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?

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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.

Summer Reading Rewards

The Sylvan Dell offices are buzzing with excitement today! June kicks off Summer Reading. We are offering two free movie tickets with the purchase of an eLibrary, and rewarding reading by giving away prizes each week.

Over the course of the next two months go on a road trip with Sylvan Dell from the depths of the ocean then blast into outer space. Every two weeks we will be featuring a new free eBook. For the first two weeks, we are offering Animals are Sleeping for the new reader, and in coordination with the American Library Association theme of the month. Then explore the ocean with Ocean Hide and Seek, seek out where animals live in Habitat Spy, climb into the clouds with A Day on the Mountain and finally blast into space with Solar System Forecast, a Sylvan Dell new release.

With this exciting news, we have also developed a new Sylvan Dell iPad app available for purchase in the iTunes store. Now you can read your favorite Sylvan Dell books on the go. Just like our website the iPad app has auto-flip features audio available in English and Spanish as well as access to our quizzes and For Creative Minds sections.

As you know at Sylvan Dell, we are committed to make learning adventurous, especially when nature is in full bloom. To prevent the “summer-slide” make reading fun with activities, and keep checking with Sylvan Dell for great rewards throughout the summer.  Click here and send us a short story about which Sylvan Dell books is your favorite and what makes this books so special. You will win three of Sylvan Dell’s latest books.