One of the first things you notice about the Sonoran Desert (where I live) is the extreme variety of plants, some of which are pretty bizarre. Take, for example, trees with green bark instead of leaves or a plant that looks like a giant carrot root sticking upside down out of the ground (a boojum tree). One of the most iconic, the saguaro cactus, is even featured in the book, Peculiar Plants (Read Me!: Extreme Nature) by Anita Ganeri. This nonfiction picture book will intrigue older children (level 3-5) who are reading at level 1-3.
Each unusual plant is featured in a two-page spread with big color photographs and a “Did You Know?” sidebar with an interesting fact about each. Plants range from a giant sequoia to a tiny edelweiss. Note: technically the giant kelp in the book are actually algae, which are now sometimes classified as protists rather than plants.
The book wraps up with a “What Am I?” quiz to help reinforce learning. It also has a glossary and places to “Find Out More.”
Peculiar Plants would be a great book to accompany a unit on plants and especially to entice struggling readers to learn more about these fascinating oddities of nature.
Did you know that May is Get Caught Reading month? Why not get caught reading some great science books and do some hands-on activities, too?
Carrots Grow Underground by Mari Schuh
Reading level: Beginning/Easy Reader (Ages 4-8)
Summary: Describes and illustrates the life cycle of carrots and other root vegetables using appropriate first-grade vocabulary. Contains Glossary, Read More, Internet Sites and Index.
Illustrations: Color photographs
Comments: The formatting is perfect for the age group. The illustrations are yummy, and are consistent with one another in composition. Makes you want to get out there and plant some seeds, or even better, eat some fresh vegetables.
Serve carrots and other root vegetables as snacks after reading these books (preferably whole carrots)
Find an appropriate container or plot of soil and plant some carrot seeds