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Magnificent Makers: How to Test a Friendship
Author: Theanne Griffith
Illustrator: Reggie Brown
Published May 19, 2020 by Random House Children’s Books

Summary: BOOM! SNAP! WHIZ! ZAP! The Magnificent Makers series is filled with science, adventure, and characters that readers will love!

A modern-day Magic School Bus for chapter book readers!

Violet and Pablo are best friends who love science! So when they discover a riddle that opens a magic portal in the Science Space at school, they can’t wait to check it out! Along with their new classmate, Deepak, the friends discover a magical makerspace called the Maker Maze. It’s a laboratory full of robots, 3D printers, an antigravity chamber, and more. Doors line the walls of the makerspace, with a new science adventure waiting behind each one.

Ricki’s Review: I think I’ve recommended this book to about fifteen people since we’ve read it. I really admire the way in which Griffith incorporates science in such a fun way. The book almost feels interactive. I am going to admit that I, an adult, learned some cool science information as we read this one. We read this book with our virtual book club of kids, and they all loved it. It was very easy to host discussions, and the kids were very animated as they talked about the sections that they loved most. This is a great early chapter book series that is going to be well-loved by teachers. The interdisciplinary nature of the text makes it very easy to teach. We will definitely be getting the next book in the series.

Kellee’s Review: As a mom of 1st grader who loves to read, we are always looking for new early chapter books that will grab his attention and this book is everything we could want. First, it is relatable. The dynamics between the three characters are accurate and just on point. It also deals with real feelings like jealousy and competitiveness. Second, it is about science! Trent is definitely a science loving kid, and adding some science into his books makes him love them more. Third, it is a reflection of the real world (even though they travel to another dimension) because there are a diversity of kids and adults both in looks and behavior. We have already gone to buy the next three in the series, and we cannot wait to see what adventure happens next!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book offers many questions that can lead to inquiry and many topics that can be explored further by kids. Teachers might ask students to select a topic in science and write a fictional story about it. This would require some research and thinking about how information is presented in fiction.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What was your favorite aspect of science that you learned from the book?
  • What emotions did the characters experience in the book? Have you been in situations where you’ve felt these emotions?
  • What could you research from this book to learn more (e.g. robots, 3D printers, an antigravity chamber, the ecosystem)?

Flagged Passage: “Producers, consumers, decomposers, oh my! All are necessary for an ecosystem to survive. Most animals are __________. Living things, beware! If ____________ disappeared, we wouldn’t have fresh air. And without ______________, nature’s garbage would be everywhere! Solve this riddle to enter the maker maze” (p. 11).

Read This If You Love: Science books, early chapter books, interdisciplinary learning

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My little man is quite the reader. It makes me emotional just talking about it because it is just so wonderful to see your child love the thing you love so much.

I’ve always tracked on Goodreads what Trent and I read together. This year he is at about 370 books! And this doesn’t even count what he reads with his teacher and librarian at school–I get these amazing emails from his teacher listing all of the books she reads, and she reads at least 10 a week! (I just don’t track them on Goodreads since it is my account, and I didn’t read it with him.) Because of all this reading, he received is “500 books” button at school this week!

All of this means that there were many books for him to choose as his favorite, and when I asked him to narrow down his list, he said, “But these are my favorites; how can I get rid of anything?” with a shocked look on his face, so without further adieu, I present Trent’s VERY LONG list of favorite books as of his 6th birthday (in no particular order).

Picture Books (Stand Alone)

  • Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile
  • Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner
  • Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, Illustrated by Dan Santat
  • Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You! by Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Rafael López
  • Truman by Jean ReidyIllustrated Lucy Ruth Cummins
  • Jasper & Ollie by Alex Willan
  • It’s NOT Hansel & Gretel by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
  • A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, Illustrated by Catia Chien

  • The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach
  • When Sadness is at Your Door by Eva Eland
  • The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
  • Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares
  • This Book is Not about Dragons by Shelley Moore Thomas, Illustrated by Fred Koehler
  • We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

  • I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbit
  • Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers by Laura Renauld, Illustrated by Brigette Barrager
  • Rot, the Cutest in the World by Ben Clanton
  • Nobody Hugs a Cactus by Carter Goodrich
  • What Do You Do With All That Poo? by Jane Kurtz, Illustrated by Allison Black

Picture Books (Series) 

  • Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast by Josh Funk, Illustrated by Brendan Kearney
  • Our Universe by Stacy McAnulty
  • The Lost Books by b.b. Cronin
  • The Shapes Trilogy by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen
  • Nibbles by Emma Yarlett
  • Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, Illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
  • Flubby by J.E. Morris
  • Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series by Various (Dan Santat, Laurie Keller, Charise Mericle Harper, Bryan Collier, LeUyen Pham, Ryan T. Higgins)

Early Chapter Books (all series)

  • Mr. Putter and Tabby by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Arthur Howard
  • Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
  • Yasmin by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Hatem Aly
  • Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger, Illustrated by Cece Bell
  • Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
  • Charlie and Mouse by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Emily Hughes

  • Mia Mayhem by Kara West, Illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
  • Fergus and Zeke by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Heather Ross
  • Chick and Brain by Cece Bell
  • Dragon by Dav Pilkey
  • Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
  • Poppleton by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Mark Teague

Graphic Novels (also all series)

  • Narwhal and Jelly by Ben Clanton
  • Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
  • Fox & Chick by Sergio Ruzzier

Mo Willems (yes, he gets his own section because Trent LOVES his books)

 

  • Elephant & Piggie series
  • Knuffle Bunny series
  • Pigeon series
  • Unlimited Squirrels series
  • Leonardo, the Terrible Monster & Sam, the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World!
  • That is NOT a Good Idea

Phew! There you have it: the books that Trent chose to share with you all as his favorites! If you are ever interested in what Trent and I read, you can check out our Goodreads shelf.

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Past “Trent’s Favorite Books” Posts

Kellee and Trent’s Favorite Picture Books: First Three Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Three to Six Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Picture Books: Six to Nine Months

Trent and Kellee’s Favorite Books: Nine to Twelve Months

A First Year Full of Books: Trent’s Journey Through Books
**Check this one out if you haven’t–it is one of my favorite posts ever!**

Trent’s Favorite Books: One to Two Years Old

Ten of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Third Birthday

Ten(ish) of Trent’s Favorite Books as of His Fourth Birthday

Trent’s Favorite Reads as of His Fifth Birthday

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