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Cover: Barn Owl

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Barn Owl

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What's that strange bird with the heart-shaped face? It's a barn owl! This silent hunter soars through the air at night looking for food. Beginning readers will learn all about these unusual creatures in this simple yet playful nonfiction text. They will also learn basic information about where barn owls live, what they eat, and all about their peculiar bodies and behaviors. Each 24-page book features controlled text with age-appropriate vocabulary and simple sentence construction. The lively text, colorful design, and eye catching photos are sure to capture the interest of emergent readers.

Interest Level Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Beginning Readers, Nonfiction
Copyright 2016
Publisher Bearport Publishing
Series Weird But Cute
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Dimensions 8 x 8
ISBN 9781943553273, 9781943553617, 9781943553952
Title Format Reinforced book, Hosted eBook, Savings Bundle
Dewey 598.9
ATOS Reading Level 2.5
Guided Reading Level I
Lexile Reading Level 570
AR Quiz Number 180711
Author Kathryn Camisa

Jean Little Library Blog Review of Barn Owl

While I’m looking for more in-depth animal books for my juvenile nonfiction, this cute series from Bearport is just right for my easy reader nonfiction section.

The first spread has text in different shapes and formats, introducing the barn owl. Simple facts about the barn owl’s behavior, habits, and unique attributes follow. In addition to the simple sentences on each page, there are additional facts highlighted in hot pink and occasional captions in yellow.

Additional information at the end includes quick profiles on three more owls, a brief glossary, index, and more information.

This is part of Bearport’s Little Bits easy reader series. Unlike a typical easy reader, they have a square format, roughly 8×8. Although the endpapers have patterns, the backgrounds of the pages with text are solid white or other colors that don’t distract from the words. The photographs match the text well and are engaging.

Although National Geographic is my first go-to for nonfiction easy readers, Bearport is a popular runner-up. Their titles are a little more expensive, coming in the library bound nonfiction range, but they have good deals if you buy sets and will be popular for a long time to come. This new series will please animal-loving young readers and encourage them to keep practicing their reading and learn more.

SLJ Review - Weird But Cute

This attractive set definitely leans more on the cute side than the weird. Each opening spread uses a variety of font styles to introduce the notable physical characteristics of the subject. Size, appearance, enemies, diet, and babies are covered. Angora, Gecko, and Tarsier make use of onomatopoeia. Overall the photos work well and include cut-outs, insets, and full-page images. A closing “More …” section gives three additional examples of animals with similar weird characteristics or other related species. The captioned photo glossaries occasionally struggle to illustrate complex verbs like grind (Angora), digest (Hedgehog), and poison (Pufferfish). VERDICT The variety of animals here makes this series a possibility for larger collections.

Activities for further learning
Author/Illustrator biography
Glossary of key words
Sources for further research
Suggested websites
Table of contents