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Common Core State Standards
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Classroom Picks . . . INFORMATIONAL TEXT: Science & Nature

Crawl into the exciting world of science and nature with these informational books! Each title is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book formats!

This Month's Picks

Friends on the Web
by Alexandra Siy
Dennis Kunkel, Illustrator

Grades: THIRD

W.5.2, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 7, 9, 9b, 10
L.5.4, 4a, 4b, 4c, 5, 5c, 6
RF.5.3, 3a, 4, 4a, 4c
SL.5.1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2-6

1. Do you agree with Governor Christie's statement, "Earlier today I saved a few school children from a spider"? Use reasons from the text to support your opinion. RL.4-5.1 / W.4-5.1

2. What text features does the author use in SPIDERMANIA? Explain how you personally used the features to get meaning from the text. RL.4-5.7

3. How does the author use reasons and evidence to support information about spiders? Give examples from the book. W.4-5.9b

4. Create a poster and presentation comparing and contrasting two different spiders from SPIDERMANIA. Include diagrams and labels and other multimedia. RL.4-5.1, 3 / SL.4-5.4, 5

Debunking myths about spiders, this book takes an extremely close look at creatures that have both fascinated and terrified humans.

An introduction explains what makes spiders unique. Then ten species are highlighted with incredible electron micrograph photographs and surprising facts. From diving bell spiders that live in bubbles underwater, to spitting spiders that shoot venomous wads of spit at their prey, to black widows and wolf spiders, this unusual book will intrigue readers and help dispel arachnophobia.

A companion to BUG SHOTS: The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly.

Read an exclusive Q&A with author Alexandra Siy!

Bug Shots
The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly
by Alexandra Siy
Kunkel, Illustrator

Grades: THIRD


Bugs bite, drink blood, and rob food from gardens and fields. They can even kill plants, animals, and, occasionally, people. Is bugging a crime?

Author and photographer Alexandra Siy compiles "rap sheets" on several of the major categories of bugs and takes a very close look at some of the types of insects in an engaging text.

Dennis Kunkel's fascinating photo micrographs magnify insect parts from 10 to 300,000 times their actual sizes. This kid-friendly approach, coupled with meticulous research and lively writing, turns learning about insects into an intriguing experience.

Watch the book trailer.



Read an exclusive Q&A with author, Alexandra Siy!

Recycling Day
by Edward Miller
Edward Miller, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

L. 3.1-3, 3b, 4, 4a, 4d, 5, 5b, 6
RF. 3.3, 3c-d, 4, 4a, 4c
RL. 3.1-7, 10
W. 3.1, 2, 2a-d, 3, 7-8, 10
RI. 3.1-5, 7-10
SL. 3.1, 1a-d, 2-4, 6

1. What is the central message of Recycling Day? Explain how the message is conveyed through details in the text. RL.2-3.1, 2

2. At what point in the story does the plot change? Write a paragraph explaining how the actions of the characters influence the sequence of events. RL.2-3.1, 3 / W.2-3.3

3. Discuss the difference in point of view of the characters in the story. What is your point of view? Who do you agree with? Use details from the story and from your personal experiences. RL.2-3.6 / SL.2-3.1, 4, 6

4. Choose one of the flow charts from the book. Write a paragraph informing about the topic. Describe the relationship between a series of scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures using language that pertains to time, sequence and cause/effect. RI.2-3.1, 3, 4, 5

This zippy introduction to reducing waste includes facts about how much trash Americans produce and how that can be changed.

Oh no! The unthinkable has happened. So much garbage has piled up in the vacant lot that's home to a group of bugs that revolting rats are moving in and taking over. Luckily recycling day is almost here. Volunteers swoop in to tidy up this neighborhood eyesore. As they take the ant's old bottle and the grasshopper's cardboard box, the kids explain the processes of recycling paper, glass, plastic, and metal as well as how to compost. They even have tips on recycling electronics and making items such as fabrics, books, and toys available for reuse.


"Miller's cheerful cartoon illustrations reinforce the text's positive and encouraging tone. . . . It could motivate children to start conservation efforts themselves."—School Library Journal

"Sure to inspire a new generation of recyclers."—Kirkus Reviews

Best Foot Forward
Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws
by Ingo Arndt
Ingo Arndt, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

K-1: RI. 2, 5, 6, 10
2: RI. 5, 7

Whose foot is this? An intriguing close-up of an animal's foot piques curiosity that's satisfied on the following page with a stunning full size photo of the animal itself and a brief description of how the foot is used.

A tiger stalks its prey on velvet paws. A gecko's ribbed feet enable it to climb walls as smooth as glass. The mole uses its feet for digging. The webbed feet of a duck help it swim. Rabbits and kangaroos have feet adapted for jumping fast and far. Caterpillars, starfish, and octopuses all use their feet to grab hold. The guessing-game format makes learning about natural adaptation fun. Includes an index of all animals featured.


