Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Fun Post-Earth Day Picture Books to Share with Your Child from Simon and Schuster (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thorough review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Did you celebrate Earth Day with your family?  Or, did your child do fun activities in school surrounding environmental protection?  As part of our homeschooling, we volunteered this past weekend to pick up trash in our city, to help keep it beautiful and safe for the animals.  And, in addition to this community service, we spent a whole week during Earth Day activities and crafts.  As part of our Earth Day week of learning, I also shared a handful of new books from Simon and Schuster, all of which my girls loved.

Even though Earth Day is over, it doesn't mean we can forget about taking care of our planet until next year.  Instead, this should have been a reminder to kids (and adults) that we need to continue to do our part to help protect the Earth for future generations.  Every little bit helps, and even the youngest of kids can do their part by helping to recycle, cut down on plastic use, etc.

Here are the books I shared with my girls, that would be great to pick up and share with your kids, to help open up lines of communication about environmental protection and how kids need to become advocates as they will be the ones who will be left to help keep our Earth safe and inhabitable for future generations.

Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge
Atheneum | ISBN 9781534414419
Pub date: January 15, 2019 | $17.99 | Ages 4 to 8

"After learning how to fly, Penguin heads home to teach his friends how to soar! A sweet and inspiring friendship tale, perfect for penguin fans of all ages.

Penguin loves everything about flying: the wind beneath his wings, the song that rises from his belly, and the sight of new and wonderful places. Still, he misses his penguin friends in the South Pole. So, he flips and flaps back home, ready to teach them the magic of flight! 

But when he arrives, his enthusiasm for flying doesn’t get quite the reaction he expected. Will Penguin’s friends still like him, even if they don’t share his soaring dreams?"

My Thoughts:

We read this book prior to seeing the new Disney Penguins movie in theaters, and it got the girls even more excited about the movie. They both love penguins, and loved how this book was about not giving up on your dreams and passions.  It also shared how you shouldn't' change for others just to fit in.  

The colorful and playful illustrations really helped bring the story to life. My girls loved how Penguin was wearing red flight goggles, and ended up drawing pictures of him after reading the book, the first time around, just so they could hang a picture of this cute Penguin in their rooms.  We have only had this book for a couple of weeks, but it has become a staple at bedtime with both of my girls.  They love the positive message in the book, and loved how Penguin's friends wanted him to pursue his dream of flying, and would think of him when they looked up in the sky.  I highly recommend this book, and know it will become an instant favorite with your family, just like it was with ours.

BLOOM BOOM! by April Pulley Sayre
Beach Lane Books | ISBN 9781481494724
Pub date: February 5, 2019 | $18.99 | Ages 3 to 8

"Discover the magic—and the science—behind spring flower blooms with this companion to the celebrated Raindrops Roll, Best in Snow, and Full of Fall.

When spring arrives, flowers of all kinds sprout and grow buds and bloom. Sometimes, they bloom a few at a time. 

But other times, many will bloom at once in a colorful flower boom! This photographic exploration of flowers goes from the desert to the woodlands and beyond, celebrating their beautiful variety and the science behind these colorful displays."

My Thoughts:

Is it ever going to stop raining?  I know April is usually a rainy month, but it seems like the past few weeks have been filled with 4-5 days of rain, along with cold weather.  I was going to start vegetable planting with my girls, but due to the weather and frost have held off.  Hopefully now that May is here, the weather will turn around and warm up so that we can get out into the garden and start our planting for spring.  In the meantime, we are enjoying the daffodils and tulips that have popped out of the ground and are in bloom.  And, when we aren't admiring the color of these fresh new blooms, we love reading "BLOOM BLOOM!

One of the things my girls are learning to do is take photos with a camera, as part of a nature lesson we are doing.  They are trying to get close up to capture the beauty of a seedling sprouting from the ground, as well as flowers in bloom. This book is perfect for them as it really gives readers a close up of growing buds and blooming flowers -- truly a stunning book, that both kids and adults will enjoy reading.  My girls and I found ourselves lingering on each page, taking in the amazing photographs, as well celebrate spring in all it's beauty.

From Tree To Sea by Shelley Moore Thomas, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal
Paula Wiseman Books | ISBN 9781481495313
Pub date: February 12, 2019| $17.99 | Ages 4-8

"From a child’s point of view, this lyrical picture book looks at the relationship of nature to the human world and the place we call home.

From the edge of the sea to a high mountain top, everything has its place in the world and all living things are connected. 

The world around us has a lot to tell us if we take the time to look and listen. This tender and comforting story celebrates the wisdom in many of the things great and small that make up our wonderful world."

My Thoughts:

We are a nature lover family, and my girls really enjoy their nature homeschool class they are in near the shoreline in Mystic, CT.  They get to go on nature hikes, exploring outdoors and the animals that live in nature.  They also learn about how we need to just admire nature and not pick flowers or take down trees, as insects and animals rely on these for protection, food and housing.

