September Book Reviews
Author: Pamela Heller

For Younger Readers
by Mary Lyn Ray, Marla Frazee Illustrator
Go out at night with your child, look up at the night sky and be amazed by the beauty and mystery of our vast universe – then read this book as a bedtime story. The calming narrative takes you on a profound journey celebrating the everyday experiences of children that show the stars as celestial bodies, shapes, symbols and talismans. You will wander through nature and see star shapes in strawberry plants, pumpkin blossoms and snowflakes. And the next time you see a dandelion, you will want to blow the ball of dandelion fluff so you can “blow a thousand stars into the sky.” For ages 3 to 7.

Swirl: Spirals in Nature
by Joyce Sidman, Beth Krommes Illustrator
Have you ever noticed how often the spiral shows up in nature: snail shells, opening flower buds, coiled snakes, swirling water, etc.? In this book, the poetic verse and amazing spiral-packed scratchboard illustrations guide you through the graceful, strong and even mathematical aspects of the spiral. Spirals offer protection, strength and beauty. And for those readers who want more information, two pages of notes at the end of the book offer more elaboration on the spiral. So whether you are walking through nature or a bustling city, after reading “Swirl,” spirals will catch your eye and you’ll have a new understanding of them beyond their beauty. For ages 4 to 8.

For Older Readers
Wings of Fire Book One: The Dragonet Prophecy

by Tui T. Sutherland
This is a thrilling new series for dragon-lovers. This fast-paced story follows the trials and tribulations of five young dragons as their destiny to bring peace between the dragon tribes of Pyrrhia unfolds. One of the dragons, Glory, questions her role in the quest, while another dragon, Clay, is caught in the dilemma of whether or not to battle Peril, an opposing dragon he has befriended. The characters are well-developed and the plot is filled with twists that keep the reader engaged and eager to read the next book in the series, “The Lost Heir.” For ages 8 to 12.

by Elise Broach
Marvin is a very artistic beetle that lives with his family under the kitchen sink of James Pompaday, an 11-year-old boy who lives in a New York City apartment with his family. The two become friends when Marvin surprises James with an elaborate miniature drawing using the pen-and-ink set James received for his birthday. James is given credit for the painting and a suspenseful mystery caper ensues. James and (secretly) Marvin become involved with helping the Metropolitan Museum of Art to catch a thief who has stolen several works by Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer. This is a well-written and entertaining novel about friendship, secrets, ethics and a bit of art history. For ages 10 to 14.

Pamela Heller, an artist and education consultant, is an avid reader who endeavors to find books of all genres that are timeless, meaningful, interesting, fun and heartwarming.

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