Sunday, July 2, 2017

Cars 3: Driven to Win! by Liz Marsham

Title: Cars 3: Driven to Win!
Author: Liz Marsham
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 4-6

This book is a Step 3 Step Into Reading book, which means it's designed for those beginning to read on their own. This means it has a simplified overall plot, but it's not overly simplified like the Step 2 Cars 3 book. While it does also cover the entire movie's plot, it keeps enough of it to not feel choppy and thus has a good flow that tells a complete story, which the Step 2 book somewhat lacked.

Overall this is a fun book for Cars fans whether they are beginning to read on their own or to read to/with those that aren't there, yet. In particular, it is nice that it mostly focuses on the relationship between Lightening and Cruz, which leads to them eventually reversing the roles as racer and trainer and really is probably the best aspect of the movie. The included collector cards at the back of the book also offer additional reading opportunities that can be a great way to engage some reluctant readers.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Cars fans
  • Visual learners will enjoy the images that enhance the story, especially with the cars facial expressions. (Spatial-Visual)
  • Cruz and Lightening training together provides a good example of working together and coming to understand each other (Interpersonal)
  • The training and Cruz becoming a racer also provides an example of working towards goals. (Intrapersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
Related Books I've Reviewed


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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Cars 3: Back on Track by Susan Amerikaner

Title: Cars 3: Back on Track
Author: Susan Amerikaner
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Reading Level: Ages 4-6

Back on Track is a Step 2: Step Into Reading book. As such, it is designed for those reading with help through the use of basic vocabulary, short sentences, and a simple story. Overall it meets the criteria it is aiming for, but as I've noticed with some of these Step 2 books the simple story part fails because it tries to cover too much and makes for a disjointed flow.

For the most part, Back on Track is a book that introduces the characters featured in Cars 3.  If you look at it as just a book introducing the reader to the characters, then it does that effectively in a way that is easy for the targetted reading level can read and follow. However, if you are looking at it to tell the story of the movie, then it has a lot of gaps and doesn't really do much to try to connect the little plot parts it throws in. If you are familiar with the movie plot you'll find it is even more disjointed because it introduces characters in a different order than the movie plot plays out.

Overall this book can be a fun read for Cars fans, but it probably would've been better if it had either focused on a subplot of the movie or just introducing the characters without trying to make it also follow the movie's main plot.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Cars fans learning to read on their own.
  • Visual learners may connect with how each page shows the characters being introduced. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Elena of Avalor: The Secret Spell Book by Tom Rogers

Title: Elena of Avalor: The Secret Spell Book
Author: Tom Rogers
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 5 to7
Multicultural: Latin American

The Secret Spell Book is a good reader for those ready reading more longer text on their own. The book has a decent amount of adventure with the characters working together to find and keep the spell book out of the hands of an evil wizard. Thus, the book can be a fun way for kids to learn about teamwork and problem solving as well as the book's main message of believing in yourself.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fantasy genre fans
  • Fans of of the Elena of Avalor show 
  • Visual learners will enjoy the illustrations the complement and enhance the story. (Spatial-Visual)
  • The characters work together to solve clues and find the secret spell book. (Logical-Mathematical & Interpersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
Related Books I've Reviewed


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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beast by Melissa Lagonegro

Title: Beauty and the Beast
Author: Melissa Lagonegro
Genre: Fantasy, Picture Books
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 6

This is a Level 2 Step Into Reading book. As such, it is meant to have a simple story. Usually this works out fine, but this one attempts to cover the whole movie plot. Thus, it ends up coming out too simple because there's just too much to condense into it.

This book may be an okay fit for those just starting to read and really into Belle and Beauty and the Beast, but otherwise go for another Level 2 book because there are definitely many out there that are simple while still feeling like it provides the whole story. For example, one that create a simple story focusing on specific movie characters (i.e. Moana: Pua and HeiHei) and/or just part of the movie.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Princess fans
  • Beauty and the Beast fans 
  • The animated movie-like illustrations may draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
Related Books I've Reviewed


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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Moana: Pua and HeiHei

Title: Moana: Pua and HeiHei
Genre: Fiction, Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 4-7
Multicultural: Moana features Polynesian characters and is set in Polynesia/Oceania, although not much on the culture in this particular book

In this book, it is feast day and Heihei causes trouble as Moana is making a gift for her dad. As the title suggests, the story mainly features Heihei and Pua as Heihei gets put in a basket with the gift and Pua works at getting the gift back.

As a Step into Reading: Step 2 book, this is an overall simple story designed for children beginning to read to read with help. While simple, it is still an engaging plot with some humor with Heihei always getting into silly situations and action with Pua using a variety of methods to free Heihei and get the gift.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Moana
  • Animal lovers might enjoy the focus on Pua the pig and Heihei the rooster. (Naturalistic)
  • The illustrations show the action and emotions of the characters, which can help draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
  • Pua getting back the gift provides a good example of problem solving. (Logical-Mathematical)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
  • Make a Seashell Necklace - Kids will need some help, especially with making the hole, but can still be very involved in designing the necklace.
  • Moana Coloring Pages - One even specifically features Pua and Heihei and others include them along with Moana and Maui (Note: He is not in this book at all.).
  • Paper Weave Basket Craft - Make a basket similar to the one Heihei gets put in.
Related Books I've Reviewed


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