Sunday, February 27, 2011

What in the Wild? Riddles and mysteries to intrigue children (ages 6 - 10)

What in the Wild?"Eeww, gross!" is the first reaction one student had. Immediately, others were peering over her shoulder, wanting to see what made her say that. Author David Schwartz knows how to hook students into exploring science and nature. In his award winning book Where in the Wild?, he used visual puzzles to hook children into learning more about the way animals use camoflauge to protect themselves. In What in the Wild?, he draws them in with mysteries and a few squeamish photographs to ask them to think about what animals make different structures. It's a winning formula!
What in the Wild:
Mysteries of Nature Concealed-- and Revealed

by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy
photography by Dwight Kuhn
San Francisco: Tricycle Press, 2010
ages 6 – 10
available on Amazon and at your local library
In this clever book, David Schwartz and Yael Schy hook kids in with a mystery and riddle, asking kids to guess what creature made a pile of twigs, a mass of leaves, frothy spittle. He cleverly uses a bit of the gross factor to intrigue kids, and then draws it out with a clever poem. As they open the page, further pictures reveal the creature that has created this structure. As one student said, “You start out thinking ‘Gross’ and then open it up and realize that it’s really cool.”

For example, one poem reads: "We're long and lithe, we wiggle and writhe. Of dead things we dispose./We daily toil to plow the soil, and help stuff decompose!" As you open the flap, you see a full color photograph of an earthworm depositing another cast on the pile. Schwartz combines nonfiction science writing, poetry and photography to great effect. This is a book kids will come back to many times.

Also see the review on Wendie's Wanderings.  If you like this, I highly recommend checking out Where in the Wild? and Where Else in the Wild?, also by Schwartz, Schy and Kuhn.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Tricycle Press (we'll miss you!). If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.

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