More Books About Birds

Remember when I said I had even more bird books on the way from the library? Well, now you get to hear more about them. We enjoyed these, too. I think we will be moving on to another subject though. Mama would like to read about something new.

Books About Birds - A book list all about birds!

More Books About Birds

You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet – A sweet storyline and pretty illustrations made this book one my snuggle-bug of a 9-year-old enjoy. The story shows various birds and how they nest.

Nest by Jorey Hurley – This lovely picture book features softer illustrations with one word on each two-page spread. You follow the life cycle of a robin in the pictures. This is a great one to read with toddlers and younger preschoolers. You can explore the book with little “required” reading, which means you can flip as fast or as slow as your lap-sitter desires.

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins – Bird facts go along with the rhyming verse of the book. Brightly colored illustrations make it an eye-catcher.

Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Bee Roemer, Illustrated by Connie McLennan – Not all the nests in this book are bird nests, but it is a fun book featuring many birds. The book gives a little description of a nest and then asks the question “Whose nest is this?” before giving the answer. My 9-year-old liked reading this one with me, too.

Cradles in the Trees: The Story of Bird Nests by Patricia Brennan Demuth, Illustrated by Suzanne Barnes – A fun look at all the amazing ways birds build nests. Told in engaging text.

Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen – I really liked this one, but I’m particularly fond of bird feathers. They are so exquisitely designed. The illustrations have a fun scrapbook feel to them.

What Makes a Bird A BIRD? by May Garelick – This is an oldie, but goodie. The illustrations have a vintage feel to them…because the book was written in 1969. It’s quite lovely. I think my favorite part of this library find is the old check out pocket in the back of it. I remember checking books out with that system. Good times. (Note: The cover shown above is different from the one I got at our library. The book has apparently been reprinted.)

A Nest Full of Eggs by Priscilla Belz Jenkins, Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell – This follows a little family of robins, but features other kinds of birds, too. The colorful pictures with preschoolers kept my preschooler engaged.

Backyard Bird Photography: How to Attract Birds to Your Home and Create Beautiful Photographs by Mathew Tekulsky – Ok, you can probably see that this one is not for preschoolers. This is a great one if you have older kids, like middle to high school, with a penchant for photography. Actually though, preschoolers will probably really like looking at the photos in this book, they are beautiful.

Feathers: Poems About Birds by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Lisa McCue – I love the illustrations of this one, she captures the lovely vibrant colors that makes birds so lovely to me. The poems are fun, too.

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist by Margarita Engle, Illustrated by Aliona Bereghici – Told in a series of poems, this beautiful book is about Louis Fuertes, who is known as the Father of Modern Bird Art. This is a gorgeous picture book.

A-Z of Bird Portraits: An Illustrated Guide to Painting Beautiful Birds in Acrylics by Andrew Forkner – Another book for teens, this is a very thorough guide to painting birds. It gives detailed instructions for 27 different birds. This would make a great homeschool art class for high schoolers.

So there you have it, the last list of books about birds for a while here on the blog. I hope you enjoy these books as much as our homeschool has!

Related Posts:

Bird Unit Study for PreschoolB is for Bird - a book list and free printable for Alphabet Activities for All Ages at Vicki-Arnold.comE is for Eggs - Alphabet Activities for All Ages - a fun, egg-centered book list from

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

This is the final post in the books for tween girls miniseries. Be sure to see the books series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls posts for a plethora of reading options for tween girls.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

I am ending the miniseries with some biographical chapter books for inspiration and encouragement. I personally believe that the more we can encourage our kids to find their own unique, God-designed path, the better. Showing them lots of examples of how others have done just that is a great start.

I’ve listed the age and grade suggestions like before.

Biographical Series for Tween Girls

These are based on real people and while the characters in the series change, the stories are definitely ones that tween girls can find inspiration in. Each series has a lot of titles. I chose a few female-focused ones for this post. Tween girls can also obviously be inspired by males, too, so don’t miss those.

Lightkeepers (8y+, 3rd+)

Who Was/Is Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Childhood of Famous Americans (8-12y, 4th-6th)

Sower Series (9y+, 4th+)

Christian Heroes: Then and Now (10y+, 5th+)

Do you have any biographical series for tween girls to recommend? These are the five I know about. I would love to add more! Tell me about them in the comments.

Don’t miss the other companion posts to this one – book series for tween girls and classic book series for tween girls!

