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Bobsled and Luge

Winter Olympic Sports: Bobsled and Luge
by Laura Hamilton Waxman (Author)

Booktalk: A photo-illustrated book for elementary readers about Olympic bobsled, luge, and skeleton events. Includes descriptions of each of these men’s and women’s sliding sports. Readers will get a primer to some rules and athletes that may participate in the 2018 PeyongChang, South Korea Winter Olympic Games. Includes Q&A feature, table of contents, glossary, further resources, and index.

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Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

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Evolution

evolution cover

Evolution: How Life Adapts to a Changing Environment With 25 Projects
by Carla Mooney (Author) and Aleis Cornell (Illustrator)

Booktalk: In this hands-on, problem-solving book, readers ages 9 to 12 will study evolution, or the process by which living things change over time. One of the most important ideas in biology, evolution explains why there are so many different living organisms on earth. It also explains why you are the way you are. Because of evolution, you walk on two legs and communicate with language. And although evolution is the story of our past, it also helps us understand our future and how we continue to evolve.

Throughout the book, investigations and experiments provide hands-on, problem-solving opportunities for students, incorporating various challenges and tools. Readers simulate the process of natural selection, trace the blue whale’s evolutionary tree, and examine how fossils provide evidence of evolution and adaptation. Using readily available household and recycled materials, each activity takes the reader through an inquiry-based, open-ended investigation that leaves plenty of room to explore individual creativity.

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Evolution - interior pic

Guest Post by Carla Mooney

Carla Mooney has written over 70 books for children, focusing on topics in science, social studies, and current issues. She has a particular interest in projects that enable her to explore history, science, and how the world works.

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Q. Describe your writing process.
A. Research, research, and more research! When I start a new book project, one of the first things I do is go online to see what has already been written about the subject. What children’s books have been written on my topic? What adult books are in print? What primary sources exist? Then, I order as many as I can from my local library. By reviewing the existing children’s and adult books, I can get a sense as to how other authors have already covered this material, which can help me find a new angle or develop a different approach to the subject.

I also use the Internet when I research. I’ve become a big fan of gathering background information about a subject by listening to or watching audio or video lectures and courses. I use search engines and my library’s research databases to see what articles, scientific papers, or research studies have been published about the topic. A word of caution — always make sure that you check the validity of a website or the publisher of a book to make sure it is a reliable source. For many books, I’ll contact experts in the field — like professors or scientists — and interview them either in person, over the phone, or through email.

Once I’ve gathered all of my research materials, I actually like to sit down with a notebook and pen and take notes. Something about physically writing notes the old-fashioned way helps me to “see” how I want to organize the book. From these notes, I create an outline.

With my outline, I’m ready to start writing on my laptop. At this point, I often do some additional research to gather more sources or fill in areas as I write. I love it when I find just the right fact or detail for a section! I don’t try to say everything perfectly in the first draft — it’s more important to get it started. Once I have finished the first draft, I go back to edit and edit, until I’m happy with the manuscript.

Q. Tell us about your latest book.
A. Have you ever wondered why fish have gills and humans walk on two legs? Life on Earth is incredible diverse, and part of the reason for this is evolution, or the theory that living things change with time. Evolution: How Life Adapts to a Changing Environment explores the theory of evolution, its history, and how we think it works. In this book, you’ll learn about examples of creatures that have evolved in response to specific circumstances and what evolution might mean for the future of our planet. And one of my favorite things about this book — it’s full of projects and activities that really help readers explore and learn about the science of evolution. Are you ready to take a journey to explore our common ancestors and look toward our shared future?

Thanks for sharing your new book, Carla!

200px-Charles_Darwin_by_G._Richmond

February 12th is Charles Darwin’s birthday.

 

And now it’s your turn, readers. Are you ready to get started on your creative project? All you need to do is write your email address here to sign up for the private 30 Minutes of Creativity Facebook group and our monthly newsletter.

