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Can a Tree Be Blue? - Resources and Links

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Have you ever seen a blue tree? Well, is an oak tree blue? What about a willow? Or a maple? Trees aren't just green! They grow in a rainbow of colors, and some trees even change through the year. An easy-to-read nonfiction picture book,  Can a Tree Be Blue?  introduces children to different colors that trees can be, as well as the ways that trees change over time. Can a Tree Be Blue is the first book in my Early Science series, and it's a great resource for exploring nature with young children and beginning readers.   As an author and illustrator, my main goal is to encourage children to explore nature and science through picture books. While  Can a Tree Be Blue focuses on different colors of trees, it also introduces children to the way that trees change through the year, shows the the different shapes that leaves can be, and encourages children to take a closer look at trees with a fun scavenger hunt at the end of the book. Resources: Download a free lesson plan / unit st

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

Summer Break, Day 1 - Messy Art

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Someday, I plan to sign my kids up for some sort of actual summer camp. Someday . . . but not this summer. We do have one summer camp nearby focused on nature exploration that I had hoped to sign up for this summer, but they've raised their age limits this year, and my youngest still isn't older enough. Instead of summer camp this year, I told my kids we could have a morning story time and then spend some time working on a project or activity based on what we're reading. We've done these sorts of activities a couple of times before, using my own highly inventive name for it: "book projects." I don't have any particular theme for the summer. We're going to read whatever needs to go back to the library next (while also trying to make a dent in my stack of books-to-read as well).  My plan is really simple: read one book or a section of a longer book, and then come up with a project to go with it. DK Books' Art And How It Works  needs to go back to the