Monday, August 1, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Is that a fact? Can an old dog learn new tricks? and other questions about animals by Buffy Silverman, illustrated by Colin Thompson

You can never really have too many animal books or fact books. This entry in Lerner's Is that a fact? series combines these two most popular nonfiction subjects into a fun, fact-packed book. This collection of facts looks at old sayings about animals, devoting a spread to each old question. Questions include, "Can an alligator really live in the sewer?" "Do opossums really hang by their tails when they sleep?" and the titular "Can an old dog learn new tricks?".

There is a basic yes or no answer to each question, along with photographs on one page, then additional information and research on the facing page. The spread about training old dogs tell us yes, pets can be trained at any age, while the facing page explains that it takes longer to train an older dog, talks about memory and brain cells, and how research into older dogs' memory and learning abilities may help with older humans' memories and ability to learn.

The mixture of cartoons and photographs, with lots of panels and text balloons, colored text, different fonts, and backgrounds is eye-catching and will attract children who want a quick read with interesting facts and animals.

Verdict: This is a fun, if additional, series. This particular title doesn't really cover any new ground, but it's colorful and attractive and kids will enjoy reading this and other titles in the series. It's available in paperback and library bound - the paperback is more affordable, of course, but these are very slim volumes and may be lost on the shelf if you don't buy the more expensive library bound addition.

ISBN: 9780761364054; Published March 2010 by Lerner; Review copy provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2011


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

You had me at Colin Thompson. I am a huge fan. I fell in love with his "How to Live Forever" "The Alchemist" and his The Floods series - of course I can go on and on - but this is the first that I've seen this book. I thought I've read most of his picture books, but looks like I'm wrong. It's good that I'm due to visit the Library tomorrow, I'd check this out. Thanks for sharing!

Books4Learning said...

I am not familiar with this author or series but I can see how children would find it engaging. A fun way to start a class or begin reading time at home would be to ask the question, get some responses, and then answer. Good book for educators. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reviewing Old Dog--I'm glad you enjoyed the book. It was a lot of fun to dig up these questions and answers. And I agree that the cartoons that Colin Thompson drew for the book are terrific!
Best wishes,
Buffy Silverman