Welcome, Readers!

The contest Save the Picture Book has ended. Telling people about funny, informative, beautiful, or generally awesome picture books continues. I also share middle grade books, book apps, and educational apps that my kids and I like.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

snow, the science of

Sometimes, seeing "the man behind the curtain," makes things less fantastic. Other times, it has the opposite effect. The way something works is even more incredible than you could have ever imagined. This is true of:


music boxes.

the human genome.

marbles, the process of making.

and snow.

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino, with Jon Nelson, Ph.D., illustrated by Nora Aoyagi, (Chronicle, 2009) tells how a speck of dust, dirt, ash, bacteria, or something of that ilk is needed for a snowflake to form around. It also describes different types of snow crystals and addresses the age-old assertion that no two snowflakes are alike.

Knowing the names of things like trees and flowers and columns (there's a book about a father who is known for this) is a cool talent that only some people possess. Why not be one of those people?

In Carole Gerber's Leaf Jumpers, children learn to identify trees by their leaves. Could they name trees whose leaves have fallen? After reading Winter Trees, by Gerber, ill. by Leslie Evans, (Charlesbridge, 2008,) they could! In simple rhymes and bright illustrations, it tells how to recognize trees by their branches, bark, and shape. Do you know the name of the tree on the cover, above?

Finally, birds may fly south, but I have yet to see squirrels hopping south in a vast v-formation. That's because, like many animals, they brave the winter by going underground. More on this book, by Kate Messner, ill. by Christopher Silas Neal, (Chronicle, 2011,) when it arrives at my local library (it is on order.)

Teachers, students can review these three picture books, via the downloadable worksheet in the previous posts, to win picture books for your classroom.

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