Fiction, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Science Fiction

Books from Quarantine: Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision

The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision, by SJ King, (July 2020, DK), $5.99, ISBN: 978-0744021066

Ages 7-10

This is the second book in an upcoming new series from DK; the first, The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales, also publishes on July 7, 2020. Perfect reading for kids who loved Little Einsteins, Octonauts, or Wild Kratts when they were younger, these chapter books introduce a group of Secret Explorers – kids who specialize in different areas of the sciences – who go on secret missions to gather knowledge and solve a big problem. In Comet Collision, two explorers, Roshni and Ollie, have to work together when they’re sent into space to fix a broken space probe by the planet Jupiter. A comet is set to collide with the planet and will wipe out all the probe’s important data if they don’t fix it in time, so they have to work together and work fast!

Loaded with adventure, facts, and fast-paced reading, this is a fun new STEM-based series for readers. You don’t need to read the first book to enjoy this one (I picked this up at ALA Midwinter, and thought it was the first in the series until I finished it and saw the “2” on the spine). The kids play with cool technology, are specialists in different areas of science, and take readers to space and beyond. This will be a good series to fit with the Imagine Your Story Summer Reading theme this year, too – ask your readers to think of their favorite type of science (or give them one to explore) and ask them to imagine their story as a scientist in space, in a rain forest, in a lab, anywhere. Black and white cartoony artwork throughout helps place readers on a spacewalk and at the controls of a spaceship. The cast of characters is multicultural, from all over the world.

Invite kids to learn more about space probes from NASA, and about Jupiter and the other planets here.

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Teen, Tween Reads

Create and learn with Maker Lab

maker lab_covMaker Lab – 28 Super Cool Projects: Build * Invent * Create * Discover, by  Jack Challoner, (July 2016, DK Publishing), $19.99, ISBN: 9781465451354

Recommended for ages 8-12

I saw a mockup copy of this book at PLA earlier this year, and stopped dead in my tracks, for two reasons: I LOVE DK books, and anything Maker or STEM grabs my attention, because I have kids at home and at work, so I’m always on the lookout for projects to bring to them. When an e-ARC was available on Edelweiss, I jumped at it.

There are 28 projects in here, 90% of which you probably have the  materials for in your home or can easily get to. The book is divided into four sections: Food for Thought (kitchen science); Around the Home (pretty self-explanatory); Water World (projects working with water); and the Great Outdoors (stuff you can do outside). Each project is beautifully photographed and step-by-step instructions and photos take burgeoning scientists through each experiment/project/activity. Each project has a notation of approximate time the activity will take, difficulty (easy-medium-hard), and adult supervision is always encouraged, particularly when using sharps, like scissors, or hot liquids. A “How it Works” section explains the science behind each project, adding some nice science inquiry. A glossary and index complete the book.

Maker Lab is created in association with the Smithsonian Institution and supports STEAM education initiatives, and it’s just fun. I want to add this book to my two science clubs at work, and get my little guy making a rubber band solar system with me at home. I know I’m a DK fangirl, but with good reason: they create great material for anyone who wants to learn.

This book will be a big help during science fair season, so maybe get an extra copy.


maker lab_3

Posted in Non-Fiction, Non-fiction

Coding Projects in Scratch: Step up your coding game

coding projects in scratchCoding Projects in Scratch, by Jon Woodcock, (July 2016, DK Children), $19.99, ISBN: 9781465451422

Recommended for ages 8-12

Scratch is one of the best programs to start kids out on their coding education. Using block programming, kids can drag and drop chunks of code that interlock to run all sorts of operations. Coding Projects in Scratch is a step-by-step, fully illustrated guide to creating projects that use movement and sound.

The best part about Scratch is that it’s free. Go to the Scratch site, create a free account, and have this book next to you. I sat at my desk and was able to create a dinosaur dance party, a cat that changed sizes and colors, and I even got some sound effects into my animations. You can download Scratch if you want to work online, but – and the book will remind you throughout – save your work!

The book is split into several parts: an explanation of coding, resources to get you started, art projects, games, simulations, music and sound, mindbenders, and a What Next? section that takes you beyond Scratch into other programming fun. Callout boxes throughout the book offer extra tips, information, and on-the-spot explanations of different terms and lingo. A glossary and an index complete the package to present a great resource for kids and adults who are ready to start coding, or maybe kids who got their first taste of coding through a program like Hour of Code and want to learn more.

All in all, there are 18 projects to explore here, including a birthday card, “tunnel of doom” multiplayer game, and a dinosaur dance party (with an optional ballerina). I’ve been pushing coding pretty heavily here at my library, and trying to get my mouse potato tween to get into coding so he can do something other than go on Warcraft raiding parties.

