Friday, June 23, 2017

Three books on Animals




Who doesn’t love learning more about the secret lives of animals! Here are three books that give us a glimpse into the lives of elephants, foxes, and more.

Thirsty, Thirsty Elephants
By Sandra Markle; illus. by Fabricio VandenBroeck
32 pages; ages 3-7
Charlesbridge, 2017

It’s a hot, dry day in Tanzania when Grandmother elephant smells water in the distance. Mama, Little Calf, and the rest of the herd follow Grandmother’s lead. It’s been a long, dry season of drought, and the river they find gets smaller by the day. There’s barely enough grass for the zebras!

It’s so hot, and so dry that Little Calf drops from exhaustion. But finally Grandmother finds a waterhole filled with cool, thirst-quenching water. She remembered it from a long time ago. Back matter reveals the true tale behind this story and lots of fun elephant facts, plus resources for those who want to dig deeper.

The Secret Life of the Red Fox
By Lawrence Pringle; illus. by Kate Garchinsky
32 pages; ages 6-9
Boyds Mills Press, 2017

We have foxes living in our area; some nights you’ll see one running across the road and leaping through the fence into a field. But they’re secretive critters, so it’s nice to find a book that gives an up-close look at their lives.

This book opens as Vixen sets out on her hunt. She has a mate – they send wild foxy calls into the night – and it’s time to look for a den so she can provide a safe place for her kits. Eventually we see them, as they emerge to explore the world above ground.

Back matter includes more information about red foxes, a glossary, and books for curious kids who want to read further.

Whose Poop is That?
By Darrin Lunde; illus. by Kelsey Oseid
32 pages; ages 3-7
Charlesbridge, 2017

There are lots of books about animals: how they make homes and raise families, how they escape predators, and how they hunt. There are even books about what animals eat - but there aren’t very many about what comes out the other end.

Whatever you call it – poop, dung, scat – it comes in all sizes and shapes. And if you look at it closely, it can tell you a lot about an animal. This book presents footprints on one side of a spread, with the animal’s scat on the other. The reader’s job is to figure out the mystery animal. You don’t have to be an expert because with the flip of a page you learn whose scat that is and a bit about the critter. There’s turtle poop, owl pellets, and even fossilized dung.

Back matter includes the “scoop on poop” and some animal scat facts. That fossilized animal poop? That’s called a coprolite.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Two Truths and a Lie ~ Blog Tour & Author Interview

We’re on day 8 of the Blog Tour for Two Truths and a Lie. Thanks for dropping by to play…

Two Truths and a Lie
by Laurie Ann Thompson and Ammi-Joan Paquette
176 pages; ages 8-12
Walden Pond Press, 2017

When a nonfiction book begins with a warning that some of the stories included are not true – you know it’s going to be a wild read. The thing is, the authors point out, there are lies all around us. Truths, too. Anyone trying to keep up with political news knows that sorting fact from fiction is really important.

But lies aren’t partial to politics; you’ll find plenty of shady stories masquerading as scientific truths. Like stories about a fungus that infects insects and takes over their brains, creating bug zombies. Oops – that IS a true story.

What Laurie and Ammi-Joan (who likes to go by Joan) do in their book is play a game with readers. They present three wacky science stories and challenge you to figure out which one is fake. For example, one group of three animal stories features a chicken who lived without its head – and performed in a circus sideshow, a cave-dwelling salamander that looks like a dragon, and a tree-dwelling octopod that lives in rainforests.

Laurie Ann Thompson
Which two are true? Which is the lie? They tell you at the back, and give lots of source notes for the stories so you can do your own research. They also include a few words about how to tell truth from lie when reading articles online and in the paper. It’s like a guide to finding facts in the news world:
  • Stick to facts from well-known and respected sources, such as an established newspaper, museum website.
  • When perusing Wikipedia, remember to look at the reference section for citation of sources.
  • Train yourself to be skeptical when you read something that is surprising or hard to believe.
  • And use your common sense. Ask yourself who gains from this story? How does it fit with what you already know about the world?  Have you seen it on more than one news site?
Keep those tips in mind because in a minute we’re going to play an interview game called “Two Truths and a Lie” with authors Laurie and Joan. The rules are simple: I’ll ask three questions. They will each give two true answers and one lie. See if you can determine which ones are the lies (answers at bottom of post).

