Day and night and throughout the year, animals are busy and active.
This daytime/nighttime contrast offers a selection of interesting facts. Each double-page spread is titled with a month of the year. Daytime on the left is followed by nighttime on the right. Each page uses the same format, varying only with the placement of the text. Rhyming couplets printed as abcb quatrains are set directly on paintings showing animals engaged in customary behaviors in their native habitats. Straining to fit into the verse form, the text can be awkward and the beat can stumble. “Squirrels gather acorns / They bury for later. / At this time of year / No purpose seems greater.” Readers-aloud will struggle to keep from falling into a singsong inflection. But they will appreciate the range of natural places shown and the wide variety of animals accurately portrayed—from bald eagles and coyotes through lizards, slugs and snails, to rattlesnakes and cougars. While some species are specific to a region, such as the desert tortoises, most can be found across the United States. As in the publisher’s other books, this includes helpful backmatter: a quiz to reinforce the learning, more about each species, and suggestions for follow-up activities called “Teachable Moments.”
A presentation of animal activities for primary grade readers and listeners that is brought low by sadly pedestrian verse. (Informational picture book. 5-9)