Monday, November 26, 2012

Penguins: Meet the heroes of a frozen world

Penguins:  Meet the heroes of a frozen world
Genre: Non Fiction/Trade Paperback
Suggested age: Gr. 2+
Authors:  Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris
ISBN: 9780545330244
Publisher:  Scholastic.  2012

The first thing you notice when you pick up this non-fiction title is the incredibly detailed photograph of an infant Emperor penguin on the cover.  This book definitely has shelf appeal!  This book on penguins was obviously planned, illustrated, and written with classroom teachers and librarians in mind (well, and students too!!).  The first two-page spread that you open to describes and names all of the text features that the reader will find in the book while cleverly promoting its free digital companion book.  The table of contents is descriptive and clear and it offers a comprehensive glossary and index at the back.

One feature that I haven’t seen in other penguin books is the “march” of the penguins over four pages that gives each species specs measuring each from smallest to largest, and then finally comparing the Emperor penguin to a 7 year old child (as they are roughly the same height!).  I could see the potential for displaying this series of pages as one long pull out page or a removable poster, but the librarian in me cringes at the thought of perforated pages in a book in my collection, ha!  

Each penguin is then given the honour of its own page including its Latin name, features, behavioral patterns, and breeding area (map included).  A large “caution!” sign appears on the pages of penguins that are endangered.  Within these pages of penguins the authors also include articles and facts that highlight issues facing this animal, such as oil spills and explain what is being done to protect these species. 
As a lover of print and digital resources, I am really excited about this series.  Not only do I feel that this is a resource that I would purchase for my own library or classroom, I would feel comfortable teaching with it and would definitely take advantage of the digital companion book for my lessons as well.  To continue with the theme of this, I would most likely read, “And Tango Makes Three” to cap off the experience : )

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