Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Non-Fiction Research Takes Patience



art by Sarah S. Brannen
    Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  This 2018 is her seventh year hosting this meme. Congratulations, Alyson! From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!
       Happy New Year!

             This book made me look for articles about toads and other reptiles in Colorado because I never see any in my own garden. But I did find there are numerous species here and hiding out so that they are rarely seen, most often in riparian areas, the banks of rivers, streams, or other water. When I lived in Missouri, we often had toads and frogs in the garden, happy to see them because they ate so many insects! 


       I was glad to read this book that has made it onto lists for coming awards. I admire Doug Wechsler who, night after night, waded through wet to discover The Hidden Life of a Toad! With a special lens, he took photos beginning at Day One, when "strings of jelly twist over, under, around." He writes it looks "like a pile of spaghetti." He captures the photos of each step, from Day One to Day 47 when the toadlet emerges, "no bigger than a pea". It's time to move to shore! Then time passes until three years later, the female toad moves back to the water, called by a male sending a signal, "Come see me."
        In enlarged photos, the journey fascinates, and Wechsler adds much more information at the back: a glossary, the difference between a frog and a toad, toad facts, saving toads, how he got the photos, and a source list! It is a comprehensive study, a wonderful mentor text for students who might share their own research of some animal that intrigues them. 
        

12 comments:

  1. I don't know if we have toads where I live, I don't think I've ever seen one! I love the photos in this one, so eye-catching, really appealing to kids.

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    1. Research to see if you have any, Jane. I thought there might be few also, but found numerous species. Yes, the photos are awesome! Thanks!

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  2. I don't think I read much of these kinds of nfpb's where it's photographs. But I have a couple on my nfpb tbr pile.

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    1. I don't read many either, but this one is very good, Earl. I hope you like it!

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  3. I just got this from the library yesterday after seeing it on best-of-2017 lists. Can't wait to dig in!

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    1. Terrific. I had to wait because there were so many holds, but finally it was my turn! Enjoy!

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  4. Nonfiction PB’s are so inspirational to me for poetry - both children’s and adult, ❤️🐸🐝🐌...

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    1. Yes, they'll terrific. I used them with students, too! Thanks, Vicki!

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  5. Thanks for the kind remarks Linda. Toads are in almost all parts of the country where there is water, though in some parts of the West they have become scarce. Wherever they are, most follow the life style in my book.

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    1. You are welcome, Doug. I was glad to write the review of a book I admire! If still teaching, I know I would share your book with my students. They kept field journals and would have been inspired by your persistence in the observations. And it was interesting to learn more about Colorado. We are so dry, and there are a number of species in danger. Thanks for coming by!

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  6. I've read this book so many times this year and really love it. The kids do get a little squeamish at the end of the book when it talks about how new embryos are made :) Some get this very knowing look on their faces!!! Circle of life :)

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    1. Ha! I imagine they do. I enjoyed it very much. We studied certain frogs when we went to Costa Rica, found them so interesting. Thanks, Michele!

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