The following Read and Wonder Books (a series recommended for ages 5-8) have been reviewed by regular contributor Debbie Glade. Glade is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.
Sea Horse by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by John Lawrence; White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Michael Foreman; Caterpillar Caterpillar by Vivian French and illustrated by Charlotte Voake; Think of an Eel by Karen Wallace and illustrated by Mike Bostock.
Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by John Lawrence, is a wonderful educational journey through the life of a Barbour’s Seahorse. Until I saw all the illustrations of the different types of seahorses, I never knew how many different species there were. The book explains the life cycle of a seahorse from mating to birth and the survival of the tiny babies. The unique illustrations are an excellent complement to the story. Any child interested in animals or the ocean would love learning about the seahorse in this enlightening book.
White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies is both an entertaining and educational story about barn owls told through the perspective of a little girl. The girl’s grandfather builds a nest box in a tree, and the two of them wait patiently for a barn owl to move inside. The misty illustrations of owls in the night by award winning illustrator, Michael Foreman, are outstanding. What I like about the story is that the author weaves in educational facts about barn owls with handwritten notes on the illustrations. The author even tells the reader where to go to get information bout making a barn owl box. I love owls, and I love this book.
Author Vivian French was inspired to write Caterpillar Caterpillar because as a child herself, she watched with her grandfather as caterpillar eggs turn into butterflies. Illustrator Charlotte Voake uses predominantly green watercolors to demonstrate the life cycle of the butterfly in a charming way. The story is told from the viewpoint of the child. It not only educates children about the process of metamorphosis, but it also teaches children about patience while waiting for the butterfly to emerge. I love the little side notes with facts about what is going on with the creatures in the illustrations. This is a great book for kids who love butterflies, and who doesn’t love butterflies!
Did you know that young eels are see-through or that eels can breath out of water for up to 2 days? You will learn about this and many other facts about eels when you read the book and listen to the CD, Think of an Eel by Karen Wallace. The book teaches kids about the life of an eel as he thrives in the ocean south of Bermuda. You’ll love looking at the watercolor illustrations by Mike Bostock as you read this book. The CD that comes with book provides you with a read-along version as well as facts about eels. What a great addition this makes to the book! There’s nothing better than a children’s book that educates the parents too. I really enjoyed learning about the life of an eel, and I am sure you and your kids will too.