What are you afraid of?

Original: RushenbDerived: Peter Coxhead / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
Original: RushenbDerived: Peter Coxhead / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0

Are you afraid of spiders? Arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias around the world. For those that suffer from this fear, today’s blog will be frightening.

Halloween has us thinking about creepy creatures, and we just stumbled on new research on tarantulas. Did you know that these large spiders come in blue and green? A group of researchers at Yale and Carnegie Mellon are studying why the predominantly nocturnal spiders are so brightly hued and whether that matters to other spiders.

It turns out color does matter to tarantulas! The blue spiders are brightly colored to attract a mate. Which means the hairy spiders see in color. The researchers tested opsins in the spider’s eyes and found they had a wide range of colors.

A Jumping Spider from Mary Holland’s Animal Eyes

While the blue spiders are trying to be seen, the green tarantulas are looking to hide. The spiders are largely tree dwellers, and their color is helpful to conceal them among the leaves.

The research continues as they learn more about the evolution of tarantulas, their colors, and their eyesight.

There are not a lot of spiders lurking in Arbordale books, but here are a few titles with different eight-legged creepy creatures.

You can learn more about these books and more at arbordalepublishing.com!

And the Weather is…

Hurricane winds

Weather is in our lives every day. This fall, we debut a new series that looks at the “What, Why, and Where” of everyday occurrences—which starts with the weather. What’s the Weather asks readers to consider the conditions outside and how it affects their everyday life. 

About the Book

What's the Weather

Weather changes daily. Sometimes it can even change from one moment to another—like a sudden storm. Weather affects our daily lives from what we wear to what outdoor activities (or lack thereof) we can do. Learning about weather and how to dress and prepare for it is an important skill to learn. Maybe even more important is the skill of observation. By asking simple questions, children become engaged and can start to observe and make correlations about the weather around them so they will understand how the weather impacts their lives.

To celebrate the release of this book, we decided to go a little more in-depth and created a fun temperature comparison where kids can learn a little bit more about the numbers we use to tell if it’s hot or cold.


Download the Worksheet! And, you can order copies of What’s the Weather: A What, Why, or Where Book and find more resources on the book homepage.

Go on an Adventure with Little River Otter

Linda Stanek and Shennen Bersani are back! This year, they visit the zoo with a little river otter who finds her identity through pretending to be other animals. You can pretend right along with the little river otter with your ticket to our at-home zoo!

About the Book

When a young river otter sneaks into a zoo, she wonders if she should be more like some of the other animals she meets. She wants a trunk like the elephant or be loud like the gorilla… By imitating and comparing herself to these other animals she learns to appreciate herself. Educational components are woven throughout this fun, read-aloud story and sidebar information complements and extends the learning, making it a perfect book for a wide variety of ages.

As an early and middle childhood educator, Linda Stanek wants to inspire young learners, including children with written language disabilities, to write about things that excite them. Her own passion for teaching children about the importance of each link in the natural world provided the inspiration for River Otter’s Adventure. Linda has also written Cheetah Dreams, Night Creepers, and Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children’s Choice Book Award) for Arbordale. Linda has two grown sons and lives in Ohio with her husband and feline family members. Visit her website at www. lindastanek.com.

Shennen Bersani is an award-winning illustrator with 2 million copies of her books cherished and read by children, parents, and teachers throughout the world. Her art delivers heartfelt emotion, the wonders of nature and science, and creates a unique joy for learning. Some of Shennen’s other illustrated works include Night Creepers; Cheetah Dreams; Animal Partners; Astro: The Steller Sea Lion; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; Once Upon an Elephant (CBC Children’s Choice Book Award); Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It’s Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; and Shark Baby for Arbordale. She is also the author and illustrator of Achoo! Why Pollen Counts. Shennen lives with her family near Boston. Visit her website at www. shennenbersani.com.

Have Fun at the Zoo

When you can’t get to the zoo, you can create your own. Learn about each animal in your stuffed collection. Download the guide here!  You can also order River Otter’s Adventure and find other educational activities at arbordalepublishing.com.

Go Inside Animal Homes with Mary Holland

Mary Holland’s popular Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series grew by one today. We release Animal Homes – a look at the way animals adapt to their environment and make their homes. Mary takes us inside the homes of beavers, bees, birds, and squirrels.

Let’s take a look…

You may have made a fort, using blankets and furniture, or put up a tent to go camping, but today we have a different kind of challenge for you. Can you make a house of cards?

What we learned. This only requires a deck of cards, but you need a steady hand and a lot of patience. Start building with two cards angled in a triangle. Once one is steady, start with another and cap them together by placing a card on top. We tried to make multiple levels, but our house folded several times.

Send us a photo of your card house to @Arbordalekids on Instagram and you could win a copy of Animal Homes. For more information about Mary’s latest Animal Anatomy and Adaptations title visit the book’s homepage.

