Friday, October 5, 2018

Plants ~ Just like us!

Just Like Us! Plants
by Bridget Heos; illus. by David Clark
32 pages, ages 4-7
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018

 Themes: plants, ecology, nonfiction

People think, talk, and walk around. Plants do none of these things. So how can they be anything like us?

Well, writes Bridget Heos, they can communicate with each other and wear sneaky disguises. And plants even wage war. In this addition to her "Just Like Us" series, she gives us an up-close look into the secret - and not so secret - lives of plants.

What I like about this book: On each spread we get to see one specific way in which plants are similar to people. One spread focuses on what plants eat, another on the importance of drinking water. There are a couple spreads that detail how young seeds are sent on their way - some by hitching a ride, others by air or sea. David Clark's vibrant and humorous illustrations are fun and engaging.  A glossary and bibliography provide more for the curious kid.

Beyond the Book:
Plant some garlic. Believe it or not, most gardeners plant garlic cloves in the fall, before the soil freezes. That gives them a head start so they can produce nice heads of garlic ready to harvest in the fall.

separating leaf pigments, Playdough to Plato
Sow wildflower seeds. If you take a look at garden flowers, many have gone to seed. In fall, wind and rain knock seeds to the ground and, come spring, they'll be first to start growing. Some gardeners take advantage of this and shake their plants to spread seeds for spring flowers.

Separate pigments from fall leaves. Collect leaves of different colors: orange, reds, yellows, green. You'll also need some glasses (or jelly jars), coffee filters (cut into strips), rubbing alcohol and a few other items. Directions for doing leaf chromatography are at Playdough to Plato and you can watch a video here.

Hint: tape your filter paper strips to pencils that sit across the top of the jars.

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 copy from publishers.



  1. What a brilliant concept! Love it. And that cover illustration is priceless. Gotta add this to my TBR pile. Thanks for the rec!

  2. What a great STEM title! And I love your "Beyond the Book" suggestions. It's time to shake some seeds!

  3. I LOVE the activities. Great ideas and a fun book. Thanks Sue.

  4. Another terrific book. Thanks for the post.

  5. I just read the (adult) book about tree communication (THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES) for a book I'm working on! Right up my alley.