Animals on the Move and at Rest

Animals fascinate our children.  Their diversity in appearance, movement, rest patterns, and homes captivate our young ones' interest.  When I found a few more books at our local library on animal travels, migrations, and resting, I plucked them right off the shelves.

Race the Wild Wind: A Story of the Sable Island Horses

Though we are quite familiar with the wild horses of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, we had no idea there was a similar island located off the shores of Nova Scotia.  The origin of the Sable Island wild horses is a mystery.  In her book, Race the Wild Wind, Sandra Markle explores one theory of abandonment using a race horse, work horses, and various other types of domesticated horses.  The story line centers on the race horse stallion and his acquiring a herd of mares.  Spanning about two years, the book explores how the horses might have survived those very first seasons on the island.  The book includes an author's note discussing the possible reasons the wild horses live on Sable Island, other books and websites for more information, and a short list of interesting horse facts.

Our youngest son adores turtles.  Finding a book on turtle travels for him was a highlight to this mini unit.  Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre outlines a twenty year time period of turtle travel.  From Florida shores to a coral reef and back, the turtle travels and thrives despite predators.  A repeating line like the title adds to the excitement of the dangers and escapes.  Overall, the book is fun and appealing.  With its short text and colorful pictures, Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! is an easy read aloud for younger children.

Covering ten traveling animals, Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration, by Marianne Berkes, delves into seasonal migrations.  Each two spread page displays one specific animal, including caribou, arctic terns, and pacific salmon.  For each animal, a short descriptive paragraph appears on the page within the book and another informative paragraph is located in the back of the book.  Overall, the lyrical text can be read two stanzas per page without reading the descriptive paragraphs.  I liked reading it this way the first time through the book.  It lent itself to a more cohesive read, and the rhythm of the words was easier to hear.  There is a sense of movement and underlying urgency in the rhythm that mimics migration.  However, the descriptive paragraphs are worth a read through afterward.  Berkes has spent many years working with children, and this is evident in the "Tips from the Author" section in the back of the book.  Many creative and extension ideas are included.

For our older children, a more textual book, The Journey: Stories of Migration, by Cynthia Rylant was read.  Highlighting a half dozen migrating species, Rylant takes the reader on a journey world wide.  Locusts, grey whales, and butterflies are a few animals highlighted.  Each animal is covered in about six pages and includes idyllic illustrations.  From the text, readers sense wonderment of how incredible migration is.  Some fascinating tid bits we learned included a herd of caribou nearly 200 miles long and female eels traveling from salty ocean water to fresh water streams to live for ten years before returning to the salty ocean water.

After all that travel, animals need to rest!  And, so we capped off the mini unit with a short book entitled Animals Asleep, by Sneed B. Collard III.  This is another book that can be read through twice.  By reading the sparse large printed words from each page and enjoying the animal pictures, the text whets the appetite to know how and where all these different animals find rest.  The second time through, the descriptive paragraphs for each animal explain the how and where.  Collard certainly included a vast array of animals and sleeping habits.  Tid bits like sea otters sleeping in a bed of kelp offer a fun outlook on rest.  There were a couple of word choices that pointed to evolution, but nothing explicit. {I simply omitted or changed these words to reflect our family's beliefs.}

1 comment:

  1. Dorie, great subject. Thanks for the titles. I'm going to check with our library, a few sound like my kids would enjoy : D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...