Posts tagged ‘native animals’

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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AFRICAN ADVENTURES

African Safari with Ted and Raymond

By: Rhonda Patton

Illustrated by Chester McDaniel

African Safaripic

For those who are not familiar with the series, Ted and Raymond are two frog friends who share many adventures. In this latest book, which I read in Kindle version, the friends are about to embark on an African safari. They create a list and pack supplies; Ted makes sure to include a safety kit! They find their way to the airport, pass security, and board the plane where a map is shown to indicate Africa’s location. The reader is introduced to African culture by pictures and explanations of African dress and musical instruments. An African frog named Adebayo, which means “born in a joyful time” is to be their guide. Their jeep passes native Umbrella Thorn trees as they make their way to camp. But the friends are surprised that they will be sleeping in tents outside! They meet other tourists and natives and are introduced to native foods like steamed green bananas and flax bread. The next day they board the jeep and see native animals like the Kingfisher, flamingos, lions and zebras. After observing dozens more animals and taking lots of pictures, Ted and Raymond are sad that their safari is coming to a close. Our two frog friends promise that there will be many more adventures with new friends.

I enjoyed the way the author introduced a wealth of information about the culture, animals, food and customs of Africa. The whole travel experience was portrayed realistically from the preparation and packing to the landing and tour itself. Ted and Raymond are drawn as very stylized characters, but the images in the latter part of the book are good representations of the actual animals. Children are given a few facts about each of them. Hopefully they will be enticed to do more research and exploring on their own. Teachers may want to use this book as a read aloud introduction to a science unit on animals or as an opportunity to study African culture. Parents can employ the book as an introduction to what will happen when the family travels by air. I believe that this book is an excellent addition to the Ted and Raymond series of adventures.

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