Fascinating Animals

I recommend these excellent non-fiction books to support your Life Science curriculum.

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About Insects: A Guide for Children.  Cathryn Sill.  Peachtree, 2000.
A very basic and beautiful introduction to the behavior, anatomy and habitats of various insects.  Additional information about each insect is included in the back.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 


About Raptors: A Guide for Children.  Cathryn Sill.  Peachtree, 2010.
A great introduction to the physical characteristics, behavior and nests, similarities and differences.  Nicely designed, high interest.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

 

 


Baby Animals of Lakes and Ponds.  Carmen Bredeson.  Enslow Elementaty, 2011.
Large, close-up photos of a baby capybara, mallard duck, hippo, frog, turtle, mute swan, river otter and great blue heron with 3 or 4 sentences about each will delight young learners.  Includes a table of contents and index.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

 

 


Bat Loves the Night.  Nicola Davies.  Candlewick, 2004.
There is much to learn in this little story of a pipistrelle bat as we follow him on his nocturnal search for food.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 

 


Birdsongs..  Betsy Franco. Margaret K. McElderry, 2007.
Illustrated with Steve Jenkins’ signature collages, this lovely book is a countdown of ten common birds and their songs.  Includes a Feathery Facts page with interesting facts about each species.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow.  Joyce Sidman.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
What a beautiful blend of art, poetry and scientific facts about the flora and fauna of a meadow.  Beautifully designed with color scratchboard art by Beth Krommes.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade

 

 


Even an Octopus Needs a Home.  Irene Kelly.  Holiday House, 2011.
Named an Outstanding Science Trade Book, this beautifully designed picture book is loaded with fascinating information on how various animals build or find homes.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 


The Jumping Spider.  Alice B. McGinty.  PowerKids Press, 2006.
High interest, visually inviting explanation of the habitat, behavior and physical characteristics of this species.  It would have been helpful to include the pronunciation of boldface vocabulary in the text, but it is provided in the glossary.
2nd-5th grade

 

 


Just Ducks!  Nicola Davies.  Candlewick Press, 2012.
A good combination of fiction and nonfiction as a young girl tells us about the mallard ducks that live near her house.  Fun to read aloud, great watercolor illustrations and an index.
Read-aloud 1st-3rd grade

 

 


Kangaroos  (Amazing Animals Series).  Kate Riggs.  Creative Education, 2012.
Fabulous photos and large print give very basic life cycle information.  Very useful for high interest and introducing the features of nonfiction and beginning research.
K-3rd grade

 

 

 


North : The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration.  Nick Dowson.  Candlewick Press, 2011.
This stunning book depicts the migration of millions of animals to the Arctic tundra. Watercolor with pen and pencil illustrations in shades of blue, gray and green combine with the poetic text to show what is “…the greatest journey on earth.”  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade

 

 


Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek.  Marianne Berkes.  Dawn Publications, 2012.
What a beautifully illustrated and informative version of “Over in the Meadow.”  The baby animals are called by their names: kits, poults, joeys, fawns, etc.  Fabulous back matter includes information about the animals, lists of additional resources, tips from the author and illustrator, music to the song.  Besides being a great participation read-aloud,
this book has many curriculum applications.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

 

 


A Place for Birds.  Melissa Stewart.  Peachtree, 2009.
Very handsome acrylic paintings help introduce a variety of bird species.  What makes this book standout is the straightforward way it presents how human behavior has affected bird populations and what we can do to change it.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade

 

 

 


Skunks!  David T. Greenberg.  Little, Brown, 2001.
A rhyming romp suggestion all the silly things one could do with skunks.  Lynn Munsinger’s illustrations enhance the humor and gross factors.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 


Step Inside! A Look Inside Animal Homes.  Catherine Ham.  Earlylight Books, 2012.
Great photos and rhyming text introduce children to fascinating animal homes.  Good for starting research projects. Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 


The Water Hole.  Graeme Base.  Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
A counting book with stunning illustrations of animals at watering holes around the world.  All creatures great and small depend on water.  A visual feast.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

 

 


What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?  Steve Jenkins.  Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
Another winner (Caldecott Honor, 2004) from Jenkins shows how various animals use their eyes, ears, noses, mouths, feet and tails.  Robin Page’s cut paper collage art is fantastic.  Kids and adults, alike, will find this fascinating.  Can be a springboard for further study.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-4th grade

 

 


Why Do Elephants Need the Sun?  Robert E. Wells.
Shows why an elephant needs the sun for warmth, food and water, showing how photosynthesis, the water cycle, gravity and sun energy are linked together.  A good introduction to several difficult concepts.  Nicely illustrated, good diagrams.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade
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One Reply to Fascinating Animals

  1. And these books are just the beginning!!! There are HUNDREDS more out there. Thanks so much for sharing these lovely books.

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