STEM Friday #Kidlit Truth About Dolphins, Hippos, and Bears

This month we are exploring some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Let’s check out the hilarious “The Truth About…” series by Maxwell Eaton III.

Don’t let the cartoon illustrations and silly comments in the speech bubbles fool you. These picture books are serious nonfiction.

The Truth About Dolphins: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

In The Truth About Dolphins, readers learn how dolphins are different from fish and discover some of the different kinds of dolphins, like the spinner dolphin and the Atlantic white-sided dolphin. Did you know there are more than 40 species?

The back matter wraps up some more facts, like the differences between porpoises and dolphins and how long a dolphin can stay underwater. There are also lists of tucuxi-sized books and orca-sized books (isn’t that cute?)

Don’t know what a tucuxi* or ocra are? Then you should read The Truth About Dolphins!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 15, 2018)
ISBN-10: 162672668X
ISBN-13: 978-1626726680

The Truth About Bears: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

This book features three bears, but not the ones from Goldlilocks. Instead they are the brown bear, black bear, and polar bear.

Learn about where the bears live and what they eat (there’s a cute running joke about the fact they eat rodents). Other topics include hibernation and threats to bears.

I thought the bear safety page that explains how you should behave if you encounter a bear was a good idea. You shouldn’t run seems sensible, but I didn’t know that you shouldn’t try to climb a tree either.

Don’t know what you should do if you encounter a bear? Check out The Truth About Bears.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (February 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1626726663
ISBN-13: 978-1626726666

The Truth About Hippos: Seriously Funny Facts About Your Favorite Animals by Maxwell Eaton III

If I had to pick a favorite of the three, it would be this one. The text compares and contrasts the two species of hippo, common and pygmy. Because there are only two kinds, the author was able to pack in more information about them.

Do you know whether hippos can swim? Don’t guess, because the answer will surprise you. Find out by reading The Truth About Hippos.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (February 27, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1626726671
ISBN-13: 978-1626726673

 

* A tucuxi is a a species of freshwater dolphin found in the rivers of the Amazon Basin

Disclosure: These books were 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 12/2018.

Woot! Won @WriteOnCon Critique from @MindeeArnett

Have you heard of WriteOnCon? It is a writers’ conference for kidlit authors that anyone can attend because it is both online and so reasonably priced. What an opportunity for those of us with crazy lives! The next WriteOnCon will be will be February 8-10, 2019. Sign up today!

This week I found out I won a query letter + 25 page critique from YA author Mindee Arnett in the December Raffle. What an amazing opportunity.

Mindee Arnett’s newest is Onyx & Ivory, which has gotten some buzz in a number of the reader blogs I follow.

Now I have to quit blogging about it and go polish those 25 pages!

 

 

 

 

#Nonfiction Monday Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover

Let’s explore some of the fantastic nonfiction children’s books that have been nominated for 2018 Cybils awards.

Today we’re featuring the picture book, Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum.

 

Told in the first person by the rover herself, the text explains the project in detail. Readers discover the initial concept, how the rover was constructed, about the trip to Mars, how the rover was deployed, and the tools she uses on the planet to look for evidence of life.

Markus Motum is an artist by training and his unusual mixed-media illustrations are what capture the reader’s attention about the book, starting with the big red planet Mars set against the blackness of space on the title page. He uses geometric shapes like triangles, rectangles, and pyramids in his landscapes. The shapes create a feeling of other worldliness that carries throughout.

The only negative aspect of the book is that the text is often very small and on some pages the text is blue or another dark color against a black background. The small font allows for a lot of information to be packed into a page, but it will be difficult for struggling readers with eye problems to make out the words, and it will be impossible for teachers or librarians to try to read aloud in front of a group.

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover will be a good choice for kids fascinated by our solar system and the rovers that help us explore it. It would also be a useful resource for research projects and classroom use because it is packed with information. Check out a copy today.

Suggested Activity

Check NASA’s Mars for Kids website to learn more about Curiosity and for hands on activities.

This video explains Curiosity’s mission.

This one shows Curiosity’s position on Mars in an interactive way. Cool!

If you’d like to read more, try our growing list of children’s books about the planets and solar system at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (March 13, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0763695041
ISBN-13: 978-0763695040

Disclosure: The 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.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

STEM Friday #Kidlit All Eyes on Alexandra

For STEM Friday we’re thrilled to be taking part in a blog tour for the picture book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine and illustrated by Chiara Pasqualotto.

Millions and millions of birds migrate through Israel on their way to Europe, Asia, and Africa. All Eyes on Alexandra is the fictional story of one young stork who has trouble following the rest of the flock as they prepare for the big trip. Readers will soon learn, however, that those who have trouble following might have other talents instead.

The illustrations are full of action and fun. They were done by Chiara Pasqualotto, who was born in Padua, in northern Italy, and who currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. To help youngsters figure out which crane is Alexandra in each illustration, Chiara has wrapped her neck with a bit of red string. Although an unusual tactic, it seems to fit right in with Alexandra’s dare-to-be-different character.

All Eyes on Alexandra is a perfect example to show that STEM books don’t have to be nonfiction. It introduces children both to an amazing natural phenomena, a massive bird migration, and also to a personal story that they might be able to relate to their own lives or families. Those who love fiction are introduced to facts and those who love nonfiction are introduced to stories. It is win-win.

It would also be useful to share before a trip to Israel because it mentions and shows several locations to visit. Children might pretend they are Alexandra and find out more about each site online, which is likely to help them prepare and perhaps excite them to discover more. I know I’m inspired to sign up for a bird watching trip after reading it.

It is a lovely and versatile picture book. Let All Eyes on Alexandra take you on a journey today!

Activity Suggestions:

Author Anna Levine has three awesome activity suggestions to accompany the book at our sister blog, Growing With Science.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub (August 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1512444391
ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

Curious to learn more? Be sure to visit the remaining stops in the blog tour:

December 15th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra’s blog where she features Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra in a spotlight post.

December 17th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 18th @ Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Visit Erin’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post featuring activities for young children to explore their world.

December 19th @ Cassandra’s Writing World
Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about naming your characters.– oh, I need this one.

December 19th @ Linda’s Blog
Make sure you visit Linda’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 20th @ Word Magic: All About Books
Visit Fiona’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 21st @ Bring on Lemons
Make sure you grab some lemonade and stop by Crystal’s blog today where she reviews Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 27th @ Linda’s Blog
Visit Linda’s blog again where you can read her interview with author Anna Levine.

December 28th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Beverley’s blog today you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 31st @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi’s blog and read Anna Levine’s guest post on learning about families and different cultures.

January 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog where he shares his thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

January 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog
Visit Beverley’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.

January 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about using fiction to write non-fiction. **can’t wait to see this.

January 7th @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog
Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her thoughts about the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

Disclosure: This book was provided electronically  by the author 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 10/2018.