A slice of reality for the children

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2007

Here's a short list of some of our new nonfiction for kids that's hitting the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries this week!

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"The Ultimate Indoor Games Book," by Veronika Alice Gunter. From Alligator to Zombie, this is a treasure chest of all kinds of games. Whether you need to work off some energy (Sock Wrestling), sharpen your brain cells (A What?), have room for a balloon toss (Foot Volleyball), or just a deck of cards (Subtraction War), you'll find something fun here. Got wrapping paper, oven mitts, and a pair of dice? Try All Thumbs! Fantasize about selling a sibling? You might enjoy Brother/Sister for Sale. The index makes it easy to find games by minimum number of players, and the whole first section is devoted to games that don't need equipment.

"Panda: a Guide Horse for Ann," by Rosanna Hansen, photos by Neil Soderstrom. Ann, who is blind, is a high school teacher who has a little help getting around from Panda, a miniature horse. Miniature horses make great guide animals: they are smart, social, and trainable, and live nearly three times as long as dogs. Panda is only 29 inches tall at the shoulder, small enough to ride in the family van and to fit next to Ann's desk in her classroom. Plenty of photos bring readers right into Ann's life with Panda, showing them how Panda was trained, where she sleeps, and more. (for readers in elementary grades)

"Switched On, Flushed Down, Tossed Out," by Trudee Romanek, illustrated by Stephen MacEachern. What really happens to your garbage once it hits the garbage truck? How can we get hot and cold water out of the same tap? And how does your voice travel in one end of the phone at your house and out the other end into your friend's ear? A curious boy succeeds in solving these mysteries and many more, and tells you all about it in this humorous, but factual look at the inner workings of houses. (for elementary school readers)

"The Journey that Saved Curious George," by Louise Borden, illustrated by Allan Drummond. Told in an imitation of H.A. Rey's simple style, and illustrated with watercolors and pages from Rey's diary and other documents, this is the story of Hans' and his wife Margret's escape from Europe during World War II. Though both were born in Germany, they had lived in Brazil and become Brazilian citizens before returning to Europe on a honeymoon trip that stretched into several years. The last four months were spent traveling by bicycle, train, and ship to get to the United States, where they had family. One of the few possessions they escaped with was a story that became Curious George. Detailed enough to write a report with, but interesting enough to read for fun, this will captivate readers. (for older elementary school readers)

"Onward," by Dolores Johnson. As a member of Admiral Peary's North Pole expedition, Matthew Henson was equal to the other crew. The Inuit he met in the frozen north welcomed him as one of their own because of his skin color. But in America, his homeland, he was greeted with racial slurs, menial jobs, and violence. In this photobiography, though, he finally begins to get the recognition he deserves for his backbreaking work. Full of period photos that evoke the era he lived in, the geography he explored, and his own warm character, this is an amazing look at an amazing man. (for older elementary school readers)

"The Art Book for Children," by the Editors of Phaidon Press. This intriguing book is filled with reproductions of famous pieces of art in many forms: paintings, sculptures, photos, furniture, and more. Each spread is accompanied by questions designed to help viewers really look at and think about the art, as well as explanations and backgrounds of the artists to help place things in time and culture. Browse through and enjoy mulling over questions such as: when you change your costume, do you change your behavior? (for all ages)

The Teen Advisory Board is meeting at the Valley Library this Wednesday the 7th at 4 pm. and there are still a few spaces open. Call Amelia at 586-5303 for more information.

As always, placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our website (www.juneau.org/library) and looking at our catalog or at the In the Stacks column on our site. The columns are linked to the catalog: simply click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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