Monday, February 8, 2016

Nonfiction Monday: Moon Bears by Mark Newman

I love bears but had never really thought much about moon bears - I'm more of a grizzly fan. But this book not only gave me a fresh look at some very adorable bears, it also inspired me to think about doing an all-bears storytime for outreach next year....

The simple text, interspersed with photographs, explains the life cycle of a moon bear while introducing different bears from the sanctuary where the photos were taken. It talks about their abilities, their sense of smell and hearing, and their diet. The book explains how moon bears interact and how this is different in the wild and at the sanctuary. The back matter gives an additional list of facts about bears, more facts about moon bears, and an author's note explaining the inspiration for the story and the story of the moon bear sanctuary and the people who helped with the book.

This book features one of my favorite layouts in easy nonfiction - bold, simple captions that can be read aloud to the youngest audience and longer, more detailed text for older audiences. This book just might have the best combination ever, which each caption being a an active or informative sentence about bears that toddlers will be able to understand and even participate in "Ginny can run quickly on all four legs./Moon bears can stand on their back legs quite easily, too." The longer text is still simple and direct, perfect for an older preschool or kindergarten audience while younger elementary students will be able to begin reading the book on their own.

Verdict: Informative, accessible, and full of adorable photographs of moon bears! I will be strongly encouraging all my neighboring libraries to buy copies of this title so I have enough to use it in my beginning readers book club. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780805093445; Published 2015 by Henry Holt; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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