November 9 is the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.
This book has the greatest pictures – just look at the cover! See the butterfly’s wings showing through the pupa (or chrysalis)? Inside is where a caterpillar is changing into a butterfly. That process is called metamorphosis. Amazing. All of the pictures are this detailed and colorful.
The book tells the story of a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. The caterpillars live inside a greenhouse. As caterpillars they eat the greenhouse plants, but once they turn into butterflies they eat sugar water…and bananas! The most amazing fact I read…there are so many caterpillars in the greenhouse that workers can hear the caterpillars chewing!
The butterflies are raised to go to museums so people can learn about butterflies. When they are pupating (inside the pupa) they are packed up and mailed. The timing has to be just right so the butterflies hatch out AFTER they’ve reached their destination.
A finalists for the 2014 Cybils Award in the category: Non-Fiction for Early and Middle Grades.
George E. Ohr was a potter from Biloxi Mississippi. He’s been dead for a long time – he was a little boy during the U.S.Civil War. Even so, when you read about him, it seems like you could just walk into his studio and start making stuff out of clay with him. He doesn’t seem old-fashioned or distant. He seems like a friend. He called his pots his “mud babies”. As you can see by his picture on the cover of this book – George was one-of-a-kind. There is another picture of him in this book with his mustache sticking straight out on both sides and his eyes crossed. This is a man who listened to his own voice and nobody else’s. Some of the words people used to describe him were:
But he was more than that. He was also a genius, and an artist. The picture of the pots he made are amazing. They are one-of-a-kind also, just like George.
This book is the story of George’s life from the time he was a boy helping in his father’s blacksmith shop or his mother’s grocery store, to the time he spent digging up natural clay along the banks of the Mississippi to make into his “mud babies”. If you have ever felt like the oddball, the one whose ideas don’t seem quite in step with everyone else, you’ll like George’s story. Reading about how he believed in himself makes you feel confident enough to do the same. If George was “mad” he was the good kind!
Thousands of Marion County, Indiana residents voted at this machine between the 1930s and the 1980 election.
During this time, many African Americans struggled to gain the civil rights Caucasian men and women enjoyed. Even though the 15th Amendment granted all American citizens the right to vote regardless of “race, color or previous condition of servitude,” African Americans still struggled for the right to vote particularly in the southern United States. In Indiana, African Americans continued to work for equal rights welcoming two significant federal laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voter Rights Act of 1965, helped to ensure African Americans the right to vote. Artifacts at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
See More Elections Artifacts from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Collection
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Animals are amazing navigators. Caribou, salmon, sea turtles, whales, monarch butterflies and many other species travel across continents and oceans to find food or have their babies. This is called migration. These animals have some kind of in-born knowledge about where to go as well as WHEN to go. This natural instinct helps them survive.
But there are some individual animals who have done the same thing…but AGAINST their natural instincts. Sometimes an animal returns to its home after being lost for YEARS. Sometimes an animal becomes uncommonly attached to a human. Sometimes two very different species of animals become close friends.
One of these unigue animals is Elizabeth, an elephant seal from Christchurch, New Zealand who lived in the Avon River in a city park. Humans tried to return her to her natural habitat in an elephant seal colony, but each time they tried…she showed up in Christchurch again! Sometimes it even took her several months to swim all the way back to her home in Christchurch. Try this story of one determined animal who insisted on living HER way. Finally, they just let her stay.
“Regional fisheries officer with the ministry, RV Reid, told The Press that Elizabeth was free to roam the streets. “Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978, we can’t disturb her at all.” She could go into Cathedral Square and bask in the sunshine for a week and we couldn’t do anything about it.” From Memories of Avon River’s Sea Elephant
So you see, this isn’t just a made up story, Elizabeth the elephant seal…was real. If you look here: Memories of Avon River’s Sea Elephant you can even see pictures of her. The author of this book is Lynne Cox, an American long-distance open-water swimmer. An open-water swimmer swims great distances not in a pool – mostly, Lynne swims in the ocean. Lynne has crossed the English Channel, the cook Strait in New Zealand, the Straits of Magellan in Chile, the Bering Strait in Alaska and many more…she even swam in Antarctica! Lynne heard Elizabeth’s story while she was in New Zealand. Lynne knew a good story when she heard it – animals sometimes have amazing relationships with humans, and with other animals. Take a look at the books below to learn about some other real animals and their amazing friendships.