Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring Blossoms

Spring Blossoms
 by Carole Gerber; illustrated by Leslie Evans
32 pages; ages 4-7
Charlesbridge, 2013

"Spring is bursting out all over.
 The sun is up. It’s warm. Let’s go!
Trees, so bare and plain in winter,
 are dressed up for their yearly show." 

This is how Carole Gerber opens her new book - and a new season -  celebrating trees. This time she focuses on spring blossoms and catkins, following two girls and their dog as they race from tree to tree. In lyrical verse, Gerber introduces us to nearly a dozen common trees. We learn that crab apple blossoms are white, while cherry blossoms are pink. Red maple flowers are red, but redbud blossoms aren’t – they’re pink. There are male flowers and female flowers, flowers with showy petals and flowers with tiny petals that you hardly notice.

Beyond the book:

Go on a bud hike. Look at buds, catkins, and blossoms on the trees in your neighborhood. Take some time to draw the twigs with their buds and blossoms.

Take a closer look at the buds and blossoms with a magnifying lens. Some things you might look for:

  • What color are the buds?
  • Do buds grow by themselves or in groups?
  • Are they smooth or hairy?
  • Are they covered with scales that look like roof shingles or fish scales?
  • As the buds open, do parts fall off?
  • Do flowers and leaves come out of the same buds?
  • Which comes first: flowers or leaves. 

Adopt a tree or two & visit them a couple times over the next two weeks. Draw what the twigs and buds look like.

Share your bud information with scientists through Project Budburst.

This post is part of STEM Friday round-up. It's also part of PPBF (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 copy provided by publisher.

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