Earthquakes & cold-stunned turtles–in the news

This is been quite the week for news, some of which has been quite unpleasant to share with young children. I find myself thinking of young children alone in crushed buildings and how scared they must be. It’s hard for children here to avoid seeing the photos or hearing the news and I’m sure they have lots of questions about earthquakes.

Pandas’ Earthquake Escape comes out in March. Like the recent Haitian earthquake, the earthquake that hit China on May 12, 2008 killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people. However, that earthquake also hit right in the middle of the territory where endangered Giant Pandas live. This book follows a mother Giant Panda and her cub that escape from their refuge during the earthquake. Will they survive on their own? What is rocking their world? We are right in the middle of translating the book in order to get the eBook up with audio and all the links. For now, here is a link to the book’s homepage that includes a preview PDF. While not all links are working yet, the For Creative Minds link ( is live and you are welcome to print and use.
And, we made a special Richter Scale Magnitude chart to help too!

Arctic blast:
While temperatures may be somewhat more “normal” now, the recent cold weather affected more than people. Cold-stunned, endangered sea-turtles have been washing ashore or found just off shore floating. While many sea-turtles have died as a result of the cold, sea-turtle hospitals across the southeast and Texas are doing everything they can to help the injured turtles.
SeaWorld Orlando took in nearly 100 cold-stunned turtles between January 6 and January 11. Aquarists are warming up the animals with heat lamps and blankets, and providing warm fluids. Each animal has also received a physical exam to check their internal temperatures and look for infections caused by their cold condition. Once the weather warms up and the animals receive a clean bill of health, the park’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Team will return all of them to Florida waters.
Over in the Panama City, FL area, the Gulf World Marine Park has been caring for over 600 sea turtles. Local businesses and Wal-Mart have donated blankets and kiddie pools to help get the turtles warmed up.
What is cold-stunned? As mammals, we are warm-blooded. We keep our body temperature constant. A normal temperature for humans is 98.6. Reptiles (like sea-turtles, snakes & lizards) are cold-blooded. They warm themselves by the air or water around them. That’s why you might see reptiles basking in the warm sun—to warm themselves. Under normal circumstances, sea turtles migrate to warmer weather during the winter. Usually the ocean water around Florida would be warm enough. However, with the recent cold snap, the water temperature has dropped, causing the sea-turtles’ body temperatures to drop too. If they get too cold, they can no longer move, swim, or catch food.
For a variety of news articles or more information, please visit
Strong character, doing what’s right and helping each other and the animals around us is what it is all about!
Here is a one-week code to access Sylvan Dell’s related titles as auto-flip, auto-read, 3D-page-curling, and selectable English and Spanish text and audio eBooks:
Temporary eBook Viewing Code: SRVIO0
Code expiration date: 01/26/2010
Please click on the following link:
Available titles:
Carolina’s Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too!
Baby Owl’s Rescue:
Please look for these books at your library or favorite bookstore too.
You can access the For Creative Minds section for all the books here (in English and Spanish): and the free, 20-40 pages of teaching activities here:
Questions about the books:
Each of this week’s books (including the panda book) has something to do with helping people or animals. Who is helping, why, and how?
What are some ways that you can help others?


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