A book that will be a valuable resource for parents, children, and teachers when they or a loved one (including pets) is facing cancer is Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! Cody discovers a lump on his dog, Champ. Unfortunately, it is cancer. Champ undergoes many of the same treatments that people undergo. He even experiences some of the same side effects. This is a tender, yet informative story for children. Though this is a heavy topic, author Sherry North tackles Champs's Story with a positive attitude. The section titled "For Creative Minds" included in the back of the book would be extremely beneficial, along with all the Teaching Activities at Sylvan Dell. I once had a student whose brother was fighting cancer. I would have loved to have shared this with Sarah and her classmates, but especially her family and brother's teacher. I highly recommend this book to help a child understand cancer. Champ's Story even deals with the guilt a loved one might feel as they wonder if they could have prevented the cancer. It is important to note that Champ overcomes his cancer. (I will also share that I have not read this book to my children. I feel that it's still a bit early to introduce cancer through a book since we do not have a loved one facing cancer.)
Fur and Feathers caught my daughter's eye immediately. Not only that, but she enjoyed learning about animals and Sophia is awakened by a howling wind. She eventually returns to sleep after her mom's suggestion to count animals.
In her dream the wind removes the animals' coats. The animals are cold in their bare skin, so Sophia goes to her closet to give them lots of clothes. The animals are thankful for her help, but soon Sophia realizes that clothing doesn't really work for the animals. She goes to her mother's sewing box to make new coats for the animals. Each animal tells her about their special coat. I really like how author Janet Halfmann relates why each animal's coat is special to it. For example, the frog doesn't wear a coat over its skin, but it does have a covering of slime to keep it moist. The fish and snake both have scales, but the snake needs dry ones. I appreciate a story that not only has adorable illustrations (by Laurie Allen Klein), but a story that draws my daughter in and educates her, too. Not surprisingly, this book recently won gold in the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.
I wasn't sure what I would think of Felina's New Home: A Florida Panther Story. Felina is a Florida panther who finds her forest shrinking, a road down her path, pollution invading her home, and problems everywhere. Obviously, threatened and endangered animals need help. As stewards of God's green earth, we are to care for them, but I read this book cautiously, wondering if it would become preachy. I am happy to say that the message is clear-people cause wild animals a lot of problems. But people also helped Felina find a new home. She became sick, and was placed in a rescue shelter. Eventually she was placed in a new forest where she could be safe, too. One of the messages that really stood out to me was the danger of feeding wild animals. When a person feeds a wild animal, it can bring that animal's predators much too close to the people. It is also good for children to understand that a panther, puma, cougar, and mountain lion are all the same animal. Loran Wlodarski wrote an informative book-showing concern for animals while informing readers how people impact the animals. I also liked the realistic illustrations of all the endangered or threatened animals by Lew Clayton.
As I've said before, I really like Sylvan Dell books. They are informative, but not boring. I love using literature to teach my daughter more about the world!
Sylvan Dell Publishing educates children in science and math through the means of literature. They're doing a fantastic job, too, offering informative, educational books with realistic and beautiful illustrations. The books alone are really great, but they help classroom teachers and homeschooling parents in huge ways. Each book (and ebook) comes with great resources. The books and activities are targeted for children 4-8 (and 9) years of age.
- 3-6 pages For Creative Minds which is an educational section in the back of each book. It extends the story and gives additional information.
- 40-60 pages of Teaching Activities online! These activities are incredible! They allow a teacher to customize a unit study to meet their students' interests. The Teaching Activities go beyond math, science, and literature. Just click Teaching Activities and choose a title to see for yourself the plethora of activities there are. The table of contents gives an overview and makes it easy to find what you want. With so many choices, the teacher can choose what is right for the age group they are teaching. (I love that!! Unit studies really benefited my students, and I think it's very enjoyable to teach and learn from a unit study.)
- 3 Interactive Quizzes per title online. A Reading Quiz evaluates reading comprehension from the book itself. The For Creative Minds (FCM) Quiz is based on the 3-6 pages from the back of the book. The third, Math Quiz uses information and context appropriate to the book and creates word problems for the student to solve.
Thank you, Sylvan Dell for providing our family with many wonderful educational opportunities through your books! We are happy to provide an honest review in return for the books!