Monday, 18 March 2013

Review: 'A Place for Turtles' and 'Stripes of All Types'

A Place for Turtles by Melissa Stewart, Illustrated by Higgins Bond, 2013, Peachtree Publishers, $16.95, hardbound, 29 pages. Category/Genre: reference. Cover: well done! Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Like A Place for Birds by the same  author, this book is a call to arms for those willing to help animals in distress. Throughout the book, Stewart gives facts about how turtles are harmed by man: rubbish in water (plastic bags can kill turtles), unsafe fish nets (shrimp nets killed hundreds of thousands of loggerhead turtles each year until Congress passed a law that fishing nets have a turtle excluder device), and allowing dogs to roam free in forests, wetlands, and other wild places are but a few of the ways people hurt these creatures. 

But Stewart doesn't just leave us with the bad news. She also tells how people have been mending their ways and helping turtles, as well as listing ways the reader can help. For instance, over 400 Alabama red-bellied turtles were killed whilst trying to cross a four-lane highway between 2001 and 2006. But in 2007, a 4.3-mile-long fence was constructed along the highway to prevent turtles crossing the road. 

In 1996, LaGrange, New York needed to make a bigger high school. But the only way was to overtake a wetland where Blanding's turtles lived. Soil and plants were moved to a nearby spot and another wetland was created for the turtles. 

Ways you, the reader, can help include never catching and keeping a turtle; never buying a turtle at a pet shop; and never throwing trash into any body of water. 

Filled with lush colour artwork throughout, this book also gives several turtle facts and has a handy bibliography. There are also maps of the ranges of 12 turtle species in the U.S. 

Age range: 6-10. (But it's excellent for any age.) 

If you like this one, try: A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart. 

Stripes of All Types by Susan Stockdale, Illustrated by Susan Stockdale, 2013, Peachtree Publishers, $15.95, hardbound, 30 pages. Category/Genre: reference. Cover: Excellent. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million. 

Magnificent acrylic on paper images adorn every page of this terrific book. Rhyming text takes the reader from one animal to the next, giving hints about where each animal lives: 'Stripes found in water,' says the text underneath the picture of a purple-striped jellyfish. 'And camped by a creek,' adds the text below a baby Malayan tapir.

The pictures are large, colourful, and wonderfully detailed. At the back of the book is a section with more information on each animal and his habitat. For instance, we learn that the zebra moray eel lives in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and Red Sea; that their stripes increase in number as they grow larger; and that the eel is a fish. 

We also find out about why these animals have stripes. For example, the phantasmal poison frog has stripes to tell predators that the frog is toxic. The okapi has stripes on his legs to help him hide from predators. And no-one knows why the Florida tree snail has stripes. 

For added interest, there's a game at the very end of the book, in which readers may guess which animals have which stripes. It's harder than you might think. It's also fun. 

Age range: 4-6. 

If you like this one, try: Suggestions? 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

Letters Numbers and Books

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