What’s on The Seven-Year-Old’s mind this week?

Our semi-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross the The Seven-Year-Old’s desk.

In the news:

The monarch massacre: Nearly one billion butterflies have vanished
(The Washington Post)
Last week, The Seven-Year-Old asked me what we should plant in our container garden. Then she read this article. Nearly one billion monarch butterflies have been wiped out due to herbicides sprayed on milkweed plants. Monarchs rely on milkweed for their homes, nurseries, and food. Now her answer is easy. “We’re planting milkweed, Mommyo. A whole deck full of it.”
12.7 million metric tons of plastic pour into our oceans annually
(Ars Technica)
(Photo: NOAA)
(Photo: NOAA)
Not as pretty as a coral reef. Reduce, reuse, & recycle, people.
13 Effects of Fast Food on the Body 
Did you know eating fast food can actually make you feel depressed? Not just guilt, actual depression. I wasn’t surprised by the other effects — insulin resistance, dental distress (I chipped a tooth on a french fry once), weight gain, high cholesterol, headaches, shortness of breath, acne, and so on, but depression? I admit it, that one surprised me.

A sampling of this week’s books:


  • The Loathsome Dragon by Kim Kahng and David Wiesner: An adaptation of an old English fairy tale featuring a giant, bad-tempered dragon. (Oh and a princess, a prince, a wicked stepmother, and magical enchantments. But you knew all that once you heard it was a fairy tale, right?)
  • Scientific Progress Goes Boink! by Bill Watterson: A perennial favorite. The Seven-Year-Old is hard at work building another transmogrifier in the family cave. Her previous machines have all disappeared. Very odd scientific phenomenon.
  • Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter: I started reading this to The Seven-Year-Old back when she was merely The Five-Year-Old in an effort to get her enthused about taking karate. (I mean, really, cats with ninja-like fighting skills? How could that possibly fail?) She saw right through me, and began regularly asking her father to read her Hardy Boys to her at night instead. This week, I saw she’d picked the first book in the series back up again. No doubt because there is a picture of Canelo on the cover. Actually, now that I look at it, that cover is sort of a Howell Family Cat triptych. The grey tabby could be Cozy, the angry tortoiseshell is clearly Mulberry, and of course, Canelo, our current cat is lording over them all.

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