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!

Reading Tips and Tricks for a New School Year

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Are you sprinting to finish summer reading? Did you have fun with Arbordale’s summer activities? And the big question, are you ready for school to start again?

If summer reading didn’t go as planned, here are a few tips and tricks to make reading fun in the new school year.

  • Always have books available. Make trips to the library a regular part of your weekly routine. Discover new books and classic favorites.
  • Continue reading daily and listen to your child read. For shy children, have them read to a sibling, the dog, the cat, the goldfish, or their favorite toy.
  • Literacy is not just reading but writing too! Have crayons, pencils, markers and paper available. Write letters and help them to mimic your writing. Have your child draw and tell you a story as they illustrate it.
  • Ask your child questions about the stories. Get them to think about what they are reading in fun and different ways.
  • Be a reader! Let your child see you reading or have quiet family reading time.
  • Let children read for enjoyment.
  • Talk to kids about what they are reading.
  • Read the book before watching the movie

Zoo_187Test out these tips with Arbordale’s free Summer Reading ebooks that will be available through September 15th. And don’t forget we always have one free ebook of the month. In August we are going to the zoo with ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day!

Celebrate Summer Reading in the Great Outdoors

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It’s that time of year, kids are feeling antsy. Summer vacation is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean reading isn’t just a good book away. Once again, we have a great summer reading program with ten free ebooks not only to encourage reading, but also get kids outside playing! Check out the buggy science journal, bird nest build, and habitat scavenger hunt for outdoor adventures.

No matter where you live, through books kids can visit the forests, beaches or the zoo. Read our dual-language, interactive ebooks and tell us your favorite book below to enter to win a paperback copy of our summer reading library.

Follow #ArbordaleLovesSummer for book giveaways and other summer reading features  on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Happy Reading

Summer on the Shore: What’s the difference between sharks and dolphins?

bottlenose-dolphinThousands of people flock to the beaches for summer vacation, and it is a thrill to spot a shark or a dolphin from the sand. It can be tricky to determine which is which but here are a few similarities, differences, and fun facts about these sea creatures.

When a fin rises above the waves, note the angle.

A dolphin has a curved dorsal fin and a horizontal tail. They propel themselves up and down through the water taking in oxygen as they crest waves before disappearing below the water’s surface.

Sharks have a more triangular dorsal fin. Their tails are vertical, and it moves from side to side smoothly propelling the shark through the water.

thresher-sharkSince a shark is a fish they breathe under the water, but beware if a shark launches itself into the air, dinner is likely in its sights. Great White sharks have been caught on video chasing seals and other fast movers high into the air, although this is not a common sight to see from the beach.

A small number of bottlenose dolphins chase their food above water in a coordinated event called strand feeding. At low tide, a group of dolphins circles a school of fish until they propel themselves onto the beach and feed on the delicious fish and shrimp. Visitors to the South Carolina or Georgia coast may be lucky enough to see this event, but dolphins are very smart creatures and don’t often strand feed while people are around.

Here are a few books where you can learn more about sharks and dolphins!

Sharks and Dolphins:  A Compare and Contrast Book
SharksDolphinsSharks and dolphins both have torpedo-shaped bodies with fins on their backs. They slice through the water to grab their prey with sharp teeth. But despite their similarities, sharks and dolphins belong to different animal classes: one is a fish and gets oxygen from the water and the other is a mammal and gets oxygen from the air. Marine educator Kevin Kurtz guides early readers to compare and contrast these ocean predators through stunning photographs and simple, nonfiction text.

If a Dolphin Were a Fish
Dolphin_187Join Delfina the dolphin as she imagines that she becomes other sea animals: a fish, a sea turtle, a pelican, an octopus, a shark, even a manatee! The incredible morphing illustrations will have children laughing as they learn about the real differences between these ocean animals and their respective classes.

Shark Baby
SharkBaby_128“Who am I?” wonders Shark Baby. When his “mermaid’s purse” egg case is torn loose in a storm, he finds himself on a journey through different ocean habitats: kelp forests, coral reefs, and seagrass meadows. He learns what kind of shark he isn’t, but not what kind he is. He needs to find the “mermaid” to learn where he belongs, but the ocean is big and full of dangers. Will he find out who he is—and what he can do—in time?

Questions and Answers: Summer Science Journal

kittyA scientist is always at work posing questions and finding out why? Most recently an archaeozoologist, Wim Van Neer set out to find the origins of domesticating cats.

