Meet the Creators: Yay for Big Brothers!

Do you have a little brother or sister? Do you look up to an older sibling?

We just released a perfect read for any family awaiting a new sibling, Yay for Big Brothers! by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Shennen Bersani.

On each page of Yay for Big Brothers! We meet a different animal family and get a glimpse of how siblings help the youngest members. Crows help to feed new babies, beavers give young siblings a ride after a tiring swim practice, and dolphins share their favorite toys during playtime. These are just a few examples of how siblings welcome little brothers and sisters. After we learn how big brothers help, the author asks us to consider the similarities to human relationships.

Janet was inspired by watching her own family as it expanded. We sat down with Janet and Shennen to learn more about their creative process. Watch to learn more!

Get Creative

Create your own animal family puppets with these templates from Shennen! Maybe you can even play with your big brother!

We’re Having a Book Launch Party

The illustrated titles!

I am Hatzegopteryx

By Timothy J. Bradley

Can you imagine swooping through the air like Hatzegopteryx, a giant of the ancient skies? Hatzegopteryx (hatz-eh-GOP-ter-iks) was one of the largest pterosaurs that ever lived; about the size of a small airplane. I am Hatzegopteryx, the second book in Arbordale Publishing’s I am Prehistoric series, gives children a glimpse into the life of the awesome Hatzegopteryx, from tiny chick to majestic, winged predator, and how it made its living. Unlike many pterosaurs, this one was a terrestrial carnivore, spending its time hunting prey on land. Just like today’s animals, prehistoric creatures had adaptations and behaviors that helped them survive in their habitat—a environment that was in some ways quite different from what we see around us today.

The Pangolin Revelation

By Lori Schildwachter, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein

When Loran’s homework assignment is to create an animal’s adaptations and demonstrate how the adaptations help it survive in its environment, he knows just what he wants to do. Loran creates a multipurpose, super species by using all kinds of cool, one-of-a-kind adaptations taken from a variety of some of his favorite animals—like a monkey’s prehensile tail and a sloth’s claws or even curling up like an armadillo. Once he created what he thinks is the ultimate adaptation mashup of any animal ever, he is surprised to discover that his “imaginary creature” really exists—it’s a pangolin! Yes, these charming and unique creatures really do exist, and they are the most endangered animals you’ve possibly never heard of.

Pooper Snooper

By Jennifer Keats Curtis and Julianne Ubigau, illustrated by Phyllis Saroff

Dog detectives? Thanks to superior sniffers, some pups learn to help scientists investigate and track endangered animals. The snoopers’ clue? Poop. Dogs that are part of wildlife detective teams are trained to catch the scent of wild animal poop (scat) so that scientists can learn about these animals without luring or trapping them. Like many pooper snoopers, Sampson, the dog in this book, was once a shelter dog, too hyper and ball crazy for families. That energy and ball drive is what makes him such a good dog detective. He is trained on many species, from salamanders to bears, but his goal is always the same. Find the scat and get the ball!

Yay for Big Brothers!

By Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Shennen Bersani

Big brothers are amazing! Did you know that big brothers are important in animal families, too? Animal big brothers do many of the same things as kid big brothers. They play with their younger siblings, teach them new things, and help with their care. Sometimes animal big brothers even babysit when their parents leave to hunt for food. Are you a big brother or do you have a big brother?

The Compare and Contrast Books

Otters: River or Sea?

By Cathleen McConnell

Perhaps you’ve seen an otter swimming and playing at a zoo or aquarium, but do you know how do these amazing animals live in the wild? Most are found in freshwater habitats, while others make their home in coastal kelp forests or can be found feeding along rocky shores. There are many similarities between river otters and sea otters, but there are also vast differences. Explore fascinating facts about these playful, aquatic mammals, meet the species, and awe at adorable photos in this latest installment of the Compare and Contrast Book series.

Penguins

By Cher Vataloro

Yes, some of the 18 species of penguins live in cold, polar regions, but most penguins live in warm climates. One species even lives near the equator! These birds “fly” through the water with flippers instead of the air with wings. Most are black and white, but one species is blue and white. Some have red eyes, and some have yellow eyes. Some even have colorful bursts of feathers atop their heads. What do they all have in common and how are they different? Explore and learn about these lovable birds in this latest installment of the Compare and Contrast Book series.