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Previously, I shared the huge list of contemporary book series for tween girls. This post will focus on classic book series for tween girls. These are books that have stood the test of time and still bring joy to readers.

You’ll notice that not all of them are what you might consider a classic like Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. Those are most definitely included, but so are other fun classics like Beverly Cleary’s series and The Baby-Sitters Club.

The Baby-Sitters Club books were a highlight of my late elementary/middle school years. They inspired me to take up babysitting, though I doubt I was half the babysitter that Kristy and the gang were. I just wished I was as cool as they were.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls - A big list of ideas for girls 9-12.

Series that are pre-2000 are included on this list. After 2000, they are on the contemporary list. This is no official rule I’m following, just the way I’ve decided to break this huge list up. Be sure to watch for the next list in this miniseries, biographical series for tween girls. Sign up for email updates to be sure you don’t miss it!

So let’s get started on today’s list. Again, I have included the age and grade recommendations that I could find and the first two or three titles from the series. Also again, I am making no assessment on content, that is for you to decide for your family.

Classic Book Series for Tween Girls

Sarah, Plain and Tall (6-10y, 1st-5th)

The Borrowers (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Littles (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

The Boxcar Children (7y+, 2nd-5th)

American Girls Collections (8y+, 3rd+)

These are the original, historical series.

Betsy Tacy (8-12y, 2nd-5th)

Ramona (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Mouse and the Motorcycle (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Little House on the Prairie (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Fudge Series (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

All-of-a-Kind Family (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Baby-Sitters Club (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anastasia Krupnik (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Anne of Green Gables (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Chronicles of Narnia (8y+, 3rd+)

I’m going with the “reading in order of publication” crowd. That is why they are “out of order” based on some of the numbers on the books. Those are of the “reading in chronological order” variety.


Mandie (8-13y, 3rd+)

The Moffats (10-12y, 5th-7th)

That’s today’s list. Did I miss one that you think HAS to be on this list? Tell me about it in the comments!

Don’t miss the contemporary fiction list of book series for tween girls and the biographical series for tween girls, too!

Book Series for Tween Girls – Contemporary

I have learned that not all girls are avid readers, which is something this avid reader girl just simply can NOT relate to. But, alas, my oldest daughter is not a reader. In fact, just recently she told me that she absolutely hates to read. My mouth literally fell open, which she found hilarious.

However, my younger daughter I can relate to in this area. She loves to read! She is particularly fond of series books. That started when we read the Keeker books together when she was first learning to read. She really likes series books.

I can relate. One of my fondest reading memories is reading all the Baby-Sitters Club books and catching up with the publication schedule. It was like getting caught up on my to-do list as an adult…totally gratifying.

Today, I am bringing you the first of three posts focusing on book series for tween girls. This post will focus on contemporary titles. The next one will focus on classic book series for tween girls, these are most likely the ones that us parents grew up reading. The third post will be biographical series for tween girls to encourage them to follow God’s unique plan for their life.

These are books that either of my tween girls would be able to read. If it is available, I’ve included the age and grade range that Amazon has listed for each series because I think that might be helpful given the large list here and for gauging reading level appropriateness. I’ve also included the first two or three books for each series.

Book Series for Tween Girls - Contemporary fiction

As far as content goes, I have not read each and every series. Some my girls have read and I have not, others I have read, and still others are new to both my girls and myself. I’ve chosen to include them on this list because I know that simply because a series doesn’t work for us, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Also, this list is a reference list for me, too.

This list is meant to be merely a starting point. Each family will have their own rules and guidelines for choosing books. I can’t account for everyone’s so I’ve been a bit liberal in what I’ve included. Meaning, there are books with fairies and goblins even though I know many families choose to avoid those (we don’t necessarily avoid them). As always, you will need to judge for yourself what is appropriate for your family.

Originally, I was going to include commentary for each of these, but the list got really long and this post was over 650 words with just the titles and the introduction. I will spare you my commentary for today.

Are you ready for the LONG list of options now? Good, let’s get at it then.

