STEM Friday #Kidlit The Great Shark Rescue by Sandra Markle

For STEM Friday this week, we have a middle grade book,  The Great Shark Rescue: Saving the Whale Sharks by one of our favorite authors, Sandra Markle.

Whale sharks are not only the biggest fish in the world, but also the coolest sharks because they feed by vacuuming up tons of the smallest creatures in the water (see pages 18-19).  Unfortunately, along with many other fascinating creatures, their numbers are plummeting and they have recently become endangered.

Markle gives numbers and explicit reasons why the populations are in decline. Sometimes the sharks are caught is nets during legal fishing while at other times they are killed by people who fish for sharks illegally.  Climate change is also a factor.  Scientists want to try to help the sharks, but they know little about them. It is a race to learn about whale sharks before they disappear.

In the back matter we learn that wrote the book based on interviews with experts (see “Source Notes.”)  Sandra Markle makes a point of using only primary sources, if she can (see post about meeting her at the Tucson Book Festival.)

The Great Shark Rescue will thrill budding marine biologists as well as those interested in conserving endangered species.  Realistically, this title could work with upper elementary readers as well as middle grade. It could be a great addition to your shelf.

Related:

 

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Series: Sandra Markle’s Science Discoveries
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (October 1, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1541510410
ISBN-13: 978-1541510418

Disclosure: This 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.

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.

STEM Friday #Kidlit Mary Had a Little Lab

Let’s celebrate STEM Friday with the fiction picture book, Mary Had a Little Lab by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Petros Bouloubasis.

 

Using her patented rollicking rhyme, Sue Fliess re-manufactures the Mary Has a Little Lamb poem into a  modern tale of girl power and a blueprint for building friendships.

This fun picture book is great to read aloud. Once beginning readers hear the pattern, rhyming text  makes it easier for them to guess the next line or words. Soon they will be “reading” along.

In addition, Petros Bouloubasis has added loads of visual gags to the illustrations that will make young readers want to look more closely.

Intrigued? You can get more of and idea of the flavor of the book from this official book trailer:

If the book is fiction, why promote it for STEM Friday? The best reason is that it portrays girls in STEM in a positive light. I could have done without the stereotype lab coat and lonely scientist working by herself trope, but overall Mary is imaginative, persistent, and resourceful. What more can you ask for?

Mary Had a Little Lab takes the familiar and makes it new.  It’s a winning combination that children will want to read again and again. Pick up a copy to share and you’ll see.

Suggested activities:

1. Build a “lab”

Gather:

  • A big cardboard box for each participant or group
  • Art supplies like markers, crayons, paint
  • Assorted knobs, buttons, etc (optional)
  • Glue, tape, painter’s tape
  • Aluminum foil (optional)
  • Construction paper
  • Paper cups (optional)
  • Yarn (optional)
  • Cardboard tubes, egg cartons

Encourage the children to design and construct their own “lab.” Provide adult assistance to cut flaps and doors.

2. Learn more about sheep science

Visit our post about sheep and goats at Growing With Science blog

3. Make a sheep craft

There are millions of cute ideas for sheep crafts online, like these on Pinterest.

 

 

Public Domain Photograph by Jean Beaufort at Publicdomainpictures.net

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (March 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0807549827
ISBN-13: 978-0807549827

Disclosure: This 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.

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.

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.

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.