Monday, April 11, 2011

SPL Shelf Life [kids]

These reviews appeared in the Stratford Gazette on April 7, 2011
Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian

Amazing Animals: The Remarkable Things that Creatures Do, by Margriet Ruurs, 32 pages. 
@ SPL:  J 591.5 Ruu
Kids will find plenty of intriguing information in Canadian author Margriet Ruurs’ latest book. Published in a picture book format, it’s nicely complemented by Canadian conservation artist W. Allan Hancock’s detailed wildlife paintings.
Here are some of the fascinating facts that children will unearth …Slugs have three noses - but earthworms lack both noses and eyes. Cheetahs, which can go from 0 to 112 kilometres per hour in two seconds, are the world’s fastest land mammals - they’re actually as fast as a Formula One race car! Black bears, on the other hand, are the very opposite of speedy during their long winter’s sleep, which can extend to 100 days. (Yes, that’s 100 days without eating or drinking.)
Readers will discover some remarkable details about birds. Bee hummingbirds, found in Cuba, are the smallest birds in the world, and each actually weighs less than a penny. The bar-tailed godwit, a shorebird which flies all the way from Alaska to New Zealand (about 11,500 kilometres!), makes the longest nonstop migratory flight of any wildlife species.
Children will be amazed to learn that the sturgeon, a freshwater fish, can grow as big as, or even larger, than many fishing boats. (At 5 metres in length, this fish can also live to be over 100 years old.) However, the sturgeon isn’t the only gigantic water species - the giant Pacific Octopus can grow to be 9 metres in length – almost the height of a three-storey building!
Children are usually intrigued by animals and so will likely be interested in this informative book, which includes a short glossary of wildlife vocabulary.
  ** Recommended for ages 5 to 10 years.

Amazing Animal Journeys, by Laura Marsh, 48 pages.
An introduction to some of the great spring and autumn migrations of wildlife around the world is provided in maps, photos and text in this slim National Geographic book for beginning readers. Based on the National Geographic Channel television series ‘Great Migrations”, the book defines “migration” and focuses on the amazing journeys of three animals in particular: the zebra, the Pacific walrus and the Christmas Island red crab. Despite facing life-threatening dangers such as hungry cheetahs and stinging yellow ants, these animals migrate across vast distances of land or sea in order to feed or breed, driven by their natural instinct of species survival. Their journeys are, indeed, treacherous and amazing.
Amazing Animal Journeys is one of the “National Geographic Readers for Kids” series of books which are especially suited to beginning readers, with large print text and vibrant, colourful photos. Other titles in this series available at the library include Deadliest Animals and Cats vs. Dogs.
** Recommended for ages 6 to 9 years.

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