CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 36. . . .May 21, 2010
Giraffes and elephants are fascinating animals for readers of all ages. These two latest additions to the Bobbie Kalman series, “It's Fun to Learn About Baby Animals,” provide the very young researcher with interesting information to stimulate further interest in the learning about wildlife.
Although the titles of the books, Baby Elephants and Baby Giraffes, may seem to imply that the content is specifically about the ‘baby’ animal, the information is about other aspects of the animal as well. Featuring the baby in each section of text may attract the young child to relate more closely with both the written and the visual information.
The simple text provides basic facts. Each book covers the common topics of the body, habitat, life cycle, family, food, herds and communication. Depending on the animal, the detail or focus of the information seems to change. Topics of specific interest to an animal, such as “Giant Giraffes!” and “Coats with spots,” are included in Baby Giraffes and “Trunks, ears, and feet” and “Elephants in danger” are covered in Baby Elephants. In order to simplify the information, some facts are not explained. For example, the sentence “People called poachers kill elephants so they can sell their ivory tusks. Poaching is against the law.” (page 23) does not give an explanation why an elephant would be killed for its ivory tusks. The young reader may not be familiar with ivory. If you look up ivory on the “Words to know” and “Index” page, no other information is provided other than the page number where the word is found. “Words to know” implies a glossary, and, if this isn’t made available to the reader, further explanations should be given.
Those readers familiar with other Bobbie Kalman Crabtree publications will recognize some of the features in these books. The large, clear text, the bold font used for words found in the index, the use of diagrams, numerous captioned pictures and the brevity of each book, 24 pages, make Baby Elephants and Baby Giraffes appealing and age appropriate for the intended audience. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” aptly describes both of these information books for young children. The numerous, large, colourful photographs depicting a variety of aspects of each animal’s habits and life captures the attention of the reader to study the picture itself and then to look for further information in the text or the italicized captions. Both these titles will entertain young children as they are introduced to both the largest land mammal, the elephant and the tallest land animal, the giraffe.
A recently retired teacher and teacher-librarian, Janice Foster lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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