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THE GRIZZLY GAZETTE

Teachers will cheer to learn that Murphy (Double the Ducks, above, etc.) has added percentages to his entertaining and educational series dealing with math concepts. The famous Grizzly Parade tops off the last week of Camp Grizzly. Sophie and Daniel are in a race for the honor of leading the festivities as camp mascot, when Corey decides that she would also like to run. As the three campaign throughout the camp, handing out candy, printing t-shirts, cartwheeling, and finding out what the campers want from a mascot, the camp’s Grizzly Gazette periodically polls all 100 campers and reports their findings in a pie graph. The pie pieces are labeled with percentages, while the margins show the number of campers who believe they will vote for each candidate. With 100 campers, the numbers of voters and the percentages are equal, making the concept easier for young learners. Social studies teachers should not feel left out, though; this could easily belong to a CitizenStart series, if one existed. Along with the share of votes going to each of the candidates, the pie graph shows the percentage of campers who are undecided. While Daniel and Sophie are busily bribing campers with favors and fancy tricks, Corey comes up with a campaign that will improve Camp Grizzly, and steals the show on Election Day. Murphy includes his standard afterword to help readers get the most from the concepts presented. The section includes activities, suggestions for extending the learning, and a reading list of other books that deal with similar concepts. Björkman’s (Skinny and Fats, Best Friends, p. 1137, etc.) cartoon-like illustrations add to the camp feel and keep young readers searching throughout the pages for easily missed details. Especially delightful is the way he includes the camp critters in the elections. This is not one to be left off elementary bookshelves. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-000027-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2002

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RIVER STORY

Trickling, bubbling, swirling, rushing, a river flows down from its mountain beginnings, past peaceful country and bustling city on its way to the sea. Hooper (The Drop in My Drink, 1998, etc.) artfully evokes the water’s changing character as it transforms from “milky-cold / rattling-bold” to a wide, slow “sliding past mudflats / looping through marshes” to the end of its journey. Willey, best known for illustrating Geraldine McCaughrean’s spectacular folk-tale collections, contributes finely detailed scenes crafted in shimmering, intricate blues and greens, capturing mountain’s chill, the bucolic serenity of passing pastures, and a sense of mystery in the water’s shadowy depths. Though Hooper refers to “the cans and cartons / and bits of old wood” being swept along, there’s no direct conservation agenda here (for that, see Debby Atwell’s River, 1999), just appreciation for the river’s beauty and being. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: June 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7636-0792-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2000

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BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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