Squirrels hide nuts for the long winter. Bears pack on fat for hibernation. Here at Sixoh6, we prepare for winter by stocking up on books. To help you find the best books to gift this holiday season, we’re sharing guest posts from some of our favorite parents of babies and toddlers, young children, and teens. We’ve asked our guest bloggers to share books on a theme of their choice. We hope, whether you are young or old and whether you have a lot of books to give this year or just a few, you’ll find something here that delights you and that you’ll enjoy a Jólabókaflóðið (“Yule Book Flood”) this winter.
Today’s guest post comes from O, a first grade boy who loves Wild Kratts, wild animals, and Where the Wild Things Are–and is a big of a wild thing himself. Here are three books he recommends for kids interested in wild, weird, and dangerous animals. He wrote this with his mom.
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
“This is a book that shows you how big animal’s body parts really are. A gorilla’s hand is much bigger than a person’s. The goliath frog has is longer than your arm when its legs are stretched out. The page with the crocodile mouth has to unfold because its mouth is so long. The page with the shark teeth on might even scare you.”
Mom’s note: The shark page actually may startle you and might genuinely scare younger children, once they realize that they could be swallowed by a shark in one bite.
Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember by Steve Jenkins
“I learned on Wild Kratts that the platypus has a 6th sense. It can use electricity to find its food with its eyes shut. In this book, I learned that it has a spike on its back foot that can inject you with poison. This book gives you tips to save your life if you are in the wild. Here are some: Don’t smile at monkeys. Don’t stare a spitting cobra in the eye. Don’t pick up a blue ringed octopus. Don’t pet a black bear cub.”
One criticism: “The book uses the word poisonous wrong. Poisonous means that if you eat something, you die. A monarch butterfly is poisonous. If something bites you and puts poison in you, it is venomous. Gila monsters are venomous. We don’t usually eat things that are venomous, but we should never eat things that are poisonous. But some people DO eat pufferfish, and they kill you if the chef messes up.”
Mom’s note: The main text has 3-4 sentences per animal, but the back of the book has more detailed entries on each animal.
Who Would Win? series by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Rob Bolster.
“Did you ever wonder if a tiger could beat a lion in a fight? Is a honey badger tougher than a hyena? Does a lobster have better defenses than a crab? Then this book series is for you! You will learn about rhino v. hippo, alligator v. python, wolverine v. Tasmanian devil, Komodo dragon v. king cobra, and more. Some of these match-ups are only imaginary because, in nature, the animals don’t live near each other, but it is still fun to think about who is stronger, who is faster, who has sharper teeth and sharper claws, who can climb better, and who has better natural defenses.”
Mom’s warning: These books can inspire endless hours of pretend battles between children acting them out.
Want to read more in this series? Check out Erica’s picture books about St. Nicholas and St. Lucia.