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Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins

I bought this book for my nephew Douglas' upcoming birthday.  This is a cool book for a kid who likes science and nature, or just fun facts.  The author-illustrated artwork is colorful and kind of amazing, with torn-and-cut-paper collages of each different type of beetle.   Kids will learn that one out of every four living things on this planet is a beetle, and why beetles are so interesting.    The fun facts come across in simple and direct language, and even the scientific anatomy of a beetle is easy to understand.  Silhouettes throughout the book are life size, but it's really the colorful pictures that capture the imagination.  As the jacket says, there are beetles that stink, beetles that bite, beetles that walk on water, and squeak and glow, and many more!  Ages 4-8

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

If you're looking for a kid's book that teaches good, important lessons in a non-obvious way, the classic Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is one great option.  Yes, it's about friendship and adaptation, but just as importantly, it also teaches compassion for those who are different from us, for those who are often misunderstood.  Bats are becoming more and more endangered, and they're unfairly stereotyped and associated with things like a fear of the dark, and vampires.  In fact, a single bat can eat between 2000 and 6000 mosquitoes in a single night, they re-seed forests and rainforests, and are the only flying mammal on earth.  The artwork is gorgeous, there are funny moments for children, and we all learn that we're more alike than we are different.