Elem. – Looking at Layers (Series NF)

Looking at Layers. The Child’s World, 2020. $20.00 ea. 24 p. Grades 3-6. 

London, Martha. Looking Inside Earth. 978-1-503-83518-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Looking Inside the Human Body. 978-1-503-83519-1.
—. Looking Into Caves. 978-1-503-83522-1.
—. Looking Into Soil. 978-1-503-83520-7.
London, Martha. Looking Into the Atmosphere. 978-1-503-83516-0.
—. Looking Into the Grand Canyon. 978-1-503-83517-7.
—. Looking Into the Ocean. 978-1-503-83515-3.
Huddleton, Emma. Looking Into the Rain Forest. 978-1-503-83521-4.

An attractive nonfiction series exploring various layers of natural things, from the human body to soil to the rainforest. Straightforward text clearly explains concepts with a natural projection from outward layers in. Words from the glossary are highlighted in red which is a nice feature for readers. Sidebars focus on timely topics, such as “Creating Mountains” when text discusses tectonic plates in Looking Inside Earth. Visuals are both illustrations and photographs. Looking Inside the Human Body has fascinating illustrations of many body systems that will keep little readers absorbed. Back matter includes a helpful Fast Facts section that covers main points from the text, a glossary, “To Learn More” section, and index.

THOUGHTS: Nice collection additions if nonfiction is hot.

500s-600s          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Habitat Hunter (Series NF)

Potts, Nikki. Habitat Hunter. Ill. Maarten Lenoir, Picture Window Books, 2020. 31 p. $132.24 set of 6. $21.99 ea. Grades PreK-2.

Frog Moves out of the Rain Forest. 978-1-977-11423-5. 
Goat Moves out of the Barnyard.
978-1-977-11421-1.
Meerkat Moves out of the Desert
. 978-1-977-11419-8.
Owl Moves out of the Forest. 978-1-977-11424-2.
Penguin Moves out of the Antarctic. 978-1-977-11422-8.
Shark Moves out of the Ocean.
978-1-977-11420-4.

“Meerkats, meerkats everywhere!” (1), and Meerkat is not happy about it.  She wants a new home she does not have to share, so she sets out to find her new home. Meerkat tries the mountains, but they’re too quiet. She tries a cave, but it’s too cold and has too many bats.  Next she tries a playground; it seems like a great home with all of the tunnels, but the slide is too hot, and the monkey bars are too high. After trying a garden, Meerkat decides her own home is the best home and returns to it.

THOUGHTSMeerkat Moves out of the Desert is a fun way for young readers to learn about meerkats. Combining both pictures and illustrations, readers learn about various homes for Meerkat while also learning why the new habitat isn’t quite right. In the end, Meerkat’s realization that her habitat is the best not only solidifies basic understanding of a meerkat, but it also teaches readers to appreciate their home and family and that something different is not always best.  This title, as with the other titles in this series, also includes a page about the highlighted animal (meerkats) and an “Animal Passport.” This title is also useful for teaching comparing and contrasting because of the various homes Meerkat considers.

 

 

 

Animals        Erin Bechdel, Beaver Area SD

Elem. – Pollinators (Series NF)

Pollinators. DiscoverRoo, 2020. $168 set of 8. 32 p. Grades 3-6.

Bassier, Emma. Bats. 978-1-53216-592-4.
—. Bees. 978-1-53216-593-1.
—. Moths. 978-1-53216-598-6.
—. Wasps. 978-1-53216-599-3.
London, Martha. Beetles. 978-1-53216-594-8.
—. Butterflies. 978-1-53216-595-5.
—. Flies. 978-1-53216-596-2.
—. Hummingbirds. 978-1-53216-597-9.

Who knew pollen could be so interesting? DiscoverRoo’s “Pollinators” series gets elementary nonfiction right. Straightforward text explains the pollination process and provides details on pollinators and their habitats, habits, and issues surrounding the various types of creatures. “Honeybees can visit 5,000 flowers in one day.” Wow! Beautiful photographs, plenty of white space to keep page layout looking clean, QR codes sprinkled throughout the text, and lots of helpful nonfiction text features keep these titles feeling fresh. Each book includes a table of contents, glossary, index, and an online resources section accessible via a QR code for further learning opportunities.

THOUGHTS: Invest in this set if creature features are popular or if looking to update supporting science series.

590s Animals/Insects          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery

Pincus, Meeg. Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery. Sleeping Bear Press, 2020. 978-1-534-11040-3. $17.99. Grades 2-4.

Did you ever wonder who discovered the migration pattern of monarch butterflies?  Pincus explains it all in this beautifully illustrated picture book. She begins with a discussion of how these insects have inhabited North America for centuries, but no one knew where the butterflies went in winter. The answer was revealed in 1976 through the cooperation of scientists, science teachers, gardeners, and many other people. It began with a Canadian scientist who began tagging the butterflies’ wings in order to track them. He and his wife placed ads in newspapers throughout the continent, asking people to help with both tagging and searching for them. Finally in Mexico, an American adventurer and his wife located the insects’ winter destination with the help of the local people. The author asks readers of today to help save the monarch’s food source and habitat before it is too late. Imamura’s mostly full bleed drawings are colorful and full of details. The back matter includes a page called “How to Help the Monarch” and more information about the migration discovery.

THOUGHTS:  This is a wonderful nonfiction text that will delight the reader. It is a perfect choice for butterfly or ecology units and is a great read aloud at any time. A first purchase for elementary collections.

595.789 Butterflies          Denise Medwick, Retired, PSLA Member

Elem. – Exploring Earth’s Biomes

Exploring Earth’s Biomes. Capstone, 2020. 32 pp. $20.99 each. $125.74 set of 6. Grades 3-6.

Christensen, Victoria G. Freshwater Biomes Around the World. 978-1-543-57211-7.
—. Grassland Biomes Around the World. 978-1-543-57213-1.
Eboch, M.M. Desert Biomes Around the World. 978-1-543-57203-2.
—. Forest Biomes Around the World. 978-1-543-57204-9.
Simpson, Phillip. Marine Biomes Around the World 978-1-543-57234-6.
—. Tundra Biomes Around the World. 978-1-543-57235-3.

Attractively packaged, this series examines the geography, climate, plants, and animals of the earth’s biomes. The aquatic biome is discussed in separate volumes: marine and freshwater. In Marine Biomes Around the World, the author focuses on oceans, coral reefs, and estuaries. The text is accompanied by colorful photographs, charts, maps, and diagrams. The material is well-organized and holds the interest of the reader. The author provides suggestions on how to conserve this biome. Scientific terms are bolded in the text and are defined at the bottom of the page. A glossary and suggested readings and websites are in the back matter.

THOUGHTS: This series is an excellent choice for libraries wishing to update their biome holdings. It contains enough information for reports, but will also be an option for those readers wishing to learn about ecology on their own.

577 Ecology          Denise Medwick, Retired, PSLA Member