Sunday, March 28, 2010

Plato the Platypus Plumber

Hazel Edwards, a wonderful writer from Australia has a new picture book out. Kids who love strange creatures will love Plato. Plato is a platypus and a part-time plumber with a tool kit. On call, Plato fixes watery problems like leaking taps, but he also fixes grumpy people. From his tool kit, he uses smile spray, a feather or a joke. Sometimes Zanzibar's family need a little help. Plato always comes, despite the ferals along the creek bank. Water carries secrets, stories and (yucky) stuff! An eco-warrior, Plato knows how to fix things.

Hazel is a 2010 Astrid Lindgren Award nominee, and a few of her other books are: 'There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake' (Penguin) series and ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee'(New Frontier). Her unique books have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Tamil, Auslan and Braille.

To learn more about Hazel's books, click here.

You can order Hazel's lovable Plato the Platypus Plumber by clicking here. It's also available through many independent bookstores in North America. Click here to order through Small Press Distribution in Berkeley, CA.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mark Fink

Checkout Mark Fink's books. The Summer I Got A Life is a humorous story of first love and self discovery. It follows the exploits of Andy Crenshaw, a fourteen year old who, with his older brother, gets shipped off to an Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Wisconsin. What starts out as a disastrous summer, turns into an amazing, life changing experience for him.

Stepping Up is an insightful, moving and funny novel about basketball. Ernie Dolan, 14, is plagued by the curse of the average. Nothing about him stands out—except his stutter. Things change dramatically when Ernie morphs from outcast to hero, risking his life to save three campmates from near tragedy. Ernie finds out what it means to be a hero and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. His compelling, heartwarming story unfolds against the backdrop of exciting, authentic basketball action and a lot of humor, while touching on teen issues of friendship and the near-deadly consequences of peer pressure.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Best-practice gets Florida students on Oprah

Students and faculty at Ocoee Middle School who made a music video to promote reading -- changing the lyrics to a song by the Black-Eyed Peas -- shared the spotlight with Diane Sawyer on the Oprah show.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bug Butts

From blowing bubbles to shooting poop, the world’s insects do amazing things with their butts. Discover the wild and weird ways insects use their butts to avoid predators. Spittlebugs blow bubbles from their butts and hide under them, while some caterpillars shoot their poop far from their bodies to throw poop-searching wasps off their trail. Ants and beetles spray acid from their butts into the faces of predators, while some caterpillars and larvae build hide-outs with their poop to keep predators away.

Insects also use pheromones from their butts to communicate with friends, relatives, and enemies. Still other insects say “thank you for protecting me” by sharing their high-sugar poop. And speaking of poop, some termites and roaches feed their children their poop to give them the microorganisms they will need to help digest wood.

Illustrated by a PhD biologist in a playful yet scientifically accurate style and tech edited by a PhD entomologist, Bug Butts combines the best of real science and real fun.

Includes glossary, index, and anatomy appendix.Bug Butts has received strong reviews from School Library Journal, National Science Teacher's Association, and was recently placed on the list of best children's science books for 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science Books & Films (AAAS SB&F).

To learn more about Bug Butts, click here.