Tag Archives: Natural Science

How We Came to Be: Surprising Sea Creatures – Sami Bayley

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Hachette

September 2022

Imprint: Lothian Children’s Books

ISBN 9780734421364 

RRP $19.99

A delightful 1/2 class, at a local school which has a special focus on all things ‘ocean’, as it is located right on the very seafront, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the depths of the brine with Sami.

Dive on in and find out about each of the underwater zones and the weird, wonderful creatures who inhabit them, as well as how those creatures have adapted and evolved over time to suit their habitat.

We enjoyed so much rich discussion as we took our time over each double spread. Along the way we interrupted our reading to measure out just how long a giant oarfish is, and to see if we could flatten ourselves like flounders (which was a nice opportunity to talk about alliteration!) and to talk about what the children (and the school) are doing to help preserve the ocean on our doorstep.

The marvellous creatures are shown with great detail and each one is accompanied by neat facts, which add even more to the wealth of information being shared. It is, of course, quite difficult for little humans as young as these to grasp the concept of millions of years or indeed, thousands of metres down below the water’s surface but they can realise the scope and enormity of this part of our natural world.

This is another of Sami’s lavishly visual offerings with her trademark superior illustrations and I, for one, just love her self-representation right down to her distinctive hair and winged eyeliner!

Having stolen just half an hour or so to pore over this and seen the fascination exhibited by my audience, I would love the opportunity to incorporate this into a more extended learning experience.

HIghly recommended for readers from as young as 5 or 6 years old, and naturally, particularly useful if you are exploring a unit of inquiry focused on the Ocean.

Seeds – Carme Lenniscates

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Candlewick Press

March 2020

Imprint: Candlewick  Studio

ISBN 9781536208443

Another timely book – certainly for us – as we’ve been re-invigorating and re-planting our veggie patch after a long hot summer. Magical seeds are popping up in the propagator on our front verandah waiting until they are sturdy enough to be planted out in the bed.

But this book is not just about the wonder of seeds in the literal sense. It also speaks to our little people about figurative seeds – the seeds of anger which can quickly flare up into nasty weeds but also the seeds of kindness  and those of smiles which we should all be sowing liberally. (Lord knows we could use a lot of that in some sectors of society at present!)

This is a beautiful book which moves from scientific explanation of seeds undergoing their transformations to a philosophical metaphors for human emotions and behaviour seamlessly.  Definitely one worth adding to your classroom program on either basis as there will much rich discussion ensuing.

Most children love gardening and growing things – even the too-cool teen is still keen to garden (in fact she’s just helped spread two large bags of horse manure over the veggie patch!). The wonder of watching plants erupt from tiny capsules is one that never loses its joy.

Why not combine your reading and philosophy with some science-based work (gotta love cross-curricular topics!)?

Highly recommended for little people from ELC upwards.

Bonkers About Beetles – Owen Davey

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Walker Books

ISBN: 9781911171485
Imprint: NB – Flying Eye
Release Date: August 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $27.99
New Zealand RRP: $29.99

  • I love Flying Eye books (I may have mentioned that once or twice)
  • I love Owen Davey’s wonderful non-fiction series which brings a world of nature, science and history to kids in a remarkably attractive way.

My own girl, no-longer-Small, just loves bugs of all kinds and has kept them as pets at various times and she’s certainly not the only one who has a fascination for these marvellous creatures (though some think they have way too many legs for comfort).

With chapters such as ‘Dressed for Success’, ‘Beetle Mythology’ and ‘Conservation’ this book covers the immense scope of beetles with admirable and judicious selection of facts bound to intrigue young readers.  I particularly love the double spread on ‘By Design’ with its hugely informative labelling.

As well as writing the body of the text in an easily accessible manner suited to young readers, Davey also ensures that scientific terminology and nomenclature is included, thus providing extension for the more able reader.

 

The illustrations in their uniquely stylised manner are, as always, simply gorgeous. This is the sort of book (as are others in the series) that children will return to over and over again.

I highly recommend this for your budding entomologists from around eight years upwards.

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