STEM + POETRY Meets Perfect Picture Book Friday

Growing up with an astrophysicist for a dad may account for the less than usual table topics my family enjoyed during breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack breaks, long drives… You get the picture.

Most of Dad’s “mini science talks” inspired me to ask questions…

“How is it possible for the sun and moon to share the sky this morning?”

“What would happen if I stumbled into a black hole?”

“Do aliens give each other birthday presents or hugs?”

I asked heaps of questions, and my dad answered them all. And if he didn’t know the answers to my questions about life on other planets, by golly, we had the best time inventing those worlds as well as the customs and traditions of their inhabitants.

One thing we didn’t do was to invent poems to explain this or that about the world of science. And that’s where today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday selection comes in handy!

Time to meet today’s special book!

Title – Science Verse

Written by – Jon Scieszka

Illustrated by –Lane Smith

Published by – Penguin Young Readers Group – 2004

Suitable for ages – 4-8

Topics/Theme –  STEM poems and science

Opening – On Wednesday in science class, Mr. Nwton says, “You know, if you listen closely enough, you can hear the poetry of science in everything.”

I listen closely. On Thursday, I start hearing the poetry. In fact, I start hearing everything as a science poem.

Mr. Newton has zapped me with a curse of SCIENCE VERSE.

(And the following pages are filled with some of the most entertaining, giggle-worthy science poems you’ve ever heard!)

Amazon Review HERE — What if a boring lesson about the food chain becomes a sing-aloud celebration about predators and prey? A twinkle-twinkle little star transforms into a twinkle-less, sunshine-eating-and rhyming Black Hole? What if amoebas, combustion, metamorphosis, viruses, the creation of the universe are all irresistible, laugh-out-loud poetry? Well, you’re thinking in science verse, that’s what. And if you can’t stop the rhymes . . . the atomic joke is on you. Only the amazing talents of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, the team who created Math Curse, could make science so much fun.

Why do I like this book? Simply put, this book makes learning about science fun! And I dare you to try and read it aloud without singing. That’s right. I said SINGING! This book isn’t just a collection of science poems; each poem is written to the tune of a well-known poem or nursery rhyme. Picture me, sitting on one of those little chairs at the library, singing to a poem in this book titled TWINK. Yup, you guessed it, TWINK is a science poem written to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Join me for the first line, won’t you?

Twinkle-less, twinkle-less spot of black, in the starry zodiac…

Jon Scieszka’s poems deliver fun facts about science with a heavy-hand of humor. Now, tie those poems together with Lane Smith’s AMAZING illustrations, and you’ve got a book you’ll want to own.

More Science Learning

If you LOVE all things science, hop over to the S.T.E.A.M Powered Poetry Vlog HERE where your host, and my good friend, Heidi Bee Roemer is ready to take you on a fun journey into the world of science through kid-friendly poetry videos!

Watch 10 easy science experiments you can share with kids HERE.

Cool-to-watch and do experiments with water HERE.

Learn more about Jon Scieszka HERE.

Learn more about Lane Smith HERE.

Until next Friday!

Perfect Picture Book Friday Review and Remembrance.

The end of last month came and went. When my critique partner in my online writing group, Liz, didn’t post a story or chime in on our critiques or discussions, I thought she was too busy. Some months are like that… I didn’t want to bother her, I figured she had too much on her plate and would post a story soon. Yesterday I tried to send her a message, but she was no longer on Facebook. I couldn’t imagine why she would leave us without saying anything. I googled her name. What came up in my search wasn’t her blog or website but the obituary for Liz Galler LeSavoy. I moved about in a daze yesterday, napping often, praying each time I woke up, Liz would still be with us.

I think about the many hours Liz dedicated to writing her stories and the hours she gave to me and the other ladies in our writing group, helping us to improve our stories. I hope one day, Liz’s stories will find their way into print.

Today, I have chosen to review the picture book, Baloney (Henry P.) because it reminds me of one of Liz’s funniest stories in which a boy comes up with fantastic excuses why he doesn’t have his homework.

In honor of Liz, a lady who always poured the happiness of life into her writing, I dedicate this picture book review to you. Dearest Liz, I hope Heaven has laptops and publishers because, with your gift, you should never stop writing.

Title – Baloney (Henry P.)

Written by – Jon Scieszka

Illustrated by – Lane Smith

Published by – Viking – Penguin Group – 2001

Suitable for ages – 3-7

Topics/Theme –  exaggeration

Opening – Last Tuesday morning, at 8:37 a.m., Henry P. Baloney was finally late for class once too often.

“That’s it,” said Miss Bugscuffle. “Permanent Lifelong Detention…unless you have one very good and very believable excuse.”

“Well I would have been exactly on time,” said Henry. “But…

Amazon Review – Find it on Amazon HERE.

The twisted team that gave the world Squids Will Be Squids and The Stinky Cheese Man now delivers a whole lot of Baloney. Henry P. Baloney. Henry is an alien school kid who needs to come up with one very good excuse to explain why he is late for szkola (school), again. Otherwise, his teacher Miss Bugscuffle promises, it’s Permanent Lifelong Detention.

Henry’s tall tale of his lost zimulis (pencil)-received from deep space by Jon Scieszka-is told in at least twenty different Earth languages and graphically recreated in Lane Smith’s out-of-this-world illustrations.

The unbelievable trip into Henry’s wild universe may be the most original excuse ever for being late for szkola. Or it might just be Baloney. Henry P. Baloney.

Learn about Jon Scieszka HERE.

Lear about Lane Smith HERE.

Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.