WRITE: A Valentine’s Writing Activity for All Ages

Writing is not always as easy as it seems. Children’s book authors will attest to the difficulties in selecting just the right words to create a perfect rhyme or describe a type of habitat. Authors write, edit, re-write, and edit some more until they have just the right words to make a book.

For Valentine’s Day, we have a writing/editing activity perfect for the classroom. Create a Valentine using some of Arbordale’s coloring pages and a writing worksheet to edit your perfect sayings.

Monkey Around Today

Happy September! We kick off this very busy month with a little fun from our favorite cousins, the primates. Here is a fun booklist for reading about a monkey with sticky fingers, one that plays basketball, and some very smart gorillas and orangutans.

Happy International Primate Day!

The Deductive Detective

Someone stole a cake from the cake contest—who could it be? Twelve animal bakers are potential suspects but Detective Duck uses his deductive reasoning skills to “quack† the case. After all, the thief left hairs behind so the thief wasn’t a bird. Follow along as he subtracts each suspect one at a time to reveal just who the culprit was. This clever story will have children of all ages giggling at the puns and the play on words.

Midnight Madness

The bustle of the crowd is waning and the zoo is quieting for the night. The polar bear picks up the ball and dribbles onto the court; the nightly game begins. A frog jumps up to play one-on-one and then a penguin waddles in to join the team. Count along as the game grows with the addition of each new animal and the field of players builds to ten. Three zebras serve as referees and keep the clock, because this game must be over before the zookeeper makes her rounds.

Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet

Go along on the exciting dream journey from morning to night, using hands and feet just like squirrels, monkeys, rats, spiders, frogs, penguins, elephants, lions, kangaroos, pandas, and eagles. Travel to the lush jungle, the African savannah, Australian outback, and to the frozen Antarctic. Finally, as the sun sets, snuggle beneath the covers and snooze, with recollections of animals at play, inspired by the imaginative illustrations of Sherry Rogers. After all, even the wild things need some time to rest after a day of fast-footed play! The “For Creative Minds” education section features a “Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet” matching activity.

Primate School

Gorillas using iPads, lemurs finger painting, squirrel monkeys popping bubbles . . . these primates are pretty smart! Could you make the grade in Primate School? Learn how diverse the primate family is, and some of the ways humans are teaching new skills to their primate cousins. Author Jennifer Keats Curtis is once again working with organizations across the country to share fun facts about primates through this photo journal.

‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day

This delightful adaptation of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, shares zoo keeper and animal preparations for the upcoming “Zoo Day”. But things aren’t going according to plan . . . The llamas won’t quit spitting, the giraffes are drooling, and the zebras aren’t happy at all with their stripes. Meanwhile, the zoo keepers are scurrying this way and that, cleaning up poop, ringing mealtime bells, and trying to get the animals bathed. Will “Zoo Day” go off without a hitch? The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes “Creative Sparks: imagine you’re a zoo keeper,” and “An Animal Adaptation Matching Activity.”

What’s New at the Zoo? An Animal Adding Adventure

Come along on an animal adding adventure. Add baby animals to the adults to see how many there are all together. And while you are at it, learn what some of the zoo animals eat or what the baby animals are called. Follow the lost red balloon as it soars through the zoo. At the end of the day, count up all the animals you have seen. The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes: How many animals do you see?, Tens make friends, Adding by columns, Fact families, Food for thought, Animal matching activity, and Animal classes.

Each titles is available in English and Spanish along with a selection of other languages, check these out in our incredible multilingual ebooks!

Children’s Book Week!

We look forward to the beginning of May each year to celebrate something near and dear to our heart, children’s books! This week our authors and illustrators are out and about presenting to children in bookstores, schools and libraries across the country for Children’s Book Week.

We wanted to get in on the fun, and today we are sharing Book Week Bingo as a fun way to check off your weekly reading.

Get started reading with this month’s FREE ebook of the month, Where Should Turtle Be?. Send us your full bingo card and we will send you a free ebook of your choice.

Happy Reading!!

More Eclipse Fun!

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Time to get out the Moon Pies and Sun Chips. The Great American Solar Eclipse is here! Just in case you haven’t heard the moon is going to cross in front of the sun on Monday at the perfect time for the United States to view this incredible phenomenon.

We couldn’t be more excited, really. So, if you are late in preparing for Monday’s big show, here is a simple way to make a pinhole viewer. When you don’t have special eclipse glasses, this only requires a few simple household items. Remember staring directly at the sun is damaging to your eyes.

Start with two sheets of heavy paper, scissors, tape, and aluminum foil.

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Then cut a small square in the center of one sheet of paper.

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Tape a small square of aluminum foil over the hole.

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Use a pin, needle, or an unfolded paper clip and poke a hole in the center.