But first, an introduction.

Archimedes: Hi Laurie. Hi Joan. I gotta know, do you listen to the NPR show, “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”? It’s a bit like your book, but in that show the panelists present 2 lies and a truth.

Laurie: Neither of us had heard “Wait, Wait” before we started working on this book, but now it's one of our favorite podcasts! Yes, it was partially because there is so much really weird but totally true stuff out there, and partially because of all the fake but believable stuff we were seeing, too.
   
Ammi-Joan Paquette
Joan: That’s right! The true stuff we were seeing was so unbelievable that it seemed like a ready-made challenge in believability. Would people be able to tell the difference?

Archimedes: Okay, let’s get started. Remember, readers: each author will give one fake answer and your job is to figure out which one it is.

Question 1: While working on this book, what is the most interesting researching experience you had, the weirdest interview, or most bizarre way you discovered a fact?

Laurie: There were so many, but one of my favorites is when I was looking for a specific article from Life magazine in 1945. I had scoured all of the online databases and couldn't find it. I was working from home, still in my pajamas, and decided to email the reference librarian at my local library to see if they had the issue I needed. Within five minutes I received a reply that they did have it... and an offer to photocopy the article I needed and send it to me! I told her what pages I needed, and within 10 minutes I had a PDF of the full article in my inbox. I hadn't even left the couch, and a thorny research problem was solved for me in 15 minutes. I LOVE librarians, and I LOVE King County Library System!

Joan: One of the most out-there interviews I had was with a curator at the Boston Atheneum. I was researching books bound in human skin and the Atheneum holds one in their collection. In the end, we decided to cut this article from the final book—since we are pointing students to online research, this was not a topic we wanted to spotlight!—but that interview certainly was fascinating and revelatory.

Question 2: Tell me about your daily writing routine.

Laurie: I'm not a morning person, so contrary to popular advice I tackle all of the distracting, smaller jobs first (with coffee!). Then, I take a short lunch break (usually a caprese salad). Finally, I'm ready to dive into an afternoon of focused writing time.
       
Joan: Most people might not know this, but I’m actually a highly advanced android—I know I look like a regular human, but in reality I don’t need to sleep, ever! (Or eat, but of course I do that anyway. Food, amirite??) For this reason, I can work equally well at any time of the day or night. For that reason, my routine can be a bit boring—but there’s lots of time for researching fun facts!

Question 3. Tell about how you came to be a writer - or at least think of yourself as a writer - and why nonfiction?

 Laurie: I was a software engineer until I had kids, then I decided I wanted to stay home with them. In my spare time while they were napping, I wrote a program that would read to them so my husband and I wouldn't have to read the same book 42 times in one day. Once that was up and running, I decided to see if I could build on what I had to make it write, too. It took awhile, but eventually it worked! Computers are very logical and like information, so getting them to write nonfiction wasn't too difficult. I haven't quite worked out the kinks with fiction yet, though. It still feels a bit too... robotic. Stay tuned!

Joan: I actually am a fiction writer—originally, the idea of writing non-fiction intimidated me. We had first thought that I would write the fiction stories and Laurie the non-fiction ones. Once we got started, though, we both found we enjoyed writing the opposite of what we were used to. For myself, the amazing and unbelievable non-fiction stories were the ones which had first sparked the idea for the book—and those have been by far the more enjoyable to write.
 
Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review ARC from publisher        

Joan’s answer to question #2 is fake
Laurie’s answer to question #3 is an outright lie 

Stops on the Blog Tour:

June 5 - Librarian's Quest       
June 7 - Flowering Minds                  
       Pragmatic Mom          
June 11 - Geo Librarian        
June 12 - Book Monsters
June 15 - Novel Novice 
            LibraryLions Roar
June 16 – here at Archimedes Notebook
June 20 - Writers Rumpus 
            The HidingSpot 
June 23 - Unleashing Readers            
 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ meet the spittlebug!