"This will be a popular choice for libraries because of its fascinating facts and art presentation."—School Library Journal

"Through striking photographs of the undersides of animal feet, a wild life photographer demonstrates how they reflect an animal's size, speed, and mode of travel . . . appealing in its simplicity."—Kirkus Reviews

Hide-and-Seek Science
Animal Camouflage
by Emma Stevenson
Emma Stevenson, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

1-4: RI.7
2: RI. 6

This stunning book looks at how animals use camouflage in several distinct ecosystems spanning the globe: swamp (Florida Everglades), desert (Africa's Sahara), rain forest (South America's Amazon), deciduous forest (Europe), arctic (North America), and coral reef (Australia's Great Barrier Reef). For each habitat, a lush full-page spread is followed by the key that explains how each animal uses camouflage and where it can be found in the preceding spread.


"The stunning gouache illustrations are magical and enhance this crowd-pleasing introduction to various environments and their wildlife."—School Library Journal

"Stevenson's engrossing way of hiding animals makes the book as much art as science."—Booklist

An I Like to Read® Book Level D
by Ted Lewin
Ted Lewin, Illustrator

Grades: FIRST

K: RF.3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 4, RI. 1, 4, 6, 9, RL.-1-10
1: L.1, RF.1, 1a, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 3g, 4, 4a, 4b, 4c, RI.6, 9, RL.1-9, SL.4, W.7-8
2: RL.1-7, SL.4, W.7-8

Look! An elephant eats. Look! Giraffes drink. Look! A warthog digs. A gorilla hides, wild dogs listen, zebras run, monkeys sit, hippos splash, and a rhino naps. Each line of text is illustrated by a two-page spread with a beautiful painting of an animal Ted Lewin has seen on his journeys to Africa. At the end of the story, a boy reads, plays, and dreams, surrounded by toy animals that represent each of the real ones.

This I Like to Read® book encourages children to observe, enjoy, and appreciate the natural world.

Classroom activity guide with CCSS connections and Ted Lewin photographs.

For a peek inside the making of LOOK!, check out this Q&A with Ted Lewin!


★"A satisfying challenge and a fun animal adventure made thrilling by Lewin's characteristically spectacular use of light."—Kirkus Reviews, starred

"The sentences of one to three words per spread in a large, clear font and the straightforward text-to-action correlation make for solid and attractive support for very beginning readers in a picture-book format."—Booklist

About the Series
I Like to Read®
books are picture books written and illustrated so that even the newest reader can enjoy a satisfying, quality literary experience. The books in the series are written at kindergarten and early first grade reading levels.

"These books deftly combine text and art to create a positive experience for new readers."—School Library Journal

"This series dares to make entertaining reads from short texts and familiar vocabulary"—Kirkus Reviews

"Each one makes the hard world of learning to read enough fun to encourage children at this critical developmental moment to try another one."Vicky Smith, Children's and YA Editor at Kirkus Reviews

Click here for flash cards for each book, educator's materials for the series and the complete listing of I Like to Read® books!

The World's Best Noses, Ears, and Eyes
by Helen Rundgren
Ingela P. Arrhenius, Illustrator

Grades: SECOND

W. 3.2, 2a-d, 4-5, 7-8,10
SL. 3.1, 1a-d, 2-6
RF. 3.3, 3a, 3c-d, 4, 4a, 4c
L. 3.3, 3a, 4, 4a, 4c-d, 5, 5a-c
RL. 3.1, 3-7, 10
RI. 3.1-5, 8-9

1. What is the main idea or topic? Use details from the story to explain. RL.2-3.1, 2
2. Describe how author Helen Rundgren organizes the book. How does this enhance the understanding of the topic? RI.2-3.1, 5
3. Create an outline using the headings Noses, Ears, and Eyes. Organize the information using details from the book. RI.2-3.1, 5 / W.2-3.7, 8, 10
4. How does the author connect fiction and informational text in the book? W.2-3.4, 8, 10

Readers will be astounded and amused by this introduction to the strange and amazing world of seeing, hearing, and smelling in the animal kingdom.

In this colorful picture book filled with fantastic facts, a lively cast of animals competes to decide which one has the best sight, hearing, and sense of smell. People may think that their senses are pretty good, but compared to the incredible abilities of many animals, human senses aren't so impressive. A polar bear can smell a seal from a half mile away. Snails can see around corners with eyes that are on stalks. Bats transmit messages to one another that are so high-pitched humans cannot even hear them, while elephants communicate with one another up to two miles away in tones too low for people to hear.

by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons, Illustrator

Grades: FIRST

K-3: RI.2, 6, 7

Everyone talks about the weather, but not everyone understands all the words used.

Where fog, clouds, frost, thunderstorms, snow, fronts, hurricanes, and other weather-related phenomena come from is explained here. Common terms that are not commonly understood are clearly defined. A list of curious weather facts is included.