Mom at home scientist

Ecology of my motherhood; analyzed, frugal, and (mostly) natural.


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Katya’s Book of Mushrooms- a book review

This fall I taught our local homeschool co-op STEAM class and focused on fungi. I borrowed every book that I could get my hands on from our local library and requested an extra dozen. I was pleasantly surprised by this book showing up on my shelf, Katya’s Book of Mushrooms, by Katya Arnold.

Katya’s Book of Mushrooms is a story of Katya’s passion and love for mushrooms and discovering them in the wild. Her book is not a field guide, so shouldn’t be consulted for foraging tips nor should it be used to identify mushrooms as edible or poisonous. Using delightful illustrations, drawn by the author, she tells mythological stories of her forest friends, and illuminates their ecological role there.

As a forager myself, I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of information on morphology that is used to key out a mushroom identification, although it does not help with making any species suggestions. I think this is a good feature for the intended audience of children from 5-14, as they shouldn’t be making edibility judgements without an expert’s opinion.

This delightful book illustrates many commonly found mushrooms of North Akatyas book of mushroomsmerica, and yet has information from Russia, as that is where Katya Arnold was born and spent her early years.

I highly recommend Katya’s Book of Mushrooms for science units to introduce a child to fungi and instill increased awareness of the presence of mushrooms around us in nature.

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The Big Book of the Blue- a book review

It comes as no surprise that my children love to read, given how much hubby and I loved to as children. We read a lot as homeschoolers and my standards are high for the books I love. I recently stumbled upon a book that was out on display in our local library called, The Big Book of the Blue, by Yuval Zommer. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of work therein.

The Big Book of the Blue is directed towards children of the ages 6-14. The illustrations in the book are magnificent and scientifically educated. Although they are still meant to be artistically illustrative, they are not glaringly wrong, as I have found in many other non-fiction illustrations. And the illustrations really are the star here.

The Big Book of the Blue is an introduction to the ecosystems of the ocean with short informative and interesting facts about the various featured animals. I highly recommend it for supplementing oceanic portions of science curriculum. I believe it will develop a love for the ocean and the animals that live in it while fostering care for its inhabitants and their health.the book of blue