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Science & Nature

11/22/2017 - 2:02am
The Lumberjack's Beard by Duncan Beedie

Big Jim Hickory is a lumberjack.

Every day, he awakes next to a forest, in a little log cabin, and he completes his morning routine: Limbering-up exercises—it's very important to limber up if you're a lumberjack. Jim also has a hearty breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup before he sets out with his trusty ax and heads into the forest.

CHOP-CHOPPETY-CHOP! Jim's ax echoes at every tree he cuts.

11/02/2017 - 1:55am
Plume by Isabelle Simler

Swallows and seagulls, eagles and owls . . . which birds have the most beautiful feathers?

In Isabelle Simler's picture book Plume, young readers will be fascinated by her beautiful, realistic illustrations of bird feathers. 

10/17/2017 - 12:55pm
Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler

It's time to bone up for the first day of school! But Bonaparte the Skeleton is worried. He's always falling apart.

Sometimes he loses a bone when riding his bike, or playing catch. Other times, his bones just roll away, taking him forever to find them. To make matters worse, school is starting soon. Bonaparte can't be made fun of the whole school year just because he keeps losing his bones!

09/27/2017 - 2:44pm
Cover to Full of Fall

Fall into the amazingly detailed double-page photospreads in April Pulley Sayre’s Full of Fall. This big picture book is perfect for sharing with small ones, either in a group or for a lap-sit story session. With glowing colors and simple rhymes, this book should absolutely be on your toddler’s or preschooler’s storytime stack.

10/02/2017 - 1:40pm
My Awesome Summer by P. Mantis

On May 17, a beautiful spring day, P. Mantis is born. On October 17, she lies down to “take a long nap” and says “Good-bye!” What happens in-between is her Awesome Summer.

The first thing you will notice when you open this picture book are all the praying mantis facts. The facts are different inside the front and back covers, so you will want to read both sides. But you don’t need to read those to enjoy P. Mantis’ story, though the facts will help you understand it better.

10/02/2017 - 1:43pm

During World War II, victory gardens were important to Americans around the country. The steel and tin industry was working hard on supplying the army with weapons, so there were not enough raw materials to make these and tin cans for vegetables. Trains were being used to carry soldiers instead of civilian food supplies. And, to make matters worse, Japan controlled most of the rubber factories overseas, which meant there was no rubber for new tires on trucks that carried food across the country.

10/02/2017 - 1:42pm
Under the Sea by Kate Riggs, illustrated by Tom Leonard

Let Kate Riggs’ Under the Sea take you and your toddler on a dreamy trip to the ocean’s depths. Bonus! This is also a concept book, teaching relative positions—over/under, bottom/top, and so on. Clownfish wiggles OUT of an anemone. Octopus waits IN a dark den. Sea turtle swims AFTER jellyfish but BEFORE tuna. Learning these direction concepts and the names of sea creatures happens happily when accompanied by Tom Leonard’s lovely, glowing illustrations.

10/02/2017 - 1:46pm
Cover to Caroline’s Comets: A True Story by Emily Arnold McCully

Caroline Herschel had a very hard life early on. Born into a family of royal musicians in what is now Germany, two childhood illnesses left her face pockmarked and her body stunted. Her mother treated her very much as a servant while worrying that no man would ever want to marry her. In the 1700s, this was a real concern, for it was hard for women to make enough money to survive on their own. Caroline's life was pretty miserable as she was expected to do exhausting housework, including knitting stockings for everyone, over and over again.

Fortunately, Caroline’s older brother William wanted to help her. He had moved to England where he was working as a choral conductor and piano teacher. William had the idea that Caroline could learn to sing and be paid for it, and that is exactly what she did. But that is not where her story ends.

10/02/2017 - 1:48pm
Cover to Over and Under the Pond

A boy and his mother are canoeing on a pond in the Adirondack Mountains. It is peaceful place, maybe even dull. Or, is it? The boy asks his mother, “What’s down there?”

So many things! His mother tells him about them, from the minnows, crayfish, and bullfrogs to beavers hunting “delectable roots” found in the mud and otters clawing for freshwater mussels.

And, over the pond? A great blue heron catches one of those minnows for his dinner. A moose munches a mouthful of waterlilies. As the sun sets, mother and son paddle back to shore and head for home. In the dark, life goes on at the pond. Raccoons come out to prowl, and catfish glide as they seek their suppers in the cool of the night.

Kate Messner’s Over and Under the Pond does several things very nicely. First, it tells a soothing story, perfect for bedtime. But it also introduces an ecosystem, making the science of living things and the secrets found below a pond’s surface very accessible, and it manages to do so without sounding like a textbook.

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