Science Books

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For STEM Friday, we have four new children's books about ocean animals that were nominated for the 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category, each with its own unique voice and intended audience.

Hungriest Mouth in the Sea, The by Peter Walters explores ocean food webs.

Follow the animals in the ocean to find out who is at the top of the ocean's food web. Young children will be intrigued by this mystery told in rhyming text. The collage illustrations have interesting textures to explore, as well.

The best part of the book is that it has four pages of learning activities in the back matter, including a predator and prey matching game, plus food web cards to copy and cut out.

Hungriest Mouth in the Sea is a lively introduction to the concept of food webs and the interactions between ocean animals.

Related:  Be sure to visit the Arbordale Publishing website for a link to a free 35 page .pdf Teaching Activity Guide to accompany this book (download at link in the right sidebar).

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing (September 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1628556366
ISBN-13: 978-1628556360

Could a Shark Do Gymnastics?: ...and other questions - Hilarious scenes bring shark facts to life! (What if a) by Camilla de la Bedoyere and illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff is a fun picture book that compares what a shark can do with some common human activities, allowing children to easily relate to the information.

This factual book dances on the edge of fiction with cartoon illustrations of sharks in funny situations. A shark with 240 teeth going to the dentist? At its nonfiction core, however, the child will also learn many current facts about sharks, such as the fact that sharks don't need a dentist because they continually grow new teeth. The facts are repeated to reinforce learning in a “Fact File” in the back.

Looking for a book to entice a reluctant reader? Could a Shark Do Gymnastics? is a perfect choice because it has all the elements needed to capture and hold a child’s attention. It would also be a wonderful choice for budding marine scientists, to accompany a trip to an aquarium, or of course, to accompany a trip to the beach,

Age Range: 3 - 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
Publisher: QEB Publishing (August 3, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1609927710
ISBN-13: 978-1609927714

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond is a whimsical picture book about blue whales that draws the reader in with relatable information.

The illustrations make this book shine. Desmond contrasts the relatively realistic forms of the whales in swimming in dark blue waters with children wearing bright colors doing fantastic things, like riding in a whale's mouth. This is the type of book that children will want to spend time exploring every illustration and are likely to discover more with each reading.

The informational text shares fascinating facts, starting with how large an adult blue whale actually is, what whales eat, and what they sound like. The tone is just right, not only giving the information, but also keeping the reader's interest.

The Blue Whale is delightful! Share it with a budding ocean scientist today.

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 4
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books (May 26, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1592701655
ISBN-13: 978-1592701650

 

Extreme Animals: Sharks by Ben Grossblatt is essentially a field guide to sharks for the middle grade set.

After introducing sharks with a few pages of general information about things like their anatomy and teeth, the book continues with a series of two-page spreads on different species of sharks. In addition to the familiar great whites and hammerheads, the author has included less popular species, such as the banded wobbegong and the goblin shark. Of course, no book about sharks would be complete without the largest fish in the world, the whale shark.

Each two-page spread includes facts about that particular shark, several color photographs and sidebars with fast facts, as well as maps where those sharks are found throughout the world. The tone is even and informational, not sensational at all.

Extreme Animals: Sharks is a good, solid introduction to shark identification and diversity. It would be perfect to accompany a trip to an aquarium or to the ocean, as well as units on ocean habitats.

Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books; Har/Pstr/T edition (July 14, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1626863822
ISBN-13: 978-1626863828

Want more books? See our growing list of children's books about oceans (organized by age of reader) at Science Books for Kids.

ocean-themed-childrens-books

 

Disclosure:  The Blue Whale was provided by my local library. The books were 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.

Rather than having a lesson today, I thought we'd have a short intermission and take a look at a book (written at the adult level) about seeds that came out recently . Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace and Robert Llewellyn could be used as a coffee table book due to the superb illustrations, but the informative text makes it something much more.

The first thing you will notice about this book are the illustrations. Robert Llewellyn uses a relatively new technique called "image stacking," which involves take multiple images at different levels and then melding them together using computer software to create a crisply-focused, almost three dimensional image. When you first pick up the book, you will be mesmerized by these images, which grace every page (Timber Press shows previews on its website.)

What is even more thrilling about this book, however, was the quality botanical information. For example, the spread on spider flower reveals that what look like seed pods are actually called "siliques." Because members of the Brassicaceae have similar structures, the plants were originally assigned to that family. Looking a DNA, however, botanists have now moved these plants to their own family, the Cleomaceae. Fascinating!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know we've been featuring mystery seeds and Seed of the Week for several years. Seeing Seeds is a wonderful resource to expand and continue studies on seeds and seed pods.

Have you seen this book? What did you think?

Hardcover: 284 pages
Publisher: Timber Press (August 26, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1604694920
ISBN-13: 978-1604694925

Disclosure: This book is my own copy. 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 or image 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.

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Today we have three wonderful new children's books about water science and the water cycle. All three have been nominated for the 2015 Cybils award in the Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction category.

First up we have a picture book for the youngest reader, Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre, which explores the science of raindrops in a uniquely beautiful way.

Raindrops Roll features April Pulley Sayre's fabulous and fresh photographs of wet plants and critters, accompanied by verb-rich, poetic text that captures the very essence of rain.

In the main text, the reader learns that raindrops reflect, magnify and cling. In the two-page spread in the backmatter, the reader can explore "A Splash of Science" to understand more about what they see.

Young children will want to come back to Raindrops Roll again and again. Have a copy handy to read the next time you are trapped inside on a rainy day!

Age Range: 4 - 8 years
Publisher: Beach Lane Books; 1 edition (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-10: 148142064X
ISBN-13: 978-1481420648

Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin explores the water cycle in way that is relatable for children.

Written for a bit older reader than the previous book, Miranda Paul's spare but engaging story arc goes from familiar (getting a glass of water) to less familiar (forms of water/weather) and then returns to drinking water again (familiar).

Award-winning author and illustrator Jason Chin's paintings of children doing everyday activities help bring the young reader in, as well.

As with the above book, there is a two page spread in the backmatter that helps children learn "More About Water." In this case, the pages explain the vocabulary of the water cycle, from evaporation to seepage.

Pick up a copy of Water is Water to share with children ready to learn the basics of the water cycle. Perfect for young readers who prefer their nonfiction to look and sound like fiction.

Related:  See our water cycle blog post for activity suggestions and information.

Age Range: 6 - 10 years
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 26, 2015)
ISBN-10: 159643984X
ISBN-13: 978-1596439849

Water Runs Through This Book by Nancy Bo Flood takes the study of water to the next level for middle grade readers.

WaterRuns

Mixing stories, poems, quotations, and informational text, author Flood explores all aspects of water and its impact on our world. The topics are wide ranging, from the chemistry of water molecules to the geopolitics of water conservation. It reads somewhat like a folder of fascinating tidbits about water put together into a coherent collage.

The illustrations are color photographs by Jan Sonnenmair, supplemented with stock photographs and some diagrams.

Water Runs Through This Book would be a useful reference text to have on hand for a wide range of topics. It also would work well for young adults and even adults, as well as middle grades.

Related:  Check Nancy Bo Flood's website for a free 20-page activity guide to download (the link is currently in the right column under the heading "downloads.")

Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (August 25, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1936218135
ISBN-13: 978-1936218134

See our growing list of children's books about the science of water and the water cycle.

Children's-Books-About-Water

Disclosure: Water Runs Through This Books was provided by the publisher for review. The other books were from the 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.