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Insects and invertebrates

Aston, Dianna Hutts  A Beetle Is Shy Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Chronicle Illustrated by Sylvia Long. Larger-than-life watercolor illustrations of colorful, gem-like beetles are framed by poetic text describing their features and behaviors. This exploration of beetle biodiversity showcases their “kaleidoscopic” colors; their range of stature (“A beetle is colossal… / or microscopic”); their lively […]

Geology

Baxter, Roberta  Sedimentary Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s McCarthy, Cecilia Pinto  Metamorphic Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Watts, Pam  The Rock Cycle Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s York, M. J.  Igneous Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Geology Rocks! series. These books present middle graders with basic information about rocks (in somewhat choppy […]

Review of Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies; illus. by Emily Sutton Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-7636-9483-8    $15.99 “How many different kinds of living things are there on our planet? One, two, three, MANY!” With this important question and response, Davies begins her consideration of biodiversity, starting with the idea that […]

Review of Who Am I?: An Animal Guessing Game

Who Am I?: An Animal Guessing Game by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; illus. by Steve Jenkins Preschool    Houghton    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-544-93539-6    $14.99 “Who Am I?” ask seven animals, including a rabbit, crab, monkey, and flamingo. Viewers are first challenged with a set of five or six clues to each creature’s identity, including […]

Extreme weather

Arnosky, Jim  Frozen Wild: How Animals Survive in the Coldest Places on Earth Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Sterling How do animals survive the piercing cold and ice of winter? Arnosky invites readers to learn with his signature combination of detailed pencil sketches, colorful paintings, and a conversational narrative. Foldout spreads reveal Arctic and Antarctic animals […]

The sounds of fall

The sounds of fall at our house are striking — literally. Our bedrooms are situated under two giant oak trees, and the squirrels have been busy scampering around in the canopy and up and down, shaking loads of acorns onto our roof. They are busy early each morning, often before the birds start their choruses. […]

Paleontology

Alonso, Juan Carlos and Paul, Gregory S.  The Late Jurassic: Notes, Drawings, and Observations from Prehistory Gr. 4–6     113 pp.     Walter Foster Illustrated by Juan Carlos Alonso. Ancient Earth Journal series. Dinosaur species that lived 162–145 million years ago are documented in gorgeous, detailed illustrations set on pages like a naturalist’s journal. After introductions to […]

Of scientists and samurai

These nonfiction audiobooks, recommended for middle-school listeners and up, highlight a variety of memorable moments and important figures throughout human history. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune is the bloody, heroic saga of an iconic twelfth-century samurai. Author Pamela S. Turner combines meticulous historical detail with conversational modernity and wry asides. Her narrative […]

Review of How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild

How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-178-4    $18.99 A baby African elephant is born and immediately begins developing the important skills necessary to survive in the wild. In detailed accounts that integrate descriptions of elephant anatomy, […]

Total Solar Eclipse app review

The Exploratorium’s Total Solar Eclipse app (may 2017 ; iOS and Android) will be at its coolest on August 21. That’s when a total solar eclipse will take place over the U.S., and the app will make livestreams available from several different views. There’ll be live, hosted coverage in both English and Spanish starting at […]