The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science

Although I got carried away and did a full review at Growing with Science, I also want to share this wonderful new resource here.


Reading poems to children throughout the year has many benefits. It increases their vocabulary, makes them more comfortable reading, and can make topics more memorable. The new book, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Teacher’s Edition): Poems for the School Year Integrating Science, Reading, and Language Arts by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, gives you the tools to do so.

The K-5 Teacher Edition has 218 science-related poems by 78 poets. It is set up so the teacher can read one poem a week for a 36 week school year, for each of grades K through 5.  Every poem has a 5-step (“Take 5!”) mini-lesson with connections to the new Next Generation Science Standards.

student-editionsSeparate student editions are also available for each grade that have 36 poems (plus a few bonus poems).  Each poem is on a separate page and illustrated with line drawings.

For budding scientists, hearing science poetry might increase their interest in language arts. For budding poets, reading science poetry will make them realize that any topic can be fodder for a poem. The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science is win-win!

Be sure to visit the publisher, Pomelo Books, for printables and additional resources. Also, Poetry Friday is an ongoing blogger celebration of poetry for children. Check the Kidlitosphere Central website to find out more about it.

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Pomelo Books (February 28, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1937057976
ISBN-13: 978-1937057978

Disclosures: The book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. 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 not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America

Have you seen all the great books about birds that have come out for children recently?  Add the National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America: The Best Birding Book for Kids from National Geographic’s Bird Experts by Jonathan Alderfer to the list. It takes kid-friendly bird guides to a whole new level.Nat-geo-bird-guide

Of course, the first thing that strikes the reader is the National Geographic quality photographs and artwork. Plus, it wouldn’t be National Geographic with really nice maps of where many of the birds are found (sneak in a geography lesson here?) Now add a lot of good tips for identification and easily-digestible facts about the different birds. Stir in a few bird-related activities, and you have a fantastic bird guide for kids.

The organization is super. Realistically, children are going to want to discover what is in their back yards, and this guide makes that possible with chapters like “Eastern Back Yards” and  “City Streets and Parks.” When the child visits a new place, he or she can brush up on the birds beforehand. For those who become excited about birds, there are sections of “rock stars,” interesting birds that catch people’s attention and stretch the child’s knowledge further.

Truly, any child interested in nature and the outdoors will benefit from a copy of this book. It may seem like hype to call it the “best birding book for kids,” but this guide definitely is a “rock star.”

For a related activity, see Bird and Moon for a poster about learning bird songs.

If you are looking for more books about birds for children, check out our list at Science Books for Kids.


National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America: The Best Birding Book for Kids from National Geographic’s Bird Experts

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Paperback: 176 pages (also available with library binding)
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 12, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426310943
ISBN-13: 978-1426310942

Book provided by my local public library.





Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

Two Seymour Simon Ocean Books

Can’t get to the beach this summer? Seymour Simon has two new science books, Seymour Simon’s Extreme Oceans and Coral Reefs, that will transport the reader to cool depths.


Coral Reefs is a lovely picture book with bright color photographs of coral reefs. Starting with a full description of what coral is, it answers virtually every question a child might have, such as where coral reefs are found, what kinds there are, and what kind of animals live in coral reefs. Simon emphasizes how important coral reefs are and how they are under threat throughout the world.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (April 23, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061914959
ISBN-13: 978-0061914959


Extreme Oceans is for middle grade readers. It has smaller illustrations and deeper text than Coral Reefs, covering topics ranging from extreme ocean animals to extreme ocean weather events. Simon even covers the weather events driven by ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, called El Niño and La Niña. He also mentions coral reefs. Most amazing fact? I thought it was the pinky-nail-sized Australian jellyfish that can deliver a mammoth-sized amount of pain.

Age Range: 9 and up
Hardcover: 60 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1452108331
ISBN-13: 978-1452108339

Seymour Simon is an award-winning science author who has written more than 250 books for children. He has a strong, authoritative voice that doesn’t dumb-down the vocabulary for kids.

Be sure to take a dip in the ocean with these two books this summer.

Books provided by my local public library.





Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

Stripes of All Types Book Review

Are you looking for a children’s picture book to read for Poetry Month in April? Stripes of All Types by Susan Stockdale is a perfect choice. It combines rhyming text, incredible art and engaging science into one appealing package. stripes-of-all-types

It is hard to describe the visual impact of this book with mere words. The acrylic illustrations are so clean and crisp. The patterns are amazing. It is sure to stimulate the reader to begin looking for stripes and other patterns everywhere. To find out more about how Susan did the illustrations, check Creating Illustrations for Stripes and How I Created Stripes at the Peachtree Publishers blog.

Susan Stockdale highlights many unusual and intriguing animals with stripes, some with very subtle stripes like a turkey’s wing. In the back matter she discusses each animal in more detail, giving its name, where it lives and more about what its stripes might have to say. In the end is a matching game to reinforce learning, which asks the reader to match the square samples of different stripe patterns to the animal that wears them.

Stripes of All Types by Susan Stockdale is a bold look at animals of all stripes. The rhyming text is perfect for preschoolers and the youngest reader, especially those interested in animals. Pick it up for Poetry Month or before a trip to the zoo.

Explore the science behind the stripes at Growing With Science.


For a simple art activity provide children with a outline of an animal or have them draw one,


and then supply markers, crayons and colored pencils for them to explore stripes. Fun!

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (April 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1561456950
ISBN-13: 978-1561456956


The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.


Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.