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Prairie Dog Song: The Key to Saving North America's Grasslands by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore Lee and Low Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trombore have earned many honors and praises for their picture books including the 2014 Robert F. Sibert Medal for Parrots Over Puerto Rico. Their new nonfiction picture book highlights the role prairie dogs play in maintaining the balanceAdd a Comment
Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizieliński (@hipopotam) started a revolution here in the UK, with the publication by Big Picture Press back in 2013 of their now famous Maps. With that beautifully produced book we started to see something of new departure for children’s non-fiction, with publishers realising that there was an appetite for gorgeously illustrated and finely produced information books which didn’t look or feel like school textbooks.
Since then we’ve seen several new non-fiction imprints established, dedicated to bringing us eye-catching, unusual and sumptuous non-fiction for children and young people, such as Wide Eyed Editions and 360 Degrees. This is great news, especially for younger children who report choosing to read non-fiction (42% of 7-11 year olds) almost as much as they do fiction (48.2% of 7-11 year olds, source), though you’d never guess this from the imbalance in titles published and reviewed.
It’s wonderful to see the return of the founders of the non-fiction revolution with a new title, Under Earth, Under Water, a substantial and wide-ranging exploration of what lies beneath the surface of the globe.
Split into two halves, allowing you to start from either end of the book by turning it around to explore either what lies beneath the earth, or under the oceans, this compendium of startling facts and quirky, fresh illustrations makes the most of its large format (a double page spread almost extends to A2), with great visual and verbal detail to pour over and a real sense of going down, down, down across the expanse of the pages.
The Earth pages cover everything from burrowing creatures to plant life in the soil, via extracting natural resources to industrial underground infrastructure. Tunnels, caves, digging up fossils and plate tectonics are all included in this rich and varied buffet brought together though a simple concept – simply exploring what is underneath our feet.
The Water pages explore aquatic life right from the surface down to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, ocean geography, human exploration with the aid of diving equipment, the history of submarines and even shipwrecks.
Lavishly produced, with gorgeously thick paper it is a delight to hold this book in your hands. Wonderful design, featuring lots of natural reds and browns in the Earth section and soothing shades of blues and green in the Water section, ensures exploring the diverse content is a visual treat as much as it is a spark for thinking about the world around us in new ways.
My only question mark over Under Earth, Under Water is the lack of an index. Maybe this makes it more like a box of treasures to rummage in and linger over, the sort of space where you can’t be sure what gems you’ll dig up. Although perhaps not a resource from which to clinically extract information, Under Earth, Under Water offers a great deal to explore and a very enjoyable journey to the centre of the earth.
There’s so much we could have “played” in Under Earth, Under Water. We toyed with making submarines, visiting caves, planting seeds to watch roots grow, but in the end the animal burrows won out, and we decided it was time to make our own. This began with papier mache and balloons…
…which when dry were set into a cardboard box frame, and surrounded by layers of “soil” i.e. different coloured felt, to recreate the layering of different soil and rock types.
Then the burrows needed filling! Sylvanian families came to the rescue, along with nature treasures gathered from the garden.
And soon we had a dollshouse with a difference! (Can you spot the bones and other archaeological finds waiting to be dug up from the soil??)
Whilst making our underground burrow we listened to:
Other activities which might work well alongside reading Under Earth, Under Water include:
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Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher, Big Picture Press. The book was translated by Antonia Lloyd Jones although she is not credited in the book.
World Turtle Day is celebrated on 23 May every year since its inception in 2000. The American Tortoise Rescue sponsors this day of awareness to bring attention to one of the world’s oldest reptiles, and encourage humans to help in the conservation and protection of these grand animals. In honour of these grandiose creatures, we have compiled a reading list of biology titles and articles that have helped to further research into the conservation biology of all chelonians.Add a Comment
Baby Bear is asking for your help voting for his book, Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. You see, he can't vote himself - but you can! EVERY vote counts.
Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is a 2015 Foreword Review INDIEFAB Finalist. You vote for the Readers' Choice by saying, Achoo! is my #INDIEFABFAVE in the comment section here: https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/achoo-why-pollen-counts/
You can use you Facebook account, or create a Foreword Review account to leave your comment. It is very simple - and would mean the absolute World to Baby Bear and all his forest friends! Please also help spread the word and help me make this go viral. Voting ends May 20, 2016.
A HEARTFELT THANK YOU from: Baby Bear, Valerie Vole, Momma Bear, Sandy Spiderling, Zoe Zebra Butterfly, Honey Bee, Lili Ladybug, Sammy Snow Owl, and Shennen.
