Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan AtteburyA cover close-up of a bright-eyed prairie dog attracts readers to this high interest book. Readers will gain information about prairie dog towns, their family life, their burrows, how they communicate, how they winter, and how they raise families. Especially interesting is the fact that many prairie dog towns are bigger than human towns, including one that is bigger than the state of West Virginia. Pages are packed with information that is doled out in an average of only 100 words per two-page spread. Large, colorful close-up photos allow readers to see the animals in detail. Extra information is passed along in fact bars included in each spread. Important words and phrases are in bold and can be found in the book's glossary. In addition to just informing readers about prairie dogs and their habitats, two spreads also address how prairie dog towns are in danger and how scientists work to protect prairie dogs today. End material consists of a page with prairie dog town facts, one about other animals that live in towns, a glossary, bibliography, and extra resources. The book is quite useful for several grade levels since it has an interest level ranging from second to seventh grades. It is written at a third grade level. It is one book from the "Spectacular Animal Town" series. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library JournalGr 3-6–This delightful series highlights the habitats of a variety of creatures, from tiny one-celled corals to bats, beavers, and prairie dogs. Through excellent photographs, high-interest texts, sidebars, maps, and other material, children learn about both the animals and their habitats. The species are shown not only within their own kind, but also in relation to those that share the habitat. For example, coral reefs are discussed in terms of the individual corals that make up the organism, and in relation to other animals that inhabit it and environmental situations that benefit or threaten it. Each book also provides brief profiles of animals with similar habitats. The publisher’s Web site provides links to other Web sites and activities about each animal profiled. These books are much better than average “report” titles.
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