Blueberries Grow on a Bush

Blueberries Grow on a Bush by Mari Schuh

Reading level: Beginning/Easy Reader (Ages 4-8)

Summary: Describes and illustrates the life cycle of blueberries and other berries using appropriate first-grade vocabulary. Introduces concepts of pollination and dormancy.

Illustrations:  Color photographs

Comments:  The formatting is perfect for the age group. The photographs are clearly labeled and laid out well. This is a great series of books for this age group.

Related activities:

  • Make a fruit salad with blueberries and/or blueberry muffins for a snack
  • Blend some blueberries in a blender to use as a pH indicator. The juice will turn red in presence of strong acids, like lemon juice or vinegar. Steve Spangler has more specific instructions.
  • Any leftover blueberry sauce can be used as paint. Draw a picture with crayon and use the blueberry “paint” as a wash, for a resist painting.
  • The Blueberry Council has information and activities for kids and teachers. Click on the images in the footer.

Compatible fiction: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McClosky

(Scholastic has a math lesson plan)

Publisher: Capstone Press; Pebble Books (January 2, 2011)

ISBN-10: 9781429661836
ISBN-13: 978-1429661836

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Experiment with Seeds (Junior Scientists)

Junior Scientists: Experiment with Seeds by Susan H. Gray

Series:  Science Explorer Junior

Reading level: grades 2-3 (somewhat younger than suggested by publisher)

Summary:  Directions for three simple science experiments with seeds that use common household ingredients. Addresses questions such as whether seeds need air to grow or whether roots always grow down.

Illustrations:  Color photographs and illustrations

Comments:  The experiments are creative and the methods are clearly written. They are likely to be successful and encourage children to explore further.

Related activities:

Compatible books:

  • The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow by Joanna Cole and illustrated by John Speirs and Bruce Degan
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Publisher: Cherry Lake Publishing (August 2010)

ISBN-10: 1602798931
ISBN-13: 978-1602798939

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Be sure to look for more information about children’s books at today’s Book Talk Tuesday.

Carrots Grow Underground

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.

Related activities:

Compatible fiction: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Publisher: Capstone Press; Pebble Books (January 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429661852
ISBN-13: 978-1429661850

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Next title to be reviewed: Space, Stars, and the Beginning of Time:  What the Hubble Telescope Saw by Elaine Scott

Be sure to look for more information about children’s books at today’s Book Talk Tuesday.

Planting the Wild Garden

Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin is a lovely new picture book about how seeds are spread in nature.

“OOOOOO-whishhhh! The wind scatters seeds. It spills them. And spins them.”

The text is full of action, with verbs highlighted. It is an absolute pleasure to read aloud. Galbraith has a superlative writing style. In fact, her last book won a Parents’ Choice Award, and this one will probably be in contention for upcoming awards as well.

The text is also informative. Did you guess that fish might eat seeds that fall in the water? Or that some plants pop out their seeds? Galbraith packs a lot of facts into very few words.

What a visual treat! The endpapers are exquisite, with many interesting seeds and fruit to explore. The illustrations show movement or the passage of time in a novel way. Halperin has blocked out small squares of details within a bigger picture, so it is almost like a slide show, or even a movie.

Planting the Wild Garden would work equally well as a read aloud for a group, or a quiet cuddle in a chair. This book is a wonderful, gentle introduction to the topic of seed dispersal. It is sure to engage young children and inspire them to want to learn more about nature.

Jennifer at Jean Little Library, has a recent review.

Look for related hands-on science activities at Growing With Science

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (April 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1561455636
ISBN-13: 978-1561455638

Book was supplied for review purposes.

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by the new Nonfiction Monday blog to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s post is at L. L. Owens.