Planes (from National Geographic Kids)

Planes by Amy Shields

Series:  National Geographic Readers

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

Summary: Narrator Pilot Nic tells about the smallest plane, the biggest plane, the fastest plane, and all other sorts of planes.

Illustrations: Color photographs

Comments: Planes will be a fun book for children interested in the topic. The formatting is perfect for the age group. The photographs are clearly labeled and laid out well. The book has a pictorial glossary at the end.

Related activities:

  • The book suggests pretending you are an airplane
  • Visit an airport to watch the planes taking off and landing
  • Fold and fly a simple paper airplane

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff has another review and a lot of good ideas for using this book

Compatible fiction: Mr. Putter & Tabby Fly the Plane by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (September 14, 2010)

ISBN-10: 1426307128
ISBN-13: 978-1426307126

Stem Friday is at Simply Science today. Click through for links to more excellent STEM books.

If you would like to participate in STEM Friday in the future, go to the new STEM Friday blog for more information.

Welcome to STEM Friday

We are hosting STEM Friday today!

Look what wonderful Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics books our authors and reviewers have discovered:

Loree Griffin Burns stops by with links to some interesting science projects and a link to her new book

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by
Loree Griffin Burns, with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Shirley at Simply Science has

Prairie Storms by Darcy Pattison
Illustrated by Kathleen Rietz

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff discusses
Animal Fights
written by Catherine Ham
Anastasia at Chapter Book of the Day has

The Computer Zone: Jokes, Riddles, Tongue Twisters & “Daffynitions” by Gary Chmielewski and Jim Caputo (Illustrator)

Here at Wrapped in Foil, we review

Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist by Chris McGowan and illustrated by Erica Lyn Schmidt

Heidi at Geo Librarian highlights

Frozen Secrets, Antarctica Revealed
by Sally M. Walker

The Swimmer Writer presents a biography

Phillis Sings Out Freedom: the Story of George Washington and Phillis Wheatley by Ann Malaspina

That concludes STEM Friday. Thank you to everyone who participated.

STEM Friday folks, do we have a Twitter hashtag yet?

If you would like to participate in the future, go to Chapter Book of the Day for a list of STEM Friday hosts.

Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist

If you have ever wished you could have a retired paleontologist come to your classroom or home and give your kids hands-on science lessons, then Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist by Chris McGowan and illustrated by Erica Lyn Schmidt is the book for you.

Interspersed with two-page spreads of amazing watercolor illustrations of dinosaurs by Erica Lyn Schmidt (see her website for numerous examples) and detailed information about specific dinosaurs, are instructions for hands-on activities with bright full-color photographs. It really gives a feel of going back in time and then coming to the present to learn more. (Although it would have been nice to include photographs of a girl performing the experiments as well as a boy).

Chris McGowan’s hands-on activities pack a powerful science punch. He incorporates numerous science principals into experiments and demonstrations that are deceptively simple and involve materials you can find around the house. These are real concepts that a paleontologist would need to comprehend and shows how well-rounded they must be, understanding not only dinosaurs but also such diverse fields as physics, anatomy and geology.

Pinning down an age range for this book is difficult. Most likely it targets middle grade, but many children get intensely interested in dinosaurs at an earlier age. I would say younger children would eat this up with quite a bit of help from an adult. It would also tie in wonderfully with a trip to a natural history museum that features dinosaur exhibits.

Teachers, homeschoolers and librarians will definitely find Dinosaur Discovery: Everything You Need to Be a Paleontologist a useful resource for experiments to supplement a variety of science lessons, such as earth science or anatomy lessons. Be sure to pick up this book and invite a paleontologist over soon.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (June 28, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1416947647
ISBN-13: 978-1416947646

Click on button to return to main science book list.

We are hosting STEM Friday today. Stop over for links to more excellent STEM books.

If you would like to participate in the future, go to Chapter Book of the Day for a list of STEM Friday hosts.

Seabird in the Forest: Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet

Seabird in the Forest:  Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet written and illustrated by Joan Dunning caught my eye because my family and I had become enamored with similar birds, the ancient murrelets, when we watched The Life of Birds with David Attenborough. It turns out the story of the marbled murrelets is even more amazing. Dunning reveals that it was only recently discovered these little sea birds fly long distances, sometimes more than 50 miles, to nest in old growth forests.

The main story follows two parent murrelets raising a chick. Many of the pages include sidebars within the illustrations with many more fascinating details about the birds and their habitat. Even the endpapers (front and back are different) are filled with intriguing facts and more information about the trees the birds nest in. For budding scientists, the author has included snippets of information about how biologists study these elusive creatures.

Joan Dunning illustrated the book with oils, as she says in her website, to capture the darker, heavier feel of the forests. She says she got the idea for the book when she saw the parent murrelets bringing food to their chick while she was working on Secrets of the Nest a decade ago. We are glad she did!

It is always fun to reinforce learning with some hands-on activities:

Intrigued? Check out this video from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more information about the incredible marbled murrelets.

For another review, be sure to visit Archimedes Notebook

Publisher:  Boyds Mills Press (April 1, 2011) +

Reading level: Picture book Ages 4-8

ISBN-10: 1590787153
ISBN-13: 978-1590787151

Click on button to return to main science book list.

STEM Friday is hosted today at NC Teacher Stuff. Stop over for links to more excellent STEM books.

If you would like to participate in the future, go to Chapter Book of the Day for a list of STEM Friday hosts.