The Krakatau Eruption by Peter Benoit

The Krakatau Eruption by Peter Benoit

Note:  Krakatau is the Indonesian word for the volcano that has also been called Krakatoa

Reading level:  Upper Elementary

Summary:  Learn about volcanoes by studying the events surrounding the giant eruption of the volcano Krakatau in 1883.

Illustrations:  Photographs, maps, and classic drawings and paintings from the 18oo’s

Comments:  The use of a question and answer format, and a light tone make this a fast and fun book to read. It is also packed full of facts, history and explanations of geological processes.

Related activities:

Compatible fiction:  The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois

Publisher:  Children’s Press (March 2011)

ISBN-10: 0531289974
ISBN-13: 978-0531289976

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Next title to be reviewed: Blueberries Grow on a Bush by Mari Schuh

13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System

13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar

Reading level: Middle Grade

Summary:  Explains the most recent view (2011) of the planets in our solar system, with eight planets in the classical sense and five dwarf planets. Includes information on some of the moons, as well. Activities in the back, such as compare your weight on different planets and build a model solar system using objects from a grocery bag.

Illustrations:  Space art by the author

Comments: The art in this book is beautiful. Along with the description of each planet is a sidebar about where the name came from and what its name means, giving a nice history lesson. The activities are age appropriate and fun.

Related activities:

Activities on pages 58-59 in the book

Calculate your weight on other worlds

Calculate your age on other worlds

Video about why Pluto is no longer a planet:

Compatible fiction: science fiction fans might enjoy The Complete Adventures of Lucky Starr by Isaac Asimov

Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 8, 2011)

ISBN-10: 1426307705
ISBN-13: 978-1426307706

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Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by the new Nonfiction Monday blog to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s post is at History With A Twist.

Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble

Science Experiments That Fizz and Bubble:  Fun Projects for Curious Kids by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

Series: Edge Books: Kitchen Science

Reading level: Middle grade (Ages 9-12) plus

Summary:  Directions for eleven science projects that can be done easily at home, with readily available products. Examples are making orange “soda” with orange juice and baking soda. Each project ends with “Why It Works” to explain the science behind the activity.

Illustrations: Color photographs

Comments:  The fun and energetic writing style makes you want to jump in and try each one. The projects are often given a little twist to make them unique from other similar projects you might have seen elsewhere. The instructions are clear and the photographs are helpful. Would work for upper elementary and beyond.

Related activities:

  • Although you don’t need to add to this book, you might want to include the projects in a chemistry day party or gathering

Compatible fiction: The Doyle and Fossey, Science Detectives series

Publisher:  Capstone Press (January 2, 2011)

ISBN-10: 1429662514
ISBN-13: 978-1429662512

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Next title to be reviewed:  13 Planets:  The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar

Experiment with Seeds (Junior Scientists)

Junior Scientists: Experiment with Seeds by Susan H. Gray

Series:  Science Explorer Junior

Reading level: grades 2-3 (somewhat younger than suggested by publisher)

Summary:  Directions for three simple science experiments with seeds that use common household ingredients. Addresses questions such as whether seeds need air to grow or whether roots always grow down.

Illustrations:  Color photographs and illustrations

Comments:  The experiments are creative and the methods are clearly written. They are likely to be successful and encourage children to explore further.

Related activities:

Compatible books:

  • The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds: A Book About How Living Things Grow by Joanna Cole and illustrated by John Speirs and Bruce Degan
  • From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Publisher: Cherry Lake Publishing (August 2010)

ISBN-10: 1602798931
ISBN-13: 978-1602798939

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Be sure to look for more information about children’s books at today’s Book Talk Tuesday.