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Alice B. McGinty | Summer time snooze | Books

Summertime can really feel sleepy throughout these dog-days of August, and nothing feels higher than a visit to the seaside! Listed below are two books by award-winning nonfiction creator Melissa Stewart and illustrator Sarah Brannon which spotlight two varieties of summertime creatures — shelled ones and sleeping ones.

“Summertime Sleepers: Animals that Estivate” (2021, Charlesbridge Publishing, written by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah Brannen, ages 4-10) introduces readers to the animals which sleep via the summer season. As we learn the child-friendly textual content, we meet 12 estivating animals and study their habits as they “settle into cool, cosy spots” to sleep via the summer season’s warmth.

With a predominant textual content which compares and contrasts, we see many alternative animal behaviors. For instance, some animals “snooze in teams, however others relaxation on their lonesome,” and “Some hard-shelled creatures climb up excessive for a nap … whereas others doze underground.”

Detailed watercolor illustrations depict the animals of their pure habitats. Many pages embody a toddler’s black-and-white scrapbook which provides the reader particulars such because the animal’s scientific title, house territory and dimension. The scrapbooks additionally embody drawings of the animal in motion.

The guide features a secondary textual content on most pages as effectively, which highlights particular animals. For instance, we study how land snails estivate once we learn, “When the times develop lengthy and sizzling, land snails cling to tree branches and seal their shells shut. Their coronary heart charges sluggish, they usually barely breathe as they watch for cooler days.”

In totality, the guide offers a considerable amount of data which is definitely taken in and digested via the completely different components of the textual content and illustrations. This well-crafted guide was awarded a 2022 Sibert Honor.

In “Seashells: Greater than a House” (2020, Charlesbridge Publishing, ages 3-9), Stewart and Brannen additionally ship data in an attractive, accessible method. We study at first that seashells, “like treasures from a secret world beneath the waves,” are available in many shapes, sizes and colours, and that’s as a result of “seashells have so many alternative jobs to do.”

The remainder of the guide introduces the reader, utilizing comparisons, to the roles that seashells play. Seashells “rise and sink like a submarine … or maintain regular like an anchor,” for instance.

The secondary textual content on every unfold offers extra particulars, similar to speaking concerning the gas-filled chambers of nautilus shells which assist the create dive down by filling with water after which stand up by letting water circulate out.

The colourful watercolor illustrations embody a small sketchbook on every unfold with diagrams of the motion being described within the textual content.

Studying on, we study that seashells can “pry like a crowbar,” “curl up tight like an armadillo,” “let in mild like a window” and “put on disguises like a spy.”

Every unfold brings to mild well-researched examples of shells readers might have seen on the seaside. Nonetheless, now they may be capable of perceive the explanations for these shells’ shapes and configurations.

We finish with the concept that seashells are houses as effectively, which “Shield like a fortress.” Backmatter contains the 5 largest teams of mollusks with a brief description of every. This well-executed guide is a companion guide to the creator/illustrator pair’s 2014 ALA Notable E-book “Feathers: Not Only for Flying.”

Irrespective of which of those books they learn, younger readers are in for an empowering, participating, informative deal with!

Alice B. McGinty (alicebmcginty.com) is the award-winning creator of fifty books for kids and runs the Phrases on Hearth Writing Camp for Teenagers throughout the summer season, wordsonfirecamp.wordpress.com/.

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