Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, October 15, 2018

A few brief reviews on some new titles…Part 2

What Do They Do With All That Poo?
Written by Jane Kurtz; Illustrated by Allison Black
Beach Lane Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. 2018
Grades K and up

While visiting a zoo, have you ever wondered what happens to all the animal poo? If so, this visually exciting informational picture book is a must read. 

The book's design is inviting. Each page features a different zoo animal that looks quite happy. Kurtz offers a simple narrative that runs along the top of the page where we learn a fun fact on that animal’s poo. 

A hippo sprays a shower with its flipping, flapping tail.”  

Then, the bottom of the page offers a bit more detailed information.

“Hippos use dung showering to mark their territories and warn off predators. They shoot their dung out while flapping their tails to spray it around.”

Hyenas crunch up lots of bones. That’s why their poop is white.”

“The calcium in bones is what makes dried hyena poop white - and why hyena poop can easily turn into a fossil.”

Complementing the text are Black’s colorful illustrations in vibrant colors of very happy animals.

So…what do they do with all that poo at the zoo?  

You’ll have to grab a copy of this fun, fact-filled book to find out!

This book does not offer any back matter.

Avalanche Dog Heroes: Piper and Friends Learn to Search the Snow
by Elizabeth Rusch
little bigfoot, an imprint of sasquatch books. 2018
Grades 3-5

Readers follow Piper, a border collie, as he go through avalanche rescue training on Crystal Mountain Resort in Washington state. Rusch, one of our favorite nonfiction writers, couples the exciting narrative with the color photos that support what is being discussed in the text. Readers will feel like they are right there with Piper on the mountain.

A great book for dog lovers.

Back matter offers books for more information about dogs at work, resources found on the Internet, including where to find Crystal Mountain rescue team on social media. Also, for teachers, some activities, and ways to get more out of the book. 

Lunch Counter Sit-Ins: How Photographs Helped Foster Peaceful Civil Rights Protests
by Danielle Smith-Llera
Compass Point Books, a capstone imprint. 2018
Grades 6 and up

Another title in the Captured History series that asks the question: Can a photograph change history?

On January 31, 1960, in Greensboro, North Carolina, four young men made plans that would help change history. Their plan? To go to the local store, Woolworth’s, and sit at the lunch counter. “The four men knew black customers were welcome to shop. They also knew that black customers were not allowed at the 66-seat lunch counter. Lunch counter service was reserved for white customers.” These four young men would be called The Greensboro Four, and started the sit-in movement that would quickly spread throughout the South. This peaceful act of rebellion eventually led to the integration of public spaces. 

As with other titles in this series, the book does an excellent job of weaving in the historical background that led up to the civil rights movement. 

Students who love history are drawn to these books because they recognize the historic photo on the cover and are eager to read the book. 

Note: Newer titles in the Captured History series has Capstone’s new augmented reality experience -  4D.  With the free Capstone 4D app, students can scan any page that will take them to a video to enhance their learning. Though I can appreciate the usefulness of AR in crafting or cook books, it has the possibility to distract from the book's narrative. In the Captured History series the addition of AR seems unnecessary and more likely to draw students away from sustained reading. Especially, at a time when educators and parents are frustrated with the rise of digital distraction in students of all ages.

The above titles were sent to me by the publishers to write these reviews.

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