phd mama

from diapers to deconstruction


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Daydreams and Downpours: A Cloud List

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Our clouds list is a spin-off from our “Whatever the Weather” study. There’s a bit of science here mixed with a bit of silliness as the literary and poetic interpretations of clouds come into play. While some of the weather descriptions get a bit whacky in the resources here, we appreciated the way that science and art intersect. Clouds help us read the weather, but they’re also the province of daydreamers, and the items below pay homage to both of those roles.

  1. The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola
  2. Cloud Dance by Thomas Locker
  3. The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool and Alison Jay
  4. Cloud Tea Monkeys by Mal Peet, Elspeth Graham, and Juan Winjgaard
  5. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  6. Clouds: Compare and Contrast by Katharine Hall
  7. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett
  8. Watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  9. It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
  10. Little Cloud by Eric Carle
  11. Once Upon a Cloud by Claire Keane
  12. Weather Clues in the Sky: Clouds by Belinda Jensen and Renée Kurilla


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Whatever the Weather

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My kids particularly liked Bel the Weather Girl from this list, and I appreciate her book’s efforts to inform while demystifying weather events that often seem scary. The resources below are largely practical, with the definitions of key weather terms, the science behind the storms, and the strategies for reading the weather and staying safe. All our talk about forecasting and storms also brought up some interesting points—like the way meteorology gives us so much critical data to live our daily lives in ways that weren’t possible before advanced forecasting. It’s easy to take all this information for granted, but our list helped us understand a little more of the complex science of weather and its effects on our lives every day.

  1. Boy, Were We Wrong about the Weather! by Kathleen Kudlinski and Sebastià Serra
  2. Everything Weather by Kathy Furgang and Tim Samaras
  3. Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn Branley and True Kelley
  4. The Kids’ Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad
  5. Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? All about Weather by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz
  6. On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather by Marilyn Singer and Frané Lessac
  7. A Party for Clouds: Thunderstorms by Belinda Jensen and Renée Kurilla
  8. Raindrops on a Roller Coaster: Hail by Belinda Jensen and Renée Kurilla
  9. The Sky Stirs Up Trouble: Tornadoes by Belinda Jensen and Renée Kurilla
  10. Spinning Wind and Water: Hurricanes by Belinda Jensen and Renée
  11. Watch Tell Me Why: Water & Weather
  12. The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow and Margaret Bloy Graham
  13. W is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet by Pat Michaels and Melanie Rose
  14. Weather by Seymour Simon
  15. Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons
  16. What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt and Carolyn Croll


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Water, Water Everywhere!

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This list combines our study of water, the water cycle, and oceans. After all, it’s all connected! A family vacation to the ocean (and our second trip to The Mystic Aquarium, which inspired this list on whales two years ago) prompted further study of the enchanting Atlantic. As much as I consider this a science unit, the art of the ocean is inescapable. The photographs, illustrations, and films showed us a world of wonder that is both essential to our survival and astoundingly beautiful.

  1. All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillatson
  2. Watch The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That: Ocean Commotion
  3. Watch The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That: Told from the Cold
  4. Watch Disneynature’s Oceans
  5. Down Comes the Rain by Franklyn Branley and James Graham Hale
  6. A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick
  7. Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Sharks and Other Sea Monsters by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart
  8. Watch DK Eyewitness’s Ocean
  9. Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean by Arthur Dorros
  10. Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola
  11. Oh Say Can You Say What’s the Weather Today? All about Weather by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz
  12. Magic School Bus Wet All Over: A Book about the Water Cycle by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
  13. Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
  14. Watch DK Eyewitness Seashore
  15. The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
  16. The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman
  17. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems by Joyce Sidman and Beckie Prange
  18. Water by John Woodward
  19. Water Dance by Thomas Locker
  20. What Makes an Ocean Wave? Questions and Answers about Oceans and Ocean Life by Melvin Berger, Gilda Berger, and John Rice
  21. Wish for Fish: All about Sea Creatures by Bonnie Worth and Aristides Ruiz
  22. Why Is the Sea Salty? And Other Questions about…Oceans by Benjamin Richmond