There was a picture book reading marathon with my saved online reader copies the other day. I chose a dozen or so to review and about as many to not review. It wasn’t completely easy to choose, however, the below titles were the easiest choices I have made since the day I learned of a health condition I had. And that was so easy, I don’t even remember doing it!
If you want a fantastic book with levels that allows for multiple interests and ages to enjoy and it’s about science, you want Animals in Surprising Shades: Poems About Earth’s Colorful Creatures. The poetry is great for an English or poetry class/unit, and the science facts within the poems bring to life the colorful animals and is fun for the animal lover and good for science classes. And additional information about the animals allows it to grow with the child. Susan Johnston Taylor gives us three sections on each page: the short poem about the animal, the name of the type of poem used, and an extra paragraph about the animal they’re talking about. The illustrations are sweet, funny, clever and well represent the actual creature. Annie Bakst brings to life beautiful, kooky and interesting animals. The colors and details are popping and bopping!
And when I saw the most adorable smiling axolotl on the cover of Not a Monster I said, I have to read this! And Claudia Guadalupe Martinez did not disappoint. They made a sweet and fun introduction to the animal in a poetic fashion. Things are scientific also, but read as fiction. You can grow with your child by reading the text with them, then letting them eventually read with help, and finally of course, their own solo reading. The not overly crowded artwork accompanies things, making the story flow. Laura Gonzalez’s illustrations are fun and keep things moving. There is also additional information included at the end. The one thing I found interesting was that the author (among others) had them as pets, but I was under the impression you could not do this. Still, this book is a fun addition to your library.
If you are a really young child, but have an interest in somewhat sophisticated, but age appropriate, facts with a bit of humor tossed in for good measure, you need Nudi Gill: Poison Powerhouse of the Sea. Bonnie Kelso is the author and illustrator of this fantastic way to teach about a big deal creature who is actually not that physically big. They are somewhat flashy, and not to mention, very very naked!. (Which is so freeing and wonderful and they wouldn’t have it any other way). To protect themselves, they are also poisonous! And sassy and has a lot to say about themselves, the creatures of its same class and the other animals, plants and the ocean in general. It is good for the younger listener and for the older reader that needs help or is reading well. Bold, youngish, illustrations tie everything together.