Bibliographies, Information, General Books


I don’t know how or where the photographer got so close to so many animals but I am AMAZED by reading

Animal Ark

A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate mix of poetry and prose of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world.
Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature’s markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore’s lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.”

The photos inside are amazeballs and the poetry, written by Kwame Alexander, will delight even the youngest animal lover. The sloth, frogs, creepy snakes and bugs to leopards all get center stage with these beautiful full color images. So much animal goodness!

Many thanks to National Geographic for bringing us photos of animals we may never see in real life.


Books Children

NatGeoKids Real or Fake? by Emily Krieger

NatGeoKids Real or Fake?

Real or Fake

Far-out fibs, fishy facts, and phony photos to test for the truth


Here’s a fun book from National Geographic KiDS that kid will LOVE. Like all NGK books, Real or Fake contains great color photos with fun facts and wild interesting information that you might not learn about otherwise.  Here’s an example: An octopus that lives in trees in the US Pacific Northwest. Real or Fake?  The answer? Fake! Why? Because just like Bigfoot, it’s a made up thing. How about Chester the chimp who can play a guitar specially designed for him. The answer? Fake! As funny as it sounds, chimps can do many things but they sadly, cannot learn to play and sing because they don’t have the fine motor skills that humans have. But how funny would that be?

Is there really a place called Humpty Doo, Australia? Yes. What about Batman, Turkey? Yes. Cheeseburger, Wisconsin? Fake. What about Firenadoes? Is that a thing?

You’ll hafta Google it to find out.  In the meantime, grab several copies of this book because when you bring this book home everyone’s going to want to read it!

Did you know you can get a job as a pet food taster?




Holiday Gift Guide Lists

Holiday Shopping Made Easy: books for your little scientist

Looking for something for your future Tesla, Einstein, or Madame Curie? Check these out:

Scientists Collage

Put a little science under the tree this year.



Books Children

Fun in the Kitchen with Edible Science (Nat Geo Kids)

Do you have a budding scientist in your house? Well if you’re like me, you love food, but did you know that cooking is a form of science?

Also, what did you think of Brain Games? Pretty interesting, right?

Don’t you love the brain?

Both books are perfect for homeschoolers!

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children

Get the Kids Back to School Ready with NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

I love NatGeo! They have the best books for kids who love nonfiction. If your little one doesn’t like to read or only likes to look at the pictures or will only read nonfiction, National Geographic has something for them. So here’s an idea, why not celebrate the end of summer with a Safari Party starring National Geographic books? Think of it as a bookclub with cake.

First grab these two books.

Hoops to Hippos: True Stories of A Basketball Star on Safari!

NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

This clever book is an easy to read chapter books that chronicles Boris Diaw’s journey to become an NBA player with his love of photographing animals.  It’s such a cute book and who doesn’t love the name Boris?

Then add

National Geographic Kids Animal Records

National Geographic Kids - Animal Records

This book has your name written all over it: the grossest, biggest, ugliest, fastest animals are all documented in this gem. The photos are so amazing (and gross) that your kids will return to this book forever! Who knew learning could be this fun?

Then, after you’ve collected these two books, pick some facts from the book, head out to the backyard and set up a safari for your young animal lovers.

Send kids on a scavenger hunt in the back yard. Have them find items that are:

  • smooth
  • scratchy
  • brown
  • blue
  • wet
  • cold
  • noisy
  • etc, use your imagination!

Kids can either collect these items in a paper bag or (even better) encourage them to draw these items as they find them in their natural habitat.  What’s more fun than sitting in the backyard drawing and coloring?

Teach kids how to use binoculars so they can see birds and bugs from far away.

Teach kids how to read a compass. Draw a map and have kids search for treasure (ok this is like a pirate but who doesn’t love pirates)!

Serve plenty of water and have lots of sunscream (as my little one called it) on hand because the jungle is sunny and hot. Also, be sure to discuss how we don’t want to interfere with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. This is a great opportunity to talk to them about preservation, conservation, and anything else you think is vital to keeping these gorgy creatures alive.

There’s always room for a teachable moment, right? While you’re at it, why not develop their budding photography skills like Boris did? You might not capture a wild dog like Boris did, but maybe you’ll capture that wild friendly pooch of yours doing something silly?

This is a safari everyone can enjoy and what a way to start back to school, right?




Camping, Rocks, and Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth

Let’s talk about dirt and rocks!

How fun is it to dig around in the dirt searching for buried treasure or feeling the coolness of the deeper layers of soil underneath the top soil?

While I personally don’t like dirt under my fingernails, I am 100% convinced that kids need to play outside and dig in the soil, explore and generally engage their inner mini scientists.  Their imaginations are set free by discovering the textures, smells, and tastes (gross, I know) of playing outside.

I know many of you are winding down your summer so why not plan a camp out to celebrate the earth? I have the perfect book to center your camp out party around:

Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty Planet Earth

Dirtmeister's Nitty Gritty Planet Earth by  Steve Toemcek

The Dirtmeister aka Steve Tomecek is a geologist.  A geologist is someone who studies rocks. I’m thinking at this campout party you don’t want to dig up your yard but maybe you could find a way around that.

As a matter of fact, I think you can! Why not set up some sensory bins, fill them with rocks or beans and hide shiny pretty marbles or pennies or plastic toys in them? Grab some spoons or shovels or cups and start digging!

Then on a much needed water break, wash hands (always wash hands before touching a book please) and then dig in to Dirtmeister’s book! You’ll learn all about volcanoes (let’s make one!), different kinds of rocks (who knew?), and earthquakes.  Try some of the super experiments from the book!

Let’s get digging, you never know what you might uncover, maybe a rare diamond? Maybe a future geologist in the making? How hot is a volcano? Why are there earthquakes? What does a moon rock taste like? Who knows!

Dirtmeister knows.

And now so will you.

Get digging!