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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where Else in the Wild? Poems by David M Schwartz and Yael Schy, with photos by Dwight Kuhn. Tricycle Press, 2009. $21.99 ages 6 and up

"If you were a frog or a fish or a bird or a bug - or almost any other kind of animal - you would probably live longer if you could hide with your colors. Whether you were looking for food or trying to avoid being someone else's food, camouflage can help you survive. If a predator doesn't see you, it can't eat you. If your prey doesn't see you, it can be your next meal."

Whenever I share David Schwartz's look at camouflaged creatures from the book Where In the Wild? listeners beg for more. They just love guessing games. It is not easy to share with a whole class, but they get the idea in a quick look and are always intrigued enough to take it in hand and pore over each and every entry. And now, he has done it again. With the help of his wife Yael Schy, and once more with the brilliant close-up photography of Dwight Kuhn, David Schwartz gives us a book that will result in a more fully informed audience once the book has been shared, or read independently. What a collaboration it is!

The poems provide an introduction and clues that a reader needs to help in the search for hidden animals. Once curious, a close look at the photo may, or may not, reveal what has been described. If found, the flap is lifted to show the camouflaged character and is faced with a page of informative paragraphs which add further facts.

The scorpion fish are almost impossible to spot even when you know exactly where they are! Having them spotlighted still took careful looking to discern a fish. No wonder you wouldn't expect to encounter them on a dive. They are surely not the most hospitable of hosts with their foot long spines that inject potent venom. You may want to avoid any contact with waters that play host to them!

What a great way to present a science project of any kind...a poem, some photos and additional learned information. This would be a great mentor text when you are trying to find alternative reporting ideas for your scientific researchers.

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