The Ultimate Book About Me: Discover What Makes You, YOU!


Cover image courtesy of Barron’s Educational Books

The Ultimate Book About Me

•        Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary & Middle School (Ages 9-14)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction
•        Author: Richard Platt
•        Publisher: Barron’s Educational
•        Publication Date: September 1, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 7.5″ X 10″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 144 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-1438005577

“Who are you? The answer is more complex –  and more interesting and more amazing – than any name.”


© Copyright – Image used with permission by Barron’s Educational Books

Who Am I and What Makes Me Unique?

DSC_0005The Ultimate Book About Me takes readers on a scientific journey to discover their true individual identities. The book was written in conjunction with the Who am I? Exhibit at the Science Museum of London, answering questions children typically ask about themselves. Author Richard Platt presents readers with fascinating facts about their bodies and brains and individuality in easy-to-understand terms, taking the mystery out of what would normally be a very complicated subject. The chapters include: 1) My Genes; 2) My Body; 3) My Brain; 4) My Face; 5) My Memory; 6) Senses; 7) My Words; 8) My Emotions; 9) Boy or Girl; 10) My Ancestors and 11) My Life.

© Copyright – Image used with permission by Barron’s Educational Books

Science All Kids Can Relate To

DSC_0004Information is broken up into manageable bits with the use of colored text boxes and photographs of children’s heads placed on top of drawings of bodies. There are questions posed and answered, quizzes and experiments too, as well as a glossary of terms. Among the countless highlights, readers will learn the role genetics play in what they look like, how genes shape their lives and what they can do to shape their own futures. They’ll understand more about how their senses, brains and memories work, what causes them to be fearful, angry or happy and what their ancestors can reveal about who they are today.

© Copyright – Image used with permission by Barron’s Educational Books

Why You Should Buy This Book

The Ultimate Book About Me is the ultimate introduction to the science of who we are as human beings. Children are so often curious about details about themselves and ask their parents questions that are not always easy to answer – until now. Richard Platt takes the subject of being human and breaks it down into understandable and intriguing text and combines that with imagery and interactive pages kids can relate to. This inique book will get kids’ brains reeling as they come to comprehend more about what makes them unique from a scientific standpoint. This book covers important material kids won’t likely learn in school. It takes the guesswork out of the many questions kids have about themselves and also answers questions they may never even have thought to ask.

DSC_0006“Nobody knows why we dream, or why dreams are so strange. One explanation is that dreaming helps us to learn and lay down memories. Processing the day’s knowledge at night triggers random thoughts and sensations. Our dozy brains stitch them together into a weird story.”

© Copyright – Image used with permission by Barron’s Educational Books

About the Author

self-portratit-portholeRichard Platt has been writing for children since 1992. One of his books, Castle Diary, was shortlisted for the Kate Maschler Award, The Times Education Supplement award, and a History Today prize. His Pirate Diary won the Kate Greenaway Medal 2002, the Silver Smarties Award 2002, and won the ‘Best Book With Facts’ prize in the Blue Peter Book Awards 2003.

© Copyright – Image courtesy of the author

Further Learning

  1. Visit the Science Museum of London website.
  2. Visit a science museum near you.
  3. Look at old family photos with your children to discover which family members they resemble.
  4. Search for more books about the five senses, memory, fears and other topics covered in the book.




Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat


Cover image courtesy of Annick Press

Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat

•        Targeted Audience: Middle & High School (Ages 12-18)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction
•        Author/: Paula Ayer
•        Publisher: Annick Press
•        Publication Date: February 10, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 6.5″ X 9″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 206 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-1554517183

“For several hundred thousand years humans existed like this-hunting animals, fishing and foraging for whatever edible plants or fruits they could find. Then around 12,000 years ago, things started to change in a big way.”

One of the Best Non-Fiction Children’s Books I’ve Ever Read

20150115_174658_resizedI’m an avid cook and organic home gardener, so I often think about where our food comes from, just how much of it we consume and that we can just walk into a grocery story and buy it beautifully wrapped without having to get our own food like  hunters and gatherers before us. I also live in Miami and am well aware of how much our country relies upon our farmers to produce fruits and vegetables during the winter months. But nothing prepared me for just how much I’d learn reading Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat.  The book is jaw-dropping fascinating and one of the best children’s non-fiction books I’ve ever read.

