Posts tagged ‘habitat’

OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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COOL ANIMAL STUFF

33 Cute Animals of the World (Cool Facts and Picture Book Series for Kids)

Written by P.K. Miller

 

I would rate this nonfiction book three and a half stars. It is an easy read with basic information on thirty-three “cute” animals. While the author includes a picture for each, the photo is very small and does not reveal much detail. Miller provides a few paragraphs that describe the habitat, interesting characteristics, and notable features for each of the animals. He includes google and wiki links to additional images and reference information on each subject.

This book can best be used as an introduction or reference book. Children in elementary and middle-school certainly would find it helpful as a tool to research an animal science project. Readers of all ages will find it informative and interesting.

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A SYMBOL OF PRIDE

African Wild Dogs: Amazing Facts and Fun Photos About African Wild Dogs

Written by Rita Terry

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An interesting picture book for elementary school children and all those who are interested in unusual animals. African wild dogs are related to canines and wolves. Unlike domesticated dogs they have four claws instead of five. Like wolves they live in packs. They are carnivores and their hunting habits require a rather large habitat area of 1,500 square kilometers. African wild dogs are sometimes called painted dogs because they are covered with patches of red, black, white, yellow, and brown patches. Today their habitat has been largely reduced to South Africa due to rabies, vehicle accidents and the rapid encroachment of farmers upon their territory.

Terry discusses how these creatures communicate and the rituals they perform before the hunt. She explains how the pack is dominated by an alpha male and female, but stresses the fact that all members of the pack understand their roles and are protected and maintained by the rest of the family. The inside photographs are excellent; they capture the spirit and character of the animal. The print is large and easy to read for the younger reader, and the text well-written for the most part. Nice book to put on a classroom reference shelf for those interested in animals or dogs in particular. The author has written other nonfiction books about many other animals living in the past and present. Available in kindle and print format.

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FURRY FRIENDS

Guinea Pig Books for Kids Amazing Pictures and Interesting Facts

Written by Susie Eli

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Guinea pigs are lovable, furry, easy to maintain pets. This nonfiction book contains lots of interesting information about the creatures as well as instructions on their care.

No one knows for sure how they got their name. These creatures belong to the mammal class, though they are actually rodents. At one time they might have been transported through New Guinea or a thriving species in Guiana in South America. Others theorize that Europeans who bought them as pets paid a coin called a guinea to make their purchase. Today the largest population in the wild lives in various parts of South America

Males are called boars; females are named sows. These animals are herbivores, preferring fruits and vegetables. Average lifespan is five years. They have poor eyesight, but a keen sense of smell. Guinea pigs communicate by squealing, and prefer living in small groups. In the wild they are common prey for larger animals. These small creatures grow up to ten inches and weight two to three pounds. If kept as pets, they require little more than a clean cage with soft bedding, separate bowls for food and water, and enough room for moderate exercise.

This book is perfect for the beginning reader who is thinking about a pet, loves animals, or is seeking to build up a library of information about animals. Adorable photos of these cuddly creatures are a bonus.

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A WALK THROUGH THE JUNGLE

The Amazon Rainforest: Animal Facts and Photos

Written by KC Adams

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Despite the title, this book is not merely a list of facts, but a comprehensive view of the Amazon RainForest and the life within it. I knew that this rainforest was the largest on earth, but I did not realize that this rainforest receives a whopping 52% of the daily precipitation for South America containing 2/3 of the world’s fresh water supply and 20% of the world’s oxygen.

The animals inhabiting this world are diverse and bizarre. Most of us are familiar with tropical birds like the macaw and toucan and monkeys like the squirrel monkey and marmoset. Some of the unusual animals include the sloth who sleep fifteen to eighteen hours a day and the nocturnal maned wolf that is often called a red fox on stilts. Poison dart frogs can be as small as a paper clip, but their poison excreted through their skin is powerful enough to kill a human. Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents, who are friendly to humans. On the other hand, the piranhas living in the river eat their prey alive. Be on the lookout for the anaconda, the largest most powerful snake on earth. Living in the water, these hunters catch their prey with their fangs and drag them under water to drown it before they swallow it alive.

Animal selections are written well even if they are succinct. Pertinent information on diet, habitat and lifestyle is presented. Questions follow the descriptions for discussion. The photos are clear and appealing, I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in learning about this intriguing region. Great choice for elementary and middle school students or homeschooling parents.

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER

BIRD LIFE FUNNY &WEIRD FEATHERED ANIMALS Funny & Weird Animals Series

Written by P.T. Hersom

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Nonfiction book of approximately sixty pages features more than twenty of our feathered friends. The author first presents an overview of the characteristics of birds and then considers the reasons why some birds are considered strange. For each of the books considered readers are informed about the size, habitat, diet and a few paragraphs that make that bird particularly interesting. While I was familiar with a few of them like the pelican, grouse and hawk, there were many I had never heard of like the Hoatin, Cassowary, and Red-footed Booby.

