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Wildlife Watchers is a series of beautiful, nonfiction books that have been carefully crafted to help children practice their reading skills. Each book combines repetitive text with high-frequency and familiar sight words. Unfamiliar vocabulary is supported by detailed images with labels, close photo/text matches, and a picture glossary. As young readers build their reading confidence and skills, they will love peeking into the secret world of some fascinating, tiny creatures.
|Interest Level||Kindergarten - Grade 2|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
School Library Journal Review of Wildlife Watchers
Narrative text describes several experiences of a single animal, introducing key facts along the way. In Toad, for instance, a female leaves her burrow, avoids some predators, mates, lays eggs, hunts, and returns to the burrow. Photographs show the various steps, providing strong visual context. Eye-catching images of a harvest mouse climbing grass stems and building a nest, for example, support the textual content that describes those actions. The emphasis on behavior and life cycle results in focused, concise information that younger readers can successfully absorb and remember. Selected statistics, such as the number of feet a mole digs per day, are useful without overwhelming readers. While not all photos are of the same featured animal as the narrative suggests, they look similar enough to avoid confusion. VERDICT: Successful mix of narrative, facts, and photographs for young elementary schoolers.
Booklist Review of Harvest Mouse
Up-close photos of the tiny harvest mouse do the heavy lifting in this volume in the Wildlife Watchers series (4 titles), aimed at the primary grades. Shown snacking, climbing, snuggling, and scurrying, this adorable rodent will easily attract an eager audience. Newly independent readers will find support in the large, easy-to-read text, bolded vocabulary (defined in a picture glossary), and clearly labeled illustrations. The text has a narrative feel as it follows a harvest mouse as she eats, builds a nest, gives birth, and cares for her babies. Familiar points of reference—the mouse weighs less than a quarter, and her nest is the size of a tennis ball—are thoughtfully integrated and will boost youngsters’ understanding. An engaging introduction to the nonfiction format and an incredibly cute creature.
Bookworm for Kids Blog Review of Harvest Mouse
This takes a short glance at the life of a harvest mouse and helps kids to learn the basics of reading along the way. Inside the cover are ‘Tips for Reading Success’ which give parents/readers wonderful ideas on how to lead young listeners and early readers into the pages, while making the most out of the illustrations and text. The book itself covers the life of a harvest mouse starting with food, nest building, super cute babies, predators, and how young mice head off into the world on their own. The text is kept fairly simple with only one or two short sentences on each page. Some words might need a little explanation, but learning is the point of this book. The illustrations are true to life photos, which allow the harvest mouse to be presented in their true environment. Little bubbles provide extra information when necessary to help readers gain a deeper understanding of harvest mice. At the back of the book, there is a glossary, index, and a website address where kids can learn more about harvest mice. It’s a nice read which will help kids learn all about the harvest mouse, and bring across little tidbits that even adults might not know. The reading level is a little advanced for the very first readers, but with the tips in the beginning, it does help expand new readers’ horizons.
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