The Green Mother Goose

April 27, 2011

The Green Mother Goose

By Jan Peck and David Davis

Illustrated by Carin Berger

Sterling Publishing; Sterling Children’s Books, 2011

ISBN #978-1-4027-6525-4

Picture book

Besides The Green Mother Goose, Jan Peck and David Davis are the authors of many other books for children. I’ve seen their terrific school visit program, too, and it’s a fun one.

“Together we’ll do it—

We’ll help save the Earth,

Our emerald home,

The place of our birth.

Come now, rhyme with me,

Let’s turn our hearts loose,

And fly ‘round the world

With Green Mother Goose.”

This clever, creative book takes a look at classic nursery rhymes and makes them “green.” The suggestions in each rhyme explain or provide ways that everyone can help improve the Earth. Rather than preaching about saving the Earth, the information is available for the taking in a fun-filled, short rhyme that will stay with you. Authors Peck and Davis surely had great fun matching rhymes with green ideas.

The Green Mother Goose is a great book to open dialogue with kids about the Earth, recycling, and what they can do on their own. The rhymes cover the simplest steps, like recycling, to the more complex additions of windmills and solar panel additions. It also opens the discussion of new vocabulary, for the book is rich in terms related to helping the environment.

The whimsical appeal of the art serves to focus and expand on the ideas behind the writing and sets a perfect tone for the book. The cut paper collage comes from “found papers and ephemera.” The book is produced with a “practice what you preach” style mentioned on the credits page.

The Green Mother Goose lends itself to a unit for Earth Day, reading, units on the environment, recycling, story time, and introducing the National Science Standards about organisms and their environments and changes in environments. It would make a fun poetry memorizing unit and a wonderful Reader’s Theater production. I can also see it in a PTA program and school wide presentation produced by the students—especially for Earth Day activities.

It’s delightful to pick up a book and really love it. This is one of those books. It would be an excellent lesson if paired with the original Mother Goose nursery rhymes. What a fun discussion!

 Activity 1

Choose one of the rhymes from the book. Identify the environmental concept from the new rhyme and research it to find more information. Write a paragraph explaining the problem and suggest some ways to help.

Activity 2

Make a list of activities mentioned in the book to help save the Earth. Create a poster suggesting things kids can do to help the environment and Earth. Decorate the poster with cut paper collage similar to the art in the book.

Saving the Earth suggestions

Activities to help

National Geographic’s green tips

National Science Standards: organisms and the environment; changes in environments

Book from my own autographed library collection. Jan and David signed it at TLA!


The Shocking Truth About ENERGY

October 6, 2010

The Shocking Truth About Energy

By Loreen Leedy

Holiday House, 2010

ISBN #978-0-8234-2220-3

Grades K-3

Nonfiction

“Hi, there! My name is Erg, and I’m pure ENERGY! Everybody loves a powerhouse like me. In fact, people want more and more ENERGY every day. That’s because I make everything happen. The funny thing is, I’m everywhere! The hard part is…”

 

This book is an excellent introduction to energy, the forms it takes, and how we use it. The cartoon like Erg narrates the simple, comprehensive book in an easy to understand text and sidebars and caption bubbles add further information. Following each energy form, including light, muscle, fossil fuels, electricity (and global warming), nuclear, solar, wind, water, geothermal, and plants, a side by side comparison chart shows advantages and disadvantages. The book concludes with a short discussion of ways to save energy and why. Back matter include web links, more detail, saving energy tips, and fossil fuel information.

The publisher says the book is for younger audiences, but I loved it and can see it read by older kids, too. It is succinct and complete, and a wonderful resource. I’d love to see it in every library in this energy-conscious age.

Activity

I won’t reinvent the wheel when these teachers have suggested such excellent activities.

Try one of them!

Teacher activity suggestions from Holiday House with great resources.

Coloring page from Leedy’s website.

More from Leedy’s site.

Here’s where she mentions SimplyScience!

Websites listed on the Holiday House site:

www.proteacher.org/c/409_Energy.html

www.solarenergy.org/students-and-educators

http://www.depweb.state.pa.us/justforkids/cwp/view.asp?q=472538

Here’s an excellent companion book by Anastasia Suen that follows electricity from its source to our homes and includes another activity. I reviewed it earlier. Check out the activity I suggested. It would be a great follow-up to this book:

Wired

Author: Anastasia Suen   Illustrator: Paul Carrick
ISBN: 
978-1-57091-599-4
Ages: 6  - 9

 

National Science Standard: light, heat, electricity, and magnetism

Book provided by publisher for Librarian’s Choices Book review committee.


31 Ways to Change the World

July 7, 2010

31 Ways to Change the World

By 4,386 children, we are what we do, and YOU!

Candlewick, 2010

Walker Books, London, 2008

ISBN #9780763645069

Ages 8-12

Nonfiction

Changing the World

“Changing the world seems like a pretty massive task. Not the sort of thing you squeeze in before breakfast or check off while you’re tying your shoelaces. “Yup, done. Next job!’ Right?

Wrong! It turns out that there’s tons of things you can do that don’t take long at all but that can really change things. Big Things.”

The book’s introduction continues on to give fascinating statistics about lifetime activities that leads to the point that what an individual does can have a huge impact on the world. The premise is that small actions multiplied by lots of people will equal big change. Emphasis on the small things kids can do in a short amount of time fills the introductory spread and is followed by the actions provided by real kids.

The book is kid-friendly and fun to read, whether it’s in order or simply jumping around. Each action fills a two page spread with a short paragraph explaining the action and fun, brightly colored photos that complement the action. A wide variety of actions prompt the reader to get started and everyone can easily find an action that he or she can take to start their own contribution to changing the world. The final action is left open and provides the prompt for the reader to add his or her own action. Then he or she can go to the website and add it to the list, telling the world. The final pages recap the actions and explain more about We Are What We do and what’s next.

I can see a teacher, parent, or librarian reading one action a day and challenging the kids to keep track of the ones they do. This book is fun and can set the tone for educating children about their place and responsibility in their world.

Activity 1

Have each person create a chart of the actions from the book. You may want to set it up with an X and Y axis. Then, as they perform one of the actions, they can place a symbol to show they’ve done that action.

Activity 2

Write actions that you can take to change your world.

Excellent link to a number of educational and support resources for changing the world.

It’s Nonfiction Monday over at Abby (the) Librarian. Check out all the great books at the roundup.

National Science Standard: changes in environment; regulation and behavior

Book provided by publisher for Librarian’s Choices Book Review Committee, TWU


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