Tag Archives: conservation

Kaia and the Bees

Written by: Maribeth Boelts

Illustrated by: Angela Dominguez 

For ages: 4-8 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Social-Emotional Growth, Fear, Lying, Beekeeping, Environmental Conservation, Family, Education, Emotional Regulation.

Summary: 

Kaia’s family has a pretty unique hobby, especially for living in an apartment building.  Her dad keeps bees!  He is very passionate about beekeeping, and bee conservation, especially since honeybee numbers are dwindling globally.  Kaia knows it’s important, but unfortunately she has One Big Fear: bees! Kaia’s small interracial family has thousands of bees, and Kaia is quick to brag to her friends how she’s also a beekeeper like her dad.  They’re impressed…until a bee comes along and she panics.

This story is all about Kaia’s journey through fear, emotional regulation, and bravery.  Her dad doesn’t push her to be around the bees, but continually opens up opportunities for her to interact and help out with them.  I love how interwoven into this story of facing fears is a very real fear that many scientists have-that the bees will disappear and bring ecosystems to a screeching halt with the lack of pollination that bees provide.  This is an adorable story perfect for nature, environmentalism, or social-emotional units in a classroom, or at home!

This book was generously sent to us by Candlewick Press, but all opinions are our own.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

maribeth-boelts-2020-honey-01Maribeth Boelts has been writing stories since kindergarten and began writing for kids over 25 years ago when her own children were young. Lots of picture books and three children/four grandchildren later, Maribeth enjoys not only the process of story writing but also meeting kids and adults who like to write. Maribeth and her family took on the challenge of beekeeping, and enjoyed this fascinating hobby for several years. The stings aren’t fun, but the work that honeybees do in pollinating is absolutely essential, and they were thrilled to play a tiny part in it. She also loved harvesting honey! Maribeth is so happy any time she can be in the woods, on a trail, on a river, or watching a sunrise or sunset. Nature has a way of changing us, healing us, and giving us all sorts of creative ideas!

authorspic_websizeAngela Dominguez was born in Mexico City and grew up in the great state of Texas. She now resides on the east coast with her boyfriend, Kyle, and petite dog, Petunia.

She is also the author and illustrator of several books for children and a two-time recipient of Pura Belpré Illustration Honor. Her debut middle grade novel, Stella Díaz Has Something To Say, was a New York Public Library and a Chicago Public Library pick for Best Books for Kids in 2018, Sid Fleischman Award winner, and an ALA Notable. When Angela is not in her studio or visiting schools, she teaches at the Academy of Art University, which honored her with their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013.

Angela is a proud member of SCBWI, PEN America, and represented by Wernick and Pratt Literary Agency. As a child, she loved reading books and making a mess creating pictures. She’s delighted to still be doing both.

Obsessive About Octopuses [released 4/7]

Written & Illustrated by: Owen Davey

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Ocean Creatures, Octopuses, Nature, Natural World, Conservation.

Summary: 

Folx, I’m not sure that I can adequately express how excited I am for this particular book to come out.  If you’ve been following our book reviews for a bit (which first of all, THANK YOU!) you will know what fans we are of this entire series by Owen Davey.  I honestly can’t choose my favorite one, and let’s be real it varies by the day and if I’ve seen a cool bug recently.  But this, THIS one…might be the best.  I know, big statement.  Let’s discuss!

I LOVE octopuses, and the ocean in general.  I have a half sleeve tattoo of the ocean, including several creatures (that all have names) but the first critter I got tattooed was an orange octopus named Hector.  Needless to say, I’m stoked to learn even more about this incredible animal that makes its home in all depths of the ocean. In this book is a plethora of information about intelligence, their diets, mimicry, and conservation.  I’m obsessed with the bright graphics and have been known to read it out loud to people at home (whether they were in the mood for a story or not) while excitedly pointing at illustrations.  Seriously, get your hands on a copy of this immediately and let’s talk.

This book was sent to us by Flying Eye, but all opinions are our own!

About the Author & Illustrator:

owen-2-2Owen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator, living & working in Leicester, UK. He has a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Davey is a primary Illustrator for TwoDotswhich has been #1 in over 70 countries, as well as the illustrator of iPad App of the Year 2015 game, The Robot Factory.  His work has been published in every continent except Antarctica, including picture books in UK, America, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, China, Sweden, Russia & South Korea!

Fanatical About Frogs

Written & Illustrated by: Owen Davey

For ages: any age

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Nature, Conservation, Natural World.

Summary: This is the latest installment of Owen Davey’s animal series, and I bet if you’ve been reading our book reviews for a bit you can guess what we think about it.  Davey has written & illustrated books in this series about beetles, sharks, monkeys, and cats!

I’ll give you a hint: it starts with L and ends with -OVE!  Davey has the incredible ability to give readers a huge amount of information but not have an overwhelming amount of text.  Inside the book, the reader learns all about amphibian attributes and adaptations like specialized skin and feet since so much time is spent in the water!

Something we really like about this particular book is that on some pages Davey has done life-size drawings of different species of frogs!  There are all types of really cool frogs inside this book, and there is a wide range of topics covered.  At the back are the few pages that make the series special too-a part about different mythology surrounding the animal as well as conservation efforts.

This book was sent by Flying Eye Books for consideration of the Best Books of 2019 event that we are participating in, and we could not be more grateful.  However, all opinions remain our own!

About the Author & Illustrator:

owen-2Owen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator, living & working in Leicester, UK. He has a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Davey is a primary Illustrator for TwoDots which has been #1 in over 70 countries, as well as the illustrator of iPad App of the Year 2015 game, The Robot Factory.  His work has been published in every continent except Antarctica, including picture books in UK, America, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, China, Sweden, Russia & South Korea!

