Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paul Thurlby's Wildlife

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy. 
Every Wednesday, I'll review a non-fiction picture book. (It may not always be a picture book.) Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other non-fiction books are shared this week!

Title: Paul Thurlby's Wildlife 
Author: Paul Thurlby 
Illustrator: Paul Thurlby 
Publisher: Templar - Candlewick
Publication Date: March, 2013 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Did you know that crocodiles cry while they eat? Or that polar bears turn green if they stay hot for too long? Or that bees do a dance to speak to one another? See wildlife as you’ve never seen it before with Paul Thurlby’s menagerie of curious animals. With unique and humorous artwork that’s so stylish you’ll want to remove it from the book and hang it on your wall, Paul Thurlby brings to life twenty-three animals in a way that will appeal to readers of all ages. 
What I Think: I absolutely adore Paul Thurlby's Alphabet and was so excited to see this new book. His artwork is amazing and I love his style. What I really love about this book is that it's a great way to introduce students to so many different animals and at the same time share some really unique facts about them. I'm fascinated by how reading leads to more reading. In the past several years, as I've read so many books, I often find myself making connections between books. Before, when I had read books but not nearly as I have in the last six or seven years, it was definitely not as easy to make connections between books. I've had so many conversations with students, prompting them to make connections with their reading but it's really difficult to make connections from one text to another when they haven't read many books. As students read more, it's much easier to find connections between books.
     When I think about teachers fostering students' love of reading and encouraging them to read more and read a variety of texts, I think about how reading one book can lead to reading other books or other texts. What if we all encouraged students to branch from one book into another book? What if we articulated just how often we do it as adults and share that as part of a readers' life? Books like The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and Wonder by RJ Palacio come to mind. I can't imagine someone reading either of those books and not feeling the need to read more about the real Ivan or to wonder what someone with craniofacial abnormalities like Auggie looks like in real life. Reading those fiction novels easily extends into reading non-fiction to support our understanding. The same works from non-fiction to fiction. I love historical fiction and when I learn about a time in history that seems fascinating, I have found myself looking for historical fiction novels to read because I feel like I can truly immerse myself into that world. Non-fiction also leads to more non-fiction, readers might go from a book to an article to a website and back to a book. This interconnectedness between all the different things we read seems so normal and yet I'm not sure we point this out to students and encourage them to follow their wonderings from one text to another.
     With Paul Thurlby's Wildlife, students have the opportunity to learn about animals but they only get one or two tidbits of information. It's a fun book but it's also a chance to get students' brains wondering and then to show them how an idea in one book might lead them into another text. After reading Chris Lehman's book, Energize, and rethinking how students research and how we support them in their research, I think this organic way of piquing their interest and then leading them towards more exploration and reading on a certain topic is ideal. I can definitely see how this book might be used to choose an animal to research as a class, as small groups or individually.
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 3 
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 3 
Read With: What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle, Where In the Wild? by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy, Can We Save the Tiger? by Martin Jenkins, Yellow Elephant by Julie Larios, What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? and others by Steve Jenkins  
Snatch of Text:  
"Bees talk to one another by dancing in patterns."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Asking Questions 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository 
Writing Prompts: Choose an animal from Paul Thurlby's Wildlife and research more about that animal or the animal fact shared in the book. Write an expository piece to share what you learn. 
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Animals 
I *heart* It:

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