How to Train a Pooper Snooper

Finding it

Do you love training your dog new tricks? Co-author Julianne Ubigau has trained her shelter dogs amazing tricks that help scientists save important animals.

Pooper Snooper is the story of Julianne’s work tracking the Pacific Pocket Mouse with Sampson. The story details training, and tracking, and a little time for playing ball. As part of the wildlife detective team, the duo searches the terrain, and Sampson uses his powerful nose to pick up on the scent of tiny mouse poop. The scientists learn so much about the population of mice that would take much more effort with only humans searching for them.

Although the story centers around Julianne’s work, author Jennifer Keats Curtis and illustrator Phyllis Saroff also bring the story to life. Jennifer has told the story of many scientists working in various fields. She can take complicated jobs or subjects and use language that young readers relate to and understand. Phyllis is a certified dog trainer, and she drew inspiration from some of her favorite pups for Pooper Snooper. The digital illustrations are realistic and fun!

We had an amazing time chatting about creating Pooper Snooper with Jennifer, Julianne, and Phyllis. Watch it here!

Get your copy of Pooper Snooper or download the “For Creative Minds” section and other educational activities at arbordalepublishing.com.

Meet the Hatzegopteryx!

Swooping - I am Hatzegopteryx by Timothy J. Bradley

If you liked Timothy Bradley’s I am Allosaurus, you are sure to love I am Hatzegopteryx!

Can you imagine a leaping, swooping carnivore the size of an airplane? Sixty-six million years ago, Hatzegopteryx flew through the skies of what is now known as Romania. He could gulp down a small dinosaur with just one swallow!

Like, I am Allosaurus, I am Hatzegopteryx uses repetitive three-word sentences to show readers what it was like to grow up as a giant pterosaur.

Cover - I am Hatzegopteryx

Can you imagine swooping through the air like Hatzegopteryx, a giant of the ancient skies? Hatzegopteryx (hatz-eh-GOP-ter-iks) was one of the largest pterosaurs that ever lived; about the size of a small airplane. I am Hatzegopteryx, the second book in Arbordale Publishing’s I am Prehistoric series, gives children a glimpse into the life of the awesome Hatzegopteryx, from tiny chick to majestic winged predator, and how it made its living. Unlike many pterosaurs, this one was a terrestrial carnivore, spending its time hunting prey on land. Just like today’s animals, prehistoric creatures had adaptations and behaviors that helped them survive in their habitat—a environment that was in some ways quite different from what we see around us today.

Author Timothy J. Bradley

It’s said that people know the most about dinosaurs when they are 4 years old or have a 4-year-old child—unless they get a degree in paleontology! Author and illustrator Timothy J. Bradley might be the exception to this rule with his paleontology related books and illustrations. In addition to I am Hatzegopteryx, Tim also wrote and illustrated I am Allosaurus for Arbordale. Tim’s books have earned awards and accolades from reviewers including The Horn BookSchool Library JournalKirkus Reviews, and Booklist. To learn more about Tim’s other books, visit his website at www.timjbradley.com.

Kids will love learning to read with the I am Prehistoric series. And today, get a glimpse inside Bradley’s artistic process!

Visit arbordalepublishing.com to learn more or get your copy of I am Hatzegopteryx and I am Allosaurus. You can also download the “For Creative Minds” section and take the quizzes.

Meet the Creators: Yay for Big Brothers!

Do you have a little brother or sister? Do you look up to an older sibling?

We just released a perfect read for any family awaiting a new sibling, Yay for Big Brothers! by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Shennen Bersani.

On each page of Yay for Big Brothers! We meet a different animal family and get a glimpse of how siblings help the youngest members. Crows help to feed new babies, beavers give young siblings a ride after a tiring swim practice, and dolphins share their favorite toys during playtime. These are just a few examples of how siblings welcome little brothers and sisters. After we learn how big brothers help, the author asks us to consider the similarities to human relationships.

Janet was inspired by watching her own family as it expanded. We sat down with Janet and Shennen to learn more about their creative process. Watch to learn more!

Get Creative

Create your own animal family puppets with these templates from Shennen! Maybe you can even play with your big brother!

We’re Having a Book Launch Party

The illustrated titles!

I am Hatzegopteryx

By Timothy J. Bradley

Can you imagine swooping through the air like Hatzegopteryx, a giant of the ancient skies? Hatzegopteryx (hatz-eh-GOP-ter-iks) was one of the largest pterosaurs that ever lived; about the size of a small airplane. I am Hatzegopteryx, the second book in Arbordale Publishing’s I am Prehistoric series, gives children a glimpse into the life of the awesome Hatzegopteryx, from tiny chick to majestic, winged predator, and how it made its living. Unlike many pterosaurs, this one was a terrestrial carnivore, spending its time hunting prey on land. Just like today’s animals, prehistoric creatures had adaptations and behaviors that helped them survive in their habitat—a environment that was in some ways quite different from what we see around us today.

