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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'animals-not-anthropomorphized'.

I love the beautiful, cool-toned artwork in this book -- the mixed-media pictures, the blues and greens and collections of complementary colors decorating plumage -- Birds is lovely.

The beginning part of the book contrasts different kinds of birds -- some migrate, others stay home; some are large, others are small, etc. The second half is a simple celebration of the joy of listening to bird songs and watching them fly. 

This book isn't very wordy and doesn't try to be all "educational" about it -- no actual names of birds are mentioned. There's a place for books like that, but I also appreciate the linking of birds with the imagination, and the affirmation that birds bring something important and intangible to our lives.

(In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not required to write a positive review.)

Scrounged From: LibraryThing giveaway

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Carme Lemniscates
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

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Winter Bees is a wonderful picture book of Joyce Sidman's poetry, especially fitting for those who live in a cold climate like we do. Have you ever wondered where bees go in the winter? Or voles, or beavers? This book contains a double-page spread on each featured piece of nature (mostly animals), containing a poem and then a few paragraphs of information about how the animal gets through winter, which helps to fill out the information in the poem.

The poetry here is lovely, and full of clever descriptive phrases. Most poems are of moderate length, managing to communicate a clear picture of winter survival without becoming repetitive or overly wordy.

Bees are "an ancient tribe, a hardy scrum... Together, we boil, we teem, we hum."

Snoflakes are "a lattice of stars spinning silently..."

A raven is a "Squawker, Croaker, Alarm-on-the-wind."

The poem about beavers is written as a pantoum, a poetry form that I don't remember encountering before, featuring some neat repetition of lines.

The illustrations here are amazing -- colorful, full of texture and life. I especially love how a long picture of a branch is drawn as moving from autumn to winter at the beginning of the book, and then again at the end it is shown morphing from winter into spring. 

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Rick Allen
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

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We Build Our Homes is such a cute, readable nonfiction book, telling the stories of animals who are known for building homes -- especially unique ones. Each species of animal has a beautifully illustrated two-page spread to tell its story from a first person perspective (as the "we" in the title implies), which I think makes the text more story-like for young children.

We learn about birds, insects, mammals, and more animals that build their houses out of many different materials and in many different settings. One of the most interesting to me were the edible-nest swiftlets, birds who build their nests in caves -- and their nests are made out of their own saliva!

The text here manages to be both informative and readable, while remaining at a level that preschoolers can still appreciate. For older children, the book is not too wordy to read in one sitting. 

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Laura Knowles
Illustrator: Chris Madden
Pages: 64
Content Advisory: None

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Prehistoric Actual Size is a really neat book that highlights several extinct species from long ago, including some dinosaurs, but also other kinds of animals such as a giant millipede, a terrifying-looking horned rodent, and a "terror bird," among others. Since dinosaurs tend to get most of the attention in the prehistoric world, it's nice to see a variety of creatures here.

The illustrations show each creature as their actual size, as the title indicates, which is easy for some, but for others means only small parts of them actually fit in the book, such as teeth or a claw. It's a fairly large-sized book, but it also includes a fold-out page to give a bit more room to a few creatures.

Scrounged From: A used book sale

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Steve Jenkins 
Pages: 36
Content Advisory: None

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Dictionary of Dinosaurs is a really neat collection that lists all the dinosaurs discovered up to this point. Length, diet, and when/where the animal lived are provided for each dinosaur, as well as a name pronounciation guide (very helpful!) and the meaning of the name, some of which are very interesting. I learned that there is a dinosaur whose name was inspired by Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky poem (borogovia)!

On each page, a dinosaur or two (but not all of them) are highlighted with a color picture, a blurb of information, and a silhouetted picture comparing the dinosaur's size to that of a human. Most of the more well-known dinosaurs (tyrannosaurus, stegosaurus) are highlighted this way. Since marine reptiles and flying reptiles are no longer considered "dinosaurs" (something that apparently happened between when I was a kid and when I had kids old enough to like dinosaurs), they are unfortunately not included in this book.

In the beginning of the book is some general information about time periods, fossils, etc., but I found this statement interesting: 

"New information about dinosaurs is being discovered all the time. Dinosaurs often change name, or their dates change once more information is found out about them. This means it's a very exciting field to get into and learn about. You could even discover or name the next dinosaur one day!"

In other places, the book notes that certain dinosaurs may not actually be separate species, but scientists made the best guess they could based on the evidence. I really like the way this portrays science as an ongoing effort rather than a static collection of information. 

As is obvious from the title, this isn't likely the kind of book you'd want to sit down and read all in one sitting, but it's a great reference for dinosaur-loving kids, full of colorful pictures and current information -- for now!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Matthew G. Baron
Illustrator: Dieter Braun
Pages: 184
Content Advisory: None

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