Saturday, June 10, 2023

Non-fiction STEM books look at birds, microscopic world, & outer space [Review & Giveaway]

Birds Everywhere by Britta Teckentrup | Ages 6-9

My thoughts: 
While not my favorite book on birds, the book has some intriguing information that bird lovers will enjoy. This is not your typical "backyard birds" type of book. 

First some book "shortcomings" as I see them..... The digital illustrations leave much to be desired. An artist's hand and perceptive eye would have garnered more and better detail to bring life into the images. Then there is the text font and size. Much too small unless you are going for encyclopedic type of print jobs. So one's attention span might lapse because the font and size tire the reader. Then when the printer coupled the font and its size with colored backgrounds, they almost totally lost this reader. 

Now some good things to look at..... The scope of the book looks at how birds are built, their habitats, their personal habits, and lots of other interesting things generally not covered in a "birding" book. I think that the tidbits of information will interest the targeted readers as well as adults. 

Quite an interesting book. 

About the book: There are birds everywhere! Some of them live by the sea, some of them in the savannah, and some might live in your roof.

There are Birds Everywhere is the fourth in a series of non-fiction books from Britta Teckentrup. Young readers will learn where in the world all sorts of birds can be found and all the weird and wonderful things about them that they never imagined were true.

With an added search-and-find element, this is non-fiction with spark and personality from a much-loved illustrator.

Unseen Jungle: The Microbes That Secretly Control Our World by Eleanor Spicer Rice | Ages 7 to 10

My thoughts:  This is a terrific book that will education while thoroughly entertaining the readers. Funny aspects of the scientific unseen microbe world are told in a language kids can understand and that will capture their interest and imagination. The portions I read were fun to read and I would have loved to have this book when my own children were growing up.

I think this is a great addition to kid's home libraries and public and school libraries everywhere.

About the book: This lively peek into the amazing world of microbes, replete with a kid-pleasing “ick” factor, is chock-full of facts, humor, and fun illustrations.

Microbes are everywhere: outside, indoors, on your body, in your body. In fact, only about half of our bodies' cells are human cells—the rest are microbes. Whether helping people digest their food or using mind-control techniques to lure mice into the path of hungry cats (no, really), microbes form an unseen jungle all around us. Through zany facts, hilarious and sometimes disgusting illustrations, and interviews with experts in their fields, aspiring young scientists (or kids who just want to be grossed out) will discover a hidden world in which your health depends on a myriad of microbes, houseflies get zombified by fungi, and termites are saving the planet one fart at a time. With such extras as sidebars, limericks, and even a lesson on how to draw E. coli, this “eww”-worthy treasure trove for kids is an engrossing romp into the microbe drama unfolding where you might least expect it.

Kirkus says: “the author’s palpable excitement for the topic makes an already-fascinating subject even more engaging. An entertaining and informative exploration of a hidden world.”

How to Spacewalk: Step-by-Step with Shuttle Astronauts by Kathryn Sullivan & Michael J. Rosen | Ages 7 to 9

My thoughts:   
I easily captured the excitement of the author, Kathryn Sullivan, as I read through this account of how to spacewalk. The excitement of opening the hatch! Wow! Learning how to maneuver in a spacesuit taught in a gigantic pool! Wow! The dimensions!

Told in an easy to follow, conversational tone, the book is well done and one that potential space travelers will thoroughly enjoy.

About the book: Aspiring astronauts will be ready for liftoff with this thrilling guide to preparing for and doing a real spacewalk with the first American woman to walk in space as their partner.

What is it like to walk in space—to use cutting-edge equipment and conduct experiments in a 280-pound space suit? How do you get there in the first place? Would-be spacewalkers will find enthusiasm, vibrant encouragement, and a host of amazing facts, photos, drawings, and descriptions in this engaging guide cowritten by three-time shuttle astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan and children’s book author Michael J. Rosen (who also provides illustrations). From detailed info about how to train (sometimes underwater!) to descriptions of the emotions spurred by seeing Earth from above, this guide will leave readers inspired and excited to start their own journeys into space.
Open for USA entries June 8-July 6
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Winner's prize is provided and mailed directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. I think all children should learn to swim for safety as well as enjoyment. I think children should find an activity they enjoy. Children in our family enjoy dance.

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  2. What organized sports or activities do you think young children should be involved in? ANYTHING YOU HAVE TIME AND MONEY TO DO. But of course there are a lot of free activities out there for kids. Last summer great niece did softball and had so much fun. She also plays basketball at a community center. She is signed up to go to church camp later in the summer. We have a lot of play parks around here, and zay loves to go there and play with other kids. That is just the little I know about it

  3. As many as they want that fit within their family's means and schedule.

  4. Anything they are interesting in within reason and safety.

  5. Any organized sports or activity is important. I always had my daughter in dance.

  6. My son loved to play basketball as a child and I feel any sports they enjoy is terrific. Of course volunteering for charities is wonderful also. twinkle at optonline dot net

  7. Made a coworker smile today. They've been pretty down on themselves lately. Was the least I could do to cheer them up!

  8. My kids loved soccer as littles. Got the energy out & they had fun!

  9. Any activity that they truly find enjoyable and have fun participating in whether sports or the arts or anything else!


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