Natural or Man-made?

By Arbordale Publishing

Trees give us yummy apples but also help us build houses. One of these is natural, the other man-made. Can you identify the natural resource? In this edition of The Compare and Contrast Book series, we investigate common items around us and how natural materials are made into tools, toys, and even electricity. After exploring dozens of photos, readers will be a pro at identifying ways we use natural resources from plants, animals, and elements below the Earth’s surface.

Renewable or Nonrenewable Resources

By Arbordale Publishing

Everything around us is made from the Earth. Some things are easily replaced, while others are not. Think about the food you have eaten or the energy it took to zoom to school on the bus. What natural resources have you used today, and are they easy to replace? Step through the latest book in the Compare and Contrast series to learn about the world’s resources, how long they take to reproduce, and how technology and ingenuity are helping to relieve the strain on some of our most precious reserves.

Head over to arbordalepublishing.com to learn more about each title, download the educational extras, or order your copy!

Halloween Reading List Part 2

We couldn’t get enough Halloween fun with just animal books, so here is another reading list to get you thinking…Do you have your costume for trick or treat yet? Well, we have thought quite a bit about our costumes and decided to take inspiration from a few Arbordale books. Here is another reading list for the season that might inspire a costume or two!

Ghosts have been part of Halloween traditions from the very beginning. Although we don’t know much about the Irish traditions of Samhain, we know it was a harvest festival where the spirit world would join the real world where ghosts and faeries walked among the living. This event is the origin of today’s Halloween celebrations. At first, the bedsheet ghost became a way to distinguish spirits in the theatre then later taken to the streets for trickery. The Ghost of Donley Farm has a feathery shroud, but his mystique is equally intriguing to Rebecca. 

The Ghost of Donely Farm

The Ghost of Donley Farm
Rebecca, the red-tailed hawk, is not afraid of ghosts! One night, she bravely ventures into the barn to meet the famous ghost of Donley Farm. But when she finally meets him, Rebecca is surprised to discover that this “ghost” is much more familiar than she’d expected.  Join Rebecca as she stays up late to talk with her new friend and find out what they have in common and how they are different.

Halloween is a magical night, but why? Again, we go back to Ireland and the Druids of the Samhain festival. Druids were known to turn those that did bad deeds into black cats. The connection between magical powers and All Hallows Eve began. Today, on Halloween night, you might see young witches and wizards stopping door to door for candy; but, what about someone that only uses illusion to create magic? Get your top hat, maybe a rabbit, and study some tricks in Magnetic Magic!  

Magnetic Magic

Magnetic Magic
Dena loves using magnets to perform magic tricks for the kids at the pool. When Enrique arrives in town, he doesn’t like that Dena is fooling the others. He gives her a century-old treasure map and Dena uses her compass and tools to plot the location of the treasure. To her surprise, the treasure is not where it should be! What could cause her compass to lead her off course? When she discovers the answer, will Dena keep fooling the other kids with magic tricks or will she help them learn about magnetism and the earth’s shifting magnetic poles?

While many believe that wolves howl at the moon, they are actually communicating with each other. But the full-moon turns the mythical werewolf from its human shape into an evil wolf-like creature at its appearance. References to the werewolf, or lycanthrope, span hundreds of years but were prominent in the middle ages. Halloween movies often include the shapeshifting creature among the monsters. Maybe readers of One Wolf Howls might consider either the real or mythical animal as a Halloween costume.

One Wolf Howls
Have 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! The “For Creative Minds” learning section includes a “Wolf Communications Matching” and “Wolf Calendar” activity.

Midnight is the hour of the supernatural. There are references to spells being cast at midnight, and at this hour on a full moon, madness sets in. Throughout ancient history, madness has been depicted in some very disturbing ways, but we have a much more fun way to spend the evening, an animal basketball game!

Midnight Madness at the Zoo

Midnight Madness at the Zoo
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.

No matter your Halloween costume, we hope you have had as much fun with this reading list as we have had making it. To learn more about each book, go to arbordalepublishing.com or click on the title.

