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1. The Oak Tree, by J. Steven Spires | Dedicated Review

In The Oak Tree, written by J. Steven Spires and illustrated by Jonathan Caron, the reader is given the opportunity to revisit the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on the Gulf Coast 10 years ago.

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2. Wild Wings by Gill Lewis #BookReview and a Multicultural Story of Friendship

“The pattern of this landscape is folded deep, deep within her memory. She rides the currents of air that curl like rapids over the mountains. Below, the lochs reflect the cloud and sunlight. They lie in the valleys like scattered fragments of fallen sky. The cold north wind carries the remembered scent of pine and heather. The ice-carved valleys guide her.”

She is coming?

So begins the beautiful and touching story of an Osprey, a boy named Callum and a girl with an adventuresome spirit named Iona McNair.  Wild Wings by Gill Lewis tells the griping story of Callum who lives in Scotland and a girl from West Africa who together save a migrating Osprey and saving each other as well.

wild wings

Striving to protect the osprey nesting on his family’s farm in Scotland, 11-year-old Callum McGregor watches the bird throughout summer, uses a computer to follow her migration to Africa and sets in motion a remarkable chain of events. This rich, moving tale begins with a shared secret: It was classmate Fiona McNair who found the nest. When the bird is snagged in fishing line high in her pine, the circle expands to include Callum’s sheep-farming family and a ranger from a nearby preserve. When she migrates, Callum and friends Rob and Euan track her through the transmitter she carries on her back. When her signal disappears in a Gambian mangrove forest, 10-year-old Jeneba, hospitalized with broken legs, mobilizes the fishermen of her village and a visiting American doctor to rescue and rehabilitate her. Eventually—and entirely naturally—the bird’s story reaches around the world. The suspenseful story line is surrounded with precise details: the Scottish landscape, osprey behavior, the work of a sheepdog and the joy and pain of riding a trail bike. Short chapters, some with cliffhanging endings, will read aloud well. Callum’s first-person narrative is occasionally paralleled by the osprey’s own experience, as Callum imagines it. With universal themes of life and death, friendship and respect for the natural world, this is still quite particular, a powerfully memorable story of a boy’s grief and determination to keep a promise. Kirkus Reviews

This is a modern day story which flows easily and grabs the readers attention immediately. It is a captivating story which has us in the countries of Scotland and Gambia. Wild Wings is a perfect combination of fiction based narrative and actual nonfiction facts about Ospreys and their living environments and migration patterns. A perfect read for a child who loves nonfiction as well as enticing a reluctant reader. Wild Wings is also good for the deep thinker and has children reflecting on many deeper issues as hand such as decisions about friendships, not giving up, moving on after losses, and awareness of how we take things for granted in our relatively privileged society.

It is an engaging story of how every one of us makes a difference and working together as a community both near and far can solve what seemed an insurmountable problem. Grab your copy of this wonderful and compelling kidlit book here.

**some of these links are affiliate links

Something To Do

What would you think if I invited you on an Osprey’s incredible journey, just like the one Callum and his friends took? Flying high above mountain ranges, oceans, and expansive and huge deserts, the osprey travels thousands of miles to migrate to warmer weather. Using satellite tagging, scientists are able to learn more about the osprey’s migration routes and about where they breed and where they winter.

Author Gill Lewis in 2011 followed such a journey and has shared it with all of us. Start here for an amazing high flying adventure.

Osprey Migration

Osprey

The osprey also known as the fish eagle, sea hawk, river hawk, or fish hawk, is a fish eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 24 inches in length and 71 inches across the wings. It is brown on the upperparts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

The osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply. It is found on all continents except Antarctica, although in South America it occurs only as a non-breeding visitor.

It’s known as a fish eagle and the osprey’s diet consists almost exclusively of fish.

The osprey weighs between 2 and 4 pounds. 

Osprey Habitat

After the peregrine falcon, the osprey is the second most widely spread raptor in the world. It can be found in mild and tropical climate. In North America it breeds from Alaska and Newfoundland and to the south in the Gulf Coast region as well as Florida. The osprey then winters in South America. In summer it is found throughout northern Europe, in Ireland, Scandinavia, Scotland, England, and Wales but not in Iceland. When in Europe the osprey winters in Africa.

