I thought I’d share some new nonfiction this week. With all the cat lovers in our classroom this year, I started paying extra close attention to cat books. It’s All About ME-ow by Hudson Talbott caught my eye. The reason I think you’ll have fun with this book is because a marmalade tom is sharing tips with three new kittens who are joining the family. The tom explains how people need them and why. There is a page comparing humans to cats – labeling all the important parts. You can take a “catwalk” through time to learn how cats have been caring for people throughout history. Readers will even be let in on how “the system” works, so when your cat is acting crazy you’ll understand, “No, I just forget they were the center of my world” and you’ll be able to adjust. Click hear to see a book trailer. Cat lovers – animal lovers – this is a fun and funny book to read. I bet one of you could use it as a model to write your own version about bunnies, hamsters or horses. If you give it a try let us know.
Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore is beautiful. The collage illustrations are striking. The book shows and tells the story of how people moving onto the island of Puerto Rico slowly ate away the parrots’ habitat. The parrot flock transformed from hundreds of thousands to only about two hundred to finally twenty-four. That’s when, in 1968, the people decided to work together to save the parrots. It took years of study, trial and error, success and setback, but there is now, once again, a small flock of parrots flying over Puerto Rico. What I think you’ll love about this book is being reminded how important life in the rainforest is to all of us all over the world even though it is far away. It also shares how biologist and ornithologist work and learn to understand and save nature as countries modernize and change their landscape. At the end you can see photographs of the only parrot native to the United States and of some of the work done by the Puerto Rican Parrot Recovery Program. What a great way to enjoy nature and to work with animals. Would you like to work there?
Here’s another book that would fit with our habitat study. This one is for the grassland group, Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root. It begins, “Once prairie stretched for thousands of miles an ocean of flowers and grasses, a sea of sky, home for bison and elk, prairie chickens, borrowing owls, five-lined skinks, Plains garter snakes and Ottoe skipper butterflies. Almost all gone now to farm and town and city even before we knew all the things a prairie could do.” This book also suggests that we pay attention to the habitat around us and care for it and work to understand it. We will never be able to recreate the prairie we have lost – but we could plant a pocket and see what comes because of it. And what would happen if the “pockets” grew together? There’s no telling who will come. There’s lots of prairie information in the end pages. The fact I found most striking what the 40% of the United States was once covered by prairie. Now there is less than 1% of the prairie left and that makes it the most endangered ecosystem in the world. Reading Plant a Pocket of Prairie made me wonder what we should be thinking about in North Hampton – cottontail rabbits, the saltmarsh, the Winnicut River.
What are you reading? Have you found any great informational books that you think we should read? Let us know.