Jump Into Spring With A Nest Is Noisy

April has been a busy and exciting month with National Library Week and National Poetry Month. We were so caught up, we almost missed the release of a fabulous new nonfiction picture book perfect for spring:  A Nest Is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Sylvia Long.

When you think of nests, you probably think of birds like the hummingbirds right there on the cover. As soon as you peek into the book, however, you realize that a whole assortment of animals make nests.

A nest is noisy.
It is a nursery of chirp-chirping… [hummingbirds]
buzzing…[honey bees]
squeaking…[alligators]…

You get the idea. Author Aston has found insects, frogs, fish, alligators, and even orangutans that make nests for their offspring. The reader finds out not just what the different kinds of nests there are, but also what purposes the different nests serve.

The team of Aston and Long have already written and illustrated several award-winning books, including An Egg is Quiet, A Butterfly Is Patient, A Seed is Sleepy, and A Rock is Lively. Because this book follows a similar format, some people might dismiss it with, “Oh, I’ve seen that.” Passing it over would be a mistake, however, because even though it is part of a series with a predictable format, it is still gorgeous and rises heads above many other nonfiction picture books out there.

The only negative aspect of the book is that the designers chose a cursive font for the main lines. Yes, it is lovely, but very few children are taught enough cursive writing to be able to read it fluently these days. No matter, it becomes an opportunity for adults and children to read together.

A Nest Is Noisy is a must for libraries, for children interested in animals, and anyone interested in nature. It would be an ideal gift book for any occasion.

Related:

All About Nests: Nature Activities for Kids at Growing with Science

There’s a free Common Core aligned teacher’s guide (link goes to .pdf) for the books at Chronicle Books.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 14, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1452127131
ISBN-13: 978-1452127132

Disclosures:  I found this book at my local independent bookstore. 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.

 

Putting a Poem in Your Pocket

Tomorrow, April 30, 2015, is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The idea is to put a copy of a poem in your pocket in the morning and pull it out to share with others throughout the day.

I decided to share one of my favorites, “To Any Reader” by Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses.)

poem-in-your-pocket-to-any-reader

 

This poem is both sad and hauntingly beautiful to me.

You can also see and hear it online:  Stevenson, R. (1913). To Any Reader. A Child’s Garden of Verses: Selected Poems (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved April 29, 2015, from http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/59/a-childs-garden-of-verses-selected-poems/4755/to-any-reader/

Looking for more? Diane Rehm has a timely discussion of the fabulous memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson that you might find enjoyable.

The organizers of the event ask that you share your poem selection on Twitter tomorrow by using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Will you be sharing a poem? What poem did you choose?

 

__________________________________

Disclosure: These books were from my personal 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.

Octopus Book Makes a Splash

Trips to the beach are likely right around the corner, and what better way to get in the mood than to learn about some ocean creatures?

Could an Octopus Climb a Skyscraper?: …and other questions – Hilarious scenes bring octopus facts to life! (What if a) by Camilla de la Bedoyere and illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff is a lively picture book that compares what an octopus can do with some common human activities, allowing children to easily relate to the information.

This factual book dances on the edge of fiction with cartoon illustrations of funny situations. An octopus that can turn yellow and look like a banana? An octopus that washes a car? Hysterical! At its nonfiction core, however, the child will also learn many current facts about octopuses, such as they have three hearts and blue blood. The facts are repeated to reinforce learning in a “fact file” in the back.

Also in the back is a large map that shows where octopuses live. For some reason, the map fails to indicate any octopuses are found around Australia, which is home of the potentially deadly blue-ringed octopus (I know this because I’ve watched far too many nature documentaries).

Looking for a book to entice a reluctant reader? Could an Octopus Climb a Skyscraper? is an absolutely perfect choice because it has all the elements needed to capture and hold a child’s attention. It would also be a wonderful choice for budding marine scientists, to accompany a trip to an aquarium, or of course, to accompany a trip to the beach,

Suggested related activity:

The last page of the book features a post card from an octopus. To encourage your readers to write, have them make their own pretend postcards or give them real post cards to fill out and send to friends.

pretend-postcard

Also, check for informational videos about octopuses like these:

Amazing:

More informational:

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: What if a
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: QEB Publishing (April 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1609927338
ISBN-13: 978-1609927332

Disclosure: The book was provided 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.

 

Two Tree Books for Arbor Day

Next Friday, April 24, 2015, is Arbor Day. To get ready, let’s share two children’s books about trees so children can learn how special and important trees can be.

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World by Margi Preus and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon has been out for a few years, but it is well worth a revisit.

In addition to the main series of two-page spreads telling the stories of 14 famous, tall and exceptionally-old trees from around the world, the back matter gives more information about the trees and a number of suggestions about what the reader can do to help and encourage trees.

Interestingly, Celebritrees is as much a discourse about human history and behavior as it is about trees. We are attracted to big and old trees, as well as those with unique stories or features. In fact, sometimes humans are so attracted to certain trees that by sheer numbers visitors have damaged and sometimes killed the very trees they revere. The author notes that the exact identities and locations of some of the trees has been hidden so the trees are left alone to continue their lives.

Rather than photographs, Rebecca Gibbon created lighthearted, fun illustrations using a mix of acrylic ink, colored pencils and watercolor. The illustrations allow for a more coherent look and also incorporate details of the text in ingenious ways. The look would definitely appeal to young readers who prefer fiction.

Celebritrees is an exceptional book about exceptional trees. Check out a copy today!

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0805078290
ISBN-13: 978-0805078299

Branching Out: How Trees Are Part of Our World by Joan Marie Galat and illustrated by Wendy Ding investigates 11 special kinds of trees from around the world. It is for middle grade readers.

Using four-page spreads, the author describes a particular species of tree, how it used by humans, and what animals depend on that particular kind of tree. The trees included range from red maples and downy birches to pau brasil and cork oaks.

Filled with color photographs and sidebars, this title takes a more serious and scientific tone than the previous one. The introduction about why trees are important is particularly well done.

You can see for yourself what the book is like in this short video trailer:

Branching Out: How Trees Are Part of Our World is a perfect choice for Arbor Day or any other day children want to find out more about trees!

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Owlkids Books (October 14, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1771470496
ISBN-13: 978-1771470490

Don’t forget to visit our giant, redwood-sized list of books about trees for kids.

tree-books-button

trees

Disclosures: These books were from my 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.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.