Bearded dragons have spiny, puffy pouches on their necks to scare away predators. Learn more about these amazing reptiles in Bearded Dragons.
Children's Literature - Laura BackmanBearded dragons are lizards. Their pointy beards are actually throat pouches they have puffed out with air. Spines cover the Bearded dragons' bodies. Many more facts can be found within this 24-page title that builds an awareness of the diversity of animal forms. Simple text and photographs inform younger readers about what the Bearded dragon looks like, where they live, and what they do. Close-up photographs display the animal in their native, Australian home and reveal their unusual spine-covered body. One photograph shows a Bearded dragon eating its insect meal and may too shocking for some. Another photograph and accompanying description of the Bearded dragon waving, to tell other lizards to stay away, will entertain the reader. The repetition of language and phrases help early readers learn new words. The introduction of subject-specific vocabulary words like forests, waving, pouches, and Australia, are defined in the glossary but not shown in bold print within the text. The reptile titles in this "Pebble Plus" series contain text features that support young readers' understanding of nonfiction text. Although each of the life cycle diagrams in this series contain the same information, not all begin with hatchlings, which may cause confusion for some when making comparisons. Early readers may need assistance with some words and help using the table of contents, the glossary, the "Read More" section, the internet site (Facthound, a Capstone sponsored web portal), and the index section of the book. Reviewer: Laura Backman
School Library JournalGr 1-3–The reptiles in this series, some of which are kept as pets, are explored and photographed in their natural, exotic habitats. The books provide rudimentary introductions to the creatures through spreads that feature one or two simply written sentences opposite a full-page photograph. Geckos, for instance, describes the lizards as making a “squeaky noise” and having “sticky toes.” Gila Monsters informs readers that the creature’s bite is poisonous and that it can have a 20-year lifespan. Each title includes a range map. Some graphic photos are included, such as one in Chameleons that shows the creature swallowing another lizard, and another in Horned Lizards that depicts the animal after it has shot blood from its eyes as a defense. Though the photographs are well reproduced, the titles have a muted appearance and an old-fashioned layout. Extras in each book include a “Life Cycle” illustration and a recommendation to use the publisher’s Fact Hound Web site, which offers related Internet resources. Readers may be drawn to this series to learn more about uncommon reptiles, but the books lack visual appeal.
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