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“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island.”
Summary: Review pending. This National Geographic series for older readers explores animal habits and habitats.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, independent reading, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 9 and up
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Reading Level: 6.1
Adult Reader Reaction: I love the mixed illustrations that include photos and maps; I really love the photo-illustrated glossary and the links to websites; and I adored the cleverness of the “weighty words” insets that define big words (like herbivore). It does an exceptional job balancing the text with illustrations, giving newly independent readers plenty to look at. I also like how it moves the book along with fact bubbles. For example, there is a two-page spread that is just an image of an elephant. Little fact bubbles subconsciously move the reader along in a logical progression first across the page left to right and then down top to bottom.
Pros: Incredible photography and a great balance of image and text will engage readers who still need help as well as those ready to read independently.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book you are likely to find in the school or public library. Definitely pick it up. The photography alone is worth looking at. Still, given its format, it is not one you're likely to keep in your home library.
Educational Themes: You can go way beyond talking about elephants with this book. Grab a globe to locate where elephants live, measure the various aspects of an elephant with other items (stacked boxes, marbles, rocks, etc.), and/or contrast and compare elephant habits with human ones.
Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2010 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - animals, nature, easy reader series