Libby Wimbley: Birdhouse Builder by Amy Cobb, Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis
Libby loves to explore, observe, and is a problem solver. When she and her best friend, Becca, find out that there is a snow day–they are off for an adventure. Following a series of tracks, they come upon some bright red, and hungry, birds. Together Libby and Becca work through the design process to engineer a solution for their newfound friends. While not the complete design process is included, this story provide multiple opportunities for you to pause and/or engage your class in a discussion…or even some engineering themselves. The initial problem, hunger, isn’t completely solved in this story…their thinking partnership goes down another path, which is also demonstrates how often that happens and invites you and your class to identify problems to solve, either story connected or locally connected.
Connections: Engineering, Problem Solving, Observation, Thinking Partnerships
Libby Wimbley: Bug Rescuer by Amy Cobb, Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis
You would think that nothing could be more exciting than a bike ride on a Sunday afternoon with your best friend–but Libby and Becca have just one task before pedaling down the dirt road…science homework. They need to be on the lookout for certain bugs in nature, and their experience tells them where to look. With just one more on their list, they come across a dragonfly in need of help, turning their role of bug detectives into bug rescuers! What bike ride? 🙂 While the needs of living things, in particular insects and their habitats, isn’t deeply discussed through the words, the pictures take the concept deeper and set you and your class up for a discussion and an exploration of their own. One of my favorite parts of the story is when they roll over a log, find a few of the insects on their list, but before they head off to find more, they roll the log back over, to help keep the insect home intact.
Connections: Insects, Observation, Tools, Habitats, Caring for Nature
Libby Wimbley: Goat Trainer by Amy Cobb, Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis
How many of us head toward the animal shows and exhibits when you go to a county fair? I know I do and so does Libby and Becca. It is one of their favorite parts, especially the shows where they see all the extraordinary tricks the different animals can do. It gets Libby thinking of her own pet, Elvis the Goat, and the tricks she could teach him, with help from her friends. After trying all the tricks she saw at the show, and taking a much needed break, she realizes that Elvis’s trick is no trick at all. It is being himself and sharing that gift with others. What is his gift? You’ll have to read it to find out. 🙂 Early chapter readers will love and relate to the animal theme, and if read to the class, it offers a good example of trial and error, as well as following an idea through to impact, and help, others.
Connections: Ideas, Process, Reflection, Plan to Share Knowledge
Also included in the Libby and Wimbley series is Rooster Instructor by I wasn’t able to read and review it.
This site was designed to help educators find fictional stories to incorporate into their science lessons.
The use of fictional stories is an effective pathway to your student's science background knowledge, interest and understanding.
This site was also developed in response to a Literature Review that asked: How are females of color portrayed in science-based fictional picture books? A summary of that literature review can be found in the "About" tab.