Mount St. Helen’s Volcano

At 8:32 (Pacific) on May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens volcano erupted killing 57 people and destroying the area around it. The entire northside of the mountain slid down the mountain. After the eruption, scientist spent years studying how life returned to the area and, interestingly, they give the lowly gopher much of the credit. Read Gopher to the Rescue to your children to learn how Mother Earth in all her wisdom replenishes herself following this kind of natural disaster. https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=GopherRescue

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!

A Spooky Reading List of Very Real Creatures

There is something about October; it feels like creepy, crawly, and spooky creatures are lurking. We are getting in the spirit with a reading list of very real frightening creatures. Today we are exploring some of the dark habitats of the world to meet a few animals that might be a bit terrifying if you find yourself in their path.

Daytime Critters

The Most Dangerous

“Dangerous animals from all over the world gather for the Most Dangerous Animal of All Contest. Snakes, spiders, sharks . . . who will be the winner? 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! Don’t let the suspense kill you. Animals in the book include: box jellies, inland taipan, great white shark, porcupinefish, Brazilian wandering spider, Cape buffalo, saltwater crocodile, hippopotamus, cassowary, and mosquito.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=MostDangerous

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.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=Wolf

Nocturnal Creatures

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.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=GhostFarm

Night Creepers

A perfect nap or bedtime story told with short, lyrical text, young readers learn about crepuscular and nocturnal animals and some of their behaviors. Older readers learn more about each animal with sidebar information.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=NightCreepers

Home in the Cave

“Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave. 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 bats for food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=HomeCave

Little Red Bat

Red 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! The squirrel tells her to stay. But what about the dangerous creatures that hunt red bats in winter? The sparrow urges her to go. But where? Carole Gerber takes young readers on an educational journey through one bat’s seasonal dilemma in Little Red Bat. The For Creative Minds educational section includes: Match the Bat Adaptation, Bat Fun Facts, How Animals Deal with Seasonal Changes, Red Bats and Seasonal Change, and Bat Life Cycle Sequencing Activity.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=LittleBat

Scary Sea Life

A Day in the Deep

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.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=DayDeep

The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea

The animals of the South Sea are hungry. But who is hungrier than all of the rest? The kicking krill may swarm and the blue cod are out hunting for dinner, but neither is fierce enough to be tops in this habitat. Could it be the lurking sharks, pointy-tailed rays or the toothy barracuda? Dive into this rhythmic text to discover who is at the top of this food chain.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=HungriestMouth

Sea Slime

Snails and sea slugs use Sea Slime. But, did you know that coral and clownfish need slime too? Marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce us to fascinating and bizarre animals that use slime to capture their food, protect themselves from harm, or even move from place to place in their underwater environment.

https://www.arbordalepublishing.com/bookpage.php?id=SeaSlime

Happy October Reading!
You can find these books and many more spooky reads on arbordalepublishing.com.

How to Be a Clean Bird

Believe it or not, no one likes to be dirty, not even animals! So, while we are lathering on the soap, birds may be anting! Author Darcy Pattison captured Anting and other mysterious bathing rituals in her book Desert Baths, illustrated by Kathleen Reitz.

What is Anting?

Anting is a peculiar ritual where birds sit on an anthill, wings spread wide, and either let the bugs crawl through their feathers and skin, or they pick up insects with their beaks and rub them on their body. The excitement of the event causes certain species of ants to release formic acid.

Of the more than 200 types of birds observed anting, some finish the bath by eating the ants while others leave the ants without dining. And while scientists have several theories on why birds “ant”, they can only agree that it is a mysterious behavior.

The theories range from a hypothesis that the acid kills mites and parasites bothering the bird. Others surmised that it has soothing properties and can give relief to irritated skin. One theory suggests that the birds are draining the ants of their acid, making them a less dangerous snack. And one study observed birds hopping while anting suggesting that the ants may be like a “catnip for birds.”

Whatever the reason, if you come upon a crow or a blue jay anting stop to watch, it is a behavior not often witnessed by humans.

Celebrate international bath day with us and read Desert Baths. Check it out!

And for more information on anting here are a few resources we used to write this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/curious-crow-behavior-known-as-anting-looks-like-violent-dirt-bath-1.6053823?cmp=rss, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/mystery-bird-anting.

New Year, New Tails: How Alligators Regrow Their Tails

Alligator from Amphibians and Reptiles by Katharine Hall

It is a new year! As the calendar flips, many of us are thinking of a new beginning and achieving new goals. Scientists are always on the path to discovery, and recently a group researching American Alligators discovered they can makeover their bodies in a unique way. They can regrow their tails after injury.

Learn more about lizards losing and regrowing their tails in Little Skink’s Tail by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein.