Summer Fun in the South Sea

We’re spending this hot July in the water, deep in the South Pacific, where one sea creature reigns supreme. The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea is a rhyming tale of eating, and being eaten as fish, mammals and even birds survive in this wild habitat. It’s easy to put this book on your summer reading list because it is the Arbordale Free Ebook of the Month.

Speaking of summer reading, here are some wonderful ways to keep kids learning even when they are not in school. After Reading The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea, you can test your knowledge by printing the “For Creative Minds” section and playing the Hungriest Mouth Games or matching the predator and prey.

If you are looking for a craftier rainy-day activity, we made some sea creature clothespin clips below!

For this activity, we gathered some clothespins, paint, cardboard, pipe cleaners, and a few googly eyes. As with all crafts you can be as realistic or as whimsical as you would like.

Our Orca is black and white paint with some cardboard for the tail and fin. We made a yellow fish with with a googly eye and cardboard fins. Our squid is adorned with pipe cleaner tentacles and a big eye.

Have fun with your own interpretation of the creatures of the South Sea! If you want to get your own copy of The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea, visit the Arbordale store!

Crossing the Sahara on painted wings

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Here is one fact you won’t find in Ten For Me… painted lady butterflies travel 12,000 kilometers a year and cross the Sahara!

New research found that these butterflies travel about 2,000 kilometers further than the monarch’s yearly journey. The scientists found chemical markers from Africa on European butterfly wings. This told them what the caterpillars ate and where they had been when analyzing the returning butterflies in the spring.

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The painted lady also migrates throughout the United States. And, it is found on every continent except South America. If you want to attract this butterfly to your garden, daisies, asters, and black-eyed Susans are perfect picks.

IMG_1774This summer, you can learn lots of butterfly facts in Ten For Me, one of our free Summer Reading picks. The dual-language, interactive ebooks are tons of fun for little readers. Then kids can print and start their own bug study with the “Buggy Science Journal.”

Tweet or Instagram a photo of your favorite butterfly to @ArbordaleKids to win a copy of Ten For Me! And, if you can’t get enough butterfly facts A Butterfly Called Hope is a perfect companion!

Visit the homepage of Ten For Me or A Butterfly Called Hope to learn more, download the printable activities or quiz yourself on what you learned!

butterflybooks

 

 

Let’s Talk About Nonfiction

AnimalAnatomySeries

Learning is great! Learning is fun! So today we feature one of our continuing nonfiction series that is growing season by season!

Did you know…

“Dragonflies have two compound eyes that can see in all directions at the same time.” – Animal Eyes 

“Most frogs don’t have any teeth on their lower jaw” – Animal Mouths 

This month we add another fact-filled book to Mary Holland’s series, Animal Tails!

Like the others in this series, Mary uses her vast knowledge to show young readers why a tail might be useful. From warding off predators to dangling from a tree, each page features a new use for this unique appendage!

striped-skunk

Learn more about each book in this series:

Animal Tails
Readers will be fascinated by the many ways animals use their tails: to move on land, swim, warn others, steer, hold on to things, keep warm, balance, fly, attract a mate, and even to defend themselves! Apparently, tails are not just for wagging when happy. Following Animal Eyes, Animal Mouths(NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Science Award-winning book), and Animal Legs, Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by exploring the many ways animals use their tails.

AnimalEyesThe sense of sight helps an animal stay safe from predators, find food and shelter, defend its territory and care for its young. We can tell a lot about an animal from its eyes: whether it is predator or prey, whether it is more active during the day or night, and sometimes even its gender or age. Award-winning nature photographer and environmental educator Mary Holland shares fascinating animal eyes with readers of all ages.

AnimalLegsCan you smell with your feet? Do you dig your claws into a river’s muddy bank to climb up and bask in the sun? Animals’ legs are different from humans’ in so many ways! Find out why strong talons suit a raptor, or webbing is perfect for water dwellers as author Mary Holland continues her photographic Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series by exploring the ways insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals move and explore their world.

AnimalMouthsWhat are some things we can learn about animals from the shape of their mouths, beaks,
or bills? What can we infer about animals with sharp teeth compared to large, flat teeth? Are there any animals that don’t have mouths? Following in the footsteps of Animal Eyes, award-winning nature photographer and environmental educator Mary Holland shares fascinating animal mouths with readers of all ages.

We hear Animal Ears will arrive Spring 2018 learn more about it too! 

