Tag Archives: science

New Things to Read for Earth Day

All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy

The Animal Book: Over 100 Incredible Creatures and How we Share the Planet with Them by Ruth Martin

Dark Matters: Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution by Joan Marie Galat

Down to Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World by Nikki Tate

The Frog Scientist by Pamela Turner

Let’s Eat: Sustainable Food for a Hungry Planet by Kimberley Veness

Maker Projects for Kids Who Love Greening Up Spaces by Megan Kopp

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story by Suzanne Slade

Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators that Saved an Ecosystem by Patricia Newman

What Milly Did: The Remarkable Pioneer of Plastics Recycling by Elise Moser

While you wait for the soil to warm

As it gets closer to spring, lesson plans start to turn towards seeds and growing things (even if it’s too early to plant in our area right now). Here are some books with ideas for projects and science lessons to keep you busy!

Building Birdhouses by Dana Meachen Rau

Enchanted Gardening: Growing Miniature Gardens, Fairy Gardens, and More by Lisa Amstutz

Fairy Garden Design by Alix Wood

Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Fresh-Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers’ Market by Michelle Schaub

Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food by Shelley Rotner

It’s Our Garden from Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona

Karl, Get Out of the Garden! Carolus Linnaeus and the Naming of Everything by Anita Sanchez

A Landscaper’s Tools by Sebastian Avery

Spring on the Farm by M. J. York

Super Simple Farm Projects: Fun & Easy Animal Environment Activities by Carolyn Bernhardt

Welcome to the Backyard by Ruth Owen

Explore Women’s History

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights: From the Vote to the Equal Rights Amendment by Deborah Kops

Cleopatra: Queen of Egypt by Xina M. Uhl

First Ladies written by Amy Pastan association with the Smithsonian 

Forward: My Story by Abby Wambach \

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Hidden Women: The African-American Mathematicians of NASA Who Helped America Win the Space Race by by Rebecca Rissman

Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman with Elijah and Gabriel Zuckerman

Roses and Radicals: The Epic Story of How American Women Won the Right to Vote by Susan Zimet & Todd Hasak-Lowy

Super Women: Six Scientists Who Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor

Who is Sonia Sotomayor? by Megan Stine
This title is also available as an ebook from OverDrive.

Women in Science by Jen Green

The Women’s Rights Movement: Then and Now by Rebecca Langston-George




“Look, up in the sky!”

binocular-387319_1920It’s a great month to be an amateur astronomer! Not only do we have a solar eclipse to look forward to on the 21st, but did you know that you can also enjoy shooting stars every August? The Perseid meteor shower occurs every August (near my friend’s birthday, which is one of the reasons I remember it!) and it should peak this weekend. I just made a display of some books about meteors, shooting stars and solar eclipses, but there are lots of great online resources, too.

The Adult Reference blog has all kinds of information right now about the upcoming solar eclipse. Lots of it will be readable and interesting for older kids. There’s an excellent roundup of online resources from Sky & Telescope magazine which includes a short, printable guide aimed at science teachers.

If you’re looking for something aimed at younger readers, NASA has resources especially for students as well as the NASA Kids’ Club, a page about the solar system, and Space Place (in English or Spanish). Space Place currently has an animation on the front page to explain, “What is a solar eclipse?” If you click on it, you can also download a poster with the information. You can find a link to eclipse safety information, too. Going beyond the eclipse, there is also information on meteor showers and how to watch for shooting stars. We will be trying some of the website’s hands-on activities at the bilingual Noche de la Familia program on the evening of August 21.

For information on the library’s eclipse-related programming and the eclipse glasses giveaway, please visit the special Eclipse page on our website. Please note that there is a limited supply of glasses. The teacher guide I mentioned above has instructions for other ways to view the eclipse safely, including simple pinhole projectors made from easy-to-come-by materials like cardboard, aluminum foil, and a pushpin.

