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IN MY BACKYARD

Author: Valarie Giogas

Illustrator: Katherine Zecca

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Publisher: Arbordale Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: The yard is full of baby animals for us to count, from one fawn (deer) to ten nymphs (grasshoppers). These are common animals that you'll find in most neighborhoods. This picture book uses rhyme and illustration to teach counting and baby animal names.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 5; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 4.2

Age of Child: Shared with a class of twenty 5- and 6-year-old Kindergartners.

Young Reader Reaction: The kids liked the book. They recognized many of the animals, but didn't know their babies' names.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun approach to counting, but we were more attracted to the information about the animals and their habitats. The illustrations are great -- even the hatchlings (baby snakes) look (sorta) cute.

Pros: Kids will learn more than they realize as they make their way through identifying and counting baby animals.

Cons: It would be nice to know if the numbers correspond to the normal brood for these animals. Are foxes born nine at a time? It would be nice to have a book like this for larger numbers, too.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. Even after your child has mastered counting to ten, you can use this as a guidebook for exploring the world around you.

If You Liked This Book, Try: TAKE A BACKYARD BIRD WALK (Talk a Walk Book Series)   MY LITTLE BOOK OF PAINTED TURTLES   WHEN LOUIS ARMSTRONG TAUGHT ME SCAT

Educational Themes: This is principally a book for counting and animal identification (i.e., learning the names of baby animals). The activities in the back and on the Sylvan Dell website can help reinforce that learning or expand it, too. We especially like the idea of looking for signs of the animals that live near you. That will also bring to life the animals' habitats.

Notes: 2008 Silver Medal, Moonbeam Children's Book Awards (Environmental Issues Category)

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, counting, math, nature

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2008

Other Reviews:




                 

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