© Copyright Debbie Glade – My first organic tomatoes of this season.

“The World Health Organization recommends no more than 5 teaspoons of added sugar per day…The average American consumes a whopping 22 teaspoons of sugar a day.”

 Changing the Way We Think About Food

We all take for granted the fact that we have an abundance of food here in North America, and it’s truly easy to obtain. Just walk into a grocery store or farmer’s market and fill your cart, or even order it online and get it delivered to your door. But what does it take to feed hundreds of millions of people on our continent, keeping in mind that the food must be safe, appealing and affordable? When you discover how food is grown and shipped, packaged and displayed, you’ll think twice about the fact that Americans waste 40% of what they buy.


© Copyright – image courtesy of Annick Press

On top of all this, the choices we make about what we eat are some of the most important decisions we make in our lives – not only for our own health but also for the future of planet earth. Teens discover just how much their food choices are influenced by marketing, and by the time they are done reading this book, they will want to take a fresh new look at their diets.

“Over 90% of allergic reactions are caused by only eight foods: peanuts, other nuts, milk, fish, shellfish, eggs, soy and wheat.”

A Comprehensive Look at Food

There’s so much invaluable information in Foodprints I can’t begin to present you with all the highlights, but here’s a list of some of what this book teaches:

  • DSC_0062How our food system evolved from hunter gatherers to on-line ordering
  • How mega farms and factories came to produce the bulk of our current food supply and what it takes to feed hundreds of millions of people from producing the food to shipping it and getting it on our grocery store shelves
  • How many of our foods contain corn and soy
  • How to work through confusing nutrition advice like good and bad carbs, as well as trendy superfoods such as kale, fad diets and how we digest our food
  • The role of science in the modern food system, from food-bourne illnesses, improving safety and convenience to GMOs and artificial flavors
  • How what we grow and farm effect the environment
  • Why food advertisers want teens’ attention and how they get it
  • Stories about youth who are working to shape the future of food in positive ways, such as guerilla gardening and media activism

Although Foodprints is packed with information, the text is broken up with photographs and drawings and spectacular pages called Infobites, containing charts and numbers that boggle the mind.

© Copyright – image courtesy of Annick Press

Why Every Teen in North America Should Read This Book

81DonyBOD8LA tremendous amount of research and work went into creating this book. It is written in a way that kids will understand and find fascinating. The bottom line is that we mustn’t take for granted the sources where our fruits and veggies are grown, meats are raised and the convenient ways we obtain them. The challenges and issues surrounding our food are not all clear cut. For example, genetically modified foods are often criticized, yet without them, we may not be able to produce food in the quantities needed to feed the world.  Kids need to see the big picture so they can draw their own conclusions about what is best. Eating habits are generally lifelong, so if we teach our children to make healthier choices while they are young, they will live longer, more productive lives. Just go to any grocery store and notice the volume of overweight and obese shoppers. Then glance at their carts to see the many high calorie, low-nutrition foods they are feeding their families. Just reading the statistics in Foodprints is enough to motivate our youth to get on board.

© Copyright – image courtesy of Annick Press

IMG000078_400x400About the Author

Paula Ayer has worked as an editor, translator, and art director, and has written for magazines and websites. She lives in Vancouver, BC, where she usually eats three meals a day.

Along with this book, I strongly recommend you order the outstanding workshop curriculum-based Media Smart Youth Program from The National Institutes of Health:





Brave Mouse Readers: Fun & Adorable Stories That Teach Kids How To Read

One Day Giveaway!

Email me your mailing address to smart books @ Put Brave Mouse Giveaway in the Subject line and our Facebook Page. If you share the giveaway link from our Facebook Page with your friends, you’ll get ten extra chances to win these two titles. Both books will go to one lucky winner selected at random at 5 pm today, January 27, 2015.


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Brave Mouse Books were written for early readers, and the two titles featured today focus on teaching short vowel sounds (a,e i,o u). They’re adorable and silly and a whole lot of fun to read! If you’d like to teach your kids new languages, these books will all eventually be offered in Arabic, Spanish, Hindi, Portugese, French, German, Mandarin, and Italian editions too!


