Harvest Mouse

9781788560580. Owen, Ruth. Toad. ISBN 9781788560627.ea vol: 24p. (Wildlife Watchers). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Ruby Tuesday. Aug. 2018. lib. ed. $25.64.
Gr 1–3—Narrative text describes several experiences of a single animal, introducing key facts along the way. In Toad, for instance, a female leaves her burrow, avoids some predators, mates, lays eggs, hunts, and returns to the burrow. Photographs show the various steps, providing strong visual context. Eye-catching images of a harvest mouse climbing grass stems and building a nest, for example, support the textual content that describes those actions. The emphasis on behavior and life cycle results in focused, concise information that younger readers can successfully absorb and remember. Selected statistics, such as the number of feet a mole digs per day, are useful without overwhelming readers. While not all photos are of the same featured animal as the narrative suggests, they look similar enough to avoid confusion.
VERDICT Successful mix of narrative, facts, and photographs for young elementary schoolers.

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