Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders

Around One Log: Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders

by Anthony D. Fredericks, Jennifer DiRubbio
     
 

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Years after a great oak tree tumbled to the ground, a whole community of animals made it their home. Roly-polies and daddy longlegs prowled here and there, while chipmunks and salamanders dashed everywhere. Question: Is the old tree alive? Or is it now dead? This lighthearted book offers a marvelous insight into a unique and easily-accessible community of forest

Overview

Years after a great oak tree tumbled to the ground, a whole community of animals made it their home. Roly-polies and daddy longlegs prowled here and there, while chipmunks and salamanders dashed everywhere. Question: Is the old tree alive? Or is it now dead? This lighthearted book offers a marvelous insight into a unique and easily-accessible community of forest animals. Jennifer DiRubbio's vivid close-up illustrations bring these fascinating creatures to life. Parents and teachers: the author offers over a dozen "activities, projects, and lots of cool ideas" ranging from suggestions for an animal diary, readers theatre, finger play, and much more that will help make learning fun.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The story begins with the fall of a giant oak tree in a storm. Over time, the rotting log becomes the home of an assortment of "critters" that we meet in unfortunately forced, cumulative rhymed couplets in the "House that Jack Built" format. Termites feed on the wood; a salamander lives near them; gray roly-poly's (wood lice) hide inside tunnels; a garter snake slithers by; many red velvet mites are all over the log; daddy longlegs creep along; finally a chipmunk gathers seeds. She might even live inside the hollow tree, as we learn from the pages of additional facts about each inhabitant at the end. The final question, asked by a student as an exploring class comes by, is whether the log is alive or dead. DiRubio's naturalistic double-page paintings offer an answer, focusing on different parts of the log with images of the creatures. In some cases, she exposes interiors to allow us to observe the life forms at work there. We are spared any active views of predatory dining in these peaceful scenes. Along with the added field notes and bibliography, there are suggestions for activities and projects. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—An old and majestic oak falls deep in the woods. This picture book seeks to answer the question of whether the tree is now dead or still alive by introducing the many creatures who inhabit its remains. The simple verse, which become a repetitive cumulative rhyme, acquaints readers with termites, garter snakes, red velvet mites, daddy longlegs, chipmunks, and roly-polies. Eventually a class comes by, and a child asks, "Is this log alive?" Readers are left to draw their own conclusions. The lavish, full-page watercolor illustrations done in muted shades of brown and yellow are naturalistic, but lack visual excitement. Supplementary pages encourage further exploration through simple research and art projects. This title might be useful for simple science or nature lessons by offering information on an easily found habitat.—Eva Elisabeth VonAncken, formerly at Trinity-Pawling School, Pawling, NY
Kirkus Reviews

The exploration of microhabitats continues in this sixth outing from Fredericks and DiRubbio (Under One Rock, 2001, etc.).

The action begins with a lightning strike and a wind that fells a huge old oak tree. As it decays, it becomes a place for termites, roly-polies, a salamander, a garter snake and a chipmunk to find food and shelter. The majority of the text follows a House-That-Jack-Built pattern with rhyming couplets, to mixed effect. While the repetition will help readers remember the information, that information needs to be worthy of remembering, and not all of this is: "Some daddy longlegs, like alien creatures, / Have thin spindly legs and other strange features." The Field Notes section in the back helps readers fill in the knowledge gaps, but even these are spotty—it states that the daddy longlegs is not a spider but does not say what it is. As in the prior titles, it is DiRubbio's artwork that is the big draw. Amazingly detailed and lifelike illustrations make it seem like the creatures will step right off the pages onto readers' hands. At least two of the featured animals are on each page, allowing kids to get an idea of their relative sizes.

Teachers may find the cool activities and projects listed in the back helpful, but, overall, flaws outweigh utility. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781584692126
Publisher:
Dawn Publications
Publication date:
10/10/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
31 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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