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Spit Nests, Puke Power, and Other Brilliant Bird Adaptations


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About the Author

Laura Perdew is an author, writing consultant, and former middle school teacher. She has written more than 20 books for the education market on a wide range of subjects, including wetlands conservation, the history of toilets, pirates, and extinction. Her book Biodiversity: Explore the Diversity of Life on Earth (Nomad Press, 2019) earned a Booklist starred review and was a Junior Library Guild selection. Laura is a long-time member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an avid runner and hiker, and an environmentalist. She lives and plays in Boulder, Colorado. Katie Mazeika is an illustrator with a focus in children's publishing. She loves creating illustrations with a strong narrative that are filled with color and texture. Katie is the illustrator of the Picture Book Biography series from Nomad Press. Katie is a member of the SCBWI.


Archimedes Notebook Fun New Series on Animal Adaptations Let's face it: animals are cool! And most kids I know love to read about animals. What's even better than a book about animals is a whole series of books about strange and wonderful animal adaptations. Laura Perdew has written a whole bunch of books - well, at least five - about animals and their unique adaptations. They are fun and breezy, and a perfect way to introduce young children to the different classes of vertebrate animals: reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians, and fish. Perdew introduces readers to unsung heroes of the animal world: star-nose moles, blue-footed boobies, and thorny devil lizards. She sings the praises of salamander slime and whale earwax. In addition to highlighting animals and their adaptations, Perdew begins each book with a poem. There's an acrostic, a limerick, haiku, cinquain, and free verse. Back matter for each book includes a glossary and activity that helps kids (and anyone else) learn more about the group of animals.
Booklist Series Nonfiction Showcase
Through layered, mischievous illustrations and detailed back matter, the Picture Book Science series plies young readers with a ton of useful facts about how all sorts of animals have evolved to survive in their environments. . .In Spit Nests, readers will observe the complex mating rituals of bowerbirds and blue-footed boobies and learn the gross-but-useful reason for a vulture's bald head (and their even grosser defense mechanism). . . Each book contains a hands-on activity that will get kids involved; the mammal volume even points out that human beings are mammals, too, and encourages students to consider their own place in their ecosystems. Classroom-friendly and fun, too.

Praise for Biodiversity by Laura Perdew

Booklist Starred Review April 1, 2019
Nomad applies its dependable activity-book format to the new Build It Environmental Science series (4 titles). Here biodiversity is placed under the microscope--sometimes literally--in a text that makes daunting concepts, such as evolution, levels of biodiversity (genetic, species, or ecosystem), and why biodiversity matters, easy to understand without sacrificing scientific precision. By book's end, readers will truly understand what biodiversity is, its importance to the health of the planet, and humans' impact on the complex natural systems where it thrives.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
-Perdew captures readers' interest right away, starting with the title. Throughout the text, fascinating bird adaptations are highlighted, including special body features, unique mating rituals, and other seemingly bizarre behaviors. The bird world favorites are covered (owls, penguins, hummingbirds), but some unusual species make appearances as well. The book's layout includes beautiful illustrations of the birds in action and at rest. The artwork portrays other animals that could be found in some of the birds' habitats. An activity page in the back, a glossary, and a connection page that mentions other facts are included. On these appendix pages, readers can see photographs of the birds spotlighted in the book. VERDICT A cool science title for younger readers to learn about bird adaptation. Educators can use this text in the classroom; many STEAM lessons could be inspired by these funky adaptations.

Praise for Extinction by Laura Perdew

National Science Teachers Association Recommends
"This book uses the concept of extinction to teach a little chemistry, a little climatology, paleontology, biology (biodiversity), ecology, and a lot of geology. The science information is historical and current, drawing on three-dimensional learning, incorporating science practices to determine what factors affect extinction in general and specifically. The integration of concepts help bring the science alive and relevant."

Praise for other books in the Picture Book Science series

Booklist Starred Review March 15, 2018
"Forces, despite its down-to-earth scientific grounding, manages to do the nearly impossible. Diehn brings gravity, magnetism, push-pull forces, and friction to life in everyday contexts, without a hint of schoolroom jargon. Children, parents, and teachers alike can enjoy learning the charming, often funny, relatable, and accessible science within this Picture Book Science series (4 titles) offering."

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