The Pangolin Revelation

By Lori Schildwachter, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

When Loran’s homework assignment is to create an animal’s adaptations and demonstrate how the adaptations help it survive in its environment, he knows just what he wants to do. Loran creates a multipurpose, super species by using all kinds of cool, one-of-a-kind adaptations taken from a variety of some of his favorite animals—like a monkey’s prehensile tail and a sloth’s claws or even curling up like an armadillo. Once he created what he thinks is the ultimate adaptation mashup of any animal ever, he is surprised to discover that his “imaginary creature” really exists—it’s a pangolin! Yes, these charming and unique creatures really do exist, and they are the most endangered animals you’ve possibly never heard of.

Pooper Snooper

By Jennifer Keats Curtis and Julianne Ubigau, illustrated by Phyllis Saroff

Dog detectives? Thanks to superior sniffers, some pups learn to help scientists investigate and track endangered animals. The snoopers’ clue? Poop. Dogs that are part of wildlife detective teams are trained to catch the scent of wild animal poop (scat) so that scientists can learn about these animals without luring or trapping them. Like many pooper snoopers, Sampson, the dog in this book, was once a shelter dog, too hyper and ball crazy for families. That energy and ball drive is what makes him such a good dog detective. He is trained on many species, from salamanders to bears, but his goal is always the same. Find the scat and get the ball!

Yay for Big Brothers!

By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Big brothers are amazing! Did you know that big brothers are important in animal families, too? Animal big brothers do many of the same things as kid big brothers. They play with their younger siblings, teach them new things, and help with their care. Sometimes animal big brothers even babysit when their parents leave to hunt for food. Are you a big brother or do you have a big brother?

The Compare and Contrast Books

Otters: River or Sea?

By Cathleen McConnell

Perhaps you’ve seen an otter swimming and playing at a zoo or aquarium, but do you know how do these amazing animals live in the wild? Most are found in freshwater habitats, while others make their home in coastal kelp forests or can be found feeding along rocky shores. There are many similarities between river otters and sea otters, but there are also vast differences. Explore fascinating facts about these playful, aquatic mammals, meet the species, and awe at adorable photos in this latest installment of the Compare and Contrast Book series.

Penguins

By Cher Vataloro

Yes, some of the 18 species of penguins live in cold, polar regions, but most penguins live in warm climates. One species even lives near the equator! These birds “fly” through the water with flippers instead of the air with wings. Most are black and white, but one species is blue and white. Some have red eyes, and some have yellow eyes. Some even have colorful bursts of feathers atop their heads. What do they all have in common and how are they different? Explore and learn about these lovable birds in this latest installment of the Compare and Contrast Book series.

Natural or Man-made?

By Arbordale Publishing

Trees give us yummy apples but also help us build houses. One of these is natural, the other man-made. Can you identify the natural resource? In this edition of The Compare and Contrast Book series, we investigate common items around us and how natural materials are made into tools, toys, and even electricity. After exploring dozens of photos, readers will be a pro at identifying ways we use natural resources from plants, animals, and elements below the Earth’s surface.

Renewable or Nonrenewable Resources

By Arbordale Publishing

Everything around us is made from the Earth. Some things are easily replaced, while others are not. Think about the food you have eaten or the energy it took to zoom to school on the bus. What natural resources have you used today, and are they easy to replace? Step through the latest book in the Compare and Contrast series to learn about the world’s resources, how long they take to reproduce, and how technology and ingenuity are helping to relieve the strain on some of our most precious reserves.

Head over to arbordalepublishing.com to learn more about each title, download the educational extras, or order your copy!

A Spooky Reading List of Very Real Creatures

There is something about October; it feels like creepy, crawly, and spooky creatures are lurking. We are getting in the spirit with a reading list of very real frightening creatures. Today we are exploring some of the dark habitats of the world to meet a few animals that might be a bit terrifying if you find yourself in their path.

