Friday, February 11, 2022

A Pair of Browsable Books

Lo and behold, I have found a bunch of books published last year that were stuck in the back of my book basket. Here’s a couple that make good snow-day browsing for the 7-10-year-old crowd. (With remote learning, will Snow Days become a thing of the past?)

Small but Mighty: Why Earth’s Tiny Creatures Matter 
by Kendra Brown; illus. by Catarina Oliveira 
32 pages; ages 7-10
‎Owlkids, 2021

Lions and whales and grizzlies get a lot of press. Just look at all the books about these magnificent, large beasts. But here’s the thing: some of the smallest animals on our planet make the biggest impacts. Bees, ants, flies, and krill (featured last week) play important roles in their environments. They are involved in so many different jobs, from pollinating to decomposing to being the base of the ocean’s food web. You might not pay them much attention, but without them other, larger species can’t survive.

What I like about this book: Twelve species are featured, each with their own spread that includes a photo. There’s also an illustration showing their actual size in a way that kids can easily relate to: the size of a pencil eraser, a dinner plate, a grain of sand. The last spread shows the important role kids (relatively small animals) can play in keeping our planet a safe place for small things. And there’s a glossary for words that might be unfamiliar to younger readers.

The Book of Math, Adventures in the world of shapes and numbers
by Anna Weltman; illus. by Paul Boston
96 pages; ages 7-up
Kane Miller Books, 2021

This browsable book contains stories of famous mathematicians, introduces a plant that can count, includes secret codes, and presents some cool math tricks. Those are exactly the sorts of things I would have loved learning as a kid (instead of flash cards and long division). I am positive that, had my math teacher even suggested that plants and ants can count, I would have been intrigued enough to learn more. And if they’d shown the secret spirals in nature and secret codes, I would have been hooked.

What I like about this book: I like the graphics, including charts, graphs, and timelines. I like the way you can just drop in anywhere and explore some aspect of math. And I like the games, puzzles, things to try, and things to make.

If you are looking for math resources for younger children, check out the Storytelling Math series in this GROG blog post. Another wonderful math resource is Bedtime Math, where kids can find their daily math fix.

Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other  bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copies provided by the publishers.


  1. The little creatures book sounds fabulous. I love learning about animals big and small. The math book sounds very interesting too. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. These both look good, but the one about the little creatures sounds especially interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I will check them out.

  3. We still have snow days when the roads are bad-- we had two last week. Unless we go over our limit of five, I think they'll stay for a while. I should look into the history of math book; there's so little I do for our math teachers, but any time I buy a math related title, it seems to gather dust. Happy Valentine's Day!

  4. I agree with the others that the one about little creatures sounds so interesting. I could see kids really enjoying it.

  5. Would a 4-year-old be able to enjoy little creatures? He loved your book.
    What a unique Math Book! A more interesting way to learn and think about math. And, I like how nature codes seem to connect everything in life -- including our own.

  6. I love non-fiction and these two selections should entice many young readers——especially those who who won't get near a 300 plus page fiction book. Thanks for featuring these on MMGM.