Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cheryl Bardoe at Cover to Cover

I went to hear Cheryl Bardoe speak at Cover to Cover yesterday. I am on a mission to find more great nonfiction for kids and I picked up Cheryl's newest book MAMMOTHS AND MASTODONS: TITANS OF THE ICE AGE
a few weeks ago.

I loved it immediately and think the topic, writing and visuals will appeal to kids. As I have said before, I think it is really important that we have lots of nonfiction that kids could read cover to cover. To build stamina for nonfiction and to immerse themselves in topics they love, reading lots on a topic is important. This is one of those great books that upper elementary/middle school kids could read from cover to cover. This book is the story of a recent discovery of a fully frozen baby mammoth. Because the mammoth was so well preserved, scientists learned a great deal from the discovery. This book is the story of the work that the scientists did and the things they discovered that might help us in the future. The book is filled with photos, illustrations and diagrams and is packed with information about mammoths and their disappearance. "Lyuba' as the baby mammoth has been named, is part of a traveling exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum.

There are several articles about the baby mammoth and the traveling exhibit in Chicago:

Bardoe's first book GREGOR MENDEL: THE FRIAR WHO GREW PEAS, is another book that I love. A great biography about the worlds first geneticist. This biography explains the experiments that Mendel did with peas in a way that children can begin to understand concepts related to genes. Told in narrative, we learn a great deal about Mendel's passion for nature as well as his scientific contribution to the world.

So glad I was able to hear Cheryl Bardoe yesterday. She has a gift for writing about complex topics in a way that makes them accessible to kids. If you have not visited her website, she has great resources for teachers.

An aside: To highlight Cheryl Bardoe's books, Cover to Cover had a digital frame on the check-out counter. The books were highlighted on the frame. It caught my eye immediately and I began to think about what a great tool this would be for the library. A frame can hold so many pictures and the images are so easy to change and update. I think I will buy one to use to highlight new books, certain books by an author, etc. Just another way to highlight books for kids--this digital frame idea seems brilliant to me!


  1. How fun! I met Cheryl at a writer's conference a couple years ago, and wish I had known she was in town. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, the digital frame would be a great tool for the library. I will suggest that to my library, too!

  3. Late to the party -- but I had to comment as I only now discovered your review of Cheryl Bardoe's book and am on my way to check out her website. I just flew to Chicago last week from NY for the express purpose of seeing baby Lyuba and the other titans of the ice age at the Field!! I spent a day there and flew home. What can I say, I love mammoths and mastodons.

    Thank you, Franki, for posting this writeup.



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