If you would like to follow up on a family interest in astronomy sparked by this year’s eclipse, you might enjoy checking out one of our new STEAMboxes. The Astronomy Set has been popular and has several holds on it, but keep in mind– the Bird watching kit also includes binoculars! Janice Van Cleave also has several books with space science activities to try. You might also want to recreate some of the activities from the Noche de la Familia program with craft books, the Star Walk app, or music.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Shark Week!

10 Fascinating Facts About Sharks by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack
Did you know that there are more than 500 species of shark? Or that they range in size from smaller than a ruler to longer than a bus? Those are just some of the fascinating tidbits kids will discover in 10 Fascinating Facts About Sharks.

Amazing Sharks by Steve Parker
Provides an overview of sharks, describing key characteristics of such species as the great white shark, blue shark, sand tiger shark, and whale shark.

Bow Wow by Spencer Quinn
Bowser the mutt lives with eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux and her grandmother in the normally quiet Louisiana bayou town of St. Roch, but news that a Bull shark has somehow made its way into the swamp has everyone excited, and the cash bounty for landing the shark has lured some very shady characters into town–one hunter in particular is prepared to go to any lengths to collect the money.

Deadliest Sharks by Melissa Abramovitz
Profiles some of the world’s deadliest sharks, including the spotted wobbegong, shortfin mako, and bull shark.

If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams
A nonfiction picture book tracing the repercussions of what would happen if sharks disappeared from our planet.

Please Be Nice to Sharks: Fascinating Facts about the Ocean’s Most Misunderstood Creatures by Matt Weiss; photos by Matt Weiss & Daniel Botelho
A humorous book that humanizes the incredible, much-maligned shark through breathtaking underwater photography and incredible facts dispels many of the myths that have led to various shark species being hunted to extinction.

Sharkpedia by Nancy Ellwood and Margaret Parrish
Through hundreds of photographs, diagrams, maps, and illustrations, readers will learn where sharks lurk, what they eat, and why they do what they do, as well as hear from scientists and shark-attack survivors.

Sharks by Sarah Fowler
Get up close and personal with all kinds of sharks—from bullhead to cow to carpet sharks—and learn how to identify different types, which is strongest, and so much more with this exciting book full of amazing images, fun quizzes, and incredible information.

Sharks and Other Sea Creatures senior editor Carrie Lowe; photographer Ruth Jenkinson
Packed with fun activities, crafts, reading games, and amazing facts, kids can take a dive under the waves and meet all the colorful creatures beneath–from clown fish to starfish to jellyfish–in this educational project book.

Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks by Skila Brown; illustrated by Bob Kolar
From the enormous whale shark to the legendary great white to the enigmatic goblin shark to the small cookie-cutter shark, Slickety Quick is a delightful frenzy of shark mayhem. … Sneaky shark facts ripple through each spread to further inform the brave and curious young reader intrigued by the power–and danger–of these amazing creatures.

Science, Ballons, Reptiles and More!

Dale-Balloon Show

Story Stroll in the Park – “Nugget and Fang” by T. Sauer & M. Slack (Off site/Drop in)
Monday, July 10, 10-11 a.m.
Read the story posted along the path and enjoy activities at each station. Meet at the Bookmobile before the event. Story Strolls count as an hour of reading towards your Summer Adventure!

Monday, July 10, 2-3 p.m.
Grades K–5; kindergartners with an adult.
From robots to building sets, Cubelets to weaving, try out a variety of different technologies every month. Drop in.

Diez Deditos (Ten Little Fingers)
Monday, July 10, 7-7:30 p.m.

Diez Deditos is a bilingual storytime presented in Spanish and English. Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Tuesday, July 11, 9:45-10:15 a.m.
10:30-11 a.m.
Ages 0–18 months.

Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Getting Excited About Science with Steve Belliveau – (Central Park)
Tuesday, July 11, 11 a.m.-noon

Who says science can’t be fun and funny? Learn the basics about science and laugh while you do! Drop in.

Balloon Show – (Annerino Community Center)
Tuesday, July 11, 2-2:45 p.m.
All ages.
Enjoy light comedy and awe-inspiring balloon art with magical balloon-dude Dale Obrochta. Drop in.

