#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.

#Cybils: Four Chick(en) Lit Books for Kids

Chickens are fascinating animals and with the resurgence of interest in keeping them, more children have or know someone who has a few chickens. Having spent last week watching my niece’s and nephew’s hilarious home videos of farmyard chickens walking backwards (don’t ask), I just knew I had to share some children’s books about these engaging birds.

Nonfiction

Our first book is A Chicken Followed Me Home!: Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page, which was nominated for a 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.

Written in a lively question-and-answer format, the text explains such basics as what a chicken eats, how to tell a hen from a rooster, how a chick gets out of its shell, etc. The framing story of a chicken following someone home adds imagination and some light humor.

The back matter contains two pages of even more pertinent questions about chickens, including where did the first chicken come from, how fast can a chicken run, and what is the largest breed of chicken. Do you know the answers?

Robin Page did the colorful, highly-textured illustrations digitally. They have a collage feel reminiscent of those done by her children’s book illustrator husband, Steve Jenkins.

A Chicken Followed Me Home would be useful for a child learning about their first chicken or one writing a report about chickens. It also just might encourage someone to try keeping a few chickens of their own.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (May 19, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1481410288
ISBN-13: 978-1481410281

chickens-cropped-281

When I was a child, our youth group used to visit the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine open house each spring (highly recommended if you live nearby!) Our favorite was always the chicken development exhibit because it featured chicks hatching. The new chicks were so lively and adorable, you could spend hours watching them.

When your children are ready to learn more about the “birds and the bees,” learning about chicken reproduction and development can be a reasonable first step. Following are two books that take a scientific approach and include diagrams of a hen’s reproductive tract.

The Egg by Rene Mettler is part of the My First Discoveries series known for its innovative layered see-through and lift-a-page illustrations.

In this case, children get a close up inside look at both a egg inside a hen and what happens inside an egg as a chick develops. Most of the book is devoted to chickens, but other animals that lay eggs are also mentioned in the back. Finally, it asks what kinds of eggs you like to eat and shows eggs as food, including as a humorous touch, a chocolate Easter egg.

Although marketed for preschoolers, the book would also be appropriate for older children eager to learn about the topic.

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Publisher: Moonlight Publishing; Expanded edition (August 1, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1851033807
ISBN-13: 978-1851033805

Where Do Chicks Come From? by Amy E. Sklansky and illustrated by Pam Paparone is part of the quality series Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science.

where do chicks come from?Marketed for a slightly older age range, this book covers the same material as the one above, but with more traditional illustrations. It reveals the life cycle of the chicken in an organized, logical way.

Is your child ready for vocabulary words like “albumen” and “fertilization”? Where Do Chicks Come From? is an “eggsceptional” choice for curious young readers!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 9780064452120
ISBN-13: 978-0064452120

Middle Grade Fiction

How did a middle grade fiction book end up on a list for Nonfiction Monday? It turns out this imaginative work also slips in a lot of facts about chickens.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones and illustrated by Katie Kath is an imaginative and surprising story told in letters (an epistolary novel).

Sophie Brown and her family have just moved to her Great-Uncle Jim’s farm after his death. Her dad has lost his job and her mom is struggling to support the family by writing articles. Sophie has her own problems feeling isolated in this new place and starts writing letters to her deceased grandmother, as well as others, as a way of coping. Now, if she could just figure out the mystery of the chickens, who seem to have superpowers.

Writing a novel as a series of letters poses certain challenges and it requires the reader do a certain amount of filling in of gaps. Many readers are likely to enjoy the extra work and appreciate the humorous bits, but others might be put off by the changes in tone and general quirkiness. Serious nonfiction types might want to skim to the “Beginner’s Correspondence Course in Proper Care and Housing of Poultry:  Chicken Edition” lesson sections, as well as the sidebars about the different breeds of chickens.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer is an unusual book. For the right reader, it will be a treasure.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (May 12, 2015)
ISBN-10: 038575552X
ISBN-13: 978-0385755528

Question whether kids and chickens are a good fit? Check out this charming video of a young girl interacting with her pet chickens.

Disclosure:  These books were either personal copies or came from the 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.

Learning the Trades with Whose Tools?

For STEM Friday we are excited to be participating on the blog tour for the interactive board book, Whose Tools? by Toni Buzzeo and illustrated by Jim Datz.

Many different specialized workers, or trades, use many different tools to build a house:

  • Masons
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Roofers
  • Painters

While exploring Whose Tools? youngsters learn to identify 24 different tools from cartoon illustrations and figure out which tradespeople might use them based on the clues provided. Readers then lift a gatefold page to see workers using those tools.

Toni Buzzeo is a librarian at heart and has published a number of children’s books. Her expertise is evident as this book is entirely age appropriate. It is short, interactive, and clever.

Although the book has been released right in time to share for Father’s Day, it would also work for Mother’s Day, as evidenced by the illustrations which show a diversity of workers, including female carpenters, roofers, etc. Coming from a family where my mom was a carpenter (she built her own horse barn almost single-handedly), I applaud illustrator Jim Datz!

Whose Tools? is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are interested in adult tools, but is also sure to intrigue most young readers. Be prepared to read this one again and again!

Related Activities:

  1. Be sure to check Toni Buzzeo’s webpage for awesome (and free!) .pdf teaching guides and activity sheets to accompany the book (scroll down).
  2. Tara Lazar has a lively interview with Toni Buzzeo and a Whose Tools? book giveaway (until end of June 2015).
  3. Gather some toy plastic tools and set up this shape matching activity for toddlers. Then let the children free play with the tools.
  4. Look for kid project workshops/clinics at your local home center (Home Depot, Lowe’s etc.) They are usually on Saturday mornings, are free, and the projects are fun. Check for recommended ages. They often have construction project kits to purchase, as well.

Age Range: 2 – 4 years
Board book: 16 pages
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Ltf Brdbk edition (May 5, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1419714317
ISBN-13: 978-1419714313

Note: Tony Buzzeo is also the author of the Caldecott winner, One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small.

 

 

Disclosures: 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.

What Kids A-B-See from the Backseat

Do you have any toddlers or preschoolers on your book-buying list? You might want to check out Backseat A-B-See by Maria van Lieshout. Backseat-A-B-See

At a certain age, children are fascinated with the same road signs that we jaded adults tend to tune out. Maria van Lieshout celebrates this interest as an educational opportunity, using the first letters of various road signs to encourage children to learn the alphabet. As she points out, the bright colors and highly contrasting look of road signs are developmentally appropriate for that age range.

Did you know that some US road sign designs have actually won awards? At Nerdy Book Club, Maria tells how she got the idea for the book from her son and also the “ins-and-outs” (sorry) of road sign design. Cool!

Here’s a cute little trailer for the book:

Backseat A-B-See will make you take a second look at road signs. Share it with a toddler near you.

Reading age:  Toddler/Preschooler
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 11, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452106649
ISBN-13: 978-1452106649