I’m not sure what it is about these reptiles and amphibians, but picture book authors and illustrators love them! I have been so pleased with the selection of nonfiction books about animals that I’ve been able to find at our local libraries, but I think the books we read about chameleons and frogs in the past few weeks have topped them all. These wonderful picture books have so enriched our science studies! Shoot–I think I’d love them even if we hadn’t been studying reptiles and amphibians–these are that good!
Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley is full of simple, bold text and stunning photographs. I don’t think there’s much more to say about it, but this is truly one book that you must see to appreciate. Nic Bishop has cornered the market on animal photography. Have you ever seen a chameleon catch a catepillar from about a foot away? This book contains this amazing photo and many more. Once we discovered Nic Bishop’s photography, of course I went searching for his stuff. It seems that not only does he illustrate books, he also writes them. Frogs, both written and illustrated by Nic Bishop, was the perfect addition to our study of frogs because in addition to the photgraphy, the text of this book is very detailed, with all kinds of information about frogs in general as well as specific kinds of frogs. While the text in Chameleon, Chameleon is sparse (so sparse, in fact, that I would think a very young child could sit through it), Frogs contains enough information to warrant both a short index and glossary. I’d say it’s about as perfect as a juvenile nonfiction title can be. I think I’ve discovered my favorite juvenile nonfiction author and illustrator. We have Nic Bishop’s Spiders waiting on us for our next science lesson, and I can hardly wait! (I am only a little arachnophobic, but I think I can hold those feelings at bay for the sake of Nic Bishop’s wonderful photography.) These books most certainly get a Highly Recommended from me!
After reading the Nic Bishop books, I was accustomed to photographic illustrations instead of drawn ones, and I might’ve passed over Jim Arnosky’s All About Turtles were it not for Carrie’s ebullient praise. (Her post is linked up below.) I am so glad I checked this one out! Arnosky‘s artwork is very realistic and vivid, and the information in the book is presented in a way that is both interesting and kid-friendly. I like that each page contains the main text, but there are plenty of species-specific (say that three times fast!) details in smaller type font. I love how Arnosky includes interesting drawings on the front and back flyleaves–in this case, turtle tracks in the sand showing both footprints and shell drag. I am eager to seek out more of Arnosky‘s titles after reading this one! Highly Recommended!
Stick, written and illustrated by Steve Breen, is a fun picture book that provided a little bit of comic relief for our serious study of frogs and other amphibians. 😉 With spirit and perspective that are reminiscent of David Wiesner’s books, Stick is a story that delights both young and old because it is an audacious tale that depends on both imagination and wordplay. How much fun is a story about a little frog named Stick who literally sticks to a passing dragonfly and is taken on the adventure of his life?!? Another Highly Recommended title!
I know there’s no shortage of good titles out there about reptiles and amphibians, but these are definitely winners. Do you have a favorite nonfiction series about animals? What about an author? I’m always looking for nonfiction titles, especially those that Lulu can read herself. I’m all ears!
Now it’s your turn. Link up your Read Aloud Thursday posts below, or simply leave a comment detailing what you’re reading together with your children. Be sure to come back tomorrow for today’s RAT Links post!
Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! 🙂