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Editor's Blog

Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


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  • Cambridge University Library has made available online many of the notebooks and papers of Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to launch the new Cambridge Digital Library . Newton's own annotated copy of his Principia Mathematica is among the notebooks and manuscripts made available by the Library, which holds the world's largest and most significant collection of the scientific works of Isaac Newton. In the three-part Principia, Newton lays out in mathematical terms his laws of motion and account of universal gravitation. Newton's laws of motion formed the foundation of classical mechanics, and Newton's law of universal gravitation. Newton's manuscripts are part of Cambridge's Foundations...      Read more...
  • Have you stopped by AAAS Book Talks on SB&F Online lately? If not, now is a great time to check out this feature. We’ve just added three new interviews with the 2011 SB&F Prize winning authors and illustrators. You can listen to interviews with the author and illustrator of the Magic School Bus series, Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen . Their most recent installment of the series, The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge was our Children’s Science Picture Book winner this year. Hear straight from these two iconic authors about how they work together, where to find secret drawings in the books by Joanna, and what’s next for this dynamic duo. We also interviewed Loree...      Read more...
    Published 27 Jun 2011 9:53 AM by Heather Malcomson
  • PEN American Center announced today that acclaimed naturalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Edward O. Wilson and actor and conservationist Harrison Ford have joined with PEN to create the PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. “It’s wonderful to live in a time of great scientific advances,” said PEN’s president, Anthony Appiah, “but we aren’t doing a great job in communicating the fascination and the challenge of science to a wider public. I’m delighted that E.O. Wilson—a great scientist and a great writer—and Harrison Ford, a committed conservationist with a deep respect for science, have made it possible for us to recognize...      Read more...
    Published 21 Oct 2010 2:17 PM by Heather Malcomson
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  • So you just got a Kindle and you’re trying to figure out which books to get. Here are some great science books to read on your device. And remember, you don’t really need a Kindle to read these great e-books. You can download the Kindle software for your computer or phone and even share the books across devices. Clicking on the book titles will take you to Amazon.com where you can download the books for your Kindle. Of course, Amazon is not the only source for ebooks and in the future we will also give you recommendations for other devices and platforms. The books on this list are mostly recent publications, although I have included a few classics. (You may notice that there are a...      Read more...
    Published 5 Dec 2011 4:12 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The best nature and wildlife films are informative, moving, and artistic. Recently I discovered a web resource that only features some terrific videos, but goes even further by sharing some of the secrets of the craft of science filmmaking. It's called Untamed Science and is the product of a collaboration that includes scientists, filmmakers and educators. They can tell you about their mission better than I can so go here to read about it. But before you do, let me tell you what excites me about what they are doing. My favorite part of Untamed Science is a section called An Introduction ot Science and Wildlife Filmmaking . This is essentially a primer on how to make your own science videos...      Read more...
  • On Wednesday, December 7, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET and Sunday, December 11, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET, the PBS series Nature will air an episode called Echo: An Elephant to Remember . Echo , the elephant matriarch, was the subject of many films and the leader of a much studied herd of elephants in Africa. Echo died of natural causes at the age of 65 in May of 2009. This film, which premiered in October of 2010, is a look back at this remarkable animal through extraordinary footage and interviews with the researchers who cared for and studied the herd, which was the subject of a number of documentary films and books over the years. (See list below.). The film presents significant events in Echo’s...      Read more...
    Published 9 Dec 2011 2:26 PM by Maria Sosa
  • As the editor of a science book review journal, I receive lots and lots of boxes of books each week. Making a path to my desk after being away from the office is a regular occurrence. They pile up quickly! But opening these boxes and leafing through new science books is actually one of my favorite parts of being the editor of SB&F. So many jobs do not have these tangible objects to pick up, sort, stack, and feel. After a day of sending emails, writing articles, and editing reviews, reading through a 32 page book for kids entitled Bug Butts can actually be therapeutic. This brings me to the point of this post. Recently while unpacking boxes of books I came across four new titles that looked...      Read more...
    Published 27 Aug 2009 1:29 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • In this month's issue we reviewed At the Sea Floor Cafe: Odd Ocean Critters Poems . It contains 17 poems that follow introduce unusual marine animals, such as the snapping shrimp, coconut octopus, violet snail, and narwhal. The author, Leslie Bulion, utilizes a variety of poetic forms and discusses these in detail in the endnotes so that budding poets may be inspired to learn more. Coincidentally, this month Thinkfinity, the educationional website of The Verizon Foundation, posted a new feature called STEM Poetry . The page features three new videos from ReadWriteThink (a Thinkfinity partner site) that demonstrate how to use STEM poetry in the classroom. Included are links to other Thinkfinity...      Read more...
