Written by Bruce and Carol L. Malnor
Illustrated by Anisa Claire Hoveman
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Aimed at the fifth grade reading level and up, Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness celebrates the lives of the most famous naturalists from their youth to the years where they made a lasting and significant impact on the world. The profiles detailed in Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness have been carefully researched and are sure to inspire the youth of today to model the heroes of yesterday in how they approach, handle, and respect the environment. My favorite section of the book is titled, “Become a Hero!” and it offers a list of things readers can do to learn more about their environment, as well as games and websites that point wannabe naturalists to walk in the shoes of their favorite heroes.
The eight heroes young readers will learn about include: Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Aldo Leopold, Richard, St. Barbe Baker, Mardy Murie, David Suzuki, and Wangari Maathai. To complement the text, there are vivid black and white photos and dramatic illustrations, along with a list of fast facts and a timeline of events related to each hero profiled that readers can easily digest and comprehend and that teachers and librarians can readily use to demonstrate in the classroom. Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness is a must have for the reading lists of fifth grade teachers and elementary to middle school librarians.
Other titles in the Earth Heroes series include: Earth Heroes: Champions of Wild Animals. For more information about the Earth Heroes series, please go to: www.Dawnpub.com
To expand learning beyond the printed book, feel free to download complementary educational resources at: www.Dawnpub.com/downloadable_activities_book/
- Title: Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness
- Author: Bruce and Carol L. Malnor
- Illustrator: Anisa Claire Hoveman
- Publisher: Dawn Publications
- Reviewer: Annemarie O’Brien
- Paperback: 143 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-58469-116-7
- Genre: biography, science
- Lexile Score: 960
Written by Fran Hodgkins
Illustrated by Chris Arbo
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“Sometimes we forget to be curious” says author, Fran Hodgkins, in her introduction.
In this book, she traces the lives of eight pioneers of ocean research who did not let the routine of everyday life take them away from their quest for knowledge about the vast ocean and its denizens. Each of the “oceanauts” mentioned in the book started their research to satisfy the curiosity burning within.
Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean features all eight researchers in order by their birthdate, which enables the readers to “begin at the beginning”. Ocean study was not a very advanced field. More scientists studied the earth than paid attention to the vast blue waters surrounding. Even William Beebe, the first researcher mentioned, began with terrestrial studies, and later developed a fascination for the ocean.
Fifth grade readers will learn how new fields of study develop. Even as a geologist needs to go down the mine to study rocks, so an ocean researcher would benefit by immersing himself in the environment he wants to study. But there were not many tools available to the early researcher to actually enter the water. We can trace the progress of diving devices and vessels from the clunky diving helmet of Beebe’s time to the Jim Suit that Sylvia Earle donned to dive to a depth of 1250 feet, carrying her environment with her.
It is written for ease of comprehension and the author brings out how each scientist, despite having their own interest and focus, built on the discoveries of the predecessor. We “journey through their lives”, learn about the people, their discoveries, and the ocean they are so passionately devoted to. If even a few readers become stewards of the oceans and its inhabitants the book would have succeeded in its purpose.
About the Author: http://www.dawnpub.com/our-authorsillustrators/fran-hodgkins/
About the Illustrator: http://www.dawnpub.com/behind-the-scenes-with-cris-arbo/
Nasa Oceanography: http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/
Careers in Oceanography: http://www.palomar.edu/oceanography/links/careers.html
- Title: Earth Heroes: Champions of the Ocean
- Author: Fran Hodgkins
- Illustrator: Chris Arbo
- Publisher: Dawn Publications
- Reviewer: Anjali Amit
- Paperback: 144 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-58469-119-8
- Genre: Non-Fiction/Science
- Lexile Score: 1060
Written by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau
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Do you know a student who really wants to be a marine biologist? Make a Splash is the perfect book for him/her! This book is loaded with information about one of our planet’s most important resource: water.
World-renowned ocean explorer Captain Jaques-Yves Cousteau’s grandson, Phillipe, teamed up with Cathryn Berger Kaye to show the majesty of water, but also how abused it is. The photography in this book makes it a great book to flip through for a casual read, but the captions and text are incredibly informative. The authors have given visual cues to indicate what kind of information is on each page: whether a definition in a caption bubble, fluid fact and figures, or information about how critical it is for each person to play a part in protecting water. Also, sprinkled throughout this book are anecdotes about students who researched various aspects of protecting water and its inhabitants. It is up to the individual reader to choose how to use this book; it is not meant to be read aloud from front to back, but a teacher could certainly read excerpts aloud during a unit on water.
