CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 7. . . .October 18, 2013
Do You Know Crocodiles? is part of a four-volume series of animal fact texts written by Alain M. Bergeron, Michel Quinton and Samuel Parent (Sampar). Sampar also illustrated the book.
This 64 page volume offers the reader 29 two-page spreads, each of which features a crocodile fact, and a two-page illustration of a humourous situation arising from that fact. The image includes easily understood situations and talking crocodiles and other characters increasing reader comprehension of the fact stated. The illustrations by Sampar are colourful and imaginative.
On one double-page, readers learn that a crocodile has "eyes, ears, and nostrils [that] are placed high up on its head. This is why the crocodile can see, hear, smell and breathe perfectly while having only the top of its head out of the water." In the illustration, readers see a crocodile swimming with its body completely submerged and its eyes, nose and ears poking up out of the water. The thought balloon above the crocodile says, "Where did that zebra go?" The zebra is swimming, completely submerged, using scuba gear, safely behind the crocodile. Authors and illustrator work together with very few words and a magnificent and humourous cartoon to enable young readers to make meaning.
Young readers will be drawn to the full-colour cartoon-like illustrations. The vocabulary can be challenging, but the hardest words, like “carrion” and “propulsion”, are printed in boldface in the text and can be checked in the book’s glossary at the back. There is also a full index at the end of the book.
Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at Katzie Elementary School in Surrey, BC.
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