Daytime Critters

The Most Dangerous

“Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks . . . who will be the winner? Deadly poison, huge teeth, razor-sharp horns, and fearsome feet are just a few of the ways that animals kill. Predators mean to kill. Prey simply defend themselves. And yet, the unexpected most deadly animal doesn’t mean to harm at all! Don’t let the suspense kill you. Animals in the book include: box jellies, inland taipan, great white shark, porcupinefish, Brazilian wandering spider, Cape buffalo, saltwater crocodile, hippopotamus, cassowary, and mosquito.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=MostDangerous

One Wolf Howls

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a wolf? What would you do in the cold winter months? Where would you sleep? What would you eat? Spend a year in the world of wolves in One Wolf Howls. This adventurous children’s book uses the months of the year and the numbers 1 through 12 to introduce children to the behavior of wolves in natural settings. The lively, realistic illustrations of Susan Detwiler complement the rhyming text and bring each month to life. From January to December, howl, frolic, and dance, while learning important lessons page-by-page! The “For Creative Minds” learning section includes a “Wolf Communications Matching” and “Wolf Calendar” activity.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=Wolf

Nocturnal Creatures

The Ghost of Donley Farm

Rebecca, the red-tailed hawk, is not afraid of ghosts! One night, she bravely ventures into the barn to meet the famous ghost of Donley Farm. But when she finally meets him, Rebecca is surprised to discover that this “ghost” is much more familiar than she’d expected.  Join Rebecca as she stays up late to talk with her new friend and find out what they have in common and how they are different.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=GhostFarm

Night Creepers

A perfect nap or bedtime story told with short, lyrical text, young readers learn about crepuscular and nocturnal animals and some of their behaviors. Older readers learn more about each animal with sidebar information.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=NightCreepers

Home in the Cave

“Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave. While practicing flapping his wings one night, he falls and Pluribus Packrat rescues him. They then explore the deepest, darkest corners of the cave where they meet amazing animals—animals that don’t need eyes to see or colors to hide from enemies. Baby Bat learns how important bats are to the cave habitat and how other cave-living critters rely on bats for food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=HomeCave

Little Red Bat

Red bats can hibernate or migrate to warmer regions during the winter. Should this solitary little bat stay or should she go? That’s the question the little red bat ponders as the leaves fall and the nights get colder! The squirrel tells her to stay. But what about the dangerous creatures that hunt red bats in winter? The sparrow urges her to go. But where? Carole Gerber takes young readers on an educational journey through one bat’s seasonal dilemma in Little Red Bat. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Match the Bat Adaptation, Bat Fun Facts, How Animals Deal with Seasonal Changes, Red Bats and Seasonal Change, and Bat Life Cycle Sequencing Activity.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=LittleBat

Scary Sea Life

A Day in the Deep

Travel deep into the ocean way below the surface and you’ll encounter some creatures you never knew existed! This book takes you on a journey through the dark depths of the sea towards the ocean floor. Most ecosystems need sunlight, but deep in the ocean where the sun doesn’t shine animals have adapted some very interesting ways to see, protect themselves, and eat. Discover the unique habitats, adaptations, and food chains of these deep -sea creatures.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=DayDeep

The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea

The animals of the South Sea are hungry. But who is hungrier than all of the rest? The kicking krill may swarm and the blue cod are out hunting for dinner, but neither is fierce enough to be tops in this habitat. Could it be the lurking sharks, pointy-tailed rays or the toothy barracuda? Dive into this rhythmic text to discover who is at the top of this food chain.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=HungriestMouth

Sea Slime

Snails and sea slugs use Sea Slime. But, did you know that coral and clownfish need slime too? Marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce us to fascinating and bizarre animals that use slime to capture their food, protect themselves from harm, or even move from place to place in their underwater environment.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=SeaSlime

Happy October Reading!
You can find these books and many more spooky reads on arbordalepublishing.com.

Tracking Ghosts that lived long, long ago

It’s that time of year again when leaves begin to fall, and darkness overtakes the amount of daylight. There is a spookiness in the air. In the spirit of learning about terrifying creatures this month, we are seeking the ghosts of dinosaurs.

Dino Tracks illustrated by Cathy Morrison, written by by Rhonda Lucas Donald
Dino Tracks illustrated by Cathy Morrison, written by by Rhonda Lucas Donald

Can you imagine a 40-foot-long, 12-foot-high lizard with thousands of pointing teeth? What about a flying, swooping lizard the size of a plane with a MASSIVE beak? These animals all lived millions of years ago and have disappeared, but they did leave a trace of their existence.

We are headed on a hunt to find dinosaurs and other extinct creatures around the country, and here are some of the best places to see them.

I am Allosaurus written and illustrated by Timothy J. Bradley

Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry – Elmo, Utah

 More than 12,000 bones have been found at the site, mostly from carnivores and primarily the Allosaurus. Get a glimpse of bones and rock formations in a landscape that was once a very active spot for many meat-eaters especially flying giants.