In Australia the osprey doesn’t migrate at all but remains on the coast and then flying to Western Australia to breed.

Common Core Interdisciplinary Curriculum

To learn more about the Osprey here is a very in-depth interactive Curriculum from Friends of Blackwater Reservoir in Maryland called Project Osprey Curriculum  . This guide is very through and covers everything you need for Common Core. Matched with the book Wild Wings, it’s a perfect combination.

Great BBC Program on the Scottish Osprey Conservation Project

Part 1

Part 2

Watch Live

Audubon Society of New Hampshire, includes webcam at Lake Massabesic

Highland Foundation for Wildlife, osprey management in Scotland

Osprey camera at Blackwater Reservoir, Maryland

Osprey nest camera at Loch Garten, Scotland

Osprey nest monitoring,northern England

Learn More About Migration

Journey North, track the journeys of several migratory species

Backpacking Ospreys: Following their migration

Learn and Conserve

The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota

Osprey Project at Rutland Water, United Kingdom

Lake District Osprey Project, Bassenthwaite Lake, England

Glaslyn Osprey Project, Porthmadog, North Wales

Loch of Lower, Dunked, Perthshire

Enjoy Birdwatching!

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Do your young readers love nature and all of nature’s critters? Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together.

The Fox Diaries
From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family. Grab your copy of this beautiful and inspiring book HERE.

The post Wild Wings by Gill Lewis #BookReview and a Multicultural Story of Friendship appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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3. Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree by Kate Messner and Simona Mulazzani

The latest educational scuttlebutt when it comes to books and the Common Core State Standards is multi-subject non-fiction, or combining math facts with science and history in one book. Tree of Wonder: The Many Marvelous Lives of a Rainforest Tree by the multitalented Kate Messner, with superb illustrations by Simona Mulizzani is a perfect example of this! Tree of Wonder: The Many

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4. What is life?

Did you learn about Mrs Gren at school? She was a useful person to know when you wanted to remember that Movement, Respiration, Sensation, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, and Nutrition were the defining signs of life. But did you ever wonder how accurate this classroom mnemonic really is, or where it comes from?

The post What is life? appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Picture This: Shapes

Board books: Picture This: Shapes. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:
Dot
The number of dots on a ladybug's wings tells us what type of beetle it is. How many do you count?
Line
Look at the pigeons on the telephone line. Together they take a break from flying in the sky.
Curve
Snakes curve from side to side as they slither along.
Premise/plot: A nonfiction concept board book for young(er) children. The focus this time is on shapes found in nature. Readers are introduced to the following shapes: dot, line, curve, round, triangle, square, rectangle, diamond, oval, semicircle, coil, spiral, crisscross, star, pentagon, hexagon, ball, and trapezoid. These 'shapes' are found in photographs.
Spiral
The chameleon can twirl its tail to grab on to branches. See the spiral as it sits in a tree?
My thoughts: I like this one. I do. I enjoyed it just as much as Homes. Both books are definitely worth seeking out. It's never too early to start sharing good nonfiction titles with your children!

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6. Picture This: Homes

Board Books: Picture This: Homes. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2015. 42 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence:
Ant
The weaver ant twists leaves and twigs together with silk thread to make a home.
Spider
This wasp spider spins a web in tall grass, where it rests and catches its food.
Premise/plot: A nonfiction concept book for young(er) children. Readers are introduced to a wide variety of animals and learn where they live. The book is full of photographs of animals and their homes. The book is quite simple in concept, yet, oddly fascinating at the same time. Some animals may prove familiar (polar bear, ant, bee) others may seem more exotic (Fennec fox, eel, village weaver).

My thoughts: I liked this one. I did. I loved looking at the photographs. As I said, I wasn't expecting to find the book fascinating. (Board books, well, they rarely fascinate me. They can make me smile now and then. And now and then even sing.) If you're looking for a nature-themed concept book, this one is worth your time.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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7. Nature



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8. Butterfly : Part 1

 In " Can The Sad Come Out", young readers are shown how life changes by using a classic, metaphorical image...




