Children's Literature - Amalia SellePart of the "I Like Reading About Animals!" series, this book explores how a variety of creatures display athletic prowess in individual ways. The cheetah, mantis shrimp, gibbon, leaf-cutter ant, and many more are discussed in terms of which is the fastest or the strongest or the best gymnast. Although this book contains accurate and useful information, the engaging format ensures it to be high interest. Attractive photos and different color backgrounds make the book visually pleasing, and real-life examples help put numbers in perspective. The flea can jump ten inches into the air, but how the flea's size makes this feat amazing is explained by comparing it to how high a human can jump based on his or her size. A flea jumps a hundred and thirty times its height, which would be the equivalent of a human jumping over a five-story building. Although challenging enough in terms of vocabulary, this book's writing style is still simplistic enough to be appropriate for less proficient readers. Reviewer: Amalia Selle
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3–These are dual-purpose books, simultaneously written for emerging and more competent readers. Each chapter spread is divided into two sections that are written at two different reading levels. A simple question (“Where is this fish going?”) is posed to emerging readers, and the answer consists of easy sentences and basic explanations consistent with the abilities of students at that level. The question asked of fluent readers is more complicated (“What is spawning?”) and the answer is more in-depth. The table of contents identifies the animals that are covered (as opposed to the prompting questions) and will be of more use to better readers. “Words to Know” are divided by reading level; unlike the main texts, they do not duplicate each other. A brief list of books and Web sites is included at the back of each volume, although the reading level the materials support is not indicated. This is an interesting series that answers common questions children might have about animals and their lives, and the format makes it suitable for a wide audience.
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