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The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - ABDO Publishing Pollinators Picture Book Series

As a contributing blogger on STEMTuesday, I helped create the book list for July's posts on pollinators. Be sure to check out these great Middle Grade books next Tuesday, July 7th.

Included on this list is a book from ABDO Publishing's "Team Earth" series* - Pollinators: Animals Helping Plants Survive by Martha London (ABDO 2020).

This book examines the insects, birds, and bats responsible for the majority of plant pollination. Large color photographs, cross-curricular extension activities, and sidebars on topics like prehistoric pollination, mammals, and artificial pollination make this an engaging and educational book.

While researching that post, I discovered that ABDO Publishing also has a great new picture book series that highlights individual pollinators. While they were too young for the other book list, I was excited by their coverage, beautiful photographs, and depth of enrichment activities and other resources. So, I decided to create a companion post.

This nonfiction Pollinators series, written by Emma Bassier and Martha London, for Pop! (an ABDO division) consists of eight, 32-page books for 2nd to 5th grade readers. However, the gorgeous, close-up photographs will surely captivate a younger child as they listen.

Opening lines:

The moon shines in the night sky.

Suddenly, a dark spot flashes in front

of the moon. A bat is flying across the

Arizona desert. It lands on a saguaro

cactus. The bat sticks its nose in the . . .

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

What I liked about this series:

I liked that each book focuses on one specific pollinator. And that they included some of the less well known (or unexpected) pollinators. The books are divided into 4 chapters - which cover the means of pollinations, special characteristics & lifestyle, habitats, and reasons for conservation. I found the photographs stunning and even discovered some fascinating new facts.

In addition to the easily accessible text, these books contain numerous extension elements and activities. For instance:

(a) "Did You Know" sections - for instance, bat's ears "can be more than five times bigger than their head";

(b) fascinating side bars - for instance, "What is Echolocation?";

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

(c) multiple QR Codes - which connect to videos, activities, and additional teacher resources;

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

(d) an infographic which explains the mechanics of each means of pollination - for instance brushing it off their body or beak, or through their droppings; and

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

(e) detailed photographs and close-up images.

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

As well as little additional facts - for instance, "A hummingbird can stick its tongue out far beyond the end of its beak" and "Unlike bees, wasps can sting more than once."

© 2020 by POP, LLC.

These are great STEM additions to the classroom, libraries, or homeschooling, as well scouting troops, since they cover the characteristics of insects, hummingbirds, and bats, general biology, and ecology/conservation in an engaging manner. Making it fun and exciting to learn about and understand the importance of these amazing pollinators to the world and why they deserve our protection. Each book also includes - A Table of Contents, "Making Connections" activities for further learning, a Glossary, and Index.

Whether you're a fan of any or all of these pollinators, these books are well worth your time. Overall, I think these books will appeal to a wide range of kids (and adults). Be sure to pop back over to STEMTuesday on, you guessed it, each Tuesday this month for an interview, classroom ideas, and writing tips and resources focused on pollinators.

*ABDO's Team Earth series (2020) also includes:

Beneficial Insects: Bugs Helping Plants Survive;

Decomposers and Scavengers: Nature's Recyclers;

Ecosystem Architects: Animals Building Incredible Structures;

Seed Dispersers: Poop, Fur, and Other Ways Animals Scatter Seeds; and

Symbiotic Relationships: Animals and Plants Working Together.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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