Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kid Konnection: Spring Books from Dawn Publications

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you some gorgeous and educational new books from Dawn Publications.

Summary: A tiny baby sea turtle scrambles across the sandy beach and into the sea. Floating far out in the ocean, Kiki is becoming a gentle giant. She swims to shallower water where a rainbow of corals puts on a show. Kiki adopts the busy coral reef as her new home and discovers fish of all sizes and lots of surprises! There’s lots of teamwork going on too, including a gang of tangs that clean up the algae growing on her shell. But something calls her back to the beach . . . and the cycle of life continues. In the back matter Malnor offers a concise beginner’s guide to sea turtles and coral reefs, plus a variety of “teaching treasures” for further learning. -- Dawn Publications

ON KIKI'S REEF by Carol L. Malnor is a beautiful look at the life of a sea turtle. The book begins when Kiki, a green sea turtle, hatches from an egg and follows her as she grows up to be an adult sea turtle. Reader gets to see Kiki as she meets different animals who live with her in the coral reef.

I absolutely loved ON KIKI'S REEF. Not only is it beautifully illustrated in bright watercolors by Trina L. Hunner, but it is also very educational... like all of Dawn Publication's books. Kids and parents alike can learn about the life of a sea turtle as well as wonder of coral reefs. This picture book introduces some commonly known creatures like octopus, sharks, and different types of fish, but it also shows the symbiotic relationships between the sea turtles and other creatures that exist in the coral reef.

Another great feature of this book is what appears in the last few pages -- kind of an educational supplement to Kiki's story. There are more detailed descriptions of a sea turtle's life along with some interesting information about the other creatures in the book. In addition, there is a map of the world showing where coral reefs exist.

Summary: A curious young mouse boldly ventures into the meadow for the first time. There he is given a crash course on life—from creatures both friendly and not so friendly. He witnesses a caterpillar becoming a chrysalis. He marvels that fireflies can glow. Thoughtful encounters with a turtle and a rabbit help prepare him for danger. Science and story blend seamlessly in this entertaining coming of age tale. But do animals talk and help each other? Thoughtful back matter explores the phenomenon of animal altruism and what we are learning of animal communication, and delves deeper into the lives of meadow mice and the wonders of a meadow. -- Dawn Publications

THE MOUSE AND THE MEADOW written and illustrated by Chad Wallace is another fantastic book in Dawn Publications' spring line-up. In this wonderful picture book, a little mouse heads out in the meadow on his own for the first time. He immediately encounters a variety of animals, both nice and not-so-nice, and learns a great deal about them and how to survive in nature.

Once again, I was blown away by this book. The artwork is amazing and that alone makes this book special. However, the story itself really makes this book a worthwhile addition to your child's library. Not only is this book an entertaining coming-of-age tale for the small mouse, but it's also extremely educational to the reader.

The little mouse meets a variety of animals including a caterpillar, an owl, a snake, fireflies, and much more; and he learns about the incredible things they can do. In rhyming text, the author gives an introduction into the roles of plants and animals in a meadow and how they all interact with each other.

As is the case with the other books I reviewed by Dawn Publication, the last few pages of this book are extremely valuable to the child whose curiosity is piqued with the mouse's story. There are additional details about how animals communicate with each other as well as the ecosystem of a meadow.

And now for the really cool thing about THE MOUSE AND THE MEADOW! There is a free pop-up app that brings the 2D pages of the beautiful book to life! The images in the book will "pop-up" in 3D on the screen of your movie device.

Summary: Under the algae that carpets the swamp, near the duck who paddles in ooze, close to the turtle who takes a snooze . . . hides a gator! Still as a log, only his watchful eyes can be seen. But when gator moves, he really moves! What happens to the duck, the turtle, the egret, the deer, and the many other critters of the swamp when gator makes his move? Children will search for the gator and get a glimpse of real life in a swamp. Back material offers insight into this unique habitat and each of the featured animals. Berkes offers tips on how to engage young children actively in the topic, and Baird—who lives in Texas and has gators in her back yard—offers insights into how she created the images digitally. -- Dawn Publications

THE SWAMP WHERE GATOR HIDES by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Roberta Baird is another cute book that will teach kids a thing or two! In this picture book, children discover that an algae-covered swamp that looks quiet actually has lots going on. Namely, an alligator is living below the surface just waiting to get his next meal!

This book is actually good for preschool and elementary age kids. The text has repeating verses which make it fun to read, and little ones know what to expect except for the next line. In addition, they will have fun trying to find the alligator's prying eyes. Older children will appreciate this book because it teaches them about real life in a swamp and predatory relationships.

As a parent, I especially enjoyed the last few pages where the author gives the reader additional information about the swamp and its inhabitants. They also give some ideas for fun activities as well as descriptions for how the digital illustrations were created.

ON KIKI'S REEF, THE MOUSE AND THE MEADOW, and THE SWAMP WHERE GATOR HIDES are all fantastic books! I love how they all go to the next level in teaching kids about our world! If you still want more, then check out the downloadable activity page for educators. There you will find additional activities and ideas for all of Dawn Publications' books.

Highly recommended!!!

Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Oh my, what gorgeous books! They all look fantastic!