Children's Literature - Margaret JacksonStone's gorgeous photographs break up the text of this chapter book on swans. There is lots of information here presented in simple declarative sentences that are easy to read, although not very engaging. It's the kind of book a young elementary school child might use to do a report on swans. The scope is broad but not intimidating-a perfect research tool for young readers. A book on swans that is narrower in scope but a little more fun is Mute Swans by Wendy Pfeffer (Creatures in White series, Silver Press). In addition to big, fabulous photographs, the book has a lively text that pulls the reader along. Mute Swans is a read-aloud book whereas Stone's Swans is meant for kids to read on their own.
School Library JournalGr 1-4These strong series entries have clean, simple texts and provide lots of opportunities for interaction between adults and children. Stone begins each title with a clear, attractive map that shows the animals' habitats in North America, and with a list of words (later identified in the brief glossary) for readers to look for and to figure out from context. The full-color photographs are informative and crisp (especially in Cougars); captions are relevant and occasionally pose questions that are then answered in the texts. The books cover the basics about cougars and swans, setting them in the context of their animal families and in the world, describing their physical characteristics, habitats, and lifestyles, and pointing out the ways in which they interact with humans. The "Note to Adults" at the end offers interesting activities for extending the reading experience. Excellent additions to natural history collections.Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Kirkus ReviewsThis entry in the Early Bird Nature Books series acquaints beginning readers with various aspects of swans in an easily digested format, using full-color photographs to illustrate related vocabulary words and concepts. Young naturalists can learn to distinguish between such North American species as the trumpeter, tundra, and mute swan by bill identification and by their individual calls. The roles of feathers and webbed feet in swimming, preening, and feeding are discussed, along with reproduction and migration. Unfamiliar termshabitat, cygnet, and omnivoreare clearly and simply defined. A chapter on saving swans completes the picture. Stone includes a note to adults on sharing the book and extending the information within, including suggestions for reading, map exercises, and possible activities designed to further children's interest in these graceful aquatic birds.
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