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Absolute Expert

Ready to go on a search for giant pandas in mountainous bamboo forests? Travel to China to learn all about these black-and-white bears so YOU can become an absolute expert. Get up close with giant pandas in the wild and see where they make their home in the misty mountains. Learn about their bamboo diet and how they lumber through the mountains, searching for tasty bamboo shoots. Read about panda cubs and how their mothers take care of them. You'll learn about the giant panda's habitat and why preserving it is so vital for the panda's survival. You'll get to know these roly-poly bears in this cool book, filled with amazing images, special features, wacky trivia, and more.

Rocks and Minerals

Absolute Expert

Ready to go on a rocking great adventure? Travel across the globe to find out how the Earth formed so YOU can become an absolute expert. Get up close to the layers of rock beneath the Earth's surface. Learn about igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock cycles. Dig into sparkling crystals, quartz, diamonds, and other glorious gems. On the hunt for incredible rocks and minerals, you'll mine the depths of our planet and venture into the Earth's core. Geology comes alive in this cool book, filled with special features, sidebars, wacky trivia, and more.

Eyes On Insects

Come face to face with fascinating bugs in this stunning photographic collection! Whether it’s the beautiful monarch butterfly or the expertly-camouflaged walking stick, this book introduces the world’s most interesting insects with jaw-dropping photography paired with amazing facts. Learn about the creepy-crawlies that dwell underneath the surface of bark, soil, and sand as you are treated to an up-close peek at the teeny tiny world of insects.

Human Body

Exploration Station

Discover what makes your blood pump and your muscles stretch in this hands-on learning experience! With fascinating facts, full-color photographs, a plastic model skeleton, and 25 fact cards, Smithsonian Exploration Station: Human Body is a fun, engaging way to learn about the inner workings of the complex systems that make the human body. Includes a 56-page fact book, 30 stickers, 1 plastic model skeleton (13 pieces), and 25 fact cards.

Smithsonian Readers

Early Adventures Level 1

Developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and esteemed childhood literacy expert Dr. Adria Klein, the Smithsonian Readers series is designed to encourage reading comprehension with high-interest topics and build reading skills with a carefully designed leveling structure. Level 1 focuses on familiar content and simple text to promote engagement and success for new readers.



Smithsonian Readers

Seriously Amazing Level 2

Smithsonian Readers: Seriously Amazing Level 2 provides accessible and engaging content designed to encourage further progress in children’s reading abilities. Developed in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution and esteemed childhood literacy expert Dr. Adria Klein, Seriously Amazing Level 2 encourages development in readers with unfamiliar vocabulary terms, new phonic structures, and more variation in sentence patterns.



Magnetic Adventures

Solar System

Which planet is eight times larger than Earth? How long is a day on Venus? Which planet has seven rings? Kids will learn all of these answers and more in Smithsonian Magnetic Adventures: Solar System.

Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know

Grades K-1

Curious minds find hundreds of fascinating facts in Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know: Grades K-1. The flip-top box is packed with 275 fact cards covering categories such as Earth and space, plants and animals, geography, history, and health. Whether it’s the number of teeth in a great white shark’s mouth or how a rainbow forms, kids ages 5–7 will learn a variety of information in a tactile and engaging manner. Each flip of a card not only showcases beautiful color photographs and illustrations paired with a fact, but also presents a new learning moment. With this packed-full box of facts, kids are given an extra opportunity to learn all they need to know for early science, social studies, and history exploration in a fun format that’s sure to engage eager young minds.

Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know

Grades 2-3

How many rings are there around Saturn? What causes an earthquake? How many bones are in a giraffe’s neck? With Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know: Grades 2-3, kids ages 7-9 will learn exciting and interesting facts about Earth and space, plants and animals, geography, history, and health. Each of the 275 fact cards includes colorful photos and illustrations coupled with a fascinating fact. From the solar system to George Washington to volcanoes, each fact card presents educational material in an innovative and engaging format. Inquisitive kids will have hours of fun discovering everything their young minds need to know in this interest-packed fact card set.


Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know

Grades 4-5

How long is the Amazon River? Who was the first president to have a telephone in the White House? With Smithsonian Everything You Need to Know: Grades 4-5, kids will learn exciting and fascinating facts about the U.S. presidents, weather, outer space, and much more. Each of the 275 tabbed fact cards includes colorful photos and illustrations paired with interesting facts. Whether it’s Abraham Lincoln or tornadoes, each fact card presents a new learning moment. Curious kids will learn about the world around them, past and present, in this loaded fact card box.


