scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
The Most Magnificent Thing is a great picture book for children that encourages them to see the value in failure. It's not very long, but it manages to express a lot in the space it has, plus the illustrations are cute.
It's the story of a girl who wants to build something magnificent. She knows how she wants it to turn out, but none of her attempts produce the result that she's looking for. She gets frustrated, and her dog (who is also her best friend) suggests going for a walk. When she gets back, the girl is more focused, and manages to see that all of her failures had some redeeming qualities in them, which helps her to make her truly magnificent thing.
This story can give an especially helpful perspective to those who are perfectionists, but there is probably something here for all of us.
Scrounged From: Amazon (a birthday present for our two-year-old)
Author/Illustrator: Ashley Spires
Content Advisory: None
This is a fun and informative series of books, written and illustrated by Robert E. Wells, that helps introduce some basic science concepts to children. They are geared mainly toward pre-kindergarten through third grade, but they can be enjoyed by any age.
Our favorite of the ones we've read is How Do You Lift a Lion? which introduces simple machines such as the lever, wheel, and pulley. The illustrations are clear and clever, and show how a lion could be lifted if you had enough leverage. We are also shown how to pull a panda on a pallet, and how it could be possible to deliver a big basket of bananas to a baboon birthday party using pulleys.
Is a Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is? is another entry in the series. Here we are shown progressively bigger things from whales to earth to stars, until we get to the size (or what is known of it) of the whole universe! You definitely feel small after reading this book, and the illlustrations are very amusing at times (such as a crate of "sun-sized oranges" to demonstrate how our sun compares in size to a red supergiant).
What's Smaller Than a Pygmy Shrew? covers the same idea, but getting progressively smaller, from a shrew to a ladybug to protozoa and protons. This one may be harder to wrap one's mind around, but does a great job of helping us to visualize the idea that there is a whole kingdom of living organisms that are too small for our eyes to see.
We also enjoy What's Faster Than a Speeding Cheetah? which shows us many things that are faster than a cheetah, such as a peregrine falcon, a rocket, and a meteoroid.
These are the only titles we've read so far, but there are several others that sound just as interesting, such as Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?