Book Series for Tween Girls

Mermaid Tales (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Judy Moody (6-9y, 1st-4th)

Amelia Bedelia (6-10y, 1st-5th)


The Fairy Bell Sisters (6-10y, 1st-5th)

Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo (7-9y, 2nd-4th)

Recipe for Adventure (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Thea Stilton (7-10y, 2nd-5th)


The Rescue Princesses (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Secret Kingdom (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Dog Diaries (7-10y, 2nd-5th)

Puppy Place (7-10y, 2nd-5th)


Grandma’s Attic (8-12y, 3rd+)

The Mysteries of Middlefield (8-12y, 3rd+)

Ponies of Chincoteague (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear Dumb Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Grimmtastic Girls (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Whatever After (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Desperate Diva Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Cupcake Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Secrets of the Manor (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

The Penderwicks (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

TumTum and Nutmeg (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Horse Diaries (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Dear America (8-12y, 3rd-7th)

Soul Surfer Series (8-12y)

Swipe (8-12y)

Sons of Angels (8-12y)

The Cooper Kids Adventure Series (8-12y, 5th+)

The Girls of Lighthouse Lane (8-12y, 5th+)

Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (8-12y, 5th+)

The Adventures of Lily Lapp (9-12y)

Royal Diaries (9-12y)

The Cupcake Club (9-12y, 4th-7th)

The Saturday Cooking Club (9-13y, 4th-9th)

So that’s the list of contemporary book series for tween girls. Be sure to check out the list of classic book series for tween girls and biographical series for tween girls to round out your selections!

How to Write Acrostic Poetry With Kids

How to Write Acrostic Poetry with Kids with free printables, includuing a printable card from

April is National Poetry Month and we’ve celebrated by reading poetry books so far. I decided to take it a step further and try writing some poetry. We are starting with acrostic poems and I’ll tell you more about that in a minute, but first I want to talk about this project.

I’ve partnered with Carla of Preschool Powol Packets as she has coordinated a group of bloggers to bring you a month-long celebration of poetry. Be sure to check out the other posts in the series!

What is Acrostic Poetry?

An acrostic poem uses the letters of a topical word to start the lines for the poem. An example:

Many are the hours
Ornery are the children
Measureless are the blessings

Yes, that beauty is all mine. Once upon a time I fancied myself a poet, don’t you know it?

There can be more to acrostics, but for the sake of our post, simple works. You can read more on Wikipedia about acrostics (yes, I know I just linked to Wikipedia…the shame…).

Write a Simple Acrostic Poem to Get Started

A simple way to do this with kids is to have them write their name vertically down a piece of paper, then use each letter to find words that describe them. They do not have to rhyme. Here’s an example:

Simple Acrostic Poetry with Kids

Another Vicki Arnold original. I’m on a creative roll today. Snort. (I like to keep my writing authentically me…I snort when I laugh.)

Acrostic Poetry Printable Pack

Now it is time for you to have fun with your kids. I’ve included a and have fun creating some spring time inspired acrostics. You can round out your time by reading some silly poetry with the kids to inspire them that poetry doesn’t have to be a droll process.

Poetry Contest for Kids

Celebrate National Poetry Month with your kids and have them write some of their own poetry. Over on Preschool Powol Packets, there is a form to fill out to submit your child’s poetry. Some information from the page:

Poems will be judged on creativity, originality, style, and language.  Judging may be subjective and all decisions are final.  This year’s contest will be judged by the lovely Becky at This Reading Mama.  All entries will be anonymized and winning entries will be published on host blogs with the child’s first name only.  Prizes will be awarded to the first place winner in each age category.  All entrants will also receive a downloadable/printable participation bookmark! PLEASE NOTE: PRIZES CAN ONLY BE SHIPPED TO ADDRESSES IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES.

Sponsors of the Contest

Discover With Dr. Cool:



Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a sweet poetry book, too!

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Other Poetry Celebration Co-Hosts

Preschool Powol Packets ~ Homeschool Encouragement ~ Brave Writer’s Life in Brief ~ Word Traveling ~ The Measured Mom ~ Wildflower Ramblings ~ Line Upon Line Learning ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Living to Learn ~ the Vicki Arnold Blog ~ School Time Snippets ~ Creekside Learning ~ Are We There Yet ~ Look at What You Are Seeing ~ Look! We’re Learning! ~ Our Homeschool Studio

12 Books for Kids to Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry month, did you know that? That is actually one of the first things I learned when I started writing online. I’ve learned a lot over these last several years, some of it is even useful!

12 Books for Kids to Celebrate National Poetry Month from

To kick off National Poetry month here on the blog, I have a fun list of 12 poetry books for kids. Their parents just might enjoy them as well. And since I’ve picked mine up from the library, I’m including the Dewey decimal number for each book, too.

