Saturday, March 22, 2014

Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy Read-Along Storybook and CD

Title: Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy Read-Along Storybook and CD
Genre: Picture Book, Audiobook, Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 7

The Pirate Fairy Read-Along Storybook and CD is based on the upcoming Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy movie, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2014.  This is a picture book with a detailed plot closer to the chapter book based on the movie than the more simplified Meet Zarina World of Reading Level 1 reader.  Thus, this picture book features most of the action from Zarina experimenting with making different colored pixie dust to running away to stealing the blue pixie dust and joining the pirates to Tinker Bell and her friends saving Zarina and foiling the pirates' plans.

This read-along book is great for kids learning to read as they can follow along as they listen to the CD read it to them.  Even independent readers may enjoy listening to the CD as they follow along with the illustrations in the book because the CD not only reads the book, but it also features sound effects and background music.

I think this is the best movie tie-in book for The Pirate Fairy.  For one, it is a good balance of simplifying the text for a picture book while still providing the details for most of the movie.  Secondly, it can appeal to a wide variety of Disney Fairies fans including beginning readers, those that like to listen to stories whether they are independent readers or not, and auditory learners.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of the Disney Fairies
  • The background music, sound effects, and voice actors on the CD may help encourage readers that are interested in music and/or are auditory learners. (Musical)
  • The colorful illustrations that show the action of the plot can help draw in visual learners and with the CD reading the story they can be easier to enjoy as you hear the story. Visual learners beginning to read may also benefit from being able to see and follow the text as they listen to the CD. (Spatial-Visual)
  • The fairies learning to use the other's talents when their talents get mixed up and them working together to get out of trouble are good examples of getting to understand others and effective teamwork that draws on different strengths. (Interpersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
  • The Pirate Fairy Movie Activities - This page for the movie has some online games as well as activities such as making a magical pixie dust lamp, a connect-the-dots, and a coloring page.
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Surfin' Turf by Melinda LaRose

Title: Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Surfin' Turf
Author: Melinda LaRose
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5

In Surfin' Turf Jake and the Never Land Pirates go after Captain Hook who has stolen one of their surfboards.  The adventure includes swimming in the river, surfing over a waterfall, appearances by Tick Tock Croc and a mermaid, and some pixie dust.  As a World of Reading Level 1 reader, the text is simple and includes word repetition.

Like most Jake and the Never Land Pirates episodes and books, the features problem solving.  The book also encourages the reader to be involved in the plot and problem solving with promps in the bottom corner of many pages.  For example, one prompt asks who one of the mermaids looks like before revealing it on the next page.  This along with other prompts asking about colors, counting, and more also encourage readers to take a closer look at the illustrations.

Overall Surfin' Turf is a fun pirate adventure book for those that are beginning to read on their own.  It can also be a good read together book with the prompts allowing those that cannot read yet to participate through deeper exploring of the illustrations. It also has a pirate pledge about not taking other's things and provides a good example of helping others even when they are mean to you with the pirates offering to help Captain Hook.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Jake and the Never Land Pirates
  • Those interesting in surfing.
  • Visual learners may enjoy how the prompts encourage problem solving and looking deeper at the illustrations. (Spatial-Visual, Logical-Mathematical)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Doc McStuffins: Leilani's Luau by Sheila Sweeney Higginson

Title: Doc McStuffins: Leilani's Luau
Author: Sheila Sweeney Higginson
Genre: Picture Books, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 6
Multicultural: Doc McStuffins is an African American girl and the Leilani is a hula dance toy from Hawaii who occasionally speaks Hawaiian.

Leilani's Luau is a fun picture book about Doc McStuffins receiving a hula dancer toy named Leilani and having a luau party to help her feel less homesick.  As they begin the luau, Leilani quickly runs out of energy and cannot dance anymore.  Doc McStuffins diagnosis her with No-Hula-tosis and they eventually figure out that the sun is what gives her energy as Leilani.  Thus, they move the luau outside, so they can all can hula dance.

The book briefly touches on Hawaiian culture with the use of some Hawaiian words, the explanation on how hula dancing tells stories, and the toys having a luau party.  Additionally, the topic of having fun in the sun is covered, especially with some tips on the back cover that include encouraging playing outside when the weather permits, wearing sunscreen, and drinking water.