No matter where I went last week - whether it was a walk down the road or following the bees through the tall grass where buttercups and yarrow are growing - there were plants covered with spitballs. Those spitballs are the foam homes of spittlebugs, immature froghoppers.

Spittlebugs are true bugs, related to aphids and cicadas. They have pointy beaks that they stick into stems and use to suck up the plant sap. They pump excess sap out, forcing air into it to make a bubble mass that will cover their bodies. These bubble homes protect the spittlebugs from parasites, keeps it from drying out, and also protects it from predators, such as ants.

What kind of plants do spittlebugs hang out on? Take a walk and find out. Look at pine trees and plants growing in weedy areas of your lawn or a park.

Where do they hang out? Look in leaf axils - where leaves meet the stems.

Do they like tips of plants? The middle of plants? The bases of plants? And does it depend on what kind of plant it is? Jot down the kinds of plants you find them on, and where they are on those plants.

Do they share their plants with other spittlebugs? How many foam homes do you find on plants? Are they close together or far apart?

How long does it take to make a spit-bubble home? To find out, gently remove a spittlebug (remember, they are babies) from its home and put it on another part of the plant. Then watch it start creating a new spit bubble home.



More on Spittlebugs here:
Great photos and info about spittlebugs over at Wild and Free Montana
and more at Missouri Botanical Gardens


Friday, June 9, 2017

Exploring Science through Poetry

Two recent books allow kids the opportunity to explore science through poetry. They tickle the imagination and make you want to learn more.

themes: nature, imagination, poetry



Cricket in the Thicket
by Carol Murray; illustrated by Melissa Sweet
40 pages; ages 6-10
Henry Holt, 2017

Cricket in the thicket, cricket.
Cricket in the house, cricket.
Cricket in the bedroom, not as quiet as a mouse, cricket.

Playful, whimsical verse about a diversity of bugs, accompanied with the wonderfully bright, bold illustrations of Melissa Sweet. Can you ask for more?

What I like love about this book: It's about bugs! Butterflies, bumble bees, dragonflies, and even the least-loved members of the tribe: cockroaches, mosquitoes, ticks... yeah, even ticks. While the poems may be whimsical - they are also factual, and for each arthropod there is a text-box at the bottom of the page with a cool fact about the critter. For example: dragonflies are not true flies, daddy longlegs are not spiders, and roly-polies are related to shrimp.


I love the illustrations! This one, of inchworms and ladybugs is one of my favorites - probably because they feature common insects we can find in the garden. Or in your front yard, back yard, playground, neighborhood park. And there is Back Matter: notes on each featured creature, plus a table of contents.
Thunder Underground
by Jane Yolen; illus. by Josee Masse
32 pages; ages 5-10
WordSong, 2017

Thunder under- ground.
That's the sound beetles make
when walking 'round.

These poems explore the world beneath our feet - both natural and man-made. We explore ant cities, fox dens, beetle mazes, subways, fossils, and plate tectonics.

What I like love about this book: The way Jane Yolen incorporates unusual aspects of nature. Did you know that plants talk to each other? Corn roots do - they send secret messages we can't hear. But they can be picked up by recording devices. In her end notes, Yolen notes that other plants make noise, too. What juicy gossip are we missing out on? I like that she includes plate tectonics and lava, and a pirate ship that sails across a number of pages.

And there is Back Matter: the notes where she explains in more detail about the natural features and creatures in each poem. There's also a table of contents.

Beyond the Books:

Write a poem about a bug. Or a fossil, skull, rock, tree, plant, or animal that lives in your area. There are so many kinds of poems to try: haikucinquain, or an acrostic. One thing to keep in mind: the best poems grow out of close observation. So take a good look at whatever you're going to write about. Look at it up-close. Look at it from a distance. Notice whether it smells, or moves, or makes noise. Most of all, have fun.

Explore science through art. Paint or draw or tear paper and glue it into a collage - to create a picture of something in nature. Maybe a ladybug. Or a flower. Be bold and try something new.

