Title: Citizen Scientists
Written by: Loree Griffin Burns
Photographs by: Ellen Harasimowicz
Reviewed by: Alexander J., Grade 4
This book shows that anyone can go in their back yard and do scientific things, like studying different parts of nature. You don't have to be a professional scientist or naturalist to do it.
The book starts with four chapters; Fall butterflying, winter birding, spring frogging and summer ladybugging. Each chapter has its own story, then a quick quiz to see if you can identify the facts you learned. The last page of each chapter is a page called "When You Go" that gives you a list of things you should bring when you do the different activities. It also has helpful hints like don't put bug spray on your hands when you want to handle the insects you find.
In the back of the book there are resources for different books, field guides and web sites that help you find everything you need to know about butterflies, birds, frogs and ladybugs. There is also a glossary that shows a lot of different words in alphabetical order that lists what tools and terms that citizen scientists can use.
I learned how to photograph ladybugs, tag butterflies and count frog calls (I already knew how to go birding). When I first read about ladybugs, it said in the story that they were going to be chilling them and I was surprised and wondered how to do that. It turns out that they put them in a vial and then a cooler to stop them from moving so that they could be photographed. I was also amazed that the little vials they put ladybugs in have no holes for air, but they contain enough air for a ladybug to live for several days without the cap being opened.
I also learned that you can count frogs by listening to their individual calls. At first I thought that you had to find the frogs in order to count them, but if you're listening and then hear a frog call coming from somewhere else, then that's a new frog.
I also learned how to tag Monarch butterflies which is cool. The tag is a light sticker and you place it on the discal cell in order to track their route. You can even put messages on the tags so you can send them to someone in a different country. It's the same idea as a message in a bottle, except on land with butterflies.
In the book there are some illustrations but mostly photographs. The photos show whats happening in the chapter. For example, in the butterfly chapter there are photographs of butterflies and caterpillars and also people with butterfly nets catching and tagging butterflies.
The photographs were helpful, especially for the frogs because it was talking about all these different types of frogs but I didn't know what they looked like. The photographs helped because each frog had its own picture with a caption below telling what type it was.
I would recommend this book to people who like nature and animals. Especially if they don't know how to do activities in nature or how to get started with them.
Reviewed by: Janiah A., Grade 5
This book is about different types of species. The book tells you where the species go and does all year. It tells you where you could see them a lot too. It tells you also how to help scientists discover more about the species as well. This book does in fact tell a story and tells who has impacted on the species. This book mainly reports facts on the animals and insects.This book is organized by chapter. The first thing in every chapter is what a class or a family and people did involving the particular species.
I learned more about butterflies,birds,frogs and ladybugs. A new fact about butterflies is the they only live for about a week and a half. One other fact that intrigued me was about frogs was that a lot of frogs now have deformity problems.Some of them do because they have been in an accident or have been hurt by a predator. I have more questions about how you can help frogs with their deformities.
The photographs of the animals and insects were great! I loved them. They definitely added a lot to my reading experience.
I felt like this book helped me and encouraged me to go outside and get into nature and see what kinds of things I can find. Yes I am going to recommend this book to others. It's great for gardeners too. I think people who are into nature and like to know new facts about different types of things out there would enjoy this book.
Title: Red Sings from Treetops
Written by: Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by: Pamela Zagarenski
Reviewed by: Daniel M.
The book is about all the colors in each season that makes it that specific season. The main message is to pay attention to each season and look for all the colors that work together to make it that season.
The setting is each season in a year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. It is important because in the book, Red is singing about the colors in each season.
Color is a main character and changes as each season passes by. It grows darker, brighter or it goes away for a specific season.
The pictures do help tell the story because it shows what each season looks like. It shows all the things that are in a season and the colors.
I would recommend this book because it's a good book and helps us see each season in color.
Title: Owen and Mzee: The Language of Friendship
Authors: Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hathoff, Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Photographer: Peter Greste
Reviewed by: Makayla T., Grade II
It is a true story about a tortoise and a hippopotamus that were very good friends. A tsunami came and destroyed the hippo Owen's family. Owen was by himself. Someone found him and put him in a park. Then he met Mzee and they became very good friends. They made up their own sign language and made up their own sounds so they could communicate. The Dr. was afraid the hippo thought he was a tortoise. The Dr. put him with another tortoise named Cleo. Cleo, Toto, Owen and Mzee were like a family. You can be friends even if you are different!
I learned that friendship is good. I learned that a Tsunami is a very big wave. I learned that different people and animals can be friends.
The photo are nice because they show how Owen and Mzee are friends.
like this book. I might read it again. I would tell kids that like animals to read it.
Title: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Author/Illustrator: Eric Carle
Reviewed by: Myla T., Grade I
The book was about a hungry caterpillar. The caterpillar ate a lot! Monday until Friday he ate healthy food. Then he ate a lot of junk food like cherry pie, a lollipop, and a cupcake. Then he got really fat because he ate junk food! After that he built a cocoon and turned into a butterfly!
(The story takes place) outside during the warm weather. Caterpillars can't turn into a butterfly when it's cold!
The very hungry caterpillar started as a caterpillar and ended as a butterfly.
Pictures helped me read the book. I like the book.
Title: If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet
Author: Leslie McGuirk
Illustrator: Leslie McGuirk
Reviewed by: Sarah H,, Grade II/III
Leslie McGuirk collected many beautiful rocks, and she used in them in a book to show the alphabet. For example, "A is for addition," or "R is for rabbit," and the letters and pictures are made of rocks.
Some little rocks can make big things. Rocks come in so many shapes and and sizes that they can look like almost anything, like clouds.
I thought it was cool that Leslie McGuirk found all the rocks. I would recommend this book because it is not an ordinary alphabet. I would recommend this book to easy readers.
Title: Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Beth Krommes
Reviewed by Nikolas C., Grade III
Swirl by Swirl is about spirals that you can find in nature. The book says that a spiral is a growing shape. It starts small and gets bigger. It's all through the seasons. For example, spirals are in the forest, in the ocean and in space.
A spiral can be found in a nautilus shell. A nautilus forms its home by curling around itself as it grows, adding to itself as it grows. A nautilus shell is a very beautiful shell. I've always wanted to see it.
I like the illustrations because they look so real and it has so many swirls, like the book is actually made of swirls.
I like this book because my school mascot is the nautilus shell. I think the nautilus shell represents learning because like the nautilus shell expands and gets bigger and bigger, your mind gets bigger and bigger with learning. I give Swirl by Swirl 4 million starts because it's a thoughtful book and there are so many good illustrations and it's just what I like.
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