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Then with the sun behind you, place the plain sheet on the ground and hold the paper with the foil above it. Now, you can safely see the reflection of the sun!

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And after all of that work, make a sweet treat for the party. Check out our phases to totality cookies, and read How the Moon Regained Her Shape for fun!

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Getting Batty

It is Bat Week! Did you know that bats are needed to control pests, spread seeds, and pollinate plants? Scientists learn a lot about the welfare of bat populations based on the crops that they help grow. And on October 31st we may be spooked out by the nocturnal winged creatures, but did you know that they help make the chocolate in our trick-or-treat bags?

Bat week is all about helping conserve the more than 1,100 species that live on every continent except Antarctica, and Bat Conservation International has many different ways that you can help bats that live in your neighborhood. Check it out!

If you want to get the facts first, here is an Arbordale booklist that will make you go batty!

HomeCaveHome in the Cave  – by Janet Halfmann, illus. by Shennen Bersani

Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave it. 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 them for their food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?

LittleBat_coverLittle Red Bat – by Carole Gerber, illus. by Christina Wald

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! Some animals, such as the squirrel, tell her to stay. But what about the dangerous creatures that hunt red bats in winter? The sparrow and others urge her to go. But where? Carole Gerber takes young readers on an educational journey through one bat’s seasonal dilemma in Little Red Bat. Imaginative illustrations by Christina Wald give little red bat charm and personality, and children will be waiting and wondering what will happen next. Will the little red bat stay put or migrate south for safety and warmth?

RainforestPAPERBACK with flapsThe Rainforest Grew All Around – by Susan K. Mitchell, illus. by Connie McLennan

Imaginations will soar from the forest floor, up through the canopy and back down again, following the circle of life. The jungle comes alive as children learn about the wide variety of creatures lurking in the lush Amazon rainforest in this clever adaptation of the song “The Green Grass Grew All Around.” Search each page to find unique rainforest bugs and butterflies hiding in the illustrations. Delve even deeper into the jungle using sidebars and the “For Creative Minds” educational section, both filled with fun facts about the plants and animals, how they live in the rainforest and the products we use that come from the rainforest.

DeepDesert_187Deep in the Desert – by Rhonda Lucas Donald, – by Rhonda Lucas Donald, illus. by Sherry Neidigh

Catchy desert twists on traditional children’s songs and poems will have children chiming in about cactuses, camels, and more as they learn about the desert habitat and its flora and fauna. Tarkawara hops on the desert sand instead of a kookaburra sitting in an old gum tree. And teapots aren’t the only things that are short and stout—just look at the javelina’s hooves and snout. Travel the world’s deserts to dig with meerkats, fly with bats, and hiss with Gila monsters! Whether sung or read aloud, Deep in the Desert makes learning about deserts anything but dry.

batcount_187And Coming in spring of 2017 Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story
by Anna Forrester, illus. by Susan Detwiler

Jojo is prepping for an exciting night; it’s time for the bat count! Bats have always been a welcome presence during the summers in the family barn. But over the years, the numbers have dwindled as many bats in the area caught White Nose Syndrome. Jojo and her family count the bats and send the numbers to scientists who study bats, to see if the bat population can recover. On a summer evening, the family quietly makes their way to the lawn to watch the sky and count the visitors to their farm.

Welcome Summer

MoonToday is the summer solstice and the official first day of the season for those of us in the northern hemisphere. This year, the full moon known as the strawberry moon or honeymoon lands on the longest day of the year. The events last shared the same date in 1948.

What is so special about this day, and this moon?

Today the sun passes across the sky at its highest point. Likewise the moon crosses the sky at its lowest point creating a seemingly larger moon than the usual full moon. Because the summer air is humid and thick, the June moon can look like it has a yellow hue or halo around its perimeter, and possibly the reason for the name honeymoon.

The name strawberry moon comes from the Algonquin tribe, because the June full moon signaled that it was time to harvest the ripe berries in the Great Lakes and Canadian region where they lived.

Tonight the Farmer’s Almanac will be broadcasting a live high-powered telescope viewing of the moon. See that here, or just read some amazing facts about the special phases of the sun and moon http://www.almanac.com/blog/astronomy/astronomy/summer-solstice-full-moon-june.

Now head outside and enjoy the long days and warm weather while it lasts, there are only 184 days until winter!

Astronomy

 

Tricks or Treats!

Nature has a way of being cruel and being kind, here are a few fun facts where you can decide, if it is a trick or treat!

-Bats are the only mammals that can flyLittleBat_Pic5

-A flamingo can only eat when its head is upside down.

-If a kangaroo’s tail is lifted off the ground it is unable to hop. They use their tail for balance.

-A baby shark is ready to go fast when it is born, so that the mother shark doesn’t eat it.

