#Kidlit Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier

Bring a little of the great outdoors inside with this gorgeous informational fiction picture book, Under My Tree by Muriel Tallandier, illustrated by Mizuho Fujisawa, and translated by Sarah Klinger. Available April 14, 2020.

Young Susanne tells the reader — in the first person — how she found a special tree in the forest near her grandparents home. She returns to the tree again and again throughout the summer to discover the life that depends on the tree and how it changes from season to season.

Although fiction, leaf-shaped sidebars on many of the pages add nonfiction interest through questions, activity suggestions, and tree facts.

Mizuho Fujisawa’s illustrations are delicate, calming  and yet vibrant at the same time. Perhaps it is because all the inks a vegetable based, but the colors sing. The illustrations capture the feeling of a cool forest on a warm summer’s day perfectly.

Spending time in nature is especially important right now. For children who might not be able to talk a walk in the woods, reading this quiet, gentle book that celebrates trees might be the best alternative. Get lost in a copy of Under My Tree soon!

 

Check for the giveaway at GoodReads by Blue Dot Press running until March 31, 2020.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years
Publisher: Blue Dot Kids Press (April 14, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1733121234
ISBN-13: 978-1733121231

Want to read more children’s books about trees? See our redwood-sized list of tree books at Science Books for Kids.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher 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.

#kidlit Nobody Hugs a Cactus, A Way to Talk About Distancing

cactus flowers

Want an adorable picture book the “pokes” a little fun at prickly characters while at the same time being a cute way to introduce the idea of distancing? Then look no further than Nobody Hugs a Cactus* by Carter Goodrich.


(*Amazon affiliate link)

Hank the Cactus sits all alone in his pot on a windowsill and that’s the way he likes it. Whenever someone tries to visit him, he ignores them. Sometimes he even yells at his neighbors, tortoise and jack rabbit. Over time, Hank realizes his lifestyle is making him lonely. Will he ever find a friend?

Carter Goodrich is an illustrator who is known for his covers on The New Yorker, so it is not surprising that it is the art that strikes you first when you open the book. The colors capture the brilliant light of the desert Southwest. Plus, Hank’s expressions range from silly to enchanting.

To gush about the illustrations, however, is not a knock to the text. The story is concise, yet lyrical enough for reading aloud. Kids are going to love the light humor.

In addition to being an introduction to social skills, Nobody Hugs a Cactus would be appropriate to accompany a unit on deserts.  Get a warm, fuzzy feeling from a copy today!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1534400907
ISBN-13: 978-1534400900

Looking for more children’s books about deserts? Try our growing list at Science Books for Kids.

STEM Friday #Kidlit Rachel Carson and Ecology for Kids

Right in time for Women’s History Month we have the middle grade title Rachel Carson and Ecology for Kids: Her Life and Ideas, with 21 Activities and Experiments (For Kids series) by Rowena Rae. What could be better than an in depth history combined with hands-on activities to reinforce learning?

Rachel Carson is an amazing woman who is often credited with starting the modern environmental movement. She was a trained marine biologist, conservationist and outstanding nature writer. Her final book, Silent Spring, revealed the dangers of overuse of pesticides to a wide audience.

As to be expected from a middle grade title, the book delves deeply into Rachel Carson’s life. For example, perhaps you may wonder how the author handles the fact that Rachel Carson had health problems and was dying of breast cancer while she wrote Silent Spring? Rowena Rae does not pull any punches. She explains that Rachel found lumps and had a mastectomy. My mouth dropped when I read on pages 88-89 what happened next.

Although centered on Rachel Carson’s love of nature and ecology, Rowena Rae also highlights Carson’s writing process and the power of the written word. For example, she reveals that that Carson worked hard on her early pieces to make sure they sounded good when read aloud.  Then she has the reader explore how to revise their own writing using audio. In fact, several of the activities for children in the book center on writing and honing writing skills.

Rachel Carson and Ecology for Kids is another outstanding title in the Chicago Review Press For Kids series. It will appeal  to young nature lovers, history fanatics, and budding authors. Check out a copy today!

Related Suggestions:

Read one of Rachel Carson’s books, such as Under the Sea-Wind, The Sea Around Us, or The Sense of Wonder.

See even more activity suggestions to celebrate Rachel Carson at readwritethink.

Want to learn more? Visit our growing list of children’s books about women scientists at Science Books for Kids, including:

 

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Publisher: Chicago Review Press (February 4, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0897339339
ISBN-13: 978-0897339339

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher 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 1/2019.

#Nonfiction Monday Wood, Wire, Wings by @kirstenwlarson

Just in time for Women’s History Month we have the picture book biography Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane by Kirsten W. Larson and illustrated by Tracy Subisak.

*****

Emma Lilian Todd loved to tinker. As a child she made a weather vane and took apart a clock. As an adult, she made model airplanes and tested their designs until she was ready to build a real one. Could she achieve her dreams and get a flying machine off the ground?

With text that soars, Kirsten W. Larson reveals the compelling story of a woman whose contributions might otherwise be forgotten. She draws young readers in and establishes the setting with a fascinating collection of inventions made around the time Lilian Todd was growing up. She then cements their interest with details of Lilian’s childhood love of tinkering. Finally, she uses Lilian Todd’s own words to describe what she was thinking during the significant events of her young life.

Tracy Subisak’s lovely illustrations lend just the right amount of airiness to match the theme of flight. At times it seems like young Lilian might fly right off the page. Learn more about Tracy Subisak and how she created the illustrations in a recent interview at Writing and Illustrating Blog.

Wood, Wire, Wings: Emma Lilian Todd Invents an Airplane will thrill young inventors as well as budding historians. It is also a perfect example of how picture book biographies should be done. Check out a copy today!

Related activities:

A book about a maker -tinkerer- inventor begs to be extended with activities.

1. Visit a museum that celebrates the early pioneers of flight.

Glenn Curtiss Museum

2. Make a paper airplane.

Encourage youngsters to make their own paper model airplanes and fly them.

Check our How to Make a Paper Airplane Pinterest board for suggestions.

paper-airplane-pinterest-board3. What better month than windy March to make and fly a kite?

 

 

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Calkins Creek (February 25, 2020)
ISBN-10: 1629799386
ISBN-13: 978-1629799384

Disclosure: The book was provided electronically 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.

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

Also read for the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2020