Monday, November 16, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: Amazing Animals: Tigers by Valerie Bodden

When I finished our huge Neighborhoods project (it hardly seems real that pretty soon I won't be able to say "last year") one of the last things I did was purchase a lot of additional books to fill in weeded sections and empty space. One of the areas I knew we were going to need more titles was in the animals neighborhood. While I purchase almost exclusively from Baker and Taylor, I do make use of one rep who covers Bearport, ABDO, Creative Education, and a bunch of other nonfiction publishers. She came over and we had a cozy sit-down with stacks of catalogs and lots of sample books to discuss. Creative Education's Amazing Animals is one of the series I really liked and while I couldn't afford to get the whole thing, I did buy as many of the most popular animals as I could.

Who doesn't love tigers? I had to get tigers. The Amazing Animals series are a large picture-book sized series, heavily illustrated with photographs. Each page includes a simple paragraph about tigers and occasional supplemental information like the definition of a word, extra fact, or caption for a photograph. The text is simple enough for beginning readers to tackle or for young children to sit through. A sample paragraph; "Tigers live on the continent of Asia. Some tigers live in forests. There can be a lot of snow there. Other tigers live in swamps. It is warm in the swamps." The book ends with a short folktale about tigers. Back matter is one page including two books for further reading, two websites, and a brief index.

The pages are glossy and, unlike the usual bland white background of most easy series nonfiction, has borders that repeat the colors of the photographs. I've had these titles for close to a year and they have held up very well to multiple circulations. The pages are not easily ripped, the bindings are sturdy, and the amount of photographs and colored borders mean there's not a lot of white space to get dingy.

Verdict: These are great for kids just beginning to read or to learn about animals. They have enough information for lower grades doing reports and are definitely worth the $20 price tag. If you're getting ready to update your animal series, take a look at these.

ISBN: 9781583417201; Published 2009 by the Creative Company; Purchased for the library

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