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“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”
Summary: Riley joins Uncle Max, Aunt Martha, and his cousin Alice in Madagascar. They meet up with a film crew on a mission to find and document the rare aye-aye lemur. On this adventure, Riley encounters new plants, animals, and legend. This is a series book that blends a fiction story with non-fiction content.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 4 to 10
Reading Level: 3.9
Age of Child: Started reading with 4 year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler was more interested in talking about the events and animals on the pages than she was in listening to us read the story. She had LOTS of questions. The photos of the reptiles and spiders startled her, initially. It didn't stop additional requests to re-read the book, though.
Adult Reader Reaction: The author does an exceptional job blending facts and story, photos and illustrations. It’s like an ensemble cast: each feeds the other, without one element taking over the show.
Pros: The book is crammed with fun stuff to do and learn. It covers geography, nature, animal habitat, and conservation in just a couple dozen pages. The passport is a great way to encourage additional global discoveries and learning.
Cons: None. We wish it had flashcards to go with some of those photos and fact sheets.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a book that will grow with your child as his/her learning and interests become more sophisticated. Every school library should have this book.
Educational Themes: The book is packed with information for exploring your own backyard or learning more about the world: animals from insects to mammals; geography; ecosystems and conservation; and careers in nature.
Notes: Two percent (2%) of the proceeds go to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Literary Categories: fiction - nature, science, geography, adventure, picture book series
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2005
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