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Let's celebrate STEM Friday with another great picture book nominated for a Cybils award:  A Frog's Life by Irene Kelly and illustrated by Margherita Borin.

When you pick up the book, the first things that catch your eye are the brightly colored frogs on the cover. Margherita Borin's watercolor, pen and pencil illustrations leap off the page. They are both marvelously accurate and cleverly put together in ways that will make young readers smile. For example, the critters that frogs eat (flies, beetles, etc.) are grouped into a frog shape, as through they are inside an invisible frog. Fun!

The text takes readers on a journey into the world of frogs. They will learn what frogs are, where frogs live (their habitats), compare the biggest to the smallest, and find out about their life cycles.

Did you know that frogs molt their skins? When they are done, they eat the shed skin. You can see a frog eating it's skin in this video. (It is slimier than I expected.)

The best part of the book is all the different kinds of frogs identified in the illustrations. Look for the Vietnamese mossy frog, the giant monkey frog, and the Madagascar tomato frog. Yes, those are real names!

A Frog's Life will delight young readers interested in nature, animals, and particularly in frogs. Hop on over to your local library or book store, and pick up a copy today!

Related Activity Suggestions:

  1. Learn about frog anatomy and life cycles with science activities at our previous post.
  2. Check the Frog Watch Citizen Science project website for lists of frogs and toads by state, most of which include recordings of their songs. You can also find out how to become a Frog Watch volunteer.
  3. A puzzle:  A number of years ago we visited the California Academy of Sciences. In a large exhibit that featured live birds, butterflies, and leafcutter ants, we spotted the strawberry frogs in the plant below.

Do you notice anything about them? Let us know in the comments.

Want more information? Visit our growing list of children's books about frogs and toads at Science Books for Kids.

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: Holiday House (May 8, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0823426017
ISBN-13: 978-0823426010

Disclosure: This book was provided by our local library. 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. Note: this is a new link as of 10/2018.

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The Datura had a lovely flower this morning.

Sometimes called moonflowers, they open at night and close by mid-morning.

Hum, something seems to have been chewing on the leaves.

A few ants were running around on the top of the leaves, but I don't think they are the culprits.

It's a young hornworm caterpillar.


You can tell it is young because of the relative length of the "horn."

Yesterday we looked at a children's book about cute animals. So, are young hornworms cute or not?

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You may have noticed a few more posts about children's STEM books lately. That is because I'm a judge for the nonfiction category of the 2018 Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards or Cybils. Over the next few months I'll be sharing some of the fantastic children's books which have been nominated for the award.

Let's start with the new picture book Cute as an Axolotl: Discovering the World's Most Adorable Animals (The World of Weird Animals) by Jess Keating and with illustrations by David DeGrand.

The premise of this book is simple. Find 17 incredibly cute animals from around the world. Include close up stock photographs to show readers what the animals look like and talk about their characteristics. Present details such as where the animals are found, what they eat, and what eats them in a colorful sidebar that will please kids writing reports. It's an easy formula.

Although the axolotl on the cover might not meet everyone's definition of cute, most the author's included will make you say, "Aww!"

For example, check out the Japanese dwarf flying squirrel in this video. (You might want to turn down the sound before playing).

Yes, that is beyond adorable.

So, where's the science? In the back is a discussion of the features that make an animal look cute to us and why it might benefit the animal. For example, why is this flying squirrel so cute? Not only does it have big eyes, but it also has a ring of black fur around them to make the eyes look even larger. Large eyes is one trait that humans find appealing.

Cute as an Axolotl is sure to melt the heart of the most reluctant of reluctant readers. Add in the science potential and this book ticks all the boxes for great nonfiction.

Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (August 28, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1524764477
ISBN-13: 978-1524764470

 

Disclosure:  The book was provided by my local library.  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.

One of the animals featured is a bee fly. Do you think it is cute? Why might the authors have chosen it?