" Can The Sad Come Out?"
Illustrated by
Steven James Petruccio
digital painting

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9. Looking Up


Theresa Brandon, www.theresabrandon.com


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10. Butterflies for July

If You Love Honey by Martha Sullivan, illustrated by Cathy Morrison and published by Dawn Publications
July's word of the month is "Butterfly". Here's a spread from If You Love Honey that comes out this fall.  You can see more about this book on my Studio With A View Blog.

Thanks for taking a look!

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11. Trace Balla’s Time to Shine

Up-and-comer author illustrator, Trace Balla, has quickly hit the scene with the recent success of ‘Rivertime‘, being both shortlisted in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards, and winning this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize. Her work stems from a background in art therapy, animations and community involvement, with […]

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12. Look away now: The prophecies of Nostradamus

If you like your prophecies pin sharp then look away now. The 16th century celebrity seer Nostradamus excelled at the exact opposite, couching his predictions in terms so vague as to be largely meaningless. This has not, however, prevented his soothsayings attracting enormous and unending interest, and his book – Les Propheties – has rarely been out of print since it was first published 460 years ago. Uniquely, for a renaissance augur, the writings of Nostradamus are perhaps as popular today as they were four and a half centuries ago.

The post Look away now: The prophecies of Nostradamus appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Over on the Farm

Written by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Cathy Morrison, published by Dawn Publishing
Ok, it's not a birthday image, (our inspirational word for June is Birthday) but it's the cover for a book I have coming out Spring 2016. Artwork for this book is complete and I'm working away on a second book that will be released the same date. I'll post more about this book and others on my Studio With A View Blog soon.

Thanks for taking a look!

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14. the last half day

Due to a curious solution to the problem of too many snow days, our school year ended at 12:30 on Monday.  We finished everything important on Friday, and I had hoped just a little that maybe no one would come on Monday--but they did, and we found lots of nice ways to fill that last few hours (including giving everyone one last chance to count to 100, an assessment I had forgotten to squeeze in--just as well they all came!).

And then they were gone.


Sometimes a meager harvest

The last half day--
walls stripped, treasure bags packed,
Jim Joe jumped one last time;
gifts given and received,
farewell hugs ceremoniously
hugged, fast and earnest,
because we'd run out of time again
one last time.

Now the room  is hollow, dead--
nothing living but the teacher and
a single valiant sugar snap vine,
three feet high and climbing
a string up the Weather Window.
On the one vine, at the top, hangs
a single beautifully formed,
pleasingly plump green pod.

Teacher steps out of her sandals
onto a low chair and up onto
the radiator, plucks the fat pod
full of peas she forgot to share
and eats it, all by herself--
one last sweet crunchy mouthful
swallowed alone in the classroom
on the last half day.

HM 2015
all rights reserved

***********************
Mary Lee herself is rounding up remotely at A Year of Reading today.  Go get yourself some farmyard fun and lots of poetry goodness from around the Kidlitosphere!


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15. Fowler’s Toad: He Chose Our Pond


The Aliens Inc, Chapter Book Series

Try Book 1 for Free



One night In May, I noticed a very loud sound from right outside our window. My husband, Dwight, has a fish pond right outside our kitchen door.

The fish pond is used by our outdoor cat for drinking water. Notice the toads in the lower left corner.
The fish pond is used by our outdoor cat for drinking water.



The sound was loud! So, on May 26, I whipped out my iphone and taped the noise.

You’ll hear the noise at 7 seconds into the tape, and 12 seconds, 18 seconds and 23 seconds. The sounds came from a small frog or toad. After comparing my recording to recordings of frogs/toads of Arkansas, I concluded we had a Fowler Toad, which is common in this area.

After reading more, I realized that this toad had chosen our pond as a breeding pond. He chose us! He chose our pond!

As a child, I remember we raised tadpoles once. I was excited about the chance to watch the process again, especially because my grandkids could watch this time.

The toad sang and sang for several nights. All night long, it seemed.

