Sunday, August 26, 2007

A few fun books - hurricanes, recycling & garbage.

With all the rain we have had more time to read, and we have a few books that quickly became favorites. It was hard to choose just one, so I have listed a few. A is a facts and information bug, as you can tell by his selections (although he loves his more relaxing bedtime stories too!).

A had heard about the hurricane on the weather channel during our big storms last week and was interested in finding out more about them. We tracked the hurricane for several days, researched a bit about the Hurricane Hunter aircraft and the science behind their readings - but he wanted more!!! The library had a book about them titled "Hurricane Hunters!: Riders on the Storm" and it seems that we have read it at least 30 times in the past few days. The artwork is nice, the story and information is thorough but simple, and the story ties it all together. Definitely a great book to tie in with any other weather books.

A has been asking questions lately about garbage, landfills, recycling. He has been asking questions about why we recycle, why we buy recycled goods, why we take our own bags to the grocery store, and what happens with our trash when it leaves here. All good questions. We found several books at the library about recycling and garbage - but the favorite this week is "Garbage and Recycling". The book not only has facts and great accompanying graphics, but also includes "Do It Yourself" experiments for kids, and simple side bars titled "How Can We Help?". He was thrilled to find we do most of the things listed, and is excited about some experiments, such as building a decomposer. He also inspects any packaging before throwing it away to see if it needs to go in the recycling bin!

Along with the garbage questions have come the questions about everything else - the inner workings of the home. Where does the water come from, where does it go after it goes down the drain, what happens to what we flush, how does electricity get to our house? More good questions! We have spent the last 3 weeks reading (and re-reading) "Switched On, Flushed Down, Tossed Out : Investigating the Hidden Workings of Your Home". It is written with easy to follow descriptions (although not much in the way of alternative energy, but realistic in its portrayal of the standard energy sources) and is illustrated and bright. It is organized to have clues, and investigators who crack the case at each step, and he loved that element of the book. It is a bit longer than many books for this age group, but the information is organized enough that even the preschoolers can follow it easily - we just broke it out into sections. Some of the info, such as televisions and telephones are overly simplistic, but you won't get the science of that in one page anyway...definitely helps to answer those questions and explain how it works in a very visual way.

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