Book Review: Astro-Nuts, by Jon Scieszka

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Recommended for ages 8-12, Astro-Nuts is the newest creation by Jon Scieszka , illustrated by Steven Weinberg. In this first book in a planned trilogy, Mission One: The Plant Planet, NNASA (Not-NASA) charges four mutant animals hiding in Mt. Rushmore to travel to outer space and find other planets to support human life, since the humans have all but destroyed planet Earth. (Science concept: Climate change) In their attempt to report Plant Planet as habitable, the Astro-Nuts found that the plant citizens are ready to defend their home.

As they navigate the crazy colorful pages, readers find out much more about the science of plant life, and also increase vocabulary skills, learning words like ice caps, fossil fuels, vortex, and many more. Reporting back to Earth isn’t as easy as it seems.

Would you like a funny book that also teaches science concepts, aimed to explain deep content to children? Well, Jon Scieszka does it again — creating zany characters who ban together for exploration and learning fun. Blast off! This adventure in reading has just begun. (Due September 2019 from Chronicle Books)

SOLSC Day 9: Knucklehead

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Slice of Life Small LogoThe March Slice of Life Story Challenge is hosted by http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.

Being a Knucklehead

My ELA classes are participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with me this year. We couldn’t commit to the challenge officially, due to ISTEP testing and the lack of technology in our school/homes, but we have been studying what some slices might look like. One of my favorite mentor books to read aloud during this time of year is Knucklehead, by Jon Scieszka. The accounts of the “tall tales and almost true stories of growing up Scieszka” are hilarious, energetic, and entertaining.

The first chapter, “Beginning,” introduces Jon and his 5 brothers, his mom, and his dad. We totally relate — immediately! My students laugh out loud as I read, and then we go off to our writing places to record our own lives. ┬áNot a day goes by that we don’t get some fabulous idea from Jon and his family. If I had to guess, here on Day 9, I would say that many of my students would label themselves “knuckleheads.” Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But all of them honor this wonderful mentor knucklehead by attempting to write like him. What a way to SLICE!