Then, on June 11, I took a morning walk and came back to find two Fowler toads in the pond. The girl showed up!

Fowler Toad with Egg String


Fowler Toads mate in what’s called amplexus, which means the eggs are externally fertilized. The smaller male is usually on the female’s back for the duration.

Another view of the couple.
Another view of the couple.



After the mating, the female is trying to find a way out of the slippery sides of the pond. I had to put a fish net on the edge for her to get out. The male hopped out easily.
After the mating, the female is trying to find a way out of the slippery sides of the pond. I had to put a fish net on the edge for her to get out. The male hopped out easily.


Tadpoles: Day 3

We watched the pond every day and on Day 3, we found tadpoles! Dozens and dozens. Scientists report that the Fowler Toads may lay 5000-25,000 eggs at a time. But the pond had several goldfish and I knew that many of the eggs would be eaten before they could hatch.

Now, there are dozens and dozens of tadpoles.

Dozens of tadpoles hatched. However, they are shy and don't like to be photographed.
Dozens of tadpoles hatched. However, they are shy and don’t like to be photographed.


Close-up of the tadpole.
Close-up of the tadpole.



The Flamingo's eye view of the pond and the toads.
The Flamingo’s eye view of the pond and the toads.



As a person who writes science and nature books for kids, I am always conscious of the possibilities. But this isn’t a book, and may never become one. The story is too common; it’s not ground-breaking science. It’s just fun. And that’s enough.

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16. #708 – National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 by Nat. Geo Society & Nat. Geo Kids Magazine

cover2
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016
National Geographic Society & National Geographic Kids Magazine
National Geographic Society        5/12/2015
978-1-4263-1921-1
352 pages         Age 8—12
.

“This New York Times bestseller is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating articles about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include a special section on animal friends; an updated “Fun and Games” chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; a new “Dino Myths Busted” feature; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; a new special “15 Facts” feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more! And, this is the only kids’ almanac with mobile media features that allow kids to access National Geographic videos, photo galleries, and games.” [publisher]

Review
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016—Wow, where do I start? Color blasts out from every page. The photography is as spectacular as National Geographic photography has always been—brilliant, intimately detailed, knock-you-off-your-feet fantabulous. Divided into ten sections, the Kids Almanac 2016 begins with a section on interesting things happening in 2016, and then it explores the usual topics of history, culture, science, geography, nature, and animals. The almanac also includes a section on green technology and its effect on Earth, and a section about exploration and survival. Most likely, a favorite for kids will be the section on games. Actually, the Kids Almanac 2016 contains a game throughout the entire 350 pages. In each chapter is a clue. Find all ten clues and you can open up digital extras.

dino mythsIn reading the Kids Almanac 2016, I think National Geographic has covered all the subjects kids will find interesting and all those they need to know about. Adults can get a lot out of this almanac as well. There is a tremendous amount of information in this relatively small book. I loved the animal topics, of which there are many. Kids interested in dinosaurs will find a prehistoric timeline, nine “Bet you didn’t know” facts, and myths. Each section ends with a quiz on that section’s subject. When you cannot get to a place, or want to know what is happening in different places around the world, the Kids Almanac 2016 is a tremendous aid. Kids can also dig a little deeper in subjects they love and learn about subjects they never thought about or thought were dull. There is not one tedious word or picture in the Kids Almanac 2016. Here are a few subjects I found to be amazing:

“Secrets of the Blue Holes”
Animal photography and how to get the shot.
“The Wonders of Nature: the Oceans”

Worlds Wackiest Houses”

“Worlds Wackiest Houses”

“16 Cool Facts about Coral Reefs”
The jokes and comics in Fun and Games
Orangutan to the Rescue (Survival Story)”

What would a National Geographic book be without its gorgeous maps? The Kids Almanac 2016 has plenty of maps and flags. I think the National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 is a must read, if not a must have, for kids, especially middle graders who will learn a lot without realizing they are learning. The Kids Almanac 2016 is fun, exciting, and interesting. The pages are colorful, the photographs and images extremely detailed, and the subject matter is diverse.

volcanosThough kids are just now beginning to enjoy their summer school breaks, the Kids Almanac 2016 will keep them reading through the summer, which will help kids during their next school year, make them more informed about their world. Parents concerned about the books their kids read will have not one worry about this almanac. Every word, every subject, and every article is kid-friendly. The National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 is an interesting read that will keep kids hooked long past summer vacation.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC KIDS ALMANAC 2016. Text and images copyright © 2015 by National Geographic Society. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, National Geographic Society in partnership with National Geographic Kids Magazine, Washington DC.