Tail regrowth is not a new concept for scientists. Until now, they thought this adaptation was limited to small lizards that can detach their tails and escape further injury. It takes some time, but these lizards regenerate their tails almost as if they were never gone.

A team of scientists from Arizona State University took a look at alligator tails that had once sustained an injury and found new growth. Juvenile alligators can regrow up to 18% of their body length. The regrowth tissue is different than the existing tail and contains cartilage, nerves, and blood vessels.

Researchers will continue looking into the details of how alligators regrow its tail in comparison with other lizards and regeneration by other animals. While this conclusion answers some questions, it brings up many others. Researchers will take this information and may begin to look into historic tail regrowth and medical research.

Compare and contrast the differences between Amphibians and Reptiles with Katharine Hall.

The American Alligator can be found in lakes, rivers, and swamps from North Carolina to the Texas Rio Grande. They have long “armored” bodies with four short legs and a long tail with a rounded snout that they can stick out of the water and breathe while they are submerged. They travel in a small area but can go further distances during mating season. Baby alligators generally hatch toward the end of August and make high-pitched noises before hatching. It is a long road to adulthood and stay with their mother for two or three years. Alligators are unique reptiles in this way as well as their ability to lie dormant underwater during cold weather.

Learn more about this scientific discovery and read the full article here!

Find more fun books about reptiles at arbordalepublishing.com.

We have a winner!

It’s that time of year when best book lists are coming at you each day! Well…we are very excited to announce that Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant was selected for the 2019 Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 by the National Science Teachers Association and Children’s Book Council!

As a publisher of science picture books, you can imagine that this is our favorite award to receive and we think Maggie and the Spanish counterpart Maggie, El Último Elefante En Alaska are a wonderful choice!

Get to know Maggie and the book creators!

MaggieESElephants are social animals. Maggie and Annabelle used to live together at the Alaska Zoo. But after Annabelle died, Maggie was all alone. For years, zookeepers tried to keep her happy (and warm). But ultimately, they sent Maggie to live at a sanctuary (PAWS). Now she is happy and at home with her new herd of other elephants. This is a heartwarming story of how zoos ensure the best for the animals in their care—even if the best is not at their zoo.

 

Award-winning author Jennifer Keats Curtis has JenniferCurtispenned 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.

PhyllisSaroff

Since childhood, Phyllis Saroff has brought together her loves of science and art. In addition to Maggie: Alaska’s Last ElephantVivian and the Legend of the HoodoosTuktuk: Tundra Tale, and Sounds of the Savannafor Arbordale, Phyllis has illustrated nonfiction books about the natural world such as Teeth and Mary Anning: Fossil Hunter. She also illustrates for children’s magazines, wayside signs and other educational material. Phyllis works digitally and with oil paint. Phyllis lives in Maryland with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Visit her website at saroffillustration.com.

Learn more about Maggie and get a copy of your own on the book’s homepage!

Silver and Gold: Shiny new honors for Arbordale books!

halloween awardsTreats came in the morning emails just in time for Halloween!

Announced this weekend, Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant received a silver honor from the California Reading Association in this year’s Eureka! Awards. Then yesterday, Purdue University released their annual Engineering Gift Guide from the INSPIRE Research Institute and Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant is featured.

Both organizations bring STEM and nonfiction to young readers. Here is a bit more about each award…

Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award, created by the California Reading Association, celebrates quality nonfiction books for students of all ages. The gold and silver honor books are announced each year at the CRA conference.

Maggie just happens to live in California, so this honor is extra special! The book tells the story of that journey…

MaggieMany years ago, elephants lived in Alaska. Two different kinds of elephants lived at the Alaska Zoo. Maggie, a small African elephant, whose herd was culled, was brought in as a companion for Annabelle, an Asian elephant, who had been acquired by the zoo because her owner was unable to care for her. Not long after Maggie came to Alaska, Annabelle passed and once again, the Alaska Zoo was home to one lonely elephant. Despite the staff and keepers’ best efforts, Maggie became sad, befriending a tire, and later becoming weak. To keep Maggie happy, the zookeepers knew Maggie needed friends and warmth. Fortunately, the Performing Animal Welfare Sanctuary (PAWS) in Galt, California, agreed to take her. PAWS, founded in 1984 by animal trainer to the stars, Pat Derby and her partner, Ed Stewart, is home to rescued exotic and performing animals, including two elephant groups.

When parents want more from gifts than just fun, the Engineering Gift Guide is a great place to turn to for STEM-related products. Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant is one of the 140 toys, books, and games chosen by the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering.

CaoChongAs a former software engineer, Songju Ma Daemicke understands an interest in science at a young age and the need for more creative thinking.

