Monday, June 15, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: Pet Rabbits Up Close by Jeni Wittrock

This is one of five titles in the "Pet __ up close" series, part of the Pebble Plus family from Capstone. In the past, I've really not liked these titles - too expensive for the extremely limited amount of text, uninspired photographs, etc. but they're offering new titles and what looks like a makeover of the covers, so I thought I'd give it another chance.

This title keeps the same oversized rectangle layout, but has a more colorful, attractive cover. There is a note to parents and teachers that this supports various curriculum standards and a table of contents before the book begins.

The first chunk of text introduces the reader to rabbits and explains that this book will examine their different body parts. Each spread features a different part of the rabbit with a caption and an average of 3 sentences on the left, in a bold, large font. On the right is a large color photograph, which is spread across the gutter and bordered with a blue and white design. The subjects include ears, eyes, nose, teeth, whiskers, feet, fur, and tails. Tails doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the pages, since all the other ones focus on how the body part helps the rabbit survive and thrive and tails just says "Short, round, and fluffy, bunnies' tails never get in their way."

The back matter includes a short glossary, 3 titles for further reading (one of which must be an error because it's about cats) and a link to Capstone's curated websites, FactHound. There is also a short index.

Verdict: Still not impressed. I don't like the way the photographs are split across the gutter. I like the new ABDO titles better - they seem aimed at a more picture book audience while these are still being pushed as easy readers although the layout is all wrong for that age group. Easy readers should be vertical rectangles, everyone knows that! I can see that these would be useful in a curriculum context, but I can't justify the cost of these and the paperbacks are too flimsy. If it's a subject I really need and these are the only option I'll go with them, but there are plenty of better books about pets.

ISBN: 9781491405840; Published 2015 by Pebble Plus/Capstone; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

No comments: