Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering The World's Perfectly Pink Animals

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Aly at Kid Lit Frenzy. 
Every Wednesday, bloggers link up their non-fiction picture book reviews. Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what great non-fiction books are shared this week!
Title: Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering The World's Perfectly Pink Animals
Author: Jess Keating 
Illustrator: David Degrand 
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Pinkalicious meets National Geographic in this nonfiction picture book introducing the weirdest, wildest, pinkest critters in the animal kingdom!

Some people think pink is a pretty color. A fluffy, sparkly, princess-y color. But it's so much more.
Sure, pink is the color of princesses and bubblegum, but it's also the color of monster slugs and poisonous insects. Not to mention ultra-intelligent dolphins, naked mole rats and bizarre, bloated blobfish.
Isn't it about time to rethink pink? 
What I Think: I love the color pink but even if this wasn't a book about super strange but awesome pink creatures, I would still love it! All of the animals in this book are super funky! We had fun reading about each of these animals. I love how the two-page layouts are set up. Each covers one animal and shares facts like its name, species name, size, diet, habitat, and predators and threats but also gives information about the animal and an interesting quirky fact about it too. 
     Over the years, non-fiction has totally grown on me. I think it helps that children's non-fiction has gotten cooler and cooler over the years - and this book is definitely example of this. One thing I really love about non-fiction is that the reader gets a little bit more ownership about how he or she wants to read it than with fiction. For example, we started reading one night but had to stop because it was time for bed. The next night when we picked up the book again, I started reading from the back of the back and working forwards to where we had left off the night before. All of a sudden, Peanut shook his head and said, "Wait, are you reading it backwards?!?" We had a good chuckle over that but then we talked about how some non-fiction books work like that - you can read them forwards or backwards or even jump around. This is so important for kids to realize. They have to know the difference between fiction and non-fiction and how - especially when doing research - you might skip around and skim different parts until you really find what you are looking for. I didn't realize Peanut would be so shocked when I started reading backwards but it helped me remember that we have to teach students the ins and outs of different genres and help them think through how they'll access each text they encounter.
     I also strongly believe in encouraging students to use description and voice in their non-fiction writing. I know some people don't see the connection between the two, but I believe we need students to see how description is important when bringing non-fiction to life. Students can read any of the descriptions of the animals in Pink is for Blobfish and see how Jess uses literary devices such as alliteration, similes, strong adjectives, nouns, and verbs to bring her non-fiction writing to life for readers. 
Read Together: Grades K - 6 
Read Alone: Grades K - 6 
Read With: What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle, Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, Non-Fiction books by Nic Bishop, The Beetle Book and others by Steven Jenkins  
Snatch of Text: 
"A Different Dolphin!
Unlike dolphins from the open ocean, Amazon river dolphins have flexible necks. 
They sweep their snouts through the watery vegetation, flushing prey from their hiding places."
Writing Prompts: Write about animals that are your favorite color!  
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Animals, Curiosity 
I *heart* It:

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