Sunday, July 22, 2007

23. Z is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet by Marie & Roland Smith

Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

40 pages

Smith, M. & Smith R. (2005). Z is for zookeeper: A zoo alphabet. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press.

Author Creditability: According to the book Roland has spent more than 20 years caring for exotic animals before he became a full-time writer. “In his career he has been a zookeeper, senior zookeeper, curator of mammals and birds, general curator, assistant zoo director, and senior research biologist.” He has also received the Excellence in Zoo Keeping award for the United States in 1980. Roland is an author of many other award winning books for children.

Summary: This sequenced structured book gives the reader information in a rhymed way on content of a zoo that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Then in the side bars there is some expository text on the animals or people working in the zoo to provide more detailed information, as well as some little interesting facts on topics within the zoo. The side bar readings would be for more advanced readers because of the harder language to read.

Most Important Access Features: This book contains side bars with more detailed information and facts. Since it is a alphabet sequenced book each letter of the alphabet is done in displayed faces so the reader will know what letter of the alphabet is on that page. There is an authors’ and artist note at the back of the book.

Description of Illustrations: This book contains illustrations done by Henry Cole. Colored-pencil-and-watercolor artworks are done for the double fold illustrations done in this book. They are all done beautifully and help bring meaning to the text.

Grade Level & Uses: K-5; I believe this book could be used the lower grades if the teacher read it to them. It would work will with a zoo unit or on studying captivity and different animal species.

Standards: Science as inquiry; Life Science

Related Texts & How Related: The following books could be used along with Z is for Zookeeper: A Zoo Alphabet to talk about zoos and animals.

A Kids’ Guide to Zoo Animals by Michelle Giders
Zoo by Gail Gibbons
Zoo Animals by Brian Wildsmith
I Want to be a Zookeeper by Dan Liebman
There are also numerous books on different animals that could be added to this unit.

No awards were found.

Personal Response to Book: This was a very informative and easy book to read. I feel like I can defiantly use this book with my first graders when I do my zoo unit before we go to the Memphis Zoo. I also like the format used and how they put more informative text in side bars. I will be able to teach this to my students, as will, within my zoo unit.

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