Cybils 2018: Call for Volunteer Judges

Do you blog about children’s books on a regular basis? Like to promote books and reading? Then you might want to become a Cybils judge. The call for judges is ongoing until September 9, 2018.

What are Cybils? The acronym stands for children’s and young adult bloggers literary awards. Bloggers who specialize in children’s and young adult books have developed the Cybils awards to highlight some of the best books published in the previous year.

Volunteer judges are needed to read and evaluate the nominated titles in a range of genres. There are two rounds of judging, so be sure to read the judging details to decide which panels you would like to apply for.

Being a Cybils judge is a wonderful opportunity to meet others interested in children’s books and to read some of the top books in the industry.

Hope to see you there!

#kidlit Baby Loves Gravity!

I’ve been wanting to take a look at the Baby Loves Science series forever. When book 5 came out in May 2018, I knew it was time.

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers are explorers and scientists; they are constantly discovering new things and trying to figure out how the world works. Baby Loves Gravity! (Baby Loves Science) by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Irene Chan introduces the vocabulary they’ll need to explore the concept of gravity.
Using short sentences, age-appropriate examples, and colorful illustrations the book will entice babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

“Gravity is even at the park!
Baby climbs up…
…and gravity helps him down.
Whee! Baby loves gravity.

Some question the validity of introducing high-level science concepts to toddlers whose brains aren’t fully developed yet (for example, Kirkus). On the other hand, it is easy to underestimate children. I’ve had a four year old explain to me that he didn’t want to go faster than the speed of light because he wouldn’t be able to see where he was going. My feeling is that if they are interested in gravity, you will know. If they aren’t, go on to something that does interest them.

Give Baby Loves Gravity a try. If nothing else, you will be prepared to answer all the non-stop why questions you are going to get.

Related activities:

Experiments with gravity for elementary-aged kids at Growing with Science

Age Range: 3 and up
Series: Baby Loves Science (Book 5)
Board book: 22 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge; Brdbk edition (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 158089836X
ISBN-13: 978-1580898362

 

Another in the series:

Baby Loves Quarks! (Baby Loves Science) by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Irene Chan

Disclosure: This book was provided 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.

#kidlit: Two New Picture Books Featuring Adorable Spiders

Two fiction picture books came out in the last few months that both feature adorable spiders.

The Weaver by Qian Shi

Stanley the spider collects things and stores them in his web. What will he do when a storm comes and his collection is washed away? He comes up with a clever solution.

The Weaver Promo – Collector from Qian Shi on Vimeo.

 

Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Publisher: Andersen Pr USA (April 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1541514548
ISBN-13: 978-1541514546

Bear’s Scare by Jacob Grant

 

Bear is very neat and tidy. He is beyond bothered when a spider begins building webs everywhere. That is, until the spider shows a hidden talent for fixing things.

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books (June 12, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1681197200
ISBN-13: 978-1681197203

Aren’t those the cutest spiders ever?

 

Looking for more children’s books about spiders? See our growing list of nonfiction and fiction titles about spiders at Science Books for Kids.

 

Purrfect #Kidlit: Super Cats -True Stories of Felines That Made History

For the Chinese Year of the Dog I created a list of children’s books about dogs, so let’s even things up by taking a look at the new middle grade book Super Cats: True Stories of Felines That Made History by Elizabeth Macleod.

After a brief introduction to how cool cats are, Elizabeth MacLeod delves into the history of cats, including how cats were treated as gods in ancient Egypt. Next she explores cultures that considered cats to be bad luck versus cultures that considered cats to be good luck.

In addition to being popular pets, cats can be much more. The author reveals some true stories of cat heroism, such as a cat famous for tracking down fish smugglers, two cats that detected electronic bugs in a Dutch embassy in Russia, and therapy cats that save lives. She also has some stories about how cats inspired their owners, from sparks from his cat’s fur motivating Nikola Tesla to study electricity, to composers stimulated to write cat-themed music.

Intermixed with the stories are interesting facts about cats, for example how far they can leap or tidbits about different breeds.

Some parts involve a frank look at death and dying. The book has photographs of cats catching mice, a lion attacking water buffalo, and a cat mummy. The author suggests that superstitions against cats in Europe from the 1300s to 1700s may have made the Black Death plague much worse because removing cats allowed mice and rat populations to explode. (The Black death is carried by rodent fleas.) One of the prominent inspirational stories is about Oscar the cat who seems to be able to predict or detect when the patients in the nursing home are about to die.

Most of the illustrations are cute cats like this one.

On the other hand,  most of the stories are heartwarming. Who can’t feel their blood pressure lowering when they read about cat cafés where patrons enjoy interacting with cats, or bookstore and library cats who nap among the books?

Super Felines is a “purrfect” choice for young cat owners and others who would like to learn more about these amazing animals. Cuddle up with a copy today!

Activity Suggestions

1. Writing prompt:  Write your own story about a cat.

For example:  Have you ever been adopted by a cat?

If you’ve ever had a cat, you know how they creep into your lives. At the shop where my son worked, the employees didn’t know they needed a cat, but a stray black and white female realized that they had an opening in their lives and decided to adopt them. Soon after her arrival, she had all the guys who work there at her beck and call. They were wrangled into giving her food, changing her litter box, and providing a warm lap now and then. Now she is the queen of the shop.

In another example, even though the book says the Bourke Police Department in New South Wales, Australia took in a stray cat they named PC Splashe, we know that instead PC Splashe adopted the police department.

2. Listen to some cat-inspired music such as Kitten on the Keys by Zez Confrey.

 

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Publisher: Annick Press (March 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1554519934
ISBN-13: 978-1554519934

Disclosure: This book was from our local library. 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.