________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 6 . . . . November 10, 2006

cover

Small Wonders: Baby Animals in the Wild. 

Marilyn Baillie. Illustrated by Romi Caron.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tree Press, 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $17.95.
ISBN 1-897066-72-4.  

Subject Headings:
Animals-Infancy-North America-Juvenile literature. 
Animals-North America-Juvenile literature. 
 
Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.
 
Review by John Dryden. 

***½  /4 

excerpt: 

Hey, listen to this! I am already louder than the other pups. I whine, bark, and growl in a voice that carries through the crisp air. I only need to be a bit bigger, then I'll have the best call of all. I'll throw my head back and HOWL, letting the other in the pack know where I am. Even across the valley they'll be sure to get the message. 

Small Wonders is a great book that is going to be very useful for teachers who wish to give the students practice in reading for information. This book takes the reader on a true safari through the Canadian animal kingdom. Kids will like this as part of a school or class library. The book is laid out extremely simply with one animal per two page spread. On the left page are basic facts about the animal, and on the right hand side is a first person narrative written by one of the animal's babies. On first read, I thought this book was too simple, but, upon more than a few re-readings, I found that the style is very interesting to kids! Plus, I loved that all the animals were found in Canada! The excellent illustrations incorporate the facts about habitat and habits. A nice addition included in the back of this book is a "Have You Ever Wondered" section where more details about the book's animals are shared - this is a bonus for students who may wish to self-extend their learning.

internal art

Small Wonders is a great book that is going to be very useful for teachers who wish to give the students practice in reading for information. This book takes the reader on a true safari through the Canadian animal kingdom. Kids will like this as part of a school or class library. The book is laid out extremely simply with one animal per two page spread. On the left page are basic facts about the animal, and on the right hand side is a first person narrative written by one of the animal's babies. On first read, I thought this book was too simple, but, upon more than a few re-readings, I found that the style is very interesting to kids! Plus, I loved that all the animals were found in Canada! The excellent illustrations incorporate the facts about habitat and habits. A nice addition included in the back of this book is a "Have You Ever Wondered" section where more details about the book's animals are shared - this is a bonus for students who may wish to self-extend their learning.

  The drawback? Small Wonders does not have a table of contents or index. It would be more convenient for a teacher looking for a quick lesson on reading for information to have these methods for finding a particular animal. Also, the teacher-librarian may find it more difficult to remember or promote a book that does not have an index or table of contents.

Highly Recommended. 

John Dryden teaches in Cowichan Valley, BC.   

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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