Overall this book is a great pick for fans of Doc McStuffins, especially as a summer read.  It is also a good read for those planning a trip to Hawaii or even just having your own luau party at home.  The stickers included can also be fun to use for scrapbooking your own Hawaiian or luau experiences.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Doc McStuffins
  • Those that are homesick may relate to Leilana.  The book can also be helpful for kids to understand how a visiting friend or relative or a kid new to the area may be homesick and perhaps even inspire them to make them feel at home by doing something that reminds them of home like the hula dance reminds Leilana of Hawaii. (Interpersonal)
  • Those interested in music and dancing may find the hula aspect appealing. (Musical)
  • Those that like making decorations may relate to how the toys make garlands of flowers and a palm tree for the luau decorations.  Also, they may enjoy using the stickers that come with the book. (Bodily-Kinesthetic)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Heuy, Dewey, and Louie's Rainy Day by Kate Ritchey

Title: Huey, Dewey, and Louie's Rainy Day
Author: Kate Ritchey
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 6 to 8

Huey, Dewey, and Louie's Rainy Day is a World of Reading Level 2 reader geared towards those that are reading with the help of a parent (i.e. someone that can help if the young reader has trouble with the longer story and more varied sentences).  The plot is about Huey, Dewey, and Louie spending a rainy day at their Uncle Donald's.  This makes it a fun and potentially inspiring read on a rainy day.

In this book, the Donald's nephews go over to play with Donald and it begins storming when they are about to go play outside.  After trying to entertain themselves with a game and making a mess as they create art, they are bored and Donald has fallen asleep reading the paper.  They then come up with the classic rainy day idea of building a fort and they are quite imaginative in creating it and pretending to protect it.

Overall this is a great book for young readers to expand their reading skills.  In particular, it seems like it a fun book for a rainy day not only because readers may relate to not being able to play outside, but also because the fort idea can inspire them to use their imaginations and entertain themselves with their own fort adventures.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Ducktales and/or Donald's nephews in general
  • Those bored on a rainy day.
  • The colorful and expressive illustrations may help draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
  • Engage learners that like to do by building a fort first and then reading the book in the fort. (Bodily-Kinesthetic)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun



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Friday, March 14, 2014

Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy - Meet Zarina the Pirate Fairy by Lucy Rosen

Title: The Pirate Fairy - Meet Zarina the Pirate Fairy
Author: Lucy Rosen
Genre: Picture Books, Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8

Meet Zarina the Pirate Fairy is a Passport to Reading Level 1 book based on the upcoming Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy movie, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2014. This book is designed for reading together with beginning readers. It uses short words and simple sentence structures while still providing an entertaining plot.

Overall Meet Zarina the Pirate Fairy is a good introduction to the story behind one of the main characters of the movie.  The ending is a little rushed with Zarina just suddenly giving in and deciding to go back home with the fairies, but it is appropriate to keep it short and the title makes it clear it is meant to introduce the story/character rather than tell it all.  It might be fun to pair this with reading the chapter book to younger readers with this being one they can read to you and you read the chapter book to them.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of the Disney Fairies
  • The images presented at the beginning of the book along with the words for readers to look for in the story can help draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
  • Those that are inquisitive and like to experiment may relate to Zarina's experimenting with pixie dust and making different colors of it. (Logical-Mathematical)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sofia the First: Sofia Takes the Lead by Doug Cooney

Title: Sofia the First: Sofia Takes the Lead
Author: Doug Cooney
Genre: Picture Books, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 4-6

In Sofia Takes the Lead, Sofia is in the Buttercups (similar to Girl Scouts) and is trying to earn a badge to get her sunflower pin.  As she goes on a hike with her troop there are many opportunities, but Baileywick has come along to protect her and stops her from doing the activities because she might get hurt.  In the end, she proves to be a leader when Baileywick gets hurt and she directs the troop to make a sled to get him down the trail to the doctor.

Overall this Sofia Takes the Lead is a good Level 1 reader for beginning readers to read on their own.  As a level one it features simple text and word repetition.  While the pampering of Sofia is probably more extreme than most kids are used to, it is similar to being told one is too young or little to do something, which this age group may easily relate to.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Sofia the First
  • Those that are in Girl Scouts or want to be.
  • Those interested in nature and/or camping may enjoy how on the hike the troop activities include collecting wood, cooking over a fire, and picking flowers. (Naturalistic)
  • The detailed illustrations of the activities and emotions can help motivate visual learners to read the story. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Disney Minnie: Pretty in Pink - A Lift-the-Flap Book by Bill Scollon

Title: Pretty in Pink
Author: Bill Scollon
Genre: Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5
Curriculum Subjects: Colors, Shapes, and Counting


Pretty in Pink is an oversized board book set in Minnie's Bow-tique.  Each page has many flaps to flip open to find what the page prompts the reader to look for, such as certain shapes or colors.  The prompts go quite well with the book's simple plot about a day at the Bow-tique and celebrating with a picnic at the end of the day.