Summer Minecraft Club
Tuesday, July 11, 3:30-5 p.m.
Grades 3–12
Join us for open game play! Bring your Fountaindale Public Library card and Minecraft account information. Drop in.

Family Storytime
Tuesday, July 11, 7-7:30 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult.

Gather the family together for a storytime filled with fun, stories, songs and laughter! Drop in.

Toddler Storytime
Wednesday, July 12,
9:30am – 10:00am

10:30am – 11:00am
Ages 18–36 months.

Help your toddlers grow and learn with stories, songs and fun! Drop in.

Writers’ Workshop
Wednesday, July 12, 1:30-3 p.m.
Grades 3–5.

Explore the creative writer in you during this four-week stimulating summer workshop. Must be able to attend all four sessions. Register.

Cold Blooded Creatures – (Central Park Pavilion)
Thursday, July 13, 2-2:45 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult.

Learn about reptiles, their native habitats, myths, superstitions and more with Jim Nesci.
Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Thursday, July 13, 6:30-7:15 p.m.
Ages 0–18 months.

Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Vinyl Design & Computer Cutting Basics
Thursday, July 13, 7:00pm – 8:30pm,

Create and cut custom designs that can be applied to different surfaces. Register.

Visit Your Local Park with MOPs – (Wipfler Park)
Friday, July 14, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Stop by Wipfler Park for a fun MOPs show, ride a trackless train and scale the climbing wall. Visit the Bookmobile to check out materials and enjoy hands-on STEAM activities. Drop in.

STEAM Rollin’
Friday, July 14, 2-3 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult.
Join us for an action–packed session of STEAM–based stories, activities, and crafts. Drop in.

Street Art Competition – Presented by the Bolingbrook Arts Council
Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
All ages.
Create a chalk masterpiece on the library’s entryway sidewalk. Photos will be placed on the library’s website for voting. The artist with the most votes in each age group will win a prize! Drop in.

Saturday Special: Family Movie
Saturday, July 15, 1:30-3:45 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult.
Drop in to see a movie with the family.

Exploring natural history

Summer is a great time to visit museums. We have some books to help you get ready for a museum visit, and we also have books that are like a virtual visit to a natural history museum all in themselves.

Animalium by Jenny Broom; illustrated by Katie Scott
Like Botanicum and Historium, below, this is part of the Welcome the Museum series and has “galleries” of images that are like taking a tour of a museum.

Bees: A Honeyed History by Piotr Socha
Learn about the science of bees and how humans have interacted with them in this unusual book from Poland.

Botanicum by Kathy Willis; illustrated by Katie Scott
Showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by identification information and brief descriptions.

Evolving Planet: Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Erica Kelly and Richard Kissel
A book published in association with The Field Museum to go along with the Evolving Planet exhibit.

The Field Museum of Natural History by Joy Gregory
This would be a nice introduction before a trip to Chicago to visit the museum. The publisher provides online extras like audio and videos.

Historium by Jo Nelson; illustrated by Richard Wilkinson
Here you will find a collection of objects from ancient civilisations. Objects of beauty, functionality, war, life, death and burial.

How the Meteorite Got to the Museum by Jessica Hartland
From outer space, across the eastern US, to the roof of a car in Peekskill, New York, and thereafter to be verified, tested, and exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History. By the same author: How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum and How the Sphinx Got to the Museum.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Charlie is struggling to get through a cross-country trip to see his father, who will undergo brain surgery. He’s coping by checking off birds from the list he and his dad made of all the species they hoped to see someday– at least one of which is rather inconveniently extinct. Perhaps the Field Museum can help?

Want to do more to explore museums? The Field Museum has online resources for educators (the specimens toolkit would pair nicely with The Someday Birds). You can use the Museum Adventure Pass for discounts at some local museums (call the Information Desk for more details). You can also look at Summer’s Free Museum Days in Chicago to find out when there is free or discounted admission at some of the big Chicago museums that aren’t included in the Museum Adventure Pass.