This week we have a fabulous new book from Chicago Review Press, Zoology for Kids: Understanding and Working with Animals, with 21 Activities (For Kids series) by Josh Hestermann and Bethanie Hestermann, with a foreword by the Kratt Brothers.
Josh Hestermann is a zoologist who works as a marine-mammal trainer at the Aquarium of the Pacific. His wife, Bethanie Hestermann. is a freelance writer. This combination of animal expert and writing expert have created a unique book that includes both an introduction to the science of zoology and an overview of career options for those interested in animals. Children can learn about animal structure and behavior, as well as what it is like to be a zookeeper, veterinarian, wildlife researcher, and conservationist. Sprinkled throughout are 21 awesome hands-on activities to encourage readers to delve deeper and reinforce learning, such as inventing a new species, demonstrating a butterfly’s life cycle and using animal behavior techniques to train a human friend.
The book has some nice extras. In addition to the exciting introduction by TV stars the Kratt Brothers, it also begins with timeline that reveals some of the significant advancements in zoology. The timeline starts with an entry for Aristotle, who is credited as the Father of Zoology and goes to the astonishing discovery of the olinguito (a member of the raccoon family) in 2013. Sidebars contain in depth information, such as discussion of altruism, or quotes from zoologists. Many of the projects also contain suggestions for extensions, labelled as “extra credit.”
As with all the books in the “for Kids” series, although the book is definitely written for middle graders, it is also an invaluable resource for educators. Anyone teaching a unit on animals will want to have a copy of this book on the shelf for project ideas. Librarians will want to have it as a go-to resource for information on animals and career options for those interested in animals, as well.
Many of the projects could be easily adapted for younger children. For example, older kids can make their own bat fruit salad, but younger children would certainly enjoy eating one (dare I say while reading Stellaluna?) Zoology for Kids is those rare books that is really for almost all ages!
Giveaway contest for this book and related activities at Growing With Science blog.
Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (March 1, 2015)
Disclosures: The book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.
Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.