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Amazing, Enthralling Science: May 2016 Primary Titles

April 24th, 2016 | Posted by etownsend in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2015-2016 | May

me janeMe … Jane by Patrick McDonnell.  Little, Primary Icon of a White-Tailed DeerBrown, 2011.

Patrick McDonnell’s picture book about chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall as a child depicts her as a curious, scientific-minded young girl whose favorite stuffed animal was a chimpanzee named Jubilee. She took the stuffed chimp everywhere as she explored and carefully observed the natural world of her childhood … and dreamed of someday going to Africa. McDonnell’s spare and skillful text is set against beautiful, soft-toned illustrations that have a sense of playfulness even while conveying Goodall’s focus and determination. Occasional double-page spreads represent young Jane’s detailed scientific notebook full of drawings and notes. A stirring transition from illustrated story to Goodall’s adult life comes with the final page of the story, illustrated with a photo of Goodall as a young woman reaching out to touch a real chimpanzee. An author’s note about Jane Goodall and a message from Goodall herself round out this distinctive volume. Winner, 2012 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Find excellent educator and librarian resources, including activities, interviews and discussion questions for Me … Jane at TeachingBooks.net.

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. Jane is curious about the natural world? What are some ways that she learned more about what interested her?
  2. What attributes did Jane have as a child that would make her a good scientist?
  3. Describe the different types of illustrations in the book? Do they tell you different types of information?

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies. tiny creaturesIllustrated by Emily Sutton.  U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2014.

Tiny creatures in vast numbers, microbes are far too small to see with the naked eye and exist in quantities hard to fathom. But Nicola Davies gives young readers and listeners a starting point for understanding their small size (millions could fit on the antenna of an ant), huge numbers (a single drop of water can hold twenty million — the number of people in New York State), their omnipresence (on sea, on land, in the air; at the back of your fridge; inside your stomach and on your skin); their variety (as different in size as ants and whales; most helpful, some harmful); and their power (turning food into compost; milk into yogurt; rocks into soil). Davies’s finely crafted, informative text is paired with Emily Sutton’s marvelous illustrations that further demonstrate and illuminate these tiny creatures that transform our world. “All over the earth, all the time, tiny microbes are eating and eating, and splitting and splitting, changing one thing into another.”  © Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Find great resources for Tiny Creatures at TeachingBooks.net.

Start some conversation with these discussion prompts:

  1. What do microbes look like? How do you know? How is this information evident in the text and illustrations in this book?
  2. Name some of the helpful or good things microbes do?
  3. What are some examples of how microbes change one thing into another? How is this illustrated in the book? Does it help to have illustrations as well as text to explain this science information?

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