Princess Pig 

•        Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary (Ages 5-7)
•        Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Photographer: Molly Coxe
•        Publisher: Brave Mouse Books
•        Publication Date: September 1, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 6″ X 8.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 40 Pages
•        Retail: $3.99
•        ISBN:978-1940947228

A Pig and a Mouse and Repetitive Short “i” Sounds

Pig and friend Twig are playing princess, but Pig is hogging the princess title and is making all the princess wishes. Twig wants her turn to play too, so she can make her own wishes, but pig won’t have it. What happens when Twig stomps off and doesn’t want to play with pig any longer?


Tell Your Own Story


At the end of the book are a few pages with photograph illustrations for readers to write their own stories. Twig has a gift for Sis, and Pig wants you to make a wish. What will it be?



Rat Attack 

•        Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary (Ages 5-7)
•        Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Photographer: Molly Coxe
•        Publisher: Brave Mouse Books
•        Publication Date: September 1, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 6″ X 8.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 40 Pages
•        Retail: $3.99
•        ISBN: 978-1940947211

A Family of Mice, Troublesome Rats and Repetitive Short “a” Sounds

Gram is making jam for three little mice – Ann, Fran and Stan. But Gram keeps getting interrupted by Nat, Pat and Matt, the three greedy rats, who are trying to steal Gram’s jam. But Ann, Fran and Stan have a plan to outwit those rats. Is that plan clever enough to keep them away?


Tell Your Own Story


At the end of the book are a few pages with photograph illustrations for readers to write their own stories. There’s cheese involved and a ladder too. But you’ve got to look at the images to decide what you want the story to be.


Why You Should Buy These Darling Books

This Step Into Reading Series of books give new readers confidence to read aloud. There’s repetition, rhyming and rythm to the prose, so it makes it easier for children to read. The subject matter teaches kids about being fair, sharing, getting along with others and staying out of trouble. Rather than illustrations there are incredibly creative photographs of scenes using real props. You’ll see food, furniture, baskets and more as well as darling stuffed animal characters, that are very well dressed in what appear to be handmade costumes. There are even outdoor photographed shots in Princess Pig, and they will charm both you and your child.

Beginning readers will love the adorableness of these books, and they’ll not only be delighted to read them, they’ll even ask you if they can read more of them. And with a retail price of  $3.99, why not buy the whole set of Short Vowel Adventures? Cubs in a Tub and Wet Hen are soon to be published. The books are lightweight and portable and perfect for traveling in a car, bus, train or plane. Visit Brave Mouse Books.

Buy these titles now!



Look for these titles to be published soon:



About the Author

617Iq4KQFpL._UX250_Molly Coxe has written Early Readers for Random House, HarperCollins, and Golden Books, which have sold a total of 2 million copies. She loves the Early Reader genre and is excited to have the opportunity to create an Early Reader series for BraveMouse Books. “I love the challenge of telling a fresh, surprising story in a few words,” says Molly.


Lola Goes to the Doctor: Book and Bookmark Giveaway!

Lola is a very special real-life service dog, and today I am giving away her latest book, PLUS a bookmark (handmade by me) to go along with it. I think Lola would approve!

 Scroll to the Bottom for Giveaway Rules


Cover image courtesy of Creston books

Lola Goes to the Doctor 

•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool and Lower Elementary (Ages 3-8)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction
•        Author/Photographer: Marcia Goldman
•        Publisher: Creston Books
•        Publication Date: July 24, 2011 – Third Printing 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 9″ X 7″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-1939547118

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© Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

A Service Dog Who Makes Kids Smile

Going to the doctor can be a frightening experience for young children – especially when they know they are going to get a shot. But Lola, the adorable Yorkshire terrier service dog, is on a mission to change all that.  In  Lola Goes to the Doctor  this pooch shares her own fears with readers as she ventures upon a well visit at the vet’s office. She tells us about the nice toys and the other interesting animals in the waiting room – a pig, bird, snake, goldfigh and other dogs. Then she takes us through the steps she experiences with the vet for her check-up and shows readers that the doctor’s office isn’t that scary after all (even if the doctor gives you a shot).


© Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

A Real Life Four-Legged Hero Who Weighs Just a Few Pounds

As a certified service dog. Lola loves to go to work to help others. Along with her owner, Marcia Goldman, Lola may visit a nursing home to make the elderly smile, or a classroom to invite a reluctant reader to read a book aloud to her as she sits quietly and listens. She visits many autistic children too. She’s gentle and calm, loving and smart, and she touches the lives of all who are fortunate enough to meet her.


 © Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

Why You Should Buy This Book

Once children read about how brave Lola is during her visit to the doctor, they too will be brave when it is time for them to go to the doctor. You’ll love the way Lola takes kids through a typical doctor’s visit, step-by-step, in simple, light-hearted terms young children can understand (with a little bit of humor too). This gets readers acquainted with the process and puts them more at ease. Lola is so darling, and the photographs in the book will melt your heart. What’s there not to love about a tiny, sweet dog with a big heart who encourages children to love reading and be brave?

About the Author

authorMarcia Goldman has her Masters Degree in Special Education and has spent the last 25 years focusing on providing therapeutic-based programs for children with autism and their families. Marcia and Lola live in California.



Buy the book here:


Buy the first book in this series too:


Giveaway Rules: Enter for a Chance to Win Lola Goes to the Doctor and This Handmade Bookmark.

  1. DSC_0070Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Lola Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me something special about your pet.
  3. Optional: You will receive TEN extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count. Please mention in your email that you shared the link.
  4. There will be one winner for this giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  5. This giveaway starts on Sunday, January 25, 2015 and ends on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 5 pm.
  6. The winner will be notified via email on February 6, 2015.
  7. Book & bookmark will be mailed by Monday, February 9, 2015.
  8. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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Big Magic for Little Hands


Big Magic for Little Hands 

•        Targeted Audience: Elementary & Middle School (Ages 7-11)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction Magic Book
•        Author: Joshua Jay
•        Publisher: Workman Publishing
•        Publication Date: November, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 10.5″ X 13.5″
•        Printing: Three Color
•        Length: 112 Pages
•        Retail: $19.95
•        ISBN: 978-0761180098

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Watch this video with author Joshua Jay

25 Cool Tricks for Young Magicians

Magic is fascinating to children, and most dream of being able to do magic tricks to impress their friends and family. In addition to being fun, it’s also a terrific way to develop motor and reasoning skills. Author  Joshua Jay began his fascination with magic when he was just 7-years-old, and by the time he was 16, he was named champion at the World Magic Seminar (the Olympics of magic). Now he shares his love and mastery of magic with young readers in Big Magic for Little Hands. There are 25 tricks that are kid-friendly and easy to figure out, with step-by-step instructions and tips. Props needed for the magic tricks are objects you can find at home.

“Doing the impossible can be tough for a magician, but for many of us, the hardest part is keeping cool.”

All the Tools You Need to Become a True Magician

Each of the 25 tricks in the large-format book are well-illustrated in a vintage black and white style. There’s even a Magician’s Oath and a page on How to Conquer Stage Fright. Among the tricks you’ll find are: Performing a Houdini-Inspired Escape From Tightly Bound Ropes, Vanishing Your Homework, Scaring the Pants Off Your Parents, Levitating Your Sibling Off a Bed and How to Mysteriously Rotate a Key in Your Hand.

Why You’ll Love This Book

Big Magic for Little Hands gives  kids an insider’s look at basic magic tricks. It teaches them to prepare, practice, perform and be dedicated to their art. It will boost their confidence too. The magic tricks are fun, fascinating and give kids the opportunity to perform for friends and family. Smart kids love magic and magic makes kids smarter.

About the Author

photo of Joshua JayJoshua Jay, “one of America’s finest young magicians” (GeniiThe Conjurors’ Magazine), has headlined at the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood, is a magic consultant for several multinational toy manufacturers, and has served as the monthly columnist for Magic magazine for 12 years. Recently, he consulted and developed a commercial spot for HBO, using sleight of hand to promote Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. He was named the 2012 Magician of the Year by the Society of American Magicians. He lives in New York City.

Further Learning

Complete your learning experience for the truly dedicated magician with these other items by Joshua Jay and Workman Publishing: