Pipsie Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar One Day Giveaway

Congratulations to the winner of this giveaway, Stephanie Jacobsen from Maine!

Spring has just arrived, and soon it will be time to discover butterflies in your garden just like Pipsie. Today I am giving away this new book by Two Lions Publishing to one lucky winner. Simply leave a comment on this post. If you share my Facebook post about this giveaway on your Facebook status, you’ll receive TEN extra entries. I will announce the winner at 5 pm today, March 24, 2015 on our Facebook Page. The winner must email his or her mailing address within 24 hours or a new winner will be selected. So check Facebook and/or your email at 5 pm!

Thank you to Two Lions – Amazon Publishing for making this giveaway possible!

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Cover image – Courtesy of Two Lions

Pipsie Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar

•    Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary (Ages 5-8)
•    Genre: Fiction, Picture Book
•    Author: Rick DeDenato
•    Illustrator: Tracy Bishop
•    Publisher: Two Lions
•    Publication Date: March 31, 2015
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 8.5″ x 11″
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 38 Pages
•    Retail: $17.99
•    ISBN: 978-1477826300

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© Copyright – Inside Spread Courtesy of Two Lions

A Metamorphosis Mystery

Pipsie is a curious little girl who loves animals and solving mysteries. One day Pipsie notices that Alfred, her turtle has some mysterious yellow and black stripes on his head. With her magnifying glass, she discovers that it’s a small caterpillar! She names her Frannie, and she sure is a hungry little insect. She eats non-stop and grows 1000 times bigger in just ten days! But one day, Frannie is nowhere to be found. Pipsie and Alfred look everywhere for their caterpillar friend but just can’t find her. Looking for answers, they go to the zoo to ask the bug expert about caterpillars, and he shows them what a chrysalis looks like and explains what is happening to Frannie. But can Pipsie and Alfred find Frannie’s chrysalis in their backyard? Or is Frannie gone forever?

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© Copyright – Inside Spread Courtesy of Two Lions

What This Book Teaches

What I love about Pipsie is that she shows readers that it’s wonderful to be smart and curious about the world. By asking questions and seeking answers, there are so many wonderful facts about plants and animals just waiting to be discovered. In addition to the charming story, there are facts about the life cycle of the monarch in the back of the book.

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© Copyright – Inside Spread Courtesy of Two Lions

Why You Should Buy This Book

Kids love a mystery, and along with Pipsie  readers can try to figure out what happened to the caterpillar, and all the while learn about the life cycle of the butterfly. Children will love admiring the colorful, lovely watercolor illustrations too. Pipsie Nature Detective: The Disappearing Caterpillar offers the perfect combination of entertainment and education to keep budding scientists interested in the story. This book encourages kids to get outside to explore the natural world around them, and isn’t that the best kind of book of all?

About the Author

A1zT6yc04pL._UX250_Rick DeDonato started writing and drawing storybooks for his two kids, Alexis and Matt, when they were little. They’re grown now, but Rick is still creating stories! When he’s not dreaming up adventures for Pipsie, he’s an award-winning creative director in advertising. Born in New Jersey, he now lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with Nancy McAleer; their two dogs, Tugger and Nacho; and their turtle, Alfred E. Turtle!

About the Illustrator

a2e0e18bc0d27fd5-96-1Tracy Bishop won an art contest in kindergarten, and she’s been creating art ever since. A graduate of San Jose State University, she is also the illustrator of Not the Quitting Kind by Sarra J. Roth. She lives in San Jose, California, where she is inspired on a daily basis by her son, husband, and a hairy dog named Harry.

Further Learning

  1. Check out this amazing book about bugs called Bugs: A Stunning Pop-Up Look at Insects, Spiders, and Other Creepy Crawlers.
  2. Learn how to attract butterflies to your garden.
  3. Learn about the life cycle of the butterfly.

Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy

Softcover

Cover image – Courtesy of Annick Press

Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy

•    Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle School (Ages 9-12)
•    Genre: Non-Fiction, Science
•    Author: Shaker Paleja
•    Illustrator: Glenda Tse
•    Publisher: Annick Press
•    Publication Date: April 7, 2015
•    Binding: Paperback
•    Dimensions: 8″ x 10″
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length:56 Pages
•    Retail: $12.95
•    ISBN: 978-1554517275

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“You can use up things like wind and water, because they’re naturally replenished or renewable. Different technologies can convert these natural types of energy into forms we can use.”

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© Copyright – Image courtesy of Annick Press

Energy – Past, Present & Future

We rely upon energy day in and out, but how often do we think about where that energy comes from or how it even works? Through colorful diagrams, charts and other illustrations, fascinating facts and figures, Power Up! teaches middle readers the basics of energy – its past, present and future. Learn about the history of energy, renewable (solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal) and non-renewable (oil, coal, natural gas) sources of energy as well as new energy sources. Facts about the climate effects from energy sources are discussed as are ways we can all be more energy efficient ourselves.

“Greenhouse gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, making the planet hotter. As emissions increase, this causes changes to our climate – the pattern of weather over time.”

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© Copyright – Image courtesy of Annick Press

Easy to Understand, Fascinating to Learn

Author Shaker Paleja has taken a complicated subject and has broken it down into manageable, understandable segments. By showing through illustrations, what the well-written text is explaining, middle readers can truly grasp these complex concepts. And some of these facts are astounding – like how much oil the US consumes and the fact that we as a nation produce the highest CO2 emissions per person in the world. By understanding the basic types of energy and how these sources affect our planet, children can become a part of the solution rather than ignore a problem they simply don’t understand.

“Coal produces 40% of the world’s electricity- and almost 40% of global CO2 emissions! That’s why many countries are trying to replace electricity from coal with cleaner alternatives.”

Why You Should Buy This Book

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.57.21 PMYou’ll be hard pressed to find another book as good as Power Up! on this subject for middle readers. It encourages readers to start thinking about how important the complex subject of energy truly is and starts them questioning what they thought they knew about it – or if they even knew anything at all on the subject. We’ve got to educate our children on global issues so they become aware and concerned and are driven to take action. Children today are our scientists of tomorrow. I learned a great deal from this book myself, and just the Light Bulb Comparison Study alone has me taking inventory of the bulbs we use in our house.

© Copyright – Image courtesy of Annick Press

About the Author

1426707792Shaker Paleja is an actor and writer who has performed in theaters across North America, and appeared on numerous film & TV shows. Some credits include: Gracepoint; Sanctuary; Arrow; Stargate SG-1; Battlestar Galactica; Smallville; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Elegy. The opening chapter of his novel, An Extraordinary Destiny, was published last year in the Dalhousie Review. The novel is mostly set in Bombay, India, where he was born, before moving to Canada at a young age. Shaker also authored an infographic non-fiction title, Native Americans: A Visual Exploration (2014) for Annick Press. The book was selected by The White Ravens catalog in Germany as one of four notable Canadian children’s books. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and five-year-old daughter with whom he enjoys reading books.

 About the Illustrator

d6ee355007357.54ed19a7c8f6eGlenda Tse holds a BA in Illustration from Sheridan College. Glenda says, ” My diverse portfolio of creative work combines my strong passion for illustration and design, with the use of both traditional and digital media. I seek inspiration from animals, nature, daily experiences, and the psychology of the human mind. Though I specialize in illustration, my focus has developed further to include hand-lettering and typography, as used in many of my recent works.” Glenda lives in Toronto with her husky, Myla.

Spring Has Sprung Three Bird Books and One Pair of Felted Owl Earrings GIveaway

In honor of all of you who can’t wait for spring, I’m giving away three children’s books  about birds plus a pair of owl earrings made from wool felt

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Scroll to the bottom for simple giveaway rules for the Spring Has Sprung Three Bird Books and One Pair of Felted Owl Earrings GIveaway

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Handmade (by me) wool felt and crystal bead owl earrings

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Buy the Book

Enter for a chance to win three Bird books and a pair of felted owl earrings:

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already).
  2. Leave one valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about your favorite bird or what you love most about springtime.
  3. (Optional) Share this giveaway from our Facebook Page for TEN extra entries. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count.
  4. There will be one winner for this Spring Has Sprung Giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  5. This giveaway starts on Friday, March 6, 2015 and ends on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 4 pm.
  6. The winner will be notified via email on March 20, 2015 and has 24 hours to email me his or her mailing address. After that time a new winner will be selected at random.
  7. Book will be mailed by March 21, 2015.
  8. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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A Bird is a Bird Because . . .

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A Bird is a Bird

•        Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary & Middle School (Ages 3-7)
•        Genre: Nonfiction Science Early Reader
•        Author/Illustrator: Lizzy Rockwell
•        Publisher: Holiday House Books
•        Publication Date: January 30, 2015
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 8.5″ x 10″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $6.95
•        ISBN: 978-0823430420

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 Bird Science for the youngest Readers

A Bird is a Bird reveals to children as young as three the reasons why a bird is scientifically a bird. With simple text, ideal for the age of the audience, readers discover the common traits birds have; they lay eggs, have beaks and wings and feathers, of course. In addition to short, educational prose are colorful gouache and colored pencil illustrations with the names of the species next to each bird.

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 What This Book Teaches (and Why You Should Read it)

There are many wonderful animals books for young readers, but what makes this one unique us that it is a combination picture book and field guide. Children learn about the habitats of birds, what makes each species unique and what they all have in common. The text is ideal for new readers to read aloud, and the content will lead to some interesting discussion for further learning. The lovely illustrations offer children a lot to look at and may inspire them to keep a journal and sketch some of the birds they observe outside themselves.

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About the Author

LizzyRockwellLizzy Rockwell is an illustrator whose artwork can be seen in picture books, magazines, games and on walls. She studied art and art history at Connecticut College, and drawing and illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Lizzy is the illustrator of over 25 children’s books by a variety of authors including her mother, Anne Rockwell. She is the author/illustrator of Plants Feed MeGood Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition, Hello Baby! and The Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness. Lizzy has two grown sons, and lives and works in Bridgeport, CT with her husband, Ken Alcorn, a high school social studies teacher, and their dog Reggie.

Further Learning

  1. Learn more about birds with National Geographic.
  2. Get an Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds.
  3. Encourage your child to keep a bird journal.

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Birdology: A Beautiful Way for Budding Ornithologists to Connect With Nature

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Birdology: 30 Activities and Observations for Exploring the World of Birds

•        Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary & Middle School (Ages 7-12)
•        Genre: Nonfiction Science Middle Reader
•        Author: Monica Russo
•        Photographer: Kevin Byron
•        Publisher: Chicago Review Press
•        Publication Date: January 1, 2015
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 11″ x 8.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 128 Pages
•        Retail: $15.95
•        ISBN: 978-1613749494

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© Copyright – Image from Birdology with permission from Chicago Review Press

Like all other Chicago Review Press titles, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Birdology. My husband, daughter and I are all enthusiastic birdwatchers, since we live in Miami and are avid hikers and campers and often explore the Florida Everglades. We Floridians are treated to some of the most spectacular birds that are endemic to the tropics in the southern part of the state and others that migrate here to keep warm during the winter months. I’ve shared a few of my own photos of birds at he end of this post.

DSC_0008Get Outside and Explore

Birdology introduces middle readers to art of birdwatching, giving them a well-rounded lesson in the science of birds and encouraging them to go outdoors and explore. This is not a field guide per se, rather it is a book that fosters independent study of all things bird related. Essentially, author Monica Russo gives readers the tools they need to observe birds in their natural habitats and understand what it is they are seeing. Birdology enlightens and inspires middle readers to become amateur ornithologists and expand their love of birds and respect for the environment.

