New Book News! Bat Count & Moonlight Crab Count

Do you have a young scientist in the making? This season we have two citizen science books that just may inspire your family to find their own project. You can spot bats, frogs, butterflies, crabs or even stars to help scientists with important research.

First, we meet Jojo and her family as they await the yearly bat counts on the family farm.

batcount

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story 
by Anna Forrester, illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Bat Count is inspired by author Anna Forrester’s family farm, and the citizen science project that her family participates in every summer. Anna would like to show young readers that participation in citizen science is a great way to do real science, and that is very meaningful to the scientists finding solutions to ecological problems.

Visit Anna Forrester’s website for more batty fun! 

Next, we meet Leena, her mom, and dog Bobie as they travel to a small beach for a night of collecting data on horseshoe crabs.

moonlight

Moonlight Crab Count
by Neeti Bathala, Jennifer Keats Curtis & Veronica V. Jones

Horseshoe crabs are one of the oldest and strangest looking species around! Each spring they swim to shore and spawn along the Eastern US, but the Delaware Bay is the best spot to see a whole crowd of crabs, sea birds and people too. The living fossil has blue blood that is very important to medical reserch, and thier eggs are an important food source for a few different migrating birds. This is why citizen scientists are busy counting crabs as they are spawning.

Learn more about horseshoe crabs and the citizen science project.

Get involved in your local area: Check out these sites for ongoing projects around the world!

https://www.scientificamerican.com/citizen-science/

https://scistarter.com/citizenscience.html

https://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Citizen-Science.aspx

Advertisements

Book Launch Day!!!

blogheader

Congratulations to all of our spring authors and illustrators it is book launch day!

This season we have pairs of fun. For budding young scientists, we have Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story and Moonlight Crab Count. Animal lovers will enjoy reading about the rescue of Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal and learning about the adorable ways of owlets in Otis the Owl. Finally, our topography forms in many different ways, giant rocks have a connection to culture in Vivian and the Legend of the Hoodoos. Then, lava flows shaped the Hawaiian Islands, but learn how a town was saved in the 1880’s in A True Princess of Hawai‘i.

Get to know the books and their creators:

batcount_187

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.

Read our interview with Anna Forrester & Susan Detwiler

honeygirl_187

Hawaiian locals and visitors always enjoy spotting endangered Hawaiian monk seals, but Honey Girl is an extra special case. She has raised seven pups, and scientists call her “Super Mom.” After Honey Girl is injured by a fishhook, she gets very sick. Scientists and veterinarians work to save Honey Girl so she can be released back to the ocean. This true story will have readers captivated to learn more about this endangered species.

Read our interview with Jeanne Walker Harvey & Shennen Bersani

moonlightcrab_187

Even kids can get involved in science! Ecologist Dr. Neeti Bathala and Jennifer Keats Curtis collaborate to bring us the story of these adventurous citizen scientists. Leena and her mom volunteer each summer to count the horseshoe crabs that visit their beach. With their dog Bobie at their sides, the duo spends a night on the shore surveying horseshoe crabs who have come to mate and lay eggs. Readers will learn valuable facts about these ancient animals and how they can get involved in the effort to conserve horseshoe crabs.

Read our interview with Jennifer Keats Curtis, & learn more about Dr. Neeti Bathala & Veronica V. Jones

otisowl_187

In beautifully detailed photographs, Mary Holland captures the first few months of a baby barred owl’s life. The huge eyes and fluffy feathers will steal the hearts of readers as they learn how barred owl parents ready their young owlets for the big world outside the nest. Follow along as Otis learns to eat, fights with his sister, and prepares for flight.

Read our interview with Mary Holland

trueprincess_187

Nani has always dreamed of being a princess. When a real Hawaiian princess comes to her hometown of Hilo, Nani dresses in her best clothes. But as she watches Princess Luka, who has come to save the town from a volcanic lava flow, Nani learns that there is more to being a princess than fine clothes. This incredible story of kindness and generosity is based on the historical events of the 1880-1881 eruption of Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawai‘i and the real-life Princess Luka.

