Sunday, September 19, 2010

Science Sunday Review: Fur and Feathers

The Bibliophile and I read a great book this morning that I thought I would share for Science Sunday.

Fur and FeathersFur and Feathers by Janet Halfmann.

Sophia has a dream (or was it?) about a strong wind so fierce that it whips the coats right off of a motley assortment of animals.  Determined to help remedy the situation, she grabs her grandmother's sewing basket and sets about making suitable coverings for them - a warm white coat for the polar bear, prickly quills for the porcupine, slimy scales for the fish, etc.  This was a fun read, and Laurie Allen Klein's illustrations are lovely and engaging.

The end of the book contains a wonderful brief educational section on animal coverings and classification.  We didn't do a formal companion activity or lesson (although we might have some fun in my fabric stash later talking about which fabrics might be suitable for different animals).  We did sit for awhile with the educational pages, though, talking about what the word "mammal" means, as I quizzed him a little with simple questions like, "which animal would need a nice warm coat because he lives somewhere cold?" etc.  Obviously I kept things simple for my almost-3 year old, but this could be a wonderful resource for slightly older children too.

The educational pages at the back of the book are actually available for free for perusing in pdf form on the Sylvan Dell Publishing website (just click on the Fur and Feathers book title), as are the educational sections of about 50 more titles!  This is a great resource for homeschooling -- it allows you to peek at the educational components, decide what might be useful in a unit study, and then get the books that will work for you.  I think I'll print the animal classifications page later so we can play with dividing up his plastic toy animals into a few simple categories.  I have been spending a lot of time on the site this morning, and I suspect that we will be also be hunting down a number of other titles!

As for the Bibliophile, it was two thumbs up from him.  He said "I want to read another e-book!" as soon as we finished reading our electronic copy, and he informed me that he liked the book, because "it had a lot of animals."  He sat in rapt attention for the first half, and then started asking appropriate questions during the second half. 

You can view a book trailer for the book here.

I am linking this post up with Science Sunday.

You can see more of our science related posts here, homeschooling related posts here, and other reviews of books about zoo animals here.

Comment: What science fun have you been up to this week?  Have you taught your kids about scientific/animal classification in any creative ways?  And while you are visiting, do you have any cures for pregnancy heartburn?  :)

Disclosure: I was provided a link to an e-book for Fur and Feathers from Sylvan Dell Publishing in order to write this review.  If you click on any of the links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with


Ticia said...

We classify our plastic animals and felt board stuff a lot it's interesting to see how my kids minds work

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I don't think there is a cure for pregnancy heartburn. But, it's a season that will pass :)

Janet Halfmann said...

Thanks so much for the great review of my book. I'm so glad the Bibliophile gave it two thumbs up. I'm also happy that you found helpful all the additional educational materials to go with the book on the Sylvan Dell Publishing website. Your followers also might enjoy the book's trailer:
Thanks again!

Christy said...

That book sounds interesting. It's neat to think about what covers the animals around us and consider why they have that covering. I'll have to do something with this soon. Last year, we talked about blubber and this would go along well with that study.

I hope the heartburn goes away soon. I used to get it really bad. Not fun.

Raising a Happy Child said...

The book does sound very interesting, and I have to visit the site for some ideas. I hope pregnancy heartburn will disappear soon... how much longer until IB2 is born?

Brimful Curiosities said...

We reviewed this book a few months ago and did a couple of activities with my kids. My daughter and son loved "classifying" their stuffed animals by putting them into piles - mammals, birds, reptiles, etc. We had a ton of mammals and not so many of the others.

MaryAnne said...

Thanks for linking over to your review! This was my first Sylvan Dell book, and I was really impressed by all of the educational materials.

Hopefully your pregnancy heartburn is gone? I had lots of trouble with that when I was pregnant with Emma...