Nic Bishop Marsupials

Pick up any of Nic Bishop’s amazing nonfiction books and you will realize it’s a gateway book.  Suddenly, your world will be opened to his world of nonfiction.  Bishop brings his knowledge of biology and life on earth to his books and also fills them with his own gorgeous photographs.   The result is a smart and beautiful books that kids and adults alike won’t want to put down.  I learn something new from all of his books and his newest title, on shelves next Tuesday, is no exception.

Nic Bishop Marsupials does not disappoint. I made the mistake of assuming it would focus only on the most well-known marsupials, like kangaroos and koalas. While these animals are mentioned, Bishop dives deeper into the world of marsupials, exposing his readers to weird and exotic marsupials that aren’t as well-known. My favorite? The numbat, which doesn’t even have a pouch like most marsupials!  Bishop offers biological information on many different marsupials from all over the world but the information is in an easy to digest format.  And I LOVE the formatting of the pages because it will fit in perfectly with my nonfiction unit in writing.  His use of techniques like bolded letters, different colors and size fonts for important information, and his fascinating photographs will serve as prime examples in my classroom later this year!

I also enjoyed his epilogue, where Bishop explained how he researched the book and how he took the pictures. Those two pages will be great to share with my middle schoolers this year during our research unit. It’s always my goal to share with them real authors doing research for real books, to impart to them the importance of research!

Nic Bishop Marsupials is a fantastic addition to any library. I know I’ll be running out to order a few more of his titles this month when school starts!



Review copy courtesy of the publisher

My Season With Penguins: An Antarctic Journal by Sophie Webb

Next year, one of my goals is to infuse more non-fiction reading into my curriculum. I did a fantastic unit this year on non-fiction and want to expand it. That means I need to infuse more non-fiction into my own reading life. I decided to read at least 3 non-fiction books during the 48 Hour Book Challenge this year to help me achieve my goal.

My Season with Penguins: An Antarctic Journal (Robert F. Sibert Honor Books) by Sophie Webb is the second informational book I read during the Challenge. A Sibert Honor book, I highly recommend it. Sophie Webb shares her experience spending two months studying Adelie Penguins in the Antarctic using a journal format and her own paintings as illustrations. The tone is conversational, which makes the information accessible to kids. And this isn’t a boring science book- it’s actually gross at times! Webb doesn’t shy away from the gory details of nature, which I know my students will appreciate. There are paintings of mummified penguins (adults and chicks) and a leopard seal killing and eating an Adelie. And I even learned that human waste is flown out of the Antarctic because of the cold, dryness, and lack of bacteria. Nothing decays in the Antarctic. I actually yelped, “Eww!” out loud while reading. I know my kids will revel in that information.

I also liked that while I learned a lot about Adelie Penguins, I also learned even more about scientific expeditions in Antarctica. Webb shares “insider information” on how camps are set up, the type of clothing and supplies available, and past exploration of the area. Information like this will engage readers who love animals and readers who love survival stories.

Highly recommended for classroom libraries and science teachers!