I came away with some fascinating details. Did you know that Helmeted Hornbills are hunted for their casque (helmets) that are carved like ivory and their feathers are used in ceremonial dances? The Frigatebird acts like a pirate because it attacks other birds which have their lunch in their mouths, stealing it for a free meal. Even though they soar over the sea for their prey, Frigatebirds hate the water because their feathers become easily waterlogged.

Readers can test their memories by answering the What Did You Learn Today? Questions following the profiles of each bird. The answers are included, but don’t cheat! This is a fun feature for siblings or groups of children to use as a game or for a parent/teachers to use as reinforcement for a classroom lesson. Children eight and older who love birds or who are looking for an animal science project will find this book a good starting point. Available in kindle and paperback format.

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STRETCH YOUR NECK

Giraffes: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

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Emma Child gives us another well-written selection in the animals of nature series. The author presents a comprehensive view of the life of a giraffe in the wild. She covers their appearance, eating habits, social habits, environment, breeding, and enemies. At the end of the book there is a kind of summary or fun facts page, which children can use to share quickly with friends. Here are just a few things I learned in this book: a giraffe’s neck might weigh as much as 600 pounds, giraffes have four stomachs and a purple tongue to help protect against sunburn, and giraffes sleep only from ten minutes to two hours per day!.

Four color photo illustrations accompany each chapter. Unlike most children’s e books, these pictures can be enlarged so that the reader can study them in greater detail. The author has a good sense of humor and the book is written in a casual free flowing text style. Perhaps because the giraffe is considered such a docile animal, it is often overlooked. Children who are animal lovers will enjoy learning and looking at this book over and over. Appropriate for any age, but especially recommended as an independent read for children ages seven and older.

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THE DIRT ON DINGOES

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

Written by Sara Woods

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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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PANDAMONIUM

Pandas – Fun Facts and Cool Pictures of These Adorable Creatures

Written by Laura Han

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Who doesn’t love to look at these furry, cute creatures? The author has created an early chapter book with beautiful photographs that will appeal to children in kindergarten and the early elementary grades. Han gives a bit of the history and geography of the species, its current habitat, how it is raised, what it eats, describes its habits, and writes about what we can do to save this endangered animal.

There are only about 1600 of these animals surviving in the Sichaun province of southwestern China. Though the black and white patches on their eyes resemble those of a raccoon, they bear no genetic relationship to that species. Did you know that pandas used to be kept in cages as pets for the ancient Chinese emperors? Pandas can eat as much as forty pounds of bamboo in one day, and they spend more than half the day, up to fourteen hours, eating bamboo plants. An adult panda might weigh as much as three hundred pounds, but a newborn weighs only five ounces. Pandas generally keep to themselves, but they do like play by rolling around on the ground and tumbling.

Recently, their natural habitat has been racked by earthquakes, large-scale construction projects, and deforestation. Conservationists are trying to save them by finding them homes in zoos and protecting their native habitat. The author urges her readers to join support groups.

The photographs and maps in this book are beautiful and the text is clear, concise and simple. It is a nice addition to the nonfiction and science shelves of classrooms and libraries. That is not to imply that parents and children who enjoy looking at these beautiful animals will not want to add it to their personal library.

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FROG FEST

Frogs for Kids: The Amazing and Wonderful World of Frogs Book (Reptiles and Amphibians)

Written by Betty Olsen

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Did you realize that there are many species of frogs and that each of them has unique characteristics? In this kindle book, children and adults will have the opportunity to learn about every aspect of their lives. Olsen defines the word amphibian and traces the life cycle of the frog, the food they eat, their anatomy and skin characteristics, how they use camouflage, how they move and communicate, where they live, and how they can be dangerous to humans. Each description is accompanied by a photograph of that frog.

Most people know that frogs develop from eggs laid in the water and later develop lungs and breathe air on land. Are you aware that the age of a frog can be determined by the rings in its bones, and that some frogs live as long as forty years? I learned that not all frogs croak but some chirp, ribbit, whistle, bark or grunt. Their calls have been heard as far as a mile away from their location. The Golden Poison Frog can kill as many as twenty humans or one thousand mice! Olsen mentions toads, but does not go into detail about how they are different from frogs. She also reminds us that we need to keep our waterways clean so that frogs will have a place to lay eggs and prosper.

This book is an ideal beginning tool for a child who is interested in frogs or wants to learn basic information for a science project. As such, it is a good resource for elementary school science bookshelves or libraries. I thought the book failed to elaborate on the topics of environment and toads, but perhaps the author plans to expand these subjects at a later date. Overall, the book is well done and the photographs enhance the details. I would recommend reading it on the cloud or in PDF format.

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