Add this book to your coding library, whether it’s a home, school, or institutional collection.


Posted in Guide, Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Sleepover Party is a great guide to a fun girls’ nights in!

sleepoverSleepover Party, by DK Publishing, (May 2016, DK Children), $14.99, ISBN: 9781465450975

Recommended for ages 8-12

Sleepovers are a part of life for tweens, especially tween girls. It’s socializing, it’s girl time, it’s just fun. DK’s new guide to sleepover parties is going to be a hit with the tween set: it’s got everything to plan sleepovers with five great themes: Pamper Party (aka, spa night), Campout, Fashion, Pop Star, and Movie Night. Loaded with games, activities, and craft ideas, this book is a hit for girls who want to kick their sleepover game up a notch.

I love DK books. I’ll say it a hundred times, and then, a hundred times more. I love their step-by-step guides to crafts, their detailed photos for everything, and their uncanny ability to make books that kids want to grab off the shelves. I love that I can use some of these ideas for my own Summer Reading programs (I am ALL over Fashion and Pop Star activities for the kids here). There are templates, recipes, and quizzes galore to get everyone talking, too – no lonely girl sitting on the bed with a cat while the others are chattering away and doing each other’s nails this time!

There are exclamation points throughout the book, used as callouts to let kids and parents know when cutting or use of sharps (like a needle, to thread candy for bracelets – YUM) is necessary and adult supervision may be required.

Add this one to your collection where you have tween girls who want some fun and crafty activities.

Posted in Intermediate, Middle Grade, Non-fiction, Non-Fiction, Tween Reads

Let’s Sew: DK helps you get started

letssew_1Let’s Sew, by DK (March 2016, DK Children), $15.99, ISBN: 9781465445087

Recommended for ages 6-10

Ready to get crafty but need a little bit of help? DK to the rescue with a step-by-step guide to beginning stitches, the tools you’ll need to begin sewing, easy, fun projects, and templates, too!

DK books are great because they’re beautifully photographed, incredibly detailed, and full of simple, explanatory text. Let’s Sew has bright, fun crafts projects, many made by using household items like that one missing sock that always seems to emerge from the dryer, or with affordable materials you can find at your local craft store.

Let’s Sew is a kid’s book, but it’s a great resource for any age. When I started knitting, I’d borrow children’s project books because of the simpler language and projects: books are for everyone, after all! Just starting up a sewing club or looking for a quick maker space project? This is your book. There are helpful templates for projects like a whale and a bird in the back of the book: just photocopy, trace onto your material, and begin!

The book includes a warning that kids will be working with sharp needles and scissors, and strongly suggests that an adult oversee or handle the tools as necessary. This is a fun, affordable addition to crafting collections; a good purchase.






Posted in Middle Grade, Non-Fiction

DK shows kids how to eat the rainbow with Eat Your Greens, Reds, Yellows, and Purples!

eat your redsEat Your Greens, Reds, Yellows, and Purples: Children’s Cookbook, by DK Children (May 2016, DK Children), $12.99, ISBN: 9781465451521

Recommended for ages 8-12

Article after article tells adults and kids alike to “eat the rainbow”, but what does that really mean? Skittles, after all, tells us to “taste the rainbow”, but I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly the same thing. Simply put, to eat the rainbow means to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; each color comes with different benefits. DK’s newest cookbook, Eat Your Greens, Reds, Yellows, and Purples teaches kids and adults alike what it means to eat the rainbow, with fun facts and 25 vegetarian recipes for kids to try. There’s a section on food prep: how to slice an avocado, seed a tomato, or dice an onion. Knife skills and cooking instructions are noted with an exclamation point, so readers know to get an adult to help.

There’s something for everyone here – honest! Detailed, step by step instructions and photos let readers know what materials we need – equipment as well as food! – and tasty recipes, including spinach and phyllo tarts, black bean and guacamole quesadillas, red pepper hummus, cornbread, and mango-pineapple ice pops.

Helpful callout signs and arrows provide fast facts on the benefits of each food color; for instance, did you know that greens like spinach and broccoli provide vitamins and fiber, while red foods like tomatoes and cherries protect your body’s cells? Purples help fight disease, yellows boost the immune system, and oranges contain beta-carotene, which helps keep your eyes, skin, hair, bones, and teeth in working order.

A good addition to a children’s collection where you have older kids that are ready and able to start making simple recipes with adult assistance. You can also check out this printout from the Whole Kids Foundation on “eating the rainbow”. It would make a good class handout!