Sea the World from a Different Perspective this Summer

The unofficial start to summer is here! While 2020 has not been smooth sailing, we are happy that we can continue to share quality reading and fun activities with little ones and today we are kicking off Summer Reading Under the Sea.

Splash around through 24 underwater and beachy ebooks through August 31st on arbordalepublishing.com. We choses a few of our classic favorites along with some of our newer titles and a mix of fiction and nonfiction for readers to enjoy!

Don’t miss out on the fun! Read our blog weekly for crafts, scavenger hunts, and coloring pages to go along with a theme! Join us next week as we explore the darkest depths of the ocean and the strange creatures that live there!

Start reading today!

If you have any questions about our summer reading program email heather@arbordalepublishing.com.

Recycling Our Food

Earth Day is a great day to think about recycling! Not only recycling plastics and glass but, what about the parts of fruits and vegetables that we throw away? In nature, animals seek out discarded objects all the time. Some use these for houses or protection others find tools that are helpful to open or retrieve food.

Right now, we are staying safe at home and may not get to the grocery store as often as before. But with a little water, a little soil, and a bright sunny spot, you can start your vegetable garden inside with leftover plant pieces.

This lesson was inspired by Michelle Lord’s “Nature Recycles: How About You?” illustrated by Cathy Morrison. Before you get started on your vegetable garden, learn more about plants in these titles: Saving Kate’s Flowers, Daisylocks, and The Tree That Bear Climbed. 

planting jars
**Our jars are recycled too! These are yogurt jars, but they make perfect seedling jars after a quick washing.

Once you are ready to plant the veggie tops and bottoms, download our handy observation sheet to record the changes in your fruits and veggies. 

We followed some advice from this article when choosing our fruits and vegetables but doing some research on your own is certainly fun too! http://www.eatingwell.com/article/290729/how-to-grow-fruits-vegetables-from-food-scraps/

After just two days our green onion was sprouting, and now four days later the carrot looks to be sprouting tiny green hairs out of the top. Tag us in your vegetable growing and you could win advance copies of Arbordale’s fall titles.

Free ebook Reading to help ease the transition

And a little inspiration for quality outside time.

We are working from home and know that many of you are too. Also, we know trying to balance educating and entertaining kids is tough. We have decided to allow free reading of our entire collection until May 15th! (Login details below)

Over the next few weeks, we will share reading lists to fit outdoor themes, math themes, science themes, and animals we love. Today we are kicking off with some good books for nature lovers. Go hiking and identify animal signs or dig in the dirt to find precious rocks. Or, explore a local park with a new outlook on the habitat.

Arbordale Publishing is making their digital books available for free to all teachers and students through May 15, 2020. Teachers can use the Learning Management System by setting up an account at https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/user.php and then adding students. Use school site license code UGEI16 with the password May15. If it takes you to the homepage, click on eBook Access (top) and you should be in.

Turn a hike into a chance to spot animal signs

Here are two books that, in very different ways, show how to spot signs that animals have been there and done that. These are great books to read before taking a walk in the woods, and the “For Creative Minds” sections give readers valuable animal information and a field guide to spot tracks, scat, and indents.

Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs
By Jen Funk Weber, Illustrated by Andrea Gabriel
Spotting wildlife is a thrill, but it’s not easy. When Cole comes to visit his friend Helena, he can’t wait to see all the wildlife the forest has to offer—and is disappointed when all he sees are a few birds. Together the kids set out on a hike and encounter plenty of animal signs along the way. Through observation and her knowledge of animal behavior, Helena helps Cole learn what each of the signs means: something had been there; something had done that.

Animal Tracks and Traces
By Mary Holland
Animals are all around us. While we may not often see them, we can see signs that they’ve been there. Some signs might be simple footprints in snow or mud (tracks) and other signs include chewed or scratched bark, homes or even poop and pee (traces). Children will become animal detectives after learning how to “read” the animal signs left all around. Smart detectives can even figure out what the animals were doing! This is a perfect sequel to Mary Holland’s Animal Anatomy and Adaptations series.

A Little Physical Science for the backyard

Do you have a budding gemologist? What about a future physicist? Or, do you just need a lesson in physical science? Here are three titles that can be turned into backyard fun as well as a science lesson. Use Julie’s guide to rocks and minerals to identify your findings, push and pull your way into a lesson in Newton’s Laws of Motion, or combine math and the six simple machines to build a new fort in the backyard!

Julie the Rockhound
By Gail Langer Karowski, Illustrated by Lisa Downey
When a young girl finds a sparkly rock buried in the dirt and discovers that it cleans to a beautiful quartz crystal, she is fascinated and becomes Julie the Rockhound. Join Julie as her dad shows her how to dig for minerals and explains the wonders of crystal formation. Combining clever wordplay with earth science, young readers learn about Earth’s most abundant mineral “treasure.”

