Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Fair Buying

I was able to get to the Scholastic Warehouse sale. I even rembered my fastpass and coupon. Go me! I needed NO young readers. I practically bought the place out when Hanover was beginning to read and many of those books were never used. I also have a really good collection of books from my mother-in-law who is brilliant at finding gifts for the kids. I don't usually buy kits of anything but I decided that I wanted to take advantage of the steep discount and pick up some things that I would probably never buy at full price.

Here's the rundown:

For science and school:

In thumbing through 'Buzz', I decided to buy it. It suffers from the busy and disjointed presentation of other modern books marketed to kids or educators. The pictures are very nice. At 134 pages, however, it's packed full of information. I also liked that it starts with defining arthropod and then follows that phylum into classes and order. It talks about the evolution and looks (much too closely for my taste) at the body. It also includes recipes after talking about how many cultures eat insects. There are some games as well as discussing mimicking and disguise. As a warning, the book does talk about insects' role in decomposition in regard to crime scene investigation and includes a page of photos of a mouse being decomposed by maggots. Most of the book covers insects but spends a couple of pages on spiders. Of note: at the back of the book it blames humans for the possible extinction of ten insects even though the book starts by stating that 90% of the animals on the earth are arthropods and that there are approximately 1.5 million arthropods on a square yard of land.

This includes a cardboard breadboard along with some components. The book includes instructions for projects using sound and a light-activated LED. Cheaper than Click Circuits (and not as flexible). The projects include standard electrical diagrams (yay) but no decent explanations (boo).

Should help with learning how to mix some chemicals--if I ever have the bigger kids without Bamm Bamm.

Flurpee has already started assembling the skeleton. The assembly is fast, the skeleton is a little flexible and comes with a stand and cover. The book brings in evolution. Although they talk about how humans have evolved smaller teeth since the advent of agriculture, they didn't know that there is a signifact portion of the population in whom wisdom teeth don't develop (though it may be due to dietary or environmental reasons or evolution). The skeleton diagram includes common names and scientific names. The book also covers, quickly since it is only 64 pages, other body systems.

I love this kit. Each thick, cardboard page includes extensive information on certain gears and gear types and a chance to build a gear train using the included gears and then to use a motor to see how the gears interact.

Hanover will be disappointed when she realizes that two of the projects are only pre-supplied materials that absorb a lot of water. She is ready to do something amazing with combining mixtures. The most reaction in this kit is making ooze.

I thought that being able to read along to an audio book was very helpful for Hanover to make the leap from young readers into longer, more complex books. This book includes the CD whereas I had to track down an unabridged audio version and the same book from the library at the same time for all of the other books. It will also tie into European history with Mr. Powell quite well next year.

Eh. It's a classic even if H.G. Wells is malevolent about technology.

Supposed to be very interesting. Sounds a bit like 1984 or such from the summaries I've read.

Just a good idea. Seems very complete.

For Hanover:

She loved The Edge Chronicles 1-3 and even re-read them. She jumped at the chance to read more.

Jenny Nimmo has been a consistent favorite in this house.

For Bamm Bamm:

For kits:

For me:

I'll update more later, perhaps after having a chance to read some (good luck with that)!


christinemm said...

Is Twilight for you? It's in with the family book part of your post.

I read The Giver a few years ago as some use it in middle school (grade 5 or 6). I was surprised and find the book serious and a bit much for that age. It was a good read for me though. I think you should start in on it now. Very serious topics like euthanizing deformed babies and also killing old aged people. Controversial if you ask me. Another case IMO when schools are pushing a book down to too-young kids. They would get more out of reading it in high school when they can think about the issues more seriously.

Kim said...

I haven't decided about Twilight just yet. A friend who has a daughter who also loves to read the same things as mine has let her daughter read Twilight after reading it herself. She liked it very much a considers it Harry Potter-like, only with vamps instead of wizards.

I may read it first before letting her read it. Depends on how longit takes her to decide she's interested. I've had books for years before she's picked them up. Perhaps I will even read them for fun! I know it comes highly recommended by you and many others.

The Giver I would need to read first anyway since it would be a literature study. Thanks for the input. The book that recommended it had a very brief synopsis.