STEM Friday #Kidlit To Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing

Saturday July 20, 2019 is the 50th  Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. To celebrate, let’s check out a new middle grade book about the moon.

Luna: The Science and Stories of Our Moon by David  A. Aguilar

 

Beginning with how the moon is thought to have come about and how the moon compares with Earth, Aguilar then takes the reader on a ride through other moons, as well as moon myths and hoaxes, before settling down for a detailed discussion of moon features. Perfect for the lunar landing anniversary is a section about what the Apollo astronauts discovered.

The pluses:  The book is filled with fantastic illustrations by David A. Agulilar. Also there are three hands-on activities in the back: making a 3D model of lunar craters with Plaster of Paris, using a small telescope to explore the moon, and directions for drawing the moon.

Slight minus is that the thin shape and design of the book give it a picture book look, and middle grade readers might hesitate to pick it up. For example, the children shown on page 34 are obviously younger than the 10-12 year old target range.  The density of the text and vocabulary level, however, put it firmly into the middle grade level.

Luna is arriving on shelves just as interest in the moon and lunar landings is peaking. Explore a copy today!

Related:

Anastasia Suen’s Apollo 11 Booklist artiicle

Want to read more? See our growing list of books about the moon and lunar landings at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 10 – 12 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (June 11, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1426333226
ISBN-13: 978-1426333224

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.

Slimy #kidlit: The Slug by Elise Gravel

Thanks to my cousin Karen’s recommendation, today we are highlighting The Slug, part of the Disgusting Critters series by Elise Gravel. What fun!

Combining accurate information with  silly cartoon illustrations and hilarious asides, Elise Gravel has come up with a winning formula for making nonfiction “slide” down easily.

See for yourself (although use caution if you are easily grossed out by mucus.):

Perfect for nature or STEM story times!

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Tundra Books; Reprint edition (July 5, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1770496564
ISBN-13: 978-1770496569

Ready to learn more about slugs and snails? Visit our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre

For Nonfiction Monday, we have the beautiful picture book by April Pulley Sayre, Bloom Boom!

As with some of her earlier books, April Pulley Sayre combines her gorgeous nature photographs with sparse, lyrical text.

From woodlands to gardens —
ready, set, go!
Nature is preparing
a flower show…

On the cover is a photograph of brilliantly-colored poppies, which sets the tone for what is to come inside.  Every spread is filled with vibrant color, either in sprawling landscapes or detailed close ups of flowers and growing plants.

California poppies

With only a few words on each page, Sayre manages to introduce children to botanical terms and concepts. She also uses alliteration and repetition to keep young readers interested. Besides learning about plants, the book is also a great way for little ones to learn about color (see activity below).

After you’ve gasped at the final spread, don’t forget to check out the back matter. In “The Bloom Boom” section, Sayre explains how to find areas where masses of flowers bloom all at once. In “A Bit More About Blooms” you can find thumbnails of each spread with accompanying details about the flowers in each.

Bloom Boom! is a visual feast, sure to enthrall young nature lovers.  Explore a copy today!

Activity Suggestion:

Color Picker:

Gather paint sample cards with a variety of hues and shades (from home supply stores or friends who recently decorated). Challenge children to find colors that match the samples in the book.

To extend the activity, go on a nature hike or visit a botanical garden when flowers are in bloom. See if the children can find matching colors in the plants around them.

Bring along a field guide or plant identification app to learn more about what you discover.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (February 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1481494724
ISBN-13: 978-1481494724

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.

Lupines

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

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.