Thursday, 30 May 2013

Book Review: author: Elin Kelsey

I was sent two books Elin Kelsey has authored, published by Owl Books.
Owl Books has a great history of publishing science-related books for kids. I have used many in my classrooms.
NOT Your Typical Book About the Environment
The first, is truly atypical! It is full of great ideas. It includes an index, which is helpful, as there is much text, in small print on each page.

Not Your Typical Book About the Environment
March 2010
64 pages, colour illustrations throughout
10 x 8 1/2
Ages 9 to 12
ISBN 978-1-897349-84-7

I thought about its use either at home, or in a classroom. It is very full of novel ideas, ones I had not heard of, and would appeal to the scientific-minded youngster. I have been involved in teaching about caring for the earth for a long time. All of our grade 6 kids used to do common Units of Study. We would share our knowledge in a culminating activity: an assembly of the entire body of 200 kids.

It would be a great book I would have used as a resource in my junior-level classrooms, especially for gifted kids. I loved giving kids projects, and resource book like this one.
The illustrations, such as the one above right, provide much food for thought. Kelsey writes about the type of initiatives that appeal to young people who are creatively engaging in caring for the environment.

Likely, a teacher's guide would be a great idea for this book. It is a very busy book for ADHD kids, or those with reading disabilities. It' the kind of book that would benefit from handouts and worksheets, to guide the learner.

You Are Stardust
The next is a picture book by the same author. It has delightful artwork by a Toronto artist. The YouTube video (below) is interesting, whereby they explain how the artwork was created.

For younger children, they will enjoy the art as much as the science behind the book. Owl offers a teacher's guide, as well.

I thought it a bit abstract for the younger reader. Lovely art, but I felt the topic a bit deep for youngsters. I'm not sure how to explain an atom or cells to them. The prerequisite knowledge is something even an older child might not understand.

That said, I might read it to students before a gr. 3 - 6 unit on the cycle of life, or cells.

Teacher's Guide

No comments: