STEM Friday #Kidlit Ocean Emporium

For STEM Friday we’re featuring Ocean Emporium: A Compilation of Creatures by Susie Brooks and illustrated by Dawn Cooper.

What is an emporium? By definition, it is a large store that carries a diversity of items, like you would find in a well-stocked department store. In this book the word is used in the sense of a place where you can see an array of different animals.

The first spread introduces readers to an ocean food web and all the different groups that are featured in the rest of the book.

“Deep, mysterious oceans sweep across our planet, making up 99 percent of the living space on Earth. Beneath their rolling waves lies a web of life that ties together creatures great and small.”

The rest of the two-page spreads are “collections” of related animals, from two different hermit crabs on pages 8-9 to eight species of sharks on pages 36-37 to ten “Creatures of the Deep” on pages 52-53. Each spread features a main paragraph which explains some unique characteristics of that group, along with another paragraph or two of interesting facts scattered within the illustrations.

Dawn Cooper’s digital illustrations capture a gorgeous assortment of actual creatures. They are both realistic and artistically rendered with brilliant color and detail, yet softened as if they are underwater. The texture of the paper adds to the illusion of looking into an aquarium or tide pool.

Ocean Emporium would be lovely to accompany a trip to an aquarium. It will entice both nature lovers and art lovers alike. Dive into a copy today!

Suggested activities:

1. To celebrate the art in the book, try a jellyfish craft project from Growing with Science.

2. To celebrate National Poetry Month and oceans, write an ocean-inspired poem or haiku.

Blueberry hermit crab
All claws and eye stalks
Wonder if it ever wants to be
A strawberry hermit crab

3. Read more ocean-themed children’s books from our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (March 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1580898289
ISBN-13: 978-1580898287

Disclosure: This 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.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.Opens in a new window Note: this is a new link as of 1/2019.

Dreaming Big and Small #Kidlit for #NationalPoetryMonth

National Poetry Month is my favorite time of year and a perfect time to share the poetry collection Dreaming Big and Small by Sara Holbrook, Michael Salinger, and illustrated by Scott Pickering.

As the authors explain up front, this is a collection of ekphrastic poems. Instead of writing poems and hiring an artist to illustrate them, the authors used Scott Pickering’s creative and playful illustrations to inspire their poetry.

Topics ranges from Kangaroos

…They wear a front facing backpack
as they bounce across the outback …

to socks:

Socks on the table
Socks in my drawer
Socks in my pocket
Socks on the floor…

As with any poetry collection, it can be read in pieces or all at once. Readers will likely want to return to their favorites again and again.

What I love the most is the message in the front encouraging readers use art to spark their own poetry.

Dreaming Big and Small is a delightful little book that packs a big wallop. Get inspired by a copy today!

Age: Middle grade +
Publisher: Streamline Publishing (2019)
ISBN-10: 1732519129
ISBN-13: 978-1732519121

 

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.

#Nonfiction Monday National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy

Exploring their ancestry and relatives is a great way for kids to learn more about themselves and also about history, but how to go about it isn’t always clear and most resources are geared for adults.  National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy: Tips and Tricks on How to Uncover Your Roots and Build Your Family Tree! by T.J. Resler gives middle grade students the tools they need to become successful genealogists.

The main section in each chapter explains how to do a particular aspects of the search, from getting started, to places to find clues, to how DNA has changed genealogy. In addition each chapter also includes expert tips, suggestions for hands-on activities (like putting together a time capsule or a family cookbook!), case files, and best of all, how to solve problems. Researching genealogy can be difficult at times and the book gives kids a realistic view of what the stumbling blocks might be and how to avoid getting discouraged.

The book is illustrated both with stock photographs and archival images from the Library of Congress. The information is organized in attractive chunks, with plenty of sidebars to make the pages visually interesting.

Although this book is geared for kids, adults who are interested in exploring their roots might also find it to be a useful place to start. I took notes when I read it and found myself saying, “That’s a really good idea” on almost every page. I also liked that the author emphasized how to preserve and organize information, and also how to keep accurate citations so others can follow their trail.

National Geographic Kids Guide to Genealogy is a wonderful choice for young history buffs and budding genealogists, or anyone embarking on an investigation into their ancestry. It is the kind of resource that readers will want to return to again and again. Dig up a copy today!

Suggested Activity:

Consider touring a cemetery, preferably an older one or one where some of your ancestors are buried. Visit Find A Grave and/or BillionGraves websites to locate one.

If you haven’t visited a particular cemetery, check in advance that it is a safe place to visit. Carry along supplies to take photographs, do rubbings, and/or take notes about significant or interesting tombstones. Also, talk to little ones about cemetery etiquette so they don’t climb tombstones or disturb others.

If you or a family member develops an interest, consider becoming a volunteer for one of the cemetery websites and upload information for others to use to locate their own relatives.

Disclosure: The book was provided 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.

#Nonfiction Monday Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World

Hungry? If not, you will be if you read the new children’s picture book Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki.

What better way to learn about new places than to explore their regional cuisine? McGinty takes the reader to breakfast from Australia to Nigeria in a series of two-page spreads. As she says,

It’s breakfast time around the world
in countries near and far.
Wake up world! It’s time to eat,
no matter where you are!

Each has dual level text, with short, bouncy rhymes for the youngest reader and a denser, detailed paragraph or two for the older reader. Suzuki’s bright illustrations bring the places and food to life.

Pancakes to Parathas will take young readers on a delicious trip around the world. Consume a copy today!

Suggested activities:

Pair a children’s book from countries around the world with a breakfast treat from the region. Find books, such as this list suggested by the Cooperative Children’s Book Council. You can also find many regional recipes online.

I chose Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge because it reminded me of a similar dish from my own childhood and because it can be made dairy free.

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal, medium or fine grind
  • 2 cups plus 1 cup water (divided use)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, the beverage type (see photograph)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • vanilla, salt, or sweetener to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the cornmeal and 1 cup of cold water together until completely mixed. (This prevents lumps.) Measure the remaining two cups of water and 1 cup coconut milk into a medium to large saucepan and bring to boil. Quickly whisk cold water/cornmeal into the boiling liquid and cook, stirring constantly, for 12-15 minutes. Note:  boiling cornmeal erupts like mini-volcanoes so turn down the heat quickly and keep on a low boil throughout.

Once cooked, cool slightly and serve with fresh fruit, sweetener, and/or some cold milk. I used a small amount of brown sugar, dried blueberries, and a small amount of rice milk. Yum!

See the publisher’s website for:

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: little bee books (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1499807120
ISBN-13: 978-1499807127

 

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.