Water Bears? Last night we finished “Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space” but not before this wonderful book tantalized us with a few facts about water bears. Do you know about water bears? Water bears look like cousins of those icky dust mites that mattress companies use to scare you into purchasing a new bed. I have included a link (about water bears, not mattress critters) so you can see for yourselves. Interesting and borderline gross. Two thumbs up from my son.
Here is why astro-scientists want to know about water bears: they are the hardiest organisms on earth. They can live in extreme temps (-300 degrees F to +300 degrees F), they are unfazed by high pressure, low pressure, or radiation, they can be completely dehydrated and then years later resuscitated, and they can exist in outer space without protective covering. All hail the indestructible water bear!
Tick Tock: time for a new unit – we are starting to study the concepts of time and clocks. This looks like a cool topic, but we loved “Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space” so much, I am afraid that any unit tackled after that book would pale in comparison. Bummer for the clocks.
We Read: we are more than half way through “Under the Egg” by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. This is the perfect type of book for my son, with intrigue and friendship woven into the complex plot-line, AND we have learned so much – about the paintings of Renaissance painter Raphael, about the Monuments Men of WWII, and last night, about the people-locating resources of various holocaust museums. It is hard to put this book away at the end of each chapter.
Our Le Fictitious Local Diner Story Problem: The local diner sells lots of pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies in November (but not mince, because the chef thinks mince pies are just awful). If the diner sells 80 pies the week before Thanksgiving, and 60% are apple, how many apple pies are we talking about? If the diner is planning to bake 150 pies for Thanksgiving week, using the same percentage, how many apple pies should be prepared?
Our music theme for last night was “Fanfare for the Water Bear”. Why not? This invincible organism surely needs a glam theme song. One of these might be perfect:
- “Water Music, Alla Hornpipe” from Handel’s “Water Music in D Major”– is this the perfect fanfare for the little super bug? It was perfect for King George I as he cruised up and down the Thames.
- “The Aquarium” from Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals” – for the water bear looking for dreamy relaxation music with a bit of star power (this music was used at the beginning of the “Beauty and the Beast” movie).
- “The Wild Bears” from Sir Edward Elgar’s suite, “The Wand of Youth” – we LOVE the high voltage energy this piece. It scampers all over the place. Maybe this is the theme music for the bad boy water bear?
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
Hello! My name is Ben Newman, the illustrator of Prof, Astro Cat. I’m am so touched and incredibly delighted to read about how much you and your son enjoyed the book. I’m sure Dominic will be too when I tell him. There will be more from Professor Astro Cat in the future. Thank you.
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Ben Newman! Oh my gosh! I am overwhelmed to receive a note from you!
Where to begin: the book- the captivating illustrations, the outstanding graphic set up, the fascinating and easy to understand information. Wow. Perfection.
I was traveling over the past weekend with 6 girlfriends. Friday night I was telling them why they had to buy Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space…and then to share a kind note from THE ILLUSTRATOR on Sunday night! Well, you made my day/week/month!
My son and I look forward to more books by the Walliman-Newman power team. In the meantime, how do I swing an autographed copy? – Jane BH