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Springtime Animals

Are you looking for excellent books about animals?  Here are several non-fiction books good for all ages that I will categorize into specific groups that are all about animals. All books, unless noted, have glossaries found at the back.

Ocean and Sea (Scholastic “Discover More” series), by Steve Parker, is part of a wonderful new series of non-fiction books that link hard copy books with interactive free digital books that help keep the interest and excitement of learning expanding. This book encompasses beautiful full page photos, maps and paintings and sections them into information about oceans, oceans in the world, ocean life, oceans and people, and threatened oceans.

Undersea Creatures (Extreme Encounters with Aquatic Beasts), by Nam Nguyan, is an amazing book filled with familiar and not-so-familiar animals in the deep.  The cover with a giant open-mouth shark will initially draw in the reader.  The lay-out alone will draw the reader in with the full-spread colorful pictures. But the information and labeling of interesting details about each animal will keep the reader interested throughout the book.  There are open flaps found throughout that help teach about the habitat as well as a special fold-out section featuring a giant squid and whale.

Shark-tastic, by Lori Stein, is all about this fascinating beast that seems to constantly draw kids in. This short book has all the elements for a quick and easy book to digest and contains full page photos and text that is limited. The cover has a shark with an open mouth but in the mouth it contains a pouch of real shark’s teeth. There is no glossary in this book.

Whales and Dolphins, by Judy Allen and Mike Bostock, is a “Flip the Flaps” book and an easy read to learn about the most intelligent and adaptable mammals on earth. By flipping the flaps, you find answers to questions posed. There is no glossary in this book.

Incredible Journeys: Amazing Animal Migrations (Animal Planet) has to be a most inventive way to draw readers into non-fiction because the way migrating animals are hard-wired is amazing and miraculous. It covers the thousands of miles the monarch butterfly travels, the Pacific blue fin tuna as it navigates to find food, and the African elephant as it searches for food and water. The book is divided into animals found on land, air and water. There is no glossary in this book.

Talk, Talk, Squawk!, by Nicola Davies, and illustrated by Neal Layton, is a most interesting book assembled by the same inventive team that has written and illustrated other clever books with the same format about animals. This expressive book is all about how all animals communicate to other animals to either “stay away” or “come to me”.  The markings on their bodies, the sounds they make or the smell they emit accomplish both of these communication expressions. This book is extremely kid-friendly, entertaining, humorous and enlightening!  And, don’t forget to check out the end pages.

Living Color, by award winning Steve Jenkins, is just out in paperback. This is one of my favorite books (in picture book format) about animals. Jenkins categorized animals according to their color. So in the red section, the color establishes that the color signifies that the scarlet percher dragonfly is completely mature and the hooded seal marks its territory by blowing up a red sac from its nostrils. This is a beautifully illustrated and informative book!

Animal Babies, by Andrea Pinnington and Tory Gordon-Harris, is a colorful book full of out-standing photos and quick-to-read text about young animals. The chapters include animals that hatch, animals that utilize others to help them look after their babies and some of the journeys young animals take after they are born. This book is part of the Scholastic “Discover More” series. “Farm” and “See Me Grow” are also part of this series which is geared for younger kids (ages 4 to 8), but the layout will draw in all ages. The “Farm” book features farm animals as well as machines and food products grown. “See Me Grow” features life cycles of animals such as frogs and butterflies. The last two books are by Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris. All three have a free digital book to read and learn more about the subject of each book.

The Kingfisher Illustrated Horse & Pony Encyclopedia, by Sandy Ransford, is a most extensive reference that discusses just about every aspect and breed of these animals. The photos are captivating and the information is kid-friendly. This over-sized book includes grooming, health care and even saddlery.

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