Posts

Pluto's Valentine (Art + Books Series)

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We’re into February now! A new month means a new theme, and since February is the month of Valentines, that means that this month’s book theme is going to be … Pluto and the solar system?! Yes, Pluto! Back in 2015, when the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto, it captured images of a heart-shaped plain on Pluto’s surface. That makes Pluto a great planet to study during February. Before starting into this project, though, I highly recommend reading Pluto's Secret: An Icy World's Tale of Discovery by Margaret Weitekamp and David DeVorkin. This book is a fun story about Pluto’s discovery and the debate involving Pluto’s status as a planet. If you have older readers, I also recommend Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt , by Mary Kay Carson and Tom Uhlman. This book has gorgeous photos that even younger children might enjoy, but the longer, more technical text would be better for somewhat older children.

The Twelve Books of Christmas: Holiday Picture Books

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We don't always do routines & traditions very well, but I've been trying to start more traditions, especially around the holiday season.  One of my favorites is reading seasonal picture books. We haven't found a good routine for this year yet, but last year, instead of doing a standard Advent calendar, I found and wrapped 24 books for my kids. (Many of them were used; some of them I bought from authors I follow). And each night during December, my kids opened a new book. In a perfect world, they would have all been Christmas books, but--my kids like Minecraft and rocket ships too, so some of those might have snuck in as well.  Never fear, though! We ready plenty of other Christmas books that month, include a number pictures books with different adaptations of the classic poem "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  There are probably hundreds of adaptations available, but here's my list with twelve versions of "Twelve Days" that you should look for this

New Release: A Bee or Not a Bee?

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What makes a bee a bee?  It's not their color or the fact that they make honey (in fact, only a few bees can even make honey).  I've been reading up on bees for the last couple of years while working on this book--and they are amazing insects! We mostly think about honeybees or maybe bumblebees, but there are also carpenter bees, mason bees, sweat bees, mining bees, sunflower bees, and many others. My new book, A Bee or Not a Bee? ,   takes a look at some of these bees and compares them with bee mimics. It teaches kids about different traits that bees have, while introducing kids to insect identification and all kinds of fun science facts.  You can find more information about this book at www.aesauble.com/bees Also, until July 18th, you can order signed copies of my books in my online store . I'm going to be taking classes full-time this fall, and will be closing the store after the 18th.

Plants & Flowers: Favorite Spring Picture Books

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Are you a gardener, a plant-lover, or even just a parent looking for something fun to read this spring? I’m all three, and I love to read books about plants, nature, and science to my kids. I’ve created lists in the past with some of our favorite books about seeds and growing things , as well as pollinators and plants . We’re always finding new favorites, though. I'm also working on a new book about bees, and since bees and flowers belong together, this seemed like a good time to revisit some of our favorite  picture books about flowers, plants, and gardening. (If you want to find out more about my book, you can get updates here .) (This list includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to purchasers to use these links.) Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert – This classic is a bright, cheerful book about different types of flowers as they sprout and grow with all the colors of the rainbow. It’s a fun

Snow & Ice: Favorite Children's Picture Books about the Winter

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In the winter, playing in the snow may be fun, but reading about winter and snow can be just as fun! We love books that are adventures, as well as books for learning about nature and science, so I’ve put together a list with some of our favorite picture books about snow, ice, and wintertime. The first few books are fictional, but many of these books are informational fiction, and I’ve included some fun nonfiction picture books as well. If you are looking for something to read this winter, I recommend checking out some of these picture books! (This list includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. There is no additional cost to purchasers to use these links. If you prefer to avoid Amazon, you can also find most of these books here on Bookshop . ) Picture Books for Winter:  The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats – the classic story of a child exploring in the snow. A polar bear in the snow, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris – a w

Dinosaurs, Gravity, & the Water Cycle (Art + Books series)

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Just over a year ago, I met Carla Jansen via social media and found her Kickstarter for her debut picture book A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze . Now she’s back with the second book in this scientifically hilarious series, A Dinosaur Made Me Spill . The first book in this series explains the rock cycle, while Carla’s newest book focuses on the water cycle! And . . .  A Dinosaur Made Me Spill just became available for preorders on Kickstarter!   This week, I’m excited to join other bloggers celebrating this book and exploring the water cycle through science activities, unit studies, and art projects. You can find a list with all of the activities on the Preschool Powol Packets blog . Today, I want to focus on just one small part of the water cycle—how the water travels back to the ocean.  To do this activity, kids could build piles of dirt outside in the garden and pour water over the dirt to watch how the water travels into valleys and down into streams and on through the water cycle. (Actua

Favorite Picture Books for Fall

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What better way to celebrate fall than with picture books?!  After a hot, dry summer, we've had a deluge of rain recently. One day, we had 0.8" of rain in 24-hours! My kids have been out playing in the rain a fair bit, but we've also been spending more time inside reading books. So, here are my autumn-themed picture book recommendations. I've split them out into two sections. The first section has books focused on trees, changing colors and general seasonal changes. The second one lists books about pumpkins and fall celebrations, both fiction and nonfiction. One of my own books has a fall/seasons theme as well.  Can a Tree Be Blue?  explores all the colors that a tree can be, while also showing how trees change throughout the year. I've included a link at the end of the post with some extra resources you can use either alongside the book or on their own.  Read on--and feel free to leave your own favorites in the comments! ( This list includes affiliate links.  As a

Book Projects #2 - Volcanoes and Island Life

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This month has been a long, distracted buzz! But . . . in my last post, I mentioned that we've been working on "book projects" for summer break. Very simply — we're working through some longer books over the course of a week and coming up with hands-on projects related to each day's reading session. For the first week of summer break, we worked on art projects . We've done a few other projects since then, including a couple based on  Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island by Loree Griffen Burns, from the Scientists in the Field series.  This chapter book explains how scientists have studied a new(ish) volcanic island off the coast of Iceland. Since the island formed in 1963, new plants and birds have steadily appeared on the island, migrating from other nearby islands or blown in by wind and waves. Scientists use Surtsey as an island laboratory to study how fast it has been colonized by different species and how well those species thrive on the new land