Wednesday, July 29, 2020


I was cleaning out my files recently and discovered this poster created by the Pennsylvania School Librarian"s Association for School Library Media Week, March 31 to April 4, 1986. Note the electronics filling the shelves--televisions, desktop computers, fax machines, tape recorders, and for some reason, fans!
Along with many other children's book authors, I was asked for a quote about what libraries mean to me. The Author quotes were printed on the back of the poster. Here is what I said:

Libraries are full of wonderful books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and more; but, best of all, libraries are home to librarians, those helpful people who always seem to know how to find the exact book or periodical which has the information I need to know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

THE GEOGRAPHY BOOK: Perfect for Stay at Home Fun STEAM Activities

The Geography Book, paperback
The Geography Book, ebook

Get to Know the Earth's Many Forms with Dozens of Fun and Easy Projects in The Geography Book by Caroline Arnold.

From finding directions by the stars, to mapping your neighborhood,to making an earthquake in a box, you'll have a great time learning about the world with The Geography Book. You'll find out how to determine location on the Earth, how maps can provide us with a wide range of information, how different land forms were created,how water has helped shape the Earth, and much more.

Using simple materials you'll be able to find around the house or in your neighborhood, you'll be able to create things like a giant compass rose, a balloon globe, a contour potato, a map puzzle, and a tornado in a jar. So get ready for a fascinating trip around the globe. (Amazon)

The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring Your World (Wiley, 2001), my book for children that is filled with projects related to learning about geography and earth science, has been selling steadily for almost twenty years and is especially popular with home schoolers. Now, at a time when many children are at home and doing distance learning, this is the perfect book to have on hand to inspire fun projects that can be done with easily available supplies.

Here are a few samples of projects in the book:
Project: The Salty Sea: Making Salt Crystals

Project: Time Zones of the World, Make a "World Clock"

Project: Icebergs and Sea Level

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

EL NINO: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife, Now available as an E-Book

My book, El Niño: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife is now available as a Kindle book on Amazon. For readers age 10 and up.

Drought in Southeast Asia, brutal storms in Australia, and spring-like temperatures in the northeastern United States--all of these seemingly unrelated events are caused by El Niño. Disrupting weather all over the globe every three to seven years, El Niño is second only to the change of the seasons in its influence on the climate.
El Niño is the name given to the unusual increase in ocean temperatures along the Peruvian and Ecuadorian coasts that is part of a larger pattern of changes in wind and weather throughout the Pacific region and beyond. With El Niño come violent storms and upsets in the global food chain that dramatically affect both humans and wildlife.
With the use of photographs, charts and maps, this updated edition of El Niño: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife makes clear how this remarkable weather pattern is formed, how scientists track it, what its effects are, and why following its path is of such importance.

Originally published by Clarion Books as a hardback book in 1998, El Nino: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife is an Accelerated Reader book. You can look for it in your library.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

STEAM Activity: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? A chicken lays an egg, a chick grows inside, hatches, grows to be a chicken--that lays another egg.  And so on, and so on.

There are many ways to illustrate the repeating process of a chicken's life cycle. In one classroom of second graders at a school in California, the children made a mixed media presentation using packing material to represent the chicken’s nest, real feathers on the growing chick, a hand-print to make an adult chicken, markers for drawing, and googly eyes for all. With black arrows indicating the circular process, it is a dramatic and colorful presentation.

To do this project you will need:
White poster board or heavy paper cut into a large egg shape.
White paper for the eggs.
Yellow paper for the chick.
Colored markers.
Googly eyes.
Packing material for nest.
Red poster paint.

Use the picture above as a guide.
Have fun!

Learn about a chicken's life cycle in my book HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

STEAM Project: The Egg is Hatching!

When a chick is ready to hatch, it uses its beak to poke a hole in the shell. In my book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6, you can see photos of real chicks in the process of hatching. In this art project ou can create your own hatching chick.

You will need:
Yellow construction paper, about 12 by 18 inches.
Brown construction paper, about 12 by 18 inches.
A small piece of orange construction paper, about 4 inches square.
Black marker.

1. Draw a large egg shape on the yellow paper. Cut it out. Use the pencil to trace around it to make another egg shape on the brown paper. Cut it out. Make a small hole in the middle of the brown paper.
2. Spread glue around the edge of the yellow egg. Put the brown egg on top and press to fasten the two pieces of paper together.
3. Carefully tear the paper around the hole, pulling the pieces back to reveal the yellow paper underneath.
4. Use the marker to draw two black eyes.
5. Fold the orange paper in half to make a triangle. Fold under two corners and glue on to make a beak.

Your chick is ready to hatch!