Though this book is on a fourth or fifth grade reading level, if taken from cover to cover, the ideas within this book are for any aged learner. It should be used to inspire readers about how they can make a difference in this planet’s care, no matter how young. There are simple ideas about how even first grade students can be water-wise by using reusable water bottles. It would be excellent for an elementary with a buddy system between first graders and fifth graders to take an idea and implement a plan to encourage water protection within the walls of the school or beyond!
Before starting a unit on water conservation, students should watch the YouTube video of Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau http://youtu.be/jhDhSL2ZeDg. Their excitement is contagious and can inspire students to make great changes! Make a Splash is an excellent book to include in a class or home library as a resource for any learner.
Sometimes to inspire great change, it just takes making students aware, and Make a Splash certainly inspires students to be difference makers!
- Title: Make a Splash
- Authors: Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau
- Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
- Reviewer: Sharon Schulte
- Hardback, 124 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-57542-417-0
- Genre: non-fiction/conservation
- Lexile: 910
Written and Illustrated by Paul Goble
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A lively collection of stories that celebrate the connectedness of life. Native Americans respect this connectedness. These are stories in which humans struggle with huge problems, often life threatening ones, and they receive help from a special “something” unseen or unexplainable. Sometimes animals talk to the person or sometimes a message comes in a dream. In the title story from the Blackfoot tribe, a man dreams of finding horses which ultimately will make life easier for his people. He doesn’t know what to call these creatures that are as large as elk and as friendly as dogs. Paul Goble includes notes with each story that express his thoughts about the story or sheds light on the research reflected in his illustrations, just as a storyteller would in a telling session. One story is about a man who lets mosquitoes feed on him and from this he attains great wisdom. Often stories reflect this theme that surrender to a higher power can result in great good. There are also stories of great love and the feeling that love never dies. Because the collection is a reflection of Paul Goble and his life’s work, these stories provide a personal connection to him.
These lyrical stories are meant to be heard. During a unit on Native Americans, these little stories could be a good two to three minute class read aloud. Each one deserves some thought time because each is filled with wisdom. The reading level is easy enough that teams of fifth graders could each take a story a make a narrated slide show as a literacy activity, illustrated with Goble’s signature images and/or supplementing with photographs or Native American art.
- TITLE: The Man Who Dreamed of Elk-Dogs and other stories from the Tipi
- AUTHOR: Paul Goble
- ILLUSTRATOR: Paul Goble
- PUBLISHER: Wisdom Tales, 2012
- REVIEWER: Risa Brown
- EDITION: Hardcover, 48 p.
- ISBN: 978-1-937786-00-7
- LEXILE: 930
Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis
Illustrated by Laura Jacques
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Andy quite unexpectedly becomes an animal rescuer one afternoon when he and his friend Matt are tossing the football around. A baby squirrel climbs up his pants and keeps climbing until he is perched on Andy’s shoulder. The boys think the baby could have been blown out of its nest in a thunderstorm. When they look around, they find another juvenile. Fortunately, Matt knows what to do. He gets a box, an old blanket and heavy gloves. The boys carefully make a temporary nest for the babies and then go in the house, so the mama squirrel will feel safe. They watch the mama through binoculars while she repairs her nest and carries her babies to the fixed nest.
This book provides a model for how to handle injured animal. There are cautions and warnings in the text such as ‘Matt knows squirrels don’t make good pets.’ Coming from a young character, rather than an adult, this warning is more likely to make an impression on a young reader.
The paintings that illustrate this book are beautiful and capture the personalities of boys and animals.
It is an effective class read aloud with its cute baby pictures and could be especially helpful if a group is going to visit a rescue center or doing an environment unit. A good reading activity or discussion starter is to list all the things the boys do to help the squirrel family. If a field trip is out of the question, check out the link in the back of the book to Chris’ Squirrels and More. She has a video tour of her squirrel rehab clinic: (http://www.squirrelsandmore.com/)
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- TITLE: Squirrel Rescue
- AUTHOR: Jennifer Keats Curtis
- ILLUSTRATOR: Laura Jacques
- PUBLISHER: Schiffer, 2012
- REVIEWER: Risa Brown
- EDITION: Hardcover, 32p.
- ISBN: 978-0-7643-4246-2
- LEXILE: 1010