Book Weekend


farmOn the Farm, At the Market by Brian Karas reveals the struggle and joy of being a small scale farmer.  Where does the mushrooms, cheese and vegetables on sale come from?  What daily chores need doing?  At the end of the week, market day dawns with entertainment and shopping.  A chef buys from each staff, creating a co-operative meal shared by all!



Beautiful Butterflies


Glasswings: A Butterfly’s Story by Elisa Kleven
Lost in the city, a butterfly with see-through wings makes friends with a ladybug, an ant, and a pigeon, and together they help flowers bloom and grow.

Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More! by Carole Gerber
Earth Day and Poetry Month combine in this book of short nature poems for 2 voices.  Poems starring seeds, bees and other small friendly creatures features unusual animal conversations in rhyming verse and is complemented by sumptuous illustrations of the natural world that convey engaging facts about plant and insect life.

A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart
Discover how butterflies can be damaged by human changes to the environment. What can you can do to help them thrive?

The Little Butterfly by Sherry Shahan
This easy reader filled with photographs follows a newly hatched caterpillar from birth to metamorphosis, mating, and migration

Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey by Loree Griffin Burns
Find out about the amazing work of butterfly farmers in Costa Rica.

To create your own unique butterfly specimens follow these instructions from I Can Teach My Child!


Book Weekend – Go Outside!

OutsideBreak free of schedules and homework — and play outside!

Bringing the Outside In by Mary Siddals entreats children to explore a world of dirt and puddles, sun and wind.  The gentle rhymes follow the pack of 4 children through the seasons, exploring, discovering, and eventually cleaning up again.

The soft illustrations by Patrice Barton bring the smell of rain and the gentle breezes of spring lifting off the page.  This bedtime book will inspire adventures for the whole weekend.

Terrific Toads

They have warts, they hop and they eat bugs. They aren’t going to win any beauty contests but they are an important part of the ecosystem. Some can even defend themselves by shooting poison from their eyes! For a hopping good time, try these stories about the frogs’ bumpy cousin, the toad.


McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger
McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea.

Toads on Toast by Linda Bailey
As this delightful picture book opens, Fox is bored of his usual meal of plain old toad, so he turns to a cookbook of toad recipes for inspiration. Having caught a sackful of small, young toads as recommended, Fox is deciding on a recipe when he is startled by the appearance of the mother of these small toadlets who is horrified to discover that Fox is planning to eat her babies. Stop! she commands him, to no avail. Mamma Toad frantically tries everything in her power to save her offspring, even offering herself for Fox to eat. But nothing works. Until she suggests preparing her own delicious “secret” recipe for Fox instead¬ — Toad-in-the-Hole. (The secret? No toads!)

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
One summer day Toad was unhappy. He had lost the white, fourholed, big, round, thick button from his jacket. Who helped him look for it? His best friend, Frog. Another day, Frog was unhappy. He was sick in bed and looking green. Who gave him some tea and told him a story? His best friend, Toad.

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea
Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem.
Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads.

Hoptoad by Jane Yolen
A boy, his dad, and his dog are out for a drive on a beautiful sunny day. Unfortunately, a hapless toad is trying to make its way across the very same road. Talk about bad timing. Is there any hope of avoiding toad-al disaster? Maybe. See what a sharp-witted and caring boy can do to save the day.

Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman
Limpy’s family reckons humans don’t hate cane toads, but Limpy knows otherwise. He’s spotted the signs: the cross looks, the unkind comments, the way they squash cane toads with their cars. Limpy is desperate to save his species from ending up as pancakes. Somehow he must make humans see how fabulous cane toads really are. Risking everything, he sets off on a wart-tinglingly dangerous and daring journey to . . . the Olympics?  This is the epic story of a slightly squashed young cane toad’s quest for the truth.

Warty Toads by Meish Goldish
Many people believe that a person can get warts just by touching a toad. While this enduring myth is not true, a toad’s warts are harmful to many of its predators. The warts produce a poison, and most animals that eat toads often get sick and can even die. Many animals, such as dogs and foxes, spit out a toad after just one bite because the poison tastes so bad. These are just some of the interesting facts that kids will learn when they enter the world of Warty Toads. Vivid, full-color photos will captivate kids as they see up close what these wart-covered creatures eat, how they stay safe, and the tremendous transformations that take place as these amphibians grow from tiny tadpoles to adult toads.

Have a hopping good time with these toad crafts!  Toad hat instructions courtesy of Fabiana Carter and toad bank instructions from Bluebonnet Village Craft Network.




Whether at home or school, your child has more than likely used blocks, Legos, pillows, or nesting bowls to build something. If your kiddos are in to building, these titles may help them gain a better understanding of engineering concepts.


Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal–to fly–Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success: you can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.

