Science & Nature
Of all the seasons, spring seems to be the most anxiously awaited. It brings the promise of warmer weather, longer days, and the explosion of nature’s beauty with spring flowers, soft spring grass, and baby animals in abundance. Celebrate all the wonders of spring with a child by sharing one (or a bunch!) of these spring-themed books.
Because of an acorn, a tree. Because of a tree, a bird.
Five little ducks went out to play, with one cool cat leading the way!
Pete the Cat has found some new friends. The five little ducks are quick to join Pete swimming, hopping, jumping, and swinging. But every time Pete goes to start the next fun activity, there's always one less duck! Will Pete be able to keep his duck friends around, or will they just keep disappearing?
Using the classic nursery rhyme, Five Little Ducks, James Dean brings yet another amazing Pete the Cat story to the table. Pete the Cat: Five Little Ducks helps your little one begin simple counting with a fun and catchy song, and, of course, one of their favorite characters. You can sing along with Pete and the ducks in this groovy and smooth version of the favorite song:
Many mysterious creatures call the sea their home, including the Giant Spider Crab, the Angler fish, and the creepy Goblin Shark.
But there's only one in the ocean who can't seem to make friends. And that's the ENORMOUS, frightening KRAKEN!
It all begins in late winter when Matt finds a bubbling stream in an abandoned “pit” in the woods. From there, three friends, Matt, Pablo, and Katie, clear debris and build a dam, creating a large pond. Winter leads to spring, in which the children spend time building a boat to row on the pond. In summer, their lazy days are filled with climbing trees, discovering rocks, and enjoying the freedom of childhood. When winter rolls around again, the pond freezes over and all the neighborhood children have a place to skate. To read Pond, by Jim LaMarche, is to experience creativity, exploration, and the payoff of hard work. Each picture is a snapshot of the children enjoying nature through the seasons, all through the lens of the pond.
April Pulley Sayre’s Best in Snow can be enjoyed by both younger and older children. The crisp, composed, and glowing photographs envelop readers and listeners very much as a nature walk in the snow would do. With only a word or a few to a page, listeners can be caught up in the Zen of a perfect wintry moment.
In this gift-giving season, I’m sure it is no surprise that my favorite gift to give is books. It gives me great pleasure to have a recipient come back to me later and say, “I loved that book!” Some of my friends and family receive books I know they want (a frequent request is for the next book in their favorite series), but the gifts I most enjoy giving are books they didn’t know about at all but that turn out to be perfect fits. Columns in the coming weeks will have lists of books published in the last year that I think would make great gifts for teens and elementary-aged children, but I’m starting this week with picture book suggestions for young children. Because these are newer books, published in 2016, I’m hoping they will help me accomplish that goal of giving gifts people didn’t even know they wanted.
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.
If you like books about space and the solar system, here are some titles that might appeal to you:
Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve
When ten-year-old Astra and her family move to a new planet, she must save the spaceship and its crew from man-eating cakes, aliens, and more. (catalog summary)
Dreambender by Ronald Kidd
Jeremy, a "dreambender," enters a dream of Callie, an unfulfilled "computer," and defies expectations and his assigned role to find her in reality so they can follow their own dreams. (catalog summary)
This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here
Here are some great titles for a budding scientist!
The Curious Kid's Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-on Activities for Ages 4-8 by Asia Citro
In The Curious Kid's Science Book, your child will learn to design his or her own science investigations to determine the answers! Children will learn to ask their own scientific questions, discover value in failed experiments, and—most importantly—have a blast with science. (catalog summary)
Exploring Kitchen Science: 30+ Edible Experiments & Kitchen Activities
Join the world-famous Exploratorium on a curious and tasty expedition through your kitchen, where you'll learn to flash-freeze ice cream with way-cool dry ice, create dyes with your favorite fruits and veggies, see your food glow in the dark, whip up oobleck, and more! (catalog summary)
Junk Drawer Chemistry: 50 Awesome Experiments That Don't Cost A Thing by Bobby Mercer
There's no need for expensive, high-tech lab equipment to conduct chemistry experiments—you probably have all you need in your home junk drawer. Turn three pennies and two galvanized washers into a simple battery. Crush a soda can using atmospheric pressure. Convert an LED flashlight into a simple electrolyte tester. Split liquid water into two unique gasses, or use cornstarch to create a gooey, mysterious, non-Newtonian fluid. And model radioactive decay using M & M's, or a chain reaction with a set of dominoes. Who needs a laboratory when you have a kitchen counter? Science teacher Bobby Mercer provides readers with more than 50 great hands-on experiments that can be performed for just pennies...or less. Each project has a materials list, detailed step-by-step instructions with illustrations, and a brief explanation of the scientific principle being demonstrated—atoms, compounds, solutions, mixtures, reactions, thermodynamics, acids and bases, and more. (catalog summary)
Chris Hadfield wanted to be an astronaut, but he was afraid of the dark. A future astronaut, afraid of the dark?