Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Animals of All Kinds!

themes: animals, nonfiction, observation

Moose, Goose, Animals on the Loose: A Canadian Wildlife ABC
by Geraldo Valerio
40 pages, ages 2-5
Owlkids  Books, 2016

Here they come... Canadian animals running, jumping, swimming, and roaring your way! Now arriving....

Each spread introduces one - or more - wild animals from Canada.

What I like about this book: It's fun! I like the language: "big bold Bison" and "exuberant Muskox". I also like the cut-paper collage art. And there's Back Matter! Additional facts about the featured animals.

Wonderful Nature, Wonderful You
by Karin Ireland; illus. by Christopher Canyon
32 pages, ages 5-9
Dawn Publications, 2017

Have you ever spent a day in nature? Did you notice how peaceful it was? ... Everything moves at its own pace to do what it does best.

Using a variety of examples of how plants and animals exist in their natural environment, Karin Ireland assures youngsters that they can learn many things from nature. When it's time for a baby bird to leave the nest, it spreads its wings and flies. So, too, children can do what they set their minds to. Her gently encouraging words offer opportunities for children - and the adults who love them - to learn from nature.

"Fish don't try to grow feathers... Warthogs don't try to climb trees." Each animal is special and has its own natural way of living in our world. So do we.

Beyond the Books

Make a cut-paper collage of a wild animal you've seen. Maybe it's a bird that's visited your feeder, or a skunk that digs up your lawn at night, or a dragonfly. Use construction paper, newspaper, magazines, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper or any kind of paper you can find.

Find a natural spot where you can sit quietly and observe for about 15 minutes. Stay as still as you can and watch and listen to the plants and animals around you. What did you notice?

Today we're joining others over at Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copies from the publisher.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Tall Tall Tree & a field guide

themes for the day: trees, nature, nonfiction

Tall Tall Tree
by Anthony D. Fredericks; illus. by Chad Wallace
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2017

Creeping, hopping, zipping
Throughout the redwoods green
Are many different creatures
Who are very seldom seen.

Waaaay up, high in the world's tallest trees is an entire world teeming with life. Most people don't get to see the animals who live in those tall, tall trees - but this book takes you on a field trip into that world.

There are lots of animals up there, living at skyscraper heights: eagles, bats, owls, salamanders. From one to ten, the author introduces us to some of the residents of the redwood tree.

What I like about this book: There are "hidden" animals on each page. For example, when our attention is directed to the slimy banana slugs, will we see the other animal up there in the tree? There's even a "find the hidden animals" challenge in the back matter - Yes! there is back matter! There is also additional information about the redwoods and some STEAM activities in the back matter.

Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Trees
by Patricia Daniels
160 pages; ages 8-12
National Geographic Children's Books, 2017

This is a tree-mendous field guide, perfect for tree-huggers of any age. Introductory pages include "what is a tree?" and give a quick lesson on how to get to know leaves - as well as a warning about poison ivy so you don't accidentally pick any of those leaves for your collection. There are plenty of tree entries, each with a photo of the entire tree and close-up of leaf or needle, flowers, nuts, cones, or fruit. In addition to general information there are some fun facts.

Every so often there's a special feature that gives you a closer look at trees growth patters, flowers, seeds, or some other cool thing. One thing I wish they had included: photos of bark for each tree described - for those of us who go out tree-watching in winter. 

Beyond the Books:

What's your state tree? Find a photo of it. Was it featured on a stamp? Find out here.

What sort of animals use the trees in your neighborhood? Adopt a tree and keep track of the birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects that live on it or gather food from it. Draw a picture of your tree - and make a map showing how to find it.

Become a tree bark-ologist. Find two trees with different kinds of bark. Jot down your observations of each tree trunk: is the bark smooth or rough? is there a pattern? Make a bark rubbing and tape it in your field notebook. Or take photos.

Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup - and we're also joining others over at Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copies from the publisher.