Saturday, May 19, 2018


Dear SCIENCE 4 KIDS follower;

I have moved the web location of this blog to WordPress.

I hope you are willing to follow me there by simply clicking on this link and then typing your email on the box on the right that says "Follow Ana Maria S. Rodriguez."

In the new blog home, I will continue posting news and curious things about science, nature and history.

Thank you for continue reading!


Follow me on Twitter @RodriguezAMaria
Facebook at Ana Maria Rodriguez Writer
My website: Ana Maria Rodriguez 
Contact me! I am available for school visits, conferences and science talks at your event!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

"Highly engaging, fascinating animal science for readers," says School Library journal, Series Made Simple

I have wonderful news for the Animal Secrets Revealed! series. I am delighted to share the praise it received from School Library Journal, Series Made Simple

SMS compares that season’s series nonfiction, subject by subject. SLJ’s reviewers examine each set for currency, relevance, comprehensiveness, accuracy, adherence to education standards, and, of course, appeal, and provide a comparison among the series as well as a “bottom line” on which to buy. 
Animal Secrets Revealed! is one of this season’s picks!


ea vol: 48p. (Animal Secrets Revealed!). charts. further reading. glossary. index. notes. photos. websites. Enslow. Aug. 2017. lib. ed. $27.93. pap. $11.70.

Gr 4-7 –Each book presents five examples of scientists from around the world (most from the United States and Europe) working to discover new information about an animal. Each chapter starts with a moment that triggered the scientist’s curiosity about the animal’s behavior, then describes the process of developing experiments, analyzing results, and drawing conclusions. The animal “secrets” are all intriguing, as are the strategies used to unravel the mystery. The scientists’ own words, based on interviews with the author, capture the excitement of experimentation and discovery. Most of the research is current, though dates are usually provided only in the chapter notes. Some chapters include photographs of the scientists, sometimes interacting with their subjects, but others rely more on stock photos of animals. The stories themselves, though, are highly engaging, providing insight into modern scientific techniques and animal behaviors. VERDICT: Fascinating animal science for readers.”

“Enslow’s “Animal Secrets Revealed!” stands out for its lively exploration of contemporary scientists and their discoveries.”

The Animal Secrets Revealed! series includes hands-on activities, and, in addition, teacher’s guides for each book in the series are available for free download on my website

The good news don’t stop here. Enslow is offering a discount on the books to school libraries. Check the details here.

And for readers who are curious about science, Animal Secrets revealed! is available in paperback. Click here and then on the image of the book to purchase.

Would you like your students to have a first-row seat on the "lively exploration of contemporary [animal] scientists and their discoveries"? I am available for school visits, in person and via Skype. Email me for more details.

Thank you!
Ana Maria Rodriguez

Follow me on Twitter @RodriguezAMaria
Contact me! I am available for school visits, conferences and science talks at your event!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Some scientists let their curiosity make them do truly weird experiments. Meet Ken Catania. He studies strange-looking creatures, such as the star-nosed mole and its unusual way to smell underwater. More recently, Catania has been focusing on electric eels, and their ‘shocking’ abilities. 

He discovered that eels can control how much electricity they put out. They use low voltage pulses to sense for prey, and they can turn up the power to make prey (think of fish) twitch or go numb. That was fascinating, but then Catania came across an 1800s illustration and an odd South American story from famous explorer Alexander von Humboldt. Humboldt wrote of eels attacking a group of horses that had stepped into a pool where the eels lived. There is a drawing of the time of this event, which you can see in this short video.

“The aggressive behavior of the eels, taking the offensive against the horses, seems the most fantastic and questionable part of the story,” he said.

Just when scientists thought they knew all there was to know about electric eels, here comes an old tale that makes them wonder. Can eels really jump out of the water? Catania had to solve the mystery and so he did using props shaped like alligator heads and human arms, and electric connections to see with his own eyes whether eels in his lab could jump as Humboldt’s allegedly did. 

The Shocking Secret of the Electric Eel book also includes four more secrets: how parrot fish don’t let the sea bugs bite, the jumping spider’s amazing ‘hairy’ hearing, the mystery of European eels and their heads (these are much smaller that the electric eel and won’t shock you), and the secret of the underwater night hummers. 

May I entice you with more animal secrets? I invite you to visit my website to explore the other titles of this series.

Teacher’s Guides for the other Animal Secrets books in this series are also available when you click on the eel above.

Follow me on Twitter @RodriguezAMaria
Contact me! I am available for school visits, conferences and science talks at your event!