NONFICTION

Animals of the Forest

Black Bears; Gray Wolves; Great Gray Owls; Moose; Raccoons; White-Tailed Deer.
ISBN 9781644871256; ISBN 9781644871263; ISBN 9781644871270; ISBN 978164487128; ISBN 9781644871294; ISBN 9781644871300..
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K-Gr 3–This series provides basic overviews of forest species, spotlighting physical features and behaviors. In Great Gray Owls, for example, the text describes the qualities of the bird’s face, ears, eyes, head, and feathers. A sentence or two explains how each attribute helps the animal. Sentences are simple and direct; advanced words, such as plumage and asymmetrical, are boldfaced and defined in the glossary. Though the animals all inhabit forests, the content covers the creatures themselves, rather than the biome. Most spreads include two photographs with distinct oval or rectangular borders. These are clear and useful, though not always exciting. Multiple images highlight specific attributes or actions; occasional close-up insets spotlight features like claws or fur. An endangered status graph, diet samples, and a range map are included. Some readers may wish for a bit more specificity. Readers learn that white-tailed deer, great gray owls, moose, and raccoons all avoid predators, but no animals that prey upon them are identified. However, the tight focus presents a consistent and accessible number of facts for kids who are just starting to learn to read.
VERDICT Decent additions for younger nonfiction collections, especially where subject coverage is needed.

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