Zoology for Kids

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!

Related:

Giveaway contest for this book and related activities at Growing With Science blog.

Zoology for Kids Website

Age Range: 9 and up
Grade Level: 4 and up
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (March 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1613749619
ISBN-13: 978-1613749616

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.

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Are You Reading Aloud Tomorrow?

Tomorrow is the first Wednesday in March, which means it is World Read Aloud Day (March 4, 2015).

litworldWRAD15logo-webThe website has plenty of suggestions for participating in the classroom and in the community. Also, there is a free picture book to download.

I’m heading off to the library soon…

Do you think you will participate?

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Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library: Nonfiction in Honor of Dr. Suess

Today, March 2, 2015, is what would have been Theodore Seuss Geisel’s 111st birthday. It is also National Education Association’s Read Across America celebration to promote literacy. To participate, in addition to pulling out Green Eggs and Ham, why not share some fantastic nonfiction with titles from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library?

The Cat in the Hat might not be the first book/character that comes into mind when you think of nonfiction, but it should be.  The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library blends the fun cartoon characters and rhyming text of classic Seuss with well-researched, high quality nonfiction. It is a winning combination!

Although the series has been out for some time, try these new titles:

Out of Sight Till Tonight!: All About Nocturnal Animals (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe

The Cat in the Hat character takes Sally and Nick (with Thing 1 and Thing 2) on a learning adventure visit with nocturnal animals, such as bats, owls, raccoons, and kiwi birds. Explore why some animals’ eyes shine at night or how bats find their food in the dark.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Series: Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 24, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0375870768
ISBN-13: 978-0375870767

Once upon a Mastodon: All About Prehistoric Mammals (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) [Hardcover] by Bonnie Worth

Did you know that sloths have ancient relatives that were giants, as big as elephants? Learn all about the Ice Age mammals and early humans, too.

Can You See a Chimpanzee?: All About Primates (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu

In this title, the Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Nick to Africa and Asia where they discover all sorts of primates, from tiny tarsiers and tamarins to giant gorillas. Learn the difference between an ape and a monkey along the way.

The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library has a nonfiction title on virtually any topic you can imagine. Pick out one to share with young readers today!

Disclosure: 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.

 

Posted in Nonfiction Monday Review, Picture book- nonfiction, Reading Challenges | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Honoring Women’s History in March

Did you know it will be Women’s History Month in March? What better way to celebrate than by sharing children’s literature about women’s contributions?

For the fifth consecutive year, librarians Margo Tanenbaum of The Fourth Musketeer and Lisa Taylor of Shelf-Employed are bringing together distinguished authors and illustrators of children’s books related to women’s history at the  KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month blog.

Women's-History-Month

The blog will publish regularly from March 1 through March 31, 2015. If you aren’t sure you’ll remember to check back (like me), you can sign up to follow the blog or receive it via email (Visit the site at http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com to see options).

For more ideas how to bring children’s literature about women’s history to the children you work with, be sure to skim through the older posts (for example this one of hands-on activities using the featured books in 2014)  and the Internet links to educational resources.

If you choose, please let us know about your favorite finds.

Related:

Visit 21 Children’s Books About Women Scientists at Science Books for Kids.

21-books-about-women-scientists

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Caring for Guinea Pigs Book

Have you ever had a pet guinea pig?

guinea-pigs-101

Guinea pigs really do make great first pets for children. My sister and I enjoyed ours so much we made sure our own children got to keep guinea pigs as pets as well.

Those enjoyable experiences keeping guinea pigs as pets is why I am thrilled to recommend Gordon’s Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs (Pets’ Guides) by Isabel Thomas.

Who is “Gordon” from the title? Gordon is a cartoon guinea pig who serves as a first-person guide throughout the book. There he is in the lower left corner of the cover above.

Gordon shows readers how to choose their pet guinea pigs (he recommends keeping more than one because they are social), what supplies they will need, as well as how to properly feed (special pellets with vitamin C) and exercise the new member of the family. He suggests ways to keep a guinea pig cage clean and what symptoms to look for if your guinea pig seems sick.

The book is illustrated both with color photographs and with humorous illustrations of Gordon. It covers the basics clearly and concisely, and everyone who is thinking of adopting a guinea pig would do well to read this book first.

I do have one other “cavieat” (guinea pigs are also called cavies.) I recommend that all members of your family spend time with guinea pigs before you commit to bringing them home, not just the potential owner. It turned out that one member of our family was uncomfortably allergic to our guinea pigs, which we didn’t realize until afterwards.

guinea-pigs-2

Otherwise, who could resist these adorable faces? Read Gordon’s Guide to Caring for Your Guinea Pigs and you just might be hooked, too.

Age Range: 6 – 8 years
Publisher: Heinemann (September 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1484602684
ISBN-13: 978-1484602683

Edit:  Bedtime Math blog has a great story and math activities that would go well with this book.

Disclosure: The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. 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.

 

Posted in Nonfiction, Nonfiction Monday Review, Picture book- nonfiction | Tagged | 1 Comment