Just One Bite: A Big Gulp of Fun Science


Just One Bite by Lola Schaefer, illustrated by Geoff Waring

Explore the world of eleven animals through how much they can eat in one bite.  Filled with fascinating facts, this book offers just enough information in the body of the book to entice readers to read the longer versions in the back.  Readers will marvel at the tiny amount of food a worm eats, the amazing tongue of the giraffe that eases around thorns, and the tremendous size of a whale’s meal.  This is a book that makes science friendly and great fun. 

Cleverly written, this book will appeal to a wide range of ages.  Thanks to the simple text and large bright illustrations, preschoolers will enjoy the book, and older children will also find plenty of depth to keep their interest in the final pages.  Schaefer’s simple text is welcoming and warm, inviting readers to wonder along with her about these creatures and their meals.  Waring’s illustrations are large, expansive and charmingly simple.  His use of bright colored backgrounds make the illustrations really pop.

With its large size, this book will shout to readers to pick it up and take a look.  It is a book that is sure to find its way easily into children’s hands, but it will also be welcome in story times as a great nonfiction pick for reading aloud.  Appropriate for ages 3-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Chronicle Books.

Nibbles: A Green Tale


Nibbles: A Green Tale by Charlotte Middleton

The guinea pigs of Dandeville loved eating dandelion leaves.  Nibbles loved eating them even more than he loved playing soccer.  He ate them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  But then dandelion leaves started to run low.  Cabbage began replacing it on restaurant menus and dandelion leaves became a hot commodity on the Internet.  Eventually, there were no more dandelion leaves because they had all been eaten.  All but one dandelion that was growing outside of Nibbles’ window.  Even though Nibbles wanted badly to eat the leaves, he didn’t.  Instead he started to do research on dandelion and began to take very good care of his dandelion.  He waited patiently until it grew seeds and then headed to a tall hill where he blew the seeds into the air.  Soon the fields were filled with dandelions again, and Nibbles had found something besides eating dandelions that he loved.  Growing them!

This is a very appealing book that takes the lesson of renewable resources to a level that even small children can understand.  Middleton’s brilliant choice was to use dandelion greens as the scarce resource, because we all have dandelions taking over our lawns and gardens.  In this way she made something that we see as a nuisance into a commodity.   Middleton’s mixed media art is friendly, filled with round-bellied guinea pigs and plenty of green.  The hair tufts and whiskers done in real fuzz and string make the illustrations engaging and interesting. 

A great choice when talking with preschoolers about going green or gardening, this book will be a welcome addition to units and story times.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Marshall Cavendish.