Posted in Early Reader, Intermediate, Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction

Go Wild! With Nat Geo Kids!

Hope everyone had a restful Fourth, and if you’re off today, enjoy. I’m working on getting caught up, on getting my library together for a July 12th opening, and basically just working on keeping my head together in the middle of a year and a half that is just bananas. Anyway, join me as I escape into a great new nonfiction series by National Geographic Kids.

Go Wild! Pandas, by Margie Markarian & National Geographic Kids, (June 2021, National Geographic Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9781426371608

Ages 4-8

This is such a cute new nonfiction series for younger readers! The Go Wild! series introduces readers to different animals, in this case, the panda. The book has a conversational, informative tone, inviting readers to “visit the world of pandas”. Readers learn about their habitat, where in the world they are found, their size, anatomy, related animals (like the Sun Bear, Spectacled Bear, and Sloth Bear), food, socialization, and more. The author addresses the need for conservation and addresses a major threat to the panda – deforestation – and offers tips for ways kids can get involved to protect pandas. A fun Name That Animal activity and parent tips on building enthusiasm close out this fun book, which also includes a glossary. Loaded with fast, fun facts and beautiful color photos, this is such a great new series that I know my kiddos will snap up. They already devour my NatGeo Kids Easy Readers (like this Panda book), and this hardcover 8×8 series will fit nicely on my shelves and look great in my displays.

Go Wild! Sea Turtles, by Jill Esbaum & National Geographic, (May 2021, National Geographic Kids), $9.99, ISBN: 9781426371585
Ages 4-8
How adorable is this Go Wild! volume on sea turtles? SO ADORABLE. Color photos and informative, friendly text have lots to say about sea turtles. Did you know that the smallest sea turtle is only about two feet long, but can weigh about as much as four car tires (between 70 and 100 lbs)? Or that a leatherback turtle can hold its breath for nearly an hour and a half? There are great facts to be discovered here, along with photos of the “run for life” to the ocean by hatchlings. A section on threats focuses on the problem of our polluted waters, and offers ways kids can help be part of the solution. Fun activities and parent tips, plus a glossary, make this another win from NatGeo Kids. Their Parent Tips can easily transition into virtual or in-person library programming for anyone interested – my library system is having a sea turtle STEM session at the end of July, and I’d like to put together a little sea turtle bundle with some of these ideas. Stay tuned!
Posted in Animal Fiction, Early Reader, Fiction, Fiction

Moon’s Messenger carries a beautiful and powerful message.

Moon is a young girl, sitting on the beach, when a sea turtle approaches her, beckoning her to join him in a journey through our planet. He quietly shows her the havoc people have wreaked on our environment: extinction, oil spills and pollution, global warming among a mere few of the methods. A message of hope and rebirth infuses Moon with purpose and action to protect the environment, and just as importantly, the living creatures we share it with.

moons messenger

Moon’s Messenger, by Virginia Kroll/Illustrated by Zusanna Celej (March 2016, Cuento de Luz), $16.95, ISBN: 9788416147205.
Recommended for ages 5-10

Moon’s Messenger is a powerful tale about conservation and activism, relying on watercolor images that are as heartbreaking as they are beautiful: a tired polar bear, trying to find an iceberg to rest on; local wildlife, deer and raccoons, ransacking residential garbage because their habitats are disappearing, giving way to more and more homes for people; sea life covered in oil and suffocating. And then, the turtle lays its eggs, and it’s beautiful again. There’s hope in the world, because there’s life, and now, one child knows what she has to do.

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The text and images are not subtle – the author and artist are not hiding their message, and they are appealing to our next generation. Endpapers alternately draw you in and warn you about what you’re going to read – an ocean floor with the skeletons of extinct animals to bring you in, and to lead you out, the same image, but with information about green sea turtles, the dangers they face in our environment, and a call to action to readers: What will you do to help?

I loved this book, I loved the message, and I’m going to make sure it’s an Earth Day (April 22) storytime for my little ones. The small, black font takes nothing away from the images, and reading this aloud may be a bit of a challenge unless you’ve familiarized yourself with the story a couple of times. The text and ideas are better for a Kindergarten – Grade 2 audience, and pairing a reading with a reduce/reuse/recycling activity will let kids see how they can contribute to making the world a better place with their own two hands. Teach the kids in your life to respect nature, respect biodiversity, and respect our planet, and use this book as a valuable guide. I’d love to see an educators’ guide to this book with further resources and exercises for younger kids.

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