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Book details
  • Genre:SCIENCE
  • SubGenre:Life Sciences / Zoology / Invertebrates
  • Language:English
  • Pages:46
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667898971


by Brandis Hartsell

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Is it possible that jumping spiders can dream? This short story for young readers describes the nighttime behaviors of this fascinating family of spiders--behaviors that seem to indicate a dream-filled sleeping period similar to our own.
This is a short, non-fiction story for children about ongoing research with jumping spiders. It explores the possibility that these spiders are experiencing REM (Rapid Eye Movement) periods at night, which means they must be fully asleep and dreaming in a manner similar to humans. Children will first discover some of the differences between jumping spiders and other kinds of spiders. Through simple illustrations, they'll learn how the research is conducted and what kinds of behaviors researchers have seen. Along the way, they will be introduced to new vocabulary and other interesting facts about jumping spiders. Finally, children will have an opportunity to envision and create their own illustration of what a jumping spider's dream might look like. With the discovery of a characteristic that might be common to both humans and spiders, children may come away from the story more inclined to destroy the myth of spiders rather than the spiders themselves.
About the author
Dr. Brandis Hartsell is a retired marine biologist and educator. She was raised in upstate New York by two great parents who encouraged her interest in the arts and sciences and her empathy and passion for animals ("non-humans" as she prefers to call them). She attended Stony Brook University and Coastal Carolina University as an undergraduate, and earned her higher degrees at the University of Georgia. She's enjoyed a fulfilling career teaching all kinds of science to children and adults, and working "in the field" with wolves, sea turtles, and marine mammals. She is a prolific writer but has published only a dissertation, a few articles, and a children's book about jumping spiders. There are other stories that she believes might do well with a little publishing. However, writing is only one diversion among many. She enjoys creative projects that result in unique products, and continues to provide ideas and strategies for the science center from which she retired. She has played guitar since she was about thirteen years old, and has made no major improvements since then. She also loves reading, weight training, cycling, and walking but may soon age out of three of the four.