-An owl can’t move its eyes, but it can turn its head 270 degrees.

cassowary-The cassowary is a beautiful bird and is predominately a vegetarian, but it can tear holes in flesh like Swiss cheese.

-The orca has no natural predator in the sea and they hunt in groups just like wolves do on land.

-Rhinos amble through the African Savanna and thickets of dense plants filled with ticks that attach to the rhinos and make them itch! The tick bird rides along while eating the tasty treat!

-The vampire squid is a creepy ocean creature that squirts glowing goo from its arms.

Find these facts and many more in Arbordale’s For Creative Minds sections! Take a look while you are eating your trick or treat loot!

Celebrate Pollination!

Achoo-spread-11Where would the world be, if Baby Bear’s wish came true and all the pollen was to disappear? Well, many of his forest friends would be without food, and the bees and butterflies would have no reason to hop from flower to flower. That is why this week is pollinator week!

Why do we celebrate pollinators? These insects and animals are a vital part of our shaping our diet. Without pollinators many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat would not grow, not to mention… honey! The services of pollinators cannot be easily replicated by human farming practices and some plants, like almonds which are entirely dependent on honeybees would not be around anymore for us to enjoy.

In recent history, scientists have seen a drastic decline in the numbers of honeybees, monarchs and bats. Each of these species plays an important role in our lives. Whether it is the pollination of flowers by the monarch, bananas by bats, or blueberries by honeybees, humans are very reliant on pollinators and there are many things we can do to conserve these important creatures.

On Friday June 19th the Pollinator Week Festival is being held by the USDA on 12th Street in Washington DC! If you can’t make it to the nation’s capital, but would like to learn more, visit the pollinator site, and also read a few of Arbordale’s books about pollinators.

World Oceans Day

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June 8th is World Ocean’s Day and a day to celebrate the vast bodies of water and their inhabitants. Museums, aquariums and zoos will hold celebrations this weekend across the country. If you are lucky enough to live on the coast, a trip to the beach is a great way to celebrate this year’s theme “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”.

Of course Arbordale has many books that celebrate the ocean and many online activities that can be done right at home. So today on the blog we have a few fun ways to honor the ocean without leaving the comforts of your own home.

Draw your own Marine Mammal
from Waterbed:s Sleeping in the Ocean

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Toothy Sharks
read:  Shark Baby

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Find more fun activities on the Marine Life Pinterest Board, or learn more about World Oceans Day!

Happy Earth Day

EarthdayDid you know that the first Earth Day was on April 20, 1970?

Started by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and his small staff, the first Earth Day saw 20 million participants and has grown every year. Initially started as a day to teach the public about the condition of our environment, today this environmental movement is credited with starting the EPA, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and Water Quality Improvement Act.

Forty-five years later our environmental awareness has improved and people of all ages celebrate Earth Day. Find events near you and celebration ideas on EarthDay.org!

At Arbordale, we are also passionate about the fate of the planet and our way of helping the environmental movement is to educate young children about the world around us and those living in it. Many of our books feature endangered animals or vulnerable environmental elements. In celebration of Earth Day here are three books to get a conversation started with your little ones about the environment!

Nature Recycles: How About You?
By Michele Lord, illustrated by Cathy Morrison
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From sea urchins in the Atlantic Ocean to bandicoots on the Australian savanna, animals all over the world recycle. Explore how different animals in different habitats use recycled material to build homes, protect themselves and get food. This fascinating collection of animal facts will teach readers about the importance of recycling and inspire them to take part in protecting and conserving the environment by recycling in their own way.

The Glaciers are Melting!
By Donna Love, illustrated by Shennen Bersani
glaciers coverChicken Little may have thought the sky was falling but Peter Pika is sure the glaciers are melting and is off to talk to the Mountain Monarch about it. Joined along the way by friends Tammy Ptarmigan, Sally Squirrel, Mandy Marmot, and Harry Hare, they all wonder what will happen to them if the glaciers melt. Where will they live, how will they survive? When Wiley Wolverine tries to trick them, can the Mountain Monarch save them? More importantly, can the Mountain Monarch stop the glaciers from melting?

Felina’s New Home: A Florida Panther Story
by Loran Wlodarski illustrated by Lew Clayton
Felina's New HomeFelina the Florida panther loved growing up in her forest home, until the forest starts to shrink! Trees begin to disappear, and Felina doesn’t understand the new busy highway in the neighborhood. Other animals are in danger, too. Will Felina find a way to survive as humans threaten to ruin her home? Environmental science writer Loran Wlodarski gives children a look into deforestation and endangered animals in Felina’s New Home: A Florida Panther Story, complemented by the detailed, emotive illustrations of Lew Clayton. Learn whether the animals in Felina’s forest adapt to the new human presence and what children can do to keep wild animals safe, happy, and healthy.