Scientific September Roundup!




Pint-Sized Professor



I’ve gotten a slew of really cool nonfiction books lately, so of course it’s time for a science-y roundup!

The Acadia Files: Summer Science

By Katie Coppens & Holly Hatam

Published & sent by Tilbury House

This book is a really neat setup of an early chapter book. Acadia is a curious kid, and she’s ready to solve any science mysteries that she can think of! The layout of this book has a regular chapter followed by some diagrams and scientific method sketches by Acadia, outlining different experiments that she’s designed in order to solve various mysteries. Who is stealing the ripe blueberries? Don’t worry, Acadia is on the case!

The peeks into Acadia’s journal reminds me of the Amelia series that I loved so much as a child. I think this style choice also helps to illustrate (literally and figuratively) that science can be tedious and experiments might need redesigning and repeating. It’s not a one and done situation, rather one about persistence!

The Cottonwood Tree

By Serena Mangus & Anait Semirdzhyan

Published & sent by Tilbury House

The Cottonwood Tree is a book that has a lot of text, but it’s told in the narrative voice of the tree itself. It’s another that combines a narrative intergenerational story with facts about the natural world around a cottonwood tree. I think if I were reading this to a group of younger kids, I would choose to read the narrative storyline OR the nature facts at a time. It’s too dense to be read cover to cover to young children, but it would be perfect for an older elementary student!

It’s the same illustrator as The Arabic Quilt also!

Whale Fall Cafe

By Jacquie Sewell & Dan Tavis

Published & sent by Tilbury House

This book is a humorous and slightly dark storyline about a dead whale carcass. It has a huge amount of scientific data and glossary in the back, but let’s discuss why this book was written in the first place. It took until 1987 for a whale carcass to be found on the ocean floor. That’s how quick they’re snapped up (literally) by any variety of oceanic critters looking for a (slightly rancid) meal. The book is a testament to how a giant of the deep, after a century of living, can become home to thousands of animals on the ocean floor. Even in death, the bones are useful.

This is probably for readers that are a bit older. The illustrations aren’t extremely graphic, but they show the increased decay of a large animal, and the number of critters feasting on its guts make up the most of the pages. Still, it’s an excellent resource and helps to explain how crucial the lifecycles of all animals are to their habitat.

100 Endangered Species

By Rachel Hudson

Published & sent by Button Books

This square chunky book is a joy to flip through…sort of. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about the book itself, it’s all of the endangered animals inside that the reader is shown. The digital images are designed really well, and I appreciated the detail of the globe, showing readers where the animal is located. There is also a classification system, listing the status of the animals (extinct, vulnerable, etc.) and an informational paragraph about the critter. This would be a super handy reference material in a classroom. Or, if you happen to reside with a tiny professor, perhaps a bedtime story.

Science School

By Laura Minter & Tia Williams

Published & sent by Button Books

I’ve shared a book by this duo before, and I’m excited to have received this one as well! The best part about this compendium of STEM experiments is their step-by-step instructions WITH photos! If anyone has ever tried to do a step-by-step project with several children, it’s a lot of running back and forth while saying “yes, that’s right!” or “Nope, try again friend. It should look like this.” Having a book with large photos to hold up and have children see from a few feet away will cut down on scientific chaos in the lab.

This book seems to be a bit geared towards younger kids, where the one by Quarto can be used with older students. Both are great, especially if you have a range of ages. This would be great for after school programs, nature centers that do programs for young kids, or libraries!

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Biology for Kids

By Liz Lee Heinecke

Published & sent by Quarto Kids

I love a good activity manual! From the very beginning, I knew I would like this book from the dedication: to women of color in science and medicine. Not only does this book have lots of activities, it also has biographies of global scientists (with a phenomenal emphasis on scientists of color) interspersed as well.

There are lots of photos of real kids doing the experiments, and the biographies correlate to different STEM processes like phagocytosis, spontaneous generation, cell physiology & much more!

Saguaro’s Gifts

By Kurt Cyrus & Andy Atkins

Published & sent by Sleeping Bear Press

Have y’all ever seen a saguaro in real life?? They’re massive. When Lee and I went to Arizona to visit some friends, we learned that they’re a protected plant and it’s illegal to take them down. So sometimes there are just gigantic skeletons of dead saguaros being held up by planks of wood so they don’t crush a car in someone’s driveway. We even visited a castle in the desert made of recycled materials that was built around a giant saguaro!

Anyway, this book is a really cool birthday ode to a giant saguaro that is turning 100 years old! Each animal shares what the cactus has done for them, and the reader learns how integral to the desert ecosystem. In the back is a note about desert communities (not people, moreso the critters) that are mutually relying on each other in order to survive the harsh climate.

Sounds of the Wild

By Moira Butterfield & Stephanie Fizer Coleman

Published by 360 Degrees & sent by Publisher Spotlight

This is a delightful book that packs a deceptively large amount of information in just a few pages. It’s shorter than the average picture book, but contains a plethora of sounds of creatures from all over the world. There are facts about the animals with their corresponding sounds, and a short narrative that goes throughout. There’s also an On/Off switch in the back (you’re welcome, parents) and the art is whimsical but realistic! Perfect for a science enthusiast that craves a more immersive experience while reading.

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