Life-Size Zoo

February 24, 2010


Welcome to Nonfiction Monday. Put your posts in the comments section below and I’ll add them throughout the day. I’m out of pocket, but I’ll get to everyone as soon as possible on Monday. Thank you for joining SimplyScience for Nonfiction Monday! You may want to double check the links. Let me know if something is wrong or if I left out anyone. A different computer and interrupted (but fun ) time definitely has me multitaking more than normal!


By Teruyuki Komiya
ISBN #: 978-193473420-9

Seven Footer Press, 2009


Ages 4-8

This oversized book won’t fit on a typical library shelf, but it won’t stay on the shelves anyway. Life-Size Zoo: From Tiny Rodents to Gigantic Elephants, An Actual Size Animal Encyclopedia is by Teruyuki Komiya, Kristin Earhart, and photographer Toyofumi Fukuda.

The life-sized photographs of animals from zoos in Japan fill the pages and spill over into fold-outs to fit the adult elephant, a tiger’s mouth, and agiraffe’s tongue. Animals appearing in the book include the tiger, panda, red panda, meerkat, sea lion, giraffe, camel, zebra, tapir, rhinoceros, elephant, aardvark, gorilla, hedgehog, prairie dog, capybara, anteater, sloth, armadillo, and sloth.

Small, colorful sidebars line the right side of each spread with interesting facts about the animal and provide details to the abbreviated text. The appeal is immediately evident with the zebra cover. This fascinating book with its up-close look at these zoo animals is sure to be a favorite.

Activity 1

Choose several of the animals from the book. Look up their habitats and find one way each animal is suited to live in that habitat. Describe the adaptations each animal group has developed that allows it to live there successfully.

Look up animals and their habitats. Go to the upper right side of the page and scroll down to search for the animals.

Activity 2 (for younger readers)

Look up pictures of baby zoo animals. Discuss differences in the baby animal and the adult. See more baby pictures here.

Coloring pages of four zoo animals.

See more reviews (it was a Cybils finalist!):

Check It Out, Bookends, Literate Lives, The Book Nosher, and Wrapped in Foil

National Science Standards: organisms and environments; life cycles of organisms

 Book provided by publisher to Cybils judges


Paula at Pink Me said I had the good fortune to spend some time this weekend reading about the brave and resourceful Marines and civilians who rescued the exotic animals of Baghdad after the U.S. invasion.

Jennifer at JeanLittleLibrary reviewed a cool book on public space, Watch This Space ,by Hadley Dyer.

Roberta at Wrapped in Foil reviewed “Hair Dance.”

Mandy at Enjoy-embracelearning reviewed a great book for early readers, a fun way to introduce nonfiction. 

In Need of Chocolate has Faces of the Moon this week.

Heidi Bee Roemer reviewed The Ant’s Nest written by Miriam Aronin at the Wild About Nature

Jone at Maclibrary has Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss .

In honor of Women’s History Month, Abby’s reviewing Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson over at Abby (the) Librarian

Robin reviewed We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball at The Book Nosher

Motherreader has Moonshot: the Flight of Apollo 11.

 Bookends has Saving the Baghdad Zoo:  A True Story of Hope and Heroes by Kelly Milner Halls and Major William Sumner.  

Becky At Young Readers has At Young Readers, I’ve got Shake, Rattle, and Turn That Noise Down. And at Becky’s Book Reviews, I’ve got American Plague.

The Art of Irreverence has three books about earthquakes.  Fittingly, they are all entitled “Earthquakes.”

Sally reviewed PUFFINS CLIMB, PENGUINS RHYME, by Bruce McMillan at Whispers of Dawn.

Jeanine sends The Writers and Critique Group Survival Guide.

Lost Between the Pages posted about How Robots Work (Robots and Robotics series- MacMillan Library)

Challenging the Bookworm says she can’t stop talking about this book! The book is out of print, but you can still buy it used on Amazon.

Sherrie wrote about a couple of experiments she did with her daughter from Simple Science Experiments with Everyday Materials.

Anastasia at Picture Book of the Day has a post on an Amelia Earhart bio and resources for Women’s History Month.

Mama Librarian celebrates the life of Dr. Seuss with The Boy on Fairfield Street.

Wendy talked about April Pulley Sayre’s  Meet the Howlers at Wendie’s Wanderings.

Ocean’s Child

April 8, 2009

Ocean’s Child

Christine Ford and Trish Holland

Illustrated by David Diaz

Golden Books, 2009

ISBN # 978-0-375-84752-3

















This ocean lullaby in lyrical language is told by a mother on a kayak with her child as they bid goodnight to the animals sleeping beneath and beyond them on their ocean journey. Otter, walrus, whale, and polar bear are among the many animals and their babies told good night, and each animal spread ends with a good night refrain. The final spread contains glowing northern lights.


Luminous art gives an Arctic feel to the pages and the muted colors soothe along with the narrative. This would be a calming book for bedtime and children could join in on the refrain.


When Sun slips over the edge of the world

And Moon sails up to the stars,

The children of Ocean grow sleepy-eyed.

It’s time to say good night.


Activity 1

Look up the names of what the baby form of each animal is called. The book includes: a person, otter, walrus, whale, dolphin, polar bear, puffin, sea lion, orca, albatross, and seal. For example, a baby seal is called a pup. See this list for a start.

Describe each animal and talk about how it has adapted to live in the cold Arctic environment.


For older children, play a Name Game here.


For more information



National Science Standards: Organisms and environment; life cycle



More about baby animals:


Baby Animal Families by Gyo Fujikawa


Animal Babies in Polar Lands by the editors of Kingfisher






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