I could say, “here’s an informational book that will tickle your funny bone”, but Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins needs no rib-tickling tricks to get kids’ attention. For Halloween, this book is thoroughly engaging. Using cut paper, Jenkins makes incredible illustrations of all kinds of bones to show how structure aids function. Some of the bones are shown actual size, so it’s easy to compare the size of a human skull to that of a baboon, a dog, a parrot, or an armadillo. Some bones are too large to show in actual size, so Jenkins makes the bones to scale. Kids can compare an adult human’s foot bones to the fossil foot bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex! Not only is this book visually a treat, it’s chock-full of “who knew?” facts that kids love: “a giraffe’s neck is as long as a man is tall, but giraffes and humans have the same number of neck bones: seven.”
I love sharing informational books like this with kids. You can immerse your kids in nonfiction, work in science and math, and all the while the kids think they’re just enjoying a good book. Because most of Jenkins’ illustrations are actual size or to scale, you can use Bones: Skeletons and How They Work to practice measurement. Kids can estimate how long a bone is and measure it with a ruler. (Got a math wizard? Measure the to-scale illustrations and multiply to get actual-size measurements!)
Read this book to your kids before Halloween, and use the book as a springboard to make some spooky decorations. At enchantedlearning.com, you can print off a human skeleton template to cut out and put together with brads to see how all our bones fit. Hang up the skeletons and your decorations are not only scary, they are scientific! For a treat that’s not loaded with sugar, try serving “Bones Dipped in Blood” (pull breadstick dough into bone shapes, bake, and serve with pizza sauce.) To incorporate a bit of technology and to rock it old school, go to YouTube and treat your kids to the Schoolhouse Rock video clip of “Them Not-So-Dry Bones”. “Right now there’s a skeleton locked up inside of you!”
For more information, please visit Steve Jenkins’ website: stevejenkinsbooks.com.
For more book recommendations and activities, please visit kristenremenar.com.