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Monday, July 18, 2011

Wild about animals?

Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net

I have always loved to read fiction, but it's only recently that I've come to appreciate nonfiction.  When I was younger, pretty much the only nonfiction I ever read was for school assignments.  It always seemed dry and boring to me.  (Turns out, I was just reading the wrong books -- there are plenty of well-written, interesting nonfictional books out there!) 

Fiction still far outweighs nonfiction in my reading selections today, but ever since my son Nick was born, I've read quite a bit of nonfiction -- most of it about animals.

Even as a little boy, Nick preferred nonfictional books about animals to any other genre, and I ended up learning quite a bit about various wildlife as I read them to him.  Now a 12-year-old, Nick still would much rather read nonfiction than fiction.  A few years ago, he realized he'd read just about every book on animals in the children's nonfiction section of our library, and since that time has been steadily making his way through the adult section.   

When I decided that I wanted to write a post about some good nonfiction picture books on animals, I knew just who to go to for help!  The following books all have Nick's stamp of approval.  :)  These books provide information in fun, interesting ways and include colorful pictures that children and adults will enjoy. 

These first 4 books are for younger children -- beginning readers or those who need someone to read to them:

Bats,  written by J. Angelique Johnson with pictures contributed by various photographers, 2011... this book offers easy-to-understand facts and close-up photos of these often misunderstood winged creatures of the night:

Meet the Meerkat, written by Darrin Lunde, and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne, 2007...  This book asks questions that kids themselves might ask about these African mammals, then provides answers using short, simple facts:

Vulture View, written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins, 2007... Using rhymes and concise prose, this book tells readers about the life of a turkey vulture.  There is also a short section at the end of the book that provides more detailed information about the birds for parents or older readers: 

I See a Kookaburra!,  written and illustrated by spouses Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, 2005... This book shows various habitats around the world, encouraging readers to search for the creatures hidden in each environment.  Turn the page, and all of the animals are shown again, this time in plain view.  Details about the habitats and the wildlife, as well as a world map, are provided at the end of the book: 

The next two picture books are for more experienced readers.

Hide and Seek, written by Andrea Helman and  photographs by Gavriel Jecan, 2008... Even non-readers will enjoy trying to spot the camouflaged animals in these photos!  This book talks about different ecosystems of the world and then describes various creatures from each who blend in with their surroundings:

Super Swimmers, written by Caroline Arnold, and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne, 2007... Marine mammals are the subject of this book, which offers detailed information and scientific illustrations:

Are you wild about animals?  Or do you, perhaps, have a budding young animal-lover in your life?  I'd love to hear about your favorite animal books,  nonfictional or fictional!

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