We are excited to launch Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries, a new series with Kid Lit Frenzy, Great Kid Books, and 100 Scope Notes. Today we're exploring several books about frogs written for a range of readers. Our goal is to help libraries build their nonfiction collections as they support teachers in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Head over to these blogs to read all of today's reviews:
The Frog ScientistScientists in the Field series
by Pamela S. Turner
Photographs by Andy Comins
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009.
The reviewer borrowed a copy of the book from her school library.
The Scientists in the Field series has made a name for itself as quality nonfiction for middle grade readers. In The Frog Scientist, readers are introduced to Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a charismatic biology professor at UC Berkeley. Pamela S. Turner takes readers into the field as Tyrone and his students catch leopard frogs from a pond in Wyoming. Tyrone is an amphibian expert, and he's testing his theory about how atrazine (a pesticide used in the U.S.) affects the development of frogs. Tyrone's research takes him from the pond into the lab where he and his students care for tadpoles and dissect frogs to examine under a microscope.
Turner incorporates sensory details and dialogue into the narrative to make the science story a pleasing read.
"This corner of Wyoming seems untouched by humans. The water, air, and sweet-smelling grass are abuzz with life. You wouldn't know it, but even in a place like this there can be pesticides that can harm wildlife" (p. 3).
Throughout the book readers are asked to ponder questions and think like scientists as Tyrone searches for answers to how pesticides affect frogs and toads. When the samples from the study are analyzed, the results are "puzzling" which shows readers that science isn't black and white. Often scientists must make adjustments to their theories and try again. The author also provides readers with the pros and cons for using pesticides on crops; this could lead to some thoughtful discussions and debates with students.
Stunning, close-up photographs of amphibians with detailed captions make this book a perfect blend of informational text and visuals. Back matter includes a glossary, a page identifying different species of frogs, a list of websites and selected bibliography.
The Frog Scientist would make an interesting read aloud with a fourth grade class or an independent read for fifth and sixth grade students. The structure and ideas presented in the book connect to the following Common Core State Standards:
6.RIT.6 (Informational Text)
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
6.RIT.8 (Informational Text)
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Pair this book with The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs to compare/contrast environmental and human impact on two different species of frogs.
Reviewed by Cathy
The Mystery of Darwin's Frog
by Marty Crump
Illustrations by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez
Boyds Mill Press, 2013.
I checked out a copy of this book from my local public library.
Frogs! Some are harbingers of spring (spring peepers), while others keep us company during the hottest part of summer ‘ribbiting’ in slimy ponds(bull frogs). According to an article in National Geographic Extreme Explorer (Mar2010, Vol. 3 Issue 5, p2-9) there are over 5400 kinds of frogs which can be found all over the world, as long as they have access to water. (After all, they are amphibians!)
Reviewed by Louise
These are all wonderful books. Thanks for sharing your ideas.ReplyDelete