Tag Archives: Questioning

#365PictureBooks Day 9 – Picture books for big connections

I want to share a picture book that fits with my collection ‘vision’ of having resources for our students that stimulate curiosity, imagination and wonder and encourage questioning and thinking. You are stardust  is an incredible mix of science, imagination, environmental awareness, spirituality and hope for the future of the earth.


You are stardust written by Elin Kelsey, Artwork by Soyeon Kim

“From the water they drink to the trees
they climb, kids are connected to the natural world in big and surprising ways.”

You Are Stardust begins by introducing the idea that every tiny atom in our bodies came from a star that exploded long before we were born. From its opening pages, the book suggests that we are intimately connected to the natural world; it compares the way we learn to speak to the way baby birds learn to sing, and the growth of human bodies to the growth of forests. [Publisher]

“I wrote You Are Stardust because I didn’t just want to tell kids they are part of nature. I wanted to show them in a more personal way, by linking what happens in their own bodies to what happens in the sky, the ocean, the forests, and to other animals.” [Elin Kelsey]

The writing is almost poetry, but every beautiful, whispery sentence is backed by real science.

“Your breath is alive with
the promise of flowers”

“Scientists can now sample the microscopic world in such fine detail; they are discovering all kinds of new species of tiny plants and animals that naturally live in the air we breathe. I interviewed palynologists, scientists who study pollen grains, to ask them, “What happens to all the pollen in the air we breathe?” Every day, you breathe in more than a million pollen grains. The bigger ones get caught in the mucus or hairs in your nose and sneezed back out. Tinier ones may travel down your throat and eventually get pooped out. But a lucky few float back out when you exhale. So that’s what I meant when I wrote, “Each time you blow a kiss to the world, you spread pollen that might grow to be a new plant.” [Author Q&A]

The book is also available as an iPad app. Unfortunately this is not available in the NZ itunes store at this time.

Please see this beautiful piece at Brain Pickings about this book. It was reading this article that made me want to order the book immediately.

Bibliographic details:

You are stardust written by Elin Kelsey, Artwork by Soyeon Kim

Published by Owl Kids, 2012.

32 pages

ISBN:9781926973357

NZ RRP $36.99

Available to purchase from Wheelers or borrow from Auckland Libraries

#365PictureBooks Day 3 – On a beam of light : a story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne

This is one of my favourite picture books and one we use across a variety of units of inquiry. It is wonderful for introducing students to the ideas of imagination, thinking, curiosity, questioning, creativity and wonder as well as the notion that innovative breakthroughs in thought or action don’t happen overnight.

“A boy rides a bicycle down a dusty road. But in his mind, he envisions himself traveling at a speed beyond imagining, on a beam of light. This brilliant mind will one day offer up some of the most revolutionary ideas ever conceived. From a boy endlessly fascinated by the wonders around him, Albert Einstein ultimately grows into a man of genius recognized the world over for profoundly illuminating our understanding of the universe. Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky invite the reader to travel along with Einstein on a journey full of curiosity, laughter, and scientific discovery. Parents and children alike will appreciate this moving story of the powerful difference imagination can make in any life.” Publisher website

Look at these wonderful illustrations – just gorgeous!

 

I have one hardback copy of this title but I’m thinking of adding the ebook too as it is available in both OverDrive and MackinVIA. I prefer picture books in paper format (and this is an especially lovely one with matt ‘almost textured with the look of recycled’ paper and a size that doesn’t translate well to the iPad)… An additional ebook copy means that when checked out to a teacher they can project the PDF pages onto a whiteboard in their class from their laptop, they can then return it and another teacher in the same year level (needing the book for the same unit), can do the same.

I have classified this and other biographies of Einstein with the books on physics at 530.092 EIN. No kid ever stumbled across this at 920 in my library and I have a lot of children very interested in science. I see from the Wheeler’s website that it’s also available in Chinese so a copy could end up in our international collection.

My recommendation – this is an essential purchase for any school library!

Bibliographic details:

On a beam of light : a story of Albert Einstein  /  by Jennifer Berne ; illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky.  (2013)

Published by Chronicle Books in 2013.

ISBN:9780811872355

NZ RRP $32.50

Available for purchase at the Children’s Book Shop, Wheeler’s etc and also for loan at Auckland Libraries. Auckland Libraries also have this title in OverDrive.

If you need teaching ideas and other resources to use with this book then you must look at the wonderful resources at the Classroom Bookshelf here.

Publisher website with downloadable PDF teachers guide – here.