Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Home for a Penguin, Home for a Whale

Perfect for read-alouds or individual exploration, Home for a Penguin has a gentle rhyming text that introduces 23 different marine animals. The text undulates across the pages as if carried on ocean waves, while the words describe the appearance and behaviors of the various creatures. Crab, albatross, penguin...all are depicted in their own habitats, whether that happens to be a coral reef or an ice floe.

The digitally created art is colorful and friendly enough to draw young readers in, but has enough accuracy to make the illustrations helpful for learning about ocean life. Some of the pictures also show a human presence with details like houses on the beach, ships passing by, or a child gathering shells. For readers who enjoy an extra challenge there is an image of a sea snail hidden in each illustration.

The back matter  makes the book especially useful for classroom use. Each animal is shown along with a paragraph about its home and characteristics. Readers will learn that crabs use their pincers to communicate or that starfish are not really fish at all. A double spread features a map of the world with the oceans labeled and text boxes with facts about each of them. There are also descriptions of 4 different ocean habitats. A discussion of the effects of climate change on the oceans and about the problems of plastic pollution finish off this enjoyable book.

This is an entertaining and educational nonfiction picture book for elementary school readers.

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