Into the Field Guides for Kids

I’m running behind today, but I guess it’s still Monday.

Today at Wrapped in Foil blog I’m featuring two children’s books in the  Into the Field Guide series.

The Into the Field Guides are lightweight and a perfect size to carry along on a hike. They won’t take up much room in a backpack. The guides feature color photographs and clear, simple descriptions to help youngsters learn to identify common animals, plants, and even rocks. They also include an introduction to some basic scientific concepts and facts. For example, the description of the stick insect explains how it uses camouflage to hide from predators.

walk-in-the-woods

A Walk in the Woods has descriptions of animals, plants, and rocks found in Eastern deciduous forests. For example, the bird section highlights American robins, Northern mockingbirds, chickadees, goldfinches, etc.

 

walk-on-the-beach

A Walk on the Beach helps young readers learn about common animals, plants, rocks, shells, and even debris found on the beach. The bird section includes information about water birds ranging from great blue herons and seagulls, to eagles and ducks.

great-backyard-bird-count

These field guides would be perfect to accompany the The Great Backyard Bird Count citizen science event coming up soon.

What is the Great Backyard Bird Count? Basically all people need to do is count the birds they see over 15 minutes during the weekend of the event and then report the numbers on the website. Although it is called “backyard,” people can count anywhere birds are found, including parks, preserves, or fields. There is plenty of information and instructions about getting started at the website. It is a wonderful project for kids to participate in.

A Celebration of the Art of Beatrix Potter

Today we are highlighting the art and books of Beatrix Potter with A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Art and letters by more than 30 of today’s favorite children’s book illustrators.

a-celebration-of-beatrix-potter

Last year, 2016, was the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth. To honor her, thirty-two famous children’s book illustrators produced artwork and stories inspired by Potter’s picture books. The featured illustrators range from Lauren Castillo and Tomie dePaola to Rosemary Wells and Pamela Zagarenski. See Kelly Murphy’s website for one example.

The official word is this book is for readers grades three up. You might be skeptical, but it does have the potential to appeal to a range of ages. Younger children will be probably be captivated by the assortment of illustrations and the excerpts from Potter’s children’s books. Adults will be interested in the accompanying essays by the illustrators, as well as the historical tidbits provided as background for Potter’s books. For example, we learn The Tailor of Gloucester was Beatrix Potter’s favorite and that it was based on a true story. How fun!

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter is a treasure trove to explore, especially for readers interested in art and books. It is valuable as a resource for art and history lessons, and as a reference. But best of all it is a fitting tribute to Beatrix Potter’s genius. Check out a copy today.

Stop by Wrapped in Foil blog for activity suggestions to accompany the book.

(Wow, I had forgotten how much fun it is to review children’s books.)

Shining a Spotlight on Lee & Low’s Tiny Stitches, Biography of Vivien Thomas

Although I’ve been on a sabbatical of sorts at Wrapped In Foil, I wanted stop by to call attention to the awesome picture book biography Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks and illustrated by Colin Bootman. It’s an incredible story about an inspiring man.

tinystitches

Vivien Thomas wanted to go to college and study medicine, but the money he had saved to go to school was wiped out when the stock market crashed at the beginning of the Great Depression. Instead, he found a job working for Dr. Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Blalock saw Vivien’s potential and taught him how to do medical research. Regardless of the roadblocks thrown at him because of his race and lack of degrees, Vivien Thomas developed medical techniques still saving babies’ lives today.

On her website, Gwendolyn Hooks explains it took her six years to research and write this book. The depth of knowledge and attention to detail shows. She also explains Vivien’s unusual name. She says his parents had picked out the girl’s name Vivian, but when they had a boy, they quickly changed the “a” to an “e.” A unique name for a unique man.

Tiny Stitches is an outstanding picture book biography. Share a copy with a child soon. Who knows where it might lead?

For the rest of the review, visit Wrapped In Foil blog.

See the previous Nonfiction Monday review by proseandkahn, as well.

Time for Kids Awesome America

At Wrapped in Foil blog we are featuring Awesome America: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the History, People, and Culture (Time for Kids) by Katy Steinmetz, a “timely” book that would be perfect for kids who want to know whether the state capital of Nevada is Las Vegas or Carson City.

 

awesome-america

At 208 pages it is a hefty tome, but Awesome America is not a dry or like a textbook. Instead it is a colorful overview highlighting important events and people that have shaped the United States. In addition to discussions of the presidents and states, it is organized into chapters that cover topics such as “Our Government,” “Civil Rights,” “Great Americans,” and “America’s Role in the World.” The final chapter contains a timeline revealing the main events of 400 years of history.

Awesome America is a veritable treasure trove of information. It would be a useful addition to any reference library, especially as a resource for school reports. Pick up a copy and see what it inspires today!

Animal Planet’s Farm Animals

Did you know that in a few breeds of geese the males and females have different eye colors?  If not, it might be time for  a “gander” at Animal Planet’s Farm Animals.

farm-animals

Inside expect over 200 large, dynamic photographs of horses, cows, pigs, duck, turkeys, chickens and more. Learn what farm animals eat, where they live and what their families are like. Included is a two-page spread of wild creatures that use farms as homes, such as spiders, bees, and wild birds.

In the back matter are activities to reinforce learning, such as animal sound matching, as well as a page packed with resources for further exploration, two pages of glossary, and an extensive index.

Farm Animals is a perfect choice for young children who love animals. It could also be used to accompany a field trip to a petting zoo or local farm.

See the review at Wrapped in Foil for suggested activities to accompany the book.

Animal Planet’s Animal Atlas

Over at Wrapped in Foil blog today we are featuring Animal Planet’s new book, Animal Atlas, with text by James Buckley, Jr. and maps by Aaron Meshon. It arrives on shelves on May 17.

animal-atlas

Animal Planet Animal Atlas travels through the world of animals in an orderly fashion, with chapters representing the seven continents plus the oceans. Each section begins with a map of the featured continent and descriptions of the biomes that occur there, such as rainforest, desert, and tundra. In the following pages are covered with big, bright photographs of different kinds of animals living in each biome, from a type of antelope known as an addax to zebras.  Short descriptions of the animals are included in color-coded sidebars. Finally, children will want to look for the Reach Out. Act. Respond or ROAR sidebars highlighting conservation and animal rescue efforts in that region.

What’s great about this big book is that it is a resource children are likely to return to again and again. Young children may use it to learn the names of animals. Older children will start to see emergent patterns, such as the animals found in northern areas or taigas are more likely to be white at least part of the year. The bottom line is that Animal Atlas is sure to please young animal lovers everywhere!

If you are looking for more, try the Animal Bites series, reviewed here earlier by Jeff.

The Bug Book by Sue Fliess

Just in time for National Poetry Month we have The Bug Book by Sue Fliess.

The bug book

Sue Fliess is a master of the subtly humorous, fast-paced rhyming text that is so appealing to little ones. I particularly like the “go explore nature” message on the first page:

Grab a bucket. Check your guide.
Let’s go find some bugs outside!

The book is illustrated with colorful stock photographs of insects and other bugs, which will help children learn more about them.

The Bug Book will appeal to young readers interested in creepy crawlies, and nature in general.

Our related review is posted at Wrapped in Foil blog. For an insect poetry activity and further reading suggestions, see Growing with Science.