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Newsletter: August 6th 2022

I was so focused on making our “Grand” evening a success, I completely forgot all about the newsletter. I'm sure there's a book for that ;)


Can you believe it - it's been a year since I signed the lease on this space! In honor of that, this week - now until Aug 13th, please send me your guesstimate on the number of square feet for The Thinking Spot. There's one FREE Book (pick from available Advanced Review Copies) for whoever gets the closest!

This coming week (Aug 10-14) there is a STEAM Experience event at the Mall of America. Our partner CodeSavvy will have a booth there and we may stop in from time to time. Come find us and say hi!, if you're at the Mall.

The Thinking Spot was featured in the Lake Minnetonka Magazine. Yay! We're on pg 24.

Earlier this week, I attended a trade show for sidelines ( that's bookseller lingo for all those non-book things ) ! Can't wait to share all the cool new STEM toys and games I discovered! (Pssst… There's a bookstore roadmap puzzle in the works that I'm super stoked about).

This week we have added 2 new Authors to our “Local” Shelf:

  • Bev Gillen : Is a Minnetonka resident and parent educator, passionate about helping families discover the outdoors. Her book “The Gift Of Green Time” is now available in-store.

  • Louise Watson : Is another local Author who has a children's book called “The Mouse in our House”, teaching kids the importance of a home.


  • Book Club : Next meeting is tomorrow Sunday the 7th of August. We will be picking our next book. Sign up or email me if you'd like to join in for the next book.

  • First Origami workshop is Wednesday the 10th at 5p.

  • Our first “Grand” Evening was so FUN! I loved meeting the kids, and their Adults, excited about spending an evening in the company of books. If you're one of those, sign up for the next one. It doesn't have to be a Grandparent/Grandkid thing - you can bring any child you'd enjoy spending quality time with! Next date is Thursday the 11th, 5-7pm.

  • STEM Builders workshop is now live on the site. Sunday the 21st of August, 2-3:15p. It is an Engineering Mystery Bag Challenge for Grades 2-5. STEM Builders will need at least 4 signups to hold the workshop so if you're interested, please sign up.

  • August Battle of the Books will be Wednesday August 31st 5p. Those of you who couldn't make it to the July Battle, there is still time to sign up for the August one.


  • There were several items vying for news of the week, but a GEDI(pronounced Jedi) system with a tagline of “May the forest be with you” - how could I resist!? New Technology shoots laser beams from ISS, I kid you not! This is an example of fact follows fiction, if ever I saw one!


  • This is the last month to complete your BOOK BINGO. Keep reading and drop them off as you finish. FREE BOOKS for ALL FULL Bingo and a drawing for ALL those who complete a row or column.

Keep reading and see you in-store soon!

Interesting New Releases

How Fast Did T. rex Run?

By David Hone

The revolution in science that is transforming our understanding of dinosaurs

In just the past twenty years, we have learned more about dinosaurs than we did in the previous two centuries. This book describes the extraordinary advances in palaeontology that are beginning to solve many of the mysteries surrounding these marvelous prehistoric creatures, from their ways of communicating to their mating habits, the color of their skin, their migration patterns and extinction. How did dinosaurs rear their young? What did they eat? What did T. rex actually do with those tiny arms? David Hone draws on his own discoveries at the forefront of dinosaur science to illuminate these and other questions. Each chapter in this lively and informative book covers a key topic in dinosaur science, such as origins, diversity, evolution, habitats, anatomy, behaviour, ecology and dinosaur descendants—the birds. For each topic, Hone discusses the history of what palaeontologists thought in the past, the new insights we are gleaning from recent fossil finds and the latest technologies and the gaps in our knowledge that still remain. He shares his own predictions about the research areas that may produce the next big ideas in dinosaur science and addresses the unknowns we may never solve. How Fast Did T. rex Run? reveals everything we now know about dinosaurs—and everything we don’t—and charts thrilling new directions for tomorrow’s generation of dinosaur scientists.

David Hone is a palaeontologist and senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. He has written about dinosaurs for leading publications such as National Geographic, The Guardian, The Telegraph and HuffPost. His books include The Tyrannosaur Chronicles: The Biology of the Tyrant Dinosaurs.

