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.
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 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!
Do you want to spy a reptile?
This week we celebrate the release of After A While Crocodile by Dr. Brady Barr and Jennifer Keats Curtis with illustrations by Susan Detwiler.
In the book, a young girl, Alexa, raises an American crocodile with her class in Costa Rica. The story is her science journal of the experience as the crocodile hatches, grows, and swims off after he is released.
Dr. Brady Barr knew he wanted to work with reptiles after spotting his first alligator in the Florida Everglades. Since, he has traveled the world seeking out lizards, snakes, and other creatures to learn more about the 24 different species. In fact, he is the only one to have captured all 24 species in the wild. Readers can watch Brady Barr comb the jungles, forests, and rivers seeking out reptiles on his Nat Geo Wild show Dangerous Encounters with Brady Barr that airs on Saturdays at 10:30.
Co-author Jennifer Keats Curtis is most often found in the wild classrooms of Maryland talking with students about animal conservation and how she helps wildlife by telling stories.
Susan Detwiler’s illustrations bring Jefe and Alexa to life with her detailed realistic style. Like Jennifer, Susan is often found in classrooms talking about her art and love for children’s books.
If you want to spy your own crocodile, a trip on a plane might be in order. Get a copy of After A While Crocodile, download the For Creative Minds section to find out where these crocs live, and educators we have a teaching guide for you too! Visit the book’s homepage for all these downloadable extras. If you just can’t wait to start the croco-fun here is a simple craft for the little ones.
Simply use popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Paint the popsicle stick green, and then start in the middle and wrap one pipe cleaner toward the front leaving enough to bend for legs and feet. Then wrap the second pipe cleaner from the middle to the back, also leaving enough room for legs and feet. On the front glue googly eyes and cut teeth from some white paper and glue that to the end. Now you have a crocodile buddy!