Happy Birthday And That’s The Tooth!

And That’s the Tooth is Terri Fields fourth book with Arbordale. She has written about dangerous animals, making tortillas and tornadoes. This month she releases her first photographic nonfiction book with us, and kids are sure to chomp on these facts.

But we wanted to go behind the book and learn a little more about Terri’s writing process. Here is that interview.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
From the time I was a little girl.

You have written many types of books; do you have a favorite genre of book to write? Or read?
No.  I love to read, and I like to read different genres. I think it helps me be more creative to write different types of books.

Why teeth? What inspired a picture book on types of teeth?
It’s thrilling when a baby gets their very first tooth and a significant moment in most children’s lives when the tooth fairy arrives. Those things helped me see the significance of the topic, but it was a random question that actually inspired this book. A six-year-old chomping on popcorn said, “I’m sure glad I have teeth to chew this! Do all animals have teeth?” I had no idea, but it led me to start investigating animal teeth as a topic for a book. I love puns, so “And That’s the Tooth!” popped into my head for a title.

The question answer format is different from your fictional picture books, how was the writing process different for this book?
I did a lot of research for this book. In trying to decide which animals to feature, I researched about thirty different animals before choosing the ones in this book. While I didn’t have to develop characters for AND THAT’S THE TOOTH, I had to create riddles and hints that would be hard enough not to give away the answers, but not so hard that kids wouldn’t want to take a guess. I think this format will encourage children to look at the page carefully and then predict the answer. I’m excited about that because prediction is an important reading strategy.

Did you find any surprising facts as you researched this book? I think a lot of the facts in the book will surprise both the children and adults.

And That’s the Tooth releases on February 22nd in paperback and digital editions. You can preorder from arbordalepublishing.com or from your local bookstore.

Announcing new Fall Titles

Fall is Coming

The fall books have just arrived, and we are ready to share the shiny new covers with you! This week, we will highlight each of the titles and its creators individually, but get an overview today!

Teeth come in all shapes and sizes, just like their animal hosts. Some teeth are sharp to grab prey and tear apart the meat. Other teeth are flat to chew plants and some animals have both kinds to eat plants and animals. And That’s the Tooth delivers unique and fun facts about animal and human teeth through engaging riddles. With hints to help solve each riddle, children will be actively involved as they giggle, guess, and learn.


Just like humans, animals use their homes for shelter and to raise their young. Animal homes might be easy to see, or they may be hidden (camouflaged) for protection. Some animals are great builders and other animals borrow homes that other animals have made. Different animals might just use natural places like caves or holes in trees to make a home. And some animals might even carry their home on their back! Sticks, mud, leaves, cotton, and grass are all things that animals might use to build a home. Whether by digging, spinning, building or borrowing, animal homes are as varied as the animals themselves. This is a perfect sequel to Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series.


When a young river otter sneaks into a zoo, she wonders if she should be more like some of the other animals she meets. She wants a trunk like the elephant or be loud like the gorilla… By imitating and comparing herself to these other animals she learns to appreciate herself. Educational components are woven throughout this fun, read-aloud story and sidebar information complements and extends the learning, making it a perfect book for a wide variety of ages.


Weather changes daily. Sometimes it can even change from one moment to another—like a sudden storm. Weather affects our daily lives from what we wear to what outdoor activities (or lack thereof) we can do. Learning about weather and how to dress and prepare for it is an important skill to learn. Maybe even more important is the skill of observation. By asking simple questions, children become engaged and can start to observe and make correlations about the weather around them so they will understand how the weather impacts their lives.


You can learn more about each book and download the educational extras on the book homepages, and join us tomorrow for an interview with Terri Fields on writing And That’s the Tooth!

Mosquitoes, Bees, and Butterflies

Butterflies

We are nearing the end of summer’s long days, and you may notice buzzing bugs in your yard soaking in the summer sun. August is a buggy month with World Honeybee Day and World Mosquito Day falling in the middle of the month insects are on our mind.

Researchers have been documenting the size of insect eggs, thinking that perhaps the egg shape is significant in shaping the bug. After collecting and documenting 10,000 samples, they found that habitat and not egg shape give the bugs their characteristics.

Biologists are thrilled to have this extensive database and research at their fingertips. Which got us thinking about the bugs in our books, and all the research illustrators do to make Arbordale books accurate.

Multiply on the Fly by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Erin E. Hunter

 While learning multiplication, readers also get some fascinating bug facts. Illustrator Erin E. Hunter did extensive research into the characteristics and habitat of the 11 different bugs featured in Suzanne Slade’s math series book. The clean landscapes showcase the diverse bodies of each insect.

 When two kids hunt butterflies, they find all different varieties in the garden. Here, illustrator Sherry Rogers incorporates her whimsical style with accurate depictions of butterflies and moths to bring to life the competitive butterfly hunt written by Barbara Mariconda. With each page adding up to ten, readers get an important math lesson in this book too!

