Saturday, October 9, 2010

When It's ALL About Science

Yes, she REALLY wanted to take this
one home!
Janan has ALWAYS been passionate about science.  It started early with a love of rocks (which continues to this day) and then progressed from there.  

At three, she became obsessed with Bill Nye the Science Guy.  We found his shows on VHS at the local library and she would check them out over and over (especially the one on condensation).  I went so far as to try and find these shows on DVD and add them to our small collection, but they're licensed only for schools and cost thousands of dollars!  Thankfully, the library was very forgiving on the number of times she checked out the same video because, apparently, she was the only one checking them out!  

When Janan was in kindergarten her teacher, Mrs. Williams, had the kids choose an animal on which they would write a report.  When I went to pick her up from school Mrs. Williams pulled me aside and said, "How did Janan learn about poison dart frogs?"  My response, "Poison WHAT frogs?"  I still have no idea how she learned about them, but while other children chose horses, eagles and kittens, my daughter chose the poison dart frog.

So, we've always been on the hunt for great science books for kids.  Some of Janan's favorites came from the author Seymour Simon.  Mr. Simon's "See More Level One Readers" are early chapter books that cover all types of science topics such as animals (her favorite was, of course, the one about bats), earthquakes and pyramids & mummies. 

The books start at "Level 1" reading (considered pre-K to 1st) and go up to "Level 3" (considered 2nd - 4th).  However, Janan read all of them between the ages of 3 & 4.  The amazing, full-color photography and clear, interesting facts kept her interested.  She loved finding information she thought I wouldn't know and showing she "knew more" than Mama.  

In addition to his "See More" series, he has a full line of books called the "Smithsonian Series".   These are listed as being for children in 4th - 7th, but because of their large size and beautiful photography some make perfect picture books for younger science lovers.  Be careful of some like the one on tornados, though, because younger children may get frightened.

Almost all of our Seymour Simon books I've found at the local used book stores & library book sales!  

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