This title introduces readers to beaks, how they help animals to survive, and how different they can look.
Children's Literature - Mary ClemensAnimals have different body parts. Each title in the "Animal Spikes and Spines" series focuses on a specific body part, using an engaging question-and-answer format to provide information about the functionality and differences of the body parts between animals, and how they compare to parts of a human body. Useful to teach the components of a nonfiction book, each title in this series contains a table of contents, headings, and labels. Each concludes with a brief picture glossary and limited index that focuses on descriptions of the body parts, but does not reference the featured animals. A pronunciation guide for the more uncommon animal names is not included. Approachable for the youngest readers at a guided reading level one, and word counts of approximately 160 words, these books would also be useful in classrooms or library story times to enrich featured themes. The page layout makes the book very welcoming with large color photographs that take up the top two-thirds of each page, and one to two sentences with large-sized font at the bottom of each page. The photographs are well-paired to the text and illustrate the concepts being presented. A statement that beaks can be pink and black is paired with a close-up picture of a bird's beak. The reader is asked to identify the type of animal based on its beak. The next page features a photo of a flamingo with a descriptive statement that the food the flamingo eats makes it pink. Equally engaging is the final part of the text that asks the reader, "Do you have a beak?" This is followed by two pages featuring gender inclusive photos of people, with a comparative statement that humans have teeth, not beaks. This title will engage children's natural curiosity about the animal world and is recommended for school and public libraries. Reviewer: Mary Clemens
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