February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Dinosaurs, Bears, and Bees: Science for Elementary Readers │ JLG’s On the Radar

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

What Floats in a MoatWithout honeybees, much of our food supply would consist of corn, rice, and oats. Six muscles attached to your eye keep it from popping out. New volcanoes create mountains, islands, and land. Such are the facts gleaned from these amazing science nonfiction titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild.

BERRY, Lynne. What Floats in a Moat? illus. by Matthew Cordell. S & S. 2013. ISBN 9781416997634. JLG Level: E+ : Easy Reading (Grades 1–3).

“To cross a moat,” pronounced the goat, “we build a contraption to float.” Skinny the Hen suggests taking the drawbridge. “This is no time for a drawbridge. This is a time for science!” So begins a humorous series of rhyming experiments. Will Archie’s barrel ever float? Can he find a way to cross the moat?

MACAULAY, David. Eye: How It Works. Roaring Brook Pr. 2013. ISBN E+ : Easy Reading (Grades 1–3).

How does an eye actually work? Why are there two? If what you see is upside down and backward, how does the brain redirect the image? The functions of the eye are explained and diagramed during the course of a soccer match. Kids will find answers to their questions in an independent reader format, complete with supporting nonfiction text features.

Case of the Vanishing HoneybeesMARKLE, Sandra. The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery. Millbrook. 2013. ISBN 9781467705929. JLG Level:  SCE : Science Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6).

Across the world beekeepers are finding empty hives. Thousands of bees are missing. Where did they go? How does that impact the growth of the plants that must be pollinated by honeybees? What is killing the bees? Scientists have discovered that no simple answer exists. Explanations include overusing the bees, poor nutrition, fungus, pesticides, and environment; researchers are discovering more answers each day. Readers will also get ideas about how they can stop the decline of the honeybee.

Volcano RisingRUSCH, Elizabeth. Volcano Rising. illus. by Susan Swan. Charlesbridge. 2013. ISBN 9781580894081. JLG Level: NEK : Nonfiction Early Elementary (Grades K–2).

In 1943, a volcanic cone grew more than 1,000 feet in a cornfield in Paricutín, Mexico. As the newest volcano, scientists have been able to study the rapid growth of mountains that literally develop before their eyes. Modern researchers study these impressive and sometimes dangerous landforms in order to save lives and the environment in which they live. Accompanying Swan’s vivid illustrations, Rusch presents the informative text in easy reader and independent levels.

Eat Like a BearSAYRE, April Pulley. Eat Like a Bear. illus. by Steve Jenkins. Holt. 2013. ISBN9780805090390. JLG Level:  NEK : Nonfiction Early Elementary (Grades K–2).

From spring to early winter, a bear searches for food. Can you eat like a bear? Can you scratch, drink, or hunt like a bear? Short, action-packed sentences complement Jenkins’s cut and torn paper collages.

THIMMESH, Catherine. Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled: How Do We Know What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like?. Houghton Harcourt. 2013. ISBN 9780547991344. JLG Level: SCE : Science Nonfiction Elementary (Grades 2–6).

Scaly Spotted Feathered FrilledUntil we see a live dinosaur, artists will never be able to depict one with complete accuracy, but scientific evidence removes a great deal of guesswork. Paleoartists, who are often scientists as well, study research while they create illustrations of the ancient animals. Through the years, paleontologists have uncovered evidence that indicates they traveled in packs, had feathers, and lifted their tails instead of dragging them. Illustrated with paintings by experts in the field, the long-lasting fascination with dinosaurs is sure to continue, as readers renew their interest while increasing their scientific knowledge.

For audio/video versions of these booktalks, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com.


Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.