Tag Archives: Oceans

More Puffin Littles!

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Penguin Australia

These new Puffin collections for the younger readers in your mob are just terrific! Not so long ago I reviewed Puffin Little Cook: Snacks which took its place with our cookbooks to aid The Kid in her learning to be self-sufficient. These would be just as useful in her home school program as though her reading competence has exploded spectacularly, simpler information texts are still the ones I supply. Beautifully designed and with a format that lends itself to clear understanding of big concepts, this series will not only intrigue younger readers but will prove a valuable component in relevant classroom units.

Puffin Little Scientist: The Solar System

July 2020

  • ISBN: 9781760897031
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • RRP: $12.99

First up is this super exploration of our Solar System sectioned into easy-to-digest chapters starting with an overview and then of course details of our centrepiece, the sun. Following this, the planets are grouped together in their categories of rocky planets and gas giants concluding with a great section of fast facts. Each celestial body’s description begins with a simple fact spread and then goes onto to expand on various fascinating informational snippets.

Perfect for the budding astronomer, for your class unit on space for little ones or simply for those filled with scientific curiosity.

Puffin Little Scientist: Robotics

September 2020

ISBN: 9781760897680

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $12.99

Surely one of the hottest topics in schools with both little and big kids getting into this area of science, this is going to be a real boon for the programs involving those primary kiddos (such as those at my school).

Find out exactly what is a robot, what makes them work, robots in various settings e.g. home, agriculture, fire-fighting and more, programming and a whole lot more.

Aside from the kiddos, if like me you’re a bit of a robot novice this provides a terrific, easy-to-understand and comprehensive overview of this super interesting topic.

Puffin Little Explorer: The OceanSeptember 2020

ISBN: 9781760897666

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $12.99

From the heights of space to the depths of the sea, little scientists can explore underwater with this one, with facts that range from the biodiversity of the oceans to geographical features such as hydrothermal vents and seamounts. Readers will love the sections on Atlantis, the Arctic Ocean with creatures such as the narwhal (such a hugely popular creature with my students!) and additionally inspiration for protecting our precious oceans.

Again this would be a fabulous adjunct to any unit of work on the ocean as well your readers interested in the natural world.

Puffin Little Environmentalist: Composting July 2020

ISBN: 9781760897017

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $12.99

And last but certainly not least, particularly in view of the popularity of being more caring and mindful in our current parlous times, this valuable volume on the ways and means of composting will be gold for either units of work or indeed, your environmental group.

Carefully explaining the science of composting including concepts such as micro-organisms and the needed components as well as big issue ideas like greenhouse gases, your young activists will jump onto this and be keen to put their new knowledge into transformative action.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with these little books. In my experience, quality and contemporary non-fiction for our youngest readers is not always easy to come by and these with their attractive design and clear format are just fantastic additions to your shelves.

Highly recommended for curious minds from around six years upwards as well as inclusion in your classroom.

Jelly-Boy – Nicole Godwin/Christopher Nielsen

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Walker Books

February 2020

ISBN: 9781760651237
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

 

Thirty years ago today the Clean Up Australia event started and has gone from strength to strength helping our country become cleaner. Though the world at large is struggling under the massive impact of increased populations and waste there are still ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help redress the dire predicament in which we find ourselves. Witness the success of Boyan Slat and his Great Ocean Clean Up idea and Greta Thunberg’s impact on a world audience and we can have hope that the current generation will continue to work towards a cleaner healthier planet.

What better place to start then than with our little people and that’s where a gorgeous picture book like Jelly-Boy comes in. The littlest Early Childhood readers will be able to grasp the import of the dangers of plastic in the natural environment in a way which is not ‘preachy’ but rather an usual love story which is further elucidated in the facts page at the end of the book.

A little sea jelly decides that the new Jelly-Boy in the ocean is both attractive and special but before too long realises that this newcomer is not alone and in fact, is just one of a dangerous influx that poses a real threat to the natural ocean ecosystem.

I well remember living in the ACT when plastic bags were first banned and the ridiculous furore that ensued – repeated here in Queensland in the past year or so. But for some of us rejecting single use plastics as often as possible was not only de rigeur but just plain commonsense.  Luckily the majority of citizens have realised the good sense of such innovations and our children are growing up with not only an acceptance but an understanding of the reasons for such moves.

If you are working on units that encompass care of the environment, recycling or similar – or perhaps simply as an adjunct to your teaching small humans the meaning of being responsible in their world this is a superb book on which to base your discussions.

Highly recommended for all readers from around 3 years upwards.

 

Australian Backyard Earth Scientist – Peter Macinnis

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9780642279347

NLA

February 2019

ISBN:   9780642279347

 

RRP: $29.99

It’s taken a long time to get this beauty into my hands but at last I have been able to savour it’s wealth of information and there are two reasons why it’s most timely to be able to review it now.

One is that the esteemed author has just picked up the Educational Publishing award for a student resource – jolly well done Peter! Secondly, the school holidays are approaching which is frabjous news for some of us (educators) but perhaps not so much for parents who may be dreading the ‘I’m borrrrrrrrred’ refrain and this volume will  prove to be the perfect choice for any curious reader of around ten years upwards.

With his habitual diligence, dedication to accuracy, passion for science and nature and an unerring ability to engage and interest his audience, Peter takes his readers on a wide-ranging virtual field trip from the beginnings of Earth to the current concerns of climate change.  Throughout youngsters will be treated to fun facts, easy to understand explanations, fun and interesting projects to complete themselves as well as a veritable treasure trove of earth science information.

Peter’s particular passion for sharing his knowledge and often quirky snippets is well known amongst his friends (much to our continued delight and amazement!) but it is his commitment to bringing science to young people that is absolutely one of his most stellar qualities.

As is to be expected from all the NLA’s catalogue this a quality production all round with styling, illustrations, diagrams and layout all completely ‘en pointe’ and children will thoroughly revel in dipping into their favourite sections.  As long as parents don’t mind a little digging, observing, tracking or requests for outings to places of natural interest, all holiday ‘woes’ will be solved and who knows? may well be fostering a life long love of all things scientific.

I highly recommend this for readers from around ten years upwards though the age is fluid – any able reader will relish it and that includes curious, interested adults.

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Down by the sea…

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It may be winter but living near the sea does have its advantages especially when you are in Queensland so my mood today is for those things that are of the ocean.

Tropical Terry – Jarvis

terry

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781406376425
Imprint: Walker
Release Date: July 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $24.99

Terry is a very plain little fish who lives with his friends Cilla the crab and Steve the sea snail in a beautiful tropical reef. The three friends have great fun playing their games and Terry is particularly adept at ‘Hide-a-fish’. But Terry is not happy. The glamorous and colourful tropical fish completely ignore him as well as his friends and Terry wishes he could impress them instead of being so nondescript.

Then he devises a wonderful plan. He collects all kinds of marvellous adornments and his friends help him to stick them on and voila! Terry is transformed into one of the flashy fish he so envies. That all works very well. The tropical fish are in great admiration and Terry is soon so busy swanning (finning?) around with them all that he neglects his friends until Eddie the eel comes cruising by looking for dinner. While all the truly tropical fish swim away Terry is just too slow with all his additional bits and pieces. Thankfully his friends remind him of their games and as soon as Terry ditches his disguise and resumes his place as the expert at ‘Hide-a-fish’ Eddie is thwarted and suddenly the glamour crew realise that even a plain little fish does have some great qualities.

A lovely and fun story about being true to yourself that is very suitable for readers from Prep upwards.

Is it a Mermaid? – Candy Gourlay/Francesca Chessa

isit

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781910959121
Imprint: Otter-Barry Books
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

Dugongs are a very relevant local topic here as Moreton Bay is an area in which they can be found (I’ve yet to see one but always hope!) and they are also an at risk species in their various habitats. In olden days sailors mistook them for mermaids and one particular dugong has taken this on board.

Benji and Bel are playing by the sea when they spot a dugong and get very excited. The dugong however insists she is a mermaid and demonstrates all her mermaid-ish attributes – tail, flippers, singing, grace and beauty. None of this convinces Benji who rather hurts her feelings by insisting she’s a SEA COW.

But all is forgiven when Benji apologises and the children have wonderful fun playing all day long with their new friend – the mermaid.

Set in the Philippines the book concludes with some relevant information about dugongs and the ways in which young readers can help protect the dugongs’ natural habitats of sea meadows.  Bright illustrations in an almost naïve style help the readers to visualise the waters in which these marvellous animals can be found.

Highly recommended for readers from around Prep upwards and a perfect addition to a unit on endangered animals for younger students.

 

Julian is a Mermaid – Jessica Love

julian

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781406380637
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99

It’s not just dugongs who like to pretend they are mermaids. When Julian goes out with his Nana and sees some women dressed so gorgeously as ‘mermaids’ he is so entranced that he can’t wait to try it out himself. Back at home while Nana has a bath Julian sets about transforming himself using rather a lot of Nana’s household objects such as ferns and curtains. He feels wonderful but is a little worried about his grandmother’s reaction both to using her things and making a little mess but also just to his desire to be like the beautiful woman.

Not to worry as good grandmothers understand such things and not only does Nana approve but validates his dressing up with some beautiful beads and off they go to show off Julian’s transformation.

This a gentle and whimsical story about self-confidence and being true to yourself while also introducing the concept of acceptance of non-binary children.

A very timely addition to any collection with some valuable reflections to be shared with young readers in the early years.

A First Book of the Sea – Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Emily Sutton

firstbookofsea

Walker Books

ISBN: 9781406368956
Imprint: Walker
Release Date: July 1, 2018
Australian RRP: $29.99
New Zealand RRP: $32.99

In a truly lovely collaboration between write and illustrator this anthology celebrates the majesty of the sea in all its aspects. From the creatures that dwell in it to the sailing ships of old readers can spend hours swimming with dolphins or fishing for dinner, investigating the dark depths or reflecting on the impact of pollution of the seas.

Surfing, pearl diving, lighthouses, harbours, journeys, the Beaufort scale, and much, much more wash across the pages amidst striking and beautiful watercolour illustrations.

From the polar seas to the tropics all manner of topics are covered in the poems that are not only lyrical but often informative.

What a beautiful addition to a poetry collection for young readers!

This comes with a high recommendation for young readers of all ages from around four years upwards. Little ones will delight in the words and pictures and older ones will likewise revel in the imagery created.