Smithsonian Young Explorers Fact Book

The lively and fun Smithsonian Young Explorers: Oceans covers the science of ocean movement, pollution, and fascinating facts on marine life. From profiles on the Pacific to waves and tsunamis, young readers will love to learn about the basics of the ocean. And of course, all the cutest sea creatures (sea otters and dolphins!) and the fiercest (great white sharks and poisonous jellyfish!) and all their ocean friends are covered in detail for budding ocean explorers.

50 States

Smithsonian Young Explorers

Journey across the country with the Smithsonian and learn all about what makes our nation so great with Smithsonian Young Explorers: 50 States. This alphabetically arranged compendium of state trivia contains information on state birds, animals, and flowers, famous state residents, and a gaggle of fun facts.


Smithsonian Young Explorers

In Smithsonian Young Explorers: Dinosaurs, young readers go back in time with the Smithsonian and experience life among the dinosaurs. The perfect introduction to the fascinating world of dinosaurs, this playful and informative fact book teaches children how we learn about dinosaurs, how they are classified, and which dinosaurs ruled the land millions of years ago.



B is for Blue Planet

An Earth Science Alphabet

This NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book has many uses for teachers and students. Its large, graphical design makes it possible to use as a group. Each individual page has a potential to start a discussion or motivate student inquiry. The extensive background sections in the sidebars can provide more reading for motivated students or help a teacher supplement his or her knowledge. A “Facts” page at the end talks about climate change and adds a few bits of trivia about topics like amber and earthquakes. The diverse topics can link to almost any area of an Earth science curriculum.

CBC reviewer


Densely packed sidebars provide well-written tours of each alphabetically arranged topic. This text makes a topic that some might consider dry and dull to be visually engaging and approachable. 

                                                                               Children’s Literature

Selected for the 2012 Indiana Science Tradebook Annual Reading List (INSTAR).



Great Predators



Red Foxes

Wild Canine Pups

The lives of . . . wild canines—from birth to adulthood—are introduced in these accessible titles. The texts are comprised of short sentences set in a large font. . . . Each volume offers a size comparison between the subject and a human adult and child and a map that shows where the species live. Side boxes enhance but do not interrupt the texts. Picture glossaries conclude every book. Perfect for beginning readers, novice report writers, and browsers.


School Library Journal


Wild Canine Pups

The lives of . . . wild canines—from birth to adulthood—are introduced in these accessible titles. The texts are comprised of short sentences set in a large font. . . . Each volume offers a size comparison between the subject and a human adult and child and a map that shows where the species live. Side boxes enhance but do not interrupt the texts. Picture glossaries conclude every book. Perfect for beginning readers, novice report writers, and browsers.


School Library Journal

The Dog-Friendly Home

DIY Projects for Dog Lovers

This guide allows dog lovers to put their DIY skills to use. Strother (The Complete Guide to Dream Bathrooms) outlines a variety of appealing projects, from doghouses and training equipment to bedding and accessories (the nightstand/dog bed is adorable). This book recycles a few projects from 24 Weekend Projects for Pets from the publisher’s “Black & Decker” series, yet Strother’s section on dog-proofing the yard and repairing doggy damage sets this guide apart. An attractive project book that caters to a passionate audience; recommended.   


Library Journal

W is for Woof

A Dog Alphabet

. . . the book shows the joyful bond between dogs and people in both its art and its words. . . . cheerful rhyme and a warm picture share space with a sidebar that provides practical hints about such topics as house-training and handling. With notes at the back about different breeds, dog terms, and more, this will be a popular family read.”


Beginning with “A is for American Kennel Club” and ending with “Z is for Zigzag Zoomies” this latest illustrated alphabet book in the “Sleeping Bear Press” series is an outstanding introduction to the world of dogs for all ages. Each letter is elaborated with a poem, and a more detailed description of that letter’s topic provides age-appropriate information for readers ranging from pre-school to adult. The soft, impressionistic illustrations bring accuracy and movement to the detailed paintings of dogs and people depicted throughout. . . This would be a fine addition to any collection of alphabet books, as well as a science/nature library collection.                                                          

Children’s Literature

The Little Book of Girl Things

A Guide to Adventure and Imagination


The Girls' Box is for every girl who dreams of adventure, slumber parties, and summer days. The super girl-approved kit includes a heavy-duty jump rope with wooden handles, 20 out-of-this-world constellation cards, a secret-language cipher wheel, a hot-shot jacks set, a special journal for important thoughts, materials for creating a friendship bracelet and God's eye, and paper for folding a fortune teller and paper flower. Also includes a 64-page illustrated book with instructions for each activity plus other information just for girls.