I just finished the artwork for an upcoming book, FOOTLOOSE by Kenny Loggins. The book is being published by Moondance Press/ Quarto Publishing Group. I'm really excited about this one and I think a lot of people are going to be putting on their dancin' shoes in October. The original song (FOOTLOOSE) has been re-written to become a fun story that takes place after hours, at the zoo. The art is full of animals, color, texture, fun and a whole lot of DANCIN'!
A big box of shiny new books landed on my doorstep. Memoirs of a Parrot is the fourth "memoir" book, written by the very talented Devin Scillian and published by Sleeping Bear Press.
|"Yay, new books!"|
|A drawing that I did in High School of my grandpa and his parrot, Chico.|
|"Hey, I think that I need a ukulele."|
|End papers from Memoirs of a Parrot.|
April is National Poetry Month! All month long we’ll be celebrating by posting some of our favorite poems for Poetry Friday. To celebrate Earth Day, for today’s Poetry Friday, we chose a poem from Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú, written by Francisco X. Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.
Same Green Fate
let’s listen to
the green voice
of the rainforest
the colorful chorus
of so many flowers
trees and birds
of so many species
so many insects
let’s be part
of the clamor and
song of this land:
you all belong
to us and we all
belong to you
protect all of us
for the Earth’s fate
for your own sake
let’s make the world
a true Ybirá Retá—
Purchase Animal Poems of the Iguazú/Animalario del Iguazú here.
Our Earth Day Poetry Collection is now 25% off! Purchase it here.
Further ResourcesAdd a Comment
Ocean Animals (Animal Bites series) by Laaren Brown Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Polar Animals (Animal Bites series) by Laaren Brown Liberty Street, an imprint of Time Inc. Books, 2016 Grades K-5 Today is Earth Day, and it's the perfect time to highlight the new Animal Bites series by Animal Planet. Published by Time Inc., the series was released earlier thisAdd a Comment
Have you ever wanted to take a trip to the cloud forest? Explore the Andes of Ecuador? Discover a new species? Well, you’re in luck.
With ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito from A to Z! travel to the unique world of the cloud forest and discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as you help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978.
But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Anyone can learn to be an explorer in their own backyard with the FREE Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide. Learn more about the cloud forest and other ecosystems, including all of the important animals and the adaptations that help them survive in their environment with the many interdisciplinary ideas, projects, and engaging activities.
Content themes and subjects covered:
Observe an Ecosystem!
You will need:
Have students research cloud forests in the Andes and create an informative and persuasive travel brochure. Include headings, subheadings, pictures, maps, and informative captions.
Create a Cloud Forest Alphabet or Glossary Book:
Alphabet Book: include the featured letter, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and the name of the plant or animal.
Plant/Animal Glossary Book: include the name of the plant or animal, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and an informative description of the plant or animal: where does it live? what does it eat? how is it classified (plant or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, etc.)?
You can purchase a copy of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! : Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest on our website here.
Veronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking or hanging out with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.Add a Comment
Funny how things happen without consciously deciding that this is what will happen...
I decided to update my long overlooked blog and post some new work and realized
that I seem to have spent much of the past two years painting animals!
Here are some of my recent pieces, lots of animals...but there a few images to be painted of nothing but people and there is a gnome-y sort of fellow which is kind of a person!!!!
Working on two companion pieces to Mammals right now, Farm Animals and Snowmen...which are, again, sort of like people!
|Bringing Home the Tree|
|Sleeping Pussywillow Ladies ( Fox's Surprise Birthday )|
|Fox ( Fox's Surprise Birthday )|
|Fox's Birthday Cake ( Fox's Surprise Birthday )|
|Deer ( Fox's Surprise Birthday|
|Mexican Sour Gherkins, seed pack art Hudson Valley Seed Library|
Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty is everyone’s favorite mischievous feline. Recently, the series creator and Bad Kitty herself were interviewed by Rocco Staino on StoryMakers. The Bad Kitty series is a favorite of early readers and those who’ve been introduced to chapter books. Bruel discusses the evolution of the Bad Kitty series — from picture books to chapter books; his inspiration for going against the sometimes syrupy sweet kid lit grain; and how Bad Kitty went from page to stage. Nick Bruel has appeared in the Princeton Book Festival and Carle Honors episodes of StoryMakers.
Watch KidLit TV’s Bad Kitty short, here.
We’re giving away three (3) copies of Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet and a MerryMakers Bad Kitty backpack pull. The giveaway ends at 12:00 PM on April 20, 2016. Enter now!