Newton and Me
By Lynne Mayer, Illustrated by Sherry Rogers
While at play with his dog, Newton, a young boy discovers the laws of force and motion in his everyday activities. Told in rhyme, Lynne Mayer’s Newton and Me follows these best friends on an adventure as they apply physics to throwing a ball, pulling a wagon, riding a bike, and much more. They will realize that Newton’s Laws of Motion describe experiences they have every day, and they will recognize how forces affect the objects around them. The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes: Force and Motion Fun Facts, Matching Forces, Who Was Newton?, and Newton’s Laws of Motion (2 of 3). Additional teaching activities and interactive quizzes are available on the Arbordale Publishing website.

The Fort on Fourth Street: A Story about the Six Simple Machines
By Lois Spangler, Illustrated by Christina Wald
When a young child decides to build a fort in the backyard, Grandpa comes forward to help. But they can’t do it alone—they get help from the six simple machines: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. Told in cumulative rhyme, similar to The House That Jack Built, readers follow the building process to completion and discover the surprise reason it was built.

We hope you enjoy reading the ebooks, stop by next week and we will have some great habitats to explore! You can also find all these titles in hardcover, paperback, Spanish and Spanish paperback in our online store!

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.

It’s almost time for Pencils and Books

August is here, and the first day of school is approaching fast! Some kids get very anxious about heading back to school others are excited to go to class for the first time; so, we asked authors and illustrators for tips to make the transition easy. Here’s what they had to say…

“The best way to get ready for school is to play school! Someone can be Teacher, and friends, family (or pets) can be Students (with pretend names!). Make a “classroom” and decorate it with pictures about What You Did During Your Summer Vacation. Read books out loud together. Do a science experiment. Go to lunch in the “lunchroom” and recess on the “playground.” Have fun playing school!” – Carrie A Pearson

Carrie A. Pearson is a former early elementary teacher and the winner of a SCBWI-Michigan Picture Book Mentorship Award and a Work of Outstanding Promise grant. A Cool Summer Tail, and the companion, A Warm Winter Tail (2013-2014 Great Lakes Great Books Literature Program and a Gelett Burgess Award) follow many of the same animals to describe how they manage the hot summer and cold winter weather. Carrie and her family live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Visit her website at www.carriepearsonbooks.com.

“The start of a new school year can be a real stresser for kids. One way to help cope is for parents to share some of the things they enjoyed about going back to school when they were young. For instance, I shared with my daughter that I loved the smell of brand-new magic markers, and the feel of my new school shoes, and the cartoon designs on my metal lunch box (yes, I’m old enough to have had a metal lunch box – and a Hong Kong Fuey one at that!) Then I asked my daughter to share some things she is looking forward to for the new school year. Once we had a list of things to look forward to, it helped offset the list of things to be nervous about.” – Brian Rock

Brian Rock (The Deductive Detective), received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature/Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine “Kid’s world” and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction’s “Don’t Read This in the Dark” series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit Brian’s website for more information. 

“For kids going to new schools, if the child (and parent!) touring the school and finding the child’s classroom before the first day eases anxiety.”

“Start a new journal the day before school begins!”

“For my girls, we also have our favorite first day tradition – With backpack on, they wave from the same spot. We love looking at these pictures and are always amazed at how much difference a year makes.” – Jennifer Keats Curtis

Award-winning author Jennifer Keats Curtis has penned numerous stories about animals, including Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue(Children’s Choice Book Award Winner); After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children) with co-author Dr. Brady Barr of Nat Geo Wild’s Dangerous Encounter; Baby Bear’s Adoption with wildlife biologists at Michigan’s DNR; and Moonlight Crab Count with co-author Dr. Neeti Bathala. The long-time writer’s other recent books include The Lizard Lady, with co-author Dr. Nicole Angeli, Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant and the Animal Helpers Series. When not writing, Jennifer can be found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation. Visit her website at www.jenniferkeatscurtis.com.

When your back to school shopping is finished, take a moment to relax and admire the starry sky or watch the International Space Station soaring overhead. To find out when the ISS passes over your town, visit NASA’s Spot the Station website. – Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of over 80 books for children including The Great Divide, Multiply on the FlyWhat’s the Difference?, What’s New at the Zoo?, and Animals are Sleeping for Arbordale. Her works include picture books, biographies, and many non-fiction titles about animals, sports, and nature. One of her favorite parts of the writing process is researching and learning new things. Suzanne lives near Chicago with her husband Mike, two children, and their tiny dog Corduroy. She enjoys visiting schools in-person or during her live virtual author visits. Visit Suzanne’s Website

Designate a homework spot where your child will always study. Keep work there so it doesn’t get lost. If the spot is by a computer, make sure you (the parent) check in frequently to see the computer is being used ONLY for homework.  – Terri Fields

Terri Fields has written nineteen books which have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children’s Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public Schools, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest Books of the Year List, and as one of the 100 Top Kid Picks in Children’s Books in Arizona. In addition to Tornado Tamer, she has written Burro’s Tortillas and The Most Dangerous for Arbordale. A long time desert-dweller, Ms Fields has enjoyed sharing her books with children all over the world. In addition to writing, Ms. Fields is also a educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation’s top educators. Terri Fields has worked with students in first through twelfth grades. Ms. Fields sees the world around her in terms of the wonderful stories it reveals. Visit Terri’s website.

We hope your transition back to school is easy and fun! And, learn more about these author’s books on arbordalepublishing.com!

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!

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!!