Tuesday, July 24, 2007

31. The Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery

Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

80 pages

Montgomery, S. (2004). The tarantula scientist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Author Creditability: In this book it has a section called “How This Book Was Researched.” The reader will find out that Montgomery along with the photographer Bishop went with “Sam Marshall on an expedition to French Guiana in South America.” They researched tarantulas with him and also visited Sam’s Spider Lab at Hiram College in Ohio.

Summary: This is a book of Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop following a spider scientist, Sam Marshall, on his expeditions through his lab in Ohio and the rainforest in French Guiana. It shows the reader how science works through experiments and observations to find out about the tarantulas. The reader will find out about how science works as well as about the spider the tarantula.

Most Important Access Features: This book contains a map at the beginning showing the reader where French Guiana is located. It has chapter headings that let the reader know what the chapter is about. It contains photographs through out the book with labels telling the reader about the photo. At the end of the book there are pages with information for the reader including: Updates, handling tarantulas, spider stats, spider language, how the book was researched, special acknowledgments, selected bibliography, websites, how to reach the jungle in French Guiana where Sam does his research, information on having a tarantula as a pet, an index, and a website for teachers.

Description of Illustrations: The photographs were taken by Nic Bishop on the expedition.

Grade Level & Uses: 4-8 grade; This book could be used to teach about the process of experiments and observations and about tarantulas.
Standards: Science as Inquiry; Life Science
Related Texts & How Related: These books could be used along with The Tarantula Scientist to discuss tarantulas.

Uncover a Tarantula: Take a Three-Dimensional Look Inside a Tarantula! by David George Gordon
Tarantulas (Animals of the Rain Forest) by Christy Steele
Tarantula Spiders (Animal Kingdom) by Julie Murray

2005 Robert F. Sibert Honor

Personal Response to Book: I do not like spiders so I thought this was going to be a hard book for me to read. I did find it very interesting and I liked how they talked about using experiments and observation on finding out about the tarantulas.

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