This is a fun book for working on concepts such as colors, shapes, matching, and counting.  With 8 to 10 flaps per page there is also a lot to discover on each page, so even though it is a short book it has a lot of depth.  Beyond just taking time to find what each page ask you to find, there are also flaps that open to show different things happening in the scene such as Figaro spilling paint and Minnie picking flowers.  There is even a hidden Mickey to discover.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Minnie Mouse and Minnie's Bow-Toons
  • The flaps that reveal a variety of things and actions in the scene may make this a good selection to help motivate visual learners to read. (Visual-Spatial)
  • The flaps also make it a fun book for those that learn better through hands on interaction. (Bodily-Kinesthetic)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy - The Chapter Book by Stacia Deutsch

Title: Disney Fairies: The Pirate Fairy - The Chapter Book
Author: Stacia Deutsch
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 8 to 12

The Pirate Fairy: The Chapter Book is based on the upcoming latest installment in the Disney Fairies movie series, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 1, 2014. In this book, Zarina the dust keeper fairy experiments with fairy dust and runs away after getting in trouble for messing with something so important and powerful.  The book then jumps forward a year to when the real trouble and adventure begins with Zarina returning as a pirate fairy and steals the blue fairy dust.  Tinker Bell and her friends set off after her to retrieve the dust leading to also saving Zarina and it interestingly actually turning into sort of a back story on Captain Hook.

Overall this is an adventure filled book that will especially appeal to fans of Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies franchise.  Along the way there is a good amount of problem solving that includes using different fairy talents, which in itself ends up require a new level of cooperation with their talents getting mixed up.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of the Disney Fairies
  • Those that are inquisitive and like to experiment may relate to Zarina's wondering about why the pixie dust does things and experimenting with it. (Logical-Mathematical)
  • The way the fairies use their different talents to work together and eventually save the day are good examples of teamwork. (Interpersonal, Logical-Mathematical)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
  • Introduction to Scientific Experimentation Lesson Plan - With Zarina finding her talent as an Alchemist, this book could be interesting to pair with science curriculum and more specifically chemistry.
  • The Pirate Fairy Inspired Crafts - This is a collection of activities inspired by the movie.  It includes paper lanterns, a fairy cottage, a bookmark, and more.
  • The Pirate Fairy Website - Learn more about the movie, play games, and find activities on this site.  The activities include a coloring page, pirate crafts, a maze, a magical pixie dust lamp, and more.
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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Falcon Takes Flight by Adam Davis

Title: Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Falcon Takes Flight
Author: Adam Davis
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 6 to 8

Falcon Takes Flight is a picture book based on the upcoming Marvel Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie.  This is a World of Reading: Level 2 book.  Thus, it has a simple story line, compound sentences, and contractions to make it good for junior readers (i.e. Kindergarten to Grade 2) to read themselves.  The book includes two sheets of stickers.

While this may a good book to encourage Marvel fans to read, the way it is written makes it seem more worth it for the stickers than as a book to read.  To begin with it is kind of odd to have a book written for this age group based on a PG-13 rated movie.  The book does tone down the content to be for a younger age group, but in particular in regards to the battle it seems to end up oversimplifying the plot to the point that it becomes very clunky.  Part of the clunkiness of the plot also seems to have to do with it trying to do too much in just one short book.

Overall Falcon Takes Flight seems like a book only worth selecting when extremely desperate to find something to get a reluctant reader that is a Marvel fan to read.  It does provide the Level 2 reading experience at least, but in this case the simple plot line aspect ends up making it a disappointing read.  Perhaps, if it had tried to just focus on introducing the characters or the battle part it might have worked out better, but instead it seemed to try explain it all and had to oversimplify everything to keep it from being too long.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of the Marvel superheroes, especially Captain America
  • The action pictures may help make the book more interesting, especially for those that need to be drawn in visually. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun


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