Bill Gates

Essential Lives series









Margaret Mead

Cultural Anthropologist








My Pet Dog

All About Pets

This book is a must-read for anyone contemplating adding a puppy to the family. It’s also a great lesson in family decision-making and shared responsibility.

Children’s Literature

Nominated for the 2000 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award
Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, Outstanding

Let's Look at Brown Bears

Lightning Bolt Books

The book is great for a classroom read-aloud. The colorful photographs, entertaining information, and print size allow the book to be used in small- and large-group settings. The text is interactive, asking readers questions throughout. My favorite part of the book was a photograph series depicting an open clam on one page and a bear digging diligently for a clam on the next. Because most students have never seen an open clam, it was a great idea to show it before showing a bear digging for one as a treat. A lightning bolt at the top of a page warns that a new idea will be discussed. In summary, the book has many excellent possibilities. It's an easy read for a child, a great read-aloud for teachers to supplement a unit of study, an entertaining book to read independently, and/or a useful book for a research report for an early childhood reader.



Let's Look at Bats

Lightning Bolt Books

Interactive text ("Why are all these bats upside down?") and a "Fun Facts" page . . . will engage readers. [The] book ends with a labeled diagram of the animal, a range map, and a further-reading list that includes print and online resources in a single list.


SLJ Reviews


Watchful Wolves

Pull Ahead Books

. . .outstanding source of information. The series is just the type of resource one would use to engage children in the study of living creatures."  



Spinning Spiders

Pull Ahead Books

These titles are perfect for budding scientists. As the facts are presented, youngsters are drawn into the vibrant, well-composed, full-color photographs on each page. Scattered questions throughout the texts pique readers’ interest by requiring them to think about what they are seeing. The short sentences focus on single concepts that are also illuminated by the pictures.

School Library Journal

Climbing Tree Frogs

Pull Ahead Books

While these titles are aimed at the youngest readers, they don’t shy away from using scientific terms. Proper terminology flows naturally within the texts and is easy to understand. "Tree frogs are ectotherms. Ectotherms need sunshine to heat their bodies." Brief glossaries help clarify these words.

School Library Journal

Buzzing Rattlesnakes

Pull Ahead Books

. . . Outline maps showing where each animal can be found in North America and simple but colorful anatomical diagrams are appended. Hunt and Find pages reinforce what has been learned by sending children back to search for different topics. Welcome additions for beginning readers.

School Library Journal


Nature Watch

After reading this book and seeing the excellent photographs included, children may have a better understanding and a greater respect for this fascinating marine animal.

Children’s Literature


In an effort to demystify the terrifying image of the shark, Berman introduces its physiological workings through brief but detailed descriptions. . . . this introduction adds new information about sharks’ skin and teeth, and includes a sobering look at the environmental dangers threatening these creatures.

School Library Journal

“Lavishly illustrated with excellent and frequently stunning color photographs throughout, and with well-written, attention-grabbing/interest-holding texts. . .

Christian Library Journal


Early Bird Nature Books

Every page contains crisp color photographs which are sometimes captioned with questions for the reader to consider before finding the answer in the text. The writing is clear, and the narrative flows in short, well-organized chapters.

                                  The Horn Book Guide


. . . a spectacular full-color set of photographs team up with a simple, informative text to create an appealing offering. A well-rounded addition to natural-history collections. 

                                                                                                       School Library Journal


Early Bird Nature Book

Nice sharp photographs and large easy to read text make these super kid-friendly. 

Parent Council


Kids in grades 2-3 will appreciate the fine color photos and easily-absorbed story of peacocks, which includes the basics on their habitat and habits. Close-ups from all angles present the colorful peacock and his pea hens in full glory, while accompanying details may interest many adults.      

Midwest Book Review

American Bison

Nature Watch

A simple, straightforward presentation of facts about American bison. . . replete with excellent color photos.

Science Books & Films


. . .insightful text complemented by numerous clear, color photographs.

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