Martha E. H. Rustad is the author of more than two hundred nonfiction children's books, on topics ranging from snowflakes to termites to the Statue of Liberty. She lives with her family in Brainerd, Minnesota. Amanda Enright is an illustrator from West Sussex in the United Kingdom.
In a series of books that describe all things about fall, Rustad provides a lively vehicle for extending readers' vocabulary. All of the books have a concluding activity to make or do. Animals presents an interesting experiment to explain the word 'blubber, ' the fatty layer that ocean animals have, while Pumpkins delivers an easy-to-mix recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. Leaves is outstanding for explaining the process of photosynthesis and chlorophyll in simple terms; Weather, for its clear description of seasons and the word 'equinox.' Apples is not so successful in elucidating how an apple seed grows into a tree, creating more questions than are answered. Harvest offers little new information about planting or reaping, and the directions for making a corn-husk doll are sketchy. Colorful illustrations fill the spreads with active, cartoonlike boys and girls surrounded by the green, brown, and orange hues of autumn. Select among the titles for topics of interest. --School Library Journal-- "Journal"
Fall is a wonderful time of year. The air becomes cooler and the leaves start to change color from green to vivid reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Fall also means going to the pumpkin patch to choose pumpkins to decorate for Halloween. Martha E. H. Rustad, in her children's book, Fall Pumpkins: Orange and Plump, takes the young reader on a journey to learn how pumpkins are planted, tended, and grown. The story follows a young boy as he plants pumpkin seeds, in the spring and follows the seeds' growth through the fall harvest. The book also shows the reader how to use fully grown pumpkins: carving them for Halloween, making roasted pumpkin seeds, and using the pumpkin meat to make pumpkin pie. This book is part of the Fall's Here! Series, which includes books about fall apples, fall leaves, and animals in fall. The illustrations are very colorful and showcase the fall foliage, tractors, scarecrows, and other symbols of fall. There are also illustrations of children helping each other with planting, watering, and examining how the seeds grow to become flowers and then pumpkins. There is a page near the back with a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds made two different ways, one with salt and the other with cinnamon and sugar. The reader is then asked to try both kinds and decide which one they like best. There is also a glossary of terms in the book and a list of other books and websites to learn more about pumpkins. This book is appropriate for children in grades K-3, and can be read to preschool children who will enjoy the bright, colorful illustration. The author uses bright red leaves of different shapes to highlight additional interesting information about pumpkins. --Science Books & Films-- "Journal"
Seasons and related nature changes are interesting subjects for students to explore. This series is appealing with Amanda Enright's colorful, vivid illustrations. Beginning and struggling readers will like the short sentences and simple text by Martha Rustad. The information enhances student understanding of science concepts and the seasons, and listed recipes and activities will enable readers to actively learn about these topics. Teachers looking for science or season materials will find this series very useful for their classrooms. --Library Media Connection-- "Journal"