Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wicked Cool Overlooked Books

Yes, I'm aware that I'm three days late with this, but that's the story of my life right now, so I'm just celebrating that I've got a book to share this month!

by Lila Prap
originally published in Slovenia in 2003
First American Edition 2005, Kane/Miller Book Publishers, Inc.

This book is a series of questions about animals: Why are zebras striped? Why do whales spout water? Why do rhinos have horns on their noses? and so on. Each double page spread features a large, stylized picture of the animal in question (pun intended) in the center, with a small paragraph of factual information in the right hand margin. What makes this book so much fun is that the question is answered in silly ways in all of the other margins and even in the center section with the illustration! For example:

Why do whales spout water?
It's their runny noses! They always have colds.
To wash the clouds.
They're watering the sea grass.
For fun.

Why don't snakes have legs?
So they don't have to play football.
Because they'd hate cutting their toenails.
They forgot to grow them.
So they don't fall down.

This book begs to be a mentor text for young researchers to writing a first report. Asking the question forces them to narrow the focus of the research and learn just one thing. The silly reasons encourage them to be creative and entertain their audience. The one paragraph of factual information is just the right size for beginning writers.

There's so much to love about this book! Why haven't I seen it before?

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