This is the first of a series of blog posts in which I will share my recommendations for holiday gifts for readers of all ages, beginning with children's science picture books. This year's SB&F Prize finalists are on the list, as are some of my personal favorites from among the books we reviewed this year. I limited my selection in each category to 10 picks. To see more choices, please visit our Amazon astore.
1. Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino. (A young girl shares her observations about the mallards near her house in an engaging, informative full color story sure to make a splash with duck lovers.)
2. The Beetle Book, written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins. (Author-illustrator Steve Jenkins presents a fascinating array of these intriguing insects and the many amazing adaptations that the 350,000 plus species have made to survive: From the goliath beetle that weighs one fourth of a pound to the nine inch long titan beetle.
3. Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World, by Laurie Lawlor; illustrated by Laura Beingessner. (Tells the life story of Rachel Carson, a biologist and environmentalist, who wrote "Silent Spring", a book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. Powerful men tried to stop publication of the book, but Rachel and her publishers persisted, and Silent Spring went on to become the book that woke people up to the harmful impact humans were having on our planet.)
4. Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas, by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm; illustrated by Molly Bang. (Acclaimed Caldecott artist Bang paints a stunning, sweeping view of our ever-changing oceans. She uses her signature poetic language and dazzling illustrations to introduce the oceanic world.)
5. Life in the Ocean: the Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle, written and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. The book is the inspiring story of world-renowned oceanographer and environmentalist Sylvia Earle. This picture book biography also includes an informative Author's Note that is sure to motivate young environmentalists.
6. Waiting for Ice, by Sandra Markle; illustrated by Alan Marks. (This book is a children's storybook about a young female polar bear cub on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. The story is engaging from the start, and the masterful illustrations really bring it to life.)
7. A Rock is Lively, by Dianna Hutts Aston; illustrated by Sylvia Long. (The latest from the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet,A Seed Is Sleepy, andA Butterfly Is Patientintroduces children to the fascinating world of rocks, featuring an incredibly array of rocks depicted in lavish illustration and described in elegant, but accessible verse.)
8. A Place for Bats, by Melissa Stewart; illustrated by Higgins Bond. (This fact-filled book look at the amazing world of bats includes a call to action to protect these creatures and their habitats. It introduces young readers to the ways human action or inaction can affect bat populations and opens kids' minds to a wide range of environmental issues.)
9. City Fish, Country Fish, by Mary M Cerullo; illustrated by Jeffrey L. Rotman. (This beautifully engineered book describes how fish live in their natural habitats, be it in the "city" coral reefs or the cold "country" waters. Ocean photographer Jeff Rotman contributes stunning photographs that enhance the enjoyment of the book.)
10. Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth's Strangest Animals, by Michael Hearst; illustrated by Jelmer Noordeman. (Hearst's informal style will engage readers of many ages and interests. Every page is a collection of snippets of fun facts presented in a variety of media - from drawings to poems.)
13 Dec 2012 6:12 PM