Archive for November 10, 2010


lizards

Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop

Nic Bishop books combine fascinating science with exquisite photographs.  They are magnets for reluctant readers who love animals and nonfiction.   His latest book on lizards continues with the high quality standard he has set with previous books.  See a lizard hatching, so close that you can almost feel the rubbery egg.  Look right into the eyes of a bright-green baby chameleon.  Marvel at the skin of the thorny devil.  Run across water with a basilisk in a series of stunning shots.  Gawk at the geckos in all of their diversity.  Linger with lizards here in this book that makes science accessible, fascinating and beautiful.

Bishop excels at creating nonfiction for children.  His writing turns scientific facts into accessible and fascinating prose that points readers to reasons for wonder.  With his stunning photographs accompanying his prose, it is too easy to ignore the fact that his writing works so well.  And of course, you have his amazing gift for photography.  Photography that is crystal clear and brings readers so close to the subjects.  Make sure you read his author notes at the end for details about what it took to get the photographs you see in the book.

Highly recommended, this belongs in every school and public library along with Bishop’s other titles.  Get this in the hands of animal lovers, both reluctant readers and non.  But beware, bring it home and you too may be looking into a pet gecko for Christmas.  I hear his name is going to be Bob.

Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic.

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That’s Not Funny! by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Adrian Reynolds

When Hyena put a banana peel in Giraffe’s path, he set off a chain of events that he found extremely funny.  When Giraffe slips on the banana peel, he knocked into a tree.  Which in turn caused a coconut to fall onto Hippo’s head.  Hyena kept laughing and laughing, even as Hippo stumbled around very dizzy and stepped on Snake.  Snake bit Ostrich, Ostrich kicked Rhino, and it went on and on.  Until finally Hyena was laughing so hard that he stepped on his own banana peel, hit the same tree, bonked himself on the head with a coconut and fell into a pile of Elephant’s poo!  Now it was the turn of all of the other animals to laugh at Hyena who doesn’t see what was so funny.  Action-filled and bright-colored, this book has huge child-appeal right down to the stinky ending.

Willis may let the gag run on a little long, but her timing is great.  The book offers a huge dose of humor for the preschool set, designed with plenty of sight gags to keep them eagerly listening.  Reynolds’ illustrations are large, bright and very child-friendly.  His illustrations add to the hilarity of the book nicely.

This book is one that children will enjoy again and again.  It will also make a star of a book for a story time and with so many different animals in it, it will fit easily into different programs.  Appropriate for 3-5 year olds.

Reviewed from copy received from Andersen Press USA.

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