Today is 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 publishers.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Meet a bug

photo by Colleen Wolpert, used with permission
This is the time of year you might find fuzzy pink-and-yellow moths clinging to your window screen or perched on the side of your house. At least that's where I find them. They are Rosy Maple moths. They spent the winter just below the surface of the ground, pupating, and in May and June they emerge.

The adults don't eat anything but spend their days mating and laying eggs. Those eggs will hatch into green-striped "maple worms" that munch on a variety of maple leaves (sugar, red, silver, box elder) as well as oak leaves.

photo by Colleen Wolpert, used with permission
According to Mary Holland, who wrote Naturally Curious, the caterpillars engage in possum tricks when handled. That is, they lie on their sides and curl their abdomen up under their thorax, pretending to be dead.

The Maple moths have a place in their local food web: they provide food for blue jays, tufted titmice, and black-capped chickadees. They also serve as hosts for parasitic flies and wasps.

So as you're out and about this spring, carry a magnifying lens along. If you come across this critter, take a close look at its antennae, wings, and furry body. Learn more about these moths here.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Plant Books are Sprouting Up all Over the Place!

Spring is when seeds swell and burst, the new plant pushing through soil and leafing out. Same with books, apparently.
theme: nature, plants, scientist 

  Karl, Get Out of the Garden! Carolus Linnaeus and the naming of everything
by Anita Sanchez; illus.by Catherine Stock
48 pages; ages 7-10
Charlesbridge, 2017

Karl Linne was in the garden again. He just wouldn't stay out of it!
Karl, get out of the garden!

Karl's mom dreams that he'll become a lawyer, or perhaps a minister. His father thinks he should apprentice to the shoemaker. But Karl loves spending time in the garden. He loves learning the plants, and watching the insects. So he tells his father that he wants to go to medical school.

Once there, he begins learning how to use plants for healing. There's a big problem though: with so many names for plants, how does he know which is the correct plant to use? Karl decides that what the world needs is a consistent system for naming plants (and other living things) - a system that will help organize life.

What I like about this book: It's a fun way to delve into the history of science, and also learn why we have scientific names for plants and animals. I also like that author Anita Sanchez includes some of the controversies about naming species - especially the idea of including humans. Imagine! Naming humans as if they were just another animal! Worse yet - lumping them in with mammals like groundhogs and cats! The very nerve!

Plants (a Reader - level 1)
by Kathryn Williams
48 pages; ages 2-5 years
NGK, 2017

Look around! There are plants everywhere!

This book is designed to be shared by two readers: an older reader who reads one side, and the just-learning-to-reader who reads the other. It opens with a tour of habitats where one might find plants: in the city, the rainforest, by the pond, and even in the desert. The next chapters explore what plants are, how they grow, and how people use them for food, fuel, and fiber.

What I like about this book: The photos help put the text into context, and show a diversity of examples when discussing fruits, for example. At the end of each chapter is an activity: a matching game, a problem to solve, or something to talk about. I also like the spreads are designed for two readers to share.

Green Green, a Community Gardening Story
by Marie and Baldev Lamba; illus by Sonia Sanchez
32 pages; ages 2-5
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017

Green, green, fresh and clean.

Kids and adults rake and plant and water the garden. But when backhoes come in and dig the ground, the city grows. Everything looks like stone and concrete. but wait - there is a place where weeds grow through the mesh of discarded shopping carts.

Brown brown, dig the ground?

Soon everyone is working together to clear and rake and then the garden grows. and Grows. and GROWS.

What I like about this book: Plants grow everywhere! And with some work, kids and their adult friends turn a vacant lot into a community garden. I like the colors (green, green; brown, brown) and I LOVE the back matter - about how you can make your world more green. There are also notes about how you can help bees and butterflies by planting the flowers they need for nectar and pollen, and by not spraying your garden with chemicals.

Beyond the books:

Visit a garden. It can be your own, or a community garden, or a garden in a park or a botanical garden. Take along a sketchbook and draw some pictures of plants you find there. Paint or color them with the colors you see. Then go again in a few weeks and see what's changed - what colors are the plants now?

