#Kidlit: Into the Field Guides To Explore Nature

For Nonfiction Monday we are featuring two children’s books provided by Downtown Bookworks Publishing. They are part of a children bird science book giveaway offered at our sister blog, Growing With Science, starting today and running until 12:00 a.m. EST February 7, 2017.

These Into the Field Guides are lightweight and a perfect size to carry along on a hike. They won’t take up much room in a backpack. The guides feature color photographs and clear, simple descriptions to help youngsters learn to identify common animals, plants, and even rocks. They also include an introduction to some basic scientific concepts and facts. For example, the description of the stick insect explains how it uses camouflage to hide from predators.

A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide by Emily Laber-Warren

A Walk in the Woods has descriptions of animals, plants, and rocks found in Eastern deciduous forests. For example, the bird section highlights American robins, Northern mockingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, etc.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703269
ISBN-13: 978-1935703266

A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide by Laurie Goldman

A Walk on the Beach helps young readers learn about common animals, plants, rocks, shells, and even debris found on the beach. The bird section includes information about water birds ranging from great blue herons and seagulls, to eagles and ducks.

Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Original edition (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703277
ISBN-13: 978-1935703273

 

These field guides would be perfect to accompany the The Great Backyard Bird Count citizen science event.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Basically all people need to do is count the birds they see over 15 minutes during the weekend of the event and then report the numbers on the website. Although it is called “backyard,” people can count anywhere birds are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website. It is a wonderful project for kids to participate in.

See more children’s bird science books, related activities, and a giveaway at Growing with Science blog.

Disclosure: These books were 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.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

#ReadYourWorld #Kidlit: I am Rosa Parks by @BradMeltzer

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 has arrived. It’s a huge, fantastic celebration of diversity. Be sure to check the pages that gather links for many, many more wonderful books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by Penguin Group for review purposes. You can find out more about the Ordinary People Change the World series at their website.

About the Book:

I am Rosa Parks by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos is a picture book biography that introduces the reader not only to the life of an important historical figure, but also encourages children to stand up for themselves.

Brad Meltzer chose to tell Rosa Parks’s story from childhood and in first person, which immediately draws in young readers and makes her life relatable. He reveals an event from when she was young where she was knocked to the ground by a white boy on roller skates. The way she remains calm and assertive parallels what happens later in life when she refuses to give up her seat on a bus with segregated seating. In Meltzer’s hands, Rosa Parks is a role model for the ages.

In addition, Christopher Eliopoulos’s lighthearted cartoon drawings appeal to children, particularly reluctant readers. He emphasizes Rosa Parks’s diminutive statue, keeping her more childlike even as an adult.

I am Rosa Parks is an excellent addition to any bookshelf. Of course, it is a wonderful choice to have on hand for both Black History Month and Women’s History Month. However, it’s also a book to have on hand for a child who has difficulty speaking up, being assertive, or who is being bullied. Who can’t benefit from something like that one time or another in their lives?

Want to see what’s in the book for yourself? See the author reading to book in the video below.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Dial Books (June 17, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0803740859
ISBN-13: 978-0803740853

Activities Inspired by the Book:

  1. Rosa Parks’s Bus

In the book we learn Rosa Parks encounters a bus driver who tells her to “Get off my bus.” As she points out, the bus really belongs to everyone. What do you think she’d say if she found out that these days people call it the Rosa Parks bus? (See a photograph of the Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum.)

Read the book or another biography of Rosa Parks. Encourage the children to draw or make a bus to honor her. Projects can ranges from cut out shape collage to paintings, depending on the age of the children. Look on Pinterest for tons of craft ideas, for example here.

2. Public Transportation

Not only was Rosa Parks a hero, but all the people who boycotted the buses for months afterwards were heroes, too. Depending on the age of the children, have them explore methods of public transportation in your community. Challenge older children to try alternative transportation to school for a day, such as walking or biking. If they come to school in a car, perhaps they could try taking a bus or train. Always keep safety in mind, though.

About the author:

Brad Meltzer seemingly does it all. He hosts TV shows, writes novels for adults, and still has time to pen children’s book biographies. The one thread that ties them all together is his love of history. See more at Brad Meltzer’s website.

If you have a few minutes, watch  Brad Meltzer’s hilarious video storytime. In this episode he reads and discusses I am Rosa Parks. Can you imagine having this guy for a dad?

 

About Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

See our previous post for more about the event and free stuff you can get by participating.

#Kidlit: Art Lesson Using A Celebration of Beatrix Potter Book

Have you considered doing a lesson on picture book illustrators, which would combine aspects of art, literature, and history?  A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Art and letters by more than 30 of today’s favorite children’s book illustrators by Beatrix Potter (and many others) is a perfect resource to get you started.

Last year, 2016, was the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth. To honor her, thirty-two famous children’s book illustrators produced artwork and stories inspired by Potter’s picture books. The featured illustrators range from Lauren Castillo and Tomie dePaola to Rosemary Wells and Pamela Zagarenski. See Kelly Murphy’s website for one example.

The official word is this book is for readers grades three up. You might be skeptical, but it does have the potential to appeal to a range of ages.  Younger children will be probably be captivated by the assortment of illustrations and the excerpts from Potter’s children’s books. Adults will be interested in the accompanying essays by the illustrators, as well as the historical tidbits provided as background for Potter’s books. For example, we learn The Tailor of Gloucester was Beatrix Potter’s favorite and that it was based on a true story. How fun!

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter is a treasure trove to explore, especially for readers interested in art and books. It is valuable as a resource for art and history lessons, and as a reference. But best of all it is a fitting tribute to Beatrix Potter’s genius. Check out a copy today.

Examples of ways to use the book for art lessons:

Activity 1. Exploring Illustrations

Gather:

  • A Celebration of Beatrix Potter
  • Books by the featured illustrators
  1. Free exploration:   Encourage children to examine the illustrations in A Celebration of Beatrix Potter closely. They may be surprised by what they discover. For instance, David Wiesner points out Jeremy Fisher (a frog) has tiny non-frog feet with shoes on when he’s out of the water. Look at the thickness of the lines, the colors, textures, etc.
  2. Challenge:  Show an illustration from another book by one of the featured illustrators (without identifying the illustrator). See if the children can figure out who the illustrator is by matching similarities to illustrations in A Celebration of Beatrix Potter. Hint:  Rosemary Wells and Tomie dePaola might be good illustrators to start with.

Activity 2:  Warm and Cool Colors

Gather:

  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Optional:  Paints and paintbrushes

Explain that colors on a color wheel are divided into warm and cool colors based on how they relate to our experiences and how they make us feel. Warm colors are red, orange, and yellow. Cool colors are green, blue, and purple.

Show the children an illustration filled with cool colors, like Jon Agee’s illustration on page 33. Contrast it with an illustration with warm colors like Rosemary Well’s illustration on page 51. You can also compare the winter scenes on page 46 with the warm interior scenes on page 47. Ask the children to point out the warm and cool colors in each. Encourage them to describe how they feel about each illustration. Why do they think the artist chose those colors?

Have the children create their own illustrations using mostly cool or mostly warm colors. If they have the time and interest, have them create an illustration with the opposite colors and compare them.

 

Take a peek inside from Google Books:

 

Age: Grade 3+
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Warne (November 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0241249430
ISBN-13: 978-0241249437

Beatrix Potter had pet rabbits as a child.

Disclosure: This book was supplied by our local library. 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.

 

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

#ReadYourWorld: Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 Events and Free Stuff

Wow, I got back into blogging about children’s books at exactly the right time. There are so many exciting things going on. One of the biggest is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which is scheduled for Friday January 27, 2017.

If you’re like me, you always want to hear about the free stuff first.

Free Resources for Teachers and Parents:

And don’t forget all the reviews of multicultural books which will be linked to the website on January 27.

#####

More information:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

 

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

 

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use the official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.