Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction, picture books, Preschool Reads

Kane Miller’s Shine-a-Light series goes to the library!

At the Library (Shine-a-Light), by Heather Alexander/Illustrated Ipek Konak, (Jan. 2019, Kane Miller), $12.99, ISBN: 9781610678230

Ages 4-8

The Shine-a-Light series from Kane Miller adds a fun dimension to nonfiction reading: hold each right-hand page to the light to see a hidden image. At the Library is a nice introduction to libraries for younger readers who are new to what libraries can do and offer. Each page asks questions that can be answered by shining a light on the pages: find a mother reading to her baby; learn some of the rules of the library (we don’t really enforce that “no loud talking or making noise” business, but it is nice if you’re relatively quiet and respectful); and take in a puppet show or a storytime. The artwork within the body of the book has soft colors and black and white pages to allow for the “hidden” pictures to shine through and the questions allow for interaction between a reader and the storytime audience. The book even covers bookmobiles and little free libraries, plus a quick trip to the Library of Congress. A back section features some of the more unique items in collections around the world, including the original Winnie the Pooh stuffed bear that inspired A.A. Milne’s tales; a snow globe collection, and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the day he died.

My 6-year-old really enjoys this series, and my storytime group at my last library loved seeing what went on in outer space. I’ve got a class visit that I’m going to introduce to At the Library this week – let’s see how it goes! The Shine-a-Light series is a fun addition to nonfiction collections, and punches up a nonfiction storytime, and there’s a bunch to choose from.


Posted in Early Reader, Non-Fiction, Preschool Reads

Explore life On the Space Station!

on the space stationOn the Space Station: A Shine-A-Light Book, by Carron Brown/Ilustrated by Bee Johnson, (Jan. 2016, Kane Miller), $12.99, ISBN: 978-1-61067-411-9

Recommended for ages 4-8

Take readers on a trip to outer space, where they can discover what astronauts do in space: how they sleep and exercise, for starters; we also get a glimpse into some of the work astronauts do on board the space station: working robotics, making repairs, even calling home!

On the Space Station is one of the books in Kane Miller’s Shine-A-Light series, where see-through pages allow readers to shine a light – a flashlight, or simply holding the page up to a light source – behind the page to reveal a new piece of information about the picture! A great next step for little ones who love the excitement of lift-the-flap books but are ready for something more, Shine-A-Light books continue working with the concept of object permanence for younger readers while adding a new dimension of interactivity to older readers. The books ask a question on one page; the child is able to discover the answer for his or herself by illuminating the page. The highlighted image has an expanded explanation on the next page.

shine a light_2

shine a light_1

The contrast between black and white images on the left and color images on the right will keep readers’ attention; explanations are black and white, concrete; activity and exploration is in color, provoking the imagination. The artwork is wonderful and fluid, giving kids an idea of the weightlessness of space contained within the space of a page.

My 3 year old loved this concept, and yes, this book has entered the regular rotation, too. The language is great for young audiences; direct, with fun “flicks”, “swishes”, and “wheees!” to add some zing to the nonfiction text. This could make for a fun storytime book, too – I have to figure out how to smoothly shine the light onto the page without the book flopping down as I hold it up!

As I said regarding The River, I worry about this one in circ. The paper is a good quality stock, but I have visions of pages being yanked and torn as little hands hold them up to the light. I may buy a set to keep in storytime reference, because I love this concept and think the kids will, too. Classrooms and home collections will really benefit from these.

Kane Miller is knocking my socks off with the quality of material they’re putting out for kids now! I’m becoming an unabashed Kane Miller fangirl, with good reason. Stay tuned for more!