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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'science'.

An Egg Is Quiet is the latest book we've read from this stellar author/illustrator team, and we found it just as informative and packed with details and lovely pictures as the last two (A Seed Is Sleepy -- review; and A Rock Is Lively -- review).

So many eggs have such interesting patterns and beautiful combinations of earth tones with the occaional bright color, and the illustrations here capture it all so beautifully. My children and I enjoyed just looking at the double-page spread before the title page that features pictures of different eggs, seeing how they compared to each other and reading which animals each would hatch into.

I tend to think of eggs as belonging to the domain of birds, and the majority here do, but we also see the ways that insect eggs, amphibian eggs, and reptile eggs compare to these. A nice chart at one point shows gestation times for a few different kinds of animals, with a few pictures of the insides of the eggs at different stages. 

I like the page that contrasts the shapes of eggs, and how each shape works best for the type of environment the egg is in -- for example, the oblong seabird egg that's wider at one end than the other, which helps prevent it from rolling off the edge of the cliff if it's bumped.

I love how the poetic language feels simple and gentle, yet communicates so much! Definitely a keeper.

Scrounged From: Amazon

Format: Paperback
Author: Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator: Sylvia Long
Pages: 36
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

Living with a dinosaur fan can be fun, and I know I've been exposed to and learned so much more about dinosaurs and fossils than I ever did as a kid, thanks to my son taking an interest in them. In Search of Dinosaurs is a dinosaur book that helps to make some connections between the artistic recreations of Mesozoic animals that we see and the fossil dig sites where information about these creatures and environments is collected.

There is a section for each of the three time periods in the Mesozoic Era, and each follows the same format. First we see an artist's recreation of a hypothetical fossil dig. On the next few pages, we see scenes (without text) of what these animals may have looked like when they were alive. This gives readers the opportunity to go back and forth between the fossils and creatures and see if they can figure out which of the living creatures (or parts of them) are represented in the dig.

These scenes are followed by smaller pictures and information blurbs about each creatures -- mostly dinosaurs, but also some other animals such as Cretaceous turtles, as well as ammonites, metaposaurus, a small mammal, etc. There are plenty of good tidbits of information here, but they're presented in a way that's easy to follow. Since the fossils are presented "in context," we also learn a bit more about the kinds of things paleontologists find in digs, and some of the ways they can find clues as to the dinosaurs' behaviors and environments.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Dougal Dixon
Pages: 44
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

A while back I reviewed Counting Birds (review here), which tells the story of how the long-running citizen science project called the "Christmas bird count" developed, and why it's become so important for scientists and for the birds they are aiming to protect.

Bird Count is also about the bird count, but it approaches it from a more personal angle. It tells the fictionalized story of a girl named Ava and her mom as they participate in the bird count, spending an entire wintery day watching, listening, and collecting data. 

We get to see some of the methodology of counting birds at work here -- for example, a bird can only be counted if two or more people in the group see it. The route the group takes is also identified in advance so they can cover a large area. On each page, we see the tally of different types of birds as it's added to.

The "day in the life" aspect of this book helped to make the bird count come alive, and it inspired me to do some reading on The Audubon Society's website to see what kinds of counting groups are available in my area. Maybe someday we'll make this event part of our winter science education!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Susan Edwards Richmond
Illustrator: Stephanie Fizer Coleman
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

It turns out there are some characteristics that are quite necessary to be a butterfly, as the cute and conversational How to Be a Butterfly details -- but within those key characteristics, butterflies can be all kinds of things -- big, small, plain, flashy, with wings that have smooth or wiggly edges, etc.

This book celebrates the diversity of butterflies, accompanied by many lovely illustrations of their colors and their actions, from flying and drinking nectar, to their unique life cycle. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Catell Ronca
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

I can't say that "lively" would be my first choice for "best words to describe rocks," but I also wouldn't have considered the pyramids of Giza in the same thought as comets either, yet both are neatly contained within this succinct exploration of rocks.

I really love this series. A Rock Is Lively takes us on a journey to discover and ponder the scope of rocks, from sandy beaches to asteroids. Like A Seed Is Sleepy (see my review here), the variety here is impressive and awe-inspiring, without being overwhelming. The illustrations are gorgeous, capturing the colors and sparkles of gems as well as the numerous earth tones of more "ordinary" rocks.

We learn about the rock cycle, what rocks are made of, where we can find rocks, and some of the things rocks are used for -- from tools for animals and people, to use as art and weapons throughout history. Phrases like "A rock is inventive..." are the only places I'd consider that this diverges a bit from strict nonfiction, but that's forgiveable because the poetic descriptions add a lot to this book and make it a bit more "lively" than your average geology book. I really love that this series makes topics like this interesting and accessible to small children, but also teaches us older people a thing or two, even if it's just to say "Wow!"

Scrounged From: A Christmas present

Format: Paperback
Author: Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrator: Sylvia Long
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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