Did you hear about the spiders that went into space last week on the Space Shuttle Endeavor? The spider are part of a project aimed at getting children involved in science (see more about it in related activities section). Our books today, Orb Weavers: Hungry Spinners by Sandra Markle, is a perfect tie-in book to accompany the Spiders in Space experiment.
Series: Arachnid World
Reading level: Upper Elementary (Grades 4-8)
Summary: Overview of what makes orb weavers unique from other spiders. Includes information on anatomy, life cycles, and about their webs.
Illustrations: Color photographs
Comments: Sandra Markle has written a number of books about spiders and her passion for them shows through. Just the right amount of information to keep the reader interested.
The book has an activity on page 46 to test how spiders feel movement of their webs.
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.
The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Linda Wingerter
Reading level: Picture Book (Ages 4-8)
Summary: Overview of the life of the unique antelope-like chiru (found only in Tibet) and of the arduous trek by four men to try to discover more about the mysterious animals before it is too late to save them.
Video summary in the author’s own words:
Illustrations: Acrylic paintings plus a few photographs in the back
Comments: The text is written in free verse and beautifully captures the struggles of both the chiru and the men. The illustrations are bright and imaginative. A lovely story that is both sad and hopeful at the same time.
Insect Detective by Steve Voake and illustrated by Charlotte Voake
Reading level: Picture book (Ages 4-8)
Summary: “Become an insect detective and find out what the insects around you are up to. ” Children are encouraged to listen for a wasp scraping wood from a fence post, to follow ants, to lift a stone, to look closely at a leaf that is hiding a moth, and to count legs.
Comments: A lovely book! The text is poetic and the descriptions of different kinds of insects are enchanting. The illustrations are delicate. Underlying the beauty, however, is a solid foundation of factual information and the gentle message to learn to appreciate the wonders of nature around you.
Insect-related activities are included in the book on pages 28-29.
Pull out some paper and watercolors and create some Voake-inspired paintings of insects