Sea the World from a Different Perspective this Summer

The unofficial start to summer is here! While 2020 has not been smooth sailing, we are happy that we can continue to share quality reading and fun activities with little ones and today we are kicking off Summer Reading Under the Sea.

Splash around through 24 underwater and beachy ebooks through August 31st on arbordalepublishing.com. We choses a few of our classic favorites along with some of our newer titles and a mix of fiction and nonfiction for readers to enjoy!

Don’t miss out on the fun! Read our blog weekly for crafts, scavenger hunts, and coloring pages to go along with a theme! Join us next week as we explore the darkest depths of the ocean and the strange creatures that live there!

Start reading today!

If you have any questions about our summer reading program email heather@arbordalepublishing.com.

Math in Flowers

April showers bring May flowers, and this month there are a few flower centered days to celebrate with a math lesson.

Flowers

Public Gardens Day is May 8th.
Mother’s Day is on May 10th.
May 15th is Bring Flowers to Someone Day.
And, May 30th is Water a Flower Day.

With all these days to give or enjoy flowers, this is a good month to visit the Fibonacci numbers and learn more about math patterns in nature. You may notice the makeup of a flower begins in a spiral pattern. In addition to this being an efficient way to grow, this spiral will always result in a Fibonacci number.

We demonstrate that with a pinecone! As we trace the spirals with paint, the purple spiral is the 13th! Using this pinecone pattern we have an easy craft where little ones can create their own Fibonacci flowers, but first, you might want to visit Fibonacci Zoo to master the number pattern.

Fibonacci Zoo by Tom Robinson, illustrated by Christina Wald

When Eli and his father visit an unusual zoo, they count the creatures in each exhibit. Eli sees one alligator, then one bison, and next two camels. Soon a number pattern emerges and Eli thinks he can predict how many animals will be in the next exhibit. Explore the zoo with Eli as he runs ahead to test his hypothesis. Visit the book page, or download the “For Creative Minds

Now, Let’s Make Flowers!

Flowers made of pinecones

To make the flowers you will need:
Pinecones
Craft paint and paint brushes
Garden clippers, or a saw

If you want to make a bouquet, you also need:
Floral wire
Floral tape

Start by cutting the pinecones into small sections with the clippers or if your pinecone is larger a small saw. (Have an adult do this ahead of time for easier painting)

clipping the pinecone

Choose your paint colors and paintbrush and start creating by painting the scales and center of the pinecone to look like a flower.

painting the clipped pinecone


Although we did not make a bouquet, you can wrap the wire around the center of the cone, leave two sides long enough to fold down, and then wrap with floral tape to make the stem.

the finished pinecone flower

Now count your scales to find the Fibonacci number!

Recycling Our Food

Earth Day is a great day to think about recycling! Not only recycling plastics and glass but, what about the parts of fruits and vegetables that we throw away? In nature, animals seek out discarded objects all the time. Some use these for houses or protection others find tools that are helpful to open or retrieve food.

Right now, we are staying safe at home and may not get to the grocery store as often as before. But with a little water, a little soil, and a bright sunny spot, you can start your vegetable garden inside with leftover plant pieces.

This lesson was inspired by Michelle Lord’s “Nature Recycles: How About You?” illustrated by Cathy Morrison. Before you get started on your vegetable garden, learn more about plants in these titles: Saving Kate’s Flowers, Daisylocks, and The Tree That Bear Climbed. 

planting jars
**Our jars are recycled too! These are yogurt jars, but they make perfect seedling jars after a quick washing.

Once you are ready to plant the veggie tops and bottoms, download our handy observation sheet to record the changes in your fruits and veggies. 

We followed some advice from this article when choosing our fruits and vegetables but doing some research on your own is certainly fun too! http://www.eatingwell.com/article/290729/how-to-grow-fruits-vegetables-from-food-scraps/

After just two days our green onion was sprouting, and now four days later the carrot looks to be sprouting tiny green hairs out of the top. Tag us in your vegetable growing and you could win advance copies of Arbordale’s fall titles.

Traveling may not be possible right now, but we found a few ways to travel without leaving home. Enjoy this reading list with places in nature to visit around the world.

Take in the wonders of nearby landforms! These titles give insight into mountains, wetlands, beaches, salt marsh, deserts, and much more. The “A Day in…” series is a wonderful introduction to some animals that call these habitats home and what you might see if you take a walk, kayak, or climb! For a broader overview of habitats found in your neighborhood, try This Land is Your Land or Habitat Spy.

