Thursday, April 25, 2013

Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen Zoehfeld

Good day friend readers,
The Queen here with an educational book for you this week. Secrets of the Garden explores food chains and ecology in a simple backyard garden. Zoehfeld, a science writer, layers information throughout the book in such a way, even young children should be able to grasps earth science concepts. Her intelligent chickens make the book, I say.

Along with the informative text, the reader is treated to Lamont's beautiful watercolor pictures.

All together, this is a book teachers and parents are sure to find resourceful and engaging for children.
Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: Secrets of the Garden
Author: Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld 
Illustrator: Priscilla Lamont

Book Information:
Publisher and date: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 28, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 40 pages 
Genre: Non-fiction picture book
ISBN: 978-0517709900  

Book Theme:
Earth science, ecosystems, food chains, gardening, ecology, biosystems

Book Summary
Alice's family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eat the plants, and what birds and animals come to eat the insects.  It's the food chain, right in her own backyard!

While Alice's narrative is simple and engaging, science concepts are presented in more depth in sidebars by a pair of very knowledgeable (and highly amusing) chickens! Noted science writer Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld knows how to layer information to make it accessible to a wide range of readers and useful for educators. And illustrator Priscilla Lamont's funny, friendly paintings make this a garden everyone will want to explore.

Kids will eat up this wonderful book of backyard science—and perhaps they'll even be inspired to eat their vegetables!

Activity Adventures:

Young Readers:
Go out in your backyard and explore the life found there. Photograph or draw pictures of what you find. Create your own book about the biodiversity found in your yard.

Older Readers:
Explore a patch of land in your area. Yard, school playground, garden, park or pond.
Document your observations. Draw or photograph the animals and plants you find. Cut out pictures and create your own food web. Be sure to include yourself in the food web.
Crafty Ideas:
Using paper strips, draw pictures from a water food chain, a garden food chain, a desert food chain, ect. Glue strips into circle, creating real "food" chains. Hand your chains around the room.

Discussion Questions:
Find more information on food chains at Enchanted Learning.
Find other gardening books suggested by teachers

Authors Arena



About the Author

KATHLEEN WEIDNER ZOEHFELD was a children's book editor for more than 10 years before becoming a full-time writer. She has published more than 60 books for children, most about animals and natural history.

From publisher's site:
Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is the award-winning author of more than sixty books, including Dinosaur Tracks, "a great choice for even the most discriminating dinophiles" (School Library Journal); Did Dinosaurs Have Feathers?, a Children's Book of the Month Club selection described as "fascinating" by Kirkus Reviews; and Dinosaurs Big and Small, a 2003 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book Award winner. When she's not reading, researching, writing, or editing, Kathleen loves to spend her free time exploring, doing fieldwork, and preparing fossils in the laboratory for her local natural history museums. She lives in Berkeley, California.

About the Illustrator

PRISCILLA LAMONT has illustrated dozens of books, including the Animal Rescue Team books by Sue Stauffacher, and Goose and Duck by Jean Craighead George. Whether drawing human or animal characters, Priscilla always likes to include some humor.

From Illustrator's website:

After graduating from Canterbury College of Art with a degree in Graphic design and a few years as a book designer, Priscilla began to work as a freelance artist, and has illustrated over 40 books for children for a variety of authors, including Harry Secombe, Adrian Mitchell, Julia Jarman, Michael Rosen and Hilary McKay, as well as occasionally illustrating her own words too!

After many years in London and even more in Suffolk, she is now settled in Kent with her husband the artist David Hayward and has a studio at the Creek Creative building in Faversham, where she works rather untidily, but with great enthusiasm!

Least likely to say: It’s wonderful working at home on my own

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