Tag Archives: science

Book Review: Bat Count: a Citizen Science Story – by Anna Forrester








Book: Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story
Author: Anna Forrester
Illustrator: Susan Detwiler
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Date: February 10, 2017
Genre: science picture book; age 4-8; gr K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95 or $23.98 (hardcover)
My rating: An interesting, informative story with fabulous illustrations

Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story, written by Anna Forrester, is a wonderfully told story about bats that a family discovers in the barn and the risk to the survival of bats.

First of all, this hardcover book is illustrated in bold colours by Susan Detwiler and the font used is large and sharp – black on light pages, white on dark pages. I like that the family is not Caucasian and that the images are realistic and believable.

The story is told in the voice and from the perspective of the young daughter of the family. Jojo, her mom, dad, and three-year-old twin brothers, live in a large country house that has a big barn.

Before the twins were born, Jojo and her mom would go out to the barn to check on the bats hanging from the rafters. It seemed that they were using the barn as a maternity roost. Jojo’s mom would sweep up the bats droppings once a week and put them on her garden, but over the years things changed drastically and there wasn’t enough to sweep up.

Fact: Bats overwinter in caves and mine shafts, and there is a disease called white-nose syndrome that is killing them off. Bats come out at night to feed on insects, so bat scientists ask people to report to them when and where they see bats and how many. In Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story it became a family ritual for Jojo’s family. They were sad that each year there were fewer bats in their barn so fewer to count at sundown.

One day Jojo and her mom discover only one bat hanging from a rafter. They wait and hope that the bat will safely have a baby and so begin the increase of their population. What they find as the family lies on the grass one night, waiting and hoping to count the bat and her baby when they fly out to feed, is for you to find out as you read this wonderful book. 

Personally, I like little brown bats. Unfortunately, their population here in Nova Scotia has been greatly affected by white-nose syndrome. It’s disappointing to not hear them clicking and see them silently flying around at night catching mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester is an excellent way to introduce young readers to nature’s crisis of the plight of bats.

In the back of the book is a section For Creative Minds with Bat Facts, Bat Bodies information, White-Nose Syndrome facts and how to help bats, and Citizen Science for readers who want to help with bat counts.

You can find Bat Count: A Citizen Science Story by Anna Forrester on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments here for authors and illustrators are very much appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Book Review: Tadeo Turtle – by Janis Cox









Book: Tadeo Turtle
Author/Illustrator: Janis Cox
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Date: 2012
Genre: Children's picture book; ages 2-6
Pages: 24
Price: $12.25, paperback
My rating: A lovely book encouraging children to 
accept themselves


I won this book and agreed to write my honest review of it.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox (Canadian author and retired school teacher) is an engaging story about a turtle not satisfied with how he was made.  He didn’t know the Scripture (quoted at the beginning of the book) from Psalm 139:13-14 that can be applied, in part, to his situation – “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” – New Living Translation

Tadeo (pronounced TAD-ay-OH) was a cheerful little painted turtle who loved to play. One day he met a squirrel who could run up trees, and Tadeo became sad because he couldn’t do that. Tadeo wished he didn’t have a shell that he thought was a hindrance to him.

One night he dreamed that he was free of his shell so that he could run and climb, too. Tadeo was happy about that until a cat spied him and thought he was a rat. Poor Tadeo. He tried to hide among the rocks, and then found one that smelled like home. It was his shell that looked like a rock! It was then that Tadeo realized how safe he was inside his shell, just as God intended.

This is a fun story in rhyme. The rhyme doesn’t quite make the cut in some places, but it’s not enough to throw the reader out of the story. Janis Cox illustrated her story beautifully. I especially like the face of the cat, and the colours Janis chose throughout the story are very pleasing to the eye.

Isn’t this beautiful? I’m showing this image by permission of Janis Cox, the author/illustrator.







At the back of the book, the author included an activities section with instructions for children on how to make a paper plate turtle, a dough turtle, a rock turtle, and a felt board with pieces to make a turtle, rocks, and water. The author has not left her teaching experience behind as this book is a great tool in a classroom.

Janis Cox also included a research page with links to how to learn more about different turtles, and other interesting information. Tadeo Turtle is a book children will enjoy.

You can find Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters.Indigo, and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Forensic Science: In Pursuit of Justice – by L. E. Carmichael







Book: Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice
Author: L. E. Carmichael
Publisher: Abdo Publishing
Date: 2015
Genre: science; for grades 7-12, ages 12-17
Pages: 112; hardcover
Price: $35.00
My rating: Fascinating subject very well presented 
to understand

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice is a book I purchased at the children’s book fair I attended in 2016. I had a lovely chat with the author, Lindsey Carmichael, and was quite impressed. She has a collection of books she’s written, for most she had to do serious research to cover the topic – and she loves the research. This book – one of a series – required much of that.

Although for many people the topic of forensic science is far from what they would like to read about, I find it fascinating. This book is put together so expertly that it will be appealing to many.

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice focuses mainly on the ways science has become vital in solving many crimes. Fingerprinting, DNA testing, the insects found at different times on human remains that help to determine time of death – it all fascinates me – and this book does not disappoint in going into detail. The author has added side bars of information, for example, one that informs the reader that the same forensic techniques used to investigate crimes against people can be applied to investigate crimes against wildlife. Here are others …









Here are the chapters:

  1. DNA Fingerprinting
  2. Bodies of Evidence
  3. Chemical Clues
  4. Firearms Analysis
  5. Written in Blood
  6. No More Mistaken Identity
  7. Never Without a Trace
  8. From Page to Screen
  9. The Future of Forensics
  • Timeline
  • Essential Facts
  • Glossary
  • Additional Resources
  • Source Notes
  • Index
  • About the Author

The author delves into the history of forensic science and describes its use in actual events, including previously unsolved crimes, missing persons cases, toxicology information, the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) aspect, and so much more. The photography throughout this book is bold and effective, adding superb descriptive detail.

Lindsey Carmichael’s writing is easy to understand as she lays out a very complex subject in an organized, accurate way that is totally absorbing.

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice could be the book that inspires a young person’s interest in this vital field. There is so much amazing information contained in this book, from the earliest days of recorded methods to present digital forensics. The timeline included at the back of the book starts with 44 BCE when the first recorded autopsy was performed on murder victim Julius Caesar! For readers of any age Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice will definitely answer questions regarding criminal investigation.

You can find Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice by L. E. Carmichael on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