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Children, ages 2 to 3, who have been read to several times a day, did substantially better in kindergarten than youngs... More


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SURVIVAL AT 40 BELOW

Author: Debbie Miller

Illustrator: Jon Van Zyle

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Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: This informative book looks at how a number of creatures survive the eight months of winter above the Arctic Circle. Whether they grow thick protective fur, hibernate, or dig burrows into the earth, these animals manage to make it through a winter where temperatures plunge to 40 below. The range of creatures the author discusses includes not only wolves, bears, caribou, and musk oxen, but also ptarmigan, chickadees, snowshoe hares, squirrels, and frogs. This is a picture book for kids who love "extremes."

Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader

Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 10; read yourself: 8 and up

Interest Level: 6 to 10

Reading Level: 5.8

Age of Child: Shared in a second-grade classroom.

Young Reader Reaction: A friend of mine placed this in her classroom where the children could see it. A number of them asked to take it home and read it. Overall the book was a big hit.

Adult Reader Reaction: Although there's not a lot of detail the information on animal survival is adequate.

Pros: Not only does the book mention creatures found above the Arctic Circle in the northern part of Alaska but it explains how they survive the harsh climate. It has excellent illustrations and a useful, inside cover map.

Cons: I would have liked to see a little more detail since this is aimed at older readers who can handle more information.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow this one for home use, but I would buy it for the school or classroom library.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ADVENTURES OF RILEY: SURVIVAL OF THE SALMON (Riley's World Series®)   GROWING UP GRIZZLY; THE TRUE STORY OF BAYLEE AND HER CUBS   THE BRAVEST DOG EVER; THE TRUE STORY OF BALTO (Step Into Reading)

Educational Themes: There is a lot to explore with this book, which would be a good primer for introducing weather, geography, and animal habitat. There are themes of natural history, animal species unique to the Arctic, and animal survival, winter, and Alaska.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, nature, geography, animals, weather

Date(s) Reviewed: May 2010

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