Rich in Chinese history, the story begins when the ambassador of the Wu Kingdom presents Cao Cao with an elephant. Cao Cao challenged his advisors to find a way to weigh the giant animal. It was his six-year-old son, Cao Chong, who emerged with the best idea. The weight of the elephant was discovered.

Get your own copies of Maggie and Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant at arbordalepublishing.com!

Crafty Fun with Cheetah Dreams!

Today we celebrate Cheetah Dreams!!

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Linda Stanek is a cat lover (follow her on twitter @LindaStanek to see her adorable kittens). So, when she began working on an academic book about cheetahs, her next children’s book was forming in the back of her mind. That book just came out last week and is a poetic love story to the majestic cats, but also has valuable facts. Readers are sure to show empathy with the cats as their habitat and numbers continue to decline. With equal passion, illustrator Shennen Bersani traveled to zoos and learned from keepers and the animals themselves. Her realistic illustrations show the fast cats in motion and at rest with adorable furry cubs.

In the spirit of October, we have a fun craft to help you celebrate the release of Cheetah Dreams! You can illustrate this simple cheetah mask of your own. We used a paper plate, a combination of markers and paint, along with a folded pipe cleaner. You can be creative with the decoration and if you have a string or elastic to secure the mask that can simply be attached to the sides for a more secure fit.

 

Download the pattern and print it out.

CheetahMask

Cut around the lines and then trace it onto a paper plate.

Cut the mask out of the paper plate along with the two ears.

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Attach the ears either with staples or glue. And then color your cheetah face! Shennen’s beautiful illustrations are a great guide having been vetted for accuracy by some of the top Cheetah experts.

After painting your cheetah’s spots, attach the holding stick or elastic and be a cheetah for a day!

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**This crafter is not as skilled as Shennen, so this cheetah mask has not been vetted by experts

Get you copy of Cheetah Dreams in English or Spanish from Arbordale or just learn more about the book on the book page!

Taking Flight

BabiesNestFor a baby bird, the leap from the nest is a scary first flight. In a new study, biomechanists researched the timing of that first flight and the survival rates of baby birds. Some momma birds may want to clear the nest early, keeping predators away. The survival rate for these early flyers can be as low as 30 percent.

Late bloomers have a much higher chance for survival, but a noisy nest can also attract lookingdownpredators that take out the entire family. So, bird parents have a very tricky choice when it comes to pushing their young to set off on their own.

As human parents think about the upcoming back-to-school season and sending kids out into the world for their first days of school. Here are a few books about learning the ropes as a young bird. And, if you want to read more about the Missoula, Montana bird study, here is a link!

Henry the Impatient Heron 

Henry Impatient Heron_COVER 2Henry the Heron couldn’t stand still! He was always moving, and it drove everyone crazy! His brother and sister yelled at him for stepping on their heads, and Mom and Dad could barely get food into his little baby mouth. But herons have to stand still to catch their food, so how would Henry ever be able to eat on his own? In Henry the Impatient Heron, Donna Love takes readers along with Henry as he learns a valuable lesson from the King of Camouflage! Hilarious and lighthearted illustrations by Christina Wald complement the important lesson in the text. It is a meaningful lesson for both herons and kids alike, which teaches the importance of just being still!

Otis the Owl

otisowl_187In 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.

Whistling Wings

wings_187Can a swan survive without winter migration? Marcel, a young tundra swan, is tired from the first half of a winter migration. One thousand miles is a long way to fly—too long for Marcel, so he hides in the rushes to stay behind while his parents and the flock continue south. But with the lake nearly frozen over, he soon realizes that he is not cut out for life on ice. Other animals offer advice about how to survive the winter, but their ways of living aren’t right for the swan. Hungry and scared, he falls asleep – only to be awakened by a big surprise! The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes “Tundra Swan Fun Facts” and a “Tundra Swan Life Cycle Sequencing Activity.”

The Best Nest

Nest_187Long ago, when the world was young, the magpies’ nests were the envy of all other birds. To help the other birds, Maggie Magpie patiently explained how to build a nest. But some birds were impatient and flew off without listening to all the directions, which is why, to this day, birds’ nests come in all different shapes and sizes. This clever retelling of an old English folktale teaches the importance of careful listening.

Baby Owl’s Rescue

Baby Owl's RescueWhat if you found a baby owl in your backyard? Would you know what to do? Where would you go to find help? Join young Maddie and Max as they learn a valuable lesson from a little lost owl in Baby Owl’s Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis. The brother and sister pair just wanted to play baseball one day. They never expected to come face-to-face with a wild animal! Lush illustrations by Laura Jacques accompany this story and demonstrate the proper treatment of wildlife. This story reminds all of us that we live in a world surrounded by wild animals, and those wild animals deserve our caution and our respect!

Learn more about these titles and download the free educational extras at arbordalepublishing.com!

 

 

 

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