Posts tagged ‘food chain’

#BUG OFF…

The Queen Who Banished Bugs, A Tale of Bees, Butterflies, Ants, and Other Pollinators

Written by Ferris Kelly Robinson

Illustrated by Mary Ferris Kelly

King Claude and Queen Libertine rule the kingdom of Dunce. The queen is overbearing and obstinate. King Claude spends his days trying to appease her. One day a bee lands on her heel. The queen immediately kills it. That does not appease her anger. Queen Libertine banishes every insect in the kingdom. That effectively destroys the food chain. Pollination ceases and crops die. The animals in the kingdom have no food.

The king becomes desperate. He decides to defy the queen. Claude plants a tiny seed that grows into milkweed. Other types of flowers follow. Pollinators return to the kingdom. The king tutors his queen on the importance of pollinators to ensure the food supply of their kingdom.

The author provides an explanation of how pollination works at the end of the tale. Robinson adds a link to resources for learning more about the subject.

This story is written in rhyme. The illustrator provides line drawings with color interspersed throughout the story. I would consider this book more of an early chapter book than a picture book. While it could be a read-aloud for younger children, it will appeal more to readers in the five to eight age range or as a beginning reader.

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THE DIRT ON DINGOES

Dingo Facts: Easy Learning For Kids (Amazing Australian Animals)

Written by Sara Woods

DingoFacts,pic

This book is one of the amazing Australian animal series. It will enlighten the reader about what kind of animal a dingo is, where it lives, what it eats, how it moves and breeds, how it is threatened, and why it is important. The book packs a lot of information in thirty-four pages. While the author targets the book as a read aloud for younger children as well as an independent reader for older children, I think it more appropriate for the latter group.

Unfortunately, my travels have not yet taken me to Australian so I am unfamiliar with this animal. Looking at the photos, I immediately thought of a gray wolf and later learned from the author that the dingo is a subspecies of that animal introduced to Australia by seamen about 4,000years ago. I was fascinated to learn that dingoes are double jointed at all their joints, and that they use their paws as we do our hands. They can even open door knobs. Their ears stand straight up and can rotate backwards; they can rotate their heads 180 degrees for better vision. Most dingoes are monogamous and will mate yearly averaging four to six pups for about ten years. The mother will eat, swallow and regurgitate food to feed young much like a bird.

Landowners and hunters are the biggest threat to the dingoes, but crocodiles, snakes, and lack of food and water also factor in their survival. More contact with domestic dogs as urban sprawl progresses could eventually lead to extinction. Farmers who see them as a threat have engineered the world’s largest fence (3,488 miles) to protect sheep and farm lands. But dingoes are special animals because as the only native dog to Australia, they are apex predators at the top of the food chain who protect many smaller mammals and the native natural grasses. Some areas of Australia have set up sanctuaries to protect the dingoes.

This series will eventually include eighteen books about Australian animals. It certainly makes an excellent, well-organized reference source for classrooms in the elementary grades and libraries. Teachers could also use many of these books in science units comparing and contrasting with other animals. Highly recommended for children age seven and up. Adults who read these books to children will find themselves being entertained and informed as well.

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