April 22 is Earth Day, a reminder for all of us to take a break from our screens and go on a hike- or at least read a good book about Earth’s creatures. When library staff visit schools to promote books, we notice that amazing but true tales from science are among students’ favorites. Here are a few stand-outs for elementary school age.
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies
Right now every single one of us has more microbes living on our skin than the total number of people on Earth. Microbes in us and on us outnumber human cells ten to one! But don’t worry, even though some microbes can make us sick, the ones that live on us all the time keep us well. Read this book to learn more about your billions of invisible friends.
Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating
This book will change the way you think about the color pink. Pink can be weird! Pink can be gross! Pink can be cool! Just ask the blobfish, the pinktoe tarantula, the pink fairy armadillo or the nudibranch. Help the color pink bust out of its stereotype as the color of princesses and posies by reading about these fabulous – and sometimes disgusting – pink creatures.
The Queen's Shadow: A Story about How Animals See by Cybele Young
A crime has occurred at the royal ball - someone has stolen the Queen's shadow! In order to find out “who dunnit,” we have to learn about each creature’s unique type of vision. The lancehead snake can "see" body heat in the darkness as an infrared glow. The mantis shrimp has trinocular vision, seeing objects from three different angles for extra depth perception. The pigeon can see many more colors than humans can. You'll never "see" things the same way after you read this fun science mystery!
When Lunch Fights Back by Rebecca Johnson
All over the animal kingdom, almost every creature on Earth has to worry about becoming some other creature’s lunch. Each has ways of avoiding that, some as common as camouflage or speed, and others more… unusual. The peacock shrimp has the strongest punch of any creature on Earth; it can punch with a force thousands of times its body weight. The horned lizard has a spooky defense – it shoots blood out of its eyes. Read this book for tales of self-defense by slime, vomit, projectile poop and dagger-like bones.
-Suzanne LaPierre, City of Fairfax Library