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

Category results for 'animals-not-anthropomorphized'.

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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White Stallion of Lipizza is probably my second-favorite Marguerite Henry story, after King of the Wind. It can be a great introduction to the Lipizzan horses and their unique art.

The story follows Hans, a baker's son who dreams of becoming a Riding Master someday. He demonstrates a sincerity and passion in his pursuit of knowledge and experience that is admirable and contagious, and his singular focus brings him closer and closer to his goal of someday doing the courbette on his beloved Borina.

I enjoyed reading this in a large format rather than a mass-market paperback -- Wesley Dennis's numerous small illustrations really help tell the story, especially when complex horse ballet movements are described.

Scrounged From: A gift from a relative

Format: Paperback
Author: Marguerite Henry
Illustrator: Wesley Dennis
Pages: 112
Content Advisory: Injury and death are briefly described, but not in detail.

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I really enjoyed Charlotte Milner's The Bee Book (see my review here), and even based a homeschool summer science unit around it. So I was happy for the chance to review The Sea Book, another installment (rhyming, even!) from the same author/illustrator. 

Like the previous book, this one features clear designs and colorful illustrations (with lots of blue, of course), and begins with the big picture of the oceans on our planet, and then "zooms in" to look at specific areas and ecosystems (such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and the arctic), as well many examples of the types of sea creatures that inhabit them. The blocks of text are fairly short and concise, but there are enough pages here that this would probably be best read in multiple sittings, at least if read to young children.

The last few pages focus on the problem of plastic trash in the ocean, and give some ideas for how we can help keep our planet clean. There is also a tutorial for how to make a reusable shopping bag out of an old T-shirt! I like how this section seems to flow in a straightforward manner from the rest of the book and takes the problem seriously without coming across as heavy-handed.

I think this one will be a great addition to our homeschool library as well.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From:

Format: Kindle
Author/Illustrator: Charlotte Milner
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

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Counting Birds starts off as the story of a man named Frank Chapman, who decided to do something to combat what was a Christmas tradition in some places 100+ years ago: shooting birds for fun. 

His idea of an annual "bird count" has since developed into a massive citizen science project organized by the Audubon Society. This book celebrates the joy of discovery and conservation of our feathered friends, in a way that reminds me of The Sky Painter, which features another bird lover who also decided to find a way to depict birds without shooting them (see my review here).

That spirit of conservation is present here, displaying an attitude of enjoyment and appreciation of wild birds, and portraying the thrill of the "hunt" as well as the benefit this participation can be to science.

The last few pages give some more information on how the bird count works, and how the average citizen can participate. This is definitely something I'd like to be involved in someday, and would make a great homeschool project.

Oh, and, plot twist! When I read the page about calling owls, I couldn't help but think of Jane Yolen's Owl Moon. Turns out the author of this book is actually her daughter, who is the girl who goes owl calling with her father in Owl Moon. Nifty!

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Scrounged From: NetGalley

Format: Kindle
Author: Heidi E. Y. Stemple
Illustrator: Clover Robin
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: One scene shows a bunch of dead birds lying on the ground, but it's from a distance and not graphic.

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Many girls love horses, and while I was not as intense as some (I never sought out riding lessons or anything like that), if my eventual fascination can be traced back to anything, I think it would have to be this book. King of the Wind is definitely my favorite of Marguerite Henry's many horse stories.

On the surface, it is the story of a boy and his horse, and the ups and downs (and eventual triumphs) of their journey together through several countries. But I feel that Henry has captured more than just a story here -- it feels like a legend, and Sham, while remaining a non-anthropomorphized horse, portrays a little something beyond just an animal -- he really feels like a historical figure who has since become larger than life.

I remember how much this book gripped my imagination as a girl -- I felt Agba's innocence, loneliness, and occasional despair, and felt so keenly the connection between the horse and the boy. This was aided by Wesley Dennis's superb illustrations, which capture the beauty of the horse characters throughout their many movements (if you can get a copy of this book that has the full color illustrations, do it!).

On another level, I think this book reminds us all that we are more than our "pedigrees." Sham proves himself by what he does, not by what is written down about who/where he comes from.

Scrounged From:

Format: Hardcover
Author: Marguerite Henry
Illustrator: Wesley Dennis
Pages: 176
Content Advisory: There are some depictions of cruelty to horses and people.

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