Saturday, August 18, 2018

Book Review: Do Doodlebugs Doodle?

DO DOODLEBUGS DOODLE by Corinne Demas and Artemis Roehrig is a humorous information book exploring the names of insects.
This attractive picture book asks silly questions about bugs with funny names such as dragonflies, horseflies, and stink bugs. Although the questions are humorous, the answers are rooted in accurate and fascinating scientific fact. The book concludes with a review of the insects discussed.
Librarians will find this book to be a popular addition to the science collection. The predictable format makes the book a fun read-aloud for preschool and primary grade children. Create a game asking children to identify real and fake insect names.
Published on April 5, 2018 by Persnickety Press. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Website Review: Skunk Bear

SKUNK BEAR with Adam Cole is an NPR video series published on Facebook.
Each short episode explores a different scientific curiosity from around the world. This science series presents a dozen videos in each season. Three seasons are currently available.
Librarians will want to mine the video collection for topics that connect to the science curriculum. Brainstorm topics of interest and submit questions through the NPR website.
To access the website through NPR, go to

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Digital Spotlight: Benjamin Franklin Papers

The BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PAPER from the Library of Congress contains the papers of statesman, publisher, scientist, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).
Contents: The collection contains around 8,000 objects spanning 1726 through 1907. It includes materials related to Franklin’s diplomatic roles along with his work as a scientist and inventor. Of particular note is his correspondence with many well-known contemporaries.
Classroom Connections: The website contains a teacher resource guide and primary source sets. Expert resources are also available for teachers building curriculum materials.
Featured Digital Objects:
Treaty of Paris -
Letter about Bifocals -
Letter about Bald Eagle -

Monday, August 13, 2018

Website Review: Stop, Breathe & Think Kids

STOP, BREATHE & THINK KIDS is a mobile app designed to encourage meditation and mindfulness in children.
Designed for ages 5 through 10, the app encourages children to check in on their feelings. Children choose a mission and create a field of calm by following the steps on the screen.
In addition to teaching basic meditation practices, it can also be useful in promoting peaceful sleep.
Librarians will find this app to be useful with teachers and children interested in mediation. Promote it in a display featuring books on mental health and meditation. An adult version is also available.
The app is available through the App Store and Google Play.
To download the app, to go to

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Book Review: Munmun

MUNMUN by Jesse Andrews is a quirky, imaginative young adult fantasy exploring social issues ranging from wealth to inequality.
Designed for mature teens, the story is set in an alternative reality where a person’s physical size is proportional to their money known as munmun. Warner and his sister Prayer are the size of a squirrel, while the rich may be the size of large buildings. The story follows Warner’s personal growth, literally.
Librarians will find an audience among teens who enjoy dystopian fantasy with a social message. From the unusual vocabulary to the wacky world building, Andrews’ approach isn’t for everyone. However, it’s perfect for those seeking a thought-provoking, humorous, face-paced read.
Published on April 3, 2018 by Harry N. Abrams. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Website Review: Deep Look

DEEP LOOK is an online PBS series exploring science and nature up close.
With episodes published twice per month, this short video series features stories from the edge of the visible world. Macro photography and microscopy are used to present short science videos connected with wildlife, biology, chemistry, and nature. Available as a YouTube channel, playlists include plants, deep look, marine life, creepy crawly, insects, things with wings, come on up to the lab, and behind the scenes.
Librarians will find that both students and teachers enjoy the three-five minute video format. Closed captioning is available. Use the videos to jumpstart discussions or provide a starting point for more in-depth inquiries.
To visit the YouTube channel, go to

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Website Review: Xplorlabs

XPLORLABS is a website designed to help students solve STEM problems.
Designed for middle-school students, the website includes interactive videos, instructional experiences, hands-on classroom activities and classroom challenges. Two standards-aligned modules are currently available. Fire forensics involves students in collecting evidence and solving a case, while the portable electrical power project asks students to conduct experiments and look for safety solutions. Additional experiments, resources, and challenges are available along with teacher and student guides.
Librarians will find these modules to be an engaging way to learn and apply STEM concepts. Work with science teachers to weave them into the science middle school curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, August 06, 2018

Website Review: Solar System Exploration

SOLAR SYSTEM EXPLORATION from NASA Science is a real-time living encyclopedia of robotic exploration of the solar system.
Developed by NASA, the website provides accurate, up-to-date information about planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and other elements of our solar system along with a record of deep space exploration. Users can choose to learn about the solar system as a whole, planets, moons, or small bodies. A kids section provides activities for youth. Other sections feature news, resources, technology reports and other useful information. Of particular note are the interactives that engage learners with hands-on applications of real-world data.
Librarians will find this website provides an excellent introduction to the solar system. The easy-to-use interface is perfect for younger students and the option to explore in-depth is useful for older researchers.
To visit the project, go to

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Book Review: What If...

WHAT IF… by Samantha Berger is a picture book exploring the power of imagination and determination.
Using lyrical prose and bright colored collages, the author and illustrator tell the story of a young girl who imagines how she would express herself if her traditional art tools disappeared.
Librarians will find this picture book to be useful in jumpstarting a discussion of creativity and imagination. It could also be applied in a lesson about invention and persistence. Use it in a display featuring other books about creativity.
Published on April 3, 2018 by Little, Brown, an imprint of Hachette. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Website Review: PBS News Hour

PBS NEWSHOUR is a television news program with educational materials for teachers.
The PBS NewsHour website contains full episodes of the television program, podcasts, and online articles. Resources are organizing by topic including politics, arts, nation, world, economy, science, health, and education.
The PBS NewsHour Extra provides student and teacher resources for grades 7-12. Materials are organized by subject areas and include both lesson plans and articles. The student voices section includes reporting by young adults. Students can submit their story idea, essay or poem to be included at the website.
Librarians will find this website to be useful for both students and teachers. Students will find useful information for their research, while teachers will find lots of ideas of integrating news into the curriculum.
To visit PBS NewsHour, go to
To visit PBS NewsHour Extra, go to

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Website Review: Lazy Green

LAZY GREEN is a website that provides simple ways people can save energy.
The website presents 20 energy saving tips. Each tip is introduced with a simple animation and statement. Readers click the tip to read a short article about the topic. A source is provided for each tip.
Librarians will find this website useful as an information literacy and informational reading activity. Ask each child to read a different tip and summarize what they learned with the class. Then direct students to go to the source of the information and evaluate the website. Advertising is embedded in the page. Use this an an opportunity to discuss product placement at websites.
To visit the website, go to