Plant some flower seeds in a pot, flower box, or garden. Watch them grow, and put them outside for the bees and butterflies to enjoy. Bees and butterflies like cosmos, bee balm, purple coneflowers, asters, marigolds, and calendula. If you have room, plant a few sunflowers - bees and butterflies like those, too.

Visit a farmer's market and buy some fruits. Fruits have seeds - so you might buy some strawberries (seeds on the outside) or peas (seeds on the inside) or peaches or tomatoes or even zucchini - they are fruits, too (even if your mom says they are vegetables)! Be adventuresome and try a fruit you've never eaten before.

Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. 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 publishers.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday Explorers Club ~ Look Closer



A flower ...
     but look closer. There, between the petals - a tiny insect. Who is it? What is it doing?



Raindrops glisten on the grass and leaves. Look closer - what do you notice?

Friday, May 26, 2017

Animal Babies

If you love to read about baby animals, here are two new books that are just delightful. 

Baby on Board
by Marianne Berkes; illus. by Cathy Morrison
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publishing, 2017

When you were a baby, someone carried you.
Have you ever wondered what animal parents do?

They may not have baby backpacks or strollers or carriers...  but wild animal moms have figured out how to transport their kids from one place to another.

Kangaroos use pockets, mama otters become rafts, and mother possums give their young piggy-back rides. Even dads get into the picture.

Fun, rhyming language and realistic illustrations introduce youngsters to the diversity of transport their woollier - and featherier - wild friends experience. Back matter includes a matching game and plenty of resources for further exploration.

Baby Animals (Animal Bites series)
by Dorothea DePrisco
80 pages; ages 4-8
Animal Planet/ Time Inc. Books, 2017

Many animals lay eggs and build nests - and not just birds! This photo-rich book focuses on  babies from across the animal kingdom. Information is presented in small, "browsable" chunks with many entry points. You can use the table of contents, or use the colored tabs to guide you in your wildlife safari: yellow for close-up look at animals, orange for a gallery exhibit highlighting diversity, and there's even an icon labeled "just like me" that compares how animals and humans behave in similar ways.

Some of the animals highlighted are bunnies, owls, red pandas, dogs, skunks, and more. Back matter includes baby animal activities, resources, and a glossary.

Today we're joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copies from publishers.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday Explorer Club ~ watching time go by

Seems like just yesterday all my dandelions were bright yellow flowers, busy with bees and beetles collecting pollen. Then - poof! Suddenly the lawn is a sea of white fluffy seed-heads.

The cool thing about dandelions is that they are so ubiquitous you can probably find them at all life stages on your lawn (or in sidewalk cracks). Look closely and you'll see some that are still buds, not quite ready to open. A day later you might spy a bit of yellow. Then they flower and go to seed.

But how long does that take? This week, try to find some dandelions that are just about ready to open, or have just opened. Watch them for a few days.


How do the flowers change with time?
How long do the dandelions flower?
What happens as the dandelion grows older?
When do the fluffy white parachute seeds happen?

If you have a camera, try to take pictures of the dandelion as it changes over time. Or keep track by sketching it in your journal.

Another thing to ponder: do all the dandelions in one area get old and fluffy at the same time? Or are there new flowers opening as old ones lose their seeds to the wind?

And how long does it take for a seed to grow into a plant, anyway?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Books about doing Citizen Science

Arbordale, 2017; ages 4-9
Arbordale Publishing has two new books out that feature citizen science. That's when kids and their families help scientists do research. It might be tagging butterflies, or counting birds, bats, or even crabs. 

theme: nonfiction, nature, animals

Moonlight Crab Count opens with a list:
Full moon. Check.
High tide. Check.
Flashlight. Check.
Clipboard. Check....

Leena is getting ready to do science. She and her mom, and Bobie, the dog, head out to a beach where they will count horseshoe crabs. The crabs are ancient creatures, with hard, spiny shells and pointy tails. They are an essential part of the ocean ecosystem, and medical companies use their blood to test medicines. But experts worry that horseshoe crabs are disappearing, so every summer volunteers help count the crabs.