Poem Depot: Aisles of Smiles written and illustrated by Douglas Florian (j811.54 F635pd 2014) – This new book reminds me a lot of Shel Silverstein. It’s silly fun poetry.

Shiver Me Timbers! Pirate Poems & Paintings poems by Douglas Elorian, pirates by Robert Neubecker (j811.54 F635pi 2012) – All sorts of pirate-y hijinks in this one. For some reason, it makes me think of The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.

Outside the Box: A Book of Poems by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Diane Goode (j811.6 W746o 2014) – Another new arrival at our library. Also reminds me of Shel Silverstein.

Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking by Alan Katz, drawings by Edward Koren (j811.54 K199p 2011) – The first poem made me laugh out loud, so did the one entitled “In My Opinion.”

Poetry for Young People: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow edited by Frances Schoonmaker, illustrated by Chad Wallace (j811.3 qL853Xs 1998) – Classic poetry with a short biography of the poet in the beginning.

Papa is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost by Natalie S. Bober, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (j811.52 qF939Zbo 2013) – The story of Robert Frost from the perspective of one of his children. A selection of Frost’s poetry is also included. I love the illustrations of this book, the colors are lovely.

Father, We Thank You by Ralph Waldo Emerson, illustrated by Mark Graham (j811.3 qE53f 2001) – The paintings that illustrate this poem are soothingly beautiful. I do believe this one will be finding a permanent home on our bookshelves. It’s lovely.

More Pocket Poems selected by Bobbi Katz, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (j811.008092 qM836 2009) – Some of these are really short, like two words short. These would be good for Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Home on the Range: Cowboy Poetry selected by Paul B. Janeczko, pictures by Bernie Fuchs (j811.008032 qH765 1997) – If you have a cowboy in your home, he might enjoy this one. It just goes to show that you can find poetry for just about anyone, even rugged cowboys.

Noisy Poems for a Busy Day by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Lori Joy Smith (j811.54 qH4651n 2012) – This is a fun one that is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss with made up words and wording that just seems to move.

Busy in the Garden by George Shannon, pictures by Sam Williams (j811.54 qS5283b 2006) – This is a great one for toddlers and preschoolers.

Animal Tracks: Wild Poems to Read Aloud by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by John Speirs (j811.54 qG423a 2004) – These are fun poems about animals, another one that would be good for toddlers and preschoolers.

What books would you add to this list? Does your family like poetry?

C is for Cats – Alphabet Activities for All Ages

C is for Cats (Alphabet Activities for All Ages) from

Alphabet Activities for All Ages Changes…Sort of

When Becky and I first starting talking about our plans for the Alphabet Activities for All Ages project, we had a particular formula in mind with how are posts would look. Namely, we would be ahead and our posts would look a certain way. We had plans for the activities we would include and life would be peachy keen.

Well, as our school year is progressing, I think I can finally accept something. I am not much of an activities homeschool mom. There, I said it. In our homeschool, we read books. Occasionally out loud (which I’m learning to like), but often we read to ourselves and share the particularly interesting things we think others will enjoy.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because it’s going to effect my Alphabet Activities posts around here. I will still include activities and tell you of the things we did, but you will notice my weekly posts will be predominantly book lists. I do hope you like books. We sure do.

C is for Cats Booklist

My focus this week is on cats, big and small. We have f0ur barn cats that are sweet as can be and my kids love them to pieces. We will be looking at more than domesticated cats this week though.

Books About Wild Cats

The Face to Face series is from National Geographic, which should be a clue as to the quality of the images in the books. These are the types of non-fiction books my son would pour over before he learned to like reading fiction.

Books About Domesticated Cats

  • Amazing Animals: Cats by Christina Wilsdon (j636.8 W746 2009) – Covers all kinds of cat details, lots of photos.
  • Kitten: Watch Me Grow! Photographs by Nancy Sheehan (j636.8 qS541 2000) – Just about every kid I know loves kittens, this book is loaded with photos of them.
  • Dewey: There’s a Cat in the Library by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter (j636.80929 qM998d 2009) – This is a fun story about an abandoned kitten who became the library’s cat.
  • ABC Cats by Kathy Darling (j636.8 qD221 1998) – This fun book takes you through cat breeds from A-Z, with photographs of each one. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t have this one either!
  • Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats (Easy Keats) – Our copy came with an audio CD of the book.