Building our House by Jonathan Bean
In this unique construction book for kids who love tools and trucks, readers join a girl and her family as they pack up their old house in town and set out to build a new one in the country. Mom and Dad are going to make the new house themselves, from the ground up. From empty lot to finished home, every stage of their year-and-a-half-long building project is here. And at every step their lucky kids are watching and getting their hands dirty, in page after page brimming with machines, vehicles, and all kinds of house-making activities!.

Sky Boys: How they Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson
The acclaimed team that brought readers the IRA Children’s Book Award–winning Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt is back with a riveting brick-by-brick account of how one of the most amazing accomplishments in American architecture came to be. It’s 1930 and times are tough for Pop and his son. But look on the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue, a building straight and simple as a pencil is being built in record time. Hundreds of men are leveling, shoveling, hauling. They’re hoisting 60,000 tons of steel, stacking 10 million bricks, eating lunch in the clouds. And when they cut ribbon and the crowds rush in, the boy and his father will be among the first to zoom up to the top of the tallest building in the world and see all of Manhattan spread at their feet.

Building Big by David Macaulay
Why this shape and not that? Why steel instead of concrete or stone? Why put it here and not over there? These are the kinds of questions that David Macaulay asks himself when he observes an architectural wonder. These questions take him back to the basic process of design from which all structures begin, from the realization of a need for the structure to the struggles of the engineers and designers to map out and create the final construction. As only he can, David Macaulay engages readers’ imaginations and gets them thinking about structures they see and use every day — bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, domes, and dams. In Building Big he focuses on the connections between the planning and design problems and the solutions that are finally reached. Whether a structure is imposing or inspiring, he shows us that common sense and logic play just as important a part in architecture as imagination and technology do.

Bridges!: Amazing Structures to Design, Build & Test by Carol A. Johmann and Elizabeth Rieth
Describes different kinds of bridges, their history, design, construction, and effects on populations, environmental dilemmas, safety, and more.

Take the STEM Challenge!  Click HERE to find out how.



April 15, 2016 marks the 104th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. Most everyone is fascinated by stories of the Titanic and kids are no exception. Somewhere after the dinosaur obsession comes interest in all things related to the Titanic. Beware! These titles will only increase your child’s curiosity about the “unsinkable” ship.


Unsinkable (Titanic #1), by Gordon Korman
The ultimate action and adventure trilogy begins, with #1 bestselling author Gordon Korman plunging readers into the heart of the Titanic. The Titanic is meant to be unsinkable, but as it begins its maiden voyage, there’s plenty of danger waiting for four of its young passengers. Paddy is a stowaway, escaping a deadly past. Sophie’s mother is delivered to the ship by police — after she and Sophie have been arrested. Juliana’s father is an eccentric whose riches can barely hide his madness. And Alfie is hiding a secret that could get him kicked off the ship immediately. The lives of these four passengers will be forever linked with the fate of the Titanic. And the farther they get from shore, the more the danger looms…

Titanicat, by Marty Crisp
Young Jim Mulholland can’t believe his good luck: He has signed on as a cabin boy to the world’s finest ocean liner, the Titanic, and can’t wait for the history-making voyage across the sea to America. As part of his duties Jim is in charge of the ship’s cat, a beautiful tortoiseshell that also appears happy to be on board. He calls the cat by the ship’s construction number, 4-0-1, certain that she will bring him good luck. And he’s delighted when 4-0-1 shortly gives birth to a litter of kittens. But once the ship’s trial runs are completed and it’s ready to launch to sea, Jim notices that 4-0-1 is nowhere to be found. He’s got to find her–the Titanic can’t cast off without her lucky cat. Jim is faced with a decision that will affect the rest of his life.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, by Lauren Tarshis
Ten-year-old George Calder can’t believe his luck–he and his little sister Phoebe are on the famous Titanic, crossing the ocean with their aunt Daisy. The ship is full of exciting places to explore, but when George ventures into a first class storage cabin, a terrible boom shakes the entire boat. Suddenly, water is everywhere, and George’s life changes forever.
Lauren Tarshis brings history’s most exciting and terrifying events to live in this new fictional series. Reader will be transported by stories of amazing kids and how they survived!

DK Eyewitness Books: Titanic, by Simon Adams
Eyewitness Titanic is DK’s classic look at the history of the Titanic, now reissued with a CD and wall chart.Young readers will discover the triumphs and tragedies of this “unsinkable” luxury liner. Detailed images and text highlight all aspects of this fateful journey including how the ship was built and equipped, what kind of passengers and crew she carried, what facilities she offered onboard, how she struck an iceberg, why she sank so quickly, how many people were saved, and how many lives were lost.

Tonight on the Titanic, by Mary Pope Osbourne
Jack and Annie are in for an exciting, scary, and sad adventure when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to the decks of the Titanic. Is there anything they can do to help the ill-fated ship? Will they be able to save anyone? Will they be able to save themselves?


To teach children about the Titanic’s sinking, teachers and parents will find helpful hands-on experiments at