Monday, January 23, 2017

Nonfiction Monday: Roseate Spoonbill by Ellen Lawrence

I've previously reviewed a title from Bearport on roseate spoonbills, but this is from a new series, just released in 2016, "Swamp Things: Animal Life in a Wetland."

This is a simple introduction to the spoonbill, including its habitat, behavior, mating habits, and predators. Back matter includes a suggestion for a science project comparing birds, a picture glossary, and a page that includes the index, 3 titles for further reading, and a link to the publisher's website.

As I'm looking to fill in our animal books, I find fewer titles available at a higher reading level, like the classic Nature's Children titles, but I also find much less call for those titles. I have decided to tell myself that kids are just finding other resources, not that they have lost the ability to read longer, more complex text. Right? Right? In any case, I am dealing with more reluctant and struggling readers at higher ages than my predecessors or even the kids I dealt with 10 years ago. All of which is to say, as I'm in the process of updating our animal books I find myself looking more towards the type of book that Bearport produces; enough text to provide sufficient information, but more photographs than long paragraphs and a layout that does not discourage readers from tackling the book. I also appreciate a wider range of titles on different animals. This series includes titles on alligators, cottonmouth snakes, muskrats, otters, and wood ducks.

Verdict: Whether this is a good title and series for your library collection really depends on what you are looking for. If you want a wide variety of titles on different animals and need lower-level books, this is an excellent addition. If you are looking for more reference-type books, this is too brief to be useful. It's what I'm looking for right now, so it's a great series for my library.

ISBN: 9781944102531; Published 2016 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library

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