Purchase National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 at AmazonBook DepositoryNational Geographic.

Kids! Join the National Geographic Kids Book Club HERE!
Teachers and Librarians can find additional information at: http://www.ngchildrensbooks.org
National Geographic Educational site is HERE.

Learn more about National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 HERE.
Check out the National Geographic Society website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com
Find other National Geographic books at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/books
Learn more about the National Geographic Kids Magazine at the website: http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

Kids Almanac 2015 
.
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Review section word count = 496

nat geo kids almanac 2016


Filed under: 5stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, Series Tagged: and animals, culture, fun, games, geography, going green, history, liss instructive information, maps, National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016, National Geographic Kids Magazine, National Geographic Society, nature, science

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17. Sexual deception in orchids

“In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” (Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but he could have said the same for insects too. Male insects will be following the scent of females, looking for a partner, but not every female is what she seems to be. It might look like the orchid is getting some unwanted attention in the video below, but it’s actually the bee that’s the victim. The orchid has released complex scents to fool the bee into thinking it’s meeting a female.

The post Sexual deception in orchids appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. Five ways nature can improve our health

How does nature benefit our health? Many of us intuitively know that we simply feel better after ‘stepping out for some fresh air.’ Now over 30 years of research has begun to reveal exactly what health benefits we get from nature. Here are five reasons why we need to make space and time for nature in our lives.

The post Five ways nature can improve our health appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. Earth Day 2015

In honor of our beautiful planet...



Northern Lights
by
STEVEN JAMES PETRUCCIO

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20. Hoot says the owl

Over On The Farm
Here's one more image representing WINGS. I wanted to post this before April turns to May. This is for an upcoming picture books written by Marianne Berkes and will be out Spring of 2016. It will be a counting book for very young kids. Can you count the owls? I have a few more images from this book on my Studio With A View Blog. Thanks for taking a look.

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21. Do You Like To Climb Trees ? Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring Tress Around the World

Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring Tress Around the World

In Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring Tress Around the World, award-winning author/illustrator Durga Yael Bernhard travels around the globe visiting 12 beautiful and favorite trees.

Exploration and inquiry are the keys to unlocking the secrets and treasures of the trees. Each page asks a question:

What if we swung from a tree branch as monkeys do ? What type of tree would we be swinging form?

What type of tree would we choose if we were a bat and needed to hang upside down?

Each question takes us to a new tree in a new land.

Just Like Me Climbing a Tree is perfect for ages 5 and above. It is beautifully illustrated with full color drawings, bringing this tree adventure to life. Each double page spread hosts the lyrical poetry of  tree, a question, and the classification of the tree and where it is found on our planet.

just like me1

In the back of the book there is an entire section called “About the Trees in this Book” which is devoted to describing and classifying each tree in great detail.

This hands on multicultural read is sure to delight you and your family time and again. Just Like Me Climbing a Tree brought to mind all of the trees we as a family have called “friend” throughout the years. In our garden we have a huge Rose Cypress tree that has seen many hours of play underneath its branches. If you ask my children, they will tell you that it is a magical tree where fairies live.

In the country of Lebanon where my in-laws live, there is a gigantic banyan tree. It is a favorite friend where we have picnic lunches and the kids climb for hours. This old and ancient tree is a place of pilgrimage for all of us. We can not set foot in Beirut more than 24 hours without going to see what’s happening with our friend known as “the tree.”

IMG_0234

IMG_0235

IMG_0236

 

Something To Do

How Old Is A Tree ?

