Monday, October 26, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: The World's Biggest Mammals by Mari Schuh

Jump's Bullfrog imprint has been hugely popular at my library; only a few weeks ago a mom stopped by my desk to mention how much her son loved "all the little white books" and ask if there were any more (I assured her I'd be adding more next year!). I was interested to see a number of samples from different series from their new Pogo imprint. Unlike Bullfrog, it is aimed at older readers and offers more information and leveled text for kids starting to read. To be honest, most of the series didn't impress me much; it felt very similar to a lot of other nonfiction series out there with generic text on generic topics.

However, this series is the closest to the Bullfrog titles and one that I thoroughly enjoyed and will be buying the rest of for my patrons to enjoy.

The World's Biggest series includes amphibians, birds, fish, insects and reptiles and I was given a sample of Mammals. Each chapter is only a few pages long, but nicely packs a succinct explanation of the topic into a few pages. It explains what a mammal is, describes the largest land mammal (elephants) in detail from their habitat to habits with several comparative facts showing just how large they are. Blue whales, the largest mammal that ever lived have a few pages of description of their habitats and size. The last spread describes the distribution of elephants and blue whales and offers a neat summing up of the topic. There is a final comparison of weight of these two massive animals, an activity (weighing things), a glossary, and an index.

Although the end of the book is a little jumbled, the information is for the most part presented well and in a layout with plenty of interest for readers. The book focuses not just on a familiar animal but on a specific aspect (their size) that keeps the range of information brief enough to cover in detail in this short book. The photographs are interesting and matched well to the text.

Verdict: Animal series are always popular and this one stands out enough from the usual fare to make it definitely worth adding to your collection.

ISBN: 9781520312049; Published July 2015 by Pogo/Jump; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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