STEM Friday #Kidlit Do Doodlebugs Doodle?

I’m in the mood for something fun and light this morning, so let’s take a look at the picture book Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts by Corinne Demas, Artemis Roehrig, and illustrated by Ellen Shi.


Do Doodlebugs Doodle? has a lot of positives going for it. First, there’s the engaging premise, which is to ask silly questions relating insect common names and then astonish the reader with an actual fact about that group. For example, the authors ask, “Do horseflies gallop?” The accompanying illustration shows a jockey riding a horsefly. Turning the page, the reader learns that although horseflies don’t gallop, they can fly faster than a horse can gallop. Cool!

Ellen Shi’s illustrations are just the right mix of silly fun and realistically-portrayed insects.

It also has some pedigree. Corinne Demas is an award-winning children’s author and Artemis Roehrig is a biologist who works with invasive insects. Persnickety Press is the sister imprint of the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, which is doing Jane Yolen’s wonderful bird series.

Then why wasn’t I wholly thrilled about Do Doodlebugs Doodle? As an entomologist, I know that there are millions of species of insects the authors could have highlighted. Insects that do such amazing things. Yet, out of ten insects selected, they chose two that were considered to be pests of humans, kissing bugs and bed bugs. Plus they placed the “pests” near the end, which is the “climax” of the book and where they leave a lasting impression. If their motivation is to truly encourage children to appreciate insects, something about making 20% of the insects ones that bite you (and 10% that sting) feels flawed to me. If the author’s motivation was to add an “ick” factor, then again there were many more positive choices (dung beetles, burying beetles, etc.) But that’s just my perception, and its not a major issue. If you have read it or pick it up, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are.

The authors dedicate their book to budding entomologists. Check out a copy and find out if doodlebugs do indeed doodle.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Persnickety Press (March 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1943978352
ISBN-13: 978-1943978359

 

 

 

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for Cybils review. 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.

#Nonfiction Monday #kidlit for #nahaiwrimo: Rain

Want to share a children’s picture book for National Haiku Writing MonthRain by Anders Holmer is a lovely choice.

The picture book is a collection of haiku, each celebrated by a two-page spread of sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, and sometimes hopeful illustrations.

The topics of the haiku are not simple ones. For example, regarding a forest fire:

Beneath the ashes are
seeds for a new forest that
might burn someday too

Adults might shy away from the dark illustrations and/or the darker topics for children, but it is actually offers much to explore and consider.

Rain will appeal to both nature lovers and budding poets. Pull it out for haiku month or for any rainy day.

Activity Suggestion:

Perfect to accompany a lesson on writing haiku, such as this one from Scholastic (scroll down for reproducible “What is Haiku”).

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0802855075
ISBN-13: 978-0802855077

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 Young, Gifted and Black

Let’s explore some more of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that were nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson and illustrated by Andrea Pippinsis is a middle grade title that celebrates the lives of visionaries who also happen to be people of color.

Author Jamia Wilson has gathered the stories of 52 amazing people and condensed them into must-read single page summaries. Readers will learn about astronauts, athletes, entertainers, mathematicians, poets, and a president.

Although Wilson celebrates each person’s triumphs, she also doesn’t shy away from each person’s struggles. For example, both Stevie Wonder and Sidney Poitier were born prematurely, which caused Stevie Wonder to lose his sight. Madame C. J. Walker lost her parents when she was seven. When children read how others overcame challenges to become successful, hopefully they will be inspired to keep trying and dream big for themselves, too.

Andrea Pippinsis’s illustrations are so vibrant. They capture the energy and vitality of these strong personalities with bold lines and shapes that suggest movement.

The back matter includes a “Hall of Fame” with a photograph (or illustration if predated cameras) of each person in a colorful frame. It is mesmerizing. I found myself returning to it again and again.

Young, Gifted and Black is a perfect choice for both Black and Women’s History Months. Pick up a copy and inspire a child today.

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (February 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1786031582
ISBN-13: 978-1786031587

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.

Haiku About Children’s Book for #nahaiwrimo

For STEM Friday, Anastasia shared The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

The inspiration for the book is a sad one. In 2007 someone noticed that the newest edition of Oxford Junior Dictionary no longer contained around forty words about natural things, including common words like acorn and dandelion. Author Macfarlane chose to right this slight by celebrating each and every one to these “lost” words.

To honor his efforts to promote nature and words, and inspired by NaHaiWriMo, a haiku:

word acorn dropped
from children’s dictionary
oak trees grow no more

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Anansi International; First Edition edition (October 2, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1487005385
ISBN-13: 978-1487005382