Sunday, May 1, 2011

Explore Spring - 25 Great Ways To Learn About Spring: A Book Review



About The Book:

From tracking spring peepers and raising tadpoles to learning about seeds and recording plant growth, this activity book invites young readers to explore the wonders of spring by becoming scientists in the field.
Combining hands-on learning with solid science, trivia, riddles, and terrific illustrations, projects investigate “the reason for the season” and include identifying trees and measuring their growth, recording soil temperature, and observing the forest floor. Bird migration and nest building are covered, and the movement of air and water is studied with experiments in capillary action and in such activities as “Making Parachutes,” Making Kites,” and “Mapping Air Currents with Bubbles.”
Check out this great activity from Explore Spring!
About The Author:
Lauri Berkenkamp is the author of five books for kids. Writing under the pen name Maxine Anderson she has written Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself, which was excerpted in the New York Times Book Review and Christian Science Monitor, chosen as the #7 BookSense Children’s Pick for Summer 2006 and named Book of the Year by the Society for School Librarians International in 2006; Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself, which was excerpted in Boys’ Life magazine and called “a fascinating gem of a book” by the New York Times Book Review; Explore Spring and Explore Winter, which were chosen as Parents’ Choice Recommended Books for 2007, and Discover the Amazon, which will be released by Nomad Press in December 2008.
Questions and Answers with Maxine Anderson, author of Explore Spring! 25 Great Ways to Learn about Spring 
Q:  How or why did you become interested in writing about the seasons (or spring season)? 
A: I live in a part of the United States that is cold for almost six months of the year, and I really look 
forward to spring. I started thinking about all the changes that happen in the natural world during 
spring, and realized that there was a lot about the changing seasons that I didn’t understand. So I 
decided to learn more about what makes seasons change and what happens when they do.  
Q:  In researching the book, what information surprised you the most?  
A:  I never really understood why spring weather can change so quickly from cold to warm and back 
again.  It was fascinating to learn that spring weather is unpredictable because the cold, damp air 
coming from the earth interacts with the dry, warm air from the sun—it’s the combination that makes 
spring full of thunderstorms and windy weather! 
Q:  What purpose do the activities serve in the book? 
A: Kids learn more when they try things for themselves. By showing kids how to do an experiment 
or project rather than telling them what will happen, they can learn for themselves why things 
happen. I know I learn things better when I try a project myself. 
Q:  What activity in the book do you find the most fun to do? 
A: One of my favorite activities is the migration race. It really helped me understand why some 
animals can travel so far when they migrate, and why some don’t go very far at all. If I had to crawl 
on the ocean floor to get where I was going like lobsters do, I wouldn’t migrate very far, either!  
Q: What facts about spring did you find the most surprising or interesting? 
A:  I loved learning about spring weather and why it is so unpredictable. I also didn’t realize that 
most animal babies are born in spring and ready to take care of themselves by the time fall comes 
around. They go from babies to adults in only a couple of months! 

About The Illustrator:
Alexis Frederick-Frost is an award winning cartoonist and illustrator who lives with his wife in a small house near the New Hampshire seacoast. On a drafting table next to the kitchen he creates comics that have been published in comic anthologies, magazines, on the web, and as graphic novels. His comic about cycling, “La Primavera” received the Xeric award for self-published comics. In addition to drawing, he teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. To see more of his work please visit his website:http://www.cartoonstudies.org/FrederickFrost
My Review:
This is a fantastic resource for all elementary classrooms, as well as for homeschooling families. It includes the following six chapters:
 Introduction: Let's Investigate Spring!
1. The Sun Makes Seasons
2. Green, Green, Green
3. Trees and Leaves
4. Animals On The Move
5. Spring Is For Babies
6. Spring Weather
Each chapter has a ton of information to teach your children all about the season of Spring. You will learn about baby animals, dirt, how trees grow, and so much more through fun activities like making your own paper, keeping a science journal and how to go on a camaflouge treasure hunt! There is a great glossary and list of other resources that you can use to explore science. This is part of the Explore Your World Series, that includes book about Seasons, Ancient World and Space.
Although my children are only 4.5 and 2.5, I was able to modify a few of the projects, including Carnation Creation, Camaflouge Treasure Hunt and Making a Wind Chime.
If you are looking for a great book to add to your science curriculum I highly recommend this book! I give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Explore Spring by Maxine Anderson online through Amazon
****I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Nomad Press, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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