Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

Book Review/Giveaway: 2014 Spring Collection Titles from Arbordale Publishing. Ends Mar 31st

The Shape Family Babies

The Shape Family Babies by Kristin Haas, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

About the Book: Mr. and Mrs. Shape are expecting a baby, but they are surprised when three arrive! The first is just like Mother Rhombus, the other just like Father Rectangle, the third baby is a different shape. What should her name be? Go on a geometry naming adventure as all the shape family relatives weigh in. Will Cousin Triangle, Aunt Hexagon or Grandma Rhombus have the right angle?


My Review: Mother Rhombus and father Rectangle were looking forward to the birth of their child wondering whether their child would look like any one of them. To their surprise, they had three children. The first child looks just like mother and the second child just like his father but the third child has four right angles and four equal sides but what would they call her. They decided to call on their family to help them out.

Cousin Triangle thought they could name her Polygon. Cousin Trapezoid suggested they name her Parallelogram. Aunt Hexagon proposed that she be named Quadrangle. Uncle Pentagon recommended the name Quadrilateral. Grandpa Rectangle said since she is part of her parent Rhombus and Rectangle she should be called Rectombus. Grandma suggested Rhombangle.

Finally their great grand aunt Octagon told them that the child is the spitting image of great, great grandpa Square as her four sides were equal. They named her Square.

I like the educational value of this book as children can learn about different shapes apart from square, circle and rectangle. There are 4 pages of learning activities where children can learn about the different shape parts, quadrilaterals and name that shape. The pages have simple and bold colors illustrated by Shennen Bersani. I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching.

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8


 First Fire

First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale by Nancy Kelly Allen, illustrated by Sherry Rogers

About the Book: Why are ravens black? Why do screech owl eyes look red in light? How did we get fire? You’ll find the answers to those questions in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi folktale. The earth was cold and dark but the animals could see fire coming from the tree on the island. They tried to fly or swim to the island to bring back the fire heat and light. What happened to some of the animals? Which animal brought it back and how? Animals in the book include: hoot owl, horned owl, racer, raven, screech owl, and water spider.


My Review: First Fire is based on a Cherokee folktale about how animals tried to obtain fire from a burning bush. According to the story when the world was new the days were windy, crisp and cold as the earth had no fire to keep the animals warm. One day, a sycamore tree was struck by lightning on an island and started to burn. As the hoot owl, horned owl, racer, raven, screech owl, and water spider watched the puffs of smoke from the tree they knew that they needed that fire. But they have to cross the river to bring back the fire. The animals made an attempt at bringing the fire back but were unsuccessful that the fire changed most of their appearance. But only one was able to bring the fire back successfully. Which animal brought it back and how? You have to buy the book to find out.

There are 4 pages of learning activities where children can learn about Cherokee then and now, their territory, fire and many more. I really like the illustrations by Sherry Rogers which helps to tell the story. I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching.

Pages: 32

Ages: 5-8


 A Beavers Busy Year

The Beavers’ Busy Year by Mary Holland

About the Book: Along a stream a dam pops out of the water. Beavers are busy at work! These aquatic mammals have unique traits that aid them in building the perfect lodge to raise young beavers and keep predators away. Mary Holland’s vibrant photographs document the beavers’ activities through the course of a year. Do these beavers ever take a break? Follow along as they pop through the winter ice to begin the busy year of eating bark, building dams and gathering food just in time for winter to come again.

My Review: Interesting read for animal lovers. Learn to spot a Beaver at bank lodge, floating food leftovers, chewed bark, beaver dam and more.  The author’s photos are vibrant and help tells the story. I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching.

Pages: 32


A Cool Summer Tail

A Cool Summer Tail by Carrie A. Pearson, illustrated by Christina Wald

About the Book: When summer heats up, animals find ways to stay cool. In A Cool Summer Tail animals wonder how humans stay cool too. Do they dig under the dirt, grow special summer hair, or only come out at night? This sequel to the popular A Warm Winter Tail features many of same animals but this time, with their summer adaptations, offering an important “compare and contrast” opportunity.

My Review: This is a sequel to A Warm Winter Tail. It tells how animals adapt to seasonal changes. Animals like red fox, painted turtle, black capped chickadee, black bear, white tailed deer, honeybee, grey squirrel, garter snakes and many more. Each animal ask the same question, “How do humans stay cool in the summer, Mama?”

The fox would like to know how humans stay cool in the summer, as they hang out their tongues and breathe fast in and out. Mama’s answer was that humans do not pant, puff or huff as they sweat through their skin when it’s hot.

The turtles slide into ponds and under awnings of fronds when it’s hot but humans swim in clear water to keep cool. And while the bears lie bottom up and spread out on cool ground, humans lay in soft beds. Grey squirrels lick their arms as a trick to make heat from their skin disappear, humans thinks it’s a bummer to use their wet tongue to keep cool. LOL! And many more!

There are 4 pages of learning activities where children can learn about the different animals and summer adaptation. Summer and Winter adaptation: Compare and Contrast and more. The illustrations by Christina Wald shows the humans trying to keep cool like the animals. The illustrations are colorful and bold. I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching.

Pages: 32



Daisylocks by Marianne Berkes, illustration by Cathy Morrison.

