Thursday, August 30, 2018

Frankenstein Day

August 30 is Frankenstein Day celebrating English author Mary Shelley who wrote one of the world’s most read monster novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.
Mary Shelly was born on August 30, 1797. She began writing hr novel when she was 18, and the first edition was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818, when she was 20. A second addition, carrying her name, was published in 1823 in France.
With that thought in mind, I’m sharing this earlier post.

There is plenty of spooky fun in this collection of poems about monsters facing their fears and dealing with everyday situations that become weirdly complicated. The Invisible Man gets a haircut, the Phantom of the Opera has the song, "It's a Small World," stuck in his head, The Creature from the Black Lagoon forgets to wait an hour before swimming. Wolfman, Bigfoot, Dracula...they're all here and demanding to be read aloud.

Rex followed this 2006 success with more monster inspired fun in the 2008 Frankenstein Takes the Cake, detailing Frankenstein's wacky Wedding. The monster cast includes Dracula, the Sphinx, The Headless Horseman and even an alien encounter to produce plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Nonfiction Monday

Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant by Jennifer Keats Curtis relates this true story for ages 4-9 in a narrative nonfiction story that is rich with sensory imagery.

Beginning with Maggie’s arrival at the Alaska Zoo as a baby, the story focuses on her life following the loss of her friend, Annabelle, an Asian elephant. With Maggie’s only companion gone, she adopts a tire for company. Despite the zoo keepers’ best efforts, loneliness and the pervasive cold eventually take a toll and her health declines.

 Fortunately, the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in California already had two groups of elephants and were ready and willing to give this lonesome elephant a new home. How do you move and 8,000-pound animal? Slowly and carefully as it turns out and with a lot of help.

Young readers will enjoy discovering important information about elephants, and the remarkable details of Maggie’s rescue in this child-friendly and beautifully illustrated text.
Curtis does an excellent job of describing the sequence of events that result in Maggie finding a happy new life with her own special friends. And there are plenty of elephant-related facts to absorb along the way.

 The book concludes with a section titled: For Creative Minds, which provides additional reading on Elephant Herds, Zoos, and A Question and Answer section with Maggie’s keeper Michelle Harvey.

A 30-page cross curricular Teaching Activity Guide is available online. The book is also available in Spanish.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Nonfiction Monday

I'm a day late, but here's another book to add to your STEM collection for home and school libraries.

Energy: Physical Science for Kids by Andi Diehn introduces young readers, ages 5-8, to the amazing world of energy with a look at the many ways in which energy is used, stored, and replenished.

Beginning with a look at children utilizing energy in their active day, the book identifies what occurs when energy levels drop, and continues on to explore the ways in which humans and familiar animals restore their energy through nutrition and rest.
Of course, animals aren’t the only lifeforms that utilize energy and an examination of basic photosynthesis (without actually using the term) reveals that plants also use energy to grow.
The latter portion of the book focuses attention on chemical energy, heat energy, electrical energy, and light energy and the ways we incorporate those forms of energy in daily life.
Clear, simple language and colorful illustrations invite youngster to explore the many types of energy that surround them every day.
Examples are pulled from everyday experiences and are both entertaining and thought provoking. A pair of Hands-0n experiments and a basic glossary reinforce the content.
A fun introduction to simple science concepts.

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer