Today, I have recommendations for several poetry books about animals that also include factual information about such things as animal camouflage, the life cycle of toads and monarch butterflies, insects, and different kinds of animals that inhabit meadows and ponds.
CAMOUFLAGED CREATURES CONCEALED…AND REVEALED
Written by David M. Schwartz
Photos by Dwight Kuhn
Tricycle Press, 2007
(Dewey Classification: 590)
The section on each animal includes a poem on the left-hand page and a photograph on the right-hand page--a photograph in which the camouflaged animal is difficult to spot. Readers can lift the photograph to find the hidden animal and read some interesting facts about it.
Here are excerpts from the poem and the informational prose taken from the section on the weasel.
From Silent and Still
I’m silent and still, till I leap out and pounce.
Even prey twice my size I can easily trounce.
To feast on a rabbit, a rat, or a mole,
I stalk it, then capture it deep in its hole.
"Some weasels have different wardrobes for summer and winter. As days grow short and brisk in northern areas, the short-tailed weasel, or ermine, trades its chocolate brown coat for white."
Where in the Wild? contains a nice variety of poems--including a haiku and two shape poems. Schwartz’s prose is clear and concise, and Kuhn’s photographs are exceptional. This book is a terrific package of poetry, prose, and photography--and would make an excellent classroom resource!
Check out Poetry in Non-fiction, a post written by David Schwartz for I.N.K.
HEY THERE, STINK BUG!
Written by Leslie Bulion
Illustrated by Leslie Evans
(Dewey Classification: 595.7)
Hey There, Stink Bug! is a nonfiction poetry book that is sure to appeal to children. The book contains nineteen poems about a variety of insects and spiders--including the stink bug, aphid, Japanese beetle, dung beetle, and fireflies. It also has information about the “little” creatures written about in the poems. Many of the book’s poems are rhythmic and rhyming. A number of the poems also include a touch of humor--as does The Hot Shot.
The Hot Shot
Bombardier bombardier bombardier beetle,
slow on the wing but thinks fast on its feetle.
Blasting poor predators into retreatle,
with boiling hot acid it aims from its seatle.
Excerpt from the prose paragraphs about the bombardier beetle: "When an enemy bothers a bombardier beetle, two chemicals mix inside the beetle and explode with a pop into acid spray."
Bulion has written her poems in a number of different poetic forms that include haiku, limerick, cinquain, kyrielle, and a Shakespearean sonnet. In addition to being a poetry book that could be used across the curriculum in science--it would also be a great resource for introducing children to different types of poetry.
The back matter of the book includes a glossary, a list of Web and book resources, and a section called Poetry Notes. In Poetry Notes, Bulion provides information about the types of poems she wrote for this book.