AnimalEarsHearing is an important sense for animals’ survival. Ears give animals vital information to help them find food or listen for predators ready to attack. This continuation of Mary Holland’s award-winning Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series features a wide variety of animal ears and how animals use them. Did you know that some animals have ears on their legs? Like the eyes, mouths, legs, and tails featured in previous books, animal ears come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes—a perfect match for each animal’s needs.

 

An Intern’s Experience

blog picGoing into this summer, I did not have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. As a rising senior English major at Washington & Lee University, I knew I had options, but having too many options gives me a headache, so I tended to push them all to the side and ignore the looming presence of adulthood. After a month of interning here at Arbordale Publishing, I am still at a loss as to what I want to do with my future, but now it’s not because I haven’t thought about it – it’s because I love everything I have been exposed to here!

I have always loved books. I could read my collection of Dr. Seuss books alone by the age of three, devoured the first Harry Potter book in kindergarten, and tried my hand at writing a few (now embarrassing) short stories throughout my elementary school years. Imagine my delight when I eventually discovered that there is a whole industry dedicated to reading, editing, and publishing new books! I started looking more deeply into the publishing industry during high school, and entered college knowing I wanted to be an English major. When I got the opportunity to intern at Arbordale Publishing this summer, I was excited to be one step closer to a job I have dreamed about for years.

Working with children’s books for the past month has been a fun summer activity, as well as a great introduction into the world of publishing. I have done everything from the typical reading submitted manuscripts and editing those that are accepted to the more creative designing activities in the books’ For Creative Minds sections and choosing photographs to go into a book currently in production. I have seen the schedule of a book’s journey from manuscript submission to eBook design to final printing, and learned of the hundreds of tiny steps that must happen in between to make for a successful story. More recently, I have witnessed all the work that goes into the publicity side of things, from getting stories reviewed to working with authors as they attend events to promote their book. Even with children’s books, the amount of work is no joke!

Thankfully, I have one more year to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up. Do I want to go into editing or publicity? Should I write on the side? What am I going to enjoy the most? I am grateful to be here at Arbordale Publishing this summer, where I can explore so many different options and decide which aspect of publishing fits me best. Working with children’s books has been a wonderful way to learn the basics of story editing, fact checking, and appealing to specific markets without being overwhelmed by lengthy novels or heavy facts. Will I eventually wander into the world of books for adults? Probably, but this internship is the ideal jumping-off point for that journey. Now I just have to figure out where it’s going to take me.

–Cara Scott, Intern

Let’s Compare and Contrast!

In 2014 Polar Bears and Penguins debuted; this first book in the Compare and Contrast Book series has been named to the NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books of 2015. This year we release three new books in this series and two have just hit bookshelves, Clouds and Trees take a look at often overlooked topics in nature.

Each book in this series uses simple text to lure the youngest readers into loving all that they can learn from non-fiction. Paired with the facts and activities in the back of the book kids will learn about the impacts that clouds have on the water cycle and how roots are important to make trees stand tall.

If you have had fun comparing through these books, now you are ready to compare and contrast anything! Let’s start by using what you have learned about clouds and trees with the activity sheet below. Fill out traits of each that are the same and ones that make these objects different.

Compare&Contrast

Click here for the full size Compare&Contrast worksheet.

Watch for the next Compare and Contrast Book available this fall Amphibians & Reptiles!

AmphbnReptile_187What makes a frog an amphibian but a snake a reptile? Both classes may lay eggs, but they have different skin coverings and breathe in different ways. Pages of fun facts will help kids identify each animal in the class like a pro after reading the fourth book in Arbordale’s Compare and Contrast series. Similar to Polar Bears and Penguins, Clouds and Trees; Amphibians and Reptiles uses stunning photographs and simple non-fiction text to get kids thinking about the similarities and differences between these two animal classes.

Get Excited: New books are almost here!

Winter 2015 marks many milestones at Arbordale Publishing, the first releases under the new Arbordale name, the 100th book, and 10 years in business. However much remains the same as the publisher continues the trend toward nonfiction picture books featuring animals and the world we share with them. It is evident that animals will be popular this season featuring three books representing animals from all over the world with two books specifically featuring raptors.