Read our interview with Beth Greenway & learn more about Tammy Yee

vivianlegend_187

Long ago, the Old Ones were bad. They drank all the water, ate all the pine nuts, and left nothing for the other creatures. Sinawav the coyote punished them by turning them into rocky hoodoos. Now when children misbehave, their Paiute elders remind them that they too could be turned into stone columns! Vivian has heard the stories, but this year as she and her grandmother climb the mesa to pick pine nuts, Vivian has something more important on her mind: basketball tryouts. When Vivian is disrespectful to the trees and the land, her grandmother must remind Vivian of the legend of the hoodoos and how nature has made it possible for her people to live.

Read our interview with Terry Catasús Jennings & learn more about  Phyllis Saroff

Check out arbordalepublishing.com for more information and teaching activity guides for each book!

 

 

 

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.

It’s Getting Batty

Desmodus rotundus, Picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve, Departamento Ica, Peru, in March 2005.

Desmodus rotundus, Picture taken at Sangayan Island, Paracas National Reserve, Departamento Ica, Peru, in March 2005.

Nearing the end of October we can’t help but think of things that scare us. And although there are many mammals out there that terrifying, one animal that has become a Halloween icon is the bat.

The earth is covered with bats and the more than 1,000 different species make up about 20% of the classified mammals. While most of the bats found in the world are insect and fruit eaters, when Halloween rolls around the vampire bat is the star of the species.

These sharp-toothed bloodsuckers live in Central and South America where they can stay warm throughout the year. There are three varieties of vampire bats and each seeks the blood of different types of prey. The white-winged vampires and the hairy-legged vampires prefer the blood of poultry, while the common vampire hangs around the farm preferring to bite cows and other livestock.

It is the common vampire bat that may have inspired the fictional vampires portrayed in literature today, they are the only variety of bat that has been know to bite humans. But even these bats are tiny and more likely to bite your feet than you’re your neck because they feed on the ground.

batJust like other species of bats the vampires have incredible senses that allow them to survive as nocturnal hunters. They live in groups and because their food source is sometimes scarce, they share.

So this Halloween when you see little vampires roaming the neighborhood for candy think of their inspiration and know that the original bloodsuckers are very complicated and interesting creatures.

If you want to learn more about the other varieties of bats check out Arbordale’s two bat books Home in the Cave and Little Red Bat!

LittleBat_coverHomeCave

 

Happy Halloween!

What are you afraid of? Ghosts, goblins, monsters lurking in the shadows, or are you afraid of something a little more real? We have compiled a list of books with creepy crawly creatures that are sure to scare in celebration of Halloween!

Bats
Often misunderstood bats are portrayed as fanged bloodsucking creatures of the night. These two book may just change your mind about this nocturnal animal.

Little Red Bat
LittleBat_Pic5Red 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?

Home in the Cave
homecave coverBaby 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?

Wolves
These relatives of the dog were fierce hunters in Medieval Europe, which is where the mystery of the werewolf originated. Now a prominent Halloween figure; learn more about this animal’s characteristics in:

One Wolf Howls
Wolf_128Have 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!

Teeth, Claws & Scales
These creatures may not show up at your Halloween party, but they are lurking in the wild. The next two books feature a variety of animals with creepy features!!

The Most Dangerous
MostDangerous_128Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks . . . who will the winner be? 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!

A Day in the Deep
Print
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.

Visit the book page to learn more about these featured titles, or maybe you would like to read about the less creepy animals in Sylvan Dell’s collection. Click here http://www.sylvandellpublishing.com/bookhome.php.

Home in the Cave Teaching Activity

Imagine having to find your way around in the dark every night–without any lights to help you see. Most bats use echolocation to “see” in the dark. They locate objects (insects to catch or trees to avoid) by listening to echoes or sound waves bouncing back at them. Bats make high-pitched noises with their noses or mouths. The noises are so high pitched that we can’t hear them (like a dog whistle). These sounds bounce off objects around them and back to the bats—echoes. Bats have very large ears to help them trap these echoes. By “seeing” with these sounds, bats can catch insects in the air and can avoid flying into things.

Do you think you could find an insect in the dark just by listening? Our sense of hearing is not as well developed as a bat’s, but we still can sense location with hearing. To test your echolocation abilities, play this variation on “Marco Polo” called “Bat and Bug”:

With three or more people, blindfold one person. That person is the “bat.” Other people are either trees or bugs. The trees stand still, and the bugs get to move around. The bat calls out “bat,” and the others must respond by saying “tree” or “bug.” The bat has to try to catch a bug without running into a tree.

Is it easy to find your way around by sound? Would you rather “see” with your eyes or your ears?