Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Creature Features  
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Published  2014

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page team together again for another outstanding informational and entertaining animal book.

I envy students now-a-days who have such an incredible array of choice in informational / non-fiction books!  When I was little—all we had in the way of informational books was the World Book Encyclopedia! 

And Steve Jenkins has contributed many, many informational books for children to enjoy!

I would use Creature Features as a mentor text that would model a ‘change-up’ from the ‘regular’ non-fiction text.  The book is presented in a question format on each page.  It is as if a child is asking an animal a question specifically about an uncommon and peculiar physical feature of the animal.  Each animal answers back in a fun, unique ‘voice’. I would use this book as a mentor text during  perhaps a rainforest or pond unit of study to encourage students to use a similar model to write about rainforest or pond animals.

Some favorite lines:
“Dear Egyptian Vulture:                           
Why no feathers on your face?”

“Are you sure you want to know? Really? Okay?
Okay, I’ll tell you. I stick my face into the bodies of the 
animals that I eat, and feathers would get pretty messy.”

“Dear leaf-nosed bat:
Seriously, is that your nose?”

“I know, I know-it looks strange. but my nose directs the high-pitched sounds I make, 
which helps me find my way as I fly.”

One thing that I particularly love about this book is that it will instinctively lead the students into wanting to research on their own and learn more about each animal. The fun way that the factual informational is given leaves the student begging for more!

I also absolutely love the illustrations by Robin Page! Each of the animals’ faces completely dominates the page it is on-beautifully and colorfully drawn, and with the unusual body features prominate on the page.

Suggested Uses As a Mentor Text:
Book Genre: Informational / non-fiction 
Reading Workshop Strategies: Fluency, Questioning, Search for and Use Information, Visualizing, Connecting
Writing Workshop Strategies: Informational Writing, Inspiring Writers, Boy Hook, Writers Voice

Steve Jenkin’s and Robin Page’s website: http://www.stevejenkinsbooks.com/

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