Written by: Chana Stiefel
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In this virtual field trip to a family farm, readers will learn how farmers keep and care for chickens. Part of the “Animals on the Family Farm” series, this book is a great introduction to farm living and animal science.
On a family farm, everybody wakes up early to pitch in. The chickens need to be fed. The coop looks like a large tent on wheels. It has to be big enough to house the birds, but easily moveable so they can graze different parts of the field every day. The coop also protects chickens from predators like foxes or hawks, although a rooster will sound the alarm if he senses danger. Children will enjoy the fun facts sprinkled throughout the book. Did you know that some chickens lay blue or green eggs? Did you know that certain breeds are used for eggs while others are used for meat? A farmer can collect 150 eggs in a day. And, of course, a book about chickens isn’t complete without pictures of adorable baby chicks.
With eye-popping colors and oversized headers, each page layout is a digestible “chapter,” a few sentences long, perfect for second grade readers. Crisp, full-page photographs help to illustrate the text and keep the reader engaged. The “Words to Know” section, table of contents, and index will also assist with their comprehension.
Other books in this series (which feature cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and turkeys) can be found on the publisher’s website: www.enslow.com. Additional reading resources and reputable websites are also listed.
- TITLE: Chickens on the Family Farm
- AUTHOR: Chana Stiefel
- PUBLISHER: Enslow Elementary / Enslow Publishers, Inc.
- REVIEWER: Lauren Abbey Greenberg
- FORMAT: Paperback: 24 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-4644-0351-4
- GENRE: Non-Fiction / Science
- LEXILE SCORE: 470
Written by Michelle Lord
Illustrated by Cathy Morrison
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The title describes the story and makes the book immediately attractive to parents, teachers and librarians looking for interesting ways to teach young readers to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. First and second graders (the book targets the 4-8 age group) will enjoy learning these little known facts. The decorator sea-urchin, what an apt name, lives in the Atlantic Ocean. “The water is warm, but he covers up.” Why? To protect himself from the rough waves and the sun’s strong rays. Maybe even to hide from predators. He decorates himself with colorful algae, rocks, corals and other ocean refuse. This is clearly REuse of easily available material. The facing page poses the question: Urchin recycles. How about you?
The Carolina wren uses spider webs, dog hair and snakeskin among other things to make her nest warm. The veined octopus takes discarded coconut shells to hide in when danger threatens. An Asian elephant’s ears are not large enough to keep away flies. He uses a fallen banana leaf as a fly swatter, and then makes a meal of it! Each animal description can lead to interesting classroom discussions and many reading activities.
Consecutive two-page spreads — description of the animal on the left and gorgeous, full-color illustration on the right carry the story along. The question asked on the illustration page “(name of animal) recycles. How about you?” becomes a refrain that the youngest readers will look forward to, making the book an interesting read aloud. The earth also recycles. “The earth recycles water over and over.” The story ends with showing how children recycle, and the benefits of recycling.
One of the strong suits of the publisher, Sylvan Dell, is providing extensive follow-up information in the back matter that can be utilized to enrich the lessons. This book has a map activity, a quiz, and an explanation of why animals recycle. There is additional material online (sylvandellpublishing.com). Click on the book cover to go to the relevant page.
- Title: Nature Recycles How About You?
- Author: Michelle Lord
- Illustrator: Cathy Morrison
- Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishing
- Reviewer: Anjali Amit
- Paperback: 32 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-60718-6274
- Genre: Non-fiction/Science
Written by Lynda Beauregard
Illustrated by Der-Shing Helmer
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It’s Megan’s first year at Camp Dakota. There are campers to meet and mysteries to solve. What happened to the cuckoo clock? Why can’t the campers stay on top of the beach ball in the water? How come Megan is taller in the morning than she is at night? Gravity rules in Book #5 of the Summer Camp Science Mysteries Series.
The Missing Cuckoo Clock is a graphic novel that will delight reluctant readers in the second grade level. Multi-cultural campers are depicted in a bold graphic style. The text is entertaining and educational. With more educational material than an average comic book, it will also be appreciated by teachers.
The storyline acts as a pegboard on which to hang real-life examples of gravity in action. Blue fact boxes scattered through the cartoon panels offer explanations about how gravity works. Camp Dakota campers watch as lifeguard J.D. demonstrates centre of gravity. They giggle as they try to stand against a wall with heels together and try to pick up a quarter on the floor. They make a gravity clock with water. Each of the mini-experiments found throughout the story can be easily be duplicated by teachers and students.
A glossary and gravity fact list are found at the back of the novel. There are also two official experiments for second grade students to perform. In “Uphill Battle”, they can see how gravity makes a round object roll uphill. In “Making a Pendulum”, students test changes in weight and length against the swing rate.
This is a fun book liberally sprinkled with serious science!
- Title: The Missing Cuckoo Clock
- Author: Lynda Beauregard
- Illustrator: Der-Shing Helmer
- Publisher: Graphic Universe
- Reviewer: Megan Kopp
- Paperback: 48 Pages
- ISBN: 978-1-4677-0733-6
- Genre: Mystery / Science / Graphic Novel