Click the images or links below to access fun activities with characters from Nick Bruel’s books!
Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Written and illustrated by Nick Bruel
Published by Roaring Brook Press
When Kitty is happy and healthy, everything is perfect. She jumps around, eats everything in sight, and has the energy to keep slobbering puppies in their place. But when she’s sick, all she can do is lie in her bed. Looks like it’s time for this sick kitty to go…to the vet. When Kitty’s family finally manages to get their clawing, angry pet into the doctor’s office, it’s a wild adventure for Kitty, who has to get the most dreaded thing of all…a shot. Once the shot is administered, Kitty is cast into an ingenious dream within a dream sequence in which she has to make right by Puppy or risk being shut out of PussyCat heaven forever. This ninth installment of the popular Bad Kitty series from Nick Bruel is chock-full of brilliant supporting characters and, of course, the crankiest bad kitty you’ve ever seen.
Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books, among others. He is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.
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All Rafflecopter entrants must reside in the United States and be at least 13 years old.
April is Poetry Month. Here is a story about finding yourself/your identity and your place in the world – all in nicely written verse. (Images to post very soon.) Bartholomew Quill: A Crow’s Quest to Know Who’s Who Written by Thor Hanson Illustrated by Dana Arnim Little Bigfoot 4/05/2016 978-1-63217-046-0 32 pages …Add a Comment
Fedor the monkey heads out in his snowsuit to check on his friends, the chicken and the goat. Link to YouTube Via BoingBoing
Add a Comment
If you’re just now joining us on Iron Chef Vermin… Strawberry Challenge, you’ll note on the challenger’s side, Ronaldo Rodent, Executive Chef of the ever popular Hole in the Wall restaurant, unfolding a nice pate brisee over a sugared strawberry filling.Add a Comment
Many of us know that some birds trick other host parents from a different species into rearing their young. Best known is the common cuckoo in the UK and much of mainland Europe, However, this type of deception is not only the forte of birds – many insects ‘brood parasites’ too, especially ants, wasps, and bees.Add a Comment
Stephen Savage is the author and illustrator of kid lit titles including several board books. Stephen relies on simple shapes and colors for his beautiful award winning books! Stephen revisits the unassuming Walrus who has a new accomplice in Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? He walks us through the origin of the character and story while recalling New York City landmarks and pop culture references.In this episode of StoryMakers you’ll also meet Supertruck, an unsung hero with a secret.
Stephen Savage is a 2015 Sendak Fellow. The Sendak Fellowship is a four-week residency for children’s book illustrators, created by Maurice Sendak. Which kid lit creator would Stephen like to have met? Watch the interview to find out!
We’re giving away three (3) sets of books signed by Stephen Savage. Each set includes a copy of Where’s Walrus? And Penguin? and Supertruck.
Where’s Walrus? And Penguin?
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
Published by Scholastic
In this sequel to the acclaimed Where’s Walrus?, author Stephen Savage doubles the fun when Walrus escapes the zoo with his mischievous pal, Penguin. Will the zookeeper find them? Or will these clever runaways stay one step ahead disguised as subway riders, baseball players, and even grand opera performers? Hiding in plain sight, they elude the clueless zookeeper until a fly ball at a baseball game leads Walrus and Penguin to a chance encounter with surprising results.
Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
Published by Roaring Brook Press
A 2016 Geisel Honor book! When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done? Find out in this snowy tale about a little truck with a very big job, the second of Stephen Savage’s vehicle-based picture books.
Stephen Savage is the author and illustrator of 9 books for children, including the New York Times bestselling picture book Polar Bear Night, written by Lauren Thompson. He is the creator of the here’s Walrus? books, Supertruck, and Little Tug. Steve is the recipient of a New York Times Best Illustrated Book award, a Sendak Fellowship, an ILA Primary Fiction Award, and a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators. His editorial illustrations have appeared in dozens of major newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He teaches at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their daughter.
All Rafflecopter entrants must reside in the United States and be at least 13 years old.Add a Comment
I'm working on a new book scheduled for Spring 2017. It's by Marianne Berkes and published by Dawn Publications. I'll post more as I go along. If you haven't guessed it's about how animals carry their young. How did somebody carry you when you were little?
|Baby clings on Mama's Hair.|
|This Mom is like a living raft as she transports her pup.|
Spring is finally here! The sun is shining bright, we’re wearing less layers, and birds are chirping! Well, not one bird who has some ambivalence about hatching. On this episode of Ready Set Draw!, Joyce Wan, the illustrator of Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching draws the spring-ready characters from Laura Gehl’s eggscellent picture book.
