From Tadpole to Frog

From Tadpole To Frog by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Reading level: Beginning Reader, Scholastic Reader Level 1

Summary:  Age appropriate discussion of the life cycle of a frog.

Illustrations: full-color photographs

Comments:  Although a simple, straightforward nonfiction book, it still manages to be quite appealing. Perfect for the young scientist/naturalist interested in learning more about frogs.

Related activities (preschool to first grade):

Compatible fiction:  The Frog Prince (several versions available)

Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks (February 1, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0545273374
ISBN-13: 978-0545273374

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STEM Friday is hosted today at Chapter Book of the Day. Be sure to stop over for links to more excellent STEM books, as well as a list of upcoming STEM Friday hosts.

NC Teacher has a review of Inside Hurricanes, which we enjoyed as well.

The Elephant Scientist

The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O’Connell and Donna M. Jackson with photographs by the first author and her husband, Timothy Rodwell

Series: Scientists in the Field

Reading level: Middle grade, 9-12

Summary:  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to study elephants in Africa? This book follows Dr. Caitlin O’Connell as she studies elephant social life and communication and at the same time works on ways to prevent elephants from ruining crops planted by local people. She discovers that elephants communicate to one another by detecting vibrations in the ground with their feet and trunks.

Illustrations:  Photographs by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell

Comments:  The Elephant Scientist is a wonderful new addition to the outstanding Scientists in the Field series. Because the scientist in the spotlight is one of the co-authors, this book has unprecedented access to how the science was done and what the scientist was thinking. The book not only reveals the process of science, but also gives state-of-the-art information about elephants, as well. How the elephants talk to one another is absolutely fascinating.

Related activities:

Simply Science a a review of a related book, Elephant Talk by Ann Downer. and a link where you can listen to elephants, as well as activities

Exploring Elephants at Growing With Science

Compatible fiction:  The White Elephant by Sid Fleischman and illustrated by Robert McGuire

Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children;  (July 11, 2011)

ISBN-10: 0547053444
ISBN-13: 978-0547053448

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Today we are excited to be joining a new meme called STEM Friday at Chapter Book of the Day.

Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff shares another STEM book perfect for summer reading: How Do Waves Form?

The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy

Did you ever wish there was a science kit that you could hand to your children and they would stay quietly engaged for hours? The Klutz Guide to the Galaxy (Klutz Guides) by Pat Murphy and The Scientists of Klutz Labs might be just what you are looking for.

If you have seen Klutz Guides before, you know that they come with consumable, hands-on activities. In this case the projects include making a sundial, and putting together a telescope (with plastic lenses)! The absolutely best part from a harried parent’s point of view is that all the parts are included. No looking for a bamboo skewer at 10:00 p.m. or hearing, “Mom, where’s the glue?” All the parts that need to stick together come with their own adhesive. Plus the instructions are clear enough, and the assembly straightforward enough, that most 9-12 year-old children can do it themselves. How awesome is that?

The Guide is also jam packed with information about our solar system, and major stars and constellations. I was a bit disappointed to see that they had renamed some of the constellations. For example, Cassiopeia’s Chair is labeled as “W or M.” The names are much easier for children to remember, however.

In fact, everything about this book is completely kid friendly, including a way to find out how old you would be if you were on another planet, assuming one year is equal to one orbit of the sun. Sheets are included in the back in the form of a “Galactic Passport” for recording information from the various projects.

If you are working with a child who likes science and loves hands-on activities, then this is a wonderful book for summer fun!

Accompanying Nonfiction: This book would be great paired with 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar System by David A. Aguilar

The copy I reviewed was provided by Janelle at Brimful Curiosities (for winning a contest). See her review and great photographs of the projects from the book.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Spiral-bound: 67 pages
Publisher: Klutz; Spi Pap/to edition (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781591749202
ISBN-13: 978-1591749202

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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 Wendie’s Wanderings.

Hip-Pocket Papa is a Giant Among Frogs

Hip-Pocket Papa by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Alan Marks

Reading level:  Picture Book Ages 4-8

Summary:  The Australian hip pocket frog is like the kangaroo of the frog world, except the male carries the babies. This story follows the struggles of a tiny (the size of an adult thumbnail) male hip pocket frog as he carries his tadpoles in special pockets in his sides.  The tadpoles he carries develop into froglets using food from the original egg, a process that takes about a month.

Illustrations: Lush watercolors

Comments:  With a combination of Sandra Markle’s passion for animals and Alan Marks’ extraordinary watercolors, this story of an unusual frog is sure to capture a young reader’s interest. Sandra considers her work to be “faction,” fiction based on real life.

2011 Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book, as well as other awards.

Related activities:

  • Find an article of clothing with big pockets at the hips. Using marbles or small balls to represent tadpoles, see how many you can carry. Make a prediction, and then see how many actually fit. Or even better, find some plastic frogs to carry.
  • Make a poster of a typical frog’s life cycle (see From Tadpole to Frog, and here’s an example). Make another poster showing the hip-pocket frog’s life cycle.
  • Growing With Science has ideas for activities and more information at Summer Sounds: Frogs and Toads

Compatible fiction:  Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

Publisher:  Charlesbridge  (February 2010)

ISBN-10: 1570917086
ISBN-13: 978-1570917080

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