C is for Cats Activities

Some fun cat art, crafts, and activities from around the web:

  • This is something my toddler will like, make a fun little cat out of the letter C
  • We like to make cards. I found a couple samples to show the kids – here and here.
  • My kids like to draw, we have a few drawing books that we may see what different kinds/styles of cats we can come up with.
  • Coloring is something we also enjoy. I found a few coloring pages – one, two, and three.
  • These cat bookmarks are adorable! Being readers, these are must do’s for us.

C is for Cats Printable

I’m really starting to get into making these things! This time I have a .

! It’s free.

A is for Airplane – Alphabet Activities for All Ages

I am really, really excited to launch this project today. My friend Becky of For This Season and I have been collaborating over the last several weeks to bring you a fun project called Alphabet Activities for All Ages. This year long project will cover two letters each month. We have printables, book lists, and activity ideas to help your homeschool explore the alphabet.

Today we start at the beginning, of course. Then each Thursday you can come back for either more ideas for the current letter or a brand new letter. We are going in order, I will tell you that so you aren’t waiting in suspense too long.

A is for Airplane - Alphabet Activities for All Ages at

A is for Airplane Book List

We got all of our books at the library, so you may want to check them out there. I’m including the Dewey decimal number so you can check for them that way. It’s the number in parentheses after the title and author.

Books About Airplanes & Flying

Most of these books are geared for younger kids, but my elementary students enjoyed them, too. They read them to the toddler and preschooler.

Books About Pilots & People

Most of these books are longer books, though most are still picture books that younger readers would enjoy having read to them.

  • American Profiles: Aviators by Robert A. Rosenbaum (j629.13092273 R813 1992) – This book is marked Biographies in our library, so you might have to check that if your library has a biography section. This book profiles 11 fliers, with lots of facts, dates, and a few black and white photos. The back of the book says it is geared for middle and high school student, but I am using it with my older elementary students (4th & 5th grade).
  • The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman (j629.1300922 qW952Zf 1991) – This book is a hefty one and has a LOT of information and photographs.
  • The Wright Brothers by Pamela Duncan Edwards (j629.130092 W952Ze 2003) – Another biography, this time in color and would be suitable for all elementary grades (K-5).
  • Amelia Earhart: More Than a Flier by Patricia Lakin (Easy, Lakin) – This is a Level 3 reader from the Childhood of Famous Americans series. For readers who are reading proficiently.
  • Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka (j629.13092 q E12Zt 2008) – Lots of photos and artwork in this book. A great read for all ages, though a bit long for the toddler set.
  • Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger (j629.13092 qC692Zb 2001) – The story of the first African-American to earn a pilot’s license. Lots of great artwork in this book.
  • Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero by James Cross Giblin (j629.13092 qL742Zg 1997) – Another hefty biography suitable for older students.
  • Flight by Robert Burleigh (j629.1309111 qB961 1991) – Follow along on the flight that made 25 year old Charles Lindbergh a hero.

A is for Airplane Activity Ideas

We haven’t had much time for activities this past week, we are dealing with sinus infections. Here is a list of ideas that I will be pulling from for our next week.

Making paper airplanes. My kids love doing this. I picked up a some books from the library to give a try:

Drawing airplanes. My kids also love to draw. We each have a sketchbook. Yes, even Mom has one. We have several how to draw books on our homeschool library shelves. I did pick up Draw 50 Airplanes, Aircraft, and Spacecraft by Lee J. Ames (j743.8) from the library. Our library has an older copy than what Amazon has listed, but I think it is jut a cover difference.

Airplane coloring pages. For the kiddos in our homeschool that do not draw or simply prefer to color, I will be printing out some coloring sheets for them to color. I found a collection of airplane coloring pages to choose from. Dover also has a nice collection of coloring books featuring airplanes you could choose from for older students. We love Dover coloring books because of the real life detail.

Sensory Bin. I need to get more materials to put this together, so this is one that you will have to stop back next week for.

Airplane Memory Game. You get this next week, too. So be sure to check back.

Check back next week to see which ones were our favorites and how our A focus went. Since there are a lot of things for you to check back for, you might consider signing up to receive the Vicki Arnold blog posts directly in your email so you don’t miss a thing.

Pre-Writing Practice Worksheets

I have something else for you today! for you to print out and use with your little ones that need practice with tracing lines. You can laminate these and use dry erase markers or crayons. Or you can print them and have your little one get pencil grip practice.

Download or print your today!