Dinosaur Valley State Park – Glen Rose, Texas

 Walk, or paddle the riverbed to see the mark dinosaurs left on their former home. Here you will find tracks from sauropods and theropods intertwined in various locations. These tracks gave scientists valuable information in piecing together some mysteries of the past.

Dino Treasures illustrated by Cathy Morrison, written by Rhonda Lucas Donald

Dinosaur State Park – Rocky Hill Connecticut 

 Go below the dome to find one of the largest collections of dinosaur tracks in North America. The tracks are attributed to the Dilophosaurus and were made about 200 million years ago. After viewing the tracks, explore trails surrounded by some of the foliage related to the plants dinosaurs once walked through.

Dinosaur Ridge – Morrison, Colorado 

 Denver as a tropical oasis? Hundreds of tracks are set in stone just outside the city with evidence of Brontosauruses, Iguanodons, Triceratops, alligator ancestors, and fossilized palms. The trail has all sorts of surprises buried in the rocks.

La Brea Tar Pits – Los Angeles, California

 The Ice Age comes alive in the heart of Los Angeles. The tar pits have been there for thousands of years and captured various animals for thousands of years. Watch paleontologists actively uncovering mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and dire wolves and explore the museum filled with fossils of unlucky animals.

Wandering Woolly written and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel

If you can’t make it to the dinosaur’s former homes, learn more about them and the techniques for discovering dinosaurs in these Arbordale books Dino Tracks, Dino Treasures, I am Allosaurus, and Wandering Woolly. And on November 2nd, get your copy of I am Hatzegopteryx from Timothy J. Bradley! 

Activities for all these titles can be found on the Arbordale Publishing website.

Be a Rockhound Today

With all the seriousness in the world today, sometimes it’s fun to be silly and escape. So, imagine all the fun you can have with a pet rock. If you are in need of a geology lesson with some craftiness and a bit of creative writing, you have come to the right place.

Collecting and identifying rocks can be lots of fun for kids. In Julie the Rockhound, a young girl finds a shiny rock and her dad teaches her how to find crystals, how they are formed, and the different qualities of quartz. After the story, the “For Creative Minds” section gives readers a guide to becoming a rockhound.

If you want to create a rockhounding experience in your classroom, library or home, but can’t get outside to dig in the dirt, here is a guide to creating an indoor experience.

Create a dig site.

Fill a plastic container or a sandbox with a shallow layer of play sand or dirt. Bury a variety of rocks in the sand for kids to find. You can buy rocks from a craft store or dig some from your own yard. Place a few kid-friendly shovels and digging tools in the container to help kids unbury the rocks.

**Make sure to have at least one rock per child.

Learn about rocks.

Use the guide in the “For Creative Minds” pages to identify if the rock is sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic. You can also discuss the hardness of the rock using Moh’s Hardness Scale.

Make it your pet.

In 1975, Gary Dahl, an advertising copywriter, came up with the idea of a Pet Rock. He designed a box and owner’s manual. The whimsical idea was just what people needed at the time, and he soon began selling pet rocks to stores, and the fad spread for a short time.

Get crafty with your pet rock and set out paints and markers to make colorful rocks with a little personality!

Once kids have found their perfect pet rock, ask them to get creative and write about it. Download the Me and My Pet Rock worksheet. Here kids can name their rock, write a description, and short snippets about life with their rock!

We hope you enjoy these fun projects for Pet Rock Day. Learn more and get your copy of Julie the Rockhound at arbordalepublishing.com!

Let’s Build a Sandcastle

Sandcastle

Who would have thought playing in sand perfects artistic, math, and science skills? Making a sandcastle is one of the quintessential beach activities. To build an impressive structure, you need a little planning and a few tools. Here is a short guide and reading list to help with the construction.

Gather your Supplies

Of course, a bucket and a shovel are the classic tools for sandcastle building, but experts also suggest putty knives, spoons, spatulas, pencils, and brushes. You can use a variety of items to create the perfect details.

Site Selection

Location is key when building a beachfront property. Hard-packed sand is ideal for construction, but the tide can wash away all your hard work in an instant. Take a look around, assess whether the tide is coming in or headed out before mapping out your location.

Beach

Mix the Perfect Construction Sand

The ratio is very important – one part sand to one part water. Dry sand will crumble, and a soupy mixture will never hold its shape. One expert suggests digging a well in the sand to be able to pull water out and mix the perfect sand.

Start the Build

It is helpful to plan your design and make sure that the base structure is sound enough to carry the weight of the castle. Mix up a big pile of sand to create a large mound and begin building your base. Fill your buckets with sand to turn over and create towers. Use your tools to shape the walls, cut out the windows and decorative details, or add a bit of texture.

