Taking a Sabbatical from Reviewing Children’s Books

When I started Wrapped in Foil blog on January 6, 2009 I wrote, “Seems to be a little crazy to be starting another blog right now.” I went ahead and did it anyway. Now seven years later, it’s time to take a break.

The reason I will no longer be posting here isn’t very dramatic. It’s simply because I’m writing a novel (or two or three) and I have too many blogs to keep them all active at the same time. As a very wise woman recently told me, we don’t have forever to complete our projects. It’s time for me to do my own writing, unfortunately at the expense of promoting other people’s books and children’s literacy.

I want to thank my loyal followers and fellow bloggers for being such a wonderful children’s book community. I will miss you.

If you would like to continue following my work, please visit It’s a Mystery Blog or Roberta Gibson Writes where I’ll be sharing information about my writing journey. I will also still review children’s science books at Growing With Science and Science Books for Kids.  Hope to see you there.

poppy II

 

Save

Save

New #Kidlit: Awesome America (Time for Kids)

Books can inspire kids in unexpected ways. One summer during our elementary school years my sister and I challenged each other to memorize all the U.S. presidents, simply because we had a book that listed them in order. When we could recite the presidents backwards and forwards we went on to memorize all the state capitals. It was our idea of fun in an era before computer games.

Today we are featuring Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History, People, and Culture (Time for Kids) by Katy Steinmetz, a “timely” book that would be perfect for kids who like to memorize facts.


Could my sister and I have used this book for our challenges? Yes! There’s a list of all the presidents on pp. 38-39, complete with illustrations and years in office. There’s also a tour all 50 states with maps and information, like the state capitals, state nicknames, and types of wild animals found in each state. We could have had hours of fun quizzing each other with questions like, “Who’s shown on the $100,000 bill?” (See page 187 for the answer.)

Although at 208 pages it is a hefty tome, Awesome America is not a dry or like a textbook. Instead it is a colorful overview highlighting important events and people that have shaped the United States. In addition to presidents and states, it is organized into chapters that cover topics such as “Our Government,” “Civil Rights,” “Great Americans,” and “America’s Role in the World.” The final chapter contains a timeline revealing the main events of 400 years of history.

Awesome America is a veritable treasure trove of information. It would be a useful addition to any reference library, especially as a resource for school reports. Pick up a copy and see what it inspires today!

Related activity:

Planning a trip across the United States or studying your home state? Want to read some children’s books to reinforce learning? Check out our Wrapped in Foil website of children’s books listed by state.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Time For Kids (May 31, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1618931490
ISBN-13: 978-1618931498

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

New #kidlit From Animal Planet: Farm Animals

Want to take a trip to the barnyard without leaving the house? Let’s explore the lives of our favorite domesticated animals with Animal Planet’s new Farm Animals (Animal Bites Series) by Laaren Brown.

(Amazon Affiliate link)

Pop open this book for over 200 large, dynamic photographs of horses, cows, pigs, duck, turkeys, chickens and more. Learn what farm animals eat, where they live and what their families are like. Included is a two-page spread of wild creatures that use farms as homes, such as spiders, bees, and wild birds.

The book is packed with fascinating facts.  For example, did you know that in a few breeds of geese the males and females have different eye colors? Pilgrim geese are an example.

In the back matter are activities to reinforce learning, such as animal sound matching, as well as a page packed with resources for further exploration, two pages of glossary, and an extensive index.

Farm Animals is a perfect choice for young children who love animals. It could also be used to accompany a field trip to a petting zoo or local farm.

See reviews of two other titles in the Animal Bites series, Polar Animals and Ocean Animals,  at Growing with Science.

Related Activities:

  1. Horses at Growing with Science
  2. Goats and Sheep at Growing with Science
  3. Four books about chickens for kids (here at Wrapped in Foil)
  4. Younger kids will enjoy playing with toy farm animals like the Animal Planet Farm Bucket

 

(Amazon Affiliate link)

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Animal Planet (June 21, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1618934139
ISBN-13: 978-1618934130

 

chickens

 

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

Save

Save

New #kidlit From Animal Planet: Animal Atlas

I’m back from Camp NaNoWriMo. Do you wonder how it went?

CNW_Winner_200

First draft of novel completed!

nonfict-border

Let’s kick off being back to blogging about children’s books with Animal Planet’s new book, Animal Atlas, with text by James Buckley, Jr. and maps by Aaron Meshon. It arrives on shelves on May 17.

 

Animal Planet Animal Atlas guides children through the world of animals in an orderly fashion, with chapters representing the seven continents plus the oceans. The chapters begin with a map of the featured continent and descriptions of the biomes that occur there, such as rainforest, desert, and tundra. In the following pages are covered with big, bright photographs of different kinds of animals living in each biome, from a type of antelope known as an addax to stripy zebras.  Short descriptions of the animals are included in color-coded sidebars. Finally, children will want to look for the Reach Out. Act. Respond or ROAR sidebars highlighting conservation and animal rescue efforts in that region.

What’s great about this big book is that it is a resource children are likely to return to again and again. Young children may use it to learn the names of animals. Older children will start to see emergent patterns, such as the animals found in northern areas or taigas are more likely to be white at least part of the year.

The bottom line is that Animal Atlas is sure to please young animal lovers everywhere!

Related:

If this book inspires a child to learn more, try the books in the Animal Planet Animal Bites Series, reviewed recently at Growing with Science.

Age Range: 6 +
Publisher: Animal Planet (May 24, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1618931652
ISBN-13: 978-1618931658

 

bear-spec

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.