They Just Know: Animal Instincts by Robin Yardi, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

 While this book has more animals than just insects who know how to survive on their own, Laurie Allen Klein’s ladybugs and swallowtails are some of our favorites. Her personal touches are sure to be found by family members that completed flight school or sending baby ladybugs off on their own. Robin Yardi expertly mixed humorous everyday situations with a realistic view of the amazing animal instincts.

The Most Dangerous by Terri Fields, illustrated by Laura Jacques

There is only one bug in this book, but it is found all over the world and is the most dangerous animal of all. The competition is fierce in Terri Fields’ contest for the most dangerous animal crown, and the illustrations by Laura Jacques show each animal at their most fierce.

We hope you are buzzing with excitement to explore the diverse insects in your backyard. Just avoid the mosquitoes – they bite! If you want to read more about the study of insect eggs, see the full article here, and you can find each of these titles at arbordalepublishing.com.

Smart Mammals of the Sea

Dolphins are beloved mammals of the sea. They are also some of the smartest animals that live in the ocean, and researchers have just released a study on dolphins using interesting techniques to capture their prey.

Recently, biologists observed dolphins in the Shark Bay area of Western Australia. These animals used a technique called shelling to catch prey. The dolphin chases a fish or other small animal into a large shell, then they put in their beak and shake it until the fish drops into their open mouth. They observed the behavior in several dolphins, and through social evaluation, determined shelling was learned from other dolphins in the same generation and not mothers.

Being in the South Carolina Low Country, we frequently see dolphins swimming near the beaches and in the marshes. They have a unique way to capture prey, strand feeding. This technique is where a group of dolphins coordinate to rush the bank of a creek, pushing fish onshore then feeding on the flopping fish.

You can learn more about the amazing abilities of dolphins in many of the titles in our Summer Reading collection. Here is a short reading list:

Join Delfina the dolphin as she imagines that she becomes other sea animals: a fish, a sea turtle, a pelican, an octopus, a shark, even a manatee! The incredible morphing illustrations will have children laughing as they learn about the real differences between these ocean animals and their respective classes.

Sharks and dolphins both have torpedo-shaped bodies with fins on their backs. They slice through the water to grab their prey with sharp teeth. But despite their similarities, sharks and dolphins belong to different animal classes: one is a fish and gets oxygen from the water and the other is a mammal and gets oxygen from the air. Marine educator Kevin Kurtz guides early readers to compare and contrast these ocean predators through stunning photographs and simple, nonfiction text.

Enjoy a day in one of the most dynamic habitats on earth: the salt marsh. Fun-to-read, rhyming verse introduces readers to hourly changes in the marsh as the tide comes and goes. Watch the animals that have adapted to this ever-changing environment as they hunt for food or play in the sun, and learn how the marsh grass survives even when it is covered by saltwater twice a day. An activity on adaptations is included in the “For Creative Minds” section.

Where else could you stay dry while visiting aquatic animals from around the world? Only in an aquarium can you visit and learn about all these different local and exotic animals. Aquarium staff care for and teach about these animals, as well as work to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species. Follow this behind-the-scenes photographic journal as it leads you into the wondrous world of aquariums and the animal helpers who work there.

Start reading today! Check out Arbordale’s free ebooks for Summer Reading and learn more about dolphins!

Did you know…Whales Whisper

Recently, scientists tracking noises made by southern wright whales noticed something a little different…quiet. They observed mother whales using softer sounds when on the move to keep their babies close by. Researches suspect this is to ward off interest from Orcas that share the waters and prey on the whale babies.

Nature is fascinating, especially in the depths of the ocean, where flippers and fins are more useful than hands and feet! That is why we are exploring the creatures of the deep all summer in our Summer Reading series. If you want to learn more about whales, or orcas, here are a few titles to check out!


Ocean Season by Ron Hirschi, illustrated by Kirsten Carlson

Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean by Gail Langer Karwoski illustrated by Connie McLennan

The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea by Peter Walters

After reading head over to our Sea Life Summer Pinterest Board for a whale origami or coloring page to keep the fun going.

Summer Beach BINGO

It’s time for summer reading, and we have a contest for you!

Read to a friend, create sea creatures out of paper and glue, and visit a local pond to enter to win our Beach Bingo Book Giveaway.

We will choose 24 winners to receive a free book mailed to their home.

How to enter:

First, begin reading Arbordale’s free summer reading ebook collection.

Download the BINGO Diary! Throughout the summer, complete the reading tasks and mark off the BINGO square after recording the book and/or your activity in the attached diary.

When you have finished all the activities, mail your completed diary to Arbordale by September 15th. We will notify winners through email.

Contact heather@arbordalepublishing.com with questions about the summer reading program or the contest.

Have fun Reading!