Monday, March 23, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: Who was here? Discovering Wild Animal Tracks by Mia Posada

I put my name in for this title at Lerner's Free Book Friday because it looked interesting and I always want more books that will get kids outdoors and interested in nature (which, when you think about how much I dislike going outdoors is kind of ironic).

When the book arrived, I first realized that I actually knew the author's work - she did The Long, Long Journey which is amazing. And when I read the book I realized that it was amazing and I can't wait to use it in storytime!

Each page has a rhyming narrative of clues and then the repeated question, "Who was here?" The following spread reveals the answer and gives a brief paragraph of information about the animal. Animals include a bear, wolf and moose, kangaroo, hippo and egret, beaver, camel and snake, and jaguar. There is a page of information on how you can learn to read tracks yourself, a couple websites, and four books suitable for the same age range as this one for further reading. The clues and answers are simple enough to read with preschoolers, while the additional information will be great for discussions with kindergarten and slightly older children.

Posada's illustrations are reminiscent of Steve Jenkins' colorful ripped paper collages, but have richer backgrounds and a more realistic, natural look in my opinion. I especially liked that the text was carefully colored to stand out from the background, changing from light to dark as the background changes. The clue pages show not only the footprints in the mud, sand, or other ground but also a sampling of foliage around them. The solution page shows the animal in a typical activity with the background expanded to include more of its habitat.

Verdict: This is the perfect book for science-based storytimes at any time of the year and I look forward to using it with my outreach visits. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9781467718714; Published 2014 by Milbrook/Lerner; Won in Free Book Friday; Donated to the library

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