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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Let's Save the Animals, written and illustrated by Frances Barry. Candlewick, Random House. 2010. $16.00 ages 3 and up

"I wish we could save all the endangered animals in the world!
I'd save the African elephant, stomping across the plains
and showering at the lake. (Humans are taking over the land where
elephants live. Sometimes elephants are killed for their ivory tusks."

Kids love 'lift the flap' books, and the fact that they are learning about the world and its animals is an added bonus. A world map on the endpapers and a 'did you know' list helps add to what they will learn once they turn the first page. The animals encountered are placed on the map, one from all areas of the world. The list includes some things that I have never read.

"The black rhinoceros can run faster than an Olympic sprinter."
"Each Amur tiger has a different pattern of stripes."
"Every night orangutans make a new nest to sleep in, high in the trees."

Each animal is given two pages, one to repeat the 'I'd save' pattern and one to stress a second type of movement. The verbs are well chosen and in bold print. The animal names appear to be block printed to give them attention. Additional information is placed in varying spots on the two page entries. There are flaps and cut-outs to add interest and to encourage young readers to pay attention.

This is a book that works for entertainment value and along the way, our earliest learners add to their store of world knowledge.

Be sure to look for other books by Frances Barry, most notably Big Yellow Sunflower and Little Green Frogs. Both are from Candlewick, Random House (2008).

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