Sand Sack Companion Book

Some “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” lessons in Sand Sack

Tidbits of information and deeper knowledge lessons weave their way through Sand Sack, Book 3 in the first BioFables series, The Adventures Begin. The children’s book offers Melody and her twin brother Mallory an age-adjusted view of math, physics and other lessons; Sand Sack’s Companion Book presents a higher level of discussion and background information for parents (especially homeschoolers), teachers, and other adult readers, including references to earlier books.

The table offers excerpts from the Companion Book’s narrative:


Buckminster Fuller Buckyball is the nickname for a type of molecule made up of many carbon atoms that are arranged to make a hollow sphere. The technical term for these molecules is fullerenes, named after the architect Buckminster Fuller, because these molecules resemble the geodesic domes that the architect designed.” 1
Grandpa Mike “Just because Grandpa Mike lives alone doesn’t mean he eats out all the time. Learning to cook nutritious meals, and sharing them with others, is a valuable skill that promotes life-long health and well-being….” 9
Sand Sack “Large hills of sand that move over time are called “living,”… individual sands making up the dune are blown by the wind, causing the whole hill of sand to creep in the same direction as the sand … the … sack, buried in the sand many years ago, probably stayed where it was originally placed. As the individual grains of sand moved and shifted the position of the dune, the heavier sack was now buried in a different position relative to the dune’s original location.” 3
Park Educational Programs  “Many national and state parks offer evening educational programs about the natural features of the park and the region around the park. ..visitors learn that it takes a lot of work to maintain natural areas, especially those that are close to urban populations and those affected by climate change; that’s why many parks have preservation and restoration projects going on.” 7
Indiana Dunes Sand Sack was written well before a young boy fell into a large hole in the sand on Mt. Baldy. Fortunately, he was rescued several hours later. As of this writing, in July, 2016, Mount Baldy at the Indiana Dunes is still closed.” Helpful Hints
Extreme Living Conditions “Bacteria occur everywhere on Earth; some can even live in extreme conditions that are unfit for most plants or animals…The bog extremophile bacteria have adapted to living without oxygen…While most plants derive nutrients from the soil, the bog’s carnivorous (meat-eating) plants have to attract their meals from insects flying by. This adaptation was necessary because a bog’s nutrient level is too low to support these plants.” 5
Mississippi Palisades “Rivers, mountains and other natural features often form boundaries between states, counties and other divisions of the United States. So it is with the Mississippi River, which forms the western boundary of the State of Illinois and the eastern boundary of the State of Iowa.” 10
Sleep Time “Grandpa Mike understands how a regular schedule for going to sleep at night promotes good health, even during the summer months.” 9
Changing Day Length “Seasons of the year result from the earth’s rotation around the sun and its angle of tilt toward or away from the sun.” 2
Wet vs. Dry Sand for Stable Sand Castles “It’s hard to build solid sand castles with dry sand. Add just a little water, though, and your masterpiece will stay the way you formed it. Why is that? The water molecules stick to each other and to the grains of sand because of a property called surface tension. The same sticky effect will happen when you wet other kinds of grains…” 8
Staying Healthy “In Book 1 of this series, Whoosh; Old Faithful Uncovers a Mystery, the twins’ Mom, Agnes, showed her family an easy way to remember how to stay healthy: remember the word FEAST (Food, Exercise, Attitude, Sleep, and Timing). Well-being refers to both physical and mental health.” 1
Sand Dune Formation “…glaciers melted and receded as the earth warmed. They scraped and crushed the rocks in their path. Some of the stones and pebbles from the crushed rock eventually became sand as the action of water ground them down even more. Blowing wind creates sand piles that become dunes.” 4
Tree Graveyard Formation “… tree graveyard is an imaginative name for an area with tall, dead trees standing in green, algae-covered water. Mallory and his Dad theorize that the trees once enjoyed a hospitable habitat. The trees later may have been covered by blowing sand, which deprived them of sunlight, rain and nutrients. Winds from another direction may have then blown away the sand, leaving the dead trees exposed. Rotting matter from the trees may be contributing to the growth of algae.” 6