AnimalEyes_187Naturalist Mary Holland is leading off with the 100th book, Animal Eyes. Her remarkable photography captures the distinct differences in eyes from insects to coyotes featuring information not only about the eye itself, but how the placement of eyes helps prey and predators in their habitat.

AH_Raptors_187The second “animal” book continues the Animal Helpers series with Raptor Centers. Jennifer Keats Curtis has shown children the rewarding careers that involve rehabilitating, rescuing and caring for all types of animals. In this installment she features birds of prey and the special resources it takes to help feathered friends.

AnimalPartners_187Finally, Animal Partners rounds out the topic with a book of poetry featuring facts of unusual animal relationships. Author Scotti Cohn uses humor to explore nature’s symbiotic relationships on land and in the sea. Shennen Bersani uses just the right blend of realism and whimsy to bring each poem to life.

DinoTreasures_187Although dinosaurs may have been an animal, we are still learning about these creatures. Dino Treasures is a follow up to Dino Tracks, and Rhonda Lucas Donald once again explores the job of paleontologists through song. Because Cathy Morrison has never laid eyes on this creature she did extensive research before creating her illustrations and the book was vetted by many prestigious members of the paleontology community to ensure the most up to date accuracy.

Author Katharine Hall tackled two subjects that are around us all the time in her Compare and Contrast series. Trees and Clouds are perfect for an early reader curious about nature. Clouds shows how each type of cloud is different and helps to predict the weather. While Trees, compares the size, stem and habitat of different trees throughout the world.

GhostFarm_187The season at Arbordale rounds out with two fiction books and two debut authors. Jaime Gardner Johnson goes to the farm with The Ghost of Donley Farm, but the animals you find there are not as expected. Children will meet Rebecca the red tailed hawk and Bernard the barn owl. The two compare their difference and similarities which Laurie Allen Klein illustrated in great detail.

LittleGray_187Little Gray’s Great Migration is one of the only books in print featuring gray whales and new author Marta Lindsey was drawn to write the story after witnessing their migration one summer. The little whale shows off for visitors until it is time to migrate and he must help his mother make the way to a special food filled sea. Illustrations by Andrea Gabriel bring out the personality of the large ocean mammals.

Salamanders_187Jennifer Keats Curtis rounds out the winter titles with Salamander Season. This collaborative effort with scientist J. Adam Frederick and illustrator Shennen Bersani highlights salamanders through one girls science journal. This father, daughter outing will teach children all about how salamanders transform from eggs to full-grown amphibian.

As with all of Arbordale’s books the For Creative Minds section is the perfect ending to explore each topic further and create discussions about the world we live in. The publisher also provides many resources for teachers at http://www.arbordalepublishing.com including standards alignment information, an activity guide and quizzes that are smartboard compatible.

The celebration for the new releases begins with the launch January 25, 2015. All Arbordale titles are available in various formats through local bookstores, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major distributors. Enhanced English and Spanish read aloud eBooks are available through the publishers website online or through Fun eReader® on the iTunes store.

Back-to-School Fiction Reading List

Now that back-to-school season is upon us, it’s time to get the kids back into reading so that they will be 100% prepared for the first day of school! Check out these great books to add to your back-to-school reading list.

Count Down to Fall_COVER_3 Zoo_187 Even_187
Count Down to Fall | ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day | My Even Day

Count Down to Fall: The first day of Fall is September 23 this year! Celebrate the upcoming season with a countdown of all of the different kinds of falling tree leaves.

‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day: There are only a couple of weeks of summer left! Make time for one more trip to the zoo–but don’t forget to read this fun story about zoo preparation first!

My Even Day: Get back into the swing of things when school comes back around by refreshing your memory of all of the even numbers with this quirky story!

 Giraffe_187 Sort_187 DeductiveDetective_187
The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights | Sort it Out! | Deductive Detective

The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights: Are we a little anxious for the first day of school? Read how the giraffe overcame his fear of heights so that you can figure out how to overcome your own fear of going to school!

Sort it Out!: Now that it’s almost time to go back to school, it’s about time to start getting all of our new back to school supplies sorted and organized! Read about the different ways that Packy Packrat was able to sort out his collection!

Deductive Detective: Help Detective Duck deduce who the cake-eater could be from all of the clues left behind in this fun mystery story.