    Published 8 Sep 2011 3:08 PM by Heather Malcomson
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  • As far as I am concerned Jean Craighead George is a national treasure! She has inspired a love of the natural world in thousands of children over the years with her beautiful stories. Probably best known for her books My Side of the Mountain and Julie of the Wolves , Jean has written over 100 books on about the environment and its inhabitants. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Jean at the AAAS Annual Meeting where she received the SB&F Prize Lifetime Achievement Award for her distinguished and lasting contributions to children’s science literature. She was so lovely in person and her passion and enthusiasm for writing about nature was palpable. Although she may move a little slower...      Read more...
    Published 2 Mar 2010 2:01 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • One of my very favorite children’s science book authors has re-launched a kid-friendly, fun, colorful, smart new website. After poking around the site this week, I thought it was definitely worth mentioning to our readers. Seymour Simon is a recipient of the SB&F Prize Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions to children’s science literature. Seymour’s interest in science and passion for bringing science to kids shines through on his new website, www.SeymourSimon.com . The new site is easily navigable by children and is full of noteworthy features for children, parents and teachers. For children there are science jokes and riddles, an online science dictionary...      Read more...
    Published 20 Apr 2010 1:34 PM by Heather Malcomson
  • Once a month, Bob Hirshon, senior project director for media programs at AAAS, appears as the science expert on the kids’ radio program. Mindy Thomas hosts the segment, which is a part of the “Kid’s Place Live” channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Hirshon and Mindy talk about the latest scientific developments and answer kids’ science questions. Read more about it and watch a video of Bob live on air answering questions! The AAAS News site Eureka Alert has launched a new feature as part of its Science For Kids program. The site is now offering videos targeted at children between nine and 14 years old. The researchers receive a set of questions in advance from Jennifer...      Read more...
    Published 8 Jul 2011 2:16 PM by Heather Malcomson
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  • As reported by Publisher’s Weekly , Amazon has acquired over 450 children's titles originally published by Marshall Cavendish . An Amazon rep told Publisher’s Weekly that, for now, the children's titles will be published by Amazon bearing the Marshall Cavendish name and that the children's unit will be part of the Amazon Publishing team overseen by Larry Kirshbaum in New York. The deal is not expected to be completed for several month and until it is finalized orders should continue to be made through existing MCCB sales teams. I can’t find any information at the moment about what this means for the future of ebooks for children, but it does spark my curiosity. Many...      Read more...
    Published 7 Dec 2011 11:54 AM by Maria Sosa
  • A new NASA program brings the excitement of space exploration to children learning to live a healthy lifestyle. Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, NASA's Train Like an Astronaut program aims to increase opportunities both in and out of school for kids to become more physically and mentally active. The program uses the excitement of space exploration and astronaut training to challenge, inspire and educate kids to set physical fitness goals and practice fitness and proper nutrition. Kids will explore mission challenges, learn the science behind nutrition and learn to train like an astronaut. The activities used in the Train Like an Astronaut program were...      Read more...
    Published 5 Mar 2012 3:59 PM by Maria Sosa
  • Last year more than 10,000 students from 91 countries entered the first Google Science Fair. This year the Google Science Fair's reach should extend even further as it will accept entries in 13 languages. In addition, there will be 90 regional finalists: 30 each from the Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia Pacific. There is also a new “Science in Action” award for a project that addresses a social, environmental or health issue. Last year Shree Bose of Fort Worth, Tex., won a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos for her project on drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Who will take the grand prize this year? Perhaps it's a young scientist that you know.      Read more...
    Published 12 Jan 2012 9:12 PM by Maria Sosa
  • The SB&F team has been working very hard over the past several months to create a new online presence for the journal. Long before this new site began being developed, the editors and staff of SB&F were envisioning an online home for SB&F that would allow our subscribers instant, easy access to reliable reviews and a more personalized experience with the journal. With the launch of the new site today, our vision has become a reality! We really hope you enjoy the new format and features of the site. One thing will certainly remain that same as we move forward and get comfortable with our new online home: our commitment to providing quality science material reviews to our subscribers...      Read more...
    Published 28 Jul 2009 6:57 AM by Heather Malcomson
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