Posts tagged ‘survival’

END OF THE LINE OR NEW BEGINNING?

Diary of an Ender Dragon

Written by Aurora Lee

 

This beginning chapter book narrates the adventures of Ender Dragon, who has been appointed by the ruler Notch to guard the End dimension in the Minecraft game. His life is usually boring, but one day a human named Steve arrives with his sword. After Ender is wounded, he strikes a bargain with Steve. Ender will show Steve the way to the portal which leads to the outside portal. Ender and Steve are about to embark on an adventure that neither of them will forget.Ender details their adventures in a diary that takes place over the course of a week’s time. Both discover parts of themselves as their lives are changed forever.

Fans of Minecraft will enjoy the book, but the book does not focus on the game, but rather the interaction of human and dragon personalities and capabilities. At less than fifty pages, the book is an easy read for beginning readers. Because the chapters are short, it could also be used as a read aloud. Recommended especially for readers in the seven to ten age group.

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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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PINT SIZED PEACEMAKERS

Peace in My World

By: Syeda Mleeha Shah

Peaceinmyworldpic

This book is dedicated to all displaced children in refugee and survival camps waiting for peace. The author pays tribute to every child for making our world beautiful by being a part of it.

Multicultural children are dressed in native costumes and placed in different scenarios. They are seen in farm scenes with barns, roosters and sunflowers, playing on the ice with penguins and singing in the rain while the wind chimes blow. The images coincide with symbols of peace like the dove and moods of tranquility like a little girl sitting on the grass while fish swim in the pond beside her. In the valleys and mountains trees stand tall, the sun shines brightly, and birds fly over the rainbow.

The text is written in simple verse. The same two lines are repeated on the pages. “This is a place where I want to go. I am in peace from head to toe.” A simple message that adults find  so difficult to accept. In the second part of the book Shah spells out the word  PEACE  assigning special significance to each letter.

 

P stands for people of the world

E stands for empathy they feel for one another

A stands for accepting others differences

C stands for cooperating and working in harmony

E  stands for the extra mile needed to reach out to those in need

 

In the final part of the book, the author selects five countries from various parts of the world: Pakistan, Egypt, America, China and Ethiopia. For each of these she presents the flag, names the capitol, its language and the word for peace. There is a rather abrupt shift from the ideal world to the real world. My only criticism is that no reason is given for choosing these five countries and there is no tie in to the rest of the story. Nevertheless, this book is truly worthwhile for teaching even very young children the value of using diversity as a unifying force and letting our strengths bind us together rather than tear us apart.

 

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