Quick Review: Outstanding Science Trade Books 2011
September 6, 2011
- Sidman, J., & Prange, B., Illus. (2010). Ubiquitous: Celebrating nature’s survivors. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 p. 978-0618717194. $17.00. Gr. 1-6
- Schaefer, L., & Waring, G., Illus. (2010). Just one bite. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. 32 p. 978-0811864732. $17.99. Gr. PreK-1.
- Page, R, & Jenkins, S. (2010). How to clean a hippopotamus: A look at unusual animal partnerships. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 p. 978-0547245157. $16.00. Gr. K-5.
- Marzollo, J., & Regan, L., Illus. (2010). Pierre the penguin. Ann Arbor, MI: Sleeping Bear Press. 32 p. 978-1585364855. $15.95. Gr. PreK-2.
- Briggs, J., & Wingerter, L., Illus. (2010). The chiru of high Tibet: A true story. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. 40 p. 978-0618581306. $17.99. Gr. 1-3.
Ubiquitous tracks the existence of life on earth beginning some 3.8 billion years ago with bacteria until the introduction of humans about 100,000 years ago. Each entry is punctuated with a poem, eye-catching illustrations, and fascinating facts. Most of the book is very serious in tone. However, the entry on squirrels offers an out-of-place bit of silliness. Just One Bite gives young readers insight into how much animals eat in a single bite. Schaefer wrote a great read-aloud that has simple text coupled with Geoff Waring’s informative illustrations. After reading, many kids will want to test the minuscule to giant-sized bites for themselves. How to Clean a Hippopotamus is an amusing look at symbiosis in the animal kingdom. While Jenkins & Page’s book is a highly recommended and highly readable nonfiction book, some of the information may be too intense for sensitive readers. Pierre the Penguin tells the story of a penguin at the California Academy of Sciences who one day loses all his feathers. An interview with the scientist at the end will help fill in curious readers. The Chiru of High Tibet are a strange antelope-type goat found in one of the coldest, most desolate places on earth. This beautifully illustrated story about an almost extinct animal and the trekkers who risked their lives tends to lionize the four men who help save the chiru. But it is still interesting and should capture readers.
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Oh . . . and read How to Clean a Hippopotamus now!