Friday, April 17, 2015

Climate Change (just in time for Earth Day)

Climate Change: discover how it impacts spaceship Earth, with 25 projects
by Joshua Sneideman & Erin Twamley; illus. by Mike Crosier
122 pages; ages 9-12
Nomad Press, 2015

Released just in time for Earth Day (which is Wednesday) - this newest book on Climate Change. Like others in the "Build it yourself" series, this one comes packed with hands-on activities to explore the concepts being discussed. For example: a balance board to help illustrate the idea that keeping gases in Earth's atmosphere balanced is harder to do than to say.

Readers will learn about burps, farts, and other greenhouse gases, why ice cores and paleontology are important, and read about cool biofuels like algae. Throughout the book there are lots of short introductions to scientists who did research in energy, oceanography, geology, climate science and more. Plus there are those 25 hands-on, do-it-yourself activities that require the sorts of things you might find in the kitchen cupboards or at the drug store. Who knows ~ maybe you'll be inspired to build something useful and simple, like the solar powered water purifying system invented by a high school student, or the water-filled plastic bottle "light bulbs".

To help make information easier to find (especially for browsers) the book has:
  • "words to know" sidebars
  • cool concepts (like atmospheric pressure on other planets)
  • essential questions
  • primary source icon with QR code link for smartphones or tablets
  • index, glossary, and page of resources at the back
  Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copy provided by publisher.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dirty Rats?

Dirty Rats?
by Darrin Lunde; illus. by Adam Gustavson
32 pages; ages 3-7
Charlesbridge, 2015

Rats are dirty, right? They scurry about in the night, eating garbage. Plus there's the naked tail and beady eyes thing they've got going on.... it's enough to make you grab a broom and give 'em a swat.

But wait.... writes Lunde. Not all rats eat garbage. Long-tailed marmoset rats living in Thailand eat bamboo flowers. Some rats hop, and other rats have bushy tails. Linde introduces readers to rat-diversity, including "lab rats" used by medical researchers. We learn how rats fit into the ecosystem (food for carnivores) and, near the end, he includes a chart of different kinds of rats. There are pack rats and sand rats, wooly rats and pouched rats, and even crested rats that look as though they had a bad hair day.

Regardless of what you think about rats, this book will have you looking at them with new eyes.

 Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copy provided by publisher.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: How did the Spider Cross the Road?

I've had enough of this ice and snow...

I'll go see what's on the other side of this tire track...

Whew! Dry land at last!