Friday, October 7, 2016

Two books for animal-lovers

My kids loved frogs. And otters, crickets, turtles ... they always wanted to know what made animals work. Here are two books that help answer some of those questions.

theme: nature, nonfiction

See-Thru Frogs (see-thru books series)
by Sherry Gerstein
28 pages; ages 7-10
Millbrook Press, 2016

The cool thing about frogs is that you find them anywhere: in ponds, in the wooded areas behind a park, even in sewers under city streets. In this book, kids learn how frogs breathe, swim, and leap.

What I like about this book: The "see-thru" pages help illustrate the insides of frogs - their skeleton and internal organs. You can see that we share similar bones with frogs (backbone, humerus) - but their food bones are much longer and they don't have neck bones so they can't turn their heads like we can.

There are tips on distinguishing frogs from toads, an overview of the class Amphibia, and a spread celebrating the diversity of frogs.

 Animal Legs
by Mary Holland
32 pages; ages 4-8
Arbordale Publishing, 2016

Legs and feet come in many shapes, numbers, and sizes. They are used to paddle, jump, cling, dig, warn others, catch food and even taste food! The way an animal's legs and feet look can tell you a lot about how it lives.

Mary Holland is a naturalist who observes animals closely and takes wonderful photographs. In this book she focuses her attention on legs.

What I like about this book: The close-up photos of caterpillar legs, spiny mantid legs, butterfly and frog feet, grouse and mole toes. Every page is packed with details about webbing, spines, flaps, toenails. Some animals walk on their toes; others walk on their toenails. We walk on our whole foot.

I also like the back-matter: extra information for curious minds and a matching game. 

Beyond the books

Listen for frogs. Last week we were still hearing wood frogs, but with cold weather the frogs may be going into hiding. You can check out frog calls here.

What can you do with your legs and feet? Jump? Walk? Run? Can you pick up a pencil with your toes? What else can you do?

What kinds of legs do you find in your neighborhood? Check out the birds and bugs, reptiles and amphibians and mammals you see. Look at tracks they leave in the mud and snow. What do you notice? Are they furry or scaly? Do they have 2 legs or more? How many toes? Do they hop or run?

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 comment:

  1. These both really sound good. Thanks for telling me about them. I'm amazed someone came up with the idea of a book on insect legs!