Did you, your child, or a student draw their own version of Peep and Egg using this video? Please share your images with us via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Use the hashtag #KidLitTV on Instagram and Twitter too. We can’t wait to see what you’ve drawn!
Like an Easter basket, this post is filled with treats! Click the images below to download a Teacher’s Guide and Activity Kit.
Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching
Written by Laura Gehl; illustrated by Joyce Wan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR, 2016)
Egg is “not” hatching. No way. No how. It is too scary out there.
Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek. But Egg is “not cracking” … Joyce Wan’s bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl’s reassuring tale that takes the “not” out of “I’m not.”
Laura Gehl is the author of several picture books including the Peep and Egg series. She has a B.A. in psychology from Yale and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown. She’s taught literacy and biology.
A Birthday for Frances, The Perfect Nest, The Big Orange Splot, and This is Not My Hat are a few of Laura’s favorite picture books. She enjoys the work of Gordon Korman, Susan Cooper, and L.M Montgomery too.
Laura and her family live in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Joyce is inspired by Japanese pop culture, Scandinavian design, modern architecture, and the little things that put a smile on her face. In Joyce’s perfect world “everything would be cute, round, and chubby,” which is evident in her illustrations. Joyce is the author of several bestselling board and picture books including You Are My Cupcake and The Whale in My Swimming Pool, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.
Although Joyce’s parents had the equivalent of a middle school education, and her mother wasn’t able to speak English, her mother took Joyce and her siblings to the library every week. Picture books were integral to Joyce’s love of reading as she and her siblings made up stories to go along with the illustrations. Joyce counts the determination of her parents as a driving force behind her perseverance and success. “When I first started Wanart, I was working at a 9am-6pm job at an architectural firm. I spent many late night hours on my own business with only a few hours of sleep in between the two “jobs”. I did this for two years before I quit my full time job to pursue my own business full-time.”
Joyce graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City with a liberal arts degree in Architecture. Joyce teaches greeting card design and art licensing at the School of Visual Arts. The self-proclaimed night owl prefers drawing and writing in the early morning hours “when everyone’s asleep and the world is quiet.” Joyce lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey with her husband. The architect turned author and self-trained illustrator hopes to inspire people to “embrace the spirit of childhood and follow their dreams.”
Ready Set Draw!
Executive Producer: Julie Gribble
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Spring is here, and it’s a time of year when many baby animals are emerging from their winter hiding place. Some of those babies may be a little different.
Recently, Antler Ridge Sanctuary in New Jersey rescued a litter of eastern gray squirrels, but one of those squirrels had a pure white coat. The rare white fur means that the squirrel has a form of albinism.
A white coat with red eyes means that the animal is an albino. Some animals are leucistic;
these white-coated animals have their natural colored eyes but their lack of color makes them stand out from the other animals of the same species. Other animals are piebald; they have patches of albino white mixed with patches of their natural color.
The lack of color puts these special babies at risk. In a world of browns, greens, and greys the pure white is very hard to disguise from predators. Often albino animals, especially small prey animals such as squirrels are targeted by larger animals and don’t make it in the wild for very long.
Of course not all white animals have albinism, for example arctic animals such as polar bears and arctic foxes are white to blend with their surroundings.
However, without the help of rescuers many albino animals would have been lost in the wild, some of these animals are rehabilitated and then live out their days in zoos or aquariums.
To learn more read about the albino squirrel read the article here!
And…find out more about animal rehabilitators and the work zookeepers and aquarist in these books by author Jennifer Keats Curtis with the help of organizations around the country.
Like humans, animals can get sick or hurt. People see doctors. Pets have veterinarians. What happens to wild animals when they are injured, become ill, or are orphaned? Often, wildlife rehabilitators are called to their rescue. This photographic journal takes readers “behind the scenes” at four different wildlife rehabilitation centers. Fall in love with these animals as they are nursed back to health and released back to the wild when possible. This is the first of a photographic series introducing the different ways and the many people who care for a wide variety of animals.
Zoos are amazing places to see and learn about the many native and exotic of animals that inhabit this world. Some animals are plentiful while others are threatened or in danger of extinction. Zookeepers not only feed and care for these animals, they may also be helping to conserve and protect whole species through breeding and “head start” programs. Follow the extraordinary duties of these unusual animal helpers in this behind-the-scenes photographic journal.
Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.