Mad About Monkeys

Written & Illustrated by: Owen Davey

For ages: 5 and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Nature, Conservation, Monkeys, Global Community, STEM, Science.

Summary: We are so excited the next installment, Fanatical About Frogs, is coming out soon!  But we will focus on the present and just talk monkeys right now.  Davey goes in-depth about all sorts of monkey-related knowledge.  Can you distinguish between Old and New World monkeys?  If you can’t now, you sure will be able to by the end of the book!  Learn why they swing from trees and how monkeys play with one another.  Other basic information such as food and social interaction styles are also covered, which is great for the young animal enthusiast in your life!  Over 250 species are explored in this book, with Davey’s signature illustration style that is engaging and attractive to readers of all ages.  As per usual, there is information about conservation at the end of the book.  This is an important part of all the animal books the author works on!

Reflection Questions:

  • Did you learn about a new type of monkey today?
  • What was your favorite monkey fact?
  • How do you think you can help with monkey conservation?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Are monkeys native to the area where you live?  If they don’t live there now, what about prehistoric monkeys?  Learn about what your community looked like many years ago before there were towns and humans!  A trip to the Natural History museum might help you out-in real life or a virtual tour!
  • Why do you think animals are kept in zoos?  There are several reasons, and one of them is conservation.  Get in touch with a zookeeper or animal conservationist and learn about how zoos play a role in figuring out how to assist in animal conservation efforts around the globe.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

owenOwen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator, living & working in Leicester, UK. He has a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Davey is a primary Illustrator for TwoDots which has been #1 in over 70 countries, as well as the illustrator of iPad App of the Year 2015 game, The Robot Factory.  His work has been published in every continent except Antarctica, including picture books in UK, America, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, China, Sweden, Russia & South Korea!

Crazy About Cats

Written & Illustrated by: Owen Davey

For ages: 5 and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Nature, Cats, Activism, Environment, STEM, Science, Conservation, Global Community, Community.

Summary: Starting from the basics of “What is a Cat?” to the complex social dynamics between bobcats fighting over territory, this book by Owen Davey has it all!  In his signature bright, graphic style, the reader can explore all aspects of the various feline species detailed between the covers.  Also covering camouflage, evolution, and weird facts, Crazy About Cats also has a to-scale measure of big cats to humans!

This is a book for a huge rang of ages.  Stylistic and graphic prints entice readers as they yearn to learn more about this vast range of felines we find sometimes right in our own houses!  Davey covers cat mythology, conservation efforts, and has a handy list of every cat featured in the book.

Reflection Questions:

  • What were you most surprised to learn from the book?
  • Have you ever encountered any of these cats in your everyday life?
  • If you have a pet cat, how are they like bigger cats like pumas or lions?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • See if you can find an online live animal camera of live cats to observe them in their natural habitat!  Are some of the facts you learned in the book apparent when watching the video?
  • Learn about the prehistoric animals that used to live in your area.  Were any of them giant cats?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

owenOwen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator, living & working in Leicester, UK. He has a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Davey is a primary Illustrator for TwoDots which has been #1 in over 70 countries, as well as the illustrator of iPad App of the Year 2015 game, The Robot Factory.  His work has been published in every continent except Antarctica, including picture books in UK, America, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, China, Sweden, Russia & South Korea!

Smart About Sharks

Written & Illustrated by: Owen Davey

For ages: 5 and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: Nature, Environment, Sea Life, Community, Conservation, STEM, Sharks, Activism.  

Summary: Owen Davey does it again, this time about sharks!  In his typical bright, graphic style, readers cruise through the deep and learn everything there is to know about these carnivorous creatures. Starting again with a contents page, the reader can also follow a handy flowchart related to fins, learn about the different body parts, and inspect types of teeth.  The book also discusses shark diets, and why humans are attacked (hint: their silhouettes are similar to something much more tasty!).  Having some to-scale illustrations to other sharks as well as a kayaker, the reader can better understand just how varied the sharks species are.  An award page points out different shark attributes, such as longest fin and even a shark that barks!  Wrapping up with conservation efforts and mythology, this book will delight every reader.

There is also an index, which lists different orders covered in the book, as well as the sharks listed within those categories.  Both scientific and common names are listed!  This is one of four books in Davey’s series, which also covers beetles, cats, and monkeys.  This series is definitely recommended to anyone with an affinity for science!

Reflection Questions:

  • Did you learn about any new sharks?
  • What do you think a scientist that studies sharks does everyday?
  • What did you like most about this book?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn more about shark conservation efforts.  What is their biggest threat?  Even if you live in a landlocked place, what could you do in your community that would benefit not just sharks, but all ocean life?
  • If you live close to one, take a trip to the aquarium!  What do you notice about the different ocean habitats and tanks there?  Are there any sharks?  Draw a picture to recreate your favorite display!
  • Sign up for Skype A Scientist, and connect with a marine biologist!  This program is free for classrooms, and after answering some questions a classroom will be able to Skype a scientist across the globe!  Have the class make a list of questions, and learn all about the different things that these people do for work.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

owenOwen Davey is an award-winning Illustrator, living & working in Leicester, UK. He has a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Illustration from Falmouth University. Davey is a primary Illustrator for TwoDots which has been #1 in over 70 countries, as well as the illustrator of iPad App of the Year 2015 game, The Robot Factory.  His work has been published in every continent except Antarctica, including picture books in UK, America, Australia, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, China, Sweden, Russia & South Korea!