Category Archives: animals

Jumping Kangaroos and Red Foxes

So today I am reviewing 2 animal books that are both by Michelle Levine. The NerdBug (1st grade) read Jumping Kangaroos to his siblings and myself today. They all loved it! It had the right combination of easy words and words that needed to be sounded(like marsupials and pouch). This can also be said of another of Levine’s books, Red Foxes. The information in both books is great. It has great individual facts that can mesh to a more complex development but also stand alone as facts. That is great for my 6 and 4 year old because it seems that the individual facts are what they glom onto at this age (as is fitting in the classical model;). I will be looking for more books by this author for my kids to read so I highly recommend it!


We have had another great science book. The kids and I just finished reading Ants (Early Bird Nature Books) and they loved it. It starts with a list of words to look out for and later defines them in the glossary. We used the list as a built in list of review questions. It does have some difficult and unfamiliar words (such as thorax and larva) so while most words are simple enough for a first grader, I would have them read it close so you can help with those words. We just read is aloud with the 6, 4, and 2 year old. It has great pictures and diagrams. We will be requesting the rest of the books in this series from the library.

Sloths: A Carolrhoda Nature Watch Book

In doing science we have recently checked out a book on sloths simply called Sloths (Nature Watch) by Melissa Stewart. This book was horrible. To kick off our unit on an animal I read a 1 page summary on them and then we get an additional book. Well, this book took each little fact and made pages on it, pages I said. Now I am not saying they enriched the material on it or went further in detail. They simply took 1 fact and drug out the wording to take a page. So first strike it wasted words. Second strike is it bored you to death doing it. The we get to decide to embark upon the ice age and evolution. On the whole I strongly disliked this book and will not be using it when my other kids do sloths in the future.

Nature’s Children: Armadillos

I checked out Armadillos(Nature’s Children series) for a unit in Science for my 1st grader and my preschooler and I loved it. It is 48 pages (including the index) so it is substantial enough to have a good reading time. It has many sections that elaborate on specific points that were briefly mentioned in the The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia (Kingfisher First Reference) chapter. My first grader could read many of the words but still needed some guidance but it is not real juvenile so one could use it probably in higher grades also. This is a book I will use again with other children.