Our beautiful old monkey tale pine tree had to be cut down a couple of weeks ago due to it being severely damaged by an ice storm. After cutting it down, we are left with the stump but it’s the stump which will tell us a lot about the life of this beautiful magnificent tree.

IMG_0097-2

Tree Rings

As a tree grows, it produces new layers of wood around the trunk, just under the bark. If a tree is cut down, the layers are visible in a cross-section. The layers appear as a set of concentric circles known as tree rings.

In general, one layer of wood grows each year. Each layer consists of two colors of wood: light-colored “earlywood” that grows in the spring and summer plus darker, denser “latewood” from the fall and winter.

IMG_0232

Tree rings—also known as annual growth rings—vary in size each year depending upon the environmental conditions that the tree experiences. For most locations, tree rings will be wider during years of abundant rainfall and narrower during times of drought.

By counting back from the year a living tree was cut, it is possible to determine how old the tree is. Find a tree stump and start counting the tree rings from the outside and move to the center of the tree trunk.

Climate Records

Some species of trees can live for thousands of years. Because the widths of a tree’s rings reflect yearly precipitation patterns, the rings can be analyzed to reconstruct a record of past climate conditions.

Fires

Tree rings also record the occurrence of forest fires. New layers of wood added around the exterior of tree trunks are vulnerable to damage by fire. If a fire damages a tree’s bark and exterior, but does not kill the tree, a new layer of wood can grow over the scarred layer the next year, preserving the scar as a record of the fire.

Spend some time outside near a tree stump and see what history it’s telling you. How old is it ? Was there years of excessive rainfall ? Was there years of drought ? Were there any forest fires ?

More Things To Do…….

Sing the Just Like Me Song

There’s a song to go along with this wonderful book. Not only will you be climbing trees but you’ll be singing while you do. Story Laurie aka Laurie McIntosh has written the Just Like Me Song. It’s really fun and wonderful. Have a look at the book as you sing along !!! 

The post Do You Like To Climb Trees ? Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring Tress Around the World appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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22. Call Me Tree/Llámame árbol – 2015 Diversity Reading Challenge

Today’s book recommendation has a multiplicity of diversity in it – the book is bilingual and has a non-gender specific protagonist. Title: Call Me Tree – Llámame árbol Written and illustrated by: Maya Christina Gonzalez Published by: Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee … Continue reading

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23. If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections

After turning in artwork for If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections I got a look at Patty Arnold's design and layout for the book. I'm posting a few spreads here to give you a sneak peek. This is my second book illustrated by Martha Sullivan and third book for Dawn Publishing. It comes out this fall. After doing a lot of research for the illustrations I'm now a true honey bee fanatic, not to mention a Martha Sullivan fan!


 And I wanted to say "Thanks!" to William Porter at the Denver Post for including me in his Mother's Day article. It's always great to give a shout out to our moms, especially our moms who spent a lot of time reading to us.




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24. For the love of trees

I used to climb trees when I was young (and I still, on occasion, do). As a boy in Iraq I had a favoured loquat tree, with branches that bore leathery, serrated leaves, shiny on the upper surface, and densely matted with fine hairs underneath. It seemed so big, though I now reflect it was probably rather small. I would haul myself up and over the lowest branch, making whatever use of the twists and folds of the trunk as provided purchase to my small feet.

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25. Tortoise and Hare's Amazing Race

Yesterday I received ARCs (advanced reading copies) of my second book coming out this fall. It's Tortoise and Hare's Amazing Race by Marianne Berkes, a retired teacher and librarian, now a full time children's book author and presenter. This is our third picture book together and we are working away on our fourth to come out spring 2016.

Arbordale Publishing is the publisher and they specialize in fun stories that build on science, nature and math skills. Tortoise and Hare is a retelling of the classic story with a math twist. Fractions and distance measurements mark progress for Henry Hare and Tess Tortoise along the way. 

How far to the top? 1,760 yards or one mile!
No Henry, you really don't have time to play, but you never did listen to me...
5,280 feet is the same as one mile. I already knew that because Denver is the Mile Hi City.
Click on the images for a larger view. And as always, thanks for taking a look!

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