Monday, March 3, 2014

Nonfiction Monday: Ancient Animals: Terror Bird by Sarah L. Thomson, illustrated by Andrew Plant

This delightfully gruesome easy reader will introduce young prehistoric fans to a new animal; the Terror Bird! Simple text and basic vocabulary introduce not only the terror bird, it's habitat, daily life, and speculations on why it went extinct, but also the concept of top predators and other flightless birds.

The text is brief but informative, a difficult combination for nonfiction easy readers. On the one hand, you need more specialized and complex vocabulary for nonfiction while on the other hand you need simpler, basic words for a true easy reader. This book hits nicely in between with text like "The bird rushed at its prey. The prey ran for its life. It was not fast enough."

The pictures are vivid and do an excellent job of fleshing out the simple text, showing the various details of the terror bird's physical structure as well as its habits and habitats. There is a pictorial list of other flightless birds, both living and extinct, and a "more to discover" section with a few books, videos, and websites listed. There's plenty of predator action pictured, with a generous dose of gore to fill in the thrilling action sequences.

Verdict: This is a great start to a new series and will certainly interest kids who like the prehistoric era and are correspondingly bloodthirsty. I'd definitely recommend adding it to your easy readers or easy nonfiction shelves.

ISBN: 9781580893985; Published 2013 by Charlesbridge; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's wishlist.

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