Children's Reading Suggestions

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Giverny Awards

on April 21, 2014

The Giverny Award is an annual children’s science picture book award established in 1998 by Dr. Jim Wandersee and Dr. Elisabeth E. Schussler. IT is awarded by 15° Laboratory, a research laboratory founded in 1996 for the ultimate purpose of helping today’s K-12 and college students understand the big ideas in contemporary life sciences, especially through visual representation.  Later, the mission was expanded to improving public understanding of science in informal science education venues.

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If there is a book on this list that BPL doesn’t own that you would like to check out, contact us to request it!

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1998       Common Ground / Molly BangCommon ground : the water, earth, and air we share

Imagines a village in which there are too many people consuming shared resources and discusses the challenge of handling our world’s environment safely.

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1999       Sam Plants a Sunflower / Kate Petty & Axel Scheffler

This lift-the-flap picture book tells the story of Sam, a cat who loves the sun and wants to grow some big yellow sunflowers. Children can read about how he plants his seeds and watches them grow, and, by lifting the flaps, can see what is happening to the plant under the ground.

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2000       A Log’s Life / Wendy Pfeffer & Robin BrickmanA Log's Life

When a tree falls in the forest, what is its fate? And what happens to the animals who’ve depended on it?Through the simple yet dramatic story of a tree’s life, death, and decomposition, A Log’s Life illustrates the interdependence of living creatures. A great oak tree provides food or shelter for squirrels, a porcupine, carpenter ants, fungi, slugs, and more. When lightning strikes, it topples to become a giant log. Now spiders, millipedes, termites, a porcupine, salamanders, etc. move in. Over time the log decays and collapses, driving the animals to find new homes. Moss carpets the log, breaking it down further; it becomes dirt. Then an acorn fails in the rich earth, and grows into another great oak tree, which is eventually struck down in another storm to become another giant log.

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Henry hikes to Fitchburg2001       Henry Hikes to FitchburgD.B. Johnson

While his friend works hard to earn the train fare toFitchburg, young Henry Thoreau walks the thirty miles through woods and fields, enjoying nature and the time tothink great thoughts. Includes biographical information about Thoreau.

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2002       Rare TreasureDon BrownRare Treasure: Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries

Before the word dinosaur was even invented, an English girl discovered a remarkable skeleton on the rocky beach at Lyme Regis. Thus began a lifelong passion for the woman who became one of the first commercial fossil collectors. Mary Anning (1799–1847) spent her lifetime teaching herself about fossils and combing the rugged shore for ancient treasures. Her collection thrilled the public, excited the scientific community, and proved that a woman could overcome danger and social limitations to accomplish great things.

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2003       The Hidden ForestJeannie BakerThe Hidden Forest

Jeannie Baker, incomparable creator of intricate collage illustrations, invites you to take a plunge with Ben, into the sea … to see.See what? Underwater forests of kelp. Rocks with strangely beautiful textures. A myriad of fish. The hidden splendour of one of the Earth’s last, most alluringly beautiful frontiers. And something totally unexpected! Ben will never see things the same way again. And neither will you.

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2004       Lonesome George, the giant tortoiseFrancine Jacobs & Jean CasselsLonesome George, the giant tortoise

Describes the life of Lonesome George, the last living Pinta Island giant tortoise, from his search for food on the Galapagos island to his days at the Charles Darwin Research Station, where scientists are encouraging him to mate.

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2005       Squirrel and John MuirEmily Arnold McCullySquirrel and John Muir

In the early 1900s, a wild little girl nicknamed Squirrel meets John Muir, later to become a famous naturalist, when he arrives at her parents’ hotel in Yosemite Valley seeking work and knowledge about the natural world.

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2006       Daniel and His Walking StickWendy McCormick & Constance R. BergumDaniel and His Walking Stick

A reassuring tale of how loving relationships that transcend time and generations are sustained through memories and stories. Jesse knows her two grandfathers only through the stories that her parents share. One died before she was born; the other lived long enough to visit her when she was a baby. When Jesse and her parents spend two weeks in the country, she is drawn to Daniel, an old man who carries a walking stick to guide him along as he walks. Together, Jesse, Daniel, and Daniel’s walking stick hike through the woods, cross streams, and ascend hills. When Jesse returns to the city with her parents she has her own walking stick and memories of the summer she spent with her third grandfather.

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2007       The Snail and the WhaleJulia Donaldon & Axel SchefflerThe Snail and the Whale

One tiny snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of a whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it’s the tiny snail who saves the day.

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2008       The Prince of Butterflies Bruce Coville & John ClappThe Prince of Butterflies

One summer morning, a flock of monarch butterflies alights on John Farrington’s house and changes his life forever. Now that the meadows have become minimalls and the forests are turned into parking lots, the butterflies need a new home. Can John lead them to another refuge?

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Forest Bright, Forest Night (Sharing Nature With Children)2009       Forest Bright/Forest NightJennifer Ward & Jamichael Henterly

Someone is always awake in the forest–and someone else is always asleep! Some animals are alert in daytime and sleep at night. Others are alert at night, and are sleepyheads during the day. Plus be sure to count the animals.You FLIP THIS BOOK from day to night and back–a nice hands-on way to show the same view day and night.

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2010       Redwoods Jason ChinRedwoods

Offers general information about redwood trees such as height, how the bark protect them from fires, average age, and the types of plant and animal life that live in them.

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2011       A Tree for EmmyMary Ann Rodman & Tatjana Mai-WyssA Tree for Emmy

Emmy loves trees. She loves oak trees with acorns. She loves pine trees with cones, and willow trees with swishy branches. But best of all, Emmy loves the mimosa tree that grows in her grandmothers pasture. Emmy swings on its branches, plays with its fuzzy pink blossoms, and rattles its seedpods like maracas. But when Emmy decides she wants a mimosa tree of her own for her birthday, she is dismayed to find that many grown-ups do not share her enthusiasm. Garden stores only sell ornamental trees like plum or pear or tulip trees. Emmy is crusheduntil she discovers that the answer to her problem is growing right before her eyes! This joyful story of a spirited young girls steadfast affection for a wild mimosa tree will appeal to all who cherish a special dream, and will help readers appreciate the natural world around them.

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2012       Eliza’s Cherry TreesAndrea Zimmerman & Ju-Hong ChenEliza's Cherry Trees: Japan's Gift to America

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. is held annually in remembrance of the first cherry tree planting on March 27, 1912. Now an international symbol of peace and friendship, the trees first came to the nation’s capital from Tokyo, Japan, at the insistence of Eliza Scidmore. Able to live a life different from most women in the late 1800s, Scidmore was dedicated to her ideas. She had the opportunity to travel with family and friends and wrote the first guidebook about Alaska while there on a trip. Wanting to share her adventures with others, she became the first woman to write for the National Geographic Society. But throughout her travels, she never forgot about the Japanese cherry trees she had seen while visiting her brother in Tokyo. It took her more than twenty years, but with the help of the president’s wife, Mrs. Taft; a Japanese scientist; and a lot of faith, Scidmore’s dream of beautifying her hometown came true.

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2013       GreenLaura Vaccaro SeegerGreen

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text explore the many shades of the color green.

 


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