Now that you are done enjoy your castle. You never know when it will be washed away!

If you can’t get to the beach or a sandbox, here is a reading list that will sharpen your building and critical thinking skills.

The Fort on Fourth Street

The Fort on Fourth Street
When a young child decides to build a fort in the backyard, Grandpa comes forward to help. But they can’t do it alone—they get help from the six simple machines: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. Told in cumulative rhyme, similar to The House That Jack Built, readers follow the building process to completion and discover the surprise reason it was built.

Newton and Me

Newton and Me
While at play with his dog, Newton, a young boy discovers the laws of force and motion in his everyday activities. Told in rhyme, Lynne Mayer’s Newton and Me follows these best friends on an adventure as they apply physics to throwing a ball, pulling a wagon, riding a bike, and much more. They will realize that Newton’s Laws of Motion describe experiences they have every day, and they will recognize how forces affect the objects around them. The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes: Force and Motion Fun Facts, Matching Forces, Who Was Newton?, and Newton’s Laws of Motion (2 of 3). Additional teaching activities and interactive quizzes are available on the Arbordale Publishing website.

Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant

Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant
How much does an elephant weigh? How do you know? How would you know if you didn’t have a modern scale? Six-year-old Cao Chong, the most famous child prodigy in Chinese history, faced just this problem! Chong watches as the prime minister’s most trusted and learned advisors debate different methods. The principle of buoyancy and a little bit of creative thinking help this boy come up with a solution.

How to Be a Clean Bird

Believe it or not, no one likes to be dirty, not even animals! So, while we are lathering on the soap, birds may be anting! Author Darcy Pattison captured Anting and other mysterious bathing rituals in her book Desert Baths, illustrated by Kathleen Reitz.

What is Anting?

Anting is a peculiar ritual where birds sit on an anthill, wings spread wide, and either let the bugs crawl through their feathers and skin, or they pick up insects with their beaks and rub them on their body. The excitement of the event causes certain species of ants to release formic acid.

Of the more than 200 types of birds observed anting, some finish the bath by eating the ants while others leave the ants without dining. And while scientists have several theories on why birds “ant”, they can only agree that it is a mysterious behavior.

The theories range from a hypothesis that the acid kills mites and parasites bothering the bird. Others surmised that it has soothing properties and can give relief to irritated skin. One theory suggests that the birds are draining the ants of their acid, making them a less dangerous snack. And one study observed birds hopping while anting suggesting that the ants may be like a “catnip for birds.”

Whatever the reason, if you come upon a crow or a blue jay anting stop to watch, it is a behavior not often witnessed by humans.

Celebrate international bath day with us and read Desert Baths. Check it out!

And for more information on anting here are a few resources we used to write this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/curious-crow-behavior-known-as-anting-looks-like-violent-dirt-bath-1.6053823?cmp=rss, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/mystery-bird-anting.

What’s So Funny? Animals that Laugh out Loud

Artwork from Moose and Magpie by Sherry Rogers

Why do we laugh?

We laugh when someone tells a joke. We laugh when we are having fun. Or sometimes we laugh when we are uncomfortable. We have a sense of humor and a range of feelings. Humans express emotions to communicate to others how we are feeling through body language and most importantly sound!

Artwork from Sounds of the Savanna by Phyllis Saroff

We know why we laugh but do animals laugh?

Scientists set out to answer this question. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, have identified 65 creatures that “laugh” while they play. While researchers can’t know what animals are thinking, they observed animals making unique sounds while playing that are not made at other times. They also noticed a difference in panting and facial expressions.

While most animals that displayed laughing sounds were mammals, a few bird species are also known to make laughing noises. It is not much of a surprise that our closest relatives, the primates, were mammals that showed a range of noises during playful activity. But dogs, rats, foxes, dolphins, killer whales, and Kea parrots also make laughing noises while playing.

Researchers concluded that laughing happens during play because many play activities can also be interpreted as fighting. The playful noises show participants that they are having fun and will not hurt each other.

Because studies have not observed play activity by reptiles or amphibians, they couldn’t conclude if these species make playful noises. This study is far from conclusive, and they will continue to find giggling creatures as more studies are finished.

For the long weekend, we have put together a silly animal reading list to make you laugh! Check out these titles featuring some of the mentioned laughing critters.

If you want to learn more about the study check out these links:
https://www.livescience.com/do-animals-laugh.html, 
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/31244/20210518/animals-laugh-scientists-tallied-65-different-creatures.htm