children, nature, science

Bug Detective

Bug Detective
Author: Maggie Li
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Nature
ISBN: 978-1-4549-1516-4
Pages: 28
Price: $14.95

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Bugs can fly, scurry, and slither. But what else do you know about these interesting creatures? In Bug Detective, kids will learn more about each category of creepy-crawly.

Butterflies, stick insects, beetles, worms, centipedes, and more are all covered in two-page spreads. Each shows the normal life cycle of this group, along with feeding habits, reproduction, and other fascinating facts. Bug detective activities and a glossary are also included.

If you have a budding entomologist in the house, this book would make a great gift. So grab your magnifying glass (included on the front cover) and go explore nature!

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, science

Jake’s Bones

Jake's Bones
Author: Jake McGowan-Lowe
Publisher: Ticktock Books
Genre: Science / Children
ISBN: 978-1-84898-852-1
Pages: 64
Price: $12.99

Author’s website
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Jake has an unusual hobby – he’s the world’s youngest bone collector. When he finds a bone, he identifies the animal it belonged to, records the time and location he found it, and preserves it in a plastic storage box. He also takes pictures of the bones he finds and posts them on his website.

Since Jake loves his hobby, he wants to share it with other young bone collectors. This book covers interesting facts about bones and bone collecting, along with lots of pictures of his unique finds. From dinosaurs to the squirrel in your own backyard, he touches on all kinds of animal bones.

Kids are always fascinated when they see dinosaur skeletons displayed in museums. If they’ve ever wanted to know more about the study of bones, Jake will guide them. Jake’s Bones is a great book to keep in classrooms for science lessons, but kids will also enjoy reading it simply for pleasure.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature, science

Shark Baby

Shark Baby
Author: Ann Downer
Illustrator: Shennen Bersani
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-60718-6342
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
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Shark baby is snug in his egg case, tied to a strand of kelp, wondering what’s outside. But when a storm hits, the rough ocean waves break the case loose, tearing it slightly. Shark baby can now see where he is and who he is encountering as he drifts about. But now he has a new question – what kind of shark is he?

Shark Baby introduces children to the life cycle of a shark and shows them a variety of shark species. A discussion guide with questions is also provided for classroom use. This book would be a great resource for science lessons.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, history, science

Good Question!

Good Question! history and science books provide fascinating glimpses into specific topics using question and answer format. Each book is filled with fun facts and beautiful illustrations.

Why Does Earth Spin?
Title: Why Does Earth Spin? And Other Questions About Our Planet
Author: Mary Kay Carson
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0675-9
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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How big is the earth? How old is it? What creates our weather? What is the hottest, coldest, highest or deepest place on earth? Why is the moon important to earth?

How Does a Seed Sprout?
Title: How Does a Seed Sprout? And Other Questions About Plants
Author: Melissa Stewart
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0671-1
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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What is a seed? Do all plants make seeds? What is a plant’s secret weapon? Does a plant ever stop growing? Why do some flowers smell bad?

How Many Planets Circle the Sun?
Title: How Many Planets Circle the Sun? And Other Questions About Our Solar System
Author: Mary Kay Carson
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0669-8
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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Which planet in our solar system is the hottest? Which has the shortest year? Are there other planets beyond our solar system? Why is there life on earth? Why are there footprints on the moon?

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?
Title: How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly? And Other Questions About Butterflies
Author: Melissa Stewart
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0667-4
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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What is a caterpillar, and how did it get its name? What do butterflies eat? How do butterflies help plants? What do caterpillars do all day?

How Does the Ear Hear?
Title: How Does the Ear Hear? And Other Questions About the Five Senses
Author: Melissa Stewart
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0673-5
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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Why are two ears better than one? Why do your ears stick out? What causes an itch? Why can’t you tickle yourself? Do all animals see the way people do?

Who Were the American Pioneers?
Title: Who Were the American Pioneers? And Other Questions About Westward Expansion
Author: Martin W. Sandler
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / History
ISBN: 978-1-4027-9047-8
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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Who were the mountain men of the west? What was gold fever? What did the pioneers use to build their first homes? What did pioneers do for fun? How did railroads help America’s westward expansion?

What Was America's Deadliest War?
Title: What Was America’s Deadliest War? And Other Questions About The Civil War
Author: Martin W. Sandler
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children / History
ISBN: 978-1-4027-9046-1
Pages: 32
Price: $5.95

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Who fired the first shots of the Civil War? Why did the south rebel? Why were horses so important in the war? Why did so many people die in the war? How did America’s deadliest conflict end?

children, science

Where’s Green? (The EnteleTrons Series)

Where's Green?

Authors: Renee Heiss & Gary A. Stewart
Illustrator: Fay Cofrancesco
Publisher: Entelechy Education
Genre: Children / Science
ISBN: 978-0-9887813-0-6
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

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Priti proton, Ellie electron, and Ning neuron are wandering around the forest when they realize something is drastically wrong. Although it isn’t fall, all the leaves are brown. A prism confirms their theory – green is missing.

A trip to where colors live reveals that there has been an argument over which position each resides in the rainbow, and the constant bickering caused Green to leave. But order is successfully restored, and the trees return to their normal colors.

On the surface, Where’s Green? is a cute story with a tidy resolution. But in addition to this nice tale, the science of how we see color is explored through the discussions between Priti, Ellie and Ning. Readers have an opportunity to determine which tools they would use to make discoveries along the way, and teachers can find learning guides at the publisher’s website. I highly recommend Where’s Green? for classroom science libraries.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

animals, children, nature, science

Swamper: Letters from a Louisiana Swamp Rabbit

Swamper
Author: Amy Griffin Ouchley
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Genre: Science / Nature
ISBN: 978-0-8071-5074-0
Pages: 72
Price: $22.50

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Swamper is a swamp rabbit living in a bottomland hardwood forest in Louisiana. In twelve fictitious letters, he explains what life is like for himself and the other dwellers in his neighborhood.

In each of these letters, Swamper covers a particular element of life in the swamp. Who lives there? What kinds of foods do they eat? How do the different animals handle flooding? And what is the life cycle of the plants and animals there? These and many other questions are answered through the letters and accompanying photos. Questions for further discussion and research are also provided.

Swamp rabbits look similar to the eastern cottontail, but there are physical as well as behavioral differences between them. Children will find Swamper fascinating as they not only learn about this interesting species of rabbit, but also about the swamp itself. This book would be a wonderful addition to a library or classroom science collection.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

children, nature, science

Balloon Trees

Balloon Trees
Author: Danna Smith
Illustrator: Laurie Allen Klein
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-60718-6243
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
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Do you know where balloons come from? You may be surprised to find out that they come from trees – rubber trees. A spout is used to collect the milky liquid inside the rubber trees. Then it is processed to become the substance we see in balloons, tires, and other products we use every day.

Balloon Trees tells the story of this process in rhyme. Beginning with the harvest up to the end of the assembly line, this book shows how a balloon is created. Colorful illustrations bring this process to life, with a native bird guiding us through the narrative.

In addition to the descriptions of how balloons are made, this book also discusses rubber in general. It describes the plantations and tells us a little bit about the workers who harvest the rubber. Interesting and informative, Balloon Trees is perfect for classroom use and is a fun read.

Reviewer: Alice Berger