The Mind of a Bee

By Lars Chittka

A rich and surprising exploration of the intelligence of bees Most of us are aware of the hive mind—the power of bees as an amazing collective. But do we know how uniquely intelligent bees are as individuals? In The Mind of a Bee, Lars Chittka draws from decades of research, including his own pioneering work, to argue that bees have remarkable cognitive abilities. He shows that they are profoundly smart, have distinct personalities, can recognize flowers and human faces, exhibit basic emotions, count, use simple tools, solve problems, and learn by observing others. They may even possess consciousness. Taking readers deep into the sensory world of bees, Chittka illustrates how bee brains are unparalleled in the animal kingdom in terms of how much sophisticated material is packed into their tiny nervous systems. He looks at their innate behaviors and the ways their evolution as foragers may have contributed to their keen spatial memory. Chittka also examines the psychological differences between bees and the ethical dilemmas that arise in conservation and laboratory settings because bees feel and think. Throughout, he touches on the fascinating history behind the study of bee behavior. Exploring an insect whose sensory experiences rival those of humans, The Mind of a Bee reveals the singular abilities of some of the world’s most incredible creatures.

Lars Chittka is professor of sensory and behavioral ecology at Queen Mary University of London. He is the coeditor of Cognitive Ecology of Pollination. Twitter @LChittka

The Logic of Life

By François Jacob

“The most remarkable history of biology that has ever been written.”—Michel Foucault Nobel Prize–winning scientist François Jacob’s The Logic of Life is a landmark book in the history of biology and science. Focusing on heredity, which Jacob considers the fundamental feature of living things, he shows how, since the sixteenth century, the scientific understanding of inherited traits has moved not in a linear, progressive way, from error to truth, but instead through a series of frameworks. He reveals how these successive interpretive approaches—focusing on visible structures, internal structures (especially cells), evolution, genes, and DNA and other molecules—each have their own power but also limitations. Fundamentally challenging how the history of biology is told, much as Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for the history of science as a whole, The Logic of Life has greatly influenced the way scientists and historians view the past, present, and future of biology.

François Jacob (1920–2013) was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1965 and was one of the world’s leading molecular biologists.

Amazing Landmarks

By Rekha S. Rajan

Could you build the world's most iconic landmarks?

Could you design the Golden Gate Bridge? Could you construct the Eiffel Tower? Could you decorate the Burj Khalifa? Could you make a budget, draw up the plans, and handle every problem that arises to create something that withstands the test of time?

This accessible nonfiction compendium explores the creation of 10 global landmarks, from the first spark of an idea to the final layer of paint. Acclaimed educator Rekha Rajan encourages readers to see themselves as the engineers, builders, architects, and more through interactive stories and a unique structure.

Graphic artist Alex Asfour's gorgeous art works seamlessly with engaging photographs to create a standout nonfiction title that will appeal to both kids and educators.

Ideal for any grade schooler with an interest in STEAM!

Rekha S. Rajan, EdD. has been an educator for more than 20 years. She holds a doctorate and master's in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, in NYC and a master's in early childhood education from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. Rajan is the author of six books for teachers. Her book Integrating the Performing Arts in Grades K-5 (SAGE, 2012) includes over 60 lesson plans on how to connect the arts with STEM subjects. Her work has been featured on NPR, the National Head Start Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the California Alliance for Arts Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, with her family.

Alex Asfour is a graphic designer and the founder of IdeaStorm Studio. He has collaborated with many companies, including Budweiser, USPS, the Washington Post, Uber, and many more. Amazing Landmarks is his children's book debut. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

To Change a Planet

By Christina Soontornvat

A beautiful ode to our planet and a clarion call to protect it.

One person.

Small, quiet,


But when one person,

and one person,

and one person

become many,

they can change

a planet.

Spare, poetic text and breathtaking pictures invite readers on a stirring journey that gently illuminates the causes of climate change as well as how our individual and collective actions can make the world better.

Meticulously researched and brimming with beauty, hope, and hands-on solutions that will edify and empower even the youngest readers, this loving ode to our planet is vital for every child, classroom, and family.

Christina Soontornvat is the author of two Newbery Honor books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen, which also won the Kirkus Prize and a Sibert Honor distinction. She is also the author of Scholastic’s beloved fantasy series Diary of an Ice Princess, and the picture books The Ramble Shamble Children, The Blunders, and Simon at the Art Museum, as well as the forthcoming To Change a Planet. Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science and STEM. Christina lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, two young children, and one old cat. You can learn more about her work at

Rahele Jomepour Bell is the illustrator of the picture books Our Favorite Day of the Year, Playdate, and Book’s Big Adventure, and also contributed artwork to Scholastic Press’s nonfiction picture book anthology In the Spirit of the Dream. Rahele immigrated to the United States from Iran in 2011 to pursue her dream of studying art at Iowa State University, where she received her MFA in integrated visual arts. You can learn more about her work at

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