Friday, June 10, 2016

Flying Frogs, Walking Fish....

Flying Frogs and Walking Fish
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page; illus. by Steve Jenkins
40 pages; ages 4-7
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016

theme: nature, animals, nonfiction

Animals walk, leap, climb, and swim. Some roll or turn flips. Others fly or glide, and a few are even jet-propelled.

There are so many ways to get around, and a good chance you've only seen a few of them. For example, have you ever seen a walking octopus? It has eight legs, but uses only two of them to walk along the ocean floor.

This is a book full of ACTION! Animals leap, tumble, climb, glide, tiptoe, scramble, cruise, slither, and dive. To do those things, they need adaptations that allow that sort of movement. Like tube-feet, fins, between-the-toes webbing, and spring-loaded legs.

What I like about this book: the large print verbs introduce a collection of animals that move in similar fashion, and the paper cut illustrations that show how each animal is adapted for that motion. For example, a red-lipped batfish waddles across the sea floor on its fins. A flying squirrel uses skin flaps to capture air for gliding. And jumping spiders.... they can leap 50 times their own body length. Talk about moving!

Beyond the book: action words!

Get moving! Find the action words (verbs) on the pages of this book - or another book - and move like those words. Jump, scurry, somersault.... and more. 

Get moving, take 2 ~ Grab a bunch of index cards and write one action word on each card. If you need a list of words, go here.  Then go outside. Put all the words into a can or a hat or a bucket. Now each person takes a word. Start walking around your yard (or a park or playground) - however your card dictates. When you reach a turn, stop and pull another word out of the hat. 

Another word for run ~ Get a thesaurus or "synonym finder" and make a list of words that are synonyms for action words you use a lot, such as run or walk. Then start peppering your speech with these alternative words.

Watch how animals move ~ go somewhere where you can watch animals: a park or zoo or maybe a pet store. Jot down words to describe how different animals move. 

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from publisher.


  1. Thanks for sharing about this book. I found it at a local library. It looks fascinating. Can't wait to read it.

  2. Love Steve Jenkins' books! Can't wait to see this one! Wonderful active extensions, too.