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Summer Science

Summer is a fine time to take a look at the world around you, to plant an apple or pumpkin seed, observe the change in what people do and how they behave in the different seasons, learn about animals near and far. You may want to consider where and how the earth started or hone your powers of observation by finding out where animal names come from or by closely examining pictures in a book. After all, we can all be scientists in the way we act, what we do, and how we explore.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

All Around the Seasons

By: Barney Saltzberg
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The four seasons come full circle beginning with melting snow and Spring planting, and concluding with cozy, indoor evenings on a snowy Winter night in these rhyming snapshots. Young children will appreciate the recognizable activities and may begin to more closely notice the changes in the weather and activities.

Apples for Everyone

By: Jill Esbaum
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

In the Spring, apple blossoms draw buzzing bees. The blossoms slowly grow into apples that are ready to pick in the fall. Younger children can explore apples from seed to table in brief text and stunning photographs. Similarly, children can thank bees in the Spring for their fall jack-o-lanterns, shown from start to finish in Seed, Spout, Pumpkin Pie.

Astroblast: Code Blue

By: Bob Kohlar
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A Code Blue alarm sounds as a young (monkey) astronaut snoozes in the Astroblast Snack Shack. Other crew members — Apollo, Halley, Sputnik and Jet — return to address the issue: welcome snacks must be made for their visitors! Readers will enjoy finding things hidden in the colorful illustrations (noted at the bottom of each spread) and just may be inspired to learn more about the origins of the animal crew members' names.

Meet the Howlers

By: April Sayre
Illustrated by: Woody Miller
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Meet a family of howler monkeys (who get their name from the loud calls they make "Woo-hoo-hoo! AH-UH-OH!"). An engaging, rhyming text that introduces their habits and where they live combines with soft-lined, richly colored illustrations. Additional factual material is presented on each double-page in a different typeface. A map and greater detail conclude this informative, appealing book.

Older Than the Stars

By: Karen Fox
Illustrated by: Nancy Davis
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bright, angular illustrations almost frantically zoom across pages and combine with the cumulative rhyme (think of "This is the House That Jack Built") to explain how the earth was formed. It concludes that"…You are as old as the universe itself." Additional information appears on each horizontal spread. A timeline of the universe and a glossary concludes this effective presentation of a complicated theory.

Pika: Life in the Rocks

By: Tannis Bill
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Planning a visit to the mountains of the American West this summer? If you're sharp-eyed, you may see a well-camouflaged pika. These 6-8 inch animals are related to hares and rabbits (although in the crisp, expressive pictures they resemble large hamsters!). Color photographs and snappy text provide a fascinating look into pikas' habitat, behaviors, and predators. Additional information is included at the end of the book.

The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing?

By: Shelly Rotner, Anne Woodhull
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Bees have been around for over 65 million years but have been in decline since early in the 21st century. This scientific mystery is better appreciated with a clearer understanding of the importance of these flying insects to humans. Mystery and background information are presented in handsome photographs and lucid text. Suggested activities are doable as is finding out more from recommended resources.

The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound: A Birder's Journal

By: Sallie Wolf
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The author has long observed birds and recorded her findings in journals. This handsome book provides a glimpse into those observations combined with a variety of poems about her feathered subjects. Notes about her writing and additional resources are sure to inspire similar activities by young scientists.

White Owl, Barn Owl

By: Nicola Davies
Illustrated by: Michael Foreman
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A child and her grandfather place a wooden box high in a tree near where they have seen owl pellets. As they watch from below, child and adult observe a white barn owl fly into the nest box, call for its mate, and ultimately raise its young. The engaging story is richly illustrated, enhanced by additional information provided in a different typeface.

Why?

By: Richard Torrey
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

All scientific inquiry begins with a question, something at which Jack is quite adept. He wonders why crackers have holes, why feet stink, why hair doesn’t hurt when cut — and more. Child-like simplicity and expressive illustrations create a satisfying story that can be read on many levels — sure to generate even more inquisitiveness about children's everyday experiences.

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