My Life in the Wild: Penguin and Cheetah

Today we have two high-quality books in Animal Planet’s My Life in the Wild series, Penguin by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Gary Hanna, and Cheetah by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Mick Posen.

You can feel the caliber of these books starting with their well-crafted, padded covers. In Penguin an emperor penguin tells the story in first person, saying, “My life begins inside an egg.” After his mother and father struggle to survive through the difficult winter, the chick hatches, his mother and father feeds him, and before you know it, he is all grown up and ready for his first swim. This part is written for the beginning reader, with large illustrations full of color and texture.

Following the main story there are four pages of more detailed information with smaller illustrations that are just right for an adult to read and discuss with a child who wants to know more. Finally there are pictures of ten different kinds of penguins and a quiz to help the reader observe the differences more closely.

Cheetah follows a similar format, but the illustrations are even more amazing. Illustrator Mick Posen uses digital technology to its fullest, creating images that blur with movement. You feel like you could reach out and feel the fur of the little cheetahs. His images are as 3D as you can get on a flat page.

In “Meet the Cat Family,” there are illustrations of six more kinds of cats: lions, jaguar, serval, margay, tiger and lynx. Once again the quiz invites the reader to observe closely. “How many have short tails?”

These books would be great to accompany a trip to the zoo or a unit on life cycles.

There’s a new penguin movie coming out November 18, Happy Feet Two (See trailer below). A popular movie like this will often spark a child’s interest in an animal that is featured, so be prepared to pull out an informational text like Penguin and help him or her find out more.

Penguin by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Gary Hanna

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0753467240
ISBN-13: 978-0753467244

Cheetah by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Mick Posen

Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0753467259
ISBN-13: 978-0753467251

The books were provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Stem Friday is at Simply Science today. Click through for links to more excellent STEM books.

If you would like to participate in STEM Friday in the future, go to the new STEM Friday blog for more information.

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One Response to My Life in the Wild: Penguin and Cheetah

  1. Pingback: WELCOME TO STEM FRIDAY « SimplyScience Blog

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