Children's Literature - Judy KatshThis slim 44-page photo-essay about the impressive sand hill crane is loaded with information. The sand hill crane's habitat, diet, family life, and physical attributes and talents are described and well-illustrated with large color photographs. This book is part of an "Early Bird Nature" series that features such other topics as crayfish, penguins, and brown bears. All these books are quite suitable for their intended audience. Some adult readers may find the chapter-heading suggestions of questions to ask their young reading partners intrusive; others may welcome the suggestions. Both an index and a glossary are part of the package which will help report writers find and understand specific pieces of information.
School Library JournalGr 3-4--Clear full-color photos on each page and crisply informative texts with simple sentences are the signatures of this series. All of the books include a section for adults on related activities. Bearing cubs (Polar Bears) and egg-laying (Sandhill Cranes and Tarantulas) are mentioned but mating is never alluded to, though the male parenting role in Stone's book is described. Although there are several titles on polar bears available, such as Emilie Lepthien's Polar Bears (Children's, 1991), the popularity of these elegant endangered predators means there is usually room on the shelf for another attractive book. As for sandhills, these soign cranes have been extremely neglected in favor of their larger, heavily endangered cousins, the whooping cranes. While there has been a spurt of books on the tarantula lately, including Susan Clymer's There's a Tarantula (Scholastic, 1997), the high "ick-factor" of these hairy arachnids creates a heavy demand for titles, and a previous dearth of material makes a new book helpful indeed. Attractive, informative, and useful.--Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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