STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

Animal Planet’s Strange Animals

We seem to have an animal theme going on today at STEM Friday. I’m featuring a Cybils finalist in the elementary/juvenile nonfiction categoryAnimal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals by Charles Ghigna.


Kids go wild over these kinds of books. With over 200 photographs of weird animals and text by award-winning poet and children’s author Charles Ghigna, how can you go wrong?

First up are the Strange animals. Some of the animals include the blobfish, which was once voted the world’s ugliest animal (see video below); the red-lipped batfish, which turns out can’t swim very well; and the lowland streaked tenrec, a tiny animal which looks like it got tangled up with the spines of a porcupine. After all the weird creatures in that section, it’s hard to imagine what they found for the Unusual, Gross, and Cool animal categories that follow.

Budding zoologists will definitely dare take a look at Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals. In fact, even the most reluctant reader will want to explore it. Check out a copy today!

Hop, leap or fly over to Growing with Science blog for a review, suggested activity, and a video about that really strange blobfish.


It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

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Animals by the Numbers

animals-by-the-numbersAnimals by the Numbers: a book of animal infographics

by Steve Jenkins

48 pages; ages 6-9

HMH, 2016

How much do all the humans on earth weigh? Without adding up everyone’s weight, we have to make an estimate, and that comes to around 350 million tons. That’s a lot, right?

So how much would all the insects on earth weigh? Best estimate of that comes to 100 billion tons – about 15 tons for every person on earth. To help put these huge numbers into context, Steve Jenkins creates infographics – charts, tables, diagrams, and graphs that illustrate information.

He uses bar graphs to compare how fast animals swim, fly, and run and how far animals jump. There are pie charts and “thermometer” graphs, maps and a very cool decision tree illustrating the sorts of things that might run through a small animal’s mind when another creature approaches: does it look dangerous? Does it see me?

What I like about this book: it presents facts about animals in a fun way. Sure, you could read a page telling how fast different animals run, but a chart comparing those speeds makes you think about information in a different way. The way he presents the information is as fun as the questions he explores: how fast do critters have to flap their wings to stay airborne? How many hours a day do animals sleep compared to their waking time?

And, for us writers, Jenkins includes a pie chart showing how he spent his time making the book (5% spent staring into space).  Review copy provided by the publisher.

STEM Friday

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Site Meter Copyright © 2017 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.