Recently we added many Dawn Publications Science Picture Books to our Overdrive Library. These books include wonderful ways to engage your students in wanting to learn more about a wide variety of subjects. Many of the Dawn Publication books have corresponding free extension activities (or a longer guide from Overdrive) to help you with expanding your student’s learning.
Here are some of the books that we have added:
This book is a year-after-year favorite with teachers. It engagingly leads readers around the world following a drop of water—whether as steam or snow, inside a plant or animal, or underground—teaching the wonders and importance of the water cycle. (There is lots of geography, too.) Four pages of science about the qualities of water are included.
Marianne Berkes has a gift for making science fun, and this book is exhibit A. Mother sun and her “family” of planets spin, roll, tilt, blow and whirl around the Sun to the tune of Over in the Meadow. Each of those actions is astronomically correct. For example, Earth is the one that tilts, and that is what creates the seasons. It is also astronomically up-to-date, with Pluto being a dwarf planet. Bright illustrations create an exciting mood, and there is plenty of interesting supplementary information in the back along with tips on related ways to integrate science, art, and literature in the classroom.
Teachers! This book is like a whole unit on migration wrapped in a winning combination of easy verse, factual language, and beautiful illustrations. For animals, migration is a powerful compulsion to travel, sometimes over long distances, often skipping many meals. Sometimes, as in the case of the monarch butterfly, a round-trip takes several generations. Why do they do it? How do they succeed? The ten featured species offer a broad representation of migration: loggerhead turtles, monarch butterflies, manatees, ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, Arctic tern, and emperor penguin. The book is loaded with additional tips for teachers. Once again Marianne Berkes combines her teaching, writing, and theatrical skills to combine entertainment with education—creative non-fiction at its best.
When the weather changes daily, how do we really know that Earth’s climate is changing? Here is the science behind the headlines – evidence from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers and much more, gathered by scientists from all over the world, sometimes with assistance from young “citizen-scientists.” And here is what young people, and their families and teachers, can do to learn about climate change and take action. Climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern, here told in an age-appropriate manner, with clarity and hope. Kids can make a difference!
Just imagine all of nature – mountains, prairies, oceans, and all – lying on your bed as a patchwork quilt! Take flora and fauna in their unique habitats, fold them up and you have a book, this book. Earth’s major habitats are spread before you, ready to be examined. Here in this beautiful package are revealed the key concepts of natural science. This patchwork quilt of nature covers the whole Earth, your home – yours to learn about, to enjoy, to care for, and to love.
Australian animals are unique. Their babies may be riding in mama’s pouch, or hitching a ride on daddy, piggy-back! Children will sing, clap and count to the rhyme of “Over in the Meadow” as they learn about wallabies, koalas, wombats, and more. Cut-paper illustrations add to the fun.
Teachers and parents, here is another favorite from Marianne, who has a special talent. The kids think it is entertainment while teachers and parents think it is a great lesson about the Arctic! This book combines singing, counting, and full-body action with terrific cut-paper illustrations that kids will want to imitate. Over in the Arctic, the snow goose honks and the wolf howls. Children too will joyfully honk and howl while they count the baby animals and sing to the tune of Over in the Meadow. And they will hunt for hidden animals on each page. A big plus for educators are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.
Jump like a squirrel, dunk like a raccoon, and . . . uh-oh . . . watch out for the skunk! Children learn the ways of forest animals to the rhythm of “Over in the Meadow” in this delightful introduction to the woodland habitat. They will also count the babies and search for hidden animals. And when they see how each illustration is made from cut paper, they may be inspired to try cut-paper art, too.
Teachers and parents, here is the easiest, most entertaining way ever to teach about this important habitat. The special talent of this author is entertaining kids while the adults think it is a lesson about the rainforest. Kids will sing, clap, and count their way among monkeys that hoot, ocelots that pounce, parrots that squawk, and boas that squeeze! It will not take much to have your child joyfully hooting and squawking too. And the illustrations are painstakingly all done in polymer clay and then photographed, giving a 3-D effect. They are truly remarkable, vividly conveying the abundant energy of a rainforest, and will inspire many an art project. Plus there are several pages of extension ideas for curriculum and art projects as well as resources on the web and elsewhere.
Here is a favorite of elementary science teachers for the food chain. Each of the creatures passes the energy in its own unique way. In this upbeat rhyming story, the food chain connects herbivores, carnivores, insects and plants together in a fascinating circle of players. All beings on Earth—from the anchovy to the zooplankton—depend upon the green plant, which is the hero of the story. The special talent of the author shines again (see also A Drop Around the World) for being able to present the science curriculum so concisely, creatively, and cleverly.
Salmon Stream by Carol Reed-Jones
Named a prestigious CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, this is a poetic yet accurate description of the life cycle of salmon. For kids, it is fun and eye-opening. For teachers, it is a valuable supplement to a unit on water, fish and ocean animals, and life cycles. Fast-paced prose and brilliant illustrations follow the salmon from their form as eggs in a stream to the wide ocean, eventually making a hazardous journey home to their stream of origin. As in her earlier best-selling book, “The Tree in the Ancient Forest,” author Carol Reed-Jones uses cumulative verse – a literary technique that is not only enjoyable but suggests how interconnected salmon are with their habitat. At the back is a section on salmon facts and what makes a good habitat for them, teaching the basics of ecology and why clean streams and waters are so important.
Both classroom teachers and vacationing parents will find this little book to be a charmer. Counting from one to twelve, Sue picks up shells—periwinkle, kittens paw, scallop—and carefully adds them to her bucket as a gift for Grandma. She and her friend identify the shells, and when they discover one that still has the mollusk living inside they put it back in the water—learning that shells are actually the abandoned homes of sea animals—but sometimes the animal is still home! The paperback edition contains a tear-out shell identification card to enhance the hands-on lesson in simple wonders from nature.
Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver
This heartwarming book—an adaptation of one of John Denver’s best-loved songs—is a lovely reminder of the good, pure things in life. “Sunshine On My Shoulders” celebrates friendship, sunshine and simple joy. Children and adults alike will love Christopher Canyon’s whimsical and humorous illustrations, that capture the innocence of childhood. This is one of a series of picture book adaptations of John Denver’s songs that reflect the gift of friendship and nature.
This is the Sea that Feeds Us by Robert F. Baldwin
From the delightful opening verse of this poetic nonfiction book, the reader learns the important concept that plankton is the first link in the ocean food chain. The rhyming text continues and covers each link—the shrimp who eats the plankton, the sea bass who eats the shrimp and the humans who catch the sea bass for dinner. This is a wonderful resource for studies on ocean plankton, habitats, and food chains.
Good food doesn’t begin on a store shelf with a box. It comes from a garden bursting with life, color, sounds, smells, sunshine, moisture, birds, and bees! Healthy food becomes much more interesting when children know where they come from. So what’s in the garden? Kids will find a variety fruits and vegetables, and a tasty, kid-friendly recipe for each one to start a lifetime of good eating. A “food for thought” section presents interesting facts about each fruit and vegetable, and a “how does your garden grow?” section explains facts about gardening and the parts of plants.
reviews by Overdrive