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!!

Mount St. Helens is rising

GopherRescue_187In 2012 author Terry Catsús Jennings introduced us to gopher that brought the landscape around Mount Saint Helens back to life after the eruption in her book Gopher to the Rescue. Sunday marks the anniversary of the eruption, but as we remember the event scientists are busy monitoring the rising levels of magma under the surface.

While the current reports show a rise in pressure scientists are not sounding the alarms jus t yet. Seth Moran a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey has closely monitored the volcano and found, “This is giving long-term (data) that it’s getting ready to erupt again, but it could be decades before it does something again.”

In 1980 Mount St. Helens also gave seismologists signs that it was about to erupt. As early as March 1st the volcano was showing building pressure and small earthquakes put the seismologists on notice that the landscape of the mountain was changing. Using laser equipment and also flying planes overexplode the mountain the scientists were able to gather the data that predicted when the mountain would erupt and this data save many lives.

The great intensity of the eruption was felt through the forests and as far as 2200 square miles away. The eruption caused serious destruction. Today the area has recovered and the surviving underground animals are credited with helping that process along.

As scientists continue to monitor the small earthquakes and rising magma levels, they note that the volcano will erupt again. “It may stay perched at ready stage for a long time before it starts to erupt. The reassuring thing is: when it’s really ready to erupt, it gives lots and lots of signs.”

Learn more about volcanoes with everyone’s favorite science experiment!

While this is not the same type of eruption that Mount St. Helens produces; learn about volcanoes and chemistry with this experiment.

What you will need:

A soda bottle
A baking pan (or something to catch the mess)
Baking Soda
Playdough or clay to form the mountain (optional)

Place baking soda in the bottom of your soda bottle and place it in the center of the baking pan. Mold the playdough around the bottle to form your volcano mountain (optional) Pour the vinegar into the soda bottle and stand back as the pressure build and it fizzes to the top and over the sides. Be sure to have towels on hand to clean any spills.

nasa volcano




** Quotes from Associated Press

Children’s Book Week – 20 Questions

Have you voted for Children’s Choices yet?

We have, and although Arbordale doesn’t have a book in the running this year, we are visiting a previous finalist today with an activity for Sort it Out.

sort it out coverPacky Packrat has quite a collection and his mother has had it with the mess. He goes to work categorizing and sorting until everything has a place. These are math skills we use every day!

Twenty Questions…

For this group activity download the For Creative Minds section below and print out Packy’s sorting cards. On a board or desk have three categories Animal, Vegetable and Mineral.

Have a child pick a card and head to the front of the class, don’t reveal the item on their card, and say “It’s time for 20 questions.”  The child will answer yes and no to the questions as they are asked by the group until the object is guessed correctly. Then the child with the card will ask Animal, Vegetable or Mineral and place the card in the appropriate category once there is an agreement.

Compare the items in each category once the game is done and finish up  by showing how some items are more difficult to classify than others.

Sort_FCM1_Page_3 Sort_FCM1_Page_4



To learn more about Sort it Out check out the book page, and remember…there are only two days left until the free book with a purchase in the Arbordale online store expires!

Rhyming Safari

SafariCOVER [Converted]

Here is a task for the very young

at home or in a classroom…let’s have fun!

Go on a safari and learn your ABC’s.

Finding fun facts and animals you will see.

Make it a game and learn to rhyme

Think very hard, this may take some time!

How could we celebrate Children’s Book Week anElephantd not include an ABC book? Many great memories are made learning the letters of the alphabet through picture books. We would like to celebrate that with a fun activity where kids will learn about animals and rhyme.

Start with an animal and then rhyme another word keep in the animal family by using animal sounds or animal traits. For Example:

Owl – Howl

Snail – Tail

Swan – Fawn

Don’t forget that you can read ABC Safari free this week only online click here! 


Children’s Book Week – Storytelling

Henry Impatient Heron_COVER 2Today, we are featuring Henry the Impatient Heron. Henry is a young heron and he just cannot stand still. When he flies away from his family for the first time he tries and tries to stay still, but he has no luck and can’t catch anything to eat. It is only after meeting “the king of camouflage” and taking his wise advice that Henry is able to stand still, and finally he catches his dinner.

Have you had to overcome an obstacle like Henry? How did you do it?

Teachers, here is a great activity for English class and you can win a prize!

Write a short paragraph using the questions above to tell us your story. The top three will win a copy of Henry the Impatient Heron. Send your submissions to PR (@)

Get into the fun by reading Henry the Impatient Heron this week only for free!

Children’s Book Week – Charades!

For Children’s Book Week this year we are celebrating with the theme Discover Something New! All week this blog will host activities giveaways and fun book facts for kids, parents and teachers.

In addition to the activities we are offering a free paperback with any online store order! It’s a grab bag, so you may just find something new from Arbordale!

Everyone Loves a Charade

Today is the perfect day to discover how animals stay cool in the hot summer months. Because we celebrated CoolSummer_128mothers yesterday and we are headed toward the dog days of summer what could be better than learning how animals keep cool in the summer with a game of charades!

In A Cool Summer Tail, animals ask their mothers how humans stay cool in the summer. A fun way to learn more about animal adaptations is by acting them out.

Divide the group into two teams.

Print out the animal names and adaptations below. Cut them into strips and place those in a bowl. Make sure to mix them up.

For the first 30 seconds they must act out the animal adaptation. Understanding that growing hair, and sunning butterfly_toonyourself may be a little difficult to act out after those 30 seconds are up they may act out other traits of the animal or try to get the group to guess the name of the animal. After the animal is guessed announce the adaptation to the group as well as the animal name.

In case you have forgotten some of the symbols used in charades here is a helpful guide:

  • Number of words in the title: Hold up the number of fingers.
  • Which word you’re working on: Hold up the number of fingers again.
  • Number of syllables in the word: Lay the number of fingers on your arm.
  • Which syllable you’re working on: Lay the number of fingers on your arm again.
  • Length of word: Make a “little” or “big” sign as if you were measuring a fish.
  • “The entire concept:” sweep your arms through the air.
  • “On the nose” (i.e., someone has made a correct guess): point at your nose with one hand, while pointing at the person with your other hand.
  • “Sounds like”: Cup one hand behind an ear.
  • “Longer version of :” Pretend to stretch a piece of elastic.
  • “Shorter version of:” Do a “karate chop” with your hand
  • “Plural”: link your little fingers.
  • “Past tense”: wave your hand over your shoulder toward your back.
  • A letter of the alphabet: move your hand in a chopping motion toward your arm (near the top of your forearm if the letter is near the beginning of the alphabet, and near the bottom of your arm if the letter is near the end of the alphabet).


Squirrel – They lick their forearms where the hair is thinner and the saliva evaporates to keep them cool.


Black Bears – They lie on their backs exposing their bellies where the fur is thinner


Painted turtles – They go to the cool water of the ponds lakes and streams to stay cool


Black-capped chickadee – They hide under the shade of leaves, stand in puddles of water or open their beaks to breathe quickly


White tailed deer – They shed their winter hair, and grow a new coat of fine red hair that allows air to move better.


Honeybees – They fan their queen to cool her by hanging upside down on the hive and fan it inside the hive.


Garter snake – the coil up in a den during the day and come out at night to eat.


People – They live in air conditioning, wear light clothing, and swim in pools to stay cool


Black swallowtail – They use the warmth of the sun and shade their bodies with their wings when they get to hot.


Red Fox – They pant or breathe very fast across their damp tongues to evaporate the heat from their bodies.


Costa’s hummingbird – They fly long distances to find the cool weather that is just right


Wood frogs – They dig under leaves and sticks to keep their skin moist.