A Jaunt Through Capstone Publishers

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I Love Capstone Publishers. Their books are perfect for classrooms but also great for kids who love nonfiction or fiction that still teach. Their books list interest level and reading level and most of them are perfect for reluctant readers.

From their FAQ:

Capstone is the leading publisher of preK-12 children’s books for libraries and classrooms. Our authors, artists and designers create rich experiences—from nonfiction, fiction and picture books to interactive books, audio books and literacy programs—which ignite kids’ passion for learning. 

I received some books to get a feel for what they offer but I assure you, my praise and excitement is genuine and would still be there if I had bought the books myself.

Growing a Garden by Mari Schuh (Garden Series)
Stars: ****
Summary: The very basics of starting a garden for preschoolers-Grade 1. (The rest of the series covesr all types of gardens, animals in the garden and tools for the garden.)
Review: This is the perfect introduction to gardening, especially for early readers. While the book would appeal to PreK-1, it’s listed as the reading level of K-1. It seems a bit more like 1-2. However it’s a great introduction. Features real photographs.
Excerpt: “When the soil feels dry, it’s time to water the garden. Water in early morning. Then more water soaks in to the soil.”

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Birthday Parties and Celebrations by Sarah L. Schuette (Happy Birthday Series)
Stars: ****

Summary: What are birthdays? What are they all about? For PreK-2, covering what happens at birthday parties. (The rest of the series covers birthday cakes, customs around the world and party games.)
Review: A cute introduction to birthday parties. It includes photos of real children at real parties. The children are from different cultures and different ways of celebrating are covered.
Excerpt: “A birthday party means celebrating with friends. Emma and her friends eat pink cake.”
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Camouflage Clues: A Photo Riddle Book by Megan Cooley Peterson (Look, Look Again Series)

Stars: *****
Summary: A fun way to learn about camouflage. Full of photo riddles a child would love. (The rest of the series covers mystery animal tracks, what’s the shadow and guess what’s growing.)
Review: I love this. Even I had hard time finding the animals in some of these photos. The others, although I could see it, I could see most kids not. They will be amazed by how well the animals and insects blend in to their backgrounds. It’s learning and fun at the same time. They can take the book and challenge their friends to find the animals too.
Excerpt: “The forest is filled with lots of spots – spots to hide, spots to rest, spots to eat, jump and play. I trot through the trees and tall grasses, munching on leaves, twigs, and acorns all day. Where am I?”
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Hip-Hop Dancing by Kathryn Clay (Dance, Dance, Dance Series)
Stars: ****

Summary: Does your child want to know what Hip Hop dance is all about? Marketed to PreK-2, K think it would be enjoyed by K-3. Find out some basics including some basic moves. (The rest of the series covers Ballet, Jazz and Tap dancing.)
Review: I don’t know if too many youngsters are interested in Hip Hop but if they are, this would be a good book. The text is fairly simple  and spaced out nicely for the older readers who are reading it themselves. The book has real photos of real kids dancing Hip Hop. A few moves are shown: toe drag, locking, top rocking, and a drop and kick out.
Excerpt: “Drop down like you’re doing a push-up. Then kick your legs wide. This move is called the drop and kick out.”
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A Polar Bear’s World by Caroline Arnold (Caroline Arnold’s Animals Series)
Stars: ****

Summary: What is a Polar Bear’s World like? Where do they live? What do they eat? What do they do? How do they raise their young? These questions and more are answered in storybook format. (The rest of the series: Bald Eagle, Kangaroo, Killer Whale, Koala, Moose, Panda, Penguin, Platypus, Walrus, Wombat and Zebra)
Review: This book is a great introduction to polar bears for young children but may be a bit long for the K crowd. The illustrations look like pieces of paper cut to shape and then layered. Other animals pictured have their name near them and there are polar bear facts peppered throughout in addition to the text.
Excerpt: “By late fall, the ocean freezes again. Now the polar bears can go back on the ice. Sharp claws and leathery pads keep their feet from slipping. When the bears come to the edge of the ice, they leap into the water. Splash!”
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Giant Pandas by Lyn A. Sirota (Asian Animals Series)

Stars: ****

Summary: A PreK-2 guide to Giant Pandas. Including: life in Asia, their look, eating and drinking and staying safe. (Rest of series covers Bengal Tigers, Camels, King Cobras, Orangutans and Rhinoceroses.)
Review: It’s a great beginner book about pandas. It covers the basics and has full colour, full size photos that I just love. The words are clear and spaced out well for beginning readers.
Excerpt: “Pandas’ main meal is bamboo. These big bears also snack on grass, fruit, and small animals.”

Buy Giant Pandas at amazon.com and support SMS Book Reviews

Big Mouths by Catherine Ipcizade (Big Series)
Stars: ***

Summary: What animals have big mouths and how do they use them? From big to bigger to biggest. (The rest of the series is Big Boats, Big Bugs, Big Buildings, Big Dinosaurs, Big Pets, Big Predators, Big Roller Coasters and Big Trucks.)
Review: The book was a bit short and simple for me but I donated it to a teacher who runs a math program for kids ages 3-6. One of the topics they cover is the use of words such as big, bigger and biggest which the book contains.
Excerpt: NONE

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That’s just a sampling of the nonfiction. There are tons of kids chapter books on all sorts of subjects as well as nonfiction I didn’t even cover. They even have some Spanish language books.

I highly recommend Capstone, especially for librarians and educators.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.