Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig Van Derwater

everydaybirds

Every Day Birds by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater. Illustrated by Dylan Metrano. unpgd. Orchard Books/ Scholastic Inc., February, 2016. 9780545699808. (Review from finished copy courtesy of publisher.)

Elementary teachers looking for cross-curricular poetry need to know about Amy Ludwig Van Derwater. This poem introduces twenty North American birds to inspire the next generation of birders. Full review here.

Time for Kids Almanac 2017

Time For Kids Almanac 2017

2016 (Liberty Street)

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

A chocolate sundae is nice. Vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. But what if you added a slice of banana. And sprinkles. Ooh, some peanuts would be good too. What about another flavor or two of ice cream? Imagine having seventeen flavors of ice cream! That’s how an almanac is an indulgence for an informational text fan. It takes some facts and adds more and more. The nice thing about this informational sundae is that you gain zero calories from reading it. There are seventeen sections to the Time for Kids Almanac 2017.

Within each of those sections, there are plenty of facts, but the beauty of this almanac is that text is presented in several different ways. For example, the geography section has a two page map with seven circles of data representing the continents and a table with information about the five oceans. The next page features informational text about the Earth in a narrative format. On the opposite side is a first person report about Antarctica by TFK writer David Bjerklie. Three different styles of nonfiction on three consecutive pages. That’s how an almanac rolls. It’s more than just lists of data. And it’s quite handy too. If you need facts about a president, it’s there. What about the flag of a particular country? Got it. Loads and loads of info that will be useful beyond this calendar year.

When I was a kid, I could count on two gifts each year: The new paperback edition of the Guinness Book of World Records and The Associated Press Almanac. I had a happy childhood! Using this in the classroom, you could sit it right next to a dictionary for reference purposes. Want to add some tech? You could also use an app like Goose Chase and add a scavenger hunt using facts from the book. There are many uses for this unique tool!

Check out more of Jeff’s posts at NC Teacher Stuff.

Seven and a Half Tons of Steel

7.5tonsofsteel
Seven and a Half Tons of Steel
by Janet Nolan (Author) and Thomas Gonzalez (Illustrator)

Booktalk: There is a ship, a navy ship. It is called the USS New York. It is big like other navy ships, and it sails like other navy ships, but there is something special about the USS New York. Following the events of September 11, 2001, the governor of New York gave the Navy a steel beam that was once inside one of the World Trade Towers. The beam was driven from New York to a foundry in Louisiana. Metal workers heated the beam to a high, high temperature. Chippers and grinders, painters and polishers worked on the beam for months. And then, seven and a half tons of steel, which had once been a beam in the World Trade Center, became a navy ship’s bow.

Snippet:
Out in the ocean, a storm started to swirl.
Wind twisted. Water churned.

Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans.
Levees broke, homes flooded, and
businesses were swept away.

Many shipbuilders lost their homes.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

National Geographic Kids Everything Sports

everythingsports
National Geographic Kids Everything Sports: All the Photos, Facts, and Fun to Make You Jump! by Eric Zweig (Author)

Booktalk: Become an expert on sports for the 2016 Olympics! From archery to zip lining this book covers EVERYTHING about the world’s favorite team and individual sports. Dive into the history, rules and regs, training, and practice for baseball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, fencing, curling, table tennis, and more!

Snippet: Many Olympic sports are popular around the world at all times, but some sports only get attention during Olympic years. Summer sports such as team handball, archery, and rowing, and winter events such as biathlon, don’t generate much interest. When adding new sports to the Olympics, the IOC looks for something with worldwide popularity. Over the years, sports such as croquet, polo, and tug-of-war have been part of the Olympics. Baseball, lacrosse, and cricket have come and gone from the summer Olympics over the years.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.

Nadia ~ the girl who couldn’t sit still

NadiaThis is a perfect book for the season, especially if you have a gymnastics-crazy kid who cartwheels down the hall.

Nadia ~ The girl who couldn’t sit still

by Karlin Gray; illus. by Christine Davenier

40 pages; ages 6-9

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

Nadia Comaneci loved soccer, swimming, and climbing trees in the forests beyond her village of Onesti, Romania. “She didn’t just climb the trees,” writes Karlin Gray, “she swung from branch to branch until her family would call her home.”

To find an outlet for all that energy, Nadia’s mom signed her up for gymnastics classes. It would be great to just say …”and the rest is history…” but that would ignore the years of hard work and learning that Nadia put into developing her skills on the bars and beam. It would ignore the falls and failures.

When she fell, Nadia picked herself up and brushed herself off and practiced some more until she perfected each move. Until she got first place in national competitions. Until she reached the Olympics in Montreal (1976). She whipped around the bars, balanced, flipped, and won the highest score ever – a perfect 10.

At the end of the competitions, Nadia took home five medals (three gold). Back home she did just what you’d expect a girl who couldn’t sit still to do: keep on practicing.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2016 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved. Site Meter