About the Book: Daisylocks needs a home that is just right. She asks Wind to help her find the perfect habitat to spread her roots, and he accepts the challenge. Wind blows Daisylocks to the plain, the mountain and the wetland. She objects to each place one by one too cold, too hard, too wet. Daisylocks is not ready to give up! They try the humid rainforest and then the warm beach; those are not just right either. Will Wind find the perfect climate and soil for Daisylocks to place her roots and grow into a beautiful flower?

My Review: Daisylocks is a story about a seed that doesn’t want to be planted in a garden. She felt that there must be a better place where she can live and thrive. So she asked the wind to help find her a better place by blowing the seeds from place to place until she was happy. Plants need a better place to grow. They need to absorb nutrients and water from a healthy soil and be free of weeds and rocks.

There are 4 pages of learning activities where children can learn about plants basic needs like the air, water, nutrients and sunlight. The different plant parts like flowers, leaves, stem, and root. The illustrations by Cathy Morrison are fantastic, rich in colors and helps bring the story to life.  I highly recommend this book for classroom teaching.

Pages: 32


Polar Bears and Penguins

Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book by Katharine Hall

About the Book: Polar bears and penguins may like cold weather but they live at opposite ends of the Earth. What do these animals have in common and how are they different? You might see them near each other at a zoo but they would never be found in the same habitats in the wild. Compare and contrast these polar animals through stunning photographs.

Pages 32


Kali's Story

Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis, photos by John Gomes

About the Book: Follow the rescue of orphaned polar bear Kali (pronounced Cully) from the Inupiat village of Kali (Point Lay in English) to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage to his new home at the Buffalo Zoo in New York with Luna, a female polar bear. This photographic journey beautifully captures the remarkable development of the cub, who initially drinks from a baby bottle, sucks his paw for comfort, and sleeps with a “blankie” as he rapidly grows into the largest land carnivore on earth.

Pages: 32


Animal Helpers Aquariums


Animal Helpers: Aquariums by Jennifer Keats Curtis

Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.

Pages: 32


Sea Slime

Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea by Ellen Prager, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Snails and sea slugs use Sea Slime. But, did you know that coral and clownfish need slime too? Marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce us to fascinating and bizarre animals that use slime to capture their food, protect themselves from harm, or even move from place to place in their underwater environment.

Pages: 32


FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of these books from Arbordale Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.


Arbordale Publishing

Award-winning picture books that integrate Science, Math, and Geography . . . hardcover and paperback plus read-aloud eBooks with Spanish


Giveaway (US ONLY)

There will be ONLY 2 Winners

Select any 2 Books

This Giveaway is Open to the USA Only!

Winner will be selected by

Giveaway Ends March, 31st

Comments like these would be deleted – Great contest, please enter me, Love to win this! This is so cute!

Mandatory: Leave a comment about the review below. Leaving a helpful comment relating to this book would be appreciated and valid to the giveaway.

Please HELP promote this book on your blog, twitter, pinterest or facebook. Thanks.

Giveaway Guidelines and Disclaimer  

Winners are selected via Random and notified by email. You have 48 hours to respond;

If no response, the prize is forfeited and an alternate winner is chosen.

This Giveaway Has Ended

Winners are #9 – Merry and #3 tmy56


March 13, 2014 - Posted by | Book Review, Free Giveaways | , , , , , , ,


  1. Most of these are interesting titles. I love the titles that feature animals with real pictures. Sea Slime is one book that I think all boys (and my niece) will like 😀

    Comment by Saba | March 13, 2014 | Reply

  2. Very interesting reads Ella. I know my grandkids would each have a favorite. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750(at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by carol L | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  3. Spring Break is coming up & reading is a great way to spend it. My grandkids love to read anything & everything about animals. I choose First Fire and A Cool Summer Tail.

    Comment by tmy56 | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  4. This look wonderful. I think any of them would be a great learning addition to our home library!

    Comment by lisa | March 14, 2014 | Reply

  5. How wonderful of a variety of books that you are offering, being as I have a granddaughter who is part Cherokee indian, I think that we would love to read the First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale by Nancy Kelly Allen, illustrated by Sherry Rogers, would be fun to learn more about the Cherokee Indians besides all the Trail of Tears, stories, and my youngest granddaughter has a thing for the ocean (we went to California this summer and all I hear about is the ocean and I think she would love to read Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea by Ellen Prager, illustrated by Shennen Bersani they all sound like fun reads.

    Comment by Dorothy Teel | March 15, 2014 | Reply

  6. My son,who is a teacher at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium, takes his son to the zoo often. My grandson especially likes the polar bears. I think he would love for us to read Polar Bears and Penguins and Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue to him. Thank you for the giveaway!

    Comment by Carol M | March 16, 2014 | Reply

  7. Those look like some great books for our homeschool!

    Comment by Amy | March 17, 2014 | Reply

  8. I love that these books are educational! Ii’m sure my kids would enjoy Polar Bears and Penguins and A Cool Summer Tail. 🙂

    Comment by Kristie | March 19, 2014 | Reply

  9. I love books that teach children so they can learn more about animals that they are not too familiar with or would not see except perhaps at a zoo. My boys would love A Beavers Busy Year and Polar Bears and Penguins.

    Comment by Merry | March 25, 2014 | Reply

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