Saturday, February 27, 2016

Kid Konnection: Spring Books from Dawn Publications

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you three new picture books that focus on science!

Summary: A freckled-faced young gardener opens a packet of seeds. And the magic begins! Crisp verses take the reader through the growing season—from a sprout peeking out, to a curlicue catching dew, to a vine twining on a line, until finally . . . GREEN BEANS! It’s time to harvest a full season of garden knowledge and experience. Along the way the young gardener discovers a nook to read a book in the shade of growing beans. Trina’s watercolors match the mood of a garden, and in the backmatter Patricia provides life cycle science and related vocabulary, instructions on growing your own green beans, and a variety of fun things for children to do. This book is sure to encourage young gardeners to put their toes in the soil and perhaps even read a book in a garden nook. -- Dawn Publications

GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! by Patricia Thomas and illustrated by Trina L. Hunner is a terrific book for budding gardeners. This beautifully illustrated picture book shows a young girl who plants a packet of seeds. The book takes readers through the process of the growing green bean plants including the struggles that the plants (and the gardener) face. The prose is simple and does a great job of explaining the harvest process.

One of my favorite things about Dawn Publications' picture books are that they are both fun and educational, and GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN! is no exception. The last few pages of the book are for readers who are interested in learning more about the life cycle of green bean plants. The author does a great job of explaining the life cycle, including the proper terms, as well as how to grow your own green bean. It also explains the seasonal changes to the green bean plant along with some fun activity suggestions.

GREEN BEAN! GREAN BEAN! is a great book for science teachers. There is even an activities link with great resources that supplement this picture book.

Summary: Welcome to the farm, where pigs roll, goats nibble, horses gallop, hens peck, and turkeys strut! Count, clap, and sing along to the classic tune of “Over in the Meadow” while learning about life on a classic farm. This book is one of Marianne’s own favorites, and is a delight for children and adults alike. Cathy’s illustrations are charming. And as usual, Marianne offers up a potpourri of valuable information about farm animals and suggestions for child-friendly activities. Plus there are free downloadable lesson plans aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. -- Dawn Publications

OVER ON THE FARM by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Cathy Morrison is another great Spring release from Dawn Publications. This cute picture book shows young readers about life on a farm. The prose can be sung to the tune of "Over in the Meadow," so there is potential for even more family read-along fun!

OVER ON THE FARM is geared towards younger readers. There are suggestions in the back of the book for different finger or body movements for each farm animal's action. In addition, there is a section on fact or fiction concerning baby animals as well as the different seasons on a farm. There are also much more detailed descriptions about the different farm animals for those children who want to learn more!

As a mom, I was especially excited to see the "More Fun on the Farm" section. This section of the book included fun enrichment ideas for math, language arts, science, music and art. There is also an activities site online with more suggestions. I loved these games/activities (some of which are aligned to Common Core and Next Generation Science standards) and certainly encourage teachers to check out this book!

Summary: Wild ones are moving into the city! Follow the adorable, curious dog Scooter as he travels through an urban landscape, seeing many wild animals and not seeing even more. Cathy’s charming illustrations draw upon real-life city scenes from across the United States. Supplementary material contains information about the wild species now often living in cities and how they have adapted. Plus Carol offers a section “Is it Really True?” that is both informational and fun. This book is a wonderful aid for children to become aware of the presence of wild animals and understand why they have taken to living in cities. -- Dawn Publications

Finally, there is WILD ONES: OBSERVING CITY CRITTERS by Carole L. Malnor and illustrated by Cathy Morrision. This educational picture book takes readers to an urban setting and shows what kinds of animals live in cities.  Not exactly your typical science book, right?

I really enjoyed WILD ONES: OBSERVING CITY CRITTERS. I can't remember seeing a book book like this one, and I love that kids who live in more urban settings can still learn about the nature around them. Not to mention, the illustrations are terrific! There is just so much to look at on each page!

I will admit that I quickly turned to the back of this book to see what supplemental material the author chose to include. In WILD ONES, there are lists of items/animals that the kids can find on each page. My kids loved hunting down clues and searching through books, and I can only imagine how much fun it would be to find these animals in the midst of these fantastic drawings.

In addition, there is a section called "Is it Really True?" that brings to life some of the fun aspects of the book. There is also a section that explains how "wild" animals are able to adapt to city surroundings. And of course, there is an activities section for WILD ONES which is full of ideas for further enrichment!

All three of these picture books are fantastic and must-have for science teachers and elementary school libraries. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

We always had a garden when I was growing up and I was always sick of green beans before the season was over. Still, I bet I would have loved Green Bean! Green Bean!

Kate Unger said...

All three books sounds really cute. I especially like the sound of the city critters book. You're right. I've never heard of a book like that before. What a great resource and education tool for city kids. Great reviews!

Stacie said...

I am getting these to send to my nieces for Easter. I know they will love them! Especially finding things on the pages. Our kids always loved books like that!