Come along on a journey through the aquatic habitat of a forested wetland. Meet birds and bobcats, along with the beavers and beetles that call the soggy forest home. Kevin Kurtz continues his award-winning “A Day In” series, and once again delights readers with a rhythmic, nonfiction look into a typical day for the animals that live in this wet habitat.


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.


Come spend A Day on the Mountain, the follow up to Kevin Kurtz’s award-winning first book, A Day in the Salt Marsh. Rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations take readers up a mountain, from the forested bottom to the snow-covered top. While climbing, they witness the changing habitats and meet the plants and animals that live there. Learn about Black bears, Great Gray Owls, Garter snakes, Clark’s nutcrackers, Bighorn sheep, Hummingbirds, Yellow-bellied marmots, Mountain goats, Salamanders, and Snow fleas.


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.


Take a trip around the world to discover a wide variety of Earth’s landforms and geological features through the rhythmic verse in This Land is Your Land. On the journey encounter plains, plateaus, and rolling hills. Find out how a stream can make a canyon or lava creates an archipelago. Read aloud and discover new terrain with the flip of each page.


Told in rhyming narrative, Habitat Spy invites children to find plants (or algae), invertebrates, birds, and mammals living in thirteen different North American habitats: backyard, beach, bog, cave, desert, forest, meadow, mountain, ocean, plains, pond, river, and swamp. Children will have fun discovering the characteristics of each habitat as they “spy,” identify, and count the resident plants and animals and learn about the interactions between living and non-living things.

Remember, you can read all these books for free right now on Arbordale’s website. Check it out here: https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/digitalbooks-permissions.htm

Spring has sprung and animals are On the Move

While we are all social distancing and getting back to nature, we have noticed an increase of winged friends in the backyard. The bluebirds are beginning to build their nest – they come back to the same spot every spring. The mallards and Canadian Geese are congregating by the pond. And even a few butterflies have landed on the flowers.

It is amazing to see things spring to life as warmer, longer days return.

So, why does this happen?

Not all animals are built for colder climates. And unlike people, who can put our favorite foods on trucks to our local grocery stores, animals must rely on nature to grow their favorite foods. When the weather turns cold, they must go to where the food is still thriving, and now that the sun has returned, they go back to their favorite summer feeding ground.

Even scientists are amazed by the instincts and ability to travel great distances. A butterfly and a whale both cover thousands of miles to get to their favorite feeding grounds.


If you are also noticing an abundance of songbirds in your backyard, here is an easy craft to give the weary travelers a bit of food.

Cookie Cutter Birdfeeder


You will need:
Supplies: Mixing bowl, cookie cutters, baking sheet, nonstick cooking spray, straw, and twine
1 ½ cups birdseed
½ cup flour
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp Corn syrup


We put wax paper down just to control the mess. Then, mix birdseed, flour, water, and corn syrup until everything is incorporated.

Spray the cookie sheet and the inside of the cookie cutters with the nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in the mixture pressing it into the shape of the cookie cutter. Then take your straw and poke a hole in the center for the twine to be tied to later


Gently lift the cookie cutter from the tray and start again with another shape!

Bake for 1 ½ hours at your oven’s lowest setting (170°).


Once cooled, tie the twine and place on the tree for birds to enjoy.

If you want to learn more about migration or how animals adapt to seasons, read:

Read these titles and many more FREE until May 15th. Sign in using this site licences code UGEI16 with the password May15 and start reading: bit.ly/2Uoja4I

Free ebook Reading to help ease the transition

And a little inspiration for quality outside time.

We are working from home and know that many of you are too. Also, we know trying to balance educating and entertaining kids is tough. We have decided to allow free reading of our entire collection until May 15th! (Login details below)

Over the next few weeks, we will share reading lists to fit outdoor themes, math themes, science themes, and animals we love. Today we are kicking off with some good books for nature lovers. Go hiking and identify animal signs or dig in the dirt to find precious rocks. Or, explore a local park with a new outlook on the habitat.

Arbordale Publishing is making their digital books available for free to all teachers and students through May 15, 2020. Teachers can use the Learning Management System by setting up an account at https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/user.php and then adding students. Use school site license code UGEI16 with the password May15. If it takes you to the homepage, click on eBook Access (top) and you should be in.

Turn a hike into a chance to spot animal signs

Here are two books that, in very different ways, show how to spot signs that animals have been there and done that. These are great books to read before taking a walk in the woods, and the “For Creative Minds” sections give readers valuable animal information and a field guide to spot tracks, scat, and indents.

Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs
By Jen Funk Weber, Illustrated by Andrea Gabriel
Spotting wildlife is a thrill, but it’s not easy. When Cole comes to visit his friend Helena, he can’t wait to see all the wildlife the forest has to offer—and is disappointed when all he sees are a few birds. Together the kids set out on a hike and encounter plenty of animal signs along the way. Through observation and her knowledge of animal behavior, Helena helps Cole learn what each of the signs means: something had been there; something had done that.

Animal Tracks and Traces
By Mary Holland
Animals are all around us. While we may not often see them, we can see signs that they’ve been there. Some signs might be simple footprints in snow or mud (tracks) and other signs include chewed or scratched bark, homes or even poop and pee (traces). Children will become animal detectives after learning how to “read” the animal signs left all around. Smart detectives can even figure out what the animals were doing! This is a perfect sequel to Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series.

A Little Physical Science for the backyard

Do you have a budding gemologist? What about a future physicist? Or, do you just need a lesson in physical science? Here are three titles that can be turned into backyard fun as well as a science lesson. Use Julie’s guide to rocks and minerals to identify your findings, push and pull your way into a lesson in Newton’s Laws of Motion, or combine math and the six simple machines to build a new fort in the backyard!

Julie the Rockhound
By Gail Langer Karowski, Illustrated by Lisa Downey
When a young girl finds a sparkly rock buried in the dirt and discovers that it cleans to a beautiful quartz crystal, she is fascinated and becomes Julie the Rockhound. Join Julie as her dad shows her how to dig for minerals and explains the wonders of crystal formation. Combining clever wordplay with earth science, young readers learn about Earth’s most abundant mineral “treasure.”

Newton and Me
By Lynne Mayer, Illustrated by Sherry Rogers
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.

The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines
By Lois Spangler, Illustrated by Christina Wald
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.

We hope you enjoy reading the ebooks, stop by next week and we will have some great habitats to explore! You can also find all these titles in hardcover, paperback, Spanish and Spanish paperback in our online store!

It’s a Birthday Party!

Today we release three new picture books to the world! Happy Book Birthday to authors Mary Holland Jennifer Keats Curtis and Timothy Bradley and illustrator Phyllis Saroff!

Now, let’s meet the books

Mary Holland has written several popular Arbordale titles, including her Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series. For Animal Tracks and Traces, she spent days capturing signs that animals were around. She also gives readers a glimpse at the animals that made the tracks, scat or marks.

About the book: Animals are all around us. While we may not often see them, we can see signs that they’ve been there. Some signs might be simple footprints in snow or mud (tracks) and other signs include chewed or scratched bark, homes or even poop and pee (traces). Children will become animal detectives after learning how to “read” the animal signs left all around. Smart detectives can even figure out what the animals were doing! This is a perfect sequel to Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series.

Visit the Animal Tracks and Traces page to learn more!

Jennifer Keats Curtis is also finding herself writing about familiar themes in Creek Critters. Fans of her books Baby Bear’s Adoption, Moonlight Crab Count, or Salamander Season will love this book too! For this book, she teamed up with the Stroud Water Research Center to show young readers how they can tell if their creek is healthy by finding some bugs.

About the Book: Do you like scavenger hunts? How do you tell if creek water is clean and healthy? Join Lucas and his sister as they act like scientists looking for certain kinds of stream bugs (aquatic macroinvertebrates) that need clean, unpolluted water to survive. What will they find as they turn over rocks, pick up leaves and sort through the mud? Read along to find out if their creek gets a passing grade.

Go to the Creek Critters page and learn more about bugs in the book!

Timothy Bradley has always loved writing about creatures of the past! I am Allosaurus starts a prehistoric series, and he kicks off the series with a favorite dino, the Allosaurus. This book will certainly be loved by beginning readers as they run, eat, and hide with the bright pink Allosaurus. While the text is simple, Bradley’s illustrations are bright, fun, and reflect new research in paleontology.

About the Book: What would it be like to live as a dinosaur? Young readers will discover that dinosaur lives had many similarities to present-day animals: they hatched, ran, hunted, hid from predators, and grew to adulthood. However, the world these creatures from the far past inhabited was very different from that of today; a great example is that a simple thing like grass didn’t yet exist. Repetitive sight words make this a great story for beginning readers and dinosaur enthusiasts alike.

Run to the I am Allosaurus book page to learn more about Timothy and his new series!

All these titles are available in hardcover, paperback, and Spanish paperback. Visit Arbordale’s website for more information!