I always enjoy receiving new books from Junior Library Guild each month for our library. Sometimes I get really excited, like this month. The day before our February break, we received six books. I brought four books home to read over vacation. Two of the books are perfect for the third grade social studies curriculum: Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester and Handle With Care: An Unusual butterfly Journey by Loree Griffin Burns.
Sophie Scott Goes South is the diary of a fictional character from the title that shares information from an actual journey the author took to Antarctica on an ice breaker ship. The diary format is appealing and full of details. The photographs add detail and the illustrations by children add charm. Readers learn about some of the animals in Antarctica, how challenging the weather can be, and what it is like to sail on an ice breaker ship.
Handle With Care discusses how farmers in Costa Rica raise Blue Morpho Butterflies from eggs to pupa and ship them to a museum in Boston. What takes center stage in this book are the photographs. The photos are full size, full color, and full of detail. The front endpapers show pupas; the back end papers show colorful butterflies. The text helps tell the story alongside the photos. This is a great story for the third graders to read as they raise butterflies in their classrooms this spring. Students will surely compare their own experience raising butterflies to those of the farmers in Costa Rica.