© Copyright – Image from Birdology with permission from Chicago Review Press

Everything You Need to Get Started Observing and Studying Birds

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© Copyright – Image from Birdology with permission from Chicago Review Press

The book is divided into eight chapters covering everything from the anatomy of birds and their markings, to their locations, habitats, diets and migrations. Russo’s text is carefully written for the age of the audience, making it easy to comprehend. I’m impressed with the way she takes care to explain the science of birds without bogging the reader down and without boring them either. She gives explicit directions about what to look for when observing, and uses examples of different species to demonstrate the specifics of what she is talking about. She uncovers many fascinating facts that keep readers engaged and eager to learn more.

30 Activities and Observations and Many Outstanding Photographs

DSC_0006There are 30 activities and observations included, and honestly, every single one of them appeal to me. They each fall under one of three headings: 1) Try This 2) Look For or 3) Listen For. For example, Try This: Start a Bird Journal, Listen For: a Peakcock’s Scream and Look For: How Birds Drink and Bathe. Other activities include Starting a Bird Sketchbook, Observing the Way Birds Walk and Hop, Making an Orange Feeder for Orioles, Looking for V-Shaped Flocks and more.

Kevin Byron’s photographs offer some close ups with incredible detail, adding depth and interest to the learning experience. It must have taken a great deal of time, patience and photographic skills to get the job done. It’s almost as if the birds knew they were being photographed and posed for him!  Monica Russo adds even more to the mix with her drawings of birds and activity instructions.

What This Book Teaches

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© Copyright – Image from Birdology with permission from Chicago Review Press

Where do I begin? Birdology is an incredible teaching tool for so may reasons. It encourages middle readers to think like scientists – to sit quietly and observe, to notice differences and similarities among species, to use their eyes and ears as tools and to take notes about what they observe. It teaches readers that they must get outside to explore the natural world around them, to experience wildlife in person, using just their natural senses as tools. It inspires them to do what they can to protect the natural habitats of birds and learn about what they need to survive and thrive. There’s a terrific Glossary in the back of the book, a List of Resources, including wildlife organizations and a Teacher’s Guide too.

Why You Should Buy This Book

Birdology reminds us all that nature is right outside our doors, just waiting to be explored. In order to get children interested in science, they must spend time discovering the earth’s natural wonders. There are so many fascinating lessons about birds to be learned, and Monica Russo guides readers through that learning process in such a way that they can lead themselves to a better understanding of the birds common to their own cities and states. The book is fascinating to read, the photographs are wonderful to look at and Birdology does a delightful job of turning middle readers into young ornithologists and protectors of planet earth.

About the Author and Photographer

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Monica Russo is the author and illustrator of several children’s nature books, including Amazing Insects, Chilly Creatures, Tree Almanac, and Watching Nature. She wrote the “Nature Notes” column for southern Maine’s Sun Chronicle for many years. She is an experienced birdwatcher and a founding member of the Maine Entomological Society.

Kevin Byron is a photographer who specializes in nature, wildlife, and ship images and whose work has appeared in many books, magazines, and newspapers including Watching Nature, BirdScope Magazine, the New York Times, and the Kennebunk Post. Both Monica and  Kevin live in Kennebunk, Maine.

Further Learning

  1. Utilize the Teacher’s Guide in the back of the book.
  2. Learn more about birds with National Geographic.
  3. Get an Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds.
  4. Check out many more titles in the Chicago Review Press Young Naturalist Series.

Some Photographs of Birds I’ve taken:

DSC_0261© Copyright by Debbie Glade – Image of a Burrowing Owl taken in a field near a high school in my South Florida neighborhood

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© Copyright by Debbie Glade – Image of an Egret in flight taken along Loop Road in the Florida Everglades

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© Copyright by Debbie Glade – Close up image of a cormorant taken on the Anhinga Trail near the Flamingo Entrance to National Everglades Park

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© Copyright by Debbie Glade – Image of a Purple Gallinule at Shark Valley in the Florida Everglades

If you love this book, you should also check out:

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