Tag Archives: Kylie Covark

Frankie Stein – Kylie Covark/Shane McG

Standard

Ford St Publishing

September 2022

ISBN: 9781922696120

RRP: $16.95

It has been fantastic in recent years to see the growth in girls becoming more interested in science disciplines. I know I have loved running my Geek Girls groups and hosting events from Tech Girls and the like. And it is equally pleasing to see more and more schools including state primary schools having dedicated STEM specialist lessons. While we may not (many of us) have a whole heap of time in classroom programs to divert to spontaneous topics of interest, this is a book that will easily springboard into these areas.

I road-tested this one this week with a fairly rambunctious Year 2 class I was with (they were out of sorts after a couple of disruptive days and one not-so-effective relief teacher the day before me) but they were all, even to the ‘liveliest’ really engaged with this and it was a very effective read-aloud to settle them after a break. We didn’t have much time to spare in the program the teacher had provided but I stole some to have them ‘monster-fy’ one of their own toys and draw the result. FrankenToys (example) is a really fun activity I have run in library lunchtimes and both littles and bigs enjoy it and all you need is some old toys and some constructions material like hot glue guns.

Frankie is a truly dedicated young scientist, always researching, hypothesising and testing, with her much-loved partner, Bear, always on watch from the shelf. But Frankie really wishes that she and Bear could really talk to each other and that he could become more than just a silent partner. After much experimentation, she comes up with a formula that she’s sure will work – and it does! – only not quite in the way she anticipated. Suddenly, instead of cute, fuzzy Bear she has a great, green, angry monster Bear, intent on eating everything and wrecking a lot as he goes along. Time to come up with another potion – and fast!! It’s certainly a nice twist on friendship and also, arguably, being satisfied with our friends, just as they are. It is also an apt lesson in perseverance and resilience – two qualities high on every school’s values list.

With its rhythmic rhymes and the vibrant illustrations, this will be a definite hit from Prep upwards to around Year 3.

Why not make a point of sharing it with your STEM teacher/coordinator as well as your kiddos?

Highly recommended for 4 years upwards (and don’t forget to stock up on the glue guns, screwdrivers and pliers!)

Float or Sink? – Kylie Covark. Illustrated by Andrew Plant

Standard

Ford St Publishing

February 2021

ISBN: 9781925804621 [paperback]

RRP: $16.95

This rhyming story is as cute as the bugs who star in it! When a stick falls into the creek the reader is invited to guess whether it will float or sink and when first a ladybird lands on it, followed by an assortment of other tiny critters (all of them with very grand titles), the guessing game continues.

As we have come to expect from Andrew Plant, the illustrations are bold and beautiful and Covark’s simple but rhythmic text begs for chorus reading as each bug lands precariously on the stick as it bobs along the water. But what will happen when a greedy duck sees the curious company? Children will love the predictions and their enthusiasm will easily lead into some science around floating and sinking – time for some fun experiments! It could also segue into an exciting game of Pooh Sticks – if you happen to have a handy creek and bridge!

I love this for its simple but catchy text and the overall design which is so much fun but also for the fact that it has such real application into some valuable learning experiences.

Highly recommended for little readers from Prep upwards.