State(s) of Children’s Books Continued

Update:  Visit our website Reading through the States for children’s books by organized state.

 

tree-lady

Ever since I started the States of Children’s Books List, I have been running across books that should be added to the list of books for children to read while traveling across the United States.

Here are a few more:

(Note: The list in this post is no long maintained. Be sure to visit the website.)

California

Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory 1849 (Dear America Series) by Kristiana Gregory

A popular addition to the Dear America Series.

Hawaii

Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows (Dear America Series) by Barry Denenberg

Minnesota

The Porcupine Year (Hardcover) by Louise Erdrich

New York

Rosie in New York City: Gotcha! by Carol Matas

For the younger set starting to learn about the states, I highly recommend

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller – the book and the game.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show by Laurie Keller

The Scramble States Game is Awesome!!! Teaches state trivia in a hilarious way. No household should be without a copy (seriously!)

Note About Contact

Just FYI:

Some of you may have noticed a contact form that was up on and off for the last month. I have been trying to get it to work. Although it looked like it was working from the front end, I never got the test messages at the back end. If you left a message, I’m afraid I didn’t get it.

For now, if you need to contact me, please leave a comment. I’ll try to get something better going in the next few weeks.

And if you have any suggestions on how to create a wordpress-friendly contact form, I would love to hear them.

Porcupines From Two “Points” of View

porcupine
(Borrowed this photo from Free Stock Photos for websites - FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

“The North American porcupine waddles through the forests of North America” begins Porcupines by Sandra Markle. As part of the Animal Prey series, this book explains what prey and predators are and how porcupines are prey. Porcupines can defend themselves with their quills, special hairs that are stiff and needlelike.

In contrast, Porcupines by Jen Green starts out with a Fact File summary of information and then asks, “What animal is pricklier than a pincushion?” This version is part of the Nature’s Children, Second Series, a revamped version of the popular earlier Nature’s Children series.

Both books have amazing photographs of porcupines, and in fact it is obvious that some of the photographs came from the same sources. With a larger size, the photographs in Markle’s book are stunning and definitely attract your eye. Green’s smaller format book, however, fits comfortably in smaller hands. While Green’s book starts out with a Fact File summary, Markle’s has a “Looking Back” section at the end, which is an interesting way to review the material.

As far as information, both books cover how porcupines are nocturnal, that they eat plants and that they crave salt. Both mention that porcupines have a waddling gait and that they are surprisingly good swimmers. Markle’s book states that porcupines have a fatty substance on the quills that acts as an antibiotic and protects the porcupines from infection should they stab themselves accidentally. I never thought that a porcupine might be a danger to itself!

Green’s book reveals on page 16 that porcupines smell like “sawdust or old wood.” I have to admit I picked these two books up because I was interested in how porcupines smell. I had seen a television show that listed porcupines in the top 10 smelliest animals. The porcupine at our zoo was named “Stinkerbell.” I had read that the fatty substances on the quills create odors that serve to warn animals away. Somehow, “old wood” doesn’t sound like a warning smell. I guess I have to keep researching that topic.

Overall, Markle’s book might be easier to find for the average parent because the Nature’s Children Series seems to be sold as part of a set for schools or libraries. Both would be helpful and informative to a child who wants to learn more about porcupines.

Porcupines (Nature’s Children, Second Series) by Jen Green
Grolier (Scholastic) Series
LP978-0-7172-8082-7
7 1/4″ x 8 5/8″
2008
More information available at Scholastic

Porcupines by Sandra Markle

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 39 pages
Publisher: First Avenue Editions (February 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0822564424
ISBN-13: 978-0822564423

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at Jean Little Library.

All About Alligators

Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell (Illustrator) is an excellent addition to the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series. As the authors suggest on the first page, most of us probably think of alligators as scary animals with sharp teeth. Alligators have a vital role in their environment, however, one that scientists and conservationists didn’t realize until it was almost too late.

In this book the Rockwells explain how alligators are keystone species, meaning they make changes to their environment that allow many other plants and animals to survive and flourish. During times of drought, the alligators dig out holes that become small ponds. The ponds become home to a vast array of other creatures. When the alligators almost went extinct in the 1960’s, the fish, plants and birds that depended on these ponds almost disappeared too.

As well as explaining how alligators are so very important in their habitats, the authors also note that alligators were once thought to only occur in the southeastern United States, but then another kind of alligator was found in China. Wild!

The illustrator is the author’s daughter, and she has done a marvelous job. Obviously their family has an appreciation for alligators, one they have passed on to our family. We can’t wait to try the activity at the end to make our own gator hole. We also want to go to Florida and see alligators, something I never would have thought before reading this book.

nonfictionmonday

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Picture Book of the Day. This week’s post is at The Miss Rumphius Effect

Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Anne Rockwell and Lizzy Rockwell (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Collins (November 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006445200X
ISBN-13: 978-0064452007