Monday, March 24, 2014

Two Kingfisher Nonfiction Readers

Animal Colors. Thea Feldman. 2014. Kingfisher. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Animal Colors by Thea Feldman is a level one nonfiction early reader published by Kingfisher. (Other level one readers include Baby Animals, Busy as a Bee, Butterflies, Colorful Color Reefs, Jobs People Do, Seasons, Snakes Alive!, Tadpoles and Frogs, Trains, and Tyrannosaurus.) Level one readers feature short, simple sentences with familiar vocabulary, engaging pictures, and a simple glossary. The glossary of Animal Colors, for example, includes the words: blend, camouflage, hare, mate, and poison.

First paragraph: There are many colorful animals in the world! This grasshopper is bright green. This snake is green too. These birds are pink. This crab is red. So is this ant. This sea star is blue. So is this lizard.

From the opening pages, I thought this book was a bit too simple. At first, I did not find it very informative or interesting. But, as I kept reading, it seemed to become more complex which was a good thing. It began going beyond the basics: this is blue, this is red; here are some spots, here are some stripes. Once it started sharing information--interesting facts, I didn't-know-that-facts, it became easier to recommend.

For example:
Some animals change their colors! This spider is white when it is on a white flower. It turns yellow on a yellow flower. Insects do not see the spider. The spider grabs and eats the insect!


Tyrannosaurus. Thea Feldman. 2014. Kingfisher. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Tyrannosaurus by Thea Feldman is a level one nonfiction early reader published by Kingfisher. Other level one readers include Animal Colors, Baby Animals, Busy as a Bee, Butterflies, Colorful Color Reefs, Jobs People Do, Seasons, Snakes Alive!, Tadpoles and Frogs, and Trains. Level one readers feature short, simple sentences with familiar vocabulary, engaging pictures, and a simple glossary. The glossary for Tyrannosaurus includes these words: dinosaur, extinct, fossils, prey, and scientists.

First paragraph: This is a big, fierce dinosaur! It is called Tyrannosaurus. Tyrannosaurus lived millions of years ago. That is a very long time ago. There were no people yet. Let's go back in time and take a look at Tyrannosaurus!

This early reader takes an imaginative approach to sharing information about dinosaurs. It's what-if scenario is conversational and to some extent enjoyable. "Tyrannosaurus is hungry! He is looking for food. What does he eat? Other dinosaurs! Tyrannosaurus is a hunter" and "Look! Tyrannosaurus runs after his prey. He runs on his toes. His tail sticks out behind him." It does keep the book in the present tense, inviting readers in.

Personally, dinosaur books will never prove interesting or thrilling to me. It's not a subject I care about. But for readers, particularly young readers, this book would be a good fit.


© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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