This really is a nice lyrical picture book written for young children to teach about the relationship between nature and the human world.  My girls and I found ourselves lingering on each page of this book, to admire the detailing of the illustrations.  We wished the warmer was here so that we could get outside more and enjoy nature and take fun hikes to truly enjoy the outdoors and nature.  But, in the meantime, as the rain falls outside, we have "From Tree to Sea" to enjoy.

TREES by Verlie Hutchens, illus. by Jing Jing Tsong
Beach Lane Books | ISBN 9781481447072
Pub date: March 5, 2019 | $17.99 | Ages 4 to 8

"Every tree has its own story to tell in this evocative collection of poems celebrating the many varieties—from maple to willow to oak.

There are so many different kinds of trees in the world, and each has special qualities that make it unique. 

This lyrical, fanciful collection of poems celebrates the singular beauty of each tree, from the gnarled old apple tree to the tall and graceful aspen."

My Thoughts:

Every year for Earth Day we plant a new tree in our backyard. But, it wasn't until this year that the girls really started to take note of the trees we have planted over the years and how they are all different.  Seeing that they were different, they asked what kind of trees they were, and wanted to be included in selecting a tree for our Earth Day planting this year.  Thanks to TREES by Verlie Hutchens, the girls were about learn about different trees, how they look and offer food, shelter, etc, for animals and birds.  My girls really enjoyed this book, and were amazed at how many different trees were out there.  We ended up picking up a Dogwood to plant for this year, as the girls blooms and how it attracts bees and hummingbirds.

If your children have shown an interest in trees, this is definitely one book to pick up and share with them. 

Great White Shark Adventure (Part of Fabien Cousteau Expeditions)
By James O. Fraioli; Illustrated by Joe St.Pierre
Margaret K. McElderry Books | Pubclication Date: March 5, 2019| For Ages: 8 - 12
ISBN 1534420886 HC, $19.99  | ISBN 9781534420878 Paper Over Board, $12.99

"Junior explorers Bella and Marcus join famed explorer Fabien Cousteau and his research team as they embark on an ocean journey off the coast of South Africa, where the world’s largest concentrations of great white sharks are found. Their mission is to investigate a sighting of a massive white shark, and tag it so they can track and protect it. 

Along the way, they’ll encounter whales, seals, dolphins, penguins, and a colorful array of other marine life. They’ll also enter a shark cage and come face to face with these powerful creatures.

Dramatic, graphic illustrations and a compelling story help young readers discover tons of facts about sharks and other marine creatures. 

Children will also learn the many damaging myths about sharks, why they are so misunderstood, and what is being done to protect them from further exploitation and possible extinction."

My Thoughts:

My youngest daughter is a fan of graphic/comic-book style books, so when she saw that this chapter book was set up in this way and was about sharks, she was quick to grab it to read.  She has learned a lot over the past few years when she tunes it to Shark Week on TV, but said this book taught her so much more about sharks, that was not only fascinating, but made her appreciate them more.  She loved learning about how the sharks are being protected, so that they hopefully will not go extinct.  Myths about sharks were also dispelled, and she was happy to read this as she has always said sharks get a bad wrap as bad predators.  But, this book really does shed light on sharks and other marine animals and why they should be protected.  

After reading this book, my youngest daughter passed it along to my oldest.  Even though she is not big into graphic novels, she does like marine animals and read this cover to cover in one sitting.  She also learned a lot about sharks that she didn't know, and liked how the book was written.  Both of my girls highly recommend this book for middle grade readers who love sharks and marine animals.

SEEDS MOVE! by Robin Page
Beach Lane Books | ISBN 9781534409156
Pub date: March 19, 2019 | $17.99 | Ages 3 to 8

"Discover the fascinating and surprising ways that seeds move and find a place to grow in this gorgeous picture book from Caldecott Honoree Robin Page.

Every seed, big or small, needs sunlight, water, and an uncrowded place to put down roots. But how do seeds get to the perfect place to grow? 

This exploration of seeddispersal covers a wide range of seeds and the creatures that help them move, from a coconut seed floating on waves to an African grass seed rolled by a dung beetle, to a milkweed seed floating on the wind."

My Thoughts:

This really was a fun, and educational book about seeds.  Most people think of seeds that you just pick up in a bag at the store and then plant in the ground. But, this book will change how you think about seeds.  Before they grow in the ground, they must move...and this stunning picture book will take you step by step process of a seed, complete with explanation and proper terminology.  My girls really liked this book, and now will not take seeds for granted.  They learned so much, and will have a blast watching seeds they choose for our garden this year, grow, now that they know the whole back story of a seed. :-)


These are just a handful of spring and Earth-day themed books available now from Simon and Schuster that are perfect to pick up and share with your child.  Remember it is up to everyone -- both young and old, to protect our planet, and is something we need to do every day, and not just on Earth Day.

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest and thorough review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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