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Cover: My Body is Tough and Gray (Armadillo)

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My Body is Tough and Gray (Armadillo)

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What has a sticky tongue, curved claws, and a tough gray body? If you guessed a nine-banded armadillo, you’re right! This book introduces early readers to a mystery animal by describing its features, one by one, using short simple sentences and eye-popping full-color photos. At the end of the book, the secret animal is revealed across a colorful, two-page spread.

Young children will love showing off their beginning reading skills as they learn about this dazzling collection of wild and wonderful zoo animals—one clue at a time! Fast facts and habitat maps at the end of the book provide children with key information about the zoo animal. The clear text, clever design, and exquisite photos are sure to delight and engage emergent readers.

Interest Level Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre Nonfiction
Copyright 2017
Publisher Bearport Publishing
Series Zoo Clues 2
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Dimensions 8 x 8
ISBN 9781944102630, 9781944102845, 9781944997984
Title Format Reinforced book, Hosted eBook, Savings Bundle
Dewey 599.3'12
ATOS Reading Level 0.8
Guided Reading Level E
Lexile Reading Level 70
AR Quiz Number 184321
Author Joyce Markovics

School Library Journal Review for Zoo Clues 2

A clever visual guessing game introduces unusual animals. Each spread provides a short sentence or two describing one animal feature. The accompanying photograph resembles a jigsaw puzzle with several pieces missing and the partial remaining image showing the body parts hinted at in the text. After seven verbal and visual clues have been given, a spread identifies and reveals the whole animal. Two final pages provide basic facts and a range map. The animals are all lesser-known ones, such as the fennec fox and sawfish, which make the puzzles surprisingly challenging. Opening clues often misdirect: the okapi hints, for example, might lead to initial guesses of horse or antelope. These may not stand up to repeated readings once the answer is revealed, but the interactive format provides an interesting entry into the traits of some unusual animals. VERDICT: A well-executed concept useful for new readers and curious animal lovers.

Booklist Review for My Body Is Tough and Gray

This entry in the Zoo Clues 2 series presents a series of tantalizing close-up photos, shaped like jigsaw puzzle pieces, of body parts with very brief descriptive clues such as, “My legs are short and strong” and “I have a long, stiff tail.” A full portrait with identifier (“I am a nine-banded armadillo!”) is followed by an easily digestible handful of facts such as the animal’s size, diet, and geographical range, plus print and online sources of further information. Newly independent readers, particularly those slated to encounter armadillos in a zoo or elsewhere, will appreciate the combination of mystery and simplicity. For a more comprehensive account, pair with Dee Phillips’ Armadillo’s Burrow (2013), which adds informative details about this creature’s habits and life cycle to this more interactive text.

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