Practical #Kidlit: Let’s Hatch Chicks

Just in time for spring, meet Violet the Lavender Orpington hen and learn all about the life cycle of chickens in Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore the Wonderful World of Chickens and Eggs by Lisa Steele and illustrated by Perry Taylor.

 

When my son was in fourth grade, his teacher incubated eggs in the classroom. One weekend it was our turn to bring the incubator home and take care of the eggs. My son was thrilled and followed the instructions he had been given closely. He was even more excited when a few days later, the chicks that he had helped take care of began to hatch. Learning how the care for another creature was a valuable experience.

The new picture book, Let’s Hatch Chicks!: Explore the Wonderful World of Chickens, would be a great resource to accompany an egg incubation project. It gives context (that the eggs come from a hen), gives detailed information about what is happening inside the egg as it develops, and discusses how to care for the chicks once they hatch. Important vocabulary words are bold in the text, plus there’s an extensive glossary in the back matter.

Lisa Steele is an expert on keeping chickens and her knowledge shines through (see her website/blog: Fresh Eggs Daily). Even though I grew up on a farm where we had free range chickens, I learned a few things from reading the book. I didn’t know that some breeds of chickens have five toes on each foot, rather than the standard four. I also didn’t know the behavior of clucking to call chicks to food was called “tidbitting.” It is a sound that reminds me of my childhood.

The book has a nice look and feel. Perry Taylor’s illustrations are fabulous.  His chickens are so expressive, and the lavender/gray, and yellow and green color palette set the tone for spring.

Overall, Let’s Hatch Chicks! is exactly what educators look for in quality nonfiction picture books. A perfect choice not only for children who are experiencing chicken raising first hand, but also for those who might be curious about it and have not had the opportunity. Delightful!

See the author talk about the book and meet a chick in this video:

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Young Voyageur; 1 edition (Imprint of Quarto Group)(January 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0760357854
ISBN-13: 978-0760357859

Disclosures: This 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

#Kidlit Polly (The Goat) and Her Duck Costume

When I was young, I really wanted a goat to take care of. I thought they were inquisitive and playful, and would be fun to get to know. We lived on a farm, but my parents didn’t like goats and so it never happened.

Now the current generation of children can be introduced to goats through the new picture book Polly and Her Duck Costume by Leanne Lauricella and illustrated by Jill Howarth.


Although this book may look like a fictional story, as the blurb says, it is “the true story of a little blind rescue goat.” It is part of a new series Lauricella has written to help fund her Goats of Anarchy farm animal rescue.

The story and the illustrations are over-the-top adorable. It is hard not to be charmed by the face of a tiny blind goat peering out of a huge duck costume. The photographs of the little goats in the back matter will melt the toughest heart.

If the book was only about cute, however, I probably wouldn’t mention it. It has another important message. Polly the goat suffers from anxiety. Being wrapped in blankets at first and later the duck costume, helps her cope. Parents and educators who work with children with anxiety might find the book a useful gateway to a discussion about anxiety, weighted blankets, etc. It might also be informative for siblings and classmates.

Polly and Her Duck Costume is a book about a little goat who needed special assistance. Maybe her story will be of some service to readers, as well. Who knows where it might lead?

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr (September 12, 2017)
ISBN-10: 163322418X
ISBN-13: 978-1633224186

Public domain photograph via VisualHunt.com

Disclosure: This 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.

Hopping into Summer with The Hidden Life of a Toad

Let’s take a look at the new picture book The Hidden Life of a Toad by biologist and photographer Doug Wechsler.

Many books feature what we commonly call frogs, but hardly any concentrate on their less colorful, bumpy cousins the toads. The Hidden Life of a Toad brings some well-deserved attention to these fascinating creatures.

In addition to filling a neglected niche, the book has a great deal more going for it. First of all, Wechsler went to great lengths to capture high quality images of every step in the toad life cycle, and his photographs are stellar. He waded into water, spent nights in the woods, and brought toad eggs home to watch in a tank. You can read about what he did to take the photos in the back matter.

Next, as a biologist, his facts are impeccable. Back matter is filled with supplemental information, including a glossary, toad facts, and suggestions for helping toads. It is sure to inspire future toad biologists to want to learn more.

Finally, what is even better is that he has studied children’s literature and his writing is spot on, too. It is full of lively verbs:

One embryo wiggles.
It wriggles.
It jiggles about.

The Hidden Life of a Toad delivers all you can ask for in nonfiction and more. Share it with a young reader today.

Related:
See Growing with Science blog for related activity suggestions.

Visit our growing list of children’s books about frogs and toads.

Similar review previously published on Nonfiction Monday blog.

Disclosure: This book was supplied by my 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.

#Kidlit: Into the Field Guides To Explore Nature

For Nonfiction Monday we are featuring two children’s books provided by Downtown Bookworks Publishing. They are part of a children bird science book giveaway offered at our sister blog, Growing With Science, starting today and running until 12:00 a.m. EST February 7, 2017.

These Into the Field Guides are lightweight and a perfect size to carry along on a hike. They won’t take up much room in a backpack. The guides feature color photographs and clear, simple descriptions to help youngsters learn to identify common animals, plants, and even rocks. They also include an introduction to some basic scientific concepts and facts. For example, the description of the stick insect explains how it uses camouflage to hide from predators.

A Walk in the Woods: Into the Field Guide by Emily Laber-Warren

A Walk in the Woods has descriptions of animals, plants, and rocks found in Eastern deciduous forests. For example, the bird section highlights American robins, Northern mockingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, etc.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703269
ISBN-13: 978-1935703266

A Walk on the Beach: Into the Field Guide by Laurie Goldman

A Walk on the Beach helps young readers learn about common animals, plants, rocks, shells, and even debris found on the beach. The bird section includes information about water birds ranging from great blue herons and seagulls, to eagles and ducks.

Age Range: 5 and up
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Downtown Bookworks; Original edition (June 18, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1935703277
ISBN-13: 978-1935703273

 

These field guides would be perfect to accompany the The Great Backyard Bird Count citizen science event.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Basically all people need to do is count the birds they see over 15 minutes during the weekend of the event and then report the numbers on the website. Although it is called “backyard,” people can count anywhere birds are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website. It is a wonderful project for kids to participate in.

See more children’s bird science books, related activities, and a giveaway at Growing with Science blog.

Disclosure: These books were 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.

nonfictionmonday

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