From artifacts, they knew that Egyptians valued cats and even shared their homes with the animals, but were they the first to domesticate the feline? A much older cat was found in a tomb in Cyprus. Is this the ancestor of our modern housecat?

The genetic tests show our housecats can be traced back to the Near Eastern Wildcat. The Egyptian cat mummies have a different subtype and so the research continues for this team. Even with some questions answered, there is always more to discover.

BigCat_187Author Scotti Cohn shares her home with a kitty or two. Before writing her book, Big Cat, Little Kitty, Scotti’s questions lead her down a different path. She researched the behavioral similarities of domestic and wild cats.

“Animal behavior is fascinating to me, whether we’re talking about pet cats and dogs or wild animals around the globe,” says Scotti. “I think my interest in animal behavior comes across in all of my Arbordale picture books. Why do wolves howl? How does a domestic cat’s behavior mimic that of a lion or tiger? What prompts animals to migrate? Why do animals form “partnerships”? I like being able to respond to those questions in a way that makes children eager to learn more.”

We know sometimes science seems overwhelming to kids and parents, but really asking questions and finding answers is fun! Summer is a great time to hone research skills, and test theories without the pressure that sometimes comes with school assignments.

cheetahHere are some tips:

Write it down: Start a science journal filled with questions just waiting to be answered

Research: Head to the library or a museum and find tools that help to fine tune your questions

Experiment: Set up simple experiments or observations to help come to a conclusion

Begin Again: What did you find out? Are there new questions waiting to be answered?

Read Big Cat, Little Kitty, as part of the Arbordale Summer Reading Program. Learn more about domestic and wild cats in the For Creative Minds section too!

Want to read about the origins of your kitty, learn more about the domestic cat study here.

 

Summer of Fun: Hey it’s only 99 cents!

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Do you want your child to go to the head of the class? We do too! That is why Arbordale Publishing has created Fun eReader, an online reading experience for kids and parents.

Each eBook brings nature, science and math into a story for young readers. If your child loves space, dinosaurs, or is fascinated by cats we have books filled with information tailor-made just for them. After that story, pages of fun activities help kids dive into some of the more complicated topics in the book creating a fun learning experience. Even parents can get in on the fun with memory games, or helping little ones make slime just like the creatures of the ocean.  These activities are opportunities for learning and family togetherness as parents relive their childhood memories and maybe even learn new facts right along with their kids! Although, when you are in need of a break and have mounds of laundry Fun eReader is a great way for kids to play and learn great reading skills in a safe digital environment complete with those answers to “why” and “how”.

Arbordale fully believes that creating a love for reading and sparking an interest in science and math at a young age is a recipe for success in shaping a child’s future.

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Start reading today with our Summer Reading special all 99 eBooks priced at 99 cents each through September 30th, and they are available through Fun eReader on Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arbordale.home) and iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/fun-ereader-picture-books/id500641356?mt=8).

Want to know more? Here are the features:

  • 99 Picture books available with bold easy-to-read text featuring stories with science and math themes
  • “For Creative Minds” a fact and activities section allows children to explore into the world of their favorite animal or character.
  • Read-aloud option can be turned on and off at any time during the story or speed control allows children to listen at their own pace.
  • Spanish and English language selection for language learning
  • More…button features videos, additional activities and related links
  • Create an account and access your eBook collection from any tablet or computer complete with all of these great features.
  • Compatible with iOS 6.0 on the ipad or 2.3 and up for Android

Visit www.arbordalepublishing.com to learn more about our mission to make science and math subjects loved by all!

“I love this app! My children are absolutely thrilled with the books and love learning about different animals, the ocean, and outer space.  I love that through reading stories, they are exploring science and math concepts. I have also used this app in my Spanish classes, and the students were very enthusiastic to learn and read with this fun app.” – Spanglish Baby

Pick a Classic Picture Book

Update! Update! You voted and congratulations to Little Skinks Tail, picked by Sylvan Dell Blog readers as our classic book.

Thank you to everyone one who sent in comments we love to hear your feedback!

The dog days of summer are here; across the country, cities are recording record heat waves, a perfect time for kid’s summer reading programs to hit full swing. While taking cover from the heat at a local bookstore, I perused the children’s section only to find classic picture books greet me at the end of the aisle.  Books with timeless characters and silly rhymes, that many adults learned to read with and now their children are learning to read with these same characters.

Although Sylvan Dell is a young publisher, and science and math are our favorite subjects, we hope that Sylvan Dell readers will share their favorites with their children someday. Help us pick a classic from our 70 titles, and we will feature the winner as an eBook of the month.