Arbordale, 2017; ages 4-9
 Bat Count begins with sunset:
The sun is dropping behind the ridge and the red-winged blackbirds have quit their squalling, so I know it's almost time.

Jojo remembers a time when there used to be more bats living in their barn. But then newspapers told how bats were dying of white-nose syndrome, and so Jojo and her mom began doing bat counts. At the beginning of summer, they saw only one bat. Tonight, Jojo hopes to see more. She is rooting for the bats to return to the night sky.

What I like about the books - They portray kids and their families engaged in citizen science: collecting data that will help researchers understand more about crabs and bats. Both books contain back matter that adds to the understanding of both the animals, and the research being done.

Beyond the books:

Find out more about Horseshoe crabs. This blogpost tells more about the crab count behind the book, and has links to citizen science crab counts. Here are some more links for horseshoe crab counts in Delaware Bay and New York.

Learn more about Bats at Anna Forrester's website.


Become a citizen scientist. You don't have to tag crabs or count bats - there are tons of projects to be involved in. Check out the links over to the right under "Get Involved in Real Science", or find a project on the Scientific American citizen science page or Scistarter. 

Today is 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, May 12, 2017

Birds on the Brain

Birds are returning to our hill and staking out nesting sites. This is a great time of year to be watching birds, and here are three books for kids with birds on the brain.

theme for the day: nature, birds.

Duckings (Explore my World series)
by Marfe Ferguson Delano
32 pages; ages 3-7
National Geographic Kids, 2017

It's a wood duck!

High in a tree, a wood duck mother checks her nest.She sits on her eggs to keep them warm. Then one day, peck, peck, peck. Ducklings are ready to hatch.

What I like about this book: it is perfect for preschoolers, with large words or simple phrases that set off sections of a baby bird's life. Crack! They hatch. Jump! They leap out of the nest and down, down, down ... to a pond. Text describes the life of a duckling, and photos invite us right into their day, from learning what to eat (bugs are good) to following mom everywhere. Back matter includes comparing ducks with other animals that hatch out of eggs, "ducky details", and how to be a duckling.


Otis the Owl
by Mary Holland
32 pages, ages 4-9
Arbordale Publishing, 2017

Otis is a barred owl. When he grows up, he will have brown stripes, or bars, on his feathers.

Beautiful, detailed photos take us right into the first few months of a baby owl's life. Otis, and his sister, are the cutest, fluffiest sad-eyed babies you've ever seen.

What I like about this book: It shows all aspects of a baby owl's life, from hatching to eating voles, mice, and the occasional chipmunk. Sometimes Otis and his sister fight over the food their parents bring. Other times, he and sis are best friends, preening each other's feathers and standing watch at the nest hole. Back matter includes information on owl pellets, a guessing game, and details on owl anatomy. 

Birds Make Nests
by Michael Garland
32 pages; ages 4-8
Holiday House, 2017

Birds make nests. 

Two-page spreads show a diversity of birds and the nests they build. Some nest in trees, others nest on the ground. Some use grass to make their nest, or animal hair, spider silk, lichens. Others use sticks and mud. Some nests open at the top; some nests open at the bottom.

What I like about this book: It introduces readers to common and uncommon birds. Kids might recognize some as visitors to their back yard or local park. Others live half-way around the world, giving parents an opportunity to show on a globe or world map where those birds build their nests. It doesn't matter how big or how small a nest is, it serves an important purpose. I also like Garland's images, created using woodcuts and digital tools.

Beyond the books:

Do the "Ducking Dance" (adapted from Ducklings):  Shake out your feathers. Shake, shake, shake! Swim in the water. Paddle, paddle, paddle! Go for a walk - waddle, waddle, waddle! Then spread your wings and flap! flap! flap!

Learn to talk like an owl. You might have to go on a night walk or open your windows and listen for owls. Here and here are pages with information on barred owls and recordings of their calls. And here's a nest cam so you can watch owlets in Indiana.

Look for bird nests. Here are photos showing different kinds of nests you might find. Remember to be respectful of the birds - their nest is their home. Here are important tips for nest watching.

Today is 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.We're also joining the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copies from publishers.