Q. What is in the Naturally Creative newsletter?
A. A creativity link of the month.

Just log in to our private creativity support group on Facebook and add an emoji or write a comment to log the time you worked on your creative project each day. Step by step you will get your project done.

Give it a try and see if it works for you!

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Figure Skating

Winter Olympic Sports: Figure Skating
by Laura Hamilton Waxman (Author)

Booktalk: A photo-illustrated book for elementary readers about Olympic figure skating. Includes descriptions of men’s and women’s singles program, ice dancing, pairs skating, and the team figure skating events. Readers will get a primer to some rules and athletes that may participate in the 2018 PeyongChang, South Korea Winter Olympic Games.

Snippet: The Winter Olympics happens every four years. The world’s best skaters come together. They skate hard. They dream big. They all want a chance to win a gold medal.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Astronaut-Aquanaut


Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact
by Jennifer Swanson (Author)

Booktalk: Journey from the deepest trenches in the oceans to the farthest humans have ventured into space and learn what it takes to explore the extremes. You might just be surprised by how similar the domains of ASTRONAUTS and AQUANAUTS really are.

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Guest Post by Jennifer Swanson

Science Rocks! And so do Jennifer Swanson’s books. She is the award winning author of over 30 nonfiction books for children. A self-professed science geek, Jennifer started a science club in her garage at the age of 7. While no longer working from the garage, Jennifer’s passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, BRAIN GAMES (NGKids) and SUPER GEAR: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up (Charlesbridge) which was named an NSTA Best STEM book of 2017 and an NSTA Outstanding Trade Book 2017. Top reviews include a starred review in Booklist, and recommended reviews from School Librarians Workshop, Library Media Connection, and a Nerdy Book Club award. Her book, Geoengineering Earth’s Climate: Resetting the Thermostat , from 21st Century Books/ Lerner received a Junior Library Guild Selection.

Q. Describe your writing process.
A. I do TONS of research for each book I write. Usually, it’s a mix of books, scientific or medical papers, engineering design manuals, and also interviews with experts. When I come up with an idea, the first thing I do is head to the library. I check out every kids book I can find on the subject. (I need to know what’s out there so I don’t duplicate). Then I check out every adult reference book on the subject. The librarians say they can always tell what I’m writing about because I take all of the books on that subject!

Then I come home and hit the internet. I do searches on the topic and look for scientific and/or medical papers that might be great resources. I search the top agencies, such as NASA, and then send emails to several top scientists/engineers in the field. For this book, I set about contacting actual astronauts and aquanauts for quotes for the inside of the book. A few tips about contacting experts: Be polite and professional. Brief and specific with your questions. Be grateful for their help, but also be a bit tenacious. It took me many months to connect with several of the experts for this book, but I kept emailing politely until I got a response. It all worked out in the end!

Q. Tell us about your latest book.
A. Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact takes readers on a fun and exciting trip UP in space and DOWN in the ocean as they “train” to become either an astronaut or aquanaut. You might think that space and the ocean don’t go together. Well, think again! In this book you will learn how astronauts actually train underwater before they go into space. You will dive deep with several aquanauts as they explore the vast depth of the ocean and meet many new animals. Both places have many similarities–and a bunch of differences, too. It’s up to you to decide. What will you be–an Astronaut or an Aquanaut?

What a great question! Thanks for sharing your new book, Jennifer.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Full Moon Lore

Full Moon Lore
by Ellen Wahi (Author) and‎ Ashley Stewart (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Every month has a full moon, and every full moon has a story. Full Moon Lore explores the origins of each full moon’s name, from the Strawberry Moon to the Wolf Moon and beyond looking at nature, seasons, and the mystery of the full moon. Includes Moon Facts and additional backmatter.

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Wolf Moon
January’s Wolf Moon lights the winter night,
shedding the warmth of its glow onto the cold bitter landscape,
helping animals to see their way across the barren land.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2018 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.