Hidden Dangers: Seek and Find 13 of the World's Deadliest Animals
Author: Lola M. Schaefer
Illustrator: Tymn Armstrong
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: These 13 deadly creatures can be difficult to spot until you're right on top of them . . . or they're right on top of you. Look for each animal in its environment—look closely!—and learn all the ways you could perish—or survive—depending on how smart, well-informed, and good at running away you are. From the deathstalker scorpion and the poison dart frog to wasps, alligators, and many more, young readers will gain a new appreciation for the animal kingdom, and the dangers it hides in plain sight!
What I Think: I love a good non-fiction book! What makes this book stand out to me is the descriptive text and the lovely illustrations. The book is gorgeous visually but the description truly brings the illustrations to life.
As a mentor text, I would point out how the text and artwork support each other. I would ask students to close their eyes the first read through, then look at the picture the second read through, and then finally invite them to write down or circle words that stand out to them. This is a great opportunity to look at word choice and specifically make a link to word choice in non-fiction text. There is a misconception that non-fiction writing is not creative writing it...but I disagree. Sure, the topic you are writing about has to sit squarely in facts but the word choice we use in non-fiction writing and the literary elements we employ can surely take on a creative nature. And honestly, the best non-fiction does exude imagery. So have students look at the text and notice what stands out to them, talk about those super specific words, and then invite them to try it themselves!
***I especially love this snatch of text because there are TWO examples of alliteration! Love it!
Snatch of Text:
"Don't crowd a shark. A GREAT HAMMERHEAD, like some other sharks, will defend its territory if threatened. WITH ITS TEETH. If one of these 500- to 1,000-pound (227- to 454-kilogram) creatures confuses you with an enemy or a tasty fish, swim...and swim fast! The hammerhead will strike with his head and bludgeon you again and again until you are weak and weary. Then it will open its powerful jaws and shred you with its serrated teeth. YOU WILL BE DEAD."
Writing Prompt: Write about a ferocious animal that interests you. Or maybe you'd prefer to write about a completely non-ferocious animal! But as you write, pay attention to your word choice and see if you can work some $100 words in there.